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Wedding Projects Completed!

Posted in Sewing , on October 1, 2007 ,

In my last post I had quite a to do list, and some of those items were time sensitive and revolved around my little brother’s wedding coming up this weekend. I am happy to share the fruits of my labour — a plush 4 tiered wedding cake made to be a near exact replica of what my brother and Holly’s actual wedding cake will look like on Saturday. I also finished the small handbags/wristlets that I was making for each of the bridesmaids from the alteration scraps of my bridesmaid dress. They turned out a little smaller than I would’ve liked, but they were as big as I could possibly make them based on the scraps that I had to deal with.

My mom is making Herman and Holly’s wedding cake, so I tried to make my replica look as close to what she is designing from cake and icing as I could. The cake is 4 tiers tall and made completely from white felt and every detail is hand sewed. It features frilly white scalloped trim on each tier and I used white fabric paint to embellish the sides with the “lacy” design, much like my mom has done with icing for the real cake.

All total this cake stands just over a foot tall with the flowers on top. I used a mixture of various purple felt (with green felt leaves) to make the flowers as well as fabric from the actual bridesmaid dresses (scraps) to decorate the top. I think I am mostly excited about the fact that Herm and Holly don’t know that I am doing this, so it will be a surprise for them when Lucas and I arrive with it on Thursday evening. I hope that it will be a wonderful display piece at their reception and the best part is that it is a cake will last and can be kept long after everyone has eaten the real thing :)

I haven’t totally finished my crafting project list — now that the time sensitive stuff is out of the way in time for our trip to Indiana this weekend, I can focus on the zombie and monster plushies that I am making for our friend, Tom, to use as prizes at an event he is hosting at the end of October, and I can spend some time working on more squares for Lucas’ mom’s knitted blanket project for Christmas. I’m hoping to be able to get some more squares done on the flights to and from Indiana. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, congratulations to my brother and his soon-to-be-wife, congratulations to our friends Joe and Jeri, who are also getting married this weekend, and happy birthday to our handsome dog, Oliver, who turns 5 years old this weekend while we’re gone. What a busy weekend! :)

Anyone Need to Staple Something?

Posted in Sewing , on September 18, 2007 ,

So per usual, I got busy and forgot to post my crafty endeavors. Recently I designed and brought to life a plush stapler that I envisioned in my head to give as a gift to my friend, Michelle. I worked with Michelle and a handful of other great people in an office building for a few months, and Michelle and I are big The Office fans. We kept joking that we were going to put each others’ staplers into a Jell-O mold like one of the pranks on the show, and so as a parting gift I wanted to give Michelle something to remember me by when I left the office job to get back into teaching. I actually designed the pattern on scrap paper at work during some server downtime one day, haha. Armed with felt and my sewing supplies, I made use of my time as a passenger in the car when Lucas, Oliver, and I took a little mini family vacation to British Columbia over the Labour Day long weekend to finish it. Michelle loved her gift!

My new crafty to do list has a few time sensitive items on it — my brother’s wedding is coming up October 6 and I am making a plush wedding cake and 3 small bags for us bridesmaids for it. Also getting married on October 6 are our friends Jeri and Joe, and I’d like to make them a plush wedding cake, too. If Jeri gets the scraps from her wedding dress back in time, I’ll be making a small bag for her, also.

Another time sensitive project is to make some plush zombies for the Calgary Zombie Walk 2007 coming up in October as well as a little event where a plush zombie or two will be donated as prizes at the end of October. And then… Christmas is coming up, and I of course am going to be making quite a few things. I’ve decided that since Lucas’ mom taught me how to knit back in June when she was here visiting us that I am going to knit her a throw blanket for Christmas.. and that project is turning out to be bigger than I realized. I plan to blog more about that project specifically as I finish various knitted squares. More to come on that!

Whew! I’m a busy girl… stay tuned for more crafty goodness and to see if I can complete my project to do list in time for all of my deadlines!

Wolf Hat and Tooth Pillow Pocket

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on July 29, 2007 ,

So what’s new? This weekend I finished two projects for friends, a Wolf Ear Hat and a little tooth pillow with a pocket.

A good friend, Nanaki (Shane), requested a wolf ear hat, and so I immediately remembered a tutorial I’d seen on Craftster here. I then set to work on making a wolf ear hat, and this is my finished result! It’s made from soft fuzzy polar fleece in a mottled gray and white pattern and soft pink inner ears that are hand sewn in. I hope he likes it! (Model in this photo is Lucas, he was so kind to help me by modeling the finished hat so I could photograph it before I sent it off.)

A friend and coworker has a daughter that is just itching to lose her first tooth; it should be happening anytime now! To help prepare, I designed this little tooth shaped pillow that has a front pocket built in that looks like a mouth, so she can safely keep her first (and future) loose teeth protected for the Tooth Fairy’s visit. I can’t wait to give this to her :)

That’s about it for now, I’ve got some upcoming sewing projects to do, but I just received my official Alberta Professional Teaching Certification, so I’m busy in my spare time getting my teaching portfolio dusted off and ready to go for interviews so I can teach next school year. It’s all so exciting!

Future plans in the sewing realm include a toque section on my store website to sell handmade fleece hats (toques) this season, and a couple of Canadian-related specialty items that I’ve got rolling around in my head. Until next time…

RAWR! Plush Rancor

Posted in Sewing , on July 14, 2007 ,

So this is what I’ve been working on for the past week or so, a plush version of the monstrous rancor creatures from the Star Wars universe. I’m really proud with how he turned out! I had the idea and started sketching pattern pieces on lined notebook paper, and in the end, the finished product looked just how I wanted it to. It’s a great feeling making something and doing it right the first time :)

The rancor is made from felt and stands nearly a foot tall at just over 11 inches. He’s about 10 inches wide, and though he may look mean and grumbly, he really is sweet and cuddly :) So what am I doing with him? Well I’m auctioning him off for fun and in-game charity in the Star Wars MMORPG that I play, Star Wars Galaxies. I hope he sells well!

This weekend I have a few PinkToque shop orders to fill and overall life is really grand! I’ve not has as much time to craft lately now that I’m working (finally!) full time, but I’ll do my best to keep updating and working on projects here and there :) Thanks for looking!

What's New?!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on July 10, 2007 ,

I am ashamed to say that it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything crafty. Since getting back from my trip to the states to visit family and friends, I’ve started working a real job and so I’ve not found as much free time to craft as before. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative, though! For more on the other non-crafty things going on in my life right now, check out Lucas and I’s personal blog: Look At Us Go!

While in Indiana I learned how to make beaded necklaces, and my mom and I made several together. They’re fairly simple – just some bead wire with the clamshell clasps and a variety of beads found at various crafty shops. I’ve got some beads that I picked up while in Indiana that are in desperate need of being turned into a new necklace creation, but I just haven’t taken the time to do so.

Thanks to a little help on the kfb, or knit front to back, from the kind people at Make One Yarn Studio (a suggestion from Claire, thanks!) I was able to complete the mini heart knitting pattern I’ve been trying to do forever. Since figuring the pattern out, I’ve made several little plush knitted hearts to hide in various places for Lucas to find. They’re so soft and cute! I’d love to make a whole army of them someday. I tried my hand at felting for the first time, but it really didn’t turn out so great. I think it’s because I tried to felt by hand with hot soapy water instead of using the washing machine, so next time I’m doing a load of laundry I’ll see if my felting turns out any better using that method instead. I just couldn’t justify doing a whole load of laundry just to felt a couple tiny hearts. We’ll see!

And my latest completed purse order was for a friend at Lucas’ work — a black and white polka dotted Banff with dark red interior. I think it turned out pretty cute :)

That’s really about it in the past several weeks. The Indiana trip and the new full time job has kept me pretty busy, though I’ve started up a new little stuffie project that I can’t wait to finish and share — it’s currently a secret, though! Look for it soon :) Happy crafting!

Ellie the Sock Elephant

Posted in Sewing , on May 20, 2007 ,

Meet Ellie, a sock elephant!

Lisa of Q.D. Patooties made the tutorial and I just picked out great kiddie socks and followed it. Lucas’ mom loves the color blue and collects elephants, so when I found these socks I knew it was just meant to be.

It’s May long weekend in celebration of Victoria Day on Monday here in Canada, so I’m enjoying a relaxing weekend before I head out to Indiana next week. I leave early Thursday morning, so I’ve got a couple days to finish a few projects up before then. This weekend I made Ellie, a little dog bed/pillow to give to my brother and his fiancee for their two new Dachshund puppies, and I made a new bag for one of Lucas’ co-workers based on an old bag that she had. I’m trying to think ahead, and Father’s Day is the next big thing coming up that I need to craft for… we get back from Indiana on June 7, and Father’s Day is a little over a week after that, so I need to plan now to ensure whatever I make will get to my dad on time due to shipping. I was thinking about trying to learn how to make felt or fleece slippers, so maybe that’s what I’ll do!

See you in a few weeks!

It's Official: I'm Official!

Posted in Miscellaneous , on May 17, 2007 ,

This isn’t “craft” related, but it is something so big that has such a huge impact on my life in general that I just must share :)

So the day we’ve been waiting 9 months for finally arrived: as of today, May 17, 2007… I am an official Permanent Resident of Canada! As I reported a few posts ago, I received notification at the end of April/first of May that I was approved for Permanent Residency, but today was the actual day I went in to the Calgary Immigration office to be granted the official status.

I know there was no reason to be nervous, but my stomach was doing flip flops all morning. I kept worrying that I would forget some important piece of ID, or the photos I had to have done wouldn’t be perfectly to spec… I was just worrying that SOMETHING silly would go wrong and they’d reject me. It all went off without a hitch, of course, there was just a lot of waiting.

I took a train downtown and met Lucas at his office and we walked to the government building where we waited for about an hour for my name to be called. We spent more time waiting than the actual “interview” took – I basically went into this tiny room to sign papers and that was it. The woman asked me a couple of simple questions, but they were all things that were listed on the document in front of me anyway, lol. I signed everything and she gave me my copy of the paperwork; this piece of paper I will guard with my life, as it is not only a temporary placeholder for the actual Permanent Resident card that I will receive in the mail in a few weeks, but also something I will need to keep for future dealings with the immigration office. This document doesn’t guarantee anything for travel purposes, but I’m still taking my trip to Indiana next week. The teeeeeny tiny slim chance they’ll give me a hard time once I’m back in Canada on the way home since I don’t physically have the card in my hand doesn’t really worry me; after all, I am legally a permanent resident now. Worst case scenario is I’ll have to spend a little longer in Indiana or they’ll scold me and make going through customs once I’m back in Calgary take a little longer than usual, but it’s really a non-issue. Nothing we can’t handle. It’s been nearly a year now since I’ve seen my family (I hit my year mark just before I leave Indiana to come back), and now that I possess official status, I’ve gotta see them. I miss my little brother the most, but don’t tell him that or I’ll totally deny it. You know how it is.

So ya, it’s been an exciting day! We went to a restaurant called Milestones afterwards; fitting, if you ask me. Lucas took that great picture above of me holding up my Permanent Resident document at the restaurant as we celebrated. We came home and celebrated with Oliver, and now we’re going out for ice cream! Oliver seems a little confused because we kept telling him he was now officially a permanent dog resident of Canada, but he didn’t seem to mind not understanding what we were talking about since he was getting lots of attention over it. “Whatever you say, mom, just keep hugging me!”

In the near future our plans include getting me all packed for my trip to Indiana next week; I leave Thursday. Because it’s a big deadline, black-out-date period for Lucas at work, he has to wait a week before he can come down, but he’ll be joining me in Indiana with my family the following Thursday and staying the full second week with me at my parents’ house. Our itinerary is pretty full, and once Lucas arrives, starts off with Tripoly night with my parents and taking Herm out for a belated 21st birthday celebration and college graduation celebration. I can’t wait to see everyone!

Pouches Galore

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on May 12, 2007 ,

Recently Lucas and I were doing some spring cleaning and filling up a bag of old clothes to take to Goodwill. I saved an old pair of jeans and shirt of his that I loved and promised to reconstruct them into something new and useful. This set is what I’ve done with the jeans and shirt so far. On the left is a Canmore Wristlet, and on the right is a Canmore Coin Cube. Each have denim outer fabrics from his old jeans and are lined with his old blue and green “hawaiian” print shirt.

Last night our roommate came home in a panic because he had been invited to a birthday party for his good friend’s young daughter today and needed a gift. He had no idea what to get for a little girl, so I whipped up this Canmore Wristlet for him to give to her, made from Strawberry Shortcake fabric. What little girl wouldn’t love a mini pouch or purse she can carry around all of her little stuff in?

And now I think I really need to focus on my knitting. A few weeks ago, Lucas’ mom was in town and she taught me the very basics — casting on and the basic English knitting stitch. I’m trying to teach myself binding off and increasing/decreasing from KnittingHelp.com and KnitWitch Instructional Videos, but I’ve been so busy making little things and getting prepared for my trip to Indiana that I’ve put off practicing and learning new techniques. I’d love to be able to practice knitting on the plane, but I have a feeling knitting needles won’t be allowed in my carry-on bag. Oh, well.

Updates on my Countdowns!

New Purses

Posted in Sewing , on May 10, 2007 ,

I’ve been busy!

My store website opened last week and I’ve had several orders to fill. The most recent order I completed was for a hobo-type bag that I call the “Brooks” purse. It’s got a fairly neutral, sturdy outer fabric and is lined with celery green on the inside. It closes with a snap. I hope I end up with a happy customer!

The next set is my favorite! Some of you know that I moved to Canada last June. 9 months ago I applied for my Permanent Resident Card, and I just recently got news that I was approved. Exactly one week from today I get to go pick up my Permanent Resident Card and I’ll be all official. That means that I can take a trip back to the States to visit my family, and exactly two weeks from today I am traveling to Indiana to do just that, for the first time in a year. I’m so excited about my trip and getting to see my family and friends from back home that I wanted to make a new matching purse set just for the occasion. This is what I came up with.

The purse is another “Brooks”, the lined zipper pouch is a “Gadsby”, and the sunglasses case I refer to as a “Sundre.” (all cities in Alberta). They’re all available on my store website if you’re interested. I was wanting to make something new to use on my vacation, and the citrus liner fabric inspired the whole matching set. I even made the two little citrus-y felt appliques that you see on the front, and then I hand sewed them on. The purse and the glasses case both close with a snap, and I put the perfect sized pocket that I divided up into a cell phone section and a place to store pens, because those are the two things I tend to lose easily in the sea that is the bottom of my purses. Woohoo!

I made another matching set this week, again, I felt like I needed something fresh and new to use as Spring finally showed Calgary some love. I enjoy the ease of the Brooks purse because I can throw it over my shoulder and have my hands free, and it’s large enough that I can put loads of stuff in it. I used canvas for this set on the outside, and it’s lined with remnant fabric that I found at a thrift store when Lucas’ mom and I went shopping back when she was visiting us a few weeks ago. I think the combination is very fresh and crisp, and it’s been a breeze carrying all my stuff around. This set has a Brooks, another Sundre, and the little triangular pouch is called a “Canmore.” After using this for the first time yesterday when I went downtown to meet up with a friend of ours for dinner, I fell in love with the simplicity and functionality of the Brooks. It’s perfect for running errands or being oot and aboot. I’m glad I made my vacation set feature a Brooks design, too. It seems like it’ll be great for all the running around I plan to do when I’m in Indiana.

Alright, that’s about it for now. But never fear… there’s always more to come! :)

It's Been Too Long! What's New…

Posted in Sewing , on May 7, 2007 ,

Wow! It’s been so long since I’ve last posted, I’m way behind on sharing! There’s so much new to share so I better get started. First of all, my online store opened on Friday of last week, and I’ve already got 5 orders I’m in the process of filling. The web address is http://shop.pinktoque.com :)

Most recently I’ve worked on Lucas’ mom’s Mother’s Day gift. I made my mom a purse and already shipped it, but we worked on Lucas’ mom’s gift this weekend and I shipped it today. She likes Scrabble, so I came up with an idea to make a plush Scrabble board turned into a pillow.
The back is made from soft fuzzy “monster fur” to make it more snuggly. Isn’t it great?

Back to my obsession with plush food… Last week I crafted some homemade plush sushi and fortune cookies. The fortune cookies can come with various personalized messages. I’m selling them now at my online shop.

And speaking of plush food, my plush cake and donuts are officially on display at the Cafe Kino exhibit in the UK this week. The exhibit of fake food runs until the first week of June. My cake already sold, so that’s great! I get 100% of the profit from selling my items, so the cake alone will more than cover the shipping fees I spent to send the items out there. Yay for already being ahead on the first week of the exhibit!

Meet Bernard Moo! He’s a cow that I designed and made from baby soft fleece. Isn’t he sweet? He has a counterpart named Betsy that is designed in my head, but I just haven’t gotten around to making her yet.

I also made a new moose plushie and named her Matilda :)

Here are a couple of the new purses and pouches that I’ve made. The purses are all “Banffs” and the pouches are called “Canmores”. Pictured are Canmore Wristlets and Canmore Coin Pockets (slightly smaller than the wristlets.)

Whew! I think that’s it crafting-wise! My application for Permanent Residence here in Canada was approved last week, and my appointment to pick up my Permanent Residency Card is set for May 17th. YAY ME! I’ll be all official and able to finally work again this month :) It’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen my family, so I booked flights today to make a trip back to Indiana to see family and friends on May 24th. I’ll be staying a full 2 weeks. Since it’s a black-out deadline period for Lucas at work, he’ll fly out separately and meet me down in Indiana on May 31st and spend the second whole week with me. We’ll fly back together on June 7, just in time to celebrate my one-year-in-Canada anniversary :) What an exciting month it’s been so far!