Friday, September 19, 2014

SPARKY- FRANKENWEENIE'S CANINE CHARACTER ....

I'm a traditional Disney type of animation girl .... Mickey Mouse, Dumbo ..... you get the picture.

My friend Val over at Yarnigras, recently hosted her Annual Halloween Zombie Doll Swap, we're busy wrapping it up now. The theme this year was Animated Zombie Dolls !!! We gave our secret partner some ideas of animated characters we liked, and it was up to them to create and zombify a version of them. It was possibly the most challenging zombie doll swap so far, because my partner chose (A) An animal character, and (B) A character I'd never heard of ...... It was Sparky, the dog from Tim Burtons movie Frankenweenie !!!!

Google Images became my instant BFF ....

Paperclay it was going to have to be, as I saw no other way of getting the shape I needed to create him. Cone shaped styrofoam, styrofoam balls, sculpey,  and lots of scrunched up aluminum foil covered in masking tape was used to get the shape. After a bit of trial and error, I got it, and I was very happy with him !!!!


His back view ....


His front view ....


His right side ....


His left side .....

His two big, rather infected (yuk) looking wounds were made from sculpey, that I glued onto the body, after they'd been baked.

I hope my partner liked him ..... I had a blast creating him, and learned a lot through the creative process :-)


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

APRONS ....

I did a bit of apron sewing recently ........ quick, cheerful, and a great way to feel as though you've accomplished something in a short space of time.
This little sewing exercise was not without its drama however - I had finished the one apron, and only had about 1/4 yard of binding to sew on the second apron, when my sewing machine died !!!! No LCD display, no response from the foot pedal .... it was truly dead !!! I was sooooo mad !!! It has faithfully served me for 10 years, we have sewed many many miles together, and I loved working on it .... the least it could have done was go out with a spectacular show of fireworks and smoke, not just seize up and die !!!
A plan is underway to rectify the situation .... thanks so much Mom and Dad, I appreciate it more than you know :-)
Until I've decided exactly what I'm going to do, I've dusted off a little, beginner, basic machine that I had for Brittany (I thought she may one day like to sew ...... who was I kidding), and I'm getting by with that.

But, enough of my tale of woe, and back to the aprons ......
This time I used SIMPLICITY PATTERN 1936. I've used it before, and like it a lot. It has a flouncy bias cut skirt, and is very economical on the fabric yardage it uses.


This daisy apron, was one my Mom asked me to make for her. She wants to give it to a friend as a birthday present. It says 1950's housewife too me. I think that must have been a really fun era in which to be a young housewife. Everything was made from scratch, you'd have dressed for dinner .... I find something oddly appealing about that. I have some recipe booklets from that era, that have been handed down too me. Every now and again, I pull them out, and look at them. I find the illustrations particularly charming.


This one is my new Halloween apron. I needed a new one, and when I saw this fabric covered in cheerful, funny faced jack o lanterns, I knew I had to have it. I can't wait for the 1st October to roll around, so that I can pull out my Halloween kitchen goodies (I'm going to try and get some new kitchen towels, and maybe even a new pair of oven gloves made in time), and just enjoy the fun month that October always is. I have a few plans for some new porch decorations too ....  I may have already decided on what we'll be handing to our Trick or Treaters this year, and I have a few new recipes pinned  that I'm hoping to try ....

Time is flying by ....... I even begun making my first Christmas gift today !!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

COMFORT SEWING ....

Most of us know all too well about comfort eating ....... I'm a big comfort eater !!! I've discovered another trend in myself lately .... I'm a comfort sewer. At times I find myself with a longing to create something just for the pure joy of creating ..... for the time it gives me alone with my thoughts .... To remember ..... To think .....
I've noticed a pattern, this normally happens either when I'm feeling overwhelmed or homesick. Today was one such day .... Today it was a combination of both feelings (and I suspect 44 year old hormones that are going totally wacko, as I've read they do at around this age !!!)....
I took myself off to my "office", put my MANGO GROOVE CD on, and begun to create (ok, and I shed a tear or two  - it was cathartic). I'm sure most of you have no clue who MANGO GROOVE is ...... they're a South African band, I just love. Click on the links if you want to have a little listen.

These creations were just fun ..... no purpose to them, just time to play with fabrics and trim ..... and they're really quite cute :-)


I pulled stuff from my stash ... it looked like a bomb had gone off in my "office" by the time I was finished.


These fabric pieces were left over from last years State Fair Apron entry. Felt, Ric Rac, buttons .... None of the embellishments were precisely cut - it was a fly by the seat of my pants type thing.


The body of this guy is made from a dish towel I found in the clearance section at World Market, who knows how many moons ago ...... I cant turn down 100% Indian cotton dishtowels that only cost $1-05 !!! This owly is my favorite of the two ..... love her tulle eyelashes. She has a bit of a Halloween feel to her too.

I followed a basic tutorial that I found online (the owl pattern was included too) - I thought I'd pinned it to Pinterest, but looks like I didn't - I will keep looking for it, and as soon as  I find it, I'll post the link to the tutorial .... the lady haD made a number of them, and some were so stinkin cute !!!!

Until next time (or until I find the link to the tutorial) .....

Friday, September 12, 2014

HALLOWEEN CANDY JARS .....

Ghouls ...... Ghosts ...... Zombies ...... All things Halloween !!! This to me, is a day to let loose and have some fun. It's a day to do things that if done on any other day, would have you labelled a little odd.
It's a celebration that's "new" to us .... we've only known what it's really about since moving to the States. I do like to put out some fun themed decorations for the month of October .... The ordinary old dish towels are replaced by ones covered in ghosts, witches and all things skellybones. I don my Halloween apron .... I treated myself this year, by making a new one :-) And like all homes (I'm hoping), there is more candy lying around than usual. This year I decided that our candy needed special fun containers of their own, so out came the aluminium foil and the sculpey, and I set to work. Oh and by the way, I now know why I keep all of those empty fruit and jam jars ....... I just knew  they'd come in handy one day !!!!


I started with a ball of foil, and from there, cover it with sculpey and added my features ...... I love the versatility of sculpey, you can do absolutely anything with it. Once I was happy with my heads, to the oven they went, to be baked ........ Just look at them staring out of the oven !!!!

Once cooled, out came the paint, varnish and dolls hair .........
I do love the creepy results. Perfect for holding the Halloween candy :-)


To cover the lid of the jar, I first sanded the lid a little. Mine had a plastic coating on it, and I thought by ruffing it up a bit, it would make it easier for the sculpey to adhere to it. I rolled out the sculpey, and pushed it onto the top and sides of the lid, I cut off the excess at the edge, and baked it as I did the heads, just for a shorter time. Once the lid was cool, I glued the head onto the lid with some strong glue.

I want to make a few more in different sizes before October begins ...... I really want to try a Jack Skellington one next - that could be so much fun !!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

REMEMBERING ....

I think every one of us remembers where we were on this day 13 years ago .....
We were living in South Africa, it was a warm, sunny afternoon, and I was nursing our youngest baby, our little girl was playing at my feet .....
We had no clue at the time, that a move to the USA was in even in our future, or that our children would be raised here ...... What we did know however, was that the events of that day would change the World forever - and I firmly believe they did.

I heard this piece read on the radio this morning, as a tribute and in remembrance of the events of 9/11. It gave me goosebumps ....




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

T SHIRT TOTE BAG ....

I remember vaguely seeing these scattered over the internet, but to be honest, I've never paid too much attention to them ..... that was until I today.

It is nearly Halloween (yes, we just have to accept that the latter half of the year is upon us). Halloween means Zombie Swap time ..... Oh yes it does, and you know how much fun that is for us Zombie Doll creators !!!! Part of the swap, is the inclusion of three Halloween themed tuck ins ....... this particular part of any swap, can only be defined as creative heaven to me. The chance to try new and exciting techniques and products .... Oh Happy Day !!!!

Walmart have just unpacked those kitchy $4 Halloween T Shirts they sell every year ....... not hard to guess that I'm no fan of them !!! BUT, today that changed (well for this purchase anyway) !!!!
In the mens section, I saw two Zombie themed T Shirts ..... Too perfect to pass up, I bought one of them, not even knowing what I'd do with it ...... only that it was going to become a tuck in of some sort ..... Ping ..... Light Bulb Moment ...... A T Shirt Tote !!!!!

Diving into the Pinterest archives, I unearthed THIS TUTORIAL ..... about an hour later (and I'll explain why it took me that long in a little bit), The Zombie T Shirt Tote was born ....


It was dead easy to make !!! The side seams (sides of the shirt) are already done, as are the handle (shoulders) seams, so all that's left to sew, is the seam along the bottom, and to turn in a small hem around the handles. It really should be a 30 minute project at the very most.
I decided that I prefered to encase the edges with binding .... I cut strips of the T shirt off cuts, and made a quick binding .... it finishes the edges off nicely, I thought. That's why mine took a little longer to finish.


It is so roomy ...... you can fit LOTS of stuff in there. It's also surprisingly strong !!!

They would make such cute Trick or Treat bags too ...... the kiddos could collect tons of candy in them. The added bonus to this particular bag (and a great safety feature for Trick or Treat night), is that parts of the design on this bag, glow in the dark ....... Now how awesome is that !!!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A TASTE OF HOME ......

Browsing Pinterest last week, I came upon a website, that brought a huge, cheesy grin to my face ...... It was a recipe site, dedicated to traditional South African foods .... authentic, tried and tested recipes!!!

I gave one of the dessert recipes a try tonight .... Milk Tart !!!


THIS is the recipe ...... It was fantastic !!! Usually the tart has a heavier dusting of cinnamon on top, but Hubby detests the taste of cinnamon, so I dusted VERY lightly. The crust is more like a sugar cookie base, than it is a pastry.
I think my pie dish may have been a little on the small side ...... I had about 1 cup of filling left, that I couldn't fit into the pie shell .... It didn't go to waste mind you !!!!
The cookie shell, could have been a little thinner on the sides too - I think next time, I'll only use 3/4 of the pastry, unless I can find a bigger pie dish.


It was sooo good though ..... creamy, sweet and silky smooth !!!!

I am very excited about this find - I bought some ingredients this morning, to make a few more goodies they have listed .... Fudge (the SA way), mushroom sauce ..... Yum, Yum, Yum !!!!