Monday, January 28, 2013


I was up super early to work on my son's quilt this morning but both of my kids decided to get up super early too.  Now is my usual cleaning time but both kids have built a gigantic fort right where I want to be cleaning.  They are so happy.  I decided to postpone my cleaning.  So what do I do instead?  Move things around in my sun room and photograph the amaryllis that has decided to bloom.  It makes me so happy.  We have two others.  One is definitely not going to do anything and the other could possible still bloom.  Time will tell. 

I love flowers and plants but don't live in the best place for them.  Our condo is pretty dark.  The sunroom is light but  quite cold since it is not heated.  The amaryllis actually lives in my kitchen on the hutch under the skylight.  It is really the only area where we can have plants.  The other parts of our home that get enough light are where my children play and I don't think having plants in those areas are a good idea.  We aren't moving anytime soon but when we look at houses I am taking into consideration if there is good light for plants and good space outside for a garden. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Feeling Better

I am feeling all better today and was able to get up early (4:30 am to be precise) and sew for the first time in a week.  It was a productive two hours because I finished Stella's blouse.  So I actually finished her whole outfit.  I blogged about the jumper here, the sweater here, and the blouse here.  The blouse has a few mistakes but I learned some very important lessons: 1. for now I need to stick to Oliver and S patterns until I am better at sewing 2. read the whole pattern and try to understand it before starting (um I think I may have learned this lesson before) 3.wait to do hand embroidery until I am better at sewing or know I can do the pattern and it will come out.

I am so happy to not be sick and have the kids back to only getting up a few times a night instead of all night.  I get cranky when I can't sew.  Yesterday I didn't feel great early in the day but I did go to my knitting class which was so much fun. And I even made a quiche for dinner.  I love making food for my family and I think not cooking for them makes me cranky too.  This morning I made strawberry pancakes and learned that my son doesn't like them.  If you are three just because you love strawberries and pancakes does not mean you will love strawberry pancakes.  The hardest part for me being sick is not being productive.  I was able to do lots of "research" online though and am more inspired than ever.

edited on 1/28/13 - I just signed up for my first link party at Skip to my Lou  One of my hopes of blogging is to connect with other crafters so I would love for you to leave a comment so I can check back and find your blog.   

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Love Cath Kidston

I have always loved Cath Kidston.  I love her bags and things for the home and fabric and everything.  But mostly I only owned her bags.  The pretty things she makes for the home don't really go with the inherited colors I have had in my home.

Last week my son broke one of my white plastic mixing bowls.  It was practical because it had a spout though I couldn't put it in the dishwasher or microwave so not really that practical.  He was using it as a doll bathtub and then decided to chuck it across the room and it split in many pieces.  I had been wanting to get pretty mixing bowls for sometime but thought I would still wait since I had others.

Monday I was looking at Cath Kidston online and saw a pretty one for a fair price.  It goes with nothing I own but if I keep buying stuff to go with colors I don't care for I will never have colors I like.  Right?  So I ordered it.  My husband had mentioned over the weekend that we needed something to pour syrup from that had a spout (since we have been using a mug).  And Cath Kidston had a one for a very very fair price.  So I ordered it too.  Do you want to see my pretty new pieces?

The bowl is much larger than it looks and the jug is much smaller than it looks.  I just love them.  I don't care if the only things they go with are each other.

I have been sick again.  I keep getting whatever my kids catch.  And I am so impatient when I am sick.  There are so many things I want to be making and I am so useless.  And I get cranky with my kids.  I just haven't had much energy.  Well today when this package came I got a little bit of energy.  I may still nap during nap-time but maybe I will feel up to doing something other that laying around after.  At the very least I will admire my new purchases. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Northern Knits

I love craft books.  I have thought about counting all of mine but haven't gotten around to it yet.  I love decorating and cookbooks as well.  I get so many new ones each year.  I actually had the thought the other week -"what happens if I buy them all and there are none left for me to buy?" 

I only received five books this Christmas.  One my mom gave to me and the other four I bought with a Walmart gift card. The book my mom bought me is Northern Knits: Designs Inspired by the Knitting Traditions of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Shetland Isle

I had the book on my wish list.  When I opened it I thought it had such pretty pictures but that I couldn't possibly make anything in the book because it is all above my skill level.  Then a week and a half ago I took part one of a two part knitting class to learn how to do stranding and make mittens.  My mittens are actually coming out pretty well.  It is only with two colors so I have lots of questions for this Saturday's class on using more than two colors.  So now I think maybe the book isn't way above my skill level.

One thing I really like about the book is the history about the origins of knitting in Iceland, Shetland, and Scandinavia.  I have read a good amount about the history of fabric and quilting but know very little about the history of knitting.   I like how she organized the patterns by country and had a little history about the country before the patterns.

And then there are the beautiful patterns.  Here are two of my favorites-

-Pictures are by Interweave

If I could only knit faster.....

Friday, January 18, 2013

lions, ladybugs, and mittens

Today I had planned to do some Valentine crafts with the kids.  We were going to make a wreath but then Luke took the Christmas wreath he had made (it is still out) and started to pretend he was lion.  I decided Valentine crafts could wait.  Instead we made costumes, wrote a play, and filmed it.  You will see if you chose to watch the play that Luke may have forgotten some of his lines but it is still pretty cute.  I love doing this kind of stuff and love the Luke gets into it too.  Stella just goes along with whatever we do for now.  So here is their play from this afternoon:

I didn't get to do any sewing today.  For me to sew on a weekday means that I have to get up before Stella does.  I try to get up around 4:15/4:30 so I can have at least an hour to sew.  Sometimes she sleeps later and I get more time.  Last night the kids were up all night.  I was so tired and slept in till 6:30 which is when Stella woke up.  So no sewing for me today which is a little disappointing as I am so into sewing clothes right now.  Occasionally I will bring my sewing stuff upstairs during nap-time and sew at nap-time but usually I just knit.  So here is  a glimpse of the knitting project I am working on. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snowed In

Well I am not really snowed in.  We only have a couple inches but I just love to stay home and watch it snow.  It is so pretty outside and so cozy inside.  The snow here had been melting and was not so pretty anymore so we really needed it. 

Today's big project for around the house was organizing the three shelves above the microwave.  It is where I had been storing the kids craft supplies and other random stuff.  I decided I wanted to bring up some of the kids craft supplies that were in the basement and dedicate all the space to their crafts.  I don't like to be in the middle of a project with them and have to run down to the basement.  Mostly because I am scared they will try to follow me and fall down the awful stairs.

For me to do this project required me to clean and organize the top of the fridge and find homes for other random objects and put some Christmas stuff away.  Mostly I just stuck things on the porch or in the basement (the dumping grounds).  I thought about taking a before picture but it wasn't that bad.  It just wasn't good.  Now I don't even know if I like what I did but I know where everything is.

I didn't want to buy anything to help with the organizing since I may have spent too much this month on fabric and patterns.  I have plenty of jam jars in the basement and some random containers.  I think I need something better for their paper and felt (top shelf).  I should get them some more paper too.  They usually use my scrapbook paper which is in the basement.

In all honesty I saw so sick of doing this before I started but it just had to be done.  I use to enjoy organizing but now it just feels like I am taking time away from doing something fun.  So at the end of this I was really sick of looking at their craft supplies.  After lunch I had no interest in taking the things out of the containers so I just gave the kids a wooden Valentine kit I bought at Joann's for them to color - not too creative.  But they did enjoy it.  Now it is nap time and I am off to work more on the collar.  I only have 24 more stitches to do!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Finger Puppets and Embriodery

We are puppet crazy in our house.  At least I am and Luke humors me.  I don't remember being that into puppets as a kid (other than Sesame Street and The Muppet Show) but now I can't get enough.  Santa brought the kids new puppets for Christmas and Grammy brought the kids this kit.

The book that comes with the kit has lots of great ideas and the kit has some good basic things to get started.  To make most of the puppets in the book one would need additional materials.  And we have plenty of buttons, felt, pipe cleaners and pom poms on hand.  The glue that came with it didn't work well holding it all together and all the other glue I tried didn't work well either.

I didn't see an age on the kit but three is a little young.  Luke has hard time with his scissors cutting paper (because he is only 3) so having him try to cut felt or pipe cleaners was tough.  And then the glue was so tricky.  But he still had fun.  I think if I just gave the materials and let him just play with them he would be happy.  I have to always remind myself that crafting with the kids is about the process not the finished product.

Above is my nap time crafting.  I am embroidering a collar for a blouse I am making Stella.  It is to go under the jumper I just made.  It is a New Look pattern (0153-I can't find a link-sorry).  When I saw this blouse from Oiliy I new I wanted to try something like that.  I really had no idea how to do it but my new friend Cricket helped me figure it out.  She is very talented.  So I am making bullion stitches.  I did one practice stitch on scrap fabric and I thought "oh it is easy".  But I keep messing them up on the collar.  This is why I only have three done.  Nap time was not too productive today. The above picture isn't too pretty so let me leave you with some Oilily eye candy of the look I am going for. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Music Box Jumper

I really have to work on my photography skills because this jumper is so cute and the picture just doesn't do it justice.  It is Oliver and S's music box jumper and it was so fun to sew.  I finished sewing it last night.  And there wasn't good light today but I couldn't wait to post the dress.  I used some nice fine wale corduroy.  And I can't remember where I bought it from of course.  I think it will go nice with the sweater I just made for Stella and then I am going to make the shirt for under the jumper.  That is why Stella isn't wearing it yet.  I need the blouse.  It isn't an Oliver and S pattern so I am worried I can't do it.  I have the most luck with Oliver and S patterns.  Hopefully I can start on it tomorrow but it may take me a while.  I have a few other projects in the works.

Today I started a knitting class to make these mittens.  I am hoping to learn to make seamless mittens and learn to do stranding.  It was a very fun class and I am really excited to be taking it.  I tried on the instructors mittens to determine what size I need and the mittens were so beautiful, soft and substantial.  I have never had mittens so nice before.  I hope mine come out.

I am also waiting to get the materials to start a cross-stitch sampler.  I will give the details on that later because I am a little frustrated it is taking so long for me to get my materials in the mail.  And then I have a lot of quilts in various stages but I haven't touched any of them since the beginning of December. 

And my son has been begging me to make a house with him so I had better go help. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stella's sacque

I'm so happy I finished Stella's sacque.  I think it maybe one of my favorite knitting projects I have completed.  It is delicate and soft and just so pretty.  It is not perfect but was my first lace project and even though it took forever (since August) on tiny number two size needles it was worth it.  My son actually broke one of the needles about a month ago and I scotch taped the needle to finish it.  Sometimes I am lazy about going out and getting supplies.  Details are here on Ravelry. 

My goal was to finish it by Friday because I start a mitten (stranded and lined) class on Saturday.  I am two days ahead of schedule.  Now I can try to finish Stella's jumper.  I'd love to have it finished by Saturday before the knitting class but I am not so sure that is realistic since I just started it.  And I kind of feel like I didn't give my kids enough attention this morning because I was so determined to finish this sweater.  So I plan to spend the rest of the day (once they wake up) reading to them, building forts, and maybe doing some toddler arts and crafts.  I feel so lucky to always have so much to look forward to.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby Doll Stella Clothes

My plan this weekend was to make a new outfit for the Bitty Baby Santa brought Stella for Christmas.  I had bought this pattern before Christmas.  It is to make a 15 inch doll and doll clothes.  Bitty baby is 15 inches.  I started making it Saturday morning.  Bitty Baby's outfit she came in is missing and I was just really excited to make her something.  I thought after I cut out the pieces that they looked pretty small but I held them up to Bitty and thought they would work - I just kept the seams really tiny.  I was half way or more through the shirt and it was too tight.  I really loved the fabrics I picked out, had put some time into already and didn't want to give up.  So I thought I could turn the shirt into a dress for Stella's baby doll.  Instead of putting bias on the bottom of the shirt I added some more fabric to it to make it longer.  But it was too big to be a dress for her little bunny.  So I decided to make an outfit for Stella's baby Stella.  Baby Stella is a doll whose name on the box was Baby Stella.  She was a gift from her Auntie Annie.  The shirt pretty much fit her.  It looked a little low cut and funny around the shoulders but I had planned to make a bib so you can't see it.

I  followed the instructions for the panties.  It was tricky stretching the elastic for the leg holes but otherwise was very easy.  The shirt I altered only by adding the fabric to the bottom and adding a button to cover the Velcro stitching.  And I didn't even read the directions for the bib. I just sewed the two pieces together and sewed some baby ric rac on.

The bib is Aunt Grace fabric I bought at a quilt show last summer.  I love pandas.  And the other fabric is reproduction fabric that I bought at a store in Biddeford, Maine many many years ago.  It has four different patterns on one piece of fabric.  I also took out the shiny pink ribbons out of the Baby Stella's hair and gave her ric rac ribbons instead.  I was very pleased with how her outfit came out.

I think somebody else was pleased too.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

apple picking dress

We are having a very fun weekend at home and I am getting a bit of craft time mixed in which is making me extra happy.  I will post about my weekend craftiness at another time.  Today I thought I would post about the apple picking dress from oliver + s since Stella just happens to be wearing it today. 

I made this dress for Stella's little red riding costume for Halloween this past year.  I had made the cape from little things to sew and had bought the apple picking dress pattern for her dress.  Of all the stuff I had to make for their costumes I did the dress last because I figured I could just stick in her in any dress and it wouldn't really matter (only just to me).  But I made it in time and was so happy with her homemade costume.  I picked out some cute apple fabric (sorry I can't remember who made it) at one of my favorite fabric stores the Portsmouth Fabric Company.  I chose the version with long sleeves since I figured it would be cold here in Maine on Halloween.  I would like to try the other version next.  If I remember correctly I was in awe that I actually made it and it came out okay.  The only thing I remember really struggling with and not being perfect (though I haven't noticed the imperfections today) were the bands around sleeves.  Those things at the end of her sleeves?  I don't know what they are called right now.  But they were tricky. 

Well it isn't quite noon yet so there is plenty of weekend time left that I plan to fully enjoy.  I am looking forward to more reading in forts and some nap-time knitting.  Good-bye for now!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Hello! Nap-time was very exciting today.  I tried blocking for the first time.  The other day I finally finished all the pieces of a lace sweater I am knitting Stella.  I don't know if you really call it a lace sweater but the pattern is definitely lace.  This may be the first pattern I tried that told me to block the pieces (or the first pattern that I paid attention to that instruction).  I was prepared since my mom bought me a board for blocking a few Christmas's ago.  I do hoard craft supplies but eventually they get used.

I watched a video on you tube and skimmed this page before I started.  I wasn't too nervous because the sweater already has so many mistakes (my no nervousness was certainly not because I am confident or anything like that).  I don't think I got the pieces wet enough before pinning them so I sprayed them after too.  My goal is too finish the sweater before next Saturday.  I start a knitting class that day to make mittens and learn stranding.  I will need to use all my crafting time to work on the mittens I think.  And the sweater is size 18-24 months so I definitely want to get it on Stella before she outgrows it.  All I have left to do is the collar and sew the pieces together.  Hopefully I will be posting the finished sweater this week. 

oh and that metal blob on my book?  I dropped my pretty light blue magnetic pin cushion last week and it broke.  I was slightly heartbroken.  That metal blob is what was inside and what I am using while I await the arrival of my new bright blue magnetic pin cushion.  I have some other Christmas goodies to post about - books and things I bought with gift cards for my crafts.  Most haven't arrived yet but hopefully soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Explorer Vest

Well I am never happy to have Christmas be over.  I am not quite sad but do wish I could make Christmas last a little longer.  Our tree and decorations are still up.  We had my dad and step-mother over today for a Christmas celebration so it was important to have it look like Christmas.  I guess this weekend we will need to take it down.

I do like the idea of the fresh start that a new year brings.  I have so many crafty goals (see previous post) that I am just so excited for.  And I am looking forward to continuing to document them here.  My hope is that as my crafting improves that this little blog will too.

Another thing I am very excited about is this vest. I get such a rush when I finish sewing something and then having it used.   It is the explorer vest from the oliver + s little things to sew book.  I found it tricky.  I did the simple pockets but had to start them over quite a bit and they still aren't perfect but at a certain point I needed to move on.  And the binding was a little tricky for me to where the ends had to meet.  I do have the oliver and s sewing dvds and should really watch the second one.  I  love the vest though mistakes and all.  I love the green trim and buttons.  And I love that is lined and love the fabric that I used for the lining.

I had initially regretted my decision to do navy when I saw lighter cute colored vests.  But I realized that mistakes are less obvious in the dark color.  It is a canvas and I can't remember where I bought it.  I also can't remember where the lining fabric came from or who made it.  The buttons and bias are from Walmart.  I was going to make my own bias but when I saw the green at Walmart I realized it was perfect.

I am not sure what I will sew next.  Either a jumper for Stella or an outfit for her doll.  I have a few quilts in the works and knitting projects too.  Oh and I just remembered some other things to add to my crafting goals - I want to sew a doll and make somethings with felt and make this and this.  I have so much to look forward to.  Happy New Year!