Intersession

I’m sorry I don’t have any pretty crafts to post this time around. I do want to let you all know that I’ve been crafting away when I can.

My daughter was unlucky enough to catch the hand foot mouth disease, which is essentially a very bad cold with a high-grade fever. The disease got it’s name because it results in blister-like sores developing on the child’s hands, feet, and in their throat. It’s absolutely miserable. I can tell you from personal experience. Because I got it right after her.

I am still suffering the tail-end of the coughing and was lucky enough (knock on wood) to not get any sores.  The fever was lovely and the sudden fits of coughing are always a nice surprise. Especially on the subway where everyone looks at you like you have the plague and back away from you quietly. Or at client meetings where you have to leave the room and catch the client’s look of agitation that you may drop dead. Or on a job site, when the job super meets you for the first time and then you run out of the room coughing like making his acquaintance caused you to suddenly contract a fatal disease. Always a fun time….

Next week we are going to visit my parents in Seattle!  It will be my daughter’s first trip to Seattle and I can’t wait to show her around!  Until we return, happy crafting!

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Mommy Skills

I haven’t posted a baked good in a while, so here we go!  Our neighbor downstairs had their baby about three weeks early!  I saw her just a week before she went to the hospital and I remember looking at her and thinking “there’s NO way she’s going to last another 3 weeks!”  Well, it turns out I was right about that one!

I actually found out they had their son because I heard him crying one night through our bathroom vent (yes, crappy NY apartments mean you can hear things through vents) and I was a little discombobulated because I first though my daughter was crying, but I knew that she should be sleeping blissfully through the night.  Then it registered it was a newborn baby!  If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember a reference to this neighbor in this post.

I remember when I first had my daughter, our neighbor was sweet enough to bring by a batch of freshly baked blueberry muffins as a welcome gift!  These were a better gift than I originally realized!  At about a month old, my daughter really didn’t like to be put down for extended periods of time when she was awake.  She wanted attention and to be held, so I was often faced with the problem of needing to eat something but having only one hand able to prepare food and feed myself.  These muffins were a lifesaver in that I could easily feed myself while still holding my daughter and meeting her needs.

I thought that I would return the favor, not knowing the temperament of the new baby.  At the very least, who doesn’t like fresh-baked muffins?  I almost always have bananas and bran sitting around so I made banana bran muffins.  I used a recipe I previously posted here but doubled it and put them into muffin tins.  I made a couple extra to bring to a brunch pot-luck for the three musketeers (see post here and here)  I even made little mini-muffins for the kiddies and they were a big hit!

Sweet Sounds Abound

So many of my friends have been having babies that I’ve been working non-stop to make a special gift for each one. I remember when I first had my daughter, I lamented not having any toys that made noise. I thought that something with music or something with a bell inside would have been nice, so we ended up getting a set of soft blocks with different sounds associated with them (bells, crinkle noises, rattles). I thought that it would be nice if I could somehow incorporate something like this into a meaningful gift for a baby.

The friend whose son I made these for is a great baker. She actually has her own blog with the most delectable-looking  baked goods. I salivate every time I see the things she’s making. Anyways, I thought that it would be so cute to make her son some soft block toys in the shape of cupcakes, being that she’s such an amazing baker!

I totally made this design up. I ended up with a set of four and each one has a different look. I used the Martha Stewart Lion Brand Extra-Soft Wool Blend because I liked the color choices. Also, I had to use a gauge that, when crocheted, would have stitches tight enough that the polyfill in the block wouldn’t be visible from the outside.  I ended up using a ‘G’ hook (4.0mm) so that the stitches would be even tighter.

It took a couple of tries before I got the result that I wanted.  This consisted of two pieces (cupcake top and the cup portion) that I had to join together and fill with polyfill and topped with a felt bead.  I also picked up some Japanese bells specially designed to be used for rattle toys.  It’s essentially a bell within a small plastic ball so that once it is inserted into whatever it’s going to live within, the fill doesn’t prevent the bell from making a jingling noise.  I got these at my small, local craft store, Fiber Notion.

These turned out really cute!  My daughter loved grabbing them and shaking them.  She even tried to eat them!  I don’t think she was fooled into thinking it was the real deal, since she sticks everything in her mouth at this age, but I found it encouraging.  Anyways, I hope the new owner has lots of fun with his new toys!

What a Hooooot!!!! (Part 2)

My last post laid the groundwork for a mobile I had been working on for my nephew.  Let me just say, I love this thing.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  Would I change some things about it if I made it again?  Sure.  This was, after all, a learning experience.  However, I really love how all the pieces came together to balance each other.

These owls were a hit!  My daughter LOVED these little guys!  As I finished each one, I would put them on our little side table in the living room so they would all be lined up, and every morning, she would come into the living room, see the owls, and make a squeal of delight and point at them!  I admit I was afraid that they would make their way into her mouth somehow (as do most things in our home), but she never even gave a hint of doing this to these owls.  Maybe she knew?  My husband, as well, was really excited to see each owl as it started from a couple pieces of felt and came together to the finished product.  He liked them so much that I think I’m going to have to make a couple more just so we can hang them around our apartment!

Now, while I had originally planned on making 4 owls, once I had all the pieces together and looked at them as a whole, I decided to make one more to really round out the piece.  I had seen a couple of mobiles on Etsy and Pinterest with birds on branches, and I thought “why not owls on branches?”  So, I went to the park one week-end and found some nice sticks to use for the mobile.  I didn’t want that harsh texture with the owls for a baby mobile though, so I wrapped the sticks in string.  I thought that this helped to soften the jutting branches and strong angles.  I played with positioning the owls and thought about how I wanted them to interact.  It was very important to me that I capitalize on the three-dimensionality of this.  That was my main thought as I put all the pieces together.  Once I settled on the general balance, I added a couple of cut-out felt leaves to give it a little twist of detail.

I love the final result so much.  I really hope that my nephew loves looking at it from his crib and that this is something that he’ll be able to keep for his future kiddos.  I seriously think I’m going to have to make one for myself…..

What a Hooooot! (Part 1)

I know that my postings have not been as consistent as of late, and I do apologize.  There have been a lot of changes going on, but I do have a bunch of great projects to post about!

My big brother had his second son not too long ago. I had been contemplating what to make for our new family member for a while. I was browsing pinterest and got the idea of making a mobile. I saw a number of different mobile ideas, but I stumbled on some owl mobiles that I thought were so adorable! After making 2 owl hats (see previous posts here and here) I was starting to understand this owl appeal.

I found a couple mobile ideas that I liked and sort of mashed them all up together and modified them to what I was trying to accomplish. This mobile took quite a while for me to complete because it was an experiment every step of the way.  There were many challenges to this project so I will be splitting this project into two posts since it was such an undertaking.

The first thing I had to do once I decided on the general idea, was to choose a color scheme.  I live by a small but convenient craft store that carries limited but essential items, one of them being felt, which is what I selected as the main medium for my project.  I decided at first that I was going to make 4 owls, two larger and two smaller, for this mobile.  That being said, I decided on 4 main colors that I would rotate around for a different color combination for each owl.

Next, I had to make a template for what I wanted.  This took me a little bit to figure out since I wanted to make sure I got the proportions right.  I did find an image of a nice owl mobile that I thought was very successful, which was on sale on Etsy.  However, I did change a couple of the components for how I wanted the owls to interact with the overall motif.

I decided that I would hand-sew the owls.  Since each was relatively small, I didn’t think it should take TOO much time.  I think that this greatly helped in the look of the final product.  The above is a sneak peek of how one of the owls turned out.  My next post will show the final mobile!

Snug as a Bug in a Rug….

I know that I’ve been a bit remiss in posting lately and I apologize.  I’ll try and do better in the future!  Anyways, Happy Monday!  If you recall from one of my previous posts, I had taken a trip to Boston for a good friend’s wedding.  I was very excited because there was the possibility that I would be seeing another friend of mine and get a chance to meet her daughter!  Now it just so happens that my friend’s daughter and my daughter share names.  This was such a pleasant surprise to my husband and I when we learned it and we thought it was so cute that we instantly started referring to them as “name-twins”.

I hadn’t met my daughter’s name-twin before, but I’ve seen many pictures of her.  She is really adorable with a round little face and these large, round eyes.  When I tasked myself with making something for her, I immediately thought of a ladybug!  Now, the real challenge here for me was that I wanted to see if I could incorporate the ladybug spots into the pattern without having to attach additional pieces.  I tried a couple of different ways, but in the end, I did end up making separate pieces for each of the spots and attaching them afterwards.  I found that it just looked a lot cleaner this way.  Maybe if the hat were made of smaller stitches, it may work and still look okay, but with the chunkier gauge of the yarn and hook I was using, it didn’t quite work out.

While we weren’t fortunate enough to cross paths during our short stay in Boston, I was able to transmit her gift via her aunt, who we were lucky enough to be able to catch up with.  I am very pleased with the end result and was rewarded by seeing a picture of the new owner in her hat!  I love seeing a happy new owner!