Thursday, September 30, 2010

rorschach shirts

I'm sure you all have done this at some point, even if it was on a piece of paper. Sometimes we just forget. I really dig these Rorschach patterns. I thought it would be hilarious to make several up and then have my 6 year old tell me what he saw in them and title them as such....he normally comes up with the craziest things but when I asked him what these were his reply for every one of them was "butterfly". Not exactly what I had in mind.

step. 1. Lay out your shirt and materials. You will need fabric paint in any color (this demo is in orange and blue because it's homecoming week here and those are our school colors). You will also need a piece of cardboard to fit inside the shirt (I used an old album cover that I had left over from a vinyl project - you could use the cover of a pizza box or some other heavy, clean cardboard)

Step 2. Score your cardboard so that it folds in half and insert it into the shirt, line the fold up with the center of the shirt. Make sure you put the cardboard in so that it folds in half the correct direction.

Step 3. Squirt paint on randomly. In this photo I was trying to see if it would come out shaped sort of like an Indian (our mascot). My advice is DO NOT do this, it won't turn out like you want and defeats the purpose of the "test". Okay, try it if you want but mine was a craft fail.  Other tips, add some fabric medium to your craft paint to make it thinner, this paint came out in clumps and blobs. The black and green paint I used was thinner and created better patterns.

Step 4. Hold the shirt in place and fold it over onto itself at the center. Press firmly but be careful not to smudge or slid the shirt.
It only takes a few seconds.

Step 5. Gently unfold the shirt and spread out on a flat surface to dry. If you really don't like your design, you can add more splotches of paint and refold - taking care to align the center up. Do you see an Indian in either of these images? Me neither.

This last photo was from another batch that I did where I let the paint free form, much cooler designs. I love the Halloween green and black paint too. This image looks like a video game character or sad space alien.

Leave your shirts to dry for several hours. I put mine in the laundry room out of reach of the kids and cats overnight then washed to soften the paint.

have fun!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

new hat design

I have had this idea floating around in my head since last winter when I was sewing sewing sewing up the monster hats. I have a crazy infatuation with chalkboard paint and was making flexible placemats into chalkboards and wondered if I could cut those and sew them onto a hat base....Then, I discovered there is a thing call Chalkboard FABRIC. Be still my heart.

I tried to keep these a secret until my open house for the holidays but couldn't keep it to myself any longer. I have been playing around with how I want them to look overall, I like the rounded hats better than my usual square ones and I want to add a pocket for a stick of chalk somewhere. I'm having trouble deciding how and where to do this though because it keeps looking like a cigarette on the hat and that is just gross. (apologies to anyone who smokes but...yuck).

thought bubbles...

just noticed the "z" is backwards. i had to spell everything backwards because i used photo booth for the picture. oops.
what am i thinking? "do i love chalk" YES i do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

black lace pumpkin

Inspired by the cover of Better Homes & Gardens (I think), they wrapped real pumpkins in black lace and I loved the spooky but elegant look of it. I knew I didn't want to buy real pumpkins this early in the season so I thought how to create the look using foam pumpkins. Easy tutorial for spooky lace pumpkins:

1. Gather supplies: foam pumpkin(s), lace or stencil (my beautiful lace tablecloth has a huge hole in the center so I felt okay painting it), spray paint, drop cloth, latex gloves

2. cover the pumpkin with the lace or stencil and gather at the bottom. Spray paint (i didn't have an extra hand to take a photo of myself actually painting it but i'm sure you can figure that out).
3. Carefully remove the lace, I would wait a few seconds to give the paint time to dry. I used black paint with a coat of red glitter over it (the red didn't show up very well in the photos but up close you can see it). If you remove the lace hastily you will smear the design.

4. Arrange your beautiful pumpkins indoors or outside. (I picked up the awesome black crows at the Dollar Store - just ONE buck each).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Make a fluffy boa style scarf from scraps

1. gather your scraps and decide what colors and patterns you like together. you will also need a shirt with the bottom hem, this one has a few holes but no matter you only need the bottom.

2. cut off the bottom hem, straight across.

3. measure this piece to the length you want your boa and knot the ends (about 40")

4. lay out your scraps and cut them into strips, about 1 inch by 7 inches. This will take a long time so be prepared for some aching hands after all the cutting. I highly recommend using a rotary cutter for this vs. scissors.

5. once all of your pieces are cut, you should have about 200 give or take. the book where i got the initial tutorial for this (an awesome book called Generation T) said about 50 or 60 strips and i have found that is bullshit. it is best to cut more than you'll need because this way you can be more mindful of using different colors throughout the scarf. (so you don't run out of a certain color in the middle and then the scarf looks lopsided)

6. start at one end and tie a strip in a basic knot. push it down to the end and tighten.

7. keep knotting strips, varying the colors. Expect this process to take about an hour and half of continuous work. Twist the strips as you push them down to meet the previous knot, this keeps the direction of the tassels varied and fluffy.

9. here is the same technique using only one style and color of shirt (Relay For Life shirts), the only color comes from the print on the shirt itself.

10. two more version of this technique (also for Relay For Life benefit). The one on the left is two strips of white then one pink (pattern). The one on the right is two gray, two white, one pink pattern. I love that one, reminds me of  the 1980's.

finally, if you have any scrap pieces left, save them in a box for a future craft or another boa scarf.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

zombiefood cleared out some stuff

Rhiannon and I had a garage sale this past weekend (and snuck in shopping at a few other people's sales this weekend too).
We cleared out some space and did some "spring" cleaning to get our studios in order. Sometimes you have to take a break from creating to make sure your space is inviting and easy to work in.

First, my best find - vintage round suitcase. $1. Not sure what I am going to do with it but couldn't pass it up.

I didn't take too many shots of our sale but we had TONS of shoes for sale

 and loads of purses for sale

...and we sold almost everything we put out. A LOT of people got some great deals at our "hodge podge" end of summer sale. (five different people brought stuff to put on the sale). A relief to be finished and now on to cleaning and organizing what's left.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

a few pictures of zombiefood

"wtc!?" (what the chicken), The Judester freezer paper stencil
custom designs available (kids, significant other, funny images, etc.). i think we'll do a freezer paper tutorial for you soon. a fun project for tweens.

upcycled sweater hats, original idea found here
but we tweaked the idea and made it our own (and we have some surprise designs coming for 2010 holiday season)

mix and match tee shirt skirts. loads of tutorials on making skirts from tees online. i saw the idea here 
again, i made it my own through design and i did not like the lack of waist band on that tutorial so i created my own drawstring waist band.

getting this thing going

I have been running the ZombieFood site from Facebook for several months but thought we needed a presence here for linking, etc.

ZombieFood has evolved from a little temporary shop I opened two years ago (it was always meant to be a two month endeavor -november and december). More of a glorified "open house". I wanted local artists and friends (and myself of course) who make stuff out of other stuff to have a place to display and sell their goodies.

My good friend Rhiannon got inspired, which kept me inspired. She started sewing little fused plastic bags and her sewing skills grew to include adorable upcycled tee shirt dresses for toddlers (pattern bought from 

We threw together an open house at her place last November and it was well received so we threw together another one at my house a couple weeks later. We tried out a few names like "Junk 2.0" and "Marcus&Mazzy", but never quite felt right. I sewed a hat and put the words Zombie Food on it, someone said "that would be a great name" so we ran with it. We figure Zombie Food is brains and we usually feel like zombies after a late night of crafting.

that is that, now on with the show.