Day 8 of My 25 Days of Make & Give- Geab a book!

I love this annual tradition!

Our family donates a whole bunch of books that I use to fill up the ” free for takin” book rack at our local train station.

Enjoy a good read travellers!

Day 7 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Handmade Journals

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Finishing up a bunch of sweet lil natural canvas journal covers for purse-size journals. They hold horizontally bound spiral notebooks, which when filled with all sorts of inspirational creative thoughts(!) can easily be replaced with new ones.

I kept the hefty 7 oz weight canvas covers plain with raw fringed edges.  They will be gifted to some of my creative sisters who, no doubt, will beautifully embellish them in their own signature style!

What are you doing today to inspire someone?

Day 6 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Cuppa Coffee

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What a day…downpour after downpour and then the wind kicked in. But what if you had to stand outside in it for hours and hours, very rough going for sure. This sweet woman is my favorite Salvation Army bell ringer. I only have the pleasure of seeing her at this holiday time of the year, stationed at our supermarket.                                                          She is a wonder…always with a kind word.

It was just this cuppa of coffee and a nice big cookie that made her day.

Is there anyone out there that you can surprise with a warm beverage and a snack, to help them get through their long day?

B-Inspired!

Day 5 of My 25 Days of Make & Give- Make no bones about it!

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Today it’s raining buckets here in CT, and supposedly tomorrow too. Well, we need the rain, just not all at once! I was thinking of my sweet young neighbors who have three dogs:  two are seniors, one blind and one deaf and a Doberman pup, who is gorgeous and gigantic. As the wind and rain plummets against my windows, I’m thought about how it would be with those three dogs stuck inside all day due to this nasty weather.

So I wrapped up three doggie treats that I was saving for just the right moment. This was the time!. I fastened a grosgrain ribbon to the festive package and tied it the mailbox by their front door. Oh, did I forget to say that the Mrs. Neighbor is pregnant as well? All the more reason for something that may happily occupy those fur babies for a bit!

Is there anyone out there for you to help “make” their day a little brighter and easier?

B-Inspired!

Day 4 of My 25 Days of Make & Give- Behind the Scenes

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All creatives know that a good deal of preparation goes into a finished product and with that in mind, I thought I’d share some photos from my works in progress! Above is a cool shot taken as 12 cups of sunshiney marigold blooms simmered in the pot for a organic dyeing session! I decided several weeks ago, on my day off, to try some organic fabric and fiber dyeing. And it was a good thing I did it that day as we had an early and hard frost the following morning! I loved the experience and my results were incredible! I dyed with cotton, linen and rayon.

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Yesterday, I set three Procion MX Reactive dye baths outside.

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Indigo was my color choice. No spoiler alerts will be divulged on the materials used however!

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And of course the handmade journals are well under! I have three types this year!

My studio is all a buzz with the flutter of holiday making! Stay tuned to see more finished Make & Give pieces! I’m now wondering what’s going on in your creative spaces? Please do tell!

B-Inspired!

Day #3 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: “Sweet 16”

IMG_4895.JPGToday, we celebrate both my Mom’s, pictured center, 87th bday as well as my niece/goddaughter, Anna’s, pictured second from right, “Sweet 16.” As part of my gift to this very special young lady, I offered to help out with her party decorations. She invited some of her BFF’s for a girl’s overnight party. (PS that’s my daughter “T” on the far left and my sis on the far right!).

The centerpiece of the decorations is a double-sided fabric banner, pictured above. Made from a lovely peach, apricot and inky green printed cotton from “Rifle” as well as three coordinates from Joann’s. I used Wonder Under to fuse the fabrics together and then a diamond template to trace and cut them out. Then I top stitched and made a casing to slide a length of ivory braided trim through for hanging.

image3-1.JPGNext I picked up ivory metal buckets and using a variety of stick-on letters, the guests decorated them for the popcorn they had while they binged on favorite tv shows and movies!

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Yum yum!

image2-1.JPGFor their cold beverages, I found small glass milk bottles that the girls also decorated with names and numbers as well as tags I sewn from canvas and fabric scraps. Hemp made for great ties around the bottle necks.

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Happy Bday Sweet Anna!  Enjoy my special “Make & Gives” for you!

Day #2- Thankful

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It’s Day #2 of my 25 Days of Make & Give…and “Thankful” just about sums it up!           I was so blessed to spend the day with family, especially these two…

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Here’s my Mom, who is turning 87 years old tomorrow and my Dad who is 90 years young. I hand stamped a French Cotton tea towel with the word “Thankful” and wrapped up homemade bread with it. Enough said!

I hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to make and give something of yourself today!

Day #1 of My Make & Give 2016 Season

Seasons Greetings!

Wow, the holiday season is upon us! And so it’s time for my annual 25 Days of Make & Give!

For my new followers, and thank you for that(!), I will make and give something everyday for the next 25 days! Sometimes the “make” is a tangible handmade and sometimes it’s a gesture/act of kindness. My hope is that my daily posts bring you inspiration to make and give as well!

Today’s M & G is for a lady who is such a hardworking, selfless woman, wife and Mom. Mrs W is absolutely one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know. For her I am gifting one of my little hand sewn, holiday pocket-sized canvas journals, a holiday mug and tea. This gal deserves a break from her busy schedule to sit down, have a cuppa and journal.

Enjoy, Mrs W!

Sugar Stitching

Fall sewing is in full swing in the studio! To get my students warmed up, I decided we needed a quick project to incorporate machine and hand stitching as well as some embroidery and beading. We used some of that sweet Sugar Skull fabric left over from my tote, see previous post, and appliquéd it on a white, cotton long sleeve waffle tees. To do this,  first we fused Wonder Under onto the woven sugar skull fabric cut out.  Then ironed the sugar skull appliqué onto the knit shirt fabric. This fusing step stabilizes the knit fabric and makes all stitching and embellishing a breeze.  Using machine appliqué we stitched all around it a few times. Now, we were was ready to go to town with some hand embroidery and beading.  Below is my version..IMG_4763.JPGI used both DMC 6-stranded embroidery floss as well as size 8 Perle cotton for the hand embroidery. French knots. backstitch, statin stitch, couching and chain stitch were some of the stitches I used. Japanese glass seed beads in different sizes and some teeny tiny Delicas  added some pop and sparkle. When I finished all the hand work, I put the embellished shirt in a tea dye bath for about 45 minutes. The result was a warm, light tan color. Just the vintage look I was hoping for!

For the last year, I have enjoyed learning all about and trying some styles of “Slow Stitching”. I have worked Sashiko, Kantha and Boro stitching combinations on jeans, jackets and journal covers. Here’s a pair of boyfriend jeans that I recently distressed and stitched.

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On knee areas, I used patches of cotton Ikat fabric under the denim to add interest and to stabilize the  area. Then I cut several lines across the knees, sand papered and carefully picked out rows of thread to get the distressed look I wanted.  I used white Sashiko thread and stitched neat little rows of running stitches through the denim and the Ikat patches underneath.

IMG_4784.jpgUp by the front left pocket, I continued with the same treatment of adding an Ikat patch of fabric, distressing the denim and then stitching tiny running stitches.

Today was a beautiful, quiet, Fall Sunday. Daughter T and I went up to Easton, CT to pick up apples, pumpkins, cider and cider doughnuts from one of the local orchards. Driving around we found some cool old red barns, sheds and lovely stone walls. T is to be credited with these fun and autumnal photos! Well done and thanks girl!

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IMG_4798.jpgHave you seen these Sugar Skull Cookies at Starbucks…note they taste as good as they look! I couldn’t resist! Happy Fall ya’ll.

Just a little ruffle….

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This fabulous piece of 4 way stretch reversible knit has been in the queue for summer sewing and I finally decided on just the perfect pattern to make it up. I have enjoyed working with McCalls M6559, view C before. It’s a pullover chemise with scoop neckline, sleeveless with a slight flare. My challenge with this project was which side of the fabric to use?  I went back and forth and finally let my family choose and well done them! The winning side was the allover indigo tie dye. Not to be denied, I created a sweet  1 1/2″ ruffle from the reverse, printed side, for the neckline…perfect! FYI, I used a 70/10 jersey needle, serger for seams and a multi motion stitch for the hem.

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For my bday, this past weekend, family and friends surprised me with an jaunt up to Jones Farm for a wine tasting. We had a great time and this photo, by T, was taken by the tasting room and grapevine arbor/patio. It was a perfect September afternoon full of good company and wine and the dress fit the bill!

 

 

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