Saturday, October 30, 2010

My 'Pretty Rose' - Li Mei

I would have had this gorgeous young lady finished a lot earlier than this - but unfortunately things didn't go so smoothly over the last day or so!

I had a doctors check up appointment yesterday, just to make sure baby is growing as he should be. Firstly my blood pressure was too high, then baby was measuring too small, and then I was informed that I had missed a check up appointment (I didn't realise there was another one I should have gone to! Woops!).

So with all of that information, my Dr decided I needed to go to the local hospital immediately, so they could do further tests. Luckily my mum was coming around to visit, so she watched Chelsea. Mark left work early and we spent the better part of 4 hours at the hospital with a monitor strapped to my belly checking bub's heart beat (a very strong 170bpm) and movement (he didn't really stop moving the whole time!). I was measured and poked and prodded, had to do blood tests and urine tests and have my blood pressure taken again - and it was decided that everything was perfect! If anything, they think he's big for his gestational age - a good 2+ weeks big!

So after all the 'excitement' of the day, I managed to have some relaxing time in front of the TV last night, and got my first panda finished. I've called her Li Mei, which means 'pretty rose' in Chinese (according to anyways!). She is so gorgeous (if I do say so myself!) and such a nice way to have finished an otherwise rather stressful day. I find that I just can't stop looking at her too. There is something so special about the black/pink combination!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A trio of Panda's in progress

After finishing Lyric - my gorgeous big fluffy brown/cream panda recently, I was reminded of how much I enjoy the matching of 'panda' colours. I made a little vow to myself to make some more panda's - using BLACK! after I'd gotten through all the other idea's that were begging to be completed (namely Meguinis and New Life!).

So now my idea's board is clear again, and I've spent the last few days sneaking little moments to draw up new panda patterns, lay them out, trace them, cut them and pin them. I have two ready to go (and one still needing to be cut). One will be pink and black, One will be a batik tan and black and the last will be chocolate and honey! So excited to get these finished.

I think that's the hardest thing about crafting with a toddler in the house - you have no choice but to learn patience. Once upon a time I would have just rushed home from work and spend the rest of the evening sewing until the bear was done - no matter the time I eventually got to sleep, or the fact that my poor husband had to cook dinner if he wanted to eat! Now I try and get what I can done around Miss Chelsea's day sleeps, and also what I can once she goes down for the night. But I am usually too tired (or too worried about waking her again with the sound of the sewing machine) to get much done then! :P

Enough of the pity party now I think! :P I'll leave you all with some photo's of old Panda's of mine - what fun they all were!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some goodies to show you all

Just wanted to take the time to show you some of the goodies that have arrived in the mail for Chelsea and I over the last week.

This is a gorgeous little handmade skirt and top I bought for Chelsea from the 'MadeIt' website. The lady who makes these has heaps of awesome items in her store - Karousel Kids. I also got a very brightly coloured overalls and sun-hat set for the new baby.

This is a super sweet handmade cloth book I also bought from the MadeIt store 'Creative Wishes' for Chels. Each page has different shapes made into pictures. Chelsea's favourite page is the one with the circle caterpillar (she likes to try and pick off his eyes! :P).

And lastly, I got an awesome surprise package from the runner-up winner of the Onion Skin Twins giveaway. There was a Lithuanian coffee mug, a gorgeous handmade card, a cook book of traditional Lithuanian recipes and the most gorgeous little angel I have ever seen! How brilliant is she!? Chelsea was immediately demanding that I hand her over, but I've decided she's going somewhere safe until we put our christmas tree up. Then she can go right to the top!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Surprise Unveiled!

I think the easiest thing to do is let the pictures do the explaining! (and there are quite a few pictures! - click on them to make them bigger if you want a better look)...

So there we go! The amazing project I've been working on over the last few weeks. I attempted to make a pregnant bear when I first started out bearmaking about a decade ago - but got really lazy and couldn't be bother making the baby! I just put a note inside the belly saying 'gone fishin'. lol.

So I decided to do it properly this time. And it was a mission and a half! I think I just got incredibly lucky that the baby actually fit inside the belly! He's about 5" fully stretched out. But curled up he's quite tiny. Then I had the challenge of how to make a semi-realistic looking umbilical cord, and make it detachable so that the gorgeous little baby could come out! Good old hook and eye clips! I actually really like the umbilical cord stump on the baby too. Adds to the whole authentic newborn look! His sleepy eyelids were new for me too. And worked amazingly! You can't even see my stitches! I think I had a sewing angel helping me out through this whole process.

Well, I hope you enjoy the photos! The New Life duo are now on bearpile. And I also have an album of photos on facebook.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Super Secret Project

Hi Guys. Just a really quick update to let you know that I'm working on a super secret, and very exciting new project. It is complicated, and contains aspects that I've never attempted before and has the potential to go horribly wrong! Which just adds to the excitement (for me anyway)!

I can tell you it will consist of two bears. And I'm being brave and making my prototypes out of mohair... so I'm fairly confidant it will work... either that or just stupid! :P

Wish me luck, and stay tuned for the finished project! (Best case senario I might have photos tomorrow morning...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little bundle of colour

This crazy looking little dynamite is Meguinis. His name (according to means 'feather' in Native American. He is the result of a combination of three awesome mohair pieces I was keeping 'for that special bear'. I had just enough to get Meguinis completed. I just LOVE the red fur. I really wish I could track some more down. It's so thick, and long and the colouring just tickles my fancy! Just stunning.

And the problem is that I can't remember where I got the fur from in the first place! :P Nevermind, I do have a decent stash of other gorgeous pieces, AND I did just splurge on a whole new batch of ebay-found pieces. So I don't 'need' more...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Half price sale

Just a quick note to let you know that I've just reduced some of the older bear stock to half price to see if I can move them out. It's a little bit of needing the shelf space, and a little bit of just wanting 'psychological space' for new ideas. :P

There are 7 bears on bearpile (my own and 'Bear Shop' bears). While on etsy I just have the 5 of my own.

A new Panda, as promised

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I was working on a new panda. This is the finished product. I've named him Lyric. I have no idea why - it just jumped out at me as the right name for him!

He is made from the last of my stash of these two gorgeous pieces of mohair. I just love using this pattern for pandas. I know he doesn't have a very 'Panda-ish' shape, but I love the long arms and legs, and the fat little belly. I've made a few non-traditional pandas over the years from various versions of this pattern of mine.

I've just listed him on bearpile, and plan to list him on etsy and madeit too - later on today if I get a chance, or if he doesn't sell before then (I can hope! :P).

I also finished two more baby comforter elephant cushions too. This time in a gorgeous silky chocolate brown synthetic fur with skull and cross bone satin ears! Something a little more 'punk' for a more daring nursery!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ohhh! Look what just arrived!

How gorgeous is this little lady! Her name is Angora, and she is made by Beans Bruins. I had been eyeing off these amazing bears and bunnies for a little while now, and was just lucky enough to get in first for this little lady! Just have to find somewhere for her to sit now...

The new patterns are here

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes for Chels. She seems to be doing much better. No more rash and no more itching is a huge improvement!

Thought I'd also take the opportunity to let those of you who are interested know that I have some of the new patterns ready in my etsy store. I've also just set up a MadeIt store and have a button down the left hand side of the blog. It's basically the same idea as etsy, but Australian based. (not sure how many Aussie readers I have - but international customers are still welcome!). One of the benefits of the Aussie dollar being so strong right now is that I haven't had to convert my prices back as we're pretty much dollar for dollar with the US now! Crazy!

So setting up online stores has occupied me for the last few days (well, that and madly reading ingredient labels on EVERYTHING!). But I do have two new bears in the works that I hope to have final photos of within the next few days. One will be a largish blonde/brown panda with luxury curly mohair, and the other a little bear in red,black and tan. I'm just hoping they'll look as cute as they are currently appearing in my mind!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Evil Peanuts

My poor baby has an allergy. Which is so odd, as neither Mark nor I have any allergies. Not my parents nor his. Nor our collective grandparents/extended family. So this has just come out of no where!

When she first started eating solids I was so careful to follow all the recommended guidelines. Introducing certain foods at certain ages. When she was getting close to 12months I started giving her little tastes of peanut butter - no problem. I assumed it was all fine.

Then a few weeks ago I purchased an all natural 100% roasted peanuts, peanut butter. I thought I was doing the 'healthy' thing. I gave Chels a bite the size of my thumbnail and her chin went all blotchy. I kept an eye on her, but it went down about half an hour later. I made a mental note to keep an eye on her after eating anything peanuty.

Yesterday, I was eating a muesli bar and without thinking gave her a bite. It had peanuts in it. Immediately she got all blotchy again. But it seems to subside after an hour or so. However, while I was bathing her I noticed her tummy and bottom were bright red and bumpy. Like hundreds of ant bites. I put some cream on her while I was dressing her. Gave her a bottle then went to check her nappy before putting her down for the night - she was COVERED in the rash!!! This was 5 hours after eating the muesli bar.

We took her to our local hospital and they gave her a drug to help ease the reaction. She was tired, and itchy, but handled everything beautifully! This morning you wouldn't even know it had happened!!!

I am just in a little bit of shock that she has this allergy. It just seems to have come from nowhere... Anyone else out there in blog-land had any similar reactions? I'm taking her to get fully checked out on Friday, so hopefully we should know soon if its just peanuts, or if there are more things we need to watch out for!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pregnancy update

Thought I might share a pregnant belly pic for those who are interested. Not that it's really an accurate representation on how big the baby is, cause there is a lot of extra padding left over from Chelsea's pregnancy there! This was taken at 24 weeks.

For comparison sake - this is me at 25 weeks with Chelsea. I think things are pretty similar size-wise. I 'feel' a lot bigger this time round... but I don't know why. He does do a lot of moving, so maybe I am just more aware of being 'with child'!? And I worked full time the whole way through Chelsea's pregnancy, whereas now I am just waddling around at home getting bigger!

We still can't decide on a name either. I seriously thought it would be easier this time round, having narrowed it down to one gender! But, the search continues! (any suggestions!? We're thinking it would be nice to have 'Christopher' as the middle name (Mark's late father's name) - so something that would flow nicely with that...?)

The boy SPuNGieS

I actually sold one of my SPuNGieS already! I was so amazed!
I made two more boyish ones as the first two were pretty girly!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Curious little monsters

I had so much fun making my baby elephants I thought I'd revive my SPuNGie pattern. The photos above show the original batch of SPuNGieS (soft interactive sensory toys for babies) I made for Chelsea and her playgroup friends.

These are the newest, updated versions of the designs. I decided to sew the felt of the eyes down as it tended to fray too much when washed. The striped cotton legs were replaced with interesting ribbons and lace. And the ears got a much better crinkle plastic sewn inside. (The first batch were disappointingly un-crinkly!)