Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mr Penguin - Stuffed animal sewing pattern

Hello sweeties
Since my hubby has a somewhat relentless love about stuffed animals a while back I decided to surprise him by making him a stuffed penguin. It was a massive hit!!! He loved so much he kept making it talk like happy feet and tickle me with it every day. We still have laughs with Mr. Penguin!



It was really easy to make Mr. Penguin and I was able to take some photos while doing it (although it was late and the light is artificial, so pardon me if they seem a bit dark) so here is an outline of the procedure in case you need to make one!

Felt, artificial velour or corduroy in black, white and orange
Scissors
Sewing machine and/or needle and thread
Stuffing material

For Mr Penguin’s exterior I used some samples of soft artificial velour I had lying around but you can use felt or corduroy too.





For the interior of Mr. Penguin’s body I used my stash of fabric and threads scraps. I decided long ago to keep all the small scraps of fabric and all the trimmings of thread from my crochet and sewing to use them as fillers for my stuffed animals. I have a large bag of it. It is actually a good filling medium since I don’t like artificial ones and I trust my cotton threads and fabrics more. Plus it is great recycling too!



I never use a pattern when I made my stuffed animals but I did make one later on for the purposes of this tutorial. This is my first effort for a digitized pattern so please forgive any glitches! Please allow 1.5cm seam allowance where I mention it since the pattern does not include it.







You can download the pattern in a pdf form from here.



Cut your fabric according to the instructions on the pattern.

Lay your pieces and pin them appropriately. I actually played around a lot with Mr. Penguin’s eyes! I wanted to give him a goofy expression and I ended up liking his crossed eyes better, lol!






First take one of the large body pieces of black fabric and pin the white belly, the white round of the eye and then the black irises. Sew them in place with your sewing machine.




Then pair the nose and the feet pieces (back sides facing) and sew them with a 0.5cm seam. These pieces are too small to sew inside out and flip so make sure your seam is as good as you can.



Sew the nose in place.
Pair the hands (good sides facing) and sew them leaving enough of the back of the feet not sewn to turn them to their good side. Turn them inside out and fill them with filling material.
Now it’s time to sew the body.
Take the black piece of the body that will become Mr. Penguin’s back (meaning the black piece of fabric that you didn’t sew the belly and the eyes) and lay with its wrong side facing you. Place the hands and pin them in place. Then place and pin the feet. 

Take the front of Mr. Penguin and pair it with its back (good sides facing) and sew with your sewing machine.
You want to leave an opening between the feet in order to flip it inside out when you are done. I forgot about it until I reached the head that’s why I used that side to fill Mr. Penguin. Don’t do that, if you want your hand sewing not shown so much in your new friend’s head!



Flip it inside out and then fill it with your filling material.
Then sew the opening by hand.
You are done!
Mr. Penguin is ready to dance!!!






I hope you’ll find this tutorial useful. Please note that the pattern given here is somewhat approximate. I would urge you to use it as a rough guide and make any adjustments you seem fit.

This pattern is free for every use you want (I actually hate it when I find a pattern online and there are so many restrictions on it it’s not even funny) so give it a try! Just don’t pass it on as your own please. It did take me the better part of a week to make this post, so please show a bit of respect ;)



Smooch for now

Akamatra

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I've been adopted

Hello sweeties,



I have a confession to make: I am a cat person. I am a cat person in such an extent I don't have a cat anymore. What was that? How on earth can I be a cat person without owning a cat? Well, let me tell you. You don't have to own a cat to be a cat person. First of all, you can't "own" a cat! A cat is not a dog! Dogs can be owned. Cats own you! You are their pet and they are your cat masters! They puurrrr and you do! Puuuurrrr-me-some-yummy-food. Purrrrrrrr-open-the-door-I-want-to-go-and-take-care-of-business. Purrrrrrr-get-off-my-pillow. Purrrrrr-be-my-pillow. And on it goes!
Secondly, I can't have a cat anymore because it hurts too much to say goodbye.



I've been adopted by many cats in my life. First was Romeo. A huge black and white cat I adored as a kid. He died because of a relative. I don't want to talk about it. I was crushed. My mother and sister were too. Dad didn't speak about him for months. It was bad. We decided we didn't want to be adopted by another cat until the relative situation was resolved. Still hasn't.


Then I moved to Patras for my studies. I lived in the dorm, on the ground floor next to a corridor with an window to the fields outside. I was then adopted by Kitty. Kitty stayed with me for years. She got pregnant and gave birth holding my hand. I shit you not! I thought she wanted to go out somewhere safe to give birth but she wanted to do it on my bed. Well, we compromised with lots of towels and the corridor outside my room. She gave birth to 5 kittens. I let 4 of them adopt my mother in her country house (no relative situation there thank God!) and kept Kitty and Fandom. They left 3 years later.


Then someone thought to give me their two months old kitten when it got sick and didn't want to trouble themselves to take care of him. I really thought he wasn't going to make it. He was really sick. I used to stay awake at night during the first two weeks of our living together to make sure he was breathing. He was such a cute baby. When he felt better some weeks later he took over my pillow, my bed and half the balcony ( I was then living on the 6th floor of an apartment building). I was adopted yet again. His name was Morui. It means baby in Cyprus Greek.


He was my best cat master ever. I adored him he treated me soooo good! The only problem was he fell in love with my mom. So he decided he wanted to live with her and dad. I was in Cyprus when he crossed the street and got into an accident. His back leg was a mess. The doctor said he wouldn't live. But I've heard that one before. He lived all right. He wasn't able to step on his back foot ever again but that didn't stop him. I was getting ready to let him join me again in my house when he said Puuuuuurrrr-I-am-not-leaving-your-mom! She had cancer. He stayed with her through that. Never left her side! NEVER!!!! She recovered and he was ecstatic! I said: "Now are you going to live with me again?" He said: "Purrrrrr-but-I-never-left-you-fool!" And then he did. He crossed the street again. Only this time he wasn't so fast and didn't get "lucky" to walk away. My father found him when he got out to go to work. I still remember my mother telling me over the phone when I was at work. I will never forget the pain. He was with us for 8 years. He will always be with us.



Now I am back to my old house (only its newly renovated) and me and Nick have been semi-adopted by DoubleFace and Tiger. Semi- cause they have also adopted our whole street. We just feed them and talk to them but we wont let them into the house. They stay on the yard and our back balcony mostly. They also bring gifts (aka pigeons) and occasionally their mom drops by. She has adopted our neighbor. She likes her cooking better I guess. We are now thinking about making them a winter house. You know just in case they want to stay a while longer. So they can be dry and warm. Nothing fancy. We'll see. But, they are not ours. Nope! They haven't even adopted us officially. I couldn't bare part with them if they would.



So you see, I am a cat person even without a cat. How about you? Have you been adopted yet?


All photos are from www.attackofthecute.com. Check it out when you are having a bad day. Also check it when you are having a good one!

For my Greek readers: Check out some useful sites for helping strays:
Φιλοζωικός Σύλλογος
Ελληνική Φιλοζωική Εταιρεία

Smooch for now

Akamatra

Friday, October 10, 2014

Naturally gorgeous - Home decor ideas

Hello sweeties,

Either you are a minimal fanatic or a rustic enthusiast, natural hues and tones are a must for any home! I've gathered some of my pinterest favorites in this post to share with you my undying love for natural feeling.

I love the effect that natural, un-painted wood has in any space. It makes me calmer and it sooths me.
source

Nature photography on pillows is a huge trend currently. I found these from a friend blogger and I am obsessed! Combine them with bigger and smaller throw pillows on your chairs and couch.
Throw pillow
Wood becomes the prominent color in an otherwise white area. Oh and what a great color that is!
source


Hanging planters give a sense of space and dimension especially those hanging from the ceiling. Use one with natural wooden beads like the one shown below for added texture.

Beaded Hanging Planter 

I love the brick wall and the use of twigs and branches as decoration. Terrariums are amazing and they are definitely worth experimenting with! On my to-do list for sure!

source

There are a lot of natural colors to choose from and their interactions produce interesting pieces of art. Use contrast like this amazing abstract photograph on a monochromatic wall.



Abstract art photograph
The great thing about decorating with natural materials is that they blend with almost anything you put next to them. I love the combination of the rustic dining table with the modern chairs. I also adore the wool rag! Again, on my to-do list!

source

You can also use small wool details on your kitchen to add natural hues even if you have a super modern one! Wrap a mug warmer on your cup for texture and color!
crochet mug warmer

The items you use everyday in your kitchen can be (and should be) part of your decor! Beautiful and practical too!
Cutlery set
Hope you'll like these ideas. I would love to hear about using natural materials on your house or decorating with wood.

Smooch for now

Akamatra

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello October!

Hello sweeties,

we are back from an amazing trip to Rome and Naples! We had a wonderful time there and I will tell you all about it in the next posts.

I don't have any strength left in me to do much at this time, but I wanted to welcome October with the promise of rest, that's why I am posting this photo of the typical Roman pines viewed from ...well below them! We spend the best part of our days resting on our backs under those wonderful trees in Rome. This is one of my favorite views I am taking with me forever! I hope October will be all you want it to be and more!


Smooch for now!

Akamatra

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cinnamon and raisin cookies

Hello sweeties,

I had a craving for homemade cookies on Sunday so I decided to make some cinnamon ones with raisins. They turned out great
so here is the recipe for you to try!



They are really easy to make!

Ingredients
120ml of extra virgin olive oil (or 120g of butter)
1 egg
3 table spoons of raisins
150g flour
1 spoon of baking powder
100g confectioners sugar (or brown/white sugar)
2 portions of vanilla extract
3 spoons of cinnamon



Procedure
Prepare a bowl where you mix the flour with the baking powder, the vanilla extract and the cinnamon.

Whisk the olive oil with the sugar in the mixer for 3-5 minutes until you get a smooth mixture. Add the egg and mix for
a couple of minutes. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour/cinnamon mix. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are
blended together.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 1,5 hour.



Get some baking paper to cover your baking sheet. Heat the oven at 180oC.

If the mixture is a bit sticky, put some flour in your hands and make small balls of the dough. Press them gently onto
the baking sheet.


Bake for 15-16min. Leave to cool and serve with tea or coffee.




Enjoy!

Smooch for now

Akamatra

Monday, September 22, 2014

Love and marriage

Hello sweeties,



Two years ago today I married my love in a romantic ceremony amongst family and friends. I cherish that day and the memories we made during our wedding day (and night, lol)!


Apart from our clothes and my bouquet everything else was handmade by me and my family! My father made the wooden lanterns and I prepared the small crates for the florist. 

 

My love for bows needs no explanation. I had these big black candlesticks for the candles but I covered them with tulle and made a big tulle bow too.


I wanted something more romantic than the black jewelry box our wedding rings come with so I made this ring pillow from linen fabric which I embelished with a french vintage lace and a pink floral bow.


I even made my wedding favors in a bow shape!



The first thing I bought for the wedding were my shoes! I know it's an unconvetional color for a wedding shoe but let me tell you! I ADORE THEM! I bought Nick's tie the same color and we were a smashing hit couple if I may say so!!!


I love the wedding flowers! I managed to maintain most of the flowers after letting them dry out. I have a great idea of compining my bouquet with our wedding crowns (stefana in Greek) and some other wedding memorabilia but I haven't gotten around doing that yet.



I also made my wedding rice cones just like I showed you here. I used tulle instead of ribbon for mine and also put some lavender buds along with the rice. The church was smelling great!


I enjoyed our photo session right after the wedding so much! I never feel confident enough to have my photo taken and I always fidget some way. I am not a photogenic person, but that day I felt like I was really beautiful! Propably it was due to the happiness!


I will never ever forget our honeymoon in Santorini! Man, that was the best holiday we've ever taken together! I was able to persuade him to wear our wedding attire once more in order to take some photos in the island.


I wish we could have stayed there forever! It was magical and I wouldn't change a thing about it!

I also wouldn't change anything from our life together so far! It's been a real adventure and I am having the time of my life!

I hope you are happy with your loved one for those of you who are in a relationship or a marriege and I hope for those of you who aren't that you'll find your missing piece soon!

Smooch for now!

Akamatra

Photos from StudioKoresis and Sirigos.
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