31 December 2010


I made my boys and cousin Billy some Thomas the Train pajamas for Chrissy this year.  Unfortunately I did not get a pic of all three in their jammies, but here are my two Yahoo's!  They are really easy to make!  My friend Sue Newberry "donated" the fabric to me.  She gave me about five yards of this fabric and some Cars fabric.  Rad is especially pumped for his Thomas jammies cuz they have Cranky the Crane on them, which Cranky he also got from Santa.  WooHoo for being a little yahoo!

11 December 2010

Graduation Announcement

Congrats to my sis who is graduating from NAU this week!  I made her a graduation announcement!  I really like how it turned out.  Yay Julie.  Now find a job.

01 December 2010

Chrissy Pressies

That is Christmas presents.  Santa has been slaving away making Chrissy Pressies for my lovelies, you know who you are!  First up!  I finished this gem this afternoon.  It is even insulated.  I learnt a few things while making this and the first is that I need to make sure I read the directions thoroughly, especially what the seam allowances are meant to be.  Secondly, interfacing thickness is a big ish.  Anyhow, I might keep it for my own self.  Friends, look out for a package from me!
Secondly, I have a new niece.  Reagan Elizabeth.  Said niece has a new quilt and doesn't even know it.  Crank your necks, loyal readers, she's a beaut!  Circles suck.  Nuff said.

Lastly, this is for a dear friend!  I hope she likes it.  I think I'm gonna make a few more for my less fortunate friends that live in colder places than AZ, although she will use it, I am certain!  Fleece is the ballz, for sure.

Lots more Chrissy pressies to come!

My New Baby

Hexy McQueen was done about a week early, while I was still in AZ.  I think she turned out amazing!  Also, don't judge me for the crappy pix.  I usually like to make use of natural light, but because I live a few miles from the north pole, it gets dark here at 4:00 pm and if there is any natural light during the day I am usually outside soaking it up.  I haven't actually seen the sun in days.  I hate winter.  That's it, I am moving to AZ!
She is quilted with little bubbles.  I can't believe how beautiful she turned out!  Also, she in huge.  Some day soon she will sit aloft a King Size bed.  But for now, may she rest her beautiful behind in my dinky room.  Let her be my sunshine till spring!

30 October 2010

My Halloweener Costume, eh hem, shirt

I didn't have a Halloweener costume.  I DID have some halloweener fabric.  So I went a little nuts making ruffles.  I like how it turned out! I wore it to our friend's Halloweener party.  I didn't have the best costume (I think Dolly Parton and Brett Farve complete with squash-as-package and crocs won the prize:) But, I looked festive and cute! I am even going to wear it to church tmrw with my black pencil skirt!

I just went with the picture in my head and viola!  Happy Halloweener!  

29 October 2010

Little Boss

My sis-in-law is having a baby gurrrl in a few weeks.  I am making this quilt for the babe, which I will call Little Boss (the quilt, not the baby).  The baby is going to be named Reagan, but I am pulling for the spelling to be a little more modern: Reighganne or Rayghann.  I find the modern spelling quite hilarious.  Like Emmalee.  Kills me when I see that.  Anyhowzit, here is a sneak peak of Little Boss!  I still have another row of 6 to put on it.  I bought some eyelet fabric that I am going to use for the border.  I heart the fabric!  And the circles.  The only thing was that cutting 3 inch circles was not fun. at. all.  In fact, I got half way done cutting the circles and decided to incorporate the solids into the quilt instead.  

27 October 2010

Presents and Updates

It's been quite some time!  Firstly, Hexy McQueen is at Patchworks waiting in line to be quilted!  I am so excited to see the finished quilt I can hardly wait.  It's due date is November 18, 4 days after I get home from AZ where I am running the Grand Canyon Half Marathon.

Secondly, I have been VERY busy.  I am making Chrissy presents, so I can't exactly post them all on my blog.  However, I will post them as Chrissy gets closer.  The crap I am working on is pretty awesome!

I made this little gem for a friend's birthday.
I was thinking how cool it would be to have a necklace that made it look like I was wearing a shirt with buttons. The pic is not the best, but you get the idea.  They are buttons that I covered with fabric.  Happy Birthday to my lucky friend!

05 October 2010

Hexy McQueen Update

I am more than half way finished sewing together Hexy McQueen.  It is enormous.  I can only lay out half of it in my living room at one time.  That being said, here is a portion of my Lovely.

I am realizing a couple of things about hexagons.  List time!
1.  They are addictive.  I have two more hex projects in the works (okay, just in my brain, but I am really close to starting).
2.  They are incredibly difficult to sew together.  You can't sew in the seam allowance (which in the case of quilting is a scant 1/4").  This makes it so that your cutting and 1/4" seam allowance must be exact or you will get some pulling.
3.  They are so stinkin' pretty!
4.  Not really about hex's but just in general:  If you are gonna make an enormous quilt, 22" finished blocks are the way to go.  Seriously!  I only have 17 full hex's, 6 half hex's and 8 quarter hex's!  Not too shabby.

At this rate, I will have the quilt top completed during tomorrow's nap time.  Then to get it basted and off to the long arm!

03 October 2010


Those who know me know that I am loving the reemergence of the 1980's.  I also blogged the other day about how I wish I could be Joan Collins and/or live my life as though I was a character from Dynasty.  I went to the Goodwill about a month ago or so and found a 1980's McCall's pattern.  It is an amazing pattern.  So I went to the fabric store and found some fabric and behold:

The fabric ended up looking awesome, especially with the pockets turned on the bias, but it was really hard to work with.  It was like 60% poly, 5% spandex and the rest cotton.  It frayed easily and did not keep a crisp line.  I did learn a few things!
1.  Collars are not that hard.  I think I have got it down.
2.  Following the directions makes things SO much easier!!
3.  Hemming:  Since the fabric would not retain a nice clean line, I decided to do a running stitch on the seam allowance, which in this case was 5/8".  Then I went back and ironed the seam allowance then folded the unfinished edge into the folded seam.  Then I finished the hem.  EASY!  I am sure I am not the first person to come up with such a trick, but I thought it was a brilliant idea!  And it worked beautifully.
4.  My chalk pencil is the ballz.
5.  I need to take better measurements because for me, my measurements are always changing.  I ended up having to take in the sides and sleeves another 1.5", but even so, it is still a little big.

Yay for vintage patterns!!!

18 September 2010


I found this fab pattern on etsy for this hoodie.  It looked super easy and fall is upon us, so here is the result!  I opted for flannel for the lining but I am not sure I would do that again.  I mean, it looks really cool, but flannel does not have much stretch, as does the sweatshirt fabric.  I have never used sweatshirt fabric before and it wasn't too bad to use.  I made sure I finished all seams with my overlock foot, which helped the seams lay flat...and TOPSTITCHING. I dedicated an entire post to my love affair with TOPSTITCHING and I meant it!  Also, I opted for snaps instead of buttons.  Buttons made it look pretty girly so that was a definite no-go.  Brian took Rad to a Marquette football game and Rad came home perfectly warm!  Okay, off to my next project. 

13 September 2010

Top Stitching

I just wanted to write a post dedicated to my most favoritest thing to do (in regards to sewing, that is): topstitching.
Topstitching is a sewing technique. It is used most often on garment edges such as necklines and hems, where it helps facings to stay in place and gives a crisp edge. Decorative topstitching is designed to show, and may be done in a fancy thread or with a special type of stitch. Otherwise, topstitching is generally done using a straight stitch with a thread that matches the fashion fabric (thanks, wiki).  
I am working on hoodies for the boyz (Rodney's is done..check back for post in a coupla dayz so I can finish Rad's) and Topstitching saved my life.  I use it all the time.  I have done it on purses, collars, plackets, scripture cases, flowers and probably more.  It DOES make hems and edges crisp and I don't think any project is "finished" until it has been topstitched!

Topstitching, I LOVE U!

05 September 2010

Antiquing/ Antique-ing/ Antiqueing, IDK

That can't be spelled right.  Oh well.  I really don't care.  So we spent a few days of Brian's break up in the Wisconsin Dells.  On our way outta town we stopped at a really cool antique store (with a fab restaurant right next door).  There were some really cool vintage toy sewing machines, some really cool old signs, and some freaky deaky clowns (why are there always freaky deaky clowns?) On the very last aisle, I found this:  TaDa!!
About 30 (wooden) spools of Coats and Clark thread!  Some of them unused!  It was so beautiful and the colors so rich and inspiring!  Not to mention the cool old jar!  I also found a cool vintage women's catalogue from 1931 and an add that says, " Luscious ripe Strawberries are rich in pure Dextrose Sugar....and so is delicious Baby Ruth".  I could not pass it up!  Strawberries/ Baby Ruth...Same/Same!  

More Crap

Not actual crap.  That would be disgusting, albeit hilarious.  Nope, I made a bib necklace from s{craps} of fabric from Mr. Hexy McQueen (of which I have finished all 17 hexagons.  Still gotta do 6 half hex's and 8 triangles.  Then I gotta lay it out and the bastard of all bastards...baste it).

I love how it turned out!  I made some fabric flowers, which I totally winged, and some fabric buttons.   I have also been searching and collecting vintage earrings, buttons, broaches, cuff links and such. They added the perfect amount of sparkle!

31 August 2010

Baby Clothes Quilt Along

I am doing the Baby Clothes Quilt Along!  I am a week behind, but I LOVE the idea!  I have about 14 boxes of baby boyz clothes sitting down in the basement, that I will probably never use again and that I am planning on dragging back to AZ in May of 2011.  I just don't have the heart to throw them out (do I really have the heart to cut 'em up?) so I am gonna make a quilt!  It looks pretty easy (simple blocks of squares and background fabric).  I am so excited to put it together!

Duke's Wedding Announcement

Their wedding was a little over a month ago, but I wanted to post their wedding invite cuz I think it turned out amazing.  Thankfully, Brittney was so easy to work with.  She gave me a few ideas then let me go do what I do best.  I really love the final result!



30 August 2010


I made a Baptism announcement for my cousin Sarah and her little guy, Hunter.  I love it cuz she pretty much let me do whatever I wanted.  That always makes me incredibly happy!!  Here it is!
Isn't he sweet??  I remember when said cuzin was baptized and I was so jealous cuz she got the coolest Barbie!  Now she has a (nother) kid getting baptized!

13 August 2010

Trails and Subway Art

I ran into the blog Tatertots and Jello and found the coolest post on Subway Art.  I heart Subway art.  I didn't know it, but I have been using it in my work for quite sometime now.  Anyhowzit, I was inspired to make this in CS4.  These are all the trails Brian and I have done over the years.  If you know us, you know that we love running/biking trails.  We have also done some bigs hikes like the Grand Canyon and Pikes Peak.  Since we live in Milwaukee and all the trails are currently under water from the floods and since our hearts are still on the trails in AZ and CO, I wanted to pay homage to all the places we love.  I had it printed at Sam's Club and am picking it up tomorrow.  I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my living room!!!

08 August 2010

Eat Your Heart Out, Princess

I finished my Amy Butler Liverpool dress this week!!!  I wore it to church today.  The besticle part of wearing something you make is when somebody compliments you on it, you get to say, "Thanks!! I made it!!!".  I did get a few compliments, not complement.  That's biology.
So... Here it is!
This was the first collar I put in and it was certainly not easy.  I do not make any attempt to be a perfectionist but collars require perfection and precision.  I can do precision, but perfection alludes me.  But I think I killed the collar!  I am going to make another shirt with a collar and some pajamas for the boyz so I can master the collar.  
I also learned that interfacing is my new besticle friend.  I love interfacing.  And belts.  Isn't the belt fab?  The most important thing I learnt is that being a perfectionist does not necessarily mean that the results will be any better than if you are going for speed, or as I like to call it, efficiency.  Let me explain.  There is a lady in my class who cut, marked, pressed, pinned to the T.  She started sewing before me and was way ahead of me.  Then there is me.  I just go.  I am all about business.  I have about 2 hours a couple times a week to sew so I try to get as much done during that time that I can.  I don't have time to pin and re-pin 100 times.  What I am saying is that Lady probably spent twice as long on her dress than I did and it did not turn out any better/worse than mine.  I beat myself up trying to be more of a perfectionist but the more I sew and do other things too, I am finding that perfectionism doesn't really add much to the end result, other than time:)  I do think that I could pay a little more attention to reading the directions.  That is time well spent!

05 August 2010

Quilted Coasters, A Must

I wanted to share one of the projects that I started/finished this week (another biggie to come!!!)  We were in desperate need of some coasters.  Contrary to what Brian believes (that those water rings can be rubbed off wood), coasters are kind of a big deal, unless you want unruly water stains on your wood.  Out there in the blogging /craft book world, there are gazillions of tutorials, patterns and the such for quilted coasters.  I got out my scraps and came up with my own little block.  I also made the cutest birdie appliqué and fused them on.  Easy project, but I thought I would share the results.  I did not use fusible batting which I will always do for projects like this in the future.  Speaking of the future, I am thinking some quilted place mats!  A few other things I learned that might be useful....
1.  Don't bother with the (cheap) store bought printer fabric.  It is way better to use bubble jet 2000/set /freezer paper method.  It takes a little longer but I found that the adhesive they use to adhere the fabric to the paper is way too sticky. I printed really small things and when I went to remove the fabric it tore.
2.  Use a small needle to quilt the coasters.

29 July 2010

Hexy McQueen

Hexy McQueen
Please meet Hexy McQueen.  This is the quilt that I am making to commemorate our 10th anniversary next June.  I was going to make it a surprise for Doxta Kleinman, but a coupla things: 1.  He just don't care.  Not about the anni, but the quilt.  I mean, he thinks its cool but it would be like giving me a bunch of tools for our anniversary.  I am sure they would be awesome but I don't care.  2.  Can't hide a 108" quilt.  Simple as that.  It is literally bigger than our living room.  I think the word "literally" is way over-used, but I am using it because I am demonstrating how it is supposed to be used.  I am going to have to put the hex's together then assemble them somewhere, probably the church because it is gonna be YOOOOOJ (huge, for the idiots).  My goal is to finish putting the top together before Christmas that way I can take it to PatchedWorks and get it quilted.  I am not doing it myself.  These are the times you let the professionals (machines) handle it!  I have three hex's done, 14 more to go.  Plus 6 half hex's.  What do you think?

Big Boss Little Boss

Big Boss
I always name the quilts I am working on. It is always the first thing that comes into my head.  Big Boss and Little Boss are quilts for Auntie Api and Reagan (my niece in utero), respectively.  Big Boss's squares are all sewn and done, I just have to put them together.  The squares are 10" and I think it is going to be amazing when I'm done.  I think I am going to quilt it on a diagonal and then do some free motion circles  in the circles.

Little Boss is the same idea, I just used two charm packs instead, so the finished block size will be 4", which is perfect for a little baby quilt.  Sorry Sissa, no pix.  You have to wait till you shoot that baby outta you.

Sewing Class

I am taking a garment construction class over at Bigsby's.  I have taken lots of garment construction classes over the years but I thought I would do it again to sharpen my skills a bit.  I am making the Amy Butler Liverpool dress.  It's not too bad... you have to do 10 darts, two plackets, a collar, 12 buttons/holes, sleeves, cuffs and a hem.  I have done all that schtuff before but I don't really remember the collar.  Anyhow, I picked this fabric by Denyse Schmidt.  I am finding that it frays a bit and is not very rigid so I have had to put in extra interfacing.  It is really turning out sweet and I shall add some pix when it doesn't look like a 9th grade home ec project!

Free Motion Attempt

Let's just call it a FAIL motion attempt.  I mean, the final product didn't turn out too bad, given that it was just practice and it took me all of 3 minutes.  Let me back up.

I am really interested in free motion quilting with my machine.  I have been using a grid quilting system on the four quilts I have finished, which has worked beautifully.  Now I am ready to move on.  I really just want to be Alex Anderson and just be awesome and be able to free-motion in my sleep.  Naturally, I bought her book on free motion quilting and started at the beginning.  Here is what I learnt.
1.  Make sure your stitch is on a straight stitch...not a zig zag.  It makes a difference.
2.  Read your machine's manual before you try to put down the feed dogs.
3.  If you decide to take apart your machine to put down said feed dogs, take a pic of how it should all go together. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS.  And don't drop the screw in the bottom of the machine.
4.  If you do not heed my warning, first try to take off the bottom of the machine, rather than taking the whole machine apart.  Or you can try magnets.  That was a good idea.
5.  Make good friends with the local sewing machine shop guy.  Ken's my guy's name.  He runs Jiffy Sewing. He can barely walk.

6.  Keep at it!  It can't get any worse:)
If you look closely, I did write my name, which is pretty sweet, so it was not a complete failure!!  I have free motioned a few more things.  I am starting with small projects so I am getting some good practice!  Gotta start somewhere, right?

20 June 2010


This year Brian got some home made craps for FD.  I made aforementioned tie (which I failed at then pwned) and a really cool pic.  I totally copied the idea from lots of blogs, so I am certainly not claming originality on this one, however, it turned out pretty awesome.  The tie?  IDK.  I won't be using any more brocade, that I do know.
On another note, my sewing machine (I have named her "Lovely") is put back together.  I had the genius idea to take off my feed dogs to do some free-motion quilting.  I promptly dropped the screws into the bottom of the machine and could not get them out.  So, of course I started pulling Lovely apart.  The thought did enter my mind that I should at least take a picture so that I could get it back together, but did I heed the thought?  No way.  So I have spent the last three days trying to figure it out.  But tonight, I got it.  YOu know how I fixed it?  I took the bottom of the machine off.  Yup, that easy.

18 June 2010

Failure to the Nth Degree

Back in college I took a sewing class each semester.  You know what I did?  I made ties.  I made ties for everybody I knew.  Hey, they were easy and I needed a good grade.  I always had grand intentions of making something big and awesome, but hey, I was 18.  I ended up not finishing the big item I'd started so I'd whip up a tie for the final.  What I am trying to say is that I was pretty pro at making ties.

Fast forward to two days ago.  I am not pro at making ties.  I am also not pro at picking good fabric.  Note to self and to anyone smart enough to be reading this in the first place: DO NOT TRY AND SEW A TIE WITH BROCADE.  It would look pretty and it could probably be done pretty easily with a serger, but ties are supposed to be easy.  I will let you have a look at my failed attempt at making a tie (for the milllionth time).

I will say that I went back and did another tie with said brocade and got it!  That's right, I pwned that brocade.  It looks pretty awesome.  I will post pix after I give it to Brian for Father's Day.  I just wanted to show you my FAIL for the week/month/year/life.

The Sad Tale of Soffie (not sophie).

Konrad has had a little blue blanket that we called Soffie (kinda like Softy, but with no "t").  He called it Da.  He started calling it Da when he was like 8 months old.  Who knows why.  Not a question.  Well, we lost it.  probably in Arizona somewheres.

Anyhowzit, I took him to the fabric store and let him pick out what ever fabric he wanted.  Strangely, it consisted of helicopters, fire trucks, carz, diggers, back hoe's, dump trucks, boats and space ships.  So I sat down one afternoon and came up with this little number.  I think the ribbons are the cutest!  On his old soffie, he would play with the tag as he fell asleep so not only did I add one tag, I added 400 (or so).  The fabric is just from JoAnn (like she's my best friend), and it is flannel on the 9-patch and helicopter fleece on the back.  Super easy, super cute!  I am gonna make one for my cuzzin's new baby, Desmond!
I was not 100% sure Rad was gonna take to his new soffie, but I have to tell you (whoever you is), that he woke up that night, came into my room and asked me to get soffie for him.  WIN.

Etsy Stuff

I have had a coupla people that want my Mesa Temple prints and to make life easier (and to maybe cash in on my genius) I have added the prints to my esty site.  As you will see, I don't have much to sell.  Here's my thing: I don't want to have a job.  I work my butt off taking care of Yahoo # 1 and 2 so the time I have to create and make schtuff is limited.  I don't want to have deadlines and customers.  That being said, I am willing to sell my genius on etsy on a limited basis (please, please please note my sarcasm).
Here is what you can buy!  Or you can go to my esty shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/eckleinman
I am selling the print for $30.00 plus shipping, which is about $6.00  I will also do custom words, but you will have to pay me $5.00 extra.  Come on, you can afford it! If you want to order one you can message me at my esty shop.  All the details are there, so I won't repeat myself here.  Okay, yes I will.  There are to color-ways as seen above.  There are also two layouts: verticle and horizontal, both 16x20".  You can pick which color-way and which layout. 
Happy Shopping!

23 April 2010

Grandma's Quilt

So, my lovely and talented cousin/friend, Artsy Aut had an awesome idea.  Since we are cousins, we share grandparents.  Said grandparents are in their 90's and their health is failing.  She suggested that we make them lap quilts.  I had a jelly roll that had Grandma's name all over it!  I sewed all the strips together, cut them and have all the (80) squares ready to rock and roll.  Now I just have to put them all together!  It is the Garden Trellis quilt from the Jelly Roll Quilts book and it is such an easy quilt top to put together.  Seriously easy, but looks really complicated!  Those, in my opinion, are the best!  I highly reccommend this book.  I have a few more quilts in the works from this book.

Wedding Announcement.

I was commissioned around Christmastime to make my sister's wedding announcement.  She sent me some inspiration from here and here and here and here too.  Then I set out to work.  I had never made a wedding announcement before so I just started playing.

To my lovely surprise today, this is what I got in the mail:
I love Love LOVE how they turned out!  I have seriously never seen anything quite like it before and I am also kinda jealous that my wedding announcements were nowhere as cool, clever and unique as Julie's!  I SOOOOOO wish I could do this for a living and make money doing what I love!  Oh, my favorite part?  On the back is my digital signature!  So stinkin' cute!

The Tree of FAIL

I was so excited to learn how to do the tree of life quilt block.  I don't know, it just seemed so cool.  My first attempt at it was an epic FAIL.  It was so bad, in fact, that I didn't even bother sewing it together.  But I did learn a few things:  1) half square triangles are no one's friend.  2) starch is my best friend. 
So, yes, I failed miserably at the Tree of Life the first time around.  That being said, I tried again.  Result?
Much better!!!  I made this for my mom as a wall hanging for her birthday.  I love how it turned out.  I used civil war fabrics and then quilted it and bound it by hand.  Not too shabby, especially it being a small quilt.  The finished size is 16"x16". 

20 April 2010

The Baby Maker

I finished this quilt for my sister Julie a few months ago, but I couldn't post it cuz it was a surprise for her wedding.  Anyhowzit, I gave it to her this past week in San Diego.  Here is the long-waited pix of The Baby Maker.
I had been saving fat quarters and other various fabrics for quite some time for this project.  Just a mish-mash of awesomeness, if you ask me.  My favorite part, you ask?  The border.  Machine bound the binding after making 1 1/2 inch bias tape.  It is definitely faster than doing it by hand, but I don't know if I'd do it on another quilt.  The finished size is 82"x 65".  I heart the plaid!

Graduation, schmaduation.

I was commissioned to make a graduation announcement for my baby brother Joey.  Sadly, he is not a baby anymore.  In fact, he is graduating HS (more than likely) in about a month.  Here is his announcement:
I really like how they turned out.  Perfectly masculine, just a bit indie chic:)

07 April 2010

CS Awesome.

I love digital art.  In the past two years, CS 2 and now CS 4 have become my new best friend.  I lay awake at night and dream about what awesomeness I can make.  It started with digital scrapbooking, which is still awesome and fun, but it evolved into printing fabric, jewelry making, wedding announcements and the like.  For Christmas this year I was in a digital zone.  I made all the people I love some of my art.  This one happens to be my favorite. 

Digital Brushes Tutorial

I have been tutoring a few (lucky) friends in CS4. I was thinking that digital brushes are awesome and I am sick of teaching it and having to answer questions.  It is much easier just to write out the directions to help my friends and to better humanity as a whole, right??
I love brushes for so many reasons, but a few are:  a) it adds an artistic look to EVERYTHING b) you don't have to have great pix to do it c) I get bored of pictures and it just adds a layer of AwESoMe.
Some things to try: a).  make a brush of your signature  b) use a brush as a clipping mask c)make a brush alphabet out of your handwriting....I could go on forever!
Digital Brushes in CS4

1. Open picture into a new layer and double click on the Background layer

2. Rename background layer so that it becomes unlocked. Otherwise you can’t use the layer.

3. Use the magnetic lasso (or selection tool of your choice) and select portion of the picture that you want to include in the brush.

4. Click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the layers pallet.

5. Use a brush black brush to erase any of the unwanted background or use white to add back any background that you have taken away.

6. Right click on the mask and select Add Mask To Selection.

7. Under select at the top of the screen click on “select inverse”.

8. Go back into the layers pallet and select the picture (not the mask) and hit delete. This deletes the background that you do not want to include in the brush.

9. Hit Ctrl+D to deselect everything.

10. Change the mode of the picture to grayscale. It will ask you if you want to discard color info. Press OK.

11. Under Image, go to Adjustments. Select Brightness/Contrast. Make sure that Preview and Use Legacy (in CS4…not sure about CS3) are both checked.

12. I like to start with the contrast. The secret here is that you want as much contrast as possible. You want to get rid of any gray, or as much gray as you can. I go to 100% contrast and this usually takes care of the problem.

13. Now for the brightness. This is not an exact science. Sometimes a picture just doesn’t work very well. Go into the brightness and play around with it until you get your pic so that you can see faces, noses, eyes, etc. This is where you really just have to play with the thing.

14. Once you have it where you like it, press OK.

15. Now select the magic wand tool in the tool box. Since you will be selecting only white, make sure your tolerance is around 40 or 50.

16. Click in the white areas. Continue selecting the areas in white (with the Add To Selection box selected at the top of the screen). Be sure to zoom in if you have to to select the white.

17. Once you have all the white areas selected (if you don’t you can go back at any time from here on out and select them. Sometimes it’s hard to see) click Delete.

18. Under Edit, select Define Brush Preset. It will ask you what name you want to save it as. I usually just click OK, but feel free to change the name. Whatev.

19. Now, go up to the Brush tool and select it. Scroll to the end of the brushes and you will find your brush. Now it is like any other brush that you have in your pallet. You can change the size, color or use it as a clipping mask.

20. HAVE FUN!!!!

30 March 2010


I am here today to post my first completed project.  It is a birthday present for one of the 7 Birthdays of friends/family that happen to occur in April.  I don't know why I am so in to making bags lately.  Perhaps because they are fairly easy to make, as I have made a few in the past, they require very little cutting and very little fabric.  Also, once you get the hang of making bags, you can kind of just do your own thing. 

For this bag, I made my own snap closure.  I probably will not use a snap closure  in the future.  As per always, I was being lazy and thought I would save some time by not using a magnetic closure.  It ended up taking my way longer to do the snap, along with breaking three needles for my machine.  You are supposed to hand-sew the snap but I tried to machine sew it.  FAIL.  Seriously.  Lesson I learned from this project and in general:  There is No Such Thing as a Shortcut. 

The yoyo broach was just icing on the cake!  Check back for a tutorial soon!
Yo Yo detail