Monday, July 30, 2007

Plush team self-portrait

Well, it's not really a self-portrait in the usual way. I went with a more representational feeling--I just think the wide open arms and smiley squinty eyes makes it look like the stuffie is ready to give a big hug.

Embroidering on wool felt is a lot easier than the acrylic stuff, but it's also much stiffer to turn inside out. I had to rip out a couple of seams to open up my too-small space. Fortunately, sewing it closed with a hidden stitch worked super swell, so you'd not even notice it unless you were looking for it.

All in all, I still think it looks like one of my stuffies but with a slightly different design.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some lovely things

Kup Kup is a maker of really neat dolls and pictures out of fabric and embellishments. I love her style and the stories behind her creations. The couple below are Jeff and Alice and can be found at the Kup Kup etsy shop.

I love the quirkiness about Kup Kup and the really unexpected stories written about them. The attention to detail, the tiny beads and the general feeling of whimsy all make for unique items. Don't forget to check out the pincushions and the pins!

Another plush maker, Sukisukishop, is new to etsy. I like the expressions on their super cute toys.

And in other news, I've joined the Etsy Plush Team!

Some really talented plush makers on this team! What does it mean to be on a team? Promotion, promotion, promotion. And lots more stuffie challenges. I need to do a self-portrait and a Plush Team mascot, which I woke up this morning thinking about. This will be tough because I don't make "realistic" creatures at all, but should be fun because it can be anything. No one said a "self-portrait" had to be a person-like doll. Mwhahaaha! I guess this is what they used to call "thinking outside the box". Me, I just call it "due to the limitations of my sewing and un-pattern-making skillz, I need to think of something representative."

Saturday, July 28, 2007


What to do with a lot of paper? Make matchbook notepads.

The Edward Gorey picture and the papers inside are from my page-a-day calendar. I use some of those pages as scratch paper, some as notepad, but a lot of it just sits on my craft table. So, I folded, scored, and stapled. Then I realized I have a ton of brown paper shopping bags, so voila, some of those too. If I didn't need to use some sturdier paper, I'd just make notepads entirely of brown paper bags...

And I haven't broken out the magnets yet, but I do plan on making that "spider" type thingy. I still have to figure out what to do with my little felt pictures.

Friday, July 27, 2007

bird squares

I had this idea to make some more felt coasters. And I love simple geometric shapes and trees. So, I landed on a tree/bird/birdhouse thing.

I'm super new to embroidery and working with poly felt probably isn't the easiest way to work. But I am getting better at the french knot and did okay with the other kind of stitches. Plus, I squirted some glue out on a paper plate and used some cheap cotton swabs to smear it on the felt pieces rather than try to squirt the glue directly onto the pieces (disastor! mess!).

I'm not done with the little house (upper left). I wanted to finish knotting some purple dots all around it. And then my sweet husband said that the bumps and funny bits might make a glass wobble, so they might not work so well as coasters. I just happened to have this 5x5 frame sitting around, and since the felt pieces are about 4.5x4.5, they seemed to fit right in.

But they look kind of... plain. In some ways, I kind of like them super simple, but in other ways, I keep thinking, "Beads! Buttons! Add something else to give them some pop!"

I should have made the lone bird orange to match the little (attempted) orange bird in the tree. Well, there's always another try.

Tip: using a disappearing ink pen is great, but the ink kept disappearing faster than I could embroider, so I had to keep drawing so I knew where to put stitches. Funny, but none of the branches are anywhere near where I drew them, but they worked out fine.

Tip 2: wait for glue to dry completely before embroidering (unlike me! gluey glooo mess).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is my first attempt at a real pincushion. I noticed my pins were a) becoming magnetized from sitting on a magnet in an old Altoids tin and b) were getting very dull. So instead of buying the ubiquitous tomato, I decided to stuff a pillow with some steel wool and polyfil and try to make my own pincushion.

Loved all the lovely ones in the Flickr group, Pincushions, but really wanted something functional.

I also wanted to try to make some real french knots, which came out okay except for the few times I didn't pull the string tight. I'm also guessing that silk floss will be much smoother than cheap cotton. And I mean cheap craft cotton, which is workable, but not easy to work with. Also, I need either a much smaller embroidery hoop or the more expensive wood kind instead of my cheap plastic one. Ugh.

And then, I didn't get the fabric glue out to the edge of the circle pieces, so they sort of flip up. I'm always a little paranoid that I'm putting too much glue on the fabric and that it will soak through and look horrible. I also need to put a tin of cotton swabs down near my craft table so that I can scoop and smear the glue rather than fight with squeezing the bottle, which is super hard to squeeze carefully.

Things I've learned/plan to do differently: glue more, get silk floss, make little weight-bag for bottom of pincushion. I have small plastic pellets (like the beans in the beanie babies), but haven't used them yet. I should just get some muslin and make little baggies with them. But now I have a pincushion.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I used to make beaded jewelry, so I still have a lot of beads and findings. I've lost my spools of beading wire for necklaces and bracelets, so when my friends came over last night, all I could make were earrings. Two on the right are made with sterling silver and the two on the left are made with hypo-allergenic metal wire, which is much harder to bend.

We sat at my sewing table for lack of a better place.

And I cleaned up my desk (which was buried under miscellaneous junk). Why in the world do I keep so many grocery store receipts?

I still have a ton of beads and I'm slowly finding uses for them in other places (like on my stuffies), but I may end up just making a bunch of earrings and seeing if any of them sell in the shop.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Cool magnet I found at Wrapables. I wonder if I could make something like this using felt or cloth. It wouldn't be the same, but I like the idea of long limbs holding notes or things with a smiling funny thing in the middle.

Oooo, I have rickrack!

a little something

Just a bunch of felt coasters for a friend's birthday. They ended up being rectangles instead of squares (this is what I get for "eyeballing") and it took far longer than it should have. I had to ditch a couple that didn't turn out so great--cut the ribbon too close to the seam, didn't cut the ribbon... you get the picture.

My friend really liked them and I was glad they fit in with her decor. I had originally made pink and green ones with big dots, but I didn't think my friend was a pink-green person, so we're using them now.

Friday, July 20, 2007


A couple of robots are up in the shop. Will post the other two later and then I'll make a couple more in some other colors.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Second zip pouch

I finally got around to buying a zipper foot for my really basic sewing machine.

So I decided to take some Gap baby clothes and turn them into a zippered pouch.

I sewed too close to the zipper here, so had to rip out seams and start over. Working with this stretchy material was challenging after working with cotton. It's like working with the fleece and it just means I have to pin a lot more and go super slow.

But, I finished!

I bought a couple more baby pjs on sale and plan on making some more pouches. I might sew the stretchy material to some light interfacing with my zigzag stitch before doing this again. OR I just won't line the pouches and sew the zip to a turned-in edge. I have more material to work with, so more trial to come.

Annnnnd of course I forgot to add a tag to the side. eep. But I think I might use a ribbon/bead thing for the zipper pull. I could attempt to carve a stamp in the likeness of the cats, stamp on some leftover shrinky dink sheet and then attach... but ribbon and bead seems like the way to go. I could do the shrinky dink zip pull for something that needs more embellishment. The kitty material doesn't really scream for more embelishment.

Monday, July 16, 2007

memo board

My attempt at one of those fabric covered memo boards.

Amy Butler quarter flat, some polka dot ribbon, and a canvas. The staple gun I had is heavy duty and super difficult for me to use. I needed both hands to squeeze the "trigger", which meant my careful placement always shifted.

So fighting with the staple gun meant I wasn't paying attention to the basketweave pattern of the ribbon. Half the ribbon is just laying on top of the bottom layer instead of woven in between. Then I ran out of ribbon, so had to go back to the store to get more just to finish the thing. The back looks like a disastor. Why does it always look so much nicer when someone else does it?

I had the tiny silver brads and bought the larger ones just for this project. I'm still meh about the whole thing. It makes a pretty good place for business cards, though. So maybe it will become my biz card holder. Not so good for larger bits. Even my 3x5 cards seem too big. I have another canvas and a lot of material, so I may or may not make another one.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


New stuff up in the shop! More to come, but Etsy is being slow to load, so I'll wait and do it later today. I also have to reshoot the stuffie 'bots. The photos didn't come out very well.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Photo op

Some stuffies are ready for their close-ups. Now if I can only get the camera to cooperate, we'll be cooking with gas.