Tuesday, December 29

Santa's present

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did. It was our first one as a family at home. Well I guess Gregg and I spent Christmas alone when I was pregnant with Lills on bedrest, but as you can imagine it was less than exciting. This year was so much fun! I had wanted to make tamales on Christmas Eve but I couldn't find any of the essentials at the grocery stores so we ended up with a mexican feast featuring tacos. It was really good and I am guessing a lot less work. Then for Christmas my dad sent us a turkey from the honey baked ham company. It was amazing and again a lot less work because it was already precooked, we just had to heat it up and make some sides. Lilly and I made gingerbread cookies for Santa, this gingerbread recipe is amazing.

Santa brought Lilly a garden!
felt play garden from Santa
felt play garden from Santa

When I started asking Lilly what she wanted to ask Santa for for Christmas. She had no idea really what or who Santa was so I started making suggestions of things she might like from him. She seemed most excited when I mentioned expanding her play kitchen with a garden.
felt play garden from Santa

Santa was utterly and jaw dropperly inspired by Homemade by Jill's felt playhouse. That playhouse is something else, all the details she used, I can see why Santa was so inspired by her. Fortunately for me, Santa knew that our dining room table also serves as my sewing table so making a whole playhouse would mean I would have to share and he knew that was not going to happen. So he decided on a single panel garden to place next to her kitchen.
felt play garden from Santa

When Lilly and I were working on her letter to Santa, we were drawing what the garden might contain some things I suggested and others she suggested, a pumpkin, green beans, and a yellow "baby" (spaghetti squash) were a must in her book.
felt play garden from Santa
(the veggies and flowers are in pockets)
felt play garden from Santa
(the fruit, birds, and butterfly are all attached with velcro)

One day when Lilly and I were in the real kitchen we both had our aprons on she noticed that I had a hook to hang my apron on and she did not. She asked me if Santa might bring her a hanger for her apron too. um, an organized play area? yes, Santa please bring one! That darn guy also thought having two bags to hold all her plates, cups and play food would be a good idea too.
felt play garden from Santa

Santa had the BEST time making her garden. Each part was so much fun to work on. And even though he barely finished it before heading out on Christmas Eve it was just not a stressful project.

felt play food from Santa
So far Lilly seems to really enjoy it. She is very into telling stories so Gregg and I have used the garden and the new play food in our stories. She likes to cook for us and now will go to the garden to pick us food!

felt play garden from Santa

Friday, December 18

friendly knits

I had two friends ask me recently to knit them each an item. They were both looking to buy something and then thought of asking me instead. Isn't that nice? I was really touched that they would think of and trust me. I had a great time knitting their requests, especially because I got to try out some new fun yarn!

Request #1:
toddler hat
Kristina asked me knit her son a hat. She saw the ones I was obsessed with recently and asked for one like that. I ended up not using that hat pattern because I had such a hard time making the hat big enough in the first place and Kristina said her son's head was a BIG one. So I went with the large adult size hat in Last Minute Knitted gifts, Kim's hats (rav link). I made it with just as many stitches cast on but just knit it an inch or two short of the adult length because well he has a big head and my yarn was worsted instead of aran or bulky. It fits him!
toddler hat

yarn: berroco comfort

Request #2:
Kristin asked me to knit her a cowl/neck warmer (btw, she makes gorgeous baby stuff and well just about everything really, she just expanded her line, go see!). She wanted something that she could keep on all day and not get in her way. Kristin and I have very similar tastes when it comes to colors so the yarn was pretty easy to pick out and oh man this stuff is so soft and luscious. I loved knitting with it (and taking the pictures). I modified this pattern to account for my bulky yarn choice (see rav for mods). All this needs is a button. Kristin is going to go button shopping(!) and decide where she wants to place it.
Kristin's cowl
Kristin's cowl

Pattern: Dear
Yarn: alpaca with a twist big baby

Knitting this for Kristin made me realize I need to make myself a cowl that is super warm. My scarf just isn't cutting it most days. That wind chill can find its way right down to my neck. I have some left over malabrigo chunky yarn from my stocking and I do love that green.

Thanks for the requests ladies!

Don't worry I did both of these projects in the past few weeks so currently I am working away in Santa's workshop. The big man is pleased with my progress!

Tuesday, December 15

mountain baby blanket round 2!

a boy version. I won that pack of I-spy quilt blocks from Lyanna, after sorting them into boy, girl and neutral, I was able to use just over 50 of them in this quilt for a boy.

mountain baby project

I think almost every quilt I work on I think to myself during construction, oh man this is not going well, those seams are crooked, those colors are silly, why can't you cut a straight line, the self talk goes on and on. And then when it is all said and done, I am always pleased with the final quilt. All that stress about design and unevenness just don't bother me after the quilt has a nice trip in the wash. This quilt was no exception, I was so hating it but after quilting and binding I was in love.

mountain baby project

mountain baby project

I think I had such a hard time liking this one from the beginning because this is my first quilt using I-spy fabrics, the randomness of the colors was really hard for me to deal with. It just looked so messy but like I said I really like the finished product. I used a brown sheet for the backing and gray thread to quilt wide random vertical lines. So this and the girly quilt are off to warm some babies in the mountain baby project! yay!

finished size: 49" x 49"

so now I can focus on a little project for Lills. Santa sent word from the workshop that I am way behind schedule! yikes!

Thursday, December 10

a robe and the mountain baby blanket project

One present checked off Lill's list! And it was something she has been asking for for months. a blue robe. I wear a robe all the time, they are just so cozy and warm, Lilly decided she wanted to be cozy and warm too and she is really into matching outfits.

Lilly's blue robe

pattern: see and sew 4635
material: plain old blue fleece

It is a little big on her, I ended up having to try it on her, but I think it should be okay after I took in the top around the front band and shortened the sleeves. I will probably let her open this a few days early. I am a bit worried that she is going to be overwhelmed with all the presents she is going to get and I want her to really enjoy each one as she opens so we are thinking of giving her our gifts spread out in the few days before Christmas. But maybe that is part of the fun for kids on Christmas being completely overwhelmed with presents!

mountain baby blanket project
Another thing completed, a blanket for the mountain baby blanket project! Nicole and I worked on this one together. We choose to do a rag time quilt so we could each complete squares and sew them into strips long distance then I sewed all of our strips into a real live blanket and cut up the seam allowances for the raginess. I think it is quite pretty. The colors really pop and it is such a nice cuddly blanket. Nicole choose the color palette and she used all the really fun prints. Who cares if our seams don't match so that the last row had to be cut off to make it all match, as Nicole said "I am proud of us!"

mountain baby blanket project

mountain baby blanket project

mountain baby blanket project

Pattern: this tutorial, we cut our fabric squares 8", batting 6", 80 blocks
Size: 60" x 48"

I have been slooooowly working on another mountain baby blanket. I really want both of these quilts to be sent in time for the babies to be warm at Christmas so hopefully I can bust a move on it this weekend.

Monday, December 7


We put up our Christmas decorations this weekend. such fun thinking of the memories of each treasured ornament. In decorating, I came across this wall hanging:
wreath wall hanging

wreath wall hanging

I completely forgot I had made this. I think I forgot because I wanted to improve on the next one I did but clearly now I am not going to make another one. I was inspired by this wall hanging, frankly I am inspired by everything she makes. I used heat and bond to seal the squares of the wreath to the backing fabric and then stitched two circles around the squares to give it a wreath feel. I also stitched "joy" with my machine. I think next time I will use thicker thread, like quilting cotton or maybe go over it a couple times, just so the letters stand out more. I really like the idea of these little decorative quilt pieces or even just a fun block pattern to try out but not make a whole quilt.
wreath wall hanging

I finished a present for Lilly this weekend, hopefully the weather will perk up to get a photo to share!

Wednesday, December 2

granny stars and an anniversary

granny stars!

crochet granny stars!

crochet granny stars!

(tutorial here and used her "edit") aren't they awesome?!?! I have big plans for these, BIG. But first these will go on our tree. I did spray starch them so my points would be proper star points. I just can't get enough of granny crochet lately. I have all these wants but I need to hold off until after Christmas. I will say I figured out how to spice up our silhouettes and I am excited to get to it!

So two good friends of mine met in graduate school. They fell in LOVE. big time love and got married last September! The Mrs. is extremely crafty and she did SO MUCH of the details for the wedding herself. A total DIY wedding. Sadly, we couldn't attend the wedding but she posted on her blog most of the projects she did for the wedding. It was almost like we were there. If you are planning a wedding, I HIGHLY recommend you go to Nicole's blog and look at her wedding crafts (her wedding was also featured on style me pretty), like I said she did a lot and she has a great style. One of the projects she wanted to do was a wedding quilt as a form of a guest book. She had all the guests sign a piece of muslin and then one of her good friends and bridesmaids sewed them into a gorgeous quilt top. Well I will just let you read about the project here but that good friend of the new Mrs. asked ME to help! I was so excited that she asked me. Like I said I am still sad we couldn't attend the wedding or really help in anyway with all the DIYness, so I was extremely happy I could help with this wedding project. Thus an anniversary quilt was born...
anniversary quilt
anniversary quilt
anniversary quilt
anniversary quilt

Jess made a gorgeous quilt top and then I quilted it up. I was very nervous to quilt it, I really thought and thought how to go about it and how not to mess it up! Go read on Nicole's blog about the quilt and see more pictures. Happy Anniversary Nicole and Grant!!

if you are getting married you should do a wedding quilt too!

p.s. I think there were 5 couples that are married now but when each of us started grad school in the University of Oregon's physiology department we were single. We all found a fellow graduate student or even an undergrad that sparked that little something in us. (in my case it was a very hunky undergrad) If you are into physiology and are single, I highly recommend University of Oregon's grad program!

Tuesday, December 1

Happy Advent Day!!

Christmas Advent Calendar

I am so excited to start the advent calendar today! Last fall my big project was this advent calendar. I am still really happy with how it turned out and Lills is going to be even more into it as compared to last year. She might even get that we only do one ornament a day, last year I remember she wanted to keep putting one up after the other. If I have time I would like to put up a border around the whole thing and redo one or two ornaments but I have so much other things I want to do I will probably never do those things (such as life with a craft addiction).
Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

I feel a little bad that I ripped on my ornament wreath the other day. I got so many nice compliments on it. I felt I should expand on why I don't love it. Basically, the tutorial called for 80 ornaments, I only had 40. So I needed to make my wire hanger circle smaller which was super hard to do. I couldn't get the wire hanger to close tight enough, in comes Gregg with muscles. He got it closed but also broke two ornaments off. I didn't want either of us to try to get it to close tighter, in case of more broken ornaments, so there is a silly looking gap at the top. Also because the circle is smaller, the hanger is off to one side (looks like a decoration from whoville). If I could make a good, big, proper bow the gap wouldn't be a big deal but my bow making skills are so sad. I can just do a regular bow so I did that and wrapped ribbon to hide the hanger. And since the hanger is off to the side I hung it up just under the bow. I do love the actual wreath just not what I did to the top. Anywho, this is a great project and for those of you who loved it, you should really make one. It is super simple aside from my problems. And like I said Lilly loved helping me with it, so it is kid friendly too.
ornament ball wreath
(those two blue ornaments are killing me, Lilly wanted it like that...kid, ever heard of symmetry?)

ornament ball wreath

Happy Advent Day!

Sunday, November 29

want to make list: christmas crafts

A nice long weekend with cooking, eating, shopping (Joanns was everything I was hoping for on Friday!), playing, and crafting! It is official...Christmas crafting has begun!
November 353
(she really was having fun, that is her concentration face)

Lills and I worked on this ornament ball wreath. The tutorial is great but I don't love our final product. I needed more ornaments, I only got half as many as the tutorial suggested (I didn't see that before I went to the store) but it was fun for Lills and I to do this together and we got all the ornaments from the dollar store which it made it cheap.
ornament ball wreath

This list will grow and grow with all the new ideas around blogland for the season...Yay!!

for the tree

wooden ornaments
stuffed house ornaments
felted tree ornaments
crochet birdies
felt birds
granny stars (done!)
granny trees (done!)
polaroid ornament

for the wall

ball ornament wreath (done)
pom pom wreath (done and just for everyday!)
framed trees
crochet garland

for the table

table runner (no need my mom made me one!)

I hope you had a long weekend too!

Wednesday, November 25

turkey cards

Not too much to share in the way of finished crafts for me this week. I am knitting away on a sweet sweater for Lills. We sat together looking at possible sweater candidates and she died with excitement for this steggie sweater. I have the back and two fronts done, next up are the sleeves but I need to get some yarn for the scales. A few more blanket blocks are also in the works for the Schuyler Blanket Project. I am also planning my attack on Joanns and possibly Michaels for Friday. I have had my wish list ready for weeks, now to sit down and see what is actually on sale!

turkey cards

Lills made some turkey cards to send to our family but of course we are late and they are just getting mailed out today. She was such a little rock star with this project. We got the idea here but instead of that cool painting technique, we were lazy and cut circles(ish) from past art projects for the turkey body. We showed her how the turkey needed feathers, a head, and legs and she took it from there. Is it wrong that I wrote in the card that the crazy looking thing on the front was in fact a turkey?
turkey cards

wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! I think the Christmas craft season is officially ON on Friday, don't you?

Friday, November 20

sophisticate and pom poms

I was itchin' for a cute quick baby knit. the baby sophisticate!
baby sophisticate sweater

so wonderful this little pattern (Rav download link) and quick quick quick I tell you! I started last Friday and it was blocking by early Sunday. and nope I didn't even ignore my family to get it done that quick. I am not going to add buttons for awhile, I have no idea what sweet baby will be gifted with this so I will hold off on the buttons. Lilly wants one for her baby doll, "my baby not have a sweater, you make her one?" yeah right kid.

baby sophisticate sweater
(I bound off too tight! dang it, I am always too loose and the one time loose is good...)

The yarn (cascade eco yarn) came from the flower shirt I was working on for Lilly. It was first going to be a flower baby dress, then I realized that the dress would be way too big for a baby so I made it a shirt for Lill's but no way that was going to fit her for like 10 years so I decided to make myself a shirt (yes that is how big it was!) but then I was going to run out of yarn. So I decided to find another project for this yarn. I still have a bit left not sure what it will be enough for though. I still want to make that cute little baby dress just cast on less stitches. I got gauge for the project I just need to be better about measuring my project and thinking about who it is for.

okay on to the pom poms!! I think there are about 40 or so pom poms on this thing. I stopped counting and I am SICK of making pom poms and the fuzz oh all the fuzz that is around my house. I have been too lazy to vacuum and that fuzz is everywhere! As soon as a vacuum and I feel like making pom poms again, I am going to do this with them. Isn't that the prettiest?! We are sending all our Christmas presents home this year since we aren't traveling, and I think those pom poms would hold up so well to shipping not like big ribbon bows. okay anyway back to the real pom pom project...
pom pom wreath

pom pom wreath

doesn't it have a lovely 80s log cabin feel? I think all those shaggy pom poms and those wonderful colors give off that vibe. (I am serious about those colors, I love them). I still like it, even more than me though is Gregg. He freakin' loves it. I really like when he likes what I make. At first I added a few pom poms in different spots around the wreath and I really liked the look of a few bright pom poms with the soft muslin wrapped wreath. I might try another one with less pom poms. I used almost 5 skeins for vanna's choice in brick, olive, kelly green, terracotta, and pea green. I think mustard would have been really nice in there too. Actually, I had planned on making this for Christmas but when I got to the store I just couldn't help get wonderful everyday colors. anyway, tutorial here!
pom pom wreath

pom pom wreath

Have a good weekend! Are you doing what we are?: Thanksgiving grocery shopping! Lilly's daycare is having a Thanksgiving party today with ALL the fixin's, we are bringing yams covered in butter and brown sugar. The cook started roasting the turkeys in the wee morning hours, I bet it is going to smell really good in there when I drop her off!

Tuesday, November 17


a few cozy knitting projects

:: mittens for my girl in her signature blue color.
Lill's blue mittens

She loves them. She really likes that they match her hat. Whew, she wears both now! I think there is something penquiny about her thumbs. I think next year I might try a different pattern for her.

Pattern: family of mittens from Holiday Knits
Size: smallest child size
Yarn: lion brand pound of love in denim

::Flip Top mittens for me!
flip top mittens

I love these babies. See the mods on my raverly page.
flip top mittens

Pattern: bulky flip top mittens
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds in earthy brown

::and finally an apple cozy!
apple cozy

I really love my apple cozy. I wash and dry my apple at home and then at work my apple is ready to go and bruise free! I think this would make a great gift but I can't think of anyone that I know for sure packs apples around. Gregg does and but I already asked and he declined an apple cozy.
apple cozy

Pattern: apple/pear cozy
Yarn: noro kureyon

I am knee deep in a pom pom project now. I can't wait until its done, so excited!

Thursday, November 12

Crochet Heart Ornament Pattern: UPDATE

crocheted heart

I had a few requests for the heart ornament pattern to be written in a chart format. I can barely read crochet chart patterns let alone write one. After months of putting it off I finally did it and I think it will make a heart! I hope it will make you hearts and it is not just made up jibberish. All you expert chart readers please let me know if I can improve it at all.

crochet heart ornament chart pattern
other views of this chart can be found here. I should say that the large circle the stitches surround is indeed the 4th chain from the hook I just made it huge to write all the stitches around it. Geez I hope this makes sense!

Again, as stated in the original post with the pattern, the beginning of this heart is not my pattern it comes from Suzie's Crochet, post here. I made sure to ask her if it was okay to post the pattern here and lucky for us she agreed! Yay! happy crocheting!

crocheted heart

this heart is going on our Christmas tree, I have so many plans for ornaments this year. But I am not doing any supply shopping until Black Friday. I get just giddy thinking about all the deals that Joanns and Michaels will have. I can't wait for the sale flyers to come in the mail!