One Community: April

I’ve been meaning to try out this One Community photo project for a while now In the words of AfricanKelli:

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art.

April’s words are: Spring, Purple, Flowers and Rise. This month’s link-up is hosted on Sarah’s (Beauty School Dropout) blog. Last week I grabbed my camera while I took the dog for a longer than usual walk. Spring has sprung here and we are having unusually sunny weather.

One Community April
Flowering tree on my block

One Community April
Grape Hyacinths in a neighbor’s yard. I also love the moss covered rock.

One Community April
My grandmother had camellia bushes growing in front of her house my whole life, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized they bloom at all because most of my visits were in the summer and fall.

One Community April
I think Camellia’s are more of a winter/early spring bloom as they’ve been blooming for a while now and are decidedly on their way out by April.

One Community April
I really need to remember to plant some hyacinths this fall. I might actually stop sticking my nose into other neighbors flowers if I had some of my own.

On our Saturday morning walk I was super excited to see that the Trilliums had started blooming.

I’m always trying to get a photo to capture how massive the trees are. These are in a park near my house.


And I might have had the Sunset Western Garden Book in my lap while I wrote this to confirm flower names and spellings.

April 9, 2014. Tags: , . Life, Thoughts. 6 comments.

Challenge Accepted

I, Michelle of Anotheryarn Crafts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear one hand-made item each day for the duration of May 2013.

Eek! Since the first Me-Made month I watched along, envious of people diving into sewing clothes and loving their results. Clothes sewing was my first crafting love. I’ve wanted to sew my own stuff since I was 8 or 9. I used to do so (back when I naively skipped the muslim but garments turned out ok anyway), but in the last 10 years or so I’ve not been thrilled with my sewn results. However this year I realized that I do have some me-made garments and especially during “wool season” (in the PNW for lizard-me that is September through June at least) I often do wear handmade things (mostly hats and scarves but still).

June 2009, I realized that I was wearing a lot of handmade: sweater, skirt and bag.

Anyway, I decided to give this a shot, I started tallying my handmade garments and have:

  1. purple corduroy skirt (seen above)
  2. grey twill skirt
  3. February Lady Sweater (seen above)
  4. Blackberry Cozy Sweater
  5. Blue peasanty blouse
  6. Amy Butler tunic
  7. Juniper pants (and I really want to make more)
  8. scarves/cowls/hats/jewelry/socks

Plus the two skirts that just need hemming. And plans, oh I have plans. I’ve been stashing garment fabric and it is time to stop treating them as too-precious to use (well, except the teal wool houndstooth fabric, that is still too precious). That seems sort of limited, but I don’t think my sartorial choices can get any more boring than they already are with the endless days of jeans + t-shirts + sweaters that I currently wear.

April 28, 2013. Tags: , , . Sewing, Thoughts. 4 comments.

The Good Stuff

I did finish things last year, and yes, I never expect a period of time where I won’t have WIP or be dreaming up new projects. Hopefully this year I’ll be better about photographing the progress (and the finished objects, I’ve spent the last few days gathering and photographing things).

I finished my spring garden quilt and it was in a quilt show!

I made pants. I find this so amazing I must say it again, I made pants – honest to goodness trousers with a front fly and a blind hem and they fit me.  Honestly I think sewing up the muslin and having help with the fitting (I took a class for the pants) possibly took less time than I sometimes spend shopping for a pair that fits.
And then my photo was a total bust, no worries I’m making another pair.

I made a bag for my featherweight sewing machine. I was told that since I have an original case I should baby it and not carry it by the handle if possible.

I made a cute little zipped boxed bag to store knitting projects.

I made a cute little drawstring bag to wrap a christmas present.

I made a carseat cover for my SIL (and niece).

I made a chart keeper for my knitting.

I made a tote bag and zipper pouch as part of a gift (I also made a second unlined tote bag).

I made this fabulous small ironing station with storage.

I finally finished this pillow (it started out as a rectangular mini-quilt).

I finished my Quilt Club Block-of-the-month quilt top (and the back, now I just need to sandwich, quilt and bind it).

And according to my Ravelry project page I finished the following things:

I made my sister a darling headband with cute crochet flower.

A keyhole scarf for my nephew.

A ribbed & buttoned neckwarmer.

A darling February Baby Sweater (and it fits my nieces!).

A zig-zag (stranded colorwork) hat.

The Aviatrix hat*, it’s been on my to-make list forever and I used scrap yarn!

A pair of ankle socks.

Two Baby Bibs*

A Gretel Hat* (which will be frogged significantly or entirely)

A Farm Hat*

A cozy cardigan* (which I then decided to redo, but for today’s sake I’m counting it).

*Yeah, these weren’t done in the official sense (end weaving, button sewing, that sort of thing) but I’m counting them anyway, some of them need to be re-done in some manner and so they managed to make both my WIP list and my  FO list.

January 13, 2013. Tags: . Knitting, quilting, Sewing, Thoughts. 4 comments.

Looking back

It is that time of year where the various craft blogs I follow post beautiful photo grids of all the things they have completed in 2012.  All I can think of it what I didn’t complete.

  • My Blackberry Cozy Sweater (it was done, but I had to, had to rip it for wearability sake).
  • My mom’s christmas gift, a hat & scarf, though in my defense I essentially completed the hat only to decide the whole thing must be frogged, again.
  • My nephew’s hat, again, I completed it (ie finished knitting), on NYE, but it looks too small and I’m seriously considering frogging that hat too.
  • My Backyard Baby quilt kit, I bought this semi-impuslively at Sew Expo, worked on it almost exclusively during sew days and am so close, I could have finished it during the last sew day of the year but I choose to work on something else, oh yeah, a bag to carry my featherweight.
  • My sprockets pillow (top is done).
  • My quilt club quilt top is just a top, not a finished quilt.
  • Basically all of the quilts that I planned to make in 2012, I need to check the list, but I’m not sure I actually started any of them either.
  • The christmas table runner (and bonus pot holder from the scraps) from a kit I received last christmas – I should have assembled it quilt as you go style, but I wasn’t thinking ahead on that at all.
  • The grey skirt I started back in fall 2011 (basically I need to seamrip it back to pattern pieces and reassemble if there is any hope at all of me wearing it).
  • The yellow skirt I cut out in November (never mind when I bought the pattern and fabric for it).
  • And I almost forgot, the improv charity quilt on my design wall.

The number of yarn projects I manage to complete this year is lower than any other year, never mind having photos for a quarter of them.

…And I’ve been sitting on this post for nearly a week, waiting to pull photos off my camera. Nevermind, photoless post it is.

January 8, 2013. Knitting, Sewing, Thoughts. 3 comments.

Inventorying my homemade pantry

This is my third year of ‘putting up’ food for the winter. My second serious year, last year I took a bunch of notes and saved them as private blog posts (and I just edited them to be public). That has worked fairly well, since I don’t loose those notes. And now, as tomato season starts for us (surely someone else sees the irony of advertising Early Girl tomatoes the first weekend in September?)… I need to take stock of what I have left from last year.
Taking stock (IMG_6626)

  • 3 pints of salsa (orig. 7+6+7=20? pints)
  • slightly less than a bag of slow-oven roasted tomatoes
  • 3 pints of garlic dill pickles (orig. 7 pints)
  • 2 pints of dilly beans (orig. 3 pints)
  • 1 pint of lemon[y] cucumber pickles (orig. 3 pints)
  • 3 half-pints of vanilla pear jam (orig. 6 half-pints
  • 3 half-pints of blackberry jam (can’t find my notes)

Thoughts: we are almost spot on for salsa. I think we gave a couple jars away, and I know we didn’t try to “conserve” our salsa use so I’m going to aim for making three batches this year. Oddly enough the first year we made slow oven roasted tomatoes we flew them and so decided to make double the quantity, and yet we have almost half of them left over… We definitely paced ourselves in dill pickle consumption, but I don’t know why we  haven’t eaten the dilly beans. I’m skipping any pickle recipe that calls for sugar though (lemon[y] cucumber pickles were a sweet), we just don’t eat them up quickly. And the jam – the blackberry was a solid but uninteresting jam that never inspired us to make chock-full-o-jam things, and the vanilla pear I think I forgot to give a couple jars away – but I’m looking forward to adding it to yogurt with some homemade granola. I need to find my balance between pb&j jam and fun/intriguing jam.

Additionally earlier this year I put up:

  • 4 half-pints of rhubarb jelly
  • 4 half-pints of rhubarb syrup
  • 3 half-pints of rosemary rhubarb jam
  • 1 half-pint of strawberry rhubarb jam (a gift, plus about 5 oz straight to fridge)
  • 3 pints of asparagus pickles

And more to come, I have jam in the water-bath canner as I type. I need to get serious about getting our salsa and garlic-dill pickle supply canned.

September 4, 2012. Tags: , . Cooking, preserving, Thoughts. Leave a comment.

No Risk No Reward

I am not a risk taker.  Not one bit.  People who watch me quilt laugh at my obsessiveness with plotting it out before I start.  Sometimes this is helpful, but it also means that I have quilts that I’ve envisioned, have the fabric, have the sketch and haven’t started on for over a year.

And just now I was reading Daisy Jane and stumbled upon this phrase, “No risk, no reward,” in this post.

I’m a great big scaredycat.  I’m scared of wasting fabric.  I want it to be good.  I want it to be perfect.  I know I shouldn’t but I do.  The problem, I can’t get better without doing it.  Without putting in those 10,000 hours (or was it 20,000?).  Without “wasting” a little fabric.

The same goes for my clothes sewing.  I haven’t stitched a piece since my Sorbetto muslin fail.  A muslin stopped me.  Why didn’t I make a second one?  I don’t know.  Wait, that wasn’t the last clothing thing I sewed.  The last clothing I made was this cute skirt, I love this skirt.  It was put together out of leftovers from another long plotted skirt, and unfinished skirt.  Why are my failures more prominent in my memories than my successes?

February 7, 2012. Tags: . Problems, Sewing, Thoughts. 3 comments.

WIP: My Fall Challenge

The Collette Fall Challenge has been percolating in my brain, for far too long. I failed within the first week with my inability to create a mood board, I made and lost a color palatte, and then got frustrated because I’m in a bit of a fabric destash challenge (and even if I weren’t, I’ve seen very little fabric in the colors I’d prefer). I also did a little bit of virtual window shopping (collected in Pinterest) in an attempt to find some inspiration, but not a whole lot jumped out and triggered that “want to wear it” feeling. I made a second attempt on a color palatte, but it isn’t quite right, also I just realized that I fell into my old trap of picking colors that are all in the same value (ie no lights, no darks, but all medium intensity colors, convert my palatte to black and white and you could hardly tell they were 5 different colors).


But then I thought about the things I’ve been meaning to make and how they kindasort fit my color palatte. And so I created this nice little outline of my intentions. I’ve yet to sew a thing but I am feeling more focused. And I put together this nice basket of fabric and patterns – everything else is stashed away in the garage (except some quilting stuff).  So I’m thinking of this as my fall challenge (summer was the UFO challenge).  And while my fabric doesn’t exactly match my ideal palatte, I think it will all fit nicely within my wardrobe (I have a mustard cardigan and a peacock/teal cardigan that fulfill those colors).

Knitting: Indigo Playmate in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Blackberry (I’ve started this!)

Sewing: Pintuck Skirt from Stitch Winter 2008 in grey cotton twill fabric (pattern has been traced, adjusted and traced again… it is cutting time)

Sewing: Boat-neck, 3/4 sleeve knit top in raspberry mystery fiber knit fabric

Sewing: Denim pencil skirt, most likely with Butterick in ages old dark denim fabric (IIRC it has a touch of spandex)

Sewing: Dress in purple and white houndstooth fabric.  Most likely with Butterick 5277 view C (though the new Collette Peony is tempting)

Sewing: Embelished bag in grey faux-suede fabric.  I scored this fabric (it is woven, but reminds me a lot of ultrasuede) from a thrift store several years ago.  I think I bought it inspired by a Blueprint spread on ultrasuede; and then I’ve plotted several bags.  Then I saw this flower adorned grey bag on Pintrest, and then saw a non-fringed version of the Amy Butler round hobo bag and I knew that was what I wanted to do (though if I found straps I liked U-Handbag’s pleated tote looks promising).

Sewing: Blouse, but in which pattern? in this slinky poly I bought from JoAnn’s.  The colors aren’t quite right for my palatte, but I have the fabric and believe they will work with my closet overall.

And thus ends my fabric-pattern combinations.  I have a few more ideas and if I make good progress on culling the stash I will buy more fabric.

Sewing: a jade colored camisole to go under a sheer chiffon blouse I already own.  (Oh please don’t sell out of the fabric I’ve been eyeing before I get to this).

Sewing: a shirtdress.  I have several possible patterns, but no fabric in mind yet.

And then there is that pinstripe brown fabric in the basket. It just doesn’t match much in my closet, I don’t, as a general rule wear brown, but it is definitely a fall fabric. So I might aim for a wearable muslin… not that wearable has worked for any of my muslin’s yet.

September 29, 2011. Tags: , , . Knitting, Sewing, Thoughts. 2 comments.

Precious Saturdays

This was a few weeks ago, and one of those days that makes me feel so lucky. It was unseasonably warm and sunny so we hightailed it to the park for the afternoon, blanket, book, yarn and dog in tow.

Doggie enjoying a stick
crochet project in progress
portable back-rest

October 23, 2010. Tags: . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

I have 17 drafts of blog posts waiting.  Waiting for pictures.  Waiting for editing.  Waiting for the right time to post.  Waiting to post them until I get back into this blogging thing (ha!, what a method for inaction).  Waiting for perfection I suppose.  I need to stop waiting for perfection, for time/skill/effort of perfection (also, download and upload photos in a more timely manner).  And so goes this short, incomplete, blog post.

I’m baking.  September hit hard today, grey and rainy.  Frankly I wasn’t ready for summer to end, I think I was still waiting for it to begin.  Somehow I feel I missed most of summer, I missed too many farmer’s market visits, I missed freezing pint upon pint of berries.  All I seem to see is missed stuff, not all the amazing things I did this summer.  If I had a better inner spin-doctor I’d be telling you about the 3 camping trips (no rain!, well on the 2nd and 3rd trips), the trips to the beach and lounging on the sand reading, the trips to see far away friends and family, our weekly grilled pizza… instead I think of all my missed opportunities (and fight the urge to go dig for photos illustrating this charmed life).  But back to baking.  Baking makes dreary days better.  But nearly every week (save the rare 90+ F degree heat waves) I think, I should bake bread, and I don’t.  I mean sure there is the no-knead bread (made it once or twice but somehow timing that seems more daunting that your standard 2 rises), and I do have quite the fondness for beer bread (such a good way to use up bottles of beer we don’t like) but whenever I buy yeasted bread at the grocery store and every time I see a blogger mention baking bread I have a tinge of guilt.  I should be doing that.  It’s not a fear of yeast or kneading, growing up my mom even went through a multi-year period of baking all of our bread and I helped, I remember the progression was tasty but dense bricks to light, reliable sturdy sandwich bread .  I even remember tackling a 10 (?) clove yeasted garlic bread, shaped as a garlic head no less, sometime in junior high all by myself.  And I make yeasted pizza dough on a regular basis.  But somehow, getting my act together to make a yeasted vehicle for toast and jam just doesn’t happen.

Can I institute a weekly savory baking session?  We shall see.  I think Mondays will be that day, and until about 7:30 pm I thought today was Monday.  But screw the yeast;  I don’t have to bake yeast bread (I hope I do though), I even have 3 lackluster bottles of beer in the pantry that need to be used.  To start, I went easy and tried this whole wheat-molasses bread that caught my eye today.  It just came out of the oven a couple of minutes ago.  I’ll let you know how well it works with jam (maybe even with a picture, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

edited to add: I wasn’t crazy about this bread, it was simply too molasses-y for me.
Whole-wheat molasses bread

September 7, 2010. Tags: , , . Cooking, Thoughts. 3 comments.


I keep reading 2009 lists and somehow it feels like 2009 should not have happened yet, but it did and it is gone.

What crafty things did I accomplish?  I sort of love the photo mosaic, but I hate putting it together.  As I started the process though, I thought, “wow, look at everything I did!” and that was nice.

2009 Review

That empty lower corner is where I should have a picture of the Margaret sling bag I made my sister but forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her.

I knit: pretty pink princess (sheldon from knitty), newborn booties (magic slippers from ???), bright scarf (drop scarf pattern that is a modified clapotis), camping hat version 2.5, grandpa’s hat, my leaf lace camping hat, pink lemonade (elenka from knitty), february lady sweater, brimless topi (from knitty), asymmetrical cable scarf (from One Skein), Panda legs (improvised pattern), Turn-a-Plain (Turn-a-Square from Jared Flood), Brynn’s Ruffles (modified Lilly pattern from Larissa Brown), Poppy brooch (riff on Nancy Ricci’s poppy pattern), Crumpet beret, Peach Baby and Sea Baby (ribbed baby jacket pattern from Debbie Bliss adorned with a flower from Crochet Adorned)

I crocheted: Butterfly cap (from Vallieskids), Medallion Table Runner (from Crochet Adorned)

I sewed: little artist’s drawing case (from Craft Apple when it used to be a free pattern), Unstructured bag (idea from a Japanese craft book), two Hourglass Pillows (Amy Butler pattern), Hello Kitty Pajama Pants (Simplicity pattern), Bloomers for Pink Lemonade (Favorite Things pattern), woolen flower brooch (from Design Sponge), Buttercup Bag (modified, from Made by Rae), Margaret sling bag (from Oh Fransson), Moleskin Cover (mashup of a family pattern and Mr. Monkeysuit pattern), oh and recovered 4 patio chairs (not sewing, but it involved fabric)

I grew and mostly did not kill: mint, rosemary, primroses, cat grass, radishes and arugula

What crafty things did I leave unfinished?

2009 Unfinished

I did finish one marigold sock (though didn’t take a picture), now I need to sit down and do a little knitting csi before I can start the second sock, doh. And I’ve made progress on both sassymetrical and ishbel. But I stalled out on machine quilting the HK quilt way back in springtime. I basted the three layers together, wound 5 bobbins worth of thread and then chickened out. The Anna Tunic was hemmed during the christmas sewing (quick while I have matching thread in the machine) and just waiting for buttons to be sewn on.

I’m going to ignore the list of things I never got around to starting.  But I am focusing on finishing up before I tackle too many new projects.  Except fingerless gloves, because not having a grab and go knitting project that stuffs in a purse was making me cranky (just ask TheHusband).  So I grabbed a single skein of yarn, jotted a few notes from the Maine Morning Mitts pattern and started last weekend during an errand run with TheHusband.

January 9, 2010. Tags: . Crochet, Gardening, Knitting, Sewing, Thoughts. 2 comments.

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