Sunday, December 28, 2008

Presents Made

Now that everyone has received their presents, I can show what I've been doing for the past several months. I already posted about some of the knitted hats I completed, and here's some more:

For my dad (modeled by Mike) {from the pattern found here}

For my sister {Koolhaas, found here}

And not quite done, but this is for my future niece/nephew {mini Koolhaas} Nephew! Finished here.

For my grandma I made this eyeglass case {inspired by this blog - thank you Kayla!!}

For my step-niece I made this butterfly display {inspiration here, butterflies from Dover Sampler}

I made this pair of Fetching for my friend {pattern here}

This pair was made after making 2 3/4 gloves that didn't match in the slightest out of a wonderful, but poorly chosen variegated yarn.

Luckily they're a quick knit. I'm not giving up on them, I've bought 2 more skeins, and will knit until something matches.

The Mini Tree

When Mike and I first moved in together we lived in an apartment, and so when Christmas came around we went and found a mini potted tree to put on our coffee table because that's all we had room for. Every year, we would look forward to getting our mini tree and stringing lights on it, putting our construction paper star and homemade ornaments on it (often times so many that the tree kind of disappeared), and waiting for Santa to put presents around it. Then after Christmas was over, the tree would be taken to my parents and planted, to continue to remind us of our happy holiday.

Well this year, in our new house, with all it's spaciousness, we got a big tree. The biggest any of us have ever had. We got a bunch more ornaments and lights, a real star for the top, and anticipated Santa actually putting presents under the tree.

But, it just wouldn't be Christmas without our mini tree.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving for Two

I hope everyone had a good Turkey Day! Our first holiday in our new house was quiet, peaceful, and productive. (Soon I'll have "After" pics of my new sewing room!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mario, Luigi and The Pirate

This year's Halloween costumes turned out so great. Ali's costume came together surprisingly well. I made the shirt from this pattern, the belt from this one, and Ali made the pants. That's right, she sewed them herself! This was her first real sewing project, and she did so well. The slippery Halloween-y fabric was pretty hard to work with, but she totally conquered it. I couldn't have been prouder, and more excited to have a sewing buddy!

As for Mario and Luigi, Mike put together some awesome costumes for he and Devin. Fortuitous thrift store finds, several marathon overall-finding trips around town, and some homemade felt mustaches made for fantastic costumes.

Even though I swore I would never dress up our puppies, I broke my promise and made them costumes... Maggie the Pirate, and Olive the (squirmy) Mushroom.

Now just don't let me buy this book...


My sister is pregnant!!! Let the baby craftiness begin!! I've bought this, and am ready to go...

Fuzzy Croc Weather

My favorite time of the year...

The holiday season is upon us, and thus a ton of crafting is being done with nothing to show on this here blog (for now) for fear of ruining the surprise. I can show something I made for Ali and Devin, because I'm pretty sure they don't read this blog...

A button hat for Ali, and a Thorpe hat for Devin. I hope they like them, they were a blast to make. One hint for my holiday crafting is that Ravelry is awesome, and we have some pretty great yarn shops in the Sacramento area. My (nearly weekly) lunchtime stop has been Rumpelstiltskin, and through KnitMap I found two fantastic shops in Elk Grove (which is a bit of a drive from my house, but conveniently located on my way home from my parents' house, and totally worth the drive anyway), The Yarn Shoppe and Knitique (whose website doesn't seem to be working, but the shop is excellent!).

I went to the Mariposa Craft Fair, and besides having a great time with my parents and stocking up on homemade jam, it was a bit of a bust. I think it'll be my last year selling, though I'll still go for the jam (it's sooo good). My mom didn't even sell that much, and look at her totally awesome wares:

She made beaded bookmarks and bracelets, and then made those fantastic cards for them to go on. The cards in the second picture are empty because as soon as I brought them home they were snapped up and put to good use (as you can see in the first picture).

Now back to knitting!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Birthday

A belated post for my birthday... Mike did it again... he surprised the heck out of me with a 3 a.m. drive to Tahoe for a hot air balloon ride! It was so fantastic! We took a boat out to the middle of the lake, where they inflated the balloon and took off. I never knew Lake Tahoe was so gorgeous! And blue! (I may just have to get myself one of those bumper stickers)

We went up pretty high (that's our boat on the left), but I wasn't nervous at all. The basket was really smooth and sturdy, and I couldn't tell we were up that high unless I looked over the edge. (It was only scary when Mike spit over the side to see how far up it was, and it took a good solid minute for it to get to where we couldn't even see it anymore.)

When we came back down we landed on the boat, which seemed an amazing feat to me, and then we got to watch from the basket as they wrestled the balloon to the deck (Mike even got to help) and rolled it up like a sleeping bag in an impossibly petite bag. And then, apparently as is tradition, we had champagne. More specifically, mimosas! Happy Birthday to me, indeed!

After that (oh yeah, there was more), we went for a hike around Emerald Bay, including a tour of Vikingsholm, and then gourmet pot pies for dinner in Placerville. Oh my, am I a lucky girl...

Craft Room

Well part of it... I'm cutting fabric for quilts Ali's class is making (now that's a school project I can get behind!), which forced me to find my rotary cutter, mat and ruler (well, I didn't find that - I had to buy a new one), and then find a space to put all those things and actually get something done.

Mike also found the missing foot pedal to my sewing machine, so there are no more excuses for finishing up the curtains in Ali's room either. (The fabric is actually blue, which you probably can't discern from the crumby, but unavoidable, nighttime picture)

And you can see my new project in the background of the first photo... artsy-crafty babe's new pattern! As soon as I saw it I bought it, along with some fabrics from Sew Mama Sew, and hopefully I'll be able to start on it soon.

Oh yeah, along with the things I should sell for the Mariposa Craft Fair in November. Early November. Hmm...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More gratuitous puppy pictures...

These are for you mom...



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maggie & Olive

We got puppies. (And holy crap, Ali looks old in this picture!) They are sisters, and just about the cutest things I've ever seen. They don't really stay still long enough to take pictures of just how cute they really are, except when they're sleeping.

Thank goodness we got puppy training books with all the other loads of puppy stuff at Petco, because now they are sleeping soundly in their bed, without any whining whatsoever! Now let's see if they sleep past 4:30 a.m...

But how can I possibly complain about a sweetie like this...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh hi.

And now for some catching up...

Mike and I had our wedding celebration at my parents' house, which was wonderful. It was very low-key, which is exactly what we wanted. Just family and food, my favorite things. My mom and aunt, in their awesomeness, had a yummy project for the kids to do - cupcake decorating (which of course Mike had to try as well). My dad even had a project for A&D: picking up pine cones. Sounds fun, right? Well it was a surprising hit!

A good friend of mine got married in Madison, and so we made a quick trip to Chicago and Wisconsin. We went to the top of the Sears Tower, saw Sue, watched the rabidly adored home team lose to our home team, and survived our first crazy Midwestern thunderstorm. And in Wisconsin, well, it really was all about the cheese, and maybe some ice cream (strawberry with pop rocks in the photo above). Oh yeah, and the wedding of course!

We also did some swimming, some picking, and some crafting.

And the shopping... I've done a fair amount of shopping since I last posted. I bought my first Storybook necklace from Mood Swing Studio. Taking advantage of their $10 sales a while back, I got several Threadless shirts for Ali, Devin, Mike and I. And I added some completely gorgeous silver jewelry to my collection.

Last but not least, (and probably the biggest reason I've been so absent round these blog parts) we bought a house! And I'm going to have a sewing room, once the hundreds of boxes of fabric are unpacked (I'm only just slightly exaggerating - it's a little ridiculous)! Unfortunately, there are (lots of) ants, but I'm hoping that the recipe that won this contest might help out a bit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fire Season

For anyone who knows me in real life, my parents are fine. They have their trucks packed and ready, just in case, but everyone (including Polly, Kismet and Sophie) are stressed, but doing ok.

Keep your fingers crossed for no wind and cooler temperatures!

(And craftiness to follow soon, I promise...)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mrs. Ambrose

The wedding was lovely. (Besides being 100 degrees, which gave everyone a happy glow.) Jessica was gorgeous, my parents looked great (my dad even wore a tie), and my own little family was very dapper all dressed up.

As for my crafty contribution to the event, procrastination payed off and about a week before the wedding my sister decided she didn't want the veil/scarf that I was supposed to bead (but hadn't started), so I had time to make Ali a skirt, and Mike and Devin ties. For the ties, I used this pattern, with great success. Who knew making a tie was so easy (and the pattern so crazy big)! Mike shrank down the pattern for Devin's, and I sewed an earring clip onto it to make a clip-on version.

Congratulations, Jessica & Brian! Welcome to the family Brian and Kayli!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How did it get to be May already?

My sister Jessica is getting married in three weeks, and I've so much still to do... Though I've been slacking on blogging, I've been super busy with projects. I made bags for my sister's bachelorette party, various birthday bags for both Ali's and my friends, a dress for Jessica's soon-to-be-step-daughter, and I'm nearly finished with my mom's outfit (just need to hem the skirt). I finally got a decent pic of Kayli's dress, but the rest are rather unphotogenic, unfortunately.

Despite the bad pics, I'm rather happy with my mom's outfit. The pattern was simple, and the fabric was just challenging enough: a little stretchy and a little slippery, but not too much. I lined the top with the lovely lavender fabric from Britex, and did matching fabric covered buttons for the back. For the skirt, I didn't have enough fabric to line it, so I did Hong Kong seam finishes on all the seams.

For the bags I used a pattern from this book. It was a piece of cake to put together, and I got to use some of the massive amounts of wool I got from the Riki sale, and I even broke into some of my "good" cottons for the linings. Inside the bags I put ridiculously translated Japanese stationary sets, romance novel magnets, a cup for party drinks, a vial with a hangover cure (two ibuprofen and a vitamin B-12), and various other things. (please disregard the horrible state of our carpets... we've been busy...)

Kayli's dress was an ordeal. Not because of the pattern, it was a breeze to put together, and I just love the big pleats. It was the fabric. I had the bodice with sleeves and lining put together, and I went to press the skirt front to start on the pleats, and there right smack in the middle was a big knot in the fabric. A knot that the color had been printed over, so when I tried to take it off, it left a big white dot on the teal fabric. Ugg... well after an unsuccessful trip by my lovely husband to the local Beverly's and a trip to Modesto, I got more fabric and got the skirt sorted. Then I struggled with a lapped zipper, reverted back to my good ol' center zipper, and whew! I'm done. There are some detail pics here.

Now, I just need to make myself a shrug to cover up the massive amount of cleavage my dress for the wedding bears, and bead Jessica's veil/scarf. Piece of cake, right?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

70's Bag

I came across these pictures of this bag I made months ago. I love this bag, I use it all the time. It's my weekend, throw-everything-into-it-and-head-to-the-yard-sales bag. You can't really tell from the photo, but I added pockets to the inside for my phone, keys, etc. My coworker (a fellow seamstress) gave me the pair of wooden posts (see the black balls at the edge of the bag?)and the pattern to make it, both of which she'd held onto since the 1970's. You can't find these posts anywhere (I've checked), which is such a shame, because the posts are what makes this such a great bag. I wonder if you could make them... Anyway, the fabric I used for the outside is from Ikea, and the inside is some random cotton I had in my stash.

My first sweater

I finished my first knitted sweater! And I must say, I'm really proud of it. It was my first knitted piece with shaping and seaming. I made it for my new niece-in-law Paulina Nicole. She was born in March, and hopefully will be big enough to wear the sweater by winter. The pattern I used was called Simple Hooded Cardigan. It was simple enough to follow, but next time I'd like to find a pattern where you don't have to sew it all up in the end. To finish it off, I made some fabric covered buttons.

And because I have a ton of stuff to do, I also made a flannel blanket, a bunny, and a hat. Ah procrastination... I hope she likes it all!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Wow, I am so excited about Ravlery. Somehow I missed out on it entirely and just recently heard of it. Maybe because I'm a recent knitter. Any of you knitters/crocheters out there not signed up for Ravelry yet, get your butt over and sign up! You have to wait for a bit to get an account (not sure why), but it's totally worth the wait. No more random collections of links to patterns I want to try, or piles of unorganized internet printouts! It's all organized on my Ravelry site, with all my stash info and a list of the needles I have. So, so cool.

And because it's just not a blog post without a picture, here are some pictures of a swap project in process...