Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crocodile Stitch Cushion

I recently finished this little cushion.  My favorite color!  I found the bamboo yarn on sale at a discount store and knew right away what I wanted to do with it.  I love how it turned out.

The crocodile stitch isn't difficult, but I had to use extra brain cells at the beginning and end of each row to keep the alternating "scales" even. 

You can find the instructions here.  I had so much fun making the pattern that I did it for both the front and back.  It would be a lot quicker to do it just on one side like the original instructions.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Back on Track

I've been sick this past week.  So sick I could hardly move.  So sick my eye sockets hurt.  Worst flu I've had in years.

But before I crashed, I did manage to keep up with my decluttering challenge.  In fact, I'm ahead of the game as far as number of bags out the door.

Here is the linen closet before and after.   Lots of old unused items needed to go.

The big drawer full of plastic containers got cleared out.  How do we end up with so many tops without bottoms and vice versa?

Even the scratching posts for the cats got a makeover.  Just took a little fresh twine. 

Junk drawer is junky no more!  Now to train the family members not to throw everything in there.

And finally, I was able to clear out the random junk that had accumulated in the bottom two shelves of this cupboard.  Gave me enough room to store my larger quilts.  I'm so happy with this, I could just sit and stare at this cupboard.

Now on to the next project.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days
Have you heard about this project?  The goal is to spend the season of Lent going through the house and clearing out 40 bags worth of unneeded "stuff."  The project is hosted by Anne Marie Heasley at White House Black Shutters.  Never too late to join in.  There's a fun supportive facebook group and lots of inspiring Instagram photos of people's projects.

I started making a list of stuff and think I'll have no trouble, even though I keep things pretty neat.  There are definitely some closets that need excavation, and the garage has boxes full of randomness that I can't even remember.

Yesterday I started with an easy task.  The corner lazy susan units in my kitchen.  Not terrible, but between empty boxes, stale opened crackers, and stuff nobody was likely to eat, there was an easy bag full of garbage.  Other spots in the house will probably not be so easy.

Ironically, one type of trash I'm holding onto this year is my collection of thread ends called orts.  Here is my jar for my monthly ort report.  Lots of needlepoint this month but it still doesn't seem to be piling up very fast.

Feeling a little cleaner today.  How's your week going?

Friday, February 28, 2014

February Small Stitchalong done

Here is the ornament I stitched for the Smalls Stitchalong at Stitching Lotus.  Closer to Christmas I will decide who gets this one and personalize a backing for it and make it into an ornament.

The pattern is from a very old book I have.  The fabric is some leftover in my stash that I've decided I don't like very much.

In a fit of combined housecleaning and creativity this week I made this upcycled cat bed from an old sweater.

As you can see, Dumbledore is very cozy there.  In fact he doesn't ever leave his new nest.  You can find the directions at Aunt Peaches.  Very simple and quick to make.  The only change I made was to sew the sleeves together (she left a pocket for a heating pad) and I put a little batting in the base for some extra warmth.

At last we have some rain!  I can practically hear my garden slurping it up.  I hope it lasts a while and helps us catch up.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

If you show your daughter you like Alice in Wonderland...

If you show your daughter you like Alice in Wonderland, she might grow up thinking it's fun to read fairy tales.

If she thinks it's fun to read fairy tales she might develop an active imagination.

If she develops an active imagination she might love going to Disneyland with you.

If she loves going to Disneyland with you she might meet Alice in Wonderland.

If she meets Alice in Wonderland, she might realize that Alice can live and breathe outside of her story.

If she realizes that Alice can live and breathe outside of her story, she might start to think up new stories about Alice.

If she starts to think up new stories about Alice, she might write them down.

And if her nickname happens to be Drama Girl, she might write those stories down in the form of a play, which becomes the school play, which she gets to direct.

And then you get to show your daughter all over again how much you like Alice in Wonderland.

I am so excited about this.  Drama Girl and a friend have written a play called "Wonderland."  I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but everyone who has read it is absolutely crazy about it.  Her brother and sister even auditioned and got parts because they were so excited about the script.

So this spring is all about Alice, in addition to all the excitement about college admissions.  I can't think of a more wonderful way to end her high school days.

[I couldn't find a picture of Drama Girl and Alice at Disneyland, so the photo at the top features a very small Wasabi Girl in pink watching Alice back in 2003]

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Needlepoint Santa Progress

It's not snowing here but it's dull weather nevertheless.  The kind of weather that makes me appreciate tea and slipper socks and curling up with needlepoint.  This project is still in rotation and I've picked it up again.  It's nice to work with wool - it feels so good and is very different from working with floss or quilting. 

Needlepoint is just ridiculously slow.  I still need to do all the details on Santa's face and the directions are tiny and a bit confusing.  So I'm saving that for later.  I'll make this into a pillow when I'm done. 

All the kids are at school, even though it's late afternoon.  Drama Girl and a friend have written the school play for this year and today is callbacks.  In a surprising move, both Jungle Boy and Wasabi Girl auditioned for parts.  This may lead to an interesting family dynamic since Drama Girl is also the director.

I've been reading a book about introverts.  I've always known that I  am one, but there's really a lot about it that I never understood before.  Wish I'd known all this years ago.  Would have saved me a lot of self-doubt and misery.  It's an extrovert world out there, and some of us really struggle to live in it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Finally: That Fat Envelope from Hogwarts

Drama Girl is away at Outdoor School this week, leading a cabin of 5th graders as they explore nature. I think they've had a lot of rain to deal with.

Meanwhile another college acceptance envelope has come.  I couldn't help but smile at the picture they included in the corner.  It looks like a castle.   Do you suppose that's a picture of the owlery?

And now you've seen her mail before she has, but I think I haven't revealed too much about where it is.

It's not from Hogwarts - but it's the next best thing.

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