Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some Christmas Favorites

Favorite new craft/yummy treat/giftee item. Chocolate covered oreos found here. Fun! Easy! Delicious! Impressive looking! And you can get all that stuff--the lollipop sticks, the little bags, the melting chocolate in the baking aisle of the craft store on your trip tomorrow (I know you're going.)

Favorite teacher gifts--following Kay's advice for the fingerless mitts. We have 11 teachers total, so I have to carefully decide how much handmade I can do, and who might appreciate it the most. This year I'm going with 2 teachers for the Maine Morning Mitts. Very very fun to make. I forsee a third pair in my future (for me).
They look better on (it's is hard to photograph your own hand!) Free pattern here. 1 skein Noro Kureyon (vintage and unknown color) for the orange-green pair, and one skein Gedfria something (its easy to lose the ball band when you only have one skein) for the neutral ones. We may be going out on a limb a little with the orange and green, but I feel pretty confident this teacher will like these colors.

Favorite sweet moment: my daughters were invited to come along with me to our annual girlfriends Christmas party at Laura's, and they were so excited that they decided to dress up! (Maybe all the eating, knitting, and yakking about quilting didn't excite them as much as they thought it would, but I'm sure they'll get it--someday.)

Favorite card "Satus Slay" by Molly. What am I going to do when I don't get these wonderful pictures every day? The kindergarten-through-second grade spelling just kills me.

Favorite What Was I Thinking memory: Last year I took my oldest to ring the bell with me for the Salvation Army. This year, in a moment of temporary insanity, I thought it would be good for all three to do it. After the first few people asked Sophie to put the money in the bucket for them, she apparently thought it was "Her Job", and the rest of the hour, whenever somebody put the money in themselves, she would either cry or give them the evil eye. Also, early on, Molly got her finger caught in the slot of the bucket and started to cry. I panicked a little, with visions of EMTs and saws, and the big bucket of money, but she got it out and she was fine. Mmmmm, good times.

Favorite Christmas Craft of all time: the gum drop wreath. It cracks me up when I read a story of someone trying it for the first time and realizing how many gumdrops and how much time this actually takes (and how heavy they are when finished) because ours don't turn out like this, they look more like this:Actually, Ethan was getting some good coverage on his this year, but his energy waned after about a third of the way done. We might leave it like this, or we might work on it again. I think the key to these is tackling them more then one afternoon in a row.

Favorite Video:

This video is from last year, and we are still watching it over and over. It never fails to lower my blood pressure, make everyone start smiling and dancing.

In the category of hopeful projects, we've got these:

Stack of fabric, patiently waiting to become a Chrismas tree skirt, and maybe even an apron or two or three.

Felted thrift store sweaters waiting patiently to made into these, and a little ball of Christmas Tree yarn waiting to made into this.

Here's wishing you cozy moments and fun projects!

A Project That Doesn't Have Anything To Do With Christmas

How's everybody hanging in there? I am experiencing the usual holiday rollercoaster: times of magic and joy alternating with being completely overwhelmed. But it's all good! I think we are hitting our groove, just in time for school to be out and the fantastic 24 hour non-stop baking and crafting to begin, my favorite part.

Since I don't have much knitting or sewing (that I can show you) how about a photo of a project that's for me......that's for.....someday. January something.
This sweater is one of my best ever thrift store scores. (I would totally wear it if it were my size.) But I'm going to felt it. I want to make a tote like the ones in Alterknits. You can see them here. Well, not really like those because I'm going to use the handles above. And line it. And make it a different shape. You get the picture.

The handles are Grayson E. leather handles that I first saw here. I asked my LYS owner if she was planning on carrying them, and she ordered some! (Thank you Lesley, you rock.) Now don't everybody run out to Wool and Company and buy them up, I still have my eye on the black ones!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'd Be Putting Up My Christmas Decorations, If My Halloween Stuff Wasn't Frozen To My Front Steps

I now present to you....

Crafty Tutorial #85

“How to make a Squirrel Feeder”
OR: Feed Winter Wonderland Creatures with just a little Forgetfulness or Laziness

(Please note: There are a lot of steps, but don’t let that fool you! They are all easy and involve little or no effort on your part.)

1. Prepare well in advance. Buy one or more nice large pumpkins, preferably for Halloween decorations. Adorn your front steps.

2. Intend to cut them into Jack o lanterns, but, due to holiday busy-ness, forget.

3. Intend to take them off the steps sometime during the month of November, but again, forget.

4. Notice them in December, wonder if they would still be good to cook for pie, and, yes, forget.

5. First snow: shovel your front steps. Notice them again. Notice the rest of the block has Christmas decorations up, and you have pumpkins. Vow to come back and get them. (Forget!)

6. Have a birthday party at your house, and lots of people coming to your front door. Notice them again and take action to get rid of them. Discover that they are now frozen to your front steps. Curse them. There is not enough time to get them unstuck without making a big mess, and people are arriving in minutes, so just leave them, darn it.

7. A few days later, notice a few gnaw marks. Soon, there will be an entire hole cut out of your (cursed) pumpkin allowing easy entrance to the marvelous booty within.
TA DA! Congratulations, you have just made a fabulous and unique squirrel feeder. And see? Wasn’t that easy?

I have found this endlessly entertaining. And I'm not even a big fan of squirrels*. You may now proceed to tell me to get a life.

Not here for squirrel feeder instructions? Ok, how about some knitting knews:

I'm chugging along on my Beryl! Started it on my Thanksgiving holiday. Black cotton ease (vintage). Love! Almost done with the body and then onto the sleeves, with breaks here and there for Christmas knitting.
* except of course for Micawber, who totally rocks.