Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday Find (on Thursday): WingedLion on Etsy

I am just entranced by the jewelry and printmaking designs in Winged Lion's shop on etsy. The jewelry is gorgeous and ornate and original, and the linocut prints are THE SAME!

The Winged Lion shop is shared by an extremely artistic family (Natalia, Sergey, and their teenage son Lev) living near Charlotte, NC. They have so much variety but awesomeness!

I'm going to start with the linocuts - these prints are amazing, and it makes me want to own them, but simultaneously, be the person who created them. Since we've had a lot of medieval stuff with the Game of Thrones theme, I figured I'd pick this knight one to show you:
Victory Knight by Lev (he's 17! Annoyingly gifted at 17!)

Trying On Hats Linocut

They have a lot of rings that I want, even though they are way out of my league in terms of price at the moment, but still, I call dibs on the Enchanted Princess one! DIBS I SAY! It's so gorgeous! And I've never even heard of a white sapphire before, but gorgeous.

Enchanted Princess Ring

I love flower rings, and this one is just intricate and I can't really find anything about it I don't like, except possibly the size (it may be a bit big on me, you know, when I purchase it as well as the other one HA HA HA).
Blooming Thistle Ring

I switched Friday Finds to Thursday because I'm going to Dr. Sketchy's tonight and plan to have ridiculous drawings to show you tomorrow. Unless I chicken out, and then you'll get a sewing update!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Game of Thrones Jewelry Etsy Shop Refill!

I know you've all been desperately wondering what weird jewelry stuff I would put together for my Game of Thrones jewelry series next. I mean... maybe you haven't. Maybe you've moved on to watching True Blood - ANYWAY - here's some more Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire jewelry. I really love these two pieces.

Game of Thrones Jewelry: Dark Wings, Dark Words Necklace
Dark Wings, Dark Words Necklace
(Though every time I type "Dark Wings" I have a hard time not thinking of Darkwing Duck)

Game of Thrones Jewelry: Saltwife Necklace
Saltwife Necklace Hhehe, the Greyjoys. I had fun writing the descriptions for these.

Here's some other summery necklaces I made that I think turned out quite pretty:
Sea Nymph Shell Necklace - Nereid of the Aegean Sea Necklace
Sea Nymph Shell Necklace - Nereid of the Aegean Sea Necklace

Moonlit Dewdrops Necklace (with glass opals)
Moonlit Dewdrops Necklace (with glass opals)
Moonlit Dewdrops Necklace

Available in my shop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Halloween in June - Decorating!

I helped decorate for an Undead Birthday party over the weekend, so here's some of the decorations:
Undead Birthday: FOOD SPREAD

Undead Birthday: Brain
Why the human torso? I don't know, but it looked cool!

Undead Birthday: Food spread 2

Most of these were put together by Ruth, but I think they're great:
Jell-o Brain with oreo dirt and gummi worms, Zombie Fingers (Snapea Crisps), and on the three tier: Worms, Gravestone cookies, and Coffin sandwiches!

And here's a picture of me as a mummy, so you know that I dressed up:
Undead Birthday: Angel & Mummy

Friday, June 24, 2011

McCall's Pattern Sale at JoAnn's!

McCall's patterns are on sale at JoAnn's for $1.99. Of course, they go on sale for $0.99 next weekend (for the 4th of July) but by then I, and other's like me, may have gone through and bought all the cool ones!

Limit 10, so I bought 8 of shirts and dresses made out of knits:
McCall's Patterns - Knit Frenzy!
I *really* want to use up all this t-shirt fabric! There will (hopefully) be more stuffed animals and outfits in the future from them!

Also, I bought these two, which don't go together, but they are the outliers:
McCall's Patterns - Knit & Crazy Skirt
I hate trying to find leggings that are the right length for me - and in interesting colors. I mean, yes, I could buy them over at, but they're $15 each and I'm cheap! Also, I love that style of skirt, and in theory it's really easy to do, right? I have no idea, which is why I bought a pattern.

So yes, SEWING!

Friday Finds / Tutorial! Crocheted Necklace Video

This week has been sort of an off week for me, in case you couldn't tell from the lack of random craftsplosion that you usually get on here.

One thing I've found and I think is very satisfying is crocheting with beads - but not actually crocheting, just repeating one tiny slip stitch over and over.

Here's a fantastic video tutorial I've been using as a reference: it's for creating a multi-strand crocheted bead necklace.

It was based on the fact that I've been cleaning out my beads and jewelry supplies - I've found lots of beads that I like, but really don't know what to do with. I was looking on etsy for ideas and I found this:

Crystal garden series crocheted bracelet by SidneyAnne

I love it! Nick says it looks like a magpies nest, but in a good way, which is exactly what I like about it! Anyway, I've been working on just doing black thread with black beads for now to get a feel for it. It's super fun, and kind of relaxing. I think I have a new craft to bring to Craft Night!

Also - I was watching an episode of Robin Hood where Richard Armitage kept taking his shirt off *for no reason* (well, except ratings, I suppose) and I accidentally made a strand 6" longer than the others because I was so distracted. I feel silly.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maker Faire NC 2011

I went to Maker Faire NC over the weekend and it was awesome! Though a little crowded.

This year was much bigger, but I think it still has a lot of potential to get bigger and bigger each year. There was everything, from lace tatting to robotics, quilting to hacking, and there were so many people!

Here's some pictures:
Maker Faire NC: Crocheted Jellyfish!Maker Faire NC: NCLUG Arcade Fire
Maker Faire NC: Hackerspace Charlotte Technology (dispensed)Maker Faire NC: Blue Chaos Machine

Several people I know, including Kelly Farrow and Joei Reed, were running a booth called "T-cycle" where you could buy a t-shirt for $5 and mod it right there - they had sewing machines, a serger, and all kinds of supplies and books for changing your t-shirt into something cool (which I'm all about).
Maker Faire NC: T-Cycle with Kelly Farrow

The entire Maker Faire was humming and buzzing while we were there - so many activities and cool places - The Scrap Exchange, TechShop RDU, Bull City Craft, Spoonflower - I can't even list them all. I wish Maker Faire had been around when I was a kid - I don't know where else I would have learned about modern quilting and robotics right next to each other!

I'm thinking of getting a booth next year and making a million stuffed animals from t-shirts and having them for sale. I'm not entirely sure what kind of activity I might have at my booth though - any ideas?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Finds: Cupcake Land

What if you lived in a world where everything was made of cupcakes? Would you still think of them as delicious?

What if your dog looked like a cupcake?

And your soap?

And your crayons?

And all your doorknobs!?

And your hats?

And your, err...

And what if Daleks were all "EXTERMINATE this cupcake for me, would you?"

Would it drive you crazy? Would you have terrible colorful foam running from your mouth from alternating between eating the crayons and the soap?

Thank goodness we're safe... for now.

Dog Cupcake Hat by Sweet hoots, Strawberry Champagne Cupcake Soap by Virginia Soaps and Scents, Crayon Cupcakes by zeebree, Cupcake Doorknobs by shimrita, Cupcake Hats by yeahsurewhatever, Two Giant Fake Cupcakes by 12LegsCuriosities, and EXTERMICAKE by anilineblack.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Game of Thrones Jewelry - Including Tyrion Stuff!

I've been working on some more Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire jewelry, and I've finished up some stuff and put it in my shop Futuregirl Leah Riley's etsy shop.

Tyrion Lannister Necklace - Game of Thrones Jewelry - Song of Ice and Fire
Tyrion Lannister Necklace #1

First off, I polled everybody on facebook, and some Tyrion themed jewelry was definitely a high priority, so I made two necklaces that are unisex in an attempt to satisfy your cravings. First off, I based one on my two favorite Tyrion quotes:
"A mind needs a book like a sword needs a whetstone"
"A Lannister always pays his debts"

I'm imagining if you could get into Tyrion's saddlebags, it would essentially be full of books and money. Which is hard to fault, honestly, I'm a fan of books, and money is always welcome. I may not be able to make another necklace exactly like this one and I really liked the way it came out! Though I feel like Tyrion is such a great character that one piece of jewelry doesn't really cover him, so there will probably be more!

Oh! And I love the terrible horrible no good role of being Hand of the King (a job that has been done by Eddard Stark, Tyrion Lannister, and Tywin Lannister to name a few) and I thought that the hand themed jewelry they used in the books and on the HBO show are awesome, so I made a Hand of the King necklace!
Hand of the King Necklace - Game of Thrones Jewelry - A Song of Ice and Fire
Hand of the King Necklace

It can represent whoever your favorite Hand has been. Maybe you can be all hipster and claim it's someone obscure from the Mad King's reign, YOU DO WHAT YOU WANT.

And lastly, after making all that tough looking jewelry, I made this frilly choker based on Lyanna Stark:
Lyanna Stark Choker: A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones Jewelry
Queen of Love & Beauty Choker (Lyanna Stark)

Lyanna Stark - the hottest dead lady in all of Winterfell. Seriously, all we seem to know about her is that she is dead, and she was SOOOOOOOO HOT. So she gets a necklace because I love those skeleton cameos. And look at those tiny snowflakes! Heheh.

It seems that stencil bleaching and resist dyeing may have to wait till next week, since it's Thursday already! This week went by too fast! Tomorrow I'll have something ridiculous for you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Safari Dress: Bleached & Dyed!

Safari Dress: Bleached & Dyed Purple
Ta-da! The safari dress is bleached and dyed and dry!

I used RIT "Purple" liquid dye for 2 lbs. of fabric on this for one hour, and I'm really liking it. I'm liking it so much I'm going to dance around and use corn as maracas while wearing it!!
Purple Safari Dress: Corn Maraca Time!

Safari Dress Dyed Purple: Corn Maraca Finale!

Also, I wore my other two recently dyed projects over the weekend, here's a picture of me in the skirt before we go to the Farmer's Market:
Dyed Skirt - Outfit!
What can I say - sometimes, I'm really excited about food!

Later this week!
- More Game of Thrones Jewelry (including Tyrion stuff)
- Bleaching/glue resist on fabric

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Coco MoCA

Pale Whale by Yiying Lu
Conan O'Brien's writers have their own site called Team Coco and it's kind of adorable. BUT! The best thing, in my opinion, is their Coca MoCA - The Museum of Conan Art.

I'm showing you some of my favorites, but they have all kinds of cute stuff, AND you can submit your own (if you have a desire to make a Conan-themed piece of art or cookie/cake or something)

Conan Pointillism by Freya Kieslling
Team Coco... in SPACE by Natalie
Conan Watercolor by isalindberg
Hello Coco by Steve Dressler

I find seeing one subject covered in many different ways interesting and inspiring. It motivates me to experiment and learn. And, of course, the Hello Coco one is probably my favorite.
Here's the link again! Coca MoCA - The Museum of Conan Art

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bleached & Dyed Skirt: Fin!

At least there's one project finished: I've bleached and dyed this skirt to my satisfaction!
(I'm so happy it didn't come out looking like camouflage)
Skirt - Bleached & Dyed

To dye it, I combined Dylon dyes "Jungle Green" and "China Blue", figuring I'd get that sort of bright green with blue undertones that seems to be all over the place right now.

And, success! The skirt is 100% cotton, so I knew it would soak up a lot of the dye. I'm really happy with it, especially since it was a $3 thrifted skirt, it may now become one of my favorites!

Next up, I still have the safari dress, and I think I'm going to try Dylon's "Intense Violet" again, and double up on the dye.

I really like the color that the "China Blue" is supposed to come out as, and I want to find something to dye that color, but what?

Next week!
The end of the safari dress! - will it come out Violet? Or will it look like a hot mess?

Resist dyeing with glue!
I've bookmarked several tutorials, if you'd like to give it a go, I'd love to hear your feedback/advice:
Gel Glue Resist Tutorial
Glue Resist Batik
DIY Fabric Prints

I have some skirts that probably need octopuses on them!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bleaching: No More Pattern Recognition

I have a hatred for patterns that are overwhelming and very contrast-oriented. I think they look terrible on me and I want them to DIE! Or... bleach! Then dye.

Safari Dress: Bleached!
So, here's where I am with the dress - I'm really excited by what's going on here. Especially since I'm planning to dye it a warm color. ORANGE is what's happening here, for some reason.

Here's a closeup:
Safari Dress: Bleach Closeup
(Also, I removed those TERRIBLE rhinestones. Geez - that was one episode of Robin Hood, I believe, with a seam ripper and trying not to be too distracted by Richard Armitage.)

I'm going to be dyeing it either later today, or tomorrow. The reason is because this skirt is currently in the sink with a dye concoction I made of Dylon's China Blue and Tropical Green. That should be awesome! OR at least interesting:
Brown Skirt: BLEACHENED!
Oh gosh, I just hope it doesn't look like camouflage when it comes out. Yuck.

The bleaching process I'm using is from Martha Stewart's Fabric and Craft Encyclopedia. I really like the guide and it seems to work and provide the thing that I really like in the finished product: a complete LACK of bleach-smell!
Here's my bleach process, just so you know what I'm doing to these poor pieces of clothing:
Mix 5 parts hot water to 1 part bleach (do *not* go over this ratio, according to Martha)
Soak clothing in hot water, wring
Put clothing in the bleach water
Soak in bleach for 15 sec - 15 min (watch for what you want)
Remove from bleach and put into cold water
Wring from cold water
Put clothing in chloring neutralizer
Soak for... I dunno, 10 minutes?
Wash in washing machine

So, you need:
- 3 places for soaking (I used both parts of our sink and a bucket for the chlorine neutralizer)
- bleach
- chlorine neutralizer itself (this is to make the bleach smell go away forever and stop the bleaching process - I ordered mine online)
- washing machine
- rubber gloves and plastic spoon

I better get back to stirring my skirt. I think after all this bleaching and dyeing this week, I'm gonna experiment some more with actually doing patterns with bleach, resists and dyes next week!

Further Dyeing Adventures: RIT "Wine" Dye

Dress Dyeing!
The Dylon "Intense Violet" dye I used was for 1/2 lb of fabric, and also the dress has spandex and polyester mixed in, so I figured i should up the intensity if I wanted the next color to over-dye the purple/pink princess monster dress I'd created.

I went to JoAnns and got RIT's liquid dye in "Wine" for 2 lbs. of fabric. The color on the bottle was a lot less saturated than the colors came out (which is fine with me, I like saturation). And look! The lace completely soaked up the dye this time - I wonder why that is? I did add more salt to the dye, so maybe that helped.

Dyeing H&M shirt with RIT "Wine" liquid dye
I love how this shirt came out! I bought this shirt thinking that the brown and white stripes would just grow on me. They sure didn't. But the shape of the shirt and the interesting sleeves kept me from throwing it away. DYE TO THE RESCUE! Since this is 100% cotton it soaked up a lot of the RIT dye.

The dress and the t-shirt were dyed together in the sink for 30 minutes, and I really like how they both came out!
Now, to the next level: bleaching!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Dye Job: Pink to Purple Dress

Dyeing This Dress Purple: Before & After

Well, the first dye job has been done, and I'm having mixed feelings about it. The dye was Dylon's "Intense Violet", and the material was actually a cotton/polyester/spandex blend, so I wasn't entirely sure how things were going to come out.

I'm going to have to see if this grows on me. Mixing colors scares me sometimes - It seems like it takes more fashion bravery than I'm equipped with. I'm thinking of over-dyeing it with another rosey type color.
Lessons learned this round:
- More dye means more intense - if I want it richer, use two packets
- You can dye things in an all white kitchen without ruining anything!

Let's see, what am I going to dye today? Probably a shirt (since all of the bleaching materials aren't here yet). Bleaching will have to be later this week!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Week I Wanted to Dye

I have a small stack of thrifted clothes that I've been meaning to *do* something with. Mostly, I like the way they feel or fit, but I hate the color. So, this week, I'm going to experiment with dyeing and bleaching techniques.

Thrift Dress - Ready to be Transformed

This dress, for example, is from the thrift store and so comfy! It fits me really well. But, uhh, I've already did the safari thing in junior high and I don't think I should revisit the jungles, so to speak. Also, it has rhinestones on it in matching animal-print colors. Jeez.

So, there's going to be a lot of before and after pictures this week! I love those! I've got a skirt, a couple of shirts, another dress. The dress pictured I'm probably going to bleach (to tone down the print) and then dye it either green or purple. I'm using Martha Stewart's "Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts" as a guide, so hopefully it will turn out great!

Let's just see if I can also manage not to dye half the house as well. Now, I'm gonna go break out the plastic drop cloths!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Picture Pull

For whatever reason, I am a sucker for pretty pictures. I started watching Black Butler entirely because I saw some of the costumes on a cosplay website, I was absolutely obsessed with seeing The Fall after seeing the images online.

And now I really want to see this Korean romantic comedy called "Cyrano Agency" because I saw this post on the Movies in Frames tumblr. I was pretty obsessed with Cyrano de Bergerac in high school (I'm not entirely sure why) and the idea of romantic comedy where a theatre group helps those unlucky in love sounds delightful. Now it's just a matter of finding a copy somewhere. Dangit.

Have you ever watched a movie or started something just because of the pretty pictures or costumes? I'm not the only one guilty of this, right?