Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making Buttons: A Tutorial

In one of my September posts, I promised you a tutorial to show you how I made the matching buttons for the outfit shown there. After over a week of trying to upload the tutorial here without success, I invite you to view Making Buttons: A Tutorial on youtube.

I have added a few new pictures here of outfits I have added handmade buttons to, and will post some more later when blogger decides to cooperate. Please scroll down to see the new pictures, and please leave me a post if you try making these buttons for yourself. Enjoy.

Finally, special thanks to my darling husband for taking the time to film this for me and upload it to youtube.  film this. Thanks, baby!

A close up of the challis fabric buttons I made to match my Magic Baby Peaches and Cream top.

The buttons for my Dot Coat are made in matching fleece.

Can you see the matching button on this Lucky Star jacket? This is what I like about making buttons!

Look forward to your comments,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Gift to Cherish

Over the years I have frequently been the recipient of fiber-related gifts from friends and family members who recognize that the item they need to get rid of is too special to just throw away. I cherish these gifts of vintage fabric, old quilt tops, cotton dresses bought at auction, or the stack of handmade infant dresses a college girlfriend gave to me a few years back.
The gift I received this week, however, is unlike anything I have ever been given. It is beautiful, and I thank you, my friend. I can't wait to create a new Magic Baby design based on this garment.

The attached cape is pulled back here so you can see the body of the front.
 I received a note on facebook from a fellow artist and hometown friend to say he had found this amazing infant dress / coat while clearing some things out, and thought I might like it. I had no idea what to expect, but told him I would take good care of it. When the package arrived, I opened it to find this beautiful hand-stitched baby garment. Since I am not exactly sure what to call it, I thought perhaps you, my readers, might have more knowledge than I do. Here are the pictures:

This is the front, which features a two-button closure, beautiful embroidery and an attached capelet.

The capelet and the embroidery are on the back of the garment, too.

Look at this beautiful detail!
I carefully cleaned it, but some delicate staining remains. Everything is hand-stitched. It feels too heavy to be a dress, but it is definitely sized for an infant, as evidenced by the length of the sleeves. Because it is so long, I wonder if it may have been some sort of christening gown? The material is heavy and canvas-like, leading me to suspect it is a heavy muslin or a type of homespun. I look forward to your observations!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

X Marks the Spot

Starting a new journal is a wonderful, almost incomparable experience. I posted about journaling most recently a few weeks ago, and promised one of my readers a comment or two about what I described as "consecrating" a journal.

The image to the left shows the first page of a new journal, the Japanese stab-stitch bound journal shown in my previous post. One exercise I teach my students is designed to overcome the fear of "ruining" a new journal, especially a hand-made one. First we discuss all the ways that we can turn off the negative "censor" voices in our heads, the voices that prevent us from reaching our creative core. Then I talk to them about the journey they are about to begin in their new journals. Then, favorite writing tool in hand, I ask each student to select a page in their journal, and make an "x" on the page. "X" marks the point of entry into the pages of this personal, perhaps sacred, journey. Make your mark to begin.

 Many of my friends work with journals, often using them to work out their ideas for other artwork they will create. The examples below are from my friends in my artist group, the tArts, artists Susan Shie and Jill Milenski.

This is one of Susan's many journals. This one is for the drawing class she teaches.

Jill sketches everywhere, and often makes paintings from her sketches.

I would love to hear about your journaling experiences. Please reply : )