Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mom's Mobile

For Mother's Day, my mom asked for a found object mobile. She had seen some she liked on Craftster and sent me the thread links. I had been saving thrifted spoons to make plant markers a la kittykill but thought that I could maybe use the same technique for the mobile.

Materials included thrifted silverware, thrifted metal colander, glass beads, prisms, silver colored wire from my stash, and brass colored wire from the craft store. Side note - in the jewelry section 3 yards of brass wire is $5.99 while in the flower section 5 yards of the same wire (different brand, but no real difference that I could see) is $3.99. It pays to shop around, even the same store. Then, brother and I spent a kid-free morning smashing spoons, stringing beads and twirling wire. Here is what we came up with.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I just sent off my first non-Craftster swap package. I know, I know, I said I was taking a hiatus, but then I found this yahoo group that is for Waldorf moms to swap crafts. There was some attempt at getting a Waldorf swap started on Craftster, but it never really got off the ground. I thought it would be fun to get some things made from natural materials made with our lifestyle in mind.

The theme was Mushrooms, Hedgehogs, and Gnomes... Oh My! I love my little peg doll gnomes, but they are all over the internet and I wanted to try something different. I thought about needle felting mushrooms, then, while browsing around Ravelry, I found this pattern for five different mushrooms to knit and felt!

Aren't they cute? After I knit all of the pieces, I wet felted them in hot soapy water. They didn't felt as tightly as I thought they would. I don't have a ton of experience with wet felting - I've usually done it with roving. I've never attempted to felt anything I've knit myself even though I consider myself a pro at fulling wool sweaters! After the 'shrooms dried, I needle felted the spots with white roving, then I stuffed the stems with wool batting and stitched them together. Voila! I really hope they go over well with the other swappers. This is a different swap than I am used to. I LOVE the community and friends I have over at Craftster, and I love the way the swaps there are organized, the banter and the camaraderie that grows as you discuss your progress on your package Mad Lib style. This swap is a bit strange to me - you send all of your items to one organizer, who then repackages them and mails them out to the participants. There is no discussion, no getting to know a single partner.

Anyway, as I said before, I am definitely on swap hiatus for the summer. I will be crafting for M and myself, and I have been planning lots of fun activities for us to do this summer. Stay tuned!

Grow Your Own: Planting in the Beds

A big part of summer for us is our garden. Or, should I say, gardens. We have an enormous yard and have tried to minimize how much grass there is (and mowing, too). The first year that I moved in, brother helped me build two raised garden beds.

Here, in Western Washington, we have two seasons. Summer and Rain. We got WAY more than our fair share this year, though.This is what our poor garden looked like after 9 months of rain.

Yep, pretty sad. But, doesn't the little veggie wheat pasting add some interest? :D

 We decided that after four years of veggies, it was time to add some new top soil. We got a trailer full of mushroom compost from Great Western. Then, we dumped some into the beds and tilled it. By hand. It was hard. Not all of it went into these two beds. We have other planting areas that I'll show off some other time. The soil was way too hot to plant in that day. The mushroom mixture had sat in the trailer for a couple of days, and it was literally steaming when we were shoveling it into the wheelbarrows! We tilled again yesterday, and then planted those babies this morning!

Ahhhh... much better. In the ground, we have 5 or 6 different kinds of carrots - 'cause we like 'em all different colors - and 3 kinds of radishes (white globe, watermelon and easter egg). We also have green onions, lots of brussels sprouts, asparagus, basil, leeks and garlic. We also have two pots with tomatoes.

 And microgreens. This is the first time I've ever done microgreens. I need to go get some more seed packets for them as they are ones to sow continuously. See them resting on my new potting tables made from pallets? Brother will probably share more about those. That's all I'm going to share today, but it's not all there is about our garden. I'll share more throughout the summer and fall in our Grow Your Own series of posts.