Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ten: corks & frames

for years i have been trying to come up with a way to use old wine corks and over the weekend i finally came up with a design and idea that i really like! i got some old frames that i wasn't using, spray-painted them and then glued some cork cuttings to the back. it makes quite a nice pin board for papers or for jewelery or for whatever else you want to use it for. i think this is a great project for earth day since i am reusing frames and old cork. the one thing that is not-so-eco-friendly is the spray paint i used, but that is easy to replace.
the pictures on the frame above were taken by the very talented jhair.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


i finished my favorite pillow case (so far) yesterday. with this one i decided to have a monochromatic look and to do a lot more quilting. I quilted a little design on each of the patches and then I sewed a border around it. i was a little worried that it would look too busy with all of the patches and quilting, but i think it looks great and really ties together well. i am going to try to make a matching blue case, but i am not sure when i will start/finish it. my sewing station is not great, so i have been suffering from a sore back for the past day or two from being hunched over the machine. i am going to try to find a new spot, which should be good news for my back and may allow me to work a bit faster.

as i mentioned in my last post, i have also been playing with some shrinking plastic i had lying around. i am not really sure what i am going to do with it, but i enjoyed making the pieces and watching them shrink in the toaster oven. these earrings are some of the few items i have made with the plastic. i wrote a poem by e.e. cummings (my favorite poet) on the plastic circles before i cooked them. i think this gives an interesting look and texture to the piece. the writing is very small, but you can still read it and from far away it looks look like it has little blue stripes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

eight: bits n' pieces

i found these necklaces that i made while i was in austin. i strung several strands of beads and then braided them together. the darker necklaces has a very loose look to it, while the colored one is much tighter. i haven't done beading in awhile, but these pieces inspire me to do some more. right now, i am in the middle of making another patchwork pillow and am rediscovering the wonders of shrink plastic.

Friday, April 11, 2008

seven: feeling knotty

i just bought a knotting tool, so for the past few days i have been feeling very knotty. i have done these three pieces as well as restringing two pearl necklaces for my mom. now that i have gotten the technique down and am no longer poking my self with the tool, I am a lot faster and enjoying it more. i am also attempting to take better pictures of my projects.

i went to a great exhibition on avant-garde jewelry yesterday at the renwick gallery in downtown dc. people made some amazing jewelry out of a number of different materials (plastic, silver, gold, cardboard, shells...).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

six: pillow case

the entire time i was making this pillow case i was listening to music by the band vampire weekend. they really inspired me and put me in a springy mood. i did a little bit of experimentation while i was making this. i got ideas from two different sources: a posting on the blog what if and some nepalese pillow cases my parents have. the pillow cases from nepal have a quilted front which makes it a bit softer and sturdier.

my first step was to sew several different fabric squares together, i then safety pinned batting to the bag and another piece of cloth and then did free hand machine quilting over the patches.

after i did that i made a teal border and used the same material for the back. for the border i folded the fabric and then sewed along the fold.
here is the finished product:

when i was trimming the access fabric, i got a little scissor-happy and made a whole in the pillow case. you can see it on the left-hand corner of the back. i managed to mend it, but it doesn't look that good.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

five: earrings

i just finished making some new stud earrings. They are fairly easy to make, use inexpensive material (cloth & wood), and look good! the plaid set are made with a thicker cloth, that didn't work as well as the two others. once I have perfected the look and technique i think i will try selling some on etsy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

four: pillows part ii

the obsession continues...
i am beginning to feel a little bit like drew barrymore in 'never been kissed'. i finished two more pillows a few days ago and already have another idea for one. i think these two pillows turned out quite well, but i have noticed some of the seams are coming loose. one way i could prevent that is by sewing the scraps of material to a larger piece of fabric. i might try doing that on my next project, even though i like the idea of creating a material out of little scraps.

the photo on the left is a picture of one of the pillows before i started constructing it.