Friday, May 27, 2011


This is a picture of some of the "gifts" I made for Amy Power's Birthday Issue of her on-line magazine Inspired Ideas.  The idea is that you build a birthday tower of small gifts for the recipient.  If you purchase the magazine, you can see how she put this all together and some adorable ideas that would not take too long to create but I think would mean so much to the recipient of your "tower" of gifts.  In the beginning of the magazine, Amy describes how much she loves her own birthday.  "Wow!" I thought.  I always feel funny having anyone celebrate my own birthday.  I don't know why.  And now I share it with one of my daughters so I really have an excuse to ignore that it is my birthday.  But Amy's thoughts have me thinking.  Next year,  I am going to try and make the most of my birthday.  Really celebrate it.  Why not ... all of us deserve at least one celebration a year ... don't we?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

That time of year - graduation!

 Both of my girls are graduating from their schools this year.  At one school I am helping out with alot of the coordination including decorating and the graduation video.  I have over 600 pictures I need to coordinate into themes and pick through.  We have been at that school for eight years including 2 years of kindergarten so I will be sad to say goodbye.

My older daughter graduated from this same school 2 years ago and I helped put together a "loot bag" for that graduation class.  I had this great idea to make prize ribbons for the front of the bags.  An early form of my etsy fabric ribbon.  I mocked one up for parent approval lickety split.  I glued it onto a clothes peg so we could attach them to the front of the bag easily and so it would be less likely to fall off.  Well, one for a mock up seemed to go rather quickly - but 60!  That took awhile and I found myself cursing away into the wee hours.

Yet it was a good feeling when I piled them up onto the kitchen counter for a shot.  

And they did look good all lined up on the table for pick-up.

This year, at my older daughter's school I am helping out with the decorating.  I am going to put together two groupings of clustery things (see below) to create interest on either side of the stage.  They will be hung down from a magnetized clip on a fishing line.  I can't wait to put something together.  The colors are white with a touch of green here and there.  I am going to go with a combination of the inspired clusters below.  I will be sure to post the works in progress and let you know how it all goes.


yarn ball clusters found here

tissue ball and lantern cluster found here

lantern cluster found here

I think both of these graduations in the next few weeks should be special.  I'll take pictures of our clusters  (assuming they will work out!) - pictures will be good because I am not so sure I am going to see them through my tears ...

By the way...
Congratulations to the winner of my inspire prize ribbon over at amy power's blog!
I hope you enjoy it and send me a picture!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Knitting for Babies that aren't mine ...

I love to knit for babies.  To have a reason.  Especially this time of year.  When the girls were small I didn't knit at all.  I guess I just didn't have the creative energy.  I think I just needed to figure things out.  I had a reason to knit but I didn't have the time. I knit these cupcake hats and viking helmet for teachers.  That's always a good reason to knit.

I got the patterns for the cupcake hats from here and the viking hat from here.  I adapted them a bit.  I have knit the cupcake hat so many times now I know what size to make it for twins and what size to make it for one year olds.  It is so much fun!

My cousin just had a baby so I made a group of things that all fit in a knitted container.

 The baby moccasins came from purl bee here and the container from More Last - Minute Knitted Gifts blogged at purl bee here

These gorgeous nesting dolls and inside out frog/turtle I knit came from Susan B. Anderson and her book itty bitty toys.  You can find out about her books here.

Now I kind of feel sad about this.  My girls are too big for these toys now.  Ali wants me to knit them up for her kids and save them.  I will have to try but usually I need the baby here or "on its way" to have the motivation.

By playing around with various patterns and ideas,  even looking at hat construction to make my monkey mouth,  I came up with patterns for the monkeys and inside-out cupcake toys I sell on my etsy site.

The cupcakes reverse to a healthy head of lettuce, inspired by Susan B. Anderson's inside-out toys.  Well maybe it is time to hit the yarn store for some ideas ... for my future grandchildren! ...

 By the way, there is still time to sign-up for this prize ribbon giveaway at inspire-co !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In the beginning ...

...they started out like this.....

...and somehow they became this!

And I don't know how it happened or when.  I just know I want to slow it down - maybe even go back if I could because the days seemed so long and I always was waiting for the next step.  Now I find I dread the next step.  The steps to independence, to separation both physical and mental.  I'm not ready and I can't stop the clock.  They are who they are.  Lovely in every way but very much their own person.

Now, together, we are this.  

We love to craft and create.  Some of their photos are amazing.  At least to me.  Helana at the left started her etsy site when she was 11 years old!  Unbelievable.

This was the banner for her felted pet pebbles.  I said it would take hours to put it together and in the time it took for me to huff and puff why it was going to be so difficult, she had it up and running.  She even promoted herself.  Sent it to blogs.  Talked them up at craft shows and kept in touch with all the other crafters.  How did this happen?  This confident person.  When did this happen?

Now they have both helped me with this.  Told me what works.  What doesn't.  Taken pictures or picked colours.  I miss my mom alot but they help me through it.  They helped me to open my etsy site and to knit and sew what I sell on it.  Maybe just to say yes to a colour.  Or where the monkey eyes should go.

They encourage me to get out there.  I sent my ribbon idea to Amy Powers and now it is in her Birthday Issue.  It is absolutely brimming with birthday ideas.   She has a great blog and a wonderful collection of on-line magazines.  Check her out here.

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