Sunday, October 31, 2010

Felted Purse Step Two

I spent a lovely peaceful day with my hubby David and two little dogs Cleo (12yr old Yorkie) and Tina (2 year old Chi mix). We went to Bay Area Dog Park. It was a perfect day, lots of sun but still nice and cool and comfortable.
We have one social butterfly Cleo who loves the dog park and walks around greeting everyone like she is the queen greeting her subjects. Our other dog Tina is so afraid of everything and everyone she stays close to my husband every minute. She will run a little way away from him but the minute someone comes close she runs under the picnic table he is sitting at.
They are both now sleeping soundly all tuckered out from the days adventure.
The peace and quiet gave me time to do some sketching tonight.
I have done a few sketches and decided on this one simple design with a few leaves falling through the air on a base of chocolate felt. I love the colors on this purse. It is a basic soft round shape with generous dual handles. It is going to be embellished with a few glass beads probably outlining the veins in the leaves.
This is my sketch and work sheet.From this start I will now make a pattern out of paper and start cutting out the material tomorrow.
More photos of the next steps will be coming in a few days.

Felted Purse Project Planning Step One

Since money is tight in our household like in many others I have got to work with what I already have on hand or what I can acquire without too large an investment. Now that may seem very restrictive creatively but I find it is not. First I have lots and lots of material on hand. I am always finding things I had purchased to use and have no idea what I intended them for in the first place but they turn out to be perfect for what I am working on now.

Working with what you have actually can be challenging but it forces you to focus on what is in front of you. I think we often miss the potential of things we have on hand. Newer is more exciting but odds are if you have acquired a major stash like mine newer will turn into yesterday’s news before it gets used. I still have fabric from when I was quilting in the 70’s. Good thing it is coming back into fashion.

For the felt purses I have discovered that you can actually even get thriftier than just going to a thrift shop. We have thrift stores in this area that have days the clothes are half off or more. So I shop on the best days for the nicest sweaters I can find.

So when I start a project I gather up all the items I might use in it and lay them out on the table. I have the lining fabrics the body fabric the trim and possible button closures all laid out.

I had already decided to turn one of my new brown sweaters into a purse with an autumn leaf design. So this is the first setup:

I narrowed it down to two different lining fabrics and the fibers and buttons I liked best but I was actually unhappy with the base sweater itself. I had chosen that brown because it reminded me of foggy fall mornings in New Hampshire but it just wasn’t clicking with the design of this purse.

This is my new layout:

As you can see I went with the darker richer chocolate brown sweater. I am leaning toward the bold print because the purse is going to have a simple button closure so the lining will show more than if it had a flap closure. If the flashier button does not take away from the leaf design I will be using that. We shall see when it is done.

Tonight and tomorrow I will do the sketches and decide on how I will cut the pattern for this sweater. The handle is going to be made of the purse base material and the purse will have a soft round bottom. I plan to keep it simple and soft in design.

I will post the sketches in a day or two as well as step by step photos as I make the purse.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When you can't sleep......

Create something, clean something, resolve something...just don't sit there and play video games. The message was meant for me but if it applies to you feel free to feel guilty at my expense. Better to blame me than yourself...LOL
So I woke up at five this morning and in an effort to take my own advice I have been researching the web and my own books and photos to get some inspiration for the brown purse I am making. So far I have decided to go with fall leaves sprinkled on the front of an half circle shaped purse with a generous handle. I have some pieces of yellow and orange felt that I felted myself to work as the base of the leaves and I sorted out my beads to come up with some to accent the design.

Fall Creative Boost Giveaway

While I was sorting through my beads I decided to have a giveaway. I hand picked a nice collection of sterling charms, connectors, toggles, a 20 inch sterling chain and a leaf pendant in sterling. I also added clip earring findings. To those I put a collection of pressed glass, lampwork, polymer and wood beads all in fall colors with 10 scrabble tiles thrown in the mix just for fun. As you can see there is enough there to make several Christmas presents for your friends and family. The estimated value of it all is 70.00
All you have to do is add a comment to the bottom of this post to enter. You must enter by November 14th at midnight central time. You must be 18 years old to enter and there is only one entry per person and the winner will get all the beads and findings shown in the first photo. I am even going to throw in a mystery bonus gift when I ship the package. I will announce the winner who will be chosen using the random number generator by November 16th. You do not have to buy anything to win just click and add a comment to this post.
Make sure that you have a way to contact you in your comment. If you keep your profile hidden I cannot get back to you if you win. I will post the winner here if I cannot send them a message if they do not get back to me in three days another winner will be chosen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finished Purse...I think

Last night I did the last of the hand sewing, tacking the lining down and sewing on the closure button. This is the finished purse.
So far I like the results but I am tempted to put some beading on the tab and change out the button for something bigger and flashier. Or not.
The hardest thing for me when I am creating something is to know when to stop, to back up and say this is done. To know when it is truly finished.
I used to have the same problem with relationships but at least in that area I now know done when I see it.
I think I will let the purse rest out of my site for a bit before I decide what to do. I will come back to it later with a fresh mind. That usually works for me in Sodoku and crafting.

Hot button topic of the week.
Art vs. Craft
When is it fine to label something as an art object as opposed to a craft project?

MY Answer: I don't really give a hamster's backside. Call what I make whatever you choose. You can hug it and squeeze it and call it George for all I care. If you like or do not like what I create that is fine with me. What you label it is up to you. Some days I feel like an artist, some days I feel like a craftsmen and some days I just feel like crap. So I guess my creations can run the gamut from art, to craft, to just plain crap. Fine with me...LOL Each piece is a learning experience and if every day I get to wake up and design and create something new the world is perfect in my eyes.

This weeks project: The brown sweater dilemma.
I had a good day at the thrift store this week. I got lots of sweaters to felt and all but one felted up nicely (I will be doing a project with that one later watch for it). The only down side is I was only able to find sweaters in neutral gray and brown tones.
So I am going to have a canvas of brown to create my next purse.
I plan on posting the whole process here step by step from start to finish.
Tonight I will go through my scrapbooks and check online to find inspiration for my next purse.
I will post my inspirations and my first sketch of what I intend to make on here in the next few day so watch for it.
Here are my three choices of felted sweaters. One is light with a touch of blue, one is a light fluffy pale brown and the last is a rich chocolate brown. The blue is stiffer than the other two.
I have no idea which will fit the bill but we will find out together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Felted Heart Pocket Purse

This is what I have been working on today. It is a little tan felt purse with beaded red hearts pockets on the outside. The fabric you see below it the tan with red butterflies is going to be the lining. I know you don’t have to line felt purses but I like the added element and texture it brings to the piece. There will be short tan handles and a red tab with a button closure. I will post a photo when it is all done. If you want me to post a pattern for this purse just let me know.

The Journey

I sometimes wonder how I got where I am now from where I started out. I don’t mean how I got from New England to Texas I know how that happened. I fell in love.

It is as simple as that. Well maybe not simple, love has never been simple for me. I don’t know which is harder sometimes to feel love or to feel that someone actually loves me. Either way it is hard for me. So…..

My husbands family lived in Texas so after I got out of the army I came here with him. That is the how I got to Texas story. A simple sweet love story with its share of drama and sheer horror at times…LOL

The facts are: I was born in Vermont, grew up in Rhode Island and went in the army after my first marriage collapsed and I was in a horrendous car accident that left me checking out of this world three times. I actually lost a great deal of my memory after the car accident and only remember bits and bobs of things from my childhood through my twenties. I cherish the memories I do have left even the sad ones.

But how did I get to where I am in life? I never had the desire for wealth (good thing huh) but I do have a desire for peace of mind and the sense of who I am and where I am going. Sometime even my simple life spins around so much that I don’t have a chance for either.

I don’t mind that the path is a rough one and a long painful hike I just would appreciate knowing where I am hiking to. I know, I am the captain of my own ship, the guide on my own journey and so forth and so on…. But I think someone needs to throw me a compass because I appear to be lost.

The book the Secret tells you to visualize what you want as though you already have it. How does that work for those of us who can’t figure out exactly what it is they want?

So I am using blogging to get all the thoughts that are rattling around in my head out into the universe, sort of a cyber echo location attempt maybe I will get an echo back that will help me find my way.

Feel free to put in your own two cents about my journey and my work. I could use the help.