Friday, February 27, 2009

So it turns out...

Ever heard of some guy named Stephen King? So it turns out that he's a crazy good writer.
Who knew?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ina LaVar LeBeau

Isn't that an awesome name?

My mom's mum was a super-creative woman. A learn-new-skills, work with lots of media, dive in and do it sort of gal. Just the kind of person I'm working on being. I love this about us, because I didn't really know her very well. We lived in another state and other circumstances kept us from being too close, situations that I really admire my parents for keeping to themselves when we were children. She died 3 years ago and since I have been able to acquire just a few of the things she did, bits that certainly aren't her best, but I feel lucky to have. One is this little tablecloth. It's typically 70s synthetic, and part of the cloth was melted in an ironing incident who knows when, but it was nicely embroidered and cut and features green leaves, which I love. I want to rescue part of it in some wondrous project, but have been stymied as to how and what.
So, my creative friends...ideas???

(oh, and speaking of green leaves, two happy photos from this week at our house that follow that theme. Dare I hope you're coming, spring?)

felt face

One of my girls' favorite take-along toys (for long church meetings, car trips, and waits in doctor's offices) for years has been "felt face." (Really, we're a creative bunch, but our naming seldom is. The girls' stuffed animals bear the sobriquets of "koala", "pink lady," and, even, for Marian's beloved--and painstakingly handmade--Waldorf doll: "Dolly"). Our original has been around for 5 years now and still gets added to the bag again and again.

I used a clamshell cardboard box (originally, felt face lived in a box I got in the mail, with a Dove deodorant sample, but has been upgraded to one of the boxes her feeding tube extensions come in. I can't throw those babies away!), and covered the flap and base of the box in felt. Although it has a lot of tiny pieces, few have been lost because they stick nicely to each other and the felt in the box. I then cut 2 1/2" circles out of several colors of skin tone felt. Using these as size guides, I snipped matching half-moon ears and lumpy potato noses, then circle eyes and a variety of mouths. I initially worried a lot about planning the hairstyles, but have found that lots of shapes work. I just lay a face circle on the felt and cut around it, snipping the outside margins of the hairstyle first, then removing the face and cutting an inner edge. If you start with a simple bob or "boy hair", then that hair template can be used repeatedly to keep more fanciful 'dos within the right size family. Hair bows are a necessity in my family, and I added hats & glasses, too.

A special little pair of boys turns 3 soon, and I thought they would be ready for a felt face of their own. Theirs is pretty fancy, because I've upgraded to wool felt since I snipped ours. And lined their box in velvet :) (though it's still just cardboard!). Marian decorated the outside for me: Sunday she bustled about, gathering an armload of school supplies. "Mom, do you know what I'm doing? It's something special for you!" She then proceeded to measure and cut and glue (I peeled the medical labels off the box, but the subsequent sticky needed to be covered) and decorate. Very thoughtful of my little craft artist!

The features they have to choose from:
(Are you an unadventurous snipper, though longing for a felt face of your own? Enlarge this photo & use it as a pattern!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

sun and silk

There is hope yet for the crafting mama...Reuben has patiently watched me working on a couple of projects this week.I'm using China silk and Jacquard dyes from Dharma Trading Co. Before, I did an elaborate steaming set up, which browned a couple of my silks. This time I used the dye fixative & it was awesome. We were working in the sunlight this morning, and the sun on the silk was so, so beautiful. This wee birdie loves the sun, too, and is singing spring our way.
Reuben loves his silks. He chews them; I like to drape them on my baby.Very soon, both of us will love peekaboo. I'm so excited!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Craft it forward

My sister-in-law is doing a pay it forward activity. Her words:

"This is how it works..... The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand made gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. BUT, in order for you to leave a comment on this post, you must first post a "pay it forward" on your blog. (That means that sometime during this year you will send a gift to 3 people as well.) Get it? So, the first 3 people to comment on this post who have already posted a "Pay it Forward" will be the lucky ones! Good Luck!"

Since I impetuously was the 3rd poster on her blog, I'll go ahead and craft it forward.

I'm not into chain things (letters, sticker clubs, whatever), I won't insist that you do, too, but I'll send a little handmade something to the first 3 commenters. Sometime in the next month, not year, because otherwise I'll forget.

February is just that depressing. It needs a bit of joy. Crafty joy :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CPSIA stay

CPSIA voted unanimously, 2-0 (what? 2 people decide this? totally funny to call that a board) to hold off a year on enforcing "certain" children's products certification.

All the details I don't know/understand/care enough to read carefully when I want to sleep, but it looks like handmade for kids is not only awesome but legally so. Kind of cool to see a grassroots effort succeed and a at least partially democratic government listen to their people. Go, Washington! away, my friends!

Which means I didn't need to make that rather $ order a couple of days ago from canadian wood crafts. Still, glad...will share when I receive my good wood and can gush in earnest.


Recently published:


Recently instigated:

Crafternoons on King Street.
first week: felting hearts. Needle felting feels "so last year" to me, because the obsession has somewhat abated over here, but my friends hadn't heard of the art. And did quite well. A red Valentine bird left before I remembered to take photos.
last week: e-mail invitations the day before an event to people who don't always check their e-mail is not the way to enforce a new tradition. I'm a bit of a social planning disaster manual.

this week: the Goates Girls 6th annual Mother-Daughter Valentine Making Party is on Saturday, so that will do. Our inviting is sporadic and often largely based on who we talk to that week. If you're local and haven't been invited, feel free to show up anyway:) 10-noon drop in.

Reuben Rolls

3 months tomorrow! Reuben is finally interested in rolling, and will do it with regularity, though only when propped on a pillow. Yesterday he did it 7 times in a row, landing flat on his face and frustrated. It was very funny.

My, I envy that boy his champion abs. He (and his sister) ruined mine. Okay, so the non-recovery thereof is my fault; going to PT this time to try to help...

lap crafting in January

I have a baby that wants total attention all of the time, so crafting (housework, cooking...) has slowed way down around here. Also my back is suffering. Right now he is sleeping in his Baby Bjorn (still total contact, occasionally he'll fall for this mom's-hands-are-free! ruse). I can't decide if I'm happy or not that my back doesn't permit a lot of standing with the extra weight, and particularly a lot of trying to reach around the belly bundle to do dishes or whatever, especially as that involves a lot of crouching and such. But I can currently recline with him on my chest & my feet on the windowsill and work on organizing my photos. So blog day it is.

While nursing or holding him (that way his catnaps might extend a bit), I can manage lap crafting. Embroidery is the current rage at the green futon. I've seen red hearts on white linen on a couple of blogs, and finally my Garnet Hill catalog, so really had to do red hearts on linen. Limited applications right now, but I still have a big bag of lavender, so sachets it is... I'm also thinking red foil-covered chocolate.My crochet/knit skills are minimal, though these would be great crafting-with-baby projects. I did add a couple of ear-covering rows to this hat my sister crocheted for my daughter a couple of years ago.