Monday, January 31, 2011

Stripes Oh My

Plushie number 2 has been ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (14)completed. I would like to introduce my first zebra. One thing I need to work on is the scale. I've just been creating these guys on what fits on a single piece of paper and I would like them a tad bigger than that. I'm trying to fix that with my next critter. He's a tad bigger but not by too much though.

I actually took a series of photos as I worked on him. More than the ferret.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (1)

Here shows the zebra cut out using the freezer paper patterns. The pattern has no seam allowance so I just cut a bit larger than it. Doing that lets me see the smaller details that would be lost if I added a buffer around the guy.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (2)

First I stitched together the ear and attached it through the slit on his head and sewed on the muzzle to each of the 2 body pieces.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (3)

This shows how the ear is attached to the head through the slit. Make sure all the fabric is pulled in so that no loose strings will show around the ear.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (4)

The under gusset shown stitched together with one of the feet added.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (5)

A close up of the mane sandwiched between the two body pieces which are right sides together. This was very tricky. I had to think a bit about the placement so that when he was turned right side out the mane would be in the correct place.

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The head all pinned up ready to sew. When the plushie is turned right side out the mane will stick straight up.

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The plushie after turning. ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (9)

With the safety eyes added. I found these at Joann's though I know there are loads of online sellers too.

ZebraPlushie_1_2011 (13)

And finally stuffed. I purposely didn't sew the under gusset at the tops of the legs. I didn't want him to stand. He's intended for a small child and I though the laying down was cuter. I wanted him slightly floppy too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Featured Influence: While She Naps

While She Naps is a blog I've mentioned previously but I can't say how much of a great influence this blog has been on me. It finally gave me the nuggets of information I needed to move forward in my desire to start designing and making plushies. This is something I've been thinking about for awhile now and finally I'm moving forward with it.

When she completes her series on the basics of plushie making I hope she combines into successful into a book. I know I'd buy it. Her manner of writing is clear and concise. Her photographs show what she is doing clearly. I rarely have questions regarding what she is showing. The biggest thing though is I find her incredibly inspiring. Since I first found this blog but 3 weeks ago I have created 2 plushies. Yes I finished a second one last night and he will be featured tomorrow. I may also provide the pattern I created for him if I can get it cleaned up and written out better.

Today's blog on While She Naps is about head gussets and I look forward to trying my hand at adding them into my toolbox of plushie making.

Happy creating!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Goals

Why is it I write this? I've wavered back and forth as to what I want to achieve with this blog. Mostly I've wanted to use it as an outlet for my creations I believe. Also though it's been the occasional place to vent frustrations. I know my readership is tiny. I think there are maybe 2 of you out there but maybe just maybe that will increase one day.

My perpetual problem with writing regularly is the dreaded work-life balance. You know I think someone coined phrase years ago just as a mockery. Sometimes I don't think it's even possible to accomplish it for any average person in America today. You always end up making sacrifices of things you always said you never would. I think I'm even more crazy trying to make a balance of work-work-life. Maybe it's idealistic but I've always thought I'd have a bit more time once the kids get older or maybe I need to make my life more portable, save up for a tablet so I can blog and cook at the same time. I think that's a valid excuse to by one.

Well no matter what I'm proud I've done an entry every day this week. I have a few projects I did in the past that I've never written about so maybe I'll feature one tomorrow. Actually better yet maybe I should make a regular Friday thing of featuring some other blog/project I have found online I find worth sharing. Actually I think that's a great idea. We'll go with that one. :) So for tomorrow something that has inspired me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hot Water Woes

Besides getting a few projects done this weekend I wanted to mention one of Hubby's accomplishments. At the end of last week we discovered that the hot water heater was no longer heating water. I was quick to look up the plumber we used to repair the burst pipe but Hubby stopped me. He wanted a go at researching what it could be and how to repair it.

Well he did it! He found a very helpful youtube video and with its guidance replaced the heating coil for $11.50 + the cost to buy a multimeter ($27) to verify the problem. 

Go Hubby for saving us the extraordinary cost of a service call to a plumber. I'm so proud of him for 1.) stopping me from just calling someone 2.) volunteering to do it and most importantly 3.) Succeeding!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Plushie! A Ferret

He began life as a line drawing. I've been wanting to make plushies for ages now but I've  been scared to start until I found this blog, While She Naps. In it the author is doing a series on the basics of plushie making. It was as if a light bulb went off in my head and all of a sudden I started "getting it". Below if my first try, a ferret who was requested by my husband. He has yet to name the guy.

FerretPlushie_012011 001

Sew together but not stuffed.

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Showing where I turned him right side out.

FerretPlushie_012011 008 

All stuffed with eyes and nose sewn on.

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I over stuffed the neck a little but I think he's still cute. After posting pictures on Facebook I may have 2 orders in the works. Seems like my business is finally starting up.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Zebra Baby Blanket

I made this as a gift for a friend and I thought in a way it could serve as my first tutorial, sort of. I photographed a few different steps in the process.

Blanket_GiftEmmaHagerty 005

The zebra fabricBlanket_GiftEmmaHagerty 001 is 100% cotton quilting fabric with a layer of cotton batting in between. It measures 40" x 40". Nothing fancy about how it was made. I sewed it right sides together, flipped it right-side out and closed up the opening.


Blanket_GiftEmmaHagerty 003


Next I hand sewed a blanket stitch around the entire parameter of the blanket using 3 strands of embroidery thread.


Blanket_GiftEmmaHagerty 004


After the blanket stitch was done I crocheted a row of single crochet stitches. I used a F hook. The yarn is Carnon Simply Soft.


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Last was crocheting the shell edging onto the single crochet row. The pattern is very simple.

sc * skip st, 5 dc in next st, repeat from *


There you go. I really like how this came out and it wasn't very difficult at all. I think the 40" x 40" size is pretty big though. I may go a bit smaller next time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I just got hit upside the head with an incredible feeling of loneliness. The lack of real friends to talk to or spend time with is bringing me down. I’m kidding myself with these online groups like I really am apart of them. Like the newer Facebook group. I keep seeing the other moms get closer and closer because they have the time to comment back and forth with each other repeatedly through the day. I know I’m part of the group and I get comments, I also comment to others but I’m not making any best friends there. The working moms group on CafeMom? Yeah I’ve stopped visiting it after once again another judgmental thread on single income families. I know I can’t say a thing either because it’ll be hit back with comments about putting on my “big girl panties” etc etc. I hate this trend of the current generations about “so I’m a bitch/asshole but I say it like it is/as I see it and I don’t give a crap if it’s mean.” No you’re just a bitch/asshole because you could say the same thing to someone in a more considerate way you’re just too self absorbed to take to time to think of the other person’s feelings before you say it. Sometimes I feel like that attitude is everywhere and I’m the odd man out. Actually at the moment I feel like the odd man out of anything. Other than a family member when was the last time someone called me to just talk? Someone messaged me? E-mailed me? My only friend seems to be my sister-in-law who I know doesn’t see things the same way, she has plenty of friends. I know a lot of it is my own doing. I’m not available to people to do things outside the house, either because of time or money. It makes me forgettable now. I long for that quintessential BFF who I can talk to about anything. Also is someone who values my friendship the same way I do theirs. With the only 2 women I consider friends I ever talk to I know that as the hierarchy goes in their lives I’m not at the top. I’m lucky if I’m in the top 5, where they are all that I have. I once had that friend, the BFF who I could talk to about anything. I'm realizing now is how much I really miss her. There stopped seeming to be time in her life for me and she just stopped calling. Eventually my calls to her seemed to be more of a hindrance then anything and I just one day stopped calling her. She never called me back. We're on Facebook with each other now and make comments back and forth. Is it worth writing her? (FYI this isn't the same friend whose friendship I tried to salvage a while back. She is one of the aforementioned 2 people and I've come to grips with that to a degree. We're friends we just aren't that close, never were and never will be.)

Sometimes I wish I could be one of those bitch types. For some reason they seem to never be lacking in friendships. I don’t get it, I really don’t.

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