Friday, January 20, 2012

Live with no regrets - mixed media canvas

This past December I finished up a mixed media canvas set that has been taking up ALOT of table space in my craft room. So happy it's done! A couple of you saw the work in progress and I thought you might like a peek at the finished version.
My inspiration - I saw a poster last summer that had a bunch of little sayings all smashed together. The poster itself was pretty boring (brown with white lettering in a variety of fonts) but the phrases were cute. I guess the 'live with no regrets' stuck with me for some reason. 

The smaller two canvases are 11x14" and the larger has to be 24x28" or so. Just the right size for large scrap paper embellishments. I cut 'live' freehand at about 12" tall. The little letters and bird were cut from Cricut carts. The bird I cut up into a bunch of pieces and painted each one for some feathery texture, then added a google-e eye. He's silly looking and I like it.

Lots of layers going on here - paint, paper, foam for added depth under some items, ink around the edges. The 'with no' flags are truly hung on a string so that they can move around. Not that there's a hurricane blowing around in my office, but if there were, those flags could move. I am really happy with the way this turned out with one exception - that's right - with a regret - the canvas is all buckled under the word regret for some reason. How ironic.

In my ear: Chill on Pandora

In my glass: Coors Light (in a can technically) Super Cold 
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

M&M Bag Purse

Want to see the cutest M&M purse? Ok, ok, I'll show it to you, and even give you some measurements so you can make your own. WARNING: many F bombs were dropped during the construction of this bag, so even though it is cute and innocent looking, I would not suggest making it in front of your children.

My friend has been dutifully eating chocolates over the last few months so that I could make this for her. I hope you love it K!!

What you need:
Lots of M&M bags - I would say four big bags and 5 'sharing size' bags will do it, but have a couple extra on hand in case you mess up (like I did).
More specifically, when you cut the bags open, you need to meet the following measurements.
(2) 7"x8.5" for front and back
(2) 7"x3.5" for sides
(1) 3.5"x8.5" for bottom
(2) 15"x1" handles

You'll also want to cut out a second set of pieces out of fabric AND a third set out of iron on interfacing. I used a medium weight nonwoven interfacing, cuz that's what I had on hand.

For the handles I actually used some clear vinyl as a backer and didn't add fabric. That's just what I had lying around, but there's no reason you can't back the handles with your liner fabric, or sew two bag layers together with interfacing in-between.

1 - Start by cutting out all of your pieces. I tried to take a pic here, but the plastic was all crazy curly until I sewed it together. Try using spring clothespins instead of real pins when you're holding your pieces together so that you don't have a bunch of holes in your project.

2- This is going to sound awful, but I am going to tell you to iron interfacing to the M&M bags. Yes, I realize they are some sort of plastic, and this is where you probably want to test out your iron on some of those extra M&M bags. You really do need the strength of the interfacing, the M&M bags are too thin on their own. I am completely inept at ironing clothes, so I wasn't too worried about ruining the iron by melting plastic to it. I guess technically, I did iron the pieces between tissue paper, just in case. After some trial and error, I ended up at an acrylic setting on my iron.

3- Put a new needle into your machine. Trust me, it does make life easier. I like a woven needle for this project.

4- Set your sewing machine to a wide, medium length zigzag stitch. I used a 4 width and a 1.3 length on my machine. You don't want the needle to pierce too close together, since you're actually making holes in the plastic. With wrong sides together, sew up all the 7" sides to make a box shape. Sew the bottom rectangle on. Curse at the darn bag and how bad it sucks to feed this thing through your machine.

5- Assemble your handles. I cut a candy bag into 1" strips, sewed them together lengthwise by overlapping and trimmed to 15" long. Sorry, didn't take a pic. I had some thin, clear vinyl that I used to back the straps. I just cut the same size and zigzag-ed along the edges to reinforce the straps. You could also stick a piece of interfacing in between two M&M bags, but that would be more work.

6- Attach handles to the bag using a couple rows of stitching.

7 - OPTIONAL (but so stinking cute!)RUFFLES: for the ruffles, cut three bags in half - roughly 2.5" tall pieces. Sew together at the long ends so that you have two strips at 2.5" tall x 18" wide. Don't add interfacing to these pieces. Baste along the top so that you can gather them up for two rows of ruffles. I just added these to the front of the bag, but if you were ambitious, and ate alot more candy, you could add them to the handles too. (I wish you could see the ruffles in person, these photos don't do justice - they are my FAVORITE part of the bag!!)

8- Sew the lining pieces together, but right sides together so that you have a clean interior to the bag.

9- Baste the lining to the outside of the bag.

10- Add some binding tape to finish off the top edge.

In my ear: Booty Music

In my glass: Diet Ruby Red Squirt
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scrap Camp Goodie Bags

Just got the proof today for our January Scrap Camp goodie bags - they are literally bags this year and are super cute totes if I do say so myself! I am really looking forward to a cozy weekend at Springhill Suites. See you campers in a couple weeks - and to everyone else - Happy New Year!