Tuesday, December 13, 2011


There's not a lot new to share on the blog lately.  I have been busy as a bee working on patterns that you've already seen pics of so I'll only share a couple new ones.

Twin Owl Hats

Swirl Hat with flower and coordinating scarf

Something strange that happened is that recently my Raincloud Pattern has been popping up on French blogs all over the place.  I can only guess that somehow clouds are a popular theme and people were searching for patterns to make their own.  I have had many sweet compliments on the pattern and have enjoyed seeing people use the clouds they made for coasters, garland, and various other household decorations.  Recently I was contacted by Fabienne, a French blogger at Archibald & 3 petit points, offering me a French translation of my Raincloud Pattern.  She was kind enough to allow me to post the translation on this blog and put it on hers as well.  You can find her version here, and you can see the French translation on the Raincloud Pattern page.


This has been a strange fall.  I have enjoyed the beauty of the season immensely, but it has gone by quickly, and brought with it some deep sadness.  Sunday I lost my grandfather to old age and natural causes.  He was the 3rd grandparent I've lost in the last 4 months, leaving me with no more living grandparents.  With his death came a disconnection with a place and a generation that had been a large part of my childhood.  I now have very few reasons to travel to northern Indiana.  I won't see Amish horse and buggy at Christmas time each year.  I won't watch the light shimmering off the river on a bright summer morning while eating perfectly-made toast in my grandmother's kitchen.  I won't have anyone to share with me what it was like during the Great Depression or WWII.  This disconnection is only physical though.  I have many many memories from my childhood that will stay with me.  I also carry with me the legacy of faith that my grandparents handed down from their grandparents generation to my own, and one I hope to pass along to my own grandchildren some day.

 Arthur and Annabelle Evans

This fall has marked the transition from my grandparents being the eldest in the family, to my parents, aunts and uncles taking on that roll.  It is sad to lay a generation to rest- especially a generation who showed us that hard work, resilience, and faith can rebuild so much- however my parents generation has much to teach us also.  I hope that my children will value their grandparents the way that I value mine.  And I long to have the privilege of growing old and sharing my life with my own grandchildren.  My only hope is that by that time I will have lived a life worthy of reflection, and have experienced enough of life's ups and downs to earn the title of "wise elder".

Harold and Rose Marie "Rody" Weaver and their children (in order of age), Dave, Mike, Elaine (my mom), Anne, and Greg

I love you, Grandma and Grandpa Evans, and Nana and PopPop Weaver.   I look forward to seeing you again and sharing with you in person the result of your lives' impact on the future generations.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Falling" Behind

See what I did there?  That was a pun... cause its fall and I'm falling behind in blogging...... *ahem* moving on.

September and October have been eventful for me, most of which I enjoyed.

In the past 6 weeks I've walked in the woods;

gone to the pumpkin patch;

enjoyed warm days outside and cool evenings by the fire pit;

practiced some new photography tricks;

visited cities;

spent time in my favorite places;

celebrated birthdays (he's 2 already!),

         (and he's 34 already!)

and remembered two special lives passed.  I lost two grandmothers in the span of 3 weeks...

But in the midst of it all I've even had time to work up some new projects.  I just haven't had the time to share them with you.

(left to right:  Red/White Kitty Hats, Gina Giraffe and Newborn Newsboy Cap, Striped Brimmed Hats)

So now we're all caught up!  What have you been doing to enjoy the glory of fall?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mixed Breed

I was recently contacted by a previous client to see if I could make her a baby sweater and rattle set for her new baby girl.  She wanted the sweater to feature an applique of a dog similar to her beloved little pet - a black half scottish terrier half cocker spaniel with a schnauzer haircut!  We did a little digging and found a great applique at my favorite doggy-related Etsy store.  The sweater turned out very sweet in red and white stripes with the black dog.

The rattle pattern was another Etsy find.  While the seller of the pattern does not allow them to be made for sale in large quantities, she granted me permission to make one for my client.  Such a cute cute pattern!  I was a little confused by the sewing on of the legs of this guy, but once I got it all tacked down I was very satisfied.  And best of all, the client was very happy with how it turned out!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Playing Catch-up

Whew, I knew it was coming.... I'm rolling in hat orders right now!  September is the time people start thinking about looking cute in the warm weather, and I don't blame them.  One of my favorite things to do is pull out all of my sweaters, scarves and hats and accessorize at the morning bus stop!  I have worked on quite a few things over the past few weeks, but here are a few of my favorites:

First is a set of 3 hats for a newborn boy, and 3 & 5 yr old girls.  Their mom wanted them all to have coordinating hats, but for each to be unique.  We went back and forth with ideas on colors and styles and came up with these.  I'm so pleased how they turned out and I can't wait to see how their family photoshoot turns out!

I had tons of fun working up these fall-color teacher totes!  I love how they have fall/Halloween colors while still being cute and trendy :)

My daughter went gaga over this sweet red and white Kitty Hat and I'm pretty sure she'll be bummed if there's not one of these in her stocking this Christmas.

Another fun hat was this dino newborn photo prop.  It was a special request by the winner of my 200 Fan Giveaway on the Knits and Knots Facebook page!  I hope she'll send me a pic of her sweet boy in it when he's born :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sudden Change

This saturday it was 100 degrees F at 5:30 pm.  I spent the morning and early afternoon convincing my 3 children that yes, we did indeed have to be out in the heat for my oldest son's football game, and no, we could not leave and go have ice cream during one of the breaks.   As I sat sweltering in the unrelenting sun I remember thinking "I'm so glad I'm not out on the field!" and then feeling guilty for making him stick it out.  However, it was a good lesson for us all:  don't give up just because you're uncomfortable.  Must internalize this one for myself!

Fast forward 48 hrs and the high on Monday was 66!  The air is crisp, clean and so very fall-like.  I LOVE it!  I put on a favorite hoodie, a pair of sweatpants and enjoyed the cooler temps.  Another lesson to internalize - nothing lasts forever, and things can change in an instant.  I have had so many friends who have had very difficult circumstances pop up in their lives unexpectedly recently.  Sometimes its hard to see how you're going to make it through something that seems never ending and dire, but just as quickly as life has changed for the worse it can go right back to the good.  One dear friend has been struggling with the unexpected health concerns of her newborn baby, and she has said multiple times that she has been putting her hope in the never-changing God of the universe instead of on the ever-changing health of her son.  Wise, wise words.  I intend to dwell on these as well.

Monday was Labor Day here in the US and my husband and I decided that the best way to use our extra weekend day was to take advantage of the great weather and figure out a solution for the craziness in our oldest 2 kids' room.  This is how the room looks regularly - dollhouse toys and legos in one crazy mess.  Tiny pieces buried in the thick carpet.  Children fighting for space for "their" things.

My husband's solution was to create two play tables (similar to a train table), one for each activity.  5 2x4s, one piece of 1/2" MDF, a few nuts and bolts, and a little bit of time created a fabulous solution!  The kids had a blast "helping" daddy measure and cut.  We had to send them inside after a while though, the started getting a little too "helpful" and moving tools on us.

While Matt was building I was cleaning and organizing the kids room - a long overdue project.  I had to remind myself over and over again "don't give up just because you're uncomfortable".  It was worth the effort in the end.

The tables perform a vital function - they keep all the tiny pieces contained on the table (there's a small lip to keep them from rolling off) and they allow room for the kids to build or play and for storage underneath.  We weren't the only ones pleased with the outcome.  The room can now accommodate 4 kids very comfortably (although our youngest isn't really allowed to play in there because he still puts everything in his mouth).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bring it On!

Fall is almost upon us, and the warm weather wear orders are beginning to come in.  However, I spent the last few weeks of the summer busting my way through a couple of other orders.   The first was a large custom order: recovering a porch swing.  A dear friend of mine has the exact same free-standing porch swing as I do and hers was really starting to show its age. 

She contracted me to make a replacement slip-cover for the cushions a new canopy and some throw pillows.  I was able to do it because I could use my own swing as a "pattern" to fashion pieces from.  I figured it wouldn't be that big of a deal since it was essentially just like pillow covers only on a large scale. 

I didn't realize that when you make things "on a large scale" you're working with TONS of fabric, which makes it pretty difficult to manage.  I was, however, able to get it done after learning how to wrestle multiple yards of fabric feeding through my machine.  I love the fabric she chose!  The covers  took her swing from blah to wow in a flash.  It literally took us 5 minutes to replace the canopy and cover the seat cushion and arm rests and it looked like a brand new swing.

Another job on my list was the darling "Honey Bee Hat and Tushy Topper" photo prop set for a client who does family photography. 

Unfortunately I still don't have a newborn to photograph, so I have to use my silly cow as a model. 

I had the sudden realization while taking this picture that its possible my neighbors think I'm insane.  They regularly observe me taking pictures of things hanging from trees, or items laying in the grass, or dressing animals up like other things and photographing it :) 

She also asked me to make her a massive flower for her winter hat so she could be looking good while staying warm.  We settled on a 6" diameter flower using a bulky dark green yarn.  She will be the hottest mama on the block this winter! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cooking with Kids

Recently my son asked if he could cook dinner.   By himself.  And make up the recipe.  By himself.  Alone.  With no help from me.....  I said no.  (bad, bad mommy!) 

Eli is 7 1/2 and is a wonderful, sweet, caring boy full of amazing, interesting ideas, but he has never cooked.  He's never even shown an interest in what I was cooking.  But, instead of just sticking with my knee-jerk "No" I took some time to ask him what he wanted to make and why.  He told me he wanted to make soup.  And he wanted to do it to be able to help around the house because I am always doing everything.  [Insert mommy guilt and melting heart here]  So, I gave my sweet boy a hug, and sat him down with a piece of paper and asked him to write out the things he wanted in his soup.   I helped a bit with spelling and ideas for a few ingredients (like "soup needs to have a broth of some kind, what do you think would be good?") and here was what he came up with:

The next day we headed to the grocery store with our recipe in hand and picked up all the items we needed.  I suggested he add a noodle of some type and some beans.  He picked out super cool wagon wheel pasta and kidney beans.  We also picked up some fresh bakery bread for sandwiches to accompany the meal.  When we got home I put my youngest down for a nap, sat the middle child down for quiet time and had my first cooking lesson with my oldest.  He peeled carrots, chopped veggies, measured, cooked, and stirred.  He did it all himself... with some guidance on my part, but HE did it.  I will be honest, he did great.  I had to hold back on my admonitions a few times and let him learn by trying, which is really really hard for me!  I helped him learn to hold the (very sharp) kitchen knife, how to position his fingers that were holding the veggies so he didn't lose a digit, and how long to boil the pasta and veggies before letting the soup simmer.  Other than that, he made the meal from start to finish on his own.  He was SO proud of the soup and couldn't wait to eat dinner that night. 

Pairing his soup, the sandwiches and some sweet, ripe strawberries made a perfect summer meal for our first school night of the year.  The soup really was delicious.  Even my super picky daughter gobbled up every bite.  It made me realize that I don't have to churn out complicated, elaborate meals to make something everyone will like.  I think this may be a start of something very good for our family.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My daughter loves headbands.  She cannot stand the way that an elastic hairband pulls on her (apparently extremely sensitive) hair, so the only way to consistently keep her hair out of her face is with a headband.  I made a rouched headband for a client out of soft knit material and had her model it for me, and she didn't want to take it off.  So, of course, I had to make one just for her :)

It can be worn with the rouched area in front and accented with a flower clip

or, Anna's favorite way, with the rouched area in the back, almost giving full head coverage. Great for keeping hair out of your face, working around the house, or putting on a really good pout.

It can even be worn when coming too close to a "big scary bug" (notice the tear from the trauma of said event)

Good news is you'll still look pretty cute when you finally compose yourself :)

Just like the Interchangeable Flower Headband, these are made from very soft knit fabric. The headbands stretch nicely and the flowers are completely interchangeable. Flowers come in crocheted, fabric, or silk varieties and can be made any color of the rainbow.  Please indicate flower type and color and headband color when ordering.

$15 for one headband and two flower clips
$3 for each additional flower.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

in love!

I saw an idea this morning on SoulMama, and I simply could not stop myself from making something similar of my own.  I love it soooo much!  It was a quick project and cost me a total of $1.99 (for the frame, from Goodwill).  It could have cost more if I had to buy more materials, but everything else I had on hand.  If anyone is interested in a tutorial I'd be glad to post the pics I took along the way!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Old Favorites

I have had several more orders this month, including two of my old favorite amigurumi patterns, Gina Giraffe and Oliver Dino.  It had been a long time since I made the Oliver pattern and I remembered how I had to do some tweaking to the pattern the first time around to make it come out right.  This time I tweaked again and noted my changes.  Hopefully it will be easier if I ever make it again. 

I've made the Gina so many times now I hardly even have to look at the pattern.  But I always love the results!

Both of these were burp cloth/rattle sets and I was very happy to have found some great coordinating fabrics at our local craft store.  Aren't these little giraffes so sweet? :)