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Hi again… it’s me?  remember me?

I’ve had a nice bloggy break, with a huge chance to recharge and re-evaluate some things, and I think it’s time I come back to My New Thing.  I’m excited – I’ve had a lot of new things going on, which I’ll share over the next little while, but I wanted to start off with something from clevergirl…

I am entering into the following agreement with the first 5 people who comment on this post and then commit to doing the same on their blog. Just read below and if you feel up to the task copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment.

  1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I send you. But you may be pleasantly surprised. It will definitely be sewing/craft related.
  2. What I send will be made just for you, with love, by my own hands. You’d be surprised how much of our personalities does come through online.
  3. I will complete all 5 gifts this year – 2009.
  4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world, that you can touch and feel, and not something cyber.
  5. I reserve the right to do something strange. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. If you find it truly horrendous, just let me know. Perhaps you’ll send it forward to someone who will absolutely love it.
  6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.
  7. Send your mailing address – after I contact you to confirm.

I saw this “pay it forward” meme on Facebook a while ago, and I wasn’t in a place to do anything about it.  But now I am… If you’d like something handmade by me, be one of the first 5 to post a comment and to post this offer on your blog, too!

Please join me and Antoinette in spreading some bloggy love and beautiful things around the world…

Love you guys!

Leigh

Hi… remember me?  It’s been a while since I’ve posted – and that has been intentional.

I realized over Thanksgiving that I was holding on to a lot of guilt for things that I was not getting done.  And the worst thing about it was that the things I wasn’t getting done and feeling guilt about were supposed to be funthings – like knitting projects or this blog – not the necessary things in life – like dishes, laundry, etc.  The necessary things in life were not getting done, but I wasn’t feeling guilt about them!  When I had a spare moment, I tried to squeeze in something crafty or do something on this site… not clean out my sink or the bathtub, or spend time with my kiddos and hubby. 

So I needed a break to get my priorities straight.  I struggle with the time I spend on the computer anyway – I have way too much fun looking at great new things online or chatting with friends in forums.  I needed to step back and pay attention to what God has for me, which has not been what I’ve been focusing on.  I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom of two wonderful boys, with an amazing hubby who provides a wonderful home for us – and all that the Lord provided was being neglected.  My calling is to my family, not my computer. 

I’ve seen others online who have struggled with this, and some have just walked away.  I never thought I’d be able to do that – just stop going to a forum or stop posting on my blog – but the time came to make my decision, and I needed to walk away. 

I have felt guilty about this, too… just after the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival, I find all kinds of new bloggy friends, and I was really hoping to grow this blog into something…. I don’t know what, but I really wanted to do something bigger than what I’ve been doing.  But now is not the time for that.

So that is the reason for the silence over here.  I am not walking away forever… but I do need to be obedient to the Lord, and I don’t know when He will have me being able to come back.  I will still be posting over at Impress Your Kids, and if I can get my act together, I’ll be posting updates on my boys at My Adventures in Mother-land, so you can check in on me there…. and I’m still keeping up with you guys through your blogs, too.

May God bless you richly…. until we meet again.

WIP Wednesday

What a never-ending day!  Full of fun stuff, of course, but after weeks of sickness, all this activity kind of threw me for a loop.

I did get to take some pictures of what I’m working on…

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First is my aunt’s February Lady Sweater.  Not a very exciting shot, but I’m pleased.  I’m really liking the Shine yarnI’m using – so soft!!!  This is my second try at the top of the sweater – first try, I wasn’t making gauge, so I frogged it and started over.  Looking good so far.

Next is one of my SIL’s Christmas gifts – so, Jessie, if you’re reading this – STOP AND DON’T READ ANY FURTHER

I don’t think she actually reads my blog, though, so I feel pretty safe posting this.

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Can you tell what it is?  EJ’s first words when he saw it were: “Oh, Momma!  Another kitty?  For ME?!?”  Nope, not a kitty, and not a deer either, which was his second guess.  It’s a llama.  Apparently Jessie like llamas (who can blame her?).  This is from this so so cute alpaca pattern – and alpacas are just smaller, softer llamas (I checked to make sure so I could use it).  As you can see, I need to sew up its back, and I think I’m going to applique some pretty flowers on her back… and maybe up her neck and on her head, too.  I’ve got all kinds of crazy ideas for her. 

Then… one of my felted bags.  As I was taking these pictures, I was wondering why in the world I hadn’t finished this already.  All the parts are done, and all I need to do is sew them together and throw them in the washer, and I’m going to have one rocking bag!  In fact, I’m going to go and work on it right after I post this.  Maybe tomorrow I can show you my finished purse! 

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So, in the picture above, you’ll see the felted slab that I shaped a bit by cutting, with the two side edges sewn together with the same green yarn.  Then I started knitting an interior pocket, decided knitting was taking too long, switched to crochet (mid-pocket! YES! It won’t show – it will be all felted together… but it nearly blew my mind picking up all the knitting loops with my crochet hook), and crocheted 2 handle flaps as well.  I used some cream wool to add some accents – I thought those little dotted-stripey-things would look good felted into the bag, too.  But then, look at what I found in my WIP mountain stack – my very first cable!  And it was even supposed to go along with the green felted slab!  Here’s my bag all put together – squint your eyes a little bit and lean your head to the left… there!  See it?  Won’t it be pretty?

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I wasn’t planning on felting the cable, but I just saw a cabled sweater online today that got felted accidentally, and the cables still had a lot of definition.  I might stitch the cable on before I pop it in the wash.  I’ll let you know as soon as I decide.

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Today, with EJ, I worked on a little craft for our Fall Impressions carnival on Impress Your Kids.  It wasn’t so much a craft as trying to talk to him about kindness and hoping to instill some of these behaviors in his little self-will powered world.  We are looking at the letter K this week, and I really wanted to do something with keys… no real reason other than wanting to do it.  There really aren’t too many crafts out there for keys – especially since we don’t have a pile of actual keys laying around the house to use.  So I did a Google image search and found a whole bunch of pictures of keys, and I printed them out.  They turned into our “Keys of Kindness” poster…

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While EJ glued the extra keys to the poster, we talked about what it means to be kind to others.  It gave me some insight on how his little mind works, and I hope he will remember this as he sees it hanging up on the wall.  BTW – the word under “Love” does not say “shave.”  I just get sloppy with my “r”s.

FO… Tuesday (?)

Is that legal to have a finished object Tuesday?  Maybe I’ll make it a “Totally Done” Tuesday!

I saw these around online in several different places- and I made one up my own way (not really following anyone else’s directions).  I love it!  And I forgot how much I love working with my glue gun.

Baby Food Jar pincushion

This was Dieter’s last baby food jar, too.  What a way to commemorate it!  From spinach and carrots to pins and needles.

I got a pattern from JCasa’s Etsy shop for this adorable Kid’s Coloring Wallet – this one is for my niece.

Kid's coloring wallet

I loved picking out all the different fabrics for it – especially because I never do anything pink.  Here’s the inside – it still needs to be “stuffed” with crayons (along the left side) and a pad of paper (on the right side).

Kid's coloring wallet

I will make a couple more of these for Christmas gifts, and then I think I will make these as party favors for my son’s 3rd birthday party in January.  They are so quick, easy and cute!  My friend, Kelly, and I each sewed one last Wednesday – with my kids running around underfoot (literally). 

Tomorrow I’m hoping to show you some WIPs (hey – WIP Wednesday!) – so get ready!  I know – you can barely contain yourself…

So I’ve noticed a trend… when I’m actually doing things I should be doing at home (cleaning, etc.), I have less time to blog!  What is up with that? 

My new things this week are new knitting books!  New books in general are exciting to me, but when you make them knitting books, there are hours of entertainment built in - just sitting and staring at the pages, imagining the possibilities…

New knitting books

Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery, GlamKnits by Stefanie Japel, and Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard.  All of them beautiful books, filled with beautiful patterns….

I bought Knitting Classic Style because I wanted a couple of specific patterns in the book (layered skater’s top and the bias shell) – and bonus is all the other fabulous patterns in there!  I love the red sweater on the front (the Aspen Top-Down sweater), the “fake” argyle socks, several of the cardigans, the graphic hoodie… I could go on.  There are also some children’s patterns in there that I probably won’t knit, because they are for girls, and some other patterns that just aren’t my style.  But overall, a great book.

I love Stefanie Japel.  I just love her.  Her designs are what got me back into knitting – she was the first designer I found online that had cool designs (of course, she was the tip of the iceberg for me – I didn’t know how much great stuff was out there!).  Then, if you add the fact that her daughter was born just after my youngest, and I actually was in an expectant mother’s group with her on Ravelry, and I was supposed to be a test knitter for her Petal sweater (except that I knit too slow and was barely finished with a couple rows by the time the rest of her test knitters had finished the sweater)… and the fact that I want to knit everything in her first book, Fitted Knits… well, then, I had to buy her newest book, GlamKits, on principle.  See, I’m not so much a glam girl myself, and I can’t really afford luxury yarns that she features in her book – so I bought the book not thinking that I would actually want to knit up much of what was inside.  Boys howdy – I was wrong.  Beautiful and accessible – I think that most of the patterns would look as fabulous with jeans and messy hair as they do with the satin skirts and wave curls that are featured in the book.  Which is good, because I’m all about jeans and messy hair.

And the jewel of the bunch… Custom Knits.  I’ve read Wendy’s blog since I found it back in the day, and I didn’t really even realize that she was a designer for a long time.  But when she came out with this book, I read around online what I could about it, and bought it more on a whim.  I am so glad I did!  What is awesome about this book is that she basically teaches you how to design your own sweater (hence the name, Custom Knits!).  And with the 20+ patterns that she gives you in the book, she gives multiple ways to modify each one to your tastes.  LOVE. IT.  With some modifications, I want to knit everything in this book.  Everything.

Now – all I need is an unlimited supply of yarn and time to knit up all the new goodness that I’ve found in these books.  Anyone know where I can get some of each?

I know I’m about 3 years behind everyone else on this – but, hey, that’s how I roll (I just got my first Amy Butler fabric and patterns – that’s how behind I am).  My newest new thing this week is Japanese import fabric.  Yup – finally!

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I just want to know a couple things. First of all – what took me so long? Second – why didn’t you guys tell me about this? I needed this cuteness in my life…

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I bought these two thinking they would be for some kid’s projects – but I don’t know if I could cut them up.  I might just need to hug these for a while.  I know for sure I am getting something made with these little guys.

I took my first trip to my friend Kelly’s favorite fabric store – Quilting Adventures.  Very fun – very dangerous.  I got the fabric above along with some other fat quarters and a couple purse handles that were on clearance.  Now, when Kelly and I get together to sew on Wednesday, I’ll have some fun fabric to play with!

Look what I found!

So in my quest to gather all the crafting materials I can from their various hiding storage spots around the house, I hit sweater-felting jackpot!

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I had hidden stored these already-deconstructed sweaters and the already-felted slab-o-knitting behind my sofa.  Go figure.  So do you remember this slab-o-knitting?

Knitted felted "fabric"

I was so in love with it back in the day (April 2007!)… I was intoxicated with my new thing, knitting, and my newer thing, blogging… I knitted up the body of the needle case, felted it, and – stuck it behind the sofa.  Now I think it’s going to be a bag!!!  I’m going to cut a little shaping into the slab (this thing is so thick!), knit up a quick interior pocket, stitch the sides together, decorate with some cream yarn, and re-felt it so it all sticks together nicely!  Then I’ll attach some handles, and voila!  A bag almost big enough to carry what I need it to!

Deconstructed wool Gap sweater

Deconstructed wool sweater

 

 

 

 

 

The deconstructed sweater on the left is a sweater from my closet.  I love the colors, but I can’t really wear wool as a sweater – I sweat like a pig and itch like an… itchy person.  I’ve been planning to make some kind of a bag with it for a while (but I can’t even remember when I took these sweaters apart!).  It will happen now.  The one on the right is from Hubby’s closet – it has a couple little holes in it that will close up with the felting.  The thing is… I’m not in love with the colors.  Should I shape it into a bag anyway, and if I don’t like it then… maybe I can cut the felt up into flowers or something for other projects?  Does anyone else have any other ideas for this one?

The bags will be making an appearance here soon – I promise!

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Does anyone else love Simple Mom as much as I do?  Her blog is so refreshing, and she always gives such great tips and has great ideas and links and guest writers… Anyway – she is giving away an Epson Artisan Printer on her blog this week.  If I win, I’ll print off all kinds of pretty pictures and send them to you all!  Now, if you follow my link to her giveaway, and enter and win, can you print me a pretty picture and send it to me?  I promise I won’t be bitter… much - this thing’s a beaut!  We currently have 2 printers that do half of what this one could do!  Best wishes to all who enter, and may I win!!!

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