Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Funky Paper Tote Bag Purse

I finally finished a tote bag much like my last blog entry on the magazine handbag. This one was created for my new friend at work; Marissa. I took several of her personal/family photos and I either scanned them or used the originals to create this funky tote.

This project is just another idea that sprang from the magazine purse. This one was a little more difficult for some reason. I really wanted to use vinyl instead of contact paper to make it stronger. However, my sewing machine did not like the vinyl and I could not get it (the sewing machine) to sew this stuff. So, since I wanted so much to make this purse and since I am so impatient...I just used the contact paper. Well, I spent hours (probably not really hours but it felt like it) trying to get the tension on the sewing machine to sew the seams on this purse properly. Anyway...long story short...I finally got it done.
I don't know if I am going to make any more of these unless I get obsessed enough to figure out how to get the sewing machine to sew proper stiches on this mixture of fibers. Oh! Too much to think about, the needle size, the fabric type, the thread, the "upper tension" and the "lower tension". It is just not my personality to worry about so many details. But, I kind of find it a test of my patience and endurance!
One side of this purse is about the romance of this couple (Marissa and her husband). The other side is about the children. I hope she likes it! I hope it stays together for at least a week or two~! Heehee

I'm also working on a free style quilted handbag inspired by Teesha Moore. I am almost finished and I can hardly wait to show it to you. So...this week it is purses and handbags! Why? I have no idea! Just go with it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

magazine handbag purse

I was inspired by a purse I saw at A Little Bizarre Shop in Midland, Texas. The lady that owns that place created a beautiful little purse out of newpaper and contact paper. So that started me on a mission for the weekend. Of course, I had to do some research, and I found a few places on the internet that were helpful. In particular, this site had really good instructions:

with pictures that I could understand. This is my little first try at this purse. My critique is a little harsh, but, it helps me see where I can improve next time. After reading several other blogs and internet sites about this particular type of purse, I have decided next time, I will use vinyl instead of contact paper (which I happened to have on hand). I think it would be heavier and better protect and strengthen the newspaper that is so thin. After all the bending and sewing and work I did on this piece, it appears wrinkled to me. So, maybe the vinyl will be stronger and look crisper.

I did not want my purse to be like all the other "magazine" type purses. I liked Debbie's at that little shop! So, I do like the newspaper...but it is so thin. Maybe I will use magazines next time but I must color it up some and maybe add some other stuff like stamps...etc.

I did not have any cord to make the strap so I crocheted the straps. I will have to study some other purses to figure out my favorite technique for straps. Plus, I will use this purse to check it out for durability-to include the durability of the strap. If you are looking for a funky and different type of tote, this one is for you! You can make it as big or as small as you like. Your first one is your "prototype".

In my journey to find the perfect magazine purse/handbag pattern, I found some other interesting purse patterns on the internet. The one that I want to try after I perfect this technique (ha ha-like I can maintain my attention on this one type of purse for more than two purses) the duct tape tote bag. Apparently, they are all the rage! Here is one of the better instruction links to creating that type of purse!,1983,DIY_13751_4595364_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html

I will keep you posted on updates in the purse world! Oh, also, I got out my "Haute Handbags"magazine by Somerset Studio this morning and browsed through it and really got inspired. I guess it is a purse frenzy! Oh, well, it's fun!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Encaustic Art

I tried my first attempt at "encaustic" art. I actually used Claudine Hellmuth's bees wax collage technique found in her Collage Discovery Workshop book.

I find her books so helpful when trying new techniques. Every step of the way there is a picture and instructions. Anyway, back to wax collage... I have been thinking about this for some time. I finally purchased a big block of bees wax at Michaels the day before yesterday. I could not wait to get started.

I decided to do my first project on an inexpensive small canvas. I melted my beeswax in my little melting pot that has a temp control on it. You have to keep the wax under 200 degrees . It has a very high flash risk at higher temps. Follow all of her suggestions on this safety precaution. She suggests getting a small slow cooker. I am currently looking for one of those.

I loved brushing on the melted bees wax. It smells wonderful. It is so smooth and pretty. It does dry fast but I used an old iron and my embossing tool to heat it up and smooth in some places. This is not the best piece in the world, but it's my first and there will be more because I enjoyed this technique so much. Oh, one more thing. I did find that pictures (actual photographs) did not work as they were too thick and they would not lay down properly. So, I used a photocopy I had and it worked beautifully.

Friday, January 05, 2007

altered art boxes

Isn't it funny how we get in these little moods to create certain things? Lately, I find myself wanting to create art-like boxes. I have always loved boxes. I like wooden boxes especially. They are, to me, little places to hide our little treasures. Our love notes, best friend letters/notes, and many other secret little treasures.

Every time I am fortunate enough to find an old little box at a garage sale or some other place, I have to search it all over for any possible hidden treasures. I know there might be something behind the fabric lining...I used to hide my own little secret treasures under the pink, satin, fabric lining of my little musical ballerinna box. That is where my little secrets were. I did not know that many girls found there little sacred hiding places in that same location. I figured that out when I watched Silence of the Lambs! Ohhh! Scarry! ANYWAYS......

This box was created by me in response to inspiration from my sweet friend Renea Hipp. She made the most beautiful altered art box and made the mistake of showing it to me 0ne day. I loved it. I wanted it so much. When I begged her for it she told me I could have it without a moments hesitation. She's like that...generous and giving. So, I put the beautiful box created by my friend on my dresser. I keep a few little secret treasures in this box. I see it everyday, so eventually, I decided I must try to create a similiar box.

This box has my mother's face on it. That makes it even more special to me. I have this lovely photo of my mother from when she was a teenager that I had to use on something! This was the perfect place.

Now, this not a collage at all. I wanted to see if Prisma Colored Pencils would work on wood. I felt like they did work good on wood. However, I did have to sharpen my pencils more frequently. I "antiqued" the entire piece with a black watercolor wash.

I have about 4 small wooden boxes my mother gave me that I plan to work on this weekend. I wonder what I will come up with....?
Another Note From Me: Another techinque I find myself drawn to lately is "encaustic paintings and collage". I am reading and studying about this type of art. I Want To Try It! So much for narrowing down my techinques to one or two styles/techinques! What is it, the 5th of January? That did not take long for me to break my New Year's Resolutions. No matter what, you are who you are!