Friday, August 29, 2008


Dear Shayne,

As you know, I've been trying to grow catnip for the past couple of months (false start, second attempt, success, strange black/purple leaves, and harvest.) I finally have... catnip! Yay!

But first, I want to show you what's going on with my plant... there are green leaves growing in the middle of the black ones:
Recovering catnip plant (I hope)

So I guess it's recovering? I hope so. Now, onto the nip!

Here it is once I dried it out:
Dried catnip

Per various instructions online, I put in in a baggie and crunched it up:
Dried catnip

I knew it was good when I left that baggie on the kitchen counter and we heard Kaesea in there grabbing it. He's not allowed on the counters and he's usually very good about that, but I guess it was irresistible. (Which is great!)

I then put it on the Cat Spa. A quick word about the Cat Spa... it is huge and ugly but it is truly the best way for our two cats [who mostly fight] to get along and enjoy catnip simultaneously.

(Also, when they're going at the nip on it, you can sing "Rock the Cat Spa, rock the Cat Spa..." Heh.)

Here is a photo of both cats rocking the Cat Spa:
Cat Spa covered in catnip

We use the Cat Spa frequently and this is the most blissed out we have ever seen them with it -- they really loved this nip!

Here is a blurry photo (they were going nuts, so it was hard to get good photos) of Kaesea looking very blitzed and Biscuit licking the catnip-covered brush:
Kaesea and Biscuit enjoying the nip

A doped-up Biscuit:
Biscuit, out of it.

And, of course, Kaesea:
Kaesea, riding high

A good time was had by all. (Particularly Bill and I -- we were laughing our butts off at these two.) Unfortunately, my first harvest was only worth about one session. But I have more buds out there, so I hope to have more soon.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We have a winner!

Dear Shayne,

Okay... giving stuff away is fun. We definitely need to have a real bona-fide super-duper giveaway this month. Seriously.

The winner of my 3 yards of fabric is...Sew Bee It! Congratulations!

That was kind of tough -- I really wanted everyone to win. But the Random Number Generator does not play favorites and number 3 was the winner.

Sew Be It, email me (onetomatotwo[at]gmail[dot]com) with your address and I'll send you off your loverly fabric.

Everyone else, stay tuned -- we'll be giving more stuff away soon!


Another freebie

Dear Kelly & Readers,

For some reason I got a copy of the Fall issue of Scrapbooking & Beyond magazine. Anyone want it?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Like free craft stuff?

Dear Shayne,

If you or any of our lovely readers like free craft stuff, go check out what Valerie at being crafty is giving away right now. She's moving and she's got a pile of good stuff she's de-stashing.

I shouldn't have, but I did claim something over there. How could I resist a brand-new Stitch-it Kit? You understand.

So go have a look and post a comment or email her with anything you're interested in!


WiP: Memory quilt (hand basting)

Dear Shayne,

I haven't said much lately about this quilt... mostly because I haven't been doing anything with it.

But last weekend, I finally laid it out to hand baste it. I was too lazy to change the lens on my camera when I took this photos, so let's call them "arty," shall we?
Quilt laid out for basting
(You already know what it looks like anyway, right?)

It mostly fit on the dining room table, so that's what I used. Hand basting is incredibly time consuming -- it took me about 5 hours. Wow.
Quilt laid out for basting
(See the lovely afternoon sun? Arty!)

Now I'm ready to start the quilting! I'll post some photos along the way, as that will be something I'm working on for awhile.

After the quilting is done, I still have to do the binding. I'd like to finish by Christmas of this year. Wish me luck!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Does anyone want this fabric?

Dear Shayne,

This post is not technically for you, because I know this fabric is not your style (meaning: it's not pink). It's lovely, but... it's not really my style, either. I bought it for a project that was a gift and I ended up finding something I liked better.

So now I have three (3) yards of a perfectly good, high quality cotton that I can honestly say I'm never going to use. Perhaps someone out there reading this would have use for it?

I bought it at a local quilt shop for around $10/yd, so you know it's good. It's unwashed and we don't smoke.

We do have two cats and a dog, so if you're highly allergic, you might want to think twice. However, this fabric has been living in my "Craft Closet" (also known as "the Black Hole of Craft Doom") (also known as "the reason I am trying to unload supplies I won't use") since I bought it, so it's had very little pet exposure.

(Click on the photos to see them larger.)

It feels really nice. Here you can see the selvage with the manufacturer's info on it. This would be a great backing for a small lap quilt.

(It says "Faye Burgos for Marcus Brothers Textiles, Inc.")

Here's a [slightly blurry -- sorry about that] photo showing my lens cap for scale (lens cap = approx 2 inches):

If you want it, leave a comment on this post. If more than one person comments before, say, Tuesday Aug 26 at 5pm PDT, I'll use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner. Or pick a name out of a hat. Something highly scientific like that.

Sooo... anyone?


PS -- And, yes, I'll ship it anywhere.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I should not want this, but I do!

Dear Shayne,

I can't remember how I got directed to Woodmouse's Esty shop, but I think my point of entry was the sheep. Pretty cute, right?

But then I got to clicking around and I found this darling precious:

Shayne, I should not want that skunk, but I so totally do! Isn't he just the cutest?!

I've been trying to resist buying "stuff," but this guy? Oh, this guy is really calling to me. Must... resist... (Also, must stop clicking on Etsy links. That place is just a giant Field of Temptation! Gah.)


PS -- That photo above is from Woodmouse. Check out her lovely crafty blog and click around in the rest of her shop for more adorableness -- the ghosts! Eep!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More gardening

Dear Shayne,

Are you wondering if we're going to rename this blog "Trans-garden-ental?" Don't worry -- I've still got other crafts up my sleeve. This summer is just the first summer I have tried my hand at gardening (plants usually creep me out, to tell the truth) and it's actually been pretty fun!

First up is my catnip... the leaves are still kind of black on it and I feel bad for that, so I won't post a photo of the plant. But I harvested my little buds and now they're hanging up drying!
Catnip drying
(So exciting!)

Bill's tomato plants have sort of blown out their space and are kind of killing one another out there, but there are still many promising fruits/veggies. The most exciting one is this little pink dude:
Tomato: almost there!

Man... I can almost taste that! There are several other green clusters as well:
Green tomatoes

And look... more:
More green tomatoes

The lavender plants are still doing pretty well. Just had to share this cute little guy I saw hanging out in them yesterday:
Ladybug in the lavender

Can you see him? Here's a close-up:
Ladybug close up

I'm not usually into plants or bugs. Guess I'm a new woman! Well... maybe not. I'd still do the freakout dance if that guy was actually on me.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finished bear

Dear Shayne,

Posts have been a little bit sparse around here this month -- I guess that's the nature of summer, isn't it? It's a good time to drink lemonade instead of crafting. :)

But I have been working on the little bear I told you about. And now he's finished and ready to be shipped off:
Finished bear

His body ended up looking a little bit goofy (especially those lumpy legs...) but I think that his face came out cute.

This bear was made for the Mother Bear Project, which is an organization "dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear." (That's from their site.)

You asked me before if they take sewn bears. They don't mention sewing on their site, so I think they're keeping it to knit and crocheted dudes. Perhaps it's time to dust off your hook? (The pattern is super easy!)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catnip: good news, bad news, good news

Dear Shayne,

First, the good news... we have buds!
In good news...

See those pretty little flowers? In a short time, I'll hack them off and dry them out and the cats will go nuts over them. Yay!

Now, some bad news... see my plant?
My catnip plant is turning black. :(

Do you see what color the leaves are? They're kind of... black. Look more closely:
Close-up of the blackening catnip

I searched and searched the internet for an answer to this problem and I finally decided I had overwatered it. No real reason, except that everyone says the things like sun (it's got sun) and I certainly haven't underwatered it. So I stopped watering it for a few days.

Yesterday, it was drooping and seemed to be gasping for water and saying, "Need... drink... now!" (At this point, I could use a drink myself.) So I gave it some water and it perked right up. But the leaves are still black.

So I was at the library today (yes, that old-fashioned, pre-internet wonder of a thing) and I thought, "Hrm... wonder if any of these here books might have the answer to my problem..."

And the good news? I think one did! I didn't see my exact problem listed, but I saw a similar issue, which was attributed to "too much nitrogen." Turns out that the fertilizer I've been using is very nitrogen rich. Sooo... I'll stop using that and see if my plant returns to being green.

I've always joked about having a "black thumb." Now my plant is turning black and I have fears that it's actually true. Any gardeners out there want to chime in with opinions on this problem? Please do!


Our 300th Post!

Dear Readers,

Yay! This is our 300th post!

(Does that look like a 300? It's supposed to...)

Just about one year ago, we had our 100th post (go ahead and click on that link if you weren't here then -- we did a little self-interview... don't you want to know more about us? Of course you do!)

It took us almost a year to make it to the 100 mark. But in the last year, we've made 200 posts! That's double our first year. Go, us!

We were going to have a giveaway for our 300th post, but we didn't get it together in time. Never fear -- our 2 year Blogiversary is next month and we're going to do a giveaway for that (no, really!) So stay tuned.

Thanks to everyone who has read our blog over the past 300 posts -- it's been great so far and we're looking forward to the next... 300? 400? Who knows! We hope you'll stick around and find out.

Shayne and Kelly

Monday, August 11, 2008

#299 Flickr Thingie

Dear Kelly,

Here's my Flickr thingie! It was really, *really* weird to see how many girls named Shayne are actually out there. (Boys, too!)

1. Shayne, 2. Chocolate, 3. Rockville High School, 4. Magenta, 5. John Mayer, 6. Iced Tea, 7. [Somewhere] Beachy, 8. Brownies, 9. Independently Wealthy, 10. Sam, 11. Silly, 12. Novelty Kitten


P.S. Regarding #8, I swear my favorite dessert is the baked good, not baby chickies!

Friday, August 08, 2008

And now for something sort of different

Dear Shayne,

This is our 298th post. We're coming up on 300!

I've seen this little Flickr game on a few blogs and I thought it would be fun to try it out -- it struck me as kind of crafty, although I don't know why. Maybe it's just fun. I'll do mine for 298 (this post). You do yours for 299 (next post). Then we'll do something exciting (like arrange buttons) for 300.

Ready? Here it is:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image. (You can arrange by "Most relevant," "Most recent," or "Most interesting.")
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you?
12. Your flickr name?

My creation

1. Kelly 2. fries 3. ECHS 4. I like them all 5. David Duchovny 6. coffee 7. Paris 8. carrot cake 9. a good person 10. Bill 11. weird 12. one tomato two

(I had a hard time picking some of these as my "favorite," so I would say a few of these are "among my favorites.")

Your turn!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cupcakes I have knit

Dear Shayne,

I didn't knit any of these cupcakes recently, but I've been thinking of making another one and then I thought, "Hmm... I don't think I've ever posted any of these cupcakes on our blog." So here they are, for you to admire (and desire!)

I used the pattern from the book One Skein.

Here is the first one I made -- it now belongs to my friend Dawn's daughter:
Coconut knitted cupcake
(I like how that yarn on top looks like coconut. Mmmm... coconut.)

This next one I made for a cupcake-themed swap on Craftster. My partner's favorite kind of cupcake was red velvet (also one of my favorites) so that's what I made:
Red velvet knitted cupcake
(You can't tell in the photo, but the "frosting" yarn is sooo soft. I love that yarn.)

And the last one now lives with my friend Jami. Perhaps that's why I thought of these cupcakes -- Jami's birthday is coming up. I sewed beads to the top of this one for "sprinkles," which you can't see too well.
Knitted cupcake w/ sprinkles
(The "frosting" on that one might have been a little small -- that dude kind of looks like a mushroom. Oh, well. Still cute.)

Damn. Now I want a cupcake.

And not a knitted one, either.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Dear Kelly,

The package came today! Thank you so much for sending me Saturday Night Hat by Eugenia Kim as an early birthday present. It's got exactly what I'm looking for, as well as some styles I'd never even considered. You're the best!

Happy birthday to me!


P.S. Thanks also to reader Amy for suggesting this book.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Book review and giveaway at CraftyPod

Dear Shayne,

The ever-awesome Sister Diane is giving away an amazing looking book called Complete Embellishing right now on CraftyPod. She also wrote a great review there that makes me want to run right out and buy the book! (After I find out if I've won, of course.)

I realize that telling you about this reduces my chances of winning, but... how can I help myself? You gotta go check it out. (Before Friday at 6am -- Go! Enter!)


Monday, August 04, 2008

Nearly nip!

Dear Shayne,

Remember the catnip plant I am growing? (Photos of the original tiny plant here and here.) Well, I am getting excited now... look how big it is!
My catnip plant!

Particularly, let's zoom in and get a look at these little buds:
Tiny catnip bud

See that? That's future catnip, baby!


Friday, August 01, 2008


Dear Kelly,

Speaking of hats, I have decided I am a hat person. I've bought a couple and thought I ought to make more myself. I just stopped at Joann and looked through all of the pattern books to no avail.

So where else can I look? I bet you know who sells "hip" patterns online.

I'm off to find my sewing books...