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Welcome Spring Calendar Fail

by Shoveling Ferret

A few months back Craft Magazine and Singer Sewing Machines sponsored a “Crafting with Nature Contest.” All you had to do was use a sewing machine in your creation and somehow incorporate nature. I was all kinds of excited and came up with the idea of a sort of Advent calendar, but for spring. I thought it would be an awesome way to teach kids to observe the world around them as spring came, that it would be easily customizable for different families and geographic locations, etc.
Now, before I show the pictures, you have to be aware that I had NEVER, EVER used a sewing machine before. Never.
So, I drew a sketch of what I wanted and brain-stormed ideas and I got my husband to take me to several craft/fabric stores. I picked up a few fat quarters to use for a background of ground, mountains, and sky, some felt for the tree trunk and leaves, etc., and some backing fabric, along with velcro to attach the leaves, etc.
Then I started work.
Did I mention I had never used a sewing machine before? And that I hate measuring things? And that the only thing I failed in kindergarten was cutting a straight line with scissors?  Also, fabric markers don’t work on felt (at least not when I’m trying to do it).  I discovered that little tidbit the night before the deadline.   Thus the suck-tastic paper tags hot-glue gunned to the felt leaves.  They say things like “first leaves,”  or “first flowers.”  I should have added “first indication that Shoveling Ferret sucks at this and should give up.”

Yeah, its not just lopsided from the way its hung...

Yeah, it's not just lopsided from the way it's hung... This is with the leaves/events on the trees.

Here you can see the lovely border, sewn with seams that are no where near straight, and with lovely gaps between pieces because I suck.   I can’t even blame this on my hand tremors.  This is just total unadulterated FAIL.

Here it is without the leaves.  The velcro is really stylin

Here it is without the leaves. The velcro is really stylin'

Close-up of the spring bunny and crappy flower

Close-up of the spring bunny and crappy flower

Craptastic deer and awesome froggie, also note the really sad attempt to pull the pieces of the felt frame/border together

Craptastic deer and awesome froggie, also note the really sad attempt to pull the pieces of the felt frame/border together

I feel I should note here that I am fiercely proud of the little felt froggie. Look at the awesome embroidered eye, complete with a little white speck to show eye-shine.

In any case, if you go to the flickr links for these photos, you can see my hilarious attempt to spin my multiplicity of FAILS into advantages – the screwed up seams are totally organic and um, stuff…

Needless to say, I did not win. (Yes, I was crazy enough to go ahead and enter the whole mess hoping for pity points, I guess.) At all. I think I may actually have accrued FAIL points for any future contests I might enter. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t win. I would have then had to explain that no, I’m not actually a toddler, so, no, this isn’t actually really amazing considering…
I did have fun though. I have yet to return to my sewing machine, but I will and look forward to it. Hopefully it won’t turn out quite this badly.

15 Responses to Welcome Spring Calendar Fail

  1. GinkgoKnits says:

    The concept is indeed an excellent one — as is that frog! If there was a spring advent calendar in grade school, I would have been really enjoyed competing to spot the “firsts.”

  2. TexasWren says:

    Your frog is adorable–it looks very froggy!!

    Hm, I’m thinking that instead of one panel with velcro, you could do 4 panels and sew them together, then unfold/refold for each new season. And, if you made it of felt, then the leaves and flowers would stick to the felt–remember felt story time at school?

    And then,…sorry, my brain goes into a sort of enthusiasm fit now and then. I still think it’s a great idea!

  3. It’s pretty good for a no-experience sewing machiner!! I would definitely say don’t give up! :)

  4. katie says:

    it’s cute. and it’s a lot better than what my first machine sewing attempt was.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments! I still really like the concept, I just wish I had pulled it off better. Maybe someday…

    Shoveling Ferret’s last blog post..Wow, just when I thought I couldn’t possibly think less of him

  6. Nikki says:

    Yeah, it’s a fail. But the animals are super cute!

    Nikki’s last blog post..I know I’m not supposed to…

  7. Karen says:

    That frog is really adorable. It was a cute idea.

    Karen’s last blog post..And now back to our regular programming…

  8. Notagirlymom says:

    The concept is awesome, even if the execution is fail. :)

  9. krissy says:

    Thought the deer was a fox, LOL. Liked the bunny and flower, couldn’t figure out what was wrong at all, the flower didn’t look “crappy” to me, until I considered it’s placement, LOL. Okay, are we getting a little silly yet? Anyway, let’s just call that thing a fox, and we’ll be okay! :)

  10. marybt says:

    All I can say is … that looks like I sewed it! lol.

    marybt’s last blog post..Because EVERY kid looooves broccoli rabe.

  11. Rachael says:

    the frog is lovely.

    if this doesn’t add insult to injury, why does the deer have googly eyes when none of the other animals do?

  12. I totally forgot to mention the googly eyes! The deer has them because a) it was the only animal they would fit on; b) I had them left over from another project; c) I have an unfortunate addiction to googly eyes.

    Shoveling Ferret’s last blog post..Kitchen Witch Clothespin Doll for Mom

  13. I LOVE this – the concept of a spring advent calendar is absolutely fabulous – and to be honest, I don’t think the execution is bad at all. Of course, the froggy is cute, but I actually kinda like the deer, too, googly eye and all. Flower & bunny looked fine (except maybe a little too close to bunny’s butt) and overall, esp. for a first attempt I think it is not half bad at all. And girl, you are one up on me – I’m too afraid of sewing my fingers to give sewing machines a try.
    Oh – and I meant to say – I absolutely LOVE the fabric selection. The two kinds of green, the tree. You really do have a knack for this, I think – even if you’re dissatisfied with your first attempt. Keep practicing!
    I’m going to try to remember your Spring Advent calendar idea and maybe do something like that in my own artwork sometime, or maybe like TexasWren suggests, do an “every season” advent calendar. Very very clever idea!

    amateur-in-art’s last blog post..Art Map

  14. Thanks for the nice comments. I did really really like the concept. Now I just have to work out better execution. And I hope other people try it out too – I think they could be really fun.

    Shoveling Ferret’s last blog post..Breakdown the First

  15. nkitkat says:

    I love the “border/frame” detail ! , I think it looks very artistic :-)

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