Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amelia's 17th Birthday Cake!

We celebrated Amelia's 17th birthday a day early this year ... right on Easter Sunday! Roberta and Jonathan sent me this great 3-D rabbit cake pan from Williams-Sonoma, so I thought I'd use that for her cake. The recipe for the cake was the typical very firm, very dense (not very tasty) scratch cake, but it did hold together well. Next time, back to Duncan Hines for me!

New Tea Party Almost Finished

Here's the "new" teapot. I needle-felted the word 'tea' on one side. I used size 10 1/2" needles and one strand of Lopi throughout, using the pattern for the Fiesta Ware Pitcher. I didn't follow the design for Fiesta Ware, though, as it wouldn't show through the felting. I also made a tray (sort of!) using two strands of Lopi and size 15 needles, just casting on 30 and, after purling first two rows, just ss the whole way until the end, purl one row, then bind-off purlwise. With one strand of Lopi, I picked up stitches along one side, and purled a row, then bound-off purlwise, then repeated this on the other side. That gave me a nice little rim.

Tea Cups

The felted tea cups came out much bigger than I would have liked. Again, I used the Fiesta Ware pattern (again omitting the design). I used size 8 needles this time and two strands of Lamb's Pride worsted (from the Brown Sheep Company) held together. The saucers came out very heavy! I wanted to make sure the cups would be stable and thick, but maybe the two strands made them too thick. Oh well! It's always an experiment!

Here's a Vase with Felted Flowers

I used the Felted Wine Bag pattern from Knit One, Felt Too, by Kathleen Taylor, but stopped before the end of the bag ... and then increased all my stitches by one each for the ruffle. Then I used a crochet bind-off for the little loops. This is also Lopi -- one skein. I wet-felted the flowers/stems as described in the Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads book by Carol Huber Cypher, using BFL roving I had dyed last summer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cheddar Pinks

Just had to take a photo of the cheddar pink dianthus now blooming. I bought 19 of these plants (this is a photo of only one plant!)in pink and dark pink two years ago at the nursery in the fall for only $1 a piece! I planted them about eight inches a part along the sidewalk up to our front door. Each year they've spread a little more. They give off a wonderfully warm, clove scent. Ah, I just love spring!

Bumblebees are back!

The blueberry bushes are full of blossoms, which means, the BUMBLEBEES are back! I love to watch them. They are just incredible, like gentle giants! If you click on this photo, I hope you'll be able to see it enlarged enough to see one of the bees. Once you get it enlarged, scroll down a little bit. I'll try to get a better photo later, but this old digital doesn't give me much of a choice in focusing. From all the blossoms on our three bushes, looks like we're going to get a good crop of berries this July!