Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread greetings

We arrived to Houston a couple of days ago, and I have had enough time to rest and recharge. We had a chance to make some gingerbread houses. I didn't know that the oven was broke until after the dough was made, so we baked the cookies in a miniature tabletop roaster oven. To my suprise they came out ok!
All the idleness has also given me time to finish the multifunction scarf that I was working on and a couple of hats. The scarf and hats turned out great. I made it out some soft alpaca yarn. The worry I had was that the yarn was not as thick as the pattern required, but I used thick needles, so it ended up being pretty loose, but big enough. I hope my mother in law will like it. I also made two aprons and a scrubs hat for my sister who is finishing up medschool. When they get a chance to try them on, I'll post some pictures. :)

Hope you all have time to relax and spend time with family! Happy Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving sale and mittens

Oh, I have to share these mittens that I just found a pattern for! But first, let me mention that I will be having a thanksgiving sale at my etsy store from Friday 28th to Monday 1st. All items 20% off before shipping. In payments section select payment method Other, and in message to seller add coupon code "Barefoot". For other Black Friday sales on etsy, visit: http://www.blackfridayonetsy.webs.com/

(above- the mouse print I mentioned in my last entry)

I have been busy in the craft room lately too. I've made some new stuffed animals, now being posted in my shop. A friend came over last Sunday to make an apron (we had a craftdate), so I decided to make one for me too. I came up with a cute little design that ended up working out pretty well. It reminds me of play dresses for little girls, so when I wear it, I feel like giggling a lot. ;) Maybe I'll might make a couple of these for sale in the etsy store as well after new years. I also was inspired and started working on that Simplicity tunic, that I cut the pattern out for several weeks ago. I am always confused with the sizing info, but I made a size 12. The bust and waist fits ok, but it's too tight around the butt, so I have to go, and loosen it in the seams. I'm about half way done, the arms, neckline, heming and zipper still need to be sewed. I am leaving the key-hole out from the front.

Ok, so now to the mittens. After the last craft fair, I have been knitting a lot, hats and scarves mostly. I have a couple of designs I wanted to do. One for my mother in law (if I ever finish it- well, I guess I should start first...) and a pair of mittens for me. The blue ones on the left are a cowl and hat pair I made, they are such a luscious soft blue yarn! So cute, makes it look like there are little ears. (chuckle)

The yarns in the picture below are some that I got from Michael's last week. The brownish gray is for the shawl, and the colorful ones I was going to use for little projects- now for the mittens. I'm thinking the orange and green for them? The pattern is from Hello Yarn Handspun Yarns. She has so many cute patterns for mittens, hats, bags etc. I have to make the bug ones for my husband at some point. Oh, if there was only enough time...

The shawl pattern that I was going to make for the MIL, is from Knitty. It is so versatile! I can't wait to start on it, but since it is a longer project, I think I'll make the mittens first. If it's super sute, I might have to make one for myself as well...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Favorite fabrics, new idea for Butler bag

Ooh my goodness, it has been so busy after the bazaar. I got several comissions for things, mostly knit items, that took me a week to do. I made some really cute winter messenger hats and a scarf, and made another Amy Butler bag. I came up with a new way to sew the zipper on it, so I thought I would share to all those who are working on one.

After cutting everything out, adhering interfacing and ironing, the zipper is one of the first things I sew. With this technique the bag ended up being a little skinnier than the previos ones, so if you want it to be wider, make the top part of the outer fabric wider.

- sew the outer fabric down the middle like you are supposed to according to the pattern, I sewed a larger seam than the pattern asks for. (see picture, on left)

-sew the lining to the underside flaps of the outer fabric. Press the seams flat. You can see on the right side that the lining ends up being really wide this way, I just cut it so both layers are same width.

-next place zipper on the back side of the flap facing down, pin in place and sew all the way around. Voila!

-now to attach the two short pieces at either end, I made kind of an X-seam, so that both the front and lining fabrics can be attached. Sew all the 4 edges separately, and then the small distance in the middle, I sew that flat through all the layers. (See pictures, the middle has not been sewed yet, there is still a hole)

-after this, I attach the handles and pockets to the side panels.

-I sew the side panels on first and then get to the outside side panels. Now this might be obvious, but when you sew the panels together, I find it easier to sew it with the panel side up, rather than sewing on the zipper flap side. (see picture, on the side that is pinned)
-also something else that worked out, was attaching the lining and outer layer together before I turned it inside out. I just sewed the two layers together at the top. (see picture)

There are also two portfolios that I will be in so I finished two prints for those. One of them was a little ant print, that I got the inspiration for from Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant you sluggard,
consider it's ways and be wise.
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions at summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
I had a good time carving, since I have not made a linocut in a while. The other linocut I made for the other portfolio was a little mousy. I should get a photo of that as well...

I've been browsign fabrics as well and wanted to post some of my favorite picks. They are from various sites, but I put the names down so you can look them up if you want.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art Bazaar continued

The Ft. Stewart Holiday Bazaar was a great success. I had enough time to make a couple of new things, so that I had plent of things to display. I am always suprised how different it is selling at a craft fair compared to Etsy. On etsy I sell a lot of stuffed animals, and at the fairs the bags and pouches seem to be a hit. I had a really fun time and met a lot of nice people and made some contacts. There were over 80 vendors at the fair, but many of them were not selling "home made" things. I was lucky, since the woman next to me was selling polymer clay pens that she had made. I hope she will also open an etsy store soon- her pens were very popular. Many of the booths were aso very fancy with decorations, so I felt a little outdone on that end- but I figure that I make it up in heart and spirit!

Here are some photos from the morning of the fair. Many people are still setting up. Next weekend I have a couple of pieces in the Telfair Annual Art Fair tent so that is exciting too. It seems that all my weekends are busy. I have a couple of comissions to work on and a print to make for a portfolio, so that should keep me busy.

I made some cute elves for the craft show, and thought that if I can make some time, I could upload directions on how to make them too. You can see some of them in on the shelf in the middle photo. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art Bazaar

Just a short note: Coming up on Nov 1st is the Officer Wives Club Holiday Bazaar! They are expectng a lot of people so I am excited to attend with a small booth. :) I need to start getting small things ready for this.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dogbert got friends

I had a fun time making Dog-Bert some friends last night and today. I made two more little felted things- a little elf and cat- and three floppy stuffed animals. They will be posted little by little in my etsy store. I hope sunday afternoon I finally get to try my new tunic pattern.

From on of the articles I ran into today, I found this shop for huggable fleece monster dolls. They remind me of the Uglydolls that have been around for a while. The Monster Factory also has pretty funny videos posted on Youtube under the name of Ponymath.
Being on the subject of cute stuffed animals and plushies, I want to also mention two more talented designers:

Florence Forrest and her Flying Star Toy Shop. Oh, I want to have one of each! I like the way she mixes different fabrics. You can find more pictures from her flickr photostream also.

Sandra Monat at Herzenart. She also has a very nice website and store. Many of her creations pull from Nordic mythology and traditions- check out the vikings, women in aprons and knights on horses. If you are inspired she also keeps a blog here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wee Dog-Bert

I made the little fella last night. It was so cute, I had to make a little dwelling for it. The puppy itself is needle felted, with beads for the eyes and yarn embroidered nose. At first I thought about making the house out of felt, and failed miserably, it was a very wobbly and mis-shapen.

The next try worked out much better. I used 2 ply matboard cut out into the shape of the grassy patch and dog house, and then covered them in elmers glue one by one, and glued fabric pieces on them. As it was drying I trimmed off the excess, and glued the house on the grassy patch. The roof in loose, so that you can put little Bertie in his house when he gets tired. I added little tufts of felt - grass around the doghouse for an extra touch. Maybe I can add some detailed instructions on how to make one in the near future if any one is interested? Bert is up for adoprion at my etsy site www.mirkah.etsy.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cute sites to visit for the week:

I ran across so many cool sites this week, I just had to share. The first one is Design Sponge. They have tips, DIY, before&after photos, podcasts and a whole bunch of other info that is so very helpful. I could spend hours browsing their site.
The podcast they have for this week is-oh my goodness!- peanutbutter and milk chocolate chunk cookies. I can't wait to try this out.
The next websites both made me chuckle - and who wouldn't need a little laugh every once in a while. First Kawaii Not- cute Japan inspired comics and paraphenalia with a twist. Check out the single celled organism on the left. If you become an instant fan, you can subscribe to the post or visit the store an get yourself a cute tshirt or some stickers. X-mas is right around the corner, maybe there is something perfect for your teenage niece, sister or daughter...
The last site is a place with awesome t-shirts. Not only are they designed well, but they are hilarious. I wish I could add a whole lot more pictures, but to keep it short, here is just one. ..lol


I have been working on two comissions in the past weeks and am finally on the home stretch. It has been a nice change of pace. Working with pen and ink is very similar to creating my etchings, so it always makes me feel good about what I am doing.

The first commission was a portrait of a dog for a friend of mine. His old spaniel had just passed away and he wanted to remember her. The portrait has two views of Mattie and the milky way in the distance. I also framed the print with a black frame and double mat. When working on portraits, I normally work from photos. For multiple animals, I normally play around with photoshop to get a nice composition before I start drawing. The second step is to get the basic values down with pencil, and third I just fill it in with the pen. I use a simple old school pen (like a quill) with liquid ink in a well.

The other commission is on a totally different note. It is an illustration for a young writer for his fantasy novels. I have so excited to work with him. The finished illustrations will be sold as prints with the short story at the Shiny Squirrel Boutique. I'll post more on this as soon as I finish the illustration. Garr, it has been such a busy semester! There are so many things to do and every week when I think I have cleared enough time, a bunch more things pop up! Is this the way every one else's life is too? I have so many patterns that I am dying to try out, but simply have no time.

I blogged about our move previously (husband-military-all that jazz). That also changed, so that instead of moving next summer to Germany, we are already leaving in Jan-Feb next year to Ft Lewis, Washinton. As soon as the semester and teaching are over, I get to start packing boxes. I think I might have to have a sale to get rid of some of the fabrics I have accumulated...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Junk in da Trunk indie craft fair

I had a great time at the Junk in da Trunk craft fair this weekend. I am tired, but happy with the turnout. I received much positive feedback for both my crafty things and also prints that I had out.

Here are some pictures from the show:
Top- people setting up. Middle- the little jewelry/card holder I wrote about in the previous post. (I had cards on the other side that does not show.)
Bottom- my humble table.

I still have a lot of things left over, that I will be posting on etsy little by little. As soon as my short art appreciation class ends at the beginning of October, I will have more time to sew. I have several patterns that I have lying around, and have not had time to try out yet. I'll keep you posted.

I made great friends with Doris and Christi in the next booth. They were from the Kobo Gallery, Savannah. Christi Reiterman makes some very beautiful jewelry and Doris Grieder does all kinds of wonderful fibercrafts. Definitely a place to visit if you are in Savannah.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jewelry stand/nic nac holder

I am going to be attending an indie craft fair at the Desotorow Gallery in Savannah this weekend. Getting ready for the fair, I made a folding stand to hold jewelry and note cards on. I figured while I was at it, I would document the process, so someone else might take advantage of the idea as well. I used some left over Amy Butler fabric for it. Check out the instructable here. Since I just made it, I dont have the best pictures of it yet, but I'll be sure to add some next week after the fair. You could take the idea and run with it, either just make one panel and hang it on the wall, or make three, four or five panes and make a folding screen type of display.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Inspired by Nature

I had someone comment on our bedroom wall mural before, so I decided to post more proper pictures of it here. On the left you can see the corner of the bedroom. It is painted 1yd high with a darker green and the rest of the room with a light greenblue. I used the left over darker green and some brown paint to paint a tree and other nature subjects on the walls to make it look like we were sleepig in a forest. The chair is from a yard sale, and the rest of the furniture is from Ikea's Malm series.
The way I got the basic designs of the trees on the walls, was with a small projector and pencil. The rest of it was more or less improvised. The trees also continue in the other corners of the room. In the picture on the right is a simple mural of a bird in a tree, from the opposite wall in the bedroom. I also sketched that on the wall first with a projector and pencil, and then just painted the lines in. It was originally a photo I found online. I just traced the outline silhouette.

The boring foyer also got a mural. I had seen a similar corner painting in an old magazine years ago, and had been dying to paint one of my own in my first house. When we moved in, I picked the entry way, and just doubled the tree on both sides of the door. The painting makes the entry much more cozy to come in now.

Todays inspiration...

I wanted to introduce two awesome artists in my entry today. Both of them are artists from Europe, Sanna Annukka, Finnish/English and Angie Lewin from the UK. If you haven't been able to discern yet, I like things that have a retro 70's or so look to them. I fell in love with the prints of both of these artists immediately.

Sanna Annukka is an illustrator and printmaker. She finds her inpiration from nature and folklore. She uses bright colors and geometric simplified designs in her work. Her screenprints and lithographs are available from her online store. In addition to graphic design, Sanna Annukka is collaborating with design companies, like Marimekko, for graphics for fabrics.
Angie Levin is also a printmaker working with linocuts, wood engraving and collage. Her colors a more muted compard to Sanna Annukka, but just as delicious. Many of her prints feature simplified and designy flowers and meadows in greens and blues.
I wish I had a collection of both of these artists prints. You can buy her prints straight from her website or from art galleries listed on the site as well. Fabrics designed by Angie can be found at St.Judes.

Started with a sketch- Finished Ferrett

I finished 4 of these little fellas finally. They will be for sale at the Shiny Squirrel Boutique next month. They were so fun to make. I will be sure to include this pattern in my upcoming book on animal patterns.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It started with a sketch

I have been working on a design for a little ferret/otter for Jessica at the Shiny Squirrel Boutique. Since there has been a lot of positive feedback for my plush designs, I thought I would post some pics of the design process. I do a lot of thinking of different designs for a while before I even grap a pencil. Then I'll do some loose sketches to figure out the final shape of the critter. Sometimes I'll draw out pattern pieces to figure out how things would work out 3-dimensionally. For this little critter, I just drew out a pattern in size right off the bat at sewed up a mock up of the design. (picture below)

After that, I made a couple of other versions with different heads, but I ended up liking the first version better. I have yet to make one in a "nice" fabric. I hope to do that maybe next week.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Livingroom

Whew, I just got back from a 2 1/2 week vacation from visiting family in Finland (my parents farm on the left). I had a great time! For the first week we took some time to fix up our summer house. We put up new wallpaper and paneling, and new laminate floors over the old yellow wood floors. I wanted to paint them, but my mother insisted with the laminate... Go figure. I hope that next summer I can paint the yellow wood floors in the foyer gray. Talking about painted wood floors, I came upon two cute things on the web today. one of them is this cute floor decal, called Tango. What a whimsical way to brighten up a room. I think I could also paint something similar. The white painted floors in the other picture look so lovely and crisp. I would love to get this feel at our summer house as well. The rest of Yvestown's photo's are worth taking a look as well. Back to the summer house- after new walls and floors were put in we shopped around for some fabric for drapes and sofa cushins to liven up the space. We got a steal with this happy yellow-red-green stripe fabrick being 70% off! Sewing drapes and pillows was a nice little vacation project. We hung up some white shelves from ikea (you can barely see it on the bottom right picture, but they are there). My mother put up some of the antique items on the shelves and we hung up some old pictures to give some character. I think it all turned out very nice, bright and summery. A nice change from the dingy old place.

Finnfactor Design

Finnfactor Design