Sunday, October 30, 2011

pumpkins and dress up

here we are with just a little end of october fun!

big bad wolf and little red.

last minute mama costume.

 a day of pumpkin carving with family and friends.

forgetting to turn off the flash for the big light up at dark.

ah, much better but most of the pumpkins had already gone home.

silly balloons.

colorful glow sticks inside white balloons.

we will certainly have more cute costume photos to share, including some of our wee little lion! 
have fun and be safe tomorrow, friends!
happy halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

autumn bunting :: a tutorial and giveaway!

i stitched up a bunch of these little autumn buntings for a market i did earlier in october. isn't it sweet! i have since had visions of bunting sets with a different little banner for each season - wouldn't that be a great gift for a dear friend or neighbor? i am adding this idea to my {ever-growing} handmade holiday to do list! if you would like to make some too here is a little tutorial ::

i used these old upholstery fabric sample books that i got at our local reuse market a long while back. burlap or wool felt would also work well for this project. i cut the little triangles out with pinking shears. if you are worried about fraying you can put a little fray check around the edges. i personally like a bit of fraying.

i made my own double fold bias tape from vintage linens using one of these. {here is a tutorial to make your own bias tape. it is easy. i promise!} but if making miles and miles of bias tape isn't your thing you can use packaged wide double fold bias tape instead.

to make the letters for my buntings i created a document in microsoft publisher in a font and size that looked just right then printed it directly onto cotton fabric. there are a couple ways to do this. you can buy the printable paper from the quilters section at your local fabric store. it is pretty spendy and you only get 5 or 6 sheets per package. if you have a coupon and don't plan to make tons of buntings this would work fine. you can also order printer ready fabric here. it is quite a bit cheaper if you will be doing a lot of fabric printing. i use freezer paper sheets that i can iron to back of my fabric so they will go through my printer. it is a little more work because i have to cut my fabric into paper sized pieces then iron the freezer paper on but i prefer this method because i do a lot of printing on fabric so this is the most economical option for me and i can use any natural fiber (cotton, linen, silk) in various weights depending on my project. also the freezer paper sheets can be used over and over!

after the letters are printed onto your fabric you will carefully cut them out in any shape - i suggest making a little cardboard stencil so they are all the same size. again, if fraying bothers you add a little fray check to the edges of your letters.

now it is time to sew it all together! start pinning your triangles and letters about 18 inches from the end of your bias tape. sandwich  your pieces between the bias tape making sure you put the tops of both pieces right up against the fold so you are sure to catch all of the pieces when you sew. when you have everything pinned in place start sewing a straight stitch at the very end of your bias tape and continue along the open edge making sure you sew through all the layers when you come to each triangle and letter. sew for another 18 inches after your last letter and cut your bias tape off on an angle and admire the adorable handmade bunting you just whipped up! that was super easy, yes? so go ahead and make one for everyone you know!

now for the GiVeAwAy! 
just for fun i have decided to send the cute bunting in this tutorial to one lucky reader! all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and i will choose a winner at random on tuesday morning {tuesday happens to be november 1st!! can you believe it?!} anyone is welcome to enter and i will get this in the mail just as soon as possible so you can display your autumn bunting all of november.
good luck, friends!

today i am linking up with gingerbread's sweet saturday post!

comments are closed - i will announce a lucky winner later this evening!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

farm visit

last week we visited our dear friend sarah and her family on their small goat farm. it was a lovely afternoon full of wonderful company, wonderful food and wonderful fun.
here are a few photos from our day at the farm ::

currently i am staying busy putting the finishing touches on handmade costumes, getting our home ready to carve pumpkins with friends and family this weekend, cooking, baking, sweater knitting, tea sipping and thoroughly enjoying this beautiful season. what is keeping you busy these days?

Monday, October 24, 2011

looking forward to november!

hello friends! are you looking for an inexpensive way to advertise your shop or blog this holiday season? i am currently scheduling sponsorships for november and would love to have you! each sponsor will have a sweet little button in my sidebar as well as the opportunity for a feature post, giveaway and/or coupon code for readers. 

please visit this post for more information!
thanks bunches and bunches!
xo, erika

Sunday, October 23, 2011

smack dab in the middle of autumn.

our tiny street is so pretty in october. the trees are every shade of gold and orange and there are gorgeous virginia creeper vines that turn deep scarlet red and climb all the way up the tallest trees. i have posted photos of it before here and also here. just a couple weeks ago it was still green and lush. it is lovely, yes? so i suppose i should post some new pictures...

it was a terrible time of day to take outdoor photos {we waited until esmé got off the school bus at the end of the day} so i am going to get out there again and take even more photos! it is just too good and too short lived not to.

happy sunday, friends.

Friday, October 21, 2011


* good morning * hot coffee * green smoothies * elk roast in the crock pot * play, play, play * clean up * baby nap * preschool workbooks * sweater knitting * reading * one more cup of coffee * what should we do next, little loves? *

happy friday, friends.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

meet robyn :: girl a go-go designs

i am excited to introduce to you all my good friend robyn from girl a go-go designs! robyn and i have shared space at several markets and shows and i always have a fantastic time with her. she has some wonderful items available for the holidays - i have already tucked away a couple color-your-own-bunnies for harper and esmé and can hardly wait for them to open them!

 here is robyn - enjoy!

Tell us about yourself and the wonderful things that you create!
My name is Robyn and I am Girl A Go-Go Designs. I live in Boise, Idaho, with my husband, three kids and a myriad of pets. I love to be creative. I always have. I used to draw and paint and batik, but with the constant interruptions of home life, I had to find something that I could easily stop and start. So I took up sewing. I’m really enjoying using different fabrics and coming up with my own designs and patterns. I like the challenge of hunting for materials that I can reuse and seeing beyond what it is now to what the potential could be.

When did you learn your craft and who taught you?
I learned how to sew in my grade 8 Home Ec class. Funny thing is, I never really liked it. But when I took it up again, all those things that I learned suddenly came rushing back.

Where do you get inspiration for your handmade items?
I don’t have a particular source of inspiration. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head from looking at a particular piece of fabric. It helps being surrounded by creative people to share the spirit and joy of making.
colour-your-own-doll {mermaid} i LOVE these!!

Are there any new items in the works for your shop?
There is always something on the back burner of my mind for new things. Right now it’s getting ready for a fun holiday season. Since I’ve been working with reclaimed burlap lately, I’m flooded with ideas on how to use it to make unique decorations for the home.
little basket made from reclaimed burlap and hand stenciled.

Do you have any other hobbies or passions?

Besides sewing, I like to crochet and bead. I’m also an avid reader. I’ve gone back to school to become a library technician so my studies have taken a priority in my life. Since I love books and libraries, this is really up my alley.

Please let us know where we can find you - etsy, blog, facebook, etc.
Here are a few of the places that you can find me:
Twitter - RobynJane

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a little autumn love.

acorn caps + wood beads + hot glue = the sweetest autumn acorns for our nature table
{there are a couple glass bead acorns in there too}

this one is my very favorite!

♥ autumn ♥

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

chocolate zucchini-coconut cake :: a recipe

this recipe yields the most amazingly moist and decedent cake, not even kidding. it is our new family favorite!

ingredients ::
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups raw sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees. prep your baking dish (spray, flour or line with parchment - this is pretty sticky stuff) i used a 9x9 inch stoneware dish.

combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. add the eggs and beat for a minute or so then add the applesauce and mix well. fold in the shredded zucchini and coconut. pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.

bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cake while it is still hot. wait a minute or two then spread the melted chocolate over the cake. let cake cool (if you can wait!) completely and serve. 

go bake yourself a cake, friends! you totally deserve it! 
enjoy ♥

Monday, October 17, 2011

meet heidi :: humble luna

 i am thrilled to introduce you to heidi, the extremely talented mama behind humble luna. my littles love dress up - capes, crowns, hats, old halloween costumes - it is make believe all the time around here. heidi makes many fantastic items for small people including pants, smocks, hand knits and the most amazing and fun plush dragon tails!  read her introduction, check out her shop and be sure to like her facebook page so you can stay updated on all of her lovely offerings! xo

Tell us about yourself and the wonderful things that you create!
When did you learn your craft and who taught you?  I taught myself to sew while I was in High school and made a lot of my own clothing. After my oldest child was born I became obsessed with making and designing her Halloween costumes and would look forward to them all year. Now that I have two children( and another on the way) I enjoy making and designing costumes and clothing for them more than for myself but I am sure I will find time to make things for me again in the future. 

Where do you get inspiration for your handmade items? The dragon tail costumes that I sell in my Etsy shop were inspired from my time as an intern as a textile designer at the Portland Children's museum. My job was to dream up costumes for each exhibit and then I would design and create the costumes that were then used by hundreds of children each day. It was wonderful, like Halloween every day of the year. The costumes I designed for them had to be gender neutral, suitable for varying ages, easy to put on and take off and they had to be really durable. One of my most successful costumes were the dragon tails. They have lasted at the museum for several years.  I got so many compliments from parents and the staff at the museum that I decided to make them to sell on my own when my internship with them had ended.

Are there any new items in the works for your shop? Yes, there are many. I have a few new costume ideas and I have been working on new clothing designs such as pants, hats and boots and will be adding them to my shop once my Halloween rush is over. I also plan to add several items for newborns and very young babies. Since I am pregnant I am thinking a lot about teeny tiny people and what I can make for them. Plus I will have a new model soon to try out all my baby clothing designs;) I also will be adding more hand knit items to my shop very soon for the winter season.

Do you have any other hobbies or passions? Besides knitting and sewing I also love to paint and draw. I went to Art School for illustration and I dream of being a Childrens book illustrator. I wrote and illustrated a story for my thesis in Art School and hope to more aggressively pursue it's publication in the future. For now I am busy enough being a stay at home mom and sewing for HumbleLuna.

Please let us know where we can find you - etsy, blog, facebook, etc. You can find my shop at, and HumbleLuna is also on Facebook.  I blog about knitting, sewing, the beautiful state of Oregon and  precious times with my family at Under the Humble Moon,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

winter wool {and a winner!}

i am sweater knitting again. this time i am knitting this pattern with this wool. so far i have knit the collar and the shoulder increases. once again i am in love. with this pattern and this wool joining forces to create the greatest winter sweater ever. at least that is the plan.

on to giveaway winner news ::
the randomly chosen winner for the knit girl in idaho stitch marker {or wine charms} is lorraine! yay, yay, happy day! watch your inbox for a message about your winnings, lorraine!
and guess what - there are even more giveaways to come! don't miss out, friends! see you soon. xo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

sarah doll, we love you.

this is sarah. she was esme's handmade christmas doll a couple years ago. she has been dressed up, dressed down, styled, carried, cuddled, played with and loved hard since her holiday arrival. last week she was left out in the yard and got rained on. i discovered her soggy, stained body the next day and nearly cried. esmé did cry. i told tony to please take her to the garbage. but he didn't and she laid on our front porch for several days. we saw poor sarah every time we came and went. i finally picked her up with the intention of throwing her into the garbage. but i just couldn't do it. we put her into the washing machine instead on the delicate cycle with a bit of lavender scented castile soap. 

her wool hair is a tangled mess. her wool stuffing is all clumpy. her pale cotton skin still has water stains. but my heart is so happy she is still here. and her little dress washed up nicely. she probably deserves a brand new one.

have you ever had a special or handmade toy lost or ruined. sad day, yes? because secretly i am feeling just a teeny bit silly for being so upset... over a dolly.

while you are here be sure to enter the fun giveaway from knit girl in idaho!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

meet reni :: knit girl in idaho {and a giveaway!}

time for another fabulous sponsor introduction! reni makes super cute personalized stitch markers for knitting and crochet as well as wine charms. i met her last december when i was lucky enough to be her neighbor at a holiday craft show. i had so much fun chatting with her that afternoon! please read her introduction, visit her shop and enter her generous giveaway at the bottom of this post! 
xo, erika
Tell us a little about yourself!I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and moved to Washington for my freshman year of college, which is where I met my husband a short time later.  After dating a few years, my husband and I were married one week after we graduated from college, which is almost 25 years ago now!  In 2005, we decided we needed a slower lifestyle so we packed up and moved to Idaho. We have two wonderful boys, our oldest is 18 and just started his first year of college, and my youngest is almost 15 and started his freshman year of high school.  Being the only female in the house sometimes has its downside (like cleaning toilets!), but most of the time I feel blessed and lucky to have three very special men in my life.  My family is very supportive and always encourage me in my "crafty" endeavors!

Tell us about the wonderful things that you create! When did you learn your craft and who taught you?
My mom taught me how to knit when I was a little girl, but I lost interest somewhere along the way and didn't pick it back up again until after my second child was born. I have been absolutely addicted to knitting ever since. My first knitting projects were very simple garter stitch scarf projects, and then I went through a phase of knitting nothing but dishclothes! Dishclothes are very small, quick projects that are a wonderful way for a beginning knitter to try new techniques they might otherwise be intimidated to try. Knitting dishclothes is how I learned to master cables, yarn-overs, ssk, etc.... Once I acquired these new skills, I felt confident knitting more advanced scarf patterns.
Eventually, I was bit by the sock knitting bug and now socks are my all-time favorite project to knit!  Sock projects are great because they are small, portable projects that travel well (you can carry it with you in your purse!). Most sock patterns can be knit with one skein of sock yarn, and there are literally thousands of free or inexpensive sock patterns available for knitters at every level.  One thing most sock patterns have in common is that they call for stitch markers or place markers. Stitch markers slide on your knitting needle to help you keep track of your stitches while knitting a section of the heel. There are many different types and styles of stitch markers available, but I found most of them to be boring so I decided to create my own.  I shared a picture of my new stitch markers to some of my pals on Ravelry (a FANTASTIC online knitting and crochet community!) and a couple of them said they would pay me to make them a set too! This led to more and more people wanting to buy my stitch markers, hence my Etsy shop, KnitGirl in Idaho was born.  My best customers today are these same friends from Ravelry!
I specialize in making personalized stitch markers using any photo, personal logo or short saying. The question I get asked more than any other is "how do you make those?" My answer is that it has taken me years to perfect the process and countless hours of trial and error, so I am very protective of my craft!   I will say that whenever I think I have the system down to an exact science, undoubtedly there will be equipment failure or a supplier that changes.  I have to be flexible to change and ready to roll with the tide at any given time.  There are other Etsy shops that sell similar items to mine, but don't be fooled by the copycats out there! My stitch markers are the originals of their kind and can be found at The Loopy Ewe  as well as many other online retailers and yarn stores. Also, be watching the newsstands because I received good news that my stitch markers will be seen in a couple magazines in the coming months! 
 Are there any new items in the works for your shop?

I am very excited because I recently started selling removable stitch markers for crochet, which is a brand new market for me!  Unlike knitting stitch markers that slide on the knitting needle, these stitch markers use a lobster
clasp that clips directly on the yarn in a crochet project. 
In January of this year, I also opened a second Etsy shop called Wine Charms by Design.  I started this shop for those people who love my stitch marker charms but, sadly, don't knit. I use the same charms as on my stitch markers, but they are on a wire hoop that wraps around the stem of a wine glass or other stemmed glassware.  As with my Knit Girl shop, I also specialize in personalized wine charms and have done several sets for weddings.

What's your day job and do you have any other hobbies or passions?

My husband and I also own a business together that has been in the family for 3 generations. He's the sales & marketing dept and I'm the taxes & bookkeeping dept!  We've always had the luxury of working from home so one or both of us is usually around when the boys would get home from school.  Now that the boys are almost grown up, our family time is a high commodity.  We cherish our time together, whether we're watching a soccer or basketball game or just relaxing at home in the evenings together.  Aside from knitting, I am an avid reader. I will read just about any genre and never, never leave home without a book! 

Please let us know where we can find you - etsy, blog, facebook, etc.
Knit Girl in Idaho Etsy shop:
Facebook: Knit Girl in Idaho
Twitter: KnitGirlinIdaho
Ravelry: KnitGirlinIdaho
Wine Charms by Design Etsy shop:
Facebook: Wine Charms by Design

for today's giveaway reni has offered to one lucky winner either a set of 4 Personalized Stitch Markers (choice of Knitting or Crochet) OR a set of 4 Personalized Wine Charms (wouldn't these make GREAT gifts?!). also she is happy to ship internationally so anyone is welcome to throw their name into the hat!

- to enter visit reni's shops and let us know what item you would choose! 
extra entries (leave a separate comment for each one)
- add either (or both!) of reni's shops to your etsy favorites
- "like" reni's facebook page
- follow reni on twitter

i will close the comments and choose a winner on thursday october 13th. good luck, friends!

comments are now closed - i will post the lucky winner's name later this evening!