Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Iron Craft #6: Treat Yo Self

This week's challenge:

"Were you a fan of the recently ended tv show Parks and Rec? Two of the characters on the show, Tom and Donna, would have Treat Yo Self days where they would shop, get manicures, have cocktails, etc. Well, we are going to use that as our theme for this challenge. Make something special for yourself. It can be something blingy like jewelry, something to pamper yourself like bath products, or even sew up that skirt in that high end silk you’ve been eyeing. You have an excuse because Iron Craft is ordering you to Treat Yo Self!" (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Uh oh...

I guess that means I get to subject you to photos of myself. ACK!


I made Gwen the dolly for myself last Iron Craft Challenge, so she made something for me for this one...

Er... well... not really. But she looked super cute trying.

This pile of crocheted yarn turned into this:

I call it my Sunset Shawl because it has pretty sunset colours in it.

I'm wearing orange, so it might be difficult to see. I started with this Tropical Breeze shawl pattern. But then I ran out of orange yarn. It's one thing to make something for yourself, but it is quite another to go buy more supplies to make said thing. So I switched directions and decided to increase the size by making a border around the orange triangle I already had done. Then I ran out of the orange/yellow colour. I asked Lane's expert opinion and she said it needed a little extra. So I added the pink to make it look like the sky at sunset.

I can't wait for it to be a little more Spring-ish here so that I can wrap myself in it while I take the kids to school in the morning. Or when I pick them up at lunch, or when I drop them back off after lunch, or when I pick them up after school. Yeah... I am at that school 4 times a day. Hopefully the weather will cooperate one of those times to allow me to wear my shawl. :)

 So there ya go! What do you think? Too colourful? I know that orange and pink aren't usually paired together... but did you see my patchwork pants in the photo? I never match!

To see all the indulgent project from the Iron Crafters this week, please check out the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Do You Want 10% Off Your Tawny Bee Purchase at the Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza?

Well... do you want 10% off your Tawny Bee purchase at the Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza this coming Sunday?

(details in the previous post in case you missed it and want to attend)

We're going to play a bit of a game for your discount.

 I made a very special doll a few weeks ago. She was so special and cute that I couldn't bare to sell her. So I made her the official doll mascot of Tawny Bee. 

She'll be at the show with me on Sunday.
  Tawny Bee Doll

Isn't she precious? If you have visited the Tawny Bee Facebook Page or this blog, you might remember her name? (I actually linked right to the post about this particular doll on this blog, so there's no excuse for not knowing it).

 That's the game.

 If you come to the Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza, visit my booth and can tell me this doll's name - then you'll get 10% off your purchase (and probably a special little gift as well... because I can't help myself)

  Tawny Bee Doll

Details about the Doll Show in the previous post and also in the photo below. :)

  Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys!

 I got accepted into the Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza this year.

 S**T just got real! :D

 And you all want to come and support my first showing of my handmade dolls to the world right?

 Here's how:

 A doll, teddy bear, and dollhouse miniatures show and sale, showcasing the handiwork of artisans and the treasures of collectors.

 Sunday, March 29, 2015, from 10am to 4pm.

 Ramada Viscount Gort Hotel,1670 Portage Avenue

 Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children under 12

 Lots of free parking, handicap accessible.

Door prizes. Bring a can of cat food for Craig Street Cats and receive an extra draw ticket.

 Presented by Toy Artistry and Under the Mushroom Miniatures
  Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza 

 I've finally put some time into the making of a toy hammock display, so I'll be bringing those along with all my dolls to the show on Sunday. I hope to see you there!
Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza  

 You can also "like" the Winnipeg Doll Extravaganza by following this link.

Monday, 23 March 2015

T-shirt Cat Tent for our New Adoption

A couple of weekends back, we decided to check out the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter. We go there from time to time to look at all the kitties and puppies. It's a fun thing to do on Saturday that doesn't cost much.

Only, this time it cost us quite a bit! We fell in love with a little kitty named Mathilda. The shelter worker told us that this particular kitty had 3 strikes against her. She was black. She was not young enough and not old enough. I guess people want either kittens or cats that have matured enough to fit into their lives without bother. Mathilda is 7 months.

The third strike was that she was born with a hole in her heart.


How could we not take her home with us? I have 3 holes in my heart and Terry brought me home with him ... so to speak...

They had ultrasounded Mathilda when she was at the shelter and found that the hole wasn't doing much. It wasn't growing and there was no blood seeping through. Better than I was doing when I was born for sure! We will have to get her an ultrasound again when she's a year old and fully grown to make sure that all the excitement of being adopted and settling into a new place hasn't damaged her hole further. But she's an active, healthy cat who is super curious and awesome!

Here she is being curious and preventing me from doing any work.

She's already a member of the family. Lane and Logan love her so much. Like any cat, she is up all night and she loves to climb into our bed and purr and purr and purr until we are downright insane with lack of sleep. So in an effort to regain our sanity while we train her not to do that - I made her a tent out of one of Terry's old t-shirts. Yes... I am aware that you really cannot train a cat, and this is going to be a long drawn out process of getting her to stop bugging us while we sleep. But we're going to make the effort anyway. Last night was the first night that we slept with the door open all night and didn't have a cat in our faces. Small victory though because she was sleeping in Lane's bed and Lane is a little more willing to let Mathilda purr and purr next to her all night *sigh*.

A Megadeth t-shirt tent for the most badass black kitty around \m/

I put the tent down when I was finished and was going to get Terry to show him my work when Mathilda came over to see the commotion and sniffed it out. She immediately claimed it as her own and sat right down in it before I Terry even arrived to check it out.

Ooooh black cat creepy eyes peering at us from inside....

I used a tutorial on Instructables to make the tent and it was super easy - no sew. All it took were 2 hangers, duck tape, cardboard, a t-shirt and safety pins.  You should totally make one for your furry friend.

So our days have been filled with watching a very curious little creature adjust to our house and routines. Here she is trying to help me make banana bread. Yeah... she's not so good at that.

And here she is trying to help me do the laundry. Again... yeah... she's not so good at that either.


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Crocheted Pig Amigurumi

It was Logan's turn for some crochet work. He chose this interesting little pig.

Not exactly sure why he would choose this little guy... but this piggy is so cutey wooty that I was more than happy to make him.

Can I get an "Awwwwwww...."?

He's just so cutey wooty. I can't stand it.

I used this pattern to make him and made him in about an hour. Super easy and fun!

****A link to my amigurumi pig project on Ravelry****

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Iron Craft Challenge #5: Green

This week's challenge:

"I had to do it, since the reveal day for this challenge is St. Patrick’s Day, I had to do a green challenge. So, make something that is the color green OR that is green in that it uses recycled materials." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Logan's favourite colour is green, so I've been collecting green fabric for a long time. So I figured that I had this challenge in the bag!

And then I ended up using the green from a pretty little green dress that Lane used to wear...


I guess you just can't plan every little thing when creative ideas start percolating.

I made Gwendolyn.

Gwendolyn was originally thought out in my head as a brunette. But I didn't have any brown yarn for her hair. Then I thought about making her a boy or at least a tomboy by using an old green t-shirt of Logan's (because he's had tons of green stuff). But I had saved and used all of this green t-shirts for his memory quilt. So back to the drawing board. I decided to take some inspiration from all the China dolls I used to play with at my Grandparents' store when I was a kid and make an Asian doll.

Jade green is a very important colour in Asian culture. And the lotus flower or flowers in general since this is sort of a daisy/lotus mixed flower. Anyhoo... Gwendolyn's dress used to be Lane's green dress. And wouldn't you know it - I can't find a single photo of Lane actually wearing that dress. The only one that came close was a photo of her wearing it underneath her Belle costume during one of the many times I made her try it on while I was making it. Since the dress is upcycled from Lane's though, it makes this project green coloured and eco-green as well. Yay!

I just love Gwen's cute face. She looks so happy. And her hair was a fluke. I had originally counted it out to be braided but then realized that this yarn was a lot thicker than I had wanted and the braids weren't coming together as nicely as I wanted. So I changed it up and gave her more of a Japanese anime character hair-do. I love it so much!

Gwen's doll body is made from a cotton/poly sheet that I dyed with coffee to make her skin tone. She is 15 inches tall.

Originally I thought that I might sell Gwen at the doll show that I am going to at the end of the month. Instead, I'm going to keep her. I can't give her up. She's like my little mascot now - cheering me on to making better and better dolls. :)

What do you think of Gwendolyn of the Green Dress?

I'm also going to be sharing her for the Sew Mama Sew 6 Weeks of Softies contest.

You can see all of the other Iron Crafters' green projects at the Flickr Group.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Quilt Story: Autumn Colours Quilt

You may remember the quilt top I pieced together for the Iron Craft - Autumn Colours challenge last year. If not, here is the blog post about it.

I was intending to hand quilt it on my new quilt table at the time. And I actually did it!

And yeah... it took this long! (I had the quilt top finished for the November 4th Iron Craft last year).

But it's finished and it's beautiful.

That was some slow work considering that this quilt it only 4 feet by 4 feet.

Hand quilting this certainly did give me a chance to learn basics like popping the thread knot into the seam and working from the centre. Things that most quilters already know, but I did not. I used a book called the "Quilting Primer" to figure out all of these basics. Most quilting books must assume that you know how to do all that because it's never mentioned. I had no idea that you could pop the knot into the seam or how to end the thread without backstitching 3 times (which is how you're taught in Home Ec to end your hand sewing projects). Apparently, it's not the same for quilting. I wish some more books would start right at the beginning with those sorts of things. Anyhoo... The Quilting Primer helped out so much! I will definitely treasure that book.

Not bad. The stitches are relatively evenly spaced. I drew the design from the pattern book onto my quilt with chalk and then stitched along the lines. It turned out a little wonky, but I think it adds charm to this quilt.

Since it took me so long to stitch this top, some of the chalk might have rubbed off and I might have improvised some of the lines. The kids think that my quilting table is an actual table that they can play underneath and display stuffies on top of. Oy! I keep saying "not a table" but no one ever takes me seriously. Oh well. When the thing is set up in our main room, the temptation is too much for anyone to handle. I've even been caught putting things on top of it. Ooops.

I took a break from it to finish all of the Christmas things and quilting only happens in the evening after the kids go to sleep because I set it up in front of the couch in the way of everything (except the TV). The whole apparatus is so light that it can be moved easily. I guess if I had a heavier quilt on it, it might be more cumbersome to move. This one, however, was super easy to move out of the way.

Even the back looks pro. I'm very pleased with the whole thing and can't wait to get started on another one. I might give this one to the Parents Association at the school as an auction item at the BBQ in May. In the meantime I think it will accompany me to my spring craft shows and be used as a table covering. I think it will be the perfect background to display my new dolls. :)

What do you think? I don't know if hand quilting was really worth it since it was small enough to quilt on my machine without too much trouble. But it was worth it for the skills I've learned that I can apply to much bigger projects. The whole project was actually quite soothing. All that rhythmic stitching was calming to my nerves at the end of the day. I definitely need to get another one on the table soon.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Iron Craft #4: Dreaming of Spring

This week's challenge:

"So, the groundhog saw his shadow and most of the US is being hit by snowstorms and bitter cold. (Shut up San Francisco, we don’t want to hear about your heatwave.) That has left most of us in this part of the world to dream of milder Spring days. For this challenge, we want you to turn those dreams into a project." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Well.... I gotta say... it hasn't been too bad a winter in Winnipeg this year.


I know!

I mean, we've gotten our regular -30C temps, but no where near as long and drawn out as last year. And the kids are super disappointed in the lack of snow we've been getting. There is only a tiny pile on our lawn. We built snowmen, but there isn't that huge wall of snow that the kids love to play in ... wah ...

Anywho - I'm still dreaming of spring. Because once spring comes, then summer isn't far behind. :)

My project is all ready for spring as well:

This is Audrey. I made this cloth doll and her outfit for this project.

Some stats about Audrey:

She is a 15 inch (36 cm) fabric doll. 

She is made out of a cotton sheet that was dyed with all natural coffee to achieve her medium skin tone. She has safety eyes of green and a sewn expression on her face complete with freckles. Her hair is made out of orange brushed yarn.

Her t-shirt and velour pants are made from upcycled childrens clothing and are removable. She has a raincoat and rain boots both made out of oilcloth and can be removed as well. She is ready for Spring to arrive!

I wish I had a cool raincoat like Audrey's! Then maybe I'd be ready for spring as well.

****To see all the Iron Crafters' Spring projects, check out the Flickr Group****

*** If you'd like to purchase Audrey - she's available in my Etsy shop :) ****

Monday, 2 March 2015

Crocheted Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony

This project originally was for a birthday present for one of Lane's friends. But then I soon realized that this pony was going to be too complicated and detailed and time consuming for a mere birthday present.

So Lane now has a brand new crocheted Rainbow Dash! :D

You can see that I put the final touches on Rainbow Dash while watching the Oscars... pretty lights and dresses on the TV...

I used this pattern and found it pretty easy to follow. There were tons of details and a lot of rounds and rounds and rounds. It took me a couple of weeks to get this one done. Phew!

I recommend a good stuffing. I used a slightly heavier weight stuffing for Rainbow Dash in order to hold up that enormous tail of hers without tipping over. I think she is just lovely and has maybe given me the confidence to tackle the other ponies?.... Maybe?

Here is a link to my Rainbow Dash project on Ravelry.