Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The end of summer

Indulge me with a few vacation photos. We just returned from a week in northern Michigan at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Forest. It is as pretty as can be up there. The forest goes right up to the Lake Michigan shoreline. Those are the Empire Bluffs behind Jim and the kids and in some places they are like 500 feet high.

We had fantastic weather. In fact, beautiful weather has followed me around all summer. I have never known a summer filled with so many perfect weather days. See in this first photo it was raining in Michigan when we got there, but then it stopped. It didn't rain again until the morning that we left.
At the cottage we stayed at there was a hula-hoop that quickly became the favorite toy of the week. It is so funny because we have had them laying around the garage for years and the kids have never seemed so interested in hula-hooping. This little video cracks me up.

I have an awesome back-to-school dress to post, but I'm to lazy to get up and find all the cords and camera and do all the stuff . I'll post it real soon. Maybe it won't be like three weeks before I do another post.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

new owl softie

Can you really call yourself a crafter or a softie maker if you have not made an owl. It was high time I had a go at my version of an owl. I found the inspiration to get up off the couch and get going from this artist. I love her illustration style. I was also looking at the Oaxacan carved animals like these. I had originally thought I would make my owl in bright patterned fabrics to look more like my inspirations. I still like that idea and think I will come back to it. The thing is, I have a ton of fabric, but not exactly the right kinds of fabrics for my idea. I started with natural linen to make a proto-type. It came together rather easily and was looking nice so I kept going.

One of the cool things about the Oaxacan animals is that they are often made up of many pieces that loosely fit together. I like the idea of removable pieces. I've also always liked the idea of button-on wings. I used button-on wings for these two costumes and for this angels wings.

So, her wings and tail are button-on and reversible. I was going to do it all in linen, but it started to look a little bit 70's craft book, so I decided on the newsprint fabric for one side of the wings. Does that make it look a little more contemporary? I think it does maybe. The funny thing is that all the type on the print is about things that happened about 40 to 60 years ago.

The wings are made like a little quilt with batting on the inside and quilted with embroidery stitches around the patterns. She seems so cozy with the wings made like this. Mostly I like the way she looks on the shelf along with all the other toys.