crafting


Day before yesterday I put my hubby to work on fixing the window in the back door. It’s been broken out for awhile now, and the board we had over it was loose and letting hot air in. I had him screw a board over the top and the bottom window and now it’s not only nice and dark back there, but not a wisp of air is coming through. It’s not pretty, but it did the job.

He had to go into the garage to cut the board to fit and when he did, Moxie came bolting out of the garage carrying something. She dropped it and we noticed it was a baby bird! Paul and I both freaked out a bit, got it away from her, only to have Gutter try to take off with it! After wrestling it away from him, Paul picked it up and took it back into the garage to see if we could find it’s nest. We let the wrens nest in the garage because we don’t keep anything important in there and they help keep the bugs down. We looked around a bit before realizing that the poor thing didn’t have a nest, but the mommy wren had plopped them right down on the garage floor against the wall!

baby birds

Paul carefully put the little thing back with its siblings and we disposed of a fifth one that had moved away from the group and died. We finished up quickly in the garage and left them alone in hopes that mommy wren would come back and take care of them.

I decided to check on them this morning and get a picture of them and they’re doing great. They look pretty plump so mommy is obviously still taking care of them. We don’t go in the garage too often, so hopefully they’ll get big and strong and continue the fight against black widows and water bugs in our yard!

Anyways, here are the beads I talked about yesterday.

matte czech glass beads

I’ve really been enjoying incorporating beads into my knitting. Several years ago my Aunt Noreen taught me how to add beads to my crochet. She’s amazingly talented and has a good 75 years of crafting under her belt. For some reason though I loved the look of beaded crochet, I never enjoyed doing it. It was too bothersome to string the beads on first and then crochet because I would inevitably add too few beads or colors in the wrong order. I’m loving adding them to my knitting though because I can place them one at a time without pre-stringing them. These are on the large side, about the size of a pony bead.

matte czech glass beads seed 2

These ones are 2/0 seed beads; small but not tiny. I love the colors so much! The beads are kind of frosty looking, the package of the smaller ones say they’re matte. I’m not super educated on beads or beading, so I don’t know the difference. I got the beads at the swap meet in Golden Valley. GV is about 10 or so miles out of Kingman and though it’s building up fast it’s still pretty small. The lady that owns the bead shop thingy is set up year round (It’s an actual building in the open air swap meet…there’s a few long term buildings) and she’s open four or five days out of the week. She’s got this little bitty shop, but it’s stuffed to the ceiling with beads and beading equipment of all sorts. I love it there! She’s got 6/0 seed beads by the hank and she’s very reasonable with her prices. She’ll even split the hanks in half or into single strands; it’s awesome! I’m not sure what I’m making with my beads yet, but they’ll be going in to some sort of knitting.

caron heathers deep plum

Here’s my yarn. Nothing special, but I took a picture for my ravelry stash and decided to share. I love the color so much! One thing I love about Caron Simply Soft is that it may be acrylic and it may be cheap, but it’s so soft and I love knitting with it. The only complaint I’ve really got is that it tends to pill. I think it may be because it’s pretty loosely plied, but it’s not a huge problem.

I’m off to knit now, and do more laundry. I’ve been going nuts washing up everything in the house and getting it organized. It’s amazing how I’m always complaining about not having any clothes, yet when I go nuts and do all the laundry and put it away instead of throwing it on the bathroom counter, I’ve got a decent amount of clothes! Funny how that works.

I realized this morning that I hadn’t posted anything in almost a week!

The craft room is still clean!  Success!  I’m really hoping that with all the junk I threw away and how I organized it, the room will stay cleaner than before.  I even threw away about 30% of my stash when I cleaned!  I’d decided to get rid of a lot of partial balls of yarn and a lot of the acrylic.  I’d originally planned on donating it somewhere, but truthfully I couldn’t allow myself to because there was Gutter, Moxie and Cordova hair strewn through it and I smoke.  Most knitters and crocheters I know don’t smoke or if they do, they keep it away from their stash.  I smoke in the house and I’d hate to foist stinky yarn off on some unsuspecting crafter.  Anyways, the room’s still clean, but the dust is already threatening to take over again.  One of the trials of living in the desert.

Paul took a couple of vacation days this week so he could recharge his batteries.  Today is his first day back to work for the week and I can finally get back on schedule!  I loved having him home, but things tend to get screwy when he’s here on vacation.  I don’t clean, I cook things that are bad for us…mayhem people!  Truth is, I already miss him a little because him being home was fun *wink wink*, but I’m kinda glad to be sitting here planning the rest of the day like normal.

I’ve been knitting away at the Central Park Hoodie.  I’m finished with the back and I’m currently working on the ribbing for the left front.  The back seemed to take a long time, but I think that’s (in part anyway) due to putting it down for almost a week to work on the craft room.  I checked and my gauge is pretty much on, just a tad larger than necessary.  I’m cool with that though…I personally like things to be a little larger than too snug!

So; nothing too interesting going on.  I’m mainly just happy to have some things done that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now.  Not much new on the crafting front.  Oh!  But I did pick up some new yarn on Friday and some beads on Saturday.  I’ll get pictures of the beads tomorrow.  The yarn is nothing special, just some Caron Simply Soft in Deep Plum.  It’s the same color I did Hammie’s Hedgerow coat out of.  I loved it when I first bought it and want a sweater out of it too.

I think I’m trying to put off getting off my butt and getting stuff done. I promised myself…just one more cigarette. Then it was, until I finish this cup of coffee. Now it’s; after I post because I PROMISED I’d post! I crack myself up sometimes 😀

cph back

I didn’t get the back finished like I’d hoped, but I’m closer. I took a break on throwing shit around cleaning to watch a couple of movies with Paul last night and managed to start the arm decreases. It’s been easy going so far, but sweater backs usually are. We watched One Missed Call and it was good (with a nice twist at the end) but it made me really want to see the original Japanese version. They’re so much scarier than the American versions. Then we watched In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and it was mediocre. Jason Statham was hot hot hot as usual, but I thought that with a cast of Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, Ron Perlman, John Rhys-Davies and Leelee Sobieski it would be really good….shoulda known that Burt Reynolds would ruin it. LOL, kidding, kidding. He wasn’t the only bad bean, but meh…if you’re watching strictly for entertainment and you’re not paying too close attention to the poor script it was okay.

Anyway! Paul and I played with the idea of making something Yoshi related for his Mom for Mother’s day. She loves Yoshi (from Mario fame if you don’t know who he is) and she loved the star mobile that Paul made me for Christmas a few years back. I took his idea of Yoshi cut-outs and morphed it into the mobile idea. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the money to get the supplies soon enough and when we did get them, we didn’t have enough time to finish before Sunday. So, it’ll be a just because gift or a birthday gift. This is what we’ve got so far:

yoshi mobile start

The stars will be the base of the mobile and there will be 12 Yoshis total, with a baby Mario in the center. As you can see, I’ve got two done so it’ll be awhile before it’s finished.

As for what else I’ve been doing? When we moved the living room and bedroom around night before last, we threw things all over the place. My craft room was a disaster area before, but now? It looks like something Squalor Survivors would post on their site.

craft room junk

It’s even falling out in to the hallway. I’m working overtime trying to get it at least somewhat presentable and it’s not going to be easy. I’m moving my sewing stuff, painting stuff and probably my paper craft stuff in to the old bedroom. I’ve already started:

old computer

I’ve put my ancient computer in there and I’m in the process of cleaning it up so I can play Sims and Sims 2 on it. There seems to be a problem with the cd drive though, so I don’t know if that’ll be possible. If not, I’ll start using it to categorize my craft stuff. The computer took up the tops of two of my file cabinets in my craft room.

sewing table

I set up my sewing table in there and I’m going to use the space under the table to store totes of fabric and other sewing related stuff.

paint shelf

I made little shelves to store my paint bottles out of the old dowels from the closet. When I pulled the closet out last year I kept the dowels…good thing…they’re perfect size for my paint and now I can see what I’ve got without rifling through a box!

makeshift bookcase

I made a makeshift bookcase out of milk crates to store some of our books. We don’t have nearly enough book shelves to house all of our books and this works as well. I just put some small dowels through the sides of the milk crates after I stacked them and voila!

shelf

I took the shelf from the living room that was housing all of our music collectibles and other junk and put it above the tv in the new catch all room. Now when I’m in there sewing or what have you I can watch tv or a movie. I’ve already got a disc of Keeping Up Appearances in the dvd player.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Busy work. I’m hoping to get some semblance of order back to my craft room soon because I hate seeing it look like that. If I can just keep making a dent in it every day maybe it won’t take too long to finish.

After errands (okay, before errands, but don’t tell!) I did some craft shopping. Shopping in general really, but crafty stuff was obtained as well. When getting ready to take Paul to work today I realized I had pretty much nothing to wear. One of my last presentable tops had fallen off the line on Tuesday and dear Moxie dragged it through the mud. Since I hadn’t washed it yet I resorted to wearing a paint stained tank top with my hoodie over it to cover the worst of it. I decided that it was time to find at least a couple of decent tops.

I found one adorable top at Walmart. It’s white with red and coral-ish plaid, poof-ish sleeves and a scoop neck. It buttons down the front. BAAAD description, but it’s really quite cute. I probably look pregnant in it because it dips in under the bust, but I don’t care. I also stopped at a thrift store and was really pleased to find five shirts and a brand new pair of pants. It should have come up to about $13.00, but they were doing half off today so I got everything for $6.50 and they threw in a purse for free. I’m not complaining! I also found several pairs of pants that’ll fit Paul so I’m going to go pick them up later today.

Back to the crafty stuff though…

I picked up the paint to mod my guitar faceplate!

before

I’m kind of scared! I doubt I’ll be able to screw it up completely and even if I do I’ll still be able to play my guitar once it’s dry, but I hate failing and once I start with this I can’t really go back. Wish me luck, seriously! I’m excited, but nervous!

I also found some beads:

jade beads

They were on clearance for $1.50, which is about half of what they cost originally. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise! I like the different greens in the package and I thought it might be fun to do a shawl or wrap with random beads thrown in. Now I just have to find an appropriate yarn.

I also picked up yarn for a blanket I’ve been wanting to make for awhile now:

teal blanket yarn

It’s just plain old Red Heart SS, but I really loved the color. I always stop and look at it when we go to Walmart and I finally bought some. I just checked the pattern and it looks like I’ll need about twice the amount I bought…whoops! Anyway, the afghan I’ve been itching to make is this one here. It was originally (as far as I know) in MAGknits, but since magknits was pulled down the designer is hosting the pattern on ravelry as well as a pdf on her own blog. Now, I hate making cables, but I absolutely adore the way they look, so I’m going to try to start this project with a positive disposition and hope I find it enjoyable. I WANT to love cables, I really do! I just get irritated with the fiddling of the cable needle slowing down my knitting. I’ve learned how to do cables without a cable needle, so I’ll have to really look at the pattern and see if I can do it that way.

So! I’m going to quit blabbering and go put my first coat of paint on my guitar faceplate. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I was going to try something different today and add a slide show of what I’ve been doing, but apparently wordpress has issues with flash and I don’t feel like taking the time to figure out how to circumvent it.

So, the last week, in picture form:

I spent time with my adorable family

Awww

Took Moxie to the vet for her shots. Afterwards Gutter stared Moxie down

kitty scares moxie

Then he got lovey with a chair leg

gutter love chair

Dr. Evil says “Hi”. He used to have a mini-me, but he committed suicide.

hello fishie

I worked on Valpuri for mom. I love it, (hate the cables, but love the top) but I’m really unsure if she’ll like it. I haven’t decided if I’ll continue with it or not.

valpuri for mom

I started a soft ball for the dogs to play with. If they like it and don’t tear it apart in a day I’ll make them more.

i will be a ball

I’ve been knitting garter stitch squares on the bias. They’re quick, colorful and completely mindless knitting. These are about 4×4 inches I think, and I can work on them while watching tv or reading without worrying if I’m going to screw them up.

bias garter squares

I had this cute crocheted strawberry in my queue on ravelry and decided to make it the other night while my hands were itchy for something to do. It literally only took about 20 minutes to make.

crochet strawberry

I got to spend some much needed hang out time with Hammie last Thursday and she had me try Guitar Hero 3 on her ps3. I loved it so much (and Paul and I had been talking about it…it wasn’t completely spur of the moment) that I went out the next day and bought the game and two guitars. We spent most of the weekend playing.

guitar hero 3

All my game gear needs handmade stuff. I’m working on two guitar straps:

pink cabled guitar strap

A pink cabled one for me, and a green and navy one…for me too (because Paul probably won’t use it)

green and navy guitar strap

I’m also planning on modding the face plate because it’s removable. I’m thinking pink, with a Dresden Dolls plane logo, but that may change.

I also spent some time outside. I didn’t do the much needed yard cleaning I should have been doing, but I enjoyed the good stuff that was blooming. Not this though:

damned weeds

Stupid weeds. They literally just started cropping up about a week ago. I’ll probably have Paul take them out with the weed eater, but I’ve contemplated leaving them and telling people I’m cultivating all the green I can.

There’s beautiful stuff growing too though. I have a tea rose bush in my back yard

tea roses

The flowers are so delicate and beautiful. The bush itself is a behemoth…this is only about half of it:

about half the tea rose bush

It’s taking over a whole corner of the yard and while I’d really love to leave it to overgrow and beautify an otherwise ugly yard, I’m going to have to either trim it back or tie it because it’s perilously close to the air conditioner.

grape vines

My grape vines are doing fabulous, despite me not watering them properly. One of these days when I’m feeling adventurous I’ll fertilize the bed and set up a drip system for them so we can have some decent grapes. The birds ate most of them last year.

lilacs

These lilacs are in my front yard. They smell wonderful and I love the pale purple of the flowers. I admit now, I’m a total lazy ass and don’t tend things like I should. If I did, I’d have three huge lilac bushes thriving in my front yard instead of the one at the end. I don’t water them and I should. That’s my confession for the day.

I know it’s a lot of pictures, but hopefully no one is on dial-up! I just haven’t been in a blogging mood lately and wanted to catch up. I’ve noticed that I don’t feel like pulling out my camera much lately, but when I do, and when I get my ass on wordpress I want to blog, but it’s getting me there that seems to be the trouble. ugh! I’m going to try to be better about it, if for nothing else than to keep a log of what the heck I’ve been up to!

Happy belated Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox to any who celebrate! Not having kids, we don’t really do baskets or egg hunts or any of that fun stuff, but I decided to dye some eggs last minute yesterday. They’re colorful, cheery and make me happy!

easter eggs

Nothing special, just plain old liquid food dye, but they turned out pretty. I used some neon food dye for the first time and granted, upped the amount of dye/vinegar ratio in the water, but I was very pleased with how vibrant they turned out. They were even prettier before I dumped them back into the carton for storage.

While shopping for egg stuff I came across these adorable monkey containers:

monkeys

They only stand about 3″ tall or so and I thought they’d be perfect for my bentos! I figured I could use them for dips, yogurt, fruit/veggies, etc. They’re so cute and they’re really easy to clean since there’s not too sharp of corners or crevices inside. I love cute stuff 😀

On Friday, I decided that I wanted a new book to read. I’d written a list of a few books I’d heard about recently that I wanted to try to find. Of course, I left the list at home and didn’t remember any of the titles or authors so I fell to my standby–craft books! I decided that I wanted to find a book on miniatures that delved a little more in to information on scale and covered several topics. I was super excited when I stumbled across this book:

miniatures book

It covers a lot of history on miniatures and is full of pictures. They’re black and white, but still impressive! There’s a whole spread on Queen Mary’s “doll house”, and I only put that in quotes because I think it goes so beyond just being a doll house. It’s a true work of art. Besides all of the rooms being hooked up to light and water, every piece was painstakingly made to scale over a three year period by experts who studied the original pieces in the mansion. Absolutely breathtaking.

The book is a little on the old side, (Copyright is 1975) so there are a few supplies that are no longer available, BUT, there are things comparable out there and I’m sure I could hunt some of it down if I decide to make anything from the book. They have a chapter on woodworking, one on textiles and even a chapter on how to make scale pieces from found objects. Awesome! I was even more excited about picking it up when I found out that it was a used book and the price was only $8.50 ($8.99? One of the two) The other miniature book I’d had my eyes on was smaller, had less information (though it was in color) and they wanted $25 for it. Score!

To go along with all that miniature talk, I thought I’d flash a picture of a work in progress:

mini wip

I’m not going to say what it is, just that it’s made out of a ping-pong ball and that it’s really effing hard to divide a half sphere in to even pieces! Hopefully I’ll have the piece that has yet to be revealed finished by the end of the week so people can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be!

Finally, some knitting content…

I’ve been using a lot of my spare time the past few days knitting. It’s starting to get warmer, so why am I breaking out the wool?! I mean, once it starts getting hot around these parts, that’s it…it’s frickin’ hot and we don’t get much in the way of cool days until usually the end of October. Well…it’s because I got bit by the shawl bug. That’s right…this giant bug made out of lacy wool swooped down and smacked me with a load of stitch markers and told me I must knit a shawl. To please the shawl bug I got out some of my prettiest recycled wool and cast on not one, but TWO new shawls.

cozy wip

This one is called Cozy, from Knitty. I’ve been looking at this pattern for about three years now but there was something that I didn’t really love about it. Then I saw one that a lady on ravelry had made and I fell in love with it. The pictures on Knitty’s site just do not do the pattern justice. This is a rectangular stole. It calls to cast on 85 stitches, but I cast on 115 because I wanted it longer. I think once I finish it and block it out that it’ll be really big and it’ll open up the pattern well.

The second one is called Kiri (Link is to a .pdf file). It’s a triangular shawl with a leaf repeat and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can do lace pieces with charts, but unless I’m completely focused I screw them up every time. This pattern has the option to knit the shawl using a chart or written instructions – I chose to use the written! I’ve decided that all lacy patterns look like caca until you’re finished with them and can block them. Once the piece is spread out you can really see the details.

kiri wip

Okay, I think I’d better go before I post so many pictures it takes a year for my page to load. I didn’t do any bento preparation this weekend so today’s lunch will be thrown together last minute.

I’ve noticed I’ve been a little lax on posting the last week, but it’s mainly been because I’ve been working on stuff and trying (trying being the key word here) to do a little housework.

I’ve been knitting away on a cardigan for myself called Mr. Greenjeans. I’m calling mine Mr. Tweedjeans since I’m using some of that monstrous mountain of tweedy yarn I posted about awhile ago. I didn’t mention the sweater before because honestly, I’ve had a lot of false starts on sweaters for myself lately. This pattern is a top down raglan and I’m past the waist right now so I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably finish it. There’s still quite a ways to go, but I’ve done the most tedious part…the bust! I put the sweater on waste yarn and tried it on and was surprised to find it was kinda big on me. I was expecting it to be a little snug. No complaints though, I like large comfy sweaters much better than ones that are snug and constricting.

I took a break on the sweater to make an instant gratification project.

cupcake

I’ve always loved little crocheted and knit food items.  They’re cute.  This little guy took me less than 30 minutes to make, not counting the time I played around with the sprinkles and trying to get creative with the photo.  If anyone remembers the little alien I made awhile ago, this cupcake pattern is from the same designer.  Hannah Kaminsky is so darn creative.   I put a few drops of strawberry scent in the fiberfill before I finished sewing it up and it smells so good!  I queued a bunch of different knit and crocheted foods on ravelry so I’m sure I’ll have more to show soon.

On Friday Paul and I went to Laughlin with my parents and had seafood buffet.  I’d never been in the Avi casino and it was pretty nice to get out of the house and DO something.  I ate a ridiculous amount of crab (and little else!) and afterwards we played slots for a couple of hours.  We took a little over $100 with us to fool around with, with no intentions of walking out with anything.  I never expect to win anything, that way I’m not disappointed when I don’t.  We blew through it pretty quickly.  In the 11 or so years we’ve been going to Laughlin together we’ve always used our last $20  in mad money on dollar slots.  This time was no different and we were happily surprised when I hit $140 over the course of three different slots.  We basically got a free dinner and a few hours of entertainment for free 😀  Yay!

Paul took a vacation day so he’ll be home today.  We’ll probably spend the day lounging and I may or may not get around to painting a couple of cabinets in the kitchen.  I’ve had this idea for a random geometric thing for awhile now.  We’ll see if it works out.  If I don’t do it today, I’ll get around to it soon I think.

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