Archive for the ‘cute’ Category

Project #47 – Stuffed Bunny

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I was a little stumped about what to make today. I racked my brain on my drive from work, at dinner, and during the drive to my house. I had some ideas, but nothing that I really felt like doing. I ended up rooting through my office and flipping through my Japanese craft books until I found something that I could live with.

This book of stuffed animal patterns won by a mile.

There were many, many sickeningly cute animals to choose from. Ultimately, I adapted a pattern for a dog into a bunny pattern. Though I enjoy cats and dogs I love bunnies just a little but more. They munch things so carefully (cute!) and they won’t bark at my friends.

This is my bunny from the back. I had some issues with the fabric unraveling, so I might make my next one with felt.

Project #33 – Penguin Cake Toppers

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

I’ve made penguins like this at least a few dozen times now. They’re one of the things that I have no problem selling in my Etsy shop and they’re pretty fun to make. I also had a whole flock of them on my own wedding cake. Today’s set is the largest so far. I made them for someone who requested penguins of a certain height.

These penguins are easy if you want to make a set for yourself. Just start with two spheres of polymer clay, one about four times as big as the other. Shape the larger sphere into the body by rolling it and narrowing a little bit at the top. Now, stick the head to the body; it doesn’t take much to make polymer clay bond, so you can add it without scoring or pressing too hard. Next, roll out two spheres of equal size for the wings. For penguins 3.5 inches tall I used two marble sized pieces. I flattened them both into wings and attached them to the side by pressing gently.

I always take a few minutes at this point and wash my hands. The black clay will usually stick to you and make the beak and tummy look dingy. No matter what I do I always leave a slight residue, but it’s much better after soap and water.

Next, I rolled out a ball about half the size of a marble and flattened it into an oval to make the white tummy. I pressed this to the body taking care to press the edges into the penguin body.

Last is the beak. If you press your thumb, pointer finger and middle finger together you’ll get a natural three-sided pyramid shape. I just press a marble sized clay into the space created by my three fingers to form the beak. After I pressed the beak to the head (I like to angle them so the penguins are looking at each other), I used a ball point pen and simply poked in two dots for the eyes.

Following the directions on the polymer clay, I baked the figurines for 30 minutes. Done!

Project #31 – Stuffed Bird of Tackiness

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

This morning I walked from the Lower East Side and across the Brooklyn Bridge with Clark and rejoiced in the sunshine and luxurious non-freezing temperatures. On the other side we met up with friends for brunch. Afterwards, Clark and I went our separate ways. Clark returned to Manhattan to visit high-end stereo stores. I met up with my friend Laura and attended the Church of Craft at Etsy Labs.

I really miss the Pittsburgh Church of Craft, so I was really happy to visit its still existing cousin. The Brooklyn chapter is a lot more laid back than the Pittsburgh version; instead of having an organized craft lesson everyone just does their own thing. The rooms dedicated to the meeting had lots of supplies, especially generous helpings of fabric scraps and buckets of buttons. Everyone was pretty laid back and welcoming. I could see myself visiting this place weekly if I were a new transplant to New York. Plus, it’s no charge to use the facilities and there were free cookies. Score!

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make until I sat down. I rifled through the fabric scraps and decided to make a stuffed bird. There were multiple sewing machines free to use and in a rare fit of foresight, I brought my portable sewing kit, so I didn’t need to search around for thread.

There are only a few pieces that you’ll need to make your own bird. You’ll need to cut out two pieces for the body, two for the tail, four leaf-shaped pieces for the wings and a piece for the beak, a bit of stuffing, and two buttons for eyes. Laura picked through a cereal box sized container to find the right two eyes for this little guy.

First, sew the body together, leaving openings for the beak and tail. Next, sew the beak piece into a cone and then insert it, being careful to tuck under raw edges. Hand stitch the beak in place. Stuff the bird, filling out the beak and body.

Stitch the tail pieces together, right sides together and leaving the side that will be attached to the bird open. Turn. Insert the tail in place, tucking in raw edges and hand stitch.

Position the eyes on either side of the head and sew them into place. Next, sew the wings, right sides together and leaving a little opening where the wings will be attached to the bird. Turn. Topstitch. Tuck the raw edges of the opening in and stitch the wings to the bird. C’est Fini!

The dimensions weren’t perfect, but not bad considering that I was without my proofed bird pattern. I finished almost the whole thing at Etsy Labs and then sewed the wings into place while watching the Super Bowl with Clark. (Yay, Steelers!)

Project #24 – Secret Lives of Sugar Cubes

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

I’ve always liked sugar cubes. I like the fact that the sugar is already precisely measured out into one teaspoon increments and pressed into a precise geometric shape. I like the perfect cube cubes best, much better than the squat, unpredictable rectangular ones. On my last trip to Hiroshima I managed to keep a friend’s two year old busy by stacking little towers of wrapped sugar cubes and knocking them over. So, they’re both a toy and a sweetener. Were I to keep a sugar bowl, it would be filled with sugar cubes only.

So, today’s project honors sugar cubes and their complex inner lives, appropriately enough on a white ceramic sugar bowl.

The mustachioed sugar cube

Sugar cubes gossiping about Splenda

Project #13 – Capacitor Bugs

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I have a lot of electronic parts sitting around my house, mostly as a result of several Radio Shacks closing in our area. I ended up getting a big discount on leftovers from the parts drawer(about 90% off, the first time I ever got a real deal at good ol’ RS). I brought all of it home and spread it out on the floor. I knew what to do with all of the LEDs, switches, battery holders and resistors. However, I wasn’t sure what to do with the capacitors. The one time I built something complicated enough to necessitate a capacitor I ended up shocking myself accidentally. So, I wasn’t ready for capacitors as an electrical component, but I did think that they were pretty. Plus, they’re perfectly safe if they aren’t charged.

My capacitors became a crafting item and I’ve been using them ever since, probably the same way a magpie would. “Hmm…don’t know what this is, but it’s shiny. I’ll just glue it to my nest.”

There are a bunch of different kinds of capacitors and today’s bugs are made of mylar capacitors (the square ones that that are the shape of chiclet gum), electrolytic capacitors (the drum shaped ones), and ceramic capacitors (the orange, disc shaped ones). I used those pieces to form the head/antenna, thorax/legs, and abdomen of each bug.

The legs were the trickiest part and I used a binder clip to hold the three thorax pieces together while they dried.

After that, I added a head to one end and the abdomen, always an electrolytic capacitor, to the other. After everything dried, I bent the legs to help the bug stand on its own.

I’m going to keep one on my desk for some anti-bug voodoo. Out of the three computers in the house only the one in my room is working right now. Arg.