Monday, October 31, 2011

I should be making Rapunzel hair

Happy Halloween everybody! And thank you very much for your enthusiasm and sweet comments about the new Little Red pattern! I've been away with the kids visiting family and now I'm home just in time for Trick or Treating tonight, but first I need to do a bunch of laundry and cleaning and other unexciting stuff. Also I need to make a Rapunzel wig. I have a large amount of yellow yarn and at best a very vague idea of what I need to do. Flowers and interwoven ribbon have been requested. Wish me luck.

Does anyone else collect acorns for no apparent reason? I keep telling myself I'll do some cool something with them. I love the little caps.

I enjoyed some thrift store shopping with my sister Leigh this last week in Huntsville. She was scouting for Halloween costume elements (Luke and Leia) and also clothes for her new grandbaby(!) on the way, Darcy Anne. I was shopping for whatever tripped my fancy. I found lots of cute clothes for the girls (especially love that green cord skort!), set of cool sheets, weird plastic mushroom picks and this book, among others. The book is to inspire me for my next installment of ornaments. The sheets I just bought because I thought, hey, cool sheets. Maybe a summer dress or nightgown?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Little Red pattern in the shop!

 {Once upon a morning}
"Um. Heeey, Gramma. Mom sent me over. Oooh, wow, you do look terrible! Should you be drooling like that?"

 The Little Red pattern is available at long last. Here is a parade of pictures:

The pattern includes removable skirt, slippers, and of course, the signature hooded cloak. There's also a little cake to tuck inside the basket for Gramma. Because cake makes you feel better.

 Here's the basic doll sans the skirt and cloak.

 The backs of their little heads.

 Closeup of the cakes. Mmm. Cake.

 Yet another shot just in case you didn't get the idea from the other ones. When I do a shoot, I take about 1000 photographs of every conceivable combination. Except for the ones I really need, mostly. 

{3 hours later} 
"Well! That woodcutter guy was pretty nice, wasn't he? Good thing he came along! Ok, I gotta bounce, Gramma. I saw a cottage made from candy that I'd like to check out. Text ya later."

In case you are wondering, the Gramma Wolfie is a pattern that is available too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

we ate a baby for breakfast

When I saw Amy Karol's post about Dutch Babies and how easy and good they are, I had the urge to make one immediately. But since it was 11:30 pm and I was the only one awake, I decided to wait until this morning.

And it really is as easy as she says it is. I was impressed with how it looked, and I got some gratifying oohs and ahhs from Things 1&2 when it came out of the oven. We devoured it hot with lemon syrup and also maple. Next time I'll try one less egg and adding a dash of salt and vanilla in the batter and see how that turns out. Because when it is this easy and this good, there will indeed be a next time. I was reading some of the post comments and a few folks mentioned this is just like a Yorkshire pudding only you eat it with gravy. Good excuse to make one for dinner.

I try not to miss Amy's mouth-watering food posts. I've made several things from her tips and they've always been hits, including this soup which is now an oft requested family classic.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

easy autumn leaf craft

My girls and I got out the red, yellow, brown and orange construction paper the other day and made some largish falling leaves to go around our kitchen. It's easy as pie (Wait, pie can be hard. Who started this saying?). It's as easy as falling off a log (wait, maybe it is a bit harder than that). Ok, I'll let my southern roots show: It's as easy as all get-out, and fun to vary the shapes of the leaves. Good scissors practice too.


I brought out my small hole punches at some point and suggested they make a couple of tiny holes in some of the leaves to make it seem more realistic. I left the room for a moment and when I came back it looked like the leaves had been sent to the front lines and the enemy had a Gatling Gun. Oh well. Go with the flow. They had fun.

We are really enjoying having the (holey) falling leaves inside, since there aren't that many outside yet. We taped some on our china cabinet and hung some from the doorway with thread. They twirl around on any stray puff of air.

I recommend you make some with your kids and festoon the house with them:

1) Fold a sheet of construction paper in half, longwise. 

2) Draw a simple arc shape. You can also do pointy and curvy ones. Vary the sizes.

3) Cut along your lines.

4) Unfold and draw on leaf veins. Or bugs. Or a unicorn (this was my youngest's suggestion). 

5) If desired, use a small hole punch to accent your leaves with a FEW, artful tiny holes along the edges.

6) Make many. Dangle them from doorways by taping several to a long piece of thread, and use low-tack painter's tape to stick them to various things, including your children.

Monday, October 17, 2011

happy (late) birthday to my dear friend, part three

(Oops. I meant for this to publish a couple of days from now. Two posts in 12 hours. Cra-zy!)

And lastly, her birthday card. A great excuse to use some of my flower punches. I've been shopping around for pretty vintage tole trays like this one lately and also having a major crush on these bug notecards. I love how a black background sets off the colors and shapes of the flowers. As a bonus, this type of card could have a second life as framed paper art, if one so chooses.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

meet Little Red

It's nice to finally be able to share some pictures of a completed doll. A doll that's occupied all of my right brain and most of my crafting time for a long while. I'm still putting the finishing touches on the PDF pattern, so that's not available quite yet, but soon. (Edit: It is finished and available in the shop!) Here are more images:


I also made one with more muted colors and brown hair, if you don't share my love of raven hair and bright red cloaks.

The light was busy dying as I was styling/snapping pictures like crazy, so I still need to get some of the doll without her cloak, and closeups of details. But hopefully you get the gist? I also would like to shoot some photos of Little Red with Gramma Wolfie just to show what a cute pair they make.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

happy (late) birthday to my dear friend, part two

And there's nothing like looking at Rob Ryan stuff to inspire one to get one's blade out and start cutting. I've had the idea to incorporate scripture into papercuts and dioramas for a long while so I'm glad to have finally made one. This seemed like a great reminder for Robyn to have around (especially now as her family nears some Really Big But Not Bad Changes Of Which I Cannot Speak). It's a very condensed version of Phil. 4:6-7.

I don't have Mister Rob's skill, spontaneity or freeform confidence, so I kinda cheated and used the computer to fit the letterforms together in a way I liked and then printed it in reverse on the back of the paper. I had a really great time cutting all the tiny pieces out while I listened to the girls (not) doing their schoolwork in the background.


And because I wasn't sure which color might suit her fancy more, I included several colors of paper to choose from. It's easy as pie to switch them out.

Loving the result. While you are cutting it becomes a little terrifying thinking your attention might wander for a second and you'll slice the leg off an R or something. I'm not sure how you'd go about fixing that. WWRRD?* I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

Yes, I know there are automated cutting machines out there now. They seem pretty cool. Definitely time whittling devices. I've thought about saving up for one. The concept sounds really great, but then I wouldn't have the fun of the cutting and the making decisions on the fly and the varying the line as I like while I'm cutting. I'm weird that way.

*What Would Rob Ryan Do?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

happy (late) birthday to my dear friend, part one

After walking quite a ways from the tube station at Bethnal Green in London, we were crushed to find that the brick and mortar Ryantown was only open on weekends. So I thought this book might make a nice consolation gift for Robyn. It's a book from their shop about Rob Ryan's exhibition You Can Still Do A Lot With A Small Brain.

And see, the Man himself included a sweet thank you note and a lovely scrolly inscription inside the book. Wow. Just wow. I highly recommend their online shop if you can't jet to London. Wonderful service!

Besides the actual mesmerizing artwork, the book gives a lot of insight into the workings of his studio and the techniques he uses to create his astounding papercuts. Look how he wraps his Xacto in tape so he can hold it at the very tip to cut the letters. Upward. I guess turning the hugemongous paper is not an option.

You can see more of Mister Rob's work here, and he has a new book coming out right now called A Sky Full Of Kindness. It's about two birds becoming parents for the first time, and I'd love to get my hands on a copy.

Part two of Robyn's late birthday present coming up next.
(Hey, Robyn, look:
Rob Ryan minus R then minus a = Robyn. There are only two degrees of separation between you.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the Microcrafts winner!

Hey, everybody. Congratulations to Shawna, who is the randomly generated Microcrafter-to-be. Happy tiny crafting, Shawna! Be sure to send me your mailing address, ok?

If you are not Shawna and would like to purchase the book, it's available now on Amazon.

Thanks everyone for your comments and for all the lovely feedback on the itty bitty projects for the book. I'm so proud to have been a part of Microcrafts. It's great to have it in my bookshelf at long last.

Friday, October 7, 2011

can you Microcraft? (giveaway)


*Comments are now closed! Thank you!*

Do words like 'mini' and 'teeny teeny tiny' get your attention? Do you have a fascination with doll house furniture? Does pocket-sized anything make you happy? Did you ever wish the Littles were real? Do you secretly play with your kids' Polly Pockets? Are miniature scissors, toothpicks and tweezers in your craft box? This might be just the craft book for you. And it's a giveaway!

It was pretty thrilling for me to hear from Margaret Mcguire at Quirk last year about this book they were putting together, Microcrafts. The idea was to showcase crafts that were all smaller than a spool of thread. I've always loved miniature things and the particular challenge that making tiny objects brings, so contributing two projects to this book was really pretty dreamy. I had more ideas than I could execute and it was wonderful working with Margaret and Alicia. They're swell.

Quirk Books, "Seekers of all things Awesome", are known for publishing titles that are refreshingly off the beaten path. These are the same folks that brought you classics like The Worst-Case Scenario series and now are enjoying the success of bestselling Mrs. Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, which is on my list to buy. If you browse their selection of current titles you'll be sure to see something that intrigues you.

I recently received my copies of Microcrafts and was so excited to see the attention to detail in the layout and the photography. It's a beautifully designed book and chock full of so many tiny treasures to make, and of course I must highlight my own two projects! I'm very excited about them, made with the two materials most dear to my heart: wool felt and paper.

First up, a felt pendant with itsy bitsy flowers on the front and a pocket in back to stash a diminutive photo of your loved ones or teeny love note. Here are some closeups:

That's my mom and uncle up there in the black and white photo. Don't they have sweet little cherubic faces? Mom says they were both absolute rascals.

And my other project, miniature papercut notecards and envelopes with three folktale themes, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and Tom Thumb:

They also would double as miniature framed artwork instead of notecards. And there are many other projects in the book that are now on my must-try list. Here are some highlights:

 Miniature bound books by Melissa Jacobson.

 Tiny deer heads to complete any micro decor by Katie Hatz.

Crazy cute thistle bird feeders for your bonsai trees and terrariums by Len and Alicia Kachmar.

and this is one of my favorites, this tiny adorable dog and all its itty bitty accessories by Holly Keller.

There's also a great spread at the end with short bios of each author and contributor and their websites. There I am at the top left of the righthand page!

If you would like a random chance to be the proud owner of this copy of Microcrafts, leave a single comment here and I'll come back with the winner on Tues, Oct 11th. Good luck!