Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodwill Holds Up Nose at Undead

 my daughter wanted to be a corpse bride this halloween.  i thought "great!  easiest costume ever!" what i was picturing was walking into Goodwill and purchasing an old outdated wedding dress for around 20 bucks.  WRONG!  really Goodwill?  REALLY?  80 dollars for that skanky, puffed sleeved, circa 1980's catastrophe?  i mean, c'mon Goodwill!  does that hand sewn, 1970's, polyester monstrosity carry so much hidden value?  really?  is it in the arm pit stains?  or the torn hem?  perhaps in the SMELL?  but surely Goodwill, SURELY that dress with all the questionable stains on it will be below 60 dollars?  after all, you're GOODWILL!   people GIVE you unwanted items.  i'm almost positive that the woman who gave you that bow bedecked, bedazzled, bohemoth would have kept it had she thought for an instant that it was worth 79.99.  really Goodwill?  REALLY?  listen goodwill, i am your biggest fan.  truly i am!  the kitchen table that i am writing this on is from you, as is my living room wardrobe and a painted dresser next to my bed.  you have treated me well in the past.  i have found yarn and material in your hidden depths.  this time goodwill, well, this time you let me down.  we aren't talking designer labels, no hand sewn glass beading or intricate lacing here.  you got greedy Goodwill.   should we change your name to GOODGREEDY?

sigh. i'm going to forgive you and give you a second chance Goodwill.  we all make mistakes and  i did end up getting a costume from you.  i had to sew it all together and do a lot more work than i originally anticipated but ok.  i'm good at stuff like that so i'll let you off the hook.
one more thing before i go, just a little warning, if, in the next couple weeks, i go into one of your stores and find the prices dropped on all your wedding dresses, then i'll KNOW.  i'll know Goodwill that you jacked up the prices for Halloween, and there will be a day of reckoning.   i'm watching you Goodwill.  i'm watching you.

. one cream, long sleeved lacy top, size 4: $4.99
. one yellowish, empire waist, sleeveless bridesmaid dress, size 4: $6.99
. one pair of size 11w, white dress shoes: $2.99
. one extra long, lace table cothe: $3.99
. one bag of bugs: $2.99
. one makeup kit: $6.00

  one undead bride who clawed her way out of the grave to find her stolen wedding band: priceless.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Heather Johnson

i have a hat.  i have an envelope.  maybe this year i will send it to you.  if i could find your address i just might.  maybe.  it's possible. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

$6 dollars or less quilt

it all started when i was invited to a baby shower back in June.  i didn't want to buy a gift because, well, i'm kind of cheap.  so i asked myself "what can i make?" and the answer came back "a quilt".  i grabbed some fabrics from my stash and then sat down to draw out a very basic, easy pattern.  the pattern that i came up with could've been completed in a day, maybe 2, but i am NOTORIOUS for being at least a couple months late on all my projects.  so, per my reputation, i got 95% done with the quilt and then stopped.  it has been sitting on  top of my loom (another unfinished project) for the last couple months.  i finally finished it this week.  it only took an additional 2 hours.  well, two hours and 3 months.  here's the thing, as simple as this quilt is, it's still one of my babies.  get me?  it cost me 6 dollars and maybe 9 hours to make.  it has flaws and it's not the prettiest thing i've ever created but that doesn't matter.  i have a feeling it won't be appreciated and that bugs me.  i have a fear of finding it at the Goodwill within the next couple months but i can't let that stop me from wrapping it up, planting a smile on my face and saying "congratulations" as i hand it over.  not everyone will appreciate the things i make.  not everyone will love them.  some will put my creations into storage bins,  shove them into the backs of closets, regift them at office Christmas party or yes, even give them to Goodwill.  i can't let that stop me.  it's not about how the recipient feels, it's about my attitude in the creating and giving.  that's all i can control.

Greenleaf designed the silly creature for me.  i said "draw me a silly creature."  and she did. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rag Rug

I made this rag rug over the summer and then sewed a squirrel on it because i felt like it.  that's right.  i felt like it.  it's going for $20.

Sugar skull #1

Because I want to make some Dia de los Muertos pillows i thought i better start with a sugar skull and see how i like it.  i found a scrap of upholstery material in the basement with a nice big weave and started embroidering.  my husband says it looks like a robot skull.  i guess that's ok.  the next one i'll do in white so that it looks more like a real skull. anyway, it was totally fun and i think i'm ready to tackle the pillows.  after putting them off for a year, i guess it's about time.

i sewed it on a 2 dollar tote bag and tried to sell it for 10.  it didn't go.  i still have it if anyone wants it.

get close up and personal with death.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

time to get my BUT in gear

with the art walk this weekend i have to get some projects finished.  here are a couple that i'll be selling.  more to follow.

 still have the yellow one.
 some new hats.

ok this is weird. i can't get the picture to flip.  just cock your head to the left and look at it that way.  it's a woven runner done in broken twill with cotton and wool.  i couldn't resist a bird applique.

detail of bird.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

proceed with caution

turns out these eggs were so pretty that we were reluctant to eat them. i ended up throwing away these last four today. they were even hard to throw out. i let them go with a sad sigh.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

may to do list

. nina's pillows
. etsy store
. quilt for etsy store
. rug on loom
. gl's knitted tank
. repair purple

i haven't added anything to it in the hopes of actually finishing it. if by some miracle i finish it before the month is over, then, and only then, can i add new items or buy more yarn. AND i'm not allowed to work on any other projects until these are finished. NOTHING!

for sale for sure

the abk weaving studio is having a fund raiser this week and i wanted to donate some stuff. after looking around the basement i found 2 purses, 3 scarves, and a tote. then i took a couple days and made these knitting bags as well. i ended up having to do a lot of the stitching by hand and it was surprisingly satisfying. the green bag was easier because i had already made a bag like it for my sis-in-law. only difference being i put pockets inside for knitting needles, and i spelled out the word "knit" on this one. anywho, i don't know if they'll sell but i wish them luck. if they don't sell i'll put them on etsy. i swear, i'm still going to start a store. it just got moved to the may list.

Monday, April 27, 2009

quilt in progress

i've entered the planning stages for my next quilt. this one i am planning on selling when i get it done.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

finished camille bag

finally! i sure took my sweet time.

the lining is a sweet purple flowered cotton i had lying about. and i got the bamboo handles at 50% off. huzzah! i'm going to try to sell it for 25. too much?

embroidery detail. i really didn't know what i was going to do. i made it up as i went and decided that less was more in this instance. in most instances actually.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

soren's diaper bag

i started this diaper (tote) bag when i was in the hospital after having soren. i was so excited to make my own diaper bag but when i was done i realized i had made the strap too long. as soon as i put anything in it, it stretched down to my knees. i was so disgusted that i put it in a drawer and deliberately forgot about it. until now. i frogged the strap yesterday and reattached it at it's new shortened length. it now hangs at a lovely hip height. it's lined with flannel (bad idea because flannel likes to stick to itself) with a couple pockets and a magnetic close. i knit it with a lovely alpaca wool. very soft. i used it proudly for zumba class this morning.

that's another one off the list.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

quilt design

this was my original design for ethan's quilt. i stuck to the pattern for the most part with only a few minor changes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a quilt for ethan

i made this baby quilt for our friends matt and michelle's new baby boy. honestly, i don't know ethan, so the quilt is more for matt and michelle than anyone else. to show them how happy i am for them and how much joy i wish them. when they had their baby girl, a couple years ago, dan and i were experiencing the loss of our own baby so we weren't able to rejoice with them the way we would have liked.

i met matt in college and was immediately drawn to him. not in a romantic way (anyone who knows me, knows that it was always dan. from day one. dan, dan, dan, dan, dan.) but in the way that we are drawn to beautiful things. he is a beautiful person. i recognized that right away. i took a philosophy course just to be near him. i wanted to soak up some of his beauty. he sparkled with knowledge, debating happily. i sat and thought about the poppy scene from the wizard of oz. lost in a red, blue, sleepy haze of words. dan and i didn't meet michelle until very recently. i admit, i was frightened. i needn't have been. from the first hello i could tell that she was a beautiful person too. two beautiful souls found each other and are devoted to creating more beauty. i am happy.

welcome ethan. you are a lucky boy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

a happy easter to all and to all a good dye

i have facebook's invasive ways to thank for this idea. one of my friends bookmarked a site that i got curious about. here's what i found:
first, you go to goodwill and buy as many 100% silk ties as you can (or desire). i suggest dark colors and small patterns. they seem to turn out the best. you can probably use anything that's 100% silk. ties seem to be the cheapest and most easily found. greenleaf and i had fun picking them out.
rip the seams out of the ties and take out the lining so that you have a flat, one layer piece of silk. by trial and error we discovered that it works better if you cut enough silk to wrap around one egg and then get it wet. that's what gl is doing in this picture. soaking the silk.
next, wrap the egg as tightly as you can with the wet silk. smooth out the sides as you go, getting out any air bubbles. make sure that the right side of the material is pressed against the egg shell.
tie with a twist tie. then cover the silk wrapped egg with a light weight piece of cotton in the same manner in which you wrapped the silk. i used scraps from an old sheet and then tied that off with rubber bands. place wrapped eggs in a pot of boiling water with a generous amount of vinegar. boil for 20 minutes. let cool. unwrap.
unwrapping was the best part. this was so much fun that we are planning on making it a tradition. if you want to learn more, here's the site that i originally went to .

failure is an option, but not with this april to do list!

i am a failure. there, i said it. my punishment is i'm not allowed to buy yarn for the whole month of april. NO YARN! i'm still going to keep going with this list thing though. i think it's good for me to set goals and try to reach them. one of these months i'll actually do it. i just know it! so the april list is the march list but with a couple additions. i wish myself luck.

april list
. nina's pillows
. re-do strap on knitted tote done
. silk dye eggs done
. etsy store
. make baby quilt to sell on etsy
. finish ethan's blanket (i mean c'mon! you're 95% done) done
. camille purse done
. rug on loom
. gl's knitted tank
. repair purple

Friday, April 3, 2009

nina's down-home country apron

wanted: one apron, extra large, extra thick, with extra big pockets.

nina wanted a painting apron. one that she could get messy and grossed up. i found a yard or so of canvas and some denim in my stash and made her one. it's reversible. it's large. it's thick. it has big pockets. i'd say that's a job well done.

question: can denim ever not look country?

i refuse to buy anything if i don't have to. i had this pattern laying about. i borrowed a little something from it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

march update

today is the last day of march and i have not completed my list. in fairness i have started and at least gotten halfway, on all items except the etsy store. i've gone back and forth on it and i've decided that because i did not decide on doing the list until march 9th (thereby wasting 9 days of march) i will give myself to the end of this week. is this cheating? yeah, probably. i'm not torn up about it though. i'll post and begin april's list on sunday. and now that i know myself a little better, it will be a shorter list then march's. with nina's pillows being priority #1.

Friday, March 27, 2009

another skirt

this is the second skirt i've made from a pair of pants. green with inserts. made the same way as the pink but longer. we both like it a lot but she was not in the mood to pose for me. this is the best shot i could get.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

THE skirt

pants to skirt adventure

my daughter grew too tall for these pants but they were still in very good condition. not to mention a pretty color. i started off by cutting them the skirt length that i desired (around knee) and then i split the inside leg seams. the front seam was split to the zipper and the back seam to about the bottom edge of the pockets. before starting this project i looked at many other web sites that had done the same thing. some of them split the outside leg seams as well but i thought that was over kill. make sure to split the seams very carefully avoiding ripping or pulling at the material. if you do it carefully the material will fold under on it's own making the edges much easier to sew. next, i let greenleaf dig into my stash of remnants and find a scrap that she and i could both live with. you could use the cut off legs to fill the gaps but we wanted to "pretty it up". i cut two inserts a size bigger than the triangles that i needed. the front insert i just pinned in place, making sure the pant hem was turned under. the back insert i pin tucked first and then played with to get it to lay just right before pinning it into place. i did this to give the back a sort of "princessy" feel. after pinning, i sewed the inserts into place being careful to use a long stitch, just in case i had to rip it out again. once everything is sewn to your satisfaction you can go back over it with a shorter or fancier stitch. with the inserts sewn in, all that was left was to hem. i pinned up the hem with greenleaf wearing the skirt. it looked even on her but when she took it off i saw that the back was longer than the front. i decided to take out some of the skirts from her closet and see what they looked like. i found that, when holding them up with the waist even, half of them were longer in the back and the rest were the same all the way around. after considering, i decided that i like it longer in the back. it makes sense. after all, the human butt sticks out a bit making the skirt rise up in the back AND having a little extra cloth in the back for when you sit down never hurt anyone. i hemmed once with a straight stitch and then went back
around with a fancy stitch a little higher up. that's all there is to it. it's really very simple and now that i know that, i'll be doing it a lot more.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March to do list

because my attention span is short ( i no sooner start a project then i see something else i want to start) i've decided that i need to have defined goals for each month. by the time april rolls around these projects will be complete.

1. hat for heather (in beautiful blue) in beautiful green.
2. blanket for baby ethandone
3. turn gl's pants into skirts (2) done
4. camille purse
5. rug on loom's knitted tank top
7. etsy store
8. have decided on designs and bought material for nina's pillowsdone
9. repair purple

these are in no particular order.
i haven't decided what my punishment should be if they are not complete. something terrible.

Friday, March 6, 2009

the camille purse

my friend camille wanted to work on a project at the same time. we choose a "whimsical" clutch bag. i'm trying desperately not to procrastinate. this picture shows one almost complete side. the original pattern calls for a knitted butterfly decoration on the outside but i think i'm going to do a beaded tree instead. or a bird? i wonder what camille is going to do? hmmmm?

soren's quilted blanket

i should have had this finished months ago but i procrastinated. this was inspired by a quilt my friend K had in college. i coveted that quilt. this blanket is made from dan's old shirts, some old trousers of mine, and some misc. scraps.

new hat

at first i asked gl to model but then i realized, it's an adult hat so an adult should model it. it knitted up really quick and i was able to finish it on the train ride to chicago. i really like the color but i don't know about the style.

soren's winter hat and scarf

of course he didn't need them today in the spring like weather but i realized i hadn't taken a picture of them yet. my pretty babies.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

winter headband for leaf

covers the ears for warmth

finished hat

i love this hat. i think i'll make some more.