Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Paperwhites ~

Keeping the mid-winter blues at bay in a home near you!... we don't necessarily have the blues so much as the hurry-up-and-get-here-spring angst. So paperwhites were planted, with the expectation that they would bloom in about a month, but they shot up like rockets, blooming just two weeks after they sprouted.

I put half of the bulbs in a large, high-sided, glass vase as so ::

The the second half of the bulbs were planted in jars and smaller vases for a little grouping on a side table ::

Growing these couldn't be easier. Just place the bulbs on some rocks or marbles with their root-side facing down. Keep water in the gravel, but not touching the bulbs to avoid mold, and watch them grow! While there's always a concern that these flowers can become a bit top-heavy and need support, you can see that I have a few falling over, but the majority are doing fine without the support.

Unfortunately, I think my success may have also been a curse. We ended up with huge, beautiful blooms in two corners of the living room producing their heavy, musky fragrance. When they first started to bloom, Calder was convinced that there was "plastic burning" somewhere in the house, and either their fragrance or their pollen is irritating Sarah's sinuses. How do I know? We came home after a weekend away to find all of the paperwhites closed-off in our bedroom! Alas, I may have to stick to less fragrant flowers next winter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wee Pants!

Oh, these pants were so hard to photograph! Whether I put them in front of a white, black, or wood backdrop, I just couldn't get a nice shot... of course, the problem is probably obvious ~ it's impossible to capture the cuteness of this little pair of pants until they're on the bum of the baby!

These are the quick change trousers from Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings.

This pair is made of some soft, cozy flannel. For this pair, I used the bike & brown combo for the outside of the pants, and they are lined with the polka dots, which you see when you turn the cuffs up.

Of course, they could also be worn inside out, if it's a polka sorta day.

This weekend we're off to Philly ~ for some visiting, eating, and shopping in our favorite city... and we may just come home with a new dresser that I will promptly fill with quick change trousers in every color and for every season.

Happy Friday*

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Soundtrack

It's been too long since we've had some music in this space! Hopefully you aren't sick of hearing this one on the radio ~ I still turn it up loud whenever I get a chance.

 Artist :: Fun

 Song :: Some Nights


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heart Pillow Squared

It didn't take much to finish up the heart pillow. Just a half yard of cream corduroy that I used to back the coffee sack ~ I thought this would be useful for a couple of reasons: to provide a solid backing for the slightly loose weave of the coffee sack and by sewing the sack to the its backing, I was able to reinforce the edges so that the sack couldn't fray and come undone at the seams. I then used the corduroy to make an envelope back for the pillow.

So in the florescent light of the sewing room on Sunday night, I had a little pillow sandwich that looked something like this::

That's the corduroy backing for the front, the front of the pillow, and the two back panels.

... and look who's here to crash the party again!

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's freezing! Make socks!

It was time for a new pair of socks {it may be the only thing that helps me survive the rest of this bone-chilling winter we're experiencing!}, and it was definitely time to finish knitting this pair. I don't think I've mentioned them on the blog, but these were started well over a year ago, and I finally cast-off this weekend.

The grey yarn in this pair is leftover malabrigo sock yarn from my knee socks. The pink self-striping yarn is leftover from one of my first pairs of Jaywalkers that were finished around Valentine's day five years ago! I knit these until I was out of pink yarn, and I think I have just enough grey left to make a another pair of socks for the nugget.

I haven't found another pattern that I love more than Jaywalker for a pair of relatively plain, but not plain-plain socks. When I first put these two yarns together, I had a few false starts when I tried making up my own pattern playing with the colors, but finally, I had to admit that the socks I reach for more often than all others are the Jaywalkers in my drawer.

As with my other pairs, I knit these tow-up and used a short-row heel. The short-row heel is tighter and harder to put on than other options, but as a result, I can always count on these socks to stay up when I wearing heavy snow boots!

... and this is what happens when you spend too much time photographing your feet and not enough time playing with the pooch ::

ps ~ this post made me laugh today.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had fun stitching this heart onto an old coffee sack, and have grand plans of turning it into a pillow this weekend! xoxo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And the Moths Won

Ack. I knew there was a problem.

I would open the coat closet door, shuffle around to find something, and a moth would flutter up.

I would open the craft closet door with a rush, and poof, another moth.

I may have dealt with the problem by killing any moths I saw, tossing in a few cedar blocks, closing the closet doors and crossing my fingers.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that it was time to finally tackle the moths head-on. We keep the wintry wools {hats, mittens, scarves} in a basket in the coat closet. I cleaned out the basket, washed the accessories and took stock of what survived. These mittens, for example ::

They didn't make the cut, and they're possibly the biggest loss of the bunch. I'm not a big mitten wearer, but that pair was perfect :: tightly knit to keep out the cold, not too thick making it easy to hold bags or dog leashes while wearing, and they were fun to look at.

Other than the mittens, we ended up with quite a few holes in some hats, most of which I think I can easily mend. And a few that I'm even excited to mend because adding a touch of color will make them more exciting.

The wool in the craft room didn't fare much better. There were skeins of natural fibers covered in moth eggs ::

With some of those, it was easy to pull off the damaged outter layers and salvage a portion of the ball. Others weren't worth saving.

Then there were the unfinished projects, like my Vivian sweater {those are holes in the beautifully-cabled hood}::
It always seemed a touch small, and so it was just sitting in the closet waiting for a zipper and/or for me to unravel it and start again.

Of course it's a bummer to lose the yarn, but I have to admit that there was something freeing about being able to just toss the Vivian sweater in the trash and not have it hanging over my shoulder. Now I can open the craft room closet doors to a smaller selection of uber-organized yarn just waiting to be knit. I'm just crying over my holey mittens.

And going forward, we've become moth-repelling experts. Trying to stay away from the toxins in mothballs, cedarwood oil has become our weapon of choice. The difference between the two methods is that the cedar oil kills the moth larvae, while moth balls are able to knock out the moths and the larvae. But a word of caution ~ you should always be careful when using highly concentrated essentials oils because they can be toxic too {in this case, it's recommended that pregnant women use caution around cedarwood oil, and so I've had Sarah step up and do all of the dirty work for me right now}.

First we thoroughly cleaned the closets as well as the infested garments and yarns. We freshened up the cedar blocks with some fresh oil. The yarns were sorted and stored in sealed plastic bags {keeping the zippered bags that sheets and comforters are sold in comes in handing for sorting and storing in these instances}. And finally, we applied the cedar oil to a few alternate surfaces, such as the inside of the basket holding our hats and mittens as well as some wooden crates that I keep in the craft room closet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Earring Holder :: Take Two

Even though my mom and C keep me stocked with beautiful/fun/awesome earrings, I can wear the same simple studs for weeks. It happens when all of those pretty earrings are tucked safely away and out of sight in jewelry boxes.

The fix to this problem was even easier than expected :: I picked up a smallish frame from Michael's and popped in a piece of radiator cover I had left-over from making these as gifts last year.

To simplify the process, I cut the radiator cover so that it just fit inside the frame ~ it was so snug that once in the frame it doesn't move and I didn't have to bring out the powerful/smelly glues to do the dirty work. I also skipped the finishing step where I glued the nylon rope around the back side to give it a clean finish. Without that work, this project took all of five minutes.

It's been hanging next to our big mirror and above my necklaces for a couple of weeks now, and I'm happy to report that I switch out earrings 3 to 4 times a week!