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Rice and fabric and yarn. December 31, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, Etsy, knitting, sewing.
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1 comment so far

I didn’t get a whole lot of crafting done this weekend – pretty pathetic, really. I’ve been feeling more tired and run-down as I close in on The Ninth Month. It’s almost hard to believe that likely within the next three to seven weeks our daughter will be born! She had a big growth weekend so I’ve been feeling it, just tight and huge and ugh. I vaguely remember this feeling with kidlet so it’s not unfamiliar, just uncomfortable.

All I accomplished was making a teensy bit of progress on beanbags…my only plan at the moment for all this vintage-y fabric is to make as many sets as I can just to see if I can do it, then plunk them into my Etsy shop and see if they actually sell. I timed the different parts of the process (ironing, sewing, filling, and soon to be seaming) so I can come up with a formula for how much to charge. I also played around to decide how much rice filler to put in a beanbag around 4-1/2″ square so it would be fun and not dangerous.

So, not terribly exciting, but here’s one batch of 1930s reproduction fabric I got from eBay that I ironed one night, then stitched up and filled this afternoon. All that remains is seaming them and them using some fat quarters I got from the same seller to make bags.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

I also discovered that my shiny new iPod Shuffle is quite awesome. I filled it with music when I was at work last week and I’ve been using it while working at home as it cancels out the noise of people talking, the radio playing, kidlet running around, the dog snoring, etc. It also makes sewing a breeze as I can groove along to the music instead of listening to the drone of my sewing machine. So far a big, big thumbs up, and of course the best part is I didn’t have to pay for it. I’m going to see how I like it for knitting, woo!

Speaking of filler, the last time we were at the grocery I bought a 20# bag of rice as it was pretty much the cheapest bulk grain I could find that wouldn’t turn a beanbag into a rock, or a bag of rocks. I was tempted to save a few bucks and get the 50# bag, but realized I should see if this beanbag thing has momentum before committing myself to that much rice.

Mmm, rice. (by jeninmaine)

After I finished filling, I took some more fabric I had already cut from my stash and ironed it in preparation for sewing. I had all these coordinating fat quarters I collected before my son was born with these bright ideas of making blankets with them – I think this will be a much more fun incarnation for them.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

Just so you don’t think I’m not knitting any more, here’s another Warm Heart Woolies plain diaper wrap I started recentish-ly and have been carrying around in my bag for a while. I just haven’t been all that jazzed to work on it as it’s kind of a boring pattern. I’m also kind of eh about the Cascade 220 Quattro I chose for it – stranded it looks really cool, but actually knit up it’s not all that exciting. I’ll admit I was disappointed.

I guess the baby’s just going to be peeing on it so it doesn’t make that much difference, but still.

Warm Heart Woolies Diaper Wrap (by jeninmaine)

I mentioned starting that baby sweater, so here’s what I have done so far – the back and about a quarter of the left front. So far I’m enjoying knitting with Crystal Palace Bamboozle yarn though it takes a little getting used to – it’s all separate strands so it comes apart easily at the ends but the bamboo/cotton/elastic nylon blend makes a really nice-feeling, slightly sproingy fabric. This sweater will be perfect for the early Autumn.

Bamboozle Layette Sweater (by jeninmaine)

I was surfing around looking at yarn, eliciting some comments from Teh Husband about being addicted to “yarn pr0n” (intentionally misspelled so as not to attract any wayward Googlers donchaknow). What can I say, I drool over particularly lovely skeins of yarn and bundles of roving. It doesn’t matter how many 90-gallon bins of yarn and shelved totes of fiber I already own, I can’t help fantasy shopping and wishing I had more time/money.

Anyway, I really love sock yarn though I don’t really love knitting socks. I’ve tried a few pairs and have just sort of pooped out on them – sort of like the one pair of mittens I’ve knitted, which incidentally is made up of two different mittens as I finished the first and said, “meh.” I’m a very short-attention-span kind of girl.

However, I found this Very Rad Pattern for Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks by Pamela Northrup (she also has a rad blog) that I have absolutely fallen in love with and it has re-energized my resolve to make a pair of socks, dammit!

Photos absolutely used with permission by the creator:

PirateSocksModeled (by trillian42.rm)

Aren’t they the coolest?!

Yarr!

SkullClose (by trillian42.rm)

It’s funny that Black Pearl happens to be one of my favorite Lorna’s Laces colorways, and when I bought it I immediately thought of Pirates of the Caribbean (it was one of the draws to get it, in fact). Of course the cake I have here at home is worsted weight, so now I am on the prowl for two sock weight skeins. I think I’ve located some on Ravelry, but I shall keep you posted.

All right, it’s late, I should be in beddy-bye.

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A few little thingamabobs. December 29, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in beading, food, sewing.
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Things that make me happy:

I am still quite in love with my Senseo coffee maker. Not that I drink all that much coffee these days, but it is a wonderful little machine and you can’t beat getting it for free.

Things that make me happy (by jeninmaine)

What I like to add to my coffee, and the silly little chipped cup I found at Goodwill for fifty cents. I love this cup, and I love the retro sugar bowl that belonged to one of our grandparents, I don’t remember which any more.

No, I don’t add butter to my coffee…that just happened to be there.

Things that make me happy (by jeninmaine)

Today I had a slight blockage.

A slight blockage (by jeninmaine)

Tell me just how I’m supposed to work?

Tashi really likes my halogen desk lamp. Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder in kittehs!

A slightly different perspective to illustrate just how soft and round the blockage is.

A slight blockage (by jeninmaine)

Last but not least, here’s one of the ornaments I was working on that never got given out at xmas. Oh well, maybe next year, I was too busy baking.

Star ornament (by jeninmaine)

I made this from recycled corduroy from a pair of pants I found at the thrift store.

I used a star cookie cutter as the pattern, did a quick blanket stitch around the outsides, stuffed with recycled wool (actually the wool fuzz I collected from the lint trap after felting a bunch of wool sweaters), then embellished with some beads.

Be still, my beating heart December 27, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, sewing.
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1 comment so far

Things that make my heart go pitter-pat:

Moda Pampered Pooch Charms (by jeninmaine)

1930s Repro Fabric Charms (by jeninmaine)

Moda Pampered Pooch Fat Quarter Set (by jeninmaine)

Ooo, aah…

These are the latest things I’ve pulled from my stash and queued up for The Next Big Idea.

After I ordered these from an online retailer (who shall remain nameless) and they ran out of stock (boo) I sought out these 5″ x 5″ quilt charms from the Moda Pampered Pooch collection and finally found them on eBay – I just adore these prints and vintagey colors!

Moda Pampered Pooch Charms (by jeninmaine)

That same day I just happened to stumble across a sale at the quite amazing FatQuarterShop.com and scored a complete set of fat quarters in the same fabric, omg!

Moda Pampered Pooch Fat Quarter Set (by jeninmaine)

This is a set of 5″ x 5″ 1930s reproduction fabric quilting charms from eBay that I adore.

1930s Repro Fabric Charms (by jeninmaine)

And last but not least, I dug out some coordinating fat quarters that I’ve had in my stash forever and ever, I think it’s time to actually do something with them!

Fabric Swatches (by jeninmaine)

Plans, plans, I have plans. I am scheming. Mwahahahaa!

Exciting, isn’t it? Well…it is to me :D

Show Off, Advice, Moon December 26, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, knitting, sewing.
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2 comments

I have crafty stuff I want to show off, ask for input, and make grabby hands at, all in that order.

Show Off: I mentioned I made beanbags for Michael and baby Katy. I didn’t end up making a set for Kaitlynn as I ran out of time and the kid has a bazillion plastic toys anyway. These were my “proof of concept” beanbags from when I first came up with the idea to try them – I made two sets of six each at approximately 4.5″ x 4.5″ each, then put them in drawstring bags made from coordinating fabric.

I think the bags came out wicked cute:
Beanbags for the kids, Xmas 2007 (by jeninmaine)

And then the beanbags weren’t too shabby, either:
Beanbags for the kids, Xmas 2007 (by jeninmaine)

The beans I had on hand were kind of bulky and I was worried about someone getting beaned by them (ha ha) so I opted to use basmati rice instead. It smells great!

Both of the kids seem to love these things. Katy immediately started playing with hers and both she and the kidlet had a great time tossing them around. We’ve already made up a handful of games to play with them with the kidlet, they’re a super indoor toy for those days you can’t blow off steam outside and they no doubt help him practice hand-eye coordination. I had been waffling over whether or not to bother making any for my Etsy shop, but after seeing how such a simple toy can get kidlets psyched up I am definitely going to try and crank out a few sets.

Need Input: A month or so back I got these seven skeins of Bergen du Nord Charmant in color 2153 for a song from someone destashing on Ravelry.

Bergen du Nord Charmant, color 2153 (by jeninmaine)

It’s a lovely shimmery, soft 50% wool, 50% silk blend single-ply, 131 yards per skein, 5 sts = 1″ on US6 needles making it a DK to worsted weight. I absolutely adore this yarn and this colorway, but I have NO IDEA what to do with it! I need help!

Bergen du Nord Charmant, color 2153

Grabby Hands: WEBS is having a big yarn sale again. Which means I spend lots of time looking at yarn and sighing. With our no-spending-initiative in place I am extra super bummed, because I desperately want 8-10 skeins of the Classic Elite Skye Tweed in Marmalade. It is so gorgeous, and of course discontinued therefore once it’s gone, too bad, sucka. I keep refreshing to see the number of skeins remaining dwindle because I like to torture myself like that.

Here’s a lousy little color card from the WEBS site:

I figure if I can’t buy it I can at least moan and make moony-eyes over it.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print at the moment, I’m going to go chill out.

And so it begins… December 24, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in Announcements, beading, crochet, embroidery, food, knitting, sewing.
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1 comment so far

I already have a LiveJournal where I pretty much post anything and everything all mixed together, so if you’re a friend who wants to peer into my Real Life(tm) you have to sift through all the omg-look-what-I-made content, and those who want to see what I’m working on have to read about my kid and my house and my job.

It’s kind of messy.

Therefore I have decided to branch out and get a crafty blog that will stand all by itself, where I’ll chronicle the things I’ve been doing in my scads and scads of spare time (ha, sarcasm). All the cool kids seem to be doing it and I want to be a cool kid, too!

I also thought it would be a nice thing to link from my Etsy shop earthybirthymama.etsy.com as it’ll be more specific.

I’ll still be posting all the content fit to print at my LiveJournal as I have a lot of friends there and I like the format. Just trying something new for the new year!

I welcome your comments and I also welcome blog links!

Rock on,
– Jen, crafty programmer mama