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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Two Axl Rose dolls on: December 31, 2012 09:35:12 AM
My girls love Axl Rose (of course their knowledge is based on music videos and what I choose to tell them. ha!). They think he's so cool. It started with the 5 yr old wearing a blue bandana 24/7 for a few weeks this past spring. Since then, we talk about Axl so much, he's practically a family member. Shortly after the bandana phase, the 5yr old drew an adorable little paper doll which she played with and slept with. Paper Axl had to have his limbs surgically reattached a few times (scotch tape) and got awfully crumpled. The forlorn little girl came to me this fall and said with sad little eyes, "I wish I could have a real Axl doll." Her 7 yr old sister heard that and piped up that she wanted one, too. In theoretical terms, I asked which outfits they preferred and the 5 yr old stated unequivocally that she likes the clothes he wears in the "Sweet Child" video. The 7 yr old went with "Paradise City."

The doll pattern is actually the Indian girl body from Joan Russell's Women's Day Book of Soft Toys and Dolls. The clothes are mostly Frankenpatterns I made with lots of trial and error! I worked on these dolls every day (in secret!) for six weeks and put the last touches on Christmas Eve! Taking it down to the wire! Whew. I set them in front of the tree and on Christmas morning, when the kids rushed downstairs, the girls caught one look at the dolls and went nuts. It was awesome! Cheesy

Here are some pics (there are more pics and details on my blog).

Paradise City Axl

Sweet Child Axl sans leather jacket. I forgot to put it back on him.

Tiny tattooed arms before I attached them to the dolls.

I had to steam-straighten Axl's hair. Before on the left; after on the right. Any hint of curl on red hair was going to make him look like Little Orphan Annie!

The GNR logo on the back of the white jacket. It's about the size of a silver dollar so the pic is bigger than real life! haha
There were lots of other details that I had wanted to add (the chains on his boots, his bracelets, painting on the t-shirts...) but I just ran out of time. The girls don't seem to mind, though, so I think we'll call the dolls finished!

2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Axl Rose rockin' it in yarn! on: September 03, 2012 09:12:17 PM
Wow, I haven't been on here in like... forever. I've made a ton of stuff, but right now my proudest achievement is my Axl Rose afghan!  Grin I saw the cool picture afghans made by pixieval and peskypixie and the idea just wouldn't leave my head. I HAD to make a picture afghan! It took all of about... oh, ten seconds to decide who to do. We're a little obsessed with Axl in my house ever since my 4 yr old started wearing a bandana 24/7 back in May (more of that story on my second blog in my siggy).

My only other Tunisian crochet project up to this point was a colossal failure (had to rip it out and just do it in regular crochet). So why not choose something huge and complicated? lol Once I learned how to do the color changes so they wouldn't gap, it actually turned out to be pretty straightforward.  I photoshopped the photo to smooth out the colors and erase the tattoos because they were just indeterminate blobs. Sorry, Axl.  Sad I used knitpro2.0 like some other people have suggested to graph the photo.

I'm really happy with how he turned out! The only thing that bugs me is that I messed up a bit on the border along the top and bottom -- added too many stitches, which makes it all ruffly. Oh well. We'll pretend that's a design element.

Nothing quite makes my heart stop in its tracks to hear my 6 and 4 yr old daughters arguing, "I want to sleep with Axl!" "No, it's my turn to sleep with Axl!" It's just... so... wrong! haha I told them it doesn't matter anyways, because I get to sleep with Axl. So now they're pestering me to make them their own Axl afghans. It was really fun to do, so I'm sure there will be more.
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / My first doll -- Fairy! on: September 15, 2011 01:16:15 PM
Ok, not my first doll, but the first real doll I've ever made if you don't count Melchizedek the gnome I made for the roaming gnome swap a couple years ago. I had a pattern for the doll herself, but designed the dress and then had to figure out the hair. I made her for dd #2's 4th birthday last week. She loves fairies, likes dressing up as a fairy and dancing to "The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies." I thought for sure the doll would be a home run. Well... dd didn't like her at all at first. She's slowly warming up to her. She named the doll Falilla. She doesn't really play with the doll, but I do hear her softly talking to her while lying in bed, so maybe Falilla is more of a confidante than a plaything. That's ok. I tell more of the process of her creation on my blog. ( http://2frogsngrasshopper.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/finished-fairy-doll-part-1/ )

Falilla the Fairy

As my daughter was going to bed that night, still somewhat suspicious of the doll, she asked me what kind of fairy it is. "Um... a dewdrop fairy." "What's a dewdrop?" Short explanation of dew followed by quiet contemplation by the 4 yr old. I asked if dd wanted to sleep with her in the bed, and she said, "No, she can stay over there." On the desk.

The next morning, dd came downstairs with Falilla and in a skeptical tone, asked, "How did you get this hair?" I realized then that the hair creeped her out. Dd thought it was actual human hair! Can't blame the poor kid; I would have been freaked out, too, if someone gave me a doll with people hair. I took her upstairs to my sewing room and showed her the Sinead O'Connor Barbie who had donated her hair. That seemed to make her feel better. She also asked that I put the hair in a ponytail so she could see the wings better.

I used some metallic polyester something or other from the remnant bin. It's stiff enough on its own that I didn't have to add anything to it to keep the wings standing up.

Leaf-inspired dress. I liked the shimmery fabric (also found in the remnant bin). A fairy should look ethereal.

I was going to make another fairy for dd#1's birthday next month, but she has request a cowgirl doll, which is her current obsession. It was a lot easier to make a fairy dress than it's going to be to make a tiny Western shirt.  Huh
4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Aliens won't get me with my tin foil hat on: August 12, 2011 05:16:34 PM
I have a running joke with a friend of mine that I'd make her a tin foil hat due to our tendencies to indulge a little in conspiracy theories. This past week, she posted on FB that she had seen weird lights in the sky near her house and joked that it might be UFO's. I replied that this time I was serious -- I would make her a tin foil hat and she'd better check her mail next week!  Cheesy I knew I wanted to do something a little more technical than the usual aluminum cone. That's amateur hour. So I made a foil cloche with a gigantic bow!

First I made a sort of helmet out of strips of aluminum. Then I made more strips to ease around the outer edge for the brim. Shiny side out, of course!

Fend off the aliens in style!

Or hunker down in the pantry with your towel, walkie-talkie and flashlight.  Grin
5  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Chupa what?? on: February 10, 2011 01:18:56 PM
For some odd reason, my sister is fascinated by el chupacabras. I drew her name for Christmas, so I made her a t-shirt! I ran out of time to add white paint to the logo, but oh well. Drew the chupacabra myself and then made the stencil. Don't leave your goats out at night!


6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Happy smiley crochet (hats and toys) on: February 10, 2011 12:26:18 PM
The bunny hat and berry hat both came from a book I bought in France, but was originally published in the UK. I don't know what the English title was originally. I fell in love with these hats and finally made some for my kids! I made two of the bunnies, one in pink (shown) and one in purple for my daughters, and the little berry head is for my son. I made them in wool and then felted them a bit to make them nice and water-tight (it rains a lot here in the winter).

This baby mobile came from this past summer's Crochet Today. It was so cute, I couldn't stand it! I was dying to make it, but didn't really have a reason, until I found out my sister was expecting. Yay!

And last is this little sleepy kitty (pattern here: http://amigurumibyknotty.blogspot.com/2010/01/peaches-sleepy-amigurumi-kitty.html). A friend of mine had to put down his very old and very ill kitty recently, so I made this for him as an homage to her! She was solid black (which made my job easy!), so I used Patons Allure to give this kitty a nice, soft, furry touch.

Oh, and the afghan she's sleeping on was one my aunt made for me many moons ago. Smiley Crochet runs in the family.
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cozy winter for my nieces -- hats and more on: February 10, 2011 12:15:01 PM
For Christmas this year, I made little fruit-themed sets for each of my nieces.

This pattern came from a Better Homes & Garden special crochet publication from 2004. I think I used Bernat Satin on this one.

This was actually from a summer edition of Crochet Today, but why not have a watermelon hat and cape in the winter! I used Caron Simply Soft.

Feeling peachy! Peach beret and neckwarmer. I ended up switching out the toggle button for a small one that hopefully will be easier for 3 yr old fingers to do. This was made from Caron Pound of Love because it was the only one I could find in peach! Now I have a ton of peach left and no real plan for it. hm.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Carousel horse rug on: February 10, 2011 11:59:37 AM
My daughter's room is decorated in carousels. A few years ago, I bought this pattern off ebay and this past fall, I finally got around to doing it! I worked on it almost every night for nearly three months and got it done just a day or two before Christmas. phew! It used 8 skeins of Red Heart and measures about four feet across.

9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby lace blanket and MIL lapghan on: August 13, 2010 03:56:48 PM
The baby lace blanket is from a Vanna White pattern. I found myself in possession of tons of green baby yarn, so I found a baby pattern I liked and went for it. One interesting thing about this blanket was that the border was a separate piece that I then had to wrap around and sew onto the blanket. Wow, the blanket looks really wonky in the photo. Anyways, I gave it to a former college roommate who just had a baby.

This blanket was actually supposed to be a full-sized afghan, but either my gauge is insanely tight or the pattern left out a few scallops. At any rate, it became apparent that it was more of a lap blanket size, so I just went with it. I gave it to my MIL for Christmas. Again, using up yarn that I had, but it also conveniently matches the colors in her living room. In the second picture you can see how the scallops are raised. I forget the name of the book I got this from.

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Ruffley fluffy puff! (ie. two skirts + blouse) on: August 09, 2010 03:02:24 PM
Here for your viewing and vicarious twirling pleasure are two ruffle skirts (Butterick 4743). The first is brown Indian cotton gauze. I made it two years ago, but, in the sewing process, did not account for the crinkle in the gauze... it slowly unfolded, rendering the skirt unwearable, no matter how much I tried to puff out my belly (and really, I think that's a look most of us try to avoid). The only solution was to remove the waistband and deepen the darts. I hate taking things apart. So this skirt sat in my to-do basket (aka Sewing Purgatory) for two years. Last week, I finally pulled it out because I needed something to wear and, astonishingly, it really didn't take long at all to deconstruct and make the necessary adjustments, even with me sewing the waistband on the outside (yes, I had to take it off twice. That was probably my penance for making it wait so long).

The puff-sleeved blouse was the brown skirt's purgatory companion because... the buttons didn't line up with the buttonholes. Yeah, I know. A five minute job to snip them off and position them correctly and I put it off for two years. If there were an official Procrastination Society, I'm sure I'd win an award, but they'd never get around to giving it to me... Anyways, this was a McCall's pattern. Don't remember the number. I liked it, though, because of the princess seams and topstitching. Made for an interesting look, I thought.

I like your sleeves; they're real puffy.

Second skirt I banged out last week. A couple months ago I was sorely tempted by white eyelet skirts I saw at the mall. Then I came to my senses and remembered that I had this pattern and saved myself $20 by making it myself. I lined each pattern piece except the waistband with plain white cotton to give it some more oomph and remove the peek-a-boo factor.

Obligatory twirl.

And, in case anyone wondered, yes, I do wear colors besides brown and white. Thanks for looking! Cheesy
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