February 28, 2011

corbel love

I have the best mother ever.  I have been on a corbel obsession lately.  It started this past summer - end of the flea market season when I purchased these simple corbels for the butcher block in our kitchen.

But they just didn't work.  They were too big and too plain.  

But then my mother tracked down and bought me these babies.

And they are a beautiful matching set.  

Similar problem though - they don't fit the butcher block.  These were not deep enough but that doesn't really bother me.

I have so MANY plans for them.

Bulking up our fireplace with a sick mantle.

Or maybe spicing up our newly squared and expanded doorways.

Can a girl have too many corbels?  I think Flea Market Season of 2011 has a new mission - 

Mission Corbel

among other lingering missions.

February 23, 2011

flower headbands

I know these are not an original design but I had to share how much fun I have been having making these flower headbands - mostly the flowers.  I have been making the flowers for awhile as pins for my baby hats but I started getting jealous of how cute those babies were looking.  So I took some old headbands I uncovered (coincidently while I was cleaning out the craft room) and took a break to make myself some new accessories.

I love making these.  I get to use up all my scrap fabric and better than that, I get to repurpose all my favorite but oh so ruined clothes into cute new accessories.  How perfect!

I hate taking pictures of myself - they NEVER turn out cute.  But I really wanted to show you these on a real head and since the hubby doesn't like modeling for me and I am too impatient to wait until tomorrow when I can use my sis or sis-in-law and have nice lighting, you get nasty, dark, blurry cellphone pics of me in my pj's.  
You are allowed to laugh since I also have the weird tendency to make faces in my photos because I am uncomfortable and seriously deranged in the head.

oops missed......

and blurry.....

making faces - so ashamed.....

can we settle for just the headband?

ok the best I can do.


February 21, 2011

unfinished projects

I am the queen of unfinished projects. Particularly when it comes to crafts.  I think I have craft ADD.

Example 1: My craft room.  Earlier this week it looked like this.

I must say it looks A LOT better.  I have thrown out so much stuff but you see something happened while I was cleaning out.  I found some other unfinished projects.  
Like this........
Example 2:  Unfinished crafts that are completely forgotten.

A baby blanket I was working on.  I knit a lot of little squares and well that gets old after awhile.  So I set it down (for just a moment) to start a new project.  I will get to this one eventually.  Hopefully they still sell that yarn - haven't even checked yet.

Which leads me to....

Example 3:  The hoarding of yarn for more projects started and forgotten but mostly just forgotten.  My head gets a little bigger than my hands sometimes.  And I am an impulsive shopper.  We are working through this quite successfully.  Starting with the yarn.

I am embarrassed to show you all my yarn.  So here is a snippet.  Oh crap another unfinished project managed to sneak into this photo. Pretend you don't see that baby hat still on the needles - thank you much!

New goal - I refuse to buy new yarn until this collection is more than halfway used up (or given away) but I prefer used up.  I like this yarn - this is quite and investment of yarn.

Well I wish I could share more of my unfinished projects but I just can't take pictures of it all.  If I did, you may see loads of scrapbooks and photos.  Shelves of fabric.  

Oh and most horrifying of all - a GIANT blanket I am making for my sister's bed completely covering my entire floor.  I am still in the pinning mode (tedious) but then I was suddenly in the mood for making flowers for some headbands.  I just finished 3 headbands for myself - I will share them soon.  I LOVE them.  They are unique from what most crafty gals (such as yourselves) are making but I like them.

What about you - any confessions?

February 16, 2011

save my sanity

There is no better feeling than this:

lots of trash bags and lots of giveaway piles.

I love, love, LOVE getting rid of things.  No mercy here.  It immediately reduces my stress and re-energizes me.  A cluttered home weighs me down just like my shelves and closets.

So while I have no problem clearing out I do have a hard time keeping the things I keep in there place.  I blame the dogs but we all know that they aren't placing all our home items in the wrong place.  The good news is that when I find the time - I also love organizing (and re-organizing) which helps keep me accountable and sane.  Here are some recent projects I have been working on to help me keep my most cluttered spaces in order:

Hats, gloves, and doggy items. One basket is labeled Bran & Jess for our snow gear and one for the pups for their gear.

A place for the incoming mail - right by the front door.  
(Oh and the random paint chip.  I am working on painting the entry.)

And the biggest thing to save my sanity.  My recipe drawer in the kitchen.  Equipped with all my recipes, blank recipe cards, a pad for my grocery list and plenty of pens (but not too many - that would be cluttered).  I love being able to send Bran to this drawer to pick out a meal - I use it daily and it hasn't failed me yet.  I decided to do this in place of an evil, hair-yanking, nail biting JUNK drawer.  
I highly recommend tossing your ENTIRE junk drawer and replacing it with neat and clean recipes.  And ladies, if you don't like the meal then don't keep the recipe.  Recipes can be a cluttered mess too.

I don't know about you but I use to have paint chips in every nook and cranny of my house.  But now, I can find them all in one space.  I just punched a hole in the corner and strung them on a metal ring.  Super easy and super accessible.  

I also love sitting down and reading looking through the pictures of a magazine.  I get so much inspiration and great ideas from magazines.  I end up ripping out half the pages and circling things, making notes or just compiling pretty pictures.  And with the sky-rocketing cost of magazines I want to get as much of my money out of them so I create binders of inspiration.

To make these binders even more useful I keep the plans and surveys of our home on the front page as well as paint chips and fabric samples of each rooms decor.  It makes it easy to add/remove and update each room.  If I ever am running to the furniture or fabric store it is also easy to quickly take out that one page and run. 

Binders are great for so many different paper needs.  I use to have one for recipes I found online or in magazines and wanted to try.  Of course, I emptied it into my drawer after the kitchen was finished but I know that kitchen drawers are a precious commodity so if you can't spare a drawer then use the binder.

And that is just some of the small ways I keep my sanity around the house.  Of course, there a million more spaces that need special attention such as the craft room. 

Just remember - you have to make a mess before you can clean it up.  

Well I am really good at making messes I guess.  I pretty much took every closet, basket and corner and emptied it into the center of the room.
And the best part - most of it will end up in the trash or in Goodwill!

I will definitely share how it turned out - hopefully soon too!

February 15, 2011

what else could break

No, I'm not testing out some new home decor just doing the laundry.  Desperately drying the laundry in fact.

And now I am scouring the internet looking for great, killer, out of this world washer/dryer deals.  Why is such an amazing deal so important?

Well because that was the last thing to break but probably not the last.  No only do we have to replace the washer/dryer - which is essential but we also have to replace the furnace and the water heater - also essential.   There is only so long you can go with sporadic cold showers, ridiculously high bills and NO clean clothing.  I may or may not be going out in public in one of my husbands polo shirts tonight.  It's cute on him - not me.

So we have some purchases coming up and I would love to get great quality for very little.  I think we are going to pay what we need to pay for the water heater and furnace but I feel like I can try and get a deal on the washer and dryer.  I think we are going to start at the Sears Outlet and see what they have.  Do you have any suggestions?  For great deals or specific models?  I haven't done my research yet.

The positive - once we shell out the cash up front for these puppies we will gain years of peace of mind and energy savings.  So worth it!

February 13, 2011

happy valentine's day

I want to wish you all a very happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating with those close to you.

In honor of the day and to share a little v-day office love with my co-workers, I whipped up a quick batch of effortless Ghiradelli (hope I didn't spell that wrong) Brownies from a boxed mix from Costco.  I cut them out with a cookie cutter and gave them a little dusting of sugar.  I am bringing them in with a little milk since they are oh so rich and goey, milk is a must with these.  I am sure my co-workers won't appreciate the added calories laying around but it's V-day, the day dedicated to chocolate, a girl has to indulge now and then.

February 10, 2011

quick and easy but oh so yummy

I am no gourmet.  Really, I am pretty bad in the kitchen - sorry hunny.  But I have learned some shortcuts over the past few years.  Here is my favorite!

I love butternut squash ravioli - it is definitely a favorite but reserved only for fancy restaurants because I cannot make ravioli and they do not make the packaged butternut squash variety.  Sad face.

That's okay though because I can now make the next best thing.

Whenever I make roasted butternut squash or butternut squash soup I save a small bag of the squash cubes for a quick meal later.  I roast them with sage or thyme, whatever is on hand, and add some salt and pepper.  I then cook up some pre-packaged ravioli and make a brown butter sauce to drizzle over the whole concoction. Delish!

February 7, 2011

i got me a baby model

I just have to share these with you because they are so darn cute.  

Meet baby Landon.

Are you in love?  I am.  
His mommy, Danielle,  is a friend of mine and she generously allowed me to share these photos with you of Landon's first photo shoot.  And did you notice?  He's rocking my bear ear flap hat.  The same one from this post where I was secretly hoping he was a she.  Danielle and her husband decided to keep the sex of their little bundle a surprise so when it came time to making the baby hat, it had to be unisex.  So I made this adorable bow pin to attach in case Landon was a Landette.

But boy am I glad he is a he.  I think the bow would have taken away from those precious little features.

Thanks for sharing little Landon with me and letting me share him with everyone else!  Can't wait to watch him grow (very, very slowly of course.)

I shared this with CSI!
Visit thecsiproject.com

February 5, 2011

opening shop - again

This knitting business is tough - but I love knitting.  It is just hard to keep a steady stream of items in the shop and I definitely don't make a profit on a single baby hat.  It really isn't about the profit though.  I just love knitting and I can't have all these baby hats laying around my house.  Plus what is the fun if no baby ever wears the hats.  I made them FOR babies.  Not myself.

Needless to say, it is still really hard to keep them in the shop.  Most of my hat sales come from custom orders leaving little time for stocking up SO I am adding two new elements to the shop......

my new knit headband for baby girls (and girls of all ages)

and my therapeutic neck pillows

I'm very excited because I really love both these items.  I love making them and I love using them.  I wear my headband quite a bit and I definitely use my assortment of neck wraps often.

The neck wraps are made out of soft, flannel fabric and filled with flax seeds and lavender.  They measure 5x20 in. and fit so comfortably around the neck.  I also use mine on my back and feet to stay warm.  I've been known to even fall asleep cuddling it.  Oh and I keep one in my office at work - it's great for all those aches and pains brought on by hunching over your desk. 

They make great gifts for mother's day, new moms, surgery or illnesses, bridesmaid spa packages, birthdays, Christmas, or just to help someone beat those winter blues.

I spent my blizzard days sewing a variety of neck wraps in a variety of colors and patterns - all in super soft flannel (except for the white one below, that is super, super soft baby blanket fabric).


I haven't added all of these to etsy yet but I will be working on it today.  If you don't see one of these patterns on etsy and you want one just message me and let me know.  I have them here and would be happy to send them your away.  Also, if you are local to my area, you know who you are, let me know and I will drop the shipping charge and get it to you.

Now I am thinking that a name change may be in order.  Sweet Pea Knits just doesn't seem to fit anymore?  Hmmmm.........

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