Thursday, July 30, 2009


Waldorf mama suggested a week of rainbows. We certainly have enough rainbows in the house for a picture-a-day for at least a week, but I'm not such a regular with my camera yet. But inspiration struck, "Did someone say rainbow?" I do love the rainbow! And a certain spectrum project came to mind. Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson features a roll for colored pencils which went on my must make someday list. I know you have one of those lists too; mine's very l-o-n-g! Anyway, today was the day (the morning to be specific)!

It's hard to say which was my favorite part of this project:

Choosing from the piles in the sewing room? "Oh, I remember this one!" (me)

Drawing out a plan? I remembered my high school desire for becoming an architect.

Slicing them to size? In my youth, I also fantasized about a job in a fabric store.

Sewing together a rainbow? Still amazed at how simple construction can be so satisfying.

Stitching in the ditches? No hard decisions to make.

Hana sitting in my lap for the presser foot job? She smells so good!

Rummaging the ribbon drawers for the right color? "Oh, I remember this one!" (me, again)

Or the way she hugged it to her little self when it was done? "Now I can take my rainbow anywhere!" (Hana)

We trimmed some scrap paper to fit the pockets and rolled it up with a big snap. Et voila! A rainbow to go!
The project will remain on the must make someday list, but now it's edited to add: for myself! ;-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hana = flower

In Japanese, hana means flower. That's what she's named for, and she is as sweet as a flower.
Here's our flower wearing her Spring Garden Tee. This was great to knit as I mentioned and is proving to be easy to wear. The short sleeves keep Hana from getting too warm, but the Samp'a cotton is cozy for these less-than-hot days we've been having. I knit the size 5, Hana's 4 (-and-a-half!) and she'll get to wear this for probably two years. Even though it's on the big side, I don't think it looks baggy or sloppy thanks to the nice cotton.

The lace on the sleeves is simple to work and gives a scalloped edge which is sweet.

The construction is top-down and seamless so it is a really pain-free project; no stall-outs!
Best of all, Hana really likes it and will wear it happily! Now, if I can only get her to wear the Mama-socks I knit for her... ;-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

the living's easy

Well, hello! How are you? The weather here has been so beautiful that we've been outside or in the porch more than in! Sunflowers blooming, morning glories climbing, nasturtium glowing, birds singing, hummingbirds humming, breezes blowing --- it all points us outdoors. And all the being outdoors makes me very happy. The big boy's guitar has even ventured outside a few times for some evening fireside strumming. Did you know that Green Day songs count as camp fire songs? ;-) One must take what one can get; but truthfully, I like all the music that streams from that guitar and my boy's hands. At this current stage, the teenager only exposes such obvious parent-pleasing behavior very sparingly, so these moments are noted and treasured! We've also been out of the house visiting over at my folks often this week, because one of my sisters is in town! Also, we celebrated my brother's birthday. It is very fulfilling to spend time in each others' company; that kind of easy company that can only be shared with one's family or very closest friends. We're looking forward to my other sister's visit (it includes cousins!) next month too!
When I come in at night, and I spend some time on the internet (an outing of sorts), I have been happily inspired by friends whom I've come to know. Wow, there is some seriously beautiful creativity going on out there, everywhere. I'm astounded by the open thinking, the kindness, the perspective, and the generosity. I can't get over the reciprocal visits I have had here; women whom I see as virtual celebrities, really. Somebody pinch me! Thank you for the visits and comments; they are like treasures to me.
The knitting is still going on, surely. The Spring Garden Tee from Never Not Knitting is done, and I hope to get some pics of it on its wearer this weekend. Hana has worn it once (immediately, upon completion), and it looked sweet, but I think a more blog-worthy ensemble is in order. It is a great top, the pattern was smooth sailing, and I plan to knit a wee version soon. I'm thinking of a wool version for the fall too, as the shape will lend itself to layering beautifully. I'm sold on Alana's patterns, it is obvious that she knows what a little girl needs to/wants to/will wear. I just downloaded the Chloe cardigan too! A topper like that is bound to get a lot of wear over dresses, keeping everything cozy as we like it.
So, you see, between posts here, life is good. I hope it's good where you are too. Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

happy! ::: happy! ::: joy! ::: joy!

Look what Hana made! She is so proud, as you can see.

Her inspiration came from a friend's toy cell phone pouch. She was a force to reckon with once she got her vision. Gotta' love that! She started while I was making dinner yesterday, knit some more after dinner, and finished after breakfast today! Lambs' Pride bulky, Koji-made sz 10 needles, a rainbow heart button picked up on our many yarn store adventures, et voila! a perfect pink pouch! Go, Hana, go!

And, look! I found some more hearts in my yard! ;-)

I used a free amigurumi pattern from Pepika (look in the free patterns for the 3-d heart). I've crocheted about a half dozen of these! I think they'll be nice key fobs, cell phone dangles (if I was ever going to have one, this would be it), little girl doo-dads, the possibilities are many! It's a great way to use scrap sock yarn (the variegated) and the bits of Koigu I have left from the Barn Raising Quilt squares. I used some Rowan 4-ply Cotton for the pink + purple. Pepika's own creations are fantastic in a sweet, over-the-top way. I like many of them. She also has an Etsy shop where she offers other patterns. I'm planning a snail soon - I have a thing for snails, don't know why.

When I produce a bunch of little projects like the hearts, it usually means I am also working on a larger project. I feel the need to finish something, so I seek out a quick, little something. The larger project (you're probably wondering) is the Sweet Spring Tee from Never Not Knitting. Once I got past the lace section on the sleeves, the stockinette portion remains. Little hearts to the twitchy-knitter's rescue! Don't get me wrong, the sweater is looking really nice + cute and the pattern is great, I just love to finish things - it helps me feel productive. I'll post the finished sweater soon, maybe on the weekend?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

home, sweet home

Here's the pile of pj pants that I made at camp! Hana scored four pair, and that should last her a couple of years! Koji got the rock star pair to add the the bunch that overflows his pj drawer. In seventh grade he even made himself a hand stitched rubber ducky pair! The hula girls fabric is some flannel I scored at the Parent/Teacher Organization Thrift Store here. That pair has special significance because in Nov '07, the four of us went to Kona, Hawaii for the tropical trip of a lifetime. Well, maybe Brian and I have had more than one, but for the kids this was the trip. Anyway, they both love their new "cozy pants" as they call them.

In the past, I've sewn a small piece of ribbon on the center-back near the waistband to indicate to the wearer which way the pants go (the patterns I use/used have a longer rise for the rear), but noticing that the kids don't usually hang up their pants (ahem!), I opted for a purely aesthetic marker: a small patch of the fabric sewn onto the inner back. If I were using a less busy print, I might use a contrast fabric and put the patch on the outer back for fun.

We are getting into summer vacation gear at home. I love to be at home. Puttering in the kitchen, the garden, the porch, the sewing room, those are my favorite days. I think the kids feel the same way. We throw in a trip to town, a baseball game, the farmers' market, dinner at friends' house, the pool, or my folks house just for happy variety. For extra spice, Brian (hubby) broke his toe! Poor guy. He's an avid runner, so it is sad as well as painful.

Here's a bunch of love for you from our home to yours:

We "heart" home! Can you spot all the hearts in our yard?!

ps - I don't know what happened with that first photo up there, but I got tired of fussing with it, so there you go!
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Friday, July 3, 2009

back at it!

So, we're back from a great time at camp! It seems like every time we go, it's the best time ever, and considering that we've been going for eleven years straight, I think we're pretty lucky! It was hot and sunny, perfect to be on+in the water. When we weren't blowing bubbles, playing catch, or listening to the birds, the sewing machines were humming happily making pj's, pj's, pj's! and a couple of adorable unicorn skirts:
That's the best picture I have at the moment, but you get the idea, right? We used the Lazy Day Skirt pattern from Oliver+S. I'd made a few already, but my friend wanted a private camp workshop, so I gladly obliged since I wanted to make one more from this dreamy adorable double-gauze from Heather Ross' new line, Far Far Away. I hadn't used double-gauze before, but now I am hankering for more! It is so soft and sews up easily (I was worried). The gauze ups the dreamy factor of the magical unicorn print, and of course the way Heather does color is magic in itself! Our little girls love the skirts! What you cannot see in the photo is that the girls are wearing self-made unicorn horns! Part of the kids' experience at camp is beckoning and waiting for the magical unicorn who lives in the woods by camp. At the end of the week the unicorn delivers candy for all the kids! I love camp!

Re-entry has been pretty gentle since the hubby is on vacation this week too! We attended a birthday party, watched some baseball, worked in the garden, and had some painting done in and out. The barn got a fresh coat:
And in the mainfloor bathroom the walls got a long-awaited and much-needed fresh coat of sunny apricot! Shortly after we moved into this house, in a moment of diy delusion, I painted the bathroom. It was great until the next day when it was dry, then it began to crackle! A professional painter I am not! Wrong type of paint on top of the right kind of paint... So I made "lemonade" and washed a sunny orange over the white crackle and for a while it worked. Eventually, the cracks started chipping, and so it went until now. Now it's as it should be and pretty to boot! And since I can steal away to the sewing room pretty easily when dad's around, the bathroom window got prettied up too! A simple tabbed curtain from some stash fabric and muslin. I think some fresh towels are in order, don't you?

While at camp, friendship bracelets were the teen craft of choice (I made a few too!). For a while now, I've been ruminating on a crochet necklace w/discs or flowers or tiny granny squares, so since I hadn't put the embroidery floss away yet, I've been crocheting discs. It's addictive! I get lost in the possibilities of color combinations, sizes, and patterns! It feels great to get around to an idea that's been rattling around, you know? The pink+yellow version is Hana's pink lemonade necklace. Here's another one still in progress:

Fireworks tonight! More relaxation tomorrow! It's good to be home!