Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Own DIY Cross Stitch iPhone Case!

Have you seen the DIY Cross Stitch iPhone case from the South Korean company Connect Design?  It's been blogged just about everywhere from Craft to geeky blogs, but as I actually considered purchasing this item, I noticed EVERY blog used the same art from Connect Design.  I even tweeted asking if anyone had ACTUALLY purchased this case...crickets.  This is a really good example of bad blogging...a new and innovative items with absolutely no actual product research done!   So, itching for a new iPhone case and cross stitch project, I shelled out the $18 ($22 with international shipping) and hoped for the best.

[caption id="attachment_547" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="work in progress"][/caption]


Within 2 weeks my case did arrive with a supply of thread and a few design ideas.  However, with the idea being DIY, I chose to do my own thing and designed a chevron pattern (because let's face it...chevrons are hot right now!).  I'm still in the process of completing the case but its going well and the flexible design seems protective of the phone (yeah, I unintentionally tested that several times).  My only complaints are a blank grid not being included to develop your own design and the grid goes one block past where you can stitch on the back...its not too unsightly, but I wanted to create a design completely covering the grid.  Some things that surprised me were how easy it was to stitch through the thick plastic grid and how the layer of thread adds another level of security to your phone.

If you are considering this case, go for it!  I'm really pleased and it was well worth the money to create a one of a kind case!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Revisting the Katrina Fleur de Lis Knitted Washcloth Project

It's hard to believe it was 6 years ago today that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi.  I rode out the storm 50 miles north of New Orleans and as I thought "hey, this isn't SO bad," the tree in front of the house split in two!  It was 10 days later that we got power back and we realized the full extent of the storm.  I am glad to see things have changed in that time and even for smaller storms like Irene, people take things more seriously.

With the anniversary today and one major hurricane under our belts this year, I thought I would share the Katrina knitted washcloth that was designed and created by Noelle Dempsey.  Noelle explains:
This cloth design was originally written for the Cloths for Katrina drive which took place in 2005 and organized sending handmade washcloths and bars of soap to comfort evacuees of hurricane Katrina. Samples of this cloth are now housed in the Louisiana State Museum and tour schools to teach students about crafting for charity.

It really is a very simple pattern that she has made available thru her blog or Ravelry, all she asks is if you sell it commercially that the profits go to a charitable cause.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Sketchbook Project

This year was the first Sketchbook Project Tour; a collection of submitted sketchbooks traveling the United States.  A really unique idea that shares what is thought of an intimate practice of sketching and journaling with the masses.  After the tour each book is kept and filed in the Brooklyn Art Library.

The Sketchbook Project is now gearing up for their 2012 tour and you have until October 31st to sign up.  The entry fee is a modest $25 which includes the sketchbook and helps with the logistics of such a massive undertaking (this year they are taking the sketchbooks beyond the US!). If you would like to have your sketchbook professionally digitized, it's a mere $20 to share your book with a wider audience online.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quilt Block Trails

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Example of North Carolina Quilt Trail"][/caption]

I am super excited to announce that my community is beginning its very own Quilt Block Trail.  Not heard of it before?  Neither had I, but they exist in 30 states (now add Louisiana, please!) and 2 Canadian provinces.  Begun by Donna Sue Groves, an Ohio resident, to honor her mom's memory, these large Quilt blocks are applied to barns, buildings and residential homes.  Simply, the blocks, representing or interpreting a historical quilting block, are painted on board and applied (usually bolted) to the structure.  Suddenly a very private art of Quilt Making becomes a public art to be appreciate and admired and together these blocks link a community.  I hope to add my own quilt block in the coming weeks but here are a couple that have been installed in my town of Ponchatoula, LA.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="272" caption="Quilt Block at the Clay Station - Ponchatoula, LA"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="272" caption="Quilt Block from Waterman Law Office - Ponchatoula, LA"][/caption]

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wing Nut Bracelet Tutorial

Last week we covered these fabulous necklaces made from hardware finds; now lets go back to the hardware store to complete the look!  Honesty WTF has an excellent tutorial on this emerging trend of woven wing nut bracelets:
You’ll need:
- 3 strands of twine cut into one yard pieces
- 18 small brass hex nuts
- a bit of dexterity!

Gather the 3 strands of twine and tie a knot at the top, leaving about 2 inches of slack. Start braiding. At about an inch of the way down, you’ll begin braiding in the nuts. Before you braid the far left strand over the middle strand, thread on a nut, push it against the base of the braid, and crossover. Depending on the thickness of the twine, you can wrap tape around the bottom tips to prevent the twine from fraying. (Click images to enlarge)

Keep your thumb at the base of the braid, holding the nut in its place. Before you braid the far right strand over the middle, thread on another nut, push it against the base of the braid and crossover. Again, hold your thumb tightly against the base of the braid, keeping the nuts in place. Thread another nut onto the far left piece and crossover.

Repeat the steps, by threading the rest of the nuts to the outer pieces of twine before they are crossed over. Thread, cross, thread, cross. Finish the bracelet with another inch of braided twine and a knot.

The bracelet should wrap around your wrist at least two or three times. Trim it to your liking.

Good luck!!

Wow!  What a transformation from something so ordinary to something high-end!  Off to make my own!!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creative Girl Book Group: Final Thoughts

This has been an incredible journey.  Katharine Sise's Book Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career
was a fun read AND an inspiration.  She began the book by dealing with the creative and the spiritual components of the artist's life.  Then she got into the guts of the thing with the hard work and effort and energy and STAMINA needed to really have a go at creating a successful business.  And then she comes full circle with having us creative peeps remember the roots, the passion, the "why" of the thing.

Sise tackles the myth of art and madness being UNAVOIDABLY INTERTWINED.   She has us creatives come up with a "business plan of sorts" for our well being.  We are challenged to connect with our bends toward perfectionism and procrastination.  She cheerleads the idea of community and building in time to step away and get out of your head.

As you have been reading in my last few posts, I have been feeling the need to take a few steps back and breathe. It took a couple of weeks but I am feeling like ME again.  I needed to do it for myself and for my family.

-Robin Norgren

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's not you, its me...

When Nik got brushed off via text message by her Friday night date; she immortalized the absurdity of the said text in cross-stitch.  Because, frankly...isn't everything better in cross-stitch?
Either way she says, it’s getting mounted in a frame and hung on my apartment wall to remind me every day of the sitcom that is my life

follow more of Nik's life and great projects at Style Schematic

--Lisa LeBlanc

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