friendship + presents

Every year, my knitting girls and I get together for a handmade Christmas brunch. We eat out (cuz no one wants to cook!) and bring handmade gifts for each other. It is quite lovely. 

photo by Gilda - I had to include it because for once I don't look like a goon! That is one of my gifts, all wrapped up and ready to give. 
I had a hard time deciding what to make this year, but I ended on something that meant friendship to me in 4th grade (1987, yo!) and still means it today (in a more grown-up way): friendship bracelets! These got updated by using bulky yarns and a few more mature color schemes, but the meaning is the same: I love my friends!

The other goodies that were made included:

a knit jar cozy candle holder
homemade nutella
homemade marshmallows
fabric coin purse
adorable yarn-and-needles ornament
hot cocoa mix

Geez, did I score on loot! These girls are awesome friends. Big kisses all around (but not really, because my kid has strep and I don't want to spread any germs).

next time, someone tell me to sit up straight! :)

My friendship bracelet inspiration was found here, in case you want to make your own. Merry Christmas!


Over A Month Since I Last Posted

And all I have to show for it is this wonky little pillow. :)

Actually, that's not true, but the gifts I have been making are a secret, so no posts for them! Really I haven't been crafting much. Just enjoying life with my little family instead. Clara turned six midNovember and we had a great day at the Mall of America together, followed by a grandparent party that night. 

at MOA

me and my six year old!

family movie night
 Last Saturday, Oliver talked Ben into having a bonfire in the backyard. Oliver then proceeded to fall into the fire and we spent the rest of the day at Urgent Care. He has second degree burns on the palm and wrist of his right hand. We had a follow up appointment today and it is healing fine, no infections thank God, and we have to keep it wrapped for quite a bit longer. One fortunate thing is that even though it was horrible pain the first day, he doesn't seem bothered by it at all anymore. He's a tough one. 

decorating our little tree

crazy toddler blur

That's about all for an update! Hopefully I will be back to regular crafting soon, but first I think I ought to clean and organize the basement - ugh!


random craftings

A new front door calls for a new wreath! Made with twine and felt.

Mod podge, blank canvases, and cheap Costco prints made some faux-fancy canvases for my blank white walls. Although, I have to say, I kind of miss having them empty. :) The idea for this was not mine, but my neighbor's, who got it from good old Pinterest. I would go into details, but Angie does a great job, so I'll just direct you to her blog. Needless to say, it looks pretty impressive and only cost pennies compared to real canvas photos. By the way, the photos are also taken by Angie. We have awesome neighbors, what can I say!

In other news, this little thing decided two and two weeks was a good time to stop napping. Heaven help me.

There have also been other random makings, but they went undocumented. You will survive not knowing, I am sure. In the works currently is a baby sweater for a soon-to-be niece or nephew, and some cloth wipes for his/her mama. I'm also starting to collect materials for a twin-sized quilt for Ruthie. She is proving she is a big girl and wants a big bed! I am thinking I will go with this quilt pattern. It's too sweet.


Lucky Bear

You know that person that wins every lottery and win-a-free-turkey drawing? The one who finds $20 bills on the sidewalk while you only find a penny? The one who looks down in the grass and finds--not a four-leaf, but a SIX-leaf clover?

Well, that person is my brother. Mr. Good Luck (Bear) himself.


Care Bear Costume

This was a very fast, very satisfying project. 

Clara is often called "Clare-bear" as a nickname and so this year she decided to be a Care Bear for Halloween. Do you know, they don't sell those costumes anywhere (except in Japan apparently and also for lots of mulah on Ebay). I mean, Care Bears are still a "thing," right? I don't get it. Anyway, no worries here, because I was able to sew one up in an afternoon and only spent $10 on it. Sweet.

This here is Share Bear, chosen by my daughter because she is "the purple one with suckers on her tummy." But! Did you know that: Share Bear helps others to learn about sharing the things they have. She shows that, through her symbol, sharing is caring. (source - thank you Wikipedia for that informative tidbit) Ironically, I would say Clara is the worst at sharing of all my children. Perhaps her choice means she is trying to change? 

Anyway. I went off to find a bear costume pattern. These, too, apparently do not exist. So I went with the next best thing, a monkey pattern. I figured if I move the ears up and shorten the tail - voila! a bear. Yep, it was that easy! Bonus, I got the pattern for $1 at Hancock. The pattern is Simplicity 2068 - lamb and monkey. It is written for very beginner sewers, which happily I no longer am! Ha. I ignored the directions completely and just went with what seemed right. 

I do still need to get a picture of the back side, because the tail and little butt heart are adorable.

Oliver is going to be Spiderman and I bought his costume from good ole Menards (a $29.99 costume for $7.99! Score!) and Ruthie will be her cow or another random hand-me-down costume. She's easy like that. Now apparently I am off to make my big brother a Good Luck Bear costume. How to scale the pattern for a 6'3" man?? Stay tuned!


Pattern testing - Aspen Dress

I got the chance to test a sewing pattern for the awesome See Kate Sew! Lucky me! I love everything she makes and her patterns are great. The Aspen dress was a breeze to sew and the final product is just lovely. Clara even likes it, and she has a thing about, as she says, "funny collars." This one is wide enough though that it doesn't bother her. Of course I had to make Ruthie a matching one. I guess now I will need to make Oliver a tie to match. Awww won't they be cute?

I did omit the elastic wristbands on Ruthie's dress because I didn't have enough elastic and didn't want to drag three kids to the store to get some.

Pardon my non-smiling toddler. She has a thing against cameras these days! Grump.

Puppy got a matching bow.


Ruthie's new favorite face. What a goofball.


hey diddle diddle

the cat and the fiddle
the cow jumped over the moon
the little dog laughed to see such sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon

As you can see, Ruthie makes a cute cow.  I found this faux-suede cow fabric on clearance for $3/yard and snatched it up. The body of the costume is patterned after a pair of her fleece PJs and the hat is basically just my bonnet pattern in a 12-24 month size with some ears and horns thrown on it. It all came together in an evening. We had a fun, random little photo shoot for a friend of mine :) Good times! My little cow refused to smile until she snuck some gumdrops that were in the studio. Candy is a great motivator! Ha.

The first Halloween costume of the year is now complete. Next up is a Care Bear costume for Clara. Can you tell it's October?

Linked up on Skip to my Lou.


Vintage Overalls Pattern

 I finally got around to making this little pair of overalls for my TWO year old. It's a vintage pattern from the late 1960s, I believe.  The fabric is a corduroy I got on clearance this summer for $1/yard!

The pattern was great and came together in an afternoon. I skipped the snaps/buttons at the waist, but otherwise I followed the instructions.


Winter Rue

Well, I am sort of striking out on the winter hats so far. Clara's is "too itchy" apparently and Ruthie's is too large. I mean, it fits Oliver perfectly, and I think his head is larger than mine. Whoops. At least I know she will grow into it.  

 This was a fun and easy knit. I have made a few of these hats before, but this time I omitted the cables and just made it clean and simple, two of my favorite things. This is the toddler+ size, but obviously I should have made the 12-18 month size instead for my peanut.

She's thinking, "How do I get this thing off me?"

A much better fit on Oliver, but he declared it made him look like a girl. I'm pretty sure he could never look like a girl, but whatever. It's not his hat anyway. 


two baby hats

Baby hats for charity. Easy, sweet, hopefully helpful.


state fair sweater in action

Alas, no blue ribbons. Or any ribbons, for that matter. But my sweater was on display, so I got to walk by it and brag to strangers. (not really)

I scored a 92/100, which is "very good" on a scale from Excellent to Very Good to Good to Needs  Improvement. Maybe next year, right? It doesn't matter much to this girl. She is happy to have an orange sweater.


Little Rain Cloud

Meet Drippy, the rain cloud.

 Sometimes I just need to make a completely random project. I used this pattern, but it's fabric on the back (no photo of that) and I didn't felt it.

Makes me happy. :)


Winter Hat #1

And so winter hat knitting season begins. I made the I ❤ pompoms pattern, but decreased the width and length to make it almost-six-year-old appropriate. It's cute. I kind of want my own.

Next up is a hat for Ruthie, then Oliver, then myself! Better hurry, it's getting chilly out there. Brr!


three shirts

freezer paper stencil:


 raw-edge raglan:



Oh man. A rough week for this full-time mama.

My baby girl went off to Kindergarten!

Thanks to Pinterest and friends for the idea. I love it! I had a different one on Facebook but forgot to add what she wants to be when she grows up!

Ruthie photo bombed.

Down the hall she goes!

Every class starts the day with breakfast together--every day! For free. I love it.

Waiting to pick up big sister.

Dairy Queen lunch to celebrate!

Kindergarten is a big deal! I had to make her a dress for the first day. I used this pattern, which was SO easy and fast - it literally was only three pieces and came together in 30 minutes. I see many many more cowl dresses in my future. I'm thinking I need to make one with knit fabric with sleeves. Perfect for winter! Plus the pattern was for infant through size 14, so very versatile.

So grown up!

Clara's favorite color is purple and she loves flowers, so purple flower power fabric called her by name. Sniff. She looks so old to me now.