California – February 16th and 17th

This week I’m celebrating my self employment with a long overdue visit to California to see my mom. Although the weather in North Carolina attempted to sabotage my plans with a crazy snow storm, I managed to make it!

Our first day was spent on the high seas! Okay, just off the port of Los Angeles. We had great time on a whale watching tour, where we actually got to see some whales. Well, parts of whales. (They are underwater after all.) We did see a tail, a flipper, and some backs. It was all too quick to snag some decent photos, but it was amazing to see.

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I did get a picture of these cuties hanging out on a buoy. They were supremely unconcerned with our boat.

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Monday was a lot of walking! We started out at The Last Bookstore, which is huge and amazing. The bottom floor is all new books and some movies and music. The building was originally built in 1914 as the headquarters of the Crocker Citizens National Bank. The inside still retains a lot of the original details. Coupled with the cozy chairs and natural light from the high windows, it makes a lovely place to curl up and read.

The second story features a gallery and studio space for local artists.

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Most of the upstairs is taken over by a literal labyrinth of bookshelves stocked with used books for a dollar a piece. Bookcases from every design aesthetic stick out at off angles from each other, stacked haphazardly with odd books. If you’re lucky, the section may be labeled with a sticky note, but mostly you just have to start looking through books to figure out what’s there. It was pretty amazing.

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Going through the tunnel of books, you’ll find more carefully curated used book section. Mysteries and crime books are kept in the old bank vault, obviously.

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After browsing through the books, we headed a couple blocks down to the bead and fabric districts. Our first stop was The Bead Factory. It was huge and amazing and slightly overwhelming. Row after row of bead strands, floor to ceiling. Packages of studs, charms, findings, rhinestones, you name it. Their items are wholesale, so the prices are incredibly reasonable.

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I was obsessing over these strands of agate just a little, they were so gorgeous!

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We checked out several other bead stores in the area and then wandered over to the textile district a block up to peruse.

After nearly shopping until we dropped, we headed a few miles over to Echo Park to check out Sunday’s Best Thrift Apparel. The shop is teensy, but well curated and items are very reasonably priced. The main section is a regular thrift store and there’s a smaller room offering vintage pieces. I was happy to walk out with two cute dresses for $9. We also headed over to Out of the Closet Thrift Store. Proceeds go towards providing free HIV testing, HIV and AIDS medication, and patient advocacy programs.

We headed over to Sage Vegan Bistro and ate way too much before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Socks!

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I love making these little guys! The big ears, wee pillow cases, and most especially getting to pick out a set of mismatched socks for each one.

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I use infant sized socks, which come in tons of colors and patterns and fit these little plush pretty perfectly.

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I always want to put some heads on little plaques, which I think would be equal parts awful and adorable. What do you think?

Sweet Princess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent the morning finishing up some very pink princesses!

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I love making her wee little crowns with sparkly little gems.

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Don’t Blink

These cuddly little angels are just waiting for you to blink…so they can give you a hug!

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I’m just making them with the neutral face for now, but I may make some more with the scary face. People get a little scared of these cuties even with the sweet face.

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They each have a piece of hook and loop tape on their hands so they can hide their faces.

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It took me a couple of tries to get the wings and hair to where I was happy with them. The wings are lightly stuffed with batting, (the stuff that makes quilts plushy). They’re really soft but hold their shape well.

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Turtle Power!

The first two weeks of my self-employment have been pretty fruitful and now I have a bunch of radical turtles! I’ve listed a couple of each in my Etsy shop!

Donnie

Mikey

Raph

Leo

Valentines!

It’s getting close to Valentine’s Day and I made some cute valentines with photos of my plush. I love you nerds. <3

Feel free to share, just please credit me.

Crafting in a Winter Wonderland

I was so lucky to find an amazingly fun craft group when I moved to Charlotte, Crown Town Handmade. The free monthly craft workshops are always a great way to unwind and chat with other crafters. For our holiday craft workshop last night I taught a class on little felt ornaments. Here’s what I made, a teeny tacky Christmas sweater!
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Felt is fun for accomplished crafters and beginners. It’s inexpensive and easy to find at almost every craft or fabric store, as well as easy to work with since it doesn’t fray when cut. I love all the beautiful colors, patterns, and textures available.

Other than felt, all you’ll need for this craft is:

  • Pattern template or thin cardboard to make your own design
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread in colors to match your felt
  • Ribbon or cord
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • A little bit of stuffing
  • Decorations like beads, pom poms, ric rac, sequins, jingle bells, etc
  • Fabric glue (optional)

I made some templates for several different Christmas and wintery things. There’s a reindeer, an elf, a snowman, stocking, two different ornament shapes, and a little sweater.

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Print out the templates provided or draw your own on thin cardboard or cardstock. (Cereal boxes work great.) Trace your template pieces onto felt and carefully cut them out. Try to cut inside the traced line so you don’t have pen marks on your finished piece. Sew any overlapping pieces together first, making sure the pieces are lined up the same on the front and back. If you’re not familiar with hand sewing, Alice Merlino at FutureGirl has some great tutorials on how to do a whip stitch and blanket stitch. Read about the selecting which to use here.

Decorate the pieces how you like with trim, sequins, pom poms, or whatever you like. This is a great project to use up little odds and ends left over from other projects. Be careful not to get too close to the edge since you’ll need space to sew.

Once you’re done decorating, put the two pieces together with pretty sides out. Sew around the perimeter as indicated. If you want to stuff the ornament, leave a small gap to insert the stuffing before finishing sewing around. (A chopstick works well for pushing stuffing into little spaces.) Sew a ribbon or cord in place at the top of the ornament for hanging.

These also make cute additions to wrapped presents or can be sized up to make cute little sachets or stocking stuffers. You could also make these into pins, keychains, or attach them to headbands.

Please send me pictures if you make one, I’d love to see it!

 

Holiday Shopping!

I’ve updated my Etsy shop for your holiday buying! Take 10% off by entering the coupon code CUDDLES13!

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Custom Orders!

I have been having way too much fun making all these adorable custom orders!

American McGee's Alice

Fourth Doctor

Ninja Battle!

Check out the Plush Gallery page for more pictures. I’ll spending tonight working on intergalactic bounty hunters!

HeroesCon 2013 Offerings

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For anyone looking to plan their shopping at HeroesCon, here’s a full list of what I’ll have available for the 18″ dolls. These are mostly $40 each, but a few may be a little more due to the amount of detail. I’ll also have several smaller plush in the $5-15 range as well as necklaces and hair bows. If you’re not able to make it to HeroesCon, I’ll be listing the remaining dolls in my Etsy shop next week.

Princess Bubblegum
Fionna
Finn
Marceline
Rorschach
Hellboy
Deadpool
Harley Quinn
11th Doctor
10th Doctor
Weeping Angel
Baroness
Roadblock
Destro (Regular)
Storm Shadow
Cobra Troopers
Destro (Gold)
Snake Eyes
Zartan
Harry Potter
House Elves
Snape
Voldemort
Trap-Jaw
Skeletor
He-Man
She-Ra
Mal
Jayne
Spock
Capt Kirk
Lando
Han Solo
Greedo
Leia
Lion-O
Ninja Turtles
Mr. T
Zombies
Cthulu
Dragons