Kate and Peter Wedding Dolls

A couple of months ago my friends Kate and Peter were about
to get married and I wanted to make them something special and fun to
celebrate. Earlier in the year I had made Han and Leia dolls for my friend Nic’s
wedding (she’s a huge fan and they had Han and Leia cake toppers too!), but this
time I wanted to try my hand at a more traditional bride and groom set of dolls.
I perused a few patterns online but anything I liked was upwards of $10 to buy
the pattern so I decided to go at it alone.
I don’t have any patterns written up for these, and honestly
I would need to put in a lot of work if I wanted to make them good enough to
write a pattern. But they are cute so I wanted to share them with you all

My plan was to make the dolls in a rough likeness of Kate
and Peter – which basically meant choosing the appropriate colour of safety
eyes, giving Kate super long hair, and giving Peter no hair. I did consult with our
friend Sam, who was going to be in the wedding party, and she gave me some
information about what Kate’s dress would look like, but I couldn’t figure out
how to make tiny lace sleeves so I ended up going with generic wedding dress. I
did braid back some of her hair, though, which Sam told me was how Kate planned
to wear her hair. So that’s something!
I started with Kate, and my first attempt, well… it didn’t
turn out so good. I had one increase row too many across the body and then I
was trying a thing to make the waist taper in and the skirt flair out, and it
all seemed like a good idea at the time, ok? Well, you can see for yourself
Kate doll attempt number 1. Not exactly a success.

Yeah. I looked at it and realized that there was no way I
could give that to my friend on one of the most special days of her life! It’s
about the least flattering body I could have made. So I tore it out and tried
again, with one less increase row and ditching the sad attempt at a waist:

Definitely an improvement
Much better. And here is the final version, with hair (and arms) added
on and a little bouquet of flowers:
Kate doll!

So much hair
Next up was Peter. Unfortunately, something rather strange and
disturbingly violent happened to him before I could finish…
It’s the Red Wedding!
Oh god, what have you done, Kate?? Such a tragic end to
their wedding day. 🙁
Ok, so the story behind this is that I was working on the
doll at our local nerd hangout La Fontana Caffe with a bunch of my fellow nerds
around me, but I had forgotten to bring stuffing. I had the body mostly
finished, but couldn’t stuff it so it was still sitting open with a couple of
rows left to go. In the meantime I wanted to work on his little suit jacket,
but without a stuffed body it was going to be difficult to check whether it
fit. I had some red yarn with me that I wasn’t using, so I decided to
temporarily stuff him with red yarn so I could make the suit jacket in the
correct size. At which point we all realized that it looked like his innards
were spilling out of him, because… we’re all kinda sick freaks, ok? 🙂 So my friends, being
my friends, immediately started to create the scene – Kate doll standing over
her new husband, blade (well, small scissors) in hand, with poor Peter bleeding
red yarn everywhere… alas.
We also gave them a backdrop at one point:
Such a  lovely sunset for a wedding…
 Anyway, here is the completed, non-horror movie Peter! He
ended up a little… lopsided… but still cute I think.
Peter doll!
 Here they are together:

I gave the dolls to Kate and Peter during the wedding and they
loved them! Here’s the happy couple with their dopplegangers, I’ll leave it to
you to decide if I captured their likenesses or not. 
Kate and Peter with mini!Kate and mini!Peter

Making them kiss – aww….
Congratulations again to Kate and Peter! I had fun making
these and I was so excited to be there on your big day to share these with

(the top photograph is credited to the professional photographer Ida Magdalena Adamowicz. The rest are mine)

Guest Post: Erika – A shark. Painted on a Uke.

Welcome to the first of my series of guest posts! I have some crazy talented friends who practice a variety of different crafts, and I wanted to take the chance to showcase them on my blog. Also because when I first made this blog it was under a completely different name and I was actually co-hosting it with the lovely lady behind this post, Erika, and I have since gone back in time and changed this post (and her other 2 posts) to ‘guest posts’. So yes, these words are coming from ‘the future’ and not actually Sept 2015 which is the publication date. Shh, I know, time travel is dangerous, but if the Doctor can do it than I can too. 😉 Nonetheless, I will probably have more in the future because I really do have a lot of friends who make very cool things! So without further ado, please enjoy Erika’s post about the amazing shark ukulele that she made for our mutual friend Andrea!


About Erika Glover

Erika is a graphic artist and designer based in Vancouver. A few years ago a friend introduced her to cross stitch and embroidery and she has been hooked ever since. She also loves to draw and spends her free time doodling, creating geeky cross stitch patterns and binge watching Netflix.

www.erikaglover.com | Instagram | Twitter | Flickr

A shark. Painted on a Uke.

A couple of months ago two friends, Kate and Peter, asked me to help them make a one-of-a-kind gift. Their wedding was about a month away, and our mutual friend Andrea was going to be the emcee. They wanted to give her something special as a thank you present. Kate and Peter are a very musical couple, and recently got Andrea interested in playing the ukulele. Their idea was to give her a uke of her very own. No ordinary ukulele would do though, not for this lady. You see, Andrea loves sharks, really loves them, so something this special for Andrea had to have a shark on it. They asked me if I would draw or paint a shark on the ukulele they were going to buy. How awesome is that?! Of course I said yes!

My initial thought was to use pencil crayons on the wood surface of the ukulele, similar to the technique of artist Bryan Collins (seriously, check out his youtube videos, they are amazing). In my head I pictured a plain wood ukulele, where I could distress the surface a little to get more of a raw texture for the pencil crayons to stick to. However, when I saw the beautiful uke that they had picked up, with teal coloured wood stain and a satin finish, doing anything to distress the finish was out. Now, I got a little nervous. I didn’t want to ruin this beautiful ukulele, I thought it looked so nice just as it was!

Yes, it’s missing a string. Of course a string broke when it was in my possession. This just added to my anxiety of ruining things.

The only thing I could think of that would stick to surface and not rub off was acrylic paints. I remember I loved painting with acrylics as a kid, but it’s been so long I definitely needed some practice. I forgot how quickly acrylic paints dry, and how it becomes hard to blend colours smoothly once it does start to dry. I did some practice sketches and played around with the paints a bit more. I grew more and more nervous about jumping in a getting the actual piece done.

When it came time to actually paint on the ukulele, I was terrified! I’m the type of artist who sketches something out twenty times before I get it right, so I really rely on my eraser. I’m not very good at ‘on the spot’ art, or where I only get one chance. To help give me a little guideline, I lightly sketched the shape of the shark with a white pencil crayon. It showed up enough on the teal surface to give me something to follow. Then I had to just go for it. I slowly built up layers of paint, working quickly so the paint didn’t dry. Once I started and had a few layers down, my confidence grew and I felt much better about what I was doing and that I wasn’t going to ruin this special present.

I wanted to shark to still be visible whether the uke was stored upright or on it’s side, like it was swimming around the curve of the ukulele’s body.

When it was finished, I was so excited. I was really happy with how it turned out, and so were Kate and Peter. I’m really proud to have been apart of this project and know now that I just need to trust myself more. Being pushed out of my artistic comfort zone was scary at first, but paid off in the end. And yes, Andrea loves her shark ukulele!

Baby Groot Around Vancouver #1: Downtown Vancouver & Lonsdale Quay

Welcome to my first in a planned ongoing series of posts: Baby Groot Around Vancouver! (and occasionally other places). I first designed my baby Groot pattern for FanExpo Vancouver in April 2015. I had made a baby Groot the previous September for a friend’s birthday, but it was based on someone else’s pattern and this time I wanted to do my own.

FanExpo was my first convention post-Guardians of the Galaxy, and I knew right away that I had to make some baby Groots – hard to go wrong with them! I made two large ones to start with and used wires so they would be posable, and then stuck them into actual pots. They’re cute, but one of my friends commented that it would be nice to have a cuddly baby Groot, one that you could give to a child or take to bed with you (platonically, geez). I resisted at first because I wanted Groot to be able to stand up on his own, and a stuffed pot wouldn’t stand up as well without something to weight it down. And the whole point was to keep it totally soft and squishy, not to mention I haven’t personally found that those little plastic pellet weights do much of anything….
I thought to myself, though, ‘hey, he would be small and probably pretty quick to make, and if the point is to make him small and cuddly then it doesn’t really matter if he stands up, right?’ So I gave it a go and ended up with this little guy.
The original soft Baby Groot!
I made 4 in total before FanExpo started, and by the time the first day was over I only had 1 left. Spent all of Saturday frantically making another one, and sold out by the time the day was over. Success! Except now I was baby Groot-less, and that made me sad. 🙁 So I made another one, and he’s mine. 🙂
(A pattern is coming, someday. I swear. If you’re interested in one, please let me know – the more people pester me, the more likely I am to get it done faster.)
Now, I’ve been trying to think of ways to take more interesting pictures than the one above, which is Groot in my living room. Woo hoo? So I decided to take pictures outside, first in the garden of my parent’s house on Bowen Island. Then I started taking more pictures – Groot on the ferry (see our header!), Groot at the lookout point near my parent’s house… and I realized that a fun idea would be do to a Baby Groot Travelogue! Mostly of Vancouver and the surrounding areas for now, though that will expand eventually (New Zealand in March… Baby Groot at Mt. Doom, wait for it!). Because hey, my job is selling Canada as a destination and Vancouver is my city, so I may as well!
Which brings us to post number 1. These were taken on a day trip with my friend Amanda about a week ago. We didn’t end up getting as much done as I’d hoped because we weren’t feeling great and decided to cut the day short, but it’s a start. I also struggled a lot with photo quality – Groot kept coming out way too dark against the background because it was such a sunny day. I’ve tried to do some colour correction on the computer, but it’s… not working so well. But I will press on and hopefully get better pictures next time!
Our first stop was the Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre. Amanda is relatively new to Vancouver and had never been up it, and on a sunny day like last Saturday the views are pretty great. http://www.vancouverlookout.com/
Groot overlooking Vancouver from the top of Harbour Centre! In the background you can see Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains

My photos with Groot weren’t turning up well up there so I took a picture without him just to show the view:

 Canada Place with a cruise ship in port, and the mountains in the background!

I gave up on trying to take pictures of Groot in front of the background (he ended up completely dark each time), and switched to taking some pictures of him in front of the giant maps inside the lookout. I don’t know, it amused us!

You are here!

Me posing with baby Groot

A more detailed photo of downtown Vancouver – Groot’s checking out the lay of the land!
Next it was off to Gastown and the Steam Clock. Gastown is the oldest part of downtown Vancouver and is the original townsite from the 1870s. The steam clock is actually much newer, which I just learned from research… I always assumed it was fairly old, but it was built in the 1970s. It’s one of only 6 steam clocks in the world, apparently! Every 15 minutes it goes off in a burst of steam and whistles, and can usually be found surrounded by tourists.
Groot wanted a photo op with Vancouver’s steam clock!

Next up we were off to FlyOver Canada, a relatively new Vancouver attraction located down at Canada Place on the waterfront. I hadn’t been yet and since we include tickets for it in our tour packages sometimes I thought it was time to check it out. I’ve got a picture of Groot hanging out at the entrance below, but photos aren’t allowed inside so that’s it. Basically, FlyOver is a virtual flight simulation where you get to ‘fly over’ Canada from the coast of Newfoundland to the coast of British Columbia. It takes about 30 minutes in total including the pre-show portion/introduction, with the ‘flight’ itself coming in around 8 minutes. I’m wary of these kinds of things because I get motion sickness easily (even, or especially, if it’s simulated motion), but I was fine and I have to say it was pretty nifty! So check it out if you’re in Vancouver, but try to avoid mid-day when the cruise ships are in… we had to wait about an hour.


Groot wants to fly over Canada! This is the closest he will get…

We took a few photos from Canada Place as well, overlooking North Vancouver and the mountains.

Groot and the North Shore mountains

Cruise ship! Looks like a Holland America one, no doubt heading up to Alaska.

We had planned to do a bunch more, but we were both tired and not feeling 100% so we decided to head to North Van and just chill at my place. Which means that Groot got to ride the Seabus! The Seabus links downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver in about 12-15 minutes. It’s largely a commuter ferry (I take it twice a day to and from work), but is also a great trip for tourists. For only a few dollars and a quick scenic boat trip, you’ll reach Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. From there, you can head up to popular tourist destinations like Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain, or explore other slightly less touristy sights such as Lynn Canyon (for a free suspension bridge and none of the tacky tourist stuff at Capilano!), Deep Cove, and Lighthouse Park.

Groot’s going on a boat!

Looking back from the walkway that leads to the Seabus – there’s Harbour Centre/Vancouver Lookout, where we were earlier!

15 minutes later we arrived at Lonsdale Quay, a marketplace on the waterfront overlooking downtown Vancouver. If you want to get a picture of the Vancouver skyline, you have to come to North Van! I’ve been going to Lonsdale Quay my entire life (check out Dex’s Burgers in the food court – one of my favourite quick burger places in the city, it’s affordable, fast, and fresh, and I’ve been eating there since I was a kid). As a child it was an exciting treat to visit, and now I pass through it pretty much every day on my way home. Lots of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and bakeries, plus random shops scattered throughout. It’s lovely to sit outside on a nice sunny day, there’s always buskers and lots of activity. And a farmer’s market on Saturdays in summer!

Groot’s at Lonsdale Quay!
Vancouver skyline in the background. This picture didn’t turn out well, unfortunately… too much sun.
And that’s it! Next up, Groot visits Bowen Island… stay tuned. 🙂