Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iron Craft: Best in Show

This week's Iron Craft challenge was animal/pet related. I am more than a little ticked at my cats right now so crafting something for them was completely off the table.

Here are a few things I discovered about myself this week:

1. I am totally enamoured with amigurumi! I'm so excited about this new aspect of knitting in my life.

2. I have a lot of birthday parties coming up so I've got to get knitting some amigurumi.

3. I have turned Iron Craft into Iron Knit. So I went and requested a bunch of craft books from the library to get some other sorts of crafty inspirations.

4. I didn't realize that metal double-pointed knitting needles come in packs of four. I've always gotten the bamboo that come in packs of five needles. I spent an hour last Friday night looking for my "missing" metal needle. Argh.

5. I think I have way too much fun setting up photo shoots for my knit animals.

6. I'm definitely a two stick girl. I had to try a bit of crochet this week and it wasn't pretty.

7. I totally have a thing for elephants.

Meet Ella and Phante!



This was such a fun project! I found the pattern here. I am so making these for all the babies in my life that are turning 1 year old in the next few months. I'm so excited because I can knit one of these up in two nights and that gives me plenty of time to personalize them and continue with Iron Craft challenges and still care for the Baby Lotus Bud and get the house ready to put on the market and possible laundry and dishes, too! Do you think I have too much going on?



See what I mean about the photo shoot? I actually considered taking Ella and Phante to the Como Conservatory just so I could something a bit more elaborate. I think cabin fever is reaching peak levels.



I also had to add here Cornelia the Crab because I'm just so dang proud of her! I've been wanted to make Cornelia for a year now and while it did take me several weeks and therefore outside the scope of the Iron Craft challeges, I just had to share. Cornelia was named after the Cornelia Marie, a Deadliest Catch crab boat who happened to be steered by my favorite crab boat captain - Captain Phil Harris.

This
is where I found the crab pattern and looking again at the pattern I see why I got excited about the earlier photo shoots.



Next week, I am really going to try hard to do something other than a knit project, something a little more crafty!
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Monday, March 28, 2011

13 - The tracks...



...leading towards Spring.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Iron Craft - Lucky

I struggled with coming up with an idea for this week's Iron Craft challenge. I pouted because not only was I not feeling particularly lucky, but I just couldn't come up with an idea.

I found on the internet a number of things that are lucky throughout the world. But I had just done a project with a dragonfly and with an elephant (the ganpati om). So I pouted some more. I even went on to the comments page of Iron Craft and pouted there.

I considered skipping this week.

Finally Friday night I decided to cross-stitch something. I had a very old set of baby patterns from literally 20 years ago. I had made some towels for a baby shower.

I suppose cross-stitching was my first serious venture into craft. No, wait, I think there was a couple of months in my teens where I did some latch-hook crazy thing. Remember latch-hooking?



So the thing that was different in this decade of cross-stitching was that I did it on a bib rather than on a item that one can buy at the fabric store that already has the cross-stitch fabric on it. I had to buy the waste canvas and a bit of interfacing. I'd never done this before so it was a nice little challenge to myself.

Yes, that old bib is stained and dirty. That's why it's all folded up for the photo.



I sure wished I'd had my twenty-year old eyes. This was definitely harder in the months before my 40th birthday.

But it got done. Sort of.

I had a slight problem getting the waste canvas out. So I ended up trimming it all.

Still it got done.



There she is!

I suddenly realized that I AM lucky! I am lucky to have HER in my life!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This year and this blog has been consumed with the Baby Lotus Bud and with Iron Craft. I think about posting other things, but I can't seem to find the time. I'm two months behind on letters to the Lotus Bud. Life with her is intense now that she's mobile. It's like a tornado hits this home twice a day.

What did I ever do before she arrived? Huh?

I blogged, I crafted, I cooked, I wrote, I took photos.

Honestly - I want some of that life back! I know I still blog, craft, cook, write and take photos. But it never seems to exactly what I want to do. Just being honest here.

I feel like I've become this boring, very predictable nearly 40-year old crazy lady.

I know I keep harping on the 40 year old thing, but dang-it! I'm turning 40! I thought I would be way more fun and interesting than this!

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12 - Old Man Winter


Yes, I know it's a Buddha, but doesn't he look like Old Man Winter with that hoar frost on his head?
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iron Craft - (mostly) Green

This week's Iron Craft challenge was "Green." Not green as in environmental sustainability, but the color green. BUT, and there always seems to be a but, doesn't it? BUT, I did need a plastic bag holder in this house, specifically in the baby room (and as it turns out I need one at our Airstream retreat for similar reasons) and so, that is the saga of how my green color project ended up being a green, re-use project. We re-use plastic grocery bags for all the dirty diapers.

So, real quick because it's late and I've got lots to do tonight and we've (the baby and I) got have a really early morning tomorrow. So, real quick, here it is.



This was a good project for me because I had a skein of bamboo green yarn that I had picked up for 97 cents at the fabric store ready and waiting for me to knit up. Another good thing about this project is that I pulled out knitting needles from when I first started knitting so the whole time I was knitting I was thinking about those memories from years ago.



Yet another reason why this was a good project was that I got to use one of the knitting bags I made from last week's project to store my materials for this week's project.



And since my little Lotus Bud is like a daily tornado that hits my home, having a place to keep my project safe keeps me from storing my supplies in the basement to keep them safe from the tornado. She's so quick! You see the reason why I don't take many photos of her these days?

OK. Here is the pattern. I followed the pattern. Sort of. I didn't actually have the necessary needles and just made do with what I had. The pattern states that approximately 200 yards of yarn were needed for this project. I only had about 100 yards. I'm new to this whole "adapting the pattern for my own purposes" and thought that I would not have enough green yarn for this green challenge. I opted to start with purple and switched to green for the body of bag. Turns out I could have used green for the whole project because remember? I used different size needles, smaller needles to be specific.



Anyway, so it all worked out. The pattern suggested 10 inches, but I ended up doing more than 20 inches. And yet, the final product still wasn't big enough for all the freaking bags that I have. I have way too many bags.

Yep. Bag lady. That's me. Maybe I should change the name of this blog. Hmmmmm. Makes me wanna sing some Erika Badu.

OK. Gotta go. Happy Wednesday, y'all!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

11 - Which Side of the Tracks



I live near the tracks. Is it the wrong side of the tracks? Maybe. I think of it as the near side of the tracks. The near side of history. And the future, really, if you know that the commuter rail uses the same set of tracks.



The Lotus 52s is my 2011 project to capture one photo a week. I have a new lens and that makes it the right time to get to know my camera better. This is my effort to improve my images, to improve my processing, and to learn more about the world around me.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Iron Craft: Fat Quarter (or All My Friends are in New Orleans and All I've Got is This Fat Quarter)

I've got friends down in New Orleans right now. And I was planning a trip down there for April. I turn 40 this year and my good friend just turned 40, so we thought we would meet in New Orleans to celebrate. But now I'm not sure I want to go. I'm not sure I can leave the Baby Lotus Bud behind. I never, ever thought I would feel this way and yet there it is.

Anyway, so, on to this week's Iron Craft challenge. If you follow that link, you'll see why I am moaning about New Orleans.

Fat Quarters. I happened to have one left from a previous week's challenge.



97 cents, y'all! Can't get any better than that!

There were so many wonderful ideas for this project. But sadly my talents didn't match my aspirations nor did I have the time to try out some new technique. Or so I thought, but here I am getting ahead of myself.

I bought this knitting bag a couple of years ago and I paid $12.95 for it. It's comes in very handy. I put all that I need for whichever knitting project I am working on into this bag.

And what do ya know? It's just happens to be about the same size as a fat quarter.



I whipped one up pretty easily and decided to do a freezer paper stencil on it.



This first one turned out a bit slimmer than I expected so I decided to make another. I bought a batik fat quarter ($1.99) and came up with plans for the second freezer paper stencil.

I started seeing Ganpati Oms around town, in a yoga studio, on t-shirts, on the internet. Immediately when I saw one I knew there would come a day when I would craft it into a project.

That day finally arrived. It was last Friday, in case you were wondering.

For such a momentous day, freezer paper stencils weren't going to cut it. I only had black and brown fabric paint and knew those colors would not stand out in the way that I wanted. And I did not want to go back again to the fabric store.

So I decided to give embroidery a try.



OK. So it's not "perfect" but I am feeling pretty proud of myself!



Now I have two more knitting bags so I better get a move on and start another knitting project!




Want to join Iron Craft (I'm talking to you Lani and you Newness!)? You can join the fun at anytime. Come on! I know you wanna!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

10 - Mossy Tree



I love that there is so much greenery to be found in the winter woods. Yes, it's still winter. Sigh.




The Lotus 52s is my 2011 project to capture one photo a week. I have a new lens and that makes it the right time to get to know my camera better. This is my effort to improve my images, to improve my processing, and to learn more about the world around me.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Iron Craft: March of the Penguins

This week's Iron Craft challenge was really challenging for me! I hadn't seen any of the nominated movies, in fact, I hadn't even heard of them. I'm not into watching the Oscars, so all in all, I had no idea what to do.

Susi said we could feature any movie and it didn't have to be one from the Oscars. I really wanted to focus on one of my favorite movies which I do think won an Oscar way back in the 80s: Out of Africa. But I couldn't think of anything to do. I could have folded some more origami into wild animals, but I really wanted to continue knitting. I have a lot of yarn sitting around my house that I need to use up, so I went searching for a project. I kept thinking penguins for some strange, unknown reason. Then I remembered that the movie March of the Penguins was an Oscar winner! And it is March now so I figured this was the project for me.



This project was a bit frustrating because I couldn't think of crafting something useful for my household. In the end I decided I would give these penguins away to some of the babies in the Mama group I hang with.



I found a pattern online and started knitting thinking I could whip out a dozen or so of these in a couple of nights.



But I was wrong. Those little birdies took me more time than expected and so I could only knit two each night. At one point I thought to "assembly line" them, but I only managed to make four in two nights, so my average knitting rate stayed the same.



I finally settled on 9 penguins and I only finished late last night so all my postings are late. It's the photo shoot that I really looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed planning. The weather turned bitter cold again today, so it was me and penguins out in -1 degree temps.



Remember that scene where they all huddle together for warmth?



I couldn't resist trying to recreate that moment!



Corny! Don't I know it!



But I did use up some of my yarn and I met the challenge!!
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