Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Progress

Ah, the late nights knitting frantically while watching videos to keep me awake...

Yarn and fabric everywhere...

Looks like Christmas :)

Here's the baby hat I'm halfway done with and the adorable gift box the kit came in. This will make wrapping a snap.

Still working on the Navy Ruffle Scarf...

Ornaments...still waiting to get done

I am reminded of how  much I have and the joy I have in giving. It's just the process of getting the gifts done that forever taunt me.

And yes, I realize I haven't any pictures of the ruffle scarf or the ornaments...come back a bit later for those.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday crafting overload...

Need I say more?

Here's a list of things I've done:
  • Red ruffle scarf
  • 2 Personalized felt ornaments
In progress:
  • Navy blue ruffle scarf
  • New born baby cap
  • 1 personalized felt ornament
  • 1 baby blanket
Then there's the "OMG I have to start these!":
  • 3 Silk screened quotes on linen
  • 4 personalized felt ornaments
  • I don't know how many Christmas cards
I think several people will be getting their gifts a bit late this year. The ironic thing is I started in October, but business has been so good, I have had to put the crafting on the side and now I'm playing catch up. Last year business was slow, but there must be something in the air because now I can't remember when I've had a good solid 3 hours to work on the crafts. 

Last night would have been perfect, but I had forgotten to get goody bags for everyone in my small group bible study. So I ended up filling 18 goody bags which took about 2 1/2 hours to finish. I am reminded of this devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries on "An Overloaded Life", December 7, 2011. I think I really too much on this year and need to evaluate whether feeling overloaded is really worth it. This devotional really showed how I'm depriving myself and my family of God's blessings in life right now. Don't forget to give crazy love to your family this Christmas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stash, stash and more stash

So as an avid knitter, spinner and quilter, I need to reduce my stash. I will be adding some of my yarn and fabrics in my etsy store. Stay tuned...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hello Winter?

Well, here's a pic with all the caps that I contributed to the cemo cap drive for Breast Cancer Awareness month with the exception of the green one. I am not good at remembering to take pictures.

On the scarf that I was knitting up for my sister's birthday, I will blocking tonight and will upload a picture as soon as it is blocked up.

I took a queue from the Yarn Harlot and decided to take inventory of all my yarn and unfinished objects (all started with good intentions). I am going to create kits for myself with a copy of the patterns that I will go with the yarn. I think organization is the key in figuring out what you have, what you can donate, sell, etc. That also gave me the idea to go through my sewing / quilting projects that still need to get finished or started. I will do inventory on all my fabric, set up kits and schedule them for completion or sell kits on my etsy site (which still needs inventory).

Why this sudden desire to sweep through everything? I need to get a sense of what I have so I don't go out and purchase more unless it's a necessity. All this to be a responsible steward of the resources the good Lord has put in my care to manage. Our church is doing a campaign to help members of our church who are really in desperate times and it make me appreciate all that I have already. I love giving because the gift of giving far out weighs receiving.

I hope anyone who reads this blog takes inventory of all that you have instead of being sad of what you don't have or want. I think you'll find you have a lot to be thankful for.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sarah at Bella Knits announced that she was hosting a cemo cap / hat drive in support of breast cancer awareness month. Here is one of the hats I knit up (size 10 needles will help you fly through a hat project). Sarah had some yarn she dyed herself but hadn't been able to sold so she gave them to me to knit up the fun caps. It actually started when a buddy gave up trying to crochet a hat with the yarn Sarah had donated for the drive. I'll try to take a picture of them when I stop by Sarah's store today to drop of this lovely 100% Baby Alpaca cap. I turned them in before snapping a picture of it.

I am currently blocking the original cap I started for the cemo cap drive. Projects like these help me get rid of the yarn stash I've been accumulating.

I've started another project with a Louisa Harding pattern for the Juliet scarf for my sister's birthday (if I can knit this fast enough). Here's the sister's name is Louisa. Another bonus, using up my stash! Trying to use what I have to conserve my cash so I can treat myself to a Victoria spinning wheel.

Ugh, I'm not being very frugal lately though. I spent some dough at White House | Black Market for some dresses to wear at a couple of weddings. I did get the dress on sale though!.

Speaking about being frugal, I have taken to storing food at work:

Trying to cut down on eating out. It was starting to get really expensive.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pictures, what pictures?

I'm really bad about documenting my projects which is now a new resolution.

I will add photos of my projects.
I will add photos of my projects.
I will add photos of my projects.

I finally delivered the reversible quilt! Ryan and Heather were thrilled. I also unloaded a big bunch of fresh basil from my garden when I delivered the quilt after church. I don't think they knew it was coming...I was so nervous about giving them the quilt, because like every artist out there, you are your own worse critic. They loved it. Ryan's word were "Floored. I can't believe you made a quilt. YOU MADE US A QUILT." Well, now they will be the envy of every Black Hawks fan in Illinois.

On  another note. I finished plying my first yarn! It's a beautiful orange/green autumn colorway. I love it. It's so soft. 100% Suri Alpaca. Yes. I don't have a picture of it yet. I will add it. I promise.

I will add photos of my projects.
I will add photos of my projects.
I will add photos of my projects.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Knot Hysteria’s Colour Retreat!!!!

From November 4th to 8th is the fall knitting retreat at Port Ludlow...except it's not just knitting! They will be spinning, knitting and dyeing!'s $735 plus whatever your flight costs. I would love to go, but will have to choose spinning wheel or retreat?

You can read all about it on the Yarn Harlot's blog at

Knitting, Quilting and Spinning

As if I didn't already have a ton of stuff going on, I can't seem to focus on one project at a time.

I finished the reversible quilt and it's ready to be deliever today! Then I was reminded of a small dog quilt I started 2 years ago! I started quilting it last night.

I did some knitting on a baby blanket.

I did some more spinning of the suri alpaca on  drop spindle.

Tonight, I have to stop a client's (also a friend) for some financial work as well as assisting her in caring for her twins.  So it doesn't look like I'll be doing much work tonight on the creativity/crafting part.

Monday, September 26, 2011

YarnCon, Chicago 2011

I went to YarnCon for the first time this past weekend. It was so inspiring to see my friend Lenae with her custom dyed yarns. I bought a few dyed silk hankies and a hank of a purplish/lavendar silk/merino/cashmire yarn. Talk about luxurious!

I also bought a few ounces of 100% suri alpaca roving that was dyed with autumnal colors. Let me tell you, I had to resist pulling out that credit card to buy a bag of unprocessed suri alpaca! Thank God I kept my cool. Suri Alpaca is a great alternative to silk -- it's so luxurious!

I also got my order of silk cocoons and undyed silk hankies. Sarah at Mia Bella Yarns will be having a yarn dying class so the silk will be perfect for it. I think I also have a hank of undyed wool yarn as well.

Come back a little later if you would like to see some pictures.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Louet Victoria Spinning Wheel

I am in love. Not with a guy unfortunately...not yet anyways.

I went to my Thursday night knit gathering last night and lo-and-behold, what did I see at Sarah's store? A Louet Victoria spinning wheel! I was a little star struck...I've been researching spinning wheels, but I didn't try one out yet. Sarah took one look at my face and asked "Do you want to try it out?"  Of course I said yes. Then Adrian helped me get started on it.

At first, there was a learning curve on coordinating my feet to treadle smoothly. So I just treadled for a bit. Then came spinning the fiber. Ugh, I wasn't used to it at first, but after a while of practicing the simultaneous drafting (I over spun the fiber a lot because I couldn't get a rhythm going as I was trying to pull the long fibers), I was finally getting the hang of it. I couldn't stop spinning. Luckily, Sarah had some test wool she recently dyed and she needed it spun. I was so enthralled with spinning, I forgot to take pictures of my spun yarn.

Let me tell you something, you can spin a whole heck of a lot of yarn faster on a wheel. The Victoria was the perfect size and it folds into a compact item when you don't need it use it. It ain't cheap, but as I am a financial specialist, I will be taking my own advice and saving up until I have enough to buy it out right.

That reminds, as I work in the financial industry and I as a designer with an art degree, if there's one piece of advise I can give all you crafting/artistic folks, its this:

It's not worth going into debt for the things that later will cause huge financial headaches.

It makes life harder and you live with the consequences much longer than the moment you decided to splurge. There's something about delayed fulfillment I think a lot of people are missing. The satisfaction of working for something and the peace of mind of not having to work harder or be chained to a job you hate to payoff debt. If you have a craft you love, it's a good bet you have a stash of stuff you can still work with without getting more. It also makes you more creative and a better designer working with what you already have. In these tough times, let's be wise. There are a lot of people out there worrying about their futures and I would hate for you to be struggling. Love you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bookmark from scratch

My fingers were itching to knit something quick from one of my first yarns that I spun in my drop spindle class. So here is my unblocked bookmark.

Made it in less than an hour. I brought it to my knitting group today and the owner of Mia Bella yarns in Highland Park, IL asked if I could write up the pattern for it so she could use it for one of her classes!

Stay tuned, I will write up the pattern for all to enjoy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spinning yarn!

I have taken up spinning in the last month. I love it! It's so relaxing to spin on the drop spindle. Doesn't take too long to have a good bundle of fiber to make yarn. I am so very excited about the possibility of creating something truly from scratch. Here's a picture of my first spindle full of yarn:
Sorry for the bad picture. I had some dim lighting in my room.

On the other news front, A reversible quilt I've been working on since last October is practically done. I just finished the binding but I realize that I need to do some more quilting around the edges. Good thing I didn't undo all the safety pins. These are pretty big borders and I think more quilting will give it a finished look. Pictures to come a little later.

How's my goal of doing something creative everyday...not bad. Sometimes there are moments when you feel like you don't want to do anything, but I'm sticking with it. I've cut out television so that's helping.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wow...Has it been really over a year?

It's September 2011.

My last post was March 2010.


With the economy being the way it is lately, it's been tough finding time to work at my crafts. Well, I guess it's time to get back to business of crafting. I am an artist. An artist that is not creating or working towards something is a grumpy artist. I'm also changing the name of this blog because I really do more than just quilting. I'm not ashamed to say that I find a lot of satisfaction in making things that can be worn, shared, gifted and/or used daily.

One of my big projects of late has been redefining my bedroom/studio/office space. One of the things I've had to do is put in more shelving and cabinets in a nook between my bedroom door and walk in closet. During the "remodel" I've had to throw out a pile of junk. Lately I find that having mass manufactured items don't have a lot of meaning or value. The things that I do hold onto are handmade and created with love, care and thoughfulness. I'm realizing that I have too many things and I have a huge desire to "unload."

So this is a challenge for myself and anyone who may stumble upon my site. My goal is to do something creative everyday and do my best not to get sucked into buying stuff that doesn't last.