Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gold Ring pattern is in the shop!

Ornament No. 5, rollin' off the assembly line. I'm not sure why this Gold Ring pattern took so long to get out. Well, yes I am. Trips, vomit viruses, busyness, family in the hospital, freelance jobs, other projects and also a few days of general summer apathy sprinkled throughout. But it's done! I can see fall coming around the corner and I'm getting excited! Tights! Wool skirts! Soups! Cozy Christmas handmaking!

*singing in operatic falsetto* Fiiiiiive gooooold riiiiings...
Or blue rings. Or pink rings. No reason you can't sew outside the box. I'm a big fan of unexpected colors.

There's room on the back to add a name or date if you like.

This ornament, just like the previous four in this Twelve Days series, uses a Sulky printable stabilizer to streamline the process. It really makes the whole thing so quick and easy. No hand-tracing or transferring embroidery patterns! Just print and sew right on the printed lines. YES. Then the stabilizer dissolves away in water.

To download the PDF sewing pattern for Gold Ring or any of the other Twelve Days series, visit my Etsy shop or my Craftsy shop. I plan to release Goose a Laying this fall!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

mixtape for my new teenager!

I've seen this thirteen coming from a long way off but it's still surprising it's here. Thirteen! ThirTEEN. I have a teenager! She's the sweetest, bestest teenager around and still loves to hug her momma. Still hates coffee though. So puzzling.

To celebrate, I made my girl a reversible, furry stinkface pillow, a banana cake and also this mixtape. If you are new here, mixtapes have been a birthday tradition with my girls since they were teeny. I love putting them together. I tried to pick songs with a 'teenager' theme, along with other songs she likes, songs she'll grow to like, and songs from memorable movies. That Rush song is in honor of my Schmoopie. He's so proud his daughters are getting into his music. She likes Spirit of Radio but Subdivisions is a perfect anti-conformist teen anthem, I think.

That first song was perfect to blast on our sound system the morning of her birthday. It's an over-the-top stereotype of teen princesses. "Gimme a break, I'm just a teenager..." Pretty funny. Here's my birthday girl getting a sweet hug from me at Nana's house...

...which turns into a half nelson and her saying "MOOOOMMM!" as I'm trying to tell everyone the beautiful story of the morning she was born. "Thirteen years ago at eight o'clock in the morning I was saying to the nurse, "Someone just kill me..."

Well, she was 9 lbs 2 oz. She owes me big.

Oh, thirteen! I remember you well! I was still so awkward looking and nervous and dissatisfied about everything. Braces. Anxiety. Terrible hair. My teenage daughter is so not that. She seems laid back and completely comfortable with being herself. She loves to read fantasy stories, draw, listen to music, and go places with her Dad. She's funny. She's meticulous about privacy and is mortified when I walk around the house in my underdrawers. (Hey, we are all girls here! For pete's sake!) She's getting lean and lanky like her Daddy. As she's pulling away from us and gaining independence, she's also getting a fine, discerning mind of her own and such a caring, tender spirit. We love her so much!

Monday, August 10, 2015

stinkface pillow for my new teenager(!)

I'm not sure how my oldest daughter managed to turn thirteen. THIRTEEN. There have clearly not been enough years between when she was a wee baby and right now, but she insists this is correct. We have a teenager. Great gophers. But back to the pillow. You may have already seen the genesis of the idea at the bottom of this post, or the fur selection here.

Now it's a reality! Why, yes, it is reversible! So she can display whichever side she is hyper-feeling at the moment:

You STINK. Go 'way.

Best day EVER! Hug me!

The eyes and mouth on both sides are wool felt applique and the noses are large pom poms. I used a 16 inch round pillow insert I bought at JoAnn so I didn't have to stuff it myself. Easy. The Mr Stinkface side is actually two pieces so that the lowered brow could overlap the eyes.

It's hard to tell, but the back (Mr Happyface) is actually an envelope opening, so it's two pieces also. The overlap edge runs just under the pom pom nose. It's hard to tell it's there, which is just the way I'd hoped. I intended for the lower half to overlap the eyes a bit, but it likes to pull away. I tacked it under the nose but I'll probably sew it all the way across.

During the making, long tufts of fur flew everywhere. I will no doubt continue finding it stuck to my socks and pulling tiny, invisible filaments out of my eyeballs for months. But this faux fur is the softest, bestest feeling fur and such a pretty color! It makes the pillow irresistable. You find you simply must squeeze it, pet it and finger comb its face. It's like an oversized tribble.

I improved muchly on my fur cutting technique this time by reading up on some tips on how you should slide your blades under the fur to only cut the backing instead of just scissoring away at it like you would regular fabric. This keeps it from having uneven, chopped looking fur at the edges and seams (much like my unfortunate mom-trimmed bangs in a long ago school picture.) Excellent.

I had some trouble attaching the eyes and mouth because even though I glue basted the pieces, they kept shifting around on the fur. My softie support group suggested I trim the fur underneath the felt pieces (thank you, makes perfect sense) but I was too afraid to do that because I might want to adjust the placement (the glue was washable). I ended up just gluing the heck out of the pieces all around and then hand sewing the edges instead of trying to wrestle them through the machine. Turned out fine.

I think my thirteen year old turned out fine too. I love you more! (x infinity squared)