Thursday, July 31, 2008

End of Summer Randomness

The end is in sight! School is right around the corner and we have been cramming things into the last few days. The girls were in a crafty mood today, my oldest wanted to knit and the thought of sitting down to teach her that technique was a bit overwhelming, but then I remembered The Crafty Crow featuring finger knitting this week (I loved that as a kid and had totally forgotten about it!) and it ended up being the perfect thing. If you haven't checked out The Crafty Crow you really should, they do a great job of rounding up craft projects from all different blogs and posting links each day. I probably star three or four projects from them every week. Anyway, here is what came of the finger knitting project...

A cute little scarf for Coconut. Doesn't he look pleased? I thought it was quite clever.

I mean seriously, this is pretty cute.

Luckily, the youngest child had no interest in finger knitting, she wanted to start a new stitching project. It just kills me how she concentrates so hard on each and every stitch...

Besides crafting, the last couple of days were spent entertaining cousins. The younger cousin enjoyed the fountains with the girls...

And us older cousins enjoyed the family tradition of finding any reason to drink champagne together...

And this is just a random picture because it keeps cracking us up, Jay caught Lola in the middle of a yawn and she totally looks like she was partying with champagne too...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend at the Lake

Just me...

a lot of a favorite activity...

this handsome boy (who kept wandering off to take naps in bed)...

and some really nice evening light.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Quickie

This afternoon I had the overwhelming urge to just sew something and remembered an idea I saw on How About Orange a few days ago. I thought it was clever, and I just happen to hoard empty glass containers. I've also been trying to think of ways to bring the colors from a certain piece of fabric out into my dining room and thought these would be cute along with some new placemats. Hmm, what fabric could it be? (more on that little project later)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Day

"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit." – Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday was filled with two quintessential summer activities... picking blueberries at Grammy's house (she has 4 big blueberry bushes and they rock. Well, last year they got hit by a late frost and there were no berries, but this year the abundance of fruit is enough to make one giddy).

...and sand art. I loved doing these as a kid at summer camp. Was 9 bucks well spent at Hobby Lobby, and you can print off their 40% off coupon and get them for much less. I of course spent my coupon on something else. They probably spent a solid two hours on these:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Butterfly Quilt Procrastination

The butterfly quilt is taking a bit more time than I imagined it would, or i'm just bored of stitching buttonhole stitches around butterflies, but I found another good use for the fabric. The youngest child has been begging for her own butterfly, so when I noticed she had a stain on her favorite pink shirt that just wouldn't come out I decided to slap one on there. I think it turned out really cute!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birdies on my Birdie Sling

I am embarrassed to admit that it wasn't until I was almost finished making this bag that I realized I had used bird fabric to make a bag called Birdie Sling. You would think it was some kind of plan, but no, I just currently try to make anything and everything out of this fabric by Anna Maria Horner. I own it in three different colorways. I'm working on finding a way to hang it on the wall. I'm extremely jealous of other peoples' curtains and pillows and quilt made with it (see, I'm not the only one obsessed). But now I have an awesome bag and can carry it everywhere, yahoo! The top bands and handles are from Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric and the lining is from Anna Maria Horner's new Garden Party fabrics. Here is my pattern review of Amy Butler's Birdie Sling:

Cost to make: $42.00 (fabric, interfacing, fleece)

Time to make:

1 hour 40 min to cut out fabric

45 min to cut out interfacing

2 hours to iron on interfacing

4 hours 30 min to assemble

total time: 9 hours (rounded up)

Alcohol consumed: 1 beer (it was really, really hot steaming on the interfacing with no air conditioning)

Minor screw-ups: 1

Major screw-ups: 1

Summary: Overall, this pattern was great. Very detailed and easy to follow. I only have a couple of suggestions...

-when cutting out the pieces, you can save fabric by repositioning the fold to cut out the skinnier handles and bands. With the cost of fabric these days you definitely want to save as much as possible!

-don't forget to flip your pattern pieces when cutting on opposite folds (minor screw-up with a band piece, so amateur!)

-my one and only complaint with the pattern is that the pictures for when you are attaching the bands to the exterior and interior pieces are very misleading! I know, they try to make it look all nice, but you are attaching curves that are going in the opposite direction of each other, not laying all nice and neat together. Definitely go back to your cut-out pattern pieces and figure out which end is up. When you do it wrong it looks like this:

Then you do a lot of this:

And redo it correctly to look like this:
This is the first bag I have ever finished completely by myself (no panic calls to mom to come help me) and I have quite a new appreciation for people who design and make bags to sell on Etsy or to boutiques, as easy and straight forward as this was I would not want to make one every day. One last comment about this one... it is a big bag, you could carry a whole lot of crap in this thing, so really it's perfect for summer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Recap

Another fantastic summer weekend has slipped by, this one went quick with what seemed like back to back activities. Friday evening was spent with friends at the pool where we all tried to cool off and enjoyed pizza poolside (the kids are all getting old enough to eat dinner at their own table while the adults hang at a different one, it rocks, especially when you are talking about 6 kids). Saturday we ventured out to some new nearby parks, the Suwanee Town Center Fountains and Playtown Suwanee. We will definitely be back at the fountains soon, but Playtown Suwanee can wait until it cools down a bit. It's a great kids park, but the Georgia summer is getting to that point where anything outside that doesn't involve water just isn't much fun. Saturday afternoon Jay went off to his baseball game and I started in on my Birdie Bag. After being heckled by my mom and friend as a definite chronic project starter and often just buyer, I dove into both of my newest projects. I'm proud to say my bag is finished as of about 15 minutes ago, but its debut will have to wait until tomorrow when I have some good light to photograph it in all its glory. And, my newest scarf adventure is coming along beautifully, alpaca yarn is an absolute joy to knit with and this scarf moves really fast.
However, my knitting does become somewhat hindered when I try to knit sitting at my computer to watch how-to videos and then look down at the floor to find a scene like this (all my yarn was in that bag last I looked). And not a cat to be seen... very suspicious. I've been concientiously putting my knitting well away at night, apparently I'm not the only one that loves alpaca yarn.
So, Saturday evening I broke from sewing to take the girls to Chick-fil-a for dinner to cool off (remember we have no ac upstairs) and ended up being invited over to my mom's for ice cream. She really just wanted to snuggle the girls one last time before going out of town. Sunday Jay and I, with great anticipation, went to see Batman. Holy crap, that movie rocked! The Joker was fantastic and wonderfully creepy. So much so that I am a bit appalled that it is rated PG-13. The movie felt like it was really long simply because I was tense throughout the whole thing. Jay said today that he wants to see it at least one more time in the theater, it really is that good. But psycho creepy. But good.
The rest of Sunday was spent sweating over a hot iron. Who knew attaching interfacing to your fabrics took so long? And so much steam? I will be back tomorrow with a Birdie Bag debut and full pattern review. I am also happy to report that we have air conditioning again, now if I could just get the garage door and the phone to work.

Friday, July 18, 2008

End One, Start Two

I finally finished my first knitting project, the scarf that was on display a few posts back. I think I was dragging my feet because I didn't want to take the time to learn how to bind off, but thanks to a suggestion from mom to check out and their great videos it is done! Also, it's pretty funny that I finished it today, because today my air conditioning died. In the middle of July. In Atlanta. And what do I do? Knit.

Makes no sense, but now I can start on my next knitting project which I have been drooling over since I bought the yarn in Idaho. I will be whipping up The Purl Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, which I am a bit intimidated by because you knit with three strands at the same time in a rib pattern. It is in the 4-6 hour projects section so I'm guessing it will take me about 4-6 months. What? I have a lot going on. And, well, apparently I am a chronic project starter. Butterfly quilt you say? Yeah, Yeah.

Also, I got my hands on the new Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern and bought fabrics this week to make one asap. I am using my absolutely favorite fabric of the moment by Anna Maria Horner. I think it is going to be fantastic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Best Friend's Wedding (Reception)

Here is my best friend since childhood, we have known each other since we were 7 (are those the cutest freckles ever or what?):

Here we are sometime around 9th grade (I adored that white jacket, it had matching white pants with lace that I wore way too frequently. Also, the checked jacket was mine and was also adored. And why does her hair look so normal?):

Here we are weekend before last at her wedding reception. They had the reception at the Atlanta zoo and it was so much fun watching the pandas munch bamboo while we munched wedding food. I do think they should have been allowed access to the bar though, pandas want to party too!

I love this girl. Our friendship has had moments of closeness and distance over our 25 years, but it has always been there. She is part of what makes me, and I wish that part crazy amounts of happiness, laughter, and support during the hard times with her awesome new hubbie. Congrats D!