Sunday, October 28, 2012

November Workshops

Making rag flowers is a great way to reuse old clothing items and scraps! In this workshop, you will learn simple methods for up-cycling fabric into beautiful fast and easy flowers. There will be very little to no sewing at all! Use them for pins, clips, brooches or headbands. All materials included. (Bringing your own fabric is optional.) $25 per person. Ages 12 and up.

Up-cycle your old winter neck scarves into cool new stuff! Choose from simple projects such as making hand warmers or a coffee cozy…or experiment with your own designs! Please bring your own neck scarf. $15 per person. Ages 12 and up. 

xoxo jamillah

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fenton Street Art Market : Downtown Silver Spring

Last Saturday probably had the best, typical fall weather one could ever dream of for roaming the local farmer's market. Despite the disappointing news that Starbucks was sold out of hot apple cider and that we discovered the fresh pumpkin doughnuts after already buying cake pops (bummer!)...I think I stayed at the market for at least 3 hours, weaving in and out of the 70+ stalls, stands and tents. There may only be about two more Saturdays before FSM officially shuts down for the season, so if you were trying to get down to Ellsworth Ave., be sure to check their website:

Tiny seashell paintings

Mary de Marco jewelry

Pottery from Shel's Studio

Since I've been making singed flowers, I was on a mission to find a clean-burning soy or beeswax candle that wouldn't bother my nose like the big chemically purple candle I've been using. Because the edges of the flower petals have to be melted slightly, I wanted something that had very little smoke ~ and also smelled great. I got my rose scented candle from Handmade Habitat, who also sells hand dyed scarves, bags and adorable cat toys.

On my candle of choice :) Rose No. 2

I love the baby sized socks (^.^)

If you miss the market, you can still find a lot of the vendors at the upcoming FSM holiday sales on Nov. 24 and Dec. 22. Or visit them at Think Outside the Store's upcoming Holiday Pop-up Shop on Dec. 15th ~ find me there too with selected items from my Etsy shop!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Flowers

On Sunday October 14th from 1-4pm we will be hosting a special $10 flower making workshop at Think Outside the Store! A team from Docs in Progress will be filming us at work for an upcoming student documentary about the studio. This is a great opportunity to brush up on your flower making techniques or to create something new.

Learn how to make several different types of flowers, which are perfect for headbands, clothing, bags, shoes and other accessories. Choose from a large selection of up-cycled fabrics, buttons and beads. 

Choose from:
  • Roses and Rosettes
  • Puffy Carnation-style 
  • Dahlias and Mums
  • Mixed media
There are 10 spaces available. Ages 12+. Please RSVP.

Friday, October 5, 2012

More Photo Editing Fun : Filters and Light

I needed this an hour ago.
What I love about Etsy is not only the endless selection of handmade things that you can buy, but also the people on there. I was browsing along today, and found this really cute mug cozy at Autumn&Amber ~ which I need because of my current (and forever) coffee addiction!

While I was looking around at the shop's pictures, I realized that not only were they amazing (go see
for yourself)...but I had no idea how they made the digital effects. I needed to know! Thanks to A&A, I finally do!

By no means am I a digital photography expert, but still, it never hurts to give your pictures a little extra pizzazz! There are plenty of apps and photo editing programs available for free in the Google store or Apple store that have nothing to do with Photoshop or the free-alternative, Gimp. Even Windows 10 has some photo editing features that can make your pictures stand out.

  • Color and Light Filters
  • Tilt-shift or Selective Focus
  • Vignettes
  • Highlights and Shadows
Don't be afraid to play with your pictures. It can be kinda fun and relaxing once you really get into it. Just make sure the photo that you begin with is photographed under natural light.

What a difference a great photo can make on your page!

 Before & After

xoxo jamillah

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY: Singed Rose Tutorial

I'm always a little timid when it comes to playing with fire ~ especially when I'm sewing or crafting at the same time. And I know that bottlecap jewelry requires a little heat, but singing your fabric intentionally? That's another story! So, today I decided to face my fears and try something new.

At my workstation, I gathered the following:
  • Tea light or votive candles
  • Strips of 100% polyester or lining material from your sewing basket
  • Sewing materials (needle, thread, scissors)
I decided to use my GIANT scented candle because it fills the room with lavender goodness. :)

The great thing about polyester is once you find the grain line, you can just snip it and tear instead of cutting all they way. Tearing also helps you avoid uneven strip sizes. This makes creating your strips really easy! Ok, here's what I did to make the rose:

Clip petal-shaped scalloped edge on the top of your strips, leaving the bottom edge straight.

Using tweezers or pliers, hold the strip about 2" over the flame. Slowly drag it across, making sure to singe between the petal shapes.

Baste the bottom edge. I used the sewing machine to speed this up. You could also do this step by hand as well.

Pull the threads to gather your strip into a fluffy ruffle. Trim the thread ends. Roll up the strip like a spiral and sew the bottom edges together. With your hands, sculpt the rose until you are happy with the final shape. Use X-shaped stitches across the bottom of the rose so that it stays together. (You could also use hot glue for this step if it helps.)

The result is a basic rose! This would be even prettier with a sparkling rhinestone center...and some leaves!  has a really great tutorial that shows relatively the same method for how to do the Singed Rose technique using a different method. Just be sure there is no paper lying around and that the wick on your candle is trimmed. Also, if this is your first time (like it was mine), practice singing the fabric on a small scrap first. Have fun!

xoxo jamillah

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bottlecap Pendants

I had so much fun putting together these totally unique and cute bottlecap pendants. They can be worn as necklaces or used as key chains. It doesn't really matter how you use them, the point is how fun they are to make! 

I really enjoyed adding rhinestone crystals on top of my designs, along with beads dangling on the bottom. Most of the words are cut out from magazines, but the Ireland cap was cut from a map. I would suggest using a 1" circle hole punch for the background image, but after that, use whatever paper elements you have to personalize your creations. Magic Moonlight Studio has free printable images they may also inspire you.

Stay tuned for the workshop dates & times!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Items from Sultana's Crochet!

Sultana's Crochet - one of my favorite Etsy sites for crocheted accessories, hats, scarves, wraps and shawls, has a new item on their menu: crocheted bracelets! All the items are made in a smoke free, allergy-free environment and use natural materials like hemp, leather, copper and glass. I recently purchased a turquoise wrap bracelet, similar to the yellow one below, which is easy to wear and layer with other pieces. Check out her shop for more items!

Crocheted copper wire and orange glass seed bead bracelet

Beaded wrap bracelet (or necklace)

Crocheted wire beaded bracelet with blue beads

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Artist Reception: Silver Works Studio

Recently, I visited the Glen Echo Park SilverWorks Studio & Gallery for an artist's reception. Mawadda Al-Aswadi, a long time friend of mine, is a metalsmith instructor at the gallery and an amazing jewelry designer. Her work ranges from necklaces, earrings to gorgeous cast rings - some set with stones and others hammered to resemble natural rock formations. 

"My fascination with the way people decorated their bodies with wearable art began as a child. I knew I wanted to become a jewelry designer the first time I held a torch and heard the sound of hot metal quench on the water. My designs are mainly inspired by shapes and textures found in nature and by clean lines found in architecture."
- Mawadda Al-Aswadi
 Kinetic rings that can change their look each time you wear them!
Twisted knot necklace
 Mawadda's studio at SilverWorks ~ visiting this place makes me want to jump in and make something!

I purchased a ring from her that I had my eye on for a long time (meaning a few years!) I don't know if she saved it for me, or if it was just fate, but I absolutely adore my silver ring that was cast from two very unique vintage buttons. Visit Mawadda's Etsy Shop to see more of her work!

xoxo jamillah

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Silver Spring Bead and Jewelry Mart

Mark your calendars! The Silver Spring Bead & Jewelry Mart is coming to Downtown on Saturday, July 21st from 10am - 4pm. The outdoor festival is hosted by The Bead Studio Inc. and features several classes, workshops and local vendors. Look for it on Veteran's Plaza, right outside the Civic Building on Ellsworth Drive. Admission is FREE! I plan on getting there early to shop for the good stuff before its gone! Maybe next year, you'll see Think Outside the Store and Jamillah's Jems there too!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Student Work: Vintage Headbands

After an amazing workshop making vintage-inspired headbands with my fabulous group of students,   decided to post their gorgeous designs to show off all their hard work! Using lace, ribbon, antique buttons, satin and velvet, the girls put together not one, but two headbands each in all different colors and arrangements.

Who needs to go shopping for accessories when you can make your own?

xoxo jamillah

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vintage Headband Workshop

On Sunday, May 27, 2012 from 12-3pm, we will be making gorgeous vintage inspired headbands at Think Outside the Store! This workshop is for all skill levels, ages 14+. Add as little or as much as you like to craft your unique, ready-to-wear headband.

Materials included:
  • Lace, ornate buttons, glass beads
  • Feathers (neutral - black, white, cream)
  • Velvet and satin fabrics
  • Sewing tools and glue guns
  • Headbands forms
This is the first workshop where I'll be teaching the "twisted rosette" technique, which is easy to learn and very popular. Space is limited, so please RSVP by clicking the light bulb on the sidebar. See you there!

Velvet ribbon rose with cabochon center and lace trim.

xoxo jamillah

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Vintage Look

My latest obession is designing vintage-y, old fashioned looking, 1800s Victorian era type accessories. I started re-reading Pride and Predjudice and it got me thinking...what did Jane Austen keep in her closet? And more pointedly ~ what would her characters wear?

One of my favorite scenes in the 2005 movie is the ball at Bingley & Darcy's swanky country house ~ Netherfield. I would have liked the cameraman to zoom in on Keira Knightley's hairpiece or even her earrings. Regardless, the costumes and the color palate won me over. I think I should watch the movie one more time (for research purposes!) and see if there is something I missed.

In the meantime, I noticed that using the following will still give you the vintage look:
  • Using elaborate brass-toned or "antiqued" clasps and buttons
  • A color palate of muted pastels, neutrals and rich jewel tones
  • Textured ribbon, lace and delicate calico floral prints
  • Earthtone beads, pearls and small Swarvoski crystals

One of my latest bracelets:

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