March 11, 2010

Dirt under our fingernails

Spring has already arrived in our blessed part of the world and today we finally got out into the garden to give it some much needed attention. Turns out Finn is a pretty natural gardener: he went right to work pulling some of the dinosaur-sized weeds that have been growing up all winter.

Little gardener 1

Little gardener 2

Little gardener 3

(It's a good thing these "weeds" are edible!)

March 1, 2010

What I've been up to

There hasn't been much crafty posting here, but there has been a fair amount of crafting ("fair amount" considering the traveling and parenting that's also been going on.) I find that when my crafting time is limited, it can be really nice to use a tutorial. No second guessing or starting over or craftfails -- and lots of nearly instant gratification.  I've been using some wonderful free tutorials and patterns from the internet and it's been so easy and rewarding. So here's a linky lineup in case you're in need of a quick crafty fix too.

Well, not exactly cooking, but playing with food. I've been making my own chai latte mix (like the one from Trader Joe's but better!) loosely based on this recipe. I gave jars of it away as stocking stuffers at Christmas and it's been a big hit.
I leave out the instant tea (ew.) but the recipe still calls for non-dairy creamer (scary stuff.) so I'm thinking about trying this recipe which calls for sweetened condensed milk instead (I can get a nice organic version at my local grocer.)

For my dear friend Beth's birthday, I made a reversible tote bag from Skip to my Lou. I made mine a wee bit bigger and finished it off with an apple print with an appliqued leaf.

I put a few goodies for Beth's beautiful baby Jonah in the bag: a ball from felted wool sweaters and a flannel crinkly square using an old baby wipes package...  The crinkly square especially is perfect: it only took about 10 minutes to make, saved an old diaper wipes package from the garbage, and (most importantly!) it was such a hit I had to make Finn one too.  It's become my go-to last minute baby gift.

I've also been whipping up a bunch of these super easy wool pants for Finn.
They're made from the sleeves of adult-sized felted sweaters and they seriously only take a couple of minutes to throw together. Wool is a perfect material for diaper covering as it's naturally antibacterial and absorbent without feeling wet. Plus you can add fun and easy (no unraveled edges) appliques. I'm kicking myself for not keeping all the shrunken sweaters I've sent to the Goodwill over the years!

I've been knitting too, several as yet unfinished projects -- and these ones are (almost) all for me! I'm making a simple sleeveless cardigan, the Shalom Cardigan from Involving the Senses.
Shalom CardiganFinn's helping with this one:

Also a Burberry-inspired cowl (every girl needs a little luxury, especially if it's homemade and $720 less than the Burberry version.)
burberry-inspired cowl

And I'm finally attempting an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, the Baby Surprise Jacket), just in time for Finn not to fit it at all.
Baby Surprise Jacket

And I haven't cast on for the last project yet but I just had to show you this yarn: Malabrigo Merino Twist, isn't it beautiful?
Malabrigo Twist
I'm thinking some sort of slouchy beret for myself. Perhaps the Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret or maybe the Grace Lace Beret. Do you have any suggestions?

Any other good (quick and easy) tutorials I should be looking at? What are you working on?