Sunday, October 05, 2008

See you in November

Hello crafters! Just popping in to explain my absence. In early September I volunteered for Barack Obama's campaign here in Ohio. I'm the canvassing coordinator for wards 2 and 5 in Upper Arlington, and it's kind of like a second full time job. Without pay. :)

I'm really having a good time getting out and talking to neighbors about the election, and doing everything that needs to be done to run a canvassing effort. But it leaves no time for crafting.

I'll be back after the election making up for lost time. See you all in November!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Birthdays, Firsts, and Super Service

Busy Week, Day One: There's so much to do before we go out of town that I decided to give up tonight, put my feet up and enjoy my birthday with a glass of red wine, some convention watching, and a quick blog post.

Xander had two 'firsts' in the past couple of days. First day of kindergarten and first lost tooth. He was a little champ about both, admitting he was nervous about his first day but sure that he would do fine. He did.

His tooth fell out last Friday, and his day care provider wrapped it up so he could get it safely home for the tooth fairy (the weirdest and warped of all parental lies).

I finished his toothy pillow just in time. Zipper mouth stores the tooth until night time fairy replaces it with money. What will she do with all those teeth, Xander wonders.

Rewinding a few days, on Friday I got a package in the mail from PurlSoho. Before leaving for vacation I ordered fabric from them to make a quilt for Quinn. When I returned from vacation the package was waiting, but it was the wrong fabric. I contacted them and they quickly sent out the right color.

Now, here's the kicker. It wasn't their mistake! I clicked the wrong button, ordered the wrong fabric, and they completely helped me get what I needed in plenty of time to get started on my project. I'm sending the 'wrong' color back to them, and will be placing an order for another project tonight.

I visited PurlSoho in NYC when I was there this past April and just loved their store. They were kind, friendly and helpful. And now I know they treat their online customers the same way. Thanks much, ladies!

Finally, I spent a little time organizing my sewing room this weekend. It was completely out of control and very distracting. It's in good shape now, but I realized I've never posted any photos of the fantastic room I inherited when Quinn and Xander decided they didn't want separate rooms. Here it is, in all its girly-glory:

:: Project board, storage, shelves, and naughty turtles ::

:: Fabric stash (looks small!) and books ::

:: Knitted bowls holding thread ::

In three days, it's Quinn's birthday. In four days, my Father's birthday. Luckily I only have sewing projects for one of them. Quinn has decided that she wants a "furry trashcan" to keep her plushy sheep in. She's turning four, so there's really no talking any sense into her. I just need to make a furry cover for a trash can. That's on the agenda for Busy Week: Day Two.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Green, brown and orange

We're still enjoying tons of fresh veggies from the garden. Quinn picked these two lovely peppers tonight, and they'll end up being a stuffed pepper lunch for the both of us tomorrow. I'm so happy I have one kid who really enjoys growing and eating veggies. The boys in the house are merely tolerant of vegetables.

I managed to pull together two more Pattyfair prototypes this week between attempting to catch up at work (fail) and getting Xander ready for Kindergarten (pass).

I bought these handles two years ago, and never quite found the right place for them. But after picking up another yard of Joel Dewberry's sparrows and woodgrain, I found the perfect fit.

I only have two more pairs of these handles, so I think I'll simply choose some of my other existing fabrics, make the same shaped bag, and be done with that!

Then, I finished up this simply, plushy tote. I had planned on using the cute deer patches I picked up at Craftin' Outlaws, but when I ironed the seams open, the patch melted off! Jeeze. Good thing I didn't use them on a dress for quinn or something!

The brown patch in the middle is actually a pocket for a cell phone. No one likes digging through a big tote bag trying to find their ringing phone.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oodles of Inspiration

This was the perfect weekend to bridge the gap between vacation and work. The weather was perfect. The garden veggies were abundant. The kids were content.

On Saturday I took Xander with me to Craftin' Outlaws, one of the larger hipster craft shows in town. There was so much inspiration there, I just had to start on some new projects that afternoon. A day and a half later, I have three new projects started, and one completed. Boy did I miss my sewing machine while I was out of town! (I've come to terms with the fact that makes me a bit pathetic).

Here's some of the cards and chatchkies Xander and I picked up while we were there. Lot's of people had business cards with monsters on them, and Xander grabbed every one of them.

I think I stunned Erica by spending only three dollars at the show. These cute patches were just too hard to pass by. If only Quinn would let me make a dress for her. One of these would be great on the front of an A line dress.

Before we headed out for the show, we had lunch made from veggies fresh from my garden. I love this time of year, when you pick your lunch right before lunch.

Then today, I started cutting up my latest haul from Sew to speak, and thanks to Quinn, who decided that spending two hours in the sewing room with me sounded like fun, I was able to finish this handbag up before dinner.

I put in a pleat on the outside of the bag, and then struggled a bit to figure out how to work out the dimensions on the inside of the bag. In the end, I put the pleat in, and then sewed it up so small items wouldn't get lost in there. If only I had paid more attention during geometry in high school! Oh well. In any case, it looks good. And it has a small cell phone pocket, and a magnetic snap closure.

Quinn, who feels she contributed greatly to this project, insisted that she model for a photo. If you ask me, she looks great with blue and brown.

Since I made this handbag with no particular reason in mind, I guess I have officially started making bags for Pattyfair. One down, 49 or so to go.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Break

It's been a lovely summer break around here. There's been so much going on, I took blogging off my to-do list. I've barely even surfed around to see what you all have been up to either. I just started poking around a few days ago when we got back from a nice long vacation. You've all been so busy! So many interesting projects going on out there. I'm ready to jump back in with both feet.

Here's a bit of what I've been up to:

:: getting oodles of lovelies from Sew to Speak ::

:: working on this slouch hobo-style bag for myself ::

:: hitting the beach. hard. for two weeks ::

:: knitting this hat from One Skein for a friend's new baby ::

:: burp cloths made from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern collection ::

:: got some lovely new yarns ::

:: turned them into felted bowls for thread ::

:: owls have taken over a few ::

:: turned some of Xander's monster art into this canvas wall piece ::

:: finished this custom order for Kate ::

:: the inside is as fun as the outside ::

:: we grew our first hanging tomato garden ::

:: and discovered wasp-larva covered tomato caterpillars ::

:: completed a challenging (and fun) custom order ::

:: a gig bag for Elisa ::

:: she has already taken it on tour with her ::

There it is. The brief history of our summer. For the next few weeks, we'll be busy getting Xander ready for kindergarten. Celebrating my birthday and Quinn's birthday. And Kevin and I will be taking a short trip to Vegas without the kids (of course!).

But I'm sure I'll get a little crafting (and posting) squeezed in there somewhere.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(sick) ambition

I've never been a fan of folks who go on and on about how crappy they feel. And, I feel like I've mentioned my ailments too much recently here. So all I'll say now is that I took a rare day off from work this week to try and rest up. And, I decided to get back to my crafting routine despite not being 100%. Too many ideas were clogging up my noggin.

I started by working on the little pleated clutch in the photo above. I had thought about working with pleats in linen for a while now, but couldn't find a good online tutorial for it. I finally just went into it blind. With mixed results. For one thing, the cute leopard is supposed to be all the way over on the very right hand side of the bag. How did I not notice that mistake until I was finished?! Rusty!

Next, I knocked out this fantastic dragon bag, a custom order for Carrie, that I am going to hate to part with! I came up with a new design that really complimented the Alexander Henry fabric. There's an outside pocket to the left of the dragon for her cell phone.

It also has two pockets inside. The bag is reversable, so Carrie can use this side if she wants a little less dragon.

My felting frenzy continued. I knocked out five more bowls, and am now trying to figure out how to embellish them. Beads? Cord? Embroidery? Who knows. I'll try something. I also started thinking about how to execute this idea I've had running around the noggin: knit fire.

We have a fireplace upstairs that we wanted to get operational this winter. But when the chimney guy showed up to inspect it, he called it a 'widow-maker'. Eek. Maybe not then. So, I've been thinking about a knitted/felted fire art installation in the hearth. We'll see. The to-do list is long.

I brought the bowls outside to dry a bit in the sun. I've always been happy that X and Q have an interest in my projects. They like helping me pick colors, sort zippers, fold fabric, whatever. I let them touch everything except for the needles, pins and blades. And they both really like the new felted bowls. So, I assumed when all of the bowls disappeared that they had been comendeared by one of the kiddos.

Yep. They were being used to feed Rody the horse. And the puppies. And the dinosaurs.

Finally, I recently checked out this new fabric shop on High Street called Sew to Speak. It's all goody-goody goodness. I did my best to restrain myself, but ended up walking out with four yards of black and grey canvas, and these two goodies:

:: Giraffes from Alexander Henry ::

:: The most amazing Japanese import linen/cotton blend from Echino ::

Ah. The love. The only down side is that I really can't start on anything new until I knock out some more of these custom orders. It's a nice problem to have.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

felt frenzy

It was a nice weekend - all things considered. Kevin had to work a ton of overtime, Mother's Day included, so the kids and I were on our own most of the time. As a bonus, I now have strep throat (what the heck is going on with my immune system?!), so we were pretty much stuck inside too.

The upside is that I had plenty of time to indulge this felting frenzy that I've been on since Thursday night. Thursday night, Lynne showed me how to knit in the round, and I've been knitting up these little bowls almost non stop since. I gave the yellow one to my Mom for Mother's Day.

Other presents included cards from my kids, an upside down tomato plant from my Mom (no place for vegetable planting in my small, small yard), and crafting cash from Kevin. Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon and I can head out to the store and spend it.

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