What to make?

Every year I look forward to my husband’s family reunion. It’s a grand time with tons of family (obviously), food, and old-fashioned Texan fun! We all catch up, overeat, and then sit down to watch the show. The show happens to be the patriarchs of the family hilariously running an auction of goods brought in by the family. Some are purchased, some are of the white elephant gift variety, and lots are homemade. Last year I donated this, my labor of love:

African Flower Blanket

It was so fun to make, but I procrastinated and finished weaving in ends on the drive there! But THIS year I’m starting early. Er, planning to start early. First I have to figure out what to make! I plan to go with a blanket again (if only to narrow down my options ;)). Here are the current top contenders (click on the photos to go to the patterns):

 WEEKEND IN STOCKHOLM THROW

1: Weekend in Stockholm Throw by Debbie Stoller

Larksfoot Blanket

2: Larksfoot Throw, courtesy of Meet Me at Mikes

an 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket

3: An ‘ordinarily extraordinary’ blanket, courtesy of dottie angel

And there’s always 4: a random assortment of granny squares.

And so, I say to you, VOTE! Please, please, please don’t make me make my own decision.* Which do you think is best?ย ย Last year my blanket was one of the top sellers, so I can’t disappoint! (No pressure though..) SO, which should I make? :)

*I reserve the right to make my own decision if I decide I don’t like yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I want this.

It’s been a strange weekend thus far. Up and down and all over the place! Life is so full of moving parts :)ย Right now the hubby is cooking dinner (yay!), and I ran across this while…ehm, cleaning the studio….;) So neat!

Map of Texas Hand Embroidered Necklace Custom Made Necklace

“Map of Texas Hand Embroidered Necklace” by Il Gatto Selvatico

Tomorrow I plan to check a few things off my 25 before 26 list! (I’m running out of time!) That is all. Have a great weekend!

Beautiful Blogger Blanket

Last week I got a lovely note from Jill over at Stocki asking if I’d like to join in her Beautiful Blogger Blanket. I feel so honored! It’s a wonderful project – she’s collecting squares from crocheters all over the world to create a blanket, which will then go to one of the crocheters who helped make it. Isn’t that fun? I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

I’d saved a few patterns since I started crocheting last year, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out! I immediately sifted through my yarn stash looking for cotton (the requested material), and suddenly realized that I mostly have acrylic…GASP! Is that bad? [I always want to try the organic cotton, but they’re so expensive I tend to shy away for my own use.] Anyway, I got to go yarn shopping ^_^ I picked up white and purple (go figure!), and combined it with some green and blue I already had to create…

It’s so much fun to try new patterns! I started with the standard granny square in blue. Then I tried a lacy one with my green yarn (pattern here) – completely different from any I’d done before. I then did the largest in purple and white (pattern here). I had a little trouble following this one in the middle, but was able to figure it out. I’m really glad, too, because it’s so pretty! I finished with the three coordinating Flower Granny Squares (pattern here), which are just adorable. My husband loved my granny squares so much, he said I should crochet a blanket for us out of the flower ones! I guess I’ll tack that on to my rapidly growing list ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am very excited to send these off tomorrow! Please post links in the comments of any granny squares you’ve made! They are such a variable form – I love seeing all the creative ways crocheters make them. Who knows – maybe I’ll make up my own patterns soon ๐Ÿ˜€

The Joy of Audiobooks

I have been doing a lot of crocheting lately. Most of my handmade gifts this Christmas were crocheted. I used to throw on a movie while working on projects (yay Netflix streaming!), but this winter I starated using a new method to keep my mind busy during my craft making: audiobooks! Brilliant, right? Besides the fact that I don’t like always staring at a screen, it can be distracting to try to watch something while crafting. On most projects, I can afford to look elsewhere a good portion of the time (especially on long projects like blankets!), but it does of course make me more susceptible to mistakes. Listening to an audiobook is just as interesting as a movie, but you can keep your eyes on your work!

For Christmas, my wonderful hubby got me some awesome headphones, so I’ve really been enjoying my crochet accompanied by a book “on tape” ๐Ÿ˜‰ We don’t have too many, but a friend did give me all the Harry Potter books, so that’s lasting me a while! Plus, Jim Dale (who narrates the series) is utterly amazing. It’s a whole new way to experience the series!

At any rate, that is my latest discovery in crafting :) I’ve even been taking my headphones and craft bag to work, so i can crochet and listen on my lunch break. I just pick a pretty spot in the park and enjoy :)

What do you prefer – TV, music, movies, silence? How do you work best?

Knitted Wonderland

Friday was the official installation day for A Knitted Wonderland at the Blanton Museum of Art! It was amazing to see so many volunteers in the Faulkner Plaza sewing beautifully knit creations to 99 trees. It got a lot of attention from passers-by on the University of Texas campus, and it was wonderful to see so many people smiling because of our work (play)!

I’m so glad I got to team up with Velma and Sarah to work on a tree together. We also got to help with several other Etsy Austin members and friends – Bridget, Tara, and Marci were all there :)

Tara of Fifty AcornsMarci and BridgetVelma Sarah and AJKnitting up our tree!

Several of my other friends and family have gone by to check it out, too. It’s so pretty seeing all the trees together! The exhibit will be open until March 18, so go check it out if you’re in Austin ๐Ÿ˜‰

Treehugger

(I’m such a treehugger! ;))

3 Things Friday

The good: I’ve been crocheting up a storm! It feels so great to be making things, and building up stock :) crocheted coasters

The bad: I’ve been feeling a little discouraged this week. I’m realizing the toll it takes to juggle two jobs, a workout routine, and a side business (which is getting the short end of the stick), while trying to find time to spend with friends and family. BUT! Worrying and complaining accomplish nothing, so I’m trying to take a deep breath, find a solution, and in the meantime just be thankful for what I have :)

The best: Last night I got together with Velma and Sarah to sew together our Knitted Wonderland pieces. It was so long – I felt like we’d practically made a Doctor Who scarf! On March 4th we’ll meet at the Blanton Art Museum to sew it onto our tree #29. More photos to come ๐Ÿ˜‰

Knitted Wonderland

Lego furniture

How cute it this Lego-like furniture by The Life Aesthetic? Made of solid plywood instead of plastic, they’re real furniture and would add such a pop to any room! And you know I have a soft spot for Legos. Unfortunately, they only deliver in the UK, but maybe one day…

For the kids, there’s the Ogle Wooden Toy Box:Ogle Wooden Toy Box

And for adults there’s the stylish Ogle Coffee (and Side) Table:The Ogle Coffee Table

Valentine DIY Round-up

No other holiday lends itself to homemade gifts quite like Valentine’s Day. It’s a great way of showing someone you care!

Twig & Thistle helps you sweeten someone’s day with her DIY stickersNaturally Sweet DIY Valentine

Print adorable class Valentines (and find some sweet party ideas) on One Charming Partyprintable class valentine

Roxycraft shares an adorable amigurumi heart patternFree Amigurumi Heart Pattern

I still love these sweet fabric window Valentines from the Purl BeeMolly's Sketchbook: Fabric Window Valentines

String up a heart garland with a DIY from Design*Spongediy project: mollyโ€™s crochet heart garland

Dip your own chocolate-covered strawberries with Food NetworkChocolate-Dipped Strawberries

I hope this gives you some ideas for sweetening up your upcoming V-Day! Do you have any crafts already on your list?

3 Things Friday

Snow from the balcony 1Frozen Water from GutterChase with a snow-stacheFrozen fountain

Another week has flown by, and what a week it’s been! Our gym finally opened, I made soup for the first time, and we tried a new local restaurant. It’s been 80ยฐ and 17ยฐ. We had Groundhog Day [I’m all for pointless holidays, but they should at least involve candy!] and Chinese New Year – did you celebrate? But I’m most excited for today: SNOW DAY! What a great way to end the week! ๐Ÿ˜€ And when it boils down to my three things…

The good: I learned a new knitting stitch, and I absolutely love it! I’ve started on my first blanket with a soft, lustrous yarn in….Herringbone Stitch!Herringbone Stitch

The not-as-good: I wasn’t as productive as I could have been. I spent much of last night playing Sudoku (I’m addicted) instead of working on anything.

The best: I get to spend today completing projects! I already finished a painting, which was super fun, and next I’ll be sewing! Then maybe some crochet and cross-stitch…It’s going to be good :)

Granny Square Painting

What were your 3 things this week?

New!

I’ve now joined Blog Lovin! Follow my blog with bloglovin

Are you on Blog Lovin? Leave me a comment and I’ll follow you, too! :) And of course you can follow me with my new Google tool in the sidebar as well! (It works through google, facebook, twitter, etc.)

Also, there’s now an easier way to contact me, should you need it! Look up there on my header – the far right link is my contact page. Just fill out the little form and it’ll send me an email ๐Ÿ˜€

Look at me getting connected all over! Maybe I’ll even get a Tumblr eventually ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, I wanted to share with you one of my listings – Human Heart Embroidery:Human Heart Embroidery on Linen

I hand embroidered this lovely organ on linen with three different colors from my own design. You can frame it, sew it on to something, or give it as-is to your someone special! Why not take a literal view on “I โ™ก YOU” this Valentine’s Day? ๐Ÿ˜‰