Saturday, March 31, 2012

Remember the Retro Pillow Challenge?

Waaaaay back in September 2011 Keren from sew la vie! and I hosted our first sewing challenge.  We called it the Retro Pillow Challenge.  One of the participants, Miss Lauren from Michigan, was not able to complete her project in time.  It was a major bummer because she had a great idea but just not enough time to get it done.

Lauren is not a blogger, but she has a BurdaStyle profile.  She makes a lot of purses and bags, which is how I found her on BurdaStyle in the first place.  Anyway, many, many months later (little stab there!) Lauren finally finished her pillow.  She sent me some pics and just look at how cool it came out!  I just had to share.

Now I am Little-Miss-Matchy-Matchy-Everything-Must-Be-Symmetrical.  Lauren is not.  Her "eye" for design is much more organic than mine.  Just look how she plotted out her floral applique.  Two huge flowers and neither are centered.  But it all works, doesn't it?

Check out the gorgeous stitching and bead work.  

Well done Lauren!  Thanks so much for sending me the photos and for being such a cool BurdaStyle friend!

What about all of you, my lovely readers?  Do you like Lauren's pillow?  What do you think of her aesthetic?  What is your design style?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nadia's Typography Challenge Entry

Nadia is one of our newest recruits to the Typography Challenge.  She doesn't have a blog, but she does have a great facebook page for her business, The Pink Pixie.  This is what she had to say about her project:
My pillow set was inspired by a picture a friend had pinned on to her pinterest board titled “For Our Home”.  I wanted a truly unique wedding gift for her & her fiancĂ©.  I’ve learned one of the great things about pinterest….knowing the perfect gift to get someone, as it’s kind of their very own “wish list”.  

I knew I wanted to do the houndstooth & chevron pillow covers along with something a bit more personalized.  It finally hit me, A2 (squared) would be perfect for them, being that both of their names start with “A”.  

So, I set out to find the perfect fabric, which wasn’t easy.  You’d think green houndstooth and chevron would be easy to find….not so much (in Nebraska anyway)!  Finally, thanks to a fun shop I discovered online http://www.texassusannie.comI was able to get the exact fabric I wanted.  I then picked up some white twill and green cotton fabric to match and set off to make what I think is a pretty cool wedding gift.  

I made very simple slipcovers with the houndstooth and chevron fabric to fit 18x18 pillow forms.  Then I sewed a 14x14 slipcover with the white twill, added the A2(squared) with a zigzag stitch and stuffed the pillows inside.  I’m a huge fan of personalized gifts for just about any occasion.  I just hope the “A”s love it as much as I do! Nadia 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clutch Makeover DIY

So what do you think?  It's different, I know.  

The lace says flirty and feminine.  The ombre-esque paint job says fun and artsy.  The bold stripes say sporty and casual.  The white patent leather says classy and sophisticated.  What does it say to you?  

This clutch in particular is not for every woman.  I think it's a little "young" for me so I'm putting it in my sell or gift category of crafts.  The concept of this project is very adaptable to any look though.  Imagine a white lace on a brown bag for a western/rustic look.  Or if you've seen my Naughty Notions clutch, it is a bit more sexy and edgy.  You won't believe how simple it was to make!  A little paint, a little Mod Podge, a little trimming, a little patience, and done!

  • Purse.  Patent leather worked great for me, but you can Mod Podge virtually any smooth surface.  Take it easy on yourself and look for a purse with simple lines and lots of flat surface area.  
  • Acrylic paint.  I used Martha Stewart's Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Carrot and Pond.
  • Mod Podge.  I used matte finish.  
  • Paint brush.  I used the same 1cm wide flat brush for paint and Mod Podge.
  • Sponge.  I cut a strip off the sponge in my kitchen sink.
  • Lace.  I used some 4 inch wide flat lace.
  • Strips of fabric or ribbon.  I used some bright orange bias tape.
  • Scissors.  I used some itty-bitty sharp scissors I stole from my husband's dopp kit.  
Here's what I started with.  A classic white patent leather clutch.  I picked it up at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for a mere $.95.  It is 18 inches long with a metal frame.  The closure is brass.  The lining is a dark navy blue with a zippered pocket.

I prepped my purse for decoupaging by wiping it down with a damp cloth.  Then I removed any oils or residues with rubbing alcohol.

The lace I wanted to use was a pale blue.  It was pretty, but lacked the pow factor I was looking for.  I painted the lace with Pond on some freezer paper and hung it up to dry.

Next, I used my brush (not shown) and painted two coats of Carrot on the border of the lace.  Then I used my little sponge to feather some more color onto the edges.  

To add the lace I painted Mod Podge over the top of it to adhere it to the purse.  Being so porous, the Mod Podge soaked right through the lace.  I adjusted and straightened the lace to my satisfaction as it dried.  For the bias tape strips, I painted a layer on the back of them first and then stuck them onto the purse.  Then I painted another layer of Mod Podge on the top side.  I fiddled with them until they were as straight and evenly spaced I wanted them.  

I trimmed up the excess lace and bias tape with some tiny sharp scissors.   While the Mod Podge was still slightly wet, I trimmed the lace and bias tape and pressed them down along the edges.  That way all the edges fully and smoothly adhered to the curved surface of the purse.  If you're not careful and diligent during this step, you could end up with a rough edge that will snag and scratch things.

The last step is to let it dry completely.  And that was it.  Easy right?  The above photo is pretty large.  Click on it if you'd like to see the purse up close.  I'm thinking about painting just the handle blue or orange.  What do you think?  I can't decide.

Now imagine some silver lace on a black patent leather purse with some of the new glitter Mod Podge.....Yeah, that's what I'm cooking up next!  Stay tuned!

Special thanks to my 5 yr old daughter for taking my fashion shots!
You noticed the snow along the fence?  The photos were taken Wednesday, March 21.  Spring is a little frosty up here in Montana!
Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interactive Photo Collage

move your mouse over the image.....

I am super impressed with this little free app I found via google Chrome.

I am thinking this would be a fun little something to add to a post every once in a while.

What do you think?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Monday, March 19, 2012

100,000 Pageviews!!!

Yesterday, March 18, Ricochet and Away surpassed 100,000 pageviews!  Early in January 2011, I hit 50,000 pageviews.  That was 7 months after my first post.  Nearly 3 months have passed since then and here I am at 100,00 pageviews!  I am so surprised and baffled that this little blog has had so many look-sees in less than a year.

In the past 9 months I have:

  • made so many new blogging and crafty friends.  {HUGS!}
  • learned so much about HTML.  (thanks Keren!)
  • become totally addicted to Pinterest!
  • branched out from sewing bags and moved into quilting.  
  • co-hosted 4 sewing challenges.  
  • had my posts featured on over 18 different blogs and websites.
  • had 7 out of 35 submissions accepted on craftgawker.  (talk about frustrating!)
  • surpassed 280 likes on my facebook page.
  • surpassed 180 followers with GFC. (thank you followers!)
  • published 25 free tutorials.
  • published 114 posts.
  • accepted a partnership with Plaid to blog about their wonderful craft products.
What started out as a whim to promote my facebook page, blogging has become a rewarding hobby for me.  I love it.  I love my readers.  I can't thank you all enough for all the great information and inspiration you have given me.  
Thank you.  THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!  

Happy crafting and humongous hugs from Montana,
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Typography Challenge Entry

 Here we are in mid-March and I am done with my Typography Challenge project!  These pillows are going to be a wedding present for some dear friends.  I think the text is hilarious to me and oh so true!
I used reverse applique to make the letters.  I made a little reverse applique tutorial HERE.

I bordered the edges with thin strip of patchwork.  

The back sides are quilted patchwork.  I blogged about the patchwork HERE.

The Typography Challenge ends on March 31st.  If you would like to review the challenge guidelines and submit a project of your own check out the challenge homepage.  We have an inspirational pinterest board that all the participants have been working on as well.

I would love to hear you comments regarding these pillows and/or the Typography Challenge.  We have a super creative group of participants this time and an intriguing challenge so I'm really excited to see what everyone will come up with.

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Plaid Craft Products

Recently, I received an email from Plaid, the company who makes Mod Podge.  Here's a quote from that email:
We here at Plaid manufacture several craft and paint brands such as Mod Podge and Martha Stewart paints. I wanted to reach out to you, because we have noticed a recent increase in DIY/fashion blogs incorporating craft products within their projects and post. I am always on the lookout for new bloggers to build relationships, and I wanted to know if you would be interested in partnering with Plaid? We would love to send you product to create projects with, and/or have you host giveaways on your blog. Please let me know if you would be interested. 
Um, yeah, of course I'm interested!  I sent a big ol' list of products I'd like to try.  It never hurts to ask, right? Today I received a package in the mail.  I didn't expect to get everything I asked for, but I did get many of the items from my list.  Check it out:

I've got some killer projects in mind and can't wait to get started!

Have any of you been approached by craft companies like this?  Do you have any advice as to how to make most out of this opportunity?  Is there anything I can do to get more free products from other companies?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Featuring: Lisa Vollrath's Go Make Something

Before I sewed, I scrapbooked.  
I documented the baby and toddlerhoods of both my children with little pages like these:

authored by Lisa Vollrath.
I copied and pasted this directly from Lisa's Squidoo page:
Lisa Vollrath is a prolific mixed-media artist. Her work covers a multitude of techniques, from altered books to collage, from artist trading cards and decos to textile art and costume design. When it comes to artwork, there's nothing she won't try!
Go Make Something helped me expand beyond scrapbooking and delve into the realm of altered books and art books.  I altered encyclopedias and filled little journals.  I still have a few ongoing paper crafting and mixed media projects that I come back to now and then.  I probably always will. 

Some of the lovely things you'll find at Go Make Something are tons of free printables.  Lots of beautiful and cute vintage postacrds and labels absolutely free.

You'll also find tons of free paper crafting and mixed media instructions.
Here is a list of tutorials just about Altered Books:
  • What Is An Altered Book?
  • Cutting Niches
  • Preparing A Book To Be Altered
  • A Little Altered Book
  • How To Identify A Sewn Spine
  • A Crash Course in Tip-Ins
  • Creating a Double Foldout Page
  • Round Robin Sign In Pages
  • Drawers in Altered Books
  • Sectioned Niches for Bottles
  • Chipboard Letter Cover
  • Planning a Layout
  • Adding a Shaker
  • Theme Ideas
  • Altered Book Note Holder
  • A One Layer Foam Core Niche
It's a pretty expansive list, no?  That's just a small taste of what there is to offer.  

If you like what see at Go Make Something, you will love to browse through the Ten Two Studios shop.


The actual blog posts are very cool as well.  Just scroll through her homepage and be amazed and inspired.

Just so you know, I'm featuring Go Make Something out of the goodness of my heart because I love it so much!!!!   I'm just a huge fan and want to pass on some cool stuff to you all.  I hope you will check out this super cool blog and let me know what you think about it.

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,

My favorite brand is "clearance".  Here are some clearance boots you might be interested in:
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