Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dirt Day

Yesterday evening, the kids had some solo play time in the yard.  Mom's been cleaning out her house and brought some stuff over to our house, so we were rearranging and trying to get some computer work done and and and... I went out once and they were digging happily in the dirt.  I went out a little while later and found this.

Chinchilla Girl and Dirt Boy

Yup...dirt bath

And so very happy about it!

And this is what happens when Mommy says "Smile!"
I don't at all mind the dirt...but they absolutely went straight into the bath. ;)

Craft Hope: Project 17 (Part 2)

(Click here for Part 1.)

The Craft Hope aprons are coming along nicely, which is great since it's almost deadline time!  There are seven aprons finished now, with four more sitting on my sewing table waiting for ties, and two more cut out to be stitched together.  I'd hoped to get at least twelve done, so I need to get stitchin'!

A Win!

Well, this was a nice surprise - I won one of the giveaways that was part of Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day!

I got an email from Heather of quilt.cook.keep. telling me that I was one of the subway art winners.  So cool!

It was difficult to choose a color.  The aqua is just super pretty, I adore the orange and it matches the paint in my kitchen, and it's just hard to go wrong with black.  But, in the end, I chose the aqua.  Since I'm sewing in the dining room - which is yellow and bleeds into the kitchen, which is orange - I was afraid that an orange print would look awkward on the wall.  I ended up choosing aqua.  I think it'll be nice and spring-y in there. :)

Pretty, no?

(Psst!  If you'd like one of your own, Heather sells them in her Etsy shop.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Outside Play

We've been having some fun outside this week, despite the heat.

And, look!  Sunflowers!  I wish the tomatoes were doing as well. ;)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Universal Craft Blog

While not strictly a craft blog, I do tend to think of things as being kind of craft-ish around here, so I've linked up with the Universal Craft Blog list.

At the moment, there are over 600 crafty blogs on the list.  That is a LOT of craftiness!  The blogs that I've visited have been really neat, so I'm excited to keep checking them out...and hope that anyone who finds us on the list will be glad that they did. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We Have A Winner!

Before announcing our Giveaway Day winner, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who stopped by and entered the contest.  Your comments really made my day(s) and I wish that I had time to respond to each one individually.

But, while I try to get to some of them, I'll announce our winner!

Mr chose entry #51, Thependragoneyes.  I still haven't figured out how to insert the widget, so I hope you'll take my word for it. Congratulations!  I've sent you a message and can't wait to get started on your apron!

In the event that I haven't heard back from our winner, a new winner will be chosen on Tuesday morning.

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Giveaway Day! - The Giveaway Post

 ***The Giveaway Day post is now CLOSED.  I'll announce the winner in just a bit!  Thank you and good luck to everyone who stopped by and decided to enter!***

Hello, hello!

If you've come over from Sew, Mama, Sew, this is the post that you're looking for.  :)  And if you stumbled over it by happy accident, you picked a really good time, because it's Giveaway Day!

For Giveaway Day, I'm offering up an apron.

My initial plan was to make another like this, which has received a lot of good feedback.  But then it occurred to me that maybe whoever won the giveaway might not actually be a fan of these colors.  So, instead, I'm offering up an apron made specifically for the winner.

I'm not even going to make you jump through a bunch of hoops to enter. :)

If you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win a custom apron, leave a reply to this post stating which of the following fabrics you like the best.

Then let me know which solid colors you like the best.  (Up to three, though I'm not sure that I'll end up using more than two in the finished apron.)

Make sure that I have some way of contacting you, and that's it!  Though, if you'd like to follow the blog, that'd be awesome.  I like to think that people might be interested in what goes on here. ;)

Entries will be accepted through May 25.  (In all honesty, until I can get to the computer on May 26.)  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on My 26 or 27.

Also, I'm doing a giveaway on my shop blog, too.  Check out the frog loves monkey blog and make sure to enter that giveaway, too!

Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

(And don't forget to check out the rest of the amazing blogs listed over at Sew, Mama, Sew!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seed Bombs - Sort of a Tutorial

Today, Bug and I made seed bombs.  I think.

We've been talking about doing it for awhile,  I read a whole bunch of tutorials, then ran out and picked up the things we were missing (just the clay, really).  But I didn't look at any of the tutorials again, so I kind of feel like I left something out.  It was really super easy, and really super fun, and something that the four year old had a whole lot of fun with, too.

If you want to trust it, I'll set this up a bit like a tutorial.  And I'll update once I see how they work out in the world!

(A few real tutorials can be found here, here, and here, if you want to double-check or get a second opinion.)

Here's what Bug and I did...

We gathered:

Compost.  There was a little bit of mulch left in the awesome spinning composter that my sister gave us.  Before I realized that I had picked up a small bag of potting soil, but I'm fairly certain that this project would not have been as successful with regular potting soil.

 We ended up breaking up the larger chunks in our compost, which was really dry, and spreading it onto a work-surface plate to make it easier to handle.  I'd imagine that moister compost would be much easier to work with.

Clay.  As you can see in the first picture, we went with the Crayola air-dry clay.  It was the only brand that I could find and it was labeled as "natural".  I'd have preferred to *know* that it's natural, but since we chose flower seeds and not vegetable seeds, I didn't figure it was *quite* as important.

Seeds.  Make sure that you pick a native and non-invasive species.  We went with a selection of poppies.

Water.  I totally forgot about the water.  Which would have made this whole process SO much easier.  My only excuse is that I was trying to get everything set up as quickly as possible after Boo went down for her nap so that Bug and I could actually get the seed bombs made. 

So, how we did it...

We picked a little bit of the clay and rolled it into a ball...

Then put a depression into the ball (because mashing them into flat circles on the plate made them next to impossible to pick up again - wax paper might have been an better idea) and dropped a few seeds and a little bit of compost into the middle of the ball before rolling it back up again.

Then we rolled the whole thing in the compost, to coat the outside.  In all honesty, I'd hoped for better coverage on the outside.  Pretty sure that forgotten little bit of water would have helped a ton with that.

 Then we set them aside.  In a day or so, they should be dried enough to toss out into the world.

Bug had SO much fun rolling the balls and putting the seeds inside.  He could have cared less about the compost - which was funny considering how excited he is about the compost in general - so he left some of his uncoated.  And then he just started mashing things together and playing with the clay, which was cool.  He sprinkled some chia seeds on his artwork, too.

 Please ignore the mayhem in the background. Our cabinets are in desperate need of a coat of paint and I really should have mopped...but it seemed like a silly thing to do just before we made a big mess with seeds and clay.

This is where we ended with the seed bombs today.

Bug's ready to make more NOW.

If anybody's made seed bombs, or tries some after reading this, I'd love to hear about it!

First Sunflowers

Yesterday, the kids and I went out and discovered that Bug's sunflower had bloomed.  It's not very tall, but is quite pretty.  And it looks like there are seven other blooms getting ready!  Seven!

It was also pretty exciting to see that the tomato plant is still alive and has bloomed.  Again.  It's not getting enough water, or is getting too much sun - I'm not really certain which - and keeps blooming and wilting without actually producing any tomatoes.  A little disappointing, but at this point I'm really just kind of thrilled that it's love at all.  If it bears fruit, that will be a huge bonus.

Really, our outside time yesterday was all kinds of exciting.  I finally remembered to buy birdseed, and Bug and Boo were all kinds of excited to fill up the feeder and sprinkle as much seed on the ground as we'd let them. 

My sister moved into a cool new house awhile back and had set aside some stuff at her old house that she thought we might be able to use.  And since my step-dad came back from Texas with a trailer, we were able to haul over a new refrigerator (Mom's old one, since my step-dad brought a newer one from their place in Texas for their house), some shelves that have already gone up in the studio and more for the garage, a spinning composter and an ancient lawnmower.  You know, the kind with no motor.

For the first time in my life, I mowed my own lawn.  And it was exhilarating.  I'm not naive enough to think that I'm always going to have fun with that, especially as it continues to get hotter and hotter here in the desert, but I certainly felt accomplished yesterday.

Then we got the composter set in place.  Bug and I pulled out some of the mulch that was left in it for a project we have planned, then dumped our first big bowl of compostable stuff inside.  Bug is so excited about it that he's decided that it's his job to spin the composter.  He even walked away from Phinias & Ferb this afternoon to go spin it when he saw me carry a bowl of scraps outside.

Add to things that Richard has been cooking with fire and we've been living in suburban pseduo-homesteader heaven for the past few days. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Modernista Homemade swap

Well, I did it.  I joined a flickr swap.  It's been awhile since the last one and I'm pretty jazzed about it.

The group is Modernista Homemade, and sign-ups are still going on over on flickr.  The idea is that we'll swap things (one large, like perhaps a pillow cover, and one small, maybe a pin cushion - whatever suits your partner) for a specific room in our homes.  We're starting off with the sewing room, which is apt. :)

I'd forgotten how inspiring it can be to get lost in people's photostreams... Though I suppose I really should get my butt in gear and get a mosaic made for my partner.  It's a blind swap, so it'll be awhile before we know which bits of lovliness are going where.

I find that I already want to play with fabric, even though I don't know what I'm making yet, or who it's going to.  Ah well, it never hurts to mull over ideas, right? ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

May Giveaway Day!

(I'm reposting here what I've posted on my shop blog.  Please pardon the overlap!)

YAY!  Sew, Mama, Sew has announced the start date for May Giveaway Day!  Everything kicks off on May 21st, and it looks to be an even bigger event this time round than it has before.  The categories have been revamped a bit (now there are five!) and the event runs for five full days.

If you've never taken part in Giveaway Day...DO!  If you're an artist or crafter with a blog, I can't recommend enough that you get involved.  It's a whole heck of a lot of fun.  And if you just want to find new artists and blogs that will blow your mind, then I highly suggest that you clear your calender for the week and enter as many of the giveaways as strike your fancy!  Even if you don't win anything, I can almost guarantee that you'll have a good time.  Your head might also explode from all of the amazing things that you're likely to see, but it's a chance worth taking. ;)

frog loves monkey will be taking part here, and I'll be doing something over on my personal blog as well, though I'm still ironing out the details.

Keep an eye out and be sure to check out all the goodies on May 21st!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Things That Caught My Eye (Whale Edition)

I can't speak for any of these companies or crafters as a customer, but there are some really nifty things out there in blogland that have caught my eye...

These whale twins by Fog and Swell just look AMAZING.  I can't even imagine the time and effort that went into them!  You can read more about these guys on her blog and see more of her amazing work in her Etsy shop.  I find myself lusting after her Orca stuffies.  Bug has always kind of had a soft spot for Orcas, and our nightly lullabies all center around sea creatures, so I'd imagine that both Bug and Boo would find comfort in it.  Nevermind that it it's just gorgeous.

To continue with the sea creature theme, I absolutely adore this felt whale pillow by PuNk rAwK pUrL.  It looks so cuddly and happy!  I've been doing a lot of work on pillows lately, but don't often get to work with felt (nor is it likely that I will anytime in the foreseeable future).  He'd fit into our bedroom pillow pile quite nicely! This little guy and his friends in different colorways (and different animals!) are available in her shop.  She has some great stuff on her blog, too.

And, while I didn't initally intend to focus on whales, here's one more that caught my eye recently...

This pair of organic whale pillows by Cecil & Clyde make me quite happy.  I think it's the smiles. ;)  I'm quite drawn to the bright, happy colors in the piping (a really nice touch!), and I love that they're really quite large.  Seems like they're perfectly sized for some serious snuggling.  There are other animals available in the Cecil & Clyde Etsy shop (I'm really drawn to the elephants), too.

Craft Hope: Project 17 (Pt 1)

(I mentioned this over on my shop blog, but I think it bears mentioning here, too...please bear with me if you happen to have seen the other posts.)

Craft Hope has announced their next project, Project 17: Aprons for Haiti.  Reading through the note that was posted by Rebecca of Haiti By Hand, who will be delivering the aprons and other collected items, I really felt called to take part.  The last time I felt capable of completing something was way back at Project 12 (mentioned here and here), last summer.

We're swimming in fabric over here, but I wanted something special, so whipped out my JoAnn coupons and picked up a couple of fat quarter bundles specifically for these aprons.

I've made aprons in the past and there are a lot of awesome apron tutorials out there but, to be completely honest, I'm kind of winging it here.  Rather than assembly-line the aprons, I've been playing with the fabrics and letting each one take on it's own personality.  It takes a bit longer, but I'm really happy with the results thus far.

So far, two aprons are done, and I have two more to stitch up tomorrow, children willing.  Still playing with fabric options on the others.

Large lined pockets and a lined apron front.  Sturdy!

Longer apron skirt and *super* long ties.
Over on the Craft Hope facebook page, they've asked people to post pictures of their aprons as they finish them.  There are some neat aprons going up, and links to some great tutorials and blog posts, too.  I was really surprised (and really flattered!) to find out that one of my aprons had been featured on the Craft Gossip blog post about the donation.

I'm really excited to get more of the aprons done and see what personalities they take on as they come together.  My goal is to fill a medium sized Priority Mail box with aprons, and possibly some of the other requested donation items, by the May 31 deadline.  (That's the Craft Hope deadline, but Haiti by Hand will be accepting donations of items through June.  They also keep an up-to-date list of needed items on their home page.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Featured at Kindred Images and Creations!

Heh...  My head's going to get big from all this attention. I was featured again this past Friday, this time at Kindred Images and Creations.  :)

As far as I know, it's going to be awhile before another feature, so it'll be a few months before I get all attention-hoggish again. ;)