Thursday, October 25, 2007

Autumn On Maple St

I went photo taking on Sunday afternoon because it was sunny and warm outside but there are tons of colourful leaves. Victoria and I decided to go for a walk. Megan wasnt home of course because she is the sleepover queen. It was a good thing a took lots of photos on Sunday because if you go outside right now alot of the pretty leaves arent even there. They have all blown away with the wind.

This first shot was taken halfway up the end of our street so you can see all the trees in the background. Please note that we live in a very small town of less than 700 so its not a bustling city hehe.

I just thought that this shot was a symbol of the season with the corn stalks and the pumpkins that people put out to decorate for the upcoming Halloween. We are off to get our pumpkins to carve on Saturday. I like to save the pumpkin seeds we scoop and bake them up. They are then tossed in the sweet and salty mixture. Victoria just loves them and so does my brother in law. I will have to save some for him. There will definitely be lots. Now lets see if tradition prevails and it is cold, windy and rainy with perhaps even some snowflakes the day we get our pumpkins.

I just loved how this tree was so huge and sprawling with so many golden leaves still on it. It looks like its made of gold. This tree is next to a house that Victoria likes to call The Gingerbread House. I think she calls it that because its kind of like a salmony colour with cream trim and trim is very decorative like a gingerbread house would look. Thats the only thing I can think of hehe.

Up our end of the street there is a tree that has dropped its leaves, it seems, almost instantly because they are piled up everywhere. They are perfect for tossing, kicking and stomping on. Victoria and I often walk up that way just to play in the leaves. I hope the people that have their house next to it arent trying to keep the pathway clear of leaves otherwise we are probably getting dirty looks when we go through hehe.

Last but not least, this is Mandy. She lives in our street and is the sweetest dog you ever met. Whenever we go by there we have to stop and give her pats and love. She almost instantly lays on her back for belly rubs. Her owners tell us she would let you love her all day long if you want to and I believe it. Megan would like to kidnap her and love her forever. She does have a little sidekick thats a mostly white Jack Russell. I took some photos of her and more of Mandy but this was my favourite. Doesnt she look like she is smiling. She always looks like she is smiling. You cant be sad around this puppy.

I went to my knitting group this week thinking that I would be the only one there, knowing Mrs Hadley couldnt make it. I thought maybe someone new would turn up and what a pity if they felt no one cared so I went anyway. To my surprise two other ladies joined me today. One lady was an elderly lady who said her grandmother taught her how to knit when she was 12 so she has been knitting over 50 years. I felt humbled by how much more experience I knew she had more than me by hearing this. She was working on a pair of socks using that self striping yarn in a fuschia colour. They looked very cool. She was telling me some other projects she has at home still waiting to be finished so I think she sees this as an opportunity to get her projects done. The other lady is in her 40s I think. I have seen her around because she is a cleaning lady at the schools and spoken to her a few times before. She apparently use to do alot of knitting for charities and hospitals. I think she just enjoyed the opportunity to sit and knit for a while. She seems like a busy lady. So we sat and talked knitting for an hour and a half and had a good time. Mrs Hadley will be so excited to hear of the new people. I just hope they come back and our group gets bigger and bigger.

I have been working on a baby blanket using yarn from the local church because they requested baby blankets for their mission. Its going kind of slow so I put that aside today to work on some stitchmarkers. I now have 10 sets made. I will have to get a shot. Tomorrow I think I will work on how I should present them for the shop owner to display. I have an idea Im just not sure if it will work yet. I also sat down for a minute today and started knitting my felted knitting bag that I bought the yarn for forever ago and never started it. Fingers crossed that will work the way I want it to.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

All Sorts Of Topics

I made Victoria a pair of socks this week. I found a pattern for toddler socks and thought she might like a pair. She just loves them, especially because they are the same colour as mine. She doesnt want to take them off when she has them on. I have noticed that when she wears them it makes her wiggle her toes hehe. She also likes the fact that they slide well on the floor. Always a good thing hehe. They didnt take me long to make at all.

This is the pattern I ordered off Etsy last Friday and received yesterday. Isnt he just the cutest. I am going to have to get the supplies I need to make him and make one as soon as I can. I usually try to make the girls something for Christmas and Victoria saw his photo and really liked him so I think she might have to get one. The pattern is a little strangely written but I think I can figure it out. Its not the steps that are confusing its the construction that seems confusing. I think once I have the pieces in front of me it will make more sense. I need to get some fluffy yarn, Im thinking Sensations Angel Hair because its so so soft, some eyes and some pellets to put in his butt, arms and legs. This will be my first time putting pellets in one of my toys. I have to also make the little pouches to put the pellets in so they dont go everywhere. It should be a real learning experience.

We went to Allegany State Park a couple of weeks ago. We usually go there the first Saturday in October because the weather is still nice but the leaves are all changing to pretty colours. I really wanted to take some photos of the leaves so off we went. I always wish we could stay longer when we go. Victoria was dying to go on the paddle boats but we will have to do that another time. We took a bunch of photos. The leaves werent changed as much as usual because it hasnt been as cool as it normally is this time of year. Some photos I cheated and took while we were driving in the car. Most of them came out better than I thought they would hehe. The full tree picture was taken in the car. Can you tell?

My friend Natalie picked up the two cotton blankets and hat that I had made for her a couple of months ago. She was excited to receive them and I was excited to get the money for them hehe. I am thinking that I am going to use part of my money to buy the can of purple paint that I need finish Victoria's room. She will be happy to have her room finished and I will be happy to have finally completed a whole room. Im not sure what I will do with the rest. All the choices and good use it could be put towards.

Oh also yesterday I received my pink swarovski butterflies I had ordered. They are so cute. A little smaller than I pictured but very pretty. I have now discovered that they arent going to go well on my pink bag because they blend in with the colour too much. I am going to hold onto them for another purpose. I have found some other butterflies that I already owned that look much better. I dont know why I didnt check them first. I also got my 8mm closed jumprings for my stitchmarkers. They are great. I couldnt resist trying them out. I made a set of stitchmarkers with them and they work wonderfully. Much better than the way I was doing it before. I think I will be buying more of them. I want to have a few sets made before I take them into the yarn shop. I still have to figure out how I am going to package them. I havent decided the best way yet.

Well thats all I can think of right now. I should be in bed. I woke up with a massive migraine today that lasted until about 3pm. Just in time to finish up tidying up the house for the visitors we had over today. Now I need some sleep to fully recover from today.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My First Felting Disaster

Today I just finished knitting up the mint green bag that I was planning out all this pretty stuff I was going to to do it. I put it in the washing machine to felt all excited about how it was going to look when it was all done. Well I pulled it out at the end to find that it hadnt felted at all. Thinking maybe it was a slow felting wool I put it back in the machine and started it up again. I decided to get online and look up the brand of wool that I was using to see if it said it was good for felting or not. It says its 100% wool and to hand wash it so I assumed that it was feltable. I found a review page for this wool and all these people had been complaining that it doesnt felt and it wasnt written on the label that it was the type of wool that doesnt felt. I wish I had of read all that before I made it hehe. I know, I know, your suppose to test swatch before you felt but I hate test swatching for felting. It feels like Im wasting precious yarn and whatever it turns out when it comes out is what it is. I had gone out and bought 2 more balls of this stuff to finish up this bag. Oh well, I think I can salvage it all. I stuck the bag in the dryer and I am going to unravel it all and make it into something else. I just found a pattern for the cutest cable stitch bag that I think I am going to modify. Now if I cant unravel it, then I will be annoyed but I think I will be able to. If the cable bag doesnt work out then I will just knit some socks, at least I know they will be washable hehe.

Now here's a bag that I had some success with. This is the Victorian Pink bag that I mentioned before. I just got on Etsy on Friday night and ordered some swarovski crystal butterflies to sew onto it. They are tiny little things but I think they will look cute if I do it right. I am trying to figure out how I want to put my flower design on. I wish I had the tools and more knowledge to needle felt. I think I would needle felt them on for a more solid looking design. My other options are to use wool embroidery thread or cross stitch embroidery thread which is smoother. Im not sure yet. I think Im going to wait until my butterflies get here for inspiration. Didnt this bag turn out so pretty though. Its like the green one but bigger in size.

I also did a little more Etsy shopping on Friday. Its always so hard to choose what to get when I have the chance to buy off Etsy. It takes me forever to decide. Joe always has a good giggle at me when I do. I bought the cutest teddy bear knitting pattern which is coming from England. I asked and the lady doesnt mind if I sell ones that I make so in my head I am planning all sorts of colour combinations and yarn choices for this little guy who's name is Horace. I also bought some silver jumprings for my stitchmarkers and some solid perfume in lavender scent. I use to own some solid perfume a long time ago and loved it. The smell lasted a long time when I wore it. I managed to find some solid perfume made from all natural ingredients and lavender essential oil so it smells like real lavender, not that fake smelling stuff. Real lavender is my favourite smell. Today I checked the mail and to my surprise two of my purchases had already arrived. The jumprings and perfume arrived. The perfume lady also sent me some little handmade soap samples. They smell really good. One is Sandalwood and Vanilla and the other one is Spearmint and Orange. Very good stuff. Its always nice to get extra little things when you order from Etsy.

Last week the girls and I made Halloween cookies. Actually they did most of it. I was just the assistant. I was so nice because they both had alot of fun and didnt argue the whole time. I just stood back and let them do them however they wanted. Joe the cookie monster liked how they turned out too. He says they need to make more of them hehe. The second shot is of Victoria with her cookies. Her photo came out dark but I think if you click on it you might be able to make it out better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some Works In Progress

Here is the bag that Im working on at the moment. This is it pre felting. I just felted it in the washing machine last night, its stuffed and drying at the moment. I am trying to think of what I want to do to decorate it. The pink turned out so pretty all felted. I am thinking about embroidering some tulips and buying some pink swarovski crystal butterflies to fly around the tulips. Its just an idea thats floating around.

Here is the moss green felted bag that I just sewed the ribbon to the other day. Its finally all finished. I clipped my Ipod Shuffle to the top to show its size. You can also see the little pouch that goes with this bag. I put two snaps in the top so if you put little things in the pouch they wont fall out. I think I like how this turned out. The bag fits alot more that you would think in it even though its little. I think that is because the wool kind of stretches as you add things which gives you more room. The dimensions of the bag are 7 inches high and 8 inches across. The little pouch is 3.5 inches high and 4 inches across.

Here is the lovely Megan showing off her new Cashmerino knitted hat made by her mummy for her birthday. She says she likes it much better now that its fixed. I think that I wish I could have been able to add even a few more rows but as long as she likes it then I guess its ok.

These are the stitch markers I have been working on. The blue ones are for up to size 8 needles and I think they turned out pretty good. I have been putting my stitch markers on these coilless pins which can also be used as small stitch holders. The green stitch markers are a work in progress. I need to buy some big jumprings that would fit on size 11 needles and adjust the loops on these to fit the jumprings. They are currently sized for size 5 needles and I feel they are too heavy for such skinny needles. I now need to buy more beads and such to make more creations or just play around with the beads that I have.

I spoke the the lady that owns Falconer Yarn Loft today. She was calling me back about the bear that I want that I saw in her store before. She was able to speak with the lady that makes them and she said that she will make me one for $50. I should have bought it when it was $40 hehe. She said that she just sold one for $85 so I guess I am getting it at a bargain price. He is made from handspun alpaca yarn and oh so cute. I asked if she would get her to make me one and I will pay him off bit by bit. Its been years since I got a fancy bear and I miss them. All of mine are sitting in Australia at the moment. Oh except for Buzz who is sitting on the cd cabinet. He was sent to me for my birthday. I would love to start collecting handmade bears again. I have 5 of them at the moment. My most special one is sitting in my sisters house right now. Im not sure if its called Bearnapping or Bearsitting but he has been staying there for a few years now and currently resides in Olivia's room. I should be calling her she because her name is Sugar and she is pink. The lady at the Yarn Loft said that she is going to give me the pattern for the bear that I want and some yarn. I think from what she said she would like it if I made some for the store because she loved it too and wants to sell them. She said she doesnt have the time to make them but would love to have them all over her shop. I just hope that the pattern isnt too hard but I will give it a go.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Finally I Can Blog Something

I have been wanting to type something for days and days but havent had the chance. Last night I finally sat down to type and upload some photos when our internet decided it just didnt want to work. So here I am on Friday night finally able to do a catch up.

Its been a busy week or so now with having two kiddies in school and a Megan birthday had last Saturday, with some painting and knitting on top of that. Whoever kept telling me that I would be able to sit and relax with Victoria at school was telling fibs. I have been trying to get painting done before the weather gets bad and cant paint anymore. I just want to have one room accomplished before its all said and done. If I can get the purple paint for Victoria's room this weekend then I just might accomplish that. All the pink on the two walls and trim for those two walls are done. Give me some purple paint and a week and I will have the other half done. Its looking very pretty and girly. She is very excited. Although the prettiness kind of got tainted last night when Joe bought Victoria a big Spiderman dressed in black poster. Im trying to create a pretty pink and purple with butterflies room and now we have to have Spiderman on the wall. Oh well I guess it definitely shows Victoria's personality.

The first photo that you see are the socks that I made for Megan's birthday. She loves them and thinks they are very soft. I got the feeling she wants more socks and will voice it when the weather gets colder. She loved all the other stuff. I also made her a green cloche hat that I have yet to take a photo of. I made it out of the debbie bliss cashmerino stuff I bought which is oh so soft. To be truthful the hat was going to be for me but when I put it on I didnt like how it looked on me and thought it would look better on Megan. I just happened to finish it the night before Megan's birthday. When she put it on she liked it but wasnt sure about it for one of the reason I wasnt sure about it. It felt like it was too short and didnt cover your ears properly. I was lucky enough to have a little of the ball left over and told her I would undo the hat before the decreasing and add some length. After doing this 3 times before closing up the top I finally got it to the length she liked and its all ready to wear. If I didnt fix it, it would have just got tossed aside and never worn, this way it will get used because its wearable now so I guess the time was worth it. Oh yeah, as I suspected when Megan opened her fingerless mittens all her friends now want a pair. Hailey has requested a red and black pair of the longer cable kind for her birthday in November.

Last weekend I finally got to a yarn shop that I had been dying to check out ever since I found out where it was. We dont usually go shopping in this area so when I knew we were going near there I just had to go. It is actually not just a yarn shop. Its got a little bit of everything and called The Art Trunk. Lots of painting, scrapbooking, beads, stamps, sewing and knitting supplies. Something for everyone. Joe even found something in there he wanted. I got the pink ball of yarn that you see below. The colour is called Victorian Rose so of course I had to get it. Its halfway to being a felted bag right now. Joe got two big pieces of fleece with a deer on it that he asked if I would sew into a blanket for him to snuggle in. I got out my sewing machine the other day and it took me about hour altogether to make his blanket and now he is very happy. He used it last night because he isnt feeling well at the moment. I will have to take a photo of that. I have been trying to catch up on some sewing projects that I have been putting off so my sewing machine and everything has been crowding our kitchen this week. I would love a sewing table. Megan asked me for a gym bag a few weeks ago and we have been buying the stuff for it for a few weeks now. It would have been done a couple of days ago but we discovered we need two more yards of this rope stuff for the other handle and then it will be done. Its black with pink and white polka dots. I will have to take a photo of it in all its glory. I am currently sewing the ribbon trim on the moss green felted bag and mini bag I made a few weeks ago. Its almost done. A few more sewing projects and I can put the sewing away for a while until another day. Sewing is not my strong point.

A few weeks ago I bought this wool yarn from the local craft shop because it was on sale. Its usually $6 a ball and I got it for $2.30. It looks like a more minty green in real life than it does here. Its very soft for wool but its going to have to be a bag of some sort. I have neglected the bag making for a while so I should get back into it.

I dont know how well you can see this photo. Perhaps if you click on it you can see it better. I have been thinking for a long time about teaching myself how to make stitch markers. I have seen them on Etsy so much and think they look so pretty. The lady at the Falconer Yarn Loft thinks that her customers would really like them and suggested that if I do make some to bring them in. I have only ever dabbled in jewelry making so its all very new to me. I just love beads and buttons and all that stuff so it should be fun just trying. I have started to buy things that I will need to create them and add them to the already cool bead collection that my big sis sent me for my birthday this year. The other night I pulled all the stuff out and just thought I would give it a go. Boy working with wire is alot harder than I thought but I think I could get better with lots of practice. I did make two sets of stitch markers. Ones for up to size 5 needles and ones for up to size 8 needles. The ones for the up to size 5 needles I am going to have to adjust because the beads feel too heavy for such a skinny needle. They will have to be for up size 11 or something. I will take a couple of shots to show my first attempts. I have been making 4 stitch markers the same and one stitch marker slightly different to be used to show the start of the row. That is how I have seen people do it and it made sense to me. It was definitely fun trying out different bead and combinations. I can see how you could go crazy buying all sorts of bead and little things to add.

Well this turned out to be alot longer of a post than I thought it would. I guess I had alot to say hehe. I am going to make more of an effort to post on here, about twice a week. I know when I read other peoples blogs that its always exciting when there's a new post added and the more often something is added the better the blog I think. It keeps you interested. Nothing worse than the same old stuff.