NaBloPoMo Day 15: new crafts

I missed a day! I even had something to post about yesterday besides food: embroidery. I’m not actually doing any embroidery but I’m thinking about it. Kristi gave me Embroidered Effects for my birthday and I brought it to school yesterday to help me teach the kids in the sewing class how to embroider. I am going to guess that if you look at my blog posts for the past several Novembers you will find me saying that watching the kids embroider really makes me want to. As I told them: you don’t need fancy stitches to make something nice with embroidery. I should pick a project from that book and actually make it. I usually can’t figure out exactly what I’d do with something embroidered and that stops me from making it. I had the Sublime Stitching Stitchable Stationary kit and embroidered that last year, which I really liked doing. I could do more of that too. Every year, though, I talk about it and then the only embroidery I end up doing is on felt holiday decorations.

The other craft I’ve been thinking about is paracord bracelets. I was looking at a book about them in the bead store last week and then found a tutorial on how to make them and an Etsy shop that sells the supplies. So now I have paracord and buckles and I guess I better figure out how they all go together. I was hoping to get my kids interested in working on them. I got some glow in the dark buckles but they have turned out to be enormous so I’m not sure they’ll work. I got a few smaller green ones too. If it happens, I will post pictures.

I can’t resist mentioning a few food things:

  • I made a chicken in the slow cooker again. This time I put it in breast down and left it a bit shorter. It was so good and it was magically ready when we got home from getting the kids and going to the library. I may never roast a chicken in the oven again. (I’m lying, I miss the crispy skin.)
  • I then started another batch of chicken broth because the last one all got eaten in just a few days. Matzo ball soup will do that.
  • I made chocolate cupcakes for my son’s end of season soccer party tomorrow. I meant to make them cookies ‘n creme cupcakes but I forgot to add the cookies. I put them in the frosting instead and used TJ’s peppermint Joe Joes. This might be the best idea ever.

Okay, I’m done talking about food. For now.

some gift crafting

The sweater I’m knitting for Christine is close to being done but she is leaving on Sunday so I might still have to mail it to her. That seems likely. Sorry, Christine! At least you’ll have a package waiting for you at your new house.

I did finish this for her, twice.

bracelet for Christine

I made it twice because it was too long the first time. I took off two of the blue beads which I made into a pendant, unpictured.

The story behind the bracelet is this: I went to a going away dinner for her and another friend of hers brought those beads and each person said a blessing or a prayer over one of the beads and then I put it together into a bracelet. My blessing for her is that she find a parenting community as supportive and welcoming to her as she has been for me in my parenting journey. I am a better parent for having had her in my life.

It was another dear friend’s birthday this week so I made her something too.

mushroom girl for Rachel

Rachel’s husband is Swedish and she has a photograph of her daughter dressed as a Tomteoboarn (little people of the woods?) I couldn’t find any descriptions of them in english, but this blog post in Swedish has a photo of them. I thought the little mushroom girl was very similar. I gave it to Rachel today and she liked it and mentioned maybe turning it into a pin.

That pattern came from the Felties book that Kristi gave me for Christmas. So much cute stuff in there. Stefan wanted a mushroom girl too. He wants one of everything I make.

an old craft and a new one

I forgot to post this earlier. I also made this ornament for my mother for Christmas.

cross-stitched star

I actually did most of the work about nine years ago, when I was pregnant with Niels. Back then the main craft I did was beadwork. I made off loom woven bead pieces like this. (Pardon the quality of these photos, they’re actually scans of pieces that I made many years ago.)

bear beaded bag

My most ambitious beaded piece was a bag I intended to carry for my wedding (in 1998).

maui beaded bag

I still have this bag somewhere in exactly that state. No lining, no handle. It took many hours of precision work and it weighed a ton from all those beads. It’s beautiful though.

Before Niels was born I had moved on a bit to doing wire and bead pieces and eventually, making chains out of wire.

queens link chain bracelet
flower chain necklace

I still have those. I should wear them sometime. Anyway, the point of all of this is that when I was pregnant I decided that those activities were not exactly baby friendly. Lots of sharp tools and bits of wire or tiny beads flying around. The craft I thought I was going to take up instead was cross stitch. I made a little framed piece for my niece, a pillow for my sister-in-law and then that star for the ornament. I never finished it and it ended up in a box. This Christmas I went searching for embroidery floss in the appropriate colors for the little felt ornaments and I opened the box that I thought just had floss and discovered that star, just waiting to be assembled. I think I originally intended it for my mother so I finished it up and gave it to her. She hung it as the star on her tree, which felt like an honor to me.

As you can tell, cross stitch didn’t really stick with me and I became a knitter instead. Of course, I have no knitting to show you in this post (though both of my Aidez sleeves are done to the armpit and I’ve started the body). What I do have to show is the results of a Rigid Heddle Weaving class I started yesterday at A Verb for Keeping Warm.

threaded loom

Ready to tie on to the front apron bar. (So much new terminology to learn!)

weaving!

Tied on and starting to weave. The pieces is a bit bigger than that now. We are supposed to finish all the weaving before next Sunday (ack). Somehow when I signed up for the class it didn’t occur to me that I’d have homework between the two weeks. I think I can get it all done but I might not get much knitting done this week. The ivory yarn is Panda Cotton and the pink is Maizy. It’s the yarn I had in the right weight with the right amount of stretch for this project. I’m remembering now one of the ideas I had when I first got the loom was to weave napkins out of kitchen cotton so after the class is over I might pull the 8-dent heddle back out and try it. I happen to have a bit of kitchen cotton on hand. Teenuh is taking the class with me, and I know she happens to have a bit of that as well. Maybe we could have a napkin-a-long.