circa 2000

Here are some projects I did around the beginning of the 21st century. Doesnt that sound weird?  So in no particular order, may I present to you:

Project A: Refinished Dresser

antique_dresser

This is a dresser from when my great grandmother was a baby (late 19th-early 20th century). It was white and dinged up when I got it, and I decided to refinish it. It was tons and tons of work, but the results are beautiful. There were i believe 8 layers of paint (white, pink, greens), probably all lead. I replaced the drawer handles, but the locks and knob are original. I even use to collect skeleton keys, so I happened to have one that fits! I took parts of it to a wood repair shop, and they did a great job. They believe it is made from white oak.

Project B: Wall Art

drawing_bear_king

I had a children’s book and this was on the cover. It was probably about 2 or 3 inches tall, and i drew it to be about 7 or so. Colored pencil and ink.

Project C: Star Moon Sculpture

ceramic_moon_stars1

I took a non-major ceramics class my freshman year in college, and one of the assignments was to use shapes of clay to build something. I have always loved stars so choosing the shape was easy enough. I recall that I didn’t have a clue of what I was going to build, but the moon just sort of happened. I set it all on a structure of clouds, glazed it my favorite color, rubbed off the edges and the clouds, and voila!

ceramic_moon_stars2

I will continue with more later! :D

a brother’s Story: sequel

Now that I know a little more about making the pattern for the guinea pig, I decided to make my brother’s a different way. Same idea, but instead of having a spacing piece along the top of the body, I made one for the bottom. I wasn’t exactly sure of the shape to use, so I sewed it on before I cut it. It bows out a little on the bottom, but since I didn’t stuff it completely full, I can manipulate the stuffing enough to make it sit well. The front legs aren’t separated as much as I envisioned, but its way better than the one foot-look of the original.

felt_toy_guinea_pig2

One small difference I made was that I sewed the bottom of the ears together and then reversed them so that only the outside of the ear, not where it attached to the face, had a rough edge of white. It also gave the ears the appearance that they were stuffed, because of the felt seam allowance left inside.

I also was able to hide my knots better because I knew what needed to be done before I sewed the whole thing shut, and I was able to hide a lot of end knots where I put the nose. I also altered the shape and size of the nose. On the original, I made the nose come down to include where the mouth is, because the pink area seems to be that way on real guinea pigs. However, it just looked odd, so on this one, I ended the nose (it was a simple triangle) and then used the pink thread to carry it down to the cute little mouth.

This little pig turned out so much better, and I can say that I am happy with all the results. Even if I was sick once while tackling it and without paying attention, had forgotten that I wanted to use white thread on the white areas, rather than the tan, and so had to remove all the stitching and start over. Yes, even if I sewed the ears on the face spot backward, and therefore the face spot itself backward, and had to remove all that stitching too. Even if.

I also added a little personal note at the bottom, a reminder to my bro, and a message that would explain why I chose a guinea pig. It reads “Now, being 30 is a story!” because a) it is his birthday gift for turning 30 and b) it was made in the likeness of his late guinea pig, Story.

a brother’s Story

So I am still looking up little patterns to help me learn sewing skills and inspire new ideas. Since most of the patterns I find for free ask not to be used on products for sale, I really need to get a grasp of how patterns are created so I can make my own. If I ever get that good, and keep the hobby up, that is.

So my bro’s birthday was coming up and I thought it would be yet another good excuse to try something. Rather prematurely (and by no fault of my own – the pattern just doesn’t exist where I can find it!) I tried to create my own pattern, loosely based on the guinea pig here. See, he had a guinea pig named Story, but she passed away long ago, so why not give him a cuddly squishy piggie in memory of her?

guinea_pig_Story

My first attempt worked well as far as getting the white and tan body sections, but when I pieced them together, I realized I would need a spacer for the body to make it fatter. In addition, I wanted the legs to stick out but wasn’t sure how, so I just went in with guns blazing, cut along the leg line, sewed it back shut, and was very unimpressed with the results altogether.

Undaunted, though, I am. So I continued, again, and created a spacer for the top of the pig. What I didn’t consider was creating another for the bottom. DOH! I also opted to embroidery the legs rather than try to do anything fancy with them being 3d.

I took the pattern from that website, added a tale, and cut it in half, with a slightly curved line. I made the back half out of tan, and the front out of white, and stitched each side together along the curved line.

felt_toy_guinea_pig11

I just kinda guessed the shape for the spacer, but I knew I wanted the head and body to be fat, whereas the middle section could come in a little. I also made it half and half.

I pinned one side to the spacer and sewed them together and repeated on the other side, then I stitched all around to sew the two sides together, leaving a big hole at the bottom – much bigger than needed for stuffing, but I wanted to keep it open to embroider the legs (I could have done that first I suppose, before any sewing had been done, but Im a noob).

When I reversed it right-side-out, it appeared that the shape of the spacer gave it more of a dog face look than a guinea pig. I was NOT going to make a third one, nor was I going to remove all of the stitching, so I kind of reshaped it by adding a seam in the middle of the head portion. It didn’t work too badly – not something I would do again. I would make sure that it was the right shape. But for the learning purposes of it here, it would suffice.

Then I stuffed it full, stitched it up, and began working on a shape for the face coloration. Once I finally got a paper version, I traced it onto the tan felt and cut away. My gramma’s borrowed buttons saved the day again, as I found two beady eyes to place (not exactly as small as I was going for, but really suited the look compared to my other options). I also used the website’s ear pattern, and sewed a tan one to a white one and attached it to the face coloration part.

felt_toy_guinea_pig12

Similar to the alpaca’s saddle, I sewed it onto the head. What I somehow didn’t notice was how crooked I pinned it on, but honestly I didn’t think it took too much away from it. I mean I wouldn’t sell this one, its definitely not up to par of the quality I want to churn out. But for my second softie, and my first somewhat hodgepodged pattern, Im pretty happy with the results.

I think in this example, having a spacer at the bottom might have been all it needed -not one at the top. This is a pig not meant to be viewed from the front or back (in which it looks a little creepy with only one leg)- this little pig much prefers profiles instead.

felt_toy_guinea_pig1

So the guinea pig I made was a hit with my friends. They suggested I added whiskers and maybe a nose. So one day I decided to test it out with just whiskers. Using the same technique with the crochet hook, I pulled the knot into the body, and used white crafting thread to make some whiskers. Then it just looked like it was noseless, so I added a little pink nose, and used pink thread to add the details. I also pulled the eyes together so they didn’t stick out all goofy like. It was okay, but I still was not in love with the way it looked. So when my pseudo nephew Cam went crazy over how it looked just like Bugsy from the new movie Bedtime Story, and he asked if I could make him one, I just gave him that one. He was really happy and told me it meant a lot to him. How sweet!

felt_toy_guinea_pig2