18 Aug

It’s Crafturday! (12)

Softie Butterfly and Pom-pom Egg

This one is a sort of a replay. My and my daughter’s Metamorphosis project was featured on Caterpillar Eyespots on August 16th.

I’m flattered that a real scientist would be interested in my craft project, and I think that Thomas did a lovely job of connecting my softies to real live caterpillars and highlighted the educational potential. I thoroughly enjoyed making that project and love that someone else appreciates it too.

17 Apr

Easter Crafting

Our guests arrived the day before Easter, so I felt like I should do a little something for all the kids. My kids and I dyed a dozen eggs (nothing fancy, just basic dunking in basic colors) so we could have a hunt in the yard.

I made one that match so perfectly the hibiscus leaves that it took the kids four tries to find it.

I also made four baskets, though I didn’t bother to photograph them when they were fresh and full.

The baskets are woven from cardboard boxes (for four baskets: a lego box, a six pack, a cereal box, a box of Borax, and a case of soda). I found instructions/inspiration on Craft Stylish. I filled the baskets with shredded paper, a cute tin of M&Ms, Peeps, a blown egg filled with confetti (THAT was fun!), and some japanese biscuits with cute packaging. Each kid got a bunny monster of my own design as well. The two girls got cute purple ones made from leftover purple stretch velvet, and the boys got slightly zombie-esque ones made from outgrown T-shirts. ┬áThe bunnies are soft and squishy and were very well received — which sort of surprised me considering the recipients are tweens!

16 Nov

New Pets

Every now and then you run across a blog, a Flickr page, or Etsy shop that grabs you a little bit. When you run across it again, you say “yeah, I like that!” And by the third stumble, if you haven’t already, you bookmark it. I’ve been lurking at Melissa Stanley’s blog for a few months now, in love with her crocheted creatures, and her little houses with legs! What goes better with roots than legs?

Free Range Studio Monster

Then Melissa went and added this little free range studio monster to the shop and put me over the edge. He’s so cute I had to have him. He’s not in my studio though. Hubby and son thought he belonged in the living room — where he’s terrorizing the Baba Yaga House I also purchased, and two mod birds who happen to have legs too.

baba-yaga-house

18 Oct

A Seasonal Diversion

My daughter saw some cute skull-themed kitties in one of those catalogs of cheap toys and craft supplies. I liked the idea, but knew we could make something of better quality at home. I went to my go-to basic softie pattern from Wee Wonderfuls and whipped this out:

I couldn’t make something just for my daughter and leave my son out in the cold, so I used to opportunity to make a monster I had been toying with.

I love all the softie monsters I’ve been seeing (check out all the monsters in my Flickr Favorites), but had to put my own twist on this. The answer was in tiki inspiration and BDU fabric.

Ha! is not only and interjection and part of a laugh, it is Hawaiian for breath. Zipper mouths rock.

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.

12 Jan

Metamorphosis

One of the reasons we wanted to post about our caterpillars is because we were inspired to make a softie version of the metamorphosis. We’ve taken quite a few creative liberties, but it’s essentially the life cycle of a Chinese Yellow, or Citrus, Swallowtail.

We started with our “baby,” the first through third stages (instars) of the swallowtail: the bird poop caterpillar. This stuffed version features a brown and white fabric, ruched to accentuate the caterpillar’s texture.

The quick-change artist then gets zipped into a lined pouch…

…to become the fourth instar: the chunky green version. I added the osmeterium (yellow-orange scent glands) later as it seemed like it could use a little jazzing up. I love how the functional zipper mimics the actual patterning on the real caterpillar. I really love that it was my daughter’s idea and not mine.

Next, the caterpillar(s) get put into the chrysalis purse and…

…out comes a beautiful butterfly! The butterfly has a pouch on her underbelly for a pom-pom egg so that the cycle can begin again.

The chrysalis purse isn’t quite as graceful or poofy on top as I was hoping for, but I do really like it’s quilted bottom section. Poopy should have a bigger head and Instar Four could be a little more detailed on his back, but really, we’ve been having great fun playing with this — and that’s what matters most!