September 29, 2008

Self-Portrait Challenge: Mirrors

I may be a bit late to the game on this one... but I'm joining in on the "self-portrait challenge" over at SPC. I've been looking for different ways to use Ryan's camera and ways to extend my "normal" picture taking... and thought this might be both a fun and productive way to do it. :) We'll see!

Anyway... this week's challenge is mirrors. Inspiration found here.

Enjoy! :)

September 24, 2008

Need a New Purse?

ok... so I don't really need a new purse, but you can never have too many purses, right? Especially if they're for free! sassyfrazz tipped me off to this contest that HandbagPlanet is having to celebrate the launch of their new website. They're giving away 24 purses... one each hour on Oct. 15th. While I typically prefer much more simple bags than these... I found a few that I really liked!

So all you have to do is go to Handbag Planet and enter your email address and first name... choose which bag you want if you win... and you're in the running! Go for it. You've got 24 chances after all :)

September 23, 2008

my love affair with books

My love for books began at an early age -- my mom always says that I simply wanted to keep up with my older sister so badly that I forced myself to learn to read with an "I can do it myself!" attitude. If you ask my husband, I still have that attitude about many things. *ah-hem* :)

Regardless, books have always been my downfall. They're one of the few things that can keep me focused for hours on end and during grade-school summers I could easily go through a book in an afternoon. If there's a sale -- I'm there. If there's a used book store -- I'm there. If there's any chance of a coupon or a discount or anything that guarantees me getting a book for less money that I usually could, I'm there. However... I'm often there regardless of coupons or sales as well! *grin*

So after I got done with helping out my company's booth at the local book fair this past weekend, I had to check out some of the other booths. Used book stores, friends of the library sales, book giveaways. I was in heaven!

I stopped at one book booth that has quickly become my favorite, even though I have yet to visit the actual store. None of their books sell for over $4, including hardly-touched hardback books, and I was able to get 6 books for $21 on Saturday. Their store in a nearby town has many other books on a variety of subjects, and I know it will be a frequent stop of mine!

Here is a sampling of the wonderful abundance I was able to come away with on Saturday.

And the book on top was surely a find. At $1.99, this book has recipes, familiar carols, family activities, easy crafts, and traditional Christmas stories, all in one! And these phenomenal illustrations... wow.

September 22, 2008

this is me!

so, following in Randi's footsteps, I've agreed to post a few pictures of me up here... although with few readers, I guess it doesn't hold as much significance for me :) regardless... here are a few of my favorite pics of me (and my hubby!) from the past few years.

captions of the pictures from top left, clockwise...

-my amazing husband Ryan & I at our first anniversary
-enjoying our last fall break from college in DC with a friend
-at our wedding, hosted in the gorgeous back yard of family friends
-enjoying some time at my favorite place... the beach!  flying a kite on a windy day
-during our honeymoon in Hawaii -- enjoying the view from a restaurant in Kona
-one of our engagement photos taken by the amazing Kara... a good friend from college

if you want to see the pictures closer up, check out my flickr site

enjoy!  :)

September 20, 2008

Cushions, Quilts, & Books, oh my!

I've been trying to limit my crafting to things we can use around the house... mainly so I can justify spending the money on supplies :) In all honesty... the most expensive thing I purchase on a somewhat regular basis isn't fabric -- it's books. I've been trying to find as many as possible at the library, but our library system doesn't seem to have many crafting books... and those that they do have often have 20-30 holds on them already, so it takes several months to get the book in hand... and patience isn't one of my strong points!! :)

So... I've purchased a few books on my own and gotten a few others as gifs. I have a whole "wish list" on Amazon of books that I hope to get in the future as well... we'll see! :) Here's the start of my collection:

Any suggestions of other craft books I "need" to get?

In addition to getting inspiration from books, I love finding tutorials on craft blogs. After going to find cushions for our patio furniture and realizing that since it's the end of summer... there aren't any left in stores... I decided to make my own :) Found this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew and learned a lot of new sewing skills in the process of making these cushions! I put a zipper in for the first time, learned how to make my own piping, and sewed rounded corners. If you look closely (or... not so closely) at the black cushion, you can see that it's a bit more round than square. Better luck next time I suppose :) But they ARE very comfortable and have already gotten a lot of use!

And for Adrienne... a few pictures of my quilt :)

you can find more pictures of the quilt on flickr.

until next time... :)

September 18, 2008

to new beginnings... and old comforts

I think I've always been interested in crafting... but never really knew what direction to take it in or where to learn new things. Inspired by my aunt, I decided in late high school that I would make a quilt. Starting with innumerable blocks measured & cut with a paper pattern and a normal pair of fiskars scissors, I (slowly) created a quilt on my parent's living room floor. With stacks of blocks set aside in stacks whenever they got tired of fabric being strewn about the house, it was a very slow process. About two years later I finished the quilt while home on a Christmas break from college. I finished the back off with an old "flower power" sheet that my mom no longer wanted, and sewed buttons on each navy blue corduroy square to secure it to the batting. It was a HUGE accomplishment for me, and I dragged it across the country back to school, sleeping under it most nights in the dorm. Now, it's losing buttons periodically, but it's still on the back of the couch in our small apartment, ready for easy cuddling on cold nights.

Since then, I've experimented with bags (some of which have been dismal failures!), embroidery, counted cross-stitch and needlepoint which I learned at my grandma's side long ago, Photoshop and Illustrator (i.e. the banner at the top of my site), miniature elf shoes based on this tutorial, and many other handcrafted items. I am now fully sold on the idea of crafting rather than buying... even when I'm yelling at my hand-me-down-still-belongs-to-my-mom sewing machine or stuck on a particularly hard part of putting together a pattern.

I have works-in-progress strewn about the house, which has been driving my dear husband crazy for the last year (although he'd never admit it) and am constantly starting on a new project, regardless of if I've finished my previous ones or not. After reading craft blogs for the past year, I'm starting to think that attribute comes with the territory!

So like my last post said... here I go. I'm committing myself to this blog -- to document what I'm doing, to learn from others, to showcase my creations, and to pursue new avenues. Come along with me and we'll see where these roads take me!

Happy Fall!

September 16, 2008

*deep breath*

well... here I go! I'm officially entering the world of craft blogs, after following many craft blogs over the past year and getting inspiration from many others. It's time for me to start showing what I'm doing and make more friends in this online crafting community. I don't know what all it's going to turn in to, but I'm ready to find out! We'll see what happens. Who's ready to take a ride with me?