Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lady Bird

I happened onto this pattern while on Ravelry recently.

So I made it.  I intend to keep her on my couch or bed as decoration.  Love her!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Everyone else is doing it.....

If you are on Pinterest, then you've seen this....

.....with a description of how to make your own (not that you need it).  I love the herringbone and I have old canvases with random things painted on them that I am not using and would like to over paint and I thought, "Why not." So, I dug out my acrylic paints

My trusty sidekick (looks as though I might have to spring for a new one)

And an old painting (I am using the term 'painting' here, very loosely) and got started.

I had a place for this painting picked out in my mind so my plan was to mix the chosen colors and just randomly slap the colors over the previous painting.  I can't even start without one of these (if you look back through all of my old sketch books you are bound to find at least one in each)

And it doesn't take much to make one, I used these (which you have on hand if you have kiddos).

Then I got started.  I mixed my colors and applied them with my pallet knife.
Because I was using heavy bodied acrylics and gel medium, I was able to leave it to dry only a few hours before I applied the painter's tape.

Then it was time for the white paint.
And finally, for the reveal.

I love it!  It tuned out very "Urban Outfitters", which I like.  The best part for me is that it only cost me the price of the painter's tape (and that was just because I was out). I also like how this only took an evening to make.  For under $5, I think this guy is a winner!!!!  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarned Goodies

Here are a few knitted/crocheted pieces that I made for my girl in Chicago and her beau, or as my kids fondly refer to them as Aunt Jess and Uncle Joe.  :-)

Slouchy Beanies are all the rage, so I made one for each.  I had to alter both patterns because the published patterns were insane!!!  No offense to the writers of these patterns, but I found a more obvious way easier/more even way  of doing these.  Here is the book that contains both patterns:

This one is for Jess.  She has light blond(e) hair like me, so I thought that this blue would look great.

 This one was for Joe, which is the hat on the cover above.  I am calling this the "Brad Pitt" hat.  This was intended to be a funny gift, but if he finds it useful then that would be a bonus.  I actually considered getting him a pair of aviator sunglasses so that he could complete the "Brad Pitt" look... then I remembered that he wore prescription glasses :-)  I had the hubs try it on for size and I was planning on having him model for a photo, but the hat instantly gave him a "homeless" look.  :-)  Not sure if it is his shaved head or the scruff on his face but it definitely wasn't his look.  So I had my BFF, Brad (ironically), model for the pic.

I might have to make Joe a real beanie, since this might not be his look either :-)

Remember this scrap cowl that I made for cousin, Nanner?

Well, I made one just like it for Jess, but in Black/Brow/Cream/White/Gray....  so that it would match everything, hopefully.

And last but not least is my favorite, the ear warmer.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE knitting this headband!!  There is a similar one that is popular in the knitting world but it is made with short rows, which is commonly used to make sock heels (seriously, look at your socks....  see the heel?  See how there is that line that creates the middle of the heel?  and see all those tiny holes along that line?  the rows creating those holes are short rows).  Anyway....  hate is a strong word.... but I seriously NO LIKEY knitting short rows!!!!  So this head band is knitted width wise (as opposed to lengthwise for the short rows), so I like it much better!  I have knitted 2 already and I have 2 balls of yarn to create 2 more.  I also like that this headband creates a reason for me to rummage through my vintage button collection :-)

Technically, these next few pictures are of the headband that I made myself...  knitted also in gray, but this one is in a different yarn.  I took pics of myself wearing the one above but my hair, evidently, did not want to cooperate.  :-)

I have a crocheted flower pin that I (ghasp) bought to add to mine....  I might have to make one for Jess's to send along with Joe's future beanie so that she can add a girly touch if she prefers.
And while we are on the whole "head wear" topic....  I never did post this cute knitted slouchy beret that I made for my girl, Jenny.  She pinned this on her Pinterest as a "wish I knew how to knit" project.  :-)  I was looking to make her something for Christmas and this was a perfect project.  Normally I don't buy patterns, but I am glad that I bought this one.  There were a few knitted tricks/techniques that I had not done before.... and once I got my head around it, this was a piece of cake to make.  I brought it into work to show everyone and it got a few admirers...  my boss in particular tried to steal this one a couple of times :-)   I must also mention how freaking warm this guy is (made out of Alpaca yarn).... I only had it on for a few seconds taking these pics and I was sweating :-)

With all of those done and given to their recipients, I have time to work on more stuff.  I am simultaneously working on 2 knitted projects.  The 1st one I am intending to give to someone (if I ever get it done), so here is just a peek.  (side note: this guy is going to take me FOREVER to finish)

The next one is a mustard shrug for me.  I am using an "easy" pattern that I got from a book...  while it is easy, I decided (after knitting almost half and then ripping it out) to complicate it up just a bit to save me time in the end so that I don't have any seams to sew up in the end.  Here is my Anthropologie inspiration:

And I use 'inspiration' loosely, because my knitted shrug will look nothing like the jacket... it will just pretty much cover the same areas and be in about the same color :-)  Here is what I have so far:

That's it for now. Happy yarning!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bargain Hunter

Do you know how expensive dishes are?  They can get pretty insane and that is just for everyday dishes!  Don't even start looking in the fine china department...  because it is entirely possible that just 1 plate can break the entire bank.

2 weeks after having my 1st child, my mom came to visit and as a "thanks-for-providing-me-with-a-grandchild" and a late "housewarming" present, she bought us some dishes.  Of course at the time, I had baby on the brain and have absolutely no care in the world what my dishes looked like so I let her pick them out.  She didn't do a bad job, tried to go neutral... but they sort of took on a "Tuscan" feel, which isn't really my style.  BUT they are dishes, and functional and so I was just planning on just sticking with it until they became so grungy that I would have no other choice by to replace them. 6.5 years later, most are chipped but grungy still hasn't happened yet.

Last week, however, I was in Eeeeeevil Target, scavenging the clearance end caps when an angelic light suddenly came down from the sky and highlighted one particular end cap that was in my direct line of vision.  I heard a slight "twinkling" sound (much like the sound of Tinkerbell's pixy dust) until I saw them......  the minute I saw the 2 sets of dinner wear in my signature color for a rock bottom price, that twinkling sound turned immediately into an entire church choir singing Hallelujah....  and I am not even religious!!!!   :-)   

That's right, momma's got new dishes.  I collect vintage Pyrex, and alike, in a variety of teal/turquoise/pool colors and these new Target dishes match perfectly.  These sets came in 4s, so in one box I got 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls and 4 coffee mugs.  So I bought the only 2 they had and I as rummaged through the rest of the clearance I found 4 "extra sets", 2 of those contained 2 bowls each and the other 2 contained 4 salad plates each.  You want to know what my grand total was for these 44 dishes????   Well, let me first tell you that if I bought them at full price I would have spent $78, I paid... $23.28!!!!!  

Happy bargain hunting....  I think I am off to Sears to buy some scarves (thanks Boo!).

Friday, February 3, 2012


Let me start by saying that I am extremely eclectic.  I like everything.  I like elements from almost every style imaginable so I have to keep a good mix of them all in order to stay happy and not want to redecorate all of the time.  My overall taste shifts frequently but I always love what I love just sometimes more in one area and less in others....  then tomorrow it shifts again.

For example, here are some of my home decor loves....  part of me would LOVE to live within the coziness of the Weasley Burrow:

I absolutely love the vintage Mid-Century loveliness of The Incredible Nest:

(Can you tell I have kids?)  :-)

Sometimes I can see the appeal of living inside a Bass Pro:

I LOVE the glam-y-ness that Tori Spelling decorates her homes with:

I am completely inspired by the craftsmanship and beauty that comes from the Arts&Crafts era:

I find instant comfort in 70s decor since I was brought into this world surrounded by orange shag carpet, dark wood tones and mustard yellow refrigerators:

But mostly I would LOVE to sell my house and move my family into a Gypsy Wagon:

Or into an Anthropologie catalog

.... And the list keeps going.  I would say, though, that my overall style could be described by one blanket term: "Bohemian".  So basically that is giving me the permission to combine elements from all of the above styles and although they may not "match" they "go-with" each other.  I love rich colors, textures and patterns and I love them to all be in the same space but also be aesthetically pleasing all together.   I might even be creating my own style here, but as long as I am happy with it, then so be it.  

As most of you know, I make everything...  and if I can cut my costs or reuse or up-cycle something (or all of the above) that will be my 1st choice.  In this case, I need new bedding.  And when I say need, I mean, I want something more stylish than what I currently have.  I keep trying to come up with an idea of a comforter/quilt for the bed, but I am drawing a blank.  I have been scouring the Internet for something.... anything that will provide some inspiration or at very least a direction.  So far, nothing!!!  So I am trying a new approach......  I am going to start from the ground up.  

The bed skirt, dust ruffle... whatever you want to call it is 1st to go.   If I had wood floors I would get a platform bed and this wouldn't be an issue but I have carpet, which I hate, so I try to cover up as much of it as possible.   My bedroom is painted a dark red color and previously I had a Red/Green/Black/Cream color scheme going.....  I know that sounds like Santa's outfit, but it worked much better than it seems.  A year or 2 ago, I painted my master bathroom a turquoise/aqua/robin's egg-ish color (we will call it Pool),  which threw off the entire color scheme in my bedroom.  So now the colors are Red/Pool/Black/Cream...  I have even considered throwing in mustard, but that is beside the point.  The point is, my bedding is still "rustic" greens and cream and my dust ruffle is a Hunter Green color.  

A while ago I saw this image from Urban Outfitters and I was inspired by the "duvet-cover-laying-over-creating-what-looks-like-a-bed-skirt":

I even like the floral duvet, too bad they don't make any of their bedding in king size.  Anyhow, I bought fabric to "sort of" replicate the look of this "bed skirt", but then I kinda thought that this would be a little too much Pool color in the bedroom so it has been on hold for months.  The other day I had this vision of combining the pool fabric with a woven hounds tooth, or something similar, and I have been a crazy maniac trying to get that accomplished ever since.  This isn't hounds tooth, but this is near exactly what I was envisioning (woven fabric on top, pool fabric peeking out on the bottom): 

I LOVE... the only problem is that the woven black and white fabric is a scarf...  that isn't big enough to go around the entire bed.  I could buy similar fabric but that would take forever to find and would get really expensive.  So then I thought maybe I could find a few cheap-ish woven throws that I could cut up and convert and I found this throw from ikea:
It has a similar look and would probably work, and I really like the fringe.  I am planning on a Chicago trip this year, so I wouldn't have to pay shipping and at $12.99, this seems pretty inexpensive.  But, when I start measuring and adding up, I am going to end up needing 4 maybe even 5 throws...  and suddenly it is no longer inexpensive.  So I started experimenting:

Left over micro fleece fabric in charcoal.  A little too plain for my taste....  so I thought I might gussy it up a bit.  I had some leftover super chunky yarn and I had a crochet trim pattern in mind for a future project so what the heck:

Another fail.  This one is a little too "fancy" and just isn't anywhere close to the look that I want.  So I scrapped the polar fleece and decided to go with all yarn, and if I use up all of my scrap yarns in the chosen colors, it could save quite a bit of money:

Bingo!  I love the way it looks, it's funky/handmade/vintage-inspired/retro/eclectic and ME.  Biggest downfall: it is going to take me forever to crochet pieces to go around 3 sides of my ginormous bed.... this little 12" wide piece took me a good 45 minutes to crochet.   Another downfall: even though I have a ton of yarn, I don't have a TON in these colors.  So that means that I would have to purchase some yarn and since I am crocheting, that means I will have to buy a lot of yarn.  However, since this is a bed skirt, I don't care what the content of the yarn is... so I can go with the junkiest/cheapest of yarns to get this guy accomplished.... but I still have to buy a lot of it.  Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly how much yarn I will wind up needing so I can either jump in feet first or I can scrap it and start looking at other options.

Suggestions?  I am going for a black/white/gray/cream color scheme (with the hint of pool color from the fabric that I already have).  I figure if I keep with those non-colors, it will expand the range of patterns and colors that I can use for the future comforter/quilt.  I would like it to be rich with texture without looking too fancy or girly.  Help???  Please???      Anyone???  :-)

On a side note: It might seem handy to be "crafty" but as I might have just demonstrated, it is most of the time extremely exhausting and frustrating.....   although, I wouldn't change it for the world ;-)