Feb 28, 2014

February Recap!

I made wool pizza, tried wet felting for the first time, and then a second time.

I shared a friend's jewelry DIY.

I baked my annual lemon meringue pie and then "tricked" my husband into baking cookies.

I reviewed my third Stitch Fix.

I offered a solution to patch a sweater.

My blog got a new design!

I shared a Felted Ball Garland DIY.

We met a bunny.

Oh, and I got to start my kick ass tattoo early.

Thanks for being awesome, February.

I hope your February was awesome too!

Feb 25, 2014

Fur, Feathers & Scales: Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

It's time for another dose of cute.  And what better animal is there to go with my new blog design?

Meet Benjamin!  He is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.  He is one of our program animals at my zoo job.  He joined us last year, because his owner developed severe allergies to him and could no longer keep him.  He is about six years old.

Often, many people think that rabbits are lumped in with rodents, but they are in their own group called lagomorphs. One of the differences between rodents and lagomorphs has to do with their teeth.  Most folks know that rodents, like rats and squirrels, have two large front teeth (incisors) on their top and bottom jaws.  Rabbits actually have two pairs of teeth on the top and the bottom.  The second pair sits just behind the first pair of incisors.  Oh, and like rodents, rabbits' teeth do continually grow.

They are herbivores and eat only vegetation.  But rabbits do have a secret.

They eat their own poop.

Rabbits have two types of poop--one is a dry pellet, and the other is a wetter, uh, nugget.  The wetter poo is less digested, so they eat it right away so that it passes through their digestive system again, ensuring maximum nutrient absorption.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 48 different breeds of rabbits. The Netherland Dwarf is one of the smallest, weighing up to two and a half pounds.

If you love bunnies, I'm going to leave you with this list of videos for your enjoyment. Maybe your next travel destination?

Feb 24, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 8

I've been doing more experimenting with wet felting.  There is definitely a lot less control.  I'll have to show you some before, after and process photos when I start another piece.

This painting is wet felted with needle felted details. I was just playing around with creating different textures with different wools this time around.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to display these for shows.  I'm thinking I'll probably mount these on a thick, white paper board.  I'm so excited to have more paintings available!

Feb 17, 2014

Something Crazy Happened

So, Saturday I had a missed call and then a subsequent facebook message: "Would you want to do your first [tattoo] session today?"

Um. Oh my god.

This, of course, was completely unexpected. If you remember my post from a few weeks ago, I wasn't expecting to get started until 2015.  But there was a cancellation, and then not one person ahead of me on the list could come in that day.

So, I had a few moments of freaking out.  Then I called back and said I could be there in forty-five minutes. 

So I have a few photos from the session that I will share with you.  The tattoo includes seven flowers, each representing a country that my husband and I have visited. 

My tattoo artist used markers to freehand the design on my leg and hip. This is a shot from my perspective looking down.  (He's sitting on the floor.)

Here are a couple progress shots. You can't see the whole piece in these--we'll have to wait until it's healed up a bit more for better photos.

We were there for about 4 hours, and I think he tattooed me for about 2.5 hours. It wasn't terrible, but there were a few tender spots. It's been a couple days now, so I'm really not too sore anymore.  I have been avoiding pants, though. :)

It will be at least a month before I can go back in to work on shading and color. I am crazy excited to make more progress!

Feb 16, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 7

I did it! I did it! I finally tried my hand at wet felting--I can't believe I've waited this long.  I definitely still have some learning to do and techniques to develop, but I'm so excited to do so!

The painting is my very first piece.  I added the center of the flowers and some crow detail with needle felting, but everything else is wet felted.

 It's incredibly thin, which is a fun change. Oh, I can't wait to try out some more wet felting!

Feb 13, 2014

This Stitch Fix thing is Addicting

For real.  When I get the email that says "Your fix has shipped!"I turn into a FedEx stalker.  This was my third Fix.  (Check out my first and second fixes, too.)

So, what did I get?  In my Fix, there was a dress, a jacket, a purse, an over-sized cardigan, and a blouse.

The cardigan was an instant winner.  I've been pinning over-sized cardigans and tribal prints like crazy, so this was love at first sight.  It's a great fit.  After I unpacked my box and tried every thing else on, I wore this the rest of the evening...and then the next day. (Obviously, I kept this one.)

This elephant blouse was a hit and a miss.  I like the print, but I'm not crazy about the colors.  I like the style, and the sewing details of the shirt, but it fit my strangely across the chest.  Bummer. (Returned.)

The same thing happened with this dress.  I like the style and color, love the pleats and fit and flare shape, but it was too tight across the chest.  I need a bit of give/room up top.  Oh well.  (Returned.)

I was surprised to find a purse in my fix! I didn't know that was an option.  I don't own any black purses, because I'm not really a fan. I also did not like the amount of gold on this purse.  The flap/fold-over style is really neat, and I love a cross-body bag.  But, this just wasn't my thing. (Returned.)

This jacket really made me think about my wardrobe.  It has a vintage vibe for sure--love that.  But boucle with lurex detail? Could I pull that off?  I love the cropped style and asymmetrical zipper. This was the most expensive piece in my fix, and I didn't want to pay for something that wasn't thrilling me. I tried it on with a few things until I finally found and outfit that made me know I would wear it. Actually, I can't wait to wear it now! (Kept!)

 A few of you have used my referral link, and I am so grateful for that! Thank you so much!! (Each referral earns me a credit so I can continue this addiction.)

If you do try Stitch Fix, I want hear about your experience--so let me know!

Feb 12, 2014

How to Repair a Sweater - DIY

Did you know needle felting can be functional as well as decorative?  Today I'll show you how to repair a small hole or tear in a sweater.  You'll need your choice color of wool roving, felting needles, felting foam, and your poor sweater.

Here's my poor sweater: 

I put a bright piece of felt under the tear so you could see what I needed to repair.

You can do any shape/design.  I chose to do a heart.  Before I placed the foam under the tear, I wanted to mark where the points of the heart should be in relation to the rest of the sweater--I didn't want it to be crooked.  I used a chalk pencil.

Place your foam inside your sweater.

Start felting the wool into your sweater around the tear.

Fill in the tear with the wool and form your shape.

Fill in the shape, and try to keep a uniform surface in the wool.  You don't want one part of the shape to be more raised than the rest or even lumpy.

The tear is fixed!

This is what it looks like on the inside.  It's really fuzzy!

I added a smaller heart for aesthetics. 

After you're done needle felting, you'll want to iron your design--without steam.  Iron from the inside of the sweater...

 ...and then iron the outside.


You'll want to be mindful of your sweater care after you add the wool shape/design.  Don't throw it in the dryer, because the wool will likely shrink and get all wonky, and wash in cold water only.

Of course, you don't have to just cover a tear....go crazy with your designs! Needle felt all the sweaters!!

Feb 10, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 6

Remember the pizza from last week? Well, I did make a couple more slices of pepperoni, but I decided that I couldn't do pizza two weeks in a row for this project.  I did want to do something quick and easy. Well, as it turns out, this one was not quick, but at least it wasn't difficult.  The painting that we brought back from France was my inspiration... 

Have a great week!

Scenes From My Kitchen: Pie Making

National Pie Day was back in January, and every year I make a "mile-high" lemon meringue pie. Better late than never.  I decided to document the pie making process with some pictures. Enjoy!

It was delicious.