Saturday, December 31, 2005
We had some friends over for Oliebollen--Dutch New Years donut thinggies--this morning. I guess we're allowed, since my hubby's mom is originally from the Netherlands. That makes our kids 1/4 Dutch. Oma, Dave's mom, used to call our little Davey her "little dutch boy". That was back when he was a baby, and when his hair was a lot lighter than the dark brown it is now. (We didn't think it the light hair was going to stay, since he's also 1/4 Chinese!!--hee hee.)
Anyway, the recipe Dave used is from the cookbook Eet Smakelijk , which Oma gave us soon after we were married. He made 3 different kinds: raisins, cranberries, and chocolate chip. Here's Keith going at a chocolate chip one. Happy New Year!
Monday, December 26, 2005
Right before Keith was born, I made about 5 quilts. I was nesting, lots of friends were having babies, I'd just gotten my QuiltEasy frame...I was on a roll. Anyway, I had made a quilt top for him and quilted it, and all that was left was to bind the edges. Then the baby was born, and who had time to work on quilts blah, blah, blah. So hubby's quilt has been sitting, unfinished, in a basket. Every now and then he'll ask me if I have any plans to finish it, and I just roll my eyes at him. Well, today, 'bless him, he kept the boys occupied for a couple of hours so that I could get it done. Without further ado, may I present.......the quilt that I couldn't keep my kids away from when I tried to take a picture. (I really should know better than to try this when they're awake.)
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Here's what my girlfriends are getting from me this year. Felt pincushions, peppermint bark, and of course, a gratuitous picture of my kids for their fridge--that's my brave Davey, holding a crab, and Keith in the background pointing at his idol.
Wishing you and yours a very merry and meaningful Christmas! We're a little bummed that we're on for nursery duty at church during the Christmas service--but Jesus came into this world as a precious babe and I guess we'll be getting a reminder of that tomorrow as we hang out in the basement with all the little ones in their ruffled-butt finery. :) Blessings!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I've been inspired lately by all the cute pincushions I've been seeing all over, especially the ones at Bella Dia and yvestown. So I decided to give it a go! These are made from felt and stuffed with batting and a little rice to weigh them down. I've been really into embroidery lately. I'm just a beginner, and you can tell, but that suits me fine. When it comes to embroidery I'm all about rustic imperfection anyway. These will be going to crafty girlfriends for Christmas. I have a couple more to make and I'll be all set. Also, of course, I'll need one for myself.
And, since I'm on such a big felt kick right now, I've been really having fun exploring and swooning over the fabulous stockings and felt cushions at Hable Construction. They are brilliant over there. I just might have to make knock-offs of their stuff too.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Now that I'm all set up again, and just about out of the first trimester...I think I'm going to have the energy to start posting again. Yay!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
This feels a little too personal to be sharing on a blog, but oh well. I feel like it's time to explain why I've been such a delinquent lately--tired, unmotivated, wishing I had more energy...
Here's the little 9 wk. old bean who causes me to fall asleep with my mouth open in front of the t.v. at night.
Do you see that way cute pouch on the cover? I decided to make a knock off of that. Because of my malaise, I can’t be bothered to spend hours knitting and knitting. So I took a shortcut. I was at World Market and I came across this.
It’s a crocheted placemat made from raffia maybe? Some kind of natural fiber, anyway. I sewed the sides up with yarn, strung the yarn through the top at equal intervals, and then lined it with an old napkin. And voila, a basket to hold clutter in my bathroom. Clutter to display clutter. Nice, huh?
It's a handbag made from one placemat and one napkin from one of my favorite stores (Crate and Barrel). Love the fabric and now I'm wishing I had bought some more of these to make Christmas presents. Maybe I'll have to drag the kids back to the mall....smirk.By the way, thanks for the placemat purse tutorial, Kimberly! I kind of went off on my own here, because I'm afraid of zippers. Maybe someday I'll get over my phobia. I think I need my mom to come visit me and teach me the fine art of zipperage.
Here's a skirt I made recently with the "cute skirts" pattern from http://www.favoritethings.net/ It would have been more of a favorite thing if I had actually read the pattern before I plundered ahead and made it...I messed up the waistband and had to redo it. No biggie. I still like it. I'm looking forward to wearing it once it warms up around here.
I had a little fabric leftover from my recent knitting case project, so I decided that my crochet hooks (all 3 of them) could use a little love too. I use crochet hooks for hiding loose ends when my knitting is done, and it seems that whenever I get to the end of my project I have no clue where I put that darn crochet hook and have to tear apart the craft room to find one. So, maybe this little crochet hook bag will save me from making yet another trip to the store. This one fits right into one of the pockets of the knitting case. Yippee.
Speaking of yippee (or, "wippee," as little Keith says)...I've become a regular at my gym. I've gone 3 days a week for one month and am finally starting to feel like the "old me" from about ten years ago. I used to run regularly, and then when I started grad school I got too busy to exercise. Lame, huh? Then I started working and was too busy (and too cold--we were in MI, afterall), and then I had kids and was too tired. So many excuses...all of them dumb. So now, I've decided to fight to keep this body in good shape. I've neglected it too long, and I don't want to be a bad, saggy, lazy example for my kids. So, here I am... running 2 miles a day and lifting weights, and feeling good about myself again. I've joined Kimberly's get-fit group, so I will try to post regular updates...
They weren't kidding when they called this stuff "fun" fur. I combined it with a chunky pink yarn and seriously knit this up in about 2 hours over 2 evenings--watching Martha Stewart's Apprentice and then Donald's the next night. This turned out so girly and cute. It's going to a little girlfriend of Davey's who will be turning six next month.
And this next picture is in honor of Kimberly. Afterall, isn't everybody just crazy about buttons?????? (wink, wink) By the way, make sure you check Kimberly's website. She's going to set up a fitness group for knitters...don't want to outgrow the sweaters that took so long to create!
This is what I got at Pier One: 1 placemat and 2 napkins (one of them is two-colors; it's folded around the yellow one in the center).
This is what it became:
This can hold 11 sets of needles and the pockets in front are for circulars. And can I just say, "I LOVE FABRIC GLUE!" The placemat was so thick, I just about broke my machine. Glue to the rescue!
And a big thank you to Sarah for your crafty inspiration. I saw the one you made for your mom (Sep. 9th entry) and I knew I just had to try my hand at this...and do a little embroidery as well. :) I love the hand-stitched imperfection. I'm so happy with the way this turned out. I think I'm going to have to make some more.
Yesterday we got a care package in the mail from Oma (Dave's mom). The boys absolutely flipped out over these gummy candies inside that were shaped like bugs, slugs, roaches--complete with juicy bug guts that you could see from the outside. So they'd bite them in half and then squish out all the red "guts," pretend to get all grossed out and squeal while running around the house. So hilarious. I'm going to have to locate some more for the next party we have around here.She also sent me some fun fur. Isn't it cute? This is my first gift of yarn ever. I've never had someone go out and buy yarn especially for me, so this was quite a treat. When I shop for yarn, I usually end up with something "practical," so this should be fun, trying something new. According to the packaging, one ball and size 11 needles can make me a scarfie. Hopefully I'll be able to whip something up quick so I'll have something to show you in a couple of days. Oma is the one who taught me to knit when they came out to visit last Thanksgiving. I don't know how she put up with me...she was so matter-of-fact, and I was giggling the whole time because my hands didn't want to cooperate and felt like such a blooming idiot. She'd say, "you go like this." And then I'd try it and end up doing the total opposite. And then she'd have to try to undo my mistake. Now that I know how to knit, I don't think I ever want to teach anyone. I'd probably end up frustrated and yell at them or something. Thank you OMA!!!!!
Here's the scarf I've been working on for a while. It's My So Called Scarf from Sheep in the City. The texture is just beautiful and the picture here doesn't do it justice. I'm using yarn from Handpainted Yarn. The yarn is great, and there are some color variations in it, but maybe next time I'll choose something with even more variations in it so that it will show off othe pattern a little better. One thing I've found is this pattern is NO GOOD if you are mistake-prone, because you need an IQ of at least 150 to frog it!!! Ask me how I know this! I had to throw out a good 5 inches of work because I messed up. Bah! Despite that, and the fact that it's a litte slow-going, I'm still having fun with it.p.s. Don't mind the terrible picture. We are having a very overcast rainy day in Seattle this morning. So far, not a whole lot of natural light pouring into the house. Hee hee. Who am I kidding? Even on the nicest days, my pictures aren't that great.
Didn't want you to think that I haven't been doing much crafting around here. Here's proof--that's me working on the ruffles scarf from Scarf Style. Almost done! Yes, I need a manicure, but if I wasted time on that I wouldn't have time for blogging, now would I? :)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
TEN YEARS AGO: I was celebrating my second anniversary with my hubby, Dave. We had just finished a 2 year stint as ESL teachers at a Christian college in Taiwan. We were back in the US going to grad school. I was working toward a MA in English, but after a semester of that, I decided that I'd rather be a librarian. We were living like paupers in student housing, but didn't know any better. We had everything we needed and not much more. Life was pretty good!
FIVE YEARS AGO: I had been working for 3 years in an elementary school as a media specialist. We were living in a house built in 1936 and spent all of our free time fixing it up room by room. By the time we moved in 2002, we had whipped that place into shape. Glad we did that before we had kids. Aaaah, what a grand experience that was. I was totally head over heels in love with that house. Broke my heart when we moved away.
ONE YEAR AGO: I became a mom of two! I had no idea how wonderful, exhilarating, and guilt-ridden this ride could be. And who knew making chocolate pudding pies and spilling rice all over the kitchen floor could be so fun!?
FIVE SNACKS: You probably won't know all this stuff, but here goes--Chinese sourballs (dried plums), do gan (Chinese vegetarian beef jerky), tofu pudding, McVities chocolate covered biscuits, & toast with lemon curd on top.
FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO: If you'd asked me this when I was in high school, it would have been any song by Amy Grant. Now, hmmmmm,-- itsy bitsy spider, etc. and anything by Raffi.
FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION: Go into the construction business and build a subdivision where all the houses are to my liking! Buy up some commercially zoned land and build a strip mall where all the shops are to my liking! (see a pattern here?) And of course, make sure my progeny are taken care of. I'd probably like to add on to my house. Yeah! A HUGE craft room just for me. Dave and I have often said that if we ever hit the jackpot, we'd still drive the same old cars and live in the same old house. We would hate to alienate our friends because of money and would hate for our kids to grow up feeling like they deserve a handout.
FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO: Mackinac Island, MI Anderson Island, WA Taipei, Taiwan Hong Kong Bellevue, WA (oh yeah, I'm there already!)
FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR: big jewelry, permanent makeup, fake fingernails, a poncho, Uggs.
FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Desperate Housewives, Oprah, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Apprentice, the Old Martha Stewart (sniff, sniff)
FIVE BIGGEST JOYS: My hubby, my kids, a good meal in my belly, phone calls to my sis, and the Joy of the Lord (is my strength (clap, clap)).
FAVORITE TOYS: Sewing Machine, Knitting needles, Adobe Photoshop, Computer (am getting addicting to the blogs....ack! That's where all my time is getting sucked these days), and someday, again, it will be my piano--when Keithy stops saying "no like it" and crying loudly everytime I play one of MY songs!
PEOPLE TO PASS THIS ON TO: Hmmm. I'm such a loser, I don't have any blogging friends yet (aside from Kimberly and Sarah and LindiePindie, who have already been tagged). I guess I'll have to wait on this one.
When we told Davey about hurricane Katrina and how many people lost their homes and belongings in the floods, he wanted to know whether kids' toys were washed away too. He got quiet when he heard the answer, and then immediately decided we should go to the Redmond Town Center toy store to buy them some more. It does my heart good to see our 4 year old thinking about the feelings and needs of others. He picked out 2 cars--a small rubber car (huggy buggy) and a big metal one with doors that open and close. I'm sure he would have loved to keep them both, under any other circumstances, but today he was very focused on making the recipient happy. I wrapped it and he decorated it in "cursive."Here's what it "says":"Do crash the huggy buggy, but not the big car, because I know the huggy buggy is hard to break. Play everywhere that your mom says yes. I really know that you needed some toys so we bought some toys for you. Love, Davey. p.s. I know that you really love your new toys."Funny, sweet boy.
I'll leave you with a picture of my hubby's craft -- I awoke on Saturday morning to the smell of this crusty goodness. mmmmm....heavenly.
Here's a pic of me in my new skirt #2. Same pattern as the other one...and just like the other one, the picture doesn't show the panels. Just like me to make a springtime skirt just as the weather is starting to cool off.Mom is leaving today, and I'm sad to see her go. I'll miss my crafting buddy, interesting adult conversation, and an extra pair of hands to help out with the boys. Love you mom!
Hey, and am I the last person to have discovered bloglines? This has saved me so much time on the computer. I can just input the blogs that I keep track of, and I go to my bloglines page and it will show me who has updated their blog. Here's who's on my list right now:A Girl's Gotta Knit
Daily pictures of interest
Decorator Crab Blog
knit and tonic
Poor Miss Finch
sheep in the city
Some people's blogs don't allow for rss feeds yet, so I have to check them still -- The Giving Flower --worth the extra effort ;) Happy weekending!
Looky looky at what mom made for Davey yesterday. She was worried he wouldn't like them. He was in the middle of watching a show when we made him try them on for a fitting. He totally resisted taking off the pants he already had on. Then when he put these on it was instant love. He started running all over the house. Then he did the "hug game" with us (we were sitting on sofas on opposite ends of the room). Then when mom said he had to take them off so she could do the elastic, he didn't want to. He sat on the sofa with a blanket over his legs until she finished. Wore them all afternoon and then to bed. One thing about kids is that they don't fake around. They either like something or they don't. They don't pretend to like stuff to make you feel good. Would that we could all have pants this cozy.
We've been to Joann's twice since mom's been here and we have plans to go again. It's been fun having a sewing partner. Here is Butterick pattern 3972 in a brown tone on tone fabric. You probably can't see this very well in the picture, but the front and back panels are made up of 3 panels each (can you make out a slanted T?--maybe if you squint) with topstitching detail. I suppose if my fabric weren't so "busy" you'd be able to see it better. I'm on the lookout for some brown lace to embellish the bottom.I have 2 more skirts in progress, so I guess my next two blog posts are taken care of! More later!
Yesterday I got the chance to work on some invitations for the Women's Ministries Fall Kick-off at my church. My friend dropped off some paper and some pretty red envelopes--her dad owns a printing company and is her supplier for very cool (and free) paper. How lucky is she? I saw some very pretty invitations in this month's Midwest Living--a very classy invitation to an apple tasting party. That was my inspiration. Of course, that one had all kinds different paper with hand torn edges and layered on top of each other. I only had one day to do these, so this is what I came up with.Mom helped me fold and stuff envelopes last night. Then we watched 13 Going on 30. Then Dave watched Dirty Jobs (of course). Today we're off to the glorious Anderson Island to show mom the land. Enjoy your weekend!
Another 9- months-of-pregnancy quilt from the archives. This one was unin-tentional. I just thought I'd try and see if I could make a octagonal quilt square, and then it just sort of snowballed. The octagons were a bit addictive. I had just gotten my QuiltEasy frame and new long armed sewing machine. This was right before Keith was born, so I was nesting too. Fun times. Just picture me with my big old preggo belly hunched over this contraption, quilting for hours at a time. Gave myself a neck and back ache. Couldn't be helped. I made so many quilts that winter.
Little Davey took the picture for me--hence the funny angle. These are egg cozies that I made using the pattern from Weekend Knitting--love that book! These look like little Barbie doll sweaters, although I doubt any Barbie could get her head through that little neck hole! One of my friends told me I should try selling them to a bed and breakfast...which of course I would never do, since it would be totally ILLEGAL, but also because at the rate I knit, let's see...do you think anyone would pay $10 for a Barbie sweater, and if so...that would be equal to about, um, $1.50/hour of my time, not including materials. Yeah. I hear you. Don't quit your day job. Hmmm. Too bad my day job isn't making me any money!!!!
Monday, December 05, 2005
As promised, here is my completed French Market Bag. I'm happy with it, although I sure wish it weren't so flopsy. Maybe if I line it with fabric, it will hold up a little better. Dave thinks I should starch it, heh heh.Oh my, what is that inside my Le Sac du marché français? Something I picked up at the Marché français? Non ce n'est pas. It's a present I gifted to myself from l'amazone.com. Why, it's Denyse Schmidt's quilt book. Fabuleux! I'm a little bummed that I have to go on vacation and don't have time to do any crafting out of the book, but there are some pretty snazzy Christmas gift making ideas in there that I'm excited about.
*Are you impressed by my french, by the way? Love love love babblefish.com. Makey me look so smartey.
Yay! I finally finished knitting up my French Market Bag from knitty. I'm so excited. So, the next step is to felt it, which means throwing it in the washing machine with a pair of jeans and letting all the mistakes shrink away. Awesome, dude. I can't wait to see what it looks like. Seems like I've been working on this bag for months, and I'm trying really hard to get some projects finished up so I can start buying some more yarn to make Christmas presents. Hubby says I'm allowed to buy all the yarn I want, I'm just not allowed to have a stash. Smart man. He knows I'm a hoarder.We spent the morning in the emergency room with little D-man. He was having trouble breathing and we thought he might have pneumonia again, but turns out he's has a bad case of bronchitis. He took 2 long naps today. Both times he woke up and said "I'm feeling much better!" and put his brave/happy face on, but he still has a temp and is still coughing a lot. He's nowhere close to being healthy. He tries so hard. All he ate today was a chocolate chip cookie and 2 bites of scrambled egg. I hope he gets better soon. Poor kid.More later--I'll post an "after" picture of my bag when it's ready. --
Here's a baby quilt I made for a friend last year. I thought it made sense to make 9 patches for 9 months of pregnancy. I didn't use a pattern...just kind of made it up as I went along. I'm happy with the way it turned out. Wish someone would make me a quilt like this!
Here's a shot of my nappy bag. I used Amy Butler's pattern with a Michael Miller fabric. I know it's supposed to be a diaper bag, but it holds my knitting stuff so well. I've seen that people all over the web have made these, but haven't run into anyone in real life yet who totes one around.
I'm in love with this fabric, by the way. It's called "avocado funky" and if I ever have a girl, her curtains and bedding are going to be made out of this.
Remember I told you a while back that I was helping a friend clean out the storage room at church? Let me tell you, someone had a hard time letting go of their (or their grandma's??) craft stuff and was using the church basement as a personal storage facility. There were boxes and boxes of old lace, most of which dated back to the 50's and looked as if it had never been used. Anyway, alot of it ended up at Goodwill, but I snagged some of it thinking I would embellish a girly quilt, or something--instead it turned into this cute little purse. I love the little rosette, which is just lace wrapped in a circle around a pink ribbon center and attached to miniature lace doily. If you look closely, you can see that I knit a tiny string of pearls into it. So dainty! Too bad I'm kind of a tomboy, but I think I could find a use for it someday.
Our oldest was especially fond of his star shoes. With them on, he could run "superfast!" He wore them all the time and everywhere. When he outgrew them, we bought him another pair. And then another. When he outgrew the last pair, we could no longer find star shoes in his size. What we managed to find instead was to him an unsatisfactory substitute...that is until daddy christened them "stardust shoes." Even better than star shoes, stardust shoes leave everyone in the dust! (So take that, you boove!)
p.s. We won't mention daddy's New Balances where the "N" stands for "not fast."