Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wings and feathers and stitches and...more stitches

Okay - I had to share a quick little sneak peek of what I've got goin on here with Clarence. I came up with a wing design over the weekend. But I didn't figure out anything specific. So I kinda just started cutting out pieces and...winging it...HA!! (sorry)...with no real plan for the details. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't quite sure how it was going to come together. Like - I didn't even know in my head how I wanted it to look. I just knew I wanted multiple colors/fabrics - like two or three or four - and lots and lots of feathers and therefore lots of little contrasting stitches.

So what do you think? It's a faaar cry from finished but you get the rough idea. I think these wings are going to be pretty cool. (Oh, and it didn't show up on my camera - so in case it doesn't show up on your screen - there's actually three colors of feathers - black sparkle, blue and purple.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gettin my craft on

So while my other half just left to attend an antique show - big one, hour or so away - I intend on getting some serious stuff done today. And I mean it. For those of you who don't know me...I may or may not be a huge procrastinator. I tend to work well under deadlines, but both of my next two orders have no deadline. Eeek! But I'm determined to remain disciplined. You guys can help keep me accountable. :)
Anyway. This is how I usually start a project.

I sit in the middle of my copious amounts of fabric (fun word that copious!) and start playin with the colors and textures. K - my aforementioned co-worker whom I adore - she's so fun and sweet! - has ordered an owly plush for her baby girl's room. So I get to do pinks and corals and girly patterns! Personally, I like vintage prints/colors/styles and tend to work in more muted tones...so this break from the norm is going to be so fun! K - any input?
And what about Clarence the Crow? Well, I'm so glad you've asked, my little slave drivers. ;) (It's okay - I need it!) No worries - he is not forgotten in the least - I've been working on him too. This is his current state - don't be alarmed:

(And Moe does not usually lounge on my projects - he's modeling for me.
I needed some form of size reference and he was the closest thing so I put him there. Also - sorry for the bad pic. It's really hard to get black to photograph - but you get the idea.)
So today I'll be working on a wing design/pattern for Clarence. Very important. I have big plans. Big plans. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't you just love fall?

Stopped for cider and donuts on the way home from work today. We are quite lucky to have about a million (okay, probably like 4 or 5) cider mills by us out here. This one is a smallish one - very quaint. And they have a free corn maze and petting zoo. (Yes! Free! Can you imagine? A cider mill...not charging you up the wazoo...during peak season! Goodness. Can you tell I'm a little jaded? We visited a different, much larger, orchard last weekend. They wanted to charge us $5 EACH to pet the goats because "Hay Mountain" is now constructed near the animals. Seriously? Do I look like I'm about to climb up a hay stack covered with 5 year olds? Donuts and cider all sloshin around in my tummy? I just like goats! Geesh.)

Anyway. This one was very cute - and I want to go back w/the other half to check out that maze and the critters.
Don't you just adore fall?!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Fine Upstanding Fellow

...if I don't say so myself.

I'd introduce you - but you can't properly introduce someone if you don't know their name. I'm still working on that part. And please excuse my nighttime-livingroom-daybulb shots. I just finished him. Couldn't wait to share. :)

He'll be in the shop soon. I'm so happy with him! I did find out that this pattern does take a pretty long time to work up though. There are a lot of little pieces that have to be cut and sewn and put together juuust right. But I really like the end result. And now Neville has a buddy! Hoooray!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Birdies are for Babies

I love custom orders. They're always fun and interesting. It's kind of a forced creativity. You have to be creative - and sometimes in a hurry. None of this namby pamby hemming and hawing over "What should I do?" and "What colors shall I choose?". Custom orders demand your mind to snap-to and produce. Every time a custom order comes along - I learn something new - new techniques or some new skill I had hidden. Very cool.

A co-worker of mine, K, has a friend who was recently visited by the pitter patter of lil' feet. I did some work for K before for her nursery, and a mutual friend of theirs wanted me to do something similar for this new little munchkin's space. I thought that was an excellent idea. ;)

So I whipped up this little guy.

Before this, I hadn't really done any major lettering with embroidery thread.
Also, I really wanted to use some of that superfun pompom trim. But I had no idea how I was gonna get it in there. I'm pretty pleased with the end result.

I can't decide if it's just right though - or if there's just a little something missing. I've got until Monday morning to make up my mind. Any input?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sometimes you just have to...

...and smell the roses, so to speak. I feel like I've been really busy lately. But I don't really know what I've been doing. And I've been away from this space too long for my liking. So today, I just wanted to share with you a couple of shots from my home. (The stop sign, btw, is a recent find of Jon's.)

I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I l-o-v-e all things green. I love gardening. I love all the trees on our property. House plants, outdoor plants, whatever. Here are a couple of my most favorite indoor buddies...

My staghorn fern. I've had him since he was just a lil' guy.

This cactus...I've never exactly properly identified. There's some possibilities - Old Man of the Andes, Grandfather Cactus, etc. Whatever he is, I love him. :)

And here are a couple of lithops, also known as "living stones". Aren't they cool?! Lithop means "stone like" in Greek. I really, really like them. I want a whole bunch of them - all different varieties - living in one big pot one day. But they're really picky and tend to rot easily. I've actually had some before. These (above) I've only had for a few weeks. I generally have a pretty green thumb, but sadly, the last ones didn't fair so well. :( Hopefully I learned my lesson. (PS: Do you like my little owly guys? Super cute vintage find.)

Oh! And wanna see what I've been working on? Another owl plush!
These are his eyes.

I'm excited. My last owl like this, Neville, took so long to complete. Mostly b/c I started him just before I moved - while school was going on - and I was still mentoring at the time - and I didn't finish him for quite a while. So I'm interested to see how long this pattern realistically takes to work up.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Antiquing in the Countryside

This morning we ventured out to visit a very little-known antique "store" in our area. A very friendly old couple own a farm with tons of land, a few out buildings and lots! of antiques.

Our lovely lady "shop" owner hostess has one little building filled with household items - old toys, books, textiles, cooking utensils...

...and another two buildings filled with furniture and old architectural pieces (sorry -no pics). Her husband, on the other hand, was a car and tractor nut. He had so many tractors and tractor parts - I couldn't even tell you the extent of it. There were two buildings we didn't even go in. But I can tell you that the ones he had restored - were really quite beautiful.

Being a wannabe farm girl at heart, I have a soft spot for old farm equipment.

We traveled out to this wonderful hidden treasure because, as you know, I am revamping a room in the house for my craftroom and I am in the market for a work desk. And as I didn't find anything (under $1,000) suitable online, and I'm not a carpenter, I had the idea of creating a oneofakind vintage piece out of found goodies. And boy did I find goodies. I'll share that project soon. I'm very happy and hopeful about how awesome it's going to turn out.

PS: We got pie. :)

And it is delish!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer Festivals and Peach Pie Forgotten

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a lovely holiday weekend so far. Yesterday after work, Jon and I went to Arts, Beats and Eats in Royal Oak. It was pretty cool. I wasn't feeling that great, so I didn't participate in the Eats portion of the festival. But we did see a lot of great art and craftsmanship and there was music playing all over so it was a good time.

(Handcarved, handpainted froggie - solid wood and heavy!)

Today we went to the Romeo Peach Festival. It's the first time we've been. It's a lot more "homey" kind of show - more crafts and things like that. Which was nice. And you'd think we'd come home with some peaches from the Romeo Peach Festival - the main street was lined with folks selling homemade pies and jams. We forgot. Ugh. So we'll have to go back tomorrow. :) Mmmmm...fresh peach pie!

We did buy some gifts for family (Christmas is coming - eeek!), and Jon got a couple of really nice handmade, real natural-looking benches for the house. (Here is Moe modeling my favorite one for you.)

And then we picked up his dad and we went to a couple of sales - barn sales, yard sales - and stopped at Frontier Town.

Some great antiques. As usual. These vintage suitcases were awesome!

I really wanted a couple, but I have so many projects going on right now it's ridiculous. Someday though, I'd like to get a suitcase, separate the halves, and create a couple of raised catbeds for the boys. I'm sure you've seen them around - too cute! I'd use some old turned furniture spindles for legs.

My major purchase of the day...

And this old motor bike was too awesome not to share.

I'll be back soon to share my progress on Clarence the Crow. I've got about half the pattern done so far and I bought the main fabric for him a couple days ago. Have fun and be safe this weekend!