Sunday, December 23, 2007

12 days of ornaments (twelve)

This elf was my girlfriend's design and is very cute. The body and legs are candy-cane pipe cleaners; he has a felt hat and some ribbon suspenders. The pants are cotton fabric - she just cut each one to fit and they are glued in the back. A little dot of white fabric paint at the base of the suspenders looks like buttons. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas everyone!

~Lin Moon

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 days of ornaments (eleven)

Here's a Christmas gingerbread man. Some puffy fabric paint for frosting, buttons, a red felt backing and a bow does it! Enjoy!
~Lin Moon

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12 days of ornaments (ten)

I think these were made right before our church boutique, since there's no sewing on them at all; I think I was running out of time. The three different colors/sizes of scottie dogs were glued together, with the ribbon hanger sandwiched between layers. A dot of fabric paint makes the eye and some cute ribbon for the bow.
I've been following the conversation about slow cloth on SharonB's inaminuteago. These would definitely not fall into the slow cloth category. But that's what happens when you have to make 100 ornaments that are simple enough that non-stitchers can help make...
Happy Ornamenting,
~Lin Moon

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12 days of ornaments (nine)

This is another relatively easy one. Each piece of wire begins at the endpoint of one of the six sections, goes down toward the center to form the left side of that section, goes thru the clear bead in the center, then goes back out to form the right side of the next section. The wire loops around the clear bead at the end of each section and then is wrapped around a knitting needle to make it curly. This one was made a few years ago, so I hope I got the directions generally correct.

Happy Ornamenting,
Lin Moon

Saturday, December 15, 2007

12 days of ornaments (eight)

This mitten is cute and easy. The stem is stitched using floss and silk ribbon embroidery makes up the leaves and berries. I sewed the cuff on by machine, then buttonhole-stitched the whole thing together, and added a ribbon hanger. Viola! Another cute ornament.

Happy Ornamenting,
~Lin Moon

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12 days of ornaments (seven)

This one is super-easy. I put a loop in one end of the wire, wrapped it around a cone shape and then added beads and a star for the top. The colors really make it. I did this as a kid's craft at church and some of the kids made red, white and blue trees, some made all red and white striped, etc. I really liked the gold and white.
Happy Ornamenting,
Lin Moon

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Goodies

I've mentioned before that I always have a Christmas party for my women friends every year. I like to give out my version of a "goody bag", which is something I have made for everyone. This year it is doll head ornaments, with hats! The hats were really fun to make, mixing the trims, buttons and feathers.
I started out thinking I'd embroider the faces, but then ended up using stretch cotton for the faces, so that didn't end up happening.... It's funny how your original idea for something morphs and changes into something totally different!

~Lin Moon

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Challenge from SharonB!

There's a new challenge to look forward to! SharonB, of "Take A Stitch Tuesday" fame, has a new one for us for 2008. It's open-ended with just the right amount of structure and sounds fun! Check out her blog, inaminuteago.

Happy Stitching,
~Lin Moon

12 days of ornaments (six)

It's ornament number six - Santa's Coat! This is made from sparkly(sp?) red felt. I sewed the side seams on the machine and finished off the sleeves with buttonhole stitch. Black felt was used for the belt and some shiny gold fabric was interfaced to make it stiffer, then cut out for the belt buckle. I sewed the back sequin on at the top and basted the fur trim on at the bottom of the coat. (You have to be careful when cutting the trim that you just cut the backing, not the fur.) I bent some red wire into a hanger shape and hot glued the coat front to the back at the bottom of the ornament. Viola! A cute ornament! I wished I had put some sort of bead on the hanger, to decorate it at the top.
Happy Ornamenting...
~Lin Moon

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

12 days of ornaments (five)

I like this angel because it's a great showcase for gorgeous lace. Her body is just a tag, painted gold and then covered with lace. Her head is a wooden disk, painted with acrylics. (I probably have made her face a little more creative if I'd only been making one for myself or a friend, instead of 12 for a boutique) The wings are cardboard, painted gold. Pearly beads were strung on gold wire and then wrapped randomly around her wings. A small charm was glued under her chin. I once saw an angel in a magazine whose wings were made of strong wire. Beads on thin wire were then wrapped around the wings similar to these. But because the wings were empty inside, they came out looking very airy and ephemeral.

Happy Ornamenting,
Lin Moon

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

12 days of ornaments (four)

Here is another ornament that I made for our Boutique. It started with a piece of cardboard, covered with Christmas fabric. A felt door, window and chimney were added, along with rick rack and other trim (all glued). The back was covered with felt for a clean finish. The fun thing about the house ornaments we made is that we put a sticker on the back of each one that said things like, "2 bedroom, 2 bath. Remodeled kitchen." or "3 bedroom, 2 bath. All new copper pipes." For some reason, this really cracked me up.

Monday, December 03, 2007

12 Days of Ornaments(three)

Here are a couple of heart ornaments. They are made from felt, and I think the red felt is the stiffened kind. I really like the candy cane striped curly-queues(sp?). I had lots of those ceramic buttons (Mill Hill, I think) and wanted to use them in some way. There's no sewing on this one. I had to come up with some ornaments others could help make, and most of those "others" don't sew. The white dots are fabric paint - very easy!

Happy Ornamenting,
Lin Moon

Saturday, December 01, 2007

12 days of ornaments (two)

Another ornament(#2):
This is a simple wreath made from a cardboard base. I glued a donut shaped piece of white felt to the front, in case it showed through the fiber. The fiber is called "no wire chenille" and is from the Craft section of Michael's. Once the chenille fiber is wrapped around and a hanging loop is added, it's time to add the beads. I used white bead thread, so the thread would sink into the chenille and not show too much. In this case, I really liked the reversible ribbon I had for the bow, so I used bead colors that would coordinate with the ribbon. The beads are strung on the thread and the thread is wrapped around the wreath. The beads are "floater"; they can slide on the thread. Then the bow is added.

The chenille fiber comes in all sorts of colors, so you can do more traditional Christmas colors. You can get some really pretty effects using all gold and white, or all blue and silver. Hope you enoy it....

Happy Ornamenting...

~Lin Moon

Friday, November 30, 2007

12 Days of Ornaments

Well, it's been a long time since I have blogged. Every year, once November hits, I am busy with our Church Boutique and also November is the month for college apps! My daughter has been writing admissions essays and pretty much monopolizing the computer all this month.

I thought for the next couple of weeks I would show some ornaments I have made for our Boutique. Most of them are quick and easy and would make cute gifts. So here's the first one - a cat for all you cat lovers out there. I wanted a black cat, but knew it wouldn't show up very well on the tree, so added the red and white background. I embroidered the cat features on the black felt first, then stitched the three layers together with black floss. The bow is one of those "bobbin ribbons" from Michael's.

I'd love to see anyone else's ornaments they've made...

Happy ornamenting!
~Lin Moon

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodies from Pomona Show

Last weekend I drove up to Pomona, to attend the Quilting, Sewing, Craft & Needlework show. Last year when I went, it was just a Quilting/Sewing show and was a little disappointing. But I'm so glad I went again to this show. I hit upon a doll-makers booth and lots of interesting trims - velvet ribbon, velour flowers, embroidered rick-rack, space-dyed organdy ribbon, buttons, and on and on.... The display at this woman's booth was fascinating. She had boxes of different items and at the back of each box was a tall arched board, completely decorated with different ribbon flowers, buttons, beads, lace, etc. There must have been about 10 of these boards, all different. There were lots of handmade pins too. She said a lady she knew made the pins and traded them to her for merchandise. It was so gorgeous and inspiring! Enjoy - sometimes all it takes to inspire is some eye candy trims!
~Lin Moon

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Intriguing Book!

I've been looking at the book: "Bags with Paper & Stitch" by Isobel Hall. She talks about using all different kinds of paper with fiber and making purses/bags. Some of the interesting techniques that are described include:

-Making "paper" from translucent polymer clay, coloring it with inks and then stitching through it onto the bag

-Making your own stamp by combining Style Stones, then stamping on ExtravOrganza

-Layering fabric, merino top paper and sheers, then doing random FME over it

-Painting brown paper with a mixture of acrylic wax & bronzing powder

-Using metallic heat-resistant thread to FME over sheer and then burning away parts of the sheer ( I didn't even know there was such a thing as heat-resistant thread!)

-Using things I have never heard of: Glitterati fusible film
Mylar Shimmer Sheetz, computer linen paper, Tangle Tuff, webbing spray, etc.

-Using everyday items like brown paper bags, acrylic wax and newspaper to make bags

The bags in this book have a wide variety of intriguing and creative textures - with beading and embroidery added to some. She describes how to make tags for the bags, so you can try some of the techniques on a small project. You could probably spend a year trying out all the techniques in here!

Happy Stitching,
~Lin Moon

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Single Sheet of Paper

If you'd like to see some amazing creativity at work, see artist Peter Callesen's works of art here. He does amazing things with just a single sheet of paper - cutting and folding. Don't miss this fabulous art!


Makine a purse

I've been working on making a purse. It's mostly sewn on the sewing machine, but I decided it needed something special, so I made a "button". I put some leaves on green velvet, added some gold embroidery and gathered it over a plain button with a shank, so I can easily sew it on to the bag. It was really fun working on a small project like a button, since you get to see results pretty quickly. Lately I just don't have the time I used to.... my daughter is in the marching band, so lots of time is spent at football games and band competitions.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Boutique Busyness

Well, although I am behind on my Bead Journal Project, I haven't been idle. Except for the food poisoning and flu, that is. Here are some pix of some items I have made for our November Church Boutique. A friend and I made the ball wreath - that is a raffle/opportunity prize. I put together several bracelets and had loads of fun mixing and matching beads.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

August BJP Finished

Here's a picture of my Art Nouveau-inspired August Bead Journal page. I had planned to do more around the circle, but after auditioning many ideas in my head/on paper and rejecting them all, I decided maybe that's a sign it's already done. I'd like to use this in a crazy quilt in the future...

Although I haven't done a fully beaded page yet (and may not), it surprised me to read that Robin Atkins begins her Bead Journal Page with a fabric she loves. Then she covers the entire thing. It never occurred to me that the fabric would inspire you along the way, even though it may be completely covered in the end. The fabric I used is a very soft silk blouse I used to wear when I was a "professional woman" (so, now am I just an amateur woman?)
Happy Stitching,
Lin Moon

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Twisted Bead Rope

I've been working more on my August Bead Journal page. I've been adding a twisted rope around the center motif. I knew how to do this around a cabochon, but not on fabric. It's the same idea, though. I wanted to have the twisted rope in a circle, so first I basted the outline of the circle with small stitches. My twisted rope is lavender and blue. First I marked the circle about every 3/8 inch. I started with lavender beads. It took about 4 lavender beads to lie flat on the 3/8 inch, so I added two beads, so that each "stitch" of lavender beads would curve or bow up a little and not lie flat.

After going around the circle with the lavender "stitches", I went back to begin the blue beads. My blue beads were smaller than the lavender ones, so each stitch of blue beads had a few more than the lavender beads. I brought my thread up in the middle of a lavender stitch, BELOW the lavender bow (and not thru any beads). After stringing 8 blue beads, I then inserted my needle in the center of the next lavender "stitch", ABOVE the lavender bow. Viola! It looks like a twisted rope!

On another note, I was given a big box of beads (Lucky me!) Some of the beads were these small hole-less beads with a dark mark that makes them look like a cat eye. These are not the micro-mini beads. What would you use them for? Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Making Molds for Aug BJP

Well I decided I didn't like my thick cabochon maiden's head, so I made a new one. The new one may not look that different to you, but it is about 1/3 of the thickness of the old one and is just the head outline; I didn't like the random shape around the face before. This took a little practice. For one thing, I made a new mold out of polymer clay. Then I used some very soft clay (it came with a cranium game) to practice getting just the head, without any outer part. I must have tried about 10 times to get it right. Then when I switched to the real deal(sculpey), I forgot to dust the mold with a release agent, so that took a few tries. A friend of mine with mold-making experience told me that you first make a rigid mold out of a plaster-like substance, because this substance won't go behind raised portions of the item you are making a mold of and get "locked in" back there. Then you use a rubbery compound and pour that in your rigid mold to get a flexible mold. I was so glad she counseled me, as I was going to pour rubbery stuff around my carved head and might have ruined it.

However, I did buy something called Sculpey Moldmaker(Super Elasticlay). I think you add it to polymer clay to make a more flexible mold. Haven't tried that yet.

Did a little more work on the August BJP embroidery - can you tell it is Art Nouveau inspired?

Happy Beading,
Lin Moon

Monday, August 27, 2007

Aug BJP beginnings

I'm just getting started on my Bead Journal Project for August (hey, at least it's still August for a few more days!)

The "cabochon" I made from polymer clay. I have a carved box from Russia that I used to make a mold. I used some kind of plastery type mold-making material that I wouldn't really recommend. The local stores didn't have any of the rubbery kind, which I really would have preferred and wanted to try. I wish I could have gotten more detail. Anyway, I think she came out OK, just a little too thick. I sewed flower sequins and beads to super-narrow ribbon and glued that down, so she could have a flower garland in her hair. I know it's just a beginning, but this time, the bead embroidery really feels like ME. That happy feeling is what makes it fun and usually makes the final product come out better. We'll see.....
Happy Stitching and beading,
~Lin Moon

Friday, August 17, 2007

July BJP

I know, I know, it's August, but I have finally finished my July Bead Journal Project. In June, I felt pressure to make something fabulous, even though I hadn't done any bead embroidery for years. I put too much pressure on myself and wondered if what I was doing "measured up". That type of thinking doesn't make anything fun and can suck out the inspiration for any project. So this time, I decided to just play - try different effects, do a little texturing, some flowers, some netting. So here's my playing...

I don't know that improvisational beading is my thing; nor do I want to draw a picture and then bead it. I'm somewhere in between, wanting to design an area with flowers or bead a great curve. So I'm still trying to find out what it is that I want to do with bead embroidery...

Things are looking up

I am very happy to report that Frisky is nearly back to normal! Even the vet was surprised that she recovered from partial paralysis to near normalcy. I think part of it is that she is a very active cat, tearing across the yard and up a tree in no time flat.

This summer has been a very bad one for me - my girls have been so busy that for the first 6 weeks of summer I was never home during the day for more than about 30 minutes at a time between driving one to and from summer school and her job and driving both to music lessons, etc. I was never available to go to the beach or have lunch with a friend.... Lots of frustration, tears, hot flashes, and very little time to blog or create. I need that creating time in order to be happy. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! School starts in 2-3 weeks, so I will have more time and my girls are going to various camps soon so I may actually create something (or just play)! Yay!

Thanks so much for all your support and emails with respect to Frisky - they are so appreciated. Warm fuzzies from blogland are so nice...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A bad bad day

It's only Tuesday and already it's been a horrible week. Yesterday was the first day of Vacation Bible School and my daughters and I are helping out all this week. I went outside to get the paper in the morning, came in and closed the garage. I read the paper and ate breakfast. Then I heard my daughter open the front door. Our neighbor was walking her dog and noticed that our cat Frisky's head was caught under the garage door! She had tried to get into the garage when the door was only 4-5" inches off the ground and it had closed on her neck. My daughter started screaming and was freaking out. We called the vet and they said we could bring her right in. (Of course this was just when we were supposed to be at the church) Frisky was just laying on her side. We slide a cardboard box lid under her, trying not to move her much and took her to the vet. The whole way there, she purred - it was very strange.

The doctor took an x-ray and her neck was not broken. But she can't walk and has no reponse in her front legs. I went to VBS, but didn't go into any of the classrooms; I was just too sad.

Frisky frequently interrupts the garage door opening or closing, so we always have to wait to see if the door will actually finish its journey. When I got the paper I had seen her sitting outside the door and waited to see if she was going to dart in. But my car was there, so I couldn't see everything. I heard the door complete its journey and went inside. She layed there for about 30 minutes, struggling to get free. I guess she thought it would always stop for her. I feel so bad. The vet had told us if her neck was broken it was "Goodbye". If we have to put her to sleep, this will tear up my daughter so badly - it is essentially her cat. I'm sorry to share such a bad story, but I am just so distressed....

Monday, July 30, 2007

more BJP progress

Well, I know July's almost over, but I'm still working on my July Bead Journal page. I decided to just "play" on this page and try out different effects. I've added some flowers and a couple of leaves. I really like the way the leaf done in the super-skinny bugles came out, but I did break a few beads until I switched to a super-skinny (and hard to thread) beading needle. It's hard to find those faceted drop beads like the 8 blue ones in the flower, that don't cost an arm & a leg....
It seems that once I start fooling around with flowers, things go easier for me - I think flowers are just my thing!
Happy Beading...
~Lin Moon

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July BJP Progress

I am finding these Bead Journal Pages difficult to start. I have all these seemingly great ideas floating in my head, but they get jumbled once I pick up a beading needle. Embroidery with fibers is so much more familiar to me; so I decided to just start beading a sampler of sorts as my page for July. I thought if I knew what sorts of effects I could get with different types of bead embroidery, maybe having this "palette" of effects would help me get started on future BJP pages. So here's my progress so far....
It's funny how sometimes when working on a challenge project, there are just sooo many rules. But take away almost all the rules, and I just don't know where to start!
Happy Beading...
~Lin Moon

Goodies from SM Bead Show

Here are some pix of the cool stuff I got at the bead show. I was thinking about beading around one of the larger beads for one of the bead journal project pages. Those blue pearls are kind of weird, but in a good way. I saw some wonderful kits for making beaded beads, necklaces and bracelets. Also some nice jewelry people were wearing that they had made themselves. It was fun!
Happy Shopping!
~Lin Moon

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Santa Monica Bead Show

This weekend is the Bead Faire at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, CA. It's Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 20-22.

Is anyone planning to go? I'd love to meet one of you online beaders!

More info is available at

Happy Beading,
~Lin Moon

Harry Potter Gala

I haven't been doing much embroidery/beading lately because I've been making Harry Potter curtains! I work at Borders Books and this Friday we are having a huge party to celebrate the latest and last Harry Potter book. We're having a DJ, palm reader, face painter, costume contest, free posters, wands and a craft table (womanned by yours truly) to make wizard hats. A red carpet will lead up to the front door, which will be festooned with 12 foot purple curtains, which I've been working on. A gold and glittered set of H and P letters will frame the door, done in the Harry Potter font. My daughter downloaded the font and I made signs for all the tables. This is going to be so much fun!
gotta get back to stitching soon....
~Lin Moon

Thursday, July 05, 2007

June Bead Journal Project

You can see my Bead Journal Project entry for June. I'm not really sure what I think of the finished piece... I certainly have a lot to learn. I have never filled a shaped with sequins, and I'm not sure a solid shape like the moon was a good choice.... I really enjoyed using all different blue beads for the water, although I struggled with wanting better-defined lines, which would have required all seed beads, or having fun with the different sizes of beads and not having the line effect I was going for. I had planned to have leaves or flowers floating on the water, but with the water beads being so big, it seemed like it would look like the water was floating on the leaves/flowers. I had also planned to fill in the water with lots of different embroidery threads, but thought it would take away from the beads and maybe be too "busy."

Things I would say I learned from this piece:
Beads behave differently than threads.(This may seem like a "duh", but it surprised me)
Sequins fill areas in a more airy way, than in a solid way.
Portions of the design that are done in beads tend to come forward, unbeaded areas recede.
Every piece doesn't have to be a masterpiece (thank goodness!)
I need to play more. (yay!)

Happy Stitching and Beading,
~Lin Moon

Friday, June 29, 2007

TASTy long and short

Here is a cat I'm making(wisp) using satin/long and short. This is about 3 inches wide. I really enjoy this type of embroidery as you can stitch layer upon layer to get the right color effect. Also, once you get the main lines embroidered, you can just "wing it". I untwisted button-hole twist, so it's done with a third of a strand of that. It's not yet finished - did you notice he has no whiskers?
Happy Stitching,
~Lin Moon

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

TASTy satin stitch and challenge

Long time no blog! Here is a sample of satin stitch from a Japanese embroidery piece I made.

I am behind on everything - TAST, Bead Journal project, house-cleaning, etc. I have been busy working on a challenge for Quilting Arts magazine ("Doorway to Creativity"). I have never worked on one of these challenges before, so this was all new to me. My first attempt, which was ripped and re-stitched several times took a long time and had to be tossed aside. I was very reluctant to give up on it because of all the work I had put into it, but finally realized it wasn't going to work out design-wise. Once I tossed it, I was disgusted and didn't really know how to proceed, so I decided to get out the Lumiere paints and play. That was the best thing I could have done! I didn't know I was still working on the challenge - I thought I was stalling. Working with those colors was what inspired me to go a whole new (and faster) direction with the challenge. But then I had to play catch-up and almost didn't get it in the mail in time!

Working on a project like this was very valuable in many ways. At first I had trouble being inspired by the theme. But I guess sometimes you have to work at it, think about it, discuss it, toss it around. I thought what was behind the door (creativity) was much more interesting than the door itself. But my husband suggested I think of the door as the "wrapping paper" on my creativity. That fit right into some slot in my brain.

One night I was tossing and turning in bed, mulling over an upsetting problem with a friend; you know how it is, you go over every detail and just can't get over it. So instead, I just decided to think about "the door". What would be my next step? What new technique could I try? What should I do for the background? And on and on.... But it was great therapy and a more hopeful line of thinking before falling asleep....

I come from an embroidery background, not a quilting one. It was a new thing for me to make a hanging casing on the back of the "quilt" (it only had to be 8 1/2 by 11) per their exact requirements. Even though it wasn't really difficult, it forced me to think in a different way - that's not really the creative part. But I think it is good experience.

So I'm very interested in how this theme will be interpreted by others - we will see some results in the November issue of Quilting Arts. I can't wait!

Happy Stitching!
~Lin Moon

Friday, June 08, 2007

Doll Nametags

I was trying to remember if I had done any other bead embroidery besides the one shown here, when I remembered one of my nametag dolls. I made a doll nametag and wore it to a meeting and next thing I knew I was doing a program on it. It was mainly to teach simple stitches used to embroider facial features and to show some different hair treatments. I figured the ladies wouldn't want to end up with all the same faces, so I offered them a selection of eyes, noses and mouths that they could mix and match to create a unique doll for their own nametags. For my display, I made up poems about the different dolls. I had a lot of fun with this!

The doll with red button hair and an art deco nametag was the one I made for myself.

Collette has the turquoise beaded hair....

Come meet Colette
Doesn't she look pert?
I can't say for sure,
But I've heard she's a flirt.
The mirror on the wall
Says she's most fair
Who could resist her?
What beads! What hair!

The purple-haired doll is Penelope....

With turquoise eyes and
Wild purple hair
Wide-eyed and happy
She hasn't a care
She was getting worried
She was going gray
I got her some RIT
Now it's "purpled" away!

Then there's Flo....

No shiny buttons
No Purple hair
Just some rags
It's just not fair
This is Flo
Complete with pout
She's been gypped
And she's put out!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Playing with beads

I've been fooling around with angelina fibers and loved the pearlescent shine of the white. I cut out a moon from it and did a little bead embroidery around it. I haven't done bead embroidery for awhile, and forgot about how much better your results are if you use all the same size bead. I really wanted to mix up my purples to see how it looked, so I ignored size. You can't really even see the sparkle of the angelina...

I have to admit, I have joined the Beaded Journal Project, described here. I'm hoping to keep up with one "journal page" per month - haven't quite decided what size I will do yet. I've found that if I join something like this, I am more motivated to do the work than if I just plan to get around to trying something someday.

Playing with Lumiere

I bought a pack of Lumiere paints ("The exciter pack") and just started painting them on some white cotton. The colors are amazing - as you can see in the pix, some of the colors have gold mixed in and some of the colors are very pearlescent. (To get the full effect of the colors in these pictures, click to enlarge.) This stuff is gorgeous! I tried sponging it on, also, which worked ok; there's just not as much shine when you dilute the paint for sponging. Check it out!
Happy Stitching, (and painting)
~Lin Moon