Me-Made-May 2016 Post #7



I have been participating in a global sewing challenge this month called,                  “Me-Made-May 2016”.  My previous posts have featured garments I made for this spring and summer. Today’s post features something different: make up bags!

Our daughter is graduating college this month and to celebrate her and her BFFs, I designed these bags. Back when she was in high school I also made cosmetic bags for her friends and they were such a hit!  I received thank you cards and emails from them saying how they loved their bags and had them perched on desks and dressers in their dorms. They said their bags which were a sweet reminder of home and their friendship. SO, naturally I wanted to create a fresh, new look for this limited edition, college version!

I decided to Shibori dye three yards of snowy white, canvas fabric a dark navy/indigo color, T’s school colors!  Wooden blocks, clamps and hemp were used to bind the cloth. All the bags have a zipper closure with a bit of vintage ribbon as a zipper stop. I lined the bags with a purchased indigo, paisley gradated printed quilting weight cotton (Joann’s). For embellishment, my very dear, talented friend Lisa spent the greater part of a day helping me design a zipper pull. We used pewter “2016” and “Handmade” charms (Oriental Trading) and an assortment of glass beads including Lampwork “Wise Ol’ Owl” Beads (from Michaels), adorable! I tied a Sashiko inspired printed ribbon (from Joann’s) through the wire loop. For the finishing touch, I hand stamped “2016” and a mini Peace sign, using a blend of Gold and Brass Jacquard Fabric paints.



Looks like we are ready for the commencement festivities to begin!

Congrats and best wishes to all this year’s Grads!

For  more info on #Me-Made-May2016, click here.


Art Is You Stamford 2015, Recap!


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


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.


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!


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!



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.


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.



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!


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!

Day 14 Make & Give: Making for the Sistahs

day 14 pic 1

Today is the fourteenth 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!

Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of getting together with a few of my nearby art sistahs. It’s a sweet little tradition that we have to meet up in NYC , walk around at the Holiday Pop Up shops and have lunch. We share our recent going ons regarding family, work, art projects and ventures. There’s always a lot of laughs and then there’s the gift exchange… Now my sistahs are tres tres talented so I have to definitely be on my creative game! Every year I gift a journal of some kind. One of my friends has commented on how she loves my “dress” themed books. I changed up the design and this time used sewing pattern tissue as my background, cut out and sewed little dresses made using my hand dyed fabrics, added new and vintage trims, tied ’em up with bias tape and tucked them into machine serged cloth tie bags with a few journaling supplies. Sweeeeeeeeeet!    And least I not forget, the ladies gifted me back with their gorgeous handmades. Lucky me!

day 14 pic 2









day 14 pic 3

Birthday Art Play

So today is my bday and yes I am another year younger…just in case you’re wondering!

And my original plan was to do this….

…which could still happen but instead I continued to work on painting two large pieces of canvas started earlier this week.

For the last 5 years, and this is #6, I have the attended Art Is You…East
coast retreat in CT. Oh, when you go to the site, you’ll see a pair of red painted “gunked up” hands on the banner… those paws are yours truly!! An honor for sure to be front and center on the site! Thanks Sal!
Excuse me, I digress!

AIY is held in October and the site is in Stamford this time. Participants choose from many wonderful classes in many different areas of mixed media art. We eat, sleep and play with art, design and also bring trades to swap with other attendees..mine will be journals using these painted canvases.

We have had such gorgeous weather that I set up shop painting outside on our picnic table and then let the canvases dry on the grass and then on the deck.


Now I'm at the stage where I'm painting with everyday items to create more interest to the foundation/painted surface. Some of my techniques include using masking tape, corks, sea sponges, bubble wrap, rubber stamps, sequin waste, sheetrock screen tape and free form painting. After this layer of embellishment dries, I'll probably go back in and use some oil pastels and smudge it up a bit!



Next I will cut the canvas down to probably 4×8″ size and then cut some nice Canson Mixed Media paper to sew into the center fold. This will make a little 4″ square journal. I will use a variety of different size and font letter rubber stamps to stamp out the theme of this year’s retreat, “Wild, Weird and Wonderful” to finish the front and back covers. When I’m all done I’ll do a quick a quick post to show you the finished pieces!

Thanks everybody for all your bday well wishes! Now maybe I’ll crack open that nice big fat issue of September Vogue, an annual must read to stay on trend! Haha!