Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Silent movies

I love silent movies.   I once read a review of the silent German film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, and decided to check it out.

Let me first say that I'm not a fan of horror films, but I did enjoy Nosferatu.  It was so creepy.  I should also mention that I don't really like vampires, especially vampires of the new Twilight / True Blood fads.  I suppose that makes me an oddball, but I'm fine with that.  Nosferatu is the original, old-fashioned, evil, stinking kind of vampire, so if you decide to watch the movie, keep that in mind.  And I do recommend the movie!

All that brings me to this....

I recently organized the June Birthday Swap on Craftster, and chose to make one of the birthday girls a messenger bag.  She is a big fan of the old-school movie monsters, so I jumped at the chance to make a creepy Nosferatu bag!

The messenger bag is one of my larger ones, and it's constructed from a pair of black denim jeans.  Well-worn by a cowgirl, I'm guessing, by the tell-tale worn center creases.  I like the way they look.

I used my favorite freezer paper stencil technique to create the face.  I know one eye looks wonky, and I probably should have adjusted it, but that's how his eye looks in the photos of him, so I left it that way.

The birthday girl likes all-black bags, so I accommodated this wish... except for this little surprise I included on the inside:

I really enjoyed making the bag, and I think I'm getting much better / faster / more efficient at making the larger messengers.  I learn something new each time I make one. 

As for silent movies, you really should give them a try.  Make some tasty popcorn, and curl up with your loved ones and enjoy this unique experience.  Yes, your kids will protest at first, but maybe they'll actually like them.  My most, MOST favorite silent film is The Adventures of Prince Achmed, and my kids loved it, too.  It is stunningly beautiful, especially when you realize exactly what you're watching.  (I won't give it away... you have to check it out for yourself! )

So, what's YOUR favorite silent film?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Lately I've been rushing around, hurrying, procrastinating, worrying.  I'm trying to remember to breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.  That helps.

Monkey 2 has had a severe relapse, and could use some prayers.  (My new readers can read about the beginning here and an update here.)  We have more, new doctors added to the team, but still do not have a diagnosis.  I know there are so many people out there with sicker children, worse circumstances, scarier prognoses.  I try to remind myself that we are truly blessed, and every day is a gift.

Sewing helps, too.

I've been stash-busting like crazy.  Most of the pouches in my shop now are made from fabric I've had on my cutting table for 2 or 3 YEARS.  It feels great to be using them up!   Although, I'm a little sad to see this one go. . . .

And this one, too.  I wish I had yards of these fabrics!  But that's the nature of using reclaimed materials, I suppose.  You have a limited amount of it, and you make the best of it.

Kinda like life, and everything else.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Oh, how I love denim.

And freezer paper.  What could this be?  (And no cheating, my Facebook friends!  I know you already know!) ;-) 

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Look who was waiting for me. . .

. . . at the thrift store!  

I have always wanted a little nesting doll, ever since I was a tiny girl.   This desire was mostly inpired by this video. . .  enjoy!

And a friendly reminder -- the Christmas in July Sale is still going on all over Etsy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I hate my new camera, and some stuff I don't hate

My simple, trusty, and very cheap Samsung point-and-shoot has served me well for a few years now.  It has recently developed a hiccup of switching to video mode (or some other mode) at random moments.  It was bothersome, but didn't prevent me from taking photos when I needed to. 

But then one of my sweet Monkeys signed up for a photography class with our local 4-H.  I imagined her fumbling with the camera, in front of other watchful teens, while it beeped and blinked and switched in and out of different modes.  How embarrassing that would be!  So I thought a new, simple, and very cheap replacement camera was in order.

Oh, how I hate my new camera.  It tries to overthink and outsmart me.  It fiddles with focusing, with lighting, even when I tell it not to.  It's anything but simple. 

But maybe my daughter will get some good use out of it. 

New stuff shot with crummy new camera. . . .

I shot each of these items with the same backdrop, same camera settings, at the same time of day.  These are edited, because the originals were so dark.  I don't feel right about editing too much, because it can distort the color, and then I don't have a true representation of the items, you know?  So I'll be reshooting these this afternoon, probably with my old, trusty, cheapo camera.

But -- I am so excited to be posting these new items in my shop, just in time for Etsy's Christmas in July Sale!   Have you searched christmasinjuly or cij over on Etsy yet?  Crazy-insane bargains!  Really.  I've already started shopping. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Catch Up, Part 2

As promised, here's the entire series of calaveras from the Mexican Kitsch Swap!  These are all made from little wooden trinket boxes, plus polymer clay, fabric, paint, paper, glitter (lots of glitter) and some beads.  Enjoy!

Today, I'm working on a few more zippy and box pouches, and then I'll be diving into new messenger bags!  I had hoped to have some embroidered Christmas ornaments or pincushions ready in time for the Christmas in July Sale. . . I'm still hoping to get them finished.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catch Up, Part 1

Let's play catch-up, shall we?  Blogger is acting so oddly this morning, that I'll break this into two posts.  My brain can only handle so much aggravation!  GRRR!

I received this sweet embroidered piece from prttynpnk in an Embroidery Swap back in March. . . .

I had begun working on my partner's piece, and then this happened:

So I started completely over, complete with a new design.  I just couldn't look at the old one!  And this is what I came up with. . . (and it really wasn't crooked when laid out properly):

I stitched this piece on reclaimed linen, and used several new-to-me stitches,  plus some of my favorite stitches with new/different strand counts.  I really enjoyed making this piece, especially the french knots.  Oh, how I love the french knots!   But you already knew that.  ;-)
Tomorrow, I'll post the calaveras series my daughter and I had made for the Mexican Kitsch Swap.  Until then, I hope you have a wonderfully blessed and peaceful Sunday!

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