Monday, November 28, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Part Sixty-Five

You've met Tammy of TamsJewelry here before.  Remember the biker chick who makes pretty jewelry?  That's her!

Born in Ohio and living in Texas, Tam's married with two daughters.  Although she's enjoyed many crafts over the years, none has addicted her like jewelry making has.

A look:

For more, check out her Handmade Artists' Shop.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handmade Holidays

Now that it's post-Thanksgiving, it's OK to talk winter holidays:  Chanukah & Christmas... and my nephew's December 22nd birthday.  I've been working on gifts.  First, these numbered beanbags.

For the front fabric, I used a pair of old corduroy pants.

For the fabric backs, I used fabrics from all different sources.

For instance, the sharks, monkeys, pawprints, and dinosaurs came from JoAnn Fabrics and were purchased for projects like this.  The motorcycles and planes were from a little mom & pop fabric shop nearby.  The red swirly fabric I bought over a year ago to back a quilt kit I never made.  And the two striped ones are old shirts of mine.

Then I did numbers to match the backs.

Once I had a stack of parts, I needed to iron on the number appliques.

Then I sewed around the appliques.  These, for the record, were my first-ever appliques.  For those of you who are really beginner sewing types like I am, some things I learned:

Sewing that damned zigzag around an applique is hard.  Seriously.  Of course, it got easier most of the way through when I realized that the little notch line on my sewing machine foot was the center line of the stitch.  Yeah.  I'm a little... rather than dim, we'll call it not observant.  So before that, it was really hard to keep the stitching on the edge of the numbers and I had to rip some out and redo them.  Honestly, even after I figured that out it was hard.  Stitches are as big as they are, and I'm still working out how to gauge getting the stitches where they need to be when it's time to turn the fabric.  Speaking of which, the tutorial is not kidding about the slowness and futziness of the sewing of the appliques.  Slow.  And futzy.

In the end, they came together.  How cute are these?

I've got the beginnings of another set in green for the other nephew, but first I have something else I'm working on.  It's something I've never done before and involves my very own patterns.  You'll see soon!

These beanbags, though, are now available for purchase in the Reef Botanicals Handmade Artists Shop.

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Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingPhotobucketA Little Knick KnackDesigner Garden Keeping It SimpleBWS tips buttonSumo's Sweet StuffTip Junkie handmade projectsTodays Creative BlogHOGFun Stuff FridaysDragonfly Designs

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Part Sixty-Four

Today, I'd like you to meet John Atwell Rasmussen, who hails from Easley, South Carolina.

A retired paramedic, he was educated in geology at Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute in NY, obtaining his Bachelors and Masters, and then teaching geology.  He was educated further at the International Gem Society, the Gemological Institute of America, and Penn Foster Career School.

He pursues his love of rocks, minerals, and gems as the lapidary and jeweler at Rasmussen Gems & Jewelry.

His wife Debora assists the business by doing bead design and making all of the beaded pieces in the shop.

Together, the talent is mind-blowing.  I'll let their pieces speak for themselves, except to suggest you learn more about them on his blog.

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