Glitzy Geckos

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geckoand Fashionista Frogs

Don’t these little guys bring a smile to your face?
Aren’t they just the cutest?

Ages ago, back in Cactusville, a woman in our sewing group gave a class on making these.  I’ve always liked them, and kept her instructions ever since.  I also made a slew as Christmas presents one year.  A visiting relative reminded me of them, saying she always gets compliments.

I decided to give them another go.  It was time to track down some critters, unearth the paint and see what transpired.  This endeavor proved interesting.  Paint, especially acrylic paint, does not last forever.  The critters were no longer stocked in the toy store (it’s the digital age, they told me).  When I did finally find them, they weren’t made from the same material as before.

What was intended as an afternoon’s craft turned into a mission…

First up was paint experimentation.  Since the lizard material was different, I had no idea what paint would work.  Several tries later I finally found one that covered.  Some of the paint had a mind of it’s own, and just oozed off  the edges (think “The Blob”, but more colorful), others dried tacky and made them all stick together in a clump (those lizards were thrown out).

Pin backs?  Check!  Those glued on without trauma.  Colored wire?  Check!  That was in the wire bin.  Tin of misplaced beads?  Check!  Cats sleeping elsewhere?  Check!  It was finally time to start.

Thankfully my batch of micro beads had not aged into oblivion.  They were still glitzy and bright.  That’s the extra bling on the legs, not glitter.  So, are you ready for a little rococo reptile?

Gaillardia Garland

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This necklace reminds me of those big colorful daisy flowers.  Are they Blanket Flower?  Gaillardia?  I am terrible at remembering plant names.  The flowers look like daisies on steroids and come in bright, intense colors.  I like ‘em!

I realized lately that I’ve been making a lot of bracelets, and very little of anything else.  Deciding to change that, I thought I’d see what could be done with some of the shaped beads in the stash.  This string of daisies is the result.  Bright.  Light.  Fun.

Each flower is made from Super Duo / Twin beads, with a glossy brown druk as the center.  The flowers were then joined into a garland.  The bright green 15ºs provide a leafy accent.  There are three different types of yellow, two different pinks and a hot tamale orange.

It’s not a long necklace, maybe 16 inches or so.  A nice little something – something.

 

Final Festival

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???????????????????????????????There was some finishing up over the weekend.  Or more precisely a clearing-off of the cutting table.

This lovely aqua stripe ponte (courtesy of a sale at Fabric Mart Fabrics several months back) sat on the table begging to be used.  It’s summery.   It’s clean.  It wanted to be made, and I did!

This is the last of the Fringe Festival (or is it Festival Fringe?) Ts for the season.  With the weather cooling down, I’m not sure how much wear I’ll get before sweater season arrives.  Regardless, it’s a nice top and I am pleased to have it.

???????????????????????????????Just to change things up, I omitted the center back and front seams, and rounded the neckline from a V to a scoop.  Omitting the center seams also made matching the stripes much less tedious.

Max likes the shirt too!

McCalls: 6076

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IMG_3022This shirt has been cut out since Sewing Camp, back in April.

I think that makes it one of the longest running garment UFOs I’ve had in quite a while.

It is finally finished! And I am ever so glad.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve made a woven top/blouse for myself, which no doubt goes a ways to explaining why this took so long.  It had to be fitted, as in make-a-muslin, and I was just not in the mood for fitting.  I was in the mood for sewing!

M6076The Pattern: is one of the Palmer Pletsch designs.  These are pretty good patterns – they have all sorts of fitting tips and directions on how to change the pattern to achieve the fit or your dreams.  With this shirt, either my comprehension was missing, or my dreams were of the hallucinatory variety, because the fit was way off!

The Fit: Following the sizing instructions, I cut a 14, forgetting that McCall patterns tend to run large.  Then I had to scale it back to a 12 with sewing, taking in the seams.  If I didn’t like the lines of the pattern so much, it would have been a wadder at this point!

Next up was messing around with the sleeve cap.  There was 2.5 inches of sleeve ease I was supposed to fit into the armscye.  That seemed like too much, so I lopped a bit off the sleeve cap, and took in the center seam as well.  Not perfect, but better.

Sewing: Of course, since I was doing all this fit-as-you-sew business, I wasn’t reading the instructions, so had to re-do the collar.  Twice!  Operator error, indeed.  Lastly, the button holes became a disaster.  Enterprise, my trusty sewing machine, decided she absolutely, positively did not want to sew the right-side leg of the button hole.  Skipped stitches.  Thread nests.  There was no change in fabric or interfacing between one side of the button hole and the other; Enterprise was on strike!

I finally pulled out my old mechanical machine to finish the top.  Surprisingly, I had forgotten what nice button holes it makes.

Enterprise is in the shop for a check-up.  I have a new blouse pattern.  Ta Da!

Pompeii Pyramids

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IMG_3036I’m not at all sure what Pompeii has to do with the Egyptian pyramids.  The phrase just went together in my head, and there you have it.

I stumbled on these lavender chrome pyramid beads at the local bead shop, of all places.  Never having seen this color in any of the on-line stores, I snapped them up.

This bracelet is more about color play than technical experimentation.  The chimeral quality of the pyramid beads with the satin bugles, mixed with the violet crystals went together so well.  I couldn’t resist!  The clasp is a copper magnet, which, believe it or not, accents the bead colors perfectly.

Definitely a case where the outcome is more than merely the sum of the components.

Sunshine in Capri

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IMG_3017These will probably be the last of the capris I make between now and next summer.  I think I have enough pair that (mostly) fit to see me through Fall.  If not, well, I shall just have to do some laundry!

These are a lovely lemon yellow linen with a not-too-bright complementary paisley.  I believe the fabric is from Fabric.com  One of those items tossed in the cart to reach $35 to get free shipping.

The pattern is my standard Jalie 968, now out of print.  Pockets in front.  Pockets in back.  A girl can never have to many pocketses.

The only design changes I made were to shorten, then narrow the legs so they don’t look like marsh waders.  This fabric is much too pretty for marsh muck.

 

Golden Oh Gee

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IMG_3032Golden Oh Gee

Hey, say that three times, fast, it starts to sound like Golden Oldies, which this bracelet is not.  The same pattern as previous Ogee bracelets, with lovely satin brown and gold beads.  The tiny beads between the curves are an eggshell color.  The whole piece snaps together with – you guessed it – a snap!

Getting the tension just right is what creates the domed effect with the larger beads.  I am quite taken with how a simple peyote stitch can create so much dimensional geometry just by varying the bead sizes.