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What can we do to promote world peace?
"Go home and love your family."
-Mother Teresa

Monday, December 28, 2009

What to expect when you're expecting and your sister is crafty

I had so much fun making these gifts for my sister's first baby, due near Valentine's Day. We know that she is expecting a girl, so I couldn't resist making a doll out of some exquisitely soft pink velour I've been keeping on hand. (Speaking of hands, the doll did get some eventually, but I forgot to take a photo after she was all done.) The booties got a hat to match, too. I can't wait to see my first niece in her little tiny booties! Finally my knitting skills are up to the challenge of baby knits. Sadly, my children's infancies passed by before my commitment to gauge swatches began.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I've always admired the Christmas Cactus for its ability to create a beautiful flower out of prickly darkness. The challenge is learning to love the prickly darkness. I think I might be ready to own one this year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Violet Backpack and Blackberry Jam

Here are the last fruits of summer labors: a photo of our pot right before it became raspberry jam (now eaten) and the spontaneous free-style embroidery I did on C's backpack before I sewed it. I used the String Bag pattern from Green Pepper Patterns, and I found it easy to use with a good result; it was ready in time for the first day of school! (Even if I worked on it until 10 PM the night before-- who's counting?) Speaking of school, sewing projects for C's class have been monopolizing all of my sewing time, and then some... Starting to encroach on my knitting time too. The last time we had the privilege of being part of a Waldorf school community, we were only in the early childhood classes. I remember wondering back then how in the world the teachers of the grades found the time to do all that sewing for their students (little bags for crayons, pencils, "jewels", crowns, hats, costumes....) and also plan their lessons and eat their suppers. Now I understand. The teachers definitely do a lot of work, but the moms do (at least some of) the sewing! I will try to photograph some of the little projects before they are swept off to perform their important tasks in the 1st grade.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Wonders from the Natural Kingdom

We had the honor this summer of witnessing one of the most exciting transformations in the world! We watched a mysterious caterpillar become an even more mysterious (and beautiful) butterfly.
My children love fennel. Not bulb fennel (which they greet with apathy) but the herb fennel, which grows in long hairy stalks. They each have their own plant, and they munched on it happily this spring until we told them to stop or they would kill it. Then they came outside one day to find that they had competition: three caterpillars had eaten more than half of my son's plant. We decided to move two of them to my daughter's plant, and bring one inside to watch it transform. We (logically) fed it fennel-- from my daughter's plant, of course. It ate about six inches of fennel stalk a day for a week and then promptly stopped eating. In about five hours (while I was working, unfortunately) it made itself a chrysalis. Then we waited. For about a week and a half. And suddenly, one morning when we looked in the jar, the chrysalis hung empty and the butterfly was there! We had expected a yellow swallowtail (our best guess based on the appearance of the caterpillar) but we were delighted with what came out instead: an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (I think-- if anyone knows otherwise, leave a comment please!) Whatever it was, it was gorgeous and provided our most exciting entertainment this summer! My son was very pleased at how friendly it was when it came out. He is pictured with his great-aunt.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birthday Flowers and Doll Dresses

My daughter had her birthday recently, and I had a long bout of tiny sewing to keep me busy. She requested a new doll dress and a Little Red Riding Hood costume to go over top. I sewed the dress out of yellow and blue calico, with a bodice I embroidered by hand (free-form). The cape is made of red cotton velour lined in rose-patterned calico. It was fun to make, but I have to admit I was glad to get back to my knitting. Deadline sewing stresses me out. Who can disappoint a 7-year-old on her birthday?

This year her choice for cake was lemon cheesecake, and we had an enjoyable (if lengthy) time making lemon cheesecake with a lemon curd topping. (Triple Lemon Cheesecake from Luscious Lemon Desserts.) This is a truly delicious cake... The kind you want to eat waaay too much of.

Just want to let you know that this post marks the arrival of my high-speed internet! Thank you, Comcast (and our boss who made the installation possible!) So hopefully, I'll be posting a little more frequently now. I also have begun dividing my crafts for kids (Buttercup Corner) from my own sewing and knitting projects (now at my new blog Threadblossom.blogspot.com.) Feel free to come find me there now too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Little Sunshine

Ah there is light at the end of the tunnel! We had temperatures hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit today. It felt fabulous. Too bad I spent most of the day inside doing last-minute paperwork and folk-dancing! But I love it that I get to walk to and from workshops each day. Those 10 minute walks 4 times a day lift my spirits each time, regardless of the weather. Only 3 more days until we will begin our two weeks of spring vacation! We will be heading west to visit our good old friends and relatives... Can't deny that I also look forward to visiting all my old haunts: favorite bakery, my old LYS, and SALVATION ARMY, THANK GOD. I MISS YOU. (there are no thrift stores within one hour of my current location-- apparently New Englanders do rummage sales--which are mysterious and sporadic and in as-yet-unknown locations)

Here is a little sunshine (doll) to share with you. I made it as a special order for a special online pal, Alkelda, who is opening her own Etsy shop soon. Thanks again, Alkelda.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New Beginnings

I find it almost impossible to resist blog post titles that are either cliches or in some way refer to spring! So today we will go with the cliche. But spring is coming too! Maybe. I have been warned by locals not to expect spring anytime before June. That way, I won't be disappointed (but maybe pleasantly surprised.)
The crocuses, at least, are optimistic.
But who needs spring when we have knitting, weaving, spinning, felting and sewing? I have been happily doing all of the above this winter. The thrummed mittens represent my desperate attempt to create something truly warm to put on my hands. They are complete and working well-- just in time for spring! (Maybe)

Now the weaving... I have to admit that weaving does not attract me the way certain other textile arts do, not to name any names. The only thing that even slightly increases my heart rate in regards to weaving is the thought of weaving huge lengths of silk, linen or wool which I could then cut up and sew into gorgeous clothing/ purses. I just can't get all that excited about table runners, placemats and dish towels. However, they have their place, and I am right there where they are-- at the beginner level! Hence my long lovely piece of uncut dish towel. I may not be excessively fond of dish towels, but I really do enjoy getting to choose the colors and pattern for the first time all by myself. Weaving is one of my job perks since the community has a gorgeous room full of looms to practice on while I keep the other weavers (the developmentally disabled adult residents of my community) company. It is one of the highlights of my weeks, to sit in relatively peaceful company and weave!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Longing for spring

I don't think I have ever seen so much snow before. More comes at least weekly! However, we have beautiful sunlight here almost every day, which is very different than Michigan or Indiana.
We have workshops here to keep us busy during the long winter months. I have been leading a felting group, and here pictured are some of our recent projects. I hope to get more photos of the felting class posted eventually. My favorite workshops are in the weavery, and one of these days I will remember to bring my camera. I am thoroughly enjoying learning to weave. Not that I needed another fiber hobby!

I have been knitting... everywhere, it seems. I am currently working on a cardigan from a recent Interweave Knits magazine, and also another pair of spiral socks. Both are nearing completion, but here is an early phot of the socks.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Icy Blue

It looks like my online world skipped directly from summer to winter! I assure you, there were quite a few very long months of transition in between the two seasons. After three months in New Hampshire we have settled in remarkably well. C is enjoying her lovely local Waldorf School kindergarten, and J is happy in the predictable routine and social life of our household. We (my husband and I) have become houseparents at a community for developmentally disabled adults. We now have a much larger household to run, and that has taken some adjustment. The rewards are great however, and include the view above. My knitting hasn't suffered so far, but our internet connection has. Very infrequent decent connection means this is my first post in 4 months! I hope to get online more often in the months to come. Keep checking in!