December 27, 2009

WIP for Me

This past week I've been trying to actually work on some things that won't be for sale. It's a rare occasion that I make something for myself so it's been pretty fun.



I got a quilt top made out of a Jelly Roll and some Charm Packs I bought from the Rouenneries collection by French General. It's going to hang in our hallway right off the entry (and hopefully warm the space up a bit). I'm using some of these fabrics to make curtains for the dining room and living room too. I can't wait to get those done!

And here's my latest knitting project. I held off starting something new until I finished my Santa.


Nick and I made a mad dash to the local book shop (have I mentioned we can walk to a great book shop? LOVE THAT!) on Christmas Eve for this book. I wanted it anyway, really, it was gonna happen at some point. ;)



I picked up this colorful sock yarn at a shop down in Des Moines, WA on an outing last week (since this hasn't arrived yet). I like my socks a little crazy, can you tell? I think this method of knitting both socks at once is brilliant. I doubt I'd ever end up with a pair otherwise.




The pattern I chose is called Twilight and is pretty easy. It'll be even easier when the mail man brings me some longer circular needles! haha, Anyway, it's kinda pretty, no?

What have you been working on lately?

December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas

Just popping in to wish you a Happy Christmas! Hope you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends.


(Yes, I finished knitting Santa, just in time too.)



See ya real soon.

December 14, 2009

Sock Success!


I finished a sock!!!


I haven't started the second one yet, but I'm so excited I got this one done. If you think it looks a little wonky, it is. It fits, it works, but it's a little loose at the top. It's my first sock, so what? haha

To reward myself, I started another project. Remember the Santa I told you about? Well, I took the whole evening off from monkeys (and owls) last night and got started on my little Santa.
 

I had to restart a couple times, but finally got going and made some good progress. The white stripe will be Santa's belt.



This is Santa's bum. I guess I'll have to stitch up that hole at the bottom, hehe. I hope I can get him finished before Christmas!

December 11, 2009

How I Made My Jelly Roll Place Mats

I finally got around to making some Christmas place mats for Nick & I and I thought I'd share the process with you. They were super easy!



I started with a Jelly Roll. I chose a collection called Figgy Pudding by Basic Grey. A Jelly Roll, by Moda,  is a roll of 2 1/2" strips of each fabric in an entire collection. This one came with 40 strips, enough to make at least 12 place mats. You'll also need backing fabric and some fusible fleece or batting of some sort (fusible is optional). The finished place mats are about 17"w x 12 1/2"t.




Each place mat will be made from 9 strips of fabric. To make 6 place mats, pick out 18 strips and cut each one into (3) 13 1/2" pieces. This configuration leaves very little waste at the end of the strips, yeah!




Lay out all of the cut fabric pieces and choose 9 for each place mat. Put them in piles then stitch each piece together using 1/4" seams. Press the seams in one direction.




I added some ribbon to my place mats for a little extra decoration. Why not, it's Christmas? Cut backing fabric the same size as your pieced top. Cut fleece/batting 1/2" smaller (in each direction) than the backing and top pieces.




Place the fleece on the wrong side of the place mat top leaving 1/4" around each side. Press if using fusible. Now pin the backing to the top with wrong sides together. Stitch all four sides in 1/4" seam, leaving about a 6" opening for turning.


Clip the corners and turn each place mat right side out, being careful to push out the corners.











 
Fold seam allowances at opening to inside and pin in place. Topstitch close to edge on all four sides.







Now it's time to do some quilting. I went with a freehand loopy sort of stitching in silver thread. The metallic thread was a major pain to work with (be sure to use a metallic needle), but it looks great!


 
Here are my finished Jelly Roll place mats. I only made two for now because that's all I need.  What do you think?

December 05, 2009

Delicious Diversion

This week I finally got to make something that's been on my To Do List for a while, pumpkin whoopie pies with maple marshmallow filling. There are lots of recipes for these online, I used this one from Bon App├ętit.




I believe the Whoopie Pie is traditionally chocolate, but I can't pass up a good pumpkin recipe. I have a weakness, okay? According to Wikipedia, Amish women baked whoopie pies for farmers' lunches & upon finding the sweet cakey goodness in their lunch the men would exclaim, "whoopie!". Makes perfect sense to me. These things are sinfully delicious, and equally fattening.

I suppose all the baking lately is due to the new oven calling my name from the kitchen. I think Nick's coworkers are complaining of weight gain at this point, but not in a bad way.

Just thought I'd share. Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

December 02, 2009

For the Love of Cath Kidston

One of my favorite things in the UK is anything Cath Kidston! I really miss being able to go to one of her shops whenever I feel like it.




Luckily, she sends out this free magazine/catalog every couple of months (just to tease me). You can sign up for it here.




It's filled with pretty things you'd find in her shops, or on her website (they ship internationally, just in case you're wondering). I love these mugs!



There are recipes too, and little stories about this & that.



Her fabric designs are heaven! I want them all.



She's got a few books out too. Last year my wonderful husband got me one, and also this bag. Isn't the print great?



And check out this adorable pin cushion! I miss England sometimes, especially when I get this catalog!

I know this sounds like a Cath Kidston advertisement, but I promise you, it's just me showing some love.

*sigh*

November 29, 2009

WIP Fabric Wreath

In an attempt to spend a little time each day on something other than my shops, I've started a little Christmas project. This is different from the knitted Santa I haven't started yet, and the socks I'm supposed to be making in class and the place mats I bought fabric for this weekend. Yeah, this is another project I'm starting, haha.



I actually bought this fabric to make place mats last year and never got to it. Whoops! I got the wire wreath at Michael's for about $2.50. I think you're supposed to use thinner strips of fabric, but these worked fine for me. Just a bit harder to tie (and more expensive).

I've got about half of the wreath finished now...



What do you think? I like it and I hope I can actually finish it. Right now I have to hand sew zippers onto four monkeys heads.

November 26, 2009

Thankful


Today I'm thankful my new oven arrived in time for Thanksgiving.




I'm thankful that Julie sent me this book for my birthday so I could give my oven a test drive.

Naturally, I went with the Maple Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream.



The first thing I ever cooked in my oven!




I think Nick's coworkers were thankful he went to work yesterday.




Mmmmmm, cupcakes. So many things to be thankful for, have a safe and happy turkey day!

November 17, 2009

Over the Weekend


This weekend I headed south to the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in Puyallup (Nick even went with me!!). It's not the biggest show on earth, but it was a nice diversion and I did pick up a few bits of fabric. Are you surprised? haha That Japanese one on the bottom has already been turned into my new knitting bag.


Do you like it? I was way overcharged for the fabric so I thought I'd better make something for myself for a change. I made the handles extra long so I can wear it with a coat when I walk to my knitting class.



I also got this cool Washington Oregon tea towel. I think I'll stitch some borders on and quilt it. This will look nice in our family room area downstairs.



I also picked up some of what I call "filler fabric". These will be great for coupon organizers. The top one has already been cut to be an organizer.

And here's the update on my socks:


I've gotten to the heel flap now. There's a "design element at the bottom of the flap, but who's gonna know?

Now I'm off to paint the kitchen!! Yes, it's moving along nice and quick. The oven will be delivered tomorrow. All but one cabinet is built. There is a Thanksgiving!


This is how it looks right now. No soffits, no doorway...excellent!

I hope you aren't shocked by the colors we chose. Let's just say, "cheerful".
Here's a clue.




November 13, 2009

Soapy Love

This past weekend I got a chance to meet Kathy aka Lizzie Jane and her daughter Layla aka Layla! It's always fun to meet a fellow blogger/Etsy seller or two.

It just so happens that I've been searching for a new soap maker, so seeing these girls in person was a great opportunity to do some smell testing.


Needless to say, Nick and I found a few soaps we couldn't live without. They are so pretty and smell divine!



This one's my favorite. I love the buttons (of course) and the "monkey business" scent is so yummy. They have a pumpkin lavender soap too, *sigh.

Stop by & say hi to Kathy and Layla some time.

November 11, 2009

A Little Knitting

I wanted to share my progress from the sock knitting class Monday night. (How lucky am I that I can walk to a yarn shop?)

 
I haven't done much, but I'm happy with what I've got. The yarn is so pretty! These socks are knit on two circular needles from the cuff down. I have about 7 more inches to knit by Monday, yikes!


 
This is my next knitting project. I'd love to knit my way through this gorgeous book. Then I can move on to this one, then this one. The projects in itty-bitty toys are just too cute. I want to make everything in this book. And yes, there is a monkey in there!



I'm going to start with this adorable Santa. I have to get those socks done first. I wonder if I'll get him done by Christmas, hmmm.

November 09, 2009

The Coupon Organizer Pattern Saga

I don't like to just go on & on about things I put in my shops, but I'm just too excited about this one not to mention it.


Yes, I finally got the sewing pattern written for my coupon organizers, HOORAY!! I do spend a lot of time writing and designing my patterns, but geez, this one was months in the making. 

I swear all I make these days is coupon organizers, but they're pretty fun. I think my favorite part of sewing is putting fabric combinations together, these coupon organizers are great for that.


See what I mean? Look at those crazy colors. What's your favorite thing about crafting?


Of course, I'm still knee deep in monkeys and owls. I've got some new Christmas monkeys in the shop this year.


How do you like the Grinch? haha, it's fun to do a grouchy face now & again.

I think I've sufficiently advertised myself in this post to last at least until the end of the year. :) Thanks for listening. I start sock knitting class tonight, wish me luck!!

November 02, 2009

There's a Tent in My Kitchen

We're finally getting started on the long and slow process of remodeling "the vanilla kitchen", YAY! Unfortunately, mold is the reason we're moving forward with phase 1. Yep, too bad the home inspector missed that one. Anyway, I'm glad to get it all started.


 I get to have this tent for a couple days while things dry out. Then we'll be removing soffits and patching up the walls.


 
The first thing we'll tackle (once the mold is dealt with) is this wall. Major changes are coming my way, and a new double oven!!



To help maintain my sanity through the kitchen drama (and Christmas with two Etsy shops), I'm knitting a scarf from this pattern. Maybe I'll even finish it, haha.



It's a super easy pattern and I love the look of the stitches. I'm using pretty inexpensive yarn that I picked up at JoAnn for this scarf. I'm not ready for the good stuff yet, but next week I start a sock knitting class. That's going to be so fun and I can walk to the wool shop where I'm taking the class. I'll keep you posted on my sock progress.

To celebrate my knitting, I took a quiz to see which ewe I am. Here's my result!



A Perendale!! I knew it. If you want to know which ewe you are, here's the quiz. It's only a few questions.