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More Plushies – New Stuffiepup and Penguin

Posted in Sewing , on March 9, 2007 ,

Meet Roger! Roger is intelligent and spends his days working crosswords or playing chess when the humans are away. He has a real knack for Sudoku puzzles, too. Roger is the fourth stuffiepup in the series, and there are two more yet to be made to complete the full set of them. With a busy weekend coming up, it’ll most likely be next week sometime before they’re finished.

After I made a red penguin stuffie for a friend, another friend of mine has been wanting a penguin of his own, too. He hadn’t told me what color(s) he wanted for his penguin so I hadn’t made one yet. This week he got into a bad car accident. Thankfully he will be alright, and so I decided to just make a normal colored penguin stuffie to send as a get well gift. I think it turned out okay.

I think I’m finally getting “sick” for the first time since I moved to Canada 9 months ago. I was amazed that I didn’t get sick during the worst of the winter at all. Normally I get sick a few times in a single winter, but I’ve been lucky so far. I felt a little under the weather once, but it didn’t last and I didn’t really get full-on sick or anything. I’ve been feeling a bit sore and swollen in my neck glands recently and I finally started feeling a twinge of a sore throat yesterday. I’m hoping it’s just a bit of a cold and I’ll be able to combat it with Neo Citran and cold meds. Guess that means I’m gonna have to get working on stuffing those lambs… all four are waiting to be stuffed and sewn shut now, and that sounds like the perfect “lying on the couch getting plenty of rest” project.

Meet Walter

Posted in Sewing , on March 8, 2007 ,

Walter is the newest Stuffiepup member. Walter is always on the go (a little A.D.D.) and enjoys hanging his head out the car window and eating grass. He’s a bit of a brown noser and likes playing hide and go seek at night.

The gang at this point includes Dennis, Doug and Walter, but there will be more before I’m done.

Pieces for Roger are all cut out so I should finish him soon, and there are two other variations I have pictured in my head that I need to start cutting out to make Oliver and Frankie. (Oliver will be tan/brown and white [not a coincidence, it’s on purpose] and Frankie will be black and white.)

So far:

Spring Purse & Stuffiepups!

Posted in Sewing , on March 7, 2007 ,

Thanks to craftymumto2, I was inspired to make a spring-y purse. I made this one today, and have decided to give it to my mom for mother’s day. Ya, I know mother’s day is still months away, but when you find the right fabric that just seems to fit… you go with it, ya know? I think she’ll like it. I used the glass pendant technique to make a matching zipper pull from scraps of the outer fabric, but since there aren’t any zippers on this purse, I’ve just tied it decoratively to one of the handles instead. I love it!

I finished my first official, finalized version of my stuffiepups yesterday evening. The golden one’s name is Dennis, and Dennis has a stumpy discolored tail, but it’s not polite to bring it up because it brings back painful memories. He’s pretty sensitive about it. The white one’s name is Doug, and he enjoys bubble baths and likes having his nails clipped regularly. Doug is a die hard Sinatra fan, too. I have the pieces cut out to make two more variations for now (with two additional variations in my head), and then I plan to photograph them together. Dennis will be sent to craftymumto2’s loving home after the photo shoot :)

I made a bunch of the glass pendants to be used as zipper pulls yesterday with my logo on it to use on purses I sell. It was a fun project and Lucas helped me out while we watched hockey. (Yay, the Flames beat the Blues!) I’m still working on those lambs, albeit slowly. I’m in the middle of too many crafting projects I think. Is that even possible? Right now the fourth one is waiting to be sewn together on the sewing machine, and the three others are waiting to be stuffed and sewn shut. And they’d probably like me to put their ears on, and give them eyes and a nose. Lamb stuffies are so demanding!

How To: Easy Glass Pendants

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Tutorials , on March 5, 2007 ,

So I got an idea from someone who had made a zipper pull out of a flat-backed glass marble (which I had a bunch of already), and then as I was digging around on the Craftster forums for more inspiration, I found a few different ways to achieve the look. I have come up with a few of my own ideas and wanted to share my preferred method and suggestions on this fantastic (and addicting!) craft. I bet you can’t make just one!

A quick note on the photographs with this blog/article
Please forgive my crappy photographing of this craft – I’m just learning how to use the macro setting on the digital camera successfully with the right lighting, etc. Bear with the bad pics for now, and once I take some better ones, I’ll replace these… because these really do not do this project justice at all.

Mod Podge
Super Glue
flat-backed clear glass marbles
small images or designs

Variations on Materials
You can use other types of clear crafting glue gel instead of Mod Podge, or a hot glue gun instead of super glue. I like Mod Podge because it seals well in addition to being a clear “glue” which is important in this project, and I prefer super glue over a hot glue gun just for less mess and prep, and (in my opinion), more glue control. I tend to have a lot more uncontrollable clumps of glue when using a hot glue gun and I can’t stand those long thin strands of sticky hot glue leftovers that get everywhere. Thinner, clearer super glue in a tube seems much more manageable with less mess. And you don’t burn your fingers on it!

Optional Materials (depending on what you’re making)
wire (20 or 22 gauge)
jump rings
nylon cord
fishing line
thin ribbon

So Where Can You Get Great Images for Your Glass Pieces?
Stickers work exceptionally well. They come in tiny sizes and a wide variety of subject matters. One sheet of tiny stickers can make hundreds of pendants if you find just the right sticker. Good for specific subject designs, and when you apply a sticker to your preferred background paper first, it creates a neat raised effect on the final product.

I love using pieces of scrap fabric because it’s great if you plan to add a zipper pull to that fabulous new purse you just made. By using a scrap of the fabric you just used in your sewing project, you can create a fantastic matching pull or embellishment that really looks professional. Have a plain bag that has a funky lining fabric? Make the pull out of the lining fabric to bring out the fun in the bag and add a splash of color to the drab exterior. Lace works well because like fabric, it gives a textured look to the image behind the glass.

Pieces of decorative scrapbook paper are instant hits with this project because you can find all sorts of designs and colors in various pieces of paper meant for scrapbooking. Good for abstract designs, too.

Print them out! The Internet has a plethora of imagery right at your fingertips on any subject. If you can’t find something small enough, use free image manipulation software such as GIMP to resize it to fit your needs. This would be a fabulous idea for those who have their own logo or signature icon that they use for their crafty “business”, because a printed logo behind glass on a zipper pull or attached to your craft would leave a lasting professional impression on your customers.

Products around the house are other locations for inspiration. It sounds funny, but the design on that Kleenex box or the character on that cereal box will look great when made into a glass piece! If these images are on packaging that’s too thick or difficult for your project, try scanning them from the product package with your computer scanner and printing them out instead. Check the previous tip on resizing them if they turn out to be too big.

And don’t forget, there’s always magazines and catalogs that are full of designs just waiting to be cut up and made into a new pendant!

I use a paintbrush and spread the Mod Podge evenly on the back of a flat piece of glass marble, then lay the marble flat side down on top of the image I want to use. I immediately apply pressure to further even out the Mod Podge and seal the image. When that’s dry, I’ll cut nice and neat around the glass piece for a perfect image fit. I then tend to add another thin layer of mod podge to the back after trimming, especially around the outer edge (being careful not to get on the sides of the glass) to ensure that my image is truly sealed onto the marble.

Other Suggestions
Don’t limit yourself to just clear glass – lightly colored glass gives neat hue results. Using felt on the back can help cover up glue gone wrong, wire, or just add a nice soft touch to the finished product. And thin ribbon or fishing line is a nice alternative to nylon cord if you’re making pendants, pulls, or ornaments. Have a really abstract or fantastic plain color image to use and want to make it even more interesting? Try baking the glass marbles in your oven in a pan for 45 minutes at 500 degrees F, and then immediately pull them from the oven and dump them into ice cold water to fracture the insides of the marbles. This will add more funk to the finalized look and spruce up a plain colored piece. Be s
ure to wear protective eye covering when baking and dumping the glass marbles into ice water on this one, just in case!

What Else Can You Do With These?
The potential is overwhelming! There’s all kinds of great things you can make from this simple craft. Here are a few that I came up with off the top of my head.

By applying a little wire that has a loop in it via super glue on the back and adding a jump ring, you’ve just created a pendant that you can then string up with nylon cord or a chain and voila! Instant necklace that’s easy to change as often as your outfits. I also like to use fishing line instead of thick nylon cord for more of an “invisible chain” look. It also doesn’t break out my neck like metal does.

Zipper pulls
This idea was my inspiration to look into this craft further, and done similarly to the pendant method. Instead of adding a nylon necklace cord or necklace chain, add a small simple loop chain or thin ribbon that you can attach easily to zippers or sew into your projects.

This uses the pendant method, but instead calls for two wire loops on either side of each pendant and uses multiple jump rings to fasten pendants in a row. Once you have a good length that will fit onto your wrist comfortably, add your preferred method of bracelet closures on the end jump rings. I suggest adding a piece of felt or decorative fabric to cover the wire on back side of each piece to make the bracelet look cleaner with less of a raw look when its worn. Other light hues of glass besides just clear also work well in this project.

After you’ve applied the image, add a thin layer of super glue on the back of your sealed glass piece and attach a magnet instead. These make great decorative magnets for your fridge!

Good luck charms
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and I found a bunch of tiny shamrock stickers that I applied to white paper and used. I covered the back with a small piece of green felt to give it a soft finish, and it sits nicely on desks or in a drawer or pocket and brings good luck to anyone you give them to. You could use any image for this – a heart for love to slip into your loved one’s pocket and remind them that you’re thinking of them, or even just a smiley face to brighten someone’s day. The possibilities are endless when you pick the images, and you can create a great little token to give those around you to suit any occasion.

By creating two of these glass pieces that are similar in subject matter or colors and then gluing their flat sides back-to-back with either super glue or hot glue, you can create an ornament! This may require a bit of time since you’ll want to make sure you pick out two glass marbles that are similar in size so that the backs line up as best they can. Don’t forget to sandwich a loop of thin ribbon in between the two halves before gluing them together so that you can hang your new glass ornament when it’s done.

I’ve always wanted to use mosaics to cover the entire top of a little side table or decorative table. With this project, you can create very unique and one-of-a-kind “mosaic pieces” by crafting a bunch of various glass pieces to use as your mosaics. They can be all clear with similar images behind them or different colors with all different kinds of images instead. Once you’ve made up a couple hundred, you can easily use caulking or a cement paste to affix them in your own artistic arrangement to cover a table top or other item.

The possibilities really are endless. I’m sure you’ll find other uses for these glass pieces, too. They’re really addicting; once you make one, you just want to keep making more. You’ll also notice yourself looking for great “glass piece images” on all kinds of things now. It really helps to open up your eyes to all of the great imagery around you! Capture your life and beautiful images with this craft and enjoy all of the various ways you can use them to embellish your surroundings.

Tropical Blue Triangle Purse

Posted in Sewing , on March 3, 2007 ,

Yes, I’m at it again. This time I’ve made a new purse. I haven’t decided which city in Alberta I plan to name this one after to stick with my purse-naming theme (which will be noticeable once I actually finish that store website), but I LOVE the shape of this purse.

I made a bit of a flaw in this one that is hidden in the way that I photographed it, so I’ll need to make another… but now that I’ve made one, I know what I’m doing and the next ones will be even better :) I can’t get over how much I like the shape and proportions of it. I think my next one will be a tad bit taller, however.

The purse is made from the same tropical blue canvas outer fabric and soft blue floral print cotton lining that I used to make the tote bag from last week that ended up being a wedding/honeymoon gift for my best friend’s sister. I can’t get enough of this great fabric! Now that I’ve found a new design I am in love with, I’m picturing all kinds of different fabric pairs that I want to try with this one. I think on my next go around I will reinforce the canvas a bit more with fusible interfacing just for added sturdiness. What do you think?

Commission Project: Plush Mokona

Posted in Sewing , on March 2, 2007 ,

Someone on DeviantArt commissioned me to make a plush version of a Japanese manga character named Mokona from CLAMP that they had done a drawing of. Click HERE to see their drawing.

After checking it out and working on a few rough draft patterns, I came up with a pattern I felt did the project justice and came up with this interpretation.

Ta da! A plushie version of Mokona. I don’t know much about Japanese anime or anything like that, so here is some information from Wikipedia:

“Mokona is the pen name of the lead artist, colorist, and composition designer of the all-female manga-creating team Clamp. Mokona is the main artist of most stories and was also several times in charge of design. Her art style is the trademark of the studio. She is the namesake of the character Mokona, who appears first in Magic Knight Rayearth and later in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and ×××HOLiC.”

My plush Mokona measures about 10 inches tall and body-wise is about 8-9 inches across including arms, or 15 inches wide if you measure ear to ear. Perfect hugging size! I’m really happy with how it turned out! Made from baby soft flannelette and fleece with some felt features, all handsewn on. If this thing is popular, maybe I’ll make more and sell them ;) Speaking of selling things, I really need to finish my store website. I would also like to make a few variations of the stuffiepups to show off. I got a bit more helpful feedback and would like to make a 100% finalized version that I plan to sell available. So far I’ve come up with some different names for each variation, and am working on their “backstory” and a way to market them. I’m thinking of a simple collar around their neck that I can then attach the little info card onto about each one. We’ll see how that goes.

Update on Stuffie Dog Prototype

Posted in Sewing , on March 1, 2007 ,

So after some suggestions on craftster, dA and from friends, I decided to try out arms/legs on the prototype.

Someone told me that without arms/legs/something that it kinda just looked like a golf club cover. We want to steer clear of that connotation! So here is my first go at it with only arms:

I was still getting the “golf club cover” vibe, so I tried adding feet, too.
I think this looks much better! I don’t know what it is, but with these arms/feet he seems to suddenly have more character than a “cover for something” … I think I like the arms and feet combo best so far.

And name suggestions so far have been “stuffiepups” and “logdogs”.

Any thoughts?

Stuffie Dog Prototype – Needs Your Input!

Posted in Sewing , on February 28, 2007 ,

I saw a print on a random fabric while I was browsing at Fabricland yesterday and took a pic of the print with my camera phone. Then I was thinking about it and woke up this morning with an idea in my head, so I sketched out a pattern and made this prototype.

What do you think?

I can’t decide if I like it without arms and legs and/or if I should add arms or legs or both. It’s a little rough around the edges, but that’s mostly because he was a first go – the pattern pieces I designed myself and some of them had to be adjusted a bit when I put it all together. I imagine these _____ (insert witty or cute name for these things here) coming in a variety of colors or even patterns, based on customer feedback. Like if you wanted a black and white one, that could be arranged. Or if you wanted one with a spot around its left eye, or something. That kinda thing.

So I need feedback – what do you think of these things in general? What do you think of them with/without arms and/or legs? And what kind of witty and creative name should these things have? The future of these _____ lies in your hands!

Tropical Totes

Posted in Sewing , on February 27, 2007 ,

I think I’m going to post here more regularly to show off stuff I’ve made in my free time… like a crafty blog :) Last week I made a tropical blue tote to give to my best friend’s sister for her wedding to take on their honeymoon. I showed a pic of it to my mom who liked it a lot and commented that she and my dad are going to Florida in May. My mom’s birthday is at the end of April, so the timing is perfect… I decided to make her a tropical “Florida” tote bag for her birthday that she can take on their trip.

What do you think? Here’s the one I made last week that was given as a wedding present:

Not too bad, eh? The fun part is that this is just a slightly larger version (with longer handles) than most purses that I make. I keep talking about opening up an online shop that uses PayPal to handle the monetary transactions so that I can sell custom made purses and bags like this, but I never get around to finishing it. A site has been in the works for weeks. Oh, well. One day I’ll finish it. If you want to see all of my previous crafty creations, I’ve got a DeviantArt account you can browse.

I’ll post again when I’ve made some of my in-progress projects, like little stuffed lambs (we know 5 couples that are expecting right now) or a 2D version of the rabbids from Rayman Raving Rabbids, my favorite Wii game.

Until next time…


Posted in Miscellaneous , on September 22, 2006 ,

Ok I don’t know what to actually put on this blog, though I could always turn it into a crafting thing. I already have too many websites and too many blogs elsewhere, so instead I’ll just link to all of those places and you can go from there until I decide to do something official with this blog.

Scoob and I’s blog/photo gallery/social calendar/etc.

My gaming website and articles/blogs (updated the most)

I think that’s enough to get you started! :)