Friday, December 14, 2012


At the same time my grandma was putting together her advent calendar, she was also working on dozens of other holiday decorations. We have boxes full of ornaments she made, a tree skirt, and numerous wall-hangings. The next project I want to tackle is an updated version of this banner of the Twelve Days of Christmas. The one she made is really perfect, but after all the fun I had doing my own advent calendar, I can't help getting my paws dirty with this one too. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The weather has been so unpredictable here this winter and we were hit with a beautiful, sunny day on Tuesday. R and I took advantage of it and went for a nice, long walk around the neighborhood. We met a small cat and bunny along the way, tucked into a neighbors gate as a giveaway. Of course, being the stingy, strict, and scared-of-bedbugs parent I am I immediately said no, we absolutely could not take them with us. At about the same time, a slightly drunk, smoking, shuffling guy came up and told R to go ahead, take them anyway, that's what they're there for. She, of course, took his advice and pulled the friends down. She could not have been happier about it and snuggled them the whole walk. I guess sometimes as a parent, you just have to listen to the drunk guy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

citronille daisy pattern
citronille daisy pattern
While trolling around the web way too late at night a few months ago I stumbled my way to Citronille. Their children's clothing patterns are just perfect - simple, straight forward & classic. I immediately impulse-bought a handful of them and am just now getting to actually put them to work.
"Daisy" is the first one I worked on, in a pink striped oxford I had bought for another project that went down the tubes. I did the shirt in size 2 and it's still a bit big on the lady as a top, but fits her very nicely as a short dress.
I have two more almost finished, just waiting for buttons & button holes, but now with Christmas coming they've inched their way to the bottom of the pile. Maybe sometime in the new year.
citronille daisy pattern

citronille daisy pattern

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

felt and sequin tree advent calendar

felt and sequin tree advent calendar

felt and sequin ornaments

I can't believe how long it's been since I took a minute to sit down and let you all know that I am still alive. I can blame the crafting funk a little, but mostly I'd say it's laziness. BUT - I am excited to share that I have been kicked with a new bolt of motivation. I pulled out the advent calendar on Sunday to start our countdown to Christmas, and I was reminded of what got me into crafting high-gear in the first place.
Growing up, we used the same advent calendar every year. It was hand-made by my grandmother (I think from a kit) in the early 1970's. I loved that thing and always looked forward to hanging it up - not just because it meant Christmas was near (though, I'll admit, that was part of it) but because I just loved the thing itself. Each pocket had a special ornament to hang on the tree and my sister and I would switch off days. You never knew what you would get, but you always hoped for something good (and if you were feeling especially naughty, you'd look ahead, count it out, and swap a dud for a gem in your next pocket). I was a particular fan of the mitten and the snowman.
I knew I wanted to continue the advent calendar tradition when I started my own family, and one of the first projects I started when I found out I was pregnant with little R was my own replica of this family heirloom. It was a BIG project and took me a full year to finish, but I finally got it done just in time for Christmas last year. After finishing such a large project I knew I could motivate to tackle other unfinished crafts, and perhaps even follow through on new ones. . . The fact that I made it through to November before a major funk set in is actually pretty miraculous. As the new year approaches, I am ready to start again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Despite all my whining, I have actually been working on and, more importantly, finishing some projects. One of which is this sweater for little R, made using the pattern that my sister lovingly sent after I scolded her on the internet. Sorry, big sis. But, rather than giving me the crafting boost I need, I'm afraid this poor sweater may be the source of the slow down. Thing is, I'm just not sure I'm happy with it. I was so sure of the color when it was on the skein, but now that it's all knitted up I don't think it was the right choice. I still think it's a very pretty color, and I am happy with the yellow detail on the cuff, but I don't think it was the best choice for little R. What it all comes down to is that I just don't know how to shop for a blond. So here I am, too many dollars and hours later feeling a little disappointed. I know the best way out is to let go and carry on, but of course I'm second guessing all other supply purchases I've made in the past month (which are an embarrassingly many). Hopefully I'll bite the bullet soon and just make something already. I promise, you will be the first to know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I think I was reeling from some serious crafting adrenaline after finishing all those blankets and I might have bit off a bit more than I can chew. Mostly, I think I was just so excited to finally have an excuse to go out and buy some new supplies for some new projects, but now I'm afraid that what I really bought were just some more things to throw in the to-do pile. I am (or was) super excited about each and every one of the 7 projects I stocked up for, but as I prepare to jump in and actually make something I'm having a bit of a crisis of confidence and don't know where to start. Hopefully I'll have something to show for all this soon.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's not the best photo, but let this be proof that R did, at one point, wear that little bat costume, and kind of liked it too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

R and I are headed to a little kiddie Halloween party this afternoon. I thought it would be fun to bring a little something for her to hand out to all her friends so we made some ghouly cards this morning. I stole the hand-print ghost idea from her very first daycare craft project that she brought home last year at about this time. She loves having her hand traced so it was a real breeze to get a stack of these together. We also had a lot of fun practicing our best ghostly sounds... ooo-oooo-ooooo
I have a costume all set for the little lady to wear, but so far she has refused all attempts to put it on her. I am hoping for at least one photo moment before the day is over. More soon (if I'm lucky).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We have some very good friends visiting us from Seattle this week with their one-year-old son. R absolutely loves having a little buddy around. She chases him all around the apartment and is constantly asking about him when he's out of eye-sight. Actually, she keeps asking for "baby daddy", which for a while we thought referred to his dad, our friend, but we've since realized that this is just the name she's given to the little guy. Who knows why.
We spent yesterday afternoon roaming the cars at the New York City Transit Museum, an absolutely perfect spot for two rambunctious toddlers. The kids had a blast running through the cars, climbing on the seats and harassing the resident cat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We all of a sudden have an explosion of baby blankets here in the house. Most are from my pile of half finished projects and I am so happy to finally have them done! Who cares that they are all fairly impractical, and will probably be most useful making a colorful stack in R's closet. 
You've seen the granny square before and an almost-done postage stamp quilt, but here they are all together, all finished. The only new project of the bunch is the large grey comforter and that we will use. As the temperatures drop here I knew I needed to get something warm in R's crib. I used a beautiful double gauze Nani Iro print that I bought a while ago and a pink linen with wool batting. It's my first time making anything like this and though I am really happy with it at the moment, I am anxious to see how it looks after its first washing.  So far R is not quite sure what to do with it and I mostly find it crumpled in a little ball in the morning and her sleeping right on top. Hopefully it's still doing some of its job. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

R and I decided to make a mess of the kitchen the other day and made carrot muffins together. I used an adapted version of a recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. I feel so silly about these little changes I make to recipes - this one I decided to do without sugar, but kept in the 1 1/2 cups of oil. So, not only are the muffins not really that good for you, they don't taste that great either. Oh well. R doesn't mind one bit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remember this dying project from a few months ago? Well, the finished project is finally out in print! All that dying and swatching was for this Thanksgiving Banner for the November issue of Parents Magazine. It's made using a super simple & kid friendly version of batik that uses Elmer's Glue instead of wax. Fun, right?