Sunday, February 5, 2012

Handmade Birthday Part 1: Lalaloopsy Playmat

Anastasia has a new obsession: mini Lalaloopsy dolls. "Sew Magical, Sew Cute" is their little tag-line. And I kind of admit, I actually think they are super cute. They look like little rag dolls, have crafty hobbies, inspire originality, their boxes double as cute crafty-looking houses and they each come with a little friend that is a plastic version of something handmade. The "plastic version of handmade" is such an oxi-moron, and it bothers me a little to think of something handmade being recreated in a factory in China, and made of plastic. Plastic, of all things! But alas, I have caved. And well, I really have fun playing with them compared to Disney princesses. So to combat all things manufactured, I did create a handmade play mat, for these charming plastic rag-dolls that we all can't seem to get enough of.
I have to admit, I had a much better picture in my head of how this would turn out. I was a little dissapointed in the end result, but I have come to terms with it. I was really inspired by this playmat on Etsy, but I wanted to make it round so it could fold up easily like this tutorial. But in the end, I wish I had just bought the pattern on Etsy and made a little drawstring bag for it all. Of course, it would have helped if I hadn't waited until the NIGHT BEFORE Anastasia's birthday to do most of it. Good grief. Some people just never learn. The little trees have to be my favorite part. I found the idea for those here. They were so fun and easy and you can make an entire forest for a nature table in no time at all. In fact, the kids have played more with those than the playmat itself!
I like the winter part of the playmat the best. I made little mountains/trees from felt from a tutorial on Allsorts. I feel like they look like Dr. Suess-looking mountains personally. But I am leaving them up for interpretation by my little ones.
And this is the little garden with one of my favorite LalaLoopsies, and her pet unicorn. And you have to love the little heart stitching in the embroidery hoop. I mean, SERIOUSLY? I think its as cute as can be!
I also like how the beach turned out, with the seashell buttons sewn on. I wish I had made everything bigger, and straighter. In fact, if I make another playmat, I would make a big circle and applique everything on. I tried to patch it all together, and that was a big mistake! Nothing fit right, it still won't lay flat, and it was such a pain!! It my head it was brilliant, but definitely ended up being a learning experience. And sadly, no one really plays with it. But maybe someday they will find it at the bottom of the toy box and realize out how awesome it is. At least my children play with the manufactured, plastic version of handmade. Ha!