Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday Crafting

So, growing up we had these little glitter houses that came out every year at Christmas.  I remember my sisters always telling me to lay under the tree and look up at all the lights.  I always wanted to be on the side where those little houses were.

I've come to know now that those little houses are called "Putz Houses".  These houses are heavily rooted in the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions, which makes sense that we had them, since my mom's side of the family is PA Dutch.

Since the houses from my childhood are probably lost in Dad's attic, I figured that I'd take a shot at making my own.

I started with the trees.  Got a big pack of green flocked bottle brush trees from Michaels and followed Ms. Polly Roger's tutorial on how to bleach and dye them different colors so that they look vintage.  You'll find lots of different trees out there.  The kind with the little round wooden bottoms work the best.

Then I made the houses.  I will caution you, this is a time consuming project.  All in all it took me like 2 weeks off and on (maybe a total of 8 hours for the whole project).  I got templates from the Inspired Ideas Christmas Issue and also from  The cutting is both time consuming and boring.  When you first assemble the houses don't be discouraged.  Glitter solves everything and makes them look absolutely fabulous.  I promise!

Here's some shots of mine in the various stages

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Yarning

So last year everyone pretty much got scarves.  This year I wanted to make something to match the scarves from last year but knew I wouldn't have enough time to make hats.  I decided on wristers which were really quick and easy.  I used a pattern from "The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet" and I have to say it was super quick, easy, and fun!

Here's what I made for my nieces

I used Sensations Angel Hair yarn from Joann Fabrics, and a 5mm hook instead of the 4mm hook that the pattern calls for cause I tend to be a tight stitcher.  Each one took me only about a half hour to make and these are great practice for working front loop only stitches as well as learning how to keep your work even.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More Asheville!!!

Ok so, obviously this post should've happened a few weeks ago.  Better late than never huh.  Catching up now that presents have been wrapped and opened; cookies baked and eaten; crafts done, and well partially done at least.

I wanted to post the rest of my photo picks from Asheville.  It was such a great time of year to visit.  I've really missed seeing the leaves change and feeling the crisp Autumn air.  I think I've realized just how much I miss the fog and the misty mornings.

Since we visited during what was pretty much the last weekend of the peak fall color, there was lots of activity downtown.  These buskers "Thirteen Strings and a Two Dollar Bill" were awesome!

another shot of downtown

We were lucky enough to be there right when an early cold front came through.  While we were out sightseeing in the Pisgah National Forest it actually started snowing!  The further we climbed the more snow we encountered.  The boys LOVED it!

Going up the mountain just when it started snowing

At the top of Cold Mountain

Snow clouds


The way back down was just as beautiful

We even got some snow at the cabin the next morning

On the last night we walked downtown and did some window shopping.  It was cold and crisp and I loved every minute of it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Visited my niece in Asheville, NC last week.  It got wayyy colder than I thought it would, and hurricane Sandy actually brought some snow.  I got to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair where I met some really neat people and a few super cute alpacas.

This one was so cute that I had to give him a kiss!

Bought my first hand spindle and some roving that looks like cotton candy.  The hand dyed fleece and roving was more than I've ever seen anywhere.  Absolutely beautiful...

The day before the snow we drove around to see all the leaves.  The sky was a bit ominous but made for some interesting shots.

The time change is killing me so I'm turning in!  I've got lot's more to post later though :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Blankey

Finally finished with the baby blankey that I've been working on!

Here it is a "work in progress" with my little helper:

Almost done...
All connected!

Viola, done!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


So, I bought some purple muslin to make covers for 4 outdoor pillows - a year and a half ago.  Started the covers last weekend and planned on whipstitching them shut this weekend.  Yeah, that didn't go so well.  Sewing is just not my thing.  I've made several things over the years.  Lots of belly dance bras and choli tops.  But every time I finish a project I feel more frustrated than fulfilled, and I ask myself why I keep trying.  So I gave up on the whipstitching and figured that I would install zippers.  Can't believe that I still had all the original stuff that came with my machine that I bought 20 years ago.  Even found the manual!  By the time the fourth cover had it's zipper I was a pro!  So, maybe I won't give up after all...  Some flannel jammie bottoms are next!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Life is not always fair...

Growing up was hard sometimes.  Hearing "life is not always fair", and knowing that I would eventually have to be accountable for myself was both sad and scary.  I truly believe that being told these things over and over is what pushed me to pursue an education and allowed me to attain a great career - even though I ended up in a field entirely different that I was educated for.  Who knows, it might not be too late to be a microbiologist, right?!

We all have our own personal issues with our upbringing and I'm sure that not one person has had a perfect childhood.  That being said, I'm actually thankful that I was not surrounded by people who enabled me to be helpless and tolerated my outbursts and tantrums.  I did not have problem avoiders in my life who encouraged me to blame everyone but myself for my problems and expect my emotional well being to be someone else's responsibility.

I can stand on my own two feet and pay my own way in life.  I am not emotionally or financially dependent to the extent that I would be homeless should something extreme change in my circumstances.  I hope to teach my kids the same things so that they will always be able to take care of themselves and that they can make their own way in life without leeching off of others.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I said "NO MORE YARN!!!"

I did not listen to myself...again.

Ok, in my own defense, this is because of the half off sale that continues at Elegant Stitches.  I got some amazing Noro and pink kid mohair to blend into a sweater.  Also the yummy stuff in the middle (gold, rust, and red) is for my other son's blanket.  The big one (they're twins but always referred to as the big one and the little one) keeps asking for his to be finished first though.  Says he's "cold".  We live in Florida and the low temperature doesn't really fall below 80 degrees at this time of year so, I don't buy that.  But, I do buy yarn.  Lot's of yarn:

Luckily the holidays are coming soon, so some of this should be used up to make room for more.

So far it's been a relaxing weekend, other than kid drama.  This is how I spent my Sunday morning...  Coffee in one hand, phone in the other, cat between my boobs.  What more could you want?