A light bulb went off…

I have an unexpected day at home today so am fiddling about, knitting, painting, printing, gluing. I finished knitting a quick project, a Stereo Cuff by Laura Nelkin, and made another birthday card that I can’t show you yet.  And I made a thank you note for the Ravelry angel who sent me the yarn – her gift arrived (thanks for all of your ideas, by the way – you got me thinking until I came up with the final thing), and so I want to get card and gift sent off to her. I have no idea if she reads this blog, so I can’t show you either of those yet, either.

stereo cuff 3 11a

BUT…

While I was messing about, it occurred to me that I could combine the knitting and the card making. No, I won’t knit cards, exactly… but since I am working harder to photograph my knitting, I think I can make cards that feature photos of my knits. The first one is this one – featuring the Estonian lace I recently finished.  Such a simple idea – I made a few sets and put them up on Etsy, we will see how they do.  And I will try even HARDER to get good photos of my knitting. Who knows, maybe this is how I make my fortune. 🙂  And what an excuse to keep knitting with a variety of yarns and patterns?

knit cards

I also took some new photos of existing hats – I finally invested 6 bucks and got a Styrofoam head.  It is a little small, but will work for most of my hats, and so I can upgrade my listings.

Now, to go sit and knit and watch TV.  I think I have been productive enough for one day off.  🙂

A little card making

We have several birthdays in March, and of course, I try to make cards for family birthdays. So I have been up in the craft room lately, mucking about with paper and pen…

I can show you one that I finished for last week, it should have arrived at its destination by now.

Diane's birthday 2015

I made this for my sister-in-law, D.  I hope it brightened her day and gave her hope of spring flowers to come.

There are two more that go in the mail tomorrow, I’ll post photos of them next weekend.  I have one more to make for the end of the month, but I got distracted while I was in the craft room, and made these two, which I put up for sale on Etsy.

iris card

lady slipper card

They have some sparkle which doesn’t show – I tried to get good photos but couldn’t, so finally settled for a scan.  That gets the colors right, and sharp images, but loses sparkle.  I’ll try for more shots of them tomorrow if the sun comes out.  These are relatively simple cards – a rubber stamped image on water color paper, then colored with water color pencils and washed with water.  Trimmed, mounted on pretty paper and highlighted with my favorite accessory – Sakura glitter pen in the clear color, number 0700.

I had to give my hands a break from all the knitting I have been doing lately, they were getting achy!  But I think that making cards is a good substitute when it comes to being creative.  And when all goes well, the finished objects come more quickly than say, a lace shawl.  🙂

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

Christmas Cards

I think that all but two have been delivered by now, so it is safe to show you the cards I made for us to send out this year.

I started with two photos I took this fall, of our asparagus plants with nice red berries.  A and I did not agree on which one to use for the card, so I did half with one and half with the other.

#1

asparagus 3

#2

asparagus 8

Which one do you like better?

I printed the photos on a nice linen textured paper, at a size of about 3.75 by 5 (inches) rounded the corners with a punch, and then got to work with my beloved Cricut, cutting out a huge pile of “Peace on Earth” in red, at about two inches.  That’s Cricut inches, which seem to bear no relation to any other measurement known to woman.

Cricut

Next, I spritzed them with Tattered Angels shimmer spray, in a gold color, and then highlighted the “on” with smooch moonlight ink.

peace in a box

with and without smooch

Yes, sometimes I get bogged down in the details, but doesn’t the bottom one look better than the top one?

The last bit of shine I added was to highlight the dew drops with a Sakura silver star pen.

I attached the Peace on Earth to the photo (it is hard to take photos that show sparkle – does anyone have tips on this, in the dark of winter?)

almost done, no flash

almost done auto correct and flash

Then, attached the whole to a card made of soft gray textured cardstock

scan card 2

(This is a scan made with the fancy new printer) Card made with photo number 1.

card 1

(This is a photo) Card made with the photo number 2.

Have you changed your mind about which photo makes a better card?

hallmark 2014

The last little bit, to stamp the back with the hallmark.  I love this little angel stamp.

These were quite simple to make, and went quickly – and not a speck of glitter, so no long dry time!  A procrastinating crafter’s dream.  🙂

Downsizing Christmas

Just as I am downsizing my job, so am I in the mood to downsize Christmas. I just feel like it is time to reduce stress, and taking Christmas expectations down a notch feels like it would help.

But A really wanted a tree.

If you remember from past years, you know we go a bit overboard on the tree. What are cathedral ceilings for, if not to allow for huge 12 and 14 foot trees?

the tree, going up

This year, we won’t need a step-ladder to decorate – even I can reach the top of our “little “tree!  It is just about 6 feet tall, and it is A’s project this year.  She will decorate while I am at work this week.  She is on vacation, but I am not, once again! (only 6 more work days for those of you keeping count.)

minimalist tree up

I can’t wait to see what she does with it!

Just so you know I am still me, I spent all weekend on the Christmas cards – first batch of 35 will go out today, many more tomorrow.  Here’s another teaser for you – I always put a little hallmark on the back of my cards – sorry for the blurry photo – the angel is silver ink, and doesn’t show well with a flash, and it’s too dark to see it well without.  🙂  I add a “sarah” or “sal” in the middle, depending on how I am known by the recipient.  🙂

hallmark 2014

Have a good day!

Christmas card making

For the past ten or twelve years, I have made my own Christmas cards.  And during that time, I have ranged from making millions hundreds of cards of different styles to making a basic pattern and changing it up with different colors and papers to making all of the cards identical.

Each method has its benefits, and I don’t have a favorite. (That’s the fun of being a Gemini, right?  Always of two minds.)

This year, I am really pressed for time, so there will only be two designs, very similar.  There would only be one, but A and I disagreed on which photo we preferred for the base.  So, I am making half with her first choice, and half with mine.

I spent the evening last night playing with the paper-cutter to cut out all the photos I printed on linen textured paper and while I did that, my beloved Cricut cut out dozens of the sentiment.  Sometimes Cricut and I don’t get along (it tears paper if everything isn’t perfect) but I used good quality paper and a new cutting mat, and had good luck.

Cricut

This morning, I picked out all the little bits of paper and got the Cricut cuts ready to use.  Almost ready to assemble! Just have to determine where and how much sparkle to add.

I might be mailing by Monday!  Woo hoo! I can catch up, I know I can.

Friday List

First off – a note to the powers that be at Word Press. Please, could you add an auto save feature? Yikes – I just lost a whole Friday list post.

I’ll try to remember it all. 🙂

So this morning, I am waiting for the bug man to come do his regular quarterly visit, and then I will call Crimson Crow so we can meet in Ellsworth. Lots of chores to do there, and of course, some fun things, too. A visit to the Craft Barn is in store, if, after I check supplies I find I do not have 6 pieces of 12 x 12 brown paper. My challenge will be to leave with not much nothing else. I will do the grocery shopping while there, at the big store, and then head over to Reny’s for some Christmas shopping. We do a Christmas is for Kids program at work, and A and I try to help out with that each year. This year there were two kids who went unclaimed by all the other donors, so I am shopping for a couple of 4-year-old boys – should be pretty easy! Crimson Crow mentioned a trip to GoodWill, and of course, we will need lunch! Should be a good day.

There will be knitting involved somewhere along the way, of course. I have already done my sock knitting this morning, but I have two other projects on the needles right now – the Estonian Lace scarf, and the lace cardigan. Here’s a photo for you – both projects in progress – amazing the difference needle size and yarn weight make! I love them both in their place – no way would I ever get through a lace weight cardigan, though I would love it when finished. 🙂

lace projects

I have done some thinking, and reached a conclusion – this is my last pair of socks this year. I am slowing down the sock knitting, to make it last. 🙂 Twenty six pairs of socks! Wow, I never would have believed it. I was hoping to knit up my sock yarn stash, three skeins!!!! Did that ages ago. I am no longer afraid of socks, and I will likely keep knitting them, but at a much slower pace. So, this pair will linger on my needles. Actually, it will only be one sock that will linger, I will likely finish the current sock tonight or tomorrow. Part of what is driving this decision is that I have no more sock yarn, and am not ready to spend some of my precious yarn stash cash on more sock yarn at this point. With the changing finances ahead, I know it will be a while before it builds up to this level again.

Back to my list for today…

I will do a load or two of laundry, and the usual local chores, Post Office, etc.

If I have the patience, I will try to figure out why the new printer doesn’t see our Wi Fi, but even if I don’t crack that nut, I will start printing the photos for the Christmas cards (it prints fine with the cable). Yesterday I worked on cards at work, and it got me in the card making mood – yeah! At last! A says we are getting our Christmas tree on Sunday, and so the holiday things are coming together at last.

That’s about it – lots to do today because we are going to spend the day with A’s sisters and aunt tomorrow. So I had better get moving.

Have a good day!