Tuesday, January 27, 2009

pack rat vindication

as usual, i have a thousand things i want to try. here's the latest (and justification for saving all those stained tee shirts!) braided - NO SEW! - rag rugs! the thought of sewing the braids together has been a big issue for why i haven't tried this before. i think these would be great for my van - i keep one on the floorboard side where i get the kiddos in and out. so it is always a mess, cracker crumbs, muddy footprints, you name it. as a bonus, this would be soft on my poor old knees while i struggle to strap down bam-bam in his car seat.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

swaps, links and more!

sorry for the lack of photos lately. i have two to share today. these are the wonderful towels my mom gave me at christmas time. sadly, they had been tucked away in a closet for who know how long! she thinks they were done by her sister, my aunt lavada. who is quite a crafty gal herself! you name it, she's made it. cool. i especially love the turtles, but if you can make it out, the middle of the fruits says stewed pear, and there's a drunk pear stumbling about. hilarious!

and here i go again, signing up for everything under the sun! but it's got me creating, so that's a good thing. besides tha charm square swaps i've been doing, i signed up for some others.

first up i am working on my toys for the handmade toy swap. my partner has three girls - so of course i want to make three toys! i know what would happen in my house if there was only one of something to go around - yikes! i tried out two patterns yesterday - lambkins and scotty dog - and my versions are rather homely looking! scotty is made of chocolate and beige felt, and i made a sweet pink fabric lamb. but i'm still getting the hang of making 3-d animals, so the lamb's legs aren't quite right, and poor puppy didn't get enough stuffing in his legs and won't stand up straight!

on to the next trial - handmade dolls. i've started a knitted babe, but i think i will run out of time if i try to knit three of them. so i am going to try out this doll pattern tonight. i have a bunch of yarn that will be perfect for doll hair, so i am excited to get to that point. if they turn out well (and fast!) i will make some for my nieces for valentine's day.

i also signed up for elsie marley's mobile swap. i did this last year, and i received TWO awesome mobiles from the fabulous lola...again. i can't wait to get my partner, but i have started on a few ideas. one is this bird mobile from spool. i made two birds yesterday, and i can tell already that i will make a bunch more for my christmas tree! after our snow melts i am going to go for a nature walk and look for twigs and pine cones i can use to decorate the mobile. oh yes, i am making one, even if i don't end up sending it to my partner! but hopefully, they will say they adore birds and i will be halfway done with this swap.

hmm, what else am i doing... adorkable crochet is having a knit/crochet swap (on swap-bot) and i am planning a knit scarf made out of bohemian yarn, which is a beautiful marled chenille. i made myself one and it is my very favorite scarf. so soft and squishy, plus it looks good with brown, black, and navy - no small fashion feat!

also on deck, i have joined the daring bakers and will begin in february. every month there is a secret recipe and we all have to make it and then report on the same day how it came out. i am hoping to try some new things, because i seem to have lost my baking mojo lately. just not into making a mess in the kitchen, you know? which is a shame, because i love my new tile backsplash and i should want to be in there admiring it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

2009- the year of ???

each year i try to choose something that i've always wanted to learn to do, and then, i spend the year learning how to do it! like making pies, or knitting, or whatever. but i don't know what i will pick for 2009. i thought about just getting organized, so i can be more creative in the future. and i've already made a good start on that. kitchen cupboards have been cleaned and lined with an adorable green print. i have an obscene amount of cake pans, which will be weeded out and sold on craig's list. i just don't have time to spend on cakes anymore. it makes me sad, but that's just how it is. maybe in a few years when the kids are older, and don't need as much supervision.

anyhow. i've been wanting to relearn to crochet, so that will probably be my 2009 task. if there is a good book anyone would like to recommend, i'd love to hear about it! i will probably have to buy one to learn from, my local library has slim pickings. i crocheted a bit as a child, i remember making granny squares, which is what i'd like to make again. i also want to make a quilt. still. i've been working on small items to get the feel for it, but i don't seem to have the right foot for my machine? and i'm not sure what i need or where to get one, jo-ann's just sold husvarq or something like that. there just aren't enough hours in the day, are there!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

saving handmade toys

all over the craft blogs, everyone is talking about the cpsia and saving handmade toys. i don't make a living selling my things, but this still concerns me. i've been loving the abundance of creative handcrafted goodies for sale at etsy and other places, it inspires me to make things myself. so this law could effectively wipe out a lot of that creating.

in an effort to spread the word, bird and little bird is hosting a handmade toy swap and signups are still underway. the deadline to mail is february 10th, the day cpsia goes into effect. i'm not sure what i am going to make yet - a doll? something knitted? a knitted babe, perhaps?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

happy 2009!

it's nice to be back after the holidays. the decorations are all tucked away until next year. and the trash has finally been picked up. we can see our garage floor - it's been months - and i've been weeding out our possessions for our preschool's rummage sale. it feels good to organize, and we've made a lot of progress with the house. remodeling is never done! i tiled the kitchen backsplash over the break, and i love it and can't wait to do the bathroom now!

we enjoyed having our family here for christmas, and we also celebrated our son alex's 3rd birthday! i made a yummy chocolate fudge cake with butterfinger filling. i also tried out some great recipes. and i have some things i want to share with you, like the embroidered tea towel sets i received from my mom, and the holiday traditions swap package i received (and loved!) but our laptop died, and with it died the ease of posting i enjoyed. until it's replaced, i'll be on a short hiatus. the good news is when i return i'll have tons to show you! see you in a week or two!


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