Friday, February 26, 2010

Craft time with the sister!

I had the fortune of being bored out of my mind this week on account of my husband being out of town on business. Why do you ask is this fortunate? Well because it inspired me to get off my duff and make a trip to my hometown to visit my parents and my sister, her husband, and my favorite baby, my niece Molly!

I spent Monday through Wednesday there, and all day Tuesday was spent crafting with my sister in her lovely new house. (This is the sister I'm planning on opening an Etsy shop with) She brought out an old sweater of her husband's that she accidentally shrunk in the dryer. Who hasn't done that before?! And had a wonderful idea to use it as fabric for a pillow cover. She had an old pillow form lying around, just waiting for some love and attention! So she cut up the sweater and an old pillow case for the back, and sewed it all up in a jiffy using a sewing machine my parents wanted to get rid of.

She asked me if I would be willing to crochet some flowers for her pillow, and then I got the idea to use these giant buttons I had bought at the Dollar tree, and crochet flowers that would button on, so if she ever wanted to change the color of the flowers (to match her decor) she had the option! Brilliant!...if I do say so myself :)

Well we put our heads together and came up with a marvelous pillow cover all for 0 dollars, and 0 cents!

We also used embroidery thread and did a blanket stitch along the bottom to close it up :)

Ps. if you're wondering how I made the flowers, I just made it up as I went. 
But there is a real similar pattern for a flower like this found for free at Lion Brand here.
And just for posterity, a recent picture of Molly-dolly! 

Amigurumi Friday!-using felt

Remember this sweet face from earlier in the week? 
Well today we're going to talk about how to do it!
First off, thank you Harugurumi for the excellent pattern of the sleepy sheep, available free on her lovely blog! This is my version using felt for the face and embroidery. (Her sheep have a crocheted face and yarn features) 
Supplies you will need (for face only): Felt, scizzors, chalk or marker, embroidery thread, tapestry needle, and a little imagination!
I crocheted the head of the lamb, then traced onto the felt using white chalk the shape of the face I wanted...somewhat of an oval. You can get super particular here about having a true oval shape, but I prefer the home-made with imperfections look. I think it gives the animal character! 
Then you cut it out!
Next, trace onto the back of the oval the shape of the eyelids so you don't embroider blindly- and choose the color you want to embroider the eyes with. Begin!
I went one way with simple straight stitches and then back on the curve filling in the gaps left. 

Next add the eyelashes by beginning in the back of the felt, poking the needle through at the eyelid, and stitch out and down, always beginning at the back of the felt at the eyelid.

You getting the picture? good! Now do the other one :)

(Here's a view from the back, so you can see the mess is always on the wrong side of embroidery. That's why you do the face before attatching it to the head!) 
Right, now for the nose and mouth. Start at one central point and fan out your stitches to the left and right for the nose. I chose a peachy-pink :)
Ok, once your done with that, put your needle from the back, right into the bottom of the nose and do just 1 vertical stitch down for the mouth. 
(Make sure you tie everything off in the back! )
Now, to sew it onto the face, you can continue using a straight stitch as I did with the brown face, or you can choose to do a blanket stitch. That looks like this:
Here's how:
Enter your needle from back, and make sure before you put your needle back into the fabric that your needle passes above the thread left from your last stitch before you pull tight! 

I hope those images are actually helpful!

I find it's beneficial to safety pin on the face as your sewing so the features don't move around on you
But that's about all I have for you this week. I'd love for all of you to try your own lamby face, and share how it turned out! 

Monday, February 22, 2010

I have decided...

Craft stores are one of the most amazing places in the world!

I live about 2 blocks from a Joanne's Fabric store, and I find myself making up excuses (which at the time feel like truly legitimate reasons!) to go there at least once a week. Even if the merchandise doesn't change, I still want to go in there, look around, touch the yarn, peruse the button aisle, gawk at the adorable ribbons, and check to see if their home decorating stuff has gone on ridiculous sale yet.

Beyond the stuff in there, I love the people. People in craft stores are just nice. You see Mom's and their line of excited kids trailing behind them, lovely ladies with their adorable kitten sweaters, and anytime you bring your stuff up to the register, the checker asks what you are making, and you get to go off on the latest and greatest project you have up your sleeve to someone who actually cares and knows what you are talking about! It's marvelous :)

*sigh*...maybe I can scrounge up some change and go today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My husband knows the way to my heart :)

Starbucks (extra hot!) and freshly made "Donut parade" donuts! YUM :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Granny-a-day... day...18

My latest:
I've been struggling to keep up with the "Granny-a-day" challenge. I tend to wait a couple days then make a few...but I guess the point of the whole thing is not to be stressed. You know, no huge commitments. I think it would be easier if I had someone I knew doing it with me. Oh well. Off I go to crochet out of Granny guilt.

Sneak peak for next Friday!

This is sleepy sheep #3. 

Isn't she sweet??

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amigurumi Friday! -features

My newest amigurumi, just finished yesterday was full of features and techniques I had yet to tackle. So today I would like to discuss how give our amigurumi features :)

Here she is! my lovely fuchsia lady bug.
Safety eyes with simple crocheted chains attached above the eyes in order to give her eyelids; yarn straight stitched for mouth; yarn knotted at both ends to secure antennae.

Embroidery thread straight stitched down the middle for wings; felt sown on with embroidery thread, and a simple chain-stitched heart- also with embroidery thread. (sewing done with tapestry needle instead of my usual plastic yarn needle)

Here is a clearer image of the chain stitched heart. I wanted her to look like she had a sweet tattoo :)

As you can see, I have incorporated a little embroidery, a little felt, some yarn, and also safety eyes. 
Throughout my process of learning and improving on my craft of making amigurumi, I have sought to make the features more interesting, more kid friendly, and more cute! The techniques of using embroidery floss, tapestry needles, safety eyes, and felt were all new to me this time around. Up until now I've only ever tried using yarn or simple sewing thread to embroider/stitch on facial features and other details. 
So now that I've tried all these techniques, what do I recommend? Anything and everything! It's all great. As long as you feel comfortable and happy using them!

A word on safety eyes:
Though they are pretty darn secure, safety eyes used in amigurumi can still pose a choking hazard to kids under the age of 3. 

If you would like to try them, check out your local craft store! I found mine next to the googly eyes :)

You can purchase them in different sizes. Mine are 9mm. 
They come with a front part (the black screw like thingy) that goes through your crocheted object from the front to the back, and a back (the circular, clear plastic thingy) that secures itself onto the post of the front part from the back of the crocheted object. It is important that if you want to use these that you plan ahead! You cannot attach safety eyes once the object is stuffed and closed up. You must do it before!

Well folks, before I leave you, I thought I'd look over some of the lovely faces I have made with these simple techniques throughout this blog:
Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm stuck with no project to crochet! I have so many options, but nothing really stands out to me! I'd like to make a cute thing for baby- booties, amigurumi, sweater, cap...something that works up fast and turns out really cute.

I feel so lost for inspiration. Any ideas??

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Babysitting Molly

Today I am babysitting my niece :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Amigurumi Friday! -stuffing

Welcome to this Friday's segment of "Amigurumi Friday"

Today we will be discussing the fluffy white stuff that brings our amigurumi to life- stuffing!

Some people like to add pellets to the bottoms of limbs and torso's of their amigurumi to give it a weight, but I prefer the simple, uncomplicated poly-fil fiber. It's non-allergenic, easy to use, and somehow I keep managing to get practically new bags given to me by friends and family! A lot of them buy a huge bag like this one (in the pic) for a small project and then don't know what to do with an entire bag of the stuff. So to me it goes, and I welcome free supplies! 

If you're not as lucky as me, you can actually purchase a bag of this fluffy fun at your local walmart next to the pillows or local craft supply store. If I remember correctly, I think a bag of this size is about 12$. 
Do you use any other product other than polyfiber fill for your amigurumi? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 7 of Granny a Day

Stocking up for Etsy!

One trip to Joanne's with 50$ and one hour later, I have 9 new skeins of Vanna's choice, 5 sheets of felt, 4 star buttons, 6 embroidery floss colors, 6 tapestry needles, 1 "Handmade with love!" stamp, one stamp pad, and 2 sets each of safety eyeballs and safety noses.

What will I do with all this loot, you ask? Why, I'm going to have a LOT of fun! :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

New find!

I found the most amazing blog the other day with incredible crochet and cross-stitch tutorials! It is simply a beautiful place with beautiful photos and very helpful, inspirational things to peek at.

So please, head on over to Carina's Craft Blog.

Here's just a sampling of the wonderful things you can see here:

Thanks Carina for letting me use your photos! Now go check it out!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My new obsession:


What I did during the superbowl:

Yay Saints! (I just like it when the underdogs win!)