Monday, November 8, 2010

Autumn Fun

Autumn in the mountains was beautiful...the reason I say "was" even though it's technically still autumn is that it has been super chilly here for a couple of weeks now. It's supposed to be "warmer" today, but it's still kinda chilly due to the wind. Most of the trees aren't letting go of their leaves just yet, but I'm sure with these cooler temperatures and windy conditions, they can't hold onto them for long.

In the spirit of fall, here are some of the pics from our day at our local fall festival/pumpkin patch.

This is the hayride that takes pumpkin seekers out to the pumpkin patch:

I didn't get any pictures of the pumpkin patch because we were diligently searching for the perfect pumpkins. This particular farm has both a pumpkin shooter and corn "cannon." We were able to shoot some corn cobs (really, really fun), but the farm was about to close and the line was too long to get to shoot a pumpkin out of their launcher dubbed "Dorothy." I love that the launcher has a name :) Here are some folks launching mini pumpkins with Dorothy:

And here is the corn cannon:

The Gnome would really love to have goats so of course he was excited to see that they had goats at the farm. The goats weren't horribly interested in us so they stayed at a distance, but check out the contraption they have for the goats to climb:

The farm also had a corn maze. It was the most complicated one I've ever experienced. The maze had two phases. We only made it through one phase before moving on to the next activity. We got stuck (for quite some time) in phase 1 in a section for which there was only one way out. At least we weren't the only ones...we kept seeing the same groups of people over and over again. There was a bridge you had to cross to get to the rest of the path. I stopped and got some great pics of the surroundings:
Isn't that view magnificent?! (all of that corn at the bottom of the photo is part of the maze) And because I haven't shown any pictures of pumpkins, here is the toddler pumpkin maze they have set up:
Now, for crafty news...I've been working on several projects, but sadly, some are presents so no revealing yet. (Sorry!) 

I've mainly been knitting and crocheting all kinds of goodies. I've been making flowers from two different books: 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield and Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson. So far I'm liking the 100 Flowers book better. It is much more organized, and I love organization! 100 Flowers has the patterns divided into knitting and crocheting sections. The patterns are also organized by degree of difficulty within those sections. The main reason I prefer 100 Flowers is that each pattern has a picture of the flower directly below it. Crochet Bouquet has the patterns listed all together with a group of flowers pictured at the side so you have to guess which pattern goes with which flower. Both books have patterns for leaves so they both earn bonus points for that :) I find myself wanting to attach flowers to everything, EVERYTHING. Look out! Aahhhhhh giant flower!!!!

I stumbled upon a 100 Flower Scarf here. So I decided to try it! Here's what I have so far:

I haven't been able to make any amendments to my Flower Vine Scarf from this post because the lady that was helping me at my LYS is out of town. 

Leaf out.
P.S. I went with some friends to an Indigo Girls concert on Saturday night. We had a fantastic time and even got autographs after the show (we camped out on the street with a small crowd and waited for them to come out). It was a great show and a great crowd :) Now, I can't stop singing..."How long till my soul gets it right..."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Straight Off the Vine

Last week I was working on a Flower Vine Scarf from a pattern in this book:
The pattern calls for bulky weight wool (size 10 needles). The yarn I ended up using is Ella Rae Bamboo Silk (size 7 needles) in Apple (The pink is for the flowers, but I can't remember the color name). I really like knitting with it. It's super-soft and smooth. My LYS suggested I use size 8 needles and increase the number of cast on stitches by 100 to make sure it would be long enough.
Here's the scarf at the 300-stitch stage:
A close-up:
It's starting to curl already! Then, I had to increase at each stitch (600 stitches). And then, increase at every stitch again. That's 1200 stitches people. This is what 1200 stitches looks like:
There's just a wee bit of my needles peeking out of all those stitches. The pattern only has 6 rows, but it sure took me a long time to knit a row with 1200 stitches.

Here is what the scarf is supposed to look like:
And here is what mine looked like after binding off:
It spiraled pretty nicely for about the first 50 or so stitches bound off, but then it started forming something more like V-shapes rather than spirals. I probably should have used a bulkier weight yarn, but I'm hoping I can change the pattern somehow to make it look better. I'm going to take it to my LYS tomorrow. I'm guessing there's definitely going to be some frogging involved :( especially since it ended up being about 10 feet long instead of the 5.5 feet in the original pattern. I'm thinking I need to start over and use the prescribed number of cast-on stitches and maybe increase the number of rows to make it more bulky so it will curve instead of bending into a sharp angle. I haven't tried knitting the flowers yet, but they are made from the same pattern with fewer stitches cast on.

In household news, our dryer started making some crazy noises yesterday, prompting the Gnome to turn it off and take it apart completely. Nothing appeared to be wrong with it. Once it was back together, we started it up, and it sounded fine until we put clothes in it. Spooky noises again. Then, as mysteriously as they began, they stopped. I have a load drying right now. Sounds fine. Maybe we have a haunted dryer :) Just in case, we have been researching front-loading washers and dryers. Anybody have any front-loading recommendations?

Stay tuned for pictures from our local pumpkin festival :) The weather has been lovely here...until today. It's really overcast and rain's a'comin'.

Leaf out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Casting on

I've been working on several things since my surgery. Some things for gifts, some things for me, and some for the shop.

My mom's (?L) birthday was yesterday, and she requested that I make her a wristlet purse.  ?L chose the larger flower print above. It's called Blooms Main Floral, and I got it at Joann's. I found the coordinating Blooms Medallions pattern for the lining of the purse. Here's the finished product:
I also whipped up a card for the ?L covered in cardstock dragonflies I punched out with a Martha Stewart punch you can find here:
I've been working on two knitting projects. One is a spirally scarf embellished with 3 knitted rosettes called Flower Vine Scarf (I can't find a picture online and only have the picture from the pattern book I'm using). I have to cast on 300! stitches, increase to 600 stitches, and then increase to 1200!!!! stitches. Luckily, there's only 6 rows. That should be interesting. At this point, I'm still casting on. 

And lastly, I've been knitting something up with this lovely yarn:
But that's a secret to be revealed later ;) The yarn knits like butta. I love it.

Have a great week everybody!

Leaf out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Helmar Halloween Howler Hop

Happy Sunday everyone! 

Helmar is hosting a blog hop today with 17 hop stops and 15 projects. There is a guest designer blog stop (hint: she happens to be my favorite blogger(chops) tee...hee). Hop along and check out some of the great projects. Start here!

Check back tomorrow for my latest projects!

Leaf out. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sans Gallbladder

Sorry I've been missing for almost a month. I'm still alive. I had surgery the last week in September to get rid of my pesky gall bladder so I've been recovering from that. I will be back to blogging soon. I have some things to post so hopefully I'll have something up before the end of the week. Have a great week everyone!

Leaf out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flowery Friday

Happy Friday! 

I've been meaning to make a card for some family members that just had a baby (um, last month now). With the gift cards from my birthday (and a 50% off coupon), I bought this Martha Stewart acrylic stamp set

It has all sorts of combinations of flowers, leaves, pots, grass, and some cute butterflies and bugs as well. Oh, and birds and a bow, too. I forget how many stamps there are, but you can count 'em if you're bored :)
I love the included ink pads. They are teardrop-shaped and are lovely colors. I'm gonna check Michael's to see if they have other colors/sets.
Here are some sample cards depicted on the outside of the package. I decided to do something like the upper card.

Here's my finished card:
I changed a couple of things and added a cute ladybug and butterfly, but it's pretty much the same design that was on the package. I have a Congratulations stamp set from SU so I used the main "congratulations" stamp on the front and the "on the birth of your beautiful baby" stamp on the inside.

Other cool stuff I bought with my birthday gift cards...

A Scotch adhesive gun (I need a holster so it's at the ready whenever I need to whip it out and glue something)

And this customizable self-inking stamper: the i press from Hampton Art.
You can see a picture of Hampton Art's display from CHA here. You can even choose the color of the stamper! I chose pink :) The collection includes interchangeable ink pads, a variety of acrylic stamps, and sets of tags and cards for stamping. I have an unmounted acrylic stamp for my Etsy shop so I bought the stamper (which includes one stamp and black ink) and a set of 2 ink pads (brown and white). I removed the included stamp and stuck mine on, and then I was good to go. Oh, and I changed the ink to brown. It works great. The directions had me a little stumped on how to remove the ink pad to change it, but I eventually figured it out. I guess I'm a little directions-challenged.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great weekend everybody! I'll be heading to Virginia Tech tomorrow to watch the Hokies play.

Leaf out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One more thing from my b-day...

My friend AL and I love some Orla Kiely (I have blogged about OK before: Little Leaf Cake). If you read that post, you know that I have an OK bag with (what else?) leaves all over it. I also have an OK cushioned mat in front of the kitchen sink from her Target home collection a couple years back. It has an olive green pear pattern. 

AL gave me this leafy OK tin for my birthday. Bewley's is an Irish tea and coffee company. OK used to hang out in the Bewley's cafe as a student and a couple of years ago teamed up with Bewley's to produce this tea-filled tin in her signature "scribble-stem" pattern. The tins aren't being produced anymore so AL and I thought we wouldn't be able to find them. BUT AL was recently in Dublin and found 2! (that's all they had left) tins at Bewley's! She bought both of them and surprised me with one for my birthday. Very exciting! I haven't had any of the tea yet, but I love the tin so much, it doesn't even matter if there's tea in it :)

Leaf out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

State Fair Part 3 - More Pictures

It's leafy! And it won a blue ribbon :) The following are some pictures that I felt like sharing. Enjoy!
I love this birdfeeder! It was made by a junior woodworker, and I can't believe it didn't win anything :( I would commission one, but I think the wind at our house would result in birdseed thrown on the ground.
This sunflower is alllllllll petals. It's so purty.
It's an ornament cake with a snow scene inside. So cute.
This cake was phenomenal! However, it was too tall according to the rules so it was disqualified. The lady should've lifted off the top tier and filled in with some extra buttercream.
I love me some owls so I of course LOVE this ornament. I even took it out of its display case to get a picture. Shhh don't tell anyone. It's made from a hollowed out gourd.
The wreath wall...I should've counted how many there were. As you can see, there were A LOT. I think I'll enter my sweet gum wreath next year. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Oh the quilts! I can't imagine how many hours went into some of these quilts. They were amazing.

This display was in the poultry building where they had turkeys, roosters, and hatching chicks. The ducks go up stairs on the right and are able to get a little treat from the yellow dish at the peak just before sliding down the other side into the water. Then, they sun themselves under the heat lamp to dry off.
This was our last game of Fat Albert (from left: GT, AT, and AW). I'll see you next year, Fat Albert :)
That's it for the fair. Start making plans to attend next year! It was a blast :)

Leaf out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

State Fair Part 2 - Judging

Welcome to the West Virginia Building, home of the arts and crafts. My judging partner and I were in charge of two craft categories: recycled materials and decorated fashion. There were several subcategories within each. 

Here are some of the entries in the recycled materials category:

Ribbet! A froggy zippered pencil case made out of plastic soda bottles
A Santa Claus made with pinecones and goose feathers
Place settings made out of jean pockets
A poinsettia made from thin metal
And the winner is...
We gave this crocheted bag (made out of plastic grocery bags) first place and best in show. I can't imagine how long it took to make this. Someone mentioned that it would make a great beach bag.

On to decorated fashion...

This category included embellished, appliqued, and painted items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, tote bags, vests, and jewelry.

Check out these entries:
It's Tie Dye!

Decorated Aprons
I heart watermelon so of course I also love this tote bag :)
A reusable bag with a quilted applique

Clematis flowers painted on a t-shirt
(you probably can't see it but this was very detailed)

The judging went pretty quickly so we were able to help put the items in display cases and look around at other entries in different categories. Our friend AT got first place for completed scrapbook and first place/best in show for her Christmas card from last year. I remember receiving the super-complicated card and thinking, "how in the world did she make this." Here's the scrapbook and the card:

Now that I have cased out my competition, I plan on making some things to enter next year :)

Next up: random crafts and pictures from the fair...

Leaf out.