Saturday, October 29, 2011

I need a little baby for a little fall stroller blanket

Just kidding - I need a little baby of my own like I need another hole in my head!  But I need to think of one that we know who might like a little stroller blanket now that the days are getting crisp.

The photo is an optical illusion - the blanket is only at 22" x 28" but I draped it over this miniature garden bench we have in the backyard (you know, for when we have miniature guests at our numerous barbeques!)  The story of this blanket is that I had all these different partial skeins of cotton-ease and other cotton-y yarns in my scrap stash of yarn. I thought I'd have enough to do a sort of random garter square patchwork - pretty much like what you see here.  I still have a little of a couple of colors left, but did use something that I would have eventually stuffed in a bag and either squirrelled it away where I wouldn't have to look at it or given it to our care provider, who has a magical way of incorporating random bits of crafty stuff into activities for the kids. No kidding - she's magical.

I have a couple of other knitting projects on the needles at the moment and some things queued up - but I'm trying to finish off UFOs and stash yarn only for awhile.

Actually - I'm also going on a fabric diet - my obesity issues with fabric are greater right now than yarn. So I'm quilting away when I have at least 15 minutes at a time on the Christmas quilt:

It would be great to finish in time to enter in the Blogger's Quilt Festival happening right now, but I don't know if I can finish quilting and bind it by next Friday.  If not, I'll find another quilt to enter - I love the BQF at Amy's blog!

Have a great weekend and a fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do home projects that your husband did count as crafty?

Well, I'm posting about this bike rack anyway, because it was my idea and it came out so well!

We recently spent too much money rebuilding our garage.  Our garage was in such bad shape that the assessor for our home value when we bought our house didn't even count it as any value at all. He joked he should take something off since we'd have to tear it down.

For more than 10 years, Mr. Wonderful crippled that garage along to act as a storage place for a great number of things. But it was disgusting - dark, leaky, rotten wood, full of black widow spiders kind of bad. And Mr. Wonderful has never had even a workbench to call his own around here. Our house is pretty small for a family of four and without a garage there just wasn't anyplace to put hobby stuff for him besides nooks and crannies in the basement and the leaky, rotting, falling down garage. Poor man.

Now we have a shiny rebuilt garage with electricity, lighting, and even drywall!  Not only that, but our contractor "finished" a part of the walk-in crawl space with a nice concrete pad for just another grand (notice how it's always multiples of $1000 for any change order?)  I call it our "sub-tic" because not only is our house small, it doesn't even have an attic for storage of things like Christmas decorations or camping equipment.  We'll have to keep the storage locker at least for now, but this does open up a lot of possibilities.

What do we not have? Money to outfit this shiny garage with.  But one of the main space-sucking things we need to store in there are bicycles.  When it's nice, the bikes in use at any given time get locked up in the backyard with this  - a brilliant little latching post made out of plumbing parts (Mr. Wonderful is just so clever).

Okay remember at the beginning when I said the bike rack was my idea?  No, it was not my idea - I found it on the internet of course!  At to be precise...

I went in search of space-saving bike storage  on the world wide web, and came across this:

Nifty huh? Couple of 2 x 4s, a bunch of long wood screws, and a bunch of big hooks.  That's it (except for the work of putting it together which I gather was relatively simple in the world of home improvement projects).

The hooks are cleverly staggered
I think this baby holds 6 bikes in all.

Just a view from the door.  Basically what you see is what you get - there isn't a vast space over to the right or anything.  There will be a workbench or two though, and this bike solution rocks the space utilization!

Friday, October 21, 2011

bumpy roads lately, but a couple of WIPs worth mention

I can't just get a little bout of the 24 hour "flu" like some folks huh?  now, why is that?  Last Sunday I started feeling a little feverish and just "yucky", but not overtly sick. Went to work Monday, and then had to hoof it home trying to be safe on the freeway while keeping myself together, if you know what I mean!.  This episode felt an awful lot like last December in Switzerland. The one where Mr. Wonderful finally had to com fly me home via our travel insurance service (still have to plug MedJetAssist! if you travel even more than a few hundred miles away from home it is sooooo worth it!).  I have this one sad commentary on the whole teeny Swiss Hospital where they didn't know what to do with me vs. our system of putting people in ER, no continuity to a single point of contact, release after a few hours with unclear and unaffective regimen of medication, then repeat 48 hours turns out the same.  The same.  Except for the plane flight and stress of being across the world

Okay, got that out of my system.  I actually started a new blog today in which I will attempt to take control of my own health using this rock bottom place as a starting point.  Feel free to check out "Janet's Self Help Book" at  But there won't be any crafting on that blog unless it's cool stuff to make with the freebies you find in your exam room while you wait in 30 minute increments.

In which case I will cross-post (can you do that? I never had 2 blogs before).

AND NOW BEHOLD IN ALL IT"S UNFINISHED GLORY.....THE TEEN WONDER T=SHIRT QUILT! (this is in all caps because I have a little Monty Python score playing in my head while I write it...teee deeee!  booom booom bom bom bom. crash)

Sad that I can't go outside an take a decent photo, but I still look like hell warmed over. And anyway, you can get the idea of it's overall magnificence even cropped.  The overall size is something like 59" x 78".  I'll ask Teen Wonder if she had some specific use in mind, but I doubt it.

I really wish I'd take photos of the pile of shirts and then the pile of scraps with not even enough for a seam allowance after she agreed to "what the lump, i'll just cut 'em out for you if it such a bunch of work". Then I went back and salvaged a few I figured she might like to see someday even if she doesn't think so now. There is a lot of ad hoc piecing here my friends!

Since TW can wait until Christmas for this, or even as a Grad present, I folded it neatly, made an attempt at tidying up the craft area and decided to tackle another space hog - the Christmas quilt.  Remember this quilt?

We'll I basted with pins on my dining table in halves.  I used these funky rubber tips for regular pins instead of saftety pins, so we'll see how that comes out.  Anyway, once I'm back to something a little normal and caught up in the backlog of work, maybe I can start some FMQ on this project!

Go Whoop it up at Sarah's Linky - and here's to good health for all of you!