Archive for the ‘needle arts’ Category

There’s A New Baby In Town
May 13, 2011

As my satisfaction has gradually dwindled away over the cuteness level of my last doxie crochet project, I decided to up the ante when I found these mini-tiny dog noses at Knittn’ Kitten.  I designed a little pattern for them, and since it’s a fairly quick project, I want to make a bunch and sell them on my etsy. I may even sell the pattern, which is something I have seen on etsy quite a bit but haven’t designed anything worth writing up all fancy like, before this. My attitude towards patterns is usually just to “wing it”, and I tend not to keep track of what I’ve done, as long as it turns out as I want it to in the end.

made sure to make the ears x-tra large, and borderline *comedic*

fun sized, yet still cuddly!

Terrifyingly, Zowie thinks this is one of her toys. I have found it on the floor more than once. Thank god she hasn’t chewed out the nose and eyes yet, which seem to taunt her with glee. She somehow knows this lil baby doxie is too cute and helpless to terrorize in such a horrific way.


Krafts For Boyz
February 15, 2011

As I’ve said before, I make every effort to hand craft all my gifts. This doesn’t exclude boys, and it definitely doesn’t surpass Valentine’s day. Rian is actually really easy to craft for, now that I have narrowed down his two favorite things: video games, and dachshunds.

This plastic canvas “gameboy” ipod holder I made for both Rian and my brother, who just had a birthday. It’s a really simple design, not only practical but a great conversation starter.

doxie approved!

Rian has been requesting a Mario themed Kleenex box for some time now, and I figured it was time to deliver. I sewed the question mark panel first, and then decided to do the other 3 sides as scenes from various parts of Mario games. I had a lot of fun googling pictures for ideas, there is an unbelievable amount of mario themed crafts out there, from plastic canvas to perler beads. Here’s a noteworthy favorite, and probably my next craft to tackle…

(click pics to see larger versions!)

(the shirt was his Christmas gift, got it on etsy!)

last but certainly not least, I found this dachshund pillow kit when I was rearranging the clearance fabric last month at work, and was going to surprise Rian with it. But then I decided it should be saved for something a little more special…. It’s funny because once it was made it looked a lot more like a strangely stunted golden retriever than a doxie, but nonetheless he loveddddd it!! This was one of my first sewing projects, so it was great to practice doing curves and sewing the bottom piece on. I stuffed it really full so it’s a firm pillow, and then as a crowning glory I added the plastic animal nose to make it a little more realistic. HA! I’m thinking now I need to go back and get another one for myself…


In case you were wondering about my presents, I got treated to a night away at a nice hotel at the beach, and these amazing gifts! We obviously know each other so well:

Fleece Penguin Hat
February 1, 2011

I would estimate that about 75% of my projects start out as a seedling for a great idea. The other 25%, well, they are usually the fruits of a silly idea or a half joke, half challenge.  (Case in point: my boyfriend sent me a facebook comment: “you up for this challenge?” with this photo.)

This idea was actually the reason that Darcy decided to attempt to make me a sock monkey for Christmas, returning the favor of a homemade present.  I’ve noticed a new trend lately of really cute knitted animal hats, and I thought it couldn’t be too hard to make something similar out of fleece. So I prepared myself for the task.

The hardest part, by far, was developing a pattern for the base of the hat. I have a very basic knitted cap with ear flaps on it, and my mom helped me to lay it out and trace the basic design. It is virtually a tube with the top part sectioned off and sewn to created a rounded top, but it was a little tricky to figure out the angles of the cuts.

This was another project that got a lot of help from mom. I think I may need to create a tag for that…

It took a few retries, trying on and adjusting, and a lot of paper pattern making, but we were finally able to design the white face and orange beak to attach to the hat. I cut  little black wing/flippers for the sides, and braided strips of black fleece for the ties. I attached black animal eyes to the front, and sewed circles to the inside of the hat to cover the posts of the eyes.  As a finishing touch, I crocheted a little blue bow, to make the hat a little more…. feminine. Ha!

It was a well received gift!

Crochet Flower Headbands
February 1, 2011

Before the holiday season, I took a trip to Idaho to visit my sister and her family. As usual, it didn’t take long for the craft supplies to come out and cover the living room floor.

Since their last visit, the girls have maintained their interest in crocheting, so this time I taught them how to make little flowers, from a really easy pattern I found in this book.  We used a cotton crochet yarn, commonly used to make washcloths, so the flowers came out bigger and thicker than they would have with regular yarn. We bought some elastic, and the girls colored it with markers to make the headband.  After sewing the flowers together, it was their idea to finish them off with a button center!

We couldn’t stop there though, so after the headbands were done, they crocheted matching flowers for wristbands.

Lily helped me wind balls of string while they worked.

They wore their works to school the next day!

Nice, Zowie
January 11, 2011

Over the summer, I went into overdrive buying bags of crochet thread at Goodwill, to stock up on colors for amulet bags. The problem with the way it’s sold is that it’s rolled onto a huge cardboard tube – with a ton of wasted space in between, it’s really hard to store in bulk. So one day when I was bored but feeling ambitious, I dragged it all outside and sat in the sun, rolling it all onto cut strips of plastic canvas. The results were great, I now have all my thread in one set of drawers. Only problem is, for some reason these little swatches are now INSANELY tempting to Zowie. It’s like a game/treat, trying to get to the crunchy plastic on the inside… How dare I leave one out in plain view?

I will admit though, that I take a slightly sick delight in untangling things like this. I do it at work too, a lot of times when yarn gets tangled beyond recognition by too many grabby hands, I’ll be the one to volunteer to sit down for 20 minutes and work through the mess. It’s somehow relaxing to me, and so satisfying!

It’s a good thing this little jerk is so cute.

Holiday Bazaar Tabling
November 27, 2010

The bazaar went so well! I met a lot of great people, including one lady who recognized me from my work whom I’ve helped before, ha! She also had a table. There was a real diverse selection of products for sale, from cookware, scarves, jewelry, and Christmas items.  While the tabling deposit was a little steep (for me at least, I mean I’m definitely still a “small time” tabler) I still made out pretty good in sales after recovering that deposit. While of course, first and foremost, for me it’s all about the crafts and the process of making them and keeping busy, it’s always nice to come home with a small wad of cash to spend on more supplies, and new endeavors!

I slaved for weeks preparing for this bazaar. I got the idea for my biggest project about a month ago, when we had a great sale with a ton of coupons at work. I loaded up on covered buttons and eighths of fabric, and set to work making these barrette sets. They were my biggest hit by far at the bazaar. It was interesting because most of the shoppers were older ladies, and a lot of them kept saying “oh, these would be so cute for my daughter/granddaughter/friends 9 year old” etc. All the fabrics I chose were fun, bright, and defined prints, and I guess some would consider them more juvenile. But I would wear any of them! It’s just interesting to see what kind of audience you think you are preparing for, and who actually ends up favoring your style. I would like to do at least one more bazaar before Christmas, and I’ve discovered I need to try and target an audience with younger teen girls and women with daughters.

I developed a pretty good system for the barrettes – I’d cut all my circles out, then line them up to make the buttons, then line them up to attach the pins… I love setting up assembly lines!

I’m completely proud to say that I made the design for this packaging in Microsoft paint.  While I’ve had a few changes to work with Photoshop and InDesign at school when I was working on the literary magazine, but at home I have little to no budget in terms of technology so I’m always trying to find ways to make due  with what I got. Someday when I’m sure I’m a successful artist and business woman with my own studio and one of these keeping me warm at night, I’ll let myself splurge on a great camera and software to make everything look professional. But for now, Tim Gunn would be proud, I’m “makin’ it work!”

A secondary project for this bazaar I dreamed up are these knitted and crocheted flower headbands. I absolutely love this book and used it in several ideas for designs. I then added some beads to give the pieces a little more texture, and glued them onto headbands using felt circles.

These were absolutely a last minute idea, created the night before the bazaar. I got glittery holiday picks in the floral section of a craft store, cut off the stems, and sprayed them with a coating to keep the glitter in place.

And now, the table! I divided my table in half, with hair things on one side and a sampling of everything else I have made on the other.  As an afterthought I think next time I will devote most of my table to hair things, as they seemed to be the big sellers, and I think my table was so full of stuff that it was a little overwhelming.

To create these headband holders, I covered oatmeal canisters with purple velvet, and pinned them so they look a little drape-y. You can see on the left I also included some feather pad headbands I have made as well.

I dotted the table with a few crocheted friends to keep it approachable, ha.

I look forward to setting up for more bazaars, I’ll post more updates when you can expect to see me out and about!

Crochet Troll Fashions
October 26, 2010

…Another brilliant and inspiring work of literary genius, brought to you by Goodwill:

The Littlest Dachshund
September 20, 2010

I crocheted this amigurumi dachshund for Rian for our 1-year anniversary.  A few months into our courtship Rian and I got on this kick, kind of an inside joke I guess, about how much we loved dachshunds and how funny they are. It has become a full blown obsession now, and we talk all the time about getting one whenever we move in together.

how could u not luv me, my nickname is sausage dog!

It’s funny because all my life I really have not been an animal person at all – I never grew up with any pets, and friends pets and animals in general kind of turned me off – but for some reason I have been changing. Call it the maternal instinct in me, or whatnot. Also, since my brother has gottten a dog (two years ago now!) and I have really bonded with her, I like spending time with an animal as a companion, it’s just so comforting. They have basic needs, and when those basic needs are met they love you forever! They are especially fun when they have such character and charm as Zowie!

I had originally planned to make this ‘lil badger hound for his birthday in June, but at the time I got really stuck on how to make the face realistic. I had originally gotten the idea here, and just planned to copy it from sight. The original dox has a yarn nose that is sewn in after, and it looks cute as is, but for some reason mine was not turning out the same way, which is why I gave up.

Then a few weeks before our anniversary, I came across a few packages of these plastic safety noses at a garage sale for 10 cents each, and then the idea really started to come together. The nose makes the face look sooooo much more realistic! I started with the face and once I saw that was coming together, the body was a cinch. I wanted to make the body just long enough to be comical, and the ears had to be pretty big. It was an added bonus when I figured out how to sew them on so that they could stick up, if so desired.

we’re going for accuracy here, people.

The really funny thing is that Zowie went crazy when she saw the finished product. I think she recognized the dog face, and thought it was a real life, tiniest dog ever. Of course I had to tease her by making the dox “bark” at her, and pretending to sniff around. She approached with intense curiosity, and a little caution.

Of course, they soon became bff 4evR 🙂

As a bonus feature to this post, I would like to highlight an Etsy shop I recently found that has a special place in my heart and firefox bookmarks…

Young Urban Puppy on Etsy

Click the text or image to be taken to the most amazing Etsy work of art you will ever experience. After a few minutes of browsing, you too, will feel the intense desire to own a mini dachshund of your very own.

Yarn Grab-bag, & Tribute to An Unknown Talent
July 20, 2010

On a recent scouring of Goodwill, I found this bag of yarn for $8. The craft aisle at GW is usually hit or miss, there’s either nothing good, or a lot of things I want but have to limit myself.. this was one of those rare, good times.

Based on several bags of expensive, beautiful yarns, and half finished projects – some with the needles still attached, like below – I can only deduce that a great crafter either randomly threw in the towel and dumped all their projects into the Goodwill bin… or she passed away and her belongings were scattered to second hand shops. Unfortunately I had to limit myself for lack of funds, but there was a ton of great stuff.

I chose this bag specifically for the thinner, sport weight yarn it had. This kind of yarn is really great for projects like embellishments and special touches. There are tons of great colors, especially the variegated yarns. Also, most of the skeins with tags on them are foreign! I think Swedish. Most look vintage, and it’s all wool, high quality.

These two projects came inside the bag, still attached to their yarn bundles. This one still has the needles and stitch markers attached!  The only way I would abandon a project like this is out of frustration… people just.. don’t knit like this anymore. The stitches and carry-overs – just looking at it is enough to make my head spin. wowwww!! I’m so impressed with this work. I think I can safely say I could never do a project like this, especially as it seems to be the startings of a sleeve, so there was a whole intentional sweater involved here. I’m just speechless.

Another really beautiful abandoned project. The colors are just amazing! This one was pulled off it’s needles, so it could unravel at a mere breath.  I’m planning to save these beauties and repurpose them into something I can use – for the second, I’m envisioning a small change purse or drawstring sack. Since I have the original yarns, I can just slip the stitches back on a needle and cast off with one round.  I can’t decide what to do with the first project, any suggestions?

Pillow Burger
June 22, 2010

I found this ridiculously awesome crochet pattern for a cheeseburger pillow in a crochet magazine my grandma had from the 80’s. I believe at the time this was one of my first crochet projects besides a simple scarf and some small amigurumi, but the pattern seemed easy enough to follow, so I dove right in.

Now I’ll be the first to admit – I gave up about halfway through. Once I started making it, I actually realized how big it was. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, each piece is at least 16″ in diameter, basically a full sized pillow in itself. I got halfway through the piece of cheese before I had to buy more yarn, and couldn’t match the colors, so I had to start over. Once I got through the tomato, it just seemed like too much work, and wayyyy too much yarn to buy.  I do hope someday to actually try again, and get through the entire project. Until then, I made this, by designing a variation on the pattern and basically making a micro version of the burger. Still cute, and I was able to rely on my stock of scraps and odds and ends yarn.

I felt like the tiny version was missing something, so I made up a bit of lettuce to add some color.
pickle not pictured.