Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter!

I am too full of celebratory food (namely sugar and chocolate) to write the proper post I had planned for today.

So instead I wish you a happy Easter by sharing with you this year's adorable Easter card hand made by my talented Mama.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bun-Bun Fun

It's Spring time, bun-bun-bunny time, folks!

If you're like me, that means it's time to alter your mouse softie pattern into a bunny pattern and have some fun stitching some buns-buns...

...and some bun-bun bums. They are very cute and fleecey.

These bunnies are about twice as big as the mice, and instead of round ears and a long tail, they have long ears and a round tail. And I think they're cute.

Looks the bun-bun-bunnies arrived just in time to "spring" up the decor of ye olde Alicia Policia homestead for the arrival of Easter Sunday this weekend. Keeee-yoot!*

*That's excited-ese for "cute," y'all.
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Mister Rogers Hand Puppet

It's the last day of my Mister Rogers Week, and so I thought it fitting that today's project be based on the man himself.

I give you the Fred Rogers fleece and felt hand puppet!  Ta-daa! He's just hanging in his television neighbor's garden on this beautiful day in the neighborhood.

He opted to wear one of his older sweaters, from the pre-zipper sweater days (because I did not have any zippers, but I have plenty of buttons!).

I know, I know - I made finger puppets just yesterday.  But I had to make a Mister Rogers hand puppet so I could do this...

So adorable! Puppet Mister Rogers is a puppeteer for finger puppet Henrietta and finger puppet X!

And he is the perfect size to hang out with beloved neighborhood crazy lady and museum owner, Lady Elaine Fairchilde.

Who, by the way, is one weird looking lady, no?  I've always wondered, where on earth did they get her puppet? Or alternatively, who decided that sculpt was the way to go for any puppet, anywhere?

I reckon it worked though, because I love her and the entire crew of the Neighborhood of Make Believe (in part because they are so different from any other puppets I've seen in real life).

But above all the endearing puppets and cast members (Lady Aberlin!) I love my television neighbor, Mister Rogers.

Thank you for planting so much kindness, understanding, fun, music, curiosity, ideas, and learning in the garden of my mind and in countless gardens in countless minds of generations of children and families over the years, Mister Rogers.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl Finger Puppets

Meow meow introduce meow friends and neighbors meow Henrietta Pussycat meow X the Owl!

Sorry about all the meows, but one cannot resist a chance to use Henrietta Pussycat speak when one has the opportunity.

I LOVE today's entry for Mister Rogers Week, as one can tell by my all caps, bold, italicized, and underlined typing of the word "love."

X and Hen were always my favorite Neighborhood of Make Believe characters. I liked how they would get in fights, but always eventually made up. I liked X's goofy southern accent and Henrietta's somehow understandable meow speak. I liked that they lived in a tree and that they would visit each others houses.

And is there anything on this earth as cool looking as X the Owl? I mean, even his name is cool.

Also, they are an owl and a cat. So of course I automatically loved them at first sight.

I made these adorable little puppets with felt, fabric glue, and a little bit of thread, craft paint, and lace on Henrietta. Once again, I kinda free-handed the designs (whilst looking at my references), so no pattern pieces, sketches, or tutorials this time.

I have to say, I think they may be my favorite thing I've made in recent history. Or as X might say, I sure do think they are nifty galifty!

But again, how could I not love them?  They're X and Henrietta!
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

King Friday XIII Cake

Happy birthday, Mister Rogers! Or as King Friday the XIII might say, "Felicitous anniversary of your birth, Mister Fred McFeely Rogers!"

You know, because he's all into long words and all (perhaps some of you do not know that about King Friday, but trust me, it's true).

Today's homage to my favorite television neighbor is a portrait of King Friday XIII. In cake form! Because today is Mister Rogers' actual birthday, and I thought a birthday cake was in order.

I tapped into my inner Chef Brockett and baked up this yellow cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, cut the single sheet cake into the shape of King Friday surveying the Neighborhood of Make Believe from his castle, and then iced it in buttercream on super cool retro cake foil, adding some candy jewels (foil and jewels found at Make It Sweet!) to his majesty's wardrobe as a final touch.

My inner critic thinks that on technical side of things, I can do better, cake wise. 

But in my heart, I love, love, love it, just the way it is! Take that, inner critic!

I like to think Mister Rogers would've loved it too.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Such a Good Feeling to Know You're Alive Embroidery

Today's adventure in my Mister Rogers Week celebration travels to the land of embroidery, with a stitched sample of some of my favorite lines from one of my all time favorite Mister Rogers tunes.

A long time ago way back when I worked in a bead store, my co-worker (and friend) and I would sing this song together while closing the shop up for the night. It was always such a happy way to end a long (and sometimes arduous) day.

Seriously, it's such a happy, optimistic, sweet, and uplifting song, how could you not like it? I decided I should stitch it up and hang it in my studio for when my spirits need a-lifting... dealing with embroidery frustrations. Grr.

It's been a loooooooooong time since I've done much stitchery myself, so I was happy to get back at it.  However, I basically free-handed this one, with a very skant plan of what I wanted to do. And the colors?  Totally on a whim. I kinda regret that now.

But then, it was also kinda fun and relaxing and exciting to have no plans...but then some times still very frustrating...

...but whatever! Because you know what? It is such a good feeling to know you're alive!

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Won't You Be My Neighbor? It's Mister Rogers Week!

The title of this post sort of says it all! I'm declaring this week Mister Rogers week in honor of one of my personal heroes and an inspiration to generations, Fred McFeely Rogers.

This Wednesday, March 20th, would have been Mister Rogers' 85th birthday. 2013 also happens to be the ten year anniversary of when the world lost this brilliant, kind, and caring man, friend, and neighbor.

I figured I would do what I do to celebrate his life and work, and that means making artsy and craftsy Mister Rogers related goodness. Look for something new every day until Friday!

Today I made this card featuring Trolley and one of Mister Rogers' favorite sayings (and one of my fav songs of his, too!), "You are special."

And it goes just swell with my trolley collection (of two)!

Which reminds me of something I like to say every now and again..

Dear friends, readers, and neighbors, you are special. You are special to me. I thank you all for reading this blog and hope that you remember, in the words of Mister Rogers, that " make each day special just by your being you."

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

May Your St. Patrick's Day be Lucky (and Charmed)!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! I decided to celebrate this year by making one of the most un-Irish, un-traditional foods I could. In fact, I would think of it as being very distinctly American, but it does involve a leprechaun of sorts.

Why, yes, I'm talking about Lucky Charms treats.

Oh, and besides making the treats, I drew up my own little L.C. Leprechaun, too. I based him on the vintage version, who was actually cute and yet still leprechauny. Not the crazed CGI styled boyish L.C. of toda, no sir!


Believe it or not, I've never made any "Rice Krispy Treat" style treats before, and I had never seen anyone else make them either (my mom was more of a cakes-&-cookies mom). I was surprised that it actually was really easy to make (I used this recipe here). Huh, how 'bout that? That commercial that came on all the time when I was a kid was not a lie!

Isn't it funny that I, Miss I-Like-To-Bake, can go my entire life without ever participating in making something as simple and ubiquitous as cereal marshmallow treats? I kinda feel more American now.


As for the verdict on the treats themselves: my husband liked them, I thought they were all right. I think they were better once they sat out longer and the marshmallows got a bit softer.

Sigh!  I reckon this means my cereal treats lovin' husband is more American than I. But on a day like today, isn't it more important who is more Irish? Sure.

(It's probably technically him, but let's say it's me)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Doin' the SXSW Thang.

The free part at least.

So far that has consisted of a couple of free live music shows and Flatstock...

...which is where I picked up the raddest Robert Smith with kittens print ever by Madpixel Design! I love it.

And then I sat and freeform doodled SXSW dudes while waiting for my husband to do his SXSW thing.

And now, more music, drinks, food, and a super crowded metro back home.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Cute Scoops

Remember that cute little painting I was lying on the floor like a five year old to work on the other day?

Yeah, well, I finished it. Therefore, I thought I would share it.

It's pretty frikkin' cute, huh? I think so. Yup.

Gouache on panel, ya'll.

P.S. Now I'm craving some ice cream something awful.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

FiftyFifty and 2013 (so far)

Remember my post for the new year of 2013 back in January?

Well, I thought I would go ahead and squeeze in a little update on my year so far.

So far, 2013 can be pretty much summed up by the phrases "out of town" and "sick in bed." Because it feels like I have spent the majority of the year so far in transition between the two.

In fact, I'm enjoying a Ricola as I type this, because, hooray, I'm sick again! Right on the heels of being out of town. Ugh. Stupid lungs.

However, there is a bright side to traveling and being sick and that is having plenty of time to read. And the bright side to reading is that it's been handy in reaching my goal of participating in - home to a challenge of reading 50 books and watching 50 movies in 2013. I'm adding a bonus challenge of listening to 50 new-to-me albums for myself, too (you can follow all of my progress over on my pinterest board, if you'd like).

I'm behind on where I would like to be on my reading list, but that's probably because I keep getting distracted by wanting to draw characters from the books I read.

Today I decided to post a few small snapshots of doodles of Sam, Lenina, and Buttercup (as I imagine them whilst reading the books, and not in movie versions) from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Brave New World, and The Princess Bride respectively.

I reckon they are all another positive side to a not so great year (so far), because I've managed to keep up some drawing during all the travel and sick times, too. That was one of my new year's goals, wasn't it?  To draw more? Yup. It was. And still is.

I'd like to take some time to finish out some of my book inspired sketches. You know, beyond the doodle stage.

However, it'd be nice to do so once I'm 1) not sick, 2) comfy in my own studio space at home, and 3) not trying to catch up on all my other work that I missed from being sick and out of town.

*cough*hack*cough* Pin It