Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blast 10 :: Gone fishin'

and so, apparently, has the battery charger for my camera ...bummer.

But it is here somewhere, right? One would think....

I have looked every stinkin' place I can think of - guess that's the problem. It must be one of those "how did it get there?!?" deals. Oh well, after contemplating not posting since I lacked a pic, I thought, 'now, how dumb is that' and am posting anyway. I will pop the pics in as soon as the charger magically reveals its hidden location to me. Now,  back to our regular scheduled programming....

As I was! I have been wanting to make a fishing game for ages. Literally, since my almost 11 year old was little. This was one of those situations where I wanted it to be perfect - and never did it. This time? I let go a little and here I now stand, rod in hand...fishies just waiting to be caught.

The fish are just simple ones, a hint of fish if you will...made from wool felt. Each are cut free hand so they're all a bit different from each other (love that) with a smallish round magnet sewn in. Same deal with the worm; only this time with a  ribbon sewn in as well. The dowels are from Casey's - their lot assortment to be exact. You can purchase a whole bulkbox of seconds that are a mix of everything. We've had a bunch of fun checking those pieces out and imagining what wonders they could hold...

Super sweet. Super simple. And done. Why on earth did that take me so long? That's okay, its still in time for a little one's birthday in a few weeks. We have 2 this month so the crafting around here will be pretty much birthday oriented 'til the end of the month. Oh yes, and then we have one more in maybe just a bit longer.

Completion time: 1 hour and 15 minutes (all that hand sewing does add up!)

Now, if only I could find my charger....

(Charger found! Monday afternoon :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blast 9 :: More (night) owls...and some mermaids

Maybe it was the string of late nights....maybe the creative juices just weren't flowing but, there I was... nursing the wee one to sleep and the next thing I knew - it was 12:30 am. And not a single craft to be had for the day either. I strictly adhere to the "better late than never" philosophy (how else might I get anything done?) I started in on a quickie craft.

I had wanted to try out these embroidery hoop wall hangings for some time but, well never made the time (not to mention that there was a serious lack of wall space in our old home). So, with this new house and its many bare walls...I had my chance. And grabbed it at nearly 1am.

Love, love this cutesie owl fabric and these colors are actually many of the same ones here in this retro early 80's kitchen of mine. Thing is, ironically, the kitchen is the one room lacking in wall space so, I looked around and found the nearest spot where I could still enjoy them and found - the laundry room (well, alcove really). Not to mention every time I go out into my studio...a little hit of inspiration every time.

(note: notice i am sparing any viewers the overflowing mound of laundry spilling from my hamper...)

My crafty blast for the day and it only took half an hour.

Well, half an hour of moving the hoop around the fabric to find just the right owls and configuration. Finally, I began to cut. Only, well, it was nearing 1 am and I cut the fabric too close to the hoop so I didn't have enough fabric leverage to pull the cotton tight. Time for a redo. There now, an extra 2 inches around the hoop and it was perfect. I thought of gluing some ribbon around the edge of the hoop but went for the natural look instead. Those owls are pretty darn cute on their own.

Btw, if you were interested in entering this week's drawing (once a week, every week!) for that mermaid/heart would be the time to leave your comment! I'll throw the names in a bowl, have my little one pull one out and  post the winner on Monday - good luck to you!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blast 8:: Sunshine girl

Swim lessons, morning camps, driving a teen around, a teen driving us around, picking up kids from camp, holding our own camp, friends, more friends... did I say friends? Goodness, life is beautifully rich.

Here is a little of what came before my crafting today....

and when it was all said and done and all were tucked in tight., here is what came after; turning this...

into this ~

...for my birthday girl. This girl who loves orange and yellow - little bursts of summer -  and a splash of  blue for the summer sky and lake & ocean she loves so much.

The beads came from here- love, love them and all the good work they do.

So fun to pick up a craft that I hadn't given a whirl since my oldest was in the womb. Amazed at how it seemed like it was just yesterday that I had last beaded some string. So very glad that this destashing while crafting is bringing me back pieces of myself I hadn't connected with in ages.

Hopefully, creating something is finding its way into your days too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blast 7 : A crown and unfinished business

Oh piles of half done craftiness, how I do love thee...

Today was one of those days I needed a quick blast. Not just fast but....supersonic really. Life with 6 from 17 to 5 months sure can keep you on your toes most days. That's when I remembered these fun gals....(hmmm, and guys!)...

Now why do I have a stack of crowns this close to being done...but not quite? Hmmm, yes,  I'm stumped too. I think maybe I like to tease my projects...."oh your soooo close, aren't you? wouldn't you just love to be finished? yes? ...yes?...."

They are so patient with me.

Just one was all I had time for today though. Here she is...happy day for her the lucky little gal! I think she may be the one flying off on Saturday for this week's she calling your name?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blast 6:: As of LATE

As in "what the heck am I thinking, its 2 am!". As in, "Oh sorry, yes these are maybe a smidge late but finally done"....(thanks for your patience Leslie!...although I am still not super crazy about these wings).... Well, the last of the strep cure is due in an hour so let me grab a couple of toothpicks for my eyelids and write while the house is so very quiet.

This little guy was meant to go out in June as a prize ...yes...June. And yes, I do fully realize that it is now almost August. Almost, I do have a few more days....Seeee, it was just those wings...see them there? They were and still are driving me crazy. I 've had complete creator's block with those stinky little things. Wrapping the felt? Naw, that would cover their stripey bellies and that just wouldn't do. I even thought of making a wee costume of sorts with felt...a little pullover deal with just the tiniest neck hole for the head and slip some wings on go either. Oh well, maybe I will give it another whirl, another day, another time ....(another life?) me little felt bee wings....I will not be defeated! I will persevere in the face of felt. I will...I will...Oh, I am so very, very tired....sweet sleep - take me now.

the wood bees and hive were painted using Stockmar watercolor, dried, then rubbed in beeswax (how fitting!). All with the aid of my little helper as you can see (this was a few months ago...)

oh, hi again!  ummmm, ~ taking full advantage of the sun's rays, I will be posting in the a.m. from now on...which makes these posts rather than the day of..the day after ;) which bumps my done date to...July 22nd 2012 (gosh, that sounds so far away doesn't it?)

and pppsss? i also managed to make these little doohickeys here from dowels, knobs, some glue and ribbon tucked between the dowel and knob....she loves them!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blast 5:: Tag Blankets - otherwise known as shark toys

Lest one think that life is all about napping babies, lazy berry picking, movie watching and crafting goodnesss...I give you cleaning. An entire day of it in fact...because all of that creating sure can get messy (those little paper snippets manage to migrate all over the house if left unchecked). And, while the cat's away (or busy crafting) the little mice will play...and play...and play some more (and the dog will shed, and kiddos need to be fed, and dishes washed get the picture).

I also told myself when I started this challenge that I wouldn't.let it take over our home (as in hiding from the windows when friends arrive unexpected because the house is a disaster or realizing that it's 3 o'clock and no one has had lunch).There had to be a balance. Like...sweet little tag blankets for unassuming little baby sharks. That kind of balance.

Speaking of, someone is turning 5 this week...five months that is. Now, where that (almost) first half year has gone I can't say but, I can safely say this seems to have been the fastest babyhood we have seen. Too fast.

In celebration of this 5 month anniversary I thought the time had come to finish the tag blanket that I had started a few weeks ago. Well tag blankets, but I figured she only needed one so that was my goal for the night 

With all three of my machines (2 vintage Kenmores and one newer Viking - the Kenmores are actually my faves...good little work horses those gals are, well, when they're working) all in various states of disrepair (missing bobbin, belt issues and tension trouble), hand sewing is where its at these days. So, it was another night of movie watching  (Whip It) - this time with a little (actually a whole lot...) of stitch accompaniment. And can I say, that movie almost made me want to move to Austin and get my derby on. Almost....

My roller derby dreams aside, I was reminded of how much I love hand sewing - a lot. I started in high school and it was years 'til I switched over to machine sewing for anything. Quilts were my thing back then and they were hand stitched. My, my....someone had some time on her hands back then, huh? Still, I do truly love it. It works like meditation for is a little peek of my latest mantra...

A simple 9 patch square made from 4x4 squares of Kokka linen fabrics with a cotton Kokka backing. Tags are of cotton ric-rac, some vintage, some not. I bet she will love attacking and chewing on those little bits...Happy 5 months sweet baby....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blast 4:: More Envelopes....(and some blueberries)

Because someone....a little someone loved those little envelopes and wanted to make notes for friends, herself, her family and maybe even passersby on the street at the rate she was going.

And this was good! Time to break out the bag of vintage and newer wrapping paper I thrifted about a year ago.

I decided that I would mix it up and make some fancy cards for some of the envelopes...

(blue card stock is from  here - our absolute favorite craft store) and use just plain paper construction paper for others.

I loved seeing how just by folding the paper you can highlight certain parts of the designs.Such a treat to see little birds or flowers popping up in just unexpected but perfect spots.

But, I'm jumping ahead a bit. Because our crafting didn't get going til well into the evening.

First, our day started with this....

Which, of course, led to this....

Then some swimming for the bigger kids, a nap for baby (hmmm, I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here) and a little craft-prep time for mom (while the dishes soaked, again). When the guys got back we had some dinner and got to card making. Two hours later I realized it was way past bedtime....time seems to have its own speed in summer.

After the older kids were asleep (another mama party ensued  - hmmmm, I think some little people are getting their sleep schedules slightly muddled). When they were tuckered out, hubby and I watched Pirate Radio (fun movie!) while I folded, and folded and folded some more into the wee hours of 2 am (the time we are scheduled to give the strep cure so I was a little justified....maybe).

Paper crafts are usually not my first choice for crafting (one reason why, although I loved the vintage wrapping paper, it sat around for a year). I think it has to do with my confidence level in my creative abilities. See, look at that, yet another reason to add the list of why this stash blasting so good! It gives me a push me out of my crafting comfort zone. So glad I gave it a whirl  too since I found this really enjoyable and something that was easy to do with the kids and while watching a movie. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Another part of this process that was enjoyable was the feel of working with the older wrapping paper. It has a different weight than most wrapping paper made now. Much heavier and often  texturized. It was also super sweet seeing old tape marks on the paper from years ago when someone had been gifted something inside it then tucked the paper away for later use. Such fun imagining what may have been inside those packages so long ago and the relationships they represented.

Maybe even a little more fun? I also imagine those people never would have guessed that 40+ years later their saved paper would be repurposed by a mom and her kids to create cards to say "I love you" and "You're my friend" and... "Thank you".

Yes,anonymous  ladies of long ago....thank YOU for your saved treasures still enjoyed today...and maybe even for more years to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blast 3:: Envelopes

Because it's birthday season and having thank you notes handy means they'll get sent, right?

This was actually a quick fix, fun little project! The super simple and quick tute for envies from precut paper can be found  here. I finished 20 envelopes in four listens of this song (thanks Helen!) while the guys were swimming, the baby slept and the dishes soaked in the sink. Also super nice was the chance to use some of the stash from a scrapbooking bag full of goodies I won from a silent auction this past spring. The envies are made from 8x8 sheets of scrapbooking paper with a dab of  this cool and very easy to use glue that was also in the bag. The finished envelopes ended up being roughly 4 x 3/12 inches.

Aside from the fact that I tend to be a "good enough" kind of girl and I think crafts like this and my ...'oh my, I can't even imagine origami' temperament...might require a bit more preciseness than I usually muster on a given day this was a pretty satisfying little excursion. A bit of my ummm, learning curve can be seen if you closely at the picture...

I guess tomorrow looks like a day of miniature thank you notes ;)

Oh, and our winner of a little owl? Hmmm, let me mix up all these names here...and.....Oh! It looks like Helen!  Now wasn't THAT easy peasy? ;) Let me know which one you like sweet lady!

Next Saturday night I will draw another winner for something crafted during the week, just say a quick hello in the comments section and I will randomly draw a name - good luck!

Blast 2 :: Late Night With The Gnomes

Day 2 and I already had missed a post? Hmm, not exactly off to a bright start but I did work on something. A bunch of somethings in fact. A little backstory....
Yesterday was our last day of our almost 2 week visit with 'the cousins' so we were busy busy staying cool and having fun.

Around 9:30, when we got home, everyone was sound asleep so all I had left to do was transport everyone into beds and then get stitching.

Until the universe had other plans.

Now, I managed to get all of the bigger kids off to was the smaller ones that had party plans with mama. Up til midnight kind of party plans which made posting a little tricky (I have decided to largely post at night... well, other than this exception - being Saturday, I have backup - as my brood are early risers and going from the get go...)

I ended up sitting on the floor next to the bed those littles and I share and popping caps onto some gnomes I had been working on - some for years, and chatting away...I think it went something like this...."It's really late guys...time for sleep...okay sleepyheads...time to go to (yaawwnnn) sleep". She said as she stayed up gluing. I tell you, kids can spot the inconsistencies in a flash..

I mentioned years because for some it was truly that long...see, I make these little guys and their hats and then somehow...the hats never make it onto their heads so I thought this was my this was my chance. I gathered up all the little hatless folk and started gluing. It was perfect really, I needed a quick blast and these guys needed some headgear.

Maybe its my Gemini nature but I always have about 20 projects going on at once and about 2 actually see completion so I am really looking forward to seeing some projects finished. Oh, and today will be a twofer since I will be working on , hmmmm, something today as well - post coming tonight on that one (and a drawing winner if you leave a comment... ;)

And by the way - this is what I found a little after waking today. Little fingers finding new little friends.

Can you spot the gnomes in the flowers?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blast 1:: Owls

I was informed many...many....many times from Little L's sibs that she was sorely lacking in toys. Mind you, this began the day she came home with me; fresh, new and thoroughly unable to hold a thing. So, you can imagine the excitement when she actually was able to grasp a finger and hold onto an object for more than a second. Then came the ultimate fun - what we fondly refer to as  the "shark attack " - that mad rush of energetic "get it in my mouth now" craziness when this babe has her grip on something. Awwww, our sweet little shark... (note: the cashmere is super soft against baby's skin and the carded sheep's wool inside makes it extra cuddly too).

Maybe this is a bit of cheating as these were made within the past 3 days as part of my destressing from a house full of strep. But maybe not so much, as I had these sweaters sitting around for ages, waiting for their new lease on life in some new form or another. See, that's completely my problem here, not wanting to "waste" any of the goodness I have laying around. Thinking I could always make something better so I had better not waste it on <insert perfectly fine idea here>. Pretty silly, huh?  That's how I ended up in this mess:

ahem, literally. sorry for that eye sore...

I admit, in the moving in, moving out (still working on that one) and all the in between...getting this space set up has been the last on the 'to do' list. Someday I say...someday...But that's a whole 'nother post.