Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our First Tree

It was a balmy fall afternoon.  The perfect weather to cut down our very first Christmas tree at H&Z tree farm.  We spent hours tromping around the property in search of our tree.  There was a variety of firs, but we chose the one that smelled the best, which turned out to be a Fraser Fir.

 Once found, Josh started the initial cut.
 But I got to finish it!  He also humored me with matching hats!

Once home we decorated with  lights, glittered pinecones, candy canes, a pom pom garland and homemade paper ornaments. I set everything up on an automated timer, so I can come home to a lit tree.  The scent fills the room and I like having a touch of Christmas tradition to cheer us through the darkening days.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Craft Retreat and a Pom Pom Garland

After reorganizing my ever growing stash of stray yarn.  I found the perfect project for all those little bits of thread.  Pom Poms!  A bit mindless and a bit tedious but worthy of the effort. 
 I had plenty of volunteers to mind the collection.
 Some sneaky buggers may have even swiped a few for their own.

60 Poms and 14 yards of twine later and my garland was done.  Each pom pom represents a past knit project or gift. I love having these little reminders strung around my house. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weekend Fun Carving Spoons

A couple months ago, my friend Emily and I took a wooden spoon carving class in quaint Decorah Iowa.  I had won a $50 gift certificate for a class at the Vesterheim from the Minnesota Weavers Guild silent auction earlier in the year.  It was the jump start I needed to plan a trip.  Emily, graciously agreed to all my proposals.  We camped along the river at Pulpit Rock Campground and opted for the wooden spoon carving class.
 We learned kolrosing-a carving technique to add embellishment.  You first press the wood with a kolrosing tool and then rub with finely ground coffee or tree bark.  The design appears when you finish with oil.  I chose a traditional Swedish Dala horse.
 I especially loved carving my teeny tiny salt spoon.  It was just what my salt dish needed.
 It was sunny but chilly camping weather.  The morning walk to class was particularly fun along the foggy river.
 One of the class highlights was our excursion to the museum archives.  The museum archiver focused on the hand carved wooden spoon collection.
 In Sweden each person gets one spoon.  All of these spoons were day to day eating vessels.  I love the attention to detail on the handle and the elaborate kolrosing.
The highlight of the collection were these wedding spoons.  A typical Swedish gift; the entire spoon set is carved from one piece of wood!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Braided Bracelet

On my recent trip to New England  I read the Martha Stewart Living summer edition back to back.  And once again Martha introduced me to something new and exciting that I just had to try.  The 4 stranded braid!  It is so easy and fun to do.  It makes a bubbly round braid perfect for jewelry.  I, of course,  got obsessive about it and made 5 for all my friendlies that celebrated my birthday weekend with me.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall on the North Shore

I lived in Minneapolis for 6 years before discovering the North Shore.  Earlier this year my mom and I took a winter adventure to Duluth and Grand Marais.  Since then I have been back for every season.  I have yet to decide which I like best.  Josh and I sporadically picked the perfect sunny fall day to drive up along the North Shore.  The leaves were gorgeous.  We grabbed sandwiches at Northern Waters Smokehouse, and treats at Amazing Grace before picnicking in the sun on Lake Superior.  We made our way up to Lutsen  for a gondola ride up to the viewing deck.  We wrapped up with dinner at The New Scenic Cafe.  Oh and I can't forget our random stop at Playing with Yarn to pick out the perfect wool for Josh's first hat, but more on that later.

Monday, November 4, 2013

On and Off the Loom in only 9 months

I let this project sit unattended for countless stretches of time, returning to it on occasion when the mood struck. I was inspired by these gorgeous towels ages ago.  I planned a draft and began my warp, but then somehow I petered out.  Winter took charge and knitting and skiing seemed so much more cozy.  Spring, I said, I would muster up the energy to finish winding my warp, but then spring came and went.  By the time summer hit, it was too hot to be weaving.  And who can stand being indoors when our Minneapolis summers are so fleeting.  So then September came around and I realized that my towels I had so lovingly planned as a wedding gift were grossly behind schedule.  An October deadline was just what I needed to finish my warp.  I was devastated to find that dragging out the winding of the warp would result in disaster once the threading process began, but I persevered.  After all, it was nothing 15 weighted threads couldn't fix.  One long weekend of obsessive weaving later was all it took to wrap up the last loose ends of the project. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Birthday Fun

It takes a lucky gal to have such great pals.  Sometime 7 months ago in the middle of January after a hard day of skiing amidst a typical Minnesota winter 4 gals dreamed of a summer getaway.  Kristi said "Madeline Island" and I said "for my birthday!".  And so we found ourselves working up nerves to jump off rocks into crystal clear Superior, sunning on rocks, kayaking, hiking, picking cherries and crafting on beautiful Madeline Island.  Everyone put in extra effort to make my birthday extra special.  It will be hard to top this one!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Antler Necklace

I am totally smitten with my new antler necklace that I fashioned out of clay during our annual Root River triathlon/hippy camping craft retreat.  The moose antler is a little large, but I love seeing it just hanging out amongst the chatter.  I glazed both pieces in gloss white (my typical go to glaze) and braided a 4 strand braid (my latest obsession) out of embroidery floss on which to hang it from.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

East Coast Fun

This year I found myself back on the East Coast on 4th of July with 2 of my favorite besties for some hot summer fun!  We....
enjoyed lots of hot summer fun.
Crafted 4th of July friendship bracelets.
Found a merman beached on the beach.
 Gathered blueberries.
 Ate our fill of fresh seafood.

And cooled off daily.  It was a blast!