Monday, December 21, 2015

hopelessly behind....

Ok, so I probably should have knocked on wood after that last entry, because I read it and I feel so naive and optimistic! Of course things fell apart!

I did finish the panda PJ pants--trust me they are in the hamper as we speak.

And I did not do any other sewing or knitting. Oh wait that's wrong. I finished the one knitted gift I am making this year. And in the last entry I promised a picture. And I believe in promises. So much so I unwrapped it so I could snap a quick ipad picture.

Shhh somebody's #knitted gift

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

Don't worry, I had it in a gift bag.

Mostly, I've been decorating and baking. The tree is up! The fall quilts are down and the Christmas quilts are up--including the advent wall hanging that my Mother in law made years ago--that the girls made ornaments for. Of course everyone has been so busy that they are two days behind putting up the ornaments!

And the baking! I have made one batch of pecans, the marshmallows and two batches (first batch totally gone!) of salted caramel. (I'm feeling lazy about the recipes. I've linked them before. googling Oprah Salted caramel should get you that recipe and googling betty crocker peppermint marshmallows should get you that one. Spiced pecans are probably buried many years back in the blog). Tomorrow teacher gifts, filled with those go out. I didn't make any hard candy this year, I doubt we will miss it.

Today in a frenzy of shopping, I bought the last gifts, and all the containers needed for packing teacher treats. Then I came home and wrapped everything. I am still waiting on one gift in the mail, and still in the process of making one gift.

So what still needs to be "done." Well packing the teacher treats, probably one more batch of both caramel and pecans (for US!), and the placemats. I have most everything cut--and so sewing should probably be happening now. I am probably not going to get to the other 4 pairs of PJ pants until after the holidays. (say January) I did cast on finally for a sweater. I am hoping that I won't have to re-cast on (gauge is always tricky with me--YES I did a swatch) and am hoping that as we travel and visit with people this holiday season, I'll have plenty of time to knit.

Monday, December 07, 2015


I feel like I have made such steady progress that I need to document it here, so the next time I feel slogged down with the soul crushing weight of projects undone, I can look to this entry and think, "ah yes, on December 7 I felt accomplished". Ok maybe not, but onward

First, I totally finished the monkey Pj pants


And I cut out and sewed together MOST of the panda PJs (no picture, you'll have to trust me that all it is missing is a waist band).

I also made not one but TWO rockin Barbie outfits.


The white outfit was fashioned after some music star red carpet outfit that my daughter who is into all things glam found online. It is being modeled by a Barbie with a glitter undergarment of some sort.

I always hesitate to write too much about gifts here, especially when one of the three or four people who read this blog might be the one getting the gift. But I do have to talk about two of them. First, the one I have no pictures associated with. Someone in my life wanted a "thing like you made the girls only REALLY soft". She means a cowl like this one:


and this one:


And since, I have no idea what yarn those were in, and I'm guessing they were probably clearance the many years ago I made them, I just decided to look for some soft and bulky yarn. Along the way, I ran into a store that was selling something like this and by golly it was cheaper than what I was thinking I'd have to spend on yarn. HOWEVER, this didn't happen as I was able to buy some chenille yarn at a pretty low price. I got that cast on (twice) and joined (straight) and knit about 3/4 done. No pictures because most of the knitting was accomplished while riding to a band contest. Pictures next time, I promise. And it is soft.

I also got it in my head to make placemats for someone. I have a pattern for a quilt as you go that starts with a center square and builds triangles around it. I was struggling with colors and kind of feeling like it was a bit old fashioned looking. I also was googling just to see if it was a pattern that maybe I could share here (even though I originally got it maybe 18 years ago as part of a class I took--you never know!). Anyway, I found something I like better. A quilt as you go that uses stripes. I had decided that this would be a scrap only project and was originally thinking blues. And this is where I need to back up a bit.

In 2014, I undertook a resolution that I would get rid of at least 2 things every day. And in the fall--I hit my sewing room hard. Except.... Well I didn't want to just throw away the fabric. And I didn't want to just give away the fabric. So I put it all in a giant tub and planned to sell it. Except I never did. I SHOULD have, after a year, just donated it all. But I'm kind of glad now that I didn't. You see I went digging through the tub looking for blues to use in this project and I found the HUGE stash of Christmas fabric that I had been given. I pulled it all out, sorted through it all and discovered I had a bunch that went together pretty well.

I think I'm going to use one of these two groups (there is only one fabric difference)


I have not quite decided which of these. And I have to see if I have enough batting scraps to make at least 4--although I'd like to make 6.

Yep that's right, I just added a project to my list from last time. And I haven't started baking. That's just how I roll in December (and how I roll right to crazytown).

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

December goals

I had thoughts about doing daily entries in December as part of the Holidailies tradition. And I started to think about the crafting I want and need to get done this month. I got as far as making a list:

6 pairs of PJ pants (2 for the girls, one for me, one for my husband)
Barbie clothes I have promised the girls--which includes a pants suit and two dresses. (And hey I got one made!)
all the treats for teachers: marshmallows, salted caramel, spiced pecans, possibly hard candy
A scarf my Mother in law hinted she'd like for a gift
And the sweater that goes with this swatch

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

It seems like there was something else because my list felt super long, but maybe because I have condensed it here (Like 6 pairs of flannel pants did not get written as: Make panda pants, make matching plaid pants, make penguin pants, make dot pants and make monkey pants).

At any rate, after I looked at my list and all the other stuff that has to happen this month (some increased work responsibilities, plus all the present gathering/wrapping/decorating), I just decided that taking on a daily project would perhaps make me crazy. So instead I'll do what I've been doing--fitting in projects where I can, doing little bits here and there and reporting here as often as I have a spare minute. Maybe I'll even get my act together and do some pictures.