Tuesday, January 27, 2009

woven together

Get ready to be blown away by this radical weaving tutorial from Bobbi Clothes on ThreadBanger. More than amazing. It brought back memories of rag rugs that my mom and grandmother would keep at the front door and in the kitchen when I was growing up. I can't think of a more perfect way to put your random fabric scraps to use. Make a simple homemade loom (it's not as hard as you think, I promise,) tear up some fabric or use up some scraps and make something cool.

I used fabric from a pair of thrifted pants, two old t-shirts and some $1.00 remnant fabric from Wal-Mart. (Some cotton, some jersey, but you can use anything.) All you need to make your homemade loom is a piece of wood and an even/equal number of nails on each side of the board. Screws also work. (I used 12 on each side.) Tear your fabric into strips. Any size will do, but mine were about 2-3 inches wide. Don't attach them to each other yet – it's easier weaving the strips one at a time into the loom, and attaching a new one when you need to (so you're not pulling enormously long pieces through your loom.) Umm, I found that out the hard way.

Use yarn to thread your loom. Tie a knot at the beginning and thread back and forth until you reach your last nail/screw, then tie another knot. Keep the yarn as taught as you can. Use a large scrap of fabric (I used a clean dish towel) as a buffer on one end to leave enough space so that you can tie your yarn ends when you're done. Weave it through before you use any fabric strips.

Then start weaving! It's fun and it goes surprisingly fast. I tied the end of my fabric to the first piece of yarn so it would stay put.

Weave under/over in alternating rows - just like those construction paper projects from elementary school.

When you reach the end of a strip and need to join the new one, cut a small notch in your end strip. Pull a new strip through (just an inch or two) and cut a small notch in that as well.

Pull the new strip's tail end through this opening (yes, you're pulling the strip through itself)...

... and you will create a knot of sorts. (This joining technique is genius and from the video above!) Keep going until you have finished a piece that is your desired length/width for whatever you are creating.

When you're done, cut the yarn ends two at a time...

... and tie them together. The tutorial shows a narrower, longer loom and the end result is a rad belt or scarf. So very very cool.

Embrace the imperfections/bumps/stray ends in your weaving! Depending on how tight you want your end fabric to be, you can shove the rows together as tight as you want as you work, or you can leave them loose. Either way, your yarn strands may show through and that's okay!

I made a bag out of this. Believe it or not. I'll show you how I did it.

First, I wove two placemat-looking rectangles. I used the same colors but the two pieces do not match.

Then I used extra fabric strips threaded through a large darning needle to lace/weave the edges that needed to be joined; the two sides and the bottom. I used lots of strips on the bottom edge to make it more substantial (and so things I was carrying in the bag wouldn't fall out!)

(You'll see it has a very messy look.) I used six more fabric strips to make the handles. I braided them together (three strips for each handle) and then wove and tied the ends securely inside the bag.

It turned out to be so textural and I adore the feel of it!

So let's see what you've got. Find some old clothes that you just don't know what to do with. Rip them up – it's way fun. Then weave those scraps into something new and fantastic. Show us what you've done here and share the love.

And now the winner from our victorian inspo challenge ... Diane!

Check out her lacy loveliness. Alright girl – email your addy to jgeigley [at!] gmail.com for your awesome prize from EveryJotAndTittle! Sweet.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I want everyone to get up and stamp their feet...

because i want you to say "'ello." to our newest and hippest permanent go-go-girl!
She might look a little familiar... [:
Kara is such an inspiration to both Jen and myself, that when we were talking about adding a third designer, the only face that seemed fitting was this fierce one!
And we are very lucky to have her! 
If you don't know this gem of a girl, 
here are a few of her lovely creations (more on her flickr)


She shares a love for creativeness and all the good things in life- with a fun old-y feel.
which is what this blog is all about- so i can't stop grinning, knowing that she's part of the 'in crowd' now! 

and aren't her film photos, oh so lovely! 

OK, movers and shakers! You still have a week to pull some shapes on the current challenge, before Jen astounds us all with a yum-filled prompt! Don't forget about our flickr group!
Much love from the Work-Your-Soul trio!

Friday, January 16, 2009

come take a trip.

I went to a house over the holidays that had such a good feeling in it. You could really feel how old it was, it was like a museum, almost, you could feel that good people had lived in it- it was almost victorian feeling and if you've ever been to Winchester Mystery House, you'll know what i mean- i always want to learn about the house and who lived in it, and what they wore and how they lived. Mrs. Winchester must've been such a creative lady, the colours and designs of that house are so funky! It's a 160-room house, so she had alot to play with, seeing as she had been told that she had a curse on her and that if she ever stopped building, the ghosts that haunted her would kill her! Still, she was known for her bubbly personality and you can't be boring to build a house with stairs that go to the celling, can you?

I am kind of a sucker for these kinds of things. I love looking at the human race and seeing how we used to live, and what we wore and things- which is great living in England, because I can go to Bath which is just around the corner and see everything there. I wish I had a good picture of it, but there's a street called 'George Street' and people who lived in Bath would get all dressed up just to walk along the sidewalk in their latest fashions. I love hearing about what their lifestyles were like- so leisurely and indulgent.
(here is a picture-from google- looking down the street- the sidewalk on the left)

There is so much history in places like this, that my whole body just tingles! Bath is a modern city now, and I love walking around and finding little bits that have been preserved. Some things you don't even realize the age of until you stop and take the time to learn about it. On George's street, there is a club, where I played battle of the bands, and here's a little sketch of what it looks like (just to give you an idea);
it's these little quirky things that get me all excited! sometimes, i close my eyes and make up little stories about what could've happened and i try and imagine the conversations that they must've had. how much fun would it be to dress up in big frilly frocks and strut along next to someone in a flamboyant suit, chatting about the weather and using all the formalities that were necessary. oooohhhh.
I've also been watching alot of period films and things, but the programs that really have my heart are Sherlock Holmes and Jeeves&Wooster. i love men in suits from ALL ages!

and old women's clothes. oh!
(these are all just so inspirational to me...)

i love the frills and the layers and how feminine they are without being OVERLY so.
i don't know if you feel it, but i love it.
i think there is alot you can take from these images/ideas.

and this week i want you to just PLAY! take anything from this post. the colours, the sketches, the garments, the old photographs, the clean lines of suits... anything that inspires you!

i chose to take the lace trims from the women's dresses and things;
and tried to incorporate it into a stitching project.
i love old samplers too.
there are so many cute cross stitch patterns out there as well check this one out;

anyway. (i get easily side-tracked)
Here are pictures of some little stitching i did.
this one is going to be a picture frame;
and this is a bookmark;
and this is my favourite one so far,
i loved making these bookmarks, i think i'm going to make personalised ones for my friends. [:

And Jen was going to take a break this week, but she can't stay away from this one... :)

(I used a bunch of left over lace, buttons and three doubled hair-tie elastics to make this cuff.)

Okay! Now we have an AMAZING guest designer, this week,

Hey Soul Sisters! My name is Holly, and I'm honored to be here for this weeks challenge! I've admired "Work Your Soul" ever since the first post, and I was thrilled when Kim e-mailed me. I'm from c-c-COLD Canada (it's -40 degrees Celsius as I type this!), and I'm a hairstylist by trade, and otherwise a stay at home Mom to my son Simon, who is 16 months old. I love many forms of art and craft and always have. Other than blogging, you can find me crocheting/knitting, or embroidering something! Some other things I like are time with family, nintendo, Monster Energy, Elsie Flannigan's sketches, tattoos, and taking photos! Ok, down to business.....

The Victorian era was such a beautiful time, and I am SO jealous of Kim that she can go browse the streets of Bath when she likes... I can't imagine the inspiration. One thing that I have always found beautiful is silhouette portraits. These date back to the 18th century, and traditionally, they were hand cut out of thin black cardboard. This took time and talent, and was often done by specialist artists. Silhouette art is still popular today, and used in many forms of decor as well. Now, I love the look of paper cut art (like Rob Ryan!!), but it's a digital age we live in, so I wanted to make a silhouette portrait of my husband and I, using digital photography and Photoshop. I've made a little tutorial to help you make your own silhouette portrait too! (in just a few steps!)

First take a photo of your profile, in front of a blank light background. Upload the photo into Photoshop (make sure the background layer is unlocked) and select the background with the magic wand tool, in the toolbar. You may have to adjust the "tolerance" at the top, I set mine to 15.

Delete the selected background. Next, desaturate the image completely, and move the "lightness/darkness" bar all the way to dark.

Then make a white line with the line tool (set at 15 pixels wide), diagonally from the shoulder downward. Edit -> Transform Path -> Warp, and pull the one side of the line up, to make a curved line.

Save the image as a .jpeg file, and re-open it. Then use the paint bucket tool to fill in the bottom of the silhouette, so it's white. The background should also be white at this point. Now you have a silhouette!

You can now print it out, and do whatever you please with it!

I chose to frame it with some digital frames by Danielle Thompson's Kitschy Digitals Thrift Store Chic Frames. I then printed them out on photo paper, and made this layout.

Gotta have those lace details for a real victorian feel.
(WOW! amazing, huh?)

We loved alot of your projects! Thank you for playing, but we could only pick one, and the winner from last challenge...

so go ahead and throw jen an e-mail: jgeigley [at] gmail [dot] com.

And our next giveaway is from Every Jot and Tittle - http://everyjotandtittle.etsy.com. (Thanks to Kellie for being our sponsor!) Check back on January 30th (and link up your victorian cross stitch inspo projects) for our next challenge and the winner of this fab prize pack!