Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a holiday project: the finale that is

This was a gift I'd been planning for quite some time.  I wanted to make Miss Bee a handmade doll for Christmas.

I was a bit surprised to find it was difficult to track down a pattern... I found doll patterns but I had a doll in mind that would have felt hair and like clothing patterns seemed to be not a popular item any longer.

Finally I tracked this one down on etsy and I was in business.

I knew I wanted the "hair" to be a golden felt, like Miss Bee's blond fluff... and I had the white with red dots for the body.

One thing I really like about this pattern is that the "outfit" is just a little elastic waist skirt, not a dress to button or zip.  I seem to remember Miss Bee's mama's dolls didn't have many clothes on when she was young since it was difficult to dress dolls.  I thought this little skirt idea would be easier for a wee one to actually dress... and if not, well the polka dot body is cute too!

The pattern was a pdf I could download so not piece was larger than an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper... this meant that a fat quarter was enough for a little skirt!  I will admit I got a tad bit carried away with the extra "outfits".

It was pretty quick to put together but if I made it again I would probably change a few things and do them a bit different from the directions.

By Christmas morning she was finished and under the tree... sporting her Scandinavian outfit and with her little red suitcase full of 5 other skirts... one even of flannel, sort of like her pj's that is.  You may notice that I didn't make the headband... perhaps Miss Bee will share one of her own?

When Miss Bee got here with her Mama and Daddy it was time for a few gifts... close your eyes since I have a surprise for you!

Oops... I guess at just under 7 months we don't have that concept quite down yet...

But her grandpa helped her out and she seemed to like her first little rag doll.  Do you see a resemblance?  Between Miss Bee and the doll that is?  I used the same shade of blue for the eyes!

This was definitely my favorite holiday project this year... even with all the turning and stuffing!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season full of family, friends and memories to last a lifetime.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

a holiday project: my little labor of love

Did this catch your eye?  Those blue eyes are hard to miss.

It's actually a close up of holiday photo of Miss Bee with my latest holiday project...  When I was taking photos, well I couldn't resist...

But actually this is about a cute little vintage stocking I've been working on for a bit for Miss Bee.  I came across this pattern on Etsy last summer.  It's sold as a downloadable pdf and is a copy of an original vintage stocking.

The hardest part was tracking down some "angora like" yarn without an "angora like" price.  I finally found some alpaca blend that was perfectly fuzzy.

The Santa face is worked off a graph, not my favorite way of knitting.  And with many, many balls of yarn it was a bit of tangled mess at times.  And with soooo many colors going on at once, it was a bit difficult to do anything while knitting this pattern since it took all my concentration to keep track of all those little squares!

I persevered and finally Santa started to look like Santa... although Mr. Red Gate Farm didn't agree.

It seemed that finishing it up took as long as the knitting with all those ends to sew in and the foot was done on double pointed needles... not my favorite way to knit but better than the graph pattern!

Miss Bee's name is at the top... and I skipped adding the jingle bells to the toe, to finish it off.

Santa's beard, eyebrows and mustache came out appropriately fuzzy.

And best of all, I had the opportunity to give my Miss Bee her stocking in person.  At first she was a bit indifferent...

Probably wondering what kind of contraption these big people had come up with for her to sleep in now!

And all around just sort of ignoring my little labor of love...

But then she wondered what the fuss was all about...


I think she's thinking "doesn't taste so good... and it left a fuzzy feeling in my mouth!"

But seriously...

I think Miss Bee liked my little labor of love,

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

a holiday project: my version of pottery barn winter village pillows

I really like a lot of Pottery Barn's pillows, in fact their Winter Village series is one of my current favorites... but let's face it, they're not usually inexpensive.  And for a holiday pillow it can be a bit much to swallow.

Winter Village Scene Print Pillow Cover benefiting Give a Little Hope campaign
found here
So when I saw that Pottery Barn also sold a kitchen towel in the same line I had an idea....

I've used kitchen towels, napkins and place mats for all kinds of projects before... including you guessed it, pillows!  At $12.50 a towel, still not super cheap but with my 20% off and free shipping I purchased two for around $20.

When they arrived I was excited to see that the towels, like the pillows, were made of a linen and cotton blend fabric.  Like most towels they were rectangular in shape and around 18 x 26 inches in size.

After washing the towels I was ready to measure for my pillows.  I realized that when I cut two squares (18 x 18) I would still have enough for a smaller pillow as well.  Three pillows for $20!

My first one was using the leftover bit of fabric.  I added it to a piece of drop cloth fabric I had.  I just turned under two edges (the other two were already the edge of the towel) and attached it, applique sort of  fashion, to the front of the pillow.  I added a back (using the non zipper method, you know overlapping like a pillow sham?) and voila!

I suppose I should have picked up the sewing machine cord first, hmm?  And you may never have noticed... but our little house has the original (working) pocket doors between our living room and dining room...

The same pillow on a different chair... please, ignore the dog hair... it's time to switch out the slipcovers but that's for another day.

As I was taking the photos I noticed something outside the window....

Swans in our field!

Not the best picture but I knew if I went outside they would fly off.

The other two pillows (the 18x18 ones) stitched up quickly too.  I  also used drop cloth for the backing on these... not trim on any of the pillows.  Since they are just for the holidays I didn't want to spend a bunch of time on them, keeping it simple.

I was careful when cutting them out to pick a part of the image I liked...

I think this one is my favorite...

So the pillows aren't an identical match to the real thing since the village scenes are smaller and not just a singular scene...

But I'm really enjoying the holiday change up... and with this little scene I can't help but think...

"And to all a good night!"

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

a holiday project: easy, peasy little peat pot ornaments

Right now I'm elbow... or perhaps knee deep in glitter, Christmas balls, angels, ribbon, ruffles, glue... well you get the idea.  I've been working on my latest Christmas gift projects.

You may remember from a few weeks ago that this was my inspiration for a gift to give out this Christmas.  I picked this one up at a local craft and antique show back in October... something that was just my style.  A little rustic, a little glittery and who can resist a vintage Santa?

So first up was locating some paper ruffles.  I could have figured these out on my own but Etsy seemed like a better option.  Before I could narrow down my choices I read this and it led me to Vintage Handmade on Etsy... such beautiful paper ruffles and the packaging?  So much fun!  I even used some of the bits and bobs she wrapped around my ruffles!

So now that I had my ruffles (and boxes and boxes of balls, glitter, well you name it) it was time to get started on my little pots.  I used two different sizes of peat pots, you know the ones you get at the hardware store for seeds?

The smallest pots would be ornaments and the little bit larger (like the inspiration) would just be decorations.  These pots are cheap too, I picked my small ones up in a pack of a dozen for just $1.99 the larger ones were a bit more.

I painted my pots an off white... I actually used ASCP since I didn't have any craft paint handy.  I also made sure to paint inside the pot a bit, even when filled this may show.  I let them dry for a few hours (well actually a few days since I got sidetracked).

Then it was glitter time!  I had some different options for glitter and wasn't sure which one I would use.  The inspiration pot had a clear kind of sparkle over the paint but I actually when a slightly different direction here.

I also did NOT glitter the top edge since I wanted to glue the paper ribbon/ruffle in this area and thought the glitter would not make a good base.

I actually used some of my Martha Stewart tinsel style glitter for this!  Fortunately I had two bottles since it actually took one whole bottle to do all of my pots!  I always work on a tray when glittering so that I can pour the unused glitter back into the jar/bottle.

Then it was time to break out my choices for my first little pot... this one would be an ornament.  I had found this fabulous pink and white sisal style tree and they even sent it in a box full of pink crinkle!  Just what I would need for a pink pot...

I didn't have an easy or elegant way to make a label but I did have these wonderful place cards from my favorite local store... they're on a heavy, textured paper and worked wonderfully for my labels.  I just trimmed around the image.

The handle is a bit of "chenille" or pipe cleaner... I glued a vintage gold ball on top of my tree... doesn't that tree scream "Dr Seuss"?

The one mistake I made was not making the paper ruffle come around enough... I would need to change this on future pots.

A cute little vintage angel and some bits and pieces filled the pot out.  This style of angel was popular in the 60's... one of my favorite Christmas memories since my mom had a set of these.

And perhaps you may have guessed that this little ornament is for Miss Bee, of course!

Next up was one for a Disney lover.  I found this ceramic Mickey at a thrift store for pennies and knew I'd use him in a larger pot.

I added a little tag with "2014" too.

Mickey's tree had tiny vintage ornaments added too... a couple of balls and some natural colored shredded paper finished this one off.

When came across this putz style church for just $.50 at Michaels I knew I'd use it for someone that recently was married at Red Gate Farm (and yes, I still need to share that with you all!).

Vintage little balls added to the tree... a paper tag with "2014"...

And my favorite... I added two little sugar bells to the top of the church!  My stash of these has dwindled so I'll be on the lookout for more.

I'm quite happy with the way these turned out and I hope the recipients will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them...

Three down...

And oh, about 9 more to go!

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