Monday, March 30, 2009

The Last of the Blythe Woolly Lamb Hoods, Happy Swirly Cupcakes, and Make a Magnetic Pin Holder in 5 Minutes Tutorial

I told myself I would not make any more of these because they are a bit difficult to sew, but I only had about 1/4 yard of the faux wool fabric left over, and in my never ending quest to use what I have, I decided to just go for it and use it all up. Goodbye Woolly Fabric! My sewing machine and I won't miss wrestling with your darn poofy-ness!

I haven't made any Happy Swirly Cupcakes in awhile so I whipped some up for the shop. I used to do the cup parts in all sorts of colors, but now I think I'll stick with yellow. It just looks more cake-y to me. I think yellow is a wonderfully edible looking color as opposed to pink or blue or what-not. Also, the blush really pops on a yellow face. I'll save the bright colors for the frosting.

Finally, on to the magnetic pin holder tutorial. Honestly, this is such an easy project that I can spell it out to you in one sentence, but if you're like me and love to see how-to photos . . . well, here we go --

The 5-Minute Magentic Pin Holder Tutorial


-- peel & stick magnetic sheets or tape (I purchased this at my local Wal-Mart.)
-- a mint tin or similar small, shallow container
-- scissors
-- pen

Step 1. Clean your tin very well. I chose to use an Altoids mint tin for my pin keeper *Tip* If you're using an Altoid tin or similar mint tin, clean it with a wet paper towel and not by blowing it out. The cool, tingling sensation of peppermint candy dust in your eyeballs is not something I'd recommend.

Step 2. Using your tin as a template, trace around it onto the back of the magnetic strips/ sheet. ( My magnet came in a sheet that you can break apart into strips, but I kept it together in a solid sheet.)

Step 3. Now cut your outline. Be sure to cut inside the line you made as the inside of your tin is smaller than the outside. You might have to trim it a bit more afterwards.

Step 4. Once you've got the magnet to fit nice and snug, just peel, and stick it into place.

Yippee! Now you have a place to hold your pins and needles!

If you have extra time and are feeling super crafty, try decorating your tin. There's this whole world of artists dedicated to altered Altoid tins. Amazing!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something Special : Star and Scout

Do you you know what I love? I love it when you don't really have an idea at all of what you're going to make, but you keep fiddling with the materials you have on hand, and slowly, surely something starts to come to life right before your eyes. When that happens it's a fun little journey with unforeseen twists and turns and what you end up with is just a pleasant surprise.

And that's what happened with these little gals. Please meet Star and Scout.



It all started with a little dilemma -- I wanted to whip up some of my usual Apple Cheek Ami Bunnies, but the mohair yarn I normally use was still en route from New York. Instead of waiting, I decided to dig around in my yarn stash, where I found some soft, fuzzy, loopy chenille yarn and I just started crocheting away. I absolutely loved how it turned out -- the loopy chenille hid the stitches so well and gave the bunny a wonderful plush look to it.

As I stared at the finished bunnies lying naked on my craft table, they just screamed for me to do something extra special with them. I wanted to do more and give more with them, and basically make them truly one of a kind.

So first, I named them. The buttermilk colored bunny I called Star and the cocoa bunny I christened Scout, both after real pet bunnies of mine.

Then I turned it up as far as their outfits go by giving their dresses details like vintage ric-rac and hand embroidery. I crocheted little bags for them to match their outfits. The flowers by their ears were reworked completely with stitch pleated petals and Japanese ume (plum blossom) centers.

I solidified their uniqueness by doing a little mixed media (watercolor, colored pencil, ink) painting of them with their names written on it. Sort of like a trading card.

Finally, I stitched up matching fully lined drawstring bags to tuck them away in.

I love how everything came out. I feel like these bunnies have their own little personalities. A pleasant surprise, indeed.

These two little gals will be in my shop in the next day or so if anyone is interested.

Oh, before I forget -- the winner of this Month's Reader Appreciation Giveaway is . . . KELLY MEDINA! Thank you for all your support Kelly! I'll get in touch with you soon!

Aloha for now! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blythe Woolly Lamb Hoods, an Origami Envelope Tutorial, and March's Reader Appreciation Giveway

To continue the tale of the Woolly Lamb Hood from last post --


Despite extensive struggling with the poofy faux wool fabric, I managed to whip up three Blythe Woolly Lamb Hoods. I intended to make four, but after two broken needles and countless fits of cursing I decided to end the battle early.

I did get a pinch of joy from using my new Japanese fabrics. There is nothing more satisfying to this crafter than cutting into a crisp piece of freshly purchased fabric. My favorite hood by far is the one lined with the pink kawaii fruit fabric -- to match the fabric's theme, instead of a flower by the ear, I crocheted twin little cherries with dual stems and leaves.

If you're interested in any of these hoods they should start showing up in my shop in a day or two.

Lately, I've been trying to adopt the "use what you have" mentality and the craft item I have been trying to get rid of was my extensive collection of origami paper. After much brainstorming I came up with this idea -- folding them into little envelopes, filling them with stickers, and stamping a little "For You" message on the back. But whatever for, you ask? Well, I plan to give these as an extra little thank you gift with each purchase at my shop.

Here's a quick how-to for the envelopes:

Origami Envelope Tutorial

Step 1. On the diagonal, fold paper upwards in half to form a triangle.

Step 2. Fold the top corner of the uppermost layer down to the bottom edge of the triangle.

Step 3. Take the right corner and fold it exactly 1/3 of the way toward the left. I suggest measuring for accuracy if you want a really neat envelope.

Step 4. Take the left corner and fold it to the edge of the right side. It should now resemble an opened envelope.

Step 5. Fold the right corner of the uppermost flap back towards the left edge.

Step 6. Unfold and open. Use this crease as a guide as you press down on the open flap to form a little square pocket.

Step 7. Take the very top corner and fold down to the bottom edge. This forms the envelope's top flap closure.

Hooray! You're done! Now stuff your little envelope and seal it by taking the top flap and tucking it into the little square pocket.

I'm horrid with instructions, so bear with me if the tutorial is a bit confusing. I tried. :) If you have any questions, feel free to to ask.

Finally . . .

March's Reader Appreciation Giveaway is this very cute puffy paper doll sticker set. The sweet, little girl has an extra dress to change into and lots of food for her to eat. As always , I will randomly choose someone from the comment pool at this post and announce the winner in my next post.

Thank you for visiting! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Getting My Craft On

Since we spoke last I've been a very busy crafting bee! My mind as well as my crafting desk have been a-clutter and aflutter with so many projects.

The major one being an army of Bashful Blooming Cacti. Some are custom orders and some will be going to my Etsy shop soon.

Yayy! They have official tags now! :)

During one of my lazier crafting days I decided to make these little "thank you" tags. I've never been much of a stamper/ paper crafter as sewing and crocheting are my cup of tea, so I was surprised that I got such a kick out of making these. There's something very nostalgic about sitting at your desk and cutting paper and gluing pieces of it here and there. It reminded me of being in grade school and making Valentine's Day cards or construction paper chains for the class Christmas tree. Ahhhhh, childhood . . . . :)

This week I visited my favorite fabric store on the island, Kaimuki Dry Goods, where I scored some sweet Japanese import fabrics. Just look at the yummy colors! I could not wait to start cutting into them!

I'll end this post with a parting shot of my craft desk. Can you tell what I'm working on? If you guessed Blythe Wooly Lamb Hoods then pat yourself on the back! :) I'm not sure how successful it will turn out because the faux lamb's wool is rather thick and it's giving my poor Singer sewing machine a ghastly time of it. We'll see, I guess. If all goes well I should have a bunch in my Etsy shop soon.

Oh, wait! Before I forget -- The winner of February's Reader Appreciation Giveaway is Ismoyo! I will get in touch with you soon, Ismoyo! :)

Take care until next time!