: projects :

we dream little. we dream big.

Make: Paisley Skirt There is nothing more satisfying than finding an amazing patterned skirt or dress at the thrift store. On the other hand, there is no bigger bummer than discovering that your find is a bit awkward, too big or too small. Recently, I found a great (but terribly matronly and awkward) paisley skirt at the thrift store. It was way too long, and the waist was about an inch too small...

Peanut & Purls: Kitty Valentines! 
Don't forget your feline friends this Valentine's Day. Peanut and Genevieve (and the rest of the cousins) will be getting their valentines, and you can make some too! Follow my lead from Thanksgiving (and check out the Thanksgiving-themed cat toys I made). Using the same simple steps, the sisters and I quickly whipped out three different sweet Valentine's. As per the usual, Peanut assisted...

Peanut & Purls: Dovetail Cowl I'm guest posting for Catherine this week. I have a couple knitting projects that need a little blog time and Catherine is currently between projects (except for my scarf, which is still in progress). Hmm, maybe I should make her write my book report posts. Let's abandon that thought for the moment. Before Second Christmas, Mom started dropping hints about how she really loves the knitted cowls from Catherine and Monika, but would like a brown one to...I don't know, go with her brown clothes?

Wood Burned Spoons After seeing Alisa Burke's wood burned spoons, I decided to break out my wood burning tool and fancify a couple wooden spoons for Second Christmas. Now we all know how I struggle with straight lines, so my arrows are, admittedly, a bit on the wobbly side. However, the wood-burned stops and starts and wobbly lines only reminds me of the arrows Robin Hood uses in the animated Disney movie. I like everything about that, and I'm betting the sisters feel the same...

Peanut & Purls: Bo Peep Scarf I'm still trying to catch up on all the fancy projects that I knit (or might still be knitting, hey Christine!). This week I wanted to show you Monika's little Bo Peep scarf from Tiny Owl KnitsMonika is a bit picky when it comes to what she likes and what she'll actually wear. She pretends to be easy going, but she's not. It's fine, she knows what she likes and there's nothing wrong with that. Anyway, I can find something to make sister Christine, and I generally know that she'll wear it/use it. Monika on the other hand, well, it's just best to ask when it comes to clothes/accessories. 

Home & Away: Recipes Into Tea Towels
When I have some free time, there's really nothing I love more than working on a project at home. Get ready, you get to see more of my cat and my house. Win! I found the idea to turn old recipes into tea towels on Pinterest. The mastermind behind this is the Emma Jeffery (she has her own blog Hello Beautiful) but she posted this idea through a guest post on Spoonflower's blog. I've ordered fabric through Spoonflower before, and while it's a little pricey, the quality is top-notch. 

Make: Kittens! Last year for Valentines Day I made little kittens for my Mom and the sisters, to stay consistent, I didn't actually deliver them until March when I went home for my birthday last year. The way I look at it, who doesn't want to get a little something for themselves on someone else's birthday? If you follow the blog you may recognize the cats as Peanut, Matilda and Beatrix (aka little baby black bear)...

Peanut & Purls: Socks Completed! So you know those socks that I've been talking a lot about for the last, oh I don't know, six weeks? Well, I'm going to finally share some pictures with you! How fun for you! I promise that next week I'll have more of my finished knits to display. Second Christmas is this Saturday. For those of you who don't know, we delayed Christmas until January 19th so we could celebrate it as a family. Monika will be flying up from Burbank, and Christine will be driving through the mountains from Spokane

Peanut & Purls: Hearts On Hearts On Peanut 
Love is in the air. Well, not always with Peanut. Sometimes Peanut isn't all about love, but when she's cold or tired and wants cuds, she loves you (read: your heat) to death! I decided to show some love back by knitting her a little heart cat toy that she can rub on, get a little loopy, and then go to sleep (probably on me...but who doesn't love a cat on their lap?!?).

Peanut & Purls: Coffee Cozies 
I wanted to knit up a quick gift to include in a gift exchange at work. I turned to Ravelry and found the perfect thing--coffee cozies! I only needed one, but why stop with one cozy when you can make a several variations? Using three separate (all free) patterns I found on Ravelry, I quickly knit up three very different versions of coffee cozies. I am giving away the gray cable cozy because it seemed the most Christmasy to me. Check out all the versions and afterwards, maybe you'll be inspired enough to knit yourself (or someone you love) a cozy.

Make A Merry Holiday Display 
So when Catherine came a callin' earlier this month I wanted her to be greeted by some sort of holiday decor. Since I had very little time and resources I had to get super crafty on this b****, and you can too with just a few items. Here are my impromptu decorations: bottle brush trees (yes these were actually just hanging around the house), red votives (the only time of year I'm okay with them being red), glass jars (to my boyfriend's dismay I have a large collection), and doilies.

Make: Eco-friendly Wrapping Paper This was originally a birthday present wrapping idea, but can easily be converted to a more Merry Christmas vibe, but all in all it's pretty clear, eco-friendly wrapping makes you an earthly hero to the grateful recipient. This particular present was for Ben's mom, a lovely lady who also is greatly appreciative of anyone saving our planet, one step at a time. Lucky for me, I just got some fun letter stamps that I was super excited to put to use, so we ventured to get our DIY on.

Make: Cotton Necklaces For a long time my favorite yarn has been Sugar n' Cream, I just love the bright fun color combinations of the 100% cotton yarn... that's under $2. So it should be no surprise that I used it for my cotton necklaces. One day I looked at my size 1 double pointed needles and some pretty color variations and lo and behold, the cotton necklace. I picked out some nice complimentary colors, because I wanted to make a few necklaces that could be worn together.

Peanut & Purls: Secret Knits Revealed! You might remember a little secret knitting project I was working on for the last month or so. Well, it's finally finished! This project was knit for a very smart and crafty friend (and coworker) who was very generous and gifted me her old sewing machine when she upgraded. I absolutely adore my new sewing machine (I'm calling it Ester), and it's come in handy a few times already. My coworker, Kathy has her own blog called LittleBook Notes where she showcases her amazing quilt sewing skills, cat army drills, and hiking adventures! 

Make: $5 Dress Typical little weekend for me in Burbank. I went for a walk up to Portos to procure some delicious breakfast foods, and ended up sifting through thrift store garments. Lucky for me, (and not so lucky) I found some things. To be honest I have, in the past, been notorious for buying garments that I have every intention of altering to my specifications, (to take something from being a little off putting, to a fit to delight over) and sat on them for years, and years, and years, to present day. 

Make: A Merry Garland So it's mid November now and if you are like us sisters, and love to put those handmade majesties under the Christmas tree, then the clock is starting to tick. Lucky for me I can pull out last years decorations and not spend all that precious time selfishly making adornments. I will, however, encourage you to take the time to make a handy construction paper Christmas garland to bring some holiday cheer into your home. I'd advise you get your garland ready now, because you'll need all of December to make your lists of projects that you have every intention of completing. 

Peanut & Purls: Koolhaas Hat 
This week I finished knitting up a winter hat that I've been working on for a while now... The Koolhaas hat pattern was created by Jared Flood (a Tacoma native that I've blogged about before, and I've knit some of his other projects before, like DryadGrove, and Bridgewater). He's amazing and all that jazz. I loved his pattern. I love the hat. I love him. I picked up this yarn on clearance in Idaho. Nicholas and I were starting on our Glacier National Park road trip. 

Peanut & Purl: Completed Baby Sophisticate Sweaters I finished both of the baby sophisticate sweaters. Just in time too...I gave you a preview of these precious little-man sweaters last week. I finished the second sweater and added some finishing touches on both of them. Cue the elbow patches! I originally wanted to use leather for the elbow patches, but it didn't seem like a good idea to make dry clean only clothes for babies. I decided to use Dritz's Twill iron-on patches from JoAnn's that were the perfect size to use as baby elbow patches.

Make: Fantastic MRS. Fox So this Halloween I finally got Ben to do a couples costume, how exciting (for me). I am certain he agreed based on two things; first he could just wear his own clothes, and second he saw how much time I had already put in to the  fox masks. Now that I know the recipe, I will take laziness and guilt, throw it into a bucket of festivities and bake a cake of awesome couples Halloween costumes every year! Allow me to introduce to you our Fantastic Mr. (and Mrs.Fox, costumes...

Malibu Merit Badge Sometimes you need to give something special to someone special. For Catherine's (very late) birthday present I made her a Malibu, CA merit badge; because when she visits, she's so good at Malibu-ing. Since moving to California, Malibu has delivered some great memories and wonderful treasures. This is the first beach where I've actually seen sea urchins, epic battles have been fought and won (Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, Sword), and we've seen dolphins (seriously close to the shore), very aggressive seagulls and lovers in love making the beach awkward for everyone around them.

Autumn Bookshelf The leaves have started turning fiery shades and falling to the ground. I thought it appropriate to mimic the changing seasons in my living room. Specifically on my bookcase. I didn't use any template for these little leaves. They're pretty easy to make. All you have to do is grab some autumn leaf-colored card stock and a pair of scissors, and start cutting out all the little leaf-shapes you can think of. It doesn't have to be perfect because there are all different kinds of leaves...

Succulents And Cacti, Never Too Many So, I recently acquired some more little succulents and cacti, and I was so displeased to be forced to find yet 
another home for them...and even more upset to have to throw up some curtains and hang some pictures to dress their new home. (Obviously I am being completely facetious, decorating for succulents is a heavenly treat...) I made these geometric clay beads a while ago, and I was going to use them for a necklace, but alas, the holes closed up when the clay dried (clay isn't a strong medium for me... yet). 

Blue As Blue Can Be I finally finished the other set of curtains I forced Mom to sew for me. And by finished I mean that I dip-dyed them withDylon Ocean Blue fabric dye. Remember that other set? The one Mom made while I was napping? Well, she made this one, too. I basically just shoved fabric at her and went to sleep for a couple hours. When I finally awoke, it was because she was standing over me saying my name. Apparently, she wasn't aware how terrified I'd be to awake with someone looming over me. I yelped and about fell out of bed. Man, afternoon naps are so disorienting. 

Mt. Pillow Take a look at those pillows! Now, all the pillows are fantastic in their own way, but the point of this post is to showcase the monumental mountain pillow. I handcrafted that puppy from scratch, and I'm tickled pink as to how it turned out. I wanted to make something else for Christine's birthday but I wasn't sure what. I had been thinking about a knit mountain pillow, but I didn't have a pattern, so I made one... I became inspired after my recent trip to Mt. Rainier. The front of the pillow is a dark and light gray worsted weight yarn.

New Old Curtains I found this vintage fabric at an estate sale for 25 cents. I was attracted by the pattern and the bold primary colors, all in spite of the icky polyester-ness. Unlike my grandmothers, who (Mom has informed me) were pretty excited by the introduction of the first polyester fabrics--What do you mean, it doesn't wrinkle?--I had no plans to put this near my skin. But curtains, well that's a different story. Unfortunately, my lack of sewing skills stood in the way of new curtains. Stood in the way of them big time. But lucky for me, Mom had stopped by for a visit and seemed game to break out her mother's vintage sewing machine, which I own and can sort of use...

Juno. Gold. Omaha. Utah. Sword. 
When Dawn was visiting, we discovered that we had oh-so-many things in common. One unexpected delight was that we both have an extreme love of miniatures. So, when Dawn suggested we buy a large bag of toy soldiers I was not only supportive, I was giddy. Just so happens we decided to head to the beach to play war. Thus leading to a post which bears the code names of 
the beaches of Normandy as a title. Also, it reminds me of We Have Always Lived in the Castle Melody. Gloucester. Pegasus. If you haven't read that book yet, you should.

Cat Cottage!!!! Peanut has been extra bad lately. She's been going crazy like whoa all the time, so I thought I would give her yet another interactive piece of furniture to play with. This was a really easy project to do because the basic cat house is super simple. You can decorate it as much or as little as you want (but you should go all out...duh). I got my initial inspiration from Chez Larsson which if you don't read, you should because everything is oh-so-crisp and glorious in her home.

Amanita Kaleidoscope 
I found these bizarrely yellow and green mushroom kaleidoscopes at Target last Christmas. I do believe they were a dollar. Monika was there, so she can vouch. Not too shabby, except the color is, like I said, bizarre. I acknowledge that mushrooms come in all sorts of colors, but these just looked like barf to me. No, thank you. So, I decided to get out my paints and make these mushrooms look a bit more appealing. 

Recipe for Success 
I've been on the lookout for vintage wooden recipe boxes as part of a gift for the sisters for a while. I found this one in time for Catherine's birthday (31 May...OK, this post is coming a bit late), so I decided it was do or die time and created this. It's really quite easy. I just came up with a little phrase (It was a battle between recipe for disaster and recipe for success. Obviously, recipe for success won. 

Under The Sea. Up In The Air. Okay, so Christine is a Master Felter, and being a sister, I get to benefit from her skills on birthdays and Christmas. She has made me a manta ray, colossal squid, and sperm whale; I decided to combine these marine-themed felted wonders and create a maritime mobile to brighten up my mornings. I used an old embroidery hoop and wrapped fabric to create the mobile and made a couple additional sea accoutrements to round it out. 

Baby Sweater! 
You've heard about Maya (one of Christine's BFFs) before and how wonderful she is. Maya doesn't just teach, write poetry, win poetry contests, get books published etc, she also is going to have a baby boy any day now. To celebrate this exciting new addition in her life, I decided to go ahead and knit a little baby sweater with a hood. The pattern is called Jasper Diamond Hoodie and it's published in Vintage Baby Knits. I will say the pattern was a wee bit frustrating because the hood portion was fairly unclear. In the end, the sweater turned out well. 

Confession: I don't have a system in place to keep track of a good many of my craft supplies. A large chunk of this seemingly unorganizable stockpile is yarn and wool roving. I don't know if it's just that these items are the bulkiest and therefore take up the most space, or that I refuse to shove them into a  cupboard or drawer because I don't want them to end up smelling like pressboard or something. Anyway, a decent portion of my fiber supply has found a fairly permanent home in this bag from the now defunct Pacific Fabrics. 

It Just Felt So Right. 
So for a while now I have had a pretty little bowl filled with knitted wool balls sitting on my coffee table. I always mean well and yearn to finish the project for which they were intended, but that day never seems to come, and it never will. As time went by the project was upgraded to full-on felted wool balls, and boy are my fingertips sore. Both frames have a little touch of color--it's not as aggressive as color blocking, but since I plan on hanging them in the bedroom I figured I'd go neutral to sing me to sleep.

Presenting Another Knit Lace Thing. You may remember (let's be honest, I'm sure you don't) that I have been working away at a lace scarf pattern from Vogue knits. This project took a long time and made me very bored. I really like lace, but I think I'm over the whole leaf-lace pattern. I find myself keeping really annoyed with it. Mom was pleased though, so that's good. It's a nice enough drop-stitch scarf. I think it would look pretty in white. 

Wolf On The Wall. 
First and foremost, let me apologize for the blue tint to these first couple pictures. I didn't realize Ben had changed the settings on the camera. Whoops. This is my 'Wolf on the Wall' project. The name came about when Ben and I walked up the street to where all the food trucks hang out in Burbank. As we waited in line, we peered into the antique shop behind us and saw a picture of a wolf on the wall. For some reason that turned in to the thing to say, and this project was born.

Dollar-Dollar Skills, Ya'll. I had a last minute house/cat-sitting gig this weekend, which means I ended up with a bunch of idle time. I spent that time re-watching a few episodes of The Walking Dead--I'm trying to decide if I hate it...I still don't have a clue--readingCatching Fire (which, of course, I love), and thinking someone was going to murder me. Pretty standard fare for all my house-sitting adventures. Now, as you crafters know, watching tv (or imaging your death at the hands of a serial killer) without a project in your lap is just an awful feeling. 

Mushaboom Yep, the mushroom rattle project has finally come to an end. All that's left is to pack them up and ship them off to Gretchen in Arkansas. I hope she enjoys her little bouquet of mushroom rattles--I certainly enjoyed making them. If you're interested in learning a bit more about each type of mushroom (or my feelings on spores), just click the captions below the mushroom pictures. 

Amanita pantherina Well, I've reached the end of the custom mushroom rattle project for Gretchen. It's been fun, and I like to think I've learned a little something about various forest floor dwellers. According to my trusty Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, early spring is the perfect time of year to find the Amanita pantherina

Agaricus augustus 
Meet Agaricus augustus, aka The Prince. Mine is a juvenile, so the cap is rather small compared to that of the adultAgaricus, which has a nice wide umbrella shape. But this is only a baby, so it has a squat baby cap, as it should. According to my Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest guide, Agaricus augustus can be found all along the Pacific Coast and it smells like almonds. Almonds, people, almonds. 
And guess what? This is yet another edible mushroom! 

Coprinellus micaceus This is the second in my series of four rattles for Gretchen. I'm steering away from poisonous this time around. Yes, this is actually an edible mushroom: Coprinellus micaceus. According to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, the Coprinellus "grows in large groups and clusters on hardwood stumps, buried roots, and other organic debris." Hmm, sounds pretty findable, right? 

Amanita muscaria
 I'm working on another felted mushroom rattle project for my friend Gretchen. She's commissioned four rattles and given me free rein on mushroom decisions. That means whatever mushrooms intrigue me, be they edible or  be they highly poisonous, are up for grabs. Oh, please let them be highly poisonous!

I Like You Chairy Much! So this is a true story about a traveling chair. Well it's not super amazing, but kind of fun. About fourteen (?) years ago my boyfriend, Ben, lived in Burbank, CA. He was a young man living on a dime with his best buddy, and since their pocketbooks were slim they jumped at the opportunity to gain a chair off the side of the road. (Said chair is featured above.) 

Dino Might 
Monika gave me some dollar store dinos for Christmas (Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Iguanodon). They were a barfy plastic bone color. Naturally, before I could add them to any succulent landscape, I had to do something about that. I perused my nail polish choices (which Catherine has informed me are "for peasants"), and came up with this. 

Saturday Succulent Success! On Saturday, my mother came down and we ran a bunch of errands. One of those errands was to go by the bark and garden store across town. Wouldn't you know it, I came back with two new succulents! Adding two more succulents meant it was time to shuffle things up a bit. I also purchased a couple of new pots since I had big plans to combine lots of little pots. Without further adieu, Peanut proudly presents...the succulents!

Urchin Necklace I made Monika and Catherine necklaces from some of the sea urchin spines I collected in Malibu. This is Catherine's necklace. Yes, I did have to twist the spines from the urchin's shell and scrape a little tissue from the ends, but it's not like I didn't clean them. The last time I was home, I plucked another bagful of spines from my urchins because I'm formulating some plans for earrings and more necklaces.

MONSTRO! Youngest sister Catherine does quite the oil paintings, as you probably already know if you follow the blog. Note the recent post Amateur oils. Luckily, I am her sister and get to benefit from these lovely oily gems. This most recent Christmas she painted me a picture of one of my favorite scenes from Disneyland. Monstro, the monstrous sperm whale from Pinocchio!

Turkey & Peanut My cat Penelope (Peanut) doesn't really know how to sit like a cat. Instead, she resembles a butchered turkey. Her little legs don't quite get tucked under so they look like turkey wings sticking out from her body. She sort of did this as a kitten, but as she grew older, her "wings" definitely became more pronounced.

My Grandma Never Knit I have two knitted blankets in my house. Both of them remind me of my grandma. Her name was Helen, and she was never a knitter. In her younger days she would add a crocheted lace border to pillowcases that she might have embroidered, but she never knit. My grandma grew up on a farm in Minnesota, and later raised her own family on one.

Zut Alors! I felted this narwhal as part of Catherine's Christmas present. I also felted a colossal squid for Monika. Of course, I took pictures of neither squid nor narwhal, so I'm forced to rely upon the proactive photography of my sisters in order to document the little beasties. Hmm. Still waiting for some squid shots. Oddly enough. Monika. Monika. 

So Many Cables I finished my cable scarf that I had been working on. You can find all the details about the pattern, the yarn, and the inspiration right here. Now is the part where I will show off the finished product and you can all "oohh" and "aaahhh" over my cable talents. Genevieve will help me showcase the scarf by standing on it. 

Warm and Fuzzy My latest jewelry endeavors. Felted heart rings and necklaces. Sisters, won't you be my Valentines?

Nook, Neatened IT'S A SNOW DAY!!!!! Let me tell you, the excitement does not go away once you reach adulthood. Snow days will always be the magical bonuses of winter. Love. Them. Even though there are various cleaning tasks awaiting my attention, I decided I'd take advantage of this freebie day to organize a tiny area of my apartment. 

Mr. Tumnus' Wardrobe--Revamped I wish this was Mr. Tumnus' wardrobe. He was one of my favorite things about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This fall I purchased a wardrobe at an estate sale. This wardrobe came from a crazy person's house on South Tacoma Way. It ended up being bolted to the wall and caused quite a few problems for the estate team to get it unhooked. 

Lodi Dodi I found this pattern on Ravelry, if you don't know about Ravelry.com and are a knitter or crocheter then you should go check it out, right after you look at the blog. It's free (there are some patterns you have to pay for) and a great forum to search, get help or tips, and showcase all of your hard work. I downloaded this pattern for free from
Frankie's Knitted Stuff, on Ravelry--they are called Dotty Pots.

How to Horcrux Remember the horcrux necklace I made? Well, I think you should make one too. Everyone should, really.I started with this ho-hum necklace that I found on clearance at J.C. Penney's. I was thinking the glass "stones" might be cool if there were just one per chain, but I abandoned that for the moment, after finding my horcrux stone. 

Scents to Succulents I am always on the lookout for a way to reuse old containers. I have multiple stashes of old candle holders that are waiting for new candles or a new purpose. Without further ado, I give you the ultimate transformation from scented candles to succulents!

Bows that Sparkle Somebody stop me. Seriously. Someone please pry these sparkle pipe cleaners from my hands, before it's too late. Well, it might already be too late because I made a sparkle bow barrette from a pipe cleaner and a bobby pin. Can I just say that it is incredibly difficult to take pictures of the side of your head?

Glitterati Recently, I happened upon some gold and silver pipe cleaners at the craft store and snatched, snatched, snatched them up! My immediate plan was for initial package toppers. After I made that dream a reality, I wondered what the future might hold for these little gems.

Amateur Oils What's this...? Good question. Definitely an eye. A possible signature. Obvious sea creature. Cuttlefish. Christine loves cuttlefish, so I painted her one for Christmas. I didn't name it, but she probably should.

Top it Off Monika was big into tiny this year. She found a pack of these teensy trees and mini bows at Michael's for a dollar. And she combined them for an infinitely sweet package topper.Or knitted urchin topper. Whatevs. 

Tiny Winter Scene One of the gifts Monika gave us contained the supplies to create a mini winter scene. A couple tiny trees, several handmade mini packages (loaded with pennies for weight, of course!), crinkled paper for snow, and a little plastic deer. I put mine in one of my domed displays. Super sweet, right? 

Yarn Bombs I am sick again. Again! But being sick did allow for a couple days of lying in bed (and on the couch), situations which, for me, often lead to crafting. So on the plus side, I got a little glass ornamenting accomplished. And really, what could be simpler? Vibrant-hued yarn (a little too scratchy for a scarf), shoved right inside an empty glass ball. Fun and festive. A little yarn explosion of your very own.

You Should Probably Paint Your Pets A couple of weeks ago, I decided to paint both of my tuxedo kitties together in a portrait. It's probably one of the best ideas I've ever had. I painted Nicholas' corgi for last year's St. Valentine's Day, and it seemed to be a hit, so I felt like the cats needed to be commemorated in an oil painting of their own.

Fruit and Veg, of  the Knitted Variety Every once in a while, Monika will knit us some amazing fruit and veggies. And surprise: they're actually cat toys! Just imagine several happy kitties bunny-kicking the heck out of what you see below. I love the sweet rosy colors--they make me think of spring. I would like to put in a request for a parsnip, two blood oranges, and a pomegranate. Stat!

Bloated Dead Finger Cookies. Nothing says Halloween treats quite like these delicious (yet disgusting) shortbread finger cookies. I made some to take to our fundraiser at work. You might think that dead-finger cookies wouldn't go over well at the Washington State Senate, but let you tell you what...these cookies sold out pretty fast. I like them because they aren't too sweet, and they are just gross enough to be great.

BFF Sometimes you need to send a little love to one of your best girls. In this case, Abbie! A care package requires a bit of thought, but as I wondering what might make Abbie smile, I just couldn't get 6th grade off my mind. Of course, a bff package inspired by middle school nostalgia! So, I dug out my embroidery floss and Sharpies and got down to business. 

Eat Me. Tonight is bad movie night at Aaron & Megan's. Season of the Witch is on the agenda, and dessert is my department, so I decided to attempt a sweet creep-out chocolate cake. For inspiration, I turned to British baker and cake designer,Lily Vanilli. I've seen a couple of her cakes floating around the internet and like everyone else in the universe, I'm pretty dang impressed.

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers. I'm going to start this post off by letting everyone know that I am a vegetarian.  I don't enjoy burgers or beef or bacon. Nicholas loves burgers and anything burger related. He may or may not sometimes refer to himself as the Burger Baron. There might even be a "my life in burgers: the first quarter" post on his blog.

Knitted Succulents II Monika came through with some knitted succulents for my birthday. They've found a home with my real succulents. I think the succulent community in my apartment is pretty satisfied for the moment. Did I mention that Monika knitted these? She did. She's a little wonder. 

Fortunes, Forecasts, Lucky Charms! Yup, that's a line from Disney's animated Robin Hood. I do believe it's spoken by Baloo as Little John. Here's a question for you: when you were little did you ever think you might marry a cartoon character when you grew up? For instance, the fox in Robin Hood, Justin (the leader of the rats, from The Secret of NIMH), oh and Peter Rabbit, who was actually not a cartoon character when I was a child. This was all before I completely understood the difference between cartoons and real life, mind you. But by the number of romantically inclined fan videos on youtube, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who harbored pre-adolescent crushes on animated animals. Go figure. 

Acorn Love Yup, I returned to the acorn necklace project for a friend's birthday (Maya, to be exact). Making felted acorns is super easy, and I suppose I should provide a tutorial one of these days...but honestly, it's soooo easy that you probably don't need a tutorial. Just work your felt into a sort of acorny shape (like an eroded pyramid, yeah?) and glue it into a spare acorn cap. 

On My Honor, It's a Birthday! Yup, today our little blog turned one.  Zucchini spice cake all around!

Sunday Succulents  Months in the making, very sore fingers have produced my knitted succulent prototypes. These were first attempts, some hits, some misses and some strains that I just plain made up. I decided to incorporate them with a small terrarium I made in a glass candy dish that sits on a pretty pedestal.

A Whale of a Tale I present you with a knitted humpback whale. (One of my prouder moments in knitting life.) Christine took these pictures after the whale traveled (dry land!!!) back to Spokane.  It's obvious that humpback whales are rather large mammals, and this knit-creation is no different.  Maybe Christine could give me some stats on the measurements.  I almost didn't finish this in time for her birthday--true story. 

Peaches Come From a Jar. This last issue of Martha Stewart Living has inspired me to complete two, count 'em two, projects from one magazine.  I don't know if that's ever happened before, and I've completed these projects in record time.  The first obviously being the rope towel holders. This second project is a bit more delicious...it contains bourbon.

Baby Cardy My friend, Rose, is going to have her first baby (a boy!) at the end of August. I wanted to make a little knitted gift, but didn't have a ton of time. Luckily, I found a project that was super-sweet and knitted up really fast. Dream come true, right? 

The Back of the Wet Dolphin Project is Finished! As you may remember, I have been working on my little sweater endeavor from the latest Vogue Knitting Magazine (holla).  I mentioned in this post (which I appropriated titled wet dolphins) that the color of the yarn reminds me of...yup, wet dolphins. I've been trying to give a little update each week on the progress I've been making. 

I Can Tell That We Are Gonna be Friends Catherine and I did a little friendship braceleting in Manito Park during her visit. The last time I made friendship bracelets was on the bus ride to Ford Middle School in Tacoma. Ahhh, memories. Those friendship bracelets were made using the slipknot method, while these bracelets are more traditional and a bit...let's call it technically demanding. 

Wet Dolphins! Another UPDATE 7-13-2011 can be found here!  Does anyone else think of Unsolved Mysteries when they read, "UPDATE"?  I do. An UPDATE on my sweater progress can be found here: Vogue Sweater Endeavor. I assure you I've been knitting, but I've been neglecting properly documenting my knitting. 

Bloodsucker  Here's one from the vault. Long hair? Archaic, medallion-festooned clothing? Sinister headpiece? Villainous eyebrows? Dastardly moustache? Must be Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad Dracul. You know, the Impaler. Original Dracula (son of the dragon).

Gastropod Mollusk. A Knitting Project. For some reason when I think about slugs I think about what their texture would be in my mouth. Why? I don't know. Horrifying? Yes! I can't be completely certain of how I got to this idea. It could have been that I was slowly crawling along in traffic, it could have been that my mind was wandering and happened upon a Halloween costume idea (nurse log), or most likely...

Bleeding Heart I'm feeling nostalgic this morning. Believe me, it doesn't take much. Maybe it's just that our little family (sisters and Mom) were apart for Catherine's birthday; or that there was a thunderstorm two days ago, and I opened all the windows in the apartment to let the rain smell in; or that I listened to some Disney movie songs and thought about riding in the car with the sisters, but I spent the morning looking around the apartment in a restless state...

Double Yum My dear friend, Maya, gave me a jar of scrumptious strawberry-rhubarb jam this week. I went straight to the store and bought a loaf of bread because it was toast and jam time. Straight up. Tea with jam, jam and bread. Tea with jam, jam and bread. With jam and bread, with jam and bread, with jam and bread! That, of course, is from The Sound of Music. My, what a lovely interlude. 

Jenny, Mickey Mouse & Staunch Copyright Infringement. Jenny, about to model her new Mickey head band. I made it with love for her birthday.

Boots and Boys...and Hats and Socks I finished up two separate knitting projects over the weekend.  This past weekend also marked the end of my spring break.  First up, I used the eco alpaca (half of it) I purchased in Tucson earlier this year to make a hat. It's a very comfortable, slouchy hat. I do not hate it. Next on the list was finishing up Nicholas' socks.  I went ahead and did just that. 

Felted Fungus I felted a little toadstool rattle for a friend's daughter, but I'm not quite sure (and Catherine agrees) if the rattle will stand up to baby fingers and baby strength. I mean, I've shaken the hell out of it, but I haven't tried to rip it to pieces or put it in my mouth (both big time baby activities). Should I try to reinforce it? Make it thicker? Or should I send it off to the middle of corn country (Iowa) and let nature take its course?

Sometimes You Just Have to Make Pretty I knit a little sonnet for my neck. I used my favorite yarn. I believe it's a wool blend. I can't quite remember now. I purchased it several years ago at Canvas Works in Olympia when I was visiting Catherine. I love it because it felts.

Monika's Birthday and Some Stitches. It's about time I blogged about the craft I made for Monika's birthday.  As I blog this I'm listening to Monika's beau's beats.  It's the best to blog to. The next tiiiiiimmmmmmme, I promise the next tiiiiiiimmmmmeeeee...anyway. I now present you with Olive's personalized pillow!

Birthday Presents: Felted Friend Monika needed a felted critter for her birthday, and since we certainly adore our weird and wonderful brethren of the sea, it had to be something from the underwater class. Thus...Manta Ray! The manta ray took a couple of hours to felt. Lucky for me, I had one of my trusty A History of Britain dvds playing in the background--the perfect accompaniment to any craft session.

Sweet Tooth Why yes, I do still have molasses cookies in the freezer, but I was craving something a little different on Sunday afternoon. Different like this: Sugar and Spice Pecans. Admiring my teacup and saucer? I found them at a Tacoma estate sale for 50 cents. They're from Germany. Bonn, to be exact. And I certainly don't use them for tea.

A Banner Day for Ben I made a banner for Ben's birthday (which was on Wednesday). He's 32 now. Should I have said that? I think it's OK. It's not a secret, yeah? I'm sure it's fine. He lives in California and went to Disneyland on his birthday. Thirty-two is going to be an awesome year! And yes, I know this all sounds insincere, but I assure you: I am being sincere.
read more... 

C is for Cookie I needed cookies this weekend. Big time. So, I called Mom and forced her to read me Grandma Schaffer's recipe for molasses cookies over the phone. Good idea or great idea? Either way, what bliss. (You're right. That is a quote from The Addams Family.)

Cats and Corgis! Time to display the latest crafty things I've done recently (that seems to be the point of this blog anyway). For Valentine's Day, I painted Nick a picture of his dog ( Boris lives in Tucson).  We need to find the perfect place to display Boris. Don't worry.  I made sure that Nick received candy too. It's his favorite!

You've Got Red on You. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I feel like I'm living half lives in two different places: Spokane and Tacoma. So, as often as I'm able I like to drop in on my other half life in Tacoma just to make sure everything is in good order. Hopefully, when I return to Spokane I'll have some T-town adventures to share. But for now, I'd like to leave you with some St. Valentine's Day good wishes!

Let Us Strike a Match! I gave myself a papercut under my fingernail today. How does something like that even happen? I don't know because it happened so quickly! Everything was fine = no blood. And then everything was no longer fine = blood. Ugh. Onto other things that draw the life-force from your body...St. Valentine's Day. You may know that I've been messing around with making some Valentine's Day cards for about two weeks. 

I'm So Tomorrow Yup, this is it for my project retrospective. I mean, there are more projects--there are always more--but I'm at the point where obtaining pictures and remembering the where, when, and who of each item becomes a bit sketch. Thus, I'm considering this to be the close-up-shop post for the retrospective. After this, it will be Welcome to the Future! Hey, that's how Jay-Z's "Off That" starts! Just saying. 

Mur Sometimes cats say mur instead of meow. Matilda likes a good mur. Did you ever think you'd be reading a blog post about what cats say? Duh. You wouldn't have ended up here in the first place if you didn't sincerely believe that was a possibility. So, today it's a cat project! We all know that I'm an abysmal seamstress. I can't sew a straight line, etc., etc. All very amusing, I assure you. 

All for Knot Knots. Something for sailors, Boy Scouts, and kidnappers, right? Not true. You--yes, you!--can tie knots with a little practice. All right, you got me. I'm not talking cleat hitches and bowlines here--I don't even know what those are--I'm talking about decorative knots. Even though they probably won't get you out of a jam or save your life, they're still kind of nice. And who wouldn't like to add the ability to tie a variation on a carrick bend (which is a knot with a practical use: tying two ropes together) into their skill repertoire? 

All Buttoned Up Yeah, I have a practically limitless supply of nerd titles for my posts. You're welcome! Hey, do you have a bunch of old buttons sitting around? Boy, do I ever. Why not make a button ring? What an excellent suggestion!

A Gift for Mellen Okay so like Christine, I have decided to share some of my past projects. Now keep in mind my projects were nowhere near as detailed or numerous. However, now that I am as isolated as she is, more so in fact, I anticipate some great things. But how fun for us all to watch my crafting dedication, skill and production grow. How fun.

Under the Sea* Today we're taking a journey into the world of Sharpie! I love my ultra fine points--I have a pencil cup dedicated to them alone--and they're a major player in this project. Instead of embroidery floss and needles, try using the Sharpies on your fabric. Iron on your pattern and grab some permanent markers. Ultra fine points are good for work that requires details, but have a couple other sizes handy in case you need to fill in some larger spaces. 

A Stitch in Time While I love vintage embroidery patterns, like Aunt Martha's kittens, puppies, and Dutch girls, I also love embroidering unexpected things. Weird sea creatures, forest animals, and quotes from my favorite books. The best resource for patterns (if you don't want to draw everything by hand): coloring books. And the best of the coloring books? Dover, by far.

Knit-Wit This evening I got into a fight with a telemarketer. The call ended when he hung up on me. It's not like it was all my fault--I thought he was a jerk and I'm sure he left the conversation thinking the same about me. I hope his night gets better...mine did. I ate an enchilada! Today is the knitting edition of my project retrospective. 

Flotsam and Jetsam* Today, in addition to using my daydream time at work to think about Batman (I have no idea why. Oh, wait. Yes, I do: Batman is awesome and should definitely be thought about at work.), I also thought about what kind of valentines I might like to send out this year. Last year I sent some reproduction vintage valentines by Laughing Elephant--they can do no wrong in my eyes--but this year I think I'd like to try my hand at making cards. 

Saltines and 7-Up are Played Out Remember when I said I thought I was done being sick? Well, I ended up getting re-sick...or maybe it's not re-sick when you contract a different illness while recovering from the original illness. I'm not sure how that all works, but let me tell you, it's no fun having two unrelated viruses in your body, each intent on doing its own virus thing. At least, I hope they're unrelated. I suppose I could be Patient Zero for some new and terrible super-virus, but I certainly hope not. 

Calendars This post is coming to you from the entrance to sickland. Yuck. But in the midst of the sinus headache, I remembered that I forgot to post one of the Second Christmas projects. Where is my mind? Probably way out in the water... I created these calendars in Microsoft Word, which, believe me, was the biggest pain in the ass ever. If you can avoid using Word (in favor of Publisher or InDesign), do so. I cannot stress that enough.

106 Knitted Balls on the Wall, 106 Knitted Balls... So here is a project that I finished a couple months ago. I am calling it a 'head board' but you can just call it sweet. Okay so here it is, it took me about three months and it is made up of one hundred and six knitted balls.I used Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn in this off white color, and when I ran out of that I had to switch to a crisper white shade of the same yarn, as I couldn't locate any here. So the color ended up a little calico.

Look at Banner, Michael! Remember that ribbon I sewed on Grandma's sewing machine? The one that I had to re-sew a couple of times because I can't sew in a straight line? When the machine made this noise: "Kkrrchhxt!"? You remember. Well, all that mess was leading up to some name banners for the sisters. This project involved quite a lot of pinning and measuring and patience. I'm not actually that great at any of those things, which is why I don't block my knitting projects.

Keeping it Warm I knitted a pair of handwarmers for Mom. The yarn came from some very generous baby alpacas. Thank you, baby alpacas!

Badges of (On My) Honor After making the badge for Mom's birthday, I decided Monika and Catherine also needed badges. Thus, a Second Christmas present project was born. I've already posted a couple shots of the embroidery portion of the process. You may remember Matilda's annoyance. And here are the finished products!

Felted Foxy I felted a fox for my friend, Maya. Felted fox butt.

Crafting Critters I needed something to occupy my hands Sunday night while watching Willow, and since I'm currently finished with Second Christmas projects, I decided to have a go at creating a little felted critter. (Why Willow? Wait. Do you mean: Why Willow when we both know it's not that good? Well, Sunday afternoon I discovered an outbreak of mildew living on a sheet of ice on the wall against which my bed sits. 

Tagged and Bagged This year's Christmas package tags come from an old calendar with shell and coral illustrations. There was a bit of cutting involved, but since I was just hanging out with bedtime Matilda, watching some West Wing, it was totally fun. I mean, you know how much I like scissors. Here's a sampling of the evening and its results.

And Now for the Seemingly Impossible Task of Sewing a Straight Line I seem to recall mentioning that I would learn how to sew this winter. And when I made that statement I'm sure I felt the full force of craft determination backing it up, but when I sit down at the sewing machine, I practically enter panic mode. 

Party Prep II Just finished Mom's birthday badge. It still needs backing and a pin, but the front is finito! Countdown to the 60th birthday party begins...

Whiskers on Kittens! The kitten, "kitts," has been extra cuddly lately. I think she's just cold most of the time, but she needs to realize that heating money doesn't just grow on trees.  We cranked the thermostat to 60 last night.  I had just finished crafting a present for a friend when kitts decided to settle in.  

Party Prep Mom's 60th birthday party is a go!
I spent this evening writing invitations and yesterday evening creating a little birthday banner. Now it's on to the next project: A badge for the birthday girl...and maybe the birthday girl's daughters (smaller badges though {and very tasteful}).

Deep in the Projects Yeah, I've got several going right now and some ideas on the old back burner, simmering away. But Nic is the one who's really been impressing me lately. She's a knitting maniac and has skills like I don't know what. She's the party responsible for the piece of work to the right. Actually, both the sisters dear have some crazy knitting skills. Monika has been making little pieces of fruit: pears, oranges, apples, blood oranges?

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