Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Holiday Sigh of Relief

I didn't blog much during the month of December due to working 6 days a week, and because my projects were presents for family. Didn't want to give away the surprise :)

Naturally I didn't manage to get pictures of them before I wrapped them up LOL

I bought nice 'beefy' tee shirts for the guys, then embroidered a different design on each one. Step-dad's had a color crab, Cousin's-husband's was a multi-colored Asian dragon, and Teen-cousin's was steampunk wings (Urban Threads).

Gals on my list got funky, patchwork, shabby-chic purses based off The Jenny Bag Tutorial. Again, each purse was embroidered with at least two different designs. My Mom got crabs and palm trees, Cousin's had Asian dragons, and Little-Cousin wild paisley and flowers.

I'm really happy with how they turned out! I may make up some more to have for ready gifts.

Next big project is an urban-style kilt using the X-Kilt Tutorial. As I told my boyfriend Doug, "I don't know if you even want one, but your getting one" LOL

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh Lucy! You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do

I honestly didn't realize I had not updated since September!!! Yikes!!!

The biggest reason is my full time. I applied, interviewed, and was granted a seasonal promotion. In theory it's only for the holiday season and I may go back to my regular position end of December or in January. But I'm usually happy and excited about the job, but come home utterly exhausted. And starting next week we start working 6 days a week.

So no crafty bitch time :(

However, today I plan on embracing the Muse to start working on holiday presents! I've downloaded some fun embroidery patterns and plan to rifle through my stash for fabrics to match.

I may even go so far to get pics up of the few bits & bobs I've got in the works currently. Hats, book cover, blouse...

I've been conspiring with a creative partner and have some ideas percolating in my

Well, I can either blog about it, or go do it - Have A Wonderful Monday!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

***UPDATE - I tried to post this last night but Blogger was not cooperating. I'm trying again this morning. ****

I finally sit down to update my Izoralee Blog... and Blogger is having major issues. Won't save or publish, and generates random error codes. Everyone is having the same error but all are getting unique codes. Sounds fucked up to me. I've c&p'd my post below so I can copy over when Blogger finally is fixed. Arrggghhh.

Getting Over My Fears
Rather getting over being intimidated by the embroidery machine! I've figured out how to sew regular stitches, fill the bobbin, thread the machine, how to use the pre-programed fancy stitches, and how to set it up for embroidery.

Yesterday I stitched a one color decorative design, then managed a FIVE! color pattern. I think I may invest in one of those thread stands that sit behind your machine and hold several spools of thread at once.

Yesterday I also downloaded a bunch of free designs thus leading to my next set of challenges. The first being how to use the ATA PC card! Took me a bit but I figure out how to pull up the stored files.

It wasn't until this morning when I went to unzip the new freebie files that I realized they were in the wrong file format. A quick Google search and I have a freeware program that will convert the different machine formats. Woot!

My sweetie Doug is coming over this afternoon to watch 'Westworld' (can't believe he hasn't seen this fabulous early 70's Michael Crichton staring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, and James Brolin! it's the cheesiest!) so I'm putting my aside my shiny new toy to tidy up house and myself.

After his visit I'll probably play with the machine some more. I think I want to try embroidering on a piece of chiffon, with the appropriate stabilizer. Creating 'appliques' may be the best way to get designs onto the hats. But I won't know until I've tried both ways.

Off to be domestic :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting over my fears

Rather getting over being intimidated by the embroidery machine! I've figured out how to sew regular stitches, fill the bobbin, thread the machine, how to use the pre-programed fancy stitches, and how to set it up for embroidery.

Yesterday I stitched a one color decorative design, then managed a FIVE! color pattern. I think I may invest in one of those thread stands that sit behind your machine and hold several spools of thread at once.

Yesterday I also downloaded a bunch of free designs thus leading to my next set of challenges. The first being how to use the ATA PC card! Took me a bit but I figure out how to pull up the stored files.

It wasn't until this morning when I went to unzip the new freebie files that I realized they were in the wrong file format. A quick Google search and I have a freeware program that will convert the different machine formats. Woot!

My sweetie Doug is coming over this afternoon to watch 'Westworld' (can't believe he hasn't seen this fabulous early 70's Michael Crichton staring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, and James Brolin! it's the cheesiest!) so I'm putting my aside my shiny new toy to tidy up house and myself.

After his visit I'll probably play with the machine some more. I think I want to try embroidering on a piece of chiffon, with the appropriate stabilizer. Creating 'appliques' may be the best way to get designs onto the hats. But I won't know until I've tried both ways.

Off to be domestic :)

Getting over my fears

Rather getting over being intimidated by the embroidery machine! I've figured out how to sew regular stitches, fill the bobbin, thread the machine, how to use the pre-programed fancy stitches, and how to set it up for embroidery.

Yesterday I stitched a one color decorative design, then managed a FIVE! color pattern. I think I may invest in one of those thread stands that sit behind your machine and hold several spools of thread at once.

Yesterday I also downloaded a bunch of free designs thus leading to my next set of challenges. The first being how to use the ATA PC card! Took me a bit but I figure out how to pull up the stored files.

It wasn't until this morning when I went to unzip the new freebie files that I realized they were in the wrong file format. A quick Google search and I have a freeware program that will convert the different machine formats. Woot!

My sweetie Doug is coming over this afternoon to watch 'Westworld' (can't believe he hasn't seen this fabulous early 70's Michael Crichton staring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, and James Brolin! it's the cheesiest!) so I'm putting my aside my shiny new toy to tidy up house and myself.

After his visit I'll probably play with the machine some more. I think I want to try embroidering on a piece of chiffon, with the appropriate stabilizer. Creating 'appliques' may be the best way to get designs onto the hats. But I won't know until I've tried both ways.

Off to be domestic :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last week I received my millinery kit from JudithM but today is the first day I've had to start making something. I'm using the book that came with the kit and the classic 'From The Neck Up' to create a boater style hat.

So far I've drafted the pattern, and cut it out of buckram. I originally made the brim 3" all the way around but then adjusted that to suggested mesurements from the kit book. I'm afraid the new brim might be a bit narrow for my taste but I'm reserving judgement until it's completed.

I've wired the tip and the inner brim. I'll wire the brim edge when I get home from work. Then start covering it with fabric.

I went on a cleaning and organizational binge Sunday and Monday. I made a lot of improvements to my studio room. One of the perks of having re-organized is re-discovering a bunch of deeply colored feathers. I had used them several years ago on some holiday ornaments. These will come so in-handy!

Work is pretty slow tonight so I may be home earlier than normal. I'll decide on sleep or hats then :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Steampunk Costume #1 - The basics

Recently I was gifted two big garbage bags full of clothing. The Fabulous Gift-er had lost some weight and no longer fit into them. I was delighted to take them off her hands. In going through and selected what I wanted I came across three items that individually didn't strike me, but when I glimpsed them laying together in a pile - Inspiration Hit!

I realized the three separates were perfect, with a little tweaking, for a great Steampunk costume. And really, who amongst us can't be improved with a little tweaking? ;)

Sadly, I've mis-placed my camera so shoddy camera phone pics will have to suffice for now.

The basic blouse and skirt:


The blouse is a 100% cotton, white, princess cut with short sleeves. Shaping is very important especially when boobalicious like myself. I originally thought to tea dye it but decide to keep it white for now. I can always dye it once if it gets stained. I plan on using button covers to cover up the plain buttons with steamy bits of beads & gears.
href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_oL1y6qyZels/SowITCZnejI/AAAAAAAAAYk/CBj3zZOZttc/s1600-h/skirt1.jpg">

The skirt is also cotton in the quasi-military style. I hate elastic waists but I can deal with it. I may add bits of old cotton lace scavenged from linen napkins to the pockets for just a touch of femininity. You can't tell from this picture but it's mid-calf length and A-line in shape. Kinda reminds me of the stuff Banana Republic put out in the day.


Ahh, the stodgy, grandmother-ly cardigan. Soon to be a sexy steamy cover-up! I have two ideas for this piece. One idea is to re-sew the front so it is more fitted and shape the back to almost a bustle. The second idea is add a ribbon along the top of the lacy part and use that to draw up to the waistline. Maybe to add some additional lace. I can see wearing this over a sexy bra :D

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Success and Setback

Gosh darn it! I was feeling pretty good about the hat project. Trust me, I've stitched, picked out, and re-stitched it a couple of time, but it's been a steady forward movement. so I've been riding that wave as I diverted my attention to adding LEDs to my friend's Burning Man costume.

I'm adding LEDs to the wedding dress that I previously added el-wire on to. I tried out the soft circuit pattern. Worked on the first try. I start stitching on the dress... nada zip zilch. Phooey! It's either the soft battery pocket or I'm goofing up the stitching pattern. I've stitched one circuit of five LEDs three times now with no success.

I'm going to try using the hard battery holder. Hopefully I can figure out a way to attach it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Note to self: LED soft circuits

Negative lead to negative battery.
Positive Lead to Switch. Switch to positive battery.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Funny how much I'm getting done now that I no longer have cable! I love me some tv but it's saving me money and giving me more time by not having it currently. Smart move on my part, I think :)

I've solidified my Steampunk costume and persona. I'm thinking she's a bawdy, rowdy, flirty, itinerant dancer providing entertainment & bit of respite for the hardworking airship mechanics and scientists. Why nothing like me at all, huh? ::evil laugh::

The basic clothing choices will be a Ghawazee coat over harem pants or ruffly bloomers. I'm going to use Madame X's Adjustable Ghawazee Coat & Turkish Vest pattern. I can see using grommets, eyelets, washers, d-rings, and assorted hardware for the loops, with keys and compasses hanging from the lace ends. I could even wear a dainty lace blouse under it for a bit more modesty and decorum. I've come up with a design idea for the bloomers that are basically split open up the sides almost to hip line and then lined with increasing width ruffles. The appearance, standing still, would be of a skirt with the sides tucked up, like we did with our big flying skirts.

Not sure yet what fabric I want for the top yet. I'm thinking a white & color stripe for the bloomers and ruffles. I do know I want to make a 'night' or 'performance' version of this. The coat would be cut under the bust line, and sheer, sparkly black. Sparkly bra with gears & brass. The bloomers would be dark dark burgundy red. I'm thinking Steam-Theda Bara.

Footwear is a stumper. Probably sturdy comfortable ankle boots for day. Or maybe even my old bellydance ghillies. I wonder if I could add embellishments to them? I'll have to keep an eye out for appropriate shoes or boots.

It's a start, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gotta love caffeine!


I had a bit too much caffeine so to burn it off I fiddled with a new chain maile technique. I think this bracelet is really cute! Mobius balls linked by black rubber rings and smaller colored rings. Very light weight. I added a magnetic clasp but could easily add another link or two, then just stretch it on & off.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pocket2




I finished the second pocket for my steampunk-ish pocket belt idea. This pocket is a panel that sits on the left hip and has two smaller pockets plus loops to hang things. I have not added the D-rings yet to this mock-up.

I noticed two construction flaws that are easily fixed when I go make the final version. The first is the placement of the belt loops. They need to be moved to the outside edge. That will remove that annoying 'flap'.

The second flaw is from the larger sub-pocket pulling the bottom edge upward. I should aligned the top & sides before stitching the bottom.

This is only a mockup but I'm kinda digging it. To make more functional I'm going to add the D-rings, and add some black lace appliques to tie in with the black elastic loops & stitching. I'm also thinking of ripping out the top line of stitching, add a lining & install a zipper - TaDah! nifty little purse!

For the final costume piece I may make the panel bigger overall; a very defined curve along the bottom edge; two piece grommets; possibly more grommets as design feature.

I definitely need to add a third pocket to balance the belt. That I'll hold off on until I've made myself a Ray Gun so it will custom fit in the back.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Construction Notes - Pocket1


1) Cut 2 of pocket Backs in fabric, and 1 in interfacing
2) Make pattern for Loops, cut fabric & interfacing
3) Turn Loops 5/8 and top stitch twice
4) Mark placement and stitch Loops to Back2, zigzag for stability
5) Stitch Bottom to outward facing Back1, right sides facing up
6) Leave 5/8 open on ends of seam
7) Stitch Front to Bottom1 around curve, starting and stopping at the previous 5/8 mark
8) Turn under and stitch top edge of Front
9) Stitch Front to Back1 with right sides facing same direction (ie: raw seams)
10)Carefully sandwich Back1 and Back2, right sides together (with Front & Bottom out of stitching lines
11)Turn inside out
12)Fold top raw open seam to inside, press, and top stitch
13)Top stitch along seams for stability
14)Think about elastic along top edge

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

UFO List as I clean out the Studio

New Goth/Steampunk Coat - use black & gold belly dance cover-up; gold embroidery on the back, various elements down the front & on sleeves; collar will be vintage seal fur capelet; need fabric for actual coat - something lightweight enough for Florida "winters".

Black Cotton Lace - there is enough for a new sheer slip dress

Tribal Panel - cool kicky skirt; lingerie style elastic waistband; side zip, slits up side

Green Velvet Flair Pants - replace waistband; see if I have wide no-roll elastic

Dark Green Velvet Bra - needs flannel lining then ready to sale

Painted Bra - needs waist & shoulder straps then ready to sale

Butterfly Bra - Paint around butterflies, add straps, ready for sale

Beledi Dress - add buttons & closures, then ready to wear

Thursday, June 18, 2009

necklace re-do update

I forgot to take a picture of the necklace before I cut it apart. ::Doh!:: But I've only removed a few elements so I figured this was decent documentation of it's "Before" status.


I figured out how to move the knots up snug to the spacer beads. I think this is the look I want.


I originally used Fireline on the beaded panels but I don't like the way the tension has settled. Some are quite wonky and not as fluid a feel as I wanted. I'm going to redo each beaded panel but use either Nymo or C-lon beading thread in dark green. I want more of a drape than a stiff panel.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Notes to Self: Panel necklace

I'm re-doing an existing necklace. It was an Egyptian inspired piece made up of three layers of beaded panels. I've never been happy with the way it hung so I decided to re-do it.

These are my notes on the new improved design. I'm using 'Celtic Knots for Beaded Jewelry' by Suzen Millodot, as reference for my knotwork.

  • re-stitch all the panels; do each separately so as not to lose beads, nor shift colors
  • braid knot between each panel
  • one silver spacer on each side of braid knots
  • necklace: silver three hole spacer, rectangular celtic knot, three hole spacer, possible repeat.
  • Monday, May 25, 2009

    Rough pics of new pieces

    Whimsical piece featuring a ceramic bee pendant by... hmmm, I thought I had the artist's website saved but can't find it now. I believe she produced under the name 'Gaia'. I'll have to root around and find them again.


    The Goddess pendant finished. Well, almost :) I need to find a coordinating ribbon or cord to hang it from.

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    WIP - beaded goddess 2


    I finished the bead embroidery, edged, and added fringe. I think next I'll add a spiral woven necklace.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    WIP - beaded goddess


    Black ultra-suede backed with Lacy's Stiff Stuff, moon face button, onyx oval cab, and two vitrail medium rivoli's, surrounded by various glass beads.

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Peyote Progress Pics



    I thought I post a comparison pic of the peyote rectangles I'm working on from the "Shaped Beadwork" book.

    The first rectangle is a single layer with two colors. I found that using two colors really helped me to understand the corners. Basically it's a 1-3-2-2-1 pattern for corners.

    The second rectangle is a layered rectangle in progress. I'm using a solid color for the back. Mostly to save my eyesight! The tiny silver lined beads are tough to distinguish especially on the corners. Using Diane Fitzgerald's technique you start the second layer from the inside and work yourself outward. Then zip the layers together at the outside edge.

    Third rectangle is a completed double layer. I like the substantial look that two layers give without any actual bulk or added weight. They look less flimsy and more complete, a quality item.

    My plan is to practice on triangles next and use those in conjunction with the rectangles in a neck piece :)

    Book Review "Shaped Beadwork"

    I am working my way through Diane Fitzgerald's 'Shaped Beadwork: dimensional jewelry with peyote stitch'. I've been admiring various artists' use of three dimensional beadwork for some time. I've never attempted it because I've never been too comfortable with peyote stitch. It's never come out neatly for me, always a bit ragged and rough looking.

    Not anymore!

    I'm starting at the front and practicing the basics. By following her examples I'm setting the stage to get more dimensional. I'm already adding layers!

    I'm finding the directions clear and the illustrations fairly good. This is a labeled as a 'beadweaving master class', and you need to have a good understanding of the basic peyote technique.

    I haven't tackled any of the detailed pieces, like the Pouff Bead, yet but I'll follow up with another review when I do.

    I turn in my final pieces for my 2D Design class on Thursday. Then my Tuesdays and Thursdays will be free to bead again! Woot!

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    I've added Twitter Updates to my sidebar. Keeps me from writing everything out multiple times plus serves as a 'tickler file' for subjects I'd like to expand on here. So many times I've thought of something I want to blog about but then forget when I finally have the time. This way I can Twitter via cellphone when the idea strikes. Ahh technology!

    I finished up the necklace using the Norse Goddess beads bought previously on Ebay. I have got to get pics tomorrow. I've really fallen in love with this particular necklace. It might just be mine :)

    In prep for FridayFest I finished up three necklaces. Mostly stringing beaded focals on ribbon, adding clasps, etc. Plus two of my stretchy chain bracelets had cured enough for me to snip off the excess elastic. I've found that liberally coating the knots with Jeweler's Cement and letting cure/dry for several days really seals the knot.

    I'm trying to decide what to work on next. I'm pretty happy with the new stuff for Friday so not feeling under the gun but I do want much more stock on hand. Goodness knows I've got enough beads in the house.

    I have got to re-organize the studio room. Ok, confession time - I have got to CLEAN the studio room. I know I have a box of ribbons and cording somewhere. Somewhere. Can't find it to save my life. I've tucked them away somewhere 'safe'. Or a pile of papers/beads/books/fabric/tools/clothing/misc has slid over on top of them. I need my workspace for some of the upcoming art class homework plus I just need to reclaim my studio. I'm going to try to work in small spurts of separating and organization with everything else going, with an eye toward final finish during my Spring Break. I can get help then to move the furniture and lay the floor tile, then shift everything back.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Quinlan Glass Bead Pics

    Pictures, used with permission, of the gorgeous lampwork beads I bought from Quinlan Glass.

    Moroccan Spice:


    Norse Goddess:

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Quinlan Glass Love!

    Today's mail brought in two sets of absolutely drop-dead gorgeous lampwork beads from Jennifer Powers of Quinlan Glass. I bought sets called Moroccan Spice and Norse Goddess. I am so excited and looking forward to working with both sets!

    Check out her Ebay store, Quinlan Glass and her website, Quinlan Glass Art.

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Friday The 13th - My Lucky Day!

    Friday the 13th usually go pretty well for me and this past one was no exception.

    The most fantabulous to happen was my tax refund was deposited - yea for money!!!

    Some of the money was earmarked for booth display improvements. Last night I bought a couple of new black&white display pieces of Ebay. I need more necklace displays since my stuff looks better hanging as if worn rather than just dangling from a rod. I've also made quite a few rings and they just don't get displayed properly on the hands I currently have, so ring displays are also on their way. I had thought about investing in a new folding table, one a bit higher. However last night we were next to some gals with a great idea - they put their regular folding table up on bed risers! I use bed risers on my bed here at home but never ever thought about using them on my table! Doh! So today I'm pricing wooden block bed risers. I also need to stop by local beadstore for some 6lb Fireline.

    Last night I vending at the monthly street fair, FridayFest. Beautiful weather! We hardly broke a sweat setting up but was comfortable in my 3/4 sleeve t-shirt and capris through out the night. Only sold two things but made my vending fee plus so I'm ok with it.

    I really need to get on the ball and finish the new pieces that are in works. Plus I need to plan more for upcoming seasons and holidays. I should have had some heart jewelry out for Valentines. I need to get my Halloween and Christmas stuff done sooner, etc.

    I'll be vending at an upcoming bellydance show in April so really need some new pieces for then. My plan is start working on the various focal beads and pendants I've been accumulating. I have enough to supply me for the upcoming year LOL

    Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Ok, I think I'm going insane. Just last week or so I used a tutorial in a recent bead magazine to learn how to use the right-angle-weave (aka RAW) like building blocks. Basically it is create a double layer of beads. The little 'bead blocks' can be manipulated and used to create all sorts of 3 dimensional shape.

    There is a term for this particular technique.

    But since I can't find the damn magazine I don't know what it is! AAARRRGGGG!

    I wanted to document the magazine tutorial but nooooo. Hmmphhh.

    Anyways I'm playing with the technique, working on an angular celtic knot design. A couple of things I've learned:

    • Use 4lb Fireline since you'll be going through each bead many times.
    • Stitch each RAW element at least twice, it needs the stability.
    • When starting on the second layer, begin on an interior row. For some reason the pattern comes out neater when I begin in the middle and work outwards.


    That's it for now :)

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Good News in regards to lead issue!

    http://consumerist.com/5126354/hooray-cpsc-agrees-to-exempt-some-natural-items-from-product-safety-act
    CPSC Agrees To Exempt Some Natural Items From Product Safety Act!