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Showing posts from 2013

WIP Crisis

I've hit my standard crisis. I'm about 2/3 of the way through a project and I'm no longer sure I even like it. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I think I get this way with every single project.

I've got 60 scrappy sawtooth stars done and they're just not singing to me. I can't even really put my finger on it. Are they not contrasty enough? Too contrasty? Too busy? Too calm? Too much white? Should I have even included black? I like each block individually but together they're all killing me. All I know is they look almost nothing like the inspiration quilt.

So, now I've got a big decision to make. Do I chalk it up to mid-project blahs and work through it? Or, do I try and fix it?

Not that I'm really sure how to fix it. Maybe some sashing to try and let each block shine on it's own instead of being overwhelmed by the blocks next to it?

Or,  do I take out all the drab and boring, neutral blocks and only work with the high-contrast bright ones?


Handmade Christmas

Alright, it's almost time for a round-up of all those secretive things I've been making for the past few months. But first, a big Thank You to Martha Stewart and Pinterest and Anthropolgie and any other cultural force that has gone into making handmade things cool. You are the reason people now actually look forward to the same sort of handmade crap I've been giving out for years. No more fake smiles or hidden sighs. And for that, I thank you.

First up- the handknits.

1. A cashmere scarf for my mom (based off of one she saw on Pinterest).

More details on Ravelry.

2. The monsters- four of them.  Six if you count the little baby monsters in the mama's pockets. Three for my kids. One for my nephew.

They were big hits. I got lucky on two of these. I actually knit them around Christmas time last year to be store samples for my favorite local crafty store.Then, in time for Christmas, they decided to stop carrying yarn and I got them back. Goodbye only place nearby to buy go…

Making Christmas

It's getting to the part of Christmas I really enjoy. My out-of-town packages are all shipped. I've finished shopping. I've heaved my big sigh of relief and I'm finally ready to wind down and just enjoy some time with my family.

Even this little monkey.

We've watched the Muppet Christmas Carol (aka the best Christmas movie of all time) twice. I'm considering watching it every day from now until Christmas.

We've made candy. Lots of candy. I think it's time to move onto making cookies.

And I finished up and gifted teacher gifts. So I can actually show them to you. Hurray!

First up, Anna's teacher. She's obviously a big Dr Who fan. Her desk is decorated as a Tardis. She dressed up as Rose Tyler on Fantasy Character day. So, I cross stitched a little Tardis Christmas tree ornament for her.

I think I may need to make another to keep for our tree.

Ellery's teacher and her paraprofessional got hats to help keep them warm at recess.

Free pattern. R…

Not Ruining Christmas

Hey, I have a project I can actually show you!

Although, at this point, I'm not quite sure whether I've finished my last block for a Quilt Guild block swap.....

....or started a new quilt for myself.

I've fallen head over heels in love with these blocks. The pinks, greens, reds and greys! Be still my heart. I used Bee In My Bonnet's Great Granny tutorial and it's my new favorite block ever. I just keep thinking how well they would go with the quilt Ellery has adopted as her own. I could turn these blocks into a coordinated quilt for Anna. Then I could buy them a rug and a dresser and some pictures for the wall and actually have a designed, pretty room for them. These are the sorts of plans that keep me awake at night.

The Crafty Bloggers December Dilemna

There is all sorts of exciting stuff going on in the craftroom. But, it's December. Everything's a gift for someone. Everything's top secret. Normally I'd just show you what I'm making for my kids. They don't read my blog, after all. But, I'm making the same thing for someone else and I don't want to give it away. This is about all I feel like I can show you of my current ten or so crafty projects-

That's it. One little bit of patchwork.

Sorry for arousing your curiosity with no intent to assuage it until after Christmas. I am making such cool stuff. Trust me, it's killing me to not be able to show it off!

Instead, we'll just have to make due with cute pictures of my kids from last night's Christmas party.

My husband's work definitely knows how to throw a party. Christmas cookies made by the culinary students. (I had a divine raspberry macarron with chocolate filling.) Christmas temporary tattoos. Santa- who was handing out free ph…


I'm pretty sure she's the cutest pilgrim ever.

Yep, definitely.

It's finished!

There is nothing more thrilling than finishing a project. Thrilling and exciting and terrifying. Because, there is always that possibility that something went horribly wrong. Your math might be wrong and whole thing ends up two sizes too small. (Been there, done that). Inexplicably, one might sleeve might be two inches shorter than the other. Your knots might not be tight enough and it immediately starts to unravel. The intended recipient might hate it. There is so much that could go wrong.

 I cast off the last stitch of Anna's cardigan at about 8 o'clock last night.

I made a late night dash to the fabric store for the perfect buttons. I wove in the ends, sewed on the buttons, handwashed it and pinned it down to dry overnight- scared the entire time that something was going to go wrong.

 And, this morning, nothing had gone wrong. I unpinned it and it was a glorious thing. Exactly what I had imagined when planning on the project. I made Anna try it on. It fit just right. She g…

Ben's Story Quilt

There are so many joyous reasons to make quilts- weddings, new babies, birthdays. This is not one of those occasions, unfortunately. This is the third time I've made a quilt for a kid with cancer ( #1, #2 ) and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that cancer sucks. This one is for a three year old boy named Ben who was diagnosed with leukemia last week.

The quilt measures 60" by 60"- big enough to cuddle under but hopefully small enough that it doesn't get in the way. It has 113 different novelty fabrics. I made sure to include some of Ben's favorite things- monkeys, elephants, trains and planes.

Hopefully it can give him a little comfort when he's feeling his worst and some distraction when he's feeling restless. It can be used to play "I Spy" or to make up stories.

My favorite parts are the robot,

the B for Ben,

and the polka dot backing and bright red binding.

If you're interested in helping out Ben and his family, you can do s…

Yesterday Was A Good Day

But, am I allowed to say that I am just so relieved it's over? I almost didn't make it- birthday, a birthday party, two Halloween parties, Brendan starting rehearsals for Spamalot, parent/teacher conferences, Halloween and a baptism all within two weeks. I am looking forward to a much calmer November. I need some time to rest, recuperate, do a little bit of fall cleaning and work on some Christmas presents.

Anna's Baptism Dress

Just a quick picture to prove that Anna's dress is done- 19 hours early even. Snap sewn on and everything. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. Better pictures tomorrow on the big day. You know- with her hair actually brushed and stuff.

The pretty matching cardigan? Well, it's about here-

Six inches or so of body to go, two sleeves and button band. I think if I do nothing else but knit from now until tomorrow night, no eating, no sleeping- it still wouldn't be done. I might try finishing the body, knitting on the button band and temporarily making short sleeves so it could be wearable for church this Sunday but I'm trying to tell myself its not a big deal. There's no rush. The dress is done so now I can focus on cleaning up the house and making some food for afterward for everyone. I'm not buying it.

My poor forgotten blog

I know, I know...not much blogging going on lately. I've gone a ton of little projects to show off. So, big general goal #1- BLOG MORE. I'm planning a lot more little, quick "this is what's going on in my life right now" sort of entries. A photo and a paragraph at least three times a week is the goal. Feel free to hold me to that.

Also, I don't think I've ever officially mentioned it here, but I love Instagram with a white hot burning passion. Follow me there for all the cute kid pictures and projects that don't make it onto the blog.

So, what's going on today? I spent the morning cleaning up the havoc that Halloween costumes, a birthday and a birthday party created in my tiny little crafty room. It was not pretty. But, now order is restored and I'm ready to get started on this-

Soon (and I do mean soon, this is an incredibly quick pattern) this will be a new dress for Anna. She's got a big event coming up on Saturday and it definitely ca…

Anna's Birthday

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but it seems I have an eight year old. Well, whether or not I agree with this whole growing up thing, I figured I should post some pictures.

Her Actual Birthday-

Breaking in the Easy Bake Oven-

The Big Birthday Bash-

Trip Related Crafting

Because I can't seem to take a trip anywhere without coming up with some project that I just have to get done and take along. Just part of the craziness that is me.

First up, our friends are having their fourth baby this winter. These are the kind of friends who might as well be family. Except that if they show up at the family reunion, Grandma's going to give them a funny look. That is, until they pull out the balloons. Anyway, I made something for the first three, there was no way I wasn't making something for this one. Plus, being able to hand deliver a gift is always preferable. So, I made a baby quilt as quickly as I could.

My inspiration was this quilt. I dove into my yellow, grey, blue and green scrap boxes and cut 2.5" squares until I was thoroughly sick of them. Then I sewed them together until I was thoroughly sick of them. And then I kept sewing. I ended up using 400 squares for a 40" by 40" quilt.

I had my doubts all along the way. Was it too br…

What a Trip!

Phew...that was a long busy weekend.


Lego Store Grand Opening Visit #1

Lunch and a visit with my Grandparents.

Visit with some of our dearest friends.

Fantastic dinner with various relatives.


Lego Store Visit #2

The Zoo (aka Sam's favorite place on earth)-


 Saying goodbye to cousins is so very hard.

Lego Store Visit #3

Then the long drive home before we could break into the Lego loot.

Yeah, I need to take more pictures! There was so much more I missed.