Reverb 10 Roundup: Moment/Wonder/Let Go/Make

This post is from the Reverb 10 series, you can learn more about it and why I’m participating by reading this post.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

(sigh…) Not to sound cynical, but I feel alive every day.  I can’t point to a time I felt more or less “alive”.  Can I say “at peace” instead?  Looking through my Flickr pictures (which is really the only way I can remember my year at all) I think I felt most at peace on the early morning in April that Luke and I woke up at the Union Bluff Hotel in Maine, grabbed cups of coffee and our warm clothes, and went for a walk on York Beach while the sun came up.  It was cold and crisp and the wind was blowing in off the ocean. My feet were freezing and our coffees got cold quickly, but the view was amazing.  Except for a passing local or two, we were alone on the beach and it was just glorious.  Here’s the picture.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I don’t want to be a Reverb 10 downer, but I can’t answer a question like this.  The motivational, self-help speak makes my skin crawl. The word “wonder” goes into the allergy category along with “manifest”.  I’m sorry.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I let go of this blog once or three times.  There were several times this year when the internet felt like a very judgmental, unkind place and I wasn’t interested in sharing my life and investing my time in something that wasn’t making me feel very good about the world.  I’m still not sure I feel like sharing to the extent that I used to, as can be seen in these somewhat pathetic answers to the Reverb 10 questions, but I’m trying.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Hahahaha…I’m sorry, this is funny to me because I’ve been making around the clock in preparation for last weekend’s Holiday Sale.  I’ve been making instead of sleeping (hence the crazy-laughing).  I can tell you exactly, that the last thing I made was a tiny tissue pack cover made with camouflage fabric and I finished sewing it at 1:40am on Saturday.  There are a few things that I want to make for Christmas presents this year and I was just waiting for the holiday sale to be over with in order to make them.  I’d tell you about them but then I might ruin the surprise.

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Rex and Steggy

RAWR!

Valentine’s Day seems to be about a hundred years ago, but since I’ve been MIA for so long, I have a lot of catching up to do.  I’d like to introduce you to Rex and Steggie, (or Kissasaurus and Huggasaurus Rex, as I called them when I delivered them), two felt dinos I made for Cameron and Alex for Valentine’s Day.  Back around Christmastime, Cameron saw me knitting and asked me to knit him a dinosaur.  I said “maybe” which he took to mean “absolutely, right this minute!” and from that day on, each time I saw him he asked if I’d gotten a chance to make him that dinosaur “like I promised”.

Valentine’s day seemed like a good excuse to fulfill my promise, but I decided that I had no hope of knitting them so I’d make the dinos out of felt.  I played around with some paper pattens and came up with Rex first.  He came out perfectly and I nearly sprained my arm from patting myself on the back.  I just sewed a toy!  Very exciting.  After Rex, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make two of the same dinos to avoid the “I wanted that one” fights, but that seemed boring so I challenged myself to make a pattern for Steggie.  He was supposed to come out smaller than Rex but, sadly, things didn’t work out that way.  That left me with a dilemma.

Big brother, Cameron is on a kick now where he has to be the biggest, best, fastest, the one with the most guns, the most powers, etc. etc.  So… would he want the biggest felt dino, or the smaller T-Rex dino, since T-Rex was the king of the dinosaurs?  I couldn’t decide so I consulted my sister who said he’d want the biggest one.  I think I would have lost either way, but unfortunately when I delivered them on V-Day, Cameron complained that he didn’t get Rex until I told him that he was hurting my feelings.  The next night I watched the boys so my sister and her husband could go on their belated anniversary/Valentine’s Day date and both boys tucked their dinos into bed with them when they climbed under the covers so I think that everyone was happy in the end.

Beth’s Diaper Bag

My lovely friend Beth is having a baby in a few short weeks and her friends were sweet enough to invite me to her baby shower last weekend.  I’ve had an aversion to registries for as long as I can remember, so I decided to make something for mom and baby instead of buying off the registry.  Enter the crazy what-was-I-thinking moment that brought me much dread and anxiety: I bought a sewing pattern.

You know me.  I can’t follow recipes and I hate to follow sewing patterns.  They confound me and frustrate me, and yet, I bought this one.  This pattern is Butterick 4560 (and despite all of my whining, it was actually fairly easy to follow).  I bought the pattern and the fabric and sat and stared at it for about two weeks, dreading the task.  I finally decided to suck it up and start cutting. And several (many) hours later, I had this!

Cute, right?  The fabric on the inside is “Baby Story” from Heidi Grace.  It has little doodles and words all over and says “A tall bird came and brought me a gift… of all the gifts I have ever received, this was my favorite — the gift was you.”  I’m not sure who to credit for the outer fabric but it was from Jo-Ann, Etc.

I made some changes to the pattern (shocker, I know) like this antique button closure on the side pocket.  It was supposed to be Velcro, as was the closure on the main flap.  I have a weird tactile issue with Velcro and decided instead to use this cute button on the side and a small magnetic snap on the main flap.  I also didn’t make the weird strap pad you see in the pattern pictures, it seemed unnecessary.  And I didn’t make the tab on the inside that would have had a clip for your keys.  That also seemed fussy.  I did add in all of the elastic pockets and pouches and, despite the I spent about 28 hours making it, I’m pretty darn proud of myself for making this bag and for (mostly) following the pattern.  I may even attempt another one for another pregnant friend of mine.  We’ll see.

Embroidered iPod Cozy

What can you possibly get an 18-year old boy for Christmas?  Heck if I know, but the 18-year old boy in our family got what he gets every year: an iTunes gift card.  Since his sisters were getting little handmade goodies to go with their Borders gift cards, I decided to make him a little fleece case for his iPod, and since he loves The Nightmare Before Christmas, I decided to try embroidering a Jack Skellington head onto it.

It’s not perfect, but it’ll do.  I embroidered Jack’s face onto the white fleece first and then cut out the shape of his head and stitched that to the case.  I made it just the right size for his iPod Touch and even added a little button closure onto the bottom.  Cute, no?

Tomorrow’s Christmas Craft: Andrea’s cowl and the skull and crossbones hats

In Celebration of Shopping

In celebration of Cyber Monday and all that is wonderful about shopping for great items on sale, today there are an amazing bunch of bargains to be had in my Etsy shop.

All inventory in my shop that was more than a month old has now been bundled into gift sets that will save you up to half off the original prices.  Necklaces, purses, earrings, snowkids, pincushions… it’s all on sale.  Don’t miss your chance to grab one of these great bargains.  Shop NOW!

Placemat Pillowcases

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My sister recently got new living room furniture and I had this idea that I wanted to give her the perfect patterned pillows as the best new couch-warming present ever.

I wanted a good quality fabric with a fun pattern and I know she likes circles and dots, but none of the fabrics I came across were just right.  Disappointed, I left the fabric store and went to Pier 1 for a completely unrelated reason (to buy myself something shiny) and a spotlight shone down, angels sang and these placemats fell off the shelf and onto my feet.  They were, and are, perfect.  Also on sale.

Why did I not think of this before?  Placemats are essentially pillowcases sewn shut.  All I did was cut off the stitching around the edges, trimmed them to size, sewed them back together, and voila!  The most perfect pillows for my sister’s new living room.  Just don’t tell her — I’m giving them to her tonight.

Peeks

Thank you all for your anniversary wishes.  I’ll have you know I spent my ninth anniversary at the dentist and didn’t see Luke at all.  But still, romantic anniversary or not, nine years is nothing to sniff at!

I am busy, busy, busy at the moment and have no time to really update, but I didn’t want another week to go by without dropping in to say hello.  Here are a few peeks at what I’m working on and what’s going on around my house lately.

knitting Christmas gifts

someone is pouty and covered in dirt

some awesome salsa I canned the other night

a skirt in progress

Have a great long weekend everyone!