Thursday, June 30, 2011

card for lori

For my lovely sister. Don't look, Lori. Ha. Too late. Variation on my scrap cards with felt leaves instead of fabric, and sewn on instead of glued. (Package is in the mail, Birthday Girl!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

kids' crafternoon books

 Image via Hardie Grant

When talented Kathreen Ricketson of Whip Up contacted me last year about contributing to a kid's papercraft book I was, to say the least, pretty excited. Just to be in such great company was very gratifying, and of course you know my feelings about papercraft. And now I find that my owl cards are on the cover of the book! Well, now, THAT's a head sweller. I'm feeling a bit giddy in fact. La la la la! (twirl) I don't have a copy of the book in my little hands yet, but you can read some details on the Hardie Grant website.

 Image via Hardie Grant

Papercraft and Sewing (above, featuring the work of Lizette Greco on the cover) are the first two of four great titles in Kathreen's Kids' Crafternoon series. Felting and Beading are coming in the fall. All four books feature projects by crafters from around the world.

Of course, you'll be seeing more about these books soon on the blog but I could not help sharing the sneak peek of the covers!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I was almost finished with the PDF pattern and samples for the two faced Gramma Wolfie doll, so that was the perfect time to have a creative crisis and redesign the style of the head(s). Now to tweak and redo the pattern and samples. Really for reals this time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

make 3D lizard gift tags



This is a reprint of a guest post I did for Skip To My Lou's Craft Camp. Enjoy!

Hey, you Craft Campers! I'm Larissa Holland at mmmcrafts, and I love to make stuff. You can find all kinds of coffee-fueled patterns and tutorials here on my blog, and also creative stuff for sale in my etsy shop.

I'm so happy that Cindy invited me to be a part of Craft Camp again this year. I'm doing another paper craft this time, a cool 3D Lizard Gift Tag, tailor-made for older, scissor savvy kids. It combines the card and gift tag all in one! If you have some birthday parties to attend this summer, this is a sure fire way to make your gift a stand-out on the gift table, plus have some crafty fun to boot. As a bonus, the lizard makes a fun paper toy for after the party.

Here's what you'll need to make one:

  • This PDF template printed at full size on an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of colored card stock (template is shown already cut out in the photo above)
  • Scraps of white and various colors of card stock for the details
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Gel glue and a toothpick
  • Circle punches of various sizes.  I used a standard hole punch, a one inch starburst, a 5/8 inch circle and a 1/2 inch circle.
  • Gel pen or marker for greeting
Plus the following items that are optional but certainly add pizazz:
  • Pinking scissors
  • Pop dots
1) Cut out the lizard with scissors or a craft knife (if you use a craft knife, BE CAREFUL, and be sure to cut it on a protective mat. You might want to get Mom or Dad involved in this step). Once your lizard has been liberated from the page, turn your craft knife blade* to the wrong side (not the sharp side) and score along the line that runs down the middle of the lizard, all the way from the nose to the tip of the tail. Then score across the neck, and across where each leg meets the body. Did I say BE CAREFUL? I did? I'm glad you are being careful, because that blade is sharp.
*No craft knife for scoring? Use the tip of a straight pin instead.

Score with the dull side, not the sharp. You don't want to do lizard surgery.

2) You are ready to embellish your lizard! Grab a scrap piece of paper from the recycle pile and squeeze a blob of gel glue on it. You will use a toothpick that is dipped in the glue to apply the glue to the small pieces for the next steps. You don't need to cover the entire piece with glue for it to stick just fine. Less is better, because you don't want glue squishing out from under your pieces. Ew.

Hmm. You can't see the blob of glue on the scrap very well. But trust me, it's there.

3) Make the eyes. Punch out two larger circles and two smaller circles. I used the 5/8 inch punch for the larger, and the 1/2 inch punch for the smaller. Glue them together like so:

Punch two one-inch circles. I used a starburst, but a plain circle works too.  Use a pop dot or a dab of glue to add the smaller eyes to the larger circles like so:

 4) Now add the eyes to the lizard's head with either pop dots or dabs of glue.

5) Punch out different sized circles in various colors and glue them on (using the toothpick method) to decorate your lizard. Be sure to leave some room on the tail to write your greeting:

6) If you have some pinking scissors, cut out a shape like this for teeth and glue it underneath the lizard's head so that the pointy parts just peek out, then repeat for the other side:

7) Cut out a small rectangle and snip out a triangle from the end to form a lizard tongue and glue it under the head, like this:

8) Summon up your A-Game penmanship and write a birthday greeting along the tail. Be sure to tell them who it is from! There's room on the other side of the lizard if you'd like to write a note.

9) Now comes the fun, bendy part. Gently crease your lizard all along the curved score line. Start from one end and work your way to the other. If it is too hard to bend or it keeps bending in the wrong places, you may need to lay it flat and score it again. Bend the neck and legs along their scores. That's it! You are done.

10) Now all you have to do is hook the lizard's top leg over the edge of the gift bag. You can secure the leg inside the bag with a piece of tape if you are worried about it getting knocked off:

Show off your work. I'd love to see your lizard tags in my flickr group!

What, you don't need a lizard gift tag? You can still make a 3D pet lizard and place him/her in a terrarium. Have fun making an environment for your lizard to enjoy by adding moss and rocks. Print the template at different sizes to assemble a whole family of lizards!

Mom and Dad: You can young this craft down for little kids by doing the following:
  • Cut out and score the lizard for them, or skip the scoring and keep it flat.
  • Let them use markers or crayons to color on eyes and dots/stripes instead of using punched paper.
  • Skip the tongue and teeth.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial! If you are ready for a more challenging paper project, check out my 3D project from last year. Cindy, thanks for another great summer crafting series!

Monday, June 20, 2011

card for Asher

Thursday, June 16, 2011

quickie to Chucktown

My sweet baboo and I got away recently for a short visit to Charleston, SC. It was a belated celebration of our 15th anniversary. We did it up right and stayed in a foo foo bed and breakfast right by the water, HarbourView Inn (thanks to Sniqueaway). You should have seen our room(s). Room(s) because we were moved from one beautiful room to a beautiful-er penthouse room on the second night, overlooking the harbor with our own balcony. We kept congratulating each other on our good fortune. It was such an elegant building and the service was fantastic (thanks, Drue), but more importantly there were two large glass containers filled with plain and peanut M&Ms at our 24 hour disposal in the lobby. Also there was this lovely smell in the hotel all the time. I asked about it and they said they pipe in special lemon grass aromatherapy. Oooh. Fancy.

This photo courtesy of anonymous friendly woman reading her iPad on a bench next to her hubby who was reading his iPhone in Battery Park. Sorry we bugged you. Thanks for the picture! Nice shot. (I can safely assume they were married, right? Who else would be sitting in the park completely ignoring each other? ha.)

We just took it easy and schlepped around town on foot to see the sights, watching the local kids play in the fountain, swinging on the pier, haggling for jewelry in the open air market (well, that was just me) and eating a lot of seafood and gelato. It was just what we needed.


We went to several really good places to eat sea creatures (here, here, and essssspecially Hucks which is pictured above), and also went...

to one wildly popular place to eat. We saw the line of folks stacked up outside every time we walked by, so figured it must be the place to go. Very nice folks, friendly atmosphere, but the food did not inspire. My she-crab soup was way too salty (and this is from Larissa Holland, Salt-A-Holic). Still, I sat in the same seat as Neil Diamond. How many other people can say that? All the walls were three-deep in celebrity photos and signed dinner plates. The pre-dinner offering of slightly smelly boiled peanuts remained untouched. Bleh. I'm southern as they come, but I've never understood the attraction of soggy peanuts.

We happened to be in town at the same time as Spoleto Festival, so we decided to walk downtown and see the art tents in the park. I'm really glad we did even at the risk of heat stroke, because I discovered a woodcut artist I really like.


He is Kent Ambler, very talented and also a super friendly guy. He was in the middle of a demo when I was shopping his booth (that's me wilting on the left there, losing precious fluid and electrolytes by the second), so I got to see his process in detail. Lemme tell you, he earns his money. It's pretty involved. He only prints an edition of 20 for each design, which I think is insane. He says he is ready to move on by the time he cranks out 20, but that kills me after all the work he puts into the cuts. He even destroys his plates by cutting them into 5 inch squares and making sort of framed wooden quilts of them.

Another Late Night, 4 of 20, Kent Ambler

I especially adored his bird pieces but I told myself I was not going to cave again and be such a bird nerd, so I bought one of his other pieces and I'm so glad I did. I keep staring at it in my living room and congratulating myself. I have to get a frame for it and a permanent place on the wall.

All in all, a delightful getaway for me and my Schmoop. Robyn, do you see all the gray hair Michael's getting? And me with not even one gray hair after all these years. (clearing throat in exaggerated manner)

Monday, June 13, 2011

cozy for bob's mom

I made this brown felt phone cozy for Robyn's mom right before the trip to Austin. I love putting the colors together for these, and they are so quick to sew up. Thank goodness.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

belated Renegade parade

The hodgepodge above is a summary of my recent girl trip to Austin to attend the Renegade Craft Fair. A mighty fine time was had by all, I have to say. I so enjoyed getting to know Robyn's sister in law, Cindy, and basking in the warm Texas hospitality of Robyn's mom and dad. It only took me this long to blog it because I have some pretty serious blog apathy going on. In the photo you'll find:

1) A yard of beautiful echino fabric and two bags of buttons (and free scraps of red and yellow pleather) from Stitch Lab. This is a vintage mod fabric shop in a blue clapboard house not too far from where Renegade was held in South Austin:

I have a shot of me and Robyn sitting on the picturesque old style porch that was taken by her mom, but I can't bring myself to put it here. I look like a beige pudding and Bob looks like a skinny legged supermodel. And this is my blog.

That's the inside. This photo does not do it justice. But I was completely distracted from all the delicious fabric and sewn samples by a huge bowl of vintage buttons in the back. I must have sat there going through those for 90% of the time we spent there. I love me some buttons, and I need a variety in a certain size for making needle books.

2) Card from Once Over Coffee Bar. Thank you, Robyn, for knowing the paramount importance of having some GOOD stout coffee even if it has to be purchased separately from breakfast. I walked out of Once Over on the morning of Renegade holding a fantastically strong and creamy cappucino and also a t-shirt. That makes me a total goob, but couldn't resist. It's actually a pretty great Tshirt. I didn't notice that the barista had taken the time to make a work of art out of my foam until I popped the top to dump in an unhealthy amount of turbinado. And this is what makes me a mediocre travel blogger: I thought about taking a photo, but didn't. That sort of defines my travel philosophy lately. I decided it is more important to enjoy and absorb then endlessly record.

3) Menu from Torchy's Tacos. Let me tell you. Those are some slap your mama breakfast tacos. Fast. Fresh. So good. I remember the whole Torchy's experience fondly. It's just Good Food.

4) Some art cards from IKEA. I think it violates some law to drive past an IKEA if you have some time to go in. Plus, Bob doesn't have one near her in Louisiana.

5) Helpful powder blue brochure on the best vintage and antique shopping around town. We went to several places along South Congress and were agog at them all, but I can't remember the names except for Uncommon Objects. I could have spent half a day in that place. It's a crazy collection of anything under the sun, from a large resin frieze of the female reproductive system (Come on Shari, you know you want that in your dining room) to a bundle of love letters from the 1950s tucked in between porcelain tchotchke and a black velvet still life. It's like going through the condensed attic of a whole army of eccentric grandmothers.

6) Pair of delightfully cheap chandelier earrings from Sam Moon. Alas, I have no Sam Moon in Atlanta. Pourquoi, Sam Moon?

7) Various necklaces from my dysfunctional necklace buying binge at Renegade. I just couldn't resist. I just remembered a pair of porcelain earrings I bought that didn't make it in the hodge podge. Oh well. Use your imagination? And I really love my new map necklace.

8) I'm also a sucker for good print design and was glad to be introduced to Silas Tom (the blue typewriter thank you notes are theirs), Dowdy Studio, and also Linda Ketelhut, from whom I wanted to buy many geometric prints, but will have to wait.

I couldn't fit the whole floor space in one shot, but you get the idea. It was big! No, really BIG! We spent pretty much all day wandering around in here, with a break to walk down the road a bit for early dinner and strawberry rhubarb pie at Threadgills. It was such a pleasure to see so many talented craft vendors and all the effort they put into making attractive booths.

9) I wish there were another mango lassis from Tarka's in the photo. That way I could be slurping it down while I finish this post. No snide remarks from you, Robyn. I DID share the other one.

Monday, June 6, 2011

spotlight on the flickr groups

Have you checked out the mmmcrafts flickr groups lately? 
I'm always so impressed with your creativity. Some highlights:

 This clever variation on the Baby Binky Bunny (sans diapers) made from men's shirting by Tiffin. I'm puzzled about her aversion to coffee though.

 This eye-popping messenger by BlueMilkAndCookies. I love love the fabric.

 This piratey pirate Mikey by Tabitha

 This lovely, cheerful yellow messenger by Astrid. You must also view the beautiful clothes she makes while you are on her blog.

 Beautifully sewn (and photographed) Baby Binky Bunny by talented Jacqui.

 This dapper Mikey and Molly duo by SkooksPlayground. (From her stash. Bonus points!)

Brightly colored Gadget Cozy by Ceri. Love that bag too! This would also look great with your messenger, BlueMilkAndCookies.

This purple-shoed Katy by Shannon, day crafter, night launderer. That's my kind of time management.

This awesome polka dot messenger by Johanna, with the strap shortened for her four year old.

Scope. Out. The. Kickin. Cowboy boots! By Katie.

 Adorable Mini Molly by Tootietoot. I just love tinyfying things. Anyone can scale down my PDF patterns simply by printing them at a reduced percentage (use caution: it might make turning skinny arms and legs more difficult).

 This lovely pastel Katy by SixOrangeSocks. Oh, the blue buttons.

I noted some stellar pattern mods too:

 This great owl mod based on the Molly pattern by Katiehopp14.

And finally, this is only one of the clever mods from the Molly pattern by the resourceful Ms. Cobb. Go see her lamb and dog mods too.

And so many more I wanted to include, but check them out yourself here:

If you've made a project based on a tutorial or pattern you've seen on mmmcrafts, I'd love to see it in the groups. I'll try to do better about posting group highlights! If you are wondering where you can get your hands on the patterns for these projects, check here and here.