Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Sky's the Limit!

Lea's May Dance was last night. A girl can't go to a semi-formal without a cell phone, but she doesn't want to carry a clunky purse. Lea didn't like the thought of a clutch, which is (or at least WAS!) my go-to bag of choice when the situation called for something a little fancier than an everyday purse. What to do, what to do?

Enter the zippered wrist purse. I found a pattern for this little bag in Stitch and Bitch Nation, by Debbie Stoller. I modified it slightly, adding a defined fold for the bottom.

It holds a cell phone and not a lot more. Lea got her cell phone and a lipstick in there. As I was making it, I thought about how handy something like this could be for me when I don't need the whole arsenal that I regularly carry in my bag. This holds my phone, a credit card, drivers license, a couple bucks and a key (but not my key ring...) Perfect for a night out! Perfect for a shopping day, when the bags get overwhelming (like I have shopping days when the bags get overwhelming anymore...). It would even be great just to hold credit cards or gift cards or a cell phone within a larger purse. How about feminine items? What a neat, cute way to keep those tidy in your purse (and eliminate embarrassment when they inevitably fall out).

I think this is really just a cute little bag with almost endless possibilities. I immediately whipped one up for myself using brown yarn and wood beads in place of the more blingy beads used on Lea's bag. I'm thinking for an even more casual look, I could eliminate the beads completely and do appliques (literally endless possibilities there... my head is spinning!). I could spell out initials with the beads rather than just going with a linear pattern for them.... Oh, I see every woman I know getting one of THESE soon!

They take very little time and very little yarn, so they're going to serve as stash busters, too. I tend to lean towards more neutral colors/schemes for myself - but for such a small project, I could actually go nutty! Make them to match specific outfits!

Lea all set to go to her big dance

Friday, May 15, 2009

We Heart Art!

Three Bay B Chicks, Domestically Challenged and I'm Living Proof that God has a Sense of Humor have been sponsoring "We Heart Art" week all week. For more details on this event, scoot on over here.

Personally, I have never had much luck with paper arts. Or clay arts. Or performing arts. But I took to yarn and needles like a duck to water. I was crocheting clothing items for myself when I was in fifth grade. (Of course I was in fifth grade in the era of crochet's hey day - potholder vests, crocheted suits and dresses, floppy hats. Yeah, I'm old. Whatever.)

I put crochet hooks and knitting needles in my kids' hands as soon as they had the fine motor skills to handle them. Both of them tried several times (with long lapses in between) before it really clicked for them. When crocheting clicked for Liv, it was like an artist's dream come true. You see, Miss Liv refuses to consult a pattern. She knows what she wants things to look like and she knows what she can do and she does her best to reconcile those two notions.

Here's a little showcase of a few of the things she's designed recently:

The drum kit was from a - well - a kit, but she did put it together. The doll is all her, baby. She crocheted the doll and then set to work creating a wardrobe. The above picture depicts her in her goth fairy ensemble. Dig the red wings!

This is the same ensemble, but with an added cape. (and an added proud artist)

This doll has several other outfits - fancy dresses, more capes, she's got a bangin' wardrobe!

Often Liv will become inspired by something I'm working on. That happened with my mushrooms. I found these awesome little felted mushroom patterns online and I knit one in every design. Super cute, right? Well, Liv thought that the little red and white toadstool looked like a good home for a fairy. I told her to knock herself out. Soon we had this little fairy taking up residence.

Isn't it awesome when you can make your own magic?

Not wanting her fairy to be lonesome, she quickly concocted a gloomy little friend for her to hang out with. There was a green-skinned Elphaba at one point, too, but a friend loved her so much that Liv gifted her with it.

Knitting and crocheting and other needlecrafts have brought me so much peace and joy; I am so thrilled to have passed that down to my girls.

And I am REALLY psyched to see where Liv's talents with the needle might take her.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CassCozie - Phase 1

This is what the CassCozie looked like after the raglan shaping was done and I slipped it off the needles to send it to Kim (as modeled by the lovely Lea)

Of course now Lea and I are both wanting one... you don't suppose we could get anyone to do half the work for one for ME do you? Those long rows were startin' to get MIGHTY boring... but when Kim sends it back it will be all shiny and new and I'll be anxious to work on it again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's on the Needles?

I haven't been updating much, because I've been working hard on my 'pay it forward' or 'first five' projects. I have several done, but I don't want to post anything until they're ALL done and received. It's driving me crazy, because I'm totally ready to show off the finished products. That will be one big show-offy post a few weeks down the line.

In the meantime, I got started on another time consuming project - the CassCozie. Another Facebook-driven project, now that I think about it! My friend Cass doesn't knit but a few of her friends do. She jokingly asked us to make her a snuggie. I said, "I think we could do this..." It's a serious stash busting project - my goal is to not spend a penny on it, we'll see how that goes. It's my very first round-robin type project. I'm knitting till I'm bored, then sending it along to someone else who will knit till she's bored then send it back or send it along to someone else. As a stash buster, it is taking on a serious 'coat of many colors' effect that I think is kind of cool. I think it will be even cooler when other people's stashes get thrown in. I imagine it will be quite a while before that one is completed, but it should be quite the thing when it's finally done!

Next quick project on deck: A little bag for Lea to carry to her May dance. I'm thinking a little drawstring bag she can wear around her wrist. Pics soon!