Thursday, June 27, 2013

FY14 Charity Challenge: Dinosaur Work in Progress

I've officially started FY14 Charity Challenge sewing.

I'm starting with batik dinosaurs.

I pulled all the batiks from the box and was able to cut out six dinosaurs from it all.  Oh, there's still a mess left but not enough to make a solid color/print dinosaur.  I'm toying with making a mismatched dinosaur just for the heck of it (maybe to give away) but I want to finish the good dinosaurs first.  I may just give away the leftover batiks as a scrap pack.

Ok, I have to admit this now (in case I haven't before).  I'm not a huge fan of batiks.  I appreciate them for what they are but they don't do anything for me.  So I'm not that excited about keeping the leftover batik scraps after I make the dinosaurs.  I have some batik fat quarters in my stash so if I ever do want to play with them again, I can.

As of this writing I have one dinosaur done and two more in the works (they just need closed, tails stuffed and attached and faces added).  Then I have three more ready for stitching.  I plan to finish the two tonight and maybe even get the last three stitched.  Stuffing takes a bit of time so I might not get to that tonight but maybe Friday.

Then I just have to decide if I want to put spikes on any/all of them.  I like them both ways, so maybe I'll put spikes on a few if I have felt in a good color.

The more I make this pattern, the more I like it.  It's great practice on sewing curves and pinning.  Lord knows I HATE pinning but it really does make the process easier and make for a better finished product.

I can't wait to have all of these done.

What's next on the sewing list?


But first I need to get a few swap things done.  I have two cloth bags to make and I think a few felt kitties (and some dotees for swap bot swaps).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swap Received: Dotee w/two faces and Patriotic Dotee

Time to show off some more swaps I've received.

First up, for the Dotee with Two Faces swap:

How dang cute is this dotee?

First, lok at all the details. All the beads in the doll sides hair and the beading around the kitty's face.  And I'm in love with the kitty print fabric used on the kitty side.

I love when folks put such great attention to detail and effort into their dotess.  I'm not EXPECTING it, necessarily (since dotee dolls are supposed to be scrappy and made on a whim kind of things) but man, I love getting great dolls like this one and. . .

The dolls I received for the Patriotic dotee swap.

The picture doesn't do it justice.  The face is hand stitched and colored too.  And there is beading around the face and TWO tails.

This one also gave me a great idea for dotee hair.  Craft floss.  I accidentally bought a collection of craft floss before (I thought it was embroidery floss but you can't separate it) and now I have a great idea on how to use it. 

Both of these came from the same swapper (I forget the name now) but I hope they continue swapping on swap bot.  They are great to swap with.

So what else is going on lately?

Well, I finally started using the box of fabric to do some sewing (dinosaurs, RAWR) and I signed up for a series of Wonky 9 Patch quilt squares.  I'm loving them.

I'll have to get a few "in progress" pics of the dinosaurs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

For a swap: Junker Jane Inspired Doll

Time to show off another item I made for some swaps.

It was for a swap in the art doll group I joined just to see what the group was.  They don't have a ton of swaps but they're all more involved swaps so it makes sense.  The last few swaps they had were more assemblage type deals which I don't really have materials to do (and don't want to invest the time/money getting the supplies nor do I really want a finished item from someone else).  But their latest swap looked interesting.

Junker Jane inspired doll.

Now I had no idea what "Junker Jane" was so the helpful link in the swap details filled me in right quick.  Basically they're soft/stuffed dolls with a random/junky/recycled feel to them.  I can SO do that.  Now Junker Jane dolls seem to be a bit more on the "grotesque" bordering on "zombie" side of things.  Personally, that's not my style.  I can appreciate it for what it is but I don't like to make those kinds of things and I don't really like to display them.  It's just not a look I enjoy living with (but like to see and then move on).  BUT, this was just supposed to be "inspired by" not "copy".

So, what did I come up with?

Meet George V.

As you can see, he's not merely a copy of a Junker Jane doll.  But he is DEFINITELY inspired by them.

I went around my craft room (and the tiny pile of junk in my computer room) looking for random items in muted color tones.  Dingy, used, scruffy, scraps.  That's what was on my mind as I poked around.  As far as a pattern went, my only thought was I wanted to make a vaguely human form (doll) versus an animal.  But even that was open to discussion.

Once I had an armful of different things, I just started playing with it to see what happened.

George's face took shape first.  When I found the lone tan stretch glove finger in my scraps (I had a bunch of fingers in other colors, but only one tan/dingy shade) I knew I had to use it.  Hey, it's easy to make them into either a tail or a leg.  Or a nose.

The face fabric was a piece I got in a swap.  When I got it I liked it but immediately wondered what on earth I'd ever use it for, what with it having really thick (decal like) printing on it (the gold areas).  But I got looking at it and the squiggle was the perfect mouth and the placement of one of the other gold areas was perfect for an eye detail.  There was even a little circle with four dots in the center, just like a button.  Since there was so much room on the face between the eye spot and the mouth squiggle, that stretch glove finger was just begging to be a big ole nose.

I had grabbed some scraps of faux fur (left over from when I made Tribbles--George's mustache is a tribble butt!) thinking they'd be hair or details and low and behold it was PERFECT for a mustache.  I just parted the hair and sewed the piece down the middle (so it would be nicely attached) then glued the ends of the fabric down.  A bit of glue to twist the mustache and there you have it.

I backed the face with quilt batting but the back was really rough and ugly.  The fabric was just wrapped and folded around the batting so there were flaps all over the back.  So I needed to clean that up (once I had all the features stitched on).  But the shape of the head is so weird and the face was semi-rigid and I didn't want to bend it too much and distort the look.  I was tempted to just back it with another fabric and lightly stuff it then attach it to a body.  Or maybe there would be no body and I'd just back it and then add arms and legs right to the face.  So many decisions.

But I had the leftovers of a felted sweater in the pile of stuff I'd gathered.

BINGO!  His body was right there in the sweater arm.  The cuff is his feet up to about the shoulder (where I split it to spread it out to make the head shape).

I sewed the face to the felt first then stuffed it.  Then I split the leg area (removing the seam) and sewed it back together (as legs) using some baker's twine I'd received as packaging on some swaps (yeah for recycling!).  Once he was basically all put together, I decided to add the little stitches at the leg/body merge so he could easily sit or stand (if propped up a bit--he's kind of top heavy).  The arms are sweater seams.  One is the seam from the legs and the other was from the other sleeve.

(sidebar:  I've gotten a lot of mileage from one sweater--this is the same sweater I used to make T.P. Day and Mr. Durr  and I still have quite a bit left for. . .who knows!)

While I was collecting my random stuff I gathered up an old tie I had bought years and years ago thinking I'd make it into a snake.  I was thinking I could use it to make a tail or a nose or something.

How about using a tie to make a tie.

That's the tip from the small end of the tie (the part that would be hidden once it's tied).  Few stitches and a button tie tack and George was dressed for success.

Before I mailed him out, I added a plastic clip on name badge with a "hello my name is" sticker inside.  I found them when I was helping clean the supply closet at my place of employ.  They were slated for the trash so let's hear it for more recycling.

Like I mentioned, George V. doesn't look much like a Junker Jane doll (no scars or "nightmare before christmas" feel) but he's definitely in keeping with the spirit of Junker Jane dolls.  Recycled, odd, but still fabulous.  Well, at least I think so.

I think I want to make some more "random" dolls like this.  And I'm also going to give tea staining/dyeing a try (with some of the fabric from The Box).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Fat Quarter Shop 12 pound fabric grab bag

Before I get to the review (tons of pics!) I have to yap about the great idea I had concerning this grab bag (box, really, it's a box).

Before the box arrived, I decided to start a personal challenge with it.  I'm calling it:

FY14 Charity Challenge.

The fiscal year is about to roll over.  So from now until the turn of the next fiscal year (June/July) I'm going to use the grab box fabric to make things for charity.  "Charity" could be toys for Fluff for Foster Care or bandannas/toys for shelter pets or items to donate to charity auctions/sales.  I will not profit (financially) from any item made from the grab box fabric.  The grab box fabric can be used for my personal postage stamp quilt and to add to the postage stamp squares I trade.  The grab box fabric can also be used for some experiments (I want to try my hand at dyeing fabric and there is a bit in the box that I think would work well for said experiment).  I would prefer to make things with the grab box fabric, but I'm not adverse to donating some fabric unused if it's appropriate to the charity (perhaps making a small bundle as a donation to a charity, for example).  I may even make some small quilt tops or maybe even a full (small) quilt.

Sounds good, huh?  It will give me a reason to really go through all my patterns and sew up a bunch of stuff I've been meaning to try but have just been too lazy.

OK, enough about my personal challenge.  It's time for some fabric pOrn.

Yeah, it was all in this box.  It was stuffed full and HEAVY.  Definitely 12 pounds.

Look at that stack.  And that was just one little bit of what was inside.  To get a real look at everything, I needed to spread it out.

First up, the larger cuts.  These ranged from about 14 x WOF up to 40 x WOF.

Big batik pieces.  I already have plans for these.  Remember that dinosaur I made (Kenny) a while back?  I'm thinking that pattern will look great in batiks.

Darker colors.

Lighter colors.  That really light one right in the middle (that has a very faint pattern to it) was the biggest cut. I think that purple (on the left) would make cute mermaid tails.  The green bubble print might make a cute giraffe (I have a cute giraffe pattern I've been wanting to try).

A bit of Christmas fabric and some cute embroidery pattern print.  I love having the Christmas fabric.  The snowman print one would be great accent fabric on a small quilt.  It almost looks like a panel but it's not (the images are just really organized like that).

Next, the smaller sized cuts.  These are all WOF but are 13 inches long or smaller.  The shortest cut was about 3.5 x WOF.

Eee, look at that elephant fabric and the chartreuse chevrons.  Yeah, chevrons are a bit over hyped but I love chartreuse.  The three blue ones on the right hand side coordinate nicely.  Might make nice quilt blocks or dresses for dolls or reversible dog bandannas (if the sizing is right).  The yellow in the middle isn't a solid, it's a blender (that woven looking print--I've seen it before).

Strips of various sizes.  Again, a few batiks in there.  I pulled all the batiks from the box for the dinosaur pattern.  I'm going to start making them pronto.  Lot's of variety with colors and print and even a bit that I'm fairly certain are from the same line (those pinks).

Yup, a bit more batik there.  The one on the right there didn't show up very well in the pic.  It's stripey and light color (and I think has some sparkle/shine to it).

Chevrons, polka dogs, and bit of Christmas cheer.  Some of the darker prints you're seeing are technically Christmas fabric (per the selvage notes) but the images aren't very seasonal, so that means more wiggle room when using them.

Next, the non-WOF cuts.  These are FQ-ish sized (some slightly smaller/larger than FQ) or smaller quares/strips.

These are all about 22 inches wide in varying lengths.  The smallest length is about 9 inches.

LOVE the bat print.

These are all square cuts.  They're around 9.5 x 10.5 (or slightly larger).  There's at least two of each print.

These are all FQ-ish.  They're not perfect fat quarters, but they're all very close.  They may be an inch shorter or longer.  There are duplicates of a few (including the bamboo print and the cute kid print one).  The polka dot one is super cute, some of the dots have little hand drawn (looking) faces on them.  Bit of Christmas in there, too.

Last but not least are the solids and a bit of flannel.

The flannels are the two on top (beige and medium shade blue).  They're both WOF strips (5 inch and 11 inch).

The solids are all WOF and range from 6 inches up to 18 inches.  There are a few duplicates (of this very pale green solid--it looks white in the picture--it's what I'm going to use for dyeing experiments).

Ok, now for my thoughts on the purchase.

Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase.  I bought mine with a 20% off coupon code, which was like getting it for free shipping (shipping is a flat $10).  I crunched some numbers and here's how MY purchase breaks down.

Total yardage (approximate):  28.375 yards
Price per yard:  $1.93

Per the description they estimate 20-25 yards of fabric so they aren't overselling the item at all.  If anything, they're underselling.

The quality of all the fabric is very good.  None of it looked pre-washed or "used" (no stray stains/marks).  All of the fabric is quilt store quality, some of it is even what I'd consider "high end" (there was a bit of Japanese fabric in my collection).

The variety of colors and prints is also very good.  I like getting a nice mix of colors and prints.  I also like getting some novelty fabrics (since I love them).  The prints to solids ratio was good.  I like getting some solids but since they are boring (and usually less expensive compared to prints) I don't want them to dominate.  There was a low amount of "non-quilting cottons" (flannel/laminated/etc).  I don't mind getting a bit of that just for a fun change, but I don't use it a lot so less is better.  There was also a minimum of duplication with the prints.  There were a few repeats but the size was usually different (or in the case of the smaller squares, I like getting two of the same).

The variety of cuts was very good.  I don't mind getting some smaller cuts (like the squares or shorter strips) but I appreciate them not dominating the box.  I consider those smaller pieces "scraps" and expect them to dominate a scrap bag.  But for a remnant box/bag I want more larger cuts over smaller.  This box had the right ratio of sizes.

Now the big questions that comes up with any scrap/mystery bag purchase is:

Would I buy this again?

YES.  It's a good value and super fun to unpack and figure out how to use it all.

Would I recommend it to others?

YES.  Especially folks who already appreciate scrap/mystery bags or folks who like to "work scrappy".  I'd also recommend it to a person with little to no stash.  It's a very economical way to get your hands on good quality fabric.  Even if you're a newbie to sewing, you deserve to work with really nice materials (even if your finished products aren't so hot).

I'd also add, this is a great item for folks to go together on.  Especially for folks with different tastes.  My box as an example, I could easily share this with someone who really likes more "classic" prints (like civil war reproduction stuff).  Or, you could just share it based on how much your per yard price is and how much you take from the box.  Hey, that could be a fun idea for a quilt guild.

Last but certainly not least, this review is just because I enjoy doing reviews.  This is not an ad for The Fat Quarter Shop in any way/shape/form.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.  (though wouldn't that be fun, to get paid to review scrap bags and mystery packs!).  

Swaps: What I've Received Lately

The bombing raid continues.  This second (of three) posts is to show off some items I've received lately.

I'm going to warn you, both of the items I'm about to show off are so freaking fabulous.  So brace yourself.

First up, the Damnit Doll I received.

Holy crap!  How damn cool is this doll!!!

Really, just take it all in for a second, I'll wait.

That FACE!!!!

I love every aspect of this doll.  It's made so well and it's so creative and I hope the things I make eventually get this great.  I really love the applique face.  You know I'm going to steal that technique and try it out on some of my own stuff.  And fleece?  Yeah, I know it's super versatile and this is helping win me over to it.  This doll is so squishy and huggable.

The body isn't fleece.  I'm not sure what kind of fabric it is but it's fabulous.  You can't see them for the poem but there are two little patches appliqued on the front of the body.  Too cute!

The hair?  Can we talk about what the heck that hair even is?  I think it's just strips of fleece run through a surger but I can't be for certain except to know I love it.

I could never abuse this doll.  I want to hug it and admire it.

Next up is the item I received from a private swap.  Remember that cat dotee I made a while back (right before my vacation)?  Well, I dropped out of that swap so I had the dotee up for grabs and I lamented on the swapbot boards about having to drop the swap and someone messaged me saying they'd love to have the stray kitty dotee.  So I set up the swap.  It was to be a crochet/knit item of the sender's choice in return for the kitty dotee.

I never expected THIS:

EEEEE!!!  Look how freaking adorable!!!  A flamingo wearing a scarf.  Knitted (I'm pretty sure that's knitted) JUST FOR ME!!!

Let that just soak in while I get a close up.

So damn cute!

The body has a big high bounce ball in it so technically Mr. Pinkerton (the name my partner gave him--on an adoption certificate, too!) does bounce but he goes all wonky when he does and I don't want him going all out of control and getting dirty.

Along with Mr. Pinkerton was an adoption certificate and some cards with fun flamingo facts.  It was really a fabulous package right down to the bubble mailer which was printed with fun sayings.

Yeah, I felt like my side of this swap was weak in comparison.  The kitty dotee was good but my partner pulled out all the stops.  I'd love to swap with her again so I can do the same.

Hell, I'd love to swap with either of these folks again.  They make great stuff which only serves to make me want to up my own game.

For Swaps: Dotee and Damnit Doll

I'm bombing the blog today.  Three posts.  This is the first one to show off two items I recently finished for some swaps.

First up, for the Patriotic Dotee Doll swap (I hosted).

Per the swap guidelines, the dotee had to represent your country in some way, be it with your flag's colors or with a symbol of your country.  It was an international swap but most of the folks were U.S.  I wanted to do something fun and a little tongue in cheek.

Derpy eagle is so patriotic!

Yeah, he really does have a derpy face.

Told you.

The body is made from this odd fuzzy fabric I got from my sister.  It's the leftovers from the Domo costume she made herself for last Halloween (that costume was fabulous--and my sister tries to act like she can't craft/sew, she makes kick ass cakes, too--we're a creative family).

The head is felt with felt and embroidered features.  I made it hood style, so it's layered over the fuzzy fabric (with a spot of glue on the back pieces so I didn't have to stitch across the bottom of the head area and have ugly stitches).

I made a template for the body (it was just a simple egg shape) and the wings were just free form using the curvy scrap bits left after I cut out the egg shapes.

Bead feet and oh so patriotic tail (dotee tail that is--he does have a real fabric tail, too but I didn't get a pic of it--the fabric tail was made from a scrap).

What patriotic eagle would be complete without a wee American flag?  This was a free printable I found online.  Just glue the paper to the toothpick and viola, it's a flag.  It was sliding a bit on the pick, so I added a little bead at the top (and put a bit o' glue at the bottom of the paper).

I plan to send along another copy of the flag image and extra toothpick just in case this one gets mashed in transit.  Or if my partner wants to add a second flag to make this the most patriotic eagle EVAH.  Their call.

I really love how this one turned out.

NEXT up:

For a Damnit Doll swap.  (damnit dolls are just dolls made to be abused--google it if you're that curious)

The basic premise is it's a doll shaped stuffed toy large enough that you can get ahold of it and slam it around or throw it so you can get out your frustrations.

As you can see, this fine fella is a good size.  I'd guess about 10 inches or so (not including his hair).

Speaking of that hair, how fabulous is it, huh?  It was a bit of a bitch to turn out mostly because I was dumb when I stitched up the doll.  I should have left a hair gap at the top of the head and then hand stitched the hair in OR made the doll's neck wider and I wouldn't have had the struggle I did when I turned the doll.  I did manage to get it done (duh) but I blew out a bit of the seam at the neck doing it.  Not a huge deal, I fixed it up with no fuss but I need to be learning smarter ways to sew, not just stubbornly muscling through.

A face only a mother could love (or someone who wants to abuse you).

This fabric was just so great I didn't want to add anything like buttons.  Also, the more chunky junk you add the more chances for those items to fall off should someone actually abuse the doll.  And, come on now, that flower looking mark is PERFECT as an eye.  I just needed to enhance it a bit with some embroidery.  So I stitched over the flower shape and then over the backslash to make the eyes.  Ric rac for the mouth (really, it's the easiest way to make a squiggly "oh no!" style mouth).

Ok, I have to just add this.  How great is that fabric?  It's all kinds of punctuation which looks so much like cartoon swears.  The minutes I found this in my stash I knew it was what I was going to use.  (and my stash is so much bigger than I like to admit--holy crap, I need to stop buying RIGHT NOW and get sewing, NOW).

I just have to add a poem to the Damnit Doll before I send it.  There are "official" ones online but I think I'm going to amend mine a bit.  The "real" one is kind of long and dumb.  I want to get mine down to four lines.  I think I have it just about figured out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Made for a Regretsy Swap

I love Regretsy based swaps.  It's a fun little community and it (usually) gives me a chance to make at least one little thing just for the sake of making.

This time around, I got to angel along with sending to my one partner.  So twice the chance to make stuff just 'cuz.

The first package had only one little handmade felt kitty (done as a tiger) and I didn't get a photo of it.  It turned out really well and I was happy with it.  Since that package was going international I didn't get a chance to whip up anything really big. Hey, I like swapping but I'm also cheap so I wanted to get the most fun stuff in the package as possible for the least cost.  So I went with a craft kit I had in my stash (my partner claimed to love all craft kits--this one was to make flamingos using pipe cleaners and beads), some little animals in a cute handmade (not by me) envelope, a bit of fun candy (Nintendo themed gummies), and some stickers.  I got it all packed up super tight and for under $20.  I WIN, post office.  In your FACE.

Then I got to angel and it was domestic shipping so I got a chance to really make something with some true size.  That partner was into seahorses and likes chartreuse so. . .

Eee!  A chartreuse argyle seahorse!  Love that I got to try my hand again with that free pattern.  This time I altered it a bit and added some little fins on the sides using some scrap fabric.  I wish I had some tulle.  I would love to make one with tulle fins along the back (there's instructions for that in the pattern).  I also want to make the largest version with the pocket for a mini baby.  I'll probably give that a try for the ongoing Fluff project (check out the button).

(sidebar:  Yeah, the Fluff for Foster Care charity dealie is going to be an ongoing project.  So now I have an outlet for any dolls/pillows/toys I want to make. No more worrying about "what the hell will I do with it once I make it?".  LOVE!)

The partner for the angel gift seemed to be a very practical soul, so I didn't want to send along too much random detritus/knick knacks.  But I figured one stuffed toy of modest size wasn't a big deal.  But one stuffed toy is not a good enough gift.  So along with it, I sent (directly from etsy) a bar of soap they had on their favorites page.  I would have preferred to get soap locally (we have a great soap place a few blocks from my house, Jay Designs, but Jay's doesn't have vegan soap and the etsy soap was vegan so best to ere on the side of caution.  I did find a cute lemon scented owl shaped soap at Wild Card but for only a buck or so more I could just get the etsy one and not have to worry about it melting in transit or it getting beat up by me).  So the soap was on it's way directly from the seller and I needed one more thing to go with the seahorse (and I still was itching to sew).

Enter, the dog bandanna.  This was another free pattern courtesy of Hopeful Threads (the blog where I find all my charity sewing ideas).  I didn't make any for the pet based charity sewing month because, to be quite honest, the larger sizes take too much fabric and I don't have a lot of yardage, mostly half yard and smaller cuts.  BUT, the dog I was making this for appeared to be small/medium sized so I could make the medium bandanna with some cute half yards I had in my collection.

BONUS, it's organic cotton which I think my swap partner will appreciate.  I've had this fabric in my hoard for quite a while.  It was bought back when I was obsessed with buying fabric under the thinking of "I need to get just a bit so I don't miss out".  Ahh, that fabulously expensive trap!  Most fabrics you can always find somewhere even long after they are not longer "new" OR just accept that some fabric will come and go and you won't have any.  That was a big deal for me to accept.

So, cute seahorse and reversible dog bandanna were combined with a cute handmade envelope (I buy all of mine at Wild Card, the cool card store in my 'hood) featuring shells (something my partner likes) and a cool shell I found on the beach while I was on vacation.

I hope both my swap partners like what they got.  The big reveal is Wednesday so we'll find out.  (I know I liked what I got--some cool thrift store finds and CANDY--candy is always good).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dotees (for swaps):Under the Sea and Dotee with Two Faces

Show off time!!

First, the dotee I made for the Under the Sea swap (I hosted):

It's a sort of octopus/jelly fish.  I intended her to be an octopus but once I got it done it looked a lot more like a jelly fish.  The fabric was a scrap I just received in a scrap swap.  How's THAT for quick turn around on stash busting.  The tentacles are just bits of satin-y cording from my dotee trim stash bag (I save bits of ribbon and such that come with other packages I receive, I think that's where this cording came from--it wasn't on a roll, that's for sure).  The tail is more of the bubble beads with a little fishy button at the bottom.

Now, about those peepers.  Those are the last two google eyes I had.  And don't you know, the last time I was at Joanne's they didn't have any.  Who would have ever thought I'd be WANTING google eyes.  Wait, let me specify SEW ON google eyes.  They had the glue on kind but I prefer sew on.  Behind each eye is a shell shaped sequin, giving this jelly fish a very girly look that I enjoy.

Next up, for the Dotee with Two Faces swap:

Basically you had to make a two sided dotee with a face on each side.  Easy peasy, right. . .yeah, that's why this one took some thinking on my part.  Not so much detailed planning but just some serious sketching.  I wanted to experiment with my cloth markers.  I tried out the sharpie ones again but they were just too wet.  The color bled a bit too much for the detail I wanted.  They're good for simple features like a little line mouth or some eyes but not this much detail.  I used my other pen (I don't know the manufacturer) for these.  The tip on that pen is harder and made more for writing on fabric, which it does really well.

Here are some of the faces I rejected:

So you can see that pen was worth the $3 or so I paid for it (I think I paid that much).  I'm going to have to go back to the art store and see if they have more of the same brand in different colors.  I really like them.  The only trick with them is you have to heat set the finished drawing.  But that's simple (just use medium heat, no steam and a scrap of buffer fabric so ink doesn't get on the iron or ironing board--hold for a few seconds and bob's your uncle).

Had to whip out the heat and bond to get the faces onto the bodies.  Made a bit of a misstep there and put them on BEFORE I sewed the bodies together so they pulled up around the edges as I turned the body right side out (and I left a rather stingy opening for turning, so that didn't help, either).  I need to get some heat and bond that's NOT for applique.  The light stuff I have is for items you want to adhere and then top stitch the edges, so sometimes the edges don't stick down super tight.  For this dotee, I just got out a dot of glue and tidied up the edges as necessary.  Since dotees are usually just for display, I don't forsee any problems with faces popping off all the way.  I need to experiment more with bonding products.  I have some stuff called Misty Fuse but it claims you need a silicon ironing sheet to use it and I don't have one of those so. . .maybe that's something I could treat myself too the next time I feel I need to buy something (or if I can score one at Joanne's with a 50% off coupon).

Closeups of those cute mugs.

I was going for an "old guy" look for the green side.  Hence the comb over and three liver spot dots on the head.  And the very "dad" looking tie to go with the argyle print fabric.  The tie is just some bits of satin ribbon.  The collar is attached at the body seams (pin to the right side before you sew the bodies together) then I tied a second bit around the collar and stitched it to vaguely resemble a tie.  Snip the bottom into a point, add a tiny bit of glue to prevent fraying and done.

The pink side was more of a "baby" look.  I had a hell of a time making a baby face.  None of them were cute enough (as you can see in my sketches--babies tend to end up looking like monkeys--what's up with that?).  The collar was the last of the towel cake ribbon (yes, that 12 year old trim I found in my junk room--the same stuff that I used on the sea horses I made last month).  Again, it was attached at the body seams.  Then I added a cute flower I had in my dotee stash (it was a flower someone sent to me as an extra).

The tail is just beads.  I think the bigger plastic ones came from Wheezie's Cove (best thrift store EVER!) and the green are just from my generic seed bead dish.

They're both packed up and ready to mail.   I have a few more packages to put together before I make a mail run.  I found a new home for the cat dotee.  I couldn't do the swap I made it for (dropped it before it was closed so no harm, no foul) but someone mentioned they wanted it so I'm doing a private swap for it.  Love that.

What's up next?

I'm angeling for the Regretsy swap I'm in.  So as soon as I get the info, I'll be pulling together a package for that person.  I'm happy to report my first package made it to the UK without a hitch, so I'm excited for the reveal thread to see if they liked what I sent.  I'm kind of hoping the person I'm angeling is into things I can easily craft for.  I'm in the mood to make a little stuffed toy or something (but not necessarily for a certain show or anything like that--I want a more generic theme).  We'll see!