the bag

as in the manly indiana jones carrier of found treasures bag.
Picnik collage
this was henry's gift. i had originally intended to make it for his birthday back in august, but the cape, the cake, the planning, well . . .

i moved it to the christmas to do list and let it go. ahhhh.
the bag
so, of course i waited until christmas eve to sew this baby up. at least i had already cut the fabric. i'm getting smarter that way. i'm learning to cut and iron or iron and cut my next couple of projects or so at one time in the chance that i may find a moment to actually sew. that is if i take a break from knitting.
Picnik collage
i knew i wanted to make henry a bag. he's a gatherer. he needed something for carrying his finds (and maybe a few of mine). it had to be durable and it had to be boyish. and i really had trouble finding a pattern i liked. then one day i happened upon this great pattern at mmmcrafts. i'm not quite sure how i ended up there but i am so happy i did. it was perfect! i only had to make a few modifications because henry is three and therefore short. so i shortened the strap (not enough) and made the bag itself a little bit shorter (i used one of his notebooks as guide). since i shortened the height of the bag i also made the exterior pocket a little smaller.

i have to admit i impressed myself with this project. the pattern was perfectly written and really couldn't have made it any easier, but i did things i had never done before in sewing. i made a bag with a liner! i added pockets!! i squared the corners!!!
Picnik collage
i did have some troubles in the beginning and i am so glad they didn't deter me. when it comes to sewing it's too easy for me to let that happen. tension was a big problem. maybe because i was using a heavy fabric? i also tried using a heavier gauge needle and thread and then decided against it because the tension problem was getting worse. but, in the end i made it work.
and now the boy can tote his treasures. light saber, pez dispensers (aka action figures in our house), the infamous frog, and i can only imagine what else that bag will end up carrying.

i can't wait to see the treasures it carries home though!

the owl {complete}

as promised there are more gifts to share. this is one i am so proud of. it turned out so closely to how i had pictured it in my head before i began making it. basically, i made my own version of these.
the bea's owl
i drew the pattern free hand and attempted several versions of legs and feet. i still don't feel i got that part quite right, but i'm still happy with the outcome. the best part was putting the fabrics together in different combinations, which is not my strong suit. the legs were originally going to be a dark red fabric with a black pattern, but those did not turn out so well. it was a good mistake because i love the stripey legs on the owl just as i like it when bea has stripey legs!
the bea's owl
the fabrics are a mix of new, hand me down, and repurposed. years and years ago matt's grandma gave me bunches of fabric. two of those are what make up the wings. the corduroy is an old jacket of mine that i wasn't wearing anymore. the back is a fabric i've had for some time and have used little bits here and there. and the yellow and green striped fabric are relatively new and were meant for other projects but they just worked so well i had to use them. (i love that yellow!)
the bea's owl {back}
bea snuggled onto the owl right after she (with henry's help of course) opened it on christmas morning. it's a laugh to see her carrying this big bird around! it's great for breaking her falls. i think in the next few weeks a wee version of this owl may make its way to the sewing machine. something a little easier to tote around.
the new addition
one more handmade coming tomorrow - if i can get some decent pictures.


the knitty gifts


well, now its time to start sharing all the good crafty things that were going on here over the past few months.
admittedly, most of the crafty time was spent on stockings. but once those were done i started on the projects that were intended for others and for warming. and then ended up with a pair myself because, well i had time and it was malabrigo. hard to resist that temptation.


i used this pattern which was so easily memorized and travelled well (and is also on ravelry). i was reluctant to knit them flat which is what the pattern calls for but i was afraid i would mess them up somehow if i knit in the round. which, by the way, i am sure a better knitter could do with no problems. oh they would knit so quickly in the round. i had these timed at about 2 netflix movies per pair. give or take a few breaks. and they are great by themselves or over your favorite gloves for added warmth.

perfect pinkperfect pink

**i did slip a stitch at the beginning of every row which i think made seaming them up a bit tidier**

and the malabrigo. oh my. i love this stuff. i went on a mini malabrigo binge i admit. but it was crazy economical in that i could get two. TWO. pairs of gloves from one skein. it really was a great gift to knit up. so soft. so warm. and choosing the colors was so difficult. i opted not to buy this buttery yellow and a grass green. they are still at the yarn shop and i swear to you i fondle them every time i go there. i presume they will make it home with me sometime soon.

those blue ones? yeah. those are mine.


favorite friday

i can knock out three favorites in one.
the band.
the staple singers.
the weight.

{and i have convinced myself that the muppet band is loosely based on the band}

two bands that give me goosebumps and leave me in awe.

{not sure how this works but if it works for you i recommend listening to the whole concert}


second best.
just wanting to wish all of you a very merry christmas! christmas claus (as he has been dubbed in the lewis household) just left our house, so now the papa and i can start catching up on sleep. goodnight : )


just one more peek

another peek
almost done with bea's owl. i just need to close her up. i think i may need to remove some of the stuffing. i'm afraid the seams might be or get a little stressed. my feeling is that this owl may have a rough, but well-loved life. it's hard to tell from the picture this bird is quite large. almost as big as beazy herself. my mom had a good suggestion to make a little baby owl for bea to tote around or snuggle. i think i just might have to do that. after the holidays of course!

still a couple of projects left. one may not make it. i can't get the tension right on my sewing machine. if you have any suggestions i'd love to hear them. the tension is off on the bottom and i am using a heavy fabric (canvas). i thought i had it, but not quite. hello, seam ripper!

i may not be popping in the rest of the week, so if i don't -

merry christmas! i hope you are surrounded by those you love and that your days are filled with love, laughter, and light (and magic)!


favorite friday

this week has been full of busy work. not of the house variety either as the state of our home would prove. priming, crafting, sewing, knitting, and playing. it's been a good week and while we're beginning to feel the pressure to get some last minute things done i think it has all been relatively stress free. or maybe just stress reduced. hoping your week leading up to christmas is full of good cheer, warmth, and loved ones.

paper cutting
he says he wants to make something, but really he just likes to cut paper.

library time
leisurely library time. sans kiddos.

alone in the car
driving alone. sans kiddos (these things don't happen very often). it was a beautiful foggy night.

nativity play
wild and creative nativity play involving mummy pits.



just a small one. started bea's owl last night. had to learn blanket stitch - (grateful for the internet. again.)
it seems to be coming together really well, but i am stuck on what or how to do the feet. those tricky owl tootsies!
a peek
this weekend and the few days i have next week will be all about mad dashes to the sewing machine when i can find a moment.

how is your holiday crafting coming along? anyone completely finished yet?


just don't call me crazy

ambitious? maybe.

our poor girl has been sleeping in a dungeon of a room since she was 9 months old. her room used to be the office/guest room and was painted a dark weird color that is hard to describe. a brown-purple something awful. we didn't touch it before she was born because we knew she would be sleeping with us so we figured we had time. then we weren't sure if we were going to have henry and bea share a room. we went back and forth for a long time. needless to say we chose to giver her her own space. for the time being. i would like for them to share a room, but for now with many of henry's toys being of the choking hazard variety, we thought it best for them both to have their own space and space for those types of toys (in henry's room).

so now, less than two weeks from christmas, we have decided to paint wee bea's room. i also chose the wrong color. i really wanted yellow. a lemony bright yellow. but pale. does that make sense? well i was so off. matt put a swatch of the paint we bought on the wall and it matches our living room & hallway almost perfectly! (have i mentioned i don't like the color anymore and want to repaint those as well? the color is looking to me like a smoker has lived in this house for 50 years.) anyhow. today i am spackling and priming (wow, we have torn these walls up!). this weekend we will go and get a lovely lavender color and forget the agony of choosing the right yellow.

LOTS of spackle

yes. this is how my day looks.


and this pile will follow. i was inspired by these and have drawn up my own pattern to attempt for bea. she seems to be smitten by owls so i think it will be a good thing. if i can make it happen. and there is something to be in the works for my little indiana jones fan as well. luckily, i will have a little help with that.

the stash
well, i'm off. i better get moving : )


favorite friday

when i read (and enjoyed) this post at bee house hives the other day i decided to take sarah's idea and make off with it. friday seems like the perfect day for me as it one of my favorite days of the week. it kicks off the weekend, which to a play at home mom doesn't necessarily mean much except that matt will be home for 2 whole days and that's a winner in my book. it's also a nice way for me to reflect on my/our week and just another way to appreciate those little things that end up being such a big part of who we are. so here are some of my favorites.

snowman forest. i have weak spot for snowmen. maybe it's the lack of snow here. EVERYWHERE seems to have snow but here!
snowman forest

coffee. knitting. warm electric blanket. christmas lights. cuddly boy next to me. underdog cartoons. napping dog & napping bea.
these are a few of my favorite things.

chef bea. especially in the oversized hat. busy hands and a busy mind. she loves hats even if she can barely see.
chef bea

someone to share the electric blanket with. first thing in the morning that is where you can find him. he likes to be warm.
and he likes old cartoons. today it was underdog, other days it's 1940's superman and popeye cartoons. i like them too.
snuggly boy with a snuggly.

being able to whip up a fresh batch of laundry soap to help me tackle all the laundry i've let pile up this week. i aim for this to be my only housekeeping chore all weekend.
homemade laundry soap


the last stocking (for this year)

bea's stocking

i took up knitting sometime in late 2003. my gramma had knit everyone's christmas stockings in our family. starting with her seven children, their spouses or significant others, then their children, and even some of their children. i wanted this tradition to continue. so i bought a book thinking that the written/illustrated directions would be all i needed to get started, except for the basket of yarn and needles gramma gave me. well . . .

learning to knit from text + drawings was not enough. while i would have loved for gramma to have taught me how to knit it was not geographically possible. so, i signed on for a knitting class at a big box craft store. the classes were cheap and i could just pay as i went. i think i went to 4 classes. as many classes as it took me to learn to cast on, knit, and purl. from there i just practiced on scarves. (everyone got a scarf that year).

since then i have been a knitter on and off. i'm pretty sure i took a couple years off of knitting. not sure why that happened. maybe it was fear of moving beyond knitting long rectangles, i don't know. anyway, i vowed that would never, never happen again. i did take a summer break from knitting, but i was trying to become better at sewing. and i think i did. now i haven't touched the sewing machine (except for when i moved it to it's new home in my bedroom) for all the knitting i have been doing. there may be a seasonal cycle here. this winter i have chosen small, simple projects and have been very pleased with the amount of knitting i have accomplished. of course it helps that wee bea is growing and entertaining herself for longer stretches of time and i can squeeze in a few rows here and there with children underfoot. i surprised myself by getting 3 stockings done well before the holidays set in! many late nights and all 3 seasons of 30 rock on netflix were involved in that outcome though.

the stocking!

bea's stocking was knit a little out of pattern because i knit hers last. i ran out of red and my lys had run out too (and you know i wasn't going to wait until it came back in stock!). i decided to use some of that berroco that i have so much of. i was a little hesitant about using the mustard yellow even though it complimented the green so nicely. with matt's encouragement i kept going and i am very happy with the result. it gives the stocking a nice vintage look i think and i also like the earthy tones.

one of the things i love most about knitting these stockings is that except for one pattern all the patterns were the ones my gramma used. everyone's names are charted out right there on the pattern. i know who has what stocking. i like being able to add names to the charts. many of them are taped together because they have become so worn and i now keep them in plastic sleeves.

now all the stockings are hung by the fire and i don't have to take out of focus pictures of the mantle like last year so bea won't know she didn't have a handknit stocking. now her stocking is there, right where it should be. and i must say it looks perfect hanging there!

the stocking were hung by the chimney


we all shine on

one of my first loves. when i first discovered john lennon and the beatles i remember listening to their music over and over and over.
i devoured books about them, i watched movies, i immersed myself in them. i sometimes find myself wondering if things would be different in this world if john was still with us.

i believe they would be.


come along

the path
walk with us. click here.

quandary: of the good sort

basically, i don't know what i am going to do with my day once i finish this bowl of chili.
it isn't often that i have a day to myself, but thanks to my mom, i have this great quandary.
i know i could clean the bathrooms or move mountains of laundry. do i take this time to do things i can do when the littles are
home (though i could cross them off my list much faster), or do something such as relax a bit? i haven't decided yet. i may balance the day out with both. i have sewing projects i would really like to begin and that is a task i can accomplish much better with a huge block of uninterrupted time. or i could knit while watching a movie that no one else in this house cares to see. the possibilities seem endless right now - i think i am almost giddy! but i better get on it, because i know the days are short right now.


there has been knitting

i promise. and i have proof!

and the stockings were hung . . .

three christmas stockings to knit this year. well, truth be told, one should have been done last year, but don't tell bea.

my cousin dan and his wife lauren welcomed whit to their family earlier this year. his was done first. i always have issues with knitting the names and this stocking was no exception. i think i had to frog and restart the name 3 times before i was satisfied.
my problem not the patterns (as usual). and i am not too good at colorwork, but these stockings are good practice.

whit's stocking

next came my cousin nicole's little boy braylon's stocking. i used the same pattern my gramma used for mine which was fun. i should have taken a picture of them next to each other. little braylon is just four months old and almost as big as bea! another technique i need to practice and i definitely got to do on these projects was seaming. not perfect, but getting better!

braylon's stocking

and beazy's stocking. sweet girl should have had hers last year but it just never got started. and i did hers last this year, since it didn't require shipping i figured i had up until the last minute to get it finished. i can happily say that other projects can be worked on into the wee hours of the next couple weeks. bea's stocking is finished (except for a few loose ends) and is hanging on the mantle. i'll share that next week.

the rest of the projects i have planned are fairly simple and should be stress free. many are already started and are workable while children are present! a few require sewing and may be trickier because, well, i am not a seamstress and because i am
experimenting with making my own patterns, except for this one - but i will still have to modify it a bit.

how is your holiday crafting going?


november favorites 2009

{click on the photo to see the page that lists the credits}
november favorites 2009
i didn't spend a lot of time on flickr this month and i really missed it. this month doesn't look like it will get much more flickr time either with all the holiday crafting that needs to get done. i am really behind on uploading photos, but i have enjoyed looking at everyone else's when i've had the chance. definitely some flickr gratitude over here!

happy december!