Handmade Holidays 2014: Crocheted Kitty

Next up in my long line of gifts to make is my bestie’s little cutey wutey new baby girl.

I think this kitty is going to be bigger than the baby it is for! hehehe

I used this pattern which had lots of photos and instructions. The most trouble I had was with getting the face right. I always have such a struggle with facial features. Those eyebrows could have ended up looking more angry than I intended. I probably redid the face about 4 times before I got it right. You can see the chalk still on the face where I originally thought the eyes should go. Gotta wash that off before I send kitty!

 

I used a raspberry coloured yarn with ivory accents – both big balls of yarn I found at the thrift store so stay tuned for more projects made with each of these colours.

I think kitty will be a little easier to figure out a packing situation for than Frecko Gecko, but still, I really need to start making things that are less bulky. All the money I save on yarn I’m spending on shipping! Yowsa!  Oh well, it’s worth it to send a handmade gift to a loved one … so it all evens out in the end.

Here is a link to my kitty project on Ravelry.

 

 

Handmade Holidays 2014: Gecko Frecko

My one little cousin is getting Holly Dolly, whom we met in an earlier post, for Christmas. So I had to make something equally as special for her brother.

And I think I nailed it!

Everyone meet Frecko Gecko.

Isn’t he the sweetest?

 

You can’t be a slouch if you’re going to attempt this pattern. Boy oh boy was he ever complicated. To get those pretty bobbles all in the proper places I needed to count each and every row. There was no sitting back and watching TV while I stitch the same thing over and over again like is the case with most of the things I crochet. Nope. This guy was some serious work. But I’ll forgive him because he’s so cute!

 

I used this pattern to make him. It was super easy to follow (even with the extraordinary amount of work). And it was free! :D I can’t believe it, because there was so much detail in the pattern along with easy to read symbols and tons of photos. Phew!

Now my only problem is: How on earth am I gonna find something to pack Frecko Gecko in to send to my cousin in Vancouver? He’s like 2 feet long at least and curvy. It’s gonna take some fancy improv to get him all packaged up. Oh well… totally worth it still.  Have any ideas about packaging for me to try?

Here is the link to my Frecko Gecko project on Ravelry.

Tawny Bee Holiday Closure

Happy Holidays from Tawny Bee.
The shop will be closed from December 8th until Boxing Day December 26th so that I have time to spend with my family. When we reopen on December 26th Tawny Bee will be having a Boxing Week sale. Please remember to use coupon code “BOXTHEBEE” to get 15% off your order during the last week of December.

 

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Lane’s Christmas Dress

With all this hoopla over making Christmas gifts this year, you might have thought that I forgot about dressing my kids for their holidays concerts at school.

Yeah? You did think that?

I don’t blame you… I’ve been a bit scatter brained lately.

But I did not forget.

I actually brought Lane to the fabric store on Friday afternoon to let her pick out a pattern and some fabric for her Christmas dress.

And this is what we ended up with (after a weekend of sewing that is).

Awww… isn’t she cute? We chose Christmas themed fabric, but notice how it still has lots of pretty pink in it.

The back ties with a pretty bow and zips up. And the zipper did not bring me to tears like they usually do when I try to sew them in. Yay! I must be improving.

The front has a fabric flower sewn the “belt” piece. Lane was super insistent on that part of the dress. I used McCall’s M6875 view B (because of the flower, View A had a bow collar on it). The pattern was OK. At least I didn’t rework it as much as I usually do. I chock that up to me being in a decent mood this weekend to just roll with it rather than the pattern doing anything mollifying. I usually rip those suckers up and end up designing my own thing.

Anyhoo… this pattern also came with instructions and pattern pieces to make a matching dress for an 18 inch doll. So I’m guessing that Lane’s precious baby doll Emma is going to have to have a dress as well.

Lane will be wearing this dress to 2 concerts this year (her pre-school and kindergarten ones). She’ll also wear it to visit Santa at the mall in the not too distant future.

What do you think? Maybe a little summery for a Winnipeg winter dress? Or just plain adorable?

*** I just got a note in Logan’s backpack that says he is required to wear a black or white shirt with no logos on it to his holiday concert. This kinda wrecks his plan of getting me to make him a fleece Christmas themed sweater. Oh well… I think I might make him one anyway and he can wear it to visit Santa ;)

Crocheted Betty Boop: A Birthday Surprise

In between all this Christmas holiday making, I have a few birthdays.

My birthday is on Monday. Logan’s birthday is on December 11th. And my dad’s girlfriend Shai’s birthday is on December 13th.

So I decided to take a break from holiday making and make one extra special dolly for Shai.

I know that she likes Betty Boop. At least I hope she does. She has put a few photos up on Facebook that lead me to believe I’m on the right track though.

I used this pattern to make Betty. It was a neat pattern with lots of sculpting. I added the earrings and bracelets myself and made the face out of felt instead of trying to crochet nice eyes.

She turned out super cute! I may even have an order for another Betty soon if I ever get done all of these Christmas gifts. Lane increased my list the other day by stating that not only does she have 2 teachers, but she has 2 teaching assistants and a ballet teacher to make for. ACK!

Anyhoo… I’ll be sending Betty out to Victoria for the 13th. Maybe she’ll sing Happy Birthday to Shai? :D

A link to my Betty Boop project on Ravelry.

Handmade Holidays 2014: Holly Dolly

I guess today is as good a day as any to begin in on Handmade Holidays this year.

Every year I try to give handmade items as gifts whenever possible. Usually this means that for the entire month of November I’m busy working on making said gifts for Christmas. The deadline for putting anything in the post is mid-December if I want the presents to get to my far flung family in time.

This year I decided to go with mostly crochet because that’s what I’ve been learning this past year and it’s something new and fun… well… that sounds good doesn’t it? Really, I’ve decided to go with crochet because I can sit and binge watch The Mindy Project and Nashville on Netflix while making gifts. Yay!

The first gift I have to share with you is Holly Dolly.

Isn’t she the sweetest little Christmas elf you ever did see?

I used this pattern to make her: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-girl—amigurumi-crochet-pattern

She is going to be sent to my sweet little cousin Caitlyn in Vancouver this year.

I bet Miss Holly Dolly will have an excellent home over there.

 

Holly was a pleasure to make. I love love love love love love love love love making toys! And I loved loved loved loved loved loved loved making Holly Dolly – as in Have a Holly Dolly Christmas hehehehe ;)

 

How have you been doing on your Christmas list this year? Doesn’t it feel like it’s always sneaking up on you? Yipes! It’s like I magically forget how close Christmas is every year even though it’s always on the same day.

Oh well, I’m not feeling too stressed yet. I’ve made a dent in my list so far.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on all the wonderful handmade holidays items I’m busy working on!

A link to my Holly Dolly project on Ravelry.

How To: Wire Doll Display/Photo Stands

Oh. My. Gosh. You Guys!

This marks the first tutorial I have written in over a year.

!!!!

This also marks the first tutorial that I’m premiering on the front page of TawnyBee.com!

Why all the hoopla over a simple doll stand tutorial you ask?

It’s super cute first of all…

Well, for almost a year now (I started learning how to crochet on January 1st this year) I’ve been working toward achieving a dream of mine. I have always wanted to be a toy maker. When I was younger, I was always fascinated when my mother would sew toys for us. My favourite Toy Story movie is number 2 – the under rated one – because there is a scene in it when the old toy restorer comes to the bad guy’s apartment to fix up Woody before he’s sold. I love that old guy. I love his precision and love he obviously has for his job. I even have a recurring dream about a blue porcelain doll that my mom had sitting on her dresser when I was little. I only have this dream when I’m stressed out and it’s basically this blue doll leading me through a maze of an ice castle that it all blue and white and that we never make it out of. I’ve had this dream since I was about 10 years old in times of supreme stress. Weird.

Anyhoo… I am totally in love with doll making books and knew that I had to learn how to crochet in order to better be able to make some of these fantastic dolls. So I worked and worked at it and learned really fast. I know that the only reason I caught on so fast was because I was fueled by a passion for making toys.

So, in the new year I will be retooling my little Etsy shop to reflect this rekindled passion. I will be selling toys of all kinds. Fabric toys, crocheted toys, toys for girls, boys, adults, geeks. Toys of my own design and toys that have wonderful pattern designers that have graciously allowed me to make their designs. I will also have the standard mama cloth, potty trainers and nursings pads. And the teddy beds that I love making will still be in shop because you will definitely want some storage for all your new pals!

As I am getting ready to launch into a new area, I realized that I will want to participate again in local craft fairs. Which lead me to thinking about displays. Which lead me to thinking about how to make doll stands. Which lead me to try out a few variations. Which lead me to making the stands that are featured in this tutorial. Which lead me to stop yapping and actually get on with this tutorial already! SHEESH.

Materials Needed:

– An old wire hangar – the more bendy and flimsy the better

– a roll of duck tape – they sell tons of cool patterned duck tape, so I went with that

– a pair of pliers – or some serious brute strength of which I have none

Time Needed:

– this is a simple one – it took me about 20 minutes to make one

Skill Needed:

– heck, if you have the talent enough to make a doll, or even go out and buy one, then you can do this project

Step One:

Take your pliers or your arm strength and untwist the hangar. You can try to make the hangar relatively straight, but don’t worry too much about making it perfect. It’s going to be wrapped in duck tape, so if there are bumps, they will be smoothed out anyway.

Step Two:

Begin by forming a circle on the middle of the hangar. Don’t use the entire length of the hangar for this – just the middle. But make the circle as large as you feel it needs to be to make it sturdy. This is the bottom of the stand and the part that will balance the doll, so it should be the most sturdy.

Kinda like this. The two ends of the hangar will be pointed upwards for now.

Step Three:

Begin shaping those two ends. If you have a doll in mind for the stand, it would be great to measure to make sure the supports are at the correct height for your doll. The stand can be bent and moved around to fit when it’s done if you don’t have a display item in mind just yet though. I bent my two support ends out and around to get this sort of shape.

 

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be perfect because the duck tape will smooth out any roughness. You just want two supports that will fit under a doll’s arm pits like crutches. If you are looking to support something small like a Barbie Doll, you might even want those supports to touch a little in the centre (making a semi-circle) thus securing the doll a little tighter. For my purposed, I wanted the support but not too tightly because the dolls will be changed out and people will want to come by and pick up the dolls to look more carefully at them – or give them a cuddle ;)

 

Step Four:

Start wrapping the entire thing in the duck tape. I am not the most graceful wrapper, so I ended up cutting off chunks of the tape and wrapping everything in small pieces instead of twirling the stuff around like a pro. Make sure to wrap the pointy ends of the hangar really well so that you don’t harm yourself on the stand.

Ta da! Even if your wrap job is as messy as mine, it still looks awesome because the duck tape is so much fun.

Step 5:

Try it out and make more!

Here is Holly Dolly trying out the doll stand. These stands also make really good props for taking superb product photos as well. Isn’t she so cute?

I made a taller one with smaller supports for Betty Boop out of duck tape that had gummy bears on it. :D

 

 

It may look a little wonky, but it works! And the great thing about these stands is that they are still adjustable with the tape on them. I could bend the middle piece back for a shorter doll or tighten the upper supports around the doll if needed.

Then you can make little scenes with your dolls.

Anna joined the party!

Wasn’t that simple?

I hope to work up to designing my own crochet patterns soon. I’m almost there. But until then I can certainly get in gear and create some sewn toy tutorials for you. What do you think?

 

Crocheted Rainbow Dash and Minion Siren Winter Hats

I’ve come to the realization that I can’t fend off winter any longer. It’s gonna happen with or without me, so I might as well at least prepare a little for it.

And this year I can crochet! :D
Oh my gosh!
That means HATS!
So far I’ve made this one:

Rainbow Dash!

And this one:

And would you believe that both of these hats come from one awesome designer?

Her shop’s name is BriAbby and I love every. single. pattern.

Here is the link to her Etsy Shop.

Here is the link to her Ravelry Shop.

And of course here is a link to her website.

I can not say enough nice things about these patterns.

 

The pattern was for a generic unicorn pony (well… it sorta resembles Twilight Sparkle *wink wink*). I just changed the colours and made one sorta resembling Rainbow Dash instead.

The instructions were super easy to follow and the sizing and tips and tricks were bang on.

 

I think I might have gotten a little carried away with the hair. I love it so much. Lane wears it and it tips over to the side a bit unless she arranges the hair down both sides. Ooops. I think an easy fix would be to anchor the hair with thread myself so that it doesn’t move as much. But when she ties it on, it’s perfectly fine.

 

Lane has gotten about a billion compliments on her Rainbow Dash hat so far.

You should totally crochet one.

Here is a link to my Rainbow Dash project on Ravelry.

 

Same with the minion siren hat – the pattern was easy to follow with lots of clear instructions. Very easy to figure out and put together.

It’s the little details that I especially love about this pattern. The twinkle in the eye, the 3D-ness of the eye and goggles and the little shines on the sirens is what makes this hat super special.

 

The mouth was probably the most difficult to accomplish, only because I kept thinking it looked more like an eye than a mouth. Maybe it needs a tongue? I don’t know. Anyway, I always have trouble with mouthes. When I made Dave and Stuart (the stuffed minions mouth) I had a heckuva time getting it right.

 

Here is the link to my Minion Siren hat project on Ravelry.
You should totally crochet this one too! :D

Days of Halloween Past

Most of you who have followed me throughout the years know that Halloween is kinda like my Olympics! Costume making is my favourite. Check out some of my creations from years past and stay tuned for Princess Belle for Lane and Ash from Pokemon for Logan coming soon. Woo boy! I always have my work cut out for me don’t I? Bring it!

I was just looking over these costumes and realized that with the exception of 2 (Tinkerbell in 2013 and Mermaid from 2012) I have designed and made all of these costumes from scratch without a pattern. And today, making Belle – I have altered the pattern beyond recognition to satisfy my own design aesthetic and Lane’s specifications. To heck with patterns! They just slow me down and hinder my creativity anyway!

Crocheted Yoga Socks

Earlier this month – I think it was September long weekend actually, we decided to make one last trip to the beach before the season changes.

We discovered Crescent beach at Westhawk Lake recently and decided that was our destination.

It takes about an hour and a bit to drive out there. Perfect time for a crochet project!

Hence the photo of my new yoga sock on the dashboard of our car.

:D

Pretty aren’t they?

Oh!? You thought I meant my new yoga socks? No!

I meant my feet of course! :P

hahahaha

(I used this pattern to make my new yoga socks. And here is the link to my project on Ravelry).