String Theory


Inspired by the many, many, many, many beautiful string quilts out in the world, I’ve decided to try my hand at making one.

Truth be told, I decided to try this out six months ago but then proceeded to lose the muslin that I had bought for the backing.  Of course, right after I bought some new muslin I found the old stuff.   You know how that goes (or am I the only one?)  Oh well.  I’m sure I’ll end up using all of the muslin anyway since I’m planning on making this one to fit our queen size bed. 

And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That


That’s about all that I get done now a days…two round of knitting…five minutes of sewing…time to put new thread in the machine…crap, time’s up.  It does not make for quick progress on anything and it’s sort of killed my desire to work on anything even a little bit complicated.  It sure has boosted my love of quick and dirty projects though.  Like little baby pants.

Behold my creations.

business in the front
party in the back
somebody should really be switching
to light beer

I whipped two of these up this weekend.  Of course five minutes after I put them on her, Baby O rubbed strawberries into them.  Ungrateful child! 

And while word on the street is that you can easily make baby pants without a pattern, my lazy butt used this one.
McCalls 5739
Why is it that everything looks so hideous in pattern pictures?

I also started another baby sweater…and then promptly messed it up.  Ughh.

And I was able to thread the sewing machine for my lovely husband who seems to have developed an obsession with biking "knickers” (or shants....or manpris...).  He's decided that he is going to alter many pairs of pants into the most awesome biking knickers ever.  

Behold his creation.

we apparently have a pocket
obsession in this house

Kind of badass for someone who never sews.  Honestly, I’m afraid that he’s going to do this to all his pants and he'll be left wearing knickers to work.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


Well, kind of.  Actually, it was more like cars

I dig public transportation!

ferry boats

and walking...all because we're too cheap to pay for parking in Seattle (and we're sure as hell too cheap to take our car over on the ferry).  It made for one long ride though.  Fortunately we had some delicious paella waiting for us on the other side.

Why I Don't Let Baby O Play With My Yarn


Exhibit A

Exhibit B


Now on to happier news about our trip to Portland…I finally got to go to Bolt, although I have to say that it may have been the world’s fastest whirlwind through Bolt.  I had about twenty minutes there before we had to head off to meet some friends for lunch and I was completely overwhelmed by all of the beautiful fabric to look at (and touch).  At some point I just said “screw this” and decided to focus on looking at the patterns (many of which are hard to find around here).  To feed my love of Oliver and S patterns I purchased one of their older patterns, the Ice Cream Dress.
Because I'm a sucker for anything with the word ice cream in the title.

I’ve only sewn with one of their patterns in the past (the tea party dress and playsuit), but I ended up making both versions of the pattern.

Hello play suit. 
Please ignore the fact that the apples are upside down
Hello tea party dress.
Plus, I’m a total sucker for their cute packaging.
I also purchased two Patterns by Figgy's 

which I have to admit, I may have overlooked if I hadn’t seen the cute little bubble skirt that Bolt had out as a store sample.  After seeing that, I was sucked in.  I can’t wait to make them both once life calms down a little (is that ever going to happen?)

My Apology


Dear Husband,
I'm sorry that I accused you of being whiny when you told me that your stomach hurt on the way back from Portland.  I'm sorry that I laughed hysterically when you made me pull over in the Walmart parking lot because you said that you were going to make yourself throw up to feel better.  I'm sorry that I took this picture as you were outside the car doing the deed.

In my defense I just thought that you weren't feeling well because you ate too much crap on vacation.

I didn't know you had appendicitis!  Oops!!

(your a-hole of a wife)

Version 4.0


First of all, let me just say that I am in awe of anybody who is able to take a decent picture of their toddler in something that they just made.  I could follow this kid around for two days and still end up with all crazy shots of the back of her head (or atleast I'm assuming this....truth be told, I gave up after five minutes).  Fortunately, I found a much more willing model who is far better at taking directions...a hanger.
So, here's my latest version of Pixie Purls Country Kiddie Sweater....I'll call it version 4.0 - the pacific northwest version, since I put long sleeves on it in anticipation of the impending nine months of rain.

I'm too fast for you, sucka!
And, of course, don't forget the little ruffles on the edges (which, as my wise, wise husband noted, did look better after I blocked them).

The Responsible Party


Um, will the person responsible for taking my normally very pleasant baby and replacing her with this very grumpy baby please identify themselves.  Please.

Our mornings used to be filled with talking and laughing and playing….and now they’re filled with this.
 Me: You want baba?
Baby O: No!
Me: You want to eat?
Baby O: No!!
Me: You want to play?
Baby O: No!!!
Me: You want up?
Baby O: No!!!!
Me: What the heck do you want?
Baby O: No!!!!!

Hmmmm.  Is this toddlerhood?  


Reason Number 1 of Why I Love My Husband


Me: Hmm.  I don’t know if this ruffle is coming out right on this sweater.
Him: Don’t worry.  It’ll look better after you block it.

A man who can use random terms about knitting.

Be still my heart.

Hmmm, that didn't work out quite like I planned...


So, I decided to try my hand at jam-making again and this time I attempted to make a recipe that didn't call for pectin.  I now understand the magic that is pectin.  With the strawberry jam recipe that I made the other week, I just threw everything together, cooked it for a bit, and presto-chango, delicious jam was created.  With the blackberry jam that I attempted to make this weekend, I cooked it and cooked it and cooked it some more, waiting for the elusive "gelling point" to be reached.  Meanwhile, it boiled all over the stove (my fault) and it kept scalding me and boiling up on my pants and shirt.  I cooked that sucker for probably 20 or 30 minutes and could not find the "gelling point."  Hmmm, apparently I didn't know what the hell I was doing because when the jam finally cooled it became like mortar.  Hard as a rock!  There is no spreading this sucker!  I don't when exactly the "gelling point" was reached, but I'm guessing it was about 15 minutes before I took the jam off the stove.  Ooops.  I'm sticking to the pectin recipes from now on!

On a more positive note....doesn't it look pretty in the little jars?
The consistency of the jam does leave one to ask though....
...mommy, why are you trying to break my teeth?

Reason Number One of "Why I am Like a 70 Year Old Woman"


1) I am having a sordid love affair with elastic waists.

Okay, maybe not elastic waist pants (although I fully admit that I enjoyed my time in them while pregnant…and I may be tempted to break them out again for all holiday meals) but I am in love with elastic shirring.  I've spent so many hours trying to sew clothes that just didn’t fit right in the end (and there are few things as depressing as throwing something away that you spent many, many, MANY hours making).  Which is where my love of elastic shirring comes in.   With the shirring, things don’t have to fit “just so”…they just have to fit “just so-ish” and I am definitely more of a “just so-ish” kind of gal.  So I’m embracing my love of elastic waists (just not elastic waist polyester pants).

And here is my latest "elastic waist" creation.  
a perfect shirt for summer...made just in time for fall
and the flip side

I basically just followed the Museum Tunic tutorial from Anna Maria Horner but made it in the length of a tunic shirt rather than a dress.  Despite my love affair with elastic shirring, elastic shirring and I did have a bit of a lover's spat during the making of this shirt.  I just couldn't get the tension right and ended up with VERY wonky shirring.  I spent about a bobbin and a half of elastic thread trying to get it right before I threw up my hands and said "forget it!"  I ended up just following the directions that A.M.H. posted for using elastic that you just zigzag over and I think it turned out okay (although my first attempt is a bit looser than I would have liked).  I think the whole tension issue came from this fabric being a voille...and while it caused all sorts of problems I LOVE this voille!  It's like butta!

Baby Needs a Set of Wheels

You can get your license at 16 (months), right?

Dear Auntie Sarah,


In anticipation of your visit, I have been practicing my faces with mommy.

Bring it on!

Baby O

Nature v. Nurture


I hated brushing my teeth as a child.

My mom used to smell my breath after I was supposed to have brushed my teeth and in order to avoid detection I would drink concoctions of toothpaste and water that I mixed up in tiny dixie cups in the bathroom.  All that work just to avoid brushing my teeth for two minutes.

I think someone may have inherited this fine trait.

Score in Nature v. Nurture:
Nature - 1     Nurture - 0

Hello, lovely....


...I've been waiting for you.
my anthropologie birthday coupon

That's My Jam!


I've been wanting to try my hand at canning for several years now, but I never quite got around to buying the I have an extreme fear of giving myself food poisoning from not doing it correctly.  I've pumped my husband's grandma for information on canning over the years in an attempt to find out how not to give myself botulism but it wasn't until I got my hands on this book 

that I felt confident enough to try it out.  
This is an amazing and beautiful book on canning! 

For the actual recipe, though, I turned to this book that I just bought at our local hardware store.
Who needs a bookstore when you have a hardware store?

There are tons of recipes in this book....although I'll withhold judgement on how they taste until I've actually had some of the jam that I made.

I ended up choosing just a basic strawberry jam since the season for most fruits is drawing to a close and the pickings are a bit slim. 

As for the actual process, it looks like I had everything under control right?
Don't be fooled.  About two minutes after this picture was taken, the strawberry mixture boiled over all over the stovetop (thanks to my soux chef/husband for helping me clean it up).  Oh, and have I mentioned the lovely layer of stickiness all over our floor?  
But I did end up with four lovely pints of strawberry jam!
Shhh, don't tell anybody...I actually don't even like jam!
Tomorrow I get to test the seals to see if the whole canning process actually worked...wish me luck!

How I Got My Groove Back


My transition to motherhood was not a smooth one.  Those first few weeks were painful - I was exhausted, hormonal beyond a point that I even believed existed, and was caring for this little one all day.
Mommy, I'm so angry!

I remember following the blogs of other people who had babies around the
same time that I did and I marveled at how easy their transition seemed...and how after a short amount of time they were back to making beautiful things.  Frankly, I just didn't have the brain power to do much of anything.  But I remember feeling like I needed to make something and telling my husband that I felt creatively stuck.  It wasn't until Little O was around 10 weeks old that I finally felt up to the challenge of using my brain again - but only a very small part of it.  I had bought the Pixie Purls Country Kiddie pattern before the baby was born and it turned out to be the perfect project for my re-entry into the world of crafting.  It's a simple pattern (yeah top down sweaters!  yeah stockinette stitch!) that's well-written and easy to follow (yeah Pixie Purls!).  I whipped the first two out in no time at all and the third one out a couple of months later.  Now I'm working on version number four, although this one's going to have long-sleeves  because let's face it, there is no short-sleeve sweater weather in the Pacific Northwest.

IKEA Quilt....Because You Don't Have To Be Rich, Just Smart


I wanted to make a quilt  for when this little one

makes the transition from her crib to a toddler bed.  It's a while off but when I saw an IKEA fabric with animals all over it, I figured that I could make a cute and simple (simple being the key word) quilt out of it.  So off I went - chopping it up and sewing it back together.

I present to you, the finished product...

A brand new "bankie."

Dear Anna Maria Horner, I heart you.


Like so many other people, I saw this post and fell in love.
Like so many other times, I lost all motivation to make it until I saw this tutorial.
And it just so happened that I had the perfect yardage of the material in my stash (how many times dose that actually happen?)
A couple nights of after-dinner sewing later and ta-da!

A dress...that didn't end up in the garbage can...and actually fits...and I actually get compliments on (I attribute this more to A.M.H.'s genius than my own sewing ability)

(That's supposed to be a sassy kick.  Note to self: I think I need to work on that)