PictureHeart of hearts Memory Quilt
Oooh, it feels so good to be done and to know that this quilt is at home with its family. This has been a lovely quilt to work on. Largely due to the fact that the client was so darned awesome, and fun to work with. It also helped that these baby clothes are so freaking adorable it put my ovaries into overdrive! 

The quilt stayed pretty much to the original plan, with some minor changes, which are expected when I'm working on something like this. 

There are 4 different pockets hidden throughout. A number of special appliqués and a mixture of stitching. For the heart of hearts panel I did some freehand pebbles to make the heart pop a bit. The rest was a mixture of wonky lines. I couldn't do the same pattern throughout or I would have compromised the viability of the cute little pockets and come on now, if you're going to go through the trouble of including little pockets they've got to work right?!  

Custom memory quilt made with repurposed baby clothing. The pattern is a kind of modified window pane, with a funky trim to bring it all together.
The back is really a quilt unto itself with a strip of repurposed baby clothes running vertically down the side. I love the bold colour choice. That combined with the trim really make this quilt feel alive.
So that's done. Prospective upcoming projects include some custom dolls and a new memory quilt with baby clothes. 

As for personal sewing I've got a few things piling up that I'd like to work on... 

(1) I'd like to make a quilt for the living room sofa. One that'll be nice to snuggle up with on cold nights when we want to watch a movie. We've got some old blankets that are either too small or that I just find flat out ugly. Plan - use ugly comforter as batting for an experimental quilt to try out some new patterns and techniques. 

(2) Clothing for me! 
- I recently purchased 'The Honey Blouse' from Make it Perfect and am interested to see not only how hard/easy it is to make, but more importantly how it looks on my body. 
- There's talk of an amazing nursing top that is a quick sew. Problem is - the pattern is only in German. Neihn speckanzie Doitch. I've also heard tell of a mystical group that does sew alongs, and where some lovely lady has translated said pattern. SO I'm hoping to purchase the original and try sewing one up. Also wondering how difficult it will be and if it will be flattering on this majestic body of mine. 

(3) Clothing for the little dude
Truth be told he has enough clothing for the time being. I figure maybe I can make a few things for when he gets a little bigger instead of making something that won't get worn much now. Simple things like hoodies and tshirts, maybe some super cute hats.

(4) Stock for my ridiculously empty Etsy shop. A few baby quilts, some hats and some dolls for now. Also I really need to get around to photographing what I already have and listing it. There's just too many other fun things to do in the day. 

I think that's more than I can handle, but only a bit of what I can imagine. 

What projects have you got in your head? 
Loving working on the quilt I'm almost finished. It's really coming together. 

A shot from some work I was doing the other day. Baby clothes make my uterus smile. pic.twitter.com/iBeOUecsO3

— Kokobaru (@kokobarucreates) January 16, 2015
First things first. I love this family and I'm so very happy that they're getting a little bit bigger. Congratulations! 

Secondly, I've got to say making something custom is one of my favourite things to do. 

It's kind of terrifying though. 

When people purchase something ready made you kind of figure they like it right? I mean, why else would they buy it. Custom work feels like it carries a lot more weight. Will they like it? Will it look like how I imagined it would? How THEY imagined it would? Did I get it right? 

Whether it's a gift for family or friends (ya, my family and friends get a lot of kokobaru creations) or whether it's a custom order, I always LOVE working on projects with someone particular in mind...and I always have a knot in my tummy until I hear back on whether they liked it or not. So far, so good. phew! Fingers crossed it stays that way for a long time to come (preferably forever).

Here's one of my favourite creations this holiday season…although I gotta say, I think I made a lot of really great stuff this year. It's also a pretty sweet way to announce a new member of the family is coming soon. 
This is a custom set of dolls with a pregnant momma that gives birth to a wee little baby. I love making these dolls. I think they're: a) super sweet and b) really useful tools for talking about pregnancy, as well as role playing in preparation for the addition of a new family member. Faces are left neutral so imagination can take the reigns, clothes are made to match the folks in question. 

There's another set of custom dolls I made this season that I just can't wait to share here, but wait I shall. 

Until next time, keep warm. 
As always, I have a lot of goals for 2015. Paramount among them is to: enjoy myself more, take more time doing little things, laugh easily and often and be present. I figure my smaller goals will help me get to these big ones, or at least remind me of the real purpose behind any of my goals. 

Today I'm so pleased to post that Kokobaru has been featured on Savvymom.ca. What a thrill for a little bitty maker like me. There's a post under the link above about my quilts and toys and we're also featured as a 'Cool Kid's store' = feeling like 2015 is starting out with a bang! 
Nifty! Kokobaru has been featured on Savvymom.ca
Obviously I enjoy sewing and making things. This year one of my smaller goals is to sew more for my family. Sew clothing for my son and maybe even a few things for me. I've had some cute knits from L'Oiseau sitting on the counter for longer than awhile so I finally did it! I modified the Urban Hoodie Pattern by Heidi and Flinn  into a reversible hoodie for my little guy made with super cute bear fabric (that just makes my heart melt) and some repurposed fleece from an old blanket and jersey from some old t-shirt fabric. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and he seems to like it too. 
Super cute reversible hoodie
The other side of the reversible hoodie. Made with repurposed fabrics and a bit of super cute bear fabric.
He's getting old enough that he really watches me while I'm sewing. He wants to play with the machine and loves touching and playing with fabrics (read: I just found him trying to slide some paper into the machine to sew). I think the coolest thing about this hoodie is that he watched me make it and knows where it came from. I want more of that in my life!

Needless to say from the pictures I've posted he's an 'on the go' kinda guy so it was rather difficult to get any good shots of him in either side of his hoodie, but you get the idea. I tried. Wait, no, I did! (a la Yoda).

I just couldn't get enough so during nap time I just finished this little tshirt. It's another new/repurposed beaut. I cut the fabric a loooong time ago, but today was the day to get 'er done (thanks to a good nap on behalf of little mr). 
Naptime t-shirt
In keeping with my goal of Rocking the shit out of 2015 I've signed up to take part in what looks to be a sew along that's right up my alley. 1 hr of sewing a week on kid's clothing Feb 2-8 = perfect timing for the little guy's birthday (on that note - I can't believe he's going to be TWO!). If you want to sew along, click HERE to link to the Kid's Clothes Week site. 

All in all, despite the frigid cold outside, it's been a rather productive day and I'm feeling pretty darned pleased. 

I'm surprised. 

You see 2 years ago today my dear Grandma died. She was my favourite person in the whole wide world. I miss her dreadfully and am reminded of her every day. I was expecting today to be really hard. Don't get me wrong there have been moments, but it feels as if the world and my amazing family has conspired to make today a good day. My good old grandma always told me to laugh not cry so I think she'd be pleased that I'm doing my best to remember her joyfully today, and that things are going well here in Kokobaru-land. 
Me and my wonderful Grandma on a long ago Christmas past.

Wishing you all a great 2015. 

Feel free to share any goals you've set for 2015 below in the comments section. I'd love to hear what you're up to. 

It's really hard to get crafting done sometimes with a wee toddler, but I'm really doing my best (and so is he!). Over the past few months I've made some super cute male dolls, some super fuzzy fox pillows as well as an assortment of warm wooly winter wear, some toddler caps, an assortment of other creations and recently attended my last craft show of the season (as a vendor of course…I'll probably still try to catch a few as a buyer). 

Today I endeavour to complete a custom doll order I've been working on. I can't wait to post pictures because I am in love with this project (please don't tell Mr. Kokobaru). I spent last night doing adding my favourite feature…you'll know what I mean soon. 

Now to feed baby-baru and try to photograph some toys for Etsy. Wish me luck folks. 
Handmade stuffed man doll
A gaggle of guys
Storage bags with a view
Fury fox pillow pal
An earth of foxes

Sad day



Yesterday was a sad day for all Canadians. I watched the news unfold and was grateful my family was safe at home with me. I feel such sorrow for the family of the fallen soldier. There really are no words. Just love. Love for all my fellow Canadians. Love for all people, everywhere. Love and faith. Not faith in any sort of religious power, but in the power of humanity. Be kind. Hold your loved ones close. Enjoy the small moments. Remember those who came before us. Learn from them. Learn from each other. Love. Love. Love. 

After my little one had gone to sleep I didn't feel like sleeping. I think of my grandma a lot, and yesterday I thought of her even more than normal.  I thought about all the stories she had told me about her and her brothers, husband, and friends who served in our military. Coin purses make me think of my grandma. I still remember the ones she gave me as a young child to hold my precious change. I thought it fitting to make a few for my upcoming craft shows. A way to be close to her on a sad  and sort through emotions after the sad events that took place. 

I'm pretty horrible at blogging regularly, but I'm going to try and post one picture a week to help keep me motivated. If you've got a shot of a Kokobaru creation and you in action send it my way, help a gal out :) 

Here's a shot of lovely little F and his 'Blanket of Love' 
The Kokobaru family is getting a liiiiiiittle tired of the winter. It took until another recent snow fall to make me go a little crazy. Needless to say I really feel for the folks out East who are being hit by yet another snow storm today. Climate change is a scary reality. 

Although the yard is still covered in snow I have been SO thankful for the last few days of sun and have made it a goal to get out and walk for at least an hour every day. It feels infinitely better than walking in the slush and wind and cold. So as much as I'm looking forward for the snow to melt and for us to get to work on the yard and gardens, I'm content with long walks and sunlight for now. 

Now, for some fun new domestic goodness. Mr. Kokobaru has started brewing beer and we've discovered we can reuse the spent barley to make bread and dog cookies. So of course, I had to make some dog cookies first. 
Whole wheat, barley, peanut butter dog cookies in a myriad of shapes and sizes.
Patiently awaiting a scooby snack
Gently devouring his scooby snack
I found the recipe here and the dogs think they're delicious. Next time I think I'll mill the barley a bit before putting it in and see how the consistency turns out. It's  a super simple recipe.
- 4 cups spent grain
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 eggs

Mix it all up, flatten it out and cut your cookies. You can chill it if you want, but I didn't have to. I added flour as needed to get the consistency I wanted. Bake it at 350 for 30 minutes and then lower to 225 for 2 hours (according to the directions I found), but I didn't really do that. They're still mighty dry. I froze 2 bags for future use and have one bag on the go. They recommend a shelf life of 2 weeks, but I don't think we'll make it that far with the first bag. 

Next time I'll post some pics of the bread I made…deeeeeelicious. 
As I mentioned last time Baby-baru's first birthday is coming up. I'm trying my best to prepare a little bit each day. Last week I made sugar cookies and froze them to ice later…unfortunately they were extremely delicious sugar cookies and they are no more. Honestly, I ate almost all of them. I just couldn't help myself. I found the recipe here at Sweet Sugar Belle. These were by far the best sugar cookies I've ever made so thank you very much for sharing. Her instructions are impeccable and I (obviously) loved them. 

Today I worked on some more prep for the party, but this time I stuck to decorations. I figure I'll do my baking closer to the date so that I won't be as tempted to eat it all. 
Baby-baru's party will be out of town so I didn't want to make a bunch of these and then have to store them and cart them around. I made one to try it out and then prepped a bunch more to be completed the day before the party. 

(1) Buy some tissue paper. I bought 3 packs at the dollar store around the corner and have a whack of large and small balls ready to go. 

(2) Take 8 pieces and begin folding in an accordion style (approx. 1 1/2 inch folds). I made some balls (like the completed one above) in one solid colour and others with mixed colours. I also decided to make some larger and smaller sizes. To do this I followed the same instructions, I just cut the accordion folded pack in half. Some folks are super precise about their pouff balls. I, however, am not. So my folds aren't exact and the papers aren't perfectly lined up. You're welcome to be precise if that's you, but time is short and they're tissue paper pouff balls for goodness sake. 
(3) Some folks use pipe cleaners, floral wire, etc to do this part, but since I have my sewing machine I went with that. First fold your pack in half to find the centre line. Then sew down the middle of the folded paper. When I cut the thread, I left about 20 " of the top thread for hanging. Because I'm not completing the rest of the balls until just before his party I snipped the bottom thread and then twisted the top thread around the folded paper about 20 times so that it's neat and easy to store and unravel when the time comes. 
(4) Cut the edges. I did a mix of rounded edge and pointy edge. 
(5) The final step is to pouff the ball out by carefully separating each piece of tissue paper and fluffing it up. I didn't take pictures when I made my practice ball, but I think you get the idea. I'm not pouffing any of the other balls until party time. Until then I've got a nice stack that I can throw into his party box and check off my list of things to do. 
And voila! A large tissue paper pouffe ball. I'll be sure to take pictures of the party so you can see all of them pouffed out. 

And just so that you know. I made all of these, photographed them and wrote this quick blog all while Baby-baru had an hour nap = I'm giving myself a high five right now. 

If you make one, be sure to send me a picture or post one on the Kokobaru Facebook page
It's hard to believe that almost a year has past since we welcomed our little baby-baru into the family. As his 1st birthday approaches I've been thinking of what I'd like to do for his birthday. 

I've decided to do a DIY little party. I whipped up some invitations last night on Adobe Elements and today during his nap I made a little bean bag throw game…well part of it. Baby naps don't really last long enough for me to get an entire project done, but they do let me get bits and pieces done (as well as some cleaning and laundry, the real fun stuff).

Figuring I've talked about doing a tutorial for a long time, so I decided to take some pictures as I put it together and thought I'd share. Cause really, who couldn't use a cardboard monster cut out right? 

Step 1: Don't recycle that big Ikea box sitting in the back hall!! Any box will work, it just happens that last week I picked up an ikea organizing bin system and the box was the perfect size. It came this |-| close to going in the bin this morning, but then I was like 'hmmmmm…I could use that for something'.

Step 2: Sketch out a rough idea of what you'd like to make. It doesn't need to be perfect because the paint will cover it all up. No stress. 

Step 3: Paint away. I start with lighter colours. In this case I painted white, grey, blue, red, black. All the colours were ones I had in my kit, the only mixing I had to do was the grey. I didn't mix it thoroughly because I like the way it looks when there are different gradients of colour. Also, I suggest just squeezing your paints onto the cardboard and then painting them around. Saves some dish washing and with a piece this size it's a lot quicker. 
Step 4: Cut out your monster's mouth. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted and decided at the last minute that I'd like to throw a few teeth in there. So I drew the mouth shape (ish) that I wanted and used a steak knife to cut it out. I left 2 teeth and painted them white afterward. 
Step 5: Add some accents. I used a black sharpie to outline my little friend and then added a bit more dimension to him by doing a tad bit of shading. BE SURE THE PAINT IS DRY. Otherwise your poor marker gets all gummed up and it's just no fun. Patience is not my strong point, but this is one thing I wait for. 
Step 6: Final touch ups/additions. In this case it meant adding the tiny whites of it's eyes. I'm fairly impatient, so as the black in the eyes dried I did the outlining, etc. By the time all that was done the blacks were ready for the whites. If you don't wait for the paint to dry when you're adding a new colour it can get all swirled together, which can be really cool, but can also ruin what you're going for. 
Step 7: I haven't decided what I'll do for this part yet. Either build a simple wooden stand that this can sit in and that can be reused for future birthdays OR the super simple and easy way - reseal the sides and bottom of the box and just lean it against the wall. When it's full, just pick up and dump out. Yup, I just decided. I'm going with the super simple and easy way. 
Et voila! The first step in a fun bean bag toss (or some other type of toss game). I'm still thinking on if I'll make bean bags OR if we'll re-use old newspapers and have them toss them in OR if we'll do a combo of things ie. try some bean bags, some old newspaper balled up and some newspaper made into paper airplanes and see which is easiest to get in. Obviously my little guy is happy just dropping any of his toys in, but there will be some older kids at his party and grown ups. Even if it doesn't get a lot of play, it's a nice little piece of decor for the party. That is, if it lasts until the party. Baby-baru has already shown an interest in this guy. No worries if he doesn't make it. Cardboard is easy to find and there will be more naps before his party…at least there better be.

The end. (for now)
**a) I've decided that I'm going to paint inside the monsters mouth next time I get the chance and the sides when I get the chance…I'll add a picture when I get it finished
b) If you make one, please send me a picture so I can put it up!