Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Cyber Monday!

All of the bags in my shop are currently 1/2 price! I've got them all marked down, so there is no need to wait for a revised invoice! Just head on over and shop to your heart's content!

I convinced my dear sister Jessica to venture out with me on Black Friday. We only wanted to go to Target and WalMart, both of which opened at 5 AM. We also agreed that we didn't REALLY need to be there when they opened. That's just for crazy people! **snort** We agreed to leave my house at 6 AM.

I set my alarm for 5:00. At 6:00 I heard a knocking on my front door. Yeah. Alarm did not go off. But, hey, I was ready to leave the house at 6:10!

Overall, it wasn't as bad as we expected. Target was our first stop. It was busy, but the staff was helpful and the customers were friendly. We snagged a couple of the bargains we went for and then waited in line. The line looked more imposing than it was. We got out of there in fairly decent time.

With fear and trepidation, we drove down to WalMart. We were shocked! Where were all the cars? We parked in the front row!! We went in, got our items and checked out at the Christmas department with no waiting! The employee back there said, "You should have been here at 4:30. It all died off at 6:00."

Really, the only things I didn't get were the $29 digital photo frame and a copy of Elf for $3.99. I was pretty pleased with my purchases, and it was a low stress experience. Except the over-sleeping part. Thank God Jessica went with me. I'd have been pretty annoyed if I woke up at 8:00 and realized I'd missed it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tooth Brush Needle Rug

This weekend, I attended a very small craft show in my hometown. I didn't buy much, but I did purchase this beautiful handmade tooth brush needle rug. I had never heard of such a thing, so, of course, I googled it when I got home.

Turns out, these rugs were orginally made using a needle made from a tooth brush! Back in the day when tooth brushes came with a hole in the handle. Have you noticed they don't come that way any more?

The Mennonite woman who made this rug, told me it was made from strips of sheets. It's very nice and squishy under my feet. I have it laying in front of my kitchen sink. I do think I need to put some kind of rubber gripper thing underneath it though. It slides quite easily at the moment.

Want to make your own tooth brush needle rug? (Apparently, you can now buy tooth brush needles, so you won't have to find an "antique" tooth brush to make one from.) Here is a pretty good set of instructions. Personally, I'm going to leave this art to the rugmaking experts, but it is an interesting idea!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Obsession

I've been wanting to learn to crochet for a long time. I'm constantly finding the cutest little amigurumi animals and figures on Etsy, only to find out that it's a pattern for sale, not the actual item. So, if I can't buy the figures, I'm gonna have to learn to make them myself.

I mentioned that I wanted to learn to crochet, and my mom said she could teach me, but somehow, that didn't seem like such a good idea. I picked up a learn to crochet kit at Hobby Lobby and took it with me when Sally had to be in the hospital for jaundice. I learned a little, but when I got past single crochet, I felt like the instructions were a bit lacking. Stuff wasn't making sense, so I put it all away. It wasn't like I didn't want to learn anymore, it just wasn't coming all that easily, and quite frankly, I'm a little lazy.

Over my lunch hour yesterday, I happened to pass buy the local bead and yarn store and decided to stop in and see what kind of crochet books they had. The owner showed me two or three that she said were very good. When I asked which one would be most helpful for both learning and reading patterns, she recommended The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.

Last night, while I was watching tv with Mr Kay, I broke out the yarn and hook and went to work. The instructions in this book are amazing! All the things that I just didn't "get" with the other book were fully explained in language I could understand. The diagrams made sense. It addressed common mistakes with phrases like "here" and "not here". It kind of feels like you're learning with an actual person sitting there teaching you. I am loving the way the hook and yarn feel in my hand, and it's so exciting to see the actual progress. And it actually looks good!

Today over my lunch hour, I learned the double crochet stitch. Tonight, I'm going to tackle the triple. I can hardly wait to get to the end of the book which is full of simply adorable patterns! There are at least two scarves, two sweaters, a couple hats, a bag and a blanket that I want to make. It should keep me busy all winter long!

Make sure you get the most recent edition of the book. Apparently, the original book had a number of errors in the patterns, but those have been corrected in the latest edition. (I nearly panicked when I started reading some of the reviews, but was relieved to find out about the corrections.)

I'm sure there will be future posts about my foray into this new hobby. Maybe I'll get brave enough to post a picture of my swatch!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Work in Progress

Owl - work in progress, originally uploaded by BeckyKay Designs.

I've had this little design sketched up for some time now, but had been focusing on my fruit pillows. Over the past few days, I've been bringing my owl to life.

After I had the front stitched together, I held it up for Mr Kay. He just stared at it. "It's an owl," I said.

"Oh. I see it now. I thought it was a cup."

Seriously?? A cup?? Granted, I didn't have the eyes on it, but still, a cup??

So far, I have the front, back and sides done. Now, it's just a matter of sewing the three components together and attaching the eyes. I found the perfect buttons to use as eyes. I think they're supposed to be a flower design, but they make awesome owl eyes!

I'm hoping this little cutie will be in the shop very soon! If I can get decent pictures. Winter has arrived in Kansas, and it's wet and cold!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Art by Lil' Kay

Layton as an octopus, originally uploaded by BeckyKay Designs.

My son is a prolific artistic. Our house is a veritable tinderbox of paper. That child can go through a ream of paper in a week! I am constantly picking up papers and sneaking them into the trash can. I have to bury them under other stuff, because he knows my trick and checks on me.

But, every now and then, I run across a drawing that is so funny or so accurate, that I simply must not throw it away. This year, my nephew was an octopus for Halloween, and this is Lil' Kay's depiction of Layton in his costume.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation, originally uploaded by BeckyKay Designs.

Lil' Kay brought this little airplane home from school. It was a prize he received for selling a certain number of items (all bought by me!) in a fundraiser.

Mr. Kay and I just scratched our heads.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2009 Christmas Ornament Exchange

Last year, I participated in the Christmas Ornament Exchange organized by Beki of PamperingBeki. It was lots of fun to create a special ornament to send to my partner and receive one in return. When I heard that Beki was doing it again, I jumped at the chance to join! I suggest you do, too!
Go to Beki's blog to sign up and get more details!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sally's Quilt

My grandma is a quilter. She's been quilting for longer than I can remember, and it's always very special to receive one of the quilts that she has worked on. In recent years, my mom has also begun to do some quilting, and she wants to make sure that each of her grandchildren receives a quilt that she has made for them.

When we found out that we were having a baby girl, Mom immediately started to think about what kind of quilt she should make for Sally. I found this pattern in a quilting magazine and helped her to pick out the fabrics. Let me tell you, there are a lot of different fabrics in this pattern! It took quite some time at the quilt store to find the necessary number of coordinating prints!

My mom did all the cutting and piecing for the quilt and Grandma did the quilting. So, it's been worked on by both Sally's grandma and her great grandma. Talk about an heirloom!

Mom presented us with the completed quilt this past Saturday, and isn't it gorgeous? Very feminine without being too pink. Just the way I wanted it. It's also huge! Definitely not a baby blanket, but that's perfect, too. Now, Sally will be able to enjoy this blanket for a long, long time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Highlights

Phew! The past few days have flown by in a flurry of pumpkin guts and duct tape!

Thursday night was our annual pumpkin carving party. We had ten people over to eat chili and carve jack-o-lanterns. Lil Kay and I decided to take a cue from Family Fun Magazine and carve a shark eating smaller fish. Mr. Kay carved his pale green pumpkin with a bit of a scary face. We were so surprised and delighted to see that the green pumpkin actually still had vivid orange innards! Our white pumpkin, on the other hand, was white all the way through! I have to admit that we didn't get all six of these pumpkins carved on Thursday night. Three of them were finished on Saturday morning!

Here in Kansas, we had beautiful weather for trick-or-treating on Halloween day! Lil Kay's scuba diver costume was a big hit, and everyone was gushing over how cute Sally looked in her goldfish suit. Mr. Kay and I both agreed that it looked a bit like she'd been eaten by a giant goldfish.

Lil Kay's diver costume was so much fun to put together. I have to give credit to Mr. Kay for making the tank and flippers. The flippers were created out of duct tape and tubing and finished just a couple hours before we left for the big Halloween event downtown. Unfortunately, they were a bit hard to walk in and were taken off shortly after we arrived downtown!

After trick-or-treating downtown, we drove over to my parents' house, and Lil Kay got to do more trick-or-treating with his cousins who were dressed as a mermaid and an octopus. Anyone detect a theme here?