Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I've Been Up to Lately..

Pin cushion pattern from last minute patchwork gifts

patchwork owl pillow, inspired by others I've seen around blogs and flickr

A lot of time has been spent out in the garden and crafting, often at the same time. It has been a nice break!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilt Inspiration

Several months back I purchased this fat quarter set of Anna Maria Horner's Folksy Flannels. I had been admiring this fabric for a long while, and finally convinced myself I really needed some in my life. The plan was a colourful and oh, so soft quilt top. I spent weeks cutting out the squares, here and there when I needed breaks between assignments and planning.

My stack grew and grew until I was ready to start piecing it together. And then I hit a snag..I hated how it looked when I layed the squares out. The softness and beauty of each print was lost among a vibrant, busy, mess of flannel.

Feeling defeated, I let the squares sit in a pile for months. I barely looked at them and did not want to have anything to do with this quilt. It wasn't until I stumbled upon the beautiful blog of a craft mama that I changed my tune. Inspiration hit! She had split the fabrics into colours and made a double sided quilt. Of course! Now, why didn't I think of that? I quickly pulled out my flannel squares and started sorting.

One side for the pinks and yellows..

and one for the blues/greens with a little purpley-pink thrown in because I didn't have enough.

And now? Now I love this quilt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring, or Something Like It

'snow' on my neighbour's lawn. the rain sure did a number on his cherry tree blossoms

Yesterday, I spent what little time it wasn't raining out in the garden. Wet ground makes the abundance of weeds easier to pull and the rain keeps the bees at bay. My neighbour wont pull his weeds, so they spread into our garden and are spread further by my sweet Lola who runs through them. I find myself pulling seeds out of her fur every time she comes inside. After the weed pulling I spend several minutes warming my freezing cold, muddy hands under the tap, then curled up under a blanket and sipped on some hot chocolate. This is quite a Spring!

After warming up I went back outside to partake in the first harvest of the season - Rhubarb.

A delicious - and warm - rhubarb crisp was much enjoyed on this chilly Spring day. The warmth of the oven was a nice bonus.

I also took advantage of the extra time I have now that homework is through and my lesson planning done to work on some more crochet.

I've started to assemble the granny square blanket. I have a couple more rows to add on too. I think I will just keep adding, and sewing them together as a I go, until I feel the project is done. I plan to make a lap blanket rather than a full size. The yarn is quite bulky and it would just be too heavy. A nice lap blanket would be nice to curl up under on days like this.

I also purchased the yarn for my Tea Leaves cardigan, which I cannot wait to start on. It was a challenge finding a shop that carried enough skeins of the Madeline Tosh yarn I wanted to use, but they're on their way to me now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Rainy Day Project

It's been raining all day today, cleansing and nourishing. I looked outside earlier and noticed the heavy drops were causing the delicate cherry blossoms to fall off my neighbour's tree. It almost looked like it was snowing, and covered his roof and lawn with white petals. Despite the fake snow, it finally feels like Spring.

With most of the boxes from the move being cleared, I pulled out my sewing machine for the first time in a long while. I pulled pieces of fabric from the scrap pack I ordered from Jeni's Destash, and put together a Mug Rug. This is a project I've had on my list for a long while. They are so cute and something I'd use all the time.

Something was pulling at me to take a picture pre-binding, and I wish I had listened to those instincts. I really do like it much better this way. Adding the binding did give me some much needed practice though. I always end up with at least one layer outside of the binding, so I tried serging around the edge this time. It worked perfectly and actually saved the time I would spend ripping out seams, wrapping edges, and re-sewing them over and over again. On this project the layers were what you see here, some cotton batting in the middle, and the grey-ish fabric for the backing.

The perfect place to rest my mug!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sitting and KnittingCrocheting

Sitting out in the garden with Lola, and working on the middles to some more granny squares is the perfect way to end a busy May day. It is glorious outside and the garden is growing and blooming, and is just filled with life. A garden post is definitely on its way. I have decided to aim high with my grannies and work towards a blanket. It may be a small blanket, and it may take months and months, but it will get there. This is the perfect project to keep my hands busy without having to think too much about what they are doing.

Today was also a perfect mail day, with a package full of vintage goodies arriving at my doorstep. These wood spools, shaped like pine trees, are perfection. I'm not sure what I will do with them, but they sure are pretty to look at.

These little wooden people beads came too. How sweet are they? I seem to be gathering quite the collection of tiny wooden, beautifully painted people.

They go quite nicely with this little 10 cent mushroom man I picked up thrifting a while ago. The poor dear is missing an arm, but he is so charming perched atop his mushroom, sitting underneath a flower. He is really a Christmas tree ornament, but he seems much more suited to Spring to me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Evolution of the Granny Square

Take One:

Not even square.

Take two:
A little better.

Take three:

Change of pattern, change of yarn, and a lesson on how to properly switch colours, and I think I've got it.

Now to figure out what I'm going to make with them. It would take at least 200 more to make a blanket, but I keep making everything into pillows and one can really only have so many pillows.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I think it's kind of amazing that you can take a piece of string and turn it into something quite different. I love seeing something grow and transform in my hands, which is why I like crafting so much. I just think it's really neat. This past week I took a few pieces of string and worked them into a doll. The Naomi the Bear doll by Owlishly, although mine is actually wearing a monkey costume because I like monkeys so much.

The pattern was very easy to follow and crocheted up so quickly. I don't have much experience with crochet and this was really my first amigurumi. Her head dimensions look a bit off and I crocheted too loosely in places where you can see the stuffing showing through, but otherwise I think she is cute as heck.

Perhaps a tail is in her near future.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


My year in Peterborough ended on Saturday. The year was a struggle in many ways, but I am trying to take away the good and leave the bad behind. My beautiful apartment was carefully taken apart and moved back to Toronto. Into a basement, and anywhere else it will fit. You see, this year I am house sitting. I have trimmed down a lot, donating, sharing, trading, and posting on Etsy once again, but I will admit that there has been a teensy bit of thrifting too. I haven't had much time for it in many months, so it is hard to resist when I do get the chance.

I finally got that sewing box I had been dreaming of. I found it at an antique mall, full of vintage notions and trims, a steal at less than $10.

Right now I am looking forward to a special GTA Pyrex meet-up/trade a few of us are planning for early next month. There may be some antiquing too. I cannot wait!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Patchwork Bench

As with most projects I take on, it took months longer than I had planned to complete this. My original vision had this sitting in the entrance to my apartment. The same apartment I moved out of this past weekend. So now this bench acts as a giant cat bed of sorts, by the back window. At least someone appreciates it!

To be honest, I'm not as happy with it as I had hoped. It has grown on me over time, but I think it's a little much. I'm half thinking of taking it apart and using the patchwork for something else.

Right now, I am debating which fabric I like better on these chairs..

I'm thinking one of each.