June 27, 2010


Whenever something absurd, ridiculous and generally bizarre happens you can count on my friend Alyssa to be the person responsible. Case in point: dearest Alyssa traveled all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland to pay the Bay Area a visit for a few weeks. She came over to my apartment yesterday afternoon to hang out and chat. I began to show her the various crafty items that I've been working on and we ended up having an impromptu photo shoot.

Alyssa very graciously offered to act as my model...and good thing too, because she looked infinitely better wearing my first every upcycled t-shirt creation than I do. So here we go!

Sexy Halter Top

The pattern and directions for this top come from Megan Nicolay, author of the Generation T books. This specific pattern is from her second book and I made it with the aid of the instructional video that she made for Threadbanger. I had to wing it a little bit because the t-shirt I was using was a little small, which of course caused the final product to be small as well. But I think it turned out great, especially on Alyssa. (I even saved the scraps and used them to make a ton of circles that I plan on using to make some frilly flower adornments for another t-shirt project.)

T-shirt Reborn Tote Bags

I've been meaning to post about these bags for quite some time. All I needed was some photographs and a willing model.

The Beer Chang tote was the first ever sewing project that I completed. The pattern for this tote is also from the Generation T book, but it quickly became a referential source: I really wanted to use my sewing machine rather than hand sewing the pieces together per the Nicolay's instructions. This meant that I had to alter the order in which I sewed the components together which is something that I figured out after I began sewing; it also required me to use my seam ripper and a little more brainpower than I had anticipated. But I think that overall it turned out great, especially considering that this was the first time that I used a sewing machine for more than just practice and I was working with a stretchy fabric.

The second bag is a variation on the first. Again I used the Generation T tote pattern as a reference source but I shortened the handles (read: ran out of black t-shirt material) and streamlined the entire process a bit. As for the story behind the "Free Katie Holmes" message: last summer I went to a Goodwill store in San Leandro and found a bunch of white XL and XXL t-shirts with this image on them. I thought they were too weird and unique to pass up. So I bought one with the specific intent of turning it into a tote. Nearly one year later and that dream has come true.

I'm not quite sure what to do with these totes. I'm thinking about posting them at my Etsy shop.

A Multi-Functional Purse

It took me a while to complete this purse. And like always it was the finishing touches that delayed its completion...especially finding and attaching the handles. But it is finally done and I took it out for the first time on Saturday. Then Alyssa put it on her head and turned it into a hat. (I should have learned by now not to leave her alone for more than a few moments.) Naturally I whipped out my camera and documented the silliness that ensued. And, oh what marvelous silliness it was.

Note: the following captions are roughly paraphrased quotes from Alyssa and myself. They will help give you an idea of how our minds work, especially when we are in each others presence.

A: "Are you sure this isn't a hat? I think its a hat. How could you not wear it as a hat."

A: "They're like giant earring/handle things so that your hat doesn't blow away."

Yours truly: "Its like Star Wars meets 1920s flapper girl."

Both: "WIN"

A: "I found a shark. Can I keep him?"

Me: "I don't think the feeling is mutual."

A: "Yes, yes. This hat most definitely suits the abominable snowman."

June 19, 2010


Our trip to Maine was lovely and now I'm back in Oakland. Well...I've been back for almost two weeks, but its been so busy that it seems like we got back yesterday. I haven't had enough time (or ambition) lately to make new things, but my plan for now is to photograph all of the craft projects that I've completed in the last year or so. And I resolve to post said photos next week. Until then, enjoy these great pics from my lovely escape to Maine.

Waiting for our flight to JFK, which was delayed.

Giant chicken. Monmouth, Maine.

Evan's parents' house in Monmouth and the welcoming committee, Parker.

Wicked Whoopies. The shop in Gardiner is super cute and I left feeling like I bought one of everything....because I kind of did. But they weren't all for myself: I shipped all but one to my dad and brothers.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

My lobster. tasty...

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Beautiful flowers, awesome fungi, and orbs in the forest.

Casco Bay.

Us and the L.L. Bean 90th Anniversary Boot, Freeport, Maine.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol, Maine. Now all I need to do is visit a lighthouse in Alaska and I then I can say that I've visited lighthouses from all corners of the country.

Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Neat living colonial museum and beautiful New England architecture.

Campaign ball of the 1840 presidential election. They sure don't campaign the way they used to.

I have more photos on my flickr page. Check it out if you want to see more, which I know you do.

See you next week!