May – Finished Projects

Thanks for the kind emails and thoughts on family business, you guys.  I’m just going day by day and doing what I can to focus on bright spots as well.  ….Which is why I’m posting on some crafting even though I guess the month isn’t quite over yet.

I’m really happy with the way this little car cozy turned out.

I used this tutorial at Homemade by Jill to make this for Jude.  We already used it the other day at the pediatrician’s office as we waited for our well-check appointment, and I know it’ll be useful in all kinds of waiting situations like restaurants or appointments.  It rolls up compactly to be thrown in a purse or diaper bag.

Halfway through the project I discovered I was out of black thread, but I wanted to press on so I just continued with what I have since it’s made from an old cut-up pair of Scott’s jeans and contains a few mistakes anyhow.  It definitely looks homemade, but I love it, and Jude adores his tiny Hot Wheels cars, so it’s nice to make a cozy little home for them.  On a side note, I think it would make a perfect birthday gift for boys of all ages, so it will be tempting not to make this for every little boy I know!

I also worked on Jude’s second year album, and I decided to focus on his increasing interest in all things “boy” – bugs, dirt, tractors, motors, wheels……

I can’t deny that I loved the opportunity to use a favorite Mark Twain quote, and Jude has been obsessed with tractors and basically any moving vehicles lately, so I included some photos of him with my uncle’s four wheeler and my grandad’s tractor.  The Gender Studies minor in me hates to say things like this, but he really is “all boy” in the traditional sense.  It’s so funny to watch in contrast to all my frilly nieces.


Lastly, there’s also another BIG project that I finished this month.  A long time ago, I told you about the year-long photo project I was in the midst of, and May 18 marked the date I began.  Unfortunately, my Project 365 morphed in to a Project 313 since I left out a few days, but I essentially took a simple photo almost everyday to document my first year home with Jude.  I’m happy I did it, but I’m also happy it’s over. I found that taking the photo was the easy part, but remembering to upload it, label it, etc. was a pain at times and didn’t always happen.  Nevertheless, we began one year ago with this shot


And finished with an attempted replication that went a little differently with a wiggly toddler, so this was all I got

365 ??  Full Circle!

Even though this was tedious at times, I’m really happy to have one year documented like this.  Most importantly, I think it inspired me to experiment with my camera and get snapshots of everyday life.  And of course just to keep taking pictures and know that every once in a while, something good pops up if you keep snapping the camera.  The traditional “rules” of the project were to include yourself in the photos, set the camera on your own, and upload to a Flickr group.  In the beginning, I tried to follow the those rules, but as usual, I threw out the rules eventually and just focused on finishing – hopefully with some creativity every now and then.  I’m not kidding that one year ago, I didn’t even know where the self-timer button was on my camera, and I always just shot in “auto” mode!  I’m not a perfect photographer, but I can surely say I learned a lot by doing this.  Here are a few of my favorites from the project.

365.3 - Sleepy Head
6:00 am wake-up for a 7 month old baby. My old working routine.
365.1.11  Making Baby Food
making baby food last summer
365.1.32  library day
trip to the library with my then 8-month-old and my niece
365.49  tofu success
the first time I attempted tofu!
365.57   nap time
a rare still moment in Seattle last summer
365.123  stuffing diapers
mundane chores. stuffing cloth diapers as I watch a curious kid.
365.156  early, quiet breakfast
early breakfast.
365 ???  Saturday morning lounging
Saturday morning lounging with the dog
playing with a Viewmaster as we waited for an oil change. Taken with my phone.

I think I’ll take a break from an organized photo project, but I might start a photo-a-day attempt again for next year in January of 2012. We’ll see. Either way, I’ll be snapping pictures even if I never upload.  So that’s my crafting round-up for the month.  Somehow stress makes me craft and cook more.  Does that happen to anyone else?  It feels good to be busy.  June will bring more knitting (almost complete on a secret project!) and more sewing and some scrapbooking.

Happy weekend!

February’s Finished Project

It’s month two of my 2011 resolution to complete at least one crafty/creative endeavor a month.  January’s was my first-ever knitted project, and I’ve been working on another knit this month.  It’s taking a while though, and I took some time away from it last week, so I’m thinking that will be March’s completion.

This month wasn’t great on the crafty side, especially with the pseudo-summer weather we’ve been having lately that calls me outdoors.  I did get a few things done, though.  The first one is a great homemade gift idea for any kid.

homemade play-dough!

Jude is pretty much a play-dough fanatic these days, so I thought I’d use the same recipe we make for his stash and give his little cousin some of her own for her second birthday this past weekend.  I had Jude “help” me a little so I could make the card from him to her and give him a little ownership.  The recipe can be found here, but I’ll walk you through it.

Gather your materials: flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, water, food coloring. First mix about 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of salt, and 2 tsp of cream of tartar in a pot on the stove.  Add 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of oil, and about 1 tsp of food coloring.  Cook this over medium heat, and just keep stirring and stirring until it makes a ball-ish form in the pot.  Then turn your dough out of the pot onto a floured surface, which for me is the leftover 1980’s countertop in my lovely kitchen.

Then you just knead, knead, knead until it begins to firm up, and you’ll be adding some flour along the way to be sure that happens.  (This is when I had Jude’s help “kneading” but didn’t have a free hand for the camera.)  This is easy-peasy and done in less than ten minutes! You can also use kool-aid to color it, but I haven’t tried that yet.  In my experience, the homemade version lasts way longer than store-bought play dough which tends to dry out in just a week or two.  We’ve had the same stash since December and play with it daily.  Plus if you add a homemade card, it makes for a sweet little gift from one cousin to another.


Other than that, I haven’t finished much except a few scrapbook pages that are long overdue.  My 2011 once-a-month resolution was the push I needed to finish then though.  (For more details on how I print this, see my previous post on last year’s book.  For other details, see this previous explanation.)

Here are a few from the holidays, and you can get a larger view by clicking on the picture.


I also worked on one about our snow days, but I really was holding off on it because I expected another round of winter weather in February or March.  I don’t know though; with these freakishly spring temperatures lately, I might not have to edit after all.

So there you have it – February’s few completed crafts.  I hope to have more in March with a finished knitted bag and maybe a sewing endeavor.