Friday, May 29, 2009

Lighthouses and Pink Cadillacs

What's been on my sewing table recently?

Napkins & Placemats.


I made my mom a set of mix & match napkins and placemats for Mother's Day. I found some fun fabric from Robert Kaufman with lighthouses and another with sailboats on it.


I thought they would be perfect for my parents to use down at the beach condo. I added a coordinating fabric for the backs of the napkins and used tan flannel to back the placemats. I was really pleased with the final product and my mom seemed to really like them. I am a little annoyed with myself for forgetting to take a picture of the lighthouse placement though... oh well.

What else am I making? Bags. Lots of bags. (this is probably self-evident but just in case you've been under a rock for the last few weeks...) Here's one I finished up last night:

Yellow martini AB Bag 2
Yellow martini AB Bag 7

I used some stashed Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric for this bag and while I am not normally a big fan of yellow but I find this quite pretty. (which makes sense since I did purchase the fabric after all) I put this bag up on Etsy this afternoon so hopefully someone else will find it pretty, too.

I have also been lucky of have to have gotten a few commissions from several friends to make some new bags as well. Three of these are still in the planning/cutting stage (to be sewn this weekend) but I have one that is finished. Sort of.

MK Pouch 2

This is a cosmetic pouch I created for a friend of mine who reps Mary Kay and it is only "sort of" finished because I need to make another four. Apparently the bags that MK makes available to its reps are really small and not terribly useful so we came up with this instead.

MK Pouch

My friend will be using them in gift baskets and as a gift with purchase- I hope they work well for her. I am happier than I expected with results- I really like the clean lines and the contrast of the hot pink and black and white polka dots. The buttons definitely were needed, it looked a little naked before they were added. Yup. Makes me happy.

But what really makes me happy is the opportunity to work in this way. To have someone say to me, I trust you, here's an idea or some fabric, have at it. I really appreciate being able to exercise my creative muscles. So thanks you guys for giving me the opportunity!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Penguins & Playtime

I hope everyone had a fantastic time over the long weekend. We managed to get out and enjoy the sunny weather.

We headed over to Woodland Park Zoo to check out their new Humbolt penguin exhibit. It is really fantastic. The new exhibit represents a coastal fishing village in Chile or Peru and includes tide pools and nesting areas for the birds.


It's no longer just penguins swimming around either, there are all sorts of interactive parts to it:


Here's Gwennie the penguin warming the eggs in her nest.


And the whole thing was built to be green, using geothermal heating & cooling and filtering its own water for reuse.


Did you know there is a little playground at WPZ? I didn't. I must have walked past it a hundred times! Todd and the little ones introduced it to me on Monday. Very cute, all the activities are based on animal homes or habits.

Gwen enjoyed pretending to be a spider.

Both kids channeled their inner turtle for Aunt B.


And much time was devoted to running in, out, through, and over this burrow.



Typically Todd takes Gwen to the zoo while Matt naps on the weekends so it was nice to all get out together.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Hat Therefore I Am

A quick perusal of my projects page on Ravelry lead me to an interesting conclusion earlier today: I am not a knitter, I am a Hatter. With a capital H.

Of the 32 projects I've finished this year, a full 12 have been hats (that's 37.5% for those of you who are into math). You might think 12 hats is a full complement for a year. It is after all, one hat per month.

But no.

I have EIGHT (!!!!!!!) more on the needles. There is no other single category of knit items that even comes close to the dominance of the hats. Mitts are a distant second with 3 FO's and 4 WIPs. Or, if I combine scarves & cowls for a Neckwear category I have 2 Fo's and 7 WIPs.

Doesn't really matter. In my world of knitting, Hats Rule.

Ergo, I am a Hatter.

Who knew?

Still with me or did I drive you away with such minutia?

At any rate, I guess I like knitting hats. My kids certainly like wearing them:

Nottingham, Size Medium (Child)
Emerald Blue Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Size 6 Addi Turbos and Prym dpns

Toddler Republic Hat
Blue Surf Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Size 6 Addi Turbos and Prym dpns

I did cast on an extra ten stitches for the Republic hat as I was worried about it being to small.

The kiddos like them well enough. Now to put them away until it's hat season again.

So that's all the knitting for now. I also finished a square for a wedding blanket I am contributing to but I let it leave the house without taking a picture, oh well.

I need to work out some kind of balance between the sewing and knitting. As I do more sewing I get antsy about the knitting I'm not doing. Maybe once the shop is a bit more established I'll be better able to strike that balance.

In the meantime I've made bunches of zippered pouches like these:
Zippered pouches 2

And today I added a whole new bag style to the shop.
Project bags

More of these project bags to come as the weekend progresses.

Until next time, enjoy the long weekend and have a fun (and safe) Memorial Day.

Oh, and, Happy Birthday Todd!!! (a day early but he doesn't read this blog anyway... but just in case...)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Le Sigh

I've been wanting to post all week but I live in dread of the Pictureless Post. I mean, who wants to read? We just want pretty/cute/funny or, ok, adequate pictures to gaze at. And for some reason I just have not gotten a photo of Gwen in her new hat... Or of Matt in his newly finished hat either. I have pictures of something but until my mother confirms she received it I cannot reveal it here as I don't want to ruin the surprise... Come on, Mom, tick tock. Baby needs a new blog post. :)

But if I'm honest, it isn't the picture thing that is preventing me from posting, that's just an excuse. The real reason I am suffering from posting ennui is my blog. I very much want to change the layout, the colors, the banner, um, everything. I need to update the sidebars. Have you glanced over there? Dreadful. My project lists are as out of date as a 1968 Farmer's Almanac. And my book list? Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaah. We've covered a considerable number of works since that was refreshed.

I just need to suck it up and do it but I suffer from Do-It-All-itis. As in, I feel the need to have it all be better, fixed and perfect all at once. Now. Heck, yesterday. I have no patience for taking things one step at a time... so, until I reconcile my personality with my lack of time to devote to beautifying Ye Old Blogge I will just have to be content to grumble.

And while I'm grumbling, let me take on Blogger's comment system for a minute.

I hate it.

There. I said it. It sucks. I love when people comment here and it would be so nice if there was an easy way to respond. But there isn't. Unless you considered stalking easy 'cause that's the only way you can track down some of the commenters.

Blogger? Would it be so difficult to give us an email? Really?

And so, to Becky, who recently commented on an earlier blog post about my Irish Hiking hat and the changes I made: Yes, I will be sharing the info here- soon, I promise. I know I was actually able to recover that file off my hard drive so I'll put it on the list for next week.

Pictures next time, I promise.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bottom of the Barrel

I've got nothing today.

Well, that's not exactly true. I've got stuff.

Like this:
Mar 4, 2009 005

Mar 4, 2009 004
Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret (for me)
Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Vaa

Or this:
Kristen's hat blocking

Deja vu! The second one was for a friend of mine. Still Malabrigo but the colorway is Taureg. This one is blocked, mine isn't. A nice knit. Obviously, or I wouldn't have made it twice no matter how Kristen might have "begged."

But really, the muse? She has left me and I just can't get motivated to try to say anything even remotely clever or amusing.

(note: if you don't feel that I am normally even remotely clever or amusing, please do not burst my bubble... I like my little fantasy world)

I want to share. I have lots of things percolating in the brain but sitting down to type? No appeal. I blame my laptop. It gave up the ghost a week ago and I haven't been the same since. Which is odd. I despised my laptop. It made me crazy (slow and cranky it was!). But. It was mine. And now I am forced to squat on my husband's old MacBook.


Not the same. I miss you cranky, slow, infuriating HP!

Anyhow. More soon. I made a hat for Gwen which is quite cute- I just have to get her to take a picture in sans that awful Fake Smile she has going right now.
Mar 6, 2009 012

Bleh. No good pictures unless I ambush her and that is hard to do if you want her to model something. She might be three but she's no dummy. "What? Oh, I know it's 65 degrees Sweet Pea, but I think you should wear this new hat Mommy made you anyway..." Uh huh. Like that's gonna fly.

And, Thank you! to everyone who has said nice things about my little enterprise. Everyone has been supportive and I've even managed sell a few things. I'm working on a few things and hope to have some fun new things to share next week. (I wonder if I could work "things" into this paragraph again? Oh look! I just did.)

And (last item I promise) in case I get all wrapped up in life and forget to post before Sunday: Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy friends and most especially,

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

I have no idea how you did it and every day I grow more in more in awe of you (and Daddy, too) for the way you raised the three of us- thank you, thank you, thank you! Love you!