Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Change...

...is a good thing, right?

I have been inspired to give the blog a new look and make some changes here, so be watching for them soon! I am doing some brainstorming and am playing around with new formats, colors, graphics, etc and will be giving this space a fresh new look (and maybe a new name...).

No promises on just when this will happen, but I'm working on it and will still be posting and such until then.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day



I'm a little bummed that I won't be spending Father's Day with my daddy, but we are about 12 hours apart and it just can't happen. I did mail a package (though he won't get it til Monday... I spent the extra 3.00 for it to go priority and get there by today, but it's late... grrr) and will certainly be giving him a call tomorrow. His main gift that he'll be getting Monday:


I embroidered a sheriff's badge onto a handgun case for him. It's not perfect (it was my second time embroidering and I was going through about 3/4" of padding on the case), but I learned a lot from it. Daddy will love it irregardless, as that is what daddies do!

We went to my FIL's house today to celebrate Father's Day and I gifted him with an embroidered golf towel that I made. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it before giving it to him, but it was a big hit. I didn't know that he actually really needed a new towel because someone recently stole his (thief at the golf course... wow). I got the best compliment that a crafter could ever hope for... everyone thought that it was machine-made and I just bought it! FIL asked where I got it and I thought that he meant the pattern/inspiration (which is here, by the way), so said that it was a graphic I saw and thought was cool. They were surprised to find that I had actually hand embroidered it. I was quite pleased!

My sFIL will be getting the same gift, but his is embroidered with a golfball and tee.

I also gifted Charlie with his present, which he loved:


I embroidered a zombie hand and "Zombie Hunter" into felt, then sewed it onto a new gun case for him!


The green floss contrasts with the felt more in real life. I got the zombie hand from Urban Threads (they have really great stuff) and the writing is some that I found doing a google search and just copied. The stitching was fun, but attaching it onto the gun case wasn't easy. I got smart after doing my dad's gift and sewed only through the top layer of fabric, but it was difficult. I love the finished result, though, so it was well worth it.

Tomorrow will be staying home with Charlie and Arthur, maybe a trip to the park, and me doing some reorganizing on the house. I'm slowly getting this place to where I want it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Obsession

I am obsessed with hand embroidery.

I read about the Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club on Earthtone Girl's blog (link to the right) and thought, What the hay, I'll give it a go. Boy, am I glad that I did! It only costs 8.00 to join and that includes all the info needed to stitch and assemble a little hexagon quilt/wall hanging/whatever you'd like for it to be, with 1 cute little summery embroidery pattern being released every week of summer (total of 12). So far we have received a pair of sunglasses and a happy little sun. If you want to join, you can do so at any time because Mollie will send all the current stuff at the time of purchase. It's really fun and I do suggest it!

Anyway, to the obsession part. First off, I went and gathered supplies. I'm not too practiced in sewing and such, but do know a little from my seamstress mother. I ended up with a fat quarter pack, fat quarters for the backing, and remnant cotton for the embroidered hexis. I got the recommended colors of floss, except they were out of the exact yellow, so I subbed it for what I figure is close enough.


The pattern calls for 3 colors for the hexis, then the plain linen or cotton for the embroidery. It was tough choosing between the 5 fabrics in the pack, but I finally settled on a darker one for the border and two lighter and more cheerful ones for the center.


Then I made my first hexi. This can become an obsession in and of itself. It's quite satisfying to piece them together! I made nearly all the hexis needed in that first sitting!


This is the back. I'm using fancy paper because it was what I had onhand that would work. I am a crafter on a budget, so I'm just making do with what I got.


My first time hand embroidering! I love love love it!!! So soothing and just plain fun. I am a bit annoyed at how his left eye (on our right) came out a little big compared to the other eye, but it was also my first go at French knots (I'm an experienced cross-stitcher, but always used a bead in place of French knots). I haven't made the sun one yet, but that's because I've been stitching away on four other projects!

Yes, I have completed a total of five embroidery pieces since first trying it two days ago. I had so much fun with the sunglasses that I went back to Joann's and got some more supplies to make Father's Day gifts. I am quite pleased with how they came out, but I'll wait to show them off til the weekend.

I've been stitching non-stop and only wish that some of this mojo would apply to my knitting...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nibbler


The newest member of the family!

Charlie and I like to browse the craiglist pet ads every now and then just to see if there's anything interesting and he saw an ad for a free-to-good-home Rat Terrier. We had been wanting to add a small dog to the family since Gideon went to live with his mom and stepdad last year (and he's much happier there than he was with us... Barrett was too much for him, Arthur torments him specifically, etc). We got some info on this little girl, named Stella, and I went to meet her.

She's purebred Rat Terrier, on the smaller side of the breed standard. According to the owners, they got her as a pup from a breeder about a year and a half ago, but they recently moved and their city only allows 2 dogs per household so they chose to rehome her. She's a bit nervous by nature, but isn't snappy or too skittish. She took an immediate liking to me and follows me around everywhere --- snuggles under the covers when we sleep, follows me to the bathroom, stands at my feet when I do dishes, etc. We changed her name to Nibbler, like Leela's pet on Futurama. Charlie thinks she looks like an alien and wanted some sort of alien name for her.

She gets along with Partner and Barrett and simply avoids Arthur, who does enjoy giving her a playful chase around the living room, but isn't nearly quick enough (yet) to catch her. When I hold her for him, he gently pets her and she sits still for a few moments before wanting to leave again. We are ok with her not wanting to be around him since she never snaps at him even if he does pet a little too hard.

Once we move we will likely get a puppy specifically for Arthur, but that probably won't be for a while. We need to get moved first and would like for Arthur to be closer to 2 anyway. He adores animals, dogs especially, and really wants one that will just let him love on it as much as he wants. Barrett is very tolerant, but she's bonded to me. Every boy needs a dog to grow up with.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lunchbox

Charlie works at the county jail and was sad to find out that he can't take his favorite metal lunchbox with Superman on it. I've been putting his lunches in Walmart bags, but he hates that and requested a knitted lunchbox. I had originally planned on knitting Brown Bag with some bulky wool, but changed my mind when I thought about how often I'll probably have to clean this thing. Charlie can be a bit rough on his possessions and this will be in a jail, get spills on it, be tossed into the floorboard of the car, etc. I need something machine-washable. So, no felt.

I found the Happy Bento Lunch Caddy during a search and it is perfect! We don't do bento lunches (though they do look fun and may be something I'll do for Arthur's lunches oneday), but the shape is perfect for the containers I use for Charlie's lunch. I dug through my big tote of cotton and "other" yarn and found 4 balls of SnC Denim in Indigo and hooked away.


It turned out real nice. I modded the pattern to fit my larger containers and to give it a little extra room for other goodies (junkfood).


He initially said that it was a little girly when he saw how it looked closed up, but then decided that he does in fact like it.


The closure/strap is pretty clever. There are 3 small rings (one each on 3 sides) and the larger loop for the handle. Just pull the loop through the rings and it's closed up and you have a strap to carry it by.

Monday, June 3, 2013

FO and The Garden!

It seems like I haven't had a FO in ages and I finally have one tonight! I made a Genesis Shawlette for my MIL's birthday (05 May). I had all but about 3/4 of the edge finished by then, so I showed it to her and promised that it would be completed soon. Fastfoward to a month later and it's finished! The edge was just so boring after a while that I couldn't bear to pick it up most days.

I made myself work on it over the weekend and was able to finish the knitting and get it blocked and dried by today. So glad to have it off the needles and ready to go to its new home.



The true color is somewhere between the two pictures. I used KP Cotlin in Celery... I wanted a multi-seasonal, easycare, no-chance-of-felting yarn in a pretty green. I was very pleased with the color and how well it blocked out. I didn't use wires or even any pins, instead laying it flat after a bath. It turned out well enough, great knowing this because that is likely how my MIL will be drying it (or just tossing it into the dryer to shrink up and look all rumpled... that's actually probably more likely).

So the next thing that will be jumping on the needles is a felted lunchbox for Charlie. He's been pestering me for one and I guess it's time to start on it. I think I'll be knitting Brown Bag in KP WotA Bulky, Chocolate. Just need to wind the yarn and start swatching, which I think I'll do tonight before bed.

Now, for a garden update:

Everything has been coming up great, but there were a few mishaps and such that killed a few things. First, I accidentally knocked over my cilantro seedlings and they all died. Then Barrett knocked over my rosemary pot and they all died. And the squirrels... oh, those darn squirrels! If they'd sit still for 2 seconds I'd get them with the pellet gun and have squirrel sandwiches for dinner! They've dug up a few of my sprouts and I could just wring their little necks for it.

Other than that, though, everything is flourishing. The tomato in the Topsy Turvy is doing great and has a few buds starting to open up. Arthur will be so glad because that baby just loves tomatoes! He goes crazy for them. I also have zucchini, cucumbers, bitter melon (I think that's what it is, I didn't mark exactly where I planted everything), mammoth sunflowers, dill, lavender, sage, grapefruit mint, lemon balm, and bellpepper growing. Here are some pictures I took today:







Now I'm off to wind the yarn for the lunchbox and swatch!