Allow myself to introduce... myself


Sunday, December 30, 2007

It Really IS a Craft Blog!

I think I mentioned before that the problem with posting craft pictures before Christmas is that most of the gift recipients have a chance of getting their surprises ruined if they happen upon the blog. So I've been patiently waiting until the day that I could show you that yes, I have been sewing again with a gusto, and I even have the fruits of my labor here to prove it. Let us all cross our fingers and consider this to be a sign of the things to come for 2008, and consider the 6 month hiatus from creating a distant memory from the disastrous second half of 2007. And with that I present to you...

One little boy who wanted nothing more than to dress like Santa for ChristmasAnd yes... that IS a Target clearance red hooded sweatshirt ($3.48) with 2 yards of fake fur basted on (for easy removal after the holidays) and some black knit gloves ($1.48). The look on my son's face when he saw this ensem' was indeed priceless.

Like most workplaces at the holidays, ours traded names for a Secret Santa exchange. I happened to draw my friend Sara, so in order to throw her off the trail I made this lovely pillow with her initial. In real life it squashes itself down in the perfect imitation of a very lovely '2', but Sara was nice enough to say she loved it anyway. Her real gift was this little gem which is based on a very inappropriate game we play. The people that know the game thought this was hilarious...

I needed a gift for our janitors, a lovely Russian couple who I don't really know too well since they usually come after I'm gone. I have no idea whether it was a hit or not, but I'm certainly proud of how this turned out since it's not really my style at all. It seemed sort of perfect... but who really knows?
I made this for my boss, and luckily she appreciated the wisdom... which is a direct quote from Homer Simpson. Everyone deserves a boss who appreciates truly genius wisdom.

Boo and Baby each received handmade gifts from me this year also, and I have to say with no small amount of pride that I think they were also a big hit. It's a wonder I never thought to do this before...

A jacket for Luna; why did I never make her one before? I've made probably 30 of these for strangers...

This is the quote on the inside left front of the jacket, the rest are on the outside
Luna has her jacket, and Sol was ecstatic about meeting this little guywho was knit from a pattern I found here. The monster himself is very nice and well-behaved, however he was (excuse my language) a bitch to knit. It doesn't help that the pattern and I had a bit of a misunderstanding, hence the monster's freakishly large head. If you click on the link to the real pattern you'll see a much better formed monster... luckily my son has not seen what the monster should look like, and therefore has no idea that his mommy is a knitting reject.

I didn't get pictures of the Urchin hat I knit for my sister out of a beautiful soft baby blue thick and thin yarn, or the lampshade I knit for my Mom that, after an hour of help from my local knitting store, actually turned out amazingly fantastic. I've included the links for THOSE patterns here also in case you're feeling productive.

And so with the holidays over, I've decided I need to kick my butt back into gear and get back to focusing on making things to sell. I am a single mother who would like to develop a very nice yarn stash after all, so I better get to work. I have a goal to make 5 things to list on Etsy before I go back to work on Wednesday, and here's what I have so far:
It's a small start, but it's a start. Now if anyone has any really great quote suggestions I could really use some!

I am SO grateful for new beginnings, two wonderful kids who also happen to be my favorite people in the world, spending the holidays with family, Kyle still safe and grouchy in Iraq, and Travis finally making it to L.A. My world is good.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

O Christmas Tree!

My Mom goes ALL OUT when it comes to decorating for Christmas, so I feel like I've spent the past week in some kind of show house... which is what it actually was, since my Mom's mini-town does a Christmas Home Tour ever year of which she was a part. So for your viewing enjoyment, I have a small sampling of the splendour that is Grandma's Home for the Holidays...

The french doors from the living room to the sunroom, where the tree (and presents!) were:

This is our Santa, Guardian of the Christmas Tree. This year we let him sit down, but normally he stands about five and a half feet tall holding a lantern. My Mom made him a few years ago

The view from the living room coffeetable (which my Mom made over 30 years ago) toward the sun room

Can you believe this is just the spot over the kitchen sink?

This is the dining room...
Doesn't every house have a snowman collection in the dining room?
Shouldn't every house decorate with cake domes?And of course no Christmas would be complete without plenty of Santas...

Um... does anyone else decorate their bathroom also?
So I was fortunate enough to spend my holidays surrounded by all that you see here (and more!), knitting. Could it get any better than that?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This, That, and the Other

I KNOW I need to be better at posting to my blog, if for no other reason than that it helps me see things in a humorous light. But are any other crafty bloggers finding it hard to blog about what they're doing right now because they're making gifts for people who read their blog? I mean honestly, if I blogged all the wonderful projects I'm working on, Christmas would be ruined! So let me dig through my pile of possible-things-to-blog about and see what I come up with...

Ah yes, I know just the thing! The sewing room extreme makeover (well for me anyway). Those of you in the know may remember that I foolishly decided that it would be a simple weekend job to switch out my sewing room and my office, so the sewing room might actually be a ROOM (gasp!) with a DOOR (shock!). Who knows how many months later, I was finally able to begin sewing in my lovely new space last Friday. Now everything is not as perfect as my head like to think things up to be, but I am finally able to share with you all what I have. But first I want to start with the material I bought to make a quilt sometime after the holidays, because I am so absolutely in love with these colors:The quilt will be for a guy, so I hope I've straddled the line of masculine and amazingly gorgeous well.

Any material that has a very specific project picked out for it now resides here, in this cabinet I stole out from around my meager collection of sheets for the actual beds in our home.
Now the sheets are probably laying in a corner in a pile somewhere, but doesn't the material look lovely? The bit of material hanging down the front was a wonderful gift given to me by my friend Tif. It's a bit of silk covered in hand embroidery that she found somewhere, and I have to admit that the back of it is my favorite part to look at (and I get to see the back every time I open the cabinet... see, GENIUS!).

The material that I stare at when I'm trying to figure out what to make next, is all arranged nicely like this now, and I can get to every single piece without reaching past a table or going on my tippy toes!
And just so that I never have to worry about one of my cutting tools going AWOL (it happened to Tif and the very thought of such a thing had me losing sleep for weeks), I "repurposed" ( a new word that spell check does NOT like) an Ikea candleholder to make my piece de resistance...

"I don't know much about art, but I know what I like".

I dug this out of a box and have displayed it proudly, in case I ever forget what I'm supposed to be doing when I'm in that room:(My art book of Botero is hiding behind the giraffe, the giraffe is from OrangeWillow on Etsy)

And just in case I STILL need inspiration, I hung one of my very own Qubicle Quilts
And when I'm done sewing for the night and it's time to turn out the lights and close the door... I have my friend Andre to hand me my coat
Andre once had a distinguished career at the Bon Marche, but sometime around 1987 or so that once esteemed shopping mecca determined that Andre was past his prime and no longer worthy of their employ. He found a new home in our house on Hunt Road, and has moved around with us ever since. Now Andre is really feeling the years, and seems to be stuck in a permanent pose which requires some sort of vertical assistance to maintain full upright-ness.

So that's the new sewing room. It won't win any design awards or a spotlight in Quilting Arts, but it's not too shabby for a single Mom in Pleasantville. Not too shabby atall.

And now for my gratefuls: The stack of books I've been able to read now that I'm not falling asleep in front of the TV every night, my new glasses so I can see when I'm driving in the rain and not do that driving-by-Braille thing anymore, Great kids who really should be asleep right now but who I still hear talking, and an hour of text messages from Iraq disputing the texture of lobster.