Fun Sewing Lessons for Little Girls

My first machine!

My first machine was a Singer Treadle

I have two sisters who showed absolutely no interest in sewing when we were kids.  On the other hand, I was very intrigued with my grandma’s ability to make things by sewing. I spent a lot of time at her house in Georgia during summer vacation. I would stand by her side, aching to sit at the machine and make it hum for me.  My mother also did a lot of sewing when I was growing up. She didn’t let me stand at her side and watch too long, however. Probably because I drove her crazy with questions.  I would watch her from the door of the sewing room in our basement.  When she got up from the machine, i would run and sit at it, pretending to sew.  (I couldn’t have been more than 7 years old.)

I learned to use a sewing needle and thread at an early age (5) because my Grandma had patience to teach me during summer vacation, and I’m sure I would have bugged her to death had she not let me try. I got the hang of it pretty quick from what I recall. I made so many doll clothes that summer, I could hardly fit them in my suitcase when it came time to go home.  A few years went by and my interest in sewing never waned, so my daddy surprised me with my very own sewing machine. It was a gift from an old friend of his who had an antique Singer machine, operated by a foot treadle. That winter, my mom finally bought me my very own sewing kit, equipped with a pair of shears (fabric scissors) and tailors chalk and a pack of needles and some thread and marking paper.  I was so excited to use all of it right away.  Mom and I went to the store to buy a pattern for me to try. I was well on my way to my very first machine sewing experience. I’m sure that I was literally jumping up-and-down.

With this experience fresh in mind, I launch into a new teaching venture for my Summer Art Camp classes.  I have presented 6 different lesson plans for a variety of textile lessons for little girls to have fun with sewing this summer during the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association’s BRMAA Summer Youth Art Camp

Last week, June 23-26, 2015, was the first week of Summer Art Camp and my Sewing with Felt class was a big hit with five students ranging in ages 6-10.  We made rice filled, pocket size, hand warmers by sewing together felt pieces and filling them with grain.  Simple hand sewing techniques were taught. They learned three basic stitches: straight stitch, back stitch and whip stitch. We had fun making them into penguin and kitty cat shapes.(Penguin project) (Pocket Kitty Image) We also made a handy little pouch in the shape of an owl adding a ribbon strap for carrying (Owl Pouch image from Pinterest, Joanns.com).  Glitter glue was used to decorate the owl pouch when the students finished sewing it up. All girls love glitter! The younger students had to have some help when it came to threading the needle and knotting the thread, but the three older students caught on quickly.  All of them completed their projects gleefully and displayed them for photographing as you can see below.  Two students continued to practice their straight stitches by creating pouch bags using ribbon and felt to carry all of their creations home after Show-and-Tell on Friday.  It was a very fun group to teach.

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Stay tuned for more as the classes fill up and continue through the month of July, 2015.

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Ten things you shouldn’t say when pricing handmade items

I am so glad that you blogged about this! it is so helpful to those of us who do not readily value ourselves or what we make. Contemplating a pricing examination in my shop on Etsy.

Life's Big Canvas

Fascinator by Janine Basil http://folksy.com/items/2770202-Pound-Sign-Fascinator-in-pink-glitterFascinator by Janine Basil

I’ve been giving advice this week on pricing handmade items for selling. Not on purpose, just because it’s cropped up a couple of times. Working in a shop where people sell handmade items means it’s something which is bound to come up.

When I started selling handmade items, advice was thin on the ground. I tried reading some things online, but never really had someone to talk to in person. I also didn’t realise that my lack of knowledge was holding back my business, because people were bitching about me not being able to price properly behind my back, instead of just telling me what I was doing wrong, and I was missing opportunities.

This is why when I now see people underpricing their work, I tell them, and hopefully not in a patronising way, but because underpricing is undervaluing your own skill. To me, it’s…

View original post 2,183 more words

Peek-a-Boo: Spring is on its Way!

Spring has Sprung 2015 Ellijay, Georgia USA

Spring has Sprung 2015 Ellijay, Georgia USA

Spring is popping up all over the sunny sides of the hills around North Georgia, USA. It makes me smile to see those daffodils (March flowers) in February. Its one of our first signs of Spring’s arrival in my neighborhood. How about yours?

With Spring comes a new season of crafting in my studio.  I love to shop early for summer supplies and there are an abundance of pretties to pick over.  Here’s a picture of my latest treasures found in the holler of Morganton, GA known as Miller Cloth Shop. I can’t wait to get my backlog of custom orders finished, so I’ll have time to play with these pretties.

Pastel Pallette

Pastel Pallette

I also placed an order for basic supplies to keep my ruffled tote bags standing tall.  I love the Peltex (Pellon) 71 Ultra Firm fusible stabilizer.  It’s getting harder and harder to find it online, but thank goodness I can find it locally.  There are substitutes out there, but I love using the best I can find for all my fans.  I want to keep you HAPPY.

Speaking of being HAPPY? What makes you happy? Sassy? or otherwise Smiling all day long? Craft-wise, what are you up to this time of year? Are you itchin’ to be stitchin’ like me? Or are you drooling over digging in the dirt first day of sunny warm weather?  Thankfully, here in my neck-o-the-woods, we get sunny and fairly warm days in between all the cold snaps. So we can actually dig in the dirt earlier than most Americans.

But, my TRUE LOVE is sitting in the Studio Green Craft and letting my mind spin out new creations. I’ve made notes and doodles to work on new projects.

They’ll be on debut during a Spring Craft Show coming up in May, Georgia’s Apple Blossom Festival. 2_2015 apple blossoms

It’s a new craft festival to our town, and the weather will be glorious in May. I’m excited to be showing all my Boho, Chic, & Shabby handmade purses, totes, aprons, & gifts to the locals and those who visit our area the first weekend in May, 2015.

 

Sh-h-h-h-h-h………Here’s the PEEK-A-BOO part of this post!

Coming to My Etsy Shop soon, a new section for you planners and gifters: Weddings . That’s right! A new section for you gals who love to shop! or party! or decorate! I will be working on getting that section filled little by little with all sorts of goodies. Here’s a list I’ve been building for YOU: wedding favors, bridesmaid gifts, burlap decorations, lacy table toppers, & diy kits, too!  (Pics coming soon. Check the post updates in a week or two.)

If you go to that Weddings section NOW (see link above), you’ll see the beginnings of my bridesmaid gifts: sari silk purses.  Later, I will add more styles: frame clutches in lace/satin, snap bags w fabric rosettes in pastel colors, there will be an entire collection of handmade bags in ivory, cottons, linens, lace, burlap added to this section.  The only thing holding me back is TIME; time to cut-out, sew-up, photograph, & list the products.

Be patient. GOOD THINGS come to those who wait.

 

Make Love, Not War!

Hippie is to Woodstock

~ as ~

BoHo is to Becca’s Green Craft Studio

Nostalgia for the early 1970s dominated the runways this season,

but the Spring fashion message went beyond “make love, not war.” so says, Style.com.

BoHo Style

BoHo is a nick name for Bohemian.

Bohemian Style is predicted to be HOT again this year. And you will see the trend for BoHo Bags and Purses continue in my online studio (https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenCraftStudio).

Textiles with a true Morrocan feel and the color of Marsala wine are trending, according to the experts at Pantone and Style. Pantone has jumped onto Pinterest with a color of the year 2015 board. I’m happy to share it with you here: http://www.pinterest.com/ftrendsetter/color-of-the-year-for-2015-pantone-18-1438-marsala/

Bohemian Style still shows up on the Wedding Scene this year, too. Along Vintage or Country themes here are a few other popular style trends for 2015 to keep in mind: Love for Camo, all things Western or Earthy, as well as Modern Geometrics.

It seems that, as far as Wedding trends go, anything goes this year from earth tones to bright colors that really pop.

No matter what your reason is for checking out the 2015 forecast for trends, here are a few links you should definitely check out!

If you find more trending 2015 links in your research, please feel free to share them in the comments below the post. 

***Becca’s Green Craft Studio blog claims no rights to any of the links shared here. This is purely an informational post, and if it serves to promote those who are quoted from the links, more power to ’em!***

http://www.busbyway.com/2015/01/21/afloral-com-predicts-top-wedding-theme-decoration-and-color-trends-for-2015/

“Backyard weddings will have a relaxed fun feel and decoration choices will tend towards rustic and colorful touches.

http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/story/life/2015/01/24/camo-among-top-local-wedding-trends/22213783/

Brides are looking for dresses that are lacy, vintage lace but also elegant.”

Camouflage is a trend,” confirmed Carolynn Bahem, owner of Royal VIP Studio in Marshfield. She has seen an increase in sales of brands such as “Country Life” that feature camouflage, for which she credits the rise of popular shows such as Duck Dynasty.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-knot/10-hot-new-wedding-trends_b_6446128.html

Weddings are headed west — at least in style and design. The big theme of the year is inspired by ranches and lots of leather accents.”

Sunshine Makes Me Happy

O' Sunny Day!!!

O’ Sunny Day!!!

Sunshine makes me happy. What about you? What makes you happy these days?

Even when its cold outside, the sunshine makes the day better.  But I do wonder if I’m part cat because the warmth of our star called ‘the Sun’ makes me want to lay around and soak it up, especially when it’s cold outside.

Part of it is that the typical day in winter is very grey and gloomy where I reside. And grey days get old real quick! Sunshine gives me pleasure, brings a smile to my face no matter what I’m doing. Today it brought our temps up close to 70 F degrees! I even opened the windows and let the place breathe a little fresh sunny air.  I took some pics of my vintage tablecloths outside and just soaked up as much as I could.

I also took some time to browse my own blogsite and realized that I have not been keeping house too well around here.

Up until October (festival season), I have kept my goal of blogging at least once a month.  So its time to make up some lost time.  Now to come up with some things my readers would love to see, or hear all about…..h..mmmmmmm. Get to it, Becca!

I promise to write a few interesting pieces for all of my followers real soon. Hoping to do a Craft Tutorial or maybe showcase a couple of fellow Etsyians.  So don’t give up on reading my posts….and seeing what’s up in the Studio.

Check me out on Tumblr.com @beinggreenncrafty or on Pinterest.com @GreenCraftStudio or on Twitter.com @greencrafterbec and then I have a facebook page too! https://

http://www.facebook.com/GreenCraftStudio and go shopping in the studio!  Lots of things for the ladies in your life: handmade and vintage linens, aprons, handbags & totes http://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenCraftStudio

‘Peek-a-Boo’ Post: Chic & Shabby Sari Silk Fringed Bags

Chic and Shabby Sari Silk Bag

Chic and Shabby Sari Silk Bag

I will be very busy this month and next, creating new stock for the fall festival in October. So, today I decided to go ahead and write a ‘peek-a-boo’ post to share my latest craze–sewing w/sari silk.

These little bags are gonna be all the rage this fall, so…..do you want to know where they will debut?  Read on!

Chic and shabby bags made from up-cycled sari silk and vintage textiles! My latest creation… and inspiration …for fall festival preparation.  Since my Flapper Bags, aka/ https://www.etsy.com/shop/greencraftstudio/ (Shabby Country Chic beach/tote bags), have been so popular–online and locally–I chose to create another Chic and Shabby bag to debut at the Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville, Georgia on October 26-27, supporting Kare for Kids charity (www.kareforkids.us/festival.html)

The Flapper Bag is a large fully-lined, machine washable, tote style bag with layers of horizontal, ragged ruffles sewn into the front of it. Its a real shabby, country chic look. This new shabby bag is much smaller and designed with busy, shopping divas in mind.

Chic & Shabby Sari-Silk Bags come with or without an inside pocket, a flap-over closure, and a removable, cross-body strap. The entire bag is covered in 1 or 2″ strips of  hand-dyed,  sari silk ‘ribbons’ by sewing vertically across the strips, attaching them to the ‘body’ of the bag. (The bag shown in the image is a proto-type; or the first one I made from this new, used material.)

Don’t you just love the raggedy fringe at the bottom of the flap?  The sari silk ‘ribbon’ was purchased from a supplier who up-cycles the product and sells it as ‘yarn’ or ‘ribbon’ online @ Etsy.  (I am so happy to find a supplier who feels the same as I do about using products to keep them out of landfills.) Let me know what color you would like to see for fall… check out all the many color-ways available @Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeltBetter. As a matter of fact, tomorrow, I will place a custom order button for this new bag in my Etsy shop. All of you who read this blog will get free shipping when you order 2 or more of these bags, use this coupon code (FREESHIP2) when ordering now through November 2014.

Painting on Fabric: Is it durable? Washable? Permanent?

My studio has changed its focus lately, or at least a corner of the studio that is.   I have been wanting to paint sunflowers for a while now and went to work on this apron prototype last week.  The results are fabulous! I hope to answer as many of your questions as I can in this week’s craft blog.  However, do not hesitate to comment with a question at the bottom if I happen to leave your’s out. 🙂

Sunflowers are popping up all over the landscape here in North Georgia this month. Seeing them in all their glory moved me create my own canvas (apron fabrics) covered in sunny flowers. My artist friend, Sue King, does this all the time. She paints pillows and aprons using items from nature like leaves for stamping on neutral cloth.  She heat sets the paint after it dries. I hesitated to do this technique in the past because i didn’t think it would be very durable. Turns out it is very durable. Sue showed me how durable it is when I realized how often she uses and then washes her painted tablecloth–its white cotton  with leaf stamping in burgundy, browns, rusts, & greens.  

I searched magazines and books and images on the web for ideas for sunflower designs and color.  I had some green burlap to use for a ruffle trim on the apron and used that color green in the center of my design.  I also painted the ‘seeds’ so that the fibonacci pattern was evident.

 I wanted it to be somewhat realistic, but not perfect. I found a simple outline drawing in a color book to be the most useful when I began the process on the fabric.  I sketched the design onto craft drawing paper to use as a visual aid as I worked on the fabric with the paints.  I colored it with oil pastels.  It seemed so easy to do, I was ready to begin on the fabric.

Sketch the design and color it.

Sketch the design and color it.

I cut out several aprons from a lightweight ivory fabric in the studio stash pile.  I taped it to a board to keep it smooth as I worked with it. That tip came from watching Sue in her studio.  I sketched the design to the cloth, enlarging it from my drawing.  And then I gathered the tools for the painting process and mixed my color palette. Before long I was fully absorbed in the process of creating my first sunflower apron.  After I finished the first, I couldn’t stop. I was having too much fun to call this work! Which is why I love working in my Green Craft Studio. I get to make things that I love for others to appreciate and then love.  

As I work on my second sunflower apron, a memory floods my mind and won’t let go. Its a memory of a photograph of my first home grown sunflower plant. (Here I am at the end of Summer 2014, creating a sunflower on fabric, and this memory pops up like the sunflowers I see in my current landscape.) The memory is vivid, and it moves me to add another dimension to this apron. A dimension that was not in my design drawing. It’s a ladybug!  I didn’t see the ladybug until after we got the film developed.

It's a LADY BUG!

It’s a LADY BUG!

Sunflower aprons 1st

The added apron detail of the ladybug called for a red pocket accent to which I added a fabric flower applique to set the whole apron off. The green burlap ruffle trim finishes it perfectly. 

   Sunflower aprons 2 Painted aprons sunflower appliqSunflower apron

As far as the painting process goes, I started off using tiny brushes and then moved on to a tiny sponge roller for the big sections and the background coloring.  The tiny flat sponge applicators worked well for the wide outline around the seed center.  Paper plates and plastic spoons worked great for mixing the palette.  I used acrylic craft paints in a matte finish. After the painted fabrics dried I heat set each painting from the back of the fabric using a low heat iron. I then washed them in cold water in the washing machine to test the paints.  Durable! I dried them in the dryer and pressed them out before finishing the details of the pocket, trims and ties.  One of these is going in my Etsy shop and another is going off to be reviewed for a blog feature in November. Elizabeth of Building Bridges Marketing was nice enough to reach out and I am excited to see what she says about my prototype painted aprons. November 16 is my feature date for her blog, so look for my Etsy shop feature article and read the review. It’ll be my first professional review and, quite frankly, I am on pins and needles!