They keep trying to tell me all you want to do is use me

;) - Oh you just keep on using me until you use me up

We listen to lots of NPR around here. Mornings, afternoons, weekends, its a staple. So, imagine my surprise when this appreared in the ole inbox:

Hi!

I’m a producer for a public radio show,
and I’m contacting you because we might be interested in using one of the photographs of your cake on our website. Please email me, and I’ll tell you more about the show and the context in which we’d like to use the photo.

Thanks!
Jonathan Mitchell

Well, they used it.  For those of you unfamiliar with Weekend America it is unfortunate that this is your introduction since this weekend was the final show. You can access their archives and see what you’ve missed for the last 5 years, there is some awesome stuff over there.

The original pic is my little coconutty heart cake from last Valentine’s Day. You’ll see – here- it sitting on my washing machine. They dolled her up a little and gave her a velvet curtain. Enjoy.

 

(can I just say….awesome!!!!!)

Toots

When the sun doth shine and the moon doth glow

;) - Whip-crack went his whippet tail

Today was an odd day. Both of the girls are home with Strep-throat so Pat stayed with them and I worked. This was the scene as I got ready to leave this afternoon.

girls-at-the-computer

Amazingly they got along all day. I worked on – and this is the only sneak peek I will give you – these today between runs.

myceria-left-hand

Tomorrow we’ll clean house for the big family birthday party on Sunday, I still have a few small thing to put together for the girl. Have a great weekend.

Toots

So long as I sing with inflection

;) - Some inner truth of vast reflection

Did I also mention that I’m making a scarf for myself? huh, left that one off the list I guess.

I started it a few weeks ago after coloring in one of Saeb’s botanical pattern books. See.

coloring-granny-squares-book

They looked like granny squares – so I grabbed yarn. I made 3 squares the first day and joined them as I went. I was pleased.

grellow-squares

Saturday we were free of the children and we watched Balls of Fury, Superbad and bits and pieces on Hulu and I got all the centers and all the light grey rounds done.

grey-disks-and-flowers-progress-shot

Before the girls came home on Sunday afternoon I had almost finished with the yellow round, I got the rest done today. Right now the squares are halfway joined and hopefully I’ll have some pics by weeks end. I really! want to wear it on my birthday.

Toots

I’ve got my hands up, so take your aim

;) – oh it hit me like a steel freight train

So I’ve been assesing my do-ability for 2009. How much of what I have lined up for myself can I reasonably expect to accomplish in the next 11 months? I’m going to take it month by month and try to give you updates.

With that in mind and some delightful visual encouragement from Kathy I organized and trimmed the fat from my project lists. First I tackled the much easier and  incorporeal portion of my do-to-with-yarn list: my Ravely queue. I trimmed over 300 projects from it, I had 21 pages of patterns that have been whittled down to 7. I kept only the projects that I actually have yarn set aside for, that have a technique or stitch pattern that I want to try or that were written by friends.

February. Hmmm

Already begun…

 - 1 blanket (I gave myself 9 months on this one and I have 5 to go SO I’m good here)

 - 2 Twilight projects I still can’t talk about but are mostly complete.

 - 1/2 a sock to complete a pair

 - 1 top-down cardigan-type sweater at the shoulders (test knit)

 - 1 sock to complete Pat’s birthday pair, I already finished one. (bad wife, he turned 34 on the 18th)

 - 1 3/4 mittens for Pat’s birthday. (even badder)

 - oh and a hat for Webs

Not bad, 8 bits. Thats awesome for me!

Yet to do…

 - 3 -5  projects for my sister’s baby shower – my new neice is due in March. – 2-3 of these will be sewn

 - 2  projects for Aurelia’s 8th birthday – these are sewing

 - 2  projects for my buddy Marti -heeheehee – maybe some sewing here.

 - a project for my Mil’s birthday in Feb.

 - 2 design ideas that I’m working on in swatches and trying to hammer out basic measurements so I can cast on.

So, 12 maybes in the next 30 days plus the 8 already in the works. I promise to keep you up to date though I have to say with all the running around I have to do right now (the Beetle is our only car, the wagon experienced total systems failure 2 weeks ago) I’ll be happy with 10 finished projects at months end.

Toots

We’re fine here, we’re all fine now, thanks.

How are you?

back-smash-beetle

That happened last night. Me drivin, girls in the back seat. Bumps on the head, no real injuries. Great cops, great EMTs, great witnesses.

No structural damage, still driveable. The truck that hit us, well, doesn’t look like it did.

Next week we see the insurance adjuster and we’ll know where to go from there.

The title is a quote from a movie. Do you know which one?

Toots

till my arms fall off

;) - I want to hug ya

New Pattern!

Gail is just one of the most generous persons I’ve ever met and recently she gifted me with 3 lovely skeins of her own hand-dyed handspun yarn just because I helped her carry some boxes from her car. So, I made a little something for her as a thank you and now I’m sharing it with you.

Hugs for Gail

gail-hugs-4-front1

Enjoy!

Toots

One day it will happen

;) – To shine just for you

Oh I had a whole post written about how much I hate washing dishes, instead you can now enjoy a pinecone tutorial. Yay! These were what I sent out for the ornament swap this year.

18-2-pinecones-in-hand

Right, so, stuff you will need. Sharp scissors, pins, cotton emroidery floss (DMC), a needle, 1/4 inch wide ribbon, brown felt, a coordinating fabric, and twigs in various sizes and lengths – try to keep your twigs no bigger than a standard pencil or they’ll seem too big for the pinecone.

1-pinecone-supplies

First you’ll want to cut your felt and fabric into similar widths and lengths. I let the pieces of felt that I had dictate the length but you want between 15 and 20 inches to work with, and I cut the strips at an angle from .5 up to 1.5 inches. Then you scallop cut one of the edges and snip between the scallops so the “scales” will separate a bit when you sew it all together.

2-scallop-felt

Then I ran the whole thing through my sewing machine – this is an optional step, I was making a big pile of these and I didn’t want to misplace anything. I set the fabric and felt slightly off center from each other and sewed through every other scale.

3-scallop-felt-sewn-to-fabric4-scallop-felt-sewn-detail1

5-2-lengths-of-matching-fabric

Now you can begin sewing it all together. Start with the narow end of your scallops.Slide the needle through the first scale and holding this near the narrow end of the twig, wrap your thread around the twig several times. Now wrap the fabric one full time around the twig and stitch the bottom of the fabric to the bottom of the fabric layer below this.

7-first-stitch-around-twig6-stitching-around-twig1

Continue in this manner, working your way down the twig with each wrap till you finish or you need to add a second strip. Secure the end with a few stitches if you’re adding additional fabric.

8-first-strip-around-twig-complete19-first-strip-finished-top-detail

Now you can add the second strip for a larger pinecone. Attach the smaller end of your scallops to the end of the last fabric strip and continue in the same manner you have been working.

10-attaching-second-strip

When you get to the last scallop, fold it under so you won’t habe a raw edge and stitch securely into place on the layer of fabric below. Be careful, your pinecone may want to slip up and down the twig. To Keep this from happening wrap the thread around the twig several times before cinching the bottom layer of felt into place.

11-last-pinecone-scallop-stitched-in-place12-cinch-and-finish-felt-end

Great! Pinecone! uh, whaddaya do with it? 

13-pine-cone

Give it a loop so it will hang of course!. Using a narrow ribbon, I used a 10inch length, sew the two ends together for about half an inch along one side so you end up at the bottom of the ribbon

14-stitched-ribbon

Now wrap the thread around the twig several times – making sure to end up back at the bottom of the ribbon.

15-stitched-ribbon-and-wrapped-twig-end

Now stitch the other side of the ribbon closed around the twig. Secure an snip the thread.

16-second-side-of-ribbon-stitched-and-finished

Done. Purty!

17-finished-pinecone-ornament

Fluff out the edges a bit and let them fray, its more organic and natural looking. And have fun with your fabric choices. I went through my fabric stash and tried to find all the plaids I had that would have made great golf pants in the 70′s! Let me know if you make one!! I’ll post your pics or a link so everybody can see.

I have more finished pinecone pics here.

toots

I’ve got no use for trouble, trouble’s using me

;) - I’ve lived a dozen lifetimes

My husband is just not a big holiday kinda guy. He likes his quiet and solitary time and there’s just SO MUCH packed into the last 2 months of the year that he tends to retreat a bit. That’s why things like this make me happy.

patricks-snowflake

That’s his snowflake.

Aurelia came home from school a week or so before Xmas and wanted to show everyone that she learned how to cut snowflakes from paper. She and her sister sat down to an evening of making a mess at the kitchen table and he joined the them for a bit.

The girls snowflakes are tree decorations now but I’m keeping this one.

Toots