Saturday, December 31, 2011

a final finished project

just in time to get this entered in the challenge before the deadline today

this bracelet is one of the cuff style pieces that I have made several of

this one is titled "Ice Flow"

if you'd like to see more pictures of it, you can use the link there on the right hand side of my blog to go to my Etsy page where it is listed

one of the fun things that I did yesterday was to use both of my cameras to take pictures of the bracelet -- I'm trying to learn all the ins and outs of the new one -- the one thing that I noticed right off when I started pulling the raw photos into my software was that I needed to do less "tweeking" of the color with the new camera to get the photo to actually look like the object

cool, very cool
here is another picture of Mr. Cute from the series of photos I took on Christmas day

one of the presents that his grandpa and I got for him was a little tent with a "tunnel" that can be attached to it

while the tent couldn't be set up while the Christmas tree was up, the tunnel got opened up right away

he had a grand time taking his little cars through it, and before the day was over, the smallest dog in the household had been through it, as had Mr Cute's mama (I'll not be showing those photos, but they are priceless!)

it's hard to believe that here we are at the end of another year -- celebrate safely!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

what Santa brought and new projects

Mr Cute and his grandpa are having a serious discussion here about what might be under the Christmas tree for them to investigate

this was taken Christmas morning right after breakfast and just before we started tearing into the packages

this was the "big" present for me this year --

the camera I had been using was two years old and I had taken almost 5500 photos with it

it still worked well, but this beauty has more mega pixels and some very cool built in settings -- including the one that lets you take a picture and it looks like a pencil drawing (yup, that's a PHOTO of my laptop computer) --- I can see lots of quilting design uses for that feature

of course this means I'll be spending some time learning how to use all of this new technology

my sister gave me a copy of a book I had wanted for a couple of years -- Lyric Kinard's Art+Quilt

she wrapped it in fabric so it didn't rattle in the box

24 fat quarters of amazing fabric to be exact


I've already been thinking about new things to create with this stuff

one of the things my daughter asked me to do for her is to make her an apron that she can wear to do messy projects

since I had made myself one of these a while back, I already owned the pattern

she picked this fabric

so I'll be cutting into this stuff soon -- maybe even this afternoon

and let the 2012 Christmas projects begin!

when we were in the fabric store looking for apron fabric, they had marked this fabric down

and it's flannel

it's been through the washer already and it's stashed away to be made into pjs a little later in the year

time to get busy

Thursday, December 29, 2011

the post Christmas "Reveal"

during the year as I worked on Christmas presents, I couldn't always put them out here on my blog -- part of my family actually reads this thing pretty regularly!

now that all those presents have been given to the intended recipients, I can talk about them here

this is the first lace shawl I ever knit (and at this point the only one, but I'm not ruling out doing another one at some point!)

it went to my sister -- who was totally surprised by it

I'm glad she liked it

for ten years now I've been knitting my daughter a sweater every year for Christmas

this one was this year's

this yarn was wonderful to work with

the pattern made me nuts because I had to make major changes to the sleeves and the hood because the pattern as written called for both of those to be way too short

she's already been wearing this -- I'm pleased that she liked it

behold the winged monkey

my daughter from time to time threatens to call out her winged monkeys at work

now she actually has one

this is the same pattern I used for the soft toy I made for Mr Cute earlier in the year, knit with finer yarn and smaller needles

and instead of stuffing the arms and legs I put a fat chenille stick in them so he's also poseable

this was a fun project

and then there is the pillow

when my daughter was in high school, she was part of the annual Pops concerts -- which were staged like a full scale Broadway review

her senior year one of the segments was Jekyll and Hyde
they all had t shirts that they wore for that segment

I made the t shirt into a pillow for her

we got home yesterday afternoon, and I've been busy putting things away and doing laundry and trying to get back into the routine

tomorrow I'll try to show you some of the pictures from Christmas and tell you about what Santa brought me

this morning I need to get over and get some groceries!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a new old tradition

for a very long time there have been gingerbread cookies on our Christmas tree every year

these came to us as a gift from a very dear friend in California and served as decor on the tree until Christmas day after which they were fair game for whomever wanted to have a sweet snack

over the years our friend has made thousands of these cookies -- all lovingly mixed, cut, baked and decorated and enclosed in plastic bags with ribbons and ornament hooks all ready to hang on the tree

there were some years when my daughter was very young that there was also an assortment of gingerbread animals on the tree

this year my friend has given up the baking of the mega batches of gingerbread

at 82 her hands are no longer strong enough to do all of the decorating

instead, she made felt gingerbread boys for all of us that have over the years been part of the great gingerbread boy ornament list

she used the same cookie cutter to make the pattern they are cut from, and each one is decorated with the same pattern she used every year, right down to the names

and they're wrapped in plastic baggies and have the ornament hooks attached

I feel privileged to have a "forever" gingerbread boy with my name from her -- and she made one for each of, including Mr. Cute

perhaps next year I'll try making some cookies from the recipe just for us to eat

these kind of traditions are part of what creates the fiber that binds families together --

may you be blessed with joy in your own family's traditions

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

new quilt design and working on my sweater

as I mentioned a couple of days ago, I needed to design a new baby quilt for a little boy

so Thursday afternoon I spent some time with pencil and paper and worked on some simple line drawings

this little dinosaur will be the center block of the piece

I'm working on drawings of four more for smaller corner blocks

and I'm wondering if I'll be able to find a fabric for the back that has dinosaurs on it -- have to start looking

this should be a fun quilt to do and it shouldn't take too long to do

I've been knitting on pieces for the sweater I'm making for myself

I have knit two of these circles that go on the sides -- two more of those to go -- the second one I knit up in one evening

since it is Christmas Eve my daughter and I got up early and made a very quick trip to the grocery store to pick up last minute items that we will need for tomorrow's celebration

since we returned we have made an angel food cake and a batch of fudge (having decided that the one batch that was made yesterday wasn't enough) -- we still have a pumpkin pie to bake and then put together the sweet rolls for tomorrow morning's breakfast -- we're on a roll

looking forward to a visit from Santa

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa's workshop project complete

looking very good!

yesterday afternoon I finished the cushion for the back of the chair and tied it on

I'm real pleased with how this came out -- it hardly looks like the same chair

amazing with a good scrubbing and some new fabric can do for a used piece of furniture

ready for the sleigh!

this project is complete too

this is a very long "belt" type item that was requested by my sister for my nephew to go with the robe I made him a while back

fortunately I had on hand plenty of the scrap fabric from that project to do this for him

hope it does what he needs

and I finished the edge of the bracelet

so now this just needs to wait for a day with a bit more sunshine so I can do the official "photo shoot" to get pictures to enter it in the challenge

this was a fun project and didn't take near as long as I thought it would, so I'm happy to say I have 10 days to get those photos taken and the entry done on line


since I was whipping through those projects so well I thought it would be fun to go ahead and start on the sweater I'm making for myself

and here is the beginning

I know, it doesn't look much like the usual approach to making a sweater, but I have learned to trust the professional pattern writers, so I'm willing to play along here

and yesterday I learned that I have another baby quilt that I need to make -- my step daughter's oldest girl will have her third child (a boy) sometime the end of March or the beginning of April -- wow!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

more from Santa's workshop

last week I stripped all the upholstery off this little rocking chair and did the gluing repair it needed done to the arms

yesterday afternoon, when I finally felt well enough to do something that required some strength, I re-upholstered the seat

heavy duty green corduroy -- and I used the technique I learned when I upholstered the footstool earlier in the year

to today I hope to get the cushion for the back of the chair stitched up

feeling pretty good about how this little project is coming out

I've probably mentioned from time to time that I know how to do a lot of "lost" home arts

the knitting and crocheting and quilting have all made a popular come back over the years, and there are a few people who know about tatting (another thing that my grandmother taught me how to do)

but darning?

as in darning a sock -- and actually having a "darning egg" to do it with

over the weekend my daughter asked if I could repair this sock for her -- I did the repair yesterday (after I ran the socks through the washer and the dryer) -- glad to put this old skill to work again

ta da!

the beading on this project is done and I painted the back of it with fray check last night

today I should be able to start on putting the whole piece together (just as soon as I figure out what I'm using on the back of it!)

and since the cup cozies are all finished and I usually have at least two knitting projects on the sticks, I decided it was time to start something new

and unusual

I'm actually working on a sweater for myself

all of the yarn is coming out of my stash

and since it is a multi-color patterned knit, running out of a color will not be a deal breaker

this is the "main" color -- a lovely rusty brown, and I made gauge first thing out of the box -- wow!

tonight I can start the first piece of the project -- hopefully

and another shot of the birthday boy

let me tell you, this kid knows what to do with cake

and he has a really smart mommy

the free round "smash cake" that came along with the quarter sheet cake she ordered for his party was a full thickness 6 inch cake

she sliced about an inch off the top of it and only gave him that part

plenty for some great photos and for him to enjoy it -- not enough to make him sick

yummy (and yes, a full bath followed!)

today I was supposed to go to the local yarn shop and use the drum carder on the box of fleece -- or at least part of it -- but this morning the DH woke up with a worse version of the stomach issue I had on Sunday

I'll be making a quick trip to the grocery to pick up ginger ale, then back home again -- and calling to reschedule that carding trip

time to get to it

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

home again

last weekend we went to visit with our daughter and to be there for the first birthday of Mr Cute

here he is with his daddy

they are examining one of the toys that he got at his very well attended birthday party

lots of "grandmas" in attendance and you know how great grandmas are at spoiling little boys

my daughter and I had planned to do some projects on Sunday, but unfortunately I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like I had swallowed a ball of fire and spent most of the day huddled up in a quilt sipping flat soda --- BLEAH!

we came home yesterday -- getting safely home before a snow storm dumped 6 inches of snow on our area

between more napping in my chair, I did manage to finish the cup cozies I had been working on -- the knitting was completed over the weekend, but I had forgotten to take a small enough needle to be able to sew on the buttons

(ok, DUH!)

I'm pleased with these, and I hope the intended recipients like them too

a little bit of work done on the bracelet yesterday

if things go well I should get the bead work done this week

time to go through the box of leather and upholstery velvet and see what I have to use on the back of this

last week I frogged the scarf I had been knitting and started again

I like the way the revised scarf is looking

the old yarn and the new yarn as knit up are a perfect match

today I'm doing the usual Monday laundry and hoping to get some work done on the rocking chair and a couple of other projects -- we'll see how that all goes -- depends on when I run out of energy and need to nap again

Friday, December 16, 2011

another new project for Christmas

this is what happens when I get the shopping and wrapping finished early

I find a whole new way to create a deadline for myself

a while ago my daughter had asked if the rocking chair she had as a child was still hanging around (seriously child, does your mother EVER throw anything away?)

so I told her yes, it was still here, and yes, it could come to her house for Mr Cute

yesterday I decided that I would clean it up a bit before putting it in the car to take to him

except the more I tried to clean the more issues I found and before long I was pulling out the needle nose pliers and a screw driver and the tubs of fabric to see if I had a fabric that I could use to recover it

once I got all of the cover off the chair, I decided to go ahead and re-glue the arms since they were a little wobbly --

ok, this won't be going to Mr Cute for this weekend's festivities, but it will go next weekend -- I can do the re-upholstery job on Tuesday, and I found a really sturdy deep green corduroy fabric to use on it
work continues on the bracelet

moving right along

and there was knitting last night -- two rows on the newly cast on scarf (the equivalent of 1200 stitches!!) it sounds more extreme when you knit the rows sideways, but actually it would be about the same number of stitches if it was knit the other way -- there would just be more rows!

time to go pack the car

Thursday, December 15, 2011

beginning again and continued work

a couple of weeks ago I started knitting on this scarf

it's knit from side to side, so there were 250 stitches there, and it's worked in linen stitch which really makes each row feel more like 500 stitches

I got it this far and discovered that I didn't have enough of the white yarn to finish it

yesterday I made the trip to my favorite local yarn shop to see if I could find another skein of mostly alpaca white sock yarn

success! so last night I rolled that new skein into a ball, and I frogged the entire scarf -- the new one (which I cast on last night) will be longer -- as in 300 stitches -- and all white -- I will be alternating the two balls of yarn across the scarf just in case there is some minor difference in how the two slightly different yarns work up -- and the tan that I was using as an accent in the original will be used in another project (which I'm already thinking about)

while I was in there I made an appointment for next Wednesday morning to go an use their drum carder to card up a bunch of the Jacob's Sheep fleece that I have in a box -- I'm sort of stock piling some projects for after Christmas when I won't be able to be out and about quite so much

on the way back we made a stop in our local Bed Bath & Beyond -- my meat thermometer went belly up a while back, and with the coming roasting of prime rib for Christmas being just around the corner, I needed to replace it

in the past few weeks I had received multiple flyers with coupons on them from this store, and because I wasn't sure if I would need them for any Christmas shopping, I had clipped them and put them in my purse just in case

once we had picked up what we were going to buy, I pulled one of the coupons for our use then walked around the store looking for other shoppers -- asking each one "do you have a coupon?" until I found hands to put all of the extra ones into, wishing each one a Merry Christmas in the exchange

I'll tell ya, that was FUN!!
more work got done on the ice bracelet yesterday afternoon

the beading on it is about half finished now, and I'm really liking the way it's coming out

the top and bottom strips are now stitched to this

the "mat" around the pictures all in place

today I hope to get it all sandwiched together so I can start doing the quilting

my plan is to use a narrow dark binding on this that will look like the "frame"

and the second one of these is ready for the finishing

one more to do

a year ago today we were wildly throwing things in a bag and heading out the door to be with our daughter as our little grandson was born

and here is the little man now

no longer a baby -- a toddler for sure -- and Mr Cute has definitely claimed our hearts

Happy Birthday to the Mr Cute and a big pat on the back to my daughter and her hubbie for the great job they are doing with him

Enjoy the day kids!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

garage workshop inside, part deux

the DH is closing in on that project where he is restoring a vintage wood wagon

the wheels are next in order of needing a paint job, so they came in to be scrubbed

I get to do the masking so no paint will get on the tires

before he did the scrubbing, however, I got to play doctor

he had been working on a new wood working project (he's building some more furniture -- very cool stuff)

here in the photo are the tweezers I used to remove that "splinter" from his thumb

I could not believe how long that thing is!


we're at a very odd place here

the shopping is all done

the wrapping is finished

the package that had to go to California has already been received there

yesterday I finished the cards (sooooo much glitter!) and they are waiting for the post man to pick up this morning

uh, this is just too weird

fortunately, I have lots of other projects to work on!

like this one, for instance

which is coming along nicely -- sometimes I start these cuff bracelets in the center and work both ways from there, but this one (aside from the random big beads) I'm working from one end to the other

and it's moving right along

and this project is going well too

almost finished with number two -- just one more to do after this

today's excursion will include a trip to the local yarn shop to hopefully get yarn for the project I put on hold last week pending getting additional yarn for it

and a stop off at the grocery store on the way back


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

works in progress

every morning before I start writing a new post here, I look at any comments that have been made on the post from the day before

this morning it was a good thing I didn't have my mouth full of anything liquid -- Alison's comment had me -- go take a look if you want a great laugh! -- and thank you Alison, that was awesome

one of the groups that I belong to on Etsy is a group of bead embroiderers (click here to take a look at their page)

right now there is a Winter Wonderland challenge going on there

I didn't really intend to do anything for this one, too much else going on, etc, etc, except that a couple of ideas just popped into my head over the weekend, so I guess I'm doing this after all

started stitching on this yesterday

I think I can get it finished by Dec 31, even with Christmas and birthday parties between now and then

worked on this piece again last night

all of the vertical stripping has been installed, so today it's on to the horizontal strips that go all across the top and the bottom

since the actual quilting is getting close, I'm thinking about how I'm going to do that -- probably pretty heavy quilting in the sky sections so the trees pop up from the surface --

and progress being made on the next knitting project

these are small "quickie" projects, and they're going really well

yesterday the last of the Christmas presents that were on order arrived and I got them into paper -- hoping to get everything else finished today -- oh yes, and the glittering of the Christmas cards is moving right along too -- looking good, looking good

Monday, December 12, 2011

wherein the garage workshop steps indoors

the bad thing about the DH having his wood workshop in an unheated garage is that this time of year it's not much fun for him to work on things

and some projects, that require a temperature over 40 degrees to work properly, either have to be put off until warmer weather or they have to come into the house

so here we have a project that needed to be glued sitting on the padded vinyl mat that protects the dining room table from damage

it did mean that the heavy books were nearby to hold the pieces being glued in good contact (and yes, there is a piece of parchment paper between the gluing pieces and those books!)

he did this gluing on Saturday, and today the project is back out in the garage workshop for the next step -- drilling and screwing the next piece of the project

yup, the wagon restoration is coming right along
and the knitting of this one is complete -- finished last night

I got a chuckle out of the pattern instructions -- they say that the bound off edge would be a lot looser than the cast on edge and gave advice about stitching the ends together -- sorry, not so in my case -- those edges were a perfect match

I cast on another one right away and did a few rows -- today I need to go through the box of button oddments and see what I can find to finish up this project

the work on the Four Seasons quilt piece has resumed -- I hope to have that all ready for the quilting by the time we head off to Mr Cute's birthday party because it would be a nice small handwork project to carry along (there are always afghan squares, but variety is a good thing)

need to get those Christmas cards into the envelopes