Sunday, February 26, 2012

Choosing Joy Through Cancer . . . Making a Hat!

They say there is a season for everything . . . well for me this must be the season for cancer.  I lost a long time friend in November I did not know what to do for her- I felt like she should just spend time with her family and make memories with them . . . I did stop and drop off some pears at one point but it did not seem to be enough.  I continued to wrestle with calling and stopping by and then she called me and asked if I wanted to go to a mutual friends baby shower.  I was stunned and of course said, " YES! "

It was a great day we laughed the whole day and just reminisced, I knew it was a golden moment, one that I would always  treasure.  She had soooo many that adored her, so I a day, a car ride, I felt so blessed for the time, for the memory . . . and then 11-11-11 was the  day my friend Grace who was fun and humble, and the epitome of Grace left this world I miss her but it brings me joy to think about the lessons she taught me.   Now as many of you,  I have been following Lil Blue Boo and her journey and she too is so inspiring and is such and example of making things happen and learning something new each day, creating and discovering the good in those around you . . . . So as I say my prayers each day I have asked God to use me,  use what talents I may have to help others, and so one day that started out like any other . . .  I ran into a past student now my children's age (32 ish) at my school I worked for years in the Library.  She told me her second grader had been diagnosed with leukemia and of course this is such scary news, without so much as a second thought I offered to drive each week and do art with her.  We have been doing this a month now come this Tuesday, an I am so blessed to have this time with her.  She has finished her first round of chemo and her hair is falling out. Her dad and brother shaved their heads and I have decided to make hats for them.

I did not know how to really make a hat but I found this soft fleece and they turned out so cute and easy to do, I wanted to share the steps in case you have someone that needs one . . . . I started out buying a half yard of fleece, this hat for a second grader not exactly sure of her head size  was 28" long and 24 " wide.  Now you will fold the width so you will have a long tube of fleece 28 x 12".

 Sewing the open side closed, I pressed the seam open on this first one but on the others I surged this seam to give it a more finished look.

  Then with the tube of fleece still inside out the top of the hat is rolled down 5 " and then stitched all around.  The bottom is also hemmed 5 " up and sewn.  So at this point you have a tube of fleece now 18 " tall.

 The end of the tube you determine to be the top is cut downward with sharp scissors at 3/8" intervals to make the random strips at the top of the hat.  The bottom can just be rolled up as a cuff around the child's face.   The cutting of the strips was probably the most time consuming part of this project because I was meticulous to cut the strips straight.  Also you can add a decorative stitching to the border of the hat if you want . . . go wild!  I did I have a new Brother machine so of course had to experiment!  :-)

 It dawned on me that you could cut these before you sewed the seam to make the fleece into a tube.  Then the fleece would be flat and you would just sew the seam up to where you started cutting the strips.  Play with it and decide what you think is easiest.  The final part of creating the finished hat is to run a basting stitch by hand right around the top seam of the hat. I used just a heavy upholstery thread to stitch around and then I just pulled and gathered  the fleece together evenly as tight as I could.  There will be about a one inch hole but I thought this might be good for ventilation.  I tied the strings as tight as I could and knotted them many times.

With all the tangle of strips you cannot even see the basting.   Hope you like this design.  The fleece is so colorful and since we just finished a color wheel project,  I thought this rainbow color floral design was perfect.  Let me know what you think?

                                      ~Anne ~

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's a Jungle Out There!

Baby Showers are so much fun and this was no exception.
Lisa and David just had miracle baby AJ.  I wanted to create something for his room.  So my first stop was Babies R Us to see what they had chosen for his room.  I loved  the theme Just Born Balulu .   Loved the animals in the jungle and especially the monkeys!


 I quickly sketched and painted this little canvas below to go in his room.  As it turns
out his room  is all about the Monkeys . . .  I so love  this trend with monkeys for babies and this little  AJ was no exception.

But as I am looking at this painting now (Yikes!!!)  I just noticed . . .

The poor lion has no body . . . just his little head!  See what happens when you paint between 10 and 2 in the morning!!!

Oh well I guess he is just popping into say a quick HI!

(and it is too late now this painting is now hanging on their wall)

So yes if you are looking for inspiration for a painting to decorate a wall in your child's room.  Start with the bedding the design is done for you it is a great way to be inspired for a painting. Yes they have ready made things but if you create it yourself you will have a one of a kind piece and one that you will treasure forever . . . so have fun creating a snippet of whimsy for their room!    Anne ~

My next project will be a little AJ wall piece.
I thought this was cute idea I found by 
62Cards  Love their things!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentines Come In All Shapes!

I am a huge fan of Lil Blue Boo . . . I have learned soo much from her tutorials.  I silkscreened in college and have been dying to try it at home. I have a Silhouette SD
and am learning to use it . . . . so I down loaded a pre- drawn robot and using contact paper ( warning: I grabbed this it is Contact shelf paper it does not have the peel off backing . . . so do not use this it will not stick to the screen - just to let you know there is a difference)
as Ashley suggests I measured it to fit my screen and then wrapped and taped
the contact paper to the sticky plastic load sheet on the silhouette.
below is how it looks as you load it in to the Silhouette . . . . also how it will look
After you attach it to your screen.
I peeled the positive robot figure away . . .  then you have to add back in the eyes, mouth and heart to the screen to give it the details.  

 I don't seem to have a picture of that . . . .hmmm!
Final results:
tips . . I did buy the speedball silk screen kit from Dharma Trading as Ashley suggests
it does not come with white ink so I had to go out and get that . . .
I padded my surface with an old mattress pad . . . this is a bad idea because the surface for best results must be perfectly smooth . . . some of my first shirts showed the diamond shapes in the design . . . not a look I was hoping for and I had a clothe over the matress pad and it was sill coming through so I am thinking fleece or an old blanket might be better . . . Walmart I perused the whole store before I got all the sizes I needed colors I had to be flexible . . . but they were $3.00 so for my first try it worked out great!

My final results . . .  I decided to embellish them with dimensional paint . . .

~ Anne ~