Saturday, May 31, 2008

The mosaic game

I've seen this game on at least two blogs this week, and since I've spent most of this sunny Saturday doing the dreaded grocery shopping and working (oh, what a life I lead), I decided to take a break and try it out.

You enter your answers to a bunch of questions into Flickr's search engine and then make a mosaic out of them. You can find the questions and instructions here.

Now, given the answer to "one word to describe you," I'm going to bed.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hectic, hectic! And weekly inspiration

It's been an absolutely hectic week, full of happy things, sad things, busy things, and deadlines not met. Unfortunately there wasn't time to knit a single stitch, plant a single flower, or spend even a moment crafting.

But I did manage to wander around the Internet craft world a little bit. Here are some interesting things I found:

Tess has written a comprehensive tutorial on seam finishes for Sew, Mama, Sew’s Women’s Clothing Month. Whether you’re new to sewing or a veteran, you’re likely to learn something new. I gained a new respect for my 25-year-old sewing machine and no longer feel that my life is incomplete without a serger.

Canadian Living, one of the major women's magazines here, has an easy-to-sew cat tunnel on its website. With three cats who are currently imprisoned inside for a variety of reasons (not least of which is coyotes), I'm going to make one of these.

Margerie commented once on finding a good, long-lasting way to mark garden rows. Family Fun magazine's site has instructions for painted garden stones.

Two projects from Craft Stylish are going on my to-make-sometime list: little embroidered pincushions made from pop bottle caps and felt scraps and an incredibly easy note card (because goodness knows I need more note cards).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday #15--For Karen

One of my far-away friends is going through some scary medical stuff with her mom tomorrow. I told her that I would keep my fingers and toes and eyes crossed for her that everything would turn out well. Because she's never seen a proper picture of me, she's having to imagine the colored-light silhouette in my profile picture with crossed eyes.

I took this photo of my daughter two years ago. We look a lot alike so, Karen, if you imagine this picture going through one of those age-progression processes to age it by about 35 years, you'll have a good idea of what I would look like with my eyes crossed. Unfortunately I can't actually do it this well--she inherited her amazing eye-crossing talent from my brother.

For another one of my Wordless Wednesday photos, see my other blog. For other people's see wordlesswednesday.com.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Projects for me! And weekly inspiration

These days (meaning in the last 13 years, since I was pregnant for the first time), I rarely make anything for myself. The last made-by-me sweater that I owned was a cute, short crocheted tank top, back in the days when I was still young and skinny.

But recently I stopped in at my favorite yarn store. I really wasn’t planning on going there and I certainly wasn’t planning on buying anything at all, much less anything for myself. I’d had a hard day and I wanted to go for a walk to clear my head; I just happened to choose a favorite walking spot that’s in the same neighborhood as this store.

I wasn’t looking for a retail therapy session, and besides, my form of retail therapy is usually very modest: a notebook or a magazine. I just planned to wander around in this store, looking at and touching the yarn. It was meant to be more of a quiet escape than a shopping trip.

But I ended up buying patterns and yarn for not one, but two summer sweaters for myself, one knitted and the other crocheted. Yikes! Neither is an in-front-of-the-TV project (as this is what tends to happen when I knit while I’m distracted), so I have to find some free time to devote to them.

The yarn and patterns have been sitting in their bag in my sewing room for a few weeks now and summer is fast approaching (although with our weather luck lately, we may still be wearing rainboots in August). I’m telling you about them in order to make myself find the time to work on them, instead of having them get buried in the to-do-someday pile. Keep me accountable, please. Just ask me how those sweaters are going once in a while.

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In other news, here are some fun ideas I found in my Internet travels this week:

Kathryn Ivy has a tutorial on dyeing yarn with Easter egg dyes.

Unplug Your Kids shows how to make beads out of straws and paper. You could use any kind of paper with this project—a couple of years ago Child Two and I used wrapping paper to make Christmas garlands.

Meg at Elsie Marley gives instructions on how to make fabric covers for tin cans. Hers are embroidered and she kindly shares her patterns.

Are your sewing tools little boring? According to Better Homes and Gardens, you can paint your shears!

At Big Huge Labs, see how to print eight photos on one piece of paper and then, using their folding instructions, turn it into a pocket-sized photo-album. I’m going to send some of these to far-away friends and family.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buttons-n-Dollars

My good friend Hayley, breast cancer survivor extraordinaire, recently met a woman named Heidi Marble, an eight-year survivor of inflammatory breast cancer. Heidi has established a registered charity called Buttons-n-Dollars to raise money to help under- and uninsured breast cancer patients with their treatment. Using donated buttons and costume jewellery, she turns broken mannequins into works of art, which she then sells or leases.

If you have costume jewellery or buttons that you're not using, please consider sending them to Heidi to help her continue her great work. You know all those mismatched earrings in the back of your jewellery box? And how about your overflowing button box? Declutter your drawers (or for those of us with a teeny tiny craft supply addiction, make room for more) and help Heidi at the same time!

To learn more about Heidi, her book Waiting for Wings, and her art and to find out how you can help, visit her Undone website. Her shipping address is

Heidi Marble
Buttons-N-Dollars
25017 NE 188th Court
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #14--Shadow boys

For another one of my Wordless Wednesday photos, see my other blog. For other people's see wordlesswednesday.com.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #13--Dogwood

For another one of my Wordless Wednesday photos, see my other blog. For other people's see wordlesswednesday.com.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oma's spoons

You might think, from my lack of posts, that I haven’t been working on much over the last few weeks. I have, but unfortunately I’ve been working more on work than on any crafts. I’ve done a bit of knitting, even more ripping out (oh, how I hate backwards progress), and some sewing, but no actual finishing for a while.

I’m posting today because the Apron Queen tagged me a couple of weeks ago and one of the options was to do a Vintage Thingies Thursday post. It’s taken me a while to get to it because the vintage thingy I had planned to write about requires ironing and—alas, it’s the story of my life—I could not find time to iron and take pictures and write.

But yesterday my mom gave me some of my grandmother’s old spoons—no ironing required! These ones are my favorites:

They’re about 4 inches long and each handle has the name of spoon’s flower written in what I assume is Dutch.


Here are the flowers:

There are also several assorted spoons and forks. The longest is about 6 inches.

One is a baby fork—I know this because it has the intended recipient's initials and birthdate engraved on the back.*

I’m guessing that the other fork might have been for something like pickles and that the spoons were for coffee or tea. There weren’t that many babies in the family. The three matching spoons (and two others not pictured here because they have a mysterious red substance stuck to them and need cleaning up) are stamped on the back with the year (1947), the manufacturer (Rogers Bros.) and the pattern name (Flair).

I’m not sure what I’ll do with them all. Maybe I’ll start having tea parties!

*If you are reading this, intended recipient, I will give it to you the next time I see you. I was going to send it to you along with your favorite meatloaf recipe and a message saying "Put a fork in it!" but I didn't want to trust it to the mail.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #12--Love on the beach

For another one of my Wordless Wednesday photos, see my other blog. For other people's see wordlesswednesday.com.