like an exotic market!

I recently stumbled upon Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day event. There are literally hundreds of bloggers GIVING things away at random!!

Im only about a third of the way through the Handcrafted Items list, but I can tell you my RSS feeds keep growing! Not to mention all the attempts I am making at winning!

Its a wonderful idea. Honestly, its like strolling down some exotic market, peeking in everyones booths. Everyone is so welcoming, it has a real community feel. Ahhh the wonders of the internet!

Anyone can attempt to win – you just need to comment in most cases, and some kindly request an opinion or two. In general, you just need an email address to be contacted if you are a winner, but some do require an account with either Google or OpenID (blogger, wordpress, etc are OpenID accounts). Anyone can do it though, did i mention that? That means you!

I hope they do this annually. I wouldnt mind gifting something to a random stranger who thought it was cool. It sounds fun:)

and then the bird landed

This is a project i have been working on for a bit. I got the bird pattern from Spool Sewing.

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It was very easy to piece together by hand although I altered where the opening was for the stuffing because i had chosen very thick felt to use as the fabric so i needed something larger to turn it out.

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And my usual trick of using a teeny tiny crochet needle (12/1.00mm) to assist in turning out the smallest corners worked like a charm.

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I also took boys suggestion and stuffed it extra full – i could have still added some in the tail area, but it was hard to do since thats where i left it open at. Originally, i thought that by using this cool fancy felt, it would be enough to have a cool fancy bird.

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As it turns out, the more you work the felt, the image burnished onto it begins to fade. So my birdie was pretty blah.

I decided it would be cool to embroidery the pattern on the felt and chose black as a stark contrast to the solid red. I was excited because it really looked cool. However, the more i worked it, the pattern disappeared completely in parts, so some of the pattern was done free hand. Thats totally ok by me except i didnt really know how to tie it together. To me, it looks like a few different patterns on one bird, and I am still sorting out whether i like that look or not.

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I felt that if I had continued the patterns to the bottom as well, something would be lost. So i ended the patterns at the seam line and needed to tidy it up so I chose to line the seamline with black. I think this look would equally be cool, if I had done black felt on the bottom.

I also started to trace the seam line with an actual stitch through the felt, here and there when I had extra thread but not enough to continue a pattern. At the end, i decided to use a full 6 strand rather than 3, and loop it around the stitch from the seam itself (red thread). So sometimes those two lines are separated visibly, but as my first of this kind – its awesome. :P

It took me so long because my finger was sore from pushing and pulling the needle so i took some days off between to finish. Another drawback is using white stuffing because it does get pulled out here and there and looks like cat hair (i do have cats, but i am fortunate that they dont shed much). I need to look into ways to dye stuffing. Any ideas?

a graduation present

Although I was officially said and done with my undergraduate education in december (diplomas and all), the actual ceremony was this last Thursday.

Due to that, I have been getting presents and its been awesome to say the least (including Joann gift cards!). But this blog is about one special item that is appropriate for a crafters blog.

Its actually kind of funny. I had to call in late to work for a showing of the condo, and my boss was oddly weird about it. Usually she understands life happens and simply says ok. This time, she wanted to know how late i would be, and told me that i could be late, but i had to come in early. Im thinking “oh no, the whole system is down or half the department called off – what a terrible day it must be to ask me to come in early!” and then she finally explains that they had a surprise party planned for me and they were all waiting to eat. Lol.

So I went early as asked and everyone made a dish of some sort. There was lots to choose from, it was really nice. I got some more goodies and then returned home to finish the preparations of the house.

Later at work, one of my friends showed up with THIS!!!

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We had been talking about it, because she saw it out somewhere and had asked if she bought it and fixed it up (it wasnt in working order) if I were interested in buying it off her (for the ultra low price of 25$!!!) Totally! She had decided to gift it to me instead (and I made the caveat that she would be getting things made from it;) How exciting is that?! And I love the retro colors!

On another note – many years ago I found these cute Thank You cards at a grocery store and bought them. I was saving them for a special occasion and never had one until now! Im very excited to do the old school thank yous (although i dread the whole post office stamp crap – why is it that there only ever seems to be 2 people staffed when 75 people are waiting in line?!)

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