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...

...one 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!