What Have I Been Up To?

Thanks for all the pick me ups on the last post.  I am glad you gals didn’t feel like I was slacking on the craftiness.  I know that is what you come for 🙂

So the new year has brought a bit of crafty confusion at here Chez Peacock Chic.  I used to pride myself on being a finisher.   I would start something and get it done quickly before starting on something new.  That kept this blog hoppin with finished projects for all of you to enjoy.

Now I am fully mired in startitis.  Too my crafts, so little time.  So I will give you a quick run down of what I have been up to with the hopes of actually finishing some of it sooner or later :O)

My Obama Girl Necklace

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I made this little necklace with my neice for inauguration day.  It was inspired by a post over on Threadbangers.  A little photoshop, some shrinky dink, and spray paint made it all come together in just a few short hours.  Her necklace was a hit at school that day.  Score one for Auntie No! (my nickname because I am notorious for saying “no”)

Embroidery

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After finishing up my crewel project I have been obsessed with embroidery.  Once I saw the japanese books over on Cauchy09’s post I went to the Kinokuniya in my area and bought two books!!!  These have more detailed embroidery projects so this is gonna be a while in the making, but it is fun.

Chinese Lace Pullover

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Yup, still working on this…little by little.  I already finished the front and this is the nearly completed back.  According to my Ravelry stats, I started this back in SEPTEMBER!! Normally this would bring out great fiber shame and I would have to commit harakiri on my knitting needles.  But really with work and all the other crafty temptations at hand, I am just happy to get this far.

Gretel

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I have been wanting to make the Gretel hat since I won the contest for Elijah.  Finally I just casted on and I am in love!!  This has definitely trumped all other crafts right now because I need to finish quick in order to wear it before the cold weather goes away in So Cal which is not far at all.

Anyway, that is the UFO round up.  Hope to talk to you gals again soon!

Finished Object: Peace Tree

Framed

Pattern: Peace Tree from The New Crewel
Materials: Kona Cotton fabric; DMC 2 ply crewel wool #8341 and #418
Techniques: Lots and lots of satin stitch, split stitch border

So one of my bestest friends brought me The New Crewel for Christmas last year off my Amazon wishlist.  I loved this book but never got around to making anything from it.  About June I went to my local needlework store and bought the supplies which quickly got stashed away in the pile of other things to do.  Finally after taking an embroidery workshop at Felt Club and seeing the gorgeous work of cauchy09 on Flickr I knew I was hooked.

Crossing Trees from New Crewel

I actually started on the sampler from the book, but what I really wanted was all the beautiful designs that drew me in the first place so unlike me I forewent the practice stage and dove into the Peace Tree pattern.  It was fairly quick and a good learning experience for satin stitch.  I got a little better at my blending to change direction once I read more of the instructions (eh hem…I would have know this if I finished the sampler…).

Crossing Trees from New Crewel - Blocking

I blocked the work the traditional way as described in the book to get it nice and straight or at least as straight as possible because I noticed later that my outline work is a little crooked…woops!

The Quote

Next I framed it using an Ikea frame and added a quote by John Muir to the bottom to break up the vast white space.  Many pieces of paper went up in flames trying to get this paper burning right, but this one got my stamp of approval

Peacock Chic Label

which resides on the back of the frame, stamped in permanent stamping ink.

Lastly, I leave you with just a perfect picture I snapped during my picture taking session.  It is perfect because it shows both my trees and the real trees of nature. It definitely brought me some peace and made the quote all that more befitting. 🙂

Framed

“Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe”

-John Muir

Finished Object: Wee Wonderful Pig

Wee Wonderful Pig

Isn’t he cute! That is what I thought when I saw this little piggy on Wee Wonderful last year.   This little piggy was the first Christmas item I made and was actually finished before I even had the Christmas tree decorated!

Pattern: Wee Wonderful Pig

Fabric Used: Cheapy craft felt

Notions Used: Buttons

Pattern Alterations: None

The Good:

  • Yet another free pattern from a very generous blogger – Wee Wonderful.
  • Super easy, super quick, super cute!
  • It is a pretty sizable ornament so there people won’t miss all the handiwork you put into it.

Wee Wonderful Pig

  • I didn’t buy anything for this project…not even the super cute buttons that were used on the original.  Instead I used felt for the eyes which came out pretty good.

The Bad:

  • Finding the box/mint tin/boxy bottom thing to make the cart.  I ended up dumping out my t-pins just to use the box 🙂

The Ugly:

  • This is actually the second piggy I made.  The first one looked like the Frankenstein monster because I used larger, evenly space stitches.  I didn’t look THAT bad until I stuffed it and looked at what a crappy job I did.  The trick? Patience along with  small, closely spaces stitching.

Finished Object: Amy Butler Snow Mum Pillow

Snow Mum Pillow

So the Amy Butler Christmas crafting continued with her Snow Mum Pillow pattern.  I loved all the wintery white goodness and had to have this pillow.  I mean the flower alone is gorgeous but as a big snuggle pillow it made it a HAVE to have.  I will be making the flower again and making it a lapel pin at some point with this gorgeous fuchsia wool I have hanging around, but that will have to be another post.  For now, enjoy the details of the pillow.

Pattern: Amy Butler Snow Mum Pillow

Fabric Used: Snuggle Flannel from Joann

Notions Used: HeatBond Ultrahold, button from my stash

Pattern Alterations: Used flannel instead of wool felt and used heatbond ultra hold instead of wonderunder. 16″ instead of 18″ pillow.

The Good:

  • Yet ANOTHER FREE pattern (pdf link) from Amy Butler’s website.  She really has been giving away some wonderful patterns this season
  • I love the snuggly goodness of the flannel I used.  I thought about using the wool felt but wanted something cheaper and more warm and snuggly which brought flannel to mind
  • This pattern is very simple but super elegant when finished.

Snow Mum Pillow Flower

  • I like the button I added because it breaks up the expanse of white just enough and it shines when the sun hits it bringing attention to the pillow.

The Bad:

  • This isn’t a bad as much as an informational addition.  I didn’t use the wonderunder because I already had this heatbond ultrahold NO SEW iron on adhesive already at home.  I didn’t even think about it being no sew until I had used and cut the  pieces.  I went ahead anyway because I figured if a machine can sew through leather it should be able to handle this.  I was right!  I result was a firmer flower petal I think but it adds to the texture in my opinion

Snow Mum Pillow

  • I did have to use a few more petals on the second to last ring.  The pattern calls for 12 small petals but I ended up using 14 because it seemed a bit sparse for me.  Then I added one more inner ring of 4 small petals.
  • I was so happy to use the 18″ pillow form I had lying around naked and needing a cover, but when I saw the beautiful flower on that huge pillow that also swallowed up my chair, I opted to downsize to a 16″ pillow.  I think it gives just enough room on the pillow without losing the flower.

The Ugly:

Snow Mum Pillow

  • Do you remember how I said wool felt is the mother of all cat hair collectors?  Well, flannel is the daughter.  I was so amped by the finish of my tree skirt that I just wanted to get this project started.  I wanted another color of flannel or felt and there just isn’t that much selection that would match my house without trying to overdye it so I went with a slightly off white.  So far the kitties haven’t paid it any mind so it might be safe afterall 🙂

Finished Object: Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Last year was all about Christmas crafting for others, this year is about Christmas crafting for the house.  I was all set to get my fix with felted ornaments but when I saw the gorgeous patterns that Amy Butler put up for Christmas on her website for FREE,  I knew I had to make at least one of them.  Although you can’t see it an any of these pictures I have a bit of a Charlie Brown Tree, not very full and obviously fake, but I love it anyway, especially with the addition of Christmas Tree scent 🙂 .  What I didn’t love was the fake snow blanket that surrounded it every year.  Now at least the bottom of my tree looks like a million bucks!

Pattern: Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Fabric Used:

Trim – Michael Miller Pod Ditz

Inner Fabric – Quilted Fabric from JoAnn’s

Lining Fabric – New Chick on the Block’s Ever Changing Shapes

Notions Used: 1.5″ covered buttons

Pattern Alterations: Used quilted fabric instead of wool felt, used 1.5″ buttons instead of 2.5″, no interfacing

The Good:

  • Another wonderful FREE…yes…FREE pattern by Amy Butler (pdf link)
  • I liked the fact that I used the quilted fabric instead of the wool felt for a few reasons.  One – I was dreaming of a quilted tree skirt for some time and was happy to find this fabric at JoAnn’s.  Two – I am cheap and wool felt is kinda expensive, Three – I didn’t have to interface that huge piece of fabric because it is quite thick already, and  Four – My cats love sleeping under the tree and felt is the mother of all cat hair collectors.

Amy Butler Tree Skirt Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • I love the reversibility of the tree skirt.  One side is a little more subdued, the other is kinda funky.  It lends itself to having quite a lot of versatility through the years
  • For some reason, I just loved how you cut out the inner fabric using the pin in the center and then using the string to mark your perfect circle.  Geeky…yes I know.

The Bad:

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • Pay attention because the lining fabric calls for 54″ wide fabric.  54″ was not readily available at my quilting shop and my piece was already cut by the time I figured this out.  So I asked her to cut another .5 yards.  Which was lucky because I needed it cut just like that, because you are going for width not length.  I simply pieced the fabric to the sides to make it wide enough to accommodate the circle.  It worked out quite nice especially because I don’t have a directional fabric.

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • 2.5″ covered buttons!  Once again, not readily available in my circle of craft shops so I opted for 1.5″ and used 5 instead of 4.

The Ugly:

Amy Butler Tree Skirt Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • Interface the button loops?!  Ok, this was frustrating because I used a woven interfacing to interface these pieces the first time.  Then tried to gather…way too thick, broke both gathering threads.  I then tried a very thin non-woven interfacing…still no dice.  It took all my strength to cinch the tiniest bit.  I then tried no interfacing at all and it was still a bit of a challenge but actually worked that time.

All in all a wonderful project and I highly recomment spicing up the tree with this beauty!

Peacock Collection ’08: New Look 6648

Hand on hips pose

Flutter sleeves!  I was and still am obsessed with flutter sleeves so when I saw this pattern I had to have it.  All the while I had this gorgeous yellow green fabric that I picked up at M&L that had to find the perfect pattern.  Together they made this really fun top.  Although you can’t really see it in this picture, I wore it with a plum/purple tank underneath.  I was loving this combination!  I truly felt like a peacock with such vibrant colors.

Pattern: New Look 6648, View C

Pattern Description: Easy tops with gathered waistbands – 3 variations

Pattern Sizing: 6-16.  I upsized the pattern to 18 but probably didn’t need to.

Fabric Used: 1 7/8 cheapy t-shirt fabric from M&L

Notions Used: none

Pattern Alterations: None really… except lapping the fronts more than stated in pattern.

The Good:

  • I love this fabric color.  I love that my skin tone allows me to where just about any color that would make others look sickly. It just make me feel good all day
  • The pattern worked up quick without much fuss at all.
  • Love the ruched band at the bottom.  This alone will require that I make one of each of the other 3 versions with the exception of view B which just doesn’t do it for me.

The wing

  • The shape of these sleeve on this version.  I knew that it would flutter in just the right ways…and I was right!

The Bad:

  • I upsized this pattern based on the bust size measurements to an 18 (40″ bust) but probably would have been just fine with the 16.  The waistband increase was definitely a must for my ample hips.
  • The necklines on these shirts are for Paul Bunyan shoulders because they are huge.  I saw this warning on patternreview for the boat neck version but thought I could compensate with the crossover version.  However, when I got excessive with the overlap the back neckline would gape.  It is not horrible but this shirt is definitely adjustable, meaning I am toying with it throughout the day to make sure it looks right and not showing too much bra/tank strap, but it does look cute…just could be cute and less fussy.

The ruching

  • It is hard to take pictures of these type of sleeves without resulting to the double hands on hips pose so I tried to spice it up a little to show you some other angles 🙂
  • You definitely have to wear a tank underneath this version.  Not only for the crossover being quite deep, but also the width of those sleeves will show all your girls if you are reaching too far.
  • I had to tack down the overlap to make it a little less fussy.  However, this is actually something I normally do on overlap shirts.  Actually this probably means I need to look into some mock overlap designs…

The Ugly:

  • None… really except for that damn neckline issue.  So instead I give you my voodoo picture! Why? ’cause I was feeling quite bad winged and evil during my timer pictures and I think this one is hella funny.

Voodoo

Yooouuuu willl make this patttternnnnn!!!!

Can you feel it?  If yes…

Yooouuuu willl leavvveee a comment toooo!!!

Hee hee 😀

Have a good weekend!!

Finished Object: Moonstitches Owls by Peacock Chic

This pattern has been on my to do list for quite a while.  I really loved them but never really had a reason to make them.  I don’t really like having useless knickknacks and despite their cuteness they did not serve a purpose.  However, during my knit fabric class someone had mentioned pattern weights to keep down the fabric and pattern in lieu of pins.  I saw one girl take out some rather pricey, generic, looking sandbag things and I thought, ” Hey I could make a cuter weight than that!”  Hence my swarm of Moonstitches Owls!

Pattern: Moonstitches Owls from her Tutowlrial

Fabric Used: Various Wools and Canvas

Notions Used: buttons…lots and lots of buttons, rice, and polyfill

Pattern Alterations: I made small and big ones!

The Good:

  • They are ridiculously cute!
  • They use so little fabric that all sorts of fabric scraps can be used up
  • I found this template to use for shape and size so I didn’t really have to guess at all
  • They work up quick and are very easy to do.  The assembly line process is highly recommended if you are making quite a few.  Otherwise it probably takes about 10-15 minutes to make one of these once you get the hang of it.

The Bad:

  • The template I used produced the little owls.  Although cute, I needed something a little bigger for my intended use so I scaled up by about another 50% which got me the larger owls
  • When sewing down the nose I went a little too far and tacked it down about mid stomach.  I should have placed it higher which would give you a taller, less squat owl.  Because they were so squatty I couldn’t put the letters that i wanted to stamp on each one.  Ahh well.

The Ugly:

  • I obviously lost my mind when I thought to make 17+ owls.  Now I didn’t realize how crazy I was until I had finished all the quick sewing and got into the hand work.  17 embroidered noses, 17 hand stitched bases, and 34 hand sewn buttons later I was pooped…surprising I still like them 🙂

PICTURE GALLERY