Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On with Christmas Preparations!

Now that Thanksgiving has past, deer hunting is done, and our boutique is over, I am ready to get on with Christmas!  Music, baking, shopping, etc.  I never enjoy any of the Christmas stuff until AFTER Thanksgiving.  The commercial-ness of it is irritating.

Mom and I held our "Brunch Boutique" this past Saturday. We decided early in the summer to try it this year, since Mom has many beautiful quilts, bags, table runners, etc. that she has made.  I make a lot of things for gifts for coworkers, and it snowballs from there.  I have many crafting interests, and the internet sucks me in with instructions to make anything and everything I could want!  In any case, the past few months have been spent working on various items for the boutique. 

We planned our boutique for the Saturday after Thanksgiving because Mom always comes to stay for the week.  Hubby goes with my Dad, brother, uncles, nephews, etc. for the week of Thanksgiving to deer hunt.  Most people think it's odd to spend Thanksgiving this way, but it's a family tradition.  We girls have fun shopping, eating out and crafting all week, while the guys are in the woods hunting.  We make a traditional turkey dinner, and the guys deep fry turkeys and make all the fixings in the woods.  I couldn't be more thankful for this tradition!

Ironically, our boutique ended up to be on "Support Small Business Saturday".  It was fun - here are a few pictures:

Wine bottle Tiki Torches, Cup & Saucer Garden Art

Table Runners, Centerpieces, Potholders, Casserole Carriers

Quilts, Bags, Greeting Cards and Tatted Bookmarks

 And brunch upstairs - it was fun!  The house was buzzing with visiting, coffee, mimosas, and egg bake upstairs, and shopping and chatting downstairs.  I never did get pictures of everything.

We were TIRED - and went out to eat afterward to relax.  A successful, fun try at having a boutique.  Should we do it again?  Pondering that while I think about what to do next right now.  Bake? Read? Sew? Tat?  So many choices, so little time. 

Another Oovoo tattogether tonite should give me some inspiration!  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Virtual Tatting

We had some fun this morning with our Twin Cities Tatters gathering.  Michelle had a great idea to invite some blogging/tatting friends to our gathering by Skype.  Teresa suggested using Oovoo, a free video chat software available.  (My contribution to this conversation was idle - I've only Skyped with my daughter in my own living room for practice.)  In any case, Michelle got us all organized, and we were able to meet for a couple of hours this morning for our first virtual tatting get-together.  We lost eachother a few times, heard voices without video, and lost battery power once.  BUT, we did it.  An entry for the Guinness Book of Records maybe? 

Michelle and I met at our usual Caribou Coffee meeting spot, and got logged in with Diane, Dena and Teresa.   We shared a lesson on the SSSR, and started on the split chain.  Teaching/learning is a challenge using video chat - it was fun though, and quite impressive for our first try at this.  Most definitely something we want to do again. 

We did have a few people at Caribou wondering what we were doing.  I suppose it was an odd sight - Michelle and I sitting facing a laptop and chattering away, but not looking at eachother.  At one point Teresa told us someone was behind us looking at her - the gal just waved and left, obviously curious as to what the heck was going on.  Ha!  Isn't the internet amazing?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wasting Time Again

Mittens are a NECESSITY in Minnesota.  So, when I saw this trendy idea last weekend, I got the bug to try it.  (Like I need another project right now.)  I saw these in three (3!) boutiques in one day.  What was I doing at 3 boutiques in one day, you ask?  Enjoying the day running around with friends when I should've been working on projects for my boutique.  Oh well. Sharing time with friends is so important.

Back to the mittens.  I saw barrels full of recycled sweater mittens lined with flannel.  Fabulous and comfortable and warm.   Perfect for the snow I know is coming our way soon.  They couldn't be that hard to make, could they?

I found a pattern somewhere on line (can't remember where) and got up bright and early this morning ready to try it on some scrap fabric.  I had to tweak the pattern a few times to feel comfortable trying it for real. 

Goodwill stores and thrift shops have old wool sweaters just perfect for this project.  These were all close to 100% wool.

After washing them in hot water and drying on high heat, they did shrink up.  I decided to use the red sweater first, as it seemed to be the tightest felted wool.  Seems a shame to cut up a pretty sweater, but I wouldn't wear it anyway.  And it was only $5 bucks.  Awesome.

So, by noon I was sewing mittens, realizing I'm only getting one pair of mittens out of this sweater.  And by 1 o'clock I was cleaning my sewing machine of lint.  By 1:30 I was fighting with the messed up tension on my sewing machine. 


I started panicking, wondering where I could take my machine to have it cleaned and tuned up and back within a week to sew more boutique items.  Yikes! 

By about 3:00, I had the tension corrected and everything was under control. Ugh.  Wasted time experimenting and fixing - again! I seem to do more of this than I'd like to admit.  BUT, I accomplished my task and completed a pair of mittens.  Hands will NOT get cold in these babies.  Not my neatest work, and not exactly the right size, but they will be warm.  

I love the mittens, and I love the fact that they are recycled.  The pattern is simple, but sewing on this thick wool is a bugger, and the pattern still needs a little tweaking.  I believe I will reconsider making an abundance of these for the boutique, and just make a few pairs with the sweaters I have.  Darn!  It was a good thought, but now I've wasted a day on a whim. I'm disappointed.  But whoever ends up wearing these will definitely not have cold hands :)