Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas One and All

On this Christmas Day I pray for joy abounding.  Here's a peek into the locally harvested greenery bringing the outdoors into my home for the season.
Folded Ear Cat's Favorite Indoor Greenery
Angels in the Window
Sutherland Art Glass Nestled Amongst Greens
Blessings to you and yours this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Must Read

I just finished Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian, and I suggest you read this book immediately.  It is rare to find a book written so poetically but with characters so endearing, frustrating and real.  The timeliness of the subject matter is impressive, with startups that are fighting for funding that is suddenly hard to obtain, and cutting edge medical technologies.  Lena is overwhelmed caring for a baby born so prematurely that her attentiveness and sheer will seems to be all that is keeping her alive.  Her son, Theo, is such a unique and thoughtful boy.  There is a sweet husband she unfortunately compares to an old Volvo, steadfast but boring; compared to Alessandro, an exciting love from another lifetime.  Those born into modest means then elevated to richness are forced by the economy to return to lesser extravagance.  There are even two endearing Great Danes.  Many phrases in the book are worth repeating.  Here are some of my favorites:
Grief was a stalker.  It was big, hairy, inarticulate, possessing just one word, why.
Theo's habit of plucking the bald spot from the truth had already convinced the boys at school that he was a bit odd.
Listen up.  Don't negotiate with your feely parts.
Willa was awake, sitting up in her crib.  Her calm, expectant eyes lifted.  She smiled.  "Hey, Brave, what is it?"  It was as if the ocean had summoned the shore.
I leave it to you to discover your own favorites.  Don't miss this book!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unique Outdoor Decorations

I thought these neighborhood decorations of enormous ornaments hanging from a tree were pretty cool. 
Who do you think gets the job of climbing the tree and untangling them after a windstorm?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yarn and Time on my Hands

During this end-of-year lull in job hunting, I'm keeping myself entertained with new twists on yarn.  For less than a dollar at Goodwill I brought home four glass jars, and covered with crochet they are transformed.
Those are rocks covered in crochet as dangling embellishments.  What elegant receptables for pens or paintbrushes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crocheted Car is a Finalist!

Sometimes being crafty pays off in tangible ways, not just in the satisfaction that comes along with creating.  It appears my time spent figuring out how to crochet a car has paid off as my little zip zip car has made it as a finalist in the "craftiest" portion of the Zipcar holiday card contest.  Zip on over to Facebook and vote for your favorite entry. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rocks and Yarn and Time on My Hands

It doesn't take much to send me off on a creative tangent.  I'm creating crochet patterns as I go along for Christmas gifts, and wanted to add a little something extra to them.  I was quite inspired by an article in the Seattle Times on Sunday about a Seattle fiber artist who creates fantastic crocheted items and is currently mixing yarn and rocks.  Ah Ha!  I now have a little pile of rocks crocheted into yarn.
I have yet to discover how they will be incorporated into other creations, but even a rock enjoys a little sweater!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ballard Lights: December Edition

It lifts my spirits to take a walk around Ballard this time of year. The holiday lights are abundant and creative. Thank you to all of you who got up on ladders and brightened the evenings for the rest of us.

Who doesn't love bulldog statues dressed nattily in seasonal attire?

Proof that you can put lights on anything - they've dressed their ornamental grass with lights!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creative Juices and Contests

There's nothing like a contest for a prize I would really like to win to get my creative juices flowing.  Winning a contest would be great, but sometimes the creativity is the prize.  Could I create a pattern for a crocheted car? 
This design/crochet project provided me with a fun evening, and that is priceless.

Whiskers Mandatory

Well, I thought the cat slippers needed a little something extra - like whiskers! So here's a photo of cat slippers that are so much more cat-like.

I used linen yarn for the whiskers, but they were too white for my taste, so I walked to my neighborhood JoAnn's yesterday and touched them with some fabric paint last night.  The fabric paint has the benefit of making them a bit more stiff and whiskery, so they are good to go to a new home for Christmas.
Seriously, who could resist that face?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cat Slippers Completed

I've been crocheting bunny slippers for several years, and they never fail to amuse and please. I decided to adjust this slipper pattern to become cat slippers, and I have just completed my first pair. They have turned into Folded Ear Cat slippers after their washer/dryer fluffing.

The wool and mohair yarn keeps tootsies extra warm and you just tend to chuckle every time you look down at your feet when you wear these slippers, which is a good thing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cheery Hat Season

Before her death, Mom spent two years in a nursing home, and as anyone who has ever walked through the door of a nursing home knows, they aren't easy places to fill with cheer.  In the spirit of our animal-loving family, Mom's half of the room was shared by a basket full of miniature stuffed animals. 

To bring them into the spirit of Christmas, one year I made each of them a spritely felt hat with jingle bells and embellishments. 
A basket full of Christmas joy

These guys are warmed for winter with crocheted hat and scarf
Who says hedgehogs don't party well with others?
Now that Mom has passed, I still bring her basket of jauntily hatted tiny creatures out at Christmas to add a touch of humor to my holidays.  They never fail to bring a bit of Mom's soul to the celebration.