Friday, August 27, 2010

Sock creatures 24 and 25 of the 30 are here!

I will apologize now for the quality of the pictures.  I am having the worst time with the new Cybershot camera.  I keep accidentally moving the top piece that changes the picture mode. (Does anyone want to buy a slightly used camera?)

In any case--here are the newest sock creatures.  This first one was to have been a smaller version of the pig I did the last time.  Being cheap, I was trying to save a small piece from the top of a sock.  Lessons learned:  1.  You can't change the length without changing the width if you want the shape to remain the same.  2.  You can work with your "accidents" by moving in another direction altogether. This one is, as the painting teacher used to say on the PBS channel, "a happy little accident."  My pig turned into a very nice head.

I like the simple X for the mouth.  Another happy accident was that I forgot to round off  what would have been the back of the pig.  The straight line left what I turned into ears.  (You can just see one on the side in the picture.)  The monkey would be hanging upside down on a vine on the socks, but it works this way, too, for a sweater.  She's also a gymnast--see that awesome split below.  A very small,  pig-headed gymnast had to be named  Petunia Retton. (Y'all do remember Porky's girlfriend was Petunia, right?)

The next creature came from the socks the size of the tiny striped ones here.

Who knew they made tiny, brown-striped, old man socks?  No wonder they were on sale at the sock outlet.
I had the carrot button left over from some long-ago project.  I don't know what I was thinking going with the traditional pink/red bunny eyes on a completely nontraditional striped bunny.  Things I make late in the day seldom make sense, though.  The mouth is kind of lost in the picture, but it is just an orange inverted V.  I had the WORST time getting it even. In any case, this is Fiver, named after the little rabbit in Watership Down.   If you've not read the book, you really, really should.  It is one of my all-time favorites.  Just thinking about it now makes me wish I had a little person to read it to. 

Five more to go!  I will get there yet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fun Candles at the Craft Fair in Vermont

I wasn't going post about the Manchester fair because I got so few pictures.  I know people get upset that others are going to copy their designs--understandably, so the camera stayed in my bag.  You have to buy at least one if you are going to attempt to copy it! At two, three, four hundred, and more this was definitely a "look at" trip for the most part. These kinds of craft fairs are far more art than craft. 

I did find Otter Creek Candles, though, and they are well worth sharing .  They have soy candles in a huge selection of fragrances.  My Otter Creek candle burns cleaner and much more slowly than most others I've had.    It was heaven to check out all the choices at their booth, but nearly impossible to decide which one to get. I finally went with one that would to be fun as well as scenty.  Are you ready for this?  Monkey Farts.  Yes, it is gross and juvenile.  I couldn't even  bring myself to smell it at first,  but the owner insisted it was a banana tropical scent that just was not selling under its original name. Its actually a beautiful soft scent--just a touch of banana.  Now, it's a top seller.  See--I'm not alone in having a sick sense of humor.  My kids enjoyed the joke and I got a great candle.  I'm happy.

Check out the Otter Creek website.  Mixed in with their large number of socially acceptable choices are just a few fun ones.  I'm going to have fun with those this Christmas. 

I did get a few pictures to show you what a lovely day we had. Not many craft fairs have this view all around.

 Even the weather was perfect.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two New Sock Animals

These are sock animals rather than creatures.  I got both of them from Daniel's Stray Sock Sewing Book--the first one, not Stray Sock Sewing, Too. Here is the lovely white rabbit. 

I love the way the head came out and the frilly neck.  The body, though, is lacking something.  It's just misshapen and I cannot figure out what to do about it.  Next time, I'm going to cut it at the point where the legs go on and sew legs in separately.  Still, he has a beautiful face!  He gets to stay.  

I tried to find out the White Rabbit's name from Alice's Wonderland.  Apparently, it was White Rabbit.  That just won't do.  Someone thought it was Herald, but that, according to someone else, was his job not his name.  The spelling makes that kind of obvious.  I'm going to use it for my white rabbit's name anyway. I like the name and the spelling so this guy is Herald. 

This little pig was done almost exactly as Daniel's version.

I gave mine a curly tail.  I can't imagine why Daniel didn't.  A pig just has to have a curly tail!

Isn't that a great face!  You create a ball with the end of one sock and pull the top of another sock over.  (As I'm looking at the picture right now, I'm thinking those ears would make great horns.)    The idea of putting in balls of stuffing for the legs and sewing them in place was interesting.  It worked well, but I think I might try stacking circles of felt or fleece the next time.  It will be easier to create uniform shapes that way.

These are numbers 22 and 23 of the 30 I should have completed long ago!  I really want to try a few more of these pigs.  There are a variety of ways to do them in the book. There is also a fish made in much the same manner.  I want to try that too.  Now if I could just create a few extra hours in each day! It's nice to get a few things finished, though.

The new job is just sucking up my time.  Without a dedicated desk/phone/computer, I still have to do a lot of the work at home.  I'm not good at setting boundaries, though.  I tend to keep working way longer than I should.  Good news is that it is a year-long grant!  I'll be finished on June 10th!!!  (Lesson learned here is to be sure the place of employment actually has room and equipment for you before taking on the job.) 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sock Creatures #18, 19,20, and 21 have arrived

I've been playing around with new ways of sewing the limbs on and some pointy ears with this bunch.  Daniel's book, Stray Sock Sewing:  Making One of a Kind Creatures from Socks has a technique for rounding the head I wanted to try.  I am trying to eliminate the no-neck look on some of my creatures.  Daniel's method of gathering and sewing the head into a ball seemed like it might work, and it was better. Al Bino shown below does have a nicely rounded head and some definition in the neck.

His legs just didn't look right so I sewed them into what looks like a kneeling position.  He does look kind of cute that way.

Here was the next try:

I do like this one named Phee Lexa after Felix the Cat whom she does look a bit like.  I am fond of the pointed ears and the cutesy sweater.  I ordered a bunch of different eyes from CR's Crafts online that I used on this batch.  I found this company when surfing the net looking for different kinds of eyes for my creatures.  These were the owl eyes.  The have lovely swirling lines through the gold-colored area.

I'm doing a bit of hand embroidery as well as hand sewing some of the head and limbs on this batch.

My next one was a royal pain.  I HATED IT!  Because I was putting a growler in it, (the thing that makes a mooing noise when you turn it upside down and then back),  I thought the torso needed to be longer. It ended up looking just plain misshapen.   I just could not leave it like that so I took scissors to it cutting out an inch or so in the mid-section and sewing it back together.  She's wearing a tutu to cover the scar.

She's actually much more attractive in person.  She's  Anna Catlova.

For the last one,  I sewed crescent shapes into each side of the head in addition to using Daniel's gathering method for closing.

I think this one was the most successful in getting some curve from head to neck..  Since she's got sculls and crossbones on her arms and chest, she is Lydia the Tattooed Baby named  from the song, Lydia the Tattooed Lady.

Nine more to go!  Then I can do some in other fabrics.  Do go take a look at CR's Crafts.  There are so many fun things.  In addition to a bunch of different eyes and a couple of growlers, I got a doll's wig  and some of the nerdiest little glasses.  Now I've got to figure out how to sew on ears and a nose to hold the glasses up.