Tag Archives: friends

Gifties: Lotsa Love

19 Dec

Here are a few cute things I’ve crocheted for loved ones this year!

Love Cupcake for Kristen

This cupcake was part of a wedding shower gift for my lovely friend Kristen! She’s excellent at making fabulous baked goods, and I couldn’t resist making this little cutie to go with my baking-themed gift.

I used this Mini-Bite Cupcake pattern by Dena Stelly for the cupcake shape, and added a few of my own flourishes.

Since this was part of a wedding gift, I made these little hearts for the cupcake decoration. If this were a real cupcake, these hearts would be little candy conversation hearts, yum.

The little face! This is one of my first attempts at using yarn for the eyes instead of black safety eyes. I thought the black eyes wouldn’t show up as well, plus if this were a real cupcake, I envision the eyes as little daubs of vanilla frosting, yum.

Beet for Sara

My sis Sara loooooves vegetables, so I made her this little beet as a thank you gift!

I used this Beet pattern by NyanPon for the beet shape (I particularly love how the leaf was done!), and added a little face.

I added a loop of string to the top to turn it in to an ornament for her Christmas tree.

Sara shared this pic of the beet on her tree, chillin’ with some glass vegetable ornaments. This little guy sure found the perfect home!

Star Tree Topper for Shelley and Bob

My friends Shell and Bob moved in to a beautiful new home, and they wanted a cute star topper for their Christmas tree. I had to make sure it was large enough for their big, classic tree!

Luckily, I found this Star Stuffie pattern by April Draven, which proved to make the perfect size star for their tree, and I added a smirky smiley face.

I also added a little crochet band to the back of the star so it can stay in place on top of the tree. This lighting makes it look like this little guy has cellulite, haha! I’m not judging; pudgy is cute!

I have lots more to post, but I’m running behind because I’m in the throws of Holiday Crafting! But I hope to be with-it enough to post a little more this week. Til then!


Gifties: Underwater Starghan!

13 Sep

One of my other summer projects has been to crochet this baby blankie for my friends Mike and Ricki’s new baby!

An Underwater Starghan for Cash Sinclair!

I used a free pattern by Yarndiva, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. That’s okay, because the pattern was confusing! Which led to this project getting pretty frustrating. I had to re-do it at least 4 times. But I thought a star afghan would be awesome for Cash’s underwater-themed room, so I forced myself to finish it.

But after all that hard work, it ended up, like, not laying flat? But the photos in the pattern show a perfect little flat crocheted star! Whaaaaa…?

Argh! No matter what I do, it just doesn't lay flat!

Oh check it: If you plop it on a carpeted surface and smoosh it down, static electricity keeps it down. But hey, that's cheating!

If I had known that this blanket would behave so unruly, I would have made something else. At the time, I was also working on wedding stuff and other projects (on top of an insane work load at work), so a little less frustration would have been welcomed.

But hey, in the end, I just say it’s “underwater” which explains why it’s wiggly!

I do think it came out pretty cute. I used an assortment of Lion Brand Cotton Ease in lovely “underwater” colors.

Love these blue shades, with the pop of green!

Cash & Co. live in Austin, so a baby blankie’s not really a necessity down there. But I think it works well as a decoration, plus if they do use it, it’s made out of a cotton blend. And cotton is awesomely breathable and keeps you not-sweaty, so it’s great for warm weather babies. And it makes for a decently rough-and-tumble blankie that you can easily machine wash. I love using Cotton Ease for summer baby blankets.

Cash, I hope you’re digging it, little buddy!

Wedding Part Four: DJs on the Dance Floor

9 Sep

Another way Tim and I wanted to personalize our wedding was to have our favorite tunes during the wedding bash! We both love music, and our tastes include tunes from different eras; so we thought our musical choices not only reflected our unique tastes, but also lent a sort of “timeless” quality that worked well with the old-time-y museum we got married in. Current meets classic, like getting married in 2011 among cool old machinery from the early 1900’s!

We especially wanted to share some of the really special-to-us songs with our guests, so we included this little section on the back of the wedding program.

Coming up with the playlist for the evening was really fun! It was also challenging in that we knew the acoustics weren’t going to be great in the giant museum, so there was some stuff that would just sound terrible (I had originally been entertaining the idea of using this song as our Processional music and this song, sans the intro, as our Entrance music. Also, we couldn’t play anything remotely jangle-y. Sorry Josef K! Sorry MBV!)

To help save on money, we also decided to DJ and emcee ourselves. We’re so lucky that our wedding party was up for helping us out with this! Bill (audio guru) helped us set up the equipment, and Sherwin co-emcee’d with Tim. We had lots of help DJ-ing as well. Hooray for awesome friends!!

DJs behind-the-scene. Sorry for drawing arrows all over your pic, Mary! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

Tim during "The Humpty Dance". Check out the emcee mic a'flyin'! (c) Liz Frazier

We were also excited to have my brother/Bridesman John close out the evening with a techno dance party!!

Oh Daddy DJ, please take me to the party... (c) Christine Spiliakos

We had so much music in our arsenal and we were having so much fun that the end of the evening crept up on us, and we didn’t get a chance to play everything! Maybe I’ll make a “Best of Tunes You Never Heard” playlist, haha!

So even though we were psyched to share our fave tunes all evening, it wasn’t all roses. The equipment we rented ended up being… well, shitty. We took a chance on Daddy’s Junky Music on Mass Ave. Hey, it was local and the price was right. Well when we went to pick up the equipment that morning, they didn’t give us the stuff we asked for. Tim ordered specific speakers, but even though he reserved them, they “didn’t have them” that day. And the mixer they gave us only had one clean channel. So obviously no one there checked the equipment before giving it to us. Jerks. So unfortunately it was a little hard to hear the music at some points, and to hear announcements on the mic. I’m sure the acoustics of the room had a lot to do with it too, but dude, when you can’t understand what the two guys who studied Voice and Articulation at college are saying, it’s not just the acoustics! So yeah, Daddy’s stinks. I keep meaning to write them an angry review or something, grrr!!

Because no one could hear him on the mic, Tim had to go to each table to let our guests know they could go up and get food. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

The food was worth that little extra work though. So yummy! Thanks Katie at Clementine Cuisine! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

We still had lots of fun though!! If you’re curious about some of the tunes we played, you can click on the images below to hear ’em!

Processional: Mambo Sun by T. Rex. The Bridal Party and I entered from outside, walked down this ramp, and continued down the rest of the make-shift aisle. My parents were waiting at the end of the ramp, where I met up with them and they walked me down the rest of the way. (c) Forrest Frazier

Recessional: Till the End of the Day by the Kinks. Well, at least it was supposed to be! But due to last-minute changes, it actually kicked off Cocktail Hour.

Entrance song: (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures by The Rezillos. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

First Dance: This Magic Moment by Lou Reed. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Father/Daughter Dance: Isn’t She Lovely by The Idea of North. I love the Stevie Wonder version from when I was a kid so I was thinking about it for our dance, and turns out my Dad was thinking the same thing! But he found this cool funky acapella version. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Mother/Son Dance: My Mother’s Eyes by Frankie Valli. I think this is one of the nicest Mother/Son dance songs. Way to go Tim and Dyanne! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography.

And if you want to take a gander at our entire play list for the evening, we’re up on Hi-Fi Weddings!! This is such a great site. There are tons of wedding blogs out there, and it’s extremely overwhelming when you’re trying to plan a wedding. And a lot of it’s trite, repetitive, and impersonal. So it’s very refreshing to see a wedding-related resource that emphasizes personalizing your wedding through your music choices. Plus they’ve got some great song recommendations to get you inspired! (As soon as I saw the first three songs on this page, I knew I was in love.)

And here are some more snaps for you to enjoy!

Dancing with fabulous friend/officiant Erin! (c) Alex Garrido

Hug it out! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Dance it out! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

One of my fave pics of the evening! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Oh look, Corey Hart stopped by! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

Thanks for folding programs and tying ribbons on all those cookies, Gwen. Now I command you to DANCE! (c) Dyanne Gardiner

I see a man at the back, as a matter of fact, his eyes are red as the sun... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

...And a girl in the corner, let no one ignore her, 'cause she thinks she's the passionate one... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

OH, YEAH! (My least favorite picture of me, but my most favorite time that night.) (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Heehee, this makes me so happy! Stomp it out, Dave! Shake those hips, Dad! (c) Molly King-Smith

And this is just awesome. Sorry Paul! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

**UPDATE: I forgot to mention, my bro-in-law Forrest recommended that we check out the program djay to help us rock out our jams. We don’t know much about DJ-ing for real, but Tim and I really dug this program! If you’re without pro DJ equipment and/or experience, I recommend it.**

All right guys, there’s only one more post after this: Part Five: Outta Time!

And if you missed it, here’s the previous post: Part Three: Sew Crazy!

Wedding Part Three: Sew Crazy

8 Sep

So even though I didn’t make it myself, I still wanna talk about my wedding dress!

I originally got in touch with Karissa Kloss, a publishing colleague, about different ways to potentially bind my hand-made wedding invitation books; Karissa did the well-renowned publishing grad program at Emerson, and she used her trusty sewing skills to help bind several of her final book projects. Karissa also does a lot of sewing on the side, and she’s always making cool dresses for herself for special occasions. At the time, I was having difficulty finding a wedding dress that I liked, and, even though the wedding was quickly approaching, I was at the point of considering going to a tailor and having something custom-made. Though I knew that would most likely not fit in my meager budget, so the reality was that I’d just have to get any old dress, even if I wasn’t in love with it. Whatever, I’d get married in jeans if I had to! It’s just that this day was really special, so before giving up, I was searching every nook and cranny for a cool dress I loved.

Well after awhile, a light finally went off in my head: I actually know someone who knows how to make dresses. And I’d so rather give my money to someone I know rather than a stranger! So one night, after chatting about bookbinding and publishing in general for a bit with Karissa, I sheepishly brought up the idea about custom wedding dresses. And if she would ever consider making a dress for someone that’s not her. And if she would happen to be interested in a custom wedding dress commission from me.

I wasn’t expecting a positive reception to the idea, but I figured I’d give it a shot before I resign myself to plan B. But to my pleasant surprise, she entertained the idea! She immediately started thinking of ways to go about making what I had in mind, and, after a few days of heavy thinking, she agreed to make me a dress!

During my grueling wedding dress search, I realized I wanted an ivory dress, with a simple A-line silhouette, and with no train. Also, it turns out I really like lace. Who knew?? (Only sassy-antique-y lace though.) I was new to a project like this, but thankfully Karissa helped me look at different dress patterns and fabric swatches. We ended up going with this dress pattern (we went with the “B” option, and Karissa used her magic to extended the length), and used this beautiful Radiance Cotton/Silk Poplin in Ivory fabric with this gorgeous Scalloped Lace Fabric in Ivory (it was exactly the lace fabric I was hoping for, and it was on sale!!) for the top layer.

Since the dress was tailor-made to me, I needed to stick around while she made it. I think I hung out at her place a total of three times during thie dress-making process. It was fascinating seeing her genius at work! Here, you can see her doing something you'd never catch me doing: ironing.

Here she is working on the lace overlay for the skirt. She was able to keep the scalloped edge at the bottom, how cool!

Karissa has an adorable cat, Iris, who loves this lace as much as I do.

While Karissa was hard at work, Iris and I were busy hanging out and playing Fruit Ninja.

Here I am trying on my nearly-completed dress for the first time. When I was at David's Bridal a month earlier desperately trying to find a dress, the girl trying on dresses next to me wore a big poofy dress and tiara, and totally had a "bride moment". I think she even hugged the employee that was helping her find dresses (who was also supposed to be helping me at the same time, but she was truly terrible and I later ended up storming out of the store). Well right here is when I had MY "bride moment"!

Also, Karissa made me a surprise wedding shower gift: a matching purse! She used the same materials as the dress, and she created it from a vintage 30's pattern. And the little white piece of lace in the middle is vintage lace from the 20's-30's. Unknowingly, this design happened to echo the design of my shoes. So cool all around!

Boy, I am so lucky that she was up for this challenge! Not only did I have the wedding dress I had been searching for, but I'm super happy that I got to support a local artist too! Also, this was the most comfortable dress I've ever worn.

Karissa posted details about how she made the dress, you can read all about it here!

Seeing Karissa at work inspired me to pursue a long-time goal of mine to take up sewing. I knew I had to start with something small and relatively simple. I found this pattern on how to make a magnetic wrist pin cushion, and after conferring with my friend Melanie (YES Melanie my knitting and crocheting buddy, who also proofread the Wedding Book Invites and helped me assemble them. Now she is my sewing teacher. She’s amazing!!), we both decided that it would be a good project for me to start out with. Plus it would be a handy thing to have in case I ever start making clothes and stuff.

Melanie has a sewing machine, so we made plans to get together a couple of nights after work and make these. She made one for herself first, so I could see how it’s done. Then I made one for me!

Check it out!! I originally bought a couple of different kinds of magnetic sheets so we could trim them to size, but they weren't strong enough. We ended up cutting up a few random magnets that Melanie happened to have on her fridge, which worked well!

Here's what it looks like when it's not on my arm. Not bad for my first-ever completed sewing project, but I definitely need to practice sewing in a straight line.

I had a lot of fun looking at different fabric combos, and I like what I ended up choosing for this project! Melanie provided the velcro. I hadn't seen tan velcro before. I like it.

This is what the outsde of the velcro side looks like.

Okay, so the real reason I made a magnetic pin cushion is that I wanted to make Karissa a thank you present! She knew that I didn’t have a lot in my dress budget, but she still agreed to make my dress. I really appreciate all of her hard work, and I wish I had lots of monies so I could give her more. But I totally don’t. But I still wanted to do something nice to show my gratitude. I remember a few times when working on my dress that she dropped some pins and lamented the fact that she didn’t have a magnetic wrist pin cushion. She also mentioned that even though she makes lots of fun gifts for her friends and loved ones, no one really makes her anything because they figure she makes whatever she wants for herself, but she doesn’t because she’s too busy making stuff for other people.

So, voilà: a magnetic wrist pin cushion for Karissa! After making a practice one for myself, I decided a bigger magnet would be way more helpful. I also decided to place the velcro differently.

It was also fun picking out fabric combos for Karissa. For some reason this color combo reminds me of her. I really like it!

Sewing’s fun! I’m already starting to think about what I’d like to work on for my next project. I hope I get a sewing machine for Christmas!

In case you missed the previous post: Part Two: Close-Up of the Book Invitation

And keep your eyes peeled for the next one: Part Four: DJs on the Dance Floor!

Wedding Part One: Hand-Made, Heartfelt, & Hitched!

6 Sep

Dudes, I got married! This is why I’ve been too busy to post in a regular manner, ‘cuz I was busy making stuff for the Big Day!

It's official: we're legit in the eyes of the law. (c) Forrest Frazier

Before I get in to the fun hand-made stuff, lemme share a bit about our day. Tim and I tied the knot at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, on the exact date of our 10th anniversary. We wanted this day’s meaningfulness to be reflected in everything we did, and we also wanted to include our loved ones in on it too. So our day ended up being the loving result of a group effort: My buddy Karissa agreed to make my dress, and as a surprise she even made a matching purse! My sister Sara did my hair and make up. My sister Amelia made the hair flowers for the bridesmaids. My mom gave me my vintage Weiss Black Diamonds necklace and matching brooch. A design friend made our guest book. Tim and I DJ’ed. We also did the flower arrangements with Sara and my mother-in-law. And so many loved ones offered their help before, during, and after the wedding. We had some pros helping us too: Lisa Rigby Photography did the official (and gorgeous) photography, and Clementine Cuisine provided the phenomenal catering and cake.

Purse and necklace. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Look at how GOOD my hair looks! Sara did the color as well as the style. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Back of the dress with the brooch. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

All of my siblings were in my bridal party: Sara and Amelia were my Bridesmaids, my sister Liz was my Maid of Honor (who was also a VERY patient listener and advice-giver!), and my brother John was not only my Bridesman, but he also closed out the evening with a techno dance party play list (his specialty!). Tim is an only child, but his best pal/“brother” Alex joined him as his Best Man, and his close buds Bill, Dave, and Sherwin joined him as his Groomsmen. Instead of place cards, the groomsmen escorted all of our guests to their tables. Also, Bill helped with the audio set up and DJ’ing, and Sherwin co-emcee’ed with Tim and helped DJ as well.

So not only is our wedding party pretty, but they’re talented and helpful to boot! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

To make our wedding even more personal, Tim and I got each other gifts that we could wear on our wedding day.

Tim got me a beautiful hair fascinator that went perfectly with my dress. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

I got him old-timey diver helmet cufflinks (he scuba dives)... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

...and a Black Watch tartan pocket square to represent his family and symbolize his grandparents, who weren't able to make it to the wedding. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Now for some hand-made goodies! Since it was at a museum, we didn’t really have to decorate, so we just focused on a few big pieces:

For our invitation, we made a book about how we met, how we started dating, and our engagement story. Here's the book cover! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

We both wrote it, and I designed and illustrated it, and set it up to print. We printed and trimmed 'em all at our house. And some friends and I hand-bound them.This is one of my favorite interior spreads. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

But we had to send out Save the Dates first! I designed and illustrated these postcards.

We wrote our wedding program, and I designed, illustrated, and printed it. Tim, along with our fabulous upstairs neighbors, helped fold them. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

You can see the back cover in this lovely photo of Mary! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

For our favors, Tim baked his famous chocolate chip cookies (He made over 300 of them!), and I designed, illustrated, and printed labels for them. A co-worker loved what we were doing and offered to bake a vegan version of the cookies for our vegan guests. Nicole, you rule! And know who also rules? Our upstairs neighbors again, for stuffing delicious cookies in to bags, tying ribbons at the top, and sticking labels on them. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Since we were getting married in an old-timey museum, Tim thought it would be cool if we named all the tables after 19th-century inventors! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

So after extensive research and carefully crafting our inventors list, I hand-made each sign with my trusty Micron pen and colored pencils. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Then I scanned in each illustration, and used them to design the bio cards for each inventor. I took this close-up to show you an example; looks like we kind of forgot what a thesaurus was when we wrote this one, ha!

We wanted our signature cocktail to be old-timey-inspired (since we were in an old-timey museum), and also fun, unique, and delicious. After much research, the Monkey Gland was the obvious choice! If you're 21 or older, try it at home: one part gin (London Dry Gin recommended), one part orange juice, a dash of absinthe, and a dash of raspberry syrup (though grenadine is traditionally used; also, I think our bartender nixed the raspberry syrup, boo). I hand-made this sign with a Micron pen and colored pencils as well. I re-created this set-up my kitchen, mmmmmmmmm.

Also, here’s a snazzy card box. Yowza! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

And some thank you cards, of course! I took this shot late on the night I realized that I wouldn't have time to do three card designs like I originally planned. Booooo.

We did all of this in a few months. Even though I was getting a little insane working on wedding stuff till 3-4am then working at an extremely busy full-time job all day, I love that I got to marry a rad dude, on our 10th anniversary, surrounded by loved ones, and that I got to make some fun stuff that made our special day even more special.

Gooey gooey gee! (c) Liz Frazier

Stay tuned for Part Two: Close-Up of the Book Invitation!

Homestead Gifties: Video Game Goodness

19 Jul

Hey Dudes! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ve been reaaaaaaaaaally busy. But that just means I’ll have more stuff to post, bwa ha ha!

But I’m still reaaaaaaaaaally busy, so until I get my act together, lemme post a quick happy little something!

Remember my Amigurumi Christmas Tree that I love to talk about? Well last Christmas I decided to make it a straight-up Video Game Tree, and I wanted to make Pac-Man and all the little ghosties chasing each other around it!

But guess who ran out of time and didn’t get to make the ghosties? But guess who DID get to make Pac-Man at least! I used this pattern: http://fulloffluff.com/wordpress/2007/04/03/14/ to make him.

Look how cute he is! I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn, even for the eyes (couldn’t/was too lazy to find buttons that would work perfectly).

I think he kind of looks like a Muppet though. It might be the red tongue!

Here he is with his friends.

Here’s a shot of the entire nerd fest!

You may have noticed some awesome not-yarn-y 8-bit things hanging on the tree as well. That’s because when my amazing friend Aimee found out I was making a video game tree, she decided to make these goodies for me:

Yes, these are 8-bit classic video game characters made out of Shrinky Dinks covered in that 60’s plastic bead stuff! I love Aimee so much!! Also she took this photo and I stole it from her!

And in return, I made her this:

It’s a metal slime from her fave, Dragon Quest.

I used this pattern but modified it to make it way smaller: http://arpelia.blogspot.com/2008/03/slime-amigurumi.html. And I totally used Vanna’s Glamour and I think like a C hook. So delicate for a slime, haha!


Homestead: Heartso and Pumpie

10 Nov

Someone needs to start posting in a more timely manner, and that someone is me!!

I’m pretty new to carving pumpkins. My mom so wouldn’t let me near the kitchen stove, let alone carving knives, as a kid, so I think my first real pumpkin carving experience came about at college one year.

Me hanging out with some other art school kids in the lounge.

Me hanging out with some other art school kids in the lounge.


Me with my pumpkin carving contestants: Gourdy, Sick Gourdy, and Sick Pumpky. None of us won. 😦

Last year my boyfriend Tim and I bought a cute little pumpkin together. But due to my laziness and Tim’s vehement un-appreciation of pumpkin guts smell, it just sat in our kitchen until it’s moldy death in mid-November.

This year, Tim’s mom bought us a pumpkin, because we’d both been ill and she wanted to cheer us up. And fortunately, our friends Matt and Diana rescued it from an uncarved moldy fate by inviting us to their place for some wholesome pumpkin carving fun!

Instead of cutting off the top, I carved a big heart in the back and gutted him out that way. It wasnt the brightest idea, but, I saw it through til the end.

Instead of cutting off the top, I carved a big heart in the back and gutted him out that way. It wasn't the brightest idea, but, I saw it through til the end.

It may look like Im being mean to him, but trust me, he likes it.

It may look like I'm being mean to him, but trust me, he likes it.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you... Chrissy! AND HEARTSO!

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you... Chrissy! AND HEARTSO!

Time to light up!

Time to light up!

Heartso tends to make boyfriends look like a pansy. A very very cute pansy. ;D

Heartso tends to make boyfriends look like a pansy. A very very cute pansy. ;D

Matt takes a pic of Pumpie, his delightfully devilish white pumpkin (and Heartsos BFF!).

Matt takes a pic of Pumpie, his delightfully devilish white pumpkin (and Heartso's BFF!).

Heartso and Pumpie model off their new looks in Matt & Dianas fireplace.

Heartso and Pumpie model off their new looks in Matt & Diana's fireplace.

Heres more of an artsy/blurry close-up, for your viewing pleasure.

Here's more of an artsy/blurry close-up, for your viewing pleasure.

Pumpkin Carving Buddies! Matt, Diana, Chrissy, and Tim. (About to gourge on roasted pumpkin seeds, candy corn, and beer!)

Pumpkin Carving Buddies: Matt, Diana, Chrissy, and Tim!

When things look down, just remember that Heartso loves you.

Hey Kids: When things look down, just remember that Heartso loves you.

Unfortunately, the lit tea light burned the inside top of Heartso, which caused his stem to sink in. And 5 days later, all of his insides were black with mold. So, he didn’t make it to Halloween.