More Felted Rocks

felted rocks
Since we all need to be super diligent about washing our hands right now, it occurred to me, after having my hands immersed in warm soapy water for most of the afternoon yesterday, that maybe we, as a people, should just felt some wool rocks together.
Just a thought.

Grilling Vegetables

As an adult, probably one of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of super fresh, gorgeous vegetables. Farmers markets literally make the hair on the back of my neck stand up in excitement, and I love opening the kitchen pantry and fridge to see all those beautiful bright colors ready to eat.
We are big grillers here at my house. In my humble opinion, everything tastes better grilled (especially fruit), and its this time of year when grilled vegetables start showing up in literally everything I cook. I do not even begin to think that I am an expert on grilling vegetables, but I wanted to talk about them because of how good and familiar they are to me. Last night, I thought the cupboards were bare and that there was an emergency trip to the market in my future. When l spotted several vegetables that had never made their way onto the table that week, I started up the grill. They were perhaps not at the tippy top peak of their freshness, but grilling takes care of that. Zucchini, shallots, red bell peppers, and eggplant…
I brushed a little olive oil on each side, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, then put them the grill (fully pre-heated on high, turned down slightly when I put on the veggies). I have friends who use those special wire grill pans that hold the veggies in it as they grill, but I never have and have never had a problem (cut the pieces large enough so they don’t fall through the grill). A few minutes on each side, and you’re done. (I prefer to grill the shallots whole, to a dark char on the outside, making them soft and sweet on the inside.)

I found some slivered almonds, which I lightly toasted, then made a salad with radishes and grape tomatoes (no cheese, boo!). The grilled vegetables that were left over will show up wraps, sandwiches, and salads we’ll eat over the next few days.

And then it will be time to grill again.

Around here


The sunlight is changing our daily living space inside as well as outside. Peter and I have been fantasy shopping for a house (an emphasis on fantasy, because, really, who are we kidding??), but truth be told, things are feeling kind of nice around here these days. The yard is getting weeded and cleaned, and I’m doing my usual knick-knack-move-around the house this week- which is what I do when I don’t know what to do, but want to do something creative (do you follow? am I alone in doing this?). I feel like I’m close to bursting with new ideas for things to sew and knit and make, but knowing it can’t happen all at once, I’m trying to figure out how to pace myself, or bottle up this incredible enthusiasm and give myself a little dab behind the ears every few days.  Because, then, I figure, it actually stands a chance of happening.

A good place to start…a little water and wool therapy this morning. Felted rocks. Not quite dry, and I have more to make. So fun to make.
*I wanted to add that those terrariums in the first shot (or our family variation with what we had here at the house, those are quirky little glass vases we found in the basement) were made a few weeks ago, around the same time the Stephanie posted about terrariums on 3191. Make these with your kids, they are so easy and fun, made even more exciting when they actually thrive and grow!

The Treehouse Appreciation Society

Happy Earth Day to you!
The weekend was gorgeous here in Seattle (seems to be over for the moment, hope everyone enjoyed). A big part of it for us was spent out in the backyard, readying it for warmer weather. The official Treehouse Appreciation Society began as a result of our weekend. (The society being we (you, anybody) wise crafters who craft and make things for treehouse, club house, outdoor fun, etc.) The more we cleaned up the play structure, the more excited we got, thinking of the possibilities of hanging out and playing there again this summer. At some point on Saturday, our thoughts turned to camp and treehouse-related crafts (as all cleaning sessions with mom usually do). Hence, the society…

We have always called this structure a treehouse, but its actually quite firmly on the ground. It does, however, have a great “lookout” on the top floor. Sitting up there gives you a bird’s eye view of our backyard and of the trees around us, that’s the treehouse part. Our little house in the trees. (I’ve spent some me time up there myself.)

There is a tiny clubhouse below, just behind the climbing wall, with a door, and according to 7 and 10 year olds, that’s where the magic happens. I donated an old doormat for the threshold, and Emma planted a pot of geraniums-

There were requests made by the kids for some sort of seating inside, and a table. That sent me off on a tangent I will explain in another post. In the spirit of using only what we have around the house, I gave them a plastic storage bin with a well fitting lid to put inside the clubhouse, that can be used for temporary seating. It was quickly filled with board games, binoculars, art supplies, and bird books. Perfect. An old camp table with a piece of oil cloth over it makes a table just the right size. And, what’s a clubhouse without curtains? Up went a set sewn from a yard of fabric I had and a curtain rod I found in the basement.
Its good…its really really good in there.

These little flower bud vials, left over from a floral arrangement my friend made, proved to be the real hit of the afternoon. There were flower petals to be crushed! Potions to be mixed! The birdbath was a handy pot-

I love my kid’s “can do” attitude, and am always happy when they don’t automatically think something needs to be purchased in order to make or finish the ideea they have in their mind. This is where their impatience pays off- they don’t have the time to wait for a grown up to take them to buy what they need (plus it takes a lot of energy and persistence to convince them to do it in the first place). So, by default, the imagination takes over and they simply make it happen.

And I apologize to the neighbors in advance for how many times Emma has played this song in the treehouse. I’m really thinking twice about putting sound of any kind out there.

Color and Pattern


Now that a new quilt for Emma is done, and a proper “quilt rest” has followed, next comes a quilt for Ian’s bed. I’ve been wanting to make this Marquee pattern (above), from the FunQuilts Studio book The Modern Quilt Workshop, since the book came out in 2005, and when I started trying to gather ideas a few months ago, the idea that this pattern still inspires me convinced me this is one I’ll go with next. The effect of the tiny strips of color, surrounding the “ground” fabric feels traditional and modern to me, which I really like. Its described in the book as the strips of color being like flashing lights in Times Square. I can see that. Its a relatively easy pattern for me, which will be a nice change after the curved templates for the Single Girl. This pattern uses no templates, just plenty of rotary cutting strips and blocks, and I really like projects that involve nothing more than pretty fabric, a good sharp rotary cutting blade, and This American Life.READ MORE

Follow Wise Craft Handmade