Sunday, November 23, 2008

Linen & Flax

I have taken an interest in fabric lately, so I decided to do some mini-research papers on what I found. Natural fabrics can be made from plant fibers (cotton, hemp, bamboo) or animal fibers (wool, silk, camel hair).

Flax fibers were once one of the most common fabric fibers, making linen. Flax plants are depicted on ancient tomb walls, dates back hundreds of years in Europe and was brought to North America by the Puritans. Most flax produced in the USA is for the production of linseed oil or flaxseeds for human nutrition.

Flax fiber is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of flax plant. Flax fiber is soft, lustrous and flexible. It is stronger than cotton fiber but less elastic. If you have ever had linen garments you are familiar with their fine, straight weave, how the fabric gets softer with wear and the danger of major shrinkage. Fine linen produces damasks, lace and sheeting. Coarser grades are used to make twine and rope. Flax fiber is also a raw material for the high-quality paper industry for the use of printed banknotes, which is why a dollar bill survives in your pants pocket on a trip through the washing machine. I am sure the origin of the term “money laundering” has something to do with it being made a nice washable fiber.

More on natural fibers (and synthetics) later…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Custom Pig!!

Just wanted to share my wonderful, custom-crafted Pig Newton I got on Etsy awhile back. I'm going to get kitties sometime in the future (when I actually have paychecks or sell all my critters!). I absolutely love the work of this wonderful artist! Check out Christy's Critters and adopt a wonderful critter of your own! They make perfect gifts and can be hung as ornaments for the holidays or every day.
Happy crafting,
Cerise : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


If you look at my etsy site you will see completed shrines. A friend recently commented that when she first looked the shrines she thought they were imports (horrors!) then realized that they must take some time and asked me how long. I really don't keep track of how much time they take or I may not want to make any more.

I put my sewing machine in its case this week because I knew the shrines would take awhile. I imagine my little Featherweight in there crying in the dark.

To make my shrines, I start with an ordinary cardboard box, preferably one that is being reused/recycled. The best boxes are beer cases! If the cardboard is too thick it is difficult to cut, too thin causes the shrine to cave in. To make the "big Buddha" shrine, I have to cut 18 peices with a template, then tape them all together.

Next, I cover everything with newsprint paper and a "secret" glue formula, completely sealing the shrine After it dries, I get to think about the design and colors. Up to this point it takes about a million hours. Check back later to see how I finish up a shrine.
Theresa, OmMama

Making into a treasury

From time to time Etsy sellers get a convo (conversation, Etsy style) telling them that so-and-so had included them in a treasury. This could mean making it to the front page. Over all, I think treasuries are browsed through quite a bit so front page or not it seems good free advertising. Check out the winter treasury I've been included in. I'm frantically sewing away today trying to get more holiday and winter critters up on my Etsy site!
Happy crafting,
Cerise : )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Habitarium No. 2

I am now scrambling to get holiday crafts and gifts done since work is slow and my craft "chores" are aplenty. Today I completed my second habitarium with a winter evergreen on a snowy hill. I like how this one came out and I cannot wait to finish my third one I am working on. The snowman is thus far quite adorable though he needs some cute little stick arms. San Diego lacks much foresty area but I know I will find some little snowman arms somewhere.
I am working on shnazzing up some paper stars with layer upon layer of silver glitter. These were leftover from last year. Apparently I never finished them but I am determined to get my holiday crafts done this year. Maybe my mom and I will finally finish that little Santa we've been working on for the past three or four years (how long has it been?). Check back for more habitariums and holiday crafts. I am almost done with a pair of festive arm warmers I knitted!
Happy crafting,
Cerise : )

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I am a 90 percenter, sometimes a 95 percenter, rarely 100% or more. I save all my finish work, like sewing buttons on my yoga mat bags, closing up my pillows with hand stitching, and making tags for the end. With the holidays coming up and the Arcata Christmas Crafts Fair fast approaching, I took a break to take inventory tonight. I thought I was looking pretty good, until I looked a little close and realized I had 12 bags that needed buttons and 10 pillow that needed seams and all of them need tags. So I furiously sewed on buttons and started on the seams but the rest will have to wait until tomorrow. Or another day, because I started on shrines and those are about 90% done.
Theresa, OmMama

Sunday, November 2, 2008


The old advice to measure twice and cut once is good advice for sewers. Sewing involves having end product and that involves planning.

This photo shows the results of not planning carefully. Knit fabrics need a smaller needle size. I didn't have one and thought I could make this top with a size 14 needle. I went ahead and finished the whole thing, wasting the money I spent on fabric and worse, a lot of time. It was, however, a learning experience and a reminder to take the time to plan: get all your materials together including the right tools. Get your scissors sharpened. Spend a couple of bucks on new needles and take the time to read up on the fabrics you are using. There are several websites that are have sewing help. Then you won't end up in yoga class coming undone at the seams!
OmMama, Theresa