23 December 2009

17 December 2009

Music on my mind

Another one I could listen to over and over. I was surprised that this voice came from this guy. Not expected.

Christmas Market

We went to the Oppenheim Christmas Market last weekend and had a great time! I find that the bigger markets throughout Germany tend to repeat themselves a bit. The same wares sold over and over. Honestly, we tend to go for the food and drink and not so much to buy things. If we find something we love it's a nice extra. Anyway, Oppenheim market is only one weekend a year and is much smaller and more unique. Tons of handmade items and people dressed in period garb. It was advertised as a fairytale market and I agree. We even got snowed on! It was beautiful and magical.

Pepper fell for a felt flower hairband. It had to have pink in it and she had to wear it as a bracelet. I know I can make one but she loved it and we're suckers.

These felt slippers were amazing. They would have been mine if they weren't so darn expensive ($65!!). Everything this vendor had was beautiful felt.

B loved the helmets and had to try them all on.

This booth was amazing. I have seem these ladies before at other fairs and can never get enough. One woman sat knitting and the other was spinning - both in full period garb. The colors are beautiful and so vibrant. They sell hand spun, wool roving, and some finished items.

A cute handmade hen. There was a ladder full of them in different sizes and colors.

There were murals of fairytales along one street. The kids loved them and this one was my favorite.

12 December 2009

Tea towel bag

I found this cool tutorial and loved the way it looked. I had jumped on the Orla Kiely/Target bandwagon and had bought a couple of dishtowel sets determined to figure out a bag. Well, I wanted something fast so I thought I would do an unlined version. I loved the end result. It was pretty fast to sew up too!

I did no cutting on the main body (brown) opting to use the exsisting seams to make the unlined inside look more finished. I boxed up the bottom - also no cutting but I sewed the triangle flap up for a bit of detailing. I left the hanging loop intact so it could be used to hang keys or whatever on a loop or small caribiner. I cut up the orange matching towel for the handle and base. The handles were each one strip. I think mine were 3.5" but don't quote me! Then folded in half, seamed, turned inside out, and stitched 1/4" down both long sides to finish. The placement on the bag was pretty random on the first one - just what I thought would feel comfortable and look OK - then I matched the second strap alignment to the first. The bottom was made using the measurements of the bottom that I had created sewing a casing with the rest of the fabric and a strip of cardboard for support.

I am just do happy with it! I made one for my sister for her birthday and gave her a matching mug. This one's for mom for Christmas. Sorry to spoil the surprise! Next up are some made out of vintage dishtowels. I'm happy to not have to cut them up with this method.

Things I learned
:: Don't sweat the measurements. The bag will turn out whether the bottom is 2" or 3" wide. Do what you prefer to suit the use.

07 December 2009

Toadstools and hoops

This was done some time ago but I had such fun with it I wanted to share. The background is an old corkboard I covered in muslin and the pins are flat head pins with shrinky-dink toadstools. This was made to showcase sets of earrings and now resides at a friends house.

The earrings were inspired by ravelry. I was looking for a way to jazz the hoops up a bit as they were looking worn. Perfect solution!

Things I learned
:: Make more shrinky-dink pins than you think you'll need as they might not all come out the way you want them.
:: Crocheting with sewing thread is not the easiest thing I've ever done.
:: Use more base chain stitches than you think you'll need as they squish down quite a bit as you do more rows of the lace.

06 December 2009

Growing skirt

The smalls are getting big so fast and it's hard to watch them grow out of clothes with lightning speed. With a boy first and a girl second we go through lots of clothes. Pepper doesn't like boy clothes so the hand-me-downs usually have to be reworked in some way. This was a skirt that was basic and cute but getting way too short. I took an outgrown t-shirt and added another layer to lengthen it. Then I made a simple flower to coordinate with three rounds of the same t-shirt tacked down on the hip. The t-shirt I used was too small to ruffle and so it hung a bit straight and obvious. I thought some kind of pattern would help take away how flat it was so I stamped onto it with fabric paint and little owl stamps.

Things I learned
:: A bigger t-shirt to cut up would have been better to keep the ruffle going.
:: Stamping jersey is tricky. Less is more.

02 December 2009

Music on my mind

There are some songs that I go to over and over again and this is one of them. I love the song and the video.

01 September 2009

Cup of pins

I made this for a local antique shop to hopefully sell. It's an antique tea cup from Bavaria with a hand embroidered tea dyed linen pin cushion. The owner of the shop is sweet and was enthusiastic about it. So much so that she loaded me up with cups of all sorts to make more! Yay! I am finally crafting again! I had a goal this year to sell something that I create and it looks like I might do it (insert me patting myself on the back...).

31 August 2009

Settle in

We are getting settled which includes the kids off to school. Peppers first day at German Kindergarten! She is happy to go and have her own friends. (I especially like my lovely reflection in the door!) I am nervous about the language. Will she learn or will she be lonely?

Even though we don't have our things, I am making an effort to "move in." I ordered this window cling from here and really love it. It does a good job shielding the view of the block behind us and I still get plenty of diffused light.

I absolutely LOVE papercutting (aka scherenschnitte). I have been visiting flea markets here on the weekends and came across this one for about $10. It's about 10 inches tall. It came in an ugly frame and I am hoping to redo it in a black oval frame. It's my favorite piece so far. The details are amazing. I would love more like this - fairytale inspired.

14 August 2009

Long Summer

I am back... It's been a long move to Germany but we are here. Still missing our things but that's another story. I am missing crafting or more specifically, my sewing machine. I'm working on a crochet sweater and a couple of quilts but more on those later too. Instead of crafts I'll leave you with some pictures.

03 April 2009

Have I figured this out?

I feel like this is sooooo trial and error here (emphasis on error). This is Lisa Hannigan "I don't know."

I realized after I posted that I was being a bit redundant. The video has a big title on it! Talk about a learning curve...

Makes me happy

I came across Julieta Venegas by accident and now I can't stop listening! I find I have Me Voy in my head all the time. That and I don't know by Lisa Hannigan. I could listen to these songs all day. They are often my inspiration songs. It makes me so happy to such amazingly talented people. It makes me want to take up an instrument.

Sorry it's just a couple of links this time. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to embed a yotube video here. Maybe one day I'll be able towork that out.

30 March 2009

Table Runner Part Two

Finally the full picture of the runner I made for a friend. I posted about it here originally.


and back.

I am happy with the overall look and my friend loves it in her kitchen. That's what counts! I didn't make a label for it though. I have a tendency to write on the binding on the back instead. It's usually just a simple note with the date included.

Off to watch Shaun the Sheep with B!

27 March 2009


I love these bowls. They are from WMF and please me to no end. They originally came with a pirate picture in the blue and a princess picture in the pink. I tend to switch them out about once a month. Right now Hansel and Gretel reside in the bottom My friend got them for me here (isn't that a great friend!).  The kids get to excited to get to the bottom and find something new.

The kids also have these to go cutlery sets. I know it seems a bit over the top but it comes in handy when traveling. You don't think about the size of a spoon relative to the size of a kids mouth until you have to. We were at a restaurant recently and were given soup spoon size spoons and asked for something a bit smaller. The only thing the had was bigger! It was an entertaining meal watching a 3 and 5 year old trying to eat with a spoon the size of half their face.

12 March 2009

Why the name

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."
Victor Hugo

I read this quote and felt like that bird. We move a lot. We moved to Kansas last July and will be moving again this summer. It's a difficult thing to do - to uproot and move - especially when kids are involved. B, at 5, really knows what is going on now. Some of his friends have moved since we have been here so we put a world map up in his room. It makes things more concrete to talk about family and friends in a different place being able to touch the spot they live in. That being said, Africa is the next room to him. The scale of earth is still unattainable to him. Thankfully G is still go with the flow and too young to really know. We are already talking about our next move. B likes to talk to his school friends about where they are all going. Some are staying but it seems the ones that go like to see others excited about going to. A preschool camaraderie of sorts.

I have a motto that I like to go by. If you don't laugh, you'll cry. So I try to laugh. Or in the case of a Bird on a Branch, sing.

11 March 2009


Mr. Bird bought a new laptop not too long ago. It had a touch pad but no external mouse. We finally bought a mouse after getting super frustrated with the touch pad.  The new mouse is a smaller optical mouse and we used the mouse pad we had - an old plastic one that said Dell on it. Not attractive and so dark that the mouse didn't even register it. Now finally to the point... I decided to cover the old mouse pad with something to make it "new." I first tried a page from an old atlas. It was a map  of America but neither of us liked it too much so I tried again. I have touches of red in almost every room of my house so I immediately went for red. I wish I could tell you something about this fabric but I have no idea where it came from. It's as if the fabric gods made it appear in my stash. I covered the pad with mod podge then smoothed on the fabric. I let it dry, trimmed the edges, then applied 2 more layers of mod podge. It was way too rough so I sanded it a bit with fine grit sand paper and it was just right. Even Mr.Bird likes it.


Fever, lack of sleep, and a table runner

The smalls are sick. It started last Wednesday with B and a high fever in the middle of the night. He had a fever off and on for almost a week. Yay. We went to the doctors and not much happened there except that we were told that he has a fever and cough. Surprise. The best thing about B being sick is that he becomes even more cuddly. I had told him that he had to stay home from school because he had a fever. That night when hubbie came home B informed him that he didn't go to school because he had "The Beaver." He was very serious and it sounded like a strange tropical disease. From then on we have all been calling it "the beaver." He was so excited that G got sick a few days later. "I touched G and she got "The Beaver"." B is now back at school today. He was so excited to go as he is snack boy today and absolutely couldn't miss it. I am happy to be able to accomplish something in the afternoon besides trying to catch up on lost nighttime sleep. 

I did finish a project that was promised a long time ago. Last summer to be exact. A table runner for a good friend in Germany. She redid her kitchen in coffee colors to match her snazzy new coffee maker. It was the kind I would have imaged the Jetsons having. Push a button and out comes the best macciato ever. Her neighbor painted some pretty coffee/cafe themed canvases. I wanted to make her a little something as a token of thanks. She has been a great friend. I just did a crazy log cabin kind of thing. Each block was about 11" square. I quilted it using a decorative stitch around each square. I  like the fabric and the look but I don't think I would have done that stitch for me.

21 February 2009

Birthday Boy

#1 son (I only have one...) turned 5 a couple of weeks ago. I can't believe I have a 5 year old! He is the best little boy I could ask for. Caring, kind, smart, and defiant are some of his fabulous traits. I wonder where he gets the defiant from? He was set on having a monster truck party so we tracked down Monster Jam party supplies. B was so excited to open the box and see all the paper goods and treats. The best by far was the pinata. A huge Grave Digger. I changed it into a pull string pinata so it wouldn't get destroyed and more importantly my furniture wouldn't get destroyed by a bunch of 5 year old bat wielding high on birthday cake kids. These days, Grave Digger resides on top of a dollhouse. B wanted to crush the house. 

I made the cake the night before with hubbies help. It's become a yearly occasion for us to stay up way too late the night before drinking and making/decorating cakes. The later it gets the more crazy the decorating gets. We are so tired and have ingested way too much icing and candy. The cake was a bit simpler this year. 2 layers of 9x13 cake iced together. We then made a ramp with a graham cracker held up by trimmed cake bits and a lot of icing. Cover the whole thing in graham cracker crumbs, a few cars and trucks and your done. 

I'm not sure why I decided to do this but I thought it would be a fun idea to put a custom Kansas plate on a t-shirt for all the kids. Again hubbie came to the rescue with finding an empty plate and using power point magic. It was a bit late (after the cake) so they didn't actually get ironed onto the shirts until the morning of the party. We also laminated plates that we printed out on card stock to play "pin the plate on the truck."  The kids loved that. It worked out great actually. Everyone got a t-shirt with a monster truck pencil, the laminated plate and various goodies won/collected during the party. I put everyones names on a brown paper snack bag so they had a place to collect everything during the party then take home after. B had a good a good time so I guess it was all good.

18 February 2009


I just love Annie Lennox. I could listen to her music all the time (which I guess is the point). She seems to have this amazing sense of humor - just look at her video's! So she is releasing a new compilation album "The Annie Lennox Collection." It has a great site packed with info. I just spent way too much time looking at all her videos on the site. Check out Shining Light and No More I Love You's. The first time I listened to Shining Light I waan't sure I liked it but now I want to hear it over and over.

12 February 2009

Over the (organized) rainbow

As much as we move I have to stay somewhat organized. I have really fallen behind on this front! I would get fabric and it would go into one of many bins. Sometime later (often MUCH later) I would vaguely remember buying something that would be perfect for the current project and not be able to find it. I finally bit the bullet and went through it all. I actually got rid of some fabric that I thought I would never use. I was impressed with my pack rat self letting go. It felt to good to let go though. It really did.

So... I organized the fabric into a bunch of different drawers. I made a fat quarter plus drawer, a large cut drawer, a wool drawer, a linen drawer, a flannel drawer, a decorator weight drawer, a batik and vintage drawer, and a kit drawer. I also have a bin with batting and fusible web as well as a bin with vintage sheets that I hope to use in the not too distant future. My living room was a complete mess while I was getting this done but it is so satisfying to see it all in it's folded glory. I did it mostly at night after the smalls were in bed. I tried to get them to help but they wanted to fold it all origami and teepee style. (They are 2 & 4). Sweet helpers.

Whipup has had some amazing craft space re-do's featured as of late. Super inspiring.

28 January 2009

Fuzzy Booties

Friends of ours had a baby boy about a month ago and I wanted to make him something. These booties have been a favorite gift of mine to give to babies. I started making them for my son and just always seem to fall back on them. This version is dark grey wool (it's cold in Kansas) and red eyelash yarn crochet together. The ribbon keeps the bootie on tiny wriggly feet.

21 January 2009

Fresh start

It's a fresh start with a new year and a new president so I thought I would do the same with me. Small goals - post once a week something that may inspire others (or not.) My husband and I are into a serious de-clutter mode. He is working on getting us paperless and I am working on organizing my craft space and computer. I had told myself that I would wait to start a blog until the computers kinks were worked out but I just couldn't wait.

Wish me luck!