Monday, February 25, 2008

I heart CrankyPants!

Ahhhhh! I love these!

My friend Rachel sent me an email this morning with a link to CrankyPants Knit's flickr page, and saying "I could see you putting these on your babies in the future..."
And she is so right! These are soooo CUTE and I can definitely see myself putting this kind of thing on my baby (when I have one)! She has sock monkey ones too! The only thing is that the lady charges $70 for them on her site. But I suppose she has to. It must take a lot of work to knit just one pair.

I love a phrase she has on her Etsy site: "We specialize in hand made clothes and accessories for wee beasties who aren't afraid to invite monster in the closet to little midnight tea party."

I so wish I was a seasoned knitter so I could make these for myself! I suppose I could sew some out of recycled sweaters, and then applique` the monster face on...and put my own monster style on it. Hmmmm...

As for news on what I'm doing lately, I'm still plugging away at needle knitting (sorry no pictures right now...I'll post one later). It's not frusterating me as much this time around. I tend to pick things up well after I've not done it in awhile (it was the same when I busted out the pottery wheel again). I started what I thought was going to turn out to be a skinny scarf out of a bright verigated blue/green/yellow yarn, but I've decided to make it a strip in a baby blanket.
I have babies on the brain.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Knit 101" book review on

I was just blog-browsing (as I tend to do to when I want to wind down) and I just saw this article at that was trashing the knitting book I just got a few weeks ago and recently blogged about myself.

"Overall, this is a book with not too serious projects but some serious instructions. Appeal more to a younger audience I a "younger audience"? I like the knitting books that are aimed at a "younger audience" because the other ones just seem so boring. I actually did get t"Knit 101" book for its beginner intructions. I like how it has knitting and crocheting instructions/tutorials in there. I only own one knitting book and the pictures are so small that it's hard to use them for reference. And I have no books on crocheting.

And while I agree that some of the projects are kind of stupid, I would love ot knit these "pedicure socks" someday ...which the article's author also admitted were a good project.

Then there was this comment that masde me laugh...
"The first project in the book - is in fact a bulky scarf titled ‘guy’s scarf’, strangely modeled by a half naked man pretending to knit with gigantic needles."

I do agree that the picture in question is sexy as men who knit/crochet are (my husband crochets). Call me a prude, but I keep toying with the idea of taking a black sharpie and giving him a tank top. I keep waiting for my husband to see that page and ask "What is that?"

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Medium...Sweater Monsters!

I'm moving on even further in my monster-making mediums. These two are each from an arm from an oversized sweater. They're my biggest monsters yet! I can see a kid snuggling with these and using one as a pillow.

And here's that second t-shirt monster I promised a picture of awhile back.

I love my sewing machine!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Encouragement & Issues

Sometimes I get nervous that no one will buy my work if I start an Etsy shop. But this article on Etsy's "The Storque" has encouraged me some. The only thing that intimidates me is that there are so many plush artists out there. I get paranoid that my stuff isn't unique or well made enough, and that I will get lost in the fray of the monstrous number of plushie makers out there.

I'm also trying to make myself a name & logo for my shop and I keep running into a snafoo. I have two main things that I do...sock monsters and paintings. But they tend to be on different sides of the spectrum from each other. My monsters are wacky and whimsical, but my paintings are more serious. And I'm having trouble figuring out a logo that represents them both and doesn't lean too far one way of the other.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All I need for Valentine's day...

For Valentine's Day, here is a love-inspired sketch I did a long time ago, redone in Illustrator.

I don't need diamonds...I don't need flowers...I don't need chocolate (although it is a bonus!). This is all I need... My husband.

Oct. 2004: We were both in a church Christmas musical and were prerecording the vocals...and he was asleep on the floor of the recording studio while waiting for his turn. I was bored (as well as secretly crushing on him) and sketched him in my notebook.

I drew this sketch just 3 days before he asked me out. It always makes me smile. And my husband makes me happy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wrist warmers, a day off, and new knitting book

I finished a new set of fingerless gloves/wrist-warmers yesterday. They are made out of the turquoise "Red Heart" yarn that I could only find at Wal-Mart. And as you can see, I also got a new knitting book at JoAnne's today after having lunch with my mom. It has tutorials & patterns on knitting and crocheting.

The wrist warmers are surprisingly easy to make when I'm using the knitting loom. I think I'm finally getting a good groove down with it. I just have to count the stitches on the first glove in order to make the second one the same length.

The only issue I have with making them on the looms is that you can't make them tighter/closer knit like you could on needles. Especially with the "Red Heart" yarn, you can see your hand through the knit. It goes better when I use the "Lion Brand Homespun" yarn, -probably because of the fuzziness of the yarn. I bet it would be better if I used a thicker, "chunky" kind of yarn. Or I want to try knitting with double strands using both the Red Heart and Homespun together. mom called at 6:00 or so this morning to let me know that she saw on the news that the school district I work for was closed. She's an aide at a different district, and hers was closed as well. I'm guessing because of the temperature and wind chill facor is why the schools were it wasn't really a "snow day", more of a "too darn cold" day. The funny thing was that the city schools were still open and parents were urged to "use their judgement", which is odd because the city schools are usually the ones to close at the drop of a hat because most of the kids walk to school.

I was glad of the day off though. I wasn't looking forward to the commute out to Irondequoit after everything that happened yesterday with the big 36-car-pileup accident on 390. But after driving out to meet my mom for lunch, I feel a little better and less tweaky about driving. The weather really wasn't that bad while I was out. A bit frigid, but sunny and blue skies, and it wasn't as crazy with windblown snow like yesterday.

I got another T-shirt remnant monster done today, but my camera battery was going dead while I was shooting the picture of the wrist warmers, so I'll post a picture of him when it charges.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Huge Car Accident in Rochester

I know this isn't craft related, but I feel the need to blog about it.

We were on our way to have our typical Sunday lunch with my parents. We left the house at 12:30 ish to get to the resturaunt by 12:45. It was blue sunny skies, but the wind was blowing snow across the highway (390 south) so bad that it caused a whiteout...and then everyone on the highway stopped. Then there were emergancy vehicles trying to get through to the accident ahead that had cause us to stop. We couldn't see what was going on through the mass of cars and the firetruck that had driven up the left side and parked just ahead of us. We sat there for an hour and a half...wondering what was going on...scanning the radio stations for any sign of what might have happened...entertaining ourselves by reading my old children's books I got from my parents' house and still have in a crate in the back seat of my car. Finally, a policeman said they'd be having us back up one car at a time and turn around to drive to the turnaround (the ones you see the Troopers parked at that always have the "no U turn" signs on them) and get to the northbound side of the highway to then detour to wherever we needed to go. Thankfully, the closest exit was the one we needed to get off on to get back home. When we got home, CJ said it was the "Longest, shortest trip ever"

Obviously, I had called my dad earlier when we first stopped, saying that we might be late, and then called him again after the emergancy vehicles started coming up alongside us, saying that I didn't think we weren't going to be making it to meet them for lunch. We saw 5 stretchers go past us (the ambulance was not too far behind us) as well as the firemen bringing out at least 4 sets of Jaws-of-life. We knew something big had happened ahead. I had no idea how big until after church tonight when we checked the Democrat & Chronicle website to see if they had any info on what happened and found the article about what had happened. I also had recorded the channel 13 news to see what happened (we had seen the news cameras). It's also on channel 10's website

It had been a 36 car pileup. 36!
February 10, 2008 5:53 pm — A 17-year-old Rochester girl was killed in a 36-car accident on Interstate 390 today, Gates police said. Police said Le Ngo died in the midday accident that also left 24 people injured.At least four people had to be extricated from their cars by the Jaws of Life, police said at a 5 p.m. news conference.Police temporarily closed a portion of Interstate 390 near the Greater Rochester International Airport because of the multi-car pile-up, which authorities believe was caused by white-out conditions.A many as 25 ambulances were called after the 12:39 accident on southbound 390 at Scottsville Road, according to officials at the 911 center. Authorities said the accident scene was 100 yards long.Northbound 390 was reopened within two hours but officials were forced to keep the southbound lanes closed for nearly five hours after the series of collisions.At least 15 tow trucks have been called. More than a dozen cars were towed to the sides of the exit ramp so that the highway could be cleared.

At the time, I had thought maybe 3 or maybe even 5 or 6. But I had no idea when we were sitting in the car how huge of an accident was really ahead of us. And not too far ahead of us either (if you look at the upper righthand corner of the second picture and see the firetruck, that was the one we were only a carlength behind).
If we had left just a few minutes earlier, we could have been right in the middle of it. It's things like this, that even though that thought of "if we had been a few minutes/seconds earlier..." freaks me out, it is such a huge sign to me that the Lord protected us. I sent a link of the article to my parents and my dad wrote back and said pretty much the same thing..."God loves you & protected you both. A few minutes ahead of that time, you both could have been right in the middle of it all. God is good, all the time."

Reformed Monsters and My First T-shirt Remnant Monster

Okay, so those two sock monsters have turned over a new leaf and realized that taking hostages is no way to get what you want. So, as their reward, here's a picture of the two newly-reformed monsters...

And I just made a monster entirely on my new sewing machine! The only thing I hand sewed on him is, appropriately enough, his heart. He's also my first "T-shirt remnant monster" (I think I'll call him Remmy) I made him out of the scraps left over from my husband's (yet unfinished) t-shirt quilt project.

Here the three of them are peering at the new contraption that's come into their lives (and for two of them made their life possible...Turq, the turquoise monster, was parially made with it)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The monsters have taken me hostage!

I told you they'd hold me hostage! They finally snapped and said I have to wear this hat until I post a picture of them on the blog!

Help meeeeee!

Fabric Storage Baskets tutorial link

Thanks again to the Craftzine Blog for the links! Check out these cool Fabric storage baskets. I want to do these! As much as I love using baskets for storage, these would presumably be cheaper than buying baskets/bins.

Sorry I haven't posted any of my own stuff lately. I actually do have two new monsters that keep pestering me about when they're going to get their facetime in the blog. I suspect they may start holding me hostage soon if I don't meet their demands! I don't have to work tomorrow so I'll have some more time to be crafty, so I promise I'll get some of my own stuff up then! (I'm mostly blogging about this link because I'm on my lunch break at work and can't bookmark the page!)

Oh...this link too! Making cable knits on a loom! (I do most, if not all, of my knitting on knitting looms)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sewing Machine Possiblities

Did I mention that my husband is just as excited about the sewing machine as I am? Although it is supposed to be his belated Christmas/early Valentine's Day present to me, I think it's just as much for him. He want to learn how to quilt. And he's already started making a quilt from old T-shirts that no longer fit him, but have sentimental value and/or fun graphics.

So I was digging out the bags of old clothes that we've stashed in the attic (either intending to give to Goodwill/Salvation Army or use for a project, or hoping we'l fit into them again someday ~stifles giggle~) And inaddition to my hubby's T-shirts, I found some of his old button-down dress shirts. And I have the perfect project for them! I found a site awhile ago that has a tutorial on how to reconstruct a men's button-down shirt into a little girl's summer dress. Now, even though I don't have a little girl (or any children yet) I have a couple friends that do. Plus, I think I could alter the idea to make a top for myself.

Ah...the possiblities a sewing machine opens up. I never would have considered this if I as still hand-sewing everything.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Sewing Machine & Plans for "going Etsy"

So...I got a new sewing machine this past weekend! Yaaaay! It's a Singer "Touch & Sew" 7462 Electric Sewing Machine. I got it from the Viking Store that's inside JoAnne Fabrics.

Now I don't have to completely hand sew all my sock monsters! Which is a big plus, because right now, it takes me an average of an hour to hand sew a monster. And I want to be able to make them faster if I'm going to start an Etsy shop this summer.

Yes, that has become an ambition of have an Etsy store. Everyone I show my sock monsters to asks me if I'm going to sell them or tells me i should...and just about 3 out of 5 people ask me if I've heard of Etsy. And on every craft site I go to, I seem to see some mention of Etsy. So Etsy seems to just be calling my name.

I'm going to start it in the summer because then I won't have to work (I work for an elementary school) and I'll have all day to devote to it. I may be able to do some planning now (without going crazy) and get stuff ready and then have a "grand opening" in the summer. Right now I've been taking mental note of sites that have advice on having a successful Etsy shop. One I've found so far is here on the Greenbean Baby Art Blog. And another one is a "30 Days to A Better Shop" series (see Day 1)on the Christina Perdue Studios blog. Both of these are thanks to the Craft: blog for featuring them...I love that blog! I wonder what I'll have to do to get featured on the Craft: blog? It might help if I consistantly kept up with this blog. Oh wait!...they have a spot for you to Suggest A Site! Hmmm...I could wait for someone else to be kind and suggest me or I could just take the bull by the horns and suggest my blog myself. Does it seem narcissistic to do that? gotta do something to promote yourself right!