Friday, December 19, 2008

Coptic Binding

Pin It Now! Christmas is around the corner and it's almost time to close my Etsy shop so I can work on my own family's gifts. I find it a bit tricky to come up with ideas for handmade gifts for men. Most men aren't into cutesy little coin purses, tissue holders, or scrabble tile pendants. Leather. Now that's manly. Looks manly. Feels manly. It even smells manly. Mix leather with paper and you can't go wrong. This is my first attempt at bookbinding using the Coptic stitch. Coptic binding is really nifty because it enables the book to lay flat when opened. I used some scrap olive green leather for the cover and strap and waxed linen thread for the binding. If you have a Tandy Leather store in your area, they usually will sell their leather scraps for about $7 per pound... nice big chunks good for baby shoes, small books and patchwork leather pants if that's what floats your boat.
This practice book is tiny... only 3 inches square. It has nine signatures (those little folded sections of paper). 5 pages in each signature. Front and back that's 180 pages in this particular book. I'm planning on making 2 to 3 more in a small journal size to give as gifts. If you're interested in learning the Coptic stitch, I encourage you to do a search on YouTube for a tutorial. I had a lot of fun putting this little book together and loved the actually stitching part of it... I found it very relaxing and therapeutic. Just what I needed during this merry, yet extremely stressful holiday season :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses

Pin It Now! Remember those rad wedding garters I made a few posts ago? Well I also made 4 bridesmaid dresses for the same wedding. I drew out the pattern and did a test dress on some cheap fabric to work out the kinks. You learn a lot from making the first dress, and by dress #4 it's a cake walk. Overall, I was happy with the final product. The pleats were a pain, but worth the extra effort in my opinion. Special thanks to my dad for taking the pic... and for possibly photoshoping a flattering tan on me. I could have sworn my skin is more of a pasty shade. Dad, you rock!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cake: More fun to eat than to make.

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My friend Heidi is expecting a mystery gender neutral baby, and this is the cake I made for her shower. There aren't a ton of gender neutral colors besides green and yellow, so I decided to add a bit of brown and orange and do an autumn cake. I know, I know... autumn is SO last season, but I do like the finished results. Special thanks to Janell for sharing her techniques with me ♥

So here is the breakdown of the cake:

6-inch top tier of Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
9-inch bottom tier of Chocolate Cake with buttercream frosting.

Covered in Marshmallow Fondant and trimmed in satin poppy flowers and ribbon. Hand painted with amber cake luster dust.

The fabulous recipes are courtesy of Janell, my amazing cake decorator of a sister, and believe me, her cakes taste as amazing as they look. (She just won 3rd place in a Halloween cake decorating contest. Way to go, Janell!)

PS... want to know how I kept two little monkeys out of the kitchen when making this cake? I pulled out all our Christmas decoration boxes from storage and told them to have at it! I had ornaments, tinsel and lights hanging from every doorknob, lamp and chair in my house. Guess it would have helped them if i put up the tree first :)