Friday, December 31, 2010

The Travel Itinerary

This is very subject to change.

You never know when a great find will appear beside the road or inspiration will strike and take us off on a tangent to unplanned destinations.
Here's the plan -

String quilt from

 Nothing says cozy like a quilt. And what is a gypsy wagon, but a big quilt of color and pattern rolling along the road.  There will be quilts. Lots of lovely, modern, colorful quilts. Often they will be the decorating touch point for the room.

Vintage -

I am a sucker for all things vintage - Clothing, linens, nick-knacks, furniture. I may leave them as is, I may turn them into something new. I may make new look vintage.


I will make my own and peruse the web for the fabulous and lovely things that all the talented bloggers out there create. You will see the successes in all there glory  - and the failures - as bad and embarrassing as they will most certainly be.

Power Tools-

Since we have no money for this transformation, I have big plans to build stuff. My to-build list at is a mile long. 
Gypsy wagons are covered in beautifully carved and painted wood. I doubt I'll do much carving, but painting - You better believe it!

Alabama Chanin
 I am planning on sewing a bunch for myself. Every self-respecting gypsy needs an eclectic wardrobe that reflects her personal style. I usually just sew for the kiddos, and I'll keep doing that, but I am planning to sew more for myself as well.
My hubby gave me Alabama Chanin Studio Style for Christmas
(ok, in the spirit of full disclosure - I went to the store and put it on hold, then went back to the store and bought it myself then I wrapped it myself and put his name on the tag).
I am beyond inspired by her and I hope to make some things from the book. I am even planning on hand-sewing them.
If I did all my clothing that way though, I'd be blogging naked and that's not a pretty picture.
My sewing machine will be running overtime to make sure I stay appropriately covered.

Random Road Stops-
I love making little toys and fanciful creations out of felt, fabric, and whatever I have on hand to entertain my little ones or just fill my space with lovelies.

The Road Bumps Ahead-
I am only a fair sewist (sewer? seamstress?) and knitter.
My overall crafting skills are rank amateur.
I have crafting ADD and tend to get bored with projects before I finish them. (this is where the motivation for this blog comes in! If there is someone watching me and holding me accountable more will get done!)
I will definitely be learning as I go. You can sit back and laugh as this happens. It's ok, I can't hear you. Besides it will drown out my cursing.
My camera is a sad little excuse for a thing (it's a Kodak -'nuff said!).
I have three little ones who are enormous time-hogs, two bigger ones who still need mom, and a husband who works rotating shifts as a Police Officer.
I do not have a housekeeper, a nanny or even a regular sitter, or a cook -those are my jobs- and it is exhausting most days just getting to bedtime.

On the other hand, I love a spontaneous adventure - so pack light and leave plenty of room for the great stuff we'll make along the way. Let's get on the road!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Caravaning through 2011

Over the past few years my life has been very transitory.  I always seemed to be moving and everything was temporary. I never let myself decorate or personalize a space because it wasn't our permanent home. Over the past year it really hit me that keeping everything in temporary mode was affecting me and everyone around me. Although we are still renting I have decided to go ahead and treat this as our "real" home. We may move this year, we may be here another two years. Only time will tell.

I always imagined myself a gypsy of sorts with all my moving about. It seemed romantic and glamorous. In reality, it really kind of sucked. I loved the places we were in, but I craved my own place. I guess that's why gypsies always have such fabulous wagons. They need some place to have as there own, even when everything else is changing.

For the next year I am crafting our own gypsy wagon. A fabulous space we can call our own and take with us when we leave, as I attempt to focus my love for reading crafting and decorating blogs and magazines into a casual, cozy, hand-crafted, family-friendly space to call home.

My budget is non-existent. I will be thrifting, finding, begging, borrowing, repurposing, refurbishing and making it myself. Call me crazy now - I might not hear you from the padded room later in the year.

Along for the ride is my very tolerant husband, Officer Jeffrey, my lovely, creative and opinionated older daughters - Gabe and Maddie, my three wild little ones, Amelie, Lilia (aka MoMo) and Thomas James and our two kitties - Cosmo (aka Jesus Cat) and Rosie (aka Yarn Ninja).

Hopefully you will join me as well.
We gypsies are not solitary creatures. We travel in a caravan of like-minded, creative, free-spirits. So if you are up for it, hitch up your own wagon and join me on the journey ahead. I love a good chat around the fire at night ,I will certainly have time to fill on the road and I can always  use companions in the workroom to make everything more fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cozy Stitched Yarn Cards

Sometime in November I joined the Handmade Holiday Card Swap run by Vane over at Brooklyn Bride. We were sent the addresses of 5 (or 6 if you include Vane) people from all over the US and the world to exchange cards with.
All cards had to be handmade. I wanted to make something that included my love of yarn and sewing. This is what I came up with.

I am really happy with how they turned out, even if they didn't turn out exactly the way I envisioned. I had never tried freehand embroidery with the sewing machine and it was a bit experimental but I am happy with it. I also made a scarf that used the same technique. I'll post it with a mini tutorial tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stocking Finished!

When I was unpacking the Christmas Decorations I realized Little Guy's stocking was emblazoned with "Baby's First Christmas".  Hmmm... Don't think I can get away with that one for a second year... As much as making stockings always seems like a good idea, (I love looking at all the beautiful stocking patterns out there!) the reality was, it wasn't on my agenda.  But, since my Little Guy couldn't get through Christmas without a stocking, I buckled down and started to search and plan. This is what I came up with,

I knew I wanted a knitted stocking. It's what I had when I was little (until some voracious moths ate most of it) and just says "Christmas Stocking" to me. I used this free pattern that I found on Ravelry.  It can also be found on this page if you don't belong to Ravelry.
All of the yarn is from my stash and some of it was a bit challenging! I love the color of the gray yarn that I used for the main part of the stocking, it reminds me of a sock monkey,(which is why I just had to use red for the trim!) but it is very rough and a bit stiff. I have a bunch of it left, but I definitely won't be using it for anything to wear!
This project went really quickly which was good. I've been in a total funk and I have had to force myself to do anything at all. Even getting out decorations has been a challenge. My girls will use their store-bought stockings again this year I think. I did feel good to get this done though and I really love it!