Saturday, April 7, 2012

Non-craft stuff :)

Y'know, I wonder why my blog feels the need to tell me I replied to someone's comment... Seeing as *I'm* the one who commented, shouldn't I already know? I know I can be kind of scatterbrained, but jeez Louise!

In other news, I am going to be moving in a few months. Due to sort of personal reasons -- well, they're not that personal, but they're hella complicated -- my husband is going to move up north by the end of April, and the girls & I will follow in early July. We think it's only fair that they get to finish out their school year with their friends first.

Now, we're not moving too far -- only about 90 minutes or so north -- but I'm rather nervous about the whole thing. I'm used to being able to hit up an AA meeting whenever I please; it's one of the benefits of this huge city. And where I'll be moving to has the grand total of ... drumroll, please... ONE meeting a week. There are others during the week, but in other towns -- and I don't have a car. Or even my full driver's license, frankly.

My sponsor told me today that I'm "not the most outgoing person". I laughed; she's right -- I'm not! I'm rather shy & reserved, actually. So this is going to be a challenge for me -- wish me luck!

Bunny cake!

So, as you may have gathered, it's Easter this weekend. And to placate my kiddies, I made them a bunny cake. Sadly, I'm no artist, and anyone who attempts this cake will probably do a far better job than I will, but there you go.

And it's easy! I think Kraft Canada has pretty much the same cake on their site somewhere, but my mother made this same cake for me when I was very young. It's simple, and veryvery tasty.

First, make a 2-layer cake. Make it from scratch, make it from a box -- it doesn't matter. I used a white cake mix. Anyway, put one layer on a cookie sheet.

Cut two ear shapes out of the remaining layer. The remaining middle bit makes a nice bow tie.

Put the bow tie next to the layer that's on the cookie sheet. Put the ears along the other side. You may have to trim the ears a little to make them lie flat.

Next, slather it all over with either frosting or Cool Whip. I prefer to use the whipped topping because it's not as heavy as frosting, and then I don't feel so guilty when I go back for that second slice!

Finally, snip open some icing tubes, and draw a bunny face on it. Decorate it however you like. And stop laughing at my terrible drawing! :D

Now, go eat some bunny cake, and have a lovely Easter with the people you love the most. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A plethora of purses!

So, I've been knitting a bit lately, which is all I've really been able to do. I haven't been able to cross stitch much, as I had to get new contact lenses. My last pair had a big smudge on the left lens which wouldn't come off, and I was afraid to try too hard as it might have ripped. Now I have new contacts & I can see, so I can get back to stitching!

In the meantime, I have a little knitted purse for my friend's daughter:

She's a cute little cupcake, so she gets the cute little cupcake button. :)

I made a much larger green purse (no buttons, just a fold-over flap on this one) that was originally for me, but I ran out of yarn, so the strap is too short for my liking. Still, I'm very happy with the results! It knitted up pretty quick -- bulky weight yarn on 9.0 mm needles.

To demonstrate how the strap is perfectly sized for a child and not me (*cries*), here's my youngest girl:

And last but not least... what every well-dressed babydoll is wearing this season!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I have a very tiny kitchen. If you've ever been to my house, you know that it's barely big enough for two people to work in without constantly smacking into each other. The nicest thing I can say about my kitchen is that it's functional... barely. There are things I do love about my kitchen, though: the stove runs on natural gas, which is what I grew up using, and far prefer to electic stoves; the fridge is incredibly cold; and there are wee knicknack shelves framing the one window. But one of the coolest things is my table, which folds out to twice its size, easily seating all 5 of my family members (and 1 guest, should I have one).

I was on a cleaning blitz last week, and while cleaning up some shelves, I unearthed a cute little blue & white checked tablecloth, just big enough for my table when it's closed, and, if I put it on a diagonal, mostly big enough for the table when it's fully extended. Eventually, though, that tablecloth had to go in the laundry. When it was bare again, the table looked sad & forlorn, but I didn't have any other tablecloths -- so off to my fabric stash I went! I found an ecru-coloured lace one (little big, but ok when the table's opened up), a heavy linen one (where'd I even get this?) and a length of bold stripey cloth. I hauled out my pinking shears and cut a square off the stripey cloth, and voila! New tablecloth!

You can tell we're a quality establishment 'cause of the paper napkins. :P In this pic, the table is only half-up. It's twice as big when it's fully open.

Now I feel all crafty without having done any actual work!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Another day, another project...

So yesterday, my youngest girl comes up to me and says, "Mom, did you finish my quilt yet?" The answer, of course, is no. And I should totally get on that too, because she's been extremely patient, considering I meant to make it for her 9th birthday -- which was back in November!!

I have, however, made another of those little bags. I'm kind of in love with them. They're maybe big enough for a cell phone, or a change purse & keys, whatever. Small stuff!

Oh, I do like the little things. :)

So, anyway, I'm thinking of learning embroidery. As far as fancy needlework goes, I can only cross-stitch, which I do love, but I want to branch out a little. Also, I should hook up my printer to print out some free patterns I've bookmarked. I want to do a whole bunch of those vintage fruits & veggies for my kitchen -- you know, like smiling apples & grumpy tomatoes & such? I'd really like that. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is it really almost February? Yikes! I've done very little in the way of crafting, especially cross stitch, as my last pair of contacts is acting up on me, and I won't have new ones for maybe a week. I did go to the optometrist last week, and the good news is that my eyes are extremely healthy -- I just can't see outta them!

I am behind on so many projects right now that I'm embarrassed to even admit how much. Still, I am no longer working nights, so the first thing I did was clean most of the apartment, except for my room & my desk. And it isn't that I'm not going to -- it's that I haven't done them yet. It's amazing how much clutter seems to breed when you haven't got the time to stay on top of it! But I figure that if I'm going to catch up on my craft projects, it'll be nice to have a tidy place in which to do it.

Yesterday my oldest girl turned 12. She didn't want a party (though her best friend came over) but there was cake! And what she wanted, it turned out, was a Minecraft cake -- specifically a creeper. I mixed up the icing, and she frosted the cake...

Sssay... That'sss a nice cake you have there... It'd be a ssshame if sssomething happened to it...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yarn addiction, anyone?

I have a terrible habit of going to places like Goodwill or Value Village & buying up cheap bags of assorted yarn -- but I can't help it! It's an addiction, really. You know what I could totally benefit from? A 12-step yarn addiction group. I've come to the realisation that I binge-knit. I won't touch the stuff for months, and then, in the blink of an eye, I can't leave the needles alone. The, er, knitting needles, that is. This wouldn't be so bad if I could at least do more than a knit stitch! But no, silly me, I haven't even learned to purl.

Anyway, I've got 3 little girls. And if I make a little bag for one, you just know the other 2 are gonna want one too. My oldest got the camouflage-coloured one that I posted the other day (she's quite tomboy-ish & picked the yarn out) but my middle girl is much more girly. She likes everything pink & sparkly, unicorns & rainbows & all that crap. I think her bag turned out better though.

Here's the 2 bags together. These are not large bags, y'know; they might be big enough for a cell phone, but that's about it. Not that my girls have cell phones, but there you go. In a few days, I'll probably have a blue one done for my youngest girl.

I'm really enjoying making these. They're quick to knit up, and it's a good way to use up all those little balls of yarn that I've got around that aren't big enough to make much else.

I know, I know... Powerless over yarn & other craft materials, I know... All together now: Grant me the serenity to accept the yarn I already have, the courage to occasionally put down the knitting needles, and the wisdom not to add to my already plentiful stash!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boy, I don't update much, do I?

So I haven't been doing much of anything lately -- except working late nights, which sucks, because then I spend half the next day napping! Only one more week of that... just one more week... And then I actually managed to give myself food poisoning over the weekend. Luckily it was something I ate somewhere else, and NOT at home, so I know my family isn't going to suffer! The funny thing is, I'm usually ridiculously paranoid about food safety, and I had ONE lapse in common sense -- and this is what happened! Oh well, my own fault.

I'm surprised I'm getting anything done today, actually, as my 2 older girls are home sick from school (just coughs -- the youngest had it first & she's over it already) and usually they're in my hair constantly. However, I managed to finish a little bag I'd been making for a while. It's not very big, about 3x4 inches, if that.

It was my first attempt at anything using decreasing stitches (I'm not that capable of a knitter, I must confess!) and I think it turned out pretty well. :)

Now, of course, Maddy wants one in pink, and when Liv sees it, she'll want one in blue... I feel like I should be taking requests!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just a quick update...

Some of you may know already that I'm very involved with a 12-step program -- and if you didn't already know, well... now you do. :P As a matter of fact, I'm about 2 1/2 years sober -- yay me! Anyway, tonight I went to my home group's weekly meeting, which I really cannot miss as I make the coffee! I brought along the scarf I finished for Maddy, partly because I'd promised two of my friends there that I would show them, and partly because I wanted to show it off a bit. Well, didn't I get requests from THREE people for scarves! :D

In other news, no real progress with any kind of cross stitch, knitting or quilting today -- I did a little knitting, but not too much. Like I said a few posts ago, I am working nights for the next week or so, so right now my days are more about catching up on my sleep!

Okay, my pretties -- this is the one weeknight I *don't* work, and can actually get a proper night's sleep. Good night! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finished a scarf!

Well, doesn't it just figure that the first thing I finish ... isn't actually part of my 2012 cross-stitch challenge pieces -- or even cross-stitch!

Still, it's not bad for a scarf, is it? I do love that self-striping yarn. And the little girl modeling it for me here is my darling Maddy, for whom the scarf is intended. (Yes, she's growing out her bangs; I know how long they are!)

What do you all think?

Quick update!

So according to this 2012 cross stitch challenge I joined, I should be on day 10. Well, folks, I am just as behind as I was for day 8! But you know, I don't have the stitching time I would like to have just now. For one thing, I have been working nights, and will be doing that for at least another 2 weeks. For another thing, I also need to get up at 6 a.m. to make lunches for my 3 kids, and get them all ready for school. (NO, I don't like to make lunches the night before; I feel they don't taste fresh then.) What this means is that once the kids are in school, I don't want to stitch -- I want to nap! Which is exactly what I'm going to do after I drop the girls at school this morning. One has left (she takes public transit) and two more are leaving in a few minutes. And then it's nap time for this sleepy lady!

I have decided that, as much as I love cross stitch, it's just not worth stressing myself over whether I'm behind or not. I think I will work on the projects that I've already started when I have time (and am awake enough to not constantly stab myself with the needle!) and post pics & updates accordingly. The challenge is to complete 15 projects in a year -- it is *not* about being first, or stitching the most, or anything like that. If it starts being a contest, it stops being fun, and I want to have fun!

PS: I plan to do a bit of something crafty after my nap! :D

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8, supposedly..

Wow, not only do I suck at updating, I also totally suck at keeping up with this challenge! I should by now have 8 projects started... No. I have... 5? I'm not even sure. I've been working nights lately, so I haven't had the stitching time that I would like.

Still -- here's 2 more updates!

First of all, this lovely celestial design. In the booklet I have, it's shown done as a box lid insert, on dark fabric. Nice, yeah?

First of all, I haven't got dark fabric, so I'm using white Aida, and I will fill in the background later with a dark blue, maybe in tent stitch.

Next on the agenda we have some owls! The magazine in which I found the pattern has them on a cute little makeup bag, but I will simply be putting them in a frame.

Better progress on this one, but then I had to go make supper!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Check out what I got today!

Well, I didn't do much of anything, stitching-wise, yesterday or today, but look what I picked up at the mall earlier this afternoon! (What? It was 40% off!)

And it came with this:

This one I'm gonna have to make up for my best friend, who is as addicted to coffee as I am...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day... 3 1/2? Cut me some slack? Please?

So, no stitching done today. No sewing, no cross stitch, nothing, nil, nada, nyet.

Okay, that's not *entirely* true. I did knit a bit.

After several years, I have only ever mastered a plain knit stitch. That's right; I can't even purl. This limits me pretty much to things like scarves & afghans, like the half-done scarf in this pic.

Isn't that pretty yarn? I love the self-striping stuff. I don't have the label anymore, but I remember I bought it at Michaels, and I think it was store-brand stuff -- though don't hold me to that. This scarf will likely go to my middle daughter, who's all about pink. Not sure how I birthed someone so girly, but there you go!

Tomorrow I will do some more of my challenge pieces. I guess I will need to work on two to catch up!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 3!

Well, many of the stitching projects I chose for the 2012 challenge are cross stitch, but I also chose some quilting projects I'd been putting off. I mean, hey, it still involves needles, yeah?

The first project -- really a set of projects! -- is a bunch of doll quilts I'm making. I'm not entirely sure what I will do with them when they are done, but I may sell them.

I have 18 little 9-patch doll quilts in this pile! All of them are made with 5x5 charm squares from Keepsake Quilting. (Check the sidebar; I think there's a link! Their stuff is awesome!)

Hmm... fabric, thread, pins... Has anyone seen my NEEDLE?!!

1 doll quilt top down, 17 to go! :D

Monday, January 2, 2012

day 2!

The most difficult thing so far about this 2012 stitching challenge is deciding which piece to do each day! I know some of the participants wrote out lists so they'd have an order, but ... I didn't, clearly.

Today's choice was a lovely peacock cushion in beautifully bold colours.

Isn't that gorgeous? And it's all whole stitches and NO backstitching! And, if all goes well, I will actually finish it some time before the end of the year. Although... I didn't get a whole lot done today, so not really the most auspicious start...

What can I say? I got distracted by the Sims 3! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 cross stitch, day 1!

Well, it's official: I really need to learn to use thimbles, because ow.

I have 2 different stitching challenges that I joined for 2012 -- one you do a different pattern every month (I haven't started this one yet but am doing a flower-of-the-month thing) and the other you do 15 projects of your choice over the year.

Why, yes, this is organised!

Also, look at all this lovely embroidery floss just waiting to be used.

The first project I chose for my 15 challenge is this floral pic. I made this years ago as a trivet, but I gave it to my mother. I really want one of my own though! This is how it should look when complete.

This is what I've got done so far. No, really -- it's supposed to look like that!

In the middle of all this stitching, Emily comes in and asks if I have any zombie patterns that she could stitch. Sadly, I don't, but I guess I will have to find her some!