Once my sister told me she was pregnant earlier this year, I wanted to knit all kinds of projects for her. But we did not know the gender yet and so of course a blanket made sense while I waited. My local knitting group was just finishing up the Blanket of Love and I wanted to make more squares! So I picked out six colors of Vanna’s Choice at Joann’s and got started. Even though Vanna’s Choice is a 100% acrylic yarn and non-snobby, I really do enjoy using it for baby and kid projects. It has a nice thick consistency and rich colors.
I just jumped into the project, knowing I wanted to stick with the red/orange and yellow centers in the squares. I only bought one ball of each color to start…but then once I saw that the balls made exactly four squares…and four squares was a good size for a baby blanket…I stopped there! I love the finished result.
I just gave the blanket to my sister at her baby shower this weekend. Of course now we know she is having a boy and a Dr. Seuss themed nursery. So this blanket turned out perfectly! I will definitely return to this pattern and highly recommend it.
I started to feel inspired to can about this time last year. It was clear that the owner of our house before us canned from all the labeled shelves in the basement and the canning oven. And since I was using mason jars in the wedding, it made even more sense! My friend Kelsie cans and gave us a jar of relish when we went her to house last winter. And my friend Kristy just started canning too! So after the wedding, I got started with two batches of cherry and plum jam using recipes from the Ball book and Food in Jars. I recommend both of these books highly.
Jam is a sticky mess, but worth it. I made 8 jelly jars of cherry jam in my first attempt.And then 9 jars of cherry/plum jam in my second attempt, a week later. The cherry pitter I bought is totally worth it. I only dropped one jar after it had been processed (thankfully just lightly on the counter, so it went straight into the fridge).
I think my jams are a little syrupy…the hot mixture was “sheeting” though, so I thought it was good. I will leave it cook for longer next time I think. But I’m kind of jammed out right now. I want to try some pickles now, while that is still in season! I have a new pressure cooker, but I still need to have my extension office test it for me before I use it. And this fall I am going to go crazy with the apples! Looking forward to many more canning opportunities!
Back to my regular crafting projects! I made another card using the June 2014 Simon Says Stamp card kit, this time for my Happy Mail Card Club. This card is a copy of a card I saw somewhere, but it is not featured on the card kit gallery or my usual favorite sites. Just know that I did not design it! Such a simple card with the banners and circle, but the sewing along the top pulls it all together. I am always a fan of using my tools for multiple crafts. I also love the rounded corners only on the top. A great touch.
I am really looking forward to using the July and August SSS card kits soon!
The anticipation has been built! The big day happened! And it was wonderful and beautiful AND crafty. I stuck true to my goal of enjoying the crafting for my wedding. There were no late nights of frenzied crafting. No going overboard on minor details. Just simple crafting that I enjoyed along the way. Time for the photos!
Gifts at the rehearsal, many handmade.
I made eight boxes for the girls who helped with the wedding (I didn’t have official bridesmaids). Each girl got a personalized bookmark and handmade sugar scrub (sugar + Olay Dawn Dish Soap Pomegranate – two ingredients).
A little hot glue with flowers, tulle, and a hair comb. Easy! I made two versions of this and the hairstylist chose this one. I tried to make a full birdcage veil and it just made me look like a lunch lady. This worked out so much better and I couldn’t even feel it.
I made my bouquet very early on in the process. Three fake hydrangea stems with brooches scattered through out. I watched many YouTube videos on how to make brooch bouquets and the series by Jessica Flores was the most helpful.
I made us cards to exchange on the morning of our wedding. Here I am reading the one Tom wrote to me. Very similar design to our thank you cards.
Of course I had to get a photograph of me knitting on my wedding day! Here I am working on a Bitty Baby dress for Ella. I bought that bag just for the wedding from The Needle Palace on Etsy.
And then my sister Avery knit me the shawl for my wedding! I gave her the yarn (Quince and Company) and requested the Shaelyn pattern.
Just throwing in one of my favorite shots here. Our photographer was amazing.
Reception time! I used three mason jars (quart, pint, jelly) on top of a wood slab. Tom’s grandmother gave us the jars from her canning days and his uncle cut the wood slabs for us from a tree on his property. I bought a big roll of burlap to make the runners myself (raw edges). Hydrangeas and baby’s breath for the flowers with a fake votive candle. Very simple!
Our table signs were a little different – from an idea I saw on Pinterest. All numbers that were important to us. Miles between our hometowns, dates, etc.
There were about ten children at our wedding, so they had special placemates and a set of crayons. I also made these “I Spy” jars (the tag is on the other side). When you rolled around the jar, you could “spy” the different items, like a dinosaur, eraser, etc. Another idea from Pinterest.
Our sweetheart table. I almost bought a custom set of mugs, but then found plain mugs at Joann’s for $2 and dressed them up myself. We had a special wedding brew in them. Very fun!
I even decorated the bag for the dollar dance! Just a simple canvas bag from Hobby Lobby. Used a masking alphabet and misting spray. Just took a few minutes to make.
Those are the highlights! Our guestbook were quilt blocks, but I’ll save that for a separate post when I finish the quilt. I’m so glad I got to craft parts of my wedding and save some money along the way doing it. We are so blessed! I’ll leave you with this last fun photo (made that pennant in the background too).
Halfway through the year of flow already and it so it is time for the second quarter stash report (prepared before my wedding and honeymoon, of course). I am using a lot of fabric and keeping ahead of my fiber stash, but the yarn stash is on critical alert for the next quarter. More knitting and less buying. Should be easier now that two festivals have come and gone, but still. Even one skein of sock yarn will put me over the edge right now! So glad I have been able to spend lots of time crafting this summer.
Used Year to Date: 18.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 12 yards
Destashed Year to Date: 6.5 yards
Yarn purchased at my first Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!
Knit Year to Date: 3,980 yards
Traded/Sold/Gave Away Year to Date: 993 yards
Purchased Year to Date: 3,823 yards
Acquired for Free to Date: 745 yards
Net Destashed for 2013: 405 yards (on the verge of being behind…must keep knitting!)
The first four ounces from my Jacob fleece.
Ounces Spun Year to Date: 33 ounces
Purchased Year to Date: 25 ounces
Yards Spun Year to Date: 1,516 yards
Net Destashed for 2013: 8 ounces
This is the first summer I have had a break in about nine years. A real break from work without worrying about papers I need to write or second jobs I have to go to. It feels wonderful! And as a result, I have really been doing a lot of crafting. Imagine that! I even had time to make a card from the June Simon Says Stamp Kit…in the month of June. The same month as the kit was released! And it is a card that I just made out of the blue, not even for card club. This one was originally created by Stephanie for the SSS card kit gallery. We get letter stickers in almost every monthly kit, but this was the first time I have used mine. I need to create more phrases on my cards like this one. And the tilt of the paper is simple yet a new thing I have been seeing everywhere.
Now it is time to go get married! And it will finally be time to share all of the crafting I have been working on for the big day! Be back soon.
Last month’s Simon Says Stamp May 2014 card kit was all about boys. My favorite part was the Distress Ink mini dauber with a mini ink pad. I used it on the card below with the star stencil. This card was an attempt to replicate Lorraine’s card. I replaced the sneakers with buttons and used a thin piece of cork to stamp the saying. I have had a single piece of cork paper in my stash for years and finally found a use for it. A fun, simple card that I shared with my Happy Mail Card Club and they say the cork is trendy right now. Time to go explore the June kit!