>I finished the embellishment: a loopy flower. When I saw this felt flower tutorial
I knew it would be a perfect match for Perrin's bag lining. I found the cutest little button for the flower center in my stash!
I have a little progress to report on Perrin's Starling ... and a little is better than nothing. Baby steps, baby steps.
I stitched the label for her bag at Crafing in Public night last week.
Several people have asked about the fennec fox's size. I tried to make him tiny, like a real-life fennec fox
. His body is 5.25" long and 2" tall. What a heart melter!
It's been so nice to have you all along on this finishing-adventure for the fennec fox. Honestly, without the public oversight, I think he still might be languishing in the dark WIP drawer. He wasn't an easy project, by any stretch of the imagination.
I tried lots of under-bumps. Even stacks of terraced felt that looked like a topographic map. No matter what I tried, the tail just didn't look right. Finally, I decided to try just cutting the fur ribbon into the 2-D shape I was trying to make in 3-D.
For most felt stuffie pieces, you use pattern pieces and trace them onto the felt. But for small details, that won't work. Felt is bumpy and fuzzy and any outlines you trace are imprecise. That just won't do when you're making circular eyes or curvy nose detailing.
Not much to say except ... awwwwwww ...
When I found this ribbon on the notions wall at the local fabric store, I about died. This was about a year ago when I last had a bee in my bonnet to finish up the fox. I had worried about the tail. I've used feather boas for tails in the past, but I thought that might be too fluffy for the fox. This ribbon is perfect.
Fennec foxes have very dark eyes with a hint of glowing brown-gold. I wanted to add a little color, but not too much. Their eyes are very shiny, too, so there's a tiny white glint in each eye.
I maintain that the word "face" is tied in first place with "pickle bucket" for funniest word in the English language. For a demonstration of the funniness of the word face you can watch the first 30 seconds of the trailer for movie The Good Girl
. "It's called Cirque du Face, which means circus of the face. It's all the range with the Frenchies." Ha! I love that I have something to say when we see someone covered in ridiculous makeup walking down the street.
Talk about a long term project. I've been working on the fennec fox for over a year. I'm not sure when I started it exactly, but I do remember I was feeling really really guilty
about not having it done last November.
Went to the park again after work and got some more stitching done. It was HOT today, but all the sudden the sky went dark. We started towards home but we didn't beat the rain. We ended up having to duck under awnings and in door ways *three* different times to keep out of the serial deluges.
OK, these are the most fun things EVER to make. I love making them so much that I had to consciously and diligently promise myself to not make more than five. There are just so many other fun things to do. If I let myself, all I would do until the end of time is make mushrooms.
Well, the third time was the charm. The blue spotted mushroom was my third prototype and it was perfect. I've scrapped the first two prototypes (I tried to retrofit them, but it was a no-go). Now I'm just cranking them out.
I've been feeling like crap for days, so I'll let these photos speak for themselves.
I get so excited every time the "sock and glove" rep (which is what I call her in my head ... her name is Melissa) emails offering a book to review. She sends me the best stuff. :)
This time I got a copy of Softies Only a Mother Could Love
. The title implies that these are ugly softies, but, while they aren't your traditional teddy bears, they are an adorable lot. Maybe I'm just acclimated to our indie and Japanese-inspired style.
I made the Supercute Sea Creatures pattern available in November
... which isn't a very sea creature-y month.
Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I'd share you some of the awesome creations made using my pattern.
This is a birthday card I made for a coworker.
The latest issue of The AntiCraft just came out, and it's entirely devoted to bacon. Remember the bacon project
I teased you with? Well, now you can make your own Bacon Of Hate
. Well, what are you waiting for? :)
Create quick and easy daisies from felt. Each step is accompanied by a photo.
Here's a sneak peek at my bacon makin'.
I fell in love with Angelina's
son Max when I read this post
. Not only is he the weird and wonderful son I would have loved to have had, I see a little bit of myself in him. So, when Angelina mentioned in passing that Max would probably love a headless bunny egg
in his Easter basket, I immediately promised he'd have one.
I decided against the green sequins I originally picked out. You can see them in the last post
. Instead, Stanislav got some snazzy mini-stars suckers. Let me tell you, it's a *pain* to put on the suckers after you've sewn on the legs. My floss kept getting tangled in all his loopy legs.
I started to set up the photo shoot for my "finished" green octopus ... and then I saw the tray full of sequins and beads. Ack! I forgot the suckers.
I'm working on my contribution to the prizes for Vivi
's Tricot du coeur
charity blanket drive. All I have left is 1.5 legs, stuffing the body, and putting it all together. I should finish it this week. Yay!
Here is a more evidence of my "little problem" in regard to ornaments. When Crafty McGee
posted that she had a couple left over ornaments to trade
, I JUMPED on it. Breathlessly.
For my part of the trade, I made her the tie-dyed jellyfish above. I have a stash of tie-dyed felt that I finally cut into for this little guy.
The jellyfish seems to be the most popular of the Supercute Sea Creatures, which is a little bit of a surprise to me. I would have thought it would be the octopus.
I also made her a purple fish with a sequin eye stripe. I thought the silver sequins would look good paired with Christmas lights, But now that I think about it, these little guys might be on her light-less tree
... in which case the sequins will bring a little bling to the mix. :)
I can't wait to get my little tree from Crafty McGee. I think it's uber brilliant that she put the eyelet for hanging in the middle of the treetop star.
** update: pattern available as free download
Last January, I got the sweetest email from a woman named Lenore asking for the pattern for Octophrost. She told me:
"Every year I make a Christmas ornament for my grand and great grand children. I would love to make this little fellow. For Christmas 2006 I made 90 ornaments. Three more babies are expected that I know of so I may need to make near 100. That means starting early."
The pattern was no where near ready. I wanted to be a part of her Christmas plans, so I worked hard to get something together. I sent her the pattern in mid-February, about 2 months before I posted it.
In that time, we corresponded a little and I learned a more about Lenore. She's 73 (maybe 74 now). She sent me a picture from a recent family reunion, and I cried when I opened it up and saw all those wonderful people. In fact, it's making me cry right now just thinking about it. It's overwhelming to think that, however tangentially, I'm a part of their heart-felt, hand made, family tradition.
I've also kept in touch with Lenore's daughter Lucy, of My Byrd House
. She's given me updates over the last year, and it's been so fun to think about Lenore patiently (I imagine) and lovingly sewing 99 Octophrosts for her family. She's posted lots of pictures on her blog
. The tree in the picture above has 99 Octophrosts on it!
I want Lenore to know how honored and thankful I am that she chose Octophrost for her ornament this year. I also want her to know that she's a wonderful example to all of us of how to make the moments of our life personal and memorable. This experience will always be a treasured memory for me. I hope that in my own life, I'm able to spread such warmth and joy to the people around me.
When I posted the Supercute Sea Creatures
pattern, I gave the first five commenters a free copy. Lucky for me, June, of Planet June
was one of those people.
She made these adorable all-white sea creatures using my pattern. Her post includes a details about how she sewed each creature and a close-up photo of each, so go read it
For all you crochet lovers, June sells awesome amigurumi patterns
for a staggering array of cute animals. Definitely check them out.
When I made the jellyfish for the Supercute Sea Creatures
, I used a single line of blanket stitch along the bottom edge.
My blanket stitch tutorial
only showed how to do blanket stitch if you were going all the way around. I added a little section to the tutorial that shows you how to start a blanket stitch if you don't intend on meeting back up with the first stitch so you can keep your first stitch vertical.
That tutorial page is WAY long. It's such a monster. I need to rethink that page and get it looking more usable. Maybe I should split all the little bits up and put them on their own pages. Hmmm.
I'm so excited about completing another pattern, which you can now get on the free downloads
page. I designed the octopus in April, and he languished on my craft table since then. Just last week, I decided to re-do my starfish
pattern and add a jellyfish and fish to the group.
They are all easy-to-make and perfect for customizing. There's lots of room for experimenting with color combinations and embellishments. I think an all-white set would be really cool, too. There are a couple extra photos in the Futuregirl Supercute Sea Creature
Each creature is between 3 and 4 inches tall and wide, which makes them the perfect size for ornaments, package tags, or clip-ons for backpacks.
I originally designed the Bad Eggs
around Easter of 2006. I did a set of four in black with embroidered designs. At the time, I thought subversive Easter eggs (traditionally-colored eggs with non-traditional imagery) would be hilarious, and I got my chance to make some when they were accepted for the Anticraft book
Look at that squirting arterial blood! I can't tell you how much I love that decapitated bunny. It warms my heart. I couldn't be happier about how it turned out. The white-on-white embroidery outlining his leg doesn't photograph well, but it looks good in person. His tail is a bunch of floss loops making a 3-D puff.
Ahhhh ... a cute chick with a taste for eyes. Chirp! The eyes filling the basket are made with a tiny sequin and a black seed bead ... and embroidered eyelashes. I do realize that if a chick was digging the eyeballs out of peoples' heads and collecting them in a basket that they wouldn't still have eyelashes, but I think that makes it all the more creepy. :) It totally oogs me out that the chick is holding an eye by the optic nerve.
The other two eggs in the Bad Eggs set are based on the original designs. One is embroidered with 360° flames and the other has evil eyes on each side in alternating warm and cool colors.
Certainly, you could make non-snarky Easter eggs with the pattern ... but why would you? ;)
Yay! I can't believe how fast I finished up the pattern and all the web changes I needed to make. The PDF includes the pattern pieces and instructions for both an adult and a baby seahorse. They are super cute, if I say so myself.
You can check out the seahorses made by my awesome testers in the Futuregirl Seahorse Stuffies
Flickr group. Thank you so much Korallin
, and Sara
I should have mentioned in my last post that Andrew is the genius behind the seahorse photos. He's the one that knows how to light things, knows how to position things, and knows how his camera works ... you know, everything. I've learned a ton from him since I started this blog. We always have so much fun setting up the elaborate photo shoots together. He's the best and I'm so lucky he's mine!
Last night after I posted, I tied my copy of Crochet Me closed. I'm totally serious. I didn't just do it for the blog. I haven't even opened it once - not once. I think if I hadn't tied it closed, I would have been crocheting today instead of finishing up the pattern. Now I'm so excited to get started on swatching!
** update: pattern on free downloads
I'm *this close* to finishing the pattern and instructions for the my seahorse stuffies. I know I shouldn't say anything before it's ready, because I'm totally jinxing myself, but I'm sure it'll be up soon!
I'm including the pattern and instructions for both adult *and* baby seahorses. The adult pattern looks just like Sasha
and the baby pattern is what I used to make the two little cuties pictured here.
The only thing holding me back is that I just got my copy of Crochet Me in the mail and I'm fighting the urge to start swatching for the Icelandic Cowl. I've decided that I'm going to use every bit of my will power and not open the book until I have the seahorses finished and posted.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist ...
Here's a little behind-the-scenes shot from today. It's pretty ridiculous how much I love setting these things up. Oh, I just realized I need to add 'photoshop out the strings' on my list of things to do ... I better get to work! :)
Now that I have two tutorials on hand sewing felt, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the benefits and disadvantages of both. Each works well and brings a distinct look to your hand sewn item. It's worth it to think about what sort of effect you are going for to help you choose the right stitch.
This step-by-step tutorial explains exactly to use the blanket stitch to both sew two pieces of felt together and use it as an edging. There are special tips on how to go around corners, to stitch around circles, and what to do if you run out of floss in the middle. Each step is accompanied by a photo.
* * * * * *
UPDATE: The Starling Handbag
crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page. Yay!
* * * * * *
I'm not just churning out overly-serious posts about lists over here ...
This handbag is ready to travel to it's final destination. I added some leaves to the tulip label and whipped up a new one for Germany. I love the little beer stein on the Germany label - it even has a hinged lid. Just in time for Oktoberfest!
Here you can see the world map fabric Elizabeth picked out for the lining.
Frizz received a squirrel hand sewn by me. I sent him to her nameless. She's dubbed him Super Squirrel Sancho - an awesome name for an awesome squirrel.
can't even tell you how excited I am about finishing my octopus stuffie pattern and instructions! I have been diligently working on this project since I made Octophrost
for my ornament swap in December. The pattern and instructions are are 3-page PDF. Get yours today!
Thank you for all the organizational love. Who else, but you guys, would appreciate something like that? :)
Lots of people emailed asking about buying felt online. I'd never looked before, because it's so easy for me to find around here ... and now I wish I'd never looked. Danger! Danger!Create For Less
has every color of Kunin Felt in sheets and some colors on bolts. I didn't realize I was missing so many colors. Lemon Frost must be mine!
Some other places that sell acrylic felt online (let me know if you have a source and I'll add it):Dick Blick
- assortments and bolted feltMunro
- Kunin Felt, phone orders
And, for those of you who prefer swanky wool felt, Old School Acres
posted a bunch of info and links yesterday.
There are two craft supplies that I allow myself to buy in unlimited quantities. One is floss
, the other is felt.
This step-by-step tutorial explains exactly to use the whip stitch to sew two pieces of felt together. Each step is accompanied by a photo.
Keep track of whether the dishes are dirty or clean with this handy status indicator. Keep her dress down for Clean and flip it up for Dirty. Made with felt, embroidery floss, and magnets.
Sasha is made of Limbo Lime felt, plastic pearl beads, periwinkle floss embellishment, and eyes made from a white sequin and a cooper-colored bead.
This original stuffie is the culmination of 5 pattern pieces, 25 felt pieces, 50 beads, 52 sequins, and hours of sewing. Whew! I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to design an octopus back in February
. I was flying high on my easy success with the owls
. An octopus is a different story.
These are my first original stuffies. They are tiny - ranging from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches tall. I made them out of felt and stuffed them with polyfill and plastic beads.
I wanted/needed a pincushion. I found inspiration from an Art Nouveau Poster
by Ludwig Hohlwein
from 1910 that I have on a postcard. I recreated the large rose at the child's feet.
I am about to burst from an overload of c-u-t-e! My husband's birthday is coming up and I made him this puppy.
This is my second stuffie from the Palm Sized Stuffies Japanese book ISBN4834722449.
I experimented with using the google eyes thinking that they would look better than my roughly cut out felt circles, but I was a little disappointed. Instead of looking like a cool japanese-cute stuffie, he looks like a cheap carnival monkey. BUT, I love him to death. He is one of a pair of animals that were made for our friend in Thailand.
Monkeys and Elephants are special animals in Thailand and purple is one of the national colors. With the Elephant, I experimented with button eyes, which came out kind of cool looking. I used the same arms and legs as the monkey, but I designed a body, trunk, and ears just for the elephant. I was particularly proud of the way that the ears turned out.
Here is the first palm-sized stuffie I made. He probably dates back to August. His pattern is from Palm-Sized Stuffies ISBN4834722449. You can tell he's the first because everything is just a little weird. One foot is bigger than the other. The head-shape is a little lop-sided. The stitching is not quite straight or uniform.
Even though he is imperfect - perhaps even because of his imperfections - I love
Monsieur Kittie. I love his orange beret. I love his tummy embroidery. I love his freaky little mouth almost hidden under his black nose.
The (semi-)success with Monsieur Kittie inspired me to make many more palm-sized stuffies and to buy many more Japanese felt stuffies books.