Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Crafty Secret

I realized today when I was searching for the third time for my can of Krylon matte finish spray, that I needed to get this out into internet land for the good of all crafters. Please, go immediately to your crafty outlet, big box crafty store, or dickblick.com and buy yourself a can of this. It will make all of your painting projects complete. Anything that has the potential to be sticky/tacky will benefit from this stuff. You just spray a quick burst and it will instantly protect your finish from fingerprints and sticking to other surfaces. It dries super quick. We even use it at work to tone down the glossyness on some plotter prints.

So this is my crafty secret for now. Please, heed my advice, you won't be sorry. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fabric Printing/Stenciling Tutorial

This may just be a long post, but hear me out! I have been thinking a lot about fabric printing as of late. I want to post a quick tutorial on stenciling using the freezer paper method.

Currently I'm making a couple of place mats for my messy puppies. They both eat wet food, and tend to get it ALL OVER. I decided that I needed to put their names on the mats, so I'm definitely using the freezer paper method of stenciling.

Here's how:

1. Gather your supplies. You'll need:

Freezer Paper
a nice pair of scissors
an xacto knife (or detail cutting method of your choice)
a computer & printer (or template of some sort)
Textile medium & Acrylic paint (or fabric paint of choice)
a cutting mat (or safe place to do your detail cutting)
an iron & ironing board
fabric of your choice

2. Find the appropriate template. Whatever you want to put on your fabric, you'll need something to stencil. Once you find the template, transfer it on to the paper side of an appropriate size sheet of freezer paper. Handy Tip: To get really clean stencils, cut your freezer paper into 8.5" by 11" sheets and feed them into your printer to print out the design. Make sure you know which side you're printing on (don't print on the shiny side). For my design, I'm using the names of my puppies.

3. Cut out the stencil. Make absolutely sure you're cutting smoothly and right at the edge of your design. Do not cut into any open parts of your letters. It's critical that you be very aware of what you're cutting at this point. We're making a stencil, so you're cutting out the meaty part of the design. I'm cutting out the actual letters. At this point, you may be able to save the innards and use them in a reversed out design later.

4. Iron your design onto your chosen bit of fabric. At this point, your iron should be pretty warm, but not too hot. (We're melting a very thin layer of wax, so it doesn't take much.) Also, be sure that you do NOT use the steam setting of your iron. This will make the wax not stick, and will make all of that detailed cutting useless. Also, iron on the main bit of paper first, then re-add all of the details such as the insides of "o"s and "a"s and yeah, you get the picture.

5. Now it's time for the fun part. It's time to paint! Mix your textile medium according to the specific directions, or get your fabric paint out. Make sure it's nice and full bodied, you do NOT want a runny paint. The fabric will soak it up, and yet again, ruin all that detailed cutting you just did. Ask me how I know... lol. To correctly paint onto your fabric, take a nice flat ended brush, and dab the paint in an up and down motion onto your fabric. Be careful not to saturate your brush too much or it'll get way too wet and might soak into the fabric as well. After you've completed painting, let the piece dry according to your paint/medium's directions. I usually get antsy and pull the paper off before it's time. Believe me, it's a gamble if you do. I actually got red paint on the other bits of fabric, but since it's for the doggies, I'm sort of okay with it. If you do, just be careful.

6. Here's the finished fabric!

My textile medium says wait 7 days. So it'll be about a week before you guys get to see what these become. I'm very excited to see this project through completion. I'm getting a little antsy to finish a sewing project with my new machine. I've got a couple in the works and a couple more in my head.

Another option for fabric printing that is VERY exciting (especially for a graphic designer such as myself) is the new site called Spoonflower. We've all said at one time, "If only I could just print my own fabric!". Well, now you can! I just got my invitation to the beta, and I'm putting together some designs in my head. You should too! (I recieved my invitation within the week.) Don't worry, if you don't know the ins and outs of patterns, Spoonflower offers tutorials for pattern making. Visit them at www.spoonflower.com! :)

Edit: Here's a pic of some onesies that I stenciled with this method in Aug of 06. If you look at the top left one, it says "Frog Prince". The prince part is what happens when you use a very runny paint. It gets super messy and makes the piece almost useless. The bottom image was my fav of that batch. The little boy that was born around that time was going to be a leo, so this is the design I came up with.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My pottery may be a no go...

3 Stoneware Bottles-Matte White by Sara Paloma

Another potter who's work is incredibly fabulous would be Sara Paloma. Her grasp of form is amazing. She has very refined taste, and might I add, spectacular photography skills. :) If you get a second, definitely check out her work. It's beautiful! :)

On my pottery front, it may just be a no go. Sadly... When I got out there to retrieve the kiln, I found it to be in okay shape. But! They had about 5000 ceramic molds that were included with the kiln. (An all or nothing kind of deal) So! I have absolutely no where to store that many molds. Unfortunately I had to pass it by.

I'm still holding out hope that one day I'll be the proud owner of a ceramic kiln.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pottery love

Sweet Pea in Olive Green by Kim Westad

Isn't it beautiful? One day when I grow up I want to be as talented as the artist who created this. Kim Westad's etsy shop is full of beautiful and incredibly unique pottery. The colors she uses are usually very bright and vibrant and she pairs these with simplistic, elegant forms. They look like they're so easy, but I know they aren't.

Speaking of pottery! Today I was able to secure a ceramic kiln. I'll be picking it up after work. I got it for the red hot price of FREE. :) Viva la Craigslist!! Expect pottery on this blog. Sometime... if I can figure it out, without exploding things. I'm off to venture into the wild world of pottery! :) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recon Picture Frame

I'm sure everyone out there has received a gift that er... uh... just isn't their style. Well, since I'm no different, and since I'm a big proponent of the reuse R of the Three R's. I decided to make it into something fabulous. The original was a pretty standard frame with decoupage brown paper with butterflies on it. Now it's a simple blue and white frame that holds a pic of my dapper little nephews just perfectly. I reused the frame and some left over room paint. It's American Tradition in "Sea Tickle". I love how soft it is and also the texture that the decoupage made is a nice touch.

In other news, my brother has come to visit me and should be living in my living room for a bit. I'm excited to have him here as I rarely get to see him. He's a large.... teddy bear. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Less fine art... still art?

Sadly, I missed my nephew Gabriel's 7th birthday. (Present-wise that is.) So I wanted to make it up to him with something really special.

As of now he's deeply in love with the Pokemon universe. (What 7 year old boy isn't?..) So after asking him his favorite, I went to work learning about this little guy. His name is Grotle, and apparently he was once a little guy named Turtwig. He evolved into this cute little warrior.

I really love the painting (I'm especially proud of the texturing on his back... bushes?) I hope he loves it too. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Re-starting with a Bang!

Great News! I'm finally at the position to where I can start creating again. I've been working on this re-initial post for a few days. I've been painting and I love it! :) The painting above was a creation for our bedroom. :) It's four different colors of a soft body paint by Liquitex.

Also, if you check out the very bottom of that photo, you'll see a teeeny tiny little girl puppy under my new comforter. :) She's our new little Chihuahua named Dede. She's the sweetest puppy I've ever met & a polar opposite of her brother (a 2 and a half year old boy Chihuahua named Agro). He's incredibly sweet to people and loves everyone, but he is very high needs. He has separation issues...

So! Expect more posts from me. I'm going to try to update once every other day, or even every day if I can.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A New Direction

Today I ordered my new gal. She's a beauty! (Super Inexpensive) :) I have big plans for our time together. My old machine was falling apart at the seams ;). (It was a starter machine anyway. I needed a better, grown up machine).

I started an etsy shop today as well, briemarie.etsy.com. There isn't anything stocked, but there will be. I have decided that it is time for me to give back to the arts for all it's given me, so 10% of all sales from this shop will be donated to a different art related charity each month. I will be selling accessories of all kinds, from jewelry, to purses, dog accessories to home accessories.

Also, as soon as I'm done moving, I'll be renewing my commitment to Creative Every Day as well. I feel it's very important for me to keep up my development as an artist. I have a ton of new ideas brewing in my head and I'm itching to let them come out to play.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm still here!

Good news! (If anyone still reads this blog.) My husband and I have finally found a new place to live. We both got new jobs in a semi-little town in Texas.

Once I get my studio area set up again (I'm thinking 2 or 3 weeks), I plan on posting again. :)

I can't wait!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blogging Hiatus :/

Hey everyone, it looks like I'm going to have to take a little bit of a break from blogging. We've had some things come up, and it looks like my husband and I will be moving. It's going to take us a couple/few months to get back to where we're at a position to where I can craft again. :( Wish us luck!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Yay! I've been tagged

I’ve been tagged by the talented Betty Ninja of http://bettyninja.blogspot.com

It is supposed to seven random things and then tag seven people, but I am so new to blogging that I really don't know any bloggers but Ms. Ninja. Here goes

1. I have the most adorable little 2 year old Chihuahua named Agro
2. I've never lived in one place for more than 4 years.
3. Swiss cheese is my cryptonite!
4. I spend so much money on craft supplies and then my mind wanders to another medium.
5. I graduated from the Art Institute of Houston in 2003
6. I'm the only person in my immediate family with brown eyes.
7. I dreamt of being a lawyer growing up, now all I want to be is a stay at home mom/artist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Working Creative Professional

Yesterday I applied to work at Texas A&M University as a Graphic Designer. I'm really really hoping I get the job. So, today to get me back in the designerly mood, I decided to sit down and redo the Lime and Aqua logo. I think I like this one more than the previous version. It's probably going to be changing all the time. :)

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Today I received a little bit of inspiration from a friend. She sent me an email with a link to a squirrel purse. She said that she had to have one when she got up the courage to buy it. :) Well, I knew I could make a pretty fabulous squirrel bag and started out to create. This is my take on the squirrel bag. It's a simple canvas/cotton print/felt bag. :) I don't have any flashy tail faux fur, but I hope she likes it. (Yes, I meant for the canvas to fray)

Also, in the mail today I received some fabulously died 100% Merino Superwash Roving. The colors are vibrant jewel tones. I couldn't help myself so I've started to spin an aqua/burgundy bit, and it's turning out beautifully.

Here's some of the dark red in the bunch. It's very striking and I can't wait to see it in yarn. :)

Busy Weekend! :)

Quince Años

This weekend I had the pleasure of photographing a Quinceañera for the first time. This is a celebration for the coming of age for Latina girls. After taking pictures of the ceremony, we all headed up to the Texas Capital. This is a picture of the whole court along the second floor in the main lobby of the capital. All of the pictures turned out fabulously. I'll post more once I get permission from Ms. Quince.

I'm still knitting, I promise! It's a pretty big bolero. Plus, I'm really not that good at it.

Also! This weekend, my Mother and Father-in-law came in to town for the Greenbay/New York game. Sadly, Greenbay lost. This is me afterwards. :(

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

While I'm Knitting Away...

While I'm knitting away on this incredibly soft bolero, I unfortunately have no fun little crafty projects to share. Don't worry, I'm keeping up with the creative every day thing. But it's mostly just knitting. I could share the daily progress on my green mass of yarn right now, but I figured you'd much prefer to see the FOs. So! I'm going to share some of my previously made projects with the world. :)

First up is a necklace that had been swirling around in the recesses of my mind for some time before I let it out. The idea for this piece started with New Years Eve 2006. My roommate decided to drink the last bottle of my wedding champagne while I was asleep. So, I saved the cork and decided that it needed to be a necklace. So I cut a cross section of the end of the cork, made a bezel, and turned it into a necklace. It's holding up very well. I just love it! :) (And it goes with so many outfits!)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

This weekend was possibly the best I've had in a long long time. :) I turned 25 on Saturday and spent it surrounded by friends and family. As a surprise, my little brother came down and brought me a 2001 Chateau Brion, some Absinthe (the legal kind, without the wormwood) and some nice drinking wine. (I'm not a slush I promise!) I got some money from my parents and a Starbux gift card from my friend Ashley.

As far as creativeness goes.... I did go to the Austin Museum of Art for my birthday to see Roy Lichtenstein's work. Majorly exciting, it was fabulous. Kudos to my wonderful husband Jon for the idea. It was amazing. :) After we went to the art museum, we went to Joe's Crab shack and I had lots of drinks and crab and played the bongos to the birthday song. :)

I've been trying to get better at knitting. I found out that I had been purling incorrectly the whole time. It's a lot easier now that i'm purling correctly. I'm also using bamboo needles this time around. They are a ton more comfy on my hands. I'm getting better at following patterns and I might just have a few FOs (finished objects) soon to show off.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm still here!

With a bout of some odd sickness slowing me down this week... not sure what it is, but it's unpleasant. I've decided to take my crafty self to a more mellow level. I've been doing some lower key knitting. Nothing fabulous, just reacquainting myself with the needles.

On a more exciting note! I am learning to spin using a drop spindle. I went into a great, fabulous, amazing, shop called the Knitting Nest here in South Austin and there was a wonderful lady there who taught me how to spin.

On top of that, the owner of the shop just randomly gave me a spindle and some roving! Click the image to visit their site. I honestly can't stay enough great things about that place. Another thing is, they stock the largest supply of Cascade Yarn in the Southwest United States. They have every color currently made of Cascade 220. I'm definitely taking my knitting business there from now on.


Monday, January 7, 2008

A little secret

Really quick before I scoot off to bed, I'll share my little crafting secret.

Craftlit! A podcast for crafters who like books! :)

I spend all of my crafting time (darned near) listening to Craftlit. It is mostly geared towards knitters and spinners, but the books are fabulous. I just finished listening to Pride and Prejudice and plan on Tristan and Isolde next.

Heather, the host, plays selections from librivox.org on each week's show. If you haven't visited librivox.org you should. It's a huge catalog of audiobooks read by volunteers. I spend some of my free time there volunteering. It's quite fun. My username is "foob" if you happen to visit there.

State of the... blog?

I must say, blogging so far has been incredibly inspiring! I've been keeping my vow to be creative daily and it's doing me a world of good. I've been less irritable than normal (ask the hubby) and have been feeling like I'm actually accomplishing things.

For instance, all day Sunday I painted. I had been meaning to do something for the small guest bathroom. I finally got up the nerve to do it! The paint is a copper and silver color to match the colors. I think it's a pretty soothing linear piece. It makes me want to paint more. :)

My creative endeavor for today (Monday night) included a small pincushion made of polymer clay, fabric, paint, and stuffing. I've had this little hybrid snail/ladybug (in the wrong color) in my brain for a little while. He needed to come out.

Anyone have any ideas for a name?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lounging and Logos

So far today has been a pretty laid back day and I'm loving it! :) I had some free time to work on a logo for my cousin's digital art business. Graphic design is something I do as well. I'm a little hesitant to go get a job doing it after my last couple of experiences. One day I'll get up the nerve to join the design world again.

I hope she likes it.

Fabric Covered Thumb Tacks

Tonight while I was hanging out in my craft room, I decided to whip up some fabric covered thumb tacks with a bit of Alexander Henry fabric I scored at Joanne's the other day. I got the idea from this post at Jessica Jones' How About Orange.

They'll be really handy for my friend's cubicles at work! :)

Tie Coffee Cozy Tutorial

I don't know about you guys, but I love finding new tutorials on the web. Especially if they're for something quite useful and unique. The more useful the better.

After starting at my naked coffee cup, I decided that it needed to be dressed up. :) The tie coffee cozy tutorial was born.

To make this simple (environmentally conscious) coffee cozy follow these directions:

Materials Needed:
Sewing Machine
a mens dress tie of your choice
a large button (or velcro)
corresponding thread
a sheet of felt

1. Locate a large tie you especially like. You can find ties at most thrift stores by the bin full for very very cheap. They come in different sizes, but I like to use the largest width I can. I decided on a vintage striped orange and brown number.

2. Measure thirteen inches in from the very tip of the the fat end of the tie. Make a mark at 13 inches and cut across the tie to remove the end of it. We won't be using the neck area of the tie. Feel free to use it in other craft projects. I especially like the thought of turning it into a nice wrist cuff. (Which can be made in a similar fashion as this tutorial. Just imagine your wrist instead of the coffee cup, and measure using your actual wrist.)

3. Cut out a piece of felt for the backing on the tie. It should be the same size or a tad bit smaller in dimension than the tie bottom. This will stabilize it and keep it from slipping around on the cup. Also, it will add an extra layer of insulation for keeping the drink warmer and keeping your hand cooler.

4. Place the tie and the felt right sides together and sew along the top flat edge of the tie.

5. Flip the tie over to where the wrong sides are facing each other. Sew all the way around the edge of the tie and the felt.

6. Attach either a button or Velcro. The sewn flat edge will lay underneath the pointy end when you fasten it around the cup. This should fit a standard coffee cup. However, if you're unsure about fit, the Velcro would be a better way to go as it's more adjustable.

A picture, as promised

I promised I would post a pic of my finished jewelry display. It's now proudly hanging in my bathroom. :) It boasts a cork backing behind the fabric and homemade tacks (curtesy of a tutorial over at How About Orange) to display the jewelery. I also stretched a ball chain in between two tacks to hang my earrings on.

I learned so much from this project!

Number 1:
Next time, use a mitre saw for cleaner edge cuts. You can't tell very much, but the box is a tad bit crooked.

Number 2:
Use a darker frame and a lighter background fabric. Currently all of the jewelry is getting lost on the background.

Number 3: Make sure I have wood glue and a good sander.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'm so excited!

The title of this post says it all! I spent the majority of tonight working on a carpentry project. It's a jewelry organization center that I've been thinking about for a bit.

I was inspired by the latest issue of Blueprint Magazine about sexy organizing. I must say, it's my most favorite Brie craft yet! :)

Because it's so late in the night a picture would not turn out enough to do it justice. I'll have to post pics tomorrow. :) Plus I have a great tutorial tomorrow that I hope will be well received.

Sleep tight everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My hand at sewing

Tonight I decided to work on just a couple of projects. My crafting time consists of the time after work, between supper and Project Runway. I did get a couple of bags created though.

Numero Uno:
Imagine my surprise when I visit Joanne's after work and stumble upon some Alexander Henry fabric. I quickly snatched it up and decided to whip up this simple little tote.

Aaand B:

This bag is really a place mat. :) I visited the Crate and Barrel Outlet in San Marcos and stumbled upon this little jewel. It was hanging out in a bin of orphaned place mats. I just adore it. It's a quite simple bag and I can definitely post a tutorial for it later.

Right now though, it's sleepy time.

Have a great night!

Creative Every Day!

Creative Every Day 2008

I'm enamored with a site that just came through the bloglines. It's at http://www.creativeeveryday.com/. I don't think this site could have come at a more opportune time. I couldn't sleep last night I was so excited about this blog. I can't wait to join the creative every day community to give myself more fuel for the fire.

I'll be posting along with the creative every day croud at flickr and here. I'm not promising i'll be posting eeeverrryy siiiingle dayyy... but I'll try my best to be quite punctual. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year Flower

For my first post and a new beginning, I bring a good luck charm for the new year. This piece is my rendition of a narcissus flower. It's been cut out of a sheet of 22 gauge sterling silver. I broke 7 or 8 blades in my jewelers saw for this piece.

The Narcissus flower is thought to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity if it blooms on New Years Day. Mine bloomed just today. :) I hope it carries me through a prosperous 2008.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Welcome to the inaugural post of my new Lime and Aqua craft blog. My name is Brie and I've decided to start this blog to have a place to share all of my hard work. This blog is to help me grow as an artist and to hold me accountable for my progress. I hope to make new friends and have a forum for input.

Before I jump right in to my creations, I'll share a little about myself. Like I said, my name is Brie. I'm a 24 (almost 25! January 12th!) year old female living in Austin, TX. I've lived in Texas most of my life. It's home. I've lived in quite a few places here and I have to say, Austin is the best.

The blog name is Lime and Aqua because well, they're my favorite colors. :) Pretty much everything I own is either lime... or aqua. My studio is aqua, my car is lime, my tennis shoes are lime and aqua! :)

I hope that everyone enjoys my work. I'd love to have input on my pieces. Please, feel free to share any ideas or changes that could make my stuff better.

So! Without further adieu. It begins....