Jenny Sigler – More Fashion Accessories from Thrift Store Jeans

Author: tracysigler | Posted: August 29th, 2010 | | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Denim purse - recycled jeans

Cleaning out some “filed” emails I came across this one from almost three years ago.  Better than late than never I’m posting another project by my Mom. In her own words:

Hi Tracy,

When I was talking to you about making the jean purse and items for  Paris and Mars, I mentioned that I had also picked up a pair of embroidered jeans that I was going to make something out of for Ally for Christmas.  I finally got around to finishing it up this morning, so as you said to do – I took a picture. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert Sigler – Copper Sunflowers Sculpture

Author: tracysigler | Posted: July 15th, 2010 | | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

That’s my dad! Usually the dude is busy doing things for other people, but once in a while he cranks out a project for himself. He makes it seem easy to make this copper sunflowers sculpture, and for him it probably was. He’s got the gear, and the skills. Dad used a nibbler to cut everything out but you can definitely use a bandsaw with the right blade or maybe even a jigsaw. Snips? I doubt it, with copper this thick. Once he had all the pieces fabbed up he used an oxy-acetylene torch to braze everything together.

Now you know. Go make your own thing.

More photos of this copper sunflowers sculpture

Robert Sigler - Copper Sunflowers Sculpture

Gingerbread House 2008

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: December 12th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Oh man, I hope doesn’t rain up in Gingerbread Town because those cookie people are going to get wet. Mary later decided to disguise this chasm on the gingerbread house roof with a Playmobil Santa, sleigh and reindeer. Clever. She makes one every Christmas and the kids join in.

Mary spent a few years living in Germany and has been to the Kristkindl market (giant Christmas market place) in some of the cities including the gingerbread capital of the world, Nürnberg.

And, our “neighbor” up the hill, Grove Park Inn, has a gingerbread house competition every year. We haven’t been yet this year, but I did find this video of some of the winners from a couple years ago. I don’t think we’re ready for the big leagues, yet.

Jenny Sigler – Two-Sided Rag Doll

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: November 23rd, 2008 | | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Mumsy is back in the doll making game after a little hiatus. A while ago she made 20 rag dolls for a charity called Rag Dolls 2 Love, Inc from a pattern they provided. This one here is a Christmas gift for the latest grandchild, Oli, and it’s made from the scraps of another project. She’s a crafty crafter! This handmade rag doll is a combination of the charity’s pattern and her memory of a two-sided doll from her childhood.

From the Rag Dolls 2 Love site:

Rag Dolls 2 Love, Inc was started to put a soft cloth doll in the hands of children who live in countries ravaged by war, are orphaned or infected by HIV/ AIDS or traumatized by natural disasters. In the summer of 2003 as I listened to a report of Palestinian children shot during a raid by the Israeli army, and the death of Israeli children in a bus bombing, my frustration and anger spilled over at the loss of so many young lives.

Find out more about Rag Dolls 2 Love, Inc.

Jack-hole-lantern – Pumpkin Carving with a Drill

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: November 2nd, 2008 | | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Jack-hole-lantern - Pumpkin Carving with a Drill

This one ain’t holding water. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed when I finished making it. But the people have spoken! It got a lot of compliments this Halloween from the large number of visitors we had. Halloween is big deal in our neighborhood. People come from all over to trick-or-treat here. I’m not sure why. The streets are jammed with drivers parking their cars anywhere they can. There are police patrolling on Segways! There was even a police car going up and down the street with its lighting flashing and blasting “Monster Mash.” One of our neighbors had a sign on his door by 8 PM that read:

Too Late!
We had 424 treat bags and now they’re gone.
See you next year. Maybe.

I used a drill to make this jack-o-lantern. I started with a big hole saw (hard to get the core out after each hole), a forstner bit (fast clean cut, but throws pumpkin chips everywhere), a spade bit, and a couple smaller drill bits (they can leave a ragged edge on the surface). There was no plan. I just freestyled around the pumpkin until it looked done. I put the opening on the bottom so I could work around the top.

Tree House the Hard Way

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: August 8th, 2008 | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Tree House the Hard Way

And by “hard way” I mean this: This tree house is supported only by the tree. Sure, there’s a ladder there in the middle, but that’s not structural. I had read in a book about tree houses that a proper tree house did not have any posts in the ground supporting it. All tree, all the time. I built this at our last house, for my kids. Even though we didn’t have many tree options, and that it wouldn’t be that high, I was determined to build the real deal, not some simple elevated “tree fort” that only used the tree as another post in the ground. Here’s to the hard way!

I would go into the details (you know I would) if I could remember much about it. There are some great resources online. You’ll surely find them once you start looking. Keepin’ it real in Asheville.


Jenny Sigler – Handmade Crocheted and Felted Purse

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: August 6th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Jenny Sigler -- Handmade Crocheted and Felted Purse

(Click for big)

My mother, Jenny Sigler, made this crocheted and felted purse for my SIL, Kellie. Jenny/Mom crocheted this purse without a pattern, because she is a complete and total risk taker! Then, she felted it by washing it in very hot water. I know nothing about this “felting” but she says the object will shrink by about a third, and that it makes the weave (sorry if that’s the wrong word) of the yarn somewhat obscured. To finish it off she added some grosgrain ribbon to the strap so it wouldn’t stretch out. “Who dares, wins” and I think this purse turned out super-nice.

More by Mom

Wedding Rings by Eason Price

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: August 5th, 2008 | | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Wedding Rings by Eason Price

When Mary and I got married, almost 18 years ago, we had our wedding bands custom made by goldsmith Eason Price. Eason died a little too young earlier this year. When I called him about making these I told him that we had some general ideas about what we wanted and that we were getting our inspiration from an old book about Celtic art. He said “Yeah, I have that book. Come on down to the shop and we’ll talk about it.” I didn’t believe he actually had the book, because I hadn’t even mentioned the title, so I brought our copy with me. Sure enough, Eason had the exact same book: Celtic Art – The Methods of Construction by George Bain.

We picked out a bird-like creature we liked and Eason added a simple knot pattern. He made some sketches, we approved them, and after getting our sizes he went to work. He used white gold. We wanted platinum but at the time it was almost twice as expensive and way out of our budget. Eason put black enamel in all of the carved lines. I remember asking if the enamel would last. He assured me it would, but he didn’t know the ring and I were about to spend the next eight years working in a shipyard as a steelworker. All the enamel is long gone. I’m just happy to still have the finger.

Here’s the page with the birds we liked:

Celtic Art - The Methods of Construction by George Bain

And the book, “lavishly illustrated with line drawings and photographs”:Celtic Art - The Methods of Construction by George Bain

Chick Sigler — Treasure Chest Coin Box

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: June 24th, 2008 | | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »

Chick Sigler -- Treasure Chest Coin Box

My grandfather, Charles “Chick” Orndoff Sigler III, made this treasure chest as a Christmas gift for me when I was probably 10 or so. He also made one for my brother Grayson, and wisely painted our first initials inside the lid of each chest. It was filled silver coins, maybe even silver dollars when he gave them to us. But the real treasure to me is the handmade box my grandfather took time to make. This was no kit. He made everything and even painted the awesome Jolly Roger inside the lid. I should confirm that with the elders, maybe my uncle Robin helped with the painting.

Thirty-some years later it’s still with me. Now, I keep it on my bedside table and use it to hold pocket change. If I didn’t have pocket change I would find some because it looks so cool sitting in the treasure chest. For a brief period it was in the attic at our first house. A home invading squirrel got in, managed to find my treasured treasure chest and gnawed on a couple corners. He was evicted with a vengeance. Looking at the damage still hurts.

Chick Sigler -- Treasure Chest Coin Box

Chick Sigler -- Treasure Chest Coin Box

Christmas Card 2007 — The Human Candy Cane

Author: Tracy Sigler | Posted: December 12th, 2007 | | Tags: , , | 11 Comments »

Christmas Card 2007 - The Human Candy Cane

This is our favorite card so far, and not just because it’s a bunch of pictures of us. It took two days, three separate shooting sessions, and more wardrobe changes than a Cher concert.

We were having our usual dinner table brainstorm back in November when Mars came up with “candy cane.” And that was like a lightning bolt of silliness to my head. I have been wanting to do a card using our bodies as props, and I immediately realized that with our martial arts gear and street clothes we had everything we needed to be human red and white stripes. Almost everything that is. I didn’t have any red pants. It took some hunting but I was able to find some $10 Sporty Spice wind pants at the local discount store.

Our basement has a high ceiling. It also has a killer skateboard ramp. We put our low-buck “green screen,” about 10 yards of cheapo green fabric, in the middle of the ramp flat bottom. I put the camera on a tripod, but then lodged it in the plumbing running across the ceiling. This set up worked pretty well. If I had taken the time to tack down the fabric to get rid of the wrinkles it would have saved some time in the editing. Also using better lighting would have made this easier. I just used halogen construction lights placed on each deck of the ramp.

With everything in place we started posing. Mary, Paris and Mars would lie on the fabric first. Then, I would climb up a step ladder, start the timer, jump down and throw the ladder to side because it caused shadows, and try to get into position in time. The hardest part to get right was the radius. We used blue tape as guide, but it took some trial and error. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell if it would work and be in scale until I was editing the pictures together. “Everybody put your stripe clothes back on.”

Previous cards: 2006, 2005, 2004

Image on back of card

Christmas Card 2007 - The Human Candy Cane

Camera rig

camera rig

“I know it’s cold down here. Bend to your left!”

Christmas Card 2007 - Photo shoot