Thursday, July 30, 2009

1) Have you heard of The Bright Side Project ? It's a gorgeous website that offers giveaways every single day of the year. You can contribute an item to give away and promote your art.

2) My blog was showcased on Mindfully Simple ! Jill is a thoughtful, compassionate blogger and I am so happy to have met her.

3) There are lots of fantastic giveaways going on right now. Check out Woollywotnots , p.s. I quilt , Bumble Beans , Mindfully Simple, and Cute Stuff Inside . A few of these end on Saturday, August 1st, so please hurry!

4) Which Barbie are you? I took the personality test, and I'm the Original Barbie Teen-age Fashion Model. If you could see me, you would understand why that's so funny. (Picture a chubby, middle-aged woman who wears lots of stretchy cotton, nerdy eye glasses, and very little make-up.) Thanks to Two Crazy Crafters for posting the Barbie personality test link!

5) A while back, I received an award from Katharine at Woollywotnots. I loooove getting awards, but dislike passing them on because I don't like to single out certain blogs and leave others out. So for this award, I'm simply going to offer it to my newest blogging friends in order to promote their blogs and say thank you for commenting regularly. There is no obligation to pass on the award, mention it in a post, or do anything at all.

And the award goes to:


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My world is glittering

Me: Good morning, Boss. I'm afraid I won't be able to come in to work today.

Boss: Are you sick?

Me: I'm not sick, but I've developed a strange condition.

Boss: And what is that?


Guess who discovered glitter glue at the craft store last night?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend crafts and superhero cat

My sister thoughtfully sent me a bouquet of flowers at work the other day, and I brought them home on Friday to enjoy over the weekend. While attempting to photograph them, Charlie decided to strike a pose. I love how this one turned out-- he looks like a superhero who just sensed the bat signal. (Cat signal?)

Friday night I treated myself to a pedicure and an issue of Somerset Studio magazine. That magazine gets my creative juices flowing. I stayed up until two in the morning working on this collage.

I had fun splattering white gesso on it.

I finished decorating another small tote. You probably can't tell from the photo, but it's only about 4" by 5". I wanted to play around with fabric, felt, and needle felting.

Saturday I stopped in at my neighborhood Goodwill store and was amazed to see they cleaned the place up and organized everything neatly. I bought several blouses for five dollars each, and this art print on sale for 50% off. I had a bit of buyer's remorse at first because the colors don't match my apartment, but after I found a place for it on my bathroom counter I began feeling happy about having it in my home.

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There are a couple of giveaways going on I want to tell you about. The first one is from Jill at Mindfully Simple-- she is giving away a lovely handmade bead necklace. The second is a special and incredibly generous giveaway from Kelly Rae Roberts, which I really hope you will take a minute to read about.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seed Stitch Baby Booties Knitting Pattern

Here is a pattern for easy-to-knit baby booties that I created for a charity project. This pattern was inspired by Bev's Stay-on Knit Booties.

They are knit on straight needles with yarn made with 100% corn fiber which is quite soft for baby's tender little toes. You can easily substitute it with any type of sport weight yarn.

The booties are knit in one piece and then seamed in the front and back. The finished bootie measures approx. 3.5" from toe to heel. I designed them for newborns, but a friend told me the pair I gave her fit her three month old perfectly.

Supplies: - Kollage Corntastic (less than one skein). Or any sport weight yarn.

-Size US 6 straight needles

-Tapestry needle for seams

To knit the booties:

Cast on 32 stitches.

Rows 1 - 15: Work seed stitch for 15 rows.

Row 16: Bind off 6 stitches knit-wise and then knit to the end of the row. (26 stitches)

Row 17: Bind off 6 stitches purl-wise and then purl to the end of the row. (20 stitches)

Row 18 - 23: Continue working stockinette stitch for 6 rows.

Row 24: Knit two together across the row. (10 stitches)

Row 25: Purl.

Row 26: Knit two together across the row. (5 stitches)

Slip the remaining 5 stitches off the knitting needle and on to the tapestry needle.

Pull the yarn through the stitches, tightening the toe.

Sew the front and back seams using mattress stitch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Artist trading cards & vintage postcards

I adore making artist trading cards. The small size allows you to finish one or two in an evening, yet they're big enough to offer endless creative possibilities.

Here are a couple ATC's I sent to friends recently for our monthly swap. Our theme was "hearts."

This first one has a movable part.

The photo makes it look fancier than it actually is ... it's one piece of paper printed with the heart, newsprint, scrap of torn paper, staples, etc. on it. I simply tore it off a larger sheet of scrapbooking paper, glued a button on it and added a gem and a brad.

But here is the suprise underneath ...

I like the words that came together for this one ...

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When I go to flea markets and antique stores I often look for old postcards with interesting pictures, handwritten messages and postage stamps to use for collages. I especially like the ones from the early 1900's that cost a couple of cents to mail. I like to read the message on the back and think about the person who wrote it, imagining what their life might have been like.

I found some good ones last weekend at a flea market held in a high school parking lot.

The best postcard is this one with a picture of a man fishing on the bank of a river. "You look lonesome there Bill" is scrawled underneath it.

The postmark is dated 1911. The message on the back reads:

Dear Bill,

What made you think I should be angry. I could never get sore at you. Went to a dance Friday night. There were about seventy-five couples, would have preferred you to be with me.

Answer soon.

I wonder if Bill really was lonesome and what made him think MLB was angry. I wonder if they ever saw each other again, if they danced, maybe even ended up getting married.

I don't think I'll cut this one up for a collage; it's worth saving.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Busy as a bee

I'm having quite the crafty weekend, and it's still Sunday morning. This collage is from Friday night ...

I made this artist trading card on Saturday.

I finally finished knitting a pair of baby booties for a
Craft Hope charity project. These are knit in Kollage Corntastic yarn made of 100% corn fiber. It took a while to complete them because I wanted to design my own pattern and couldn't get the size right. I'm going to post the pattern in a couple days.

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Charlie decided he wanted to do a little cat modeling this morning. Poor guy had to go to the vet yesterday for his annual exam and vaccinations. It was unpleasant for both of us, but the vet gave him a clean bill of health.

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This gorgeous yarn can be yours! Linda at Natural Suburbia is having a giveaway. She spins the yarn herself, and has more for sale in her Etsy store.

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If you'd like to see the items I sent to Katharine for the Cosy Crochet & Knit Swap, she posted pictures on her blog, Woollywotnots . Here are a couple pics from her blog that she hopefully won't mind that I stole ...

Miniature knitting bag. This was the first knitting pattern I posted on my blog.

Wash cloths and a vintage handkerchief.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eat, read, sing

Last night was the weekly Farmer's Market. Look at all the scrumptious goodies I brought home. Those are white peaches, so sweet and delicious.

Update: Here is a great recipe for cooking artichokes from The Magic Onions .

Here in Northern California we have Farmer's Markets year-round on the weekends, but the Wednesday night market held in the summer months is my favorite. There's a vendor that makes the most delicious butter chicken wrapped in naan. Yum. In the summer it's my standard Wednesday night dinner.

As some of you might know, my little sister got me hooked on Twilight a few months ago. We're both anxious to see New Moon when it comes out in November. In the meantime, she told me where to go for a vampire fix- True Blood, the HBO series. I watched the first few episodes on DVD and just started reading the books that it is based on.

If you're a Twilight fan, you might like the True Blood television series. Might. It's violent and the content is for mature audiences. Makes Twilight look like a Disney movie. I rarely watch anything violent, but after I saw the first True Blood DVD I couldn't stop thinking about the story and characters (I love movies and shows that stay with you like that) and ended up getting hooked on it. We'll see how the books compare.

I'm also reading 1,000 Artist Journal Pages for the Woollywotnots book club. I just bought it tonight and can't wait to dive in.

My other sister, Feltypants, introduced me to
Blip . It's a free website where you create your own music station. Oh, I have been listening to the BEST music at work. Here are some of my favorites from my playlist:

-In Your Eyes by Ben Harper (acoustic version of the old Peter Gabriel song)
-Overkill by Colin Hay (acoustic)
-A Little Respect by Erasure
- Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
-Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T's
-Moon River by Henry Mancini
-Mad World by Adam Lambert
-Please Come to Boston by Reba McEntire
-Seventeen by Janis Ian
-Boogie On Reggae Woman by Stevie Wonder

If you decide to sign up (it's free!), you can look at or listen to my entire playlist by searching for the DJ named "goldenbird."


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My art studio is coming along ...

I've been working on my art studio (also known as my bedroom), trying to set up a more organized, inviting space. It's not finished, but it's coming along.

I'm enjoying having a dedicated place to do my crafts. I just wish I had more time to spend there.

These clear plastic containers work well for odds and ends. It's nice being able to see what's inside.

And I finally hung this wooden frame with a wire grid I bought at Pier One ages ago. It's been in my closet so long I almost got rid of it. I'm so glad I didn't.

While working in my art studio the other night, cutting out words from book pages for an artist trading card, I discovered I'd accidentally created this tiny collage in the lid of a container. It reminded me that I don't always have to work on paper or canvas.

I hope you're having a good week. I've been in a great mood this week, feeling extra happy about my job and apartment and life in general. It's nice to wake up smiling :-)


Fantastic Giveaway

Thoughts from Alice W. is having the most delicious summer giveaway. You can win all of the gorgeous items shown above. Just leave her a comment by July 17th to win.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Thrift shop finds

Here are some of the thrift shop treasures I picked up over the last couple weeks. This flowered tea pot came from the Discovery Shop that benefits the American Cancer Society.

This blue and white mug came from the Discovery Shop as well. I like it for ice water.

This Faberware Stoneware bowl is from the Goodwill. I think I paid a dollar for it. The pattern is called "English Garden."

This plate came from a thrift store that specializes in cottage items. The woman behind the counter said it was probably from the 1930's. She got flustered when I told her the plate has "microwave safe" on the back. I bought it anyway because I'm slowly replacing my current boring plates with cute thrift store finds.

The egg holder, vintage linens, and doilies are some of the items I purchased for the vintage swap. You can see all of the items I sent to Deb on her blog, Garage Sale Gal.

My birthday is next month, and I'm saving up to take myself on a little thrift store shopping spree. I can't wait!

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Did you notice I changed my Blogger image? The new image is from a picture my talented sister Feltypants painted of me a few years ago. Here is the whole painting. I'm on the couch knitting with my cats Charlie and Apollo close by.

Now, just picture her 70 pounds heavier and voila! That's me.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knitting Projects

I'm working on some simple knitting projects, completing a few rows each day. For the above striped wash cloth, I'm using Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Organic Cotton. It's loverly.

This one is going to be a mat for an end table. The yarn is called Geranium from Needful Things, and it's a combination of linen, acrylic, and viscose. I love the turquoise blue running through it.

I recently found this booklet of felted projects at a craft store. It doesn't include much in the way of detailed instructions, but the pictures are inspiring.

I wanted to try some of the needle felting shown in the book, but didn't want to invest the time and energy in to knitting and wet felting a bag that I was going to experiment on. So I ended up buying a set of three tiny tote bags at Michael's for a dollar. The first one turned out okay. I gave it to my friend Dogwood with a little gift of lavender sachets inside.

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Katharine at Woollywotnots gave me an award! Thank you, Katharine, I appreciate it. I will pass it on soon.

Speaking of Katharine, she started a very cool book club. The focus will be on craft books, and you choose from the four she selects each month and then post your thoughts on her forum on Sundays. I'm looking forward to it and hope you will join us!