Thursday, 30 April 2009


Here's sock cat relaxing in front of the TV after a hard day's prowling.

I made this as a present for a friend a week or so ago and since then I've had the theme tune from Top Cat running through my head (although obviously with the words Top Cat replaced with Sock Cat)! I really need to sort my brain out....

Dotty xx

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Busy, busy, busy.....

Sorry for the lack of updates around here recently, I've been a very busy bee! (Note: I didn't take this pic - I didn't have the energy to chase bees round the garden waiting for the perfect shot!)

Working on some cactus pin cushions for my folksy shop. (Geddit, catctus - pins,, i'm a genius ;o) )

Playing with my parents camera and taking pics of my mum's beautiful orchids.

Working on my PIF gifts for Sue, Wilkie and Sandra. (If you still want to get involved then visit their blogs and find out if they have any places left or who their gifts will be going to.)

Tending to my sunflower seeds. (I know most people grow sunflowers when they are about 8 but I love sunflowers and clearly I'm a late bloomer!)

Helping my Dad clear up this tip (this is less than a quarter of the junk - he has issues throwing things away!!)

Experimenting with my felt balls (more of which in a later post!)

Enjoying the rare British sunshine. So rare in fact that when I tired to take a sunshiney picture below the sun went in!

Taking my first painting and drawing class. Not sure about the results but it was fun :o)

All of which I present as an explanation for not giving you the bloggy love you deserve! And also a chance to show you what I've been up to. I'll be back with some proper crafty bloginess soon.

Dotty xx

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Other People's Projects Post #2

Time for another look at something I've made using a free pattern or tutorial donated by a generous blogger. This project comes from Alice at the fab blog futuregirl. She has some great free tutorials and three free pattern downloads. I chose to make this one but I am also planning to make the other two - a seahorse and a set of four supercute sea creatures.

The pattern is really well written and easy to follow. So may I present my very own Sigmund the Octopus:

I love him sooo much. He's so cute and he fits in the palm of my hand - much more delicate than most of the things I usually make. He currently nestles in one of the plants on my windowsill and gives me a little shock every morning when I open the curtains. I used a really bright piece of felt which I had been saving for something special - you can't really tell from the picture but he is so luminous he practically glows in the dark!

There is also a flickr group with photos for other people who'd used the patterns. I'm going to upload mine too. You should definitely check it out - particularly for the Christmas tree with 99 octopuses on!

I think I'm going to make the sea creatures next and make them into a mobile. Thanks for the fab downloads Alice :o)


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

New Monsters and Advice Needed

I know that you've all been worrying that things have gone a bit quiet on the monster front of late! Well fear not chums, I have been quietly working away and am now ready to present my latest monster creation. Well I think I'm ready. I can't decide actually.

I keep looking at them and I can't decide if they are finished.

I quite like their simplicity.

But maybe they need further embellishment. I just don't know. What do you think?

Dotty xx

PS. Anyone pointing out that they are in fact Octopuses (Octopi?) rather than monsters will not be popular!!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Pay it forward update

Hurrah! I now have three people signed up on my PIF post.

The three people who will be receiving handmade gifts from me are:

Bee Designs - look at her beautiful papercraft designs and all the gorgeous stuff in her etsy shop - I love that collage!

Turnip Creations - Wilkie shares my love of monsters and you should definitely check out some of her plush creations.....

Pepperberry and Co - Sandra has started a lovely craft blog which is also very funny....she would really like some more stalkers so you should pop over!

You should definitely go and check out all three of these blogs and if you still want to get involved in PIF then leave a comment on their posts....simple!

Now I need to decide what to make! I've seen that on some people's PIF posts they have given themselves a year to complete this but am going to try and complete my gifts *fairly* soon. After all, who knows where I'll be in a year....travelling round the world hopefully!!

Right - to work!

Dotty xx

PS. Welcome aboard ladies - please send me your addresses to my email: thedottyone(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Folksy Shop & New Creations

A few people have asked me if I've ever thought about selling my creations. My parents have also suggested it but I think they may have different reasons - their house is overrun with my various projects! I have been wondering about it. I spend ages on etsy and folksy looking at all the beautiful things people have made. Its quite intimidating and makes me think that the things I've made can't even compete! There are so many talented people out there. After umming and erring about it I have decided to throw caution to the wind and open a folksy shop - just to see what happens....after all there's nothing to lose!

I haven't had much time to put much in my shop yet. I'll put a link up when I've had time to upload some more items. In the meantime, here are some pics of some plush strawberries I've made which are in the shop. I'm addicted to making these - they are so fun to make.

I'm of to take some pics of some more things to upload to my shop. If anyone reading this has an etsy or folksy shop I'd be interested in any tips you have - please leave me comments!

Dotty xx

PS. There is still one place left to pay it forward if you want me to send you something lovely and handmade.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Pay it forward.....

Exciting news!!! I have joined this thing called pay it forward. For those of you who don't know, this is how it works:

All you have to do is leave a comment. The first three bloggers to leave a comment will get a hand made gift mailed to them from me. (Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you). Once you have left your comment do a ‘pay it forward post’ ASAP on your blog. Then continue the gift giving to the first three people who comment on your blog…and on it goes - good idea eh?

I've decided that if I don't get three comments (this is a kinda new blog - I may not even have three readers!) I am going to do some toy society drops so that I still do my bit. (I will blog about the toy society in another post because this is another fab idea!)

I signed up for PIF on Beaky's blog. I'm very excited about receiving my gift from Bonita - look at the beautiful things in her etsy and folksy shops. I'm so lucky :o)

That's all for now - I'm off to do some crafting and maybe even plan some PIF ideas!

Dotty xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Other People's Projects Post: Number 1

When I first stopped working and got back into crafts I started reading lots of other people's crafty blogs (some of these blogs are listed in my sidebar although I do need to update it bacause I keep finding more and more fab blogs). There is so much great stuff out there and people are so generous with their ideas, many of them offering free tutorials and patterns. I've learnt a lot from following these tutorials and made some lovely things. I thought it might be worth sharing some of them here so this is my first........drumroll please.........Other People's Project Post!! I may have to start calling it OPPP for short - it takes too long to type!

First up a fab tutorial to make mushrooms and toadstools from a lovely blog called The Little House by the Sea.

The tutorial is great, really easy to follow. And look what I made:

I skipped the part with the embroidery on the stalks because I wanted to make mine more simplistic (and more importantly my emboidery is rubbish!) but you should have a look at the emboidered ones. So beautiful! I also had to alter mine slightly because the white felt I used was a bit too cheap and got all stretched when I turned the caps the right way round - easily fixed by adding an extra ring of white felt and I'm actually quite happy with the effect.

There is also a flikr group with photos for other people who'd used the patterns. I've just uploaded mine too.

This is another mushroom I made using the pattern. Its almost exactly the same but I put the stitching on the outside of the cap and used an old cotton reel to stabilise it.

Next time I'm going to have a go at the embroidery on the stalk.

Dotty xx

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


I'm in such a good mood today. Its sunny - yay :o) And look what I've got to play with:

Loads and loads of felt balls! Over 1000 apparently, although I haven't actually bothered counting them! And they are all the way from Nepal. I've got a plan for them that I am very excited about :o)

Just waiting for a few more balls to arrive and then all will be revealed. In the meantime I'm just enjoying looking at them!!

Dotty xx

Sunday, 12 April 2009


How cool is my Easter chocolate cow? He's so cute I almost don't want to eat him.......I'm sure I'll manage though!
Hope you are having a lovely Easter break.
Dotty xx

Thursday, 9 April 2009

More monster action...

Before I stop going on about monsters I just thought I'd show you a cute little family I made. These are my latest monsters and I think they are probably also my favourites.



And a group shot:

I need to come up with a name for this monster family but I haven't managed to think of anything appropriate yet. Still thinking! Suspiciously one of the kids has arms and the others don't - I decided to see what they'd look like with arms but I think I prefer them without!

I'm working on some more monsters at the moment - I've got a new idea for a shape and also I want to have a go with some different fabrics (pinstripe monster anyone?). I'll post some pics when I've made some progress.

In the meantime I'll be posting about some of the other things I've been making. I'm also thinking of doing a regular(ish) post on some of the stuff I've made using other peoples patterns and tutorials - there's so much inspiration out there and using other peoples ideas has taught me loads.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter break

Dotty xx

PS. If you get monster withdrawal symptoms then head over to Wilkie's site, Turnip Creations. There are some really great monsters and aliens on there, check it out.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Aaaarrrggghhh! They're everywhere!

The monsters seem to be taking over the garden.
Hiding in the pots...

With the logs....

In the plants...

Out on the grass...

Climbing trees......

Even openly frolicking in the primroses....

I've managed to cage the two headed beast.....

but I'm going to need some help with the others. HELP ME!!

Dotty xx

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Hang on, there's something scary swimming into view....

OH NO! ITS OCTOMONSTER! he doesn't actually have eight legs but I reckon he is definitely some type of sea monster. Look at those suckers....

Adding all those dots took ages but I think it was worth it in the end! I think I will actually make an eight legged one next time.

Dotty xx

Monday, 6 April 2009

What's that hiding in the daffodils?

Another scary monster?

Grrrrr...... Look at those teeth!

He might bite. Maybe we should keep our distance.....

Ok...maybe he isn't that scary! He just wants to say hello! None of my monsters seem to be particularly scary - I think I might have to start calling them something else!!

Dotty xx

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Conquering the Sewing Machine

The best part of making the sock monsters was giving them a face and adding embellishments, this is what gave them their personality. I decided to learn how to use my Mum's sewing machine and got very excited about how much time I would save on the basic sewing - more time to spend embellishing and embroidering! More time to spend sewing buttons and ribbons! Yay!

Full of enthusiasm I dragged my mum's machine to the kitchen table, declaring to my parents that I was going to teach myself to use it. Surely it couldn't be that complicated. I looked at the machine. It looked at me. I looked at the instructions. Hmmmm. This looks confusing. Bobbins....feed dogs.....zipper feet.....what??! No, I must be able to do this - when I was young I had a cute little kid's sewing machine which my Grandma taught me to do patchwork on. Somehow it didn't seem so complicated then.

Back to the instructions. The problem was that these seemed to assume a certain degree of knowledge which I didn't really have. I puzzled over the instructions. I had a mini tantrum. Then I went to fetch my mum! Mum is hardly an expert on these things (she only bought the machine to take up trousers which are always too long for her) but I thought she might know more than me.

Between us we managed to get the machine threaded, break and fix the bobbin case and FINALLY do some basic stitches. Some of this started to seem familiar again. I stopped sulking. Maybe my plan would work after all. Ooooh, those funny decorative stitches were pretty cool. I could use that when I was making faces for my monsters.... Hurrah! Excitement regained I spent some time practicing the different stitches, experimenting with different stitch lengths and widths and had a go at sewing a curve - wobbly!

I pretty soon got bored with practising and wanted to have a go at actually making something. I grabbed some felt, sketched a quick pattern and got started. Ta-da! My first machine sewn monster:

Ok, I know he isn't too great but not bad for a first attempt? I sort of forgot that if I sewed on the line of my patten then when I turned it the right way out it would be a bit smaller than planned! I also didn't have any suitable lavender coloured thread to stitch up the stuffing hole so I ended up having to do a kind of decorative stitch all the way round the outside. I know, I know it basically made the machine stitching pointless and it turned out a bit messy! Ho-hum. All good practice anyway!

Undeterred I decided to make another felt monster. I liked the basic pattern but he needed to be bigger. I also decided to make him double sided - different colours and expressions on each side. I did this partly because I thought it would be cool but mainly because I didn't have enough felt to do all of the body in one colour!! Take two:

Yay, that's better. Still not perfect but a great improvement. Plus I added dots. I love dots :o)

I was starting to enjoy myself now! I raced to the shops to get more felt with lots more ideas for things to make.

A week or so later I was getting pretty proficient with the machine and had made a few different things but I did go back to this design and make one more monster for my friend Vicky who had inspired me to start crafting again a few weeks earlier. This is her monster:

Bright enough for ya? Hmmm, maybe I did get a bit over exited in that felt shop! Still loving those dots though.

I will post more photos of the things I have made next time. I've got to get back to the machine now....


Dotty xx

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