Friday, February 27, 2009

Easy Ragwork ATC

Sunflower ATC, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

I have been going crazy trying to get ATC swaps done before my boys get home for spring break this weekend.  But, I am have terrible glue issues.  I just can't seem to get rid of air bubbles, and it is driving me mad.  So instead of pulling my hair out, I decided to return to what I do best - FIBER!

I have had this book checked out from the library for several 3 week cycles, but have never gotten around to trying anything.  Today, as I was cleaning, I found a bag of old t-shirt pieces, an old burlap ham bag, and the book.  I decided it would be a good day to try my hand at ragwork.

The book, Beautiful Ragwork: Over 20 Hooked Designs for Rugs, Wall Hangings, Furniture, and Accessories has easy directions and good pictures (important for visual people like me)!  I was able to come up with all the supplies from my stash (burlap, tshirt strips and a crochet hook (fake rug hooker but it works!)


I make a quick design and was done before I knew it!


Very Easy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Simple Beauty

mono tulips multiple, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

Most times, pictures come more easily to me than words.  I guess you could say I am think "visually".  

Some more tulilps appeared in my kitchen this weekend.  They are white tulips and are simply beautiful.  

Today, I decided to play a bit with tulips.  I used the monochromatic setting on my camera and a simple desk light to get these effects.  I didn't photoshop at all.  I softened the one above and played with the tone.  That's it!

one tulip mono

I think the results are quite pleasing to the eye!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #4: FeltColors

FeltColors, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple....Keep it Simple....

Having the constant inclination to make things more difficult, confusing or just cluttered than they need to be, I try to keep the "keep it simple" mantra in my brain.  

Simplifying my surroundings has been a goal for the new year.  In that vain, I ran across this wonderful poster today.  Readymade Magazine asked five artists to "reimagine" the populist posters the government commissioned from artists during the Great Depression, and to design some modern posters for our current time.   I absolutely love the one above, designed by Nick Dewar. It is available for download in pdf form HERE.

I think that they are all pretty terrific!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Appreciation ~ Kate Greenaway

Language of Flowers, London,
Routledge, 1884. Engraved and
colour printed by Edmund Evans.

Kate Greenaway was an illustrator of children's books in the Victorian era.  Her work depicted children as dreamy little figures who play amid the English countryside, dressed in frilly smocks, mob caps and sunbonnets.  I own several books with drawings by Kate Greenaway, including the one above, Language of Flowers.   

This morning I was pleasantly surprised when the weekly Dover Publications design sampler had some downloads from the book Kate Greenaway Illustrations CD-ROM and Book (Dover Electronic Clip Art).  If you haven't signed up for this weekly download, you can do it RIGHT HERE.  Each week you get an email with a variety of downloads from different publications.  The offerings are always great, and they are also perfect for use in many different crafts like Atcs, scrapbooks, and homemade postcards.  Here are the samples from Kate Greenaway that are offered this week:

I think they are just wonderful!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

ATC Wallet Tutorial

I have been getting so many Atcs in swaps, that I needed a quick and easy way to keep them safe and tidy. I also wanted to have quick access to admire them. So, on a Dollar Store run today, I found a little photo album that I thought would work perfectly for storing my treasures.

Here is a little tutorial on how I did it.

I probably should have gotten a picture of me gluing the large piece of fabric to the cardstock here. Just use your imagination - position the fabric on the gluey cardstock and press it down real good. You might also need to let it sit in the middle of a thick book for a few minutes, to get rid of the curling page...

Once it is reasonably dry, you can embellish the front with a label. I rubber stamped ATCS on a little piece of ribbon and glued onto the fabric.

Once it is all dry, just slip the front into the vinyl sleeve. You can repeat the process for the back, or just leave the back clear and empty if you are lazy like me.

Here is the finished product.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #3: orchid blossom

orchid blossom, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Artist Trading Cards

I have been working on my own Atc's. I am a "newbie" at this, and the whole process is a little daunting, but also very addicting. There is lots of help along the way, however! First, there are many wonderful images on flickr. All you have to do is search atc and lots of wonderful images will pop up. Googling, "how to make atcs" will also bring up multiple guides and resources for making these little works of art. You can use just about any media you want to make an atc. I tend to want to use fabric or some sort of fiber in my cards, probably because that is what I am used to working with!

Here is a series I just finished. The challenge was to use a brown bag on most of the card. I had a lot of fun sewing the newsprint to the fabric.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yesterday, for a Valentine treat, I went to see the new movie "Coraline".

This movie is based on the young adult fantasy novel, Coraline by Neil Gaiman,   Amazon reviewed the book this way:
"Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house--a house so huge that other people live in it, too... round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers ("We trod the boards, luvvy") and the mustachioed old man under the roof ("'The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,' said the man upstairs, 'is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed.'") Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes bored--so bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door that--sometimes blocked with a wall of bricks--opens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe." Karen Snelson
Since I had not read the book, the movie was my introduction to this story.  I had read about the movie in various blogs, and was going for the graphic/animation/crafty tie ins that had been blogged about.  I was not let down.  The graphic details in the movie were awesome, and the story was hauntingly delicious!  My only regret is that our tiny, little movie theatre could not support the 3d format.  Not to worry though, because I have convinced my 12 year old son, who said that he wouldn't be "seen" at a "gothic chic flick", to travel with me to an undisclosed location, far away from our town, so that we can inconspicuously wear our 3d glasses and devour the movie in all its 3d glory!

If you would rather listen to Neil Gaimon and Henry Selnick talk about the genius behind this book and movie, they were interviewed on The Sound of Young America.  

There are lots of fun links popping up all over directly related to the movie.  Knitted items have a recurring theme in the movie.  Althea Crome of Bugknits designed and made most of the miniature knits used in the movie.  If you prefer to knit on toothpicks, you should definitely check out her site where she offers her miniature patterns and needles for sale.  

For all the rest of us knitters, several free patterns have become available online.  If you want to knit the wonderful blue sweater with stars that is given to Coraline by her "other mother".  The pattern is offered at the offical Coraline website in PDF form. I loved that outfit, especially the bright blue boots!

coraline star sweater, originally uploaded by Nipperknits.

Or, if you prefer to knit gloves, the blog, Largely Unrepeatable,  has come up with a pattern for the orange striped gloves that Coraline wants her "real mother" to buy for her.  

Coraline Glove - Final, originally uploaded by TikaBelle.

Buttons have a special significance in this movie, since all the "robots" have button eyes.  The official Coraline site has a vintage button poster up for grabs.  You can download it here.

Coraline vintage buttons!, originally uploaded by susanstars.
These button keys are available on Ebay. That is where this one was purchased by Laura Hall.

There are even a couple of Coraline Swaps forming as well.  On swap-bot, there is a Atc swap and a mini stuffie swap.  There is also a chance for you to join one of a 50 box swap, which was started as a follow-up to the 50 boxes that were sent out to top craft bloggers late last year to promote the movie.  If you want to join a box swap, My Little Mochi has organized the Coraline Mystery Box Swap.  Sign ups start tomorrow morning, and there is only room for 50! 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Heart-Felt FLICKR Love

Heart-Felt FLICKR Love, originally uploaded by mexycan.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lucky Week!

It was my lucky week, as I received a bouquet of Atc's this week from my various swaps. Here is what made it my way:

February Quilt Atc

This one was from jenken for a February Quilt Atc on swap-bot.  I think the pearls are just lovely!

This one made it to me in time for Valentine's Day!

vintage valentine atc

It was made by Lisa at Ivory Blush Roses. Her blog is beautiful! In addition to her pretty Atc, I am also in awe of her crazy quilted fairy flower garden blocks. They make me wish for spring!

The last two I received were from a Brown Bag Atc swap. For this one, the challenge was to make cards and use recycled brown bags in your design. Barbara on swap-bot sent me these:

Brown Bag Atc Pair

I am hoping that my luck continues.  I signed up for a give-away at Amber Alexander's Blog.  Her drawings are amazing!  The contest is outlined at her Etsy Shop.  Here is one of her prints, perfect for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last Minute Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

I fell in love with the valentine bouquet that Val and her lovely daughter made. I finally found the link ;), and, decided that my 12 year old son and I would make some for his Valentine Day celebration. Guess who made the flowers? ME! Unfortunately, 12 year old boys would rather be outside in the 50 degree weather playing lacrosse than inside crafting tissue paper flowers! He was more interested in EATING them than making them. (Note the guilty grin above!)  But, he was very appreciative of the bouquet, and happily took them into his teachers today!

I also wanted to give a link to a wonderful site with cute, free wallpaper and a template for a sweet little valentine gift box.  The blog is called Bric.A.Brac.  She also has a cute storefront, Jinjerup.  This is where I found a selection of wallpapers, like this one:

And, here is a photo of the little box that I made:

There is a PDF download with several different designs. It is perfect for that last minute Valentine gift!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009