Day 279. Craft: Stuffed elephant

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This stuffed elephant is adorable and is great for presents. I have the one in these pictures on my mantelpiece now but can imagine it in a little girl’s room or a nursery. The first one I made is sitting on a bookshelf in my mother’s home. There are so many ways to tweak this elephant that you could possibly make one for any occasion. Although it does take some time to make, the steps are fairly straightforward. I found this craft on Create Studio’s blog.

2013-11-16 13.24.56Materials needed:

  • Elephant pattern
  • Bow pattern (see my previous post)
  • 1/2 yard of gray felt (you could do less than 1/2 yard but to be safe I suggest that much)
  • Pink felt, enough to make a bow
  • Decorative matching scrap fabric, enough for two ears
  • Pink embroidery thread
  • Stuffing
  • Bean bag filler plastic pellets
  • Needle, pins, scissors

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First, print out the elephant and bow patterns. You will need to enlarge the elephant pattern and switch to landscape style before printing it. I suggest printing it at 250%, but it’s really up to you and how large or small you want the elephant. You may want to print it in a few different sizes.

Cut out the pieces of the elephant pattern once printed and pin them to your felt. Now cut out the felt pieces. For the ears, cut out two pieces from the grey felt and two pieces from your decorative scrap fabric. Make these pieces larger than the ear pattern because you’ll turn in the fabric when you sew it.

2014-02-02 12.14.40Once all of the pieces have been cut out, pin them together. The pieces tell you what each is for (see picture above) so that should help you know where everything goes. Match everything up as best as you can, this was a difficult step for me because the underbellies never seemed to actually fit. I ended up cutting a bit of fabric off of the underbelly pieces but perhaps I just did it wrong. This go around I left off the feet and the small trunk piece. I decided I would add them on when I got to those parts. You do not need to pin the ears onto the elephant at this point either.

2014-02-02 12.15.07Now that the elephant is pinned together, start sewing! You will be sewing this elephant by hand, using a whip stitch. Watch this video to see how it’s done (thank you Create Studio for finding it). Start at any point of the elephant you feel most comfortable. I actually started by sewing each little foot pad on first, then the trunk piece, and then sewing the rest of the body. This way it got the tiny pieces out of the way. There was no way I got enough thread to do the whole elephant in one go so I tried doing it in chunks, one foot to one foot, trunk to foot, etc. Take your time and don’t feel bad if it’s not as perfect as you’d like, this is homemade, it’s not supposed to look uniform. Create Studio suggested a great idea when sewing the trunk, add some stuffing as you sew instead of waiting until the end. Although I did not do this I do admit it probably would have made stuffing the trunk much easier.

Note that there will be an opening in the stomach of the elephant where stuffing can be inserted. Do not sew this opening until you are satisfied with the amount of stuffing.

 

elephant earsOnce your elephant is sewn, it is time to make the ears. Sew one decorative scrap piece to one felt piece. As you sew the decorative fabric onto the felt, turn under the fabric so there is a smooth edge, no frays. When the ears are done, go ahead and sew them onto your elephant.

Then make a bow for it. Sew that onto the elephant’s head, in front of one of the ears.

Now we’re finally ready to stuff it! As mentioned earlier, there should be an opening on the stomach of the elephant where you can insert the stuffing.

I used bean bag pellets to stuff the feet of the elephant. This way there’s a bit of weight on it to help it stay upright. The good thing about these pellets is that they can be washed, so, if for some reason you need to wash the thing, you can do so without any worries.

After filling the feet about halfway with pellets, I filled the rest of the elephant with stuffing. Depending on how firm you want it, you may end up using a sizable portion of stuffing. Stuff away to your heart’s content!

The final step to this cute little creature is to sew up his stomach now that you’re doing stuffing him. This is also the time to see if any of your stitches are loose or if there is an area you need to sew up a bit more.

And there you  have your own stuffed elephant!

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Some thoughts: Next time I’ll choose a softer felt because this one was a bit difficult for the thread to go through. I will also try to find a thicker thread so perhaps I won’t have to stitch as much.

I just love how these elephants can be any color, any combinations, any sizes! I’d like to make a gray and yellow one next!

 

Day 278. National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! This makes me so excited because recently I was talking to my mom and she said I should write some poems. And recently (that same day actually) my mom read some poems to my sister’s class and it just got me in the mood for poems. So this month I’m likely going to share some poems I like and possibly even some that I’ve written.

Poems are such a great medium of expressing oneself. Anyone can write a poem because a poem can basically be any pattern, form, shape. It can rhyme. It can not rhyme. It can be short. It can be long. It can have many stanzas. It can have one stanza. And on and on.

And so, to start off this awesome month, I’d like to share two poems by Robert Frost. Disclaimer: I do not own these poems, I have not written them, and I do not intend to use them for personal gain.

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

 

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

 

Those are two great poems. Go reread them. They’re worth it. Robert Frost is a brilliant writer and I need to read more of his poems. Perhaps this month will be the perfect opportunity! I’m sure on down the line this month I’ll be sharing more of his poems!

Now let’s all go out there and write a poem about nature, see what we come up with!

Day 277. Fun Fact Friday: Saturn

This week we get to learn about Saturn!

Saturn is the 6th planet from our sun and is 886 million miles away from it. It is a gas-giant planet, so it does not have a solid surface (remember that Jupiter is also a gas-giant). Saturn’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. This is another similarity the planet shares with Jupiter (and also the sun). Also like Jupiter, Saturn has a lot  of moons. At the moment there are 53 confirmed moons and another 9 waiting to be added. Can you imagine what the night sky, or even the day sky for that matter, would look like if you lived on Saturn?

Saturn probably most known for being the planet with the seven, gorgeous rings. The rings are made mostly of water ice. The rings are made of billions of ring particles. The particles can be so tiny we can’t see them to being as “large as mountains” (NASA). Scientists believe the ring particles are made of “ cometsasteroids or shattered moons” (NASA). The rings all rotate around Saturn at different speeds. 

Although Saturn is unable to support life as we know it, some of its moons could possibly sustain it.

I got my information from NASA’s Solar System Exploration site.

Day 276. More Wildstar pictures

I’ve been able to play Wildstar a bit more the past couple of weekends. Gene and I ended up buying the game and so we’re automatically able to get into the beta weekends. This meant that I was able to play my solo character, Marti, more, and take more screenshots of her. I think she’s so cool and she looks adorable, I have to share! It may be odd that I want to post pictures of a fake character but I’m doing it no matter what anyone thinks. I have joy playing this game.

Marti 4

Here she is looking awesome. Look at those weapons, those are some bad-ass looking claws she has there, and they even match her hair!

Marti Hazmat

Here she is in a hazmat suit. This part of the game was difficult and annoying but I thought it was cool she got to wear a different outfit than normal. Looking stylish and staying safe at the same time!

Queen of the WorldAnd here she is looking out over a beautiful world. This kind of reminds me of The Lion King. She’s queen of the world!

Day 275. A few of my favorite things.

xkcd Lorenz: xkcd is a webcomic that I occasionally read. The comics are generally full of math, science, philosophy, or history jokes, so I don’t always understand them. But I read them in hopes that some part of them will rub off on me and I will grow slightly more intelligent. Every so often, the artist of xkcd does something a bit out of the ordinary. He once did a comic whose panel changed an hour later, a day, a few seconds. He planned out it so marvelously, it was truly amazing. Check out this website, xkcd Explained, to see it all at once. But this is not what I am speaking about today.A few weeks ago, I’m afraid I don’t know the exact day, this comic came out. It’s a choose your own adventure comic. And when you get to the end, it’s not really an end, you get to suggest the next choice. What’s cool about it, is that the author does choose some choices that readers suggest, and he adds them on to the comic. This means that every day the potential story changes and expands. I’ve done the “adventure” multiple times now and each time it’s different even though I try to make it the same as the one before. The options change. It’s something fun to pass a few moments of time, something to get you out of the stresses of life for a minute.

Day 274. Why I love Colorado

Every once in a while I browse the Denver365 website for events to go to. I know that there is always something going on in this city but I don’t always know exactly what, and this site helps a lot in informing me.

I discovered a monthly museum night at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver. I’ve passed by this museum a few times but have never gone in. After reading about their monthly COmingle night, I think I’m going to have to go!

Every second Thursday of the month, for $10, you can go to the Center and learn about Colorado. But you don’t just walk around and stare at items behind glass and read plaques (although I’m sure you can do that). This is an interactive event. It’s from 6 to 9 pm and there are multiple activities one can do.

There is a fashion show, games, trivia, a mystery to solve, and more. From the pictures on the site it looks like you can use a giant marker to color in part of a wall mural. You can also make and send a post card to our first responders. Besides all that, there is a cash bar and snacks available as well.

That just sounds like so much fun to me! I’d love to learn more about Colorado’s history and have a fun time while doing it. I think I’m gonna try to go in May since I have missed the one this month.

All the awesome, fun opportunities that Colorado has to learn and get out of the house is why I love this state so much!

Day 273. TED Talk: How to be 100+

The other day I stumbled across a list of Ted Talks that were related to health and a good life. I ended up watching this video and thought I should share for those interested in extending their lifespan.

I find the extending of life to be very interesting and intriguing. If we can all live to be in our 90′s, or even 100′s, then by all means we should strive for that. This talk mentions how eating a plant-based diet, having a purpose, and having a solid group of friends, all helps to increase life between 4 to 10 years. The speaker says more than just that so if you have 20 spare minutes, give it a watch!