Friday, June 29, 2007

How great is Mary Ann...

Pretty darn great. Look what she sent me out of the blue...

I'll help you clean your crafty area any time, Mary Ann! Check out the card she sent in the lower right-hand corner, holding a note with handwriting that would be a handwriting model if there was such a thing. And can you see the title of the song up there? It's that old ditty, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp. A classic.
This package beat the package I was preparing for her in thanks for her Thank You package (what manners! a thank you note! how great is that, you ask? pretty darn great) for my swap package. Still with me? It doesn't matter, basically Mary Ann is great (pretty darn great) and I am a slacker. A slacker who will very soon be getting her butt in gear and sending some well deserved loveliness off to Ohio...
In the mean time, go get some random crafty supplies for yourself at her shop!

Gift Cards Galore!

Look at all the wonderful gift cards I bought from Amy of Amy Elise Designs! She makes very cool gift tags, both simple and fancy, as well as gift bag sets that I just love. I also love the way she packaged the tags, putting each set in a bag with a teaser tag on the top. Unbeknownst to her, when choosing which ones to buy, I was torn between the cowboy and the horse and between the two birds pictured, and now I have a little bit of them all! And as you can see, she also sent me the wonderfully colorful tags on the bottom. They're all so great, I want to share them and hoard them at the same time! Amy is also having a Summer Sun Blog Giveaway, so make sure you check out her blog.

Wonderful knitting

Nope, not mine, I'm still struggling with a cowl that just isn't holding my interest in this hot weather. I'm talking about Carrie's wonderful swap package!

When I was first introduced into this world of crafty blogs, Carrie's blog You're only bored when... was one of the first that I found, and the first far away crafter that I actually made contact with. Her blog, her lovely tutorials (I've used her wristlet tutorial repeatedly) and projects inspired me to start my own blog. So when we decided to organize a swap involving some Daiso swag for some knitted loveliness, I was way excited. After I finally got my butt down to SF to make good on my end of the bargain, Carrie surprised me with the prettiest hat and matching bracelet I've ever seen.

Can you see the beading she did on both? So lovely! She even put directions for blocking the bracelet should it get too curly on her site.
I can't wait for winter! Thank you so much Carrie!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Japanese Craft Books

I have finally taken pictures of the lovely Japanese craft books I picked up at Kinokuniya.

The inspiring contents of Handmade Cafe...

And Hand Made Bags was set up with 6 different bag shapes...

And then ways to embellish them...

With an inspirational note before the patterns and directions.

small elements of my home...

...that I do not detest and that I have photographed so as to eliminate all traces of dirt and detritus.

This is a quote from Ali of domesticali, that I thought was apt for my home. I often see Corners of My Home posts in blogland, and I always end up feeling desirous to have similar corners in my home, but my corners are less vignette-y and more clutter-y, and thus not particularly photogenic. But Ali's description, now that's something I could get on board with. So here are my elements, after some sprucing up...

The painting Mike made for me and the thrifted lily pad lamp I love, upon which a cow and pickle pin are lounging.

The shadow boxes filled with sand and shells (and metal) from various beaches and photos from our trip to DC.

My grandmother's photographs, as she mounted them for the county fair (in spray painted frames I got at Ikea).

The bookshelf next to my bed, with my craft/sewing books (including those from the library), important travel books, and my lame digital clock with an origami boat made for me by Ali sitting on top. (Oops! Looks like I didn't "spruce" enough, look at the dust on that picture frame!)

Anyone else want to share their small elements?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quick fleece blankets

As I was looking through my fabric this past weekend I found a large amount of yardage that was originally intended to be a pair of fleece pants for me. Being that it was ridiculously hot outside, fleece pants did not sound the least bit appealing, so I repurposed the fabric into blankets for Devin and Ali.

Devin drew out a picture of Quacker (the stuffed duck) for me...

And Ali wanted her dad to draw her an "A"...

I think they turned out ok, and they both took all of 30 minutes.

Thrift find of the century

I will never again find anything as good as this...

On our way out of the SPCA thrift store, which we went into on a whim after we discovered that their drop-off was closed, much to the dismay of Mike's very full trunk, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. They were about to close and trying to shoo us out, so I quickly investigated and found these...

That's a quilted skirt on the right! Look at the wonderfully random squares of fabric!

I was surprised to find a tag in it, as I was fully expecting this to be handmade. Check out the grosgrain ribbon waistband as well...

The dress on the left of the top picture was handmade, looking to be a sheet or table cloth merely sewn together at the sides with a hole at the top for your head. Very 70's. Absolutely wonderful. And did I mention that the thrift store was having a sale and I got both of these for 50% off? Afterwards Mike and I went and had sushi, and I didn't want to part with the skirts and nearly brought them in with me so that I could continue looking at them. But, luckily I resisted and we had a very tasty dinner.

Speaking of good deals, Mike's coworker was selling a violin for $20, so he bought it for a certain someone who's been talking about wanting to play violin since before he could really pronounce it properly...

And he's been so adorably excited about "playing" it! I love it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the best dad ever

Here's some pics of our very fun Father's Day...

I think the cookie Ali and Devin made was quite realistic.

And then we all made self-portraits.

How did my portrait go from an old version of me to looking nothing like me? Who knows. I love Devin's toothy grin as well, when in reality he looks more like a pirate with three teeth missing. And don't forget Chip and Quacker sitting atop Ali and Devin's shoulders, who then I outfitted with sleeping bags, purses, rugs and table cloths. Quacker is unavailable for a photo shoot at the moment, so here's Chip's spread, including table and chair made by Mike with the strawberry baskets we got with our mountain of strawberries.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

With the father of the house happily asleep and plans for said father soon to be executed, I have a little time to tell you about what I've been up to.

First off, can you believe school is out already? I feel like we just started. But summer is here (as evidenced with the scorching 100 degree weather around here lately). Ali and Devin have a summer filled with swim lessons to keep themselves cool.

So we started summer vacation out with a trip to the u-pick-it berry farm. The whole time I kept thinking, "why haven't we done this yet?". They had all kinds of berries including boysenberries, blackberries (my fav), marion berries, ollalie berries, chuckle berries, raspberries and yellow raspberries. They also had gorgeous peach trees and heavily weighted down apricot trees. But did I bring my camera to show you all the lovely bounty? Nope. But we did get pics of what we brought home. You know, the ones we didn't eat.

And the strawberries we picked up on the way home.

Most of the strawberries got chopped up for future smoothies, but some will be going into the Father's Day breakfast Ali and Devin will be making for their dad.

I also put together a first try on the grocery totes. I wanted to make sure that the ones I'm making for my friend work out well, so I used my fabric for the tester. And I'm glad I did, look how huge it ended up (see the six-year-old for scale, he can almost fit in there).

Well I hope all you fathers out there have a very happy day, including mine! Happy Father's Day Dad!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh yeah! San Francisco

I have the cowboy quilt top all put together, and it looks great! Pics will follow soon, but every surface is covered with magazine cuttings at the moment - Ali and Devin are in full-on crafty/collage mode.

But, I won't leave you empty handed, picture-wise. I totally forgot to tell you about our marvelous trip to San Francisco!

We started out with an early breakfast at Home Plate, where every breakfast comes with a homemade scone, and the specials menu fills an entire large white board. (Can you see my Small Object shirt?)

We left full, happy and caffeinated, off to the Legion of Honor.

This one makes me think of a quilt...

And to make my Dad jealous...

After a couple hours meandering through there, we headed off for some lunch at Osha Thai, which is quick and always yummy (or at least it has been the 2 times we've been there).

After lunch we hopped over to Kinokuniya Bookstore. I'll post pics of the craft books I got later as well (I know... promises, promises). But I do have pics of some great graffiti between the bookstore and our car...

And my favorite, the garbage lady...

We then headed to the de Young museum which we got into free with our admission to the Legion of Honor.

Mike broke the rules...

And we took some cheesy pictures.

After that... the whole reason for our trip to SF... Daiso!

I wanted to get a couple things for my cupcake swap partner, and I had promised Carrie that the next time I went there I'd send her a package of goodies.

Ahh... looking at these pics makes me want to go back. It was a good day.