Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crochet dog sweater

It's officially winter here in Southern California. My spoiled little Cockapoo refuses to get out of bed or go outside when I need to leave for work because it's so cold in the mornings. I searched for appropriate warm clothing for her to wear at my local discount retailer because I don't believe in paying more dog clothes than I do my own! They didn't carry anything warm or eye-catching, to say the least, so I decided to take on a new project among many ongoing "in process" projects already. Here are the results of the first two sweaters! I am making a total of four so we can change it out for a wash since she gets dirty faster than any dog I've ever known.
The pattern can be found here (Note: I omitted the crochet flower).

Ella's hand crochet green sweater
In her green sweater-I call it her "Robin Hood Sweater"

Ella's hand crochet black sweater
Heather black sweater

Ella's hand crochet green sweater
Here is the top-down view

This has been keeping me busy, along with all the planning I've been having to do for our wedding coming up in May 2012! My needle felting has been put aside as I have been laboring away with DIY projects for our wedding and all the research going into other wedding related events. I am excited to use my own needle felted birds for our wedding cake!

I've decided to post my wedding related DIY to share afterall, stay tuned!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sailor's knot doorstop (Monkey's fist)

Sailor's knot doorstop

When I was a kid, I had Saturday school (aka Chinese school) every Saturday morning fom 8-12pm. It sucked. Now, I can only write Mom, Dad, and my name-that's pretty much it! I digress. We always had an activity hour, mine was Chinese knotting. So when I saw some decorative monkey's fist knot at Restoration Hardware on a coffee table, I thought "easy way to add a nautical element in our home!" But where? Well, since we'd moved in our new home, we've used a Costco sized detergent bottle as our front door's stopper. We didn't want to install a permanent stopper on our newly painted walls. And that's the short story of our awesome new doorstop. Oh, and of course I didn't remember how to make the monkey's first anymore-so I just googled it!

I found the the tutorial on Design*Sponge and went to Lowe's to buy my 5/8" thick sisal rope (about $0.59/ft). The video I found most useful, between the 3 listed on the tutorial, is this video. First note, if you decide on making one yourself, tip #1: wear pants. I had on some shorts, and when I was done my legs were red and itchy. It's abrasive on your skin, and tiny fibers get everywhere. Which brings me to tip #2: do it outside. Third note, I didn't add a tenis ball for the door stop and it is still heavy and works perfectly fine for us. It was really difficult for me to add it is, so I just left it out. I also thought making it really heavy could make the loop end from coming undone. Lastly, tip #3: applies only to dog owners with a dog who thinks the door stop is their new chew toy. Dogs hate spicey things. I made a shallow bowl of some cayenne pepper and water. Then poured it all over the knot. Left it outside to dry and tested it with my dog. One lick is all it took. Never touched it again. I love my dogs-but I also love my things to be intact.

Here it is on our door:

Sailor's knot doorstop

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Etsy update

Mary and Molly

Molly (right) is up on Etsy today! And Mary (left) will be up tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love birds on Etsy

Needle felted love birds

These darlings are now up on Etsy! There are two more single owls that will be listed soon, so stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Needle felted cake toppers listed in Etsy

Needle felted love birds cake topper

These cute needle felted love birds is my first, ever, attempt to make my own wedding cake toppers! I made changes after this set, but I may continue to make one's like the small cute blue guy if the results are good and it actually sells. I've been so nervous about putting my items on Etsy and have put it off long enough.

My biggest fear, probably like everyone else selling for the first time, is that the hard work I put into each bird (hours and hours!) isn't taken into account with the price. However, I don't want to decrease the value of my blood sweat and tears (literally) invested in each bird! So, fingers crossed!

I'm slowly posting each bird and couple up, so check back often!

Without further adieu, the love birds are up! Shop Etsy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Current obsession: Baker's twine

I just can't seem to get enough of bakers twine now that I'm in the wedding circuit! (oh, by the way...newly engaged!) The endless use of baker's twine is just another reason to "invest" in lots and lots of twine. Invest would mean there is a ROI, but in the case, I'm fully aware there will be very little return...except oodles of happiness!

Baker's twine is sold at your local crafts store in small amounts. I've found that JoAnn's sells the Martha Stewart twine for about $5 at 36 yds. That's kind of expensive when you consider buying spools. You also have limited color selection. So I researched and researched till I found some better deals for you twine lovers out there!

Two very popular twine sellers with the yummiest colors you can imagine is:
The Twinery $14 for 240 yds
*To see the difference between both of these companies, check out this post by Britta Swiderski that clearly shows difference in quality and style*

The "cheapest"/most inexpensive/bargain: We Sell Coffee $9.95 for/3400 yds (2lbs)

Where can you buy Baker's Twine locally? Paper Source. Howver, they only have the red/white version. But for 1/2 lb at $7.95, it's not bad since you don't have to pay for shipping.

How to make your own Baker's twine on the cheap? Check out ukmaryanne who has a post. Her tutorial on how to make your own twine:

Or, you can twist your own baker's twine! Check out this nifty idea using embroidery floss and cotton twine by Persia Lou. She solved my question on how to keep the twists from unraveling!

I really want to go nuts and buy 5 colors, but whichever route I go is nearly $100! On twine! But I am obsessed. As in I wake up and go to sleep looking or talking about this. My fiance said that if I'm still as obsessed about this in a whole month, I could get it. I'm pretty sure I'll win.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The art of paper cutting

Paper cutting

My very first attempt at paper cutting with no stencil! It took me a good 4 hours to complete the cutting. To start, I drew the rough shape of the bird looking at a tapestry hanging on the wall nearby and went to town with a x-acto knife. After I cut out the shape of the bird, I started to draw designs inside and cut as I went. Later, I learned that you're not suppose to cut out the shape until the end. If you look closely, there is a crease on the top left of the second wing that was folded when I was cutting the details. That could've been avoided had I cut out the shape last!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Terrarium making

Making a terrarium

Here I have the foundation all set. A 2" layer of pebble and rocks for drainage, thin layer of activated charcoal to prevent rot and purify water, and sphagnum moss to keep the soil out of the rocks.

Completed terrarium

And here is the finished terrarium with a scale horse I bought just for this mini project! I used moss, polka dot plant, and I can't remember the name of the third tree-like plant.

**Since making this, I have closed the lid on container and it has been self sufficient with the water condensation watering the terrarium everyday. The only care I have had thus far is pinching the plants back from overgrowth! This is the best part of having a completely closed terrarium versus the popular open terrariums, no watering needed!**

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back from Paris

la case de cousin paul
While walking back to our hotel from Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, we passed by La Case de Cousin Paul on Tardieu and saw these beautiful lighted orbs made of string. It looked like thick cotton string wrapped around and you can see through the tiny gaps. Unfortunately for us, the store was closed and I didn't get the chance to go in and get a closer look. I really want the big ball for my home! The best part of the store front was the color scheme, my favorite color combination: gray and yellow.

Glass cloche, or bell jar, was in the main palace of Versailles. One of my favorite pieces, along with Marie Antoinette's bedroom and hamlet. She had such impeccable taste!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Elliot the Elephant

Now that I am back from our Europe trip and awake from being in and out of consciousness from post vacation cold, I have a minute to spare to post pictures of my nephew's finished gift!

Elliot the Elephant

Eliot the Elephant

Meet Elliot, the cutest organic handmade Elephant! I love him now and wanted to keep him for myself and add to my menagerie of amigurmi safari animals I've been attempting to make. He is made of 100% organic cotton, which is harder to crochet than acrylic blends. Elliot is all ready to meet his new owner and ready to get his trunk chewed on!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Needle felted cake toppers

Needle felted cake toppers
The Hawaiian set
Needle felted cake toppers
The Hawaiian set
Needle felted cake toppers
The whole wedding crew
Needle felted cake toppers
Sadly, Hawaiian bride is by herself
Needle felted cake toppers
In the lineup with the rest of the cake toppers

I'm very excited to share these photo's I've been working to get for my birds before starting up my etsy shop. A huge thank you to Philip from Patty's Cakes in Fullerton, CA for graciously providing the cake and Michael Tang for the amazing photos! Without the immaculately well-designed bakery and artistically talented photographer, this would not have turned out the way I have envisioned. Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rope art and Patchwork 2011

Rope Art
Inspired by a DIY from design*sponge, I bought two packs of rope and went to town with my glue gun. I actually completed my project last summer but during a heat wave in southern California, I came home to my wall art in pieces all over the floor. Apparently, high temp glue would have been the way to go here. Now with my high temp glue I am re-piecing it all back together!

Patchwork May 2011
Patchwork May 2011
We went to Patchwork this past Sunday and came home with two posters from The Poster List and two greeting cards from Merry Blues Art. We loved the repetition of the owl poster and the whales were just too cute to pass up! The greeting cards from Merry Blues Art were quite unique. She uses banana paper and designs the cards herself. The graphics are just as unique as her eco-friendly choice of card stock!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I love the 40's-50's era, so it goes without saying that when I came across this banquette I started to feverishly look for how I could replicate this look myself. The tulip style table and Eames chair is a matter of patience to find when I have the time to go to the flea market. But the leather seating? That'll be the challenge. I wonder if I'll actually get around to this project out of the other 50 I already have on my project list.

How long does it typically take the average person to furnish their home with the exact look they envisioned? I just moved in our home in Feb, and I feel nowhere near where I want to be (design speaking)!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Terrarium container finds

Inspired by Viva Terra's terrarium (and not wanting to shell out $80), I set out to make my own terrarium! Starting with hunting down some stylish containers:

Terrarium container

I'm extremely pleased to share my terrarium container finds! The enclosed glass container will house low light and high moisture plants like moss and ferns while the open orb will have some Tillansias (also known as air plants). I'm quite excited that there is a store within 30 miles that actually carries these exquisite plants since your normal nurseries, Armstrong and the like, don't carry them! I'm just stoked I found some suitable containers I love!

Now, where do I go find myself tiny plastic people and animals to put in my terrarium?!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Work in process: cake toppers

Work in progress: cake topper set

I have finally made progress on a set of cake toppers I've been wanting to make and I'm happy to say that they are mostly done! They both need a set of legs and the bride needs a veil, any maybe some lace around her body? We'll see...

Sorry for such bad pictures, I really need to get a better camera than this old cannon point and shoot dud.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The ever-so-popular Tarnby rug...

Tarnby Rug MINE! It is in it's temporary location as I figure out a new configuration to our tiny bedroom where the rug will go. Decorating a house takes so much time and money! I'm going to have to master this on a budget, especially since my tastes seem to land in the expensive side. Luckily, I am a big craigslist fan and thrifting is a hobby.

My next goal: find a set of mid-century nightstands!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcoming Madeline

Meet the new member of the group! Needle felting sure is an acquired takes so long just to make one of these but when it's done, it's well worth the trouble. It's definitely going to be difficult to bid farewell to these birds! Hope someone will enjoy them as much as I do.

3 best friends
Best of friends: Madeline, Mary, and Molly (front to back) set out to explore the overgrown garden.

The trio will be up on my etsy shop as soon as I can get tags made for them!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Needle felted owls and birds

First completed needle felted owls

Meet Mary and Molly, my first completed needle felted owls completed! Hacked my brain for a bird design and came up with this owl!

Love birds (cake toppers)

The love birds ready to be on top of a cake

Completed cake toppers for myself!

Finally, the set I first started in Dec 2009, completed at last. One day, it will perch on top of my very own cake...or something like that.

Hope you all like it! Looks like I will be opening up that etsy shop soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Juju hat smitten

You're probably wondering what a juju hat is, well it is only the most beautiful set of tail feathers that I would LOVE to put above my mantle! It's a feathered headdress from Africa and typically worn my tribal chiefs in the Cameroonian kingdoms. The feathers are hand woven into a raffia base...I wonder if I could just get a ton of feathers and glue them all together and replicate this instead of pay $6-700 for a piece of this...

This hand-stitched Moroccan leather pouf is also on my "need to acquire" list. This is more affordable coming in at ~$200. Functions as a foot stool or extra seating. I like this shade of orange or some shade of yellow.

And these will probably never be justifiable purchase: Moroccan wedding blanket. Isn't that Berber rug just to die for??

**I stumbled across the amazing Louise Bell and her tabletonic blog/store while searching for a couch. Isn't her taste simply impeccable?**

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rain Ready!

Ball of furry
*My puppy, Ella, was laying next to the umbrella while I was trying to snap a picture. As I pressed the shutter down, she charged at the camera!

So excited to get my bubble umbrella in the mail! I ordered it when we were having some intense winds and rain but today it's about 89 degrees!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Geraldine the Giraffe
Meet Geraldine the giraffe!

Leo the lion
Leo side angle
and Larry the Lion!

My crocheting adventures brought me to these adorable animals a friend shared with me. Find book here!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wedding bells?

Here comes the bride

So this is how far I've gotten on my very first project. The goal was/is to make my own cake topper for my wedding cake after I fell in love with the first needle felted topper I stumbled across.

Simply in love

...and voile! My stab at my first pair of love birds for someone's cake topper. Their destiny and sole purpose is to make a future bride one step closer to their magical day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Some ideas sketched for needle felting. I love birds, and I love things in the round. Can't you tell? Will probably go in another direction that I have in mind, I can't tell you how excited I am to get all the ideas in my head in actual production!

On another note, how lovely is this Dorothy Draper inspired duvet set? I'm itching to buy it! But can't justify the cost with Eric.
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