Daily Prompt: Patterns for Creative Living

When I think of patterns, I think of sewing right off the bat.  Some could think of a pattern of conduct or behavior, I think of it as something that repeats on wallpaper or on a piece of patterned cloth that you would cut out a pattern from.

A while back I worked for a major decorating company for a number of years.  The majority of the time I worked as a vendor representative with many companies from drapery and curtains to wallpaper and rugs and everything in between.  It was a very fulfilling and creative time in my life.  Unfortunately I chose to leave it for more money somewhere else.  A place where there were no patterns except for those evading their taxes.  There was a similar pattern in that respect.

Please see the short video I prepared to walk you through the way I created a flat panel from cotton muslin to hang on a cafe curtain in my tiny bathroom which previously had 2″ window blinds that stuck out when you opened them. I wanted to try something different so instead of just painting everything freehand on my panel, I found some colorful fish in my PhotoDraw clip gallery that I printed separately onto vellum/frosted paper.   It’s a nice texture to print from.   You can get them in the printer paper area or cheaper in scrap booking or paper craft area of any hobby or office store.

I placed pins to mask the general area for the fish patterns to go and used my inkjet printer to print directly on the sheets. You may have to place masking tape along the feed edge so the printer can see it. My printer is fussy with certain papers.   You can see it on the transfer paper when I lay it inkside down on the fabric after I coat the area with gloss, semi-gloss or matte medium, liquid or gel. I have used them all with similar results. Don’t over saturate, but use enough. Experiment on scrap fabric before you ever start an actual project you care about to see the various effects you get from each type of transfer medium and what you prefer.

After I place the transfer ink side down on the medium I burnish the back of the entire picture with a plastic utensil I have. Many use a bone folder you can get at crafting stores. Don’t press too hard, but hard enough to push all the ink into the fabric from the paper. I use vellum because it does not come apart from the medium like other papers can do.   It’s almost plastic like in texture.   You will see that if you have used too much medium, the colors will squish out all over and the picture will blur and not look as good. Again, experiment for a while first.

Once I think that the transfer has been complete, I carefully lift up the paper and let it dry for at least a day. I don’t rush my drying when I need it completely dry. After that I hand painted various corals, plants and sea horses.   I would have used a transfer for the seahorses as well but they were an after thought so I didn’t bother because I had already started some painting with acrylics. If you need to thin the paint you can use water or more medium depending on the thickness and intensity of color you wish to have.

Naturally I measured the panel and had all the edges finishes and sewed my rod pocket at the top to allow for the cafe rod, which is very small. Please see some of the finished pictures as well for an idea of how this looked from the outside of the window at night.

Upcycled Jeans and Other Sewing Projects

Decided to use the leftover top of my old jeans that were left over from my garden jean cap that I previously made and posted the instructions on the instructables.com web site.

I was able to make a purse and a pillow.  I posted the instructions on how these were made on the Instructables web site if you wish further information on how to make these items.  Please feel free to play with any of the ideas on this site and be as creative as you wish.

I am also posting the pictures of an apron that I enhanced with leftover fabric that was purchased and a craft store on clearance for $1.75.  I was also able to make a matching wine sack and plan on using it for a gift after adding a bottle of wine from a local winery.

 

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Po’ Girl Project Updates

Just wanted to post some of my recent projects.  I hope to have an etsy shop very soon and have included various states of some of my projects.

The first one is a slide show of a pot holders sewing project that matches an apron previously made.

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The last coat of acrylic paint in a cream color has finally covered the cottage cheese label on this plastic container I plan to use as a hanging lamp. (more to come on that project on instructables.com.)

I used to only use transfer paper on my fabric, but this time just printed some of my photos on printer paper and adhered them to fabric and glass with acrylic matte medium so I can use them for natural jewelry pieces and embellishments using beads, eyelets, paint, threads, etc. I just like to play around and see where my imagination takes me sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I purchased some Crayola air dry clay in white to make odds & ends of pendents using molds and stamps to shape and alter for jewelry. I inserted wire to hang or attach. Update to come later after painting or decoupaging tissue to show how something so cheap and easy can look really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just starting another instructable for a nightgown made from a Queen size bedsheet, flat. I tea stained the fabric first to give it a vintage look.

 

Decided to upcycle a thread-worn cream colored turtle neck sweater. Cut down the center to insert a zipper. I am in the process of sewing on strips of faux fur.

 

When I Made My Bed I Really Made My Bed!

Donated my old headboard after getting sick of dusting it.  It was a very ornate Spanish style.  Want to get a cream colored metal headboard, very plain, but in the meantime I had some old pegboard stands I used to use in art shows sitting around in the basement.  Used one that was 2 24″ X 48″ boards hinged together.  Perfect width and height for a queen size bed.

Thickness of the cotton batting.

  

Cut the legs off flush to the pegboards, already had some fabric with a nature theme and color similar to my spring spread.  I purchased 3 yards of Thermal Bonded Cotton Batting 54″ wide.  Folded it in half and sewed up the sides with 1″ seams then slipped it over the boards.

Did the same thing with the Decor Fabric and viola!  Instant headboard, quick and easy.  Real cheap for me by re-purposing the pegboard stand as the base. 

The original reason for choosing pegboard was to double stuff the batting and tuft it with curious buttons, but I decided that I want to leave as is for now so all I have to do is make any additional covers for it.  It is easy to remove the washable cotton duck type fabric that is now on it to launder and replace it with something else come winter time.

Viola!

Building a Trellis From a Felled Tree

26 Mar 2012 Leave a comment

 A couple of years ago there was a windstorm and I woke to a crashing sound about 5:00 am.  I thought something fell on my house so I looked out the front window and the large oak tree was still standing.  I went back to my room to look in the yard and my initial view were branches and leaves pressed to the window.  I threw on some clothes and ran outside to better view the damage, though completely dark with my outside light being damaged as well.  The first thing I noticed was my rather large mock cherry tree was completely split down the middle.  The initial planters of the tree had not properly pruned it when it was young and it was all gnarled at the crotch of the tree and did not allow proper aeration.  The tree had appeared very healthy in all respects, but the split clearly showed that it had been rotting for sometime in that area.

Tree Split

                                                                                         

 What caught my eye was the fact that a number of the tree branches were resting on the power lines going to my 1942 bungalow, phone as well as electric.  I got out my electric chainsaw and was praying the entire time I was cutting the branches off myself.  Everyone was out of town during this time.  I did not try to disturb my neighbors.  I figured if any of them heard my chain saw at about 5:30am and wanted to help me, they were welcome.  None ever showed up.  After I had cut off most of the branches that were resting on the power lines, I was able to see underneath to find a large limb was resting on my deck rail, which prevented the entire weight of the tree to actually knock out my power lines!  I was thanking God like mad for his blessing and help in that it could have been much worse.  Starting with the fact that the only chain saw I had was electric.  Had the power lines been knocked down, I would have just had to call the electric company and let them do all the work.  At least I found out the hard way what I was capable of.  Once everthing was felled and neatened up, I slowly cut all the branches so that I would be able to use most of the wood later.  Nothing was really wasted.  My neighbors look some of the larger pieces of the trunk and the kindling for fireplaces and firepits.  I kept various sizes of the cleaned off branches to use as trellises and fences later.  I have two trellises done at this time and will be making more if I did not spread myself so thin at this time looking for another home I can buy for cash cheap, looking for another job, working on my clothing and jewelry I want to get on etsy.com asap, getting ready for various art shows and fixing up my current home to make it “renter ready.” The following are pictures of the finished trellises made from the branches of that felled tree.  I have also included a short video.  After I layed the various branches to shape and size, I had to verify that the branches also touched one another in the correct places so they could be properly drilled and the screws would hold.  I actually started using my old screws used with Hardibacker, backerboard with I installed ceramic tile around the tub.  They are #10 x 1  1/4.”  I need to get some 1 1/2″ for the thicker branches.  It’s not difficult.  Anyone can do pretty much anything they put their mind to.  If it doesn’t work, then try another way until it does work for you.  You may want to tie the joints together with natural hemp twine either in place of the screws or after screwing together for added strength.  Screws keep the branches in place much better then just twine.

First attempt

First Attempt

Getting fancier each attempt!

                Work in progress.

                                        

Fancier still, I painted one of the trellises with Lumiere Paints.

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