Colorado Kisses

This past week I traveled to Colorado to assist my mom. She had to get knee surgery due to an injury at her job. Luckily, I had an opening in my work schedule so I was able to take time off of work. Yay! Mini vacation! Unfortunately, my husband had to work so he couldn’t come with me but it’s okay I got to spend quality time with my mom and also see my brother.

How long has it really been since I’ve been to Colorado? Good question. The last time I remember visiting Colorado was when my brother graduated from high school. Omg, that was about 6 years ago! WOW! Time just flies by doesn’t it. Well, I am happy I had the opportunity to visit again.

When I flew to Colorado, I realized something: I miss the mountains! The mountains use to be my inspiration for most of my art projects when I was growing up. Oh, how I miss gazing at the mountain scenery and watching as the sun sets behind them. The vibrant colors you would see at sunset is so emotionally calming and relaxing. I do not have a picture of a sunset from my trip, but here is the beautiful mountain view I had from my window seat on the plane while we were landing in Denver:

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Flying Delta to Denver International Airport

Breath taking isn’t it?

After I left the airport I messaged my little brother to see if he wanted to meet somewhere. I haven’t seen him in 4 years! Once again, time just flies by… We decided to meet at Jamba Juice near the Town Center at Aurora. Jamba Juice use to be my favorite place to get a smoothie when I was in high school. Where I live now we don’t have a Jamba Juice so getting a smoothie from here after 6 years was a real treat. Of course, seeing my brother was the biggest treat of all.

If you ever have the chance to try Jamba Juice you should try the Orange C Booster Smoothie. It contains Orange Juice, Peaches, Orange Sherbet, Ice, Bananas, C and Zinc Boost & Antioxidant Power Boost. It is delicious! Yum!

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Medium Jamba Juice Orance C Booster Smoothie

After a few hours of catching up we decided to walk around the area. I was tired of sitting since I was sitting most of the day on airplanes. We browsed different stores until we decided we were hunger for some dinner. I asked my brother if there was anything within walking distance. He recommended L & L Hawaiian. Huh, never heard of it. I’m willing to try it out since I like to eat somewhere I can’t eat back home. When I travel it is a rule for me to try new things.

At the L & L Hawaiian, I got the BBQ chicken, beef and macaroni salad plate. The plate normally comes with rice but my brother told me he gets more macaroni salad instead of rice since he doesn’t like eating straight rice. I don’t blame him, because I don’t like eating straight rice either so I copied him and got more macaroni salad. I have to say that this meal was very mouth watering and really savory.

I have to apologize that I did not get a photo of my food. 😦 Sad, I know but this was because we had to take our food to go since the place was packed around 5 pm! My brother lived close by so we ate our food back at his place. It was here that I got distracted and forgot to take a quick photo. lol

The distraction for me was finally getting to meet my brother’s fur babies! If you saw my post about the three cat plushies I made, these were the cats I was finally able to meet in person. They were precious, well except for Tater Tot. This boy kitten meows at you and paws at you to give him some of your food. I had to be firm with this cutey and say no a lot! hehe. I could not be mad at him since he was too darn cute! Blueberry Jam (Blue) and Toast just stood at a distant watching us eat our food. lol

When I got to my mom’s house she had a surprise for me. She ordered a Plastic Canvas Kissers book, Acrylic Yarn Clear Plastic Canvas, and Yarn Large-Eye Blunt Needles. If you don’t know what Kissers are they are playful pals that you can open their mouths to hold a small piece of candy (usually a Hershey’s Kiss).

My siblings and I use to make these when we were kids. Our old baby sitter taught us how to make Kissers. What better way to distract energetic kids with some arts and crafts. Kept us quite and entertained for hours, plus we got to eat some chocolate too!

I was super excited to spend time with my mom and craft with her. I know I got my creative crafty side from her. 😉 Making these Kissers were a great way to spend quality time and keep us busy while she heals from her knee surgery. Also, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, these kissers are perfect to handout to friends, family and my loving husband. Hehe. Best part is, eating the Hersey’s Chocolate Kisses!

I loved the Plastic Canvas book my mom got. It has 25 designs you can choose from: Deer, Duck, Kitten, Squirrel, Skunk, Raccoon, Dog, Alligator, Clown, Parrot, Zebra, Lamb, Cow, Lion, Monkey, Red Dinosaur, Blue Dinosaur, Purple Cow, Bunny, Duck in Straw Hat, Pig, Bright Monkey, Speckled Dog, Reindeer, and Santa.

Plastic Canvas Kissers

I used the Skunk canvas base pattern and the canvas face and mask stitch pattern from the Raccoon to make a Ferret Kisser. Hehe. I kind of made my own color yarn pattern for the ferret and only used the books pattern as a guide for how to stitch the yarn in the canvas. I let my imagination take over, except that I looked at the Raccoon mask stitching guide since I wanted to make sure my ferret would turn out good.

My mom was smart to buy a variety pack of yarn bundles. This way we have more color choices to choose from.

Mira Handcrafts 40 Assorted Colors Acrylic Yarn

I love it, but the only thing was there was one color that the pack did not included and that was dark brown. The pack had light brown but I wanted dark brown for my ferret kisser’s mask markings. I could always buy dark brown yarn but I figured right now I have an assortment of colors to choose from so I’ll just make a colorful ferret instead. This is crafts we are talking about here and it doesn’t have to be the exact color of a ferret. I decided to make a light blue ferret with royal blue markings.

Below is how the Blue Ferret Kisser turned out:wp-15175010989931652581226.jpg

Isn’t he cute?!! I am so happy that I decided to make a blue ferret. I am definitely going to place this little guy on my desk at work. I will even sneak a Hersey Kiss inside his mouth so I can eat it later. 🙂 Lol.

As I stared at the blue ferret I came up with another idea for the next kisser I was going to make: A fox! I would again have to make my own stitch color theme for the face and the body but I can still use the Skunk Canvas pattern to make it! Hehe. I love my creative side!

Here is the adorable fox I made:wp-15175011625731289602566.jpg

Lovable and Kissable!! If you are interested in making this fox you can buy the book here and follow the guide pattern on the Raccoon or Skunk then use my fox face pattern that I created (PDF):

Fox Head Kisser Pattern

My mom decided to use the dog pattern in the book since she has two Jack Russell Terriers, Peanut and Oreo. Of course, she was like me and used the base canvas pattern but made her own color scheme and stitch pattern. She wanted the Dog Kissers to resemble her two fur babies.

Here is my mom’s Peanut Kisser:wp-15175012333621136931308.jpg

Here is Oreo Kisser:

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My mom and I had a blast making these Kissers! They are so adorable. I can’t wait to make more and come up with more of my own patterns that I can share. 😉


Almost forgot, I wanted to mention that I finally got to meet my brother’s fiance. We went out for dinner at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar where I had the most delicious burger ever! I loved the menu options that they had for different burgers but I decided to create my own burger since I wanted to be adventurist and try new things. Don’t worry this time I took pictures of my meal to share with you. 😉

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For the Create Your Own Burger I choose the 7oz beef patty on Multi-grain Bun with cream cheese, lettuce, onion, ketchup, garlic mayo, guacamole and fried mozzarella! I even named this burger the Chris Burger after me. Hehe. Fitting right? Or maybe I could have been a little more creative on naming the burger? Nah, I think it’s the perfect name. Lol.

After dinner my brother and his fiance invited me to game night at their friends place. I was game since they told me that they play off the wall games and I did tell them when I am on travel I like to try new things. Oh boy was I in for a surprise. Lol. Their two friends had so many different games that I have never heard of. Since I was a newbie everyone decided to choose an easier game first.

First up was Exploding Kittens:

Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition (Explicit Content – ADULTS ONLY!)

This was actually a really fun game. Very different then most card games but I enjoyed it. You draw cards and if you get a exploding kitten card you explode and die (out of the game) unless you have a defuse card which stops the kitten from exploding and you continue playing. There are other cards that you can play to make the game more interesting and strategic. Best part was I actually won this game. Woohoo go me! 😄 I was very sneaky at the end but some of it was also luck. Lol. Warning: Young kids should not play this game since there is some profanity and questionable things that some parents might not want their kids exposed too. I did find that there is a version of Exploding Kittens that is for ages 7+ here.

The last game we played was Betrayal At House On The Hill.

Betrayal At House On The Hill

I really loved playing this haunted theme game. It was kind of like Dungeons and Dragons being suspenseful and strategic but you get to build your own haunted house room by room which leads to different designs every time you play. You encounter spirits and omens that indicate what your fate may be at the end of the game. There are two acts in the game. First Act is building your haunted house and discovering items, events and omens along the way until you reach Act Two. In Act Two you discover which one of the group of players is a traitor that you must try to defeat using the omens and items you collected in Act One.

I had a blast playing this game. My brother’s fiance ended up being the traitor and the rest of us were in the group to try and defeat her. At the end our group defeated her and we won the game. Hehe. I guess since I won in both games I am the overall winner for game night. Yay! If I was able to go next week to their game night I would be able to pick the first game to play, but since I won’t I guess my brother will get to choose for me. 😉

My whole trip to Colorado was overall pretty awesome. I ate some great food, played some fun games and crafted some cute Kissers. I say my mini vacation was a hit for me. 😀

Thanks for stopping by!

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Ferret & Husky Plush Key Chains!

I’ve been contemplating for a while now on how I can use my embroidery program to its fullest potential and create more embroidery designs. I mostly use my embroidery program to create the adorable eyes you see on the plushies I create. I really crave to take the next big leap to machine embroidery and take on a new challenge.

I noticed that one of my favorite plushie designers, Teacuplion, started creating In-The-Hoop (ITH) embroidery patterns. I was very curious and I started researching ITH embroidery. During my research I found a plushie designer, Soapy Bacon, who creates a lot of ITH designs and patterns. I loved her ITH Fox so much that I purchased the pattern. The fox reminded me of a husky a little bit but it didn’t quite look like one. I liked the design of the body and tail but the head was cute for a fox look but not a husky. So I was inspired to create my own husky head using my embroidery program.

Creating an ITH pattern for the first time was no easy task at least for me. I never used my embroidery program to this extent. There were times I would get so frustrated with the program that I ended up having to walk away from my laptop for an hour or so. After many long hours of trial and error I was able to figure out shortcuts and features about my embroidery program that I didn’t even know existed! Some of these features I wished I knew about when I made some of my past projects. It’s ok; learn something new every day and my embroidery program is no exception. Lol.

Once I finally struggled through the embroidery program I was able to create my very first ITH embroidery design! YAY for me! Here is how it turned out:

Husky plush

Isn’t it adorable?! Not bad for first attempt. I liked it so much I thought, maybe I should create more of these but in different colors!!

I made these last year before I got so busy with traveling for work and making Christmas presents, that I never had the chance to make the bodies and tails for these other color husky heads. 😢 Sad, I know. So over the past weekend as I stared at these husky heads I had a bright idea. I’ve always wanted to sell more small items on my Etsy shop to offer more options for buyers and admirers so I thought: How about I make plushie key chains? Sounds like a perfect idea!

Man, when I thought plushie key chain my imagination went wild. I came up with all sorts of animals and characters that I can create ITH designs for. How am I going to figure out which idea I want to make next?? It wasn’t until I let my spoiled fur babies (ferrets) out of their cage to play in their room, that I realized I have to make ferret plush key chains. Why have a neglected the idea and inspiration from my ferrets! I make them items all the time but somehow I never thought to make a ferret plushie. I am so ashamed of myself. Well, I will make it up to them by creating adorable ferret plush key chains!

Here was my first ferret plush keychain:

Ferret Plush Key Chain

Gorgeous!! I didn’t stop here. There are so many types of ferrets out there with different markings and patterns that I constructed an assortment of ferret key chains that ferret lovers can choose from that might closely resemble their own ferrets. So I came up with these variations:

Ferret Plush Key Chain

Omg, I think I’m going to squeal! They are so charming! I am definitely keeping some of these ferrets hostage for myself. Hehe. Don’t judge, I created them so I can keep a set of ferrets for me to admire and adore. Lol.

If you or know someone who is a ferret and/ or husky lover that would love these key chains, they are now available on my Etsy shop. Click on the buttons below to link you to my Etsy Shop listings:

If you are like me and have multiple ferrets, I do offer variety packs so you can choose more than one ferret keychain plus I give a slight discount on the different size variety packs. 😉 I also added variety pack options for the Husky key chains too.

I want to take a moment to thank Teacuplion and Soapy Bacon for their inspiration. Without them, I would have never thought to attempt making my own ITH designs. Thank you so much!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my Etsy Shop here:

Sewing Adorable Cats & Skyrim Character

I will have to admit, I took a little longer to get my Christmas present done for my brother and his fiance. I was so focused on making the 25 adorable reindeer that I only partially made their gifts before I went on my trip to Ohio. I promised both of them that I would finish their Christmas gifts after I return from my Ohio trip. Both of them were understanding and patently waiting for me to finish their gifts.

My brother asked me to make him a plush resembling the Skyrim character, Dovahkiin. Luckily, I watched my husband play Skyrim before and knew that Dovahkiin is the main character in the game. Making this character was going to be interesting since I haven’t attempted a human character before. I love a challenge.

Here is how he turned out:

Dovahkiin Skyrim Character

When I made this character I was over joyed to use some of my scrap fabrics from other sewing projects I have done in the past. Most sewer tend to hoard scrap fabrics and crossing our fingers that one day we will have the opportunity to use them for another project. Well, I definitely felt reassured that it was a great idea to hoard the scraps from the past and not waste them by throwing them away in the trash.

For the first time ever I used fabric paint on a project. I bought a variety pack of fabric paint and used them to add detail on this Skyrim character. I used fabric paint to add the details on the helmet, belt, straps, eyes and mouth. I also used the fabric paint for detail work on my brother’s fiance Christmas gifts I made too.

FolkArt Brush on Fabric Paint Set (2-Ounce)

My brother’s fiance asked me to make her cat plushies that resemble their cats. At the time when I ask back in July they only had two cats, Toast (Calico) and Blue Berry Jam (Blue Russian), but around November they adopted another cat, Tator Tot (Orange Tabby). This means I’m going to make three adorable cat plushies. Hehe.

Here is how they turned out:

Gray Cat Plush

Cat Plush

Tabby Cat Plush

Aren’t they just precious!

Here are pictures that they sent me showing their cats next to their associated plushie:

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They are super adorable!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my Etsy Shop here:

Master Bathroom Remodel

After a couple of years of living in my new home it was finally time to get the master bathroom a very big face lift. It was very outdated and hubby and I really wanted to make it our own. A very big factor when getting a bathroom remodel done is saving enough money for it. It took us a couple of years and many sacrifices to save up for this project. Did you know it can cost between $5,000 to $20,000 (sometimes more) to remodel a bathroom? Of course there are many factors that can lead to the price to be higher or lower. For example: Size of bathroom, tile price, accents, accessories, labor, etc…

For hubby and I, it ended up costing us about $11,600 in the end. Yes, I know it is a lot of money but surprisingly this is actually about average price. We also saved a lot of money by carefully choosing and scavenging out sales on different types of tile, accents, and accessories or else we could have ended up spending about a few thousands dollars more. We also found a great contractor that didn’t over charge for labor for demo and install.

Oh before I forget to mention, we did this whole remodel in pieces. Honestly I wished I would have documented this in my blog a while back (like last year) and showed progress but somehow I didn’t make the connection. Oh well, that means this will be a slightly long blog entry but I promise it is worth ready the whole thing especially if you are ever considering getting a bathroom remodeled. 🙂

Beware, when it comes to remodeling anything, there is always something that can or will go wrong. For hubby and I, we got a fare share of things that went wrong when it came to getting the master bathroom remodeled but it worked out in the end. Don’t worry I will disclose these events here soon.

We also saved some money by installing and modifying things ourselves before the contractor came. It makes a huge difference in the price.

Where to start first. Ah yes. Paint!

Started out painting the master bathroom. The walls were just plain white and it needed some pop of color. Hubby and I went to Lowe’s awhile back and found a beautiful light teal/green color called Sky House by Sherwin Williams. We later ended up using this color for all the bathrooms in the house. You know what the best part was? The paint was on sale for 25% off at the time we purchased the Sherwin Williams paint! I love saving money when I can.

Sky House (HGSW3297)

 

Note: the lighting in our bathroom makes this color look a little more bluish in tone. You will see in the finished photos. It’s all about the lighting and a good reason to have the sample color with you in the room your painting to make sure it is what you want. That is exactly what we did and it was the perfect color for us. 😄

I ended up painting the master bathroom all by myself since hubby had to go on travel for work but it was fine since I needed something to do on a long weekend. Just so you know it is not always easy to paint by yourself especially when you need someone to hand you something when you are on a ladder. I ended up going up and down the ladder plenty of times. You can say that I got my exercise that weekend. Hehe.

First day I ended up not painting at all since I had to prep the whole master bathroom for painting. I had to tape off sides of mirror, windows, doors, base board, ceiling, lights, shower and tub area. I probably missed something, but just note always buy extra painters tape. I used up 2 or 3 rolls of tape! Yikes! Second day is when the fun began. I got to finally paint! I love painting, it is very calming and soothing. I was so focused that I got it done all in one day with a few breaks. Awesomeness!

Some Tips:

  • Always save any left over paint for touch ups. Hubby and I had to use some paint to touch up spots when the bathroom was finally complete with new tile.
  • When painting if you know that you are eventually going to change a light fixture make sure you take the old light fixture out to paint underneath. If you somehow forgot, it’s a good thing you kept some left over paint. 😉

When you see the before and after photos at the end you will see that the color makes a huge difference!

Lights:

Since hubby and I work on advance electronic equipment for work, we were able to change from a single eight light Ballerina fixture to 2 three light fixtures. Hubby was able to rewire the electrical wires easily. This saved us a couple hundred dollars alone. We also got the new fixtures on sale plus we got an additional discount since we are both military veterans. I love saving money!

Beautiful! The light fixtures are part of the Moen Oxby Collection that we got at Lowe’s. When we bought the light fixtures we also loved the faucets that are part of the collection too. We wanted to buy the faucets but we ended up waiting since we were planning to change the vanity tops. Which brings me to the next step:

Vanity and Vanity top.

Another money saver was not changing the vanity. The vanity was surprisingly in great condition but the vanity top was another story. Yuck!! The vanity top was stained and discolored and it needed to go! After doing a lot of research, hubby and I went with natural quartz. Natural quartz is usually 95% stone and 5% polymer resins and we found that you don’t have to seal it constantly like you have to with granite. Quartz is actually harder than granite and more durable. It isn’t porous like granite so that means you can keep it relatively bacteria-free. Woohoo! Only draw back with quartz that I found is you can severely damage it with excessive heat. That means natural quartz is fantastic for the bathroom (but be careful with your curling iron ladies!) and a little scary for the kitchen if you forget to place a heating pad on a quartz countertop.

Now that we established type of vanity top hubby and I want, now we have to choose the color…. we both narrowed it down to two colors made by KraftMaid: Shadow Swirl or Silver Sky.

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Left: Shadow Swirl Right: Silver Sky

Guess which one we chose? Shadow Swirl! (My selection, BTW) This color had elements of gray and tan which would look great with this floor tile we loved (Montagna Rustic Bay sold at HomeDepot).

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Montagna Rustic Bay Porcelain Floor Tile

Hubby and I ordered our vanity top through Lowe’s. We even had them come and measure our vanity to make sure we order the correct size. We plan to install the vanity top ourselves to save more money.

After a few weeks went by the double sink vanity top was delivered directly to our house. We were so excited that we ripped open the box the vanity top was in and we were amazed how beautiful it was. After I calmed down from the excitement I noticed something didn’t look right. I told hubby to grab a tape measure. I wanted to make sure my eyes weren’t tricking me because I swear that the left sink was closer to side edge by a few inches than the right sink to the side edge. Load and behold, I was correct. The right sink was 4 inches closer to the edge, this is not good. Ugh, you got to be kidding me….

We called our local Lowe’s store and spoke to one of the store managers. We explained the situation to her and she said that they would give us a 10% discount if we wanted to keep it or they can pick up the vanity top then order a new one. Guess which option we chose? Yes, we chose to order a new one. This sucks!! Now we have to wait another 2-3 weeks for the new double sink… but this time we measured and ordered the correct size.

Vanity Top

When we did get the correct vanity top, it was amazing!! We bought the Oxby Collection faucets that matched the lights. Doesn’t it look great with the vanity top? (Pictured above)

We also ended up buying the Oxby Collection towel bars and toilet paper holder. Beautiful!

Mirror:

After we got the vanity top installed it was the perfect time to give a face lift to the long big mirror. I thought about getting rid of the big mirror and possibly getting two separate mirrors to install underneath the two new lights we have but I changed my mind. Just to buy a very nice framed mirror would cost about $90 each. If you want something more elaborate you are talking a few hundred dollars.

While searching around the internet, I saw that multiple people were framing or tiling their existing mirrors vice buying a new one. I loved this idea since this would save us some money and I love saving money! I went straight to Home Depot and Lowe’s to see if I can find a nice moulding in the Milwork aisles that would work for this project. Load and behold at Home Depot I found a baseboard moulding that both hubby and I liked.

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Nice right? Simple but elegant.

I think this makes the mirror look more expensive but it only cost me about $30 dollars total. Hehe.

Tile:

So the last final step was picking the tile. Well, technically at this point we had already chosen the floor tile already as I mentioned earlier. We bought the Montagna Rustic Bay porcelain floor tile at Home Depot.

rustic-bay-marazzi-porcelain-tile-ulm8-64_1000

I just love that wood look so much. It was also textured so you can’t slip easily at all. Bonus! What was better is this tile did not cost us much. When we bought the tile it cost us $216 dollars total for 120 sqft of tile so that was about $1.80 per sqft. Not too shabby I say.

Hubby and I still weren’t sure what tile we wanted for the shower and tub areas. We didn’t want the same tile as the floor since we thought it would be too tacky for us so hubby did some research. He came across a tile that is porcelain but looks like slate. It perfectly complements with the floor tile.

Also, porcelain tile is much cheaper than real slate and less maintenance. Real slate requires yearly sealing. More work then I need. I rather go with the cheaper and easier option. Lol

We bought this porcelain slate tile at our local tile store called Mosaic. We got 12 X 24 (for shower and tub area) , 3 X 6 (used for accent trim) and 2 X 2 tiles (shower floor). Also, hubby found a mosaic tile that matches the porcelain slate. Awesomeness! We plan to use the mosaic tile to add a strip accent in shower and around the tub area.

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Mosaic Tile

Perfect right? Hubby and I thought so.

Demo and Install

Finally we are at the final stretch. Our contractor came with his guys to demo the bathroom. First day of demo went great but second day, well that’s another story. One of the guys forgot to remove the drain and disconnect it from the trap before removing the one piece shower. When he ripped the one piece out he snapped the trap in half. Yeah… it gets better. Same guy ends up putting his size 10 foot through the ONLY hole in the floor and right through the downstairs ceiling above the kitchen. COME ON! Who puts there foot through the 8 in wide hole in the floor where the piping/trap/drain hooks up at for shower. Yeah… that guy.

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Contractor cut a square around the opening to make it easier to repair it. You can also see the circle hole in the plywood where his employee’s foot went through.
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View of the hole from the living room/kitchen area.

As you can see from the picture above we have textured ceilings so you can imagine the frustration… Accidents happen which I completely understand and our contractor did the right thing and took ownership of it and fixed the problem. I really felt bad for our contractor because he did a fantastic job on the bathroom and now he has to pay for damages that were done. I think he might of lost a lot of his profits on this job because of this accident. 😔

Also, it’s a good time for me to point out that you should always have a contract when having any big project done by a hired contractor. This gives you a binding contract so if anything goes wrong both parties have something written and signed on paper. I’ve heard horror stories from other people who got screwed over since they didn’t have a contract or paid everything full up front and the job was never completed as discussed. Sometimes you pay partial up front then the rest at the end for a project while other jobs you might have to pay all of it up front. No matter how it is done, always make sure you protect yourself by having a signed contract and everything discussed is written down. Also, do your research on the person and make sure they are truly certified to do the job. (Hubby does his research.)

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Here you can see that they match the texture ceiling pretty well.

They did a pretty good job fixing the ceiling but of course we can tell the slight difference. I’m just impressed they were able to match the ceiling pattern pretty closely. They also had to paint the whole down stairs ceiling since it was hard to find the matching color. He attempted but any color he tried made it stick out like a soar thumb so painting the whole ceiling was the only plausible option.

After that fiasco, everything went smoother for the install. So now I will show you before and after photos!

 

 

Before Pics Collage (1)

After Pics Collage

Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you ever had any issues happen during big projects or any good experiences. I would love to hear about them. 😊

Thanks for stopping by!

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

I usually don’t come up with New Year’s resolutions but this year I talked myself into doing it. I figured why not, just give a try, won’t hurt anyone. It would be nice to think about myself for once and set some goals for the new year.

Goal #1

Be more involved in my job.

What I mean by this is, taking more initiative to understand the whole picture and not so focused in my field of work. It’s hard for me to understand my own work division structure since my home office is located 2,766 miles away from the main head quarter’s (where most of the department personnel are located at, even my boss) but this shouldn’t be an excuse not for me to learn the organization.

I believe if I just ask a few questions here and there I can piece it together eventually. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much information at once so I think if I break it down into small parts (like every month) I can retain an abundant amount of information over a course of a year. Sounds good to me.

Goal #2

Healthier lifestyle

Workout more, eat healthier and maybe lose some weight along the way…

I know, everyone seems to add this resolution every year but I really want to track what I eat, and get my body back into shape. My job requires me to climb ladders and stairs with the occasional lifting heavy objects. To be blunt, being out shape on the job freaking sucks. I’m tired of feeling winded every time I finish climbing a few flight of stairs. I want to be able to get to the top of the stairs and feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ll start out small by working out 30 minutes on the elliptical 2 or 3 times a week and then gradually add more time. Eventually, I will get to the point where I’ll add different types of workouts to keep it interesting and motivating. Any type of exercise is better than doing nothing.

To eat healthier, I really just want to try adding more fruits and veggies to my meals and drink more water. This way I might slowly cut back on the unhealthy items, i.e fries and sugary drinks. If I ease my way into healthier eating habits I might actually stick with it in the long run.

Goal #3

Write more on my blog

I want to expand my blogging world a bit and start writing more on different topics and ideas. I don’t want to become a one trick pony so I am challenging myself to push my boundaries and see where it takes me. Who knows, I might discover more talents that I didn’t know I have. 🤔

Goal #4

Create more.

This goal I am going to break into 3 parts:

  • Embroidery
    • I got my Embroidery/Sewing machine about 4 or 5 years ago (I think…) and I haven’t used the embroidery portion that much. This past year, I would say is the most I used my embroidery machine and program. For 2018, I want to use my embroidery program to create more of my own designs and tailor them to my sewing projects.
  • Sewing
    • For the past few years, I’ve been telling myself I am going to make my own clothes. Have I actually made clothes for myself at all? As I sit here and think about it, I realized that I’ve only made three articles of clothing for myself. Really, I only made three clothing items in the past few years? Sadly, yes. I made myself a heavy long coat 3 or 4 years ago (I only wore it once or twice) then I made two circle skirts about 6 months ago. 😕
    • My goal is to create at least 5 or more articles of clothing for myself this 2018 year.
  • Beading
    • I’ve collected so many beads over the years that I don’t know what to do with. For the past year, I mostly focused on sewing and not so much on beading. I plan for this new year to start small by making earrings and eventually working up to bigger projects, like the awesome teal necklace I made over a year ago, here.

I just came up with a brilliant idea that will make it possible to check off all three of these new year resolutions! I can sew myself a few outfits and place my own embroidery designs on them then I can create accessories for my outfits using beads. Perfect!

Goal #5

Make more items for my fur babies.

Technically, goal #4 and #5 can play hand in hand but I felt that separating them will be better. My fur babies are my kids and I want to spoil them more by making them toys and sleeping habitats that they will love. My goal is to at least sew one item each month that is just for my fur babies.

There are probably more resloutions I can make, but I’ll stick with these 5 for now. I can always add more goals throughout the year since I don’t need a holiday to make all my decisions in one sitting.

Thanks for stopping by!

Reindeer Christmas

Every Christmas I create my own gifts to give to my family members. I usually strive to surpass last year gifts I made. This year was no exception but I think I might have bit off more than I can chew… yeah… I think I did…

This year, I decided to making cute standing reindeer that measure 22 in tall, 5 in wide, 12 in long. These reindeer are definitely 4 times bigger then the army of penguins I made last year (you can see here) which means a lot more material and sewing. I knew at this point I had a lot of work ahead of me so I decided to start working on them back in July!

Just because I started making the reindeer back in July, doesn’t mean I got them done sooner. Ooohh no…. I ran into different types of hurdles while creating them which felt like I went from one disaster to another disaster… I guess it’s pretty typical for me to run into problems, I can’t avoid them at all.

When I started making these reindeer, I started out cutting all the pattern pieces out for all 25 of these reindeer. Let me tell you, there was a lot of fabric to be cut and many of the pieces were small. Boy was I in for a treat because this process of cutting fabric wasn’t a one day ordeal. Nope, I had to break it up into a few days or so. Cut out a certain amount of pieces for a couple of hours then take a break or get errands done. Come back home from work and cut a few more pieces out then watch some TV to unwind for the night. Another day I would cut some more pieces… you get the idea.

What I thought would take me a few days, ended up taking me about a month but hey, I was in no hurry its only August now, there is plenty of time. It’s okay to skip a few days of working on the reindeer here and there. Nothing will go wrong… smh.

To add to my timeline, I decided to use my embroidery machine and program to make the eyes for the reindeer. I really wanted to add thay extra touch to make them look adorable.

Cute right? To make 25 pair of eyes though, adds more time but it was well worth it in the end. You will see later on. 😋

After I thought I was done cutting all the pattern pieces I decided to sew the smaller pieces together first, like the ears, tails, and hooves this way I will feel like I’m accomplishing a lot. When I got to sewing the hooves though, I realized about half way I didn’t have enough pieces cut out… how did this happen? I swear I cut enough. Then I realized I did not calculate correctly…ugh… I forgot I needed a total of eight hooves per reindeer (4 legs × 2 sides of each leg = 8 total hooves needed per reindeer). Well for some reason I think my mind thought 4 legs × 25 reindeer = 100 hooves needed when really I needed 200 (4 legs × 2 sides × 25 reindeer = 200). Yup, that is exactly what happened and now I’m back to cutting fabric. 100 hooves…great…

Below is a video of me sewing antlers together and also demonstrates my average speed I sewed while creating the Reindeer:

 

Here is a picture with all the pieces laid out. You can see I sewed all the hooves on the leg pieces, ears and tail pieces sewn, and sewn the eyes.

Around this time frame, I found out that I had to go on travel for a month for work. Well great, this changes my time line quit a bit… But hey, I had the opportunity to go see Scotland and Portugal which were really beautiful places. Check out my blog post about my trip here.

With this slight delay in my sewing time line, I was feeling the pressure. I really need to get these reindeer completed. Back to sewing I went.

I have to disclose, when I got back from my month long trip my husband found out he has to go on travel to Florida in a couple of weeks for work (beginning of November) and be there for about 4 to 6 months (depending how quickly they get the job done). 😭😭😭 This sucks, but I’m sorry to say that this was kind of a blessing in disguise because now I won’t have any distractions from sewing. Sorry hubby, I love you so much but sometimes I have a hard time completing sewing projects since we end up spending time doing other projects with you or just spending time together in general. Trust me it sucks you are gone but I want to get these reindeer done since time is ticking and it’s not stopping.

To add more to my stress, I decided to buy small wooden crates that I wanted to paint and decorate.

I had a vision to paint the crates silver but with a hammered look. This would make them look like metal vice wood. I found that Rustoleum sells a spray or paint on version of the Hammered look.


Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint, 12 oz, Hammered Silver

Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal Finish, Silver, 1-Quart

I went to my local hardware store and bought the spray version, but you had to really spray a lot in order to get the look. So I went on Amazon.com and bought the paint on version because it seemed cost effective. One can of spray paint cost about $6.00 and at the time the paint on version cost $16.00 for 1 quart. Hmm… I’m going to go with the paint on. The one thing I didn’t account for was the time… It took me about 30 minutes to paint one crate and I have to paint 25 of these!! 😣

Somehow I thought it would be awesome to make something nice for the Reindeer to stand in that my family could also use to decorate for Christmas every year. I have to say, what the hell was I thinking?! At the time I thought I would have plenty of time, nope, I definitely made it worst for myself. More time crunching… ugh…

If you have to know, I did finish the crates on time. They turned out better then I thought.

Fast forward, it’s now the beginning of December and I have two weeks before hubby and I are going on vacation and driving to Ohio. Can you imagine, I still don’t have the Reindeer done. 😟 Yeah I know, what a nightmare. At this point I had a bag full of stuffed reindeer heads that I still need to hand sew antlers and ears on:

And a stack of sewn bodies that still needed bottom of feet sewn on and to be stuffed:

Let’s say I was in a slight panic. Okay, I was in full panic mode and super stressed. I had to tell myself that I will get it done, just take it day by day. You can do it!

A week before vacation I surprisingly got 16 of them done! Woohoo! Only 9 more to go! At this point I was relieved because I knew I am capable of completing them all before going on vacation.

I have to show you since I can’t wait, so here were the 16 reindeer I completed at this point:

Aren’t they precious?

At this point I felt so accomplished that I got 16 done in a week that I thought nothing will go wrong. HA! Here I go, thinking it is a perfect world, well guess what, my timeline got shortened 😧… To add more to my stress, my awesome hubby decided he didn’t want us to drive to Ohio but instead fly… what!?

My first thought was, are you kidding me? How in the world am I going to get the Christmas presents I spent so much time making to Ohio now?😰


My husband gave me his Pros and Cons about flying verses driving:

Pros for Flying Cons for Flying
•Don’t have to drive in snow (since it’s that time of year) • Flight can get delayed or worst canceled
• Don’t have to drive in traffic and drive through the mountains • Won’t be able to pack Christmas presents or bring Christmas presents back home if we fly
• Shorter trip (driving can take about 10 to 12 hours or more) • Cost more money to fly vice driving
• Less stressful and more relaxing because we don’t have to drive(more for me since I’m the one that ends up driving the whole way not hubby. Hubby hates driving especially in bad weather…)
• Hubby is currently a Sky Priority member on Delta (due to traveling and flying a lot for work) so we can check in quicker for flight and be one of the first to be on the plane

 

I do like the idea of flying instead of driving since it would be less stress for me. No crazy drivers, no traffic, and I would have more of a set schedule. My main concern though is figuring out how I am going to get Christmas presents to Ohio if we are going to fly.

🤔 I don’t have anything big enough to pack the Reindeer and crates in my luggage so taking them on the plane is out of the question. The only other thing that comes to mind is shipping the Reindeer to Ohio. 💵 This seems to be the only plausible way, so now we need a box big enough to fit the crates and the Reindeer… I know we definitely didn’t have any box big enough to fit everything at the house so I challenged hubby to find one.

Hubby accepted the challenge and came home the next day with a huge box that he stuffed in the back of his car. I’m really surprised that he got that box in his car… The box measured 21in X 24in X 31in.

Cross fingers this box is big enough. I guess I will find out later when I finish the rest of the Reindeer. My goal is to complete them all two days before we fly so we can ship them and have them arrive before Christmas. You know what that means, I have about four days to complete nine Reindeer. No problem, right? Wrong!

To keep it short and sweet I had a couple of appointments that were scheduled after I got off work that I almost forgot about so this of course shorten my sewing time… But you know what, even with these hurdles I still completed the Reindeer in time!! YAY!!

Poor Reindeer they are very squished in that box. 🙁🙁

All ready to ship this box to Ohio for Christmas!!

I have to apologize, due to me finishing these reindeer last minute I forgot to take a picture of all the Reindeer together! 😔 But I do have a few pictures I was able to get when I did remember:

Oh, almost forgot, do you like the cute scraves I added? The reindeer seem to be missing something so I made different plaid scarves using fabric my friend from work gave me. 😙 Thanks Gabby! (Litterly made the scarves night before I shipped Reindeer and didn’t have time to put them on until the reindeer were delivered.)

Thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Scotland and Portagul Trip

I haven’t posted anything in a while… but there are a few reasons. One, I’ve been seriously busy working on Christmas presents and Two; I was on travel for work. Which brings up my topic: Scotland and Portagul.

Even though I had to work, I still had the opportunity to explore a little bit while I was in Scotland and Portagul. They both had great local foods and phenomenal sceneries.

Scotland

First stop was Scotland. Let me tell you, it was gourgous! I wish I could have stayed there for another week. There was so much to do that there was no way I could see it all within the few days I was there.

I had a lot of good local food while I was in Scotland. First place I tried was the Singl-end Cafe and Bakehouse in Glasgow, UK.

I ordered the Singl-end Cooked Breakfast Meaty off their menu. It had Eggs (I decided to try poached eggs) bacon, homemade pork and fennel sausages, black pudding, grilled portobello mushroom (which I didn’t eat since I don’t like mushrooms), roast cherry tomatoes, home-baked beans and focaccia bread. It was delicious! Just to let you know, black pudding is not what I thought it would be. I never asked what it was until I went to another restaurant that serves it. Let’s just say it’s popular in the UK and it taste different but slightly good. Oh and I only ate half of it in both places I got it so yeah… If your brave enough you can Google search what black pudding is or you can click here to see description and ingredients.

I also got a Chocolate Guiness cake at the Singl-end. Which I have to say is the best chocolate cake I ever had in my life! Omg, it was amazing! I wish I could get the recipe for it but they told me no. Darn.

After eating food with the group of people I was hanging out with, we decided to walk around and go site seeing in Glasgow.

The pictures above are just highlights of where we explored. We saw the Destiny Church Glasgow, the Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis cemetery, and we walked around the downtown area of Glasgow where they had a ton of shops to look around in.

After a long day of walking (according to my Samsung Gear Fit 2 watch I did a total of 24,000 steps = 10 miles), we wanted something to eat. After Google searching, we discovered The Butterfly and the Pig restaurant was a short walk from where we were at.

I wanted to try the famous Fish and Chips with peas. Looks yummy, right?

The next day, we were able to get a chance to visit Edinburgh, UK which was about a 45 minute train ride from Glasgow. Beautiful area. They have the famous Edinburgh Castle, which we did get the chance to visit but we were only able to look around for an hour since the place closes at 4pm during winter hours and we got there at 3pm. 😕

Even though I only got an hour to look around, I was still able to see almost everything. I just didn’t get enough time to read too much in the history of the Castle but I plan to look it up later.

I forgot to mention, my group ate at the Halfway House Pub before going to the Edinburgh Castle. The pub was very nice and cozy with great food and drinks. 😉

I ate the Cullen Slink and a Magners Cider at the pub. A perfect combination.

This was the group of people I was with having a great time at the Halfway House Pub. Lol. We had a blast.

After the Castle, half of us wanted to go to one of the famous whisky bars in town, Amber.

I tried only 4 different whiskies out of 3,384 whiskies in their collection. Yes, they have a s**t ton of whiskies to choose from. It was so hard to decide that I ended up asking the server what he recommended as the best four sweet whiskies they offered (I know myself and I like sweets. Hehe.)

I really liked the first two I tried (the two on the left), they were perfect for my sweet tooth but the other two were a little to strong for me and made me realize I’m not a big Scotch person. Lol. I wish I could have bought one of the bottles to take home but I decided not too since it would be more of a hassle to pack in my already full bags and go through customs. Maybe next time.

To end the night we decided to try this place that was recommended by the locals. It was called the Gardener’s Cottage.

They serve 7 course meals there. Let me tell you, we were really lucky to get a table that night since you normally have to reserve seats, but a big group had cancelled so we were able to be pencilled in! Lucky, right?

Best meal I have ever had! I give compliments to the chef because this meal was spectacular and on point. Every bite I ate felt like I was in heaven. We were there for over 2 and a half hours (got there at 7:30pm and left around 10:00pm) eating and enjoying some nice wine. If you ever get the chance to go to Edinburgh, Scotland you have to go here. It does cost £50 each (about $66) but it is well worth it, trust me.

The last day in Scotland, most of us hung around the town of Helensburgh. Very peaceful and quite. I ate brunch at the Riverhill Courtyard.

We just happened to run across it when we saw a small sign with a menu. Then you had to walk down a small alley to get to it. Ooo scary… okay not really. The alley was actually beautiful with gourgous plants guiding your way to the place. Sorry, I got distracted and forgot to take a picture of it.

Here, I got the Full Scottish Breakfast which came with puddledub bacon, sausage, eggs, black pudding, potato scone, tomato, mushroom and toast. I also got a Latte to go with it. Yummy!!

Walked around town and looked through some shops and saw a lot of churches. After walking around we decided to eat an early dinner at The Henry Bell.

Apparently this is the hot spot/best place to eat in Helenburgh.

I decided to eat a yummy chicken burger with bacon and a side of chips and onion rings. Delicious!

Well that sums up my Scotland trip. I do have a lot more pictures but I have way too many. I figured I would share the highlights and all the wonderful food I ate.

Portagul

Next stop, Lisbon, Potagul. I loved the vibrant colors they use to paint buildings and houses. It was amazing when I visit sites that were at a higher elevation and you look down to see the various colors.

This scenery was when I visited the São Jorge Castle in Lisbon. Beautiful site with all those colors!

I feel really bad but I forgot what this dish was called but it’s kind of like hush puppies but better. I know that it has cod fish in it and the side is rice and beans. I feel even worst since I can’t remember the cafe we went to eat this. In my defense, it was spare the moment and we were trying to eat fast to go site seeing. But it was really good though.

Went to the Jerónimos Monastery. I loved this site because the architecture and craftsmanship to create this monastery was impressive. I can’t believe this was made in the 16th century!

Starting left top to bottom: Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument, Lisbon Cathedral, and Lisboa Story Center. Right picture with me was at the Belém Tower.

After a long day of walking around and visiting sites, we found a nice small wine bar to eat different types of cheeses and sausages. Oh, and of course the famous Portugal wines. 😉

Next day I ate the Granier Cafe for brunch. I got a ham sandwich (as you can tell from picture I ate a few bites and realized I forgot to take a picture… woops) and an apple tart cake.

For our next adventure we decided to take a 30 min Uber ride from Lisbon to Sintra, Portagul. Btw, Uber is the way to go for transportation in Portagul because it’s cheaper than a taxi and you don’t have to wait around for the Hop On and Hop Off tourist buses. Saves a lot of time and hassle.

First stop in Sintra, we stopped by the Quinta da Regaleira. My favorite spot here was the Iniciatic Well. Looks pretty neat, doesn’t it?

Next stop was the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) which had very scenic views with the famous Palace of Pena in the background (bottom left photo above). I have to say, I’m so glad that I started working out almost everyday when I was on this work trip because to reach this castle and venture around the castle you had to climb an enourmaous amount of stairs/steps! It felt like I went up a total of 200 flights of stairs (I did not actually calculate it since there was too many steps to count so I went with a number I felt was close. Hehe). I still ended up wheezing during the end of the castle hike but if I didn’t exercise during this trip I might have not made it during this point. I definitely had a great workout in Sintra, that’s for sure.

I thought there wasn’t going to be anymore long hikes, until we went to our last stop, Palace of Pena. Had to do more walking up an incline, but I told myself the whole way up that it was well worth it.

When we made it to the top, I was amazed how vibrant the colors were and how beautiful the craftsmanship was. Doesn’t it just make you smile and happy. I certainly was. 😁🏰

For the final meal we ate at The Restaurante Cafe Paris, which is the oldest restaurant in Sintra, Portagul. I got the Salmon with two sides and then later on I got the Chocolate Fondue with vanilla ice cream. Yummy!! Oh, and they had the richest tasting Sangria I have tasted in Portagul. Omg, it was amazing Sangria. We may or may not have ordered three pitchers of Sangria that night, but who’s counting.

Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas in July

I want to start out by saying; I believe that handmade items are worth more than gifts bought at a store. Items at a store I can buy whenever I want, while handmade gifts family or friends create are more meaningful, personal and unique.  Don’t get me wrong I appreciate any gift I receive but I really value thoughtful handmade gifts.

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This photo above displays the precious gifts I received from my husband’s cousin’s daughter, Scarlett. She is very sweet and innocent, well at least around me maybe not around her parents, but she does have a fun crafty side… BTW her favorite color is pink and not red. I imaged someone named Scarlett would love the color red, but I’m completely wrong about that. It’s okay Scarlett my favorite color isn’t red either. I prefer to enjoy the blue, green (not puke green…yuck!), teal and black colors.

I wish I can spoil Scarlett with teaching her to embrace her crafty artistic side but unfortunately she lives hundreds of miles away from me. 😦 I know very sad. That’s fine I will just spoil her and the family with handmade gifts! Fun! I love making gifts for family and friends. I put my whole heart and soul into constructing them.  I will admit that there are times I do stress myself out so much trying to complete projects that it ruins the fun at times but don’t worry I usually tend to take a break and get back to creating in a very short amount of time.

You know what stresses everyone out every year, including myself? Christmas! Christmas is supposed to be the “happiest time of the year”. Ha! Sure it is… more like the “most stressful time of the year” next to Thanksgiving. Everyone is scrambling around like wild crazy monkey’s trying to figure out what gift they are going to buy for friends and family, how to decorate and many other lists of things. Me on the other hand, I’m climbing and tumbling all over my fabric and crafts figuring out what I am going to make for Christmas gifts.

I’ve come to the realization that I need to start creating Christmas presents earlier this year. My number one most common problem I encounter is I procrastinate on starting my projects. Hence why I tend to stumble around my craft room figuring out how in the world am I going to finish my handmade gifts on time.  Somehow I manage to miraculously finish these gifts at the nick of time.

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Last year when I made the plush penguins (some pictured above) I literally sewed the beaks on all 20 penguins a couple days before Christmas. For goodness sake, in order to not spoil the surprise I was hand sewing the beaks in the guest bedroom at my In-Laws house. There were almost a few close calls, but I still managed to hide my secret gifts.

Not only do I wait to the last possible moment to make my presents I also like to challenge myself to make gifts that top the past years gifts. Why do I do such a thing? I do this because it keeps my creative mind occupied and thinking outside of the box. Maybe another reason is I can be slightly competitive at times, who am I kidding I’m super competitive. I have the passion and drive to create and push my limits. Don’t worry I’m not one of those crazy competitive people who go ballistic and terrorize everyone around me. I promise I am a civilized competitor and I personally don’t like drama. I avoid drama at all times if I could. No reason for people to go all ape on each other if something doesn’t go their way.

What is my solution to this procrastination and stress problem I have each year, you ask? Start making Christmas presents in July and not in November or December! Duh!  You are probably wondering why in the world would you start making gifts in July? Don’t you think that is a little too early? Well, if you would have asked me years ago if July was too early to start making gifts, I would have said yes. Now that it seems like I make more and more gifts for Christmas and stressing out last minute, I say July is not too early. Maybe that is why you hear the saying “Christmas in July” since there always seems to be sales going on and big parties.

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I use to ignore it honestly but now it makes sense. July is a good time to start thinking about Christmas and buy gifts now so you don’t have to wait last minute to get them. I’m not too worried about buying gifts, just making them.  Also, it is the time people like to throw parties in the middle of the summer to mimic Christmas celebrations but in warmer conditions. I’m not a big party person so I’ll stick with what I know, crafts.

I am currently thriving to make my gifts bigger and better than last year. I would love to share my plans for this year’s Christmas presents but that would spoil the fun, right? I don’t want my family and friends to find out what they are getting for Christmas in July. Are you crazy? It’s too early to divulge. 😉  You will have to wait until Christmas to see the gifts I create. I do promise you one thing; the handmade gifts will be amazing!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Small Animal Hammock Sewing Tutorial

DIY Small Animal Hammock

My favorite thing to make is anything that spoils my fur babies. I love creating toys, tunnels, sleeping cubes and hammocks for my ferrets. I find it more rewarding and fun when I make things for them since the department stores over price these items or they don’t have what I am looking for. I have *cough* six ferrets *cough* and I need sleeping hammocks that are big enough to fit multiple ferrets.

You are probably thinking, OMG she has SIX Ferrets! WOW… You can say it, I am a Crazy Ferret Lady. As a Crazy Ferret Lady, I spoil my ferrets so much that they have their own room but I don’t allow them in the rest of the house. It is very difficult to ferret proof the whole house so I decided to give them their own room.

Gathering Materials:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Walking Foot (optional)
  • Thread
  • Sewing Needle (I use a Stretch needle since I am sewing with Minky/Fleece Fabric)
  • Pins (Quilting pins work very well)
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • Outside Fabric: Cotton or Flannel Fabric – 1/2 yard (cut 18″ x 42″ piece)
  • Inside Fabric: Minky or Fleece Fabric – 1/2 yard (cut 18″ x 42″ piece)
  • Four Metal or Plastic Clasps (Rotational/swivel type is ideal)
  • Four pairs of KAM snaps (optional)
  • 1/2 inch wide Nylon Webbing: Cut four 3 inch long strips
    • Alternate options:
      • buy 1/2″ wide bias tape and cut four 3″ long pieces
      • Or cut four 2″ x 3″ fabric pieces that you can fold and sew to measure 1/2″ x 3″ as the end result.
  • Lighter (optional)

Creating Hammock Tabs:

Grab your Nylon webbing (or bias tape), four metal or plastic swivel type clasps, KAM pliers and snaps (optional), and lighter.

I cut four 3 inch strips of nylon webbing then I took a lighter and burnt each side of the Nylon webbing where I cut to prevent the webbing from fraying.

Optional: I attached the male KAM snaps at the ends of each nylon strip.

Then I attached the female KAM snaps about 1 in apart from center to center.

Then I slipped the plastic/metal clasps on the female side (since it has a lower profile) and placed it between the two snaps and then I snapped them together.

Below are the finished tabs. I made a set with plastic clasps and a set with metal clasps since I am creating two hammocks at the same time.

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You don’t have to use snaps to secure the clasps. You can always fold the nylon webbing with the clasps and sew it down. I just started doing this since I ran into a major issue of the clasps breaking. Just know if you ever place the hammock in the dryer after washing it you risk the possibility of breaking the clasps, which happened to me on multiple hammocks I have made. To solve this issue I thought to use the KAM snaps I had used to make a project a couple of years ago. I still had plenty of snaps left over so I thought that adding these snaps I can remove the clasps before I wash the hammocks. Even if I forgot to remove the clasps one day and one breaks I can easily replace it.

Maybe an easier option to avoid broken clasps is to hang dry the hammocks instead of placing it in the dryer but I like using the dryer since it is faster. 🙂

Another option is to completely scrap using the metal or plastic clasps and just use the KAM snaps to hold up the hammock. 🤔

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Here you can see the broken metal clasp on one of the old hammocks I made. This happened when I placed it in the dryer over time and eventually broke… This was the reason why I came up with the snap idea. Brilliant right?

Cutting & Pinning Fabric:

You want to cut the Outside and Inside Fabrics in 18″ x 42″ pieces. I usually cut the Cotton/Flannel fabric first then I pin it right sides together to the Minky/Fleece fabric then I cut the Minky/Fleece fabric. By doing this, the Minky/Fleece fabric won’t shift too much when you cut it with scissors or a rotary cutter and by pinning everything together now you are prepped to sew the pieces together.

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This picture shows the 18″ x 42″ cut Cotton/Flannel Fabric (Outside Fabric) that I pinned right sides together on the Minky Fabric (Inside Fabric) that I am about to cut the access off. Sorry, my craft room is a little messy…

Sewing:

Now it is time to sew the Outside and Inside fabric pieces together. I sew a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around (you can always do the normal 1/2 seam allowance if you want), but leaving a 3 to 4 inch gap (not sewn) in the middle of one of the 18″ sides. You need this non-sewn gap in order to turn the fabric inside out.

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Sewing a 1/4″ seam allowance with a walking foot. You can use a regular sewing foot, but a walking foot will help prevent the minky/fleece fabric from shifting easily when sewing everything together.

Now turn the fabric inside out through the 3 to 4 inch non-sewn gap.

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Turning it inside out.

Now you want to straighten out all the edges so the Inside and outside fabric pieces match up on the sewn sides. You are basically “hand iron” the fabric pieces together so you can get the fabric prepped to sew a 1/8 inch edge-stitch. **Note: do not use an iron on minky/fleece fabric. You can accidentally melt it or ruin the fibers. Lets just say I did that a few years ago and it was not pretty.**

Once you hand press the edges pin or clip all around then sew a 1/8 inch edge-stitch. This keeps the two fabrics together and gives you a nice crisp edge.

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Sewing an 1/8 inch from the edge of the pressed fabric pieces.

Folding & More Sewing:

Lay your sewn fabric with the inside fabric (Minky/fleece) facing down with the outside fabric (Cotton/Flannel) facing up on the table or the floor. Take one of the 18″ (now 17.5″) wide side and fold it over the top about 10.5 inches. Just like I show in the below picture:

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Now fold over the other 17.5″ side and fold it over about 12 inches overlapping on top of the first folded side by about 4 inches. With both sides folded it will measure about 18 1/2 inches long. ** Note: you can always adjust how much you want the sides to overlap to change the length of the hammock. Depends on your preference.

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Now you want to slide the Hammock Tabs you made earlier in each corner between the folded fabric and pin in place. You want the clasps facing/pointing toward the center. **Note: The below photo shows the direction the tabs should be facing but the tabs would be sandwiched between the cotton/flannel fabric and not seen on the minky fabric (which the picture shows they are). I just wanted to show you the direction the tabs should be facing when sandwiched between the fabric.

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This picture is to show the direction of the tabs. Please make sure you slide the tabs in between the folded pieces before sewing.

Once you pin/clamp the tabs in place you want to pin/clasps the open sides. Then you want to sew the open edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. After sewing turn it inside out. TADA! You are complete! Below I show one hammock I made with metal clasps and one I made with plastic clasps.

DIY Small Animal Hammock

My fur babies enjoy their new large hammock:

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Ferrets sleeping in their new hammock. So cute!
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Ferret Pile!

I guess you can say the hammocks are Ferret Tested and Ferret Approved.

Thanks for stopping by!

Participating in Sewing Contest = Creating Adorable Plushies

One of my favorite plushie designers, TeacupLion, is conducting a contest called TeacupLion’s Plush Fanart sewing contest. For this contest, you can use any of her plush patterns to make a plush(s) that resembled any animal, human, or object that is identifiable as fanart from a game, movie, show or anything along those lines. I love contests, especially sewing contests! Only problem I had was, which character(s) fanart am I going to make for this contest? I haven’t created anything that was fanart yet. Well, I guess the Husky/Wolf plushies I’ve been sewing lately could be considered fanart since one of my customers asked for a custom wolf that was all white with yellow eyes, to resemble a character in Wolf’s Rain TV series. Unfortunately, the wolf pattern was made by another plush designer that I like, so this can’t be used for this contest.

What should I sew for this contest? I came up with a few ideas but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do them or not. Some of my inspiration came from what I’ve been noticing around me lately. The Pokemon Go game that you can play on your phone has become very popular so that meant there were Pokemon items popping up everywhere. I use to love Pokemon when I was younger. My brother, sister and I had the original 151 Pokemon cards that we kept in a binder. We watched the shows all the time. As I got older, I strayed away from collecting Pokemon stuff and didn’t really pay too much attention to the additional new Pokemon they added over the years. Pokemon is definitely a very popular fanart and this contest was a great excuse to embrace my inner child hidden deep inside me.

Now that I have chosen the theme, it was time to determine which character or characters I wanted to make. Did you know that there are now 802 Pokemon? I just found this out when I looked it up on the internet. Wow. I was expecting around 400 Pokemon not 802. I decided to narrow it down to the original 151 Pokemon. I’m more familiar with the original ones. I spent hours looking at different Pokemon pictures and then it hit me. I should make Eevee and all of its evolutions for this contest. I am allowed to submit multiple entries so I thought this would be a great idea for this fanart contest.

I selected the perfect characters so next was to determine which TeacupLion pattern I was going to use to accomplish this task. There were a couple of patterns I had that would be cute to use to make Eevee and its evolutions but I thought other contestants might use those same patterns to make them too. I wanted to be different from everyone else. Then I realized that I just recently bought TeacupLion’s new Puppy Dog Stuffed Animal Plush. This was exactly what I needed.

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TeacupLion’s New Puppy Dog Stuffed Animal Plush.

This pattern was an adorable size and since it was new there was a chance that someone else might not use it to make a Pokemon out of it. This might give me a winning chance for this contest. Even if I don’t win, at least I came up with cute mini versions of Eevee and its eight evolutions. Before I started sketching and cutting up my own accent pattern pieces to sew onto the base pattern pieces, I decided to snap a picture of one of the dog’s of the pattern and use my Samsung Note 4 to draw each character on top of this photo. This would help me visualize each of them easier and assist me when I start sewing the pieces together.

I almost forgot to mention, I discovered as I was sketching each of Eevee’s evolutions that there were three new Eevee evolutions I did not know existed: Leafeon, Glaceon & Sylveon. I know earlier I spoke about only making characters in the original 151 Pokemon but I liked my theme and it wouldn’t be complete if I don’t include all of the evolutions. This also meant more work for me to complete but I was up for this challenge. Anyways, the new ones were really cute so it will be worth the extra effort.

I spent a lot of time drafting pattern pieces to make the plushies look like each of the characters. It was a daunting task to achieve, but after countless hours of drafting and cutting fabric I finally had to chance to sew everything together. To my surprise, they all turned out better then I thought! All the hours I spent on them, I am excited they turned out so cute.

Eevee & Eevelutions collage HD with color names
Front Pictures
Eevee & Eevelutions (backs) collage HD with color names
Side/Back Pictures

Aren’t they spectacular? I think so. 🙂 No matter what the outcome of the TeacupLion’s Fanart Sewing Contest, I created these amazing cute plushies.

Thanks for stopping by!

Want one of these plushies, they are now available on my Etsy shop here:

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