Craft Bags

I  mentioned that I like to sew bags. I like to sew other things but I’m not that good at quilts because I suck at consistency and sewing a straight line. I’ve made a table cover and some placemats and a valance with some success but on the whole, and as a newbie sewer, I’m just not that good at it. Except when it comes to bags. I seem to be able to hide my flaws in the small seams of the bags. Here are my most recent ones. I found some Disney Villainess fabrics (top and bottom pictures) that made some great bags and an upholstery fabric duo that made a super durable bag (the middle picture).1623773_10201402590216002_114142538_n

1620955_10201402483573336_878697584_n 1013306_10201405265282877_1730806667_n

Yet Another Bag

Even though I have been absent from regular blog postings it doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to my eyeballs in crafty goodness!

First up is a big (15″x 18″) craft bag for my sewing/quilting loving sister. I loved the antique sewing machines and dress forms on the print but was not crazy about the color combinations.

I made due with the colors and chose a blue floral that matched the sewing machines to use as the contrasting fabric.

I loved the ceramic button I found in the exact brown shade. I really, really loved this button. It was very hard to part with it! 🙂

The Talents of my Friends

I am always thankful for the talents of my friends. I never cease to be amazed at the beautiful things they make using their imaginations and nimble hands.

Thank you to Jill for my wonderful new scissors case! I adore the kitties and the flowers (two of my favorite things)!

I just happen to have counting pins that match perfectly! What a great compliment to my new magnet board, Ott lite and Ott portable magnifier. The perfect accessories to make gifts for my talented friends!

image
image

Challenge update – 6 month mark

I originally started this challenge in the summer of 2009 BUT I have had a lot of changes which affected where I would be almost three years from now. Since the boyfriend is long gone there were a lot of  “goals” that were abandoned. I still have yet to come up with 101 tasks but I am more than halfway there and will be working on them some more!

The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (i.e., little to no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).

Start Date: April 15, 2010

End Date: January 2013

Completed: 30!! as of October 24, 2010

Home: (24)

  • Refinish my 1940’s craft cabinet in a vintage black walnut tone DONE! September 2010 But in white paint with original oil rubbed brass hardware. The wood was too damaged to restore with my budget.
  • Stain headboard – Decided the headboard did not go with my new style direction so I put it in storage July 2010
  • Paint side tables DONE! July 2010 Two were painted white for the bedroom and two were painted black with walnut stained tops for the living room
  • Refinish dinette set – Status Check July 2010 primer is on
  • Sew chair back covers for chairs – Decided that I like the 1960’s charm of the chairs and have now embraced it.
  • Sew placemats DONE! September 2010
  • Repair current bookcases DONE! August 2010
  • Fix and/or discard broken holiday decorations. Donate unused decorations
  • Donate clothing and blankets no longer used DONE! October 2010
  • Go through books and donate as many as possible DONE! August 2010
  • Find an organized way to store music, load favorite music selections onto the computer for long term storage
  • Replace dinnerware and silverware with comparable quality sets DONE! February 2010
  • Invest in a quality set of hard anodized aluminum non-stick cookware
  • Fix bathroom floor and lay down new tile DONE! July 2010
  • Sew new shower curtain
  • Paint bathroom Peridot green DONE! July 2010
  • Refinish bathroom accessories to match new style (paint wicker, wood and metal items, dye rugs) DONE! July 2010
  • Steam Clean carpets DONE! July 2010
  • Paint or stain coffee table DONE! July 2010 stained dark walnut
  • Paint or stain entertainment center
  • Buy new comforter set DONE! May 2010
  • Buy 600 thread count sheets
  • Replace mattress pad/topper
  • New bathroom towels

Travel: (11)

  • Have the Stitchy, Witchy, Bitchy Week in New Hampshire at the Condo DONE! July 2010
  • Finish the second half of the Freedom Trail in Boston
  • Have a picnic lunch at Quincy National Park in Quincy, MA
  • Visit Washington D.C.
  • Go back to ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham, NH DONE! July 2010
  • Go back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY
  • Visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia
  • Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and see the Boston Bruins play the Maple Leafs IN Toronto
  • Visit DisneyWorld
  • Go on a road trip
  • Take Mom to bingo

Hobbies: (28)

  • Complete my maternal ancestry documentation (paternal is already done!)
  • Adhere to regular backups of digital photos to cd-rom
  • Finish scrapbooking the past year and half of my life
  • Regularly print and scrapbook photos and/or mementos
  • See the Detroit Red Wings play the Boston Bruins in Boston. Have tickets for Feb 2011 game – Thanks Dad!
  • See the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Boston Bruins in Boston. This will complete my goal of seeing all of the Original Six hockey teams in action (All games against the Boston Bruins: Montreal Canadiens April 19, 2008, Chicago Blackhawks March 7, 2009 New York Rangers April 4, 2009)
  • Complete Marilyn Monroe cross stitch for framing
  • Start and complete Mirabilia’s Circle of Friends Started July 2010
  • Subscribe to Cross Stitch Collection magazine
  • Attend a cross stitch retreat DONE! October 2010
  • Create a better storage system for crafts DONE! September 2010
  • Paint Queen of Cups box DONE! May 2010
  • Paint The Fool tarot box DONE! May 2010
  • Attempt thread crochet again
  • Make a needlebook (TW Dragon) started March 2010
  • Design a matching bead scissor fob
  • Finish scrap granny-square blanket
  • CAL 6″ yellow scarf
  • Take a sewing class
  • Sew scrap bags for crafting DONE! October 2010
  • Go through Gramma’s craft boxes DONE! October 2010
  • Discard old paints that are not salvageable; make room for Gramma’s paints DONE! July 2010
  • Make Fortune cookie “favors”
  • Make Scissor fobs DONE! September 2010
  • New embroidery scissor investment DONE! September 2010
  • Crochet blanket for Alexander DONE! March 2010
  • Crochet blanket for Andreas DONE! March 2010
  • Crochet green car coat sweater

Health: (8)

  • Adopt the glycemic diet back into my life again
  • EA Active 3x week
  • Start Pilates cycles again
  • Begin walking regularly
  • Buy a bicycle and helmet
  • New glasses DONE! February 2010
  • New contacts DONE! February 2010
  • Buy Polarized/UV protection sunglasses

Finances/Work: (10)

  • Begin a “House Down Payment” savings account – contribute a minimum per week to it
  • Find a new place to live for July 2011
  • Learn more abut mortgages and purchasing a house and research any programs that can benefit me
  • Attend a Homebuyer Education Class
  • Convert all paper statements to paperless
  • Find an organized way to file important documents and bills; Use a ledger method to track payments and account number details for paperless items
  • Update resume
  • Follow the “Smile and cash my check” edict from my employer until I can’t take it anymore Working on it October 2010
  • Learn Crystal Reports
  • Stick to a moderate Christmas spending plan

Personal: (14)

  • Visit Mom’s Knitting Group again
  • Find a Book Club
  • Find (or start) a cross stitching group to go to DONE! August 2010
  • Complete the 50 books in a year challenge
  • Get car inspected
  • Replace front tires DONE! September 2010
  • Repair front fender on car
  • Have car detailed inside and out DONE! January 2010
  • Buy myself a Coach bag
  • Invest in new crystals DONE! March 2010
  • Find a new tarot book DONE! March 2010
  • Look into hair straightener treatment DONE! June 2010 Not going to do it! Formaldehyde! yuck!
  • Try to grow out natural nails
  • Attend a class for personal or emotional development (maybe another self-hypnosis class)

Tarot Keep Tutorial

After seeing a hand painted tarot keep box on-line I decided to save myself $50 and make one myself using my own set of cards as the inspiration!

I bought The Hanson-Roberts tarot deck in 1991 and have treasured them ever since. They are visually beautiful with rich colors and engaging designs.

The card I chose for my tarot keep box was the Queen of Cups. Each tarot card represents a particular set of feelings or people. The aspects of the Queen of Cups that really appealed to me were:

warm-hearted and fair

good friend and mother

devoted, practical, honest

loving intelligence

I sketched out the design of the card on the lid of the wooden box.

Then I outlined the design with a fine point black Sharpie.

I coated the face and the hands with clear gloss varnish which darkened the wood slightly to mimic a flesh tone.

I painted in the base colors I had chosen. I used enamel acrylic based paints but standard acrylic in fine as well. The enamel paint leaves a nice texture since it holds the brush strokes so well. After they dried I lightly added some highlights and lowlights to the hair and clothing to give them depth.

Next go over portions of the design outline with the black fine line Sharpie to make parts of the design “pop”. Do this only after all paint is completely dry (if you don’t you’ll get paint on your marker and you won’t be “writing out loud”; you’ll be buying a new Sharpie!)

Adding a coat of clear gloss varnish over the design (and slightly over the edges to make the design stand out more) will allow you to stain the rest of the box without darkening the paint. I put two coats of varnish over the painted portion and let dry completely before staining the rest of the box with a walnut tone.

Here is the completed box lid. I wish I hadn’t extended the varnish so far out from the design. I think about half that amount would have been better. Live and learn. Once the coat of stain dried I topped it off with two additional coats of gloss varnish over the entire box (sanding with a fine grit paper between coats). I lined the box with a silk scarf I’ve used to wrap my cards in for the past 19 years. My cards now have a happy and safe place to reside inside of being tied in the scarf and chucked in the drawer!