Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Under the Weather

I feel awful. I have spent the last 3 days coughing, sneezing and just feeling totally miserable. And my 2 year old is sick too. Ugh.

Just when I was wallowing in self pity this afternoon, the mail man showed up with an armload of mail....and it was all for me!! Boy, do I feel better!! :)

I received several swaps from Swap-bot. My international book exchange partner sent me a copy of "Tattoo Blues'' -- it looks like a great funny read! I can't wait to read it! She also sent some tea. :) In the Do it Quick swap -- I received a celtic music tape and tea, a cute pincushion,a nd 2 handmade little notecards today. I also received an ephemera swap package -- lots of great odds and ends for scrapbooking, ATCs and letter writing! :)

I also received 8 books I ordered from PBS (paperbackbookswap.com) -- The Lemon Merangue murder, Blueberry Muffin Murder, Strawberry Shortcake Murder, Two Old Women, Trollslayer, The Weight of Water, Bark M for Murder and Peach Cobbler Murder. :) It was a great day for books! :) *Notice the line-up of cold medicine beside my goodies....lol*

I also received my winter scarf knit kit swap package today!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

She sent me Peru DK yarn in a pretty red, a pattern from MagKnits, and the cutest tea mug with kitties on it, along with trader joe's chocolate tea. mmmmmm! :)

So the great mail day herniated my postman ...... but it made me feel better. :) I absolutely HATE being sick. Ugh. I've coughed so much my ab muscles hurt.

Since I was under the weather and not going anywhere, I made my first 2 ATC (artist trading cards) for a beginner's swap at Swap-bot. I enjoy collage art, but have never really tried it myself, so I gave it a whirl. And I love to make little doodle art cartoons to make my husband laugh....so I decided to do a few ATC's with some of my doodles on them. I'm not talented at drawing (I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon), but I still see it as a creative outlet even if I'm never going to be a Picasso.

Here's the collage card I made:

I titled it "Here's to Yesteryear.''

And, here's my cartoon ATC:

Well I'm off to put the kettle on to drink my 1000th cup of hot tea today. This cold has gotta go!!!!!! :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fancy Stitching!

I enjoy swapping over at Swap-bot because there is such a great variety of exchanges to join in -- everything from pen pals to ATC's.

I received a great package from Janaina all the way from Brazil in the "Make a Friend'' letter swap. She sent me a fabulous letter, and a tea towel that she cross stitched.

Her needle work is the best I have seen in a long time! I remember my mother picking my stitches out as a child if the piece didn't look "the same on the back as it does on the front.'' And, she had me do things over and over again until it was right.

Janaina's stitching literally looks the same on the front and back......(much neater than I ever got mine to be!)


There's the front....... and here is the back.....

You're a very talented stitcher, Janaina!!! :) You have motivated me to try cross stitch again. I have some Christmas ornament patterns that I bought for our tree for next year. :) I want all handmade ornaments next year.....after I finish Joshua's needlepoint stocking, I will get busy cross stitching! I'm sure the back of my work won't look as good as Janaina's but I'll give it my best!

And, a big thank you to Karla for my January colorswap box! Here's what I got....

She sent 2 skeins of Jewel FX, a ball of Eros, some sparkly Christmas present tags, a journal with a sparkly butterfly, chocolate (the kids ate the kisses, and hubby ate the Whitman's......I took the tin for scrapbooking eyelets), and these really neat flower card charms. :)

Thank you Karla!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Favorite Color Swap 2 Survey

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Deep shades of blue (teal blue, ocean blue, midnight blue, etc), Purple, Autumn shades of red. :) I don't like pastels.

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Knitting is my favorite, but I'm also really beginning to enjoy paper crafts (collage art, handmade cards, ATC's, etc)

3. What products do you really covet? Scrapbooking supplies (colored paper, stickers, embellishments) and lace weight yarn, or wool blend sock yarn.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? I love to read! Mostly mysteries...but I'm game for anything except romance novels. And I love to play boardgames and card games with my family.

5. Is there anything you collect? Decorative glass and candle holders. :)

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? I'm a Cancer. I was born in 1968...I think that makes me a Monkey.

7.What are your favorite……scents/smells?…types of music and/or bands?…authors?…animals?…places to shop?…season?…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?…candies or goodies? Smells: I love spicy scents like cinnamon and patchouli. I can't be around strong floral scents -- I sneeze and am just miserable. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke. Music: I'm ecclectic in my musical tastes. I like 60's/70's classic rock, folk/celtic (like Loreena McKennitt), and some big band/classical. :) I don't care at all for hip hop or rap music. Authors: Agatha Christie is my favorite author. I have nearly all of her books. I read mainly mysteries, but also enjoy sci-fi/fantasy.....or really anything but romance novels. Animals: We have 5 cats and one little dog. So I love pets. :) Especially cats, obviously. lol. Shopping: I love Bath and Body Works (but with teenagers and a 2-year old, mama doesn't get to go where she wants to very often.), and craft shops. There isn't a scrapbooking or stamping store near where I live...so those supplies are hard for me to find, unless I want to order online. I'd love to have some stamps...I'm new to the craft, plus I want to start making scrapbooks for all our photos (including my toddler's baby photos which are in a box marked "Baby scrapbook''....lol. Maybe I'll have that done by the time he's ready to get married. ha ha). Season: I love the fall/winter holiday season....I run them all together because my house is decorated from October through January (Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas.). :) Plus, the autumn and Christmas colors are my favorites. :) Craft Supplies: I love all yarn -- especially wool blends and lace weight. Other craft supplies....I really like glass beads, and I'd love to have any scrapbooking/paper craft stuff (stamps, paper punches, paper, embellishments, stickers), and I also love stationary. I like stuff on the cute side -- Hello Kitty, cute animals, country themes....don't care too much for floral designs. I also love neat colored pens, pencils, crayons, and stencils. :) My 2-year old and I do art time together as part of his preschool lessons at home. :) Mama likes to draw and color too! :) I embellish letters that I send to friends with little drawings and silliness. :)

8. Do you have any wish lists? I have an Amazon list. There's a link to it in the left margin of this blog.

9. Are you allergic to anything? Cigarette smoke and floral scents.

10. Do you have any pets? What are they? We have 5 cats: Fooful (he's a Pixie Bob), Frenchie, Grover, Kato and Elmo (all heinz-57 whatzit cats), and one little dog named Buddy (Pomeranian/Jack Russell Terrier Mix).

Saturday, February 03, 2007

SP10 Survey

I thought I'd get this posted now so I don't accidentally forget to put it up before the end of the month. I had a BLAST with SP9....I'm looking forward to the new exchange!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love to work with wool, fnatural fibers, fingering and lace weight wool/wool blends/acrylic blends, etc. I love soft yarns. :) I really don't care for fur novelty yarns. I do use acrylic for some things, but I don't care for the really plastic-y scratchy feeling acrylics.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I keep my needles in a big brass vase. I have too many for a normal needle holder.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I crocheted for 16 years before I learned to knit about 2 years ago. I took a class at the local college. :) I'd consider myself an intermediate to advanced knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, there is a link to it on my blog.

5. What's your favorite scent? I like spicy scents like patchouli or cinnamon. I don't care for strong floral scents. They give me a headache.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I can't have candy. But I do like cocoa. It's my chocolate fix a couple times a week. :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Paper crafts, ATC's, some scrapbooking, and I like to use stickers and embellishments on my letters. I don't spin -- I just don't have the time to learn. But I do like handspun yarns.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen to an ecclectic mix -- celtic/Irish, folk music, 60's/70's classic rock, Alternative, some new wave. I don't like rap/hip hop, or country music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love jewel tones and autumn shades. I don't care for pastels, especially light pink.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married and have 2 sons, ages 16 and 2 1/2. We have five cats and 1 little dog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Big NO to ponchos. lol. But I do love scarves! And I wear hats and mittens/gloves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Scarves, socks, dishcloths, ornaments and bookmarks.

13. What are you knitting right now? A scarf, and several dishcloths.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? YES!!! I love handmade gifts!!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I use every sort of needles. :) They all have their uses!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, I don't. Wish I did! Someday I will. :)

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Recently I finished a cable and twist sweater vest that had been on the needles for a YEAR....lol. But since I got that done, my oldest UFO is about 2 months old. :)

18. What is your favorite holiday? I'll just lump them all together. Fall./Winter Holiday Season. :) Halloween through New Years. :) I start decorating the house in October and it's festive around here until January. :)

19. Is there anything that you collect? Glass beads, buttons and interesting glass pieces like animals, paperweights, candle holders, decorative items, bottles, art, etc. :)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Knitted purse patterns, interesting scarves, kitchen patterns (I LOVE to make dishcloths and potholders), knitted bookmark patterns, and Christmas ornament patterns. Next year I want all the decorations on our tree to be handmade, so I have a lot of work to do before December. ha ha :)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I want to learn to do lace -- scarves, shawls, etc., and to read charts better.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I love to work with sock yarn!! If my partner wants to make me socks, I can provide the measurements. ;)

23. When is your birthday? July 11th.

Updated Swap Survey

It's time to update my survey for The Great Bookmark Exchange:

1. What genre of books do you enjoy most? (i.e. mystery, romance, horror, historical, biographies, autobiographies, fantasy, sci-fi, etc) I read mostly mysteries, but also enjoy historical fiction (not romance novels), sci-fi, fantasy.......just about anything but pulp fiction romance novels. If it has Fabio half naked on the front, I don't wanna read it. LOL. :)

2. What sort of bookmarks do you like best? (long, short, lacy/elegant, fun/cute, corner, tasselled, etc) I love any sort of handmade bookmark.....fiber arts, beaded, paper crafts -- it's all wonderful. :) I enjoy seeing other people's creativity!!

3. What are your favorite colors? My favorite colors are deep, vibrant jewel tones, and autumn shades like spicy orange, crimson red, violet, etc. Sparkly neon shades are fun. :) I like anything basically but pastels.

4. Are there any colors you don't like? I don't care for pastels at all -- especially light pink.

5. What sort of "theme'' would you like your bookmark to be? Anything!! I enjoy it all!

6. Are there any "themes'' that you wouldn't like?? The sort of things that would be on my "Total Ugh'' list are things you gals wouldn't send anyway (racist stuff, porn, totally over the top uggo stuff) -- so no worries! I like everything! Be creative and have fun!

7. Can you send internationally? Yes, I can!

8. If your partner wants to send along extra goodies (like tea, candy, cocoa, etc), what do you enjoy? And is there anything you don't like/can't have?? Please don't send me candy....I'm borderline diabetic and I can't have candy or chocolates. But, I do allow myself to have flavored coffee and cocoa. I also love tea. :)

9. What crafts are you going to use to make your bookmarks? Is there a particular craft type you would like to receive? (knitted bookmarks, plastic canvas, etc) I am trying to branch out on my crafting.....I knit, crochet, cross stitch, etc....but I'm expanding out into paper crafts like collage, ATC, etc. I'd love to receive any sort of bookmark......just be creative and enjoy it!

10. Do you have any allergies??? I am allergic to cigarette smoke.

11. Do you smoke, have cats/dogs, or anything that other members might be allergic to?? We have a smoke free home. We do have cats and a dog -- but they aren't around my crafting supplies.

Hugs!! Juli

Friday, February 02, 2007

~ColorSplash Knit Bookmark~

I've been working on a knit lace scarf for a couple weeks now....and I've also been crocheting bookmarks for gifts and exchanges. I was knitting on my scarf the other day when I looked down and saw my ball of thread in my craft basket. Hmmmm.....I wonder if I could knit with that??
After rummaging around in my knitting needles, I found a set of Zero needles and decided to give it a try. And, not only was it workable, I realized that stockinette stitch in thread would make a cute bookmark! So I got my creative brain cells working, and this is what I came up with.....Enjoy! (And, don't be intimidated by knitting with thread. Once your fingers get the hang of it, it's no more difficult than knitting with sock yarn)
~ColorSplash Knit Bookmark~
***The usual disclaimer: This pattern is an original work by Juli Wyant, and is wholly owned by her. This pattern is provided for personal use only, and can be printed for your personal use only. Please do not copy this pattern to other websites/blogs/groups, or distribute copies -- but feel free to link to this page. Yes, you can make items for sale from this pattern....but please don't sell the pattern itself, or present it as your original work. Yadda, yadda, yadda. We all know the copyright drill. ***
#10 Crochet thread in a vibrant color of your choice
8 Colorful buttons - round or novelty
Size 0 knitting needles
Thread for sewing on buttons
Cast on 14 stitches
Row 1 and 2: Knit across
Row 3-9: Slip 1st stitch knitwise, work in stockinette (alternate K and P rows - odd rows are P rows)
Row 10-13: Slip 1st stitch knitwise, knit across (garter stitch)
Repeat rows 3-13 Seven times.
Last row: knit across
Bind off.
Sew buttons in center between rows of garter stitch (see photo)
Using novelty buttons in animal shapes, or other different themes, could make some cute variations on this bookmark. Just be careful that the buttons are relatively flat so that the bookmark can still be used in a book.
Crochet Version: You can adapt this pattern to crochet easily. Chain 15. Work HDC in 2nd loop from hook. HDC across. Work two rows of HDC in FL only. Then HDC in both loops for 8 rows, followed by 4 rows of HDC in FL only. Repeat 7 times. Followed by two rows of HDC in Front loops. FO.
**If you like my blog and patterns, please vote for me on the Crochet and Hook list. Vote by clicking the blue box towards the top in the left margin of my blog. Thank you so much!! Let me know what you think of my patterns -- just click the email link (also in the left hand margin).**