Monday, January 29, 2018

End of 2017 Wrap Up

For several weeks in October and November I worked on another Project Linus Mystery Quilt Challenge.  The theme this year was Ethan the Elephant and his travels around the world. Each block represents a different continent or area of the world. You can see more about this challenge at the Project Linus website.

I also worked on a another artwork challenge with the monthly ArtSnacks box:

And designed a Christmas Card and Christmas towel with some artwork my son created and a little Photoshop magic. The towels were printed on cotton canvas fabric at Spoonflower.

 And the cards were printed at Shutterfly.

And with just a little sewing we have cute new Holiday towels.

I found time to sew a couple more fun zipper pouches. They are big enough to hold pencils, pens, markers and small notebooks.

I love the Ghastlie and Sebastion Cat fabric.  I think the grouchy little cat is cute.  I have a skinny 17 year old cat and I've seen that look before. 

Several of the fabrics I used to make this pouch are sample prints of designs I uploaded to Spoonflower.  The solid fabric is from the Grunge Basics by Moda fabric line.

And made a mini traveler's style journal and filled it with homemade mini notebooks that I made using Star Wars themed fabric for the covers.  The secret to using fabric like this for covers is Heat'n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive between a layer of fabric and paper.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Summer Summary

Or "How To Be A Lazy Blogger".

So, I have been doing a few things over the last several months. But it's been a mixed bag of projects in different areas of interest.  So, because I haven't blogged about each odd craft thing I've been doing lately I decided to just post snapshots, maybe with a word or two, about each thing I worked on. 

Large Pojagi Cloth Panels.This large window gets direct sunlight several hours in the afternoon until sundown. Even with curtains behind the the pojagi panels there is still plenty of light coming through to play off the colors of the fabrics.

Small Pojagi panel. These were white on white fabrics stained with a diluted wash of acrylic ink which is permanent, still flexible and washable.


Mini Cloth Cover notebooks.

Mini (3 1/2" x 5 1/2") travelers style leather cover for Mini Notebooks.

A giant painting that I have been working on for a year and is not done yet! At least giant for me. It's actually only about 3' x 4' and the "canvas" is actually and old plywood crate lid. It's just one big experimental mess of color and texture. Fun.

 A couple little crochet bags from scraps of wool yarn.


A zipper pouch for pens and notebooks.

Some small artwork. A butterfly for an ArtSnacks Liquitex Cadmium Free art challenge.

Another butterfly for an ArtSnacks monthly challenge.

Some small painted canvas scraps to use as mini notebook covers.

One of the mini notebooks completed. The other two are ready for pages.

A big messy randomly painted cloth to cut up and use for more notebook covers.

 Still working on these.

And several watercolor "doodles" along the way.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Watercolor Galaxies

You know what they say. Never say never. Hopefully it's for something as simple as my assertion that "I will never do watercolors". Something I was definitely, absolutely sure I would never bother with. 
Until I did. 

I've always admired watercolor art and just felt like it was beyond abilities. I didn't see any way I could use watercolors until I took a few watercolor art classes online at Skillshare and saw watercolors being used in ways I'd hadn't seen before.  I purchased a few bright watercolor paints and starting playing.  I'm still not planning to do any fancy watercolor flowers or landscapes but I have had fun making practice dots and colorful galaxies. I do plan on trying to paint watercolor butterflies and maybe other things, but for now I'm enjoying doing a lot of experimenting.

Watercolor Galaxy.

Watercolor Galaxy.

Practice color mixing spots.

Thanks for reading.
Aileen Biser

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What To Do With Old Magazines

One of my main goals for 2017 is to tidy my craft room. It seems like something I need to do every few years.  I plan to reorganize and make space to store new craft supplies for new hobbies and interests.   So, one of the first things that has to go is some very old craft magazines.  I mean really old.  Vintage 1970's and 1980's.  But there are some great craft ideas and patterns in these books so I can't just throw them out!  

What do I do with 20 years of Magic Crochet magazines? If you can even call them magazines. There are no articles or advertisements in these publications, just cover to cover crochet patterns! I won't be doing these crochet projects but I do know someone who wants these magazines. So at least this set will have a new home.

But then there are all the various Needle Craft magazines I collected from around 1970 through 1990 that I need to find homes for, if I don't decide to keep some of them myself.
McCall's Needlework & Crafts (1976-1986)
Decorating & Craft Ideas (1976-1982)
Good Housekeeping Needlecraft (1975-1981)
Better Homes and Gardens Needlework & Craft Ideas (1977-1982)
Ladies Home Journal Needle and Craft (1976-1980)
Family Circle Great Ideas (1976-1981)
Crafts (1981, 1982 and 1987)
American Home Crafts (1974-1978)
Woman's Day Needlework Ideas (1973-1981)
Needlecraft's for Today (1980-1985)
Granny Squares and Needlework (1974-1985)
Women's Day Holidays (1981-1988)
Better Homes & Gardens Holiday (1980-1993)
Family Circle Christmas Helps (1977-1995)
Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas (1977-1996)

These magazines are full of patterns for all types of crafts including crochet, needlepoint, quilting, macrame, knitting, decorative painting, woodworking, embroidery, doll making, etc.  It was all so interesting to me.  I tried my hand at most of these crafts. Other than sewing and crochet, all the hobbies I do I taught myself with the help of magazines like this.

And this is just the early stuff, when I was experimenting and doing all kinds of crafts.  I actually have decades of maybe half a dozen different quilt magazines that are not on the chopping block! Once I ran low of free time for crafts (working full time and raising kids) I basically only did sewing and quilt projects or crochet when I had the time.

But I will probably be flipping through a lot of these magazines and may show you some of the cool stuff that is in them.  Macrame patterns from that era are something you don't see much of today. And some of the quilt designs from the 1970's look suspiciously like many of the "modern" patterns popping up today. 

Thanks for reading.