Monday, September 28, 2009

another attempt at knitting

ok, so about once every five years or so, I decide that I should learn to knit. I remember my mother trying to teach me when I was very young. fail. And the summer I went to visit my Grandma & Grandpa, I was about 12? fail. And many many times after that. Most recently, about 5 years ago, Ally decided she wanted to learn. We bought all the supplies.... including books on beginning knitting. We both failed. Seriously??? Lots of people knit. How hard can it be?

So today I decided to try again. Lisa sent me links to Youtube videos that demonstrated all the steps! Yay! Finally I am going to master knitting.

The first video showed me how to cast on. I casted on 30 stitches, no problem!
Then I learned the knitting stitch! Yes, my needles are backwards. I am left handed. & I found most of the Youtube videos done for lefties too! Hooray. I knit a few rows. And now, I had 32 stitches. Where did those extra stitches come from? That's not a good thing, is it? To add stitches?And then I watched the casting off video, and it seemed pretty simple. Here's my finished sample. Lovely isn't it? No?

I think I'll just let Lisa do all my knitting for me. This was my final attempt! I swear.

Just so you don't think my day was a total waste, I did make this cute bag....
I had done the embroidery months ago & didn't know what to do with it..... I think it looks so cute here! Yay!

So, if I ever mention knitting again, someone please refer me back to this post. Really. I won't be mad!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

treats from around the world

A while ago I shared with you here about a new friend, Lisa, from Australia. We've been tweeting & emailing back & forth ever since & recently decided to do a little swap. While my package to her is still finding it's way across the ocean, hers has arrived! Check out the lovely goodies she sent me...

I stole the picture from her sweet blog post which is amazingly dated Monday, Sept 28, even though it is still Sunday the 27 at my house! So very strange!

I have already hung the darling felt embroidery near my sewing machine, where I can look at it every single day. I love that Lisa added a little birdhouse to match my collection! So thoughtful. The knit items are a special treat since, try as I might, I cannot seem to master knitting! The mug cuff will be in constant use soon as winter will come (yes, even in Texas!) & it will keep my tea warm! I love the pretty soft washcloth & you should smell the soap! YUMMY! I wore the pretty button pin to dinner with my family already! Makes me smile...

Oh, & I can't wait to send the pretty bibs on to baby Mackenzie! What a special treat for my new baby niece (who, by the way, is getting cuter by the minute! They can't send the pictures fast enough for me!)

What an awesome week! First my friendship bag arrived & then this delicious package. I am feeling quite spoiled! Thank you Lisa!

Friday, September 25, 2009

gameroom makeover

ok, I know I should have taken some before pictures. Too late now! Just picture this room a mess, outgrown toys & stuff everywhere, white walls, dirty carpet... you get the idea.

and now look...
It really came out nice. Allyson picked all the colors, very pale blue for most walls & a darker blue for the accent wall. The nasty old couch is covered in a new slipcover. Most of the other stuff came from IKEA.... the rug, side tables, desks & the tv stand below...

I made the pillows & artwork from IKEA fabric. We looked for bright colored artwork that we liked & just didn't find anything.... then we saw this fabric, it kind of coordinates with the rug but not matchy matchy. I bought 4 artists canvases from Hobby Lobby (yes, I went there EVERY DAY last week with a 40% off coupon!) Bought the "cheapest" ones they had because we really didn't care about the quality of the canvas..... Three of them (over the desks) are 24 x 30 inches, the fourth, (by the tv) is 30 x 36 inches. I cut the pieces of fabric 3 inches bigger on each side, stretched them around to the back & hubby helped me staplegun them in place. Presto, artwork!
It was so simple to do & inexpensive too. They are lightweight, we just put one picture hanger on the back of each one & hung it on a single nail. Very fun! I think I'll be using this technique again!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

and in my mailbox today!

I went to get the mail today & there was a big padded envelope for me! Inside was this sweet friendship bag from Jen.
Check out the beautiful fancy stitching on the handles! I just adore the pretty fabrics. This is going in my sewing room where I can see it every day. & that's not all! She filled it up with special treats for me..... I need to come up with a special project to make myself from the 2 pretty fabrics she included. Love the sweet tissue pack, the cute magnet & the awesome key fob (I've been wanting one of those!). Thanks Jen!

This was my very first swap & it was so much fun!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

in the mail...

This is going in the mail today to baby Mackenzie! Look how it matches the flannel blanket I had already made for her! Unplanned...
She'll need them to stay warm this winter. There are other goodies in the box too! You can't spoil a new niece too much.

Yesterday I was playing around & made a smaller version of my Nantucket bag. It's about 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide & 3 inches deep. Perfect size for my Bible study book & Bible! I'm going to make some more this size. They would make great lunch bags too!

My second pattern is almost ready to send off to the testers! I can't show you a picture just yet, but as soon as I can I will!

Have a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Sis!

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby sister, Diane!
I sent her this tablerunner last week & the cheater opened it early! I hope she enjoys it. After I got these fabrics home & studied them a bit, I realized why I like them so much.... the colors remind me of our childhood! My mom wallpapered our (TINY) bathroom with giant polka dots in these colors in the 60s..... orange, green, brown.... & I remember her Christmas stocking that year was filled with bathroom towels & washclothes in those same colors! Ahhhhh the 60s. She painted our kitchen cabinets that lovely green too! Those were the days....

Anyways, here is my beautiful sister (with her dog, Luke)

I have to tell you, she is an incredible woman. Not only does she take care of her house & her hubby (& Luke!), She works a full time job and GOES TO COLLEGE! You might have figured out by now that both of us are a tad past the normal age for college. I am so very proud of her & all that she is accomplishing!

Way to go Di! I miss you

Meanwhile, back at Ellyn's Place, there's been a bit of rearranging going on. Allyson is decorating the gameroom (I know, she's a bit like the energizer bunny! She just goes & goes). So, part of her decorating involves stealing my bookcases from my sewing room! What to do, what to do? Oh, I know! Buy new ones! Bigger, better & REDDER ones! Yes, I know, I have way too many quilt magazines, craft books, etc. But I can't bear to throw them away! They are all organized now by title, in chronological order. Neat & tidy! I almost hate to go in there & mess things up... Oh, & my duck pond quilt finally made it onto the wall! It makes me smile....
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 11, 2009


We have a winner in my friendship bag giveaway!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-09-11 12:13:19 UTC

& number 8 is Colleen from Mississippi. I wandered over to Colleen's blog, Musings from my Soul, & it's so interesting! Check it out. Ok, I'm off to pop Colleen an email! Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

new life

Indulge me for a moment while I introduce you to my brand new niece, Mackenzie Lin. Isn't she beautiful? She arrived last night, 9/9/09, weighed over 9 lbs & is my parents 9th grandchild! She is destined for wonderful things. She is also the first new baby in our family in nine years! She belongs to my baby brother, Todd, & his beautiful wife Aimee..... their first baby who they waited a long time for (& worked many many hours to birth!).

welcome to the family Mackenzie. We love you already.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

more little bags

I'm really hooked on these little friendship bags! I made these out of adorable Christmas fabrics. They have a little hook inside & a pocket that is the perfect size for a giftcard. They are so much fun to make, I think I'm going to make a ton of them!

I've been thinking about what you could put in them.....
an ipod & an itunes giftcard for a teen
a webkins animal & a pack of webkins playing cards for a little girl
some hot wheels cars & a toy store giftcard for a little boy
baby socks & a baby store gift card for a new mom
microwave popcorn & a video store giftcard for a family...

I am so ready to start my Christmas shopping! What are your ideas for putting in these little bags?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

pincushion tips

remember these?
well I promised you some of my pincushion tips, so here we go! First of all, what to fill your pincushions with. Many patterns suggest fiber fill. Personally, I prefer something with a little weight to it! I have filled some with beans or rice in the bottom, then fiberfill on top to make them fluffy.

Then I discovered ground walnut shells! the perfect filler, gives your pincushion some body & weight & also sharpens your pins & needles as you store them! Can't beat that. For a while, I was buying my ground walnut shells in little zip loc bags at the quilt store. Then I learned where to get them.....

at the pet store! Who knew? It's called "Lizard Litter" & I bought this giant bag for $7.99. It will fill tons of pincushions!
My next problem was how to store it. Pouring the walnut shells out of this giant bag into a pincushion was not practical. So I bought this awesome storage container at Target. It even has a lock on lid...

and I put in an odd measuring cup that was cluttering up my kitchen as a scoop. Perfect!

A while ago I bought a set of plastic funnels at Walmart dirt cheap. Now, when I make a pincushion, I leave an opening in one end, push the funnel in & scoop in the walnut shells. Perfect! Stitch the opening closed by hand or machine & you're done.

Just tuck in a few shrinky dink pins & it's perfect for gift giving!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crafting the world...

I love the blogosphere! I've been blogging for a little over a year now & have met some of the most wonderful people. I read their blogs.... leave a little comment... they read mine... leave a little comment... & the next thing I know we're friends!

A while back, a friend showed me Lisa's blog, The Princess and the Monkey. Lisa has a great tutorials page on her blog, among other things! And just like it happens in blogland, we left each other comments... then we started following each other on Twitter. I couldn't help but notice that as I was waking up in the morning, sending my kiddos off to school & jumping on my Wii Fit, Lisa was tucking her little darlings into bed & wrapping up her day. You see, Lisa is in Sydney, Australia & I am in Dallas, Texas! What an incredible tool the internet is that we can communicate so quickly with people half a world away.

When I was a kid, I loved having foreign penpals. I would write them letters & pour my soul out to them. I'd mail my letters off & wait. And wait. And wait. And weeks later, after I had completely forgotten what I had told them, I would get their reply. And now, I can talk with friends around the world as if they were in the next room!

Anyways, back to Twitter. Lisa & I have gotten in the habit of checking in with each other every morning. Before I get on with my day, I look to see what Lisa has accomplished that day (strange thought!) & I encourage her. When she gets up in the morning, she does the same for me. Yesterday (or was it today, in Australia? Who knows), she tweeted something that really got me thinking about this phenomenon.

she said; "Crafting the world 24hours between the two of us".

What a great thought! Not just for Lisa & I, but for all of us who craft all around the world. I find it comforting that as I am packing up my crafts for the night, someone else is just rolling out of bed & considering all of the crafty possibilities the day might bring! Almost like I am handing off a baton in a relay race. God really knew what he was doing when He created the time zones!

So off I go to start my crafty day. Sweet dreams Lisa!