I’m bringing back the Ghibli fanart! I’ve been wanting to make something Howl’s Moving Castle themed for a while, and I finally decided to take action after reading the original book and rewatching the Ghibli film. It was a real treat doing that, because I thought the book really complemented the movie. They had their differences, but they worked together in ways that made them both better, which isn’t common. Tales from Earthsea and the book Tehanu I thought had the same effect. But anyhow, after all that I can definitely say Calcifer was one of my favorite parts of the book and movie, so I wanted to make a little palm-sized plush so that I might feel just like Sophie did.
The patchwork is back again! Just as I warned :B As for this particular project, well, I’ve been in denial about it, but I finally admitted that I need a casserole carrier. The problem was I have a few options to carry food and pans to friends’ homes, an insulated grocery bag, a few totes, etc., but none of them actually worked! I have kind of a ragtag collection of pans, some larger than 9” x 13”, some narrower, some longer; you get the idea. It’s kind of nice when I’m discerning about just how much food I want to make, but not so good if I hope to make it fit into one of the bags I have. That’s why I finally caved and said I would make a casserole carrier. I could have made a fancy one that zips up and has piping and pockets and all that stuff, but considering the strange collection of different-sized pans I have, I thought I’d take this opportunity to try something furoshiki-style.
Furoshiki is the Japanese custom of using large scarves to wrap and carry your goods, tying knots to hold things in place and make handles. It’s incredibly ingenious and economical since a scarf can be tied to carry objects of about every shape and size. This particular carrier isn’t exactly the same, but the spirit is there, definitely. This square of insulated patchwork folds up over your casserole (no matter what size!) and the wide handles make it easy to grab or wrap over your arm. An extra layer of insulated batting makes the whole thing feel like a quilt and keeps your foods warm inside. It’s not as fancy or secure as an actual casserole bag, but I like it for its versatility.
Okay, I have to admit this project is a little obscure XD It’s a present for my amazingly talented best friend; she loves Chrono Trigger, especially the character Lucca. In the game, Gato (Gonzalez in the Japanese version) is a singing robot that provides a little challenge at the beginning of the game. Since Lucca already carries around a blue bag, my friend came up with the design to make it Gato themed instead (though Gato is usually red) x3 I imagine she’ll probably use it if she dresses up as Lucca for Halloween or another party ^-^ If you’ve ever heard of the old SNES RPG I would definitely recommend it x3 it’s certainly one of the many all-time classics out there.
As for the bag, it’s a pretty standard messenger bag, so if you’re looking for that you can simply skip all the additional appliqué and cat ears that make this like the aforementioned robot; it takes the number of steps down a decent bit. I also particularly love how his eyes turned out. They were done with just a bit of fabric paint to give them that glowing effect. Maybe you all might find another application for the technique!
September’s just begun, and I have to say it couldn’t come soon enough after the muggy and sweltering Florida summer over here x3 I’m very much looking forward to autumn, especially since my semi-hiatus has ended and I’m able to post more often :D As you might have seen from what I’ve been posting, I’m currently working on bringing down my stash of quilting cottons, so be prepared for lots of patchwork-centric kind of projects. I’m also painfully close to another social media milestone! Namely, my DeviantArt page views. So before you know I should be starting up another giveaway! Here’s what the numbers look like:
I knew a pattern like this had to be part of my collection from the get go, so I’m glad I’m finally able to introduce it! Taiyaki (literally, “baked sea bream”) is a little fish-shaped cake that’s usually filled with sweet red bean paste, custard, chocolate, or sweet potato. Savory versions are also popular and are filled with gyoza filling and other similar foods. It’s cooked just like a waffle really, from a special molded pan that has the fish shape on each side. The pink version can sometimes be seen when particular confectionery experts color the batter to make it look especially cute like that. It’s common to see taiyaki being made at school festivals or food trucks in Japan, so, sadly, I’ve never personally had one. It’s definitely on my gastronomic bucket list though, and for now I’ll have to enjoy the plush version instead ^-^
You can get the pattern for this plush by signing up for email updates (found in the submission box on the right side of the page below the search bar). If you have trouble signing up, you can check out more info at the main Monthly Crafting Challenge page, the FAQ, or by emailing me. Also, bonus! for today only I’m offering both this pattern and the one from August when you sign up. After today though, the prize is just this guy :) Though you can also purchase the older pattern through my Etsy if you’re too late.
If you’ve already signed up for emails, that’s where the challenge comes in. You can get this pattern if you make one of the projects from this blog, my books, or my Etsy then email me or message the finished project to my Facebook where I have a really awesome collection going of your creations! Keep it up every month and you’ll get a new free pattern, so don’t forget to check back during October to see the newest creation!
If you’ve been to this blog more than a few times you might already know the main reason why I post all these free tutorials; I’m desperately trying to bring down my fabric stash! Earlier in 2013 I tackled my stash of heavyweight fabrics, and now I’ve moved onto my quilting cottons. Which means only one thing: patchwork! So a lot of the projects I have planned to post over the next few months involve patchwork of some kind, and this pouch is just a small taste.
When I visited Metrocon earlier in July, I found I was very much in need of some new pouches to store and organize little things like toiletries and makeup. I’m not entirely sure what kind of pouch would suit me best, so I’m having fun experimenting with different shapes and sizes :D Hence this little number. This simple pouch has a subtly curved shape, but what gives it its depth is a bit of gathering at the bottom. I’ve chipped away at my stash of lining fabrics by giving it a thin polyester lining that’s sewn in via a French seam.
Hey everyone! I’m back!
Oh, yes :D After about 8 months of semi-hiatus, I’m finally back with more updates to the site! That is, back doing the thing that started me blogging in the first place: using up my scraps! In January of 2013 I realized my stash of fabrics weren’t doing me any favors and I finally needed to start chipping away at them, so I’ve been making little projects here and there and sharing the tutorials with you. I had to take a semi-hiatus for a while there as I wrote some new books, but I’m finally back with new projects to whittle down my stash.
These little trays came about because it was something I discovered I needed in my own home ^w^ I have a little vanity area that was in desperate need of organizing; specifically I needed something to hold my manicuring tools. I looked at what else could use a little help and found that I needed several more trays. I figured since I was doing a set of trays anyway I might as well make them themed. I hadn’t done any Avatar: The Last Airbender fanart as of yet, so I thought this would be a good chance to start. So, behold, a set of all 4 Avatar Nations as handy trays. For those that aren’t familiar with the show, we have the Air Nomads, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, and Fire Nation and their respective symbols. You don’t have to decorate them with the symbols of course; they work nicely on their own for sorting odds and ends.
I’m back again with more of the fruits of my semi-hiatus! Another project I’ve been working on while I’ve been so inactive this year is this fun book inspired by the awesome stuff of Minecraft®! It’s been up for sale for a little bit now, but I wanted to be sure to share it here when it was on Amazon with the full “Look Inside” feature so you can see for yourself if the book is for you!
Of course many of you know how crazy I am for pixel art and old school video games, so getting a chance to blend that with the awesome art of Minecraft® just seemed natural! This book is directed at young kids, but any budding crafter that wants to see the world of Minecraft® come alive should love it. It’s filled with 15 step-by-step projects as well as a huge idea gallery of other projects for creations that are easy to jump into like duct tape, Perler beads, paper crafts, and painting techniques. The pixelated nature of the art means everything’s basically made from squares and cubes, making it so easy to recreate in real life and to adapt and change to your whims. The book features a load of patterns and charts that are easy to follow for making the projects, though you can swap out the charts and use them on different projects to suit your taste. For instance you can take the Cardboard Costume Head – while it’s shown as Steve, you can easily change the pixels and make it into a Creeper, Enderman, or Pig.
So if you love the look of pixel crafts or want to go into Creative Mode and make some Minecraft® items of your own, I hope you give the book a look and see if it suits you!
In the meantime, I’m working on launching some new free tutorials to show here! I hope you’ll check in later and I’ll likely have more nerdy and quirky things to show ♥