Recent creations!

Yep, at it again! Crafty creations! I love when I’m productive creatively!
This is a reversible tote bag I made for a swap back in February for Hippofairy. I had to hide it from my Thing-A-Days because she was a friend on that and I didn’t want her to see it!
This guy was made for the Send Your Handmade Specialty and it went all the way to Australia. My partner said it made her day! The pattern is from Kind Over Matter blog.
This beautiful birthday crown was made for my little sweetie for her birthday. She loves it and couldn’t wait to wear it!
For the Made With Yarn swap. I forgot the name of this cat!
I joined the feeling stitchy embroidered button swap. This was the first time I ever made something like this. It was a bit of a challenge for me to work on such a small canvas (the button is 7/8) but it was fun and I like how they turned out!
This is for the Stencil Patch swap. I did not like the last one so did not send it although you were only required to send 2. I used stencils from Ed Roth’s Stencil 101, Stencil Me In book and Sizzix dies (last one is Stencil Me In) and acrylic paint with texture medium mixed in.
A Vampire Bunny for the Monster-osity swap.

Bburg Love

Last Sunday was another beautiful day (this past weekend was quite the opposite!) and we spent part of it in Williamsburg. We were meeting Pete, Nate and Mari at Raymund’s and stopped by the playground beforehand. McCarren Park has a nice playground! 2 sets of swings, a bunch of slides and at least 3 different structures to climb. We picked up Joy before we headed out there. Sienna had fun playing with Joy.
Now on to Raymund’s! YUM!
Mari’s borscht
Pete eats white borscht (with a plop of mashed potatoes, ahem!)
Potato Pancakes MMMM!
Apple fritters! MMMM
Joy points to her big pile of goulash (on a pile of potato pancake!), which was pretty good. I might have to deviate from my usual pierogi order next time.
My pierogies!
Yves eats his kielbasa plate
Sienna enjoys some of Yves’ kielbasa and potato pancakes
Sienna and doggie
Pete laughs at Sienna’s rendition of Mana mana (from the Muppets)

Holy Guacomole!

A couple of weeks ago I entered a contest on Consumer Craft’s blog and I won! Woohoo! The goods came Thursday in a big box. I know the original post shows a photo of the prize but it just seems like so much more when I got it!
Besides a nifty tote bag and catalog from Consumer Crafts, there was a craft tote, a beading board kit, a set of different jewelry pliers, a bunch of beads, a beading mat and silver jewelry findings (the beading board kit has gold findings). I’m really excited about the craft tote as I am always looking for more storage options. It’s double sided and opens up! In theory, it seems really clever and I can’t wait to put it to the test!

Thank you Consumer Crafts!!

A subway ride

Wednesday I had what I thought would be my final dentist appointment (which turns out to be my second to last). He was putting in my permanent cap for that unexpected root canal I had back in December. He only used temporary cement to test out the cap before I have to go back in and get permanent cement. Anyway, since my parents are in Denver, I didn’t have anyone to watch Sienna so we decided to drop her off at her daddy’s work for a couple of hours. She was really excited about it. My appointment was at 10:15 and we left at 7:30 just to be sure because of the extra train transferring. Everyone at Yves’ work loved her! They gave her all sorts of presents (dolls, balls, backpacks!) and Crusher even came along! Yves had work to do so when I got back from the dentist, we had to go to lunch without him. We got home a little before 2 and Sienna willingly took her nap! Such excitement for the day!
On the way!
On the way home
Train cuteness
Train talking

ColorArtz Review!

Whenever I think about airbrushing, I think back to the airbrushed unicorn sweatshirt I had and the airbrushed heart with my name and my boyfriend’s name with our ‘steady date’ on it from high school. Anybody else remember those? Anybody? (cue the sounds of crickets)

I did have an airbrush system that attached to my Pantone markers back in college (because I was crafty, not for any professional/collegiate reason) and had such fun using it (although I could in no way mimic the look of the unicorn or sweetheart sweatshirts!). I know that copic markers have a system like that and while I would love to have that, I can’t rationalize buying it (because of course, I would need the big set of colors too!) So I was delighted when I came across this fabric airbrush kit by Testors, makers of model car paint, called ColorArtz.


Out of the box it comes with 3 pouches of paint, the airbrush and a 6 oz. can of air compression. The colors included are orange (mango tango), a bright green (gremlin) and dark purple (purple people eater). For some reason, I thought they included a stencil in the kit as well. I was a little bummed that there wasn’t one in there, it would have been nice if they included one. They also sell stencils with a sticky back on them that can be re-used. I opted to use my sizzix machine and freezer paper to make stencils to test this out as well as some stencils from Ed Roth’s Stencil 101 book and Marthe Le Van’s Stencil Me In book.

The first project I used a white 100% cotton undershirt and sizzix/freezer paper. I protected my desk area with some cut up paper bags and placed some cardboard underneath the first layer of the shirt to prevent bleeding through.
It’s a little hard to see the freezer paper so I tried darkening the image and put in the arrows to show the stencils.

I love using my sizzix with the freezer paper because when you iron the freezer paper onto the fabric, everything sticks down and you don’t have to use stencil tacky spray. The only thing with the sizzix dies is that if there is more than one image on the die, they are grouped close together so you have to take care cutting out the image you want.  And depending on your die, the pieces can be very delicate. You just have to be careful with the delicate pieces and I used scrap freezer paper to cover parts of the image I didn’t want showing up. For instance, in the heart, the middle is cut out but I didn’t want that showing through so just used the cut out to cover it up.  The instructions recommend masking at least 12 inches around your design. Of course, I did not do that and do you know what happened? I got overspray. But I don’t mind it because I feel it adds some authenticity to the airbrushing. Who wants perfect anyway? And because I am impatient and excited to try it, I used 2 stencils at the same time so you can see some orange mixed in with the green swirls.

Snapping in the green pouch and setting the nozzle in the middle for a narrow spray.

It was really easy to attach the color pouches to the spray, it just snaps right in. First you have to knead the pouch a bit to make sure the color is all mixed. Just make sure the paint valve is in the off position! At one point I was kneading a pouch (probably a bit aggressively) and wasn’t paying attention and the valve moved to the open position. When I took the cap off, some paint spit out a bit and onto my table. A quick wipe and no one will be the wiser! Once I attached the pouch, I tested the spray on scrap paper to get a better feel of it. The left position is closed, the middle is a narrow spray and the right is a broad spray.
Test spray

Once you get a feel of how much spray comes out, it’s really easy to glide over the stencil. It’s better to do a series of light coats instead of one or two heavy ones. There was a slight odor and the instructions recommend working in a well ventilated area. I had my window open and it was fine. It’s really easy to switch color pouches as well. I switched to the orange pouch without any problems. There can be some drippage on the spout after some spraying, as evident in the next photo. In the three projects I’ve done, nothing has dripped onto the fabric but you probably just want to keep an eye out on it and wipe it away when you see any buildup.
Ready to be revealed
The reveal!

I must admit, I giggled with delight as I unpeeled the freezer paper and saw my creation. You can see all the overspray and like I mentioned, I don’t mind it. I do plan to put more thought with my future projects using the sizzix but being as this was my first project, I am quite happy with it!

For the 2nd project, I wanted to see how the colors worked on something that wasn’t white. One of my favorite shirts (also 100% cotton) had a grease stain on it and figured this was the perfect opportunity to cover it up. I worked with the boom box stencil from the Stencil 101 book. I was a tad lazy and did not use the tacky spray and just taped it down (not every much either as you can see!).
I didn’t use the pouches from the kit but the extra ones I ordered in addition to the kit. I used silver lining and black tie. After doing this stencil I have to remember to keep my spray perpendicular to the fabric and not at an angle. The instructions did mention this. You can see where I started angling and since I didn’t use tacky spray to keep the stencil down, it was easy to get in under the stencil. I did do better keeping the 2 colors separated. You can’t tell from the photo but there was some overspray at the top, near the neck because I did not mask that area. boomboxreveal.jpg
I just need to add some music notes and this shirt is as good as new!

The 3rd project I tried was a shirt (100% cotton again) for my daughter. I had used this feather stencil from the Stencil Me In book on a different project so there was still some tackiness to it (yes, that time I pulled out my tacky spray!). I could have benefited from giving it another quick coat of tacky spray but opted not to.
I did a better job of masking the whole area around the stencil. The best job of the three but I still managed to get overspray! Probably due to the fact that I again starting angling my spraying and it got through that top section that is not all taped down. A little more practice with that and I should get better with it. Or just use more tape to tape it all down!
Look how cute!!

And here are all three projects side by side:

• The kit retails for $24.99-29.99 and the pouches for $2.99-4.49 so it’s relatively inexpensive to start adding some extra style to your clothing, bags, shoes!
• Works on fabric, glass, plastic, and wood and of course paper as well so the possibilities are endless!
• A nice selection of color pouches.
• It’s easy!
• Heat setting is not necessary.
• No special fabric treatment, just wash as per instructions on your garment.

• There is some odor so ventilation is necessary.
• Can of air compression is highly flammable.
• Ample space is needed to spread out your piece with enough masking.




Etsy Labs love

I made it to 2 Etsy labs craft nights this March. The host on the 8th was Aya Rosen of LoucheLab and we were drawing on porcelain tea cups and saucers. She had these special markers and paint for porcelain and after you draw and paint on your piece, you let it fully dry for 24 hours (it dries to the touch after 10 minutes) and bake it in the oven at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. Or something like that. I don’t draw very well so I just kept mine simple with hearts and swirls. It was a lot of fun!
My blank canvas and the porcelain marker
My outline in black
All painted!

Now, see the work of a real illustrator! Aya’s work is beautiful!

The following week Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin fame was hosting. In addition to her fashion line, she has 2 books; Alabama Stitch Book and the new Alabama Style Book. I confess that I didn’t know much about her (there were a couple of people there that were huge fans of hers) but after learning more about her, I totally respect her style and ethics (besides the fact that she is a total doll!). Her clothing line is all hand-stitched! Every single stitch is done by hand! No machine stitching what so ever! Amazing! She believes in sustainable clothing and believes in having good classic quality pieces that will last. The project for today was applique and reverse applique. She admitted that she loves to talk (being from the South) so she really shared a lot of information and tips. Unfortunately I am not too crazy about the piece I started. But that’s ok! I learned a lot from Natalie!
Crusher takes a look at the start of my piece (he is part of the “Where in the World is Crusher” swap I’m in!)
Rachel and Crusher!
My piece. I realized after I started it that my drawing is way too small for it to show the reverse applique. Live and learn!
Natalie telling us about the strength of jersey knit, the only thing she works with. She is a total sweetheart!
Here are some examples of Natalie’s work:
Aren’t these pieces beautiful! The images were done with stencils and painted on using airbrushing. This gives me so many ideas!

Playground Action

We’ve been having some beautiful weather lately and we just had to go to the playground! Here are some recent photos!
Leah’s big smile!
Sienna and Emma play ice cream shop
These were actually from a couple of weeks ago when the weather was just getting warm but not as warm as recently.
Phoenix and Sienna play bounty hunter and wrangle up a runaway Sylvie!
Sorta playing frisbee
Nico and Sienna play the ‘putting rocks and sticks in the cone’ game
Fell asleep on the way home after fun in the park on Friday. More photos on my facebook here.
These are from Sunset Park yesterday where we went to have a picnic with Vietnamese sandwiches.

Thing a day, final week!

Way behind in posting this but here is the final week, days 22 through 28!
Day 22 was finishing up 2 projects started in an earlier TAD
Day 23, while waiting at the doctor’s office. I expected a longer wait but it was actually a shortish wait so therefore I only finished 1 of a pair of heart earrings.
Day 24, the start of a sleeping sheep amigurumi
Day 25, using my sizzix machine and felt and buttons! These turned into brooches.
Day 26, finished the sleeping sheep amigurumi started on day 24!
Day 27, fun with waterslide decals!
Day 28, a Madagascar pillowcase for Sienna! Thought it only fitting that I end my month of TAD with something for her. She was a witness to all my creations that sadly weren’t for her so finally! Something for her and she loves it!

Sienna is 3!


I was so excited to write about Sienna’s birthday party that I almost forgot to write about her actual birthday, which was Friday, of course. We didn’t get her too much since we were throwing her a party and plus she’s been getting miscellaneous gifts here and there (Yves got her a ‘car’ a couple of weeks ago, like the one she was riding in while in Jamaica.) We gave her a wooden doll with magnetic clothes (actually a leftover from Christmas) and the Robots movie. My parents came over later on to go to dim sum and have cake afterwards. They gave her red envelopes for her birthday. They did buy her 3 movies that they gave to her last week sans wrapping. I don’t know why they can’t bother to wrap them as gifts and give them to her on her actual birthday. My parents are strange (more likely it’s my mother’s idea!)

Teaching her how to use the chopsticks
She did it!
Anxiously waiting…
It’s coming!
It’s here!
Who needs to cut the cake?
The cake – the y got swiped by Sienna LOL (last year’s cake)

And here is Sienna pictured with her new Rasta frog that her grandparents from Jamaica sent her. That smile of hers is all Yves’!

A BD party!

Today was Sienna’s birthday party to celebrate her 3rd year here! The weather couldn’t have been worse (well, I suppose it could have been snow!) with rain and wind. Actually the rain wasn’t too bad, it’s the ferocious winds! I had a couple of cancellations but those who showed up had a good time! I’m really grateful to those that were able to make it. Sienna had a ball! I was up at 6 am (with the help of Sienna) to make shredded BBQ chicken in the crockpot, baked macaroni and cheese, devil’s food cupcakes and vanilla frosting (I made banana cupcakes and 2 different frostings last night) and zucchini’s with goat cheese (Allen helped big time with those!). I was in a bit of a frenzy during the party so I didn’t get the best photos. Hopefully Yves got some good video. I set up a game called “pin the party hat on Sienna” which I’m sure you can guess what that is all about. I blew up a photo of Sienna eating cake from her 2nd birthday. I also had prizes for everyone. It was probably unnecessary to do the game since all the kids had a perfectly fun time just playing with Sienna’s toys! I guess I’ll just remember the game for when she is older.
Frosting choices are strawberry meringue buttercream, vanilla and chocolate sour cream. (the photo of the dog is Crusher and is part of a swap I’m doing!)
the kid’s table
Sienna couldn’t wait to get at the cupcakes! I don’t know why Emma has the pear! LOL
Allen and Leah
Allen says something funny
Playing in the living room (you should have seen Sienna’s room!)
Opening Uncle Peeder’s present!
Opening Phoenix, Geneva and Layne’s present (Phoenix made that card herself!!)
Checking out the present from Emma, Leah, Jana and Allen!
A froggie bank from Phoenix, Geneva and Layne!
The girls playing on the bed

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