Wednesday, February 22, 2012

cutting on the bias. making a fringed shawl.

A woven fabric is said to be cut on the bias, or cross-grain, when the fabric's warp and weft threads are at 45 degrees to its major seam lines. Every piece of woven fabric has two biases, perpendicular to each other. Non-woven fabrics such as felt or interfacing do not have a bias.
To make a triangular fringed shawl, choose a wool fabric that is about 60" wide or more. You will need a square of fabric, so be sure to purchase two yards. Remove the selvage on the fabric and trim it to be a square. Woven fabrics can be ripped along the grain to get a straight edge. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the fabric diagonally, at a 45 degree angle, through the square of fabric. 
You can use one of the bias cut triangles as your shawl or you can cut on the bias in the perpendicular direction to your first cut and seam the four triangles together. Overlap, about a half inch, each connecting edge to the adjacent triangle's edge and machine sew each seam with two straight stitches about one quarter inch apart. This will make your shawl a bit larger.
For the leather fringe, follow the same instructions as the scarf. For a 60" wide piece of fabric, my resulting bias cut triangle needed about 50 tassels along each side, starting from the point of the 90 degree angle.

fringed scarf

Last week on the show, I demoed how to make this leather fringed wool scarf. You can find the how-to on, but I thought I would provide a photo how-to of for threading the leather tassels. 
This rectangular scarf is the width of the fabric (which was 60") by 13 inches. On the 13" sides are about 25 leather tassels that hang 12" long. 
The tassels start a quarter of an inch in on each end and are a half inch apart from one another. Line up a ruler a quarter of an inch into the edge of the fabric and punch holes at every half inch. A Martha Stewart Crafts screw punch, fixed with a 1/16" tip, is ideal for making the holes in the fabric.
Cut 50 leather laces (from The Leather Guy or Leather Impact) to 24 inches long. Prepare a thin piece of folded wire to use as a needle. Fold a piece of leather so the suede sides face each other and sandwich between the fold of your wire needle. Pull the leather through the top of the fabric until you have a loop on the under side.
Remove the needle and flip the top length of leather to be suede side up. Both lengths should be suede side up at this point.
Fold the leather over the edge of the fabric and through the loop. To tighten the loop, pull the leather close to the hole. You should not see the suede side of the leather from this side.
Keep adding tassels until you complete one side. 
Repeat process on opposite end of fabric. Done!
For a video how-to click here.

Monday, February 20, 2012


No one has inspired me more than Kurt Cobain.
In every aspect of my life. 
I was molded as a pre-teen and my Nirvana "phase" never passed. If I hadn't believed in everything about him I wouldn't be who I am. I'm not sure my life would have gone in the direction it has. It still amazing me today that a person I never knew could influence my life as much as it has. 
Happy 45th Birthday Kurt.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Flat" Ashley comes via mail

Ashley always succeeds in creating a unique (and cheeky) way to convey his love on Valentine's Day. This year it came in the form of "Flat" Ashley...
Folded up and mailed in an envelope...
Delivered by messenger in a tube...
And shipped UPS in a box...
By the end of the day, I had three Ashleys wishing me a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Sailor's Valentines

 Today makes ten years of love between Ashley and me. Valentine's can certainly be corny (and I do hate to admit that V day is my anniversary), but it can be truly meaningful when you do something extra special for the one you love. 
I made these Sailor's Valentines for my Ashley with shells, sea glass and sand that we collected together from the beaches in the Bahamas.
Additional little presents wrapped inside : )

Sunday, February 12, 2012


My first family dog, Merlot. He died on Friday, February 10, at fourteen years old. My dad said my Yiayia called and asked us to send Merlot. Yiayia loved him—she got such kick out of him always deciding to snuggle up next to her on the couch. She would pat his head and he would sit there loving it.  My mom lost her mother two week ago and now her hairy baby boy. She was very attached to him and so was I. I don't have more to say—we lost another family member.
I watched Merlot and Kai last spring when my parents were traveling. Merlot would pee outside then immediately dart right back to my apartment buildings door, slipping right out of his harness. It was kind of hilarious. I have to keep reminding myself of all the funny things Merlot did because he was seriously like no other dog I've ever met.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

dish rack

One of Pico's favorite places to sit while she watches Ashley cooking is the dish rack. One morning, after cleaning out all our compost containers and piling them up to dry in the rack, Pico climbed right under one and nestled in. I just thought it was the funniest thing—she looked like she was flying in some silly parrot spacecraft!
Another video-worthy moment was when Ashley set the salad spinner with wet kale in it in the dish rack. She decided it was a perfect bathing opportunity! It doesn't get cuter than a mini green bird diving into and rolling around in a pile of wet greens!

And she thinks there is absolutely nothing funny about any of this!