Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Surprises

My First Craft Show!
check out the Facebook event for it!
Showme Etsy is a business minded group of Etsians that have come together to promote handmade through local craft shows and trunk shows.

So thrilled to be accepted into the Show Me Etsy Club
and the Lebanon Harvest Home & Craft Show all in the same day! Talk about exciting, after 2 months of promoting and trying to get my brand out there.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keeping Busy

Working at a school has it's perks and summers off is the best one.
Finding things to do with my time is not a problem. I started my Etsy shop this summer! And getting an order to wholesale was awesome, now it's just a matter of getting it all done. With a some help from another teacher friend of mine, I have been yoyoing all over the house, making pillows. But let's not forget the date nights with my husband, pool party's, or girly get togethers. They are all apart of my interesting summer. The one I'll always remember as "the great business venture."

Pillows of yoyo's (Front)

On their way to TN!

Like the pillows? You can have one custom made with colors that match your home decor. Contact me through LittleBitsByAbbie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fish Vs. Fabric

This summer I've been dangling between my two favorite hobbies, sewing and bowfishing. My husband teases me about always having hobbies that involve sharp pointed objects. I can't lie, I love needles and arrows. So making time for both is quite a feat. My husband and I will get off the boat after fishing for 5 hours and I'll shower off the yucky smell and run upstairs to finish my embroidery.

Most people know what sewing involves, but what is bowfishing? I love archery, always have and this year for valentine's day, my wonderful husband got me a beautiful new compound bow. He's not even into bows and hunting, so it was completely romantic. :)
All you have to too is, grab an AMS bowfishing reel and attach it on the side, get extra long bowfishing arrows with a harpoon tip and go out and shoot fish! Well there's a few more details then that, but my favorite part about both hobbies is that they help the environment.

I create all my crafty projects with recycled materials I pick up from, yard sales, thrift stores, and generous donors. Reuse instead of buy new.

Bowfishing is helping the Department of Natural Resources get rid of unwanted fish species that harm the lakes, rivers and streams they get into. Carp for instance, are not native to the U.S. and have devastating effects on the underwater ecosystems. They eat out the bottom of the food chain, causing a chain reaction and depeating food sources for the native fish.
Thankfully the places we've found to fish at, always have a few people on the banks that know how to fry these suckers up! We have also taken home a few buffalo carp for dinner and sometimes we leave them up on the forested banks for other wildlife. I'll never know what happened to that 20lb grass carp I got these spring. We left it on the bank and came back 2 weeks later and there was no bones and no trail. What kind of animal in Belleville, IL is big enough to drag away a 20lb fish?
This was early on in my bowfishing adventures. My husband had to do all the nasty work, because I wouldn't touch the fish. I got over that really fast, when I got splattered with guts one too many times. :)

Sorry if I grossed you out, but it's so much fun! Won't know until you try it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thrifty Crafting

I love finding a deal...whether it's "pictures frames 1/2 off" or "1 yard for $1." Whenever I can get my supplies second hand or donated I do. This year I have been truly blessed to meet some great people who found out that I sew. They quit sewing or had way too much fabric on their hands. Thankfully instead of throwing it all away or shipping it off to Goodwill, it was given to me! I love inheriting old fabrics and notions and whatever else anyone is looking to get rid of. Then I get to come up with what to make out of it. One friend in particular from, "Chicks with Sticks" filled my car with wonderful things a couple of months ago. As an Eco-friendly crafter, it was a dream come true. Ribbons, lace, rick-rack, patches, fabric, patterns and so much more poured out of her house and went into mine. I couldn't thank her enough!

So I have always enjoyed working with neck ties, but lately I've been thinking about new inventive ways to make something new out of them. I've seen them on bags, as straps, and head bands, and my sisters and I even made skirts out of them in high school. (I still have mine)

So the other night when I was putting together a mirror with fabric yoyos all over it. I thought, "maybe neck ties would look neat on a mirror?"

Well it took a couple of days of thinking about how to put it together and some sewing mishaps to get a finished product. Now I found my new favorite way to recycle ties! It's just going to take some more collecting to make another one. Good grief, it took 18 neck ties to make. Even second hand those aren't too cheap. But for now, this beautiful wall mirror is for sale in my shop.

Looking for unwanted neck ties. Got any?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Itchin to stitch

Well when it comes to hand embroidery that has to be my favorite form of crafting and I have my grandmother and Aimee Ray to thank for that. Check out her stuff!

My grandmother taught me the stitches and Aimee Ray's book "Doodle Stitching" taught me to get creative with it. I love her designs and they inspired me to make some of my own. Lucky enough, my husband is a bit of a whiz with graphic designing and he helped make my designs into a patterns I could use. Then I got to work mostly with wall art, table clothes, and napkins. Every member of my family has reaped the benefits, so I asked them to send me pictures of all the things I gave them. I started with the pattern and traced it onto the fabric with my favorite washable ink markers, they make it so easy and they don't go away until you wipe cold water on them. They are normally in the embroidery or the sewing notions section at craft stores.

The first set of napkins was Amiee's design. "Mod Napkins" my sister loves them, she never uses disposable napkins.

The second set was a part of my sister and brother-in-law's logo they created for their community school named "SHIFT." They had bike gears in the logo which I took to another level when I created the table cloth that goes with the napkins. I loved making the bike.

My other sister (I have three) and her husband really love Japanese anime films. They're favorite director,  Hayao Miyazaki, does a lot of films for children. I took a different character from each of his films and put them altogether on one piece and they love it! My sister did a good job with the close ups on these pictures. 

The little pom poms with guggle eyes are called "soot sprites". They are my favorites so I made them 3D and I cut the words out of felt.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hiding something?

So I'm very keen on organization and since I have a very small space to work with I have to be pretty sly when it comes to storing everything. If you have a room like that, try this. I found and old orange tablecloth from the 70s and a funky orange and yellow valance from a thrift store last week. My husband gave me a funny look an asked,"what are you going to do with those?" Well I only spent $1.75 on the whole lot, so even if I didn't exactly know at that moment what it was intended for, it seemed worth it.
Well today I cut that table cloth in half longways,
sewed the raw edge to the top of the valance,
and sewed scratchy sided Velcro in 5 spots on the back.
I found some industrial sticky soft sided Velcro in my husbands studio and stuck it along the bar on the underside of my table (making sure that it was placed according to were the Velcro on the valance was),
then I stuck it on and ta da...
A nifty hiding place for stuff under my table!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where It All Happens

I come from a big family of very creative people and the most important part for me when I'm creating, is the space I'm doing it in. Most crafter's have a work room, studio, or craft room, there's lots if names for it. But every one is an original and has a system, even if it's a messy one. This summer my dad and husband helped me make two big white shelves to add to my organization and I'm loving them! Whenever I'm not in the middle of a project I always try to keep that room neat and tidy, because I know that as soon as craftiness starts a tornado will appear and tear up the place. But in the middle of that process I know where things are and I can reach them quick. You know how our brains work faster than our hands, well that happens to be my downfall. I can think of too many options at once and if I don't try one right away then I lose then all. Anyway here's a peak at my space still in the aftermath of a project I finished last night.

I also wanted to share with you some things that have come out of that room over the past few years.

Easter egg bean bags I made for my students at school,

yo yo branches I added to spice up my curtains,

a funky glass framed mirror that my husband uses when I hog the bathroom,

My experiment with hand warmers last winter. Knitting is not a skill I have mastered yet.

An adorable wall hanging I made for my friends who got married last year.

My favorite non-seasonal wreath that can hang on the door all year,

and my trusty old patchwork sewing basket, that's actually new, I just liked making it look old!

There's a whole lot more to come.
Thanks for reading.