Saturday, December 13, 2014

The making of a quiet book

My grandson is two and can count to 13, accurately.  But he doesn't know his colors or shapes.  Time for a quiet book.  I have forgotten how many I've done, at least 10.  I started when my children were small and I think I saw one so developed my own.  My daughter still has hers.  They evolved as grandchildren came along and now with pininterest they have become works of art.  This is not a work of art and it only took me 3 days to make.  I have other hobbies and grandchildren and, to be honest, I don't think Mr. C is going to notice if I sewed and embroidered a lot of details.  Most of the ideas are from pininterest but there weren't patterns for most of them so it involved looked at the picture and drawing it out with the modifications I wanted to make.  So if you want to make one,  head over to pininterest and type in quiet books and browse away.  From reading blogs and looking here are some things I learned:
....use a blanket stitch, it looks more handmade than a zig zag
....I used two layers of muslin.  I wanted more firmness but not the firmness of interfacing.
....felt was my best friend and they even have stitcky back felt I used on the sandcastle because I didn't want to sew the little windows.  I used felt doubled and stitched together for the moveable pieces like the shapes and color circles.
....most of all, it was fun!  

 I need to get some cars for the garage so Mr. C can drive on his roads.

 I also need to get some finger puppets for the train windows.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whoosh went November....

The grandmunchkins are keeping us busy busy busy and loving every minute of it.  Volleyball matches, wrestling matches, gymnastics, tae kwon do, Wednesday night children's program, church.  Not a lot of time to knit and sew but I finished up a few more things.  I am doing level 1 of the Master Knitter's Program and about ready to submit it to the committee. But in between the intensity of that, there has been some "fun" knitting.        Below is a hodge podge of November and photo intensive!                                           
 I finished this vest in May.  I took some pictures and stacked it away for fall.  I finally got modeled shots!  I love this vest, the yarn, the fit, the design, the buttons!  Olaf buttons, what's not to love?  It's the Rays of Gold vest by Elena Nodel and the details are on my ravelry page.

 I picked up my cross stitch again a few months ago but these are the only things I've finished and they were sent away to my swap partner for the Advent swap.  I have to do some more for our Christmas decorations.  Next year.  No time this year.  I learned a few things since the finished article is not what I would have liked but I ran out of time.  I should have made the hearts bigger so I had a bigger seam allowance to work with for starters.

All things Frozen are a hit and so why not Olaf pancakes?  We don't get pancakes during the week since I don't like to send kids to school sugared up so they are a huge treat on non school days.
 As I said, we've been going going going to grandmunchkin events.  Like volleyball matches....
 and gymnastics.  This little gymnast finished level 1!
 And cheerleading classes.
 For the first time our grandmunchkins that attend the same church we do were part of the worship team.  We were SO proud of them.  They sang, they stood still and quiet when not singing.
 No school November is the phrase around  here.  They are more no school days than school days so we have actitivities planned or we have hyper bored kids.  My sweet husband took the week off to spend with the kids as well.  Activities for this "no school November" included cleaning the roof and making cinnamon rolls.  Even the youngest learned to knead bread!

 Thanksgiving this year was 3 generations!  How special and wonderful.  No gathering of my side of the family would be complete without a rousing game of Aggravation!  It's more about who you can send back than who wins!

 Thanksgiving weekend ended in downtown for Holly Jolly Days.  Our grandson's tae kwon do school escorted Santa's train in and then put on a play of "Frozen".  It was wonderful!
 And as this face shows, it was throughly enjoyed.
Speaking of holly jolly...I have a stack of fabric waiting to be sewn into pjs and shirts and books and wrapped. A future blog post will be sewing heavy!  And a whole lot of Frozen.  I snagged the last of the Olaf flannel and then there's our tree...see you soon.  I hope.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tricks and Treats

October flew by in a flash and with the end of October comes Halloween.  In an effort to be different, I knit up some treats for some of the grandmunchkins.  There wasn't enough time to hit them all but several in the past have gotten something when others haven't so I think it's pretty fair.  A few in the IBK group in ravelry knit up a "Patch" in a fall swap and he was just too cute to resist.  So several found there way onto my needles and then in to two little girls' hands.  

                                           Patch number 1
 While I was on a toy splurge, I knit up the chicken and chicks from Spud and Chloe farm set for my Advent SP.  I think Susan B. Anderson is a genus.  This hen and her chicks were so fun to knit and the bottom of the hen is open so her chicks can scoot under her and keep warm.
                                                       Patch number 2
Did you know October is National Bat month?  It is!  So a granddaughter and grandson got a bat in lieu of a Patch.  The Audobon society brought bats into our granddaughter's classroom and she found them fascinating.  Who wouldn't?
And then it was time for tricks and treats!  We were so blessed this year that 8 of our 10 grandmunchkins knocked on our door for treats!  We had a biker chick, Freddy Kruger, a rock star, Dorothy, Elsa, Wolverine, Captain America, and "momas" (Thomas the Train)

The months of September and October are Advent swap knitting months.  I joined at the last minute not wanting to miss the fun.  There were several required knits, one being mice.  I knit the mice from Itty Bitty Nursery.  So cute and fun.  And I hated to send them away since they looked so cute in the teacup.
I got back into some cross stitch for the swap too.  I'm not thrilled with the finishing of the ornaments but very happy with the cross stitch.

One more bat off the needles since one of my swap partners loves bats!
And a  snowman cloth too.
The swap packages are in the mail so it's time to turn on the Christmas knitting.  Since the knitting is for children that don't read blogs I'll be sharing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yeah for cooler weather and fall activities!

I am not a summer person, nor a hot weather person, so when the weatherman predicted rain and cooler temps I cried.  It's been a long hot summer and I was more than ready for it to vamoose.  I love the rain, and fall, and cool weather.  I love the activities we do in the fall and through the spring.  
 Things like read books!  A friend from ravelry sent us this book.  I think we've read it 10 times.  What a fun book!  The art work is amazing too.
 Football!  Oh my, I love football season.  I more listen than watch since I'm churning out the knitting but I love football.  Our grandsons are playing flag football this season and we are loving the games.
 We return to library story time every Wednesday and come home with a big bag of books to read the following week.
 I've been getting a bit more knitting done.   Due in the part to the aforementioned football, but also due to the 2 hour nap time I have free while the littlest sleeps before I pick up the school kids.  I'm in the Advent swap again in the Itty Bitty group and one of the requirements to include was the nesting boxes from Itty Bitty Toys.  These took longer than I anticipated so I was glad I started them first.  Shega even helped with knitting one of them.  They were labor intensive but I loved the results.  It will be hard to send them away.  I think I'd do a few modifications if I were to do them again.

 There was also a fall swap in the itty bitty group that I joined.  One of the swapees shared her craft on the forum and I knew it would be fun to do with the kids.  She sent me some pointers when I asked about it.  Pumpkins from canning jar rings.  I wish I could come up with these creative ideas but I'm glad somebody does and then shares so the rest of us non creative types can copy.
 Step one was laying out the rings and painting the insides with spray paint.
 While waiting overnight from them to dry, we also did another craft I'd found on pininterest a year ago.  We even went leaf hunting and pressed the leaves.  They've been sitting in the garage for a year.  Using modge podge you paint the leaves on a canning jar and they use it as a candle holder.  They kids had fun with this too and although I don't have the finished project with a candle in it, it really does look wonderful with the light shining through the leaves. Lighter brown leaves work better than the dark red.

 After the rings were dry it was time to tie 12 of them together
 and form a pumpkin shape.
 Spray paint a glossy orange and we used a metallic copper to accent.
 Sprinkle glitter on the wet paint.
 In their minds there is no "too much" glitter.

 Success!  Can't wait for them to dry and put on the table with our candle holders.