Monday, April 30, 2007

tissue? I hardly know you!

I don't think that I have once in my life asked my mother for a tissue without that being her reply. How could that be? Of course I didn't get the joke when I was very young, so I just though it was funny that you could really know a tissue. I had it explained to me a lot before I got it, and even then it was weird. Like, why would you want to kiss someone you don't even know? Unless maybe you were in France...

Anyway, I have for you a tissue box cozy. It is about as simple as it gets, and it took next to no time to make. Now I can buy the kind of tissues with the lotion in them without worrying about doofussy pictures on the box. (And let me tell you, I was really worrying.) It was a quick and dirty project without even a hemmed seam, but it had been so long since I'd done a whiplash, that I really wanted to participate. It is a very whippy whiplash. I did it by taking strips of linen and just zig-zagging the edges together.

So, do you think I'm worried about running out of red thread? I was tidying up my various sewing areas Sunday morning when I found all these. mmm-hmm. I was tidying on Sunday because we had Wordy Diva +1 over for some lunch and a pouch for plants swap. What fun!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

linen bag for Sarah

round bottom linen bag

I've seen many round-bottomed bags out there in blogland lately, like here, and here. This one is my version. I like them all a lot! I made this bag for my friend, Sarah, who always makes French seams, and not because she thinks they're fancy, but because she likes them. Sarah brought me back a set of Clover pom pom makers from her last fiber excursion, mostly because she and the rest of the knit night girls were teasing me about being fancy enough to want a special gadget just for making pom poms. That, and she's incredibly kind and thoughtful. So, of course I had to put a pom pom on the bag.

Ah, spring is so great. We had our first post-dinner popsicles of the year while walking through the yard. New things are coming up all over, and the yard is looking lush, except for the lilacs which did really poorly with the frost a few weeks ago. I am just feeling the happy newness of spring so much! Even the yoga class I've been taking for the last 2 years seems fresh and exciting. I think I've just been going through the motions for a while, but something in my body clicked last week and I'm feeling something more, some kind of joy, in the poses. The back bends are particularly wonderfully.

pretty little details

And speaking of newness, little Ms. Beebs has gotten her ears pierced. I'm thinking she's looking a little grown up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

feeling greasy

unbecoming photo of my imploded sewing area
If you haven't oiled your sewing machine recently, go do it right now. I just finished doing mine and, holy moly, what a difference! I can't believe more people out there aren't touting the benefits of a lint-free, lubed-up, well-maintained machine. And you should clean the shuttle too. I think that's key.

Last night, my good 'ol Kenmore, c. 1973, was starting to chug as it stitched along. I thought oiling it might be enough, but no, the shuttle needed to be cleaned too. The last time I tried to clean the shuttle, I somehow ended up lowering the feed dogs, which you supposedly can't do on my machine, and I couldn't get it back together again. So, machine and I took a trip to our friendly neighborhood sewing machine repair man and paid him to do it. But not tonight! Tonight, I stared down that shuttle and cleaned it good.

It's moments like this that make me want change careers and open a little sewing machine repair shop in my back room.

Friday, April 20, 2007

nesting bowls

The same thing always happens whenever I do a felting project. I put the project in the water with the soap and the hot water, and I let it agitate a cycle, and I pull it out and I panic because it's not working. But it always really is working. It just needs more time. In the end I take it out amazed that I have made something solid out of string.

furry bowl

The nesting bowls (there are 2 of them) are made from natural brown wool using the knitty mancala pattern. The inside of the bigger one is the size of a peanut butter jar. I decided that the bowls needed a bird after seeing the really cute one at Bella Dia. Plus, it was appropriate for the recipent(s) as the bird is for a baby and the bowls are for her mama. It's part of an interesting ongoing swap I'm doing with a group of friends, some of whom don't live close by anymore. Every two months we're sending something knit from 1 skein, plus something handwritten, some words or recipes to share. I know I'm going to love seeing it unfold.


Friday, April 13, 2007

friday, uh-huh, un-huh

What am I doing? I dunno. Many, many things, but not much to show for it.

There's kuler. Adobe has this fun little color utility in the labs section of their website. It's more than a utility really, because you can share the color combos you create. I'm pretty sure it wants to be the flickr of color.

And there are the canal house closets via junior society. I would really like one. It would be for me and not for Beebs. I know where it would go too–in the front room that will be my office as soon as we finish the new den (ETA 1.5 yrs). This old house has no coat closet, so we could use a place for wraps. Hmmm...maybe it will be a personal woodworking project for next year?

And we introduced Beebs to orisinal this week. Video games just do not get any cuter than this! I like the bunny and the bells.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

oh hoppy day

I think this is the point where I admit that I really do have an obsession with mother softies? Please welcome the return of Nursie Bunny who now has a skirt and floppy ears.

mama bunny

She still has snap nipples that she uses to nurse her three children (she used to have two), who have snap mouths, and she still likes to hold them in a good, tight hug. They like to sleep, mostly.

I made the first lactating bunny for the daughter of a friend of mine who had just received a baby brother. Beebs wanted one for herself then, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I got to thinking about making one. Around the same time, she was seriously lamenting the end of Mini Swap , so I offered to do a swap with her. The swap ended yesterday--Interesting how it just happened to correspond to Easter, no?--she got a nursie bunny and I got this rag doll.

softie girl

With the exception of the stitching on the skinny arms and legs, Beebs did it all herself. It makes me a very proud mama!

Thank you for all the Passover wishes and cooking kudos. If I eat any more eggs this holiday season, I am going to turn into one. We tried Martha's marbleizing technique this year. (I also made Martha's macaroons. They were dairy, but she has many other macaroon recipes to choose from.) We achieved "speckled", but not "marbled". Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


For most of the day yesterday I was afraid of the roast in my fridge. It was a very large, very good roast, bought for our seder. See, I had never cooked a roast before and it just seemed like the sort of thing that you could really mess up royally and everyone would be sad. But I didn't mess it up. It came out beautifully, and I am again amazed by the wonderful things that meat does if you just put it on the oven with some salt and pepper.

The macaroons came out pretty good too. And, they take a better picture than the meat.


Happy Passover!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Missed you.

We had a very nice trip to Florida and returned to Spring in Illinois, how nice! Everything is green where it used to be brown and the trees are full of flowers, though thankfully, the lilacs still haven't flowered. We would have been sad to miss that!


The trip was great. It gave Beebs ample opportunity to show off her favorite characteristic of late: bravery. She caught a lizard, swam the length of the pool without touching down, rode space mountain with her arms up, and decided she loves fish eggs. I'm not sure whose child I have, but I would not have done any of those things at age 6. I'm rather proud and a little scared. The trip also gave us more time than usual to visit with the grandpas and some aunties and uncles and even a cousin. It is always so nice to see my family.

And crafting. I did a minor amount of knitting while away, and as much as I'd like to share my progress, I'm afraid it will have to wait because it's getting swapped out.