Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nothing to do With Sewing! Thank you, Locks of Love!

This post has nothing to do with sewing!  I did something on the spur of the moment yesterday that I want to share with all of you.

I have had very thick, coarse and heavy hair all of my life.  Many times I've said, "I just wish I could give some of this hair away to somebody who needs it!"  So many people would say to me, "You should be glad you have a lot of hair!"  But, no one seemed to understand how hard it is to manage.

Well, I found out about Locks of Love, an organization that takes donated hair for use in making wigs, hair pieces, etc. from human hair.  So, after much thought, I decided that's what I would do with my hair!  Since Locks of Love requires hair to be at least 10" long, in a ponytail, I let it grow for almost two years, since my last full cut.  It was already at the base of my neck at that time.  It was a real challenge for me these two years to deal with how to fix my hair; should I always wear it "put up," and how can I manage that?

I think I've broken three hair clips, even the heavy-duty version!  But, my hair finally got long enough to just double it over with a covered ponytail rubber band.  Yesterday, October 1, 2012, after putting my hair in its usual up-do, and experiencing pain in my left thumb joint, I declared, "I'm ready to get my hair cut!"

I had found out that Great Clips cuts hair for donation to Locks of Love for free, so I made a call to verify that and off we went to the salon!  Great Clips not only cut my hair free, but they will take care of packaging it and mailing it in.

Here is what my hair looked like before leaving home to go to the salon.  I had Lee take photos of what it looked like before, during and after.

I didn't know how this whole thing would work out.  I didn't know by going into the salon as a walk-in, whether there'd be a hairdresser there who can handle my type of hair, so I knew I was probably taking a chance.  There were two hairdressers on duty, one was busy and the other took me without hesitation. 

She was amazing!  She took charge of my hair as if she had been cutting it for years!  She wasn't in the least intimidated!  Here, she had parted the back of my hair into two ponytails and was cutting above the rubber bands.  (Hair has to be banded before cutting so it will stay together while it's being sent in.)

 I guess I'd better not say, "I changed my mind!"

Now, the hair is ready to be sent in.  Wow! What a mop!

Now for my huge surprise!  I had curls under all that hair and didn't even know it!  My hairdresser said, "Your hair is curling in the back!"  What?!!!!  I haven't had curls since I was a toddler.  Another thing I've always said is that I'd love to have curly hair!  Well, God does answer in ways that are sometimes surprising!

So, about one-third of the way through the cutting process, I said that I already felt lighter.  At the end, I said I must have lost half a pound.  So, this morning when I got on the scales, sure enough, I had lost half a pound since yesterday!  (I've been wanting to lose some weight!)
My hairdresser suggested a "bob" cut, even though I had taken in a picture of a cut I had four years ago that I liked.  I told her that I had actually thought about that kind of cut and style, so let's go for it.  She worked some kind of magic in the way she cut it and the tools she used to bring back my childhood curls!  I'm happy!

No more curling iron, no more extensive blow drying, and no need to get a perm now!  Blessings do come in batches!  I think I'm going to love this new way of gaining back some of my time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fabric Gift Bag or Treat Bag Custom Project

Several days ago, I finished a custom order for fabric gift or treat bags.  A teacher friend saw a post I made on Facebook about some fabric bags with embroidery and a ribbon drawstring, and she was intrigued!  After contacting me and us communicating back and forth for about two weeks, we settled on a size of 4" x 6" with a drawstring.  I suggested we do embroidered first name initials for her 24 students in the school's colors of royal blue and white.

The bag in this photo is the prototype I made with the teacher's first and last name initials just so she could see how the stitching looks on the bag.  The bag is made of unbleached muslin, so I think the royal blue shows up on it nicely.

We decided to put the solid blue ribbon on the boys' bags and sheer royal blue ribbon with white polka dots on the girls' bags. I switched the teacher's ribbon to the sheer version (since she's a girl!) - it's the one in the upper left of this photo.  I used the Curlz alphabet from Hope Yoder, which lends a fun flair to the project. 

I'm thinking about adding these cute fabric gift bags to my product line for craft shows this Fall.  If anyone out there has an idea on other fabrics I can use, please leave me a message below.  I'm going to experiment with some organdy and some cotton Christmas fabric.  The person who inspired me to make these bags is making hers out of a sheer fabric with a pretty flower embroidery and has started a business making them for bridesmaid favors.  Hmmm.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sew What! Community Sewing Group Sews Cute Flowers

Yesterday was another day of sewing class for our Sew What! Community Sewing group at the Jeffersontown Library.  Our regulars are so faithful in showing up month after month, and yesterday was no exception!

The class centered around making "Cute Flowers" from a class that I taught at Austin's Sewing Center in March of this year, and at the Bullitt County Cooperative Extension office in June.  These flowers are all made by hand and are great for embellishments on headbands, on purses and tote bags, as brooches, or any other application your creative mind can envision.  The rick rack flowers are taken from Kari Mecca's book, Sewing With Whimsy.  The book can be purchased on her website at www.karimeaway.com., or if you live in the Louisville, KY area you may purchase it at Austin's Sewing Center in Fern Creek.

Sew What! students had a fund workday learning new techniques on making three different flower projects: felt flowers, sheer ribbon flowers, and rick rack flowers.

 We made four layers of petals cut out of felt, then stitched them together in the center to make a pretty flower to use as embellishment on headbands, totes, purses, or as a brooch with a pinback sewn onto the back side.

This flower was made complete when some black eyelash yarn was added to the center behind the button.  (I forgot to take a photo of the completed flower - sorry!  It really looked finished with the yarn.)

 Here, students are working on cutting the felt flower petals and layers of organza to place in between the felt layers for their project.

My students are so very creative and I really enjoy seeing what ideas they come up with after I've given them some hands-on instruction!

This felt flower is the sample I made as I was going over the printed instruction sheet.  I layered the felt petals with some organza and some sparkle bridal tulle to give it a different look.  It will look good on a lilac knit top I have, or on my pink one, don't you think?

 This student had just completed her rick rack posie flower project from Kari Mecca's book.  We ran out of time to complete the other two rick rack flowers I wanted to teach, so we'll continue this class next month.

If you'd like to learn how to make these cute flowers, please join us on the fourth Thursday at the Jeffersontown Free Public Library from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.  We'd love to have you join us!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Craft Show Pictures

This picture of our craft show booth may be a little hard to figure out with the open drapes behind it and the bright sunshine outside.  I guess I could have asked if the drapes could be closed, but didn't even think about that!  I know I need to make some improvements and adjustments to this set-up.  I'll figure out what to do before the next show, I promise!

This shows the work area, behind the covered button display board, where customers could watch me actually put together their covered buttons as they chose what they wanted.

I took the rest of my ribbon purses to the craft show.  The label shown in my heading above is like what I've made for all of my purses.  Each of these purses is one of a kind, making them very unique.  They're made out of grosgrain ribbon sewn onto a fabric base, with a hook and loop tape pocket on the inside and are fully lined.  The one I've been using almost every day for the past four years is holding up so well, you'd never know it's that old!

 I love the way the color combination came together on this sticky note pad holder.  The pen has matching paper rolled up and inserted inside the barrel.  I used a scroll embroidery design on baby blue fabric for the covered button.  The purple thread matched the purple sticky note pad perfectly!

Of course, I had to have a University of Kentucky button on the blue sticky note pad holder!

This is one of the first covered buttons I made - the one in an earlier post on which I added fusible crystals on top of the stitching.  The black layers are made of organza, which added to the "glitzy" look of the brooch, I think!

This layered flower brooch came together nicely.  I love the way the two shades of yellow compliment each other with layers of pale yellow and yellow and white gingham.  The yellow rayon embroidery thread really picks up the darker yellow in the gingham, don't you think?
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Again, to this layered flower, I added some layers of black organza and layers of white bridal tulle.  The black rayon embroidery thread really gives the black and white theme a punch.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 15 Craft Show Report

Now that I've had a day of rest, it's time to give you a report on my July 15 craft show.  This is a photo of part of our booth.  I know I need to make some adjustments on how to display everything - we're still learning how to do this.  Having these pics helps me to see it from the attendees' view, then I can see what I could improve upon.

 These bookmarks/memo holders are made with large plastic-coated paper clips and covered buttons glued on the front.  I have been using one daily for over a week, and it's holding up really well.  I've carried it with me on shopping trips to hold my shopping lists and to keep all my lists together in my notebook.

The layered flower display took over the middle of the display table.  All of these, except the ones for headbands, have a pin back attached to the back for use as a brooch, on a tote bag or purse, or can be pinned onto an adult headband.

I thought this layered flower turned out really pretty with the two shades of yellow, accented by the hot pink covered button to pick up the touch of hot pink in the flower petal.  The button cover is stitched on yellow/white gingham, which is duplicated in two layers of the flower.  It's rather subtle, but striking, I think!

This display shows the button cover choices that we offered.  The purchaser of a retractable badge reel (for name tags, security clearance cards, scissors) could choose the covers they wanted to interchange on their badge reel and then could watch while I actually put everything together using my button-making machine.  The button covers can also be made into pin back buttons to be worn separately.

Stay tuned for more pics of our booth, probably tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Covered Button Craft Show Projects

I'm getting closer to being finished with my craft show items!  Hallelujah!  Here are some more photos of the covered button projects I'll have in my booth.

 The top two photos are some memo holders I've made from an acrylic photo frame with a matching pen.  I used two sizes of sticky notes and a covered button with a butterfly embroidery.  I'm happy with the way they turned out.  I'm working on more with a red/black color scheme and a University of Louisville embroidered button.  I think I'll also make a blue/white University of Kentucky button for a few of them.

I've made lots of these layered flowers, from Hope Yoder's Layered Flower CD.  These are sewn onto stretchy headbands and covered buttons with a clover embroidery design from Hope Yoder.

 A closeup of the pink layered flower.

 These are brooches made with the layered flowers and embroidered covered buttons.  A pin back is placed on the back side.  These would look great on a dress, a jacket, a purse, a tote bag.

 This white layered flower has white fabric, white organza and white bridal tulle.  The covered button is embroidered with irridescent metallic thread.  Wouldn't this look fabulous on a white and black outfit?

Here is an assortment of holiday/event themed covered buttons that will go with the badge reel shown.  I'll package these in a set of 5 buttons along with the badge reel.  I realized after I took the picture that I left out the snowflake that I stitched with metallic threads.  It turned out very "sparkly!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Venture: Making Covered Buttons for Craft Shows

So, I've been absent for quite a while!  Well, I took the plunge and purchased a covered button making machine and am scheduled to be at my first craft show of the year this coming weekend (July 15) at The Temple in Louisville KY!

I've embroidered several holiday-themed covers for pinback covered buttons, flat back covered buttons and interchangeable covered buttons for retractable badge reels.  Any nurses out there who would like sets of these?  The badge reels are also great for those who must have security clearance cards. 

More info will be following to let you know how to get sets of the interchangeable holiday-themed retractable badge reels.  I plan to set up an Etsy shop where many of my products will be available.  Stay tuned!
 These will be added to fabric flowers that can be worn as a brooch or can be used as embellishment for headbands or flip flops, or purse/bags, or on a zipper pull on jackets and purses/bags.  I added crystal beads on the one on the left and pearls on the other one.

 This is a picture of the retractable badge reel I have available, along with three of the interchangeable holiday designs I have.  There will be more to follow.

I have pink support breast cancer button covers stitched out and I've also stitched out some yellow ribbon button covers to show support for our military troops.  I'll post a picture of them soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sew What! Community Sewing Group is at it Again!

Our community sewing group, that meets at the Jeffersontown Public Library every 4th Thursday, has been hard at it making shoulder bags for our 2012 community service project.  So far, the students have made 167 bags since January! 

The original intent was to send bags to a Haitian orphanage to be used for school bags by the children so they would have a bag of their own for their belongings.  It turned out that the school master let us know that they had enough bags for the current school year, so I needed to look for another group who has need for the bags.

As God would have it, a group at Walnut Street Baptist Church is planning a mission trip to Applachia later in the month of May.  The group leader had asked me for any extra bags that wouldn't be needed for Haiti, so I called her and told her that I could provide her with 24 bags.  Needless to say, she was thrilled!

 One of my students called on a Saturday to say she had 11 more bags finished and could she meet me at church for pickup since she couldn't come to our April class.  I picked them up and then delivered them to Walnut Street the following Monday.  That made 35 bags for the Appalachia trip!


 So, at our regular class meeting last week, two more students brought plastic bag, after plastic bag, full of more shoulder bags - 132 in all!  They also brought a bag full of more Comfort Caps for two of our local cancer treatment centers (our community service project for last year)!

All of the fabric for these bags was donated to our group by a fabric store in a neighboring county.  I want to throw out a tremendous thank-you to everyone who has contributed the fabric, thread, and their sewing time to this project!  What a blessing all of you are, and will be, to the recipients who will have their very own bag for personal belongings!

I'll post another picture of the bags as soon as I can get them sorted out for a photo-shoot.  Check back in a few days to see how beautiful these bags are!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sheer Ribbon Gathered Flower

One of the flowers I didn't teach at my March 16th Flower Power class is the sheer ribbon gathered flower.  It's made with 1" sheer ribbon, cut at about 18" long.  The ribbon is gathered into a small, puffy type flower and can be used as an embellishment or as a stand-alone brooch with a sewn-on felt backing and a pinback.  A cluster of the sheer ribbon flowers would certainly be pretty as a brooch!

The following pictures show what the sheer ribbon flower looks like from the front and from the back.  There is a slight difference in the look, so you could have some variety if you make a cluster with several of the flowers.

This is one side of the flower.

This is the other side of the flower.

There is a very slight difference in these two sides of the flower.
 Both of the sheer ribbon gathered flowers are from sheer ribbon that is 1 inch wide.  A wider width would make a much fuller flower, and conversely, a more narrow ribbon would make a leaner flower.  The same would hold true with longer and shorter lengths.

The difference between the two sides of the yellow flower is more easily seen.

One of these sheer ribbon flowers looks good layered on top of a yo-yo.  Sew it onto a stretchy headband for a cute look.
This is a very easy and versatile ribbon flower, and it's very pretty in the sheer ribbon.  You could probably make it with satin, or silk satin ribbon for an equally pretty flower that would be a little softer looking.

I have had so much fun making ribbon flowers and fabric flowers for my projects and for my Flower Power class.  In fact, I have a Flower Power II class scheduled at Austin's Sewing Center for June 4, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Please join me to learn how to make some more difficult flowers for all of your creative embellishments.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flower Power Class was Great!

The Flower Power class was held on Friday, March 16, at Austin's Sewing Center with nine students.  This was a fun class.  What a great, fun time we had.

Some had already learned how to make the Kanzashi flower, so I got them started on the next project, while the rest of the class learned Kanzashi.  I surprised myself when I realized I was teaching two completely different techniques to two parts of the class at the same time!  Wow!  I did it!  (To quote my grandson.)

To see the photos of the Kanzashi flowers, and some of the other fabric flowers, go to the previous post about this class.

 These two felt flowers are not in the previous post, so I added them here.  These are copied from a felt flower on a stem that I've had for years.  I don't remember where it came from, nor how long I've had it.  I decided to add embellishments of some fun fur yarn on both flowers, and an addition of some organza squares behind the yarn on the pink flower.

These are very easy to make and with the addition of green leaves and a sewn-on pinback, they make a lovely brooch - don't you think?

The ribbon rosette looks so pretty as a clump of three rosettes, as does a single rosette attached to the center of a ribbon bow.

This is a cluster of yo-yo flowers to show how versatile they can be.

The students were having a great time visiting with each other, catching up on happenings since their last get-together.

I have a second class called Flower Power II scheduled for June at Austin's Sewing Center.  I'll teach how to make a Sweetheart Rose with a template from Clover, and I'll review the pleated ribbon flower project that I offered as a bonus, but didn't have time to go over fully.  Both are shown below.  There will also be several new flower designs taught at this class.

 After the first of April, check www.Austinssewingcenter.com website for the exact date and more details for this class.