Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prost to the New Year!

Still on the Swiss Army Blanket kick.  Last night I had a dream about designing a Swiss Army Coaster.  I also had a dream about another great idea, but I was too tired to get up and write it down, convinced that I would remember it when I woke up.  Well, when I woke up, I remembered that there were two ideas, the coaster and.....  Should have written it down.  I designed the coaster in Bernina V6 software.  WoolFelt is the fabric, of course.  Quick.  How many do you want?  I hear the Swiss Army may want to order a few thousand for their  mess halls.  Jerilynn

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Hills are Alive....

The following blurb about Swiss Army Blankets is taken from here.  "The original Swiss army blankets are a unique product in many respects! Manufactured from the end of the 1900`s through the early sixties of the last century, their intended use was providing warmth if the swiss would become involved in a war. Stored in caves in the Swiss Alps, they remained there for many years as fortunately that war never came. In the sixties production of this type of blanket stopped. Every once in a while since then, a limited number of these blankets, unused en brand-new, but at the same time pure vintage, have become available.
And then, DEKEN tapped into this hidden treasure....

Made of pure sheeps wool and in various shades of gray-brown, marked with a red and white cross-track, the blankets are hand made and indestructible, typical of genuine Swiss quality. The blankets are individually marked with the initials of the maker as well as the year of production. From the variation in colour of the band and the shape and way of construction of the crosses you can instantly recognize the hand of individual makers; sometimes the bands are more orange, sometimes they have a pretty, clear Swiss cross and sometimes they even have a stainless steel coin or seal. As such, all blankets are different, which is part of the charm. When combining several items from different blankets, the variations in colour and markings match strikingly.

That is your history lesson for today.  I have become blanket crazy lately.  Maybe it is the time of the year - I have warmth and coziness here at the cabin and am drawn to all sorts of blanket types.  The Swiss Army logo has always been a favorite of mine.  Simple.  RED.  Somewhere on the internet I saw a red Swiss Army watch that I marked as a favorite.  I will find the bookmark someday.  The Swiss also make Berninas.  Fabulous sewing machines.  I have a couple of other brands that I use and like, but you never get over your first love.  I think the machines are no longer made in Switzerland, but I have read that they are made to the exacting Swiss standards.  Years ago we had a foreign student for a school year.  David.  From Switzerland.  He would bring back wonderful chocolate for us when he would go back home for a visit.  Plus, wish I had a nickel for every time I have watched Sound of Music!   Did you happen to catch the cast reunion last year on Oprah?  Magic.  Bawled the whole show.  I just saw the second Sherlock Holmes movie and it appeared, for a bit, that Sherlock Holmes met his death in Switzerland, at a castle built over the Reichenbach Falls.  Turns out...WARNING...SPOILER ALERT!...that he survives, but I found through some research today that  the breathtakingly beautiful castle was digitally invented.  Darn.  I was ready to spiff up my German or French and book a trip.  So, given the whole blanket, Swiss thing, I decided to make my own Swiss Army Blanket Pillow (top photo).  I used WoolFelt (of course) and used the Bernina V6 software to add my initials and date of manufacture to the bottom front.  I used 2012 as the date...I rushed things a bit, but it is so close to 2012 that I took liberties.  Fake castle over the Reichenbach Falls, fake year on the pillow.   Jerilynn  P.S.  Found the watch - it is in the Sundance Catalog....$295.00....eeek.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter Blooms

The first picture is of the amaryllis that I planted around Thanksgiving.  It looked like it might not make it, but just in time for Christmas it decided to put on quite a show!  The blooms are a bit heavy, so I grabbed a knitting needle, red of course, to try to prop it up.  Actually, it is almost spent at this point, but it makes me smile every time I pass by.  The bottom photo is of some mystery bulbs that my mother-in-law sent me.  I think they are also amaryllis, but I will report back to you in a few week.  They came with the pot and what looks like just fine gravel.  No instructions.  So, I just plopped the bulbs in, put in some water, and have it sitting by the sunny window in the studio.  I already think the green sprouts have grown 1/4 inch since I planted the bulbs two days ago.  Oooh, I hope the flowers are red, don't you?   Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shopping Alert!

Hello, holiday survivors!  I have stuff to show you, but I wanted quickly to give you a great shopping heads-up.  I got these spools of string/ribbon from and they are FABULOUS.  Lots of yardage, plus when empty, the spools will be fun to do something with.  The spools are about 3 inches high and 2 inches wide.  Much bigger than I thought they would be.  PLUS, they are on sale now, AND all sale items are 30% off.  Hurry, scurry, before I buy them all up!!  Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Are You Done Yet?

That seems to be a popular question these past couple of days.  Are you done?  Are you ready?  I seem to think I am, but then get another idea to make something or get a little something for just one more person.  I think the only thing that is going to solve this is the passing of just a few days, family will come, food will be prepared, gifts will be shared.  Done.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shrinky Dinky Mittens

I love these felted mittens from the pattern Fargo Felted Mittens by Theresa Gaffey.  Doesn't the name "Fargo Felted Mittens"  just promise to you that these are going to be  warm, non-nonsense winter hand protection?  Yes, indeed.  I have lost count of how many of these I have made.  The pattern has instructions for Child's Small through Adult X-large.  I haven't made any small ones yet, but I have made plenty of the big ones.  As you can see from the top photo, after they are knit of a worsted weight, wool yarn, they are GIANT!  And this pair is adult can imagine how big the X-large ones are!  The second shot shows how they look after a first wash in hot water.  I usually throw them in with something else, like jeans, using detergent and fabric softener.  The third shot is the result of a second wash...perfect!  At this point I shape the damp mittens to fit nicely on a real hand and let air dry.  Don't you just love the sock-monkey inspired yarn choice?  Carl, who is a die-hard lined leather glove kind of guy looked at them and said "Hmm, they might be good for snow-blowing snow!"  So, now I have another pair of these half done, size large.  Perfect knervous knitting project at night while mulling over all the things that still need to get done for the holidays.  I know, I don't have many days left.  Jerilynn

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cabin Star Table Runner

Here is a new design I have been working on.  It is a table runner made from, are you sitting down:  WoolFelt!
I am not sure what this "flavor"  of this style is, but I seem to be seeing it a lot lately.  Navajo?  Southwest?  Aztec?  Adirondack?  Camp?  I call this runner Cabin Star, but that doesn't really describe much about it.  I almost feel it has a quilty, Amish look here and there, too.  I am working on a pillow to match it, sort of.  I will try to finish it and get a picture posted for you.  This holiday thing is just keeping me a bit about you?  Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Poster

This is the winter image from the studio...sort of.  A couple of years ago I ran across this great tutorial on how to change a photo into a drawing-type image.  I have used this technique on buildings and also on people.  It is done using Photoshop Elements, which is a relatively inexpensive, but very powerful photo editing software.  I continue to try to learn more about the program, and improve my photos.  It is a process.  I thought you might enjoy the shot and also maybe try the technique out yourself!  Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

O Christmas Tree!

Last year, when our youngest grandson was one year old, I drew around his chubby little hand and made a quick felt wreath with the hands going every-which-way.  His parents, of course, loved it, and hung it proudly as a decoration.  I am happy to see it made the wall this year, too!  His mom, Katie, asked if maybe I could do another craft this year... It isn't quite as easy to draw around the hand of a two-year-old.  But, I got somewhat of a good outline.  I cut out a bunch from some woolfelt and asked Carl to cut a triangle shape out of some lightweight board.  I glued a piece of felt on top of the board, then glued just the tops of the hands to that.  You can't really see it too well, but I embroidered Benjamin's name and the year on the star in metallic thread.  For a bit more sparkle I got out my hot crystal wand and put on a bunch of multi-colored "lights".  Slap a hanger on the back and you've got yourself a dandy little decoration.  I will be on the look-out for a three-year-old hand idea for next year.  Jerilynn

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Holly

Hey, Martha!  Look at this!  Remember the maple leaf felt bowl?  My friend, Shirley (the cute one I talked about a few days ago) came up with the idea of turning the leaf into a holly.  So, I did a few attempts and came up with a pretty good looking felt-holly-bowl.  For holly berries, I glued on sparkle red pom-poms.  Bet you didn't know that such a thing as sparkle red pom-poms existed.  I haven't bought any cutely-wrapped Christmas candy to put in the bowl yet.  It is just resting on the stair banister looking perky.  Heart bowls?  Shamrocks?  Easter Eggs?  Lots of bowl ideas.  I will go on a candy hunt to get just the right shape, color, taste, to put in the bowl.  You may drop off candy auditions on the screen porch at the condo. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hudson Bay Dishcloth

My friend Laura from Next Door Laura gave me a great suggestion.  She read my blog "Inspiration" from November when I talked about the Hudson Bay Blanket that was knitted out of wool.  She commented that I should make that design into a washcloth.  Brilliant!!!  A bit of knervous knitting later, I have one done.  It is very cabiny, don't you think?  The yarn didn't cost much at all, compared to what the blanket yarn would have cost, and I got it done before I had to give up knitting due to arthritic hands.  I am sure that even if I could afford all the yarn for the blanket that it would be a bag project for many, many years.  Bag project?  Don't pretend to not know what that buy all the stuff you need for something and you can't wait to begin.  Then life happens, or maybe something else shiny catches your eye.  Suddenly, you have multi bags full of stuff to do.  It is so overwhelming that you decide to just to knit dishcloths.  Jerilynn

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snow Time

My friend Shirley has the cutest clothes.  She always looks nice and has something fun on.  She had on a black long sleeve tee shirt with a snowflake in sparkles.  So I asked her if I could take a picture the design and try to do a similar look on an old tee that I had.  I drew some chalk lines (still visible on the red shirt) and used some crystals and a hot crystal wand to set them in place.  It took a while, but I am pleased with the results.  I should have turned the design so that one of the spokes was pointing up, but it is a bit late to change that!  I now need to brush the chalk away, and just enjoy the shirt.  It will look cute under a plain cardigan for a little Christmas shine.  I won't look as cute as Shirley, though.  Jerilynn

Cabin Times

Life continues to be a new adventure here at the cabin in the winter.  Each day the lake shows a new color, a new mood.  I never realized before how much color there is in the winter - it is just more subtle and you have to take time to see it.  The trees are so beautiful without their leaves - strong and delicate at the same time.  We got a heavy snowfall two days ago. The big-flake, sparkly kind.  The trees still are carrying their frosting quite well. With the outside lights on toward the lake, I felt as if I were in the middle of some Bing Crosby movie.  Our squirrels up here are black, and the contrast with the snow is perfect.  They seem to be enjoying this new look, also.  Inside I have turned up the heat a notch and have been sewing.  I found a paper piecing pattern, the cabin pillow on the right, Crooked Pine Camp by MH Designs.  I changed the cabin color on the pattern cover to red (of course I did).  Then I decided to print the picture I did of the original cabin up here on the fabric that will go through my printer (the pillow on the left).  I finished both with some strips of 100% wool.  Now I need to make some sort of other red cabin pillow for the collection.  Must have three for a collection to count.  Today, however, I have work to do.  I will think about a cabin idea as I go about my checking tasks off my list.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a good week ahead with a nice surprise or two.  Jerilynn

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quilt is Up!!

I made this little wall quilt today from the pattern Tree's Up!  Lights on! by Pieces From My Heart.  the piecing was a bit different than what I usually do, so I enjoyed the challenge.  The Quilt is 30 blocks.  I wanted to get something done before I turn 100, so I made just 6 blocks.  I have it hanging at the bottom of the stairs coming down from the studio.  It is really more even than the picture looks.  I need to have Carl make some sort of board for me.  I didn't quilt it - I just used a fusible fleece and sewed the backing on as if I were making a pillow.  I wanted it to look poster-like.  It snowed today - big, fluffy, shiny flakes.  So pretty here at the cabin.  Jerilynn

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ruched Happy Bag

Isn't this little bag just the sweetest?  I bought the pattern, Ruched Happy Bag,  from Amy Friend at her Etsy shop, During Quiet Time, you can find it here.  The pattern was emailed to me very promptly and I was quite impressed with the easy-to-follow instructions and great pictures!  I added a bit of vintage crochet to the top band, then added a beaded zipper pull.  Quick to make and fun.  I plan to whip a couple more for Christmas gifts.  Amy also has a blog, .  Go visit her, go to her shop, buy some stuff.  Especially the Ruched Happy Bag.  I bought the pattern and now I am happy.  Jerilynn