Monday, December 12, 2011

Yarncrafting like crazy!

Oh man...I am definitely feeling the holiday crunch now.  I have been making stuff left and right, and I love it, but I am still quite nervous  about getting everything done.  But this is the norm...I never finish everything right on time, and luckily, I see folks at different times throughout the holidays which helps.

The other thing that is hard is not getting to share so many of the fun things I am making, as I might give away to family and friends their gifts by posting it here.  But...I can share these little baby socks I knitted up for my niece.  I doubt she'll be checking here (you know...since she is not even 1yr old yet...but kids are getting computer skills younger and

They are so cute!  I wish everyone was tiny...would make my life yarncrafting much, much faster.


PS - How does anyone get anything done when there are so many wonderful patterns on Ravelry?  I absolutely love all the inspiration, but now I have too many ideas....hmm... (If you are on Ravelry, say hi to me!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Handmade Felt Advent Calendar Semi-tutorial

Every year I go off about advent calendars.  I always want to make something, and eventually end up buying a crappy one with the not-very-good chocolates in it.  But this year, I created both an advent calendar and a way to display the cards we get. 

I call this a semi-tutorial because I feel like it's pretty simple in the end.   And I am not always the most precise person.  But I took lots o' pics to share!

First, I cut out a big piece of felt.

I made it big enough to hold 25 pockets and wrap around a dowel to hang it.

Then, I decided on a color scheme.  I wanted to do purples and blues so I cut out a bunch of little pockets of different shapes and sizes.

Then I found some ribbons, ric-rack, cutouts, bows and vintage buttons for decoration.

At the bottom there, you can sort of see a ribbon with ribbons streaming from it.  I wanted a way to display the cards I get.  So I strung ribbons from the bottom so I could hang my cards from it.

Then it was time for some decorative stitching around the pockets, the cutouts and add the numbers.

I switched up the stitching on each of the pockets and added the buttons.  In order to make things go a bit quicker, I did the stitching and then I hot glued on the pockets.

Then I added some lettering at the top.  
Finally, this is what it came out like....

You can see the are little candies sticking out of the pockets.  (And you can see that it was actually quite nice today outside.)

It was a lot of fun to make, and did not take too super long.  I can see getting even more creative with the colors, embroidery and cutouts.  

Happy crafting!


Monday, November 28, 2011

It always seems...

that there is so much that I want to do and so little time...

Things I have finished...

Winterizing the garden with mulch from chickens and apple tree...

Rearranging the house to give us access to the fireplace again...

A fun purse I made for a friend in congratulations for her new job...

Some of the many things I want to do...

Finish my holiday gift giving list...

Finish an advent calendar (more on this soon)...

Learn new talents whilst making gifts, like maybe something like this....

Get my new Etsy account and business started...

Hope your holiday season is festive, productive and restful all at the same time!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crazy gingerbread fun

It has become a tradition in our house to create not-so-traditional gingerbread 'houses' on Thanksgiving.  After having a yummy dinner feast, we bake up a bunch of gingerbread in all kinds of shapes and sizes, whip up a batch of royal icing and sit down to create funny scenes.

Here are this year's final products...

Christmas Camel visits the gingerbread house

An artistic take on gingerbread scenery...I wish was all had a banana lemon tree!

It's funny how sometimes you make something that invokes mixed this scene of my hubby's

And masterpiece....hehe....winter wonderland...err....zombieland...

Kitty had such a full day of fun she had to stretch out and sleep at the end of the night.

Hope you had a great day and great weekend!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I love craftgawker

I am sure that I am slightly behind the times, but this year I have discovered, and then recently rediscovered, craftgawker.  Basically, if you need a heavy duty dose of inspiration, this is the place to go.

Oh, and you are out and about with a few minutes to spare and you have an iPhone?  No problem...there is an iPhone app!

A few of the things I found for inspiration....

I think I will make some of these for gift wrapping for the holidays at abeautifulmess.

And maybe some holiday hair-dos....found at thefirstlime.

Or this crazy cute mug cozy over at Simply Notable.

I hope this helps you find all kinds of crazy inspiration!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hott Buns Baozi is a success!

I mentioned in an earlier blog that my hubby was starting his new food cart business soon.  Well, last Friday he had his opening night, and it was a huge success! He sold out that night, and is now realizing that he has to make even more for next weekend out.

Here are a few friends checking out the menu at the cart.  Cute little cart that did so well!

Here is the awesome menu, too...our friend did the great graphic and design work!

Exciting stuff!  Hope your week is also successful!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Graphic design and other fun...

Just had to show off my friend's awesome digital design blog.  She recently did a photo shoot for a project for school and we got to participate.  The project was to create all the graphics for a CD.

So fun!  Check it out here.

And speaking of having fun with photos....

I had a little fun, myself! 

Have a great week!


Friday, October 28, 2011


I forgot to share those arm gauntlets I was knitting with my souvenir yarn!  But they came out pretty great!!

Super soft and there is even some left over yarn for me to use on another little project.  Hmmm....what next?


Monday, October 24, 2011

Crazy doggy...

I just had to share with you all my crazy dog.  He has some how figured out how to get into the chicken run without letting any chickens out....the only thing we can figure is that he crawled under the fencing.

The thing is that he can't seem to figure out how to get back out, and thus this is where I found a yipping dog Sunday morn...  

(I love how the chickens are just standing in the back and the dog is looking at me wondering why I am laughing!)

Have a good week!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baking days....

Yesterday's theme was apparently baking.....

First, I got a wild hair to finally do some sewing that has been waiting for me for some time.  One thing that I had cut out a long time ago (ok...hate to admidt it, but I think it was close to 3 or 4 years ago!) was an apron.  It has the cutest fabric and I have no idea why it got pushed to the side.  Look at the cute owls!

And I am happy to say it was finished early enough to go do some baking in it!

But first my man and I decided to get out of the house for a few while it was nice out and walked down to the thrift store nearby.  And I found this awesome french bread baking thingy....

(Gotta love the old school box it came in!) So you shove some dough in the middle of the glass Pyrex tube and it just expands in the tube....

 Then you bake it and get yummy circle bread! :)

Well...I wasn't done with bread.  A long while back I found a madeline pan and still hadn't made them.  So for the first time I finally tried it out.

They taste good...but maybe a little over done and I filled the molds a little much.  Oh was a lot easier to make than I thought and practice will make perfect. 

Hope you had a chance to enjoy some yummy baked treats this weekend, too!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Souvenir Yarncrafting

I was recently in California visiting my family in a tiny town called Clio (as you may have read in a previous post...they have the cutest little population sign!!), and their neighboring town is a tiny tourist-y town called Graeagle.  There they had a cute little yarn shop called "Woolly Notions".  Of course I had to go!!  And what a  great selection of yarn they had!

I had also recently heard someone talk about souvenir yarn and thought it was a brilliant concept!  Why buy trinkets that will inevitably just clutter the house to say that you went somewhere, when you could get a little ball of yarn and make that into something useful and memorable!

So....I got the awesome ball of Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace yarn in a color called Lake, and have started making myself some wrist/arm gauntlets (a.k.a. warmers). I think they are turning out beautiful!

I am finished with one gauntlet, and have to admit that I bound off too tight and had to leave a little piece 'open' when making up the side,  but it is still wonderful.  Will share the finished product with you soon!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Simple things...

I have lately been thinking a lot about the simple things in life, making my life more simple, and have just had an overall need for going 'back to my roots'.

I think this means different things to different people.  To me, it is knowing how to take care of myself (and my family) by not only providing with a job, but being able to provide with crafting, cooking, baking, and farming. It is a sense of self-sufficiency, that no matter what, me and my family will be ok.

I was fortunate to grow up in a non-traditional setting - my family built our house on 10 acres of land that had no power out to it, so we created our own with solar and wind power.  We gardened, I learned to crochet at the age of 11 or so, and we were happy on the simple things in life.

Anyway, I recently found this book at the library that I had to share with others that might want to bring a little of that 'simple' life back.  It is an adorable little handbook called "The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life" by Jennifer Worrick.

In it you can find how to make ice cream, how to make old fashioned soap, how to spin wool for yarn, how to milk a cow and even learn how to pan for gold!  There are so many things that I want to try from this book.  

Hope this weekend you can slow down and enjoy the simple things.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I craft....

I have been working on what I would like to do for my crafting business.  A while back my sister and I worked on our own local crafting where we made recycled goods.  I made bags crocheted out of plastic grocery bags and ones that were the grocery bags melted to create 'fabric'. My sister made jewelry from bottle caps and wallets from the melted plastic.  I loved making these items, but we'd primarily sell at our local Saturday Market and last year we both started working much of the weekends.

But in the meantime, it has helped me to re-evaluate what I want to do with my crafting and how much I enjoy crafting for others.  And I know that the environment is a big factor in why I craft.  I want to make things that are original and are sustainable, upcycled and generally take away from the super-commercialized world with too much packaging and non-personal, cheaply made, mass produced items.

So is born my upcycled fashions.  I am in the re-birth stage and am still developing. But I had to share some of the beginnings....

Here you can see my 'new' yarn from old t-shirts.  I am using the 'yarn' to create new, bulky fashion items like this...

A chunky, fun scarf for the quickly upcoming fall days.

More to come soon...I am developing skirts, panties, headbands, and more.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My hubby's jump into the food cart world...aka starting his own business!

I am super proud of my man.  After his trip to China about a year ago, he fell in love with steamed buns, or as they are known in Beijing, baozi.  After talking about how good they were, finally he found a recipe to make them for me, and they are delicious!!

He kept talking about how cool it would be to sell these little round creations on the street with his own food cart, as he can rarely find the kind he liked here in America.  After talking about this to a friend of a friend, serendipity struck.  This person had made himself a Chinese style food cart (the three-wheeled bycycle-turned-cart kind) that he was no longer using and would let Ric use it until he could buy it from him!

Isn't it a cute little cart?

Then Ric found out about this neat website that let's you do your own fundraiser for your small business.  This very cool site is called Kickstarter, and we have set up a page for Ric.  He has 8 days left to raise $600 to help .    And they make it to where you can get goodies for your donation!  Check out his page here!

He looks good on it!  So exciting!  


Friday, September 23, 2011

End of summer...

I love Oregon.  But I am not so in love with the summer that we had this year.  It was so very, very short. But we are still trying to get outside while we still can.  Last weekend my hubby, our friends and I went out to enjoy one of our last nice weekends of the year.

Even though I got us lost and didn't find the real hiking spot...we still found a neat little area.  

Hope you get a few more days of sun to get outside!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vegas adventure

I know I have been MIA, but recently for good reason, as I just returned from a week and a half long adventure to Vegas and back.  I wanted to share a bit of my trip with you!  (And in a later post I'll share what I came home to in Eugene.)

First....the trip to Vegas! It was a grand adventure, including a super creepy campsite with Child of the Earth bugs at Walker Lake, neat rest stops, chipmunks, a crazy cemetery in Tonapah and more!

Then our 4 days in Vegas!  Nightlife, slides at a pool, art (like the Claes Oldenburg sculpture...he is one of my favorite artists), grandiose hotels and casinos, monuments, and more!  It was overwhelming and exciting at the same time! 

Finally, our time in Vegas came to an end.  On our last day, we went into the old strip area of Fremont Street, which we loved.  I had a dollar deep fried Twinkie, enjoyed the retro feel.  Then we headed over to the Neon Sign Boneyard to see the signs that were retired, before we saw the Vegas sign on our way back toward Oregon.

On the road home, we stopped in a tiny town called Clio, California to see my family.  It was such a great way to ease back into life from Vegas.  My hubby and I played in the water, had a wonderful breakfast in Quincy, got a great new ball of souvenir yarn and took one last picture....

How cute is that??

Hope you enjoyed your summer!  


Monday, August 1, 2011

New fancy skirt and a new cowboy

It's summer!  It's finally hot out!  So I made a skirt! 

Isn't it grand?

I also made a new cowboy! Haha...well I crocheted this cute little cowboy hat for my man.  Isn't it fun?