Posts filed under ‘family’
I really do love the Christmas presents that I made for friends and family this year. I knew that I wanted to make something as my gift, but wasn’t sure what. I came home after work in early December to my lovely roommate Sara crafting at the coffee table. She was making these beautiful Christmas cards with a strange colored dust, stamps, and what looked to be a souped-up blow dryer. The process she was using is called heat embossing.
I loved the craft and decided to make personalized embossed note cards.
There are a few steps to creating the cards.
Materials needed (I purchased all of my material from Paper Source)
-clear or colored stamp pad
-stamps of your choice
–embossing powder heat tool
–note cards (I bought these ones from Target)
-Stamp the stamp onto the ink pad and then onto the paper (I used a clear stamp pad, but you can also use a colored ink. It will depend on how you want the final product to look. I used clear ink and then put metallic embossing powder on top of it so only the powder color shows. If you use a colored ink, you can put some of the more opaque powders for a different effect).
-Sprinkle the embossing powder onto the ink.
-Shake off the ink so that all of the stamp outline is covered.
-Use the heat tool to melt the powder. This only takes a few seconds.
A couple of notes.
-I did not have success with the “twinkle” embossing powder. The metallic powder looks much nicer.
-The letter stamps that I bought were hard to work with because they are all individual letters. Especially with the clear ink, it was very hard to get the letters to line up straight. If I tried to do words again, I would opt for a slightly tinted ink or a better letter stamping system.
-Stamps are expensive! Look out for them at thrift stores or buy them on sale. Ebay always has them available too.
I love wrapping in twine.
A couple of years ago, my Noni gave me boxes of her old Christmas decorations. When I was packing up my tree today, I realized how much I love all of the vintage ornaments I have inherited from her.
And some of my recent ornament additions that I love…
I do love holiday time, but I am very excited to get this new year started. Til next year my ornament friends!
Last year was the first year since childhood that my younger sister Miranda and I dressed in identical Halloween costumes. I have to admit that we looked pretty awesome playing twin Madonna Like A Virgin characters at the West Hollywood Halloween Parade.
But this year, we decided to amp it up a little bit. I still can’t remember who had the idea or why we would have ever thought of it, but months ago, we decided that we would be a Push Me Pull You–the two-headed llama from the 1967 film Dr. Dolittle. And so my mind began to wander…
Come October, I had a few ideas about how to make the costume, but they all just seemed unrealistic. The only real clothing item I had ever made was my first shirt project for sewing class. But, for whatever reason, I felt confident.
The confidence was what got me through. I confidently decided that the first thing that I needed was fabric. So my lovely friends Scott, Laura, and I trekked down to the Fashion District to seek out the best possible llama fur (and to have a little photo shoot). You can see some more pictures of the excursion on Laura’s blog. We found the Land of Faux Fur…
…then I became the proud owner of three yards of “llama fur.” I should note now that this stuff sheds like crazy! I still find llama fur all over my room!
After pulling the three yards out multiple times over the next couple of weeks, staring at it, folding it, and then putting it bag in its trash bag, I finally came up with a semi-plan. I roughly (and somewhat confidently) used this basic shirt pattern from BurdaStyle to make the top sans sleeves. I used a basic pajama bottom pattern to make the shorts. The head was the hard part. I started with two of my dad’s old baseball caps. I covered them with cotton stuffing and used masking tape to shape the hats into a more llama-head-y look (this was by no means an exact science). Then, with a lot of pinning, hot gluing, confidence, and sewing, I shaped the fur around the hat molds. This took a very long time, but it finally worked out! Miranda created the ears out of fur and cardboard and eyes out of felt scraps. I then attached the head to the shirt with a small strip of fabric (also not an easy task, but great for during the night so we could throw the head back like a hood). What resulted was none other than the two most beautiful llama costumes…(yes, I realize they look slightly like decedents of the Rat King from the Nutcracker, but just think llama and then you’ll see it)…=)…
We unfortunately didn’t take many pictures on Halloween night, so I had Ting Ting try on the costume recently so that I could get some better pics. Really, she’s the cutest llama ever.
And then in some crazy photographer moment, I was like Yah, blow-dry your hair in the mirror! I do love this image though. Looks like some trippy dream.
Whew. Long post for a long project. In short, I love my llama costumes. It was pretty great that one of us had to walk backwards while we were attached. I don’t know if anyone else has ever been a Push Me Pull You and I don’t know if anyone else ever will. But I loved this costume. I loved that it made me be creative and made me create and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.
And to end on a different note, I didn’t want to wear the llama suit to work on Halloween so I opted for a tamer costume instead. Meet Mr. C.
I love Halloween.
Currently listening to everything Zee Avi.
I have been sewing up a storm lately. I promise that I will post some of my latest projects sometime soon. For now, here are a few of the things that have been inspiring me lately…
LA-based fashion designer Jasmin Shokrian
Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire sketches cityscapes by memory
My little sister. She ran a marathon last weekend and I am very proud of her.
More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them. – Henri Nouwen (via white hot truth and lillieinthecity)