Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tiny Bunnies Two Ways

Tiny Bunnies

Two Ways to Make Tiny Felt Toys

After I made a bunch of tiny felt animal protoypes last week, I've been working on making some tiny bunnies.  I looked at two different patterns for inspiration.

For the white bunny, I found a nice pattern in this post by Kleas.  I looked at the pattern for the basic shape and then made my own much smaller version. 

For the brown bunny, I took my inspiration from this mouse tutorial by Rhythm & Rhyme.  I made mine even smaller and replaced the mouse ears with bunny ears.  

I used pink thread to embroider noses on both.  For the tails, I needle-felted some tiny balls and sewed them on.  The eyes might be better done with a French knot.  I simply made little, dark stitches.  

Sometime later in the week, I hope to make a full tutorial for tiny birds just in time for Easter.  So go get some nice felt, thread, and check back later in the week! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hooray For The Internet!

Without further ado, my links for the week:

Suitcase chair <3
via Apartment Therapy
Uses for old suitcases are most certainly on my mind.
via Apartment Therapy
Matryoshka doll necklaces <3
via Little Tree Vintage
Secret rooms behind a wall of books are the best!
via Piccsy
This would be an amazing way to spend a warm summer evening.
via Piccsy
I am in love with painted stairs right now!
via Lifework Media
This giant cross-stitched bicycle is amazing!
via Jessica Decker
Use an old window as a jewelry organizer. Having my jewelry on display inspires me to wear it more often. I currently have a cork board holding mine, but I would love to switch over to this!
via Tick Tock Vintage
This swan ring holder steals my heart.
via The Dainty Squid

<3 Amy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Elephant Behind The Blog

Elephants and Hot Air Balloons:

A Visual Representation

Why, hello there!  This is Eduardo speaking, Eduardo the elephant.  I'm the one down here, in the hot air balloon.  Why don't you come a little closer?

See, that's better.  I bet you're wondering what I am doing here.  Not here in Prague, that's a rather long story, I'll save it for another time.  Rather, what am I doing here, in this felt hot air balloon on this blog. 

Well, Amy and Colleen are trying to become legitimate bloggers so they decided they needed to make a button for their blog.  They asked for my help and I was happy to oblige.  I carefully monitored their construction of this here lighter-than-air craft to ensure my own safety.  Upon its completion, I took to the sky for a photo shoot.

I've always thought my right side was my best, so of the hundred-or-so photos, I was a firm supporter of this one.  Amy and Colleen edited it, made it square, and added the name of their blog to make their button.  

Here you have it!  I'm rather pleased.  If you enjoy Elephants and Hot Air Balloons and would like to do a button swap, feel free to write Amy and Colleen at: eandhab (at) gmail (dot) com.  Look right, to the sidebar.  Your button could be over there!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hooray For The Internet!

My Hooray For The Internet! links follow no particular theme this week.  Just some amazing things I found on the information super highway (yeah, I went there) that I want to share!

3191 Miles Apart
This blog is a beautifully done.  The premise is that two friends who live 3191 miles apart each share a photo from their week and write about what they have been doing.  The photos are always wonderful and the blog is very well-written.  

DIY Backyard Tent from On One Hand
Last week, I posted a tent.  Today, I have more.  I'm just loving the idea of a backyard reading tent.  This is despite the fact that I do not have a backyard. 

Tent on Vintage Rose Garden

It took me some effort to find the original source of this tent that was going around Pinterest.  It seems to come from a now-defunct Etsy shop belonging to "Ships and Maps."  I want it!

Sew Egg Chick Tutorial on Petite Purls
A cute, easy little tutorial.  Perfect for spring!

Audrey Cape Tutorial at Project Run and Play
This tutorial would be much easier with an actual pattern but anyone with a bit of ingenuity should be able to make it.  

New York City's Hidden Subway Station at Travelettes

I know, this is totally unrelated.  However, when I saw this on Pinterest, I was so homesick and excited for my trip back to New York this summer.  This article tells you how to get a "tour" (from inside a subway train) of New York's long since closed City Hall Station.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby Steps

Baby Socks:

A first attempt

Baby Socks in Progress

 This winter, I wrote about my scarf which I knit out of Jawoll Magic yarn.  When I was finished, I had quite a nice little ball of it left over that I decided I would use to start a new phase of my knitting education: socks.  My friend Nicole had given me a skein of sock yarn for Christmas that I wanted to make a cute pair of socks for myself out of.  I just did not have the confidence to begin.  I decided that the best solution was to start off simple... to take... baby steps, if you will.  Knitting baby socks would mean learning the necessary techniques but speeding up the process and not wasting a lot of yarn if the project failed.  

Baby Socks!
I picked a pattern called Hunca Munca because it was very popular on Ravelry.  I chose to knit the pattern with a technique similar to cabling because that is also something I am not well-versed in.  I've had trouble getting good photos of them but I am really pleased!  They turned out the same size.  They have no big holes or obvious mistakes.  The only thing is that the variegated  yarn transitions so slowly that they look like a strange ombre.  I did not have enough to make sure I started both on the same color patch but I think it's fine.  

All these socks are waiting for is a friend to have a new baby who might want some tiny purple socks.  Feel free to request them if you fit this description!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Elephants Allowed?

via Piccsy

Us here at Elephants and Hot Air Balloons disapprove of this sign!


Tiny Felt Toys

Making Prototypes

Seriously Cute Mouse Tutorial
From Rhythm & Rhyme

Which Came First? Pattern
From Fruits of Heart
Easter Bunny Pattern
From Prairie Mouse

The past few weeks, I've been finding a lot of amazing craft ideas via Pinterest and blogs.  These three tutorials for small, felt animals have inspired me to start making prototypes of my own.

My favorite thing about working with felt is that you do not have to sew and then turn your project inside-out to see what you have made.  You can sew on the visible side and see what is happening as you are making it.  So far, I have made a few birds with different beak styles, finally settling on my favorite one (can you guess which it is?).  I also made an elephant with eyes a little too big and a little too high.  I'm really enjoying making toys again; it has been a long time.  Our flat may look like the Island of Misfit toys for now but hopefully, soon, these little guys will become suitable for someone's little toy box. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Joy of Working with Children

My job as a nanny is awesome, for the simple reason that I love playing with children's toys. So yesterday, at work, my minion and I set to work to create something for the blog. That is right, a Lego elephant and hot air balloon. This beauty took no time at all and most certainly put a smile on my face. Now that the weather is improving rapidly I cannot wait to see what joys the outside world has to offer through the eyes of a two-year-old. 

<3 Amy

Bean Sprout Update

Bean Sprouts Planted 1 Week Ago
Last week, I wrote about sowing beans in a window box.  On Sunday, tragedy struck.  A sunny afternoon quickly turned dark as rain clouds overtook the sky.  Rain began to pour as a great gust of wind blew open our dining room window and knocked everything off of the sill.  Over tumbled two potted plants, who thankfully came out unscathed.  My window box and two other pots of recently planted beans, however, did not.  Soil covered the floor and I could see little beans, with tiny shoots poking out, mixed in with the debris.  Amy helped clean up the soil while I tried my best to save the beans.  I found a lot of black-eyed peas and a few pintos but barely saw any black beans.  They hid themselves so well.  I replanted them as best I could and hoped for the best.

Over the past few days, I've been delighted to see that the beans were pretty much unfazed by their journey.  They are growing well and every few hours, I walk over and I am amazed by their progress.  The black beans, however, are no longer grouped together.  One has already popped out of the pinto bean pot.  Nevertheless, I am happy to have some spring inside of our flat and excited about the prospect of beans this summer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hooray For The Internet!

Do you love the internet? I know I do! Here are a few of the lovely things I have stumbled across while surfing the web this week :)
I would love to have this suitcase shelving!
via Apartment Therapy

Umbrella ring holder.
via Modcloth

I absolutely love giant clocks and the hot air balloons are superb.
via shelterness

Use old books for new clocks.
via shelterness

Pattern for the amazing flower blanket.
via Etsy
I am dying to own this magnetic key holder.
via modcloth
This red glider bench would be perfect, if only I had a yard.
Found  via Apple Blue
I need this caviar inspired nail polish <3
via Ciate

These are just a few things that I fell in love with this week. Hope you enjoyed them! There will be more to come, because the internet never disappoints. 

<3 Amy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hooray for Spring!

Amy will be posting our Hooray for the Internet feature on Friday.  In honor of yesterday's equinox, I am posting some of my favorite spring-themed links.  Hooray for Spring! 

Hanging Window Flower Vase Tutorial from Garden Mama
Garden Mama was a great blog that is no longer updated but has so many crafts and inspirational photos for different seasons.  This is one craft that is very child-friendly!

Violet Ice from Garden Mama
Another one from Garden Mama!  This is another craft (recipe? difficult to decide) that would be easy for children.  Just gather up some violets and freeze them in an ice cube tray.  These would be so good in some lemonade or iced tea!

Bunny Hand Puppets from The Purl Bee
The Purl Bee is an amazing resource for knitting patterns and craft ideas.  The projects tend to have an aesthetic of simple beauty.  These puppets would be an easy sewing project for grade-school children.  

The A-Frame Tent from Cakies
This project has been all over Pinterest for the past few weeks.  The tutorial makes it look incredibly simple.  I love the idea of using floral fabric and bringing this tent outside to lay under on a very sunny day.  How perfect would this be for a yard without any good shady reading spots? 

Spinning Toy on My Little Fabric
[via Kireei Cosas Bellas]
I am a total sucker for cinemagraphs, like .gif's but much classier.  This twist on the classic bird-in-a-birdcage toy is perfect for rainy spring days inside.  The tutorial may be in French, but it's easy enough to understand.  

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd from The Kitchn
Ricotta is used in a lot of spring baking and these pancakes seem like a delicious Saturday morning taste of spring.  

Finally, I leave you with a song that has always reminded me of the beginning of spring. 

<3 Colleen

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Antiquing in the 'Biggest Little City in the World'

Antiquing in Reno, Nevada

I recently took a trip to visit my older brother in Reno, Nevada. One thing I love about Reno is all of the great antique malls in the area. So, my mom, brother, and I headed out antiquing one day while I was there. At the top of the agenda was a stop by In-N-Out to prepare for a full day of shopping. 
First we had to get some burgers for energy. 
The next stop was the Virginia Street Antique Mall, which is a standard antique mall: full of furniture, clothes, toys, and many little trinkets. These places can be very overwhelming due to their size and massive inventory. It is important to be patient and give everything a good look.
Virginia Street Antique Mall 

Lovely pieces of furniture

True touch of that Nevada feel. 

I had to take a picture of this lamp. Eeek.

The next place, Somewhere In Time, was right down the street. This place had a special surprise in store for us.

This surprise was the entire room dedicated to the Red Hat Society--wall to wall red hats and dresses. I am such a fan of big crazy hats, so this room was lovely to explore.
All the red a girl could want. 

The third place had a very different feel than the first two. It is called Junkee and is part antique store, thrift shop, and costume shop. I was really looking forward to visiting this store and I was not disappointed. The antique store had so many beautiful items. I would have loved to buy any one of its many pillbox hats. 
Junkee in Reno, Nevada

Antique shop

More of the antique shop

Thrift and costume shop

Awesome melting clock at the entrance (something very DalĂ­ about this piece of art)

I did not get anything this day; I was on a very tight budget for my trip home. However, it was such a great day to get to spend with my brother and my mom. My brother was a good sport throughout the whole ordeal as well (he is not so big on antiquing)--even coining my favorite new term 'scam-tiques' for products that lack legitimacy. If you ever stop by the 'biggest little city in the world,' check out some of the local spots for antiques and thrifting finds.

<3 Amy