Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cardboard playhouse v2.0

The original v1.0 play house is still in the living room, but has been joined by this humongous house.  This beauty was created out of two HUGE boxes.  A friend of mine with a truck delivered them after her neighbor tossed them out.  This is what you get when your sectional sofa comes in a box.  I was in heaven with these.

I started to put it together with duct tape, but it was proving too fidly.  I was rescued with the discovery of these handy little things called "Makedo" which I got at the gift shop of the local Children's Museum.  They are basically little reuseable pins that hold cardboard together (see all the little blue dots).  There are hinges too. They saved me hours of work and probably about four roles of duct tape.  I think I might be in love.

The kiddo actually goes INTO this house to play.  I think she dind't play in v1.0 because she didn't much care for ducking through the door.  Now, no ducking needed.  Not yet anyway.  And all three of us can fit in there together!

I might have come up with some "instructions" but I figure that two humongous sofa boxes are a pretty rare thing to come by.

Sitting in her cardboard armchair next to her cardboard book bin reading her ... board book.

A better view of that book bin and the armchair.  These I could give instructions on how to replicate.  It's easy and just uses one small piece of cardboard and one cardboard box.  Of course, it helps if you have a monstrous cardboard mansion to put them in.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Velvet Patchwork Puzzle Balls

In the interest of posting about things MONTHS after I make them... here is a fun little Xmas present I made for the little one just a day or two before the big day. These are the first two balls from the book "patchwork puzzle balls" by jinny beyer (you can see the cover under the balls in one of the photos). I made them with velvet from this HUGE box of velvet scraps I bought at a yard sale from a lady who had been collecting remnants for years to use "in a special project." I like to think she would approve of these.

The patterns and instructions were easy and straightforward, although the thickness and fuzziness of the felt did add to the difficulty in machine sewing them together (and got lint EVERYWHERE). I've included a complete but inside out pic so you can see the madness. Because of the thickness of the material I did have to leave a larger opening to be able to turn it right side out.

In an effort to use only what was on hand, I stuffed these with some pretty heinous novelty yarn that accidentally invaded my stash, and it actually worked very well. However, be warned you need A LOT of heinous novelty yarn to get the ball to be FULL and it is a bit tricky to get it all in there. I have yet to use the recommended cotton stuffing... So I can't say if that is any different.  The ball in the picture below looks pretty full doesn't it?  Right, well, that whole ball of novelty yarn next to it pretty much went in as well.  And I understand why.  A few months later and it almost feels a bit squishy, almost like I need to rip out a seam and put in some more yarn.  You definitly need to stuff with something that doesn't have any spring in its step if you want these to feel more like "balls" than stuffed animals, and if you want them to hold their round shape for more than 30 seconds.

Most importantly, they turned out just as nice as I hoped they would and the kiddo seems to really like them!