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11  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Make Your Own Dinky Donkey on: July 14, 2014 03:34:46 PM
I had all this leftover wool felt from a hippogriff so why not make a donkey, too? Here's a pattern in case you need a tiny ass. (Can I say that?)

Grey wool felt
Small amount wool felt for hat, pannier, and any decoration
Embroidery Floss
Sequins, beads, flowers- your choice of miscellany for decoration
Wool/polyfil for stuffing
Cardstock or tag board for your pattern
Insulated wire for legs (optional)

Got your pattern cut out of wool? Good. Note that the back gusset has marked "A" and "B" points, which match up with the coordinating points on the left and right sides of the body. Match "A" on gusset with point A on one of the sides, and beginning at nose, whip stitch to B. Repeat for other side.

Whip stitch the curve of the under gusset, PAYING SPECIAL ATTENTION to the left and right sides. Make sure you have the right under gusset match up with the right legs, and left to left.

Starting at the top front of the gusset, whip stitch down along a front leg, around hoof, and about an inch up the back of leg. Stuff some wool into hoof then continue along the under body and sew rear leg in the same manner. I chose to use a short length of insulated wire inside the legs for stability but he stands alright with firm stuffing. Continue for other side, leaving a gap in the middle of the gusset for stuffing. Stuff as you sew along, it's much easier that way. Sew up any remaining gaps, like the chest and neck area.

Whew! Go get a drink and smile at your success.
Embroider the hat with whatever stitch, glue ric rac on it, bead it, whatever. Sew the straight edges together and then cut two small slits in the top so the ears can poke through. Fold ears together at the base, then shove 'em through the slits in the hat. Sew ears to hat, then sew to donkey.

Embroider the center fronts of the pannier, then sew straight edges together. Sew pannier base to bottom edge. Sew large loops on the pannier top to simulate flowers, then stitch to top of pannier. Or omit the top entirely and stuff the pannier with flowers like I did, because I can't make loopy embroidered flowers. Cut a strip of wool that is 1" by 3" and sew panniers on either end.

Time to decorate your donkey! Embroider eyes, sew beads around neck, add wool leaves...don't forget to give the little guy a tail. I gave mine a turkey stitch mane and a dangly tail.

Too Cute!
12  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 100 ENTRIES / A Little Screwy on: July 07, 2014 01:25:58 PM
This project came directly from my husband's pants. Or at least his pants pockets. There is a bin next to our washer that is full of whatever I pull from his pockets after work, like screws, magnets, key fob stickers, contact thingies, circuit do-dads...well I don't know what any of that's for, but it looked like a fun project. There are 100 screws (who knew 100 screws together took up so little space?) attached to a board and then gessoed. I went a little Georges Seurat and attempted a pointillism selfie, and a colour explosion of sorts. And then there's the funny PANIC sticker on my noggin.

13  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Make Yer Own Hippogriff tute with too many pics on: June 26, 2014 07:42:01 PM
A bit ago I whipped up a tute for a little hippogriff, and thought I'd share it here, too. It's super simple, and they make great ornaments for all those Harry Potter trees out there.


Dark Grey wool felt for body and feathers
Light Grey wool felt for feathers
Golden wool felt for beak and front feet
Embroidery Floss in matching grey and gold
Small black seed beads for eyes
Wool yarn for tail
Wool for stuffing

Trace patterns pieces onto coordinating felt, reversing pieces for opposite side. Place dashed lines of leg pieces on fold of felt.

1. Sew beak to body piece. Repeat for other body piece.

2. Fold ear to right side then fold ear slot over, aligning the piece. Sew along straight edge. Repeat on other body piece. This will be the only sewing done on the inside. Forgot to take that pic but you can see here how it's sewn.

3. Align body pieces wrong sides together and sew around, leaving an inch open at bottom to stuff. Stuff body firmly (this is where you'll be glad it is wool felt) and sew opening closed.

4. Fold rear leg piece in half along fold and beginning at hock, sew around, leaving hoof open. Stuff firmly. Place hoof on bottom of leg opening and sew around. Repeat for other rear leg.

5. For front legs you have two options. I chose to cut off a bit of the front leg and sew on a piece of gold felt to replicate the hippogriff's eagle legs. Or you can skip this part and have grey legs. Fold leg in half, sew around, leaving bottom open. Stuff firmly. Sew two foot pieces together. Place foot at bottom of leg opening and sew around. Repeat for other front leg.

6.  To sew joints together, thread three strands of embroidery floss (or use button thread) through a needle, so the thread is doubled, and make a knot at end. Take a small stitch on inside of rear leg, catching a bit of stuffing, then pass needle back through knotted thread and pull tight. Pass needle through body. take a small stitch on other rear leg then pass needle back through body. Pinch legs together and pull tight. make a loop around joint of first leg and pass needle through thread, making a knot. Loop and knot a second time. Repeat for front legs.

7. To make feathers, cut several feather shapes from your scraps (wool is expensive!) in both dark and light grey. Sew or glue feathers beginning at bottom of neck, and move up toward head. Put 'em wherever you want 'em. Glue ears back, unless you like the way they stick out.

8. For wings, I trace the top portion of the wing and cut out a thin band to act as the "wing bone" and glue in place. Cover wings with feathers, using longer feathers at wing tips. Sew wings in place.


9. Almost there! Wind wool yarn around a credit card, or whatever you have that is the same length as the tail you'd like. Tie a knot around center of wool and cut the other end. Sew tail to body. Sew bead eyes to head, add whatever other features you'd like, then voila! A little hippogriff! Enjoy.

14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Make Your Own Pom Pom Owl (with semi vague tute) on: June 08, 2014 08:37:11 PM
Today was dark and rainy, and once the power went out, I figured housework was through and I'd sit and make pom pom owls.

Materials List:

Wool or acrylic in whatever colours you choose
Plastic pom pom maker from the 70's/plastic snap together pom pom maker/or trusty ol' cardboard pom pom maker
Scissors, tacky glue, small amount of felt for beak, beads or buttons or felt for eyes, and paper covered floral wire for feet.

Make 2 pom poms, one for head and one for body. You can get creative here and pattern your owl depending on how you wrap the yarn. Or use variegated yarn and make an owlet!

Now for the fun part! Trim head pom pom in a roundish ball (if you're making the barn owl) Make sure you leave the long strings you used to tie the pom pom because they will be used to attach head to body later on. For the body, separate two sections of yarn on either side for the wings and one section at the bottom for the tail. Trim top, front, back, and under wings of body piece.

Thread the leftover long string from head onto a needle and carry it under the body's string (it's the one that holds the pom pom together) and tie the two pieces together. Or trim the top of the body and the bottom of the head flat, and glue the pieces together.

Take the floral wire and bend in a U shape. Measure how long you want the legs, then bend into a foot-like shape, then wrap remainder of wire up leg. Cut off excess.

Attach legs with gobs of glue, or better yet, tie them on with a long string that you can bury in the pom pom. I've since begun attaching the legs with the long tie strings before trimming the pom pom. They stand better that way. Trim some more, shape shape shape, add a beak and eyes...aww...it's an owl.

A special thanks to noodlebug for sending all of those buttons, which made perfect eyes for these wee cuties!
15  Category Challenges / Needlework Challenge Entries / Tattoo Flash Marilyn on: May 29, 2014 05:15:56 PM
Challenge? Yes, it was. This project began so smoothly, with an idea that happened immediately, and then all went to pot! The design was drawn on my fabric in a disappearing ink pen (no problem) and I got to work. About 1/4 in to the embroidery, I had to set it aside for a while, and that's when I learned the devastating effects of humidity. The flipping pattern disappeared. Poof. But I powered on, because poor Marilyn was headless and that was just unacceptable. Here's the result, complete with a supposed tattoo gun.

My immediate thought on the pattern was that it looked like tattoo flash and so I ran with it.

16  COOKING / Dessert / Doubtful Guest Cake on: May 04, 2014 11:25:34 AM
Another Edward Gorey cake...I think this will be an ongoing theme for these particular friends. The Doubtful Guest is gumpaste, something that should be an easy thing to work with, but I had issues. It went from sticky to rock hard in a nanosecond. Maybe next time I'll read the directions!

The birthday girl's name will be written on the bottom, but black frosting bleeds everywhere so it'll have to wait til we arrive at the party.

17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Bunny Boy with Balloon on: April 24, 2014 11:55:31 AM
The magnificent rackycoo and I partnered for the IYP Swap and one of her requests was a kid with bunny ears. After an extensive research period, it seemed Creative Paperclay was the way to go, even though I hadn't touched the stuff yet. The clay was formed over a stryrofoam and chenille stem base, and it was gessoed, painted with acrylics, then varnished. He's enjoying his balloon, which is just a foam egg covered in tissue. Finally it came time to put him on something, and a vintage alphabet block seemed appropriate. (wait, it's not vintage. It was mine as a kid and I'm no where near vintage.  Wink)

rackycoo kindly allowed me to use her pictures:

18  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Eeeeewe...it's a Zombie Sheep! on: April 19, 2014 11:08:09 AM
Did you know that MissingWillow likes zombie sheep? Zombie sheep! That's hilarious. We were partnered in IYP 25, so I set out to needle felt a gruesome little guy and plop him atop a pincushion for her. The problem was it happened to be cute at one point, and just wasn't looking properly zombified, and that's when the eyeball came in. Mixing Glossy Accents and distress stain makes for great blood! Thanks for the pictures, MissingWillow!

19  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Creepy Chunky House on: April 19, 2014 10:42:56 AM
A spooky chunky house for the fabulous MissingWillow in the IYP 25 Swap. She mentioned having a collection of these, so it gave me the opportunity to try it out.

Adding cheesecloth webs was pretty cool.

Lizzie Borden, sporting some recycled baker's twine from rackycoo. Love that stuff! Picture courtesy of MissingWillow:

20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Stuart and Nelson on: April 19, 2014 10:24:17 AM
A funny little spooky shrine made for MissingWillow in the IYP 25 swap. The paint job was done using fingers only, with help from my two Picassos.

Here's a better one, taken by MissingWillow:

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