Friday, October 22, 2010

Man Sewing, Maybe not the best idea :)

So a few weeks ago my wife and I found some foot stools at a couple of garage sales. Both were in pretty bad shape. The fabric on top was anyhow. We got both for under 5.00 and I had some fabric to refinish a bench from a while back. As I was taking the fabric off I noticed alot of sewing work on it. Don't ask me what type. I was initially planning on just covering it with fabric and stapling it on the bottom.

Well a week or so passed and we happened to find a sewing machine for 10.00. I had always considered trying sewing and figured this would be a fun way to try it to see if I could do it or not. Or if I even liked it.

Anyhow one day a week or so ago I decided to give it a try. Let me first say the directions for putting the thread into the machine are very confusing and took me about 2 hours to get the thing to make a line of sewing. (I'm sure there is a proper term for that) So I stripped the fabric off the old bench as best as I could without tearing it. Since this would be my pattern. I even managed to salvage the string that had been sewn into a decorative cord that wraps around the middle. Separating the top and bottom.

Here is what it initially looked like .
So anyhow I cut the pattern out. along with a long 3 inch strip to make the cord wrap. and started sewing. The foot pedal stopped working about half way through so I had to manually set it to slow and try to keep a straight line. Not fun.
So I ended up completing the bench with minimal errors (in my mind ) . There were some flaws though. The cord is had measured and sewn ended up being about an 2 inches short. I think i did it too loosely or something. I hide that in the back. and here is what turned out after my first sewing attempt
As you can see it isn't the straightest or super tight but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.
So anyhow, We were watching a TV program and happened to see an owl pillow on the couch in one of the scenes. I thought to myself I could probably do that so I started thinking about how I would do it.
I found some more fabric. Why I have fabric lying around is still a mystery but I found some old pillow cases that were either single or messed up on one end. I then looked around at some pillows on the Internet and drew up some plans. I figured if I ironed the fabric and cut it in half then I would have an even circle and ears, Well you get the idea. I started that at 8 this morning. I am now blogging about it at 1:15 in the afternoon. Man I didn't think a 10 inch ish pillow would take so long. So anyhow I did it in three pieces. Next time I will try a less ambitious way but why not go hard core of the bat :)
I made the wing section from an old t shirt fabric the body is left over bench material and the head and eyes are from a pillow case and fabric I purchased from the clearance bin. ( for the second bench)

I sewed it inside out, since I figured that's hows its supposed to work. I must say my next pillow will be square, Circles and semi circles are not for beginners. Here is the finished pillow


The pink lion is hiding the fact that he didn't come out completely round. The flat section is where I stuffed it and then attempted to sew by hand. He also looks a little sad. I'm not sure if that because I made him or he is just not that happy.

In closing, This is the second time I have ever sewn anything. For now I think I will just work on fixing buttons on my pants and maybe trying to  learn how to do this with a class or pattern. Oh and with a foot pedal, That machine can really get going sometimes.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Ps. Everybody deserves to relax a bit, Visit my etsy shop for some relaxation and fun.

Joe

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Etsy Shops that inspire me version 2.0

This morning I was thinking about some artists that inspired me while I was growing up and in some of the things I do today. I admit I don't paint or draw as much as I should. With my little one demanding time this post will probably take more time than it really should. That being said imagine if I started or tried to do a painting or drawing with her around... Anyhow this morning I decided to search a few names on etsy and managed to come up a treasury that included all of my favorite artists.
Each of the artists inspired me to in different ways and Ill try to explain each one.

First Up is M.C Escher. He didn't really inspire me all that much until a friend of mine in high school had gotten an interest in his work. My close friend has dyslexia but studying M.c. Escher seemed to open his world up and everything made more sense. Some of the work my friend did was amazing. I myself like the twisting and abstract part of his work. This is one of my favorite pieces, and the photo underneath is from an etsy shop I found.

Here is a link to his shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/elgarbo
Be sure to check it out as he has some pretty neat items.

According to his description this is taken in the The Queen Victoria Building is a landmark in the heart of Sydney, known for its elegant design and beautiful lighting.


This print is a 4x6
Photographed by Michael Garbutt in 2009.

Next up for artists in admire is Salvador Dali. In my opinion some of his work is quite out there but some are just amazing to me. I did a piece in school once as homage to his work, Which the last time I heard was still in my school library. :) I should check that someday. Anyhow  I like how he took normal things and stretched or melted them into a very different looking item. Perhaps his work taps into a part of my head that is full of ideas but they are just spinning around inside.
SO here is one of my favorite Dali Pieces.

And here is an etsy seller whom I thought captured the artists in their
Work. This etsy seller is http://www.etsy.com/shop/PragmaticEffects
This shop has so many melting clocks, I would spend so much money in this shop
if I had it. I definitely recommend this shop if you want that wow piece in your house.
Here is their description of the piece
This Dali inspired melting wall clock is hand painted purple. It has a black border and numbers along with a daliesque ant detail. The clock face is finished with high gloss epoxy resin for a durable glass like surface. Made from 3/8 inch Baltic birch the clock measures 15 X 7 inches. Quartz clock movement runs on one AA battery (included). Clock is hand signed by the artist (me).



Next is Monet. I wasn't really a fan until I got a little more mature.
For some reason alot of his work draws me in and relaxes me.
This is my favorite piece.

      This piece is from when later in his life. If you ever look at some of his works I noticed that he really seemed to enjoy water and lilies later on. It may be just me, but perhaps he found this to be calming and relaxing as i feel is portrayed in his work 

This painting is currently in Scotland, which is a place I would love to go one day.   

Speaking of great artists, I look around etsy and see so many great artists I find myself in awe to the works people do. I wish I had some of that talent. 

So I found an artists with whom I thought did a great piece. Which is here http://www.etsy.com/shop/thependantemporium . I think the sunflowers and the piece drew me in. I have a fondness for sunflowers currently. I'm not sure why. I think it may be the colors and the feeling of comfort they bring. You should check this shop out for some really neat items. There is a nice collection of October items

Here is the description for this piece
Handcrafted pendant measures 1 inch round (25.4mm) and is created using a deep (3mm) double plated silver bezel. Artwork is covered by a very durable high gloss epoxy resin which both protects and enhances the image.

Pendants are available in either a silver or bronze finish. This listing is for the SILVER pendant as shown above -- please contact me (via "Contact" link on my shop's main page) if you prefer the bronze.

Perhaps My favorite artist/photographer is Ansel Adams. I think some of his work was overloaded to the public a few years back and since his work has been less desirable. I think his works shows calmness and tranquillity with a sense of sadness and loneliness. But I also like how he captured the essence of the US before condos, cell phone towers and such took over our landscapes.
This is my favorite Adams piece

This piece is in my house. Although its only a poster reproduction.

SO I did a search on etsy for Ansel Adams. I was surprised that about on 14 items showed up. They are all great items though but I figured I had to pick one to feature on here.

The artist below left is from  

I think this print closely represents all of the things i discussed above.
and being from Michigan my wife will like it too.
here is the description of this piece
Description


Mountain Lake with Colorado Rockies as Backdrop (5 x 7 Print only)






I was so inspired I created an etsy treasury to include these artists as well as others.

All of these shops deserve some attention and as I know that many items get lost in the sea of etsy items I wanted to show my appreciation to other artists who do great work.


                             

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just added facebook to my blog page.

If anyone would like to like my face book it is now on my my page here.

There will be some specials linked there as well.

My shop is going to be temporarily closed a revamp and rebuild of my shop.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates on Wednesdays :)