Engineer Hat

This was fun to make 
but it looks absolutely ridiculous on me (most hats do.) But on Leanne?

The pattern is Engineer Cap* by Ellen Liguori from the book "Crochet Noro". 
Love that book! 
Great patterns, interesting yarns - there are only a few things in there that I don't want to make (mainly the skirts.)
Yarn is Noro Kureyon that I re-purposed from the Noro bobble hat I made earlier this year.
It was an interesting project, but no way was I ever going to wear it, so into the frog pond it went.
Buttons are from my favorite yarn shop. After hemming and hawing, I narrowed my button choices down to two - one that cost over $4 a piece, and these, that cost .80 each. Hmmmmm, tough choice . . . Not! Plus I really did like these better.
I'm teaching this as a class next month, then the cap will go to one of the baby grands - probably Naia, if it fits over all her hair. She loves wearing hats, so I've got my fingers crossed on the fit.   

*Errata/pattern error: Round 25 should read " Repeat Rounds 15 through 21"


Guild Challenge

This year's Guild challenge was to make a cushion. It could be a chair pad, pin cushion, anything we wanted, using any technique we wanted. The challenge? We had to use the colors in the crayons we drew from a paper bag - no peeking and no swapping!  In a bag filled with orange, purple and green crayons - my fav colors - I ended up with ...
light brown, cornflower blue and white. All neutrals.

Fortunately, we had the option of adding other colors to the mix, and the proportion of the designated colors was also up to us. So the back of my cushion . . .
is my crayon colors, with a little bit of sparkle in the white to liven things up. I love this spiral technique where all three colors are worked in each "row".   
And the front? No neutrals here! And also no newly purchased yarn. Every color I used came directly from my big bin of acrylic yarns left over from other projects.
Love how bright and cheerful this is. The front is based on the Blooming Flower tutorial at Attic24. I love Lucy's work!
I'm very pleased with how my cushion turned out. And the most surprising thing of all? I finished this early - 2 whole days before it was due. Bonus points for me!


Fashion Shoot

Leia's not as camera-crazy as she used to be - or as Leanne currently is - 
but she's still willing to get her silly on for the right bribe. (Usually 2 Tic-Tacs.)
This is another 'cheater' dress. 
Leia loved the fabric on sight; purple and Tinkerbell are a hard combination for her to pass up.
The main fabric is all one piece; 
I just added the bottom ruffle (I love the old-fashioned look of the lace)
the shoulder straps, and the buttons where the straps connect to the dress.
I love how easy these are to put together and how cute the girls look in them. 
That Leia loves wearing them (and Leanne is coming around) is icing on the cake.


New Shawl

I wasn't crazy about this project while I was working on it, but now that it's done? Love it!
I think it was the motifs that were bothering me; just as I'd start building up speed, it was time to fasten off and start all over again. 
But slow and steady (and a looming deadline) got this finished just in time for Wednesday's class. 
Love the drape and how the beads (504 of them!) give it some weight, in addition to a bit of sparkle and bling. 

I made a couple of changes to the original pattern (Beaded Lace Shawl from the Crochet Noro book.) I used a bigger hook (E/3.5 mm vs. C/2.75 mm); took out the interior picots (thought they looked cramped and weird); 
and added a border all around that connects the outside edges of the motifs. Trying to wear this with a floppy edge would have driven me even more bonkers. 
Overall I'm pleased with how it turned out. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to keep it or give it away. . . .


Leia's Present

Leia and I collaborated on a Father's Day gift for her daddy. 
Inspired by this pin on Pinterest, Leia and I picked up canvas, acrylic paints and brushes from the craft store. 
I'm still not sure why we got brushes, since she much preferred painting with her hands . . .
We spread everything out on the kitchen floor and went to town. 
The next day, while Leia was at her mom's, I carefully peeled back the painters tape to reveal the hidden message.
Leia added the finishing touches -
a bit more paint and embellishments in the form of pearls, hearts and sparklies (most of which date from the 70's and 80's; a craft stash is a wonderful thing.)
And Daddy's reaction to our multimedia masterpiece?
I think he liked it.     


Hubby's Hobby

When he's not remodeling the house or wrangling baby-grands, hubby does a bit of wood turning.
Most of his turning time has been taken up making crochet hooks for my buddies and the shop,
but every once in a while he'll disappear into the garage wood shop, 
reappearing a few hours later, covered in sawdust and smelling of varnish.
Early last week he received a block of buckeye burl in the mail.
I thought it would go into his stash woodpile, to be made into something eventually.
But look what was waiting for me when I got home last Sunday. 
I love that he was able to keep that rough section in the final piece. And the inlaid turquoise gets me every time.
And that he took the time to get photos for me as he worked? 
Major bonus points.  


Flowers of Mystery

Not sure what these plants are (please chime in if you know Lynn says these are New Zealand flax and, judging by the pictures I found online, I think she's got it!),
but the hummingbirds LOVE them,
they're drought resistant,
and they photograph very nicely.
They don't flower for long, so the hummerbees* and I will have to enjoy them quickly.

* That's what my kids called hummingbirds when they were little. The name stuck and I'm teaching it to the baby-grands.