Saturday, December 3, 2011


My son and I wanted a Christmassy project to fill a few hours, and we had never made salt dough. I was loosely inspired by the plushie awesomeness of the happy plushy wreath but knew I didn't want to have to buy anything new for this adventure. So the wreath itself is a plushie! It nearly made me insane trying to work out how to sew the front and back together and then turn it right side out. There was a lot of swearing involved, let's just leave it at that. 
The stars are salt dough (1 part water, 2 parts flour, 2 parts salt), dyed with food colouring and baked at 200 degrees for about 5 hours and then left in the oven to cool over night. Some have glitter in them too. We punched holes in them before baking as I was planning to attach them with ribbon, but it turns out I don't have any teeny tiny ribbon left (oops, my bad) so instead theyre glue-gunned on. They're coated with a layer of spray varnish just to give them a little protection from life. Hanging up the little beasties so I could spray both sides at once was an adventure in itself. 
The front of the wreath is the remains of the hoody I sacrificed to make my dala horse plush, the back and the bow were left over fabric from making christmas stocking last year and the grosgrain ribbon it hangs from is from my stash of hair bow supplies. 
I'm really happy with how it turned out in the end, once I'd figured out the structural engineering side of things, and stopped stabbing myself with a needle when handsewing the last seam and attaching the bow. It's now hanging inside our living room, framed by the window in the door.
Happy holidays!

Friday, November 11, 2011


So, it appears that I am once again neglecting my blog. My bad.
I to be honest, I have been a little distracted this week; I juggle two jobs, and have to fit my work schedule around my husband's. We've had lots of clean up to do after the nor'easter that came through New England over the Hallowe'en weekend. Plus, Bear is 4. Four year old boys are distracting. Besides, I'd much rather be reading than writing, and this week Bear and I have devoured Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, and George's Marvelous Medicine (I'm now terrified that I'll come into the kitchen one day and find a large pot filled with every paste, powder or liquid he can find...).
But whilst I have been neglectful of my blog, I have been working away at crafty goodness once more. The plushies I'd been making from the Mystery Critter pattern gave me an idea for a Christmas gift. I married into a family incredibly proud of their Swedish heritage, and one of the emblems that appears often is that of the dala, or dalecarlian, horse. I've been riding ponies since I was eight, and so horses as a theme strikes a chord for me.  So, combining my new found obsession for making plushies with the dala horse, and satisfying my incredibly limited budget for Christmas this year, I've been working on a plushie dala horse for my MiL. It's taking a lot longer than I'd anticipated, because I'm putting a bajillion details on, taking pictures at every step and the sewing machine keeps trying to eat things... But I'm really excited by the project and will post an attempt at a tutorial and tons of pics when it's done.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mystery Critters!

One of my favourite haunts on the interweb is craftster. My I skip around a lot of the boards, but mostly the reconstructed clothing board. However, I stumbled across the Toys, Dolls and Playthings board recently and I am now a convert. This thread led me to Leslie's Art and Sew blog, and her adorable mystery critter project. Mystery Critters have invaded my house. I have three made so far, with plans for more. I bought a 32oz bag of fiberfill, that's a LOT of critter-making potential...

Stuffy Monster (L) was blinded by his 4-year-old keeper.
The other critter is winging it's way to a friend in need.

Mystery critter on the right is made was an old towel and bits of T shirt. Stuffy Monster is made from an outgrown T shirt of Bear's that had a really cool print on the back. The patch is also reclaimed from the shirt.

Prosthetic Eye!

To repair the gaping hole created when Bear tore it's eye off, Stuffy Monster needed a prosthetic eye. The patch is from an old bandana, handsewn on in a somewhat raggedy fashion...

This guy is for a very cool lil bubba's first birthday, so everything is baby drool proofed.

This is my favourite. One of my favourite people in the entire world has the Cutest Child Ever, and he turns 1 in December. The body is chocolate brown blizzard fleece left over from making Bear's Hallowe'en costume, the blue (actually more teal) was a staff shirt from the camp where I met Cutest Child Ever's mummy and daddy, and everything is as firmly attached as I can make it.

...with the lil spud's initial on the bum.

I am a terrible blogger...

...but I'm actually getting pretty good at this crafting malarky.  That I regularly fail to update is actually rather sad, because I've been making all kinds of wonderful things. I even got halfway through writing another post about my rather spiffy circle skirt... But that will have to wait for another day.
My most recent projects need attention. Today might be a multiple-posting day, so as to make up for my previous neglect...
 Project Number One.
I have a wedding to attend at the end of the month. I fell in love with this dress, and it fits me like a glove, but the colour is a bit of a no-no.
Before... (from WHBM)
So, thanks to the wonders of Dylon, the dress now looks like this. I was aiming for a rich emerald green, but I kind of like this.
So cute!
It is entirely possible though that the really strong emotional response I have to it is because it is now the exact same colour and texture as my the sofa my gran had and I spent many happy hours curled up reading on...
Looks like fiddle head ferns...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Twinkle toes!

My inspiration, and obsession... Oh Irregular Choice...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't do conventional. So when there's something I want that I can't find in a store, or is going to blow my budget, I make it! The last couple of months have produced a purple zebra print maxi dress, a full circle skirt, multitudes of hair corsages and bows, an oversized jersey cowl dress, and most recently glitter encrusted mary-jane shoes. So, armed with glitter, mod podge, and this fantastic tutorial from Annie Spandex, I set to work.

I bought a pair of gold mary-janes on eBay a few months back, and have worn them once as they turned out to be considerably lighter and brighter than they looked in the listing. They started out life as Steve Madden Deweys, they finished up looking like this...

Pretty, no?

It's also a really easy tranformation. Time consuming yes, but also kind of fun...

Because the shoes were kind of shiny I attacked them with fine sandpaper first to make it easier for the mod podge/glitter mix to adhere.

In a small airtight container (I wanted an old film cannister, but these are rare and endangered beasts so ended up with an old baby food jar which was previously home to some buttons) mix Mod Podge with glitter. You want it to still be runny-ish and not peanut buttery, but it should be loaded with spangles. Then, taking a smallish paintbrush paint the glittery goop all over the shoes.

I put three layers of sparkles on my shoes, and then finished them with a layer of clear Mod Podge to seal in the spangles. Make sure the previous layer is dry before applying the next, and after the first layer you need to stipple the glitter on rather than paint it on in strokes, otherwise the glitter on the brush catches and clumps on the glitter already on the shoes.

The glitter is stuck fast and not going anywhere. The Mod Podge claims to be a sealer, but I doubt how waterproof it really is given how easy it is to clean off brushes with warm soapy water.