Saturday, October 31, 2009

Etsy Newness

I've added some cuddles to the Etsy store. (and a new seasonal header too!) If you haven't been by in a while, we'd love to see you. You can check out these little beauties while you're there too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inspiration (or, God Help Me)

It just arrived in the mailbox. I've been trying to screen myself from it -- I knew it was coming. I've been deleting the emails with the will of an addict resisting her drug. I should have thrown it in the recycle bin the moment I glimpsed the corner of it peeking out from the pile of mail I was carrying. I did not. Instead, I caved. Temptation over came me and I just couldn't help myself. The new J.Jillcatalog is here. And if that wasn't enough (and I assure you it well could have been), their new campaign is littered with knits and titled "Find Your Way Home."

Just kill me now.

Of course I'm not one to rush out and buy these things -- no, no. I sit at home looking and re-looking at the catalog until it is bedraggled and unrecognizable. I dream of all the knitting I could do that would be inspired by such beautiful sweaters, and tams, and cozy, cozy cardigans. It's certainly not about trying to knit it for less - that was my grandmother's generation, or because I've seen the fashion from some far off place and have no access to it (dear god, they send it like a pusher selling crack). It's more about having a deep need to feel as though I've made something for our family, provided in some way. And the need to create and conquer a pattern secretly knowing about all the flaws and mistakes no one else can see. And, in some small way, the desire to make a dent in the global destruction that is industry.

As such, I am sure there will be much mooning over fibers in the knit shop, and discussions of pattern altering and creation. And maybe, just maybe, I will find myself with gift cards to the Village Yarn Shop after Christmas this year so I won't bankrupt us through my obsession. But I assure you, the obsessing has begun.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I first want to say in the clear light of day, I never intended to make a costume for my child for halloween. I mean really -- they sell this costume. Well, they claim to sell this costume. And if you're an organized and calendar-attentive woman, you might actually order the costume before it is completely sold out in the Western Hemisphere. But I am not this woman. I never have been (I spent years faking it but have since come to terms with myself).

Yes, my child has decided to be a Ghostbuster. You know, those guys who captured paranormal apparitions in the 80s. I repeat, the 80s. How in the hell are they sold out now!?! Is there some Ghostbuster revival afoot for which I have had my head in the sand? Are the 80s so much in vogue that this B movie with big names and a vacuous plot are the it thing? Apparently, there is a run on Ghostbusters this halloween. If you see 100s of them marching on your neighborhood, don't say I didn't warn you.

And try finding a pattern for an 8-year-old body at the local fabric store which might in any way resemble a ghost-busting jumpsuit. The week before halloween. Not pretty. But being the determined mother I am, and no stranger to procrastination, I prevailed. (And I didn't even have to throw any elbows at the cutting table). I will be turning this animal jumpsuit (Butterick's 3238) into a Ghostbuster of 80s proportions. I swear I will. The right fabric, a little iron-on transfer paper....Watch out phantoms -- we're coming after you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Grampy Sweater!

I've been alluding to this for a while and I can finally reveal the Grampy Sweater! I first saw it over at SouleMama (which, if you are not already a dedicated reader, you should be). And while I did not intend to make it in the same colors (generally speaking) it's hard to choose something else when the baby's gender is still unknown.

I am so pleased with these results! If I were a little more sophisticated, I'd try and adapt the pattern into an adult sweater -- it was incredibly simple to knit. But I'm not so much there at the moment. And the buttons, if I do say so myself, were perfect (even if they did cost more than the rest of the sweater!) -- I had to have them.

Baby B should be sweet as pie in this little number. Can't wait to be introduced.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Murder One, Or How I Fell In Love With Stanley Tucci

In all honesty, I never thought I'd see this show again. I mean, it was really a one season wonder when it aired (at least in our household). It actually ran for two seasons, and the premiss was an exciting one: follow a murder case - one case- for then entire season. It was great that season, but we opted out of the second season. Also, I had just discovered Law & Order. But I digress.

Steven Bochco is the master mind behind the show. And the cast was stunning. Honestly, it must have run in the late 90s, because that's when I caved to the technological pressure and we bought our first TV (that's an entirely other story). And I had never seen Stanley Tucci before. And of course, I fell madly in love with his acting. And of course, then it seemed like suddenly he was popping up all over -- A Midsummer Night's Dream, Maid In Manhattan, Guest Starring on Frasier, The Terminal, and finally in my most favorite roll, Devil Wears Prada. (I admit to not having seen Julie & Julia yet -- I don't get out much.)

So when I stumbled across Murder One over on Hulu, I was thrilled. And consequently stayed up far too late, deep in the memories and glory of the show. I loved seeing the cast again -- you just never know when and actor is going to break out. You might give it a try. I still think the mystery is captivating (and I already know who done it).


I'm all about the Greening of America. But I am really partial to a sparkly and beribboned package. I can't help it. The more beautifully wrapped, the more I can't stand it and need to see what's inside. So what's a girl to do?

I decided to give the idea of eco-wrapping a go... and this was the result. It's no sparkly package, that's for sure, but it is super cozy and beribboned at that. I'm liking this a lot. The packaging is actually a part of the gift - a handmade receiving blanket, but wait, there's more! I wrapped another little morsel inside. (It wouldn't be nice to spoil the surprise, now would it? I'll share photos of the other little gift once the recipient has the hot little number in hand.)

Christmas may be looking different at our house this year....

Monday, October 19, 2009


So we are over the flu (so it seems) but the boy has such leg aches that he refused to walk. He is crawling about the house. And what, exactly is a mother to do about this? I really don't know. I've tried kicking his ass (not quite literally), cajoling, threatening and coddling. He still insists it hurts too much to walk. So I called the Dr. In fact, they are hearing reports that this flu wears out the muscles so that the kids feel they have run a marathon. Go figure. So she says keep him home and treat it as a sports injury. Good Grief. I still feel like he's getting away with murder.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

High School Goodness... the title of my most recent playlist on my iTunes. I am having a blast going through all my songs and choosing the music of my teen years. Ah yes, the teen years. I may have mentioned before that I hated high school. Perhaps loathed would be a better choice. It was beyond horrible. I cannot stress this enough. I'd rather become a cannibal than have to go back the high school years.

But for some reason, the music of that time gives me great joy. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my radio was my solace, or that I was in the choir, or that it reminds me of how silly it all was. Whatever.

These are the newest additions to my playlist:
  • The Police: Don't Stand So Close To Me
  • Chicago: Hard Habit To Break & Your The Inspiration
  • Starship: We Built This City & Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now
  • The Human League: Don't You Want Me
Of course, I already had as much Sting as a person should, and the Boss was already duly represented, as was U2. I'm having way too much fun with this. Please, please share you favorites too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hoot Hoot

So this is the finished product:

I'm very, very happy with the way this hat turned out...but I'm not so sure the average viewer would realize that the cable pattern is, indeed, an owl pattern. (Look closely.) Never the less it looks just lovely and the wearer will be suitably pleased.

Now to wrap it up and skitter off to see the recipient!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I am aching to get to some projects that have been idling in the studio for a while. I've got those PJs to complete, a gift for a friend (another sewing project), the quilt edging to cut out and attach (that will be exciting), my easel to set up and a few radically different ideas for collages to get going on. I'm really hoping to push myself in my art with some fresh new ideas. Finally.

But alas, I have a last minute birthday gift that I need to complete. (This is how I justify my stash of fibers -- you just never know when you will need a quick skein in the perfect color.) I was given a really cute owl hat pattern at one of my knitting classes. (I just love those ladies!) If you're into knitting, I think this is one of the more unique designs I've seen for a hat. You can find it here. (I just keep adding these blog feeds to my reader -- do you think it will eventually explode?) I'll post a photo of finished hat before it gets wrapped (in other words, right after it comes off the needles and 5 minutes before I have to run to meet said birthday girl!).

Perhaps I can make it into the studio by Sunday????

Monday, October 12, 2009

I've Said It Before....

And I'll say it again: the Etsy shop is brimming with new books. You really ought to check it out if you haven't done so already. And if I could ask a small favor of you? If you like what you see there, please mention it to a friend or two. Word of mouth is my best advertising. You all are super, you know that?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Helloo October

I just love autumn. Someone once told me that we most love the season into which we were born. It stands true for me. There's nothing like a hot thermos of tea and a wool blanket on the sidelines of a great football game. (It's especially nice if the winds are not howling about your ears!)

We were supposed to have the last football game of the boy's season yesterday, but alas, the monsoon rains of the last two days were enough to make the football gurus nervous about the amount of foot traffic on the field hosing it for those who usually use it -- the JV team. I'm sure they were correct. So our last game will have to be played next Saturday. Of course, I had hopes of getting to the pumpkin patch/apple orchard that day, but perhaps Sunday will suffice.

Yup. I love it. Apples, pumpkins, root veggies, football, hot drinks, crock pot meals, the fire pit....bring it on.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ode To The Happy-Eye-Pillow

Oh, Happy-Eye-Pillow, what would I do without you?
You have been with me day and night,
my constant companion these last three days,
through throbbing pain,
and meaningless irritation.
You are so smooth and silky,
like a baby's blanket.
You are always the cool side of the pillow.
You bring blessed darkness
and gentle pressure to ease my mind.
When the analgesics fail,
the narcotics and muscle relaxers are found lacking,
you comfort me.
Oh, Happy-Eye-Pillow, dear Happy-Eye-Pillow,
you make the migraine bearable.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'm A Genius!

I have been working on the patchy quilt again -- the weather has turned a bit chilly and I feel the pull to get this done so I can snuggle up in it. And I have to say, that the actual quilting is a LOT harder than I ever thought it would be. To tell the truth, the quilt is a red hot mess, to the true quilter. I, however, love the eclectic (even primitive) look it is taking on. And, after all, I did it myself.

But that's not why I'm a genius. Yesterday, as I was wrestling with the quilt again, the presser foot would not rise. Of course I tried it a jillion times just to be sure that, indeed, it was broken. Never having opened the cover for my 14-year-old machine, I was a little worried. I had to rummage thought the garage in order to find just the right screwdrivers (yes, plural) to crack her open.

It was then that I realized there is a lot more going on under the hood than I first imagined. I should say here, that I tend to be mechanically inclined, I just didn't know what I was going to find. After a quick search on the internet, I found a diagram that claimed all I needed to do was tighten a loose screw (no jokes, please!) and all would be better. I was dubious, but it beats the hell out of a trip to the repair shop, especially if the site was correct. I had started seeing lots of dollar signs and come to the realization that a new machine was more than I could afford.

I screwed up my courage and dove in. I was able to locate said screw, tighten it up, and put all the pieces back where they belonged! Genius, I tell you! Now it works like a charm. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I used to pray for sick days as a kid. I would never have actually faked being sick; that would have been my sister. But now that I have my own little one, I dread those sick days. He's so sad, so puny and I seem to be powerless to do anything about it. Sure I give him Motrin and Robitussin, but he's still sick and all I can do is wrap him up in a blanket and hold him on the sofa while we watch Mythbusters. And even when they are showing my very favorite episode I still feel blue. I want my kid to be all better. I suppose the Universe has to remind me that, in fact, and much to my chagrin, I am not in charge of everything. Damn.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Make Your Own Fabric

For those of you with a fabric obsession, this might just take you over the edge -- Amy G, you've been warned.

I ran across this amazing site called Spoonflower. You might want to check it out yourself. It's a site where you can create your own fabric; no lie. You can choose from the amazing designs that are already there (and believe me, you can get lost for over an hour just playing with the prints), or you can upload your own design. I want to scream I'm so overcome. Just think of the possibilities! Your child's artwork could wind up in your favorite quilt, your pot holders can actually have designs on them that go with your kitchen, your favorite summer top could be created from fabric you designed. It makes we swoon. Granted, the cost may keep me from redecorating the entire house (it can be as much as $30 a yard) but for that I should thank them. I mean, imagine what would happen if it was bargain priced. I shudder to think.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Time Traveler's Wife

I've been reading a lot this summer, but I thought I would post about the Time Traveler's Wife. (Jody, fair warning, I didn't have a love affair with this book.) It was certainly an interesting read; one that made me think a lot.

I think on the whole Science Fiction aspect, it was a great novel. I love the idea of a guy traveling through time to kick the ass of a punk who needed it. I even liked the idea of him meeting himself. But the whole love story was hard to take. I really thought it should have been on Oprah's book list it was so sad and depressing at times. And yet, the overall arc of the story was wonderful. True love conquers all, even a chronological disorder, adapting to one another, love at all costs, that was truly delightful. I just don't know. I know many people loved the book, but I can decide how it made me feel, or if I even liked it that much.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I Know It's Fall When

1. The dogs begin to burrow -- in the bed, on the couch, in your lap....

2. We have butternut squash and sweet potatoes in the same week.

3. My poncho is draped over the bannister, right near the front door, ready to go out.

4. I'm spending more time under the covers myself.

5. I can't wait to go to the pumpkin patch.

6. The air smells so much crisper, more alive.

7. I suddenly feel the urge to buy new crayons, or sharpies, or uniball pens.

8. I start working on my Christmas list, wondering if I have enough time to make this or that.

9. I am not assaulted with the hum of 25 mowers going at once in the neighborhood.

10. I want to have fire in the fire pit every night.