Thursday, April 24, 2014

Flip Books Giveaway!

I am participating in a Flip Dolls Pattern Hop and book giveaway.  I had to make something from the book, and I get to offer you a chance to win the a copy of Flip Dolls and Other Toys, by Laura Wilson .

Things have been maddeningly busy over here (baby bump, moving to new house, tax crunch,  keeping up with Pink Cheeks business).  So, I was ho-hum about starting something new.  However this book put a spark in me.  I love grabby catches and tricks when it comes to homemade toys, but I am a self-taught sewist, so I can't wrap my brain around some techniques just by looking at them.  At the same time, patterns usually make me want to hide in the corner of the room in the fetal position.  These patterns are simple, but they carry a lot of punch, and offer you a lot you can expand on.  I stuck with Laura's template and instructions (full size templates are conveniently located here [which is a genius idea, no?]), but after making one and learning how it works, I know I can use my own shape next time (which makes my heart a flutter with possibility).

I wanted to make something special for my son.  He is majorly into super heroes, and knights and dragons (which is also a flip doll pattern in the book).  I stuck with the super hero though because I wanted to use up the last of my Japanese car fabric for the alter ego's "regular guy" outfit.  The Super Hero I named Thunder Bolt. Thunder because he can control the weather and Bolt because he can run super fast.  There he is above, sensing danger and thinking "Oh no!" right before he decides that this "Sounds like a job for Thunder Bolt". 

This step reminded me of birth!

     My kid was all over me while I was making this.  When he found out I was making it for him, his eyes got wide and he ran over exclaiming "Thank you, Mommy!" and gave me a kiss.  This made my heart melt into a puddle and also filled me with guilt.  He sees me make so many things that go into boxes and then head out to other kids and babies.  He's so neglected!  I'll fix that (you're next Dragon/Knight doll). 

      It's so satisfying to learn new techniques.  I think it must make all sorts of connections in the brain which then lift up creative blocks even in non-related areas of art.  I've read this before, but it's easy to forget.  

     When I had it all sewn together, ready to turn right-side-out, I could not fathom it turning out right.  I was certain I misread the instructions or made a mistake along the way, but sure enough it came out properly and flipped like a dream!

Thunder Bolt is on some major mission here involving a rubber band tight rope.

This book is fun, guys, and full of all the tricks you need.  If you'd like to try your chance at winning your own free copy, tell me what your Super Hero power you wish you could have in the comments below.  I'll choose a winner at random one week from today.  Good luck!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bill Murray Mobile!

It's nice to be the one that people can come to with a totally specific idea.  A Bill Murray Mobile!  Of course!  This was tons of fun for me.  Should I make it a regular custom?  That is what I usually do when someone asks for something specific.  But, I think maybe only one baby in the world will have and want a Bill Murray mobile.  Maybe a grandchild of his would be interested in this?

In other news, my growing family moves next month!  We are going to be living in a turn of the century, solid cypress house.  It will be the most inspiring place I have ever lived in (previous houses are not very competitive in that category).  There is an orange tree and a grapefruit tree in the backyard.  One room is solid windows!  The bath tubs have claw feet!  The "grand hallway" is about the size of our current house (not really, but close).  We completely lucked out in finding it.  I think the four leaf clovers I kept finding were connected to everything working out with that house.  I can't wait to move in and share that space with you.  Mostly though I just want to be there now and skip the heavy lifting part.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Magic Mobile

Aren't they fantastic!  This goes to a soon-to-be family of 4 (if you count the dog, which I always do) in Spain.  Her father used to be a magician, and his dog was his assistant, so this is like an homage to him.  The mom was really fun to work with.  This is a strange question, but do you ever find yourself liking "broken English" better than regular English?  I do.  I like Google translate versions of what people say as well as when kind people from other countries write me in English.  Something sounds poetic when it is all chopped up.  Deep thoughts.

I have been working really hard on a 2-D line that I will be introducing to my Etsy shop soon.  I'm a little half way through my pregnancy with either Ruth or Alice (I can't pick between those two yet), so I am planning a maternity leave of sorts.  I can't imagine being able to keep up the sewing at my current pace, which is why I am really delving into this new line.  I imagine myself working on a series of 10 of these flat things at a time while Ruthie (or Alice?) and I get to know one another.  I think it will be quite nice to have something more immediate than sewing to do.  I keep finding 4 leaf clovers (today I found two!) and I am hoping that it is a secret message that this new direction will work out okay.

Till next time! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Animal House

Mmm hot tea, guitar, furry friends = so nice

This couple reminds me of my brother who is always taking in animals and even building shelters for the strays.  His favorite animals to adopt are the blind and deaf ones.  He has a cat, Sigfried, who was actually born without eyes!

A Family from the Ukraine

I really adored this family.  Full. Of.  Love.  Wishing peace and freedom to the Ukraine!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Work Table

I'm working with a stocking cap on today. It's cold on the bayou. My Joseph brought me this drink: an extra hot, decaf, soy latte with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. That's true love: ordering a drink for your wife that involves nearly 20 syllables.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Wong Family

 I was really inspired by these photos.  Look at those smiles!  And, the sunshine.  Not to mention, the fire pants!  That was my favorite part: sewing those pants.

I feel refreshed for the work week after a Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, my favorite.  We lounged about at City Park.  We drank cafe aulaits while the little one had chocolate ice cream and then walked along a stream in and out of shadows from giant, majestic oak trees.  There's a man who you can hire to take you on a gondola ride who adds a bit of magic to the water.  Walter kept fighting off pretend dragons.  It was a great day, sigh.  Now I start work on a family wall hanging for a lovely family in the Ukraine.  The mom has been giving me insight to the chaos that is going on there.  I hope there is peace soon, and that peace comes about due to the powerful people softening their egos.