Thursday, August 28, 2008

Little Girl Giant

"The Sultan’s Elephant has come and gone. Created by theatrical magicians Royal de Luxe, it was an extraordinary experience for everyone who saw it. The majestic elephant and the little girl giant captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Londoners and visitors, and will live in our hearts and minds for years to come."

Here is a video... its entrancing... she feels real to me.

The Doggy Quilt

Pulled the doggy quilt out of the dryer this morning, and I was really happy with how it turned out. I might have to make myself one soon...

NieNie Day

Today is NieNie Day... a movement of bloggers working to raise money to support one of our own...

For the past four years, Stephanie has welcomed us into her charming abode through the NieNie Dialogues. On Saturday, August 16, 2008, Stephanie Nielson was in a plane crash with her husband, Christian Nielson, and his flight instructor, Doug Kinnear, near St. Johns, Arizona. Doug Kinnear passed away soon after arriving at the Maricopa County Hospital. Christian & Stephanie remain in critical condition at Maricopa Burn Center. Christian has sustained burns on over 30% of his body. His wife Stephanie’s body was burned over 80%.

Please visit Design Mom for links to silent auctions you can use to get some really great things, while all of the proceeds goto the Nielson family. Or click the button below to make a direct donation.

Crafty Cake

Of all the things I cannot do, I think I'm best at not being able to decorate cakes. Seriously, every time I've tried more then just frosting one with just one of those spatula-things, the result has been disastrous. I guess the worst part is I keep trying... I even purchased a copy of Hello Cupcake, a book of "Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make". Apparently I'm not "anyone", I am the single worst cake-decorator on the planet. Haha.

Which leads me to be all the more impressed when someone like Craftster's jen-jen creates something like this, the ultimate in crafter's desserts. Gorgeous isn't it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Canine Crafting

I joined a "Dog Swap" on Craftster, and I've been working on some goodies for a Golden Retriever named Max... the package goes in the mail tomorrow morning! The main project I wanted to send has taken me the longest, a doggy quilt for Max to snuggle with. Its in the washing machine right now- hopefully smoothing out the wonky bits (don't you love how forgiving quilting can be?)- so I can just show you a couple "in-process" shots. Its sort of a "tied" quilt- held together using buttons.

I also made three reversible bandannas with the leftover fabrics from the quilt...

A braided fleece tug toy, and a bone-shaped pillow...

I made a prototype of the bone pillow a couple weeks ago, and this is Zack snoozing on it tonight, so I guess it was a hit!

Of course anything that Zack has...

Kaya is going to want...

He usually ends up giving her what she wants... I guess with bratty little sisters, its just easier that way!

On my wish list today...

"Book of Spells" necklace, from birdzNbeez...

Fabric button rings from brookerpie...

Black & Yellow Tunic from tangente...

This Simple Silhouette necklace from ForTheLoveOf...

Making things beautiful...

This project is essentially why I love crafters. They can take something thats old, ugly, or even just kind of nice on its own... and turn it into something amazing.

Minouette took this ugly, old (and Free!!) chair... and made it into something beautiful.

She used a combination of new fabric, thrifted fabrics (corduroy, cotton, upholstery, an old pair of pants and a men's shirt etc.) and block printed fabrics. She also used lino block prints of the oudjat eyes, radiolarians, jellyfish, frog & lily pad, koi, seahorse, walrus, dragon and blue whales.

I think we all have an "ugly chair" in our lives... are you feeling as inspired as I am?

Four things I'm loving today...

Credits: 1. Flora Wall Wear - 13, 2. Sugar Foots #2, 3. Ana 5, 4. Ornate Crescent Moon necklace

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Type is Art - Parts of a Character

Perhaps I only find this so enticing because I'm a graphic designer... but there is an interactive art project at Type is Art that allows you to take the 21 different parts of letterforms and use them to create your own image.

Once you create your piece, you can save it to the gallery and it becomes part of the work of art itself. This is the one I created...

If you do one yourself, please leave a comment with the link- I'd love to see them!

Some are even created to look like actual objects... so be creative!

This Is... My (three) Favorite Children's Book(s)

(First off "What is 'this is'... and how do I join?")

Oh how I love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Children adore her because she understands them--and because her upside-down house is always filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies, and her backyard with buried treasure. Grownups love her because her magical common sense solutions to children's problems succeed when their own cajoling and yelling don't. For the child who refuses to bathe, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle recommends letting her be. Wait until the dirt on her body has accumulated to half an inch, then scatter radish seeds on her arms and head. When the plants start sprouting, the nonbather is guaranteed to change her mind about that bath!

Who doesn't wish they'd grown up on Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's street?!

And just for fun, this is my favorite Crafty Children's book... one I just recently dug up on Amazon and purchased for my adult bookshelf. My sister and I pulled this book out for inspiration on just about every rainy day of our childhoods. Things to Make and Do is an "oldy", but a goodie!

And one other I will never forget... Amelia Bedelia! Did anyone else love her as much as I did (and do?!)? Really more of a series then single book, Amelia is a maid for a wealthy American family, husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. She repeatedly botches her assigned tasks by taking her instructions literally, to comic effect. Told to dust the furniture, she throws talcum powder all over it ('"The box does say 'Dusting Powder'"). Asked to dress the turkey, she sews it an outfit ("I wonder if she wants a 'he' chicken or a 'she' chicken?"). She makes sponge cake by mixing the cake batter with real sponge. When told to "run home" while playing baseball, she literally runs back to her employer's house. No matter how outrageous her mistakes, however, her fine cooking for her employers assures that all is forgiven.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gone camping...

I'll be gone for the weekend, camping with some friends, and unfortunately I will not be able to blog from my tent. I know, I know, you'll miss me, but its okay- I'll be back Sunday night! Unless I get eaten by a bear of course.

I'll leave you with this little fun time-waster... Face Your Manga.

Here is my little version of myself... rocking out my new ultra-short haircut.

Have a great weekend!

All You Ever Wallet...

One of my crafty goals in life is to sew myself a wallet I truely love. One that fits my needs perfectly... it will have a zipper pouch for my change, space for my random notes & reciepts, slots for my cards... and it will be cute & compact... and this may just be the one. Pattern available from Sew Mad. I'll be giving it a try in the near future...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fabric Buttons...

After a fellow Craftster expressed an interest in some of my craft supplies, I offered to do a personal swap with her. She sent me some fantastic quilting magazines, cute fabrics, and a mini paper-cutter to name just a few things...

She mentioned an affinity for "cute things" and "buttons" so I decided to spend tonight whipping up some fabric buttons for her. It was an excellent way to use some of my favorite Japanese prints- they're always such tiny designs, and they just define the word "cute".

So here's what I came up with... a simple project, but I hope she enjoys them!!

I especially love the owls... and the two hedgehogs... and of course the mushroom, and the squirrel... oh I give up, I love them all!!!

Owl Bag

Now here is a woman that can do some amazing things with fabric... and wrapping paper, and an ordinary paper bag, apparently. I'm pretty much speechless.

Created by
Lulu Carter.

Carving Rubber Stamps

Who doesn't love stamps? Tiny, little, whimsical pieces that you can use over and over and over again... Is that why they're so insanely expensive at the store? Am I the only one that has trouble dishing out $10-15 for the itty bitty little flower, no matter how cute it is? I mean, I could, after all, just DRAW the flower myself with a pen...

But there is another way! You can carve your own stamps for a fraction of the price! Here are some tutorials...

I love Junie Moon's tute, mostly because she takes us along on her very first try at carving rubber stamps. You may think "How is she qualified to teach us if she's never done it before?!" but in actuality, its to your advantage because she can see the project from a beginners point of view, something that more experienced crafters may struggle with.

Inky Squid has a fantastic flickr tutorial here- excellent photos and lots of details & options.

And one more great one by Alma Stoller... I just love her designs!

In case you're not convinced yet (or perhaps if you've already started carving)... here are some fabulous hand-carved stamps for inspiration!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

... and I work in a button factory...

My Memere (French-Canadian Grandmother, and the origin of much of my crafty-ness) recently came into a large amount of fabric, patterns, wood pieces and other crafty goodies... and by "large amount" I mean enough to fill a truck. Twice. Seriously.

And so what is she to do but call up myself and a couple of my aunts for a free fabric feeding frenzy? I'm actually pretty proud of myself, to avoid physically being pushed out onto the street by my own fabric stash, I kept the taking to a minimum and snagged nothing (well, almost nothing) that I wouldn't have bought for myself at the store. Sorta.

Anyway, one of my prizes was a HUGE bag of buttons... and I love collecting buttons. They're so small, so colorful, so unique, and you just never know when one will come in handy! I'm looking forward to sitting down with my new collection and sorting them into mason jars by color... I know, thats a little sad isn't it? Oh well...

Anyway, here are some fun Flickr photos of "Button Crafts" I found today while searching for inspiration.


Notion Nation...

I'm quite convinced that this is what goes on in my craft room when I'm not there...

Thanks to Bayou Quilts & CraftGossip for the link...

Mushroom Frame

Ellen from thelongthread used this tutorial from Martha Stewart to create an amazing fabric frame with the Cicada Studio mushroom fabric I've been drooling over for awhile now, and bird silhouettes she found at How About Orange...

Wonderfully executed, don't you think?

Headed back to school... again.

Yep, after 4 years of being without homework, assignments, tests, lectures and the like, I've decided to go back and do it all again. Alright, maybe not "all again", because I'm quite sure I'm entirely too old to stay out at all hours of the night partying like I used to...

But I have decided to start taking Graphic Design classes at a local community college. Today I meet with a counselor and hopefully sneak into one of the last remaining seats in a class I'm just dying to take (please cross your fingers for me!). Technically I'm already a graphic designer by trade- but I lack any formal education on the subject (I was a Cognitive Science major the first time I went to college) and I think some classes could really help me grow my talent. I also think that at 27, and after four years in the "real world", I'm ready to take furthering my education a lot more seriously then I did at 21. Not to mention, avoiding random filler classes like statistics and physics to round out my course schedule will help me put more focus on the classes I do see as relevant to my life...

**quick update, I did indeed get a seat in the class I needed (a pre-req to all the others), so I'm now officially a "student" again... and very excited about it!

In light of this, I'd like to share some fantastic "Back to School Essentials" from
JC handmade's adorable Etsy shop... I will definitely be stocking up before September...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Fabric Basket

I can't help it, I just love these!!!
Free Tutorial available from Orange Flower.

Monday, August 18, 2008


While I was in Vermont this weekend, I discovered another little goodie... and even though they aren't completely handcrafted, they started out that way, so I'm going to say that counts enough to be posted here. Besides, its my blog, and I just freakin love these socks...

From their website:

Marianne Wakerlin, the Socklady is the founder and owner of Sol Mate Socks. The company is named after her mom, Sunny, who taught Marianne how to knit. Marianne continued to knit for the next 40 years, but it wasn’t until she started knitting socks that her real passion was born.

"I found it exhilarating, designing a pair of socks that didn't match and were knit in random patterns with multiple colors. I loved my finished socks!"

Within a few years Marianne had knit over one hundred pairs of socks for family and friends, and she decided to turn her hobby into a business. Her colorful and complex patterns are knit in the USA at a family owned knitting mill, hand finished and mismatched. The company is run from the Socklady’s home in central Vermont, surrounded and inspired by the woods, brook, gardens and hills of the countryside.

They are incrediably soft, and totally comfy... I picked up a pair called "Zinnia" (the bottom pic), and they certainly will not be my last!!

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