Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Learning New Things

I taugh myself to double and triple crochet from these great video tutorials by KnitWtich. Learning something new, I had little practice bits. I made some little wristbands. They each begin with a row of single crochet. Chain enough stitches to go around your wrist plus a little overlap. Then a row of triple, or treble, crochet and finish with another row of single crochet. I stitched a button to one side and the triple crochet stitch acts as a buttonhole. The middle one is yarn and the others are thin ribbon.

I also did my very first quilt binding. I can't show more, as this is a Christmas gift. I used this tutorial. It was very simple and it came out very nicely.


So only a week or so late with my Halloween post. Between the craft show and work, I didn't get as much decorating done as I hoped, but there's always next year. (I have ideas already.)

I did get my styrofoam skulls settled in their new home, along with some plastic bug friends.

I was also really happy with my costume, which I think I'll be wearing to HeroesCon, much to Bats chagrin. (I wasn't mad, just making a Baroness face). I made everything except the shirt and pants. My kneepads are two pieces of felt with silver vinyl cobras. I was really happy with how the chest plate came out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wee Little Gnomes

Not sure why I felt the need to sew several families of teeny little gnomes, but here they are. These are rather easy to make. The head is just a circle of felt, gathered into a yo yo and stuffed. I traced the base of a spool of thread for the circle. I make french knots for the eyes before attaching the body to the head. The body is just a strip of felt, about 3/4" wide 3" long and tightly rolled and then stitched at the end. A tiny cone makes the hat and scraps of felt for the beard and belt. You can also make a tiny flower by cutting petals into a sequin. Embroidery scissors are quite handy for making the tiny cuts. These little guys are very quick and very cute. I think next I'm going to make them a tiny forest to live in, maybe a little hedgehog to ride about and mushrooms to live under.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Styrofoam Skulls

I made these little guys today. They'll be going on a Halloween wreath I think.

You'll need:
- Styrofoam balls (I used 3", but you can use whatever size you like)
- Butter knife
- Pencil
- White and black paint
- Red sequins and pins
- Paintbrush
- Sandpaper

Start by cutting a small slice off the bottom of the ball with your butter knife.

Cut another slice parallel to your first, at about a 45 degree angle to the last, making the front and sides rounded and the back squared off. This makes your jaw line.

Set the ball so it's resting flat on the surface made by the second cut. Make a slice on each side, perpendicular to the first two slices. This makes the sides of your head.

Flip your little skull over and use the handle of the butter knife to make a jaw. Press in with the handle. Come close to were the chin is and along the sides you made with your last slices.

Use your pencil to make the facial features. Press the eraser end of the pencil in to the styrofoam where you want the eyes and move it in small circles to make the eye sockets. Use the pointed end of the pencil to make nostrils and the press in the teeth. Press the eraser straight in on either end of the mouth.

Sand along the edges of your cuts to smooth them down and make them look more natural. I painted my skulls to make them less shiny and see-through. If you're really impatient you can blast it with a hair dryer to dry it. Use black paint to highlight the eyes, nostrils, and mouth. I also put a red sequin into each eye socket to make it look more eerie, just stick a pin through the center of each sequin and press it in with the pencil eraser. Now you can use it however you like.

My First Craft Show

Craft Attack Carolina was this Saturday, my very first craft show. While I didn't make as much as I would have liked, the great reactions I got totally make up for it. I got a lot of smiles and a lot of really great compliments, like a really sweet girl named Brooke who wanted to take a picture of my booth and the little boy who got one of my monsters and waved everytime he went by. I also want to say thanks to Christina Wooke and Fuzzy Ink, who were sweet enough to trade with me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Still Prepping

I'm scrambling to get things finished up for Craft Attack on Saturday. I foolishly decided it would be a great idea to make some little pouches with buttons. (One of the things I adore about my sewing machine is that it makes buttonholes insanely easy.) They're all cut out and sewn, and some are already topstitched and have their buttonholes sewn. I'll just have to find some cute buttons to stitch on. (Luckily they're on sale at work.) I'll hopefully post some pictures tomorrow. So many little things to do!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Tone It Down"

I've been freaking out a little trying to get things ready for Craft Attack. This is my first craft fair and I really want everything to go well, so I've been finishing up some things and making some new things to try and have a good selection of items and prices. I think I'm ok, I have items ranging from $1.50 to probably $35 (still have to price some totes eek). I was showing off my pillow covers and he mentioned that I should think about toning it down to appeal to a larger audience.
While I would love it 85% of people would want to buy my stuff, I don't think that's ever going to happen. Everything has an audience. People will pay $50 for a grilled cheese sandwich with a religious figure on it. People will pay good money for a purse with a little vagoo on it. Some people like to make little plush mufflers with faces. And that's ok, that's awesome! Everyone is different and everyone has different tastes and what makes one person gag may make someone else stupidly happy. That's what I want. I don't care how much I sell, I want to make things that make me happy and that makes whoever buys it happy. You can go out to the store and buy a tote bag with your favorite sport team or a pillow with a teddy bear on it, where can you get a little sushi pin or a sushi monster or a stuffed zombie? From me, and THAT is why I make things. To have a little bit of me in the form or fabric or beads or clay. For the community. To see what little bits of themselves other people make.

New Things

One good thing about not updating for a long time, it means I have a lot to post once I do.

I finished the aprons I was making. These were pretty much done, just some finishing touches.

I got 5 more completed. These are super easy and don't take more than a half yard on any of the pieces. The font and back are just fat quarter szed pieces with the tops two corners slightly tapered and the bottom two corners rounded. I make the ruffle by cutting two 5" by 45" strips, sewing them together and folding them in half along the width. I sew this with a basting stitch and high tension so the machine ruffles it for me. Then I just sandwich it, along with the straps, between the front and back pieces when I sew. Easy peasy. I think I have 11 of these to sell.

Bats and Kitty dolls.

These are an original pattern. It's super easy to make and I'm planning on scanning and upoading the patterns as soon as I can. They're about 19" and 16". (I was actually sticking to patterns, rather than fudging as I went along to make sure I had accurate patterns.) So far they only have undies and pants, craft fair stuff had to take precedence over them. My doll is my first real attempt at yarn hair and I think it turned out fairly well after some playing. I just made bundles of thirty pieces and tied them in the middle, then stitched the center bit and the bottom layer to the head. Quite easy.

Applique pillows. So far I have owls, caterpillars, and octopi. There are spiders and monsters still waiting for backgrounds.

These are all 18" square shams. The appliques are made with paper backed fusible web and then stitched on to a background piece.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So Unproductive

Ok, too sick to take decent pictures. I'll try and take some tomorrow (when I will hopefully have lots of lovely antibiotics to destroy the evil invaders). In the mean time...doodles!

Ugh, I'm really sort of awful at this. Almost two months since an update! This is why I was reluctant to start a blog in the first place.
Craft Attack is in less than two weeks and I'm a mix of super excited and nervous! I've made a few signs and need to make a few more, as well as some business cards. All the individual items need to priced too. I have a pop up shelter and pretty much all my decorations and displays ready to go. I've been working on some last minute items (aprons and pillow covers). Hopefully I can get some pictures of those posted tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My First Craft Fair

I've been accepted to participate in CRAFT ATTACK 2008! This will be my first craft fair and I'm really excited! CRAFT ATTACK is October 11 from 9 to 5 at Independence Park in Charlotte, NC. I have lots of prep to do, ugh.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Evers since I saw this great post about deconstructing a placemat I've been on the lookout for one. I finally got lucky at Ross the other day and found a great one for only $2.50!

I was playing around with different things on them. We had some Nashua tape from fixing our air conditioner and I found out this works pretty well to make embossed metal pieces. I just cut a piece of tape and drew on it with a fine tip Sharpie to get thin, colored lines. I tried a sharp pencil for just plain lines and that seemed to work out fine. Then I just cut the size I needed and stuck it on the bead.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pizza Plant (with tutorial)

This is my first tutorial and it's kind of long, so bear with me. I used the pre-cut pieces of acrylic felt as that was what I had on hand, but you can use wool felt or fleece, anything that has some thickness and doesn't fray.

You need:
1 or 2 pieces of beige felt
1 piece of red felt
1 piece of dark brown felt
1 piece of white felt
2 or 3 pieces of green felt (more depending on how many leaves and flower stems you want)
Felt scraps for toppings
Tacky glue or hot glue
Needle and thread (green and beige)
Pencils or dowel bits for stems
A bit of fiberfil (maybe a loose handful per flower)
Something to plant it in (I used a tin can, but you can use anything you have handy)
Something circular you can trace (a cup, a can etc)
Fabric marking pen (preferably air soluable)
Sharp scissors
Wire (beading wire or similiar)
Thin cardboard (you can use an empty cereal box)

1. Begin by making your pizza bits. Fold your beige felt in half (good sides together if the sides are different). Trace around something round (I used a plastic cup). Make as many circles as you want flowers and make in various sizes.
2. Either hand sew or machine stitch along the line you drew. Sew slowly so you can get a nice curve. Make sure to leave a gap so you can turn it right side out.
3. Cut your circles out about 1/8" from stitching line. Turn right side out. Sew another line about 1/2" in from the edge. Do not leave a gap in this line, sew all the way around.
4. Stuff the channel you just made. This will be the raised part of the crust. Only use teeny amounts of stuffing at a time and use a pencil or chopstick to help. When it's all stuffed, handsew the opening shut with a whipstitch (the kind that goes diagonally over the edge of the fabric).

5. Cut a piece of red felt to fit in the flat middle part of your pizza crust. Glue in place. Cut a slightly smaller irregular circle of white felt for your cheese. Glue this in place too.
6. Cut toppings from your scraps. I made a green pepper, olive, and mushroom pizza. Glue these in place however you like.

Ta-da!, your pizza flowers are all done! Now time to make some buds to fill out the plant...

1. Cut out some smaller circles from your left over beige and red felt. Cut as many circles as you want buds.

2. Cut a slice from each circle, maybe a sixth of the circle. Cut slightly more from the red than the beige.
3. You can make a tightly closed bud by rolling and gluing the red piece. Make sure it flairs out a bit at the end, but is tight at the point. Wrap and glue the beige piece over it.
4. To make a more open bud, cut some stips of white felt about 3" long. Stack two of them together and take a stitch through the middle of the strip. Sew this to the center of your red piece. This will give you little cheese "stamens". You can add some longer, thinner toppings too if you like (slices of green pepper, etc). Then make them the same as the tight bud, just don't roll as tightly.

Leaf time!
1. Cut a simple leaf shape from your cardboard to make a template.
2. Stack two piece of green felt together and trace your template as many times as you can. Also draw a line up the center of each leaf.
3. Starting near your center line, sew up along the center of the leaf. You can pivot and sew towards the edge and then back to make little veins. Once you get close to the top of the leaf, pivot and sew back down the middle of the leaf, slightly over from your first line of stitching (maybe 1/4"). This will create a channel along the center of the leaf, about 1/4" wide. Use the picture to kind of give you a better idea of what to do. The arrow indicates the opening of the channel.

4. When you get to the base of the leaf again, sew around the edge of the leaf and back to where you started. Make sure you do NOT sew over the opening to the channel.
5. Cut each leaf out close to the sewing line.
6. Cut a piece of wire about 3 times the length or your leaf. Fold it in half and feed it into the channel. This makes it so you can pose your leaves.
7. Repeat for as many leaves as you want, making them various sizes. Also cut out several small leaves from a single layer of felt (maybe 1 1/2" to 2" in length).

Now let's put it together!

1. Make your stems by first cutting a strip of felt wide enough to wrap around your pencil with some overlap and and a little longer than the pencil. You can cut the pencil down for shorter stems. Wrap the felt around and glue or whipstitch in place.
2. Snip into the extra felt to make several tabs at the top of the stem. Spread these out and glue to the back of your pizza flower.
3. Cut an irregular circle that is about an inch smaller than your pizza flower. Cut a slit into it that extends a little bit past the center. Make some little clips from the center. (Check out the picture.)

Slip this around your stem to cover your tabs and add stability. Glue in place.

4. Wrap one of the little leaves you cut around the bottom of your pizza buds and glue in place. Trim away the extra and stitch or glue to your stem in little clusters. Glue on a few extra leaves. Make sure not to do it too close to the base so you'll be able to see them all.
5. Once you have all your pizza flowers ready, cut a piece of dark brown felt to line what you're planting them in. Trace the opening of your "planter" and cut out this piece. Cut slits where you want the plants to be and slide them in. Use your scraps from this project to stuff around the stems to give them some stability and slide them in. Glue leaves around the edge and bend them until you're happy with how they look.

All done! Sit your plant somewhere sunny and remember not to litter!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I made a big batch of homemade salsa today. Three hothouse tomatoes, four Roma tomatoes, an Anaheim chili, two jalapenos, half an onion, a bulb of garlic, two tomatillos, and of course cilantro and lemon and salt. Spicy and delicious!

I also went to see Wall-e. Pixar is totally lovely. I am incredibly tempted to make a pizza plant, which I may very well do with a little help from my new book.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Aprons on Etsy

I've added six aprons to my Etsy.

I really love making these. The fabric really inspired the project in this case, as soon as I saw this "apron" popped into my head. They're also not terribly complicated and it gives me a chance to mix a lot of patterns, which is one of my favorite things to do. Each one has at least four different fabrics, some have five.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm A Blogger

I've been reading all these great craft blogs, getting ideas and inspirations. So I've finally decided to join the world of blogging. Hopefully I can keep it up...