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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Giving it a rest

The sewing machine that is.  I think I've finished all the sewing I'm going to do for the swap packages and a bit of fall sewing for our table as well.  Just a few simple table runners.  Quilting at it's simplest.  Cleaning out the bits of pieces of fabric as well.                          

This one is staying home.  I saw the pattern on pininterest but the lady wasn't selling the pattern, just the finished table runner so I made it up.  I purchased a green jelly roll, a fat quarter packet of Christmas fabric, and a fat quarter packet of orange and yellows.  I also purchased several fall remnants and one crib quilt batting.  Using those purchases and the stash I had, I got 4 table runners.  I didn't divide it out but I think the cost was about $10 per runner.  Maybe a bit more.

This is the Blue McCaw pattern I test knit for Elena Nodel.  Oh my, I love this pattern.  It was so much fun to knit.  The lace pattern was easily read and memorized but enough to hold my attention.  The yarn is also from Elena.  Her yarn is my hands down favorite.  Her colors are so intense and vibrant.  This yarn is Opulent in Girly Fun Sock.  I knit this sweater basically twice.  The first time I knit it I did not use 2 skeins and change skeins every two rows.  The pooling was evident and I knew I couldn't live with it so I ripped back and alternated skeins.  I am thrilled with the results.

The other fall table runner is going out tomorrow to a fellow Itty Bitty friend.  There is a fall swap going on in the Itty Bitty group.  One handmade item for fall and a card.  Nothing more.  It's called a mini swap.  I received my swap package yesterday.  It was from Nicky and is a beautiful bookmark!  The postcard with the yarn has a recipe for Corn Pudding.  Sounds worth trying.
Happy Fall y'all!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I finished up some cute, and fun things.

It's that time again over in the IBK group on ravelry.  Time for the Advent Swap.  I think it's been going about 5 years now?  I almost didn't join in the fun this year.  It's a time commitment and I always seem to be late and you can choose to spend a bit.  After the sign ups were closed I lamented in the group that I'd missed them and Mel, the hostess with the mostess, offered to squeeze me in.  I couldn't refuse.  It's a secret swap and I don't think my swap partner reads my blog anyway so I'm sharing a few things I've made for it.  There are 25 things to be included and a list.  Some are must includes and some are open to interpretation.  For example, on one day you must include something red.  I haven't decided if these are for the red day, the "include something Christmasy" day, or even the white day.
 We had to include a project bag, made or bought.  I'm going with almost all made from stash this year since finances are tight.  I've had this fabric for about 8 years.  I bought it in a quilt shop in Joseph when we were camping at Wallowa Lake.  I originally made a granddaughter an outfit out of it but it was not well received.  It was too bright in the opinion of the parents.  So it's been sitting.  I loved it and it was an "aha" moment when I pulled it out and decided to make it into a project bag for me so I could look at it often.  There was enough for two project bags.  I  hope my swap partner likes it.
 A washcloth was a requirement.  I've wanted to knit this pattern for some time.  It screams home for Christmas to me.
 Another requirement was a dish towel.  I saw this gingerbread towel some time ago on pininterest.  It fit the bill!   I think I need to make another for my house.
 In the nick of time I finished up some baby gifts for an upcoming shower.  The shower is Saturday and I can't go but I still wanted to send some gifts.  Send being the operative word.  I stayed up until well after midnight last night finishing the sweater and was up at 6 this morning to put my go to gift for baby showers together..bibs.  Bibs that slip over the head and cover well.  They were born out of necessity 7 years ago when our grandchildren were born and there were 3 of them.  Three littles wanting to be fed and time was a wastin' tying or velcroing bibs.  Eventually the velcro wore out.  We were using towels anyway to cover what the bibs didn't.  Ta Da!  An idea for bibs was born and I've been making them for every baby shower since.
 One of my favorite baby girl sweater patterns:  the Tulip sweater from Dream in Color.  I haven't knit one in awhile but it sure made me remember why I have a stash of Dream in Color yarn.  The colors!  The softness!  I didn't do the seed stitch border along the front  or the i cord along the hem since I ran out of time but it's still cute.  And washable, and warm, and I hope Mommy is as pleased with it as I am.

I may have to make another.  My granddaughter wants one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Take it away school!

It's over.  Summer vacation is over.  I feel like crying.  There has been a noticeable absence from this blog because the summer was packed.  That is as it should be.  There was also a noticeable absence from sewing, knitting, crocheting, or any other handcrafts.  That isn't as it should be but it is what is.  When there are children here almost everyday and as many as 7 of them, there is no time for sittin' and knittin'.  I did miss sitting in the  yard and doing that though.  Our yard is secluded, shady, and perfect on even the hottest days to sit and enjoy.  Ahhh, well, the kids are only young once.  I did sit in the yard but more as a peace keeper with the sprinkler and hoses going.  As I said the summer was packed.  Below are a few of our adventures:                       
                                      Trips to the local water park

Time for napping
            Somebody turned two!  That was just one of the 10 birthdays we celebrated this summer!
                                             There were blue ribbons won at the fair!

                                     There was soap making
                             There was the family campout to Ft. Stevens.  The weather was perfect for playing on the beach, swimming in the lake, and riding bikes.
                           There was some Nonny cuddle time with a book.
                         What would camping be without hot dogs?
                     There were visits to the Battery for hide and seek and photo ops.
                  There were baseball games and routing for the home team.

                 There was painting in the yard and then sprinkler play to wash off.
             On a really hot day, inside play at Pump It Up was great fun.

                      There was one last trip to the water park.
                     And the last day before school starts, a trip on the rails, complete with a hold up.

Yep, summer was FUN!  And PACKED!  There was time for learning too.  We watched the entire series of Liberty Kids from OPB in half hour increments each day.  We all came away with a knowledge of the Revolutionary War.  I did manage a few sewing projects in the last week.  Little ones that will eventually make it on the blog but for now, I'm reliving summer and my eyes are misting over.  It went way too fast.  9 months until it's summer again!  In the meantime, there is fall and winter and spring fun to plan.