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May 3, 2015 9:53 pm

Thora’s Birthday Crown

Thora will turn one this Wednesday and to celebrate, I wanted to make her a keepsake felt crown. I saw some nice ones on Etsy that I took some inspiration from, and then remembered that Jessica had written a Waldorf felt crown tutorial a loooong time ago so I started there.

First birthday prep. Not bad for my first attempt at a felt flower!

I bought my ribbon on Etsy – a good search term is “floral jacquard ribbon” – and used that as my color scheme. My local Waldorfy store had some lovely 100% wool felt sheets and I bought colors that matched my ribbon. I highly, HIGHLY recommend splurging on the nice 100% wool felt. This project would have been way harder and looked a lot less nice if I had used the cheapy stuff.

Using Jessica’s pattern, I lengthened the pattern piece B (the crown part) vertically by an inch or so because I wanted to make sure there’d be enough room for the name oval and the ribbon, and I cut the pattern piece out on the fold so I didn’t have to stitch the bottom together. I also made the middle point a weensy bit taller than the side ones because I liked how that looked.

Using my computer, I found a font I liked (and now I can’t even remember what it was called – it started with an L) and typed Thora’s name using it. I held a piece of paper to my computer screen and traced the letters onto a piece of paper, cut them out, then used the paper as a stencil to trace the letters onto a sheet of felt. Then I painstakingly cut out every letter using a teensy pair of embroidery scissors. (I do have a Cricut and there is probably a way to use a Cricut to cut the felt but I’m not very experienced with it yet and it seemed more trouble than it’d have been worth so I didn’t try it.) I Tacky glued the letters to the ivory oval and then blanket-stitched the oval to the front of the crown.

Then I looked up “felt flower” tutorials on Pinterest and found ones like this and this and used one of my accent colors for the flower. I used Tacky glue to actually glue the flower spiral together and then embroidered some French knots in the center to give it some character.

Felt Birthday Crown

For assembly, I followed Jessica’s instructions for the elastic strap and ended up stitching the bottom of the ribbon onto the crown, sewing up the sides of the crown to trap the elastic band between the felt layers, and then sewing the top of the ribbon on. That way, I had the crown all stitched together except the pointy parts at the top, meaning I could attach all my decorations to the front piece and then have the stitches hidden when I sewed it to the back piece.

After I stitched the flowers on, I wanted to use the blue and orange accent colors so I cut out some little orange circles and blue hearts and stitched them on, kind of under the flowers so they felt like one whole group.

Once all my decorations were on, I machine stitched the pointy parts of the crown closed. Voila!

Felt Birthday Crown

There are a few things I’d do differently, like using 1″ elastic for the back vs the… 1/2″? I had on hand. Either that or make the casing way smaller. The elastic tends to twist around in there and I find that annoying. I’d also maybe match my casing fabric to my crown better, but ehh. Small potatoes. I’m really pleased with how it came out and I’ve had several people tell me they want their own or that I should take commissions!

Happy first birthday, Thora! I hope you like your crown.

Queen Thora does not approve of photos.

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November 24, 2012 10:50 pm

Tiny Christmas Trees

I spent the afternoon at my parents’ house making these Christmas tree decorations.

These night-time iPod pictures do not do them justice – they are actually pretty cute in person! You take a cereal box, cut it into the sort of shape that folds into a cone, hot glue it together, and then hot glue some trim to the cone. Honestly, the hardest part is not burning yourself with the glue gun while you’re trying to make the cone shape.

trees-01

I used ruffly white trim, green mini-tinsel, red feathery trim, silver sparkle ribbon, red sequins, green bendable glitter ribbon, and ivory and gold lace.

trees-02

The one with gold lace looks horrible in these photos but I promise it looks cute and vintagey in person.

If you decide to make these yourself, fair warning that you’ll probably need a lot more trim than you expect. The smaller trees are about four inches tall and the green one took a 3yd roll of tinsel trim. The red feathery one was one yard but I could space the wraps out more because it was fluffier. The red sequin one was a yard too, but that sequin strand was elasticized so it could stretch a bit. The tall ruffly white one was just shy of two yards, and I probably could have used the whole two had I not been so freaked out that I was going to run out by the time I made it to the top.

This is a great craft project for several reasons – the supplies are easily obtained, they’re reasonably inexpensive, reusing the cereal boxes makes you feel virtuous while crafting, and the trees look good with minimal effort. Two thumbs up from me.

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November 2, 2012 9:40 pm

Inspiring

Last month at work we were asked what we’d found inspiring recently. I came up with my answer immediately, because I had just gotten a Land of Nod catalog in the mail and they have such fantastic styling for their catalogs – I couldn’t stop thinking about all the neat projects I could make based on what I’d seen. I felt kind of silly answering that question with “a children/baby product catalog” but it was the truth!

THEN, after answering, I went back to my desk and looked up the website and apparently they have an online catalog that is somehow MILES BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS. It comes with craft tutorials! Blew my mind.

Last year, I ended up making a mitten garland based on one I’d seen in their catalog, and this year I’m thinking about making a garland similar to this Christmas tree one:

Tree Garland

I just love that it’s so bright! It says it’s made from felt but it’s so thin it almost looks like paper.

(I just realized I can’t remember if I ever posted a photo of my mitten garland. It looked like this:

mitten garland
mitten garland

…and now I’m wishing I had saved a picture of the LoN inspiration because it’s not on the website anymore.)

Christmas crafting makes me sort of giddy, I’ll admit. And yes, I know Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet – I am of the opinion that it’s rarely too early for Christmas cheer. And crafting.

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November 1, 2012 2:50 pm

Halloween 2012

I had a few ideas regarding what Wesley, Daniel and I should be for Halloween this year, but ultimately got shot down. (I still think Spike, Angel, and Buffy would have been amazing. You can’t convince me otherwise.)

We visited Portland the week before Halloween and had the opportunity to go to a Halloween party at a former co-worker’s house. Since we didn’t think to bring any costumes with us, we tried to think of costumes that would be relatively easy to throw together, and we came up with the main characters from Supernatural.

(Supernatural is my new TV obsession.)

Castiel is an angel, and wears a dark suit with a blue tie and a tan trenchcoat. Dean and Sam Winchester are brothers who hunt supernatural beings, and they normally wear jeans, boots, button-up shirts, and jackets.

We walked into Goodwill and immediately found an olive green military-style jacket and a tan trenchcoat. It was a sign! I picked up some basic black pants, a white button-up, a black button-up instead of a suit jacket because they were expensive and hot, and some cheap dress shoes. I found a blue tie at a different Goodwill a few days later. We also had a fake demon knife for Daniel and a plastic Colt for Wesley.

I also found some supplies to make Dean’s necklace for Daniel, since it was too late to purchase one. I don’t think I did too bad for 15 minutes of sculpting!

Dean's Necklace

Here’s a fuzzy, kind of blue-ish photo of us at the party:

Castiel, Sam, & Dean

Daniel and Wesley as Dean Winchester and Sam Winchester:

Dean and Sam Winchester

And me as Castiel:

Castiel

(I know my tie has polka-dots instead of being plain blue. I TRIED. Goodwill was not forthcoming.)
……

For actual Halloween, I wanted Wesley to be Draco Malfoy. His hair is practically the exact same color! I found him an inexpensive Slytherin tie, and we also got him a gray v-neck sweater vest (couldn’t find a full sweater in time), a Slytherin patch for his Hogwarts robe, and a dark mark temporary tattoo. We used a ton of hair gel to slick his hair back à la Year One Draco, and in the meantime I sewed his Hogwart’s robe in about thirty minutes right before we left to go trick-or-treating. Whew!

Hogwarts Uniform

I folded the material in half with the fold at the top (neckline/shoulders), and then cut upside-down L-shapes out of the sides to make the arms/cloak part and stitched those together. It was some kind of horrible polyester double-knit fabric, so it didn’t fray at all, and I just hacked off the bottom to hem it. Then I stitched on his Slytherin patch and it was ready to go!

I didn’t manage to make him a custom treat bag this year due to obvious time constraints, but I think something dark green with a silver snake on it would have been lovely. Instead, he carried a green reusable grocery bag. And yes, I did feel a little like I had failed him as a mother because of it. A non-matching, non-Halloween-themed treat bag?! Travesty! (Oh well. There’s always next year.)

He did a great job walking up to houses, knocking on the door, and then saying “tick-oh-treeeeet” when they opened the door. He was also really good about saying “thank you” and yelling “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” as we left. I was so proud!

Draco Malfoy

If we asked him to cast a spell, he would point his wand and say “ZOOM ZOOM!” which was super funny.

We got a lot of compliments on his outfit – Daniel and I dressed up as Harry and Luna, so a lot of people got a kick out of us as a family too. When we were visiting with Daniel’s dad and stepmom, Wesley was helping answer the door and a little girl with a cute hand-knitted Gryffindor scarf was like, “Are you a Slytherin?! I’m a Gryffindor!” I called back “I’m a Ravenclaw!” It was the best.

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November 17, 2011 12:49 pm

Thankful Thursday (Week 3)

This week’s installment of Thankful Thursdays:

  • I’m thankful for my sister-in-law volunteering to take Wesley for a few hours today. So far, I have scrubbed the toilet, sink, and bathtub; reorganized some of my craft storage boxes; done laundry; and written this blog post.
  • I’m thankful that my mom doesn’t seem to mind when I text her saying I am going to come over to her house to do a craft project. I received a Land of Nod catalog in the mail yesterday that contained a photo of a cute garland of mittens and I immediately decided I would try my hand at a DIY version. I knew my mom had a giant Rubbermaid container full of felt, and a glue gun, so I came over. She even made french toast for dinner!
  • I’m thankful for six-sided paper snowflake tutorials. I’ve been going a little crazy with the paper snowflakes in the last two days. (Most common paper snowflakes are 4- or 8-pointed, but if you want to be more scientifically accurate you can fold a 6-pointed snowflake!)
  • I’m thankful for our public library. I am a little upset they have recently decided to let you pick up your own books-on-hold with a receipt that has the first four letters of your last name, because then I get receipts that say GUNT on them in big black letters. BUT. Despite this, I am happy to have been able to read so many wonderful books recently without requiring I purchase them. Books like The Time Traveler’s Wife, the Ender’s Game series, and the books that the Legend of the Seeker show is based off of. I love reading and getting lost in books and the public library makes this possible for me right now.
  • I’m thankful that our good friends Cameron, Brianna, and their baby Piper made it to their new home on the east cost safely. I already miss them terribly and have vowed to send Christmas cards and maybe win the lottery so we can come visit.
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November 2, 2011 7:57 pm

Halloween 2011

This year, Wesley was Calvin (& Hobbes) for Halloween! We dressed him in a red and navy blue striped shirt and dark pants, and spiked his hair. (This was actually much less successful than I had envisioned it, because his hair is so curly! If you gel it, it turns into ringlets that want to lay flat against his head instead of straight spikes.) Oh well, it worked well enough!

Calvin & Hobbes Costume

I sewed his treat bag out of flannel at 9pm the night before. Originally, I wanted to make him an actual Hobbes, like this, but then I got freaked out because I am okay at sewing 2D objects, not so much with the 3D, and I have no idea how to translate a sketch on paper into a 3-dimensional animal. I wanted to do it right or not at all. And I couldn’t figure it out in time and then I remembered he needed a treat bag, and voila! I made a Hobbes tote bag!

Hobbes Treat Bag

I used the Simple Tote instructions from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, but I made both the straps the same length. I freehanded all the appliqued shapes on the front and then drew on the mouth with a Sharpie. I wanted to embroider it, but Wesley was already sleeping and all my embroidery stuff was in his room, and it would have taken longer and I didn’t have the time to spare. Plus, 1.5-year-olds don’t care anyway.

Calvin & Hobbes Costume

He did pretty well with trick-or-treating, except he wouldn’t say anything (“trick-or-treat” was “deet-deet” but he only said it for us) and didn’t seem to have any idea what we were doing. We pulled him in a red wagon though, and he loved the wagon ride, so there’s that.

(Here’s last year’s costume, for OMG-my-baby-is-huge-now reference.)

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January 1, 2011 3:13 pm

Saving my pennies

I just found something that I never knew existed but now really, really want:

MARTHA STEWART CRAFTING FURNITURE.

martha-stewart-craft-furniture

What a genius idea. Crafting specific furniture! No longer will you have to suffer through making do with crap furniture that doesn’t solve your organizational problems! There are shelves and drawers for all your needs!

Martha, I know I used to make fun of you, but the older I get, the more I appreciate your crazy craftiness and design aesthetic. I will be saving my pennies to someday buy some of these lovely items.

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November 14, 2010 1:08 pm

Hand Turkeys

One of the great things about having a baby is getting to do silly craft projects with them.

Behold our family of hand turkeys:

Hand Turkeys

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November 6, 2010 9:11 am

Sewing for baby

Bunting

I love buntings – those cloth banners made from triangles (or half-circles or rectangles). I’ve also seen them called “pennant banners” or just “banners.” They make great nursery or party decorations and are very sweet looking. I’ve been wanting to make one for Wesley for a long time, and finally one weekend I just DID IT.

I made a “pattern” for the triangles out of a grocery bag and cut them out of a simple green cotton fabric with tiny white polka-dots. I didn’t bother trying to make sure the fabric was straight and I didn’t pin my pattern down. I wanted his name on the banner, so I decided to do one letter per triangle. The letters are cut from polar fleece, since I didn’t want them to fray but didn’t want to do any extra work to finish the edges. Lazy sewing FTW!

I laid each letter on one of the two triangles, pinned it where it looked best, and then just sewed around the edge. I didn’t even bother changing my thread so if you look closely, the dark green fleece is sewn on with light sage green thread. Again, lazy sewing.

I put the two right-sides of the triangles together (one with a letter, one without) and sewed the two diagonal seams, ironed, turned it inside out, ironed again, and topstitched the edges.

Once I had all my triangles done, I laid them out on the floor with a package of extra-wide bias tape. I used a mid-range gray since that’s what I had that matched best. Once I liked the placement (about an inch and a half apart), I pinned the triangles to the bias tape and then sewed the tape edges together, trapping the unfinished edge of the triangles inside. It was super easy.

Wesley

Wesley looks pleased. I am thrilled with it and love that it makes Wesley’s corner of our bedroom look more like a nursery.

Mooshy Belly Bunny

I downloaded this pattern from Beeper Bebe and then was a total ass and more or less ignored the instructions. I didn’t pin the pattern to the fabric and did a bad job of cutting it out, so the bunny’s head was oddly shaped. (Once again, I am all about the lazy sewing.) Even so, I decided to soldier on.

The fabric I used was a dress that I bought for super cheap at Ross and then never ended up wearing since it wasn’t totally my style. I was initially going to donate it to Goodwill, and at the time, I had actually been looking for nice, striped knits for cheap online – I finally put two and two together and just cut up the dress.

When sewing the bunny, I also ignored the instructions to sew “dividers” for the arms and legs and to cinch the head – they look positively adorable that way but it was extra work and… well… I wanted Wesley to be able to play with his bunny right away.

For the tail: I cut a circle, handsewed a running stitch around the edge, cinched it, and filled it with polyfill stuffing, and then I handstitched it to the bunny’s bum. I embroidered a really simple nose/mouth and two french knots for eyes. Nothing fancy. Even so, I love how it came out and Wesley really seems to like his bunny friend:

Playtime

It’s easy for him to hang on to, wave around, bite, and hug.

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August 2, 2009 6:28 pm

Craftypants

Here’s a quick roundup of the craft projects I’ve tackled recently:

Harry Potter themed decorations for my birthday (in June)

Weasley is our King

I think my favorite of the HP crafts was my “Weasley is our king” banner. It came out EXACTLY how I envisioned it and fit perfectly over our fake fireplace. I started out with some paper grocery bags and colored pencils and it went beautifully. I’m also very proud of my D.A. shield, as it took some trial and error to get it to look like the Warner Bros version.

Baby Dress

Dress Front Dress Front Detail

This was a “I bet I can whip up a cute little baby dress in no time” project that turned into a month-long fight with my sewing machine. It turned out that a dull needle was the culprit, so once I got that sorted everything went pretty smoothly. I took about 5 years of sewing in 4-H so I am all right at reading patterns, but I soon realized that I overestimated my ability and no longer had my mom standing next to me to help me decipher the pattern instructions.

ANYWAY. I hadn’t sewn anything with a pattern in probably almost a decade so I’m glad it came out really cute and I was happy I set a goal and accomplished it.

Silly Floral Napkins

Napkins Close-up

I saw pictures of cloth napkins like these on someone’s blog somewhere and thought it was a lovely idea. Turns out that it’s actually pretty hard to sew the ric-rac in between the two right-sides of the fabric and get it reasonably even. I’m glad I only did two of these! I bring them to work in my lunchbox every day.

Bunny Cloth Napkins

Bunny Sit Bunny Stand

I embroidered some Martha Stewart bunnies onto some thrifted cloth napkins as a housewarming present for some friends. Cameron and Brianna are adorable and they have a bunny named Dante and a new baby bunny named Delilah, so I felt it was fitting.

Owl plushie

Woodland Owl Woodland Owl Face

Daniel’s former co-worker and his wife are having a baby, and the nursery is a woodland/owl theme, so I sewed this little owl from a Doodle Stitching pattern. I really like how it came out.

Purple Pouch

Purple Pouch in use

Daniel asked me if I could make him a zippy pouch so he could have something smallish to put his camera and moleskine notebook in. He is a big fan of purple these days, so we picked this combo out at the fabric store and he seems to be very happy with it.

Doggie Plushie

Doggy Paw Close-Up

A co-worker offered to trade me a Harry Potter Sorting Hat if I made her baby boy a plushie. I said SIGN ME UP and here is the plushie! He’s a cute little doggie with embroidered paws and face, and a waggable tail.

Purple Gingham Napkins

Handmade cloth napkins. In lavender gingham!

I don’t have a photo of these yet, since I gave them away before I remembered to take a picture (that happens to me more often than I’d like) but since Tim is good about taking photos I might nab one off his Flickr stream. Imagine some lovely purple gingham cloth napkins with two rows of topstitching in lavender.

(Edited to add: Photo has been nabbed!)

Purple Floral Napkins

Purple Floral Napkins

I love making cloth napkins. They couldn’t be easier! They’re just squares, and they’re pretty simple to jazz up if they need some jazzing. For these ones, I sewed a stripe of ric-rac over one corner. This was MUCH easier than trying to edge all four sides of all four napkins with the ric-rac, and still gave it a bit of visual oomph.

And that’s not all…

I have a couple more baby bibs in the works, and I’m trying to decide what to do about the messed-up cloth baby shoes I finished yesterday. Do I rip it out? Ignore it and still give it away? Ignore it and keep it since I don’t mind but other people might? I woke up at 6-something this morning with a persistent vision regarding these shoes being messed up, and I had to get up and go check if my vision was right and it WAS. I was sad, but it also let me fall back asleep since I knew what was wrong wth them.

More photos as events warrant…

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March 17, 2008 4:35 pm

March Craft Roundup

On a whim, I decided to make wedding cake toppers this weekend. I’m not sure if we are going to use them or not, since we’re not having a traditional cake (just cupcakes, plus a giant cupcake for us to cut) but if we need them, we’ve got them.

Almost Done!

I hadn’t poked eyes in them yet, so after I took the photo I went and did that and then baked them. Too bad I didn’t pay attention to them while they were in the oven – their little rear ends got toasted! They aren’t burnt burnt, but they are very brown on their tails and their beaks and feet are pretty dingy looking too. Dang. I figure frosting will hide some of it. I should take a “finished” photo so show off what they look like now.

I also started and finished a new embroidery project: a pegasus!

Finished Pegasus

Here is a close-up of the feet. So cute!

Feets!

The pegasus pattern also comes with a unicorn, which I hope to also embroider. The pattern is available for free here; click on “free patterns” in the sidebar categories section. I also really like her gnome pattern and I’m thinking about making it into a cover for one of our throw pillows.

Also upcoming craft-wise are some curtains for our living room. I bought a zillion yards of some super awesome material and am itching to use it. They will be short, just half-curtains, so we can open the blinds in the summer to get some light but still have some semblance of privacy.

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August 8, 2007 9:38 am

Makes Me Wonder

While browsing my student loan website attempting to make a payment, I came across this little gem:

Buttons

Take a look at that, and then tell me HOW BADLY they want me to navigate back from this page instead of forward. The fact that the “next” button is on the second line may be due to browser differences (maybe they meant it to be in line with the others?) but the fact still remains that they’ve got three different versions of GO AWAY with a subdued “fine, go forward.” They’re attempting to take my money – wouldn’t it make sense to spend some visual effort getting me to continue forward?

HOOKED ON HARRY

Hooked on Harry

I did not visit this website after reading this ad, but I did take a screenshot of it because it made me laugh. Also, what is with their weird capitalization?

JAVA

Java

“By installing Java, you will be able to experience the power of Java.” I saw someone else make fun of this install text, but I couldn’t resist. Seriously? Who in the world wrote that copy? There was another awkward sentence somewhere during the confirmation step but I didn’t save that one.

EMBROIDERY

I’ve finished a few embroidery projects lately that are worthy of mentioning.

First up is a gnome design I made, based off of a product photo of a ceramic figurine:

Gnome

Second is a Kurt Halsey design from Sublime Stitching:

Kurt Halsey Angel

I also finished an old-school coffee grinder for Daniel to frame and put up at work. They have a huge wall where they’ll post artwork or photos that customers bring in, and one of the other employees has been asking if I’d embroider something to put on the wall. The original pattern had some totally creepy dog next to the grinder with an awful pun about “the daily grind” or something of that nature, but I left all that nonsense off. I’m thinking of putting a border around it or something else to add visual interest, but it’s doing all right at the moment. Will take a photo soon. I also bought the Olde English Sublime Stitching pattern so I can do one that says “MUGG LYFE” because it’s some silly inside joke at the coffee shop.

KNITTING

I went on a crazy yarn binge. Two weekends ago, a local yarn store was going out of business and had a 40% off sale, so I picked up a few things. Then last weekend I stopped by, and it was 50% off! So I bought more. I am not totally sure what to do with the yarns I bought (you can see them on my Flickr feed) because the only projects I can imagine myself making and actually using are scarfs and mittens. Any ideas? I hate felted things as a general rule, and I am totally not up to knitting socks yet – I’ve decided the only way I could probably knit socks is knitting two socks at once with the Magic loop method. Any other way and I couldn’t guarantee I’d make them the same size or even finish the second one. Anyway, what might you do with the lovely Maisy Day Cacao Nibs from Hello Yarn? I want it desperately and yet I feel I can’t do it justice because I will turn it into a mere scarf.

As far as projects go, I finished one Saartje bootie (pdf) and… I think it could probably fit a three-year-old. But I’m not sure. I’m thinking I’ll just knit the other one and hope they come out the same size, even if it is big, because then it will fit SOMEONE. Stupid gauge.

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April 10, 2007 10:07 pm

Bernice the Bunny

Let me introduce Bernice the Bunny:

Bunnyface

How can you resist that adorable face? :D

The fabric I used was a thrift-store find, so I’m not sure what exactly it is, but it appears to be some sort of upholstery-type stuff. It ravels very, very easily. This means that in order to get things to stay together without the seams popping open, I did three runs through the sewing machine on three different stitches for each seam. Total pain in the ass. The first was a big zig-zag stitch, the second was a smaller zig-zag over the top of the first one, and the third was the normal seam, inside of the first two.

I’m really happy with how the face and ears turned out. I took chances on both of those, and I feel they paid off. For the ears, I did that same triple-seaming business, turned it right side out, and then stitched very close to the edge to finish it. That way, I didn’t have to stuff the ears but they’d have some substance. For the face, I ironed the outer edge under and then stitched on top of it. Some of the corners are starting to poke out, but maybe it’ll add to the aesthetic? I like the way I did the nose/mouth and cheeks too.

Now all I need to do is figure out what I’m going to do with all these animals…

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April 9, 2007 1:00 pm

The state of things

Just a quick note to say no, I am not dead, and yes, I know I still have a website. I’ve started a post about books I’ve read or bought recently, but I haven’t finished it yet and I wanted to have a block of time to sit down and just write.

I went to see two movies this weekend – “Blades of Glory” on Friday and the Grindhouse double-feature by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez on Sunday. Blades of Glory made me laugh out loud. It’s just so outrageous. I did like the double-feature, but I enjoyed the second movie (“Death Proof”) better than the first.

I’m working on making a stuffed rabbit and I’m very optimistic about it. I have all the pieces cut out and the face embroidered, but I didn’t have time last night to do anything else. I’ll probably bust out the sewing machine after I get home from work and try to finish it up, and I’ll be sure to post some photos.

I’ve been thinking about houses a lot lately, but I’m 99.9% sure it’s totally out of the cards for at least several more years. At the very least, I’d like to move to an apartment that doesn’t seem like a last choice. Some people have nice apartments and I would like to be one of those people. The problem? Our lease isn’t up until December. Errgh. That means weird situations involving moving during Christmas, or moving earlier and having to pay rent on two places or something silly. I think Daniel and I combined are making enough money now to afford a better apartment, and while I would totally love a house that I could paint and decorate and do my own thing with, a nicer apartment would be a good first step.

I’ve also been reading knitting blogs when I can and I’d like to get back in the swing of things with my knitting. (Side note: I hate feeling like I don’t have enough time to do anything. Kills me.) I need to learn how to do hats. Or at least something more complicated than a scarf. I find all these glorious, beautiful handspun or hand-dyed yarns that I desperately want to buy, and then I realize that 1) I don’t know what to make with it and 2) I’d probably never use it and that would make me sad. So I don’t buy it even though I really, really want to. I’ve been eyeing the Hello Yarn Top-down bonnet as a possible next project, but I already have 4398430 projects on my needles and I should probably finish those before starting another. I tend to get frustrated if I have to concentrate on a pattern, so I can finish straightforward projects pretty quickly but more complicated patterns take me eons because it’s not as mindless. I dream of the day when I will be able to knit a sock. People make socks look so easy.

I promise I’ll post the book/reading entry sometime later this week.

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March 22, 2007 11:17 am

The Owl and the Frog

What have I been up to recently? Well, I found some cheap fabric at a thrift store on Saturday and began creating a stuffed frog. Finished Frog I didn’t have any stuffing though, so he wasn’t finished until Sunday evening. I started out by drawing a vague frog-ish shape on the back some old wrapping paper (which makes decent pattern paper, actually) and folding it in half to cut it so it would be even. I ironed the fabric, pinned the pattern to it (with safety pins and paper clips because I was woefully undersupplied and didn’t have straight pins) and cut the pieces out. I embroidered the eyes on and sewed him together.

Later on Saturday, Daniel and I played frisbee with Tom. True to form, Daniel tweaked his shoulder (not even this throwing arm! The other one!) and my throwing arm was incredibly sore the next couple of days. Note to self: play more frisbee this year.

On Sunday, Daniel and I set off to find a craft store so I could buy stuffing. Due to my ignorance of the bus system and our bad timing leaving the house, we had to wait an hour for our bus to arrive. Turns out we missed our first one by about five minutes, and to make matters worse, this bus route only runs every half-hour on Sundays, and it alternates between one that goes really far and one that ends a block from where we’d be getting on. When we missed our intended bus, we waited a half an hour only to discover that the arriving bus was the short-route one and we’d have to wait another half-hour for the longer-route one. I say, if they don’t go to the same place, DON’T GIVE THEM THE SAME BUS NUMBER. It is confusing and mean.

Crrrrrazy OwlAnyway, as you can probably tell by my Flickr photos, I did end up finding the craft store and I got what I needed (err… wanted). I then spent the next couple of hours designing an owl pattern, cutting it out, sewing it together, forgetting to make the face before I sewed it together, grumbling, sewing the face on afterward, and stuffing it.

Neither animal has a name, but I’m much more fond of the owl right now. The frog was pinchy in places because I made 90° turns for the corners instead of rounding them, and I feel like the owl is cuter anyway. I’m stoked that the owl came out as well as it did, for being self-designed and all.

In other news, JR and Nick getting married! I am so, so unbelievably excited for the both of them. They are wonderful people and are perfect for each other. Congratulations, you two.

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