Sunday, October 30, 2011


my niece's birthday was on friday and we are going to celebrate today prior to Trick-or-Treating. she likes to do crafty things so i knew i had to make her something [and quick, since i always wait til the last minute :)]. i used a free Knook Piggy Pattern created by Amy Gaines, added my own touches and decided to make it into a money holder by adding a pocket. here are the results...

she's not perfect, that's for sure, but i know my niece will love it and that's all that really matters, right?

everyone having a wonderful weekend?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[des moines, iowa] american pickers...

or that's what my mom and i like to call ourselves :) can't really call ourselves the iowan pickers since the American Pickers guys are from iowa too...

in the last year, we've been lucky to have two friends of my parents connect us to others looking to have someone help them with a loved one's belongings. ultimately they are looking to sell whatever they can and we are looking to buy whatever interests us. but it's also rewarding to guide them on how and where to go to take care of what we're not wanting to buy and they seem appreciative for the help. a third time, my awesome friend Stephanie, called me and said that her parents were sitting at her house with a truck full of goodies they were looking to sell cheap...i was over to her house in under 10 minutes!

we've also been lucky that there has been really awesome finds at these picks! the one last month was just in time for the Valley Junction Antique Jamboree and the June Market Day. here's less than a fourth of what we brought home in June :

and here are pictures from the Antique Jamboree that include items from all of our picks [and then some]:
we make a good team, my mom and i! we have very similar tastes but with some variation...she knows a lot about depression glass, figurines and such and i love vintage kitchen and pottery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

i'm a guest

Sarah of sarahndipities has welcomed the new arrival of her sweet daughter and she has kindly allowed me to share my doily bowl tutorial over at her blog while she takes care of her growing family. so, if you're so inclined, you can check it out here...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

giving you the bird

the iowa state bird, the goldfinch, that is...

do you see him? i love spotting these little birds as their yellow feathers are so very bright and beautiful. one day earlier this spring, that cherry blossom tree was full of chirps and probably 8 - 10 pairs of goldfinches. they would constantly fly in and out and they don't sit still long, so i'm lucky to have captured them in focus at all. 

[a sad/funny/one-in-a-million chance story including an iowa goldfinch and rob lowe, the actor... a few years ago rob lowe came to des moines to play in the pro-am golf tournament associated with the Principal Charity Classic- a senior pga event. during that tournament, rob lowe hit a golf ball which then collided with a goldfinch, our state bird, in flight! unfortunately, the poor creature flew no more :(
but rob lowe did survive the aftermath in the media and as the butt of many a local joke, which probably much to his relief, did not include a certain videotape scandal... :) ]

here's another goldie -or maybe it's the same one- in a different tree:


for being in an urban setting, there is a lot of bird activity around my house. here's a female cardinal sitting on our roof:


and her fella in his brightest red feathers in our back yard


we also have nuthatches, house & purple finches, sparrows [pests!], robins, blue jays, hawks and more. you can always tell when a hawk is soaring above- all of a sudden, all of the birds in the hood go silent and it gets eerily quiet. 

what kind of birds flutter around your neighborhood?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

pinterest has my interest

i love pinterest! there are so many wonderful things to see and the 'Pin It' widget I put at the top of my Firefox browser window makes it sooo easy for me to mark things as i read through my blog roll. this is one of my favorite pins- a vintage mill used as a planter:

feel free to check out my pin boards here and if you have pinterest, leave your link in the comments as i would love to see your pins... or you can follow me and i'll follow you. and if you don't have [but want] pinterest, leave me a comment letting me know you would like an invite to join- i have six to send out ...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

busy, busy bee

has it has been a busy month! the month of may was filled with:

high school soccer games

high school prom

driving golf balls

a weekend get-away to the Amanas [more on this in a separate post]

crafting wherever time allows

and the first Market Day of 2011
via Market Day
i would love to hear what you all have been up to... enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


wow! i can't believe that one of my projects was included on whipup's flickr pool post...i LOVE whipup! so many wonderful projects in one place. thanks, kathreen!!

via whipup

Sunday, May 8, 2011

to all who 'mother'

i typed in 'definition of mother' in google search and at the very top of the results was this definition of the word in it's verb form...


Verb: Bring up (a child) with care and affection: "the art of mothering".

i like this definition best. why? it's the most base and simplest form, there's no gender or blood line boundary set by it and i easily converted it to a noun...



Noun: One who brings up (a child) with care and affection.

the beauty of the definition above is that a 'mother' doesn't have to be female, one child can have many [every child deserves to have at least one mother!] and the requirements to be one are clear and can be simply done.

so Happy Mother's Day to all who who raise children with care and affection!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

H is for hook

this is my most favoritest hook in my little crochet world...

i inherited this and a bunch of others from my grandma. she kept them in this old olive jar... [hubby surprised me by putting the daffodil in the jar on easter morning]

there's all sorts of colors, sizes, and types in that jar- plastic, steel, aluminum and size 12 through P. but whenever the pattern warrants a G, H, or I hook, i always reach for the bright blue aluminum 'H'. she's served me well and has been called up to service once again...

we'll be making squares as we hook along with Melissa @ Hooked on Handmade during her CAL

she's even selected 30 square patterns to use- one for each day. how much easier could it be?! if you're interested in joining us, click the image above to get all of the details...i just know it's going to be a whole lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

must do

ack! have you seen this? i reaaallly want to try to make one of these....

but i'm definitely NOT going to be crocheting the doilies myself- not if i want to get it done in this decade ;)

you can find the tutorial @ Dos Family [found via crafterholic

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


psst...i'm having a super dee duper giveaway of goodies handmade by yours truly over at Wild Olive

and not only that, but there is a full day's worth of great tutorials and generous giveaways from Mollie's other sponsors. you really should check it all out!

Friday, April 22, 2011


a couple of weeks back, Liane from enhabiten posted on her blog that she was selling bundles of joy- i mean vintage fabric- as part of her studio destash. and of course, i couldn't resist taking a look. i mean it all has to be fabulous, right?! just look at this beauty
source: enhabiten

and, of course, when i looked it was all fabulous and then i couldn't resist the big orange BUY button.

and this is what arrived in my mailbox... a box with a lovely typed note

on top of two bundles of fabrics in shades of blue

the top bundle is smaller cuts

with this one being my favorite out of the group

and the bottom bundle is larger pieces

with this vintage beauty being what drew me to the listing in the first place
i'm really hoping that Liane sent some of her creative vibes along with the fabric.

any suggestions on what i should make with the red, white and aqua piece?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


i joined a ravelry group in january called Dishcloths R Us and they have monthly swaps- just a dishcloth, knitted or crocheted, and a postcard from your area are to be sent... easy peasy and minimal time commitment. i have to say it's been a lot of fun!

in february, my swap partner was PaulaE, from the UK. her profile said she likes the colors purple and green so i hooked up and sent off this:
 and received in return this knitted beauty:

i signed up for march too and this time was paired up with Michele from Maine. this time i thought i would challenge myself to knitting a dishcloth in a pattern not written up by someone else. this is the result:
i have a pink sweater vest that has this knitted diamond pattern on it and used it as the basis. it was easier than i thought it would be to stitch it up, however i used needles twice as big as i should have so i ended up with a rectangle the size of a dishtowel. since the group was not named Dishtowels R Us, i decided to fold it in half, single crochet around the three sides and add a loop. i love the texture [and the color of course]! i have to say though, it took waaaayy longer to make than if i had crocheted one, but once the challenge has been made, there's no going back! [by the way, would anyone be interested in a tute for the diamond dishcloth?]

Michele sent me this fantastic dishcloth:
i just love the pattern and will have to see if i can find it on know, to add to all the other thousands of patterns in my favorites :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

granny egg tutorial

easter has snuck up on me with the stealth of a ninja and i figured i should get out a few decorations, but when i went through what i already had, i thought 'meh, i'm not really into so much pastel anymore'. so what to do, what to do... 

well, i had to go to hobby lobby for a few things for my son's school project and thought i would take a look to see what they had in their easter aisles. i came across ceramic eggs in a cream color and immediately thought 'i will grannify you eggs!' [yeah, i doubt grannify is a real word too]. i walked out with as eight eggs, paper grass and pipe cleaner chicks and ended up with these:

i made the up the granny eggs as i went and am excited to share the process with you guys. i know easter is less than one week away but these hook up really fast! you could even do this over plastic eggs you have laying around the house...

Supplies [chick not required]:

*i used creme de la creme yarn and an 'F' hook OR cotton crochet thread and a 'D' hook, but this can vary depending on the size of your egg

Stitches [US terms]:
magic ring= great tutorial here [use through step 3]
sl st = slip stitch
sp = space
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
granny stitch = 3dc, ch1 [i doubt this stitch is in any book, it's just what i call it :) ]
granny increase = ch3, 1dc in same space, ch1, 2dc in same space, ch1

Round 1: in magic ring, ch3, 2dc, ch1, 4 granny stitches, sl st in top of ch3; before pulling yarn end tight to close the hole, feed it through hole to the right side

Round 2: sl st in next 2dc and ch1 sp, granny increase, *granny stitch in next ch1 sp* four times, sl st in top of ch3

Round 3: sl st in next dc and ch1 sp, ch3, 2dc in same sp, ch1, *granny in next ch1 sp* five times, sl st in top of ch3

Round 4: sl st in next 2dc and ch1 sp, ch3, 2dc in same sp, ch1, *granny in next ch1 sp* five times, sl st in top of ch3

Round 5: sl st in next 2dc and ch1 sp, ch3, 2dc in same sp, *3dc in next ch1 sp* five times, insert egg into cup you've created, sl st in top of ch3; from this point you are working in the round with the egg inserted

Round 6: repeat Round 5, minus the egg insertion

Round 7: sl st in next 2dc and ch1 sp, ch3, 1dc in same sp, ch1, *2dc, ch1 in next ch1 sp* five times, sl st in top of ch3

Round 8: sl st in next dc and ch1 space, ch1, sc in same space, sc in next ch1 sp 5 times pulling yarn tight around the small end of the egg, sl st in first sc of round; fasten off; weave in ends

the pattern as written above is for the thicker yarn and bigger hook [fuschia and yellow eggs in picture above]. the white, red and pink eggs made with the crochet thread required an extra granny increase row in the beginning and an extra row of 3dc w/o ch1 in between [like Round 5 above]. the pattern is truly customizable to your egg, yarn and personal preferences. 

another feature you could add would be a chain loop to hang your egg with, like this one:

please let me know if you have any questions or find any errors... enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


well, it appears i've been away for longer than i thought! my daytime job has been kicking my a+double dollar signs...i should call it my day, night, and weekend time job. but, there is light at the end of the tunnel and the craziness should be over by the first week in may. and it cannot come soon enough! i miss writing, crafting, surfing [the web kind, of course] and spending time with my family.

but i have found some time today to touch base and write up some posts to share what i have been able to do with any spare seconds from the last couple of weeks or when i just needed a sanity check!

like this, for example:

i was looking through my adhesive bin for glue for my son the other day and came across a bottle fabric stiffener that has been in there i don't know how long. i thought 'i want to make a doily bowl' and so, i did! 

i crocheted the minty green doily, put the stiffener in a plastic container with water, dunked and soaked the doily and molded it around a pyrex mixing bowl. and when i got up this morning, voila, it was a pretty bowl. just stiff enough but not too hard or crunchy. i was worried that with sitting and age, the stiffener might have lost it's effectiveness but i'm really pleased with the results!

these are super simple and fun to make! i think i might make some up in other non-traditional colors and various sizes to use in displays and sell at Market Day [which is another reason i can't wait to be done with this big project at work...i need to get ready for the first show of the season on May 28th!].

i would love to hear what you all have been up to in the last two weeks!

**update: found 'Crowns Surround' pattern by Cille Heckenbach on Ravelry but i did not stitch the last round in the pattern

Friday, April 1, 2011


i just cannot get away from aqua! first it was orange and aqua- now red and aqua. here's some of my recent etsy items...
1. Kitchen-Mid Century Modern Print by handz
2. Vintage General Electric Hand Mixer by AlexisBrookeLane
3. Upcycled Girls Dress by SewnNatural [if i only had a girl]
4. Lovebirds Print by Geninne

have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

vintage finds: rummage sale

i cannot resist a hand-written sign that says 'rummage sale', 'garage sale' or 'yard sale' when driving by it. i wasn't quite prepared for the one i saw yesterday. i mean, it felt a little early for the sale season, especially when we've had tornadoes and snow in the same week! however, you can have a rummage sale inside a church anytime of year i guess and i was pleasantly surprised and felt absolutely giddy when i saw the sign for one in my neighborhood yesterday! immediately my brain pushed out all other obligations for the day and repeatedly said 'must get to rummage sale now', 'must get to rummage sale now' [which is ridiculous, i know]. so i drove around the block, adrenaline pumping, and entered the church. as i entered, i realized that i made it to the last 15 minutes of the two day sale but there still were some goodies left...

  • vintage electric food warmer [price tag said it still works!]
  • blue Ball jar w/lid
  • homer laughlin plate with brown & black motifs on the rim
  • green metal tray [i will probably make this into a chalkboard or magnet board for my market displays]
  • 1950's book titled 'Around the World in 1000 Pictures'

  • wood potato chip bowl
  • two wood display trays [they have cork on the bottom and will also be worked into my market displays]
  • a very small set of glass shakers with red lids
  • a trivet in a scandinavian language i haven't figured out yet

 and the most beautiful embroidered tablecloth...aren't those lilacs wonderful?!

now i'm off to clean everything up...did you have a good weekend? i would love to hear what got your adrenaline pumping lately!