Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doll Fashion Show!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Last weekend when I wrote about my critters, I left someone out. Or, I should say, a lot of someones!

My house has become a rescue center for abandoned Barbie dolls over the years. I find them at secondhand stores. I take them home, give them a bath, and get the tangles out of their hair -- and if they're in really bad shape, I'll give them new bodies and hair.

One thing I wasn't able to do for them, though, was put clothes on them. This may sound weird coming from a bead embroiderer, but I've never been good at sewing! And so for years and years, Barbies hung out in my closet, wearing fabric scraps and looking disappointed.

Until a week ago. While searching for clothing tutorials, I found this one by Almost Unschoolers. It was perfect for my sewing skills! I also had lots and lots of felt left over from making ornaments last Fall.

So I sat down and used a doll as a mannequin, and I pinned the felt around her. But instead of making a dress like the tutorial did, I made a shirt (left). And it was fun! So I made another one (center).

And then... I went kind of hog wild. I made my own skirts using circular templates. I added some felt and sequin flowers. And for the doll in the middle -- a rescue doll who has a new body and hair -- I made a tutu using this tutu-torial from My Froggy Stuff.

Skirts and shirts led to scarves. And then handbags. And before I knew it, I was making mini dresses and jackets... with pockets! And lapels. I may be clueless at following patterns, but apparently I'm not terrible at draping, because I did the jackets on my third day, just by playing around.

I even used gathers -- seriously, gathers! -- to modify the skirt. And I hid my snaps with itty bitty buttons and sequins.

Of course, I couldn't let the girls have all the fun. Sequintastic Ken had been bothering me for clothes for a long time, so I branched out into fleece and made him... a hooded sweatshirt!

Because he's a good boy and doesn't mind watching the girls' handbags while they get their photos taken, I decided to make him some pants. I used this tutorial from My Froggy Stuff as a guide, but I hadn't watched it in a few weeks and was too lazy to go back and watch it again... so I ended up winging it.

These pants were straight out of the 80's! Perfect for the hooded shirt. Unfortunately, once I put the elastic in, they were too small for Ken, so they became Barbie pants. However... none of the girls wanted to wear them for the photo shoot. Divas.

Even though they're hideous, I'm proud of these pants! I even used cotton fabric.

And finally, here's a closeup of the little bags. I love all of them, but I'm really jazzed about the messenger bag! I'll have to make some little books to put in it.

What's next for this dolly fashion designer? I want to refine my designs. I also want to switch to a sewing machine for the seams. And once I've done that, I can upgrade to some nicer fabrics and absolutely cover them with sequins, beads, and thread embroidery.

Sewing for dolls has gotten Ken off my back for the most part,  (although he feels entitled to a pair of gold sequin pants, which he may or may not get) but it's also gotten me out of a deep funk. For awhile, I felt stuck creatively. I didn't know what to make next, and honestly, I didn't want to make anything.

But lately, I've been excited to wake up, reluctant to go to sleep, and my sparkly little brain is full of ideas! It's also thinking in new ways. What a great reminder that I need to explore new things to stay happy and creative.

Now it's your turn: Have you ever made, or wanted to make, doll clothes? Tell me!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic Ken day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Critters!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'd like to start this off by thanking everyone who entered last week's giveaway. You left such wonderful comments! I loved hearing about the animals in your lives and finding out that you, too, see them as a part of the family.

(Also, super duper congrats with glitter on top to Barb, the giveaway winner!)  

Writing about creative people and the animals they love got me thinking about the critters in my own life. You see, I don't technically have any pets, but I do have plenty of creatures to love and appreciate.

There are the squirrels in the front yard. There are the bunnies in the back yard.

 (Including tiny, bouncy baby bunnies!!!)

And inside the house? Well, every available surface is crawling with... bead creatures!!!

They're cute, they're quiet,  and they make me laugh with their silly googly eyes. At night, I think they sneak around and steal my socks and chase loose beads across the floor, but so far I haven't been able to catch them in the act.

And then there's my best pal, Cliffy.

I got Cliffy the little pink Dachshund right around the time I started doing bead embroidery. Cliffy's the perfect couch buddy because he doesn't take up a lot of room, and he doesn't seem to mind getting covered in sequins. Also? He gives the best hugs because he's so soft and squishy.

And then there's my nephew. I stop by to chat with his mom and to play with him once a week. Here he is, all tuckered out after an afternoon of roughhousing.


Some of his best qualities are his precious puppy face (obviously) and the ability to turn a simple game of fetch into a full contact sport. He's also a sweet, good-natured boy who loves to be snuggled, and who still tries to sit on my lap even though he's fully grown.

If you want to know who I really am, just introduce me to a dog -- especially a rambunctious one. I let down my guard faster than I do with people because dogs and I just get each other. They give me a chance to fully be my crazy, goofy self. And to talk about the deeper things in life like who has a ball? Who has a ball? Does you have a ball? Yes, you does!!!*

So those are some of my critter friends. How about you? I know a lot of you answered this last week, but for anyone who didn't get a chance... who are the critters in your life? 
And now it's time to curl up on the couch and watch a movie with Cliffy. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your critter stories, and have a sequintastic day!

*Actual dialogue. Seriously.

PS: For my post about LA Blogcademy, go here! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thanks, Dee and Blogcademy!

Welcome to a very special Wednesday edition of Saturday Sequins!

Today is a follow-up to this post, where I wrote all about the sequin earrings I made for Blogcademy.

After the post went live, something very cool happened. Ms. Dee left me a note, thanking me for the earrings. She totally made my day! So I wrote back, thanking her and asking if she'd mind if I posted a photo of her wearing the earrings.

And because she's awesome, (I'm noticing that awesomeness goes hand in hand with pink hair -- flamingos everywhere agree) she sent me a couple photos to choose from. It was hard to pick just one, but I think this one's my favorite:

Isn't she lovely? As you can see, she's wearing Blogcademy colors... and a really cute pair of sparkly ears. They're sort of a Blogcademy thing.

Thanks, Dee! If you're curious about what it's like to go to Blogcademy, she wrote all about it.

Also, you should know that she makes awesome art. Check out her business cards!

Also, also -- Gala wrote about Blogcademy and featured my earrings here!

Before I go, I'd like to thank the amazing Blogcademy headmistresses again, and I'd like to extend a super sparkly welcome to any Blogcademy graduates and readers of Gala, Kat and Shauna's blogs who might have found their way over to my little corner of the blogiverse. If you're a member of the LA class, I'd be thrilled to share your photo, too!

And if you're looking for something fun to do, may I suggest checking out last weekend's post celebrating adoptive pet moms? It features a bunch of cute animal pictures, a giveaway... and a list of some of my favorite animal charities.

That's all for now! Tune in next Saturday for more fun and sparkly stuff.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a sequintastic day! <3

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Celebrating Pet Moms With B3!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I have a treat for you today. A few weeks ago, my favorite jump ring supplier, Blue Buddha Boutique in Chicago, contacted me about writing a special post and hosting a giveaway on my blog. And because B3 sells such amazing products - and because sequins and chain maille go together like chocolate and peanut butter - I was more than happy to participate!

They asked me to write a post for Mother's Day. I've been enjoying my time as a dog aunt, so I decided to put a spin on it. So here's my post honoring some very special women... Blue Buddha pet moms!

I Heart Pet Moms!

There's something absolutely amazeballs about bringing someone into your home. Someone who isn't related to you. Someone who isn't even the same species as you. Someone who has a past, and maybe a suitcase or two of emotional baggage.

(Honestly? It warms my little heart and makes me all sniffly. I'm such a sap.)

Here are some women from Blue Buddha who did just that. Pictured, of course, with their adorable animal friends.

Here's B3 owner Rebeca Mojica with her kitty, Apollo:

Here's Rebeca again with both of her kitties, Apollo and Zeela. 

This is new pet mom Jenna with her puppy, Maybelle:

Here's Kat with her cats! Nacho and Lloyd.

And here she is with her puppy, Sesame.

And here's Emily with her kitty, Roscoe:

Thanks, Blue Buddha pet moms, for sharing your homes with these cuties. You rock! <3

The Purrfect Gift

As you know, I'm a big fan of charities that help animals. I asked for donations to Batworld for my birthday this year, and I can't think of a better present to the special gal in your life than a donation in her name to one of these awesome places:

Trio Animal Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. 

Wright Way Rescue in Niles, Illinois.

A Place To Bark in Tennessee.

And now... the Giveaway!!!

Of course, jewelry is a great gift, too! Which is why B3 and I have teamed up for this giveaway.

Leave a comment on this post before May 9th to win a Celtic Visions bracelet kit!

The kit is available in aluminum, copper or brass, with two customizable colors. Also included are the PDF instructions for right or left-handed people.

I'll choose a random winner on May 9th. If you win, I'll send your email to B3, who will get in touch with you about your ring choices. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Grand Prize!

And once you've entered the giveaway here, go visit the Blue Buddha Blog to enter their grand prize giveaway for one of their chain maille starter packs! You can find links to giveaways on other blogs.

Special thanks to B3 for organizing this blog hop and to all the B3 pet moms who shared their photos/favorite charities with me. And thanks to pet moms everywhere for making your animals feel safe and loved. If your cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs could give you flowers, I know they would.

And of course, thanks to you for reading and participating. Have a sequintastic day! <3