Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The evolution of Totoro.

Since we watched the movie, My Neighbor Totoro, all we want is a big, furry, Totoro.
My husband saw a Totoro toy, and he never bought it. He has so much faith on me, he was certain I could make one.
I am a OK seamstress, but have no idea how to make patterns. But since the challenge was on, I decided to give it a try. In order to avoid waste of material, I started using leftover pieces of whatever fabrics I had.
My first prototype was cut and stapled. It looked very scary, but it kind of resembled what I had in mind.
I made a pattern out of that, I sewed thinking there was not much mystery about making a simple toy..but it came out super short, like if he had lost his legs (if he had them).
Ok, so I just had to adjust his stature, and made a new one. And...he just looked very slim. His hips were missing.
Then after adding the hips, I think his shape was fine.
I made some adjustments to add a muzzle, so his face wouldn't be so flat.
And finally I used the real fabric to make Totoro.
In the end, he didn't look so bad. I used a plastic nose from the craft store, and the other details in fabric.
And I even had some fabric, to make a little one. This one I had to embroider the eyes and the nose.
I also made a Totoro with suction hands, so he can stick to a car window.
Now everyone is happy, we all have Totoros to play, to bring in the car, and to bring to bed.
I will soon post the pattern for the smaller Totoro.

Friday, February 20, 2015

DIY Oscar Party

  Here some ideas for your Oscar Party.

Go to the page: Oscar Party  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Bread that Almost Didn't Happened.

Since we got a bread machine, we don't buy any more bread, so we have to make them almost every day.
Last night I skipped my workout, and I decided to make a little more time consuming bread. I wanted to try to make them red and heart shaped, for Valentine's Day.
I started to making the red color (the artificial colors don't agree with my kids tummies). I boiled some beets and used the red water, using it instead of milk for the recipe (I do change recipes, and that is why they don't always work).
I placed the rest of ingredients and let the machine mix, knead, and do its work.
After 1 1/2 hour, it beeps to tell it is ready.
I shaped them in the shape of hearts. They looked very nice.
And after they finished baking...they were all roundish, or triangular, and did not look like hearts.
I was about to call it quits. But decided to adjust the breads a little, and used a knife to shape them a little better.
And there it was, I finally could serve my family heart shaped breads.
Sometimes ideas don't seem to succeed, but making little changes and adjusting to the situation, it makes look (almost) perfect in the end.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mini Dessert Tray.

One of my inspirations for desserts is the Queen of Cake Pops, Bakerella.
She has a lot of great, cute ideas, and for Valentines she made these cookie trays.
She makes the cookies from scratch, but I was really short in time to bake. So I decided to see if I could find items already made, so I didn't have to bake.
Lucky me I found these Newton Fruit Thins, perfect to make the tray.
I made small holes in the middle, using my chopstick, big enough for a paper straw to fit in (I guess any type of stick shaped tool will work, but I did break a couple of cookies). And to make the decoration, I used melted chocolate in a piping bag.
Like I learned from Bakerella, I inserted a lollipop stick in the hole, then I slid a 1 1/2 inch cut piece of the straw. The straw stops the next cookie from sliding all the way down.
Then place another little piece of straw, make a small flag to decorate, and a tiny pom pom on top.
To make the little cakes, I bought Mini Oreos and Mini Chips Ahoys, decorated with melted chocolate and sprinkles. I was out of time to make other cute candies, so i used some heart shaped candy, and the Oreos and Cookies to place in the tray.,
The kids were very happy when they got back from school, and they played with the cookies before devouring them.
And I had a lot of fun making these mini desserts.
Happy Valentines!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentines Cards.

This weekend we have Valentines Day, and I need to send Valentines for my son's class.
With the amount of snow and ice outside, it is easier for me to make cards then to drive (I really don't like to drive).
So I made little animals in paper, the way that I know how to draw. After I struggled to scan and color in the computer, they were ready to print.

So after they are ready, I guess they can be used just the way they are...
...or they can be decorated with colorful paper,
and also use other paper tools available. Here is the link to print the illustrations: Valentines Images.
Enjoy making your cards!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

From water ballons to fancy bowls.

I have been trapped in my house for a few days, between snow storms, schools closed and sick children. So no new crafty ideas came to my mind.
But my sister sent a picture on Pinterest, and I didn't have to buy anything to make it.
The idea was to make these ice globes, put a candle inside and turn them into beautiful ice, light decorations. But of course it didn't work for me, so I turned them into something else.
. First I filled water balloons with tap water, and let them sit outside, until I had time for them.
After 2 days and a snowstorm, we went to dig after them.
One of the balloons popped. For the rest, I cut the tip with scissors, and for my surprise they were only partially frozen.
I placed the ice pieces on an outdoor table, and poured hot water to melt the sharp pieces on the edges, to avoid accidents. Sorry for the dark pictures.
Then it is ready to use as a serving bowl.
So it could be a ice sculpture for a party, much easier and affordable.
Just store outside if the winter is cold enough.
Just be careful when it starts to melt, so it doesn't flood the table.
But I think it is worth to impress the guests when you first bring your fancy fruit bowl.

Water Ballons Ice Bowls.