Thursday, April 14, 2011

Technical difficulties

My not-so-old laptop has decided to up and die on me. The data should be safe, thank goodness, but I can't use it at all. If possible, I'll continue to update from Hubby's desktop computer, but posting frequency and quality will suffer until I have a computer of my own again. So sorry friends!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Doctor Who TARDIS coffee cozy

We’ve been making an effort to save money and the environment here at Nerd HQ. (Okay, mostly money, but the environmental impact is a great bonus.) Hubby takes a cup of coffee to work every day, and for a long time we relied mostly on disposable travel cups. We had re-usable mugs, but since they had to be hand washed they frustrated me. These new dishwasher safe travel mugs are exactly what The Doctor ordered. (Hah)

One problem… they don’t hold the heat especially well. They definitely needed a little help, so I knit this cozy using a pattern found on Ravelry. Originally it was meant to be a sock, but by only knitting the leg portion I had a perfectly sized coffee sleeve.


This was my first time knitting any color work, and it was a great challenge. I think it turned out really well!


Now Hubby has a little bit of nerdy goodness to wake him up in the morning.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Amigurumi Tea Cakes

I went all-out on my daughter’s Easter basket this year. She is finally old enough to get excited about gifts and new toys! I bought a cute little tea set, but no tea party is complete without delicate little snacks, so I crocheted up some precious cakes from acrylic yarn I already had in my stash. All four of them were finished in two days.



The shortcake with three strawberries was made from a pattern by Norma Lynn Hood, except that I closed the bottom since I was stuffing the cake instead of inserting a sachet. I made the bodies of the other three cakes from the same pattern with embellishments of my own creation.

The offspring LOVES them, so I don’t think they’re making it into the Easter basket, but they will still go wonderfully with her tea set.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lego Belt Buckle

I don’t know what it is about geeks and Legos, but we love them. Why not wear that love on a belt? Like anything Lego, the possibilities for this belt from Delia Creates are unlimited. Go simple like she did. Go crazy with colors. Use specialty pieces for a quirky touch. Everything is better with Lego!

Also, her model/son is adorable!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainbow Yarn Wreath

There is nothing nerdy about rainbows, but that doesn’t stop me from loving them. They’re symbols of hope and beautiful to boot. I could have cried at the perfection of this yarn wreath by Melissa at Real Life, one day at a time. (Okay, maybe I’m just feeling a little dramatic today, but it IS gorgeous!)

I may have to make this beauty for the nook. Everything is better with rainbows!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

DIY Nintendo DS Case

My Blonde Ambitions meant her DS pouches for her kids, but in our house it’s the adults who still play video games. I have a pretty good case for my DS, but I’m still tempted to make one of these because it’s just too cute, and would probably fit into my ever-present project bag much better. Hubby carries his DS in his pocket. Sigh.

Precious and useful, too!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Nerd Shirt

I love Tiff from Making The World Cuter. I’ve featured her adorable felt Mario Play Mat before, and now she (and her mother) have tickled my nerdy fancy again. When I found out I was having a girl, people all around were excited about cute little girl clothes. Ruffles and bows are undoubtedly fun, but I’ll be just as thrilled if I ever get to dress a little boy in geeky gear like this Suspender Onesie!

You’ll have to hop over to see her adorable son in another version. He’s worth seeing whether you want to make the shirt or not!


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Little Organizing and Some Thoughts

My kitchen is a struggle for me. In some ways, it is fantastic. It’s large with beautiful cabinets and new laminate flooring. The appliances are new, too. On the other hand, it has no pantry, limited counter space, and no coherent organizing. There are pots and pans in four different cabinets! One of these days I need to unpack all of the cabinets and re-organize completely. For now I’m working on the small things.


This used to be my silverware drawer. In our last apartment we had very small drawers so I had to get a very small silverware tray and combine all the fork and spoon sizes. We now have wonderful, wide drawers. With so much empty space around the very small tray, things just got tossed into the drawer.


When I spotted these modular trays on clearance at Target, I knew I had to have them. I finally have a place for everything! Even the “junk” utensils that hubby packs in his lunch are tamed. Apparently, hubby was just as bothered by the messy drawer as I was. When I showed him my work, he exclaimed, “The spoons are divided by size!” It’s the little things that make me proud.


There is no “before” picture of my dish drying rack, because its exit was very… impulsive. As in, I got really angry and threw it away. It was one of those in-sink baskets, and it was completely non-functional for us. It was white so it showed every speck of dirt. Clean dishes were always getting splashed by water or bits of food forcing me to clean them again. I had to move it any time I needed to clean the sink. Worst of all, one or the other of us was always setting dirty dishes in it- yes, I was as guilty of this as my husband, because I just gave up. Even though I had to sacrifice counter space, I am so much happier with my new drying rack. My dishes and my sink are clean!

Now, as for my lack of posts lately…

I’ve mentioned before, briefly, that I have fibromyalgia. I have good days and bad days, and sometimes they turn into bad weeks. I am handling life a lot better than I used to, but some days I feel as if it doesn’t show. This is mostly because I have more on my plate with a toddler to take care of. Naturally, I don’t finish a lot of craft projects during bad times. It takes all my energy just to maintain the basics.

I would love to feature other crafters during these spells, but I want to keep these features relevant to my tastes and interests- in short, mostly nerdy. I’m still learning how to dig through the internet to find these kind of projects, and trying to decide whether I would prefer to feature only blogs or if I am willing to link to places like Etsy, Ravelry and Craftster. I also want to make sure that I don’t just echo Geek Crafts! For now, I will keep refining my searching skills. So excuse the growing pains. I’m doing my best.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

Late February and early March are very busy when you are part of a Speech & Debate family. Hubby dearest started his student teaching under my father just in time to get thrown into the district tournament that we host. It means we went from having him done with class and home by the early afternoons, to working late into the evening with hardly a break for dinner. But let’s be honest here, he and I would have been volunteering to help even if he was not student teaching. Last year we brought along the three-month-old offspring and helped. Now that she has the ability to run around under her own power, it was both easier and harder, but we survived.

Immediately after we finished that hullaballoo, the little one got sick again, and was still sick when hubby had to leave for two days on yet another tournament trip. Now he’s home and she’s finally getting well, but I’m under the weather. I might have caught the bug that has been going around, but it could just as easily be sheer exhaustion from the stress of the last couple of weeks. I’m not good under pressure.

So, with all that going on I feel lucky that my house only looks like a tornado hit it and not a hurricane. I have been fighting the tide in an attempt to have a better organized kitchen, and I did succeed in revamping my silverware drawer and sink area, which I plan to write about soon.

In crafting news, I have to admit that I have failed in my stash bust resolution. Yarn is my weakness, and I completely caved when I found Palette Yarn.

It’s a fingering-weight yarn that comes in pretty much every color you can imagine. I love small, quick projects like doll clothes and kids’ hats so I am always looking for fine yarns, but Walmart is pretty much limited to baby yarns in pastel shades. Boring! I’m in love with the beautiful bold colors of Palette. I’m not admitting how much I have already bought, but I will admit that I now want every color.

In celebration of my yarn addiction, I decided to take up knitting again. I used to knit in high school, and I was delighted to discover that I still remembered how. I’ve made it my goal to learn how to knit in the round. I’m envisioning rainbow-hued wrist warmers made from my awesome Palette yarn. I love a new challenge!

Hopefully I’ll recover from this yucky bug quickly, because I am so ready to get back into routine with everyone healthy and happy. In the meantime, at least I have yarn.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Yarn Organizing

The offspring has been sick this week. She’s demanding at the best of times, and when she’s sick she doesn’t let me out of arm’s reach, so very little has been done around Nerd HQ the last few days. One thing I can do while pinned down beneath a sleeping toddler is plan, so plan I have.

One of the biggest organizing challenges in the Nook is going to be my piles and piles of yarn. I love yarn, and I consider crochet to be my favorite hobby, so most of the stash isn’t going anywhere. The biggest problem I have is that I prefer to make small-scale projects. Amigurumi and doll clothes don’t take very much yarn and most of my stash is comprised of partially used skeins. They love to tangle into one another and I can’t count how many times I have dug into my stash only to find one huge knot. Priority number one is to store the yarns tangle-free, and anything else is a bonus!

With that in mind, I’ll be tackling the stash with a box of gallon-size zip top bags in hand. I’m a rainbow lover so I do wish I had a reason to organize my yarn by color, but instead I’ll be organizing by weight and texture. I’m not a fiber enthusiast so I don’t have any fancy materials. I believe they are all acrylic and cotton, but honestly I haven’t the slightest idea. Is that bad?

The baggies of yarn will go into four Basic Stack Baskets from The Container Store. I hope it’s enough! The nice thing about a system like this is that I can add on to it over time if I have to. I’m also very excited about the cute colors. I got two Kiwi Green and two Nova Blue, because I couldn’t pick. If they had more colors to choose from I might have gotten all four different.

I’m itching to get my yarn organization set up. My yarn stash has NEVER been organized, and it will feel like such a huge accomplishment if I can get it done!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steampunk Insects

I know I promised to be back yesterday, but I’ve got a sick little one on my hands. I’ll have photos of my Steampunk costume for your enjoyment soon, in the meantime I have other brassy creations to share.

Arthrobots are gorgeous insect sculptures made by Tom Hardwidge. I normally wouldn’t consider such sculptures “crafts”, but they come to life on Tom’s dining room table so I do feel a kinship there!

Be sure to check out the full gallery- each piece is gorgeous and unique.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whoops, sorry…

I let time get away from me and forgot to post anything. I’ve been hard at work preparing for something very nerdy indeed.



Planning, packing, and even crafting have been involved. I plan on wearing a Steampunk costume, so it has been hard work and I let it get right down to the wire. I’ll certainly have something to post about when I get back, detailing the work on the costume and maybe sharing some exploits if the mood hits me.

See you Monday!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Come vote!

My patchwork desk was nominated for a Best in Show award at LambAround this week! You should have a look and vote for your favorite- even if it’s not me.


Thanks for the love!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Faux Fuse Charm by Ink Stains

I’m completely enamored with all things Steampunk right now, but the vintage bits to pull the look off can really add up. Roni at Ink Stains came up with a way to recreate the look of a vintage fuse for a lot less, out of materials you’d find in any jewelry maker’s stash.

Isn’t it darling? Take a moment to guess what she used for glass, then hop over to the tutorial to see the step-by-step process. You’ll be amazed!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Desk Is Done!

Last night I put the final layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat on the desk, and I love it even more than I thought I would. The Hard Coat gives such a nice satin finish that it really feels like a desk should! I can run my hands over the surface and not feel the seams of the paper patches at all. I’ve been enamored with my desk all morning. I couldn’t resist staging it, even though I haven’t finished all of my storage containers yet, and snapping a few dozen pictures.


The whole thing. It’s not perfectly organized, and it never will be. I thrive on a little bit of chaos, it keeps my brain working.


I’m going to make a “mug rug” to protect my hard work from my coffee, but for now an extra placemat will do.


Mod Podge Corner. I’m on the hunt for the perfect little piece of artwork to put on the upright.


Still love Yoda. See those boxes? Their lids are painted with homemade teal chalkboard paint!


Probably my favorite part of the desk.


Chalkboard label containers in their home. The rainbow stripes fit right in! (Ignore the spill-over kitchen storage below.)


I am in love with the details. Is it self-centered to say that about something I made?


My seat. It’s an awesome view, if I do say so myself.


Faith + Hope + Love + Coffee!

I’m excited to be in my crafting space with this bright and beautiful desk to work on. It makes me smile, and it will look even better when the details come together. Now I just have to tackle this:


And the Nook will be a dream come true!


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