not quite what your grandma used to make...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

A little vintage Halloween for my readers!  

I've had fun enjoying all the homemade costumes around me this year!  I made my lovely Megs a Hercules costume and I was Medusa  - gotta love a fantastic well built head piece! 

Have fun and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Retro Remedy at the MECA Holiday Sale!

That's right kids!  I got accepted into the MECA (Maine College of Art) Holiday Sale!  It's been a couple years since I did the sale, but it's, by far, my favorite art n craft sale of the winter.  

Good thing I took a vacation this week from the day job - time to buckle down and build up a bigger inventory for the sale.  I have a few sets of embroidered napkins just waiting to be finished off around the edges, a couple more toddle pillows to photograph, and a stack of fabric cut to make some wintery snowflake cocktail napkins.  I also have a bunch more bluebirds cut and ready to sew and stuff and I have some fabric octopi in the works. 
  But that won't cut it for a sale - time for a supply run.  I think I'll make some more hight charts, a bunch more napkins, maybe some table runners and maybe some rag dolls.  

More posts to come as I finish up projects!  

 Have a great weekend!
  And keep the sale in mind if you happen to be near Portland in December.  It's  a fantastic sale featuring 65 local artists - many of them students and alumni of MECA. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Crafty Christmas

Like a lot of my fellow artists and crafters of all sorts out there I am a big fan of the handmade gift.  Not only do they really help a strained budget, but they always seem more loved, cherished, and appreciated (and are regularly requested around here).  This year Tilly from had the fantastic idea for a group blog to share out handmade gift ideas, tutorials, and successes.

Joining up was the easy part, however, now I just have to figure out what I'm making and what to share.  So far I've seen some fantastic ideas for gifts and holiday goodies.  

So what are your holiday gift giving plans?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A little post about a little bird.

A new addition to the collection: my little stuffed BlueBirds.

Made from up-cycled fabrics (specifically worn out old jeans) and scraps from projects past - these little birds are cuddly soft and awfully cute ;)

They're machine sewn, hand stuffed, and have hand sewn details.

And did I mention they were tough and durable?

The first one I made I gave to the pups to test out for weak spots and general durability.  It took a rough game of tug for the two of them to puncture it - followed by the rest of the week of Kinsey being obsessed with pulling out ALL of its stuffing.  (And I don't think kids are as rough as the two of them).  

The stuffing-less BlueBird is still one of her favorite toys.

(Kinsey does not like to have her picture taken)

Well, back to the sewing machine.  Until next time - enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Toddler Pillows

After trial of the first Toddler pillow that i made (see post here),  I decided to keep going and make a more - with the only real adjustment being adding a bit more filling to make it a little firmer and prevent clumping after it's been washed a few times.  

Attempting to keep myself from following the whims of my scattered mind, I kept the images on the pillows in line with the few vintage inspired children's decor themes I've been working in.  

The fantastically fuzzy squid is part of my oceanic, 'Anchors Away' (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-inspired) line.  (A pillow with fuzzy octopus tentacles is in the works - as well as some painting inspired by the book itself. )

For the green edging I used the same technique of hand sewing crocheted chains of baby-soft yarn on to a fun printed fabric.  

For the blue body itself, the fuzzy yarn I used was thick and double woven so I simply sewed over and through it for a secure attachment.  

I backed this pillow with the soft sea-glass blue micro suede - great for kids where it's durable, soft, and easy to clean.

I also finally made some 'A Retro Remedy' fabric tags to sew into the items I make - so instead of sewing on my logo  I switched it up and kept the oceanic theme going with a cute little starfish on the back corner.  

A fuzzy success if I do say so myself ;)

Also with the 'Anchors Away' line is this Anchor  Pillow. 

 The fabric is a wonderfully soft and fun polka dot flannel that I got in a cluster of 5 shades odd length end cuts (but the lengths were just about perfect for what I needed :) - don't you just love when that happens!  

Here's the tags that labels that I made.  At some point I'd like to order some really nice woven tags for my pieces, but my profits are definitely not there yet.  

So these I made from a satiny white ribbon with this great red print that reminds me of the midcentury atomic prints.   I found a great font and printed on some iron on transfer paper and most of them came out pretty good (there were definitely a few mess ups in the first trial). 

 The next pillow uses the same image as the very first trial pillow that I made for my little niece - the bright red poppies. 

I haven't quite decided what to call this line.  It's inspired by the vast poppy fields in the film version of 'The Wizard of OZ', but going with the section of my shop is also cuddly stuffed Blue Birds (a blog post of follow on those) and I'm planning some storybook illustrations to go with in.  

I would love some suggestions on a name for the line - maybe I'll do a giveaway item for the suggestion that I pick?  

I made the back panel for this pillow before I thought of making the fabric labels so it still has the embroidered logo.  

For this pillow I used two more of the pieces of  polka dot flannel and the edging is a green patterned cotton that was hanging out in my scrap bag.  

All in all I think the the lines are coming along. And there are constantly more pieces in the works.  

I also applied to this winter's MECA Holiday Sale at my own alma mater, the Maine College of Art.  I'll find out on the 29th if I'm in - and if so it means a whole lot more time spent making my objects - I'll need a much bigger inventory for the two day show.  

Keep your fingers crossed for me!  And have a great weekend!