Springy Scrap Project

scrap circlesWhile packing up my fabric I found these colorful circles that were left over from a special quilt.  Looking back they have been unused for the last two years.

Bright Circle Quilt

Those scrap circles were calling out to be used in a springy project.  After finding this circle white on white fabric, I decided to whip up some potholders with a different look.

white on white circle fabric

With all of my sewing recently I haven’t played around much with applique.  This was the perfect project to get some practice as my next quilt will have lots!  I chose a thread that would pop on the colors.  Have you been out shopping recently to see all of the neon colors coming back?  Flashback to the 80’s and 90’s.

Light blue thread.
Light blue thread.

I prefer more of a raw edge applique look, plus shows the thread color very easily.  The color selection coordinates really well with the backing fabric.

raw edge appliqueApplique circles

Here is the completed set of potholders.  As the weather gets warmer and the flowers start to creep up from the ground, I am getting excited for spring.

Scrappy Circles Potholder set

You can find these in my Etsy shop.

Upcycle/Recycle – LisamariesPiece

Meet LisaMarie from LisamariesPiece.  She has always had an affection for vintage jewelry.  Her store reminds me of raiding my grandma’s jewelry box to play dress up when I was younger.

*Tell me a bit about you and your Etsy shop.
I’ve always been crafty and in love with making things with my hands. My jewelry and Etsy shop came to be when my family life changed. The economy had its affect on our family, and my husband joined the US Army. Needless to say; moving was a way of life. My mind needed a release, as well as much needed peace. With a play on words, LisamariesPiece was born.

*How did you get started using upcycled/recycled products?
At a young age, I was one of those rare kids that love going antiquing. Antiquing is a gift my parents never knew they gave me. At the time, I remember being drawn to the jewelry cases, but what was I going to do with old brooches and hat pins? I know the answer to that question now.

*What do you like the most about using those products?
It may seem weird, but I love holding the pieces in my hands above all. They were once special to someone. Each brooch, each earring, each bracelet has a story. I pick up a piece, and I know exactly what I am going to do with it.

*What do you like the least? Challenges?
I love what I do. I think I love it so much because no one is telling me how and when I make a piece. The biggest challenge is me having to put down and stop a piece because it’s 2am. I tend to create at night.

*How do you find inspiration?
My inspiration is new life. I’ve had a second chance with life, friends, and family. I drew great humility from my new life. Everything and everyone deserves a second chance.

*What feedback do you have from others about using these products?
My best feedback actually comes BEFORE the purchase. I receive private messages from women telling me that they love a particular hair comb or cuff and that they intend on wearing it in their wedding. A great sense of happiness washes over me because someone loves a piece enough to make it part of a special episode of their lives.

Her favorite item:

Upcycle/Recycle – squeakycleansoapco

Participating in the Etsy forums gives you an opportunity to reach out and meet other sellers.  I have been admiring Andi from squeakycleansoapco‘s work over the last couple of weeks and she was nice enough to provide some insight on her upcycled/recycled items. She uses recycled molds for her Espresso Yourself Soaps.

The inspiration for the Espresso Yourself Soap was my other passion: coffee. I initially bought myself a Keurig so I could have hot fresh coffee in the morning before heading out for my various volunteer responsibilities. After making and wasting an entire pot each day I started going to everyone’s favorite coffee shop and that was really making a dent in my wallet and the waste from the cups was beginning to pile up. So making my own coffee, one cup at a time was not only convenient but made good economical and ecological sense. BUT there was some waste: the actual K-cup. I started searching for other ways I could use them, and there are MANY (seedling starter pots, popsicle containers, jewelry organizers etc) but when I started to think of ways to reuse them while sipping my coffee one afternoon, inspiration struck and the Espresso Yourself Soap was born!

I love that k-cup is used as a mold and again as the packaging for the soaps and that since all the prepping for soap mold use is done before the customer receives their soap, they can actually just recycle the container when they are finished with it.

The challenge of using K-cups is that they have to be disassembled. Each K-cup is sealed with a foil lid and contains a filter and of course, the coffee. The seals are a challenge because if you dont remove them just so, you end up spending a LOT more time peeling off the edges still attached. And its messy. Sometimes, REALLY messy. My daughter likes to help with that! 🙂

My inspiration comes from my own children but mostly my customers. They challenge me to find new and exciting ways to make their event special. My personal motto is “I can do anything” and when it comes to making soap, I relish a challenge. When a customer asks me if I can make something for them and I spend time talking about what they would like, it builds not only my understanding of their wishes but a great customer relationship and that is always my first priority.

These soaps are fantastic exfoliants because they contain real espresso grounds. The coffee acts as a deodorizer for strong odors like garlic or even dirt. I use them at the end of the day to remove any extra fragrances or soap from my hands. Coffee lovers enjoy the novelty and the invigorating aroma and the chefs in my life report it removes all kinds of kitchen odors. And how fun to have an espresso you can’t spill!

Check them out for yourself.

Upcycle/Recycle – LeMaisonBelle

Shop #2 in my series of Etsy artists using upcycled and/or recycled items.  Meet LeAnn from LeMaisonBelle.  She has graciously offered a coupon to my readers for 10% off, use the code QUILTYTHERAPY.  Below is an item that may be coming to my home.

Tell me a bit about you and your Etsy shop…
My name is LeAnn Cooper, and I was born and raised in Mississippi. I started out 6 years ago selling large-scale painted furniture pieces, and just recently opened Le Maison Belle at Etsy. I focus mainly on small home decor pieces using vintage and upcycled elements. I also offer limited series black and white photographs, alphabet photography, and signs made from reclaimed wood with original artwork.

To most the name Le Maison Belle means “The House Beautiful”, but the shop is actually named after our Great Dane, Belle, who basically owns our house…so to us the names means “The House of Belle”.

How did you get started using upcycled/recycled products?
My grandmother was an avid sewer – and she never threw even the tiniest scrap of fabric away. When her pile got too large to handle, she’d begin making quilts. I think you’d probably call them crazy quilts today. I was always amazed at the beautiful quilts she made from sometimes the ugliest, tiniest strips of fabric. I think that’s where my “I know I can use this for something” mentality comes from.

We live in a house that was built in 1856, so we have lots of scrap wood from years of remodel projects. That’s how the painted signs venture got started. I also owned an antiques shop, so I have lots of small decorative items just waiting to be loved!

What do you like the most about using those products?
A lot of old items can have so much character – even an old piece of wood. You just don’t seem to find that in a lot of the items manufactured today. I love taking castoff items and imagining them as something completely new and different, and then seeing them take on a new life.

What do you like the least? Challenges?
When incorporating antique pieces into my designs, I take great pains to maintain the integrity of the antique pieces themselves. Even if a piece is rusted beyond having any monetary value, I find myself wincing as I paint it. I usually end up glad that I did though.

How do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by so many things…it’s hard to pick just one. I usually let things tell me what they want to be. I’ve found that if I try to force it, I don’t always end up pleased with the final product.

I find tremendous inspiration in other artists. The idea for the “Love is all You Need” sign that I painted came from graffiti that I saw painted on a building. “Love is all you need” was painted on the front; then, when I rounded the corner, “yes it is” was painted on the side.

What feedback do you have from others about using these products?
I spend a lot of time making freebies for friends and family. They’ll see something I’ve made and say, “Oh, can you make this for me in that color?” And I always do. I have so much fun making all of the items that I sell at Le Maison Belle, and I hope that everyone loves the products as much as I love creating them. I get a thrill when someone actually appreciates an item enough to purchase it.

Favorite upcycled/recycled item. Please include picture or link.
Oh, that’s a hard one! I love how the Ships in a Bottle turned out, and I really enjoy making the painted signs; but I’d have to say my favorite item would be the red magnetic bulletin board – red is my favorite color. This is also one of the items most requested by friends and family.


Fat Quarter Tear Challenge

A few months ago the IMQG had everyone bring in fat quarters in yellow, orange, and/or teal.  The strips from tearing have been sitting in my projects basket since I left that meeting.  Last Friday I decided I needed a project to just do in a day and just be creative.

I started with the yellow floral print featured above.  Kona white and a pattern of orange, blue, and yellow in varying strip sizes.  It was great to just play and design.

For the quilting I knew I wanted (semi) straight tight lines.  Talk about an arm and shoulder workout last weekend.

Here is the finished product.  I’m very happy with the results and my hard work over just one weekend.

The quilt is for sale in my Etsy store.

Dekalb Market

Brooklyn strikes yet again with something that I love about NYC.  In my quest to support handmade, local, and just overall awesomeness I found the Dekalb Market.  Dear friends in Brooklyn, when we come visit, can we please go???  Of course they said yet.

It’s an amazing use of space for pop up shops.  Old cargo containers turned into something practical and actually looks pretty.

The market is open year round.  It would be great if we could support something like this in Indianapolis.  We have wonderful stores that promote local artists, but it would be great for artists to have a place to support themselves.

Check it out next time you are around Brooklyn.