Day 23 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Queen of the Silver Lining

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I’m very excited to tell you about today’s recipient of Day 23 Make & Give. This lady is without a doubt one of the most resilient, positive people I know. She is truly the Queen of Silver Linings. In past years she has weathered the most difficult storms imaginable.  And despite how rough things got, and they had to be unbearable, she navigated through with the utmost style and grace. This gal is the definition of inner strength.

So for my dear friend, I am gifting one of my handmade journals, as she is a most gifted (and published) writer, a copy of one of my favorite holiday CDs and some jingle antlers because she loves to be festive!

Write on and jingle all the way, dear girl!

Is there someone who inspires you…remember them today and always….

B-Inspired!

Day 20 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Holiday Dress Journal

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Today’s Make & Give goes out to our dear friend, Jean. For those of you makers who are acquainted with the Rag Bag Girls art group, you know how deserving this lady is! Jean started this group and blog to inspire and promote fabric, fiber and other mixed media artists and their work. And she is absolutely devoted to encouraging and sharing the latest works and achievements of each and every RBG. She posts daily. She positively and enthusiastically responds to each and every other post. That’s dedication!

For Jean this year, I made up one of my signature fabric journal covers with this darling Michael Miller cotton printed holiday fabric and tied a luscious black velvet bow around her waist! I use a light weight quilt batting to line these journals so they have a quilty feeling! Other makes pictured include: a holiday cloth gift tag organically dyed with marigolds, hemp from some Shibori bindings and a wooden spool and bead  spray painted with both silver and gold.

Enjoy my dear friend!

What are you doing today to show gratitude to someone who encourages and supports you?

B-Inspired!

Day 19 of My 25 Days of Make & Give… Red Bird Holiday Journals

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Look at these ‘lil cuties:  raw edged canvas mini journals, with holiday-themed fabric scraps sewn together, chain style, and stitched to the spine. I used Jacquard Crimson fabric paint to stamp the birds. Inside there’s a variety of lovely papers. A wide zig zag machine stitch worked well to attach the signature.  Sew festive!  I’m meeting up with some of my sewing sisters and thought these handmades were just perfect for gifting!

Simple and sweet!

What creative makings are you up to?

B-Inspired!

Day 12 of My 25 Days of Make & Give-Stitch Journals

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Today’s M & G goes out to my creative friends who enjoy and inspire me with their embroidery and stitching. Pictured above are just a few of the goodie bags I sent to them.

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Inside my Shibori dyed canvas bags, I packed embroidery floss, I dyed in indigo and marigold and a handmade canvas journal for each to embellish.  I bundled up these treats with: pieces of dyed hemp used for binding in my Shibori dye baths, silver and gold spray painted wooden beads and thread spools and marigold dyed canvas tags I lettered with their initials. I can’t wait to see how they stitch up the journals! All these gals are so creative and inspiring!

Enjoy ladies and please send along pics of your stitched journals!!

B-Inspired!

New Year Dyeing & Stitching Journal

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Art Is You Stamford 2015, Recap!

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Just recently I had the honor and pleasure to attend and teach at the 10th Annual Art Is You Stamford 2015.  I had been preparing and promoting my workshop, “Art Retreat Threads” for almost a year leading up to the retreat. And am happy to report that the workshop lived up to my high hopes and then some! Every one of my students brought such enthusiasm and diverse skill set that added to the overall success of the class. IMG_3808

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The ladies all tried out the different techniques I offered to recycle and upcycle some of their clothing. Machine and hand appliqué, Reverse appliqué as patches, Fabric Painting with stencils and stamps, putting Inserts into garments with contrast fabrics, adding Ruffles, Hand and Machine embroidery and beading.

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Brenna who is still learning to machine sew, used two shirts that she had but wasn’t wearing and sewed them together as one and added a ruffle. Now she has a tunic to wear!

Judy (pictured below) found two silk shirts at goodwill and used the body from one and the ruffle from another and created a whole new look! She took the upcycle further using machine appliqué, note the “10” (included in the class kit) to celebrate AIY’s anniversary and then added a sweet flower appliqué on the front!

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Susan went to work on a denim shirt where she used Reverse Appliqué to make a window with a fabric painted patch, fabric stamped where there were some tough to remove stains (you would think those crayon stains were part of the design…so clever of her!), added a vent with some Shibori dyed fabric and then embroidered and beaded! She brought the WOW, for sure!
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Cheryl (hiding behind her shirt!) also up cycled a denim overshirt with a sweet RA patch window on the front and back and then added jumbo ric rac down the front button/buttonhole placket.

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CL focused on a denim skirt. She added a lined pocket and ruffle!  I hope she sends a photo of her finished work!IMG_3808

Our friend, Nancy, was only able to stay for the morning and was off and running on her garment…can’t wait to see some pics!!

All students were given detailed directions of each technique in these handmade class journals, made from recycled grocery brown bags! Also included was a tote bad filled with fabric samples and supplies for each technique to continue sewing with at home.

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Thanks to Sallianne and Ellen for the this teaching opportunity!  All my students were asking for a multiple day workshop experience with more garment redo’s and up cycling! You got it! I’m at work on some great new samples and will be in touch!

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Brenna gifted me with this hand sewn and embroidered heart as a thank you for helping her with her machine sewing skills. I am grateful to her for her appreciation and to all my dear students for bringing such fun, talent and interest to our class!!

Here’s to 2016!

The Sketchbook Project 2015

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Every year since its inception, I have submitted to a global program out of Brooklyn, NY called    The Sketchbook Project.  It is truly a challenge for me as I am not a fine artist, illustrator or painter. Fortunately the very good folks there support all forms and mediums and are open to the multi media, collage style of my books.

Not giving anything away here as the deadline date is March 31st.      But if you look closely, you can see the title on my handstamped paper book cover.  Having done a couple years of dress themed books (my fave!), I felt the need to try something new.  As in all of my previous submissions, all the pages are hand painted, collaged, hand lettered and often stitched. I also simply hand bind my books using colorful (bright yellow this year!) hemp binding thread. I don’t usually use the Moleskin type sketchbook that comes with when you sign up for the project. TSP also offers to digitally photograph your book for an extra fee, totally worth it, they do a great job.

Stay tuned for more pics and do check out their site! Off she goes!

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Winter Journals 2015

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Happy Friday, Everyone! It has truly been one bitter cold day, week, season for that matter!  Perfect though for settling down with pen and paper.  Today’s post features my seasonal journals of choice!  Starting in the upper left hand corner of the photo is one of my handmades, created from the leg of pair of denim jeans! I made a fringe from some fave indigo colored fabrics (some commercial and also my dyed/painted) and stitched it onto the cover.  Inside (not pictured today) I have a mix of different types of papers to accommodate writing, painting, collaging or whatever form my journaling takes on at that particular moment! There’s also an inside front and back pocket to hold a mini yellow legal pad! I used a heavy stiffener, Trimtex, to give the cover some heft. Moving on down to the right is a lovely paper-backed journal given to me to use in my meditation sessions at Terrain, Westport. And in the center of the photo is a journal made and gifted to me from my friend Stephanie Suskin. I have deemed this sweet, portable book as my Prayer Journal for this Lenten season. It’s nice and small and spiral bound so that I can bring it with me to Mass or at home to note my reflections during this solemn time of the Catholic Church calendar.  I have been making journals for so many years and I am always excited to see how different they come out…some soft cover, some hard, with different designs and features (signatures, pockets, bindings,embellishments).  I cherish them all as they often reflect the different mediums and techniques I am playing with in my studio.  Keep warm and cozy and snuggle up with your blank book and writing instruments of choice and see where they takes you!!

Day 20 Make & Give: Write It Down, Here!!

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Today is the twentieth day of my special holiday season of giving. From now until December 25th, I plan to make and or do something special for someone I may or may not know.I’m hoping that these little acts of kindness will inspire my readers and their friends to do the same!

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Although I have writers all around me, today’s Make & Give goes to one in particular. For this person I have made and will gift one of my very special cloth journals. This version is sewn using the leg from a pair of denim jeans!                How I love to recycle!

 

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The denim serves as the cover , it is appliqued with a stamped label that says “Imagine” and has a colorful fringe made from fabric scraps.  Inside it is lined with a piece of my hand dyed cloth and has a pocket in both front and back. I have tucked stationary and a mini yellow legal pad inside as extra treats! I hope this journal will house the writer’s ideas and dreams for the New Year, 2015.

 

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Day 19 Make & Give: Sacked!

 

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Today is the nineteenth day of my special holiday season of giving. From now until December 25th, I plan to make and or do something special for someone I may or may not know.I’m hoping that these little acts of kindness will inspire my readers and their friends to do the same!

Today I am looking forward to lunching with my bridal seamstress gal pals! I haven’t seen them in a few weeks since we have been seasonally laid off and I miss ’em! I can’t wait to hear what they have been sewing and making! I will be gifting them some handmades but what I’d like to share is how I wrapped their Christmas gifts: cheesecloth sacks! On sunny summer and early autumn days, I can be found outside dying fabric in my back yard. Warm, low humidity days are perfect for quick drying. I usually use Procion MX Reactive dyes for Immersion Dying (in 5 gal buckets). Sometimes the fabric goes in the dye bath as is and sometimes I use Shibori techniques to bind and tie. I dye all kinds of natural fiber fabric pieces, trims and cheesecloth. When they are done in the bath, I lay them out on the grass or over a clothes line to dry.  Cheesecloth dyes super quick, it absorbs the dye almost instantly. Indigo was my go to color this season, love, love!

 

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My little gift sacks use up only about 12″x by the width of the cheesecloth.  And even though cheesecloth has a very open weave and is pretty dimensionally unstable, I can still feed it through my serger to make the side seams. I leave the tops of the bags with the raw edge, very organic looking!

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For embellishing, I glitter spray painted chipboard snowflakes silver and initials hot pink. Rayon bias tape was used to tie up the sacks and peppermint floral pick was the finishing touch.

Simple and sweet!

 

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