Friday, January 13, 2012

little pleasures - continued

Well except for poking the finger with the barbed needle.
Because she's bear lover of course.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

little pleasures

I'm sure you've heard of the NY Times no knead bread, but have you tried the Cooks Illustrated version? If not, you must try it, not only as it is easy, but the flavor is much more complex in their version. I've got the whole wheat one in my oven right now, the white flour one above is for a friend. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012


That's better, now for some clothes.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

For doll making, nothing beats a hemostat, but my other favorite took is this little bodkin (I think...). I don't actually like using chopsticks for turning pressing out corners and edges, it's not gentle enough for my work, especially when working with linen. Speaking of linen, I find it to be a difficult fabric to work with for plush making. It tends to shift when sewing and cutting and due to the open weave, it is more delicate to stuff and sew up openings using ladder stitch despite it being a strong cloth. If you are a beginner plush maker, I recommend lining it with muslim.

Anyway, I bought this bodkin to turn tubes inside out which by the way I couldn't do very well with it but it's great for pushing out edges after sewing inside out. Especially for curves; it just glides along and does the job wonderfully without snagging or threatening to making a hole.  For pushing out tiny corners, I usually start with this and then finish off with small wooden knitting needle which is usually more rounded, smoother and smaller than chopsticks. Proceed with caution as it is easy to poke a hole.

I've started working on my ginger girl again. Arms need attaching then a much needed haircut. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012

Happy New Year to all of you, I hope your holidays were lovely and spent with ones you love. Thank you for visiting me here and supporting my work last year!

We spend New Years visiting Monterey Aquarium and exploring Point Lobos Reserve.

DIY playkitchen

One Xmas gift I really wanted to get this year for the kiddos was a play kitchen. I kept putting it off because I felt that there really weren't a lot of options out there that were cute, wooden and not too small. I really liked the Educo ones but they are probably suited for more for toddlers. I placed an order for this Kidkraft one as it is one of the bigger wooden kitchens but wasn't 100% sold on it because well, it looked so girly. So I asked Nick if he was up to making one with me as I had seen some cute kitchens made with Ana White's plans. It took us 2 weeks working at night in the garage aka "dungeon" was freezing cold and since we only had a circular saw, hack saw and jig saw with no work table, we were basically working off the floor, and using our chest freezer as a work table. Since the pieces of timber were 12 inches wide the circular saw couldn't cut completely across, so we had to cut from both ends and it's really hard to get the cuts accurate. We did have a lot of laughs together and really this is our first collaborative crafty projects and it was great fun. We did feel like work slaves heading down to the cellar every night though. It was pretty hard work without all the proper work setup!

The oven door is a pain to get right and one of the cut dimensions (shelves for the stove and sink) on Ana's site was incorrect, so make sure you double check all the measurements before you assemble. I was inspired to use the ceramic knobs from another crafter on her site and used the tutorial for the sink curtain there too. The oven has a tap light installed which the kids love. Because the sink and oven units are 12 inches deep, once the faucet was installed there wasn't enough room to install a big enough round sink bowl so we ended up using a brownie pan and it worked out great.

The two toned unit is, yes you guessed it, an Ikea hack. I took the bottom shelf and cut it so that it would fit on top when I flipped the unit upside down and used a pine timber to make a shelf. The back was made from a piece of plywood.

This is a really satisfying little project and sooo cute when finished and although it is a bit girly I think it's cuter than the Kidkraft one I had ordered. Best of all, it's tall enough to last a few years. I do not want to Polyacrylic anything for a while however; I really hate applying that stuff.

edited to add: we increased the height of the oven and sink by two inches to make it a bit taller.