Monday, March 24, 2008


I woke up this morning, Easter morning, with bunnies dancing in my head. I've had a few bundles of brown and pink fabrics for a quilty pillow I have in mind, but I decided to sacrifice a small portion of one of the fabrics for a little plush bunny.

He was deliciously simple to make, and oh-so cute. I especially like his little nose and mouth.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What I want to do.

I have a lot of projects waiting to be done, so I thought I'd record them here, so I can check back and maybe cross them off as they get done.

1. I just found the amazing Soto Softies blog today, and my mom came over and looked at it, as well, and immediately strongly demanded requested I make her an owl like this one. I doubt anything I put together will look as adorable and beautiful as that one, but I'll give it a try. I love the use of wood textured materials for the body of the owl.

2. An apron! I have this awesome dinosaur print that I got on sale a while ago, and it's a bit tough and resilient, so I'm going to try to make an apron out of it. To give you an idea of how long this project's been waiting, I got the pattern on sale on Black Friday, when all the patterns at Joann's were around $2.

3. Another cheap pattern I got, and more dinosaur print -- pajama pants. I don't really know how to read patterns or anything, so I figured a simple design like this would be a good project to use to learn to read patterns. And, of course, I got some soft flannel dinosaur print to use!

4. The dinosaur quilt I've mentioned before. (Jeez, I need to get out of this dinosaur rut!)

5. My mom has also especially requested I make her a pencil, like I made my brother.

6. A Warcraft fire elemental for an Arkansawyer friend.

7. Another Voidwalker for my Ohioan friend. (Is that the right word? I have no idea.)

8. A frog! One of the independent craft stores in my area has a wide selection of animal eyes, and I found these amazingly neat googly frog gyes for only 59 cents! So, of course, I have to figure out how to make a frog now.

I recently checked out the books Toys to Sew by Claire Garland and Plush-O-Rama by Linda Kopp and they've both inspired me in SO many ways. The latter is more my style, generally, but both books are filled to the brim with interesting ideas and patterns. I only have them from the library right now, but I might have to buy them. I've also been inspired by lots of blogs that I check out, so I look forward to any opportunity that allows me to experiment with the ideas floating around my head.

Another blog I recently found and absolutely adore is a stitch in dye. The photography is inspiring, and her quilting finesse is amazing. I just love everything about it.

I'm still here!

Wow, finals hit me hard this quarter. At least I only have to go through that once more (unless I go to grad school.. Let's not think about that right now). I have been crafting, though, especially in the past few days.

As mentioned before, a friend asked me to help her design some crazy little dinosaurs. She actually came up to my apartment a few weeks ago and we set out figuring out the pattern and seeing what we could do. The first few, I'm sorry to say, turned out horribly, but by the end of the journey, she created a few really adorable little guys. My favorite is the "emo dinosaur", complete with black eyeliner and floppy hair.

This week, I made another Warcraft plushie, based off of a ghoul, as requested by a close friend. I'll put pictures of the fellow up here once she receives her package, since I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I was very pleased. He's quite possibly the cutest zombie ever. I'm planning on making another for myself.

Today, I started working on the twin zodiac pillow my friend requested for her birthday, to match her roommate's. It's looking pretty nice so far, since I have the experience of the first pillow under my belt and I know how to avoid some of the pitfalls that occurred before.

If I have time, I'm going to try to make that dino quilt on Monday. It doesn't seem very hard, as I was reading the directions earlier, although I don't have a "pressing cloth," as is requested. I figure I can just iron the seams like normal. I hope?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Poor, forgotten blanket.

My first crocheting project ever was a huge blanket I made for my mom -- it was a huge project, but by the end I felt very comfortable with crocheting. I decided last fall that I'd make myself a smaller blanket, for my little twin bed up here in Bellingham. I bought beautiful pinks, grays and white yarn; it's Caron's Simply Soft brand, which is nice and cheap, but I love their colors and it's a very soft, light-weight yarn.

Isn't it pretty? It's going to have stripes of varying colors and will hopefully fit my twin sized bed nicely. I didn't really measure the blanket as much as I should've, so it's a little long, but that's okay with me. I haven't worked on it for a while, but I really should. The colors cheer me up.


Last summer, as I watched tv or farted around on the internet, I crocheted SO many scarves. I've discovered that scarves are very easy, at least when you're lazy like I do and just use the simplest method to do so. I've made a few Harry Potter scarves, but given them all away, except for the one I'm working on right now. It's a Hufflepuff scarf, for a friend down in Texas:

I'm going to be mailing it down south soon. Maybe then I'll finally make myself a Ravenclaw scarf..

The only scarf I've made for myself is this beautiful green one.

I wear a lot of clothes in this color range, so you'd think I'd wear this scarf a lot. Unfortunately, I made it really long -- it's probably roughly seven feet long, and so it's rather unwieldy. It's fun, though, and I love the colors.

A project for the future.

Like I said before, I've been playing around with quilting. Especially after seeing Dacia Ray's quilt montage, I'm more and more convinced that I'd like to learn to make beautiful quilts. Hers are especially amazing, but I'm starting a bit lower on the ladder.

In fact, I bought a kit to make a little kid's dinosaur quilt, from JoAnn's. It looks simple enough, so I think I'm going to do it this weekend, as a break from finals.

I love the fun patterns. I've always been a sucker for dinosaurs, and I think this'll be a fun, cute little quilt.

A pattern? Kind of.

Yesterday, a friend asked me for some suggestions on how to make a plushie based on this little guy:

I drew out some crappy images on Paint to give her an idea of what I imagined, but today I drew out some better, hand-drawn images. As a college student focusing on technical writing in my English degree, I feel a little ashamed of these instructions, but until I make my own crazed dinosaur plush, this is the best I can do. I am planning on making my own, because I think it's an adorable idea, and after I work the bugs out in my own process, I'm going to make up some new instructions, but until then.. this is what I got:

Since blogger cuts out the left side of pictures (boo!), you can see them here for the full size, too.

Once my friend makes her plush -- it's her first one, and I'm excited to see how it turns out! -- I'll see if she'll let me post those pictures up here. I'm going to make mine next week, after my finals are over.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I don't have a name for it yet.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I graduate and so don't have blocks of space when I should be paying attention but instead doodle possible plush. I made this guy up the other day in class. He's definitely inspired by a few other designs I've seen, but I couldn't directly name those influences.

He's made of fleece, some craft eyes, a felt nose, and cotton for the belly.

He was pretty easy to make, although the pattern confused me around the legs for a few minutes. I also bought some nice dark gray fleece, so I think I'll make another one later this week. Took two bags of fluff to fill him, though, so I might make the next one a bit smaller.

Teachers, teachers everywhere!

My brother recently got his Master's in Education, and he started working as a third grade teacher last fall. I'm still not wholly used to the idea of my brother being a "grown-up" and having a real "career," but I figure I have the next fifty years to get used to the idea.

His birthday was early February, so for part of his present I made him a huge pencil pillow/plush. It was actually remarkable easy, just taking a few hours of an afternoon. The tip of the pencil is a little crooked, but since my mom is now insisting I make her one, I'll have another opportunity to figure out the mechanics of a cone.

My cat was very interested by all the photographing I was doing.

I love fabric sales.

When I was buying the fabric for the placemats and napkins I posted about earlier, back in November, I found this amazing, brightly-colored, cartoony, Zodiac print in the bargin bin. There was around two yards for only a dollar -- how could I pass it by? And as soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to do with the material.

The pillow I ended up making for my dear friend is, actually, the thing I'm most proud of, to date. The sleeve fits the pillow form very well, and -- beading! I beaded the middle section, since she's an Aquarius, and I had never beaded anything before, and think it looks very nice. It's hard to see, with the picture, but just imagine it is very detailed.

It was very well received, which is always nice, and her roommate is actually insisting I make her a matching pillow -- which, of course, I am. She's a Taurus, and I'm doing the fleece pink instead of green.

Quilting? Maybe.

Ever since I started crocheting and sewing a few years ago, my mom's been at me to try quilting. It seems a daunting task, though, so I'm taking that a few steps at a time. My first step was taking yet another Dacia Ray pattern and making a "log cabin-ish pillow". I used scraps from all the pear satchets I made, and I think it turned out pretty cute.

It's sitting on the "cat chair" right then, so please excuse the wrinkled mess that is that blue sheet.

Pear satchets, courtesy of Dacia Ray

In my weekly perusal of the dozen or so craft blogs I read, a while ago, I found this easy little tutorial for pear satchets from Dacia Ray. My mom has a lot of little pear things around the house, for whatever reason, so I thought I'd try to make her some of these satchets for Christmas. They ended up being SO easy and looking so neat that I made three sets -- one for my mom, one for my brother's girlfriend, and one for a pair of friends who live together. For the filling, I broke open those little paper satchets for drawers, and mixed that stuff with rice.

I like to pamper my mother.

My mom's a great lady, so I decided to really apply myself for her Christmas present this year, and I made her a set of cloth placemats and napkins. It was a great exercise, and I learned a lot about pinning and patterns and sewing straight lines. She insists that they're beautiful and perfect, but I think I'm going to try to make her another set soon, now that I've started to iron out the bugs in my method.

The napkin rings are from Pier 1.

Well, he was supposed to be a cockroach.

One of the best -- at least in my opinion -- "Harry Potter" fanfics out there is an immense, beautiful creation called the Shoebox Project. Set in the schooldays of Harry's parents, it's simply divine. One of the most memorable segments depicts Christmas at Sirius Black's new flat -- a flat so crummy, so horrible, so rundown, that there are cockroaches named Hector that are as big as your head that clack their mandibles and say, in a gravelly and horrendous voice, "Wotcher, Sirius."

So, of course I had to make a Hector for a friend who's also a SBP fan.

Done around Christmas 2006, this was my second attempt at plush, and while it doesn't quite look like a cockroach, I think he's pretty cute.

Let's start this off right.

I first got into crafting about a year and a half ago, when I thought to myself, "What is my life missing? What should I do in order to be happier and feel that I'm living my life to the fullest? Oh! I know! A little felt Voidwalker"! Although I'd been playing World of Warcraft for almost two years at that point, I had only recently started to really enjoy it, when I started roleplaying. My character was a warlock, and her Voidwalker was a big part of my roleplay. So, I bought some felt, sat down for a few hours, and hand-sewed my first little voidwalker.

Since then, I've made them for people across the country (At least, there's one in Hawaii, California, and a few here in Washington). They're easy little critters, and they'll always hold a special place in my heart as the reason I got into crafting, and the first of my many felt animals.

This particular Voidwalker belongs to a close friend of mine, but I borrowed it back to take these pictures. The original Voidwalker, named Graz'nuz, is actually quite sad looking in comparison to the guys I made later, once I knew what I was doing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The first post!

So, I've done it. After enjoying dozens of other amazing craft blogs for the past year or so, after making blazers and pillows and stuffed animals with no knowledge of patterns or, really, how to sew.. I've decided to start a craft blog. I figure this will encourage me to do crafts on a more regular basis, and maybe it'll connect me to others in the craft community.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of all the goodies I've made right now, so this blog will fester in silence until I arrange to steal back presents I've made for friends and family.

Until then.. *poof*