I am here to share that I have another guest blogger post up on the Cali Fabrics blog! This time I am sharing a plaid Madrid Dress by Coffee and Thread! I’d love for you to check it out: Boho and Preppy Meet
I am here to share that I have another guest blogger post up on the Cali Fabrics blog! This time I am sharing a plaid Madrid Dress by Coffee and Thread! I’d love for you to check it out: Boho and Preppy Meet
Hey All! I have a fun sewing project to share with you today… On ANOTHER blog! I am excited to announce that my first Guest Blog post for Cali Fabrics is up on their blog today! I am sharing a Morris Blazer I made out of some awesome stretch denim. A “Not a Jean Jacket” Jean Jacket! I’d love for you to head over to the Cali Fabrics Blog to read all about it!
I am bringing you a new kind of post today… a bit more reflective than my usual posts. But before I dive into sentimentality let me begin with a bit of background about this art piece I am sharing today.
Last November I joined Bonnie Christine’s Flourish Design Tribe. As part of the group we have the option of participating in a monthly challenge each with a new theme. For my illustrations I have decided to focus on a house or other building as the main feature. And I am trying to keep them seasonal as well (with the thought of maybe making a calendar with them when I am done).
I actually drew my first house for December 2019. And for January, I used row houses to illustrate my word for the year: Knock. Here is a little look at those illustrations:
For February our theme was: A Favorite Memory. I found it hard to narrow down to a specific favorite memory (and still fit my architecture criteria), so instead I decided to focus on SOME great memories. The theme of house/building was not too constraining this time since I can think of many fond memories from many, many buildings past and present. I settled on my Grandparent’s house from my childhood because it held many great memories AND was great style inspiration for the Valentine’s themed house I knew I wanted to create. I shared a brief description of the illustration on Instagram (and elsewhere). But I wanted to expand on that here. So first, here is my official description:
In keeping with my running theme of buildings/houses that are seasonal for each month, I chose to do a Valentine themed rendition of a home inspired by my paternal grandparent’s house which held a lot of fond memories for me. While there are several houses I could have chosen, I thought the base look of this one fit a “heart” cottage theme well. This is a great blend of my architecture and illustration selves with the high detailing of the house mixed with the playful whimsy of the Valentine elements.
This is a great succinct explanation but it fails to capture the nostalgia connected to this image for me. The memories themselves. I could share the usual stories of holidays and sleepovers etc. But I think what is uniquely fun about this house is the CRAFTING memories it holds. My grandparents, for lack of better description, were crafters! Multi-talented. And going to their house often meant that we would get to create something! Either with one of my grandparents or on our own just using their VAST “stash” of supplies…. usually scraps left over from one of their projects.
My grandfather was a carpenter. Half the basement was dedicated to his wood working shop and his amazing tools! I learned to use a band saw in that basement. I crafted (with assistance) a working marionette for a school project. There were always little wood scraps galore that could be re-purposed. And my grandfather’s ingenuity was as skilled as his hands!
My grandmother (granny) was the one I spent more time crafting with however. She was crafty on so many levels! Painting… Gardening (and flower arranging)… etc etc Most especially, she was a master seamstress! And so much of my early sewing memories involve her. She had not one but TWO sewing spaces in the house! An upstairs sewing room and extra room in the basement (which could be closed off from the sawdust of grandpa’s wood working). That room has PILES and PILES of fabric! Not so lovely as the Instagram worthy “stashes” of today… but then again, Instagram was not around back then.
She could sew it all: Clothing, costumes, home decor of all kinds, toys, you name it! I had quite a few doll clothes I requested that she make. She could also knit, crochet, hand embroider… I think you get the picture. I mostly watched. As she sewed up the creations I requested and “designed”. But she taught me to sew too. And crochet. And then after college I taught myself to knit, finally, which was news I was happy to share with her.
Both my grandparents have passed now. But I have crafting mementos from both of them! From grandpa a wooden pencil holder (the kind that has individual holes for each pencil/pen etc.) that he made me as a gift when I was a kid. From granny, a whole bunch of knitting needles, some handmade items (including a SUPER awesome poodle skirt she made me, complete with a POODLE ON IT), random notions, some fabric… probably more.
As I have become an avid seamstress myself. These sewing memories hold extra value to me now. One of the items I made with fabric I got from granny are sewing pattern weights. I love that a memento from her sits on my sewing table and are used all the time! I also made my sister a set of the weights and a little bag to keep them in. Here are hers:
So back to the house illustration. I said at the beginning that one of the reasons I chose this house is that the style fit my vision for the Valentine’s themed house. But given how crafty my grandparents were, I think a re-imagined whimsical design of their house is very fitting! A crafted version of a craft filled house!
As I have mentioned many times in this space, my degrees are actually in Architecture and this illustration is a perfect amalgam of my architecture and illustrator sides! I spent a great deal of time detailing out the architectural features. And had so much fun infusing the house and landscaping with Valentine flair! The end result is an illustration that I love that just so happens to invoke memories when I look at it! Double fun!
I was going to end with a photo of my grandparents but I can’t immediately find a digital one where my grandma has a nice smile. And I can hear her voice in my head… she wouldn’t want the photo I did find attached to this post. 🙂 Ah memories….
Thanks, as always, for reading!
It is time for the Year End Recap for the Alphabet CITY Art Challenge! I’ll share my overall thoughts at the end. But first let’s start by looking at the illustrations!
What a great mix! I love the variety in the group as a whole. It is a great collection overall!
It is interesting seeing the variating and color distribution of the title stripes since I just sort of picked colors randomly as I went (Trying to use the three color options evening but not really paying attention to how the final mix would look). When I created the Clock Tower I loved how title stripe was layered behind the clock tower (out of neccessity). I hoped to have more boards like this but if never really worked out again.
One thing I love about the this group that wasn’t true with the previous two challenges is the consistancy of color! I began with a set color palette already in place from my CITY Collection. It was this Collection that also inspired the overall look and scale of the illustrations and I love that I now have many more buildings to add to all the existing ones I originally created for my Around the Town design:
There a large number of illustrations that do not incorporate with these because of scale, or view, or “levels” (like the subway). But there are many that do. When it worked, I was consistant with door height etc so that all the “regular” scale ones CAN work together. In the course of the Challenge I did create a few street view illustrations here is a reminder of what they look like:
It is impossible for me to pick a favorite out of the group or even a top 3. Instead you can read about more about my thoughts on the groupings of illustrations in the 3 previous Recaps (linked at the end of this post).
Also part of the Challenge were the CITY Blocks I created for each letter. Here is a look at them all together:
The look of these were inspried by the original CITY Collection Logo. All letters are my own original font:
I love this font overall and definitely plan on using it in the future. I will probably need to do a few tweaks. I did not like the “B” when I created it… and I still don’t! But I never got around to editing it.
Unlike the previous challenges I have not created any new patterns or cards featuring these illustrations. I do have a project planned for them AND the font! A very exciting one in fact. But it is something I am keeping secret for the moment.
Overall I think this challenge was easier to execute than the others since architecture is already a strength of mine. And I really enjoy drawing buildings and built spaces so it was mostly fun. But having to stick to the alphabet was not always enjoyable. And of course there is the deadline of the 2 week time frame…
So for 2020 I have decided that there will not be an alphabet challenge. While it is a great way to motivate me to create new art pieces on a regular basis, the alphabet component is too constraining. Also… this has been an Instagram centered challenge and with all the algorythym changes the posts just aren’t getting much engagement. This wouldn’t be such an issue if these posts were spread across multiple platforms. But if the main place I am sharing the art isn’t showing the art to many people, then I am mostly just creating for myself. With that in mind… I think my design time will be better spent elsewhere.
To those have been following along and liking etc for the past year (or longer) BIG THANKS! To those just reading about this challenge here are the previous posts so you can catch up!
And that’s a wrap! After 3 straight years of Alphabet Challenges I look forward to a change! I hope you will follow along with me on Instagram as I share more new work this year (including a NEW, non-alphabet challenge I will be doing monthly).
THANKS for Reading! And feel free to comment below. I love hearing your thoughts!
It is time for the 3rd (but not final) recap of the Alphabet City Art Challenge! I have decided to dedicate a post to the last group of letters and then do a full year recap. If this is your first time hearing about this Challenge you can read the Introduction Post and the First Recap and Second Recap to catch up!
As usual I will start with a look at all 8 illustrations that make up this group:
I want to note that I did change one illustration since posting it on IG. I revised the Visitors Center which used to have a “TI” on its sign. I thought “TI” was a universal term for tourist information, but it turns out it is not… So I switched it to a generic star. Ha ha! If you want to see the original you can find it HERE.
I am really happy with this group of illustrations. Some of the more difficult letters are part of this batch and not only did I find something to draw for each letter, they aren’t just filling a slot, they are nice choices!
I did have to be creative with the letter “X”. For that one I decided just to go with something that had a “X” in it. And expressway sounds like it starts with “X”! Good enough! Actually it is one of my favorites of the group!
It was nice to create an illustration in plan view and I just love the energy and activity of the cars. Plus I love how bold the colors look, especially since it fills up so much of the presentation square!
Another favorite of mine is the Yacht club:
As a person who loves to sail and has a partiality for the nautical it makes sense that I like this one. But also the colors and unique building design are things I like too. Interestingly, the idea I had in my head for this one was very different. Originally I was going to pick WHARF for the letter W. I actually picked it way before I even reached W. But as I got near the end I realized there were more options for W than Y and that a Yacht Club could be very similar to a Wharf. I envisioned LOTS of boats docked (which for wharf would have worked well) but when it actually came to draw this one I was more drawn to the idea of a nautical themed building. I did slip in one boat! And as a disclaimer: I know that the sail most likely would NOT be up when docked… I did it for the visual effect. We can pretend they got caught in the rain and wanted to dry out the sail!
The subway is another favorite. Again, it was nice drawing a different view, this time a cross section… one of my favorite construction views from back in my architecture days.
A lot of time was invested for all that detail too!
Finally I want to give a mention to a special detail for the Zoo. When thinking of how I could illustrate a sprawling place like a Zoo I decided to focus on just the front entry. To give it a unique Zoo look I decide to add some animal silhouettes! To create these I started with a few animals from a previous challenge: The 2017 Alphabet Animal Art Challenge. Unfortunately, while I love the idea of a simple monochrome outline, especially when envisioning a real wall, they do not stand out as much as I would like.
I also wish I could have come up with a better way to depict the “zoo in the background” that you glimpse through the gate. But I do like the color embellishments along the top of the wall and the ticket booth.
Overall I think this group was a strong finish to the challenge!
Finally, as with the rest of the Challenge I also created a letter block for each of the 8 letters in this batch. Here is a look at them all together:
Stay tuned for final recap that will discuss the entire years worth of illustrations! Coming Soon!
Thanks for reading!
Today I am sharing with you an easy handmade Christmas gift idea that you can make with SCRAPS! Yay! Scrap busting ideas are always welcome to me! Hopefully they are for you too! And since you can use scraps, you could sew up a few of these in time for Christmas. (You could change up the batting if you don’t have it on hand).
This is sort of a simplified tutorial (my first ever!) I’ll describe how I made these in a few short steps but no photos of the process.
I originally purchased this fabric for another Christmas gift project which you can read about in this POST. The fabric type was Spoonflower’s Lightweight Cotton Twill (but you could used any woven type of fabric you’d like). I paired it with some Forest Green Canvas in my stash. I cut the main fabric at an angle to add a little visual interest and fused it with a layer of batting to give it some extra thickness. The ribbon for the loops was also in my stash. You could also use embroidery thread, yarn, or even a tiny loop of thread for an ornament hook to attach.
Before diving in I want to say that these instructions are for a medium weight fabric like the Canvas Twill. If you choose something lighter, like quilting cotton, you may want to interface pieces, add fusible batting to the trunk, or even have the batting on both pieces of the triangle. You want to make sure there is a enough stability that they can hang nicely.
Step 1: For each ornament CUT: (2) Tree Top Triangles, (2) Tree Trunk Rectangles, and (1) Fusible batting triangle approx 3/8″ smaller all around than the tree triangle. (See Diagram at the end of post for dimensions).
Step 2: Fuse 1 side only of the tree top triangle with the batting. (You could skip this step or interface with non-batting instead.)
Step 3: Sew tree trunk rectangles right sides together on 3 sides with a 1/4″ SA, leaving the top unsewn. Clip corners, turn right side out and press well.
Step 4: Sew tree top triangles right sides together with a 1/4″ SA, leaving an opening in the bottom center slightly wider than the finished outside dimensions of the tree trunk rectangle. Clip corners, turn right side out and press well.
Step 5: Insert the trunk into the bottom of the tree, unsewn side up approx. 1/4″ Secure with a pin, washable tape etc.
Step 6: Add top attachment piece of your choosing. For my trees I secured the ribbon loops to the top of the trees with a few hand sewn loops of thread. I THINK I did this before sewing the tree opening closed so I could hide the knotted ends INSIDE the tree.
Step 7: Top-stitch around entire tree outline with a 1/8″ SA (which will attach the trunk to the tree top).
And Voila! Your simple ornament is finished! Repeat steps 1-7 for as many as you’d like. As you can see below I made A LOT of these!
I hope this tutorial was helpful. If a step is unclear please let me know so I can clarify!
These are the approximate dimensions for my trees. I made these for Christmas 2018 and the trunk might have been sized slightly differently. I had hoped to have a pdf download of the “pattern” as part of this post. (and may add it in the future). For now, if you would like a printable copy of the pieces let me know and I can send them too you.
It is time for the second recap for the Alphabet City Art Challenge. This time I am sharing the illustrations I created for letters J thru R. If you are new to learning about this art challenge you can read the original blog post HERE. And you can find the first recap HERE.
Ok! Let’s start with a look at the 9 illustrations in this group:
This is an interesting group. There were some challenging letters in the mix, not only in terms of finding an appropriate city sight to illustrate (i.e. koi pond, quilt shop) but also in creating a building that could distinctly convey a certain sight without using specific branding (i.e. jazz club, post office, restaurant). It would be an interesting to see if I had posted all of these illustrations without the titles if people would be able to name what they depicted. Obviously the Jazz Club has the word JAZZ on it and the post office has an envelope so that would help. These features were added specifically to help convey their function. I think the newsstand is probably the only one that is obviously apparent. (Even the lunch truck could be mistaken for an ice cream truck etc.)
The newsstand is one of my favorites of this batch too. It was fun to create something other than a building and to create something at a scale big enough to show some detail. I really enjoyed “filling the shelves” of this kiosk.
I also really like the Quilt Shop:
I LOVE the quilted components I was able to incorporate and how their colors really pop in contrast to the gray building.
As I did with my first recap I put together a couple of “street views” so you could see the buildings interacting with one another.
I really like seeing them in relationship to one another. The modern Art Museum and classical Opera House don’t initially seem like an obvious pairing, but I think within the contest of an “Arts District” they could work!
I have also continued to post a letter block on the Monday of each new week period. Here is the collection of letters J-R:
I really like seeing them all together in a grid like this. Since it is difficult to continue to come up with new silhouettes, after the letter “M” I started over and reused the same blocks, but I mirrored them to give them a little variety and then made tweaks as needed to work well for the new letter. So the letter “N” started with a mirrored version of the “A” block and so on.
And that wraps about another batch of alphabet city sights! I anticipate a few challenges with the last batch of letters, but I already have at least one idea that I am super excited about! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see each illustration when they get posted.
And feel free to comment on this post! I love hearing from my readers.
Hi folks! It is time for my Me Made May 2019 recap! If you follow me on Instagram you have seen some of the looks already, but this is the only place I am posting ALL of the outfits. As in past years I am grouping them by week and numbering them by DATE. Also as in past years, I only took photos on the days I was out and about in “real” clothes. Honestly I have TONS of lounge and pajama bottoms that I wear almost daily, so I was probably wearing something handmade most days, but I did not document those.
This May was a lot cooler than in past years! (No complaints there, I LOVE cooler weather, anything over 80 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for me!) So you’ll be seeing lots of layers. Most of what I wore were older garments. I thought I was going to weave in some of my newest makes (including a brand new pair of cropped pants) but the warm enough days did not coincide with the opportunity to wear them. Since most of these makes are older, I will only be linking to my own fabric designs, since those are still available. I will link to all the patterns I used the FIRST time they are shown. So if you don’t see a link, scroll back up to the first time I mentioned the pattern. Also, I apologize in advance for the grainy selfies. We don’t have a great place to take photos inside our house and the ipod I used to take them doesn’t have the greatest resolution. Ok. Let’s dive in!
No documented outfits
May 5: Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork, Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade, Infinity scarf featuring my Spines (Siesta) design printed on Cotton Spandex Jersey. The Lane and Oslo patterns, in my many variations, are both on heavy repeat this month. They are wardrobe staples… as are scarves!
May 7: Almost a repeat of May 5!!! Ha Ha. Oslo Cardigan, in fleece this time, Lane Raglan, Infinity Scarf featuring my SW Triangles Haze design printed on Modern Jersey, and thumbhole wrist warmers made from the same fabric as the Lane.
May 10: Another Lane! Another Infinity Scarf! But a different cardigan this time! This is the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet.
May 12: RTW inspired french terry pull-over that was a mash-up of the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade and the Tabor V-Neck (hem detail) by Sew House Seven with some custom detailing (like the yoke and top-stitching) to mimic the RTW look. I posted more photos of this make and more details in THIS post.
May 14: Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations and a Lane Raglan. This lane is made out of Robert Kaufman Laguna Knit, it is one of my absolute favorite CL. Lighter and drapier than most, but still a nice weight. A lot of my me-mades in this post were made from it (Including the May 10th Lane and the May 17th Lane). You can find it in a lot of online stores.
May 17: ANOTHER Lane Raglan (custom sleeve length).
May 18: Another Julia Cardigan, this time paired with a custom tee pattern I have been developing from the Renfrew Top by Sewaholic. It is my “fancy” tee version. Actually, since taking this photo, I have modified the neck finish one this one so it dips down more. Bag is also me-made.
May 19: Chambray Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Handmade with custom short sleeves. This was a newly “made over” garment and I was super excited to bring back into rotation. I shared about my modifications in THIS post. I was most likely wearing a handmade cardigan over top but I honestly can’t remember which one and I don’t have a photo with it.
May 26: Another Oslo Cardigan over a brand new make, the Chai Tee by Liesl & Co. View of just the top is the first photo of this blog post so you can have a closer look. I shared the details in THIS post. Headband is also me-made.
May 28: Halifax Hoodie (An actual zip up hoodie version this time), Another version of my custom Renfrew hack fancy tee, and handmade tote. I call this one my cool tones geometrics tote, made with all my original pattern designs. You can see a close up look at it in THIS post and find the fabrics in this COLLECTION (a few have been modified in scale, color, etc before I listed them).
May 29: Morris Blazer (with quite a few mods) by Grainline Studio and a Renfrew Top by Sewaholic (This time MOSTLY per the pattern, I did eliminate the short sleeve bands, which you can’t see anyways). The blazer was made a while ago, I shared all the mods in THIS post.
May 31: Last Day! We actually took a road trip to IKEA that day and I was SUPER comfy in these #secretpajamas Oslo Cardigan (same one as on May 24) and my first ever Coastal Breeze Dress by Make it Perfect (also made in RK Laguna knit). I have since made 3 more of this dress. Another favorite pattern.
Overall I would call Me Made May 2019 a success! Sure, I had a lot of pattern repeats, but I am ok with that. One of the things I love about sewing is getting to create garments that really work for me and my body. And when I like a garment, I make a lot of them! Especially since I often do a lot of mods to get them how I want them, might as well maximize that effort. And actually, I think it is quite fun to see all the variety and variations you can achieve with just ONE pattern! I am a bit disappointed that three brand new makes never made it into the mix. I was especially excited to show off the pants I made. And I expected to wear my newest Coastal Breeze dress (finished MONTHS ago) to a night out… but it only works with bare legs and it has not been bare leg weather (for me anyways). (In fact 2 of those 3 makes are still unworn!) But as I said at the beginning, I LOVE this cooler spring we have been having, and I will get to show off those makes eventually!
I hope you enjoyed this recap! If you have any specific questions about fit/modifications that I did not share or link. Want to know about a fabric I used. Or would simply like to share a comment I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
Time for the First Recap in the 2019 Alphabet City Art Challenge! This year, I have decided to three recaps instead of four, so this first post will look at the illustrations I created for letters A thru I. If you missed what the challenge is all about you can read the announcement blog post HERE.
Let’s start with a look at the 9 Illustrations I did for the first round, as they were presented as square, framed art.
Overall I think this is a fun mix. I have been intentionally switching up the colors so that there is a variety and looking at them all grouped together like this, I am very happy with the overall feel of the collection so far. Whenever possible I have been keeping the scale of the buildings similar as well. So, for example, for all the buildings with doors, all the doors are the same height. This was done so that I could easily combine them together in future compositions. Just for fun, I arranged the buildings in two “street” views so you can see how they look. (I had to change up the Gas Station colors a tad to make it work).
As with past challenges, I did not “research” ahead of time if there would be a good pick for every letter. I am mostly choosing each subject as I reach that letter (I did/do have some pre-picked ideas for a few of the letters). Embassy was the biggest “surprise” so far, as it took me a while to come up with that idea (and I almost chose something else before it came to me). It was one of the trickiest to create too, especially the curved entryway.
My overall favorite is the Clock Tower. It isn’t the most elaborate or even creative of the illustrations but I really love the overall feel of the composition. The title for this one had to moved up to fit everything and I love how the building interacts with it. Hopefully a few more illustrations down the line can also be arranged in a creative way. Also… it makes me think of Italy.
Somewhat surprisingly, the most “hearted” illustration so far has been the Gas Station. Now I know that there are a lot of factors that can influence hearts, including when the artwork is posted and what hashtags it has…. So it could be that I just picked a “hot list” of hashtags. Still, it is a pretty fun one. Lots of little details.
So far I have not created any other art or patterns that incorporate any of these illustrations. I already have the CITY COLLECTION in my Spoonflower Shop that features many city inspired designs, so I don’t have any specific plans to create more surface patterns. As part of that collection, I have my Around the Town design that already includes many City buildings, which has added an extra challenge as I am trying to not repeat any of those and it includes many ubiquitous buildings.
That wraps it up for the illustrations, but I did want to talk about the letters/titles too.
I mixed things up this year and instead of using “A is for xxx” etc. to title my illustrations (like in past years) I chose to just put the word I was illustrating. And the lettering for those words, is all original by me. I like this clean look, but I do wonder if people who stumble upon the illustrations without knowing about the challenge miss out on the alphabet connection. Also new this year: I have not been posting idea prompt lists. Instead I have been simply posting the letter for the 2 weeks on their designated Mondays. Here are the 9 posts so far:
I had already established the style of the letters with the CITY Collection title art, and I have been creating new letters as I have needed them (for either the letter prompts or in the illustration titles). The cityscape used also began with the CITY Collection title art, I have simply been mixing up the details for each letter.
Ok. I think that covers everything. I hope you enjoyed this first recap. If you aren’t already, be sure to Follow Me on Instagram to see each new Letter Prompt and Illustration as I post them. And feel free to comment below!
Thanks for reading!