I'm still in the process of trying to figure out which projects in the Martha Stewart book to show you, but one that I will are some cute little felt bags. Nothing stunningly innovative, but they're really quite adorable and of course the second Hazel sighted them it was the standard "can you make that for me mummy?" I love little projects like that because they're so quick and creatively satisfying so I said yes. Then Totoro came into her life and I had the clever idea I could just whip up a Totoro bag for her - you know, slap on a few bits of felt and voila! there would be a Totoro. Two days later...
Hazel told me tonight that she really likes my sewing, which was a huge compliment and I have to say I'm more than a little pleased with how it turned out! You know when you do something that you just like looking at because every time you do it gives you a wee rush of pleasure? I don't get it with everything but I do with this.
All I did was find an image from the rainy bus-stop scene (You Tube clip in the post here) and print it off, cut the various bits out and use them as patterns. I cut the brown felt out first, then cut out the tummy, eyes and nose pieces from the picture. I cut the various shapes very carefully and used the empty spaces left behind to position the felt elements on the brown background, and then stitched them down. After I had the tummy, nose and eyes done I cut the arm shape out and attached that. If I were to do this again I'd make the tummy round and put the arm over the top instead of the fiddly way I did this one with the shaped edge. I had planned on doing the little chevrons and claws out of felt but that proved insanely fiddly and essentially impossible so they're embroidered instead. The umbrella gave me no end of grief and there were many versions trying to replicate the inner and outer you can see in the picture. In the end I just made the outside and skipped the angled look to it. I'd love to try and make her a larger backpack with fuzzier fabrics though, that would be freaking amazing!
Other Totoro crafts I've found and bookmarked:
Blue crocheted Totoro from Heaven's Hellcat
Tiny Totoro doll's hat from Netherwood Creations
Knitted Totoro Hat by Hello Yarn
Totoro Norwegian-style mittens by Andrea (free Ravelry download)
Paper Totoro by Cubeecraft
Totoro bag pattern on DeviantArt
And here is Hazel "My destiny. It is out there. I face it with my Totoro bag."
And look at those lemons! They'll be ripe in a couple of weeks and then it'll be lemons, lemons and more lemons. I'll have to make some lemon curd and some tarts and... They're not lemony lemons if you know what I mean, I think it must be some sort of Meyer cross, so they're fat, sweet and juicy but not very acidic. And they come all at once! So if you visit me in the near future I will probably offer you lemons to take home, which is never very successful in Auckland because most people are having similar problems!