Happy Thanksgiving From Hawaii

Honolulu Star Bulletin, 1999
Have a wonderful...tummy full-filling...Thanksgiving !


The air is still. I hear the chirping of a single bird, probably perched on the top of a neighbor’s roof. The house is quiet except for the sound of keyboard clicks as I type my blog update. I feel this time is the quiet before the storm. A moment before the stores barrage us with incessant sale ads on TV, in the mail, on the internet, and in newspapers. When shoppers clog parking lots and wait in long lines then tote bags of gifts back home where they’ll spend hours wrapping, wrapping, and wrapping. On the bright side, it’s a whole lot better than watching one political ad after another.

Is this really a holiday season? In our own world, our family celebrates Christmas with a dinner at our house. It costs a few bucks to put together which disturbs my hubby. I always have to remind him that we are creating memories. Memories that my nieces and nephews will carry with them as they move into the world of adulthood. Memories that the aunts and uncles will carry with them as they move into their senior years. One year my little niece tried to fill a balloon with water …. From the toilet! Hahaha. Yup memories…are priceless.

I need to get to the COSTCO to buy a few dozen eggs to start baking pies for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. I do like baking. I do like eating what I bake. But before I go, I want to share with you my latest craft experiment, coloring fabric with colored pencils. The great thing about using colored pencils is that you can color as you would normally, so no special skill is required….PLUS, it’s cheap (unless you opt to use artist’s level colored pencils). Fabric doll makers often use colored pencils to draw in their doll faces, along with gel pens or crayons, etc. So there's a bit of information on the internet if you'd like to learn more. For me, I like simple so it's just stamp, color, and sew. Done.

I love Penny Black rubber stamps because of the detail and because the designs are so darn cute! And I like that the image on the wood mount is colored so I simply can follow the same color scheme. Life is much easier this way. But of course you can use your own favorite stamp, or find an image on the internet, or simply draw to your own delight.

Here's the first attempt ~

I admit..I darken the colors a bit in photoshop..heh

Ready to get ChristmasSY? 

  • Good quality cotton fabric with a tight weave (i.e. good quality muslin)
  • Rubber stamp
  • Rubber stamp ink pad - refer to the back of the ink pad to check if it's suitable for fabric. I used the Palette brand for my ornaments
  • Colored Pencils - you can use any brand from what I read but the artist type pencil makes coloring easier
  • To set the color : There are several options based on internet searches : brush on a textile medium or apply a clear spray (i.e., Krylon brand).  Read the instructions carefully before making a purchase. Textile mediums may require minutes to hours to days to set.  Sprays require a well-ventilated area may add an 'odor' to your project.  
  • Felt, Sewing Thread/Embroidery Thread, Ribbon for loop, Bell
Okay, let's get started with the fun stuff

Step 1 : Be sure to ink your stamp well.  Firmly stamp your image on your fabric.

Step 2 : Coloring Example : Hat : I picked a light red and dark red.  It's best to color in lightly then gradually add more coloring until you're happy with the result.  I started with the light red then layered over the darker red.  I then go over again with the light red to smooth out the color.  I'm not an expert on coloring on fabric so I use the same technique as I do with handmade cards.  Continue coloring the rest of the hedgehog.

Step 3 :  After coloring, it is typical to set the colors in with a clear spray or a textile medium.  I opted to NOT apply a medium of any kind.  After all this is just an ornament so the less fuss the better.

Step 4 : Cut 2 pieces of felt and a ribbon for the loop. Pin the loop in place.  Sew pieces together with 3strands of embroidery thread.  Lightly stuff your ornament and continue with sewing.  Make a bow and attach.  Add a bell.  TA DA

Tip :  Stabilize the fabric with freezer paper or iron on interfacing (I didn't do this step but an option)

I'm a paper crafter so I have a LOT of tools to make cards and scrapbooks.  I used a die cut machine to cut out the scallop shapes.  But these ornaments will be fabulous in any shape!

It's Party Time !

Imagine a list of 400+ invited guests for a party. Then imagine handmade cookies in 350 party favor boxes, 55 party bags filled with toys and candies, games, prizes, a kids’ craft table (ohhhh yeah), and a gorgeous buffet at one of Hawaii’s nicest hotels. A wedding? An anniversary? Nope, just another baby’s first birthday bash..celebrated Hawaii style.

Husbands, sons, brother in laws, mothers, and friends were recruited to help with the favor boxes. My assignment? … the 55 party favor bags. My friend decided on solid colored drawstring bags in blue, orange, red, green, and purple from the Oriental Trading Company. I suffered through the creative angst for a couple weeks … waiting for inspiration to strike on how to decorate the bags. My misadventures included freezer paper stenciling, a pretty neat-o screening method shown on instructables.com , sewing a softie fish to stuff into a pocket, playing around with felt, and an attempt with embroidery. My pain-in-the-butt hubby kept reminding me how time was running out and that I had better make up my mind.

I decided to go “crafty” and chose to work with craft foam…and lots and lots of glue. I found this project worked best to balance time, effort, and ‘cuteness’.

Here’s a girl’s bag

…and a boy’s bag

My poor etsy shop and blog fell to the wayside while I focused all my time on the bags. My friend felt badly for taking up my time. I shared with her that I craft…it’s what I do…it makes me happy.

Now that I’m done with the bags…I’ll be throwing myself into making 2 Bucilla brand felt Christmas stockings for my nephew’s 2 new grand kids. Once upon a time, making Christmas stocking for the little ones in our family was my tradition. I can’t remember why I stopped but I think it‘s because my nieces and nephews were having tooooo many babies!! Seriously. Sigh.

Need Christmas Ideas?

You are going to love this online magazine on Amy Powers blog - inspire co.!  It is filled with beautiful pictures and the most amazing projects...some of the best I've ever seen in one collection!  I don't understand how this e-zine is shared with all of us for FREE.  

Take a look over at Amy's blog...you'll be blown away by her creativity, her dedication to her family, and her lovely spirit. 

I am loving the embroidered trees!  So pretty. sigh.

Kyaza Pochi Tutorial

33 followers!!! I am STOKED that I am not alone.  Thank you all for keeping me company as I stumble through my way in this amazing world of blogging.

I am so excited to share another tutorial.  This cutie is for a Kyaza Pochi from one of my many Japanese craft books.

Would you believe that this pouch is made with 2 circle fabric pieces?  The pouch is fairly easy to sew except for that &!#$# zipper!  And I have the pin 'pukas' (local speak for holes) in my fingers to prove it.  Ha Ha

Before we start; I need to confess that there is a bit of playing around as you make this pouch.  There are parts in the pattern was difficult to decipher but hey, this is just a pouch. So as Project Runway's Tim Gunn would say...just "make it work".

Step 1 : Cut 2 circles: Outer Fabric and Lining - both 9 inch diameter. Cut 1 circle : Iron-on Interfacing: 9 inch diameter ( I used fusible fleece for a soft, thick structure; but light to medium interfacing works too)

Step 2 :  Iron the interfacing to your outer fabric on the wrong side; following manufacturer's instructions.  Lay 2 fabric pieces wrong side together and pin.

Step 3 :  Sew a gathering stitch along the top edge around the circle.  Sew no more than 1/4" beyond the top edge.  Gather; spreading gathers as evenly as possible to form a 7" pouch; measuring from the left to right top edge. 

Step 4 : Cut bias : 2" wide x 15"-17" long (note: I decided to cut a strip in place of a bias strip. Confession: Bias strip? That scares me. I have never made a bias strip and so I wimped out on this one.  Plus this is only a pouch).  I pressed the two edges towards the center as pictured below but found later that I didn't need to do that.

Step 5 :  Sew the two ends of the bias strip together to form a round band.  (place the strip around the top edge of your pouch to determine the size for your strip before sewing)

Step 6 : Place the bias strip band along the top edge, right sides together.  Pin.  Sew along the edge.  I used my 1/4" edger sewing foot to sew the strip to the pouch.

Step 7 :  Fold the band to the inside of the pouch.  Turn raw edge under and hand sew in place. 

Step 8 : Now for the dreaded zipper.  For this pouch the zipper is hand sewn in.  I used a 7" zipper but it was a little short but I made it work. I don't know why but there was no 8" zipper to be found in Walmart or at our local fabric mart store.  So I'm not sure if an 8" zipper would fit but I'll try this size for my next pouch. What you say? What did the pattern indicate? Well, after staring at the pattern for some time I could not find any measurement that might be for a zipper! sigh.

P.S. After giving this step a bit more thought, I think that the zipper can be fit to the pouch by adjusting the gathers.  So before sewing the bias strip, fit your zipper (be it 7 or 8 inches) along the inside of the top edge, adjusting the gathers to make it work.  At this point, it may be necessary to sew a straight stitch along the edge to hold the gathers in place.  I'm sorry for this 'iffy' tutorial. double sigh.

...and since I winged it for the zipper, I decided to post pictures from the book on how to stitch it in place...the proper way

And here it is....a pouch that would make you happy happy