With just a few hours until we ring in the new year, I wanted to look back on this year in my blog. Here are the top posts of the year by reader page views!
1. My Living Room Redo (top center)- It was so fun to document the transformation of my living room!
2. Decorating On A Dime (middle right)- Where I shared my tips for thrifting great home decor.
3. 4 Reasons a Custom Doll Might Be a Perfect Grad Gift (top right)- A fresh new idea for the ever-difficult-to-shop for Graduate.
4. Vintage Sewing Notions (top left)- It was a joy to take the time to photograph the pretty packaging of the vintage trims I've collected.
5. Mary Poppins Doll (middle center)- A childhood favorite comes to life!
6. Vintage Flower Brooches (middle left)- Another fun thrifted collection that I shared this year! (Many more to come in 2014!)
7. Hen and Chick Patterns (bottom center)- A new venture for me, I now have 10 different PDF sewing patterns in my shop! It was fun to look back at this post, the first two.
8. Halloween Dolls (bottom left)- I was thrilled by the support these stripey legged beauties received!
Thank you to all of my readers who have made it a joy to write this blog this year! I look forward to sharing lots more with you in 2014, from my latest dolls, to my latest vintage collection, to the state of my garden, it's going to be a great year, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it with you! Happy New Year!
Update: Our Thanksgiving this year was so nice! I hope you all had as nice a day as we did!
Today I have a fun DIY project for you! I'm taking a short break from my doll making duties to make this for my house. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and we're really in the mood. This is perfect for Thanksgiving decor, and you can customize it to any color scheme you like! It will take one afternoon or so to make this pretty leaf garland.
For this project you'll need:
-Several sheets of felt (wool or wool blend recommended, but acrylic is fine) in maroon, olive green, nut brown, butternut yellow, and orange (or desired colors).
1. Pick out a real leaf to use as your template. You can pick several sizes or types of leaves to use.
2. Begin to cut out your leaves in whatever variety of shapes and sizes and colors you like. I needed 18 maple leaves for my 80 inch garland. Yours may vary depending on the size of your leaves and the desired length of your garland.
This is the perfect task to do while watching a seasonal movie with your kids.
3. Decide the order of your colors. Lay the leaves out on a nearby surface in order.
4. Leaving a nice long thread tail (about 4 inches), sew with your machine down the center of your first leaf. When you get to the end of the leaf, lift your presser foot, pull the thread about an inch, place your next leaf under the foot, lower the foot and sew the next leaf. Proceed like this until your last leaf.
5. When you sew to the end of your last leaf, pull the thread several inches and cut, leaving a thread tail about 4 inches long. These thread tails are for helping to hang your garland (either tying, taping, or anchoring by putting something heavy on).
6. Enjoy your garland! And Happy Thanksgiving!
I'd love to see yours if you make one! Or share your ideas for simple Thanksgiving decor in the comments!
This fox design is truly my pride and joy. I first designed him about two years ago. And though I've sold several, and have been featured in the Plush You! Art Show and the upcoming Stuffed Magazine with this fellow, he is very detailed and takes a fair amount of time to put together, making him a bit out of most stuffed animal shopper's price range. But he is so so fun and satisfying to make, so I decided to create a detailed, step by step tutorial/pattern and release him into the world for others to enjoy making!
I am so proud of the construction of his face, his elbows akimbo, his upturned tail, and his little tailored vest and collar, but I think I'm most proud of the way my son loves the fox I made for him. I had to make a new fox from start to finish for the pattern, because even though the pattern is tried and true, I needed to take photos of the creation at each point along the way. So I promised my son that the one I was making for the pattern was to be his very own, and I was so touched by how excited he was about that. Now that it's finished, he's been setting the fox on the couch beside him when he watches TV, on his headboard at bedtime. All of this with a kid who is used to him mom making him stuffed animals regularly! This is by far the most appreciative he's been of a mom-made toy.
I hope your kid feels the same when you make one for him or her!
Here's an example of a photo from the tutorial. Each step has at least one (and sometimes more) photo to guide you in the creation of your dapper fellow.
The pattern is available immediately via instant download! You simply print it out and you can begin your project right away.
I am currently finishing up a pattern for Fox's friend, Badger! And shortly after that I will begin to create the pattern for their friend Raccoon. And somewhere a little further down the road I plan to create a pattern of a Hare, as well as a sweet little Robin couple.
I can't wait to show you the Stuffed Magazine feature, because my son helped me make up such sweet stories for these little creatures; I'll share them with you when the August issue of the magazine comes out, any day now!
You can find the Dapper Fox Pattern in my Etsy shop now!
You might have noticed by now, but I am by no means a minimalist when it comes to decorating my home.
So, if you've been following me a while, you'll be surprised to learn of a new venture I've started recently! I have started developing and publishing PDF sewing patterns, both on my Etsy shop and my brand new Craftsy shop!
I have a list as long as my arm of patterns I want to create for you, and they are in various stages of readiness; from just an idea that I need to fully develop, to old favorite designs that I am finally ready to share with other sewists and makers.
So far, I have two patterns available. One is a pattern for my tissue pouches. I've been making these for years, and they are a best seller at craft fairs and shops. (Guess what! The purchase of the pattern includes a license to sell the tissue pouches you make from the pattern!)
Another terrific thing about this design (if I say so myself) is that it looks so much more complicated than it is. Doesn't it look like it has custom made bias binding? Nope. It is my "magic binding" method, and it's as easy as sewing 4 lines (6 if you like the top-stitching option). Total. To complete the whole thing. No fancy folding required. It's pretty slick.
The other pattern that I've released is my plush owls, one of my very first stuffed animal designs. These are also best-sellers at local boutiques. (Also includes a license to sell with purchase of pattern!)
But this isn't just a pattern to create a plush version of everyone's favorite bird, because I added my newest toy design, too. With the same pattern, I've included instructions for how to make owl hand puppets as well!
My son was thrilled. Hand puppets are so much fun and really educational. Perfect for developing hand-eye coordination, and acting out social situations. So I hope you try out my 2-in-1 Owl Puppet and Plushie pattern!
And keep an eye out for my pattern for making these beautiful tote bags out of two pillow cases. Including templates and instructions for optional stencilling!
I'm also working on a pattern for a beautiful notebook cover, that lets you convert any old composition book into a planner! Keep an eye out.
Tell me in the comments below, which Hen and Chick design would you most like to see made available in sewing patterns/tutorials for you to sew at home?
Hi there! Welcome to the world of Hen and Chick! My dolls and art are designed and created by me for you to bring a bit more beauty to your life. Shop at HenAndChick.etsy.com