Ms Crafty: where craftiness rules supreme...

Sunday, December 31, 2006


Enjoying the last sunset of '06 on the beach in Santa Barbara.

Really enjoying it.

Most gorgeous sunset of the year...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sugar on Snow

Here are a couple of quick pics I snapped of Knitty's Sugar on Snow which I knitted up rather hastily for my mom.

As a hat

And as a neckwarmer

It was hard to give it back after sporting it all day yesterday. I can't wait to make one for me. :-)

I used Goddess Yarns Merino Wool from MFA and simply adore the results. The yarn is a different gauge (I used size 7 needles and it took two balls of red to get the hat) but it is completely scrumptious.

I have officially entered a new realm of blog/nerd-dom

Here I am sitting in the Vegas airport. Cha-ching. Cha ching ching. Those pesky slot machines are full and at full volume. I'm trying desperately to stay awake (it feels like almost two in the morning at this point).

I apologize for being remiss in my blogging of late. While staying with my parents I ran into some internet connectivity issues. Let's just say that next year they are getting a router for christmas. Or wireless internet. Something along those lines.

Did you know that worlds collide at the Vegas airport? I'm sitting here, minding my own business with a 2.5 hour layover, when an old (despised would sound good here, but would be a bit strong...apathetically disliked is a more accurate description) coworker sits down right in front of me.

I'm hoping maybe she's obliterated, but I think I already know she's merely completely clueless, but she hasn't yet noticed my existence here. Whew. I'm safe for now.

Maybe I'll try to squeeze in a craft related post...or maybe I'll play web sudoku. The sky's the limit here in the vegas airport. Happy new year all!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The O.C.

No, I don't mean orange county. If I were going to discuss hour-long teenage dramas I would certainly be discussing 90210, but that's a topic for another day...or not.

I'm talking about the original crafty mama. No, literally, my mom. She's super crafty, as evidenced by these many ornaments adorning the family tree.

Okay, this first pic isn't exactly related to overall craftiness per say, but I always appreciate a sumptuous, homemade pumpkin pie.

This is one in a series of cross stitch santa clauses my mom made when I was a kid.

This was my first and last feeble attempt at cross stitch. Admittedly I was six or seven years old and this took me FOREVER. I'm not sure where I got the idea to use a duck...I must have liked the pattern, cause I remember I was absolutely sure that my dad would love it. And of course he did.

This is just an antique stocking ornament...we inherited it from wasn't my grandma's, so it could have belonged to a great grandma...I should probably ask my mom...

My sister and I sewed these ornaments with my grandma when we were little. We got to choose the different fabrics, and we stuck with flowers all the way.

A series of fancy embroidered ornaments made by my mom.

Now, I was actually gifted this ornament this year, which consists of my right hand print at 1 year old. My mom actually made several sets of these when I was one and gifted a set to each set of grandparents.

So, my crafty roots run deep, and for that I am thankful each and every holiday season. Each ornament on the family tree is one-of-a-kind and holds special memories. Cheesy but true.

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone is having a wonderful, or at least tolerable, holiday!

Homemade wreath made by...Griffin. Who knew he was so crafty!

Enjoying holiday cookie goodness.

A lovely watercolor holiday card from Griff's mom--also crafty.

My gift wrap of choice for my work's white elephant ornament exchange. Unfortunately the strategy was a letdown since I drew #2. Bye-bye sock monkey ornament.

The box top of another white elephant package. It's a diorama...on a box...evem if the box if full of poop you have this adorable box. It's a win-win.

Now, time to have some coffee and go shopping with my sis.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Birthday goodies from the disunited queendom

A big thank you to KB, who sent this lovely b'day care package all the way from the UK. Now I can celebrate the new year UK style with sparklers (fit for indoor use...hmmm), a star glitter mini cannon, a lovely atomized bottle, the world's cutest hand soak (with little glove shaped hands), and some delicious yarn!

Thank you KB. I miss you! More importantly, now I have your mailing address!

Birthday Boo-tay

Well, Thursday was my birthday. I'm not one of those people who gets really excited about birthdays--I never have been. That's probably because I'm so used to getting birthday/xmas cards and gifts that there really isn't much of a difference.

That said, Griff has always been really good about birthday/christmas separation and this year I've got some serious birthday booty to show for it.

I looooooooooooooove it! Okay, let's face it, pink is definitely my favorite color, so of course a gorgeous pink gemstone necklace is the perfect gift.

Of course, I'm hardly a professional jewelry photog, but obviously they employ quite a bit of special lighting to showcase the color and general photos don't do this necklace justice. You'll just have to see it for yourself in person! Thanks, G.

Also, the work crew threw together a slew of thoughtful/hilarious gifts. This is the perfect gift, a pink luggage tag with an "M" on it. Love it.

They also got me some Good vs. Evil unicorn action figures. As soon as I saw them I couldn't stop laughing. The packaging is hilarious.

Watch out for the destructicorn. That's one badass unicorn.

Highlights from the sides of the packaging:

Are you a Good Unicorn?
  • Do you like to prance through meadows?
  • Have you ever spent all day chasing butterflies and rainbows?
  • Is your favorite sound a laughing brook?
  • Do you believe the children are our future?
  • Are the fairies your friends?

    Are you an Evil Unicorn?
  • Do you go around impaling Teddy bears and baby seals?
  • Have you ever dreamed of ruling the underworld?
  • Are you still bitter you weren't invited on the ark?
  • Have you ever used your hooves to bludgeon the weak and innocent?
  • Do you occasionally breathe fire?

    I also loved the adorable wrapping paper--who doesn't love kittens in silver tiaras! Nootsie, I totally thought of you when I looked at the paper.

    Now that I'm moving into a cube at work, I think I'm going to have to paper it with this wrapping paper and have a stack of Cat Fancy mags laying around. Something tells me people might leave me alone with that decor...

  • Monday, December 18, 2006

    Hey, that's not a dog...

    it's a a festive holiday sweater...

    Now, this is really a dog sweater, but it seems to fit Elwood just fine.

    The thing is, that when I put it on him he just started purring...alot... I was prepared for a fight, but this sometimes-way-too-gentle giant just went completely limp in my arms. looked so darn cute in it, and actually settled down. I almost didn't every want to take it off of him. But I did, no really I did. Of course, he might find his way into it again and again this holiday season...

    Now, you knitting purists might say that I should have knitted him a sweater by hand, but since putting a sweater on a cat is unpredictable at best, it is far safer to purchase a mass-produced dog sweater from Old Navy at half price while you are doing your holiday shopping IMHO.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Nothing says Meowy Christmas... a cat wearing a festive holiday scarf. This one's for you KB.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Have yourself a kitschy little xmas

    We had the good fortune this holiday season to attend a festive soiree this past Saturday. The decor was fabulous. The hosts collect vintage holiday decor, and their display was simply lovely.

    Here we have a churchy, snowy nook in the kitchen.

    The Santa collection

    Including vintage bubble lights

    A lovely and delicious persimmon pudding (it's really a cake, but it looks so festive I prefer to think of it as some sort of holiday pudding)

    Lovely red tulips...are these seasonal here in NoCal?

    The cutest wassail glasses EVER

    Festive holiday times were had by all. It was great catching up with friends and making our own holiday wreaths. Good times.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    So proud of myself

    Why? What exactly have I done today to deserve my own praise? The short answer: under extreme duress and excruciating DMS I did not break down into tears.

    Why is this a big deal? Well, because for me, PMS and DMS are a time of utter nonsense and herky jerky emotions. Luckily, for some reason at this point in my life I can realize almost immediately that I am exhibiting rather irrational behavior. Like, for instance, being reduced to tears while watching an episode of Veronica Mars--not even a sad one, for the record.

    The lamest of lame holiday commercials have this week plus window during which they can milk my tear ducts. And milk them they do. But not today.

    Today, I took control--under extreme circumstances to the infinity power plus one.

    So this morning I woke up long before the sun (didn't sleep well--work stress), showered, threw on some clothes and headed out the door in a vortex--papers and knitting flying everywhere (tonight being knit nite and all).

    I made it to work at a decent time, and went to grab some cash out of my purse to grab the ever-important cup o' coffee and muffin/scone/something. (Note to those a bit thriftier than myself: generally I am 100% pro drinking the free work coffee. But after last week's fiasco where someone decided to make the work coffee using paper towels instead of coffee filters, I cannot manage to even fathom drinking a cup of joe from the work kitchen). Anyway, long story longer, I couldn't find my cash. And I was sure I had $20.

    I knew immediately that I had lost $20. How? Who the heck knows, but I was sure I had somehow managed to do just that. I felt the tears brewing, but somehow kept them in the holding tank. I bummed $2 from a co-worker. I had enough at least for a cup of coffee. Day saved. Disaster averted.

    So, I'm enjoying my cup of coffee from the new cafe when I realize it is time to use the facilities. I have been feverishly working on deadline and had been ignoring my bladder. It was almost too late...

    I rush into the bathroom (single use--whew) and take care of business. I stand up, flush, and pull up my pants. And then it happens. The most embarrassing thing ever. The zipper head comes off in my hand. I have no way to fasten my pants. Did I mention that I am at work. In an office. Full of peers both male and female. Did I also mention that these are low rise pants, and thus reveal quite a bit more than pants of yore.

    And, of course I'm wearing undies (I'm no Britney), but that is beside the point.

    I spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom trying to figure out what to do. Did I have a safety pin in my purse? No. Could I perhaps fasten some sort of fix out of paper clips? Not a chance. Did I have time to knit myself a snazzy new pair of pants? Unfortunately, no. I was out of options.

    Bigger question. Can I walk out of the bathroom without everyone noticing that my pants no longer had a zipper? Luckily mostly yes. For some reason this morning I was chilly and had decided to put on my warmest most shapeless large sweater. It is a bit longer than my normal sweaters and thus covered the problem as long as I was standing up and simultaneously pulling down on the hem of the sweater.

    What to do? I spend most days at my desk sitting down, and in meetings sitting down.

    The obvious answer was that I needed to get myself another pair of pants stat. Sadly, I live an hour away from where I work, so I did what any red-blooded American consumer would do--I went and bought myself a new pair of jeans.

    They actually aren't as nice as the old ones (which I will be returning to the store from whence they came for either a full refund or a comparable replacement), but they were only $20 and they kept me from turning into a slobbery pile of salty mush, quivering under my desk.

    From now on I think I'll be storing a spare pair of pants in the trunk of the car. I'm serious. This could happen to you! Anytime. Anywhere. You could have your very own wardrobe malfunction involving a faulty zipper head and some pants, thereby exposing your unmentionables to the world.

    I ask you, what would you do?

    Baby's First Abba Zaba

    You'd think we're a couple 'o crack whores...

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Happy Holly Days

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Taking tree hugger to a whole 'nother level

    The scent of Christmas is in the air here in SF, literally. This most perfect of trees is abundant in its scentiferousness! i.e. both floors of our house smell like a pine forest. I love it!

    For starters we have decided to go balls out. Literally.

    Now to knit and relax in the tree's warm glowing warming glow...

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Sickie manages to crank out store sample!

    Somehow, despite being sent home sick from work Thurs, I managed to whip up a quick store sample for Marin Fiber Arts. This was a quick little scarf knit, and would make a quick and fabulous holiday gift. Even though I was feverish, I managed to knit this up while watching a movie!

    Even better, if you swing by the store, the merry MFA staff will help you get your holiday craft crisis under control!

    A completely non craft-related rant

    For you crafties out there, this post will be followed up with a craft/knitting related post.

    Our health care system is failing. Period. In fact, I was speaking with someone over the holidays who possessed an attitude many share--the system is working for me. End of story.

    Here's the problem, not everyone has some sort of state job where their insurance premiums are covered in their entirety. Most of us have to pay out of pocket, or at least pay quite a chunk of our monthly premiums.

    Why am I ranting about this? I'll tell you. My 27 year old baby sister is in the hospital. The backstory:

    The Wednesday before turkey day, her abdomen started to hurt. A lot. A few weeks before she had an emergency appendectomy. She was told after the surgery that if she had abdominal pain, she should call the surgeon's office asap.

    Hmmm...what would a reasonable person do? Yep, you guessed it. She called the surgeon's office. They told her "it was probably some bad turkey she ate" and to take an antacid. [Note: if you were paying close attention they told her this on Wednesday. Before Thanksgiving. Like the rest of us, she hadn't yet even had her holiday turkey.]

    Since they didn't seem to think too much of it, my sister didn't make too much of it. She made it through Thanksgiving, and by Sunday night was in horrible pain.

    First thing Monday morning she called her regular doctor's office. They told her the doctor was on vacation, but she could see a nurse practitioner. She went in and they told her it was probably indigestion. They gave her a laxative and a pain pill.

    Monday afternoon she called me in tears saying it hurt so much she thought she was going to die. She didn't want to the ER because of the $500 co-pay unless he doctor orders her to go. I ended up calling my mom who immediately drove over and took her to the ER.

    That was Monday. She's still in the hospital. Nobody knows what is wrong, and today no one even stopped by her room.

    She's probably going to check herself out of the hospital...why sit there and wait if no one is going to see you?