Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (at the table)

A Little Back-to-School DIY

This week I went to pick up the kids' school supplies and Target was decimated.
It was like the grasshoppers had been there but instead of eating up all of Pa Ingalls' crops they ate notebooks and folders.
The supply lists were pretty specific, down to brands of pencils and erasers and particular colors of binder dividers.
Unfortunately the Pink Pearl erasers were completely sold out, so it was Target brand on that one.
Also the supply list called for a pencil pouch that could fit into a 3 ring binder, but it had to be cloth and not plastic.
The shelf was full of plastic ones, and the only cloth one was covered with violent images, so I thought to myself - "Self, there is one thing we can make at home."
So I went to my stash and pulled out some things that I thought would make a sturdy pencil pouch.
The Elder and I went through my collection of oilcloth and vinyl-coated cotton and found a lovely rose-patterned oilcloth (which is, of course, plastic, but I'm hoping that restriction was referring to durability and not a philosophy about renewable materials) and then we began.

The first step was to cut two 8.5" x 11" pieces.
I set one aside for the back and then we cut the second piece into two pieces, one 6"x11" and one 2.5"x11"  to insert a zipper.
We used 1/4" double-sided tape to adhere the oilcloth to the zipper, so we didn't need any pins, The Elder was in charge of that part.

Next ,we cut out filler pieces for the ends of the zipper.

Next, with me guiding and The Elder on the pedal, we sewed across the long pieces and attached the zipper. No need for a zipper foot, I wasn't sewing close enough to the pull. Also, I have my mother's machine from high school and presser foot heads were smaller then. Mine is just about 1/8" wide, so it's perfect for top stitching. I always miss this foot when I am using one of the machines at Treadle when I am teaching a class.
In a perfect world, one where I thought ahead, I would have sewn across the ends of the zipper first, and then sewed the long lines. However, as it happened, I forgot those and we sewed them second.

(Sorry for the blur, the lighting in my sewing area is atrocious)

Here is the completed front.

Since it was late, and I had to take a nursing break in the middle here, I don't have a photo of the next part, which was trimming off the excess fabric at the top of the front, then lining up the back and the front (wrong sides together) and top-stitching around the whole shebang.
Then I sewed a second seam-line across the bottom to separate the grommet section.

I borrowed a grommet setting plier from my mom and it's the coolest tool. Part hole-punch, part pliers, it did the trick. This morning I'm wracking my brains to think of something else that needs grommets because it was really just that fun.

I did manage to put in the first grommet upside down, but maybe that's just an opportunity to make a second one?
This year is the first in The Eldest's school career that she will have any school supplies that are hers alone and not communal, so I hope she enjoys this and is excited that she helped make it.
Any last-minute school DIY in your lives?
This is kind of a tradition in my world.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Fair!

A short slide show of our activities yesterday -

Lots of rides, lots of terrible, yet wonderful food, and crop art that sends a message while making you smile.
All around a fun afternoon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chip It

And now for the ultimate time-waster of the day: Chip It from Sherwin Williams.
We're a little afraid of SW at our house, truth be told, their slogan "Cover the world" always makes us think they're intent on world domination.
I spent the last 30 minutes going through my favorite fifth lamp photos and finding, no surprise, lots of blues and grays.

Maybe the kids' room is due for a new color scheme.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gratuitous Cuteness

Happy Wednesday

Yarn Along

Yarn Along time!
I started reading A Little Princess this week with the Elder.
She had a terrible Monday. She caught some kind of stomach virus and was quite green and weak all evening.
While she nestled in on the couch with her bowl we watched The Secret Garden together (what a movie) and when I asked if she would like to hear the book she asked if we could start with A Little Princess instead (also a beautiful movie).
We got through 3 chapters while she was in the bath, and we did another today.
The knitting is a doll for the Youngest.
It will probably be a Christmas present.
It's a Waldorf-style felted doll that I saw on Ravelry and fell in love with.
Head over to Ginny's and see what's on everyone's needles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keep Calm and Craft On

Joining Nicole in Keep Calm and  Craft On this glorious Tuesday.
The Youngest started sitting up in earnest this week, and it looks like the time is growing near for her to start taking food from a bowl and spoon like a real person.
So out to the garage I went to find the ancestral high chair.
It had been mine, and it was a hand-me-down then, and then my siblings and the Elder and the Younger used it too.
Before the Elder was born my mom and I re-furbished it (heavy on my mom, since all I did was help to paint it) and it's still in awesome condition.
All that it needed was a wipe down to get rid of the spider webs and a  fresh coat of paint.
So here it is in its freshly-painted glory.

What are you creating today?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Standing in the Wake

I just finished teaching my last kids camp of the summer. 
It went well, but the teaching sure tuckered me out.
Yesterday afternoon I met with some lovely ladies at my favorite hiking trail and we took our kids down to the river. 
It was a wonderful way to decompress after the week, and so, so good to see friends who I haven't been able to spend enough time with this summer.
The kids favorite part was running to the edge of the river after a boat went by and getting lapped by the waves created by the wake.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keep Calm and Craft On

Joining Nicole for KCCO this morning.
I have been clicking along on my Granny Square Sampler Afghan. I got through week 9's assignment last night, and I may actually get caught up by Friday, which will be week 14.
It's been really fun jumping back into crochet.
To answer a comment that I got from Kristen last time, you don't need to be any kind of crochet expert to join in and crochet along. The squares start with the basics and get progressively more intricate and interesting. When there's a new technique Blair, the hostess, almost always includes a how-to video to guide you through it.
I've learned some new techniques myself, and I have been crocheting for 25 years.
What's on your crafty plate today?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Granny Square Sampler Afghan-a-Long

At the beginning of the Summer Blair of Wise Craft started a Granny Square Afghan-a-Long, and I had grand plans to join in each week and square-a-long with her. The summer got away from me, in a good way,
so instead I started two days ago, and now we're cookin'.

Week 1 - 

Week 2 - 

Week 3 - 

Week 4 - 

Week 5 - 

This evening I hope to finish up the Week 5 squares (the second photo should have 3 squares in it) and maybe even get a start on Week 6.
The best part of this is that I had 9 colors of cotton and cotton blend yarn in my stash and only had to supplement with the lighter gray and the two rusty colors to get to the required number of colors.
The hardest part (for me) is that there hasn't been any info as far as I can see about the finished product.
What it will look like and how all of these different sized squares will fit together in the end is a mystery.
I learned to crochet when I was 11, my grandma taught me, and I was an avid crocheter until I learned to knit in my 20s. It's been some time since I was ensconced in a crochet project, and it feels pretty nice.

4 months

Yep, Youngest, I can't believe you're 4 months old already either!

Down in the River

We took another trip to my favorite part of Saint Paul this week.
It was so different from the last time when all of this was completely flooded.

These Summer days are dwindling away.
School starts in about 3 weeks and there's a lot of beach-going and woods-walking and fair attending to fit in between naps.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Keep Calm and Craft On/ Yarn Along

Joining Nicole and Ginny today.
Last weekend a friend of mine got married.
It was a second marriage for both of them, and since they would be combining their two established households choosing a present to get them was a little challenging. Who needs one more crystal vase?
So instead, I made them a milk jug cover.

It began as a circle of linen (hence the wrinkles), I used an 8" round cake pan for a template.
Then I did a single crochet around the edge with crochet cotton, folding the edge of the linen under as I went.
Next, I went around with a couple more rounds of crochet, and then beaded each point so that the cover would have some weight and won't be blown away if they decide to use this outside.

I finished up with a monogram of the happy couple's initials.
I wasn't actually able to finish this up by the wedding (she sheepishly admits) but it'll be on its way to the newlyweds tomorrow.
I am reading a new book, The End of Illness by David Agus.
It's full of great information, but the writing is pretty dry, and occasionally feels like a corporate seminar.
Dr. Agus is an oncologist, and though he keeps saying that the book is not about cancer, it's been mostly about cancer so far.
I read this amazing article today about a possible new treatment for cancer without chemotherapy.
Awe-inspiring times we live in.

What are you crafting today?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Beautiful Weekend

Yesterday the fam got into the car and joined many friends at a beautiful wedding in Wisconsin.

The weather has turned around here, it's been a long hot, HOT summer, and yesterday something changed and it's pleasant outside, even leaning toward the chilly first thing in the morning and late at night.
What a wonderful day for a wedding and today it's a beautiful day for the Hubby's birthday.