February 8, 2014

Counselor kitty stuffed toy

Sometime last year I stumbled upon Child's Own Studio, a studio where Wendy Tsao creates soft toys from children's drawings.  I thought it was the neatest thing I ever saw so I decided to try to make a doll from a drawing by my friend's daughter.  You can read about that here if you missed it.  I had so much fun making that doll that I wanted to make more dolls.  I asked my friends if anyone had any drawings by their kids that they wanted me to try to make.  I asked for drawings from kids between 5-11.  I think any younger than 5 and they would not appreciate the concept of their drawing being made into a real toy and any older than 11 the drawings might start getting too intricate to recreate.

My friend Juli sent me this drawing by her daughter, Mercy, who was 8 years old.
Mercy's father is a counselor and he asked her to draw a picture of what she thought he did all day at work.  The cat is the counselor and the person on the floor thinks the cat is so hilarious that he fell on the floor laughing.  The cat is doing its best to look like a counselor by wearing glasses and a wig.

I was very excited to to make a cat wearing a wig! It was such a fun idea!  The two challenges I saw were making a wig that would come on and off and making glasses that a child would not lose.

I finally decided to use the nylon from a pair of pantyhose, sew brown yarn into and and use Velcro to allow it to be removable.  I needed to test fit the wig and my cat Shifty was more than happy to try it on for size. Or maybe she wasn't more than happy but she stayed still long enough for me to snap this picture.

For the glasses, I decided to make them out of felt and sew them onto the cat itself so they wouldn't be lost.  Here is the finished doll!
I find making dolls or stuffed animals from drawings to be challenging because there are no patterns or instructions to follow.  You just start and figure out what to do along the way.  It is so very rewarding, though, to make a child's idea come to life!

February 3, 2014

Christmas trip to Europe

Hello everyone! I can't believe I didn't post for the entire month of January. After we got back from our two-week Christmas trip to Europe I developed a sort of aversion to being in front of the computer! I really did! I didn't blog, I didn't list anything on my Etsy shop, I didn't even post photos on my Facebook page of my trip for a few weeks! I think it was the post holiday blahs. January is really my least favorite month of the year.  Now that February is here, I'm slowly coming out of my hibernation.

Even though it's February, I want to take you back to Christmas and share some photos from our trip to Europe.  We were there from December 14-29 and stayed in seven different towns/cities. Europeans really know how to celebrate Christmas! Everywhere we went, there were markets and decorations and plenty of food!

Our first stop was Bruges, Belgium.  If you've been to Bruges, you'll recognize the building below. It's one of the most photographed corners of Bruges.  I loved how there were large Christmas lights in the trees.

 Swans swam in the canal that ran around the building.

In Brussels they had a light show at Grand Place every night. The buildings were lit up with lights that flashed on and off to music.

We stopped at Orval Abbey on our drive from Brussels to Luxembourg because Orval is one of Mr. H's favorite beers.  It was so fascinating to walk around the ruins of the old abbey.

We were pleasantly surprised by Luxembourg.  We didn't really know what to expect. It is such an underrated city! An area of Luxembourg is built on two levels! It was so neat.

On to Strasbourg, France...their decorations were so fun!  This is a building decorated with huge teddy bears!

They had fun Christmas markets, too.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany was my favorite town for Christmas. Being in the town felt like we were in a giant Christmas globe!

Munich was where we spent actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  Because the restaurants closed early on Christmas Eve we decided to get a spread of meats and cheeses for our hotel room for dinner. It was delicious!

Munich's town squares were beautifully decorated.

Prague was our last stop. It was very pretty.

We even got some culture in and went to an opera. We saw Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre.

Now that I'm back I am looking forward to catching up with all of my blog friends! I also want to let you know that my blog may be turning a slightly different direction. I started this blog because I wanted to share my love of home decor. Thanks to this blog I discovered a new passion, sewing! It all started when I made new seat covers for my outdoor chairs. You can read this post here. After I made those seat covers, I just kept on sewing! Since sewing is what consumes any free time I have, it only makes sense for me to capture that in this blog otherwise I'd have nothing to post about! I do hope you all stay and follow along with my projects, but I can understand if you don't. Not everyone interested in home decor is interested in sewing.  With that said, it feels nice to be back :)


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