Thursday, June 7, 2012

podcast begins this month!!

Okay, okay, I know I have vacillated like a whirling dervish...but I can't help my heretofore indecision.

I have decided that I WILL do a second podcast (the first one being for my business It won't be unique in that it will be "multi-craftsual," but rather the particular mix of segment topics. I will invite my Material Girls posse to contribute occasionally or regularly and I will have other interviews I. Addition to the usual segments I will introduce you to in the opening segment. The podcast will reflect the blog and the blog will double as a show notes page.

I'm looking forward to recording a show once or twice a month.

I really enjoy creating my guitar technique tutor podcast, which is at episode 076 as I write this post. The Sealed 4 Ever podcast will be a little less formal. I hope you'll join me for the first (and following) episodes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

successful baby gift

The director of our apartment building will be going on maternity leave, for her first baby, at the end of the month.  We had a shower for her, but E-Rex had a surgical biopsy scheduled for that day, so I couldn't attend.

i wanted to make her something for the baby and decided to crochet a baby blanket.  I sifted through my accumulation of free patterns that I have received in emails or on Ravelry and found an untraditional one (and this mother is quite untraditional) that I thought I could make quickly.  The pattern is the Caron Candy Cable Baby Blanket.

Although 2012 is my year of stash busting, and I haven't bought much in the way of yarn or fabric, I didn't have anything in my stash that would work for a baby project. So, I grabbed my Michael's and JoAnn coupons. I decided on Vanna's Choice Baby yarn for the value and because I wanted to use an acrylic so it would be hypoallergenic and could survive lots of machine washing.  The mom wanted the baby's sex to be a surprise, so my brain defaulted to yellow and green.  The pattern requires 2 colors. The yellow I chose was called, Duckie and the green was called, Sweet Pea.  What great names!!  

I don't crochet as much as I knit. It's not second nature like knitting, but I feel pretty confident. My first serious project was a quite involved afghan that was a wedding present.  By comparison, this was less complicated and worked up more quickly because rather than motifs that have to be connected, the pattern was circular. It was large and heavy to handle at the end but that beat working a bajillion ends in. 

When I gave the baby blanket to the expectant mom, she was so delighted because Sweet Pea apparently is in the same family of green that's in the nursery.  Her thank you note said that she has this blanket draped over the rocker and it looks like it belongs in the room.  I'm so glad. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

kicking up the mojo

In the Rockford Files, there were a few occasions when Jim Rockford used the term, "Mojo."  It was always sarcastic and always tickled my linguistic ear.

Over the past 6 months a lot of personal things have gotten in the way of my creative mojo.  At the beginning of the year, I had the idea that I'd dedicate some time every day or week to writing some music, because it's been a long time since I have.  That hasn't happened and rather than beat myself up about it, I'll put it on hold until that particular kind of inspiration returns.

However, I have had a good infusion of fiber mojo during the past month:

I haven't been at my sewing machine since around December, and that was only once or twice. I was relieved that my darling E-Rex was recovering from a nearly fatal illness and began making a few bags.  Shortly there after, our Dottie declined from her cancers and passed away and we were very involved helping her widower. The sewing stopped.  It seems like my sewing machine keeps reminding me that those bags, the fabric of which I have cut out and the lining of which I made, have been laying around and kind of haunting me for months.  

A week or 2 ago, I received an email from Quilters' Club of America, that offered 2 free Craftsy classes.  One, I had already signed up for: Sewing Machine 911. The other was a Block of the Month class.  I'm not a "follow a pattern" kind of crafter, ordinarily. I'm more a process rather than a project learner, but Block of the Month, on my own schedule, whenever I'm in the mood, sounded like just what I needed.  A little tiny sewing machine project that will probably improve my skill or teach me a new technique. I can probably finish them in a sitting or 2. How perfect!  I have plenty of stash.  I'm hoping to begin one of the blocks this month -- probably as soon as my work schedule changes at the end of the school year.  I'm not going to let the bag linings make me feel guilty or like I have failed to finish them.  I'll banish them to a UFO drawer for now and get past all their sad emotional context. So that's the good machine sewing mojo.

My yarn crafting is not in a funk, because knitting, in particular, has always been my go-to craft for stress relief and to carry with me to occupy down time anywhere. I've been knitting and crocheting through the last 6 months. No, not in a funk but surely eligible for an infusion of excitement and zeal. Well, that infusion has arrived in the appetizing prospect of the 2012 Ravelympics.  In 2010, I was bummed to have not participated.  Podcast after podcast that I listened to commented on the chosen challenges, hurdles, victories etc. I'd almost forgotten about it until last week.  The Ravelympic teams are being formed and I have decided to participate!  It's going to be fun. I haven't joined a team yet, but I will shortly.  The only conflict is that our church's VBS is scheduled for one of the weeks.  That's going to take away from my marathon knitting, but I'm going to compete anyway.  I have chosen the sport of shawl sailing and I have swatched for the pattern I have chosen.

Sorry the photo is grayed-out.  Better photos will follow when I begin knitting on July 27th.

I'm also planning to finish what I call,  "My Own Little Crochet U." (based on Edie Eckman's  Beyond the Square) over the summer and may even go to "grad school" on Edie Eckman's follow up book Crochet Borders (which includes each border's corner.) I know I have the photos in a Flickr set.  I may edit this later and add the link. 

So, I look forward to some happy conquests in my sewing, knitting and crocheting.  And I look forward to catch-up and then, "current" blogging.

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