Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Favorites from Yesterday

I found a few favorite patterns yesterday while rendering my last project and thought I'd share.



All images and patterns are property of their owner, http://www.pickles.no

Maybe I'll try one or two of them out on my cousin's 2-year-old....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modern Colors, Traditional Granny Squares


I definitely have to try making one of these for the back of our couch.  It would compliment so nicely with the curtains I'm planning to embroider.  Lots of bright colors.  That's the look we're going for in the living room, but not chaotic, just festive and vibrant.
Any suggestions?  How was everyone's holiday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finally! A Little Crafty Corner


It's so cute!  And it didn't cost anything!  I thought I would never find the place to set up my own little craft corner of the world, even if I did find the right desk & layout.  I'm on a little cloud just happily sitting here on this CLEAN, quaint desktop gazing out the (rain-filled, grey, blustery) window.


The sewing machine was a 14 or 16th birthday present; the books are borrowed from the library (I'm back to the addiction), my laptop, my mother's bulletin board from when she was a child, a hand-me-down desk chair from my childhood and curtains that came with the house (though I hope to either switch them out or maybe use them to practice embroidery before doing the living room?).


I'm so excited to have a place dedicated to sewing and crafting.  Though, I don't need a place to work when I'm knitting or crocheting (because I do most of it on the couch watching TV, in the car on road-trips, or in waiting rooms), I definitely need one for sewing.
My mending pile has gotten quite high due to my lack of motivation to set up the sewing machine for only one patch that needs sewing or a broken hem line.  Now I have no excuse!  Plus, I can now start diving into my next goal - sew my own wardrobe!  Obviously that'll take some time, I know, but I've gotten some books out from the library to help me along.  :)

And when I'm not sewing, I'll have to try out some of these free vintage patterns.  I love seeing all the hairstyles & clothing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Restocking the Shop

My friend came over Saturday to help us arrange the guest room & my craft area to make it feel more inspiring.  Who knew it would only take about 15 minutes and the first arrangement was the one we all liked?

And I'm happy to say I'm already starting to list items and photograph new ones, like those ear warmers I promised a month or two ago.  :)


It's so exciting to be back at this again.  I've really missed the blogging (plus I LOVE reading comments), and the listing of new items.  I just hope I can start driving more traffic to the shop now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My New Favorite Find Today

Talk about amazing photography and some different designs.  I could look at this picture for hours and be inspired.  Thanks twoknit!

Good Coffee Morning

I realize I haven't done one of these in a while and they are some of my favorite quick posts.  :)  Not to mention my favorite part of my morning....*warm coffee*..... :)

psst: that's my newest, loose-knit purple cowl I made while watching the last Harry Potter movie in our local (cheap) theatre.

You wouldn't believe it, but I was without this favorite mug of mine for 2 months!  I had kept it out of a box for the longest time that, when the last things got moved from my parents' place to our new house, it got shoved in a bag of the "remaining kitchen items" that were left in my parents' house.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find it last weekend.  :)  Yeah, I carried it around like it was glued to my hand.  Seriously.  I know the husband was a little skeptical.  :-P

Anyway, Happy Morning!  Here's hoping it's off to a great start :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Multitasking

While warming up my water for some Chai Tea last night I decide to unload the dish-dryer because my favorite mug is buried at the bottom and in doing so a thought wandered by: What else do we do to consolidate time?

For example, I'm always doing some sort of craft (knit, crochet, sewing, braiding, collaging, stamping...) while watching TV.  The biggest thing there is I can't stand wasting time if I could be doing something productive.  Or I listen to a podcast like This American Life while I wash the dishes.

So this got me thinking: What else do I multitask?
- Laundry while at home doing other chores around the house (like dishes or cleaning).  I set a timer on my phone or the microwave to alert me when an hour is up (which is the general running time of a load of laundry).
* Then I fold the laundry while watching a movie.  Makes it more enjoyable :)
- Normally I tidy up the kitchen while my coffee brews.
- Read blog updates or my email while videos render (or digitize) at work.
- Write Thank-You notes whenever I have a little downtime on the road (driving my gentleman, babysitting, doctor's office).  Once I'm done with wedding Thank-You's I'll go back to knitting, reading torn-out magazine articles or maybe a novel again :)
- I don't know if this counts as multitasking, but it does save a lot of wasted time: I keep a running list of all the errands I have to run (drop something off, returns/exchanges at a store, purchases, pick-ups) and tack them on to an appointment that I have near the same area.  So if I have to drive to the North end of town, I bring all my items for errands in that part of town and map out the least-back-tracking route.  (Maybe this is a little OCD but I feel so accomplished at the end of the day when it only took a few extra minutes to add these errands onto the drive to or from an appointment).

What do you multitask?  Any suggestions for me?  I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Back into a Routine

I can finally say I feel like routine is returning to my life and I've never been happier to have one again.  I intern 3 days a week, I drive an older gentleman once a week & babysitting once a week and my weekends are free to spend with my husband or at home crafting!  Woot!  Life is GREAT!


And because I've started settling back into a routine, my knitting has started picking up again and with it, more crafty ideas & inspirations have followed!  When I first picked up my needles after returning from our honeymoon in Croatia, I had never felt so empty of creativity and ideas.  Talk about scary!  For about 5 seconds I seriously wondered if I would ever be inspired again to create something new and not just a copy of something I saw.  But I'm happy to report that over the last two weeks, and through a lot of etsy & self-suffient reading, my inspirations are coming back.  :)


Check out this scarf I started the weekend after our return.  With NO inspiration in my head.  I have no idea where this twist idea came from (but I've been trying to come up with a good color-twist idea using a cable pattern since last winter; so I guess this was just me having an open mind and out it popped?).  So I went with it and started this scarf up at a University of Michigan football game.  Yes, I was knitting at a College Football game.  In the stands.  With a skein of yarn in each pocket.  :-P

Moving on.  At first I hated the way it looked, but it was like heaven having needles purring in my hands again.  I wish I could describe how right it felt to be knitting again.  It feels like punishment when I have to put the needles down (I was nearly late to babysitting tonight because of it; oops!).  But luckily I now have lots of time & opportunity to be knitting whatever I want - and lots of Christmas presents!

I hope to post pictures as I start working on them.  And I'm sure that list of mine along the right column will be growing by the week as I brainstorm more and more projects (and gifts) to make.

So glad to be back.  I hope you'll return; I've missed the excitement of comments in my inbox.  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homemade Christmas

I've never been that excited for Christmas the last couple of years because it's always snuck up on me and I was always too busy to really get prepared for the holiday.  I didn't have time to decorate or go shopping for all my loved ones & made me irritated for holiday season (which I hated, and made me even more upset).  And then working in retail where Christmas comes before Halloween, I *really* hated the holiday season.

So imagine my surprise when I find myself starting to think about what I want to bake for Christmas Eve dinner at my grandfather's house.  Or how I want to decorate the mantel (because we have a house now!).  Maybe it's a combination of our first Christmas married, and our first Christmas in our new house & my not working in retail anymore.  I even find myself thinking about Christmas decorating and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  Yikes!  I used to hate when people would do that before Thanksgiving and now I'm one of them! haha.

So in the spirit of preparing & getting excited for the holidays this year, I thought it'd be fun to dream a little about what a homemade Christmas would look like in our new home this year.

This year I want to focus on making some Garlands...

             
The paper garlands would be fun projects to do when babysitting.

lots of Ornaments...
(both made by my husband and I if we can organize an afternoon to do some crafting :) and I'm sure the kids I babysit would love to make some ornaments with me)



     
 Painted ornaments (Local Craftstores have these ornaments kits)

   

Can you believe these are crocheted?
Where do I find a pattern to do this.  These make awesome Christmas gifts, too.

   
Ornaments made from origami.
Now I have another reason to hang out with my dad. 
I don't know how I could replicate these, but I just
LOVE the colors!  If I went with tradition ornaments, this is what I'd get.


Wreaths...
This would go well with that silver tree skirt (below).




My favorite, traditional & simple wreath.


Stockings...
(I've been wanting to knit our own but with all the gifts I still have to make, I doubt I'll have enough time to get them completed for this Christmas.  Maybe next year)

    
I'm a sucker for the traditional with only a touch of new.

and since both my husband and I are really excited to have a real Christmas tree, we'll need a tree skirt of course!

This tradition red & white skirt is what I had envisioned.


I didn't even think about knitting or crocheting one.

This one would be very sophisticated
for those holiday parties.
What are you planning for the holidays?  Or are you too busy like I used to be in the past years?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Snowflake Wrapping Paper


I don't remember where I found this picture (probably on etsy), but what a great idea for the holidays!  I have so many paper bags from the grocery store, I wonder if I could cut them flat and stamp them with sponge snowflakes?  Or I'd have to get a roll of craft paper so it'd be more pliable...

Are you making your own wrapping paper this holiday?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The White Corset scarf.

I'm going through old pictures from when I was finally serious about my Etsy shop and just can't help but love this picture of my sister modeling this doubly-thick scarf. 

I can't remember now if I ever listed it (it is still on my shelf), but a part of me wonders if it would even interest anyone.

I knitted it extra wide so it could be folded over, making it doubly thick.  Later, I decided to lace the edges together with black yarn in a corset/ shoelace pattern to give it some more flare.


My favorite part of this scarf:  The thickness (and the contrasting black lacing).  No wind or cold is getting through this scarf!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Help from Interweave & Knitting Daily

Who knew?  I love learning new knitting and crocheting techniques from video vs. books.  I think it is the second best way to learn if you can't learn one-on-one with someone in person.

Yes, I knitted my sweater too short :(  and this Thanksgiving was going to be my weekend to fix it so I can *finally* wear it this winter.  Thankfully I received this video in my inbox today and saved myself a little more trial-and-error.  Now I just have to try their technique on my sweater.


And since I found this so helpful, I figured someone else out there might find it as helpful as well.

p.s. I'm back from all the wedding craziness & honeymoon abroad.  I can't wait to start posting pictures of the new house.  I promise I have a few before and afters and many more to come as we start decorating projects.  :)