Monday, August 30, 2010

Creative Kids

A wonderful author friend of mine has a daughter who has started making "contraptions" as he says: so young and she's already creative.  I've been sort of obsessed with 2 very different movies: Never Let Me Go, based on the amazing novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (author of The Remains of the Day, also a fantastic book and movie).  I read the former on vacation and it blew me away more than any book I've read in such a long time so I'm so excited that the movie releases next month (movie poster above, trailer below):

The children in the novel have a tragic fate ahead of them, but in the meantime they become prolific at creating art: drawings, paintings, sculptures, poetry and more, which they trade at school sales and for which their caretakers select from to create a gallery of sorts, the meaning of which is not clear until very late in the story.  I was interested that there have been several different covers for the different versions of the book.
And then a very different kind of movie: Children of Invention, featuring two adorable, enterprising kids who try to help out their struggling mother by buying a ton of supplies and getting to work on their creations.

Two very different movies to be sure, but I like how the themes are both about kids who are creating something to improve their situations in life, even though one has more dire consequences than the other.

Oh, and there's still time to enter my knit sushi giveaway, drawing is Labor Day, 9/6, so I need to get working!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sushi 4 Kitties Giveaway!

Yay, my 1st Giveaway!  This kappamaki (cucumber sushi roll) is made of yarn: a knitting pattern by Christen Haden, author of Yummi 'Gurumi and Creepy Cute Crochet.  Her pattern is my very 1st Etsy purchase: the PDF has 16 sushi pieces (including knit wasabi, ginger and decorative grass) and I can't wait to make them all.  But I had to make this one for a quick welcome gift....
[photo by Jenny G.]
for my friend Jenny's newly adopted kitty, what a beauty!  The last time I made gifts for kitties was some Christmas catnip mice and I figured something fishy would be appropriate, especially when I saw this ad: kind of looks like this kitty, right?
I've mentioned that I've always loved the sea, so I've been reading The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson (loved his 1st book: The Secret Life of Lobsters) and as I started looking for craft projects Christen's Etsy page really stood out.  She e-mailed the pattern quickly and the directions are super easy to follow.  Plus, it's a great way to use up some yarn!
If I make all the pieces I'll be using all of these colors, so I'm excited to make more soon. 
You'll need double-pointed needles, a stitch marker, row counter, yarn needle and of course I like my crafty, little scissors.
Each piece is a combination of a few layers, all the better to stuff catnip in!
And then there was packaging: one of my favorite parts...
I didn't have time to knit up the condiments this time, so I used the real thing, added some chopsticks too.

So, to enter the giveaway, all you have to do is:
1) be a follower (thank you!)
2) leave a comment, any ol' comment will do
3) and specify if you'd like your sushi with, or without catnip

And on Labor Day, I'll pick one name randomly (U.S. residents only, please, just for shipping purposes) and you'll receive the next sushi piece I make, packaged similarly to the one I gave Jenny today.  
Good luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010


My family was a little surprised when I brought my own birthday cake to the party they had for me on Sunday, but I just wanted pink frosting from Magnolia Bakery and special candles from Caspari so I thought I might craft my own birthday for a change.
Those paper flowers are from Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts: cut a standard 20" x 30" piece of tissue paper into 12 pieces that are 5" x 10" each.  This will make 3 flowers as each one has 4 layers of tissue.  Stack 4 layers on top of each other and start folding like an accordion fan.
Secure the folded piece in the center with floral wire (I used a fairly bendy 28-gauge wire) and twist.  You can cut the edges in a rounded shape, or into points to vary how the petals will look.  i also added some color to the ends with a pink marker like I did for my Mother's Day corsage.
Then the fun part!  Carefully pull the tissue layers apart and you'll have delicate petals: it's easier to see on a black background, just do one side at a time....
and then you will have a flower with rounded petals.
Or more pointy ones.
I hung them outside from the deck umbrella 
by the pink hydrangea and votives I brought.
And my family loves cheese so I brought Oregonzola (and misspelled it on the marker, oops!), brie with mushroom, smoked gruyere and chevre with herbs and garlic.
We sipped pink lemonade and rose wine by my Mom's lovely flowers and she was even growing tomatoes and strawberries!
It was a lovely pre-celebration, thanks, Mom and Dad!  And since tomorrow is *the* day, we're heading to the beach since it's always been my happy place.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Tiny Gift

This week I had the honor of meeting a very tiny person for the first time.  
His welcome card is strung with a clothesline bearing a t-shirt and bib cut from cotton fabric made a little sturdier with some fabric stiffener, and a tiny bootie knit on #3 needles.
I started this v-neck sweater months ago when his parents told me they were waiting for a special baby and when news of his arrival came I just needed to close up the seams, 
add a little blue merino wool heart,
straighten it out with steam from a warm iron,
and wrap it all up.
He slept in my arms for over an hour and stole my heart when he held my hand.

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