Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blythe Bouncy Bunny Ear Hoods, Kawaii Finds, and February's Reader Appreciation Giveaway

This week I've been busy sewing up some Bouncy Bunny Ear Hoods for my shop. I made one for Loovee ages ago for our trip to Japan and I recently came across the old pattern I drafted while organizing my new craft room. Since spring and Easter is around the corner I thought now would be the perfect time to whip up a few more.

Here's little Loovee modeling one.

The hoods are cut from furry fleece, and the ears and inside of the hood are lined with coordinating cotton fabric. I added a layer of light interfacing in between so that the hood keeps it's shape (fleece is notoriously stretchy), and the ears stay nice and perky. Finally, I added some beaded and crocheted flowers to give the hoods some extra sweetness.

If you're interested in any of these hoods, please check back at my Etsy shop, where they will be listed soon.

This week I also managed to score some super kawaii stuff, which is always a thrill.

From Marukai, a store specializing in Japanese items, I found these clothes pin memo clips and a bunch of rubber stamps. I especially love the little Russian doll stamp.

The My Melody wristwatch came from a McDonald's Kid's Happy Meal. I'm not big on McDonald's, but when I discovered that the promo toys for their Happy Meals were from Sanrio, I just couldn't resist. Unfortunately, I am not eight years old and I can't get away with wearing a My Melody pink camouflage wristwatch, so I was thinking of removing the wristband, attaching a little chain to the watch face, and making it a pocket watch. That way I can enjoy the cuteness of My Melody incognito.

As you know, I've done a few Reader Appreciation Giveaways before. Honestly, I'm so grateful to everyone that visits and takes the time to comment, and that was just my little way of saying thanks. Well, provided fate doesn't pitch me a meteoric curve ball to throw off my schedule or focus, this year I plan to make my Reader Appreciation Giveaway a monthly event so please stay tuned and watch out for my Reader Appreciation Giveaway posts! :)

For this month's giveway, I have this set of Japanese wood bead book marks, which I found during my recent shopping adventures. Cute and useful -- yayy! I will choose someone at random from all the comments I receive and I will annouce the winner of these bookmarks in my next post.

Til next time! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Easy Peasy Handmade Labels, More Thoughtful Little Owls, and Yummy Stuff

I've been toying around with the idea of personalizing all my handmade creations with labels for awhile now, and I'm thrilled to say that I've finally slayed the procrastination beast and done it!

I've seen labels made via the iron-on transfer paper method, where you print your label yourself and then iron it on to ribbon. I thought that was a nifty idea and the results I've seen came out great, but honestly I'm so technologically inept that I foresee many a losing battle with my printer if I go that route.

In the end, I decided on a more basic, fool-proof method to make my labels -- hand stamping on ribbon.

The first thing I did was have a stamp made. I decided to skip the fancy graphics and just have "Willy-Nilly Waterlily" spelled out plain and neat. I found JLMould through Etsy and they did an amazing job of creating my stamp for me. Then I just stamped away!

Here's some quick tips if you want to try this yourself:
1. Use a quick drying, permanent ink pad.
2. Experiment on different types of ribbon. I found that stamping on medium weight 100% cotton ribbon had the least ink bleed of all the ribbons I had on hand and made the crispest stamp images. On the other hand, polyester satin ribbon had the most ink bleed and the blurriest stamp image, so you might want to steer clear of that stuff.
3. Heat set your freshly stamped labels by pressing with an iron (at the highest temperature your ribbon can stand) for about a minute. After doing this I found that my labels stood up much better to a soap and water wash test.

Here are my labels hand sewn onto some owl butts. I just love how they came out!

Speaking of owls, this trio will be going up in my shop shortly. They are all made with super sweet cotton and linen Japanese print fabrics, and a coordinating cotton corduroy. If you're interested, please stay tuned to my shop. :)

On a very random note, I'll end this post with one of the reasons I'm so fortunate to live in Hawaii -- Lappert's Premium Ice Cream. It's made right here in the islands and it's without a doubt the best ice cream I've ever had the pleasure to taste. My favorite flavor is Mauna Kea's Secret (on the right), which is a yummilicious mix of white chocolate ice cream, rasberry sorbet, chocolate chips, and chocolate brownie chunks. Can you say heaven? Please, if you ever visit Hawaii you MUST have some! You know I'd never steer you wrong! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Perspective . . . and stuff

Only 21 days into the new year and it's been quite a whirlwind for me so far.

First, I moved into a brand new apartment. It's so much smaller than my old home, which takes a bit of getting used to. It's funny how you don't really have a clue how much junk you've
collected over the years until you have to pack it into boxes. Downsizing my personal possessions was an awful, but necessary endeavor. It's the letting go part that stings the most, I think. Whether it was giving my belongings to charity, saying goodbye to the stray cats I befriended over the years, or closing the door of my old home behind me for the very last time . . . *sigh* . . . letting go is always difficult, isn't it?

As if that wasn't enough to deal with, wouldn't you know it? When I finally settled into my new place my computer began having horrible fits, which pretty much amounted to its final death throes. So even more letting go . . . this time to my trusty old Emachine. Goodbye Emachine! You served me well for being a midnight impulse purchase at my local Wal-Mart. I will look back fondly on all the times you crashed for no reason.

Finally, the icing on the cake that has been the introduction to my new year -- and I say that with venomous, dripping sarcasm -- is that I managed to get a strep throat infection.

For awhile I viewed these recent events with ill humor and I dreaded what the rest of 2009 had in store for me. However, after much useless cursing and shaking my fist to the heavens I had an epiphany!

I've come to realize that you can't control what fate has in store for you, but you certainly can control how you view such events. For instance, I can cry a river over the fact that I no longer reside in the wonderful, big house I lived in for 14 years . . . or I can look around my cute, little townhouse and revel in the fact that less room means less cleaning. :) Plus look at the pretty view that greets me every morning from my back lanai:

And it did suck to have my computer die out on me at the most inopportune time. Not to mention it cost me a pretty penny to replace it, but now I have a new Compaq that doesn't freeze up when I'm trying to blog about how it's been freezing up.

As for my strep throat -- yes, it's awful to be sick and in pain, but it also gives me the perfect excuse to rest up and eat all the ice cream my heart desires. :)

It's all about perspective, you see. Change your perspective -- the way you view your life -- and you'll find that things aren't always as bad as they seem. There really is a silver lining.

So 2009 . . . bring it on because I'm ready!

Well, thank you all for allowing me to wax philosophical for a moment, but now onto more cuter and craftier things.

The winner of the Happy Swirly Cupcake is . . .

I will be contacting you shortly Mushroom Meadows! :)

Also, I'm slowly but surely getting into my crafting zone again. I plan to list a new item in my shop every few days as I get it done so I might not blog about here, but please check my Etsy store often if you're interested. I have some Bashful Blooming Cacti and some Happy Swirly Cupcakes coming up. Here's a peek at one of them:

Oh, before I go I wanted to share a photo of dear Loovee taken on a field trip to Hawaii's premier shopping mall, Ala Moana Center. I loved the big-eyed lemurs and I thought big-eyed Loovee would fit in perfectly among them:

Well, I've been so very out of the loop lately so I'm off to check out what my blogging pals have been up to. Hopefully, you've all had a better start to the new year than I did. :)