Sadly, this blog is a bit sleepier than I'd like these days. Pop over here if you'd like to know why.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Vancouver Tornado

A few weeks ago, a tornado hit Vancouver. So strange. I got a text from a friend saying "A tornado hit Hazel Dell Fred Meyer." Um... what?!

Apparently it started on Vancouver Lake, the banks of which my grandparents live on. Then it headed over to Hazel Dell, the cusp of which my mother lives on. I'm almost surprised it didn't zip over to Salmon Creek to get my dad and my aunt. Well, everyone was ok. (So thankful). My mom, who is typically scared of wind, was actually a little bummed that she missed the action. She did however, hop down to my grandparents' house to take some photos.

This one is my favorite. Its a house down the street from my grandparents', and luckily no one was hurt.

Other favorite tidbit from the storm... They found a fish from Vancouver Lake in someone's front yard... a mile and a half away.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Handmade Gift For You

I've been doing the Swap-Bot thing. It's pretty fun. Actually, I think I might be over it. I signed up (a very long time ago) for a swap called, "Handmade Gift For You." I really really like the way mine turned out.

My partner said she did crafts that involve needles and likes greens, blues, and dragonflies (I'm paraphrasing).

I thought I'd make her things that might be useful, instead of weird clutter handmade by someone she doesn't know and therefore has no emotional attachment to.

First I took a cue from Amy Sedaris and made a crazy-stitch needle book. I whipped up a little dragonfly for decoration. (I made myself a sailboat last year, it's adorable, in that crazy-stitch way).

Dragonfly Needle Book

Then I had to keep with the theme and make her a little pin-cushion. I followed the tutorial from How About Orange and produced this little baby. I think pin-cushions might be my next craft obsession. I've seen several on blogs/flickr that I need, need, need.

Pin Cushion

I added a few goodies too... so on the far off chance my partner sees this post, she'll still be surprised.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Originally uploaded by pilliebee

Honestly, I actually have several projects to share with you, friends. But the trouble is that all three are surprises. In order to maintain the mystery yet not seem blog-neglectful, here's a little treat.

Wandering through an alley yesterday, Ashley and I discovered the "tv people" ... I love them.

More fun Bellingham photos here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Le Slouch

Le Slouch

During the holidays I was sucked into a very late night internet search for the perfect hat. I finally found it. I dashed to the yarn shop the next day and got busy. Much to my dismay, it was starting to knit up way too small. And I swear I checked the guage. Conferring with my sister we decided "there's no way that's gonna fit on a head." I scrapped the plan and knit up a different little project.

Back in Bellingham I thought I should try again. I picked out new yarn at NW Handspun Yarns and talked the lovely lady there into bolstering my confidence. She did. I'm glad.

It took two weeks due to some stopping and starting...ripping out at least an inch...and then naturally I couldn't knit with the wild kitten running around the house that lived with us for two days. (I actually hid my knitting...I was terrified.)

I finished today and declare Le Slouch (available at KnitandTonic) ... my favorite hat.

Le Slouch

There are a few little oopsies in there. I'm starting to finally learn to trust the pattern! I don't know why it's so hard for me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Buggy Mitts

When I stumbled across this pattern for Buggy Mitts several weeks ago, I knew I had to knit it. Lucky for me I have a neat four year old friend to receive them! I showed him the pattern on the computer and he was pretty pumped. He asked me all that day if they were ready yet... nothing else comes close as far as motivation goes.

When I got back in town after the holidays, I figured I better get my buns in gear. It took about two days, and some beetle buggy mitts were born.

Buggy Mittens

I had a few issues during the knit-up. Somehow after the thumb gusset I ended up with 2 fewer stitches then intended. This happened on both mittens so I decided not to worry about it. I also haven't mastered having stripes that actually line up... but what do four year olds care right? And I should say, the photo below may not show it (due to privacy) but this little boy was smiling. He was pretty into these little buggies... and was reasonable when I talked him out of wearing them on his feet like slippers.

Buggy Mittens

I also made some adjustments to the finishing part of the pattern. I just thought buttons would be better eyes than felt (but they were tricky to sew on...!) ... and I don't know how to crochet... so the little feelers I just tied on in a more appropriate place (my opinion) instead of crocheting a chain at the finger tips. Not sure how well I like the outcome of that change... but a bug's a bug!

Buggy Mittens

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Compost It!

Originally uploaded by pilliebee

Last Spring I made a compost bin using a rubbermaid container and a drill. I followed this pattern at You Grow Girl. My roommate at the time and I were sick of seeing so much energy go out with our trash. Then I was inspired to get it in gear by a local woman making a recycling presentation in the 4th grade class I student taught in. After a trip to the store and borrowing a drill, we had compost.

In the fall I ended up with some really rich looking soil. I used it to plant a peony. Then... I kinda let things run their natural course... i. e. I stopped turning the compost. I just never thought about it at a convenient time. Bad idea.

This morning I felt brave and energized. I popped the top and... eew. A bit stinky (too much green material, not enough brown) and not a lot of decomposition (or worms). Plus, I thought I had requested our compost to be vegan... but the rotten eggs proved otherwise.

I did lots of turning and added some wood shavings. I think I'm going to try a little harder to remember to turn every 2 or 3 weeks.

(This photos is 1 of 52, see Project 365/52)