Monday, March 30, 2009

bbb winners

As my mom has been sometimes heard to exclaim:

Oh my STARS and garters!

Sitting here, freshly back from out of town, just blown clean away by all the comments, humor, encouragement, support, chest thumps, shameless lobbying for bunnies, and just outright straight up salt-of-the-earth NICENESS of all the responses. Thank you just one thousand times for helping me celebrate mmmcrafts' birthday in such style. Great Scott!

I even picked up a new adjective: fantasmagorical. Clearly a powerful word to have on hand.

And now the moment you might have skipped all the other irrelevant stuff to read:
Using a random number generator, the winners are as follows.
Winner of the Baby Binky Bunny and accompanying binky, MyLadyB.
Winners of your choice of Baby Binky Bunny or Katy Kitty PDF sewing pattern: The Werner Family, and Blakely.

If you guys haven't received my comment on your blog, please get in touch with me via email. Congratulations! Now to say my goodbyes to the bunny...(loudly blowing nose)

Looking forward to another year of (sometimes maniacal) crafty journaling, Lord willing. Thanks again, everybody.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

happy birthday to mmmcrafts!


It's almost my one year blogiversary. It kinda snuck up on me, I am lucky I realized it before the day had passed, especially since I'm not even in town for this momentous occasion. I've so enjoyed this craft journal, and meeting so many of you crafty folks. I've tried a lot of new-to-me skills and been crazy inspired by so many this past year, and I'd like to celebrate.

Guess what I'd like to give away?

Just leave me a comment (one comment per person please) and I'll post the winner of the bunny and its binky on Monday, March 30th. I can ship internationally to most places*, so if you live outside of the US, you can play too. Also, I'll give away my Baby Binky Bunny pattern (or Katy Kitty, if you prefer) to two runners up, so there are three chances in all to win. Be sure your comment leaves me a contact email address in case you win.

*Most places, as in, inhabited place to which a truck can deliver with ease and with reasonable cost to me. For instance if you live on Fiji or Kaffeklubben, we'll have to discuss.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

do you know...

Do you know you can easily search this blog? Blogger provides this built-in handy tool, but sometimes it is hard to see and a lot of folks can overlook it. It's at the top left of the blog and looks like this:

This comes in real handy when you do not know the date of a particular post, and you don't feel like trolling through a bunch of entries to find something. I use it myself on my own blog quite a bit, when I'm looking for a post I did way back when.

Do you know you can subscribe to this blog and many others you read, and be automatically notified when a new post is published or even when comments are posted, via several blog reader services? I have a handy link for that in the right hand column under the words "Subscribe To:".

Do you know that if you can't see enough detail in the (tiny, horribly compressed) pictures within the posts, that most times you can click on them and a bigger, clearer picture will open?

Do you know
that when I reply to your comments, it is posted in the comments themselves? Time does not allow me to reply to each one, but I do try to answer any questions and welcome newcomers, and also offer (hopefully) witty comebacks to you comedians out there. You can click the option to receive responses when you leave your comment.

Do you know how much I truly truly appreciate your comments? I love reading them all, and they keep me so motivated and encouraged. You really are a swell bunch of people, and I like ya.

Do you know that if my youngest child can stop throwing up, I'll be out of town to visit my family for a long weekend starting tomorrow? So my shop will be closed for those few days, but will open back up when I return home on the 30th.

Lastly, just a note to say I've updated the Molly Monkey pattern, so if you already have this pattern you might consider getting the latest. The instructions are updated to embroider the face first before sewing the face piece to the head, and also the pattern itself is now one 9-page PDF file, instead of 9 separate files. Yay!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

join my new flickr group: mmmcrafts projects

Wow, thanks again to everyone for your many kind comments and support on the Baby Binky Bunnies! Y'all are just basically awesome.

Instead of sharing one of my own crafts this time, I would love to see your projects! If you've been inspired by one of my downloads, tutorials, projects, or patterns, share a picture in my new flickr group, mmmcrafts projects.

I have groups already for Molly Monkey and Katy Kitty, but it would be just fine to add your pictures of those to the new group as well. Please join and share your creativity!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

baby binky bunnies

It's a boy!

It's a girl, too!

These sleepy bunnies and their binkies (and the PDF pattern) are done at last. Looking at them snooze along sure makes me want to take a nap. Or maybe that is because I stayed up embarrassingly late to finish the little darlins. Hm. But, I'm so pleased with how they turned out.

It was fun to be able to use some of the vast library of charm squares I have accumulated. I think I could get seriously addicted to patchwork. And to linen. I loved the texture, weight and feel of it on this project.

The binky has no batting, binding or actual quilting, so there's all the fun of a patchwork blankie without the more time-consuming finishing of a quilt. It is held together with sweet old-fashioned ties.

Bunny has a yarn pom-pom for a tail, and plenty of room to embroider a name (and maybe a birthdate and stats) on the back of the diaper.

They like to nap in baskets too. Preferably nestled in with some grass for cushion and perhaps a bunch of Cadbury eggs, in case they get hungry. You can see in this shot that the ears can be tacked together, or left loose and flopsy.

If you'd like to make a Baby Binky Bunny, please visit my shop to get the pattern. The same pattern makes boy or girl bunnies, depending on the fabrics you choose and whether or not the bunny gets eyelashes. There's no need for you to have a vast library of charm squares for this project. The binky would be just as charming with a two-fabric checkerboard pattern.

If you'd prefer your bunny to be awake, I've included an alternate face in the pattern with open eyes and a little smile. The PDF pattern includes materials list, pattern pieces at full size for the bunny and binky, detailed instructions, and lots of clearly drawn diagrams. I confess I have a strange love of drawing diagrams.

Late Note: There is also now a Bib & Booties accessories pattern for the Baby Binky Bunny, available in the shop.

Monday, March 16, 2009

so close...

I've got the binky down. Bunny is still being tweaked. Can't wait to show you the final product...maybe later today? if humanly possible.

Friday, March 13, 2009

the reee-diculous pile, part 2

I'm still stuck on Baby Binky Bunny, so here's more of the ludicrous stack of To Do projects cluttering my desk. All these center around new summer threads for the kiddos.

First up we have a whole new slew of ribbon purchased on impulse at Michaels. Hey, they were only $1.00 a piece! That means I have at least six of these cute little skirts to sew now.

Then there's this, which is a project sprung from my fevered brain. I saw a cute little sundress in brown, pink and orange at Kohls the other day, and had the brilliant idea to sew two similar ones for my girls. So I drew the sketch above and bought the fabrics. Kona cottons, on sale at Joann. Except for the two on the right, which I had in my stash. I just realized light pink is missing from the picture. But I have it. I don't think I need a pattern. Right? Should be simple. (weak laugh) We'll see.

Next up we have a pillowcase set aside due to Robyn's inspiration to sew my girls some quickie nightgowns. I really like her pillowcase dress method. I'm pretty sure I have another pillowcase I thrifted somewhere, probably petrifying in the fabric stash strata. I'll have to plan a dig for it. I know the lasses would adore having something girly to wear to bed. Can you believe neither one has ever had a nightgown? Only shorts sets and pants. They'll feel so Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Too. Many. Projects. (brain cells going into protective coma) Have a great weekend everyone. Crossing my fingers to have Bunny ready by Monday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the reee-diculous pile, part 1

I was recently surveying the huge snarl of various half-done projects on my desk, so I took some photos to share what I've been up to. And what I will be up to.

First off, my main priority is to finish my bunny pattern I did months ago and get it in the shop. It will now be named Baby Binky Bunny, instead of Bonnie, because it isn't really a girly bunny. It could pass for a she or a he. All depends on the fabrics. And I'm adding a little quilt blankie for her/him to snuggle whilst napping (that's the attractively arranged wreck of fabric under the unfinished bunny).

Teetering on top of a pile to the left of that is the fabric and felt for the next bunny victim after I finish Draft No. 2. with the green ears and brown linen.

Here's another thing on my pile, a new pattern drafted from my Girls Style Book: the sleeveless blouse on the left in the book (and how cool is the little dress on the right? that'll be pattern draft no. three). I'll be making this amazingly simple 3-piece blouse in white for starters. This could be such a great little summer shirt staple for my girls if it turns out well. Crossing fingers.

Oy. There is so much more junk on my desk! I'll save that for another post, I can see your eyes glazing over. Oh, wait those are mine. :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

vintage button pendants

images via GreenSquirrel

I was innocently strolling through my flickr stuff the other day and I came across this talented person. My chest clenched when I saw her collection of kitschy-in-the-best-way handmade vintage button pendants. Shortly after I skipped (metaphorically) right along to her shop and purchased these two. Looking forward to getting them in the mail and wearing them with spring clothes soon.

I just love getting stuff in the mail! It's always a nice surprise because after a couple of days I forget all about ordering anything.

Friday, March 6, 2009

have you guys made one of these?

If you haven't go try it. It's a free pattern, thanks, Oliver + S! It almost makes itself, seriously. The ribbon hem is genius.

After making the top one from fabric chosen by the oldest, I made this polka dot one for the youngest with a modification, a narrower 6 inch span above the gathers to make it a drop waist. This of course made it slightly more time-consuming to make, but still easy.

I was fresh out of inspiring ribbon, so I used single-fold bias trim instead. Actually I used double fold bias trim and ironed out the middle crease. But. Still worked. Ribbon woulda been cuter, so more of these skirts for spring and summer planned in the future with some patterned ribbon. Like hers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

gratuitous baby cuteness

sometimes you just need to look at goofy baby photos.

Thing 1, c. 2002

Thing 2, c. 2004

May God bless you in whatever you are trying to accomplish today, whether or not it involves baby goofiness, but especially if it does.

Monday, March 2, 2009

pretty little smock

My bosom friend gave me (along with other beautiful things) a gorgeous pattern book last June, called Girls Style Book. I was in love at first page, but in an unrequited longing sort of way, since all the instructions and pattern notations are in Japanese. I thought they might as well be in Martian.

(Sorry for the wrinkles. Photo stylist, I ain't)

A few months ago, with the help of Purl's timely post about Japanese patterns, I traced and cut out my favorite girls shirt pattern in the book, the one featured on the cover. I just now got around to making one from it, and I'm real sorry about that because it was really a lot easier than I thought it would be.

The illustrations included were all I had to go on for sewing instructions, but I managed to put it together with no mistakes made, after poring over each diagram. The illustrations really are a triumph of clarity and brevity. It occurred to me that many American patterns I've purchased were much less clear even with copious instructions in English to go along with the illustrations.

For instance, just from two tiny diagrams I unlocked for myself the mystery of how to get perfect rounded curves on the little pockets (gathering stitch on edge, cardstock template inside, pull thread to tighten and iron). Bear with me, y'all probably already knew this, but I never took Home Ec in high school. I was too busy sitting in my art classes with my black floor-length coat on.

I just love the little smock, so simple and sweet, and could be easily lengthened into a dress. And no sleeves to set in! I required myself to use some fabric from my stash, so I chose a cute little print that had been on the clearance table at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough for the whole thing (why why why do I ever only get a yard of fabric?), so I decided to make the yoke and pockets from a contrasting thrifted pillowcase. I cut it so close on the fabric that I didn't have enough left to cut the needed bias binding for a tie closure in the back, so I just added a single button. Which I like better anyway.

Now that I have figured it out, I have plans (well, you know how that goes in Larissa World) to make several more for spring and summer. And maybe to try another pattern from the book, now that my confidence level is rising.

If you want to attempt to find the book (I'm not sure how available it is), here is the ISBN number: 978-4-579-11181-7