Sunday, January 27, 2013

Works in Progress...

Remember how I said, "Just because my year long goal is finished doesn't mean I'll stop crafting or blogging about crafts,"  and then I disappeared for two weeks.  Ha.  Admittedly, I've lost some drive. But not all of it.  I'm juggling a handful projects, just not finishing any.  So here's a glimpse. 

We needed a new chair, and found this beauty at a garage sale for $2.  It needs a little loving, but that's what I've grown to enjoy about garage sale finds. As of now, progress=0, but we'll get there.

Baby blanket #1:  Crochet scallop stitch in a super soft aqua.  Progress=60% finished.

Baby blanket #2: knit in the SOFTEST EVER bunny tail yarn. Progress=30% finished.  Unfortunately, when I pulled it out of the bag for this photo shoot, I pulled the needles out, and lost a BUNCH of stitches from the middle.  Grrr. 
 Disclaimer: I'm not having a baby yet, but so many people I love are.  These two blankies will go to Turkey to find homes with former co-workers.

This last project turns two goals into 1.  We have a problem at the preschool where I work: we have so many things that we don't use taking up all the extra space in our lives. One of the many un-used items is this bag of crib sheets that don't fit that mattresses we use any more.  We've been tasked with coming up with creative uses for our extras, or finding them a new home.  (Again, I'm not prego, so I have no need for these.  Except to solve Problem 2!)  Problem 2: our cape collection.  In my humble opinion capes are the perfect dress up item for preschoolers. They can be worn so many ways: as capes, as aprons, as veils, as blankets...  As creative as my little dreamers are, new uses are invented every day.  Our cape collection is so well loved.  And SO old, and SO ragged, and SOOOOO gross (some have holes that may or may not have been chewed by rats.)
So project "crib-sheets to capes" is under way!

Thanks for being patient with my lack of drive these past few weeks.  Winter makes me SLEEPY!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A New Year's Tradition: Photo Craft

New Year's has totally passed, and I was just too busy to get to the craft that I had been saving for that particular holiday.   Oh well.  Better late than never.
Half way through December, in the midst of the holiday rush, it hit me that I would love to have some photos highlighting the best parts of the year to use as decor.  
But then it struck me that Christmas already has a million decorations ideas, why not use New Year's Day as a reason to look back at all the good times we had during the year?
 "And while I'm at it," I thought, "I'll do last year too (the first year of our marriage) so that eventually we will have New Year's decor that will chronicle our lives together."
 I wanted to do a top 10, but I just couldn't narrow down all the amazingness we've experienced in the past two years.  Too many foreign countries, new friends, weddings, and holidays to fit into just 10 photos.  So I added a few extra. 
 I printed them all in timeless black and white, and wallet size, so that even after 10 years we'll be able to store this decoration in a shoe box.
 And I bought teeny tiny clothes pins to attach them to twine.
 On the back I wrote the date and the event so that when we're 100 and senile we might know what we're looking at.
 And I added an appropriate quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Write it on your heart that each day is the best day of the year."

Then one of my most sarcastic but lovable friends came over... And was inspired to make her own sarcasti-craft.
 Jokes on her:  I actually like it.  
She insisted that I write down the best thing from every day to add to the bowl.  That's too much pressure, but I'll definitely add weekly at least.
 Thanks, Di.

2013 Resolutions

Seeing as this whole blog started as a New Year's Resolution, I thought it would be fitting to share my goals for 2013, even though they are totally not craft related.  

After my first successful year of resolutions, I am feeling super confidant about this coming year.  On top of that, I'm in the middle of reading The Happiness Project, and LOVING it,  so I have a bunch of goals for this year.

I know the rules about goals: keep them simple, measurable, and attainable.  Some are simple, some are measurable, hopefully all are attainable. :)

Category 1:  Be a functioning adult. (At 30 it's really about time.)   
  • Own dental floss.  
  •  Use it every night.  
  • Drink water EVERY DAY.  (One glass wont kill me.)
  • Get health insurance.  (Stop bragging about how "healthy" I am.  Karma causes Tuberculosis.)  
Category 2: Take advantage of my current life.
  • Enjoy living on the central coast by doing something new every week. (Walk somewhere new, eat at a new restaurant, drink a new wine, meet new people.)
  • Appreciate my baby free year(s) by saying "Yes!" to spontaneous adventures.   
  • Celebrate my relative proximity to family, by spending time with them whenever possible. 

I cheated, and started early, but I must say, I'm kicking-ass with these goals.  I bought dental floss a month ago, and not only do I floss every night, I use it as an extremely akward conversation starter constantly (I should really stop doing that).
When it comes to trying something new, I walk a new route that includes at least one new street every time I walk.  Almost every time I go out to eat I go somewhere new, and/or select something I've never tried off the menu

I just said "Yes!"  to a New Year's Eve Eve Camping trip...
Also, not to brag, but it only took me a day to earn my Tenderfoot Badge.  I'll be an Eagle Scout in no time.

A San Luis Obispo New Year's Eve Ball Drop... 
Thanks Warrens!

And a New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge!

 Look how many other people said "Yes!"
Photo courtesy of KSBY

I'll still craft, and post fun projects, but here's to a year filled with adventures both big and small, time with people I love, and appreciation for all we have.   

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Craft a Week: The Year in Review

Last year at this time I was in Turkey with two wonderful friends visiting.  We scaled down Castle Mountain, ate cake in the rain, and hamam-ed it up.  It was a wonderful end to 2011.  

I spent the last days of the year contemplating a crafting goal, and a blog that would accompany it.  Thus "Crafts From My Couch" was born.  I am super proud to say that I was successful in my goal of completing a new craft, and blogging about it, every week. I'm less proud to say that this is the first New Year's Resolution I've ever kept. But here's to turning over new leaves. 

During the year, I improved upon skills I already had (embroidery, crochet, sewing), and embarked upon new crafting adventures (upholstery, painting, wood working). I proved that I could finish something I started, and the piles of "some days" disappeared. I learned that crafting something didn't always involve buying new supplies, and that when it did, I should only buy for right now. Also, crafting stopped being a chore, and started being a routine, a constant companion to movies, TV, and everyday life. 

I'm still not the crafter (or blogger) that I hope to be some day, but I'm closer than I ever have been.  

I figured as a way to celebrate the ending of the year, I would do a Top 12 List.  So below are my favorite projects of 2012, one month at a time. 







Week 34: A Home For My Jewelry 


Our Dining Room Table 


Week 49: The Tiniest Little Purse

Wow!  That was way harder than I expected.  So, because I can't leave these out, here are some honorable mentions:
Bamboo Drama
Beaded Necklace
Turkey Love

Finger Puppet Parade

Anniversary Art

Frame wall


Honeycomb quilt

Beach Washed Christmas

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cozy Crochet Slippers

 I'm on a slippers kick!
Also, I'm amazing with puns.
 Puff-ball ballet flats...  

And party-button Mary Janes. 

My craze was all started by this gift of SUPER CUTE and ULTRA COZY slippers from my amazingly crafty friend.  Look at those buttons!  She made those too!

GREAT birthday gift!

Unfortunately, her pattern is knit.  And I'm just not in a knitting mood these days.  So I got on Google to look up some free crochet patterns.  As usual, following the pattern gave me a seriously over-sized slipper.  History:  The first pair of slippers I ever made came out the size of bathmats. This time I was smarter, and tried them on multiple times throughout the process, reducing stitches, and deleting rows when I noticed them being gigantic.  Also, I got better at ripping out rows and starting over, rather than powering through.  That said, my 4th attempt was still WAY TOO BIG (pictured below).

Eventually, the pattern that worked for me was to do everything in HDC instead of DC, and to HDC2TOG all the way around to finish (yellow yarn).  This made an appropriately sized slipper that hugged the foot at the top.

Then I attached the puffs, because I love flair.
Too cute.
The next pair I made was similarly problematic with the sizing.  They fit somewhat snugly around the sides, but they were SUPER long.  To solve my problem this time, I deleted rows 10-13.
 Then I went to my button stash. 
 And decided a plethora was better than just one.
 Cute and cozy!

Now to find a good pattern for Alan...