Thursday, September 27, 2007

Electric Eel Neckpillow Tutorial

My niece is turning 2 this weekend and I wanted to make her a special stuffed animal. She loves carrying around animals and with the shape of this guy, I can just picture her running around dragging him on the ground. Once he was finished I realized that he'd make a perfect neck pillow for adults! If you feel inspired to make your own, here are some simple instructions.

To make this electric eel neck pillow stuffed animal you will need two pieces of contrasting fabric. I chose a heavy duty felt for the belly and a soft cotton blanket material for the top. The body pieces should measure about 18 inches long, 6 inches wide at the top “face” section and taper to 3 inches wide at the bottom “tail” section. I also used the felt as a tongue, cut a rectangle with one side rounded that’s about 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. For the eyes, I used plastic doll eyes that are available at Joann’s Fabric. They come in two pieces, one that is the eye part and another that is a plastic "washer" which secures the eye. If you are giving this to a child, like I am, you need to make sure that they get a second piece of “reinforcement” fabric to place in-between the eyes and the “washer” pieces.

Once you have all your pieces cut, take the top piece of body fabric and mark with a pen where you want the eyes to go. Cut a teeny hole where each dot is and in the middle of the “reinforcement” fabric squares.

Poke the “male” piece through each of the holes and attach the “washer” on the back so it is pressed against the “reinforcement” square. The directions on the packet for the doll eyes should clarify if you have any questions, though I found them pretty intuitive to use.

Take the two body fabric pieces and lay them with the right, or “outside” sides together. Place the tongue fabric piece in between the two body pieces, in between the eyes.

Make sure a quarter of an inch of the square side is sticking out and pin it in place . Pin the rest of the body together around the edges, leaving the bottom “tail” section unpinned. I wanted the front of the face to be rounded so I took a pen and marked small dots in a half circle to follow when I sewed the body pieces together.

With a straight stitch and starting on the bottom right side of the body, sew all around the body. Make sure you follow the dots on the front of the face in a half circle and stop sewing once you reach the left bottom section of the body, so that you have the bottom “tail” section open for stuffing.

Flip the body inside out using the opening. With your iron on medium heat, press the edges around the body and face. With cotton stuffing, stuff the eel until it’s as full as you want it to be. (I like my stuffed animals a little floppy but if you want to use it as a neck pillow, you’ll want to fill it a bit more so it’ll support your head).
Tuck the seam of the tail in the inside of the body and pin it. Use a straight stitch to close the hole.
Voila! Electric eel neck pillow or stuffed animal gift!

Other Ideas: If you don’t want to use the plastic doll eyes that I got, You can cut felt circles and stitch them to the body instead! You can also get creative with antennae or adding a nose.
For the more earth conscience, use torn pieces of old cotton t-shirts or rice as stuffing.
Let me know if you have questions or if anything is confusing! The boy carried this around the apartment all nite last nite so it looks like I might have to make another one for my neice since he didn't seem to want to give it up!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Things That I Love

I just picked this book up at the library as inspiration for my "Handmade Christmas". There's a bunch of cute and quick projects including a shrug and fingerless gloves that are all sooooo simple. (I'm a self taught knitter so sometimes patterns confuse me but these ones are super easy!)
I also sent in my application today for Carfty Wonderland's Super Colossal Holiday Sale. Wish me luck!
Over here on the Love Forever blog, Kayte made a list of the things she loves and encouraged other bloggers to do the same.
Here's mine:
-Picking up knitting again when the weather starts to get cold.
-Sweater dresses
-Wearing more than one necklace at a time
-Cheap taco joints on Alberta
-My new J.O.B.
-Mailing "I love you" presents to my family up north

So...What do you love?

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Had a Dream I Could Buy My Way to Heaven

The new apartment is almost coming together. Its amazing what a difference it makes just moving up a floor.
Also tonite is the Cut and Paste design tournament at the Wonder Ballroom. Doors open at 7PM and competition from 8 - 11PM. Here's one of last years winning designs. Check out for more details

Monday, September 17, 2007

I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm sorry that I made you cry...

Woah blog, stop crying, I'm sorry that I've been neglecting you! I guess that's what moving and anniversaries and starting new jobs will do to you! Those things will also cause you to lower your craft productivity significantly. ugh. I have started a new knitting project and made a tentative commitment to myself to hand craft all my Christmas gifts this year. It is a fairly ambitious task and I really hope I can keep up with it since it will take some advanced effort. This year I have thought, almost constantly, about the amount of waste that humans create. It's devistating and, although I do plan on keeping this blog free from preaching, I'll just say that I think we as humans, need to significantly lower our output of waste. I think that using some recycled materials and not buying over produced junk, I can lower my waste output making my gifts by hand. Does that even make sense?!

To catch you up, here are some inspirational pictures. I think lite is such an important part of taking pictures, actually lite is important in art in general. The light is so different in all of these pictures. I hope you get inspired!
Oh and I also found a craft nite here in Portland at a yarn store called Twisted on NE Broadway and 22nd. It's every Tuesday nite and they have tea and snacks. I plan on going for my first time this week!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I Kissed the Bottle

Ok so lately no crafting has been done because I have been too busy going to Seattle and drinking my butt off and then coming back to Portland and seeing a ton of shows at MusicFest Northwest! I seriously love this festival so much! Some of my highlites so far include: bypassing a huge line for Spoon by flashing my press pass, Cat Power's cover of Don't Explain and FREE ICE CREAM everywhere you go! Man, Portland loves itself some icecream. damn.

Also Dominic Aulisio has just been bumped up to one of the top five Antelope Baby supporters of all time. I have no idea who the other four are but Dom sent a lovely and gushing email to all the females he knows about my unicorn onesies. I am in the process of making more of these now so if you want to grab one, shoot me an email (