Thursday, January 20, 2022

I Like #241

 Welcome to another week of things to like! 

It's been a bit brown and dreary here lately and quite cold going into this upcoming weekend.  But there are still lots of things to like.

I started working on a new quilt.  It's going to feature box elder bugs and I'm really excited.  Their legs are really finicky, but I'm having fun.

I made a new cannoli-inspired pound cake this week.  The recipe had chocolate chips, lemon and orange peel, and ricotta cheese.  It tasted good, but I don't think the baking instructions are quite right, I followed them closely and the outside was overdone tough and almost burnt while the middle was still way undercooked.

I made a few little doodahs this weekend to donate to the Fiber Arts Fiesta in Albuquerque.  SAQA NM is one of the participating groups and members make little items for their fundraising booth.  People buy the items for a 5$ donation to whatever charity the Fiesta is supporting that year.  This year I believe it's one of the big food banks.  I made three of these little keychain/card cases to send in.  It was a fun little project.

I used to hang my scissors from nails at the end of my work bench, but once the kids got big enough to reach them I had to take them down.  And once the kids got big enough to not harm themselves, Spooky was there to run away with them.  So after having piles of scissors and cutting implements moving around from table to table, I finally got a magnetic tool rack to hang them on.  It works great; I did buy on that was designed to go in a garage to hang tools (rather than knives) because I read a few reviews mentioning that some of the knife ones weren't quite strong enough to hold up scissors (which have less surface area to attach than knives.  Anyway, it's really great.

The pups are all good.  Spooky never wants me to focus at my desk....

And finally I blogged about this year's Christmas crafts!  Click here to see more about that.

Hope you guys are having a good week! Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Christmas Crafts for 2021

 I know we're so far beyond Christmas now that everyone is already looking forward to spring, but I was so behind on 2021 blog posts I had to get those up before the Christmas ones.  So here we are!

This was a bit less crafty Christmas than previous years, but I still did my handmade ornaments and a few small knit projects.

The ornaments I made this year were variations on Dorset Buttons, and it was fun to try different threads, stitches, and beads.  Instead of making them button sized, I used curtain rings which made for nice-sized ornaments.  I didn't get pictures of all of them, but this is most of them.

I also made this fun felt mu ornament for my friend Brett who's a geologist.  He studies friction (among other things) for which mu is the variable.

I also love handmade ornaments by other people, and my sister made us all these beautiful wreath ornaments this year.  They're made from paracord and inspired by some knits she learned in Scouts.  So cool!

While in New Mexico, we made several ornaments with my niece and nephew.  They were kits, some given as presents this year, and some from past years, but we had lots of crafting fun!

This orange bead T-rex was another ornament craft kit my mom had, and it too was intended for the kids, but the instructions to assemble it were so terrible everyone but me gave up.  I was very excited to finish it, (if only to show I could triumph over bad instructions), and he's now ready for my tree next year.

I knitted several washcloths to give as stocking stuffers, but apparently only got pictures of these two.  They're just made from leftover scrap yarn.

While at my mom's we came across this cute cross stitch in a folder.  My mom made it after one of her trips to Alaska but never knew what to do with it.  I helped her finish/mount it in the hoop and we got it hung up!  It's great to finish small projects.

On another project front, I have very little furniture in my living room now and all the dog beds except one have been destroyed by the puppy who shall not be named (Ahem, Spooky).  My sister kindly gave me two thick giant pieces of memory foam cut from a mattress she was retiring, and they're perfect dog bed size.  While at home, I used some heavy duty ripstop nylon to cover one of them.  So far everyone likes sitting on them.  I have no illusions they'll be fully Spooky proof, but I'm hoping the covers will last a little while and I can make new covers if we can only preserve the foam.

Finally I wanted to share this great picture of my mom and one of her recently finished sweaters.  It's one she started last Christmas and is made entirely of small yarn scraps.  I love the way it turned out! Like patchwork!

Did you do any Christmas or holiday crafting this year?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

I Like #240

 Welcome to another week of things to like.

I've been really enjoying the Hamish Macbeth books by MC Beaton.  I know they're old, but I've just discovered them.  I've read a few Agatha Raisin books in the past (by the same author) but never really got hooked on them.  In contrast I've been listening straight through to book after book in the Hamish Macbeth series.

We had some beautiful sunsets this week,  I captured this one while waiting at a stop light on my way home from work.

I've been practicing quilting with my new sewing machine some this week, and quilted up a couple of baby quilts for practice.  

Spooky and Blue keep trying to pile up on top of me in the comfy chair-  I think they miss having a couch where we can snuggle.  In any case the chair really isn't big enough for all three of us...

I published my 2021 wrap-up post this week (read it here) and shared about one of my last knitting finishes for 2021 (here).  It felt good to catch up a little on blogging.

I've been having lots of dog snuggles and a little sewing, I hope you are all having good weeks!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

2021 Wrap-up

 2021 was a hard year in a lot of respects and that manifest clearly in my art quilting output.  I made the fewest number of quilts this year in many years, and the fewest number of blog posts.  While the number of quilts I make isn't a particularly important metric for me, I also spent more months not working on any art than in years past.

It's the first year in a while I haven't made a piece for my liturgical series, and between being ovewhelmed at work and other outside obligations and life chaos, I just didn't create as much.  

My goal for 2022 is not necessarily to make more, but to hopefully just spend more time working on things (like my art quilts) that are positives in my life, rather than running around constantly feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and negative.  My goal for 2022, articulated by LeeAnna, but resonating so much with me I decided to adopt it, is to promote goodness.  I feel in need of an attitude adjustment, of reframing to not necessarily always see the bright side, but to work toward something good.  I'll try! 

Now on to a quick summary of 2021 creations:



The Armadillo and the Cow

AH 107: Range Grasses


Solar Flare

I also made three small art quilts for the SAQA auction, spotlight auction, and trunk show:

Bright forest

Andropogon Scoparius

Gourds #4

I didn't do as many small projects in 2021 either, no fancy bags or embroidery projects.  I did make one bag to hold knitting which featured a couple of smaller embroideries:

I did have a few knitting finishes, it felt like a year when I was able to knit even when I wasn't able to quilt.

Green socks

Pink socks (these are the ones Spooky ate)

Truffle Shawl

Ruffle socks (I love these- I'm going to have to make some more).

Knit hoodie

Here's to a good 2022!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Knit Hoodie: Finished knit

 In preparing my 2021 wrap-up post (going up on Wednesday) I realized I never blogged about one of my big knitting finishes of 2021.  I spent many months knitting it so I'm glad to finally get to share it with you.  I finished it shortly before Thanksgiving and it has been a regular part of my winter wardrobe since then.

The pattern is the Hoodie Shawl Cardigan .  I picked it because I wanted a fingering weight cardigan, something not too heavy and easy to get on and off.  I loved the way it was constructed, beginning with a triangular shawl and then picked up with short rows.  The whole thing was pretty easy, though with fingering weight yarn I did feel like it would never end on some days!!  

I'm pleased with the fit- it fits much better than some past sweaters (all error on my part rather than patterns).  The colors are pretty fun too- the purple/yellow/green is a bit unusual and lots of fun.

Alas, while wearing it I got asked by the rental car guy whether I was going to an ugly sweater party, but I guess my taste just isn't for everyone!!