all in a day’s work…

I made my first attempt at a mary jane’s pattern, and halfway into the first one, I realized I must be using too-chunky yarn. Even though I was using the G crochet hook, as the pattern specified, my mary jane was easily the size of a snow cap. WAY too big for any foot. So I unraveled it. I’ll start again with finer yarn and see how it goes.

little tom tomMy quilt run starts tomorrow, and I can barely contain my excitement. My husband has agreed to give me one full day of freedom each weekend so that I can travel all over my portion of the state visiting quilt shops. I’ve decided to map out a few scrapbook, yarn and bead shops as well – might as well get them all in, right? My brother-in-law even lent me his tom tom, so all I have to do is have the addresses, and Mr. T (or the voice of my choice) will tell me how to get to each shop!

In TV news, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying The Closer and Army Wives. Cable really has some excellent shows. I saw a promo yesterday for a miniseries on Sci Fi called Tin Man – looks like a retelling of the Wizard of Oz (with Richard Dreyfuss and Zooey Dechanel and Alan Cumming!). Coming in December – Very exciting!

Anyone watching Days of Our Lives? I’m getting a little fed up with the crazy-awful Irish and Italian accents they’re coming up with recently, but I like the current storylines. Any thoughts?

In book news, I’ve been reading Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. I’m on the 4th book, and I really like it. I plan to do a review of all six books soon.

Hope all is well in your worlds!

My name is Blabby. I’m a crafter.

That’s right, I can hardly tear myself away. We may need to write a “Big Book” and hold meetings, because I’m a junkie. Here are my newest creations…the crazy pink purse is for my neice’s birthday – she’s turning nine. Both purses are my own design, and the grey one is my first attempt at a lining. Needs work, but definitely better than no lining. The mouse is my third attempt at amigurumi animals. The pattern came from anapauloli. Still a work in progress.

My good friend Slapdash pointed out that there’s a wealth of amigurumi examples on flickr – so I’ve been doing lots of looking for ideas. I’m amazed at people’s creativity! I’ve never been very good at coming up with good ideas on my own. I’m better at looking at someone else’s genius and copying it. Is that bad? Now, if only I could get it to work to my advantage like Martha Stewart!

grey purse

pink purse

mouse

mouse2

My first Amigurumi…

In between furiously using my newly allotted tokens on iconbuffet, I’ve also been pretty busy crafting. Here are my newest creations. The little Ami bird is from a pattern from BitterSweet.

The purse is my own design. I wanted a small purse with a long strap that I could wear like a messenger bag. I ended up making the strap too long because once my big-ass wallet is in there, the strap stretches, and my little purse is below my booty. But I still think it came out great. It was very simple – all single crochet, with double crochet for the strap. Let me know if you want a pattern, and I’ll make one up.

ami bird

my #1 model

little purse

A scarf and a QUILT!

That’s right, folks. Not only did I complete another scarf, but I also finished a quilt that I started almost two years ago! The quilt was super easy, using 8 fat quarters and a quick cutting pattern from the Pincushion Boutique. Here are photos for you…

my little helper

quilt front

back

And my new scarf…using the same pattern as all the other skinny scarves, but using two yarn colors this time.

brown and green skinny scarf scarf on handsome model

stroller wars

doggy strollerI was reading a quilting magazine (Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home) today and there was a survey asking, “should strollers be allowed in quilting stores and at quilt shows?” I have to say, I was a little incensed at this question. As a stay-at-home mom, who’s husband works from sun up until sun down, it’s either use a stroller or go nowhere. You try carrying an 18-month old who isn’t walking yet everywhere you go.

I would have to say that the problem isn’t so much the strollers, but the people pushing them. I’ve played my fair share of chicken with women pushing humongous strollers. I always seem to be the one that veers off course to avoid collision – often muttering “excuse me” with a mix of sarcasm and disdain. Some people just think they own the universe. They are totally unaware of their surroundings. These people are the ones who should be banned from all stores – stroller or no, and from all roads for that matter.

You know who I’m talking about. We’ve all played chicken with them. Just once, I’d like to ram ’em.

But, I would be super pissed if the quilt stores I go to said I couldn’t come in with my stroller. I’d say, “well, I guess you don’t need the $100 I was about to waste on fabric I don’t need.” I doubt that it will ever happen, but I don’t think the survey should even be out there.

Opinions?

I encourage all mom’s with strollers to log onto the Quilter’s Home website and “voice” their opinion!

So Cal Quilt Run

The Southern California Association of Quilt Shop Owners (whew – that’s a mouthful) is hosting the Quilt Run on the 2nd and 3rd weekends in July. I don’t have anyone to carpool with, but I’m super excited anyway. Here’s a link.

More skinny scarves

yarn texture

I finished two more scarves. Same pattern, but I was much looser with the interpretation because of the texture of the yarn. It was really hard to see where the chains were, so I just kind of winged. it. They came out nice anyway, because the yarn is beautiful. Each scarf used one 1.5 oz. skein of Marble N.Y. Yarns – $7 ea.. I really love the colors of these yarns. I’m definitely going to buy more.

scarves

A new skinny scarf

skinny scarfI’ve been hard at work with the crafting. More flow than ebb these days. I already mentioned the crochet store I found, but I wanted to talk a little more about it. Any crocheter knows that knitting is more popular. Handicrafts are more and more trendy, and knitting is the latest craze. You can find knitting patterns for almost anything. It’s a little harder to find crochet patterns. That’s why I was particularly excited to find a place called the Crochet Cafe! ( I think she’s just getting started with her website.)

She only opened a month or so ago, but it’s gorgeous in there. All kinds of cool, specialty yarns. Most of them are a little too high end for me – I can’t see myself buying six or seven skeins of special $14/ea. yarn to make an afghan. The whole appeal of crocheting for me is that it’s cheap and fast.

While I was wandering around in there, I chose three skeins of yarn – all around $6. One for me, one for my sister, and one for my friend Mel – my fool-la (fake doula). So, of course, I made my own scarf first – to ward off the chilly Southern California summer :) ha ha. I got the pattern online, but I can’t find it now to give the lady credit.

But this is the jist of the pattern:

Row 1:Ch 270
Row 2:ch 1, sc in each ch
Row 3:ch 3, dc in second sc, ch 1, skip next sc – repeat this until the end
Row 4:repeat row 3
Row 5:ch 1, sc in each dc and ch across
Row 6:ch 1, sc in each sc across, finish off
Add fringe if you want.

model

Weekend Reflection meme

So I’m trying something new today. I’d like to work my way up to a kick-ass blog party, but I’m starting with this meme to get my feet wet. Basically, I don’t REALLY even know what these things are, but I went on a site called Mister Linky, and I created this widget, so let’s see what it does. Here’s my weekend reflection – I’ll keep it brief. Then you can click the Mister Linky image at the bottom and add your link – creating much linky love for all (I hope).
Caboose

My weekend reflection:

I already told you all about the great dinner party on Saturday. Sunday, my little family ventured out to Old Town Temecula where I found a stamp store, a quilting store and a crochet store all in one building! There was also a jail – what does that say about crafters? Just kidding – it’s the Old Town Jail – now just a tourist destination. NOT a place for annoyed husbands to put their crazy crafter wives.

While in Temecula, we found a park with an old red caboose-turned Boys and Girls Club. Since my son is a junkie for anything with wheels, and is currently perfecting his train whistle every second (choo choo!!!), he loved it. We climbed all over it and took a million pictures (see flickr widget at right.)

Then, we not-very-excitingly ate too much Taco Bell, and headed to the mall to price low-end sewing machines at Sears. That’s right, I’m in the market. Who knew sewing machines cost more than jet skis? Probably all the quilters knew. So I was looking at the reasonable $300 Kenmores and Singers ($300!!! What? That’s reasonable?) My dream is, of course, the $3500 Bernina with all the bells and whistles – the ones that don’t go choo choo!

Then, sadly, my husband got a call that he had to work on Monday – his supposed day off because he works on Saturdays. So our fun was cut short by bedtime (7:30 pm) because he has to get up at 3:00 am. Yuck.

That’s it! Now click this thing below and let’s see what happens. And tell your friends! Link back to me and tell us all about your weekend.

Return to crafting…

My crafting desires ebb and flow. When I started rubber stamping, I would sit at my desk every night for hours (before I had a son) and make cards for any occasion. I was tireless. This went on for months. My interest began to wane as my stamp collection and paper supply grew to colossal proportions.

Then I started making jewelry. Again, I worked tirelessly, creating necklaces, bracelets and matching earrings. I gave away almost every piece I made, and somehow was never smart enough to take a picture of my designs. Now I have bins and bins of semi-precious beads, wire in all sizes, every kind of clasp you can think of, and I haven’t made a piece of jewelry since mid-2006.

When I was 6 months pregnant, I took a beginning quilting class. I quickly completed five quilt tops and one complete quilt. Machine quilted, of course. Otherwise, that amount would be ridiculously unattainable. Towards the last month of my pregnancy, and for a good 8 months after I had my son, my hands were so swollen that I couldn’t do the final hand-stitching for the binding, so I stopped quilting.

My son is now almost 18 months old. With the exception of the odd last-minute gift, I haven’t crafted anything since he was born. This shames me.

Recently, I pulled a half-finished afghan out of the closet and kept it near me as much as possible. I worked on it a few nights a week, and I’m proud to say that I finished it a week ago. It’s not very big, but the basket-weave pattern came out so thick and warm and snuggly. My son loves to lay on it on the floor – and he doesn’t really lay down on the floor, so this is really saying something.

A few days ago, I pulled my big plastic bin of quilt tops out of the garage. Last night, I sat down and quilted one of them – I made it almost all the way through, when my bobbin ran out. Then, as I tried to wind a new bobbin, my bobbin-winder wouldn’t spin! So – I finally get back to sewing, and my machine gives up on me!

But I will not be deterred. I will take my machine to a repair shop this weekend, and hopefully, I’ll be sewing by Sunday. The good news is that the noise doesn’t wake up the baby or my husband, so I’ll be able to quilt at night. I’d like to get all the quilt tops sandwiched, quilted, and the binding sewn on, so I can do the hand-stitching anywhere anytime – like out in the yard while my son swims in the baby pool or whatever. I’m finding that mobility is the key to productivity.

Now, if I could just get motivated about running!