Practicing Plush: Mushrooms of all colors and sizes

Hello Everyone!

Today I want to talk about my plush work. I have been working on plush since I was a young girl. I liked to play with my toys until I was older than the recommended age on the box, but that didn’t stop me. Occasionally I would try to build or sew something for my dolls. I started with clothing and then made a pillow and a little plush baby. These were all cut from the same fabric and sewn on the outside, I still have them and will have to post a picture of them soon.

In the past 3 years I have gone back to working on plush of my own. After visiting Sweden for the first time for my honeymoon, I became fascinated with mushrooms. They blanket the floor, trees, rocks, these mushrooms grow everywhere. Some of the clusters look like tiny apartments for little creatures.

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Can you see what I mean?

The forests of Sweden are so whimsical and beautiful. The people of Southern Sweden seem to have a great view of living along side nature. They build AROUND the trees and forests, instead of through them like we do in the US.

While I was there, I couldn’t help but be inspired. Once we returned from our lovely trip, I started to sew.

Here are my first mushrooms.

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After I made many mushrooms, I started to try something different. I wanted to try to do different colors and sizes, but I think I needed to work on the shape of the top a little more. And the design needed to be a bit more natural and random.

I worked on making a larger mushroom too. I think that I have got the technique down now after working on the most recent design for 2 years.

Here are a few:

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These are my XL sized mushrooms and the variety of sizes as well.

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And these are the smaller mushrooms, sizes Medium and Large. You can check out which mushrooms I have available for purchase on my etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Squawberry I am always available to chat if you send me a message with any questions you may have.

As a designer and an artist I know that these plush mushrooms will continue to evolve, as they have already. I am excited to see what I will be working on next.

What are some projects that you have worked on and have noticed significant changes after working on it for some time? Any tips on how to keep the project exciting and new? Leave me a comment!

See you later,

Jackie

The French Press Makes All The difference

Confession time, I have never used a french press before today. I own one and I have coffee beans that I can grind and brew, but I haven’t really been brave enough to use it. After watching a couple of episodes of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, I really wanted to make myself a really good cup of coffee. The clips of coffee being made are kind of amazing. It really made me appreciate a simple cup of coffee even more.

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I love coffee.

This is pretty much all you need to make a couple of cups of coffee (below). Everything is from Juan Valdez, a wonderful gourmet coffee company from Colombia. My dear friend from Colombia gave us this set for our wedding.

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my new favorite way to make coffee.

I began grinding the coffee a handful at a time, this didn’t work out very well, so I started to put only 5 beans in at a time. After I had a quarter of a cup, I decided to stop. This was hard work! TIP: Now I grind coffee beans when I am watching TV so that I will never run out of fresh ground coffee. It’s great because I feel like I am working out a little bit, you really use your core when you are grinding the beans.

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Coffee ground by me.

Next I put the kettle on and waited for it to boil.

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Can you tell that I like yellow?

Once the kettle began to whistle, I knew the water was ready. First I put 2 teaspoons in the french press, then I added the water, about 8 oz. You want to let this brew for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you want your coffee.

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French press at work.

You can make the coffee the way you normally like it, but I say that I like my milk with coffee in it. When the coffee was ready I poured it into a mug with sugar in it. After mixing the sugar and coffee together I added unsweetened vanilla almond milk to it.  Mix well and enjoy with  or without a pastry. I added a double chocolate shortbread cookie from the Honolulu Cookie Company. Delicious!

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Enjoy!

See you next time!

-Jackie

ModCloth Make The Cut Contest: ‘Prints Charming’

ModCloth Make The Cut Contest: ‘Prints Charming’ Have you always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer?  Well now that dream can come true!  The ModCloth Make The Cut program is a recurring design contest that invites the ModCloth Community to design garments, graphics, or fabric prints. Its main purpose is to further their mission of democratizing fashion by producing clothing designed by community members. YOU can become a designer at ModCloth!

How does the contest work? Entrants will design a new print for a private label dress silhouette that is already being produced! Contestants have two weeks to submit designs. After the submission period, the ModCloth Creative Team will narrow down the submissions to 20, which will be sent to the guest judge, Amanda Needham, Costume Designer for Portlandia.  After Amanda has chosen the 10 finalists, they will be posted on the Be The Buyer page for voting. There will be a week for the Community to vote, then ModCloth will contact the winner and update the contest announcement with the big news!
• Contest is Live Now! • End of Submission Period: Friday 02/14/14 • Launch voting on Be The Buyer: Monday 03/03/14 • End voting on Be The Buyer: Monday 03/10/14 • Winner announced on ModCloth Blog (winner will be contacted personally): Wednesday 3/12/14
Send your entry in now and good luck!
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. ***************************

Gift guide: ModCloth’s 24 HOUR 20% off sale!

Ever thought about going to ModCloth for your gift ideas? Well, you should! They have an awesome gift guide which you can check out here: ModCloth Gift Guide. Sale begins 11/7 at 10AM PT and ends 11/8 10AM! So check it out now. I have my top 5 below, but head to ModCloth right now and pick out some perfect gifts for this Holiday Season!

Fun Holiday Gifts At ModCloth

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/stationery/the-art-of-instruction-postcards

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/stationery/hoot-has-the-date-2014-desk-calendar

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/stationery/the-nature-of-your-work-sticky-note-set

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/stationery/be-kind-unwind-notebook

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/novelties/to-the-letter-magnet-set

You can check these out and more on my Pinterest!

http://www.pinterest.com/squawberry/gift-guide/

See you next time!

ModCloth’s new exclusive collection!

Ok, so I haven’t really told any of you this, but I am a Modcloth ADDICT. I was in their ModSquad last year and am a fan of their clothing, to say the least. If you don’t know about ModCloth, I think that you should check them out! Just click below on the banner and it will take you to their homepage.
Modcloth recently announced their own line of clothing. Myrtlewood and Bea & Dot. They have had their own brands before; Retrolicious and Folter, but it seems as though they are rebranding. Their lines are full of flattering vintage silhouettes and quirky prints. These clothes are definitely going to get you noticed. They are so lovely. If they are anything like Retrolicious and Folter then they will be of great quality and a good chance that they are made in the U.S.A. (which I love!) This line also comes in sizes XS-4X, so there shouldn’t be a problem lusting over a dress that doesn’t come in your size range. Check out some of my favorites below.
ModCloth's new exclusive collection!

DIY: Mini frame earring holders

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This is a wonderful way to display your frequently used earrings. I know that I am not the only one that has had earrings on top of earrings in my jewelry drawer and cannot find a matching pair in the morning.  This was such a simple project, but it makes a big difference in organization. I am finding it easier to change up my earrings in the morning or before going out after work.

Here is what I used:

  • Gold painted frames (garage sale find)
  • Canvas fabric (enough to fit the frame)
  • Glue sticks
  • Glue gun

Step 1: Gather your materials together.

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Step 2:  Measure the inside of the frame and cut canvas to size.

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Step 3:  Make sure that your fabric fits.

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Step 4: Glue along the inside edge of your frame.

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Step 5:  Add fabric to the inside of the frame and push it down along the edges to make sure it adheres to the frame.

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Step 6: Glue the edges down to prevent fraying.

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Step 7: Admire your finished frame!

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Step 8:  Add your most loved earrings to your frames and enjoy how cute it looks on your wall!

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Dangley earrings look great on this frame too.

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You can do this project using different frame styles and for different objects to display. I like how elegant these frames look with all my jewels displayed in them, it really goes with the rest of my bedroom. This is a great project because you can pick which ever frame style you like and whatever fabric you would like. I suggest going with a heavier fabric with a weave that allows some holes to be poked in it without sagging or loosing too much of its shape.

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Here is my first version of this project. I made it for my brooch collection. I did the same steps for this project, except this frame is solid wood, so I stapled the canvas to the inside of the frame.

Let me know if you make this frame earring holder! Let me know what you did differently.

See you next time!

-Jackie

Out the Door Outfit: Navy Polka Dots and Stripes

Hello all!

This is my very first outfit post. I have been wanting to do one of these for a few years now, I have gathered photos on my phone from previous outfits, but none have been of a good enough quality to be able to post them on here.
I am armed with a new camera, so I am going to try taking better pictures and hopefully more detailed than I used to.

Today’s outfit is special because the skirt is one that I made, well, semi-made. I transformed a halter  dress into a skirt with four box pleats, two on the front and two on the back. This skirt is perfect for summer! The fabric is a light-weight cotton seer-sucker striped fabric, making it as light and airy as can be. It is also very twirl-worthy.

Here’s a  little background on who I am: I am a Toy Designer and I work at a Freelance Toy Sculpting Studio, so my outfits can be a little more casual and quirkier than if I were to work at a Law firm. I would say that my entire outfit would be acceptable in most offices, minus the open shoes. I also try to dress modestly, with some fun pieces.

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Hello to you.

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Feeling like this outfit downplays my curves a little bit- the only thing it can’t hide is my hips 🙂

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Having fun posing with my hat.

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       Getting ready to go out with my trusty vintage Dooney & Bourke purse.

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Whole outfit in detail. (sorry for the shaky picture, I am working on it!)

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This is what I am wearing; Navy and white dot cardigan from Ross, White V-neck cami from Forever21, Striped seer-sucker pale blue and white skirt-from-dress from H&M, Vegan leather Sandals from Kohls, Straw cloche hat from Sears. Watch is Seiko brand, wearing various rings; wedding bands, vintage opal and gold ring from grandma and newer rings from Sears and Forever21.

I hope you enjoyed my post as much as I enjoyed posing for the timer on the camera.

See you next time!