Monday, May 7, 2012

Nails done, hair done, everything did

     I'm a late adopter for just about everything... Including the latest and greatest in social media, Pinterest. 
    Before I started pinning, my sister-in-law would e-mail me the pins she liked. Such as, the one to your left - the totally adorable headband/neckwarmer.
     "Can you make this?" she asked. 
     "Nope," I said.
     Because I couldn't. Until I learned how to do a yarn over, which for some reason seemed really hard for me. 
     After lots of practice (lots) (more than a normal person should have to do), I finally figured it out, and I was off! 
     My sister-in-law received the finished product as a gift for her birthday, which just so happened to be in the warmest winter ever. So, maybe she'll get to wear it next year. Or, this spring, which is shaping up to be a chilly one.
     The easy-to-follow pattern can be found here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

There Is A Light That Shines

     The other day, I needed a little something to hold onto. Just something that I could look at when I needed to focus, stop my head from spinning, remember to breathe.
     I came across the meditation "May I dwell in the awakened heart," and it was perfect. To me, it meant, may I lift myself up out of this dark, fearful, tragic place that I'm going in my head and instead be in a warm, light place.
     I wrote it on a sticky note and put it on my desk. Throughout the day, when I would lose focus, my head starting to spin, I would look at my meditation.
     Although I did a nice job writing it on the sticky note and even drew a heart on the paper, I couldn't help but think, "Hey, this quote would make some awesome decoupage!" (That was after I was out of the dark, fearful, tragic place.)
     So, last night, I made my first decoupage project. I had been holding onto a small wooden heart for years, have a big container of Mod Podge, and also kind of hoard old "Whole Living" magazines, so I had my materials. 
     I used to collage a lot as a teenager. It was my primary form of self-expression. In fact, part of one of the walls of my bedroom was covered with my collages. Thinking back, I was such a cool kid. I wish I could have seen that then. 
     I would cut out words and phrases and pictures that meant something to me, that gave me something to hold onto. Back then, I did a pretty good job of dwelling in the awakened heart. I was so aware of all of my feelings and unafraid of most of them.
     I'm glad that there's still a part of me that wants to collage, to create something out of random scraps. And I love that my awakened heart can still be so creative.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still Not a Player

I'm not a knitter, I just knit a lot.
        Seriously. I know how to do, like, six things with knitting needles. I know how to cast on, cast off, knit, purl, and in the past month, I've forced myself to learn how to do a yarn over - which means that you intentionally make holes in your knitting - and knitting increases, which you unintentionally do all the time when you are first learning to knit.
        So, maybe I should say, up until recently, I wasn't a knitter, I just knit a lot.
     It's a whole other world being a knitter - there's vocab to learn, abbreviations to figure out, and then you actually have to do the yo's and the kfb's.
     A few months ago, I learned how to do something different with knits and purls, which resulted in the lovely scarf you see a bit of above. Of course, I never posted about the scarf because, um, I wore it twice. Because we had the weirdest winter ever (80 degrees in March in Boston!).
     But, I loved making it with the pretty Noro self-striping yarn I bought on sale at a great shop in Boston (Stitch House in Dorchester), and I loved the truly shameless attitude of the pattern designer (her blog name is "Yarn Harlot" - how can you not love her!?) as she described what to do once you'd finished making the scarf:
     "Put it on, note how nicely it goes with your fall coat and go walk around Bloor West Village (or some neighbourhood near you if you don't live here) pretending to buy vegetables while waiting for someone to ask you where you bought your scarf. Gloat. (Nicely)"
     Happy to share it with you now, on April 1. Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Animal House

These little cuties were created in October, right around the last time I posted on this poor, lonely, neglected blog!

They were an anniversary gift for my sister-in-law and her husband - she loves monkeys and he loves owls (yes, the little felt friends are an owl (left) and a monkey (right)). 

You can't tell from the picture, but they are tiny - less than two inches at their widest points. And, they were a blast to make. (You also can't see that the monkey has a tail. What's more fun than a tail?)

I found the owl pattern for this pair months ago, so long ago that I've now forgotten the clever title of the book loaned to me by a friend. I had to search for a monkey pattern, and ended up creating my own based on a picture found online. 

Look for a couple more posts in quick succession - I have a lot of catching up to do!