Maybe Matilda: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crochet Camera Strap Cover Tutorial

I’m hopping onto the camera strap cover bandwagon a little bit late. Can I still be one of the cool kids? Please?

There are so many tutorials for adorable fabric camera strap covers out there—including an adorable ruffled one from Midwestern Sewing Girl that Maggie kindly shared on my blog—but it’s one of the many projects on my to-do list that I’ve never gotten around to (and was starting to think I wouldn’t ever get around to). But lo and behold, Pinterest came to the rescue (yet again). Someone had pinned a sweet and cozy-looking crochet camera strap cover from Avery’s Loft on etsy. I thought to myself, “Self, maybe this is why you’ve never gotten around to sewing a camera strap cover . . . your inner granny wanted to crochet one instead!” So, inspired by the yarnilicious no-sew strap cover from Avery’s Loft (a lovely shop, by the way), I got to work and came up with this:

DSC_0362Pretty cute, right? I’m really enjoying it—it is super soft and cushy, and makes lugging around a big heavy camera so much more comfortable. And although I wasn’t really watching the time while I made it, I’d guess it took maybe 30 or 40 minutes to make. I doubt that I could have sewn one that fast—crochet for the win!

I wrote up a pattern for it, but fair warning . . . this is just what worked for my camera strap (a Nikon DSLR). I don’t know if strap measurements are universal across different brands/models, or if my stitch count would work for someone else’s camera. So just use this pattern as more of a guideline and adjust the stitches as necessary to get the right size to fit your strap, okay?

Okay!

DSC_0366 I don’t know if there are official terms for strap anatomy, so I’m just winging this: your strap probably has a big long main section that narrows slightly at either end before attaching to the string that loops into your camera. The strap cover pattern starts at one of the narrower ends, grows a little bigger as the strap does, and is worked in a loop toward the other narrow end before shrinking a little bit again to cover the second narrow end.

Camera Strap Cover

(Remember to use this pattern as a guideline—you may need to change the starting chain length and/or increases/decreases to accommodate your strap size! I crochet rather loosely, so you might have to drop a hook size or adjust the starting chain if you crochet more in the normal to tight range. Just check the fit as you go and adjust as necessary.)

I used worsted weight yarn and an I hook.

Chain 8 (or however long/short of a chain you need to wrap around the narrow end of the strap snugly):

DSC_0342 Slip stitch into the first chain to form a loop. (Don’t do this around the strap—the picture is just to show how I measured my starting chain.)

Row 1: Chain 1, then single crochet in each stitch around (this should give you 7 stitches, unless you had to adjust the chain length). Slip stitch to starting chain to join.

Row 2: Chain 1, work 2 single crochets in the first stitch, then one single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (You should now have 8 stitches.)

Row 3: Chain 1, work 2 single crochets in the first stitch, then one single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (You should have 9 stitches.)

Row 4: Chain 1, work 2 single crochets in the first stitch, then one single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (10 stitches)

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Row 5-?: Chain 2, work 1 double crochet in each stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (10 stitches)

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Repeat row 5 until the strap cover is the necessary length (it should cover the first narrow end, as well as the long, straight section of the strap, and stop before the strap narrows down again).

DSC_0352 Now we have to decrease again to fit the other narrow end of the strap, so I’m counting down on these last few rows to the end of the strap cover.

Decrease row 4: Chain 1, single crochet 2 stitches together, then work 1 single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (9 stitches)

Decrease row 3: Chain 1, single crochet 2 stitches together, then work 1 single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join.  (8 stitches)

Decrease row 2: Chain 1, single crochet 2 stitches together, then work 1 single crochet in each remaining stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (7 stitches)

Last row (1): Chain 1, single crochet in each stitch; slip stitch to starting chain to join. (7 stitches)

Now fasten off, weave in the loose ends, and stuff your strap through the cover (this might take some clever finagling!)

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I wanted a few cute little flowers to add a little spice to my strap. It’s January, and I need some non-dead, non-ice-encrusted flora in my life.

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Little Posy Flowers

Start by making a magic/adjustable ring.

Chain 1, and work 1 single crochet into the ring.

*Chain 1, work 2 double crochets into the ring, chain 1, single crochet into the ring.* That makes one petal:

DSC_0355 Repeat from * to * for as many petals as you’d like . . . I prefer 5 or 6 petals per flower.

Slip stitch to the first single crochet of the flower to connect the first and last petals, then fasten off.

DSC_0356 And pull on the starting yarn tail to close up the center.

DSC_0357 Weave in the ending yarn tail, and use the center/starting yarn tail to sew the flower onto the strap. I went with a happy little cluster of 3 flowers to brighten up my strap.

DSC_0367 There you go! A cute, comfortable, snuggly soft crochet camera strap cover.

And in case you want a peek into my creative process, here are my pattern notes:

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I never said it would be pretty. My brain is a very confusing place, made worse when accompanied by a one-and-a-half year old who got a little jealous of my notepad and kept stealing it for his own messy, scribbly purposes. The little dark lord strikes again.

DSC_0346 He seriously looks a teeny bit evil in that picture. I’m frightened. Especially because he has recently started doing this maniacal mad scientist laugh . . . I think he has bad things brewing (and not just in his diaper). I can only assume he was taking my paper to make notes for his wicked master plan. I hope he will be a merciful evil overlord.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Sidewalk Shawl

I wrote a bit ago about the winter ripple blanket I crocheted during my crochet break over Christmas. A break from crocheting during which I think I crocheted more than I ever have before. It was delightful! Well, this little number was another project I worked on during that crochet break  (and—dare I say it?—it might be my absolute favorite thing I have ever created):
DSC_0343-2 Feast your eyes upon the Sidewalk Shawl, possibly the most beautiful pattern I’ve ever seen. I spotted the pattern (which is free, by the way!) a few weeks ago and drooled over the gorgeous picture for a few days before giving in and hooking it up. I was a tad hesitant to make this—it looked quite a bit more complicated than anything I’ve made before, and I didn’t want to screw it up. But I can only resist the crochet temptation for so long. And I’m glad I gave in because IT. IS. GLORIOUS.
DSC_0350-1 Look at that beautiful piece!  I’m not going to even pretend to be all humble and no-big-deal about this shawl . . . I just stare at it every day, and stroke it lovingly, and tell it how pretty it is. Kind of like I do with Forrest, only a little more tender.
DSC_0347-2 Part of me feels stylish when I wear it (after all, the girl modeling it in the pattern picture looks pretty chic, which is why I didn’t dare stray from the colors in the picture), and part of me wonders if shawls are fashionable. Or have ever been fashionable. The only time I ever see them worn is in old Western movies, by farmhouse wives while they churn butter or help birth calves. But when my fashion icon, Kate Middleton, was snapped wearing a shawl at a grocery store, I was sold. If it’s good enough for Kate, it’s good enough for me. Now if only I can get up the courage to wear the adorable little British hats and fascinators.
DSC_0348-2 Some thoughts on the pattern: this is certainly the prettiest, most intricate thing I’ve ever crocheted. But that comes at a price . . . it was also definitely the most complicated pattern I’ve ever followed. It wasn’t exactly hard, but it did require a lot of attention and counting. Usually, I watch a movie while I crochet, or listen to a book on tape . . . definitely not an option for this pattern. I had to sit in complete silence, by myself, with zero distractions so I could focus on the pattern completely. And you know how, with most patterns, you’ve got it memorized after a few rows and only refer to the pattern to make sure you’re still on track? Or you can at least recognize the repeats in the pattern and predict what’s coming next? I never really felt like I could guess where this one was going—only in the last one  or two pattern repeats did I start thinking, “Oh, right! This makes sense! I remember doing this before!” Up until the very end of the project, every row felt like a surprise (hence the need for total silence while I worked on it). Again, it wasn’t exactly a difficult pattern . . . it just required more focus and attention than most of the patterns I’ve used. And I’m thrilled with the result—I seriously keep looking at it and thinking, “I can’t believe I made something so beautiful!” Just like with Forrest . . . this is my shawl baby. Oh, how I love my sweet shawl baby.
(I used about 3 or 4 skeins of Caron Simply Soft in in Grey Heather to make my Sidewalk Shawl.)
(Also, I’ve been playing along with Freckles In April’s outfit challenge this week, and I’ll be linking this post up to her blog!)
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chiropractic 101 :: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve mentioned before that my husband, Jeff, is a chiropractor. Although neither of us grew up visiting chiropractors—my first chiropractic visit of my life was to the student clinic when Jeff started school, and his first visit was actually while shadowing a chiropractor in a pre-med college course—we’ve really developed a love for chiropractic and what it can do. But as we’ve both studied it, incorporated it into our lives/healthcare, and experienced great results, we’ve noticed that most people aren’t very familiar with it and don’t know what it is, what it can do, how it works, or how it can help them.

Jeff (and even me, too) often gets asked the same questions by neighbors and friends and family members, so we thought we’d address some of them here so we could have a simple “beginners’ guide” to chiropractic to refer people to if they wanted to learn a little more about it. So if you’ve ever wondered what chiropractic is all about, read on, friend, read on. (Jeff and I are writing this post together, by the way, so you can trust that this information is coming from an actual licensed professional and not some crazy crochet lady who doesn’t know a lumbar vertebra from a cupcake. If you have any questions after reading this post, feel free to email me and I’ll pass it on to Jeff to answer!) I know you come here for craft posts, but this info is good for everyone to hear—especially crafters like you who spend all day hunched in front of a sewing machine or crochet hooks or an embroidery hoop or a keyboard, blogging, or chasing your kids around, and so on and on and on . . .

What is chiropractic?

Every system in the body—muscles, organs, bones, skin, everything—is controlled by the nervous system, which transmits signals through the spinal column. If a segment of the spine is out of alignment, it can inhibit the nerve’s ability to transmit messages, which can cause pain or dysfunction. Chiropractic realigns bones to make sure nerves—and, thereby, all your body systems—function optimally.
 

What sort of problems does a chiropractor treat?

The majority of problems addressed in a chiropractic office are low back pain, neck pain, and headaches, but it can be extremely helpful in treating any issues arising from nervous system dysfunction caused by skeletal misalignment (which could range from whiplash injuries to the rapid body changes caused by pregnancy). Chiropractic returns the body to an optimal state in which it can function at its best and heal itself, so it should be viewed not just as pain relief but as a natural approach to overall wellness. Your body is smart—it knows how to heal itself and how to compensate for pain so you can keep going. Chiropractic puts and keeps your body in its optimal state so it can work the way it’s designed to. 
(Personal anecdote time! This is Rachel speaking, by the way. I don’t have any huge, life-altering chiropractic miracle stories, but chiropractic has really helped me in many smaller ways. Story 1: When I was in massage school, I started having a lot of sharp pain in my shoulder/pec area one day. I figured I had pulled a muscle, and worried that it would take weeks of ice and rest to recover, which would really put me behind in school since a big part of our grade was giving massages, something I couldn’t comfortably do with a painful shoulder. I made a visit to our chiropractor, expecting her to confirm that I had pulled a muscle, and was surprised to hear that the muscles were fine . . . but my clavicle was just barely misaligned, which was putting pressure on the nerves in that area and causing pain when I gave massages. She adjusted my clavicle (she said it had probably become misaligned due to a weird sleep position, or even carrying around a heavy purse or backpack) and instructed me to ice it throughout the day. Within a few hours, the pain was completely gone, and by the next day the swelling and leftover achiness were gone, too. I felt 100% better and was giving massages again a day or two later.)

Does it hurt?

Typically, a chiropractic adjustment is a high-velocity, low-force maneuver that realigns an out-of-place structure. Generally, it won’t be painful—there might be some discomfort or soreness after the adjustment, depending on the severity of the problem.
(Rachel again here, with story 2: One adjustment that tends to freak people out is this one, but let me tell you why it is my absolute favorite. I tend to get headaches—not the awful, debilitating headaches that some people struggle with, but just the annoying, run-of-the-mill, pop-an-Advil variety. They’re a nuisance, and I didn’t like taking pain medication every day. Early on in Jeff’s schooling, he encouraged me to visit the student clinic and mention my headaches. I didn’t realize this was something chiropractic could help with—I still thought chiropractic was more for big issues, like terrible back pain or car accident recovery—but I mentioned my almost-daily headaches to my student doc anyway. One neck adjustment later, I was headache-free. Since the problem arises from me having poor posture and bad habits like sitting in front of a computer or crocheting with my head bent over for hours, the headaches do return over time. But a quick visit to my favorite chiropractor [how lucky for me, we share an address!] and a neck adjustment, and the headaches are gone. Even if you don’t have a big problem that needs fixing and you’re just experiencing the annoyance of something like headaches, chiropractic can be a huge help!)

Are chiropractors “real” doctors?

Chiropractors, in general, will receive a 4-year bachelors degree before beginning a doctorate program in chiropractic. The education of a chiropractor is comparable to that of a medical doctor in the subjects of diagnosis, radiology, pathology, and other life sciences. The education differs in that a chiropractic student focuses on more natural treatment of disorders while a medical student’s education would focus more on pharmacology (medication/drugs). Chiropractic students must perform hundreds of adjustments in student clinics before graduating, and most students also do an internship with an experienced doctor before receiving their license.

My brother/neighbor/cousin/pet iguana saw a chiropractor and he did _______________ (insert unusual-sounding treatment here). That just sounds crazy, right?

Just like in any healthcare field, there are plenty of different opinions on how to best treat problems. In chiropractic, there are numerous techniques utilized to treat misalignment, and most doctors find one technique they love to use on the majority of their patients. The important thing is to make sure you see a doctor whose technique you agree with and gives you the best results. Some people respond better to certain treatments; if you aren’t getting the results you want, it doesn’t mean that chiropractic isn’t working for you. It more likely means that the technique/treatment you’re receiving is not the best one to meet your needs, and you should talk to your doctor about changing your treatment plan, or find a new doctor who practices a different technique.

Does insurance cover chiropractic care? How expensive is it?

Most insurance plans at least partially cover chiropractic. If you pay cash, you can tentatively plan on the price of a visit with a chiropractor to be comparable to, or less than, a visit to a medical doctor (although, obviously, prices will vary from office to office).

Is chiropractic “anti-medicine”? Will a chiropractor discourage me from visiting a medical doctor?

Any responsible chiropractor will not claim to be “anti-medicine,”  just like any good medical doctor will not claim to be “anti-chiropractic.”  Medicine has its place, just like chiropractic has its place. A true healthcare provider will look for the best treatment for their patients’ conditions, even if that means referring them to a different healthcare provider. A chiropractor’s first approach will always be a natural one. Chiropractic focuses on making sure the body is functioning optimally and letting your body’s innate intelligence take care of the rest. Sometimes your body experiences situations that are just too much for it to handle, even when everything is functioning properly. Even the most well-adjusted body can still be susceptible to illness and disease. When that happens it is important to seek outside treatment that can correct the issue, such as medical or surgical procedures. Chiropractic is not anti-medicine; it is just pro-body. We always want to use the least invasive approach to healthcare; if that fails, a responsible chiropractor will refer to the appropriate sources.

Can/should the elderly and children get chiropractic adjustments?

Chiropractic focuses on treating the nervous system, especially after a trauma has created some sort of dysfunction. Having a child of just one and a half, we know that trauma and children are like peas in a pod. From birth onward, children are living in a difficult world—from the tight squeeze on their birth day to spills on the playground, kids are constantly bombarded with physical stresses. All of this trauma can cause dysfunction in the nervous system, which if not addressed, can become chronic problems into adulthood.  Many question if chiropractic is safe for children and the elderly. There are many different techniques used in chiropractic. A “hands-on” adjustment is completely safe on people of any age if done by a trained professional, but many chiropractors choose techniques that apply even less force while still achieving the same results.  So as to whether the young and old possibly need chiropractic, the answer is yes. As to whether chiropractic is safe for the elderly and children, the answer is also a definite yes.

(Rachel here with one last story for you: From my first adjustment, I’ve always liked visiting the chiropractor . . . I always leave feeling better than when I walked in, and it helps to clear up any pain or issues I was having before they develop into bigger problems.  But I gained a whole new appreciation for chiropractic when I was pregnant. A pregnant mama’s body is growing and changing so quickly that her muscles and ligaments and bones are forced to undergo some awkward changes to make room for the growing baby, so most pregnant women complain of low back pain, hip pain, even sharp sciatic pain that shoots down the butt and legs. I was lucky to have had a normal, complication-free pregnancy . . . but I did experience the good old-fashioned discomfort of carrying around a gigantic, heavy belly. I tell you, I could have married the chiropractor I saw while I was pregnant [never mind that she was a lady . . . that’s legal in Iowa, and I loved her that much]. I’d hobble into her office with achy hips, a sore back, tight and painful shoulders, and I’d leave feeling like a million bucks. With a body that’s morphing and growing and changing at lightning speed,  I think chiropractic care is an absolute must for pregnant women [read more about chiropractic care during pregnancy from the American Pregnancy Association here]. It will save you so much discomfort and pain by helping your body adapt to and deal with the stress and pressure of the growth and extra weight, and make sure your body is in alignment for an easier delivery and recovery, too. And although I was lucky enough to not have to take advantage of this, there are even chiropractic techniques that are clinically shown to help turn a breech baby—read more about the Webster technique here.)

How do I find a good chiropractor?

Just like finding a good family care doctor, your best bet is probably asking around and getting a recommendation from someone you trust. Ask a potential chiropractor about the techniques they use to see if they make sense to you and match up with your ideas of healthcare. There are hundreds of different techniques and just as many opinions about their efficacy in addressing various problems, so try to find a chiropractor whose thoughts on healthcare and treatment match up with yours.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chimin’ Time (review and coupon code!)

Do you remember a list of fun etsy shops I posted before Christmas? One of them was All Stuft Up, a knit monster shop owned by an old friend of mine, Lauren. Well, Lauren’s talents apparently are limitless—together with her husband, she also runs another etsy shop, Chimin’ Time, full of handmade, handheld pipe chimes, instructional DVDs with sing-along style children’s and Christmas music to help you play your chimes like a pro, and even the instructions to make your own set of perfectly tuned handheld chimes.

Lauren sent me a chime set, as well as two instructional DVDs, to take for a test run. I actually received them a few weeks ago, but was waiting to try them out . . . Forrest has had a serious case of the grumples (teething, how I hate thee!), which has left him so deeply grouchy that I thought even a fun chime set wouldn’t be enough to crack it. So I figured I’d wait until he was back to his usual happy self to let him use the new chimes.

Wow—I am so glad I stopped waiting for a “happy day” to let this grouchy, teething boy play with the chimes!DSC_0359

Up until I pulled the chimes out, he had spent all day—and I really do mean alllllll day—lying on the couch with his blankie, watching The Incredibles over and over. Sir Grumpy McGee. Apparently, chimes are the cure for teething . . . who knew?

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The chime set was so fun to play with—you hold the pipe by the attached string and tap it with the wooden striker to sound the note, and Forrest was laughing up a storm every time he heard the ding of a chime. The chimes have a beautiful sound and are tuned perfectly . . . there are no wonky notes or “off” tones. Each note sounds absolutely perfect, to the point that I was almost tempted to turn the set into a windchime for the days we aren’t playing with it. But as it turns out, they are now being played with every day!

DSC_0366 These chimes would make SUCH a fun activity for a church group, a classroom, a music class, a big family . . . or even just a little family like ours, with a child who loved being able to make music all by himself (for the rest of the day, as he started to get grouchy again, we would just say, “Forrest! Ding ding ding!” and he’d race off to grab a chime and mallet).

DSC_0337 The instructional DVDs were so helpful, too—they feature popular kids’ songs in a “sing-along” style . . . you’re shown which chimes you’ll need to use for each song, and when each chime should be struck to play your tune. Although some of us were less concerned with following the beat, and just wanted to rock out and jam with the chimes.DSC_0373

Here’s a little more info from Lauren about herself and Chimin’ Time:

“Hey there! I'm Lauren from Chimin'TIme. My husband Kirby and I live up in Vancouver, WA with our two beautiful girls. We met at J-Dawgs (the most amazing hot dog shack in all the world) in Provo, UT while going to school at BYU. A couple days later we played racquetball and a couple lightning fast balls to the skull later, he knew he couldn't live without me. ;)

“Kirby currently works as a business analyst for a laser manufacturer while I stay home with our little mischief makers, taking photography jobs as they come, knitting like a mad-woman, and singing the occasional gig with a classic rock cover band.

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“So. The chimes. A couple years ago, we got to play around with a very crude set of handheld chimes and had a blast. We wanted to make ourselves our very own set, and soon learned that it takes a TON of work. That got my husband thinking. How cool would it be to perfect the ‘recipe’ and provide the option to those without time and tools to purchase a set already made and ready to go!? Yup. That's when Chimin'Time was born. Everything from the precise length of the pipe to the placement of the holes for the strings has been tested to provide optimal pitch and clarity of tone. (For those of you wanting the full spiel on the technical aspects of the chimes, you can read more here.)


Each chime corresponds to a note on the piano, so you can play whatever you like, from Mozart to Gaga. We also created some play-a-long DVDs (similar to the Mickey Mouse sing-a-longs from back in the day) that can be purchased with the chimes. We currently have a DVD with Christmas songs, and a DVD with Children's songs (Bingo, Wheels on the Bus, etc.).”

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We are definitely believers in our house—the chimes were so fun to play with, had such a great sound, and were the perfect intro lesson for Forrest on music-making. And I’m sure they’ll keep being fun as he gets older and can actually help play songs with the chimes and learn more about music.

Make sure to swing by Chimin’Time to check out the great chime sets and DVDs, and save 20% on your purchase from Chimin’Time by entering coupon code MAYBE20 at checkout!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carved Heart Embroidery

Nerd alert: when I was a little kid, I loved doing embroidery and cross-stitching. I have vivid, happy memories of my mom helping me trace pictures from the Friend (a Christian kids’ magazine I loved) onto muslin to embroider, and I spent hours stitching away. (Maybe this is what’s wrong with kids these days . . . they don’t know how to cross stitch. I cross stitched, and I turned out swimmingly, ergo, today’s children should be cross stitching more. Embroider today for a brighter tomorrow!)

Unfortunately, I lost interest in it as time went on, and other hobbies stepped in to take needlework’s place. But a deep, beautiful, slightly inappropriate love affair with Allison’s embroidery on Little Lovelies (here are some of my favorites from her blog) made me want to pick it up again. Then I saw this project at Miss Lovie a few weeks before Christmas—a little heart carved in a tree, complete with initials. It seemed like exactly the sort of Christmas gift I could spend hours making for Jeff, who would not appreciate it at all. And I was right!

carved heart embroidery 001

Isn’t that sweet? I normally don’t go for the cutesy-pootsy “we’re so in love”-type projects, but I thought this one was cute without making me want to gag at its hormonal teenaged romanticism.

carved heart embroidery 003

The original tutorial includes a printable pattern that you can trace onto your fabric to stitch over. Someone--and I don’t want to name names, but someone in this house who has an absurd obsession with electronic gadgets and is about 2 feet tall--broke our printer, so I couldn’t take advantage of the pattern. I just sketched out something that looked vaguely similar to the pictures and got to work. Mine is also much larger than the one in the tutorial—something like 5 inches across instead of ornament-sized.

I really love how it came out. I’m not entirely certain what to do with a single piece of embroidery art . . . I think I may want to start embroidering again, make some more little pieces, and cluster them together on a wall somewhere. This little project revived a long-dormant interest in a hobby that I had all but forgotten about. But for now, there’s just the one, and it’s perched awkwardly on Jeff’s nightstand. Three cheers for useless Christmas gifts!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

New Years ReSEWlution at Me Sew Crazy

I’m sharing a project at Me Sew Crazy today—have you been following Jessica’s reSEWlution series? She invited bloggers to make a sewing resolution for the New Year and share their goal/project on her blog . . . there have been so many fun tutorials, refashions, organization ideas, and more so far. Click on over to see my reSEWlution for the new year, and my first step towards keeping it.
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And, in case anyone comes to visit from Me Sew Crazy looking for proof of a certain claim I made about this skirt . . . behold:
DSC_0380 You can’t see me! I’m camouflaged! (I swear, I think I have a Sesame Street clip that I could  use for just about every situation. Good ol’ Sesame Street, it never lets me down.)
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

And THEN he said . . .

How much do you hate it when moms add captions of what their baby is saying/thinking in pictures?

DSC_0082This was just one of the many things I vowed never to do when I had a baby—it just seemed goofy to me to add an “I sure love my grandma!” or an “Oops, is there something on my face?!” to a picture of a baby. Obviously, the baby is saying no such thing. I’d bet money he’s not thinking it, either.

And in my lofty, knowledgeable, childless state, I decided I would never do something so silly. I was a parenting expert before I became a parent. (Also on the ridiculous list of things I wouldn’t do when I had a baby were such choice items as “never sniff his butt to check for a dirty diaper,” and “never take him out of the house in a mismatched outfit.” It’s been a long, hard fall down that list, knocking off every last item along the way.)

But then when I end up with a series of pictures like this, how am I supposed to let it go captionless? I’m fighting the urge to add captions here . . . I’m fighting it hard. And I am losing this battle, my friends.

DSC_0322-1 DSC_0324-1 DSC_0325-1 (Do you see what he’s wearing? Check that “mismatched outfit” item off my mothering list! There’s a two-for-one special on the parenting checklist today. Get ready for some mismatched, awkwardly outfitted captions!)

We thought it would be fun to take Forrest out to get frozen yogurt. Never mind that it was something like 4 degrees outside, or that the wind was strong enough to literally push me across the parking lot. Off we went. Clearly, someone did not appreciate our attempt at fun family activities and quality time spent together. After one lick of  frozen yogurt, he was trying to scrape his tongue off with his fingernails—who is this child? Surely no son of mine would turn his nose up at delicious Smores-flavored frozen yogurt! There must have been some sort of mix-up at the hospital. No wonder he doesn’t have any of my smashing good looks.

Maybe he just didn’t like how cold it was—we offered him some brownie bites from our bowls instead.

DSC_0326-1 (If I were a caption sort of person, this is where I’d write, “Hmmm, this looks more promising!”)

Unfortunately, even the brownies were a bust.

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(Caption: “Abort, abort, abort!”)

This from the boy whose lunch yesterday consisted mostly of—I’m not joking—brownies. Maybe he’s going to be a food snob who turns up his nose at store bought brownie bites. Homemade brownies are acceptable, but factory-made brownies?!

DSC_0330-1 REMOVE THIS FOUL SUBSTANCE!

And, by the way, I have no idea where he got all these dramatics from. NO IDEA, I TELL YOU!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Ripple Crochet Baby Blanket

For a few weeks around Christmas, I put my etsy shop on vacation so I could  take a little break from the constant crocheting and just enjoy the holidays. And what did I do with those weeks of vacation, you wonder? I crocheted. I crocheted a lot.
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I think it’s probably a good sign when the hobby of choice that I spend my “vacation” time on is also the work I’m taking a vacation from. Ideal, isn’t it? I used that little shop break as a chance to work on a few projects I’d wanted to begin but didn’t have the time for during a busy Christmas season in my shop. I’ve wanted to try a round blanket for a while (inspired once again by the talented Casey and her beautiful crochet—she makes such fun ripple blankets), and I found this pattern, which I used (with a few variations) to make this cute baby blanket.
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I was so glad it snowed before I took these pictures—I have a feeling this blanket just wouldn’t look right photographed against bright leaves and grass. Doesn’t it look so wintry? I crocheted it in a really lovely, comfortable off-white yarn, and I love the unique style of this blanket.
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And, as always, bobbles are a delight on baby blankets. Little ones love to play with them, and they add such a fun detail. (Even just looking at those neat, tidy rows of stitches makes me feel calm and happy . . . tell me I’m not the only crazy lady who is comforted by rows of crochet stitches . . . )
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The pattern designer requests that these blankets not be sold in online shops (a detail I really wish I’d noticed before I started working on this blanket), so for now, this one’s adding a little granny chic style to the sofa in my living room. I kind of like it there, but I think it’ll eventually head to the Bungalow Boutique in Heber to see if we can find it a new home.
DSC_0550 If you’re interested in it, please email and let me know!maybematildaquilts[at]gmail[dot]com). I’d love for it to head to your house to cuddle a sweet baby or add some fun style to a room! It's been spoken for! But if you'd like me to make another one just for you, let me know and I'll get busy. maybematildaquilts(at)gmail(dot)com
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