Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthdays rock! (and other sides of the coin)

Today is Oliver's birthday.  He's two.  Mommy is both excited and a little teary at the idea of her baby being two.

It's actually kind of funny to me that today I'm going to get all emotional about Oliver getting big.  Just because it's his birthday.  But what about all the days where he really is different and bigger and more grown up?  Aren't those the days and the moments when I should be getting worked up?  Trust me, I do.  But birthdays are like that, kinda like New Years; they're a milestone which just screams emotion and reflection.

This weekend was full of fun, celebration, and watching our son being the essence of who he is in the midst of a party atmosphere.  It started Saturday night as we prepared to hang out with Oliver's fellow two year olds on Sunday.  Well, almost all of them, Cooper couldn't come this weekend, so we get to have another celebration next week!  But, this week we got to hang with Maybelle and Owen so we had to make some presents for them.  Thank goodness MomMom was here with the brilliant idea of making chain necklaces:

And helping with body painting!  She said that it didn't take much to remember how to be silly.  I couldn't agree more.  Two year olds have a way of drawing you into their world of joy and amazement.  Next time you're with one, go with it, it's fun!

Sunday morning, Oliver and Dada put together the new kitchen.  This was a moment that mommy kinda got a little teary.  Oliver actually used the allen wrench by himself.  It was amazing to watch him think it through (just like his daddy) and then make his body do what he wanted.  He's gonna be an engineer (just like his uncle and popop)

While putting it together was fun, playing with it was even better!

The necklaces were a hit!  Thank goodness we thought to make an extra for Oliver!

Maybelle had made "TWO" headbands so the kids were really dressed up all fancy!


And then ending the day with dinner and Carol's hat which we insisted on wearing.

All in all, a great weekend.  Today we get to open the presents from Nana and Popop, Grammy and Grampy, and Grammy Rose and Grampy Gordon.  Happy Birthday OLIVER!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday!!!

I'm a stay-at-home mom, but Fridays are still super special.  I get to go work at Mr. Food in the evening (all by myself!), and it means that tomorrow is family time, and the next day is family time!!!  It's nice to anticipate.

I also love Fridays these days because it gives me an excuse to focus in on my fiber projects and think about them, and touch them, and love them up as I play with all the artists who participate in Fiber Arts Friday (Which you can find over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder).  This is particularly enjoyable when I have not a motivation filled week or have been focusing on other projects!  Today is one of those days so I am fully prepared to love up my knitting projects with a gentle love filled vengeance!

So, Dave helped me wake up this morning to a grey, wet day:

But, look!  Warm cozy fire blazing away...

...and the projects awaiting!  Note: this is my semi-nonfunctional storage system in the living room.  I like to have my projects handy but have to keep them IN things to discourage boys and dogs from exploring.  This is what I've been driven to :).  Oh, and that gorgeous painting?  My friend Amye Austin did that when we were in college.  She's amazing huh?  You can find her invitation and stationary design website here.  It's under construction, but promises to be lovely!

Ok, back to Fibers!  Now, I've set the scene, but we need to take one more thing into account before I toddle off to play!  Where is Oliver???

Sweet boy.  I love him.  But, I'm also glad he's sleeping!  So off to choose a snuggle up on the couch project to share my morning coffee with...And the winner is....

The little baby hat I'm having so much fun designing!!  This is for my friend Kathleen who ordered it for a friend of hers who is having a baby.  Her shower is in a few weeks and I need to have this done by next weekend when I will see Ms. Kathleen (hooray).  I'm attempting to do three colors in vertical stripes wrapping around bebe's head into a little teeny tassel.  We'll see how it goes.  Carrying all that yarn around might be too bulky as I get more into the project.  No Problem though!  Starting over is quite common in my world and when I'm designing it's all good.  I get to learn from each of my attempts and my planning gets better and better with each project.  MMMMMMmmm.  I love knitting.

Happy Fibering everyone!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning a new skill is soooo GREAT!

I learned something new today!!!  Yes, the Mollster has learned how to insert piping!  For those of you who do not sew, piping is the little round trim you see sometimes along a seam that pops a little bit of color and pizazz on an item.  You often see it on pillows and upholstery.  It makes things look ultra finished and crisp.  AND, I can now use it in my products!!

This is not a difficult technique, but I was quite nervous to try it.  I am so pleased that other sewers have taken the time to post tutorials about little techniques like this that trip up and intimidate those of us who haven't tried them yet.  I used one of the tutorials on the blog sewmamasew today.  Check out these ladies!  They are amazing and give tons of sewing tips along with all sorts of other juicy goodness!  I also referenced Lindsay over at cottagehome for her tips on inserting piping.  You really should look at the clothing she makes.  Oh. My.  Gorgeous!

What, you may ask, am I using piping on?  Well, my lovely friend Jesse has this awesome baby carrier that is not available anywhere, that was given to her as a gift that someone had found in some thrift store somewhere.  I am trying to create a version of it that is a little more versatile.  I'm working on the first prototype and the piping is going along the seams of the green denim I'm using, to give it that finished bit of pop.  Here's what I did today:

First I pinned!  I really don't like to pin, but I've discovered that I really need to!  And in the case of putting in piping, I just didn't even have a choice!  This is the piping along the top edge of the pocket that will go on the back of this thing.

I attached the little "seamy liner" and.....

VOILA! Piping!

Looks pretty good I think!

Goodness, I love these colors together!  So, the piping on the pocket is on!  Oliver was done "resting" as I took this last photo so I couldn't do any more today.  I can't wait to see how the whole thing looks!

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Fiber Arts Friday!!

Since I entered the world of blogging, I've been following some amazing ladies who get together in the blogisphere to talk fiber arts every Friday.  Today, I saw the question "What are you waiting for?" and I just didn't have a good answer so here's my first contribution to the fabulous Fiber Arts Friday extravaganza!:

This week has been a whirlwind of kids, cloth, and fiber.  Each project on the needles and in the sewing machine has had to take a backseat at some point during the week as some other project got some love and attention from yours truly.  Here's a little glimpse of the needle work I've been playing with:

Here's the sweater that I've been working on for a while.  You can read more about the pattern etc in this post, but I'm making some progress.  I've never knit an adult sweater before and I'm pretty excited about the prospect of having something of this magnitude in my closet!!

This is a sweater I knit for my friend Kathleen's baby Waylon James (rock star name!).  It is FINALLY getting it's honey bee buttons, though as you can see, I go one on and then had to move on to something else.  A note, the pattern for this sweater can be found in the book Natural Knits for Babies and Moms, by Louisa Harding.

I've started knitting up some samples for a little knitting workshop I'm doing at the Mama's Make It Happen event.  Admittedly, this is not a priority right now.  Ask me again in a month as the event get closer and I haven't quite finished them (lol).

A new favorite project, this little piece will eventually be a sweater vest for Oliver.  My intent is to finish this and post the pattern for February's Celebrate the Boy event here.

And last but not least, did you know that a gorgeous Merino scarf that you haven't woven ends in yet for no reason whatsoever, makes a GREAT pin cushion?  No?  Let me tell ya, awesome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When it rains it pours: The art of managing abundance

Yeah, me talking about managing!  It's an oxymoron when mentioning me and managing in the same sentence.  But, I am the perfect person to talk about managing this kind of thing!

For me, there are so many aspects of abundance in my life right now.  I have an abundance of ideas that are running through my head at a mile a minute at any given time of the day.  I have an abundance of household chores that are awaiting my attention all the time.  I have an abundance of yarn and fabric waiting to be turned into wonderful new things.  I have an abundance of projects in the works giving little shout outs periodically to get my attention.  And bestest of all I have an abundance of really wonderful blessings that pop out and smile at me at the most unexpected moments.

I know, I know, that sounds so touchy feelly, gooey, gross, but it's true.  And it does call for some real management.  This past week I've had two new orders, need to start (and finish) a baby gift, and really want to finish the vest I'm making for Oliver (and so I can post the new pattern).  Not to mention some other lovely little surprises I have in store for you (Even a little simple sewing tutorial!).  But in the middle of all that, I need to kiss my little boy, hug my husband, and notice that the funny squirrel in the backyard is precariously hanging from a branch upside down to get his share of the bird food in the feeder.

So, the tutorial will have to wait a couple of days, the baby gift will get done in the evenings, my orders will happen during naptime, and tomorrow, when the weather is supposed to be beautiful, I will take Oliver outside to play.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

January's Knitting Pattern for Your Knitting Pleasure

I just dropped off my latest hat to it's lucky recipient.  A sweet little beret in a lovely burgandy red.  I'll have to post the pictures later, as it was too dark to take them tonight.  However, I really wanted to post this pattern quickly as it was January's pattern!  So, here's the first beret I made so you can get a general idea, although this one was knit in a cotton:

I am supremely pleased to present the first of this year's patterns!

January: Slouchy Beret


One skein Cascade 220 (worsted weight), or if you like the hat pictured in the greyish tone, use Lion Brand Organic Cotton
Size 7 Double Pointed Needles
Size 7 circular needles 16 inch
Size 6 circular needles 16 inch
darning needle
stitch marker


18 stitches and 24 rows equals 4 inches square


- Using your size 6 circulars, cast on 88 stitches.

- Place stitch marker and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the work.

- K2, P2 rib for one inch.

- Switch to Size 7 circular needles

- Next Row: *K2, M1 by lifting the running thread onto the left needle and knitting through the back loop,  Repeat from star to end of round.  End with 132 stitches.

- Knit next 5 rounds

- Purl 4 rounds

- Knit 6 rounds

- Purl 4 rounds

- Knit 6 rounds

Begin Decreasing as follows:

Next round: *P9, slip next two stitches as if to knit and then slide them back onto the left needle and purl them together (ssp), P2tog, P9.  Repeat from star for a total of 12 decreases and ending with 120 stitches

- Purl around

Next round: *P8, ssp, P2tog, P8. Repeat from star to end of round and end with 108 stitches

- Purl around

Next round: *K7, slip next two stitches as if to knit and then slide them back onto the left needle and knit them together (ssk), K2tog, K7. Repeat from star to end of round and end with 96 stitches

- Knit around

Next round: *K6, ssk, K2tog, K6. Repeat from star to end of round and end with 84 stitches

- Knit around

Next round: *K5,ssk,K2tog, K5.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 72 stitches

- Knit around

Next round: *P4, ssp, P2tog, P4.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 60 stitches.

Next round: *P3, ssp, P2tog, P3.  repeat from star to end of round and end with 48 stitches.

Next round: *P2, ssp, P2tog, P2.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 36 stitches.

Next round: *P1, ssp, P2tog, P1.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 24 stitches.

Next round: *ssp, P2tog.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 12 stitches.

Next round: *P2tog.  Repeat from star to end of round and end with 6 stitches.

cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches.

Weave in ends and then enjoy your new hat!!  And please, please, please, send pictures if you make this!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Extravaganza of PAINT (and two year olds)

So today was painting day here at our house!  We got into our old clothes (me and Maybelle) or out of them all together (Oliver), and went to town!!

Super fun, and bathtime afterward was very colorful!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How does one person get sucked into so many interesting things?

In a previous post, I had alluded to a new time sucker that I have fallen prey to.  What, pray tell, might this new thing be?  Swap-bot.  Swap-bot?  Yes, Swap-bot.

This is a wretched, engrossing, really fun website that connects you with other who like to swap postcards, artwork, crafts, letters, emails, all sorts of things.  I had checked it out because one of the couples that come into Mr. Food pretty regularly were teasing each other about it.  Let me tell ya, I was hooked within minutes!  Here is a place where someone else tells me what my theme or project is and I just run with it and let my creativity run wild.  What a nice break from designing and making for the purpose of selling or distributing.  I'm finding that it gets my enthusiasm up which translates over into my other projects.  Hooray!

So I have now signed up for six swaps so far, and completed two of them.  Now, have I taken photos of them so I could post them?  No, of course not.  I'm still learning to remember that if I'm going to blog about things I have to actually take pictures so that all of you out in cyberland can see what I'm talkin' about.

In an effort at self reformation here's a few little tidbits of what's being created for the swap world:

This little bunny is from an online tutorial from the purl bee.  The swap idea is that everyone takes this bunny pattern and creates their version to send to someone else.

My bunny is traveling with some fine winter duds all hand made by moi.

First some nice warm durable wool boots (from a recycled sweater) that have been custom made to fit perfectly.  Now, I know you can take them off, but I don't know if you'll be able to get them back on again.

No bunny's outfit is complete without some hand knit fingerless mittens.

And a chunky cowl to match...

and an upcycled sweater dress, warm and cozy, yet comfy and breathable all at the same time.  Also, does not wrinkle so perfect for travel.

And last, but not least, a traveling trunk with her little pjs for sleep overs.  Here's the little kimono style shirt...

And the coordinating pj pants.  Ahhh, so fun.

I have had a ball with this one and am having to restrain myself from making a million other little items to go with her.  I have to finish her eyes and then she's off in the mail

And the other project happenin' is this simple (but really sweet) little organic cotton washcloth for a spa swap.  My lucky recipient will be receiving this washcloth:

And these lovely bars of soap.  We were only required to send one bar but I couldn't choose, so I'm sending both!

 The one on the top is a Rosemary/Peppermint and the one on the bottom is a Rose/Patchouli/Bergamot (which is unbelievable and I don't even like patchouli but it so works here!)

All in all, fun, creativity inspiring and just wonderful to participate in!  Highly recommended to those of you who like this sort of thing!!