Sunday, November 30, 2014

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

     My week away from blogging has been a nice break and I have lots of finishes that I'll share this week. I was also able to do a little reading this month, so on Wednesday I'll wrap up what I read in November and what I hope to read in December. 

     Now it's time to share some of the interesting things I found around the internet the past two weeks.

Ever wonder what a knitter is talking about when they use the terms,"frog it" or "tink"? This will help you understand.

A helpful guide in knowing how much yarn you'll need for a crochet project.

And if you knit and try to take pictures of your knitting, you'll know how difficult it is to make it look right. Here are some helpful hints.

A gift for a Canadian knitter? Or one that loves Anne of Green Gables.

And these would make great stocking stuffers, too.

Now onto some writing links.

Having a writer's website might be something I do next year. This article will help.

And for all those who did NaNoWriMo or just want some help editing.

If you love supporting writers, you might be interested in this.

And some random stuff.

My daughter doesn't really play with Barbies any more but I'm really tempted to get her this doll. Maybe the toddler would enjoy it.

I technically still have an etsy shop but haven't sold anything in it for years. Here is a great article about the good and the bad of selling on etsy.

I think I should listen to more podcasts. Here is small list that will help me get started.

And finally, this is one of the best things I've read on the internet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Big Finish and Christmas Craft Update

On Sunday, just before supper, I finished my NaNoWriMo novel. It took a u-turn at the end from what I had planned.  I wrote over 5,000 words on Sunday and I am so happy to have it finished a week early. Gives me an extra week to make gifts for the holidays. It needs some serious edits and I thought I would wait until 2015 to start but I actually still like the novel and want to start editing right away. Yesterday, I made an 8 step-editing plan. First, I need to reread it and I'll start that today. 

Floyd helping me write on Sunday afternoon. He brought his trains to keep him company. He's very good at hitting the CAPS lock key and deleting text.

My latest Winner certificate at the bottom, hanging out with the rest.

And to keep it in context, my winner certificates hang on the side of my shelf so I see them when I change Floyd's diaper several times a day. Very inspiring.

Proud mom showing off the drawings the older kids have made for Floyd. My older son drew the dragon on the right and my daughter did the rest. Floyd loves them.

I plan on taking the next few days off from blogging and recharge but I should be back on Friday with some finishes. Above is the back of the Rebel Flock quilt which I finally started quilting. I'll probably set it aside to quilt the advent quilt since I need it done by Monday. Bought white thread this weekend so I'm ready.

And today I am dividing over 2,000 glow-in-the-dark perler beads to make something for the holidays. At first I was just going to make snowflake ornaments for my kids but now... I'm thinking everyone needs one. My brain really needs to decide what it is making for everyone. I don't think I can handle the mess I've created while trying to decide. And I'm still in the wonderful delusion stage where I think I can get it all done. Like the two sweaters I need to make my boys. Started one and wound the yarn for the other but they need to become my first priority. Trying to get as much done as I can this week because I know turning the calendar to December on Monday will be the reality check I need about holiday crafting. Or at least I hope it will be.

Off to craft. These beads won't divide themselves and I have another set of books waiting to be hollowed out. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday Night Sew-In Results

My Friday Night Sew-In was more of a Friday Day Sew-In as that was when I had time. I would have done more in the evening but I didn't have any white thread. I'm not sure when I finished my last spool but I hope to get out today to buy some so I can quilt the quilt top I finished last night. Here are some pictures from my Friday, with my toddler making a lot of appearances.

Bright and sunny outside while I finished sashing the blocks for our advent quilt. Pattern is here.

All sashed and ready to be sewn together. Kept the paper near me to make sure I sewed them together in the right order.

Little Guy, Floyd, loved the quilt. I laid it down to make sure everything was sewn together correctly and he hopped right on.

And he soon figured out the pockets.

He needed to hang out with me while I pieced batting. I used 8-10 scraps of batting. 

Basted it after Floyd went to bed last night but discovered I had no white thread. Floyd started putting  puzzle pieces on it as soon as I laid it down this morning to take a picture. Wait until he finds out that there are going to be treats in each pocket.

Visit Wendy's blog to see what everyone else did last night.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Weekend Craftiness

I mentioned on Monday that I was grumpy last weekend. Sometimes lack of sleep gets to me. Here are the crafts I did to get me out of my funk.
I painted. This is the background. I'm going to be adding more onto it - a yarned twig and some knitted creatures. If it turns out the way I want it to, it will be a Christmas present.

I had got out too much green paint so I got out some paper and did a tree painting. 

Sorry about the white line and reflection. I couldn't find anywhere in the house that didn't cause a reflection in the glass. I didn't notice the white line at the bottom until I loaded it onto the blog.
It turned out better than I thought so I trimmed it and put it in a frame. Not sure if I'm going to keep it or gift it. I'd like to make more tree paintings. It was fun and I have a thing for trees.

I finished hollowing out the four books I had prepped and did the final step of putting mod podge around the outside edges and inside edges. They turned out okay and I think I'm going to do more.

I started crocheting a robot for the Little Guy.

Worked on the Akron cowl.

And the Mystery KAL shawl. I finished the first clue and am half way done the second. Last clue comes out on Friday. It will look a lot better blocked.

My hollowed book with some pens.

Today I'm busy getting stuff ready so I can enjoy Friday Night Sew-In tomorrow night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Writing Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another NaNoWriMo update. Picture was taken after writing yesterday which had the lowest word count (I blame the 1 hour dentist appointment). Luckily I have 12 days to write 15, 114 words. I can handle that. Then I can get back to blogging (I've already started to think about December posts) and knitting in the evenings instead of writing. I haven't started the sweaters I want to knit for my sons and I need them done by December 21st, which is when we open gifts here. 

And sign-ups are open for Friday Night Sew-In, which is this Friday, if you're interested. I have an Advent quilt I need to work on so I'll be participating. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

Very late with this post. Sorry. I had a case of the grumpies this weekend (it's a real thing). I don't have many blogging rules but one of them is to never write a post while grumpy or angry. They never come out right and are usually regrettable. So, after a date with my husband last night, waking up to a nice covering of snow and watching every Muppets Christmas movie/special (in order of course), I'm in a good enough mood to blog. I must be thinking about the Holidays because I found a lot of tutorials. Plus some other stuff to share, too.

First, a very Happy Birthday to my favourite author tomorrow, Margaret Atwood. Here's a list of 75 surprising facts about her. I love that we have #68 in common. Makes me feel a little less crazy.

How to beat a case of the grumpies. Also making a bunch of different crafts this weekend helped me. More on that later this week.

I might have to buy some of this fabric. It shares it's name with my daughter.

This was so beautiful and perfect for Remembrance Day last week.

Another great article about The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress.

I really enjoyed reading this.

And my English Major heart loves this.

Holiday Tutorials:
Free printables - includes gift tags and care instruction tags to go with homemade gifts.

Felt ornaments. I think my son would love to make these with the decorative stitches on my sewing machine. Teacher's gift?

Little snowmen! I think I might make one for each of my kids for the advent quilt (which I still need to finish). Just scroll down for instructions in english.

Smittens. I have a sweater that I shrunk by accident. I set it aside to do this and I was going to wing it but glad I found a tutorial for it.

Gift bags from old jeans? Check. Perfect for a bottle of wine.

I've also added a lot of tutorials to my Gifts-to-Make board on Pinterest. And some to my Christmas board.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Four Finishes for Friday

Yes, I have four finishes to share this Friday. And only one of them is for me. The rest are gifts which is great. Sorry for the long post and I really should have edited the photos but I was just so excited to share.
First is a headband for my daughter. Pattern is Christiana Headband from Everyday Lace book. There is currently a KAL happening. Above is the headband before blocking. I cast on only 14 stitches instead of 20 as 20 appeared to wide for her 12 year old head.

My daughter usually does the picture taking for me but since this was a gift for her I tried to do it myself. Very tricky.

Can kind of see the lace pattern better in this picture.

A Love Your Mother button so she'll remember who made it for her.

Second finish this week was the Savanna shawl. This one is for me and I've worn it everyday since I finished it (and am wearing it right now). This is it before blocking.

After blocking. Sorry for the bad lighting. The gloomy weather this week has not been good for picture taking.


Stretched out.

Lovely lace.

This is how I have been wearing it.

How I'll wear it with coats but I've just been wearing it around the house so far.

I finished the Reading Shawl over a week ago and blocked it last week but have waiting to take pictures of it. 

Stretched out. It really grew after blocking.

Sitting on my shoulders like it's supposed to.

Yesterday, I decided to try for one more finish. Used stitch markers to keep things aligned.

Lovely seam.
Then onto the button bands and collar.

Just needs buttons but since this is a gift for my mom, I'm not posting another picture of it on the blog until she receives it next month so it will still be a bit of a surprise. So thrilled to have this done.

And with all those finishes you knew I'd cast on something new. This is a gift though. I had made something different but it just didn't turn out and I'm not going to give it as a gift. Cast this on for her instead. I'll show my messed up project and what I've done with it next week.

Besides finishing the Dundurn cardigan yesterday I was able to write over 3,000 words and passed the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thrift store finds

We don't go to thrift stores very often and when we do, it's usually to look for a specific item and I don't get a chance to look around. Saturday, I was able to do a little searching and came home with some interesting finds.

These two bird squares were only a quarter so I bought them. They need a good ironing. Not sure what I am going to do with them yet. 

And there were 12 of these log cabin squares in a baggy for $2. They are 4.5 inches square. The middle square is only 1 inch. They are so well done I couldn't leave them behind. Not sure what layout I'm going to use or what I'm going to do with them but glad I brought them home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Writing Wednesday - NaNoWriMo -ing

Hopefully those pictures tell you what I've been doing this month instead of blogging. I've still been knitting and have at least 3 finishes to share later this week. Maybe I'll get a fourth done but probably not. 
To explain the pictures above, to stay on pace, I'm supposed to have 20,000 words written by the end of today (the 12th). However, when I was done last night (the 11th) I had already written 21, 390 words. I've been able to stay a day ahead for a few days now and it really takes the pressure off. I don't have to write today and I'll still be ahead. I'll still write but I only need to write a few hundred words to stay a day ahead. This has allowed me to have really productive days where I write more than 3,000 and some days that aren't. I force myself to write at least 1,000 words every day. 

The novel itself is basically staying with the outline I created. Some of it has changed as I wrote, as I don't always look at my notes while I'm writing. I just go and then check to make sure I included everything that I wanted to. So far, so good.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making progress

I missed writing an October round-up or what my goals are for November, although I think last week's post about all my knitting projects kind of counts. I've been making progress on lots of things the past few weeks which included piecing a quilt top that's a gift and can't be shown here. You'll just have to trust me that I did it.

I ironed this stack of fabric and made 3 quilt backs. One for the surprise quilt, mentioned above (it's roughly twin size). I also made backs for the advent quilt and the Made-in-Cherry quilt. That was a lot of work but glad to have it done.

I finally wrapped these twigs that had been sitting on my desk for months. The little ones will probably end up as gifts. The bigger one is supposed to be for me, but I might gift it too. We'll see. They are already attached to the canvas. Just need to knit the little critters that sit on the branches.

The advent quilt. Ironed and cut all the white strips and got half of them sewn on. I set this aside to finish the surprise quilt which needed to get finished. 

I moved the books to be hollowed out to the kitchen so I can work on them whenever I have a spare minute while cooking. The counter is higher than my desk so I prefer working on them here anyway.

I should have some finishes to share later this week. Blocked the finished Savanna shawl this morning. Had to use pins so it is drying in my daughter's room, away from the toddler. 

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