Friday, August 31, 2012

Have You Ever Tried To Make A Poodle?

If you've ever tried to make a poodle, then you'll understand how difficult it is, for anyone other than God, that is.

First you have to crochet the body, then the head, neck, legs, tail, and ears.  Then you have to sew all the parts together correctly, so it doesn't look stupid.  Then you cover certain parts with curly little loops, so that the dog looks like it has fluffy hair.

Then you strap it to a table, hook up electrodes, raise it up through a hole in your roof, then wait for a big lightning storm.......
Just joking about that last part.

This was a pattern that I got from one of my Mom's old crochet magazines.  There were many things about this particular pattern that I didn't like. 

But the one thing I changed was the way the dog's hair was made.  I simply decided to do it my way instead of their way.  I think it looks a lot better. 

Poodles are what I call foo-foo dogs, because sometimes they are pampered and have this kind of haircut, a foo-foo do.  So, in honor of foo-foo dogs everywhere I present Francois, so named by my son.  Incidentally, his nickname is Noodles.  I  hope you like him. 

He likes to play outside in the sun.  This is Francois' summer haircut.

-Momma Cat

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nightstand Transformation

I received this nightstand (before) from a friend with permission to do whatever I wanted with it. It soon became a long-term summer project.

I was not fond of the original hardware, so I removed it and purchased these cute flower drawer-pulls from Coco and Toulouse Go Shopping, another of my favorite little shops in Sellwood. 

To go from two holes in the front of each drawer to one, I filled in the existing holes with Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler, which  my dad recommended to me. Once it's dried and sanded flat, you can paint over the wood filler and it will be indistinguishable from the rest of the drawer.

Next I covered the entire piece of furniture, including the insides of the drawers, with some primer that my parents had leftover from painting their house. When changing from a dark color to a much lighter color, primer makes it so you don't need as many coats of paint. It also seals unfinished wood so that you can paint it. Since I was going from black to white, I still had to use a couple coats of primer, but I would have needed a lot more paint if I had not used the primer.

After the primer, I very carefully measured to the center of each drawer and drilled a hole just big enough for my new drawer pulls to screw into. I measured from each side of the drawer front in order to get the hole in the exact center so that it wouldn't be unbalanced.

Next, I painted over the primer with white gloss spray paint from my local hardware store, after first promising not to use it for graffiti.
Once the white paint was dry, I used some painters tape to outline all of the places that I wanted to be a different color, in the hope of making straighter lines. I then filled in those areas using a small paintbrush and some pink acrylic paint. Some of the pink paint leaked under the tape so I had to touch up the lines with more white paint. Be careful doing this part because it your touch-up paint isn't exactly the same color as the main paint you used, it can be a problem.

After all of the paint was dry, I attached the drawer pulls, put the drawers back in and, voila! A complete transformation!

-Baby Cat

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Turning Ordinary Flats into Magical Ruby Slippers

What little girl hasn't seen "The Wizard of Oz" and dreamed of wearing her own pair of beautiful, glittering, ruby slippers? I know I have. I never had any when I was little, so for my last birthday I decided to make myself a pair!

A free pattern for "glitter pumps" from Joann Fabrics caught my eye but I decided to make them flats instead. I don't wear heels very often and I didn't think I would get as much use out of them as I would if they were flats.

I bought a pair of black ballet flats from H&M, along with some red glitter and a couple bottles of glitter adhesive.

Following the pattern, I worked in small sections of the shoe, first using a makeup sponge to apply the glue, then covering the glued area with glitter and shaking the excess glitter onto a piece of paper and back into the glitter bottle to reuse. Then I repeated this process on the next section.

Once the shoes were covered in glitter, I then applied another coat of glue to keep the glitter from coming off later.

In the end, they looked like this! A word of caution: no matter how careful you are it is possible that you will still be finding glitter on your floor for quite some time after doing this project. Hopefully, if you are making glitter-covered shoes, you like glitter enough that this will not be a problem.

One added tip, if you don't want to get glitter in the inside of your shoe, cut a piece of paper (any kind) and insert it into the shoe before you start.  I didn't do this, but wish I had!  

I hope you like my ruby slippers and that this post will help you if you ever decide to make your own!

-Baby Cat

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eulalia Fairy Doll

I've been working very hard as of late designing and creating my new fairy doll, Eulalia.  She stands just under 20 inches, so she's larger than any of my other dolls, and she has wings!  Well, she's a fairy, so duh, right?

Anyway, the biggest challenges I faced were her feet and her wings.  I have never crocheted naked feet before, and they were a little tough to get right.  I'm still not sure they are perfect.  And the wings!  OMG!  I tossed out a million different ideas before I came up with the right materials and shape for her wings.  My son helped me quite accidentally by turning the trial wings sideways and holding them up to her back.  They looked much better that way!  So I remade them out of different materials and they came out perfect.  Thank you son!

Her hair was a labor of love and took several loooooong evenings (thank God for the coverage of the Olymic games) to attach every last little strand to her wig cap, then she got a haircut!

Lastly, I had to fashion a sort of tiara out of flowers.  So I went to my local JoAnn's store and bought two types of little pink flowers and some floral tape and went to work.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and it's just attached to her head with stick pins, so it can be removed if need be.

I hope you like Eulalia.  She will likely be joined by some fairy friends in the near future, so keep in touch and let me know what you think of her.

-Momma Cat

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grandpa's Miniature Tools

Momma Cat recently wrote a post on some of the wonderful things we found at my aunt and uncle's garage sale that had belonged to my grandma. We also found some very special things of my grandpa's, which I would like to write about now.

My grandpa was amazing at woodworking, and some of the precious toys he made for his children and grandchildren included a dollhouse and dollhouse furniture! (The dollhouse dining room set that I am putting together right now belonged to my grandpa too.) As I have also recently taken an interest in furniture, both full-sized and miniature, I brought back these precious miniature tools that my grandpa used to make dollhouse furniture, including...

A mini table saw, for cutting pieces that would be too small for a regular table saw. I'll admit, the first time I learned how to use a table saw and was told not to cut pieces smaller than a certain size, my first concern was what I would do if I needed to cut something out for, say, a dollhouse. Well, this is it!

A mini jig saw, for detailed tiny cuts.

And a mini lathe, for turning tiny table legs and such.

These tools are so special not only because of their unique purpose but especially because they belonged to my grandpa. I am so lucky that my grandparents and parents were and are so creative and talented! They inspire me so much every day and I feel closest to my family when I am creating.

-Baby Cat

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grandma's Treasures

Recently Baby Cat and I were up in Port Angeles, Washington helping out at my sister and brother-in-law's yard sale.  We found some real treasures amongst the stuff that used to belong to my Mother.  My Mother was a crocheting genius and collected patterns her entire life.  There were so many it was pretty overwhelming!  We also found these sweet little molds that you use to crochet little shoes and hats, then you stiffen them so that they can stand alone.  I've included some of the ones my Mom made in this photo, so you can see how wonderful they are!  I think they'd make wonderful Christmas decorations.  What do you think?

There are several patterns in these books that we will use to make things to sell at the St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar, and on our blog.  Right now we just want to share these great things with you.

There was so much more there than we could bring back with us, because alas, life is too short, and space is limited. So we chose carefully and brought back things we really liked.  We hope you like them too!

Momma Cat

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zombie Surfer Dude

Here's another creepy cutie who is enjoying the summer (even in death)! With his black surfboard and dingy brown swim trunks, Zombie Surfer Dude is ready to join Zombie Hula Girl and my aunt in Hawaii.

What's even more exciting is that six more of their little zombie friends will also be on their way there, and my aunt is going to try and sell them in tourist shops in Hawaii! I can't wait to see how they are received there, but first I have to get to work making the little guys and getting the Laughing Cat logo on them somehow. The fun part will be making each one special and unique!

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Hangers From Old!

A while back (several years ago) a good friend of mine gave me an old crocheted hanger and a pattern that her mother had written out for her.  She was hoping that I would take it and make a bunch of new ones.  Well, I accidentally hid it from myself, and I couldn't find the pattern anymore, so I went online to find a new one. 

When I tried making the new pattern for my hanger it just wouldn't come out right, so I ended up writing a new pattern.  It's was so simple and the hangers came out looking great!   

First you need some wooden hangers like the one in this photo.  Then you need a size G crochet hook.  The last thing you need is some Caron Simply Soft yarn in the color of your choice.  You will also need some scissors and a yarn needle.

Crocheted Hanger Pattern
Using a size G, or 4.25mm crochet hook ch 90.
Row 1:  make 5dc in 4th ch from hook.  *Skip 3 ch, sc in next ch, ship 3 ch, 6 dc in next ch; Repeat from * ending with sc in last ch.  (ten half shells have been made)
 Row 2:  Turn.  *make 6dc in bottom of sc.  Repeat from * to end of row.  Fasten off.  (ten full shells have been made.  

Repeat instructions for front, but DO NOT FASTEN OFF.

Now match front and back together, sc together across the first 5 shells.  Insert the hanger and continue to sc across the rest of the shells.

Take your yarn needle and hide all the loose ends. 

You can make a chain of the desired length to create a ribbon for the base of the hanger neck.  Or you can use a piece of pretty color coordinated ribbon to finish it off. 

This is what my hangers looked like when they were finished.  I still haven't decided whether or not to embellish them with ribbon or not, but I really like the way they came out.  I love the bright colors.  Now, I just have to find a reliable source for wooden hangers.  I stole these from my husband's closet! He, He!

Mommy Cat

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pretty Penny

When I found Penny at a doll show years ago, she was a real mess.  She had no clothing, she was dirty, and her hair was all short and frazzled.  I don't know why I bought her.  Maybe it was her brown eyes.  Or maybe I saw some kind of potential in her.  Whatever it was, I don't know.  I just knew I had to have her. 

So I brought Penny home and cleaned her up.  This meant cleaning between her fingers, toes, behind her ears, her eyes, and every other small spot with a q-tip. 

When she was clean, she was still naked, so I found a doll clothes pattern I liked and some fabric, then made her a cute little dress and panties.  She's showing you them in the second picture.


I bought Penny's shoes and stockings from a doll catalog, and I also bought Penny a wig.  Yes, Penny's hair is a wig!  But doesn't she look great?!  She looks like a brand new doll, but she's not.  I've had her for almost 25 years and who knows how long she was around before that? 

Anyway, Baby Cat and I are now enjoying Penny and sharing her with you.  It just goes to show what you can do with a little love, cleaning solution, some fabric, and a wig! 

Momma Cat

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flower Pot Flo

Don't know what to do with your teeny, tiny flower pots?  How about making a doll out of them?  That's what I did!

To be honest, this is not an original idea.  I saw a photo in a magazine many years ago and thought it was a cute idea.  I bought some small flower pots, (the smaller the better) some jute, moss, a few wooden balls of different sizes, and some paint, then I went to town.

I didn't have a pattern, just a photo, so I had to kind of make it up as I went along.  The hardest part was tying the knots inside the pots to keep them in place.  I remember having to ask someone else for help with that.

Flo has been tucked away in a storage been for many years and we just unearthed her (no pun intended).  Baby Cat and I wanted to share her with you.

Flo was meant to be a decorative item.  Here you see her hanging in our butterfly bush, but in reality she should be somewhere where she won't be subjected to harsh sunlight or rain.  Like maybe a covered patio or sun porch.

Flo even looks cute seated, so she could decorate a greenhouse, a gardening shed, or any place where there's a shelf.  Like I said before, the smaller the pots you use, the better because the doll becomes very heavy and hard to work with otherwise.

We hope you like our Flo.  She is one of a kind and very special.  She belonged to my beloved sister for many years and now she has come back home to join our ever-growing collection of dolls.

-Momma Cat

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Say "Aloha" to cuteness

My aunt requested that I make her a zombie hula girl to accompany her on her move to Hawaii. This is the creepy-cute result!

She has yet to be named but I am already working on a zombie surfer boy to go with her. I might even make a few non-zombie hula girls so I can experiment with brighter colors. What do you think?

Momma Cat and I plan to add a page to our blog soon that will allow you to make special orders too! We love getting creative requests!

-Baby Cat