Friday, December 12, 2014

Campbell's Soup Dress Tutorial

Every year the Seattle Art Museum staff has an event to celebrate their Docent volunteers.  This holiday luncheon is always fun to attend with a lovely lunch, festive entertainment and a raffle. 

The theme this year was Andy Warhol's Factory, in celebration of the exhibit Pop Departures  currently at SAM. 

Everyone was encouraged to dress in period outfits, so I decided to make a Campbell's mushroom soup dress for the occasion. 

Below is the tutorial in case you'd like to make your own!

I started with three pieces of clothing to come up with my one outfit.  I found the red sleeveless dress, red jacket and white dress all at my local thrift store.  I took a photo of the pricetags because I thought it was very funny that the more material equals less expensive.  As you can see, the dress was $4.99, the jacket was $6.99 and the white lingerie was $8.80. I was able to make the new dress for a little over $20.

First I had to get rid of the ruffle that went all the way down the red dress, you can see a little of it here.

However, while trying to cut it out, I made a nice hole in the red dress. Learn from my mistake: be careful with your seam ripper, as sometimes they have a mind of their own!

I then took out the top part of my white dress you can see one photo up.  Don't forget: I was making a 70s dress and wearing bras on the outside of an outfit wasn't made popular till Madonna in the 80s.

You'll need to excuse the shameless plug of my hand's cool henna design I got on Saturday at Redmond Lights. Pretty, huh?

I wanted to sew the red jacket to the sleeveless dress because the luncheon was going to be held at the Seattle Asian Art Museum Board Room, which I am always cold in.  It doesn't matter that it's December, I'm cold in the summer months too.  I blame my Mediterranean blood.  So I went ahead and sewed the sleeves of the jacket into the sleeves of the dress so I wouldn't have to keep tugging on the jacket at the event. We all hate that, right?

I was finally able to put down the dresses and get to work on the letters.  First I printed out the word S O U P in very large boring font.  I cut out the letters from the paper, from mushroom fabric (in yellow!), and from a stiff stabilizer so my letters won't fold on themselves.

After I cut out the S O U P letters, I printed out the word Campbell's and made sure it was the correct size to fit on the dress. I cut out word from red felt. I'm not sure why the logo didn't print the apostrophe after the last L, so my proper English friends will have to excuse this little error.  I only noticed after my dress was done and the cursed machine had been put away.

Now the fun part!  All that applique sewing that feels never endinng!  First the word Campbell.

Then the yellow letters.  Check out the mushroom soup design on the fabric.  Isn't it the cutest? You'll have to excuse the uneven edges of the sewing.  The last few steps of this dress were done later in the evening when my threshold for perfection had long peeked.

Once all the applique was done, I found a round lid that I put in between the two words and lightly drew out a circle with a pencil.  I painted the circle yellow with fabric paint.

As a final touch, I added a silver ribbon I had in a drawer to the bottom of the dress to replicate the edge of the metal can.  It was the perfect pièce de résistance.
It was great fun to show off to all my friends. There were so many other women that got into the spirit of the party and dressed up also. 

During the event, the staff hired an Elvis impersonator that serenated us, and I won the raffle of a beautiful Chihuly coffee table book.  All the docents got a gorgeous book on the art in the Wright collection and I managed to leave with one of the table centerpieces. The adorable metal leaves were a wonderful surprise to discover when I got home.

Thanks SAM staff for a wonderful afternoon!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's not you, facebook, it's me

I'm a people hoarder.

I didn't know this about myself until a recent epiphany, but it's true. I collect people and can't seem to let them go. 

My "aha" moment occurred with Facebook over the past two weeks. I've got close to 800 "friends" on there and while most of them I have no personal connection to anymore, I can't seem to let them move on.

Despite joining Facebook quite a few years ago, I have only unfriended four people ever. Two for bullying, and two were husbands of women that unfriended me. It's amazing to think that somehow I can't seem to click that unfriend button, even if a person hasn't crossed my path for years.

I have my best friend from high school who shared an afterschool job at Long John Silvers.

I have my housemate from college, and her husband, a neighbor from my childhood home.

I have my favorite roommate (I had seven total) from my internship at Walt Disney World.

I have friends from every single mother's groups I've been a part of over the years.

I have friends from old jobs as an arts commissioner, board member, docent, dj at a radio station, waitress, Microsoftie, art gallery manager, merchandise hostess, teacher, book club, craft meet ups, student, the list is endless.

You name any continent, I've probably got a friend in it.

My epiphany occurred the week of Thanksgiving when I had two of these friends stand me up on two different occasions. On Thanksgiving day, I found myself not invited to a gathering of friends I've known for close to 10 years.

Some call it a hat trick, but having all three events happen within days of each other hurt my heart deep and hard.  Something snapped in my brain and I found myself, for my first time ever, searching for the Facebok Deactivate button on Thanksgiving night. I needed a friend break. More importantly, I needed to put my heart back together.

Suddenly, everyone was gone.

I wasn't getting hourly updates of my girlfriend's new baby that arrived on Monday.

I received no posts on Ferguson, #ICantBreath, or names of police officers that are members of the KKK.

I didn't see any photos of headless children from Palestine.

My girlfriend who is traveling with her daughters in Spain and was posting photos of Miro's studio disappeared.

Poetry writings, both in Arabic and English, and Harlequin romance novel quotes were gone from my life.

Videos of cats showing dogs who was boss, kids being cute, and a parody called All About the Paste were no longer attacking my eyes.

For days, my world was cut off, except for Twitter, where I had just unfollowed over 1,000 people in October.  I had done it after reading an article about clutter. So things were pretty quiet over there too.

Interestingly enough, disappearing on Facebook caused real friends that needed to find me contacted me via other means to make sure I was alive.  I got flowers with a heartfelt apology from the gathering that hadn't invited me and it was sweet.  Inquiries were coming in from Pinterest, my website contact form, emails, evite and phone calls. The friends that noticed I was gone and needed to check on me found a way to do it not on Facebook.

Now, almost two weeks later, I am amazed at the amount of work I have gotten done. I'm ahead on my products for one store, I made three custom pieces, two Arabic clocks, 26 sets of earrings, 109 sarcastic cards, I planned and taught two art class to second graders, I cleaned my studio top to bottom, my daughters and I completed three craft projects, we also made cookies for an upcoming cookie exchange, I made an Andy Warhol dress for a holiday party, I wrote up a time management plan, I went into Seattle midweek to take an optional museum class, I finished a book, caught up on my movies list and started my business plan. My To Do List was getting done at the speed of light as projecs were getting being completed left and right.

Not having Facebook on 12 times a day has made me realized that I'm a people hoarder and I need to stop. I've decided I'm only holding on to the people that I've physically seen in 2014, or have Liked my business, or that I'd have no problem calling up today and inviting to lunch.

Starting in January, I need to let go of those that I haven't laid eyes on in awhile or aren't invested in my passion. I have some big business goals for 2015 and need to make sure I'm not distracted by a friend's videos of cats getting into tight boxes.  

After two weeks without 800 friends, I've realized it's not you, it's me.  I need to stop hoarding you and set you free.

How can all not be forgiven with such a beautiful apology?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome sign in Arabic, Bengali, English and Thai

A dear friend in book club recently moved into a multi generational home that includes two sets of grandparents.

As a housewarming gift, I hand painted her a custom sign that says Welcome in the four languages that will be spoken in her new home.  I knew the Arabic and English but had to look up the other two languages. I really hope I got the Thai and Bengali correct.

It was so much fun to make and I'd love to do it again.  Contact me if you'd like your own sign made.
Welcome hand painted in Arabic, Bengali, English and Thai
Here are a few close ups of the individual boards.
Hand painted Welcome in English
Hand painted Welcome in Thai
Hand painted Welcome in Arabic
Hand painted Welcome in Bengali