Tuesday, March 5, 2019

From Bridesmaid to Bunny

Whatever you may have called it when you were young, it was that one thing you carried with you everywhere you went. It soothed you to sleep as an infant. It was your first friend. It was snuggled literally to pieces.


This is my daughter's bunny...what is left of it.

Her bunny was with her everyday, everywhere...always.

She still speaks fondly about the smell of it.

Her "FooFoo Bunny" is framed, but I have many customers tell me that they still secretly have their pieces within reach. Some hide them inside their pillowcase,  others have a more open relationship with their pieces.





There is no denying the love of this bunny and every once in awhile, I get asked to try to save one.


Whenever I get the pieces in the mail, my heart melts.






So much love!

<------My customer's loved on bunny (This is the 2nd version of the Fisher Price Bunny Puppet)


                              ---------->
New blanket for an old bunny!


Imagine the memories of a child's world held within this bunny!

I think preserving memories is part of human nature and if you search the web, you will find there are endless ways to preserve those memories.

I have a couple memory bears made from my Mom's clothes.

These are very special to me!
The list is long when it comes to preserving.

 But this....

I mean, what else could you do with that green satin dress you wore for your sister's wedding?

Well, if she happens to have carried a Fisher Price Bunny Puppet with her as a child,  you might ask someone to do this......
What an amazing way to honor your sister's love of the bunny!

And one-of-a-kind bunnies made with bridesmaid dress satin?...Sigh...Perfection!

This was one of my favorite projects!

Do you have security blanket secrets?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

DIY a Pressing Mat? Wool, yes, I think I can!

Let me preface this post by saying that when you add up time spent and supplies, yes, it may have been cheaper for me to click the "pay" button. But for me, I don't always DIY something to save money or time. I just simply love the creative, inventive process of DIY!

In the quilting world, there is an endless number of things on the market to magically make me become an amazing quilter....I admit to falling into the trap more than once. I love watching videos and going to quilt shows to be mesmerized by demonstrations of quilters' tools. I must admit, I am blown away by the abundance of ingenuity in the quilting world.

Trending this year....the felted wool pressing mat.

Oh, yes, I wanted one when I saw them being used....c'mon, admit it...you did too!

I love my DIY iron board, but what if I had a felted wool pressing mat? Could my quilt pressing be sooooo much more satisfying?

I had to know.

This post was created after visiting many online stores placing the magical felted wool pressing mat into my cart only to leave it abandoned in the virtual aisle waiting to be put back on the shelf by the virtual stock person because the DIY voice in my head kept saying, "Hey, I wonder if I can make one?"

I have no idea if my felted wool pressing mat performs like the ones I left abandoned in my cart. I do know that creating this was fun and it felt kind of adventurous because I could find no DIY,  made from scratch, felted wool pressing mat tutorials on the world wide web.


So, this is my adventure creating a felted wool pressing mat.....

I crocheted a large rectangle using inexpensive 100% wool yarn. I got tired of crocheting at about 38 x 28 inches and figured that was good enough for my experiment.



After stitching in my loose ends (not sure if this matters but it feels necessary).
I tossed my rectangle into the wash with some towels and set the machine to HOT. I added a drop or two of detergent and closed the lid, pushed start and hoped for the best!

I have some experience in felting so I knew this was going to require patience and a watchful eye. One of the important things to note here is that the spin cycle will create creases in your hours of crochet (don't ask).....do not let your machine go to spin!



It took 5 cycles to get my nicely crocheted rectangle to become
this ---------------------->

I know, it doesn't look very impressive but wait...










 Shaving is a very important part of a felted piece's beauty. Shave, shave, shave...a lot!










Shave it some more...trim it and oh my!     

                                     It looks like it could be a REAL felted wool pressing mat!









Let me say again, that I don't know if my DIY felted wool pressing mat performs like others but I am pretty impressed with the flatness of my block!








My mat is not as thick as purchased mats but it still works well and I can use it on any surface without worry AND I created a hinge in mine so I can take it with me to classes. I can use it open if I have room or folded if I have a smaller space....HA!...Two sizes in one!


My finished size is 26 x 12. Those of you with math skills can figure the shrink percentage precisely but I'm going say as a general rule make your square or rectangle 50% bigger than the size you want to end up with should you want to go on this adventure.

I love my DIY felted wool pressing mat!




















Friday, May 25, 2018

Autism and Awesome

What do autism and awesome have in common? Jordan! He is autistic and he is awesome! And Jordan graduates from high school on May 30th 2018. I think his life story should be a movie...you know the kind I mean....it's a story that makes you cry and laugh and fall in love and then laugh and cry because you are in love. Big screen stuff.

So, while we wait for that blockbuster to come out......

I was honored with the task of creating a t-shirt quilt for "Jordan the Amazing."





Can you tell green is his favorite color? Yes it is!



I must admit, this grandma was not prepared for the emotional journey this task was going to take me on. Piecing together his quilt caused me to ponder with pride..oh, so much pride...how this young man got to this place. I wanted his quilt to be as special as his achievement and as amazing as Jordan!













Most importantly, his ever present green jackets had to be included...if you know autism, you understand.





 The well worn shirts tell a story too....if you know autism,
                          you understand.




















A piece of his weighted blanket is in there...if you know autism, you understand.

(I kept the beads in this square)










                                                         


     This quilt tells Jordan's story,
                                   I can't wait to see what happens next!






















As a mom, I am in awe of my daughter who was relentless and used her natural stubbornness and mom wisdom to get the things Jordan needed as a diagnosed child on the spectrum.

           






                       Jordan and his mom are proof that faith,
                             love and family can overcome.










-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            From the Bunny Farm


It always amazes me how my customers love their bunnies. 
New pink plaid....so darn cute!
Feedback is so often not just stars but stories. 


Paula said this: "Wow...just wow! The Seller customized a bunny for me and the final product was unbelievable. 

Thank you so very much for a very special, beautifully crafted bunny!"

And Stephanie says: "The item shipped on time, was packed with love and was exactly as described! I purchased this bunny for a friend who just had a baby boy. I had the FP bunny blanket growing up and it was my ultimate favorite lovey i ever had. This replica is PERFECT and brought me back many many years to a lot of special memories. So happy to get to pass on the tradition to my friends newborn little guy. Suzie is amazing and so is her beautiful bunny blankets!"

Honestly.....I love making my bunnies and this is why!


                                    

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Going bananas!


I have 5 sisters...one of them texted all of us last week and asked if we had ever tried pancakes made from just bananas and egg...no flour...really? My first thought was..."um, no".

Now I admit, I am guilty of trying to persuade my husband into believing that there are suitable replacements out there for things like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. I did get him to try riced cauliflower, could he possibly like flourless pancakes? My hubby loves pancakes...he took a motorcycle road trip a couple years ago and the most memorable thing about the trip he tells me, was the best pancakes he ever had somewhere in northern Nevada.....not sure this flourless idea can win here.

I decided to google the idea to get the most out of my attempt to deceive my hubby, after all, my sister said they would pass for the real thing. I found a recipe for these flourless wonders at PaleoLeap. Don't get me wrong, I love my grains....pasta, rice, bread...but I've tried to reduce them as I've gotten older, it seems they are finding their way to my waist and hips rather easily these days.

                  Ok, let's go!

My daughter-in-law made me some homemade vanilla extract for Christmas...
can't wait to try it, smells delicious!



                                Gathered my ingredients....something major is missing...don't you think?                                        



               












Mixed the ingredients...looks kind of like pancake batter....





Poured the batter into my hot, buttery pan and waited and watched as my flourless batter began to resemble a pancake....

Huh...looks pretty good!

Yep, looks like a pancake!



The recipe suggests serving these with berries and maple syrup....I would if I had them 'cause I love berries on my pancakes, but all I could dig up was bananas and whipped cream....darn!

I know! I know!
So, I would say that these are very crepe like in texture. You definitely miss the cakey texture of a real pancake and I am not certain my hubby will appreciate them but as replacements go....I will be eating these again! As a side note, I would maybe add a pinch of salt and try them with berries and maple syrup next time and the homemade vanilla extract added a lovely flavor...thank you Sandy!




Monday, October 31, 2016

A Love of the Bunny Tale


Where did the bunny go?

If you are 30 something or have a child that is 30 something, you might know what I'm talking about......

My love for making this bunny as a replica begins here...




My daughter had a yellow plaid Fisher Price Security Bunny. She was born in 1982 and carried her "FooFoo" bunny with her everywhere until she was in the fourth grade.

When she decided it was time to let it go, the sad pieces and parts were kept in a safe place...just in case.

She grew up, began her own family and wanted her babies to know the "love of the bunny". Sadly, Fisher Price had stopped making this bunny. So,  I created my own version for her babies and began selling them in my Esty shop.


My version changed over time.  Customers began asking me to make my bunny with rounded eyes, rounded blanket edges and "could I make it like a puppet?".

I knew what they were asking.....more and more the requests came in. The "love of the bunny" was everywhere and the 30 somethings were longing to pass it on to the next generation.
They COULD purchase a well preserved original from Ebay for $200..what?! How many children would know the "love of the bunny" at that price?

So, I made a few changes to my version and created a replica that would pass a most difficult test. Owners of the original bunny are very, very, very particular.

After many testimonials like this...

"These bunnies are amazing! My sister had the pink Fisher Price ones growing up and when I showed her Suzie's replicas she couldn't believe it! They look the exact same. Thanks so much Suzie!!!"

......my bunnies have gone all over the world. The joy they bring still amazes me.

Making them has become a mission for me...a "love of the bunny" mission.

This is my story...I'm sticking to it because there are so many little babies out there with little baby fingers to snuggle and love a bunny to pieces...literally.


I hope my version looks like that some day!

Did you have a favorite blanket? Do you still have it's loved on pieces? 










Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cauliflower rice?

As I've gotten older, my tummy has been telling me that I need to change some things.
Reluctantly, I've stopped eating rice, bread and pasta (ok, about 98% of my meals do not have these things in them, I still can't resist pizza so that makes up the other 2%). I hate to admit it, but just doing this alone has done wonders for my tummy and yes, even my waistline.


BUT....I MISS ALL OF THEM! They were the comfort in my food. What is a meatloaf without mashed potatoes? A chicken noodle soup without the noodles? A hamburger without the bun?

There is an untold amount of advice and recipes for the low carb way of eating on the web.  I have spent a lot of time trolling for ideas to answer the "what's for dinner..lunch...breakfast" question.

Recently the buzz has been about riced cauliflower. Really?
This can't possibly go well.

This is not a new trick....when I was younger, my mom tried to pass off mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes and the whole herd of us (I come from a family of 11 kids) piled the "mashed potatoes" on our plate. The rule at the table was that you could not leave the table until you ate everything on the plate. Sound familiar?

Of course, once we discovered we had been duped, there we sat with a pile of phony mashed potatoes. We sat, and sat and sat. I don't even remember who won the stand-off but I never forgot that I hate cauliflower!

I'm all grown up now and love my vegetables....except cauliflower, it still has no place in my kitchen. In a moment of insanity on a previous attempt to low carb it, I did once make a pizza dough using cauliflower....I have yet to use that recipe again. While others find cauliflower a fabulous low carb replacement, it has always made me want to turn and run from the table.....until now.



<---------------- Here it is....the product that has been flying out of the refrigerators at Trader Joe's. Of course, you can do this to cauliflower on your own, but why?  I brought it home very skeptically
but willing to give cauliflower this one last chance.

GoodFood had already done the research for all of us cauliflowerphobes and I have never met a vegetable I didn't like toasted in the oven with olive oil and salt.





I bravely drizzled and salted the surprisingly rice- like morsels.


Still skeptical...smells like cauliflower :(




I spread it into a baking sheet



Hmmmm, I was slowly coming around...


                                                time would tell.....
 
It did look beautiful as it came out of the oven.

Fluffy with a little crunch.  

I gave it a little taste and I mean a very little taste just on the tip of my tongue, it's all the brave I could muster.

I expected to toss the rest.

I'm here to tell you that the rest made it to my plate!


Cauliflower has found a place in my kitchen. It's not rice and I'm fairly certain I wouldn't use it in just any recipe calling for rice...I can't go there yet....but as a companion to the sweet peas that I may have with my new favorite low carb meatloaf recipe, I say YES, I will eat cauliflower once in awhile and that is a victory for cauliflower and maybe even my mom :)

How do you feel about cauliflower? Have you tried this product?



__________________________________________________________________________
From the Bunny Farm

           
Now THIS is the "love of the bunny"!
I hope this brings a smile to your face! I love seeing the smile my bunnies bring to their little owners!
                                                              
                             Sigh.....I love my job!