I got a Cricut machine last year, and the kids and I have had a lot of fun with it. This week I embellished an inexpensive duffel bag I found on Amazon, and a $1.99 pencil case I found at Target. I used metallic heat transfer vinyl on the duffel and regular peel and stick on the pencil case. Both are inspired by folk art designs I found on the internet and played around with in Photoshop.
Experimented with some shibori indigo dyeing today. Had fun and learned some. I like more blue better than less, yarn and twine seem easier to use than rubber bands, and I have a whole new reason to love binder clips!
Hostess gifts for summer travel. But I’m keeping some for myself!
So it’s been a couple years. Lately I’ve been feeling bloggy again. Some compulsion to catalog and keep things that otherwise may go by the wayside, I think. We’ll see if it sticks, but in the meantime, I’m going to come back with the amusing story of how I became Batmom a couple years ago. I’ll even include the keepsake unflattering picture of me and a bat because it’s worth it to me to give you a laugh!
2 years ago this week, while I was out walking my dog at dusk, a bat staggered through the sky and landed on my shoulder, whereupon it decided it would be more comfortable INSIDE MY SHIRT, and thus I “cuddled” a bat and also basically undressed by a busy road. Then I learned that rabies is saliva-born and always fatal once symptoms develop, and given that the bat I cuddled was clearly not behaving normally and we may very well have swapped spit in the exchange, I got 7 shots over the next two weeks and accumulated $2000+ in medical bills. Because it all happened right before my 40th birthday and also because I’m generally inclined to laugh at things, it somehow came to pass that I adopted the bat as my spirit animal, and am now known as a person who loves bats. And hey, I do. Why not? So please join me in celebrating my 2nd bativersary! I hope a bat eats a mosquito near you today in my honor.
Worth turned six in February. He requested a “knights and dragons” birthday.Inspired by Pinterest, I cut flames from a sheet of red poster board. Stuck to the door with painter’s tape, it became an opportunity for Worth’s guests to “breathe fire” and get their photos taken.
Worth wanted a dragon hat, so I used a basic hat pattern to sew a black hat from fleece, then added fleece ears and spikes and some greenish-yellow felt eyes. Worth has worn his Toothless-inspired hat in both cold and warm places (like to bed) quite frequently since I made it, so I felt good about his its reception.
My mother totally outdid herself with an enormous, amazing dragon cake!
And what’s a knights and dragons party without some castle-storming food? Or something. I also cut shields out of cardboard and spray-painted them silver, then let Worth’s friends decorate them with paint as a party activity. I thought these turned out cute but I somehow never managed to get a photograph of them.
Notice my oldest daughter (above) is wearing a tiara. Apparently she felt that her role at a knights-and-dragons party should be royal princess, subtly outranking Sir Worth at his own event. We did manage to talk her down to lady-in-waiting, however, with the help of paid duties involving the herding of six-year-old boys and shield paint cleanup. Shew!
Sometimes projects come about in odd ways. For example, last year I bought a shirt I liked, then immediately got a stain I cannot lift up by the neckline. Fast forward to this spring, when a knitting friend and I did a yarn swap and I ended up with a pretty ball of Cotlin by Knitpicks, in whisper. I decided I wanted to make some sort of springy neck thing to wear over the shirt to cover up the stain. Of course once I found the perfect pattern, Saroyan by Liz Abanante, I realized I needed to buy more than one ball of yarn. So I bought two more balls of yarn, knitted the project, then put it on and decided I no longer liked that shirt with the stain. Or at least not with the pants I was wearing. Which might eventually mean that I need to buy new pants, but today it just meant that I wore the scarf with a different shirt. A happy ending!
I’ve never done much colorwork. It is intimidating to me to juggle multiple balls of yarn since I have a toddler who may jump in the middle of whatever I’m doing at any time. I did brave it for this hat, and fortunately it went quick enough that no children had time to get too tangled in. I didn’t use a pattern but got the motif from the Knitting Stitches Visual Encyclopedia. I should have taken a photo of the inside of the hat because that was what I was most proud of. I sewed a basic beanie out of white fleece, then knitted the hat and stitched it to the fleece beanie. Now I have an extra-warm fleece-lined hat!
It is an unfortunate truth for me that I really love wearing scarves but I do not love knitting them. I get so impatient doing the same things over and over! But I really wanted a scarf to wear with my purple coat, so I gritted my teeth and made this one this winter. It was worth it–I love this squishy, warm scarf! This pattern suggests using two self-striping yarns. One of my yarns, Chroma worsted in Avalon, self-striped but my other, Preciosa Tonal in Stormy, changes colors but not exactly in stripes. They worked well here anyway. I used the ZickZack scarf pattern but changed it a bit by doing yarn-overs (thus making eyelets or holes in the scarf) instead of knit-front-and-backs.
This is my now 10-year-old in 2009, wearing the brand-new bunny hat I crocheted for her that spring. I also crocheted the border of her homemade dress and a cape, which she refused to wear.
This is the same hat on my 2-year-old yesterday. The crocheted border caught in daughter #1’s shoe and fell off during Sunday School 7 years ago, so although I saved both dress and lace, I pulled out neither for this Easter. (Bygones, right?) And the little cape that was so unloved back in 2009 later became a dress up box staple and was used so much it became ratted and tangled and was eventually thrown away. But the hat! It got a second life, right? And it was really nice to see it on daughter #2 this Easter. Happy Easter!
This is a hat I made for my daughter’s friend. I didn’t use a pattern just did a ribbed band, three rows of purl, a knit band, three more rows of purl, and then every-row decreases for the crown. I used Red Heart Boutique Treasure yarn and was unimpressed with that. Really I knew better than to buy yarn from a big-box craft store, but the color was pretty and I was weak. I gave the hat a nice soak in Eucalan before I gifted it, so I hope that took care of the itchiness. It did look cute on the recipient.
This was another gift I gave recently. We use 7 inch square flannel baggies (really kind of like tiny pillow cases) to make ice packs when my children get hurt. We slip a plastic baggie of ice into the flannel bag and hold it over the injury, and it miraculously heals 90% of real and imaginary boo-boos. I’ve made these as gifts before, and gave this one to my cousin for Christmas. I’m pretty sure it’s not fun to open a boo-boo ice pack as a gift, but hopefully it comes in handy in their home as it does in ours. Because boo-boos are going to happen anyway, right? And it’s nice to have a low-budget, no-chemical miracle cure that won’t hurt and might genuinely help too!