Saturday, November 27, 2010

One hour + large branches + a borrowed bow saw + tree stump + eight year old child as counter weight + aching muscles = 80 tree blocks.

Of course, I still need to sand them all. But I only bashed my finger once. And felt like I was going to pass out while my ears rang from bending over too much.

Whee! The kids couldn't wait, though.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I've gotten things done! It's amazing!

First up are the tree stumps for the "Waldorf stocking stuffer" swap through a Yahoo group. I was going to head to the post office today but it just never happened.

I've had moments of self doubt - thinking that they aren't good enough. That people won't like them. That I should have done something different, something more. Oh well.

Next is a swap organized by Jen of Sewn Natural and MommaRae. I wanted to find something that represented North Florida in fall and winter. The trouble is that aside from slightly cooler weather (sometimes) and less mosquitoes (if we're lucky), there isn't a lot to distinguish them from spring and summer.

First I wanted to knit little butterflies that would look vaguely like Monarchs since they migrate through here. But that seemed to flop. My next thought was of all the faerie rings of mushrooms that pop up in the fall. So I whipped up a knitted and felted mushroom. I have a deep desire to make a whole forest of these now.

My third idea was a tin of calendula salve. As the weather cools my skin dries out and I practically (okay, not really) bathe in this stuff. I'm embarrassingly proud of how the labeling turned out.

Aside from those, I've worked on the longies a bit and finally found the bottom of the hamper. Whee!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Treading water.

I have been so short on sleep these past few weeks. It feels like life has frozen in time. Of course, it also feels like things are just whizzing past me. I'm so behind on thing - emails to respond to, posts to write, photos to take, thank you notes to write. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. And yet, were there any more I'm not sure I could make it through a week intact.

Both of the babies (yes, the Imp insists that he is still a baby) are teething. At least, we think they are. The Imp has molars coming in - I've seen them. Both are cranky in ways that they aren't usually. Neither seems able to sleep properly at night or for naps. Hence my sleep deprivation.

I'm still getting things done. It just feels like they take lifetimes to complete. Over the weekend I made six pizzas worth of dough (and froze four), two bagettes worth of dough (and froze one in two smaller bits), four honey wheat sandwich bread loaves worth of dough (and froze two), and butternut squash soup. I was supposed to make hummus and flatbread. But that never happened.

I tested out a knitting pattern for someone - pictures to be posted once the pattern is for sale. I've been stabbing away at the needle felted tree stumps (the new star needles I bought are helping my sanity here). Another swap is almost done. I just need to add the small bits - labels, sewing pieces together, writing a note. Why do the small bits always take the longest? The longies I started for the Beast are not much closer to being done. I suppose it's a good thing that it's gotten so freakishly warm around here (80 degrees at the end of November? Are you kidding me?) - at least I don't have to feel guilty that he's lacking warm clothes.

Basically, I'm still here. I'm still crafting when I can and digging myself out of a mountain of laundry (this is what I get for living with four boys) the rest of the time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Hey look! I managed to do this on the "proper" day! Here are some of my many works in progress - I won't even mention the ones that are still brewing in my head!

It's supposed to be a butterfly (I'm using the pattern here). The idea was to make it look like a Monarch. I don't think I've succeded very well. It's still a WIP because I'm thinking about felting it. It's for a seasonal swap I'm working on. The next few are going to be less Monarch-y, but hopefully more butterfly-like. I'd originally planned on needlefelting a butterfly but it was beginning to look like the work of a kindergartener so I've switched tactics.

These are longies for the Beast. They look way too small - which probably means they'll fit (because apparently I'm crazy). I lovelovelovelove the colors - even if it is just store-bought yarn. The stitch markers are to help my addled brain keep track of the ribbing.

These are the needlefelted tree stumps I'm making for a "Waldorf stocking stuffer" swap. While this is helping me refine my tree root making technique, I am perishing tired of making these.

What are you working on?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

They're done!

I finished the longies yesterday! Finally! They are, indeed, much too large for the Beast. The Imp can wear them and has plenty of room to grow. You live, you learn - right?

The colors in the first photograph aren't great - the light was fading but I felt compelled to take a picture anyway. The rest are from today. The older boys are outside with B (who has likely taken much better pictures with his phone than I did with my camera).

So now that they're done, I need your help - how best should I take care of them? I'm fairly certain that the reason our previous longies (that I bought on Etsy) didn't work out so well is because I used too much lanolin. Here in the land of Are-You-Crazy?!-It's-Too-Hot-And-We-Don't-Wear-Wool I've had very little luck with getting reasonable answers. I was once told to use some combination of baby soap, lukewarm water, and a tube of lanolin. I can't find any wool wash locally and am totally lost. Help!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Belated WIP Wednesday

This week has been a whirlwind. So much so that I can't even pinpoint exactly why.

Currently I'm working on the Dreaded Longies, ten tree stumps, and a butterfly (yes, it currently looks like an orange heart). I started and frogged a coffee sleeve this week as well. That's what I get for starting a new knitting project in the car, in the dark, and without a pattern. Yes. I ask for chaos.

While I was taking these pictures two of my other works in progress decided to join me. One of them is currently less work than the other. Both are completely adorable, though.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, the week I've seen.

B took last week off of work. It wasn't as restful and relaxing as we'd hoped. We didn't complete everything on our lists. But oh! I do love having that man home all day! Today is his first day back to work since October and it's rough getting back into our groove without him around.

Last week I baked bread. Real bread. Sliceable sandwich bread! I used the recipe here - except that I used coconut oil instead of shortening and cut the entire recipe in half. Aside from my huge slices (this is what happens without a real bread knife), it was very yummy though a bit crumby. Yesterday I made two more loaves - using butter this time. They look *scrumptious* and will be sliced up (with my new knife!) for lunch today. I also made hummus and flat bread. It was a busy week.

I finally finished the first leg on the longies I'm knitting. They look really nice. Here's the thing.. they're nearly as big as the baby is. Oops. They'll probably fit the Imp, though they may be a bit big on him as well.

We've had our first fires of the season. They boys are hooked - and we're out of wood. Isn't that always the way?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP et al.

A couple of weekends ago my step-sister got married in Ohio. My father and my sister's family attended the wedding. We didn't make it for a great many reasons. After the wedding they drove to Pennsylvania to visit my aunt and uncle and my many cousins. My uncle is awesome. He's always built amazing things, cooks like nobody's business, and is one of the sweetest men I've ever met. He sent some wooden cars and two push toys (which I've failed to photograph) home with my family to give to my boys. How amazing is that? The Imp went crazy for the push toys - a dinosaur and a frog. They're long sticks with the animals on they end and their feet are wheels. Does that make sense? The Elf fell in love with the cars and I can't wait to get some beeswax polish on them.

I ordered some amber beads from Amber4You on Etsy. They arrived the other day and I've already thrown them together for the Beast. Can you believe that no one local sells amber teething jewelry? And they're so very expensive online. I understand why, though. Stringing those things was tough and I gave up on putting knots between each bead. Regardless, I'm pretty pleased with it.

I mailed my packages for the Artful Stone Swap hosted by GardenMama. I went back and forth with myself about posting pictures before my swaps were received. In the end I decided that if I didn't post it now, I'd forget and never post it. So here it is.

I couldn't resist these little guys peeking out of their pods.

And the longies are still in progress. With luck I'll finish them before he's out of diapers.

I've been working on this post since last night! Whew. Today I went to another breastfeeding support meeting and a class about starting solids. Now I need to catch up on comments, bake some bread, whip up some hummus, and get to knitting!