Monday, March 29, 2010

Etsy Finds - Reds and Greens

It's been quite a while since I've done an Etsy Finds. As I was browsing through my favorites this weekend (Etsy window shopping is such a guilty pleasure), I noticed a slight color theme emerging: everything tended to be vibrant red/orange or cool green, or a combination of both. Could it be that the freshness of spring is seeping into my subconscious, even though I tend to rate the season among my least favorites (I know, I'm a weirdo!)?

Etsy finds 3-29-10
From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Early 1940s Style Wool Military Uniform from Jitterbuggin.
    I think the 40s are my favorite fashion era. I love the silhouettes and the classic simplicity. This jumper would be so cute to wear to the office. You could go all-out and pair it with peep-toe heels and a sailor blouse, or you could modernize it with a turtleneck and saddle shoes. I think it'd even be cute with a simple tee and plain canvas sneakers for spring and fall.

  2. Celtic Trinity Knot Pendant from Camias. I already own more jewelry than I can ever wear, but this pendant is so pretty! I love the design and think this would be lovely with a deep v-neck sweater or a simple blouse.

  3. Bamboo and Koi Fish Vase from ShebboDesign. You've probably noticed that I love koi. And since flowers will be blooming any day and I swear I have a vase-stealing ghost in my house, I might just have to cave and buy this beauty. Wouldn't it look lovely with a bouquet of tulips?

  4. Red Deer from The Night Jar. I've mentioned before that I don't need more wall art. And I can't afford more wall art either, but boy do I covet this piece.

  5. The Alice in Wonderland Hat Painting the Roses Red from Chatham Girl. How much fun is this hat? I can't even begin to afford it (or the other amazing designs in Chatham Girl's shop) and have nowhere to wear it, and wouldn't look half as good in it as the lovely model, but I'm deeply in love with it nonetheless.

  6. Breakfast at Treehouse from Kristiana Parn. Japanese-influenced art gets me every time. Kristiana's playful prints remind me of Ukiyo-e, my all-time favorite type of art.

  7. Titania's Spring Green Statement Necklace from Joliette. Isn't this gorgeous? I'm not enough of a fashionista to know just how to wear such a statement piece, but with the right outfit, this would be stunning.

  8. Bone Daddy from Cart Before the Horse. Jon and I have a small collection of Dia de los Muertos art (we especially love nichos), and this guy would be a nice addition.

  9. Felted Red Velvet Cupcake Pincushion from Made in Lowell. Liz makes so many amazing pieces of art, but I think I like her cupcake pincushions the best. Oddly enough, I've never actually owned a pincushion. Considering how often the cat spills my open pin container all over the floor, I should really purchase one already.

  10. Orange Fairy Tale from Unicorns 'n Dragons. This sculpture has great movement (and is fully poseable!). You get the sense that the dragon will take to the air at any second. And the details are amazing. I love the way the artist combined fabric and clay—something I've always wanted to do but for which I lack the skill and knowledge.

  11. Hello Sailor Organic Babydoll Dress from Ella Phante Creations. This looks both vintage and modern at the same time, which I think is fantastic. And since it's made from cotton/bamboo jersey, it'd be soooo comfortable and would probably instantly become a go-to dress.

  12. Grey Bat Plushie from Atmos Blue. This plushie has so many wonderful details. The fabric combination, stitches, buttons, ribbons. . . . Plus, it's hangable!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Little Tool That Could

A few weeks ago, Planet June unveiled a new product that is quickly becoming indispensable to me: The Detail Stuffing Tool.

image © June Gilbank / PlanetJune

This little number may not look like much, but boy is it handy! I've used everything in the book trying to more efficiently stuff tiny plush parts (tiny fingers and toes are the worst!)—chopsticks, knitting needles, wooden dowels, doll stuffing forks, the Stuff It tool, etc. But nothing had good enough grip for the stuffing; the tools would just slide right through. Wooden dowels were the closest to providing what I needed, but I still struggled. Especially because tiny dowels have a tendency to snap in half while I'm stuffing.

Enter the Detail Stuffing Tool! This neat tool makes quick work of stuffing tiny parts. It's extremely easy to use and has excellent grip for the stuffing. No more slipping, and stuffing right where I need it.

June's tutorial (available at the tool link above) was really easy to follow. There was a tiny learning curve for me, though, in that I had to adjust the amount of stuffing I was using at a time. This tool is really efficient at condensing stuffing into a tight little ball, and at first I was overstuffing the tiny doll arm I used as a guinea pig, making the arm too firm and a little lumpy. But by using a little less stuffing each time, I soon got it right.  

My only complaint is that I wish it came in more sizes! A longer,
thicker version would be perfect for stuffing my yeti fingers. Overall, this is a really excellent tool, and one that the plush/doll world was definitely missing. And at only $4, it's a total steal. Plus, June is one of the friendliest crafters you'll ever meet! If you make a lot of tiny plush or amigurumi, you should definitely own The Detail Stuffing Tool.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Schmancy Olympic Challenge is Complete!


Kristen assigned me the bobsleigh/bobsled category for the Schmancy Olympic Challenge, and I knew right away that I wanted to turn one of my yetis into the bobsled. I also knew that I wanted him to look like he had just been commandeered by a rider and coaxed down the hill, rather than looking more like an actual bobsled with yeti features.

Since the challenge is judged on a photo submission rather than the physical plush, my original concept was to set a whole scene. I wanted to make two bobsled teams; one the yeti, the other a traditional bobsled. I wanted the photo to include both bobsleds going down a big hill, with the yeti sled in the lead. The softie in the traditional bobsled would be looking over at the yeti sled with a terrible look of dismay, like "how on Earth is the nontraditional sled beating me?!" 

Alas, life and my own tendency to procrastinate got in my way and I was only able to complete the yeti sled. But I still think he and his Eskimo rider are pretty cute! Stay tuned to the Plush You blog over the next few days as Kristen posts all the entries and the judging begins!