26 February 2009

nathan's quilt

Emily's kids are two-for-two when it comes to their Aunt Andi finishing the binding of their quilts on the airplane and in the hotel.

specs: 50 x 50 inches, front: various batik fabrics, back: flannel, pieced batting

22 February 2009

confessional #1

Did I buy new craft stuff? yes.

Was it necessary in order to finish a current craft? well, that depends.

Heather and Stephen came to visit me from Portland last weekend, and while they were here, I decided that I would make for them, new homeowners as they are, a dishcloth or two for their kitchen. Heather even helped me select the yarn. But what I didn't realize until I got home was that the yarn is a 70% silk, 30% cotton blend, instead of the 100% cotton I was expecting. The care instructions on the yarn ball said "do not leave wet" -- directions that do not bode well for a dishcloth. I consulted Ravelry for silk dishcloth projects, and found exactly...zero. After a little more research, I learned that silk can become rather odiferous after being wet, and somehow I didn't think that a stinky dishcloth was the "congratulations on your new home" sentiment I was looking for. So on Thursday, I went to Village Yarn and Tea and picked up two skeins of Hempathy yarn, which should be just fine for dishcloth knitting.

I decided to make these dishcloths before I "officially" began the Use Me Up Challenge, but it's not like I had the project on the needles, so was my purchase of new yarn necessary to complete a project? Yes and no. I can defend myself by pointing out that at least I have a goal for this new yarn, I didn't just buy it because I loved the colorway.

I crafted for at least an hour every day except Tuesday, which is a busy day for me, since I go to yoga halfway across town, and between dinner, walking the dog and yoga, my evenings are pretty well spoken for. But at least I did work extra hard on Nathan's quilt (just a few more feet of binding!), and I went to knitting circle twice this week. All told, I crafted for over an hour each day, just not every day. I may have to make Tuesdays a permanent exemption, since I am determined to stick with Tuesday yoga.

15 February 2009

use-it-up challenge

I have been inspired by Holly of Stupid is the New Awesome to get my butt in gear and put more work into my current craft projects. It is so easy to come down with a serious case of startitis, that one completely forgets that one already has several projects in the works. This is as much a project management technique as it is a shopping-control technique.

So here -- based on Holly's rules -- are mine:
  1. At least one hour a day goes into the making of something, or a project has to be completed, whichever comes first.
  2. Confession is on Sunday, where I tell what I did buy (sometimes you have to have thread and such). If I must buy something, it must be completely justifiable for project completion.
  3. Multiple days can be accounted for in a single entry. This isn't a cop-out -- most of you know that blogging is rather time consuming, and the whole point of this challenge is to actually do, rather than shop for or talk about.
  4. Pictures to document my progress. I have a tendancy to post pictures of raw materials and completely finished projects. I don't know about you, but I love seeing the in-between stages of other folks' projects.
  5. Not sure how long this challenge goes on for. Let's say until the end of 2009 and see where we are (if I make it that long).
All that said, I totally just signed up for Bend the Rules Swap #4. For this, I must make an exception to the above rules. I will try, try, try to use fabric and notions out of my own stash, but if I get matched up with someone who wants their handbag to feature novelty vegetable prints or Victorian peonies, I'll be out of luck and off to the fabric store.

So, I started thinking along these lines as soon as I read Holly's post, trying to get an hour of crafting in every day, and because of that, I was able to quickly start and finish this fabric bucket. I devised the construction all on my own (though I am sure I am not the first person to construct a fabric bucket this way -- nothing groundbreaking going on here): a six-sided bag, each panel tapering down to a 30 degree point, lined and supported by fusible interfacing, topstitched around the top and folded over. It's part of a get-well-soon gift for a colleage of mine and the leader of our office "Yarnistas" group. My fellow Yarnistas have all donated some fun yarns for her to play with while she's getting better. Get well soon, Annie!

fabric: from my stash, the outer fabric is probably a Kona Solid or similar, and the lining is Tula Pink's Full Moon Forest, which I adore.

And before that, I whipped up these little heart name banners for my nieces. This is Zoe's, I also made one for Emma.

fabrics: leftover red & pink fabrics from the red & white quilt and fusible fleece from emily's diaper bag (both here), plus vintage muslin and some new ribbon.

12 February 2009

baby nathan & co.

little fingers....

I came back from Steamboat, repacked my bag, slept for a few hours, then took another taxi right back to the airport. I am incredibly grateful to my friends Ellen and Jason for taking Finn for most of the time I was gone between these two trips, and for shuttling him back and forth from the doggy hotel.

This time, I boarded a plane for Santa Ana, for one of my incredibl(y lucky) work/family visit combo trips. Office work by day, playing with my niece and brand new nephew by night, and this time, a bonus weekend visit with Eric to San Diego. I think the baby photos speak for themselves....

Big sister holding baby brother

the "old man" look

Zoe got a pink airplane from her Aunt Andi's mother-in-law

jumping in the park

03 February 2009

steamboat springs

Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, Yampa Valley, Routt County, Colorado

Eric and I at the top of the Hevenly Daze run, which was a doozy...

This was the second incarnation of a ski trip put together by my dear friend Jana, and her incredbly organized husband, Mike. They live in Boulder, CO, and have now organized two fantastic ski weekends for their friends, some as near as their own town, some as far-flung as Seattle, San Diego and Boston. Mike researches resorts, condo and lift ticket packages, transportation and of course, calculates just how much beer is needed, Jana plans the menu and whips up a mean vegetarian chili -- the rest of us just have to show up on the appointed day. Did I mention how fantastic that is? In 2006, we went to Keystone, and this year, Steamboat Springs. The snow was powdery, but on the heavy side. Perhaps not five-star Colorado snow, but leaps and bounds better than the "Cascade concrete" we get here. Next year, maybe Whistler....

Karen, myself and Jana, doing our self portrait on a chairlift thing
Jana and I have known each other for 26 years. I remember meeting her shortly after I moved to Sunnyvale. My mom met her mom, and they introduced us. Jana had just come home from "hat day" at her school, and was wearing a white eyelet lace bonnet. I have known Karen for 22 years. We met in the fourth grade, when we sat next to each other on the school bus on the way to the San Francisco Mint -- the fourth grade field trip. The three of us were in Girl Scouts together, from the seventh to twelvth grade. It's almost mind-boggling to think that we're still friends after all these years, and still get to see each other every now and again.

the City of Steamboat Springs, below the resort

the sunlight left this tree's ice-crusted branches moments after I took this picture...