DIY Tokidoki Unicorno

Hi everyone, I’m back. Sorry I’ve been gone for so long this time. I had a lot going on here and the blog just goes to the back burner when life gets a bit hectic. Today I have something new to share.

IMG_8110.jpg

This little guy is a Tokidoki Unicorno. If you don’t know who they are you can read about them here. Basically I’ve loved this brand for some time. Years ago they did a collaboration with Smashbox and one of my favorite blushes of all time was from that collab.

100_0512[1]

This photo is from what appears to be a now defunct blog, but she talked a bit about this blush on there. It was very purple, so ideal for cool toned skin! I bought a few other things from the line and loved them all. I also bought the totally impractical (yet amazingly awesome) brushes they had when they did a collaboration with Sephora.

02_SephoraBrushSet

If you click on the photo it’ll take you to Tokidoki’s blog when they first announced the line. I still can’t believe that was in 2010! Crazy! In that post they share some of the other things that were going to be included in the line (though not everything) and I did of course indulge in some other treats. 🙂 Like I said, I’ve loved them for years.

But like so many things, a person forgets. I know they did a collaboration with Hello Kitty years ago (they’re very collab happy) and I loved it. Well, it looks like they’re doing another. It’s not very big, that or I missed most of it. But I was in a comic book shop in Seattle and I spotted some Tokidoki x Hello Kitty blind boxes. To say it reignited the love affair is putting it mildly. I bought two on the spot and have since gone on to buy far more. Oops.  I love them all though. Another thing I love is the Unicornos. For the record, I’m not one of those unicorns and rainbows girls. Well, okay I kind of am. But I’m not really into this kind of unicorn.

unicorn-06

Yeah… You know the type. Flocked paintings and such. It’s not for me. What I am into is more this.

IMG_8119

They’re totally cool and fun right? Girly, but not uber girly. That yellow one in the front is a boy after all. 😉 So yeah, I love these guys. The big ones are from the series 4 blind boxes (full disclosure the yellow one in front is a Chaser so odds of getting him are lower). The one with the Hello Kitty is from her blind boxes, and the little ones are “frenzies” and they’re series 2 blind boxes. These guys all just sort of combine a bunch of things I love. For starters COLOR! I’m totally digging the rainbow of colors you see here. Next would be their size. I love little things. That sounds weird to say but I don’t know of another way to put it. Tiny Swarovski figurines, Pandora beads (OMG Pandora beads!!!!), and Tsum Tsums. They also have that element of surprise. I got into blind box videos on You Tube because of my son, but these days? I’ve been known to watch them even after he’s gone to bed. There’s the collection element too. I like limited edition things. Two lipsticks that are basically the same but one is LE, yep, I need the LE one. These being part of a limited series somehow makes them “better” to my warped brain.  I’m also enthralled with the detail work on these. Sometimes you get figurines and they’re just kind of blah. The faces are weird/deformed, the paint is sloppy, etc. These are crazy good quality. Honestly. I was actually really surprised. I don’t know why, Tokidoki never does anything halfway, but still. If you’re the type that likes to collect this stuff you’ll be impressed with the quality.

I’m loving these guys so much that I’d like to think it’s understandable when I about lost my mind after seeing the DIY Unicorno. I don’t want to make my own, I need to. I’m already brainstorming ideas. I don’t expect to complete it anytime soon. The responsibility is too great to rush such a thing, lol. I really just want to be sure I’m going to be happy with the design. There are quite a few of them out there, and Tokidoki held a contest a while back, so there are some seriously impressive ones out there. Aside from the super cool ones they themselves make of course. I think I really want to look over all of my favorites, and try to combine them somehow. I’m thinking a floral theme featuring blues and purples. But plans are subject to change of course. I need to do a few drawings. Maybe I’ll share them here? If nothing else the finished product will be featured here. I do know that no matter what, it will feature some accessories. If you noticed things like the butterflies and snowflake on some of the little ones, I want to mimic that. It’s something I loved in  the existing ones.

The finish on this is very different than I expected it to feel like. Take a look at it out of the box.

IMG_8114

IMG_8115

If you’ve ever handled their blind box figurines you’ll know they’re smooth for the most part. If a figure is white, it’s solid molded white plastic. This is a bit different. This feels almost as though it’s been painted. I looked over my existing Unicornos and discovered some parts of them that looked and felt similar. On the manes of Yuki and Lily (the butterfly and snowflake ones) in particular they had something similar going on and those parts are painted. Now I can’t be sure but I suspect this white base coat, as I’m calling it, is more or less a primer to help any paint or markers you use work better. When these first came out they came with Tokidoki branded Sharpies. They were real Sharpies that simply featured Tokidoki characters. These new ones do not come with the Sharpies (though you can still buy the special markers on the website). You can also buy an “Adios” vinyl figure like this one that comes with two. Personally I can’t see spending $6 on three markers in colors I have right next to me just because they have a cartoon on them. But everyone likes different stuff I suppose, spend your money on what you like. I know a lot of people on You Tube have opted to paint them, I’ll probably go that route.

Either way this is a totally cool craft for any kid or adult. Personally I started coloring as a kid and never stopped. The world has recently caught on and finding quality coloring books has certainly gotten easier! But if you’re ready to take your art off the page and try something a little different this would be a great option. I bought mine from Barnes and Nobel for $15. I have their membership so I got an additional 10% off which was nice. And since this is classified as a toy I was able to get Kids Club points (Kids Club is free but the membership is $25 a year). I was spending so much that day I decided to bite the bullet and get the membership. It almost paid for itself in that one transaction alone, gulp. I’m still glad I have it. They offer coupons several times a year to card holders and with the Kids Club ($5 coupon for every $100 spent on qualifying purchases) picking up more blind boxes and such will be far less expensive! If you don’t live near a Barnes and Nobel you can find it here for the same price on Amazon. There’s even free one day shipping for Prime members! They also have the Donutella version on there are well. 🙂

As always I bought everything with my own money. I’m not getting anything from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel if you buy from them either. All photos link back to their sources too!

Goodbye until next time!

Advertisements

Polymer Clay, Ideas and a Tutorial!

Hello everyone! I’m back this week to offer up some fun ideas and a tutorial. It’s summer now and for many people, that means kids are home (and in your hair, lol). This is going to be something fun you can do with a slightly older child, it’s not really toddler friendly simply because you can’t risk them eating the clay. The website says it’s non-toxic but honestly, it’s flexible plastic so it’s really only suitable for older kids. I like Sculpey clay, I’ve used it ever since I was little and I find it to be a really great product. There are other brands of polymer clay out there that others swear by, use what you like (or can find). I bought mine during a half on sale Joann’s was having so each 2oz bar was around $1.50. Even at full price it’s not that expensive and a little goes a long way. Today we’re going to make a small marbled bowl, all told it’ll take a quarter of a block so you’ll have plenty left over for other creations! Now, lets get started!

First thing you’re going to do is pick your colors. For this I picked blue, two different greens, and white. I find that picking colors that’ll mix nicely together is key. So either pick similar colors, like my greens and blues, or pick colors that will mix to create a new color like red and blue so you’ll get purple. I’ve tried a lot of different combos but find that the colors mix so easily that while pink and green might look great together, mixed they create a really ugly shade. So think your color combos through first!

Now that you’ve picked your colors it’s time to start mixing them. I like to roll mine out into logs, then I twist them together and roll them out again.

IMG_3225

IMG_3227

After I’ve rolled out my giant log, I fold it back on itself and twist and roll again.

IMG_3228

Then I start to smush it up a bit. Have fun with it but remember not to do it too much! You want the colors to swirl and blend. But if you play with it too much you’ll lose the swirl effect we’re going for. Once you’ve got it to the point you want it roll it into a ball in your palms.

IMG_3229

Then grab your rolling pin and start rolling it out. As you’re rolling things out try to ensure you’re rolling it out evenly, and pay attention to the swirl pattern you’re creating. Halfway through I recommend flipping it over to see what the other side looks like. If you prefer one over the other then focus on that side. In this case I ended up liking the bottom side better, so I flipped it.

IMG_3230

Now it’s important to keep an eye out for air bubbles. They can expand in the oven and totally ruin your piece. So if you see one, just pop it with one of your tools then smooth it out with your finger. Due to the swirled nature of the pattern you’ll never see it later.

IMG_3233

After you’ve got your clay to your desired thickness grab something to trace a circle. I found a large plastic cup to work perfectly for this. Cut around the perimeter and get ready to lay it into your bowl.

IMG_3234

Find an oven safe bowl you don’t mind donating to the cause. Once you use something for polymer clay you really shouldn’t eat off of it again. So far as I know no brand has tested whether it’s safe to use these items again, but it’s recommended against. You can easily pick a glass bowl up from the dollar store, or just use one you don’t like. I have several of this same red cafe au lait bowl so I used that. I plan to use it in my craft room so I didn’t mind using it for this.

IMG_3236

Lay your clay circle in the bowl then bake according to the clay’s instructions being careful to watch the clock so it doesn’t burn!

Now, if you’re like me you’l get this far and do something stupid. For me, I was in my dimly lit kitchen and wearing an oven mitt when I decided it would be a good idea to poke at what I thought was a bubble (there was no bubble). Since I had my circle just laying in the bowl and not pressed into the center there was space. A smart thing to do would have been to tip the bowl upside down and tap so my clay bowl would fall out. Instead I put my finger through it. Grrrr.

IMG_3240

You’re clay will still be somewhat pliable and slightly brittle when it’s still piping hot from the oven. Hence the weird cracking it did when I trashed the bowl. But I was able to press it back together and it’s fine and not especially noticeable now. I know some of you are thinking “why didn’t you just start over and never mention you screwed up”. Well, I think it’s fair to show your failings. And if I can help someone else learn from my mistakes, that’s great. I’ve made a number of these with no issues, but the time I set out to photograph it for the blog this happens. And hey, maybe it happened so I could share my experience, who knows? So I’m leaving it in.

When it’s cool you can leave it as is, or you can glaze it. I decided to gold leaf the edge and glaze it. This is the gold leaf paint I used. It’s seriously the coolest stuff in the jar, liquid metal. I glazed my bowl using Sculpey glaze. When using polymer clay you can’t use just anything on it. No acrylic paints or nail polish or what have you. Over time it’ll degrade the cay and cause a gooey mess, not good. So be sure you’re using clay safe glaze.

IMG_3243

I did make a tiny little bowl from my scraps. I thought about just mixing them together and making a kawaii creature (another plus of using coordinating colors). But just decided to roll them out into an irregular shape and make a very tiny bowl. There were some air bubbles in this one and I’m glad for it, it gives you all a chance to see what they can look like. They aren’t that bad in this piece, but you can see how this might ruin a sculpture.

IMG_3237

IMG_3244

Another fun thing you can make using very little clay and a lot of imagination is fun charms or pocket pals. I’m seriously addicted to making these. I actually still have a ladybug I made more than fifteen years ago. He’s back in the Hawaii house somewhere, I’ll need to find him and bring him back. I haven’t played with this stuff in ages though. But I’m glad I took the craft back up, it’s very relaxing. And it’s a great thing to do on days you’d rather just sit inside in the AC because it’s too hot for the kids to play outside.

Here are some of the cute little things I’ve made over the past several days.

IMG_3220

IMG_3222

IMG_3258

IMG_3251

I really like this particular YouTube channel, she has a lot of cute little tutorials that show how to create these.

There are also a lot of cute inspirational pictures on Pintrest. I’ve created a special board devoted to these cute little guys, you can see it here. I’ve also started to use Instagram. There is someone on there with my name (I do not find it funny) but you can find the real koolchicken here.

I do want to be completely honest. I try to post tutorials I think anyone could do, so you can follow along and come away with something cute and feel good about yourself. I really feel like a lot of the Pintrest hate out there is because the site sets people up for unrealistic expectations. Yes, there’s something for everyone out there, but a lot of this stuff is hard and you have to know how to pick your projects. This bowl really is super easy and any four year old could manage this (with a little adult help for the cutting and baking). But where the little clay animals are concerned, you may struggle. I actually started a new medicine for nerve pain and was pretty drugged when I made the strawberry, mushroom, watermelon. This is one of my talents, I can and have made these while struggling to speak properly. I come from a long line of artists and though no one else has sculpted (to my knowledge) I’ve been doing it for years. I once managed a complicated vase on a pottery wheel on my first try, I wasn’t even ten. When we played with clay in school I was always the weird kid who managed some elaborate figurine when everyone else made ashtrays and snakes. I was making canes at 12. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just trying to be honest and say that the little figurines are tricky if you’ve never done it before and they may take real practice. So you may not be able to just watch a two minute video and recreate this perfectly on your first try, even if you’re sober. I’m sorry. But, I truly believe that if you look over my Pintrest board anyone could find something they could make with a bit of practice. I’ve got a good mix on there. Regardless of whether you’ll be able to make something exactly the same as someone who’s been doing this for years, this stuff is still really fun to play around with. If what you’re making isn’t coming out the way you like, smush it up and start over. No big deal. The main purpose of this all is to have fun. Stressing about making something perfect isn’t fun. If you make a mistake, just go with it. It’s okay.

Now, some tips to make playing with this stuff a bit more fun and successful.

*First up, protect your work surface! I like to lay down some wax paper. I tape it down so it doesn’t bunch or shift. You can also lay it out on top of your clay to make rolling it out easier. I’ve been wanting a piece of marble tile for a while now, just to use with some of my other craft projects. I think it’ll work especially well with my clay, and I’ve seen others using them as well. They can be bought individually at the hardware store for very little.

*When it comes to rolling out your clay you can either use a bit of waxed paper to protect your rolling pin, or you can use a dedicated rolling pin. The one I used in the tutorial can be bought here. It was inexpensive and comes with removable guide rings that make rolling out your surface evenly easy.

*If you’re looking for tools to use with your clay, nail art tools can be very handy. I recently bought some from eBay, you can buy the same ones here. You can use them to glue pieced of baked clay together, for painting, and for picking up small pieces. It can also be helpful for smoothing out the clay and attaching pieces.

*If you want to glue your clay, E6000 is the only glue that seems to work on polymer clay. This is a restricted item many places. In New York I used to have to show ID to buy it. But it’s very strong and I love it. It actually works better than super glue and is more effective on many surfaces. So I tend to use it for more than just clay. You can buy it in many supermarkets, Target, Walmart, etc.

*Clean up can be a little tricky. After you wash your hands they’ll often still feel as though they have a film on them. Just using a bit of rubbing alcohol or some hand sanitizer will remove that residue instantly. It can also be great to have it with you when you’re working with the clay so when you swap colors, the red that’s on your fingers doesn’t transfer to your white and turn it pink! Baby wipes also seem to work well.

So there you have it. I hope you all feel inspired to get out there and start crafting. Polymer clay is a lot of fun and a great boredom buster. This stuff can totally keep most kids occupied for hours, and you’ll probably feel compelled to join in on the fun too. It’s hard to resist this stuff. 🙂

See you next week!

Spoonflower Fabric, What I Made & What’s Coming

I’ve vented about my difficulties with Spoonflower in the past, I definitely have a love hate relationship with them. I am willing to give companies a second try most of the time though. For instance I stopped buying from Fabric.com a few years back after repeated issues (and by that I mean every order was an issue for almost a year, they never had anything in stock and liked to cancel my orders for no reason other than it was fun). But once I got wind they moved into a bigger space and hired on more workers and things had turned around I was back. It was a very sad time though when I did stop buying from them. Living on an island I didn’t have many fabric options and they were the only company that would ship to Hawaii for less than a pint of blood and the promise of my first born. My local Walmart did carry a lot of really cool Japanese fabrics (ones that sell online for an absolute fortune) but sometimes you just want something a little more sophisticated and not covered in hedgehogs… So like Fabric.com I’m hoping Spoonflower turns things around too, they’ve got a great product.

I did recently try my hand at designing some of my own fabric. It was both easy and difficult at the same time. My second round definitely went a lot better. Playing around making my own stuff definitely makes me want to study graphic design. It’s something I enjoy for sure. Here are some of the fabrics I came up with. These are just 8″x8″ swatches done on plain combed cotton.

IMG_9808 IMG_9809 IMG_9810 IMG_9811 IMG_9813 IMG_9812

IMG_9807

Once again the photos have been taken at night, and on a dark background. They do look nicer in real life I promise. I think they look good on the basic cotton, but I suspect the ones I’m having printed on a synthetic will look way better.

Since Spoonflower is having a buy one get one sale on fat quarters right now I decided to partake. Between the sale and my designers discount it wasn’t too expensive. I bought a number of these in different fabric types. I bought Linen Cotton Canvas, Modern Jersey, and Performance Piqué. I have a few ideas for them. Maybe a cover for my day planner (though I now wish I bought the Eco Canvas). And I plan to use the jersey and performance fabric for exercise related items. I’m not sure exactly how much I’d need to make shorts for ballet. I have some jersey laying around and I’ll probably use it to test drive a pair and make my pattern. I looked online for shorts and nothing I liked was in stock and I didn’t even know if they’d fit the way I want them to. Most of them have no inseam, they’re more like briefs. I want something with a one to two inch inseam at the very least. I may be being a bit ambitious with what I can do with a piece of fabric that small, but I won’t know if it’s possible until I have it in hand. If only because Spoonflower’s fat quarters vary in size depending on the type of fabric you’re buying. The performance pique is 28×18, the modern jersey is the same. So a little larger than your standard 22×18 quilting cotton ones. I could probably do a top if the shorts don’t work out though. If only because I’d want a contrasting trim on a top, and the direction of the design won’t be as much of an issue. I don’t want my little ballerinas going sideways on my shorts!

I’ll probably make at least one top, and will use the scraps to make a headband. I have these amazing yoga ones from Life Is Good that they made for a single season and then discontinued them. I love them because you can scrunch them up to make a narrower headband, or if you have short hair you can wear it with the fabric spread out (it covers the entire top of your head) to keep your hair completely out of your face. I’ve seen similar lace designs online that cater to religious women who wish to cover their heads for church or random prayer while still staying fashionable and enabling them to forgo a full covering 24/7. I love mine not for exercise actually, but for sewing. On my old machine the little metal thing you thread the thread through that bobs back and fourth had a tendency to catch the little hairs near my hairline. After having that happen twice and being terrified of being scalped I started wearing headbands to sew. Now I feel like I can’t sew without my hair covered. Here’s the metal bit I’m taking about, can’t remember what it’s called for some reason.

5_takeupLever

(photo taken from I heart Naptime, image links)

I also like them for cooking. And I suspect that when I’m taking class in summer or Hawaii I’ll be grateful for them. My hair is long, but I have these wispy bits that never seems to get longer than about 5″ that always work their way out of my bun, and this will keep me looking neat while also reducing the urge the brush my hair out of my face.

I’m still not 100% on what I’ll use the rest for. I’ll find something to do with it though. Probably small accessories but that’s fine, you can never have too many. I’ve been thinking about getting a small pencil case for when I travel, but making one would be so much better. I hate being forced to buy whatever the stores are selling. Sometimes you need something but they don’t have anything you like and you’re forced to buy something you’d rather not just to get what you need.

I won’t receive my fabric until I get back from California, so it’ll be a while until there are any new fabric pictures. But I’ll post them when I get them. I know people like to see the fabric they’re thinking of buying, so it’s only fair to post up some images if I’m going to make it for sale. I’ve already had sales (I hope you like it strangers who bought my designs!) but I want to be fair and share what the fabric will really look like once it’s been printed up. Just cause I really hate Spoonflowers buy it to see if you like it policy. I’ll buy it, and I’ll share it so others don’t have to take that gamble. After all, I’m far more likely than anyone else to love it regardless just because I’m the one that made it.

Getting Organized, The Fun Way

As I mentioned in my last post (if you remember it, it was a zillion years ago…) I’ve been a bit swamped. In an effort to dig myself out I bought myself a planner. I did try out some apps and did a ton of research on them, trying to find the best ones. What I found was that there were a lot of good ones, but nothing great. They were also really specific, calendar apps, cooking apps, notepads, etc., they were all separate apps. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s fine and I’m not asking these developers to revamp an app to include things that don’t interest them. If all you want to think about all day is cooking you’re not going to create an app that reminds you to put in a load of laundry. But I did need something to help me stay on top of both cooking and cleaning, that’s where paper came in. Do you remember it? It’s this flat white stuff, you use these little sticks to make marks on it. You can find it in most stores, and I bought some.

s0566294_sc7

This is the planner I bought. It’s a Martha Stewart discbound notebook planner from Staples. Sadly the line is being discontinued and they were out of the blue ones. I was able to score this one on a big discount though and the cashier had a coupon too, score! It came with the tiny silver discs and I bought some of Staples own Arc brand discs in hot pink, they’re the next size up. The notebook came with a lot of basic lined pages and I set them aside in favor of some task specific printables I’d found. There are a lot of printables out there, both for free and for purchase. I tried my hand at making some but quickly discovered it was outside of my skill set. I flirted with buying some, but was eventually able to find free ones that I loved. This site, Scattered Squirrel has a ton of them. Most of the ones I downloaded are from this lady’s site, a few are from other places. I don’t know if Jesus told this particular blogger to make them free, but it seems like why so many other bloggers are doing it. Whatever, I call it an even trade for Catholic guilt.

I printed out a ton of different ones so I could test them all. Every couple of weeks I’m going to take out the old pages and put in new ones. I’ll keep that up until I find the specific sheets that work for me. Right now I’m getting the most use out of the monthly calendar sheets, menu planning sheets, cleaning sheets, and general note sheets. So in the future I’ll probably remove the weekly and daily ones. Though I may wish to add them in on weeks I’m traveling. Just because there’s so much that doesn’t merit going into our digital calendar and I like to know what we’re doing each day. While we’re away I find myself asking my husband “what are we doing X day” over and over again. Now I’ll just be able to write it down in one place and refer to it as needed. I had used the notes app on my phones for years, but it ends up cluttered. I literally have dozens of notes going at any given time, with lists, addresses, recipes, and more. Now I’ll be able to write these things down in their designated spot, and when I don’t need them anymore I can just take the sheets out and toss them. I’m far less likely to let clutter build up in a paper binder than I am in a digital format. Just because I don’t want to have to lug the excess but on my phone it’s not taking up space in the same way so I delete nothing. Not good.

Here’s a look at how I have some of it set up. I’m just getting started with this so it’s a bit more bare than many of the planners I’ve seen on there blogs and Pintrest. That’s okay, eventually I’ll figure out what I want to have in there and I’m sure every pocket will be full sooner than I expect.

IMG_9778

Sorry for the dark photos, I haven’t had time to take many photos during the day. So it’s night time photos or no photos at all.

In one of the card pockets I have my travel washi tape. I just took an old hotel room key from my sons stash (he has dozens and won’t miss it). Then I wrapped the washi tape around it several times. In the zip pocket I have a half sheet of stickers. Behind that I have several sheets from a notepad I found in the Target dollar section and punched using my Arc hole punch. Right now it has a list of all the coupons I have that are good this month, how much they’re for, and when they expire.

IMG_9780

This is my dashboard. I didn’t even know I needed something like this but found a ton of boards and pins on these on Pintrest and realized it might actually be a good idea to have one. You can buy or make them, I made mine. I used some Christmas wrapping paper from Paperchase they had at Target and some laminating sheets. I do hope to own a laminating machine in the future (a long held dream) and they’re really cheap at Costco but I don’t have the space for it so it’ll have to wait. I can’t remember the brand I used, Avery or Scotch but I bought them at Target, they were inexpensive, well sized, and leftovers take up almost no room in the closet. Now granted they’re not very thick sheets but they get the job done. I cut out two sheets of the wrapping paper, taped them wrong sides together and laid them in-between two laminating sheets. I cut them out and punched them. After I did that I realized they weren’t going to be sturdy enough so I wrapped the edges in washi tape. and re-punched them. I actually wish I did that in the first place cause it looks so cute and a lot more polished. Now I have a place to lay out all of my sticky notes and page flags (bought at Target and Dasio). They take up so much less room than when I had them in the zippered pouch and I’m actually able to carry a wider assortment. On the other side of the snowflakes I have a bunch of notes that I wanted to keep front and center. I love that I can now move them around without wearing out the adhesive. And since these were so inexpensive and easy to make I can update it each season. So after Christmas I can make a new house one, in February I can have hearts, and Disney ones for March, and so on. I hope to have a decent sized stash to pull from in the future just to keep things fresh and interesting.

IMG_9781

This is my monthly page. It’s missing some dates and even has one that shouldn’t be there. But it works This is one of my most commonly used pages and I don’t know if I’ll need to have more than this in the future. As I’ve mentioned above I just don’t really use the day or week at a glance sheets. Perhaps that’ll change in the future, but for now we’re just not that busy. I used washi tape to embellish and block off certain days. I like that I can remove it if I need to. It also adds a fun splash of color.

IMG_9783

I’m using this page a lot as well. I really got behind with all the travel and then getting sick. One week with everything written down like this and I’m almost back to zero. Granted I’m leaving for California in just days. But I’ll have this to lean on again when I get back so I’m not concerned. I just realized I have some of the letters backwards in towels, I’m dyslexic and this does nothing to help correct my constant mistakes. But I know what I’m trying to write and that’s all that matters.

Sadly I do not have a color printer. I was so bummed when I discovered last year my husband bought one that only does ugly black and white copies. In the future I’m sure we’ll purchase a color one. Until then I’ll just have to keep embellishing the pages. I don’t mind though! I used washi tape to embellish the page dividers and I have a ton of pretty fine point Sharpies as well as Avery markers. They sell much better Avery ones in Asia and I could probably ask my MIL to pick some up for me as I know for a fact some they’re sold in Singapore. But for now I’m fine with the colors I have.

IMG_9786

If you were wondering about my washi tape collection here’s a bit of what I own. These all came from either Target or Dasio. And all of the Target ones (with the exception of the sprinkles one in the dispenser) are from Scotch. You can also get them at Staples, they actually have the best selection. I swear they never order it at Target, so I’ve had to go to a few to get all of these. Dasio, if you’re unfamiliar, is a Japanese $1.50 store and I’ve really done well at my local one. The few we have here are really small, but they’ve just opened a new one that’s not in a shopping mall. I haven’t checked it out yet and I’m hoping it’s bigger than the two I currently frequent. You really can’t beat $1.50 for washi tape. Some of them don’t have as much tape as the $3.50 Scotch rolls, but others (like the three striped ones on the left) have a ton more so it evens out. I got the little punches from Target and they were only $2! I really scored with those and have already put them to good use. They’re the perfect size to make washi stickers with and won’t take up much space on my calendar. So they’re really perfect. I hope they get some more shapes in, they only had these and a mustache one.

IMG_1628

People always ask “how do you use washi tape” and there are lots of ways. It’s pretty, you can write on it, it comes off cleanly, and is reposition able so really the sky’s the limit. Here’s a little shot of how I used my washi tapes and new punches to dress up my phone. There aren’t many cases to pick from yet as it’s so new. I didn’t want it to get scratched and I also wanted it to be a bit more colorful. So I just ripped strips of tape and alternated them. Then to add a little more interest I punched some stars and hearts from a tape in a coordinating color.

IMG_9745

I did roughly the same thing on my iPad. It was a birthday present so I broke out the birthday tapes (from Dasio) and got to work making stickers with my new punches!

IMG_9747

I have the best husband. ❤

Since I couldn’t let the outside of my devices have all the fun I used Cocoppa, which I’ve written about here to refresh my icons.

IMG_9771

I really can’t control myself where Christmas is concerned. We’ve already been watching Christmas movies, for months. Now not all apps can be given a makeover but most can. The last time I wrote about this app fewer of these could be done over (like the App Store and Mail for example) but now you can! I made a couple of them because I couldn’t find any I liked and I made the wallpaper as well. I used Stencil which I wrote about here. Stencil is a paid app which I think was totally worth it as I still use it all the time, Cocoppa is free as always.

I hope to take some photos before I go away, then if I have the time I’ll be able to write a few posts. Unlike last time I don’t have anything scheduled to post while I’m away. I do have a little done with my felt food and unless I want to have to hand it over to my son now I can’t photograph it during the day. So maybe I’ll get to it once my son is in bed tonight or tomorrow. I bought the fabric for my pajama pants and I still haven’t even washed it, let alone started sewing. It’s going to be a long cold winter if I don’t get on it soon… Spoonflower is having a buy one get one sale on fat quarters so I bought a couple. I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to make with them, but I’m hoping to come up with something simple and write a tutorial. It’ll just be a tiny amount of fabric so it’ll be an accessory of some sort. I may buy another couple before the sale is over. Just to have a little something fun to play around with.

How To Make Storage For Play Food

I’m still on vacation but I wanted to do a little tutorial to keep everyone entertained until I’m back. I also wanted to get this up sooner rather than later just because I know some people are looking for Christmas crafts and the more time they have to do them the better. Although even if you only had a day to do this it can still be done, I did this today and it literally took me minutes. It was especially simple since I had everything I needed on hand, but you can easily pick this stuff up at any Target or Walmart type place. I bought my contact paper from Fred Meyer but they sell it looks of places and you don’t even need to use it, I was just trying to keep things simple and unfussy.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m actively looking for play food storage. Today I found this in my refrigerator.

IMG_9433

What better to use for play food storage, than real food storage! I actually have two of these, one is almost half gone and this one was pretty much empty. We eat a lot of this delicious, delicious cheese. I seriously can’t get enough, started the day I got pregnant and it’s turned into the never ending craving. I’ll have a matching set of eight in no time, lol.

Once I polished off the cheese (yum!) I washed the container. The labels are plasticy so I didn’t really worry about them getting wet and becoming stuck forever. So check your sticker type if you’re hoping to remove it! You don’t need to but it’s better to remove as much as possible if it’s a paper sticker. Just cause they tend to get weird and your new label might not hold up as the one underneath it deteriorates. I decided to remove my stickers after I noticed how poorly stuck on the one on top was. It was already curling on one side and folded on the other, so I just pulled slowly and it came right off. To make the replacement stickers I used contact paper. I’m thinking bright pink will be an accent color in my kitchen. Since I plan to have my son’s kitchen near the real one I decided I should use complementary colors. My son also likes pink quite a bit so thats just a nice bonus.

Since I was removing my labels I decided the easiest way to cut my new stickers to size was to stick them to the backing of my contact paper.

IMG_9434

All I had to do after deciding where to put my label was to cut around it.

IMG_9436

Super simple right? I forgot to take photos when I made the big label on the front, but the process is the same. Look at the front of your contact paper and decide what you want to cut out. Then mark the back, place your label, and just cut around it. My labels were on the package a little lopsided and I just played with the alignment prior to peeling off the backing and sticking it on. I just sort of held it up where I liked it and made a note of where it looked best (the space was larger than the sticker). Then I just sort of eye-balled it and stuck it on. Contact paper is usually reposition-able for a bit, but I didn’t need to fuss with it.

Here’s my (mostly) finished container!

IMG_9440

Pretty cute right? Now all it needs is a label to identify the contents.

IMG_9443

I picked this pack of labels up for less than $2 and I’ll have more than enough to mark all of the containers I plan to make. I didn’t stick it down because I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to put in here yet. Probably pasta but I’d rather wait until I’ve finished everything. I will use these containers as general storage as I finish each food and I’m sure during that time it’ll become clear what should be stored in which container.

So this was a super fast, easy, and inexpensive to do and the results are so worth the time it took to do this. The total cost for this project was less than thirty cents too. I was buying that cheese no matter what and would have just tossed the container so that was free. Then I had the contact paper and it was around $5 for two rolls. I used such a tiny amount from one roll and the label works out to about six cents. Awesome!

This would be a great craft for older kids and the opening is more than wide enough to store things like toy cars or small blocks. I could fix more than a dozen matchbox cars in there easy, but it’s not too big to be used for something like crayons so there are a multitude of uses. You can also get super creative with what you use to cover this. Scrapbooking paper with some packing tape to cover it (so it can be washed) would look cute. Or you could even just pull off the label and let your kids go to town putting stickers on it. There is no right or wrong way to do this. And it’s so simple that even if you’re not crafty and are planning to just buy things like play food, you can still make these and feel good about yourself. This is definitely one of those Pintrest things anyone can do for a little mood boost!

I am still keeping an eye out for containers. I have this one lined up next.

IMG_9445

I’m sure it’ll be horrible having to eat all those cashews, but I guess I’ll just have to sacrifice. 😉 Here’s a revamped Nutella jar. This one took three times as long to clean out as it did to decorate.

IMG_9447

I also have a peanut butter jar that’s about met it’s end and I’ll wash that out tonight. Basically anything plastic with a wide mouth will work well and there’s no need to go out and buy these things. You already have plenty of these items laying about the house you just need to be looking at them with new eyes to see their potential.

If you already have some containers you think would work but still have some stuff in them, mark them. Otherwise they run the risk of being tossed by others in the house who aren’t thinking about your project. It’s also a good way to remind yourself when you spot a good container so you don’t do it yourself!

IMG_9446

It’s just a bit of painters tape I wrote on with a Sharpie. So simple! I really need to go through my pantry and start marking off things I’d like to save…

Spoonflower LMTD Satin & A New Beginning

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to give Spoonflower a second chance. Well, the order I shared with you all in my last post has shipped. But there was also another I didn’t mention…

In the past week or so Spoonflower released two limited time only fabrics. One was a satin, the other a poly crepe de chine. As I mentioned in the past I’m not a big fan of synthetics, but I feel Spoonflower prints best on polyester. Reasons may vary, but it’s just what I’ve noticed.

I had been wanting to make a Rapunzel dress, ever since I bought that kids costume back in February. Believe it or not that one is still living on my dress form in my bedroom. It’s just so pretty I could never hide it in a closet. I sometimes pop it on for my son. He gets so excited, well, it’s hard to describe this thing he does beyond saying he literally vibrates. It’s pretty funny. But despite him believing me to be the real deal when I’m wearing it, the dress is not exact. It’s kind of strange too. You’d think if anyone were going to get it “right” it would be Disney themselves. It’s not like they couldn’t print their own fabric, but they’re clearly just buying some random brocade. I knew I could do better.

So I indulged. I knew that I shouldn’t, that it was wrong to buy more fabric I didn’t need. But it was either buy this now, or hope they re-release this fabric in the future. If they never offered it again I would have bought what I had been planning initially which was their silk, and that costs $34 a yard! For comparison the satin is $17.50, which actually isn’t a bad price for satin and it’s the exact same price as the basic combed cotton. I always shop sales or use a coupon, but satin at JoAnn’s is at least that much regularly so it’s not like I’m getting robbed. There’s also the fact that Rapunzel’s dress in the movie is satin, or at least it looks like it is. In some scenes it could be anything, in others it has a really noticeable shine to it. So this is more screen accurate (sometimes), and it’s half the price of the silk.

Now I know what you’re thinking “Ummm, koolchicken? Silk is silk and satin is polyester“. I hear you, and I understand your concern. But this fabric actually feels nice and it looks so pretty, and it’s machine washable. Very important when you’re staring down thirty and you still routinely dump stuff down the front of you. My kid wears white and looks fabulous. I start out wearing white and by the end of the day I’m a technicolor rainbow. I was once wearing my favorite white skirt when I looked down and notice I’d somehow spilled Orange Julius down the front of it. My BIL wanted to know exactly how I’d managed that as I was drinking from a cup, with a lid and a straw, and I’d only just bought it. Hand to God I still don’t know. So machine washable is something that’s important to me when it comes to something that’s worth so much due to materials and labor. Heck, forget the materials and just focus on the labor. It won’t be amusing if I trash it on the first wear.

So I’m really glad I took the plunge and bought some. I have just enough to do the outfit, nothing extra. I was so tempted to buy a little extra of it to make some accessories but I resisted. I’ll probably have enough left from the darker print to do a little something. I do wonder if I should buy another yard of the bodice material though. Just because if I made a mistake cutting or sewing it I’m kind of screwed if/when they stop producing this fabric. I didn’t make any mistakes on my Anna costume and I’m pretty good about not having to rip stuff out. But this is satin. and satin doesn’t like oops moments of any kind. So I’m going to have to be really, really careful. I’m also a smidge paranoid about the skirt. If my machine ever had an issue with the embroidery, I’d have the same problem. Obviously I could just buy different fabric for the skirt and keep the center panel in the satin. But who wants that? I’d rather have it look seamless.

Here’s the fabric I bought.

IMG_9305

This is the material for the bodice and the sleeves. I bought two fat quarters for the sleeves. Looking back I really should have just bought a yard due to the cost difference. Lesson learned. The colors here are fairly accurate. It’s a verily lovely lilac pink color.

IMG_9306

This is the material for the skirt, the patterned part is for the center panel the rest of the skirt is plain. I bought a single yard of the patterned fabric and I can’t imagine needing more of that. I think the colors here are not coming across true to life, perhaps a bit more berry/red than purpley. But the fabric is pink toned not purple as in the film (sometimes).

IMG_9308

The colors here are still slightly off but I think it still gives a good first glimpse of what they all look like together. As you can see the lighter design has a smaller scale to fit on the smaller area. I have the buttons I’m going to use for this already. I saw them ages ago and thought they were perfect so I just scooped them up. I still need lining fabric, lace in both white and pink, pink cording, grommets (and a grommet punch), as well as pink ribbon or cording. I’m not in a rush to get any of those. This is something I’ll work on when I have the time. Right now I need to be focusing my resources and time elsewhere.

Just thought I’d mention Spoonflower is running a contest on their site. The prize is, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual and three yards of Performance Piqué. Gertie is really cool and her blog a great resource for vintage sewing tips, and really just sewing tips in general. So I’m guessing the book will be amazing. I haven’t used any of her patterns yet but I’ve been tempted. She has  an Etsy shop as well where you can buy kits to make her vintage slip, and panties. She did a sew along with that and I thought it was so cool. A great way to start sewing if you’re new to it I say. A kit with everything you need plus the designer herself showing you how to put the garment together. Genius! Anyways, here’s my referral link to the contest

Enter Here!

Enter by Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on the Spoonflower blog on Wednesday, September 17th. Full Disclosure, I think get extra points or whatever if you click on that link to enter. I’m not 100% on that, but I’m pretty sure. Just wanted people to be aware.

I do still have to finish my husband’s Kristoff costume. I finished the muslin last night and I need to tweak the sleeves just a bit, but it’s done. I hope to start cutting the fabric tonight and begin sewing tomorrow (if not tonight). I made the decision not to attach the collar to this so it won’t be super accurate and more just “inspired by”. That’s fine though. Kirstoff’s tunic has a small stand collar and there’s fur attached. Every time I think about it all I can think is “Geez, I hate doing collars” and “That fur is going to be uncomfortable, he’s gonna hate me”. So just an hour ago I decided to omit it. I doubt anyone will notice and it not only saves me work, but it’ll keep my husband from being miserable. Lets be honest, men just want to be comfortable. They don’t care if something is “accurate” or “cute”. It’s why the people they cast to play the Orc’s in LOTR’s were women. They wouldn’t complain about wearing a hot uncomfortable garment for hours on end. I’ll keep the fur around the sleeves and hem, but that’s it. Photos and more information on that costume to come. Now I’ve got to go deal with a tiny crazy person who’s taking my living room apart. 🙂

Spoonflower’s Getting Another Chance

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know I had some issues with my last Spoonflower order. But as I stated before, it is a great concept and when the designs print well, they look stunning. I’ve seen countless images of things created with their fabrics and who wouldn’t be in love with all those beautiful prints? So after some consideration I’ve decided to place another order. 

I’m headed to Disney World again at the end of the month. Something we decided on the last trip was that we really need to bring raincoats. It’s Florida, it’s humid and kind of rainforesty. So it rains, and when I say rain I mean torrential downpour. My son is fine. Kicking back in his stroller with it’s fancy custom rain cover. We have a fan propped in there so he stays cool, he’s riding in style. My husband and I, not so much…

So we both bought raincoats. He picked up a nice one at Costco and I got a longer one with adjustable sleeves from Amazon. His didn’t come with a bag, mine did but due to the nature of the material it’s almost impossible to get it in or out of the pouch. So he asked me to make him a bag and I figured I should make myself one as well. Since I don’t have any extra fabric in the house so I was going to have to buy something. That’s when I decided to give Spoonflower another chance. I think what persuaded me to try again so soon was seeing that “It’s a Small World” swatch, then seeing that infinity scarf done up in the same pattern but a different fabric base. The colors are so vibrant and it just looks lovely. Here’s the scarf.

IMG_1829_edited_zps249abd98

The designer Rock Baby Scissors has an Etsy shop and she does make infinity scarves to sell. But I think this is a personal item, or it already sold. I can see why it wouldn’t stay in a shop long though. It really is stunning and a fantastic way to use this print. I totally need one. I actually didn’t end up buying this fabric. I do want some, but I have things I need to make so it would just sat, sad and neglected. 😥 I’d rather not have a lot of fabric sitting around right now since I don’t have the space. After we move it’d be easy to justify the purchase but until then I really can’t buy fabric I don’t intend to use straight away. 

This fabric has a lot of butter yellow in it and that’s just going to show dirt and wear too easily. I decided on something with a darker pattern. This is what I picked.

711b39cb091467f008d0064b6ee3249e

Isn’t it cool? I like that the base is a nice blue color. So when it gets a bit dirty it won’t show as easily. The pattern is so cool too, this designer is really talented. I love most of her designs. I went with this one partially because it’s Disney themed, but also because I think it won’t be super obvious. The little designs are 2″x2″ so it’s small and you’ll have to look closely. I think that works perfectly for things like a scarf, headband, or small pouches. I hate it when I’m using a large design and I can’t quite make it fit on what I’m trying to make. This simple, repeating design is ideal for what I want. I bought one yard in their performance piqué. That should be more than enough to make two bags plus a few little extras. 😉 I probably could have gotten the job done with a single fat quarter, but it would have cost me $12, for $8 more I got double the amount of fabric! I hope to have enough leftover to embellish like I talked about doing with my Small World swatch. I’ve decided to decorate my sewing room with the supplies I use. I want the walls white (with maybe an accent wall or a couple of stripes) so my fabrics and thread will really stand out. 

 

I also bought a couple more samples, both are Disney themed because I just thought the prints were so fun.

a5417e0345f5c1f744d569d9938fd57e

 

This Brave one really spoke to me. I just love everything about it. The colors, Merida and her Mum, her bow, and of course the Celtic knots. 

b1d36776b23b0c379d86409f25070173

This one is Mulan inspired and features Mushu. I love that the pattern is so subtle and it’s not overtly Disney. Mulan is one of my favorites and my son was born year of the dragon, so I’ll probably end up with yardage of this at some point. The colors are so perfect, I look good in this color and it’ll match most of my fall/winter wardrobe (and some of my spring/summer stuff).  

I did opt to buy my samples in different fabrics. Just so I could get a feel for the way the different fabrics print out. The Mushu is the performance piqué and the Brave is organic cotton knit. I hope they turn out well. And although I feel like the swatches are expensive (I mean come on, $5!) at least they’re big enough to do something with at 8″x8″. So they won’t just sit. And as I mentioned above, I’ll be using my favorites to decorate my new space, so they’re serving a dual purpose. I think from here on out it would probably be smart to buy at least one swatch every time I’m placing an order. I actually have a board on Pintrest dedicated solely to fabric but I should probably make one specific to Spoonflower. Then when they’re doing their 24 sales on free swatches I’ll have a wish list to pull from. When they did their free swatch of suede I missed it because I couldn’t decide what to pick and while I probably should have just picked anything I didn’t. For some inexplicable reason I had to love it or I just didn’t want it at all. I won’t have that happen again!

I don’t know if I’ll ever buy their quilting cottons again. I think it’s probably just more hassle than it’s worth. But the silks and synthetics I’ve felt and seen online have been just lovely. As was their eco canvas. I almost wonder if they’re just not capable of doing the quilting cottons well? Others have complained about them being stiff (mine are quite stiff) and fading, but you just don’t hear the same stuff said about their other fabrics. In my last post I shared the samples I already own, and I’m enamored with them. It’s the reason I never second guessed buying the Anna fabric from them. It’s okay though, I know now. And if I really want quilting cotton for some reason, I’ll buy a sample first! I sometimes wonder if things would have gone better if I’d picked a polyester fabric to begin with. I didn’t because I thought it was going to be hot, and I wanted this dress to be lined so the synthetic would be too heavy. I’m also not a huge fan of synthetics. I briefly considered getting silk, but it was more than I wanted to spend and I thought that fabric wouldn’t have the right “look” anyways. I sat going through all the tiny swatches from their book. Looking at sheerness, texture, sheen, stretch, and more. I thought I had it right… Oh well, moving on! I think even if these fabrics don’t look exactly like the image on the computer it won’t be as earth shattering as the Anna fabric. If only because I’m not trying to make something that looks like something else. These fabrics could be in any color way really cause they’re just for crafting.

I’ll share images and my thoughts as soon as I get a chance. I really don’t know when, possibly not until I get back home next month. I’m just hoping it’s printed and shipped in time. If it’s not here I guess we’ll just be using Ziplock bags. I’ll only need a day (and not even a full day) to make them. The most time consuming part of the project will probably be the washing and the drying of the fabric. Sewing a square with a button hole is not exactly taxing. Although I may go the zipper route. Still on the fence. Either way, you’ll see it all at some point. 

 

 

Crafting In Small Spaces

I wanted to get something up before going to bed tonight and since I spent some time organizing this today I figured this is what I would write about.

Before going away last month my husband bought me a little sewing table. It’s the Sauder Sewing and Craft table from Amazon. It was inexpensive, would fit where I needed it, and had great reviews. You can see it here, http://www.amazon.com/Sauder-Sewing-Cinnamon-Cherry-Finish/dp/B005405RBS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395224974&sr=8-2&keywords=sewing+table

Prior to buying this I just had my machine on the dining room table. That was fine for short term, but it was getting annoying having it there. Now I have a nice home for my machine and embroidery unit that doesn’t take up very much space at all.

Here it is.

Image

As you can see I have a stylish little child lock on it. My son likes to court disaster so this is to discourage exploration. Although he has figured out how to get it off already, he mostly leaves it alone because the lock means “off limits”.

I usually have the cover on my machine but I took it off while I was working and hadn’t put it back on. The thread rack was also from Amazon and is fairly nice. It was a lot less expensive than the one my Viking dealer is selling and it looks pretty much the same. I don’t have the space inside the cabinet to store it so it sits on top. Really it doesn’t look too bad, but I do need to put the colors in order. 

 

Image

This is what it looks like open. There’s a lot of “stuff” crammed in there but I don’t have a lot of other places to store it. I really need to get  the hall closet in order. But it’s one of those things. If I try to work on it when my son’s awake he feels the need to “help”. But if I try to work on it when he’s sleeping I disturb him (the closet is right by his door). What I need is a couple of hours and my husband to get him out of the house otherwise it’ll never get done. 

But back to the cabinet. The hanging shelves are ugly beyond belief but that’s nothing a little contact paper won’t fix (insert evil laughter). Sorry, inside joke. Moving on…

The hanging shelves have removable dividers. I haven’t really played with them much but they’re okay. They’re actually quite spacious and deep. There’s more than enough room for you’re usual sewing supplies. I have all your basics in there, thread, spare needles, pins, random specialty feet, etc. and I still have loads of space for more.

The shelves to the right are fairly deep and are perfect for my patterns, hoops, notebooks, stabilizer, and more. The biggest roll of stabilizer is several inches too long, but it’s fine on the floor there for now. The shelf above it is meant to store the actual machine on when you’re not using it. But I found it works better for housing the embroidery unit. The only thing is the embroidery unit is so big that I had to pull the cabinet out from the wall a bit more, otherwise the door wouldn’t close. This is more an issue of the machine being really big, not the cabinet being too small. For reference that’s a full 25 yard bolt of muslin it’s sitting on and it’s the exact width and length of the shelf, so it’s a good size. I have my biggest hoop laying on top of it all as it was just a smidge too long to fit on the shelves.

I’m very happy with this cabinet and would totally buy it again. Once we build our house I’ll have a real craft room. But I could see this ending up in the garage or something. It’s a nice little table and seems relatively sturdy. It is the Target, Ikea type stuff but still, nice for what it is. It’s only required to last me a couple of years and I’m sure it will. I can’t wait to get to work on my upcoming projects. I’ve been looking online at fabric and I need to go to JoAnns too. Hopefully I find just the right stuff soon. 

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Okay, so I’m still here but it’ll probably be a bit before my next real post. I was away last week, and I’m going away again tomorrow. There was also talk about going away again later in the month! So while I actually have a lot to write about I just don’t have the time to do it. I’ve also been sick, so although I contacted a new ballet studio and they say they have space for me I’ve been too ill to get down there. Ugh!

 

Things to look forward to as soon as I have the time:

1. My new sewing machine! Since I wrote about the new one I was getting I’ve returned it and bought another. So for those of you keeping count I’m on my third machine but I promise it’s the last. It’s a very fancy one that can do embroidery and fancy sewing. It basically does everything but cut the pattern for you, it’s amazing. Which is good since…

2. I’m going to make at least two costumes. I decided while I was at Disney World that I really, really want to go there for their Halloween celebration for my and my son’s birthday this year (assuming we have the time). So I want to make a Rapunzel and a Merida costume by then. I still don’t know which one I’ll wear but it’s my goal. I think I may just want to do the Rapunzel because it’s prettier (and more labor intensive) but I like Merida’s character better. I wouldn’t even need a wig for Merida, I’d just need to curl my hair and add a bit of red temporary dye (although I’ve been considering going red permanently).

3. When I was at WDW my trip overlapped with my friends visit. She was there to run the Disney Princess 5k and get engaged!!!!! Of course she didn’t know about the last part. But she showed me her medal, running outfit, princess sneakers and the next thing I knew I was agreeing to do the race with her next year. For the record I don’t run, but walkers are welcome and I’ll do just about anything for princess inspired clothing. She’s coming to visit me this summer and we’re going to work on our running/walking outfits. She’s into crafting and she taught herself knitting and crochet as an adult. She wants to get into sewing and I have 20+ years experience so I’m happy to help.

4. I was able to eat as WDW, it was a lot easier than at Disneyland but there will still a lot of issues. I’ll probably write about that first since safe places to eat gluten free are important to a lot of people. For now lets just say if you’re looking to visit Disney, you can’t eat gluten, and you can only afford to do this trip once, head to Florida. Just don’t expect to eat very many treats. And you’ll probably have to do a lot of leg work on your own to find out whats safe (although I’m going to help you there!).

 

So all in all there will be mostly craft posts coming up. I just ordered some test swatches and a color chart from Spoonflower and they supposedly take two weeks to print, then ship. So I’m glad I did it now instead of waiting any longer. I bought some amazing embroidery software and can’t wait to start putting it to the test. I just need more time to play with it, but I haven’t really had any. Hopefully soon I’ll have a chance to sit still and try some stuff out. I bought a dress form and am in the process of padding and covering it. It’s taking forever but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. Besides, it’ll be forever before any fabric I buy gets here so it’s not like I don’t have the time to do it. 

Almost Here

I’ve bought a new sewing machine and I can’t wait until it gets here. Supposedly it’ll arrive Tuesday and I hope so. I’m really looking forward to trying it out. I bought some stabilizer, pre wound bobbins, embroidery thread, and an extra smaller hoop to go with it. I decided to get a machine that could also do embroidery since I like that sort of thing. I forever find myself staring at the monogram section of J. Crew and Neiman Marcus (did you know you could get monogrammed Uggs!). I love monograms and have a number of bags with mine on them. I have an L.L. Bean backpack I needed in a hurry so I skipped the monogram on that one and I still regret it almost six years later. Now I can finally add one and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is the machine I bought

Image

It’s a Brother se400, I bought it from Amazon. It was very reasonably priced and received fantastic reviews. Now obviously I would prefer separate sewing and embroidery machines, after all who wouldn’t? But I’m short on space in our new apartment and liked the notion of only having to deal with storing one machine. We’ll probably start to build our new house in a year or so and I’ll have a proper sewing room with a place to keep these things then. I figured I could use that time and this machine to learn about machine embroidery and research the really fancy ones. Then when I’m ready to make the investment in separate machines I’ll know exactly what I want.

This machine will only embroider a 4×4″ space but I think that’s fine for now. It’s not an especially large area but what am I really looking to embroider right now? My son is still a baby and onesies aren’t that big. I like monograms and small accents added to cuffs and collars, so I don’t need anything too big just yet. Everyone online says you outgrow that 4×4″ section quite quickly but I’ll only be using it for a short time in the grand scheme of things. I suspect I’ll even still use it after upgrading to a larger “better” machine. No reason not to if I needed to do a few things at once. We tend to travel on short notice and it’s nice to think I could add a few designs to a number of things before hopping on a plane. No matter how fancy and fast your machine is, they can only do one project at a time.

I’m very much looking forward to adding little characters and accents to things, not just monograms. Brother customers have access to iBroider.com where there are lots of designs to pick from and they have about 100 different designs with Tigger on them alone. That will make my little Tigger fanatic very happy. I see tiny Tiggers being added to many of his bibs and such. They also have all the regular Disney characters, flowers, nautical accents, borders, etc. There are literally thousands of designs to pick from. At first I really wanted the machine with all the Disney designs built in. But when I compared the cost I realized I’d be paying about $400 more and wouldn’t get a larger embroidery space and would have a bunch of characters I didn’t want/need. I’d rather save the money and buy just the characters I want. Right now I have 13 different designs I’m mulling over in my cart and the total is only $87, and I haven’t even factored in the 20% off they’re offering this month. So for $370 (that’s the cost of the machine and embroidery designs after discount) I can have everything I want with little I don’t. So while the Disney machine might have been nice, I don’t think it’s worth the $700 price tag. At least for me.

Now as you can imagine I have ideas stacking up in my head. At some point I expect they’ll topple, lets hope I can see some come to fruition before then. I’ve bought some spandex and FOE to practice on. I figured I could make some covers for my magic band. It would also give me an opportunity to try my hand at sewing with super stretchy material. If it goes well I might try to make a leotard, but I didn’t want to spend a bundle on the fabric before I’ve had a chance to experiment. It’s $17 a yard or more and who wants to waste something that expensive? You can only mess up so many times before you just have to chuck the material and at that point you could have just gone out and bought a ready made one for less. So I’ll try the magic band covers first and I’m hoping to add my name to them as well, maybe even a Mickey head or two. I know it’s ambitious to think about embroidering on a fabric I’ve never even sewn with before, but go big or go home right?

Here’s a look at something else I’m planning to make.

Image

It’s just a simple infinity scarf in a lightweight jersey knit. This one is from eBay and costs around $17 after shipping. It’ll never get here before I go away next week but they have plenty of jersey at JoAnn’s and I’m positive I could make several for that price. A half a yard would do just fine for a single scarf. I plan to add my monogram to it. I checked online and they only have a few choices but it seems as though their fashion knits are 40% off. So that plus whatever coupon I find would mean I could make one of these for a steal. I did the math and it looks like I’d spend around $4 or less to make one, assuming I could find another coupon- and you can always find another coupon. This scarf appears to have been sewn into a tube, but I’m thinking I’ll just leave it flat, sewing only the ends together and leave the edges raw. I like that look as I want something super casual. Here’s hoping I can get down there this week, I’d like to make at least one, but preferably two. One in pink, the other grey so I can wear them with everything.