Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where have I been?

Just stitching away, away, away, in my little sewing room. . . because of this:


So super-excited!   And it just didn't seem real until I actually held the magazine in my hands!   This has been such a fun experience, and I'm really grateful for this opportunity.  The best part?  I've "met" so many awesome people.   I love the funny or sad or bittersweet stories of furry companions that some have shared with me.  When I'm up 'til 3 a.m. stuffing catnip into tiny mice, those stories remind me that there's a human being behind every cat, and these little toys bring them joy, too.   And that makes me happy.  :-)  Thanks, ReadyMade!

But we are attempting to do other stuff, too. . . .

Like tree-tipping.






Family-photo-taking.


And there's still so much to do, but I can't worry about that right now.  I'll just take and enjoy each and every day as it comes, and that's enough for me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More shirt love? Yes, please!

"Cooking College"-bound!

The lovely swap angel, Calabaza, sent these sweet shirts to Monkey 7 last week. He is DELIGHTED, so we had to do a quickie photo shoot. . . .
  





As you can see, Monkey 7 is quite pleased with his swap goodies.  I love the smiles they bring to his sweet face.  Thank you, Calabaza!

I tried to do this blog post over a week ago, but my photos wouldn't upload.  (Again.)  Maybe one day, I'll pony up the money for a real (read: not free) blog.  I'll think about it.....


Until then, I'll just fight it out with Blogger, and try to be more consistent with my posting.  I've been making gobs of little catnip mice lately, and honestly, not much else.  I'm working on a giveaway, hopefully for this upcoming week.  Stay tuned.... more details soon!  Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few news. . . .

New tote. . . .


New photos for my mini sachets. . . .  (finally!)


New balsam sachets. . . .  and they smell sooo good.  We can't have a real tree (due to allergies) but these sure make up for that.


 New customer for the tooth fairy!  (And during dinner, of course.  Ew.)


I'm working on another new tote today, and have a few more ornament designs in the works.  OH -- and BIG news coming soon.....  so big, it may be time for a giveaway.  It's been a long time since we've had one, hasn't it?  Any suggestions for a prize?  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude

I'm working extra-hard on this one.   We've had a tough year.  Moving, loss, stress, illness, hospitals.  I tend to throw myself great big pity parties, but I've recently learned that that only brings me more misery.   I'm trying to focus on my blessings in everyday life, and there are multitudes.   (And not just because it's Thanksgiving!)  ;)  Being a tactile person, it helps me to write things down, and these writings also serve as daily reminders of my many, many blessings.


My children could certainly benefit from reflecting on their blessings as well, so we've created our family Gratitude Tree.  (I was inspired by this post.)   Seeing our tree grow makes my heart warm with joy. . . .


This morning, we made a sweet paper gratitude chain. . . . 


I know the staples don't look so lovely, but when working with eight Monkeys, simplicity and speed are key to our family projects.   And this project was definitely simple and quick.  We sat at the dining room table, talking about all the things we were thankful for, while we printed, cut and stapled the chains.  Decorations AND family time!  You can get the free download from Silverbox Creative Studio, and there are a few other neat suggestions for this project on their website.

Does your family have a project in which you celebrate and express gratitude?  I'd love to hear about your creative ideas and traditions!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hoopy goodness

While I love the baby shirt swaps, I think I've found a new obsession:  hoop embroidery!   I've participated in two rounds so far, and have received such lovely hoops!  In this second round, I received a beautifully sweet and simple poppy. . . .


My partner is an amazing artist.  (Please drop by her colorfully delightful blog!)  The poppy has a special, private meaning for me, and the colors and design are so just. . . me.   I love it!

I love bright colors, but I don't seem to work with them as much as I'd like.  (I wonder why?)  But I stepped out of my comfort zone, and thoroughly enjoyed stitching this little 4" hoop for her.   I used the same split stitch fill that I used on the monarch butterfly. . . .

(inspired by this.)

And in the previous round, I received this sweet portrait of a girl . . .


My partner was new to embroidery, and I think she did a fantastic job -- and that makes it all the more special to me.

There's another hoop embroidery swap next month, and the hoop size is just a wee 2.5"!  But I think I'd better sit this one out.  For real.  I mean it.  Christmas-time crafting is about to get caRAAzyy. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shirt insanity!

You knew it was coming.  Yep: the Week of Baby Onesies Swap on Craftster!  It's my favorite swap, and I always look forward to it.  I love trying new techniques, improving old ones, and challenging myself to try new designs.   I crafted for larger kiddos this round, so no actual baby onesies.   (The girl shirts are for a private swap, and for an older child.) 

The accomplishment I'm most proud of this round?  Conquering my fear of sewing knits!  I made long sleeves for several of these shirts, using thrifted shirts for the fabric.  (This striped fabric was once a cute Gap top!)  I didn't even break out my serger, and they all turned out great!  Most of the girl shirts were inspired by themes, shirts or other items on my partner's wists. . . . 










 And these are for a sweet little boy. . . .






So I'm about all crafted out, on the swap-front.  I think I'm going to take a break from swapping. . . at least until the springtime shirt swap rolls around.  :) 

OK -- that's not entirely true.  More swap goodies tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Too cute to be spooky

I'm still here!  Really!  And I am doing much better these days.  I even tried blogging yesterday, and again this morning, but something was wonky with uploading photos.  And what good is a blog post without some photos?  (And as soon as I type that, suddenly pictures upload.  Hm.)

(Some of the Monkeys in their homemade Halloween costumes. . . the older kids made their own again this year!  There's Flo, the Progressive girl, two singers from Skillet, and a couple of fiesty ninjas.  And a peek at a kitty cat's left foot.)

The post-that-wasn't-meant-to-be was written about tiny houses, and my obsession with them. . . fabric ones, paper ones, wood ones.  I even joined the Tiny House Swap again, so I could make a tiny house!  (And remember - these houses had to measure less than 4" x 4" x 4".)  But first, let me show you the sweet little house I received from my partner, sazzra. . . .


It even has a tiny light inside, and it flickers through the "stained glass" windows!  So cute.  But I think my favorite parts are the paperclay pumpkins in the moss!

I sent my partner a knock-off of the Amityville house.  It's made mostly from paper and plastic packaging scraps. . . .


The house is wrapped in text from the book. 


Each room has a secret -- a scene or symbol from the book or movie.  But the neat thing about that is only the beholder can see into a room, and only with the aid of a mini flashlight.  I hear it's frustrating my poor partner to no end, who wants to photograph each room (sorry!) but that was really by design.  (Not to frustrate, just the one-looker part.)  ;)  I hear there's a winter/Christmas edition of the swap coming up. . . . I can't wait!