knitxcore.: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

time to decorate!


We got our first Christmas cards in the mail today! Of course, I tore the house apart looking for the clothespin wreath I made last year to hold them all. That led to digging through every box and taking out a little decoration here and there. Which led to cleaning the entire bathroom, so I could start to decorate it.


The Dreampet deer and the pinecone tree were gifts from my awesome boss and his lovely lady, Paula. The wreath was a really good find from a thrifting adventure last Christmas. We already discussed the record and I've had the snowglobe for AGES!!! Hilariously enough, this lil' vignette is on the back of my toilet :-)

I decided to decorate the bathroom first because it's easy, and some of my favorite decorations hang out there.

Have you started to decorate yet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

vinyl monday: john denver and the muppets.


I was shopping for records the other day, and all of the Christmas ones were "Buy 2, Get one free". I couldn't resist.

Who doesn't love the Muppets or John Denver?

Miss piggy is a total babe :-)



I'm am absolutely obsessed with the styling of this video. I have watched it everyday for the past week. SERIOUSLY. I need a j-pop intervention.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

WIP: a terrycloth lion.


I'm almost finished! I have to work on the mane, and make her lil' bow!!!

I may actually be finished this lil' lion in time to mail it off to Softies for Mirabel!!!!

There's still a small window of time to make a softie to donate! hurry!

What are you doing tonight?

Friday, November 25, 2011

black friday mailbag!

top secret knitting+

I really do try hard NOT to participate in the Black Friday madness, but working in retail definitely doesn't help. I heard that the store next to mine had Fuji Instax Cameras for 40% off and I rushed over to make sure that I got one. I shivered with anticipation while I was standing in line; I've wanted one of these cameras for so so long...

I plan on using it sometime next week during our tree decorating party, so stay tuned for that!

Today was such a long day! We ate dinner at around 7pm yesterday and didn't get home to almost 10pm. I knew I had to go to sleep but I just couldn't! I tossed and turned until about midnight, and then I had to be awake by 3:30am to be at work by 4. It was a rough morning; believe me! I should have taken it a little easier on the red wine. With the help of some pumpkin spice coffee and fun music, I somehow made it through the morning.

And after work, I came home to most wonderful things in the mail!!! Four skeins of Lamb's Pride AND some vintage velvet ribbon for a very top secret long term project I intend on beginning in January. All that I can really say right now is that it is VERY exciting and that it will require a lot of hard work.

But, I'm up for the challenge!

How was your day?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Being a grown-up is so strange, especially in the middle part.

I remember being a kid and sitting at the kitchen table making stuffing, while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on a little red television. I would stand on my knees to reach the bowl and squish up all of the bread while stealing tiny bits of sausage. It was such a lazy day, I could stay in my pajamas if I wanted to. I could watch TV all day. I wasn't expected to eat a ton or forced take leftovers back to my house where they would eventually be forgotten about.

Being a grown-up on Thanksgiving is so much different! I have to get up early and put on nice clothes. I have to stop at the liquor store, so we don't arrive at people's homes empty handed. I have to wear fancy shoes that hurt a little and engage in conversation with the adults.

While I don't mind these things, I'd love to be be able to stay at home, make my own stuffing and watch whatever I want.

This morning I did get to watch the parade and it brought me to tears (the happy kind). As the giant balloons and floats made their way down 34th street, they brought so many memories of Thanksgiving's past with them.

After taking the time to recapture the nostalgia that made Thanksgiving so special before, I had a pseudo-epiphany.

Thanksgiving isn't so bad after all!
I get to eat good food and spend time with family that I don't see very often. I don't have to wash dishes or stick my hands in the turkey butt.

I'm thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY gift wrap.

making wrapping paper!

I took a stab at Create Love's chevron paper tutorial, knowing that I should never ever use paint. Ever.

Paint and I have a terrible relationship. Paint never listens to me. It does what ever it wants. It gets all over the kitchen floor and in my hair. I find spots weeks later. I always get fingerprints all over whatever I'm working on. I use wayyyyy too much or far too little.

making wrapping paper!

It's weird really. You'd think that a crafty fella like me wouldn't wince at word like "paint", but I do. It's the worst.

I really should re-frame my thinking and approach the potential gloppy mess with a" can-do attitude". It would probably be reflected in the finished object.

But, I just can't.


That being said, I do intend to give this wrapping paper another whirl, because I really really love how cute in looks all wrapped up under the tree on the Create Love blog.

I'm a glutton for punishment, yeah?

Are they any supplies that you just abhor?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WIP: a terrycloth lion.


I started making this lion for the Softies for Mirabel Auction but, I'm so afraid that it's not going to be finished in time. I sourced mostly vintage materials on Etsy and I'm still waiting for a few things to arrive.


I have to decide on a nose and mouth and how I'm going to make the mane. There's a pompom maker (my pompoms are awful, I hope it helps!) and some vintage velvet ribbon floating around America, waiting to to be plopped on my doorstep by our reckless mail-person and I only have two weeks to wrap this lil' guy up AND to have him shipped safely to Australia!


I have no idea if I'll be able to get him ready in time. I really shouldn't have drug my feet in getting all of the supplies together, but I guess that if I don't finish him in time I could always donate him to a local charity that accepts handmade things. Are there any?


Keep your fingers crossed! If you have anything ready to go, or you work faster than I do you should send something!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Retro-Readers Review: James and the Giant Peach.


When I first read James and the Giant Peach as little guy, I feel like I may have missed/misunderstood alot of Dahl's humor and aesthetic. Upon approaching it as an adult, I found a sort of Dickensian charm mixed with a little of Tim Burton's macabre imagery.

Honestly, in the 115 years that have elapsed since the first time I read it, I forgot a lot about the story. I remembered James and the peach (of course), and his awful aunts, but not much else. While reading this time I paid close attention to the habits and demeanor of the insects; perhaps looking for some kind of correlation or symbols? idk.

The grasshopper takes on the role of James's father. The centipede seems friendly and jubilant, clearly James' best bug friend, possibly a brother. The earthworm is pessimistic and bleak; but also sacrifices himself to save the peach and it's inhabitants. The ladybug could have been a symbol of good luck? I still can't figure out the significance of the 9 spots. The spider and the silkworm are the work-horses of the entire operation, busily creating the strings needed to "lasso" the seagulls.

The bugs create a nurturing and diverse environment for James to grow; a family. In the wake of his parent's tragic (but kind of funny) death, James is still able to reap the benefits of kinship during his journey. Roald Dahl's "it takes a village" theme did not go unnoticed this time!

Re-reading kid-lit with an adult perspective really is rewarding! I'm so glad Pip chose this book as the first installment of the retro-readers club!

You should join us!:

What are you reading?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

make: indian corn.

indian corn tutorial

The Amy Sedaris book "Crafts for Poor People" and our lack of Thanksgiving decorations inspired this kitschy indian corn tutorial! It's pretty much self explanatory really, but I'll guide ya, anyway; just for fun.

I know every is knee-deep in Christmas projects but, I couldn't bear to skip over a few Thanksgiving crafts. I look for any reason to wield a glue gun. It's true.

ondian corn tutorial: materials.


-3 pompoms (roughly the same size)
-A roll of natural colored paper twist
-yarn, twine or raffia.
-a gluestick


Step 1: Unroll a portion of paper twist and cut rectangle large enough to accommodate three pompoms with two inches of extra paper at the top.

indian corn tutorial: tie it off.

Step 2: Rub glue across the bottom inside of the rectangle. Roll the edges toward the center and secure with yarn, twine or raffia.

indian corn tutorial

Step 3: Put all three pompoms inside of the "husk" you've created. Push them close together. They don't mind. It's cozy! You can glue them if you want to.

indian corn tutorial

Step 4: Draw another line of glue about a half inch from the pompom at the top. Cinch the husk and secure with yarn, twine or whatever.


This couldn't be easier!

indian corn

So, go make some corn!

(and don't forget to send me pictures! my contact page works now!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

instant gratification: migraine vs. sewing.

migraine heating pad

I haven't had a migraine in quite a long time. I cut out caffeine for a while and it seemed to do the trick. However, yesterday I jumped back on the horse full throttle. By about 8:30 I was three cups in and I couldn't have been happier! I really missed that stuff!

Unfortunately, today has blessed me with quite an awful migraine. I took tylenol. NOTHING. I tried the ice pack thing. NOTHING. I got desperate and went back to my post from a few months ago with all of the remedies that everyone had shared. A lot of them seemed to be preventative, but Lea offered the suggestion of a heating pad. I, too, hate being cold more than anything (except wind. I really really hate the wind.) So I decided to give the heating pad a shot.

The only problem was that I didn't have one.


I rushed into the craft room and cut a scrap of flannel (kinda) straight and sewed as quickly as I could. The migraine seemed to subside a little, so I took the time to mattress stitch the opening closed. Can you believe it? I'm minutes from vomiting all over the couch and I took the time to properly finish the heating pad.

I stuffed it with beans that we use as pie weights, so they kind of stink. I threw in some whole cloves but it didn't make enough of a difference.

After 2 minutes in the microwave, I was ready to go. It was such a relief! The heat really seemed to help!

Thanks, Lea!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Field Trip: The Noyes Museum.


Dave and I went to the Noyes Museum today, so I could evaluate some work for my crafts class. It's a local gallery that houses the work of New Jersey residents. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside. However, there were tons of amazing things to see.

David was really smitten with the work of Paul Stankard, an amazing glass artist. I'm almost positive that I've seen him on Craft in America. His flowers and bugs were so realistic that we were seriously contemplating whether or not they were actually made of glass. The exhibit housed over thirty year's of Stankard's work and showcased the progression of his style quite nicely. "poetry in glass" was intended to be homage to Walt Whitman's sensitivity to nature's intricacies. The pieces he has created are stunning!

I was obsessed with Robert Lach's installation, "Refuge". Using found material and reeds from a nearby wildlife refuge, Lach created a series of nests. The largest, found in the center of the room, was big enough to sit in. The giant nest was surrounded by a series of smaller nests "floating" at different heights. The back room of the exhibit housed a handful of nests inside of vintage suitcases. The piece I loved the most had a small nest placed in front of a mirror inside of an American Tourister. The installion really forced me to contemplate the meaning of home and my place in it. It weird how a room full of floating nests made out of garbage makes you think.

I really can't stop thinking about those nests. Such a beautiful installion!


Monday, November 14, 2011

vinyl monday: captain and tenille.

Vinyl Monday

vinyl monday: captain and tenille.

I'm having the most trouble with my internet connection today! GAH! It keeps going in and out. I'm going to call Comcast in the morning and see if there is anything they can do to fix it. They''l inevitably pass the buck, but I'm off from work so I'll waste their time along with my own.

I've been hoarding supplies to start making Christmas gifts, but haven't actually cut, stitched, sewn or knitted a single thing! Can you believe it's only six weeks until the big day? I'm going to have to take extra days off from work or something. I'm a champ in the twelfth hour, but these hands can only move so quickly.

So, while I'm in SUPERFREAKOUTMODE, I'm going to need some pretty soothing music to keep from jumping off of my craft table onto a pile of tapestry needles. Gory, right?! I'm so dark.

Captain and Tenille are one of my childhood favorites. My Grandma used to play them in the car and we would sing along to "Muskrat Love". I never bothered to look up the video until tonight and I've definitely been missing out. IT'S THE CUTEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN.

Coming Up...

-A Finished Pair of Socks!
-MORE Vintage Thanksgiving Inspiration.
-An Easy Thanksgiving DIY!
-Retro Readers Review: James and the Giant Peach.
-Work in Progress: Rewrites Bulletin Board.
-A Parade of Birthday Gifts!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

vintage thanksgiving inspiration: pack o' fun, november 1965.

vintage thanksgiving inspiration: pack o' fun, november 1965.

I love these things so much! One of the best investments I have ever made, I promise.
While I haven't actually MADE any of the projects from the stack of vintage "Pack O' Fun" magazines, I do find them super inspirational!

vintage thanksgiving inspiration: pack o' fun, november 1965.

I've been "shopping for vintage pilgrim dolls all week, but I may just have to make these instead!!! SO cute!

vintage thanksgiving inspiration: pack o' fun, november 1965.

That turkey isn't too bad either!

Are you making any Thanksgiving projects? Tell me about them!!!!


Coming Up...

-A Finished Pair of Socks!
-MORE Vintage Thanksgiving Inspiration.
-An Easy Thanksgiving DIY!
-Retro Readers Review: James and the Giant Peach.
-Work in Progress: Rewrites Bulletin Board.
-A Parade of Birthday Gifts!

Friday, November 11, 2011

eat: vegan meatloaf.


Don't worry, this isn't turning into a food blog! I just find the process of documenting our meals sort of challenging, so I'm going to keep trying until I find a method I'm happy with.

We have had this vegan "meatloaf" three times since Dave stumbled upon the recipe on Vegan Mofo last week. We both love it!

(disclaimer: we are both "flexitarians"; we eat three to five vegan/vegetarian meals a week, but we still eat some chicken and fish. it's an attainable healthy lifestyle that's easy to maintain without putting extreme limits on our diets. if we go out to eat with other people, we don't have to ask those uncomfortable questions about ingredients in things. i respect vegetarians but i think that at this point in my life, this is the most viable option.)

In a home where we have quite dissimilar tastes, anytime I find something we both like I make it every night until we hate it.


The process was super simple (which is NOT the case in most vegan cooking) and the ingredients were readily available at a regular grocery store. Whole Foods is overpriced and over 45 minutes away, so it's not really an option. I have to work with things that I can find easily.



I'm still not solid on a food photography "style" so I threw in some bric-a-brac to keep things interesting. I'm not exactly in love with taking pictures of food, but it's getting easier.


Do you have any favorite vegan/vegetarian meals? Leave me links!


Coming Up...

-A Finished Pair of Socks!
-Vintage Thanksgiving Inspiration.
-An Easy Thanksgiving DIY!
-Retro Readers Review: James and the Giant Peach.
-Work in Progress: Rewrites Bulletin Board.
-maybe a Friday Vocab Lesson?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

belated birthday.

me at 3

yesterday was my birthday!

i spent a majority of the day at school, but it was still really nice.

i really don't like a lot of "hoopla" surrounding my birthday, i'd rather just let it pass sort of quietly.

me at 12

however, i did feel obligated to some sort of special birthday blog post.

i forgot to go get "props" to take a really cool self portrait, but i came up with this at the last minute.

me at 16

i found these photos in binder i had to make for a psychology project in high school. it seems like no one took any pictures of me from the time i was 5 until i turned 12. strange.

gah! today has been such a long one. i'm going to go lay on the couch and watch "malcolm in the middle" until i pass out!


Coming Up...

-A Finished Pair of Socks!
-Vintage Thanksgiving Inspiration.
-An Easy Thanksgiving DIY!
-Eat: A Vegan "Meatlofaf".
-Retro Readers Review: James and the Giant Peach.
-Work in Progress: Rewrites Bulletin Board.
-maybe a Friday Vocab Lesson?