Thursday, October 7, 2010

The biggest craft project of my life

So, I didn't take much time to blog this summer. I guess that's pretty typical for summertime. Usually, my knitting takes a backseat. It's too hot. There's no good TV to watch while I work. It's nice outside and we keep busy.

This summer was a different story. There was a LOT of crafting going on. Not just by me either. I had lots of help and lots of support, and together we made lots of lovely accents and necessities for my wedding! I should have taken the time to showcase them here, but I was just a little preoccupied. So please allow me to indulge now!

First off, the invites:

From the outside....

... the front...

and inside.

My momma, grandma, aunt and Shannon worked their fingers to the bone to make these beeeeautiful!

Here are the favors. We picked Skittles, which may have surprised folks, but the colors matched well and... Skittles are yummy.

These M&M favors, complements of my sister-in-law allowed our guests to eat our heads!!


I made jewelery for the bridesmaids. Of course, I forgot to take real pictures... but this is the gist:

We refurbished some old stone columns that Nick had wanted to throw away and used them as our alter, topped with big boston ferns.


My awesome cousin designed, printed and folded lots of programs:




My aunt and mom did my flowers.



Cake by CakeDot

My mom decorated these flip flops for everyone


And finally, these are the table numbers. Each table had coordinates and a location, highlighted on the card.


All together now!

Scrap scarf

It's been a week of clean up and throw out. We got our new bedroom set on Tuesday, and in preparation, decided to get rid of some of the crap in the spare room. Nick cleaned up his Lego and finally threw out his PEZ collection. I de-stashed. I had noticed that my yarn collection was growing out of the two designated boxes, it was time. I finally got rid of all of the nasty acrylic stuff, the tiny odds and ends and the half dozen half finished doilies. It was both sad and refreshing. One of the results of the process was the decision and execution of this little lovely.

(I am referring to the scarf, not the cat)

He is thrilled, I promise.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My panacea

Nick is out of town again. It's my least favorite part about his new job. I am reluctantly getting used to it, and try to enjoy having the house to myself. The first night is always the hardest. The house feels ominous, the cats are usually restless because something is amiss, and I stay up way past my bed time in a feeble attempt to trick myself into falling asleep quickly.

When he is gone, I try to pack my schedule, spending time with my folks or my girl friends. This time though, I wasn't feeling so hot at the start of the week. Monday night, I went to the Mystery Sock class at Temptations because I was afraid if I called off sick, I'd be blacklisted from their in-demand classes. Tuesday, I curled up on the couch, caught up on all of the crappy TV shows Nick doesn't like and felt sorry for my sickly self.

Last night though, I snapped out of it. I realized I only had two more evenings to take advantage of having the house (and the kitchen) to myself. You see, in addition to keeping busy when I'm home alone, I also take the opportunity to eat the foods that he thinks are gross. Last night, it was Drunken Alaskan Crab Legs, steamed broccoli (in our new rice steamer!) and focaccia. So yummy! And tonight, as I typed this, I scarfed down a big bowl of this awesome delight. Neither really made up for having only Simon to snuggle with at night, but it does help just a little.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Been a knitting fool lately. Stress always makes my fingers work faster. Also, I wanted to make socks for my aunt, and the first pair weren't up to par, so I had to churn out an improved pair.

Here's the first pair:

They are nice, but I made the cuff a bit too short...


And round two:

Makes for some happy feet!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I've spent about 10 hours on my quilt so far. It's a lot of work, ironing, measuring, cutting, cursing, sewing, ironing, planning, agonizing, sewing, ironing, etc. I've gotten all of my squares stitched together and the pattern is arranged, I started stitching the pieces together, and somehow jammed my machine!! I fixed it once and it worked for a few goes, but now it is stuck again and I am frustrated. Good thing the yarn came to finish Nick's Xbox scarf, I'm in need of the diversion!

But... here's a sneak peek at my unintentionally Halloween themed quilt. I'm excited to hand stitch the layers. I think it will be therapeutic. (I made my first quilt entirely by hand).

Spring 10 032
Do you see the pattern? I'm going to stitch it out in green and orange thread.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Job!

So, I am finally able to publish the posts I wrote over the past month about the interview process, the nerves and anxiety and excitement.

It didn't help that I was really uncomfortably sick on Friday. I think part of the reason I got sick to begin with had a lot to do with stress. I bought vitamins yesterday and am going to try to take them and get my immune system back in shape!

I put in my two weeks on Friday. I knew that it was going to be sad, and it was. It's going to be a busy couple of weeks, making sure all of my responsibilities are handed off safely and getting through the day to day basics. I still don't quite believe it, to be honest. I have never been at a full time job as long as I've been with my current job. It really does feel like my second home (which is both good and pathetic at the same time). I keep thinking about 4 year phases... high school, college, job! It has been a great experience and I think that I've grown up a lot in my position. I am better at making decisions on my own, I am better at saying "no" when I have to (thank you, sales reps), I am more confident in dealing with people and I think of myself as a grown up finally, instead of a naive kid.

I am nervous about starting all over in a new place. Luckily, the people there have already proven to be kind and interesting. While talking with my future boss, I feel engaged and excited to get my hands dirty. It's going to be intense at first, I think. Two weeks of training and I'm expected to be up and running in 30 days. First and foremost, I have to learn to use a Mac! Yikes! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A new kind of stash!

Craft Stash

My yarn stash has been getting a little out of hand over the past couple of years. I'm usually pretty good at buying for specific purposes and can follow through with what I've started, but that doesn't mean that I'm not left with lots of odds and ends. I have no idea what to do with most of these tiny bits, but I feel confident that inspiration will strike at some point, or that I will need three feet of lime green eyelash yarn for some project or another and then, oh, boy, I am covered!

Now, with the help of ebay, I am running into another kind of problem. Fabric stash! I'll admit, before I even got my sewing machine, I already had a few remnants (illustrated above) from various projects and good deals.

Stash 020
This fabric, for instance, was marked down to less than a dollar per yard and I bought it because the colors matched my old apartment. Now, it happens to match my craft room! What shall I do... curtains? Pillows? A throw? It's kind of stretchy and odd, so it may be a challenge, but I suppose it's better to get practice from it than to leave it balled up in a drawer!

Stash 029
And then, of course since I got the machine, I got some fabric for a large bag I'd like to make at some point...

Stash 017
And, back to the ebay situation... the other night, I got a little bid happy and ended up with 18 new fat corners! For the low, low cost of $24! That's pretty good, as far as I know - they're $2 a pop at JoAnn's!

I've been inspired by Quilt Month on Sew, Mama, Sew. They've posted a lot of great tips for newbs like me! Now, I just have to pick a design and jump in. Maybe I won't have so much of a stash once that's done... maybe.

Stash 009Stash 011
Orange, black and green!

Friday, April 9, 2010

StrengthsFinder 2.0

So, I just took a personality test thing for figuring out how to maximize your strengths. I read through the possible characteristics before I took the test and kind of tried to guess at which I thought I would get. I have to admit, I was really surprised by the results. I'm not sure I 100% agree with all of them, but there are helpful suggestions for each and I can see how all of them can help me strengthen my skills. Anyway... here are my results:

Below are my top five themes of talent, ranked in the order revealed by my responses to the Clifton StrengthsFinder.

How well do you think these themes describe me?


People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.


People who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.


People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.


People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.


People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

To learn more about the Clifton StrengthsFinder and how you can discover your top five themes, visit

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Look what I can do!

Crafts10 010
Oh, Brother!

So, I got a new sewing machine for my birthday and I love it. It's the Brother CS-6000i. It makes me feel a little guilty because the machine basically does everything for me with the push of a button!
Crafts10 013
Start, back up, raise needle

I don't even have to use a foot pedal. I can set it to three different speeds and 60 stitches and it'll even thread the needle for me if I ask it to!

Crafts10 011
Stitch options, so many!

I picked a small project to begin with, just so I could learn my machine. I picked a little goblin from Plush-o-Rama. He's a little rough around the edges (in hindsight, fleece was not the best starter fabric), but I think he's got a certain charm. :)

Crafts10 004
My beloved monster

Once I felt like I had the settings down, I picked up a few fat corners and tried out some bags. The Origami Pouch was an easy little project that really let me experiment with the stitch settings (and work hard on keeping a straight line!). I need to redo the drawstring for the pouch, I just knitted up some i-cord, but it looks kind of chintzy.

Crafts10 006

Here's my latest completed project. It's by far the most difficult sewing project I have taken on, except perhaps for my cherry bag - with zipper pouch. I learned how to add a snap AND pleats! This was made using the Buttercup Bag pattern. I am really happy with this baby, but it is quite small, so I'm not sure if I will ever use it or if it will become a gift for someone littler.

OSU 020
Finished Buttercup bag

OSU 022
Fancy pants pleats

OSU 024
Oh, snap!

OSU 025
And a lip gloss pocket!

So, there we go. I am getting such a kick out of the new machine. I already have my next two projects planned out (a summer bag with handles and a batik quilt). Unfortunately, my knitting projects have taken the back burner. I still have two sat little half completed projects waiting patiently in my drawer....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slippers, finished!

edit: i wrote this in January and neglected my blog for 3 months...

I'd been wanting to make these puppies for quite some time. In fact, I started on them once realized that I didn't actually have enough yarn to make a pair! Got any need for ONE pink, yellow and green house elf slipper, anyone? I didn't really like the color scheme I had started with anyway, so I started anew. I went with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes . I love the color selection and it felts up wonderfully! These slippers were for my momma who also thought the pattern was pretty cool when I posted it, so I hoped they would be a hit.

I really wish I had taken a picture of them pre-felting. Those suckers were HUGE. I was worried that they were still going to be boat-like after the felting. The pattern reassured me, however, that if they were still large after one round in the washer, I could just toss them in again. The pattern did not lead me astray :)

Venue 050
Awkward self-portrait of my foot - it's bad perspective, not freakishly huge ankles!

I was down at my parent's last night and my mom let me borrow these slippers to wear around the house. They're very warm and cozy. She confided that she wore them for a solid week, between Christmas and New Years.

Simon, in a scarf again

I didn't post any of my December creations because mostly they were gifts. I would hate to ruin a surprise! But, I had a very prolific month in knitting and have had to give my poor hands a rest for the past couple of weeks before diving into the next project (Super Cool XBox Scarf for Nick).

This is a scarf I made for Shannon, Wavy Orange (in my case pink) scarf, I hadn't really used Lion's Jiffy yarn before and was thrilled by how fast and easy it worked up. And it's sooo warm! I think she appreciated it much more than my model did. Also, apologies to Shannon for any cat hair left behind :)

Venue 003
The was long enough, I could probably have wrapped the entire cat.

Venue 005
Ooo wavy!