Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out goes 2009

"It's a rare moment when the mature princess allows the restless youngster to get his paws on her..."

Another year goes by. A time to reflect on the past year. How fast time flies...

Eddie's been with us a year now and it's changed our lives. We have a feeding issue...uh hum! Eddie wants to eat all the time, so food can't be left out. But Dusty is a grazer and likes to eat a bite here and there. This means I am constantly sneaking food to Dusty throughout the day (it seems like she wants to eat every 15 minutes!) and on top of that, I get up at 4 AM every morning to make them their breakfast. I have no choice since something is pawing my face and pulling my hair.

I opened a new shop on Etsy. It's my "golf stuff" shop called Teeball where I sell my fun and funky golf gifts. It's been a slow start, but I can't complain. Hopefully more golfers will start finding my shop. Surprisingly, my Mutts amigurumi shop does better and much of my business goes to people outside the US. I've met so many nice people through Etsy!

I joined our local craftsmen's guild. They have a crafts fair in spring and fall. I didn't have enough inventory to participate in the fall fair, so right now I'm trying to stock up for the spring fair.

I can see that crafters are doing this for the love of crafting. They couldn't possibly do this for a living, especially in this economy. So my motto is to pace myself, enjoy the moment and make things with care and pride. Hopefully, I can break even! This year I spent more than I made. I have a habit of buying things I MIGHT need someday just because it's on sale. This puts a strain on my bottom line, but now I have enough stock to last oh, 10 or 20 years...

My husband and I are spending our "quality time" playing Wii games almost every night. We just love Wii Lego games because we can both play and work together smashing everything in sight to complete our mission. It's relaxing, very funny and makes you think too. And, if we disagree we can always smash, shoot or punch each other. We've played Indiana Jones, Star Wars and now Batman. Another game we completed this year was "Mini Ninjas". It's not multiplayer, but it's very cute and the art work is a joy to see and the Japanese taiko background music is wonderful.

I'm still farming and delivering veggies, but have scaled the business down since I've been focused on building up my craft hobby. Things at the farm are in the groove for me although I still have to work with and around Mother Nature. I had a bad spell with Harlequin bugs this year and they wiped out my Sept and Oct plantings. It still surprises me how good it feels to be out in the garden. Something happens to you and you just feel so great that you want to stay out all day.

:( I had a horrible tennis season this year. Oh well, it had to happen sometime. I played for my old team who were short on players and didn't do anything at all to help them out. But, I really did enjoy being with the team again and also seeing all my friends from other teams. Golf? I think I played once this year.

This year I really stuggled with fatigue. I realize now that life revolves around energy. With no energy, you just don't feel like doing much. I saw the doctor and made some changes and dang! I've got to say that right now I feel better than I have in years! This is so, so, so great that I can do more than one thing in a day. Now, wouldn't it be nice to have more time in a day?

Okay! Now onwards to a great 2010!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mutts and Alley Cats Donation 2009

It's the holiday season again. How quickly it rolls around. The weather is getting frosty and I worry about the homeless pets outside in the cold. Last year, several of my mutts and alley cats made some money to be donated to the Best Friends Animal Society. This year, some of them went to the TLC pet adoption here in Southern Cal. I adopted three precious cats from them over the years and met a wonderful lady named Lisa. She saved our Eddie and fostered him and has been a wonderful contact. Lisa is also a veterinarian and I keep her updated on Eddie. She is truly concerned about saving cats and I can tell she loves them all. I hope the donated mutts and alley cats help them raise some money to help many more.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

GoLf HeAd CoVeRs

I've been racking my brain to come up with fun and funky designs for some golf head covers. After all, there needs to be more FUN playing golf, don't you think? So, here are some of the head covers I've come up with this month. No, they are not selling like hotcakes...but I hope some people will find my shop on Etsy and start thinking about the holidays. I quarantee you won't find anyone else with head covers like these...

The series above is my "Kokeshi Series". I guess I got the idea from making all those amigurumi kokeshis last month. I had these gorgeous J fabric fat quarters in my stash and am thrilled to find a use for them. I like how these came out.

This is my "Cactus" series head covers. They are topstitched with zigzag stitch to give it that ribbed cactus look and embellished with a rough cut funky shaped flower and topped with a selected button (again from the old stash).

This is my "Birdie" series of head covers. They were fun to make and I love working with fleece. It's so easy to sew, feels soft and cuddly and now comes in so many designs.

And lastly, this is my "Art" series of funky animals. A shocking pink cat, a hooty eye owl and a camoflauge monkey.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kokeshi Kokeshi and More Kokeshi

I've been meaning to post this a month ago... Time just jets on by...

I needed to put together some items for a local craft show in November. I think the audience for this event will be mostly Asian, so I decided to make some kokeshi amigurumi. Kokeshi dolls are traditional Japanese dolls usually made out of wood in a simple cylinder shape with a round ball head. Ah, perfect for amigurumi. I made some traditional geisha type ladies and then spun off into other areas, like China dolls, ninjas and even fishermen. Check these out:

These are the first 10 I made, and there are 10 more I haven't photographed yet. Hope they like them!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watermelon Turtle and Flower Garden Turtle

I finally got around to making this "Watermelon Turtle". The idea was swimming around in my brain and I finally got it made. I used cotton yarn for the shell and a bright green acrylic for the body. The "seeds" are made with French knots. I think he looks delicious!

And, this is my "Flower Garden Turtle". She's a colorful girl with daisies embroidered on the top of her shell.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun and Funky Golf Head Covers

I've been wanting to make some unique, fun and funky golf head covers. So finally, I came up with a great base for the covers. The inside has a thick plush lining with an elastic band to hold the club head. The club still slides in and out easily enough that you can take it on and off while playing if that's what you do. I've been designing the outside using fleece. It is so easy to work with and the colors are vibrant. I found a skull pattern that I just love. I looked everywhere and can't find any more of it. So far, I've come up with 2 series. The first one is the contemporary series. It's a triangular shaped head in various prints. One of them was made with soft minky fabric. The second series is called "Ninja Skills". Take a look. I've got them on sale right now in my etsy shop:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mame Wanko, Little Felt Dogs

I found these super cute Japanese Craft Books called "Mame Wanko". They are little, tiny felt dogs and they are absolutely adorable! The dogs in the book are only about 1 1/2 inches tall. I tried making one that size, but it's really difficult to turn the fabric and stuff them, so I increased the pattern by 100% and the pups end up around 3 1/2 inches tall. Still cute and manageable.

This is my first dog. He's a bull terrier. I just love his flat, chunky face. I hand stitched him with contrasting embroidery thread and stuffed him with polyfiber and a few black beans for weight. I named him Butch and put him in my Etsy shop. Butch is the fifth generation, meaning it took me 5 tries to get him right!

Speaking of felt, I'm on an out-of-control shopping rampage. Joann's had a felt sale at 2.99 a yard, and on top of that I had a 10% off everything coupon. I bought 12 colors of felt, 1 yard each. I would have bought a yard of every color, but it was already toppling off my shopping cart and all the other people in the cutting line were giving me dirty looks for holding up the line! It was a great buy though, so there's a big pile of felt cluttering up my sewing room. On top of that, I bought some felt from the UK from Etsy. 71 colors! Also, some patterned felt coming in the mail from Joann's online...

I can make about a million of these little felt dogs with all that felt!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Golf Tee Balls are here!

I just opened a new store on Etsy to sell my golf tee balls. What are tee balls? It's a handy gadget to hold your favorite tees and it's a unique signature of your personality to boot. I've been having fun coming up with new ideas for them. I'm so excited to have sold a few sock monkeys. Yea!

Even if golf teeballs don't improve your game, at least it might make it more fun. Since I've been making these, I even get the urge to play more golf. Which is weird for me...

Check out my teeball store at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Bunny For You

Here's a fast and easy crochet pattern just in time for Easter! I used Lily Sugar and Cream, but you can use whatever yarn you want. The size of the bunny depends on which yarn you choose. This one is about 3 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches wide. Enjoy!

This is a copyrighted pattern. Please do not copy or post this pattern on another site. Also, do not sell this pattern or make these items for commercial use.


Materials List:
- Cotton yarn like Lily Sugar and Cream.
- Polyester fiberfill stuffing
- Embroidery floss for eyes, nose and whiskers
- Plastic safety craft eyes - size 9 or small buttons (optional)
- Yarn needle
- Stitch marker (I just use a small piece of contrasting yarn to mark the end of each round.)
- Crochet hook size “G”

Make magic ring*, ch 1
Round 1: sc 6 into a magic ring, pull tight.
Round 2: sc 2 into each sc around (12 sc)
Round 3: sc 1 into next sc, then sc 2 into next, around (18 sc)
Rounds 4-11 (8 rounds): sc around (18sc)
Round 8: (sc2tog, sc) around (12 sc)
If using craft eyes, insert now.
Stuff body with poly fiberfill.
Round 9: sc2tog around (6 sc)
Leave long yarn tail. Using a yarn needle, gather up the stitches in round 9 and pull tight to close. Weave yarn end into body.

Ears (make 2)
Round 1: sc 4 into a magic ring, pull tight.
Round 2: (sc 1 into next sc, then sc 2 into next), twice (6 sc)
Rounds 3-7 (5 rounds): sc around (6 sc)
Join with sl st to next st. Fasten off, leaving long end of yarn.

Use a fluffy white yarn if desired.
Round 1: sc 6 into a magic ring, pull tight.
Round 2: sc 2 into each sc around (12 sc)
Round 3: sc2tog around (6 sc)
Fasten off leaving yarn tail. Stuff very lightly into a round puff shape. Use the yarn end to gather stitches of round 3. Pull the yarn end to close the tail.

Attach the ears to the top of the body. Pull the yarn end of each ear through to the bottom of the body. Tie ends of both ears together at the bottom of the body and pull up to flatten out bottom. Tie securely and weave in yarn ends.
Attach the tail to the back of the body.
Embroider eye, nose and whiskers as desired.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Felted Mutts

First of all....HELLO Susie Farmgirl, are you still farming??? I only see crochet posts!

Yes, I'm still farming, but it's January, oops, it's already February. Where did the time go? Usually this time of year the weather is so cold that the veggies don't grow much, but stay nice and fresh in the ground. This January has been unusually warm and this week it's actually been in the 80's. The plants are very confused about what to do because the weather fluctuates so much. But that's farming...

Right now I'm concentrating on crocheting and building up inventory in my Etsy shop. I've been having fun making different kinds of mutts and I wanted to try felting some. So, I made some up in 100% wool (Patons) and washed them in hot water in the washing machine. This makes the fibers shrink and supposedly meld together into a beautiful surface. Well, I washed one dog 3 times, and the others twice. I put them in pillow cases and washed them with some clean towels for friction. The fibers shrunk and the dogs became very soft and fluffy to the touch. They also got this forlorn look in their eyes. I didn't get the felting I was expecting, so maybe the water wasn't hot enough, or there wasn't enough friction and agitation. Here's my litter of felted mutts: