Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Something to snuggle with on Christmas night

That's what I'm hoping for anyway. I got this quilt done for Sydney just in the nick of time. It's pretty small (a lap quilt for an adult) but plenty big for her. She picked out the Mickey Mouse snowflake fabric last Spring. I think it was 75% off so I caved pretty easily even though I had no idea what we would do with it. Now, I've managed to use up every last scrap! The entire quilt is from my stash actually. I love being able to do that!

We are leaving tomorrow morning to visit family for Christmas, then returning on Thursday evening to host my family at our house on Friday. It's been a lot of work to get ready, but I'm really excited to have them all here.

I hope that all of you have a very blessed and merry Christmas. It is so easy this time of year to loose focus of the true meaning of this season, but I pray that you all can take a few moments to consider the first Christmas and what it might mean today in your life.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

digging out

Yep, still alive up here. We had quite the whopper of a storm this weekend. A blizzard in fact, complete with 10+ inches of snow, 40+ mph winds and ridiculously cold temps. Just plain crazy cold. The picture above was from 1:00 Sunday afternoon. That house across the street seemed to disappear and reappear several times that day. We are done with the snow (except for the cleanup) but the cold has stuck around. It was -12 degrees this morning. Brrr.

This is the view on our deck. I'm a little worried if it can hold all that snow! I think we might have to clean if off. Plus, it kind of gives me a claustrophobic feeling, like there is no way out. I think I've been stuck at home for too long! I snuck out last night to do some shopping but poor Sydney hasn't left home since Friday. She's going a little crazy, think we will have to venture out today.

Anyway, enough talk about the weather (that's all we talk about around here!) I did get a lot of stuff done while I was stuck at home. This is a gift for my SIL. Ask me how much I want to keep it. A lot. Idea completely stolen from here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A little more little girl Christmas...

Okay, here's another one. The recipient got this already so now I can show you.
As you may remember from last Christmas, I love to incorporate books into my gifts as much as possible. I've had the idea for a Princess and the Pea set for a long time. I think I bought the books from Barnes and Noble last summer! I made four little mini quilts to go with the book and attached a felted pea to one. My intention was to be able to let the little girl act out the book with a doll while its being read to her. And I'm sure the quilts will be used for a lot of other fun play!

The quilts are all made of the same set of 4 fabrics, some with just a couple of the prints, some with all four. I have another set of these that I think I will save and give to Sydney. (Mostly because I want to keep one!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little Girl Christmas

I'm finally starting to check some things off my Christmas list. For a while there it was just a massive pile of WIP (work in progress) and nothing done. But this one is complete, and I can actually show it to you! This set of felt food is for one of Sydney's friends. She just got a baby brother, and I thought this would be a great big sister/early Christmas gift. She has the ultimate in little kid kitchens and so she had to have the ultimate in felt food - nothing but desserts! Chocolate cake, cherry pie, donuts and cookies. These are so fun to make. I'm hoping after Christmas I can add a lot more items to Sydney's collection as well. (She's not so sure about Mama making stuff for other kids!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

And the lucky winner is
Amanda at Giddy Goat. Congratulations! Thanks to all of you for playing along!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Two Years of Blogging!

Thanks for coming back today to celebrate with me! Please leave a comment and say hello! One lucky winner will receive a pair of knitted wrist warmers. I'm still on my knitting kick, so you all might as well enjoy it as well! If you would like, let me know what color you might prefer if you are the lucky winner!!

Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!!

ETA: Hey folks, keep those comments coming! It's been so nice to hear from some new people too!! Just wanted to add that the giveaway goes until Monday morning when I will draw a name. Thanks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Time Flies

Time has flown by around here, in more ways than one. I took a little break over Thanksgiving. We left last Wednesday to visit family and didn't return home until Sunday. My plan was to decorate the house for Christmas before we left, but that of course didn't happen. Instead I just dug out all the Christmas stuff and didn't finish anything and came home to a disaster. Such fun. My parents are coming to stay tonight so you can guess what I've been up to. But the house is decorated and sort of clean and I can really buckle down and focus on gift making.

This is one little decoration I made for myself - a vase cozy I guess? It just makes everything look warm and cozy I think. The yarn is possum that my MIL got me a couple years ago in Australia. It is extremely soft (if not a little strange!)

Time has flown by in another way too. Two years ago today I started this blog. Two years ago today, I found a way to connect with some amazing people from the confines oops I mean comfort of my own home. Thank you all for reading, commenting and just being my friend. To those of you from my "real life" (Rachel, Wendy, Sara, Stacy, Becky, Mom) it means so much to me that you read this and care what is going on in my day to day life. To all of you out there that I have yet to meet in person, connecting with you through this blog has been a wonderful experience. Thank you all very much.

So, I'm off to clean my craft room so my mom and I can work on some projects while she's here. While I'm doing that, I will be thinking about some giveaway ideas for my blogiversary! Check back tomorrow and I'll let you know what I came up with!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Couple things...

Couple things on my mind today that I wanted to share with you all.
Picked up this amazing magazine last night at JoAnns. I had read some reviews on other blogs and thought it looked interesting, but wow, it is good. I'll admit, as an avid blog reader I am rather picky when it comes to magazines. Sometimes it seems like there isn't much out there that hasn't been done already 16 different ways, and how could a printed publication keep up with it all. But this magazine has done it. Check it out!

Those of you running the 2007 version of Microsoft - have you checked out OneNote?? I am loving it!! A great way to catalog all sorts of things, from shopping lists to recipes to knitting patterns. I'll have to share some shots from my notebooks in there some day. Anybody ever use Google Notebook? Its like that only on your own computer and ten times better. I'm sure Microsoft has some boring instructions somewhere, but I could write up a little demonstration on how I use it if anyone is interested. Let me know!

Sydney and I spent the morning organizing her craft & art supplies. I finally gave in and boxed up all the china out of the lower portion of my china cabinet. It is now craft central. Sydney was surprising helpful when we sorted out all of her supplies. We re-used a dozen or so old containers - sequins in an old spice container, pom poms in an old peanut butter jar, paper clips in a baby food jar, etc. Recycling all that plastic is so inefficient, I try my hardest to find a way to reuse it instead. Anyway, it's all cleaned up and ready for business now.

*A funny story for you...yesterday afternoon Sydney spent at least an hour gluing things together while I worked on some origami patterns I've been wanting to try. Last night her dad put her to bed while I was out running errands. Her bedtime prayer included "and thank you for a very wonderful crafting day." Ha!*

Hope you all have some fun plans for the weekend! I hope to finish lots of Christmas presents. We'll see!

Take care.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Change of Season Pillows

It seems with every season change I make new pillows for our sofa. Nothing as spectacular at this of course, but it works. The pillow in the back is made from leftover curtain fabric. The front pillow is part of a felted sweater. I didn't have much left so it is pieced together. The back is the same curtain fabric, the buttons hide an unmatched seam! More cozy-ing up to come! It is getting down right cold around here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pickle Mittens

So obviously I've been spending way too much time on Ravelry. LYS means local yarn shop. Which in my case is 6 blocks from my house. I ventured in there a while back and actually controlled myself. I bought two skeins of yarn - the aqua from yesterday and this amazing green which is an organic cotton also by Blue Sky Alpacas. I used pretty much every last inch of the green (called Pickle!) to create these mittens.
Even with Ravelry and all the amazing wonders it contains, I couldn't find a mitten pattern that I liked. Everything looked so big and puffy. I was looking for extra long (of course) and slim and sleek. So, with what I learned on Fetching, I forged ahead on my own.
This teeny little pile of scraps is what I had left. I refuse to buy more yarn just to knit a thumb!! I actually ended up taking an inch off the bottom of each mitten to make this work. Ridiculous I know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A couple of weeks ago Sydney and I spent the weekend with my family. I took the opportunity to use my Dad's fancy power tools (and his assistance) to make myself some double pointed knitting needles. I was getting sick of picking patterns based on the size needles I already had on hand. So for a little over $2 I made three sets of needles (5 per set).

To make these I took a needle gauge with me to the hardware store and compared the dowels to standard needle sizes. If you plan to try this, figure out how long you want your needles to be before you go. Then with some quick math at the store you'll know how many of each dowels to purchase. The dowels I found were 4 feet long so I was able to get five 9 inch needles from each one.

Next, we cut them accordingly and sanded away on my Dad's very large stand alone belt sander. Once I got home I spent a while hand sanding them. Then I sprayed them with lacquer, sanded again, sprayed again and sanded again. I used them to finish the hat I posted about yesterday and actually ended up sanding them again after I was done with the hat. It's hard to notice the very small imperfections until you start to really knit. But, once they are smooth they work like a gem! Plus, I love using things I made myself!
P.S. The yarn in the photo is Blue Sky Alpacas sport weight in Pale Aqua (514). I keep carrying it around and touching it trying to decided what to make with it. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting cabled away

The cables have sucked me in! (Even though they take me forever.) I think I may have finally finished a hat that actually fits me. I used some clearance Lion Brand Jiffy yarn. I have more of it and plan to make some sort of scarf to coordinate with it. The pattern is from this book that I checked out from my local library. The hat was really short on me the first go around so I ended up taking out the top decreased section in order to go back and add more length. Gotta cover those ears you know!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Crunch Time...

Busy working on a couple of deadlines lately. I am a constant procrastinator. How does one get rid of this horrible habit?
Anyway, here is a tiny sneak peek at one of my projects. I don't want to spill the beans yet, afraid I might just jinx it.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I design the newsletter for our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at church. This is my second year doing it and I've decided this year that it is much easier to bribe others to contribute content than it is to write my own. And what better bribe than a cute zippered pouch!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I've been on a knitting kick lately. It has been cold and rainy here (it even snowed yesterday!) and thus, perfect knitting weather in my book. These are one of my finished products. Fingerless gloves from the Fetching Pattern. Found via Ravelry of course. This was my first time attempting cables - they are so fun and easy, I'm not sure why I haven't tried them sooner. Each glove took about two days (not constant of course, just when I could sneak in a few rows.) These were knit using Patons SWS in Moss, which is a wool/soy blend. I thought the yarn felt nice and soft, but once I got one done I knew it was way too itchy for me. Luckily my mom really liked them so they are now going to be a Christmas gift for her. Not a very good surprise, but I hope she enjoys them just the same!

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the 4x1 ribbing. I'm not very experienced with double pointed needles yet, so I always end up with a weird gap between needle breaks. But this pattern was thought out so well that the pearls in the ribbing end up right wear the needle breaks would be making them seem truly seamless! The thumb on this pattern was a little tricky. Ravelry to the rescue! I searched the forum posts for help on it and found this link. (Moron note - probably obvious to everyone else, but when the pattern says use waste yarn so you can remove it later it would be wise to use a contrasting color yarn so you had some chance of locating it again.) Once you give it a try it will be easy as pie, trust me. I'm already working on my second pair - this one to keep!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thankful Journal

I'm hoping we can start a new tradition in our family with this project. It is a Thankful Journal. I decorated 10 pages - 3 for each of us to share something we are thankful for and one page for a family photo. Sydney was very excited to work on it. She has a Bernstein Bears book about counting blessings and loves to list all of her blessings. It usually is the first thing in sight, or some obscure thing that pops into her head. But you can't argue with toilet paper and orange juice being a blessing, right?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hi there! I'm back, you didn't know I was going to be gone, but now I'm back. Last week seemed to get away from me somehow. Lots of activities, company, and a trip out of town sucked up all my blogging time I guess! In between all of that I have been working on some projects. Several knitting projects and some Christmas gifts, but I can only share a few of them...blogging around Christmas is so hard! I want to share everything, but too many surprises would be ruined. Anyway, the picture above is my work in progress pile. Any guesses as to what all those things are? :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

button-tab hat in extra small

Just got back from the Pumpkin Patch where Sydney got to try out her new hat. It definitely got the stamp of approval. I made it using this pattern, with the intentions of making myself a hat. But somewhere along the way I totally screwed it up and it became small enough for Sydney. Wish I could tell you what I did, but I honestly don't remember. I can tell you though, the hardest part was picking the button!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a little yellow house with a little pink door

Yesterday a miracle happened - my house was clean, dishes done, child sleeping all at the same time! Woohoo! So I spent some time working on a gift for a special little girl using this tutorial.

I worked on it some more after supper and had it done before I went to bed. I love those kind of projects - done in a day with supplies I had on hand.

And of course, Sydney has requested one for herself. She wants hers to be a red bird house. Personally I think making this as a bird house is a great idea. Add it to the list I guess!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn Trees

Simple Autumn greetings.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simplicity in Gray

Over the weekend I was inspired by this post by Amanda Jean. The simplicity of the quilt was just perfect. I decided to go for it, with my own twist. I started out in my stash of vintage fabric (I keep it separate from the rest of my stash.) Then things just went from there! Here is the top...

(Wow, the camera really shows off the wrinkles doesn't it! Sorry!)

And a close-up of the patterned fabrics. The back is going to be more of the off-white fabric, with some piecing worked in somehow. Now I just need to get some batting and decide how to quilt it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kimono Sweater

I've been working on several knitting projects. The weather is just right for getting me in the mood for it I guess. I think I have become obsessed with Ravelry too. You've been there, right? If you knit or crochet you must go there now and sign up. It might take a couple days to get your invite - but it's definitely worth the wait! (And it's free!) Tons of free patterns, advice from other knitters, I could go on and on.

Anyway, I knitted this very simple sweater/vesty type thing for Sydney. It is a wrap around kimono style sweater that was knit all in one piece from the bottom up, then folded in half and stitched together. Super easy, maybe even too easy, it could have used a little more shape. But it's cute, quick and very warm.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dresses for Fall

I've been trying to round out Sydney's Fall and Winter clothes with some handmade outfits. This is the first I've actually finished. It will be worn with a long sleeved t-shirt under it and leggings when things cool off. But it is actually 80 degrees here today, so there was no chance in getting her to model all that.

I'm debating shortening it up a little, since it will be worn with leggings of some sort. What do you think? It falls just below the knee right now.

I've been working on a brief overview/tutorial on bookmaking for those of you who asked. I'm absolutely no expert, but just wanted to share my experiences with you. Check back soon!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year, hands down. I love the colors, the weather, the decorations, the food. I love that crunchy noise when you walk through leaves. I love that fall decorations can hang in your house for months before you have to take them down. I love pumpkin everything (especially this and these are perfection.) I love wearing sweaters without a winter coat. I love collecting leaves. I love that when I asked Sydney what Fall means she said it's when the leaves turn colors and fall off the trees. (Who knew she was actually listening!)
Over the weekend I pulled out all my tweeds and wool fabrics to make this little leaf garland. It has literally been on my to do list for 2 years! I tried to find the easy way out though. Instead of using heat-n-bond and putting fabric on the back (which is what you should do) I cut out the leaves and used spray adhesive to glue them to some brown craft paper. They are a little curlier than I would have liked, but they work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book Making

I am crazy excited to share this project with you! As many of you know already, I love to re-purpose old stuff into new usable objects. I've had this one in mind for a while and am just a little shocked that it actually worked!

I bought this book last week at a thrift store for 10 cents. I cut out all the old pages and remade the book with fun end papers and blank pages for journaling. I learned a ton about bookbinding from several dozen websites - then pretty much just did it my own way and crossed my fingers it would work. It's certainly not perfect, but has that rustic handmade look!

My apologies to Anne Nichols for destroying her book - a lovely play, but she's been dead for several decades now so I think it will be okay. And of course, I saved the pages for some other project yet to be discovered. Waste not, want not, right?

And now, the possibilities are endless! Lots of gift ideas looming around here. If you have any desire to do a project like this be warned it's not a quick one! There is a lot of time consuming cutting, folding, hand sewing, gluing and drying involved here, but it is so worth it! Let me know if you need some more details before you get started.

Monday, September 15, 2008

clip to it

Another attempt to inspire me to plan meals around here. This decoupaged clipboard hangs on my fridge (it has a gigantic magnet on the back) and will hopefully hold my menu, recipes, etc. So far our plans include a lot of cereal and leftovers. Hard to just eat leftovers if you don't ever cook though!