Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Palmer Bunny Shaker

(instructions for shaker below)

Look at the adorable Leprechaun and his little buddy. Are they not the cutest things that you ever did see?!? Elizabeth sent them to me. They are perfect in every way. I love the leprechaun's little clover on his lapel. That is the sweetest touch. 

Oh no! Yep....I spelled "Blarney" wrong. The cat knocked over most of the letters, after I got through scolding him, I put them back on the table, but for some reason forgot to look and see if I spelled "Blarney" correct.  

Made a pipe out of pipe cleaners for the lucky little Leprechaun. 

Cardboard inserts cut about 1/4" smaller than felt. Glue the cardboard to the felt with white tacky glue. Let dry. Stitch face and side strip together using the "Elizabeth method" and stuff with fiberfill while stitching the back on.

Bend a full length pipe cleaner in half. I found that bending the pipe cleaner "legs" and hot gluing one leg to the top of the shaker box and the other leg to the side of the shaker box kept the ears from flopping over. So do this to both ears. 

To make this type of bow tie requires some basic sewing machine skills. I find it easier if I layer my front and back pieces together, right sides together. Trace the pattern onto the fabric, sew- leaving an opening for turning. I also realized that I needed some interfacing to make the bow tie stiffer. So, just add a piece of interfacing to your bow tie before turning. If you don't have interfacing, you could always glue card stock cut smaller than the bow tie to the back of the bow tie. If you prefer not to sew, a bow made out of Easter paper or ribbon is just as adorable!

Holding a carrot. I will do a future post on this carrot. Wouldn't a basket with a couple of these look adorable. 

No need for him to hold the carrot. He looks just as cute waving. I did omit the pattern for the mittens, I will try to remember to add it to carrot pattern.

Doesn't everybody have one of these collecting dust in their house? Give up on what it is? It's one of those fiber optic things that only lights up at the end of the fiber. It is kind of the rage at Christmas now. I have seen wreaths, floral arrangements, Christmas trees, outdoor decorations, etc  have fiber optics some where on them. Guess what else they are good for:

Whiskers! Two on each side. Work the fiber through the felt, sometimes a pre-drilled hole with a needle helps, just go at it at an angle because you don't want the whisker coming at you but you want it sideways.

I modeled him after the Palmer (maker of Easter chocolate) bunny. The Palmer Bunny has the really long ears and large bow tie. Don't forget his cottontail. Glue a pom pom or cotton ball to his backside. By adding a ruffle and hair bow you could easily make a girl bunny :)

Even though this little bunny is a get well card, I thought he was just too adorable not to share. I am using him with my Easter/Spring decorations. I hope that you enjoy him as much as I do.
Have a wonderful night,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I "heart" Wee, Tiny, Little, Small Things

I have loved miniatures for as long as I can remember. Little, tiny things make my heart sing. Smalls that will fit in a child's tiny hand. Wee things that are so small they take the Hubble telescope to just  stitch together. I know that my eyes are getting older. Not seeing things that I know are there. Blurring words on pages. But....I push forward. Loving my wee, little, tiny, small things. Eye doctor (who happens to be my neighbor) in my future, but for now a quick rub and a hard blink are all I need to make things right.
Today I have a wee little small tiny bunny for you to make. He is called a Pocket Bunny, because he can fit right into your pocket. 
I used him to fill my hearts that I made for Debby's (Cozy Blanket) Heart Swap.

You can enlarge his pattern if you want too, but he will not be wee anymore. 

It's funny....I used the same setting on my camera to take the two above photos and look how much lighter this photo is. I think it must be the back ground.

Love the wee, little basket.

Easter/Spring stuff is starting to show up.
Cut out two bodies & two ears. The pattern for the arms and legs is the same- so cut out four, two arms and two legs. A french knot for each eye and Y stitch for the nose. As you blanket stitch around the body add legs, arms and ears. Add blush to the cheeks and ears. You can add the heart if you want too. Just glue on. One thing that I forgot to add on my swap bunnies was a tiny pom pom tail.

FYI: In case you wondered how I got him to stand upright. I tried coercion via jelly beans no luck.....but sticking a pin in his neck did the trick.  
Did you wonder how I got little pink chickie to stand up? She is not an easy one either. Top shelf behind word "bunny". 

A pin to her.....ahem......bottom does the trick. Not pretty but it works.

See. This is her profile.
I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. It is finally sunny here and in the 60s again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

May I Have Directions to the Inspiration Station?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. A magazine, pinterest, catalog, a favorite blog, nature, colors and the list goes on. I have had my dollhouse for years. My dad made it for me when I was....hmmmm...maybe 4? Can you guess what it is made from? Hint, it was military issue.

 It is made from an old military green Army trunk. One of these days I will have to show you the back. By viewing the back, you can tell that it was a trunk.

Through the years it was painted a soft pastel green, then yellow, then pink, and I am sure some more colors that I can't remember. I have always been puzzled on how to treat the front "face". That blank space right below the roof line as seen in the above photo. Well...I have conquered that dilemma, finally. Enter Jody of Postcards from Funtown! In her adorable article (with photos) in the issue of Where Women Create, I spied some cutie pie shelves in the background of one photo. They were more like cubby shelves, painted white with a red and white faux awning with a flag on top. Oh my goodness! I fell in love with those shelves and immediately started looking for something to add a faux red and white awning to!! Oh, my dollhouse would be perfect!

Easy peasy. Using algebra calculus statistics some sort of math, I figured out how to evenly cut each paper strip so that they perfectly fit the 22" + give or take a few millimeters (secretly I am not that good with centimeters or millimeters this is why I have a cheater ruler, some day I will share that ruler). Now it has curb appeal! Riots are at this very moment ensuing amongst the dolls, but not to fear....I have another house. Presented by Creative Breathing Realities.......

The Marx Housing Development. 
Yes. I won this sweet beauty from Creative Breathing. She arrived yesterday via USPS. Is it not the cutest? The squabbling has finally stopped. All is quiet in the craft room.

Elizabeth is so generous. Thank you so much Elizabeth. Every time I come into my craft room I am going to think of you. I have always wanted one of these little tin houses. Look upstairs to the right. See the little green awning. It has an upstairs patio! How cute! 

The interior. So much vintageness! Zoom in and look at the details! Thank you again Elizabeth. I am so excited to add this wonderful piece to my craft room! Your generosity warms my heart!

Here is a Scotty dog wearing his Irish green. The pattern is here. I just changed Snowflake Scotty to Irish Scotty. Hope he doesn't mind being Irish for a while :)

St. Patrick's Day decorations.

Sweet little pom pom chick. Use Elizabeth's  (of Creative Breathing) instructions to make the body, legs and feet.

I have a tutorial on how to make inexpensive 3D eyes for your characters.

You will need half pearls with sticky back (found in scrapbook embellishment section), a fine point sharpie, black paint, paint brush, mod podge.

Cut out one pearl but leave it on the plastic. You can't see it very well but the pearl is still stuck to the plastic. Now color it with the sharpie. It will have a purplish tint to it. The sharpie makes the paint adhere to the pearl. You could rough it up with sandpaper but I find that too tedious, the sharpie works like a charm!

Now paint it black. Let dry. Paint mod podge onto the pearl. You might need to trim the glue a little with some sharp scissors. The companies are not very neat when it comes to adding the adhesive to the pearls. Now your eye is ready to use.

Now your chicky has some cute, "cheep" (couldn't resist) eyes.

Have a wonderful, crafty, chicky kind of day,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Four Leafer

Have you ever found a four leaf clover? When I was younger, my sisters and I would spend hours outside in the clover patch looking for that illusive four leafer. Over the years, we probably found a few hundred or so. We would pick them, bring them inside and try to preserve them by entombing the precious clover in Scotch tape. As an adult, I have found only one of these childhood entombed clover, brown with age but oh so full of memories. The next time you find a clover patch take a second look- Irish eyes just might be a smilin' on you!

For those of us who don't want to look like a fool digging through clover patches no longer have the patience, here's a four leafer for you to make!

He is quite the dapper fellow with that little
 derby hat! And yes....that is Patrick in the foreground smokin' like a chimney!

Lucky's hat is simply cut out of felt and glued to a piece of black card stock which was cut a little smaller than the felt. Only cut one piece out of felt and one out of card stock.

The black hat band is just ribbon and a buckle cut out of card stock, glittered and glued in place. His banner has two four leaf clovers painted on.

Shaker is made the same way as all of the other shakers, using the "Elizabeth method". Cut two clover pieces, one for the front and one for the back. Cut the side strip 30" long x 1" wide. Don't let the deep "v"s (area where the clover leafs touch each other) scare you, you should have no problem with them at all! 

His eyes are 10mm safety teddy bear eyes (found at Hobby Lobby in the doll making area). If you cannot find these eyes, just use the half pearls with a sticky back (scrapbooking area). Color the pearls black with a sharpie and then paint the pearls with black acrylic paint. The sharpie makes the paint adhere. The apply thin coat of mod podge. You might want to glue the "eyes" on instead of relying on the sticky back of the pearl. Hard to see, but he is wearing a bow tie made out of ribbon.

The girls have traded in their Valentines for St. Patrick's Day stuff.

The easiest way to decorate your craft room from holiday to holiday is to just add a Valentine, Four leafer, Christmas card, plastic Easter egg, etc to the arms/hands/laps of your craft room friends. You can make your own paper four leaf clovers by cutting out four hearts and taping them together to resemble a clover. Place a half pearl or half diamond in the center.

Have a wonderful, crafty night, 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Blarney Fun!

I am having to get creative to come up with some St. Patrick's Day decorations. I really don't want to go out and spend lots of $$ to just decorate my craft room. I do have St. Patrick's Day decorations for the rest of the house but my craft room was neglected over the years and now it is time to catch up. I am having so much fun trying to cleverly come up with St. Patty stuff.

I just love vintage greeting cards! Don't these cards look adorable! They are actually scans. Amazing, right! The color is so beautiful and crisp. I just love my scanner/printer. It's hard to believe that it sat downstairs in the guest room for years, unused :( Finally I brought it up to my new and improved craft room and now I use it all the time!

Scan your images and cut them out.

Make a little stand for them and tape it to the back. Do not tape the stand flush with the bottom of the card. Tape it about 1/16" up from the bottom. This will give a little lean to the card so that it does not topple over on it's face.

Hard to see the little stands, but they are there.

Here are some cards for you to print out. The drawing is of the stand. Cut it out, fold it and discard the triangle shaped piece. Tape to the back and now you can make lots of St. Patrick's Day decorations to fill your abode!

Now on to a Scrabble crisis. I know that you have noticed that I love to spell out words with Scrabble tiles. I have accumulated quite a few tiles. I have lots of "E"s, "S"s, "R"s, etc. Each game has multiples of the most used letters. Scarce are the "V", "W", "Y", "Z", and several other letters that are worth high points when you actually play the game and don't steal the tiles for craft projects. I was spelling words around the house, I realized that I needed another "Y". Ok....confession time: I am sure that I have more than one Y but I needed it NOW! No time to look under the rugs, desks, couch, in drawers, and other various places daughter#2 and sneaky cat like to hide things from me. I am not sure why but D#2 and sneaky cat absolutely love those tiles! Well....blarney.....guess I am going to have to come up with a way to make another "Y". I sure didn't want to spend $50 or more on ebay for tile lot that likely didn't have the coveted Y. And I didn't want to make a trip to Target (our Walmart doesn't carry the old Scrabble game) to buy another game. Well.......what about scanning the Y that I have, cutting it out and using mod podge to apply it to the back of an E? 

In this pic the scanned Y looks smaller, but I promise it is exactly the same size. can't really tell the difference-of course the one on left is a little bit more 3D-ish.

This is what I had resorted to. Using that blank tile! It looks like I can't spell :(   

There, much better. See you can't even tell that an E is on the other side of the Y. Well, kiss the Blarney stone!! Now instead of 150 Scrabble tiles, I have 300!!! Amazing and I didn't even spend a dime.
Have a super, wonderful, crafty, blarney kind of day,