Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Organization in The Wanderer

I am back in The Underground! The Wanderer has been unloaded and cleaned; I am ready for serious crafting! We had a wonderful Fall Adventure but I am happy to return to my studio. It didn't take me long to find a project.

Using my Silhouette Portrait, I cut vinyl letters to keep me organized when on the road. I had vinyl that I had purchased from a hobby store when I first attempted to play with this product. (Remember my frustrations with it tearing and not adhering?) It did okay on this project except where the text needed to curve, it really didn't want to curve.

My guess is I will be replacing the vinyl with my fav, Oracal 651. But for now, I'll see what happens.

I am happy to report the Oracal 651 bohemian design on the garden shop door looks as good as it did when applied 3 months ago. I am really loving this product!

The Wanderer is on her way to winter storage and I am hunkering down for winter in The Underground.

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Thanksgiving Guilt Trip

Happy Thanksgiving to all my crafty friends! Wow, do I have so much for which to give thanks! Retirement, opportunity to travel, good health, a warm and cozy home (complete with a craft studio with more craft supplies than I will ever use,) totally awesome friends, a wonderful family that loves me (even if they don't understand me) and of course HR (whatever would I do without Handy Randy?) 

I don't know about you, but I sort of feel guilty to be so fortunate. While I leisurely drink my coffee each morning, reading the news, blogs and emails, there are women struggling to find food to feed their family. Many cannot read because they live in a culture that does not embrace a woman's right to be educated. When I go to my studio in my free afternoons, I often "struggle" to decide just what project in which to become immersed. Many mothers and grandmothers in the world do not have "free time" and if they did they would not have the resources to create for fun. When we go off in The Wanderer to explore our great nation, I am reminded of refuges camping in tents to survive oppression. I ask myself, do I ignore the plight of grandmothers, mothers and young girls not as fortunate or do I find a way to use my passion to craft to help ease the struggles (and my guilty conscience.) This is an issue that has taken a great bit of real estate in my mind of late and is leading me to search for a resolution.

So, do y'all know of organizations that would like to have donations of craft items? Sewing, knitting, crocheting, paper; if it is not a craft in my skill set, perhaps I can pass the info through The Underground to other crafters. Or maybe you have other ideas on using the craft passion obsession to serve others? Please share your knowledge and ideas in the comments below.

Now that I have that off my mind, I am leaving you with the instructions on making this really easy centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

All you need is a pumpkin, moss, succulents and a glue gun.

First put some moss on the top of the pumpkin using a glue gun (or you could use spray adhesive.) Do not cut the top off the pumpkin.

Take succulent cuttings and glue to the moss. That is it!

Note, this arrangement will last for several weeks. When you no longer want it or the pumpkin starts to decay, slice the top off the pumpkin, leaving the succulents attached; plant the pumpkin top in an appropriate size pot with potting soil and water rarely. The succulents will continue to grow.

BTW, I was at the Farm Patch in College Station over the weekend, they still have pumpkins and a nice selection of succulents.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Now on Instagram!

The Underground is now on Instagram!
Follow and see what is really going on in the basement on Buckner Lane! 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Luggage Tag Travel Memory

What could be more personal than turning one's travel photo into a luggage tag? Here is how I made tags for each of my travel companions on a recent trip to Italy.

This is what you will need:

White fabric for printing photo, (I used a mid-weight muslin)
Freezer paper
Painter tape
Fabric for back of tag and strap
Heavy weight fusible interfacing
Clear vinyl

Let's print the photo first.

Cut white fabric and freezer paper to 8 1/2 X 11-inches.
Iron freezer paper to fabric.
Place painter tape across one of the short edges of the freezer paper and fabric to provide an even, sturdy edge.
Put the freezer paper/fabric sheet into the printer so the print will appear on the fabric (not the freezer paper.)
Using a photo manipulation program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, open the photo you want to print.
Size to fit the project, in this case, 4X6-inches.
Print using a 300 dpi resolution.
Remove freezer paper/fabric from printer, remove painter tape and pull the fabric from the freezer paper.
Cut printed image from fabric.
Detailed information about printing on fabric can be found on Linda Matthews Creative Cloth website. 

Note, photos can be printed on printable fabric such as Jacquard Ink Jet Fabric.

Cut a 4X6" piece from the back fabric and from the interfacing 
Cut a 2 X 12-inch strip from the backing fabric
From the vinyl, cut a 2 1/2X4-inch piece

Following manufacturer’s instructions, iron interfacing to back fabric.

Use painter's tape, tape vinyl to the back fabric; place the tape about 1/8-inch from the edge of the vinyl. The tape will serve as a stitching guide. Stitch around three edges. (Yep, that is my little Singer Featherweight, Wilma, doing the stitching.)

I trimmed the edges after stitching to make it neater.

Fold the strap in half, press.

Open and press each side to the center

Fold the two long sides together to create a 14-inch strap.

Sew the two long sides together

Top-stitch the other long side.
Now you have the strap.
I pressed the strap after I took the photo

Fold the strap in half and baste to the short edge of the back. Keep in mind how the tag will hang on the luggage; stitch the strap to the end where the vinyl is open.

Whoops, forgot to photograph this step. (Obviously I am a novice at writing tutorials.) 

Stitch the two pieces, right sides together with the strap sandwiched in the middle, stitch around three edges,

leaving the end opposite the strap open for turning. 

Trim the seam to 1/8th inch, clip corners. (Important as Wilma does not do thickness well.)

Turn right sides out (Do you really need a photo of  the turning process?)  and press. (I place cardboard inside the tag before pressing to protect the vinyl.)

Fold the unstitched end under, press. 

Top stitched completely around the tag
Ouch, this is a pretty poor photo!

Back of the tag
I used Kraft-tex on this one; more on this amazing product in a future post.

There we have it, memories of

The Amalfi coast,

the villa where we stayed

and, of course gelato.

As one of my few attempts at writing a tutorial, let’s just say this is a work in progress.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to my friend, Cathy, at Cathy Neri Quilts for lending me a tag to copy.

Look how neat her craftsmanship is; you can tell she is a professional.