Saturday, January 28, 2012

Put a pin in it!

One cute little project I've been meaning to make for ages.  A pin cushion!  Now I realize that I need at least a couple more.

Nothing like a little instant gratification, right?  Whoop Whoop!

I've been busy getting life back in order after being sick so much in the past 3 months - work, home, husband, kids - every piece of my life has been pretty neglected. I have a long list of home and craft projects - but some have to take priority. Like making these heart shaped crayons for Wild Thing's class valentine. We need 26 of them, so our thumbs are sore from peeling paper off broken crayons.  

There are several tutorials on the web of how to melt pieces of crayon in a mold to get multi-colored crayons in fun shapes.  The one we used is on

We'll need to smooth the back edges by rubbing on paper, then pick a valentine message to put on card stock, and stick the hearts on. But we'll do that another day.

I found the molds at IKEA yesterday. I also bought some stuff to help organize my craft space - it is a complete mess!  And while I was browsing through the fun fabrics they have (I was good and didn't buy any this time!) I found some curtains for Teen Wonder's room.  I don't have a before picture, but it would have just been darkness anyway. The heavy denim curtains were still there from when it was Wild Thing's nursery, and when we replaced all our windows with new energy efficient ones that matched the style of the house better than '70s single pane aluminum sliders, the awesome (and expensive) custom shade for that window wouldn't fit.  Teen Wonder kept the dark curtains shut ALL THE TIME and that bedroom gets the best light of the 3 we have. She said she didn't like the "no privacy" feeling when they were open.  Well, I cut them to length and hemmed them and pressed them and hung them up before she got home as a surprise.  She loves them, and even closed completely, some light comes through. They are double layer, so she can put back only the print panels and have night filtered light.  So today, what do I see?  They are totally open!

Teen Wonder - a wonderful mystery to us all!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

True Blue cowl to warm in this stormy weather

Another catch up post...

so, I had 3 balls of this squishy blue Debbie Bliss Como yarn and thought it would make a nice cowl - I'm seeing more and more of this style (i.e. cowl vs scarf). Yay Ravelry - I love Ravelry.  After some searching through the pattern database I found a pattern for this mobius cowl made from the same yarn!

The stitch was an interesting one - I noticed that some knitters used a traditional seed stitch, and I almost started over to do that at one point, but I decided to stay with the pattern as written. I like that the cowl is "reversible" but not the same on both sides.  

Attempt at self portrait - I never see my family in the daylight hours during the week and on the weekend I always forget to ask Mr. Wonderful to take a pic.  But self pictures are pretty common among knitters, so I'm in good company there. 

The seaming was interesting too - a three needle bind off.  I thought about  Kitchener stitch, but again went with the pattern.  I really like the different textures of this piece with the two sides and also the rib formed by the seam.

Below is a more close look at the stitches.  I really like how it turned out, and it is so snuggly and warm. It's a bigger "profile" around my neck than I'm used to, but it works.  I knit this up while traveling to Seattle, Olympia, and Portland to visit colleges for Teen Wonder and to see some family (briefly).  It was snowing when we left but we really got out in just the knick of time last week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Another belated Christmas gift - colorful tote bag

Here is the second project I made for someone for this Christmas - I haven't even given it to her yet!  It's for our afterschool care provider - she's been taking care of Wild Thing since he was a wee babe, and along with her husband they are extended family more or less. They took care of Teen Wonder too and have known us for more than 10 years now.

She's also crafty, and we like to give them a little end of year bonus check but usually also a handmade gift - and normally it's something that I've helped Wild Thing make, but this year that just didn't happen due to circumstances beyond all control.

I still wanted to make something special for her because they are so generous and we trust them with our most precious family treasures - our kids!

I used laminated cotton scraps leftover from my kitchen chair makeover for the exterior (Michael MIller print I think), and the interior is a decor weight cotton that's been in my stash for a long time (Valori Wells). I also used a fusible interfacing on the exterior pieces and squared up the bottom so the tote can stand on it's own.

 The lining has 2 pockets and a snap hook for keys or whatever.  I used strips of batting to pad the straps for more comfort toting books around!

I sure hope she uses the bag - it sounds like our other gifts in the past get put on a shelf sort of shrine fashion or she's afraid to get them dirty or worn out.  

But I like my gifts to get worn out!  Then I can make more with some justification!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FO's in the face of repeated bouts of illness - I will persevere!

I know it's halfway through January already - but Happy New Year!

I haven't gotten too much crafty goodness accomplished in the past couple of months.  It's just been...well...rough around here.  My body just can't seem to get the message from my brain that I have better things to do than be sick and sleep and rest.  I haven't even dared yet to put any resolutions for the new year to paper...but perseverance will be my motto, and health my main goal.  Since making stuff makes me happy, I want to continue as much as possible - but the late night sessions will need to be curtailed so I won't be as productive, I'm imagining.

blah blah blah...I only made a couple of Christmas gifts this year as a result of all that stuff - and overall, that is okay. I don't have so very many crafty friends or family who really are impressed by handmade (sadly). My immediate family get these types of gifts as they roll off the needles, so they are understanding. But I do have a few people I like to make things for to go along with a charitable contribution "gift" at Christmas. For example, the only thing my mom asked for was another zippered pouch - I had made her a Noodlehead Gathered Clutch last year and she liked it so much she found herself wanting zippered pouches for other uses like carrying a little notebook and such.

I think you can never have too many zippered pouches - do you?

Since mom was here over Christmas, I snuck in a pouch just under the wire - I used Keyka Lou's pattern for a zip pocket pouch. I think it turned out pretty well - it was hard to know the first try where to place the applique so the pouch would fold up correctly but I came pretty close.

The Applique is from Meringue designs - I love her modern embroidery patterns!

I have all this denim from some old curtains in Wild Thing's room before it became Teen Wonder's room - endless amount of fabric! (IKEA curtains originally - they were so long!)

Here's the pouch opened up - it has a pocket to slip a notebook into (a little one), and a zippered pocket.  I think this would make a perfect small wallet and plan to make more of these.  The lining was a random FQ from my stash - I don't remember where it came from.

Mom seems happy with it - I was in such a rush to get it finished before she left that I totally forgot to take any photos - so thanks mom for sending these pix!

I have at least 3 other little projects that I've finished recently too...but no photos yet. So stay tuned...for the moment I'm healthy-ish and back at work. I'd like to get more blogging in too!