Sunday, November 27, 2011

More holiday crafting

I'm pretty sure this is the last of our Christmas craft extravaganza. We're going to take it easy from now on. This is just a felt ornament that we got at the dollar store (where everything is $1). We just glued all these sparkly bits to it with tacky glue. It took about 45 minutes. If you have a toddler, you know how precious that 45 minutes can be. That's a lifetime of being occupied.

We hung one in each of our front windows using those Command hangers. I can't get a good picture at all but you get the idea.

I've been hoarding these tins for years and got the idea to make these little scenario ornaments out of them. It was super simple. Just drill a tiny hole in the top of the tin and thread the baker's twine through it to hang. Everything inside is just tacked in with glue. I think they turned out well and I like them in this little cluster in front of the window.

Finally, a word about Pinterest. I am loving Pinterest and having such a blast with it -- so many great ideas. Please, pin away! But I do ask that you pin directly from my post and not the jpeg image so it will link back here. I spend a lot of time writing and coming up with ideas.  I'm obviously not in this for the money; I just really enjoy doing it. So give me a little cred, okay? Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday crafting continues

We got about 5 minutes of sunlight today so I took some photos of the other Christmas crafts we've been working on. First was a white yarn tree. I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest (here is a link to the original tutorial, per pinterest etiquette). I just used a paper cone from the craft store and hot glued the yarn at random increments as I wound up and up. I'm still trying to decide if I should do another row inbetween the rows -- maybe it's not full enough. It's soft and lovely though. It makes me happy. I like the little berries in the inspiration. Maybe next year we'll embellish but for now I like the simplicity of this.

Last year I bought the styrofoam wreath I saw on a happy nest (my friend Nikole's blog). I just thought it was so pretty. I cut my Christmas fabric into strips and hot glued just at the beginning and end of each piece. She used string too which is very nice.

I made the little cluster of bells with wire and added some ric rac because I have compulsions to do so while crafting.

This tree fabric from Boosterseat is amazing. My friend Anda (genius of boosterseat) designed it. I don't think she meant it to be Christmasy but it is. I got it from Spoonflower directly when they were having a crazy sale last year. Oh how I long for that one again...

We also doused a styrofoam tree with glitter. That was very fun. I'll show a picture of that later. There are a million different ones on Pinterest so I can't say it was just one pin that reeled me in. I hope your house smells as good as mine does right now. I love being married to a baker!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday crafting commences

We are like little elves these days. The most fun for Z to help out with was this button tree. At first I was afraid to let her handle the pins but then I couldn't stop her. She was grabbing and sticking those buttons into the foam like a crafter possessed. It was awesome. She even forced her daddy to join in.

We got the idea from this pin on Pinterest (if you know the source, please let me know so I can link back). I found the cone at Goodwill and using it was a huge mistake. It's florist foam and already disintegrating and getting everywhere. I cut a circle of felt to set it on but when the holidays are over, we are going to have to pull all of these out and save them to do again next year. We'll use a styrofoam cone from Michaels. We used an entire box of floral pins from JoAnn's and that seemed just about right for this 12" cone. I have no idea how many buttons we used.

This garland was inspired from something I saw on Flickr (she used fabric). We have this little nook that is usually piled with books and a box of tissues but I cleared it out to make a space for our Playmobil advent calendar. I just cut a piece of fleece I had in the bin to look snowy.

We just cut scrapbook paper and glued the trunks on. I let Z pick out the order of the trees and dots. She glued the stuff onto the dots but otherwise I had to do the crafting. We used hot glue to get the dots to stick to the ric rac. It was pretty quick and fun to do. I think it fills out the space nicely.

We've been making lots of holiday decorations. There are crafts all over the house in various stages of completion. I love it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Handmade Arcade review

This weekend we took an extra long drive up to Pittsburgh to check out Handmade Arcade. It was my first time at a cool craft show where I wasn't a vendor. How nice to have time to look around! My first purchase was at My Paper Crane. I have bought from her online shop and from Spoonflower but I never had time to spend at her booth when we were vending at the same shows so it was nice to be able to say hi.

How amazing are these little houses from The Oak Leaves? These will definitely be finding a home in the studio apartMac.

For the dollhouse we also bought this cute mushroom birdbath. I'm sure Tasha McKelvey calls it a ring holder but we have other plans. I wish I had bought more but I was a little overwhelmed by the cuteness.

I love everything that Renee Ruth had out there. It was so hard to choose but I'm happy with this. It's really amazing. Her papercuts are phenomenal. This is a bad photo.

This print by Kin Ship Press is too cool. Z picked it out for her room. It's perfect. And it was only $5.

I loved everything at Laura George but my budget wouldn't allow it. I had to settle on these cards. The beard will become part of the permanent holiday collection. I'm going to frame it and hang it on the wall. Next time I will plan to buy an original.

Finally, we picked out a few cards from Sloe Gin Fizz. Lots of cuteness. I like her style. These wellies will probably hang in Z's room too (once we figure out how to hang pictures without frames just in case we have another earthquake.

I also bought a funny shirt for my nephew but just in case he's reading I won't post it.

Overall, it sucked to have to pay so much for parking but with a toddler in tow, we weren't willing to park anywhere else. I was surprised that the things that bothered me as a vendor bothered me even more as a shopper: super loud music (I think we're there to buy stuff, not dance or see a concert) and food. While the food was really good, there wasn't much of a selection. I think craft shows should always have food so the shoppers stay longer. If you get hungry and leave to eat, there's a pretty good chance that you won't bother going back. I remember before that there were more local vendors. I am assuming that the venue wouldn't allow it.

The vendor selection, as usual, was pretty broad. I would like to have seen more kids clothes but I know (having been there) that it's a tough market.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We have been in super craft mode around here. Since we don't have Thanksgiving at our house, we sorta pass that one over and head straight to Santa because Santa's got elves. Of course we are working hard on the yearly elf costume (see above: 2008, 2009, 2010).

I also recently discovered how addictive Pinterest can be and we've been gathering supplies to make lots of ornaments and decorations (email me if you need an invite). We already made a cute garland and some ornaments from tins (I'll post this as soon as we get a sunny day). Here's the board if you want to check it out.

The Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial that I wrote up last year is still very popular. It's very easy -- just a few quick seams and I even uploaded a printable pattern.

I developed an easy mini (ornament-sized) stocking tutorial. I will share that soon. I made over 20 of these last year for Z's class to decorate. They were a huge hit.

Finally, I will be adding a week of posts to the Play Dollhouse Guide. If there is something you want to review or are interested in, please let me know. The info on the furniture and houses as far as scale goes has not changed. In fact, many of the sets I reviewed are still available. We play with ours all the time and the only thing that has broken is the refrigerator door.

The elf on the shelf will be coming to stay with us this week!

Monday, November 07, 2011

A new skirt

Santa will be bringing my assistant a special doll for Christmas. I know you're judging but I don't care. She's been asking for a girl (not a baby) with clothes and shoes and sunglasses and stuff. So it's this or American Girl. And yes, I've been taking her out of the box.

I used the Miseducated skirt pattern but since I don't like felt I added some 1/4" seam allowances and stitched it up. I cut out the center of the pattern to fussycut the Russian dolls.

If you want to do this, make sure you clip your corners and snip a little in the curves so it will turn. (See my flickr for detail).

Leave an inch or so open on one side, turn it inside out and press. Then topstitch that seam closed.

Add a snap to close it up.

I feel this skirt is a little short so next time I'll lengthen the pattern. And I'll make a wrap skirt sometime too. Just extend one of the short edges about an inch or so and add a little ribbon to tie it up. Oh yeah, I did some applique on an eBay shirt using the scraps of the skirt fabric to match. The shirt is too long for the skirt so I paired it with these dollar store jeans that need to be hemmed. I found loads of free Blythe dress patterns online and I'm really excited to start sewing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm a Giant . billy balls and beads

My assistant and I went to our local bead shop to pick out some vases for the iMac studio apartment. We found these yellow resin beads to use on the mantle perhaps. The 3-year-old picked out the turkey for her dollhouse and it is having a lovely time, so I hear. The wooden bead has already been painted white and will probably become a shade of grey. We will fill it with the 1:12 scale billy balls we made. The white slate is the flooring I plan to use. It's a bit shiny in a plastic sort of way so I'll fill in the grout more and Frank Lloyd Wright it up after our Fallingwater inspiration.

These are the first run of billy balls. I think they are more 1:6 but they look great in the pink "vase" from the bead store. They now also live in the upstairs dollhouse with the turkey. Her house is play scale (Ryan's Room), so about the size of 1:12 but not actually to scale and very chunky for small hands. I think these look great on this 1:16 Petite Princess chest in this photo but the smaller ones are way more awesome.

Finally, I bought a few sets of the Kaleidoscope furniture for my birthday from This green flocked sofa and fuschia chair are actually quite large. I would say they are more like 1:10 but I'm not good with numbers. I have a Lundby and usually work with 1:16. I really don't care about scale (although you wouldn't know it from this post) but these are just too big for my purposes. I really want to keep the coffee table. But if someone wants to buy this (box, olive rug, and all but the coffee table), please let me know. It's actually quite heavy.

I think if you have a house that has tall ceilings or a more open floor plan, this would be great for you. I'm happy to take it out of the box again and measure it or photograph it next to familiar objects (don't you love all the diet coke cans on eBay?). Email me if you're interested: lemoncadet at gmail dot com.
I paid $29 for it. Make me an offer. If you're nice, I will throw in some handmade billy balls in the scale of your choice (or both).