Knit Me A Straightjacket

Location: Wild West, United States

Monday, April 13, 2009


Rachel's new dress I made for Easter:

she didn't get to wear it, because when it was finished I was not at all happy with the way the blue petals fell. I had wanted them to stick out a bit, not come straight down.

However, when she saw it on the sewing table she was alight with joy and says she will never take it off. :-)

We're having our annual Spring tea party next weekend, which is really the perfect venue anyway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

birthdays n' stuff

Yep, I'm a rotten blogger - or a rotten mother? Maybe I'm a rotten blogger-mom. Whatever. Here are some pics.

From MonkeyBoy's birthday:

Some garden and cat pics:

BabyGirl's first day of Kindergarten:

From BabyGirl's birthday (yes, her hair is pink):

This lovely pink wool coat was a birthday gift from Grammy Fran:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Updates on Miniatures

I have been working pretty steadily on my two current projects, and here are the results:

The Mossy Glen is complete, I think... The glue is dry and I've added a few more odds and ends to the vegetation. Here it is in its jar on the end table. I'm really pleased with this, especially since it was my very first attempt ever. There are things I'd do differently next time, but overall I'm quite happy with it.

The Hobby Room is coming along. It's not quite finished, but nearly. I've got everything placed where I think I want it. A few things need painting or finishing, and I'm still contemplating a few more items. The stripy rug is a small sample we made for Sheep to Shawl '03, I think. It represents that hobby, since I couldn't think how to make a loom. :-)

Here's my planted aquarium. I couldn't get a good picture because it's so small, but really this is my favorite thing in here. I made the aquarium, added a base of sand and then set it up just like a real planted aquarium, with some wood for structure and different layers of plant materials. Those fish were the single most difficult thing in the whole room so far.

Here's my knitting - there's a niddy-noddy full of yarn, a skein and a ball, representing all the steps in between spinning and knitting. The knitting itself is on two straight sewing pins. I did actually knit it on them, which was a pain not so much because of size as because they were too sharp and kept splitting the yarn. I made the chair, the box, and the niddy-noddy.

Here's the sewing table. The machine was purchased of course, and no I don't really use that kind. Everything else I made. The vase is a replica of a real one I received as a gift and have always loved. The bolt of fabric is some linen that I recently made a medieval gown from. The thread on the spool came from the same fabric as I was finding the grain. I love that spool. The tiny details are the most gratifying for some reason.

Here's my distaff and spindle with flax. It's actually some cashmere/silk blend, but it just looks perfect for flax. I whittled the tiny spindle and actually used it to spin the thread that's on it. I made the basket too. It's cardboard covered with a coarse yarn that to me looks kind of like grapevine.

And that's that so far! Hope you like it as much as I do!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mini Obsession

Well I've been working pretty much non-stop on this new addiction - er - hobby - of mine.

Here are some more pictures of the Mossy Glen as the glue dries. I know that sounds really stupid, watching glue dry, but you see it gets clearer as it dries, so it looks more and more like actual water. *sigh* Anyway, here they are:

In the meantime, since even I cannot simply sit and watch glue dry, I have started another: The Hobby Room. Here are the first pictures:

The box (from Hobby Lobby) represents the room. The theme of course is all of my hobbies - or at least, as many as I can fit in this room box. I bought the little books, sewing machine and cat-in-basket. The spinning wheel (hard to see in back) is actually a pencil sharpener. I made the furniture and the vase. The flowers were cut down from the stem on the left of the picture.

There's still a lot to be done, but I thought this time it would be good to take pictures in progress.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Like a Hole in the Head.... I need a new hobby. And yet, here I go, embarking anyway. I hope you'll understand why when you see the pictures. It was all inspired by this:

You can see the whole thing, complete with story and detail shots here.

After exploring the website of this prolific miniaturist, I decided to make my own, using her instructions for the Mossy Glen.

I found the suggested dome too expensive so I picked up this jar instead. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the process as I was so absorbed in it. Nevertheless, here's what I have so far:

The glue will be clear when dry, and will hopefully look like water. The tree is a root of something-or-other I pulled up a while back; I found it out in the yard. It was too tall for the jar, so I broke off the tip, and that became the log on the ground. I may paint the tree's foliage green later - I haven't decided yet. The ferns are made from the individual fronds of a faux fern from Hobby Lobby. I used an Exacto knife to cut the little fronds into them, then glued them to a pin to form a plant.

The flower I love. I wanted to make a lady slipper, but I didn't know how I would form the flower. The leaves came from the same fern, cut down, wired, and bent. The flower stalk is from some dried heather I had. It's not exactly a lady slipper - more like something between that and a foxglove, but I think it looks lovely.

I'll take more pics when the water is dry and after any more changes.

Cool, huh?

Sheep to Shawl '08

Yep, got talked into it again. It was a month ago, so not much to say at this point but pictures were promised so here you go:

We got second place for the shawl, but won the new People's Choice award by a landslide.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Something to Blog About

I was asking myself the other day, What do I have to blog about? Well, I figured it out. Duh. The Garden. *sheesh* It's only the LOVE OF MY LIFE!!!

Don't mind me, I'm a little slow sometimes. Anyway, consider this the first of many posts about The Garden. I capitalize it because it's not just the vegetable beds I'm talking about. I am working towards creating a Garden of Eden, using the principles of permaculture, gleaned primarily from this book, Gaia's Garden. I could, and definitely will, talk in the future about the beauty of permaculture, but right now I want to revel in the joy of Spring, and if you'll forgive me the uncharacteristic behavior, share some of that with you.

Excerpted from a recent email I wrote:

...the gardening and yard work is in full swing and I am flush with spring. As my friend Karen put it, "the sap is running."

I think about it night and day, literally. I read up, make plans and drawings, dig, mulch, plant, mulch some more. I've already used a ton of planting mix (literally - got a truckload) to amend the garden beds old and new. Last year I started preparing a bunch of new beds by digging up and turning over the grass and/or laying a base of cardboard, dividing my kitchen compost between them, and finally mulching them deeply with leaves over the fall & winter.

I'm *very* pleased with the results. The one I did the most with, for the longest, last year is *perfect* - it didn't need any amendment. The shovel went right in and brought up beautiful dark soil full of fat worms. Doesn't get much better than that, especially considering that our native soil is about 95% clay hard-pan, utterly devoid of microbes and invertebrates and so hard some people actually use jackhammers on it. All that from piling scraps on it! Yay for

I find that I can't wait every day to get outside and do something with the yard. While I'm working I don't feel tired or hungry or hot or depressed. I totally lose track of time and have been late to pick up my daughter more than once because I was so absorbed in digging holes or

I built another trellis onto the patio next to the front door, so that side is mostly enclosed now. It shades more of the patio and also shields some of the mess of kids' toys and things from the entry. When it comes to my landscaping, I'm not afraid of heights or power tools, of work or sweat. It's all a joy.

Pictures coming soon...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Woo hoo! A new post!

Okay, need to catch up a bit.

There was this play at school, and MonkeyBoy was all excited to be in it. I signed up to help make costumes, and here they are (the play was the Little Mermaid):

Alas, the pressure turned out to be too much for him, so this is how he spent the performance, instead of being on stage:

We all had a good time and went out for ice cream anyway. :-)

Next: Easter, aka Spring

So you know I'm pretty much an agnostic/pagan/Jew/humanist, right? As you might imagine, this makes holidays, um, complicated. So I talk a lot about celebrating the rebirth of the Earth, all the plants coming back to life and baby birds and animals and all that jazz, but we still call it Easter, because that's what everyone calls it and it's just easier that way. So anyway, the new tradition in the last couple of years is that we hunt for eggs, both dyed ones and plastic ones with candy or money, and we have a tea party, and then we do something fun.

This year we went to the plant nursery to see the flowers and to the feed store to see the chicks on the actual equinox, then on that Sunday went to a park playground and had a great time. I especially enjoyed playing with the toy plane and the bubble stuff. Ahem.

Anyway, here are a few pics of the day:

In other news, MonkeyBoy decided that the Shag of Doom hairstyle (see above) was getting in his way and making him too hot, so he asked me to shave his head. Seriously. Check these out:

That's not even all of the hair. There was more, lots more. Then he wanted it shorter. We ended up at an eighth of an inch. He said no one, not even his teacher, recognized him at school. He thought it was hilarious.