You know what scares the crap out of me? Balloons and babies in the same room. Babies (and toddlers, too) love to try to bite them. I'm always so scared that the balloon will pop and hurt the child, or even worse, get lodged in an airway. I was stumbling a while back, and came across this shop on etsy and noticed they sell balloon balls! The basic idea is that the balloon is blown up inside these fabric balls, and -while remaining just as fun- becomes more safe for children. I thought "I can make that!" and did some research. After some trial and error, I came up with this pattern. I promise, it's easy enough as long as you have some knowledge on how to operate a sewing machine. I HATE sewing, but I managed to do it and made two yesterday. It's simple enough that even taking pictures every move, it only took me an hour to complete. I will not be selling these in my shop, I've got too much other stuff going on, so I figured it would be nice to share the pattern with everyone! Beware- it's rather detailed and very picture heavy.
You will need to download, print, and cut out the balloon ball template.



(EDIT 4/2/13: a lot of people have been asking for the tutorial. I'm not certain why it's not showing up here, but it can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/124932034/Balloon-Ball-Tutorial)
*****UPDATE 8/19/13*****
Below, I've attached a PDF of the template. If it doesn't work for you, let me know!
balloonballtut.pdf
File Size: 22644 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

balloonballtemplate.pdf
File Size: 322 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

 
 
As you've noticed, my website looks a bit different today. There are now more ways to order, more things to order, and more pictures to look at.

You may have noticed a link over there to the right that says "support Autism awareness". That's new too. Why are we advocating this? It's a great cause, and a very underfunded research. One of my sisters has a form of autism. As a kid, I never knew what was going on, why we visited so many different "doctors", or why people kept saying "She falls in the Autism spectrum". I didn't know what autism was, what it entailed, or how it affected us. I just knew that she was my little sister. A person who happened to have autism.

Some people view autism as a way people are "broken". Like a toy, that, new out of the box, just doesn't work right. Well, I'm going to say that view is wrong. Autism, to me, is something that affects a person. Something over which they, nor anyone else, have no control over. People with autism are not broken toys, dull crayons, or bruised apples. They are mystery packages, with great life-changing surprises inside. They are glitter crayons that when colored with, make the drawings swirl and shine with vibrant color. They are apples with a sweeter taste, better than the rest. Why? Because they have to work SO much harder to be able to do the things "normal" people can. 

My sister once asked me, "Do you have an automatic shifter in your brain?" Confused by this, I said, "Sure" to which she replied "Mine is a standard." She stated this so knowingly, so certain, that it leads me to believe that autism is just a different way to think. Us "normal" people have brains that relate like to like, while my sister finds ways to relate things to each other that have absolutely nothing in common. She manually shifts her thoughts, while mine go about by themselves. 

Many years ago, I was asked, by a professional nonetheless, what it was like to have a sister with autism. I replied simply "I don't know." She looked, confused, "What do you mean 'I don't know'?" I stated, "She's my sister, she's my normal."


Which leads me to this- I believe some people practice autismism. Like racism or sexism, it can be just as harsh, just as demeaning and immoral. People have made the word "retarded" slander, just as "gay". Sometimes, these words, while not intended to be hurtful, are. Sometimes, it's just the way something is said, like "Oh, she's autistic" said in the manner of "Oh, she's an alcoholic."

It's not these people's fault that they're born this way, just like it's not my fault i was born blonde. They didn't choose this, so we shouldn't reprimand them for being who they are. 

That was a lot more than I had intended to type, I just got caught up. Anyway, the point of that was supposed to be that autism awareness is a great cause. It's obviously worth MY time, how about you?
 
 
Seriously. But I don't think it will be in the cards until after Christmas, maybe even later, like tax season. 
How awesome would it be to have "www.stuffbysteph.com"? Right?

If you think it's a good idea, I encourage you to donate to the cause using the button on the right.
No, I'm not begging for money... This is just something that would be great to have sooner rather than later. Who knows how long that name will even be available!
 
 
Drumroll please...
In 3rd place is Donna P. She is the winner of a custom headband! 
In 2nd place- Amy K. Congratulations! You get a necklace, color of your choice.
And last, but not least, first place winner of a custom hat & mittens set is...
Tammy B.!
Ladies, you will be emailed shortly. Check your inboxes!
Thank you for everyone who entered the contest, I promise you will be glad you entered ;)
 
 
After trying and trying last night to get all of my photos online, I came to a standstill with weebly. Apparently in order to store that many photos, I would need to upgrade to weebly pro- an expenditure I cannot afford. I decided to go the old Photobucket route for the slideshow in my gallery- though loading times may be slower, I can upload an unlimited amount of photos. I can even update on the go with my Photobucket mobile app! Finally, a solution that works.
 
 
I love getting feedback! Seriously, it helps to make what I do easier, and helps make use of my website easier. 
From A.K.-"I love the pictures you post, would like to see more headbands as that is what my newborn will most likely be wearing from your collection! :o)"

and J.C.-"Need more photos! Your stuff is AWESOME, but you should have photos of every single finished product!"

I agree ladies! I know there is a very small amount of photos in the gallery. I recently changed how the gallery looked, and that involved dumping a lot of links. So tonight, I will dedicate my time to uploading some photos!
Thanks for the feedback! If any of you readers have anything to add, please let me know!
 
 
This will be fantastic.
The contest opens tomorrow morning at 8am EST.  If everything goes well, all winners should receive their gifts before the new year. Get your entries in by Monday, the 7th- voting will continue through to the 15th. Remember, votes are important so ask your friends to help you out!! They're allowed to vote once every 24 hours.

  • 1st prize: A hat with matching mittens. The winner will choose size/color/style.
  • 2nd prize: A necklace set- the winner will choose color.
  • 3rd prize: A hand crocheted headband- the winner picks size & can choose between black & white.

You can only enter through my facebook page- so be sure to head over and check it out!
 
 
Well, it's about time. Right now, you can custom order any hat and i will make it for just $10. Seriously. Shipping is only $5. What a deal! Jump on this train just in time for christmas- click "Custom Order" no
 
 
A lot of my Etsy listings are about to expire, or have already. That being said, I decided to extend some of the listings so I could have a sale! Anything hemp is priced to sell- and quick. These are all quality hand-made necklaces and bracelets. They've all been marked down as much as 50%. So if you're a hemp lover like me, head on over to Etsy (or simply click my purchase tab) and buy to your heart's content ;)
 
 
I keep getting so distracted... This past weekend I managed to make 15 headbands to post on Etsy. I've only managed to post two so far. The internet connection at work (my mom's house: where I am for a large chunk of the day) is rather slow and it just takes so long to upload a picture.

Speaking of Etsy, that's not going so well. I've only sold 2 items since I opened the shop in 2009. Am I charging too much? How do I get my name out there without feeling like I'm spamming everyone? I'm not so good at the promoting thing. Definitely better at making things.

Today I plan on making another stocking hat. Yesterday, I managed to make my son an awesome monkey hat. He chose the animal and the colors! It came out GREAT!!

Don't forget, if you like any of my creations you can email me for more info by completing the "Contact Us" link to the left. I can do any color, any size. 
Picture
Kaylen's monkey hat.