Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Cuteness from Confinement

I finished some toys for the cutie and am quite proud of my work. The owl bib pattern is MUCH cuter as a toy. Check out the front.

I made a different type of wing than the pattern so that it could flap. L was having fun playing with it. Here is the back.

Then I moved on to this pattern I found in Amigurumi Two! which features patterns for children (toys, rattles, etc.). The author also has Amigurumi World which also has adorable patterns. I really liked the fruit "houses" in Amigurumi Two! and made the pear. The photos came out very artistic and it almost looks like a little story.

The pear.

What is inside.

Pear and Snail. (The snail's eyes are embroidered)

The snail is a bit top-heavy.

I have a few more projects up my sleeve. I want to try to make some matrushka toys. I don't know what the gender of the cutie is, but kids like to chew on plush things and they aren't too picky. Since I like matrushkas, the cutie will have some matrushka toys!

I also was fortunate to run across a copy of The Floral Alphabet Coloring Book (found here).

It is a really neat idea - each letter of the alphabet corresponds to the plants within the letter. It is a wide variety of plants too - not just flowers, but also trees and fruit. I made copies and plan to use water color pencil to color each letter. Next, I want to cut out and back each letter, laminate the pages, and bind it. I think it would make a charming book.

But right now it is time for a nap!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Sadly I have been unable to find a job - even temporary work. The whole summer has felt as if I have been under confinement - with nothing to do or prepare for except the birth of my child. Honestly, the preparations are not a huge, time-consuming endeavor. I have cleaned the house, re-organized, and purged till it became obvious that I had to stop because I can no longer lift heavy things.

I had grand plans to learn how to sew, but I am currently stuck as I am really scared of needles. I have read the manuals and understand the basics, however a machine with a needle is still quite scary to me.

Therefore, much of my time has been spent crocheting items for the little one. I have gathered various patterns for bibs, sweaters, toys, etc. I started some in Houston and have finished a few.

The bibs were the first things I have completed because they seemed less complicated and pretty straightforward. The only difficulty was that the pattern I selected had ties on the bib which I am not fond of - ties seem dangerous to me. I wanted to put straps on the bib instead which resulted in some problem solving. The end result looks quite charming in my opinion.

(REMEMBER: you can click on the picture to get a bigger image!)

The frog bib front followed a pattern I got from Lion Brand Yarns and the other bib follows a pattern I found in one of my crochet calendars I get every year at Christmas.

Here you can see the straps I added onto the frog bib. I can see how the ties would look better with the frog, but I think the straps are safer. Plus one gets to choose cute buttons! I just hope they are not too much of a chocking hazard.

The next bib pattern I attempted also came from Lion Brand Yarns and was an owl.

Here is my attempt using a variety of yarn I had left over from previous projects.

Here it is with the straps, which I fear I attached to close together - it might be better as a bib for a toy or doll later.

An unexpected result of the owl bib is I was able to have my own Rorschach test! Here are the results so far:

Lance - "oh, a dog! Nice!"
Renee - "A monkey!"
Megan - "A little fish!"

I have not developed a rubric for what these responses tell us about each individual, but I was confident that the bib did not look like an owl at all. I started to make another owl following the color scheme in the original pattern.

When I went back to look at the pattern, someone commented that it really was too cute a design for a bib and I quite agree. So I am making what hopefully resembles an owl, but I will make it a stuffed toy. I am also working on a pear-container with a snail toy inside. I will post those pictures when I finish.

I was also able to complete a cute sweater - I am stuck on what buttons to put on it. I could also choose one button at the top for a more swing-coat like design.

Here is the sweater up close.

I also finished a blanket. It was supposed to have a hood, but after looking at the picture long enough, the hood would make the baby look like a tiny, colorful Ku Klux Klan member. Not wishing to encourage idiotic behavior, the hood was out of the design and I made a tiny hat instead.

The hat looks like a little jelly fish. Lance was quite fond of it and wore it on his head as a fascinator.

He is starting to get a little sentimental about the cutie - all the little clothes are making him realize there will be a little person in our lives soon. I will take sentiment over what he said in the first months of my pregnancy which consisted mostly of scatological references and diapers.

More of what I have been making just as soon as I finish it!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I Found in My Searching

I have been quite bored lately. I have not had any luck finding work and with the recent bout of contractions, I have been advised to "take it easy".

Taking it "easy" merely brings about ennui. Though I have many tasks around the house, I chose to procrastinate because I have (seemingly) all the time in the world. Why get all these things done at once when I can wait - or when I need my hubby's help to move things?

Alas, one thing I have been working on is a birth announcement. I ran across my hubby's birth announcement from the late 70's and it was rather cute. It was a little card with a stork on the cover, and when one opens it up, the stats are on the left and a picture of the baby is on the right in a pre-made frame (one slips the hospital picture).

I recall having one of these as well, but I don't know where it went. I assume my mother still has it. I don't know if hospitals still take pictures and give parents these cards, but I would like to do something similar and simple for our baby's birth announcement.

Thus began my Internet searching for vintage stork images for the cover. I found some rather cute ones and some truly heinous ones.

I never wondered where the idea of the stork bringing the baby came from, but nevertheless found images that explained the mythology (somewhat). Some pictures had babies emerging from the water with a stork waiting to wrap it up on shore. Other pictures had the babies blossoming from waterlilies with a stork attendant nearby. Further research did not really illuminate the myth - it just seems that popular European culture believed that the souls of unborn children lived in marshes. Why? That idea is not fully illuminated, but it does seem that storks mate for life and have been symbols of good luck from Roman times.

Regardless, there are some hilarious Victorian images that I found related to the stork myth.

I found this image of a stork chasing down an "old maid" quite hilarious considering that one of my cousins told me last Christmas that I "can't wait forever". Don't get me started on how he started his own parenthood at age 16.

Here the stork is the villain - and he looks so friendly. Yet, I completely understand this woman's urge to hit the stork with her ensemble-coordinated umbrella.

From these images, I gather that women have constantly been in battle with the "stork" - either wanting his presence desperately or avoiding the bundle he carries.

Yet, I did not find images of women chasing storks. Make of that what you will!

I don't think either will do for a birth announcement, but they are rather funny.