Friday, July 30, 2010

Meet the boys. And their new toys.

The loves of my life (aside from my honey, of course) are my cats. Cooper and Moe. So bear with me while I do a disgustingly-sweet, overly-detailed intro and share their latest purchase. Those of you who are non-cat people will probably zonk out in about three...two...

Cooper I've had since he was a lil' tiny mini coop. He's 7 1/2. He's my baby. My little love. My bad bad boy. He's definitely a mama's boy and whoever says animals don't have emotions is an idiot because I know he loves me back just as much. When he feels like it anyway. :) He doesn't take crap from anyone (last month he fought a pitbull who came to visit for the day-scared the crap out of the poor thing-she didn't know what hit her-but they've established whose house it is now, so I think it's all good). And he's smart. Really smart. He plays fetch. He high-fives. And he eats weird stuff. Lately we've discovered he likes the following: salsa, watermelon and salt & vinegar chips. Weirdo.

MoeMoe is a rescue cat. He's about 2 1/2 now. He is hilarious. I don't think he'll ever outgrown his kitten phase. He's super soft and squishy and can't yawn without mewping. Yes mewping. Cuz that's what he sounds like. He loves racing and diving around the house like a possessed little ninja and his favorite thing in the world is blanket tunnels. Moe loves me too - but only when Jon's not home. Because Moe is a daddy's boy. When Jon's home, he follows him around like a puppy and could care less what I'm doing. It's very cute. And Moe loves wool. Which brings me to the point of today's post.

Once upon a time I was doing some crochet work with a wool yarn. I was done for the night so I put it away in a bag and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up, and the entire skein was scattered over my entire apartment. Around chairs, over the couch, behind the TV, under the craft table, through the dining room, in the bathroom, back through the hall, around the chairs some get the picture. A whole skein. The next night I put it away in the bag - on top of the fridge. A very determined wool bandit struck again that night. And that's how I discovered Moe was coo-coo for woolly puffs. So when I saw these adorable cat toys in this great Etsy shop they immediately went on my wish list, and last week I finally ordered a couple. And they arrived!

What's in there, boys? A present for you!?

Moe couldn't wait to get them out of their bag. Literally. He was bunny-kickin them and rolling on them before I even opened it up.

Here he is with his face buried in the bag for goodness sake.

First sniff. (Can you see the black toy? It's a dead tick! With his dead ol' tongue hangin out. How silly and cute is that?!)

That fox looks scared...

And with good reason!

Aww...they're friends now. :)

MoeMoe had a grand ol' time. He loves his new toys. Not only is that fox super cute and the tick good and dead, they're both made all of wool and stuffed with catnip!

And Moe loves him some woolly catnip. Indeed.

So thanks so much to Erica for making such adorable, quality, well-received gifts. The boys love them. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Buttons, buttons everywhere...and they stink.

So a while back, my friend Heidi and I went to this great! antique shop called Bank of Antiques. I don't have any photos to share from that trip because that was pre-Flight Of The Pook. (That's another thing I love about blogging - I take my camera everywhere now because, well, you never know. So now I get a ton of pictures all the time. Perhaps some of memories that maybe would've been eventually forgotten - now I can look back on them whenever I want. Hooray!)

Anyway, so we went to this great shop and it was awesome. I walked in the door and, no joke, my inner American Picker just freaked out. There was so much to look at! The walls were stacked to the ceiling with furniture which was filled with drawers which were filled with stuff. And the middle of the room had more furniture filled with stuff with boxes of stuff in and under it all filled with more stuff and the whole back wall was lined! with books! And you know how I feel about old books. Sigh. And that was just the first room! So we definitely had an awesome time and made out with some good treasures.

The greatest of my great finds (and the thrift faerie must have been with me that day, because it was exactly what I was looking for) was a couple of jars of old buttons.

These are a few of my favorites...
And I also got this great book set! It was put out by the American Geographical Society - it's from the Around the World Program. The outside shell is a bit dingy - but the inside books are pristine!

However, I don't think the buttons have seen the light of day, or a breath of fresh air, in who knows how long, because, I kid you not, they smell like pickles. And not like sweet pickles or yummy fresh pickles. They smell like stanky. vinegary. oooooooooold. pickles. Industrial strength or something. So since I brought them home, I've been trying things to get the stank out. I cleaned them and changed their container. No effect at all. I soaked them for 48 hours in soapy water. Nothin doin. I even soaked a few in orange juice (thinking the sweet, acidity of it would counter the sourness). And actually I think that might've worked a bit. And then I aired them out. And then I tested them on 3 noses - and they passed. So slowly but surely I'll get these babies back to normal. And it is totally worth it. There's some really great ones in there.

Anyone out there ever been in a stanky button situation?

PS: I finished my owl tonight!! So excited about this new design! Pictures to come, and he'll be in the shop soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

If wishes were dishes...

...well, I'd have a lot of dishes, I guess.
I seriously get out of control on Etsy when I get in that mood. You know - where you just start flipping through pages online and get a little nest-happy..."This picture would look PERfect in my yaddayadda!", or "This is JUST what I needed for that yibbidyblib!" Whatever the case may be.
In all honesty, though, I love the craft community. And I love supporting other peoples' art. I try to do so as often as I can. I always turn to Etsy for my needs (actual or imagined ones) instead of (or at least before) shopping at commercial stores. I feel more connected and inspired that way. And supporting the handmade community is really important to me. I love that Etsy is home to so many unique and gorgeous sellers and shops...I think everyone should consider them first for their shopping needs. (And, okay, I may be biased, but I'm not just saying that because I have a shop there - I promise!) You really never know what you'll find. Anyway. So here are some of my wishes. Surprisingly, none of which are dishes. I love me some good pottery! (All photos are property of the shops' owners, by the way. Please be respectful.)
A beautiful rug, handmade from recycled Tshirts by the wonderful (and EcoFriendly!) shop,TalkingSquid.

I cannot get over this shop, LauraGeorge. Everytime I go, I am in awe of how very original and beautiful her work is. If you have time, definitely stay awhile and browse around her whole selection.
I've been drooling over this for quite some time. I love the color. The chaos. The mood. Gorgeous. At Wambammare.
Some dreamy handmade yarn from WhileTangerineDreams. And I love her blog! I think hers was the first blog I stumbled on that really started my interest in the craft community and blogging, etc. And she spins a mean skien!
How darling is this bear?! Definitely a front runner for my next "splurge" purchase on Etsy.KraKraCraft makes some of the cutest soft sculptures. I love her dolls too.
RiverOtterRustic's work is exquisite. As you can see, he carves (yes carves! like out of solid wood!) little faerie villages. Some of them even light up!
These are sooo cute and fun! I just love cacti and succulents - I have a ton of them. In real life. No crocheted ones yet unfortunately. BlazingNeedles' descriptions are hilarious too!
And this shop, VintagebyCrystal, so original. And so recognizable. She's created such a niche for herself and I love it. This gorgeous creature, which is made of spun cotton, is also very close to being a splurge item very soon.
Anything you're drooling over lately?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Whole lotta nothin = little bits o'somethin's

So I was sitting here thinking that I really didn't have anything cool to share with you this weekend. And I was bummed. Because I'm really starting to like this blogging thing. (And I don't want to bore you out of your gourd.) So I started going through the pics I took the last couple days and I realized, you know what? As boring as some people might consider my life to be - I really, truly enjoy the laid back chillness of it all. Sometimes it really is just the small things... flowers for a Mom...

...late night trips to Home Depot...

...checking on my tomatoes babies...

...meeting a new friend...

...catching up with some old friends...

...and a splurge purchase. Just for me. Just because I love him.

Too cute, right? Off to take my boring self to do some boring math homework and then off to a boring ol' early night's sleep. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time Travelin' on a Lazy Sunday

Jon and I went to the Frontier Town antique shop on Sunday. It's super cute there - I didn't get a shot of the building itself - an adorable old house renovated into the shop - but you can see it on their Facebook page (which I JUST discovered they had - how cool is that for an antique shop?!) We didn't get anything there, but the people who own it are so nice and helpful all the time. I just like visiting...
Then we got wind that there was a hoppin antique show with lots of vendors just a few miles away, so we ventured on over there. We spent a couple hours wandering through everything. I'm really glad we went. There were so many cool things and the people are pretty fun and interesting. Oh! You know what I discovered I need? A pie safe! I want to put one in my craft room to hold all my fabric. Well, at least some of it. How cute are these?

And there was another one - a shorter more unusual one that was greenish yellowish with dark trim and all the screen in it....but I just realized I didn't get a picture of that one because I was busy talking to the seller about them. Ugh. He was nice though. But here is a gorgeous old cabinet I wanted. Isn't it pretty?
And here are the spoils of the day...a great little colander...(it's bright enamelware in excellent condition AND it matches the one we already have which is orange and one size bigger)...a charming German "Forget me not" book" (how sweet is that color plate? Anyone speak German?)....and a shorthand dictionary (which baffles my mind - how could anyone have learned all those squigglys? Does shorthand even still exist?).

And this is Jon's big find. It's a headlight. Off of what? Not sure. So far, we're thinking a really old car. Like Model T old. 1912 ish maybe? People used to have to light their headlights. How crazy is that? Can you imagine? Now they just pop on when it gets dark out. We've come a long way, baby.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A lil' sneak peekaroo

So I promised I'd share with you my latest project. I've been on an owl kick lately. My last couple plushies have been owls (you can see them in my Etsy shop) but this one's a little different. Different design, different style. A whole new bird. Owls seem to be a pretty big deal in the crafting community right now. I wonder what other people see or feel about them that makes them so popular... Me? I love their mystery. The folklore they carry with them. I love that they can be cute, serious, regal, funny, intimidating. I love that no matter in what medium you dabble, it only takes a few well placed lines (stitches, strokes...) to create that oh-so-recognizable big eyed stare. They're so fun and versatile.

When I design a new plush - I usually begin because something has inspired me. A painting I saw. A TV show. Maybe something from nature. Sometimes though, if I'm real lucky, a fully finished piece pops into my head. (I like that way the best - easy peasy.) But even if the plushie gods grace me with such a perfect epiphany - the process of putting an intangible idea onto paper and then into a three dimensional pattern and then getting it to come together properly - is nuts. It's actually kind of mind boggling at times. Probably not for the pros (see some of my absolute favorites here and here and here) but because I'm so new to all this....geesh. Pattern making is my least favorite part of the whole thing. It kinda freaks me out. I should just stop being such a baby and take a class or something...

So! Back to my sharing. This little guy started a few weeks ago from one of those earth stopping moments where he just flew right into my brain and said, make me! Here he is cut out with a few features already sewn up.

Here he is peaking out after I finally got his beak to work and got it sewn on just right along with his fuzzy belly and his eyes...

And here he is just taking a break from getting stitched on for a while in my current, ahem, workspace. Read: my boyfriend's recliner. You see, I'm currently in between workspaces as we're in the process of moving in together. And seeing as how he (my boyfriend, not my owl) is the best guy in the whole wide world and is the most supportive and sweet partner I could ask for, he's agreed that I should have a whole room in the house just for my crafting! That's a pretty big deal for a bachelor who just bought his first house. But I think he kinda likes me. ;) So goodbye guestroom and hello studio space! Woohoo! I can't wait. Anyway, here's my owly...

Slowly but surely, he's coming together. And I think there's more slowly than surely in that equation right now. But like I said, this is a new pattern and kind of a new style for I'm really excited to see how it turns out!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'd move in if they'd let me...

Plant nurseries. LOVE them. I love walking into that balmy, sweet-smelling otherworld of tropical planty goodness. It's just such a calming place to be. And did you know that the variety of plants in the world is like, limitless?? Well, not literally - but there sure are a heck of a lot of them. And I swear I meet a new kind every time I go.

Jon and I went to Telly's on Saturday night (told you my life is pretty low key ;) ) to look for a bonsai tree for his brother's birthday present. It's one of my favorite local greenhouses. They have a great bonsai selection - indoor and out - as well as supplies and stuff too. They also have a good variety of succulents and cacti. As well as some really neat tropicals. And! they carry miniature garden stuff (you know, like faerie gardens?). Okay, so they have pretty much everything - whatever. Anyway I love it.

They have some great big bonsai trees. (Again, sorry for the blurry/bad flash pics - I'll get the hang of this sooner than later. Bear with me?)

I want to take one home...
Okay - and maybe it's just me, but it totally looks like this tree trunk has someone in a head lock.

Do you see it!? Ha! Crazy. This guy was hiding amongst the bonsais. Don't be scared now.

Have you ever made a faerie garden? Have you ever seen one? I think my first time was only in the last year or two...

Very, very cool. It makes me want to just walk in and see who's home. Maybe bring some wildflowers and warm muffins to share.

Wandering through the rainbow of flowering plants they have in the back, we came across this lil guy.

He (she?) was a total ham. I thought as soon as I got close he'd fly away. Nope...

As soon as I started taking pictures, he opens up his wings like a fluttery little supermodel and I just kept shooting away. (You could reason that he was catching the last warm rays of sun coming through the window behind us....yeah....but I prefer that he is indeed secretly a tiny little supermodel.)

So a good time was had by all. Jon and me and the supermodel.