Sewing a unicorn

Or how to make a 5year old happy! ;-)
When I asked my daughter a few weeks ago what she wanted for Easter, she said

“An unicorn. A white one with a pink horn and a green saddle.”

Well …

I actually already had other plans … but why had I asked?!
My own fault!

So I ended up ditching my plans and making a unicorn:


I used the (bought) pattern for a stuffed horse and added the horn.
I am really happy with how it turned out.
And considering that I have never made a stuffed toy with a sewing machine before I was quite impressed with my own work. :-) 


I made the unicorn out of white corduroy-velvet and used pink cotton velvet for the ears and the horn. 


The bridle is made out of beautiful ribbon. And of course it can be taken off. 


The nostrils are embroidered pink flowers.
I made the eyes out of polymer clay. Kinda like buttons.
Instead of white dots I made tiny pink hearts and added them to the pupils.
After all it is a very special magic unicorn. ;-) 


The saddle is made out of thick green felt with some ruffles around it.
I actually had planned to add some flower-heart-garland kinda embroidery to it as well … but simply ran out of time.
But maybe it was for the better. I quite like how it looks now … maybe it would just have been too much. Or I would have messed it up after all. ;-)


The saddle of course can be removed as well. 

Little bear LOVED it!
She was so happy! Which again made me so happy!

Because in the end I did spend some hours on making it … and the whole time I was worried that maybe she would not like it.

She seemed to have a pretty clear picture in her head … What if the unicorn I was making did not live up to it?

So I was relieved and happy to see how she would not just smile but drag the thing everywhere she was going! :-)

Am so happy that I did not stick with the initial plans … :-)

And another funny thing:
When she found the unicorn – of course it was hidden by the easter bunny –  she instantly turned to me and said “You sewed that!”
I mean she knows that I sew … but still. That instant reaction … I was puzzled. She did afterall still believe in the easter bunny. Why would she think that I had made it?
So I asked her. You know what she said?
She pointed to the ribbon that I had made the bridle out of and said “That was in the living room”
Yes, I do store my ribbons in the living room. I never thought that she would pay any attention to that. And  NEVER would I have thought that she would remember a particular ribbon!
I was speechless!

Hope all of you guys had a great Easter!!!!

Did you make any of your Easter gifts? 

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Sighting Of the Very Rare Rabbit-Mouse

Have you ever wondered what a mouse with rabbit ears would look like?
Come on! You know that you want to know!
I can help you! 
I have seen – AND photographed – the very rare and hardly ever seen rabbit-mouse!
Wanna see?

But  no laughing!!!
Or you might scare it away!
Or hurt its feelings.
Or my feelings for that matter  ….
So you are wondering how it comes that I get to see such a rare creature???
Really wanna know? 
Well, get ready for some really stupid creativeness … on my part …
So it all started with this  
Photo from Bustle and Sew
It is CUTE!!!
So yesterday we had such a nice sunshiny afternoon that I thought it would be stupid to spend it inside the flat behind the sewing machine. 
Still I felt kinda like DOING something … with my hands … so I thought I might handsew a cute little mouse. 
I even had some scraps from cut up fleece sweaters from the kids lying around … perfect!
While I cut out the pattern I got this STUPID weird strange tempting idea. 
What if I could make a bunny instead of a mouse?
I just had spent the morning thinking about Easter presents for the kids. That might explain SOME of the weirdness of the idea. Not all. I know. Guess it is just me. 
So instead of following the pattern I started drafting some rabbit ears … and cutting them out …
I cut out the fabric pieces and spent a nice relaxing afternoon in the yard handsewing my softie-pincushion-thingy. 
Everything was nice and peaceful. 
Until I added the ears to the mouse rabbit!
That was when I realized changing the ears to rabbit ears will NOT make a rabbit. 
It will make a mouse with rabbit ears! :-/
Yes, I know. You probably would have figured that right from the beginning …
Well, apparently I did not. 
I was bummed. I did not know what to do. 
I tried to make the face of the mouse rabbit a bit less pointy … but it still did not look like a rabbit. 
I was thinking about undoing the ears … making them into mouse ears. 
But somehow I could not do it. Do not know why. 
So instead I finished up the ridiculous looking rabbit.
And that is how it happened that I got to photograph the rare rabbit-mouse. :-)
Well, I guess not all projects turn out well. And it was my own stupid fault. 
To be honest – I feel kinda attached to the rabbit-mouse. 
It kinda looks like it needs an extra-portion of love.
And the funny thing:
Little man – who instantly stole it away –
He LOVES EVERYTHING soft and cuddly! Seriously! He stole a tiny pillow I was making before I could even close the hole from turning!
recognized it as a RABBIT
He looked at it and scrunched up his nose and made a sniffing noise. Which is his “word” for rabbit!
Yeah, he is not too talkative yet! ;-)
 Okay, then again he has just passed the stage where every four-legged animal is a dog. 
Now there are cats in his world, too. 
So MAYBE – just maybe – it could be that pretty much EVERYthing with long ears to him is a rabbit. But I chose not to think about that too much …
So I guess we are just gonna have a rabbit-mouse living with us from now on. 
But the next one will be a mouse! Just a mouse!
So, have you messed up any crafting projects lately? ;-)


Folded stars from musical sheets (recycling)

I actually made these already a while ago. But somehow finding the time to type up posts becomes harder and harder.
Well, just shortly before Christmas … and during Christmas actually … I learned how to make these folded stars. 
They are made out of square papers and are just folded – and stuck together. 
You have to fold 30 pieces of paper. 
In Germany they are called Bascetta-stars. 
Anyone can tell me whether that is the same in the rest of the world?

This one is a star made out of special paper that has different prints/ colors on both sides. 
It looks really pretty, don’t you think?
After I had made this one I was out of the pretty paper … and I figured I could ge a bit inventive …
So I ended up using this:
This is a rather old book with musical notes.

I love musical sheets. 
So I had to try whether it would look good. And this is how it turned out:

I totally adore it!
And as you have to cut the pages to squares there is always a paper strip left over. So what did I do?
I cut squares out of the left over bits … and made a tiny star:

Here you can see both together:

This was so much fun!
I am actually working on another recycled star. 
No musical sheets though … curious? ;-)
But it might take a bit until it is done …

The folding and the putting together is really relaxing … but the cutting of the squares is simply booooooring! :-)
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Homemade Stickhorse

My name is Marzipan. 
I am a cute little big stickhorse.
And I have a VERY long nosy nose!!!
It is kinda scary when this nose comes right at YA! 
Watch out!!!!
It is perfect for kissing though ….
I have pink ears and hair!
And big EYES!
And I am CUTE!!!!
Oh, just in case you wonder … I am named Marzipan because my favourite food are marzipan potatoes. :-)
BTW, did I mention that I am CUTE?
Okay, I think I better take over from here … otherwise this silly horse is going to keep talking about his cuteness until our ears fall off! 
You guys have no idea how thrilled and relieved I was to see that little bear LOVES Marzipan!
Because on her wishlist to Santa there was one of those expensive and horrible pinky plasticy and … mommy just does not like it … horses that you can sit on. 
I really did not want to buy one of those!
And I really should remember to throw out those stupid toy catalogues that put such stupid ideas in her head!!!
Anyway, as I had already planned to make her a stickhorse for her birthday but did not get to do it back then – I figured I could do it now.
I was inspired by the awesome horses and unicorns Lier from Ikat bag made.
And after Lier shared some true wisdom with me – you have to cut open the pant leg you are using in order to sew on the ears and the hair – it really was not that hard to make.
Yes, I could have figured the cutting open part myself … if I had been THINKING instead of just SEWING. ;-)
Sewing on the ears was actually the worst bit. I broke 3 needles while doing that! Argh!
But even with 3 broken needles still cheaper – and ALOT more fun – than that ugly pink plastic thingy …
Mission accomplished! 


Cute Christmastree Pillow for Little Ones (Tutorial)

When I was thinking of presents to make for the kids for Christmas I found it hard to come up with something for my little boy. He is just one year old. He will play with anything, really.
But what would be kinda special to him?
So I tried to come up with something that would go well with things he likes …
He loves to cuddle! :-)
He will carry around stuffed pets and cuddle them. Steal his sister’s tiny pillow. Try to haul away the big bear that is almost his own size …
Also he loves to play with small things. Take things apart. He especially likes when taking things apart is accompanied by some noise.
And he is totally fascinated by the Advent calendar I made for his sister some years ago.
SO ….
This is what I came up with:
A soft cuddly pillow in a Christmastree-shape with Christmas baubles that attach with velcro
and therefore make that odd ripping sound when you pull them off.
He is going to love that! ;-)
And I figured maybe you also have some little guy – or girl – at home that would like one. So here is a tutorial on how to make it.
Sorry, I should have included more photos. But I was kinda hurrying to get it all done …
It is easy though! So I am sure you can do it even if there is not a photo for each single step!
Here is what you need:
– fabric for the Christmas baubles – I made 6 baubles and used 6 different cotton prints
– green fleece
– matching thread
– paper for pattern
– scissors for cutting your pattern
– fabric scissors or rotary cutter
– velcro
– stuffing
1. Make your pattern
This is really easy. All you gotta do is figure out how big you want your pillow to be and draw a simplyfied treeshape (triangle with a stem) on a big piece of paper. I used some wrapping paper and newspaper.
When you have your treeshape figure out how big your baubles should be (all the same size or different sizes) and how many you want on your tree. Make a pattern (or several patterns if you want different sizes) for the baubles, too.
2. Cut your fabric
Cut two pieces for the tree out of green fleece. Remember to add your seam allowance!
Cut two pieces for each bauble you want to make out of your cottons – or whatever you use for the baubles*. Here also add your seam allowance.
3. Make the baubles
Take two fabric circles and sew the hooks of the velcro to one fabric circle.
Then sew the circles together with the right sides facing each other – leave a hole for turning!!!
Turn the bauble and put some stuffing in there if you like. Close the hole by top stitching around the whole bauble!



Now I  have to say I was VERY surprised how hard I found it to sew small fabric circles like that! My seams turned out quite crooked. (As you can easily see in the photos.)
I was not too worried this time as I figured little man simply will not care at all about the seams. ;-)
But I figured if I wanted the baubles to LOOK more pretty I would have used fleece for them as well instead of cottons.
* With fleece you could just cut two circle shapes, sew on the velcro and sew both shapes together left side on left side! So NO TURNING. Just cut the fleece close to the seam – and that would be it!
Repeat this step until you have all baubles finished.
4. Make the tree
Take your tree-shaped fleece and play around with your baubles to figure out where you want them to go.
Pin the soft side of the velcro in place. (I used the soft side of the velcro on the pillow rather than on the baubles as I figured it would be less scratchy if the kids happen to cuddle up with it withouth the baubles attached.)
Sew the velcro in place!
Then put the two fleece pieces together right side facing each other. Close all seams – but again leave a (generous!) hole for turning and stuffing!


Then turn inside out and it should look like in the photo above.
Stuff the tree and close the hole. I did this by hand. At first I wanted to topstitch the whole tree but decided against it in the end.
Now you can admire your Christmastree pillow and play around with the baubles. ;-)

Have fun!
And I would love to know if you make one! :-)

P.S. This pattern is for personal use only. Thank you.
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Alternative not-so-traditional Advent wreath – Advent box

Alternative not-so-traditional Advent wreath – Advent box

Finally I get to show you my Advent wreath. It is however not round at all. And not really a wreath. I call it Advent box. ;-)

 Using a box has actually several advantages:

1. You can MOVE the wreath around. If you have small kids that definitely comes in handy!
2. Putting the box together is alot quicker than putting a wreath together.
3. You can easily make an Advent box even if you have forgotten to go shopping for wreath supplies. Like I do each year. ;-)

 I love our Advent box. And I love that I did not have to buy a single thing. 

I found the box in the basement … and some red paint. The moss is from our back yard. I luckily had some candles in one of the Christmas boxes from last year. Well, and nuts and pine cones are pretty much everywhere in our apartment right now as the kids love to collect them on our walks.

I also put some punched out snowflakes into the box … just for some added cuteness. :-)



What do you think? Do you like it?


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Tutorial for making straw stars

Here comes a tutorial on how to make these strawstars. 

Picture of tiny strawstar These stars are a traditional decoration here in Germany and they always remind me of my childhood as I was making them as a kid with my mother.

I love decorating with them!

By now you can buy them for little money over here in many stores. But the bought ones look slightly different … and also … well, they just are not homemade.
It is different to have real homemade ones!
I am still dreaming of one day having enough time to make so many that I can decorate my whole Christmas tree just with homemade straw stars and lights.
Well, maybe some gingerbread, too.
But that’s it! :-)

So if you want to try to make some, too, here is how to do it:

 What do you need?

Not much.
  – straw for crafting
– thread (I like red or silver one, but really any color is fine)
– scissors

If you have bought (or only can buy) straw that is still “round” – not as in the picture above – then you need to prepare your straw before you start with crafting.

If you have flat strips of straw you can just skip ahead to the actual making of the stars.

Okay, so if you still have the “real” straw what you do is
-slit the straw open with a sharp knife
-let soak in water for about 15 minutes
(I however had to soak mine alot longer. Do not know why.)
– then iron the straw open

You should end up with strips of flat straw that probably have varying width.
You can make the strips narrower if you want to just by cutting it with the scissors.
I do not find this step too much fun, so I would recommend buying the flat strips if you can. 

Now making the stars.

Of the flat straw strips cut 4 pieces to the same length.
If you have never made strawstars before try to choose straw pieces that have roughly the same width. That will make it easier.


 Then you make an “x” out of two straw pieces and hold it between your thumb and index finger.

With the other two straw pieces you make a “cross” and put the “cross” above the “x” as in the photo above.
Do not let go!


 Now it will get a bit complicated. But once you have mastered this part you are almost done!

 With (a long piece of thread) you weave around the middle of the star as shown above. You have to be careful to weave in a way so the star will not fall apart.

This is hard to explain in words – but you will know what I mean when you try it. For example the thread should not be UNDER the top straw piece but ABOVE it – like seen in the photo – otherwise the star will fall apart once you let go.
You can click on the photo above to make it larger and see more closely where the thread should go.

Do not let go before you have knot the thread! ;-)

I always weave one round and knot. After that I weave a couple more rounds but that is ALOT easier cause the star can not fall apart anymore.  

This is what your star should look like from the front if you have weaved around the middle once.

This is a photo from the back of the star after weaving around the middle a few times.

Now comes the really fun part.

You gotta cut the ends of the straw to make a star.
You can do this any way you like … round, pointed, …
And then you are done!

Wasn’t that hard, was it? 

Of course you can vary the look of the stars if you want to. You can user longer pieces of straw or shorter ones. Or both together … You can make really big or very small stars. You can put two stars on top of each other to make one fancy one.
Here just a few photos for inspiration:

A smaller and a larger star put on top of each other.

A very basic star.

Star made off narrow and wide straw strips.

A very small star. My favourite! I would love to make a whole bunch of these! :-)

Just a photo so you can see how small it is.
(Of course you could make even smaller ones.)

And just so you see that it is not THAT hard – this is a star that little bear – my 5 year old daughter – made with a little help with the weaving.

Well, and while making some stars I wanted to try something new … and tied a button to the middle of a star.
So this is the first button-strawstar I have ever seen. :-)


I do kinda like it.
I think it would look really awesome to have a bunch with red buttons. Unfortunately I was out of red buttons …
Maybe when I have more time on my hands I will try this.

Now what do you do with your stars?

Well, you can put them ANYwhere.

On a tree.
On a wreath.

This is my wreath in our living room.
You could also use them for gift wrapping – very cute!

I hope you will have fun trying this!

Let me know if you have any questions!!!!

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Quick Advent calendar tutorial

So today was the day when my daughter was allowed to open the first door of her Advent calender. Or rather the first sock. ;-)
If some of you are REALLY late with their calendar – well, here is one that you can do in almost no time! At least if you do have enough socks around. :-)
You need:

– 24 socks
Preferably sock that are too small for your kids – otherwise someone might be searching for them ;-)
Babysocks look REALLY cute!

– 24 wooden cloths pegs

– some type of cord or string
– optional: number stickers or paper, to write numbers on

I guess you know what to do now?! It is really esay :-)

Fill the socks with whatever you want and put them on the string/ cord with the pegs. Add some numbers if you want to. Done.

For the numbers I simply cut out stars with a hole punch and wrote the numbers on the stars.
(You can not see that in the pic above as I took the photo BEFORE I finished the numbers.)
I just added another photo below WITH the numbers …
I added the stars to the sock and cliped it all together with the cloths peg.
You can leave off the numbers if it does not matter in which order the socks are emptied.

My kids are not getting any chocolate or candy in their calender. Each sock holds a paper slip which has one activity on it. My daughter loves it! Last year’s favourite was
“Have hot chocolate with whipped cream”

Today the slip read “Write down a wishlist for Santa Claus”
You know what my daughter said after hearing that?

“I can not write that list today. First I have to finish looking through all the toy catalogues!”

Well, that much about making an informed decision … :-D

If you need some ideas what to write on your paper slips there is a whole lot out there in blogland. If you are interested I can also post the list I have accumulated …
Just let me know.

Wishing you a great 1st of December!


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