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Hot Hot Heat.

” I ran outta gas! I had a flat tire! I didn’t have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from outta town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts!! It wasn’t my fault I swear to God!!!” – Jake

In all reality, my camera is on the fritz…so no pics of all of the crafty business I have been up to of late.  My darling mister has ordered a much needed new battery for the thing.  (Who knew that those lithium batteries could be so dang expensive!)  So, I will have a whole bunch to post once our sweet mail lady brings us that battery.

I have been up to an awful lot this past week or so.  Camping, Roller Derby Boot Camp, knitting, and getting hip to all things tasty and vegan.

I am absolutely in love my new copy of Veganomicon as well as a book recommended to me by a lovely local midwife entitled, The Vegetarian Mothers Cookbook.  Being a breastfeeding new mama I am aware of my different nutritional needs, and being mostly vegan makes meeting those needs a little bit more challenging.  But no more!  Between these two cookbooks, I have found that I am getting all of the nutritional goodies that my baby and I need.  Tasty ones at that!

Kerry's apron

This week I am sewing madly to update my Etsy shop, and to get ready for (hopefully!) 2 craft shows next month.  The first takes place on Saturday August 8th at the drive-in on hwy 99 in Newburg, called Craft-In.  I am also hoping to get a booth at Portland’s own Crafty Wonderland on Sunday August 9th.  One craftacular weekend!

I am loving putting together these aprons, made with both vintage fabric (lots of cute pillowcases!) and lovely new fabrics, such as Amy Butler and the like.  Tiny bits of old lace, hankies, embroideries, rick rack, and other fun finds make each one unique and fun for me to make!

side view

I am calling them my “gussy up” aprons.

In knitting news, I am rapidly stitching my way through Ishbel.  I am in love with this pattern right now, pretty and easy.  Pretty easy is a requirement for this broad these days, as my oldest is home for the summer, and my lovely babe is just 7 weeks old… not the time to cast on an Estonian lace shawl if you know what I mean... and you do, dontcha?

knitting mojo

My little sister has been visiting us from Tennessee for the past week.  (Whoopie!)  Along with her awesome sense of humor, she brought some good ol Tennessee weather with her.  Namely the heat.  (Booooooo!) It has been scorching hot here in Portland since the day she arrived.  How RUDE I say.  How rude.

Since has been deemed anti-social to go down into my nice cool basement to sew, leaving my poor sister with nothing to do…I managed to resurrect my knitting mojo.

All it took was a nice cold beer, half of my Wollmeise stash, and the super sweet and popular knitting pattern by Ysolda Teague, Ishbel.  (Which is only one of the many darling patterns in her self published book, Whimsical Little Knits.)  A winning combination for knitters block!  Needless to say, i finished the beer, and am already halfway done with the shawl.

Monday, the whole family is heading out to the coast.  Cannon Beach to be exact.   I cannot wait!   (I hope to pop into Coastal Yarns while we are there too.)

Yarn ho!

kyoto

I spent the first 8 months of my pregnancy knitting.  Constantly.

I Knitted up:

2 Baby Sweaters, including my first baby surprise jacket!

bsj

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1 Man Sweater (bottom up raglan crewneck)

1 Kimono Shawl

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and a few scarves and hats…

And now I can hardly be bothered to pick up the needles.  As I stare at my yarn bowl, I am honestly feeling a wee bit guilty.  All of that lovely yarn, just languishing there…looking so, so, so forlorn.

I blame this knitters block on summer and the baby.  After all, who wants to knit in the summertime?  Since I can rarely be bothered to knit with anything but LOVELY wool…summer is a tough season for me knitwise.  Especially when there is so much sewing to be done in my very cozy and cool basement studio!  Stacks of fabric inspiration all around me, crafty books and magazines to reference, and even some sketches of projects yet to be made.  Yes, I might as well strike while the (sewing) iron is hot!

This week I plan on sewing up a bunch of new aprons and bloomers to begin restocking my Etsy website.

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My misters first Fathers Day consisted of two of our favorites; wood & the sea!  Here is a peek:

dream boat!

thepier

babeandboat

During our whirlwind trip to Seattle to meet with a couple of my friends…we were able to go to the Bell Street Pier Classic Yacht Rendezvous!  It happens every Fathers Day, and it was a TON of fun.  The boats were incredibly beautiful.  I was feeling too shy to board many of the beauties myself, but I can say that I am now certain one of my goals in life is to live on an old wooden yacht!  (Talk about a really huge craft project…)

I am excited to share with you my latest project, a baby quilt for my *one month old* daughter.

When I first thought of making this quilt, I was hoping to find an already existing pattern that would work well with the fabrics I chose.  I picked through the quilty blogosphere with a fine toothed comb…but nothing spoke to me in regards to these fabrics.  I did find a dozen or so new blogs and quilts that are now on my must read and must make lists!  At the end of the search, I decided to design my own quilt blocks.

elephants and veg

I knew that I wanted to showcase the cute fabrics (purchased at Cool Cottons and Fabric Depot) which for me means BIGGER blocks.  I also wanted it to be a quick project (who has time with a one month old and a 6 year old home for the summer?!  Only crazy people like me.).  So, the quilt goes like this: big blocks are 9 inches square, the little strips 2inches by 9inches, and the teeny pink blocks 2inches by 2 inches.  Easy peasy, no?

baby gal quilt

I am really liking how the blocks are coming together.  Elephants and flowers and apples.  Red and pink co-mingling.  Funny fruits and veggies to tie it all together.  I can hardly wait to get it pieced and quilted!

SewingMachineMonthW

One of my favorite blogs, Sew, Mama, Sew! is celebrating the month of June exploring the world of sewing machines.  You should head over there for some great posts about a myriad of topics, all sewing machine related.  Thinking of purchasing a vintage sewing machine?  Do not have a clue as to what all of those feet do that came with your machine?  There is a blog post for that too.

emerald_118They are also having a “Sewing Machine Meme”, my first meme ever!  Here goes:

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Viking Emerald 118

How long have you had it?

About 2 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

$350

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Clothing, Quilts, Accessories, and Home Dec…in that order.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

These days I sew a few times a week.  So not as much wear and tear as I would like it to.  ;)

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

She is a fine machine.  I am not passionate about her, but I am in like with her.  And yes, Mrs. Doyle is her name.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I DO adore the needle stop up~down feature and the needle threader…what can I say?  I am easy to please!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

She is not as powerful as I would like her to be.  Sewing through a quilt sandwich is often a challenge.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I would recommend her to beginning sewers. She is sturdy, has a lot of helpful easy features, and comes with a lot of useful feet…for the price, a really great machine.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Make sure it does everything that you need it to do, do not buy a machine with a zillion features you will not ever use!  Do more with less.  Save up and buy a quality brand.

Do you have a dream machine?

YES! Bernina 820.  Droool.

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