30 November 2006

tight math

Early stages of Alzheimer's meant that for almost a year I couldn't remember the name of the ridiculously funny online comic Achewood. Today I finally re-found it & today's comic perfectly fits in with my barrage of Christmas gift blog entries.

note to boy: I don't want n0 wanna-bling for christmas, make sure that shit is real. Just kidding, G-unit. Just kidding.

23 November 2006

dude, how'd you make that?

As a youngster my craft ideas consisted of sewing playing cards together to make little card holders (thinking back now, I realize that was pure genius) & gluing felt onto fun-fur to make finger puppets for members of my family. Imagine what I would have done had I had the Internet! My afternoons in the basement typing on a typewriter with unmarked keys (my parents bought it at a garage sale, I’d spend hours memorizing the sequence of letters) and sewing on my Little 'Miss Durham' toy sewing machine.....
(*just* like this one, but beige & orange...come back to me little Miss Durham....)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Would have been full of making even awesomer stuff. If you have an idea but don’t know where to start with it, chances are someone else does. Exchanging ideas has never been this simple & it’s time everyone takes advantage of it.

So here, then, are a few of my favourite online ‘How-tos’:

Dying to have a wallet that no one else does? Sick of carrying around your cash in a zip lock bag? Have minimal crochet skills? Why not make this absolutely adorable argyle wallet?
This tutorial on how to make an empty pack of gum into an ipod sleeve is down-right brilliant!
I had straight pins in my bed, in my couch, on the floor…everywhere! Until I made this adorable pin cushion. While there, be sure to check out Whip Up’s intense list of tutorials. Favourites of mine are these cutie pies and these tissue holders.
While searching for the perfect Christmas gift for the four legged friends on my list, I came across this tutorial for making fancy dog leaches. Cutest!

Of course, there are websites dedicated to the making of things. Everyone knows about Craftster, right? While it can be overwhelming at first (there’s 5 billion forums & sub-boards & what if you just want to know how to make a sock monkey?) take advantage of the ‘search’ option at the top of the forums page. This helps to sift through all the threads (sic) & get you to where you need to go. Some of my favourite Craftster tutorials are how to re-cover boring flats into the cutest shoes ever, and the endless supply of bag & wallet making tutorials. Apart from the tutorials, just reading through the boards & seeing so many great projects is enough to spark my creative firestorm. Another super amazing website is Instructables.com this little baby is an amazing forum for people to share their how-tos with the whole world! Many, *MANY* hours can be spent searching through these pages.

Lego USB stick, anyone?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

One Hour Craft is another site I visit very often & it always has cute little projects you can bang out in an evening if you need to get a craft fix in. (like a junkie…..seriously….)

SO much crafting! SO much cute stuff to make! Go! Go forth & craft!

19 November 2006

Bingle Jell Block

The Christmas clock is a tick-tock-ticking & my christmas crafting is bending round the half way corner. Only a couple of semi-huge projects to finish up & then a bunch of smaller ones & then it's hot toddies & figgy pudding & making popcorn garland for me!

And like....how seriously excited was I to actually SEE *Santa Claus* today? Very. Very excited.
After a delicious brunch we headed up to the parade!

My lovely friends taking in some seasonal lattes & some Marching Bands:

Some Christmas.......................walrususus?


This year Santa was truly on his game - sending mad shout outs to everyone. I made a small movie on my camera but I don't know how to post it to my blog. Maybe Santa will bring me some computer savvy-ness this year.

How did I keep warm while standing there? I wore my new winter coat!

I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago but I had to get the buttonholes made & then I had to wait until it was actually cold enough to wear what feels like a giant wool blanket. (mmmmmmmm) The collar on this thing is probably my favourite part.

Can be worn down....for, like, versatility:

But maybe my *favourite* part is the super secret bear guy I screened on the inside:


It's Built by Wendy Simplicity pattern 3966. I like it, but when I make it again (I think I'm going to make one in a solid dark colour..but not until after christmas) I'm going to add some princess seams on the front - as it is now it's a little boxy. All the more better to wear big handknit sweaters underneath, right? Anyway, it was a dead easy pattern to follow & I officially challenge winter to get me cold this year.

TRY IT WINTER! yeah.....that's what I thought....

In an effort to keep my father warm this year I knit him this hat last night:

I made the pattern up as I went along & yes....I am ripping it out & knitting it over again because yes......it is far too small. Those white blobs are supposed to resemble westies but stretched out like this......eh.....not so much.

At least these will fit:

Handsome christmas socks for my pops.....

I knit these on size 2 needles in Regia - A simple sock, for a simply wonderful dad.
(uhhhh...that just came out of my fingers, I didn't plan on being that sentimental.)

Looks like I've been a busy kid, huh? I have even more but it is super secret stuff that I won't be able to show until after christmas.........exciting!

12 November 2006


Long time no blog hey? It's getting dark here early now, maybe that can be my excuse. OR the fact that I've had very busy little hands these past couple of days.

Lets begin..

Last Friday I looked one of my fears straight in the eye & went to the bead store. The bead store frightens me - I love that people can make jewelry, I love that they know what to do with all the clasps & loops & pliers & stuff in there, but when I go it's always been to buy ironic unicorn or dolphin charms, never because I needed something of a specific size. Size 6 beads? What are those? Where do I look for those? How do I push through the wall of women who are standing infront of what I think it is I need? Anyhow, I needed beads for my Odessa hat, so I went there & found the perfect thing so then I came home & I knit it:

Size 4 needles
Rowan Cashsoft 4ply
The pattern was fun & easy & knitting with beads is well worth the effort of having to string them onto the yarn. I just wish I had made it a little longer so my ears were better covered. The pattern calls for cashsoft *dk*, but I bought 4ply by mistake. I used size 4 needles & cast on 130 stitches instead of 110 to make up for the difference.

My Squirrelly Swedish Mittens are done!!! And I LOVE them!

Brown Opal sock yarn as the CC colour & Trekking XXL as the MC. Uh, yes, these mittens *did* cost me almost $50 to make. Whatever, can't take it with you, right? But I love these mittens so much I just may ask to be buried with them.
There's a few obvious mistakes in the colour work in the mitten on the right but it don't stop me loving these things like crazy. I used the fabulous pattern at elliphantom knits & just added some rows here & there. I plan on having these mittens for a super duper long time, but if I did have to knit them again I'd probably use a size 2 needle instead of a 1 to accomodate my clumsy hands.

Friday night I set out to see if I could crochet a little amigurumi christmas tree ornament....

I can! And I can make it extra cute, too! It was pretty easy, I just used the shape making techniques I learned from making the sleepy-eyed cat & went with it. I got especially excited when I remembered I had super fluffy white yarn left over from the baby uggs... I want a whole tree full of these little guys!

And finally, yesterday I tried my hand at making a new wallet:

While I like how it turned out, this is definitely going to be the test pattern. There are some *major* design flaws (like the fact that the pockets for cards is upside down when the wallet is open, and the snaps are too heavy duty for the fabric (which is a cotton lining, and an interfaced tweed outer fabric. Back to the drawing board.

Whew!! Lots! And more to come!

01 November 2006

Do They Know it's Halloween?

Halloween was my first experience in self control. Not talking *too* much about my costume before it was unveiled in a schoolroom parade through the halls, waiting until *after* dinner to race out into the streets & collect loot, trying not to seem *too* eager when hands tossed candy into my treat bag. Returning home to dump out my pillowcase full of candy onto the living room floor & trying to show my parents that yes, I had tons of candy, but I was a responsible young girl & they hadn't any reason to hide it, or freeze it or do other ridiculous candy rationing techniques. It was exciting!

Last night though, there was a distinct absence of this thrill - there were no distant sounds of children chanting 'trick or treat!'. My street was dead. The only people outside were people *waiting* on their front porches for children.

I sat on the front steps of my house, a large bowl of about 90 mini chocolate bars beside me - willing the children to come. Eventually a girl in her 20s walked by dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. I tried my very best not to sound creepy, but the words "Would You like some candy" coming from a stranger are almost always scary. She accepted the candy, expressed how disappointing it was that my street was so dead and wished me a Happy Halloween. Total number of kids to my door: 5.

Here's how dead my street was last night - ON HALLOWEEN!

The whole night I had the catchy part of this song bopping through my head.