Monday, September 24, 2007

Organizing for the busy season.

I've been feeling the pressure of the upcoming holiday season. I have several shows scheduled throughout the fall and have been taking notes and making new items as I can. I had to stop and organize a bit to see what projects I have set aside and which I should finish first. Keeping up inventory in my Etsy shop could be difficult, especially with a two-weekend show where I have to leave all of my items. Sometimes I have so many things that I want to make that I move on and neglect an unfinished project.
Excluding a few crochet designs that need the ends worked in and a knitting project on the needles somewhere...here is what I have started and set aside.

This large sweater purse has been hand-sewn and I am working a blanket stitch around and attaching long bamboo handles. I am not sure how to line this one, but I think it would make for a better carpet bag look. I also have many ideas for the remainder of the sweater...headbands, cuffs, and maybe a doggy sweater?

The crochet-topped towels are a crafter's tradition at local fairs. No one can resist hanging one on their oven or refrigerator door....especially if they are cute and well-made. I have more scarecrows, grapes, and leaves to finish, but I hope to embellish the dark orange ones with jack-o-lantern faces of some sort. I'm thinking primitive, but it will all have to be done by hand.

I purchased this gorgeous fabric from GoneToPieces. I have always wanted to combine fabric and crochet, other than purse linings : P
I've seen some great fabric scarves in fashion magazines and thought that this gold yarn would make a great crocheted edge. Now to find that awl..... I can't crochet until I have a proper tool.
I'll have to finish up some pumpkins, bats, and spiders. I have sewn bats with felt wings that are waiting for me to fill them with homegrown catnip!
My favorite items of all are shawls. I have hoards of yarn, enough of which to make approximately 15 or more shrugs, shawls, jackets, vests, etc. At this point it's just a matter of what I'll have time for.
My first actual holiday show starts November 1st!! Yikes! I need to finish scarves, hats, and mittens, decide what, if any, baby items I'll be making, and start thinking Christmas crochet.
I'm glad I don't work with thread or I'd be stuck making snowflakes!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Almost Autumn...a crafty post







I StumbledUpon this craft blog with a tutorial of how to make roses from maple leaves and thought I would share. Here is the original blog post. It appears to be in Russian, but I'm not sure.
I found the English version first and thought I'd like to try to make a bouquet. Waiting patiently for the leaves to turn!
How to Make Roses from Maple Leaves



Oh and I found this post that says, to preserve the leaves' colors, just soak them in glycerine as long as you can stand it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Take To the Trail....and take an apple!

After a Summer's hiatus, I dragged my Lazy bones to the trail this morning. My dog knows which shoes are my running shoes. How in the world can she tell, especially after taking three months off, that I chose my running shoes out of the pile that is my back porch?
Anyway....it felt so good to get out again. All the stresses of the past few weeks just seem to disappear for me when I go to the trail. I hadn't even charged my iPod since June! I was so glad I remembered to do so this morning. It's unbelievable how easily my mood is uplifted by exercise-induced endorphins. Don't believe me? Check out this article, which is one of many available online on the subject. I will definitely try to get out more often!

One of the many groups I belong to in my craft-loving world is EtsyFAST or Etsy Fiber Arts Street Team. Every month we have a challenge and try to focus our talents on a particular subject. The theme for September is "apples." Since Fall provides a beautiful color palette to choose from, it's no surprise that there have been many amazing submissions for this project already.
Iryna is from the Ukraine and made this romantic beaded choker....



The Sour Apple hand-dyed falkland wool roving is made by Flawful Fibers/tisjewelart and is enticing enough to make me want to learn how to spin! And the handwoven Apple Grove towels are the creation of Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio.



My submission for this challenge is this Caramel Apple Tote. It is crocheted with large strips of fabrics, making a structured and sturdy fabric. Here are some pictures of the process and the final bag.....which is available in my Etsy shop. All of these items and more can be found by searching "SeptemberChallenge" at Etsy.com.......click here for a direct link to all of the September Challenge entries. Be sure to check back often because there are sure to be more entries. For more information about our next challenge, visit us at www.EtsyFAST.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Busy Time of Year

I haven't updated this blog for awhile, so I thought I had better let you all know what I've been up to lately. Fall is always a busy time of year here. I am a soccer Mom and my husband also coaches and plays in an adult league. So, there is soccer usually 5 or 6 days a week here. We are huge Pittsburgh Steeler's fans, but the soccer matches usually disrupt our being able to watch the game most Sundays. (That and the fact that our cable favors the Browns......who knows why!)


I have been canning a lot of tomatoes. Our garden always does well and back-to-school usually means a lot of canning for me. We enjoy spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and tomato soup. Here's a great recipe for tomato soup:
Cut up approximately 12 quarts of tomatoes, you can leave the core, just cut out bad spots and stems. (I usually use my large stockpot that has quart markings on the side.) Add 2 large onions, skinned and roughly chopped, 2 large green peppers, cored and chopped, 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, and 2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped. Bring this to a simmer, being careful not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the celery and peppers are soft. Process the mixture in a food mill or tomato strainer (mine is a Villa Ware vegetable and fruit strainer). I usually put my spices in a piece of cheesecloth tied with string so I don't have to strain them out later. I use about 4 whole cloves, 2 or 3 bay leaves, and 3 or 4 whole peppercorns. Cook down in a heavy-bottom stockpot for a few hours or so, stirring often, just to reduce some of the water. Remove about 1 cup of the juice to cool. Add approximately 1/4 cup of salt, to taste. Mix together 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 cup flour, rub it together with your fingers. Add approximately 1/2 cup of brown sugar and mix well. Add the cooled tomato juice and mix well. Whisk this mixture into the hot soup and stir. Cook for awhile, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Taste it and see if it needs more sugar or salt. My daughter likes a sweet soup. If it doesn't taste like canned, or better, then she won't eat it. A general rule of thumb for this is, if it's too salty add a little sugar and vice versa. This can be altered to your tastes. The exact amount and type of tomatoes can alter the taste as well. Most of my tomatoes are Romas.

So, canning and soccer seasons have left little time for my crafts and creativity. I have started a new scarf from my own pattern. I am also writing the pattern in pdf form to copyright and sell the pattern. I'll let you know how that turns out. I have some holiday designs I need to write down as well. In the meantime, "Root, root, root for the home team!" ... and take your yarn with you!

Monday, September 3, 2007

etsybloggers - September 3, 2007










Welcome to the September 3, 2007 edition of etsybloggers. The theme this week was "Back-to-School." Apparently lots of EtsyBloggers were busy with back-to-school since we only had 3 blog posts submitted to this carnival! September can be a busy time for all of us. I do hope we can get more participation for future carnivals!


Sue Wickham writes about artistic freedom and how back-to-school allows more time and opportunity to expand your artistic abilities. She lists some of her favorite web sites and blogs that offer online tutorials. Visit An Artistic Look at "Back to School" posted at The Lily Pepper Blog.

Alicia Mae also writes of freedom and how this time of year has changed for her. She has broken away from her usual routine and is finding the time to create in a new light. Visit It's that time of year again posted at AliciaMae's Xanga.

And, finally in my blog, I reflect on childhood memories of a quiet house and how I sometimes enjoy the peace and quiet now that school has started again. However, there are times when I just have to turn up the radio!

Visit A Quiet House posted at LazyTcrochet.




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