Winter Wonderland

Wednesday Morning Beauty
I live in Michigan, a land of many seasons. 
Not four like other normal, northern states, but 6 or 7 "seasons."

Now, to be fair, not all of Michigan has these extra "seasons," just the areas around the Great Lakes and I'm sure - somewhere - other people experience this as well.   Monday it was sunny and 43 degrees, the sun was shinning and spring was here! Then, like magic on Wednesday, winter arrives all over again! This fickle weather isn't limited to winter/spring. There's winter/summer where we've had snow in the middle of May, then a fall/summer season of 80-85 degree October days. The fun never ends!

Even though our weather is frustrating and keeps us on our toes, I love living in Michigan. It's so beautiful here! We have a huge lake (it's basically a sea, but shhh, no one calls it that!) with awesome, gorgeous beaches only 10 minutes away! Also, because of the mild, wet, but quite warm weather; we have an area known as The Fruit Belt.  We grow all kinds of fruit, nearly everyone does because it's so easy and nothing compares to Michigan peaches, apples, cherries, and blueberries! Of course, it's waaay too cold to grow citrus, but that's ok, I'll keep our strawberries instead :]

Has your winter been like mine?



Felt Phone Case: A Little Deer

I tried a different project over the weekend that wasn't amigurumi! A felt phone cover. 

This last month, crochet was really making me sore. I couldn't complete my projects like I used to, sometimes I'd have to stop soon after I started.  The pain wasn't limited to my thumbs and fingers, but traveling up my forearms and into my elbows and shoulders. I love crocheting so much and amigurumi is my stress release after a long day at work. I find the whole process relaxing and soothing. So not being able to do what I love was so discouraging! 

Fortunately, I'm not a girl of one hobby and I had a bunch of felt from a past Christmas ornament project so I sat down with YouTube to find some inspiration.  And it worked! There are some awesome felt tutorial on YouTube! 

I found a bunch of tutorials by Tammy Hallam, she makes the cutest little plushies and does a great job sharing her process in a clear and easy to understand way. Plus, I love her British accent! If you'd like to check out her channel, click her name. The pic below is from her DeviantArt, click it to view her gallary. 

Aiko, from HapyFriendsShoppe, shares tutorials for many really adorable felt plushies along with jewelry and fashion accessories. I love her channel and blog, she's very creative and friendly but also has an inspiring story about a major turning point in her life.  If you like felt, or sewing, or would like to try a new hobby, I encourage you to check both ladies out!


So armed with plenty of inspiration, I sat down and started to draw out a fox phone case.  The drawing looked more like a deer so I followed that path instead. 
Along the way, I learned a new trick for cutting out and sewing together the pieces. Wee Folk Art has a great how-to for both these tedious tasks. The secret? Staples!  And they work great! No more bleeding and pain from sticking yourself with pins, the felt lies perfectly flat and will not move or shift during the cutting and sewing process.  And when finished, the staples are easy to remove.
For the stitches, I used a fell stitch to attach the eyes, nose and forehead, a backstitch to outline the eyes, and then the blanket stitch around the ears and to hold everything together around the edges. The inside is lined with felt for added protection. 
Originally, I was only going to do the spots but that seemed too plain. 
I kinda wanted a pocket too so I thought a tail pocket would be cute! 
Ehh... I decided against that and I'm glad I did, it would have been kinda weird! Instead, I just attached it like the forehead but outlined the edge with a backstitch to make it stand out a little.

I sized the case to fit my Samsung SIII, and it fits nice and cozy! The felt protects my phone well from the hazards of "The Purse" and any short falls it might take.  I tried a iPhone 4 but the case was way too big! So, if it's to fit the iPhone, I'd shorten the length by at least a half inch and then make it about a quarter inch narrower.

My favorite features are the colors and her eyes! I'd like to modify the pattern for other animals like the fox or an owl would be cute. Oh a bear would be adorable too!!  So many possibilities! 

I was thinking of turning the pattern into a PDF, would anyone be interested in making their own?


UPDATE: 6/22/2013 - Pros: I've used this case everyday since this post and it's held up very well keeping my phone from scratches and falls. No tears or loose stitches. Cons: Cheap, acrylic felt pills like no ones business, and quickly too!  Big suggestion: Don't use acrylic felt like I did. It's pilling so bad that it's pretty ugly now. Next time I will use a wool blend which is easier to work with and very long-lasting without that aweful pilling. 

Overall, it's a great case. It's just unfortunate that the felt looks poorly now. I guess I'll just have to make another one! :D



Another Pony

Today I have another pony to share with you guys, meet Keya Lime~
She's a sweet pony who loves sour apples and sunshine! 
I really enjoyed making her! Pony's seem so plain until you get their mane and tail on. That's when they really come alive! I considered other colors for her hair; pink, yellow, gray... White just seemed so elegant and I think it worked out perfectly!

I will be listing her tomorrow along with her sister - the pink and yellow pony I wrote about here

I hope everyone has a good Monday evening, see you soon!



Cutie Bear

Hey everyone! 
Say hello to the first Cutie Bear!
He's about 5 inches tall and wears a lime green hood and tiny backpack. 
His peachy nose and belly stand out from his body, adding to his shape and cuteness.  
Each piece is removable, making it easy to customize his look and feel. 
I love this design so much!  So far, I've made 4 other bears, a Cutie Kitty and Pup.  Each animal is unique; different colors for body, hood, as well as different accessories. Example, some of the bears have a basket or a purse. 

I will definitely post about each but I'm currently having a lighting crisis.  Most all of my photos are taken during the morning near a bright window. 
I work all day and come home to a dim-lit apartment so I have to wait until a good, sunny Saturday in order to take great photos.  I've tried to set up a diy light box, but the lighting I had was horrid!  So, I tried Daylight bulbs. Nope, didn't fix it either. Sigh.  I'm so glad spring is coming! Longer sunny days=better photo opportunities.  If anyone has a fix to this problem, I'd love to hear it!  

I hope everyone is having a good week! I'll try my best to take the pics this weekend so I can show what I've been up to! You're going to love the kitty and pup, I just know it!