Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013


the other day i went for a walk through a new nature area in town--hyatt hidden lakes reserve. it's a 54-acre stormwater treatment/wetlands/wildlife habitat, off of maple grove near chinden. unfortunately it doesn't look like much right now in the dead of winter, but i can tell it's going to be gorgeous next spring.

it has been cooold and snowy around here lately...
this is what happens to eggs when you accidentally leave them outside on a 6-degree night.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

making christmas 2012

 this xmas was slightly lame in the handmade department. it's so different now that i'm on a morning schedule. normally in the weeks leading up to xmas i'd be sewing and knitting and whatever else until 2-3 in the morning. now i'm in bed by 11, and my daytime crafting motivation is lacking. here are some of the projects i barely managed to finish in time.

 i quilted a sweater blanket for jason. the squares are cut-up thrift store sweaters, with a fleece backing. cam made me one of these as a housewarming gift and it's my favorite blanket in the world, and jason loves it too, so i knew he'd like one of his own. my plan was to make at least three of these this year, but time ran out on me, and now i have a mountain of ugly sweaters in my craft room.

 photo calendar: i've made one every xmas for the last 4-5 years. this year i printed 8 of them, mostly for family and family-friends.

 i applied chalkboard paint to a bunch of thrift store mugs, cups, and some metal platters.

 ...had planned to make chalkboard mugs for all my coworkers, but that didn't even begin to happen. again, time constraints, and now i have a box of thrift store mugs under my sweater mountain.

 crochet chain loop scarves. very quick and easy project.

 cam is really into manatees, and i thought it would be cute to design a bunch of themed gifts around the idea of 'tee _____ ...as in, abbreviate manatee as "'tee," and then play off every "tee" phrase i can come up with.

 'tee bag, 'tee light, 'tee set...i have a whole list of ideas, along with plans for how to translate them into craftiness. her bday is coming up later this month (two days after mine) so i'm working on more of these already.

 for the 'tee set i ordered a couple plastic manatee figurines from ebay, and i was planning to make them into bookends by gluing them to wood blocks and spray painting them. but they turned out to be smaller than they looked in the ebay photo.

 she's trying to use them as bookends anyway.

 she totally saved me this year by introducing me to fusions glass studio. no way i would've finished everyone's gifts in time if it wasn't for this place.

fusions is similar to paint-your-own ceramics studios, but way better. they have fused glass projects that anyone can do: suncatchers, pendants, votive holders, night lights, etc., at pretty reasonable prices ($15-35 per project). in december they were giving away a free xmas tree project with every walk-in project you purchase.

 on the first trip i made three pendants, cam made a chicken nightlight (for her mom, who keeps chickens), karen made a wiener dog dish, and we each made a xmas tree. i tried to make mine (top left) more of a generic triangular suncatcher rather than a xmas tree.

 karen unknowingly used striker glass (changes colors) for the sky on her wiener dog project--it appeared to be light blue before firing.

 the following weekend i came back with andrea to make more xmas gifts.

 she made this fantastic mountain goat suncatcher, and three pendants and two trees.

 i made a cabin suncatcher for my parents:

 and three more pendants:

 and two more xmas trees:

 yesterday i went back AGAIN for the third time in less than a month, this time with jason.

 we both turn 27 this month, and we're doing experiential stuff for our bdays rather than giving traditional gifts. he's taking me on a wilderness photo adventure, and i took him to fusions. we had a fabulous time.

 he made this wonderful mini-plate, covered in colorful frit with a few pieces of dichro at the center. i can't wait to see what it looks like fired. i made a votive holder this time. they should be ready thursday.

 hard to believe xmas is over. hope you had a lovely holiday!