Archive for the 'Inspiring' Category



Almost Famous

Almost Famous

I finally got to the bookstore this week and got a hold of a copy of Larissa‘s new book Knitalong. Longtime readers of my blog may remember that I knit some hats and my first socks ever as part of two knitalongs Larissa hosted to prepare for the book. Then she asked that I send the holly hat to be included in photos for the book. So I was hoping that there was at least a photo of it in there — for no other reason than to brag to my mom and mother-in-law. Well, now you have to hear me brag too because it looks like I have two photos in the book as well as two mentions. Hee hee, I’m almost famous. Okay, not really. But I have to say it’s a great book with that meathead pattern I get asked about so much as well as a bunch of other awesome stuff. So get your hands on a copy.

Japanese Inspiration

Japanese Bookstore Haul

After touching down in LA we headed straight to Kinokuniya to peruse the Japanese books. As far as I know there is no such store near home. While Stefan and Katie found Hello Kitty sticker books I rifled through the craft book section. Knowing no Japanese it was hard to figure out what a book was about by the spine. I still managed to make quite a dent in my pocketbook so maybe it’s better that way. Here’s what jumped in my bag:

Cotton & Paint and Cotton Time Magazines

The March issues of Cotton & Paint and Cotton Time. Does anyone who reads these prefer one over the other? I haven’t decided yet.

Japanese Needle Felting Craft Book

I just love needle felted animals. Who knows if I’ll ever actually make one but the photos in this book are so good and cute I know I’ll be inspired looking through it again and again. Can you see that donkey with the mailbag?

Japanese Waldorf Style Doll Craft Book

This book makes me think of Grace every time I see it. I’m sure she doesn’t need it for the excellent diagrams but the photos in this one are wonderful too. Isn’t that the thing with the Japanese style. I can see making loads of these dolls for the urchins — fairies and gnomes and various other creatures.

Japanese Parent and Child Craft Book

This is the kind of book I walked into the bookstore looking for — a sewing book with children’s clothes. This one has mostly patterns for little girls and Mamas with a little bit of boys/Daddys and home-dec thrown in for good measure.

Japanese Pattern Magic Craft Book

When I picked up this last one I knew I had to buy immediately. It’s not for me though, but for a friend. And I know she’ll like the volume, the texture, and the art of the garments inside.

The Leaning Tower of Grannys

Granny Stack

You guys know I love a good granny square afghan. Well, that grandmother of mine is turning 85 next month and my dad and his sisters are throwing a little family party for her. My mom and I have been working on a blurb book to give her full of family memories and this photo is going in it. I hope she likes it, I knew you guys would.

The Germs are Relentless

Recent Favorites

Ear infection, sinus infection, and goopy eye — and that’s just Tristan. Katrina got sent home from a sleepover with Grandmom and Granddad on Saturday night with a temp of 103.5. I knew she felt pretty bad when she wanted to come home. We’ll find out what’s going on with her later today. In the meantime, here are some flickr favorites to tide us all over.

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

1. more olives, 2. Traveler, 3. Mushroom House: Green, 4. paint job, 5. sled, 6. tie detail, 7. Penguinfront, 8. Whimsical Flowers embroidery, 9. Hi Sweeties!, 10. Walking in peace, 11. sisters., 12. Nekoma grass, looking west, 13. Lace and Legs, 14. 30 Days : 13, 15. .garden of magic, 16. Pillows and curtain, 17. Mushroom Cap Singles, 18. felt cookies, 19. Wooden moms, 20. frosted water pump, 21. Safnið Skógar undir Eyjafjöllum, 22. it was raining gumballs, 23. fluid + rigid, 24. Snowy Seat, 25. Escape from Florida, 26. Holey, 27. swatches, 28. WAWAYAdoragon#6#7, 29. Lovely weather – Gott veður, 30. dinosaur finger puppets, 31. bowl of knitted easter eggs, 32. floyd, the farm dog, 33. green + brown, 34. frost on the duck pen, 35. easter eggs, 36. DSCF6621.JPG

Urchins for Chicks

Blessed — that’s what we are in so many ways. Our family is fortunate to live middle-class lives in an affluent country where we have the freedom to speak, worship, and pretty much go about our lives in a way that pleases us. We have never had to worry about how we would feed our children, how we would afford their medicine, or how to protect them from warfare. We go to our church every week without fear of imprisonment.

Urchins for Chicks

The recent winter holidays always reminds me — and many — of how much I have been given and this is something that Papa and I want our children to appreciate. Katrina helps me take food and clothing to our local outreach center, she has sorted through toys to give some to children who have few, but this year we are taking it a little further. This year we gave her a catalog from Heifer International and asked her to flip through and choose an animal — she picked a flock of chicks. Since Thanksgiving she’s been doing jobs around the house to earn the money to buy them for a child who lives half the world away. I cannot get over how excited she’s been about this. She keeps asking us if we have jobs for her. Not once has she asked about keeping the money for herself or buying something she wants. She’s learning that charity isn’t just about cast-offs and leftovers but also about sacrifice — that making the world better requires work.

So if you’ve made it this far you may be wondering why I’m writing all this on my craft blog. I was thinking about how much difference one four-year-old can make and then the difference that ten children could make and I thought what Katrina is doing might inspire you, or your urchins and I felt obliged to share. In addition to the jobs around the house Katrina has started a shop over at cafepress where you can buy items screenprinted with her original designs — we’re hoping to add more designs soon. All proceeds from the sales will go toward chicks. Now tell me, what do you do to foster giving and sacrifice in the hearts of your children?

Recent Favorites

It’s cold and grey and a little bit snowy here today so how about some recent favorites courtesy of flickr.

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

Some Recent Favorites

to distract you while I dig out from the gazillion loads of laundry I’m under. We were only gone for six days?!?

Recent Favorites

When in Doubt, Go With the Favorites

Sorry for the lack of posting, we’ve been adjusting to the schedule and man are we tired. Last week was great but this week we all seem to be exhausted, grumpy, and Tristan has the first head-cold of the season. I’ve been working on a ton of stuff so I promise a real post soon. In the meantime, here are some recent flickr favorites.

Recent Favorites


flickr photos

Mama Urchin. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

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