christmas came early....

Oh. My. Gosh. I'm. In. HEAVEN.

I met up with Annie of RoseKnits and we made a little trade yesterday. She's starting to collect handmade items for a future baby's nursery; and I had the honors of providing this as-yet-unknown little one with his or her first piece: my green and brown zig zag baby quilt. (No, mutual friends; this is just a "someday when Baby comes" nursery. I'm not insinuating or announcing a thing. I promise.)

In return, Annie unloaded all her bag-making scraps onto me. Can I just say WOW?? Times a hundred!! I think I got the better end of the deal, in my ever-so-humble opinion! Check out what I found in those two unassuming looking little bags (Oh, whoops. Only got a shot of the first bag. The second was an XL Ziploc storage bag)...

Check out all these strips... most are 2.5" or wider... Great for strip quilts, quick piecing, key fobs...

And then there's the Amy Butler/Joel Dewberry/and friends collection (including several out-of-print babies!!):

And my VERY favorite, my very own collection of Anna Maria! (And a few that just looked Anna-ish enough to go together) The boys kept yelling in their best Greek accents "Anna Maria!!" when I'd find another piece. They're quick learners... :-) :

And last but not least, a little Munki Munki, even! Annie and I have a friend who used to own a quilt shop here in Tulsa. This friend apparently was one of Heather Ross's first retailers, so I'm wondering if Annie got this sushi yardage from her. And then there are the beloved and highly sought after Mendocino prints... :
And isn't that Japanese print at the bottom so cute? I saw one of Annie's bags made out of it at her house yesterday, so I was very excited when I realized I had a piece of the fabric, too! I'm easily pleased when it comes to crafty things... :-)

So, I'm going to be BUSY, getting that Etsy shop updated with awesome new things from my new treasures! Between the crafting and the swap leverage, I'm excited! Thanks, Annie!!

where the heck have i been??

Well, I've been working a lot more at Loops, so that's the biggest chunk of it. And you know how life gets in the way of the living you'd rather be doing... Oh, well...

In the few free times hidden away, I've accomplished quite a few things, such as...

This blanket for a friend's baby. She had a boy after 3 girls... and after thinking the whole pregnancy that this was a girl, too... Needless to say, they needed a boyish quilt in their house!

And then I made this for a friend/coworker to give to one of her friends whose baby is due soon. The nursery theme is outdoors, hunting, etc., and my friend said this one was the coolest one at the shower. Yay!

I'm quite addicted to swaps, too...

The Scrappy {Strip} Swap on Flickr was fun. I traded these strips and sent them to an international point as yet unknown. (I have to remember next time that international things take longer, so I shouldn't wait for the due date to send. Sorry, partner!)

And then there was the Savvy {Seasons} Swap. Mine's just going out today, after a hectic week and a few design setbacks... For instance. When you use Elmer's glue, it doesn't really work well at all. There's a reason only school kids use it and not very successfully, I might add. Too runny, not tacky enough, and long in drying at the end. Sigh. Lesson learned. You can't always use just whatever's already on hand. But partner, it'll be winging (wheeling?) its way to you today!
A few sneak peeks...

Then there was the [3 x 6] Sampler Quilt Mini Bee. I was a glutton for punishment and did an entirely too time-consuming square to send to my 6 partners in my "beehive." They turned out really cool, but this round of the bee will use a MUCH simpler square than all that cutting, gluing (yes, gluing), handsewing, ripping out, machine appliqueing... But my partners got pretty rockin' squares, if I do say so myself. :-)

And that's what I've been up to! Well, among other things. And over a period of time. The squares I started months ago. The lights I made this week. All the rest was somewhere in between. Not nearly enough creativity time for my liking, but now that my window's open, the a/c isn't running, and the clouds are in the sky, this is my time of year! I'm ready to do more with my Etsy shop, to hole up at home as much as possible, and to enjoy the fall and winter!

Let the creativity begin! (continue?)


Hear that? It's an attic fan, breeze, and light rain. MY WINDOWS ARE OPEN!!! Here in Tulsa, that's been a big no-no for the last few months! A "cold front" is moving in right now, and we've gone from 100+ yesterday to 70-something right now!!! Will it last? Of course not. But it sure feels good right now!!! This past month, we've hit 80 to 85 in the house by afternoon, thanks to our lovely 1950s original windows and 30ish year old a/c unit. It runs its little heart out all day long, but it never cools the house completely down when it's 100+ outside. So this rocks.

Ooh, here comes the big rain now. Ahhh... I can smell the wet dirt and pavement, too. What a way to begin the first week of school!!!! Now granted, I'm sure the teachers aren't loving the inside day b/c of the rain, but I suppose they'd be inside most of the day, anyhow, because of the heat. So it's all good.

The boys started school yesterday. It was more of a bittersweet thing for me than I thought it'd be. Was I ready for the monotony and the sheer boredom of the summer to be over? Absolutely. Am I excited about the year, the cooler weather, fall and Christmas, etc.? You bet! But for some reason, I was nervous for the boys yesterday. Maybe it was because they moved up into new areas at school this year?

Their school (an AWESOME magnet school) groups grades into different "instructional areas" so that there's a multi-age environment and a sharing of teachers, resources, etc. Both boys moved out of last year's instructional areas into new ones this year, so I guess I was apprehensive about the move. Of course, they did fine and had no problems at all. Not that I logically should have thought that they would, as it's an awesome school where we know everyone, love all the teachers, etc. And Aric left the group that Aidan entered this year, so it's not like I don't know what to expect there.

Aric's doing an accelerated math program this year, too, though, which makes me VERY excited and antsy at the same time. I LOVE math and can't wait to do his homework with him. But I have to be on top of things and make sure he's not getting in over his head or getting too frustrated. A 3rd grader doing 6th grade math could get bogged down if we're not careful.

Brad says he gets his math abilities from me. :-) Actually, his words were more like, "Wow, that's totally you. He didn't get it from me." :-) I still get flak over not becoming an electrical engineer, the profession those high school aptitude tests always said I should do. Yeah, that's where the left and right brains digressed. I wanted to sing, not engineer. I wanted to create and make art, not wire things together. "Yeah, but it would have paid off our school loans so you could do the art later." Hindsight's 20/20. Oh well. Life is still good. Sorry, babe.

Okay, Mommy has a whole hour before she has to go to work, so she's going to go play at the sewing machine for a few. And listen to the rain. And the lack of "Rescue Heroes," fighting, and "Mom, I'm hungry!" For a few hours, anyway.

or a girl, perhaps?

So a boy's quilt wasn't up someone's alley? How about a girl's? This is a fun colorful one that was surprisingly hard to photograph. Well, I guess I shouldn't have been THAT surprised since it was in the office on a cloudy day since the back deck was all rain-soaked. This and the Shades of Blue quilt were two experiments at making an affordable standard quilt for my Etsy shop. Still working on that. Turns out a boatload of scraps still takes a long time to sew together and then to quilt. Who knew? Quilting takes time! Huh.
This one is a little larger at 42" square. I think I'll be shooting for somewhere between that and the 33" square blue one for the "Etsy standard," but both are awesomely soft, squishy, and adorable. Can a fun, squishily soft baby quilt ever be the wrong size, really?
When I uploaded pictures to Flickr, I put "Pretty in Pink" as the quilt title, which led to a discussion over whether that phrase still conjures up memories of a movie not fit for a baby girl, or if it's back to simply being a phrase. So I went with "The Bee's Knees" instead because of the bees on the fabric. Not that I ever really got that phrase. Anybody know how it originated?

It's a boy!

shades of blue01
Originally uploaded by binkwaffle - Holly
No, Mom, I'm not pregnant. Just getting that out of the way.

But if anyone knows someone who IS, wouldn't this make the perfect baby quilt? It's 33" square and has a double layer of 100% cotton batting for extra squishiness and warmth. It uses lots of popular modern fabrics and has a hand-finished binding. So fun to make and to watch it materialize!

It's at my Etsy shop, so come on over and take a gander at this or my other things!

BBW Deal!

BBW Deal!
Originally uploaded by binkwaffle

Why you should
a) use coupons
b) take advantage of killer sales
c) finally use those gift cards that just sit in your wallet for a year...

All told, I paid $5 and change out of pocket for this. I used a $5 BBW gift card, $40 left on a mall gift card, a $10/$40 BBW coupon, and bought it all at the semi-annual sale, and I paid 5 bucks!!!

Those candles were 75% off!! The regular price of everything was approx. $176!! Pre-giftcard and pre-cash price was only $50 and change. Granted, I used a gift card that I wouldn't usually have, but it was still an awesome deal either way!

I got:
2 Wallflower units w/ refills
2 Wallflower refill packs
1 Body Lotion
1 Shower Gel
4 4 oz. Candles
2 14.5 oz. Candles
2 Antibacterial Soaps
1 Shampoo
1 Conditioner

And yes, I know the photo stinks to high heaven. Sorry about that. Wanted to start using all right away and not stage a photo shoot. :-)


Originally uploaded by binkwaffle
Apparently, these are squash bugs! Thanks, Andrea! We have the spray and will be dousing the vine, bushes, and part of the garden tonite. Seriously, the bug factor (are slugs officially bugs, too? If not, broaden it to a pest factor) is the biggest turnoff for me when it comes to gardening. They just flat out gross me out. They don't scare me, but they are just plain gross. And it feels like they're crawling all over me once I've seen a few. Ewww....


What is this bug??? There are hundreds of them all over an aggressive vine coming from my neighbor's yard. The vine overtakes everything on my side of the fence every year, but this year it's worse because it has these black things all over it! Now, granted, it looks like they're killing the plant, but in the process, I don't want them to kill the plants underneath them, the ones that are mine!!! And they're VERY close to my garden, and I did not do all that work to have a bug colony eat the fruit of my labor. Literally! HELP!!

I probably did a very stupid thing (Did I mention my thumb is only very slightly a pale pale green and that this is the first year my garden is still alive at this point in the spring/summer?) and tried to hose them all off. I had two thoughts: (1) they might get mad and fly away, or (2) they might be so wussy that the force of the water kills them instantly. Apparently, I was wrong on both accounts, because they're all still there. So now what? Do I spray them with something? Of course we want to rip out as much of the vine as we can, too, but the roots are on the other side of the fence (and it's a rental so who knows who lives there right now?) and I really don't relish the idea of ripping out all those vines with the bugs still all over them. Ewww. And they're just barely hanging over one side of the garden (which is how I found them, when I was trimming back a few bush branches), so they'll all fall off into the garden as soon as we start ripping them out.


Teacher Gifts 2010

So, my boys to come into contact with a good half-dozen teachers every day. It's an AWESOME magnet school here in Tulsa that anyone living in the district has GOT to at least come tour and consider for their kids. It was originally a lab school and a "demonstration" school where all the teachers from the entire district came for a few days to learn alternative ways to teach kids based on kids' brain research and the like. Now it's just a "normal" walls-free multi-age hands-on school that still operates the same way but that doesn't have teachers coming to learn.

Anyhoo, all that's to say... The boys each have a "homebase" teacher and a "family" teacher. (Homebase is based on their grade or age group; family is a multi-age "class" that meets several afternoons a week, where they get to learn to interact with other ages, to learn from each other, to help the younger ones learn, etc.) So the "main" 2 teachers for each boy got a reusable shopping bag using this pattern.

(To be honest, I was underwhelmed with the pattern and project--sorry to the designer--but they're done and that's that. I wish I'd reinforced them with a little interfacing, but I guess they are shopping bags, after all. So, there they are. Ain't redoing them now! Overall, they're cute; just a pain in the you-know-what to make. Not overly quick to whip up.)

THEN, of course, the boys came home from school one afternoon; not to drool and gush over my long hard work, but to insist that Mrs. So and So, Mr. You Know Who, etc., all needed one, too. After all, they all teach the boys each day. Oy. So I set out to create a more time efficient project for the rest of them, and voila! After a zillion searches online and a hybrid of a billion tutorials, patterns, and photos, here's what I came up with:

A tutorial will follow this week, now that the teachers all have their gifts and the final rush of the school year's end is over. You know, while the boys are running through the house and I have all that, er, quiet time...

It's finally done!!!

I FINALLY finished up my pattern for Sophie's Shrug! Shelley made it a Loops Original pattern today, blogged about it, and will start selling it online (should be on the Loops site in a day or two), in the store, and on Ravelry. How cool is that?

I've had quite a few subjects for guinea pigs, so the pattern should be spot on. I'll be knitting one out of a bulkier yarn this next week or two so that we have an example of how it knits up with larger yarns. I made a tiny one for a coworker's baby shower, so I need to get a photo of it from her (I know. Bad Holly. Take the pics BEFORE you gift the item!) to show how small the same pattern can go on smaller needles and yarns.

The "gonna run over and take a few pics of Sophie in the newest version" idea turned into "Aunt Holly, why don't we try all of them on?" and "Aunt Holly, look! We hung a sheet on the clothesline!" instead. It was fun, though. All the poses were the girls' ideas, too. No need for prompting. Girls seem to be naturals at the art of posing. :-)

binkwaffle button bands, anyone?

Introducing binkwaffle button bands! Headbands, rubber bands, eventually barrettes.... Had to find a lucrative way to use up those scraps, right? Eh, who are we kidding? If I see a cool idea, I have to give it a try. Focused and single-minded I'm not. At all.

These are going up in my Etsy shop a few a day, so if you see something you like here but not there yet, let me know. And I'm more than happy to do custom ones, too, so please ask!