Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Toys and Diapers

A couple of my friends had or are having babies this summer, so I have been making many gifts and helping out sewing reusable diapers. For baby shower gifts I sewed these two stuffed animals I made patterns for. They were both pretty big, and I hope that the little ones will be able to play with them for a long time. One of them is a spotted doggie and the other a cute elephant with shirt and pants. I am moving towards trying to make patterns from my designs, and after I have enough done, I hope to make a whole book out of it. Kathy Mack from Pink Chalk Studio recommended a helpful book for me to read- Publish Your Own Patterns by Nancy Restuccia. I hope to get some info on how and where to publish the actual pattern since it needs to be the right size and printed hopefully on large sheets of paper. I look forwards to receiving the book in the mail! If you are interested in ordering baby gifts, please convo me through my etsy store.

One of my friends also wanted to make some reusable diapers. Having no kids or any experience babysitting, I had no idea even where to begin with sewing one. The crafty person as I am, I googled it and found a host of websites with more information I could handle. I was drawn to a few websites where the materials and types of diapers were the most clearly explained, so I could figure out what supplies to buy for a diaper making session. As it turns out, many of the the materials are hard to find in the fabric stores around town, so I ended up ordering everything online from Celtic Cloths. I have to recommend them to everyone. Jamie Karutz has put together a great resource explaining the different fabrics available, tips, patterns, and tutorials. Ordering the fabrics also ended up being a last minute thing, and Jamie responded to my emails fast and was able to get my fabric to me before I flew to Finland. I also scoured a gaggle of other websites and tried sewing three different patterns. Here are some of the resources I found most helpful:
Zany Zebra had a great list of tutorials and patterns. There was a link to a visual tutorial and they also sell materials.
Fern and Faerie was nice because it explained different kinds of reusable diapers and how to use them.
The best pattern that worked for us, to make all in one diapers was the Ottobre Design pattern. It was the best size and fit the best around the legs of the baby. It was also closest to the diapers that my friend already had store bought. Ottobre Design is a luscious Finnish sewing and craft magazine with patterns for children and teens. I have flipped through it several times at the store and oo-ed over the beautiful layout and designs in the magazine.
If you are unsure, of how to sew one, I would suggest to sew one out of some scrap fabrics before cutting into the more expensive materials. This is how our first diaper out of the "real" material turned out. I got the foldable elastic from Celtic Cloths that could be sewn on the top of the seam on the outside of the diaper edge. My friend ended up deciding she wanted to have a soaker pad that was just velcroed on top of the diaper instead of putting one inside the diaper.

Here are some other baby inspired gifts and ideas from Etsy:
On the top is a hand screenprinted piece by Strawberry Luna. You can buy a whole set of alphabet prints from her store. The adorable green shoes are from Heather's Hobbies.
In the middle row is a cute baby Mai Tai from My Blessed Baby and a pattern for a cute baby hat from McHat. If you are unsure of your sewing skills, you can convo them through Etsy and have one made for you. I thought the Ouch Pouch from Pillow Sew Cute was an ingenious idea and would make a great baby shower gift. Pair it with a cute sensory toy owl from Cafe Crinkle.
For the green conscious baby, the reusbale Wrap-n-mats now have snack pouches as well. I use one for my lunch sandwiches and am totally in love with it. Etsy also has many stores that sell reusable snack pouches etc.

If you are not familiar with, definitely go check it out. They have great tutorials for just about anything you could ever imagine. Here are just a few picks for our baby themed post: Baby sling by Momma+boys, and a blanket and donkey baby gift set. I posted this one a long time ago for an etsy competition... Hope you enjoyed the article If you are into Jane Austen, I have a super post for you coming up!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Little Bit of a Photo Diary

I have been making crafty things all along this time, but have not had time to post things as so many things were happening in my life at the same time. Over the weekend I will post more crafty things and tips. But for now, I wanted to share my inspiration. I traveled back to Finland for a month this summer to go see my friends and family. Nature is always a big draw. I am familiar with the woods around our house and love to go for walks to see what I happenstance on. Among the hustle and bustle of making sure I get to see all my friends and family- nature offers a place to relax and recharge my batteries. Here are some pictures that inspire me over my trip.

A view from the country road leading to our summer house. If you are unaware of it, most Finish families own a small summer cottage.

The view of our sauna from the other side of the lake. I love the gnarly old pine trees that insist on growing high up on the large rock by the lake.
It was fall, and the harvest has begun.

A lovely little fairytale mushroom. The one below looks like the most average mushroom, so I named him Mr. Smith.
I love the dance of colors on a mossy hillside.
Some fall colors

A little creek we drove over on our road trip.
I think I will use this picture for art one day. I imagine a bird sitting on top of the post.
Pretty lake views from a friend's summer house.

Mr Beetle.
In the woods the young birches can sometimes be seen bent over from the weight of winter snow.
I wish I could have captured it when the puffs of seeds were floating at their fullest. Here is a picture right after.
Don't cross the line neighbor!
This mushroom seemed to sprawl all over.
What did the doggies see?
Well wouldn't you know... We get a lot of deer, rabbits and fox on our front yard.

It was the best blueberry season ever! I picked gallons of them.
Love the pictures of these colorful berries. I am not sure what they are called in english. In finnish they are Puolukka.

The little bee was right behind me working as I was taking pictures of the berries.
On my walks I ran into an addeer, it had just been run over by something and was still very life like.
I saw this little clever guy as I visited one of my friends in the city.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dress, skirt and Cake

What could be better than that!
I made the New Look 6674 wrap around dress a couple of weeks ago. This was going to be my practice dress, with some pretty flower fabric that I had bought from the thrift store (used to be sheets). It was a pretty easy pattern to sew, but of course I wantd to make things complicated for myself by making it into a reversible dress.
The idea with the reversibility worked out pretty well, except for one spot where the fabric is pulling from my armpit to the neck. I also wish that the dress would cover up more in the celavage area, now I have to wear a top underneath it if I would ever dare to wear this in public. I think for my next try I will also make it out of a stretchy fabric, and add the contrasting color band to the neckline. I will also have to figure out what to do with that part around my neck thats pulling. If anyone has any ideas on where to add or change the pattern, ideas are welcome.
I am posting two views of the dress, one turned each way. Here are also a couple of other pictures of successful NL 6674 dresses.
While I was sewing, I whipped up a little summer skirt with pockets. It was an old pillowcase, and the fabric was just so cute I had to do something with it. (its still a little wrinkly here) I just kept fitting it on and sewing as I went along. Not the professional way of making things, but it wasn't a serious project, so I just winged it. The top part is a stretchy fabric to make it comfortable to wear to the beach or a walk with the dogs.

I seem to have also been made the designated cake baker for my husbands unit. I made a chocolate cake yesterday for a birthday, but forgot to take a picture before my husband took it to work. This caramel and almond topped cake was for another b-day about a month ago. It was super tasty with fruity filling and whipped cream on the inside.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If you aren't already tired about reading about me, come check out my interview with Deborah from Deborah's Daily Dish!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Watercolor Class

So I remembered to bring the camera to the botanical watercolor class I have been taking for over a month now. Its a nice small group only about 10 people. Above is the finished colored version of the artichoke that we worked on for a couple of weeks. Our new assignment is a pansy. This week we learned how to mix colors for the floer and next week we are learning how to mix greens. I have done a little bit of an underpainting on the leaves, but didn't want to get ahead of myself. The artichoke looks good, but the color is all wrong. I couldn't mix the right shade of green. Its a lot harder than it seems. I guess I could blame my limited color palette. ;)
Here is Louise Smith, our teacher with one of the students in the class, talking about pansies.

Another student working hard on a pansy, my workspace is the mess on the table behind her.

The co-op art gallery where I'm a member at is also having a spring face lift. We spackled and painted all the walls and are in the process of painting the floor with a new coat of color. Our opening reception for the next show is on April 25th, so it should all look great at that time! I am so excited about having the gallery look clean. I'll put a photo when were done. It just feels like another busy week!

Monday, April 13, 2009

March winner!

Congratulations! The give-away winner for the kitty earrings for March was Aminyitray! See the older post for details.

I was able to post a new hedgehog on Etsy and have some owls ready to go. Now I just need the time to get them posted...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shrinky Dink Mania

We are planning a shrinky/dink-craft-get-together with the girls, so I wanted to find some inspiration before the pen hits the plastic. Above are keychains by Evie for mothersday; thats just around the corner... Here are some awesome little shrinky dink ideas:

I got this picture from Etsy a long time ago, but I dont remember the shop name. I'll do some research and try to post it later.

Cute little robots from the Little Lost Robot blog.

Jessica at How About Orange printed on her sheets from a printer to make these adorable tags.

I love Wee Wonderfuls from way back, and found that she also has a shrinky dink tutorial for some cute pins. I had to put two pictures...

Cute little dogtag idea from Making it Lovely. She also had a nice pink keychain.

The most awesome jewelry by Irina. I have to make something like this for myself.
Another place to get awesome shrinky dink jewelry is Fuzzy Bunny Shop on Etsy.
Before I make this post too long, I made a collage of some more pieces. There are so many people doing imaginative things with shrinky dinks its amazing and hard to choose! Going from top left corner clockwise:
Robot necklace from Luna 1375
DillonDesigns rings- I never even thought of that!
KaylaJane has really pretty charms and pendanst in her etsy store.
Passion Flower has cool cutouts.
DIY ice cream necklace with glitter and rhinestone for the younger kids out there.
Shrinky Dink Test Lab has a ton of great info on the product. Here are some wine glass markers.
I love everything that She Felt Pink has in her store. a lot of old tattoo design type of items.

I hope this post has a little bit of inspiration for everyone. I can't wait to get my hands on some plastic! I'll post some pictures of our creations next week. I know it is a new month, and I really need to do my give away, but its been crazy busy. I need to do that asap...

Finnfactor Design

Finnfactor Design