Monday, March 30, 2009

Hand: Bread and Dandelions

The weather has been so warm and wonderful here in the Bay Area the past few days. I've been able to walk around the apartment without socks, and can leave the house without my scarf, hat, and gloves.

The birds are singing, the wasps are happily building nests on the BART rails (a little scary, yes), and everything is just so green and alive. I've never considered myself much of a spring person, but after the winter I've had, I'm ready for some happy, life-affirming changes.

This little bread-basket liner I stitched up a few weeks ago really kinda sums my mood these couple days:

Bread Basket Liner, side 2

I made this from a single white dinner napkin I had floating around my linen shelf (I have no idea where it came from), using Sublime Stitching's Kurt Halsey artist's series pattern.

Bread Basket Liner, side 2 (detail)

Here's the other side:

Bread Basket Liner, side 1

Details of the little bee/fairy critters:

Bread Basket Liner, side 1 (detail)

Modeling it is a batch of Irish soda bread I whipped up for this year's St. Pat's dinner. I look forward to that corned beef dinner the way other folks look forward to their Thanksgiving turkey.

While I'm here, I also want to share the reason the weather has been so nice here: I finally finished my first ever, honest-to-god knitting project...a scarf for my husband.

My first scarf

Completed JUST in time for the warm weather!

I'm quite proud of this scarf. I love how the variegated yarn brought out a triangular/stripes pattern. Adam is also especially excited, since he admitted he'd never owned a scarf before. I'm looking forward to seeing him wear it come June ('cause it's true: coldest winter ever is a San Francisco summer).

Now, off to go see Watchmen as part of husband's long weekend of birthday festivities. He turns 30 tomorrow! Movies, gaming, and a trip to our favorite microbrewery, Triple Rock. It's good having four days off in a row. I can't think of a better present for him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mouth: Chocolate + Bacon = Pure Heaven

At this very second, delicious, creamy milk chocolate is melting on my tongue, studded with tantalizing gems of alderwood smoked salt and real applewood smoked bacon.

Holy mother of good confections.

I resisted Mo's Bacon Bar for months, partially for the hefty price tag (I'm sorry, $7 is definitely in the realm of silly for a candy bar) and because it sounded Odd in that trendy, "flavor of the month" way, when bacon has been popping up in everything from ice cream to scarf patterns.

This, however...this is sheer perfection.

It's like toffee. But saltier and richer.

Thank you hormones, for making me cave in today. It's made my final Friday stretch almost joyful.

The only thing that could make this chocolate bar better was if it were shaped like a flying pig. I so hope there's one in my Easter basket this year.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hand: Swapety Swaps (Image Heavy)

As I mentioned before, I've been crafting like crazy the past few weeks, but haven't been able to share my projects since they were all part of one swap or another. Well, swaps are finally concluded, and now I can share both my creations and the lovely stuff I received in kind!

First, my most recent (and I think favorite) swap with my old friend Dana, The Geek Girl Friday. I stitched her a Black Apple Bunny (from the Sublime Stitching pattern):

Green Bunny

And she custom made me a gorgeous set of mosaic cupcake coasters!

Cupcake Coasters

Here's a detail of my favorite one:

Cupcake Coasters (detail)

Personally, I think I got the better end of this deal. Mosaic is still a mystery to me as a craft, and to see such a cute design in glass is just amazing!

The other swap I was a part of was the Ultimate Whedonverse Swap on It was a lot of fun, but I admit I find the whole "point system" a little stressful.

I made many crafty little things for my partner, all inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which was her favorite of the Whedon canons).

My outgoing swap package

The big thing was a cross stitch I designed with a quote from Anya, the former vengeance demon who found herself winning in the "Game of Life" boardgame.

Anya speaks my language

But, I have to say my favorite was my Spike-inspired pincushion with Slayer-stake quilting pins:

"Rest in Peace" pincushion

The quote is from the musical "Once More with Feeling" episode: "If my heart could beat, it would break my chest, but I can see you're unimpressed." What I really love is that it's in glow-in-the-dark thread, which I thought was very appropriate for a vampire's heart (which was based off Sublime Stitching's "Vital Organs" pattern set).

In return, my partner (craftster KCFirecracker) made me the most spiffy Firefly-inspired spats:

Spats Jig View

She also made me the most lovely pillow case I will ever own:

Faith Applique Pillowcase Close-Up

It's a beautiful applique based off my favorite cover of BtVS season 8. Check out the source image:

I love the texture so much:

Faith Applique Pillowcase Detail

It's been a swap-happy couple months, but I think it's time for a little break. My fingers have been itching for some bigger, more involved projects, and I have something in mind that may just fit the bill.