Monday, December 20, 2010

Hand Made Holiday

I can't post what I made yet, but I am proud to say that 7 people on my list this year are getting hand-made gifts. Hand-made gifts means planning a little earlier and knowing a bit about the person and their tastes. Some of the gifts I give with a "return policy" telling the recipient that I'd be happy to remake it in a color more to their liking.
I saved money as I looked for bargains on my raw materials throughout the year. I set deadlines, gave myself plenty of time and it all worked out great. Now is a good time to start thinking of ideas for next year, while it is fresh in your mind. Search DIY sites and look in on Martha for ideas or find the perfect sewing pattern and look for bargain fabrics. As soon as the gifts are open, I will post some pics of them!
Happy Holidays!
Theresa, ommama

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Giveaway!

You know you want these fabulous little vintage mushrooms! They are from Meyer Imports, a fabulous company with little mushrooms, tiny creatures, and amazing glitter. The largest ones are watte (spun cotton) with plaster caps and the smaller ones are all plaster. All you have to do is be a follower of the blog (look to the right of this post to subscribe) and leave a comment below (international entries welcome!). But not just any comment silly! Tell us your favorite holiday/winter tradition. A winner will be chosen at random and notified. All comments much be left by 9 pm PST (lucky you East Coasties!).

Good Luck!
Cerise : )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bella's Sweater

This weekend I made a little sweater for my "niece," Bella. It was my first baby sweater and it came out so cut! I took advantage of Knit Picks's cyber Monday sale and got a ton of yarn, some for specific projects like this one, and some for whatever comes along. Who could pass up Oregon Coast merino lace yarn? Dexter was also supposed to get a sweater out of this but apparently hyacinth is a purple color. Who knew? It's really not his shade. Bella's sweater was made with KP's Andean Silk in the colorway Cerise (cool, right?). This is my new favorite blend. Alpaca, merino, and silk, oh my! It's a fabulous as it sounds. A nice halo and a lovely sheen and it feels divine. The pattern is Lion Brand Yarn's Eyelet Yoke Sweater and it's a really great and fairly easy one to knit up. I want to make a million of these in every color! Fortunately I know a few baby and toddler girls who might need a sweater. After one other sock mate, my holiday knitting is done. Post holiday knitted gifts is another story...

Happy Knitting!
Cerise : )

P.S. If you aren't a blog follower get on it! Look to the right of this post to follow. Thursday is giveaway day and you can't win if you aren't a follower...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fiber Friday: Pashmina

One of the softest, most luxurious fibers is pashmina wool. Pashmina comes from Himalayan goats, Capra hircus, that live in high altitudes and extreme cold. Their wool is only 12-20 microns thick. The goats are sheared once a year for their fiber.

is Persian for "wool". Most pashmina yarns sold on the market are a blend of pashmina wool and silk or other fibers. Many yarns available are lovely, such as madelinetosh Tosh Pashmina Yarn but are as little as 10% pashmina. 100% pashmina is very expensive around $100 per 100 grams. If you do buy the wool or a scarf or shawl, be sure to check the actual fiber content so that you know what you are getting.

Cashmere and pashmina are sometimes used interchangeably for the same fiber. While cashmere comes from goats, cashmere is a type, not a breed.
Happy Friday!

Theresa, Ommama

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!

As a sewer and a crafter, you really know best what you need and having the right tools for the job makes the job so much better. While you can certainly put these on your Christmas list, I am getting a few things for myself:
New pins and needles: yes, I have a lot of them. Some from my grandmother. Very dull indeed! And have the right kind of needle for the job. There is a nice little article on the types of needles for the job here.
Sharpen my scissors: I have some that won't even cut thread anymore. They are great scissors, they just need sharpening. Find the best local knife and scissor sharpener through your local fabric or yarn store.
Ergonomic seam ripper: And it is sharp!
Lots of empty bobbins: no more pulling thread off a bobbin when I need an empty one.
New organizers: No more wasting time looking for doodads when I can be crafting or sewing.
The list could go on, but these are the things I am starting with. After all, I have been a good girl this year!
Theresa, Ommama

Treasury Features!

My cute little tiny mushroom terrarium and my little red-nosed reindeer both made it into treasuries!! I'm so excited! Check them out, some neat picks!

Great Mushroom Treasury
(click on pic)

Great Deer Treasury
(click on pic)

Happy Crafting!
Cerise : )

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Favorite: Ravelry Pattern

I love to browse all the newly added knitting patterns on Ravelry and this week I came across Baby Black Hole by Dawn Finney. He's absolutely adorable with his little eyes. And he's a scientific knit pattern. Well, sort of. I love sciency crafting (and Ms. Finney has a few crafties) and this little guy definitely falls into that category for me. What are your favorite science crafties?

Happy Crafting,
Cerise : )

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Glitter Me Green

Hooray for glitter!!! I am in LOVE with all my German glass glitter. It comes is so many wonderful colors! This was a must for Christmas crafting. Among other items getting a glitter treatment this winter, I have been putting glitter on papier maché cones. They will definitely be more festive after some added flair and sparkles. These glittered trees will be a definite family treasure every year. I'm going to make sets in pink, gold, and silver, but I think the green is absolutely divine for a tree! Hope you like them too. Head over to my Etsy to get your own glittery treasure.

Happy Glittering!
Cerise : )

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fiber Friday: Alpaca

What a yummy fiber. I just started knitting a new scarf (my third knit project!) with an alpaca blend. It is tri-colored with a creamy white, light brown and dark brown. I began to wonder if alpaca raised in warmer climes and lower elevations is as good as Alpaca from the Andes. As far as I have researched, the fiber looses some luster when the animals live in Australia or the U.S. and the fibers aren't quite as fine. Most alpaca still comes from Peru, Bolivia or Chile. Alpaca is very fine, less than 34 microns. Compare that to a human hair which averages 90 microns.Photo fromSnow Mountain Alpacas from Keenesburg, Colorado
Alpacas are sheared just like sheep, usually annually. The best fleece comes from the blanket of the animal, the part covering the back, side shoulders and rump. Baby alpaca fiber comes from the first clip that commands a premium rate because of its extra fineness, 22.5-23.5 microns. Shearings can produce 5-6 pounds of wool. Alpaca is hypoallergenic and less itchy than wool as alpaca has no lanolin. Vicuna, alpaca's wild cousins, have wool that is only 12 microns thick. They are rounded up and sheared every two years. What a chore that must be! You can buy a ball of vicuna yarn for a mere $300!
Here is a lovely superfine alpaca tweed from Knit Purl. This one is $27.50 for 8 ounces.
Oh, and if you want to buy and alpaca they run $1000-$16,000!
Theresa, Ommama

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby Terrariums

My baby terrariums! Bigger than the little bitty terrariums, these get to have bigger mushrooms! The bigger ones are wonderful spun cotton, or watte, with ceramic caps. I will be making the lids decorative as baby food jar lids are not particularly attractive. My first one has my favorite little ceramic fox mini. He looks very happy to frolic amongst the mushrooms. I hope to have a few baby terrariums up on my Etsy site soon. These make great holiday gifts and will fit in a stocking and are sure to put a smile on any face so order soon to get it by Christmas!

Happy Crafting!
Cerise : )

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hannuka!

This is my silly little hanukia covered in glitter. I lit my first candle tonight for the first night of Hanukkah. I'm not Jewish (though I've wanted to be since I was 10ish due to a dancing bagel at a Noah's Bagels grand opening) but I wanted to explore other cultures and traditions this winter. I'm trying to talk Dale into playing dreidel with me tomorrow. I need to find some dark chocolate gelt though. I don't like the traditional gelt. And I need to remember the dreidel symbols.

Happy Hanukkah!
Cerise : )

Wonderful Wreaths

Last weekend we went to my friend Nicole's mum's house to make wreaths. She had all the swag cut so we brought our wreath frames, wire,and wire cutters. There were three types of tree limbs and some holly we incorporated into our wreaths. Though it was a chilly rainy day, we were warmed up with tea and crafty fun.
After all the swag was attached to the frames, we trimmed off the wonky bits and gave the wreaths nice round shapes. They all turned out different and all looked really great. I decided to add some of my vintage Shiny Bright ornaments to give my wreath some flair. I had so much fun making my wreath that I want to make more. They look so nice and smell so good and would be great for gifts and holiday party presents!

Happy Winter Crafting,
Cerise : )