December 31, 2009

New Books in Store for 2010... and a few resolutions.

I have a few new books to work through in 2010, and for years to come, I'm sure. While I still have plenty of crafting books to work through, I'm also the proud new recipient of Sewing: 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar. It's an awesome calendar that has over 100 sewing patterns and projects to work on throughout the year. Although I'm not sure if it will be possible, seeing as I have a full-time job among a lot of other commitments, I'm making it my goal to complete each of the projects by the end of the year. Given that they aren't super-complicated or complex patterns, I think I'll be able to do it. I just might have a lot of extra Christmas presents for 2010 and many random craft items to sell at next year's craft fair ;)

I'm also looking forward to seeing copies of Applique Your Way: 35 Pretty Projects & Patterns and One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book, both from Chronicle Books. I kept a written journal for years, but lately it's just seemed like another item to check off my list, and I lost my desire to write in it a while back. I'm hoping that participating in the "One Line a Day" book will get me writing for myself again, recording what's going on in my life on a regular basis! We'll see what happens ;)

The applique book should be great as well, since I tried applique for the first time this year, and while the ladybugs stuck well to the pockets, peeling the Wonder Under fabric off didn't go so well :) I made a few dresses for Dani, a precious little 2-year-old girl, and my dear husband was stuck peeling the backs off of the Wonder Under fabric. :) Maybe the book will have a few tips for me to work through that process. Or maybe you, my faithful readers, have a few comments yourself? :)

In any case, I'm really hoping to devote more time to crafting this year, and hopefully by the end of the year, have a more dedicated place to work on my craft projects! Here's to a great new year, and to improving our craft skills all around! I'll share my tips if you share yours :) Happy New Year!

December 28, 2009

craft fairs, Christmas, quilts, and more.

Just because I let the blog go for a little while, doesn't mean by any extreme that I haven't been crafting! I did a few odds and ends things through the summer, and finished my first ever clothing item, which was an exciting feat. I have to say, Chic & Simple Sewing: Skirts, Dresses, Tops, and Jackets for the Modern Seamstress (which that skirt is made from) has to be one of my new favorite books. There are so many patterns for clothing that I would easily pick up in the store this weekend and wear until it's completely worn out! Now I just need the talent to make all of those clothes :)

October brought the idea of participating in my first craft fair, which led to many late nights of making various patchwork coasters and reversible table runners! It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and by the time I finished that weekend, I had agreed to participate in the annual craft fair held at my work as well, which was actually far more successful than my first!

December brought Christmas, which, as I'm sure a lot of you know, means making presents and figuring out what particular presents and fabrics fit which particular people. Fun none-the-less, but a little stressful :) After all, I'm still in the process of working on two different stitcheries that were intended for last Christmas. One of these days they'll get done! ;)

As a result of the Christmas projects and finishing up coaster sets, I have leftover Christmas fabric, which has inspired me to make a Christmas quilt. I'm still debating between a few styles, but I'm excited about the prospects!

In any case, I just wanted to check in and make sure you guys knew that I hadn't completely deserted you! I'm still here, and still crafting as much as ever. Hopefully I'll find the time to be posting here more frequently as well. You're more than welcome to keep me accountable :)

On one closing note, I'm looking to find a book that can act as my "mentor" for sewing questions when I don't have a physical person to turn to. While a book could never replace a real live person, it's a good resource to have around the house as well! So I've found these two books:

  • Complete Photo Guide to Sewing - Revised + Expanded Edition: 1200 Full-Color How-To Photos (Singer)

  • New Complete Guide to Sewing (Readers Digest)

  • Any suggestions from the peanut gallery? If I'm going to spend the money on a book like this, I really want to be sure that I've found the right one, and unfortunately, our library system is closed for a few weeks due to funds, so I don't have anywhere to check these books out in the meantime, since neither of them are at the local bookstores right now. In any case, I'd rather have real-live advice from you guys out there than the few (very contradictory) customer reviews on Amazon. So I'd appreciate any input you can give! Or... if you have another book that seems like a better fit, recommend away :)

    Thanks, friends. Hope to hear from you soon... and I hope that I haven't lost all of you faithful readers during my hiatus from the blog. :) Catch you all later.


    p.s. props to my dad who took the new photo in my banner :) i get my photography skills from him ;)

    June 23, 2009

    to be continued...

    hi guys. sorry for the lack of blogging in the last month & a half. i'm sure i've lost a lot of you readers in the meantime, but for those of you who are still around, waiting for that next post... i figured i owe you a bit of an explanation.

    while i love blogging and love the opportunities this site has brought me over the past few months, i'm going to have to take a step back for a while. i'll be back -- that much i know. this isn't a project that i want to give up on, but with how busy life has gotten lately, i don't have the time to craft like i used to... and even when i do have the time to craft, i don't have the time to post on here, or even keep up on the blogs that i follow.

    so this is just "see you later" for a little while -- until life calms down & i have more time to spend crafting and blogging and following all of you wonderful people on your own adventures :)

    until then...

    May 7, 2009

    away we go...

    Off on vacation so things will be a little bit quiet around here for the next 2 weeks. I'll be sure to come back with pictures & stories & keep plugging away at the giant list of blogging ideas that are rolling around in my brain! :)

    Don't miss me too much ;)

    May 3, 2009

    busy times! also... February craft challenge (finally!)

    I knew that this past week & a half was going to be busy, but a few unexpected things (oh, like buying a car) made it a bit more hectic than I had planned! my best friend bought a new car a few days ago and left a nice car needing a good home. seeing as my car was needing repairs more & more often, we had been thinking about a new car anyways. when the most recent problem (a crack in the rear axle) led to the repairman telling me the there was no rear axle available in the entire continental US, Puerto Rico, or Guam, we knew that something had to be done. so for a decent price, we decided to buy the 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage de Coupe off of my friend... and figure out a way to either sell my car or get the state to buy it back :)

    anyways... in the midst of the busy week i finally managed to get pictures of the newly finished shower curtain (February's craft challenge) and dig out pictures of the fabric basket that I sent off to Bley (March's craft challenge)! So without further ado... pictures of the infamous shower curtain :)

    and the finished product...

    what do you think? I think that's definitely the biggest project I've tackled thus far... and I really like the way it turned out! It's been brightening up our bathroom for several weeks now and I think it's a keeper :)

    more tomorrow on how I made it and the book that I used to help me out!

    April 28, 2009


    Ok, so people really DO read this blog! Or maybe I just need to get myself out there a little more often :)

    After participating in Park City Girl's 0online quilt festival (fabulous idea, btw!) my number of visitors went up... and so did my comments! Just look at all those pretty little words :)

    I feel like a proud mama :) Thanks, friends! And be sure to stop by (and comment ;)) again!

    *I think I'm addicted :^)*

    April 24, 2009

    Happy Etsy Day!

    I've heard rumors throughout the blogosphere that today has been declared Etsy Day by none other than... Etsy :) I actually heard about it in the twittersphere (you can find me at @candidcrafts)... not the blogosphere... but decided to play along none-the-less.

    Therefore, here are a few of my favorite Etsy items... some sold out, some still for sale... but just a few of the beautiful things I have found over the last few months.

    Hello Stranger, by dkim

    Small Beaded Clay Journal, from Bibliosophy (Bley also runs the Bibliosophy Books blog, which hosted the Cozy Domesticity swap -- pictures about that later!)

    LivvieLee doesn't have anything for me right now... but what little girl wouldn't love this Blue & Brown Apron? She always has adorable things in her shop.

    and lastly... these prints (this one is called "Baby Rain" by the poppy tree are just too sweet. check out the others... she's got some serious talent!

    one of these days i hope to have an Etsy shop of my own... what are some of your favorite Etsy spots for inspiration?

    April 21, 2009

    under construction...

    a bit of redesign happening today (and possibly throughout the week)...

    just an fyi in case links are broken, etc. :) feel free to let me know what's wrong with the page!

    April 20, 2009

    In Honor of the First Online Quilt Festival...

    I'm revisiting my first quilting adventure due to the first ever online quilt festival, hosted by Park City Girl (which is a fabulous idea, btw!).

    My dad's sister started quilting about a decade ago (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!) and her creations are breathtaking. Filled with vibrant colors, innumerable swirls and pinwheels and colors for every season, she has handquilted (almost) all of her quilts and is just now learning how to machine quilt, which, I might add, she is equally talented at. I've always loved looking at her quilts and visiting quilts shops with her.

    With this inspiration under my belt, I decided in late high school that I too would make a quilt. Starting with a huge pile of scraps from my mom's fabric bag, I measured & cut 5"x5" blocks with a paper pattern (which led to a few 4.5" blocks as well as other wonky shapes & sizes). I then laid out all the blocks on my parent's living room floor, which was quickly covered... and then proceeded to arrange them... and rearrange them... and arrange them yet again, until I was told that the living room floor must be returned to normal. Needless to say, it was a sad day. ;)

    The stacks of blocks sat for quite some time after that, until during a Christmas break two years later I decided it had to be either a) finished or b) ditched. I came up with a pattern I liked... found the perfect backing (a "flower power" sheet that my mom no longer wanted or needed)... and figured out the best alternative to quilting (sewing vintage buttons on all of the navy blue corduroy squares that alternated with prints across the quilt).

    Even though the patched strips aren't exactly straight and the blocks don't line up due to the different types of fabric (note to self: knits, denim, and old sheets don't stretch the same way...), it was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I found a way to cram it into my already-full suitcase, and 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 cuddling on cold nights.

    April 19, 2009

    Sunday Stash: WhizBang Fabrics

    yes, yes... I've been gone for weeks -- again. so much for the new years resolution! oh well... i guess if you've been following along these last few months, you know how busy it's been. things have been (and will continue to be, i'm sure, sporadic). moving right along... :)

    a few months back, i received word that a diamond in the rough fabric store in San Francisco, WhizBang Fabrics was closing. i immediately started pleading for a day trip to the city... for valentine's day... to show our new puppy around town... and simply because we hadn't been there for a while. :) ryan said yes, and off we went on our adventure -- with a promise that i a) wouldn't spend too much time in the shop and b) wouldn't spend too much money. *ahem*

    moving on... here are a few of the gorgeous pieces i came away from the store with... :)

    my wonderful hubby actually picked these one out. we were about ready to check out and he says "did you see these ones?" two of the most wonderful pieces of japanese fabric for a little boy's room. not that we have a little boy, or even a little boy's room, or a little boy in the relative future... but... that's the whole point of a stash, right? :)

    a gorgeous silky piece that i'm not sure what i'll use for... but it was half price and gorgeous... and again, that's the whole point of the stash ;)

    an oilcloth piece that has an asian flair to it. thinking of using it for a reusable lunch bag or a cosmetics/travel bag. thoughts?

    wouldn't this amazing corduroy be perfect for a little girl's jumper? granted... no little girl in our house and none in the near future, but we do know quite a few little girls... one in particular who happens to be my favorite -- maybe i could figure out something for her :)

    and last but not least... the button stash :) they had all sorts of amazing buttons to sort through... and after i saw that ryan was getting bored, i finally agreed it was time to go ;) i think i could have spent all day there!

    that's all for now... gotta go get some stuff done around the house. here's to more updates in the near future! :)

    March 26, 2009

    Wednesday Wish List (on Thursday)

    my Wednesday Wish List is extremely short this week. so short, in fact, that it contains only one little item. that one little item, however... could make all the difference in the world. so here it is... are you ready for it? are you sure? the only thing i'm wanting right now...

    more time.


    that's it. for right this second, i've got all the craft supplies i want... i've got all the fabric i need... i've got all the inspiration that comes from looking at amazing craft books. i just don't have the time to implement anything.

    which would explain why i haven't updated since march 4th... 3 full weeks. this also explains why just two nights ago i finished my february craft challenge... almost a full month late, and ironically, a day after i finished my march craft challenge. it explains why my banner still claims that it's winter-time... when, in fact, it's been spring for the last 6 days. it also explains why this post doesn't have the completed pictures of my craft challenges... just the statement that they're done, and a few "in progress" shots of the now-finished (and amazing-looking if i do say so myself) shower curtain that is now hanging in our bathroom.

    ::edit:: nevermind... i don't even have in progress shots -- they haven't been loaded onto my computer yet. *sigh*

    however, i do have to say that i found the time to finish up the cozy domesticity swap that i entered back in january... just barely, but i did! i'm excited to see what Bley thinks of the goodies i sent her... and equally excited to see what goodies will be in the box she's sending me! i do have pictures of my swap box, but i'll wait to hear that she's received it before posting them, so as to not spoil the surprise :)

    to explain just a bit about why it's been so busy for me (well... us...) lately... let me show you a snapshot of our calendar:

    and now add a few things on to that:
    - all-day-long meetings wednesday (yesterday) & thursday (today) for me... plus a company dinner meeting tonight
    - running around to get my passport paperwork in so we can be ready for our trip to see family (in Canada) in May
    - trying to find tickets for a friend to fly out for a visit in the next two months
    - long weekend bike rides in preparation for our 25-mile Tour de Cure bike ride the first weekend in May
    - preparing for our May vacation (and trying to figure out what we're going to see, where we're going to stay, etc.)
    - shopping for wedding presents & birthday presents & baby shower presents... and trying to stay within budget at the same time!
    - finishing up taxes (no... they're still not done) and figuring out what the VitaFlex insurance refund will accept as "refundable"
    - trying to figure out how i'm going to balance two days working at a conference in the city directly followed by a long solo drive to LA (going down on Friday & back up on Monday) and then jump back into the work environment on Tuesday
    - reminding myself that if i even stand a chance of succeeding with any flowering plants this year on our small 2nd-story porch, i need to get them planted & growing well now... not in the summer (btw... anyone know of a good place to buy flower boxes? i'm considering trying those instead of just potted plants. also, if anyone knows of plants that flourish in full sun, pots, and lots of heat, let me know -- i seem to kill everything we try to grow out there!)

    now do you believe me? :)

    please accept my deepest apologies... and stay tuned for pictures to come of the shower curtain (i promise this time!!)

    March 4, 2009

    Wednesday Wish List: Places to Go

    I've been in a traveling mood lately. Wait - let me rephrase that. More accurately, I've been in a "I need a mental health week from work" mood, which has led to a "If I had a mental health week from work, what would I do?" mood, which led to a "where do I want to travel?" mood. ahem. :)

    So... here we are. My top 10 list of places to go (at this second) in no particular order:

    10. Grand Canyon. Ryan's never been there (which automatically shoots it to the top 10 list) and although I've been there a few times, it's been a while. I'd love to take the hike down to the bottom of the canyon... see the waterfalls and the river. If I wimp out on that, then a nice alternative would be riding the mules down. We'll see :)

    9. Portland, OR. Again, Ryan's never been... and I've only been once. There are so many more things I've heard about and seen pictures of since that time... and I'm really wanting to explore it a bit more.

    8. London. I've been once, Ryan's been once (or is that twice?). I loved it, all two days that I was there. I'd love to go back and explore the city more, as well as explore the surrounding countryside. Stories of rolling hills (like here) and cute cottages (anyone seen The Holiday?) intrigue me, as do all of the famous sight-seeing expeditions through the city streets. (besides... I miss hearing the mysterious voice saying "mind the gap")

    7. Vancouver, BC, Canada. Another one of those "I've been there, Ryan hasn't" places... but it's just so amazing from what I remember of it! I remember taking the ferry over to Victoria Island and the gorgeous gardens... it's a must-see in spring.

    6. Boston. I'm intrigued by my sister's love for the city... she's not a city person and usually doesn't like the hustle & bustle... but both she & her husband enjoyed it. Besides, fall in the northeast? It can't get better than that :)

    5. Colorado. Ryan's family has a gorgeous piece of property in the middle of the mountains... and we're both dying to see it one of these days. (correction: i'm dying to see it... ryan's dying to go back!).

    4. Hawaii. We went for our honeymoon, but didn't see nearly enough in my opinion (although my opinion was quite different when we were there, since we didn't want to spend all of the sunny days in the car driving around the island). I want to see the waterfalls in the mini-rainforest, the volcanoes (although I might be able to do without the helicopters flying over the volcanoes - yikes!). I want to learn how to surf, and manage to bodysurf without tearing my back up against the one (ONE!) rock on the entire beach (go figure). Most of all, I want to experience the laid-back, nonchalant, relaxing spirit we felt there the first time. I could really go for some of that relaxing right now... :)

    3. Alaska. I'm intrigued by it... and Ryan just wants to live there :) He did live there for three years and loved it... but then again he's always a good 15 degrees warmer than I am :)

    2. Pacific Northwest by Rail. Admit it... it sounds like fun, right? Wait til you read the description from the NY Time's website:
    Amtrak’s Empire Builder delivers a greatest hits of the American landscape. Beginning in Chicago, passing through the Great Plains and the other-worldly Glacier National Park and ending in Seattle or Portland, Ore., the roughly 48-hour ride is a throwback to the golden age of train travel. Old-fashioned dining cars serve freshly cooked meals (flat iron steak, roasted game hen) on tables decked out in white tablecloths. The panoramic sightseeing lounge and sleeping compartments have a certain “North by Northwest” charm. And rangers from the National Park service are periodically on board to provide narrative along the route as a part of a Trails and Rails program.
    Amazing, right? :)

    1. New York City. I believe I was born a city girl at heart. When I visited NYC a few years ago, I fell in love with it. A few months after, I had the privilege to go back to the city for three weeks of intense journalism classes. It was a dream come true for me. Not only was I learning about journalism and becoming a better writer, I had the ability to spend all of my free time exploring an amazing city. I loved the people, the opportunities for stories, the constant chatter and noise, the fact that no matter what time of day it was, you could find an open coffee shop to sit and relax at. oh, I miss it. And one of these days we'll be back. Odd how it became such a home to me so quickly.

    So that's it... my list of 10 places I'd love to go to right now :)

    And just how perfect would this carrying case be for a world traveler? You can add it to my wish list of things as well... ;-)

    That's all for now... check back later for another update on the *ahem* February (yes, I know, it's March now) Craft Challenge!

    March 2, 2009

    February Craft Challenge, part 1

    I admit it. I missed the February deadline for my monthly craft challenge. It kinda bums me out that I've already missed the goal and it's only the second month. :-/ Can I use the excuse that we haven't had a free weekend since... January? And that the past week & a half was filled with birthdays? The only free weekend we did have in February was spent biking 26 miles (in preparation of this) and then nursing a re-injured/strained knee as a result. ::sidenote:: please be praying that my knee heals in time for us to complete the 25 mile ride for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in May!

    anyway, back on track. at least i started the project... as in, bought the fabric, planned it out, drew up measurements and made a list of steps... and took a preliminary picture. that counts, right? :) let me explain.

    a few months ago i began participating in the sunday stash blogging ring, and posted this picture as a result. bookwormbethie was kind enough to start up a conversation via flickr comments, and suggested i use the fabric to make a shower curtain. when joann's had finally restocked their supply and i got a new 40% off coupon (aren't those wonderful things!) i bought a full 4 yards as well as a contrasting red dotted fabric and began the process of learning how to create a shower curtain.

    luckily, thanks to the lovely Christina at Chronicle Books, i have the French General: Home Sewn book, which has the specifications for a shower curtain, among many other bathroom and home projects. (note: review coming soon...) using measurements from the book and going off of my own instincts as well, I've begun cutting pieces for the shower curtain.

    sewing begins tomorrow night... stay tuned!

    p.s. any suggestions on easy ways to sew button holes? it's the one thing about this project i'm terrified of... but i did tell myself i was going to take risks and learn new things! after all, it is the monthly craft challenge... right? :)

    February 25, 2009

    Coming Soon...

    - a review of French General: Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the House
    - the February installment of the monthly craft challenge
    - pictures from purchases at the close-out sale of Whizbang Fabrics
    - my love of freecycle

    but for now... it's happy birthday to me! :) have a great day, all.

    February 18, 2009

    a completely unrelated wish list item... that i just spotted over at CraftZine that's being sold at Bold & Noble. decor8's blog entry displays it so well...

    how absolutely perfect is this poster for a craft room or indie shop?

    *sigh...* still dreaming :)

    Wednesday Wish List: projects

    as mentioned in a previous post, i'm thoroughly addicted to craft blogs. i think part of it is the inspiration i get from seeing what other highly talented people can accomplish with their time, and part of it is wishing that 1) i was that talented and 2) i had that much time!

    so, on the false premises that i 1) am that talented and 2) have that much time... ;-) here's my wish list for the week: projects i would like to accomplish.

    these pillows from Molly's Sketchbook (part of The Purl Bee are absolutely fantastic. i love the fact that they incorporate designs instead of just one fabric, as well as the fact that they seem to curve in on the sides, making the corners poke out just so. there's so many possibilities here--i'd love to play around with them!

    this tea wallet from Christy's Creations has me thinking about making myself a new wallet. i've had the same one for a while now -- a handmade/woven one from Lebanon that Ryan's grandparents brought back for me from a trip a few years ago. it's started to wear out, and the one i switched to must have been a little cheaper than i thought it was, as it's already falling apart on me. i've been playing around with some sketches and ideas for a while now, and i really like Juliette's modified version over at Chickpea Studio.

    if you had seen my room at college, you would understand when i say that i love pictures and picture frames. i still do... but with a lack of space, there aren't as many displayed as there used to be. one of these days when i have my own craft room (yes, i'm still dreaming :)) i'd love to have all sorts of pictures on the walls. one fun way to take care of this is to make a scrabble board picture frame. with tiles from the scrabble game and a cork tile secured to the back, you can glue thumbtacks to the back of the tiles and use them as captions for your pictures that show through the frame of the board, or simply tape on to the front for easy rearranging.

    lastly, i'm in love with the artsy clutches from bend the rules sewing. most of the book i could do with or without -- it's not one that i'm crazy for, but this clutch is perfection. i made one for my sister for christmas, and am still regretting not keeping it for myself, since by her reaction i'm not sure if she'll use it! i made it with alexander henry's blue koto, which i'm desperately trying to find more of. i'm almost out and i have so many more things i could use it for! i guess i'll just have to make another one for myself... and then find more of that fabric :)

    i think i'll wrap it up for now. there are so many other projects that i'm longing to tackle, but a girl only has so many hours in a day, right? speaking of which... my lunch break is now over -- it's back to work for me! :)

    February 15, 2009

    january craft challenge

    finally... pictures from my january craft challenge :) i chose to work out of my In Stitches book by amy butler. the floor pillows were the perfect choice as i was finishing them up right before we had about 18 people over for the super bowl! however... i think our puppy has used them more than anyone else :) he claimed them right from the beginning, as you can see...

    i made a "smaller" one as well, which i anticipated would be much smaller than it actually turned out to be :)

    both of these pillows were rather large... and if (when) i make them again i will most likely shrink the measurements a bit. they are extremely comfortable however. the first is made out of heidi grace's midnight kisses line (which i love!), the second from a thrifted sheet and vintage buttons. oh what fun vintage buttons are :)

    i'm still debating what to make for this month's craft challenge. i know... the month is more than half over and i really should be decided already, but i'm still debating between a few options. the main one that i think i'll go with is the travel bag from French General's Home Sewn book. my makeup bag is getting a bit worn, and i bought the most perfect piece of oilcloth from WhizBang Fabrics, which is sadly going out of business soon! more on my purchases from them in a later post... i got some great deals!!

    anyway, moving on... look for a new project coming up soon, as well as a few book reviews, one of which will be the French General book. it's a good one!

    enjoy the rest of your three-day weekend (if you get to enjoy the day off!) i'll be curled up on my couch, catching up on my pleasure-reading and going through old magazines, thanks to a great find on freecycle (more on that later as well!) things to look forward to :)

    February 9, 2009

    A Little More About Me

    **the January Craft Book Challenge blogpost is coming... I promise! but for now...

    A little more about me :) This is actually from Facebook, but I figured it'd be fun to post up here as well. I'm not "officially" tagging anyone, but it'd be great to learn more about you all as well! If you do post your own, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know. Enjoy! :)

    1. i have never dyed my hair, although if i spend enough time in the sun during the summer i usually end up with reddish highlights (thanks to my grandpa's genes! :))

    2. the beach is by far my favorite place to be and if i could live there, i would.

    3. when i was a kid i always wanted to live in san francisco--every time we visited i watched for "apartment for rent" signs in the windows

    4. p.s. - i still want to live in san francisco :)

    5. my best friend jodi & i watched "you've got mail" in stages every friday our senior year in high school after selling chocolate at safeway to finance our class's trip to DC

    6. while "you've got mail" is still one of my favorite movies, my husband won me over to "his" movies (i.e. shoot-em-up, war movies) as well

    7. i draw the line at movies like "scorpion king" where you can literally leave the room for 45 minutes and know exactly what's going on when you walk back in

    8. i love little kids and tend to "adopt" others kids as my own temporarily

    9. luckily... the parents whom i "borrow" the kids from don't mind at all! they think i do a great job :)

    10. ryan and i are looking for a bit more financial stability and job security before having kids... but we already have a boy's name picked out thanks to my uncle's suggestions :)

    11. although my "this is what i want to be when i grow up" statements changed frequently when i was young, they all revolved around similar topics: author, journalist, novelist, editor, copywriter, etc.

    12. now that i am "grown up," i'm not writing published works on a daily basis, but i do work for a publishing company in their public relations department, so i am fulfilling my dream of writing! we'll see where else my love for words and writing and editing takes me someday.

    13. i love to travel and want to do it far more than my job allows. it doesn't matter where--i just love seeing new places and doing new things.

    14. i am NOT a morning person. i need at least 20 minutes of time to myself in the morning before i'm able to carry on a coherent conversation.

    15. fortunately, my husband is the same way and understands completely.

    16. unfortunately, our puppy is not the same way and doesn't understand at all.

    17. once and for all... our dog's name is ember. no, we didn't name him -- the adoption/shelter company that we got him from did. yes, he's a boy. no, it's not a girly name unless you pronounce it amber, in which case, you're not calling for our dog in the first place... you're calling for the girl who lives down the street. and yes... we like our dog's name, or else we would have changed it :)

    18. when we first adopted our dog, we made it a rule that he couldn't be on the couches, up on the bed, or in the 2nd bedroom. we lost the battle re: the couches rather quickly--he now spends a good portion of his day up there. we're in the process of losing the battle with the bed--the last 4 mornings i've woken up with him curled up next to me, fast asleep. we are determined to not lose the battle with the 2nd bedroom. there are too many cords, knickknacks, and expensive gadgets in there for him to get into.

    19. although i'm willing to try new things and go to new places, if you ask me what i want to order at a restaurant, 9 times out of 10 i'll settle on a safe favorite rather than branching out. in other words... if i have to pay for it and don't have the choice of eating something else if i don't like the food i ordered... i'm not very adventurous :)

    20. food at home, however... i experiment with. constantly. i hardly ever follow a recipe from start to finish -- i substitute items, taking out what we don't like and adding extra spices or other ingredients that sound good. and to my credit... it rarely turns out bad if i do say so myself!

    21. i'm addicted to craft blogs. literally addicted. i'm subscribed to 81 different craft blogs via RSS feeds, and have about another 15-20 bookmarked. stop looking so shocked... i told you i was addicted! (p.s. if you find any good ones that i might enjoy--let me know!! ;))

    22. i keep a to-do list of projects that need to be done both at work and at home. i don't usually follow them, but for some reason it gives me a sense of accomplishment to just see everything that i have to do written down... even if i have yet to accomplish any of those things.

    23. one of my pet peeves is coming home to a house with piles of stuff everywhere--the mail left on the counter, clothes piled by the bed, laundry still in the dryer from the night before, etc. but before you get on ryan's case, you have to realize that even though it's a pet peeve... i'm one of the worst offenders.

    24. i enjoy working out... once i actually get myself to the gym. it's the getting to the gym part that's hard for me. gotta work on that one... any suggestions? :)

    25. i love the idea of bubble baths... relaxing, enjoying the peace & quiet, nursing sore muscles, or just winding down from a busy week... but in actuality i don't enjoy bubble baths... just the idea of them. maybe if i had a jacuzzi tub? maybe then i would enjoy both the idea and the actual bath :)

    February 5, 2009

    Wednesday Wish List: Knitting

    ::edit:: sorry for the delay... apparently something is broken in blogger's scheduled posts option. i'm recovering from a 36-hour migraine, and now that i'm able to see straight, sit up for a long period of time, and tolerate both light and noise... i noticed :) more on the january installment of the craft challenge and my reviews for Chronicle.

    i was perusing etsy the other day (ok... so, i drool over things on etsy practically every day) and ran across the following things that i'd love to have one day.

    let me rephrase that... i'd love to have them... or have the talents to make them. :) most of these items this week are hand-knitted... which is a skill i have yet to acquire. anyone have any suggestions on good knitting books or sites with tutorials? i'd love to learn!

    these handwarmers from suetreiber would be wonderful for work! my hands are constantly freezing but it's a little difficult to type with mittens on (believe me... i've tried!). i've heard they're pretty simple to make, so maybe this is one project i could actually accomplish! :)

    this "my little mushroom" cap from tottotter is absolutely adorable. i have a few friends that are either pregnant or have little ones, and this would be a great gift! the little girl pictured is equally adorable, yes? :)

    this project from strikk is at the top of my "i want to learn to knit, because..." list. :) along with cute clothes and essentials like diapers, etc. those little babies are going to need blankets, and with the warm weather we've been getting lately, heavy quilts or patchwork items aren't always needed! this one would fit the ticket nicely!

    and while not listed on etsy, this owl sweater is to die for...

    isn't it amazing? she has a free pattern posted on the site as well... so maybe one of these days i'll possess the talent required to make something like that!

    alright... enough knitting pictures for now... maybe i should actually concentrate on learning the skill before i start dreaming up everything i could make! better yet... (and for the sake of my dear husband) i should concentrate on finishing all of the projects i already have going now :)

    February 2, 2009

    goals for 2009

    so i know i'm a bit late on posting my goals for 2009, but i've given up on making goals on new years day -- those goals were always broken before i had a chance to give them a good run. so now i've figured i take the month of january to evaluate things, think through reasonable goals, and begin to implement them. goals that have been kept thus far (by the end of january) are ones that i will continue through the year. does that make any sense to anyone other than myself? if it doesn't, just humor me... :)

    and you can humor me first by enjoying a picture of our puppy at Christmas time :) he's grown quite a bit since then... but this one is too cute to pass up!

    so, back to the point: my goals for this year.

    1) keep the house straightened on a constant basis. not clean as in dusted, vacuumed, swept, 24/7, but straight. as in... no piles of clothes, mail, ads, coupons, wii supplies, etc. basically, the idea is that if someone were to show up at our doorstep, we wouldn't be embarrassed to let them in our house without first frantically running around to pick up. (note to self: we don't have kids yet. what's going to happen once we do?!?)

    2) balance our finances and take care of all bills on the last weekend of each month. we keep up with it on a regular basis, but the more often we can transfer money into savings and keep stocking up our nest egg, the better the interest rates, which means the better our future!

    3) plan meals out for a week at a time. this should help tremendously with grocery bills as well as with planning ahead for meals (aka not eating dinner at 7:30 at night, which makes ryan very excited!). i've been using future girl's meal planner and it's been wonderful. we can transfer meals from one night to another, write down all the ingredients needed to make it, and any notes needed (i.e. take the meat out of the freezer, etc.)

    4) this one is inspired by WhatKnot and her flickr set tracking her progress. complete one project a month out of the stack of craft books i have... and the new ones i got about a month ago from Chronicle Books. Haven't you heard? I'm one of their newest reviewers. *squeal!!* yep... you heard me right. the books arrived right after Christmas, and i could have sworn it was Christmas all over again :) i'll be reviewing the books on here and completing projects from them... maybe even giving away a book or two once i'm done with the reviews, so stay tuned! and lest you think that i'm already behind with last month, i completed last month's project on saturday, just in the nick of time :) i'll be sharing pictures of my progress in a later post.

    5) lastly... i want to hold myself to updating the blog at least twice a week. i know it's not much compared to what some of you hard-core bloggers do, but with work being so busy, it's about as much as i can handle right now. so stay tuned to see what i'll be doing :) and who knows, i may just surprise you (and myself!) by blogging more :) i do enjoy it... i just can't always motivate myself to turn my computer back on after being on it for 8+ hours a day at work :)

    so hold me to them, ok? i'll need all the accountability i can get :) pictures coming soon of the first craft challenge accomplishment!

    January 30, 2009

    i'm back!

    sorry for the long absence. it wasn't intended, but between 2 colds back-to-back that kept me out-of-commission for several weeks, getting a new dog/puppy that's been taking a lot of our time, and chaos at work due to a lay-off and those of us left having to pick up the extra work... it's been just a tad busy around here lately! :)

    needless to say, all things crafty have been a bit on the slow side (read: non-existant). i've had quite a few ideas flying around this brain of mine, but simply no time to implement them. there have been some sketches (although i'm not a great sketcher by any means!) and a lot of jotted ideas.

    one of those ideas has been more of a dream for the future... one that my dear husband has been brainstorming on as well :) it may be quite some time before we have the space (or money) to implement it, but it's fun to dream in the meantime! as you can see by the picture below, i'm in great need of a good workspace... and especially a good cutting table. my "cutting table" for right now typically consists of either an ironing board, our coffee table, or the kitchen table, as they're the only surfaces big enough and flat enough to work well.

    the problem being, the ironing board is the only one of the three that is tall enough for me to stand at, the kitchen table is the only one large enough for me to cut big projects on, and the coffee table is too short for me to be able to do more than kneel at. we talked about it a little bit the other night, and decided that the best way would be to make it a little higher than table-height to allow me to stand or sit, have cabinets on two or three sides underneath and one side open to sit at. that way i have areas to store supplies as well as cut, iron, and sew. i've been researching it a bit and saw a fantastic idea to layer the top with cork and brown paper/butcher paper to allow for sticking pins in to secure fabric while cutting, patterns while tracing, etc.

    minor detail, this all has to wait for a bigger house or at least a bigger craft area. we unfortunately don't have enough room in our second bedroom/office area/craft room/music room for any sort of cutting table. but i can dream :)

    any tips or tricks to help me in the quest for a perfect work/cutting table? all i've got is time for now :)