Pawnee Goddesses

Leslie Knope is easily the best TV character of all time. Not only is she Feminist AF, but she’s a fantastic friend….even if a little over enthusiastic. When I grow up I want to be Leslie (or Anne, because how awesome would it be to have Leslie as my BFF?)

One of my favorite Leslie moments? Season 4, Episode 4, Wilderness Weekend with the Pawnee Goddesses. (This also happens to be Treat Yo’self 2011. Purely coincidence.) If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it right now. It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait.

So yeah, Pawnee Goddesses are freaking awesome. Which is why I had to make myself a Pawnee Goddess vest.

I purchased my iron-on patch on Etsy from FerdinandWorks, and the fabric and yellow trim (ric rac) can be found just about anywhere (I got mine from Joann’s). I used New Look 6036, model E, for the vest pattern.

Of course, our sewing session turned into a full-on sewing party….

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This is actually a great project for an advanced beginner! A little tricky with the curves, but you can either line it, or use bias binding to make it easier. None of my friends had ever sewn a garment before, and they turned out really great!

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I am a goddess

A glorious female warrior

Queen of all that I survey

Enemies of fairness and equality

Hear my womanly roar.

Up next: I make my very own Gertrude Stein!*

*That was a joke.

Photos by Nabila/One Tiny Dinosaur

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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.

Mythical Creatures Brunch: Totoro

Have you heard of Geek Girl Brunch? If you haven’t, go check it out right now.

I joined as soon as they launched a chapter in Miami, and I am not exaggerating when I say its one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years. I have met so many great people through Geek Girl Brunch (GGB) and it has legitimately changed my life.

Last weekend the Miami Chapter had their November brunch with the theme of “Mythical Creatures” in honor of the new Harry Potter movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. It took me a few weeks to find the proper inspiration and I finally made the decision with less than a week before the event. I decided on one of my favorite mythical creatures: Totoro, from “My Neighbor Totoro.”

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As soon as I made my decision, I knew exactly how I would make this happen, and all without having to buy a single thing! (You see, hoarding does have its benefits!)

All I needed was a grey dress, grey and white fleece, and a headband. The most complicated part was the headband. I had purchased a few pairs of kids bunny ears at Target back around Easter (yay for the Dollar Spot!) so I used one as the base for my Totoro ears.

I was crafting this all the night before, so I didn’t get any progress pics. However the process is simple. Once I had the headband and wires exposed I shaped them into the general shape I wanted. I traced this shape onto the fleece and cut out 4 times (I added a seam allowance, but in hindsight I would make it smaller, or eliminate altogether) and sewed two pairs together to make 2 ears! (Sew right sides together, trim excess fabric, and turn right side out!)

If you don’t have a sewing machine I’m fairly sure you can recreate this by sandwiching the wires in between two layers and gluing together.

I slipped them over the wires and glued down the base of the ears to the headband. To cover up the band I cut out a rectangle long enough to cover from end to end, and tapered the width to match the headband. I measured out the location for two slits through which I could squeeze the ears through, and then glued it all down with a glue gun. (I won’t show you the inner part of the headband, because like I said….I was in a hurry so it does NOT look pretty!

The bib was the easiest part to make. I grabbed a piece of fleece, eyeballed the width and height I wanted, and cut out the shape with scissors. I cut out and glued the little crescents with a glue gun. Once dry, I safety pinned (from the inside) to the front of my dress. Definitely not the most impeccable items I’ve ever made, but it was quick, fun, and dare I say cute!

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My best attempt at imitating Totoro’s expression.

Geek Girl Brunch always does a fantastic job at the brunches. If you consider yourself even mildly geeky I’d suggest you check it out! The brunches are very popular, thus a bit difficult to get into, but so worth it! (Did I mention there are swag bags?!)

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Group shot  courtesy of GGB Miami