Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4 Things Wednesday: Awesome Stuff I Found This Week

Been awhile since I had a 4 Things Friday post. It's also not Friday, but I'm a total rebel so I'm just tossing it out there on a Wednesday like I JUST DON'T CARE.

Welcome to "Awesome Stuff I Found This Week: Volume 1."

  1. I wish I was half as eloquent as Ginger. She has done it again . . . perfectly putting down in words my feelings during this Christmas-making season.
  2. As everyone it seems, I love me some Pinterest. As a blogger, here's a fun way to share your pins with your readers. I like it better than the official Pinterest widget and have already added it to my sidebar.
  3. The crust has never been my favorite part of the pumpkin pie . . . and this recipe addresses that while also making it super easy to portion control this popular Thanksgiving treat.  (Both Mr. Skooks and I loved these topped with some whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.) 
  4. Monica kills me.  First she made this Ron Swanson quilt, and then she posted a picture of it WITH RON SWANSONGive me all the fabric and thread you have. 
Anyone else find any awesome stuff this week?  Leave me a comment and share the love!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Please a Store, Mommy?

I'm not sure if it's the social aspect of being around the public or just general bored-ness with being at home during the day, but lately Kee-ku has been on a mission to visit "a store!" every time we leave the house.  I'm no shop-a-holic (I have yet to see a deal so good I will brave ANY store on Black Friday), but sometimes as a mom you have to figure out compromises.

So right after we drop Little Miss off at school in the morning and Kee-ku starts chanting, "Please a store, Mommy?!" from the back, we battle.  Some days he gets a flat out "no" and we go home.  Some days we have practical errands that need to be run, so we'll hit up the grocery store to knock some stuff off our list.  He doesn't seem to care which store we go to (amazingly, the kid can spend time in 3 different stores and still not want to go home), so sometimes I go to Mommy's happy place (where else, the fabric store) with him and Kiwi in tow.

Generally, he doesn't fuss too much if I linger over an aisle for too long.  Which is how I ended up discovering this book:

All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens
This isn't really a formal book review . . . I definitely paged through it and oohed and ahhed over the lovely projects though (more beautiful fiber art inspiration!)  I guess I'll add this to the ever-growing list of books I want!  To covet is not divine, so if Kee-ku keeps making me go shopping I may need to start wearing blinders whenever we go to the fabric store.  :P

Anyone read any good crafty books lately?  So I can . . . um . . . not covet them with you?

For more crafty/creative/sewing book reviews I've done, check out my Shelfari page.  :)


Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuffed Knuffle Bunny & Trixie Costume

Have you heard of Mo Willems? I only ask because most of my family have no idea who he is, and expressed confusion when Little Miss told them she wanted to be Trixie from Knuffle Bunny for Halloween this year.

Well, to be more precise . . . Trixie from Knuffle Bunny Too. (Believe me, we searched around the Goodwill for overalls that would fit her so she could be the younger version of Trixie from the first book, but when that search came up empty we found some stuff we could work with for the second book.)
Trixie Knuffle Bunny Costume
Thrifted clothing + some fabric and paint I had on hand = less than $7 for the costume!
No extreme closeups here . . . this costume was totally frankensteined together from several shirts I picked up from the thrift store and to reveal the actual stitching would be beyond embarrassing. Yes - - the sewing quality is atrocious, but for the purpose of costuming a 5 year old it works well enough. The blue star on her shirt is made from a piece of scrap fabric and some Wonder Under. I free-handed the shape and didn't even bother to secure it with a zig zag. 

I know . . . REBEL.

The polka dots on her sleeves were made using some fabric paint I had on hand (didn't realize it was sparkly until I opened it . . . oops) and a circle of kids' crafty foam glued onto an empty thread spool as a makeshift stamp.  Hooray for using what you got!
Knuffle Bunny Doll
Had I known how much my kids would fight over this bunny I would have made two of them!

For the skirt I started with a $2 khaki skirt and cut up a flowery fat quarter I had that looked "sketchy" . . . like, drawn sketchy . . . not sketchy sketchy.  I Wonder Under'd those suckers on there with no reinforcement either.  (I'd tell you what the print is, but there was no selvage on the piece I had.  Leave me a comment if you recognize it!)

The pink striped socks are DIY Babylegs that I made for LM when she was just a wee one.  Just goes to show that you can get a lot of mileage from a simple sock-conversion project . . . she's now 5 and they still work for her!
Knuffle Bunny with Book
I had everything on hand that I needed to make this bunny except the green and blue fabric . . . cost me about $3 total to make!
I searched around for quite awhile before I found a pattern to make the actual Knuffle Bunny.  I am all for coming up with a pattern myself (I've made a lot of stuffed toys in the past and I'm sure I could figure it out), but when someone has already done the work . . . :)  The tutorial I used is from Emilie at Plucky Momo and you can find it right here.  It is a very good pattern (though I would recommend enlarging it a bit because stuffing the legs and arms was a bit tedious), and I only made a few modifications.  I decided to use more marker around some of the features to keep it unified (like around the tail on the back and around the blue piece on the inside of the ears).  I also sewed on the eyes and nose before I sewed it all together because I hate attaching stuff onto a toy after it has already been stuffed.  I know there are reasons to wait until you finish that step, but given my experience I felt ok deviating a bit on this point.  (Speaking of stuffing, I skipped the rice step too and just went for fiberfill for the whole thing.)  Oh, and I didn't bother embroidering the facial features as I originally planned, but did it all in marker.  If I was going to give this as a gift or had I had more time to work on it, I would have not used marker at all and would have embroidered black around all the features.  As it stands though, the marker works fine and does give it a 'drawing come to life' feel which I actually do like.

Going to attempt to forward this post on to Mo Willems . . . hoping he reads it and feels the love and appreciation we have for his books (Kee-ku is obsessed with all of the Pigeon books, and LM has taken it upon herself to learn all the words to the Knuffle Bunny musical that we have on CD.)

Anyone else whip together some homemade costumes this year?  I would love to see them!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Works of Peace - Beginner Fiber Art

I have a deep appreciation for (and admiration of) fiber art and embroidery. I've got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to the genre actually.

To be honest, I wish I did more of it myself.

As it stands, I don't really know how to do a whole lot of different hand stitches.  Every time a project calls for a french knot, for instance, I have to google up some instructions and figure it out all over again.  That info just does not stick in my brain for life.  I just don't use it enough.  The info, not the ole noggin.  ;)

A week or 2 ago, there was a major sale going on at the big J - - and I had a coupon for some crazy high percentage off.  Burning a hole in my pocket.  I tell you what, they know what they're doing when they send you those coupons in the mail . . . it is almost impossible not to figure on something you need that you could use with that coupon, you know?

Anyway, Little Miss and I had a little mom and daughter day out together and that means not only does she get to do what she wants (lunch and custard at Culver's), but I get to do what I want as well (stop in the fabric store).  I'm not big on kits so much, but I saw this sweet little thing and thought . . . maybe this will get my juices flowing on doing more embroidery and fiber art.   

Mother Teresa quote
It was fun.  I revisited some stitches I knew how to do (nothing terribly wild going on here!) . . . it was mostly just practice, but I like the result.  I'd like to point out that these blue stitches you see around the peace sign below:

Embroidery Detail
I had never done those before!  And I already forgot what they're called.  Everyone reading this with the most basic knowledge of embroidery is laughing at me right now. 

I haven't decided where this little sampler will live . . . perhaps if I get a gallery wall going in the girls' room, I'll add this to it.  Might also be nice elsewhere.  Once I frame it I'll have to audition a few spots.

Anyone else honing in on any new skills? 

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