Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joyeux Noël

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful Christmas! My whole family was together and I was able to play with all my nieces and nephews. 
One of the fun activities before Christmas was making cookies and a gingerbread house. We don't usually make a gingerbread house, but we thought we'd make one since there were more people home to help. My Dad had the idea to make an Eiffel Tower out of gingerbread, so he drew out some paper templates and we got to baking. It wasn't easy and we hit some bumps on the way, but it was built and is still standing four days later!
My Dad piped on the beams, colored in the park and made the trees, so I was more of an assistant. 
It was fun, but next year, I think we might scale it down and do something a little easier, like our house. 
Merry Christmas, everyone and have a happy New Year! <3

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

doilies in my future

(The doily is 17" across.)
One of my good friends got married last month and as part of her wedding gift, I wanted to make her something. Since I waited until a week before the wedding to think of something to make, I was quite limited on what that gift could be. As I flipped through the numerous crochet magazines that my mother-in-law has in her collection, I found a pretty doily. I liked it because it was made of pink, yellow and green besides white. The only crochet thread that we had was white, but I still wanted to make it. I had never made a doily before, so I needed to see how it would go. As I got going, it was turning out well and at that point decided I wanted to give the doily to my friend. I'm not sure if she's a "doily person," but I thought that it was really pretty. Of course I didn't get it done until after the wedding, but it's always fun to get gifts in the mail, right?
This pattern didn't scare me away, so I hope to see more doilies in my future.

I can't believe Christmas is coming up so soon! I still have lots more crafting to do (i.e. sewing and crocheting.)
I hope everyone is having a fun and festive December! I think it would be more festive if there was snow. I can always hope for a white Christmas <3

Thursday, December 6, 2012

some beautiful clothes

For all my nieces and nephews, I have been crocheting their birthday and Christmas presents and they're all still young enough to not be sick of it yet. At the rate I'm going, I'm sure that they will complain about it  someday, but that day is not today, so I will keep on crocheting!
One of those special little ones I speak of is turning one next week! Of course I had to make her something cute and in this case pretty fashionable. Last Christmas I gave you my heart, oh wait, no- last Christmas I gave my mother-in-law Linda Permann's Little Crochet book. This pattern comes from that book. It's the "Ribbed Cardigan" in the 6-12 month size. This particular niece is quite petite, so I made her that size. If it doesn't fit her, I'm sure she'll grow into it. It's better to make something too big than too small.

I wanted it to be a neutral color so it could be worn with anything and it just so happened to be that brown was the only color I had in the right yarn weight. I hope that she loves it and that it keeps her warm this winter! Have a happy birthday, Allison!
If you have any little ones in your life, Little Crochet is a great resource to make them some beautiful clothes; maybe a good Christmas gift? I think so!
Keep creating and making thoughtful gifts for the special (little) ones in your life! Happy handmade holidays! <3

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

pretty papers

Whenever there is occasion to send a card, I try to make one by hand. For one thing, I can be pretty frugal and another, I have a lot of pretty papers and punches to make one.
Lately, I have been in the habit of using my xacto knife to cut out shapes and motifs. I usually spend over an hour on a card. Once I get going, I tend to get a bit carried away... On this card, I used a stencil to draw out the large floral shape and the smaller motif on the bottom. I cut them out and put a contrasting color behind them. I love, love, love complementary colors and try to incorporate them as much as I can. I've also been using brads to create little accents here and there.
This is a card that I recently made for my sister's birthday. (However, she will probably see this picture of it before it gets to her; a little sneak peak- Happy Birthday, Alice!)
I hope that everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving!
**There's still over a month away before Christmas and plenty of time to be crafty-- keep those hands moving! <3

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the owl and the bunny

After several months, I finally return with a new post! My husband and I spent the summer living in the country; he working on an organic dairy farm and I working on an organic vegetable farm. Without internet at our house, blogging was put on the back burner, but now I'm back and with many projects to show and tell! These two are my most recent creations.

Last year, I gave an elephant as a baby shower gift and the mom asked me if I'd make an owl. He was fun to create, but I need to write down what I did, so I can make more of him.*

The bunny was for my newest niece, who recently had to have heart surgery. On the bunny's sweater, I stitched a heart. I hope that this bunny makes my niece feel loved.

*Both the owl and the bunny were started using other stuffed animal patterns, and then tweaked to make the different parts bigger or longer.

Has anyone been working on Christmas presents? I started back in July and still have more to do! If you haven't started, you still have time! Let's keep the holidays handmade. <3

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

birthday month

If you are one of the fortunate buyers of the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education 2012 calendar, I hope you are enjoying Henrietta the Chicken- Miss April 2012.  April is a good month also because it's my birthday month... and today being my birthday!

(In case you were wondering, there are no set plans for the day except going to Joann's to spend my gift card. Sounds like a good day already!)

Another exciting thing that has happened is, I have a new niece! We were able to go down and see the happy family a couple weeks ago. Oh man, I love being an aunt!
My mother-in-law had asked me if I could make a sign for the occasion. It is hanging proudly on their apartment door.
Since this particular set of wood type didn't have an exclamation point, I decided to sew on some hearts and add a paper behind to make a border.


One last thing to share is that we're moving! This Saturday we're heading down to the Southern Tier. My husband has an opportunity to work on an organic dairy farm.
We're really excited, but to be honest, it hasn't hit me yet. Yesterday, I went to the studio to put all my type away and printed some last minute things.

I know God has something planned and I can't wait to see where it leads <3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a print for the occasion

A couple days ago, I added this print to my etsy shop. Each print is custom made. Here are some prints I've already done to help give you some ideas:

When I got married, I made a print for the occasion, too. This one was hung on a tree near our reception tent.

It's nice to have a fun reminder of such a blessed day! <3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bridge the gap

At my church between Sunday school and the morning service, we have a time called "Bridge the Gap."  It's a time when you can get some coffee or tea, eat a snack and catch up with people.  Every time it's my turn to bring a snack, I try to make something homemade.  I figure, if I have all of the ingredients to make something, then why not?  I don't really want to have to go out and buy something. In the April issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, there's a recipe for Cinnamon Bun Bites.  Yes, the picture is as heavenly as it sounds!  Since the magazine just hit the stands, there aren't any pictures from the issue yet, but you are just in luck because I have some delicious pictures of my own to show you.
The idea is similar to that of monkey bread, where balls of dough are dipped in butter, mound on a plate and baked.  This recipe is even more amazing with the addition of cinnamon and sugar.  Brace yourselves!

The dough is made with a lot of love.
I dunked each piece in butter and then in cinnamon and
sugar and then mounded them on the pie plate.
The only warm place was on the floor in front
of our sliding glass door for these guys to rise.
Without the goodness of glaze...
...but of course you have to have it with the glaze!
I am definitely making this again.  It was so good.  It is so worth the five hours to make. Ok, I may be a little crazy for making something that takes so long, but I know a good recipe when I see it.  Thanks Martha <3

Monday, March 12, 2012

lukewarm off the press

Over the past --however long it's been since my last post-- I have been fairly busy working on some fun projects.  I have been blessed to work a few temp jobs and our nine year old, school issued computer isn't as fast and vivacious as she used to be.  Needless to say, life has been busy.
I have some really supportive people in my life who encourage me and my creativity.  This first project was a commission from a great friend (she has three weddings this April) who asked me if I'd design a print as a gift to each couple.  I told a couple friends that I was doing this and they jumped aboard, too as they have people in their lives that are getting married this year.  My original commission of three has turned into five! Here is number one:

I am printing each one with the couple's wedding date and making it even more special by using their wedding colors.  And I have to say, a yellow and gray color combination is one of my favorites! I really like how this one turned out!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The other project that I took on was save the dates.  This was really fun because they were for one of my closest friends.  She let me design it too; all using metal type available at the studio.
Something that I wanted to show, for those who are unfamiliar with letterpress, is the process. Whether you are using metal/wood type or polymer plates (custom made plastic plates that adhere to a base on the press bed), if you print more than one color, the paper goes through the press more than once.  As my friend and fellow letterpress printer Amy Rau  (owner of green girl press) says, "Each print gets a lot of love."  If you are printing something with two colors, the print goes through the press two times.  If you have four colors, four passes through the press.  Only one color is printed at a time.  I saved some of the save the dates to show you my four day process...

Each card went through the press four times; two colors for the front, two colors for the back.  Even though they aren't perfect, I love them.  Good choice on colors Susan & Will.  I can't wait until your big day; I'm so excited for you! <3

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

things lately

I have been making a lot of things lately and my husband asked me if I'd been taking pictures of them, "...No, I guess I should be, huh?"
A few things I've made have been for my sister-in-law who is expecting. Her shower was this past weekend. I crocheted the "Soft Shells Jacket" from Crochet! Magazine's May 2011 issue. Intimidated by the "Experienced Level" disclaimer, I gave it a try anyway. There were a few bumps at the beginning, but it all came together in the end.

The second thing I made for her was thank you cards. I tried to go with their nursery colors. I really like how they came out. Have I told you lately that I love wood type?

...And then here are some random guys mixed in. I found a bookmark pattern and a doily pattern that I can't get out of my head. Whenever I am sitting, I want to start making one of them.

Left- right: I used a C hook,
the other two I used the correct hook, a number 7. 

I hope you made some cute and creative cards for the people in your life.
Show some love today
(and wearing pink & red is always fun, too)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

d.i.y. valentines get together

Last year, I had a Valentine's Day Card Making Party. It was really fun and a lot of people came over. I was thinking about having another one, but I hadn't made any plans until my friend Wendy asked me if I was having one this year. It was a bit last minute, but we found a day that worked. First it was just two friends, then another friend, then my sister came and she brought a friend. It was great!

For a favor each guest picked out a crochet heart to wear.

I made a heart doily for the table. 

I hung up some banners and garland.

Getting to work.


Trying to look candid. 

Of course, there were fun fetti cupcakes!

...and some Garden Fresh salsa, mmm...

<<<Paper explosion!>>>

And here are some of the results:

I hope you get some inspiration and make cards this year! It doesn't take much; you don't need all the fancy punches. Just use your imagination and get creative with some fun colored paper and scissors. Looking in Martha Stewart Living's February issue doesn't hurt either. <3