Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Wowee, I can't believe that Christmas is fast approaching! The shop is now 99% closed (my emailable PDF crochet pattern is still available) and I have to tell you as much as I appreciate all of sales this season (THANK YOU!), it's such a relief to not have to go to the post office again for awhile!! :-)

I'm going to be taking a break from Herbst Handmade during and after the the Holidays.... I'm not sure when I'll return. I plan to keep blogging, but I imagine the shop won't be restocked for quite some time. I've got quite a few projects for myself and our house that have been on the back burner for way too long. Also, I've got a growing list of changes I'd like to make in the new year, which are inevitably going to affect the way I work. I think it's going to be good. I just need some time to sort it all out.

We're heading to Ohio for Christmas so the next few days will be filled with last-minute planning, packing and all of the dread that goes along with traveling with a one-year-old during the Holidays. :-P (!)

I wish you all a wonderful, fun -filled Christmas!!!
BTW - The cute ornament at the top of this posting is a gift from my friend and fellow Etsian at Gemmielou. Thanks Gemmie!

Friday, December 7, 2007


So last night I sat down to crochet a little peppermint-striped Holiday monkey (in the shop today). Once I saw how the wide red and white stripes looked I thought.. "hmm,... sailor monkey?..." and then, of course, he just had to have an eyepatch! ;P

If you have my monkey + bear crochet pattern and you want to make a pirate version (and who wouldn't?), here's what I did:

Crocheted eyepatch to fit Lil' Monkey or Bitty Bear:
Using 3.50mm hook, with black yarn, chain 4
Row 1: Starting in 2nd ch from hook, sc 3 across
Row 2: Turn, skip first st, sc in next 2 sts
Row 3: Turn, skip first st, sc in next st. Bind off, leaving a length of yarn for sewing eypatch onto face.

Sew on eyepatch at the point in the pattern when you are sewing/embroidering the rest of the face/features.

Pirate monkey! :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cuppy Cakes!

With a one-year-old, my husband and I are finding that everything we say lately ends in a "y" or "ie" (doggie, birdie, fishy, blankie...etc.) hence the term "cuppy cakes"... It just sounds CUTE doesn't it? :)

And they ARE (cute, that is)! This is a little wool cupcake ornament I made as a thank-you gift for my neighbors.

If you do a Google search for "crochet cupcake pattern" you'll find quite a few different patterns. For mine, I just used the same basic formula that I came up with for the little gingerbread house and added frosting instead of a roof.
I used a 3.50mm hook and only increased rounds to a max of 30 stitches for the base and the frosting. You could probably do the same with any of the free cupcake patterns out there to make a mini ornament size like mine. :-)

Hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nothing much new...

Another busy weekend!

I don't have much to report today, 'cept that Kai is getting sick and I'm trying not to. :-(

Sorry for being so boring...I'm hoping to have something more to share by mid week!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FINALLY...A New Pattern AND My First Giveaway!

I've been trying to find time to work on this crochet pattern for awhile now... well, It's FINALLY in my shop today! Now you can crochet your own Lil' Monkey and Bitty Bear rattle toys. They work up quickly (really!) and are easy enough for a beginner (and hey, I'm always here to help!) These would make supercute stocking stuffers for the little ones in your life.

AND, as a thank you to my blog first giveaway..YAY!
To the first 3 folks who comment, I'll send you your choice of the monkey or the bear pattern FREE. Just let me know in the comments below!

Happy crocheting! :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Addicted... ?

I think I might be addicted to crochet...

A little wool gingerbread house for the tree! Pattern from my imagination. I can invision a whole wooly gingerbread village, can't you?.... (gee, I guess I'd better get to work!)

OH! Also, a new monkey rattle in the shop today! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

b l u e

If you're just checking in on me this week and wondering what the 'color' posts are about, I'm participating in JCHandmade's "week in color" challenge. :)
Today's color is "blue". I have this blue button on my corkboard, and with the Holidays approaching I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of my favorite organizations--- Project Linus.

From thier website the Project Linus mission is " provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”."

I have been a "Project Linus Blanketeer" for the past 5 years. I love that they only accept HANDMADE blankets. Over the years our chapter has received wonderful (and sometimes heartbreaking) letters from children (and parents of the children) who receive our blankets.

If you are not familiar with Project Linus please do look it up! If you are in the U.S. there is likely a chapter in your area. Even if you don't have time to make a blanket, most chapters GLADLY accept yarn, fabric and supplies (crochet hooks, etc) for making blankets.

I LOVE volunteering! If I had the means to volunteer full-time I probably would :). I hope this post about Project Linus will at least inspire a few of you out there to get involved. If you're already involved with a wonderful volunteer organization, write about it on your blog and let me know! I would love to see what you're up to. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

g r e y

I've been dying for an excuse to take a pic of this door in downtown San Jose! I snapped this shot on our walk back from the post office today... :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

o r a n g e

Two posts in one day? I know it's unlike me, but I forgot to mention that I bought a new camera over the weekend.... so I decided to join in JCasa's week in color challenge. Here's my pic of the day.... :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I just couldn't resist ...

A new pair of studio slippers! (Nick and Nora, $12.99 at Target. -- Ginny I thought of you when I spotted these :))

AND, while on the subject of monkies.... I had a request this week for a mini monkey baby rattle. Because of the whole 'new to crochet' thing I struggled with it a bit but finally got him to turn out right (I think). Isn't he cute?!
Hope you are all having a wonderful and productive week!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Making new friends : a true tale from the checkout line at Michael's

It's still hard for me to believe that I was standing in line at Michael's last week when a gal in front of me turned to me and said:
Her: Hi,.... excuse me, ...are you Amy?
Me: Yes. (look of surprise)
Her: I recognize you from your.... BLOG
Me: !!!!!(look of surprise AND confusion, I mean how many people read this really?)
Her: I'm Gemmielou from Etsy.
Me: OMG! You're kidding....

Gemmie and I convo'd about 6 months ago when she first setup her cute shop on Etsy so I knew she lived in San Jose, but we had never met in person. I should probably add that the population of San Jose is about 975,000 people, so the odds of ending up in line behind her at the craft store----pretty slim. Seriously, is that RANDOM or what?!?! What if I had not put those pics of myself on my blog?? I would have stood in line right behind my fellow Etsian without a clue! This totally blows me away.

AND to top it all off, much like myself, Gemmie has an adorable little boy! We had our first playdate with the boys today! And I'm hoping we have many more. Wow. I am so thankful to be a part of such an awesome crafting community and thrilled to have a new crafty friend in 'real life'. :-)

BTW - The adorable handpainted girls at the top of this post are from her shop. SO cute! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Home again...

We're back from our trip to Chicago! We had a fun time hanging out with family and checking out the city.

While we were there I just couldn't resist picking up these handknit finger puppets from Ten Thousand Villages in Evanston.
Oh!... and last night I finished up the 'odd bird' that I started to crochet last week before we left.Thanks to all of the practice I've had making Ana's amis I was able to take a sketch from my sketchbook and turn it into a real toy! I can't believe I just picked up crochet a few weeks ago. What fun! Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement. I cannot believe October is already coming to a close! So many things to do and so little time!........

Monday, October 15, 2007

The lineup...

If you've wondered why I haven't listed any new sewn items in my shop lately... well... it's because I am currently addicted to amigurumi! I know I'll have to put down the crochet hook and get back to sewing soon, but I mean, look how CUTE!

These are all for my little guy. He seems especially fond of the bunny and the frog,... but the lion is my favorite. :)
I bought yarn for the little lion (Patons Shetland Chunky), but the others were all made from leftovers. There is something so satisfying about making something so cute with materials I have on hand.

The patterns are, of course, from Ana Paula's shop on Etsy. They are pretty easy to make and totally addicting (I couldn't resist buying the Pajama Bear pattern over the weekend)! I'm starting to understand how it works and am hoping to make some of my own original crocheted toys sometime soon. Otherwise, I'm planning to get back to the sewing machine next week when we return from our trip to Chicago... stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More free patterns.....

Here's a great link to more FREE amigurumi patterns on the Web. (Mainly crochet patterns but a few knit as well) :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Well, here he is! My first Amigurumi (and my first crochet project!). I used some scraps of Lion's "WoolEase" yarn (I like the yarn but had a TERRIBLE time with splitting) and a bit of hand-spun blue wool for his little sweater.
I think he turned out supercute. :-) Thanks SO MUCH to Ana Paula for posting this free pattern on her blog!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I can't blog right now... too busy TRYING to learn how to crochet.... More to come (I hope!)....

Friday, September 21, 2007


This is Claudia: She's new!.. and will probably be in my shop on Monday. She is almost done but I have to finish stitching up her tummy and add a few other final touches.
Claudia is the first cat stuffie I've made AND the first time I've tried using safety-eyes (I usually make felt or embroidered eyes, like this). I kind of like these little cat eyes though. What do you think?...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I ♥ softies!

I am addicted to softies right now. SOoo fun! I made this little sleeping elephant last week out of a scrap of Marimekko from my stash (I especially love the flower on her butt!).

I just wish I was better at pattern-making. I really want to make a few more 3-D toys (you know, so the elephant could actually stand..).

I was doing some internet research the other night and came across this. The cutest stuffed pig pattern.. with curly tail and all...FREE! I just love it. I am dying to make one of these for Kai. I'll keep you posted and PLEASE let me know if you make one too!

P.S. I just realized that I had my "comments" option turned off. Eek! They should be enabled now, so please do say "hi" if it strikes your fancy :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Did you miss it?...

I did too. Apparently this little guy (Morgen) made the front page of etsy today! I am flattered. Thanks for including my work in your fabulous treasury Earmark! :-)

Friday, September 7, 2007


I mentioned that my mom was visiting recently and re-folded all of my fabric (thanks mom!). My husband thought I should take a picture before I get the chance to undo all of her hard work (hey, I like to spread out so I can see what I'm working on... Is that so wrong?...)
I have a wall of shelves on the right side of my studio. Now that it's all organized I can clearly see that there's LOTS of room for more fabric!! Hmmm.... ;)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This and that....

So I thought I was going to be able to keep up with a post or two a week on my blog--but, alas, no. Oy. I do enjoy writing, but time always seems to slip away from me and I have to admit that my blog is probably at the bottom of my priority list. I'm not even sure if anyone reads this (If you do, I'd love to know!)....

Anyway, I promised a pic or two of my studio awhile back and here it is! Well, the outside anyway... My studio is in the backyard and is totally cute. My husband had been using it as his office when he was working from home and then it started to turn into "the room that collects things" (don't you hate that? Kinda like that 'junk drawer" in the kitchen..) I am going to take some pics inside for next time (I promise). Especially since my mom just came to visit (from NC) and folded ALL of my fabric. Seriously. :)

Oh, while my mom was here I was able to make some headway on a few projects. I don't know if you ever saw this little star toy set in my shop awhile back but I have a handful more coming next week (I just have to finish up the blankies)....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sew Smart

With a little one, these days our car is less than tidy. So I finally ordered an awesome (and oh-so-stylish!) car litter bag from super-crafty Allyson Hill. It's double lined with a removable garbage bag and adjustable strap (to fit on the back of the headrest or shifter knob). What a clever idea!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm back!.. sort of...

Well, I locked my blog awhile back because I was just feeling overwhelmed and it bummed me out to see it just sitting there. I just needed to take a break and try and regroup. THANK YOU to those blog-readers out there who inquired about my absence.

So, here I am again. With Summer coming to an end and back-to-school excitment in the air, I am ready to get back to it... or at least to give it a go anyway. Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year (good thing my last name is "Herbst", eh?) and I have lots of plans for the shop and high hopes for Herbst Handmade in the coming months (I couldn't resist the alliteration :P).

So here's one thing I wanted to show you.. check out these new magnets I just made! You can't really tell by the pic, but they are nice and glossy (and supercute!:)). I am going to send them out as a little 'thank you' gift with every order. What do you think?...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How cute is this?

Baby Herbst chillin' with "S.J. Sharkie".... One step closer to an NHL contract!.. ;)

BTW - Jenn, I am working on that "to-do" list...

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm still crafting...

I might not have updated my shop in awhile, but I've still been plenty busy. I said that I would show you the finished sock monkeys and here they are! (well two of them at least...). This was a custom order for a friend. (and the gardening apron worked out great, Jennifer. Thanks again for your help!)

Besides finishing up that custom order I have been doing a lot of sketching and experimenting. I wanted to wait to show you this but I LOVE it so much that I just have to share!
Well, what do you think?! Inspired by my little 'rag basket' experiment a few weeks ago, I made this sweet rag bag (I didn't weave this one, it's a re-purposed (new) rag rug). I am keeping it for myself because I just love it so much. It seems to go with EVERYTHING...And the flower is a removable brooch!... :)

I would love to make a few for the shop... But then again, I said that about the wristlets too. Oy. So many ideas, so little time!...

Friday, June 15, 2007

LOOK what I got!!!!

A surprise shipment from my mom and grandma in NC!

WOW!! In addition to the buttons, the box is filled with zippers and a few old patterns and odds and ends. I'm going to have fun going through this tonight! .... :)

BTW - does anyone have any tips for cleaning the buttons? Just soap and warm water?...

Monday, June 11, 2007

A NEW addiction?...

Well, I thought I had a problem with FABRIC and then they just had to go and open a Paper Source in San Jose.... Geeeeeeeez.... ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Monkeying around...

I'm just cranking out a few sock monkeys (4) here! Scot (the husband) took the camera to work today so I'll have to wait and take a pic when they're all finished (this is one that I made awhile back). I'll have to admit, the sight of 4 sock monkey torsos, sans appendages, is kind of disturbing anyway ;) Hope you're having a productive day!.....

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I've been working on a bear design for awhile now...

The little Valentine bear (upper photo, far left) was one of my first, made from wool felt and 100% hand-stitched. I made a half-dozen or so of them for the museum store back in March. Totally cute, but boy were they time consuming!

I altered the pattern and tried moving to the sewing machine. My first attempt was "Samantha" (above). She was pretty cute, and ended up in a happy home, but was far more pig-like than bear (not that there's anything wrong with that ;))...

I tweaked the pattern a bit more and came up with the little blue-eyed bear (do you see the family resemblance?). The pattern is SUPER-basic, which is what I like about it. It totally reminds me of the rag dolls my great-grandmother made for me when I was little--just this blocky body and little stick-like arms and legs.


I'm not sure what came over me this weekend but I got my mind set on adding more tweaks to the bear pattern. I started with the last iteration (the blocky bear) and went from there....

and 'Fisk' was born!

I had just enough choco-brown lightweight canvas (leftover from a gardening apron I made for a friend) for his face, arms and feet.

I gave him a snazzy shirt and a pair of denim dungarees. I used woolfelt for the extras (muzzle, and shirt collar) and finished the ensemble with a pair of little pearly buttons. I have a few more tweaks to the pattern, but I love how Fisk turned out!

Hmmm... Now he needs a sister, don't ya think? :)...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

'Craft in America'

Well, I just finished stitching up a couple of batches of (pretend) choco-chip cookies like the ones that were in my shop a week or so ago. I need to make up the plate-pouches, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm usually out in the studio (pics to come!) once the baby goes to bed, but I wanted to do a little handwork inside tonight so I could watch "Craft in America" on PBS. So inspiring. If you haven't seen the series PLEASE do look it up. WOW.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Little Something for Me

I had been meaning to make myself a wristlet clutch for the longest time and finally got around to it this weekend (my husband and son have recently discovered the joys of a looong wagon ride around the neighborhood :)). I'm contemplating making up a couple of these for my shop. I thought I'd give you a peak and see if anyone has any thoughts.

When I bought my machine (it's the Viking Scandanavia 200 - basic computerized- LOVE it!) a couple of months ago I picked up a little guide arm attachment to help with wide parallel stitching and diamond quilting.

This little elephant fabric just looked like it needed a little diamond quilting to me, so I thought I'd put the little arm to use (sorry for the blurry photo). It really works great. All you need to do is mark one 45-degree line...

and then use the guide arm to make the stitches whatever width apart you want (I think it goes up to 3" or so). I did the quilting lines about an inch apart...

I added a wrist handle, some metal hardware, a chocolate brown zipper, a little pink gingham check lining, and VIOLA!

I now have a cute wristlet clutch to toss in my backpack or grab for those quick trips to the bagel shop! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just finished...

Well, I finally finished that baby gift basket I mentioned last time. I thought you might like to take a look. The idea was to have sort of a "jungle theme" for a baby girl. I looked for some modern jungle-y prints (animals?) but absolutely could not find anything that I wanted to work with. There ended up being about 5 different fabrics in this set, but I think they all compliment each other nicely. I tried out some new things this time.... So, here's what's inside: 1 minky blanket, 1 cotton quilted reversible bib, 2 burps (made with DSQ diapers), a set of soft blocks (like the ones in my shop), a pair of woolfelt baby shoes with daisy applique and a little asleep/awake door hanger squeaky toy.

I'm not sure where I got the idea for the toy/door hanger, but I think it turned out really cute. On one side there is a little pink sleepy-faced flower and on the other side a little orange "awake" flower. It's just something cute to hang on the baby's door. I put a little clip on the hanger so you can take the toy off and let the baby play with it. There's also a little squeaker inside. :)