Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa's Workshop

The tree is trimmed, Ben's big gift has been painted and assembled, candy has been made, grinches have been appeased, new stockings added, knitting indulged in, and as always, some silliness!

Now the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy these few anticipatory days, Christmas itself, and family! Oh, and laundry of course. No matter how hard I try, there is always laundry to do.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows!

Looks good, doesn't it? I had the marvelous good fortune to go to a sneak preview last night (thanks again Tiffany!) and it is every bit as good as I had hoped. I really want to read the last book again and then watch the movie again.
Also, I think it is worth going to see it in the theater. You need a big screen and surround for maximum immersion into the wizard world.
So on Thursday or whenever it comes out in your neck of the woods, get ye to a theater! It's worth waiting in line for and I don't know how I'm going to wait a year for part two!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My First Customs - Complete!

In between wrangling my 11 month old cow (cutest costume ever, I tell ya!) and handing out candy to the neighborhood kids, and I put the finishing touches on my first custom order over the weekend. An old childhood friend was kind enough to be my guinea pig and ordered dolls for her daughter and niece.

And because the first thing anyone ever does when handed a doll is look to see what's going on under her dress...

...coordinating modesty shorts. You know, so they can do cartwheels and still be ladies. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

M is for Mess

I am excited to be working on not one, not two, but three custom dolls right now! There is doll debris all over my "studio" - it's a happy mess.

I've always been a firm believer that you need a little chaos to be creative. It's never really bothered me to work out of piles, some fabric over here, floss over long as no one moves my stuff, it falls into its own natural order.

I wish I could take a sunny view of the piles of laundry and dishes and toys that exist outside of my little work area. Raising a kid is a creative process too, right?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why I Can't Make Mom Friends

This is genius. There is nothing funnier than the truth, is there?
And in case anyone is curious, I am the mom who has hobbies and whose kid wears disposables.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what two pounds of wool batting looks like laid out on a kitchen table in the morning sun? No? Me neither, but as it turns out, it's a rather beautiful sight to behold.
If clouds were made out of sheep, they would look something like this.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I've Been Busy

*busy making babies*

I am selling at my first ever craft fair next weekend! I am very excited and very nervous. What if everyone laughs at me? It's junior high all over again, really. In addition to a pile of sweet little star babies, I will be selling the ribbon wands and pinwheels from the previous post. The fair is part of a neighborhood festival, and I'm not sure what to expect. I think if I break even, I'll be really happy. If I actually make some money, I'll be deliriously excited. And then I'll go buy some boots.

AND speaking of excited, my supplies have arrived for my first custom order!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Star Baby

My doll-making saga continues with this little Star Baby. Designed for the younger set, she is machine washable! She breaks with Waldorf tradition in that the materials used are not 100% natural, but this was step one in an experiment in combining wash-ability with traditional looks.

I love handmade and natural toys, but let's be honest here. Babies are messy and moms are busy. Handwashing and real life are mutually exclusive in my house and I'm betting yours, too. When I look to buy something for Ben, it needs to be safe, age-appropriate, and easily cleaned.

So, after surviving a trip through the washing machine and dryer, she is off to a new home!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Waldorf - Inspired Doll Take 2

Taller but daintier than her older brother, and sewing-wise, this little girl is a vast improvement on my first attempt. She's a full 12 inches tall, made from a pattern I drafted. Her hair is 100% sport weight alpaca and is so soft! I had an easier time on the eyes this go-around too, but they're still not quite where I want them to be.

Making doll clothes without a real pattern tries my patience severely, so I kept it simple. Once I settle on a body pattern I'm 100% happy with, I'll officially draft more sophisticated clothing. I made her for a friend of a friend that is having a little girl in September. They have a bumblebee theme going and I just happened to have some bee fabric scraps leftover from the Loose Change Quilt I made a couple of years ago.

*I'm slowly making a doll army*

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My First Waldorf - Inspired Doll

*What's up?*

I made this little guy for my son after coming across Waldorf dolls while I was searching for safe, non-toxic baby toys. 
(Side Note: My personal crazy is worrying about toxic toys and house cleaners. I have a theory that China is slowly trying to take over the West by giving our children toys with heavy metals. Again, this is just my own personal crazy, no need to comment.)

Ben likes him, he started waving at him when he was just a head. He likes to play with him, but the last time he did, he pulled out a few strands of the hair that I spent so much time carefully tacking down. So, the little guy is on the shelf for now. (I guess I'm one of those moms.)

The pattern I used for the body can be found here. Everything said and done, the doll is 11'' tall.

The t-shirt was made from this pattern.

The pants I made on my own, that pattern needs work.

This website has the best list of doll-making resources that I've seen out there.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Toilet Paper Rolls and Hot Glue

I made this dahlia-esque wall decoration using this tutorial. I saved toilet paper rolls for a couple of months, cut them and my finger up with a rotary cutter,  and glued them all together. Volia! In one measly nap time, I actually accomplished something creative.

I hung it in my downstairs bathroom, fitting, no?

It could stand a coat of spray paint because up close its humble origins are evident. From a distance though, I think it could pass as some over-priced decor from Anthropologie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If I Had a Million Dollars...

I would buy this farm.

Actually, I only need $ 595,000 plus closing costs. And some money to get alpacas and such. Anyone want to help a city girl realize her fiber farm dreams? I'll let you make a reality tv show out of it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Glee" in Real Life - My Kid's Summer Mix Tape

Kids' music is pretty terrible. I gave the Wiggles a shot one day and I didn't even make through one song. The lyrics were something like "Fruit salad, yummy yummy, fruit salad yummy!". Is that anyway to teach the beauty of the English language and the power of song?

Ben loves being sung to and we recently signed up for a music class. (Does a 7 month old need a formal music class? No. Does mom need to get out the house? Yes.) The research-based fancy-schmancy music class songs are definitely a cut above the Wiggles, and I can make it through the CD a couple of times, but there's only so much I can take.

With that being said and a summer road trip coming up, it's mix tape time. Here are my picks for a playlist that everyone can enjoy.

Paul Simon - Loves Me Like a Rock
The Beatles - Twist and Shout
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home (does have the word "ass" in it once)
The Be Good Tanyas - The Littlest Birds
The White Stripes - We're Going to be Friends
Dave Matthews Band - So Much to Say
Collective Soul - Shine
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Three Little Birds
Cab Calloway - Hi De Ho Man (Ben has loved this since he was 3 months old)
Feist - 1,2,3,4
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, be Happy

Please send me your suggestions!

Found this during my blog ramblings today. These kids look so happy, confident and engaged and their teacher seems really amazing. From what I can tell from watching their videos, these kids are 5th / 6th grade. Look how many boys there are! Look how they are all participating! If you search "PS22 chorus" on YouTube, you can see all of their great work covering pop songs.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whimsy Tree

It is too hot to knit. Not even the siren song of my KSD cashmere sock yarn can entice me to pick up the sticks. I've been really inspired by all of the embroidery posted over at Feeling Stitchy, so I decided to do some of my own.

I sketched out the trunk and branches and did the leaves freehand. The fabric is some old velvet I've had in the stash forever.

It's by no means perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with my first embroidery effort in years. Perhaps there are some pillow cases or tea towels in my future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Tag Blanket

This blanket makes me happy- it was fast, easy, and fun. I used this tutorial I found on Craftzine.

My modifications: I didn't use an existing blanket, I just bought a yard of each of the fabrics. The ribbons are spaced 2 inches apart, and 2 inches from the corners. I did two rows of top-stitching. It is about 36" x 42".

The fabric is from JoAnn's. The green and white fabric is some basic nursery flannel and the dinos are just regular quilt cotton. The ribbons have been amassed over time. It was a great way to use the "scrapbooking" ribbons I got from the dollar section at Target.

Ben seems to enjoy it, which is all I can really ask for. He tested out the ribbons for it yesterday.*What if the baby gets in the ribbon drawer?*

Monday, May 31, 2010

Works in Progress

My brain is moving faster than my hands right now. Why is it so much fun to start a project, but not so much fun to finish it?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Little Eye Candy

Last week, the Renegade Craft Fair was even more awesome than expected. It was crafty sensory overload - there are so many talented and creative people out there!
I could have easily spent multiple paychecks on all the goodies, but I ended up only getting a skein of sock yarn and a pair of earrings.

The yarn is from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks. It is the luxe merino fine cashmere blend in the colorway "Irie". I'm currently searching for the perfect sock pattern for it.

I forgot to take a picture of the earrings and I forget which vendor i bought them from. Oops.

There was a lot of inspiration to be had and my friend Tiffany got some great ideas for adorable baby onsies. They can be made in a single nap time! That's like crafting at the speed of light!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Baskets!

Easter dinner at my house was a success! The emergency can of icing and the M&M's salvaged the cake, my dad stepped in to make the traditional pea salad (so traditional that there's no written recipe anywhere) and there were enough solid nap times in the previous weeks for me to make little Easter baskets.

I used a tutorial I stumbled upon on one of the AlphaMom blogs via Craftzine. I can't find it again, but the process is very simple.

Mix equal parts clear Elmer's glue (I found it at Micheal's) and water.
2. Shred paper. I used brown paper bags and cute gift bags I got on super sale at Target.
3. Cover a bowl or something to use as the mold with plastic wrap. If you use something made out of glass, you'll have to pour a little vegetable oil down the side of the mold between the plastic wrap and the glass to get it to slip off. I forgot that cling wrap clings, and freaked out a little until I figured this trick out.
4. Dip handfuls of the shredded paper into the glue mixture and apply to the mold, like paper mache.
5. Enjoy the goopy, silly, messiness of it all.
6. Wait about 24 hours before trying to remove your nest/basket

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday, Bad Cake

For Lent this year, I gave up sweets. I know that seems rather childish, but since my third trimester, I've developed a vicious sweet tooth. This has not been an easy 40 days.

So you see why I've been fantasizing about the Perfect Cake. My family and friends are seated around our dining room table, having just finished enjoying our first big family holiday meal to be celebrated in our new house. Everyone did save a little room for dessert, though, and out I walk with the Perfect Cake. It's a white cake, light and fluffy like the clouds angels sleep on. It has a raspberry jam filling and is covered with a smooth, pristine layer of vanilla icing. It's a cake to celebrate the end of dark times, the miracle of resurrection. It's a cake of grace and hope.

I am no celebrity chef by any means, but a cake, I've made cakes before. Why did it have to go so horribly wrong?

My husband is out getting more icing to try to make it look somewhat appetizing. Another can of icing and a bag of pastel M&M will salvage it, right?

At least my yarn came today.

*remember when it was all about the yarn pr0n?*

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

*the first ranunculus*

*the mystery plants in the front yard turned out to be lovely white irises*

*and soon, fresh paint*