Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crafting with Children

T - Have you taken a look at the blog, Crafty Crow? I use it quite a bit, mind you, Jake is not the least bit interested in any type of crafting unless it involves some sort of dangerous equipment - glue gun, staplers, needles, etc. The Crafty Crow collects crafts by holiday and by age of the children so you get crafts for all levels.

I've used the ideas many times in the role of Jake's room mom and Nicki uses it for her kids in school too. My goal this summer is for Jake to keep a journal of all the summer activities that we do - once I'm on vacation that is.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Little Birds

We had a baby shower last week at work and the mom-to-be is doing a nature theme in the nursery. She was inspired and wanted to make this bird mobile but was running out of time.

To the rescue came my work quilt group, who secretly conspired to create the flock of birds you see below.

Quilters were asked to make just one bird but if you try the pattern, you'll see, it soon becomes addictive! What will the next combination of fabric look like? How can I personalize it best?

The mom-to-be was surprised and delighted and the little baby she will soon have, I'm sure will be enchanted as well with the cotton flock.

If you make the birds, here's a few points I would add:

  • machine or hand sewing works fine, but at the top of the neck, sew just a little further along the head for a smooth line.
  • turn under the tail seam before stuffing for a smoother finished look.

Julie has an awesome baby blog too. I absoujtely love her tree decals.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Did you see?

T - have you seen anything cuter? I think your new babe needs a pair of these! Information is over at the Purlbee.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Let's take part in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

I've been quilting for about fifteen years with stops and starts along the way. I've shared my love of quilting and sewing with my co-workers - bringing in quilts and talking about projects. Last summer, I took part in the Old Red Barn quilt-a-long and thought - wouldn't it be fun to do a quilt-a-long at work?

The seed was sewn and our little group started out - we made our first quilt and started a blog. The quilt above, is the second in our series. Inspiration came from another blog, Crazy Mom Quilts.

The quilt above is a reminder to me of how proud I am of the sewers that form our group. They cover a wide variety of ages and experiences, new sewers among them. The group is like a child - I worry about their set-backs, and laugh with delight when they overcome an obstacle. As they teeter towards quilting maturity, I see their confidence grow; they are an inspiration to me. It reminds me of how quilting has inspired creativity in others along with kinship ... friendship.

The group is entering their teen years now, they've brushed off the toddler and elementary stages - they're sewing baby bibs, stuffed birds and owls, and even hand quilting! This fall, we'll be taking on our first color experiment this fall. I can't wait to see what they turn out.

Big Sister Gift

A friend of mine told me she had her new baby give his big brother a gift when they came home from the hospital and it really helped minimize jealousy, etc. I was inspired to knit a gift for Baby D to give to Olivia. O's really into buttons, snaps, zippers, and tying shoes right now, so I modified a pattern from "The Best Dressed Knitted Bear" by Emma King (
I'll let you know if it does the trick or not!

Friday, May 21, 2010

How does my garden grow?

Last weekend, gardening work was in high gear. Jacob helped me string lights....

The husband helped build two beds based on Uncle Joe's garden domain...

We moved mulch and dirt...

And, the boy discovered that he finally weighed enough to drive the tractor! He drove the entire weekend project list; every time we wanted to rest, he would say "c'mon mom, let's go" all for the love of tractor driving.

We finished the major projects we had outlined but alas, the sun is not shining for pictures. More to come!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Finally Did It!

Do you remember me telling you about this shawl when it first appeared in the Knit Picks catalog eons ago? Well, I have been lusting after it for months. I finally got the courage to order it. I may be in way over my head, though! I'm not a shawl person, so I'm planning to frame it and hang it over the fire place. BTW, I have plans for the fire place too. I'm going to paint those awful granite stones and pink grout...white.

Oh, I don't get to start this project until January 1, 2011 and hope to be done with it by December 31, 2011.

First Blog Post EVAH

Hi Michelle,

I have finally figured out how to log on and, hopefully, post. So sorry for taking so long. This is what has been preventing me from doing my "blogging duty":

1) I am frantically trying to get my flower beds in order and planted with varieties that will be somewhat able to take care of themselves. I simply refuse to put the baby down to pull a weed!

2) I am frantically trying to get all the baby gear ready for Baby D's arrival. 4.5 weeks to go!

3) I finally finished the "Big Sister Gift" Baby D is going to give his/her big sister when we come home from the hospital. Oops, I guess it technically isn't finished. I'm heading to the store tomorrow to get the last embellishment and then I will be posting photos.

4) I am trying to get caught up with my scrapbooking before Baby D's arrival. I'm up to Easter!

5) AND I'm trying to finish up some knitting WIPs that have been haunting me.

Plus, clean, cook, exercise, play, walk the dog, and go to garage sales! I SO WISH I didn't need to sleep.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


My garden is distracting me. Or should I say the totally immense job of ripping out and mutilating all the dandelions that have somehow grown themselves into gigantic, prehistoric, man-eating giants is taking all my time and energy. Did you know that I have this schedule [obsession] with getting Stage 1 of gardening completed by Memorial Day?

Stage 1: This first stage consists of the gardener [me] wildly galloping around the yard desperately trying to stop the wild invasion of dandelions, crab grass, and thistles that suddenly appear in the flower beds.

Stage 2: After taking a breather in the month of June, the gardener now finds that those crazy weeds that look like carrots, the crabgrass, the dandelions and thistles have risen up and multiplied like the love children at Woodstock.

Stage 2.5: Before the next stage arrives, the gardener visits one too many garden shops and plucks virgin perennials into available spaces - hoping that the tender perennials can battle it out and win over the nasty weeds.

Stage 3: It's July and too hot to do anything.

Stage 4: August finds the gardener enjoying summer. Due to the lack of rain, there is no way to rip out the weeds without suffering intense carpal tunnel pains in the hands and wrists. Basically, its too hot to do anything.

Stage 5: Fall is coming and in a fit of desperation, the gardener once again wildly dashes about the garden trying to fight the weeds before the beds are put to sleep for the winter.

Today, instead of looking at a picture of weeds, please find enjoyment in the pretty lilacs that I cut for the sewing room.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If I could live somewhere else....

As a crafter who would like to be immortal - the best reason of course is that I would have so much more time to devote to projects - I would have to decide where I would live. Immortals, for the most part, choose bustling areas filled with humanity in order to blend, to meld with regular humanity.

Anyway, if I could live anywhere else, right now I'd like to live in New York City, specifically somewhere near Broome Street so that I could visit Purl in person! The above linen baskets are from the Purl blog which always has wonderfully creative ideas, fabulous photography and all the smashing materials to make them with!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I've had an itch to make some pincushions for quite some time and finally got around to it. (Yes, I was distracted and the dress is not cut out yet.) These are filled with lavender and they smell so good! Have I shared with you my lavender obsession? I LOVE lavender. Can't you just imagine living on a lavender farm - ah Provence, to be there now surrounded by lavender. Sigh. This lavender which was simply divine if I do say so, I found on etsy at Popko. She sells jewelry too.

The patterns for the pincushions can be found here. I want to make the cubed one next. Instead of using the quilting thread to segment the cushion, I sewed two antique buttons both front and back to indent the middle. I had just as much fun picking out the buttons as I did the fabric.


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