Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the old

In with the new! Goodbye 2011 and hello 2012.

To ring in the new year, I managed to finish my Honey Cowl and I love it!

Already have a million and two ideas swirling around for projects in the coming year. And I promise they include more sewing, patchwork, and paper-piecing. Lately it's been really lovely to relax with a crochet or knitting project. I especially appreciate the portability - not as easy when you need cutting mat, rotary cutter, fabric, and sewing machine!

Thank you for coming here and sharing this space. I never imagined when I started this blog that it would result in so many wonderful new friendships. I appreciate that you take the time to stop by here and read about my creative pursuits as well as ramblings about my little family.

Wishing you a wonderful end to 2011 and a joyous beginning to 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Off the hook

And onto the needles!

After making three crochet blankets to give for Christmas, I was feeling the need to indulge myself. And because I am easily influenced by my friends, I followed Jen's lead and decided to tackle the Honey Cowl pattern. The yarn is by Madelinetosh in mineral, from local yarn store Happy Knits, and it is sublime to work with!

And this is how I plan to ring in the new year... slowing down, knitting quietly, being here. Now. Everything else will come crowding in soon enough. For now, I just want to be.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comfort and Joy

We have been in full tilt holiday mode for awhile here. Though I must admit that there are a lot of things that didn't get done this year, I have also given myself permission to be okay with that. Rather than go crazy trying to make everything/cook everything/see everything, we've made/cooked/done what we can and tried to leave plenty of down time in our schedule so that neither we nor the kids get so stressed out and cranky that the celebration becomes a chore.

So far, it's been working like a charm!

I made homemade gingerbread playdough for the kids and some friends.

(FYI - we use these clear plastic desk blotters on our dining table for clay and/or messy crafts. They cover a pretty big area, can be moved with items on them to dry or be completed later, and are easy to wipe clean. These ones were about 5 bucks at IKEA.)

We've attended both kids' school Christmas parties. Here, Bailey is managing to both eat a peppermint cookie and flip everyone off at the same time. Charming.

Owen's class made and decorated little graham cracker houses. He came home with his belly full of all his "extra" candies, shirt covered in frosting, and a huge smile on his face.

And even though I haven't baked a single cookie, I did manage to make two batches of my baked caramel corn. This is one batch cooling in our kitchen because the first batch had already been given away.

It's a really good thing I only make this once a year because I have no self-control around it and will munch on it until I feel sick.

So, as the year draws to a close, I will be staying close to home and the ones I love. I hope that wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, you are able to surround yourself with love and joy and peace!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blinded by the Pink

Just finished up another blanket. This one is for my daughter. She picked out the yarn herself and though you can't tell from the photos, it is sparkley. Yes. A bright PINK sparkley blanket. Seriously - I thought I might get blinded by the sheer girliness of it all.

This one is mostly a straight granny stitch - just like a granny square only worked in rows instead of a square. That way you can make a rectangular blanket. The white border (also sparkley!) is a simple double crochet. And the edging is a scallop? shell? design. You can see that I'm really knowledgeable about crochet, huh?

This worked up really quickly, all things considered, which is good since my son has already chosen yarn for HIS blanket. Since they picked out the yarn and have watched me making them, the kids obviously know about these blankets. But I'm still waiting to actually give them until Christmas. It was important to me to let them see the amount of time and work that are put into creating homemade gifts.

Of course, Bailey had to "try it out" before I put it away. I think she approves!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Parts of this post may offend. I do not mean for them to offend, but there you have it. Maybe it will help to know that I started my career in theater as a stagehand and carpenter before moving on to stage management. When working backstage or in a scene shop, I was often the only woman and I picked up some rather unladylike habits. Cussing like a sailor would be one of them.

I worked very hard on this quilt block.

Lots of teeny tiny piecing.

Completely and totally imperfect because I have never tried making these types of paper pieced letters before. They were HARD!

This picture isn't all that great but I wanted to share how all those seams need to play together on the back of the block.

This is for Chawne's "Give a F*ck" communal quilt project. You can read more about it on her awesome blog. Be careful - you will get sucked into her amazing crafting.

It turned out vaguely patriotic with all that red, white,and blue. Perhaps I've been watching a bit too much of the current debate cycle. Or maybe I was thinking about the economy. Or about the whole Occupy movement. Or about how we don't adequately fund our schools. Who knows? I like it. Like I said, it's not perfect, but neither am I. So we made a good pair.

Until I mailed it out and had to say goodbye.

Now I'm glad to have these pictures to share because I'm afraid the block has gone missing in the mail. It's been a week and has not yet been received. I'm prepared for the worst.

And I guess I need to make another block.


***UPDATE*** I am so so so happy to report that the block arrived safe and sound at its destination! Whew!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


We had a great weekend for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis! Owen performed handsomely in his duties as Junior Grand Marshal!

The day started at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland. The courtyard was beautifully decorated with these huge lighted snowflakes and there are tons of people in costumes and ugly holiday sweaters (for the ugly sweater contest, of course).

We were introduced and went up onstage and Owen spoke into the big microphone to say, "Thank you for helping to stomp out arthritis." Adorable.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Because the weather can be a bit, shall we say, unpredictable this time of year (i.e. two years ago we missed most of the event because of an ice storm that had us stranded until our driveway thawed), we decided to get a hotel room closer to downtown for the night before the run. Once the hotel found out that Owen was the Junior Grand Marshal, they went all Spirit of Christmas on us and upgraded our room, had a welcome sign for Owen in the lobby, gave him some awesome toys (Spiderman! dinosaurs!), and had the most insane chocolate cake waiting for us in the room.

We were stunned! There were even a few people at the hotel who were participating in the run.

So... Once we got to the run, Owen's team was honored to be the top fundraising team for 2011! Thank you so much to everyone who helped by making a donation to Owen or his team. We were astonished to raise over $6,000 for the Arthritis Foundation!

We all ran the 1k kids fun run, which just confirmed for me how woefully out of shape I am. After that, Owen got to blow the air horn to start the 5k runners. And he even got to give the medals to the top men and women finishers.

Even Santa couldn't miss the festivities so the kids got to get their picture taken with the big guy - though Bailey was infinitely more interested in the big basket of candy canes. I think she ended up with about 7 of them.

And this was what things looked like for the ride home. A thoroughly satisfying adventure.