Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free at Last!

I'm out of the braces! Yayayayayay! I'm feeling great and its fantastic to have them off. Unfortunately I still have to take it easy, so the making is still moving at a snails pace. I have worked on a couple of things since the beginning of the month though.

I've finished cutting and laying out Jack's quilt, and have managed to sew a couple of rows together.
I also made a kicking bag for Mason (owner of this Monkey), which I completely forgot to take a picture of. Maybe his Momma will send me one... *hint, hint T*

I made these glasses cases for my folks, commissioned by Jack of course, with "Grandma" and "Grandad" embroidered on the front. I used this tutorial. It was super easy, a great way to use up scraps and a fun and non-intimidating way to learn to do a lining which I had never done before.
Ive also been working slowly on my Christmas knits. Everyone is getting their presents late this year since knitting seems to really aggravate my wrists and thumbs. I've only been managing a few rows a day. But I anticipate relief with a little practice. I couldn't imagine knitting at all at the beginning of the month, so we are definitely making progress.

We had a lovely Christmas morning at home. Jack got loads of pressies and Daddy surprised Momma with the Beabe Babycook. I'll report back as soon as Jack is on solids and let you know how I like it.

We spent the evening with my folks, ate some yummy English food, drank some tasty wine and we were all tuckered out at the end of the evening. It was a lovely day.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to normal. I've got lists and lists of things to try. Happy New Year to you all. I think 2011 is gonna be a very crafty year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ted Allen says I can make vinegar

Since I am breastfeeding we aren't always able to finish a bottle of wine before it goes off. This frustrates the crap out of my thrifty nature. Especially when its a bottle of 2007 Viognier from the Harbinger Winery on the Olympic peninsula. So delicious, so crisp, so lightly sweet... I digress. While flipping through the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I found the perfect solution. Ted Allen of Queer Eye and Chopped fame suggests making your leftover wine into what he calls "the most delicious vinegar you've ever tasted". The most delicious vinegar I've ever tasted? I can totally get behind that.

Oh glorious 2007 Harbinger Viognier and a very tasty Tempranillo you will live again! These jars will be hiding somewhere dark for the next 6 weeks. Ill let you know what happens, hopefully its deliciousness.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sleep and kicking bags

First, Jack slept for 9 blissful hours in a row last night. Lets all take a moment to revel in that... ahhhhh. I feel amazing. Now to the crafting. I made Jack a kicking bag, while wearing these giant braces!

I've been wanting to make a kicking bag ever since I saw Amanda's. Little Jack loves to kick. He loves to kick so much that he often kicks his blankets off and wakes himself from a perfectly good nap. Since knitting is kind out of the question at the moment (see previous post) and stash busting is always in order, I used a cashmere sweater that shrunk in the wash. Yes, I put a cashmere sweater in the machine. I am THAT lazy. But Ive learned my lesson and Jack reaps the benifits. When I was finished it looked a bit plain so I looked around my craft room and noticed this.

Remember my adventures with freezer paper? Well I never acutally got around to sewing them on, and my sweet boy has already grown out of his 0-3 onesies. The kicking bag came together very quickly and easily. I wonder if anyone would be interested in a tutorial...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hangin in there...

So sorry I've been MIA. Momma has finally been diagnosed with dequervain's tendonitis. Which means I'm wearing these.

Which also means I'm not crafting, knitting or sewing and that I'm actually getting sick of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" *gasp*.

I made a couple of hair clips for Kayla and Brenda before I got saddled with these monstrosities, and I started cutting out pieces for Jack's Christmas quilt so it might actually be finished on time. I should be in soft braces in the next week or so and hopefully able to do something other than watch TV (I cant even really read because holding anything is pretty unwieldy, writing this post is taking a billion years).

Here's the lesson. If you are pregnant and your wrists hurt, do not ignore it. If they get worse after your baby is born, really don't ignore it. I could have saved myself weeks of pain had I gone to a hand specialist right away. And I wouldn't have had to scrap most of my handmade Christmas plans. Its not all bad though. I leave you with Jack smiles, which make anything worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wow, I'm a lucky girl

Not only do I get to be this guy's mom (one week old today, yay for you buddy!)
But I've made a new friend! Eric over at Quirk Books, publishers of the super popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and my fave crochet book at the moment Creepy Cute Crochet. He heard how much I was digging Creepy Cute and sent me this!

Winattack right? It's full of awesome baby books, craft books, knitting books and Quirk Classics like Android Karenina. He also sent me Witch Craft, available this Friday, October 1st. I've browsed through it this afternoon and am totally dying to try just about everything in it. Stay tuned for some witchey crafts if I can tear myself away from this delicious morsel for a few moments.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jack Danger is here.

So we left for the hospital at 11 am on the 22nd with this.

And came home on the 23rd with this.

I'll be busy smothering the crap out of this baby over the next couple of weeks. Expect me back with renewed vigor in time for some Halloween awesome. For now, I leave you with a Jack snack. Mmmmmmm... delicious. <3

Thursday, September 16, 2010

38 Weeks

38 weeks today! Momma is increasingly uncomfortable and not sleeping well at all, but overwhelmed with excitement at the imminent arrival of our little Jack. I can't stop smiling. Today is my last day of work. I'll miss my buddies at the office but it will be nice to be able to nap during the day, hopefully catch up on a little of the sleep I'm loosing at night and maybe being home will afford me the energy to finish up the few baby projects I had left on my list.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've slowly completed these baby leg warmers and matching hat. For the legwarmers I just sort of made them up as I went along, I've no idea if they'll fit. For the hat I used Jane Richmonds top down tutorial from Love in the Mommyhood. Ive been wanting to try this for awhile and while I think I ended up going way too big for a newborn (totally my fault) I'm pleased with the results and the tutorial. If you've got a head measurement or the recipient handy to try the hat on, its a fantastic way to knit something to size without swatching. Yay for indulging my laziness!

I've also been trying to come up with goodies to hang from the bars and mobiles that attach to Jack's bassinet and bouncer. I'm not the kind of gal that likes the junk that comes with that stuff... it's so commercial and boring to me. Amigurumi seemed a good solution but since I can't (strike that, couldn't) crochet to save my life I kept putting it off. Last weekend I busted out my copy of Creepy Cute Crochet (thanks Kim, it's about time I know) and made this little skeleton. He is totally lopsided and ridiculous looking but I learned so much in the process that I'm fully confident I could make something much less crappy next time. I've developed a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel in late pregnancy so that project may have to wait till after I deliver, but what a great activity to keep me busy while nursing! The days sure stretch out as we get closer to Jack's due date. I can not wait to meet this baby.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gardening, stash busting and true love.

Finally, something to show for my not very hard work in the garden this summer. A giant zucchini and a large yellow squash! I made 2 loaves of really delicious zucchini bread last week and I've been wanting to make more to freeze as well as to attempt a version including chocolate chips. Yum!

This afternoon I used a disposable nursing pad as a template to make these washable nursing pads. I used some weirdo flannel that was included in a package of fabrics I got for super cheap at the thrift store awhile ago for the fronts. For the backs I used some leftover terry cloth scraps and the sleeves of a robe we were given on the Caribbean cruise we took last winter. Judging by those materials you can see how badly I needed this destashing challenge. Sad. Anyhoo, I now have a large stack of washable nursing pads to wear at home. Yippee!

Lastly, this evening Bruce took me to Cafe Juanita to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. This man is my favorite person in the whole world. He is my best friend and I can not wait to become parents with him. Love you so much Bruce. Happy Anniversary baby!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hats for Jack

I haven't been doing much of anything lately but growing this baby. Bruce has been my handyman extraordinaire, taking on lots of little projects around the house under my careful direction. And I now have everything I wanted done on my list save the purchase of a nursing bra (suggestions welcome) and the stocking of my baby medicine/first aid basket (suggestions welcome there too). I did get a wild hair up my ass last week and decided that Jack was in dire need of more hats. Using up stash bits was an added bonus. Used up part of an old tank top, and 2 different shirt sleeves for the monster and the bottom (cuz I'm lazy and didn't want to sew a hem) of some old PJs for the blue one. I used this as a guide for the smaller hat and the hat Gidget, Mike and Hank got us as a guide for the other. I hope Jack likes them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Shower Goodness

Ive been away. Well not AWAY away, but away from crafty, bakey goodness. Partially because I'm now just 6 weeks from my due date, and I've been really tired, and partially because we've been having a major heat wave here in the Seattle area, and I can't imagine doing much but laying in the bedroom with the portable AC. But I want to post something. So I'll tell you about the lovely baby shower that Brenda and Maren threw for me last weekend. It was a Dia De Los Muertos theme and they executed it beautifully. Brenda made delicious snackies including "Favorite Sandwiches" and the yet-to-be-named provolone, tomato and fresh basil sandwich on a sourdough roll with mayo. They were deliciousso good! Maren was in charge of decorations. She did these paper flowers and baloons as well as felt mustaches on sticks! So freeking fun. Alissa helped out in the kitchen, totally unnecessary but so sweetest. Kayla made some Jackacolladas from scratch so tasty that I almost didn't miss the Rum and all my other girlies showered me with awesome gifts.

Maren made these georgeous and delicious lemon cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and italian buttercream frosting. She even made the sugar skulls! Isn't she talented?!

My buddy Erin here is due only a month after me. On November 2nd she and hubby Ivan will be welcoming their own little boy!

And then of course, after all the guests had left, Brenda and I had to ham it up and make some silly faces.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer skirt

I've had this one bouncing around in my head for some time. Ever since I saw Kate Hudson in this, I've wanted to try my own version. So, in honor of de-stashing, here it is. My preggo summer skirt.

Ive found modesty a bit of an issue in later pregnancy. My belly is so big that I often feel like that fat guy at the comic book store with the bottom of his tummy hanging out of his "han shot first" tshirt, or I find skirts and shorts too short and tight for my growing thighs/tummy and the unladylike way I have to bend over now. I'm thinking this skirt is a pretty good solution. It's long enough that I can bend over any which way I need to without flashing anyone, and its nice and loose and comfy at the waist. I made this one the same way Ive been making all my skirts for the last year or so.
Step 1: Embellish however seems appropriate.
Step 2: Sew a hem if necessary.
Step 3: sew your fabric into a tube.
Step 4: Fold over the top (unhemmed bit) and sew at the edge to form a casing for your elastic, leaving a gap to thread the elastic through.
Step 5: Measure your waist with said elastic by stretching until it is tight enough to hold a skirt up but is still comfy (remember the fabric of the casing will add a little bulk).
Step 6: Thread elastic through the casing using a safety pin or if you are lazy like me, a broach back you found in a jar on your sewing table.
Step 7: Sew edges of elastic together making sure to back stitch a couple of times so its secure.
Step 8: Put on your new skirt and congratulate yourself for being so thrifty and clever!

As you can see, its pretty freeking easy to have a new skirt with a minimal time commitment. It gets faster as you go along as well. This one probably took me an hour because... gasp, I actually ironed the fabric first and I had to sew all these rows of lace on, but I bet once you get this down you could throw one of these puppies together in 15 - 20 minutes. This method scales really well too... its so easy to make one in any size since you aren't using a pattern. Make one for your daughter, bfgirlfriend or doggie. The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Freezer paper FTW!

I finally did it! I finally tried out freezer paper and it looks rad! I had a couple of baby t-shirts and a onesie with graphics on them that I wasn't crazy about, so I decided to make my own. If you haven't used freezer paper before there are a billion tutorials online but I'll give you a quick rundown of how I did mine.

I traced my stencils onto squares of freezer paper, matte side up and then cut them out using an x-acto knife. Then I positioned them on my fabric, in this case an old t-shirt (wanted to use jersey on jersey) and ironed them in place using the driest, hottest setting. Place the iron straight down onto the paper, moving it around as you do when ironing clothing might slide the paper out of place.

Paint right into the stencils with fabric paint. I think I got mine at Michaels. Make sure to work it into the fabric, but do it carefully, you don't want the paint to bleed past the edges of the stencil. Let the paint dry. While you do that, snap a couple pictures of contented kitties.

Once the paint is dry (I waited a couple of hours, but you could probably read the instructions on your fabric paint for the proper time), carefully peel back the freezer paper. You may need to bust out that x-acto knife again to help with the itty bits. I'm pretty sure you are supposed to throw it in the dryer to get the paint to set before washing but since I haven't figured exactly which designs are going where just yet I haven't done this step. Now lay everything out and admire your handiwork. I LOVE the way these came out. I was worried about the cutting out bit but it really wasnt bad. If I can do it, you can do it. Now, you too should go forth and stencil something.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Destashing? Well, sort of...

So Ive been a bit naughty... already. I know, I know, I feel really guilty, Ive just been so busy being pregnant and tired. I did finish a huge pile of mending though (theres 8 flipping pairs of pants in there people). See and I used 2 pieces of my stash for patches so I'm totally counting that for last week.

I also made these baby shoes from stash fabric. But I made them 2 weekends ago so I'm not allowing myself to count them. I like the way they came out. In true McCoyalicious fashion I went ahead and altered them as I went along which often yields less than desirable results. They were supposed to look like little Chuck Taylors and they kind of look like, well not like little Chucks. I would recommend this pattern though, fun and easy to use I finished these in an afternoon even with a couple of hours of visiting thrown in. Now, back to the stash. I'm really going to try to squeeze out an apron this weekend, but I did just find a great idea for granny squares that I'm dying to try...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Its about time...

For de-stashing.


I saw this post at The Train To Crazy and I'm jumping on board. I have so much fabric/old tshirts/pants that don't fit/ripped sheets that are literally taking over my craft room. Poor Bruce... its a craft room now, barely room for the computer. So I'm on board for the big destash. I don't know if I can do 50% but I'm definitely committing to 25% before I buy any more fabric. Oof... I guess I'd better get going. My plan is to do at least one stash project per week. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I finally did it! I don't even know how long this pink tshirt from forever 21 was hanging from the light fixture in my craft room (originally put in such an awkward place in a failed attempt to get me to move forward on my vision for it sooner rather than later). But here she is and I couldn't be more pleased. All it took was Mae coming over, several cups of half/caf coffee and an over indulgence of home made pumpkin scones. Mmmm pumpkin scones. I digress, back to the shirt!

I used this tutorial from Lex that Ive been drooling over forever (isn't she amazing?) and modified it to fit the materials I had on hand. I used an ill fitting old navy tshirt for the flowery bits and collar. I'm so pleased with how this came out. I'm almost inspired to tackle the blue version of the same tshirt which is now occupying most of the space on my dining room table. See, if its all spread out, perhaps Ill get to it sooner... we've been down this road before haven't we?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Busy with Baby Stuff

As you can see the belly is growing. I'm still tired, but I got tired of being tired and have forced myself to get back into a crafty groove albeit not as prolificly (thats a word right?) as I would like. I have managed to make a few things on my list for Jack. The first is the LOOP baby toy from Ravelry. I keep reading that little babies like high contrast stuff so I did up the main ring in black and white and the smaller ones in red and gray. Hopefully it will be something texturally and visually interesting for Jack to enjoy right away. To be honest, I have no idea what newborns are interested in so I guess we'll just have to see what he thinks.

Ive also finished the baby sophisticate finally. It was sitting around waiting for buttons FOREVER and I got sick of it mocking me. I also made this bunny from the pattern I found here. I HIGHLY recommend this one. Its super fun to make, quick, easy and oh so satisfying. I stuffed a couple of jingle bells into the body to make it a little more interesting for Jack. Bruce has been calling it "Jack Rabbit". So cute.

I also found time last night to make this coffee cake. I found out half way into mixing that the applesauce in my fridge had gone bad (sad face, why can I never use that stuff up fast enough) so I subbed in canned pumpkin and it was delicious. Ive had 4 pieces already and intend to eat several more this evening. Delish!