Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Loom action

Ah, holidays. Free time. As sad as I always am that Christmas is over, meaning it's a whole year until it comes again, it is followed by a lovely period of total free time. No social obligations, no gifts to buy/wrap/deliver, no cooking to be done, nothing. Just a pair of pjs, some movies, some books, and lots of crafting and cat cuddling. It's pretty awesome.

I took the time to finally warp my loom! Setting up a weaving project is very daunting. You have to make all your decisions at the start (without really knowing how it'll turn out) and if you find you don't like it when you start weaving, you're kind of out of luck. So, it's easy to procrastinate getting started. Also, it seems very complicated. I have a set of step my step instructions that I've followed on all of my projects so far and it's always worked out, so I did that again.

I started with a pile of amazing yarn - an angora/something blend (I forget), it's stupidly soft. I found it in the form of a men's XL sweater in the thrift store which I unraveled ages ago (oddly satisfying). It's been washed and sitting, waiting for a project worthy of it. I decided it would be perfect for a woven scarf.

Here's the warp being made on my warping board (scored that for $10 at a yard sale, sweet). I added some colour by putting in a few random stripes of blue and purple rayon boucle.

Sleying the reed. (Weaving terminology makes it sound very serious.)

I should mention at this point that I really don't know what I'm doing. Weaving concepts such as sett are still very fuzzy to me... but I proceed anyway.

And everything seems to be working because.... I'm weaving!

This is my view while weaving:

One day, that will be a super soft scarf of awesomeness.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

mmmmm, marshmallows

Wow. I didn't realize that I hadn't posted since October. I might have to rethink my approach to blogging. One of the things I worry about is posting too much, but I think it's safe to say that I could up my frequency. Also, Kalin and Lisa pointed out to me recently that, what do you know, people actually read the blog! So ... hello!

We're coming up on a new year, and though the Christmas season was busy, it's also been a sort of purging, kick in the butt time for me. It forced me to get crafty despite all the distractions that I had let take over my life. I actually pulled out the sewing machine!

Sewing Inside, Snow Outside

Although, one of my favorite gifts that I made had no sewing involved.

Cocoa Kits!

Cocoa Mix w/ Homemade Marshmallows

Oh my goodness. So easy. So yummy. Will make you so obsessed with finding tiny cookie cutters.

Now I know Christmas is on it's way out for this year, but you still have time to whip up some batches for any Jan. 1 polar bear swimmers you may have in your life. It's also great for kidlets who have their birthdays in the cold months.

I got the cocoa recipe from LollyChops. You could go one further and use her gift bag template (which is awesome) but I didn't use it because: 1) I don't have a colour printer 2) I'm pretty obsessed with mason jars right now 3) Maked Megan is home again which has flared up my obsession with packaging.

For the marshmallows I used this Marth Stwart method. But you also have to check out this adorable tutorial. Here are some things to keep in mind when making marshmallows:
-The stuff is STICKY. It will get on anything it touches. BUT it washes away very easily. A little hot water and off it slides.
- I put in a little peppermint extract as well. WIN!
- When I do this again I'm going to spray my spatula with cooking spray. This stuff is STICKY.
-Beware: You really do need a high quality mixer for this. I used my cheapo hand mixer and the white goop makes so much resistance that the mixer went totally kaput. You need you some metal insides to handle this stuff.
- I don't think they mention this in the recipe I linked to, but you'll want to dredge your marshmallows in icing sugar to keep them from sticking together (and make them even yummier).
- Try not to leave these until the very last minute like I did. The marshmallows need to sit for at least 3 hours to set and the dredging takes time too. I was up until 2am finishing. Do as I say, not as I do.

Cocoa Mix w/ Homemade Marshmallows


Monday, December 22, 2008


It is seriously snowing out here. Again. It's like a real Canadian winter, except that no one has winter tires or proper boots. =) But, it means I get to stay snuggled up inside doing happy things, which I'm very happy about.

One thing I did today was package up the soap Peter and I made to give as gifts this year. It's a blend of a pile of oils (we have so many oils in our cupboards) and is quite fabulous. It looks kind of wonky but it's a good hard bar of soap with a great lather and moisturizing properties. It's a cinnamon/clove scent (essential oils) which we like. Here's hoping people l like it!

I'm off to bake cookies!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Odds and Ends

A little list of randomness:

1. Only one week until Christmas. I have all my self-made gifts over 50% done, and the rest of my gifts are almost complete. By the weekend they will be. It's also feeling like Chistmas today. There is almost 2 inches of snow at my house and it's still snowing. The weather people are predicting a white Christmas.

2. I bought a second Blythe. She is a Natasha Moore who I've named Amalina. She is beautiful but I haven't spent much time bonding with her yet. After Chistmas I hope to make some clothes for her. Here she is with georgie:

3. I was working at the yarn store last Saturday. A woman buying yarn had a wallet made by boje designs. Their stuff is absolutely gorgeous.

4. For my birthday (two weeks after Christmas) I always buy myself a gift. This year I am going to buy a namaste bag. They sell them at Urban Yarns as knitting bags but are great big purses. I'm getting the Newport design in Turquoise I think.

5. My next task today is doing up a pdf of the felt flower tutorial I posted a few weeks ago. It will be available later this week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Craft Fair Buy!

Just want to share some of the awesomeness I picked up at the West End Craft fair. I got this adorable little pouch for a friend. It's made of soft grey felt with a bird fashioned from layered ribbon. Totally unique. The silver lining is a perfect contrast to the felt too, a very nice touch.

By WeeWorks (who I can't find online anywhere).

Got Craft Dec 08

This picture in no way conveys the incredible crowds that were packed into the hall for the first hour or two of Got Craft. It was fantastically busy: 1200 people through the door over the course of 7 hours! It was a great way to end the crafty year for us and Maked now has money to do all kinds of crafty things next year! Who knows what we'll get up to!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


We had a busy two weekends! Today was Got Craft - a fabulous event packed full of amazing vendors - I think it's our favorite craft fair. We had a great time again and sold out of a lot of our items! It was really nice to meet so many people who have our sense of humour and style! We're going to try to get what's left up on Etsy and then relax a little, turn our attention to holiday crafting and start brainstorming for next year!

Hopefully that will mean more blog posts! Right now - we're exhausted!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cycling Ankle Cuffs

In the midst of the insanity of our craft fair season (we've got to make some stuff for Got Craft this Sunday because so much sold at the West End fair!).... I'm announcing to the world our newest product!

That's how excited I am about them - I can't wait until the craziness is done to do it calmly, I have to do it NOW. I think they're the PERFECT gift for cyclists, something useful and fun and inexpensive, so I wanted to give people a chance to snag one for christmas!

If you cycle, you may be familiar with these dealies:

The cuffs that you put around your ankle to keep your pants out of your bike chain. Ankle cuffs, pant cuffs, cycling cuffs - whatever you call them.

They're usually neon yellow, which is very good for visibility, but terrible for style. I'm quite confident that the lights and reflectors on my bike keep me visible, I don't need my ankles to shine too, especially since I usually ride during the day. I'd rather have something pretty to keep my pants in check.... so I started making pretty cuffs.

Here's the first one available online in an awesome houndstooth/hot pink fabric combo: