Sunday, July 25, 2010

I've finally knit for Bean.

Elsie Cardi
Originally uploaded by kdmade

You'd think I would have at least knit her a hat, but no. I'm a bad knitting mama. But I finally found a pattern I love, that knit up in only a few days (hello?! Knitting baby sweaters makes me feel like a knitting superhero), and will be perfect for when we all start school in the Fall. Also, I'm a sucker for raglan sleeves. And patterns with no seams to bind.

I used Knitpick's organic worsted cotton and it knit up like. a. dream. Such a fantastic drape, much softer than I thought it would be. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I chose not to do the crochet trim even though I was planning on doing it in a contrasting color. I just finished knitting and felt it was perfectly sweet the way it was.

These are some faboo vintage buttons I scored somewhere.
I put it on her this afternoon and she smiled and smiled. I think she understands "handmade".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Does this make me a hacker?

Altoid tin ipod speakers
Originally uploaded by kdmade
I think I might have pulled off my first hack.

We have half of our belongings in storage since our house is on the market, including our CD collection. It's not such a big deal because I have almost everything on my ipod, but the speakers for the ipod live in the bedroom. It's not a huge speaker set and could totally be moved, but when you are living in a house that is on the market, moving anything is not advisable since, at any moment, you may have to move it back for a showing. Also, we are headed for our annual trip to Maine in a few weeks and I wanted to try to find a way to play some music in the car.

Enter the altoid tin ipod speakers. I found this tutorial and thought that little old techno-idiot me could pull of a stunt that was advertised as a "10 minute" project that was so simple a "monkey could do it". Well, 4 hours and a few choice words later, and I'm happy to say that this monkey has herself some portable ipod speakers.

Dear Andrew was quick to point out that I made the project more complicated than it was originally intended to be which must, of course, account for the extra 3 hours and 50 minutes I took to complete it. Well, that and my level of expertise with electronics is best summed up by the fact that installing one of those little snake thingees to wrap around and control all of the cords for my computer makes me feel like I've accomplished a huge technological feat. I didn't use earbud style earphones so getting the speakers out was a little more tricky than it needed to be. I used one big saffron tin instead of two altoid tins because I thought it would be cool to be able to store my ipod in there as well. Also, there was a wire connecting the two speakers and I didn't want to have to cut through any more wires that absolutely necessary. Let's just say I was a bit shaky on the whole putting-the-wires-back-together part of the project. I mounted the speakers onto a piece of really thick cardboard that was a pain in the freaking arse to cut through and then found a cool picture from an old calendar (yes, there is a reason why I save all of my cool, old calendars!) to cover the masonite/speaker mess.The speakers were hot-glued to the masonite, the masonite was hot-glued into the tin, the card covering was stuck into place with glue dots and Bob's your uncle, we have speakers!

I did have to cut the wire that runs into the ipod so that I could get it through the back of the tin . Splicing it back was no biggie, except I had no idea what they meant by using a lighter to melt the plastic after twisting the wires back together. The only plastic I could think of was the casing for the wire and I couldn't think of any reason why I would want to melt that. Just wrapping the wires wasn't reliably working though. At one point I actually got it to work, glued it all together, and then found it wasn't working anymore. In the end, I realized that there was a plastic fibery part in each the wires (along with the metal parts of the wire) and I took a lighter to that. That did the trick and I had sound!

I don't know if these are going to be loud enough for a car ride, but we'll test that out shortly. In the meantime, they are totally great for around the house and I now have a pretty place to store my ipod!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quilt Along Progress!

Quilt Along!
Originally uploaded by kdmade
OK, technically I'm a week behind here. I blame it on the heat. I've decided that, in the new house, I'm going to put the craft room on the second floor and our guests can roast their bippies off on the third floor while I happily work in the relative cool of the second floor. But in this house, I'm stuck and dear lord it's hot up there...only an idiot would add to that heat by turning on an iron. Ahem.

I actually have two more of the patchwork sides done for this quilt so I need to do two more and then sew on the next round of white strips to be caught up. Despite the fact that the heat is showing no signs of letting up, I think I might be able to crank it out tomorrow and then be up up to speed. Good thing, because I hate being behind (yes I was THAT kid who turned everything in on time)!

I'm trying to keep with the random nature of the quilt by pulling my pieces from the basket, but I'm not sure it's a perfect solution. A lot of the squares stuck together after I'd cut and stacked them because I'm not sure I mixed them all up well enough. I'm getting scared that I'm going to end up with 25 peices in the same pattern at the very end, but we'll see.

If I don't melt finishing up this week's work, maybe more pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gathering Moss

Gathering Moss
Originally uploaded by kdmade
After waking up at 5 am this morning (house-selling stress) I decided to a) make myself a caramel latte*, and
b) pack up my moss in preparation for our move.

OK, maybe I'm a little crazy but how do I know if the new owners will love the moss or if they, like the previous owner before us would take drastic measures to destroy it ("I just spray it with bleach!" he said, generously handing over the pesticide sprayer he regularly filled with bleach to get the job done). That said, there are no new owners yet, just potential buyers who are snooping through our house and the fact of the matter is that some folks just don't get that moss-covered brick is a good thing, not a neglected shade garden. So our realtor (who is also our friend) gently suggested we do a little yard work this weekend since we have, in this insane heat, recently given up many of our plants for dead. She said nothing of the mossy walkway, but I decided that that's exactly what she was referring to. I mean, I was going to take the moss anyway!

So that is how I ended up at 5:30 in the morning, in my nightshirt and leggings with a caramel latte in hand, gently scraping up the moss with a spackling knife. In this picture you can see part of the walkway that I've de-mossed. I left some in some places (I mean, for pete's sake, I couldn't take all the woodsy-gnomey charm out of the garden) and the walkway actually curves around at the top so there was a lot of moss to be harvested.

In my moss class I was told that I should lay the moss out on some sort of screen or something with a fan blowing up underneath it to try to dry it out and allow it to go dormant (that's how they ship it all over), but we have a showing tomorrow night and I can't see a realtor trying to explain away a basement full of moss and fans. It was pretty dry anyway, thanks to the insaneinthemembrane heat that is killing everything green right now, so I put it into a box, stacked moss-side to moss-side (I gathered enough moss to fill a copy paper box!) and put it in the basement. We'll see what the movers think when I hand them a box that says "moss! live plants!" all over it.

*my caramel latte involves this stuff. I'm not trying to be overly dramatic or anything, but it's kind-of given me reason to live when the house selling stress really gets to me.

and, p.s., I finally figured out how to post to my blog from Flickr. I'm not sure what else to say about that, except that I'm feeling quite techno-savvy right now (it doesn't take much).

made. by k.d.