Birds on a Branch Mobile

My baby sister is expecting a little girl at the end of May, and I recently created this mobile for her nursery.
I used the Wendy the Bird pattern from Lollichops, but scaled it down almost half-size.  The fabrics come from the leftover fabric collections of my Grandma, Mom and me.  My favorite fabric is the one to the left of the Pink Bird.  It came from my Grandma’s scraps, and has a lovely vintage quality to it.  My mom seems to remember every piece of fabric she has sewed with, and was able to tell my sister what each of her fabrics were made into originally.  Since she has 4 daughters, they were mostly dresses!  It was nostalgic and sweet to be reminded of the dresses we once wore and loved.

Before I added the flowers. The birds are hung with cream cotton crochet yarn.

The branch came from my woodsy yard, and I got the idea for the flowers from my Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts book.  The stamens were a bit difficult to find, so I ended up ordering them online.  To make the flower petals, I used cotton scrap fabric.  The type of fabric does matter, it needs to be a thin cotton, and you need to make sure you give it a good soaking in Stiffy liquid stiffener or you won’t be able to punch it.   I let mine dry overnight, and then used a hydrangea flower punch to punch out the flowers. It is really fun when you get it all right and the cute fabric flowers fall onto your desk from your quick working punch!

To add the stamen, I punched a small hole in the center of each flower with a micro punch and then got imaginative with my stamen combinations.  They need a dab of rubber cement or other strong non-toxic glue to keep them in place.  To affix them to the branch, I used my hot glue gun.  I did trim down the stamen so they wouldn’t be visible.

The flowers are affixed with hot glue on top of and below the branch.

The hooks and rings I used to hang the Mobile were created from green floral wire.   If you are not comfortable with creating your own loops and hooks, you can use small eye screws.    The string is cotton crochet yarn in cream.

Overall, it seems like a lot of work, but most of the hard work is making the first piece of anything.  Once you get the hang of each component, the creating goes quickly!

Baby's view of the mobile.

The Poisoner’s Handbook

Cover of "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder...

Cover via Amazon

I read The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Science in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum before the holidays, and loved it.  I don’t usually get into non-fiction books but this one may be sparking a new trend for me.  I stumbled onto this books while I was looking for books on detective fiction.  While not exactly about detective fiction, The Poisoner’s Handbook  is about the solving of real poison murders and the science that was developed to do it.   The detectives are two brilliant scientists who revolutionized the way we look at crime scenes, process crime scenes and the evidence that is presented in court.  Any fan of CSI owes a lot to these first forensic scientists.

Deborah Blum takes this bit of scientific history and makes it read like a story.  Everything comes to life.  not only does she describe the procedures but she also describes the cold and life of New York.  She did a lot of research before writing the book, even finding journal accounts of the weather and traffic and other events taking place during the murders. So not only are you seeing science come alive, but also 1920s New York, Prohibition, and even the speakeasies.

This book can be a bit gruesome at times and I advise to read it with a strong stomach.  But it’s also fascinating.  The radium poisoning stories are pretty crazy.  Before they knew it was a poisonous substance, women would dust it into the hair, on the skin, and even “Cheshire Cat” their teeth with it.  The shine and sparkle of it was irresistible.   Many people took Radium tonics to keep them healthy.  That is until their hair and teeth began to fall out.

If you like detective fiction, the roaring twenties, and crime scene analysis, or if you just like a good true story, pick this one up.   Blum will show you a glimpse of 1920s New York in gritty detail.

An Interview with Birds and Arrows!

I also write for my store’s blog, and I wanted to share with y’all my first band interview.   We talked about fashion, crafting and music!  I am hoping to do this as a regular thing from now on.   Let me know what you think!

An Interview with Birds and Arrows!.

So sweet!

My friend, Laura, mentioned my Kitty Creatures in one of her blog posts.   I made her little girl one for Xmas, and its so nice to know that the red plaid Kitty is being loved.  And of course this mention made me feel pretty sweet.
I’ve really been loving Laura’s blog and all of the tips, recipes and advice she offers.  My favorite piece of advice “Don’t stress over a party, it’s supposed to be fun.  It’s a Party.”  She is also great at taking photos of her projects.  I so admire that!

You too can enjoy this fun crafty blog here:  chock full of…

Elf Fair, Carrboro, NC

I did my first Elf Fair as Brilliant Handmade this year at our local ArtsCenter.   I helped organize last year and this year, and feel so lucky to take part in supporting local arts and crafts!   It was so much fun.  Here are some photos of my table that I shared with my friend Rebecca of Little Foxes.

We each made our own banners.  Rebecca’s is pretty cool.  She appliquéd a vintage tea towel.  Mine is made of some fabric that I bought 11 years ago for my walls at our first NC house.  i still have a ream of it and was very happy to find a new use for it!  My Brilliant is made from Hot Pink Felt that I ironed on.  Nothing fancy, just bright.

Secret Garden: Beautiful Action

So my new favorite Korean Drama is Secret Garden. Its funny and quirky, and has great action scenes. The leading lady, Gil Ra Im played by Ha Ji Won, is a stunt woman who is not only beautiful but tough.    She is, of course, very poor and from the wrong side of the tracks.The leading guy, Kim Joo Won, played by Hyun Bin, is a rich, egocentric department store executive with his own set of problems. They meet and are inexplicably drawn to each other.

The filmography in Secret Garden is just gorgeous. When Kim Woo Jon is thinking of Gil Ra Im, he imagines her beside him, walking in time with him. It’s a really cool way to portray that ‘always on my mind feeling’ without doing too many memories or strange thought bubbles. Their method is romantic and poignant at the same time.  And the action scenes are awesome.  Because Gil Ra Im is a stunt woman, there are a lot of action scenes, both with her and the guys from her action school.   My favorite sequence is in the first episode, when she jumps from a building, falls through a skylight and starts shooting as she lands.  And then she pulls out a sword.  Too cool.

So the plot: they meet, are drawn to each other and then…switch bodies.  Yep!  I won’t give details cause that will spoil it.   While I have seen this before in American movies, the body switch is so well done in this drama.  Imagine what you would do if you were all the sudden in the body of the opposite sex.  As a woman, all the sudden a man, peeing might be a bit strange.  Plus you probably don’t want the guy to see your body naked.  Especially in conservative Korea.  So showering is an issue.  How they deal with all of this is pretty funny.

So I will stop waxing on about how great this show is and just point you to a site to watch it on.  Drama Fever is pretty fast about posting the episodes.  They are being aired now, so its only about a week delay.  There are other sites showing them faster.  I’m watching on Dramacrazy.  But I will warn you that the site has pop ups.   If you don’t want to deal with them, wait the extra day or two and go with Dramafever.  🙂

Now at Roulette Vintage…

More Creatures!  Kitty and Snorkel Creatures are now at Roulette Vintage!


I will also be at the ELF FAIR in Carrboro, NC this Saturday!   If you’re in the area, you should stop by.  There will be lots of great local crafters and artists!

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