November 24, 2008

some people have talents...

...talents which i can only dream about. their brains just think in different ways. for instance... i see thumbtacks as a functional object. one that attaches one item to another with ease. however... they see thumbtacks, and create this:

again... i see yarn... and think of the days ahead in which i'd like to learn how to knit or crochet... normal things, yes? i do not, however, ever envision yarn that forms landscapes like this:

meet Magdalena Bors, an Australian native who is incredibly talented in so many ways. maybe someday my brain will work in this way...

November 18, 2008

sunday stash... two days late...

my sunday stash is on tuesday this week... only because i've been waiting to receive the newest addition to my stash -- Cicada Daydream's new fabric. gorgeous! :)

here are the sets that she's selling at her etsy shop:

November 15, 2008

my progress so far...

here's my weekend progress for my "to dos vs. do-able" list...
  • fold laundry - DONE! laundry folded Thursday night... put away today :)
  • wash sheets - DONE! albeit today...
  • make 5-minute fudge (yummm!) for couples meeting on Friday night - DONE! granted it took two tries... and we're still not sure what happened to the first batch, but it wound up like a very crumbly brownie mixture... which is now the bottom crust of a pumpkin cheesecake which i made today. we have yet to try it... more on that later :)
  • blog once more (which means... tomorrow :)) hmm... anyone interested in a 5-minute fudge recipe? - well... i'm blogging now, aren't i? :)
  • check off my work to-do list (that's a whole other story in & of itself... yikes!) - mostly done :) not quite everything was accomplished... but enough that i felt confident about leaving work & going home without things falling apart between now & monday :)
  • have fun with friends tomorrow night and RELAX! - DONE! had fun... played lots of games... and reconnected with my favorite little guy -- a 17-month-old boy :)
  • sleep in - DONE! :) yay for a lazy morning.
  • figure out what is going in the extended family's Christmas bags this year... - nope... not yet... but i have ideas! one includes the fudge... recipe below :)
  • work on Christmas presents - taking a break from doing that right now... it's been a long afternoon but i've gotten a lot accomplished!
  • buy fabric for another Christmas present & start formulating how i will pull it off... (while working with irreplaceable items... scary thought!) - not yet... that's a project for tomorrow... as is the Santana Row & TSO concert.
  • explore Santana Row in San Jose before attending the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert Sunday night (yayyyyyy!! :))

    well, i might not be accomplishing my "to-dos" on the days that i planned... but at least they're getting accomplished, right? :)

    things are going well, and i'm making significant progress on my Christmas projects, although I'm still thinking that there's no way they can all be accomplished in time -- but I'll keep trying! maybe they can be passed off as new years presents... or chinese new year... :)

    in the meantime, i've made 5-minute fudge... and there are precisely 5 pieces left. it was popular! :) need a quick dessert or treat for a holiday party? here's the recipe:

    5 oz. evaporated milk
    1 2/3 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
    1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Mix evaporated milk, sugar, & salt in saucepan.
    Heat to boiling, then cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly (seriously... constantly... or else it'll boil over within a few seconds)
    Remove from heat
    Add remaining ingredients, stirring to melt chocolate chips & marshmallows
    Enjoy... I know we have! :)

  • November 13, 2008

    to do vs. do-able

    in the spirit of JC Handmade's recent post... and in the spirit of being so overwhelmed with projects that i can't keep track of what day it is, let alone what i'm supposed to be working on next...

    here's my list for the week (since there's no way i can cross everything off a list in a day... and not much chance that i'll get all this done in a week either! :)) here's to trying...

  • fold laundry
  • wash sheets
  • make 5-minute fudge (yummm!) for couples meeting on Friday night

    the rest of the week... (i.e. tomorrow night):
  • blog once more (which means... tomorrow :)) hmm... anyone interested in a 5-minute fudge recipe?
  • check off my work to-do list (that's a whole other story in & of itself... yikes!)
  • have fun with friends tomorrow night and RELAX! :)

    the weekend:
  • sleep in
  • figure out what is going in the extended family's Christmas bags this year...
  • work on Christmas presents
  • buy fabric for another Christmas present & start formulating how i will pull it off... (while working with irreplaceable items... scary thought!)
  • explore Santana Row in San Jose before attending the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert Sunday night (yayyyyyy!! :))

    so there you have it. my wish list (albeit not on Wednesday) for this week is a to-do list! :) and indeed... i wish & hope & pray i can get all of those things done before the week is up & the chaos strikes again!

    in the meantime... i'll leave you with this picture of my cousins and i... enjoying each others company after dinner. have a good day!

  • November 10, 2008

    home again home again...

    a little more tired than when i left (that's what a red-eye flight followed by 4 days of family will do!) but definitely refreshed. it was so good to see my family and visit with cousins who i haven't seen in years, as well as acquaint myself with their little ones. 9 kids 9-years-old and younger... it makes for quite the party!

    my grandparents are doing well -- going strong as always. a little slower perhaps, and a little more inclined to take naps, but still putzing along in their own way. at 89 and 94, with 65 years of marriage under their belt (officially on Wednesday) -- that's quite the feat!

    pictures & more stories to follow... and back to the crafting soon -- including finished pictures of the "black bag project" which grew on me all weekend until i couldn't help but love it :)

    November 5, 2008

    Wednesday Wish List: Thinking Christmas

    yes, i'm jumping the gun a bit, and no, my mom will not be happy with me, Thanksgiving and fall purist that she is :) but... since i've been working on so many Christmas presents lately, it's been on my mind. these aren't necessary "Christmas items" as far as holidays go... but could easily be Christmas gifts for someone in your life... or in mine! :) and true to my handmade pledge... they're all things you can make yourself or buy from another crafty person.

    aprons seem to be making a comeback lately and i've been looking for a nice one myself. too often i get home late from work, rushing to make dinner, and wind up with splashes of juice or potatoes or something else on the front of my pants or skirts. solution? an apron that i can grab quickly and use often, but can also throw in the washing machine to get all the grime out. i found this handy site via How About Orange this morning... where I can take my pick of 54 different gorgeous (and easy!) apron patterns. this lined apron tutorial looks relatively quick & easy... and i love the fabric chosen for it! :) perfect for any time of the year... and with enough color to mask many stains.

    Christmas tree skirts are always a necessity... although at this moment in time, my husband & i aren't sure where we're possibly going to put a Christmas tree... since we rearranged our living room from last year and added more furniture. i guess it's a good thing that i never completed the cross-stitch Christmas tree skirt that i purchased at after-Christmas sales last year, right? except... i never even started it :) it will be gorgeous when it's done, however! :)

    anyways... back to tree skirts. this one has captured my fancy, and luckily... the creator has been generous enough to post a tutorial of it! :) isn't it perfect?

    i'm loving Sew Mama Sew right now... since they're posting collections of Christmas gift ideas this month. so helpful :) this pointer-finger pincushion is perfect for anyone in your family who crafts... especially if they do a lot of quilting or piece-work! there's a tutorial to go along with it as well... (note to self... save this one!)

    well that's all from me for now... i've gotta dash. heading out to kansas tonight to join my dad's side of the family in a celebratory weekend -- my grandparent's 65th wedding anniversary! i'll be back with lots of pictures and stories galore i'm sure. see you all next week!

    November 4, 2008

    The Black Purse Project, Part 1

    so before i get into the tutorial/pictures part of the black purse... let me explain to you what i was (am) looking for out of this purse:

    -something i could comfortably carry my computer inside of so i don't have a large purse plus a computer bag/briefcase
    -something that would easily handle many items (i.e. a book, a sewing project, etc. when i don't have my computer with me)
    -something that would look professional but also be comfortable and practical, not just "look nice"

    easy... right? :)
    i ended up deciding to do something like this:

    given... that page of notes looks nothing like it did then... but it's always nice to start with something like that! for one thing, i changed my seam allowance from 1/2" to 1/4" on a whim. normally, this wouldn't make a difference, but since i didn't apply it consistently, you can imagine that i've had fun trying to finish these last few corners! here are more of my original notes:

    regardless of if my notes stay the same from start to finish of a project, i like to start out with notes on what needs to happen first, etc -- otherwise I'm libel to get lost in the middle of a project and not remember what i'm supposed to do next! it also leads to messes with pieces sewn in places they're not supposed to be.

    which is why... now... i'm stuck with a three-quarters finished purse, which should be easily finished, but instead has a lining that's easily 1" taller than the outer fabric and isn't cooperating. i thought i'd be smart and use it as a make-shift binding in order to take care of the extra fabric from the lining and not add to the discrepancy by having to hem the outer fabric as well. only problem... with the necessary over-lapping at the seams, i now i have lining that is not only too tall, but not long enough. enter a make-shift pleat in the front of the purse, since one on each side allows for the lining to become too long, with no forgivable solution.

    *sigh* now to bed, where i will hopefully dream up the perfect solution and remember it come morning, when i can finish the purse in time for it to serve as a carry-on during my trip to kansas beginning tomorrow night. i'll keep you posted.

    blog post sticky notes...

    if you're anything like me, you're probably scratching your head at this point. or maybe that's just me... a bit overwhelmed by work and in desperate need of an afternoon break (hence... this blogpost! :))

    read it slowly with me... blog post (pause) sticky notes. as in... sticky notes that look like blog posts. check these out:

    according to the website, you can use these to jot down "thoughts and opinions, or track daily events. These sticky notes provide room to "post" comments and links (just underline in blue) and "upload" photos (requires tape)." sounds fun, no? i may just have to give these a try... :)

    November 2, 2008

    sunday stash: where is this from again?

    a sunday stash post on a sunday... aren't you proud of me? granted, it's after 11pm on a sunday night, but it still counts, right? :)

    once again, the weekend ran away from me like a man on fire, but i was able to get a good amount of crafting done. i've been craving a new black purse for some time now... a nice one that could hold a lot but still look professional. you might remember my pining over a gap bag a while back and this weekend i finally decided to try my hand at recreating + improving upon this bag... albiet without handles (you would think that was a slight problem, wouldn't you? after spending several hours measuring, cutting, and fusing interfacing... i decided it was too. more on that later!)

    anyways... i've made quite a bit of progress on the bag, unfortunately leaving a few of my other Christmas projects by the wayside. let's just say it's going to take more than a small miracle to get everything done in time... *sigh* we'll see what happens!

    but on to sunday stash... and the fact that i have no idea where this fabric came from, who designed it, or where i can find it ever again. (hint, if anyone knows... PLEASE let me know in the comments! :))

    have a great beginning to your week, everyone! i'm off to bed for now... more on the black purse later... complete with pictures and my first crack at a tutorial. :)