Thursday, 25 March 2010

Toadstool Brooch

I had one of those half-awake dreams the other morning about me wearing a beautiful toadstool brooch on my jacket. So when I got up I immediately made this 'shroomie with some of my ultra awesome polka dot felt I had bought on my birthday. I'm really chuffed with the little delicate detail on the underbelly , it makes it a bit cartoony yet realistic. I'd love to make a whole range of different types of mushroom brooches, but I may be getting ahead of myself.

This chap is lightly stuffed with polyfill and has a bar brooch on the backside. He stands about 3 1/2 inches tall, so he's just small enough to be comfortable on a coat or bag, but large enough to stand out and make a statement. I was thinking of goggly eyes [I'm always thinking of goggly eyes], but I kinda like him just the way he is. I think I'm going to add him to the sellin' pile that I'll be putting up this weekend.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Fair-Weather House

I’m a huge fan of Hannah Kopacz of Made with Love By Hannah fame [I should be, I own nine of her cute A-Line skirts and two sweet shirts], and my latest craft I’ve whipped up last night really made me think of her. I’m so thrilled she loves weather houses too and that she introduced me to ric rac, I swear to god I never knew that fun braided trim existed until I stumbled across her site. I now cannot imagine working without it.

This is the first one I made. I made it up as I went along, and thought it turned out relatively well.

My father’s side of the family LOVED cuckoo clocks and weather houses. They lived in the very woodsy, traditional rural part of northern New Brunswick and thinking back, I realize just how many folk novelties my grandparents had. I remember the cuckoo clock that we had acquired after my grandfather passed away years ago, which my parents gave to my uncle [much to my dismay, but I suppose he grew up with it]. But the item that especially sticks with me is the sun bleached weather house they had on the windowsill over their kitchen sink. Out of all the beautiful old furniture and nifty little odds and ends that had accumulated in my grandparent’s house for years it was the cheap old dusty weather house that my father HAD to have.

I always thought it was so magical yet simple. If it’s sunny, out comes that lady. If it’s rainy out come the man. Brilliant! After a couple years of it at my parents place, my little nephew accidentally broke it. But it was as though my parents needed to have one in the kitchen, to carry on the tradition. And to be honest, the kitchen did feel a bit empty without it. They found one at Canadian Tire for like five bucks. The older one was packed away for safe keeping, and the new one sat gleaming, fresh and new, on the windowsill. They now give weather houses to friends and family who are difficult to buy for. A very interesting gift I think!

There are dozens of charity shops in my neighbourhood in Glasgow. I frequent them at least once every week or two in hopes of finding some good bargains and keepsakes [I usually do]. A couple years ago, I found a weather house for £1. It’s broken of course, and really old and dirty, bits missing. But I had to save it. It’s like, in my blood to have a weather house. It now sits on my mantle piece.

I’ve wanted to do something weather house themed for a little while now, but could never think of any cool ideas. I’m not sure how ‘cool’ this wall hanging is, but it certainly makes me smile. I couldn’t stop once I started last night, and was absolutely stumped on how I’d make the people so tiny out of felt…until I remembered the amazing weaved folk trim I had bought off etsy ages ago. They fit so perfectly!

I also used some cute Scandinavian inspired trim my friend gave me, vintage plastic deer things I bought from etsy, and wooden toadstools I bought from the dollar store when I visited Canada last year. I’ll put a couple in my shop soon

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cyclops Vampire Bunnies

My not so cuddly army of cyclops vampire rabbits are nearly ready to be unleashed to the public. See them in my shop soon.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Garden Party Peg Doll - Tutorial

Eloise is flapper gal who loves tea cakes, flowers, and ice cream socials. Make this splendid little peg dolls using fabric scraps, wooden pegs, and cupcake wrappers and hang them in your window or stick them in the pots of your house plants.

Things you’ll need:
- 1 wooden clothespin peg
- scrap of lightweight fabric, cut approximately 7.5 cm wide and 6.5 cm high, and a smaller strip of the same fabric cut 10cm in length and 1 cm wide
- 2 miniature cupcake wrappers
- A pair of pinking sheers
- A black fine point pen
- A sharp pencil
- A fine point red marker
- A glue stick
- Glue gun with one hot glue stick

Step 1: Draw the face
Draw the face and hair of your gal first with the pencil, and then with the black pen. Colour in the lips with the red marker and the hair with the black pen.

Step 2: Make the dress
With pinking shears cut the lightweight fabric in a slight rectangle [see measurements]
Fold the top edge over a couple times to create a ‘top’ for the dress

Glue around the inside of the top edge with the glue gun. Starting from the back of the peg, wrap the gluey edge around the doll until it meets the back.

Step 3: Make the Hat
Flatten both cupcake wrappers.

Rub the glue stick on the underbelly of one of the wrappers
Paste the two together so that each side of the flattened cupcake wrapper shows its patterns

Pinch the flattened wrappers with your fingers and squirt a small glob of hot glue in the centre.

Wedge the back of the head into the glue glob and mould to the head according to preference.
I preferred making mine in the style of a sun hat and curled the edges out around the brim.

Step 4: Making the hanger
With pinking shears, cut a slight strip of fabric that matches the dress [see measurements]

With the glue gun, dab a small spot of hot glue on the inside bottom, and paste the two edges together to make a loop.

Dot some hot glue on the back of the hat and press the end of the hanger loop in tact.

Now Eloise is ready for some garden part action!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Pugs are the Key

For Christmas, my husband bought me a whole yard of spiffy Pug patterned cotton that he designed on Spoonflower. You can see the design at Spoonflower

I was petrified that I would waste the fabric and didn't want to cut through some of the puggy faces, but I had to make use of it. So, I thought it would make a wonderful little key ring attachment, a little pal to mind your keys. I'll be putting them up in the shop shortly, along with the masses of other projects I'm nearly finishing.

B-day Goodies

It was my birthday a couple days ago and I don't think I've ever had so many crafty-based gifts.

I've been obsessed with Toilet Paper Cozies with the plastic dolls in them for a few months. I finally got around to buying some of the plastic dolls [and let me just say, that in the UK, it is nearly impossible to get these things]. There are so many American sites offering 7" dolls, and even plastic dolls with those funny tube for legs made specifically to fit in toilet paper rolls. The shipping price is too ridiculous though, and I found these cuties for a bargain on ebay.

Anyway, my pal bought me a toilet paper cozy doll from a fantastic designer on Ebay who lives in northern Scotland. She had ordered it two days before my birthday and she made it, packaged and sent right to my pal's house just in time for the birthday bash at Curlers. She is so cute, I had to name her Clementine, and she now survey's the living room atop of my shelf. She's also the same type of doll I had ordered, I must remember to email the lady who makes these and ask her where she get her supply from.

My husbands parents came down and gave me some cards and gifts from the family.

I got this rocking Clothes Kits Bag design that Im itching to sew up [I love the black on red].

My husband and I watched that amazing Totoro film a couple months ago, and I nearly fainted when I saw the wonderful Cat Bus. So he got me this.

His parents drove us out to the big Hobby Craft superstore in Eatserhouse [because it's nearly impossible to get to without a car], and I bought £15 worth of crafts, including polka dot and leopard printed felt that I'm using to make my toilet paper cozies with. We also went into the 'toon and he bought me a knitting loom [amazing!] and pom pom lace stuff, and ric rac, ric rac, ric rac. I have ric rac coming out my ears now! I'm waiting for a delivery of jumbo stuff too!

Check out these darling gnome decals Kris also got me. I need to find a good place to stick these little fellows.

She also picked up a whole box of these wee gaffers as birds for my plush cuckoo clocks. Ugh, I have too many projects on the go.

My new pal and co-worker Anna even whipped me up one of her amazing bird brooches.

She is a jewelry designer and has some brilliant wares in different shops ad galleries in Glasgow and Edinburgh, check her out at Kath Libbert Jewellery and Precious-Eastcoast

And Sindy toilet. Yep...that's a genuine 1970's gem right there. The brown and mustard screams that decade and I love the 'Sindy' in cursive as if it's the name of the toilet company, classic. The little matt that wraps around the seat is just as raggedy as a full sized one would be. One of my little plastic babes tested it out today while I was at work. She should be ashamed of herself!

I will have to make a miniature toilet paper cozy to sit on top of it, as well as maybe a shag seat cover, but that brown is really too sweet to cover up, don't you think? I wish this was my real toilet...or an avocado version...or even a pastel blue. We had a light yellow one with matching tub and sink back at my old home. Having to live with a pure white one is just not as much fun.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Wee Gnome Cottage

Ive been trawling through pictures on the computer, trying to find images of things Ive been making the past while. I stumbled across this Wee Cottage I made for my pal Kris for Christmas this year [how Ive forgotten about it in such a short period of time scares me a bit]. She and I went to York back in November and we got these darling little rubber gnomes from a place called Give a Dog a Bone, a great little gift shop full of weird and wonderful merchandise. We also nipped over to the insanely gorgeous dollhouse shop, Miniature Scene, that completely hypnotized us with 1:12 scale versions of daily items.

So, she bought some items for her homeless gnome, and it was then and there that I decided I was going to build her little guy a cottage to stay in. I constructed the house from this heavy cardboard we get at the library when books are delivered [working in the library has its advantages], and some felt. The window is made from plastic packaging of an eraser set [it's as though it was meant to be a gnome cottage window].

I'm obviously obsessed with York and it's well preserved Medieval/Tutor architecture. I incorporated the 'beams' into the gnome's house. I think they make a cozy atmosphere. I took a lot of inspiration from a place in York called Barley Hall, a medieval townhouse situated down a long, narrow snickleway. Below is the courtyard, with an alleyway passing underneath the building, and a view of one of the rooms inside the house.

This is inside the gnome cottage. I made the roof fexlible so she can flap it up and place the little dude inside. Hopefully Kris will take a pic of her gnome inhabiting the cottage, and I'll get it posted up here.