Monday, December 26, 2005

'tis the season

Every year I try to make something for my Mom at Christmas. I wish I could make all of my gifts, but I think my Mom is the only person who doesn't tire of my handmade efforts (though she has quite a collection of dolls and cushions by now!) This doll was inspired by a previous entry; my Mom mentioned the mom-and-baby duo a few times so I thought trying another would be a safe bet. I knit the baby's blanket and used a linen for her dress that is almost the exact colour of my Mom's living room.

Now that my gifts and projects are out of the way I don't know what to do next. So many options and two weeks away from work. Knitting? Sewing clothes? Starting a new idea? Hmmm...

Monday, December 19, 2005

who's that girl?

Every so often, the camera captures a Sadie I don't know yet; a more demure, more independent little girl that has waved goodbye to babyhood. This is one of those moments from the future even though at the time she was a true toddler making an awful mess of my closet, emptying a box of breast pads and tossing sweaters over her shoulder (you can catch a glimpse of me trying to sew in the background...this is how chaos begins!) I hold on to every moment now because at 14 months Sadie is the most charming creature I've ever known, and I won't apologize for the cliche. I fall in love with her every weekend, especially when I take an extra day off. Tomorrow morning's reality of heading to work will be that much harder, but I'll just have to rush home at 5pm to catch my baby before these little glimpses become the norm.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

bouncing bundlies

Four more Bundlies have been added to the shop!

And for those of you who live south of my border, Hilary of Wee Wonderfuls is selling her great "Christmasbot" postcards for a total steal. I received mine recently and they rock!

Next up for me, a special Christmas gift for my Mom. And it'll be a secret until Christmas since she reads my blog religiously, but I promise to post the photo afterwards.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

sale synopsis

I had great intentions of taking photos before the sale, but somehow we were setting up until the first person arrived, so these are the only reasonable photos I got! The cushions up top were a last minute idea to use up more of my wool blankets, the second photo is one of our shelves filled with goodies and the last photo shows Jay's pieces all on one wall. The blue and red pieces are rubber doll parts placed to look like butterflies (ears) or flocks or birds (noses). Luckily two were left because I just couldn't part with them! The sale was a great success though I'm relieved it's over. Last night I actually started a knitting project for myself - I'm using Louisa Harding angora wool to make a simple garter stitch scarf, what a treat.

I've started a wee shop for my wool creations, so come on over and visit . . . a few Bundlies are hanging out there.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

better from the back

First - a photo to explain what I have been doing these past two weeks. I may be totally sick of little wool bits by Saturday, but at least there will be many bundlies and softies for sale. If anyone is in the Toronto area the cider will be warm and the uniques gifts plentiful!

The new creative dilemma I've hit is this: while embroidering my own "birdbabies" for cushions I have fallen in love with the backside of the embroidery. This happens to me often, I generally like quilts from the back with all the threads hanging loose and the seams fraying (I'm a deconstructionist at heart.) I will finish these pillows as they should be, but I think in the new year I'm going to work with this usually ignored side. Once the sale is over it's on to less functional diversions to give my brain a shake-up. I have attached one of the birds, front and back - anyone else smitten with the back?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

my lady sadie

Last night I went out for a few hours to a dinner party - without Sadie. All her baby friends were there, walking and playing and eating, but she was at home recovering from an ear infection. I hit a point when I actually ached for her, and I had to leave. It's the feeling that you can't put into words but that envelops your whole body every so often. Part scary, part wonderful - and only relieved by scooping up your sweet little girl as soon as you can.

In this new mom world, Scarbiedoll says it best, hands down.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Now there's no going back - the sale is official. If you are in the Toronto area on December 3rd drop by! Besides my woolly creations, there will be ornaments and wall candy from Jay, hairpins by Candlelight, aprons and hats by my Mom and homemade jams from Brooks Farms.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

buddy system

Here are two friends that are hoping to be adopted out during our holiday sale. We haven't really figured out what to do with Sadie that day, but production is in full swing. I have never been so clean during a making bonanza, though now even a wayward pin could spell disaster for curious Sadie. Did I mention that she's eaten cat food off the floor?

Bad, bad mom.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

denim diversion

I've taken a break from little creatures to work on bags. Even though I got great feedback and suggestions for the wool birds on denim, I just couldn't make them work for me. A friend asked for two patchwork photo albums and working on them inspired me to use silks again - which then seemed to work well with black denim. I'm much happier with these. I guess I just needed a break from using wool . . . as blasphemous as that sounds!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

knit birdies

A new little flock for my growing zoo. These guys are the best in portable projects - I knit one every morning when Jay and Sadie drive me to work. Jay talks about sports, Sadie chirps in the backseat and a colourful bird takes shape in my hands. Is there any better way to start the work day?

And thank you for all your wonderful comments about the bundlies, with so much encouragement I think I'll keep making more!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

wool bundlies

More finished softies - this time little babes in snowsuits . . . at least that's what I meant them to be. I hope they work as Christmas tree ornaments. Next up, tiny knitted birds if I can figure out a pattern. I think I'll use the mice from Lyn's post as inspiration!

Friday, October 07, 2005

long lost legs

Sadie is officially one year old. Last night at 11:55 I remembered back to one year ago, meeting my little sweetheart in her first moments of life. Tomorrow the grandparents are coming over for a birthday celebration and I'm sure there will be a cake-all-over-the-baby photo to show, but for now I'm posting one of my favourite Sadie sights. Unfortunately these legs are disappearing as she cruises around furniture for hours at a time, but they were an absolute hallmark of her first year. They solicited many comments and squeezes from strangers and were the inspiration for our family diaper change jingle:

Teeny, tiny feet
And itsy, bitsy knees,
And big, big, big, big thighs.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

bag lady

We are crazy. Not only do we have a one-year old, two cats, a messy home and a brand new schedule of Mommy working full time, but now Jay and I have decided to host a sale in our house just in time for the holiday season. Of course it will be fun . . . as long as we can figure out how to make enough stuff by the first of December. So here is one prototype in the "bag" category - anyone think this is going somewhere? Should there only have been one bird?

Monday, September 19, 2005

brave Sadie, sad Mom

I officially work full-time now. Sadie has adjusted to life without me marvellously. . . but I'm another story entirely. Sure, a happy, curious close-to-one-year-old is exactly what I wished for, but my heart would feel a wee bit better if she lit up when I walk through the door after nine gruelling hours of seperation.

Sigh. I'm sure I'll get over it in time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

woolly flock

A little flock of birds to add to my growing animal collection. Now that I'm back to work I need projects that can be done sitting in front of the TV or when Sadie is reading a book to herself (now whenever she holds a book she starts emitting gibberish - I love it!) There are still more bird bodies just waiting for spindly legs, but tonight I'm taking a break.

As a small reward for returning to work I purchased a piece from a local artist, Kristinna Lahde, who turned a simple bank envelope into a lacey, fabric-like treasure under glass. Here is a great review of a much older exhibition, but I love the dress shirt piece pictured, and the essay is well written. I haven't been inspired by a gallery show in a long, long time and I must say - it was tremendously refreshing.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

serger pangs

It took much less time to make these two buddies than to deal with my broken serger. After the denim slipcover project my serger QUIT (really, can I blame it?) So, off to a repairman. There are no pleasant words for the first *@!!# gentleman I took it to - after a sketchy hand-off, the situation got worse and worse and eventually I got my machine back put together so poorly that it would have cost me $250 just to put it back together properly! I had no choice but to get a new machine, right? At this very moment I have a new Kenmore 81595 serger in a box, at my feet, waiting to be played with. Worrying that my own lack of serger care caused the problem in the first place, my sewing machine is now getting a tune-up too. Better luck this time?

Friday, August 26, 2005

mild west

She may not be too wild, but she is a western girl. Finally I finished this ragdoll for Month of Softies, and although Sadie isn't too interested I think she's a pretty sassy doll to have. Part Raggedy Anne, part Holly Hobbie, her western roots are courtesy a vintage bandana and must-have-denim. And now I'm on to other things . . .

Sunday, August 21, 2005

ignoring tomorrow

I start back at work tomorrow (insert lofty sigh here). I feel quite anxious about it, so I'm hanging out on the internet checking some great links while Sadie naps. Big thanks to Craftlog for sending me here - I think I'm going to order some of Susie's postcards as a treat to myself (I think I could really use some treats today . . . at the very least, going back to work means having more money!) And next, I just adore the photo on this page, the cat is so delicate and precious. I fear that I might get hooked on Japanese crafting too, there is just something so sweet and orderly about the designs I have seen so far. Then finally, if money fell from the sky, I would treat Sadie to one of everything from anne-claire petit. If you visit, keep scrolling to the right because it's a deceptively large collection. I especially love the crochet dot cardigan and shoes, which reminds me that I should make Sadie something with polka dots. Now I better go iron some work clothes . . . sniffle, sniffle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

bird babies

There is a series of illustrations of half bird, half baby creatures that I just adore. I don't know how old they are, but I do know that they are a wonderful blend of creepy and sincere. This is the second cushion I've made from them. Embroidery is a great car pasttime for me, and I just use a chain stitch for the whole image, which might label me as lazy in the embroidery world. Next up - a western ragdoll for Month of Softies! My mom - who just started her own blog - sent me a photo of a ragdoll I made her years ago and it was just the reminder I needed to get started. Do you ever look back and realize you had no reservations when you were young? Geez, I would make anything, and I wish I could recapture that sense of abandon now.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

slipcover silliness

This is what you'd call a BORING photo. But I'm posting it to show that I haven't gotten lazy, I've just been working on a monolithic slipcover for our sofa. Somehow I thought I could sew this last summer - in my third trimester!!? - so that our sofa would be complete when baby came. Yeah right, as if my beluga body could have worked this out. As I write, the slipcover is in the wash and soon our sofa will be one big sea of black denim. And then I steer clear of slipcovers for at least another year.

I'm itching to get back to more wool work. I was working on some ornaments when my workspace had to move for the third time this year. Now I'm set up in our bedroom, for better or worse. Sadie has really figured out how to move her 20 pounds around, so scissors and pins became an issue, especially since I have a habit of dropping both. And now I need to finish up a couple of skirts for my impending return to work. My new, probably unattainable goal, is to be as productive as mollychicken (who is wonderfully creative even when her kids are home on holidays!) Umm, is that a dare I've just given myself?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

somebody loves grass

I feel like such a terrible mom. Here is Sadie, 10 months to the day, and it's her first time sitting in lush green grass. Ahh, the urban life leaves a little bit to be desired. Sadie was so excited when we plunked her down that clapping became her favourite activity. Needless to say, we had a wonderful visit in the country with absolutely wonderful friends. If I were them, I don't think I'd ever make it back to the city!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

pin safely

I was so inspired by the pincushions at Wee Wonderfuls (there's even more in the "Zakka" category) that I spent yesterday making more than I need! What a great way to use heavy wool, and since I'm always sticking myself with pins I figure the safety message is clearly appropriate. As a crafting plus, they were easy to work on while Sadie shimmied across the floor (it's almost a crawl, but not quite.) Now what to work on today?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

sock monkey mania

Here is my Month of Softies submission - a sock monkey made from real socks! He was quite fun to make, but perhaps he is too plain? There are some great monkeys already submitted (like this one) and I'm sure more will appear in the next few days.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

time travel

A fleeting moment - Sadie only a day old and so frighteningly fragile. I look over at her now, bouncing in her plastic car, and I can hardly believe this is how she (we) started. We've come a long, long way since then.

Of course I'm mourning the days that have passed, as every mother does and as every mother warned me I would. I start work again in one month, forcing a new direction in our relationship. How I'll miss spending every single minute with her, my happy little companion. A first of many separations, but like this photo, it's usually the first that smarts the most.

Monday, July 18, 2005

red hot

If I can handle the disgusting heat outside, this little guy is taking a trip to Winnipeg courtesy of Canada Post and an outrageously taped cardboard box. His destination: the hands of a very dear friend who loves the colour red. He travels with a unique companion - a very embellished and very cherished painting that this dear friend created years ago. I've been its' happy babysitter, but our time together has come to an end. Keep the painting safe little red guy. And say hello to Kristen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

the second of many sadies

A little bit of Sadie again, from a hot summer night here in Toronto. Jay dislocated his shoulder, twice, so my "making" hours are significantly reduced . . . well, except for fashioning a sling for the injured guy. But now that the ironing board is out I think I'll make Sadie a sundress for this overwhelming heat. Who needs to sleep anyway?

Monday, July 11, 2005

braids are best

The greatest part about having this blog is: I feel obligated to keep making new things. Obligated may sound negative, but it travels a tight path with inspiration and it works for me. As for this doll, she's been hanging around my worktable waiting to go to a very special person - my midwife for Sadie's birth. I can't put into words how thankful I am to have met Jen. I would not have made it through labour and Sadie's first few weeks if not for Jen's gentle reassurances, her perfectly timed information and her wonderfully striped socks. The only thing I could do was create a doll especially for her as a small attempt to thank her for helping us bring Sadie into the world.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

monkey parade

I've been trying to make the perfect monkey for a while now, but he is terribly elusive. Here are a few of his wonky relatives. How perfect that July's Month of Softies theme is sock monkeys - though I'll actually use socks this time. Hmmm, maybe that's the problem with these woolly guys?

And speaking of monkey parades, I thought I'd describe my own little family unit. There is Sadie, my little girl who is 9 months old today and whose adorable face is a few photos below. Then there is her crazy daddy Jay, who spends his days chewing for this until he becomes Sadie's caregiver full time when I go back to work this fall (of course, he won't stop playing with gum . . . he'll just have to wait for Sadie to be asleep!) And finally two cats, Ellie and GlenMiller, who make knitting and sewing a challenge now that my "workspace" is a tiny corner in the living room. That's it, or should I say that's US.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

early bird wears a sweater

There's nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning at 5:47 am. I would have cheered for Sadie considering she slept 7 hours straight, but 5:47 am is not a time for cheering. That's the downside to the handful of times Sadie has "slept through the night" - she wakes up at an ungodly hour and somehow we have to start the day. At least she took a 2 1/2 hour nap, which all three of us indulged in.

I thought I should post an example of my knitting. I took a knitting class about 4 years ago to learn how to knit miniature sweaters, and I think I've knit about 30 now. Yes, I'm addicted; I have no interest in knitting much else (oh sure, I've tried, but what is more rewarding than a sweater you can have done in an hour?) At this point it's a modified version of a teddy bear sweater from this hard-to-find pattern book and I have no problem making it over and over and over again. Maybe Sadie will make it worth trying something from here?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

downtime and butterflies

Wow, all you need is an interruption in your internet service to remind you that without it, you can get a lot done. Yesterday I got a coat of paint up, filled the garden with more plants courtesy of Rona's 50% off sale, worked on a bunny pattern and went down to Harbourfront for some great music and atmosphere. My apologies to Ragdoll for my delay at trying out links! We had a wonderful visit on Friday before the street construction knocked Sympatico sideways. I think the message all round was - share your time with good friends and split your time more evenly doing the things you love.

Also, here is the first "craft" image. Thanks to a few good blogs, I was inspired to submit a softie into this. The theme was June Bugs, and since Sadie loves the final page of A Very Hungry Caterpillar I thought a butterfly was appropriate. And thanks to Ragdoll, I've been reading again. I read the first two chapters of this to Sadie and I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it, if squeals are any indication.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the first of many sadies

It seems that small changes to the template have become more important than posting - and it's only day three. So screw design details, today is for adding an image . . . and I have the PERFECT subject.

Monday, June 27, 2005

the end

Perhaps this is the best place to begin?