Friday, November 30, 2012


 Tea towels!

Last month Spoonflower had a buy one fat quarter, get one fat quarter free sale. It was late and I was feeling weak, so I ordered maybe two or six tea towel calendars to give as gifts. 

This is a super simple project just hemming around the sides and adding a little strap on the back for hanging to dry. If I were to do it again next year I think I'd order the linen blend because I suspect it might absorb better. But for a bit of bright whimsy in the kitchen, I'm hopeful this will do the trick.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini-trip à Montréal

En route to Montreal

Ogilvy Christmas window

November in Montreal

Mount Royal


The original Fairmount

Nota bene paper shop

Hi friends,

I'm back from a quick trip to Montreal. It was wonderful and cold, very very very very very cold.

I went just a wee bit up Mount Royal and when I got to the top of the steps I realized a new and sudden fear of heights. I tried convincing myself that I'm not afraid of heights (I also tried this a few years ago when I got seasick during a snorkelling adventure -- I don't get seasick! I don't! (hurls over side of boat)). I made it back down the steps, hips trembling and silent whimpering. There was a young girl who asked her father to carry her and I wanted to holler "+1 over here!"

On the happier side, visited a lovely yarn shop called Espace Tricot where I got a fancy bowl for my yarn. I fetched some chewy deliciousness from Fairmount bagels and visited the most amazing paper store called Nota Bene. Montreal was all aglow with Christmas lights - such a treat to visit at this time of year :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cherry Blossom girl

Felted flower girl

Ok, so I'm just gonna address this straight up. This little lady's eyes freak me out.  They're a bit ooh, um, well, children of the corn blue. This is my fault because the kit says to make the embroidery floss darker using pencil crayons -- but at a certain age, I guess I must've purged my pencil crayon collection. So, they're a touch icy blue. But otherwise, isn't she cute?

The details: 
::A De Witte Engel felt doll kit from Mary's Yarns.
:: I strayed just a wee bit from the pattern, making the eyes as french knots instead of tiny straight stitches.
:: I also painted on her little mouth using my Laura Mercier lip stain because I thought it improved her look. I also had a moment of... are you really putting your makeup on a doll? So it balances out...

Happy weekend friends, December is right around the corner :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lynn getting married

Blue skies in November

Scraps from the wedding present

Isn't this the cutest?

On Saturday my friend Lynn tied the knot and it was the happiest of days.

Bright blue morning, crisp autumn air, lots of hugging and congratulations, milky pink evening skies, the most perfect knitted cake topper, a yarn wreath, and the prettiest flowers everywhere you looked.

I didn't finish the wedding present, despite some pretty fierce progress the night before the wedding (and between the ceremony and the reception) ... but soon!

Congratulations dear dear friends!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Love the library tote

Easy peasy library tote bag

I think my mom might be the library's best customer. She always has a teetering stack of books to return by the front door, stuffed in some ratty old shopping bag.

So I made her this booky tote for Christmas. The fabric is Goodnight Monkey by Moda and the handles are from Quilt a Bag in Markham. I used this pattern - minus the applique - and friends, this was a no-sweat sewing event.

Have a perfect weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I heart... this and that

Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto

Hello there!

:: Remember when I said I signed up for a Coursera course? Well, I finished my last assignment, wrote the exam and ate a celebratory Bundt cake after (thanks Deb!). I think it was good -- there were definitely some weekends and evenings where all I did was work on my homework and assignments -- and accordingly there were profound sessions of sighing and whimpering. But it felt good to stretch my brain a bit and try something new (I took an intro to Python course). And if you're not convinced about the future of massive online open courses, listen to this Modern Poetry prof talk on this podcast about how he connects with students from around the globe -- it will surely convince you that this movement is something special.

:: Speaking of that podcast, I love it so. The Slate Culture Gabfest is fantastic every week. 

:: These little works of art - wow, so exquisite.

Happy week y'all, we're halfway through November!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A lavender fix

Oooh, I wish you could smell these!

Hello friends,

It's been one of those busy weeks punched up with tomfoolery of all sorts. At night, I really just wanted to sit quietly and stare into the middle distance. Maybe with a bowl of popcorn at my side. 

 Instead, I made these lavender sachets using some squares from a jelly pack and some linen for the back. I admit that what pleased me most was not the summery lavender smell, or the pretty prints, or the linen (because linen is usually a homerun) - it was the speed. How perfect to just start something and finish it so quickly. It was a really good fix for this week.

The fabric is from Quilt a bag.

The Purl Bee instructions suggest sewing three sides and stitching the fourth closed by hand. I left just a little opening on one of the sides to turn it inside out and then hand-stitched the small gap closed because, well, see above about the speed thing. Here's a nice tutorial on the ladder stitch.

Have a nice weekend :) xoxo

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear bigger little bear

A while back I made this hat for a new little boy. His big sister expressed that she might like one too so I finally got around to making one for her, sweet little boo that she is.

I upsized it to fit a toddler using the measurements from this pattern (sans the earflaps).

Details: Hook 5mm
Yarn: Berrocco vintage
Pattern: A combo of the Micah Makes cap and the Yvestown baby hats

I am told the little dear dressed up as a butterfly but she also wore this very bear hat for Halloween and that little fact made me kind of proud....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Calm and bright

Mason jar cozies

Dear friends,

I really really really love these candles. My friend Deb made a set of these for our friend Viv and I knew I had to make some right away. I think they'll be so nice to brighten up the gray winter afternoons.

For this set, I used mason jars and some little square votives. I stuck tea lights in the bottom (I also tried out the battery votives and they even have a nice simulated flicker!)

I used a 5mm hook and an assortment of leftover yarn (Rowan Kid Classic and Drops Alpaca).
For the edging at the top, I did a round of reverse single crochet.

A set of little votives in fuzzy white yarn would be so pretty running down the dinner table at Christmas. 

On Ravelry there are a few knitted variations like this peapod beauty, and this lace rib, and this cabled cover.