Sunday, February 16, 2014

Books and Dolls

My two favorite hobbies are reading and crafting. If I'm not doing one I am usually doing the other. Last month I came across an article about the 16 books to read before they hit theaters this year. Most of them held no interest to me but one did peek my interest...Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I started reading about vampires back when Ann Rice first started writing about them. Richelle Mead has a writing style that I enjoy. She brings you into the world at a nice pace. Not too slow so that you get bored and have to force yourself to keep reading and not so fast that you don't get the chance to figure a few things out yourself. I enjoyed reading the six books in the VA series so much that I moved onto the spin off series Bloodlines and managed to read all four books in that series. Now I have to wait until July to read the next book in the series. One of the great things about coming to a series late is that all or most of the books are out in print so there is little to no waiting for the next book.

Since I read 10 books in the last four or so weeks I really haven't gotten much else done. I have been working on an order of 7 dolls for a little girls birthday in July. These have been taking me awhile because I get easily bored and sidetracked when I am making the same things over and over.

I am using the BB dolls pattern by Vanja Grundmann but I changed the head so it looks a bit more like the Lalaloopsie dolls that the birthday girl loves. I decided to make all the dolls at once. I made all the heads, then the arms and then the dresses, etc. Not sure if this was a good way or not but I'm finally at the sewing the pieces together part. I've been working on these for a couple weeks and it's good to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course the last part is always the hardest for me...the faces. I have the hardest time getting everything all even and having an expression that doesn't look like they were attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Maybe I should just make zombie dolls since their faces look like they have been ripped off.  This is a fun pattern though. I like how the legs and body are made from the feet up and how the dresses fit over the neck without actually being part of the body.

Just in case you think I can't count to seven, this is my test model. She still needs a ribbon in her hair and some pink felt cheeks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A bit of yarn shopping

 I've been doing a little bit of yarn shopping this week.

I've received a few orders this month so I needed to stock up on some colors.

I also finished this Beachcomber's Cowl in Sage green and black. This went out to friend in Texas who has been having some very cold weather lately and needed something to keep out the cold wind.

Miss Mocha has decided that it is toasty warm under Momma's quilt. Sometimes it is a bit too warm and she pokes her head or paw out.

Miss Whiskers just wonders when am I going to start sewing again? She loves to help me with my fabric scraps. Soon Whiskers, soon.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Robin's Needful Things

 I joined a new swap. I haven't joined any swaps in a couple years and I kind of miss them. Sometimes they can be stressful but mostly they are fun. This time it is a secret swap so we have been asked to post some needful things.


I will always need my family. I'm always wishing for a day to myself with an empty house but when the rare occasion comes along I spend most of the day missing my kids.

I need hugs from my family. I wasn't raised in a touchy feely kind of family so it took me a long time before I realized that I like to be hugged and touched throughout the day. Brightens my mood instantly when one of the kids gives me a great big bear hug and since the boys are both taller than me it is definitely a bear hug.

I need funky mismatched socks because life is too short to wear boring matching socks. I love the thrill of knowing that under my simple jeans I have a pair of crazy colored socks on. Plus, when other people see my fun socks it brings a smile to their face too.

I need jelly beans! Year round too not just for Easter. I  look forward to Easter every year simply because there would be jelly beans. Most kids I knew did not like them so I would always swap one of my candies for their jelly beans.

I need fun and funky pincushions. I like to switch between different pincushions. I also like to line them up on a shelf and let them brighten my sewing area. There are never enough pincushions.

I need lots of scissors. I use all different sizes of scissors. I like to have lots of small scissors so I can keep a pair in all of my project bags.

I need needle and scissor keepers. I was given a scissor keeper made from this pattern a couple years ago and it is my favorite. I can keep a pair of scissors, a few needles and a thimble all in one spot. I am forever misplacing things.

I need thimbles. I've always had a fascination with thimbles ever since I found them in my Grandmother's button box when I was little. I've tried many different styles (and colors) but I found that I like the leather ones the best. I like that they are flexible and fit my fingers better than the metal or plastic ones.

I need organization. I haven't always been good at organizing but I am slowly getting better. I've fallen in love with little containers especially the see thru style. I keep them under the sinks, in the craft room, the living room, the kid's rooms, anywhere and everywhere. It is so much easier to find what you need (especially in a pack rat's house) when things are organized.

I need to create. I love to knit especially shawls, cowls and socks. I enjoy crocheting stuffed animals. Working on a hand embroidery project brings me a calming peace. Working on some EPP hexagons always brings a smile to my face.

I need craft supplies. Of course with all the creating I need supplies for those projects. I love soft and colorful yarn. I've been really drawn to fun and funky sock yarn lately. Watching the different colors and patterns form while knitting socks is just as fascinating now as it was with my first pair of socks. I love bright colored fabric especially when paired with black in a quilt.

I need the sunshine. Living in Florida I see lots of sunshine. Of course for us the Winter has beautiful days that aren't all hot and humid like in the Summer. I like to sit outside on a nice day and enjoy the sun and the birds. Planting flowers and watching them grow brings a smile to my face.

I need to fairies and gnomes and leprechauns and smurfs. Mother Nature, tree nymphs, and wood spirits.

I need to be wrapped in bubblewrap lol. I am the clumsiest person in my family. I bump into walls, trip over air and find new ways to injure myself almost daily. No one is ever surprised to see a bruise or cut on my legs or arms. I hoped I would outgrow it but at 45 I don't think that is ever going to happen.

I need to learn how to can foods. On facebook and blogs I am always seeing beautiful jars of fruits, veggies, and jams. I know it's alot of work and that's not what has been keeping me from trying it. I keep seeing all these warnings about doing it properly so you don't poison your family and that's what makes me a bit hesitant. I sure don't want to give anyone food poisoning! Canning isn't popular down in this area because we have fresh fruits and vegetables year round so there are no classes available. Eventually I will learn the proper way to can.

I need to read. I've always loved reading even as a child. When I find a book I enjoy I devour it. I tend to read non stop until it is finished. I sneak in reading time anywhere I can find it. While eating, brushing my teeth, when I am supposed to be doing chores, I've even been known to read while walking around the house. All those little bits of time add up. That's why I can read a 600 page book in a day or two, plus I tend to read fast. I read a variety of things but I enjoy mysteries, vampires ( I was reading about them before Interview with a Vampire came out and definitely way, way before Twilight made them popular), history books (especially about Lincoln), most anything from around King Arthur's time and knights in general. I've read several series that had a crafting theme (like knitting or needlework or quilting). I really enjoy series. I get sucked into a characters life and like following them from book to book. Sometimes I just walk around the library looking for book series and then try something new. As long as it isn't a western or love story I'll give it a try. When it comes to the big controversy between which is better a kindle or a real book I'm fine with either. I do prefer a kindle simply because it is more compact and I can carry several books in my purse without all the weight. I do like how easy it to flip towards the end of a regular book to see if a character dies etc. Unless there's a trick I don't know it is a pain to try to flip forward several pages on a kindle.

I need to bake. I love baking cookies, muffins, pies, bread, cupcakes. etc. I find it fun and enjoyable trying new recipes and ideas. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. We either end up with a yummy treat or a big laugh at the funky looking blob that came out of the oven. To go with this theme I also need all those little gadgets that go with baking - measuring cups and spoons, egg slicers, those small appliances that make cupcakes, pop tarts and brownies, etc.

I need little coin purses and small bags. It might sound like a strange thing to collect but I like to change things out regularly. I love fun and funky (noticing a theme here?) little coin bags. It's like a bit of sunshine and laughter in my purse. I get lots of smiles when I am at the register.  Right now I am using a mini knit glove but it is about time to change it up again. Maybe some skulls, or hearts or just some bright neon colors?

What do you need?