Saturday, February 4, 2012

Get your fake smile ready

I have once again run up against the old brick wall of words, and can't seem to wrap up any of the topics  I've been working on.  I have a long list of drafts, but they can't seem to get out of the gate.  Politically correct speech?  A minefield of potentially offensive observations.  Marriage advice?  I've fallen asleep in my chair 3 nights this week.  The Republican primaries?  What's the rush?...these guys will be blathering in our faces for 9 more months. New banking/mortgage/consumer protection programs?  A rant against asinine new government regulations when I haven't finished ranting about the deranged old government regulations I don't like seems premature.

No, I don't have my head on straight for any heavy topics these days.  Generally speaking, I'm worthless in February anyway.  Even with our unseasonably mild winter weather here in northern Indiana, the doldrums have set in and I'm sort of stuck in a state of yucky blahness.  I need a figurative feather to tickle my creative fancy.  Absent that, I'm prone to babble with no discernible purpose.

So that only leaves me one option:  post pictures of stuff.  And I just so happen to have been doing some sewing over the last few months - mostly tacky Christmas presents. So here I go, parading my charming homemade wares; you just plaster on that fake smile, nod at regular intervals, and let your mind wander to more fascinating matters - like the grooming habits of chipmunks, for example.

I love to cross-stitch, especially little novelties like this.  Here is a little plant stake I did for a friend who grows basil and is kind enough to share her bounty with neighbors like me.  (I'm currently working on the "parsley" stake; any takers?)

I've always wanted to make pajamas for Eric.  This year I got up the nerve.  Found a how-to online and bought some Colts fleece and voila`!  Pajama bottoms that fit like the baggy sweatpants I used for my template!  He likes them pretty well, although this year was not a good year to be a Colts fan.  Maybe next year I'll look for a happier print, like skull and crossbones.

 Here is Camille modelling her "letter sweater."  It was an ill-conceived notion, based on the idea that I was tired of keeping track of all the patches she's earned in middle school.  She didn't want a school jacket, so I found this gold sweater and thought I'd make a keepsake for her.  Like most keepsakes, this will end up in a box, but that's what I get for buying a sweater two sizes too big. (I personally think it looks cute, but I have no fashion clout in this house.)

Next up is one of those polar fleece clip-and-tie blankets that almost every Girl Scout has made.  These are quick and fun and Mary says she's much warmer under this than she was under her lightweight quilt.  I also made one for Camille, but (hold your applause) I forgot to take a picture of it.

The girls have been using their child-sized homemade hooded bath towels for way too long, so this year I bought some plush bath sheets and made big-girl sized towels to their color specifications.  In case you didn't know, teenage girls like black, white and gray, and they refer to these as "colors."  Whatever.

Here's a cross-stitch project I started more years ago than I care to admit, and finished in time to give it to Eric for Christmas.  This about sums up his philosophy on life.
 If this loveseat looks familiar, that's because it was featured in a recent blog relating to how to get new furniture and blame it on your dogs (click here if you need a refresher course).

It came with two very large pillows (in a print of ugly green circles that looked like Spanish olives without the pimento) that crowded the loveseat and left very little sitting room.  I bought some small pillow forms made these pillow covers and the table runner there so that all three dogs can fit on the loveseat without a helpful human removing pillows for them.

Now I'll share my secret to making friends:  tacky craft bribery.  Only the cruelest person who doesn't need friends will turn down the offer of a tacky homemade item as a friendship come-on.  One of my dear friends is a voracious reader.  I stitched this easy bookmark for her birthday last month - it says "You Can't Have Too Many Books."  I should design another one that says "You Can't Have Too Many Friends."

This trunk was a garage sale find several years ago.  It's been at the foot of one or more beds in this house, but tended to get covered up with junk.  I cut up a tablecloth and stapled part of it to the top, then used the bound trim to wrap the base where some of the rattan was coming loose, and to make a loop for lifting the lid.  It now sits in my entryway below some coat hooks and our hats, gloves and scarves are stored inside.  It's functional, so it doesn't have to be beautiful.

This is the quilt I made so I could tell myself I could make a quilt.  When all was said and done, I decided to hand-knot it rather than quilt it properly, but I still love how it turned out.  The green back and sashing fabric were left over from the chair skirts I made for the dining room.  The gold print started out as a tablecloth I liked.  It was the wrong size for my dining room table, but I was so taken with it (and it was on clearance) that I bought it to save for some future use.  You saw the matching pillows and table runner a few pictures up the page.  Look below and you'll see its true purpose:

 It was made expressly to protect the back of the new loveseat, which is the doggie lookout perch!

Well, then - okay.  I think I've quenched my desire to undertake any more large projects for awhile.  I've still got several cross-stitch projects going - including a pre-quilted baby blanket for my new great-nephew - but I'm going to try to write a bit more, and sew a bit less, in the upcoming months.  Sticky topics await my next rant.


  1. These have got to be published to share with the world. Don't you know any good publishers? Auntie M

  2. I agree, I think your Polite Ravings would definitely sell.