Steampunk seamstress cuff

Later this month I am going to WonderCon, a pop-culture convention, kind of a junior Comic Con. I have wanted a steampunk outfit for a very, very long time so this gave me a perfect excuse to make one. I decided my character was going to be a steampunk seamstress who works out of Lady Judith's Sewing Emporium. As it is always handy to have your tools close at hand, I decided to make a bracer. I gathered up some appropriate 'stuff', like bobbins, scissors, thread, and a needle holder and then I laid them out on some batting so see how it worked and if it would fit my arm. I actually have a historical pattern from Butterick that had a good base pattern to use. Saved me trying to draft one.

Steampunk has to have gears and gauges, but they have to make sense to me. I don't believe in putting on random gears just for looks. It has to have some sort of function. So my wonderful husband helped me build a Bobbin Fill indicator. Soldering a bottle cap to a brass tube was not easy. Glad I did not have to do this on my own. He also taught me how to cut and form the leather. I could not have done this without him! When I went to the store to buy the leather dye, I found a great pair of scissors, so my stork embroidery scissors got changed out with these. Much happier with them. This is the leather layout.

Leather cuff in progress

And here it is completed. My friend Judy Skeel gave me a great hint from her son who is a leather worker. She said to use sandpaper to age it. My husband didn't think that was a good idea so I waited until he went to bed and then I got out the sandpaper. I got the idea to use the acorn nuts from my Steampunk Gears, Gadgets and Gizmos book. I lined it with some orange fleece and it fits perfectly now. I love how this came out!

Steampunk seamstress cuff



This and that

I have a few things to share today. I am working on a steampunk skirt – for me and not a doll! It has layers of ruffles and I am just a little pin obssesive, lol. This didn't move an inch!

I got a little frustrated while putting in the zipper, took me two tries, so I took a time out and made these little cards to put in my 'Happy Mail'. Basically swapping ephemera with other like minded souls.
Lastly, the Documented Life's challenge for this week is to write your name and embellish it. I started a page last night but I'm not loving it. Goofing around with some scrap paper this morning I came up with a design I like a whole lot better. I will try to recreate this tonight on my mixed media paper. Wish me luck!



Hand carved stamps

Thought I'd post a photo of the hand carved stamps that I made last weekend. I'm really happy with how most of them came out. Years ago one of the girls in my doll club taught us how to make these. I had all the stuff on hand because, as usual, when I get excited about something I buy, buy, buy. Then I lose interest and the supplies sit for years, because as we all know, as soon as you throw it out you will want or need it!

So these are carved onto a material called Soap Eraser that I got from Dick Blick. The tools I used were a speedball carving tool and an exacto knife. They are kind of primitive but I like it!



Tooth fairy pillow

Crazy busy weekend. I worked on my skirt for my steampunk outfit, I carved some stamps, I worked on my documented life project, and I made this goofy little tooth fairy pillow for my grandson. Very satisying weekend.


Flo Tilla – a round robin type of gal

I had another flat doll come through to work on.  This time it was an armless mermaid.  I’m sure someone along the line will give her arms or else she’s going to have a very hard time swimming and climbing on rocks to lure seamen to their doom (oh, wait, that’s a siren).  Anyhow – my contribution this time was a hand dyed shawl.  You could call it a  piece of cheesecloth painted with Dye-na-flow, but that doesn’t sound half as chic.   We went over to the Santa Claus house for some photo ops and this is what we came away with.  The reindeer are taking a well deserved break!

Flat doll round robin

The Documented Life – Week 10

This week the prompt was to write a list of things that made you … you. For some reason this really intimidated me. I have never been comfortable with the idea of journaling, putting really personal things down on paper. What if I wrote something negative and someone found it? What if I poured out my heart on paper and it was laughed at? A secret is a secret only if no one knows it. So I don’t do it. Even the thought of writing about myself was difficult – how deep do I want to go? I pondered this most of the week and started a few little lists and then tossed them aside. This is what I ended up with. I used tags to make the little flaps and I still have one entire side of a tag to add to my list. I actually did put something really personal in there – but it’s on the back of the tag that is taped to the page. So no one can see it. That was actually a pretty big step for me. Glad this week of The Documented Life is over!

First flap open:
The Documented Life Project - Week 10
Second flap:

The Documented Life Project - Week 10

2014 Heart Swap

I'm hosting another heart swap over on Doll Street, I've done this twice before and it's been a lot of fun. I think the best part of hosting a swap is that you get to see everyone's art up close and personal. I had been intrigued by a zipper heart that I saw online a couple of years ago and I never could figure out how it was made. Being sewing centric was my downfall, when I finally purchased the tutorial for these I realized my own prejudices were holding me back. I can't tell you how they are made but I can share my picture with you. This is actually a little bit rough as it was my first go at this technique, the second one I made is much better but I haven't photographed it.


Happy Valentine’s Day

Here is my week 7 challenge for The Documented Life Project. I photoshopped the words on top so I could use it as a card but the original in my planner is just plain. This was fast and dirty. Seriously. I did a lot of spraying, splattering, and finger painting. Even after scrubbing and a shower my fingers are still stained!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day today.



Paper art

One of the things I like about social media is finding new projects to get involved with. This one is called The Documented Life Project and it's a combination planner, journal, and art journal. Each week you are given a prompt to make a piece of art from. I started a bit late so I have a lot of catching up to do, but it's fun and I really did forget how much I like playing with paint and collage. I used the planner recommended, it's my first time using a Moleskine. I painted the cover and added monthly tabs. The colors are actually a bit duller in person, too bad. I like this version!

This was the first week's prompt, to do a page incorporating your front door. I took a photo of my door and then used a watercolor filter in Photoshop. Printed it out and glued it to the page. Then I stamped on it, hated it, so tried to cover it with paint. Made kind of a mess. But it will do.



Crown of Thorns

Sounds rather religious, the name of this gourd. As usual when I get excited about something, I buy a lot of them. Sherry Goshon gave me a doll made with one of these gourds and I thought it made the most amazing skirt. So I bought a dozen, used two, then they sat in a box in my closet for years. I have decided it is time to let things go, I am going to de-hoard ( as opposed to de-clutter, all my crap is well organized). Obviously these are going, and they are going to Sherry. I'm sure she will put them to good use, or else they will sit in her closet for years. Guess that's better than mine!