Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Three zombies, a punk rocker, a rock star (not to be confused with the punk rocker), a biker dude, and a Coraline-style rag doll. Not too bad for a total of 2 hours and $3 spent.

A nice, cool evening, lots of laughter, and too much candy. . . a happy halloween, indeed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Even sweeter shirts

A lovely set of embellished shirts arrived on our doorstep today! My sweet partner sent them to Monkey 7, and she captured his quirky-sweet spirit perfectly.

This adorable owl shirt has so many different textures and fabrics and hand embroidery ---> love this! Monkey 7 is showing me his strong-man pose. . .

Awesome ever-so-slightly-sparkly shark!

And he demanded I take photos of the octopus on the back. . . of course. . . .

His scariest dinosaur face:

Monkey 7 went leaf-hunting this morning, and he's showing off both his favorite leaf, and his buttony leaf tree shirt! (Let's ignore crazily-dressed Monkey 6 in the background.... he always dresses like that. )

And why is he so happy? (Other than the fact that he just received these awesome shirts...?)

Because he also received the most awesome jacket IN THE WORLD:

I saw a print of this here, and just fell in love with it. It describes his little personality perfectly, and my sweet partner made this special jacket for him.

Group shot (except for the button tree shirt, which he is still wearing). . . .

Monkey 7 was excited to get his very own swap package, and he really likes every single item my partner made for him. Thank you so much, C! These are perfect!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I finished last week when I should have been packing

I finished up my last swap last week. My sweet partner has received her shirts, so I thought I'd share what I sent.

I love this shirt! It's embellished with hand embroidery and felt applique. Yes, the bee on the right is upside down, and I'm going to say that I meant for that to happen.

I thought it would be fun to work with a couple of these layered shirts, instead of all plain shirts. More felt and fabric applique, with machine stitching. . . .

This next shirt is not really washed out or fuzzy or dirty. I have such a hard time photographing black and white! Plus, I'm having issues with my camera now. Maybe it was dropped. . . .

A little shirt celebrating being unique and special in a world that expects conformity. . . .
some stencils and fabric applique with machine stitching. . . .

More fabric applique and machine stitching, plus a little hand embroidery. . . .

This one is my favorite, and was the absolute easiest to do. . . . a simple stencil. . . .

Now most of my craft projects are packed, and all of my fabrics are as well. (Final count of boxes of fabric: 31.) I kept some embroidery floss and a piece of white cotton scrap fabric accessible, in case I need to craft something. I have a very special little project in the works, and I hope to share that with you sometime after the move.

I really must get to bed now, as another day of packing is already upon me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Go Vote!

Entry submitted by katecotten.
Time to vote for your favorite El Dia do los Muertos creation! Members of the Etsy Texas Craftsters Street Team have submitted some really unique entries this month, so please visit the link here to cast your vote. It will only take a moment of your time, and the winners will win some really cool prizes!

I'm not participating this month, because I remembered the deadline a day too late. But if I had participated, I would have submitted something like these. . . .

Remember these? They're from my early Etsy days. . . .

This is one of my favorite projects. . . .

. . . a poseable pincushion, with a storage jar under the skirt.

Be sure to cast your vote! Thanks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I need help.

Maybe a quarter of my fabrics. What have I done???

I am resolving, right now, to not buy any more fabrics until this stash is seriously depleted! Dear readers, hold me accountable!

UPDATE: Most of my fabric is now packed. Current tally of boxes of fabric: 29.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kid craft: fleece jack-o-lantern pillow tutorial

our fancy-shmancy jack-o-lanterns!

The kids and I had a blast whipping up these hand-drawn jack-o-lantern pillows!  It was fun, easy, and something we use again and again, year after year.  All it takes is some orange fleece, some felt, fabric glue, and some polyfil.  You can use a sewing machine if you like, or you can go completely no-sew!  Here we go!

What we used:
  • paper and pencil or crayons
  • orange fleece or felt; we used 1.25 yards of 60" wide fleece (for 8 pillows)
  • black craft felt for the face
  • green craft felt for the stem
  • Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue
  • polyfil
  • thread
  • needle
  • sewing machine
  • embellishments -- sequins, glitter, slick paint, beads, buttons, etc.
  • for vines: green grosgrain ribbon, 1/4" dowel rod, clothes pins
**First, trace some round or oval shapes for your pillow onto the orange fabric. You'll need 2 shapes for each pillow. Be sure to leave yourself a 1/2" seam allowance.

**Cut out the pumpkin shapes. Kids can do the cutting with adult help/supervision, since felt/fleece is easy for kids to handle. Set the pumpkin pieces aside.
The pumpkin's face. . .
**Next, draw your pumpkin's face.

**Cut out the pumpkin's face from your drawings. This is the pattern you'll use to cut your pumpkin's face from the black felt.

With little one's imaginative drawings, the cutting can be a bit tricky. Here, I picked a couple of scribble lines, and cut along those lines. I let Monkey 7 decide which face feature each piece would be.

**Using the paper pattern, cut out the face features from the black craft felt.

Again, you may have to get a bit creative with cutting out the designs. I couldn't cut out each and every line Monkey 6 drew, so we decided to add more details later with glitter paint.

**Using the Fabric Fusion, glue the black felt face to the orange pillow pieces. At this point, you can also embellish the pillow with paints or glitters. Set aside and allow to dry according to directions. (We let ours dry for 24 hours, just to be on the safe side.)

**If you want to further embellish the pumpkin's face (with buttons, sequins, etc.) you need to do this after the glue has dried, but before assembling the pillow. Allow all glues or paints used to dry completely before assembling the pillow.
The stem. . .
**I don't have any photos of making the pumpkin's stem, but the felt pieces for the stems can be seen in a couple of the above photos. Cut a rounded rectangle from the green felt, making it twice as wide as you want the stem to be when finished. Fold the rectangle in half, and either stitch or glue the two of the rectangle's edges closed, leaving one short side (the bottom of the stem) open. Stuff the stem a bit with a little polyfil, if desired. Set aside.
The vines. . .
**Now, if you would like curly vines for your pillow, you can follow the instructions here to make them. Basically, you'll wrap the green grosgrain ribbon around a dowel rod. . .

. . . securing the ends of the ribbon to the rod with clothes pins. Set them on a foil-covered cookie sheet, and bake, yes bake, them in a 275-degree oven for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool, and remove from the rod.

Assembling your pillow:
Once the glue (and paints/glitters) have dried, you can assemble your pillow in one of two ways, the Sew, or No-Sew option.
Place your 2 pumpkin pieces together, with right sides facing each other. Position the stem and vines where you want them on your pillow, laying them inside your pillow, and pin everything in place. Either by hand, or with your sewing machine, stitch the pumpkin face and pumpkin back pieces together, leaving a 3" hole at the bottom for turning. Turn the pumpkin right side out, and stuff with polyfil. With a needle and thread, hand-stitch the opening closed using a whip or slip stitch.

So easy, even disgruntled teens can do it.
Place the 2 pumpkin pieces together, with the right sides facing out. Position the stem and vines where you want them, with the ends of the stems and vines placed just inside the pillow. Using the Fabric Fusion, glue the front and back pieces together, gluing near the fabric's edges, leaving a 3" hole at the bottom for stuffing. Pay extra attention to the vine and stem, and make sure to glue this area well. Pin the stem and vine in place, to hold them in place until dry. Allow the glue to dry according to the glue's directions. Stuff with polyfil, and glue the opening closed. Use straight pins or clothes pins to pinch the opening closed until the glue dries.

And that's it! I hope this was clear and easy to understand. (I tend to get too wordy sometimes.... sorry!) Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments below. Have fun making your own pillow pumpkin patch!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our pumpkin patch

This year, I am being a big meany and not allowing the Monkeys to carve pumpkins. We will be moving around Halloween. Although the Monkeys see nothing wrong with loading stinking, rotting pumpkins onto a moving truck, I don't think that a wise, or convenient, option this year.

As a compromise, each child designed their own jack-o-lantern pillow! OK, so it's not anywhere near the same, but we all enjoyed our craft night (aka break from packing) and they love their pillows.

Working hard on designing their pillows. . . .

I love how different each pumpkin is.

I had imagined using these as couch pillows, but the Monkeys had other ideas -- they cuddle and sleep with their pumpkins every night. I also like how they will have something to curl up with year after year. It's also a little sentimental reminder of this time in our lives, when everything was a bit upside down and crazy, but we still managed to have fun together and grow closer as a family.

I think it beats a stinky real pumpkin any day.

Want to make your own fancy pumpkin patch?  HERE'S the tutorial!  :)

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