Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cabin update

Today I'm remembering how insanely heavy logs are.  Maybe we could do cordwood or strawbale.  I've wanted to experiment with strawbale for years.  


Monday, February 23, 2009

a bee in my bonnet

I have another crazy idea.  I want to build a little log cabin in a corner of my backyard.  With a tin roof, a little porch, and a potbellied wood stove.  Right... about... here:
We have plenty of raw materials, see?  Trees pushed down to make room for our house.
The reason I'm telling you all this is so you can talk me out of it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the fine art of cover-up

Cute little shirt, right?  It was Lizi's, and now Lydia's.  See the little sea life beads?  What you can't see is that under about 2/3 of those beads are little ink marks that would not come out.  The shirt was practically new at the time, and I was not willing to get rid of it.  Enter cute beads, stitched over the marks, and a few extra to make it sort of symmetrical.  The beads became their favorite part of this shirt.

These are little sew-on and iron-on patches, and some cute vintage lace flowers.  I snatch these things up when I find them on sale.  One of those black lace patches was perfect for a frayed spot on a dress I once had.

The reason I'm talking about this today is that, considering the state of our economy right now, it would be handy to learn some tricks to make our clothes last longer.  Sometimes an otherwise good garment will have a little issue - a stain, a hole, a weak spot.  Even if it can't be fixed, with a little imagination it might be able to be covered and made even better than new!

Here are some links to free applique patterns which could be used in this way:
SWEET applique patterns from my friend Samantha (I'm dying to try the "Gracie" purse);
Good basic designs from FreeApplique.com;
Or look in your children's coloring books!

Let's get creative, folks - we'll get through this!  Remember my love of WWII posters:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scary CPSIA stuff

Did you think I was overreacting when I took the children's items out of my shop? Take a look at this: Don't Worry About the CPSIA - This Would NEVER Happen

Found on The Common Room.

So it begins.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

May I have a volunteer from the audience?

I'm considering writing a couple of knitting patterns to sell in the Etsy shop.  Items I have made and sold before, but never in pattern form.  However, since I've never written a pattern for another human being to follow, I'd like a couple of fellow knitters to test it out for me.  These will be baby items, most likely.  And you don't have to have advanced knitting skills, but a bit more than the basics would be helpful.  Your payment will be my undying gratitude, and the pattern to keep and use as your little heart desires.  If you're interested, leave a comment, and make sure I can contact you through it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

new Etsy item

Since I'm not making toys these days, I've decided to explore the cuff bracelet craze a little bit - but with a twist.  These are meant to give to someone walking through a difficult season in life.  I'm knitting them from cotton yarn, then decorating them with various new and vintage trims.  Each material has a special significance, and they come with a card to explain.  

After several bouts of cancer within my family and circle of friends, cancer patients are near to my heart.  That's what sparked the original concept, but the sentiment would apply to a variety of situations.  I would love to offer them for free, but I'm not able to at this point...  Besides that, at the urging of family and friends (you know who you are) I'm trying to set my prices to be a little more fair to myself.  

Pop over to the Etsy shop if you'd like to see more.  Hope you love 'em!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One stop shopping

I don't know, this just struck me as funny - one stop shopping, rural Alabama style.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

for my funny Valentines

A treat for my little preschool class tonight - heart-shaped tea cakes with pretty all-natural pink sugar on top!  'Cuz I kinda like my kiddos.  ;)

On a sadder note, my cookie press finally bit the dust on this batch.  It will be sorely missed.  :(

(The pink sugar is India Tree brand, from Whole Foods Market, in case you were wondering.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

*yawn* *stretch*

Dandelion, of course.

I have no idea what kind of bush this is, but it has pretty reddish pink buds right now, and berries in the fall.  Very interesting looking.

Thistle - doesn't it look like a green snowflake?

Weeping willow, just planted last year.

The sugar snap peas we planted New Year's Day



Happy Almost Spring!

Monday, February 9, 2009

a dying breed?

Well, here's the last of them.  These guys will be taken out of my Etsy shop tonight.  According to the CPSIA, they will magically become hazardous on February 10.  Yes, yes, I know about the stay of enforcement of testing for one year.  But read the fine print - I don't have to test, but I can't sell anything containing lead.  How am I supposed to know it doesn't contain lead unless I test?  Somehow I find little comfort in the CPSIA's statement that they will "generally" not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing  items made of fabric even if it turns out to have too much lead.  I've heard all the rumors that it's still okay to sell children's items as long as you're reasonably sure they don't contain lead.  But I've heard just as many rumors of the special-interest groups who will be trolling shops (like mine), looking for trouble.  I guess I'm a weenie - it's just not worth it to me.  Great to live in a country where we are protected from the evils of little stuffed critters.  Please forgive my cynicism, but if the laws that were already in place had been enforced, there would not have been a need for the CPSIA.

Here's an awesome article by Rick Woldenberg, chairman of Learning Resources Inc.

*sigh* And that's all, folks.  Guess I'll just have boring grown-up stuff in my shop from now on.  I've lost very little compared to a lot of manufacturers and sellers.  And the pink whale has already been adopted - by Lydia!  Maybe when the dust settles and they get this thing sorted out, I can go back to the fun stuff.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

a fun day

Here are some things I've missed over the last 21 days of our Daniel fast:




St. Arbucks

Happy Un-Fasting Day!