Saturday, January 30, 2016

One Year Anniversary

Cate's Crafts turned one year old yesterday. I meant to write a post, but I sort of forgot. It doesn't seem like a year has past already. I'm happy to report that I feel pretty successful with my stated goal of improving my "grown-up" wardrobe. I've got plenty of shirts to wear to work, although I would like to add a few more long sleeve button ups to the mix. I've got cute outfits to wear on weekends, and date nights. It seems like it has been a couple of months since I've looked into my closet and despaired because I had nothing to wear. All in all, I'm going to say I achieved my goal. 

Looking forward into the year to come, I think I'm going to be doing a lot more home decor sewing, I need pillows, curtains, a duvet cover, ect so look for posts like that. I'm also going to be doing a fair amount of wedding-focused crafting, for example, today, I am making paper flowers so you will see a post about that soon (and for more immediate pictures check my Instagram).

I also am going to be focusing on my fiance's wardrobe. I no longer feel like a ragga-muffin when I leave the house, but his clothes are in a pretty sad state. He has a tendency to get attached to particular clothing items when means that he wears them to bits, but then he keeps wearing them because he doesn't want to get rid of them. It is, frankly, embarrassing when he goes to his mom's house in pants that are full of holes and a sweater that got shrunk in the wash. I want to tell her over and over that I am capable of dressing him better than that. Of course, just because I make him nice things won't mean he stops wearing the tiny sweater because he likes that sweater, but I can at least try.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Catching Up With Christmas Gifts

So wow I am behind on my blog right now. I think I mentioned in previous posts that Fiance and I were in the process of moving. Moving is not conducive to writing or crafting. But things are starting to settle down; the beginning of the year madness of work is calming, we have our new apartment mostly set up, we have internet hooked up, things are getting organized.

I was going to do a separate blog post for each Christmas gift that I made this year, but since it's been so long since I posted and I'm feeling rather behind on projects I'm just going to put them all in this post, sorry, but it will be a bit long.

In the past, I've stuck to just knitting gifts, but this year I did a bit of sewing too. The first two projects that I completed were quilted casserole carriers for Fiance's mom and sister. I used the free pattern provided on Sew Desu Ne. I used a fat eighths bundle for the top of each carrier and a yard and a quarter of cotton for the bottom and handles. The bundles actually left me one square short for each carrier, but I made up the difference with fabric from the bottom.

The blue one was for my future sister-in-law, this is what the top of it looks like when laid flat. All of those triangles were a breeze with the rotary cutter that Fiance's Mom got me for my birthday.

I also made one in orange for my future mother-in-law. This is what it looks like when it's folded up to carry a dish. I am really pleased with the way these turned out and when I get some free time I think I am going to make one or two for myself as well. P.S. the handles aren't as long as they look in the photo, it's really difficult to take a picture of your own arm without getting a really skewed perspective. 

Continuing with gifts for Fiance's family: I always make stuffed animals for his nieces. I typically pick a theme and make all four stuffed animals fit within it. This year's theme was safari animals. I was going to make a zebra and a lion for two of his nieces, but I couldn't figure out how to send them to Costa Rica without it costing both parties an arm and a leg (taxes on packages are weird down there apparently). I did make an elephant and a giraffe for the two girls in Idaho. 

I did add eyes to the elephant, I just forgot to take a new picture after doing so. It's a bit creepy looking without them. I used this pattern, but I left off the tusks. I'm pretending it's because this is a female Asian elephant and they don't have tusks. It totally wasn't because I didn't have any white yarn and I was too lazy to knit tusks. Nope. That's not it at all. 

The giraffe came from this pattern. I like the look of the pattern, but boy did working on this remind me that I hate doing stranded color work. Not that it is particularly difficult, I just don't find it enjoyable to knit. Also, I forgot to add Mr. Giraffe's ears. Oops. This project took me way longer to finish than I thought it would and by the time I got to the ears I was just so done. Oh well. I think he is still cute. 

And speaking of projects that took way longer than they should have:

Before Fiance and I moved away from all our friends I loved nothing more than decorating for holidays and having people over. I had a great deal of pride and joy in our handmade Christmas decorations. I made us stockings and an adorable (if I do say so myself) advent calendar of tiny mittens and socks. My finished project is pictured below. My mom took one look at it and said she wanted the same thing for Christmas. That was three years ago. Then we moved and I lost interest in all things cute, decorative, or Christmas themed. Losing interest in something I loved so much really should have been a red flag that we needed to be back among friends. But I did try to make mom her advent calendar. By Christmas last year, I had made her three red mittens. By Christmas this year, I had made one green one. I actually knit the rest on Christmas day at her house because I felt so bad that I just hadn't been able to get myself to work on them more. So now she has twelve mittens. Maybe by next year, I can finish the twelve socks although she says she is happy with just the mittens and decorations for her tree. 

And for the last of the handmade Christmas gifts, I made Fiance a red beanie. We didn't really exchange gifts this year because of the move, but it felt wrong not to give him anything at all and he needed a new hat. The ribbing and the color are inspired by the beanies worn in "Life Aquatic" although they aren't exactly the same. Last year I made a matching one for one of Fiance's best friends. I'm still waiting for a picture of them wearing the hats together. 

And that's it. End of the Christmas gift post. I think it's the fewest handmade gifts I've ever given, but between moving stress and work stress and a general lack of interest in anything Christmas I just didn't feel like making a lot this year. I'm confident that next year will be better, though. I'm already thinking of making some new decorations and trying to decide what the next animal theme should be. I am so happy that we are back to living among friends.