Thursday, May 24, 2012

what sound do giraffes make?

I have no idea what the answer to that is.  However, I know I've been working on this giraffe design off and on for a few months.  And here one is...hiding in my sedum.  

And here's another one.  This might be my current favorite fabric I have recently "rediscovered".  I have quite a bit of it as well.  I'm considering maybe using it to craft myself a garment.  We'll see.

Overall, I'm really happy with the final design of these giraffes.  I initially had planned on making them more "giraffe" like - out of yellow fleece with brown spots.  They looked good like that of the main things I like about creating softies is playing with fabric designs.  I love brightly colored and fun printed fabric and these giraffes are a perfect way to show off some great patterns.  Will I ever make a yellow fleece giraffe like I initially envisioned?   I probably will sometime.  But I'm really enjoying using some of my bolder fabrics right now.  

Each giraffe has a few ribbon tabs for their mane and one for their tail.  These mark my first softies that are free standing on their own.  I really wanted the legs to be sturdy and smooth and able to support the body.   And they do.

These will start to be available in my shop this Friday (tomorrow!).  

Friday, May 18, 2012

if you're in Virginia...

Chester, Va to be exact- stop by Handmade Happiness Boutique!  It's a brand new store filled with all kinds of handmade jewelry, art, plush, paper goods, and more.
And it's the new (temporary until they meet a good family!) home of some of my plush elephants, boys, and rocket ships!

I unfortunately have not yet been able to go myself to check out the goodies.  They just opened a few weeks ago.  This store is run by the amazing jewelry designer MaryEllen from Twist Style

(Photos by TwistStyle)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

a wardrobe change for the owls...

Aside from making up a few for my last craft show, I really haven't been sewing many owls lately.  And the owls I had been sewing were really out of the same 4 or 5 fabrics.  I decided to give the owls a little shopping spree for new summer clothes.  
I'm big into bright colors and bold patterns when it comes to making soft toys.  So I knew I wanted the owls to pop a little more than they have in the past.  The results:

Exactly what I was going for.  Eye catching, fun, and attractive.  The back of all the owls feature a wonderfully soft and cozy brown fleece.  I love these owls so much and am thinking of keeping a few for myself.....seriously, pick one up and feel the soft fleece on the back and you're see why.  

I love this fabric so much!  Kinsey got it for me for Christmas this past year and I have been saving it.  For what, I'm not sure.  But I figured that I shouldn't let it just sit around forever.  It's by Julia Rothman and is 100%  organic cotton.

Another fabric favorite!  Not sure of the specifics of this fabric, but I purchased it at Jo-Ann.  The yellow flowers on the gray background are so beautiful!

Look for these owl guys (and owl girls!) in the shop over the next few days.  Some are there now!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

really? that easy?

Switching from living in an apartment to a house comes with a lot of changes.  When we bought our house (way) back in 2009, we knew we needed to get a mower.  
We don't have a huge yard, although compared to the usual yard size where we live, it is a good sized smaller yard.  Obviously, we wanted some sort of push mower...we'd look ridiculous on a riding mower and have no idea how we'd get it in and store it in our yard.  Plus, on backyard is on a slope. 
We also didn't want to worry about getting gas or plugging in a cord.  So we opted for a reel mower. 

We bought a used one from my mom's one co-worker.  It was cheap and we thought this was the answering to our mowing needs.  
It did work...however you had to go over the same section 3 or 4 or 5 times.  And it didn't really cut the grass completely.  It mostly flatten the grass down.  We naively thought that's how it was with reel mowers.  Oh and the plastic adjuster had broken off so the wheels we uneven and wouldn't stay straight.   We knew the blades should be sharpen, but we just didn't get around to doing it.  

Fast forward 2.5 years later:  We have learned the error of our old thinking.  
Driving in the car one afternoon, we passed a guy rapidly mowing his grass using a reel mower.   Grass was flying and he didn't seem to be exerting much effort.  What kind of fantastic mower did he have?
We were near a home improvement store and decided to go in and check out the reel mowers.  We looked at the small selection they had and picked out a 16 inch model for $99.  

We took it home and assembled it.  We were still unsure about how, if any, better it would cut the grass.  We took a quick push and......grass went flying!  

The picture above still amazes me to think that it's that easy.  It's super sharp and so easy to maneuver through the yard and up our hill.  We're in love!

Could we have just sharpen our old mower and saved a little money?  Yes, probably.  But the knob that adjusted the wheels had snapped off and it was a little rusty.  
Could we have just bought a brand new one in the beginning and experienced how easy the reel mower could be from the very start?  Yes, definitely.  Lesson learned!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

we love free things!

Last Saturday, we went to Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia.  There was so much great things for sale!  I set a strict limit and only ended up buying a fabric headband. One of the great things about this show is that they give out free goodie bags that contain samples, coupons, and all kinds of fun stuff to the first 150 people on each day.   We obviously always make it a point to be one of those lucky people.  
Kinsey looked in his bag and discovered this:

Yeah!  From what I heard only 10 out of the 300 goodie bags contained these gift certificates.  I'm already eyeing up some of the awesome things I could...I mean, Kinsey, could get with this!

And here's my headband I purchased:

I actually was kind of surprised I decided to buy this because I'm not really a headband person...except when I'm working outside and want my hair out of my face.  But even then I just use a thin plain black elastic one.  This one features all kinds of nice vintage printed fabric.

Friday, May 11, 2012

that's a lot of boys....and elephants

I spent the better part of last week working on filling some orders for a few new stores.  I sold almost all of the boys, elephants, and rockets at my last craft show, so I needed to make more.  A lot more.
These pictures are just a small fraction of what all I made (and don't even show many elephants or the new rocket ships!), but it gets the idea across.
Luckily, I made some extras for my shop which I started to list new things in yesterday and today.  

Yesterday,  Kinsey and I dropped off some of my plushes at a shop in Reading, PA called Hello Bluebird.  I had known about the store for some time, but never was in it before.  I would highly recommend stopping in if you're ever in the area.  They have some really beautiful and fun things for sale.  I think we could have bought half the shop if we were able to afford it!  Also, some of my plushes will be for sale at the Hello Bluebird table at this weekend's Art Star Craft Bazaar.  This is a wonderful show and I hope to someday be a vendor here.  We're planning on stopping by one of the days and are looking forward to all the awesome things we'll see!