Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spherey The Second

Hey, look! I finished something. After basically taking the summer off to lay on the couch and periodically throw up, I realized that I'm way behind schedule. It seems that almost everyone I know decided to give birth as I was suffering through that brutal first trimester, so I'm shamefully behind on my signature Jess Hutch baby gifts. What you see here is good old Spherey, knit up in Cascade 220 for a friend's babe due in November. I've knit just about everything from Jess's booklet Unusual Toys For You To Knit and Enjoy and I think, with the possible exception of Dolly, this one is my fave. He's just so weird looking. I love it.

I decided to start my long queue of baby gifts with this one, because I thought it might be nice to have at least one ready for a baby at the time of its birth. I have two August births to catch up on -- I think I'll still knit, but one baby will (hopefully) be getting a Thanksgiving gift and another a Christmas one. Then, I do have another kid due in a month to knit for, so I better get cracking on that one too. On top of that, I have Halloween costumes, winter gear (hats, mitts, you know the drill) and Xmas gifts... taking the summer off was not the greatest idea. With that said, I better run. I have a princess costume to make.

p.s. I forgot to add that yes, Jess's booklet is out of print. No, I will not photocopy or sell you my copy. I knit out of this thing a lot and I respect Jess's copyright rights, so I can't help you. She does have some free patterns on her site though, and there's always Kate from an old issue of Knitty.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge: Bathroom

I know, it doesn't look like I'm in the bathroom here, but I am. See, we don't have a lot of art in our house. I don't know why -- we like art, we have a lot of friends who are artists, we have a lot of friends who went to art school, I think we have good taste in art... It's just not something we've invested in and it seems like we never have enough energy to get creative about hanging stuff on the walls.

Except in the bathroom. This framed comic has been in about five bathrooms of mine over the years and it's a universal hit with everyone who uses the loo. The kitsch factor is there, the vaguely queer title, the nostalgia... overall it's awesome. Unfortunately, if you've ever read any of these true love comics, they're not actually very good, so this one lives happily under glass for our friends and family to stare at while they do their business.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Little People For My Little Peep

Ruby and I were driving home from preschool today when I saw a sign that almost made my heart stop: "House And Contents For Sale." As some of you know, I didn't get to do much thrifting this summer and it's not often that an amazing estate sale hits me in the face... much less an hour after opening. It was fate, I tell ya.

So, inside the house there was a lot of ritzy, very expensive antique stuff -- the woman who owned the house had thankfully not passed away, she was just drastically downsizing (perhaps an assisted living home, I'm not sure, but she was mentioned by others in the present tense), so she was mostly getting rid of her vast collection of fancy stuff, not day to day housewares. But there was a room full of toys -- toys that were formerly owned by a man now in his 40s. Toys including loads of Fisher Price Little People.

Now, these kind of sales aren't usually of the bargain basement variety, but I did allow myself to spend about $25 on loot for Ruby. We ended up with a Little People School House and a family house, plus a mini bus and three zip-lock bags full of peeps and furnishings. This stuff is pretty old -- I'm pretty sure the school house is slightly before my own time (I think an older cousin had it at one point -- I'm more of the Sesame Street clubhouse vintage myself). And some of the peeps are wooden. Wooden!

Needless to say, Ruby freaked out. She has a couple old school Little People sets at the grandparents' houses and she has plenty of new school stuff, but she sensed that this stuff is special. And she's right.

p.s. We also got the wooden puzzle you see above. I kind of want to glue the pieces in and mount it in the baby's room, but I'll let Roo play with it for the time being.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


... has been slow in these parts, but it hasn't ground to a halt. I spent most of the day trying to size and cut Ruby's Halloween costume, only to realize that it's going to be waaay too small (especially since I was planning for her to wear her coat under it). Luckily, I bought a truckload of fabric (it's cheap broadcloth and I figured since I was working with the wrong size pattern, I may need to make more than one attempt), so I may try again during ANTM tonight if I have the energy. Which I may not.

Anyone out there have an opinion on Gossip Girl? I think it may fill the teen soap void in my heart now that The O.C./Buffy/Gilmore Girls are all off the air. Aaron thinks it's weird that I need a teen soap in my life, but I pretend that his assertions that I'm lamely trying to deny the fact that I'm 32 are off base. It's research. For being a mother of a girl who will one day be a teenager. Because those shows are so true to life. Really.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brand-Free Princesses

Ah, autumn is in the air and it's time to start thinking Halloween costume. As some of you know, the main reason that I got a sewing machine and started haphazardly and half-assedly learning how to sew was so I could make Ruby homemade Halloween costumes. I know... she'll never appreciate the hard work... in a couple years she'll start begging for store-bought ones... I know. But for now, it's something very mom-like I can give to her.

The pattern you see here is Butterick 6312, which I snagged at a church garage sale earlier this year. It's a classic from my own childhood -- my mom ended up making both the princess and the angel for me and the witch for my brother (though he demanded that we call him a warlock and had mom draw a moustache on his face). I searched the new pattern books for updated princess costumes but they all seemed too fancy/commercial for my skills.

When asked, Ruby said she wanted to be a clown for Halloween like last year, but I didn't feel like tackling another jumpsuit. I convinced her that princess was the way to go, but she's told us that she's not a regular princess, she's Ariel (from the Little Mermaid, natch). Since she's only two, I think she'll go for this generic number if we tell her she looks just like Ariel (or Sleeping Beauty or whatever story she's into by October). Hopefully by next year I won't have to sew the whole get-up with a red wig and a mermaid tail.

Monday, September 10, 2007

SPC: In The Bathroom

It's been a while since I participated in Self Portrait Challenge (despite being a contributor to their blog), so I thought I'd give it a go. This month's theme is "The Bathroom" and people have been coming up with some really brilliant shots.

Okay, I swear, swear, swear that this isn't going to become a pregnancy blog. In fact, I'm thinking about this pregnancy a lot less than the last one -- for obvious reasons. But I think this shot encapsulates my world right now -- toddler potty seat and bulging belly. That's what it boils down to these days. And I would like to point out that I am only three months pregnant and the bump is way exaggerated by the angle of the camera. You do get bigger faster the second time around, but within reason.

And thank you all who sent well wishes about our expected new addition. We're all very excited around here, especially Ruby. She's decided that the new baby is a sister and that her name will be Frank. And she told me yesterday that she loves the baby. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

In The Family Way

Okay, so you know how I've been not so inclined to craft/thrift/post for the last couple months? It's because I'm pregnant. Almost 13 weeks, to be exact. Expect a new addition to our family in March.

It's thrown me for a bit of a loop because I wasn't sick when I was preggers with Ruby (tired, sure, but not sick) and this time around I've had to instruct Aaron not to lock the bathroom door when he showers because I can rarely keep my breakfast down. Ick. I'm feeling a bit better now, but it's still rough, especially with a two-and-a-half year old wanting to use up the little energy I have.

So, that's why not a lot has been getting done around here. But I have been working on my crochet afghan and I did cast on a baby gift for a friend this morning. Oh, and I did do some thrifting on vacation, but nearly as much as I'd hoped. All I really ended up with is the apple tile you see above. I'll just have to cross my fingers that the little one will like the car and I'll be able to take him/her out next summer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Home At Last

I'm home. And so are my socks! What you see above are my lovely Sockapalooza socks, knitted with affection by Fatimah over at The Knit Factor. Nice, eh? She used Fearless Fibers sock yarn in Midnight Passion and the pattern is Pembrokeshire Pathways by Brenda Dayne. Don't they kind of remind you of the socks I knitted for my pal? The pattern is different (there are cables in between the lace holes) and it's a different yarn, but still kind of in the same family. Thanks Fatimah, they're awesome.

And yes, I'm finally back from vacation, just in time to see the leaves start to turn on my trees. I must say, there's been much summer lovin' in blogland, but I'm glad to see this summer over. It's been a tough one. I'll elaborate as to why another day, maybe tomorrow, as I don't want to take away from the glory of my sock post.