Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Leaves and Merry Christmas

My apple sapling is doing great! (History here)
It's got new growth, check it out:

And here's a Merry Christmas from a sleepy Casper.

Awwww....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quick 'n Dirty Mittens

Take 2...

I had this written out a couple days ago but the app crashed, so I'm just now getting around to a retry.

I was reminded of the mitts I made for a co-worker last year, and thought: "I want a pair of those!" I'm not always very patient, so I stitched these up that very evening.



The idea was to not only be quick, but also to do it in one piece, as I dislike ending and starting new yarn when not needed.

I like them, but they're super bulky.

Version two is in the works, in a heathered lilac wool. Definitely more wearable. I like the sapphire, but it doesn't match much of what I wear other than my ring :)

Then I'll post the "pattern"


-- Posted From My iPhone

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yarn and Fabric Sorting

Yesterday I started organizing the craft room, which is long overdue. The two main components in there are yarn and fabric. The yarn towers were doing OK, but besides from being near capacity, they didn't lend themselves to sorting.

Plus I kept going back and forth on HOW to sort the yarn- color, weight, fiber? I finally settled on color sorting exclusively, with an exception for the thread, the baby yarn, and the fun fur. I also switched it to the cubes I we got at Costco for the linen "closet" at the old house. The result is much more pleasing.




And I have more room in the cubes! The clothes pins have little numbers written on them, to tell me how many skeins I have stored behind them. I decided to treat it like a store front and try to have unique yarns at the front, and duplicates behind them, out of sight. I love it :)

It's a lot of yarn, I know... But now that I can SEE it, I know what I have, and I can start using it first, before I run to Michaels to buy more. This collection is from the last decade, plus some even older than that.

While I was sorting the fabrics into the wire bins, Casper decided it would be a great place for a nap.




He's so full of energy, it's hard to get a photo of him on my phone, unless he's asleep. So here's another.

Isn't he a cutie?




I know it's dark, so I had to touch up the exposure, but I couldn't resist, as he was being too adorable!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving, and New Family Member

This year I'm sharing the cooking of Thanksgiving with a friend. I'm in charge of the deserts, and here's a preview of a favorite I made at my 'first' Thanksgiving dinner 3 years ago.





It's a chocolate pecan espresso pie. Yum!

In other news, we have a new 4-legged furry kid in the house.

The little cuteness himself, Casper:





He's a 5-month-old rescue with long grey fur, white boots and a white chest and chin.





The girls haven't accepted him yet, but that's not much of a surprise since he only came home on Sunday. He's quite adorable and violently friendly, as my husband aptly puts it. It's hard to get a decent picture of him, as he keeps moving around and loves to investigate whatever you may have in your hand.

Here's a picture of Spook and Marmalade from a few months ago, as they pretend to get along.






-- Posted From My iPhone

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Zim Pillow

Here's a long-overdue post about the pillow I made for my little brother. I started designing this thing about a year ago, and finally finished it in time for his birthday this summer.

If you're unfamiliar with Invader Zim, this little music video will help. Maybe.



Lots of fun to cross stitch, which I don't normally do. Also haven't made pillows in awhile... Definitely had fun picking out the fabric colors, and got a big grin from the fabric store clerk when I described what it was for.

Z!



The Gir detail is a little lost in the picture, unfortunately. The eyes really are blue.



It'd be fun to crochet a Gir toy. Hmm...



Pin, pin, pin...



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Frosty v1.0

But I'm not ready for winter/Christmas!

I know, but innt he cute??

=D




This is my first snowman, about 8 inches high. The next one will have a better nose (no it's not a beak!), a top hat, and stick arms.




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkins and Candy, oh my!

Been busy as usual, finally started making some fall/Halloween things, as well as starting in on Christmas stuff. (I know, trying to get ahead! And maybe even post things to my store)


The candy corn was a late night spur-of-the-moment idea. I didn't have the perfect colors, and even put them out if order! So that model became an ice cream cone thingy with a smiley face.

Model 2 is much better.


Apologies for the coffee shop lighting =)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Showers of Showers

Well I guess "two" doesn't really count as a "shower," but anyway... Last week I went to a bridal shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law, and helped put together a baby shower.

I didn't have too much notice for the bridal shower, but I made up a denim blue batwing shawl from my favorite pattern.

I guess I'm not as unpredictable as I might think. She opened the shawl, looked at me and said "This is from Kristen, isn't it?" =)


A friend is having a baby girl pretty soon, so we threw her a shower on Sunday. I made little pink and white coffee sweaters for favors, three of each design.



Then I wrapped them in tulle, and tied them up with pink yarn, as I didn't have any ribbon handy. I think they came out pretty well.



The hostess, who is a fabulous chef, made brunch with mushroom empanadas, two different kinds of frittata, and apple pie with caramel sauce for dessert.

I made lemon-chamomile shortbread, and maple-pecan oatmeal scones, both from Ezra Pound Cake. Here's a shot of the lovely table decorations, with the shortbread. And yes, it really is dangerously easy. I took the chamomile from a tea bag, and ground it up a little more in my morter and pestel.


I've been working on a couple gifts for the baby and the mama. Here's my friend C, modeling the scarf right after I finished it at our coffee night. She wanted to keep it, so I might just have to make another one :) It's this pattern in a bamboo yarn. So very soft! (you may have to sign up with Lion Yarn to see the pattern.)



Here's mom-to-be modeling the baby's lion terrycloth wrap. Really, it's more for a toddler than an infant. She can look forward to using it to make bathtime fun :)



And then I made a little lion toy to go with the wrap.



He's kind of permanently waving...

"bye!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Black Fiberfill

Well, folks, I guess my source for black fiberfill had dried up. I'm just as sad as you. I've had a couple people email me asking where they can get the stuff, but it seems that the only company I knew of is now out of business.

I'd suggest you check with your local fabric / hobby stores to see if they have any leads. The company I had posted about was for ethnic doll supplies. I also had seen small quantities sold as filler for model train sets.

All I can say is that I wish I had ordered more. I have no more information :(

If anybody runs across a new source, please let me know.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meanwhile, Here's a Panda




It's not bamboo, rather a sweet potato surprise plant, currently living in a mug. Maybe it'll stick around longer than my purple potato, which was snacked on by deer.

Yes, the panda has crazy eyes. I think the recipient will be amused.


-- Posted From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finished

Pssst, check it out. I have a new tag for finished projects. Mostly crochet stuff.

Labor Day Weekend 09

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. I know I did :)

I'd feel more accomplished if I had actually finished the kitchen cabinets. However, I did finish a couple other projects, so that made me happy. I made a roast chicken at the beginning of the weekend. Sunday I shredded the remaining chicken and made enchiladas, 2 1/2 dishes worth of them. Fortunately we had friends over to help us eat them. I got a little over-excited when buying the mega pack of tortillas, however. What was I to do with 16 extra tortillas?

Homemade frozen burritos, that's what!


Yum, they look good enough to eat now...

I threw in some refried beans (on sale!) cooked up some rice spiced with enchilada sauce, and topped it with cheese. Well wrapped in saran wrap, into the freezer they went, saved for a rainy day. (Or just a day that I don't feel like preparing lunches)

I was craving cinnamon rolls, so I pulled out my Fannie Farmer book to get a recipe. I didn't read far enough ahead, and discovered halfway into them that they weren't the same type that I'm used to. I improvised anyhow, and they came out alright. Still, I can think of ways to improve them next time.


I've been wanting to cook with whole wheat, but I don't have a mill yet. I read somewhere that you can grind it in the blender, so I tried that. It worked! It wasn't super-fine, but it was ok to cook with. I made the cinnamon rolls about 1/4 whole wheat to not make them too heavy.

I'll wrap up with some kitty cuteness =)


Marms, always moving and difficult to photograph.


Spook, blending in with the plants and yoga mats.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bat Wings!

I finished a project tonight! This is a bat wing shawl for my friend's birthday. I actually gave her an IOU since I knew I was buried with other projects at that time.

I've been playing around with the PhotoForge app on my phone, and got unexpected (but fun) results this time.

VoilĂ !





-- Posted From My iPhone

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kitty-Approved Mitts

I got this fun stripey yarn the other day, for some basic crocheting mitts, for those chilly evenings hanging out on the porch or at a coffee shop patio.

It also came in bright reds, but I thought this tweed would be more versatile.

I started them this evening at Pergs and finished a whole one!

Here it is, quick and dirty. I gotta finish the other one tomorrow or I'll have to re-count all my rows :)


edit: Finished them! See the colors better in the daylight :)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sunsets and Shawls

I taught my friend C how to crochet tonight. It was so much fun! And she picked it up fast, which was awesome. I tried it right-handed to show her, which felt like I was learning all over again :)




The sky was gorgeous tonight so I snapped a picture from my phone.




I'm really getting into this shawl pattern:

http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/donisfuff/croshawl.html

I have a couple going right now, and the picture above is an extreme example of yarn sizes. The little one is sock(ish) weight with a 4mm hook and the blue is chunky with a 10mm hook. Both have nearly the same amount of work to them so far.

If the formatting looks funky it's because I'm posting from my phone. And I should be sleeping, which is what I think I'll do now =)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Links!

Here are a few interesting things I found this morning. Enjoy!

A pretty way to cast on knitting. With a picot edge!

Crocheted roses. These look easy enough to make.

An owl sweater. Love this one.

A circular needle holder. I don't have that many needles, but this looks handy.

And lastly, diamond fingerless mitts. These would satisfy my curiosity in knitting, with a small project! Though my knit shawl is coming along nicely as well, and I may even get to wear it this autumn. I'll definitely add these to my list.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Painting Cabinet Doors, round 2




Going for the second coat of primer, with some help from Spook. Water-based from here on, so I can stand doing it indoors.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paint and more paint

What have I been up to?

Lots! I have about 5 shawls in progress right now. I've also made up a short list of crochet projects I absolutely must finish before I start any new ones, and am slowly getting through them.

I like having several projects going, but sometimes it gets out of hand.

This week I finished some belated birthday gifts from the Creepy Cute book by the talented Christen Haden.







This weekend it's been all about the kitchen. When we first moved in and painted the house, I picked out the wrong color for the kitchen... it was a light grey (barely blue, mostly white) I wanted a good solid blue-grey with white trim.

So Friday I re-painted the walls, and yesterday and today were dedicated to the cabinets, which started out as icky yellowing stained wood with brown accents.

Before:



And almost after.

Cabinet doors with primer, laid out on tuna cans to dry:



Once the kitchen's done (this round) I'll post true "before" and "after" pics. For now, break's over! I'm going back upstairs to put on another coat of paint.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back Home

We just took a 6-day vacation to go out east and visit family, which was quite enjoyable.

I actually ran out of yarn... I underestimated how fast I'd work through this stuff. My mother-in-law knew right where the local Michael's was, however, and solved that =)

My summer project (one of) is coaster sets. I made 26 coasters on the trip, some of which are below. Spook looks absolutely delighted, I know. It's because I'm not paying attention to her ;) the yarn is cotton, and these are headed to my shop at some point.

Underneath those is my "me" project. I feel delightfully indulgent making something that I'll keep for myself. This is a lightweight shawl to keep at the office when the AC is too high. This one is acrylic, and next I'll make a winter one in wool. I made half of it on the trip, and that's also because I ran out of yarn.

I'm posting this from my iPhone as my main hard drive is in the process of being replaced. The other night I was about to upload this when it went kaput. Hopefully I'll be back up and running soon




Friday, July 17, 2009

Blooming and Custom Crafts

I'm so proud of this little african violet. It's the first time it's bloomed since I got it, oh, a couple years ago. I didn't realize that it just wasn't getting enough sun. Now it's happy =)



I've done a couple custom items for people lately. I had some orphan coasters left over from my sets, and I gave them out at the office. One of the ladies asked if I could make her two seafoam coasters, so I came up with these. They're 50/50 cotton and acrylic, and I think they turned out very well.



Then my friend C requested these water bottle totes. They're carrot orange and leaf green. The lighting is a little poor, but you get the idea. I like the one on the right, because it's like a pumpkin!



Also a little plug for our coffee shop hangout. Or at least one of them =)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birthday

Last week was my birthday, and so I made myself a Strawberry Shortcake Cake from the Pioneer Woman Cooks (love that blog!) I made a couple modifications, mainly because I was in a hurry. I didn't have a deep enough pan. I put it in two pans and forked the cake layers before pouring the strawberries over them. It was tasty!

Also, our friends gave us homemade ice cream. Yum! They made my favorite flavors, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate. Which I can honestly say are the best of each flavor I've ever had.



My husband gave me this gorgeous mask, which I'm hanging in the craft room. I love the peacock!



My calla lilies are finally blooming. They add a nice pink touch to the front yard.



July 4th was nice and mellow. We hung out with some friends, and walked down to the beach. It wasn't too crowded, but still it was nice to be away from tourists for the most part.