OHHHH it’s supposed to be thankful Thursday. Right. I forgot. Well hey… I only blog like once every hundred days so forgive me for mixing up the order of things.

I’m done whining.

Remember last week when I was whining? I’m done. Thanks for playing. This week I can’t help but be grateful. For like EVERYTHING. See today my husband drove off to work AGAIN. (I’m not supposed to tell you he left cause that puts me in a danger of a stalker coming to my house so forget I said that. Oh and PS my dog BITES). Anyway he left like he does every week. Sigh. And  I felt pitiful for about five minutes after he left and then I got up and got the baby and we played and we came downstairs and ate. Blueberries. And pineapple. And yogurt. And toast. And it was glorious.

I’m LUCKY. Like so super lucky. Yesterday I read this and she talked about her decision to work and her happiness with it. And it reminded me AGAIN that I don’t wanna. I don’t. I don’t wanna leave my baby. The right thing is different for everyone (and you need to be grown up enough to know what the right thing is and to be able to actually ADMIT it) but the right thing for me is to stay home. And I’m lucky because I know it’s the right thing for other moms to stay home too but they can’t, because they need to EAT AND PAY THE ELECTRICITY (and I used to be that mom). So I’m lucky. We aren’t rich. My husband makes a great living but we aren’t going to Hawaii this summer (or like ever) and my kids all need shorts (because they grow like 2 inches a MONTH) and I have to figure out how to make that happen… but we are not  hungry, our electricity is not shut off. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay the water bill. And I am HOME.

I get to go to coffee and have baby playdates.

 

I get to shop for yarn.

I get to make things.

(Like this book for Ella)

 

(LION. Rawr)

 

(whale with zipper mouth)

(Nemo’s that snap on/off)

 

(flowers that come off with buttons)

 

(momma owl with velcro baby hidden inside)

(monkey with peel back banana)

(mama bluebird with her babies that come out of the nest)

(babywearing momma {and under her shirt BOOBIES!})

(Ella likes it)

ALSO this:

Oh also…I get to bake.

Annnd I get to see this:

Every. Single. Day.

Which. Is. Awesome.

I’m so grateful that my husband is not only able but WILLING to leave here every week to go to work so I can STAY HERE. Because here is where I most want to be.

 

Dear Husband,

Thank you for doing what you do. Day in and day out. Every day. When it’s hard. When it’s easy. On the days you get donuts (or tequila or a full nights sleep) I may be jealous. I may not be able to mask it very well (because sometimes I’m a whiny baby) but I thank you. For being smart and valuable enough that Huge Internet Company will pay you and keep you (and even sometimes take you to the beach.) And for caring that our baby be raised by me while you’re away. While you are gone I will keep the house clean, and the baby alive and (mostly) happy. And wait. For you.

love you for always,

Whiny Wife

crafting , crafts , thankful , things I luuuurve

OK there is  A LOT of teething going on around here. Like A  LOT. Ella will essentially chew on everything, anything and all things. She especially loved the beads Anneliese had so I thought I could do something wooden. And cute. So I made a necklace. No, not for her. For meeeee. Because since I’m usually holding her and she’s trying to chew on my face (no, really, she’ll put ANYTHING in her mouth) she can grab this. Alternatively this could be shortened and left in a string for her to chew on (or tied in a circle like a standard teething ring). Or she can just take it off me. (But in that instance I would remove the ribbon so she doesn’t swallow it cause she would TOTALLY swallow it)

Here it is:

Get this stuff.

~a piece of fabric at least 44 inches long (or sew some together to equal that length)

~beads: 1 inch (9 or more or less)

~ribbon: 2 feet

~scissors, sewing machine

FYI: This uses small beads. That are a choking hazard. See:

*Don’t worry we are going to take an extra precaution.

First cut your fabric into a 3.5 inch X 44 inch strip. I use a rotary cutter cause I’m cool like that.

Then, sew it using a 1/4 inch seam:

Then, just to be safe, cause we don’t want any baby to choke, sew it AGAIN at 1/8th inch. If you want to be really really sure sew it a third time:

Then turn it inside out (I used a safety pin) and tie a knot about 4 inches from one end:

And stuff and bead in there:

And tie another knot and do it again. (It’s helpful if you twist the fabric a bit before you knot it so it’s tight):

(zIt’s also helpful if you get a manicure before you post a blog tutorial that features your sad hands.)

Keep doing this until you have about six inches left. This for me was 9 beads. (Perfect cause 9 is my favorite number):

Then tie a length of ribbon about a foot long to each end and cut  off the excess ribbon/fabric (make sure and cut the ribbon on the diagonal or somethin fancy like that so it doesn’t unravel on you). It’s awesome that ‘fray’ is in because you don’t have to sew the ends. BUT if you want to, tuck the ends in and sew the ribbon inside. I did not.

Because I’m lazy.

And that’s it:

Like I said if you’d like to make this more of a teething ring then just make it shorter (5 or 6 beads probably) and tie the ends together.

I like it cause it’s cute (even if it is a little more than I’d usually wear for jewelry) and functional. And Ella, well she put it right in her mouth. Approved!

 

crafting , crafts , ella



Readers I give you a totally pointless blog post about a doll.

Sorry. But this took me a while so I’m making a blog post about it. Cause it’s my blog. Neener.

At long last here she is.

I finished her. I can’t tell you the feeling of accomplishment that has washed over me. I’m on top o’ the world.

Ok, not really. But wow, it feels good to have a completed project. Cause it seems these days, I’m lucky to get my hair brushed.

Here are some photos of Miss Merleymaid, Dreadlocked Queen of the Sea. I regret that I cannot give you the pattern because, alas, it is not mine to give. I wish it were mine. Here’s a little secret you may or may not know about me, I’m a stickler for following patterns. This is unusual because I can think outside the box when it comes to lots of other things (in my professional life for example, also I had a baby in the kitchen so that’s something) but when it comes to knit and crochet, I am absolutely pattern loyal. Also I like recipes. I like to follow them. I wish this were not the case but it is. So anyway.

Bygones.

The pattern is available here. I purchased this fine this pattern when she was having a 30% off birthday sale. That’s totally insignificant but I just wanted to tell you. Go to her site. It’s Super Cute.

Also just for general educational purposes this is what is known as amigurumi, a Japanese style of knit or crocheted small dolls or animals (or whatever). For more on amigurumi click here. When crocheted they are typically done in all single crochet in the round and thus are not difficult to make (except for the working with very small pieces which may give you an aneurysm. Or a seizure. Or at the very least arthritis.). If you don’t know how to crochet go here. It’s not for everyone but I like it. When knitting amigurumi they are made with stockinette stitch (Making one of those now. It’s an owl. And it’s for Anneliese. Don’t tell her.).

Moving on.

The yarn:

Flesh toned cotton, rayon blend (TLC cotton plus)
Brown worsted weight (for hair cap, it’s not in the picture) (Vanna’s {cheap} choice)
Wool bulky weight (by Lion)
Aqua worsted weight (bamboo ewe by Stitch Nation)
Crochet hook size G (um. Metal.)


PS I am a yarn snob. Apologies. For this I did use mostly readily available yarns. Except the TLC, you gotta order that one.

PPS If you crochet or knit and you haven’t used any of the Stitch Nation yarns. Do. Now.

Starting with the head. Half done with safety eyes. I challenge you to remove this. It’s impossible without a pair of pliers. Or scissors. Or a welding torch.

Outside view. Half done.

Stuff it tight. Full. Packed. How I feel after eating at the Cheesecake Factory.

Add the arms (these are small and small things are hard to crochet. My fingers hurt for two days).

And body (crocheted as one piece). Headless. Arms attached. This is disturbing. I apologize.


Now for the hair. This is made by crocheting a small wig cap and tying the bulky yarn to it. The yarn is then pulled through to the opposite side and the cap is then sewn to the dolls head. This sounds like a lot of steps but it’s not. I did it in one evening, with a baby on my lap. Here you see head, cap and Rastafarian hair yarn.

Oh and you see my couch cushion. Cause I was too lazy to get up.

And here is the edge of the hair.

Ella approves.
Yum. Yarn. Tastes… fuzzy.

The last bit it to make her shell boobies and starfish hair accessory. I used wool felt. It’s so lovely. And wooly.

Accent embroidery to the outside, done before attaching (that’s supposed to be a seashell. The Man said it looked a “little rough”. It’s a SEASHELL. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. Thank you.)


Also I haven’t had a manicure in two light years. My apologies.

Viola.

May I present Miss Bobbie Merleyamaid. Your (sea)weed dealer of the sea. (That’s a joke about pot. And a stereotype about people with dreadlocks. The Man made that up. I thought it was worth using. If you made it this far you deserve a chuckle. You’re welcome.)

Thanks for sticking around y’all.

Happy crafting.

j-diddle

crafting , crochet

Granny used to say…. use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

I know Granny isn’t the only person to say it, but she was one of the few people I’ve known in my life to actually DO IT.

She used the Styrofoam packages from hamburger to feed the cats on.

She used shirts to make quilts and old blankets for batting and old sheets as backing. In fact I have a quilt that has the California Raisins on the back. Not kidding.

She used the insides of the chicken for stuff I don’t want to talk about here.

She ate stale cookies. She used half and half in cereal. OK that has nothing to do with this post but isn’t that gross?

Once she went to a yard sale and bought me rough rider jeans that fit and were hideous and a pair of guess jeans that were too big and awesome. Then she took the Guess triangle off the back and sewed it onto the rough riders. Fail. Epic epic fail.

My rabbits drank out of an Aunt Jemima bottle. (Remember when they were glass?)

And as long as I can remember I drank milk out of a snuff glass (like this one). Granny fun fact #77: She chewed snuff.

Anyway, you get the point. Something about living during the Depression will change a person. We could probably all learn a lesson or two from living that way. For example, only flush the toilet once a day. Unless it’s a #2… you can flush that right away.

It is in that spirit that I set out to find a way to repurpose my favorite sweater which has been sitting lonely in my closet for over a year. Lend me your ears and I will tell you a story…

Once upon a time there was a lambswool sweater, It was beautiful and the most expensive sweater in the closet. And then one dreadful day, the man of the house where the sweater lived decided to help with the laundry.

The end.
BTW. Just in case you like to hang out around fire. Don’t.

Anyway bless my husbands heart. He was being helpful. Lesson learned: Do not put in the laundry things that should not be washed.

Here is said sweater next to normal sized sweater:

Yeah. It’s small. Like infant sized.

And here are the other sweaters that met the same fate.


And here’s what I did with it.

No. I didn’t just lay it on the table and put scissors on top of it. That wouldn’t do any good at all.

First. I cut off the sleeves and made a cut in the neck to equal the depth of the armpit holes. In the shape of a U or a V. Whatever. Like so:

Easy enough.

Then I used one of the arms to make a bottom. I just cut it the length of the bottom and left it as wide as I could . Not brain surgery. (Thank god, because I’m a nurse, not a brain surgeon.) I could have used a rotary cutter to do this but that’s another story. It goes like this: My rotary cutter is missing. Oh ALSO I hand sewed this, by HAND, using a running stitch because my sewing machine is broken. That’s another story. It goes like this: My sewing machine is broken. The end. Anyway, this is an optional step. I could have just sewed it straight across but I wanted the extra room. Cause I like to carry a lot of crap.

This is a pretty bad representation. I apologize. I was holding a baby when I took this.

Anyway I digress.

Then I saw a whole used sleeve and I didn’t want it to feel lonely so I cut it up too.

Strips. Made with scissors.

And I made flowers. Well kind of. They’re more like pinwheels but whatever I like them. Oh, and I made leaves. I used a needle and thread to sew them on. Needle. Thread. See aforementioned story.
I actually only used white thread. Because I’m lazy. And I was holding a baby.

And it looks like this.


There is really no denying what this once was since you can see the ribbing on the bottom, but that’s fine. I LOVE this sweater. Love it. I would have cried if I had to throw it away.

So to make this I used: A shrunken sweater. A pair of scissors. A needle and thread.

That’s all.

Thank you for joining me today on How to Make a Purse Out of Your Favorite Shrunken Sweater.

crafting , crafts , granny , repurposing

This just in.

Brace yourselves for a big announcement. Forthcoming.

It’s coming.

Wait for it.

No, really.

I’m quitting my Job. The nursey one.

No, really. I am. I haven’t yet, but I’m going to. I only haven’t because I have to drive to Visalia to do it and I don’t have the spare hour and a half today. Really.

So that’s today’s headline. Not big news for you but the biggest of news for us over here. I could write a nice long post about quitting my Job but I’m not ready for that yet. Maybe later. I’m still feeling a little bit fairytaleoverjoyeddazedandconfuzzled about this decision. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s not a single thing I’d rather do than stay at home and raise this Sweet Pea of a Baby. It’s just that even though I’ve been At Home before, it’s been a while. I’m a little nervous about it and all the things that go with not being an Out of Home worker. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe not. Anyway. Next item of business.

Because I am about to quit my Job (just the one where I’m a nurse, not the one where I’m nursing) I’m feeling very suddenly domestically motivated. There is a slight problem with this. Well a couple:

a. My sewing machine is broken. It’s tragic. Truly.

b. Also despite the fact that we have a fair sized house, I have no place for “crafty” things. They are in a box in storage (mostly).

c. In light of all of this and in despite of it I am still plotting and planning several crafty ventures. Probably too many. It’s a disease I have.

And they are:

1. I’m knitting a scarf for my sisters trip to Philly. My sister is Fan-tas-tic. Truly. She deserves a scarf of epic proportions. This may not be big news to everyone but it is to me because I am literally the worst. Knitter. Ever.

No, really. I’m bad.

This is a similar pattern. Only mine is two-color striped. My sister does not like pink. Or anything in the pink family. So I’m using blue and green. I like it. If it doesn’t come out crooked maybe I’ll whip up another one.

Here it is in progress:
See how I accidentally made one row that has 3 greens in it. I’m not afraid to admit my error. I lost count. I was nursing the baby. I told you. I’m that bad.

2. I’m crocheting snowflakes for our Christmas tree. Granny used to make these. I’m doing it. Like right now. They’re fun, if you know how to crochet. If not, they’re miserably difficult. Also, working on other handmade ornaments. Because, well frankly we have none.

In other news: I miss Granny. Like a ton.

3. I’m crocheting hats for the children. I prefer knitted hats (ala my mother in law who is a fantastic knitter) but alas, as previously mentioned, I am the worst. Knitter. Ever. Anyway, per their requests hats are underway. Maybe if the scarf isn’t an abysmal failure I’ll knit them. They should be done by 2012.

4. I’m cooking.

Cauliflower soup.
Don’t tell the Hubs. It’s what’s for dinner tonight. Surprise.

I just met the Pioneer Woman less than a month ago. She’s my hero.

Also: Coffee Cake. I feel like I need to make that right. Now.

Did I mention she’s my hero. I can’t believe I never heard of her before like 3 weeks ago. Where was she all my life?

5. Attempting to make something of our front room.

This isn’t really something I’m doing as much as something I need to do.

It’s a little bit confused. It’s not sure if it’s a living room or a music room or a room where people drop their crap. There are drums in there. And guitars. And a huge bean bag. And crap.

That’s all.

Here’s the drums though. They’re really lovely.


Hubs is a drummer. How lucky am I? Drummers are sexy. That is all. Thank you for listening.

(That photo was taken by Myron Yeung. Our wedding photographer. He’s amazing.)

6. Working on my etsy store. It’s not done yet. Who am I kidding. It’s not even started. I’m totally doing it though. I’m not selling anything knitted though. Unless someone is looking for a crooked scarf.

Whilst my mind is preoccupied with the aforementioned items of interest I’m also entertaining the following hobbies:

~gazing at the miracle of Sweetness we’ve been given. (That’s the Baby. In case you didn’t know.)

This is her:
I know, right. She’s ridiculous.

~ Running after the Big Kids. This takes significantly more time than one would think.

This is them:
I mean look at these kids. If babymaking was a business, I’d go into it. They’re that awesome. (In all fairness, I can’t take credit for the one holding the Baby. She’s my sister. But I’m claiming her anyway. She looks enough like the rest. No one will know.)

~Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Shopping. Keeping house in general. Kind of.

~Doing my derndest to support the Hubs in his career and Other Financial Ventures. (This bascially means, trying to keep the kids from talking to him every 10 seconds when he’s trying to write code, which is a whole other thing I don’t understand.)

That’s what I’m up to. Stayed tuned for more news as it develops.

Warmest Regards,

Me

SAHM turned RN turned SAHMRN. Recovering craft addict. Abysmal knitter. Lover of cake.

baking , crafting , crochet , knit , mothering , sewing