Thursday, December 20, 2012

Super Big Finish and Itty Bitty Finish

This super big finish is a project that I have been working on for several years.  I have taken breaks to do other things and make gifts for people, but on average have probably worked in about 30 to 45 minutes everyday.

I am so proud to have actually finished it!

 I could not believe my good fortune in finding what I felt was the PERFECT fabric to line the front and also to make the back.
 This is the back.  I totally love, love, love it!
 And here is the front.  This is THE biggest most complicated cross stitch project that I have ever made.  To say it was a challenge would be a huge understatement!
 There is lots and lots of backstitching in all different colors and thread amounts.  There are half and quarter stitches.  There are places where there is one stitch in one color surrounded by other single stitches in other colors - sometimes with two threads of the same color, sometimes with two threads of different colors and sometimes with only one thread.
 French knots with this lovely, shiny, but very slippery gold thread.
 So many details :o)
 Love this dog and how the package in the background looks 3D.
 A starry, snowy night.
 A tree of many, many shades of green.
 My very first go at couching and with that super slippery gold thread.
 Hanging in it's proper place, finally finished for my oldest daughter who will be going away to college next fall.  This is her last year to be living under the family roof.  So proud of her!
 My itty bitty finishes are these earrings.  This set is for my oldest daughter.
 Christmas ornament + ear wire + 45 seconds = cool holiday earrings.
 This set is for me!
Feeling good today!!  I simply cannot believe the Christmas stocking is complete, it has been on the top of my craft stack for so long!

Sharing with Tami, Fiber Arts Friday, Creative Friday and I've Made Friday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Do you have scads of these plastic bags??
 I do/did!  They were everywhere!  I had bags of these bags.  It seemed that they were taking over corners in my home - you know, where my yarn needed to live!
 I took each bag and turned it into these strips.
 I now have a tote bag full of strips so that I can.....
 Knit with them!  For right now, I think this will be made into a recycled grocery bag to carry my groceries.  It's really quite strong.
 I really like all the different colors!!  It's just so cool!
I picked up these two magazines the last time I was at the store (I couldn't make the picture verical) and am reading them right now.  It is getting colder and I just feel the need to be in the kitchen cooking up a storm.  Of course, chocolate is a necessary part of most meals :o)

Sharing with Tami, Ginny, and Kristine and Lydia.

Friday, December 14, 2012

New dress for Chrissa

Chrissa, my daughter's American Girl Doll needed a new dress.

And this is what I came up with.  A simple sheath.  It was super simple and took almost no time at all.  I love these quick, simple projects that make my kids smile!!  It really makes my heart sing.  I think Chrissa needs more dresses for Christmas!!

Lots of great finished objects over at Tami's, Fiber Arts Friday, Linda's and Lydia's, and Mindful Mothering.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Wrappin' - not the singing kind or the present kind, the knitting kind!
 I have contracted a virus.  This virus is called startitis.  Have you heard about it??  Oh, it's so contagious!!  But, oh so fun!  As usual now, Tux must be in the middle of everything.
 I found this fun and beautiful yarn one day while I was at Michaels.  I had just dropped off my youngest daughter at a girl scout meeting, I was feeling a little blue and had about 90 minutes of time all to myself.  So....I decided to have some retail therapy time.  This yarn and several others found their way into my basket.
 I had no idea what it would look like knitted up, but it looked kind of fun in the wrapper.  Now that I have knit a bit, I love, love, love it!
 This is the yarn unknitted - didn't it look fun?  Can you see why I just had to have it??
 We also celebrated a birthday - Our youngest daughter turned 11 and requested her favorite chocolate cake in my "fancy" bundt pan.
 I couldn't disappoint her!  And I filled the hearts with melted chocolate wafers of different colors.
Look at that face!  Did she like it or what!

Take a look over at Tami's, Kristine's, and Sara's.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Naughty Kitties

We have two new additions to our family.  Actually they cam  home with us a few weeks ago, but have been a little skittish.  I'm not quite sure how we ended up with them......We decided one sunny Saturday afternoon to go for a walk as a family.  We set off and were enjoying the sunshine and conversation.  The younger ones were running everywhere, playing some imaginary game that only they knew what was going on.  At some point, we decided (the youngest) that it would be a great idea to go get ice cream.  So....we reversed direction and walked toward one of our favorite ice cream stores.  In the same strip mall as the ice cream store, is a pet store that just so happened to be having a cat fair that day.  The kids begged us to just go "look" at the cats - they just wanted to look at them and hold them.  My husband and I fell into this trap and said, "Sure!  Why not."  HAHAHAHA
 Meet "Motor".  He is most likely almost a year old.  His original name is "Honey Bee" and the kids still call him this sometimes.  I call him Motor because he has the loudest purr that I have ever heard.  When he gets going, you can hear him in another room.  This picture doesn't show just how pretty he is - his tail has lots of grey hairs in it and he is so furry!  He loves to lay on this little guys bed a bedtime and J reads to him.  Otherwise, he meows outside my oldest's room (while she is playing the violin) because he likes to be in her room while she practices.
 Meet "Tux".  This one is a true kitten.  Her original name was "Kate", but of course that wouldn't work because the dog is Kate.  This kitten is so cute, but such an imp!  She is a hunter and continually "hunts" the parakeets (poor birds!).  She is always underfoot attacking our legs and feet.  She sits under the table at meal time and tries to jump in our laps so that she can peek out and steal the food off our plates.  All that is very cute.  She has one other habit that is not so cute.....
 I know this picture is very dark, but can you see that one broken warp thread on my table loom?  We can thank Tux for that.  I caught her chewing on the threads!!
See this broken thread, this is another one.  She was running under the loom and then would jump up through the threads and out the top.  The kids think this is hilarious - me...not so much.  I took my handy dandy spray bottle that I use with water for ironing and sprayed her every time she went under the loom.  It only took about 3,769 times but she stays away from the loom now.  It's sure a good thing that she is so cute!!

I haven't been reading much in the line of real books.  Been working on "Carrie" by Stephen King.  I had been cleaning out some things and came across it - I remember liking it a lot, but I think my tastes have changed over the years.  I am almost done with it and have not enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.  Other than that, I have been reading my crochet and sewing magazines and planning for my daughter's sleepover birthday party this Friday (she is turning 11) and then our annual family Thanksgiving party on Saturday.  Please don't ask me why I thought having a birthday party on the eve of the big family Thanksgiving party was a good idea!!  Obviously I am a little addled!

Hop on over to Tami's, Ginny's, Kristine's, and Sue's places to see other great projects.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Knitting Class

When I decided to teach knitting to elementary school children, I had no idea what they should start with.  I learned to knit as an adult and I started with a scarf, but even as an adult, it seemed to take FOREVER to finish that first project. 

I thought about why a scarf might usually be the first knitting project.  I believe it is so that the new knitter can become proficient at the "knit" stitch and create something in garter stitch.  A scarf provides lots and lots of practice in this one stitch.

I wanted my students to get the same kind of practice, but be able to successfully finish a project a little more quickly to keep them interested and excited.  To that end, these patterns were born.
 The Stuffed Monster.  Just rows of garter stitch which is cast off, sewn up, eyes and mouth added, stuffed and finished.  They learn a lot and can finish in a 4 week class.

To my surprise this was not the most popular project picked on the first round (for session 1 or now for session 2).  The kids that did pick this project and finished it, elected not to add the teeth.  One of my students has made a few of these (a "family") and she did not want to use the pom poms, so her eyes are just buttons.  I must say her little "family" of stuffed monsters is really cute!
 Wrist Warmers - this project has turned out to be the most popular.  About 80% of the students pick this one first.  None of the students have actually made these yet.  They get to the length of one, and are ready to cast off, but don't want to knit another one so we turn the piece of fabric into either a bag or a monster.
Bag-this is the project that has been made the most.  It is just a simple little bag, but the kids who wind up making it are so happy.  I have a boy in this second session of classes and by the time the first class was over, he was half way done with his bag.  He is in the third grade.  Next he wants to knit a hat and I think he can.  Another student has made several of these, but she modified the pattern so that the bag is much smaller to hold her little animals at home - each one needs a bag.  She was totally surprised that I was unaware that each of her little animals needed a bag to sleep in - I guess I am totally clueless :o)

I leave my class completely jazzed and excited about what these kids are doing.  I can't believe that they have so much concentration at this young age.

My first class of the second session was especially amusing.  There are four girls who know each other pretty well and they all sat by each other.  Well, after they cast on and figured out the knit stitch, they sat there knitting and talking the whole time.  They compared their knitting and helped each other out.  Just like I do with my knitting group.  A new group of knitters is being formed!!

Head on over to Tami's,  Wonder Why Gal, Linda, and Sue for other finished lovelies! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Doin' My Own Thing

It's been quite awhile since I last posted.  So many good things have been happening!!  And crafting has been going gang busters - but not in the traditional "I made that" kind of way.
 I started teaching knitting to elementary school kids (2nd grade through 5th grade) once a week after school for two hours.  It has been such a blast!!  I had no idea how it would go or even it there would be any demand for this kind of thing.  I created a flyer and sent it out.  I advertised for 8 spots.....20 kids requested to be in the class!!  I took 12 of them and started a wait list.
 Today I am starting the first class of the second session and again I have 12 students.  7 repeats (kids who want to continue) and 5 new ones.  How great is that!!

Each kid gets their own "kit".  I make them one of the Capri Sun bags to carry their knitting in (all knitters need a bag!) and I include needles, yarn, scissors and a darning needle.  I think the kids like the bag as much as anything else.
 They all start out making either a purse or a stuffed monster pillow.  Rectangles of fabric which are then sewn into something useful.  This is just to get them started on the garter stitch fabric - so they can practice without having to knit a whole long scarf.  In the first session, all 12 students finished a project.  One of my students finished a purse and has started a hat!!

I made this sample bear to show them that each piece is just a "rectangle".  They have watched week to week as the knitting progressed.  They saw when each piece was completed and I showed them that each piece was indeed a rectangle and they each were capable of making it.  I can't wait to show them the bear in completed pieces and next week they will see the completed project.

I did it this way for a couple of reasons.  The most important was to show them that it takes awhile for a project to go from start to finish.   I made sure that it took all four weeks (and more) to get all the pieces done.  I also made "mistakes" and ripped them out right in front of the students - everyone makes mistakes and it's all good - it's just a form of learning how the stitches work.  And I wanted them to feel like it will be a real possibility for them to make one of these too.  The student who is working on the hat wants to make one of these and I believe she can do it!!

I can't believe that I can make money at something I enjoy doing.  I love to work with kids - I love that "lightbulb" moment when they "get it".  There have been so many of these over the last month.  And of course I love to knit.  Such a win - win situation.
Don't you just love that little face?!!

Head on over to Tami's, Ginny's, Sara's and Kristine's to see more works in progress.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sewing Hexi Puffs

Are you sick of pictures of this project yet??  I feel like I need to work on something else for awhile, but if I do, I'm afraid this will never get done!
 Last progress picture
 Where I'm at now - that's 106 puffs all sewn together.  Somehow I thought it would be bigger than this by now :o)
 Don't they look so sweet together?!  I am also totally loving the weight of this thing.
 Some of the "special" ones - still trying to keep those somewhat near the middle.
The book I am reading.  It was recommended by one of my daughters.  Not quite sure what I think of it yet, she loved it so I will keep reading to see if I like it better as I get more into it.

Sharing over at Tami's, Ginny's, Kristine's, and Sara's.  Come take a look for more great Works In Progress!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Noon Art - Little Treasure Boxes

A new school year, a new noon art.  I organize (with the help of some amazing ladies!) noon art every other Thursday at our elementary school.
 We set up the tables - 9 of the 6 foot variety and lay out all the necessary supplies.  This year we made tablecloths to cover the tables and boy what an improvement that has been!!  Now when the glue gets all over the place, instead of having to scrub and scrub and scrub the tables, we just pull the tablecloths off, bring them home and throw them into the washing machine - easy, peasy!
 Lots of sequins, beads, markers - can't go wrong with sequins!
 Someone donated these little "specimen" containers for noon art.
 The kids loved this activity.
 Boys and girls alike - we had as many boys as girls in attendance.  That has been my goal the past two years since I started doing Noon Art -- to find projects that would appeal to both boys and girls equally and it has to be something that grades 1 through 5 can do in 20 minutes.  WHEW!!
 Lots of sparkle on this one :o)
 More than 100 kids came.  Many of them made several of the boxes - we went through about 350 of those little boxes.  It was fast and furious in Noon Art this day!
 This boy made about 12 of the boxes - he made one for all his siblings, parents and grandparents and of course the custodian - how sweet!
 If a little glue is good, more is better :o)
 We also put out left over Mardi Gras coins from a party my friend had thrown.  We absolutely did not anticipate how popular those were going to be.  One huge box of coins - GONE.
 So sweet.
 This girl thought she had "made a mistake" on hers and came to me in tears.  I asked her why she thought she made a mistake and she told me because she had glued things on the inside of the box.  I let her know that there are no mistakes in art - you can do whatever you want and it's perfect.  Then I asked her if she would like to make another and she nodded her head and got back to her art - glueing things on the insides of her boxes.
 This is one of my son's boxes.
 This is another - he loves to make 3-D stuff.
 I love the combo of pen and glue on this one.
This one is interesting - the student colored on the bottom of the box a solid color and then drew balloons on the top - you can't really tell here, but it does give a good shadow box appearance.  I tell you, these kids are fabulous!!  I love laying out supplies and seeing where their creativity will take them.

I can't wait for the next one!