Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CRAZY-good embroidery

If you're looking for the Story of Naughty Pippi, you can find it here.  :)

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently participated in one, final monochromatic embroidery Hoopla Swap.  And I am completely. blown. away.

Seriously.  How beautiful is this?!?  My partner, Anya Kase, has crazy-good embroidery skills.  Be sure to click on the photos, so you can see all the amazing details!

My hoop to her. . .

. . . doesn't even compare.  :-/  But she loves it, so that's all that matters.  I have to admit that I did not like stitching in one color.  I like color, LOVE color -- and lots of it, so this was a real challenge for me.  But I am glad I tried it. . . it definitely stretched my wimpy creative muscle a bit!

And that wraps up all of my swaps.  Whew.  Now, I'm working on more little catnip mice, a new tote design, and a large batch of buntings.  (YESSSS!)  So I'd better get back to work. . . . I'll see you very soon!  :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Craft swaps: Good-bye for now

If you're looking for the Story of Naughty Pippi, you can find it here.  :)

I'm taking a break from craft swaps.  Maybe a permanent one.  I'm not sure yet.  But definitely a long one.  I have so many projects for my family that I'd love to complete, ooohhh, sometime this decade, so I feel that I need to focus more on them now.  Plus, that little Baby Boy Monkey of ours is coming in just a few short months, so I'd better get crackin' on his layette! 

My last Craftster swaps were the Baby Onesie Swap, the Pregnant Mama and Newborn Swap, and another fun embroidery Hoopla Swap.  (You can see my posts on the Baby Onesie Swaps here, here and here.)

As for the Pregnant Mama and Newborn Swap. . . .

I received these cute items from my sweet partner, knittychick:

Clockwise, starting top left:  a nomad swaddler -- genius!; a reversible nursing cover, complete with pockets; hand-painted burp cloths; a nursing station caddy.  All of these items are crafted in colors I LOVE, and are so cute and practical.  They'll be getting a lot of use when Baby Monkey arrives!  (You can see a picture of the nomad swaddler in use here, if you'd like.)

And I sent my partner these. . . .

Wait.  Let me please apologize in advance for the crummy photos.  I finished the last item (the diaper bag) at 3 am, and then went ahead and packed everything up in a hurry so I could get some sleep.  Sooo, the photos.  Not good.  But you'll get the general idea. . . .

Top:  a soft ABC animal book.  I embroidered a little something on each page, to add a tactile element to it.
Center:  screen printed onesie.
Bottom left:  large swaddling blanket, with an embroidered sea turtle in the corner.
Bottom right:  gathered clutch, lined with rip-stop for moisture resistance.

And the big grandaddy item:  a 2-in-1 (2-and-1?) diaper bag!

photos by knittychick

First: I did not invent this bag.  I was inspired by this bag, which was on my swap partner's wist.   I made a bag I could handle making, that would serve the same basic purpose.  The purpose being that each bag could be packed for a separate child, and when the children were together, the bags were snapped to each other and carried as one bag.  When the children were apart, the bags came apart, too.

This project was actually pretty simple to make.  I made 2 identically-sized totes with adjustable straps.  I winged the bag size -- just tried to imagine a good, large, practical diaper bag size.  I attached a tab with strong magnetic snaps to each tote, so they could snap to each other.   Lots of pockets on the inside, with a large slide pocket on the outside, too. 

photo by knittychick

Again, please excuse the photos:  3 am.  Messy workspace.  You know.  But I'm so happy that my partner loves the bag, and is already using it.  :)  (You can see more photos of this swap package, taken by my swap partner, here.)

And that Hoopla Swap? 
Pictures tomorrow.  Prepare to be blown away.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Story of Naughty Pippi

Pippi Cat: a very naughty cat, and much beloved by her large family anyway.

Pippi longed for adventure, action, romance. Someone left the back door ajar, and she saw her chance to escape the confines of quiet domestic living. So escape she did.

After a two-day bender of running wild in the west Texas countryside, Pippi limped home, downcast and ashamed. Her family was overjoyed to see her again, but alarmed at her rough and weakened condition. A trip to the emergency vet determined that the naughty Pippi had been struck by a car, permanently dislocating her pelvis and severely breaking her leg.

What to do? What to do? Our vet recommends amputation now that she is healthy enough for surgery. "Tripod" cats rebound quickly and adapt fully to this type of surgery. The other alternative. . . well, we didn't consider it. So for now, she hops and hobbles and we wait and save. . . .

Pippi enjoying the aroma of catnip mouse "cores"

Pippi is currently cast-free, as restraining the leg at this point would cause more harm than good.  Most days she drags her leg, but sometimes forgets and tries to put weight on it.  Quite pitiful to watch.  :(  We have almost half the cost of surgery saved up. . . and could really use your help with our little project. . . .

The Help for Naughty Pippi project. . . .

I've been sewing up a large batch of special edition catnip mice for my Etsy shop.  Each mouse is cut from a unique fabric, never to be repeated.  Some fabrics are vintage, some are designer, and all are from my insanely massive stash.  The proceeds from the sale of these mice go directly to help offset the cost of Pippi's surgery.  

available here

So my plea to you is to simply help spread the Story of Naughty Pippi to your kitty-loving family and friends.  Or, if you happen to be in the market for a new little mouse yourself, please consider purchasing one of my catnip mice.  Either way, you'll also have the warm fuzzy feeling of helping our kitty transition into a pain-free life, and of blessing our family to boot.

Pippi today.  (Her broken leg is the hind leg on top.)

No kitty of your own?  Consider donating a Special Edition mouse (or two) to a cat rescue or to your local humane society.  Remember the kitties of friends, family and coworkers. . . for a surprise, or shop early for Christmas.   Maybe adopt a mouse to keep you company at work or home. (They won't move your cheese.)

available here

Any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated by our family. . . and especially by Naughty Pippi.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below, or convo me via Etsy.  I'll be adding more mice to my shop every day this week, starting tomorrow, so be sure to check back often to see the newest designs.  Also, I'm posting our savings progress on the little thermometer-widget-thing over on the left-hand side, so you can follow along, too, if you like.   Thanks again, and I'll be updating Pippi's progress as time goes on.  :) 

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