Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teddy Bear Restoration - Part 2

I wonder where the days go. According to the date of my last post it was close to two weeks ago that I started the Teddy Bear restoration, but it only feels like a couple of days ago at the most.

I guess I have been spending a lot of time outside the house over the last couple of weeks, in an attempt to escape the continual crappy weather we have been having in our neck of the woods. It has been raining almost EVERY day and to be quite honest, it is very, VERY depressing!

Anyway, onto happier things - the Teddy Bear restoration is complete!

Last time you saw the bears, they needed to have their heads sewn on. So this morning, I did just that.

First I hand stitched a zig zag around the neck line using a doll's needle threaded with a three ply thread:

Then I stitched a complementary zig zag:

Basically this enabled me to pull the strings tight in the same fashion you would if you were doing up your shoe laces. Now the heads of the bears are on nice and securely.

Here is a picture of the bears before the restoration project began:

And here they are now... fresh as a daisy:

See how they're now more of a blue colour, than a dirty blue-brown lol!
They are also a LOT plumper than they were. Little Snicker is going to love these bears just like his daddy did.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teddy Bear Restoration - Part 1

On the weekend I embarked on possibly the most daunting of craft projects. You see, Matty had two teddy bears from when he was little and he wanted Little Snicker to have them. I was fine with that, except for the fact that they were two of the most manky teddy bears I have ever laid eyes on.

I considered sending them to a hospital set up especially for old bears to help them 'recover', but then I decided that I could challenge myself and attempt to restore them on my own.

So, first off I unpicked a little bit of the seam from around the bear's neck (Little Blue Bears whole head nearly fell off as he'd obviously been repaired before). Next, I removed all of the stuffing from both Big Blue Bear and Little Blue Bear:

Then I filled up my laundry trough with hot water and a mild detergent and gave them a scrub with a soft bristled brush:

Here is a picture showing you just how manky Big Blue Bear's feet were (I've cleaned the one on the left).

Once scrubbed I ran some hot water over the bears to get rid of the detergent, then I squeezed them out. If you're trying this yourself, don't wring your bears out as apparently that will do damage.

Next, they took a little siesta to dry out:

Tomorrow I will be re-stuffing the bears and sewing their heads on. Thank goodness I haven't destroyed them yet!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Project #28 - Play Mat (Update #1 - Finished)

The play mat is finished AND Little Snicker seems to love it!

The robot has felt for his eyes and nose and a shiny dance costume lycra for his teeth. The lines for the teeth were made by sewing a very tight, wide zig zag stitch on my sewing machine:

His robot heart is made out of felt and has been stuffed with cellophane to make it noisy when Little Snicker leans on it!

His little robot hands are made out of corduroy which lift up. I have also stuffed then with a little bit of cellophane io make them noisy.

There are links held on by ribbon loops, which could be used to attach toys to the mat as well. Little Snicker just likes to hang on to them and shake them violently at this point:

And there is puffy material (I think you would see dressing gowns made out of this) with ribbon loops to pull at:

Here is a picture of the whole mat:

All up, it cost me around $15 to make. I may have been able to buy something for not too much more, but it was a really fun project and worth the cost.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Craft Space Revamp : Fabric Storage

I know it's been a while since I mentioned the craft space revamp and that is because I feel as though the things I have made for it are in too many different 'styles'. As such, I have decided to scrap everything I have made so far and start again.

Regardless of what 'theme' I end up with, one of the things I have needed to get sorted out is my fabric storage system. I will tell you straight up that I am indeed a little bit embarrassed to be showing you this next photo, but I think it needs to be shown so you can understand why it was becoming a problem. You see, this is how my fabric is 'stored' in my linen press:

The worst bit is that the above photo only shows you part of the stash. I have about another 4 piles of fabric that are stored in a similar fashion!

I find that my biggest problem is that I can stack the fabric into nice and neat piles, but then I destroy it because I can't easily see the fabric I need for each of my craft projects.

With that in mind I asked Daddy Snicker to build me a ladder to hold my fabric and even though he thought I was a little crazy, he trundled out to the shed and made me one:

I haven't finished putting my fabric onto the ladder yet, but here is a picture of what it looks like so far:

Pretty nifty idea, hey! As you can see, I can now find the fabrics I need a LOT easier:

As I have waaaay too much fabric to store on the ladder I am going to have to come up with some other ideas for fabric storage. Of course I will be sure to share these ideas with you in the upcoming weeks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recipe : Lemon Meringue Cup Cakes

I know I said that this week's posts were going to be all about the things I got up to during the last two weeks, but I simply HAD to show you this:

What is it? Well it's the afternoon tea I made for our Mother's Group get together this afternoon (I know... I really out did myself!)

For a while now I have been thinking about what type of cake to make Little Snicker for his first birthday. While there is still another 6 months until the actual event, I know that it will roll around quicker than anticipated - especially with Christmas thrown in there - so I want to make sure I am prepared.

Since I don't want to start out too big and I don't want to have a 'theme' for his birthday that he might want later in life, I have decided that I will bake cupcakes and pop them onto one of the many cup cake stands I have (seriously, one person should not own so many cupcake stands!).

It stands to reason that once deciding I would be baking cupcakes for his birthday, that I would want to make sure that one of the stands I have will actually hold the kind of cupcakes I want. Our Mother's Group get together provided the perfect opportunity for a trial run.

I had been eying off a recipe for Lemon Meringue Cupcakes for quite some time, so I decided it was time to give it a whirl. You can get the recipe here:

Hmmm.... check out the middle of this baby:

I was really pleased with the end result! The cake was not too dry and the lemon curd oozed out when it broke apart. Of course, it had to be served with a large spoonful of double cream!

Since I didn't know whether Lemon Meringue would be liked by all the ladies in the Mother's Group, I also decided to make some mini 'no bake chocolate patty pans' (which is essentially individual serves of Mars Bar slice):

Overall the afternoon tea was a success, but I was left with a couple of cupcakes at the end. I guess they'll be going in the bin....lol.... yeah, right!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wooden Play Gym

A while back I ordered a wooden play gym online for Little Snicker. After waiting 8 weeks for it to arrive, I started making calls to the company asking where it was. I had no luck getting a real person, so instead opted to leave voicemail message after voicemail message. Still no return phone call.

After about the 10th phone call, I got nasty. I got out my thesaurus and looked up some big and scary words. Then I gave the company a call and threatened civil action. I know... a little over the top for a $75 play gym, but guess what! I got a call back within a couple of hours.

It turns out that the company didn't have the item I purchased in stock (even though the website said it was). So instead of calling to let tell me that, they just figured I could wait. In not so nice words, I demanded my money back and told them where they could situate my order... up their posterior, that's where.

Anyway, we were left with a problem - Little Snicker still didn't have a play gym. So Daddy Snicker (who is very handy with all sorts of wood products) decided he would make one. For a grand total of $8 worth of wood and $4.80 for paper to decorate it, Little Snicker now has his play gym.

Here is a close up of the paper used to cover the sides:

This is just standard scrapbooking paper which I have Mod Podged to the side before applying a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top to protect it.

Making this ourselves saved us a grand total of $62.20!

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Super" Nappy Covers!

Yup, I've been AWOL again. But I haven't been a slacker this time round. I have been incredibly busy - I just haven't been posting. This week I am going to get you up to speed on what has been going on for the last couple of weeks.

So first off, Lincraft had a 50% off sale on all of their fabric last week. I always tend to get excited about this, until I get to the store and realise that they have absolutely nothing that I want to buy! Their fabric range is a little *blergh* to say the least. Kind of like my nana has fitted out the shop with her most favourite fabrics.... and if you know my nana, you know that isn't a pretty sight.

This time was a little different though as I did happen to find a cool flannelette print with Super Dogs on it! Other than the flannlette I only bought a metre of Pellon and a metre of wool batting... boring hey!

Anyway, I decided I would use the flannelette to make some nappy covers since I am sick to DEATH o
f the plastic pants we have been using. I made 4 identical nappy covers.
Here is how one of them turned out:

I used the Chloe's Toes pattern (which is free) as I have used it before and found it to be a nice fit.

It was a particularly nice fit around the legs this time round since I used the proper Fold Over Elastic (FOE) as opposed to the Fitted Sheet elastic recommended to me by the local sewing shop. I found the fitted sheet elastic to be too hard and as such, it dug into Little Snicker's legs. That's why we stopped using the first lot of covers I made.

Now that I've gotten the hang of it, I plan on making a few more for the upcoming summer months when Little Snicker will most likely be hanging out in singlets and nappies. I haven't given up on the idea of using Modern Cloth Nappies, but I STILL can't get that leg elastic right!