Today I'm making sugar cookies and I thought that the food coloring bottles looked a lot like little gnomes. Check out the tops - they look just like tiny gnome hats don't you think?
I was a little shocked to hear those exact words coming out of my mouth... but I confess I did it. Mark's iTunes was playing a random list of songs and when "She Wants To Dance With Me" came on I knew the only thing that would satisfy me would be to hear "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Is that too much information for you? Are you disappointed in me or thrilled to find another 80's music kindred spirit? More importantly, will Mark be mortified that I told the world he has Rick Astley in his iTunes library? In my defense I was putting away groceries and the cold blasts of air from the freezer probably shocked my system too much and briefly clouded my judgment.
To make up for putting one (or possibly both) of those songs into your head I'll give you some cute ornament pictures from my Christmas tree. Can any of you figure out what instrument the last ornament is holding? Is it an accordion, a hand-held keyboard, a pan flute?
p.s. We've moved on to Echo and the Bunnymen if anyone wants to know.
Ruthie's House Before
Ruthie's House After
For more views click here.
To make Ruthie's house I got a plain cardboard house from the craft store. (They come in three or four different sizes and range in price from about 1.99 to 5.99 each.) I covered it in several different patterned papers - most of which I had left over from a few years ago. To finish it I'll fill it with some fun items, perfect for a three-year-old, and add a big red bow.
I made houses like this one for my nieces a few years ago. (Complete with the little gifts tucked inside and the big red bows on top.) It was so fun to watch their faces when they found them sitting under the tree. They immediately recognized their names on them and could peek through the tiny windows to see the goodies inside.
Yes, I do have a million other things that I should be doing, but this was just one of those ideas that doesn't go away until I give in and make the silly thing.
And another view...
It's your turn! Anyone else want to make an eggbot? If you do, please send me (laurie at moddots dot com) a picture or the link to your flickr image and I'll start an eggbot album!
anything else you like
Update at the bottom of this post...
It's hard to say. It's not a difficult question to answer but it isn’t an easy one either. Sometimes blogging feeds my ego – other times it makes me feel very small and insignificant. But wait that’s how I feel about blogging, not why I do it. I guess I need to take a closer look.
Blogging gave me my own space. (Okay, blogging and my dear husband.) I have my own little studio just off the kitchen because of blogging. After almost nine years of living in this house I finally have a space just for me - a room of my own for working, creating and lounging. I love it and I never would have done it if I hadn’t started blogging. But that isn't the only reason...
Blogging challenges me to be creative. I never became the artist that I dreamed of being when I was a little girl, but when I make something new and put a picture of it on my site I feel like one. The support, encouragement and inspiration I have received from other bloggers is astonishing, and I am enormously grateful for it.
(Click here for details about the items in this image.)
What about you? Why do you blog? Want to know why others blog? Go to Lisa’s Musings for more!
Thank you to everyone for saying such nice things about my space! For those of you asked - I do keep this area pretty neat. However, if you looked just on the other side of the book shelves you'd find my desk and that is a lot harder to keep free from clutter.
I am so obsessed with the pompon garland from Anthropologie and this wonderfully colorful version by My Paper Crane that I went to the store to buy pompons and make my own version. But when I got there I found that I couldn’t do it – I just didn't want to spend the money. This year I’m trying to decorate the house and make (almost) all of my gifts without spending a lot of money. Somehow, buying up those bags of pompons was crossing the line. So… a challenge sprung up in my mind. How could I create a pompon garland without pompons? After seeing the amazing things that Hillary did with her cotton balls I had my answer!
My home made version of imitation pompon garland uses 1 bag of 200 100% cotton balls, red food coloring and tea bags (for dying) and fishing line for stringing them all together. I used three different teas: Blueberry Green Tea (lavender), Chamomile Lemon (tan/yellow-ish) and Prince of Whales (medium/dark brown). I soaked each batch for about 20-30 minutes to get as much color as possible. The last batch didn’t absorb as much first three or four – maybe the color was diluted after so many batches or it could have been because the water had gotten cold? I only dyed half of the cotton balls, then I soaked the remainder in plain water and form them into balls to dry.
Here they are on the drying rack after I’ve squeezed out the water and rolled them into balls.
I have to confess that I was impatient and put them into a low temp oven to dry faster. I think that resulted in the caramel corn-like effect with the dye (somewhat visible in the picture at the top). I also strung some of them before they were 100% dry and that made getting the needle through a million times harder. Thank goodness for my thimble! They puffed up a little more once they were completely dry. I think you could roll them into even smaller balls and they might come out smaller – but the look is very cotton candy and I love it at night!
I have a very small tree - Mark and I both love Charlie Brown trees. The garland covers about 2/3 of my tree so if you wanted to do this and cover a larger tree I'd use two bags of cotton balls. I'd also use larger bowls next time so that I could dye more in each batch. And finally... here is a picture of my little bird – so far the only other ornament on the tree.
My niece Ella turns 1 this week and I wanted to make something special for her. The packaging for her gift is a drawstring bag made from two different vintage fabrics (front & back panels) and a sweet little floral flannel fabric that I picked up in Dallas.
Here's the other side.
We've been enjoying a nice cold spell here (nice for me at least) so I decided to knit her up a little baby scarf. I picked out some lovely blue/aqua yarn to match her eyes and made up my own simple scarf pattern. After I added vintage pompons at each end and made the bag to put it into, I decided that it was missing something. Even though Ella’s scarf is only the second thing I've ever knitted - I knew that the gift wouldn't be complete without a little coordinating hat. I found a free pattern online and adapted it to baby-size hat. What in the world made me think that I could make my own pattern when I barely even know how to follow someone else’s? Fortunately that thought never crossed my mind. I knew that I could "see" it in my mind and that's usually a good sign for me when I'm creating something.
The scarf is 3" wide by 35" long. The hat is 6" tall by 7 1/2" wide (laying flat) and it just fit her little head. Phew!
Here's a closeup of the scarf and pompons.
And one of the little fabric covered gift tag.
I'm in the middle of a Christmas crush - trying to make sure that eveything gets done. Every available countertop, table or otherwise unused space in my house is filled with fabric, paper, yarn and any other crafty supply I can find. As usual I have about a thousand ideas and plans. The only way I could possibly complete it all is if I'd started last Christmas. Fourtunately, I am notoriously easy on myself when it comes to not meeting my deadlines. :)
Tonight I'll be up late working on a gift for my niece Ella (sister of Emmy) because tomorrow is her 1st birthday party! I'll have pictures of what I made for her a little later in the day tomorrow - you're invited to stop by here if you're curious!
Last night I went to a small party of friends where we exchanged $5 white elephant gifts. Usually the kind of pressure that finding a gift for one of these things causes me is pretty bad. I can never come up with anything good and always resort to looking in the candle aisle. Ahh… but not this time! I had a tiny brainstorm when I found these really inexpensive knitting needles and some yarn that looked quite nice. I snapped them up and to complete the gift I made a larger version of the puppy pouch as a knitting bag to hold everything. I used fabric from my own stash, added some basic knitting instructions printed off of the Internet and made a "Super Easy Scarf Pattern" to put into the bag. I even cast on and knitted a few rows of the scarf - so that the recipient could jump right in and start!
Drawstring bag 14" x 15"
Knitting bag side a
Knitting bag side b
I was so pleased with how the bag turned out and my friend Chara, who chose the gift, already knew how to knit and had nearly two feet done before we left the party!
This next bag was for my friend Jenny (who also hosted the party last minute because poor Katheryn got sick). About six months ago I designed some mod-inspired return address labels for her - but I never remembered to print them out and give them to her. So I printed them out and put them into this drawstring bag made with some mod fabric that I think came from a swap with Katey.
Drawstring bag 8 3/4" x 13"
It was so nice to see my friends - everyone is so busy these days that we have to plan ahead and don't get to see each other as often as we used to. Plus, I've finally finished two successful projects - something that I'd almost given up on these days! Maybe now I'll have the courage tackle the Christmas decorating in my poor ornament-less house.
I've gone from one dismal project (the failed ornament attempt) to another. Here is my latest softie sans head. Yep, there is no head on this poor horse because I just didn't like how the head turned out. Therefore, I refuse to photograph it with a head... yet. This weekend I will be going back to the drawing board and designing a nice new head for him (or her) that I do like. Then maybe I'll have something less gruesome to show you. :D