May 29th, 2008 - Complete

To say that this is a finish object would be to understate things. I feel as though I have climbed my knitting everest. Lady Eleanor, is finally complete.

I have knit other things; larger in size, more time consuming, but nothing quite like this.

There were times when I felt as though she was sucking life from me. And yet there were times when watching the changing colours of the Silk Garden was my happy place.

But despite the strife, the long time coming, I believe that this is the most beautiful thing I have ever knit. Bold, possibly arrogant statement, but I truly feel it.

Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style
Silk Garden 201, 10 balls
US 8 Denise needles
Modifications: Fringe - twice as thick, half as long and only three rows of knots. As inspired by Laura.

There are some who have not knit this shawl because of the appearance of the back side. I think I love the back nearly as much as the front.

Like choppy waves on a lake.

To give you the proper idea of size:

And with that, I am never, ever, knitting entrelac again. Ever.

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May 25th, 2008 - Crafty

In an attempt to perk myself up a little, I have been thinking about all the different crafty endeavors I have tried at one point or another. I think that might be part of the problem why nothing ever gets done, is that I am doing too many different things. It's like crafting ADD.

Knitting (statement of the obvious)
Knitting pattern design
Crochet
Weaving
Sewing - Clothing, Toys, Interior items
Quilting
Card making
Photography
Fondant Cake Decorating
Book binding
Felting
Cross Stitch
Embroidery
Ribbon Embroidery
Drop Spindle Spinning
Beading
Silk Screening
Interior Design, Cooking, Gardening (are those things crafts?)

These are only in the last few years, since I started the blog. There have been other less successful items that I did in University and High School while I was trying to find my crafty self.

I am definitely the kind of person that benefits from lists. I went through and made a list of all the items that I am working on and put deadlines against them if necessary. I also put down anything that is in my head that has a deadline, up until the end of September. This has helped a lot as I can see what needs to be done and what can wait a little while. I have limited Lady Eleanor to mindless time when I don't want to work on anything else. She is *almost* done.

I am going home to visit my mom for a week soon, so I am going to take my 4 almost finished knitting projects and try to finish them all when I am there. I think this will leave me feeling much more refreshed.

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May 20th, 2008 - Unfinished

*Big Ole Sigh*. I am feeling like there are too many unfinished things around me. I feel unfinished. And for some reason instead of plowing ahead like I normally would, I am just sitting and looking at the unfinished things.

I have a studio that is unfinished. I tried to organize my fabric mess this afternoon and just proceeded to make more of a mess. While it is getting better, I just feel like there is something not right about the room. It doesn't inspire me. I don't have the budget to do anything to it that is going to cost money, but I need to do something. There has to be something I can do to make it better.

I have endless craft projects that are unfinished. I am working on 2 gifts, Lady Eleanor (which is the LONGEST. PROJECT. EVER.), the Formal Boot Bag, and two pairs of socks. And a quilt. And I have about 14 things that are waiting in my head to be started.

I have house projects that are unfinished. There is painting to be done, picture frames to be stained and hung, fix it jobs, tables to be refinished, and another 14 things that are waiting in my head to be started.

The fact that I am going to have to go back to work eventually is weighing on me, and rather than spurring me into action, it is sitting on me like a gorilla. I want to go Bewitched styles and everything will be done.

A photo of the unfinished storm behind me.

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May 19th, 2008 - Ahem

So apparently I have a 5-striped skink living in my front garden.

Honestly, where have I moved? A tropical island? I have been informed that these live in Ontario too, but I lived there my entire life and never saw any kind of lizard in the wild.

He is only about 5 inches long, including his bright blue tail.

And he is so skittish that he seems to be afraid of his own shadow. So TJ interrupting him in the garage must have been a shocker. He booked it across the garage floor at lightning speed.

Seriously, how far south did I go??

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May 15th, 2008 - Quick FO

Thanks everyone for helping to ID my plants, especially Lynne! I knew you would know Lynne, your blog always has such lovely pictures of your garden. Maybe once and a while I will throw up a picture of a plant, you know, like a blog feature.

On to more serious things though. In late March my friend's wife was in a very serious car accident caused by a drunk driver. The fact that she is alive today and has recently come home is from my understanding quite a miracle, helped my many things; the emergency crew, the doctors, nurses and physio staff at Hamilton General Hospital, the strength of her family and friends, and very importantly blood donors. If you are able and so inclined please take some time out to go to a donor clinic. You really never know who's life you are going to save. And they give you cookies, and not the cheap kind either!

Situations like this often make me feel very helpless, and rightfully so as there was nothing I could do to help. So I knit up a quick pair of socks to send along.

I don't really know if it was an appropriate thing to do, but it was all I could think of. These are my first pair of matching socks, made from Opal in the usual generic toe up pattern. She may not be able to wear them now, but hopefully someday soon.

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May 14th, 2008 - Help Me?

When we bought our first house in Aurora, I finally got to begin learning about landscaping and gardening. I took a landscaping course and was beginning to recognize some plant types.

Moving down here though has been another story all together. Because the climate is so different, there are a whole other set of plants and I know what very few of them are. On top of that, the gardens in the house that we moved into were already planted, so I really don't know what anything is.

This blog post has a duel purpose: 1. my mom really wanted to see my plants, and 2. I need help identifying what some of these things are. Are there any gardeners out there?

Plant #1: I am pretty sure this is a hydrangea

Plant #2: No idea?

Plant #3: Same kind of thing as above?

Plant #4: No idea on this one either. I don't even know if it is supposed to be red!

Plant #5: Don't know, but is has pretty white flowers

Plant #6: This thing I was sure was a rose before it got it's leaves. Now? No idea.

Plant #7: Pretty purple thing?

Plant #8: I have a few of these guys. There are big flat ground cover, and they are quite rubbery. And they have these pretty little purple flowers.

Plant #9: I know this one is a rose. (I think?) I just wanted to show my mom that is has different blooms than I have seen before.

Plant #10: Super pretty little guy stuck in the corner. No idea....

There are lots more, but that will suffice for now. Does anyone know what any of these 10 are?

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May 12th, 2008 - Monkey Business

My friends Andrew and Sherry recently welcomed their first little one into the world, and since that is always a special occasion I thought I would make a special baby gift for them. I had bought a couple of fat quarters of "5 Funky Monkeys" fabric about a year ago, so I ordered a little more and put together a simple quilt.

I washed the fabric for this one ahead of time, but not the batting. I did this intentionally so that when I did the final wash it would pucker a little and give it some texture. I didn't want to go with a fancy pattern for the quilt with this fabric, because I think the fabric pretty much speaks for itself.

I figured since my first sock monkey was a hit with the recipient, I would make another one to go with the quilt as well.

This one has a bit of a different character than the first one. That is one of the things that I love about handcrafted items is that even when they are the same, the never are. Each one has it's own touch.

I had some tiny little scraps left, so I broke out the Mod Podge (hey there 1970's! Whoop!) and coated some bananas and monkeys on the fabric. I then cut these out and used them to make a quilt care card.

And finally I made a card to go with the gift. I didn't really want this one to match the gift, because I thought that was just a bit too "theme-y". So instead I used my new pea-pod stamp.

The inside says "Welcome to your little sweet pea!".

I got a lovely email from Andrew and Sherry when they received it, gushing about how much they loved it and that it worked great in the baby's room. I would certainly be lying if I said I didn't like the praise *blush*.

Congratulations Andrew and Sherry and welcome Baby M!

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May 8th, 2008 - Felt Food Fun

My good friend's little boy turned a year old at the end of March, so I wanted to make him something fun. (Have I mentioned that this year I am trying to do handmade for as many gifts as possible? I figure I have the skills and in many cases the supplies, so why would I buy something that will probably end up in the landfill in a couple of years?)

So, I did a little browsing around Craftster and found some felt food that people had made. Now I know a one year old is a little young for this gift, but I figured he couldn't hurt himself with any of it and he could grow into it a little.

Breakfast anyone?

The traditional bacon, eggs, and toast.

Or perhaps you would prefer pancakes?

With some Pop Tarts on the side and a couple oranges for garnish.

Done with breakfast, it's lunchtime!

We have all the fixin's for a great roast beef sandwich, including meat, cheese, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce all on fresh bread. Oh, and of course, watermelon for dessert.

Not sure what you want for dinner? Well you can have pasta,

with or without mushrooms of course. Or maybe pizza is more your thing?

You pick the toppings and it's yours.

And finally, what day of food would be complete without some Oreos and fruit for dessert

And to finish it off, it all comes in it's own environmentally friendly lunch bag.

Now while I am not sure that he totally understands the concept at this point, he did put the cookies in his mouth as soon as he opened the gift. I figure that is a good sign that we have a gourmand in the making!

As for project details - I just used sheets of felt from Michaels and cut them out into appropriate shapes. I used stuffing for the larger pieces and quilt batting for the thinner things. Everything is sewn together except for the cookies, which are just glued together with fabric glue.

Next we will continue the catch up with a quilt!

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