Monday, May 5, 2008

hello, baby bunting(flags)

Friday night I got together with some crafty chicas,and we sewed until midnight. It was good, good medicine. I made these bunting flags. I had to make some after seeing these. Sorry my picture is so crappy, my camera batteries were dying so I had to act fast. I used pinks and blues and greens to sort-of coordinate with Sophie's quilt. Her room was looking kind of blah, and these liven things up a little in there.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

whoa, where'd I go?

It's been a long time since my last post. I won't bore you with details of why I suck at keeping my blog going, but I will say that not getting on the computer every day may not be the worst thing I could do for myself and my family. I've been spending more time outside. All the wildflowers are in bloom right now, and we've been taking some morning walks, soaking up the sunshine and fresh air. I've been doing some knitting... All these babes being born are keeping my needles clicking. The hat is the same as the last one, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, only this time I used Rowan wool cotton in this vibrant grape-y color. I knitted up some baby socks with the leftover, and man, those babies knit up quick. The background is a little blanket I stitched up. You can't see it in the photo, but I did a scalloped crochet edging around the border.
I sewed this dress for Sophie last week, even though the pattern and fabric had been in my basket for 2 months or so. This pattern gave me so much grief, between the bias trim on the neck and armholes that turned out kind of puckered, and the godets. What is a godet, you ask? Well I could use some choice words to properly describe the little #@*&!es, but I won't. Instead just say they are the little triangles in the skirt that make Schnickelfritz twirl so prettily. I used the pink matryoshka fabric for the bodice lining, and that turned out sort of cute. Of course it has ketchup stains on it already, but if I'm going to work this hard on a dress, the kid might as well get to wear it. Oh, and don't let the demure pose fool you. She is a banshee. A wild and crazy banshee.
Okay. Dearest Val tagged me to share 5 things about myself. Here goes: 1. I used to live in Alaska, when I was little. I have a picture of myself sitting on a giant snow duck my parents and I built. 2. Ever since I was about 10 I have dreamed of owning my own bookstore/cafe. 3. I smoked cigarettes for 11 years. Embroidery and nicotine patches helped me kick the habit 3 years ago and I haven't touched the stuff since. 4. I used to secretly think people who whined about really wanting a second child were just being greedy. Guess I am one of those people. Ain't life funny? 5. I miss the Pixies.
Um, who do I know to tag? Not enough people. So I guess I just got to ramble on about myself for no particular reason. Ha! Good thing it's a blog.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I've been knitting up a storm

I finished the socks. Dave loves them. Maybe he was just stroking me, but he did say they were the comfiest socks he's ever worn. I was a little worried about the colors. He refers to lots of blue shades as "gay blue," and I was sure this sky blue would fit that category. But apparently this is a heterosexual blue, once again proving my complete inability to distinguish the difference. It's OK. I don't have to be the best at everything. But finishing these socks was bittersweet, kind of like when you come to the end of a book you've loved. I was so happy when my new sock yarn arrived from Purl the next day. Turns out I love sock knitting. These next ones are for me. The colors remind me of a mixed berry cobbler.

These beauties (you are forced to take my word for it; I am SO not a food photographer) resulted from a combination of intentional modifications to the recipe and multiple times of forgetting to read the directions. We're all pretty pleased with the result, I think. I call them oopsie bars.(I figure every mommy needs at least one dessert recipe with a hokey name.) The original recipe is a Betty. Oopsie Bars
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups old fashioned oats, divided
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup peanut butter chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of an 8" square pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
2. Beat cake mix, butter, and egg on low speed 1 min. Stir in 1 3/4 cup oats. Press batter in bottom of pan. Bake for 18 min.
3. Sprinkle chocolate chips, pecans, and peanut butter chips over hot crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup oats on top.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.
Here is a present I knitted for a sweet new friend. I used Rowan Silk Wool DK. The pattern is from Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Love that book. I really like the way this turned out. But I did get frustrated trying to finish it last night. I can never remember how to knit I-cord. I tried reading instructions out of two of my knitting books and even watched a video online and just couldn't get it. That's what sucks about being a lefty; sometimes it's really hard to learn new things. So I ended up just alternating rows of knit and purl stitches. I know it was the wrong way, but it came out looking like I-cord, so no harm done, I guess. I love this yarn, it is the softest ever.

I'm in high spirits's date night! Mom's coming over to watch Schnickelfritz so it'll be just me and my man. Dinner and a show...rumor has it there will be an Elvis impersonator. What more could I ask for?

Friday, February 22, 2008

my february ten

Boy oh, boy, is this month ever dragging. So to make it go a little faster, I sat down to make like the ever-inspiring Amanda and think on some good things about this wet blanket of a month. And she's right--it does feel good.

1. My new stove. It's so pretty and sparkling white, with a self cleaning oven. The oven CLEANS ITSELF, people. And a flat range top to boot. And it heats evenly and makes some damn good peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

2. The incredible feeling of accomplishment after knitting my first-ever sock. I started way back in November and ripped the thing out twice, but my persistence paid off. Four months ago I could not even have spelled "gusset" and now I have made one.

3. The wait is over...She finally loves dress up! Oh, my head is spinning with plans. Plans that involve lots of tulle and glitter and maybe even a sequin fanny pack. The fun is just beginning.
4. My new skirt. It's exactly like the one in the Midwest Modern book. Not too original of me, I know, but I wanted it as soon as I saw it. I can't tell you how much it means to me to have this skirt. Notice the shiny new kitchen floor...looks good with the skirt, huh?

5. The knittiing bag I finished this morining. I've been hoarding this owl fabric for months and I feel really good about this use for it. Can you see my sock? A little bit? I know, I'm such a tease.

6. The few warmish days we've had lately and the sweet promise of spring they bring with them.

7. Flowers...for no particular reason...from my sweet, gorgeous man.

8. Sophie, in her adorable little baby-bear voice: "I want to sew, Mama."

9. Cuddling up on the couch with said sweet, gorgeous man with season one of How I Met Your Mother and our new favorite--buttery salt & cracked black pepper popcorn.

10. The anticipation of a mini-vacation next month and a long-awaited weekend at my best friend's house.

So it turns out February does have some redeeming qualities after all. Who knew?

Friday, February 15, 2008

skirts for sophie

Sorry about the boring title; it's been so long since I've posted I've pretty much forgotten how to write. I did get around to making the twirly skirt that was on my list. It was so easy; I could see myself making several of these and just buying her some solid color tees to mix and match with them. We'll see, though, because my short attention span prevents me from ever making more than one of the same thing. Anywho, Erin's tutorial was so thorough...she kicks ole McCall's butt. I don't know what I would do without these online tutorials.
I've been drooling over vegbee's little jackets and other cute stuff over on Craftster for months, and then I discovered her blog. She's not wordy, but she makes some dangerously cute stuff. I love her little hippie-ish patchwork skirts and dresses. So when Mom brought over a Valentiney charm pack, I knew I had to try to make one. Sophie was so excited she kept rushing me: "You done making skirt, Mama?" every three and a half minutes.

It twirls, too.

I'm 100 percent caught up with the mail these days because I keep running to check if my Emmeline pattern is here yet. Please, Mr. Postman! Get a move on it already. What, is it coming from Mexico? Yeah, I guess it is, huh? It's just as well. I might just wait for the new Amy Butler collection make it with. Until then, I will busy myself with wee skirts.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

stuff to put stuff in and some more stuff

Ever since I saw the pleated beauty handbag from Bend the Rules Sewing, I knew I had to have one. And not ever being able to find anything in my droopy old purse I was too lazy to put interfacing in was starting to really get on my nerves. Enter linen and springy green Freshcut fabric from Creations:I love this bag. It's even roomy enough to put my groceries in if I'm just picking up a couple things. It has really stiff interfacing on the bottom so it stands up by itself.
So mom and I were out poking around in a thrift shop and I fell in love with this Singer Genie. I had just been oohing and ah-ing over the one in the Softies book and lo and behold, here it was. I swear I heard angels singing. But I was totally broke, so mom insisted on buying it for me. Which I promptly yelled at her for. I guess I felt guilty, like I was hinting around, but I honestly did not expect her to get it for me. Sometimes I am such an unpleasant person. But this blog is not the place to talk about my dark side, I will just say that I am crazy in love with Jeannie. She is the first sewing machine I've ever named.
Isn't she groovalicioius?The doll is a Christmas present from Val. She normally holds a little house pincushion in her hands. Of course I am jealous of her tights. And Val also made our smallish friend Marley a really stunning doll, posted about here.
My latest project has nothing to do with sewing. I found a curriculum for homeschooling preschoolers on the internet that I'm starting with Sophie next week. I've been using flashcards and books to introduce her to the alphabet and numbers, but I wanted to make it more fun and creative, and give her a little more structure. So my goal is to have "school" for half an hour a day, and I'm incorporating some of the Montessori methods into the curriculum. Today I made geometric insets.

Tracing the outline of the shapes with her finger is supposed to develop hand-eye coordination and prepare her hand for writing. The same principle applies to the sandpaper letters, which I plan on making also. Although I must admit I'm tempted to use something softer. Velour, maybe? Or the velveteen stuff that's on those fuzzy stickers? I'm open to suggestions about this, if anybody feels moved that way.
In other news (do I say "In other news" in every single post?Ido, don't I?), I want to sew. My head is spinning with all my big, big plans. I want to make a twirly skirt and a cute little smock for Sophie. And a skirt and an emmeline apron for me. Oh, and plant a wee garden somewhere in there.
All in good time, my pretties. All in good time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

baby love

What a beautiful weekend it's been. We had a baby shower for Michelle, and I got to hang out with my two best friends (kid-free), drink mimosas, and look at tiny sweet baby things. Here are the gifts I made: Crib quilt. The squares are all from my stash. That gave me the warm fuzzies.
Wee bunny. Love those Hillary Lang patterns. This one required much less swearing/hair pulling than did Olive. And Sophie loved helping stuff him. Her favorite part was saying, "and a other one..." every time I handed her a bit of stuffing.

I so badly wanted to post pics of my new super-groovy Singer Genie (thanks mom!) and of the too-cute-to-be-legal handmade stuff Val bestowed on us for Christmas, but the camera batteries died. So those will come later, but until then, here is what's on the net that's got me inspired right now:

Val's beautiful matryoshka

I'm fantasizing about making one of these for me and one for Schnickelfritz

Mom got me excited about penny rugs...until the other day, I had never heard of them. This one is adorable and I want one just like it.

I love the colors in this felted bead bracelet. I read about how you can do this with needle felting around styrofoam balls. Must try this.

Right now I'm working on the Pleated Beauty Handbag from the Bend-the-Rules Sewing book. I wish I had been as clever as this about it. I adore everything about this bag.

My crafting is going in so many different directions right now that it's hard to get anything finished. I should probably try to focus on just one or two projects at a time, but there are so many beautiful things out there and right now I want to make them ALL.