Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Softies for Mirabel


This little guy has flown to Australia this week to take part in Softies for Mirabel. Each year Pip from Meet Me at Mike's runs a handmade toy drive for some kids that need extra cuddles at Christmas.

He is actually not so little - the biggest toy I have made so far (probably 25cm sitting) - and the pattern is from one of Ana Paula Rimoli's books, Amigurumi Two! Her books have cute crochet projects that are easy to follow and sometimes she has free patterns on her blog too.


If you can make a toy the instructions are above or visit here for more info.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daisy Doll


'Do you know Daisy dolls?' a friend asked me a few weeks ago. Her and her sister have just unearthed their dolls for the kids to play with and everyone is enjoying playing dress-ups. In my head Daisy and Sindy were the same thing - unlike most of my friends, I had a Sindy instead of Barbie - but it turns out Daisy is kind of awesome (sorry Sindy)... and I had to get one!


British fashion designer Mary Quant launched Daisy in 1973 as the 'best dressed doll in the world' and her many outfits (a few here) are amazing examples of retro fashion with beautiful details and each one has a cute name like 'Cucumber Sandwich' or 'Denimgrad'. They were manufactured into the 1980s so I figured secondhand ones would be everywhere like Barbie but this is not the case! There was nothing on Etsy, a reliable source of original Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and only a handful of ridiculously priced collectibles (some still in box) on Ebay in the UK.


Luckily it only took a couple of weeks of watching Trade Me to find a local one, this outfit is called 'Daddy's Girl' and is in pretty good condition, including white gogo boots. It seems New Zealand may have a few Daisys tucked away in storage but unlike fellow 70s doll Blythe, she has not become a hipster hobby (further proof being that #daisydoll brings up nothing on Instagram or twitter!)


Blythe is known for her giant head but I think her body is a similar size to Daisy's, so I looked at Blythe crochet patterns for some inspiration. This dress is just DK yarn with a 3mm hook, but I have found some supercute patterns for a 1mm hook so will be trying one soon. The bodice is a rectangle that fastens at the back and then the skirt I worked in the round, increasing stitches for a few rows to get a nice tulip skirt.

Miss 5.5 has not yet shown any interest in Barbie or similar dolls (and I have not encouraged any), but she likes Daisy and has decided my red dress is superior to the original one. Several inches shorter than Barbie, Daisy has more realistic proportions than the pink Amazon so I can further justify my purchase as a more PC alternative - and a bargain compared to Blythe!

See lots of other crafty projects here at #mycreativespace.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Best. Fabric. Ever*

*If you like Star Wars and comic books


I finally made some long-promised cushions from this amazing fabric I found on Spoonflower.com


I've written about Spoonflower before because it is the best idea ever - you can design your own fabric and they will print it for you OR you can buy fabric someone else has designed, and they get a commission. I can draw a little but I could never have come up with these awesome graphics, so I bought one yard of 'Icons of the Silver Screen'  designed by Studio Fibonacci.


Custom printed fabric does not come cheap, but Spoonflower has different options of size and fabric weight, and the international shipping is reasonably priced. Because I wanted to make cushions, I ordered the Linen-Cotton blend which comes 137cm wide, so you can see 1 yard is actually a lot of fabric.

The only problem I had was that there are only two lines of characters that do not repeat in 1 yard - the Star Wars characters that I knew everyone would want on their cushion - so cutting took a lot of planning!


So far I have made four cushions and a tiny baby tag blanket, and there is still enough for another small project or two (the back of the cushions is the binary print show above). And after a run of crochet projects, it was nice to make friends with my sewing machine again.



STOP THE PRESS:
Spoonflower can now print your designs as wallpaper and decals too!!! I may have to go and lie down.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Granny stripe goodness

After stalling with granny squares, my first large crochet project is of the stripey variety. I find the stripes more satisfying as you can see the blanket taking shape as you go - and there is no joining of squares!!! I am also quicker just going in a straight line instead of having to go around corners all the time.

This is for some overseas friends expecting a baby girl, I wanted a mix of colours that would look feminine but not too pink.

It has turned out very sweet and snuggly, I hope she enjoys it half as much as my son loves his crochet blankets (at almost 3 years old he is a little obsessed!)

If you would like to try one (or a granny stripe scarf), I absolutely recommend Pip's granny square lessons and then this tutorial on the gorgeous Attic 24 blog shows how to work stripes. SO fun!

Linking up with Our Creative Space, where there are always lots of ideas for new projects...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Gos

The brilliant Handmade Ryan Gosling may have wound down, but there is something about Ryan that still has us hot under the collar.

Although he was a child star instead of an academic, Ryan has become an icon of intelligent, sensitive hipsterism (even in New Zealand!)

His versatility (clean-shaven or bearded, suit or cardigan, comedy or drama) is immortalised in the latest 'Dishes I'd Rather Be Doing' tea towel by Dear Colleen

This colouring book (yes, really!) by I Love Mel covers many faces of Ryan, and hit worldwide media this week. Because Ryan has universal appeal.

And this blank card by Geek Amour cracked me up because crochet and Mad Men are two of my favourite things! 


If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, you need to start with:



And as for the next eye-candy meme? Judging by the reaction from some of my friends to this photo recently... Hey dog?

Tom Hardy via Oh Sarah-Rose

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crochet me she did, cute I am


Yoda was actually one of my first crochet projects last year but I have only just made his robe. I think it is a great example that once you know how to increase and decrease stitches, you can make just about any shape or animal.


His pattern was only US$3.50 here, and designer Lucy Ravenscar has lots of other characters covered too.


My house is Star Wars crazy at the moment but I don't think we are the only ones - this ensemble picture is one of my most popular pins on Pinterest.

More ideas of things to make here at My Creative Space, hosted by the very clever Kirsty.






p.s. If you are looking for a Star Wars sewing project, you have to see this Chewbacca softie by Draw! Pilgrim

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Great Sock Monkey Challenge


This week I made a sock monkey for an amazing cause - The Great Sock Monkey Challenge. The goal is to deliver a sock monkey to every New Zealand child who is in hospital with a critical or long term illness.


Sock monkeys are a classic handmade toy and Aimee has written about them before here (and I have tried a sock elephant and cat, see here). If you are looking for an easy craft project, all you need is one pair of socks, some fill and needle and thread. Faces are usually stitched with embroidery or buttons but I used some of the safety eyes I have for crochet.


To be honest...  I find handsewing pretty tedious... but it was very satisfying to finish, especially when I decided he needed some accessories (the hat is to disguise his conehead!) And it was still only two nights of sewing in front of the television - this would be a great project for doing in front of the Olympics   ;)

See what other crafty things have been made this week at My Creative Space



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Colour me... rainbow


A rainbow scarf has been on my to-do list since I discovered granny stripes a couple of months ago, but this month's Colour Me Happy challenge actually made me start one!


I am always looking for shortcuts and it turns out that granny stripes are SO much easier than granny squares (i.e. less threads and sewing!) The Attic 24 blog has great instructions for stripes (and lots of other crochet projects too). The only change I made was to do clusters of two stitches instead of clusters of three, because that is what my Nana does on her stripey blankets    :)


I decided there would be no new yarn for this project so I ended up with multiple yellows and greens where I ran out of my first choice, but I think this fits with the rainbow theme.

I like long scarfs so I made the foundation chain approx 220cm, and then did two rows of each colour (except for only one row of indigo because I wanted to emphasize the violet).


This scarf was for me because my daughter prefers things to be green, green and green, but a kid-sized one would work with a 140cm length and one row of each colour.


See more rainbow projects on Colour Me There, and more makings on Creative Space with Kirsty.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 Beanies


My first beanie is a biggie but was so easy that I will have to try some minis soon. I found the pattern through Colour Me There and was inspired to make one for the 100 Beanie Drive.


Jess from Epheriell Designs is usually known for her beautiful silver jewellery, but she has started the Beanie Drive to help out chemotherapy patients over winter. If you can donate a beanie, scarf or mittens, all the details are here.


This pattern is free from the REVolution blog, and is actually for a child's rainbow hat. I just added an extra increasing row to make it a bit bigger - which was probably unnecessary as now it is even loose on my huge head! But maybe it will fit someone else perfectly.



See what else people have been making this week at Creative Spaces.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The New Girls


Have you seen Girls? It has had a low profile here in New Zealand but I have just finished watching the first series and laughed a lot. It is smart, funny and great looking with a cool Brooklyn/vintage aesthetic.

Shoshanna's apartment

I feel a bit topsy-turvy having watched Sex and The City in my twenties and now watching Girls in my thirties... while Carrie & Co. had careers, their own apartments and killer wardrobes, these four girls are not long out of college and figuring everything out 'one mistake at a time' - and they aren't all Size 0. But like SATC (which is referenced several times), production value is high and there are some great sets and parties (more on Shoshanna's pretty apartment here).

Charlie's apartment

This apartment belonged to one of the boys in the show but I LOVE it and daydream about living there. Production Designer Laura Ballinger Gardner also worked on films like Garden State and Brokeback Mountain, and has made all the apartments look real and lived in.

Hannah (Lena Dunham), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), Marnie (Allison Williams)

The clothes vary from lead character Hannah's retro brights to all-American beauty Marnie's crisp classic lines, but a highlight was the hand-modified looking outfits of Jessa - this feathered party dress was a standout.


Creator/writer/director/lead actress Lena Dunham is only 26 and getting a lot of attention in Hollywood right now... and Series Two will be coming early next year.

Do you like it too?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ninja Pillows


I found this awesome tutorial while looking for ninja fabric for a present - my kids are pretty new to Lego but I hear Ninjago is a big deal!


The tutorial on Crazy Little Projects includes instructions for making a whole cover, but I just found some inexpensive pillowcases so all I had to do was applique. I have done a lot of machine applique and my tips are:

  • Use iron-on adhesive to stick the pieces together before sewing (I use Heat n Bond Lite)
  • Pin some tearaway stabilizing paper behind the design before sewing (like this)
  • Sew a small zigzag stitch really slowly, stopping often to turn corners by lifting the foot while the needle is down. There is a great applique tutorial here

The result is a soft squishy ninja head, so cute!


I am very satisfied with this project - a one-night job with very small pieces of fabric.

Linking up with  Creative Spaces, hosted by Kirsty.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To ombre or not to ombre


My granny-squaring has ground to a halt because I can't decide what I want my blanket to look like...


The squares are big because I am too lazy to change colours all the time. I have used this tutorial again and at this size a square takes just over half a 50g ball of wool.


My plan was to make a blue blanket to go over my cream quiltcover, but now I'm not sure about graduating the blues for a 'ombre' effect... I think I might lose the darkest blue and make them a bit more random instead.


Linking up with My Creative Space - in its pretty new home here!




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