Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yes, no posts for over a month means.. Manatees

I was traveling.  I was. Now I'm back.

It was a great adventure driving all over the USA, camping in all the beautiful forests, swimming in the big ocean and the best part that I cannot resist sharing is this:

The Manatee Viewing Centre, in Tampa, as part of their Electric energy facility.  Which may strike you as a weird location for Manatees to hang but as it turns out, it is the perfect place for Manatees to hang.  As the Electric, Big Bend, power station operates it pulls in fresh canal water to cool off it's reactors.  Then the same water is cleaned and put back into the canal at a warmer temperature which is ideal for the Manatee.  So they gather there.

While it may not be a perfect system, and no one could really tell me about the other effects of this industry in this location.  It does make for a great location to see this wonderful Sea Mammal.  The centre is also full of information about the Manatee and how to preserve them.  

Humans, we are responsible for this animal's decline, for the most part it seems through fishing, motor boats, pollution, and taking over their space.  And more I'm sure but I wanted this post to be up beat and celebratory about this animal!!

If you are lucky, when you go to the website you will be able to activate their on site web cam and look around for yourself at the location.  

While I was there in person I was very fortunate and got to observe a wee baby manatee surfacing over and over again while her big momma stayed under the cover of water beside her.

A totally enchanting moment to experience.  I'd like for there to be more moments like this for all of us human and manatee alike, please zip through all the links I have included in this post to learn more!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pan Collar via Honestly WTF

So a little wee week ago, or more, a girlfriend asked me if I had seen this tutorial on Honestly WTF.
Of course I had!! I love reading their blog and often am inspired by all that they have to share.

She asked me if I could use my crafty ways to make her one and I said "Yes", in fact I had been wanting an excuse to make one for a while now but never had because maybe I didn't need another collar....Then again....

Anyhow I made some helpful discoveries about the project that I ought to mention from my experienced craft table.

#1- Don't glue it, sew it!  Seriously hot glue will not hold up effectively over time especially if you move between fluctuating temperatures, like the ones we get here in Toronto. Or if you wear the item frequently- neck things get tugged on more than you initially imagine. Pick a thread to match your ribbon and felt and sew neat little stitches that connect the ribbon with the felt.  Once, in an emergency situation, I discovered that once stitched into, the surface of a felt can also be roughed up and iron pressed to disguise where stitches lie.

#2-  If you go with felt felt, like plain old everyday felt, it is wise to run to a fabric/craft store an get yourself some iron on inner facing aka fuse-able inner facing.  This will help add crispness to the form of your collar and help the felt sustain a bit more wear and tear.  In the picture below you will see my primary cut pieces laying atop a square of fuse-able inner facing.  After ironing I allowed the material to cool before neatly snipping around the curved edges.

#3 - A fabric that might also make a nice collar is wool coating.  I have used this for collars in the past and have found it to come in a variety of colours and weights which could help you customize your project nicely to your own style.  It would also require the facing for stability.

#4 - As always, with everything SAMPLE!  Make a quick sample to test the facing/felt combo, to test your sewing, to test your hole puncher.  You may be annoyed by the extra time it takes but when compared to the time/resources it takes to start over because a mistake is made.... you will be thankful.

I really loved how this one turned out and recommend it to everyone to make for humans and kitty cats alike, even little bunnies and dogs!!

The template is downloadable and prints to the perfect size so don't be afraid to dive in ok!

See it turned out just darling!!