Saturday, February 28, 2009

Softie: Ollie the Owl

Any proper student of Classical Studies would of course have a little obsession with owls. As a symbol of the goddess Athena, owls appreared on ancient greek coins and were a popular representation of wisdom in the Classical world. Those ancients really knew their stuff. These timeless little creatures are once again a huge trend in crafts, fabrics, and home decor.
Becoming more adventurous in my softie making, I set out to design my own full-sized softie and gave him the name "Ollie", named after the owl that visits the backyard of my parents' house and softly hoots me to sleep sometimes. A fabulous 70s-inspired floral fabric in black, cream, grey, and maroon is anchored by black & cream felt, and a cool grey corduroy. Once again, this piece is handsewn (no machine!) but this time uses Fairfield 100% Bamboo Nature-Fil Stuffing. I highly reccommend this low cost earth-friendly alternative to traditional polyester stuffing. It's soft, lush, user-friendly, and naturally anti-bacterial.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results of this little fella. I included the wings as a last minute addition and they turn out to be my favorite element of Ollie. If I ever use this pattern again, I'd like to sew the wings "in to" the owl body instead of "on to" the owl body. I would get much cleaner results...but that's just the perfectionist in me! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Card Crazy

Here's a small collection of cards I've designed and made for family and friends. In some instances, various preprinted cards were embellished and adapted to suit my artistic needs, while others are embellished using ribbon, preprinted embellishments, wooden accessories, and hand-sewn elements. I especially like the bold simplicity of the card I made for the 15th birthday of my cousin. Keeping to a color scheme of blues and white, an almost nautical effect is brought to the card. By using stylized flower shapes, masculine pinstripes, and the soft touch of ribbon, a gender-neutral card is achieved. The large numerals can be changed to suit the birthday or omitted altogether to suit any occasion.
Ribbon is by far my favorite choice when it comes to embellishing and designing handmade cards. It provides a slight three dimensional effect and can add a variety of textures to a card. I especially like to use it as a divider or a seam cover when two different paper designs meet. It gives a cleaner look to the card. And I have fallen in love with a product that has made my love of ribbon all the easier! K and Company (one of my favorite sources for supplies!) has developed Wacky Tac Ribbon Adhesive, a mess-free way to adhere ribbon smoothly and cleanly to scrapbook pages, cards, and crafts.
Look for more card designs in the future... perhaps coming to a mailbox near you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First Softie: "Owl In My Pocket"

I felt my inaugural attempt at blogging should be about my inaugural attempt at softie making! Nicknamed "Owl in My Pocket" due to it's miniature size, this creation is hand sewn with love and epitomizes my novice-ness at softie making. He's stuffed with cotton balls! (I've since upgraded to bamboo stuffing, rest assured you other craft-a-holics!) Brown felt was used for the body and goldenrod felt for the beak and feet. Embroidery floss was used to attach the beak and feet, to embroider eyes and wings, and to sew "Owl in My Pocket" together.
Designed from my own pattern, elements were kept pretty basic. A lot of guess and check work went into the details, as I am a perfectionist!
Check back for more of my recent exploits including more softies, homemade
cards, baked goods, and more!