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Boulevard Designs - Just another WordPress weblog » Life at the Boulevard
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creations about us shop
January 24th, 2009

Snap Press


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Button Press - 1/2 Fun Buttons

OK, we bought this button press a while back. It was a joint purchase between Swing Des Moines and Wallypop. I made up a bunch of super fun pin-up pins and cute little swing dance-related phrase pins and magnets (like “Lindy Babe” or “Fancy a Shag?”). We made lots of Swing Des Moines logo pins.

I’ve made Due Date pins that sell well at baby fairs.

When I go to craft fairs, I take along a little box of pins with astrological signs, sheet music, and a few other things.

But these have been fun. I bought a bunch of children’s books that were in really bad shape at a used book sale this fall. Goodnight Moon. Winnie the Pooh. Lilo and Stitch. Snow White. and this Scooby Doo comic book. And I made pins and magnets out of them. Wally was a little sad at cutting up the books.  We had to keep Frosty the Snowman for him.

But once the pins were all cut out, he went to town making the buttons. Wally LOVES the button maker. And he’s gotten stronger since the last time we got the maker out - he can actually do the handle all by himself now.

Anyway, these book ones are headed for Etsy over the course of the next week or so.

January 22nd, 2009

Natural Parenting Fiber Artists


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Knitting - 1/19

For a while, there has been an informal group of my friends who knit and they would get together every once in a while. I didn’t join them, as they met on a night I had to teach classes. Then, a few months ago, the group got much larger, took on a new name, and started meeting at a time I could go!

Natural Parenting Fiber Artists - largely a group of women who circulate in the same circles I do - Holistic Moms, Cloth Diapering, Babywearing, LLL, etc.

It’s super fun, gives us a chance to craft and talk birth, breasts, babies, husbands, and things completely unrelated. (As if we don’t all have plenty of opportunity to discuss said topics anyway…) Knitting Night is close up there to ICAN night in terms of Nights Away From My Family That I Really Look Forward To!

December 9th, 2008

Giving Handmade


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Christmas Tree

This year, as with most years, I am making most of our Christmas presents. This year, only about 50% of the gifts are homemade - what with the baby and all, I just didn’t have time/energy to go all homemade.

And this year, as with most years, I’m anticipating some inward eyerolling, some polite commenting about the handiwork, and some behind-my-back complaining about the lame presents. Personally, I’d love to receive something like a bag full of handmade, fragrant bath products. Or a full set of seasonal pillowcases. Or some knitted washcloths and handmade soaps. Or a few Tshirts personalized with appliques or stencils.

My friends, for the most part, are quite appreciative. Most of them are either crafty themselves, or at least appreciate handcrafts. Family, on the other hand… not so much. When cleaning out my mom’s house, I found the last four years of Christmas presents from me stashed away in various closets, unopened. (She had even told me how much she loved the bath salts and lip balm. liar.) My husband’s family is just simply accustomed to a more materialistic holiday, and lack an appreciation for the handmade, locally produced, etc. (They laugh at our organic produce, too.)

And yet, every year, I put time, effort, and materials into creating things I think they will enjoy.

Many crafty folk face the same dilemma. Is it, ultimately, worth the effort, time, and expense to create handmade items for people who will not truly appreciate them? Is it better to instead just buy something for those who would rather receive (or who are accustomed to receiving) more material things?

Personally, I will continue to give handmade items, even to those who do not necessarily look kindly upon homemade presents. First, it is much more affordable. Something that costs me $10 in materials and several hours of work will look like “more” of a gift than something I’m able to buy for $10. Second, I feel like it’s my mission to convert family to a simpler version of Christmas. And we’re making progress there. Slow but sure progress. We give handmade not just because I can sew, but because it supports our family’s vision of what Christmas should be like.

Other crafters come to different decisions, and that’s fine. I understand the desire to not spend so much time and effort on making things that will spend their lives stuffed in a closet!!

November 18th, 2008

Life Here On the Boulevard


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In case you’re wondering what’s going on from a business standpoint, I continue to list a few new items every week at the Etsy shop. Mostly totes, some tie dye, baby shoes, baby leg warmers, and some soaps.

I’m not really making any new items for the store right now, I’m spending any crafting time I do have finishing up Christmas presents, and then I’ll focus on restocking Wallypop!

W's new scarf

On a more personal note, I finished up a new winter scarf for Wally last week. He really likes it, and I hope it helps him to feel special during this time when he’s feeling a bit left out and unimportant. And he is absolutely NOT going to look at me taking a picture of him in his scarf. And he’s not going to smile, either. So there.

November 6th, 2008

And she’s here!


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DSC_0850

My computer broke the day I began labor, so I’ve been a bit slow in updating, but our baby girl is here! October 29, 4:01 am, 6 lb 3 oz, 20.75 inches long. Born at home in the dark. Labor and delivery was not at all what I pictured/anticipated, but it was wonderful nonetheless (except the vomiting, which does happen to some women). We named her Genevieve.

Sweet babe Sweet babe

I’m doing great, Wally’s thrilled to have a little sister, and daddy’s quite smitten with the little one. Genevieve is pretty sleepy but a good nurser. She hates diapers and, when awake, always has this vaguely confused “what on earth is happening” expression on her face.

September 12th, 2008

My giant belly


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Though people keep telling me how very small I am (which is ANNOYING!!!), I personally feel that I have a fairly large belly. I can’t remember how far I am, but I’m due at the end of October, so about a month and a half away.

Belly at 8 months

 (cross-posted at Wallypoppers, Boulevard Designs, and my personal blog.)

July 30th, 2008

Vacation


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Beach

Knitting at the Beach

Knitting at the Beach

Knitting at the Beach

May 1st, 2008

Garden


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Herbs

We spent some time working outdoors yesterday morning - it was warmish but on the cool side, so as we worked, we were just the right temperature. Wally found some worms (five of which are happily - so far - living in the house) while I raked leaves. We didn’t have a chance to get rid of the leaves on the sidewalk before winter, and so over the winter, they gradually became this slimy thick mess along the edges of the sidewalk - gross. I also raked the leaves off the herb garden to get it ready for spring - I usually cover the herb garden with leaves in the fall to help prevent runoff when the snow melts.

Herbs

Herbs

March 2nd, 2008

Yes, another post whining about the weather.


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Trees on Kingman Side

This is the time of year that I start to really, really despise the four lovely seasons we experience here in Iowa. Snow is really pretty. Magical, even. It softens noises, it falls so silently, it’s sparkly and clean. It’s wonderful to walk in.

For about 10 minutes here in the city. Then it turns into nasty brown slush, watery and icy. The sidewalks become nearly fatally slick. Everything just looks dead and pathetic. By the end of February, the place is just downright depressing.

It was in the 60s today. It’s supposed to snow 6 inches overnight. hrumph. I’m SO READY for a new season.

February 25th, 2008

I don’t know about you, but…


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Winter

I’m completely sick of winter. We had a decent fall, weather-wise, but it seems that since December, we’ve been stuck in this cycle of snow, cold, snow, cold. It hasn’t been above freezing for weeks and we get new snow every few days.

I’d love to play outside, but at these temps, I can’t even muster up the courage to run errands!