September Crafting

This is super quick since I had at least a dozen things on my to-do list last week that never happened, and I’m racing a deadline for this weekend’s birthday party. I swear I’ll get my blogging rhythm back one day.  September was a slow crafting month.  I lost my speed on quite a few things, but I hope to catch up soon.

I did manage to finally complete this duo for a baby shower.
baby gift
The bibs are from this tutorial by Homemde by Jill, and the blanket is this pattern.  It is full of newbie mistakes, to be totally honest.  But I love it just the same.  There are a slew of babies around here with a lot of other pregnant girlfriends and family members, so I am starting work on some other soft baby things this fall.  What winter baby doesn’t need a handknit?

I also finished this button-up scarf for my mother-in-law’s birthday.  Unfortunately, I only took one crappy iPhone picture, but you get the idea.  It’s really warm and chunky.  She is an elementary school teacher and has to do carpool duty sometimes in the cold winter months, so I figured she needed something warm that can go over a coat.

Last but not least, I threw together this quick knit to mail to a friend who recently moved to Maryland since I thought she could use some fun mail in the new empty mailbox and some fall attire.  I forgot to take a photo, but it turned out deliciously soft and a pretty blue.  I used Berocco Vintage so it’s washable and easy to care for.  Also related – I need to stop the cowl obsession and knit something else.  But they are so fast and easy, it’s hard to commit to a full scarf for a timely gift!

I’m a little behind on Jude’s second year album, but it’ll be done in the next month or so, I think.  And our vintage train birthday party is in three days, so I’ll post on that soon.  We are having a little brunch this year with family and a very close friend or two, so it’s smaller than last year’s shindig, but it’s proving to be just as fun to put together.  I’ll post photos soon!

Happy Wednesday, reader.  And welcome to the world, little Zade…. The recipient of the bibs and blanket made his entrance around 7:30 yesterday morning.  Happy birthday, baby boy!  And rest well, mama.

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!

March’s Finished Projects

I can’t believe another month has passed.  It’ll be summer in Atlanta before long, and I’m ready for some steady warm weather!  I’ve written before about my crafting resolutions this year, and essentially – to catch you up if you missed it – I just want to actually finish things instead of having all of these unfinished craft endeavors lying around my house all the time. The hardest part about this monthly committment is accepting some mistakes along the way and realizing that complete and imperfect is better than any kind of incomplete.  At this point in my life anyway.

On that note, check out my yarn and needles hanging out in their new home.

I cast on for a felted cable bag way back at the first of February, and I am just now wrapping it up.  I am really practicing the art of embracing imperfections though.  Behold.  The eye sore.


The problem with this pattern (or, ahem, the user of this pattern ) is that it’s repetitive enough that you feel like you can knit it from memory once you get the rhythm and watch television rather than stare at the written pattern.  Then again, it’s not so repetitive that a newbie knitter like me should do that — hence the funky problem on the cable where I went the same direction twice.  I know how to backtrack and fix a mistake if it’s simple in nature, but I got all twisted (no pun intended) in whatever was happening with the cables, and I was too lost to fix it at that point.  But the good news is that it’s done, and the old me might have given up, but instead I said it’s almost the end of the month and I want to finish this, so imperfect or not, here we are. It’s my second completed knitted project ever, so I’m thinking one day that ugly mistake will be sentimental.  Awwww, look at my mess-up before I was any good at knitting.  …..Probably not, but whatever.  It’s done.

It holds a lot actually, and it is designated for the important job of holding my knitting gear because if my yarn is overflowing that bag, it’s a sign I need to buy less and knit more.  I got a shelf for my little craft area, and it fits nicely atop the shoebox of paints and next to the file of patterns.

I also finally put together a sewing machine cover for the same craft area.  I’ve been needing to do this for a while because my machine tends to sit for weeks between use and get a little dusty.  It’s a sweet little cover with a large pocket for scissors or a current pattern or scraps or whatever.  I got the pattern from this book, and I want to make one of everything as I flip through the glossy pages.  So many awesome ideas!


Last but not least, I completed some of Jude’s second year book as well. We had no real major events this month and no big holidays, so I decided to do something fun and casual and telling of where we are right now.


The program I use is far from professional, so the text wrap doesn’t really work that well.  I’m still trying to tweak the captions to look better, but for now, it’s complete!  So those are March’s crafty projects, and when I look back, it actually makes me feel like I got a lot done this month.  I was afraid my less-internet rule would cut in to crafting time since I’d want to get online at night or during the occasional free naptime, but that hasn’t really been the case. On the whole, being online less seems to make me want to be online even more less. (Is that even a logical phrase?)  And I usually spend evenings checking in for a minute, sharing an idea or link I’ve run across, browsing what others have shared that day, and logging off until the next day.  The rhythm is developing so well that I think I’ll leave those apps off my phone even after Lent.



Crafting is on hold for a little while, and April’s project will have to be something super quick and easy because I’m heading for Costa Rica in a few days.  Did I mention that yet?


That's the actual resort we're visiting!


I’ve been busy checking off lists and will soon be packing our bags.  We’re cashing in the husband’s travel points for a big 30th birthday bash (5 weeks later) for me!  I’m super excited, and I’m pretty sure taking a toddler to Central America means I’m either adventurous or insane; it’s a close call. But Seattle last year was pretty smooth sailing, so I’m super excited.  We’ll be reading and relaxing indoors everyday during naptime, so I’ll post likely post a photo or quick hello from there next week.  (If there’s one thing I’ve learned about traveling with a baby or toddler, it’s don’t skip naptime.) The resort offers all sorts of cool day trips to some rainforest areas and some really cool volcanoes, but with a toddler in tow, I’m thinking it might be easier to hang around the resort  or only venture to the couple of closer neighboring towns.  We’ll see. I have a feeling my gratitude list will be pretty long next time I post.


I hope you’ve had a lovely March and welcome the warmer days of spring ahead.  Until then, pura vida, friends!