Thursday, January 30, 2014

Painting: FINISHED one!!

I'm officially calling one of my paintings DONE.

It's been a long haul for the Little Portraits set and I wish the whole set was done but alas, only one is Officially Complete.

I give you:  Clark (aka Super Worm)

It took a long time to get the green shade right and to get it to a place where I feel confident it is done.  I don't hate it and even kind of like it, so that's a good sign.

Unfortunately, after seeing how well Clark turned out I need to go back to Priscilla and Mr. Roboto and tweak them a bit.  So the Little Portraits set won't be totally done for a few more weeks (hey, it's been a year now, what's a few more weeks, right?)

Close up (without my classmates butt in the background!)

I think the scarf may be my favorite part of this painting.  I also like the stitching along the head.

I've already started re-working Priscilla.  Nothing major (no do-overs, just working with what's already on the canvas).  Ok, I did re-do the entire background but that wasn't really a big deal.  It made a huge difference, too.  I'll show that one off next week.  I'm also going to give Mr. Roboto a small tweak.  His antennae is a bit flat looking so I need to do the shadowing thing on it a bit better.

Someday I'll get to my next painting project, a break from painting my sewn creations.  I'll be doing a total abstract painting.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

For a Swap: Birthday Dotee

Finished this up last night (so I can mail it out Friday).

Birthday dotee.  I decided to focus on the three big things all birthdays need.  Cake, ice cream, and presents.  The idea came to me when I was going through the box of 5" charms I have and low and behold I found the present print fabric.  Just cut those three charms in half and make two new pieces of fabric.  But it needed a bit more zazzle so I hit up my vintage ric rac for this muted pink with gold.  Perfect.  Just machine sewed that right along the seams and bob's your uncle.

Cupcake ribbon for the hangar (naturally) and then a wee felt face.  Again, it needed a bit more zazzle so I added beads as I stitched the face on.  I really like this face.  It turned out really cute (the eyes and nose are just one stitch tied down with a wee stitch in the middle and the mouth is back stitched).

And the back, just to show off the fabrics a bit more (since you can't see the presents under the face on the front).

You can't see the tail but it's all beads.  I found some pink tone ones in my plastic bead bag and just spaced them with the fatter seed beads (like the ones on the face).

This dotee is off to the Netherlands.  I wrapped it in a piece of fabric printed with swirly ribbons (like confetti) and tied it with a piece of pink ribbon.  I just felt it needed to feel like a present since it's a birthday theme and all.

What else am I working on?  Oh, trying to finish up some paintings and I'm making a tiny ragdoll and a unicorn and those darn guinea pigs.  I need to sew more and watch less t.v. (but I'm on a Sons of Anarchy binge right now so. . .)

Monday, January 27, 2014

For a swap: February Unique Holiday Dotee

Got another swap done.

Just in time, too.  I need to get this bad boy mailed by 1/31 (that's Friday, holy crap where did January go!?).

February 15 is National Gumdrop Day.

Celebrate with cute sparkly gumdrops!

The pattern is at the American Felt and Craft blog (here).  I just added faces to make them all super kawaii.

Since each drop was pretty small, I made two.  Hey, we all know no one eats just one gumdrop, anyway.

I'm happy with how well they turned out and they went together FAST (even with having to put each sequin on individually).

They're ready to mail out, I'm just going to try and get at least two other swaps pulled together to make my trip to the post office more worthwhile.  (one swap is just a supply swap so I just have to put it in an envelope, the other swap might be patches or it might be a doll--I have two dolls, a dotee, and patches to make so. . .oh and I still have to make those g-darn guinea pigs, poor things have been waiting forever!).

Ok, time to get to work.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fabric Fast: UPDATE

Time to check in on the fabric fast.

Well, since it's a fast there's nothing to see.  I haven't purchased any new fabric since January 1.

I did go to Joanne's a few times (because we were going to a store two doors down from it) and I did get some notions (buttons for a project, some felt balls that were on super mega after christmas clearance) but I bought NO fabric.  I also got some ribbon at Target (to use for projects) but NO FABRIC.

I've made quite a few swaps and used only stuff from my stash.  I've done a few fabric swaps using fabrics from my stash.

No what I've realized?

My stash is WAY bigger than I ever thought.  When I think about it I only really think about the fabric that's in my dresser (four drawers, pretty much full--the fifth drawer is just cheap felt, so I don't count it).  But I forget (conveniently?) the fabric on the bed (stacks of fat quarters from two different big swaps I did last year--I kept the fabric together because I was keeping track of what I had received and what I was missing and I liked seeing it all together) and the fabric in the 12 pound remnant box (I keep it together because I try to use from it for my charity sewing) and the fabric from another bigger scrap pack I bought (again, I keep it separate because I like it that way) and the big bag of random fabrics I got from the thrift or had given to me by other folks (most isn't quilting cotton) or the small pile of faux fur (and other odd ball fabrics).

Yeah, my stash is big.  Big like you think of god's as big.

I need to purge some of it (from that thrift store pile) and get to more sewing.

(oh, and that doesn't even count all the charm squares I have cut for my "will it ever happen" postage stamp quilt--a project that is slowly growing old right along with me) OH and there's a box on the bed two that contains scrap sized fabrics (another box I kept separate because I won it and wanted to always remember where it came from--why do I do that?).

I'm happy to report I have finished some of my fabric.  There are a few prints I've had for some time now and I've finally used the last of it (or got it down to just wee bitty scraps).  This is HUGE for me.

My big challenge now is to get my craft room organized.  I just keep putting it off.

And while I'm fasting I'm keeping a little list of fabrics I've seen and like.  Once the fast is over (and if I find any of those on a good sale) I might reward myself with one or two of them.

But for now, I'll keep being surprised by what I find in my never ending stash.  Honestly, I'm like a hoarder or something!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For a swap: Zombie Cupid

This is another item I made for a swap.

The swap was to make a Valentine themed softie/stuffed toy.

My swap partner likes zombies so this happened.

Zombie Cupid!

His front view and. . .

Back view.

Aww, he's a happy fella!

I wanted to make it icky but not disgusting.  My original thought was to make a zombie like the ones on Bob's Burgers (since my swap partner loves that too--can you blame them, it's a great show).  The zombies Tina dreams about are definitely zombies but they aren't super disgusting and are very cartoony.

So I needed to show some "blood and guts" but not very graphic or realistic.

I was going to have an eyeball hanging out but it seemed a little over the top.  That and working with such a small space it would have looked more like a bead on a string than an eyeball on a nerve.  So I opted for a missing eye with a little scar (under the bangs).  Ric Rac mouth to keep it silly and because I love ric rac.

Some of the "gore".

Exposed leg bone with some rotting flesh and a bit of red "blood".  (the bloody fluff was actually the bits of trimmed off ric rac just torn apart)

Exposed flesh on the arm (there's a spot on the other arm, too).

Exposed body cavity with ribs, bloody gut fluff, and a big ole heart.  Hey, it's valentines day so you need a classic heart on there.

Let me pause to mention how much I love those hearts.  I found some v-day themed ribbon in the dollar zone at Target (I think I mentioned this already now that I'm thinking about it) and one of the strips was felted cut out hearts.  They cut apart so neatly and are just fabulous for crafting (yes, I did mention this before when I showed off the v-day patches).

Exposed brain.

Ok, for all you anatomy buffs out there I know that's not exactly the proper placement for the brain. The back wouldn't show so much of the swirly brain matter (but would be more stem--right?) but this is a cartoony zombie so we can just go with it.  I really just wanted an excuse to use stem stitch to make brain swirls.  This is now the second time I've embroidered brain swirls (the first was on the scarecrow dotee that I'm sure terrified the person I sent it to--it was freaky).

Quiver with arrows.

I'm particularly proud of the quiver, arrows and bow (which I just realized I forgot to get a stand alone picture of, but you can see it in the top pic).  I had to freehand them all and they turned out really nice.

The bow was just three strips of felt glued together then trimmed down to the curved shape.  I wrapped pink embroidery thread around the middle for the grip and then strung it with three strands of embroidery floss.  It ended up a little droopy so I had to loop it over one end again and then glue it down (then it was nice and taut).

The quiver is just a tube.  Nothing that special, really.  The pizzaz is in the stripe (which was more of that Target ribbon) and the strap holding it over the body.  Have I mentioned I love baker's twine and use it for sewing?  It's a pain in the butt sometimes (I had to enlarge the hole I wanted to sew through so the eye of the bigger needle crammed with twine could go through) but I always get nice results.

The arrows are toothpicks with hearts glued/sewed on the top.

Originally I wanted to get those frilly toothpicks (like you get in a club sandwich) but I couldn't find any (at two different stores--and then I gave up looking).  I needed toothpicks anyway so I grabbed the round ones and that was that.

The whole doll was hand sewn using embroidery floss and I used some glue (ok, quite a bit of glue--I'm really becoming a convert to using glue--it's a very helpful tool).

I LOVE how this turned out and can't wait for my partner to get it.

Oh, the body pattern is from Nuno Life (really, she has great free patterns, such a generous and creative person!).

Lots o' swaps: Quilt blocks, dotee, and bag

I have two posts this morning.  First up is the miscellaneous one showing off a bunch of stuff I completed for swaps.

In no particular order:

Crazy 9 patch swap:

I kept one of each and swapped the other two.

You may notice they aren't exactly alike.  (I'll get to that in a minute)

I made another black and white set but used different fabrics.  The penguin and diamonds I picked up on my last fabric buying before I started my new year fast.  Remnant bin for the win.  The polka dots were just in my stash.

These fabrics were from the Fabric Worm scrap bundle I recently reviewed.  They just go together.

BUT. . .these blocks aren't exactly correct.  The pattern is wrong because I didn't swap the layers out the proper way.  The pattern should have similar fabrics going three down diagonally then three fabrics looping (corner, side, bottom and top, side, corner--like in the black and white block).  Clearly, this block isn't following that pattern.  BUT I still like it so I sent them out.  If someone complains I'll make them a new block.  But I think the fabrics work so well together that the pattern change up isn't a big deal.

Next up:  Dotee Doll

Black and white dotee doll to be exact.

Full body showing hangar and tail.

Closer view.

Face shot.  The glasses cast some funky shadows so these pictures are extra crappy.  Go me!

The eyes are two sequins stacked with a seed bead.  Simple was the theme.  Per the swap the face could have some color if we wanted but I wanted to make the whole shebang black and white, so I did.  Heck, I even mailed it in a white envelope with black ink and used a black and white note card inside (it was the front of a card someone sent me, I like to cut off the front if it hasn't been written on and re-use them as swap labels).

Patchwork back.

Last but not least:  Poochie bag.

Full shot.

Close up trying to better show the colors.

The gray is an ashy shade and the pinks are bright.  The pocket is a purplish pink that compliments the skulls.  Normally the straps would be a different print but when I was pulling fabrics I couldn't find something that looked good and I had enough of the skull fabric that I just decided to make the straps the same fabric as the bag shell.  I like the finished product, though my machine was not happy.  I had to stop and oil it and swap out the needle (before starting this project) because there were so many layers of fabric to sew through.  Even then, the machine was still complaining a bit (but still making nice stitches).  I also had a bobbin incident.  I'm still not sure what caused the problem but I think it might be a poorly wound bobbin.  I wound a new one and it was fine so I'm not sure.  I may go back and try to figure it out or I might not, depending on if I want to irk myself.  (the problem was the bobbin threads were coming out all loopy and even jamming a bit--the bobbin was in the case correctly but the machine was just not liking it for some reason).

OK, I'll have another post in a few minutes.  I'm off to the post office now to mail out a mass of swaps.

Monday, January 13, 2014

For Swaps: Patches and a Dotee

I have a ton of swaps I signed up for so I need to keep on top of them.  Five of them have been assigned and I got four of them finished and packed up over the weekend.  Granted, two of them were just fabric swaps (which I had cut and ready before partners were even assigned) but the other two I did start to finish over the weekend.

First up, a dotee

Valentines Day Dotee

(really bad pics coming up--I didn't want to wait and try for natural light)

Full body showing hanger and full tail.

The body fabric is white with pink and red hearts.

You can see the fabric better in this closer pic.  The strip of hearts along the body is some very cute ribbon I got at Target.  They have some fun seasonal ribbons in their dollar zone.  I might grab up another spool of the one that had the die-cut hearts.  I really like that and sadly the spools are only 2 yards so you only get 1/4 yard per design (which goes fast!).

Yeah, that is one weird ass face but the more I look at it the more I like it.  I just love the heart buttons I got,  SO TINY!  I was surprised the eye of my needle fit through the button holes.  I'm also reminded how bad I am at cutting out hearts.  It's one of my many flaws.

Over all I like this doll.  It's not super fancy or anything like that but I think it's very "classic".  I was looking back through my stuff (I've been swapping for a year!) and it's fun to see the different dotees I've made.  I'm finally getting the hang of the classic look (sort of).

Next up, some patches.  Again, for Valentines Day.

The swap was for a pair of v-day patches.

Of course I had to use some of my very favorites Valentines Day fabric.  I love those ostriches so freaking much.  (and I also realized I'm a bit lacking on v-day themed fabric.  I'm making a note of it and once the buying fast is over I'll have to focus on beefing up my stash in the categories where I'm lacking).

A nod to Bob's Burgers, one of my partner's big likes (mine, too).  See, if I had more of a variety of Valentine fabric I might have had some red/pink elephants I could have used on this (to honor Topsy).  but this is still really cute.  I cut apart some of the die-cut ribbon hearts and used some little patches I had (I've had those forever and it felt good to actually use them but it also felt weird, I found myself thinking "don't use them all, save a few" then realized I'd been saving them forever and that was just dumb--they are now all gone).

Close up of the ostrich patch.  It has two of the little applique patches on it, a bit of the ribbon, some of the super cute tiny buttons (so glad I bought those) and a bow just because I wanted to use that hot pink thread.  The two hearts tucked into the ribbon are foam stickers and are removeable.  (I included some in both packages--I got the pack in the Target dollar zone, I think it had 50 stickers in it so tons to share).

Last but never least, the backs (just for good measure).  The hearts are from the same line as the ostrich fabric.  And some fun pink chevrons for Electric Love (to give a zappy kind of feel).

Next up?  A valentine plushie.  I'm toying with a zombie, perhaps with an exposed heart (or a heart on the butt--another nod to Bob's Burgers and Tina's fascination with zombies and butts--Tina is my favorite).

Monday, January 6, 2014

For Swaps: Dotee and Patch

Have to document two additional things I got done for swaps last week (and mailed Friday).

First up a dotee.

Dotee in your favorite color:

The pics are extra dark and crappy because I got him done late at night.  Eh, he's still cute.  I'm all about olive greens (and felt) so why not whip up something fun like an alien/monster.  And I love those bead eyes.

Next up is a patch that I had been procrastinating on for a LONG time.  Heck, even the swap host was a bit stumped with it (and gave us all extra time).

TM Patch:  Comic Strip.

The challenge was to make a full comic strip (three panels minimum) that told a full story (and had to measure at least 8x10 total size).

That pic shows how damn busy the patch really is.  There are five panels that tell a little super hero tale.

Let's break it on down, shall we?

Panels 1:  "Cows abducted!  Who will save them?"

Panel 2:  Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman symbols.

(and as an aside, can I mention how much I hate that it's "girl" for Bat and Super?  HATE THAT!)

Panel 3:  Batwoman and Superwoman go after the aliens.

Panel 4:  Wonder Woman ties them up in her lasso of truth and they give up the location of all the abducted cows.  (yes, those are sizzles over their head--they got their alien butts handed to them).

Panel 5:  People of all races celebrate the return of the cows by having ice cream (of course!)

It's a simple tale but speaks to us all.  Who doesn't love ice cream (even the lactose intolerant like myself love it and NO soy/rice/coconut products are not the same--nothing is as good as creamy dreamy ice cream!)

And the back of the patch.  I scored that fabric from the Joanne's remnant bin right before I went on my Fabric Fast.  I've wanted some cool super hero fabric but had no reason to get it but when it's in the remnant bin, it's kind of ok to get it.  The size was perfect (it was about 1/4 yard) so I still have a nice piece for myself.  LOVE IT.

I constructed each panel individually then patch worked them together then used a piece of cotton batting for the filling (and attached the top to the batting by sewing on the ric rac and some details).  I should have done the panel one embroidery after I had the batting on but I since it was the first panel I made I wasn't thinking far enough ahead to remember the batting would make the embroidery smoother.  It doesn't look bad but it could look better.

I was kind of dreading making this patch but the minute I started on it I was fine.  It went together easily enough and I love the finished product (even though it's super busy).

So what's up next?

I need to get the Fluff Project guinea pigs done before I get too involved in any more swaps.  Then I need to do some fun Valentine's Day themed items (dotee, patch, stuffie).