Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Winter :)

It's snowing! Finally!!! We live in an area of the country that is pretty dependent on the snow for it's fiscal well-being, so I'm sure that I'm not the only one around here that's happy to see the stuff. There's just something about those big fluffy flakes that makes me smile. I love pulling out the winter boots and hats and scarfs and mittens. And dressing Sydney like she's a snowman. Gotta keep warm up here! Snow makes it all worth it. Cold for a reason :)

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzah! The holiday craziness is now past and it's time to regroup and play in the snow! It's been nice taking off a few days to pick up around the house, put away some of the holiday gifts and simply enjoy some family time. I've got a ton of stuff to post and I'll do my best to keep it short.

Oh! I forgot to thank you all for your concern re: my finger! I have reached the point of being able to take off the bandaid, but now I have a hole in the middle of my fingernail that will probably just have to grow off. The healing capabilities of the body are simply amazing... Speaking of bodies, if you ever have the chance to see
Gunther von Hagen's BODY WORLDS 2, you've got to go! We went to the show in Boston on X-mas eve morning and loved it - it's an exceptional exhibit that words can't describe!

Looking back at this past week, I have to say it was a fun one. A childhood friend, Sara, came up to visit and we did lots of baking, shopping, and catching up. She's Jewish, so I'm not sure that she's actually been exposed to the pre-Christmas craziness in the average household... Here's some samplings of the yummies:

Peanut Butter Blossoms (a tried-and-true holiday favorite):

Scandinavian Almond Cookies (sinfully delicious! Thanks for the recipe link Mom!)

With help from some house-hold props, I was able to take pictures of most of the hand-made goodies for my husband's side of the family (we celebrated with my side in NJ earlier in the month).

Apron for Stacy (From Amy Butler's IN STITCHES book) - the apron that I was working on when my machine attacked!

Zippered pouch for Auntie Lou (the picture was taken when she was 16!)

Scarf for Auntie Re (Thanks for posing Higgy!)

Frank's mom was the recipient of the patchwork purse in my last post, and his sis received some belts in handmade pouches. I loved making all of this stuff, but next year I'm going to start earlier. Yeah, right?!

Santa was good to us too - Syd received lots of educational toys and cute clothes to grow into, Frank got some warm outdoors clothes and gift cards, and I got some warm clothes as well and some lovely home-made treats from Frank's sis, Linda. Frank and I usually don't exchange gifts, but this year has been a special one, so we decided to buck tradition and get something for eachother. I had a quilt made for him from his old weight-lifting t-shirts and it is AMAZING!! I highly recommend Jill (click on her name for the EBAY link)- her communication was great and her turn-around time was really impressive. I'll take a picture of the quilt the next time I head down-stairs. As for me, Frank *really* treated me well - I've been itching for a pair of diamond stud earrings for a while, but not any more! I feel so spoiled :) (and love it!)

For Christmas day, we celebrated with some friends (Frank was on call, so we stayed local) and had a fantastic time! I've been wanting to make another brined turkey and stuffing, so I was happy to bring those along. *AND* I finally got to have my turkey leftover sandwich (I made sure to buy a HUGE bird so we'd have plenty of leftovers). Ahhh... pure bliss :) Frank thinks I'm nuts, but this is seriously one of my favorite treats of the year.

As for what's next on the agenda, I'm back to making more gifts (baby gifts seem to make up most of my TO DO list - Nappy bags, bibs, wet bags, nursing covers...) and hopefully some scrub hats for Frank. It's been a while, so I'm sure he'll appreciate some new ones.

One last thing! I'm trying my hand at forcing some paperwhite bulbs and so far, so good! I bought a kit at TARGET last month and it was super easy. It'll be nice to have some springtime in winter :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

I have a new found respect for...

my sewing machine... but not for the reasons that you might think. Sure, it's seen me through many-a-belt and bag, and, unlike my last machine, hasn't croaked on me unexpectedly (yet).. and sure, I know it's a pretty strong and sturdy machine... but I never thought that it could actually stitch STRAIGHT THROUGH MY FINGER. I have *no* idea how I did it. I was happily sewing along my merry way (making a last-minute Christmas gift of course) when I suddenly found my finger stuck under the presser foot, with the needle completely through the middle of my nail bed. My initial reaction was to stare in disbelief. Then I tried to pull out my finger. Duh. Finally figured out that I needed to raise the presser foot and needle to get my finger out. Sometime during all of this I called for my husband, who was peacefully drifting off to sleep. He met me in the bathroom and we (he) administered some quick first aide. I sat huddled on the bathroom floor, still shocked that I was actually stupid enough to do this! Frank of course said "I guess you're done sewing for the night". What?! No way my dear hubby! They really don't *get* this whole Christmas gift making thing. After we found out that my tetanus shot is still good for another year, I headed back to the craft room :) I was shocked to see that not a drop of blood got on the fabric! Maybe someone *is* looking out for me up there... Sure, it hurts like *#&! right now, but at least I got one more Christmas gift done (an adorable apron from Amy Butler's new book IN STITCHES). And I'm convinced that it would have hurt more had I stopped everything and read for the rest of the night.

I have one more Christmas gift to make, and then I think I'm done with the hand-made goodies. I've tried to get organized and bought a board to hang over the sewing table on which I am writing the various projects in my TO DO pile. Visual reminders work wonders for me for some reason. I also like to cross things off of lists - whatever the reason, it works!

Let's see... things that I've finished up this week:

* A toddler tote for Nick, an adorable 4 yr. old boy who loves Spidey and Batman. The tote has fabrics of both characters on the outside and inside pockets.

* Some belts with drawstring bags for Nick's Mom, Michelle, to give as gifts for some of her family. I used the large recipe card bag pattern that it is in IN STITCHES and it was the perfect size!

* I was able to make another of my new favorite patchwork purse (for a x-mas gift). This time I added a zipper to the top (I'm trying to get over my irrational fear of zippers).

* Some knit scarves: pictures to come. I'm bummed now b/c I was going to start working on a fun purple scarf for my niece, Jordan, but I think my finger may be out of commission for a while. Urgh. I hate stupidity.

Hope everyone's not going too nutty with the last of Christmas preparations! We finally cut down a tree today and it's in the house. It hasn't a strand of lights on it yet... we don't want to rush things!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Plan B...and C... and D...

Has it been 2 weeks since my last post?! YIKES! I know I've been busy, but that seems a tad long... Christmas prep is in full swing (although my house lacks any sign of this.... hopefully we'll get our tree tomorrow!) - presents to be made, shopping to be done... every day I wonder where the day has gone. It frustrates me at times, but I'm getting used to it - just can't get everything done that I'd like to. I was joking with my sister-in-law last week that I'm very grateful for "Plan B" and "Plan C" and " Plan D".... "Plan A" just doesn't seem to be in the cards lately. It's definitely a survival strategy - without it, parents couldn't get through the day :)

So what I have I been up to? Well, Syd managed to eat thru all the food that I had prepped for her, so I spent a good chuck of one day refilling the freezer. Check out this link for easy to make baby food - I make ~ 90% of her food and absolutely love doing it. It's easy and cheap, and I don't worry about Red Dye #10 being in her peaches.

Last week I finished up a project that I think is my favorite to date. I've been wanting to try out this pattern for a few weeks now and finally tackled it! I've made tons of bags in the past, but this one... wow.... easy, FUN, creative... a definite must try for all you purse makers out there! It's from a Japanese Bag making book called MACHINE MADE PATCHWORKS and Autum was quite kind to post her directions from the book. Here's some of my pics:

Outside Front / Back:

Inside Pocket:

Other Inside Pocket & Cell Phone Pocket:

Matching Key Fob:

The Finished Product! (I love the beaded handle - super easy!)

Mom loved the bag (we had an early x-mas celebration with my family in NJ due to my hubby's work schedule), so the project was well worth it! I'm hoping to make another one soon and take some better pics - these don't do Amy Butler's fabrics justice!

Also made up some baby gifts for a friend up here, Ann - I'm sad to say that this is the last of my favorite ladybug fabric, but I'm happy to know that it has all gone to loving homes :)

Love these bibs and burp cloths!

Friday, December 01, 2006


That's been my mantra for a few days now as I've been working on finishing up my tremendously warm and cozy BLIZZARD ALPACA Keyhole scarf. It's far from perfect, but I love every inch of it! Learned a lot along the way... how to join yarn, how to unravel stitches and get my needle back on correctly, how to figure out if I was on a K or a P row, and how to bind off with K2 P2 repeats. Probably shouldn't have tried to learn all of these new things on a *real* project, but what's the worst thing that could have happened? You can always unravel! Thanks for the pattern link Tara! I'd post a link to it, but the site has removed it :(

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Good morning! *stretch*.... *YAWN....*stretch*

I love mornings like this... finished up a big project yesterday (if you live down by Richmond, VA, check out the BIZARRE BAZAAR - I'll have a bunch of my belts, headbands and some totes at GOOD FUN STUFF by Darby Rush) and now I've just got a random list of little things to tackle throughout the day. Syd is down for her morning nap already, I have a steamy cup of java that I can slowly nurse through the morning... and I'm still in my PJ's :) Love it. People ask if I mind being a stay-at-home-mom, and honestly, NO! I do miss my Physical Therapy work sometimes, but it will always be there for me when I am ready and able to return. Right now I've got a more important job to do - we're very lucky to have been blessed with a healthy and happy little girl and every day I count my blessings that I am able to be home with her.

Like most of my blog entries these days, I've got a bunch of random things to share. I'd love to blog every day, but as most will agree, there is not enough hours in the day to get done the things that we *need* to get done, let alone the things that we'd *like* to get done. Hence my weekly blog entry. If I can, I do more, if not, oh well. :)

Things from the mailbox this week: Yet again, the postman has not disappointed me! The week started off with a lovely little package from KINGPOD. I was one of the lucky few who was able to snag some of her adorable ornaments a couple of weeks ago. They are truly darling!

A few days later, the UPS man came knocking at the door... again... and delivered an upstairs rug and the adorable Japanese fabric that I ordered last week. I'm up for any suggestions for what to make with this AWESOME fabric! I know I'll be making an apron with the tan one.... this has got to be, hands down, the cutest fabric that I've come across in a long time. I love finds like this!
Hmmm... what else... I've tried matching some of Amy Butler's super popular Curry Kimono fabric with my fall/winter ribbons and I love it! I bought a bag of scraps on EBAY over the summer and am psyched to finally get to use it! $18 bought a lot of goodies!

I'm planning on making some little drawstring gift pouches with other remnants to go with some belts that I'm making for a friend to give as holiday gifts. Who can't use another drawstring cutie?! Also have another baby/toddler tote to finish, and then I get to do some holiday sewing! I've got an apron making bug lately, so I've got to do one of those... or maybe two... or three... We'll see!

I just popped onto ReproDepot and found some more yummy fabric that is begging to be shared:


Baumvogel - white/red:

Speaking of fabric.... I placed my order a few days ago for Amy Butler's new LOTUS fabric line to be shipped out in January!!!! I ordered mostly from the Faded China and Tea Box collections, but did get a few from the Damask Rose collection as well - decisions, decisions....

Time to get going - the little one calls :) Hope you enjoyed the pics!~ Kris

Friday, November 24, 2006

You want what?!

Today has been a day of post-Thanksgiving gluttony. A little snack here, a little snack there. Ahhh... pure bliss!

In discussing what we were each going to dig into for our final snack tonight, my husband so innocently stated that he was going to have "the other leg"... he said "other" because he had the other one yesterday for Thanksgiving. Being as how there are only 2... there was *no* way that I was going to let him have both of them! I gave him the "I slaved over a hot stove all day yesterday" spiel (which I actually did do) and I think that it worked. Either that, or he was really scared b/c I did get a bit intense about the whole matter :) I usually am not like that about food, but Thanksgiving leftovers rank as my #1 leftovers of the year. There is *nothing* better to me than a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich on lightly toasted wheat bread with mayo. YUM!!!! I won't go into how he ate all of the stuffing before I had a turn at it....

Like everyone else these past few days, I've been reflecting on things that I am grateful for. I think it's good practice to do this now and again- we get too complacent at times. So here's my list!
1) Good health: it's been said before and I'll say it again - this is one of those things that money can't buy. I am very grateful that my family and myself are generally a healthy bunch.
2) That my greatest wants are of more time (both with special people, and for crafting of course!) and to be more organized, and not those of love, companionship, friendship, shelter, and food.
3) That God has matched me with a man who both loves me and continues to challenge me on a daily basis (good and bad challenges both help our marriage grow, and help me grow as a person).
4) (on a lighter note) That the brine recipe that I looked up online the night before Thanksiving yielded the best turkey that anyone of us has ever tasted!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How's about *them* apples?!

Well, it's not by any means perfect, but I am still none-the-less quite proud of my first completed knitting project. YIPPEE!!!! I learned *a lot* with this little guy, mainly how to correctly transition from KNIT to PURL (figured that one out 3/4 the way through...), and how to bind off. I probably should have used green yarn (as the pattern suggested), but I chose the yellow in an attempt to chase away the rainy day blah's we've been having around here. Can you see the apple? (it's okay if you don't.....)

Today was another one of those "days-that-the-mailman-should-hate-me". Really. I always feel bad when he has to pull down my driveway and haul everything up our steps to the front stoop. There was one huge box from EXPOSURES (one of my favorite online stationary and card sites) with some organizer boxes for the scrapbook projects that I will complete one day. Like when Sydney has kids that can help me. It's been bugging me having the stuff in baskets, so now I have everything in 6 neat little boxes. Love it!

Then there were 2 more boxes with a fantastic EBAY buy - 12 skeins of camel colored BLIZZARD alpaca yarn and a basically brand new copy of KNIT KNACK KIT by Kris Percival. I know 12 skeins sounds like a lot, but I really really really love this yarn, and am hoping to make some scarves and teddy bears out of it.

The last of the boxes was pretty minor -some more business cards by Vistaprint. I have no idea how I've gone through 500 already!

This week has been a pretty typical one - finished up some more belts and another toddler tote - this one for a darling little girl named Taylor. You've got to check out the close-ups of this fabric - little goldfish with names! Another Heather Ross delight :) I think that I would have liked to use orange grosgrain ribbon instead of the little white ball trim, but being as how I didn't have any of the said orange ribbon...

I'm also in the midst of completing a belated baby shower gift - a diaper pouch (to hold a small travel size wipes case and 2-3 diapers), and a nursing apron, similar to this one I gave to Taylor's mom, Jen a few months ago. I personally had big issues publically breastfeeding Syd, but as soon as I got one of these, my fears were gone - she couldn't kick it off, and I felt so covered! I plan on posting these on EBAY soon, so keep a look out!

Aside from sewing, I've been pretty busy with general domestic duties - preparing a Turkey Day menu, trying to do some Christmas shopping and sewing when I have a chance, and just plain ol' having fun with Syd. She's almost 9 months now, and I swear that this age is even better than 8 months! I just wish she could stay in the same clothes - I actually bought some of those SPACE BAGS from Target last week in an effort to more efficiently store her tiny newborn clothes and cloth diapers. If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend you do - I was amazed! Would have been helpful if I had taken a "BEFORE" picture too... hindsight...

OH!!! Before I go, I need to share a gorgeous fabric find
from the fabulous store ReproDepot - aren't these birds just the cutest? It is a Japanese import and the designer is Etsuko Furuya. That's all I know, but I'm itching to know more!! I have no clue what I'm going to make with the fabrics, but luckily I have a few days to figure it out :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alpaca Love

I'm absolutely enamored with these little critters. How can you not be?! They are just so darned cute, and have such fantastic personalities. There are actually a bunch of Alpaca Farms in NH and have started scouting them out while on road trips - if you've never been to a farm, it's a worthwhile trip (especially if you have kids!).

When hubby and I talk of our next move (this time within the state, but hopefully to a litle bigger house with more acreage), I have 2 special requests: a sunny, large, *fantastic* room that I can devote to my crafting, and some decent acreage to entertain the idea of some livestock (like the furry friend above). Seem like reasonable requests to me... I'm still trying to convince him...

Since I can't have an alpaca now, I've found the next best thing: BLIZZARD Alpaca yarn by Reynolds.

As a newbie knitter I can't make much, but what I'll make will be YUMMY! I picked up three skeins of the light purple (I thought it was light blue in the store, but I love the purple too) this weekend in a local Knitting Store and can't wait to get started! Tara has been quite helpful with my search for a scarf pattern (as I said, I am quite the newbie...) and tomorrow morning I intend to check out the links she sent me. Thanks Tara!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A quickie....

Here's the tote with the new fall ribbon! Thanks Melissa!