Saturday, April 24, 2010

The good life in Vermont

Right now I'm in Burlington, Vermont, and among all the day's shopping I dropped into an awesome fabric and yarn shop downtown - Nido.

Definitely it's worth a visit if you're in the area. Fabric was my focus, and I got some yards of really lovely stuff I can't wait to sew. My plan for three yards of co-ordinating fabric is to make a few bags for travelling to hold shoes, undergarments and assorted items that usually end up stowed in plastic bags. Handsewn fabric bags are far more civilized.

Check it out online at:

As a bit of a stationery snob, I'm delightled by her letterpress business cards. What a nice touch.

There was also a stop at this cool vintage lamp shop:

The best part of shopping in the city is the long pedestrian shopping street, complete with a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop. Vermont is their home, so we were obliged to have a scoop. Vacationing can be tough.

Rainbow on a necklace

And here is the result of hours of needle felting . . . a really colourful, cool necklace.

The only thing more tricky than not stabbing myself while felting with the pointy needles was keeping my cat away from the felted balls. She grabbed one and took off, making me chase after her through the house before she finally dropped it. I'm not sure why they're so appealing - maybe because they smell like fibre, which is second only to catnip in its scent appeal, and they're perfectly sized for a cat mouth.

Stringing the beads was a breeze. Since this necklace is a present, I think I need to make one for myself. It's so soft and sunny and unusual.

Destination unknown

I love making these ornaments because I have no idea how they'll turn out when I start. I sit down with wire and beads and go for it. First I bend the thick wire into an appealing shape, then build on it with the finer wire and beads. One thing needs to the next until it's done. This red ornament is a gift for a relative in Holland.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crafting is a dangerous sport

Needle felting tiny balls is a bit tedious and at times dangerous if you're not paying attention when rapidly stabbing fibre with a barbed and very pointy needle, but the result is totally worth it. I think the dry felting keeps the lustre of the fibre far better than wet felting, which ends up looking more fuzzy. These colourful little orbs are made of hand-dyed soy silk. Now to make them into a necklace.

On a rolag roll

Hours of handcarding ended in this pile of rolags. I started with a blend of fibre from the Roving Spinners, including merino, silk and mohair. I like how there's such variety in the rolags even though you're carding the same fibre. It's neat to see how different layers of fibre and colours blend, and then how it spins.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

World's cutest creatures!

I had the great luck to see newborn mohair goat kids - and they are the cutest animals in all creation! They're way smaller than I imagined, and the curly locks are beyond adorable. I resisted the urge to pop one in my bag. (Sorry for the bad photos, but I only had my phone camera.)

"Oh, hello there! I'm so glad you could stop by for a visit."

The farm puppy just loved the kids and wanted to give them lots of kisses. Mom seemed a bit unsure.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mmm . . .

The dessert I made for my friends' visit was the most blissful banana pudding from one of my favourite cooking blogs - Crepes of Wrath. It looked too good not to try, and tasted even better than I imagined. And so easy too! I suggest giving it a try.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A trio of baskets for a trio of friends

This weekend I enjoyed a wonderfully crafty weekend with three good friends. I made these baskets as a little token to take home of their visit. (Other than the trunk full of goodies we bought. And, yes, the four of us filled my trunk.)

What a great day of shopping we had! We started at the farmer's market where we loaded up on all sorts of yummy fresh veggies and fruit. Then we made stops at a fibre mill and fabric store, with a few good shops and lunch in between.

And we saw the just-born mohair goat kids! If ever there was an occasion for OMG! this was it. With their silky ringlets and sweet little faces, they are the cutest creatures ever. I wanted to slip one into my purse and take it home with me. Instead I had to settle for some fibre and mohair locks. I also got a whole whack of lovely fabric that really requires me to sew something a bit more advanced than a basket. Am I crazy to think a small quilt is a possibility?

Definitely this crafty road trip with good friends was great inspiration to get busy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Basket case

So it might seem I'm going a little overboard with the fabric basket making. But until I get a little control behind the sewing machine, I'm gonna stick with a project I'm moderately capable of handling on my own. I made this little one for my mom cuz who can't use another cute doodad for organizing stuff?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sunny, sunny day

It was so sunny the kitties couldn't help but squint looking out the patio door.

"What's going on out there?"