Friday, January 18, 2013

More Gifts to Give

This month was my second cousin's second birthday and next month is a friend's baby shower.  So in addition to the books I bought as gifts - I just can't resist books as a child's gift! - I made this stuffed butterfly for the two-year-old.

The wings and body are fleece, with felt for the pattern on the wings and floss for the eyes and antennae.  The body is stuffed with fiberfill and the wings with batting.  I had a lot of fun designing and making it!

And for the baby shower, a rag doll bunny!

I hope they're loved for years and years!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Part Ninety-Two

You've met this South Carolina geologist-lapidary-jeweler here before, John Rasmussen, who together with his wife Deboarah Lee creates the wonderful pieces you'll find at Rasmussen Gems & Jewelry, so I'll get straight to the good stuff...

And to learn more about John and Deborah, check out the blog, of course.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pretty Epic

What I'm about to show you is my biggest knitting undertaking to date, and I personally think it's pretty epic. This is the first knitted thing I've done that's 100% my own design, not taken from any other ideas or inspirations, other than my nephew's love of dinosaurs.

Check this out.

I made a dinosaur scarf for my nephew's birthday!

It was pretty involved and took forever, because although I had the idea, I kind of designed as I went.  I started with graph paper, so I could figure out how to gauge the stitches I'd need to get the shape of the head, rounded in front and then the part that bulges by the eyes.  I used the same method for the legs and the narrowing of the tail.

I knew before I started that I wanted a cable knit pattern down the body to sort of give an idea of a dinosaur's bumpy texture, but that meant that I had to figure out how many stitches across to make it and how wide I wanted the center band to be, plus figure out in narrowing the tail how to also narrow the cable pattern.  From snout to tail is all one piece.  Then I made a bottom jaw so I could add teeth, which I knitted separately and sewed on.

In fact, the teeth, legs, back spines, brow ridges, and bottom jaw were all knitted separately and then sewn on.  For the eyes, I actually had to teach myself to crochet circles, which I then sewed on as well!

And then I "embroidered" on nostrils.  I think he's got some serious personality!

My inspiration..

I took some liberties, of course, adding the points down his back, but I like him that way.

The whole thing is done in 100% washable wool and is about 48-50" long.  I wanted a nice, natural fiber that would be warm for the winter but still washable since he just turned three.

As soon as I'm done treating myself to an alpaca scarf I'm working on, I'll be replicating good ol' Daffy the Dinosaur, as I've dubbed him, for Fabric of my Mind.  I'll keep you posted, especially since there are plans for other animal scarves on the horizon too!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas and New Year's at Our House

The food!  I haven't told you about the food.  Eric was in charge of Christmas dinner.  So...

Gotta have eggnog!  Man, I love eggnog.

Ravioli filled with black truffle & manchego, garnished with black truffle oil & herbs de Provence.  So good!

Lamb chops coated with foie gras and encrusted with crushed almond.

And for dessert, figs with grated manchego & powdered bacon.  I nearly exploded.

Then just a week later, New Year's Eve!  We hosted this year, a smallish party but a fun one.  In addition to stuffed mushrooms, mini hot dogs, and wings, Eric had fun with his dehydrator and made a dried fruit salad.  It had granny smiths, red delicious, pears, mango, kiwi, and banana.

And I did a parmesan pasta salad.

I also baked amaretto brownies and four different kinds of cookies - langues de chat, whiskey macks, gingerbread animals, and brandy snaps.

Want any of the dessert recipes?  Lemme know.  I wouldn't be able to promise recipes from Christmas, because Eric doesn't write anything down.
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