Wednesday, July 29, 2009

again with the trees

Okay I promise after this I will stop, I swear. This is a tree from my latest pattern set which is comprised mostly of, well, trees. I know I need to 'branch out' into other subjects but I couldn't help myself. I just have so much fun with them. Unfortunately I broke the golden rule of Etsy, which we all know is to check your shop a thousand times a day - just kidding of course. The golden rule is to take great photos and I just couldn't get these right. They could be worse but still the color is off and I am just not thrilled with them. I am going to try to re-take them as soon as the weather and my boys cooperate but until then I have to cringe a little every time I see these shots.

Oh and I hate to brag and be obnoxious and all but....
this divine thing is actually growing in MY yard. I did not sneak over to a neighbor's house with my camera or scan a photo from a nursery catalog, honest. I'm tempted to try to embroider it but how could I even come close to capturing this in floss:
I don't know how long these blooms will be around but I will enjoy them while I can. I think that should be my motto for the next two weeks before school starts up again. Everyone around here is feeling that "how could Summer be ending already?" feeling. There was so much I wanted to do that didn't get done. Mostly things I wanted to do with the boys. It would probably be better if I focused on what we did do rather than all that we didn't do. Already I am sad about having to give Peter up for most of the day again. It has been so wonderful to have him around. On the other hand I have truly missed having one on one time with Adam so it will be nice to enjoy that again.
Finally, I will leave you with another mystery project although I think this one is probably too easy. Any ideas what this could be?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

the post that almost wasn't*

Mystery solved. Those odd oval thingys from my previous post were actually plaster shapes molded from plastic spoons. We found the project on Family Fun Magazine's website.
We had a lot of fun working on these - especially when I broke out the "sparkle" mod podge. I had a small container of it that came in a mod podge sample pack and I didn't think I would ever use it. It turned out to be just the thing to send this project over the top.

And, either we are tremendously creative or extremely weird but we thought some of these should be painted like eyeballs. I mean they are eye shaped, right?

It is that time of the season when my my flowerbed is so hit or miss. Half of it looks just awful and I'm ready to give up on it for the season. (I didn't snap any photos of that half!). The other half looks just breathtaking. This year I have a patch of zinnias that are causing quite a stir in the neighborhood. Everyone loves them especially me (and the butterflies). I will definitely be growing those every year from now on.

They even inspired a little embroidered number for the shop. I just couldn't help myself. I've also got a new pattern set that is slowly making it's way onto the SeptemberHouse shelves. I was hoping it would be there this week but that just ain't gonna happen. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

* good grief I don't even recall how many times I tried to get this posted but had so many problems with my photos that I had to give it up! Maybe it's blogger, maybe it's my computer I don't know. All I know is how surprised I am that this is being posted at all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

anyone else...

Having trouble with blogger?
For some reason I can't move any of my photos when I am writing a post. This has happened before but when I try again later it works again. hmmmmm. No luck so far today though. :(

Saturday, July 18, 2009

screen time for kids

It's the middle of summer and the whiny "I'm bored" song is being played over and over at my house. Those aren't always the lyrics but we all know the tune, right? When I'm not glued to the computer myself oogling over at Etsy, or flickr, or the countless blogs I have bookmarked, I do let other family members stare at the screen as well. (for just a little while, really, I swear) I'm sharing two recent discoveries that have proven to be pretty darn good boredom busters around here.

The first one is one that I probably love more than Peter but that's okay. I felt like I have stumbled upon a goldmine when I found it. It's called toymaker.com and it is full of fun stuff including a HUGE selection of free printable papercrafts including things like 'fairy furniture', paper dolls, and a menagerie of cute animals. Love it!

And the next one we all love too, but in a different way. It went over particularly well with Peter but also occupied my 30-something year old 'boy' for quite some time as well. And frankly, I myself got a little impatient waiting for my chance to try it too. Anyway, It's Marvel Comics' "Make your Own Superhero" page. Try it, you know you want to!

Finally I'll leave you with one lonely photo. It's another mystery craft project to keep you guessing until the next post. Oh what could it be...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

just for fun before summer's done


It feels like Summer is on it's way out the door with all the 'back to school' sale flyers and the way July turns to August in the blink of an eye. We did manage to squeeze in a particularly amazing evening of firefly catching not long ago. I was lamenting to friends how I had spoiled the evening by insisting we try to take a photo of the jar of fireflies - you know to preserve that magic evening forever and all that. Well, all I ended up doing was bringing the fun to a screeching halt as I fumbled with camera settings and wandered the yard looking for the perfect spot to take the picture. We never did get a good photo.

I concluded that one should stick with what they know so I made an embroidery pattern instead. It's up for grabs here. It's just a tiny little thing - just right for a 4 inch hoop. Here's the fun part though - I used DMC's 'light effects' fluorescent floss for the bugs and holy smokes folks - is that stuff ever bright! It is a little tricky to work with because it is so slick and the threads seem to want to come apart but since I wasn't using very much of it, it didn't drive me too batty. I noticed DMC also sells a glow in the dark floss - how much fun would that be for this?

I used a navy blue linen for the fabric and used a stem stitch for everything but the bugs. For those I used a satin stitch for the bodies and a one little chain stitch for each wing.

So there you have it. Here's to keeping a little bit of Summer all year long.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

i ♥ summer

I am so lucky. Every Summer my dear friend Julie packs up a load of craft supplies, a whole lot of inspiration, and maybe a change of clothes and flies all the way from California to Omaha. (and if I'm really lucky, her uber-creative daughter can come along too.) Okay, so perhaps her main objective is to visit family BUT she manages to spend a lovely chunk of time crafting with ME. We both anticipate this week all year long and it is a highlight of both our Summers. So, this is that week - yay!

It is so hard to decide what projects to tackle and we do try to squeeze in as many as we can. This year we have been doing a lot of jewelry making. Check out the woven bead ring! I'll have to post a roundup of the rest of our projects sometime before she flies back. I'm trying to decide if I should include photos of the dogs - because there are always a few of those. What can I say, it's a learning process and one of our goals when we craft together is to try things we have never done before. So, screw-ups are inevitable but are always good for some laughs.
Julie and I are so different creatively - she is a risk taker, a whirlwind of creative ideas. I'm more timid and cautious. I have to say though - if you are going to collaborate creatively with someone, find someone who is the opposite of you. It can be so inspiring and FUN!

I have to confess my Summer of Fun projects with Peter have slumped a little as we hit Summer's midway point. I vow to get us back on track however. A big part of it is that my little book of fun - no matter how hard I have worked on it - can't compare with just hanging out with the neighborhood kids. And when given a choice Peter always picks the kids with the pokemon cards over the mom with the poster paints. Are my feelings hurt? a little. Do I need to get over it? oh absolutely.

Here is a photo of a summer sweet treat we made a few weeks back:

yum! We got the recipe here.

Oh and this project turned out to be such a happy surprise. I wasn't too confident going into it that it would go over very well but it really did! Peter loved it and spent two afternoons working on it.

What happy surprises have you discovered this Summer?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

who is feeling ambitious today?

It's not bad enough that I have not been able to do much crafting this Summer - then I have to catch this little story on "As It Happens" just to make me feel worse I suppose. Holy flossbox, Batman, it's a cross stitch replica of the Sistine Chapel! Don't despair folks - you too can take on this challenge because happily, the pattern is available.
whoa. that's all I have to say about that.