It’s been awhile…

Hello everyone,

I know it’s been awhile since my last post (goodness has it already been two years?!), however,  I hope that those of you who subscribed are still interested in what I’ve been making.  We ‘re in the process of moving back to Canada at the moment, after 6 years in China, so I’m hoping to be posting more to this blog now than I have before.

Last year, I was teaching the children different types of clothing that go with different professions.  So I made a felt doll and the uniforms to denote different occupations.  I’ve been meaning to post about them for ages because they were so popular but studying for graduate school got in the way, but at long last here are the felt dolls.  For now I’m going to post the basic doll with a couple of clothes, but later on I will be posting about the different types of clothing I have made for the dolls, as well as their hairstyles, as currently everything is still in China where my partner, R, is coordinating our move.

Here is the basic doll.  For this one, there was no sewing involved.  I used a hot glue gun and puff paint to make it.


And here is the dolls being used in play.  I designed the clothes as part of a Weather clothing set, though after awhile the children just mixed and matched to their hearts content.  This picture was taken in R’s class, where I’m told the toy was such a hit that they had to schedule play time with the set so everyone could have a go.


I will be posting a pattern later, on Craftsy, for anyone who might be interested, as well as patterns for all the clothes.

Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time!

Puppy Hat

After seeing our friend in his octopus hat (see last post), another of our friends asked if I could make her a puppy hat and gave me some drawings and the colors she wanted.  I immediately got to work, though this one took a bit longer than the octopus hat, not because of the amount of work, but there were some details that didn’t work the way I thought they would in my head, so I spent a few days working out those details.  But I finally got her hat done.  It’s a tired, very sleepy puppy. See how his paws droop down? And his eyes, oh soooo sleeepy!

puppy 2 puppy 3

The front paws are really long as she wanted to be able to stand with her hands at her sides, but held nice and warm in some pockets in the paws. The pockets have three fingers so that she can move the paw like you would a mitten.  And also to make children laugh when they see how cute they are.


She was so happy when she finally got her puppy hat.  Luckily the cold weather stuck around for a bit so that she could wear her hat a couple of times this season before having to put it away.  I’m told that she spent the day insisting that others try on the hat to see how cool it was.  Even the boss tried it out.


(as I haven’t asked his permission to use his image, I have blacked out his face for his privacy).

Another fun hat to add to my collection :).

Octopus hat

A few months ago, a friend of my partner’s asked if I could make him an octopus hat. He wanted something similar to a scarf he had, where the top of the hat was open, but there was a sufficient enough twist that it didn’t appear to be open.  he also wanted the arms of the octopus to be able to function as a scarf when he was wearing it on his head.

octo hat1my partner was a good sport and modeled the hat for me when we took the initial photos to show his friend my progress.  (he was playing Diablo 3 when I took this picture).

And when it was finally finished…our friend was thrilled.

photo 3 photo 4 octo2

He even got a little crazy on the subway.

crazy subway

And his neighbors are studiously ignoring him

octopus hat (3)

I think he liked the hat, don’t you?

Animals of many colors

Wow, three posts in one day.  I think maybe I should try to figure out how to do the scheduling thing, if I can do that on wordpress.  Woohoo! Onto the show…

Those of you who have children, or teach children as my partner and I do, you will probably recognize the animals from this post.  The inspiration came from the Eric Carle book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”  and I have tried my best to come up with cute animals to represent each animal.

So here are my representations of these animals. (Notice: these are in no way affiliated with the author or his work, and are merely representations from my mind.  They were used for teaching purposes).

IMG_0121Brown Bear

bird2Red Bird

IMG_0124Yellow Duck

IMG_0126Green Frog

I decided to have a bit of fun with the frog, just because and…

froggie prince jrFroggy Prince Jr.

horse2Blue horse

IMG_0123Purple cat

IMG_0122Black Sheep

IMG_0125White dog

IMG_0127Gold Fish

The children loved them, and so did some of my co teachers.  The white dog was spoken for by the end of the day, in fact.  As was the purple cat.

I will state here again, that these are not authorized by Eric Carle, and while they were inspired by the Brown Bear book, they are entirely my own creations, from pattern to sewing.

Anyway, I hope you liked my little creations.  Until next time.

Phone Charging Stations

While visiting my parents this summer, I discovered that my mother, Supermomnocape, had made some lovely phone charging stations.  She told me that she had used this lovely tutorial, and so when I got home, I decided to make a couple for my partner and I.

Being in China, I don’t have access to some of the things at home, like a Fabricland or Joann’s Fabric, so how I get most of my materials is through a website called taobao.  Taobao is essentially the Chinese ebay.  And I was unable to get Peltex as such, I was able to get a stiff interfacing that was quite a bit like cardstock paper.  Since this is all I had, it’s what I used to make the charging stations.  In hindsight, I’m definitely going to have to find a different interfacing.  The stiff stuff was really hard to turn inside out once the initial sewing was finished.

Anyway, here are the two charging stations I made with that lovely pattern from Positively Splendid.

photo 2 photo 3

The one on the left is my husband’s and will sit by his computer, on a little command hook attached to the side table so it’s no longer wired to his computer.  And the froggie one is mine.  Look at the dancing frogs! They’re sooo cute!

It’s a lovely pattern that was very quick and easy to make.  I will definitely be making a few as gifts.

Until next time.

Elsie the Giraffe (floor cushion)

So after seeing pictures of the floor cushions that I made for my partner’s classroom, one of his co-workers requested a giraffe for her classroom, since she teaches Giraffe class.  After some thought and a lot of brainstorming and drawing, this is what I came up with.

Elsie edited

And while the final product didn’t look much like my drawing, I’d say it’s still pretty darn cute.


This is Elsie.  She’s about a meter and half long by about a meter tall, and the only way I could get her to sit like that was to sit her up on a towel.  In fact, I had originally propped her up on the bed in my sewing room and my partner walked in and all he could do was laugh, she was so cute just looking at him.

All her spots are sewn on, and her eyes are embroidered.  Here’s a close up of her pretty face.


Oh and here’s another shot with our puppy Bodhi as a size reference.  He’s about average Lhasa Apso or Shih Tzu size.


It was actually rather interesting, that he would lay down with her.  Yes we had given him a treat, but that was to stay away from her, lol.  When I first brought the Blue Whale out, from the last post, he was barking at it and trying to play, so I didn’t want the same thing to happen this time. But he just laid down beside her to chew on his treat.  I guess he’s gotten used to having oversized inanimate objects in the living room.

Anyway, Elsie and her friend the Turtle went to their new home today, and my partner’s colleague has promised more pictures of them.  I can’t wait to see.

It was hard giving her up, but she’s going to be so loved in her new home.  Happy Trails Elsie!

Ocean Themed Floor Cushions Part 2…and some classroom decorations

Hello everyone,

Thought I would share this one with everyone, seeing as how it’s massive and actually pretty darned cute.  As I mentioned in my last post, my partner’s kindergarten class this year is called Blue Whale class.  Well, if you’re doing floor cushions, what’s a blue whale class without… a blue whale (duh! what did you think I was going to say, a crab?)photo 4e

Robert’s reaction when he first saw him as he walked in the door this afternoon was “AWESOME!!!

He’s stuffed with a combination of pillow stuffing and styrofoam microbeads, you know the stuff that is inside moshi pillows? I wanted to try to get his tail to stand up, but I guess the tail base isn’t strong enough to hold up the fluke.  Oh well, it’s one more place for a child to sit (this one can hold 2-3 children, depending on how good of friends they are).  And he was so much fun that I told Robert, half jokingly that I was tempted to keep him.  I’m trying to come up with a name for him, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know in the comments.

And now for some pictures of Robert’s classroom windows (which for the most part, I designed, drew, and in the case of the “Nemo” window, put together.

blue whale class 2

on the windows overlooking the playground we have a tiny island with it’s accompanying breaching whale.

blue whale class 3

On the next window over, a ship with whale fluke.  The ship I based off of a picture I found on yahoo search,  It’s actually a pirate ship, but instead of a pirate flag, it’s going to have the school’s crest on the flag.

blue whale class

And this is the Observation window, the “Nemo” window I mentioned before, where parents can look in on their children.  There’s a Momma whale looking over her baby who is playing with a turtle and two dolphins.   By the sea anenome in the middle, Marlin is asking Nemo if he remembered to brush, and the Momma whale is asking if anyone knows how to speak whale (Dooo yooooou speeeak whale?) and Dory is going “Oh oh oh, I can speak Whale! Oaaaoooooaaaoo!”

And to top it all off there is a little crab waving to everyone from near his home in the seaweed.

Today, they had the Relocation Day at his school, where the parents and children came to see the classrooms (actual moving day isn’t for another week, if everything goes well,) and Robert tells me that all the parents really liked the windows.

I hope you enjoyed this installment.  Robert says he will get me a close up of Nemo, Marlin and Dory to share with everyone, so when he does, I’ll post that as well.  Until next time…

Twinkle Twinkle, Very Big Starfish…

So my partner Robert’s school is moving into a spanking brand new building (the sawdust hasn’t even been cleaned off the floors yet), and so all the teachers have been giving up weekends and doing late nights in order to get the classrooms all ready for the early May opening day.  Robert teaches 4-5 years old, what is called here in China at many international schools as K1 (K2 being the oldest class of 5-6 year olds, pre K being 3-4, and toddlers being 2-3; yes they go to school that early, I teach a few myself), and his class’s name is Blue Whale, so of course there was going to be an ocean theme to the classroom.  Because Robert has a bit of difficulty in the art department, he asked if I could come along and help him and his coteacher make their classroom look nice (more on this in the next post, when I have pictures.  I was a little preoccupied this morning to worry about getting pictures).

Anyway, each classroom is rather large, has a sleeping area for the children, and is just large enough to have a reading area.  I thought it would be rather fun, and both Robert and his coteacher agreed, would be to have ocean themed floor cushions for the kids to sit on while they read.  I had some leftover materials from a while ago, fleece that ended up not getting used for its intended purpose, and so I drafted up the first pattern this afternoon, and whipped up this gem of a starfish to take into the classroom tomorrow.

His name is Sherman. (P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney Australia…yes the classroom ended up taking on a Finding Nemo type theme, Marlin, Dory and Nemo all made appearances on the window).

pattern piecesFirst I made a basic oblong diamond pattern, of which you need 5 of each color for each side, or 10 Pieces.

Then you put them together along the short sides (right sides together of course), until all the pieces have been sewn together like so…

red side yellow side

Then you put these two together and sew along the outside edge, leaving an opening to turn the starfish right side out.  Now because this is for children, I double sewed the seams, once with a straight stitch and once with a zigzag.  Not entirely sure if it was necessary, but better to have it done, then to have to fix it later.

After you’re finished sewing comes the fun part of stuffing it.  Because this is a floor cushion, and a rather large one at that, I ended up using A LOT of stuffing, and now that it’s finished,

Once you’re finished stuffing, you’ll get something that looks like this.finished yellow side finished red side

Lol, my puppy Bodhi is trying very hard not to attack and kill the huge red monster on the living room floor.  But that doesn’t mean he won’t try to stare it down.

I think I may actually need to put some more stuffing in too, since it’s still a bit floppy in places.  But overall I like how he turned out and hope that the children in Robert’s class get a lot of use out of him.

Sherman finished

Aloha quilting

From the October 2000 to the summer of 2005, my family and I were lucky enough to live on the island of Maui, Hawaii.  While we were there, we experienced a great deal of what is called by locals Aloha, a feeling of love and welcome that characterizes the Islands to their core.  The Hawaiian people are such a loving people, and my family and I came to call this place home.  Unfortunately we had to leave as my father had to change jobs, but we have tried our best to keep the spirit of Aloha wherever we go.  While there, we learned about the art of Hawaiian quilting, and since I’ve been in China, I decided to give it a try.

For Christmas a couple years ago, my sister mentioned that she would really like to bring some prosperity into her life, and asked if I could cross stitch her the Chinese symbol for good luck onto something that she could hang in her home.  I was a bit intimidated by the idea, so I decided that I would try to do a small wall hanging for her, Hawaiian style.

From some of the websites that I visited in doing research for the wall hanging, legend had it that it was a good idea for a beginning quilter to first quilt the ULU or breadfruit, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity, so this is what I chose for her.

The fabrics I bought on the Chinese ebay, Taobao, where you can find almost anything, and for really decent prices (provided you use Chinese in your search query).  It took me a while to find the right colors, but I finally settled on using my sister’s favorite colors.

Miri's Christmas present

The second image is of the back.  I was able to find a fabric that had maps of Hawaii on them, as well as some boats and various island fauna.   My sister was thrilled when she got this.  And I so enjoyed making this that I decided to attempt to do a full size quilt.  Right now, that one is still in the planning phase, but I have the material all ready for when I finally settle on a pattern that I want to do.

This one was actually my second attempt, the first was this one.

.Dolphin and Turtle Hawaiian style quiltThis one never got to the quilting stage, as I didn’t have any batting to put between the front and the back, so I just turned it into a regular applique wall hanging.

In future posts, I’ll detail the process for the Hawaiian quilt that I’m working on at the moment.

Owl be darned

Awhile ago, I bought a lot of fleece, thinking that I would be making a bunch of costumes for my partner’s class of kindergarteners.  When his coteacher found all of them online, I figured I might as well use the fabric myself.  I saw an owl quilt a few months ago and thought that it was the cutest thing ever so I tried to put my own spin on it.

The link is to the inspiration for this quilt.  And I hope you enjoy my spin on it.