Glittersaurus

Confession time: I’m not a huge fan of glittery stuff. I prefer a shiny gold anything, any day. (Sequins don’t count. I love sequins…) However, the moment I set my eyes on these little wooden dinosaurs at the Target dollar spot I knew they were destined to become Glittersauri. (That’s the plural for Glittersaurus, obviously.)

 

These kits are meant for 3 year olds, so lucky for me it was quite easy. Although matching the numbers to the parts seems more suited for a 5 year old if you ask me.

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I sprayed all three dinosaurs with a white base coat, which gave me a smooth surface before proceeding to the glitter. For the first Glittersaurus I attempted I just went straight into the purple glitter paint, and that was a mistake. It took quite a bit of spraying to get full coverage, and I ended up running out of spray paint before I got the coverage I wanted! The proper way to go about this would’ve been to make the base coat the same color as the glitter paint. (Duh.)

I set about to do the next Glittersauri properly. I picked out pearly pink and teal acrylic paints from my stash that matched perfectly, and went to work. It took me FOREVER to finish the base coat on these two dinos.  There’s a lot of little nooks and crannies and my OCD side wanted to be sure there was not a single speck left unpainted. My impatient side eventually won, so don’t inspect them too closely.

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(My boyfriend asked me why I didn’t spray paint all the pieces before assembling. My answer: 1) because I didn’t think of that, and 2) I actually think the paint would add too much bulk and make it harder to fit the pieces together. Plus 3) spraying them afterwards kinda helps seal those seams a little. At least I think so.)

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So there you have it! My Glittersauri!

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Party with Plaid Crafts

Every crafty girl needs a crafty girl gang.

Case in point: when Plaid Crafts and Craft Box Girls selected me to receive a Plaid Party Kit for 4 I knew exactly who I was going to party with!

I invited my friends Paola (of Dapper Animals), Andrea (of Vintage Unicorn), and Nabila (of One Tiny Dinosaur) to party with me.

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Plaid Crafts sent me 4 boxes with 4 full sets of supplies (!!) from their FolkArt line to decorate a pallet coaster.

Each kit included:

  • 1 pallet coaster
  • 2 stencils (1 geometric pattern, 1 alphabet)
  • 1 set of paint brushes
  • 2 Brushed Metal Paints (Brushed Antique Gold and Brushed Rose Gold)
  • 2 Pickling Wash Paints (Sea Glass and Gypsy Rose)
  • 1 stencil brush
  • 1 roll stencil tape
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Project kit from Plaid Crafts featuring products from their FolkArt line.

The kit was accompanied by instructions on different ways to use the products, including using stencils and creating ombre effects with the Pickling Wash.

I’d never used a Pickling Wash before, and I must say I really liked it! Its designed with porous materials in mind, making it perfect for our wood coasters. You paint your surface, then after about 30 seconds you wipe off the excess paint to give it a light wash of color. Some of the girls experimented with repeating the process and keeping the paint on longer times to achieve a darker color.

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Andrea’s Pickling Wash in action

Our favorite effect to create was the ombre. It takes a little bit of practice, but when perfected, that transition from Sea Glass to Gypsy Rose is just gorgeous!

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Paola’s awesome ombre using the Pickling Wash paints

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Did I mention the good quality brushes??

I was super happy that they sent us two stencils to try out. I loved the letters and the geometric pattern allowed me to add a little something extra without having to freehand any designs.

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Alphabet stencil on Nabila’s coaster

My favorite product (aside from the brushes…I was so impressed by the quality!) was the brushed metallic paints. I had a hard time choosing between the gold and rose gold so, inspired by the girls making ombre coasters, I made a subtle ombre that went from Antique Gold to Rose Gold with the stencil.

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My new glue gun coaster.

We stuck to using the materials supplied with the kit 99% of the time, only breaking from that when one of us used a fine tipped pen to make an illustration on one of the coasters. (How cute is that chubby dinosaur?!)

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We had so much fun with our Plaid Craft Party!

What would you make with a party kit of your own?

A huge thanks to Craft Box Girls and Plaid Crafts for sending me the complimentary party kit!

If you’re looking for a crafty girl gang and would like to join us, we’ll be hosting crafternoons in the future! Follow us at The Imposter Collective to be the first to hear about it!

LOTR Brunch: Gandalf the Grey-ish

Last Sunday’s Geek Girl Brunch had us making a visit to The Shire to hang out with our favorite hobbits, elves, and wizards. The theme: Lord of the Rings!

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Group shot! Photo courtesy of Geek Girl Brunch Miami

Aside from the great brunch (Thanks Ms. Cheezious!) GGB is always a fun opportunity to dress up, whether in casual cosplay, serious costuming and props, or anything in between.

I landed somewhere in between as Gandalf the Grey. I wanted to keep my costs low while still making an effort to get crafty. My solution: a grey dress I already had, a self-made fleece hat (Gandalf’s signature wardrobe piece, duh) and a grey “cloak”.

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That’s me! Gandalf, sans staff. Photo by Melificent

My so-called “cloak” was made by simply taking a rectangle of fleece, gathering the corners, and pinning them to my dress around the shoulders. Done! (#lazycosplay)

I put a bit more effort into the hat since I wanted it to be the defining piece of the outfit (although if someone shows up in grey to a LOTR event, you’re kinda going to guess that they’re Gandalf….) After reviewing several pictures of Gandalf from the movie and random cosplayers, I figured I could get the effect I wanted by making myself a “witch hat” and then bending/stuffing the cone to get the Gandalf look.

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I made the hat without a pattern, using only math as my guide…and the only math you really need to use is to determine a radius to make the brim.

While I used fleece, I’d actually recommend using something stiffer, like felt. For the brim I had to use an interfacing to keep the hat from becoming a floppy fleece beach hat.* And then because of the interfacing (it was white and wouldn’t look great exposed) I had to use a 2nd layer of grey fleece for the bottom of the brim. The trickiest part of the project was sewing the cone to the brim, but with plenty of pins and some patience (always my weak point) it didn’t turn out too terribly. 

In total I used about 2.5 yards, keeping my project under $12. I managed to wear the cloak a surprisingly long time, considering it was in the 90’s in the courtyard. I kept poking people and getting stuck in tree branches with my hat, so that was amusing.

To finish, I’ll leave you all with a picture of our swag from the brunch. Isn’t it awesome?!!

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*Now I can’t get the image of Gandalf sunbathing with his floppy fleece beach hat out of my head…

Amigurumi Baby Groot

One of the fun parts of moving is that the packing and unpacking phase can uncover stuff you forgot you ever had. (Sometimes fun, sometimes leads to anxiety.) While emptying yet another box in the craft room I discovered that I had printed off a GROOTORIAL from Twinkie Chan nearly 3 years ago!

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At the time Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1) had just come out and we were all about Baby Groot. Fast forward a few years; now GOTG Volume 2 is out, and we are still all about Baby Groot. (Well, Kid Groot. Was that not the best opening sequence to a movie…ever?? Kid Groot is the best.)

Finding this pattern was a sign that it was time to whip out that crochet needle and make me a Groot!

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This project wasn’t too difficult. I ended up ditching the written pattern and following her video tutorial instead. She made a few changes in the video that worked better for me….like the size of the base, and the final size of the head. My Groot ended up slightly larger than her potted version, but smaller than the one on the video. I also skipped the vine-y bits around the torso. The hardest part was making those skinny little arms. It was so hard for me to keep track of the stitches!!

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I didn’t put my Groot in a pot since I figured he would rather be free to wander out and about.

I was right!

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Ok Groot. Can we have our Bubble Teas back now???*

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Groot, that is NOT your sushi!!*

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Has anyone else made themselves a Baby Groot (or Kid Groot?!)

If not, check out Twinkie Chan’s instructions and let me know if you make your own!!

 

*Sushi and Bubble Tea from Lan Pan in Dadeland Station. Groot’s adventuring photo shoot (and spooning partner, Link) courtesy of Nabila from One Tiny Dinosaur.

Craftcation 2017

Coworker: “So where are you going on your time off next week?”

Me: “Um….craft….cation…?”

Coworker: [blank stare]

Its super hard to explain to anyone why a grown woman would need to use up her vacation days to fly across the country to go crafting with a bunch of strangers. (….because I’m a grown woman and I do what I want?)

That is, unless you’ve been to Craftcation.

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So what is Craftcation? Its a 4-day Conference that happens every year in Ventura, CA. Hundreds of crafty creatives get together and attend hands on craft workshops and classes for creative business owners. Its run by the incredible Nicole Stevens and Delilah Snell of Dear Handmade Life.

I made the decision to attend Craftcation about this time last year, as I went onto the Dear Handmade Life website/social media and saw all of their Craftcation 2016 coverage. I had never heard of anything like it, and everyone looked so…happy! Attendees gushed about the amazing experience, and I knew I had to do it. I bought my ticket in October as soon as they went on sale, booked the hotel, and hoped for the best.

I attended by myself. I’m usually quite shy but I wasn’t worried (even though I usually worry about everything.) Between the posts that Dear Handmade Life published and the insights from attendee group on Facebook, I was assured that it wouldn’t be an issue navigating the conference solo. And they were right. Even though the majority of attendees would call themselves introverts, once I was there everyone was super pumped and friendly. I also had 3 random roommates that turned out to be amazing people. (Shout out to Rachel, Robin, and Nica!)

The conference officially starts on Thursday, but on Wednesday they host a few classes and a Happy Hour event for those who arrived early. I arrived too late in the day to take advantage (train issues. Long story), but after my first In-N-Out experience (animal what?) and a walk to watch the sun set on the beach, I settled in to get ready for my first day.

The next few days were so great and went by way too quickly. I took a total of 7 classes, attended 3 business workshops, as well as the Keynote speech (Jenny Hart!) during Dinner on Friday and the Closing remarks (Tiffany Han!!!) on Sunday. I had my headshots taken and went on a Walking Photo Tour with Sarah Deragon , and met Crochet Idol Twinkie Chan!

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Was distracted by succulents at Olivas Adobe (and hey, there’s Delilah!)

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Downtown Ventura as seen from City Hall

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Blue skies at City Hall

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Watching photography master Sarah Deragon at work during the Photo Walking Tour

Other highlights of the conference:

  • My minor freak-out in my Fabric Block Printing class when they told us we would need to draw our designs. I powered through and ended up making a really cute (in the way a mother finds her children cute?) scissor pattern on my tea towels! This was my favorite class and something I want to continue doing!
  • Showing up an hour early with my roommate to the branding workshop by Lela Barker to make sure we all got seats. It was at least 40 minutes before anyone else showed up, but whatever! The workshop was great. (Lela Barker is amazing!) It made me realize I have so much thinking to do about my sewing business.
  • Finishing my Succulent Terrarium only to ask myself how am I getting this home? It made it home, but not before getting manhandled by TSA.
  • An impromptu photo shoot with my roommate at the Dance Party. Because after the Walking Photo Tour I’m obviously a pro photographer.
  • Skipping class to go fabric shopping at SuperBuzzy. Good thing I set a budget, or I would’ve needed a 2nd suitcase.
  • The Food. They provided a few lunches with registration, as well as a dinner. Not only were the venues lovely (Lunches were at City Hall. Dinner was a Olivas Adobe), but the food was DELICIOUS. I don’t remember exactly what we ate, only that I kept wishing we had a fridge in the room so we could take back leftovers every time.
  • Wanderings. I was blown away by Wanderings. To be honest, it sounded kinda…cheesy. Rooms volunteer to host a pop-up shop or activity, and we wander through the hotel from room to room. I seriously underestimated my fellow attendees. Such a fun, bizarre, and exhausting experience, but I loved it!

There were so many moments where I’d walk around and think where else could this ever happen? Like when I walked to the hotel terrace and found a group of girls huddling around a table full of fabrics and a button maker that another attendee had brought so everyone can make magnets. (I made 5.) And when I’d walk by and see a class in progress in the middle of the Marriott Lobby. I met so many lovely people, and most of all left inspired. Not only to finally do something with my business, but to create freely and without judgement from myself.

Craftcation 2018 dates have already been set for April 4-8. Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

 

That time I made Unicorn Headbands for a bunch of grown women…

What happens when a group of grown women get together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a magical friend?

We wear Unicorn Headbands!

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I recently volunteered to make Unicorn headbands for a magical themed bachelorette party. With the much appreciated help of a friend it wasn’t too difficult. By the end of the night we were Unicorn Headband making pros.

Supplies needed:

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  • Headbands (we used 1/4″ white plastic)
  • White felt (you can fit 2 horns onto one sheet)
  • Colored felt (we used 5 different colors, 1 sheet will get you 2, maybe 3 sets of ears)
  • Gold thread (we used embroidery floss, but recommend using something that won’t fray at the ends)
  • Glue Gun (and about 1 stick of glue per headband)
  • Tulle in assorted colors (6 – 3″x6″ strips for each headband)
  • Polyester fill/stuffing
  • Scissors

There are a few tutorials out there to make the horns using different methods. We ended up using the pattern from HowToGal’s Unicorn Headband tutorial and drew inspiration from a combination of headbands out there on the internets. You can improvise and make your own pattern, but having one premade sped things up (even though it took us a while to figure out exactly how to roll up those horns….)

The ear shape was drawn freehand and required one larger shape, and a smaller one to fit into the larger shape.

First step: Cut out the parts!

The white felt is used for the horn, the inner part of the ear (2 needed) and the base of the horn (2 needed).

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The colored felt is used for the outer part of the ear….so you need two! To minimize the amount of cutting the pattern is meant to be cut on the fold! If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to attach it easily to the headband.

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Be sure to cut on the fold so that both sides of the ear (front and back) are connected!!

Once you have all your parts cut out….

Step 2: The horn

This isn’t as complicated as I convinced myself it was…you basically apply a strip of glue to the edge of one side of the horn piece. Then you take the other edge, and rolling the piece, you place it over that glued edge.

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There’s probably a proper way to deal with the tip of the horn, but life is short, so most of them ended up with a little gap up top.

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Your horn is going to end up a little asymmetrical, so you just chop off that extra piece.

Step 3: Stuff and wrap! (Still working on the horn)

To properly stuff the horn you should use small pieces of fill to get to the very top of the horn. Then you gradually use larger pieces until the whole thing is firmly stuffed. Make sure to stuff the top well or your horn will droop later on.

To ensure that your horn does not look like a dunce cap, you can’t skip the gold thread! Start by tying the string as close to the top as you can. Then you bring the floss down in a spiral until you reach the bottom. The tighter you squeeze, the cuter it will look! Then you glue the end on the bottom, and tuck the loose end under.

Finally, apply glue to the bottom perimeter of the horn and attach to one of the circles. The circle is going to be bigger than the base of the horn so that you can trim it down once the glue has dried up.

Step 4: The Headband!

Now that you have a standalone horn, take the headband and find the center. Apply some glue (about 1-1/2″ wide), and stick that horn on! Then take the 2nd white circle, and glue that to the bottom so that the headband is sandwiched between the horn and the circle.

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Step 5: Ears!

Attaching the ears was my favorite part! Open up the “ear” piece, apply glue on the inside, and close it with the headband on the bottom edge. Make sure to leave room between the ear and the horn for the tulle!

Repeat that on the other side, and then glue on the inner ear.

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Step 6: Tulle!

The final step is adding the tulle strips! First you decide what order (yellow on the inside? blue  on the outside??), then you take one strip at a time and just tie it onto the headband!

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….and you’re done!

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The headbands were a HUGE hit at the party, to the point that we wore them again to the Bridal Shower (and I wouldn’t be surprised if some make an appearance at the wedding next month as well).

I’ve been asked a few times whether I will be selling these. While they will not be listed in my Etsy shop, I will accept custom requests! Contact me for more information.

Mollie Makes: Amigurumi Doughnuts

Its no secret that I’m a fan of Mollie Makes magazine. The moment I see my magazine in the mailbox I start dancing with excitement….what fun projects will be featured this month?!

When I spotted these adorable amigurumi doughnuts in last month’s issue I absolutely knew I needed one of my own! For those who aren’t familiar with amigurumi, it is the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed objects with anthropomorphic features.

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Crochet has a special place in my heart. I want to say that it was the first crafty skill I learned. I was about 7 or 8 years old, on vacation with my family in Colombia and my mother’s aunt decided to teach me during the time I was there. I vividly remember the frustration of having to mirror everything that she was doing (Yay for being a lefty!) and working with a very fine crochet hook and thread (it was mustard yellow). My little hands would get sweaty and keeping tension was a struggle. Thanks to her infinite patience I stuck with it and more or less learned the basics.

So back to the doughnuts….aren’t they adorable?!

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Look at those happy doughnuts!

I decided to make the pale pink doughnut with white icing. (Um, how awesome is it to have a yarn stash and not have to purchase anything??)

Once again, I found that the Mollie Makes instructions assume an existing level of craftiness. In this case, you need to know the basic stitches. Its also a UK magazine, so I think they may use different terminology for crochet?? I thought they were referencing a Double Crochet stitch, but I used a Single Crochet instead (since its the basic amigurumi stitch).

There’s just something about crochet….its so relaxing because of the level of repetition. It gets me in the zone every time. (On that note, you don’t really want to be watching TV or singing music you’re tempted to sing along to. That’s how you lose count of your stitches!)

The steps were pretty basic. The hardest part for me is the actual stuffing and sealing of the doughnut. My hands are just awkward like that.

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Donut, or bagel? 

My favorite part: making the face!!

I used Safety Eyes (they’re like stud earrings that don’t come off!), and red thread for the mouth. Its always fun to experiment with the expressions, but I decided to copy the magazine go simple with a basic happy expression.

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Pin that icing down!

For the icing you simply crochet a few lines, and then stitch them on. While I typically hate doing all these small decorative details, I really enjoyed it this time! It may have something to do with the level of cuteness of this doughnut. (Don’t you want to just take a bite out of it?!)

A hint though: always read the directions all the way through before proceeding…..if I’d have done that I would’ve left the tails a bit longer and saved me some heartache with sewing on that icing.

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Ta-da! I made it myself! =D

This project reminded me just how much I love crochet….and how long its been since my LAST amigurumi project! I can’t wait for the next one!