Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I know what you're thinking, "She just started blogging again and she's already disappeared off the face of the earth!"

I'm sorry for abandoning you for the past week or so, I won't bother you with the sob stories of college life as a double major. I know I promised that tutorial with photos and I swear in the name of Aileen's Tacky Glue that it will get done this weekend! I have many yummy photos (to be uploaded) of journal pages to share with you and soon I'll have pictures from a tiny paper-craft swap I am in.

In other news, I've been conducting a series of interviews with the Charm City Roller Girls roller derby teams and it's been really exciting. If you don't know what roller derby is, check out their site: There is also a movie coming out Oct. 2nd called Whip It about a derby girl, which I intend to see next weekend (so I can work on your tutorial photos of course!)

Once I get the interviews done I hope to get to some practices and bouts to take photos so I can make a zine.

Future zines I'm considering: First period stories and losing virginity stories. Let me know what you think. Want to share a story, leave your contact info and I'll shoot you an email.

Oh! And there is quilt bingo this weekend, so maybe I'll have a photo of something pretty if I win to share with you!

Photo tomorrow. Promise.

Inspiration pic to hold you over:

A photo of an intersection, taken from the car while driving to a used book store in the evening. I like the title "Book Lights."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Delayed Inspiration Photo

Sorry I never got a chance to update, school got in the way. Without further delay:

This is what happens when baking and day dreams of knitting combine- disaster. It was to be a delicious pumpkin pie, alas the bowl slipped from my fingers.

More art journal pages coming this week!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Side Note

Inspiration photo later today, but a few words:

If you haven't discovered the love that is you must go there for all of your craft (and dare I imply you do something other than craft, your other) books. No need to worry, they aren't paying me to say this; my uncle mentioned a few years ago and then a professor recently mentioned it.

The other day I was in Michael's and picked up Acrylic Revolution by Nancy Reyner and it was put on a spot marked $7.99, I went and bought my stuff and realized there was no way I just blew $60 for some stamps, a glue stick and this book. Turns out the book is $30, so I had to go right back and return it.

But I just looked it up on and it's only $12.00. The nice thing is, you can get your awesome books for cheap and if you buy a used book (it's super cheap) and you're preventing it from getting thrown in the trash. So we won't call it self indulgence when I get 15 books from my wish list off here, it is an environmentally conscious decision to live a greener life. =)

I am such a bibliophile.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Purse Tutorial

I promised you the tutorial (lacking pics) and I have it!

Disclaimer: I hate math and try to avoid patterns when I can; a lot of my designs are free handed and imprecise.


Outside and lining fabrics
A medium to large sized button
Needle and thread and/or a sewing machine


For the body, cut two 1' squares out of both the lining and outer fabric each (you should have four squares once all cut)- leaving about 1/4" of seam allowance for the outside fabric. For the outside fabric, pin right sides together and sew up three sides, leaving top unsewn. *If you have directional fabric you will need to consider which sides to sew.The lining fabric needs to be slightly smaller so skip the seam allowance. Before you can sew these squares together you'll need to attach your pocket. (See below.) Once pocket is added, pin right sides together and sew around three sides, leaving top unsewn.

For the pocket (if desired) cut two 4"x4" squares out of your outer fabric (or lining fabric, it's your purse!)- leaving 1/4" of seam allowance. Pin right sides together and sew around square, leaving a small hole to turn and point corners. Turn right side out, point the corners and pin to one of the lining squares. Sew closely along the edge of the square around the 3 sides, leaving top open.

For closure you need to cut out two small, thin rectangles with rounded tops. Mine was about 4" long. (No need to leave much seam allowance, maybe 1/8"). Pin right sides together and sew around leaving bottom unsewn. Turn. If you have a sewing machine, you may have a foot and button hole application on your machine. If you don't or lost your manual like I did, you can do this by hand. (It's easy!)Take your button and hold it on it's side on the tab you've sewn where you want it to be positioned, mine was about 1/2" away from the rounded edge. Mark with chalk or wash out fabric pen. The button hole should be a bit wider than the thickness of your button. Be brave and grab your seam ripper and rip the hole that you've just marked. Take a needle and coordinating embroidery floss, simply whip stitch around the hole to prevent the edges from fraying. Tada!

Ignore how phallic it looks, but this is the general shape you are going for:

For the strap just cut a strip of you outside fabric to the length you prefer, I like long straps so mine was around 2 1/2' and 3" wide before sewing. Pin and sew right sides together to make a tube, turn right side out.

Now for the assembly:

Sew button into place on your outside fabric. Place your lining fabric inside of your outside fabric, it should look like how the finished purse will be. (Do not make the mistake of sewing the purse together with the right side of you lining facing the wrong side of you outside fabric- your lining will be inside out.Fold 1/4" in around the outside and lining fabric so no raw edges show. Pin button tab in position, as well as strap. Sew around the top of your purse- this will secure your strap and tab in place.

You should now be the proud owner of a new, simple purse. I like slouchy purses but if you want a more stiff/stable look you can use interfacing to give it structure.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Further Delays

I was preparing to sew the purse for the tutorial when I discovered not only had my cat, Gizmo, covered the cut fabric in fur and wrinkled it, but he unpinned it.

I swear to you, I could not make this up; he pulled out at least a dozen pins from all of the different pieces. It's common for him to steal pins from my magnetic pin cushion and carry them around in his mouth and then leave them in the water bowl, but he has never done this before. I lit his butt up with an air gun (the kind you get at toy stores, it just blows a puff of air with a loud popping noise). So now I've got to go de-fur and re-iron and re-pin it all before I can get this tut under way. I planned to make it for someone but she's coming to visit this weekend so it looks like fate has further pushed back the tutorial (with pics). I will post written instructions tomorrow and then the photos will be posted once said friend goes home. (Who is probably reading this right now, so you have to wait to see what it looks like Chrissy!)

Because you are photo deprieved, here are some more pages from this summer:

This is my journal self, I don't know why I look like a Simpson with the yellow skin- I guess I just like the whimsical color combination of these pages. This has become my standard "journal self, " which was dreamed up on the top page I love her so much I just keep using her. The bottom page needs to be built on but nothing has spoken to me yet.

Do you have a reoccurring image in your art?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bird Composers

NPR is my saving grace while I sit in city, rush hour traffic- it's the only thing preventing me from getting out my car and smacking stupid people.

"All Things Considered" had a snippet on the Brazilian musician, Jarbas Angelli; he was flipping through the newspaper when he saw a photo of the silhouettes of birds sitting on five wires. He imagined the birds as music notes sitting on a musical staff, so he composed "Birds on the Wires." It is a beautiful idea, and the music is simply lovely.

So get out there and take a second glance at things, let your mind toy with stuff and see where it takes your crafty adventures.

The other day I was in the car with my sister and I saw a tree laced with tent caterpillar nests and thought how they looked like clouds caught in the trees.I plan to use this image in a journal spread. I was driving to work a few weeks ago and was nearing a curve, the power lines' shadows curved with the road and it reminded me of piping on a cake. Keep your eyes peeled =)

*If you really get into this you are going to adore How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith- it's a bunch of exercises like this using all of your senses. It's on my wish list!

NPR link to story:

(If that video gives your computer trouble like it did mine, try this link:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Itty Bitty World

I needed to escape so I made my own little world. Can you see the earth, moon and sun? (Not everybody does, just curious.) I think this is my favorite spread from this journal; it's done in Sakura gelly roll black for outlines and watercolors for the rest.

No tut today

You may have realized by now that I didn't post the tut yesterday, but I can explain!

My family had an impromptu dinner at my aunt's and they held me captive until 10pm; sadly, I am at school and away from my photos but I will post some journal pages tonight. I should have the bag tutorial up by the end of the week, forgive me =)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Fridays

Fridays will be reserved for a photo to spark your weekend crafting adventures.

(And they will give me a chance to get stuff ready for weekend posts like tutorials.) We can expect the purse tut by Sunday! Be exicted, I am!

Taken on the highway on the Georgia/Tennessee line- we passed a semi loaded with colorful playground equipment. Some kids are going to be elated.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Loew-Cornell Brushes

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting some reviews of craft supplies I've used (read, abused) frequently throughout my art journaling. I bought these Loew-Cornell brushes at Michael's for around $5.00 and for the most part they do a fine job in evenly distributing paint. But here's my beef: the paint from the handles has chipped off and I've only owned them for four months. This wouldn't bother me too much if the chips of paint didn't flake off into my wet pages and get stuck there.

The accused:

Has anyone had this issue with these before or am I just using them too often? I generally wipe off any water after rinsing them so I don't think that's the reason. Let me know!

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Beginnings

After a mild hiatus I am ready to get back into the blogging world. I got caught up in a side project that hasn't taken off yet, but this blog is all mine and I am eager to get started. Some of you might know me from craftster as weeping_cloud or my new name, rougeraven. My latest obsession is altered books and I think I am finally beginning to develop my own style.

I am just going to jump in with some journal shots:

A sty, though not flattering or painless, gave me inspiration for the eye flower that sparked this little fairy land.

My favorite part of the spread is the pet pray mantis. He's so cute!

The story behind this spread is about the image of the woman; she was actually a piece of pornography we found on the side of the road while looking for sweetgrass. She had been exposed to the elements, thus giving her a watercolor quality. I ripped off her exposed lower half and kept her face because it has been transformed into an actually pretty picture. Though I have got to admit I scrubbed my hands after pasting her in there.

The flap reveals a map of the park when opened.

My summer art journal was limited to watercolors and found images because of all the traveling I did; I think it was a nice exercise of constraint, now using acrylics is exciting again.

I promise to have a purse tutorial for you this weekend!

Sneak Peek: