Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Change Is Gonna Come....

Sooooo, yeah, here I am.  I am a pretty bad blogger.  I suppose I need to rethink the concept of the whole thing and not be so strict about reasons for posting, ie: I have to have made something to show y'all.  Truth is, between the last post and now I've made 2, 349, 997 things that I haven't posted for various reasons such as they were Christmas presents and I didn't want the future recipient to see them, or, I needed to go out and buy batteries for my camera, or, I am lazy.

At my birthday dinner a while back, my friend B suggested that I don't limit posts to just finished projects, that I include works in progress, things that are inspiring me, music I listen to while working,  and so on.  I think this is where I will take this thing from now on.  That'll allow more frequent posts without the terrific guilt of not having something finished to show.

SO!  Funnily enough, I do have a couple pretty cool projects I want to share.  A while back the BF and I decided to take a trip.  There was much debate over the where and when - should we go south and escape the winter for a while, sit on the beach and drink copious amounts of wine and snuggle?  Should we tuck ourselves away in a nice little Inn somewhere, drink copious amounts of wine and snuggle?  Should we go to a big city and eat in amazing restaurants and see shows and shop and...drink copious amounts of wine and snuggle....? Well anyway, we finally settled on a week in Toronto as we both have very close friends there who we just don't get to see enough.  A few of them have wee kiddies so I decided I'd make a little something for them.

It started with a few little designs I drew a while back.  I really like non-traditional stuffed critters for the positively unlimited number of ways you can make them - any shape, color, size...all acceptable (as it should be!).  

Next, I chose fabrics.  This was tough.  I have tonnes of fabric ranging from bits of my old jeans, multi-colored felt from the dollar store, cute patterned broadcloth, expensive quality designs and materials and so on.  I sat and looked from piles of fabric to the designs, picturing different combinations.  I finally narrowed it down.

I was very lucky a while back, near my birthday, to have been gifted, by my BF's Mum, a new sewing machine and a bunch of accessories and supplies.  This is my new toy:

And these are a few of the neat-o things it can do:

Cool beans, right?  I spent a full evening with a piece of fabric and a mile of thread, trying each one out. The different stitches got my mind wandering, thinking about all the cool things that could be done.  Especially because, among the supplies I was gifted, were these:

Ooooh, the possibilities!  Contrasting or matching?  Neutral or crazy colored?  Yippee for choice!

So I started cutting and sewing.  I slacked off, admittedly, through out this particular process, so I don't have any in-between pictures.  I can tell you each critter took longer than I was expecting to put together, and a LOT more of this stuff than I thought:

I'd say each critter took about a pound of stuffing.  You don't want them to be too, too stuffed since that puts pressure on the seams (which I reinforced thrice anyway) and you don't want them to end up flat and you don't want them all bumpy, so I think the stuffing part was one of the most time consuming parts of the whole deal.  (Good to know for the future, as I surely do intend to make more considering the divinely wonderful reactions I got when I gave the critters to the kids!)

Anyway, whilst cutting, pinning, sewing, and stuffing these guys, I was in my lovely workroom which is now, luckily, equipped with a little cd player.  These are the kids who kept me company while I worked:

Left to right, top to bottom: Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials / The Heavy - The House That Dirt Built / Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood) / Wanda Jackson - The Party Ain't Over / Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More / Ray LaMontange and the Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise / Feist - Metals / Belle Starr - The Burning of Atlanta / Meaghan Smith - The Cricket's Orchestra / Lana Del Rey - Born To Die / Carla Bruni - No Promises / Steven Bowers - Beothuk Words / Hey Rosetta! - Seeds / The Sheepdogs - Learn & Burn / Allison Krauss & Union Station - Paper Airplane / Sons of Anarchy soundtrack seasons 1-4

I am this odd combination of Highly Distracted Procrastinator and Obsessively Focussed Craft-a-Holic.  I work best under pressure, it seems, with a specific goal, and a deadline.  So what I did was I'd sit down to work, press play on one of these gems and not allow myself to stop until the album was over.  This worked well for me as not only did I get on a roll and get good chunks of work done at a time, but I actually listened to full albums from beginning to end, something that seems to be a dying way to appreciate music.  I, myself, have a month's worth of random music on my computer that I go to in most cases, so it was cool to listen straight through a record, like in olden days when you didn't want to fast forward or rewind TOO much, lest your tape weaken and snap and a Scotch Tape operation had to be performed.  

Sooooo eventually I finished two critters.  It was meant to have been three, but like I said, they took longer than I thought and I ran out of time, so there is still one in the works.  But here are the results of my labor thus far:

 Critter #1, aka Shoopie

Critter #2 has arms and legs made out of BF's old plaid shirt!

Critters chilling at the Hotel Victoria, during their 
trip to Toronto.  

I'm super happy with how they turned out and am excited to start working on some more.  

So anyway, that's what I was up to for the last little while.  I fully intend to update this blog far more, with a much more casual approach, as has been suggested to me.  The past few months and our trip, have been filled with inspiration and reasons to make more stuff, so I'll start sharing things like that more.  I just need to go out now and buy more camera batteries!

Adios friends!  Thanks for your patience, see you next time!

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