Monday, March 11, 2013

cardinal love...

Just to be clear - this post is not about the cardinals who are vying to be the next Pope {i'm sure that was what you were thinking}. Rather, I am referring to some charming little birdies who graced my brother and brand new sister-in-laws wedding cake. How lucky am I that I got to make something so special for them!?

Let me tell you about this happy little couple {here they are at the World of Coca-Cola on their honeymoon}. I am just pretty sure they would be content spending the rest of their lives sitting in their apartment, drinking tea, and watching movies together. They're pretty relaxed and chill - which is difficult for the type-a perfectionist in me. Beyond wanting cardinals (and NOT 2 male cardinals) I was given free range. I made 3 different toppers for them to choose from.

I'm not sure why it's so much fun to dress up animals - I loved making the top hat and veil, adding in all the feathers and little details... I modge-podged a page from an old poetry book onto the lid for a papier mache box. Their cake was a single layer, so they asked me to cover the bottom of the box as well - the finish product made it look like they had a little second tier on their cake.

There is alot of touch-up work that goes into these birds. If you've ever purchased these craft birds, you know what I am talking about. Trimming feathers, painting beaks, repairing wire legs, the occasional lop sided eye :)

Need some birds for your wedding? I will be taking on a couple of special orders for cardinal cake toppers in my etsy shop.

Friday, February 8, 2013

sisterhood of the traveling pinnie...

Months ago I joined in a finish-a-long, and while the deadline has long been in the rear-view mirror - I am still busy at work completing projects! My first llama pinnie encounter was on pinterest {I have some friends who own a llama farm, and quite frankly I just think they are among the coolest of animals!} It was love at first pin; I needed to have one of my very own. I don't know about you, but I have found myself with an abundance of pinnies over the last few years. Wonderful to look at, lots of fun to create, but rarely used in my sewing space. I'm okay with that - a painting isn't utilitarian, and people collect art, right?

Anyways - once I made my way to Tractor Supply Company to purchase a Schleich llama, I found an overwhelming number of other small animals begging to be made into pincushions. 'Pick me!' said the cow, and the deer, and the pig, and the squirrel, and the bison, and the giraffe, and the t-rex... and the tiny donkey! I couldn't just leave him there, right?

My mother in law - who is an amazing crafter - needlefelted 2 small spheres to coordinate with the little blankets I had made for them. Hot glue was my friend for this project - especially to attach that little ball trim!

So first up were pinnies that (if they were real animals) could travel, and in keeping with that theme I wanted to share this pinnie I put together for when I travel. It's made with an old metal salt/pepper shaker that had lost it's top. I spray painted a jam jar lid, and attached a vintage crocheted flower I found to the top.

The underside of the lid is fitted with a pincushion (just a circle, gathered at the edges, stuffed, and then held in place with stitches in a star pattern over the top). Lots of odds and ends fit inside: a seam ripper, mini scissors, needles, thread, and a tape measure.

Now I need to actually travel with a project! I always end up spending so much time packing clothes, that I lack the time to pick a project out to take with me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

a crafty affair...

I plunged into the craft fair world last fall {and it has only taken me months and months to find a minute to blog about it!} For the past two years our Young Life area has put on a craft fair to raise money - crafters pay a fee for their booth space and a table; in turn they keep all the money they make. I learned a few things about craft fair's along the way:

1. the web, blogs, and pinterest have tons of GREAT information - steal it, take in all the vast knowledge and previous experience of those who have gone before you in the craft fair world. Here is a board I particularly loved.

2. it's really hard to have exactly what people want. years working in a LQS taught me that. people ooh and ahhh over the samples and beg to buy them, but when the same thing is up with a price tag on it, they are suddenly not so sure. i sold a decent amount of items, but went home with a moderately full car. any advice out there? is that pretty normal?

 3. designing a booth and props is fun! part of the crafting process for me was to create a little awning out of pvc pipe and some stands for display. i think presentation makes a big difference in sales {people really wanted to buy my props... see item #2 above}

4. people might not come with alot of money to spend. it seemed like this - and other fairs i have visited - are often visited by the casual browser and NOT the big spender. perhaps the ease of online shopping has made bigger purchases a little easier to shop for. i could be wrong, but most people are in the market for smaller dollar items - not the hand pieced and quilted queen size quilt or the hand hooked 100% wool room sized rug. buyers tend to plan for those items rather than see, have to have, and buy them on the spot.

5. enjoy it. though some use craft fairs as a primary income source, i look at it as a little extra fabric money and a chance to visit and get to know other crafters. {i think i spent most of my income at other booths}

I have included a few photos of my craft fair items to break up the text and give you some color to look at. Check out my etsy {the online craft fair} if you are interested in acquiring any of them. If you see a 'must have' in the booth picture at the top but not in my etsy, email me and I may still have 1 or 2 :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

a pinnie for your thoughts {round 2}...

 Something new on my blog - I know, it's a shock! Life has a way of getting busy, complicated, and overwhelming. There has been alot going on in my little corner of the world, life has been full and there has even been some crafty adventures happening {including my first craft fair booth!} If you're reading this, thanks for sticking with me.

My latest project has been round 2 of the Fab Little Pincushion Swap. Last round I made this owl and received this amazing little dog. I've said it before; I have a love/hate relationship with swaps. I love thinking up ideas, I love getting something from a new crafty friend, I love getting to know other crafters. I hate deciding if what I am sending will be loved by my partner. So after several drawings and drafts, this is the pinnie I decided on.

A real combination of my partners likes and my current bunting obsession. This was the first time I have tried my hand at wonky/free form log cabin triangles. Lots of fun picking out what piece of fabric would be highlighted in the center. The pictures make it hard to see, but there is a quilted cloud outline in the background. I made a couple of bird pin toppers {seemed fitting for the clouds}

Hope to have another post soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

finish-a-long part 3...

Isn't he darling - a sewing machine's best friend! He is the newest addition to my steadily growing pincushion obsession. My FLiPS partner Kristen was reading my mind - he came with a box full of goodies, including another pinnie [or rather, pin sharpener as it was filled with sand]. Probably one of the best swaps I have ever been in. Though, I have been one lucky crafter as far as swaps go! It has been great playing along with Rhonda's Finish-A-Long! It's officially the third quarter and I wanted to share with you the creations I will [fingers crossed!] be finishing this time around.

1. Another quilt needs binding!! I can't wait to share more of this Kaffe Fassett pattern very soon, the next time you see it, it will have the binding and hanging sleeve attached. This will be in our forever-being-rennovated kitchen :) I have the perfect spot to hang it up!

2. The final installment in my little venture into the circus world is all cut out. The lion ringmaster needs stitched together and embellished. He will have to keep the unicorn, mouse, seal, monkey, and elephant in line :)

3. I have two funky pincushions that have been sitting on my sewing table for too long. All I can say is, be careful, pinterest inspiration can strike at any time.

4. Finally, last quarter I finished The Flock. This quarter I am hoping to whip up some of the coordinating pillows and pillowcases. Feels good to finally be using the fabric and pattern I bought so long ago for their intended purpose.

Now all that's left is to get down to the business of sewing! The weather is cooperating for a little craftiness, it has cooled off this week. Last week it was 104F outside with no air conditioning inside - the thought of sitting in my upstairs craft room made me break a sweat :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

UFOs no more...

The second quarter of the Finish-a-Long hosted by Rhonda has come to an end. I am excited to report I finished all 3 of the previously UnFinished Objects that I posted about here! I shared The Flock quilt with you earlier, above is a picture of the spring/summer wreath that I finished.

After I made this one for Christmas, I kind of got wreath fever. [I think Pinterest should take some of the blame for this one] I was scouring the internet, looking through my yarn, and dreaming up color combos - but the only progress was a sad looking styrofoam wreath wrapped in yarn. I think it's come along way since then! The felt flowers are lots of fun to make and I think they would be great for headbands. You can check out my other wreath post for links to the tutorials I used.

Also making the deadline were 2 more additions to my Circus Life collection. The pattern was for a horse, but currently I am loving all things unicorn. A little paperclay horn, and voila!

[This is not the best picture I have ever taken, I know] The wool felt I used for the seal may have been a little dark - it's difficult to see his eyes/features. Being able to find just the right color is tough - I am limited by a) the colors actually produced and b) the colors my LQS carries. The underside of his flippers have a cute vintage-feel teal print, unfortunately you don't ever see it because, well, it's on the underside. I have animal to make before my adventure in circus land is finished: the lion.

I am off to dig through my pile of unfinished objects to prepare for the third quarter FAL. You should join in too - imagine the satisfaction of actually finishing projects + the chance to win some wonderful prizes!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

whoooooo doesn't love a pinnie?

There are probably a million punny titles for a blog post about a pincushion owl :) I have been in love with owls for quite a while now and it seems everyone else is too! I just finished up this round of FLiPS - Fab Little Pincushion Swap. You need to run over to the flickr group and check out some of the beauties that are now circling the globe on their way to new homes. Mailing deadline was Wednesday, so of course I mailed mine on Wednesday. Call it part procrastination, part failed first attempts - whatever it is I am always down to the wire sending things. I had more than a couple of ideas and one seriously botched, then abandoned pinnie before inspiration really hit. This little owl is what I came up with.

Her body is made of wool felt, but most of the rest of her is 100% hand-dyed wool. I find the wool felt is just a little stiffer and great for structure. I added two washers in the bottom so that she stands up straight - wish human posture correction was that easy!

Yep, I fell victim to the decorative pin trend. Her little rose on her neck and the leaves around it are also pins. These are not that complicated, but they were fun to make and I think add a little whimsy. Plus I'm not sure how many times I have pinned something in place, it looked perfect, then once it was sewn in place it had moved position or didn't look right. Decorations that are re-positionable pins are a great alternative!

I hope my partner loves her - as I have mentioned before, there is always that stress that what I make isn't really their taste or style. Fingers crossed! If I have enough interested commenters, I might be persuaded to put together a tutorial.

Hope your spring is going swimmingly and your garden has less weeds than mine :)