Monday, November 30, 2009


It has been a crazy week! My Christmas cards are finally out and most have been received. They turned out cute this year. And believe it or not, I am already starting to think about what next years will look like. I wish the picture this year was a bit better, but with a 4 year old and a 1 year old, I thought that it was lucky that I got them both smiling in the same picture. Half of the cards I block printed and I was running out of time so I screen printed the rest. Although I liked the block printed image better, the screen prints turned out crisper.My parents were in town a week ago and we exchanged Christmas gifts... so it is safe to now show you my mom's finished projects. This one is the Every Way Wrap from the fall 2009 Interweave Knits magazine. I think it turned out great. I think it is a bit short, but luckily my mom is shorter than I am so hopefully it fits her better.And this is the bracelet that I made her. She gave me a box of old clip on earrings that my grandmother had purchased at an auction years ago. Luckily, since they were mostly earrings, I can make an exact match for myself :-)I was also completely inspired by Elsie Flannigan this month. She made an Anthopologie style necklace that I just LOVED so I made one for myself. The embellishments are old buttons and clip on earrings.And I just couldn't stop there.... so I made this one yesterday. It was a little more asymmetrical and the focal points were off to the sides instead of directly in the middle. I liked it but I ended up changing it and I actually like it way better now.I am currently working on a "neck cuff" not sure what the official title is, maybe a tailless scarf. I have the body done and I am now working on knitting the ruffle which, of course, is taking forever. But I think it will look really nice when it is done. Pics to come. That's all for now... I am only making 1 maybe 2 Christmas gifts, so this season should be pretty smooth sailing :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So Cute!

Just a quick post to show the finished baby hat and booties. More info on the pattern found here.And progress on my mom's Christmas gift.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My baby is going to be 1 year old in a few weeks... I seriously can't believe it. I know that every parent says that, but this time I am really stunned how fast time has flown by. The first year seemed to go by so much slower with my oldest, probably because we didn't really know what we were doing :-) But I am definitely feeling cheated this time around.

So the invitations went out this week. I realized Tuesday night that I am going to have to high-tail it and get these done and sent or nobody is going to show up! Since I was on such a tight deadline, I was unable to make it down to Paper Source, so I got these cards at Archivers. They were a bit more expensive, but I only had to make 10... so no biggie. The folded card is in the color sage (although the scanned image came out very yellow) and I used a smaller flat card for the inside (not pictured) where I hand wrote the text. The color of the flat card is powder blue?, the official name escapes me, but I also got the envelopes in the blue color.

I made a stamp with block printing rubber. With this type of block print, I prefer to use a stamp pad over block printing ink. I don't think the rubber holds up well in the press (especially since mine is an industrial 30ton press) and when doing an image of a person, I think that the stamp pad allows for more precision. And what I mean by that is, when I use my press (even with linoleum) I expect a certain margin of error and I almost welcome it because I think that adds to the charm and authenticity of a block print. But I think that margin of error is too big when printing an image of a specific person and I think that even with the slightest change it could very quickly look like someone else, or definitely not the person depicted.
Here is how it turned out. I am absolutely thrilled and I can't help but smile when I look at it :-)
And I have also been playing with different self- "caricatures". This is the latest one located on the back of the invites: I over stamped my name on this one, but you get the point.
In other crafty news :-) I am still working on a knitting project for my mom. This is the longest knitting project that I have ever undertaken and because of this, I haven't been able to work on a whole lot of other things. However, a friend of mine just had her 2nd child a week or so ago so I am thinking of knitting a hat and booties for her little one. Those are really quick projects so they shouldn't take away too much time from my mom's project. Also, I am working on Halloween costumes... which I better light a fire under my own rear end and get them done!! My oldest is going to be a tornado, per his request. The body of the tornado is complete, I just need to embellish it and it is done. I was thinking about making my baby into a cow, which would work well with the tornado... but I have yet to start on that costume. So the cow idea is slightly up in the air. If I come across something else that is SUPER cute and quicker to make, I might have to switch ideas. But I better stop talking (or rather typing) about doing all of this and get to work! So until I have another spare moment to post again (not likely for another month or so)...... Toodles.

Friday, September 4, 2009


So it is pretty obvious that I LOVE free patterns by now! I was dropping my son off at Pre-K and my niece ran over to the toys and was instantly playing with the dolls. I felt a little guilty because all the toys at my house are geared more toward boys. So I went online to find a quick and easy pattern to make a doll for her. This is the one that I found. I changed the needle size and crocheted more than one strand of yarn so that it would be bigger than the pattern. I like how it turned out, and she seems to like it to :-)
For free pattern click here!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

2 recent projects

After making the frog prince, I caught my 4 year old trying to hide it in his room because he wanted it for himself. So I told him I would crochet him an animal... he just had to pick it out. He wanted a turtle and I found a free crochet pattern on I used yarn I had, it turned out great and here it is:Since I can work on a knitting or crochet project when we are slow at work, I decided to pick up something long term so that I would always have something that I can work on. I was going for a sweater but I think the pattern that I picked is more of a shirt. I define all hand knitted full upper body garments as sweaters but this is definitely turning out to be more of a shirt. Lighter weight than a sweater and since it isn't long sleeved, it's function isn't to keep me warm. I am a little concerned that I made the wrong size. I made a large because the medium was 1/2" bigger than my body measurement, but now I think I probably should have made the medium because it would stretch. I think that if it happens to be a little big, then I might sew the seams closer or run some elastic under the bust, which might actually add a nice detail. We will see. As of right now I am about 3/4 done knitting the front. I still have the back to knit and after it is sewn together I will pick up and knit the cap-ish sleeves. Say tuned of that :-) Here is a pic after I just began to give you an idea of color.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Frog Prince

So I am going to try something different... I am going to try and update my blog after I finish every project. That way it won't take me that long to post, since there won't be so much to post about. We will see how that goes.

I have a baby shower to go to this weekend that I made the hat and booties for and I wanted to make a toy to go with it sooo I made this free pattern from I liked making the pattern... I took a few liberties in a couple of spots but other then that I followed the pattern pretty closely. I initially embroidered a kiss for a mouth but it looked very "Rocky Horror Picture Show" sooo I took it out... although it was super cool, not really appropriate for a baby shower. Here is how it turned out after I redid the embroidery:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Guesss What???

I did it!!!

I now have 2 original knitting patterns... I think I should write a book :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Well, I started back and Urban last month, so my latest focus has been on knitting. I also have a few events coming up that I knit gifts for, so this has been a really knitty month :-).

Tomorrow I have a birthday party for a 16 year old boy and I don't know why, but I immediately thought, beanie... then I thought, camo beanie. So here is what I made.
I was really happy with the result, the camo yarn is 100% cotton... because it is for a 16 year old boy and well.... it needs to be washable. I couldn't find cotton in the hunter's orange, so I settled for acrylic and since it is just the trim I am o.k. with that. I will say that this is the first time that I did a provisional cast on and I LOVED it. It took me a little longer than I think it should have because I was using double points and not circulars (because I didn't have circulars in that size) but it worked out fine.
I didn't think that one hat was quite enough so I made him a fun/silly hat too. This this is an ear flap hat that I found in this book.
I used the same 100% cotton yarn as the beanie but because the pattern called for bulky weight (and I had worsted), I doubled the yarn. Not only did it turn out great but I actually like the color pattern better because it looks more "camo" and less "striped". I also crocheted a trim in the hunter's orange color and added a pompom at the top. I thought that the pompom might be a little too over the top, so I attached it with a safety pin. :-) Hope he likes it. [both hats: camo yarn-Lily Sugar 'n Cream, orange yarn-Caron Wintuk]I have a baby shower to go to next weekend for my husband's cousin... she is having a boy. Since I knitted these booties and hat last year for my son, it has become my staple baby shower gift. These patterns are from this book:
and they are sooo easy and quick to make! [blue yarn- Queensland Collection Bebe Cotsoy, beige yarn-Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic]
One of my first projects when I started back at Urban was this knitted (then felted) bag from this book: The pattern was great but it was just a bag with no lining or pockets. So I made my own pattern for the lining with TONS of pockets. I love the bag! [yarn- Plymouth Tweed, fabric- Amy Butler] We just started carrying Namaste bags at Urban, which of course I had to pick one out before the order was even placed... (this style in this color)
and since I now have a traveling knit bag, I needed a knitting needle case to go inside. I saw a few patterns in knitting books that I checked out from the library, but I wasn't too thrilled about any of them....... so I made my own pattern. I thought that this was a great project to get rid of some of my old scrap yarn so I took the smallest balls of leftover yarn, tied them end to end and wound them into a gigantic ball. This was a great solution so I didn't have to stop at each color change, I just kept on knitting. I made sure to position the knot on the wrong side of the piece so that it wasn't visible and I LOVE how it turned out. At the last minute I decided to add a crocheted trim in a contrasting color and I think that just MADE the needle case! [yarn-random scrap yarn from my stash] I am also working on a pair of felted sock slippers from this book:I have one done and had to put it down to make some of these other things. But I think they are going to be really cute when I am done I picked pink and green and I am going to do one foot in each color. I am still toying around with the idea of sewing a lining for the inside, but I think I will just have to see how they felt up first and how they feel when I am wearing them. [yarn-Plymouth Tweed]I was looking through this month's Country Living magazine and I saw a picture of the cutest Beer Bottle cozy. So I went to the website (Edge of Urge) and they are made by an artist in North Carolina who makes them out of old sweaters. I think these are super cute but I think I might be able to come up with a pattern on how to make one of these.... now I am on a mission! Aside from all this knitting, I threw my son his 4th birthday party... (invitations on the previous post). Well here is how the thank you cards turned out. I have also been working on some jewelry. I was at JoAnn's today buying fabric for my son's Halloween costume and I found a set of charms in the jewelry section that I purchased. There were 3 in the package, the first one was a turtle which my son adopted as his new zipper pull for his winter jacket :-). The 2nd one was a slightly folded leaf that I thought would work perfect for a "2 peas in the pod" charm. So I put 2 green Jasper beads on a head pin and attached it to the front. I think it is a little abstract but I think it turned out great! The 3rd charm that came in that package was this flower. I thought that it would look good on a strand of beads and when I was looking through my jewelry making supplies, I found this strand of beads that I thought that it would look great with. I also wanted to be able to charge out the strand of beads and wear the pendant with a strand of just about anything so I attached a lobster clasp at the top of the charm so that it was interchangeable.
Something else that I found in my supplies were these green "links" that I bought a while back in the clearance isle at JoAnn's. I think the package only cost me a few dollars and there had to have been 50 different links in there, half were a small size and half were a bigger size. So I picked one of the small sizes and made another "2 peas in a pod" necklace... this pendant is much more abstract. I had these bone beads in my supplies so I used them, although I am pretty sure that they only look like bone and are not actually made of bone. I think it turned out pretty neat. I used a leather cord that I bought for something else. Well, I think that sums up the last month. There are a few things that I have on my to do list, like make both of my sons their Halloween costumes. My 4 year old wants to be a tornado this year so I purchased some micro fleece and tulle and I have to get to the drawing board to see exactly how I am going to pull this one off. I was planning on making my little one into a cow, to go a long with the tornado, but my husband suggested making him the tin man or cowardly lion or something from the Wizard of OZ. I don't know if people would really see the 2 linked that closely, especially since there is no Dorothy... and then my husband told me that I should dress up like Dorothy. HA!!! I think I might just stick with the cow idea. :-)

I have also been seriously thinking about taking up quilting (as if I need another hobby). I should probably take a class on it, though.... I know how to sew, hand stitch and applique but I think that there are definitely some shortcuts and tricks to learn that would make the quilt making process a lot easier and tear-free!!

The last thing that I have been thinking about is a long term knitting project, like a sweater. I usually run away from long term projects because I don't seem to have the attention span for them... but since I can knit at work when it is slow, it might give my hands something to do without causing me to inspire myself to do tons of other projects? We will see... I have a constantly revolving to do list, so that isn't anything new :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I really do make an attempt to update my blog more than just once a month but so far that has almost been impossible. BUT the advantage is that I have a LOT to post. So here it goes...

1. I have been wanting to make a place to hang the drawings and paintings that my son does so that it is more visible and not on the fridge. So I put out the APB to all of my friends letting them know that I was looking for ornate frames that I could use for this purpose. Not only did one find some for me at a yard sale, but they were also free!!! So I had my husband get some galvanized steel cut, put them in the frames, I mounted them on the wall and they are all set. My deadline for this was September because my oldest is going to start Pre-Kindergarten and I wanted it for all of his school projects too. I LOVE how they turned out.
2. So the Theatre is coming along... once I figure out what to do with the TV and its components, I can get the curtain made and it will be officially done. But I did make these 2 signs. One is to be mounted above the stairs leading to the Theatre. I was unsure of which word to use, Theater or Theatre and I found this entire web page devoted to answering that very question. And what it boils down to is that Theater is meant for live performances and Theatre is meant for moving pictures. So of course I used Theatre. I wanted it to look like the "Cheers" sign. So I looked up a font that I thought that would work, I drew it on there plus the pointing hand and I painted them on. I LOVE how it turned out... the letters almost look like foil rub-ons. A little more work and a lot less $ and I love it. Here is the restroom sign. To add just a little more detail I made this sign for the bathroom. I think I might outline the people in black. 3. I have also started on my Christmas cards. I know, I am crazy... but I am block printing them and I have to make like 100 cards, so I thought I should probably get going early this year. This is just a preview but the actual card is green and there is a going to be a separate "ornament" card hanging on the front that is removable so that the recipients can hang them on their Christmas tree. I know what "font" I want to use for the inside greeting and I plan on carving my own rubber stamp so that it looks exactly the way I want it to. I still have most of my cards to print and the inside stamp to make and stamp but here is what I have so far:4. My mom told me on the phone this week that "necessity is the mother of invention" and so is true with my next project. We have a gas fireplace and never use it. It adds resale value to the house so I don't want to remove it but meanwhile I have to find something to do with it so that the kids aren't bumping into it and so that it is insulated. The "flue" on it is always open and the fireplace is the source of a constant draft in my house so I decided to make a "blanket" to attach to the front. And because it is a fireplace I wanted it to look like a fireplace so I appliqued and embroidered logs and fire to the front. I LOVE it and now I can't wait to make log bolster pillows to throw in front of it to look like my spare fire wood :-)
5. I just made the invitations for my son's birthday. They are pretty plain but I think sometimes less is more. I used Paper Source cards that I bought from UA+C and the actual card doesn't open so I just put the info on the back. Hopefully everyone will find the info without help... we will see :-) These pics turned out bad, but the card is yellow.
6. My niece was over for the 4th and she loves to get into my purse. So I took 10 minutes away from the party and sewed her a little purse to match with some of my scraps from my purse. Here is what it looks like: 7. I moved my monogrammed wall and put all of my Ys above my fire place. I think they look way better in the new location. I wanted to also show 1 Y in particular that is actually a shelf. I was talking with my mother-in-law about how most of my Ys weren't hangable and that they needed to sit on a shelf. So she said, "what you need is a printer's tray" and I said, "No, what I need is a printer's tray in the shape of a Y." Well since my Husband's grandfather is a wood worker, she had him make it for me for my birthday. It looks AMAZING and I love it, so I made it the focal point to my collection.8. I've talked about my son's imaginary friends before, His Monkey's. Well for his birthday this year, I decided to make him a couple more monkey dolls and a house for them to live in, or rather a small monkey yurt. I started to work on it and decided that he might like to help so we decorated the inside of the house with the luxuries that we would like if we lived in a tree house. With his help, I drew the monkeys, digitally colored them and made heat transfers with them. I like how they turned out but I don't like the "plastic-y" feeling that the transfers have. I think it might go away if I wash them, but I don't plan to do that. I made a heat transfer of a TV, with Spongebob playing, and one of a framed picture of my son :-)
Inside the house: Outside the house:9. I was going through a bunch of my junk a few months ago to get ready for my yard sale and I found a bunch of frames that I haven't used. Some were just frames and others had small paintings in them, which I took out. I painted them all gold and put fabric covered peg boards in them so that I can use them as an idea "board". I hung them in front of my sewing machine and they look great. I am not sure if I am going to actually use them or if I like them plain.10. Another thing that I wanted to get done before my son went to pre-kindergarten was his school memory book. I saw one on Barnes and Noble a long time ago and I decided that I could make something similar with my own touch. So I bought file folders pouches that I will 3-hole punch for a binder, put decorative paper on them and of course the info to fill out on them (which I haven't printed out of my computer yet. It is still a work in progress but I am excited to get these somewhat done by the time I need to start filling them out :-)11. I also finished my applique/embroidery of the Libbey House. I actually did 2 but this one turned out the best.
Upcoming projects: I am working on a really special project for a Christmas gift, but because I don't want to give anything away, you are going to have to wait for the pics on that one. I still need to continue working on my lip gloss shelf.... that really should become my priority!!!! I also need to work on the thank you notes for Jasper's party.. so they can be ready to sign and send. I already have the ideas, I just need to buy the card stock and get going on them. What else??? I have really wanted to start painting with watercolor but in an unconventional way. I know that I have seen this on the Internet, but I would like to start painting Batiks out of watercolor on paper. It would be very similar to a cotton batik using wax as a resist and I plan on painting the entire sheet with each of the water colors between waxing. I know that some people that use this technique will just paint sections but I think that there is a certain effect that goes along with the entire page being painted that I just LOVE. Maybe if they go well I can sell them on Etsy or maybe just the prints? That might be a stretch considering I am going to start watching my niece during the day this coming Monday. So my time will be severely limited... we will see what I can actually accomplish. Oh and I want to start making myself some clothes :-) I think I am being a bit ambitious! What's new :-)