Friday, March 30, 2007

Home again, home again.

Hello internet!
We have returned from the great white Europe. We had a great time with Harv's parents. We started off in Munich, then went to Slovenia (where John I, Harv's great grandpa came from), met some Hrvatins (the original spelling of Harvatine), then spent a couple of days in Salzburg. A good time was had by all. Of course we have many many pictures to share, including fun things that only a crafter could love, but those will take some doing to sort through and get on Flickr. Don't worry though...soon, very soon.
In the meantime, I had two wonderful treats waiting for me when I returned home the other night! First was this,
the purchase I finally made using the ReproDepot gift certificate my parents gave me for Christmas. I was waiting for the right fabric to come around and boy was it worth it! The second treat was my Wee Wonderfuls Big-Footed Bunny pattern book! Hooray.
I was just now sitting here perusing the BFB photo group on Flickr and decided that enough's enough, I've been home a day and a half, it's about time I made a bunny. After all, my sister Leigh is coming to visit next weekend...we've got to Easter up the joint!
This is the perfect project for this fun fabric:
I don't really like holiday themed fabrics and I am pretty sure that this is not supposed to be an Easter print but the little ovals look so much like eggs that it prevents me from using it for anything non-Easter related. As I was writing that I remembered that I also purchased this little gem:
Definitely Easter themed yet still acceptable to me. Two bunnies it is, then!
Well, we've still got another month before we go back to work and I plan to craft/blog it up until then. Happy spring everyone, I am glad to be back and see you all again!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

See You Soon!

Well internet, we're off. Harv and I are going to Europe with his parents for about a week and a half. Oh, how I will miss you!
His and Hers passport pockets
I'm leaving you with these nerdy his and hers passport holders that I made for Harv and I. Don't worry, we'll wear these under our shirts.
See you soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Quick Quickie

Feeling slightly pooped on this, a brilliant (I think) quilt design popped into my head.
I loved this brilliant little trickie and am putting it to use.
So I cut out some circles (note never-before-used 8 year-old circle cutter),
picked out some fabric,
got meself some foil
and voila! A quilt in the making!
This is not the decided upon layout, just a hint of what's to come. You know what else is to come? A lot of hand sewing. Yeeps!
Oh, and one last thing:
Has your heart not burst? are a cold cold person.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A reason to get out of bed.

As you may or may not know, Harv and I are both stop-motion animators. You could say that we are currently unemployed or you could say what we say which is "we are on hiatus." This is true. We finished "Moral Orel" season 2 at the beginning of February and are going back to work on "Robot Chicken" season three at the end of April.
This is a long break. Harv gets a little antsy, not making money but we are good savers and I always remind him how lucky we are to have this time off. I don't think that there are many people our age who have the luxury of taking all of this time to do whatever we want, together no less! I am extremely grateful to have the freedom to work on anything that my little heart desires all day if I want to!
That being said, it is easy to get into little ruts when you don't have any structure in your day. Certain things tend to squash my motivation and productivity. For example, mess. I am not a neat person and mess is an inevitable byproduct of my crafting. It doesn't bother me at first but the larger the mess grows the less I am motivated to craft and the less space there is for me to craft even if I were motivated. Here is a good visual aid to help you grasp this concept. There are times when I need something really great to inspire me, make me clean up the mess or at least work on something in the other room.
This morning at about 9:15, me and Lilly were still in bed when Harv came in with a great big box. I gasped, "Is that for me?!" It was.
I have been rippling away here without nearly enough colors (note the repetition!), waiting with baited breath for this order to arrive. What more do you need to make you leap out of bed than a box full of happy colored wool from Knit Picks? Not much...not much.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Someday I'll finish posting Christmas gifts

Here at long last is the quilt I made for my mother for Christmas!
It is Denyse Schmidt's Flock of Triangles from "Denyse Schmidt Quilts". It has mistakes. A lot of them. I had a really hard time piecing the triangles so that their tips wouldn't get cut off when I sewed the rows together. I also (gulp) didn't use a walking foot when I quilted it. I know I know! You have to use a walking foot! Well, I thought I could get away with it. Well, I was wrong and this quilt proved it.I feel bad because my technique has improved since I made this quilt and if I were to make it today it would be far superior. I realised that my mom is the recipient of these types of handmade gifts more often than anyone else I give gifts to. Gifts I have made when I have just begun a new craft but haven't quite got the hang of it yet. I wish I had a picture of the enormous fuzzy socks I knit her in college. But I think the reason for this is that she is always the first person that I want to share my new craft with. Everyone else has to wait. Besides, at the rate I am going, I foresee many more quilts in my mom's future.
Using what I have learned from the triangle quilt, I am making this zigging and zagging quilt.
The triangles are bigger than the "Flock" triangles and the fabrics are arranged to give these lovely, stripey zig-zags. I had a "duh" moment in which I figured out how to line the triangles up properly so as to remain triangles and not become trapezoids. And yes, I do have a walking foot now. The next time I make a quilt for my mom it is going to seriously kick ass.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Here is the quilt that I made for my friend's newborn baby boy. Lilly is helping.
I am really really happy with this quilt. I wish that I had come up with the design myself but alas, I did not. I was first inspired by this quilt, made by Stardust Shoes, who was inspired by 6.5 Stitches, the designer of the original. I loved this design the second I saw it.
I used a lot of flannel for this quilt. Soft for the baby. The light blue is very thin corduroy and the back is a solid piece of green flannel. I used fabric paint and my magnetic alphabet stamps to print the baby's name on cotton tape. That took many many tries. I bought extra tape and I certainly used it.
After I had settled on this design and bought all of my fabric, I noticed this post on 6.5 Sts' blog. She is a little up in arms because some unnamed blogger has been copying many of her designs without giving her credit. Hmmm... Now this did not deter me from moving forward with my plan. I had always intended to give credit where credit was due. It did kind of muddy my happy inspiration though. It also made me feel a tad foolish for making this quilt.
This is certainly something that I have thought of in the past. It is easy to feel like I should only be creating original work, that it is a waste of my time to make things from patterns or based on other people's designs. Sometimes I even think that I need to shelter myself from even looking at other people's work so that I have no choice but to be unique.
I think these are naughty feelings. I have come to realise that any creative process needs inspiration and motivation and there is such a wealth of both to be found on this wide, wide world of web. The trick is to be open to it. It is so easy to look at other people's work and have feelings of jealousy, wishing that you had come up with a certain idea or intimidation, feeling dejected because you can't imagine ever being as creative or as skilled as someone else is. Everytime I read someone else's blog, flip through pictures on flickr or talk to another crafter, I work so hard to take everything in in a positive way. I don't feel overwhelmed or jealous but inspired and energized to create something of my own. This isn't always easy but I realise how much I can gain from being positive and how much of a deterrent a negative attitude can be on a happy, productive life.
Another important thing that I have come to see is that it doesn't matter if I am not always being totally unique and original. I make what I am inspired to make. It is so preferable to be creating a loving imitation of someone else's genius than it is to sit around waiting to come up with genius of my own, creating nothing. Making things makes me happy and there is nothing better than looking up from the inspiration on my computer screen at all of the inspirational things around me, things that I have made with my own two little hands, if not all with my own little brain.
So, what am I working on now? Another copycat project!
Interestingly enough, this one is also a secondhand inspiration. I first fell in love with this blanket, made by Alicia Paulson who was inspired by Jane who made this blanket! But the inspiration train does not end here. A whole group of happy hookers and naughty knitters have formed a Ripple-Along! So you see, be like these ladies (and gents?): just make what makes you happy and be happy that you have the power to do so!
This blanket is definitely a kind of bonus project, perfect for lounging and tv watching, not necessarily my main objective. It takes a long time to churn this baby out! I will keep you updated on my slow progress though, don't you worry!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Grudge Match: Knit v. Crochet

I wanted to pass along this video I saw at Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Before I watched this, having read what was written about it being a "mockumentary" about the knitting world a la "Spinal Tap", I thought "Yep, this is really going to annoy me." Then I sighed. It is a short student film...these things rarely end well. But surprise surprise, it was really good! I was thoroughly amused and not at all annoyed!
There are three actors in the film, all playing characters that are a little bit over the top but all of their performances are spot on. My only complaint (and I am not alone in this as evidenced by comments on YouTube) is the the crocheter in the film holds up some dishclothes she has made that look suspiciously knit-like. Hmmm...attention to detail people, this counts for 50% of your grade.
In summary, I give this film four stars, a pleasant romp through knit/crochet culture.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Seriously Striking Back

Ta-da! Harv's Valentine's day gift, an Empire Strikes Back quilt, made from a bed sheet we bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.You can see more pictures, including some close-ups here.
And of course I can't let you go without a picture of the lucky recipient:
Is this too nerdy? Absolutely. But let's be honest, if you own a light saber, it doesn't really make sense to have an "Empire Strikes Back" quilt photo shoot without it. That's just silly. I will let the internet know that this was my idea, Harv is an innocent victim of my picture taking.
So now what? Another two months of hiatus = let's start another quilt! This next one is going to be really fast and simple. I bought these fabrics today to make a baby quilt for a friend's new little boy. I really really love this quilt which was inspired by this quilt (also love) and both have inspired what I am planning to do here.
I had a lot of fun picking out these fabrics. I got a lot of flannel and the blue is corduroy so it will all be nice and fun for baby to touch.