Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More ideas for using photographs

There are ways to incorporate photographs into your purse that don't involve transfer to fabric.

For example, Red Camper sells bags made with vintage slides.

(link found via fototiller)

I can envision bags made with old negatives also.

Also, have you seen the magnets made from half marbles, with paper or fabric underneath?
Well, perhaps you could craft some with photos, and use them to embellish your bag.
Tutorial at Not Martha.
Or make them into charms by adding polymer clay. Tutorial

Or you could embellish your purse with photos placed inside bottle caps.
Tutorial using Modge Podge.
Amazing ideas using resin.

You can purchase shrink plastic for printers, and make charms from photos to embellish your purse.
Don't forget to hole punch before baking!
Ideas here.
Or you could print out the photos, then make the plastic itself (without baking) into a purse.
Use it as you would plastic canvas.

Perhaps you could laminate paper photographs, and sew these together as you would vinyl?
Tutorial for a laminated paper purse from HGTV.

Tutorial for cigar box purse, using decal paper, from HGTV.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Collage Inspiration

I am so intrigued by collage.
You can applique, embellish with charms or beads, embroider...
Your purse would be a personal statement, and a work of art.

I love this fabric collage Self Portrait, by Beate Knappe

More goodness (click on images to go to the artist's Flickr pages):

This one is dyed, silk screened, and painted

Originally uploaded by lisamariekingo

am i blue
Originally uploaded by identityseven

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fabric Collage

One of my personal favorite styles of expression is collage.
The current challenge of incorporating a photograph into your purse design is a perfect opportunity to consider collage.
I always am inspired by the creations of Bari J
Look at these amazing bags that were published in a recent issue of Belle Armoire

Equally inspiring is Calamity Kim.
Her tutorial on making a gnome house purse could easily incorporate photo transfers

And how cute is this journal page by Gooma8x that honors her dog, Cinda Lou Who?!
(click on images to go the her Flickr page)
The photo is transferred to fabric, and also incorporates collage with applique and machine stitiching.
Something like this would look great made into a bag.

Cinda Lou Who...feb26
Originally uploaded by gooma8x

She also made this "Tell me a Story", a photo of her pregnant daughter

Tell Me a Story
Originally uploaded by gooma8x

"Loose Ends", that captures trimmings under a layer of netting

Originally uploaded by gooma8x

and "Let's Celebrate", a photo transfer of herself and birds

Let's Celebrate 64 (#10)
Originally uploaded by gooma8x

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Make a Messenger Bag Out of Trash Bags!

Off theme right now, but such a great tutorial, and a fun way to recycle.
Thanks to the commenter on Blogging Project Runway for sharing the link.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More ideas on using a photograph in your purse design

One place to look for inspiration for this challenge is in quilts.
Photos are often used on mourning and memory quilts.
You have to be careful that the project not look too, well....crafty
(if you know what I mean).
Perhaps I'm imposing my own tastes here, but it's a fine line where a project works, and where you want to hide it in the back of your closet.
Make something you'll love to carry around and show off.

Carol K has come up with a great example of how to use quilting techniques on a tote (I think this bag is lovely)

treasure textiles bag
Originally uploaded by Carole K

(click on images to enlarge)

Pink Bird Girl has done something similar on a small quilt, but the panel could easily be transformed into a purse

Caught in a maze
Originally uploaded by pinkbirdgirl

Ditto this multi-media piece by Sara Laughs
Note the techniques she combined: photo transfer, text transfer, embroidery, stamping with hand-carved stamps, fabric painting, found objects

Think of how you can turn the techniques you use making ATC's, scrapbook pages, etc, into something that could work on a purse.
Remember, you can always use paper and just place it under vinyl if you don't want to use fabric

I like how subtle this one is.

Velo a Paris, 2006
Originally uploaded by Tara Badcock

The background is a transfer of a map of Paris. It could just as easily be a photograph of a person or place of significance to you.
Yes, your photo may be a place, an animal, people, or all of these.
I just want it to have sentimental significance to you.

If you have the proper tools or know-how, you can transform a photograph into stitches (usually cross-stitch) or beads.
Kim C StL machine embroidered this photograph using special software

Or you can look at values and create an applique, like this amazing representation of Wyatt, by Ms. Sad
(click on image to read more about how she created this)

Wyatt's Gone to the Birds
Originally uploaded by ms.sad


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Take it to the next step

The current challenge, to incorporate one or more photographs into your purse's a, well, challenging one.
It's even difficult for me to find inspirational projects to get you going.
But you can look to projects that COULD use photos, and maybe that will get your juices flowing.

I really really want to get you to consider options other than using one big photograph for the front of your bag, or little pics across the front.
Go further.
Stretch yourself.
Let us all learn.

At least for me personally, photographs mean everything.
They speak volumes of time and moments and people who mean the world to me.
They are the essence of all that is sentimental.
How perfect then, to turn a photograph into a vehicle of meaning.
And into a work of art.

For example, what if this felt applique were made with a photo?

That could really be cute.
And special.
You could embellish it with embroidery or beading if you like.

Or what if you garnered inspiration from the amazing needlework of Stephanie of Nova Blossoms, and substituted fabric photos for faces
like on this shoulder bag

Or how fun is this recycled tin purse, with a bent spoon handle?!
The photos can be changed on a whim--they are magnets!

Originally uploaded by indygirl-cp

Of course it's easy to be inspired by Anne Taintor
Like this messenger bag.

Maybe it's time to learn cyanotype

cyanotype purse
Originally uploaded by andromeda*art

For those of you who are collage artists, perhaps you can be inspired by Prada's Fairy Bag.
You know, combine photos and paint and paper and make a bag out of your design.
In essence, make art, then copy it onto fabric.
You could have a bag that would be more valuable to you than the $2300 price tag on the Prada.

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Inexpensive way to transfer photos

Thanks to Janet for giving me a heads up on this tutorial by Instructables for using freezer paper and your inkjet printer to transfer images onto fabric


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Photo Inspiration

Real Photography used an Amy Butler pattern and some fun fabric to highlight a photo of her baby

The lovely Paula Wirth collaged a bag.
Imagine this made with personal photographs!

Oscar purse Christmas05
Originally uploaded by gnarlyis3
Bag by gnaryis3 made from recycled man's jacket pockets. Read more here.

She has another bag with a private memento (the photo is on the interior)

Lazy Girl Designs has a tutorial for using photo sheets for your printer.

Rackycoo wove magazine images together into this amazing design, but I think you could use your own photos in a similar fashion.

What about making a purse version of a personal shrine?
You could incorporate family photos and memorabilia in little pockets or something.

Or you could make a spiritual statement using items of religious significance, charms, herbs, etc.
Ideas get your brain moving.

Sis'ka Studios has a tutorial using Photoshop to make your image altered.
Then take that image and use it for your bag, as the fabric, or as an applique, or ????

Once remembered makes custom bags that might inspire you

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Monday, July 7, 2008

New Gallery, and Theme #8

Okay, I posted the bag I made from a t-shirt to my woofnanny blog.

I received 7 entries for this challenge.
More than last time, but (sigh...) still far fewer than I had hoped would participate.
Even offering a prize didn't entice more people to try.
What, pray tell, is a girl to do?!

Actually, the prize is great for you guys, but it kind-of sucks for me because it is so so difficult to choose.
I mean, everyone's effort is excellent in its own right.
Ultimately, I decided to give Karen the prize this time.
Not only because her messenger bag is awesome, but because she has supported this blog from day one.
And I really appreciate that.

Karen, please go to Threadless and tell me which design you would like, the size, and where to ship it.

For those of you who didn't win, please be proud anyway.
I am so thankful to each of you. Really.
See the gallery here.

Okay, drumroll....
A new theme. Theme number eight.
I have so many ideas circling in my head that it's hard to choose.
Let's try Say Cheese.


Make a bag that makes a focal point of something sentimental.
I would prefer this be in photograph form rather than someone else's clothing (this time. We'll do mourning type stuff in the future if I keep going with this blog).

That means, reproduce a photo onto fabric and use that for the bag,
Or make shrinky plastic charms or buttons and embellish the bag,
or ?????

No it doesn't have to be cheesy (no pun intended).
I don't mean funky "mommy" brag bags.
I can almost see all of you backing away from the computer and shuffling your feet.
Hello! This blog is all about a CHALLENGE, remember?
Make something that you really would want to carry around, but with a sentimental emphasis.

Maybe take a bunch of family photos (transfers) and collage them, or cut them up and use the weird pieces.
Make the photos part of an applique.
Make the photos part of something else--like a three dimensional flower.
Print photos to fabric, then cut into strips and weave.
Or put real photos (like photobooth strips!) under vinyl (that could make fun stripes and add a design element).

Come on you guys--you can do this!

For inspiration:
Erin's bag with the horse photo memorializes her dad.
Her business, Pursue Your Art, sells bags that display your own photographs or art.
"Changeable art purse is a fun, fashionable way of expressing your artistic side. This purse was created to display your artwork, Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), greeting cards, photos and more. It's a miniature art gallery in a purse."

Another company,Art for Your Sake, makes photo montage tote bags because, "For some of us, photo purses are not fashion items, but a real physical connection to our loved ones."
We're talking really creative collages here--check it out.

HGTV has a tutorial on making a purse with a photo of its contents on the outside.
Not really sentimental, but pretty fun nevertheless.
Reminds me of an actor friend who used to work at an ad agency, and on the wall was a photo of the opposite wall. So when you looked at one wall, you'd be looking at the other. Ahem...yeah.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008


Well, I'm still not finished with my bag, and four people have contacted me saying they're not done either.
So how about if I post the gallery and new theme on Monday?
So that gives you a couple more days (though I'll always post your entries, regardless of what future date you send me a jpg).
If anyone has any ideas for prizes for future challenges, let me know.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wow, is it already July?

Be patient with me, I'm going to try to finish my tee bag before I post the gallery.
Will hopefully post tomorrow.
Sewing on t-shirt is a little more difficult than I anticipated--I spent a good deal of time with my seam ripper last night.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention this fun idea I saw at the county fair the other night.
This is the Miche bag.
The Miche Bag
It is a black handbag (cute on its own) with interchangeable exterior designs that are magnetized.
In other words, you don't have to empty your purse contents to coordinate your bag with your outfit--you just change the magnet.
Another bonus is the magnets just fold up flat, so they're easier to store than an equal number of purses.

The fair was selling these, if I remember correctly, for $69.99, and it included three exteriors of your choosing--they call these shells.
Seriously cool.
Judging from the website (which is still, for the most part, under construction), the company sells distributorships.

The employees at the kiosk said the bags are also sold on QVC, but I was not able to find a link.