Saturday, January 24, 2009

Come on Over

I made the switch to TypePad!
I have been wanting to do it for some time and I think now is the perfect time to make it.
I will be able to post the Sketchbook Stickers directly on the blog and you can download them easily.
I'll miss All Dressed in Blue on Blogger but will have lots of links to older projects and posts on the new blog.
You can now reach me at
Come on over!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sketchbook Stickers

My idea....

Sketchbooks have been on the brain lately. I have kept many sketchbooks over the years. I tend to use lots and chose the one right for the occasion. Small ones that fit in my pocket for quick outings or larger ones for a museum trip but the problem is I don’t keep one cohesive sketchbook that I really pour myself into. Some ideas never develop because I will put that sketchbook down and may not pick it up again for several weeks. My goal for the year is to keep a sketchbook/journal with me at all times so ideas have pages and time to develop. Sketchbook/Journals have also been on the brain because my 10 year old is becoming a wonderful writer full of ideas and creativity. I can see how important it is for me to encourage her to keep a book with her to record experiences and thoughts. And I think if I start with my younger one now it will become a natural part of life.

So I have been trying to come up with ideas that encourage sketchbook use for me and my daughters. My idea is to create
sketchbook stickers.

Stickers full of art reference information, organization tools and ways to inspire. You can stick them into you sketchbook and have information and tools handy at all times.

My initial idea was to create sticker packs and sell on Etsy but during the process I decided I just want to share them with you all here and create a place on the blog where we share sketchbook activities and ideas to help all of us become better artist.

I have lots of stickers already planned and some more ideas in the pipeline. I am going to post stickers periodically on the blog. You can pick up a pack of label sticker sheets, save the stickers from the blog, and print them off. Then you will be all set. You could just print them out on paper and tape them into the books, but I really like stickers. Don’t you?

I have two stickers to share with you today.

A ruler sticker for measuring emergencies (you know, like when a gnome needs to know how tall he is)

and an inspiration sticker to help keep ideas organized and easier to spot (cause some of my ideas get lost in the page never to be seen again). It has 3 spots to fill in one for the idea, materials needed and notes.

Because I want to offer high quality images for you and I cannot post PDF files on the blog I will be sharing them through another website.

You can download the stickers here.
okay so I realized that sometimes when you click the above link the stickers are there and sometimes thery are not. I'm working on a solution. Sorry~

My only request is that you use the stickers for personal uses only. Make some for yourself or send them to you awesome niece who you don’t get to see nearly enough (love you KK).

Oh and I would love for you to share your thoughts with me. I want to learn about lots of subjects with these stickers and hope you join me in the exploration.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Daruma Love

We recentley discovered a wonderful museum The Crow Collection of Asian Art. On a recent visit the awesome docent pointed my oldest girl towards a family scavenger hunt booklet. He told her if she was diligent and found all the art work they had a treasure for her. My girl takes treasures very seriously and got to business. She returned with her goal achieved and the gentleman opened a little white box and pulled out a Daruma Doll.

He told her a the story of Daruma a famous Indian monk who establised Zen Buddhism. The Daruma has two blank eyes. He told her when she sets an important goal to color in one of the Daruma dolls eyes, when she achieves that goal she colors the other eye in.

The little Daruma doll sits on her shelf in her room. She's waiting for the perfect goal to color in his first eye.

I think it is awesome to have a visual reminder of achieveing an important goal.

I made a little daruma sticker design for my sketchbook. Just in case you have an important goal or a small goal and would like a daruma sticker you can download it here on the bottom of the page will be the words download file.
Print the image out on sticker paper then you are all ready go.

In my Daruma search I found this unazukin doll fashioned after the Daruma. The unazukin doll shakes her head yes or no when you ask her a question. I wounder if my shelf has room for a daruma and unazukin dolls. Of course!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I had so much more I wanted to share with you all last year. I got seriously wrapped up with Christmas gift making.

I have been working on a new idea for the last few months and now that the new year has rolled around I am almost ready to share. I am busy setting up a new etsy shop and will have lots to share on the blog.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Corn Husk Doll

My little girl had a surprise in her backpack yesterday. Her preschool class had made native american corn husk dolls.

She told me this morning that little boys and girls made these dolls a long time ago.

I think it was a pretty cool experience for her.

If you would like to make a corn husk doll you can find the instructions here. This link has great suggestions for decorating your doll including soaking her in watercolors, food color, coffee or tea to give them color.

You can watch a video tutorial here.

I want a whole family to decorate with this Thanksgiving.

you can find the legend of the corn husk doll here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Moss Terrariums

I have been spotting moss terrariums everywhere lately and I am a bit smitten. I decided some time back to make them for the girls' teachers. I thought I would share some tips in case you decided to make one of these terrariums.

I found awesome resources online.
I especially used these

Since you can find loads of step by step instructions I thought I would share some of my personal experiences making these pretty little terrariums.
1. The activated charcoal was the hardest to find. I finally found it at a small speciality nursery. It came in large chunks that I just hammered into smaller pieces.

2. I had trouble deciding on the type of soil to use and finally decided to go with cactus soil because I think it will help by not holding excess water.

3. I looked online for moss but I thought it was pretty expensive. I decided to do a little exploring and find my own. I overlooked a great little creek by my house for over two weeks. It was full of great moss.
It was fun finding it by myself . I did have a crazy experience where I was poking around by our local lake and ran into a snake.

4. I had hoped to find my thrift shop full of great jars but had no luck. I found the blue top jars at Ross for a couple of bucks each. I found the tiny jars at World Market for 99cents.
5. I purchased the decorations on etsy.
6. I am going to find some travel size spray bottle to give with each terrarium to make for easier misting of the moss.
7. I made these early so they will have time to cure hopefully insuring I give a healthy terrarium as a gift.

the smaller jars are my favorite.

but don't forget about the awesome peanut butter jars.

the peanut butter jar made the perfect container for my little girl.
Let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to share what I learned.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Werewolves and Fries

You never know where inspiration will hit you. I found some inspiration while ordering lunch a couple of weeks ago at Sonic. They are selling these toys in the kid’s packs and after seeing the promotional sign I was in love with the little werewolf. We ended up getting the skeleton and Frankenstein toys but that werewolf stayed with me. I finally decided to make my own

werewolf so I made a sweet embroidered one.

Here is the embroidery pattern in case you need a werewolf in your life. I just piled on the french knots for his furry face.

You can use it to make a brooch for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


This is a Christmas Spoiler.

So if I am having Christmas at your house or will be sharing good times with you this season
you may not want to read on.....
or you may be a little naughty like me and want to read on and then email me requesting a specific color. I love you either way.

I just love this pattern too much not to share. I have been knitting on and off for a year now. I have many limitations. I knit best on large needles with big fun chunky yarn and if I make a mistake I'm up a creek because I have no ability to fix it. I found a great easy project that suits me perfectly the knitted cowl pattern by Copycat is awesome. It is super easy to knit and turns out fabulous. In fact it was my first time using circular needles and it still turned out beautifully. I am finishing my third and hope to make one a week till December giving them to my friends, family, and teachers. I am working on adding my own touch and will share some brooch ideas soon.

When I was taking a pic to share I slipped the cowl on my little girl and it was darling. It looks like a poncho/capelet, she may need one in a fun color

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sometime you need to draw a Giraffe

My youngest girl has a serious thing for giraffes. I want to make her some giraffe themed items for Christmas so I needed to brush up on my skills. I googled “how to draw a giraffe” and found this diagram.

The diagram helped me gain confidence in my giraffe drawing. I typically draw what I see and it’s hard for me to draw from memory or imagination. It turned my horse with a really long neck into a giraffe. Diagrams can be a great tool for artists because they help fill in information really quickly.

There is a link on the giraffe page that leads you to a list of other animal diagrams. I printed each one out and slipped them into those plastic page protectors and bound them. Now I have a whole book of animal diagrams and should the need arise to draw a bison or a kangaroo, I’m set. My daughter and husband used the binder this afternoon and it got the ball rolling for them.

I wanted my younger girl to get in on the action so I created a binder just for her. I printed out some realistic coloring pages from and slipped them in the page protectors then gave her an expo marker so she could have her own fun. After her fun we can wipe the marker right off.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bunny and Carrot are Friends

I made me some shadow puppets.
Crazy Fun to make and the whole family got into using them. I made them in no time with the help of my new fiskars knife. I have loads of black construction paper so I used it to make the puppets but laminated them at my local office supply store to keep them sturdy for the younger girl. I used skewers for the sticks and handi tak to hold them in place. For the screen I pinned up a white sheet in the doorway to my bathroom. Turn the bathroom light on and the outside light off and you have an instant puppet theater. I used the website owly shadow puppet as a resource.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Staying up late

The Olympics are over and I will finally get in bed before 2am. I enjoyed every minute.

I have been wanting to creating some shadow puppets when quite by accident I stumbled upon the awesome etsy shop owlyshadowpuppets. Check out the puppet screens here. These super cool puppets are created by Chicago artist Andrea Everman who offers instruction for making your own puppets on her website. I hope to create my own this week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Perfect Repurposed Jar- Peanut Butter Jar

My family has a serious love of peanut butter. My husband considers himself a master at creating the perfect jelly to peanut butter ratio. Therefore I have a steady flow of peanut butter jars. I use them all the time. I love my jelly jars too but these plastic jars are just awesome for holding a wide variety of items.

They are useful water containers for water coloring because you can take it anywhere and you can use the lid to create a wash. If you add a rubber band to slip in your paintbrushes, pencils and other tools you have a nifty watercolor kit.

Perfect Snack containers for holding my vanilla macaroon granola.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yarn Cup Revisited

I received a question about the yarn cup weaving project I posted about some time ago. The instructions are a bit unclear so I thought I would give a more detailed tutorial on the project. I enlisted the help of my older girl, she looks jazzed!


Variety of yarn pieces

Plastic Cup




You can create a template by tracing the top of your plastic cup. You need an odd number of strips to weave the yarn through. My template was for a 16 oz cup. You can use a variety of cup sizes just create a template where there are an odd number of equally spaced strips. The more strips you have the tighter the weave, but if you have a younger child then you may want fewer strips.

mark on the cup with a sharpie where each line should be cut.

Cut straight lines down the side of cup to the bottom. This is how you create the strips you will use to weave.

Once all the strips are cut you can choose your yarn. I like to begin with smooth yarns because they are easier to work with. Save the bumpy, frizzy, speciality yarns for when you have the hang of it. Always start with the yarn tail on the inside of the cup.

Now that you have your start you can weave the yarn in and out of the strips of plastic.

the first length of yarn can be frustrating. The first couple of rows may look like the one above. Take a break after every row or two to tighten the rows by pushing the yarn down.

When you run out of the first yarn piece end with the tail tucked inside the cup. Start the new piece of yarn where the last piece should have come out.

Keep on weaving. Now that you have some experience add the fun yarn if you like. You may think it works up really fast but really you will need to tighten it up often. Keep pushing the yarn down in order to have a nice tight weave.
My girl finished her cup in under 2 hours.

when you are done simply clean up the inside of the cup by trimming all the tails with scissors. With the wide variety of speciality yarns the options are endless.


the plastic may splinter causing these little thorns that will catch on the yarn. Pull or cut them off.

The beginning can be frustrating. It just takes a bit to get accustomed. I did this project with our Girl Scout Troop and all 11 girls finished a cup and then another. Just a bit hairy to begin with.

I got the cup started and then remembered my daughter is left handed and started it out weaving right. If you have a lefty just weave in the left direction.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Washer Dial

You know when you buy a shirt and it's the perfect length and fit then after laundry day it's 2 inches shorter and all snug? Maddening!
So I end up line drying a majority of my shirts which brings me to my real problem, I constantly forget to line dry things! I miss something, or I swear it wasn't in the washer to begin with, or I left them in the washer so long I really can't remember what's all in there. All of which leads me to tears in the laundry room because I had found the perfect black tee only to shrink it up!

Well, I made a little tool to help and want to share in case there are others out there like me. Poor souls tormented by the shrinking tee.

You can download the templates from my flickr page here.
Use a brad as a pointer. Then you can keep up with how many items are in the washer that need to line dry. I used some handitak to stick it to the washer.
I want to laminate it but haven't gotten that far yet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sculpey Fun

I was looking through the Dick Blick site again and I noticed this project. I liked the idea of pressing crayons into the sculpey and then melting it but wanted something my toddler could do.

I took balls of sculpey and let my 3 year old just pick up crayon shavings with it. I took several pictures of the process that you can see here you can click on the photo for a description if you like. Once the pieces are ready I baked them at 325 degrees for around 10-15 min.

It was fun for Allison and super easy to do. They can make a lovely pendant or stones to place in flower pots. I especially like the metallic green crayon one.