Archive for January, 2010

TV to craft by

I got stuck upstairs with really terrible craft TV on PBS the past couple of Saturdays. 

C’mon, PBS, why do you have to do this? 

I read Gertie’s sewing blog almost daily, and I have to think PBS would be super lucky to have her. 

Because their idea of crafty TV – which comes on the Create channel Saturdays especially – consists of this Knit and Crochet Today.  

Hosted by this, um, woman

It’s so frustrating. All that educational TV time and nothing crafty — save really traditional quilting — to learn. The projects are frumpy, the ‘talent’ is really awkward and the shows are just a waste of time, which of course I tune back to every Saturday while futzing.  

Could they make knitting or crocheting look dumber? Really?!

Delicious presents might be the best ones

Pasta machine with raviolini attachment, with love, Mister’s sister.

pasta machine!

Box of locally mixed spices, with love, Mister’s sister’s grillmaster boyfriend.

yum! herby christmas!

Fabulous homemade dinner date for them, with love from us and our jammed spice cabinet?

that spice cabinet is jammed!

Handmade Christmas, the forgotten edition

I made these for Christmas presents and promptly forgot about them.

gray and teal

Bought the feathers on super clearance at the Ben Franklin in Palos HIlls, for like $0.29 a piece.

I was looking for white and off-white and gold ones to make a headpiece, and handed over $4 for most of all the dyed peacock feathers they had left. It was a giant bunch.

gray and teal

It wasn’t until my sister bought an amazing gunmetal gray dress for New Year’s eve I remembered the gray headband I had made for her.

I put a little glue along the flat edge of the headband and used plastic clothespins to hold the feathers in place while the glue was drying. Then I used a needle to wrap doubled thread around the whole thing, one piece through each tooth of the headband until they all were secured. The hardest part was keeping the extra feather strands from getting stuck. The stem ends got a little trim and that was it. 

Oh well. Now both gray and teal will show up at her house as a surprise. And maybe now I’ll also make one in reds for myself.

Christmas looked like this at our house

It’s not even the Christmas tree I like, it’s the ornaments. I didn’t grow up with a matchy tree. Every ornament had been handmade or had a story. My dad cries when he puts his tree up with all the reminiscing. This year, I did a little, too. The Mister and I have had Christmas together at home since 2004.

But  we don’t have a tree anymore. We do however have a couple big umbrella plants wintering indoors. They totally hold ornaments.

tree 2009

ornament 2009 with love

tree 2009

So do stairs.

ornament turtle 2009

staircase 2009

stairs 2009

At our last apartment, we ended up hanging ornaments on a firescreen  and putting presents at the bottom. I liked that too, but the screen didn’t make the move.

I guess me and Mister had a tree a few times. Then we were bolting for Philadelphia, so we stopped. I have mixed feelings about chopping a whole tree down for a few weeks too, but mostly we skipped the tree because we didn’t have time to deal.

This one was a present from an aunt, whose son got married in 2009, too. Her tree was all done up in wedding!

ornament first christmas 2009

And we received a box of newlywed ornaments from Mister’s mama, complete with small metal tree frame, too, to hold the 12 symbols of things you need for a good marriage.

12 newlywed ornaments

Of course I like the feathery bird, best.

bird newlywed ornament

Earlier today, my brother told me his Christmas boxes got wiped out Friday when his house caught fire. That would make me extra sad, to lose those years of memories. I wonder what I should start crafting to replenish his stash?

I love mummers

Who doesn’t, really? Fought off terrible cold to sit in the middle of Broad Street (at Washington) for a prime seat to the 2010 Mummers Parade.

cops don't watch the crowds

On the way via Carpenter Street, we found much evidence of a last-minute slipper-goldening.

evidence some slippers got goldened

mummers

Classic string band costumes:
classic mummers

string bands

And less classic but equally fun:
hot sauce! and oyster.

Handmade Christmas: the results show

Crafty Christmas worked again. And not too much crying (by me). The trick was starting really early and not insisting on sewing everything from scratch.

The pink dress was a giant hit. It got twirled a ton during the week I visited. I love that her mom dresses her in stuff I made when I’m around. (we’re a little shy, hence the heart faces)

pink dress done!

So was this homemade tutu w heart sequins stuck in one of the layers:

tutu!

Goddaughter got her purple velvet cocktail dress all ready for her 9th birthday or a random Tuesday night. Naturally, I forgot to photograph her in it. And despite adding like 5 inches to the hem, and then a ruffle for another 1.5 or 2, it’s still on the short side because she’s so leggy.

Ruffle - finished dress

Then me and Mister read books on tape, added in some music and burned CDs for the little guys so we can read to them all the time. Mister loves “The Five Chinese Brothers,” with such new words as “execution.” I read one of the “Frog and Toad” books. BIg hit, I’m told.

For our parents and siblings and friends, we made stuff from wedding photos and framed portraits of the friends taken in a special studio in the cocktail room that day. 

And some ladies in my life got handrolled or sewn silk scarves with fabric found on Roosevelt Avenue — the silk table at Vogue. Also forgot photos. My MIL wore hers out Saturday night – a rough orange silk with red stitching around the edges to keep it from unraveling too much. SIL got a vintage Liz Claiborn fuschia dress I shortened significantly into a tunic, and an endless scarf from the chopped off parts.

Another big hit was black cowboy boots I thrifted for my 3-yo nephew who immediately proclaimed them “pirate boots” and ran to look for his Captain Hook Halloween costume to put on, too.