Thursday, December 31, 2009

Handmade Christmas: Brian's Monster & Wristwarmers

My nephew Brian got a monster I made out of a plaid flannel scarf and wristwarmers. The green patch on the monster's belly is a pocket.

I made the wristwarmers out of sleeves off a sweater. I was glad he liked them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Handmade Christmas: Taylor's Spotted Cheshire Cat

Remember the Cheshire Cat I made out of scraps of a purple striped sweater?...well, my sister in law sent me a message on Facebook saying that she wanted it for her oldest daughter if I hadn't sold it yet. Well, I had already sold it at Presence on the I decided to make another one. I didn't have any more of the purple striped sweater, but I did have some purple leopard-print velboa fabric that (conveniently enough) my sister in law had given me...

I think I like this one even better! And I have tons more of the fabric, so I can make more!

I particularly like the lime green details. I originally was going to make the whiskers white like on the other one, but my husband suggested using the green. I'm glad I listened to him. It adds an extra little punch of color.

Taylor was thrilled!

Handmade Christmas: Maria's Sweater Monster & Knitted Wristwarmers

When I wanted to give each of my nieces & nephew a monster (or cat), I picked this one out for Maria because of the curly hair. Maria usually has gorgeously curly red hair, but she talked me into using a straightiron on it the day before.

I also made her some knitted wristwarmers. The funny thing is that those wristwarmers were supposed to be a Christmas gift for her last year, but I wasn't finished with them yet (I'm not a very fast knitter). So I embellished a ready-made headscarf instead...

Handmade Christmas: Rayne's Sweater Cat

Remember this Sweater Cat?

When I first made it, it made me think of my youngest niece, Rayne. So I gave it to her for Christmas...

...And boy was she happy!

Handmade Christmas: Rayne's Felt Castle

The next couple blog posts will be about gifts I made for my nieces and nephew this year for Christmas.
I came across a blog post back in November about making a toy castle out of felt and carboard. I loved the idea and ended up making one for my youngest niece for Christmas...

She loved I'm sure any little girl would. I know I would!

It was one of my most time-consuming handmade gifts (excluding the handwarmers I knitted for my other niece). I didn't really follow the Confessions of a Sewing Dork tutorial. That just gave me the inspiration and general idea of how to make it, and I just winged it from there. The tutorial is all hand sewn...I machine sewed mine, with a little bit of hand sewing.

I also made the doll. I hot glued on yarn for her hair and felt for her dress, and drew her face on with a Sharpie pen.

I decided to make a button closure in case she wanted to open it up and play with it...(as opposed to how the tutorial sewed all the sides together).

This has been one of my first attempts at making button holes with my sewing machine.
I like how the castle turnede out and want to make more now! Time to buy some grey felt by the yard!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Family Photos

My "little" brother came to visit for Christmas. He lives in Staten Island and I only get to see him maybe twice a year. But when I do see him, we always have fun!

My parents, brother, and his girlfriend all came over to my house this evening to visit. We played a game ("Things"), hung out, had some pizza, and just had a good time. Before they all left, I (at the spur of the moment) insisted on taking a family photo...(yay for my camera's timer feature!)

The first one turned out okay. But , that white bowl was distracting, plus King (my parents' dog) wasn't in the picture (plus I hate how I'm sitting make my thighs look huge!) we tried again...
The second picture looks decent. It has the best composition of all the attempts. But even though King is "in" it...he's looking away and his face isn't in the picture. Plus, we realized the kitty was left out!

The third attempt was a disaster, due to Terra's decision to claw her way up CJ's shoulder and off the couch (You know what they say about working with animals and children!) CJ is looking away, the glare on Luna's eyes make her look possessed, King still isn't in the picture, and then there's Adam's face...which is hilarious...but is not a nice family photo smile.

The fourth and final attempt has everyone in it (King is just barely peeking over the couch). And by this time, we had decided to give up. We wee at the point of "Everyone is in's good enough!"
If you notice, Mom and Dad keep getting lower and lower down in each picture! I think in the final attempt, they are trying to get King to get up with his paws on the back of the couch.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Orange & Blue Sweater Monsters

I love using the orange,navy blue, and grey color combination! This first guy got a mustache because I saw that orange scrap and decided it looked like a mustache!

He looks Scottish to me (I think it's the big orange/red mustache). I can imagine him having a Scottish accent. I wish I had some appropriately plaid fabric so I could make him a kilt!

I've had the pieces cut out for this guy for awhile, but only recently sewed him up. He found a home quick...I sold him at the Presence on the Patio show.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

Merry Christmas from me and my little family!
(Sorry Terra is not in the picture...we're visiting my husband's family in Cleveland for Christmas and one of our nieces is terribly allergic, so we had to leave her at the Farm for my friend to kitty-sit.)
So many Christmas songs are full of fluff...not that I don't enjoy a fun song sometimes ("I want a Hippopotomus for Christmaaaaas!")...but my absolute favorite Christmas songs are the ones that actually remind us about Christ. I am loathe to use such cliche phrases such as "The Reason for the Season" or "the real meaning of Christmas"...but...well, it's true! So, as I did last year, I leave you with my favorite Christmas song...

"God rest ye merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father a bless├Ęd angel came,
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born The Son of God by name:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises, all ye within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy."

I am always amazed at how people can sing Christmas songs like this and not think about God and Jesus Christ...when there are words in them like "Christ our Savior" and "Christ the Lord". When you hear traditional Christmas songs this year, really listen and think about what the words are really saying. And I pray that God will have it move your heart.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve at Viaduct Park

My husband took me to the Viaduct Park today (after going to Sonic for lunch!...a big deal for us Western New Yorkers who don't have any nearby!)

This bridge used to be for train tracks...

The obligitory "hold the camera out to take a picture" picture.

We were quite close to the falls...

There were cool ice formations at the bottom of the falls.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Presence on the Patio...a Rousing Success!

Presence on the Patio on Saturday was a rousing success! I know for me, it was my most successful craft show I've ever done! I sold so many monsters! We weren't quite sure how it would do or how good of a turn-out we would have, since this was our first time doing an event like this. Plus it was an evening event (most craft shows are in the morning/afternoon). Plus is was Western New York! But those Western New Yorkers didn't disappoint us! We always had a steady stream of people coming in and here was never a lull in the crowd.

I love how the lanterns looked! They made it look just like the poster I designed! Everything looked really good all lit up. We had been concerned about having enough lighting, but it turned out great!

We did have a couple of snags during set-up earlier in the day (we started setting up at 10am). The first issue being that I ended up not having all the pieces to the canopy I borrowed from my parents, so the canopy ended up being a quarter of the size it was supposed to be! But, my brilliant husband found a way to make it work.

Another snag was that my clothesline set-up at my table kept falling over with every strong gust of wind. It fell over about 3 times before (#1) my brilliant husband again, found a way to rig things and tie things down so they would be more secure...(#2) no joke, we prayed to God for the wind to stop...and about 5 minutes wind! And no more stong wind for the rest of the night! (don't tell ME there's no God!) It was pretty awesome!

This is my brilliant friend Kim who was the mastermind behind organizing the event (with the help of her sister Rachel). She and her 2 sisters, Rachel and Tricia, are the ones behind Primele. I wish I'd thought to take more pictures and get close-ups of their stuff. They have a cute style. Their style is kind of country-ish, but with a modern twist. It's not your grandma's Americana sort of country style. They're very inspired by the Adirondacks and primitive elements (hence their name Prim(itive) ele(ments).

The also did a wreath-making table with natural elements (like pinecones, dried oranges, apples, and hedge apples) and evergreens. Most elements were taken directly from their farm!...even the grapevines that the wreath forms were made out of.

This table was for the Beadery... a handmade jewelry company. I loved talking to Beth. Her table was across from mine. I look forward to being friends and getting to know her better.

Jackie from "Jars of Joy" is another woman I enjoyed talking to and look forward to becoming friends with. She and her daughter were great to hang around and were very helpful when it was time for tear-down. Even when their table was packed up, the stuck around to help the rest of us with our tables and the canopy and lights.

Apple Blossom Florist were further down the patio from me, so I didn't get to talk to them as much, but they were very nice and had some lovely holiday centerpieces!

I was glad I had the idea to bring my fire-bowl from my backyard (and that the Shirt Factory owner approved the idea). It was a nice way for the vendors in particular to warm up a little in between sales. I think it attracted customers too!
I really don't think we would have done quite as well if the event had been inside. Because we were outside, we had more exposure and presence (ha! Presence on the Patio!...get it?)

It was a long day, and it was very cold (here's Rachel and Tricia warming up in the Cafe after teardown), but all in all it was very fun and I can't wait to do another one! We learned a lot from our mistakes this time around and there seems to be lots of interest in doing it next year and making it an annual event. And I even suggested to the owner that we do it in spring, summer and fall as well!
We'll see what happens!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Mini-Nubbin Ornaments

By the way, I know it's short notice, but anyone who orders from my shop in the month of December gets a free mini-Nubbin ornament!