Sunday, September 24, 2006

Finally, a knitting WIP!

Take 12 skeins of KnitPicks Sierra in 'Cinnamon'...

Add Knitty's pattern for Starsky, by Jordana Paige...

And you get the first sweater I've started in a long time.

Closeup of the cable. oooOOOoooh!

I am so pleased with the way this is coming along. This will be the perfect sweater for work, as it gets very cold in my office. The yarn is wonderful aside from the stray knot here and there, but it is very soft and warm, so all is forgiven.

I'll post some more progress shots as time goes on. Unfortunately, this whole 'work' thing is really eating into my knitting. What's a girl to do? ;)

Swap Goodies

Swap: Fall Ball / Invite Your Partner 3
Received from: the littlest ninja

I got some amazing jewelry in the Fall Ball, from the lovely Stephanie. Look at what she sent me!

This necklace and earring set is incredible! Stephanie did a lovely job putting together something really unique for me. And it's my favorite color, too.

Here is a close up of the center piece. It's all tiny green and white flower beads, wired together into one pendant. I tried my best, but this picture doesn't even do it justice.

Here is a freshwater pearl bracelet and earring set that she made as well. I wore it to a wedding this weekend, and got a ton of compliments. It's so delicate and gorgeous!

She also made me a 'tree of life' pendant. I wish you could see the detail work in the roots. It boggles my mind! Thank you so much for asking me to the ball, Stephanie!

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Received from: k8kre8s

Kate picked me for a 'surprise,' and made me this vinyl wristlet. It's perfect! I love the colors.

Swap: Friend of Craftster Swap 4
Received from: kittykill

This is my thank-you for the FOC4 swap. Pam sent me a beautiful embroidered pillowcase, a necklace, and a notebook with dogs on it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Just because... makes me laugh, every time.

And the best part is that it's actually a pretty good song! Not just a bad one that had a cool gimmicky video attached to it.

This video makes me want to buy a treadmill. Or eight. Must...lie down....and eat Oreos...until the feeling passes.

But if I do buy eight treadmills, perhaps Karin and I could each bring a friend and choreograph overly complex treadmill dances? As my most loyal reader (not counting Crazy McStalkerpants), you're my first choice for an exercise equipment boogie buddy! :-D

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Zodiac Purse

Swap: Fall Ball / Invite Your Partner Swap
Sent to: the littlest ninja (Stephanie)

For the Invite Your Partner swaps, you either ask someone specific to be your partner, or be asked by someone else. I was majorly nervous about asking someone, but the lovely Stephanie invited *me*!

I immediately knew that I had to put in 110% effort to make her something truly special. She requested a purse, and gave me some ideas about what she wanted, construction and color-wise. I couldn't find a pattern for what I wanted to make, so I designed a purse myself. I have only done this once before, but it turned out great! It was actually *very* hard to send this one out. But I'm so glad it has found a happy home! Annnd....I'll make myself another one. :-D

A full shot, with the detachable shoulder strap.

The lining is a print of the Chinese zodiac! I got it in a swap a little while ago and wasn't sure how to use it. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity! I also mastered the internal divider for this purse, as you can see in this picture. It's the brown thing in the bag. That was a little tricky, but it turned out well.

I agonized over the shoulder strap. She had requested that it be detachable, and I was racking my brain to come up with something practical. After going through a bunch of other ideas, I ended up using swimsuit bra hooks! They work like a charm, and are clear and therefore unobtrusive. Check out the decorative stitching!

I found out (through a little post-stalking) that Stephaie was a crocheter, so I made her a roll-up crochet hook case. I think it turned out really cute! I may make more of these in the future.

And this is the inside. It holds 6 crochet hooks, and is lined in the same Chinese zodiac cotton as the purse.

And lastly, a matching key fob. The other side was the green cotton duck.

Overall, I *love* this purse. I am so proud that something I designed came out so well! I'm thinking about making more to sell in my Etsy store. We'll see. ;)

FOC Revealed!

Swap: FOC Swap, Package Four
Partner: (scroll down...)

A beautiful box...

...with some gorgeous stationery inside!

My secret FOCer has been's bubba*tink! I'll admit that I kind of knew after the third package, but that just gave me more time to get her thank you package together!

Bubba* are amazing! Thank you SO MUCH for everything! This may be the best swap I've ever been in. You had an uncanny knack for picking the things I really wanted, and then making them *so* incredibly well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

At last!

Swap: Friend Of Craftster Round 4
Sent To: kittykill!

The first (small) package I sent to Pam included about a dozen different sized handmade note cards, and a stuffed fawn from her wists.

Most of the note cards had a brown and pink theme, because it’s her favorite color combination. A few were Hello Kitty, another favorite of hers.

The fawn was really really fun to make, from a pattern I found online. It was made of brown and pink fleece, and a little bit of glitter felt.

For package two (large), I came up with an ‘embroidery organization’ theme. I bought a pink organizer at JoAnn’s, and customized it with some brown and pink fabric. Then, I made a matching pincushion, a zip pouch with vinyl pockets, and an embroidery transfer pencil case. As a finishing touch, I included some Hello Kitty baggies that I found at Wal-Mart. They were just the right size to hold a small embroidery project.

Package three was supposed to be a surprise. So I made her a squid purse from her wists. It was my fist time seriously working with vinyl, and I really struggled with my machine. Note to self: buy a Teflon foot, dummy! I think it turned out super cute, though. I’ll admit, my color choice was a bit unfortunate. My family thought it looked like a certain part of the male anatomy (before it was finished), so they started calling it the ‘squeenis’ purse. But*in the end, I think it gave the purse some charm.

Package four was supposed to be a store bought item, and a note explaining who you were. I sent some really cute Laura Ashley stationery.

All in all, I had a great time in this swap! I love secret swaps. My partner was mucho fun to stalk on the boards. I can’t wait for Round Five!

Other swaps I’m interested in:
- Christmas stocking swap. Pretty self explanatory. I love that you have to wait until Christmas morning to open everything.
- 12 Days of Christmas swap. For this one, you send your partner 12 gifts for the twelfth day, 11 gifts for the eleventh day, and so on and so forth. I’ve already got some great ideas brewing for this one!

Swap Love

Swap: Friend of Craftster Swap 4, Package 3
Partner: ?? ;)

Package three = amazing. That's all I can say.

I will venture a guess that I am one of the few (if not the only) uberproud owners of a Ludo wrist cuff! I almost died from excitement when I opened this.

If you haven't already seen Labyrinth, go out and rent it this minute. It is funny, campy, sweet, and stars a much younger Jennifer Connelly, a cast of muppets, and David Bowie's crotch. Trust me, it's amazing.

Anyway, one of the characters from the movie is a seven foot tall muppet named Ludo. I *adore* Ludo. Unfortunately, because the movie came out in the 80's, merchandise featuring him is hard to find.

As you already know, I think Shaun of the Dead is a masterpiece. And she made me a cuff of that, too! That reminds me...I need to ask what transfer technique she used. The pictures are such great quality!

A sewing grrl's wardrobe is definitely not complete without a measuring tape wrist cuff. Well, I now have *two*! Check out the adorable snaps. How come my snaps never look that nice? My FOCer is truly a crafty goddess.

And the piece d' amazing long wallet. First, please revel in the outer fabric. I don't think it could be more 'me' if I had picked it myself. And the tidy topstitching! The seamstress in me fainted.

And the inside...oh, the crazy, zany inside. I absolutely love it! And it's so practical, to boot! I can fit my cell phone, my Burt's Bees lip balm (that I can't leave the house without), change, all my cards, and moolah. With the handy wrist strap, it pretty much eliminates the need for a purse altogether! Extremely handy for bar outings.

At this point, it's pretty obvious to me who my partner is. I had an inkling after the second package, but I'm 99% positive now. I won't name names, but her username might just rhyme with 'dubba*blink.' ;) YOU ROCK!!

I already know what I'm sending you as a thank you, hee hee hee...

Updates coming soon:
- all 4 packages I sent for the FOC 4 Swap
- a custom purse I made for the Ball Ball / Invite Your Partner Swap
- the halter dress I'm determined to finish before it's too cold to wear it
- sparse info on Halloween costumes: they're a surprise, dontcha know...

Also, thank you Knitty, for once again being completely awesome. I haven't been totally thrilled with a few of their latest issues, but this one is completely on point.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Well, I can't end the night on a sad note like my last post. So, here for your viewing pleasure is the winner of Cheap Chic Wedding's 2006 Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest.

You can check out some other amazing entries here.

I must say, this appeals to my DIY nature. Don't worry, though, ladies...there will no TP dresses on my big day. (I know this must be diasppointing to my future bridesmaids ;) )

Makes you wonder, the hell did they *do* that? Great job, ladies, and in the words of the unflappable Tim Gunn: "Carry on."

Thanks to Never Teh Bride over at Manolo for the Brides for bringing this to my attention.

If only...

...I had $700,000.
...moving to Missouri wasn't scary.

If only, if only, if only.

Sunset Hills Teardown

Too tacky for some, I'm sure, but I see potential oozing from every surface in this incredible house. I wonder if it has actually been torn down yet? What a tragedy. Goodness

Thanks to some generous gift certificates from family members for my birthday and college graduation, I was thrilled to have an extreme shopping spree this afternoon. Most of it was crafty, so I detailed it below...expect reviews once I start getting them.

Naughty Needles, by Nikol Lohr
To be released Dec. 19, 2006, so this is a pre-order. No description was available...but if this is half as good as it looks, it'll be well worth the purchase price. Can't wait to get this one!

Sexy Little Knits: Chic Designs to Knit and Crochet, by Ashley Paige
More scandalous knitting. What can I say? A girl can only make so many sweaters and scarf sets before she starts craving something a little saucier.
And, oh! This is doubly exciting because I can do any of the patterns in this book, because I FINALLY TAUGHT MYSELF HOW TO CROCHET! Mad props to Craftster users Quincy134 and redheadskydiver, who gave me the materials (supplies and hooks, and 'Stitch & Bitch: Happy Hooker', respectively) to light a fire under my ass for crocheting! I will post my first WIP sometime soon.

Mason-Dixon Knitting, by Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne
I have heard good things about this book, and a quick flip-through at Michael's convinced me that this was worth buying.

The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, by Nancie M. Weisman
I've been meaning to get this book for a while.

In Stitches, by Amy Butler
Another pre-order. I'm a big Amy Butler fan, though her patterns and fabric are, in my cheap-o opinion, too expensive. Usually, I do what I can of hers on the cheap. I was on the edge about buying, until I read that there is a pattern for a 'luxurious kimono-style robe for the bath' within. Done deal.

Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects, by Denyse Schmidt
I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for her designs. The reviews said this book tended to lean more towards the beginner end...Well, I'm not a beginner sewer, but I'm still a beginner quilter. This looks like fun.

The Modern Quilt Workshop, by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle
On the other end, this has been hailed as an indispensable resource for the serious quilter. This will be just in time to help me finish off my first quilt that I posted a while ago, the right way.

Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To by Jenny Hart
I bought three Sublime Stitching patterns ages ago and they are lost somewhere in my room. Le sigh. Regardless, I *love* Jenny's work. I'm getting more and more comfortable with embroidery, so this should be a great buy.

Subversive Cross Stitch, by Julie Jackson
This just cracks me up. I sense some Christmas presents in the near future. ;)

And last but not least:
I finally gave in and got myself a subscription to ReadyMade. The first issue can't come soon enough...