Friday, January 6, 2012

Pails, Details & Puppy Dog Tails

Pails: Today was yet another gorgeous, unseasonably warm January day in Central Illinois.  How can we be so lucky?  I think karma dictates we'll be having some pretty awful snowstorms in February!  Or snow until Easter...oh well, we've been enjoying every minute of this amazing weather while we can.  Today we went to the forest preserve near our home - it's one of our favorite nature getaways and in warmer weather, we walk there (well, the kids ride in a stroller because it is about 1.5 miles and they have really short legs).  The little ones' most favorite thing to do at the forest preserve is stand in awe of the natural beauty . . . oh wait, no, they like to throw rocks in the lake.  Yup - we bring our buckets, loaded with rocks we find in our yard, and then happily throw rock after rock into the lake.  Oh, to have a child's ability to find joy in such simple things...

I took a couple of pictures of the sky while we were there because the contrails were so cool - one was an "X" or a cross, depending on how I turned my camera, and to the east there were a bunch criss-crossing randomly. 

I love taking pictures of stuff like this, but I never really know what to do with them after I take them...sell prints on Etsy?  I can't hang them all up on my wall or we'd have floor-to-ceiling picture wallpaper...wait, maybe that would be a great solution for covering my navy and maroon paisley wallpaper!  Anyway, I just love to take pictures, so even if I can't find something useful to do with the finished product, the process is still enjoyable.  

Onto the details:  I made my NYRs pretty vague, so I'm going to nail down a couple of my crafting goals more specifically.  
My Shop - I'd like to keep my inventory at ~50+ items (I'm going to count anything over 40).  I promise I won't cheat and post 43 copies of my pattern ;)
My Blog - My dream is to reach 100 followers by the end of January - hey, if you're going to  dream, dream BIG!
Facebook - It would be amazing to reach 100 likes on Facebook by the end of January, too - talk about big dreams, I'm only at 20 right now.  Heck, I'm keeping it on the list anyway.
Pinterest - Let's just keep the whole 100 thing going - 100 followers on Pinterest by the end of January would be pretty sweet.  
Now for the amazing part . . . if I meet ALL these goals by the end of January, I'm going to treat all of YOU!  Why?  Because I need your help to achieve the majority of these goals . . . so it's only fair that you get a reward, right?  That's why I'm going to give all of you 50% off at my shop and also give away something wonderful (I haven't decided what, yet, so if you a wish list, let me know...).  I'm hoping for a really big start to the year - that way I can coast for the rest of it - ha!

Puppy Dog Tails:  My daughter requested coats for her three favorite stuffed animals because she can't bear to bring them outside with just their fur coats!  So, we whipped up three super simple fleece coats in 30 minutes - really, I promise - because if it had taken longer, she'd have lost interest...
To start, you're going to need a very serious design assistant to measure the subject.
 Then, to actually measure, lay a piece of fleece around the stuffed animal and give yourself a little extra.  And trim the piece at the end of the animal (remove stuffed animal first or risk a terrible tail tragedy).
 Roll a bit for the collar and then cut a slit where the arm is at . . .
 Fold the fleece in half and cut through the slit to make one on the opposite side.
 Roll the short ends and sew down the middle of the roll.
 Roll the collar back and stitch down the middle of the row (I did not do this precisely or anything - just rolled and sewed).
 Here's the inside of the coat - just to give you a visual for the pithy steps listed above :)
 Put the coat on the cat and mark where the button should go - I just held the button on 
(I had my needle all threaded and ready to go).
 Sew that button on :)
 Now make a buttonhole for that button you just sewed on - I tried cutting slits both ways...
 ...and I prefer this way - it pulls less and has better "drape" - which is really important in stuffed animal outerwear!
These guys are so happy to have coats (and in case you're wondering why we have two nearly identical cats, it's because these "pets" are a gift from our neighbor and represent her actual pets, who we take care of when she's out of town). 
 Now all our little buddies are cozy and warm -
 just in case it does get back to being winter here.

I like to party here -
Make Something Mondays at Sarahndipities    
Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings     Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie     Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog     Tutorial Tuesday at Newlyweds on a Budget    Take-a-look-Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Show and Tell Linking Party at Blue Cricket Design     We Did It! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado     Your Whims Wednesdasy at My Girlish Whims  
Things I've Done Thursday at Bear Rabbit Bear      Home for the Holidays at Uncommon      Taking Time-Out Thursday at Mom On Timeout      Create and Share at The Trendy Treehouse    DIY Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty101    Link it up Thursday at These Peas Taste Funny
Latest and Greatest Friday at Days of Chalk and Chocolate     Winter Wonderland at igottacreate   Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous   Freestyle Friday at Happy Hour Projects    Shine on Friday at Happy Go Lucky    Featured Friday at Blissful and Domestic    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage      It's a Hodgepodge Friday at It's a Hodgepodge Life    Featured Friday at Toys in the Dryer    
Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time on My Hands      Tickled Pink at 504 Main      Scrappy Saturdays at Candace Creations     A Pinteresting Link Party at Here's to Handy Andy   Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors    Head 2 Head Saturday Showdown at I can't stop crafting
Not Baaad Sundays with Lamb Around   Lisa's Linky Party at Lisa's Craft Blog    Creative Bloggers Party & Hop at Homemaker on a Dime


  1. Those are so cute. And we all know how important it is for babies to be warm before they go outside, lol. Actually, I was going to attempt to make something for our flesh and blood boy, so maybe this pattern would work for him as well. Hmmmmm. ;) Thanks so much for sharing at our party.

  2. I'm surprised my little one hasn't asked for something like this for all of her buddies! I better not let her get wind of this idea...haha.. Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday.


  3. Those are the best dressed stuffed animals I have seen. Who needs Build a Bear? I am a new follower visiting from It's Playtime. I am also following you on Pinterest now and hope to get you closer to 100. Vicky from Mess For Less

  4. that sounds really fun. I think I can do this thanks to that simple tutorial. My girls would really enjoy this. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm having a link party on my blog right now if you want to share this idea. Here's the link if you're interested. Have a lovely day, Maria


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