Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cavorting with Polar Bears

And covered with with polar bear fuzz to prove it.

Still working on N's polar bear costume. I have hope that it will turn out okay.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still obsessing...

My sister finally weighed in on doll fabric options and said she really liked the cupcake fabric, but didn't like the leg options. So, being me, I had to spend more time playing with fabric. Cat, any thoughts?Cupcake/Black with Tiny White Polka Dots

Cupcake/Red with Small White Polka Dots

Cupcake/Pink and Yellow Stripes

Cupcake/Black with Small Pink Flowers

Cupcake/Black with Small Yellow Flowers

And this one doesn't really go, but my sister said my niece is really into purple:
Cupcake/Purple Stripes

I promise I will stop obsessing over doll fabric soon. At least that's the plan :).

Rescue Pack

J decided a while ago that he wants to be Diego, the animal rescuer, for Halloween. All of the Diego costumes I found were really cheap looking, but cost over $30, so I decided to buy a few pieces and make a few others to create our own costume. J decided the three things he really needed were a vest, a Diego watch and a field journal. I ordered a vest and watch and started making a field journal.

Then yesterday he decided he really needed a rescue pack. Fortunately, I just bought an orange fleece remnant last week and I had some foam sheets with my craft supplies. After about 15 minutes of planning and 10 minutes of sewing and another 10 minutes of cutting out craft foam:

The Rescue Pack is finished!

It's not as functional as I'd like (I didn't make sides, just a front and back so it's really shallow), but it will hold a few small items and J is really excited about it.

Next up, trying to make a polar bear costume for N. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Doll Legs

I decided if I was going to make eight Christmas presents and part of two Halloween costumes and continue to knit, I better get busy. So today during J's rest time and N's nap time, I made four pairs of doll legs.

First, thank you for all your feedback on fabric options! The Scotties fabric was a clear favorite, so here is my first pair of legs:

I just love these little birdcages and they got two votes, so here's my second pair:

The Red Polka Dot/Blue Birds and Trees combo got several votes, so these are my next pair:

I couldn't quite decide which fabric to use for the dress and which to use for the legs, so this is my fourth pair:

I have to say those birds look pretty darn adorable as tights. Might just have to go with this one.

At this point, my plan is to make at least three of these dolls for my three oldest nieces. Still deciding on what to make for my youngest niece and my four nephews.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doll Fabric: Help Needed

So as I mentioned in my earlier post, I have decided to accept Audra's invitation to make homemade gifts this Christmas and am going to make gifts for my 8 nieces and nephews. For the three oldest nieces, I have decided to make these dolls complete with a little knitted cardigan. For each doll, I need to choose a fabric for the dress/body and fabric for the tights/legs. I have tons of little fabric bits in my stash that will work perfectly. Unfortunately, I have too many choices. These are the different combinations I have created so far. My thought is that the top fabric would be the dress and the bottom fabric would be the tights. I need opinions. Which ones do you like best?

1: Red Polka Dots/Blue Trees & Birds

2: Turquoise and Red Paris/Red Polka Dots

3: White with Birdcages/Pink and White Geometric

4: Brown with Scotties/Pink and White Geometric

5: Pink and Orange Large Floral/Pink and White Filigree

6: Turquoise with Cupcakes/Red Polka Dots

7: Turquoise with Cupcakes/Pink and White Filigree

8: Cream with Large Floral/Green with Orange Flowers

9: Green with Orange Flowers/Cream with Orange Petals

10: Cream with Multi-Colored Flowers/Brown with Mini Flowers

11: Cream with Multi-Colored Flowers/Green Floral

As you can see I have way more options than I can use for three dolls. Please help me by letting me know your favorites. Thanks!

Thump Thump...Thump Thump

N playing with his stethoscope. Got to love him.

Accepting the Invitation

My friend Audra recently started a blog. Her reason for blogging is to share her pledge to make gifts for her children (instead of buying them) until Christmas 2011. Recently she extended the invitation for others to join her in her goal to give children (and others) quality homemade gifts. I've decided to accept her invitation and make Christmas gifts for my eight nieces and nephews this year. I'm still deciding the details, but my current idea is to make dolls for my four nieces--probably variations of this one. I'm thinking I'd like to knit little cardigans for each doll. The boys might also get some sort of doll, but I'm not sure on that. Maybe pirate dolls. I also found some patterns for knitted tools that might be an option or maybe a knitted robot. Still deciding. Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts here and pass on the invitation. Check out Audra's blog. It's a good one.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simply Finished!

Well, my buttons arrived and I love them. They are fun and interesting without being too in your face. My Plain and Simple Pullover is finished!

I was worried about the fit while knitting, but think that the fit actually turned out really well. I think this will be a great layering piece when it cools down which is probably not anytime soon. Today it was 95 and I was sweating profusely as I took these few quick shots in the backyard. As you can see below, N decided to join me for my photoshoot:).

Pattern: Plain and Simple Pullover by Veera Valimaki
Yarn: 4 (I think) skeins of Country in Charcoal (75% Microdenier Acrylic/ 25% Merino Wool/ 3 oz/ 85 g/ 185 yds/ 170 m)
Needles: Size 7 for body, Size 5 for ribbing
Buttons: Six JHB 5/8" Filigree Square buttons (purchased here)
Modifications: Used worsted weight yarn instead of light fingering weight. More details on my Ravelry page.

Friday, September 17, 2010

J's Zoo

J is just loving school this year and one of the reasons is that he loves the art center. Each day the teacher places different items in the art center including paper, markers, scissors, stickers, buttons, etc. J loves to go there and make something fun.

Yesterday, he made this:
It's a zoo. I love how he found all the different animal stickers and then put them in the different cages. Just had to share.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My next knitting project is chosen, Salina by Kim Hargreaves. The yarn is ready, Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Plum Wine. The needles are gathered, sizes 5 and 3. The pattern is copied and correct numbers are circled. I've made decisions and notes about ways I can make this sweater with the minimum amount of seaming and am ready to go. Will be casting on shortly. So exciting!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Painting :)

Last night in two short hours, I went from this:

To this:It was a little scary, but a lot of fun.

It's not a spectacular work of art, but it looks a little better at this distance:

And maybe even better at this distance:

I went with my friend Kim to Painting with a Twist. It's one of those places where they walk you through a painting step by step and everyone paints it at the same time. Here is Kim and her finished painting:If you look closely, in the background you can see our teacher Alison and her painting.

My painting isn't great, but I had a great time. Everyone was very nice and it was fun to learn a little and see how everyone's paintings turned out differently. I'm definitely tempted to go back and try again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book List: Food For Thought Edition

It's been forever since I've done a book list post, but I have been reading-- A LOT actually, but I haven't slowed down long enough to blog about them. To be honest, most have not really been blog worthy. They've been enjoyable reads, but nothing to write home about. Anyway, three of my recent reads have stuck out as books I'd recommend to others so here they are. I guess the difference between these and most of the others is that they really made me think a lot about different things and I think that is a good thing.

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond: I started reading this book when I went to visit my in-laws in Ohio. I hadn't brought a book and was missing reading when I spotted this one sitting on a shelf in the guest bedroom. I picked it up and read the back and then put it back down. The next day I picked it up and read a few pages and put it back down again. To say that I was reluctant to read this book is an understatement. You see I get really into books when I read them. I get totally sucked into the characters and emotions and at times it can be very powerful...and this book is about a child disappearing and I just didn't know if I could handle it. But slowly I started reading a page or two at a time and eventually I got sucked in and went along for the ride. I found this book to be very powerful. It wasn't predictable and had some interesting twists and viewpoints. I would definitely recommend it. My only warning: ever since I read this book, I've been more anxious when out and about with my boys. I'm sure it will pass with time, I hope it will pass with time, but I definitely think about the possibility of child abduction more now.

The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs: This is a book I read while visiting my parents in Virginia. My mom had bought it after I recommended the author. Most of the Susan Wiggs books I had read were romances, but this is just a good novel. It's about a woman whose husband is an officer in the Navy. As in her other novels, Wiggs does a great job with character development--both of the main characters and the more periphery ones. This one was a very powerful, poignant tale which just seems so relevant in these times of military involvement in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. I know several people whose spouses have been overseas in the military and I just heard of a friend whose little brother was just killed in Afghanistan so this book really hit home right now. I highly recommend it. I hate it when B travels, but at least I know it will only be for a week at most and that he is not actively in danger when he is gone. This book really puts things in perspective.

Lift by Kelly Corrigan: I just picked this one up on a whim from the library. It's a mother writing a letter to her children talking about her role as their mother. It's a quick read (I think I read it in about 2 hours) full of little stories and tidbits, but I found it to be very powerful and relate-able. She says a lot of things that I have thought, but she said it so much more clearly. She talks about how she is telling her children now about herself as she is now because when they are old enough to remember she will have become a different mother already. Anyway, there are lots of little "a ha" thoughts like that. I really loved it. It made me want to write a letter to my boys and tell them about their mom as I am today. It's hard to explanin, but this book really touched me. Must find and read her first book.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I finished my Plain and Simple Pullover except that I am having button issues.

These are my first three options and I didn't like any of them :(.

The red and white faces were too whimsical, too in your face, and slightly too large. The grey tortoise shell were too close of a match and totally blended into the background. The purply ones were too flat and just not quite the right match in style.

Part of the problem is that I can't quite decide what I want. My sweater is less delicate than the one in the pattern since I used a heavier yarn. I feel like my buttons need to be a little more substantial too, but not too substantial. I want buttons with personality, but not so much that they take over the whole sweater. Hmmm...

I've been obsessing over this all afternoon. I ordered two new sets. Will update you as I decide. I will save my official finished post with all the details until buttons are in place and proper pics have been taken. Wish me luck! And feel to leave comments with any thoughts or suggestions.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Almost Done!

For those of you who read this blog for the knitting content, I'm almost done with my Plain and Simple Pullover. I just need to pick up stitches for ribbing around the sleeves and add a few more buttons and weave in ends. Still haven't tried it on yet and am feeling a little uncertain about how it may look, but I'm excited to be almost done. Will hopefully finish tomorrow night and then will take pics and post. I love it when the end is in sight and I almost have a finished knit to show and tell about!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This post is for J's grandparents. I know the rest of you will also be REALLY excited by this post :).

J had his first ever soccer class today. We signed him up for a little intro to soccer program and he LOVED it!

Warming up with Coach Kat.

Listening to the "hands, you don't get to play" talk.

Dribbling. J was all about the control aspect. This was him going FAST. Usually he went very slowly and deliberately.

Scoring his first ever goal during scoring practice.

Getting ready to doing the starting kick for the red team, otherwise known as the "tomato" team. The yellow team was the "banana" team.

Chasing the ball later in the "game."

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Joy of Sharing

You know how when you learn a new skill or an interesting new tidbit, you are always looking for excuses to share it.

My dad, for example, loves to learn random little facts and then share them with people just for the joy of telling them something new and different. In fact, whenever I hear an interesting little tidbit, I always want to tell my dad because I know he will enjoy adding it to his arsenal of facts and using it in a future conversation.

My sister and I are also big fans of "show and tell." Whenever we get together, which unfortunately is usually only once every 3-6 months, we immediately start showing each other all the little things we've wanted to share while we've been apart. This might be little things like a new shirt that we picked up for a steal, a knitted item finished or in progress, or even a new book we've discovered.

In fact, blogging is a lot about the joy of sharing little tidbits and stories and accomplishments--a lot like my own little show and tell space.

This year in J's preschool class he gets to bring something for Show and Tell every Thursday. He is SO excited. This week he brought a library book about cheetah cubs. He came home and told me all about which children looked at his book afterward and was so excited that one boy looked at every page.

Anyway, N is learning the joy of sharing knowledge and his latest little tidbit is that green means go and red means stop. So now when we are in the car and he sees a stoplight, he immediately starts yelling "red stop, red stop" or "green go, green go." This has happened for EVERY stoplight for the last two days. It seems like a little bit of overkill to me, but he is only two and has limited chances to share things that he finds new and exciting so I will keep saying with a smile, "yes, green means go and red means stop." I also know the joy of sharing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Preschool

School is officially in session. Today was N's first day of preschool and J's first day in the four year-old class. The drop-off went well. No tears and only a little hesitation. Let's hope the rest of the day has gone well too.
I am excited about this big step in my life as a mom, but it feels strange, and maybe I feel a little bit guilty, to be home without them.

I had BIG plans for my morning to myself. However, apparently it takes longer to clean my house than I thought because I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I planned. It probably didn't help that I decided to run a few errands after dropping off the boys and didn't get home until 10:40. So far I've cleaned 3 toilets, 3 bathroom counters and 4 sinks. I've also changed 3 sets of sheets. I have to eat lunch and head out to pick up the boys in about 30 minutes. Doesn't look like I will get the dusting, vacuuming and ironing done. Oh well. I guess that's what I'll do Thursday morning.

Hope you're all having a lovely day!