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Saturday, January 30, 2010

More hearts...

in my Etsy store with the heady scent of Indian musk and a touch of orange essence. They ship in clear cellophane bags which retain the fragrance.
Here's my suggestion: fasten a diamond bracelet to the hanging loop so that when your lady pulls the pillow from the bag the bracelet comes out with them. Or pin a beautiful brooch to the pillow.
Also wonderful for Valentine's day - the romantic hand made gift tags. They are very solid and would be the perfect embellishment to a nice box of fancy chocolates or tied around the neck of a perfume bottle.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine Hearts on Etsy

I have just listed a bunch of pretty lavender scented heart shaped pillow sachets for Valentine's Day. They are all double sided, embellished with beads and buttons and have ribbon loops for hanging. In the next day or so I will be listing a bunch of similar hearts only scented with vintage Indian musk and orange essential oils. So sweet and fresh, or seductive and decadent - some very pretty gifts available at my Esty store.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Favor Boxes Tutorial

I made a collection of favor boxes made from recycled packaging, which will soon contain small candy bags, for Jayn's dance class friends. I had so much fun, that I thought a tutorial was in order.

The boxes are either single serve cereal boxes or other oblong food packages cut in half to be small and cute.

1. Tape any box bottoms that are insecure with masking tape. Paint the boxes with two or so coats of white craft paint. I like to make the paint a bit thick, allowing dimensional brushstrokes to stay visible.

2. Decoupage the boxes with a selection of tissue papers. I used some leftover polka dotted wrapping papers, commercial decoupage tissues, and some of my own tie dyed paper towel sheets in pastel and gelato colors - for a range of boxes.

3. I stamped gold hearts at random, then aged the boxes with a wash made from brown acrylic and stain medium. Once the age wash was dry, I went back over with translucent pink glitter paint from, of all places, Ikea. The color is very light, but the glitter is sparkly.

4. I cut out heart shapes from corrugated cardboard, covered them with several sheets of spare white tissue and a final layer of red decoupage paper. I aged the hearts by dry brushing gold craft paint.

5. Using an attractive retro font I printed a sheet of Valentine's Day phrases on to parchment - although I could have used plain paper because I also aged the words after affixing them with matte medium. I outlined the words with glitter glue. Dimensional paint would work too.

Here's my scattered work surface!

6. I hot glued and stapled ribbon handles and trim around the top edge, then hot glued the hearts to the other side. It would be possible to glue something like a lace trim to inner rim also. It is worthwhile turning the stapler to put the flat side of the staple inside, or cover the staples with some masking tape.

7. Finally I finished the boxes with some buttons or ribbon flowers glued as desired. This would be a good time to use other kinds of ephemera - I was thinking that some old keys ("key to my heart") would be charming too.

8. Tissue paper in a coordinating event appropriate color finishes the boxes very nicely. I think small cellophane bags of pink candies or wrapped chocolates will be appreciated - and the boxes can be reused or regifted.

Let me know if you make some similar favor boxes!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help for Haitian Earthquake

I'm pretty horrified by the ongoing news from Haiti. When I don't know what else to do, or how to help, I make stuff. I will be making a Dream Doll, starting at once, to sell with the proceeds going to assist - perhaps the Red Cross would be a good place to donate. I'll decide that later. In the mean time, I want to challenge my crafting and doll making friends to do the same. Perhaps we can set up a day of auctions on Ebay for Haiti Earthquake relief.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Works in progress for Valentine's Day

In an unheard of rush of timely enthusiasm, I am making some items to add to my Etsy store in plenty of time for Valentine's Day gifting. Here are a pile of double sided heart shaped fragrant sachets that will in due course be filled with either lavender or Musk/Orange oil. The fabrics are mostly vintage furnishings or retro print cottons - here you're seeing the wrong side of the fabrics. I plan on beading around the edges. They will be very sweet hanging in a closet or sitting in an underwear drawer.

Stay tuned in upcoming days for the finished hearts and also for some Valentine Gift boxes divinely suitable for candies. I think I'll post a tute as well as having some for sale.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Patchwork Hand Bag

I figure Jayn's young friends probably don't read my blog, so I'm probably reasonably safe posting this gift before it is given. The bag is about 8 x 5 inches with a strap long enough to sling over the body.

The patchwork side is a collection of undoubtedly familiar vintage and new remnants left over from recent doll making, while the back is a piece of vintage (I'm thinking 1960's) kimono silk. My mother-in-law gave me the kimono in a couple of pieces. I guess she had altered it some years ago and had worn the top part of it as a short jacket. Since it is now unwearable, and parts are actually faded and rubbed, I felt only a few twinges of guilt in dismantling the garment and the other few remants she sent me. The lining of the kimono was a beautiful flesh toned silk that has and will find new life in art dolls.

I lined the bag is some very soft sage green silk that I had lying around from something. I made the patchwork by joining small rectangles into strips and then joining the strips - pretty simple. The finished bag has a boxed bottom, repeated in the lining, and is finished with a crochet covered button I found in the supply drawer. It must have come with a sweater sometime in my life - or perhaps in my mother's life because I don't have anything just that color.

Anyhoo, Jayn's friend is twelve and I hope she will like having a special handbag.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hand Painted Shoulder Bags

Now that the holidays are done, and I'm pretty sure that the bags have all made their way to their new homes, here are the larger sized OOAK Iggy Jingles handpainted and beaded character purses I made on special order for my good friend. I have to say it was kind of an accident that they turned out so big. I made a template for the painting and the larger size sprang from that. However I took the opportunity to upgrade the design by including an interior pocket, sewn in to the lining, which is always handy in a bag. Plus I made the closures with covered elastic instead of ribbon or plain elastic.
Please enjoy...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wool Flannel Skirt

Starting on one of my goals at once - just for you Pam - here are some photos of an A-Line vintage wool skirt with patchwork, machine embroidery and button embellishments around the hem that I made between Christmas and New Year. It has no waistband which suits my body best, reaches to just below my knee, and boy is it toasty. I want more clothes that let me wear my couple of pairs of cute winter boots. Perhaps the flannel is a little stiff for an A-Line, but I like the look and feel of it. I have more of this wool from my MIL, recently dry cleaned, although I have to cut around some moth holes from ages past. There is probably a matching jacket in my future, with some fancy detailing...

The patches are all made from remnants from doll making, so a mix of vintage and new quilting cottons, or clothing remnants I snagged from the last Swap-o-rama-rama where I designed - bits of shirt sleeves or old skirts.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

It has now been almost two years since I started this blog, and a little longer since I began my art doll and crafting business. The picture is one of my earliest dolls. I have to say that I enjoy blogging immensely, still love making art dolls and textile based artwork, but I'm not really satisfied with the progress of my business.

Rather than resolutions, I am spending today quantifying and recording the goals and aspirations that have been flowing swirling around in my mind over the last couple of weeks.

In terms of Iggy Jingles Crafts, I have these goals for 2010:

*To send out at least 6 newsletters. (You can opt in by filling out your email addy in the box - Mac users, email me if the box is obscured.)
*To enter at least 2 national contests. I'm pretty sure one will be the Hoffman Challenge.
*To submit two articles or projects to relevant publications. (Not counting my regular column with Natural Life - which I love doing and gives me so much satisfaction.)
*To curate my exhibition ReACtion and finish the four figures I am planning to be part of it.
*To finish and submit my book proposal about refashioning and upcycling old clothes.
*To finish and publish my other book, "Making, Mending and Mothering".
*To participate in as many trades and challenges as I can in the several Art Doll and crafty clubs in which I am a member. ADO has quarterly challenges, and it seems like my doll friends in DDD and Doll Street Dreamers have a lot of fun with their challenges.
*To develop a new product to add to the stable of art doll styles and textile items I currently make for sale.
*To develop some fashion and playline doll clothing patterns. I want to have a American Girl sized kimono outfit and work up some fashions for Ellowynne Wilde.
*Make a wardrobe of cool and quirky clothes to wear to replace the garments I've been wearing for years that all seem to have reached the end of their useful lives at once.

One of the most satisfying things I did over the course of last year was donate a couple of dolls to different good causes. I'd like to do that again. Sadly we never seem to be short of causes...

Mainly I just want to sell more dolls, especially commissions. I know the economy is bad, and people want to use their limited money for essentials. I do myself. But what I also want to do is improve the quality and individuality of my dolls so that those art doll afficianados with disposable income will want to add a couple of my dolls to their collections. (Hence trades and challenges.) I hope to have sufficient funds from early in the year sales to attend one or more of the higher end craft fairs too.

My daughter and I have made one resolution. We are determined to begin our holiday decorating immediately after Thanksgiving this year, instead of waiting until the last minute.

Well, it's all out in public now. I'll look darn silly if I reneg now.