WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 17

Ok, I cheated – I forgot to publish this on Wednesday! Nevertheless, here goes. I did not get my TAST project finished last time, but I did make progress. Because I am behind there, and also because I cannot see myself filling up a pennant with the satin stitch, I am skipping this week’s challenge. Anyway, the TAST WIP is the rice stitch:

And, when I was making the cassette pouch from Lysa Flower, I made quite a mess as you might recall. I spent a portion of time tidying up and I noted that I still have gobs of fabric I inherited from my gramma. I decided to make something big to try to use some of it up. That plan didn’t pan out as well as I had hoped as I won’t be using very much, but I did embark on a quilt (and yet, didn’t I say here that you probably wouldn’t find me making a quilt just because? Sheesh.) I am using her fabrics, but just not enough to make a dent. That said, I am getting to use a lot of different kinds of fabrics (hers and mine) and, for the first time, the “cheater” way for appliqué using double-sided fusible webbing. Check out my fabric “stickers” below:

Learning about this method of appliqué has been fun. It is simple so I understand the draw to it, but I think it is like the argument of machine quilting versus hand quilting. I will always prefer hand quilted items, followed by master machine quilters (the ones who do custom work), and then lastly the standard machine quilting you’ve seen me use here. I, too, will always prefer needle-turned appliqué in comparison to this “sticker” type.

Now, one really cool thing I learned, which was quite by miserable accident, is a unique characteristic of dryer sheets. Once during my sticker creation, I accidentally fused the webbing directly to my hot iron. “Egads,” I shrieked! I immediately reached for my iron-out, but then I paused to think. A quick google search brought me to Make-It-Do’s Dyer Sheet Thrift post (her link to the original article at Real Simple is no longer valid). I was skeptical at first, but holy cow, that was magic! All you have to do is let your iron cool enough to touch it (set it to low heat), wad up a dryer sheet, and scrub the mess away. Then carefully clean up the oil residue that eeks out of the sheet. Ta-da! I did follow it up with iron-out just for surety everything was fine, but this is definitely a trick that I’m saving for later!

Colored Pencil Techniques 5

This post is a bit overdue as I finished this drawing about a week ago. The colored pencil course has been over for a few weeks now, but I didn’t get the last two projects completed in class so they became homework. I was able to finish this one up at Boy’s office during a lull. I wasn’t too keen on the theme, as this sort of thing really isn’t my style, but any practice makes you better, so I still put effort into it. Tom provided us a dolphin cut-out to speed along the drawing.

Here you can see the process of changing colored pencil into something that looks more like paint by using the simple product of baby oil that we learned about earlier. The sky is only about half blended with oil.

Colored pencil dolphin with baby oil

In this photo, the whole sky is blended with oil. The oil adds character; depending upon how you control it, you can gently blend colors or do a somewhat blocky/sketchy look like I’ve done here.

Colored pencil dolphin with baby oil

And finally, here is the finished colored pencil drawing, blended with baby oil. You can really see how it adds vibrancy and depth to the colored pencils. The black went from a patchy grey-ish tone to (mostly) solid black.

Colored pencil dolphin with baby oil

I learned a valuable lesson, but had made the same mistake on the last drawing of the course already: add black after blending other colors. When you look closely at this piece, you can see some smudging from it. I’m not sure when I will get around to finishing the last drawing, as things have been kinda busy, but I like the theme better and found its colors to be more challenging, so I do hope to finish it within a reasonable amount of time. Who knows if that will happen!

Cassette Pouch by Lysa Flower

I must direct you over to Lysa Flower; she has been such a generous friend to me and I think ya’ll would love her! I’ve already made her match needle book and have been dying to try one of her foundation piecing projects so this cassette tape pouch was a no-brainer. She is definitely a girl after my own heart! Ahhhh, the 80s:) Let’s look at my cassette pouch, which this time looks a little English Cottage inspired I’ve now noticed:

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

After letting me test the needle book pattern, she asked if I would like to test the cassette tape one. Of course I yelled “yes!” and was giddy with excitement, but I was also burdened by teaching and couldn’t sew anything. It was misery. I held on to the pattern though, and it was always at the top of my Creative Inbox for when I was ready. (I have many cool project ideas in that box and often wonder if my lifetime will be long enough.)

I was at first daunted by it because I have very little skill in paper piecing. Until this project, I had only done a butterfly from a Craftsy project – the Undercover Maker Mat, and a practice run with another Craftsy project – Rose Paper Piecing. I was so stoked to get started with the cassette after that but other things came up, and I didn’t have any sufficient space to play with fabrics with everything else Boy and I had going on.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

Then I decided that Boy and I rarely eat at the dining room table, which I recently inherited. It belonged to my gramma and grampa, and gets tremendously long with two full size leaves. I took it over. No food allowed! It is now a beautiful chaotic mess. I need to learn to be less messy as once it becomes this crazy, my creativity tanks.

Well, anyway, I made many mistakes making my first cassette pouch, so I had to come up with my own ingenuity to try to solve them. I mostly succeeded but failed in one critical aspect: my MP3 player for which I built it did not easily fit. I did enjoy my additions though, so those ideas twirled around in my head for a bit until I had a chance to recreate it.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

The first thing I wanted was a small pocket for my gym membership card, since this was the primary purpose of Boy getting me the MP3 player in the first place. The pocket is big enough to suit my ID and/or credit cards also if needed.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

The original cassette pouch did not work in size because of the zipper. I attempted to negate that by removing the zipper but it was still an issue. Of course I could make the whole thing larger, but I really liked how small it was overall, and other than getting the MP3 player in and out, it was a perfect size. So I decided in Round Two to skip the modified zipper closure all together. In my first creation, I added a flap that fit through the “zipper” opening, so I widened it in this version to the full length of the cassette.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

The first cassette pouch also had a cool wrist strap that doubled as a secure closure method and looked like unwound tape. Love it! So in this version, I tweaked it a little to be easier to maneuver. It looks more realistic in the original, but this way is better for functionality. The strap slips through a little hole in the bottom.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

But if I don’t need to secure the pouch all the way, I can just fold it around the outside.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

Because the MP3 player can connect to my car, I don’t always need the headphones out, so I wanted them stashed separately. This would also help with securing the wrist strap through the bottom, rather than the flap getting hung up on the cord. I made a secret pocket in the flap of the bag I made for my last Peru trip to hold a copy of my passport and some extra cash, so I employed that here. A side note: I still owe a post about that amazing bag! What?! (I want to make another so maybe now that I’ve spread my fabric wings again, you’ll see it soon!)

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

When making my first “prototype”, I wondered if I couldn’t add in a little hole for the earphones, so that the MP3 player could be protected in the pouch while listening to it. It was a lot of work, but I got it figured out!

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

The image above also shows that the cassette pouch stands up on its own. I added two layers of medium weight interfacing for the flap, and for the pouch itself (front, back, sides, and bottom), I added fusible fleece lining for added protection. Boy’s well-spent money won’t go to waste should I drop my “boom box” (“boom box” is easier and more fun to say than MP3 player!).

Cassette tapes were fun because you could write on them and, duh, make mixed tapes. I decided to embroidery a little thing that one of my first high school crushes wrote me: INVU4URAQT. It took me quite a while to puzzle that out as I recall, and let’s just say it didn’t help quench the crush.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

Lysa loves using selvages, as many sewers do, but most of my stash is either sans selvage or it just has a website or something, nothing like cool or cute phrases. But then I found “COPYRIGHT PROTECTED” and I thought, how á propos! Cassettes were the epitome of copying music! I recall cassettes also had weird numbers or something on them so I found a selvage with matching colors that finish it off. I thought about adding buttons to this side also, where the little roller things would be, but I decided against it. I knew this would go into a pocket more often than not, so I didn’t want anything to catch.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case

I love this little cassette pouch. Boy teases me that I love it more than his MP3 player gift. I can’t help it, it is such a clever design by Lysa and so perfect in its purpose.

Cassette Pouch (Lysa Flower) MP3 case