Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crochet flower pin for Mom

I included a crochet flower pin I made with Mom's other birthday gifts. She posted this picture on her Facebook today...

Mom wrote..."NEW HAT? NO new pin on hat. Hat received Christmas 1969, Kira made pin for 52nd birthday 2010. Hat never goes out of STYLE! "

I'm glad she likes it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mom's Birthday...

I mentioned yesterday that it was my Mom's birthday...

These were her presents I wrapped. The gift bag is from CJ and I, the others were from my dad, who asked me to wrap Mom's presents while he was at work. (I got her some stuff from BNath & Body Works and Dad got her a bunch of Carpenter's DVD's/CD's) I spontaniously got all Martha Stewart and made that tissue paper flower topper...

I thought it turned out particularly well due to the double sided tissue paper (gold on one side and silver on the other).

We took Mom to Super Buffet (a Chinese food buffet), since she likes it there, but doesn't go very often.
She thought it was just going to be her, Dad, CJ, and I...but Dad had invited a bunch of her friends from church. She was pleasantly surprised, and we all had a lot of fun.

This goth girl with crazy dreads was at the table next to us (it turns out it was her birthday too!). It was funny trying to get a picture of the back of her hair without being obvious. We were pretending to take a picture of Mom. Of course, I kind of wish now that we just would have asked to take a picture of her...I'm sure she would have gladly obliged. She seemed quite nice. She was very sweet and wished Mom a happy birthday before she left. Goths are usually surprisingly nice if you can get past the scary exterior and actually talk to them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mommy!

Yet another woman who is massively responsible for my strong crafty streak...even though our respective crafty passions are different. We can spend a couple hours in Joann Fabrics together, bonding over our mutual love of crafts. Mom's true crafty passion is cardmaking. I keep telling her she needs to sell the handmade cards she makes, but she keeps insisting she likes to make them "just for fun". (Well, I started making monsters "just for fun" too!) I think I may get her to sell some cards at the Presence on the Patio craft show we're having in the spring.

Mom says she "can't sew", but don't let her fool you. She can do it when she has a project in mind (like the Queen Amidala haloween costume she made me back in 1999...that won every costume contest I entered that year!). She was also very involved in helping with costumes and props for her church's Christmas musical this year. The key is to give her a good idea and a challenge. If you give her a crafty challenge, she can usually pull it off...and I think the challenge and problem solving are truly what she has fun with.

(Mom's senior picture: 1976)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Astronaut Plush

I was commissioned by a friend to do an astronaut/spaceman plush for her nephew. I made one, but the first attempt didn't turn out just right...

I liked the little belt...but because of how I did the legs and didn't compensate for the placement of the belt (which I'd sewn on before I did the legs)...the belt ended up looking...not right. (in that the star belt buckle ended up being in the crotch...not so good).

So I cut him off at the waist above the belt and added legs. So he's just a shorter spaceman than he started out to be.

There's not a lot of astronaut plushies out there for me to take inspiration least that are handmade and arent't equipped with plastic bubbles for the helmets (I wanted to stay away from plastic), or are overtly American. I was going for a universal spaceman kind of look. Even on Etsy, there aren't a lot of astronaut soft toys.
I want to do something to him that makes the head more "helmet-y" rather than looking like he's just in a grey jumpsuit. I'm debating whether to alter this one, or to keep him as is (since he is rather cute, and I'd hate to ruin him) and just make another one. I could even try this spaceman idea in Nubbin form.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orange Seam Mouth Monster

We inturrupt your regularly scheduled pocket-mouth monsters for this seam-mouth monster...

He kind of looks a little grumpy to me, but in that cute kind of way. Or maybe it's a neutral face, but I'm just thinking he's grumpy? Does that mean that I'm grumpy? I don't think I'm grumpy...
Maybe he's like those people whose neutral face looks like they're grumpy (you know the kind of people I mean!)

(That seam was the existing shoulder seam of a sweater.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

SuperPunch Surprise!

I've been commissioned by a friend to make an astronaut/spaceman plush for her nephew. Never having made one before, I turned to the internet for some inspiration. My websurfing brought me to the SuperPunch Blog...which is mostly a blog of geeky cool-ness, artsy-ness, and crafty-ness, and they have a lot of posts about handmade plush from various places on the internet.
So...I'm browsing all the posts labeled "plush", and at one point when I scroll down I see my little Max Nubbin! And below the pictures it says " Plush Max by Kira, who has various plush creations on sale at Etsy. " with a link to the post I made at The Needle as well as a link to my Etsy shop! Wow! I had no idea my work had been blogged about! And this was back in November.

Then, a bit more scrolling and there's a post about my "Where The Wild Things Are" inspired monster too!

Sorry, I get a bit excited when people blog about my work...that means my name is getting out there!

The View From Here

The view from my chair in my "studio"...

To the right...(and slightly behind)

To the left...
To the right again...(I just bought the Battlestar Galactica: Serason 4 soundtrack, and have been listening to it while I work)

Behind...(and slightly to the left)

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Two-Year-Old...

My Dad always refers to his 138 pound rottweiler, King, as his "little 4 year old". well, this is my little 2-year-old"! Yes, CJ and I realized the other day that Luna is 2 years old now!

When we got her September 2nd, 2008, she was 9 months old, so we decided that January 2nd was her unofficial birthday. Of course there's hardly a point in deciding on an unofficial birthday when we don't really do anything special...besides maybe get her a new knucklebone. (we're not one of those weird dog owners that have a party for their dog). Plus we always forget about it in attempting to recover from the holidays.

This picture was taken January 4th...when we were having that long stretch of snowfall. The snow was over her head, but Luna just bounded through it like a bunny rabbit! She had a ball!

This is her "Pay attention to me! I need to go out!" face.

Even though she drives me nuts sometimes...I love my little puppy!

Yet Another Big Mouthed Gremlin Sweater Monster

I told you I was on a sweater monster making streak! After the last one, I just had to do another big-mouthed monster...

And yes...once again, his mouth is a pocket. (I have a thing for making pocket mouths lately).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Big Mouthed Gremlin Sweater Monster

Maybe it's because it's winter, and sweaters bring on thoughts of warm coziness, but I've been on a sweater monster making streak lately...

The mouth is the collar of the sweater.

His mouth has a pocket too.
Hey! My cell phone and iPod! I need those! Don't eat them!

Terra was curious what I was doing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thinking of "Aunt Grandma"...

I feel like I owe a lot of my crafty tendancies, as well as my love for rural, country life, to my Great Aunt Carrie, affectionately known as "Aunt Grandma". She was my father's mother's sister, his aunt, my great aunt. She lived on a farm where my dad spent his weekends and summers as a child. She and her husband "Uncle John" were was like a second set of parents to him, which would make them like grandparents to me. Apparently when I was two years old, I started calling them "Aunt Grandma" and "Papa Unk". When she wrote an autobiography of her life, she entitled it "Who is Aunt Grandma & Papa Unk?".

"Kira comes in like the wind and heads for the two toy boxes. She always has lots to do here... Kira has always called us "Aunt Gran’ma" and Pa Pa Unk". So now you know where the title came from. She is our Sweetie" - excerpt from "Who is Aunt Gran'ma & Papa Unk?"

Aunt Grandma liked to sew, and was good at it. I'm sure it comes from living through the Great Depression, where many people had to make due or make their own clothes. The thing I love about this old picture of me on her lap is that we are sitting at her sewing table (that my mother now has in her craft room) and you can see sock monkey pieces in the background, waiting to be assembled.

I wish I could say that the monkey in the picture above is the original sock monkey she made for me, but (alas!) it's not. The one in the picture is one I bought at Goodwill a couple years ago, for nostalgia's sake. But I believe I owe my love of sock monkeys (and by extention, sock monsters, and making them) to her.

My first sock monkey's name was Polly Esther (get it? Polyester?). In addition to the pun, the name had signifigance because I had an Aunt Esther (my mother's mother's sister), and she always wore bright red lipstick. I don't believe I was clever enough at such a young age to have figured all this out myself...I think it was really Mom and Grandma having fun.

Aunt Grandma and Grandma (mom's mom) made this quilt for me. It was my favorite blanket in childhood. Sadly, the quilt now is quite tattered and seems beyond repair...but I can't bear to part with it. I've had the idea to just cut a corner off and frame it, but it woud sadden me to throw the remainder away. So for now it covers my chair in my craft room.

Aunt Grandma was a wonderful woman, and I often wish she were still alive for me to appreciate her in ways I did not, or could not, when I was a child. She died at the age of 82 in 1993... if she was alive, she'd be 98 now. I'm glad she wrote her book so I can have it to remember her and read about her life...and marvel at how much she went through, and how much faith she had, and how much God did for her. I hope to organize her story with old family photos and possibly publish it someday. She truly was a remarkable and godly woman. Even though it's been 17 years since she passed away, I still miss her, and I look forward to seeing her again someday in heaven.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hide-Away Pocket Mouth Sweater Monster

Made this litte guy yesterday...

I sometimes get inspired when I'm trying to organize my materials...

I saw the collar of this sweater and was inspired to make a monster with a hide-away pocket mouth.

I almost made him into a puppet, but decided against it. Maybe another time.

He could work in the monster circus as a sword (or scissor) swallower!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Belated Christmas Tree Post

Here's a belated look at our Christmas tree. This post is specially for my Grandma. My parents visited her this weekend and Mom informed me today that Grandma wanted to see pictures of my tree this year. Here you go Grandma!

We had the tree on the porch...since we weren't sure where else to put it, and we weren't going to be home for Christmas anyway.

I've always wanted one of these peacock clip-on ornaments. I found this one on sale at JoAnne's.

My sister-in-law gave us this ornament for Christmas.

And she gave us a set of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ornaments a few years ago. It has baby Rudolph...

And grown up Rudolph!

And of course, the Abominable Snowman is at the top of the tree because he helps put the star up.

Kitty being curious about the tree...

She was very good and didn't even try and climb up it. (for fear of the dreaded squirt bottle!)

Luna likes the tree too!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year...New Project...

Happy New Year! With a new year comes a new project for me!
I have gotten the itch to make a quilt...a project I have never attempted before. I've gotten inspiration from an issue of Readymade (which I finally have a subscription to! Thanks honey!)

"Not-So-Crazy-Quilt - Hang onto your sanity when you make this patchwork quilt by sewing one row at a time. Keep all the fabric pieces in each row the same width, but cut to different lengths"

I'm planning on starting by making a small quilt (baby blanket?) out of some of my hubby's old dress shirts. I laid them out on the kitchen table tonight to work out a simple design...

We'll see how this works out! Maybe when I finish this one, I'll try making something bigger and more patchworky.