I’ve been on a big Pinterest kick lately. I’ve also been sick to death of my wardrobe. You know what that means: EXPERIMENTS IN REPURPOSING.

First, I chopped up an old shirt of Matt’s, because why not? It turned out pretty cute.

Sliced tee
It’s a play on words, because I DAT(E) A NERD. (Also I am a nerd.)

Then I had all these tee-shirt bits, so I made them into a headband for the baby using this tutorial. Easy peasy!


(I should have used wider strips! It would have been a lot cuter.)

I also made one for me out of a shirt that had holes in it. (Side note: why do all my shirts get holes in them? It’s super annoying.) I like mine a lot, although I got lazy and just tied the ends together rather than finishing them out as per the tutorial. It’s fine – who do I have to impress? – but probably would have been cuter if I’d done it right.


Next up: busting out the sewing machine to make some dresses for the little. Let’s see if I can remember how to thread a bobbin…

Origami Valentines

2014-02-13 16.22.01-1This year Ellison is super into origami (thanks, Origami Yoda books) so when I saw this Pinterest tutorial for origami Valentines I knew we had to give it a try. The kid took one look at the tutorial and was like, “That’s what I want to do.” He has been going crazy with anticipation all week waiting for the lollipops to arrive, and today we finally got down to business!

As far as origami goes this tutorial is pretty easy (see the embed at the bottom of this post or go here to view the pin on Pinterest) and the kid got the hang of it pretty quickly. We used plain paper so he could write on them, but they’d be really pretty with patterned paper like in the original example. Our paper was a little smaller than in the example, too, and we didn’t use double-sided tape (just a bit of Scotch tape on one side).

Ellison ValentinesThey might be a little messier than the Pinterest version (because, let’s face it, he’s 8) but I think they look fantastic. I think the kid likes them, too – he made one for himself to put in his Valentine’s box at school!

Plus, who doesn’t love lollipops? (We got YumEarth Organic pops to accommodate the gluten-free, free-range sugar eaters, and there are a few left for sneaky moms and dads – not that I know any of those.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

For more Valentine ideas, check out my XOXO board on Pinterest.

neck warmer

Not So got me a set of knitting needles for Christmas, which of course meant that I rewarded him with crochet. Hey, knitting is hard.

Anyway I crocheted this great neck warmer using the Unisex Neck Sock pattern by Wendy C. Brown (add it to your Ravelry queue, for serious). I used Cascade- hey, y’all, if you’re not into this sort of thing, for the love of god, stop reading now. I’m not going to talk about anything else in this post. Anyway: Cascade 220 Superwash in this fabulous slate heather that’s almost black & is just crazy cute. As is my husband, amirite?

Anyway he loves it, and can often be seen wearing it on his head. Because he’s a maverick, see? (Also it keeps his ears warm.) I’m really happy with the way this came out and am totally going to make one for myself. Except with buttons. Because how cute would that be?

quick update before the xmas explosion

So you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering how the birthday thing went, right? I kept you waiting out of sheer wickedness. Wickedness, and the fact that I am both lazy and sick with a cold. What’s up with all these damned colds? They’ve been rotating through our house like some sort of white elephant gift, passing from one person to another and, frankly, making me rather pissed off. I AM THROUGH BEING SICK, DO YOU HEAR ME? Also, I am running out of tissues.

Anyway: the party was a success, if a little under-attended (one group of guests had apparently been sure it was the next weekend, at which point they e-mailed me going “Um, did you know that your party was a week ago? You probably did.” Which was funny, and I may have LOLed, but only very quietly and to myself). The kid had a fabulous time. He helped me decorate the littlest cupcakes (which he decided were meteors). No one else had any idea what the cake/cupcake spread was supposed to be, which was fine. I guess.

Also a (qualified) success: the rocket softie. I made some modifications to a pattern I found in One Yard Wonders (which is a pretty fabulous book, if you’re into that sort of thing) and it turned out kind of awesome. The kid likes it, which was the important part.

In other crafty news, I finally slipcovered the Fabulous!Rocking!Glider! (the exclamation points are to emphasize the fact that I love the lovely glider and am not going to get rid of it despite the increasing impracticality of having it in our house). A favorite snuggling spot for both kid and cats, the F!R!G! was sort of disgustingly stained and matted with cat hair, and since the cushions were both a) cream-colored and b) upholstered, cleaning it was a pain. ENTER CRAFTY MAMA, with her IKEA fabric and her barely-passable sewing machine skills! Given that I don’t have the first clue what I’m doing, I think it turned out pretty well.

All those other grand ideas I had? Not going to happen. I was totally going to make garland, and ornaments, and stuff. But what did I do instead? I caught a cold. (I did make gingerbread men. I’m not dead.)

all holiday, all the time

December is full of busy in the Cranky abode – the kid’s birthday is followed so closely by that one big holiday, and all of it comes right on the heels of that other big holiday, the one that involves a lot of overeating and the generation of vast amounts of leftovers.

This year is no different, except for the part where the kid is SUPER EXCITED!!! about all of it. Last year? Meh. This year? OMG birthday! OMG Christmas! Is it Christmas yet? CAN SANTA BRING ME AN INSECTOSAURUS TOY?*

But I? I am a shopping master this year, and am already done with gift acquisition, thanks to the glory that is the Internet.

And we got a tree! A real tree, made of wood and green stuff. Someone brought it to us on a bicycle. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love Portland?) We decorated the other day (the tree, not the bike messenger) and I took one look at the finished product and OF COURSE decided I need to craft various felt-based ornaments to pretty it up. (Still talking about the tree, here, people. Keep up.) I’m thinking garland, for one thing (found a super-simple tutorial on Anna Maria Horner’s site – the kid could even help, which would rock). Also various and sundry hanging decorations (like the ornaments featured on Fantastic Toys and the Felt Circles ornament featured on Craftzine, which purports to be much easier than it looks). Someone also mentioned Shrinky Dinks, which – I love Shrinky Dinks, and how much fun would that be? And I totally got the kid a Shrinky Dink set for his birthday, because nothing says Christmas like robots, amirite?

Speaking of, I’m making a crapload of felt toys for the kid’s 4th birthday party, which we are hosting at our miniscule apartment because we are crazy people. I figured I didn’t have enough to do, what with Christmas and the business and the book release and all. Why not also make the solar system out of baked goods (related: I still love you, Pluto) and hand-sew a huge rocket pillow to give to the kid (and miniature versions thereof as party favors)?

Aside: party favors? Did not exist when I was a kid. Or else I just went to the wrong parties. Because I never got swag, and now everyone does it and I totally can’t be the only mom who’s all ‘hey, I gave you cake, what more do you want?’. But then I get all psycho overachiever and decide it would be so much cooler if I made favors myself, and that’s where you get the pre-party mama meltdown. Which is not going to happen this year, FYI. It’s totally not.

*He’s decided that an Insectosaurus toy is the most exciting thing anywhere ever, and every time he mentions Santa Claus he asks if Santa can bring him one. Which was a little dicey for those of us who do Santa’s shopping for him, since the damn thing’s apparently a collector’s item or some crap. Thank god for eBay, is all I have to say.


ribbed hat: finished!On our trip to Bellingham I picked up some lovely wool yarn exactly the shade of the Bellingham sky (gray) and managed to turn it into headwarmers for my two favorite boys. So cute, right? I have enough left to make something else, like a very short scarf or possibly a potholder. Or possibly there’s more than I think there is; I’m a terrible judge of yarn. one big, one small

They love their hats, though, and people say things about how cute the two of them are when they wear them together. I maintain that they’re cute anyway, but whatever.

Plus I got to update my Ravelry queue, and that’s always a good thing.

if by carnie you mean carnivorous

Had an unexpected attack of must eat flesh or I will die yesterday. After enjoying a spectacular medium-rare steak (Foreman Grill FTW!), I retired to the restroom, where – wouldn’t you know it? – I started my period. Iron cravings, anyone? I mention this primarily to illustrate that I appear to have gotten back in touch with my body (dirty!), but also because it’s been far too long since there was any TMI in this blog.

Currently I’m eating After Dark Chocolate ice cream (the best freaking ice cream ever, for serious) and trying to find tax stuff. I’m taking Tuesdays and Thursdays as “light” work days, so of course I’m working like a mad person. Seriously, internets: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Can I not take time off? Can I not prioritize? And it’s not like I was ultra productive today, either, what with my gmail being all wonktastic (the topbar is all improperly aligned and it drives me insane, it does) and my BlackBerry insisting that I have messages when I do not. But still. (I did update the portfolio section on the couldbe site, finally, so that if people go there they can actually, you know, see what we’ve done. Novel!)

I did spend some time this afternoon just hanging out with the kid. No TV, no computer, just us and the great urban outdoors. Then I dressed him up in Cranky gear and took pictures.

yodel shirt!

Next, I need to update that site. Maybe next Tuesday?

craft recs

One of my readers asked where I got my felt, and it occurs to me – I know stuff! Stuff about things! I will share it with you. Don’t say I never got you anything.

kreia - close (check out the new tag!)Felt: I get my felt from either Distinctive Fabric or Hart’s (which, I was amused to discover, is based in my old home town – they ship anywhere, though). They both sell by the yard (and a yard of felt is a LOT), but check the remnants first, especially if you aren’t looking for a particular color.

Shirt blanks: I have a wholesale account with American Apparel (you have to go through an application process, but I didn’t have any problem getting approved). The nice thing is that you can order in small quantities, so I can just get what I need instead of having to buy shirts by the case in every size.

Labels: Name Maker prints text on ribbon, and I’ve found it perfect for labels on the Cranky Pals. I got the pale green with polka dots on the border; the dots disappear after the first machine washing, but the text remains (and still looks good).

Other fabrics: I have a love thing for Bolt Fabric Boutique (they’re local; no idea if they ship). That’s where I get the fuzzy blue stuff for Twonk.

Supplies: Michael’s, mostly. I use embroidery thread for the stitching.

arr, says pirate henry

pirate henryThe newest addition to the Cranky family is, as usual, a Henry. This one is pink, and also a pirate. Arr.

I keep fussing around with the Cranky Pals website and I’ve added topside navigation, so now it is ABUNDANTLY CLEAR how people can click buttons to buy things from me. This is kind of me, I think. I mean, there could be any number of people out there, desperate to give me their money, but unable to do so because of my shoddy navigation.

yodel shirtIn other news, I also added the Yodel shirt to the lineup. The Yodel shirt entertains me, because every time Not So wears it, everyone asks him about it. It’s the tongue, I’m convinced. (Yodel’s tongue; not my husband’s.) I made one for one of Happy Fun Baby’s toddler friends, too, but I didn’t take a picture. Too bad, because I bet it’s really freaking cute.

Yes, it’s a Saturday. Time to spiff up the websites. You know how it is.

Oh! And on Monday, check out couldbe studios. We’re going Pink for October. All the cool kids are doing it. I might even do it on this blog, if I can get it together to change the CSS in time. (We’re all a little under the weather here, so don’t count on it.)

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