Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Holidays

Knitting the teeny tiny sweaters for hanging on the tree.. taking care not to impale any offspring..

Really, how cute is that?!

Some inspiration for some new crafty ideas ...

And a wintry vista. Happy New Year!
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

No photos yet, just relaxing and lazing and some afternoon snoozing.. will post more crafty things soon, now that most of my craftiness has found its recipient!

Hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday, and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Temporary Greens

See? No tree skirt. Pathetic. No presents either (tucked safely in the closet, the less to tempt the little ones).

Will it bloom by Christmas?
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Quiting

So this is beautiful on Cluck Cluck Sew. A WIP I haven't posted up here because it is, oh, ZERO percent done is a tree skirt. I was thinking of crocheting a really big doily to felt and then needle felt designs into it, but I could be talked into this quilt. What do you want to bet next December finds the tree skirt remaining at zero percent?!

Big Snow! Crochet Tree Light Garland and a Prezzie from Australia

The WIP from a ways back. I'm extending the ends so it will cover the whole bannister. I love how this turned out, especially for a pattern I just made up and all the acrylic yarn I had no idea what to do with = perfect project. And I needed something festive but not actual lights, given that there is no outlet near the stairs.

Thank you Gina! This aboriginal design probably never imagined it would be photographed in 12"+ of snow! Now, what to make of it...
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Friday, December 18, 2009


Yeah, but not for Christmas ... this year! So this is not a good tip if you are looking for a quick to craft item for next week, in which case I'd try a scarf out of bulky yarn (there are some ideas on Purl Bee)

My quilting skills are minimal, in fact consist of a lot of looking at other quilting blogs and loving the color combinations and thinking I wish I had the time to spend on a big project like that. Not to mention the long overdue quilt project that is already on deck (sorry, sis!)

I liked this post "how to calculate quilt math" because it is thorough, does the math, but is not hard to follow. And check out her colors and quilts - yum.

Crazy Mom Quilts

Monday, December 14, 2009

Three Little Trees and Some Tea

After seeing Maya's burlap trees I adapted the idea to - yes, the silver lamé from the robots costumes! I rolled cones from lightweight cardboard - granola bar boxes I think - then sewed cones from the lamé and snugged them over the top. I trimmed the cones to stand reasonably straight and traced disks of cardboard for the bottoms, then hotglued the cardboard to the fabric around the base. They haven't been roughly played with but they haven't disintegrated either. I have plans for a whole village of carboard fabric and hotglue houses... maybe a few per year until the village takes shape. Maya has lovely gingerbread house boxes from milk cartons -

After all that work, some refreshments were in order. Peppermint tea and fennel-lemon biscotti.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Crafting - There is Still Time!

Here is a sweet little sweater ornament - so cute! And it only takes an hour or so and about 10 yards of yarn!

Sweater ornaments with cables!

Some mini mittens ornaments from Pink Argyle

And a knitted wreath of leaves - very sweet. All these patterns are free, so not only can you use up bits of stash, you won't need any cash.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wednesday WIP - Garland, Shelf, and One Finished Wreath!

I learned with this project that hot glue gets quite brittle in the cold (uh .. duh) so this is more fragile than I expected. I think if I made another one I'd try to figure out how to hotglue the containers onto a wreath rather than just to each other. But it fit my requirements of a) something to do with those old yogurt cups and b) something super cheap (I did break down and buy the bow ($1.50) since though I racked my brains I couldn't think of something I needed to recycle that was essentially a red plastic bow...)

Ta Dah!!

So, I have a BAG full of old acrylic yarn, and a bannister that needs some garlanding for little or no $$ ...

Funky thriftstore drought ended - $5! Not loving the sun-tanned Barbie skin "color" on this bookshelf - hard to see in the photo but believe me, beyond ugly - but what retro legs! I was thinking powder blue paint, but a request has been made for apple green.
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Monday Round the Blogs - Stitch Craft, Calendars, Skirts and Scarves

Another new blog, Stitch/Craft with a few advent calendar ideas - too late for this year, but perhaps for next? I especially like the paperchain made from red white and green fabrics - with a snap closing and a special activity printed inside for each day.

And Chez Beeper Bebe led me to this shop in Etsy - the cutest calendar I've seen in a while. Jack and I have been sewing up animals printed out from CBB, I would never have thought to look but Etsy is just brimming with downloadable calendars - so save your money and put that "Pug Puppies 2010" calendar down - $5 is the going rate (and you can print and assemble as many as you want for presents too!). And when the month has passed, many of these prints are suitable for framing or you could turn them into note cards. Go handmade!!

I also try to recreate somethings I like from the store - in fact, I often talk myself out of buying something saying "I could make it, and cuter, and cheaper" forgetting the end of that sentence "about 3 years from now when I have a moment" Anyway, I have some stash plaid that this scarf idea could work on, and it would make a nice present, no? Not for anyone reading this ...

Cluck Cluck Sew scarf

A new blog I'm following - Country Girl Couture. How totally cute is this skirt, with fussy-cut and lovingly stitched applique? I'm a sucker for pincords in the winter. But wait ... I don't even wear skirts!

Country Girl Couture Corduroy Skirt

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stash Bag

This photo makes me think of summer, maybe its all my orange yarns and the sunny window light. The pattern was from the Purl Bee and went really fast in some recycled denim yarn from my favorite yarn store, Homespun Boutique in Ithaca NY. As I may have mentioned, most of my crafts right now can't be posted until after Christmas, so I thought a post about (one of) my stash bags - all those dreamed-of projects, ideas, lonely skeins - would match my mood of anticipation!
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday WIP - More Curtains

I've been told we can't have any wine and cheese parties until I fix the temporary curtains from almost 8 months ago. These wonky Ikea curtains look lovely and neutral but are terrible to sew, press, and hang, fix, press, and hang, fix again, press, and hang...
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Round the Blogs

This is the cutest little bag I've seen in a long time. And I find every day that I need a little bag for something - something I can't find in my purse, my phone, knitting needles and crochet hooks, etc. Also would be a good gift ... although I'm already finding that many if not most of my recent crafting is of the "can't post 'til Dec 26th" variety.

Saltwater Kids

A toddler hat to knit in a day from one skein of sale yarn that is also organic cotton so you don't feel bad about not buying the "good" stuff... what's not to like? And the fact that you can knit it in a day? Lovely, especially at this time of year. BUT WAIT - also, the pattern is free at Valerie's blog! Out of the park!

Frugal Family Fun Blog

AND... we printed out these animal sewing cards for fun this weekend, and fun was in fact had. I love the retro feel of the designs, and it couldn't have been easier to print, cut out, punch holes, and thread up child plastic needles with different color yarn for them.

Chez Beeper Bebe

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Red Chair Cover Up

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I decided to finally get around to covering up the ugly plate-shaped cover on the old chimney, where a stovepipe must have once gone thru (slightly above the remaining, cemented-in hole for a second stovepipe? An auxilliary stovepipe?). Someone else also thought it was ugly, but they had taped up an (equally ugly) scene of a house to it (see below). So I made this little banner to hide the whole thing, appliqued on a portrait of our thrift-store dining room chairs (there is the subject, under the mirror) and hung it by a branch as Soulemama does in Handmade Home - meant I didn't need to worry about purchasing a dowel - how easy! Just go out in the yard and look around! I also love bringing the outdoors in, we have a plate of all our nature-found goodies on the table most meals - nuts, feathers, interesting leaves - so the stick-hanger fits right in. And I'm sure now that it is set up, I'll be changing this banner out with the seasons. Must DO something about those chair cushion covers, but that's for another day.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday WIP

A while back I mentioned the dress that turned into a bag. Here it is, almost done! I had a bunch of 99 cent Sugar'N Cream from Joann's, I think, so I thought this dress from Purl Bee would be a good use of it. But being cotton it was too stiff to drape the way it should, so I still want to make the dress (bobbles are fun! but it is a summery dress anyway..) but by the time I figured out it just wasn't going to work I didn't want to rip it out. I crocheted a base in the round, then added these handles just by chaining some space and then picking them up in the next round. J has already claimed it to put trains in. I guess I should update my Ravelry page.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Round the Blogs

So two posts I'm loving - Isn't this simple? And what a great idea when you are stuck on a gift for someone - everyone has initials!

Cluck Cluck Sew

And this one - I've been seeing lots of the turquoise/red/cream combo on blogs and in quilts and around lately. But here is a light greeny-turquoise with an orange persimmon that just takes my breath away - I love this combo!! This is part of a "photo a day" challenge that this photographer took for this year - scrolling thru her work was inspiring - maybe not only for photography but for colors, moods, values..

Gabrielle Kai Photography

Friday, November 20, 2009


So here is the upcycled yogurt cup "wreath" after spray painting. Next, a big plastic red bow, and hook to hang it on.

And for something fun that we finished this week - our "big leaf" collection to compare to next year. I followed the tutorial at Frugal Family Fun Blog and hung it up over the TV - so we can glance up and be reminded to go outdoors instead of turning it on.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday WIP

But I WAS working on it yesterday. Some in my household think this is a nutty project, but I've got a ton of yogurt containers (as you can see) and I was looking for something I could make into a wreath that can hang outside in the elements now that we have a beautiful fence to hang holiday decorations on. I already have a volunteer to help paint it once the weather clears up. I may try a second version with all the same containers...

My other work in progress, prompted by hearing mice in the ceiling. I suddenly wondered why they wouldn't be in all the pasta and beans in the pantry, which would seem more suited to mouse life - and guess what I found? So I spent this morning putting everything in glass jars - which I'd meant to do forever, and in fact it really helped clear out the (obsessive) glass jar collection. Reinforcing the idea that it was a good thing to save glass jars in the first place, I guess.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Round the Blogs

Soulemama and Betz White both mentioned the "Shalom Cardi" found here at Involving the Senses, from March. I went to the current pages and cracked up a couple of times - and also found two recipes to try (one with squash and an Indian dish with okra) so have found a new blog to follow.

  • Update 11/19: the squash dish was yummy last night and leftovers will make a fantastic base for soup. I cut down the maple syrup a bit and it was still plenty sweet, and added leeks because they were there.
A local girl here at Confessions of a Counterfeit Farmgirl. Four months ago her husband went in for surgery and came out to find he has cancer. Her posts about it are unbelievably funny (like hold your sides funny, if you can believe it) and real. Check it out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


As I keep working on more pincushion jars, here are some other cushions made for our house. The larger ticking stripe cushion was to cover up a coffee-stained cover that took one too many spills. Which covered the original dark green floral - ick. The chair itself was better than thrifted, it was free with a condo we owned a while back - we found it on the teeny tiny balcony. Clearly both chairs need paint.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday WIP ... or is it?

Back in the day when thinking about and researching this blog, I noted down the features on other blogs that I liked, and one is the Wednesday work-in-progress idea. Well, I forgot last week, and this week I don't have a good photo of the project that is taking me forever - a bag for Jack that started out as a dress for Katie. Hmm, really, don't ask.

Instead, I'm going to post about a recent book bonanza which I'm sure will lead to many works in progress of the future. I've been reading about and seeing posts from these books for a while and put them on my list -

Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (from the Purl Bee, but I didn't know that until after I opened the book and read about her)

I included two links here, one to the blog where they mention making the very bag from the cover, and one to the Purl SoHo Online Store where you can purchase, or of course at Amazon.

I love love love Purl Bee, they use such lucious colors/yarns/fabrics (wouldn't you love to have that employee discount?!) and they have free directions and patterns to all kinds of beginner-friendly projects.

SouleMama's newest book, Handmade Home. I already had Creative Family, and I liked it, and love the blog, and I was really REALLY looking forward to this one. Haven't done more than glance thru it yet, and of course see the posts turning up other places. With cold and flu season upon us, I think one of the first projects may be the "Papa's Hug" hot water bottle cover made of a flannel shirt and some embroidery. Yum.

Betz White's Sewing Green. I know this is older, but you know, new to me. Betz White is the queen of felting thrift store sweaters and using up all the pieces in intricate flowers, cupcakes, and other embellishment projects. She also has created a line of outdoor-weight cottons all eco-friendly printed. Check out her blog. I just got these a day ago so have only dipped inside. Can't wait for a long nap time and a cup of tea to just peruse them at leisure.

Finally, Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book.
Have not even opened it yet! I kind of felt that with all this book goodness I needed to pace myself and save some to look forward to. As the days get shorter and grey-er I'll need some spots of brightness soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Round the Blogs

{a black pepper}

I love the aqua color in this herringbone throw and can't believe - still can't believe after thinking about it for a day - that I've never thought of doing this simple throw myself. Just unravel the ends and tie them in tassels. It seems like something you'd do in summer camp but then here is a beautiful and very sophisticated adaptation.

Checkout Girl (sachet tutorial)

I've been digging this blog ever since Soulemama mentioned this tutorial. Not just for the endless and creative variations once you get a groove going, but I love her description of herself and her journey "to a town on the ocean, a town with a museum and a bookstore, a town with a fabric store and a coffee shop, where artists live. Maybe I'll be one of them." Substitute "town in the foothills" for "town on the ocean" and I couldn't agree more.

Friday, November 6, 2009



For the Etsy Store. Aren't they cute? Wish me luck!

I had been thinking about what I could do with all my old baby food glass jars, and had been thinking about pincushions after seeing the tutorial on the Purl Bee. Of course, simultaneously someone else made them for the magazine Green Craft. But MINE have mirabou...

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