Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Call for the Giveaway

Today's the last day to sign up for the pincushion giveaway! You can check out the picture of it and enter a few posts below.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Progress

Saturday I finished these, the last three of my four remaining Christmas present projects. They are leather bound picture albums, with decorative paper accenting the covers and endpapers.

Every year we go back and forth on how to handle Christmas presents in the family: there are no grandchildren yet (the first, ours, is due in January), so we haven't been able to use the no presents for adults rule yet. For ourselves, we are trying to keep gifts to a miminum and be very intentional and thoughtful about what we give. This year, I'm hand-making all the gifts except one, and to me, that makes a gift very special. I hope our family recipients agree!

How do you handle gifts between the adults in your family?

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway a couple posts below!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

1980's Re-Vamp

I remember making these fun necklaces with my mom for presents as a kid in the '80's. Essentially, they're a tube of fabric, stuffed with large round beads, with pony beads on the outside between each large bead. I was reminded of them the other day with a photo of a many-hundred dollared necklace from a big name designer in In Style Magazine. So I thought I'd try making my own again. This time around, about 20 years later, I used some bright Kaffe Fassett fabric, with wooden beads replacing the pony beads for a more sophisticated, grown-up look.

And I like the results! I used 3/4" wooden balls from the craft store, and made my fabric tube about 2" in diameter. It's tough to get the first wooden bead over the fabric sleeve, but once you've gotten one, the rest are easy. And, I would start from the middle of the necklace and work out on each side, just to make sure you've spaced everything properly in the fabric sleeve.

A modified version of these has also appeared in Amy Butler books. It's a great way to use up fabric scraps!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Giveaway - "Tiffany's Box" Pincusion

I've decided to host my first blog giveaway! This lovely Tiffany's box reproduction pincusion (made by me) is up for grabs. So...just leave me a comment with your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie, or if you don't have a favorite Audrey movie (gasp!), then a movie where the Tiffany's store is featured (like Sweet Home Alabama). Next Wednesday (October 1) I'll draw a name and get your little gift in the mail!

I forgot to add my favorite Audrey movie: Sabrina, hands down (unless there's some other one I'm forgetting:).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Honeymoon Scarf

On our honeymoon in London three + years ago, I indulged in a little Liberty fabric shopping. I purchased this 100% wool paisley fabric with the intention of making a scarf, because that's what my mom always did with beautiful Liberty fabric. This summer, I finally got around to making one, so this scarf is, somewhat improperly, named the Honeymoon Scarf. As my first venture into sewing with this kind of fabric, I used one piece of fabric, cut to size, then made a seam around the whole piece, about 5/8" from the edge. Then, using it's natural fraying properties, I pulled the loose threads off the edges to make a fringe.

It worked better in some places than in others.

Thankfully, I still have another whole piece this size, and I'm going to hem the edges this time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It made it safely

My bag, that is, made it safely all the way to Australia, where it now lives with k10 from Ravelry. So now I finally get to post pics of the finished bag, and I really like how it turned out! This was for a knitted, felted or crocheted purse swap on Ravelry, the Great Knitted Purse Swap.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fruit Farming

Our goodies from the fruit farm Saturday. Fresh farm peaches are soooo much better than store-bought; I had no idea!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Green Bookmaking

This book was created for a challenge: to use only, or mostly, recycled materials in a book. All of the materials in this one are recycled except for the pretty green cover paper.

The inner pages are made from Trader Joe's grocery bags, as are the endpapers. It has a buttonhole binding with leftover scraps of Irish linen thread in natural, green, and red to match the book. It's up in the shop now!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surprise Baby

My finished Baby Surprise Jacket! So much fun to knit, especially with my very own handpainted yarn (plus it was a stash buster!); and I even figured out how it went together before completely finishing. The vintage buttons are from my great-grandma's collection.

This sweater will only work if it's a girl of course, so I'll be soon starting a companion little boy version!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Playing with Clay

Finally, I'm making some more clay book covers! These clay covers were what first got me into bookbinding, but I haven't made a new batch for quite some time. It was fun to try some new patterns and decorations on the covers, and I have high hopes for this group. The firing process is so unpredictable: sometimes the covers warp in the bisque fire, and sometimes they warp in the glaze fire. And sometimes the glaze doesn't turn out right, and sometimes the covers just crack! So there are a multitude of things that can go wrong, but overall, I usually get at least 10 sets that are usable.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Two Pie Day

Today we had the faintest hint of the brisk air of fall, so I had to make an apple pie. Hopefully we will pick our own apples in the next few weeks, my favorite fall activity, but for now, store-bought apples in homemade apple pie will suffice. Last year we missed apple picking because a hard frost around Easter blighted the apple crop. I have high hopes for this year though.

This is my favorite pie recipe of all time, Swedish Apple Pie; it is so delicious, and so easy.

Take 5-6 large apples, slice them, and arrange in a pie plate. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon each of cinnamon and sugar. Then, mix 3/4 cup melted butter, with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, a dash of salt, and a spritz of vanilla. Mix well, and spoon over the apples. Bake at 35o degrees Farenheit for about 45 minutes, until golden brown. And serve with vanilla ice cream.

The second pie of the day is my favorite quiche, also easy, and so good. Buy a pre-made pie crust, layer 2 cups of shredded mozzarella in the botton of the crust, along with any other goodies, like chopped pre-cooked ham, tomatoes, or other veggies. Then, mix 5 large eggs with a little bit of milk, until its a nice pastel yellow color, and pour over the crust. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 40 minutes at 350, until the eggs are set. This is yummy served with a green salad and fruit for a light dinner, or a lovely brunch.