Friday, March 6, 2015

Keeping Up With The Craftiness


I was really hoping that the next blog post I made after the woven blanket post would be about knitting because that would mean that I was actually knitting. Even if it was something super small like a few rounds or even a few stitches of a sock, just something that would indicate that I was at least knitting once again, you know? Sadly, much to my dismay, I have to report that my wrists are still out of commission. I had jumped into one of my project bags a bit too soon though and thought the 10 minutes of knitting (which was bliss) on a sock was ok and had honestly thought maybe I was good to go. Then the next morning I woke up and my wrists were burning up something fierce (which was hell) and I learned my lesson to not jump back into the saddle so soon - you'd think I would've known better by now.

So while I (impatiently) wait for my wrists to heal some more I've been delving into other areas of craftiness, like drawing (which can be awkward when wearing wrists braces), painting with acrylics, and cooking. Since both the Mister and Munchkin were sick of eating my baking I decided to give my (lack of) culinary skills a work out and try out some recipes that I've been meaning to make but never did. I'm always trying to find ways to get the Munchkin to eat more veggies (unlike most kids, he's not a smoothie in the morning type), whether it's getting him to try new-to-him veggies or sneaking it into his meals. I'm also always on the lookout for hearty soup recipes that just might have the power to change the Mister's mind about eating soup for dinner. Yes, he thinks you can't have soup for dinner...just lunch. He'll go as far as maybe soup as an appetizer but that's it. I've argued the case for stews or maybe he's just never come across a good, hearty, and filling soup. Nope. No dice. But he did consume several bowls of a vegan and dairy-free roasted cauliflower soup, and even the Munchkin enjoyed a small serving! I was so elated by this that I've made a crazy amount of soup and stocked up the freezer for future meals (in case you're wondering, I've use this Elana's Pantry recipe and please note: since the ingredient list is sparse the flavour of your stock has to be top notch).

Other crafty happenings: I made a crap-ton more dryer balls. The photo below is from my Instagram feed taken in the fall when I whipped up my first set. Since then I've been needing to make one or more balls every 3-4 weeks because one always goes missing or the Mister has told a co-worker, colleague, or friend about them and they wanted to try one out. I still can't believe that we had gone so long without trying them in our dryer before. We don't use those fabric anti-static dryer sheets because the Munchkin has super sensitive skin and I really don't like how clothes and especially towels feel after you've used them. I really do find that our laundry dries a little faster with these little balls of felted wool, but can't really say for sure if I've noticed a difference in static cling. Either way, they're more environmentally friendly than the throwaway sheets, they're fun to make, AND I've been able to use up the leftover bits of Cascade Eco Wool, Peruvia Quick, Cascade 220, and Patons Classic Wool that I always seem to have hidden in the stash somewhere.


In weaving news: I've finished weaving all the panels on my SeaGlass Blanket and now I'm waiting for my wrists to feel better before I attempt to sew the panels together. I'm super excited with how the last panel turned out and the second I cut it off the loom I had laid out all three panels on my bed to see how they looked together. It's quite obvious which panel was woven first and how off my measuring was compared to the other two but surprisingly I'm ok with the slight differences. If anything seeing the differences has inspired me to weave a plaid-like blanket next!

I'm also entertaining the idea of trying my hand at weaving with a simple frame loom but I just can't bring myself to dish out the $40-60 to buy one. So this weekend I'm thinking of stopping by a hardware store and seeing what I can rig up for a fraction of the price. But we'll see if I'll even get the chance to bring out the power tools (or even a hammer) because the Munchkin has a science experiment project that's due in two weeks that he needs to prepare and practice his speech for. I can tell you now, he's not looking forward to spending his two-week spring break working on a science project! It's a simple and fun experiment but unlike the rest of his class the Munchkin needs more time to prep, especially when it comes down to his "speech" since his speech delays forces him to work that much harder. I'm actually a little stressed out and nervous about his presentation.


Anyhoo, last week I bought myself a new set of my favourite pens (Paper Mate Flair, in case you're wondering) which has inspired me to start doodling again. Ah, nothing like brand spanking new stationary - and in rainbow formation! - to get you going!! Because of my wrists my writing has been somewhat of a mess lately (think doctors' notes!) but doodling doesn't need to be legible, so who cares? It's all good! I've forced myself to wear my wrist brace from time to time, even though it can be awkward, because the last thing I need is for doodling to unnecessarily injure my wrist even further. I've always been super private and self-conscious about my artwork and doodles, so don't expect a show-and-tell any time soon. I'm still learning to release the fear of showing others my sketchbook and have always admire those who have no qualms about it. I think I just need to grower thicker skin and because in my experience I've faced more "careless negativity" in terms of feedback. As in lots of people feel the need to put in their 2 cents without thinking it through and without realizing that their so-called harmless comment can be damaging ("this is nice but...", or "you should've done this to make it better", or "I did this ages ago!", or worse: "I saw someone do that exact thing but theirs was nicer because..."). Yeah, who needs that noise? Totally makes me shudder!

And because I know someone will want to know, the pen holder that you see on my sketchbook in the photo above was something that I had made years ago in university after spotting a graphic design student sporting one around a Chapters book store. Mine was made to fit a Moleskine notebook (hence why the elastic looks overly stretched out) that I had used as a day planner and colour-coded all my various activities. When I moved to Victoria I had ditched the pen sleeve and the whole colour-coding concept simply because my social calendar was never that active again. If it weren't for an old pen stuck to it, I would've never have found it amongst my pile of elastic while cleaning out my crafting supplies! The pen sleeve is basically a length of nylon webbing (just shy of the length or wide of a typical note or sketchbook) sewn to another length of elastic (that's about half on inch less at the ends to form a band, with a smaller width of elastic in the same length as the webbing sewn on top for the pens. I've seen beautiful variations of this idea everywhere - made out of fabric, ribbons, velcro; some had little pockets, some had slots for sticky notes. I keep meaning to expand on this but never got around to it.

These past few days my hands and wrists have been feeling a lot better but not 100% yet. I'm hesitant about diving into my knitting so I think I'll give myself at least another week before I make any attempts at picking up my knitting needles again. In the meantime I'm thoroughly enjoying the doodling, painting, and venturing into other crafty areas. Is anyone else trying their hand at a different craft? Any suggestions on what I should try next that won't be a strain on my wrists? 'Til next time...


♥ Happy Crafting!! ♥


5 comments:

  1. Those rainbow pens are so pretty! Looking forward to seeing the woven blanket all knit up. Any recommendations for (inexpensive-ish) looms for someone who has never woven but is maybe being inspired to try by your lovely creation?

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Even though I have an Ashford loom, I wish I had gotten a Kromski Harp - even though it's a little more pricier. But only because they have a built in warping board, which is SO handy if you don't have the space to do larger direct warps. If you can, I would recommend trying out loom before you invest in one to find out which one you prefer. I'm not sure which ones they have, but if you check out Knotty by Nature I know they do loom rentals (that's how I got started!).

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  2. the weaving you're doing is so lovely! I honestly wouldn't know where to start with weaving! i'm so sorry to hear that your wrists are still out.. :( sending you fast healing vibes, and I look forward to knitting and sipping coffee with you soon! xo

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    1. ps. i've also NEVER tried drier balls! what?! i should.

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    2. You NEED to try out dryer balls! SO easy to make and great for using up leftovers :)

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