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A Warm Welcome!!

You all know my feelings about New Years!! I’ve written about it quite a lot over the years.  My routines, traditions, customs, goals, resolutions, etc.  This year I’m keeping things simple with a single theme.  BOLD MOVES!  That is my intention for 2014 in all areas of my life!!

Now I was going to do the usual picture montage, recapping last year’s accomplishments, finished projects, etc but then thought why… Let’s just start with something new…something BOLD,  a bit out of character and something I’m totally in love with.  Not to mention perfect for the upcoming drop in temperature and snow storm…

The first finished item for 2014…

Inspira Cowl by Graphica, Mesa Rock version, modeled bravely (it was freezing this morning) by my beautiful sister.

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I could write about how much I love this for page after page but I’ll let the pictures speak for me.

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I can’t take the credit for how beautiful it is…It’s the pattern and the yarn…Noro Silk Garden, colorway  #349 & 359 (2 skeins of each) The long repeats blended so perfectly!!!

For the bind off I tried a couple of things and decided on a twisted applied Icord bind off.  It worked like a charm.  The goal was to keep the neck from “slouching” without being too tight.  Mission accomplished!!

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Can I just say again how much I love this cowl.  And the yarn!  It’s the first time I’ve ever knit with Noro yarn.  I know, I can hear the gasping.  It’s always felt “scratchy” to me and not “plied enough”, I know, I know…I’m an idiot.  But now it’s a definite favorite…better late than never!!!

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COLOR…BEAUTIFUL BOLD COLOR!!! Yet still earthy…

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Even though she’s not smiling she was very smitten with this cowl.  I was just shy of wrestling it off her.  She wanted to “wear it awhile”…not this one sister!!!

This one is for me.  A reminder to step out of my comfort zone, try something new and to be bold!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!  Make it a great one!!!

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So Long, Farewell…

Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!!! Here’s to endings and new beginnings…

Finish  Start

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And there is so much peace, laughter, and joy in our house already, I can only imagine what awesomeness awaits tomorrow!!!

I’m also feeling joy over finishing this wall hanging…just in time.  It’s from Bernina.  The pattern is here and I’m so happy with how it turned out!!!

That’s Kira holding it for me, to give you some idea of the height. (it’s about 27×30)!

Bernina Tree Quilt

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!!

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True Meaning Of Christmas

All I’ve been able to do the last few weeks is run around like a chicken without a head (that is a really awful analogy but very accurate at the moment).  I actually had a mini meltdown yesterday, stressing about all the things I have to do, shop for, wrap, sew, knit, email, ship, make, bake, deliver, and so on and so on…

But then 2 things happened that gave me pause, a moment to reflect and smile.  As adults (for many of us anyway) Christmas is all about the “work”.  There is very little of the joy except when we look into our children’s, or any child’s face and see the pure joy, the magic and the wonder.

Yesterday (after the meltdown) I went to my mailbox and found a large box stuffed, in a manner very un-befitting of the USPS.  At first I didn’t recognize the sender but then I opened the box and gasped (seriously I did, like a classic scene from a movie).  This was inside…

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With a note from a woman, I’ve never met except online.  She purchased yarn from me a few months ago and we’ve chatted a bit via email.  She recently experienced a great loss and emailed me a few questions/requests which I helped her with.  It didn’t seem like much to me but in her note she said he meant very much to her.  This beautiful, chocolate-y, butter soft shawl is her thank you.  I honestly had tears in my eyes.

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Just look at that…

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BEADS…she knit in beads…that is no easy task.  Cat, your skill is breath-taking!!!

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Sometimes a very simple act, almost to the point of seeming like nothing to you, can mean all the difference to someone.

Then today I got an email with the subject, You Okay?.  A friend, who I’ve unfortunately shared way to little time with, send a message to check in?  To find out if all the blog silence around here was due to the holiday craziness or something else.

It’s not about the gifts, the tree, the cookies, the parties.  It’s about the love between family and friends.  It’s about showing how truly grateful we are for each other, about remembering a person’s sadness and trying to brighten their day or just ask how they are.  That only can make all the difference.

I’m thought of and cared about and now feel restored!!!

With all my heart…

Thank you Cat

Thank you Sarah

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Thankful…

There are so many things that I am thankful for…most of all my family, friends, and the blessings that I have been favored with.

Give Thanks Sign

I am also thankful for the creative madness that keeps me up at night and wakes me early in the morning.  This sign was made on Thanksgiving eve and kept me up until 1am.  It’s not even finished but it served it’s purpose!!  Message delivered and a wonderful day/evening was had by all.

I hope you all had a wonderful, tummy-filling Thanksgiving.

hcvydtghcbyrgfrgvffxfxgru6dyvtrbfghgcvhg vbgvbyuhrguxhagubybxbcgvbgcsyfubhhkjvfcuyhyhubfghbfhfbhhnfhbkjunuibybhufljk

The above was my Kira’s message to everyone.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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Even though I’m already in full swing with sewing holiday gifts, ornaments, etc. I’m still not ready to hear Bing Crosby singing White Christmas in every store.  Just a couple more days people, let me get the turkey done then you can go nuts!!

I am all for getting ready though!  Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to try to do a tutorial post at least once a week to help those of you who are aiming as high as I am!!

Here are a couple more ornaments!!

This little angel is going to my best friend…

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I can’t stop making these.

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Not really Christmas-y but it’s so darn cute…who doesn’t love mushrooms.

Per the instructions I added some fiber fill to add some “depth” to  the cap.

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Then as I reached my last running stitch I sewed it twice (in out, in out over the same stitch) then pulled the thread between the two layers of felt.

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Then pushed the needle up a little way away.

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Snip the thread and voila! A nice knot-free ornament!!

There is no way I’m going to get as many done as I would like but I’m curious to see how many I’ll have  done by the end of the season.  Even after the tree is up I can just keep adding!!

In my last post I included a link on how to cut felt.  I can’t stress enough that if you’re trying to make some, these instructions are the way to go.  And at the rate I’m going I going to buy stock in freezer paper!

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Even Reynold’s has caught on…

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Now to make these little cuties!!!

Charlie Brown Ornaments by A Little Gray

(picture by A Little Gray)

I found this tutorial last night on Pinterest.  Another  super important skill, is learning how to transfer embroidery images on to felt.  Not easy but this method was super helpful.  This particular pattern does offer a method but this one is a bit more precise.

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…and one of these pens

So there now you’re ready to get started.  I’d love to see what you make!!  Don’t forget you can post to my Earthtones Girl on Facebook.

Have Fun!!!

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41!!!!!!

Is how many days there are until Christmas!!

I was happily knitting away, enjoying the wonderful and colorful magic tricks of my new yarn when I suddenly dropped a stitch.  Not from lack of paying attention or splitting yarn but from the sudden heart stopping realization that there are only 41 days left until Christmas.

Why, why, why is it that every year I start off with the best intentions to get all my shopping  and gift making done early and then this happens, PANIC.  There are just not enough hours in the day.  But I’m going to, once again, try to convince myself that I don’t need sleep or sanity and I can get IT ALL DONE by December 25th.

That said instead of hitting the sewing machine to work on gifts (I couldn’t have picked a simpler project if you remember) I decided, in the true nature of the holiday spirit and the crafter spirit, to start a bunch of new projects instead.  But tell me, could you resist?  This all stems from the “I can make that myself” form of self-torture!

Felt Christmas Tree Ornaments!!!!!! For years I wanted to make enough to cover our entire tree (we have a 7 foot artificial one) with hand-made felt ornaments and now thanks to Pinterest I can drive myself to madness trying!

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I love it! I just love it!!! Look at the little tree…CUTE! The designer of this one suggested using the fancy stitches on your sewing machine (if it has them) to create the garland.  My machine has almost too many to choose from but this one looked the closest to “strings of lights”.  It’s a very well done pattern, and took me about an hour start to finish!

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This one is my favorite so far!!! I had a pattern/tutorial for the tree but this one was just a picture of an item on Etsy (It was sold out and I don’t feel guilty about “copying” someone’s design because I will not sell it or even offer a tutorial on how I did it)!!! Another reason why I love that I know how to sew!!!

Here’s a close up…

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Fabric stamps…can’t get enough of them.  I hand wrote the words to be embroidered a bit wonky to look more like a child wrote it!!!  And those French knot periods and colon…..they kill me!!!  I was dancing a gig when I finished this.  It’s just too cute!!! But wait for it…

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It’s an envelope after all…

These two are the first of several I have already cut out, waiting to be sewn.  And they come together really fast.  The most time-consuming part is the cutting.  But there is a trick to cutting out the felt pieces.  Which thanks to Pinterest (AGAIN) I learned how to do! It’s a life saver and worth the effort!!!

So as you can see I am having fun and will continue to tell myself that I am!  Stayed tuned for more holiday fun.   The season is upon us, whether we are ready or not!!!!

(don’t worry I won’t forget the cowl…it’s so pretty)

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