Saturday, January 26, 2008

Amigurumi Rabbit Redux and Some Loovee Happenings

This has been a week of willy-nilly crafting. I haven't had the time to work on anything really ambitious, so I kept my projects rather quick and simple.

Do you recall the amigurumi bunnies from last week?

Hooray for me for getting off my bum and finally finishing them! I had the most difficult time deciding on a proper color/fabric combination. I kept changing my mind over and over. My art teacher once told me that what's worse than having no vision is having an unfocused one. Note to self: Next time sketch out all of your ideas first!

Here's a view of their fluffy pom pom tails.

In minor Project Loovee news, I purchased these plain pair of glasses from the TIB shop. I wanted to give them a more Loovee-esque flair so I modded them by adding the butterflies to the frames. Voilà! Some silly glasses for an equally silly girl.

Finally, I've been working on this crochet ripple blanket for Loovee. Aren't the colors the yummiest? So vibrant and juicy like a bowl of fresh fruit salad. The colorway is called Freesia from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. It's 100% merino wool and it's soooooo buttery smooth and billowy soft. It will definitely keep Loovee warm and cozy at night. This blanket is actually a sneak peak into a much larger project that I'm very excited about. I'm dying to get started on the rest of it. Please stay tuned for the big reveal, which hopefully won't be that far off.

Thank you all for dropping by!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Easy Peasy Beaded Headband for Blythe: A Tutorial

I think the best gift a crafty blog can give other than inspiration, is a tutorial. From blog tutorials I've learned such things as how to sew a zipper bag or how to make a bottle cap pin cushion. I'm just so grateful when people are willing to pass on their knowledge. So today I'm gonna pay it forward by making my very first tutorial, which I hope you will all use and enjoy.

I thought up this idea while browsing through my local hobby shop. I came across this nifty thing called memory wire. Memory wire is a coiled jewelry wire that snaps back into its original shape when flexed. I noticed that the necklace sized memory wire was about the diameter of Blythe's noggin, and then this simple idea popped into my head.

Anyway, let's get started shall we?

First, gather your supplies:

-- Precut memory wire, regular necklace size (Find it at your local hobby or bead shop. The diameter of the wire coil I purchased is about 3.6 inches.)
-- an assortment of small beads
-- needle nose pliers

1. Trim one of the precut wires to a length of 8 1/2 inches. My wire came with one end already bent in a little loop. If your wire doesn't have a loop, take your pliers and make one. Make sure that when you bend the loop, the wire's end faces outwards. It will be less likely to catch on your Blythe's hair that way.
2. Now start slipping beads onto the wire until it's about 7 5/8 in. in length. If your doll's hair is extra poofy, you may want to lengthen the headband a bit.
3. Cut the wire about 3/16 in. after the last bead.
4. Grab your pliers and carefully twist the end into another loop to secure the beads in place. Try to make the loop tight against the final bead so that the beads don't slide about on the wire.
5. If the headband is a bit loosey-goosey on your Blythe's head, you can bend them a bit inward to give it a tighter fit. This may take some doing as the wire does tend to hold it's shape, but it'll work.

Hooray! You're all done! Now you have a pretty headband for your Blythe! These are so easy and fun to make. I whipped up these three headbands in less than 15 minutes. I do hope I explained things well enough, but if you still have questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Project Loovee and Amigurumi Bunnies in Progress

I've decided to try something rather ambitious with Loovee. I'm aiming to make her a new article of clothing every single week. It could be something as elaborate as a two piece outfit or as simple as a headband. Whatever it may be, that's my goal -- to slowly expand her presently pathetic excuse for a wardrobe.

So in this first installment of Project Loovee, I was inspired by these kawaii appliqués. I didn't want anything too frou-frou because I really wanted to feature the appliqué. Thus, I sketched this simple A-line dress.

As you can see, I nixed the ruffle at the hem because I discovered that linen unravels like crazy. Instead, I wrapped all the edges with a cotton bias binding. Machine sewing such tiny binding is a nightmare for me, so I opted to sew it on by hand. Actually, the whole dress is hand sewn. Although, it wasn't exactly as I planned, I think it came out alright. It looks like a crafty apron style dress.

Here's Loovee modeling her latest dress and enjoying her new Re-Ment Fashion Mannequin. Now she gets busy draping and pinning right next me as I'm sewing away.

After taking a long holiday break from my Etsy shop, I'm starting to gear up for its reopening in a week or so. These two amigurumi bunnies will be the first softies to be listed. They are presently in various stages of development, but I do hope to get them done this weekend.

Well, this is a round up of what I've been fiddling with this past week. Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Craft Spaz

The above title accurately describes what I've been like since my last post. I have so many project ideas popping into my head that it's hard for me to even think straight. One moment I'm cutting fabric for a new softie, soon after I'll drop that to crochet an amigurumi bunny, and before that's even done I find myself doodling more outfits for Loovee. I just wish I had the focus and time to do everything that whizzes through my head.

Here's some of the projects I've actually finished:

I had such fun making Loovee's sundae beret that just for kicks I whipped up several more in a variety of "flavors" with yarn I had on hand -- mocha, crème de menthe, strawberry and French vanilla. However, this time I embroidered nuts on the hot fudge instead of sprinkles, which I thought gave it a more proper sundae feel to them. I really do not know what I shall do with the rest of these, so I think they'll find their way to my Esty shop.

This week I managed to make Loovee this new summery (as it's always summer in Hawaii) outfit. I crocheted her tank top out of some cotton thread. The denim wrap skirt was so very quick and easy to make. The cherry detail is a tiny iron on patch I purchased on my trip to Japan. I was so excited to finally have reason to use it!

Lately, I have been musing over creating a little house for Loovee. She does not have one as of yet, but I'm hoping she will in the near future. Being the DIY-er that I am and having adopted the Trash to Treasure philosophy, I want to whip up things for Loovee whenever possible -- from clothing to wee home furnishings. However, I did purchase a Re-ment Lamp & Chest set all the way from Gina Garan. That bunny silhouette on the lamp just won me over.

Anyway, in this first episode of Marginally Extreme Homeless Makeover, here's a before shot of some odds and ends along with the Re-ment chest.

And here's the after shot with Loovee doing her best Vanna White impression. I used that leftover ball of fluffy yarn to crochet a simple shag carpet. I re-purposed the round jewelry box into a Blythe sized storage hat box, which holds some of Loovee's crafting supplies. The Re-ment chest adds the final touch to this little vignette.

Here's a close up of all the bits and bobs inside Loovee's little craft box -- yarn skeins made of wound embroidery thread, folded fabric scraps, button cards, and a pair of mini scissors. Now she can be a proper craft spaz lik me!

Whew! So now that I've gotten you all caught up with what's been going on around here . . . back into the crafting mines I go!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Loovee Time and Some Random Crafting

Loovee has been suffering for some new clothes. The poor dear has only about 5 or 6 outfits to her name, which is a frightful shame. Her wee wardrobe has been giving her a bit of a complex after seeing this and this. However, I hope to change all that very soon by clocking in some much needed Loovee crafting time each week. This is what I've managed so far:

Quite awhile ago, I sketched this silly strawberry sundae hat for her.

And last night I finally finished crocheting it. I'm so happy with how it came out. I embroidered some pink, yellow, and white sprinkles on the hot fudge sauce, which gave it an even more yummy touch.

Thankfully, Loovee does not have to depend entirely on me or the kindness of her pal Molli to remain well clothed. Monica from Feltland custom made this beautiful dress for her in her favorite colors. Isn't it lovely? The knitting is just so unbelievably dainty and neat.

In random craftiness news, every year after Christmas I am left with a bunch of very sturdy and functional, yet hideous gift boxes. I love to use them to store my bits and bobs, but I cannot bear to look at them. This year I decided to do something about it.

Some glue and some pretty paper later and . . . voilà!

No more motley collection of boxes that assault your eyes! I actually went a bit crazy with this and discovered some ugly boxes from Christmas past to wrap. A crafter is always in need of more storage, right?

Oh, yes -- Happy 2008 to you all!