13 January, 2009

Paint Chip Swatch Needle Book

I love those handy little matchbook notebooks you can make from cardstock, they seem to do the trick when you're out and need to write a teensy note (or to substitute these for business cards to promote your blog or something...tee hee). So while doing my usual "sift through the art supply closet" at three in the morning for a doll needle I came across some old paint chip swatches (I couldn't toss those out either, and no, Mom, not the kind of paint chips kids eat...LOL) in a basket. Crafty gears started turning...

Ding! We have a winner!

I think this made the cutest little needle book. It took me all of five minutes to make (three if my inner voice hadn't insisted on using one of my fancy cut rotary blades on the felt).

I think if one were distracted by the paint info on the reverse side of the chip these little books would also look great with some decorative paper slapped on there with some glue. Take that one step further and add a tiny card of thread and tack in a couple buttons and you have yourself a purse-friendly (or pocket!) emergency sewing kit!

12 January, 2009

Bug Bites: Meet Suki and Baby Wasabi!

I have been bitten by the Matroyshka bug ever since running across a blank set of wooden nesting dolls at Hobby Lobby on a supply hunting excursion. On the hour-ish drive home, I started developing the idea of my own series of little stuffed matroyshkas in my head, went home, did a quick little sketch in my idea sketchbook, and waited nearly two months to act on it.

Like most of my creations, my inspiration comes from the simplest thing and continues to evolve. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? In Suki's case, Wasabi came first. I am notorious for saving components of my crochet projects gone awry. I was cleaning out a box of said components when I came across the dismembered thumb of a glove (too many increases too soon, I blame the radio) that had the proportions out of whack. It looked to me like a little baby all wrapped up --- boom.

There went those gears churning out another idea. I started tinkering with a small Robert Kaufman "Chopsticks please!" fabric scrap (because I'm notorious for saving those too) and a piece of felt and shortly after we had a little baby whom looked like a little pea pod...in a sushi-themed fabric. My inner voice kept referring to him as Wasabi, so thus he was named. He looked lonely and needed his mama.

The next day, after working up a few muslin prototypes, being satisfied with the proportions and making out a pattern, I set to work on giving little Wasabi a Mommy. I machine-stitched her body in the same Kaufman fabric, got her stuffed and started the handstitching and embroidering of her details (face, hair) and props (apron). All in all, I was very pleased with the way she turned out. More of Suki's cousins are crawling out of the woodwork and they'll be making appearances soon!

Why Kellibeans?

The misfortune of being born with a name that rhymes with belly, jelly, smelly, and swelly is that one is limited on including said name in a catchy, rhyming way without infringing upon the senses of genteel company, and therefore must turn to alternative labeling methods.

Simply put, among the name-related nicknames given to me by very close friends and family, Kellibean was the one that seemed most appropriate to brand my little non-painting creations with. Thus, witness the birth of Kellibeans!