Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Turning Cowls into Art

Without too much thought, I DM'd Jeannine on twitter and asked if she'd be interested in doing a swap.  Maybe I could make her a cowl in exchange for a drawing/painting?  She accepted.  I was excited for about 30 seconds.  And then I started worrying.
» read full post

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saori Weaving Present

I got the most wonderful gift for my office from my friend Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes!  She made this weaving for me to match my office chair covers.  It's perfect!
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 Challenge - Update

I still haven't spent one penny on craft supplies.  Believe me, I'm as shocked as you. :)  I gave myself $20 worth of wiggle room, but I'm pretty sure I won't use it.
» read full post

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starling Earrings

Mia, world's sweetest pattern tester, sent me a pair of the cutest Starling earrings to celebrate my pattern release.
» read full post

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Most Wonderful Specky Surprise

Ester sent out Specky Surprises for her Second Blog Anniversary.  Last year's specky surprise is *amazing* a makes me smile every day.

This year's specky surprise makes me ridiculously happy, which is why there is a ridiculous number of photos in this post.  Thanks, Ester!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dice Buttons

I wore three of the adorable dice buttons today.  I don't wear pins nearly enough.  It made my tired, old brown shirt feel like a brand new outfit.  That's probably something all you girly-girls already know ... the power of accessories.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mushroom Swap Loot

I got the most wonderful mix of mushrooms from the swap.
» read full post

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 3

Handbags handbags handbags!
» read full post

Monday, March 02, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 2

I highlight some little-used techniques that I found in the book.
» read full post

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 1

Mimi found this Japanese craft book (or maybe it's a magazine?) from 1966.  She gave it to Diane when she was in Portland.  Mimi told Diane that she thought that either Diane or I would really love it.  Diane sent it to me.

This installment talks about the front and back cover and the diagrams.
» read full post

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mushrooms Finished

OK, these are the most fun things EVER to make.  I love making them so much that I had to consciously and diligently promise myself to not make more than five.  There are just so many other fun things to do.  If I let myself, all I would do until the end of time is make mushrooms.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mushroom Production In Full Gear

Well, the third time was the charm.  The blue spotted mushroom was my third prototype and it was perfect.  I've scrapped the first two prototypes (I tried to retrofit them, but it was a no-go).  Now I'm just cranking them out.
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Friday, February 06, 2009

Mushroom Test

This is my first test mushroom for the now-closed mushroom swap hosted by the super-wonderful knitsonya.
» read full post

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pandacub Hair Cuteness

A week or so ago I received the sweetest email from Stephanie offering to send me a set of owl hair elastics.  I just got them and they are the *cutest* things in the world.  I wear my hair braided a lot, and I love having cute little elastics at the top of them next to my ears.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Feel Your Pain Penguin

I can't remember the last time I saw the sun.  It's been about 3 days of dreary, sunless, deep-freeze around here.  The only change yesterday was some snow/slush/rain.  boo.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Contests and Swaps

Anti-V-Day Contest

I'm so excited to be a judge for the 2nd Annual Black Heart Anti-Valentines Day Contest from Dabbled.org.

Mushroom Swap

I also just signed up for Knitsonya's Handmade Mushroom Swap which is going to be awesome!  You can still sign up, so scoot over there, right now.
» read full post

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gifts From Shannon

Shannon of Shanny Lee sent me a wonderful surprise box of goodies the week before Christmas.  And, despite the best efforts of UPS and my apartment building's concierge, I got the box in time to enjoy these goodies for the whole holiday vacation.
» read full post

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Start The New Year Clean

OK.  2008 took most of my crafty plans, and there weren't all that many to begin with, and threw them in the same hole where America throws it's money*.  But I'm not going to let that get me down.  Especially when everywhere I look in my apartment, I see the lovely things I've made or my crafty friends have sent me.
» read full post

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm Running Away To Join The Circus

Tina Jett from Scatterbox sent me this amazing hand sewn felt circus tent.  Actually, it arrived on the same day as Bethany's package.  And they both arrived on the same day as our new router.  It was a red letter day, alright!
» read full post

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Package From Bethany

Bethany of Bitter Betty has been a blog friend for years.  We've even met in real life.  I recently received the dreamiest of packages from her.  She is a magician of packaging and a present-picking-out sage.  Every single item in the package is so wonderful and perfect.
» read full post

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mini-Me (well, not me-me ...)

This is a mini-me doll I made for my boss' birthday.  He totally wears a green shirt that exact color with white pearl buttons and he sports a long black ponytail, too.  While he was in a meeting, we set up the cake and mini-me in his office to surprise him when he returned.  It was too much fun!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wait For It ...

There is nothing like a box of goodies to brighten the week.  Angelina sent me this wonderful selection of fun stuff last week.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Time For Love Dr. Jones

After getting the box o' yarny love from Shannon last weekend, I *had* to do some crocheting.  The package contained a wonderful variegated yarn that I really wanted to see as a handbag.  There was some major blue-pooling when I was doing the base which I wasn't loving.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Link Fest

[ Lots of great stuff ... owl earrings, gifted yarn, mouse pins, stitchy circles Photoshop brushes, and crochet blanket ]
» read full post

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Andrew The Owl Enabler

Last week I also got some surprise gifts from Andrew, too.  [ summary: owl magnets and the most awesome notebook ever ]
» read full post

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Isa The Owl Enabler

Isa was the very first person who asked me to swap.  She has a very special place in my heart.  And, last week I got a special surprise package from Germany.
» read full post

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's Not A Mistake, It's Character

Recently I sent a package of goodies to Diane of Crafty Pod.  One item was a custom-made wristlet.  I love making things knowing who they are for.  I'm able to put a little extra love into them.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

hi-YA!

This cute little ninja was made from a pattern in Creepy Cute Crochet, just like the monkey in a fez.  I made it for another a co-worker's birthday.  Instead of making a card* for the ninja, I had everyone write their birthday message on a 2"x3" piece of card stock.  Then I taped each one on a pin (the ones with the flat flower heads on them) and stuck the pin in the ninja.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Birthday Squirrel

This is a birthday card I made for a coworker.
» read full post

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I've been walking around for days saying to anyone that will listen that I've been craving a sugar cookie with icing.   And then yesterday in the mail ... I GOT SUGAR COOKIES.  They didn't have icing, but they were button shaped and had sprinkles.
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thank You Ester

This is the present that Ester sent me for her 1 Year Specky Surprise.  It's just as wonderful and amazing as it looks!
» read full post

Friday, March 14, 2008

Unbelievably Busy Week And Wishes Fulfilled

I thought I was used to being crazy-busy, but this week has completely flattened me.  I'm afraid that when I go to bed tonight I won't wake up for a week.  It's been *that* busy.  It looks like I have a whole March-full of busyness to look forward to.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wedding Blanket

This is the blanket I made for my sister, Nancy, and her husband when they married over seven years ago.  That sucker is huge!  I made it long enough to hang over both sides of their king-sized bed.  Thank you so much, Nanner, for taking the time to take these for me.  I know you're busy-busy-busy.
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Monday, January 07, 2008

Grace

My friend Grace arrived from Australia last night.  At first she pretended she was a little shy.  It took quite a bit to convince her to take off her coat and hat.

But by the end of the night, she was being her outgoing self, and was having a blast playing UNO with Ernest.  She beat him by 37 points.

Grace must have brought a little of the Australian summer with her because today it was 60 degrees in Philadelphia.  No joke.  It was beautiful!

Grace was sent to me by Jodie at Vintage Ric Rac.  I won her 100th post giveaway.

Grace herself is amazing, but everything that came with Grace (see my Flickr) just totally blows me away.  She has two toys (one is a pink sock monkey!), two reverseable dresses, a cardigan, a wool swing coat with one red button, a hat and scarf, adorable pjs, and a quilt made of vintage chenille.  Everything is impressively and impeccably made.  I'm so completely overwhelmed!  It's amazing.  Thank you, Jodie!
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Monday, December 31, 2007

My Fiend Bobby

I received this cute little Sydocian from Adopt-a-critter.  He arrived yesterday and totally matched the shirt I was wearing.  He's made of the softest, wispiest faux fur ever.

I had a hard time picking something from her store because everything is so cute.  This flower-eyed stuffie almost beat out Bobby.

And, if you are looking for New Years Resolution assistance, you gotta check out iHanna's blog.  She posted the most comprehensive list of resolution reference materials imaginable in this post and this post.  It's almost overwhelming! :)
» read full post

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Neopolitan Blanket

All I could think about when I was making this blanket was the Neopolitan Coconut candies I would get as a child at the Pick-A-Mix station at the grocery store.  They are heaven!  I also liked the Jelly Nougats which look totally gross to me now.  Anyway, crocheting this blanket made me CRAVE candy.

The blanket is made of worsted weight cotton and is alternating rows of single and double crochet.  The single crochet gives some structure to the blanket and the double crochet makes it cuddly.

The top and bottom edge have an edging of *dc ch dc ch dc* all in one stitch and then a sc on either side.  The right and left edges are just single crochet.

I'll be mailing this blanket to Barakah Life on Monday.  I heard of this project via CraftyPod.  Khadija will be hand delivering the blankets she collects to expectant mothers in Africa.  The donation deadline is January 25th and she's accepting sewn, knitted, or crochet blankets.  That's plenty of time to make a baby blanket!
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fun Stuff In The Mail

I've been loving the mail box lately!  I'll just go left to right:

Mary emailed me with some crochet questions.  Little did I know that she is an author and I'd get an inscribed copy of her book We Are All Fine Here in return!  I devoured it in the three days after its arrival.  I don't read any chick lit, so I don't know if it's typical or not,  but judging by the f-bomb to non-f-bomb word ratio, and the fact that it deals with moral ambiguities in a not-tied-up-in-a-bow way, I'm guessing it's an edgy cousin of chick lit, if not its NSFW nemesis.  It's great!

Next is the kick ass Christmas Tree ornament and Squirrel Patch from the most excellent Crafty McGee.  Last year in a huge, group patch swap, I serendipitously ended up with her platypus patch.  This constitutes a collection now, right? :)

The adorable crochet sweater is from Marci Senders.  It even has a tiny little hanger!  Thanks for feeding my ornament appetite! :)

And last, but not least, is a sweet little holiday card from Frizz, glitter and all!

I'm wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!  Our plans include lots of board games, dominoes, UNO (of all things), hot cocoa (hot tea for him), snuggly movies on the couch, and, weather permitting, walks through the silent streets of Philadelphia.  For a city ranked as number 5 or 6 in population, Philadelphia is usually a ghost town.  It's eerie.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ravelry And (Gasp) Another Ornament

I got my invite to Ravelry today!  I've been holding my breath since I put myself on the waiting list.  I figured I waited too long to sign up and the user name "futuregirl" would be taken*.  Lucky me!!  It was still available!  I only had a second to look around, but it looks like a great site.

Yesterday I got this ornament from Jessica at Funky Finds.  How adorable is her little dog?!

I'm still moving forward with the idea of building my own blog application, which is a good sign since I've usually given up on the whole idea by this point.  Andrew and I have been discussing ways for me move foward with a completely different system while still having all the old pages (or at least *appear* to have all the old pages).  There are still some details to work out and concepts to be tested, but I think the whole thing might be a lot easier than I imagined.  Either that or I'm deluded.  Time will tell.

* on Flickr I use futuregirl_dot_com/futuregirldotcom ... because it wasn't taken. Wonder why? ;)
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tie-Dyed Jellyfish And Purple Fish

Here is a more evidence of my "little problem" in regard to ornaments.  When Crafty McGee posted that she had a couple left over ornaments to trade, I JUMPED on it.  Breathlessly.

For my part of the trade, I made her the tie-dyed jellyfish above.  I have a stash of tie-dyed felt that I finally cut into for this little guy.

The jellyfish seems to be the most popular of the Supercute Sea Creatures, which is a little bit of a surprise to me.  I would have thought it would be the octopus.

I also made her a purple fish with a sequin eye stripe.  I thought the silver sequins would look good paired with Christmas lights,  But now that I think about it, these little guys might be on her light-less tree ... in which case the sequins will bring a little bling to the mix. :)

I can't wait to get my little tree from Crafty McGee.  I think it's uber brilliant that she put the eyelet for hanging in the middle of the treetop star.
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Back To Normal

Crafting

This is what my crafting table looks like.  I love it messy and full of projects.  After dealing with the Blogger headache, I decided I was just going to make stuff the rest of the weekend.  Saturday night, and most of the day Sunday, I worked on a batch of birdcage handbags.  But I ran out of snaps last night after all the stores were closed, so I switched to stuffie designing.

Stuffies

I've been trying to design a fox stuffie for a year and a half.  I feel like I'm finally on the right track, but who knows when I'll finally finish the poor little guy.  Some of my misshapen attempts are on the table in that picture.  The rest of them are hidden in a zip-loc bag off-camera.  I had a couple of good ideas as I fell asleep last night.  Maybe they'll be the key to a successful fox.

BYOB (build your own blog)

Andrew has been trying to convince me to write my own blog application since I started blogging two years ago.  After this weekend, I'm 99% sure that I'm going to.  I know that TypePad and WordPress have loyal fans, but none of the platforms offer exactly what I want, which is complete control.  It's the ultimate DIY project for a craft blogger, isn't it? :)

Mr. Piggles And Ornament Addiction

These two cuties arrived for me and Andrew today from the super-awesome Laurie at Old School Acres.  They've already made themselves at home playing our German games from Isa. I steered away from ornament swaps this year because I didn't want the pressure.  Plus, I don't actually celebrate Christmas, so I don't have a big, beautiful tree to put them on.

But I've found myself springing into action when it comes to being the first of 5 (or 2, or whatever) commenters on a post to get in on bloggers' ornament giveaways. I can't resist.  I love ornaments!  They are one of my favorite parts of winter, along with hot cocoa, peppermint, dark chocolate, snowflakes, sparkly lights, scarves, and good times with the people I love.
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What A Great Day!

Boing Boing
I woke up this morning with my inbox stuffed with pattern orders.  I quickly found out that sweet Normanck submitted my post about Lenore to Boing Boing and they put up a post linking to me.  Nothing makes a girl feel more like a rock star than getting three times her normal web traffic.  It's pretty funny that the first time it happened in May 2006, I was a little annoyed.  What was I thinking?!

Secret News
Then I find another piece of awesome news in my inbox that had had me jumping down the street during our daily walk, singing doofy songs.  It didn't help that it was snowing out, which was just too fun.  I can't tell you the news until tomorrow ... but that doesn't stop me feeling good about it today.

Just For Fun Package
Then, to top it all off, I got a wonderful package from crafty-but-blogless Veronica.  She just wanted to say "Thank You" for my tutorials, my site, and just being me ... which really is too sweet for words.  Look at all the wonderful goodies she included.

I LOVE this reversible pin cushion!  She made it using a pincushion pattern from Heather Bailey.  This will be my ironing board pin cushion, which is currently pin cushion-less. :) Of course the embossed felt (in the background) is going to get put to good use.

This felted pouch is so very soft and has the most beautiful silver button to keep it closed.  It will come in super handy in my larger bags.


She also included a ton of this fabric.  It's at least a yard, maybe two!  It's right up my alley.  I love the swirly design that hints at paisley and the large multi-colored flowers.  It's perfect for a bag lining.

Thank you so much, Veronica!

The 411 On The Houndstooth Earmuffs
And for all of you that asked (or wanted to ask) about my earmuffs ... they appear to be some sort of black-market goods.  There is no tag on them, the hang-tag was black with the price ($8) hand-written on it.  No printing at all.  For all I know, I'm funding terrorism with my earmuff purchase. :)

The funny thing is I was looking for normal earmuffs all over the city because I wanted to crochet a cover for the ear-balls so they'd match my scarf.  NO ONE has normal earmuffs, everyone only carries those sporty behind the head ones which I am not interested in.  I finally found the houndstooth ones in a "funny t-shirt, novelty socks, and smoking paraphernalia" store.  Ironically, they match my scarf perfectly, so they scuttled my craft project plans. :)
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Schmoopy

I'm pretty much overwhelmed with the awesome response I'm getting from my giveaways.  I had no idea that so many people actually read my blog ... so many NICE people.  I love it!  I feel bad that everyone can't win, but right now, before I've chosen the winners, everyone gets to share that buzzy "maybe I'll win" feeling.

*And* everyone should feel good about entering.  No feeling guilty about delurking just to enter.  No feeling guilty for entering all the drawings (or just the ones you want).  This is a celebration!  Plus, all you lurkers staying lurked, I ♥ you, too!

I thought my web traffic would be through the roof because of the giveaways, but my web traffic actually went DOWN the first three days.  How funny is that?!

Thanks for being so awesome!
» read full post

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Giveaway Number Three

I'm enjoying all the great comments you are all leaving on my giveaways.  You're the best!

Giveaway Number Three is a Martha Stewart Crafts Frosty Village Decoration Kit.

The kit is provided courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (thanks, Agnes!)*.  They are going to mail this awesome kit (that includes glitter!!) directly to the winner for me.

Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite thing about winter** to enter the drawing.  Be sure I can contact you via your comment.  If your Blogger profile is hidden, or you don't provide your email address, or, at the very least, a link to your website, then you are ineligible.  How horrible would that be?!

You must leave your comment by November 24th at midnight Eastern Time (that's the midnight between the 23rd and the 24th).  To find out what time that is where you live, choose your time zone next to the heading "Select place to convert to" on this page at The World Clock.

I will announce the winner on November 24th. :) Good luck!

* Just so you know, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is not compensating me in any way for this post.  They are just providing the kit.

** I figured some of you might be bored of leaving "enter me" comments, so I wanted to give you something fun to say. :)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Giveaway Number Two

Wow!  I have over 100 comments on my first giveaway post.  Thank you *everybody* for being so sweet and so supportive!  This has been a very exciting two years and it's been great to share it all with you.  I'm not sure how many giveaways I'm going to come up with to celebrate my two year blogaversary (November 24th), but here's another:

Giveaway Number Two is a mystery box of crafty goodness.

Yesterday I picked up one of those "$8.95 in postage no matter how heavy it is" boxes.  I'm going to cram it full of fabric, trim, buttons, paper, yarn, google eyes, and all manner of fun crafty stuff.

Leave a comment on this post to enter the drawing.  Be sure I can contact you via your comment.  If your Blogger profile is hidden, or you don't provide your email address, or, at the very least, a link to your website, then you are ineligible.  How horrible would that be?!

You must leave your comment by November 24th at midnight Eastern Time (that's the midnight between the 23rd and the 24th).  To find out what time that is where you live, choose your time zone next to the heading "Select place to convert to" on this page at The World Clock.

I will announce the winner on November 24th. :) Good luck!
» read full post

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giveaway Number One

My two year blogaversary is coming up November 24th.  I've decided to do a series of giveaways to celebrate.

Giveaway Number One is a Bleeding Heart Handbag.

Oh, yes!  That's how excited I am about my blogaversary.

Leave a comment on this post to enter the drawing.  Be sure I can contact you via your comment.  If your Blogger profile is hidden, or you don't provide your email address, or, at the very least, a link to your website, then you are ineligible.  How horrible would that be?!

You must leave your comment by November 24th at midnight Eastern Time (that's the midnight between the 23rd and the 24th).  To find out what time that is where you live, choose your time zone next to the heading "Select place to convert to" on this page at The World Clock.

I will announce the winner on November 24th. :) Good luck!
» read full post

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Floss Accomplished

With some help from Kari (whose mom and sister and used to own a cross stitch shop) and one last trip to the craft store, I have now become the proud owner of ALL of the colors of DMC floss.

A calm has settled over the craft table*. I now know that I can find the perfect color of floss for any craft project ... and if I can't, then it just doesn't exist.  Crafting with confidence, that's my motto.

*I'm only half joking. :)
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thanks, Laurie!

Laurie of Old School Acres had a drawing on her birthday, and this is the box of surprises that *she* sent to *me*.  How amazing is all that stuff?!

I LOVE the gigantic stuffed acorn. All the vintage jewelry is gorgeous, especially the bejeweled blue birds.  The background is vintage linens, and I love the embroidered peacock on the right one.  I have a vague idea about crocheting something onto existing clothes, and that novelty trim would come in handy for starting things off (it's got a picot border on one edge of the bias tape).

If you haven't already seen her blog, totally take a look.  She's talented, creative, and funny as all get out.  She's had me singing sweater pig instead of "spider pig" for weeks now.

Thanks, Laurie!
» read full post

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lose A Week, Gain A Year

I'm finally starting to feel better.  It sucks to come out from under a huge pile of used tissues and realize a whole week has passed you by.  Thanks for all the well wishes *and* crochet hook holder love!  You guys really make a girl feel better. :)

I lost a week and gained a year ... I turned 36 this weekend.  Yay!  I have a great haul of presents, but the topper is this mini stash starter pack from Andrew:

BABY ALPACA!  It's not just the name ... it's 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Acrylic.  AMAZINGLY soft.  I got two balls each of charcoal, forest, plum, and cream.  This is officially the fanciest yarn I've ever touched.  For reals.  I've never gone into a LYS (local yarn store).  Funny thing is, he found this in the back of a fancy boutique in Philly's Old City, not a yarn store.  I've been literally dreaming about this yarn.  I'm not sure what I'm going to make yet.  Ideas?
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tricot Du Coeur

Vivi asked me to donate an item for a charity she is interested in helping.  Vivi is one of the sweetest people I've never met, so I agreed.  Then I started reading about the charity.

It's a summer camp for ill children.  During camp they sleep under handmade quilts.  At the end of their stay they are each given a handmade teddy bear and a handmade afghan as a souvenir.  How incredibly sweet is that?!

Vivi has put together a website, Tricot Du Couer, to spread the word.  She's looking for people to sign up to knit or crochet a blanket for the charity.  There is plenty of time too ... the blankets need to be finished and mailed by March 30th.  After that date, she will have a drawing for the fabulous donated prizes - everyone who makes a blanket (or donates money, for the non-crafty) has a chance to win*.

For my part, I've donated a wristlet and an octopus stuffie for the drawing, and I'm definitely going to make at least one blanket.  I'm pretty excited about getting back to afghan making ... it's been so long.

If you are interested in donating a prize for the drawing or making a blanket, check out Tricot Du Couer and sign up!

* EDIT:  Not everyone will win a prize, but everyone will be in the drawing for the prizes.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Poison-ees Have Been Chosen

Thank you all for entering!  I totally can't answer 45 comments, so I'll just tell you all right now that they were some of the best comments ever.  You guys are hilarious!  Plus there are tons of great Halloween ideas in there.

I had my husband pick numbers, and I used those numbers to pick the winners (comment number before the name):

(9) LeeAnn
(16) Kari
(17) Maitreya
(23) Bethany Oakes
(41) suesue

Email me with your address and I will send your prize! :)
» read full post

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm A Winner

Dacia had a drawing for her Clean Up Giveaway and I was one of the winners.  I got a great package full of fun stuff.  My favorite fabrics are above.  I already plan to use several as bag linings.

I also got a lot of this yellow/chartreuse crochet cotton.  I'll definitely pull it out the next time the urge to use my tiny hooks hits.

Thanks again, Dacia!
» read full post

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sweet Isa

Isa is the first person who ever emailed me and asked me to swap.  We've been trading packages and favors since then.

Isa's workmanship is beyond amazing.  She labors over every detail.  If you are a Blythe fiend in need of couture clothing for your little darlings, subscribe to her Flickr feed so you don't miss sale announcements.

This is the most adorable quilted pouch.  The hedgie's boat is named "Alice."  I love the cute embroidery.  She's made two other little pouches for me over the years.  I use them to hold jewelry on trips ... and this one will be perfect for that, too.

She also included lots of vintage German Fabric, trim, and buttons.  The fabric is amazing.  I love the retro prints.  And there is always chocolate ... which is already eaten, of course. :)

To continue the hedgie theme, Isa included this vintage children's book.  It's just like one she had as a child. The illustrations are so awesome.  I love the multi-colored hedgehog.  And look at that terrific owl.

Thanks again, Isa!
» read full post

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Handbag For Barb

* * * * * *
UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
* * * * * *

I made this handbag for a previous co-worker.  She noticed that I made myself a handbag, and saw me crocheting all the time, so she asked if I'd make her one, too.  She took me out to lunch a million-and-one times in exchange - which was fine with me. :)

As you can see, I based the stripe and dash pattern on the fabric I chose as a lining.  I love the blues in the fabric.  I just happened to have just enough teal yarn left over from another project to use for this handbag.  Yay for stash-using.

I have a thing for stripes in a big way.  It's totally accidental.  I never think about it, I'm just drawn to them.  Years ago a friend pointed out that over half the shirts hanging in my closet had horizontal stripes on them ... I'd never noticed.

I didn't make a label for this handbag because I never told Barb about my craft blog.  In fact, I never told anyone at that job about it.  Is that weird?  Do any of you not-tell certain people about your craft-blog-self?
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tiny Squirrel For Frizz

Here is a little extra bit for my swap with Frizz.  Thanks again, Frizz, for such a great swap! :)

This tiny squirrel and giant acorn come from this Japanese craft book, ISBN 4834755894.  It's full of the cutest little creatures. I was glad I had a reason to finally make one of them.  You can barely see it in the photo, because I blew out the white, but there is white center stitching on the squirrel's cute buck teeth.  The tail swirl wasn't easy to cut out, but it's so freakin' cute!  Each of the arms on this guy are about the size of a lentil.  I actually lost an arm in all the crafting hubbub and had to cut out another tiny appendage.  Thank goodness for my crafting fingernail scissors. :)

Andrew was just snapping away during the squirrel photo shoot and caught this portrait of the back of my head.  This is what my hair looks like 98% of the time.  My favorite hair sticks are black, child-sized chopsticks I bought at Pearl River in New York.  They were 10 for $3.

See how teeny the squirrel is?  Actually, this photo is a little misleading, because I have a monstrously huge head. :)
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sock and Glove Love

The publisher of Sock And Glove sent me a review copy of the new English version.  How cool is that?! Way-cool (Thanks, Melissa!). I don't have the Japanese version, but it seems like they just translated it without editing because the text is whimsical and cute.  Thank goodness!  I hope that as they translate Japanese craft books into English, they don't try to Americanize them.  It's easy to imagine how sweet and charming Japanese craft books are, but it's great that we are going to be able to actually read them soon, too.

The first time I saw the elephant, I fell in love!  That's the picture from the book on the left. I only had 30 minutes of craft time last week, and I spent it making the elephant pieces-parts above.  Oh!  He's so adorable already.

I think I got pretty far in 30 minutes.  The trunk, which isn't stuffed, is so crazy-cute that I just want to hold the decapitated head and pet it (I pinned the head on for the photo).  I am cutting a few corners to save time, like not making the round leg and arm ends ... although I'm starting to regret that because they are so cute in the book photo.  I hope that I have time to finish him soon, because I'm already smitten.  I'm making him out of a pair of old, faded, soft, black socks.

Being a control freak, I usually prefer to have pattern pieces.  This book just has little diagrams of socks and/or gloves with cut-lines drawn on them.  I was worried about doing a good job of cutting out the pieces, but I shouldn't have. It was a lot of fun to just cut into some socks.  Every time you make one of these animals, how you cut out the pieces will determine the personality of your creation.  I like that.

I love the black elephant, but I'm already plotting to 'liberate' a pair of Andrew's dark grey socks to make another one.  I'm even thinking of doing a little sock shopping, which isn't like me, to see what's out there for even more elephant fun.  I'm totally getting ahead of myself ... since I haven't finished my first elephant, but the book is so inspiring and the projects are so easy and cute, I can't help myself.
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

My Stash Gained Ten Pounds

I used to be a big hoarder.  I saved anything and everything, you know, just in case.  Seven years ago we were in San Francisco and now we're in Philadelphia with several stops in between. In that time I've learned to declutter my life.  I've come to love having just what I need.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Owl Needlebook From Esther

You may recall that Ester* was the inspiration behind my crochet wristlet.  In addition to buying the prototype, she sent me this wonderful needlebook.

I must confess that I spied it in her Flickr feed**. I really really hoped she didn't know another Alice and that this needlebook was a surprise for me.  I was so happy to find a package from Malaysia in my mailbox yesterday!

The whole thing is hand sewn with beautiful tiny stitches.  The words say "Hoot Alice Hoot."  The little owl wing flaps open to reveal the snap.  It's unbelievably precious - it actually pains me.  I feel like I'm getting a Vulcan Nerve Pinch every time I think about that wing/snap opening and closing.  I've already filled the inside with pins, needles, and some paper clip stitch markers.

I was using a scrap piece of felt for needles in my travel craft bag that I take to work everyday.  I'm so happy to have this needlebook to replace that.  I want to protect this little treasure, so I made a  Ziploc® travel case for it.  Did you know you can just sew new seams for Ziploc® bags?  Oh, yes ... yes you can!

Esther -- I appreciate the time you spent sewing this for me.  It's such a sweet thing for you to do. This needlebook will always be very special to me.  I love it!

*You should totally check out Esther's Flickr account.  She's been making super-cute, crazy-tiny matchbook dioramas.  This little pig farm is so adorable that you can't look at it directly without safety goggles.

** Did you know you can subscribe to a Flickr account's feed?!  I was so excited when I figured that out.  Now I can keep up with Isa's Blythe adventures since she stopped writing on her blog.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Dreamy

This handbag, for Bethany of Bitter Betty, started as a dream. I awoke one morning with the image of a cream and black striped bag floating in my head. It'd been months since I decided to make her a handbag, and I'd been waiting for the perfect inspiration.
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Made Especially for Green Kitchen

Michelle of Green Kitchen is one of my favorite craft conspirators and a good friend.  After she sent me this this wonderful package, the least I could do was make her a bag.

This bag is totally different from all the others I've made, and I had a great time designing it for her.  I actually made Michelle's bag before the one for my mother-in-law.  I loved using my brand-new-for-my-birthday fabric to make a gift.

Since she has a baby to carry, she needed something hands-free.  She sent me a sketch with dimensions, which totally helped me out.  The strap is long enough to wear across her chest.  I was afraid that the cotton yarn would stretch over time, so I made the strap adjustable.  It loops through a rectangle ring and then attaches to itself with three buttons that slip right between the strap's stitches.

The three decoy buttons on the outside of the strap stabilize the functional buttons.

No one sells 1.5 inch rectangle rings, so I liberated one from an unused backpack.  I couldn't even find them online.  If you know where I can get them, please tell me, because they are the perfect size for all sorts of uses.

I crocheted a removable cell phone holder that hangs from the rectangle ring, and there is a key hook attached to a long strap.  I made the key hook strap long enough that the keys rest on the bottom of the bag so their weight won't pull down the top edge of the bag.

I was afraid that my normal felt and embroidery floss embellishments wouldn't be tough enough to withstand the reality of errands with two little ones, so I tried something new.  I used cotton yarn to embroider in the spaces created by the single crochet stripes.  I love the way it turned out, and I have plans to use the technique again.

I totally took a chance that Michelle would like the kooky fabric and crazy embellished stripes.  The fabric is so enthusiastic and bold, and that's how I picture Michelle.  And, from a fashion standpoint, with so many colors it would equally match (or not-match) everything.  I love thinking about her running around town with a bag I made for her.
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Patch Swap Package

In Faun's patch swap, I scored the orange work platypus from Crafty McGee.  I'm so totally happy!  I wish I'd have made more patches so I would have received more patches.  There were so many wonderful one's sent in.  I can't wait to see who gets my paisley ... I hope they like it.

As promised, Faun included all sorts of wonderful goodies.  I got a print of Queenish (mine is similar to the photo ... except that it has a dark green hashed background) and a set of iron-on transfers.  I really really want to use the little girl with the balloon who is saying "thinking of you" right this very second.  It's too cute.  Thank you for the wonderful treats, Faun!

Looking in Faun's Etsy Shop reminded me that I bought this awesome glass pendant from her.  I get compliments every time I wear it.  I love that the red blobs kind of look like globs of blood. I freaked out when I saw it in her store and was nervous the whole time I was going through the checkout process because I was afraid that someone else would snatch it up.

Thank you so much Faun and Rose for having good pictures I could borrow for this post.  And double-plus-thanks for filling my mailbox with awesome goodies.
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pan the Panda from Isa

My newest friend Pan just arrived from Germany!  Isa made my little sailor while she was vacationing at the North Sea.

He's outfitted with a bag of shells, a fishing pole with today's catch still attached, and a tiny sailboat.  Pan also brought me gifts from Isa: fish-shaped candles, shell-shaped soap, a loofah, spice cookies, and heavenly dark chocolate and marzipan.  I'm also the proud owner of a special edition Zoo Collection bag.  Isa made one just for me using nautical linen with Pan embroidered on the front.

My package was so thoughtfully put together, and my presents were carefully chosen.  The craftsmanship of everything Isa made is incredible.  Tiny Pan is precious beyond words.  I have no idea how Isa sewed his tiny overalls.  Even the shell bag is lined with two different fabrics and has a working drawstring.  I'm deeply touched that Isa prepared this special package for me.

Liebe Isa, thank you from my heart. :)


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ornament Swap

First, I want to thank Michelle of Green Kitchen for organizing this ornament swap.  With all the stuff she has going on (you know, life), it was great of her to initiate it and make it happen.

When I first saw the participant list, I thought, "Kick Ass. I totally want stuff from these people."  Luckily, Michelle reassured me that my lack of Christmasness wouldn't disqualify me, so I've been waiting here for my avalanche of awesome ... and these women didn't disappoint.

Michelle from Green Kitchen sent me two (two!) ornaments.  They are exactly the kind of lovingly made, retro ornaments that hung on my Grandmother's Christmas tree.  I love the vintage bulbs, chenille stems, and crochet bodies.  They are heartwarming to look at and evoke a nostalgia for Christmas that I rarely experience.

Bethany from Bitter Betty sent me this freaking adorable deer, Bad Bambi.  Amazing!  She knows, of course, that I love skulls and cute-edgy stuff and Bad Bambi is exactly that.  It's smaller than any stuffie I've ever made.  I'm totally in awe of her tiny handy work! Do you see the perfect minuscule cigarette!?  Take a look at the rest of her tiny creations.



Stephanie from Ruby Crowned Kinglette sent me a wonderfully stylized reindeer.  The design is amazing.  I love simple graphic shapes.  The faux suede body feels great and the natural twig legs and antlers are wonderful.  It's just gorgeous!  Check out the whole set.





Tricia from Frizzelstixs sent this awesome embroidered panel. I always love her animal characters and I can't believe I have one for my very own.  A deer drinking coffee - he's so cool!  I imagine he's home from a long day of lumberjacking and, before he even takes off his plaid over-shirt, he's warming up with a cup of joe.




Meg from Pixiegenne sent this wonderful button wreath.  Since my button stash isn't big enough for me to make one of these, it's especially appreciated.  I like the way Soule Mama used hers as a frame and I'm going to find a cute picture of us to put in it.





Cassi from Bella Dia created this wonderful, graphic ornament.  It's a bright, cheery decoration, perfect for combating the shortening days.  I love the simplicity of the colors and shapes, but close up you can see all the detailed, careful stitches. It's beautiful.






Kristin from Kleas sent me the cutest little elf girl.  Do you see those tiny braids?  The precious pointy shoes?  The stripey tights?  The elfin mushroom?  She is so completely adorable.  I love that her arms are thrown wide like she's ready to give everyone she meets a big hug.

Thank you, everyone, for making this such a *great* group swap!
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Embroidered Paisley Patch

Two of my commission purses will have paisley embellishments on the outside.  I figured I should do a practice run and make a patch for the Red Button Tree Patch Swap at the same time.

The paisley is about 2" by 1" on black acrylic felt.  It makes me happy just to look at it.  It's so bright and cute. It came out 110% better than I thought it would.

I used a pattern from this book.  It's full of great designs and I'm happy I finally had a chance to use one.


I have two more paisleys traced and ready to stitch, but I feel like I need to make some significant progress on my big projects before I make more patches.  Maybe when I need a break, I'll pick them up.  My self-imposed mail date for the patch swap is November 10th, so I still have some time.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Museums and Mail

Saturday was full of crafty museums and crafty mail.

First Marci and Amber came down to Philadelphia for some museum visiting.  Our first stop, where we hooked up with Amber's mom (who was way cool), was the Fabric Workshop and Museum.  My favorite part was Jean Shin's TEXTile.  The central piece is an interactive "fabric" using thousands of discarded computer keyboard keys embedded in a continuous textile approximately 25 feet in length.

I think it was my favorite because we got to touch it. Some of the keys actually worked, so viewers (like me!) could type using the fabric and see their typed letters appear on a video projection at the other end of the fabric.  It felt so interesting.  I liked running my hand over the keys - they were all sizes, heights, and colors.  Who knew there were so many colors of beige?  

Our next stop was the American Swedish Historical Museum to see the exhibition, In light of us - Weavings by Anita Grede.  The weavings were incredible.  Amber, the resident weaver in our little group, explained that Anita was taking several strands of fiber of different weights and colors (sometimes up to 15 at a time), twisting them together, and then using the resulting bundle to weave.  The effect was an impressionistic, pastel-like finished weaving.  They were dreamy.

Our last crafty stop was Jomar, whose fabric supply seems to be dwindling (Get on the ball, people!).  We didn't see my favorite fabric dude, but the 50-cent-a-card button box is significantly lighter, thanks to us.

Once I got home, I had awesome mail waiting for me.  I got my Tiny Original (image above, used with permission) from AshleyG of Kitty Genius fame.  Oh!  I love it.  I love the color of the paper.  They eyeless girl is so wonderful.  I like that I can't tell what her mood is - she could be upset, angry, sad, confused, inquisitive...  Not being able to determine her frame of mind makes her so intriguing and unsettling.  AshelyG also tucked in some awesome little extras - the cutest pins and postcards.

My other crafty mail was from Laurie from Old School Acres.  She sent her readers (who were brave enough to comment) a little package of goodies for her birthday.  How sweet is that?  The answer: really sweet.  Thanks Laurie! :) Do you see the awesome mushrooms hidden in the floral? Love it!
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Friday, October 20, 2006

Gifts from Bitter Betty

Yesterday I received the most wonderful box of gifts from Bitter Betty.  The packaging itself was a work of art, but there are no pictures of that, of course.  Who can wait to get the camera when there is a big box of birthday presents to open?  Not me.

Here is my very own Alice in Wonderland Egg (with Kate the Cat from Isa).  Mine all mine!  Bitter Betty let it slip that a package was coming my way and I hoped with all my hope that it was going to have an Alice the Wonderland Egg in it.  All the hoping paid off.  The egg will be getting it's own little shrine, but for now, Kate is keeping an eye on it for me.

When I was little, I would imagine myself living alone, away from the whole world, usually in the woods behind my Grandmother's house.  Now my secret place is going to be inside this egg with the Cheshire Cat.  I want to crawl in there and live in it's red glitter center.  I'll peek out past the rick-rack occasionally, but for the most part, I'll just sit in the crook of the tree listening to riddles and napping.

The owl plate in the center of my monitor stand was the next gem in my box of presents.  As you can see, it's already become a part of my desk decor.  My burgeoning pin collection (the two owls were from Andrew this birthday) and some mini lucky stars have found a home here.  It's bizzarro-cool, and not a little creepy, yet totally compelling.  There is a face, a leaf, and a stem.  I'm not sure what the creator was going for, but "joyously unsettling" is my description.

The blue and green glaze is sparkly crackle glass.  I haven't seen anything like it.  It's totally unique and it's what gives the piece a whimsical, cheerful edge.

The gold glitter magic wand was laid neatly on top of all the birthday boxes.  It's become a part of the jumble of goodies on my magnet board.

You can also see the Thank You drawing that Kuky sent me for her purse.  It's a drawing of her dancing around with her purse.  Too cute!


The birthday goodie triumvirate is rounded out with the most snuggly pom pom owl.  The eyes are maize colored felt with a blue sequins, highlighted with light green and brown embroidery floss.  In the side shot you can see the artfully embedded wings and tail.  It's so soft and cute.  You just want to snuggle it like a real baby bird.

The owl is sitting on my set of four mini Denyse Schmidt notebooks, another great birthday present from Andrew.


There were a couple other goodies in the package, including this large tin.  There is Japanese writing on it and a flurry of cherry blossoms (sakura, I think).  I filled it with all the loose stationery and cards I have.  Including this excellent owl set Andrew bought me for my birthday.  There is a set of four black and grey, red-eyed owls.  I'm glad they have a good home.

Thank you so much, Bethany!  Any one of these gifts would have been an amazing birthday surprise.  To get them all, well, it's just overwhelming.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Korallin and Marietta Get Bags

These two bags were sent to two great women: Korallin and Marietta.  I can't say enough great things about these two.  Korallin left the first comment on my blog and has been a hilarious and steadfast friend ever since.  Marietta and I clicked right away.  She sent me a super-cool stash of felt after exchanging only a couple of emails with me.  They are both exuberant, kick ass women.  And I wanted to send them both a kick ass present.

I've been on a mission to make a totally awesome crochet bag.  The first step was designing a bag with no seams.  This bag is a smooth, solid, strong, single crochet bag - even the handles are integrated.

  The second step was making a great lining. The bottom is squared off and reinforced with thick iron-on interfacing, which helps keep the bottom of the bag flat, even when it's loaded down.

I was worried that the top edge of the bag would buckle around the snap when it was full and you picked it up by the handles.  As reinforcement, I added boning along the top edges.  The boning is light-weight, but still strong enough to keep the crisp line across the top of the bag when it's snapped shut.

The bird embellishments are inspired by the lining fabric and are pretty much embroidered freehand.  The embroidered "handmade by futuregirl" tags are created by printing out the letters on paper using the font from my blog.  Then I trace it onto see-through tear-away stabilizer, embroider over that, and then (kinda) tear it away.  Be warned:  tear-away stabilizer is meant to be on the back of machine embroidery, not the front of hand embroidery.  The labels in these purses were done with one strand of brown floss.  I almost ripped them right out of the fabric when I tried to tear away the stabilizer.  My heart fucking stopped.  Ugh!  Luckily just a couple of the stitches had been pulled funny and that was easily fixed.  Now I carefully use my manicure scissors and tweezers to remove the stabilizer.

One of my favorite parts of the whole process is sewing the lining into the
bag.  First I pin the lining in, then I hand stitch around one single crochet stitch, bring the needle in and out of the top fold of the lining (so the thread is inside the folded top edge of the lining), then around the next stitch, etc.  It comes out looking so nice and smooth - like it was machine sewn.  The stitches don't even pull when you unsnap the purse - they are super sturdy and secure.  And, of course, I have my handy dandy snap tool to do the snaps now.

It's a great feeling to have done all this work and end up with a bag that I'm really proud of.  It's an even better feeling to have people to share them with. :)
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Buttony Goodness From Laurie

Laurie from Old School Acres posted about some books she found while thrifting.  I instantly recognized three of them from the Better Homes and Gardens Crafting series.  I had one of them, and it was missing from her set.  I offered to trade it for a handful of buttons because, sadly, I had no button stash.

I was treated to more-than-a-handful of wonderful buttons.   She sent me a great mix of colors and styles.  Some of my favorites are the metal knights, the metal eagles with anchors, tons of white shell buttons , and one beautiful abalone button.

The vial of vintage sequins is about half full of flat copper sequins.  I imagine they will look really cool on one of my embroidered purses.  All of the sequins I have are creased, so the flat ones are a great addition to my sequin stash. The jeweled kitty pin is so incredibly cute, too!  So sparkly.

Laurie and her family live in a former country school house they inherited from her husband's great-grandmother.  Her blog is full of wonderful stories about her family's history and pictures of the incredible things she finds packed away in their home.

On the left of the photo you can see the edges of the stack of vintage wrapping paper she sent me - from Gram's stash. :)  Too cool.
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Green Kitchen Gifts

I can't believe the incredible package that Green Kitchen sent to me.  I'm totally blown away by how thoughtful she is.  Everything she sent is exactly something I would have picked for myself.

The package included a print of a mixed media skull with flowers.  I absolutely love it!  I already bought a frame and put it up on the wall behind my computer.  It looks great with everything else.  I took this opportunity to build a little shelf for Kate and Pipka, which were gifts from Isa.

Inside the package was a small swatch of printed fabric wrapped around a small, but weighty, bundle.  Inside the fabric was this wallet.  Ahhhh! The Dreary Xmas wallet series was featured in her first blog post. Santa Skull is a sister wallet to the Sad Snowman, the head of which she uses as her profile photo.  Her kick-ass wallets inspired me to make the Bad Eggs around Easter when I was fed up with the all the saccharine consumerism (thank goodness Easter doesn't have it's own music...).

The stitching on this wallet rocks.  There is a tiny translucent red bead in the middle of the hat pom-pom ... which can also be spelled pom-pon ... which also means artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes.  I can't believe she sent this wallet to me.  To me! :)  It's mine.

The wallet was awfully heavy, so I opened it and found this amazing owl tucked inside.  Owl! When I pulled it out of the wallet, in a stunned, low voice, I uttered, "Oh my fucking god."

Apparently I gave the impression that there was a severed finger in the wallet.  Andrew seemed relieved when he looked over and I was holding an owl necklace.

It's metallic gold and white with awesome glass eyes.  I'm definitely going to wear this out, even though it is 3.5" long and weighs about 4 pounds.  It's just too incredibly cute to keep all to myself!

I found another big owl necklace recently, in addition to the one that I bought to put on my little green bag.  The big owl necklaces have officially become a collection.

Thank you, Michelle!  I love it all. :)  You totally rock!
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Bird Fabric Surprise

Andrew and I don't celebrate most holidays.  Ok, that's not true.  We don't celebrate *any* holidays ... except for the ones we make up ourselves.  Today is one of those days, the email-versary, commemorating our first email.

Normally we only give presents on birthdays and *the* anniversary.  Email-versaries (and the like) are a nice dinner out and a bottle of wine.  But occasionally, one of us will sneak a load of presents home without the other knowing.  This time I got the big surprise!

This bird fabric is actually a queen sized throw from Urban Outfitters. Andrew calculated the cost per yard and realized it was about the same or cheaper than buying me fabric. It's the coolest fucking fabric, ever.  I fell asleep dreaming about the craft projects I will do with it.

My pile of presents include two super-neat notebooks from Urban Outfitters.  This owl one is beautiful.  The swirly stampy bits remind me of what I did with my blog design.  I was swooning when I saw this!  The other is a blue and brown bird print that is very cool, too.

The book, Colour Me, Pictoplasma, (say it out loud, it's fun) is from the AIA bookstore, where all-things-wonderful can be found. It is a pseudo coloring and activity book full of line drawings from super cool character artists.  It will be a great source of inspiration, like Happy Kitty Bunny Pony. He also found the coolest pencils made from Chinese newspapers there.  They will be very useful for sketching my stuffie parts in my new notebooks.

To top it all off, there is a 2007 Edward Gorey page-a-day calendar and a clear plastic two-sided storage bin for all my little goodies.  I feel so spoiled.  Half of me is overwhelmed by how perfect all the gifts are, and the other half is jumping around like a five year old, "Yay for me!."  I fell asleep with the card on my bedside table last night (he surprised me at midnight - we usually can't wait any longer than that), and I had to stop myself from taking all my stuff to work.  Now I have the whole weekend to play.
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Felt Magnets

These felt magnets were a part of the package that I sent to Marci for our swap.  They are about 2.5 inch diameter felt circles.  Kinda big for a magnet, but I wanted to get as many of those cute sequins on them as possible.   The magnet is glued on the inside and they are lightly stuffed.
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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Owl Collage from Marci

Marci sent me this amazing collage for our swap!  I got it last night and bought a frame for it first thing this morning.  It's already up on my wall behind my computer monitor.

I recently started filling up this wall space.  Andrew bought me the black circle magnet board.  Once that went up I've been slowly adding to it.  Having all these great things hung up behind my monitor really changes the vibe when I'm sitting here at my desk.  Hey!  I should get a little mini-shelf for Kate (from Isa).  Oh, that would be too cute.

Below my monitor I have a new owl to add to my collection.  The cute pink crochet owl was snuggled into the package that Marci sent.  It's so tiny and adorable!

All my gifts inside the package were carefully wrapped.  Marci really spoiled me.  There was a wonderful piece of fabric with black and white photos of New York City buildings and people. I got the nicest felt that was rolled into a bright jellyroll.  There were also some puffy I (heart) NY stickers. Everything is so cool!

I'm definitely going to make something with the felt and the fabric, but the first thing that I want to find a project for is this owl trim.  Marci sent me a crazy-long roll of this trim.  Thank you for everything, Marci!
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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Werner the Squirrel

Werner the Squirrel and his traveling companion Klaus the Acorn have arrived at their new home in New York City!  They now live with Marci.

Werner ("verner") is named after the German director Werner Herzog.  Werner Herzog is so cool that even Henry Rollins (from the punk band Black Flag) thinks he's the shit.  Henry has a show on IFC. Henry was recently interviewed on Nerve:
NERVE: I read recently that one of the people you most wanted to interview was Werner Herzog. Did you get to?

HENRY: I did. He's going to be on the show. It was so cool. He said stuff I'm using now as rhetoric. I said, "As far as Hollywood is concerned, you're kind of an outsider." He just nodded his head and said, [In a German accent] "No. They are the outsiders." Thank you! New tattoo, please! We talked about when he was shot recently. He was doing an interview and someone shot him. [In a German accent] "Yes, but it was a small bullet in the abdomen; it did not perforate the intestine. I finished the interview. It was not a serious bullet." And I'm like, "You know, Werner, there's a lot of people out there, myself included, who think every bullet is a pretty fucking serious bullet!" So he goes into this long story about all the times he's been shot at, and what a rush it is for a guy his age to have someone attempt to kill him and be unsuccessful. I would follow that man anywhere.

I'm not sure why he gets shot at so much, since, from what I can tell, he is a sweet, warm, intelligent, and thoughtful person, but we should all be thankful that no one has been a half-decent shot because Werner makes *incredible* movies.

And then there's Klaus the Acorn, whom Marci christened "Angry Acorn."  He's named after the actor Klaus Kinski.  Werner and Klaus go way back - all the way to their teens.  Their collaboration is quite a crazy story.  This page of quotes from them kind of sums it all up.

The starting point for Werner is a pattern in Palm-sized Stuffies ISBN 4834722449.  I altered the tail so I could attach the marabou feathers and I designed a whole new head.  This is the third head I made.  The first two were rejected by quality control (a.k.a. Andrew).  One head was accused of looking like an walrus!  I used the same dark brown embossed felt as I did for Wim.

Klaus was created in a free-style frenzy of felt.  The big bulbous top is a little much (it's almost as big as the bottom part), but once I noticed the eerie resemblance to the real Klaus' vaguely swollen head and mop of unruly blond hair, I realized it was meant to be.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Kate the Cat from Isa

To my surprise Friday, the mailbox contained a bulging package from Isa.  "What's this?", I thought.

When I opened up the package, the first thing I saw was the chocolate bar.  Yum! Then I pulled out the two tissue wrapped packages.  One said, "Open First.", and the other said, "Open Second."

From the first package, Kate the Cat emerged in all her overwhelming cuteness. Kate's pink skin is made of the softest plush material.  I can't stop petting her.

Traveling with Kate is Pipka the Chick who is also made of the same super-soft plush.  Kate ,the international traveler, has a purse with the cutest bunny on the flap, a blue polka-dot lining, and two pfennig (pennies) tucked inside. Kate's yellow polka-dot dress snaps in the back and has incredible detailing starting with the  placket with one tiny pink button and ending with the ribbon trim. The name tag that Isa made for Kate is adorable, and it's such a great idea!

And then, on top of everything, Kate has her own marvelous quilt. Featuring a bouncing bunny with a necktie and vest in the center, the quilt was made from well-coordinated fabrics, and is backed in green polka-dots.   This quilt is a treasure in itself.

Isa's attention to detail and workmanship is incredible.  Even the bottoms of Kate's feet have a single flower centered in the circle of fabric!  I'm still marveling over all the sweet touches Isa added.

All of that was just the first package!  The second package held another incredible gift.  Isa reconstructed a calendar into calendar-scrapbook of Wim in Gottingen.  Each page is a careful collage of a picture, text, and decorative bits documenting Wim in his new home.  The calendar isn't year specific, so I can use it every year.  Isa had a great idea, too: I can put my list of birthdays and special dates in it.  Kate's birthday, June 11th, is already entered for me. :)  September held another surprise: Wim and Kate relaxing in the botanical garden!  The rest of the calendar is filled with the adventures of Wim and Kate before she left to live with me.  Isa has more great pictures in her post.

Leibe Isa, your sweet hand-made gifts are very precious to me, and I am so happy to have them.  Thank you!

I just noticed that Isa has posted Tim the Rabbit in her Etsy Shop.  He is cuter than cute and worth every pfennig!
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Felt from Marietta


When I posted Wim, Marietta (knit or get off the pot!) emailed me and said that her JoAnn's had some embossed felt and offered to pick some up for me.  The only embossed felt I've seen is the brown I used on Wim.  Of course I took her up on her generous offer.  I was hoping for a few colors in the pattern I found for Wim.

F*ck me blue!  I got a bulging package with 9 colors and 8 different embossed designs.  This is the coolest felt in my stash.  The patterns include alligator, florals, butterflies, concentric circles, and a wavy-starfishy design.  They are going to be a great source of inspiration.

Thank you, Marietta!
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wim the sweet Deer

Wim is named after the excellent German director Wim Wenders ("vim venders").  Then name Wim is short of Wilhelm ("vilhelm"). Wim, the deer, now lives with Isa in Germany. Isa's post about getting the package is very sweet.

Wim was made from a pattern in Palm-sized Stuffies ISBN 4834722449. He is supposed to be made of fabric with seam allowances, but I'm addicted to hand-sewing felt right now so I made some alterations. It was mostly an easy transition, but the one thing that absolutely freaked me out is putting on his ears. It isn't explicit in the instructions (or maybe it is if you read Japanese), but you can see it in the pictures: you must cut slits in the felt head of the deer and insert the ears into his head. After spending lots of time sewing his head, which wasn't easy, I had to CUT SLITS into it. This process took days. First I made the ears and pinned them on the head. As I sewed the rest of the deer I would look at the head, reposition the ears, look at it some more. I wanted to make sure they were where I wanted them to be. Normally, if I sew something up and it's wrong, I just rip out the seam and re-sew it. But I can't un-cut a slit. Luckily, I did it right the first time.

The brown felt is embossed with a swirly stamped-leather type of design. I'd been waiting for the right project to use it. I'm amazed at how wonderful it makes Wim look. His eyelashes are a starburst sequin with some of the "bursts" cut off. Then the rest of the eye is a felt circle, dark blue small sequin, and a pearl bead.

I made a little photo album for the Isa's swap package. I've posted those photos in the next entry. The picture above was taken in the backyard of Independence Hall which is featured on the back of the $100 bill. It's run by the National Park Service. Luckily, I came prepared with scissors to trim the grass because it was so tall it hid half of Wim. I was fully prepared to be tackled by guards for destruction of federal property as I was cutting the lawn.
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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Swap with Isa

Isa emailed me from Germany almost 2 weeks ago and asked me if I'd like to swap. We email in English and it's been a lot of fun talking with her. It makes me ashamed that I don't know another language. I am so impressed that she took the initiative to contact me to arrange this.

The day she emailed, I spent the afternoon using freetranslation.com to read her German blog. She sews lots of clothing for herself, and she has some adorable needlebooks, purses, and cell phone holders. My special request was that I wanted something with the German language on it.

Today I received my package from her! She made me the cutest kitty purse with her own personalized Isa's kleine Welt (Isa's Little World) label sewn in. The purse is lined with a perfect kitty print. It's padded and cuddly and I love it.


Isa included a lot of German gifts. The children's book, Heiner, is from the 60's and is one she read as a child. The illustrations are wonderful. I included 2 - click on the image for the full size. I especially like the gang of three roosters. From the pictures it looks like Heiner starts his chores then goes to the beach. Then the rooster gang goes to the beach to collect him and he gets back to work. Me, freetranslation.com, and Heiner will have to spend a night of quality time together to find out the real story.


The postcard has pictures of the old city hall in her home town. It was built in 1369. In the pictures everything is inlaid wood, gilt, intricate painting, and stained glass. So amazing.

Tucked in the purse was a cute crochet flower with a pearl center and purse sized Nivea creme that smells heavenly. And ...  the most delicious part ... chocolate! Such a great surprise. One bar is milk chocolate with white chocolate spots, like a cow. The other is milk chocolate with marzipan filling. It took all of my willpower to take the pictures of everything before ripping open the candy bars.

Thank you so much, Isa!

The package I put together for her is still on it's way to Germany. I had so much fun getting everything together for it. As soon as she gets it, I will post pictures of what I made for her.
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