I went in to Em's class today and helped the kids make gingerbread houses. It was a blast to see what they came up with. All that candy and gooey icing!!
I got together a great craft for Em's class as well. I found the idea on Crafty Crow and added glitter. I prepared by making part of it ahead. First drizzle hot glue all over cardboard. Then you cut out a circle and spray with glue. Foil is pressed down on the glue. This is when the kids take over and color each area with a permanent marker, leaving the ridges silver. Then they take the ornament to a box where we sprayed more glue on top and it was off to the glitter tray. Finally, we put a string through a punched hole and bagged them to keep the glitter contained on the way home. I was lucky to have lots of help getting the ornaments ready and helping during the process.
The only other thing I added was a paper cut out on the back of the ornament for each student's name and I also included the teacher's name and year.
It was so much fun and I am so glad it is over and we can relax and enjoy this next week. It is snowing here-lightly-so pretty.
My Bell's Palsy is slowly getting a bit better. I have more control over my mouth and eyelid. :-)
Well, I'm finally ready to start blogging again. I am not completely healed--it will take some time--but I am on the road and seeing some progress. I woke up on the third of November with half of my face paralyzed. The doctor reassured me that it wasn't a stroke, but it is Bell's Palsy. A cranial nerve gets damaged and it completely paralyzes one side of your face. My eyelid droops, mouth droops, tongue, cheek and nose are numb. My sense of taste, smell, and ability to eat are all affected. It does usually reverse itself at a painfully slow rate. It has been 4 weeks and just small improvements, so far. I am thankful for those, though. I can eat solid foods (on one side) and I don't require a straw to drink.
The hardest parts are the purely vain, looking strange and having people stare and then there were the medications with awful side effects. Most of all though I miss smiling with my whole face and the nuances of expression. It will get better though, I just have to have a lot of patience (who has a lot of that?)
During the month I busied myself with a few Christmas stuffies. I've seen ideas all over the place. The sort of gingerbread man pictured above is inspired by a project in "Fa La La Felt" by Amanda Carestio. The project from the book is by Cathy Gaubert.
I need to take a litttle blog break. I am a bit sick and need to get healthy. Nothing too serious, just a long recovery and wanting to rest. Hopefully, I'll be back in the swing of things soon. In the meantime, take care and enjoy November. :-)
Made up my own pattern for this doll yesterday. I am hoping to make it look sort of like an old-time peg wooden doll. I have been working on a paper clay head and plan to attach it to the body with more paper clay. The fabric under this doll is what I'm planning on using for a voluminous skirt and over-skirt. A couple of notes: The nut-pick in the top picture is a handy tool for poking out tiny pieces. It is not overly sharp like a needle tool or scissors would be. The drinking straw is cleverly used to poke into the unturned arm or leg and the skewer is poked thru the straw with the fabric. This turns the smallest of tubes readily. I found this handy tip on Melly & Me.
I went to a small antiques fair this morning and found a whole jar of shell buttons. I love their homey timeworn colors.
Look at all the different kinds there are in this pile. Two holes, four, shank-backed, large size, small, so much variety. The ones with thread still all bunched up in a knot on the back make me wonder what they were stitched to. A sturdy workshirt or was it a small starched white shirt worn on the first day of school. :-)
This makes me happy! A beautiful fabric made into a lovely bag. The materials to make this bag all came tucked into the Cath Kidston book "Sew". It is a pretty book with lots of projects, from simple to a little harder. Chief reason for purchase was to get my hands on the material. It is a wonderful heavy duck cotton. Love the bluey-gray background and the rosy pink flowers.
I changed the pattern a wee bit to add a lining of my own material-the green with white dots. The instructions for another bag in the book had some of the instructions for adding a lining, but in changing the handles of the bag I needed to work some of it out on my own. As you can see that some of the handle ended up showing inside the bag. It worked out tho.
Here is an end of the purse showing how the handle is attached. The original pattern has the handle attached with a button on each side. I sewed the handle down in the midst of laying in the upper rim lining.
One of the best tips in the book was to use matching thread for the topstitching. I would have used white but I like the matching thread so much better.
Here she is! Red and her pal Wolfie are all set to venture off through the woods to Grannies. Red started out as a pattern from Handmade Awards . I had a little trouble with the pattern as written. I hate when that happens. I think it was supposed to be made on double-pointed needles in the round but it never said so. I started making the body on two dpn, flat and when the instructions started getting confusing on the limbs I just made up my own pattern to make it come out the way I wanted. The dress is almost all my own pattern except for the zigzaging decorations. I made at least three dress fronts before I got it working out to my liking. I made the dress quite a bit longer and under the apron it gathers gently at the yoke.
Here is Red's pal Wolfie. In the pattern he is supposed to be a puppet, very cute idea, but I wanted a full-bodied wolf so I ad-libbed. Just added on at the back and changed the legs and tail to suit me. Devilish white teeth out of worsted weight. All the rest of the project is of fingering weight, Palette Yarn, from KnitPicks.
For Red's shoes, I used a pattern for a totally different doll, Tilly Twirl, by Amanda Jones, found in a Simply Knitting magazine's booklet from the Spring issue. I made up the shoes using a smaller set of needles and they fit Red. Yeah!
Finally, the food loaded up in the basket for Grannie. I used Handmade Award's pattern for the apple and roughly the basket but figured out my own patterns for the cheese wheel and bread. :-)
Sorry, I haven't posted much lately. We are busy, busy, busy.
Openings in roofs don't do well in rain storms--duh! Right? Well we had some water come in during the storms that roared through Ohio and on to New York. J was up on the roof pulling on more plastic in the middle of the first storm. No tornados right here though, thankfully. :-)
Tomorrow, I hope to get a photo up of the latest finished knitting.
We are in the midst of fixing some things on our house this summer. Can you see here in this photo taken of an area where some of the siding was removed. These two painted letters, J & S represent my husband's and my own first initials. Isn't that just too funny! I don't know when these were put there. We just bought the house in January and we have felt so at home, right from the start. So it must be some kind of "fate" or something. :-) I don't know, but it is fun!
The pile of projects grows and wobbles as I contemplate yet another knit up. I love the Mary, Mary Quite Contrary Mouse with her wee watering can in this project booklet found in the August copy of UK's Simply Knitting magazine. I want to pick the Alan Dart gingerbread cottage back up to finish for holiday decorating, but I also want to finish the hood for the little knit doll that I worked on up in Michigan. I've made some mistake in the knitting and am now laborously picking it back a few rows. All this knitting and I'm not even mentioning the fabric that is crying out to be quilted. Do you want to see some pictures? Wait a day or so and I'll post some photos. :-)
Been fooling around here with braids. Em got a kit for her birthday recently (she's ten now!) to make friendship bracelets. I thought I'd seen them somewhere before and googled Japanese braiding. Lo and behold there is a braiding technique called Kumihimo (which means plaiting string).
Here is an example of a flat braid made with the square foam loom. There is one main kind of loom for the rounded braids (called a Marudai--it is made of wood traditionally), A loom for large intricate flat braids is called a Takadai. It is a related technique but with a woven aspect.
Here is one of the patterns for a rounded braid, a kind of flower or dot. The pattern is marked out on one of Em's looms. The kit that Em got came with 4 dense foam looms (2 round, 2 square). The kit is from ALEX and included embroidery floss and beads (which can be added to some of the braids).
The ALEX kit is an easy entry to the world of Kumihimo and my girls and I have enjoyed it tremendously. We are waiting to borrow a book by Roderick Owen "Braids: 250 from Japan, Peru and Beyond". A couple other books we have from the library don't talk about using the foam boards at all but concentrate on the Japanese traditional Marudai or Takadai. The traditional patterns for the Marudai can work on the foam boards as well. There are other foam boards available called Kumilooms which can come with bobbins to help with long threads (which are easily tangled while working the braid) and also two from Beadsmith (many people make elegant necklaces from silk string).
When it's hot and humid an early morning walk on the beach is just the thing. By the time the sun broke over the horizon it was already time to walk back to our beach house. We got back from a week at the beaches of North Carolina last night. Our vacation was fun but I'm glad to get home. It is the comfortable couch, stretching out on a familar mattress, and picking all the green beans and tomatoes that were waiting for us. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home"