Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photoshop fun

Last night I was playing with Adobe Photoshop.   This is what I did:







Sunday, January 24, 2010

A card

I made a card for my friend using markers and gouache paints....

Friday, January 22, 2010

The quilt I finished after years of procrastinating!

About 5 years ago, I started piecing the stars for the quilt pictured.  Over the years, I would decide I wanted all the stars to be blue, then I would decide they should be all black, then I would decide to just quilt one out of my scraps. This is probably why I ended up with a wide variation of un-matching stars;  it seems I always do this with quilts.  Eventually, I will decide that I have enough boxes made in a particular pattern and arrange the quilt then.  One day, I am going to go buy all the fabrics for a quilt and start with a plan.  I guess I will need to have a bit more money to buy all those fabrics! I sent this quilt to my mom for her birthday last year; even though it is very multi-colored it somehow works...I guess.  I machine quilted it in a spiral. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paintbox quilt

I joined my first online quilting bee!!  Oh, Fransson created a quilt based on a watercolor palette and generously provided the pattern for all of us to use!   Since I love bright colors and have lots of fabric I have been collecting for years (yes, I moved fat quarters across the country), I decided to quilt along with her group on Flickr.  Click here to see lots of inspiration and  the quilts other busy "bees" are making.  My name is Handmadejoot on the site if you want to check out some of my other blocks.  I am trying to "bust my stash", so to speak.   My 5 year old will be the lucky recipient of this quilt, so I am cutting up some of his shirts from when he was little.     My newest venture shall be a stained glass workshop starting next week.



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Washer necklaces

Recently, I've noticed quite a few tutorials for washer necklaces.  Believe me, they are really fun to make and really easy besides. You can find tutorials on how to make them here,  here, or here.

I used fabric, scrapbook paper, markers and a bubble gel created for rubber stamping.  The gel created a rounded, glass-like effect on the top -- most tutorials recommend using diamond glaze, but I couldn't find any in my local stores so I decided to try the gel instead.

I'm going to send the large green and orange necklace to my sister for her 28th birthday and keep the tree one for myself.  The tree on the rice paper backing is my favorite of all;  though,  I could see a possibility of some of the text ones becoming my favorite.  The larger of the text washers talks about witchcraft and some of the readable words are "witchcraft, airy nothingness, brew of words, elderly, women regroup, cursed."  Maybe the next time I am brewing up some of my herbal remedies I should wear this one for good luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

 Today I embroidered some pockets for a market bag I am making.  I always enjoy embroidering birds that look like weird chickens.  I tried something new today with the momma and baby bird pattern;  I think I like it, maybe next time I will add a beak to the mom. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tutorial: Recycled wool potholder

Pictured below are the fabrics I chose for the batting and the body of the potholder - they are both 100% wool.  Both fabrics were bought at the Goodwill on the 29 cent rack;  the body of the potholder was cut from a pair of men's wool slacks, and the inner batting is from a wool sweater I felted in my washing machine.   For the teapot design I used some scrap quilting fabrics and scrap interfacing - felt or wool could also be used for the design.

Step 1:  I decided my potholder would be the same size as my embroidery hoop - a small plate could also be used as a template.

Step 2: Cutting wool.    I traced around the hoop, then cut leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  I did the same to the sweater (used as the batting for this project).  I made a mistake at this point, and would have done this a little differently next time.  MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE AT LEAST 1/2" TO STRETCH AROUND YOUR EMBROIDERY HOOP!  My project was not stretched quite as tightly as I would have liked because I didn't have enough fabric.  Oh well, better luck next time, right?


Step 3:  Place on embroidery hoop and cut design.  I stretched one cut piece of the wool slacks over my embroidery hoop.    I then cut a teapot design I liked out of some of my scrap fabric.

Step 4:  Cutting the tag.  I cut a piece of wool 3" long and stitched a binding border on either side so it wouldn't fray.  See below.


Step 5:  Lettering.  I chose a font I liked (size of 150) and printed it out.  I then traced it with a soft charcoal pencil.

Step 6:  Transferring the lettering.  I turned my lettered sheet of paper over onto the wrong side of my cotton fabric.  I then took the back of my charcoal pencil and rubbed heavily over the back of the paper with the lettering.  This transferred the charcoal to my fabric.  Just to be on the safe side, don't choose an extremely light fabric or the charcoal pencil may show through on the front side of the fabric.  Alternately, you could use a fabric tracing pencil sold at a quilting store.  All I had on hand was a charcoal pencil and it worked fine for a project like this.

Step 7:  Cutting out the lettering.  I used an 18mm rotary cutter and a cutting mat, but a small pair of scissors would also work.

Step 8:  Iron on interfacing.  Once all the pieces of my design were cut, I ironed on interfacing so they wouldn't shred when I sewed them to my wool potholder.  I simply layed them all out on the interfacing, put a piece of plain paper over them and ironed it on.  Then when I cut out the letters, I pulled off the paper.

Step 9:  Layout of the design.  Self explanatory.  Make sure to pin in place.  I liked the idea of my teapot lid being opened.

Step 10:  Sew in place.   Using embroidery thread, sew all pieces in place.  As you can see, I didn't try to be particularly neat with this project.

Step 11:  Sandwiching.  First put your bottom wool down, then middle batting, then the top with the design sewn in place.  Make sure to pin the hanging tag in place.  Sew all the way around the outside.  Note: this potholder is going to have an unfinished look to it.  I used a whip stitch first, then used a straight stitch over that.

All finished.

Later this week, I will post pictures and a tutorial of how to make a recycled wool potholder with a finished edge.  I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial. If it didn't make sense, please comment with any questions you may have.  Thanks, Martha
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Art Journaling

My friend and I are art journaling again today.  We like to get together every few weeks or so, eat something wonderful - and hopefully easy so we have more time to sketch rather than cook - and create.  It gives us time to relax, come up with new ideas, and catch up on all the latest gossip in our lives.  I wanted to share some of my doodles from our last session.  Maybe I'll have some new ideas to share after today.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eye Candy

I thought I'd share some pictures of a lovely dinner I made last night.  Pictured below are beet greens and homemade cranberry sauce.  We also made Gado Gado from the Moosewood Cookbook, but it didn't look nearly as pretty as the greens and berries.


A great pattern from mr. monkeysuit

I am definitely a blog "lurker" - meaning that I read a lot of blogs but rarely post.  I am trying to get better about that!  One of the blogs I lurk at frequently is mr. monkeysuit.  She has some great tutorials for crafty little gifts.  I recently made her traveling art show pattern, you can find it here.
Pictured above are the art shows I made for my two little boys - ages 5 and 7 - as a small Christmas gift.  I only "allow" the boys to use their art shows in the car to keep them interested in being quiet and creative while we are driving here and there. The blue one on the left is made out of a flannel, and the green one on the right is a quilting cotton.  The really exciting part is unfolding the art show to find all the little treasures inside.
Thank you mr. monkeysuit for your great pattern!  Cheers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An inspirational visit to the MOMA

If I don't know you, please comment!  I am new to blogging and would love to hear from somebody. 

For the last few days, I have been painting using gouache, masking fluid, and a grid.  I was inspired by a visit to the Metropolitan  Museum of Art in New York City on December 29.  I enjoyed the oil paintings by Picasso (Girl before a mirror), Monet, Cezanne, Warhol, Miro and many others; the Bauhaus exhibit was amazing. Learning about the Bauhaus was completely new to me;  it turns out they based most of their architecture/painting/fibers/stained glass on a grid system.  The entire 6th floor (pictures weren't allowed) was dazzling with little squares of color everywhere I looked.  I came home with a whole new appreciation and application of a grid in fine art paintings. Three days ago, I made a grid a little larger than 1/4" by 1/4" on an 11 x 14 piece of watercolor paper and have been merrily painting away.  In my painting I have also decided to include circles and some natural shapes.  I am terrible about finishing my paintings and drawings, but I'm hoping this blog will help me with that.  Maybe if I am more accountable, even just to myself by writing about the painting, I will be able to finish it.

Does anybody recognize the painting above?  I am loosely basing my painting on this photo I took at the MOMA, but I don't know who painted it!  I spent over an hour today browsing the MOMA collections, and it's not listed! 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Choosing a blog name

JOOT. For a while I have been trying to think of a good craft/art company name. I wanted something simple, kind of cute (I abhor the word cute but I'm going to use it here), and whimsical. I have been obsessed with owls for a long time. In 1998 when I met my husband, he packed around a large plastic owl used for scaring animals out of gardens. A short while later, I found myself creating owl crafts and adding a significant amount of owls to my already zany sketchbook drawings.
Three weeks ago, I was working on yet another owl project - this time a pottery barn inspired owl ornament - when the word JOOT came to me. It is a combination of "hoot, hoot" and the first letter of my last name. I immediately started looking up URL's with JOOT. Someone had registered both the Etsy account, and so I chose JOOT JOOT. I am actually happier with the choice because according to to joot joot is to take a pen or toy and use your imagination with it. So that's how it happened, I hope I end up liking the name in years to come.