Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sewing 101


No more Tupperware parties.
No 'scrapping' parties.
No candle parties.
It is time for sewing parties
and crafting parties.

Last weekend, Gretchen and I decided to try out a pattern I found for a buck. We used "repurposed" fabric. Repurposed is a term out in the crafting world that means just what it sounds like. The original purpose and use of this material was Little O's bumper pad for his crib. I really overbought on that one! (I love it.)

So, I showed Gretchen how to understand a pattern and what some of the symbols mean and we started cutting (and cutting and cutting). Then, Gretchen started pinning.
And pinning.
And pinning.
Very lovely pinning, but a pin need not be lovely, just...well, pinned.

After a terrible tragedy and a big bowl of ice cream, we had ourselves an apron. Gretchen gave it to a dear friend as part of a bridal shower gift and it was quite the hit. Nothing like a handmade gift.

I have my coupons clipped and schedule open for our search of fabric for our 'real' aprons. The ones we keep for ourselves.

After working some issues out on duration of time, I am hoping to offer "Apron Making Parties" or "Embroidery Parties". Any thoughts? Would anyone be interested?

Let's stop buying and start making!

Rabbits Away!



They usually don't eat daffodils, but these are near the the tulips that are free from tiny choppers.


So far.


Knock on wood.


Seriously, knock on wood.


Everyone.


Thank you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Overdosing

In case anyone was wondering, it IS possible to overdose on fresh gluten free blueberry muffins! And if it is after lunchtime, it is okay to put a dollop of lemon frosting on top.

This is one of the mixes that my dear friend (Hi Meredith!) sent to me to try out from Whole Foods. So far, two out of two mixes are fantastic.

Hopefully the prices on blueberries and other fresh fruit won't trump the price of gas this summer. I will be needing more of these. And now "they" are talking of a rice shortage. Please, no.

And yes, I promise to show something creative next time. Still weaving, crocheting "that" blanket. Tonight my friend is coming over and we are going to try something new, I'll post on that later.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stages


Yesterday a rich blue sky complimented these bright green blossoms of our maple tree.
Unfortunately, the camera wasn't accessible and today's sky was full of gray, dingy, clumpy clouds.
My neighbor thought I was crazy with my scissors to our tree, especially the day after Earth Day.
It was just too pretty to not bring inside to enjoy.
Tom came home and asked, "What's up with the tree in the house?"

I am just really proud of this tree. It was hit pretty hard from our October storm (year and a half ago) and it didn't get ANY trimming or attention. Our tree is getting ready for it's broad leaves that shade our driveway, and drop the dead blossoms onto the driveway into a sticky brown mess, only to crowd the lawn with helicopters and mini-me maple trees.

But for now, I am going to enjoy this stage of the maple tree.




This is another blog I am enjoying. This gal was on the Martha Stewart show. Cute Stuff!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Giggles

Coffee with cream,
Pajamas,
Giggling boys,
Rising sun,
Saturday.

What could be better? Fresh muffins, perhaps, my husband home and not at work (so I can go plant the flat of perennials I got yesterday). But right now, I am content to let the boys play in the other room and update you on my week.

It has been a while since I have written. The 'real' job has been competing with runny noses and beautiful weather. I have been weaving, but only finished three pattern repeats for about 14 inches. Not sure how much warp I have, but I think I am close to a four foot project. This will be available in the WashMyCloth Etsy shop in June, stayed tuned.

I am an official tax collector - that didn't take too much time. Perhaps it is the state showing its efficiencies when the result benefits them...???

Also working on a crochet blanket in soy yarn. It is soft and warm. Not sure where this will end up, but it is taking forever. This was supposed to be the yarn for Baby Julia, that changed to the quilt and burp cloths. I think I should put a couple quilt/blankets together for the shop, they were fun.

Chatter about a couple birthdays has commenced. We are going to have Sam and Oscar share a family party this year. So many options, I wish Sam would finalize his decisions so my brain can start planning/mapping/cake designing. Robots, Bounce House, Cars, SpiderMan, Pirates. So many options. Oscar's cake will be a repeated theme from last year, vehicles. This boy just can't keep his hands off cars, and BIG RUCKS, and Wire Rucks.

Well, my time is up, here come the boys and a book.

Have a great weekend.

UPDATE: If you are looking for a gift for a doctor or science teacher, check this out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stacking Up

June first isn't as far away as I thought. Mom gave me the soaps and cloths to set up for the etsy.com shop. I was putting them in piles to make up separate items and then decided I didn't feel like taking the pictures, so just piled them up. INSPIRATION. I thought they looked fun, and accomplished, all stacked up like this.

So, I didn't wake up with $200 in my pocket, but I did get an amazing care package in the mail. I saw this crockpot website (her direct link to the recipe isn't working today) where gluten free bread was made in the crockpot. Gluten Free bread is the driest bread around, but when made in a warm, moist (sorry, Meredith) environment like a crockpot, it keeps its (again, sorry) moistness. I was amazed how this GF bread mix from Whole Foods turned out - in the crockpot. It rises and then bakes, all in the pot - about 3.5 hours. Still good the next day. Good enough to eat un-toasted. This bread definitely stacks up behind "real glutened" bread, but way ahead of any other GF bread I have made or eaten. Kudo's to Whole Foods 365 Brand. I would assume this works with any kind of bread, the idea is that you make the dough as directed for oven baking (no need to let rise), put the dough in the loaf pan, the loaf pan in the crockpot and cover, lid opened a bit. My loaf pan didn't fit (I have a round crockpot - not oval), so I put the bread in a round baking dish, next time, it is going directly in the greased crockpot - no pan.

So, thank you Meredith for the amazing box of Whole Foods treats. You have gone way beyond the requested one mix and some binder clips...thank you thank you.

Buffalo really needs a Whole Foods. And an Ikea. And a Trader Joes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Putting it in Black and White


I did the dreaded cut last night. And guess what? It wasn't that bad. All I had to do was write it in this blog and I do it? It is psychological manipulation? Seriously, I write it, then I do it. Why can't I just do it without writing it down? I am going to wake up tomorrow with $200 in my pocket. (Let's see if it works).
Also found the color combo I want to add. I wove about an inch last night and am looking forward to the weekend to do more.
I'll take a picture of my progress.
But not at the time Tom suggested.
I am not that devoted.
...
I wouldn't say I am a die-hard American Idol fan, in fact, I usually tune into Idol at the end to hear the recap. Jason Castro sold me with this rendition.

I do believe from the clip I heard on iTunes, the studio version is much clearer.

Either way - love it and love the ukulele.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Signs

The boys and I went to the fabric store a couple weekends ago. I never thought fabric could make little boys happy. O had a bolt of vehicles that he was naming off like a child recites the alphabet. He even cried when I gave the bolt to be measured and cut, as if it were a candy bar.
Sam found this neat sign fabric that he thought was a must have. Originally we were going to make pajama pants with all the fabric. Best laid plans.
Sam wanted a blanket, so of course, mom happily obliged - after all, blankets are much easier than pants!

Tom mentioned today that I might be disappointing my readers by not having much weaving highlighted lately. Well, I hope I don't disappoint. The difficulties I am having with weaving are quite simple to remedy, I am just procrastinating. Weaving, as one would guess, takes a long time. It is exciting at the beginning and at the end, but in the middle, well, blah blah. I have a warp on the loom, but haven't been 100% happy with my color choice for the weft (horizontal yarn). I need to remove some of the weft that is on the loom right now, and that just isn't any fun. The other bummer is that now that Mr. Loom in in the basement, the lighting couldn't be worse for pictures.

(And don't even get me started on the Three Stooges clock that says wacky phrases at the hour. )

Tom says I should get up early to take pictures while the light comes in through the small windows.

I say, you are all fine, the waiting makes it more special in the end!

Since I seem to do things after I state them in this blog - I will at least remove the unwanted yarn from the loom tonight (as long as the boys go to bed nicely).

AND...I received my first comment from stranger today. I thanked that stranger, and got another comment. Not that your comments aren't great (of faithful few), but it is nice to have a word or two from someone who has no idea who I am or what I do or why I do what I do.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ripe

It wasn't ripe, but the cutting it reminded me that summer will soon be here and the fruit will be ripe and delicious!
...still waiting.

And, for orchid lovers, check this out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

One in the Series

We had another painting session a while back, Oscar's first session. Sam was working on a car and Oscar completed his very first painting of a series of many to come, I am sure. He gets pretty excited when the paints or crayons or markers come out, stressing the medium with such enthusiasum. I love it.

Although I never got a picture of it, (ugh) I made a lap blanket/tissue holder/waste pocket for Grandma. Happy 91st Birthday! She is an amazing lady, such a trooper. Anyway, I made it out of necessity. She balances her tiny tissue box on her lap and then doesn't have any place for the used ones. It came out pretty close to what I envisioned and am thrilled that I could toss around some fabric until I had the idea mapped out in my head. Some might equate this to Procrastination, but not me, or my dad.

I am trying to figure out what my "thing" is. Hoping maybe you can remind me. I dabble in a bunch of stuff and am trying to get to that one or two things that can be what I do, that niche. I want something that I can make multiples of in a somewhat rapid manner, and then take time to make them exclusive (embellishing with _____).

This has turned into a ramble, but I am going to leave it here to come back to again. It is good to get thoughts out there and stew on them a bit. I'd love to hear some comments, but only nice ones, please.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Found

If you found a note on the ground, would you read it?
If you found a note that slipped from the hand of another, would you read it?
If you found a note while shoveling snow, would you read it?

Yes
Yes
and
YES.


I wonder how the Hairy Leg Contest went (see April 3rd entry).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

June First

To some, it isn't a big deal.
To others, they have already done it.
To me, it means a lot of different things.

As I type this, the postman is taking this letter from my mailbox. Yikes!

I have just filed my Application to Register for a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority. Basically, I have become a business. An artist.

It means I have to file another set of tax forms.
It means I will have to keep track of every penny I collect.
It means I am putting value to what I love.
It means that I can try to sell my creations.
It means I have reclaimed my creative side for more than my own personal enjoyment.

I said in an earlier post that my goal for Etsy.com is October 2008. I don't think I can do that.
Sorry to change my mind. But June First sounds so much better.