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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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy to Have Curtains

This was one of those little easy projects that just took forever to get to, but then I was so happy when the curtain finally went up. In direct proportion to how long it took to get it done. Lovely small print rose knit fabric from one of my all-time favorite shops, now only accessible to me on holidays - Homespun Boutique in Ithaca, NY.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Round the Blogs

A fun post on costumes from last week, and one on pj's and decorations:

- especially loving the ladybug girl, we just read one of the books last week.

Shivaya Naturals
- how did she get the long skinny teeth on her jack-o-lantern?

Cute Robot Costume

Almost entirely repurposed! I bought a can of yellow spray paint (which I'm sure I'll use on other projects) and some silver lamé since I couldn't find any at the thrift store, in any format. The outfit was from a thrifted woman's top that I cut into a toddler pajama pattern I made a while back. I added scrap yellow knee and elbow pads, don't ask why as I'm not entirely sure but it seemed to go with the vibe. Sweet Potato didn't like the box we originally made for her, too constricting, so I cut it down to be a sandwich board which also worked better for getting her into and out of the car. I sewed "dials" on the front and back out of large lids (oatmeal and cream cheese, I think) - I sewed them through to buttons on the inside, so they'd be able to turn. Then I hot-glued smaller knobs on to hide the sewing. Finally, I made a modified hat out of the silver lamé - it was lovely to work with, thick and stretchy at the same time. I painted yogurt cups yellow and cut slits at the mouth on either side, then threaded elastic through and sewed that to the hat. That allowed the "ears" to move and hopefully made it more comfortable.

You can see her volume goes up to 11.
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