Kitty Stories


Ava and Nemo have provide a few camera-worthy moments recently. I popped in a Harry Potter movie the other night and started making a pair of pajama pants. Pajama pants are one of the easiest pieces of clothing to make, and you don't really need a pattern. But I was lazy and the pattern was only a dollar.

Both of the cats love crafting. They come visit me when I'm working in the craft cave, and they like to hang around when I craft in the living room. Ava especially likes to sleep on my creations, as evidenced when I made my bed sheet skirt. In the future, things for my shop (if I ever get around to adding more items) will be cut in cat-free zones, namely the loft for larger pieces and my desk for smaller pieces. No offense to ava and nemo, but some people are strongly allergic to cats, and I can't be shipping items that ava has been sleeping on, however cute it may be.

this is Ava looking for something to eat in the kitchen.

Yesterday Nemo came bounding into the room very strangely. He was walking kind of weird, jumping around and looking behind him. I thought he was just playing until I saw a big piece of poop hanging from his butt. I caught this video of poor Nemo trying to alleviate this discomfort before Joanna put on some gloves and removed the dingleberry for him. I took a disinfectant to the floor afterward.

Nemo and his butt problem from craft berry on Vimeo.

Hey Mr. Snowman


I was out shoveling snow a few days ago and ended up playing in the snow. Here's my little snow neighbor. Aw, ain't he cute?

Protecting the house. He has since fallen over completely. Check the previous post to see how unhappy he was with the rising temps.

I went out to Greenlake Park again. It wasn't as magical as when I went during the big snow over the weekend. a little more slippery, a little slushier, less skiers this time. I didn't plan on walking around the whole lake, but I did, all three miles. It was dark by the time I started heading home. Glad I'm not the only night snow walker. There were still plenty of people walking.

Cheers! Later!

Non-Christmas


Christmas this year was a non-event. The winter storms have pretty much overshadowed the holiday cheer. I broke down and bought the cheapest instant coffee yesterday and the cheapest half and half, so at least I had a christmas morning coffee. It wasn't too terrible. Unfortunately I accidentally got fat-free half and half, which isn't really half and half at all. It's just skim milk with thickeners and artificial coloring. It should really be called half and cream substitute.

This was what christmas morning looked like outside our door.


My books arrived two days before christmas! I'm considering it a christmas present to myself. well, the top one is at least. the rest of them weren't exactly on my wish list. And one of them is Essential.

I was in martha stewart mode today. I made a batch of ginger spice cookies and cooked up some potato and bacon soup, all from scratch. This was my christmas dinner.


A friend of my parents invited me over for christmas dinner, but they live half an hour away. I don't feel comfortable driving that far until I get my car fixed, especially with the streets covered in snow and slush. I'm bummed because I'd really rather be there right now instead of blogging about my boring day. Sigh, chinese food would have been so goooood. My soup was good, but it's a pretty sad holiday dinner. Joanna's here, too, so at least I'm not alone. So, it was a disappointing christmas, but at least I have plenty to keep myself busy at home.

My snowman is melting. His carrot nose fell off. He looks so sad.

It's a Winter Wonderland!


i've had nothing to post of late. That's not to say I haven't been working. I'm stalled on a few projects because I haven't been able to get to the craft store because of the snow. I thought I had left the crazy winters behind in cleveland. Now that I don't have to drive in the snow, I'm actually enjoying it. It's so pretty! seattle doesn't usually get this much snow, so this snow has been a big deal. Yesterday I ventured out for a walk to Greenlake Park. The skiers were out in force.




Snowmen!

I was starting to wish I had some cross country skis, too.

From Greenlake I walked to Safeway to buy some things for baking. Luckily I didn't need to buy milk. They said they haven't had a milk delivery for three days. Also, the hot chocolate shelves were near empty, too.


The wind picked up and it really started to snow on my way home from the store. So glad I don't have to drive in this.

It's good to be home.

Our street a few hours ago.

Looking out the front door and balcony.

View from the balcony on two different nights. The one on the right is from two days ago. I like how it looks like we live by a strip club. Blue christmas lights...why? The other one is from this morning. As you can see, none of the cars have moved.

Amy Butler is Awesome

I finally got my library card yesterday! I'm more excited than I should be about such a minor accomplishment. Yippee! I wrote down 14 books from my to read list and headed to the library. None of the books on my list were available of course. It’s free, so I’m not complaining at all. It’s like health care in Canada. You have to wait a while, but it’s free. If I want it sooner I can pay money for it. anyway, so I had to choose my books the old fashioned way, by browsing the stacks. I came home with four books, one of which was a book on craft businesses. I didn't realize until I got home that there was a section on Amy Butler in it about how she started her business! I love Amy Butler! She inspires me, and might I mention again she's based in Ohio, near Columbus! I'm an even bigger fan after watching this. She and her husband didn't take out any loans for their business. Also, Amy appears to be very tall.

At least I won't be tempted to get Amy Butler bedding, considering I don't even have a bed. One day I will own furniture, just not quite yet.

I like my potatoes pink


Things are still pretty boring. I'm taking a break from crafting so I can work on my actionscript skillz. Not going so well....I very far behind. So, sorry that I have nothing to post except for the pink potatoes I had for dinner. I went crazy with the spuds last week. I bought several pounds of potatoes at the farmers market before thanksgiving; blue potatoes, gold potatoes, fingerlings, and a few pinks. They mashed wonderfully. Yummers!

Fabrics I can't afford


When I started sewing over the summer I was determined to use as much second hand or recycled materials as possible. And I'm still determined, but goodwill is more expensive here than it was in Virginia and Ohio. I used buy bedding and tablecloths for $2, but here they've been $4-$7. There are a few other thrift shops close by I have yet to check. I bought a skirt at a St Vinnies somewhere in New Zealand for NZ$2. I would love to find things for $2.00 here. No such luck yet. So sometimes it's actually cheaper to buy new fabric, especially if it's on sale.

I found my new favorite fabric shop. Pacific Fabrics is only two miles away and they have a giant fabric selection. Prices are a bit higher than Joanns but they have a better selection. Plus this place carries Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry, and Joann's does not. I was checking out the home decor fabrics and found some cute ones. Kawaii! Notice the price in the top photo, $17.99/yd. Now I am way cheap. I try not to pay more than five or six dollars a yard, lol. But these would make adorable wallets though....hmmm, maybe. Don't mind my thumb...I left it in for scale.



This one's from japan. Can't you tell.

The Gnome Chomsky Effect



I'm looking at silk-screening supplies. I was hoping Joann's would have some so I could use my 50% off coupon, but they don't. I've been wanting to add silk-screening to my craft stash for a while, but the budget hasn't allowed it. Where's a Pat Catan's when you need one? In the past I've used a cheap method involving an embroidery hoop, glue, sheer curtain material and a rubber spatula. Here's a tutorial. It's time consuming, but you can't beat the cost savings. This is the method I used for my dog pillows.

Lately I've been wanting to try to print my own fabric. You can print custom fabrics at Spoonflower, which is wonderful! But it's still beyond my price range...plus i'd like to do it myself. Mostly because I want some garden gnome fabric. I love garden gnomes. I've been looking for a pocket sized one that I can take on my travels, but I haven't found one yet. If anyone finds some please let me know! I'm inspired by my pajamas. I also lurv those garden gnome plates. Want!

Pike Place at Night

Pike Place at Night

I took the bus downtown for my class last night. I left an hour and a half early so I could have some time to use the computer lab to work on my assignments. But the office was locked when I arrived. WTF! So with no place to sit and wait, I went back outside and wandered a few blocks toward Pike Place. It was a lovely little night scene. Half an hour later, I was able to get in to my classroom.

Weekender Bag #2


Happy Birthday Carrie! I made another Amy Butler bag for my friend Carrie in Arizona for her birthday. It's the same pattern as the bag I made for Becky, but with different fabric, also from IKEA. This was the fabric I bought last month after dropping my mom off at the airport early in the morning and the waiting four hours for IKEA to open. See My Silly Sunday post. The interior fabric is standard home decor fabric from the fabric store.


The bag has a removable false bottom piece that sits inside the bag to give it more support. The pattern instructions say to use quilter's template plastic, but I found these halloween placemates in clearance for $.60. They were the perfect length and thickness. And they cost a quarter of the price for the template plastic. For the previous bag, I had used one of those flexible chopping boards. I'm a bargain shopper.

Feeling Blue


My food reflects my mood today. I was feeling sooo angry, frustrated, and sad the whole day. Very blue. Please save us from these depressing times, Mr. Obama and Co.! Yesterday I went to the farmers market. It's potato season! I usually buy Yukon Gold potatoes at the supermarket (I don't like russet potatoes), but they have such great potatoes at the farmers market, so many kinds. I got a mix of yellow and blue potatoes to try. I wanted to try some mashed blue potatoes. I peeled them because the skin was pretty thick. The mashed potatoes turned out a lovely lavender color. Next time I might try blue potato salad.

I only learned recently that you should not store potatoes in the fridge because it causes the starch to turn to sugar. So unless you want sweet potatoes, just keep them in a dark place away from heat.

Wallets!


I made two wallets yesterday! They came out pretty well, although the flowered one is a bit crooked. I had some sewing machine issues and a few mishaps with the snaps, but they turned out well. My machine has trouble sewing straight through all the layers of fabric. I hope I can amend this. You can definitely tell they are handmade. I don't know if this is a good thing. I'm thinking of selling these for $20-$25 until I get better at making them. Then maybe I can push it up to $30 :-) Any thoughts? So, who wants one? haha! No seriously, let me know if you do...

I've taken a liking to the polka dot fabric, so I may make more of those. It's a home dec weight fabric, and it feels a bit sturdier. But my sewing machine doesn't like it much. The red fabric is actually left over bed sheet pieces from my tomato ottoman. Actually, I think I may switch out my apples and pear wallet and start using this polka dot one. I likey! Funny, I was never the girl with lots of purses and wallets. I used the same trusty ugly velcro wallet for five years until not too long ago. I have to study for my class tonight, so I don't think I'll be making any more until the weekend. Thanks for looking!


My First Cold in Seattle


I've got a bit of a cold, so I whipped out the cold meds. But I don't have a runny nose so I'm laying off the alka-selzer for now. Just a sore throat and headache. You might remember the pills I bought in Japan. I still don't know what they are for, what's in them, or how much to take. But the picture on the box looks like it's for headaches and throat aches. They took care of my aches when I had the flu in Japan, and they don't knock me out or get me high like American drugs. Maybe it's just aspirin, I don't know. But they were expensive so I hope there's something special in those pills.

I made myself some chicken noodle soup. Ingredients: Water, chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bouillon, noodles, salt. The chicken is local, and vegetables and bouillon are organic. Feed that cold. Better than Campbell's.


Joanna makes green smoothies. Ingredients: Apple, banana, carrots, broccoli, spinach, protein powder, ice.


We got out the juicer and made more fruit cream. I wish I had a better picture of the fruit coming out of the machine. It looked like poop. We call it fruit poop, in pineapple and berries. We didn't used bananas this time. It would have been funny to say "This shit is bananas!"