eco felt

Oh, kick ass. I just found out that Hart’s Fabric has eco felt, made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles! Dude, I cannot even express how cool this is. Paired with some eco-friendly batting, and the Cranky Pals are going green!

Just did a big order to stock up on supplies for the next Crafty Mamas Bazaar. Fun fun.

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.

i am, therefore i craft

lulu's heart: removable!So I’m doing the February Crafty Mamas Bazaar at Milagros. I haven’t done one in a looooong time, so it should be really fun. ‘Course, it means I need to make more toys, which (in turn) means I need more felt. Lots more felt. More felt, and more batting. Hello, shopping list!

I’d update with something substantive, but I’ve had this same damned headache for more than a week, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s lost much of its charm. And so have I! Plus, my kid just scribbled all over our new couch with a pen, and the atmosphere in my house is now somewhat strained. Bah. This is what we get for having a sand-colored couch and a toddler, all at the same time.

Maybe I will crochet today.

BMI demystified

Kate of Shapely Prose put together a Flickr slideshow illustrating the difference between underweight, normal, overweight and obese according to BMI standards, and just like that I started feeling better about my weight. I mean, it’s one thing to suspect that BMI is a crock of crap; it’s another to see a woman with a healthy-looking figure and see the word “overweight” above her picture. And here I’d been feeling all bad about myself for being overweight. Fuck that, is what I say. The so-called overweight women in the pictures? They look great. Normal. Kind of like how I want to look. (The difference is that they have not spent the last few days wearing the same pair of sweats and a really unflattering Threadless tee shirt because they have cramps and are sulking about it.)

Speaking of sulking! I got interviewed by a woman from Willamette Week (one of Portland’s alternative weekly newspapers) for an article she was doing about the Portland craft scene. She talked to me for about an hour, and seemed to be taking notes of some sort. There were lots of questions about feminism, which I gamely answered, but – dude, I’m a feminist, but I do not have a ready spiel about the socio-political ramifications of the craft fair. Still, I talked, as I am known to do, and afterward freaked right the hell out about all the stupid things that came out of my mouth. But hey, I needn’t have worried: the article came out today, and I got two wee little quotes. Two wee little quotes and no mention of my craft business name or URL. Just, “makes handmade plush toys out of her home” and “a graphic designer who also makes plush toys on the side.” EVERY other woman in the article had her business mentioned by name. Almost everyone got a link. But I? I got nothing. Thanks, Willamette Week! (It is sort of cool to be quoted in an article, don’t get me wrong. But it would have been nice if, oh, people could actually click something to visit the Cranky Pals site. Like that. See how easy that was?) 

Oh well. I guess I’ll have to achieve worldwide fame and everlasting celebrity some other way.

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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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slightly less unhealthy banana bread

In Slightly Less Unhealthy news, I made banana bread for the first time in the new house. It tasted much the same as the banana bread I used to make in the old house. I know you are surprised.

Here’s the recipe, for those of you who like that kind of thing:

1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and butter a loaf pan.

Cream sugar and butter. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork and add milk. Stir banana mixture with butter and sugar until just combined.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly add dry to wet and stir until combined.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.

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I am a cool kid. Know how I know? I got an invite to the invite-only beta of Ravelry. Social networking for yarnheads! (And yes, yarnheads is a word of my own devising. I am allowed to make up words, being a cool kid and all.)

hat for my sisterAlready being cool has upped my productivity, as I was so eager to get projects listed in my profile that I finally finished that hat I’ve been crocheting for my sister since, like, March. Now I just need to finish the matching scarf, and the first part of finishing (as I understand it) is starting. I thought about starting it last night, but I was bored and easily distracted. Tonight I may do some crocheting, but I might also sit in front of the computer and eat chocolate. I guarantee nothing.

(By the way, if you’re wondering why this picture looks so cool, it’s because Matt got a Lensbaby for his birthday – from me, because, as I mentioned, I am hip and cutting-edge – and it is more fun than kittens. There will be much fighting for the camera while we learn how to use it, I think.)

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crafty mamas

milagros-1.jpgHad a lovely time at the Crafty Mamas Bazaar at Milagros this weekend. Maybe I only sold one toy. I admit nothing. Possibly I gave away more than I sold. But that’s the best part about making stuff! I totally don’t buy into the whole time=money thing. Time=love. Love=money? (Yay, prostitution!) (Ha. I kid. I have watched enough Julia Roberts in my life to know that prostitutes do not kiss on the mouth.)

Speaking of…what were we speaking of? Oh yes, money, and time, and love, which brings us (naturally) to Ikea. We took a family trip to Ikea today, totally spur of the moment, and realized when we emerged, slightly shaken and confused, that we had been there for four hours. Now, I am all about the Ikea love, but four hours? Seriously? Still, we managed to get a truly unlikely number of housewares for a mere $40, and that’s a win by any standard. And meatballs. There are few things on this earth better than Ikea meatballs. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

unexpected goodness

Frog’s legs are, actually, very good. They do taste quite a bit like chicken, which is reassuring when confronted with a food that used to be covered in a slick reptile skin. I was afraid that they would come like that, covered in frog skin, and I was certain I would not be able to consume anything covered in frog skin. They were deep-fried, though, battered, and only resembled the extended, leaping legs of a frog in shape.

My week was a lot like that: unexpected goodness in unexpected places. I was surprised on Thursday by an e-mail from the Portland Picks folks, saying they love my Cranky Pals and are featuring them in (last) Friday’s newsletter. Squee! The Crankies, they are all about the love. (I accidentally typed “lobe” there, the Crankies, all about the lobe, and then spent a period of time contemplating what sort of lobe the Crankies might be all about and where in the brain it was located. Although perhaps the ear. It is hard to say.)

The kid = still weaned, which is good since my supply is finally (finally!) dwindling. Apparently I am a milking machine. Several third-world countries could be sustained on my milk supply. Unsurprisingly, now that the milk is finally going the way of the dodo, I find myself suddenly deflated. This means none of my bras are even remotely functional. You’d think I’d just start wearing one of my less immense bras, considering that I had a stash of them from my less endowed days. You’d think that, but that would presuppose that I knew where any of them were, and could locate them as needed. I suspect that they are in a box somewhere, like pretty much everything else we own. Being prepared is not one of my strong suits.

Not nursing is pretty great, though. I heartily recommend it.

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baby hypnostein and me

(Or, How I Got To Blog While My Kid Watched A DVD)

Today I need to disconnect and return the DVR (only, what, three weeks after we got rid of the cable? Go me), clean the house (since I appear to have volunteered to possibly host a get-together this weekend, maybe), do some homework, crochet, pick up my holds at the library, sign for the package containing the new potty seat (whee!), send back the Netflix, buy some yarn, put away my crafting supplies, e-mail a client, update our business website, drop off a check at the bank, and make some lunch. Note that several of these things involve me being in two places at once. Good thing I discovered time travel!

Naturally I am going to take this time to recap my awesome Crafty Mamas Bazaar experience and wax lyrical about my upcoming Cranky Pals newsletter, whichisreallycoolandyoushouldsignup.

So in case the “awesome” wasn’t hint enough, the Crafty Mamas Bazaar? Awesome. I had a great time, sold some toys, chatted with some moms…bought an Ergo…all in all, a very fruitful experience and one I will most likely repeat next month (sans Ergo purchase, of course).

The folks at Milagros are wonderful, and it’s so great of them to host this thing and make everyone feel so welcome. Plus they have one of the coolest local baby shops this side of LilyToad. Speaking of, that’s another thing I should add to my list: drop off unsold toys at LilyToad.

Lulu HeartbreakAll the new designs are up at the Cranky Pals website, by the way, including Happy Fun Baby’s new favorite, Lulu Heartbreak. She has a detachable heart! Detachable! This causes me joy.

Another thing that causes me joy? The brand spankin‘ new Cranky Pals newsletter! I spent the better part of Sunday designing it (what? I was on a roll) and I’m so pleased with it I could just burst. And it’s messy, the bursting, so why not sign up and see for yourself? Every name on the subscription list makes me feel that much more validated, and isn’t that what the internet is all about?

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