I don’t know about you, but my motivation and creativity haven’t been gray these past few months. Craft-wise, I’ve only really felt like working on my granny square blanket. The focus on only one project has paid off, because I have all the squares crocheted together!
I’m pleased with it, but I could have taken more time to arrange the squares to even out the colors a bit, and I wish I’d had some brighter greens to use.
Last night I started the border, and it really ties it together nicely!
Aside from this mega project, I keep myself busy in the garden and in the kitchen. I’ve canned pickles, jam, and relish so far. In the garden, my cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and flowers are flourishing. Peppers and eggplants are also looking good!
The kids and I have also been exploring outdoor swimming options around Portland- we’ve found some really fantastic places where we can distance ourselves from others and have a great time.
Yesterday a friend mentioned that she and her daughter might attend the Moana singalong today at the Castro Theater. I thought that sounded pretty great, so after dinner last night, I got to work on outfits for me and the kids. I managed to make everything from materials I had in my craft supplies, etc. I didn’t spend a penny!
I started with Moana’s flower crown. I cut leaves and flowers, hot-glued them into some elastic, and added details with puffy paint.
Next was Moana’s top and belt. I trimmed and hemmed a red scarf (left over from our Dr. Who Halloween!). Then I painted the prints and sewed beads on to stand in for the shells.
First I sewed Velcro along the back edges, but it was too saggy so I inserted elastic into the top casing. The skirt is a white scarf from Goodwill- it had been intended for a costume in the past but we had ended up not needing it. Lucky!
The Boy was going to be Maui, and I sewed him a leaf skirt last night, but he changed his mind to be Hei Hei. O-kaaaaay, so I improvised his costume with felt, elastic, hot glue, and face paint. The head piece was the most challenging part, but I ended up using a stiff piece of felt, curved the bottom to match the curve of his head, and sewed it onto a piece of elastic. I cut out chicken feet and talons and pinned them onto his jeans. There were very few Hei Heis at the singalong, so he got plenty of attention.
I tried to channel Moana’s grandmother with her hairstyle and basic fashion, with a flower made of felt and a sarong I bought in Bali years ago.
Today the new Batman Lego movie came out, and as the Wee Boy is a huuuuuuge fan, we decided to go see it right away! I didn’t think ahead about preparing something fun to wear for it, but luckily I had felt and about 30 minutes.
I found this pattern online- http://athousandphases.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/make-your-own-batman-mask.html but instead of craft foam, I machine-sewed together two layers of craft felt, because that’s what I had on hand. It worked just fine- the ears stand up and because I did edge stitching, it should hold up okay. I made one mask per kid. Also- I enlarged the template about 160%, if I remember correctly. Black elastic would have been cooler, but again, I happened to have white, so it had to suffice.
The Boy wore all the Batman gear he could come up with, then I added the cape (from his Darth Vader costume two Halloweens ago). He looks serious here, but he had the best time!
The movie was good! I’ll confess, though, that after waking up at 6:30, food and kid prep, morning school traffic duty, school drop-offs, my weekly volunteer gig, school pickups, grocery shopping, last-minute crafting, etc., I was pretty tired and actually slept on and off for a while during the middle.
Shhh, don’t tell the kids, and also please cross your fingers that they don’t ask me too many questions about the movie… 😉
We spent another good chunk of the weekend in golden gate park today- exploring, climbing trees, burning off excess energy…
these kids will climb anything!
these workout stations are great for energetic kids!
And I squeezed in a bit of UFO knitting. Poor Trillian has gotten very little attention, due to 1) more exciting projects and 2) carpal tunnel. #2 is really the bigger cause, because the smallish size 4 needles tend to hurt me more than, say, a size 8, and I can only do a row or two at a time. Slow going!!
But a row or two is something, anyway.
A few highlights from our last day or so in Tahoe:
Reading the funnies:
hubby turned 50 during this trip! some of us were too busy with preparations to realize it…
The cold never bothered him anyway.
So. Many. Snowball fights!
they waited so patiently for me to throw my sbowball at the tree above them. mwahahahaha!
we talked about not throwing sniwballs at close range, but the message did not sink in.
One last outing to go sledding- this time to last year’s favorite- Mt Rose.
On the way home we stopped at my husband’s brother and sister-in-law’s house in Sacramento, and we met their new dog! It might sound goofy, but letting this sweetie was one of the highlights of our spring break!
Aside from heating issues in the cabin, we had a pretty good time. For me, the most fun was pelting my family with snowballs, and I worry a bit about what that says about me. 😜
I only knitted a few rows the entire time we were gone, a big contrast from last year when I knitted my mini mania scarf in Tahoe. It doesn’t feel like my carpal tunnel issue exactly, so I wonder if I made too many snowballs for my age. 😔
Tonight I put the last finishing touches on my big secret project that’s taken…. I don’t even remember how long. But it feels like a pretty long time, because since the Wee Boy stopped napping, I’ve only been able to work on it here and there- it’s not portable, and it takes quite a bit of time and space to work on.
Anyway, here it is!
This is a pattern to make a Princess Bride-themed Quiet Book. In case you’re unfamiliar with quiet books, they’re basically felt/cloth activity books meant for kids to play with. A lot of times they’re meant to be somewhat educational, but in this case, this has been my #1 favorite movie since I was 15 or so, and I’ve been super excited to make it into something fun for kids, so it’s purely for entertainment value!
I started out with obvious ideas for activity pages, sketched them out, then made more detailed drawings and instructions. Once all the pages were designed (the quick part!), I started writing the pattern at the same time as I followed my own instructions and made the pages myself.
The pages that I expected to be super fiddly, surprisingly, weren’t! Making this book really isn’t that much work if you have some good periods of time and it’s even better if you don’t have to put everything away after a crafting session as I do (my craft room is the kitchen table). I even added instructions on shortcuts for those who are less crafty but perhaps love this movie enough to make the quiet book for someone special.
Unfortunately, I can’t share with you photos of the other activity pages because of the same photo-uploading glitch I’ve been experiencing here on WordPress lately. The sneak peek on Etsy will have to suffice for now. I’ll share when I can!!!