Home » Blog » Nest

Category: Nest

Have You Seen the Mifold Booster Seat?

mifold booster seats

*Update down below on how we like them.

I have been keeping an eye on a new booster seat for the kids. It’s called the Mifold.  Instead of pushing the kids up so that the belts sit on them correctly this pulls the belts down to them.  It is still in preproduction and for pre-sale on Indiegogo.  I finally pulled the trigger and bought two for my big kids so that I could get the 20% discount.

I’m super excited that it takes up so much less space than a traditional booster seat since fitting 3 kids in the back of a car is a challenge.  We are currently car shopping and trying to figure out all these European cars over here.  There are some larger cars that easily fit 3 car seats across the back seat but some of those cars are huge and the roads around here are so narrow at times.  I really want a car I can park easily and zip around without fear.  Also, bigger cars are more expensive so having a smaller car could save some money.  We hope to travel a lot since we’re across the Atlantic now and having these will make taking the boosters along with us for rental cars and taxis much easier.  We can just fold them up and stick them in the suitcases.  Then we’ll only have one car seat to deal with.

I’m laughing at this post cause it sounds like I’m a commercial for them or that I’m affiliated in some way (which I’m totally not!).  I’ve never seen one in person so I can’t vouch for them.  But I’m hoping they work as well as they say which will be a great help to us in our situation.  The only downside so far is that they won’t be shipping until March so we still have a while to wait.  But since we’ve gone this long without a car and this long with borrowing booster and car seats we can hopefully hold out a bit longer. I’d been holding off on buying booster seats and a car seat until we got a car so I knew they could fit across but with these I’ll just focus on getting a car seat that isn’t too wide.  Oh, I just thought of one more downside and that is the kids will be lower and not able to see out the window as easily.  But they’ll grow and it’s probably safer that way anyway.

We didn’t bring any of our boosters or car seat with us since they have to be EU approved and none of the US ones are.  Well, probably the simple boosters would have worked but they were really wide.  We actually gave them all to Disney when we left (since we flew here straight from Disney World) and they were happy since they said sometimes someone needs a taxi and doesn’t have a seat.  We were glad they found some use since we thought they might otherwise get tossed in a dumpster which would be sad.

Anyway, I just thought I’d post about it in case anyone else is in a similar situation and would find it useful and hadn’t heard of them yet.  Crossing fingers it works as easily and as well as they say.  Here in the UK you have to keep you kids in a booster seat until they are 12 now so I’m sure the kids will appreciate a seat like this more as they get older as well.

This doesn’t apply to us but it mentions carpooling and I can see how having this tucked in your car for when you have an extra child every once in a while would be very helpful.  You wouldn’t have to lug around another seat all the time, taking up space in the back seat or trunk.  It’d be great for grandparents as well for that reason.

Update: March 6, 2017

We’ve been using 2 Mifold seats for about 7 months now?  I forget when we actually got them because we ended up having to wait about a year for them to arrive…which was a bit insane and way past the original date but I guess that is part of buying something from a crowdfunding place where production times can be unpredictable.  Anyway, we were really excited to finally get them.

The pros:

The are tiny and you can easily fit 3 in a row.

They would be nice as a back up for when having extra kids in your car occasionally because they’d be easy to stow away when not in use.

Because of the size they also travel great. We took them to the US with us when we visited family and friends last fall and it was great slipping them in our suitcase without adding a lot of bulk or weight to them.

The cons:

They are not as simple/fast to put on as advertised.

They are really difficult to take off at times.  The two arms on them that extend, lock so that they slide out farther without pressing a button BUT they don’t lock for sliding back in.  It looks like this was done for the convenience of putting them away without having to push a button but we feel it is a major design flaw because as the kids are sitting on seats with the belts on the belts end up pulling the arms all the way in.  Once the arms are pushed in it is really hard for the kids to get the belt out of the hook that is in the arm.  It would work so much better if the arm locked both directions so it would stay the width you need it to.  The button to release the arm is under the seat so it is difficult for the child to pull the button while sitting on it to release the arm again.  We have had many a time when our two kids (ages 6 and 9) were crying out of frustration or refusing to use the seats correctly because they were a pain to use.  We can buckle them and unbuckle them to help but it seems silly to have a seat that makes a 9 year old unable to use himself easily.  It is also difficult to reach the child in the middle over the other children to help them.


So, I actually just bought 2 cheap foam booster seats off of amazon the other day that don’t have arms (since that is what makes booster seats so wide usually) and the kids are much happier.  We will still keep our Mifold seats to use when travelling or if we have another child join us who needs one.  But for everyday use it just got too frustrating and I worried about their safety since they weren’t always buckling correctly to avoid getting stuck in them.

Custom Baby Outfit Ornaments

custom bunny outfit

I was approached recently about making christmas ornaments from treasured baby clothes.  I thought it was a wonderful idea and just finished the first one.  This is a little bunny made from a sweet little dress.  I hated to cut it up to use, it was so cute!


What a special way to remember those sweet baby outfits and actually see them.  We’ve kept a few of our kids cute outfits for them to look back at one day and see what they wore and how small they were but they are all sitting in a tub in our attic.  This way you actually get to display them.  This ornament along with others I’ll be making soon will be left without any wording on them and are intended to be used on the children’s little Christmas tree.  I’ll also be making a baby’s first christmas ornament from special baby clothes with words embroidered on it.  I’m looking forward to this project.  It’s nice to have something a bit different to work on especially without the stress and hectic-ness of the holiday season.


I’ll share the others as I make them.  Question: would you rather keep your baby’s clothes intact or turn it into some time of special keepsake?

P.S.  Sorry for the lack of posts, I knew it had been a couple weeks but didn’t realize it had almost been a month!  Where does the time go?  We just celebrated my daughter’s fourth birthday with a rainbow/pony party so I’ll share a couple pictures from that and also my husband and oldest son just got back from a trip to Haiti so it’s been pretty non-stop around here!

My Twine


Remember back in May when I talked about a great deal on twine?  I know that feels like forever ago, but it wasn’t until November that I FINALLY decided what color to choose.  I was torn because the main color for my logo is turquoise but they don’t have twine that color.  I had gone back and forth with some other accent colors like orange for example, but then at the last minute decided to go with the ‘baby blue’ twine.  I figured it would be in the same family as the turquoise on the tags and would be a nice compliment.  Well, I got a delightful surprise when I opened my box of giant twine that  baby blue actually means turquoise!  I’m not sure why it is called baby blue since it is dark, but I’m not going to complain.

The roll is HUGE!  It’s 2 pounds and approximately 3400 yards of twine! It’ll be fun to see how many years it takes me to get through it, or if I even ever do.  I used the twine to tie the tags on all my ornaments this year (well, starting in November) and it didn’t even make a dent in it.

moon ornament with tag

I tried to be scientific and give you a size comparison to show you just how big it is.  Yes, my friends, that’s right, it’s even bigger than a dinosaur!

dino and twine

What, you don’t believe me?  Ok, so here is my hand holding it.  Don’t see my hand? Those little bumps on the side are my thumb and pinky peeking out from behind it.


With shipping it does cost a lot (makes it about $18) but for the amount you get it is cheaper than anything I’ve seen out there by far.  It is definitely only something you want to get though if you are wanting one color for a lot of projects.  If you want to be able to switch colors often it might be worth spending the extra money to get some smaller rolls of twine.

I’ve really enjoyed having it to use and am one step closer to getting my branding all on the same page.  Plus, it’s just so pretty to look at.  It would be so fun to have a few colors all lined up in a row.  Too bad my house has no room for that!  Maybe one day when I have my dream studio to do all my work in.

Any other twine lovers out there?  What’s your favorite thing to do with it?

Baby Gift Idea: Baby Quilt

05 11 13_9153

Here’s another peak at a fabulous handmade gift given to one of my babies.  This time it is from my lovely mom.  She is oh so talented and decided to take on the challenge of making baby #3 a little quilt without knowing the gender.  The results are really great.

05 11 13_9151

She ended up making it a very personal theme by having the quilt represent our two etsy shops….The Nesting Spot and Starlit Gardens.  She did this using two of her favorite things batiks and applique.  The batiks represent the stars and then at the bottom corner is a little bird with a little nest.  You’ll notice the three eggs for the my three babies.

04 16 13_8081

04 16 13_8083

My mom loves to play with lots of color and patterns.  She is so bold and it really works with this blanket.  I know this is a gift we will always treasure.

There are so many types of blankets and quilts in the world and thanks to the internet and craft blogs there are tons of tutorials to teach you exactly how to make them.  The next time you have someone close to you having a baby, consider making them a keepsake that is beautiful and useful.

Baby Gift Idea: Hand-Dyed & Embroidered Swaddle Blanket


This is something I should have written about years ago, but I wasn’t writing the blog yet when I got this gift so I’ll use that as my lame excuse as to why I am just now getting to it!

When Audrey was born I received a very special package in the mail from one of my good college friends, Brandy. She is so very talented and can do any craft she puts her mind too. At one time she had opened a shop on Etsy but life with 3 girls, work, and school took precedence. Such a shame too because her knitted items are beautiful. Anyway, I was so thrilled when I opened the box to reveal two beautiful hand made blankets. They are probably sewn from a muslin cotton that she hand-dyed (the bottom right photo above shows the beautiful color variations in the cloth). One is purple and the other is pink. On the corner of the pink one is the most precious little bird that has been hand embroidered. It was done with variegated floss so that the image has a subtle variation in its colors. Audrey’s room had a sort of garden/bird theme to it when she was born so it was just perfect. She was also born in March in Texas which means HOT months were ahead so these light weight swaddle type blankets were awesome. I loved that she had made them just for my little girl.


The blankets alone were so thoughtful that they were a perfect gift unto themselves.

But just for fun I thought I’d pair it with some other items to show other gift ideas as well. Handmade gifts are always extra special and are the ones that become family heirlooms, but if you aren’t the crafty type that doesn’t mean you can’t give handmade. This little bunny below is from the etsy shop, Yarnigans.   I just love her hand knitted items. One day when I learn to knit; maybe once the kids are grown and I have more time, I would love to buy her patterns for making these adorable animals.  This little mermaid is just so perfectbaby-gift-1
But I digress, I found a little basket which of course could be used by the recipient afterwards for holding toys, diapers, etc. I rolled up the two blankets and tied a ribbon around them making sure that the pretty bird was showing. I added a few board books because who doesn’t love a good book? And last placed the bunny on top. You could put a pretty bow on the basket and give it as is.


And if you wanted extra credit you could give some personalized art for the new little one. How about a print like this to add to the mix since it matches the bunny? You could even have a bunny embroidered on the blanket if you wanted them all to match.
bunny pink

And of course you could customize these things to match any nursery. I have lots of animals to choose from in my shop. If you don’t see an animal available that you’d love to have then let’s talk. I’d love to be able to help you!

Have you hand-dyed a blanket before?  Have you ever ventured into doing embroidery?  You can do a lot with knowing just one or two different stitches.  With the tutorials online it is so easy to learn.

You Betsy: Tippy Thai


It’s been too long since I’ve highlighted any of the great shops you can find on Etsy.

Today I thought I’d show you my diaper bag from Tippy Thai!  You can see it sitting on William’s changing pad in his room in the picture above.

Back when I first had Josiah I picked out a bag from Babies R Us. Although nothing amazing, it did the trick for my first two kids. It got pretty beat up though and when I found out I was expecting a third I decided since I wouldn’t be buying anything new for the baby I would buy myself a new bag.  I was so disappointed by the selection out there though. Everything looked cheap, way too girly (and I want my husband to be able to use it) or babyish or was way too expensive for my taste. So I started to broaden my search to look at all types of bags. I ended up purchasing this bag from Tippy Thai. I had actually bought the purse I use from her a couple years ago. I have been very happy with it and knew her work was excellent.diaper-bag

One of the great things about her bags is that she makes them especially for you, so you can customize them! You can choose from many color options so I asked her about making my bag gray on the outside and yellow on the inside.  She asked if I’d be interested in making it out of nylon instead of canvas so that it would be water resistant.  I wanted the look of canvas on the outside but thought that the nylon on the lining was a good idea.  I wasn’t sure if it’d be too much to ask for two different types of fabrics but she said it was no problem.  Tippy also said she’d sew in extra pockets to hold bottles on the inside of the bag for no extra charge since she knew I was going to use it as a diaper bag.  I was really impressed by her customer service and speed at which she replied to my questions.  It took 9 days for it to be made and shipped and then it arrived 3 days later – not bad since it was coming all the way from Thailand!

The craftsmanship of Tippy’s bags is wonderful.  They look completely professional.  There is no way I could sew a bag to look that good.   The size of the diaper bag is perfect for me.  It has plenty of pockets and room to shove all the stuff I carry around with an infant.  It has a nice long (removable) strap so I can hang it around my stroller’s handles.  I love that it is manly enough for my husband to use without feeling weird and I love that it does not look like a diaper bag so that when I am no longer needing it as one I can use it as a regular bag.  An added bonus is that I am supporting an artist who does great work!  It felt great to be paying the same as I would for a substandard bag from the big box stores and mine was made specifically for me.

My only complaint is that the “mustard yellow” fabric is actually more of a pumpkin orange. It doesn’t look bad so I didn’t worry about it- it’s just not what I was going for originally.  I don’t know if it is a translation thing or what.  I had seen some other comments in her feedback questioning the yellow but the way they described it I didn’t think it’d be a problem.  So, just know that if you are wanting yellow you might ask her about it first.

Please take a look at Tippy Thai even if you aren’t needing a diaper bag.  She has over 100 beautiful bags and purses in all colors.  I’m sure I’ll be going back to her again when I need my next bag or purse.

Quilted Baby Boy Blanket and Week 39 Update

Before I forget….we’re almost out of time but I made a poll over to the right in the sidebar if you want to guess the gender of the baby.  The poll will stay open until we know the answer.  Now, on to the regularly programmed material.

Here is the quilted blanket I made in case baby turns out to be a boy.  In a previous post I mentioned that I lovingly think of it as my mullet blanket.  It is all serious in the middle and a bit of fun on the outside.  See for yourself!

The fabric is part of the Riley Blake Designs “Seaside” by October Afternoon.  I got 2 yards of each of the stripes and plaid.  There are other color variations out there too with the same design.  I was trying to decide what bias tape to buy…I still haven’t gotten to the point of making my own yet.  I was looking at all the ones that matched and they all seemed to just blend in so much and it seemed boring.  Then I saw this neon orange and it was so fun.  I was unsure if it would work but I thought I’d take a risk.  I definitely could have chosen a safer option but I’m happy that the blanket has a a bit of fun to it since babies shouldn’t be serious.  For the quilting I just decided to follow lines on the plaid side.  It made it easy to have lines to follow.  I figured any type of quilting pattern that was more fun wouldn’t go with the straightness of the stripes and plaid.  Below are my two blankets waiting to find out which one will be used!  The girl blanket is here if you want to see it.

Speaking of the baby that all this work is for I went to the Dr. on Monday again and there was no real change to my body.  BOO!  But thankfully baby is really low and I’m basically just waiting on my body to get with the program.  The Dr. was actually able to get a couple good shots of baby which surprised me since baby’s been so low and we haven’t seen the face in a while.  I will enjoy when we stop seeing sonograms of the face and get to see the real thing.  Hopefully the big lips are just because there isn’t a lot of space inside of me.

Here is a picture we took of me before church on Sunday to show my 39 week self.  (my due date is this Thursday!!!)

Here is a shot of what I normally look like.  CAN’T. WAIT. TO. HAVE. CLOTHES. THAT. FIT!  Sheesh.

Gauze Swaddle Blankets DIY


I was given an aden + anais swaddle blanket when my daughter was born and really loved the lightweight material.  The makers call it muslin but I have learned that is what it is sometimes called outside the US.  Here, it seems to be called cotton gauze.  It makes a great blanket for hot places like TX so you can wrap your baby up but not overheat them.  Audrey loves the blanket still and likes to sleep with it a lot.  Thankfully, she isn’t a kid who is attached to only one object that she can’t be without, but she really does love her gauzy blanket.

I have been wanting to make some for a long time and even considered making some long ago for my shop…part of the problem was finding the “muslin”….I never could.  Thankfully, once I discovered its other name it was easy to find at most fabric stores.  I got 3 yards at Jo-Ann’s with a coupon.  They usually only have it in white and cream though so I knew I wanted to try my hand at giving it some more flair.

I had seen Dana’s tutorial on MADE for making one which was helpful.  I decided to just use my serger for the edges though so there was no extra bulk from folding over the edges to hem it.  Since I was going to be making two blankets I decided to try my hand at two different techniques.  The first one I had seen in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in the February 2001 issue.  (Yes, I still have the page torn out from then in a notebook with other diy ideas…this was WAY before Pinterest.)   I was pretty excited to try it out.  The picture in the magazine showed a curtain they had made by making swirls with mustard on the fabric.  They gave the step by step on how to do it.  So, I went out and bought some mustard and got to work.  It was easy to do (except that my hand hurt for DAYS from squeezing that mustard bottle).  It took me about 20-25 minutes to put swirls all over my blanket.  The directions did say it worked best on silk and wool but I hoped it will still come out ok.  I let it sit for 30 minutes and then washed it off with the sink sprayer like it said to do, except that instead of the mustard just washing off….it dyed the whole thing yellow.  I was so dissappointed.  What was the point of killing my hand with swirls to just dye the thing yellow?  I could have stuck it in a bath of RIT dye if I wanted to do that…and my house wouldn’t have smelled like a hot dog vendor.  Here are a couple pictures of the process.  I am so glad I took photos since it is all I have left of my lovely work.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, to set the mustard, the instructions were to do the heat and chemical ways.  First I immersed the fabric in warm water and vinegar to do the chemical version.  Then I put the fabric in a big zip loc bag and microwaved it for 5 minutes on 50% power (watching to make sure it didn’t scorch).  I line-dried it and then pressed with an iron.  The instructions said that just drying it in a clothes dryer don’t get hot enough to set the dye.

The other method I was going to use was to make a potato stamp and hand stamp an image all over the white background.  I looked online and found this beautiful blanket and then the next day Mer Mag had these.  It was so funny to me that she and I were both wanting to make these blankets for our upccoming babies at the same time.

I really liked how the feather looked on the first blanket so I used the same feather that I had used for my diaper clutch.  I just cut my sweet potato in half, traced the feather on it with a pencil and then carefully cut away at the edges of it.  When I poured the paint I had bought onto the plate I was a bit shocked.  It looked PINK!  From the bottle it looked almost like a happy red orange color and the name of it was crimson red, so I knew that either way it should be gender neutral…but pink, not so much.  I was hoping that it was just the bad kitchen lighting giving it that glow and that also when it dried it would look more red.  So, this was after I had just had my first mess up with the mustard…not a good DIY night.  But I persevered and I really loved the turnout.  And it is a lot more red now that it is dry.  Here’s a picture of the stamp.  See how pink it is?!  (Oh, and that little stick at the end of the feather is a toothpick I used to hold the end on because it broke a bit as I was cutting the feather.  It worked perfectly.)

Here’s the end result…

Because the stamping worked out so well the first time I decided to stamp a design on the yellow blanket with the other half of the potato.  Actually, I did try to make a really cool geometric print first using a piece of cardboard for the stamp but it was looking awful so I stopped partway into that and went back to the potato and made a little star.  I made most of it a teal type color and then added 5 gray stars just to mix things up a bit.  After the paint dried I just cut off the side of the blanket that went wrong and so now instead of a bigger square blanket I now have a rectangular one…but at least it can still be used as a lightweight cover up and my fabric isn’t going to waste.  That poor blanket really tryed its hardest not to be created.

Here is the final product…

After all the painting was finished I serged the edges, which is really fast, and now I have two blankets.  Both had their (sometimes multiple) oops moments but overall I am happy with them.  It seems lately all the projects I have done have had some sort of  “oh, great!” moment in the middle of the project.  Nothing ever seems to come easily.  At least if it is worth while.  I guess that’s kind of like this baby that is almost ready to come.

I went to the Dr. yesterday and got encouraging news that things are starting to get going.  It is the farthest along  I have ever been at this point in a pregnancy and although it could still not mean much, it is comforting to know that at least if I am induced I have gotten a good head start.

Thrifty Find: Vintage Baby Sweater

As I write I am enjoying the wonderful cool weather with our windows open.  We’ve had some rain the last couple days and it has been glorious.  It’d been a month since we’ve had rain and my poor plants have been getting really stressed with my inability to get out and water much coupled with lots of 100 degree weather.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of cooler weather for the fall.  I am sure it’ll go back up some but I’ll take what I can get.

I mentioned eariler in the summer that I bought a little baby girl vintage sweater at a thrift store.  It was only $1.25 so how could I not?!  If it doesn’t go to my own baby then it’ll be fun to see who has a little girl born at the right time of year to wear it so I can give it to them.  I finally took a picture of it while I was photographing the fox and my gauze swaddle blankets (which I’ll show next time).  It’s just the sweetest little thing.

I also finished my boy quilted blanket last night.  It feels SO GREAT to have gotten it finished before baby comes.  I can fizzle out sometimes on projects that are more involved and if I hadn’t gotten it done before baby showed up I don’t know when I would have gotten back to it.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get some photos of it.  It’s definitely not perfect but I am happy with it.  I kind of think of it as my mullet blanket because it is both serious looking and has a bit of fun as well.  You’ll see soon enough.  And for those of you wondering, we do not know the gender of the baby.  I had planned on making one, gender neutral baby blanket but never could find fabric I liked so I ended up making one girl and one boy blanket.  Here’s the girl one.

This is the kids’ third night to sleep in their new room in their new beds.  So far so good.  Audrey gets out for the first few minutes and finds things in the room to play with and bang around but after I take her back to bed a couple times she stays in it and just talks and eventually falls asleep.  The first night when I went in the room to check on them before we went to bed I noticed that she had colored all over the wall beside the bed!  How she found crayons and decided to color on the wall in the dark is beyond me.  She has only colored on a wall one other time and that was a while ago.  Thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic erasers to help get it all off pretty easily.  Guess we’ll be keeping the crayons out of the room.  I had forgotten they were even in there since we normally have them in our living room in a drawer.  Ah, kids.  I thought maybe Josiah would finally stretch out a little now that he is in a bigger bed but he ends up scooting down toward the foot of the bed and sleeps still all curled up.

I hope you are all getting to enjoy some nice weather where you are as well.

Happy weekend to you all!



Fox Lamp and 37 Weeks Pregnant

Time sure does fly by!  I am in week 37 (tomorrow I’ll be in 38) of the pregnancy!  Thank goodness I am getting closer because I am definitely getting more uncomfortable.  My right foot gets swollen to a cartoonish proportion each day.  It’s quite bizarre.  It has made it get to the point where I really don’t need to be out walking too much because of the pain of the swelling which means my poor plants are looking so sad in the yard, we could use more groceries, and other general things aren’t getting done.  I went to the Dr. on Monday and he did a quick sonogram mainly to check the heartbeat I think and he said all is still looking great.  He said the baby is getting lower too and he couldn’t see the face, which is encouraging.  Glad baby is moving in the right direction!  Next week we’ll start checking to see if there is any progress with my body towards delivery.  I’m not expecting much since both my other kids were induced late but one can hope, right?!

I was finally able to take some pictures yesterday of some of the endless projects I’ve been working on.  So, I should actually have something to post about this week!  I am 2/3 done with the boy quilted blanket and that is my last sewing project for a while which is super exciting!  It is definitely too hard to be crawling around on the floor to be doing all the pinning and cutting.  I think my main projects left are just sanding and spray painting items for the kids’ room.

Which by the way, we finally got their beds painted and all set up in their room.  Tonight should be their first night to sleep in there.  The last 4 nights they have been sleeping in Josiah’s old room and getting used to being together.  It has gone really well.  Josiah has been so tired since he doesn’t nap anymore that he goes to sleep pretty instantly and we can hear him telling Audrey to be quiet.  Once he is out she just talks to herself for a while (sometimes up to an hour or so) and then goes to sleep. When they were younger and were in the same room the two would make each other laugh and not go to sleep.  The real test will be coming up though with Audrey able to escape for the first time when she moves to the twin bed.  I plan to still put her down for naps in the crib for a while since I am not ready for that battle yet and the baby won’t be needing it for a while.  It feels so great to finally have things coming together though.  Our new dining table is also set up in the kitchen and is working great.  It is a lot bigger (but not too big for the space).  We have 5 chairs around it (our high chair which reclines sits on a chair) and really could squish another one in if needed and there is a leaf too for when others are here.  I’ll get a picture of it one of these days to show you!

Today I want to share a project that has been in the works for a while now.  It took a little longer than I had expected and had some hiccups but in the end I am pleased with it.

Here is my fox lamp that I mentioned in this earlier post of things I hoped to make.

I got the pattern and instructions from the blog matsutake.  You can find both of them in the tutorials section.  When I printed out the pattern it seemed very small so I had Ken copy it at 150% and it made it really big.  I was worried at first that I had made it too big but after sewing it I think it is just right.

Here are a couple shots of it lit up.  It is filled with a string of 50 led lights that I found at hobby lobby and used one of their 40% off coupons for.  This is one time when it is very helpful that craft stores start putting Christmas stuff out months in advance.  If you look at my fox (which I just noticed has the tail sewn on the opposite side of the original) and the other fox my tail is sagging a lot more. I don’t know how she got hers to stay up so well.  Maybe she had a smaller strand of lights?  It also looks like she sewed the tail a bit shorter which might make it easier to stand up.

Sewing the chin pattern piece to the top face pieces proved to be the trickest part but with lots of pinning and patience it seemed to turn out like it should.  The rest of it came together easily.  Stuffing it was easy.  Wiping it all over with fabric stiffner was easy too.  I just put the stuffed fox into a big bowl that was lined with plastic wrap.  This helped to keep the tail standing up as it dried.  The hard part came when I was taking the stuffing out.  It was easy in the main body but getting it out of the tail proved to be quite challenging.  I used a few different implements to make it work.  The problem was trying to get it out without destroying the work I had done to make it look so good and stiff.  I finally was able to get most of it out with a long piece of plastic that has barbs on it…it is made for putting down drains to pull out hair and crud.  We’d gotten it for free a few years ago.  It is bendable which helped it go up into the tail and then it would grab a little of the polyfil and pull it out.  There was still some of it left in there though that I never could get out.  It was a pretty frustrating process.  I’m not sure of a way to do it that would make it go smoother.  I ended up putting some more stiffner on the fox in places that had gotten pretty beaten up during all of that.

Next, I tried putting the lights inside the fox and it worked pretty well but the strand kept trying to come out of the bottom.  It was also heavy and trying to topple the fox over.  I ended up trying several methods to fix this.  First, I cut a piece of cardboard from our recycle bin to put a ring around the bottom to help give it strength but because it is lit up inside you could see it.  So, then I tried cutting up a plastic bottle from our recycling to do the same thing but it wasn’t strong enough.  So then I thought it’d work well to use the bottom half of a plastic bottle which would hold the lights in, add strength, and would keep the fox’s shape better.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any bottles that were small enough to make it work.  Next, I tried using a glass canning jar.  It fit but because I couldn’t cut it, the strand of lights had to be spilling up over the side to get to the tail and out the back which made it very lumpy.  I was on the hunt for just the right sized plastic bottle.  After combing our house and even walmart I hadn’t found anything that fit all my requirements.  Then one day a couple weeks later I was cooking and finished up the last of our olive oil.  It was then I realized I was staring at the perfect bottle!  Here it is beside the fox.  I drew lines on it so I would know where I needed it cut.  It worked about as well as anything else could.  It is just the cheap walmart brand olive oil.  The bottle size is 25.5 fl oz.  Of course, be very careful when cutting the bottle.  I used an exacto knife.  I made the two holes more of a square shape because that was easier.  Please do not cut any part of yourself just to make this fox!

The slits made it easy to slide the strands of lights and the plug down to the holes.  I just estimated the length of the strand for the tail and the stuffed a bunch in the bottle for the body and the rest for the head.

My poor little fox got pretty beat up from all the different methods I was trying out on it but in the end it still looks pretty cute and hopefully it won’t be getting touched any more.  I’ve got it sitting at the top of a high bookshelf…well, high for the kids.  The strand of lights I bought (it was the smallest they had) didn’t have any length of the strand by the plug that was lightless.  So, I had to plug in a small electric cord to get it to an outlet.  If you could find a strand with less lights it might be a little easier and still give off plenty of light.  Oh, and one more tip.  I used a wooden spoon to help get the body back in shape after the bottle and lights were in place.  I just slid it around and popped out any indentations.  I should have done it again before these pictures because I was messing with the fox but I forgot.

I am glad I made it and am happy to have it for the baby but if I were to make another one some day I would try a different animal where I didn’t have to deal with the same tail issues.  Also, this fox would also be super cute just stuffed and sewn up to be a stuffed animal.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Update:  After I made this fox lamp and it sat on the bookshelf for about a month or so the tail started to sag because of the weight of the lights.  I don’t know if there is a way to keep that from happening unless you find smaller LED lights that aren’t has heavy or if you just leave the tail empty.  But it doesn’t look bad with the tail laying down.  However, if I had know that would happen I would have sewn it so the tail was already laying down so it wouldn’t have a twist in it.  But I haven’t worried about it and for anyone who sees it I’m sure they would assume that is the way it was supposed to be all a long.  Just wanted to let you know can happen to you as well.