Monday, February 28, 2011

Sleeping Red Wolf

Sleeping Red Wolf
I have a blog I admire called Wild Olive. I was a sponsor of her blog this past month and wanted to make one of her patterns to finish out the month of February here. With perfect timing she posted a lovely post about Paying Tribute with Her Art. She shared a Sleeping Red Wolf embroidery pattern that I put on light grey felt tonight.

labeled Red Wolf
The only embroidery stitches I knew before this blog project were the Satin stitch and Backstitch. I tried the Split stitch for the main body of the wolf and the Stem stitch for his back leg. I need to practice stem stitch as I didn't quite get it, but I like how the split stitch looked like a compact chain.

Tissue Paper Pattern
I traced the pattern onto tissue paper, pinned that to the fabric, and stitched right over it. Then I just pulled the tissue paper out carefully from under the stitches when I was finished with the whole wolf. I think I'm going to sew this felt medallion to a bag or turn it into an ornament.

Thanks for sharing the pattern, Wild Olive!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

International Polar Bear Day

joe namath
It's International Polar Bear Day! Have you hugged your Polar Bear today?

I wouldn't recommend hugging it unless it is a tiny fuzzy one. I have a feeling polar bears would be bitey....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Arnieta the Giraffe Calf

Arnieta, the reticulated giraffe was born in January 2007 while I was volunteering at the Brookfield Zoo. She was a sweet, curious little giraffe and per their website she's 1,300 pounds now and 12 feet tall. I got to see her soon after she was born. I drew this version of her from memory while watching "Get Low" tonight.


She looked like she was covered in velvet and had the longest eyelashes. Here is a journal entry I wrote on January 28th, the day I met her.

"Baby giraffe! Baby giraffe! *sing song* Baaaaby Giraaaffffeeeeeee!

On January 17th Franny the Giraffe gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I got to see her Saturday. She's about 5 foot 5 and has the longest eyelashes and dark coloring. She was very inquisitive and it's hard to believe she is only 10 days old when you look at her. She is very brave and confident, exploring the building. Did you know giraffe's use their tongues like we use our hands? She kept licking the rope fencing and then licking the walls.

I saw her fold herself into a tiny giraffe ball and go to sleep when I saw her at lunchtime. I went back after my zoo shift was over to watch the baby for "a little while". An hour and 15 minutes later, I headed home. I have never seen something that looks graceful and awkward at the same time."

Arnieta Arnieta

Friday, February 25, 2011



I was fiddling around with a pipe cleaner and some felt scraps tonight and came up with this bird. She started with a pattern from page 22 of Aranzi Aronzo - Cuter Book. I just got this book and want to make everything in it :)


I folded the pipe cleaner in half and sewed it into the body of the bird. There is a wee bit of stuffing in the head. After I got the body stitched up I realized the bird pattern has no wings! So, I added a wing on each side with a french knot so you can flap the wings a bit.
It's like a flamingo and a sparrow had a baby together...

Giveaway at Wild Olive

I am a sponsor for February on the blog Wild Olive and today Mollie posted a chance to win one of my critters. You have until Monday CST to visit the Giveaway and have your chance to win!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Pod of Whales

Look! It's a pod of Doodle Whales, swimming across a sheet of printer paper.

Sweater Whale
Ooh and we've spotted the elusive Sweater Pattern Whale! So bright and festive - you can almost imagine you are back in the 80's when it swims by.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paulie Toews, Birthday Monkey

Paulie Toews is a commissioned birthday present for my brother-in-law Chris. Your lovely wife asked me to make it special for you. Happy birthday Chris!

The monkey is named after Paulie Konerko of the Chicago White Sox and Jonny Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. 

I started with the monkey pattern from Aranzi Aronzo's The Cute Book. I made him bigger, gave him a fuzzy belly, changed the face, and added a tail. He can stand up! To show his Sox and Hawks pride, he has two custom made ballcaps to wear. I made a pattern for the hats and embroidered the logos on as authentically as I could. I love how the Hawks hat turned out - I freehanded the logo and was the most fun to make. 

IMG_5496 IMG_5492 IMG_5486

I'm sending Paulie Toews in the mail tomorrow to Chris tomorrow :) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wee Kitten Hair Clip


A Haiku

Wee kitten hair clip,
What can you see from up there?
Birds, bees, flowers, trees?


Another Haiku

Wee kitten hair clip,
Please don't judge my messy hair
It is almost midnight!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Origami Rabbits

Origami Rabbits

Meet Robbie and Rita Rabbit on vacation somewhere warm and sunny. The flowers are blooming and it is not freezing rain. Or snowing. Or chilly and windy. Lucky rabbits!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Egyptian Faience Hippopotamus

Egyptian Faience Hippopotamus

This watercolor is based on a faience hippo figurine from the 13th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

Egyptian faience was made by mixing crushed quartz or sand with copper salts and a binder like lime or resin. When a figurine was fired at a low temperature, the copper salts turned into a glaze, creating a green or blue hue. It was one of the earliest forms of glass making.

I saw this hippo at the St Louis Art museum on a trip we took March 2009.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby Sock Bunny

Baby Sock Bunny

I have been waiting for a few weeks for the book this pattern came from to be available at my library. The pattern is from "Stray sock sewing : making unique, imaginative sock dolls step-by-step / by Daniel." I have a few new craft books that I am excited to go through. I need to learn to embroider properly. I haven't figured out the running stitch. Any tips?

Baby Sock Bunny and Crusby Sparks, Phd

Baby socks are some of the cutest things ever. I have a few tucked away for making tiny sock animals. Because I'm making something new everyday, the tinier the media the better as I'm learning what I'm doing. The less stitches to put into something, the more time I can experiment and figure out what I am doing. 


Hey Baby Sock Bunny...there is a lady bug on your tush!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bug on a snail

Bug on a snail, originally uploaded by bean.zilla.

I am out on the town tonight - I am blogging this while eating an Apricot BBQ flatbread pizza. Nom nom nom.

I colored this Jaunty Bug on a Snail this morning at work. Doesn't he have a stylish helmet? The crayons are scented Crayolas - I can't recommend enough the fresh air scented light blue that made the snails tummy and the blueberry scented crayon for the bug's body. It smells authenticly delicious.
Puppy Drawn by hostess
I asked the waitress at the restaurant for a puppy tonight and the hostess drew me one with crayons! Hee hee hee

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hopscotch McFlufferton the Squirrel Magnet

Squirrel Fridge

The $1 bin at Jo-Ann fabrics strikes again. I found this plaster squirrel magnet near the Lovebug Mask. It came with grey, white, and pink paint and a wee paintbrush. The paint was gloopy so Sharpies to the rescue!

Squirrel Magnet

I really like how the marker strokes made the tail look fluffy. It was definitely easier to doodle on the plaster than the vinyl keychain. Doodle doodle doodle :) Doodle is one of the best words ever.

Hi new readers from the posting on Must Have Cute - Cute Kawaii Stuff! Welcome and thanks for checking out my critters!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sleepy Kitten


I found a blog recently by a lady named Care called "Obsessively Stitching" that is totally inspiring. Last week she posted about making the Sleepy Kittens from the movie "Despicable Me". That movie was nuts and the kitten book was a beam of cuteness in the middle of movie strangeness. When the tutorial came up today I HAD to make a Sleepy Kitten.


I had felt on hand instead of fleece and I hand stitched the kitty. The technique of stitching on the pattern and then cutting away excess is totally new to me. I can think of some ways to use it for elaborate patterns on a toy or for tiny facial features like this. Thanks so much for posting this tutorial, Obsessively Stitching!

With my sleepy kitten, Neo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cheeky Monkey


Things I did not expect to say today...

1. My monkey won't dry!

2. This monkey took forever and ever.

3. Oops, I smudged my monkey!

I found these vinyl animal keychains called "Doodle Budz" at Michael's Crafts for only $1.50! The package says you can decorate them with markers but my Sharpies took awhile to dry. I totally freehanded the noggin's checkerboard and ran and smudge issues at the nape of the neck. I wonder if acrylic paint would be easier to use on vinyl next time?

IMG_5376 IMG_5386IMG_5389

Monday, February 14, 2011

Octopus Love

Amore Close-up

Happy Valentine's Day from Amore, the Octopus. I made her as a gift tonight for my husband. She can sit cutely on the top corner of his computer monitor.

Amore and Cthulu

There go Cthulhu and Amore, arm in arm, strolling off to eat some crab legs together.

The pattern is from :) 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mischief - Valentine's Pet Week


Hi fluffy puppy! It's Mischief, my dear friend Heather's dog. I can't reproduce his fluff in felt exactly but this is close. He has a little brother named Trouble. They are hilarious dogs and don't always live up to their names...just sometimes ;)


I modified a pattern from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo. Instead of making a stuffed puppy, I appliqued him to the felt heart. I stuffed a wee bit of fiberfill into his body and head. Now he's a little heart pillow Valentine.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cthulhu - Valentine's Pet Week

Blue Cthulhu by Bean Bell

Meet Cthulhu, my friend Amanda's pet octopus! I am pretty sure her octopus wasn't bright blue but it could have been as cuddly a cephalopod as this one. She lived in a saltwater tank in Amanda's house - how cool is that? I didn't know you could have a pet octopus!


I found this Supercute Sea Creature Pattern at Her tutorial for blanket stitches helped so much today. I'm excited to try some of her other patterns.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chloe & Willow - Valentine's Pet Week


Cuddly snoozers Chloe & Willow live with my friend, Shannon. They are little stinkers but don't they look adorable here? I felt like crudballs this afternoon and napped so we need more napping on the blog today.

I doodled this using the Sketches program and copied Kramer's heart frame. I knew if I didn't make the background purple, I'd hear about it from Shannon :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Zip - Valentine's Pet Week


The very first pet I can remember having was Zip, a fancy blue guppy. I know we had another guppy friend for him, possibly named Kermit? They lived in the dining room in a cylindrical aquarium with a clamshell shaped light on top. I remember my sister and I would pretend they were talking to each other and supply the voices. And I probably tried to stick my finger in the water and pet him. Who doesn't try to pet a fish at least once? :)