Sunday, February 28, 2010

saturday inspiration

what a beautiful day! feeling reinvigorated for all things etsy after meeting so many creative people at the i heart art meet & greet last night. (i even posted a recycled woolly nest + felted egg in my shop!)

we enjoyed a lovely visit with friends - including a walk and wagon ride to play at the park!

a honey bee lingered on my hand for awhile... and i remained calm enough to take the above, and many other blurry, photos. which is quite a feat for me, really.

spent some time picking up and getting things together...

even starting to fill in my portfolio of projects past on ravelry... {byhandathome}

which can only lead to the incredible urge to knit new projects! i am terribly excited for monday, because something i submitted will be in the upcoming spring edition of rhythm of the home. it's also the day registration opens for the free professional development and etsy workshops i heart art is co-hosting. hooray! i hope you all are having a fantastic weekend! what's inspiring you?

Friday, February 26, 2010

etsy party

sometimes i feel a little late to the party with etsy. all the more reason to jump in, right? i'm volunteering tonight for the i heart art + etsy + pnca + museum of contemporary craft event. i'll be taking the 7:30 food table spot, so say hi if you come! or if you spot me in these:

the event coordinators have suggested we wear etsy apparel and i have been thinking of what in the world i could wear? eureka! i think all my pockets may need this treatment.

i went with the tag 'recycled wool + love' on these business cards, because it is my favorite material to work with in craft. but i really really really love doing a little bit of everything! crochet, embroidery, knitting, toys, apparel...and more to discover, i'm sure! i know there are other crafters out there who have more than one 'niche', yes? i've been reading tara's advice on scoutiegirl and diane's advice on craftypod, and i think my next step is to cultivate a mission. but i want to include everything! anyone else figured this one out? do tell!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

the family creative workshop

definitely not to be confused with the creative family. (coming my way!) these are copyright 1974. after i looked through the set, i was sort of regretting my estate sales purchase, but the laughter is probably worth it. although there are some atrocious (to me) projects in here, there are also some oldie but goodies. i will now give you the worst and best of book one. worst first.

dear me. the caption reads, "...would be a fine gift for a member of the teen-age set." i'm sending it with a shoutout to the sick chick, who i twittered with for the craftsocial. she put out a call for those who could give her a hand. don't worry, i won't be sending anything quite this... ahem. creative? but some hands will be coming!

this is the best. i wish i had my old '89 corsica when i look at this beauty. marc won't agree to painting the subaru. our college had a fine springfest tradition of painting an art car, and i love seeing artful automobiles around portland. runners-up for the best of this book are: apache moccasins & batik.

what do you think? do you prefer the hand to the art car? both? neither? the books: back to the goodwill or worth the investment?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

more clothesline love

it is grey and rainy in portland now. but! i took full advantage of the sun and have been enjoying photographing more of my vintage goodies for sharing on flickr. all the while, my favorite janis joplin song playing in my head; get it while you can.

it's a challenge to photograph a clothesline, isn't it? i thought so too, until i was asked to sit down and saw a different point of view.

thank you wind! and here's a little something to brighten your screen, if you need the reassurance. i know i will!

i was inspired to make this little wallpaper via soulemama and her lovely winter manifesto. you should be able to click on the above photo (or any of my blog photos) for a larger size. i am working on alternate screen sizes too. here are different sizes, courtesy of my guy (thank you, love!): * 1280 x 1024 * 1024 x 768 * 800 X 600 * spring really is coming!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

saturday inspiration

an estate sale morning out for mama. i have other treasures to share, including a hilarious set of 'family craft' books from the 70s. i've started a flickr account too and i'm slowly uploading my vintage stash and handmade works. there's also a craft fail project in my photostream that i contributed at the craft social via twitter. a fun foray into twitter for me!

anyone else buy antiques for playthings? the tea pot and sugar bowl have lids too. it is divine. i may have to hammer out a second teacup though. there's just one. (that's where those waldorf teacher training classes working with copper will come in handy, right?)

in the afternoon, a sunburst shining through the beginnings of some yard art crochet happening!

and yes, we are encouraging chalk to remain on the chalkboard. but who could object to a little coloring outside of the lines? inspirational, really.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


we had a most enjoyable weekend. we celebrated love, built our first fire in the fireplace, and had a glorious thrifting excursion that brought us a perfect hutch for our dining room - circa 1969.

yesterday colden did not nap, and it was incredibly challenging and difficult. finally we just went outside. and found the light.

sunlit clothesline of thrifted treasures and beloved boy

these particularly brightened my mood

and finally i was looking up

magically, marc came home and took over bedtime while i engaged with some incredible artists at make + meaning's live blogging event on the topic of free. i enjoyed it so much, and felt really empowered and grateful for everyone's perspectives. choosing abundance? yes, please.

interestingly enough, we watched this ted talk on happiness later. guess what the research shows? it's all perspective.

Friday, February 12, 2010

tutorial - sharing the love

last-last minute inspiration always gets me! as i was staring down another red sweater for heart-making, the image of this sweet pomander by betz white popped into my head. lo and behold, i had to make roses.

now, i've never told you this before, but i may have hinted at it. i have this little story from second grade art class lodged deep in my psyche... we were making construction paper monsters or some such thing, and i had the stunningly brilliant idea to make three dimensional accordion-style arms that sprung from the page. this girl who sat at my table copied my design, and the art teacher chose her work for the 'special' bulletin board. i was so upset. plagiary! she stole my idea! and was rewarded! and since that time, well, copying has been a touchy subject for me.

over at make + meaning, some brilliant discussions have been going on about art and the concept of free. so i'm going to swallow up my copy-cat-itis, and share my design for these little rose corsages. afterall, i think it was the image of betz's work that inspired me. let the love flow.

1. cut a strip of felted wool (as wide as you wish your rose to be tall). and better too long than too short!

2. roll it up into a beautiful looking rosette, trim any excess (it gets more difficult to sew the more layers there are).

3. after deciding on the top and bottom, take some double stranded thread (with a knot in the end) and pull it through the middle. a trick to cinching it up here is to put it through the center layers first, then go back and get the outer layers. go through your knotted end to secure it, and do it a couple times until it is well-cinched.

4. you'll be cinching again on each half, right down the middle to make a 'cloverleaf' shape. this time i did one side plus sewed up the 'leaves' before doing the other, but you can also make the cloverleaf all at once before you sew up the little 'leaves'.


5. sew up each leaf with a little whipstitch (through both sides, over the top, and through again), bringing the thread and needle back to center after each one.

cinching the other side to the middle to make the 'leaves'.

more stitching up 'leaves'.

6. now you're ready to sew up that loose end of wool. pull it very tightly around and pin it exactly where you want it on your rose. you might find the wool needs some more trimming here at the side or top.

7. whip stitch up the side (aka the 'loose end').

8. then whip stitch around the top outer layers. a similar trick i used here: a) only stitch the outer two layers together...

b) do send your needle all the way through the center a few times for security, omitting the outermost layer...

...that way you can pick the outermost layer up on it's own (after running all the way through the center and all the other layers) to cinch it up to the others good and tight! otherwise it starts to sag since a lot of its bulk got clover-leafed up! (make sense? i'm new at this, so do tell!)

9. pull the thread through to an unobtrusive spot and knot it. (i like knots. it makes me feel secure.) then run it through some more layers before trimming it, so no loose ends are flying.

look the sun came out for my pictures now!

10. using some knitted i-cord, take the loose end of the yarn to sew a 2-3 inch length of i-cord onto the center bottom of the rose. (i used an embellish-knit for i-cord, but you can also knit some up).

11. then attach felted green leaves cut from another wool sweater. here you see my yarn coming out through the rose, going into the leaf, and it will come back down through the very tip of the leaf and go through the rose/cord, and to the other side for another leaf). not too technical, just get 'em on there!

12. again, when done, sew a little knot in your yarn, then run that yarn down the cord and trim it!

since i had a long bit of cord made up, i also needed to cut and knot up the end too!

one final touch, a drop of rose essential oil, and pin that beauty on! please let me know if you try this out, and especially if any questions arise! i want to be a good sharer! hope you're feeling the love. xoxo

edited to add: 2/19, just found this awesome tutorial on the purl bee for very similar, and very beautiful, rose barrettes. it's well laid out too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

valentine's say what?

is anyone else a 'down to the wire' crafter? i'm still sewing up valentine's, and if you have any ideas for short and sweet messages, i'm all ears. so far i've got 'as you wish', 'je t'aime', 'i love you', 'love', 'we are one', aaaand *your idea here* (go on, post one in the comments).

i'm going to be hosting a craft table at the sellwood masonic lodge for a heartlight couples ceremony event as a fundraiser for mother earth school at tryon farm. contact me if you want more info at byhandathome{at}

Monday, February 8, 2010

happy two!

we celebrated colden's birthday yesterday, and boy do i have a lot of adorable photos. i just have to share them!

we opened this handmade gift from anne as soon as it arrived (the day before). it is absolutely darling! bremen town musician fabric, piping, pockets, adjustable straps. i hope she will tell us how she does it! (check back, and i'll link).

here's a glamor shot of it hanging on colden's hooks. papa made the hooks last week too, but gosh, i'm already cramming so much into one post. i'll have to wait to tell you more about those!

on his birthday morning, colden discovered the blocks papa made right away. the wood is from our christmas tree, which we thought he would appreciate since he was so sad to see it go.

i couldn't help playing with the blocks myself a little too (okay, a lot)!

i intended to get plant-dyed felt from gossamer for a birthday crown, but never got it, so a last-minute recycled sweater crown was made the eve of. colden wasn't into putting it on his head, but he liked it as a necklace. perhaps next year...

discovering the lamb, and making it 'nice and cozy warm'.

magnetic trains from grammy and pop-pop were a big hit! by melissa and doug, they came in a wooden box that he also enjoys putting them away in. nice!

i knitted colden some 'snow white mittens, just like in his storybook, the mitten. pattern = toddler mittens from knitting for baby.

i did this embroidery over the summer, based on another book of colden's. the patchwork fabric around it is mostly from some other summer sewing of matching pants for colden and his cousins (and some little drawstring bags). my first time doing log cabin style patchwork! papa helped me cut the fabric.

colden helped me sew too. we actually finished it up his birthday morning! here he is comparing the original art by gyo fujikawa to his 'guy' (as he calls it). i just love all of the children's books by this author/illustrator. i did take some liberties and made the hair a little curlier.

checking out the finished pillow.

he is carrying it all over the place with him. adorable.

part of the fun of colden's gift from nana and bob-o was also in the making! he helped papa put together his own little red wagon!

and we went for a ride! he's figured out how to take the sides off and put them back on now too.

after our walk, uncle pete, aunt hannah, and cousin ian came over to share birthday cake and banana ice cream (both made by papa = vegan, gluten-free, and awesome)! what a terrific day!