Thursday, April 26, 2012

rattle, rattle

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I recently have begun sewing soft rattles.  I've often seen rattles in some of my craft books and always thought they seemed simple enough, but never really gave them a try.  Then I found myself with less than a week to go before Spring Bada Bing and felt like I needed a smaller plush item for sale.  Something fairly quick to do (seeing as I like to have at least 10 of all my items at shows), interesting, fun, and inexpensive.  Enter the soft rattle:

I chose to create a pattern that was reminiscent of an animal, without doing the entire body of an animal.  I'm calling the shape a giraffe head, however a horse head fits the bill (or rattle in this case) as well.  The rest of the rattle tapers out slightly, but is really simple.  

These rattles gave me the opportunity to use some of the many fabrics I've been saving for "that special" project.  The "special" project you always plan to use all the fabric that you're afraid to cut and mess up and waste on something common.  For me, I've been hoarding pretty fabrics for "the quilt" I've been planning to make for my bed for 3 years now.  Well, I'm no closer to that quilt than I was when I made that promise.  However, I have increased my "pretty" fabric collection much.  Kinsey got me some really great fabrics this past Christmas and I had yet to use them.  
This rattles gave me the perfect reason to try some of my fabrics out!  They're small enough so they don't take a ton of fabric and the fabric really makes the rattles.  
Most of the fabrics I've been using are 100% organic cotton...another bonus for something that will be chewed and drooled upon.  

I'm really pleased with how they turned out and they sold very well at the show.  I'm already planning more shapes and styles.   They are currently available in the shop.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

south carolina...take two

One of our favorite places we visited while in South Carolina was Brookgreen Gardens.  This is not just a garden, but also a zoo and the site of the Oaks Plantation which was set on rice fields.  The zoo portion had all kinds of animals from bald eagles and otters to alligators and foxes.  

The garden portion has wonderful collections of flowers and huge sculptures all over the grounds.  

Here's Kinsey in the Palmetto Garden.  I'm in love with the brick wall in the background.  It's two bricks wide on each section.  This would be great in our backyard...maybe in the future?

An overview of the Palmetto Garden.  The palms are on all four sides and hundreds of poppies line the pool.  The poppies are such a great burst of color.  I'm so happy they were in full bloom when we visited!

Foxglove up close.  I'm thinking about getting some for next year's garden.  

Me and some new friends. 

Just one of the many smaller sculptures in various beds throughout the gardens.  

In the middle of Live Oak Allee.  These are centuries old Oaks with Spanish Moss hanging off the branches.  Another favorite spot!  Below the trees are beds of hundreds of daffodils.  Unfortunately, they were practically over blooming when we visited.  I can only imagine how great the yellow flowers looked against the green leaves and dark trunks.

Of course, we did visit the beach.  We went to Huntington Beach State Park and the beach within walking distance to my grandparents' house in Murrells Inlet.
Kinsey isn't doing a crazy dance in the picture below (at least not at that moment).  He's bending down to touch the water on our last morning in the Grand Strand.  

This is a huge fish/shark tank in the Charleston Aquarium.  Twice a day or so, someone dives in the tank and feeds the fish.  We weren't here when that happened, but it must be crazy to see. 

The albino gator.

Hello Mr. Turtle...(or Mrs. Turtle).  

The week and a half went way too fast!  We're hoping to go back sometime in the next year.  This was our first visit in 7 years!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

back from our spring trip down south!

Last weekend, Kinsey and I were in Richmond doing Spring Bada Bing.  We look forward to this show every year and have been attending it for 6 years and have been a vendor for 5 years.  This year was by far the best for us and I was so happy with how our table turned out.  
This year, my main offerings were soft toys.  I've really been focusing on the area of plush toys quite intensely now for the past 5 months.  

This was my first show with the plush rockets and boys, so I was excited to see how they would be received.  Rockets were by far my most popular item - I almost sold out!  
Another new item I had for the first time were soft rattles, which went over very well as well.  
(Oh and here's how nerdy I can be: I totally got really excited when I saw Sherry and John Petersik from younghouselove.  And even more excited when they stopped and my table and chatted for a few minutes!)

Before we headed to Richmond, we spent a week visiting my grandparents who live just south of Myrtle Beach.  Early April is such a wonderful time to go to the beach.  See all the people out on the beach?  Oh wait, there's hardly anyone.  Warm weather, clear skies, and local strawberries!!

While we were in South Carolina we took a day trip to Charleston.  We were searching for a place to eat lunch when we came across this quiet, old church cemetery right off a busy street.

I'll be sharing some more pictures in the next day of one of my favorite places I've ever visited while down south.