Thursday, February 28, 2008

Two Monkeys Down

I've completed two monkeys for my blanket-in-progress. So cute, right?!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Buffalo's Middle Eastern Markets

An article I wrote for Buffalo Rising was published online on Monday; the print version comes out in March as well. Check it out!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Two Degrees of Separation: Kanye West and Me

Okay, so I guess it really is true that people are connected in the strangest ways sometimes. Our friend Kagan, dad to Islay and artist extraordinaire, watched a movie starring Weng Weng while we (Kagan and his wife, Sandy, and me and John) were on vacation on Manitoulin Island a couple of summers ago. John, who is king of obscure movies, found the movie online and brought it to share with Kagan. They watched it on my laptop out near a bonfire one night. Kagan was inspired to draw a picture of Weng Weng in his rocket pack that night. Then a while later, Kagan and his brother Sean, who comprise the hip-hop group The C.H.U.D.S. put out a rap and video that blew up on YouTube. Recently Kanye West featured the video on his blog. So there you have it: me --> Kagan --> Kanye West.

Here's the video, for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Monkeys Needed

I've finished all the granny squares for the sock monkey blanket I'm crocheting. Now it's time to make some monkeys! That's the part I'm looking forward to. I'm not so keen on crocheting all the granny squares together, but I'll plow ahead because I can see the light at the end of the (carpal) tunnel and I think this blanket will look darn cute when it's done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lara: Embroidering in Tanzania

My friend Lara made this cool embroidered bag. She is living in Tanzania right now and working as the Field Coordinator for IRC in Kibondo. I sent her some embroidery supplies a while back, and voila! Globalized crafting once again...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Inspiring Crafter

I'd like to introduce my blog readers to a most inspiring crafter: Donna Ferraro! Donna and I met a couple of weeks ago through my sister Sarah. We all needle felted and knitted together, and I mentioned to Donna that I originally got interested in needle felting because I saw photos of some really cute fairies. I also talked, as I usually do, somewhat incessantly about my cats.

Fast forward to today, when Sarah stopped by with a lovely bag of crafts from Donna for me! First, I am the proud recipient of this lovely needle felted fairy. It's amazingly intricate- not only is her face hand-painted, but her skirt is crafted from flower petals, and her legs are movable and beautiful, as they're wire that's been hand-wrapped with embroidery floss! Donna named her "Thimbleberry Fairy" and I am so happy to have her in my home. I've placed her on our chandelier for the moment, because it's one of the few places I know that Mochi (the wool destroyer) can't reach. I think the Thimbleberry Fairy looks cute there- like she's watching over our family meals. She even came complete with fairy dust!

Donna didn't forget about Meowzle and Mochi, and they sure are grateful for that! She sewed an organic catnip toy for each of the kitties, and as the pictures below indicate, they LOVE their new fish. In fact, they haven't stopped playing with these toys since I opened them 45 minutes ago. The packaging for these catnip fish is adorable, and the premium organic catnip, combined with the enticing ribbons, has made for two very contented cats.

And one very happy cat owner/crafter. Thanks a million, Donna. You made my day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Crocheted Tote

I finished another crocheted tote recently. I've been meaning to post a photo of it for a week or two, but just got around to taking it. I'm not sure who this will be gifted to but it'll be a great catch-all/grocery tote for someone, not unlike the crocheted cotton totes I made a while back.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Monkey Blanket Update

As I posted before, I've been working on a really cute crocheted blanket featuring sock monkeys. I searched many local yarn suppliers for the right yarn for the monkeys themselves. Alas, I learned that none of them were carrying Bernat Denim-Style yarn in Rodeo Tan any longer. What to do? It just wouldn't be right if these monkeys were the wrong color, and I'm way too impatient to wait for an eBay order to arrive. After several agonizing trips to various stores, I finally found a replacement- Bernat Softee Chunky Twists yarn in Taupe. Yippee! Let the sock monkey crocheting commence.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Love You This Munch

As I've written before, we're not really into Valentine's Day around here. It feels sort of forced to celebrate on a day so commercially-oriented. But the spirit moved me today, and I made John a valentine anyway. Not just any valentine, though... a zombie valentine. I can't take credit for the images on the card-- they're from here and here and here. This valentine is comprised entirely of recycled file folders and paper and (because I couldn't find regular glue) wood glue. It's not falling apart anytime soon. Those who know John will be unsurprised to hear that he really liked this gift.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Haya's Sweater

I knitted a sweater for my dear friend Hanna when she was pregnant with her lovely (and generally quite smiley, although not in these photos) daughter Haya. Sometimes when I knit, crochet, or sew congratulatory presents for expectant parents I make them pretty big-- the idea being that the item will be in the life of the child a bit longer than if I made it to fit a newborn. Since Haya lives in Madison, WI, I figure it's great that this sweater fits her well now, in the middle of winter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ginny's Got a Blog

My sister-in-law Ginny (who's been mentioned and/or featured a whopping 9 times on this blog; the most recent time was here) has just started a baking/knitting/crafting in general blog. She's got a great post today about a scarf she knitted. Check it out!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Crafty Donna and Crafty Di

I spent parts of this weekend learning and teaching various crafts. On Friday, crafty Rochesterian (is that right?) Donna taught me and my sister Sarah how to needle felt. I wish I'd had my camera with me, because Donna's needle felted creatures are really something to behold! I made a cute chick that sort of looked like a Peep but it was destroyed by Mochi, who was overcome with joy when she got her paws on that wool. John came in to my office and said, "I'm afraid I found a crafting casualty." He was carrying the poor chick's shredded body in one hand and wings in another. I also helped Donna learn how to knit on Friday, but she's a natural, so I really can't take any credit.

Then on Sunday, Diane and I spent a couple of hours working on various projects, including a lovely hat that Di knitted for a friend in Germany. I also taught her how to crochet a granny square. I look forward to see her first granny square blanket sometime soon!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Balloon Crafts

My sister just sent me an e-mail with photos of the most amazing balloon dresses. I did a bit of googling and found this wonderful balloon toilet as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Too Busy Crocheting To Post

The past few days I've been crocheting and knitting like crazy. I made a bag (future birthday present for someone, to be featured at a later date), started a baby sweater and bought supplies for an awesome monkey blanket (pattern via Happy Hooker). Here's hoping it will look as good as the one above, made by Big Girl Feet.