Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Live...from the Art Auction

Well...let me correct myself, the United Way Art Auction lost it's "Art" from the title this year. So while it's still an auction filled with great arts and craft made by co-workers (as it was in the past), it now has the added...and dare I say "dreaded" bonus of "stuff." I'm talking world record number of theme baskets. But the best: "crap" from people's attics. No kidding. Don't get me started.

On a brighter note, I'm dedicating this week's posts (well, as many days as I can) to the ART in UW Auction. First up: arts and crafts from my peeps. I have such talented pals! Way to go, girls (and guy)!

Jess's sock monkeys really need no introduction! Here's Janine.

Annie and Justin made this. Justin drew the design and Annie (a coworker friend) brought it to life.

Shelley's beautiful beret and matching mittens.

A triple bunny quilt from Miss Mandy. Gorgeous!

And last...but not least...are pet portraits from Shelley. The auction is for a portrait of your pet. She auctioned twolast year, and then was commissioned to make more from the "losers."

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Poor Patty...You're Just a Loser

Well, kids, Patty didn't win the big contest. All that lovely yarn will not be coming home to me. *sigh* But, I'm happy to say that my little Irish gal at least made a good showing--113 votes. Can't beat that. Below is the winner. She had 228 votes. Her scarf is beautiful, and I'm at least glad to see the yarn is going to a good home. Still, it would've been nice. Ah...to dream.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Donation

I know that I said I hated United Way yesterday, and I still do. But I'm a sucker and feel like I should donate more than just the purse. So I'm also giving the UW auction at my work the cabled legwarmers that never sold on Etsy and make my big feet look even more ginormous than they alreadyare.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Deconstructed Sweater Reveal

Ta-dah! I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with my accidentally shrunken sweater, but just like the book said, the sweater just sort of turned into this. Read yesterday's post for the first-half of the story.

I'm going to be donating this purse to the United Way auction at my work....despite my strong dislike of the United Way. I'm focusing less on the organization and more on a chance to share my craft with others. (Which I guess goes against the whole idea of donating and giving, but whatever...)

I cut the top of my sweater and used the bottom ribbing for the top of the bag.

I already had the hoops from a previous purse that I tried to make that went awry. I just placed them on the sweater where I wanted them and used a white chalky pencil to cut out the shape.

I lined the inside of the bag with leftover Amy Butler fabric that I had from my living room pillows.

I forgot to take pictures of the sweater before I started cutting. But here's what was left. Notice how fuzzy it was. How did I fix that? A handy dandy disposable razor (new...not used...gross). That thing worked miracles!

Here's the cut piece.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book to Check Out: Second-Time Cool

I found this great book at the library the other day by complete accident. It's called Second-Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater. I've had a few sweaters get washed that weren't supposed to be (not naming names =), but I have a hard time throwing them out or giving them awat. I usually keep them around for crafting, but I as of late, they've just been taking up space. I definitely needed some inspiration. This book has some fun pictures and ideas. The only downside is that it's light on instruction. I was kind of bummed about that at first, but after reading a bit, it kind of got to the point that the sweater sort of dictates the craft. I was skeptical, but come back tomorrow and see how that statement proved to be true.

And yes, I'm probably breaking all kinds of copyright laws. But the pictures were pretty, your honor!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Makeover for the Bedroom

...sans wall art, though. =(

The bedroom had a bad case of the blahs going on, and with the wonderful feeling that comes along with spring, it was time for a makeover. I didn't have to do too much beyond unpacking and moving around a few more items, but it's still a fresh look since I never used any of this stuff in the bedroom before.

Here's the room...but badly needing something on the walls still! I can't decide what to do. I like the vinyl clings, but I can't decide which one is right and in which color. I also had some ideas of hanging painted embroidery hoops (empty) on the wall. There's a restaurant around the corner from where I live that has that, and it's so simple, yet so pretty. And not to mention cheap! Then there is another part of me that wants a painting for back there. Guess I need to think about it more.

Here are the curtains. I love these curtains for so many reasons. One, I found them at Goodwill for $1.75. Two, they're actually just a king size sheet that I tore in two...not one bit of sewing was required. And three (and the best reason), this fabric was actually used as the backing to the butterfly quilt that's on my bed. What the heck are the chances of finding something like that?

Here are my Anthropologie cabinet knobs turned tie-backs. Ahh....beautiful. And the ribbon was leftover from Patty's belt. Look at me being resourceful!

I got this vase/urn as a wedding (bridal shower) gift. It used to be a golden yellow color until I started using it on my balcony at our old condo. The sun turned it green (or something did). Now it matches the greens in my room perfectly. The silk leaves were used in my wedding. And you may recognize the bunny from Stacey, the Sally the dolly from Jessica, and the owl twins from Barbara.

Here's a better picture of the quilt. My mom found this at a resale shop about 12 years ago. She bought it for me because I love butterflies and the color orange. All of the butterflies are hand-stitched. There is machine stitch over the top of the whole quilt, but the binding what done by hand. I can't believe someone would just give away something this beautiful. And I think my mom only paid about $25 for it. Plus it's huge....perfect for our king size bed.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Baby Blanket...done!

I finished Julie's baby blanket! For this being my first blanket. I'm very happy with how it turned out. It starts from the center and works it's way out. I must admit that by the time I got to the last two colors and the border, I was ready to be done with it! It's a pretty mindless knit, but in the process of making it, I had some weird allergic reaction to something (still haven't figured out the culprit) that caused me to have hives all over my face. Pretty. They're gone now thanks to practically ODing on Benadryl, but who knows what caused the hives. Stress? The yarn? The change in weather? All of the above? Just like the number of licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop: the world may never know.

P.S. Notice that these pictures are taken outside!! Yay for spring! And I didn't have to wear my coat, hat, and mittens! Double yay for spring!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Tough Competition for Patty

Voting started on Saturday for the St. Patty's Day Irish theme competition on Ravelry, and Patty's doing OK, but she's not near the lead. As I write this, I believe she has around 80-something votes...yay! But below are some of the projects that are ahead of here (or darn close). I think the top one has the most (and well deserved since they're gorgeous!) at 120-something. Voting ends on March 27th, so if you have a Ravelry account, or know someone who does, be sure to go out and show your "love" (as in the love button) for Patty here.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Owl Sweater

So here are the owls...all 20 of them (which means 40 eyes). I'm liking it a lot!

Oh, and my sweater has been spider approved. I found this scary guy sitting on my sweater while it was drying. RIP, Spidey. (And the color below is closer to the real color than above.)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More owls!

What feels like a million years ago, I told you I'd show you the mittens I made to go with this hat. The thing is, while they were knitted and I was wearing them, I had never actually sewn on the eyes or blocked the mittens. They were just all smooshy and weird looking...but, hey, it was cold, and I had a cute hat that needed matching mittens. I was desperate. So after sewing a whole lot of buttons on my owl sweater (pictures are coming...sooner than these mittens did!), I figured I best sew on the mitten owl eyes, too. So here they are...a little dingy and fuzzy from wear, but I'm hoping and praying that these owls get to take a LONG, LONG spring/summer nap before needing to come out again. But I live in Wisconsin...so owls, I'll be seeing you next week, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Cheers to you on this Irish of Irish days. Patty is all finished, complete with her green beer. I've never knit a beer before, and I did this one without a pattern. I think it turned out pretty decent. For all you Ravelry member readers, Patty is going to need your votes starting on the 19th (I'll post a link when it's available). Fingers crossed that she's as lucky for me as a four-leaf clover!

ETA: I thought the Ravelry Irish theme voting started today, but alas it starts March 19.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hoot! Hoot!

Just a quick owl sweater update. It's KNITTED! Yay! And in record time no less. I think it took me about four days. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's currently drying at the moment and waiting for me to sew their hootin eyes (which I don't have yet). But here's a sneak peek.

Here it is...all puckery and just knitted. It sort of reminds me of the unicorn sweater I had when I was 7.

And here she is in the soapy drink getting a bird bath.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

An RAK for Kyra

I love buying patterns as RAKs because it's instant gratification--I can purchase them, download them, and send them all in a matter of minutes. Plus it's fun to see what other people plan to make. This month, I bought Kyra (on Ravelry) the Silk Corset pattern she wanted. It's just gorgeous! I might just have to buy a copy for myself. So many things to knit...so little time.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Big Fat Carrot

You may (or may not) have noticed the decrease in posting I was doing last week and the week before. Part of that was because I wasn't feeling great...stupid cold. The other part was that I was struggling with a project and could barely see straight. I think I'm out of the woods with it now (or I'm at least on a sunnier path out of those woods). To keep me motivated, I dangled a big fat carrot in front of me...in this case, yarn. I came across the cutest ever adult owl sweater pattern. As soon as I saw this, I wanted...no, needed!...to make this. My reward was getting to buy yarn with the sole purpose of knitting this lovely. Once the baby blanket is finished (another reason for a big carrot), this sweater is going on my needles...and then onto me.

My soon-to-be "hooters" sweater! =)

I was going to do a neutral color such as tan or grey, but it was 54 degrees out and sunny and wonderful when I went to the yarn shop. Spring took a hold of my soul, and I walked out instead with the most wonderful Cascade yarn in Baby Rose. Me likey a lot!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Baby Blanket for Julie

A while ago I mentioned that a bunch of friends/co-workers are having babies. There is a group of us at work who usually knit up blankets for our friend's new babies. Well, with layoffs, the knitting group is down to four people, which happens to be the exact number of co-workers having babies. Instead of passing a blanket around and worrying about gauge and seaming, we decided to each do one blanket on our own, but still present them from the group. Originally I was supposed to do Shelley's blanket (she's having a boy, code name "Moose," in August). However, the baby shower for Julie is happening at the end of this month and I said I'd swap with Judith since I had nothing on my needles at the moment. I started this blanket two days ago, and as you can see, it's coming along quite quickly. (Actually, it's much bigger than it looks, but the circular needles are pulling it in). I have about four more color stripes to do, and than I can start binding off. We don't know if Julie is having a boy or girl, hence the neutral colors.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Lovely Lolly Giveaway

Little Miss Lolly Chops is giving away this super cute felt topiary over on her blog. She also gives instructions on how to make your own. Head on over to enter by March 12, and tell her I said Hi! Good luck!

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Friday, March 6, 2009

A Patty Update

I couldn't wait until St. Patty's Day to unveil Miss Patty. However, I'm planning to add a little knit beer to her hand and take some better pictures, so this is really only a sneak peek. I knit her body, dress, and shoes. Her hair and eyes are made from felt and then sewn on. And her lips and the shamrock on her dress were done by needle felting. I think she turned out pretty cute. Although she looks a little like she belongs in the Jim Henson family. Hmm...

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fun Things Around My Home

I've acquired a few little goodies in the past few days so I thought I'd share.

These lil' owls were given to me yesterday from my pal Barbara. They're salt and pepper shakers...but they're true intention was to cheer me up. They did just that. Thanks, B!

I got these cool drawer pulls at Anthropologie (on super sale!). I'm planning on using them as curtain tie backs. (To come when the bedroom is done.)

I picked up the above papers and fabric tags (by Amy Butler) at Archivers this past weekend. The colors are so cheerful, and I just love the designs on the fabric tags. My pal Jess had originally given me a packet of the pink fabric tags for my b-day, and I envisioned sewing them onto something cool, which then made me think I needed more. I found a bunch on clearance, which equals "mine." I have a craft idea for the paper, but I don't know quite yet if it's going to work. More to come.

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