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Thursday, March 13th, 2008

And Now For an Actual Post

I finished up the project I was working on and shipped it out. I really had a good time working on it and had no idea how enjoyable I would find hand sewing. Now, I feel like poking around my books for more hand sewing projects. It was particularly nice to work in fleece and felt neither of which fray. I took the idea from a book I picked up somewhere along the way called Scrap Crafts from the McCall’s Needlework and Crafts collection. The books provides all of the patterns for the animals which just need to be enlarged to use as well as a pattern for a doll and a tote bag with an applique barn. I opted not to make the doll because it’s a gift for a little boy but primarily because proportionate to the animals the doll was a scary smiley-faced giant. The tote bag was an ok idea but I took some inspiration from the internet and fashioned a soft-sided barn from some foam and fabric I had in my stash.

It was at once liberating and really difficult to not be working from a pattern. On one hand, there was no ‘right answer’ to how the final product was supposed to look and I could make up the process as I went along. On the other hand, when it came down to things like how do I fasten the two roof halves together, it took two days of deliberation to come up with a blanket stitch in yarn that didn’t end up working that well at all even on the second attempt. All in all I am very pleased with how it turned out. Although I have absolutely no idea if it’s something that a one year old boy would/should play with. Similarly, I have no idea how many days it can go being handled before it completely falls apart. Live and learn right? There are no chokable parts so it will be a learning experience for all of us.

The animals are constructed using a mix of fleece, felt and terry cloth and are stuffed with regular old craft batting. The body of the barn is natural linen with felt. The nice thing about the felt is that it’s made in the US from 100% recycled material. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.

We’re also getting out garden ready for early spring crops. I took Chase to mill valley today and we picked up seeds for peas, lettuce, radishes, swiss chard and beets. Ben fixed the box today and now all we have to do is fill it and sow the seeds. Chase even got a new little watering can so she can help out.

Today is the first day of spring break and even though I have to write a paper and so won’t really have a break I celebrated with a beer. I found a seasonal Blue Moon brew called Rising Moon. It’s described as Kieffer lime leaves and lime peel for a smooth, balanced taste. I describe it as yum! It certainly is a delicious spring ale. What can I say, I found my niche in wheat beer. On that note, I saw a ‘recipe’ for stout floats in the Martha newsletter I got today. Guiness and vanilla ice cream? I’m dubious.

Tomorrow Laura Numeroff of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fame is going to be at the Children’s Bookstore in Roland Park. I’m thinking about taking Chase we have an anthology and she loves to hear all of those stories. Lois Lowry will be there next month. I love her books.

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