Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Royal Attire: Witchy details.

Today's fashion choice for the just turned four year old featured her trusty old witches costume. It is one of her favourite's I must say, but this morning she was on fine form and obviously being a stickler for the finer details, she spent the entire morning buzzing about on my broom, whilst also carrying at all times, the obligatory witches cat, a my little pony (all witches should have one) and a magic wand. It is all in the details, this girl sure can 
accessorise well and as always we are no where near Halloween.

Outfit synopsis: Witchy details.

Witches costume and witchy accessories: Pound land
Broom: TKMaxx
My little pony: gift
Kitty cat: Disney store (part of set)
Magic wand: gift.

Monday, 21 January 2013

DIY: Felt pencil scarf.


King Kwak draws, he makes a living out of it, so what better to make him for Christmas, than his very own pencil scarf. Not a skinny little slither of a teddy boy scarf but an actual pencil. Genius. I saw this scarf but I cannot knit, boo. I contemplate knitting from time to time, my mums a dab hand, and I was able to knit up a mean 20cm scarf when I was 5, but with time restraints I decided to cheat, as I knew my little Korean just had to have this. Off I hopped to the local shopping centre (it's the only place I go) and found the nicest, cheapest scarf I could get my hands on. I really wanted a yellow and black stripy scarf and searched every inch of the place, but could I find one? no, so red would do. I would like to say it is made of the finest lambs wool, but it is not. It was £6.99, so I imagine 100% acrylic, lovely, but it does look and feel nice. During the next nap time, when the King was safely out of sight, out came the felt basket (He bought me an African basket for Christmas, quite the upgrade from the ripped old office bag my felt lived in before) and I whipped up this beauty. Most of the time was spent sewing up the scarf, which I folded in half, and used a blanket stitch of red embroidery thread the entire length. I have used blanket stitches for all outer parts and a running stitch on inner parts. I tried to stuff the scarf in the end parts as much as possible, to make sure they were fastened well and to give the puffed appearance.

Casually hanging around.

Note: What you cannot see are the piles of winter coats, rain coats, bike helmets, school bags, book bags, comedy umbrellas and random rubbish, quickly thrown in front of the shoe cupboard. Bless, it does look nice and tidy for once.

Details, details:

So along came 2nd January, back to work, pat on the back, off you go day, and I wrapped my King in his new pencil scarf. But when he came home my boy was all sad, with little protests of 'they all stared at me'. Pesky tube travelling folk. I have since found the scarf, two weeks later hidden in my pretty much never used, nappy bag. I am going to have to wear it myself.

Cost: Scarf: £6.99 H&M, felt squares x5 colours: 30p each and embroidery threads x5 colours: 25p each both Fabricland. Mine only cost the price of the scarf, but if doing with no previously owned materials the Total: £9.74, which would allow a lot of leftover felt and thread. I would have preferred to use a scarf I already owned but we had recently given all non used scarves and similar to the local charity shop.
Supplies: One scarf, felt, embroidery threads, needle and scissors.
Time taken: One nap time: 2 hours. 

So would you also wear my pencil scarf with shame and stuff it somewhere out of sight? Have you ever made a gift which quite clearly went down very, very not well? Please share your stories.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Illustration: Personalised coloured disc nursery print.

This print  was created as a gift for my friends new born little baby girl. There is a lot of colour, I am keen on colour and I based it upon a hanging mobile. I had been making a nursery mobile at the time for my little chap so it must have been in mind. I thought the print would look nice hung at the top of a wall, up by the ceiling and perhaps one day I may make her a mobile just like this.

Artwork copyright of Queen Kwak.

DIY: Pocahontas costume.

Last summer King Kwak's parents, niece and nephew came to stay. Whilst here our niece Didi, attended a weeks summer camp, mid way she brought home a letter stating the last day was a costume day. I asked her what she wished to go as, and 'pretty' was my brief. So after a frantic rifle through her suitcase followed by a manic run through the local shopping centre I came up with a Pocahontas costume. It cost £7 in total, which is cheaper than any costume I could have found in said shopping centre, plus she can wear the playsuit separately or the entire costume again on other occasions, which she did, even whilst we holidayed in Prague. And indeed I do LOVE a spot of costume making, oh yes I do.

Feather headdress:

The headdress was made incorporating the teal from the playsuit and from there I decided to go as colourful as I could, scraps permitting. This is a 7cm strip of tan faux leather, length the circumference of Didi's head. A piece of chunky wool was woven though and I fabric glued a piece of pompom trim. The flower is from an as yet unfinished project (which I keep stealing so is in fact NEVER going to be completed) and the feathers were drawn onto and cut from felt. The piece was sewn at the back with embroidery thread. The bangles and belt were from my wardrobe.


The cardigan was a ladies XS v-neck t-shirt, £1, cut up the centre, then fringed by cutting 1cm width even lengths, all the way around. The mustard beads were from a  broken necklace, which were knotted on at intermittent spaces. It took about 20 minutes and I made it up. King Kwak's mum was sat next to me when I made this and must have wondered what on earth I was doing cutting up a perfectly good t-shirt, but it was worth it. The corsage used another of the flowers, to which some scraps of wool, ribbon and pompom trim were sewn to the reverse.

Now you are probably wondering why there are medals? that will be because the night before costume day, one of the camp staff mentioned it was an Olympic themed costume day, OLYMPIC theme?? Forget to mention this before?? Nnnooooo. This was NOT stated in the letter. So after offering to whip up a more appropriate costume, Didi was quite insistent she wanted to wear my creation and a few medals were created. (Foil and glitter attached to some of the babies play medals). Didi was a trooper, every single child was wearing tracksuits or swimming costumes that day, everyone except her but she was so happy it did not matter, bless her.

Hey pretty lady:

Cost: Playsuit; £5 Primark, Cardigan: £1 Primark t-shirt, Dreamcatcher: £1 Primark. Everything else previously owned.
Supplies: Numerous scraps of ribbon, wool, pompom trim. Faux tan leather, felt, beads embroidery thread, fabric glue, needle and scissors.
Time taken: 1 hour max. 

So what do you think? Have you whipped up a costume in breakneck speed? Ever made a costume which turned out to be the wrong theme entirely? Tell me your stories, I would love to hear.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Illustration: Personalised Pregnancy test card.

Last summer one of my good friends Mrs Zoƫ McFlowy announced she was pregnant...Yay. Being very happy for her and her Mr Kev, I figured what more would they want than their very own, highly personalised, exact memento of the very moment she found out, super dooper pregnancy card. I hope she liked it. And indeed I am guessing they found out using this type of test, upon a wooden floor with a toilet roll by the knee. I did, twice.

The card was easily tweaked when another friend announced her pregnancy of identical twins.

Artwork copyright of Queen Kwak.

Monday, 7 January 2013

DIY: Felt personalised doll with moses basket.

Well hello there, many apologies for my extreme absence. No it was not beginner blogger love loss, it has in fact been a couple of months of continuous baby illness, weekends away, birthdays, parent illness, Christmas and a whole 3 weeks of no Wifi. None, nothing, nada... due to a supplier switchover blah, blah, blah. I cried when they informed me. NO WIFI??? big fat tears. But here I am, with determination to be posting frequently forever more. In the absence I have however done A LOT of work and will be adding a lot of posts in the coming weeks. Most have been sewing projects, I have got my sew on in a big way. Plus I now own a book which states the names of sewing stitches. Result, but I shall try and mix it up with the different topics.

So to begin, this little doll is my daughter, a mini little felt version I made for her 4th birthday last month. She measures 35cm long, the size of a standard plastic doll and is sporting my little ladies: colouring, hairstyle and one of her outfits (that I picked, not her). I hand sewed her and she is made of felt, faux fur for the leopard boots and a combination of assorted buttons, ribbon and embroidery thread, and is stuffed with cotton wool. I did not use any tutorials for her, I sketched how she would look then thought for a very long time how best to create her, step by step.



Head detail:

The entire outer of the doll was sewn using a blanket stitch and the individual clothing and inner parts were sewn using a running stitch. (I know the stitches... woop. professional aren't I?). The clothes are attached.

At this time the little lady had been fashioning doll beds out of random things, Lego lids, plates, toy cars, she wasn't fussy but I decided that this doll needed a little bed to join her,  and which could hold plastic dolls should she wish. So I made a simple moses basket. here I used pink felt for the side, striped cotton from Ikea for the base, this was double layered and stuffed with white fleece, to give dolly that extra comfort, and the handles are made from faux tan leather. The pillow is pink cotton with felt and button trims and the blanket was knitted by my mum. Team effort. It is very colour coordinated as a piece and matches her room, I am anal like that and I was pleased with how it turned out as a whole and the general colourfulness of it all. I have been able to clean her with a cloth/ wet wipe and am happy to brave her in the washing machine once she's beyond wet wipe repair.

Moses basket and pillow:

Casually hanging about:

Indeed I was quite proud of the gift, and eagerly awaited her opening it. she ripped open the packaging, stared at it in a little freaked out kind of way, said 'is that me?', to which I nodded. she looked at it freaked out a little bit more, then threw it on the floor and told me she wanted a real baby, to which I then told her we had a real baby, her brother. She informed me 'no not like him, I want a real plastic baby'. Marvellous. But all is good, she soon went back to her and now dolly little lady sleeps next to real little lady each and every night, bless.

Following this first doll, I made my lovely little goddaughter a doll of herself for Christmas, so please let me introduce dolly Erin Rose. I based her upon a photo, her colouring is more appropriate and she was made in the exact same way. I hope you like.

Miss Erin Rose:

Head detail:

Cost: The fabric stash was replenished in November which I intend to blog about soon so as always all fabric supplies were here. The only thing I had to buy especially was the cotton wool at £1, which stuffed both dolls and the pillow. My brain may pop if I attempt to work out the cost of individual pieces of fabric, but as always I have made it all using the cheapest means possible, and this really was a very inexpensive project.
Supplies: Felt in various colours, white fleece, red fabric paint (dots on dress) and faux leopard print: Faricland, Faux leather and assorted buttons: eBay, Striped cotton: Ikea, Cotton wool, embroidery threads and embroidery needle: Sainsbury's, card, scissors and a pen.
Time taken: The Erin doll was much quicker as I learnt from earlier mistakes plus I could reuse most of the templates, but on average a doll took 5-6 hours. The moses basket and pillow took 2 hours. 

Have you had a go at making a doll? how did it turn out? If anyone wishes to see a detailed explanation of how these were made, or more details about where I source my supplies, I would be happy to share.