Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Making Tooth Fairy Monsters

The process of making my felt tooth fairy/money holder monsters is a bit more involved than one may think. I thought I would share it here so you could get a glimpse inside my creative world.

If I'm doing several of the same item I like to cut out all pieces at once. This way everything is ready for me to go and I can make them all at once. This saves time and makes the process a bit easier.  So to start out I cut all the pieces out for however many monsters I'm going to make (in this case just three since this was my first go at it). For one monster this would include two large squares (for front and back bodies) four leg pieces and the back pocket.
Since I embroider the faces I have to print out the designs so I can line them up correctly onto the body pieces.

Then I mark where the faces need to go. The next step is embroidering the faces. I hoop the square fabric and attach my hoop to the embroidery machine and let it go. Some faces take longer to embroider than others. I did design these faces myself using eyes/mouth designs I have (that can be a tedious process in itself).
 Now I can begin sewing! I sew the pocket on the back part of the body first. Then I sew the legs together.
Next it's the body pieces. I draw the outline of the body on the front piece and use it for my stitching line. 
I then cut away the excess felt and turn everything right side out.
Stuff him, sew him closed and ta-da! a cute monster doll waiting for the tooth fairy to come!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good-Bye My Furry Little Friend

My heart is broken. I lost my sweet little Rock-man today. I brought him home in a cardboard box when he was 12 weeks old. I was so excited! I had wanted a chinchilla for years and he was my first (and only) one. Little did I know I would have him for 15 years. Average lifespan is usually around 10 yrs so for him to live an additional 5 yrs beyond that is very unusual. 

Fifteen years. That's a long time to have any pet. As all pet lovers know you get quite attached. Some people may think you can't possibly get attached to a small caged animal. I am here to tell you that indeed you can love them just as much as you would love a cat or dog. They have their own personalities and some are just so fun to watch with their crazy antics.

Rocky was a little sweetie. He NEVER bit. Never even tried. Not once in all the time I had him. He loved his belly, ears and chin scratched. He loved banana chips, raisins and cashews. He loved his little stuffed guinea pig toy. He liked to chew on his wood blocks. He liked to antagonize the cats when they got too close to his cage. He would run in his wheel at night and make so much noise running and jumping around in his cage that we would have to close the bedroom door so we could sleep (he had a rather large 4' three tier wire cage so there was a lot of running going on). He liked when I put him in the bathroom so he could run and jump around in there while I cleaned his cage. After I would sit in there with him so he could use me as his personal jungle gym. 

Though he looked soft and cuddly, he didn't like being held but he was very friendly and I could pet him all I wanted as long as I didn't try to pick him up and cuddle him.

That changed this past week. I noticed a little over a week ago that he had lost weight. A lot of weight. You couldn't tell by looking at him because of all the fur, but underneath it I could feel his ribs and backbone. Not a good sign. I also noticed he hadn't touched his food for a few days. At first I thought he was showing signs of getting old and was pretty sure he was near his time. Unfortunately, I was proved right. 

I did notice some other signs and when I looked them up online it actually sounded like he might be having teeth problems ( I won't get into all the technical details here) because he was having those types of symptoms. The only thing I could get him to eat was banana chips and cashews but just eating those weren't very good for him either.

It soon got to the point that seeing him suffer was breaking my heart. I couldn't do it anymore. I was not being a good caretaker if I just let him go on suffering so I decided to take him to the vet. Some people might say it's crazy to take a small caged animal to the vet (yes there are a lot of people that only think cats and dogs are worthy of a vet bill) but I don't think so. Did I mention I had him for 15 yrs--well to me I loved him just as much as I love any one of our cats and he deserved the same treatment as I would give them--so off to the vet.

I won't lie: I did not see rainbows and unicorns when I took him in. I knew it was either A) his teeth and they could file them down or B) he was old and it was time. Trust me, I was hoping it was "A". The vet looked all in his mouth and couldn't find anything wrong with his teeth, no redness, etc. He didn't want to sedate him because of his age. He was honest with me and told me that it could be something internal and they could run blood tests but he was 15 yrs old so...well, you get the picture.

I was prepared for this outcome but that doesn't mean it hurts less. It hurts. It hurts a lot. I made the decision to have my little Rock-man put down. I hated doing it and it broke my heart but I could not bring him home when he wouldn't of gotten any better and he basically would've starved until he finally passed away. That was too cruel and I just couldn't bear to do that or watch that so I do not feel guilty about my decision. I think he knew it was his time too because for the first time he let me hold him and cuddle him which I did as often as possible this past week.  

I know I made the best decision for him. But I will miss him so very very much. He brought me great joy for 15 yrs and I know I took the best care of him I could for those years (and maybe that's why he lived longer than he should have) so I know he was a happy little guy and I hope he knows how much I loved him.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

10 Most Overused Phrases & Words

At the End of the Day: I've only heard this phrase used by celebrities like THE KARDASHIANS which in itself should tell you how stupid it really is. People only use this phrase to sound "hip" or "cool" or because it's the thing to say. Well let me tell you what it really makes you sound like: a MORON. Anyone who uses this phrase should immediately be punched in the face because At the End of the Day, you usually see stars.

That Moment When: you see this one A LOT on Pinterest with the vintage pictures that have the funny sayings. It's an absolutely unnecessary phrase. There's no need to say, "That moment when -- you're caught on the john in full push mode by your new boyfriend". I don't think I've ever had a "that moment when"--at least not the ones where this phrase is used. Basically this phrase just makes me want to stab you in the eyeball with a fork because you think you need to say it  before you say what that moment was or people just won't get it.

I Could Care Less: this is just a poor use of grammar. What needs to be said is, " I couldn't care less" which means "I could NOT care less". When one says, "I COULD care less" it just makes it confusing to those of us who actually know and can use proper English. But, I am sure that the people who don't care about grammar or spelling could probably care less about what I just said.

Yeppers: just what the hell is a yepper anyway and why would I want more than one? It sounds like some kind of Dutch vegetable. Would you like more yeppers with your lamb chop? Yeppers!

Cool Beans: personally I don't like my beans cold. I like them served hot, sticky and full of flavor. That being said, you could just use the word "cool" to get your enthusiasm across. The beans are not necessary. Unless you're serving hamburgers.

Whatever: this one is used by people who have neither a good comeback nor anything useful to say. So instead of just shutting up they have to get the last word in. Too bad that word makes you sound like a dimwit. People who use this word also get offended if you mention what a lame comeback that is. What's that you say? Whatever!

This, That and The Other: this phrase is usually used when someone is complaining about how awful their life is. It's the cousin of "If it's not one thing it's another". People who use this phrase are trying to convince you that they have crappy lives when usually their lives are no worse than anyone else's (drama queens). This little piggy went to the market, That little piggy stayed home, and the Other became bacon because he couldn't run fast enough. The end.

 I Know, Right?: I believe a valley girl started this one. It's generally used when someone agrees with what you've just said. It's another useless phrase really. You say something along the lines of, "McDonald's has the best fries." and your friend responds, "I know right?". Well of course I'm right or I wouldn't of said it in the first place! You know?

I Don't Give a Rat's Ass: Apparently rat's asses must've been quite popular at one time or maybe they just didn't sell well at the market so people had to start giving them away. Whatever the case may be, I don't know WHY people seem to think they need to use this phrase in place of "I don't care". I'd rather have someone who doesn't care rather than one who wants to give me a rat's ass.

Baby Mama/Daddy: to me this one shows lack of intelligence and class (like anyone who uses either of these phrases had class to begin with). It should not be "baby" but "baby's" (not babies because that's plural for more than one baby). Did you happen to forget the baby's mama's/daddy's name or what? Or is it just too hard to pronounce? Either way this phrase should be banned from the English language and punishable by locking whoever uses it in their room. For a month. With only peanut butter and jelly to eat. And they can change their own poopy diapers too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Patches, Patches, Patches!

So what's been keeping me busy lately? Patches and more patches. I've been making personalized patches, custom patches and super hero patches (LOTS of super hero patches). Several I have even designed myself! 
Emily used this patch for a T-shirt!
Whose buying these patches you ask? Well, some of the ladies on Facebook who make the CUTEST little girl dresses! They've been using my patches for the top portion of the dresses. 
Wonder Woman dress by Ivy's Place

Robin Tu-Tu dress by Baby Bee Couture
I must say I don't mind making them at all and they've kept me rather busy. They're fun and easy to make (entirely on the embroidery machine) and I rather enjoy it.

If you'd be interested in patches of your own to put on bags, clothes, hats or whatever you can find them in all my shops and on my FB page (look under "Patches" in my album section).

You can also find tank dresses like the Wonder Woman on Sharon's FB page Ivy's Place.

The Robin Tu-Tu dress was made by Briana and you can visit her FB page Baby Bee Couture

Emily also makes adorable dresses and you can find those on her FB page Sew Much 4 You 2 Love

Monday, April 8, 2013

To Laminate or Not to Laminate

 There has always been the question about whether or not to laminate your business cards. Personally, I prefer them laminated for a couple of reasons. 

            1. They are less likely to get damaged or dirty.
            2. They look more professional
               3. People are more likely to keep your cards if they're laminated.    

It's very easy to laminate your own cards and laminators are inexpensive, usually running between $15-$25 (I bought mine at Aldi several yrs ago for $20). Following is a tutorial on how to laminate your own cards. Don't be intimidated--it's very easy!

First you need to purchase business card sized lamination sheets. I purchased mine in bulk at Lamination Depot. They have a lot of various sized lamination sheets and supplies and their shipping is fast. If you don't want to buy in bulk then you can purchase the sheets at your local department store or office store.

Second you need your cards. Whatever cards you use for your business are fine. There are quite a few online resources you can use to purchase them. Or if you have a local printer, you can go there. The cards I used in this tutorial were a free download for play date cards. I just changed the text. You can find these at Creative Mamma. Or you can be creative and make your own.
Ok, now that we have everything we need, let's get started! The first thing you do is to put your card in the lamination sheet. Be sure to put the top of your card towards the fold. Try to get it centered as best you can. 
The next step is to place the card inside the cardstock "folder". These should come with your sheets but if not you can make your own easily enough. Just cut out card stock a little bigger than your sheets and fold it in half.
Now all you do is put it in the laminator. I can fit two in mine side by side at the same time. Do NOT push the cards into the laminator--just push them in until the laminator "grabs" them and let it do the rest. 
That's all there is to it! When you're done you'll have nice, professional cards that will hold up for a much longer period than non-laminated cards. You can also glue a magnet to the back so customers can put them on their refrigerator or filing cabinets.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Making Dog Diapers

If you've read this blog before you know that sometimes I get rather odd requests so it didn't surprise me any when I got a request for dog diapers from a friend. Usually I'm not surprised by some requests but this one caught me a bit off guard. Dog diapers? Well, how does one go about making those I wonder? Couldn't be much different from a baby diaper could it? Maybe just put a hole in it for the tail.

Turns out it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. My only problem was that these were for a German Shepherd--so not a small dog. Plus I had to figure out where and how big to make the tail hole (that makes giggle just a little). So this is what I decided to do:

Step 1: Find a pattern I could use as an example. Doll diaper. Why not--looks like it would work.

Step 2: Figure out where and how big to make the tail hole (yep, still giggling). To do this, I used a small stuffed dog and marked on the diaper pattern where it's tail was.

Step 3: Now all I needed to do was resize the pattern and make it three times the size it was. This was the tricky part because I am NOT very good at drawing. Plus, to make it large enough I had to find something to draw it on. Ah-ha! NEWSPAPER!!
Before I went on to finish my diaper I wanted to make sure that it was going to fit my friend's dog. She wanted four of these and I didn't want to make them and then find out they didn't fit. That would be a waste of time and a lot of fabric. So I gave her the pattern and told her to try it out. Turns out I just needed to make the straps a little longer. Bingo!

Step 4: Cut out fabric. I'm only showing two of the fabrics I used in this next picture but you'll see the rest at the end of this post (if you're not bored to tears and keep reading that is).
Step 5: Embroider designs. I wanted to make these fun so I chose three baby designs that I had and I think they worked perfectly! You'll also see all of those in the last picture.
Step 6: While the designs were being embroidered I worked on the linings. I added a piece of scrap fleece to each one to give them a bit more absorbency (diapers were all made from flannel). She's also using a maxi pad inside of them too so they shouldn't leak.
Step 6: Sew them together! Since I am so bad at using bias tape I decided to try a new way to "bind" the tail hole. I simple cut the outer fabric hole smaller than the lining hole. I then folded the lining over (to front of diaper), pressed it and sewed it down. Looks almost like binding and was so much easier! 

And these are my finished dog diapers. Ta-da!!
P.S. If you'd like to see a tutorial on how I did the binding you can see it here Cheater binding Just scroll down.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fabric of My Mind

This week's (ok last week because I'm behind yet again) featured artist for HAF is Larissa. Larissa and her husband, Eric, are a team collaboration. They make beautiful handmade soaps, candles, sewn items, knitted items and much much more! These two are busy with a capital B!!

They have two shops: Reef's Botanicals which carries their soaps, lip balms, hair products, scrubs, bath bombs and candles. You MUST check out their items--especially for Valentine's Day!!

Their other store Fabric of My Mind carries their hand sewn, knitted and crocheted items. This is a great shop for gift ideas. You can find a wide arrange of items for everyone on your gift list. Here are a few ideas:
Beautiful Harbor Picture

Fun for the kids! 

Dolphin crayons!!

Stuffed Bunny--for baby!

Flossie Cow--this is just way too cute!

You can also vist their Blog to see what's new or in the works.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Featured Artist: Lisianblue

This week's artist is Lisianblue. She makes WONDERFUL crocheted and knitted items like hats:


Washcloths (I LOVE using these!)

She also dabbles in a bit of sewing!

 How cute is this little girl's denim skirt!

And this BEAUTIFUL quilt!!

To find all the gorgeous items, Lisianblue makes you can find her shop at HAF
Also be sure to follow her Blog so you can keep up-to-date with her newest projects! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Gifts 2012: Pt. 1

This year, as every year, I made gifts for my relatives. I always make them gifts. They all love them, even the kids. So I just thought I'd write a short and sweet post showing you what I made this year. This post will be written in two parts since my family is rather large. Didn't want to make one post too overwhelming lol.

Before actual gifts were made, I had to make all the kids Christmas shirts. I did this last year and they loved them so I thought I would try to make it a new tradition. So these shirts were actually given before Christmas.
 I also made ornaments to put on the shirt packages so they could have something to hang on the tree. These three kawaii ornaments were for Mike's great niece, nephew and his mom.

 And these cute candy cane ornaments were made for my great nieces and nephews.

        This design was put onto a t-shirt for my dad because everyone calls him Pop.

       This sweet blanket was made for my almost 18 month old great niece Layniebug

                        My brother Bub likes to hunt so I designed this shirt for him. 

 This shirt was made for Levi, my niece Rose's hubby. Yep, he's a redneck! I also made her a southern girl shirt so they could be a matched pair.

 These cute shirts were made for my great niece Kayden who LOVES all the hair pretties I make her and Hello Kitty. also made her a Hello Kitty shirt with her name on it.

 This cute keychain was made for my mom since she seems to have to drive everyone around. I also made her a shirt that said, "Discover Wildlife: Keep the Grandkids" since she babysits two of my great nephews.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Highlights on HAF

As you know, I belong to a group called Handmade Artists Forum. I wanted to tell you about one of the great features they have there that are called Highlights. What are Highlights you ask? Well, if you've ever been (or sold) on etsy you're probably familiar with their treasuries. Highlights are the same thing. It's a place where other artists feature things they love. A bonus of the Highlights feature is that they have contests for them! They pick a theme, you make a Highlight (or four or five) using that theme and they pick a winner!! How fun is that? 

One thing I love about Highlights is that it allows you to see items you may not even run across while you're looking through HAF. There are SO many goodies so undoubtedly you haven't seen them all! And of course they're a lot of fun to make. 

Here are a couple of examples of Highlights made but HAF members.

Hunter Green & Cranberry by Wyndwalker Creations