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.

 

Advertisements

‘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! 

Feeling Green Behind the Gills?

I pride myself on being self taught in many areas like cooking, cleaning, sewing, painting, building, gardening, writing, and I love the challenge of learning something new.  However, when I  try really hard to do something new that requires a skill I don’t possess, I get to feeling ‘green around the gills.’  I call it Green Envy because I want to learn how to do something so badly that I am jealous of anyone who can do it–mastering Windows 8 is my latest nemesis. Anybody else feel this way about it, or is it just me?

We (me and my husband) recently updated some of our electronic computing devices and one of those is a laptop operating Windows 8.  It’s clearly made for those with touch screen practice.  My husband has more experience with it than me, so he is better at it.  My main device operates Windows 7 and is very user friendly–not a whole lot different from my last operating system–Windows XP Pro.  The problem for me comes in switching between Windows 7 and 8. The two are so very different from each other.  If I used the 8 all the time, I suppose I would get more accomplished with it, but I use it just enough to be irritated by it.

I think the same is true about other areas of my technical expertise, but I don’t like to admit it.  For instance, I see Green Envy raise its ugly head now and then when I read over the blogs of some of my colleagues. I want my blog to be a success, a tool that others will turn to for help in their business. So-o-o-o, in order to push the Green Monster down for a bit, I have recently set some goals to help me achieve similar success with my blog site.  This is what I aspire to do with it: 1) offer advertising space to fellow Etsyians/Bloggers/Tweeters, etc., 2) feature guest shops from fellow team mates on Etsy Ellijay (on Facebook) or Etsy Norga (North Georgia Made team blog), 3) provide pictorial and video craft tutorials from my current line of products featured in my Etsy shop: Green Craft Studio, 4) host a Link party or start my own #GrowingCirclesHop at Becca’s Green Craft Studio on G+. I know its a lot to accomplish in a year, but I love to reach for the stars.  I know that my biggest obstacles will be myself and the calendar after all I already wear many hats in a day. I hope I haven’t bit off more than I can chew and that this new hat won’t swallow me whole before I get past the learning curve of Windows 8.

All you readers, please let me know what you suggest for mastering Windows 8. And, if you have any tips to share to make my list of goals easier to achieve, please do not hesitate to share a word or two in the comments below. Thanks for reading and sharing.