Crocheting For The Kid Inside Me…Literally

As an aunt 7 times now, I’ve crocheted a baby blanket for every niece or nephew – and several for friends’ kiddos as well. So I’m finding it both incredibly fun and incredibly surreal to make one now for my own little miracle, developing in my belly! We’re encouraging lavender over pink (like we’re going to have any choice in the matter once Baby O. decides for herself). I’m about half way done with the blanket and I also tried my hand at a newborn hat, using the pattern found here. Turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself, and I can’t wait to see it on Baby O.’s little head.

VRO Hat

VRO Blanket

Christmas Joy & Pillows

I’m feeling especially Christmasy this year! For a lot of reasons: the dancing baby in my belly which gives me a special connection to Mary & Elizabeth, main ‘players’ in the Christmas story; the burdens that have been recently lifted from Patrick & my shoulders as he moves into the last phase of his PhD program & the resulting freedom we’re feeling as we watch God work out our future; the reflections back on a truly incredible year of life, one of our/my best yet!

As a crafter, this joy has spilled out into a renewed creativity & a burgeoning desire to express it through things I make with my hands, as well as an urge to decorate (I think this is early signs of nesting, too :-D) which has (as Patrick will attest) largely been absent from me for the entirety of our marriage thus far.

And so, on one creative front, a couple of pillows I made this year: one for my mom to go with her silver and gold Christmas decor and one for us, since I love gingerbread men. For both designs, I used cross-stitch patterns from this book, All Thru The House by Leisure Arts, which has a lot of pretty patterns in it. I got the fabrics from JoAnn’s & made up the patterns as I went; I first made the Joy pillow with a sort-of quilted front, which was more complicated than it was worth – so for the Gingerbread Men pillow, I just cut a hole in a square for the front to insert the cross-stitch design, and that was much quicker & still turned out nice. Happy to give more detailed instructions to anyone who’s interested.

Joy Pillow

Really liked this sparkly ‘Bethelehem Star’ fabric!
Star Fabric

I blended one strand of the sparkly gold DMC floss into the other colors for the “Joy” – and then just winged the zigzag around the edge using a couple strands of the floss.
Joy Close Up

Also loved this polka dot fabric!
GBM Pillow

GBM Close Up

Vera’s Baby Shower Invitations

The newest Gustafson is on his way! My brother & his wife are having a boy due in early November & the Gustafson ladies are throwing her a shower. Though I’m in another state, I’m hoping to attend via the wonders of modern technology (Skype, that is).

Using light blue & white cards from Paper Source’s wonderful 50% off shelf (love that shelf!), I made these for the party.

Vera Baby Front

Vera Baby Inside

50th Birthday Card

A card I designed for a friend who recently turned 50. Papers by Hot Off The Press.

50 Card

returning guest artist Emily Blair: daughter’s first birthday invitation

My sister Emily’s little girl Beatrix, who’ve both been previously mentioned on this blog, turned one on St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s the adorable invitation that Emily designed for her party.

Green Envelope

Green Front

Green Back

catching up & tangles

Hello, creative friends! So it seems that my imagination has been quite dim for many, many weeks now. It hasn’t really – just my relating any of it to this blog. Here’s to an attempt at revival!

Since I last wrote, the crocheted hats were delivered by Mindy to people who needed them, I designed & made for sale a set of Christmas cards for 2010, we had multiple Christmases in California and Oregon, and we returned to Pasadena, where I’ve spent the last two months mostly sick – first, three weeks of a cold and then three weeks of what the doctor said was mild pneumonia. Ugh, to say the least.

But now I’m back – out of bed at last – and brimming with ideas. I wanted to share one other thing that I’ve been up to in the creative realms: I’ve been doodling in staff meetings, as my co-workers can attest, after reading a book sent to me by my amazingly artistic friend Becky last fall called Totally Tangled. Check it out on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Totally-Tangled-Sandy-Steen-Bartholomew/dp/1574216716/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299202443&sr=8-1

As Becky said when she sent it, the cover’s a bit scary, but don’t be deceived: the inside is quite fascinating. It’s an instruction manual of sorts on a method of doodling where you replicate patterns that you see around you (or from the book), and combine them together for a very unique outcome, all the while finding an artistic focus. Or, for me so far, an ability to focus, remain calm, and not get agitated in work meetings.

Here are a few of my tangles:

Tangle 1

Tangle 2

Tangle 3

Tangle 4

I find them quite entertaining and I find the process to be really informative. Usually when I am just starting one and only have a couple sections done, I don’t like at all what I see, but then as it fills out and I see it as a whole, I’m always rather surprised at how much I like the result.

I know there’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere ;-).

More craftiness to be posted here soon. I hope.

Operation Warm Hats for Cold Heads: Part Quatre

I’m a little late in posting this, but I am overjoyed to report that the hats did indeed make their way to Mindy in Germany! She will be leaving on November 18th for Romania, where she will distribute the hats to those in need of them!

Here she is with the hats!

Mindy with hats

it’s a boy: baby shower decorations & card

Last week at my office we had a baby shower for one of our co-workers. The decorations were a collaborative idea, which I think turned out really cute. Since the expectant couple had asked for clothes, we wrapped all the gifts and hung them on clothesline that we had strung across cubicles, intermingled with quotes & verses & cartoons & pictures related to parenthood, baby boys, etc.

Shower 1

Shower 2

Shower 3

Shower 4

Also, a card I made for the event, using–as always–papers by Hot Off The Press:

Shower Card

Operation Warm Hats for Cold Heads: Part Trois

This afternoon, I shipped this large box to Germany, where my friend Mindy lives, containing all 79 of the crocheted hats! I was able to send them for even less than I anticipated and was so thankful for the help of the young woman that works at our Fuller campus post office! Thanks to those who prayed for grace – it was present! Please pray that it travels safely over the ocean to Mindy’s doorstep! For those interested in who will be receiving the hats, please visit www.mindyboyd.com and watch the Romania/Moldova videos!

box of hats

congrats card

And now for more from the card department: A card to say “Congratulations!” in which I used one of my favorite card tools on earth: foam tape! This gave the typewriter key letters a 3D effect. And, for the record, I’m not a huge fan of shortening the word congratulations…but, as you’ll see, congrats was all I could fit :). (As always, papers by Hot Off The Press.)

Congrats Card

Crazy about the foam tape!

3D View