Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter


I hope you're all having a nice Easter weekend. I had a good weekend in spite of a cold that I thought for sure I had avoided. It was really bad Friday but by Saturday it was just a cough and I was fine for Easter dinner with my brother, his wife & kids and his wife's family. I love those guys (all, the in-law & all) so it was a really nice day for me.

I made the little bunnies above for my nephews & niece. I found the pattern here (The printable pdf is for a pre-printed piece that you can iron onto fabric. I just used it for the pattern outline.) I used some fuzzy fleece from store-bought fleece blankets for the ones at the top.

I first had made two bunnies for my friend's daughters out of quilting cotton. I was going to do this for my nephews & niece but I didn't have any *ehem*manly*ehem* cotton to use for the boys' bunnies, hence the fuzzy fleece.

The bunnies (and the chocolate and other goodies) were a huge hit, and, best of all, were super simple to make. Just a small amount of fabric, some stuffing and about 20 minutes (trace, cut, sew, stuff, stitch up, done).


Thanks for all the comments & great serger advice. I plan to start looking/testing this week and will definitely let you all know what I get and when.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting back up on the horse.

Has it really been 4 months since I've posted? I thought it was only a couple. Hmm.

So... It's been a while. I've been composing blog posts in my head for weeks, well, probably for months actually, but just never posted. Some things happened and I kind of felt knocked around for a while and then it just got to be one of those things where the longer you don't do something the harder it is to just DO it. So here it is. Nothing spectacular, nothing earth shaking, just getting back up on the horse and diving in. Probably not while on the horse. (Although, remember that movie? About the diving horse? Did I dream that? Too lazy to IMDB right now.)

I'll do this in list form if that's okay with you. A lot of this is just rambling or life-catch-up. There will be pictures later on so you can skip ahead if you want.

1. Christmas was quiet and kind of strange this past year (yes I'm going back that far. Sorry). I didn't have any family nearby and The Boy was only here for a couple of days over Christmas. I've spent Christmases away from family before but that was when I was overseas. This was very strange for me. I was able to Skype with one brother & his family on Christmas Eve which was pretty much the highlight.

2. In January I had to have a "procedure" to try to find some answers for stomach pains & related issues I had all last winter (that would be 09/10. It took 10 months to get a specialist appointment and then another 3 months to get the appointment for the "procedure"). I call it a "procedure" because I didn't really want to think about what it really was. It wasn't anything serious and it wasn't that big a deal. They didn't find anything but the pain is nowhere near as bad as it had been so... I'll call that a win.

3. In February The Boy ended our 4+ year relationship. I tried to figure out a different way to write that but there it is. That's what happened. It wasn't a total surprise, if I'm being 100% honest but it wasn't what I wanted. There was no big fight or drama, nothing that would cause any hatred or anything. I'm okay (now) and strangely he meant it when he said he wants us to remain friends. I still see him every couple of weeks and we text/email a few times a week. So there's that.

(For anyone who's ever read this blog and thought I meant a son when I wrote "The Boy", sorry for the confusion. Definitely not my son. I don't have any kids (the Boy would add "that you know of" which has been his running joke with me for 6 years)(sigh). )

(I didn't set out to write a month-by-month account but I guess that's what I ended up doing)

4. I have been knitting/sewing/making stuff. I just haven't been taking many pictures. Let's blame the Northern Hemisphere/Winter for part of it, my dying camera for part of it and my lack of focus and near inability to actually finish anything for part of it.

BUT I did take a few pictures! And one of them is something that is finished! And I'll post them now! As a reward! for making it this far in this long boring post! Exclamation mark!

First: In progress knitting:


Pattern: Cerisara by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Sirdar Breeze

We finally had some warm weather in March* and I got to wishing I had a light weight cotton cardigan for work. I have a couple of cotton cardigans that are in heavy worsted weight cotton blends but wanted something a bit lighter. Next thing I knew I had this downloaded and an actual swatch knitted. I know! a swatch! me!


I think I can probably have this finished by the time it warms up again. If it ever warms up again.**

Second: In progress Embroidery (gasp I know! Embroidery! Me!)


I'm just gonna take a minute to toot my own horn here***. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever done any embroidery beyond a running stitch or something for a doll face. I've had these printed pillowcases in my "make this someday" pile for about a year (i think. a long time anyway) and kept imagining that one day I'd find the courage to try learning embroidery. Turns out the easiest way to learn it is to actually DO it (as opposed to leaving all the supplies in a box).

Thanks to numerous online sources and inspired by Wild Olive's focus on beginner embroidery right now, I was inspired this morning. I'm 99% sure I'm not doing it all correctly but, as I always tell new knitters, it's embroidery and I like it so it's right.


I have a lot more to do (and then a whole 2nd pillowcase) but I'm really enjoying it. Who knew embroidery was so relaxing?**** I had such a nice quiet morning just stitching away.

Third: Ruby Lou doll

Ruby Lou

Pattern: Ruby Lou from Sew Much Ado.
Materials: stash. All stash.

I love love love how this little doll turned out. I think there will be at least 2 more of these in my future and maybe more after that. The pattern is well done and the finished doll is just so cute. This little one hasn't made it to her new home yet but will shortly. I hope my niece likes her.

5. I heard on Friday that our bonuses for 2010 were approved (i won't get into that bit of stress*****). I have plans for most of the bonus to go into savings BUT I decided to treat myself to a serger. I've wanted one for years and just didn't feel like I could justify it. I know I would get lots of use from it though so it's time.

So I'd like to know from you, dear patient and wonderful reader (you look pretty today by the way), if you have a serger or any advice and/or recommendations. I don't know what I should be looking for or what I really would need or just like to have. I want to make t-shirts and stuff but I know there are many other uses beyond just sewing stretch material. I don't know for sure what my budget will be but I'll do some research and if you have recommendations it will help me narrow things down.

Whew! You made it! Congratulations. That was a long post full of random bits and pieces. I won't make any promises but I really do want to get into a habit of posting more regularly.

And now I think I need to test one of the cookies I made today. For safety reasons of course.

*the warm weather was really nice. I think it got up to 20C at one point.
**since the time of the warm weather we've had over 50cm of snow. That's 19 inches. I'm not exaggerating. We had 20+cm in 24 hours a few weekends ago and then another 22+/-cm on Wednesday. There have been numerous other days with accumulations over 10cm. I'm ready to move to a warmer/less snow-prone climate. Anyone need a housesitter/roommate in the deep south?
***"toot my own horn"? what am I, 80?
****who knew? uh, probably anyone who has ever tried it. Rosie Grier knew.
*****work will be 90% easier after Monday because Monday is Wen-Shu****** comes back from maternity leave day! Happy Dance! I baked these cookies to celebrate tomorrow
******Wen-Shu, you may recall, is my dear friend/office-mate/only-other-person-who-knows-how-to-do-my-job who was on maternity leave the past year. So for a year I have had no coverage, no consistent help when I was extremely busy, no one to cover so I could take a vacation... etc. You get the picture. So, I'm beyond excited that she'll be back tomorrow