12/30/12

Measure your Head for an African Hat (Kufi)

Use a flexible measuring tape, piece of string, or a strip of paper.

Place the piece you’re using to measure your head on your forehead and measure the circumference about 1/2 inch or so above your ears (about where you want the hat to rest on your head).  If you have another hat with a size inside, that would be great; I would use it based on the chart below.

Don’t make the tape measure too tight or too loose (make it comfortable for your head).

The photo below is a 23 ½” measurement, which is a hat size of 7 3/8” to accommodate for her hair.


If you are not using a flexible tape measure, lay your measuring string or paper flat and measure against a ruler.

A size chart is below.  If you don’t see your size exactly, use the next size.

Head Size (Inches)
Hat Size
19 3/8"
6 1/8
19 3/4"
6 1/4
20 1/4"
6 3/8
20 3/4"
6 1/2
21 1/4"
6 5/8
21 1/2"
6 3/4
21 3/4"
6 7/8
22 1/4"
7
22 1/2"
7 1/8
23"
7 1/4
23  3/8" - 23 1/2"
7 3/8
23  3/4"
7 1/2
24"
7 5/8
24 1/2"
7 3/4
25"
7 7/8

The African Hat (Kufi) below has a measurement of:

Band width: 23"
Band height:  4"
Crown: 7.5"
Fits a head size of 22" - 23" and a hat size of 7-7.5"


12/18/12

Paper Piecing Wizard Mickey

Hi folks

My mojo has been off lately, but yesterday it came back a bit.  On the Pazzles forum someone wanted a Wizard Mickey Mouse for a project.  He/she did not ask me personally to make this file, but I thought it would be fun after I found a Wizard Mickey online and converted it to a paper piecing (I am not sure if this is a Disney file since it has Drago Art on it - don't know of the relationship).  Here's the original clipart.  I didn't add any designs on the hat, but I think I should go back and add that to the wpc file.



Here is the file in pieces.  The black silhouette will be used to place the pieces on so that there will be a black outline.






12/11/12

Candle Merry Christmas Overlay - Pazzles

Here is a Merry Christmas (2012) overlay I made (The candle image was in the Pazzles library).  This overlay is approx. 8"x10".  I may add some glitter on it, but not sure yet



12/10/12

WPC Pazzles files by request

--Do you have a piece of clipart or image you would like to be a paper piecing?
--Want a logo to be coverted to a wpc cut file?
--Do you already have a wpc cut file, but want it altered, but you just can't figure out how to do it?

Contact me.  I create and modify .wpc files for the Pazzles Inspiration.

I use the Pazzles Pro 2010 (with updates) version.

**Contact me for a free quote.**

12/2/12

Digital Scrapbooking

Ok, I have to say this:  I can’t imagine doing digital scrapbooking for my crafting.  Why?  It reminds me of when I do desktop publishing to make brochures, flyers, note cards, sales flyers, etc.  I MUST, during my crafting, be able to touch the paper and embellishments I am using. Ink from a printer just won’t do it for me. Yes, I want glue on my hands.  Yes, I like to glue down my ribbon.  Yes, I like ALL the messy things that come with crafting.

I have seen some really gorgeous digital scrapbook pages and I don’t knock anyone for enjoying this type of crafting, but I PREFER to do the work.  I really like the mess of it all.  I also can’t imagine buying a ton of printer ink. On another note, I am thinking digital scrapbookers probably spend less money than people like me because we like to buy embellishments.  In the digital software you can add 3d looking embellishments it seems (still not real though) :-)

I was looking for some digital software online because I have read about people talking about this software.  After watching the video, I was really impressed and feel that digital scrapbookers would love this!

Anyway, here is a link, just in case you want to take a look at it:

Have fun!
Gina

11/25/12

Copic Marker Price Increase, Again, January 2013

UPDATE:  July 5, 2014

Well, well, well, looks like the prices have come back down to their normal prices and some prices are even lower than they were before the increases last year. Guess Copic had to see if they could raise the prices and people would be soooo addicted they wouldn't mind the extortion.....NOT!!!



Happy to see the prices are reasonable again.
__________________________________________________

I love Copic Markers, but the prices are crazy!  I am so happy I bought mine before the prices got so far out of hand.

I just learned that beginning January 1, 2013, the price will increase by $1+ ($8 per marker in many USA locations)!    Copic markers, if you have been following, have increased their prices multiple times in a short period of time. I keep reading articles giving them excuses such as:

 “……price increase of Copics has to do with the fall of the value of the American dollar as compared with the Japanese yen

“….the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has caused….”

I will give you the reason I think they are increasing the prices, “price gouging”.  Price gouging is not new.

This is how things will play out because it happens all the time:  Eventually enough people will stop buying Copic markers so that vendors will feel the pain.  You’ll start seeing many sales.  Another vendor of alcohol markers with a better price and of equal or better quality will take over the sales of Copic markers.  This new vendor will get greedy too and the cycle will start all over again.  No matter what the cycle may be, you have a choice.  You can either keep letting vendors believe their products are soooo good they can charge you any price and you will pay OR you can take a stand and move on until they get their act together.

If money is not an object for you, then enjoy purchasing your Copic markers and paying more and more multiple times a year while the value of the marker stays the same.

I am sad to say that I won’t be buying another Copic marker unless I find them on sale at a deep discount and that goes for the refills too.  I will never pay more than $5 per marker (not sure how much I would pay for refills because the refills last a LONG time for me). I bought almost all my markers from Oozak.com and I only buy Copic Ciao markers because they are less than $4 per marker at oozak.  Copic Ciao markers don’t hold as much ink, but they are much cheaper than the Sketch markers.

Some say they can’t find another alcohol marker that can blend well like Copics, but the truth is that if you know how to color, you can blend with almost any medium, not just with an alcohol marker.  Blending did not start with Copic markers.

11/10/12

2012 Thanksgiving Overlay - Pre-made Layout

Just finished making a Thanksgiving layout (11" x 11").  I haven't cut it out on my Pazzles yet, so not sure how perfect a cut it is.

Here's how it looks in the Pazzles software:




11/5/12

Pep Talk - Die Cut Machines and Crafts

Some people seem to be intimidated by new things, but not me.  Could this be why I was also in the Air Force?  One thing is for sure, if I think something will harm me, I won’t do it, but if I don’t see any danger, I’m going for it. With that said, don’t be afraid to use your die-cut machines.  They are just machines and they won’t bite you.  Try to figure things out for yourself first because it will give you a real sense of accomplishment to figure it out for yourself.  I’m not saying I don’t ask questions, I do, but I will always try first.  When you make mistakes, you can find your way back to fix them, but if you count on others all the time, you will probably be stuck a lot while learning.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MESSING UP WHILE LEARNING.  NOT ONE PERSON WAS BORN AN EXPERT.
I truly do love to learn, which is probably why I like to dive into learning new crafts and the main reason why a technology career field appeal to me -- both of them change often.
I remember taking a Strengths Quest personality assessment when I first started grad school back in 2008.  At first I was thinking, “I have better things to do than take this assessment (I had a ton of homework to do, but it was mandatory for the paralegal program I was in).  Although I changed my mind on the grad degree I was pursuing, I am happy I took the personality assessment because it told me a lot about myself (it was kind of eerie).
There are 34 themes, but the assessment explains your top 5 strongest themes.  My top 5 strongest themes include:  Achiever, Strategic, Learner, Belief, and Responsibility.  The one theme that stuck out for me was the Learner theme:
“You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.””
I like what the other themes say about me too, but I have to say that neither one of them are 100% me, but they are close enough.

10/13/12

Handbag Bloopers

Here are three little purses I made without a pattern.  In the past, I always bought a commercial pattern, but the restrictions on those patterns are a downer for me.

Now with the pattern making thing, there will be lots of bloopers (I should know, lol).  Here are three purses I made and will give to some of my little girl cousins to play with.

These purses are also the first time I've tried to add zippered pockets to the outside of a bag and to the inside lining. It was also my first time quilting fabric. I hadn't even done this with a commercial pattern.  I think I have the idea now.

This first purse is not quilted, but it is lined inside with the same color fabric as the zippered double pocket on the outside of the bag.  I added grosgrain ribbon for the handles.


 I used some Air Force designed fabric I found at Walmart to make this quilted purse.  This is my first quilted purse!  Yayyy!  I actually like this.  I made the pocket too small though.  I was testing out a technique I found online, but my measurements of the pocket fell short.  LOL.  The inside is lined as well, with 4 dividing pockets cut from the Air Force fabric.  I made the handles myself too.  This particular bag does not have a zippered closure on top.  I used a button instead.  I will make this one again, but the pocket on the outside will be bigger.

The taller one looks more like an eye-glass case. The reason I'm not keeping this one for myself is because the opening is too small for my hand to get in there comfortably. This one is pretty thick too.  I added thick interfacing and lined the inside.  The zipper pocket on the outside is another technique I found online. I like this zippered pocket much better than the one on the Air Force fabric purse.





10/12/12

First Pazzles Inspiration Dust Cover Pattern by Me

Hey there

I finally got the energy to work on this Pazzles Inspiration Dust Cover sewing pattern again.  The first attempt was awful!  LOL.  This dust cover is my very first successful Pazzles Inspiration dust cover made from a pattern I made myself.  It fits a lot better than I even expected.




Maybe I'll get brave later and make a quilted one, but that would require a LOT more fabric.  Who knows.  :-)


Gina





10/11/12

Die-cut Machines and Quilting

Does anyone use their die-cut machines to make quilting patterns?
I’m not a quilter, but lately I have been quilting some pieces to make small handbags (definitely a work in progress).  I’m not new to sewing, but I’m new to making my own patterns.  Before a couple of weeks ago, I had not sewn much at all for over a year.  I’m finding myself re-learning some things and learning new things too.
Anyway, here’s one of my ideas:  In my Pazzles software I am going to make a design, cut it out on craft paper (or some paper that will take pins well), attach to my fabric, and sew around the design.  I want to do this because in my first quilting attempts I only did boring diagonal lines I drew on with chalk.  That is not going to work for me.  LOL
Anyway, here’s another idea for you sewing Cricuteers:  Cut out a silhouette of your favorite images, attach template to your fabric (with pens or quilting spray), sew the outlines onto your quilted fabric!  If you do this, please let me know.  I would love to see this!

9/24/12

Free or almost free cigar boxes and/or used coffee burlap bags

Hi everybody
I was wondering if anyone could help me locate some free (or almost free) used items (cigar boxes and burlap coffee bags/sacks).
I live in Georgia (near Atlanta), so if you know any place in Georgia I can get any of those items from, I would be grateful.
Thank you.
Gina

9/19/12

Sewing Projects to Sale using Commerical Patterns and Licensed Fabrics

Ok, so I have been in a sewing mood lately and once again I am researching copyright issues (I do this for many things before starting projects to sale).
I have been confused for many years on how the patterns and licensed fabrics thing work, but I believe I have found my answer - First Sale Doctrine.  This means I can make items from commercial patterns and so-called licensed fabrics because I have not entered into a written agreement with the designer or manufacturer.  I would think I could have in the first place since I bought the fabric and pattern, but you know the shady laws.
Tabberone is a good source for this type of information.  If you want to make and sell items you sew, be sure to use the Tabberone Disclaimer to fit your situation.
I have also contemplated NOT buying licensed fabric too because of the stickiness of the use of the fabric and patterns.  I just don't see why companies want us to buy their products, but tell us what we can and cannot do with it after we purchase it.  Maybe we should stop buying their products.  Remember when Cricut used to say we could not sell items we made from their cartridges, then after the cake machine, they changed it and said we can't sell the die-cuts as-is, but can sell what we make with the die-cuts (because bakers were upset - Cricut mentioned not being able to sell the die-cuts in a brick and mortar store (this would include bakeries) or online)?

Here's something to think about too, just in case you're still unsure (like I am):

"You can, however, sew custom garments for customers using a commercial pattern if you buy one pattern for each person. For instance, if you are making four of the same style of bridesmaid’s dresses for four different people, you need to purchase four separate patterns, one for each bridesmaid" (Get Creative Show).
Anyway, if you have any "known" facts about this situation (with online sources), please let us know. I am inclined to believe tabberone for sure, but I am wondering if the laws are different in different states and countries.

Talk to ya later

Gina

8/22/12

Cricut Sewing Patterns - Idea

I am getting into a sewing mood lately and a thought just crossed my mind (haven't tried it though).

Has anyone tried making fabric purses and boxes using the purse and box die-cuts on the Cricut cartridges?

UPDATE:  I went to Youtube to see if anyone had tried this, and of course I found someone.  I was happy to find it so that I didn't have to test myself just yet.

I was thinking that you would cut out the shape, pen it to your fabric like a pattern, cut it out, then sew where you would normally glue.  I might try this, but not sure if I feel like breaking out my Cricut.  If you try it, show us.

With the sewn boxes I was thinking of adding some chipboard in between two fabric pieces to reinforce each side and the box top.  I have a few ideas, but just wanted to run this by you as a possible new crafty idea to try.

I was even thinking of making a pattern from some of the clothes on the cartrides like Paper Doll Dress Up to make fabric outfits.  Hmmmm, my mind is rambling now!  :-)

8/18/12

Create Line Art From Photo Using Photoshop CS4

I like playing around with photos.  As you know I’ve converted some images to silhouettes for my vinyl wall art, but here is how I change my digital photos to line art (using Photoshop CS4) so I can color them later and add to my projects.  You can take a picture of anything you like and do this for greeting cards.  The ideas are endless.  This guy’s video is very helpful.
Here's an image I converted (my daughter's first time twisting her own hair  :-) ).  I didn't do any editing, but when I get ready to use the photo, I will make some changes based on the project.

Here's a photo of my daughter when she was 6 or 7.  I thought I would try a photo with a busier background just to see how it would look.  I can see some really dark edges on her hair, but not sure how to fix that or why it happened.  I tried changing the radius from 2 to 3, but the photo was not looking too good, so I stayed with a radius of 2.  I am sure there is a way to fix it, but I am not a Photoshop pro by any means.  :-)

Here's one of my favorite photos of Jaden Smith converted to lineart with Photoshop CS4.  I really like the way the background of photos are so clear.



Bookworm Bookmark

Hey there

Designed this bookmark in my Pazzles software.  It has two layers.  The top layer (overlay) is the black pieces you see; the white is the back of the bookmark.  I sewed the two pieces together using my serger and added a chain at the top with a jump ring.  I painted the eyes and nose of my little worm using acrylic paint (I made him too with just a few circles).

I made 4 of these.  I gave one to my daughter, one to her classmate, and 2 to our local library.

8/11/12

YOLO - You Only Live Once Vinyl Wall Art

Here's a vinyl wall art design my daughter wanted on her wall.  The font is called Cartouche (but we took off the borders around the "letters".  The letter/sets are approximately 5" x 11" each.

We created this design using my Pazzles Inspiration software, cut it out on my Pazzles Inspiration machine, and used glossy black vinyl.

This image is also on my other blog at Artsy Vinyl Collections.



Have a  good day! 

Gina

8/2/12

African American Bookmarks

All of these bookmarks are being donated to my local library.



















Happy Birthday Mr. President!!  (August 4, 2012)

7/28/12

Vinyl Letters - Black Glossy Vinyl

LETTERS AND NUMBERS - Black Glossy Vinyl - $1

Letters approximately 1" x 1"



GARAGE SALE Letters - Black Glossy Vinyl - $1
 Approximately 11" x 3.5"



GRAND OPENING Letters - Black Glossy Vinyl - $1
Approximately 10" x 3"



YARD SALE letters - Black Glossy Vinyl - $1
Approximately 10" x 5"



Pazzles - Using Pen Tool with Engrave Feature

For some time I have been thinking of trying to color with my Pazzles machine.  I watched some videos of the engraving tool and decided to try to color with it.  I'm still new at this since I just started yesterday.  I like coloring with my Bic markers, but they bleed through the paper onto my mat (gotta add more paper underneath and tape down).

Here's a video for you to watch.




Enjoy.
Gina

7/17/12

In Memory of Jalon G - Car Window Vinyl Decal

I was thinking about my little cousin today and made an In Memory of car window decal.  This is a picture of him when he was really little.  He will always be missed in our lives.


7/16/12

Free WPC Files by Request - CLOSED

Hey everybody

I've decided for the second half of 2012 to provide free WPC files by request.  If you have a request, let me know and I will try to create the file for you and for others to use.

Free WPC files are limited to 3 per month in total, so get your requests in for the month.

One request:  Please follow my blog before making requests so I can follow your blog too.

Your requests will definitely increase my design skills.  :-)

Take Care
Gina

7/10/12

Laptop and Wall Vinyl Designs




The photo above is what I used to convert to a silhouette.  I love music, so I had to add a heart in the middle someplace.

This is from a photo of a motorcycle provided by a friend.



Here are some wall, car, and laptop vinyl decals I made based on some photo ideas. Some of them are photos I converted after cleaning up some details.