July 25, 2010

My Edible Garden! Soon to be actually edible!!

Oh my gosh you guys, I am SO freaking excited that tomatoes have just appeared on my plants!  Look look look!!

tomatoes!

A little (semi-embarrassing) background info from a couple weeks ago… I was trying to be super good, learning how to grow things successfully, reading about how to prune tomato plants, and I misunderstood some things because I don’t know what I’m doing yet (hey, this is my learning year, misunderstanding is to be expected), and I WAY over-pruned.  Once I realized what I’d done wrong, I feared I’d seriously damaged the plants and either killed them completely or majorly affected the time it would take for tomatoes to start appearing.  So when I saw these three tomatoes today while watering - 2 on the middle-sized plant, one on the biggest plant – I was ecstatic!

tomatoes! tomatoes!

And then, the pickling cucumber plant I added (into this planter) less than 2 weeks ago…

pickling cucumbers!

…has three of these little future-cucumbers appearing already!  Yay!!  Extra exciting after learning a bit about pickling, and getting eager to try it out!  (By the way, all these photos were taken super close-up with a micro lens – all these little future-foods are bitsy right now!)

pickling cucumbers! pickling cucumbers!

Aaaand, the carrot seeds I planted at the same time are starting to sprout!  Hooray for carrots!  Yumyumyumyum!

future carrots!

Lastly for the foody goodness… the California Wonder pepper plant I added at the same time as the cucumber is flowering – not doing quite as well as the other guys though.  That blackness around the bases of the stems is worrying me… the photo on the left was taken the day after planting it – all green – then the new photo on the right was taken today:

pepper plant! pepper plant!

Then there’s my herbs!  The yard came with a pretty stocked herb planter when we moved in – healthy looking sage, oregano, some dying thyme, and what I think is tarragon, but I’m not sure since there’s no tag and I’ve never cooked with tarragon so I don’t know what it smells like… what do you think?

tarragon? tarragon?

And just yesterday I discovered some mint in another part of the yard, so that’s rad… then soon after we moved in I planted some rosemary and sweet basil.  A few weeks ago, the sweet basil seemed to have been totally killed by the horrible cold streak we had in June, but now it’s come back to life!  Then I added African Blue basil at the same time as the cucs and peppers, which I totally love!  I don’t want to put any effort into anything that’s not edible, so when I saw that I could have a basil with pretty flowers as a bonus, I went for it!  Side note – the photos below (left = today, right = just after planting) are a great demonstration of the difference between shade vs. harsh direct sunlight:

basil! basil!

One last thing from my yard – these narrow planters are empty now (were filled with dead things and weeds, which I got rid of yesterday) and I could totally use them for something new, but what?  Any suggestions for things I don’t already have, small enough to fit in here (width is around 8ish inches), not too late in the season to plant?

extra narrow raised beds

And some extra bonus photos, snapped for fun while walking around Lents Park awhile ago…

Lents community garden! Lents community garden!

These are some awesome looking plants that I liked – no idea what they are:

Lents community garden!

Lents community garden!

Lents community garden!

Ok I’m done!  Happy gardening!

Filed under: home stuff,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:52 pm

July 12, 2010

Hat pattern newly available to you! Plus some plant photos!

Brimming with Color!

Oh hey, I forgot to tell you last week that my Brimming with Color hat pattern is now available to all!  When I first blogged about it, when it was released to Twisted‘s club members, I thought I couldn’t release it until October, but their policy changed, so it’s out now, yay!  (on ravelry)

Brimming with Color!

Speaking of Twisted, I don’t think I ever mentioned here that my connect-the-dots stitch sets and my Double Scoops ice cream headband and earmuffs kits are there!  So, if you’re local and you like supporting awesome yarn shops, you can check out my stuff there, yeah!  (They also sell some of my absolute favorite yarns ever, like Brown Sheep and Malabrigo and Noro and Imperial Stock Ranch and Alpaca with a Twist…….)

Brimming with Color!

And since this was a quickie post, I’ll throw up a few photos of my tomato plants!  The weather was harsh when they were starting out (the reason for the brown on the leaves, maybe?), but I think they’re doing ok – I don’t know anything about gardening though… They are mostly green and the bigger two have flowers, and the smallest one looks like flowers are coming soon, so I think they’re good!

The biggest/oldest of the three:

tomato1 tomato1c

And the medium sized and smallest ones:

tomato2 tomato3

I am going to be SO freaking excited if/when actual tomatoes start appearing!!

Filed under: hats,home stuff,knitting — leethal @ 9:48 am

June 8, 2010

Dry Erase Magnets tutorial, plus other magnet ideas!

Dry Erase Magnets!

Look what I made yesterday!  I had this brainstorm about making dry erase magnets back when I was making magnet projects for the May club, but I was just going to try it with white paper, for a plain white background… then I saw this tutorial via Craft: and thought of using images for the backgrounds!  Now I have a great looking note-taking station on my fridge!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

First you’ll need a basic flat magnet – freebie promo magnets work fabulously.  If you can find an image that’s light and low-contrast enough that you’ll be able to see notes written over it, then you just need glue (glue stick works well) and packing tape – higher quality, thick tape is ideal, as opposed to the really cheap, thin type.

tutorial photos

Cut the image (could be: magazine/book picture, photograph, printed out image, etc) into a rectangle a bit bigger than the magnet.  Glue it onto the magnet, then trim the paper neatly around the edges.  (Now it’s probably good to let the glue dry, but I didn’t because I was anxious to finish and see how it worked!)

tutorial photos tutorial photos

Smooth a piece of packing tape over the front – as you can see below, my packing tape was just a wee bit more narrow than my magnet… Since my magnets are thin and easy to cut with scissors, I decided to trim the magnet to tape size, but you can also deal with this problem by layering another piece of tape to cover the whole surface:

tutorial photos

Trim the tape around the edges and your functional dry erase magnet is complete!

If you want to use an image that’s too dark/bright/high-contrast for the writing to be clear on top, then you can add an extra step to make it work…  You’ll just need tracing paper or tissue paper (or some other kind of paper that’s translucent enough for the image to show through, but will dull it enough so the writing will be clear), plus basic white glue (or Mod Podge will work) and a brush for the glue:

Dry Erase Magnets! tutorial photos

Complete the first couple of steps from above – cut out the image and glue it onto the magnet – then spread out white glue over the top of the image (photo is before spreading it out with the brush):

tutorial photos

Now smooth the tracing paper or tissue paper over the top… I used tissue paper because it’s all I had, but I’d expect tracing paper to work much better, since it wouldn’t tear nearly as easily.  On my first try, I attempted to smooth out the tissue with my fingers, ended up tearing the paper badly, and had to peel it off and start over.  So, just smooth it out the best you can without ripping it:

tutorial photos

Then trim the edges, add the tape over the top (after the glue is dry would be best), just like the first version above, and there you go!  By the way, both of my images came from an old yarn company catalog – great source for background images!

Dry Erase Magnets!

To complete your refrigerator’s dry erase station, you’ll need a clip magnet big and strong enough to hold a dry erase marker, and if there’s a spot where you can stick a piece of paper towel to use as an eraser, excellent!  Or, you can make one of these awesome fridge tin pen holders by Not Martha!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

And then my other note-taking magnet idea – this one needs no tutorial because it’s so simple – chalkboard magnet!  Buy some chalkboard paint at your local craft supply store (I used this kind), follow the instructions on the container to paint over your basic flat magnet, and tah dah!  Love it!

Chalkboard Magnet!

And then going back to my club magnet projects to finish things off… I mentioned these over here, but not in any detail.  I used a simple foam stamp (from the dollar section at Joann, impulse buy!) to stamp designs onto old book pages, then cut out the shapes and layered them on the magnets:

magnets!

You could use the same concept with drawings over the book pages, or you could layer pictures from magazines or photographs over the text background… this one is a rectangle of book page with a stamp on it, then another cut-out stamp design layered over that.  I like the look of the text going in different directions on the 2 layers:

magnets!

Then the final magnet idea, also from the club, was record album artwork magnets – no instructions needed, just cut out a piece of old album cover and glue it onto the magnet:

magnets! magnets!

If you make over some reclaimed magnets using any of these ideas, I’d love to see them!  Happy crafting!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 7:23 pm

May 31, 2010

Make a scrap-yarn-wrapped branch decoration!

yarn branch art piece thing

While flipping through The Big Ass Book of Home Decor a couple weeks ago, I came across a project like this – yarn-wrapped twig arrangement.  I felt like I’d seen similar projects online too, like it wasn’t the first time I’d seen a branch wrapped in yarn, but now I can’t find anything in blog-land (at the bottom, I linked to some other related projects that I did find!)… Anyway, mine is a bit different from the book project, so now I’ll share it with you!

yarn branch art piece thing

I wanted to use a glue gun, but some crafty items got temporarily lost in the move and my guns were nowhere to be found, so I came up with methods that use as little glue as possible.  Some glue was necessary, so I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue, which worked very well.

All you need for this project are some branches/twigs (the size and amount that you want for your vase or other arrangement plan), yarn leftover scraps, glue, and scissors.

yarn branch art piece thing

You can barely see, but I tried out something with the solid blue yarn that I thought would look cool – as I was balling up the yarn, I tied knots in it all throughout, which made little bumps on the branches.  It would indeed look cool, I think, if I did more; if you make knots, make them super frequently (like every 4-6 inches or so).  I think I knotted the yarn an average of every 18-24 inches-ish, and that makes the knots pretty far apart on the branches, oops!

howto00 scrapbranch2

To make the scrappy version, you’ll need a bunch of yarn bits around 1-2 feet long.  For either version, to start wrapping at the bottom of your branch, wrap the yarn around itself a couple times then start wrapping upwards.  I found no need to knot or glue the piece at the bottom, just holding the tip down and overlapping it in the first wraps worked out well.

To change colors, when you have about 3-4 inches of your first color left, hold the tip of the next color alongside the branch.  Wrap the last 2-3 wraps of the first color around the end of the next color:

howto01 howto02

Hold the end of the first color against the branch, and start wrapping with the next color over the first color, wrapping over the tip to hold it down:

howto03

When you reach the end, cut the yarn when it’s wrapped all the way to the top, then unwrap a couple times around, dot some glue on the branch end, and wrap back over the glue.

To wrap the offshoots, the number one rule is be careful – they can be easy to snap!  Either wrap up over the offshoot and back down to continue upwards, like the red yarn above, or you can wrap the end of a new color into the base, continue up the main branch, and then use that new yarn for the offshoot.  The neatest way is to wrap up the offshoot just like the rest of the branch is wrapped, and glue it off at the tip, but on smaller offshoots you can wrap up loosely (further apart wraps), then wrap back down to the base, normally, so it’s double-wrapped and there’s no need for gluing the end.

closeup2 closeup1

By the way, I do recommend doing this project over newspapers – the little twig dust gets everywhere on your workspace, so newspaper makes for easy cleanup!

If you do snap an offshoot after wrapping, like you can see I did below, you can glue it back together, twisting it to get the wrapping back in place as much as possible.

brokencloseup1

So, just keep on wrapping until you’ve wrapped all the branches you want…

finishedbranches

Then arrange them in a vase, or whatever (some kind of wall art arrangement could also be rad looking):

yarn branch art piece thing

I had a fun time photographing mine, it’s so colorful and fun!  I love how it turned out!!

yarn branch art piece thing

I made this one for our bathroom, which is white and boring, so now it’s cheery and colorful! Yay!  If we had some kind of entry area, this might be a great piece for that (bigger and crazier, perhaps)…

yarn branch art piece thing

So, as I was searching around to see if other crafters had made similar projects, I found some fun other ways to decorate with branches/twigs… I super love Betz White’s pussy willow rainbow, made with felt balls.  I also love the idea of pom poms on twigs, like Apartment Therapy shows here, and row home living shows here.

yarn branch art piece thing

Other ideas: branch jewelry holder, cherry blossom branch, and cherry blossom branch lights!  I think I see a roundup developing here…..

yarn branch art piece thing

It’s a fun project, I’d love to see photos if anyone does it!  The scrappy branch is my favorite for sure – I love that I found a use for some of my scrap jar yarn!!

scrapbranch1

Filed under: home stuff,tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 1:02 pm

May 25, 2010

Future club 2.0 and May leethal quick knits club!

I’m so excited to tell you about my future leethal quick knits club plans!  I’ve been brainstorming about it and planning out all the details for the last couple of weeks, and I’m really looking forward to making the switch, which will happen after I’ve completed 1 full year of the current club.  Not sure what it’ll be called yet, some ideas:

  • leethal quick knits club: the next generation
  • quick knits club 2, electric boogaloo
  • quick knits club: the new class

Any better suggestions? hehe… Ok so here’s the deal: starting in September, my club will be PDF only!  But wait, it’ll be awesome, I promise!  (I was totally inspired by my buddy Star’s supercool sock club, by the way.)  Each month I’ll be making a club ebook, which will always include:

  • at least 2 quick knits patterns, perfect for using up yarn leftovers
  • at least 1 step-by-step tutorial for another project fitting with the theme
  • at least 1 fun extra, which could be anything from recipes to games/puzzles to embroidery or applique patterns, etc

Each month revolving around a theme, and everything designed with a focus on using up leftovers, recycled items, and things that you probably have on hand or are super easy and cheap to obtain.  I’m excited to put more attention into awesome project tutorials, instead of having to figure out ideas based on what I can include in 30-40 packages each month, limiting creativity potential.  And, of course, this means club subscriptions will be much cheaper (like, less than a quarter of the current club cost)!

Old Timey Moustache!

Other major change: no more exclusivity!  Each month, the club pdf will get released to the world, and be available for anyone to buy, forever.  So, if you don’t like the idea of  buying something when you don’t know exactly what it is that you’ll be getting (like my current club), you can wait until it’s released each month and see if you like it.  It will be a majorly discounted per-month price to subscribe, however, and there will be a rad bonus for club members only…

Each month, all subscribing members will be entered into a raffle to win a club kit package!  It won’t necessarily include everything needed for all the projects like my current club, it will vary each month depending on the projects, but every month I’ll be putting together a few packages of kit materials that fit with that month’s ebook and sending them out to a few lucky members!

club #2: Back to school set

Ok that’s enough info about this future club for now, since it won’t be happening for awhile, but the reason I wanted to tell you about it now (besides that I’m excited about it) is that there is only one week remaining to get 3-month subscriptions to the current version of the quick knits club! If you love the physical packages, grab a membership now for the last 3 months – June will be a Traveling theme (yay for summer road trips!), and July + August are yet to be announced, but I’ll be sure to make the last couple months extra awesome for sure!  Starting June 2nd, you’ll be able to get a 2-month subscription for those last 2 months, and then in July you’ll just be able to sign up for the August club alone… and in August you can start signing up for the new club.

(those photos above were from old clubs, now moving on to May’s package…)

all May club stuff

You already saw a chunk of May’s Home Decor club package, but here is everything that each member included (above), and the yarn – I Feel Like Going Home and To Go Home:

I Feel Like Going Home dyed yarn To Go Home spun yarn

Which are used to make the Stuffed Ball Cord Pull and Garter Strip Light-switch Cover:

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

Everyone’s package included a standard switch plate to use with the knit cover, and I stuck an extra bonus idea in the pattern pdf, for this fitted cord pull cover:

switch plates fitted cord pull cover

The extra goodies were half of a record album cover, 2 book pages, 1 of them with 2 stamped designs added, and 5 reclaimed magnets:

club extra goodies club extra goodies

So with the club items, pictured on the left, and some basic craft supplies, pictured on the right…

projects materials in club package needed to make projects

…members can make 5 custom crafted magnets and a switch plate (or multiple switch plates, or more magnets, or other crafts!):

magnets! 0514

See my switch plates post for album cover plate how-to, and I’m planning a future post of magnet ideas!  It was a fun club month for me, hope you enjoyed it too!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 3:01 pm

May 22, 2010

Switch Plates! And how to make one from an old record cover!

My club mail out day was Tuesday, and, like I do every month, I put the 2 patterns up on ravelry and flickr after sending out the pdf to the members.  Normally, since the patterns aren’t available to the public, plus they are small trinkets that most knitters don’t seem to care much about, this doesn’t really mean anything – but holy crap you guys, this light-switch cover pattern has gotten a crazy response!!

Garter Strip Light-switch Cover Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

It got blogged on Knit Hacker and the number of hearts on ravelry have surpassed not just all my club patterns, but most of my full-sized patterns as well!  Of course, I so wish I could be selling the pattern to everyone who loves it, but my club promises exclusivity for 3 months, so it’s members-only until August… this system will actually be changing soon, but that’s another post for another time…

Anyway, for the record, the knit switch plate concept was Pete’s idea!  I had thought of the cord pull for the Home Decor club theme, and we were trying to brainstorm other ideas, and genius Pete thought of this!  Here is my first try – the center hole was messy and uneven, so I tried solving the problem with ribbon, which probably made it look worse:

firstknitplate1 firstknitplate2

So, moving on to the point of this post, making the knit plate cover got me all inspired to make more, since the switch plates our house came with looked like these, about half of each:

oldplate2 oldplate1

A quick note to club members – most of you should have gotten your packages by now, but if you haven’t (because you live outside the US perhaps) and you don’t want any spoilers, you probably want to stop reading now and come back to this post once you’ve opened your package!

My first try, covering a switch plate with a book page, was a bit silly… I tried attaching the page to the textured kind of plate pictured above, with spray adhesive, not a good match, so the edges never really glued down.  But I learned from my mistakes and made some rad ones, and plan to make another, better book page plate, for the library light switch!  Once I started seeing how cool covered plates look, and how simple they are to make, I decided to include some extra goodies in the club packages that could be used to make more switch plates!

bookpageplate

So I included a couple of book pages and half of a record album cover, with a little instruction sheet for how to turn them into either magnets or switch plates…  The instructions included are just text, so I thought it would be a good idea, and fun for everyone, to put up a more visual how-to here, for making a switch plate with an old album cover!  (This is just how I made mine, and I am definitely not an expert – there are lots of great switch plate tutorials out there from people with more experience, which I collected for my recent Threadbanger roundup here, so check those out to see how to cover plates with fabric, polymer clay, and other things!)

Let’s get started!  First, you’ll need:

  • an old record album cover with a good switch-plate-sized image
  • an X-acto knife
  • a basic switch plate
  • craft glue (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue, but there may be glues that would work better for this type of project), and a brush to spread the glue

Start by laying the plate down on the album and positioning it where you want the image, keeping in mind the where the holes will be for the switch and screws.

Use the blade to trace around the plate, with plenty of extra space for the curved edges – I made mine so the the paper curved around to the edge of the plate, but I think it would be better to have more extra image so it wraps around to the back a little.  To have it wrap around the back, cut at least a half inch out from the plate edges.

You don’t need to press down through the whole album cover cardboard piece with the knife, as you’ll see in the next step that you’ll just be using the top image layer…

howto01

Carefully separate the image into its own layer, peeling the cardboard apart – this is easier with some albums than with others, depending on age and wear.  You want the image layer to be as thin as possible, but not to rip; though if it does rip, you can put it back together when you glue it onto the switch plate.

howto02

Peel it all the way off and you should have a rectangle of thin cardboard with your image, curling up at the edges.  If it seems too thick to be able to curve around the switch plate smoothly, you can carefully peel more cardboard layers from the back.

howto03

Now lay the switch plate on top of the rectangle, centered, and cut an X across the switch hole, from corner to corner.  Also, punch holes with your blade where the screw holes are, but they don’t need to be big or neat, since you can twist through them with screws later.  Now turn the cardboard piece upside down and fold the X tabs back, like this:

howto04

Note: in the club instruction sheet, I just said to cut out the hole, but I’ve since found that this X method makes for a neater switch plate.  This first one I made used the cut-out-hole method, and it looks fine, just a little more handmade-y or something.  Here is a progress shot of that one, with the cut-out hole:

makingfirstalbumplate

Before gluing on, curve the edges back, like how they’ll be curved around the plate, with your fingers.  Now cover the back with glue…

howto05

…then spread the glue to all the edges, corners, and X tabs with a brush (I used a foam brush, but a paint brush should work fine):

howto06

Position the plate onto the glued piece, and center it so that the holes and edges line up:

howto07

This part gets messy, if you’re doing everything with your fingers like I do… Pull the X tabs down, and curve all the edges around, keeping everything centered and straight (it’ll want to slide around the whole time).  If you cut the piece bigger to curve around to the back, press the cardboard on to the back.

howto08

For the corners, I first curve the edges around up to the corners, then fold the corners down, as you can kind of see above and below.  You could also make the corners neater by making small cuts in them so they curve around without folding like this.

howto09

Let it dry, punch through the screw holes and twist them open with the screws (below).  Then you can coat it to make it longer-lasting.  (You could cover it with Mod Podge, or use something like Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear, which is what’s recommended in The Big Ass Book of Crafts – I’ve never used it, but I bet it would work well and make your switch plate more permanent and durable.)

howto10

Screw it into the wall and enjoy!  I put mine in the bathroom to brighten it up in there, but I might need to make some kind of over-sized plate (like this or this one, for example) to hide that terrible paint job around the switch…

albumplate2 albumplate1

By the way, I have no idea who that is on my plate – anyone know?  It’s on some best of the 70′s album with this watercolor collagey kind of artwork… I just like the colors and the happy tone of the image.  Ok that’s all, and I’m hoping to be posting more home decor projects soon! Yay!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick knits,tutorials — leethal @ 2:55 pm

May 10, 2010

From Thrifty Finds to Crafty Lamp!

A couple of years ago I came upon a bag of granny squares at the Goodwill bins!  Score!  No two colorways alike, they were obviously handmade, the start to a project that was never finished:

squares

I washed them, then they sat there for 2 years, waiting waiting waiting for a project… and then I got a paper lantern style lampshade for $1 at a yard sale the other day, and this idea came to me!

daytime1

It’s weird, but I love it!  I wove through the edges with some yarn leftovers and a blunt needle, tied them around, and pulled the squares all straight into 6 columns.  (A little more complex than that, but I didn’t take any step-by-step photos.  I feel like my methods were probably not the best way to get the final result – if you want to recreate the look yourself, the best results would probably come from actually crocheting the pieces together, or at least sewing them.)

atnight2

It looks pretty cool with the light shining through!

atnight1 daytime2

I haven’t completed a crochet project in years (need to get back to that skirt now that the move is over), but I do love crochet, so I’m happy to represent granny squares in my new home, even if I didn’t hook them myself!

daytime3

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,thrifty finds — leethal @ 7:51 pm

May 2, 2010

Wecome to our Home!

Well that whole blogging every few days while moving thing didn’t happen!  Oh man it has been a chaotic couple of weeks, wow!  Got completely moved out of the apartment on Friday afternoon, keys turned in, energy so drained from days of non-stop heavy lifting, cleaning, etc that I could barely manage to write up my Threadbanger roundup and get it posted by like 7pm then watch stupid shows on hulu (like Flash Forward, so bad but I watch it still) for hours and let my brain and muscles heal a wee bit…

view of wall from entry

Then yesterday I finally had a whole day in the house (except for a walk to my local Food-4-Less to stock the fridge with some necessities, like new house cake and frozen pizza, already missing being able to walk to TJ’s), so I shot all these photos and planned to write this blog post right away.  But, after taking the pictures of all the box madness, I felt the need to make the living space more livable, so I moved boxes into their rooms and moved furniture around, and now at least we can function in our main living space, even with most of our possessions still boxed up.

view from entry

So, finally I’m back to blogging today, starting with this introduction to our new house post!  I’ll be dividing photo-of-the-day posts up into a couple of sets, instead of doing a massive 3 weeks of photos post all at once… so those will give you a glimpse into the last few weeks of fun and work and moving craziness…  Now the tour begins!  Above is the view from the front door, living room (pre-box-moving, duh) and dining area back there where the fan is.  Notice not just a ceiling fan for most summer days, but an air conditioner for those few superhot 100+ Portland days each year, yay!

living room couch wall

One of the first things we did was hang that little framed welcome to our home cross stitch, thrifted awhile back… Now that we have the space, we’ll eventually get the rest of the L pieces for our couch so it wraps across the window – great light through those big picture windows!  And Garbanzo’s cat tree is the perfect height to sit with us and look outside.

outside view from living room

Our view from the front windows.  (Here’s the outside view, taken before the house was ours, but I don’t think anything has changed.)

living room tv wall

Our orange wall!  The house closed a few days early, allowing us the extra time to paint a wall before moving day, hooray!  It used to be the same blue as the other living area walls you can see in the top two photos – so much country blue!  I don’t mind the blue as much now that the orange gives some contrast, but we do plan to eventually cover all the blue with our own shades (thinking of making one wall green and the other a yellow/orange, perhaps).

kitchen

The kitchen is a bit smaller than our apartment kitchen was, but we’ll be able to make it work just fine – so happy (relieved) that there’s a dishwasher, and the gas stove and the fridge are both super nice!  That window looks into the back room, which is a converted covered patio…

back room

…and that big carpeted main section will be transformed into 1k Labs!  They put in a nice, new sliding glass door for us, which looks out onto the huge back yard:

backyard

Yes, we desperately need to buy a lawn mower, and learn how to do yard work, then learn how to plant things that we can eat!  (Planning to start with tomatoes and carrots!)  Exciting and overwhelming!  That shed is pretty awesome – easily fits my bike, plus another bike if/when Pete gets one, and all our yard stuff once we get it.  (No garage, but we don’t really need one.)  Oh, and that tree in the back there is gigantic, and has a squirrel feeder!

laundry room

On the other side of the back room is the laundry room – with our brand new, super awesome washer and dryer! Woo yay!! (Mostly yay for no more apartment complex laundry stupidness or laundromats, but also yay for finding an affordable deal on a nice front loader!)  Yeah, we’re feeling like such adults lately, being excited about buying a washer/dryer and stuff, but not feeling like we actually are adults, really, weird, hah…

studio window

And that is my studio!  I was originally going to get the master bedroom, but those extra days before moving day allowed me to see the rooms in different times of the day and levels of overcastyness, and I discovered that the smaller bedroom gets amazing light!!  That skinny little window, facing west with no overhang or trees in the way, is magical!  So, I opted for the space sacrifice (this studio will be smaller than my apartment studio was, bummer) and went for the happyhappy sunlight – there are even green walls to make it happier!  Since there is a ridiculous amount of storage space in this house (3 big closets just in the hallway alone, plus a huge attic!) I think I’ll be ok, just have to get more creative with all my supplies.

library

And then the ultra-tiny 3rd bedroom is going to become the library!  We love calling it that, though it’ll function more like a storage room, but we’re going to try to make it look awesome, lined with bookshelves all around!  No more stacks of books piling up around the living room because they have no space to go!

bedroom

And lastly, the bedroom, which inspired my roundup – not sure what solution I want to try for a headboard…  I really liked our makeshift shelved headboard (made with Ikea shelves and fabric panels) but I don’t think it would work here because of those wall-mounted lights, which I like having (though I want to make new shades).  It’s weird having a huge bedroom, after years of our bed and clothes crammed into a space barely bigger than the bed itself, so that my studio could live in the real bedroom room.

I made a flickr set of house photos, which has some more, and most of them have notes about details… Once everything is unpacked, set up, decorated, looking good, I’ll take new photos, but that could be months away!

Oh and as for the whole questions thing…  I answered a few smaller questions in the comments, but I will still be doing the answer posts, and feel free to continue adding to the list if you think of anything you want to ask!  The answers will just be spread out now, since I wasn’t able to do it during the move.

Filed under: home stuff,personal — leethal @ 4:37 pm

April 7, 2010

My yarn-holding coffee can cubbies!

Well I know I said last week that my studio series would be this week, but I still haven’t been able to get in a good photoshoot of the whole room because there hasn’t been any freaking sunshine since last Thursday!  Damn Portland, don’t you know it’s Spring already?!  So, here is my coffee can cubbies yarn holder thing that I made, and I’ll probably do more studio posts spread out over the next couple weeks or something…

coffeecubbies08

The unit is made with 14 Trader Joe’s coffee cans, covered in faux bois contact paper, glued together with contact cement, then screwed into the wall…

coffeecubbies05

The idea came from a project in Readymade a few issues ago – they covered Pringles cans with contact paper, and made a desk organizer – it looked awesome!  I’d already been saving my coffee cans for awhile, knowing I’d find a good use for them someday, so I washed them and took a trip to Home Depot for some contact paper and contact cement.

coffeecubbies01

I carefully cut pieces of contact paper to size, covered all the cans, then cemented them together – this was easier said than done.  Over several days, I cemented together pairs of two, then those pairs to each other, and so on, until they were all connected.  I felt like they still needed to be more securely stuck together before using the unit, so I cut strips of cardboard and used a bunch of heavy duty duct tape to really get them stuck in place:

coffeecubbies03 coffeecubbies02

Then to attach the whole thing to the wall, I first put in a couple of nails which I could hook the cardboard strips onto back there, so it would stay in place while I screwed it all in.  Then I screwed in in place in maybe 4 of the cans (I don’t remember exactly, maybe 3?) – sticking my hand in the can with the screwdriver, pushing it through the can, through the cardboard and duct tape, and into the wall.  It wasn’t easy, but it worked!!

coffeecubbies07

View from the bottom:

coffeecubbies06

And straight on, with my new Ikea magnet board underneath, yay orange!

coffeecubbies04

Filed under: home stuff,yarn — leethal @ 6:33 pm

April 1, 2010

My studio (and my cat) are famous!

Check out today’s Oregonian Homes & Gardens section cover:

Oregonian article!

That’s my studio, and my foofy kittenhead!  You may remember a couple weeks ago, in a photo-of-the-day post, I mentioned having had a photographer visit – well, it was for this article!

Oregonian article!

My studio landed the cover and a whole spread!  So exciting!  You can read the article over here

Oregonian article!

To kind of go with this, I was interviewed (about yarn-making and knitting mostly) for the Oregonian’s knitting blog!  There are also a few more shots from the studio photoshoot over there.

Oregonian article!

I don’t think I ever mentioned here that a couple months ago my studio was featured in the Craft: blog!  That was fun!  With an interview about craft space organization, in which I was pretty honest about my naturally messy nature!  Unfortunately, having had to photograph the room back in January, in Portland, I had to deal with terrible lighting, bummer.

my studio

So… today was supposed to start my series of me showing you the studio, until I went to sort through and edit the hundred-ish shots I took a couple weeks ago, when it was in perfect condition and there was good natural light, and… horribleness… I somehow managed to delete them from my memory card before transferring them to my computer… gone forever.  So sad.  The room is not in such perfect shape anymore (fixable though), but I do need to wait till tomorrow to re-shoot since it was too late in the day and the sun was setting by the time I realized what had happened…

my studio my studio

So, these are a few shots to hold you, and next week I’ll be doing the series, telling you about where things came from, tips and tricks, etc, complete with good, well-lit photographs!

my studio

Let’s take advantage of this delay – if you see anything in these photos that you want to know more details about, tell me in the comments!

my studio

It’s pretty silly that I’m finally posting about my studio as I’m packing it all up to move… yeah… oh well.  It should help motivate me to get it looking fabulous and functioning asap in the new house!

my studio

Filed under: home stuff,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:52 pm

September 7, 2009

Just keeping you updated…

metyourmomhat8 charleshat2

Well well well things are a little bit nutso in leethal world right now, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to let you all know what’s up, and what you have to look forward to in the near future, because I might not be around for a week or so… Things are exciting, but oh so hectic!

First, a quick update about my club!  2 things are new with October memberships – first, 3 month subscriptions!  I already told you how I changed it so the club will always include 2 patterns, for each of the 2 yarns – with this upgrade, I raised the price (starting with October) to $16/month, but a 3-month subscription will knock it back down to $14!  I’m really excited about the October club, by the way; while I’m currently dyeing and designing for September (which rocks!), I’m brainstorming Oct and can’t wait to get started on it!

And second, thanks to my most favorite local yarn shop, I’m now offering a local Portland pick up option!  Portland members, pay no shipping, and pick up your club package at Twisted whenever is convenient for you!  Of course, while you’re there, I highly encourage some browsing, shopping, tea drinking, and hanging out – this is the kind of wackiness that Twisted induces:

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Moving on to some of that nutso-ness I was talking about… Pete and I were painting his new studio‘s floor till 2am last night, so that we’ll be able to start moving his stuff in tomorrow!  I mentioned how I’ll be expanding my studio space a couple posts ago, but I just showed some photos of what my studio looked like when I first got it set up, almost 2 years ago.  Nowadays, this is a view of my space, looking towards the window wall – pretty cluttered, but at least the desk has a little cleared space (not usually true)…

studiobefore4

…but then when you turn the other way, this is what you see:

studiobefore1

Holy crap, right?!  It’s basically been a storage room for about a year and a half-ish, with too much stuff to organize properly.  Yeah so I’m crazy super excited to get this reorganization project going!  What does this all mean for you, dear readers?  Fun stuff!

Once my studio is actually functional as a work space again, I plan to spend tons of time in there, crafting away!  You can look forward to clothing recon tutorials, fun how-tos and project ideas, as well as more printed clothing in the shop, and whatever else the new space inspires me to do!!  This is Pete’s side of the room which will soon be mine! All mine!!

studiobefore3

So that’s what Pete and I have been working on together on his off-time.  During our work hours, I have been hard at work on my upcoming ebook!!  You don’t get much info just yet, but those hats up top are a sneaky peek.  My original goal release date was this week, but then I decided I wanted to make a few extra things, so the last many days have been spent knitting like crazy and I’m really hoping for the release to happen next week (though, realistically, I’m thinking 2 weeks from today will be the day).  No hints, but I’m really super duper ultra excited about this project!!

metyourmomhat7 metyourmomhat1

charleshat8 charleshat7

I’ll be having some other exciting news soon too!  I want to tell you now, but I think I’m supposed to wait.  I’ll give you a hint: it’s not knitting related, or even crafty really, but it’s definitely do stuff! related, and it’s awesome!

And then, after the ebook, I am planning several new patterns – some free, one for a kit, one crochet (!!), and then another ebook!  Oh man, and it’s almost holiday craft show season already!  Nutso, I say!  So, you may not be hearing from me a whole lot, but I will be back with that announcement on the 15th!

Filed under: hats,home stuff,knitting,portland stuff,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 5:25 pm

September 2, 2009

thrifty finds: End Table!

new (used) end table

Took a trip to the Goodwill Bins today and scored this awesome Mid-Century Modern style end table!  It’s not high quality – faux bois laminate type surface, a bit wobbly – but it was $3!!  Three dollars!!

Pretty beat up, but I’m hoping this will be my before post and in a few weeks I’ll be showing you after photos!  Not quite sure what I’ll be doing to it yet, maybe spray painting it either orange or green… I’m not at all experienced with furniture recon projects, so I’d love any ideas or advice anyone might have!

new (used) end table

The Stats

  • Where: The Bins
  • What: 50′s modern style end table
  • Total Damage: $3

Want to see some other furniture scores from the Bins since we’ve been living here?  The best is my sewing table, for $10:

studiosewingtable.jpg

And both the shelving units on my desk are from there (probably around $3-5 each):

studiodesk.jpg

Our old loveseat was a Bins find for $15, and now lives at David‘s apt.  I also got a drafting table top for $8; sadly, the great adjustable legs wouldn’t fit in my car and I had to leave them behind – I use the table top on a keyboard stand for craft shows.  Yay the Bins!

On a side note, the reason I was looking at furniture today was that Pete will be moving most of his side of our shared studio to his new studio space next week, which will give me way more space!!  This is super awesome because while my half-room was fine when we first moved in, I’ve accumulated sooo much more stuff since then (thanks to said Bins!) and it’s impossible to keep it organized!  So I’m planning out some new shelving and drawers and I’m going to get it all super duper organized – I can’t wait!!

Filed under: home stuff,portland stuff,thrifty finds — leethal @ 8:26 pm

March 16, 2009

yay button month!

i had been excited about susan beal‘s new book, button it up, since she was writing it, and now it’s out and my review over on the threadbanger blog just went up!  to celebrate the buttony goodness of the book, craftstylish has been having button month all march!  so many fun projects!  i was already totally addicted to vintage button collecting, and now that i’m going through my stash at lightning speed with my projects, i’m feeling obsessive about shopping for more!  i need to happen upon a jar full of em at a thrift store or garage sale, that would be freakin awesome!

08orangeon

so, my first project for the month was a free knitting pattern for this buttony chevron cuff! combining two loves (knitting and vintage buttons) is the best! the pattern is written to work for any needles/yarn and you can choose your cuff width. (ravelry link)

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next was one of my most ambitious projects – the gridded button portrait:

gridded button portrait gridded button portrait

can you tell who it’s a portrait of when it’s far away (in the photo below)?

gridded button portrait 08gluing

if you can’t tell, you’ll see over in the tutorial. as i explained on craftstylish, i was really into chuck close in college and i did a couple different self portraits inspired by his style (this one with markers and this painting). i was excited to try this gridded concept with buttons, and i think it worked out fantastically! someday if i happened upon a massive stash of vintage buttons, i might do a bigger one, like a whole door or something!

vintage fabric+button wall art

and then last week’s post was how to make wall art with vintage fabric and buttons. i love showing off bits of cool fabric as wall art, and i think adding some vintage buttons to the mix turns it into something special!  the green one is my personal favorite:

vintage fabric+button wall art vintage fabric+button wall art

but i like them all! now i want to make a bunch more and fill up the whole wall!!

vintage fabric+button wall art vintage fabric+button wall art

so you should totally check out all the button projects over there, but a few of my favorites are susan’s shrink art buttons, linda’s woven button coaster, erika’s beautiful button pillow, and diane’s singleton buttons.  i still have 3 more button projects coming up, and i’m sure everyone else will have more great ones, so keep checking back!

button it up!

and now for some buttontastic eye candy from susan’s book! here are a couple of my favorite projects:

button it up! button it up!

and you know how i love cuffs!

button it up!

(check out my threadbanger review for a few more pictures)

Filed under: books,craftstylish,general crafts,home stuff,knitting,lots of links,threadbanger,tutorials — leethal @ 11:54 pm

March 7, 2009

catching up… 2 things now

well this post was supposed to happen on monday, but i woke up monday morning with a horrible cold – i’ve been sick more in the last few months than any other winter, no good!  i was couch-ridden through wednesday, then thursday and yesterday were spent slowly catching up on work that should have been done early in the week… still not all the way healthy, and still not caught up, but i’m getting there.

(no)banzo04

so, i just wanted to show you my craftstylish project posts for february, since i didn’t show you as they went up… february was pet month, so my projects were all kitty related!  the first one being the heatable catnip blanket, inspired by kristin roach’s heatable catnip pillow.

(no)banzo03 (no)banzo07

then next was a how-to for the kitty castle and scratching post that i showed photos of here awhile back…

cat castle tubepost04 banzo on her castle

then i made a litter rug from a towel:

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and last, i ran out of ideas for the cat herself, so i showed you how to make a kitty hat! with ideas for other ways of embellishing the face too…

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(no)doneon1 teethversion

some of my favorite february pet projects by other bloggers included kayte terry’s supercute mouse toy, cal patch’s recycled sweater pet bed, and diane gilleland’s awesome collapsible travel dish!!

so that’s what was meant to go up last weekend. i have other stuff to share, later, but for now i’ll leave you with newer news. i had my first online video appearance yesterday, on the threadbanger podcast! simple project (felted pullover to cardigan) – heather mann and i worked together to do a couple video tutorials a little while ago, and this is the first to get released. heather’s is rad, so hopefully they’ll put that one in a podcast soon!  if this embedded video doesn’t work, go here, or it’s also on youtube.

as is normal, i kind of hate how i look in the video, but eh, i think the tutorial turned out well, so that’s the important thing.  i think if we ever end up doing more of these i’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera and i won’t be so awkward.  apparently my camera-awkwardness could be interpreted in other ways, since someone on youtube commented Lee Meredith is so high in the video! lol!  haha.

Filed under: clothing,craftstylish,general crafts,hats,home stuff,lots of links,threadbanger,tutorials — leethal @ 2:16 pm
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