Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not just me...


In belated news, my sister is engaged as well! By next May, all the Potter Girls will be married. How are you doing, mom and dad?

Several months ago I went down to my parents' house to celebrate the news. My grandmother brought her wedding dress, which had been her mother's wedding dress before her, and her mother's before that. Being a docent at the local museum and a retired librarian, my grandmother has kept it in excellent condition, including preserving scraps of lace from when my flapper great-grandmother had shortened the dress. She has generously given us the dress to incorporate into yet another wedding, which makes creating Jessica's perfect wedding dress with her, even more special. That's right I'm (with help - thank goodness) going to be making my sister's wedding dress.

My grandma even saved the shoes both she and my mom wore at their weddings, but I don't think they'll make it through another event. It's just awesome to see them. They still have my grandma's maiden name written on the box.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thank you, Santa!

(aka, my lovely family!)

Here's what I found under the tree this year...

From my mom...



From my dad...



From my sister...



From my aunt...



And all handmade!! I am so lucky to have such a talented family!

And I bought this new craft book with a gift certificate. And then I took advantage of Superbuzzy's 4-day sale with the money from my last etsy sale! A little of this (but in green), and a little of that.

Hey mom - could you send me some pics of the things I made you guys so that I can show them off too? I was in such a flurry before christmas I let them leave the house without a picture! It's like it never even happened if I can't show you guys...

Sarah's Workshop

How was everyone's Christmas? Good I hope, ours sure was. We had a wonderful time at my parents' that included much crafting and overdue relaxing.

But before Christmas, while I was sequestered in here...



Ali and Devin followed suit...



And Mike was becoming a quilter!



We also got some cookie baking in, and Ali turned a broken cookie into a design opportunity with the bloodied decapitated camel cookie. Yum!



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays

Now I can breathe...

Can it be possible? Can I be nearly done with my To Do list? I didn't think it could be possible! Not that anything is wrapped, but I'm taking this little finishing line and I'm celebrating.

Whew. Now I can share my most fabulous news... I'm engaged! It was and it wasn't expected. We had decided a while back to get married while we're in Europe in February, and had picked a date and place (Feb 18 in Edinburgh) and started the masses of paperwork required. But Mike hadn't officially "asked" me. So I was patient. Soon enough, he became very busy with "errands" which I knowingly asked no questions about. I LOVE surprises. Especially Mike's surprises. Waiting for an invite to dinner, or a suggestion to go away for the weekend, imagine my surprise when I walked into the courtroom at work to prepare for what I thought was an emergency hearing to see my mom, sister, friends, Ali, Devin (in a tie!), a bagpipe player and Mike - in a kilt (or as Devin now calls it - a Man Skirt). I promptly started crying. I blubbed through retrieving roses from all my friends and family, Mike's very touching proposal, and the celebratory bagpipe jig after I'd managed to get out "Of course, yes!".


I'm so happy, it's ridiculous. I probably won't be posting until after the holiday, so merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all are able to relax after all the feverish crafting, and enjoy the company and love of your families.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My cheating heart...

If this weren't a handmade holiday, this is what my wish list would look like...

A Print Gocco.

Threadless tees. This one might be helpful for our trip to France.

A Sigg bottle. Maybe this one.

Some yummy wine.

Cozy sweaters.

Cozy crocs.

The perfect tall boots. Maybe something like this.

And books, books, books. These kind of count, since they're crafty and all. Which would mean that the Gocco might count too... hmm... actually, it was kind of hard to come up with more non-crafty wish list items. It seems that we're full-on crafty folk now. So I can't resist, here's some more of my crafty favorites...

Very cool recycled cuff with skeleton key.

Lovely Green Jay print.

Loopy mittens.

Yarn stock with benefits.

Rose print.

Gorgeous waterlily necklace.

Bird Nerd prints, especially Strawberry Jam Sakura and Grumpy Kinglet.

Wonderfully nobby necklace.

Bird with a quiff print.

Birdy Breakfast set.

Mini mirrors. And they're on sale!

Such cute illustrations at Nut and Bee.

Ah, so much great stuff! Good luck to all with your crafty christmases!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Quilt done



Except for the hand sewing on the binding, which I'll work on tonight watching some Netflix (this or this), I'm calling this quilt done. Whew! My feeling of accomplishment is short-lived, while I move on to the next item on my holiday To Do list. I'm thinking of something from this book... I wish I could show you, but I don't want to give away any surprises.

And speaking of fabulous craft books, Joann's is having a great sale this weekend with many 50% off coupons flying around, so I picked up these books for the price of one!

I hope everyone is having a great, productive weekend!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A few of my favorite things...

There is so much crafty goodness out there! I've come across a couple great gift guides, and so I thought I'd share some of my favorite things from my Etsy Favorites.

At the top of my list always is Sulu, er, I mean SueLieu earrings.

South Street Design jewelry. I want it all.

Clever cabled Asymmetrical Scarves.

Wonderful handmade stamps from Craftpudding.

Very cool screenprinted totes.

Passport wallets for all the world travelers in your life made by MinMade.

Pendants, Pendants, Pendants, Pendants, Pendants, Pendants! I like pendants.

Completely adorable stuffies made by Lauren.

Get ready for next year with a very well made organizer (I got one with opposite colors and can't wait to use it!).

Cute uglies from Mary Ann.

And top all your presents off with some great gift tags by Amy Elise Designs.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tis the season

I am definitely in the mood now...

Thanks everyone! Now I'm off to work on another panel of the quilt...

Tidy bobbins

I don't know about you, but my bobbins are unruly. Sifting through my handy-dandy pegboard drawer is perilous sometimes. But no more! After reading a tip in Threads, and a trip to the hardware store, my bobbins went from this...

to this!

I used 3/16" vinyl tubing (but if I were to do it again I would get bigger tubing, the 3/16" tubing only went a bit more than halfway around), cut it in approximately 1/4" rounds, opened them up with an exacto knife and wrapped them around the loose end of the bobbin thread.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New pets!

Ali and Devin have been wanting pets at our house for some time, and we decided to get a pair of geckos for Ali's birthday (since they both got bikes for Devin's birthday). Lucky for us, we stumbled upon a gecko breeder who is local and totally knowledgeable (she even co-wrote a book about leopard geckos - the kind we ended up with). So, without further ado, let me introduce you to...

French Onion...

and...

Larry.

Both girls. They're nocturnal, so I had a hard time getting a picture of them that showed their cool markings. French Onion (Ali's) is lavender and yellow striped with black dots, and Larry (Devin's - and whose full name is Larry Rich Buttock) is mostly yellow-orangey with black dots. Mike and I have been having as much fun with them as the kids, and I even missed them while we were away for Thanksgiving. I've gotten them to eat wax worms off my finger, which are apparently like junk food for geckos, and they seem to be acclimating themselves to their new surroundings with ease. I can't wait to hold them!

I swear... they're for the kids...

Future's So Bright Quilt progress


Three panels down on the Future's So Bright quilt that I'm quilting in sections, with thrifted sheets as the backing. I am very pleased with how it's turning out. Thanks Amanda Jean for sharing your pattern!

Can you tell that I've been doing most of my crafting lately at nighttime? Geez, these pics are bad...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yipes

Is anyone else freaking out a bit that it's almost December? Ok, so it isn't yet for two weeks or so, but that's nothing for someone who has three quilts, pj's, lots of knitted items and many other unmentionables yet to make. This feeling is oddly familiar... seems like I've been in this situation before... hmm...

The odd situation with all this Christmas crafting is that I can't actually show you much of anything I'm working on, because a lot of the soon-to-be recipients most likely read this blog (thus the rather extended blog break). What I can show you is some of the special orders I've been putting together.

I made an all pink pencil roll...


And a couple coffee sleeves for a coworker's poker-playing husband and dad...


I've also been putting the last touches on my Christmas CD swap that 62cherry put together, which should be in the mail on Friday.


I participated in the first swap which was great, and was excited when she put together a holiday themed one. When I went to fetch the link, I discovered that she's doing another swap in December! It's a Shuffle Swap, which is such a cool idea. You set your iPod or iTunes or whatever to shuffle and grab the first 10 songs. Looks like there's still room, so go check it out! I love being introduced to new music, and several of the ladies in the swap are from Australia so some of the bands I have never heard of. Especially on one of the Christmas CDs... who knew there was an Aussie version of the 12 Days of Christmas?

So what else have I/we been up to? Wrapping up a very successful soccer season... (whew)


Going trick or treating with a very scary skeleton and a hip witch...

Successfully participating in the Mariposa Crafters Holiday Boutique... Not only did I make money, I came home stocked with delicious homemade jam (Strawberry Rhubarb, Apricot Pineapple, Quince, Jalapeno and Indian Peach). The boutique was amazing, there was very little advertising as far as I could tell, absolutely nothing on the internet (shock! gasp!), and it was packed. Apparently people in town come every year (for the past 25(!) years) and know when it is so there's no need to advertise. The miracles of small towns, I guess.

Celebrating 7th and soon-to-be 10th birthdays with a first-ever-all-together bike ride...

And exploring science with really fantastic birthday presents from loved ones...

Triops and a hand-held microscope.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Catch Up

I've been a major blog slacker lately. Apparently doing nothing is easier than I thought it would be. I haven't been entirely lazy, I made two sets of Halloween bags for neighbors and friends, but neglected to take pictures of either. I still have to make A & D's so hopefully I'll remember to take pics of those.

I've been a very lucky crafter lately. First, I won Sew Mama Sew's Free Fabric Friday drawing and chose this as my free yard. It was too hard to choose, so I got a little bit of these as well.



Then my mother found the mother lode of embroidery hoops at a yard sale and passed the spoils along to me.




And finally, I received my embroidered buttons from the swap! And all I can say is WOW! You ladies are really talented! I was lucky enough to receive a button from Maitreya, Kristin, the swap organizer Michelle, Jessi, Sweet Bee and Elsie. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them yet, but it will have to be special. For now they shall just be admired.





I can't wait for the next swap that Michelle has promised for after the first of the year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Pledge Allegiance...

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

I've made the pledge to buy handmade (or make myself!) and request handmade gifts for the upcoming holidays. Are you game?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Good day

My mom came into town today, and we all had a great time. She got here in time to watch Devin's soccer game, which was a blast, and then we headed to the bead store (which has recently doubled in size and is now open on Sundays, for all you locals). While there we popped into Knitter's Playground which is unfortunately closing up shop on October 27. And just when I caught the knitting bug! I went there to get a cable needle or double pointed needles for a project I'm working on, but I'm still getting the hang of knitting jargon, so I came home with 6mm (US 10) DPNs for my 12mm (US ?) knitting needles. I'm no expert, but I think half the size is too much of a difference... Ah well, I think I saw that JoAnn's is having a sale on knitting gear. And then I can check out the new knitting store that Rebecca at Knitter's Playground mentioned opened up on Main Street in Woodland...

Anyway, my mom had the address of a wholesale/retail bead place called Bead Babe that she wanted to check out. It ended up being in what looked like a storage space in a random part of North Highlands, but it was totally worth the drive. They had lots and lots of beads, and for a $25 membership fee, everything you buy for the next 12 months is half off. So between the two bead stores, I ended up with a bounty of beads and even some buttons.
Yay nighttime photography! And yay my laziness for not taking the beads out of their baggies. But, rest assured, they are all quite cool. Ok, you get one bead out of the bag...


After all that shopping, we decided to do some more shopping. My mom had never been to Ikea, so off we went, to bravely peruse cheap European design, and ogle the masses of neatly organized shopping carts.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Greener laundry

So I want to save the planet just like everyone else, so when I read Eren's post about Mugwort Maggie's natural laundry soap I was intrigued. I read about the soap on Mugwort Maggie's site and found out that it doesn't have all the crazy chemicals that regular soap has, it takes a lot less, it comes in lots of cool different scents, and it was $2 a sample (now $1.75!). I thought I'd give it a try. A load of laundry only took about a tablespoon and it smelled great while it was washing. I even left the door to our laundry closet open while it was washing, putting up with the crazy amount of noise our Craigslist-$50-washer makes so that I could enjoy the Tea Tree and Eucalyptus scent. Unfortunately, after a spin in the dryer (with a chemical-ridden dryer sheet), the scent didn't stick. So when I read about Nellie's Dryer Balls on Not Martha's site, I thought, a-ha! Doubly better for the environment, and I get good smelling clothes! You can read here for an in depth review, but basically, surprisingly, they work. So not only am I probably saving the planet single-handedly with my eco-friendly laundry choices, I have clothes that smell like Eucalyptus, Fresh Cut Grass or even Dragon Blood if I want, and I don't have to buy dryer sheets ever again!

Welcome Home

After a long day at work, it was pretty nice to come home to this (check out the detail here)...

And find this inside waiting for me...

I'm even getting into the spirit of the upcoming holiday, and got these to make some gifts for work friends...


I never thought I'd be a person who bought seasonal holiday prints... but I've been Boo'd and must Boo back. (Anyone else work in an office and know what I'm talking about?)