Thursday, November 27, 2008

chEers To a SweLL ThanKsGivInG!

Eat, Drink and B. Merry, my friends! Enjoy your family and friends and give a shout of thanks to each and every one of them!

Cheers to a festive, creative holiday!


Friday, November 14, 2008

moUntAin of CreAtivE fuN

In a few short weeks we head to the picturesque Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. I'll be offering up a couple of creative sessions (Dec 12-14) for their guests to come in and learn how to create 'no knit scarves' or how to paint a 'pop art portrait' of someone they love! Both are great fun and they make for colorful gift ideas. It's all part of their "Home for the Holidays - How To Holidays" program and we're very proud to be a part of it! (and shhhh!....I may even soak up a bit of the vaca-vibe for myself while I'm there!)


Monday, November 10, 2008

'sAy It wiTh a ScaRf'

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity”…. Plato
Scarves can be celebrated in many magnificent ways. They can be stylish accessories, bundles of warmth, or works of art. Men, women and children can all get in on the celebration and they can be enjoyed year ‘round. Creating a one of a kind scarf from scratch is also an instantly gratifying project anyone at any skill level can take on. I love making them as much as I love wearing them. The unique handmade scarves I share with you are quick and easy to create and they each utilize leftover materials in a beautiful way.
No Knit
The No Knit Scarf is simply made by cutting strands of yarn to 8-foot lengths for adults and 4 to 5 foot lengths for kids. A medium weight scarf consists of 65 to 70 strands. (A helpful cutting jig can be made by taking an 8 foot long 2x4 and placing a long bolt at the appropriate measured points. Run yarn from one end of the board to the other wrapping around bolts as you go.) Vary the weights, textures and colors of yarn for an interesting end result. Once you have all of your strands cut to length, bundle and tie off at the center. Section off as desired and lock sections into place by sewing a straight machine stitch across the strands at the desired points. I like to place a stitch in the middle and then two more stitches out from the center on both sides spaced 8 inches apart. The remaining loose ends are then braided and machine stitched at the ends. Another option is to simply section your bundle off into three sections and braid the entire thing. Just tie off tightly at both ends and you’ve eliminated any need for sewing. Experiment with different sectioning techniques, twists, and braids and feel free to embellish with beads, charms or other decorative accessories, as desired.

Quilt Scarf
Sewing together scraps of fabric in simple, quilt inspired patterns create this colorful beauty. You can also save yourself even more time by utilizing partially finished quilt squares that can generally be found at flea markets and second hand stores. Stitch together a section of fabric scraps until you have desired scarf length and width. Work on a cutting mat and trim to size as you go and press open the seams as you go. I make mine to a 72 to 75 inch length and vary the width anywhere from 6 to 12 inches. It’s all about personal preference. The backing material for the scarf can be soft, lightweight muslin or my personal preference is old cotton bed sheets. Backings for a lot of scarves can be created from one bed sheet. Search for vintage looking ones with interesting patterns to compliment the front piece you’ve created. Place wrong sides together and use a serger if you have one, to create a finished edge all the way around. You can also place right sides together, stitch ¼” from edge on three sides, leaving one short side unstitched in order to turn right side out and finish with a machine topstitch or hand stitch.
Trimmed Out
Select 3 – 4 different style trims. Cut each to desired scarf length. Lay out trims on a table and twist and overlap into desired style. Pin where needed and stitch to hold in place.

Select old t-shirts with interesting logos and sayings and preferred color schemes. Place each shirt on a cutting mat and cut out a 12” square from the front and back of the shirt. Connect 8-10 panels together to get desired length. Use decorative zigzag or straight topstitch to connect. Your t-shirt material will not fray, so there is no need to finish off the outer edges of your scarf.

Try them all and you’ll be able to wrap your neck and the necks of all your loved ones in stylish handmade fashion for a long time to come. And, whether you’re wearing them for warmth or wearing them for style, wear them proudly, my friends!

Cheers to the scarf!