Making Stuff

I’ve been making stuff since my Mum taught me how to knit when I was seven – I used to love Jean Greenhowe’s designs and at one point I’d knitted most of the scarecrow family.  I also did cross stitch for quite a while; my Grandma bought me a set of intricate designs for each of the four seasons and I did them all over a period of several years.

There hasn’t really been a linear path to my crafting; I just picked up what I needed to know when I needed to know it.  I’m a fairly accomplished knitter but these days I tend to make things I can work on while I’m doing other things – I hate to have idle hands.  I once knitted most of a vest for a client in the dark as Alvin and I drove up to the Lost Coast on a Friday night for our first weekend away together.  I know the basics of crochet, but the terminology is very slightly different in the U.S. from the U.K., and I find it very difficult to ‘translate’ the pattern language.

I made a lot of stuff for our wedding, including a small wedding cake (and 120 cupcakes for the guests); we held them on dry ice for four days during our Hiker Marries Biker extravaganza.  I made the cupcake stand, the table runners (old coffee sacks), favors (granola – the same recipe Carys now makes!), sign-in book, and signage for the event.  I also designed the cupcake wrappers – and my dress…

diy place names wedding

diy wedding table runnerswedding favor granolahomemade wedding cupcake wrappers

My ‘making stuff’ went to a whole new level when we bought our house.  While Alvin was moving us in on our first day, I was in a class learning how to frame walls.  My next project was to break the water heater while I was trying to repair it; we spent a week showering at our kind neighbors’ house until I could get a new one installed.  The contractor I hired taught me some basic plumbing which I put to good use when I stripped the master bathroom to the studs.  When we moved in if you turned on the water it came out of the tub spout, the shower head, and the hand-held nozzle all at once.  The tub spout was held on to the copper pipe coming out of the wall by nothing more than a tiny nut; no modern tub spout will do that so to repair it I had to pull out the ugly cultured marble on the walls, and we figured if we’re doing that we might as well replace the tub as well…  I was pretty pleased with how it came out.

bathroom remodel diydiy bathroom remodel heath ceramicsdiy bathroom remodel sink replace

I also relocated our laundry to a closet in the hallway so we could create our third bedroom; I did all that work myself except the electrical (gotta draw the line somewhere…), hired a contractor to teach me how to install skylights, and built out our bedroom closets.

install skylightslaundry room plumbing diycustom closet buildcustom closet diy

These days I mostly make toys for Carys out of wood and fabric.  I usually have one (or more) projects on the go which drives Alvin a bit crazy because they tend to take over the dining room table with clutter.  I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way, though…

diy homemade wooden beads stacking toy

rocking horse steps rocking boat DIY

Parenting

Hiking

Making Stuff