31 January 2007

Print and play

I'm collecting links again. This week, I'm focusing on printable art and stuff to play with...

Fwis*Readymech Series features free printable flatpack toys. I love it!

The Word on the Street is an online collection of nearly 1800 broadsides, and it includes downloadable PDFs. Totally, utterly cool.

It's not printable, but you'll get some great art ideas at the video, Stencil Art 101.

Flowers at ZeFrank.com... Go play! It's simple but charming. (It took me a few minutes to figure out how it works. Now, I'm hooked on it.) It makes me want to cut out stencil shapes from origami paper, and make them into mandalas or something. Seriously.

Levitated is another site to play at, but it's more high tech and a little bit psychedelic. Okay, some of the "games" there are just plain weird... in an artsy-techie way, of course.

And, it has nothing to do with the rest of this, but I want a website like Dave Werner. It's multi-media heaven.

Update: My friend Faith let me know that she has a page of cool stuff that you can print out and play with, too: http://hometown.aol.com/faithduck/printables.html

I found another cool printable paper toy: Optimus Prime, a transformer-type robot that changes into a truck.

03 January 2007

From quilts to sock monkeys to 16th century garb

Today, my focus is on sewing. Well, that's probably because I've had my fabrics unpacked (from boxes in our garage and my studio closet) for over a month, and I'm almost ready to start sewing again.

Visual inspiration

I'm so inspired by the quilts at Melody Johnson: Art Quilts, I want to start sewing right now. Her use of color and design is beyond amazing.

Was that last link overwhelming? Well, if you like the simplicity of Amish quilts, be sure to see the Quilts of Gee's Bend. They may inspire you to make quilts of your own.

That got me on a simplicity kick. Really. I love the happy faces at Heidi Kenney's My Paper Crane. They're charming!

Resources

Distinctive Fabric offers hard-to-find fabrics at great prices. Be sure to click on their Projects link, to see what some clever customers have made, from mermaid tails to Father Christmas costumes.

Free Quilt Patterns offers links to a bazillion... well, free quilt patterns, online. Some are fabulous, some are regrettable, but hey, they're all free.

Not free but cool anyway, the online learning opportunities at Quilt University look intriguing.

I love the information at VintageSewing.info. You won't find old patterns there, but you can read scans of great vintage and antique sewing books.

If you're looking for actual patterns, try the Vintage Patterns Lending Library. Wonderful!

Once you've chosen a pattern, visit ReproDepot is where you'll find yummy vintage reproduction and retro themed fabrics, patterns, and more. Emma One Sock features some vintage-style fabrics, too.

Speaking of vintage patterns, I may have to make a retro sock monkey. I'm absolutely in awe as I look at Peng-Peng Sock Monkeys. (Be sure to scroll down to see the bears on that page.) You'll find sock monkey supplies online, too, if you can't get them locally.

Whip Up features some great tutorials, too. That one's worth bookmarking. (I found their link to a sock monkey tutorial later in my search.)

Even more imperative as an upcoming project, Sewing Stars' Mouse Pattern is so cute, I can hardly stand it. (That free pattern's for personal use only, btw.)

I may also have to make some Little Treasures. Oh, I don't know what I'll do with them, but they look cool anyway.

Changing the subject dramatically... If, like me, you've gasped at the price of some underwear, check out the DIY How to make underwear pages. This Japanese site features free patterns and some wonderful ideas for everything from boxers to thongs.

Different--and interesting--are the ideas for T-Shirt Underwear, with printable PDF pattern pieces.

In other make-it-yourself notes, the Making a kilt page provides nice clear illustrations.

I'm also impressed with the array of Husqvarna's Sewing Projects, which you can download and print as PDFs, and the cool hoodie kimono pattern at... I'm not sure who's put that online.

A little more funky, Beginner Costuming offers some great info for making corsets from any era.

But, for me, Renaissance Tailor: Recreating 16th and 17th Century Clothing is a 'Holy Grail' site. If you like costuming and garb, check out the many free patterns hidden among massive text descriptions.