Saturday, November 29, 2008


After making it through 7 months of pregnancy relatively pain and discomfort free, I've been hit with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome, which, as DH says, sounds much more serious than it really is:) But, for those of us who do handwork of any kind, sewing, knitting, bookbinding, not to mention cooking, cleaning, and typing, it can be pretty serious indeed. Mine has only manifested itself by putting my arms and hands to sleep at night, which is more disconcerting than painful. In an effort to prevent it from getting any worse, I wear this lovely brace while I sew, knit, read, and do other quiet activities, as well as at night.

My new project is this table runner, as a gift for a wedding we will be attending soon. I had great fun picking out colors and patterns for the fabric, especially as their taste is different from mine. Although this does require a lot of handsewing (appliqueing 28 squares of fabric), it is soothing work, and helps my mind and body slow down and relax. Now I just need a rocking chair for the bliss to be complete!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We got soaked generosity at our baby shower! Wow! My MIL and SIL gave us a lovely shower this past weekend, and now we have everything we could possibly need for Baby. My mom came from Minnesota, and my grandma and aunt were there, as well as DH's relatives and friends. Because we didn't find out if Baby is a boy or a girl, people couldn't buy either pink or blue, but they found some super cute clothes in neutral colors. There were lots of soft, cuddly blankets, which I must make myself save for Baby! There was also an infant car seat in a bright aqua blue, and all kinds of baby care items.

And then there were beautiful handmade goodies. The quilt above, made by my mom, of Beatrix Potter fabric to match a sentimental framed print of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle from my childhood. She even quilted little hearts in the four corners:)

This beautiful crocheted blanket from my SIL, in perfect baby colors; and it turned out to match the quilt.

And these cute vintage prints, which were painted by my grandma from a paint-by-number set for my mother's nursery. I love them, and my mom had saved them all these years.

We were also given a handmade diaper bag in French country-ish blue and yellow fabrics, and the sweetest little variety of knit hats, made by my aunt. What a lucky mommy and baby, huh? We are very grateful; it is kind of overwhelming to be the subject of so much love and generosity.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Booklet Ornaments

We had a fantastic weekend with family and friends and were given a baby shower with lots of handmade lovelies and everything we might need (more later)! Last week, before we left town, I finished this little trio of Christmas ornaments. They are slightly larger than the brooches, at 2 1/2 x 3 inches. They have mulit-colored and printed paper on the inside for you to add your own Christmas memories by writing, collage, drawing, etc. These are for an ornament swap, but contact me through my shop if you'd like some for your own home!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How my life has changed...Or...Pondering the intricacies of cloth diapers

Well, last week I was overcome with a desire to make wool diaper covers. Browsing Ravelry I found lots of great knitted covers, but decided that I didn't have the attention span to knit 5 or 6 diaper covers. Reading articles on the Internet about frugal diapering (frugal is my new mindset these days), I learned that you could make diaper covers out of felted wool sweaters; makes sense right?

Just happening to have half of an L.L. Bean wool blanket on hand, I figured that would work just as well too. So, using one of my two purchased diaper covers, I make a pattern and started sewing. Overall it was pretty easy, and now I have 4 additional, almost free, diaper covers.

Pretty cute huh? Two have this brown binding and two will have a bright green with ladybugs binding. Now I just hope they work! Couple more months before they'll be put to the test! Because I was too lazy and frustrated to make my own tutorial, check out the great one here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dusty Vintage

This could refer to my house at the moment, but instead it's the name I chose for the latest handbag. My SIL's birthday is coming up and I wanted to craft her something special. Since I'm trying to use mostly materials that I have in my stash, I came up with this repurposed felted purse. My first knitted sweater ever, when I was about 14, was a really pretty teal blue/green color; the color was great, the design and my execution were not. So I felted the sweater, made up a pattern, and cut my pieces out of the thick resulting wool.

The embellishments are made from bits of scrap yarn and buttons, and I just happened to have a leather purse handle and magnetic closure left over from another project. The only new material I used was the fabric lining. I hope she likes it!

On another handcrafted gifting kind of note, I found this interesting website, Buynothingchristmas, put together by Canadian Mennonites to refocus the meaning of Christmas. Kind of interesting, and it has lots of good ideas on saving money with handcrafted gifts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My First Foray Into Design

The summer of 2007, DH and I took a 3 week walking trip of England; we walked about 80 miles in the Cotswolds, and about 70 miles in the Lake District. Each night we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in a little village, and my favorite part of the day was waking up and enjoying the full English breakfast, plus numerous cups of French press coffee. We got spoiled!

From the start of the trip, I was determined to buy a knitting project, so I would have some crafty memory of our adventure. But...most of the villages were too small to house a knitting shop, so it wasn't until we reached Keswick in the Lake District (almost at the end of our trip), that I was able to get my treat. I bought a 10 skein bag of Jaeger ice blue mohair, and it's been languishing in my basement ever since.

Until last week. When I saw a gorgeous knitted dress on Ravelry; "Mohair Magic." It inspired me to start my own top-down knit version. So far, I'm almost finished with the bodice, working in the round, and increasing every other row for the raglan sleeve shaping. It is so pretty, and I hope to finish it soon so I can wear it for Christmas. More updates as work progresses.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Aprony Goodness

My Friday was filled with aprons of all different shapes and colors. I sewed up a cute black and white print apron (no pic, unfortunately) for a wedding shower; finished up a Christmas apron for the Sassy Apron Swap (picture coming soon); and then received in the mail my very own apron from the Hot Drinks Swap! I love it so much; Harley did a beautiful job, with extra long ties to accommodate the baby belly. The embroidery is very well crafted, and I can't wait to wear it over the holidays this year.