Summer days

Two post in one week. WHAT?!?1!/1?!?! Don’t die. Please.

So as I mentioned in my post last week, and as most of you are aware, it is summer. This means that rather than drive three (or four as it often were) kids to school in the morning, I am waiting for them to drag their pubescent and pre-pubescent butts out of bed only to then ask me questions like, ” moooooom, what’s for breakfast” or “Mooooooooom, what are we DOING TODAY.” The answers to which are often, whatever you’re making yourself and cleaning up the five thousand messes you made after I died like a corpse dead last night at 11:30 pm but you were still up reading books and studying calculus wrecking your brains with mindless tv. But sometimes the answer is…

Go for sundaes!

It’s been downright pleasant swelteringly miserably hot here so going outside to do anything but swim after 9 am is pretty much suicide. But we did drive around after sundaes and see these guys having lunch.

Which is, not surprisingly, quite similar to how I look pulled up to a sundae trough.

I grew up in this valley and I still love cows. Every time I drive past them I think about becoming vegan.

For about 5 minutes anyway.

The kids have mostly not been trying to kill each other and summer has about 5 weeks left so it’s looking pretty good for survival all around. And I’ve even had some time to be Crafty MCCrafterpants.

I made this quick and easy granny square pillow because I desperately needed a break from the afghan that feels like it’s going nowhere.

Here’s the pillow:

It’s on my bed. And what you can’t see in this picture is the TWIN bed NEXT to my bed that we bought so Ella would stop trying to suffocate me in my sleep have her own space. Expectedly she hates it. But maybe this will inspire me to do a co-sleeping post.

Oh and here is the 5oo year flower afghan.

When it’s all said and done there will be 169 square similar to this one. Which I will hopefully finish before I die. Hopefully.

In the meantime I’m making granny stripes too.

I love me a granny stripe. These are fast and mindless. I can crochet these almost without looking and I don’t have to really count or think too much which is a bonus since by the time I’m crocheting at night I’m mostly just counting the minutes until the dead like a corpse dead thing is happening.

In case you’re planning on asking, these are the yarns I am using… the granny stripe (and pillow) are made (mostly, but I did throw in a couple of leftover wools) from cascade 220 superwash which you can get in a rainbow of lovely shades from Jimmy Beans Wool. And it is AWESOME. It crochets up super nice and clean and what a color palette! I bought some of it in a local yarn store called Swatches but (as often happens) their selection was limited and I’d say given the shipping time and variety, it is, unfortunately for swatches, better for me to order online. Jimmy Beans is OUTSTANDING. Free shipping over $75 (which is EASY to do) and they ship priority mail usually the SAME DAY. I love them. LOVE THEM. Order Friday. Get it Tuesday? YES!

The flower afghan is made from comfy worsted I got at knitpicks. They ship not so quick but wow with the great prices. This cotton blend is so luxurious to crochet and knit with. Smooth as butter on the fingers.

For the yarn lovers in the group. I present: Yarn Porn.

Disclaimer: Neither Jimmy Bean nor Knitpicks knows who I am or cares that I have mentioned them. I do so merely for your knowledge, my loyal readers.

OK next item of business: Garden. It’s growing.

That is all. Some of the tomatoes have blossom rot which is making me cry. Other than that, it’s a regular jungle out there.

OK for now I will sign off. Before I go I will tell you that there will soon be news on the blog. Changes are happening folks… Stay tuned.

crafts , crochet , garden , kids

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

Cork Tut

Cork. As in corkboard. Tut. As in tutorial.

 

If you read yesterday you saw the corner redo. Seeeeee:

Part of the corner redo was to have a corkboard to put inspiring things on. Who wants a pain ol brown corkboard? Not this lady. Not for myyyyy corner. Any bulletin board in myyyyy corner must be fantastic! Or at least not a warped old one. Which was what I found in the garage. (Bless my husband for keeping a corkboard from 1994).

So here’s what you need:

~ol busted corkboard (or new cheap one. Whatever you’ve got.)

~frame of whatever size (mine is 16 X 20)

~fabric (enough to cover)

~hot glue gun (or glue or some other sticky thing)

~scissors and razor or some other sharp thing

Note: These photos are lousy. It’s a long story involving a divorce and a camera I don’t own. Moving on. (I’ll have a nice camera. Someday.)

First order of business is to dismantle the frame cause all you need is the frame itself not the back or the glass.

Next on the list: cut the cork to size. I used the glass from the frame (which I’m not using in the finished product) and a razor blade to make a perforation. Be careful not to cut your finger off.

Once you have a guideline you can pretty easily break the cork with your hand. Or foot if you’re feeling karate style.

If you mess up like I did. You have to do it twice.

You may need to shave the edges down a bit. BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT YOUR FINGER OFF. (I know probably none of my readers are in kindergarten but just in case). Now make sure you can get the cork in the frame.

Press your fabric really well. Then lay the cork on top of it and cut roughly around leaving a half inch or so. Make sure your fabric is ready to go cause once you bring the hot glue gun into the relationship you are committed. (This is not a picture of that. Because I am an idiot and I deleted that photo.)

Here’s where the hot glue gun comes in. I couldn’t take a picture of this because I was holding a HOT GLUE GUN and they are HOT. Like FIRE. And the glue dries quick. But just lightly make lines of glue on the cork and then quick like a bunny flip it over and lay it on the fabric. Then quick like a bunny flip it back over and smooth it out. NOTE: DO NOT put globs of glue. They will show through the fabric and look STOOPID. Don’t ask me how I know.

Then smush it into the frame. If you cut it like I said to it should fit pretty dern tightly and require nothing to hold it in (that staple you see was already there and when I tried to take it out I stabbed myself. So I left it.). You can trim the leftover fabric now. If you want. Oooor just be lazy like me and leave it.

Note: this is from 1994.

Optional step if you’re worried about the back… Cut a piece of fabric to size and glue it on the back to cover the raw edges. I did not do this and no one knows. Well except for you now. Don’t tell. I didn’t do it because frankly I love this fabric and I didn’t want to waste it where it wouldn’t be seen.

And you’re done.

Hang it up and get some pins if you like. I picked theses fancy schmancy ones. Cause I’m Fancy.

(I’m so NOT fancy.)

And add something that inspires you .

 

And there you have it.

crafts , repurposing

OK so I can’t wait until tomorrow. I just can’t. If you read earlier today you read that I intended to make myself a sewing corner. And by corner I mean CORNER. The space I’m talking about it literally 40 inches square. 40 inches.  Despite having a fair sized house we seem to never have enough room which is why the Man works from the couch or kitchen table when he works from home and why I have, until today, had no place to put a sewing machine.

 

Until today.

Today I set out to create a space for myself. I’ve been dreaming about it since we finished the living room and put the Man’s turntable up and got some great shelving (where I have things like yarn and books).

I started with this:

It may look like I staged that but I swear to you as I live and breathe that is EXACTLY what it looked like. Because for some reason this is the corner the family forgot existed. The corner where there was once a birdcage and there was, as of this morning anyway, a 6 pack of snapple, a puzzle and a painting that one of the kids did.

I brought to the space things from around the house. The table that was next to our bed (and wasn’t meant to be a nightstand but was at one point, in 1940, a nice makeup table). I brought a chair from the kitchen. I made a bulletin board (tutorial tomorrow) from a new frame and some old grody corkboard that the Man had saved in the garage. (He’s great at keeping things forever. I really love it even though I harass him about it.) I added a bunch of blue Ball jars left over from our wedding and a few McCoy vases and flower pots I already had (I have an embarrassing number of these). And a jar of buttons. Oh and an old painting I had. And here’s what happened:

A beautiful functional corner.

I BOUGHT: 1 white 16 x 20 frame and 1/2 yard of fabric.

That’s it.

So this cost me about $25 (It was an expensive-ish frame even 40% off but I had to have white. Had to.). Because I had to go to Michaels and I HAD to buy other sewing implements (seam ripper etc) which brought the total to just under $60 of stuff I probably wouldn’t have bought today. Also I ended up at Old Navy and bought myself clothes. This has no bearing on the corner redo other than to say I was feeling sassy and wanted some nice (fitting) things to wear. New clothes make a lady feel pretty. Even if they are in a size she doesn’t like.

And a space to call her own, even if it is 40 inches in the corner of the dining room, makes any woman feel downright fantastic.

I highly recommend it.

crafts , MEEEEEE , sewing