Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Button bracelet

I received such a wonderful package in the mail yesterday. A beautiful (beautiful!) button bracelet made by Regina at Creative Kismet! And look at the cute pouch and matching card it came with. Love the fabric.
I somehow fanangled my way into receiving this bracelet and haven't taken it off since it arrived. It just goes so perfectly with much of my wardrobe and I love the natural mother-of-pearl shell buttons. Great job, Regina! Thank you so much for your generosity!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

knitting news (and a little fabric too)

Well I promised to post about some finished knitting and so here you have.... yoga socks!

I know, I know, yoga socks don't take very long to knit, but I finished them! They are cute, and warm, and they fit (yes that's my scrawny foot in the pic above). Hopefully they will prevent my arches from cramping during yoga this winter. The yoga socks are knit from a free pattern you can find here and the yarn is some lovely 100% wool sport weight organic rambouillet from Tierra Wools (a small operation in New Mexico). The wool is dyed naturally using Cochineal (yes, bugs) and it is a beautiful deep red. I only used half the skein so I may make some wrist warmers or use the rest of the yarn for a hat.
I've also been doing some dedicated knitting on Orangina as I am determined to wear it this summer. I have finished the second panel and joined in the round for the 3x3 ribbing. The cotton yarn "Lara" Endless Summer Collection from Elann continued to aggrevate me with about 5 knots in one ball. Grrrr. Weaving in ends is not my favourite thing to do and cotton yarn seems a bit tricky. Does anyone have any tips for me? Should I actually tie a knot in the yarn?

I have also made a considerable addition to my fabric stash. Now, I do have quite a bit of fabric, but not much 100% cotton, and most of it is pretty old and usually not what I want to use for projects at this moment. (I know, I'm rationalizing.) I was tipped off about a great sale at Hancock's Fabric in the USA so I hurried on over to their web site and loaded up my in basket. In the end I purchased 1 and 1/2 yard cuts of some great prints for crafting and quilting as well as some larger yardages of two Amy Butler prints that are destined for clothing. I also purchased some sage cotton that I plan on using for a bolster for the back of the couch. Hancock's service was great, their cuts generous, the shipping charge was reasonable, and I didn't get charged any duty!
Oh, almost forgot! More knitting...I wanted to start another pair of socks. I have completed two pairs of socks so far in my short knitting career - both of which were lace patterns, top down, and using magic loop method. This pair is a toe up pattern using the magic cast on from Knitty and knit with dpns one sock at a time. The yarn is from a little shop in Port Alberni. Funny thing, I was driving around Port Alberni last week, just exploring a bit. I parked the car at the quay to have a looky-loo and what is the first shop I see? Yup, a yarn shop [edit: shop is Heartspun and owner is Karen - go see her!]. Fate, I tell ya. So, I picked up some rosewood dpns by H.A. Kidd (show above) and two balls of Marks & Kattens cotton/wool sock yarn in the clown colourway. The yarn feels great and I like the self-patterning yarn for visual entertainment on the plain sock. So far it is going smoothly!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Just to say thank you!

There is nothing more healing for me than to get out and enjoying the beauty of Mother Earth. Love it. Don't particularly love the lack of a hot shower in the morning, but I can survive without for a few days. I especially like the fact that there are NO BUGS on the West Coast. I don't know what all those bugs are doing hanging around up north, but they are missing a good time down here (don't tell them though, ok?).
The picture above was taken from the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre looking up the beach and the picture on the left below was taken on the path leading from our campsite to the south end of Long Beach. The West Coast of Vancouver Island is beautiful, rugged, unpredictable, and really satisfies with its long sandy beaches and tall, mysterious forests.

I have been delinquent in thanking two wonderful bloggers who have kindly sent me some delightful packages recently. The first is Blair of Wise Craft who, after her first package was lost in the mail, sent me another beautiful piece of fabric. Thank you for being so considerate, Blair!
The other wonderful blogger who I must thank is Sarah from Red Felt Flower who sent me a lovely package - with handwritten card (she has amazing handwriting), an Australian stamp on velum, and sweetly adorned in a pink button and thread! It contained three different and delightful pink ribbons that will be added to my growing ribbon stash. Love ribbon - it is so aesthetically pleasing to place in old mason jars and makes one feel very crafty indeed!
So thank you to three wonderful ladies, Mother Earth, Blair, and Sarah!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gone camping

Just a quick post to let you know I won't be around for a few days. I'm off to Long Beach for a few nights of camping where I intend on eating too much, walking a lot, collecting lots of rocks and shells, and getting dirty (no showers). See ya soon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


What is in this little backpack?
Could it be Ms. Kitty!!
Yes it is! My Wee Wonderfuls kitty made in a white denim and that never-ending flower print. She has blue button eyes with lovely blond eyelashes, sweet ballet slippers tied with bow buttons, and she is holding a lovely flower pin for her new mummy!
Kitty! always reminds me of Monsters Inc. when little Boo spots Sully and cries "kitty!" Well, I hope this little Ms. Kitty doesn't remind anyone of Sully - I think she is pretty cute with her smirky little grin! Perfect for her recipient, my 5-year old God-daughter. And the backpack was made to carry around her Ms. Kitty as she travels on Vancouver Island this weekend and home to Prince George later next week. I made the back straps from grosgrain ribbon and just pinned it at the top so I can adjust it to fit her. I constructed the backpack by sewing together two panels of contrasting fabric: first sewing each panel with two contrasting fabrics right sides together, and then flipping each panel right side out and sewing the two panels together on three sides, leaving the top open. The top 3 inches or so is flipped down and secured with a lovely vintage button and ric-rac loop closure with a little extra pink ribbon detail to girl it up.
Not to leave my sweet God-daughter's brother out of the gift giving when they arrive this week, I have made a book/gameboy/travel bag for him as well and have enclosed a few car-friendly activities.

It is made from baseball denim with red cotton twill lining. The strap is the denim fabric and red grosgrain ribbon for stability. I put a contrasting pocket on the inside and a matching one on the outside, both lined with the alternate fabric. It should be sturdy enough for a 7-year old boy, I hope!

Thanks again to all those who gave me feedback on my MIA swap situation -- it turns out the package was lost in the mail (boo hoo!!). It is just so darn frustrating when that happens! Ah well, it restores my faith in bloggers, but reduces my faith in the postal system. Maybe I'll have better luck next time I participate in a swap.

By the way, I am having such problems with my Mac after the last OSX upgrade. Programs crashing and even my computer needing to be rebooted yesterday. It has been very hard to get a post finished and extremely frustrating to lose work mid-progress. So, I have other things to show you, but must endure the frustrations of technology until the bugs are worked out at Apple.

Hopefully soon I will be able to give an update on my knitting progress because, yes, I have made progress!!!

PS: I noticed that Wee Wonderfuls has a free downloadable pattern for an adorable cardi for your kitty/bunny/bear!! Ok, one last shot of the adorable, Ms. Kitty!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I am accessorized

First off, I can't wait, I have actually finished my accessory purse based on the Melanie Falick accessory pouch pattern in Handknit Holidays! Here she is in all her burgundy and gold glory.
I sewed a double-sided lining to the interior of the purse so you can see the gold fabric peeking through the yarn over holes from the outside. The gold fabric matches some gold flecks in the tweed. As well, there are a couple of pockets for cell phone, iPod, lip balm, etc.

The handle was a bit tricky to attach as I wanted the purse to open wide enough to see what was in the bottom (yes, I like an organized purse). I attached the tabs a few inches down inside the lining so the top of the bag opens quite wide. I attached only one wooden handle, mainly because those things are just darn expensive I didn't want to buy two. I think I like it with one handle anyways :) I used a thrifted (vintage?) button with an i-cord loop for the closure. I used my new purse when I attended a party on Canada Day and it stayed snug on my shoulder the entire evening. I am pleased! Further specs for this project are: 2.5 balls Karisma Ull-Tweed, 100% wool in colour 04 (burgundy) found on sale at my LYS. Lining is 100% cotton.
We have been having a lot of fun her at chez Crafty Bird. Attended a fantastic party on July 1st that was held in a penthouse suite of a local downtown hotel – we had a wonderful view of the fireworks from a rooftop deck! We also attended Folkfest this past weekend and saw Neko Case perform – she rocks! Great show. Coincidentally, another local blogger had the same idea on Monday.
I managed to bake this weekend and whipped up a batch of Chewy Flapjacks from the recipe posted by Yarnstorm. Now normally I am not much of a day-to-day cook, but I do like to bake once in a while. I just love desert with oatmeal in it – I think it is because I can justify to myself that oatmeal is healthy, therefore the desert is not that bad for me (ha, ha). I know, I am a bit deluded. They were delicious!
Oh, and I finally received my Wee Wonderfuls Kitty, Bunny and Bear pattern book on Tuesday! It looks so cute and I had such a laugh when I read the first two words, “Alrighty then.” It set the mood for the rest of this wonderful little book. Can’t wait to make a little bunny or bear!

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who commented with advice on what to do about my delinquent swap situation. Your support is appreciated and I’ll let you know how it turns out!