18 Sep

Octobunny and Lil’ Mermaid Share a Dance

Magical things happen under the sea. It’s a place where cute little mermaids can cavort with octopii with rabbit ears and no one batts an eye. Especially not when it’s happening on a twirly skirt for an imaginative eight year old and in hopes of winning some artwork from an admired blogger. I made this skirt for Bad Bird’s Stitched by Hand competition. My project is obviously not stitched by hand, so I’m submitting it in the Machine Stitched category.

Competition: Octobunny & Lil' Mermaid Share a Dance

I chose Andrea’s Octobunny embroidery pattern because his goofy look appealed to me. When paired with her Lil’ Mermaid, they looked like they were dancing. As long as they were dancing, I figured my project should be a skirt for dancing in, and to stick with the theme, I used Heather Ross Mendocino fabric which has octopii swimming on it (I wanted the mermaid fabric, but it appears that I am the last one on the Heather Ross bandwagon and it all sold out at least a year ago). I went straight to the interwebs for a basic skirt pattern. I wanted something danceable, naturally, so a full or ruffly skirt fit the bill and there is no shortage of tutorials online. From several options, Katja chose the Twirly Skirt tutorial from House on Hill Road.

Competition: Octobunny & Lil' Mermaid Share a Dance

Once I made the skirt, I then enlarged the embroidery patterns and traced them onto the skirt and the fabrics I used for the figures. I cut out and glued the fabrics in place with wash-out basting glue and backed the whole area with water soluble stabilizer. Into the hoop it went and I free-motion stitched the designs with my sewing machine (using a darning foot and dropping the feed dogs). My daughter (who gets to wear it) and I think it looks awesome. Thank you Andrea (Bad Bird) for the great excuse to make cute clothes.

17 Mar

Sonya’s Mushroom Swap

I don’t participate in many swaps, but this one looked too fun to pass up. Sonya asked everyone to make five 3-D mushrooms and send them to her. She (and a few helpers) then mixed them all up and sent each participant a box with five assorted ‘shrooms. It’s been great fun to see all the creations via the Flickr group, and to finally get my own box in the mail.

I sent out this:

And received these in return:

From left to right they are: Bolete (and the mushroom notebook at the far right) from Rane, “Emmaline” from Cathy Gaubert, Toadstool from Vanessa, Sluggy Mushroom from feathergirl36, and a mischievous looking blue ‘shroom from Theresa.

The kids and I were so excited to open the box and see which five we got. Now, they (the mushrooms, not the kids) are happily ensconced in my collection. Here’s the mushroom room Chez la Flamme (click to check it out closer):

… and zoom in closer on the insanity (also clickable):

There’s a few more on a vertical shelf on the wall to the left, but I’ve posted that before.

06 Mar

Pre-Swap Swappiness

Deborah found a cute mushroom swap she thought I’d like. I convinced her that she should participate too (mwahaha!). To add to the fun, we decided to do a little private swap as well. I sent her a mushroom man, mushroom chocolates, and a pincushion, of course.

She sent me a beautiful mixed media mushroom and a wonderful package of cool papers, tags, ribbon, cards and vintage hankies — all in red and white! I’m liking this swap thing.

Mixed Media Mushroom by Deborah Boschert (photo by Deborah too)

Oh, and speaking of swaps, I sent Anika a pincushion, since she asked so nicely and is a fellow islander, and she returned the favor with this cute watercolor which is now hanging in my daughter’s room with her fairy collection.

“Tapio” by Anika Nui (photo by Anika too)

Remember the wonderful ribbons Nic sent? I returned that favor with chocolate covered macadamia nuts (which her hubby nearly absconded with) and a silky, spotty, sequined, and beaded Bali-inspired ‘shroom.

I’m enjoying all this creative art sharing. I can’t wait to see which mushrooms I receive in my official mushroom swap package.