Who needs sleep?

Yeah, you're never gonna get it,
Who needs sleep?
Tell me, what's that for?
be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake
since the second world war.
One of my most, and least favorite songs by Barenaked Ladies. Favorite because I'm a chronic insomniac, and least - because it keeps me up a lot at night. Literally, my brain will just repeat the chorus over, and over again. I'm not sure if that was what kept me up last night, as I worked hard on Friday so I'd sleep well, and I did, (relatively.) Last night though, I was up every 3 hours, and it leaves me feeling so frustrated and irritated that seemingly everyone else can get a good night's sleep. Why can't I? My dog is snoring at me right now...

I have a theory, that it stems from some emotional stuff I've been going through; but how do you talk to someone who won't or can't listen to what you have to say? Someone who denies the very basis of your feelings to the point of total alienation? How do you, if you've built your very existence on the principles and values this person's taught you, cope - when they change the very core of who they are (or at least are to me?)

I wish I could find answers to these questions, as they're probably what plague me each night as I lay awake in bed and try to fall asleep. My mind drifts on how I feel so much less valuable to this person in my life, and how no matter how I try and tell her, she won't or can't hear what I have to say. She's in her own bubble, that I can't even enter, much less burst it. Not that I'd want to shatter someone else's method of coping with hard times in life. But how am I supposed to have a relationship with someone who I can't communicate with, especially on the genuine and real level that I really want.


WIP Wednesday - Tiffany & Co. Empire

I must admit - I was so hurried to start this project, I actually bought the wrong yarn for it! Haha! For some strange reason (that still escapes me, because I questioned the needle size,) I thought this project called for Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted, instead of Shepard Sport - which is in fact, the real recommended yarn.

Tiffany Skinny Empire1

So, needless to say I was pretty upset with myself when I realized that even though the yarn had arrived, I couldn't cast on for this delicious little knit t-shirt. I spent a little while feeling sorry for myself, and then I wondered if I had anything on hand that would fit the bill. Surprise, surprise - I did!

Tiffany Skinny Empire - Detail Horizontal I-cord

I bought 8 balls of Sirdar Snuggly last summer, when the Stargazer Kimono pullover came out in MagKnits*. I knit both of the sleeves up fairly quickly, but then realized I didn't like the side-ways knit construction of the top. My sleeve edges were too tight to function as a bodice top, and so I let it all sit in a bin for over a year. When I realized that the Snuggly might work for this, I dug it out and swatched immediately. Another huge surprise - I actually got gauge with the reccommended needle sizes! I almost always have to go up, and so I was a little shocked when I checked it and then double checked. Hehehe.

I was a little worried that my cast on was a bit too tight, and it probably is. Next time, I'd go up a needle size for the long tail cast on, then go back down to continue knitting. I'm not sure if I'll add the ruffle at the neckline or not; but I am planning on lengthening the sleeves to just above elbow length. I may add the ruffles to the sleeve edges, too. We'll see...

Now I'm thinking it's too big, but the tricky bit is, there's no size in between small and medium, and I'm a 32" (under) bust. Ugh. It means I'll have to rip back to just below the armholes, and start decreasing. I should do some math so I know just how many stitches I'll have to get rid of. The I-cord empire waist should be 16" (for me,) and this one measures 19" laid flat right now. Oy.

*Yes, unfortunately they're closed now, and they didn't even keep an archive up. Ravelry is a good resource for finding old Magknits patterns, otherwise the best method for obtaining unavailable patterns is to contact the author (if you know their name.)


Craft Disaster!

Rock Candy - Blue Green

Normally, I don't post my crafts gone wrong. They tend to bring my spirits down, and I like to keep that separate from my candy-sweet-coated blog world. So, that being said; I just had to share this one. It went so spectacularly bad, that I just can't keep it to myself! I found the link on Craft:'s blog, and they looked so tasty. I just wish mine had come out so lovely looking!

Rock Candy - Sticks

I followed the recipe as best I could (I thought,) and even still - ended up with Rocky Candy, in a glass. Only the smallest crystals formed on my pretty sticks. (I even glued wood beads to the ends of a few to make them that much more Old fashioned!) Oh well...

Rock Candy - Coral Pink

Oh yeah, and the sticks still in the glass? Rock-candy cemented in there. At least all I have to do to clean them up is soak a while!


Feature Friday - EmilyMe

Purple Fabric - Mod Swirly Dots

I first saw this fabric over at True Up (a great fabric & sewing blog!) I knew I wanted it, but I wanted to decide what to make with it before I bought any - so I knew just how much to purchase! That's always tricky when you fall in love with a fabric. For whatever it's worth, I like a quantity of 3 yds. It's enough to make a knee length skirt (even with some pre-shrinking with cotton,) and plenty of Home dec items, and I guess that's what I enjoy sewing the most.

Rachel was very good about communicating with me, even though we're a half a world away - literally! She's 12 hours ahead of me, so I thought her communication was better than most, considering her time zone! She quickly gave me a private listing for my 3 yds, but I had to wait while it was in transit to me! It was a hard wait, because I really love this print! Check out the selvedge - it's in Thai, and I think it's so beautiful.

Purple Fabric - Selvedge

It actually came a bit quicker than I expected, for as far as it was coming from! That's always a good thing, though. I haven't made all of my design decisions about my skirt yet, so I think I'll sew a muslin first; this fabric is just too limited to play around with, design wise. There's only 20 yds of it anywhere, and less than 5yds available through EmilyMe on Etsy. I don't want to cut something wrong, and then hate myself for it! Hahaha!

Purple Fabric - with buttonsI also received a package of buttons with my order, and aren't they pretty? I know I'll have to save them for something really special, they're chunky, shiny and awesome! I love getting freebies with my Etsy orders, and I really liked sending them out, back when I was selling. Do you guys like getting a little something extra when you buy handmade? Is it an expectation, or a hope?

If you missed the link above, here's her shop!


WIP Wednesday - Hanami Stole

Originally I thought I'd use a different yarn for this, Skacel Merino Lace, but my gauge was way off and I didn't like the way it was looking at all. So, I put it down for a while, and didn't think too much about it until recently. Then, I started my Lavanda Lace Ribbon Stole - my first wrap using 2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace. I didn't know how the colors would work up, or how carrying the yarn up the edge would look, so I'm happy to be past some of those first few hurdles.

Hanami Stole

I decided that I'd really like this wrap in dark purple, and I had just the right beads for it. (They don't look nearly as good in this picture than in real life!) I knit a gauge swatch and realized that I'd need to go way up to get the right number of stitches per inch. I probably could've used 6's instead of 7's, but the aforementioned Lavanda Stole was still on them (at least when I started writing this post! Hehehe!)

At first I was regretting my decision to go so far up in needle size, but now I'm liking it a lot more (this project sat in it's bin for a couple weeks while I finished up the first wrap.) The colors are so pretty, and the beads look great - I think!

Sorry for the not so great pic, I procrastinated this photo-shoot til the last minute today, and this was the best of what I got. Win some, lose some - I guess, eh? :)


Rain, rain - go away!

Blackberry Lake

The creek behind my house has overflowed, and is flooding the basin it sits in. I really hope that the rain stops soon, it's been going nonstop for 3 days now! It's only been a light drizzle for the most part, but because it hasn't let up for even a minute - it's totally flooded. Oy.

Oh, this is also the famous Chicago grey I'm always complaining about. It's a bit early, normally it starts closer to winter, but it's nice and drab, isn't it? Hehe.. Great for the grass, though - look at how pretty it is!


Feature Friday - what is it?

I didn't really explain my new Feature Friday post last week, I just dove right in! So, I'll take a minute to explain what I'd like to accomplish with this new series. A while ago, I used to spotlight bloggers and Etsy sellers that I found inspiring and awesome, but it was tough to keep up with it every week, as I was doing them separately.

So, I thought I'd take the idea and tweak it a bit to fit my current thoughts and inspiration.
So, every Friday I'll be featuring sellers or products, projects, sites or tutorials that I really like, and that you need to check out! Hehe... Some, I may have featured previously, but they're still in business and making things (go you guys, years of selling is tough!)

They'll probably run the gamut as far as what kinds of crafts, so all you multi-crafters out there like me will (hopefully) get a lot out of them! I love feedback, so comment or email me with your thoughts or reccomendations - I'd love to hear them! Also, if you'd like to be featured here, please email me. I'm a little sensitive to people pitching their site/products in my comment fields - thanks for understanding!


WIP Wednesday - Plumeria Scarf

... and of course it's in Malabrigo lace! Haha!

Plumeria Scarf - WIP

I love this yarn, and all of the fun colors it's available in. I really like the fact that I can make a good sized scarf from one ball; that allows me to play with stitch patterns and how they look with the colors I've chosen. It's all very conducive to designing for myself - something which I've been wanting to do for some time now!

This is actually a snowflake pattern, from the Harmony Guides - Lace & Eyelets (snowflakes 1, for those who might be curious.) But I think with these colors you can tell I meant them to be flowers instead - at least I hope! Hehehe! Snowflakes in yellow, pink and orange, ha!

Plumeria Scarf

I wish I was feeling a little better about this one, but I'm just not sure... The cast on seems a tad bit tight, and the lace seems to need opening up to really resemble flowers, like I'd wanted. The colors, while juicy and delicious, are a little out of my comfort range, if you read my blog you'll know, I normally stick to cooler colors - aquamarine, turquoise, purple and lilac are my faves.

So, I'm just not sure... what do you guys think? Can you tell they're flowers, or do they really look like snowflakes? Does the cast on look too tight? Should I frog it and add a beaded cast on? I'm so tempted to, but I've knitted quite a bit already, and the wool doesn't like to be ripped out! I would like to make it more my own, than just a stitch pattern out of a book, but I'm not sure what to do.


...and the winners are...

...drumroll, please!...

So, after 70 comments, the Random number generator has come up with three winners, and three runners-up (for the pops!)

Third prize - Stash giveaway - Sarah

Second prize - Tsumami kanzashi flower wristlet or tree branch earrings - Vickie

First prize - Mystery Flat-Rate box - Jenn

I swear this was a fluke, I had no idea my twin sister was going to win. Seriously, when I looked through the comments after I numbered them I was literally floored. But she just had a baby, and so I figure you guys can't be too jealous of a new-baby-momma!?!?! Hahaha!

And the three cupcake pop winners are -
Annemarie, June and AuntKathy

Vickie S. and Annemarie, I don't have an email address for you, and can't contact you! Please let me know how to get in touch with you, so I can end your prizes!

If you haven't already, I'll need your mailing addresses and preferences in color & craft choices.
Thanks to each and every one of you who entered, I really appreciate that you took the time to comment! I also do swaps, trades and personal commissions, for anyone who's dying for their own tsumami kanzashi set or earrings. Inquiries always welcome!


Last Chance!!!

Cupcake Pops

Today is the last day to comment on my 200th post and enter my contest! I've been really amazed by the recent comments, so I have to say thanks to Polka Dot Pineapple for referring a bunch of you here! Thanks a bunch, Arlette!

Since there's been such a great response, I've decided to add 3 more winners! These will all be for cupcake pops - approximately 1/2 dozen, or as many fit comfortably in the box! (They need to be packed carefully, and I don't want anyone to receive crushed pops!)

Comments will be closed as of 11:59PM
Central Standard Time (-5 GMT) and I'll use a Random number generator to come up with 3 winners. Winners will be notified by email first, then here (on Monday, for anybody waiting to see if they won!) - so make sure you've left a contact email, even if it's plain text in the comment. I have to be able to tell you, you won! Hahaha!

Once again, commenting here is not a valid entry in my contest. You must click the link above and comment on my original 200th post to be entered. Good luck to everyone who's entered! I've really enjoyed reading all of your comments! Thank you all so much for your kind words!


Feature Friday - Pearl & Marmalade

Way back when, I posted about my first purchase from Pearl & Marmalade. I knew I'd be buying from them again, I just didn't have any clue it would take me so long!

Honey Bees Letterpress Notecards

I absolutely love their letterpress designs, and am so happy to finally have a set of their Honey Bees for myself. Actually, they're probably for you guys, because I love using letterpress notecards in swap and care packages! Haha! I think the color combination with yellow and grey is so current right now; it's not one I'd normally go for - but I love them. They feel trendy, but not overly so. I think the design elements balance the yellow & grey perfectly.

I also picked up a couple gift cards for someone special, but I won't share those until they've arrived! :P


Gift Tag Tutorial

Gift Tag Tutorial - All Finished!

Lately I've been knitting a lot, so my other crafting has been left on the back-burner, so to speak. I've been focusing on smaller projects that take less time, that I can fit in a few minutes. Paper projects are great for this, because they don't take up too much space to work on, and because let's face it, you can get any color & texture paper you want. Those scrap-booking sections in the big craft retailers are huge!

So, I came up with this super fast and fun gift tag tutorial. It requires a couple sizes of paper punches, but they can be any shape you want (and really, you could do this with scissors & patience, too.)
The hardest part here is deciding which shape and size punches look best together. I was slightly limited by the fact that I only own a handful, but I still think I picked the best coordinating pair.

Gift Tag Tutorial - Materials

  • Paper punches in two (or more,) sizes. Can be complimentary or contrasting shapes.
  • Sticker machine, glue stick or double sided tape
  • Hole punch (size is your preference)
  • Coordinating ribbon or twine to attach to package
  • Regular or decorative pens (for names, you can also use rub-on lettering, but I'm not that good with getting it lined up right!)
Large Paper PunchFirst, use the larger punch to create a base. I recommend simpler paper, if you're using the more decorative on top. But really, you can use any paper or card-stock that suits your taste. Here I used simple brown, light weight craft paper.

Small Paper PunchNext, use the smaller punch and a more interestingly patterned paper. It can be contrasting or complimentary, again anything that suits you! I like re-using gift wrap paper for this, I always hate to throw away pretty paper like this!

Sticker Machine + Stickers

Applying Smaller PieceWhen piecing the two together, you can use a sticker machine* to add a thin layer of adhesive to the back of the top paper; or you can use double-sided tape to adhere them. If you're thinking of using glue for this - I'll caution you - don't use too much, or you might get rippling in one or both layers of your tag. You can also use a glue stick for this, it's probably easier to handle than regular glue, anyway!!
*If you're using a sticker machine, I find slightly thicker paper works better than thinner. I've had some rippling issues, and who likes ripply-weird abnormal stickers?!? Hehe.

Holes Punched!To finish, punch a hole through both layers of the tag, and use ribbon or twine to attach it to the package. Add your to: and from: names and you're done! Easy peasy! Here's a couple more examples, and I'd love to see how you use this tutorial!

Gift Tag Tutorial - More FInished Tags


Related Posts with Thumbnails