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JCasa
mama + maker + homebody + rocker + dreamer.
Recent Activity
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Based on how I made those crocheted baskets, it was not too far of a leap (more of a skip, actually) to figure out how to make a cover for my hook jar. So I did. And yet for some (aging) reason I did not write it down. Never fear, because there are so many talented folks who have written down patterns for crocheted mason jar covers + cozies for us all to enjoy. Here are few of my favorites: Polka Dot Cottage is simple + basic much like the ones I made. Love 'em! Dottie Angel offers options to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Make Something Special
Oooh, I love it! And how sweet to read your Mom's lovely comments above. So clever are you to give a gift to the house :)
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2015 on Mary Graceland: A quilt at house on hill road
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It is about time for me to properly greet the New Year (now that I am feeling well again, thanks to rest + antibiotics). Hello 2015! After a lovely few days of traditional family Christmas celebrations, I spent the better part of a week in bed with that fever + wicked headache so many of you are familiar with this year. While I was sick, I happened across the instructions to knit this hat on my instagram feed and thought it might be something I could muster the energy to make. I first learned to knit in Germany while watching... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Make Something Special
Happy New Year to you, Erin! What a lovely, thoughtful post - I connect with so much that you write despite us never having met in person (yet!), and this deeply personal entry is no exception. You have been one of my mainstays during the nearly 10 years I have been blogging and I have truly enjoyed this camaraderie of stitchery + motherhood with so many wonderful souls like you. I glean from Instagram that you have been involved at your girls' school a great deal over the years and am so happy you have enjoyed teaching! DO continue, as I am sure you are a natural :) I am most certain your horizon is filled with countless creative endeavors that will continue to enlighten and inspire others including me. Wishing you the very best and looking forward to staying in touch! xoxo
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Last January (as is the case with many of us during any given January, am I right?), I gave in to learning a new craft. For me at the time, it involved enriching my crochet skills beyond the basics. In years prior, my obsession with Granny Squares led to many a pillow, and eventually manifested itself in ombré edging on a sweet linen dress and even a pattern in my next book. But those were all pretty basic techniques that I was simply able to finesse into looking more complicated than they were to accomplish. Such is my flair. Thankfully,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Make Something Special
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As part of the girls' summer assignments from their school, they were asked to create a paper bag book report on a book of their choosing. While at first the project seemed a bit overwhelming, it turned out to be a lot of fun for them both in terms of writing as well as gathering and making story-related elements to include inside their bags. As part of her report on one of the books in The Mysterious Benedict Society series, my youngest created the most adorable mini-pencil to accompany a mini-entrance exam and mini-journal. To make it, she followed this... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Make Something Special
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Hello hello! It has been quite a while (nearly 8 months) since I last posted in this space and as I am sure is the case with many of you, so much has happened. My new book, Vintage Made Modern, passed through the final editorial stages and went to print, I spent winter/spring writing another book (also with Roost Books), then summer was a daily balancing act of the girls' activities with my work (sewing + knitting + photography + art) for that next book. The busyness of this past year has taught me a great deal about time management... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Make Something Special
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There is an allure to really chunky yarns I find irresistable. Some have cozy twists/plies while others resemble roving - both equally lovely in their own way. I have been known to collect my share of bulky skeins over the years, der Gipfel of the lot being an enormous hank of hand-spun/-dyed awesomeness from local fiber artists at Alpaca Fiber Studio. I had never before seen anything like it, similar to roving and dare I say reminiscent of innards. Although I had no idea what (if anything) I would use it for, I knew it would be a really unique... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at Make Something Special
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Nothing begs the question "Really?" more than the phone call we received Sunday evening informing us the schools would be closed today due to anticipated inclement weather and road conditions. Granted, there is quite a storm whalloping the Midwest at the moment and I agree with the school's decision to close... but still. We are just coming off of two very full weeks of Winter break, and everybody (I mean everybody) is ready to get back to our routine. Alas, that will have to wait another day. Or two. To keep the peace and hopefully sustain the cheery good times... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at Make Something Special
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There has been a wonderful buzz of activity and celebration around here the past few weeks. Thanksgiving dinner saw our dining room packed with 18 loved ones around a really big, cleverly assembled L-shaped table. Sure, there was a trip to the pediatric ER later in the evening, but all is well that ends well and we are thankful for so much. And as if the healing properties of chocolate pie and pumpkin cheesecake weren't enough, the next day we adopted a wonderfully sweet dog. She spent the past year being bounced around, eventually being relocated to Ohio and rescued... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2013 at Make Something Special
What a great idea for Christmas gifts, Lori. In fact, I may follow your lead and make a few, as well. Happy knitting + thank you so very much for your support! xoxo
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2013 on On the Needles [October] at Make Something Special
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While at a soccer tournament all last weekend, I came to the realization that I need another hat. The hat I had worn all day Saturday was great, but still damp from that day's rain when we headed out Sunday. (Let's face it, knitters love it when we are presented with a "need to knit" opportunity like this.) Keeping in mind what is in my stash, I did a little searching on Ravelry and found Shroom, a terrific stylish, slouchy cap. Sadly, it is just a bit too snug for my head, however the girls were more than thrilled to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2013 at Make Something Special
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As the weather gets colder, like many of you, I feel compelled to pick up my needles and knit more and more. Of course there will be new hats for everyone, and likely an ombré knitting bag for me made from stash yarns - there are so many oddballs of worsted wool in my stash just begging to be made into something special. I would also really like to knit the girls some garments to keep them warm this Winter: more sweaters, skirts and the like. Ahhh, knitting season. To Ravelry I went in search of vest options and found... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2013 at Make Something Special
I agree, Erin. These are going to make wonderful gifts this year! Sent from my iPhone
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Recently, I had long overdue plans to gather with a few friends. It was one of those final Friday nights when it was still warm enough for the kids to run around outside without coats long after dark. While they whooped it up, we sipped wine and caught up with one another. A win-win evening if there ever was one. We brought appetizers to share and enjoyed a truly lovely evening. Thanks, Monika! The night before, my friends texted that they were searching Pinterest for a few recipes, alerting me to the fact that I still had no idea what... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2013 at Make Something Special
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Over the Summer I made a note to self about trying out sewing with rope. We have all seen rope baskets before, and I really love the look + feel of them. But I had never thought to sew with rope until I saw Erin's basket and watched the trailer to Nicole Blum's CreativeBug class. "Yes, I can!" I said, and onto the shortlist it went. Fast forward to this past weekend when I was at the hardware store picking up clamps and wood glue to repair the dollhouse. I spotted clotheslines in an unassuming bin and picked up one.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2013 at Make Something Special
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After many months gathering dust in our garage, many years accumulating cobwebs in a secret closet-behind-a-closet under the eaves at my folks' house, and many decades since having been played with by anyone at all, we made a space for my old dollhouse in our home. This was a gift to me from my grandparents when I was about 7 or 8 years old, so this seems like a really great time to hand it down to our own 8-year-olds. It is interesting to see how they interact with it, their playmobil figures intermingling with the original handcrafted furnishings; vintage... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2013 at Make Something Special
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About a year ago I stopped into a great local shop/artist studio (Three Home) and happened upon a pair of vintage Overman Pod Chairs. At the time, the first floor of our house was completely torn up as we were just in the infancy of renovations. A major part of that project involved reconfiguring the first floor of our home. What was once an underutilized living room is now our everyday dining space (and our craft + homework room). The small space that was once our overcrowded kitchen is now our favorite seating area just off our new open kitchen... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2013 at Make Something Special
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This summer we spent quite a bit of time down at the lake. Looking through photos from the past few months leaves me with such a feeling of fullness. I am happy to have been present for their big events - like the deep water swim test, impromptu beach parties to celebrate Ice Cream Friday, catching fireflies, oohing and ahhing over sunsets and glowing moons. My contentment is in being there, noticing when they notice. Even though my role is becoming less hands-on and more guide + stand-by as our children grow up, I love that these are moments we... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2013 at Make Something Special
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For a foolproof way to prepare asparagus, all you need remember is the letter B: BREAK the stalks to remove the woody/fibrous ends (save those for soup) BLANCH in boiling water for just a few minutes (shock in ice water after) BLOT with a towel to remove excess water BUNDLE into reasonable portions BLANKET with prosciutto BITE BE HAPPY That's it. Simple and delicious, these bundles are terrific as an appetizer, side dish, or after school snack. And a winner every time. xoxo Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2013 at Make Something Special
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Like many of you, I have a lot of knitting needles. There are the flexible ones I learned to knit on in Germany; the straight ones I inherited from my Nana; the crazy thin sock needles my Mom gave me; the pretty Brittanys and Rosewood needles received in swaps; and the set of Addi Turbo Clicks I bought with birthday money a few years back. Added to that inventory are all the others purchased here and there, because when you have many things on the needles, you just never know... and well, let's just say knitters never have enough knitting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at Make Something Special
DS knows her stuff. Lovely fabrics which you'll make into something even lovelier, I am certain. Enjoy your weekend, Erin! xoxo
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2013 on I wasn't going to... at house on hill road
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My husband occasionally leaves sections of the paper out for me after having read it the night before. Such was the case last week when I discovered, next to the coffeemaker one morning, a terrific article in the paper about The Cleveland Flea - he really gets me. I know of dozens of great resale, thrift and vintage shops in Northeast Ohio (and there are most certainly twice as many that I have yet to discover). But the one thing that has been missing is a decent monthly flea market in the area. The newspaper article showed great promise, so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Make Something Special
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: lots of chunky cowls : booties for a friend pregnant with baby #3 : a birthday Clapotis for my mom four years overdue (I'm working on it!) : more and more legwarmers for my girls who love accessories There is something about Autumn that has me itching to knit. I really enjoy simple projects that can be easily tossed into a bag for on-the-go knitting as well as quickly picked up when I have some time to relax at home. I have a new pattern to share in the month ahead, and am also looking forward to projects for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at Make Something Special
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I learned to make meatball subs at a friend's apartment back in college. She taught me this trick of stuffing cubes of mozzarella inside the raw meatballs before frying them up on the stove. When they were done, you would bite into this thing and cheese would just ooze out. So so very good. Over the years I have tried to make them that way, but somehow the cheese would always sneak out during baking and when you bite into them all you are left with is a cavern of disappointment where the cheese once was. I think it was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at Make Something Special