Archive for October 2011

Pumpkins and the Princess

Monday is such a silly day for Halloween so we celebrated it on Saturday. Serendipitously, we were blessed with beautiful weather! We had no real plans for the day, but since we got up and about too late to go to the market, we headed out to Sauvie Island to seek out a pumpkin patch. There are many pumpkin patches here, we drove passed by two really big ones when we found this most beautiful one ever.

Immi loves pumpkins, I have no idea why, but she really does. I didn’t make her princess dress, but I did whip up her tiara to match the wand I made for Immi some time ago. I almost contemplated buying a mass produced made in china plastic and probably toxic crap of a toy tiara but made this instead. My goal (aside from refusing to pay for worthless item, keeping one more item out of landfill etc. etc.) was for durability and comfort. I doodled the design, glittered a fabric using non-toxic water resistant glue, stitched it onto wool felt,  added elastic band and attached a salvaged heart-shaped red rhinestone.

 

Stacking Bracelets

I made some bracelets.

 

Baking Bread

I finally had a chance to try the “easy” bread recipe which my friend kindly shared with me (Hi Lissa!). It took me a while to try because I didn’t have large enough dutch oven, but found just the right one recently (antique cast iron one at a bargain price…which of course meant it took me some effort to resurrect!). Ingredient list for bread is amusingly short (flour, yeast, salt and water) but the instruction called for “Clean Kitchen Towel” which [sadly] I didn’t have,  so I stitched one up. This way, it won’t get used for wiping dirty hands!

The pattern is from Sublime Stitching, I just changed the scroll to read “bread”.

Here’s the kitchen towel in action (the dough is resting before baking):

And here’s the freshly baked bread!

It was very easy (as promised!) and seems like ‘no-knead dutch-oven bread‘ has been a popular way to bake bread in recent years (There are many basically the same recipe/instruction for this type of bread all over the internet but I found the photo instruction in the link helpful if you want to try it yourself!). This method did produce very tasty bread (for very very cheap, I might add), and even Immi ate lots of it. Portland has many fantastic bakeries and I’m not about to put them out of business (ha!) but we always run out of bread mid-week, so I’m hoping to remedy this situation. I have some ideas for altering the recipe/process for increased convenience, I shall report  back when I get it to work!

Purple Wrist Cuff — Finished!

I finished the wrist cuff.

I really enjoy making wrist cuffs, even thought they aren’t all that versatile as far as accessories go, being appropriate mostly just in autumn and spring (long sleeve get in the way, and it looks too hot in summer, though on second thought — it’s probably fine here in Pacific NW!). I practice various stitches on it, and learn a new trick or two (I leaned to install hooks properly though  you don’t see it in the picture). I’d love to make an entire dress but I don’t have the time, space, supply, skill or patience for it at the moment, so I’m rather content making these instead.

Crafty Images

Some everyday crafting moments captured with iPhone.

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Wizard Fire Wand

Immi plays with her magical superhero faery princess wand every single day (and I mean literally, every single day) and I’m pleased to say that it’s holding up really well. Seeing how integral it is to her everyday play, I wanted to make one for Ashland too. But exactly what, I didn’t know — I don’t mean to fuss over gender issue too much but somehow I didn’t think sparkly heart-shaped faery princess item was really Ashland’s style. Anyhow, I searched around for wands appropriate for boys and surprisingly found not much inspiration at all (other than Harry Potter style wands, which I figured is boring for the kids not old enough yet to appreciate the book/movie). Maybe boys don’t really play with wands? I have no idea but I decided to just imagine one up and this is what I came up with:

A Wizard’s Mystical Fire Wand!

Here’s a close-up.

When I finally finished it and handed it to Ashland, he was so happy (Actually, it really annoyed immi since she seems to have thought that it was for her)! He’s been carrying it around since (best compliment ever!). Now I just have to come up with something for Lucian, or else, he’ll be waving around his magic silicone spatula for another while longer.

Hazy Purple Cuff with Lace and Coin

I’m working on a wrist cuff by the large window overlooking the ocean. I wish my studio desk had more natural light! (Our office/studio stains nice and cool during summer but it doesn’t get much light.)

Ambiguous weather at the beach is blessing us with frequent rainbows!

Ocean Doodles and Treasures

Ocean doodled on the beach! Seaweed and feathers.

Holey rock with water still left in it.

This beach is full of wide variety of rocks. I don’t know much about geology but I can definitely appreciate the variety. Not pictured here, but we found some petrified wood too!

I’m not sure how these happened but we found several rocks with naturally formed dimples.

Emergency Vacation

As it turns out, the wall had accumulated 12 inches of water (I’m so grateful we caught the problem before it all gush out of the wall — what a disaster that would have been!) due to a water pipe malfunction upstairs and one side of it had to be taken down and dried. I don’t so much mind the look but the industrial fan is insanely loud and whatever that’s in the wall being blown out was making me ill. …So Todd suggested we head down to the beach again and stay there while the wall dried and new one get installed.

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This is Lincoln Beach. It’s our first time here. When we pulled into the parking space, the sun was setting into the ocean. I love the beach on the west coast because the sunset is beautiful. I’m sure that the sun rise in the east coast beach was beautiful too, we just never woke up early enough to witness it.

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Ocean view from the window.

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Because its mid week, it’s more like a work-cation for Todd, and it took some creative baby proofing to make the place safer for the kids (without me having to hover over them every single moment…) but it’s admittedly kinda nice to sit by the window overlooking the beach. I’m enjoying the drizzly weather here at the coast because we usually go when it’s “nice” out for maximum enjoyment for kids. I think that drizzly, hazy and slightly chilly ocean is beautiful.

Vintage Key Rainbow Necklace

I was almost done with this necklace for a long while and I finally finished it up!

Here’s the detail on the clasp which was the funnest part to make!