made by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leelou

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Would you guys be interested in knitting tutes?

Hi everyone!

So I was tooling around on twitter today, chatting with Jenna and Kiki, and was thrilled to hear that Kiki is learning to knit! YOU GO!! She asked some questions about yarn hold and some basics, so I quickly rattled off a couple of videos for English and Continental style. Not like there aren't a million, but it's fun to contribute, and I love converting new knitters. So here's the videos!
I also posted them on my free tutorials page for future convenience. So here's my questions: Are you guys interested in other knitting tutorial videos? I know there's a glut of them out there, but sometimes somebody shows or explains something in a different way that makes more sense to some people. What would you guys want to see?

Since I haven't written in a few days, here's the current rundown:

Right Now:

Listening - I've got the show "Numbers" on right now, streaming through Netflix. I love binging on shows. Especially ones I've never seen before and there's several seasons to catch up on. 

Eating - Nothing at the moment, but I might heat up some of my taco soup I made the other day. OH! That's a whole other post, but I've started cooking for the entire week and freezing servings to easily heat up. That way I'm actually eating, getting more nutrition, and don't have to cook. all. week. 

Drinking - well, my tea's gone cold, so I'll just stick with my water. On the other hand, I have diet cherry soda in my mini fridge that sounds pretty enticing right now. What?! You thought I'd say wine? It's only 1pm people! Gimme *some* credit ;)

Wearing - pink owl jammy bottoms with a pink tank top. To match my pink nails. I guess I'm in a pink mood lately. 

Feeling - kinda guilty that I haven't done much of anything productive today. I need to get my machine embroidering some things so I can get those out to their new owners soon.  But overall, pretty relaxed. Hooray!

Weather - It was kinda windy this morning, but very sunny. It's still sunny out, but a teeny bit overcast as well. Funny story - we didn't have LA's crazy violent wind, but we did get some good gusts early this morning. I was in the middle of a dream about being chased by zombies, and it was an INCREDIBLY tense, scary part of the dream when a big gust of wind blew something over in the side yard with a BANG! I must have jumped a mile out of my bed. Adrenaline rushing, heart pounding. I had to laugh at myself (Thank you brain, for choosing JUST that moment to scare the crap out of me when a zombie is reaching for me!). 

Wanting - To rewind today so I can be more productive!! And maybe that cherry soda. 

Needing - To close my door because my sister just started vacuuming and I can't hear Numbers. It's a tough life. And now I really need that cherry soda. Do you ever just CRAVE a soda? I don't drink them very often, but when I want one, I WANT ONE! I NEED ONE!

Thinking - About a lot. My brain is such a jumble lately that it seems I can't organize any thoughts. Projects, goals, what direction I want to head in with my shop, my blog, etc. I'm kind of enjoying flying by the seat of my pants though. I love writing about life, and not just crafting all the time. Hopefully I don't bore you guys too much!

Enjoying - This slower, more relaxed pace of life lately. With my best friend in town, it's been a little bit busier, but it's been good to get out and do things. It helps put into perspective how very much I've changed over the past couple of years, become more introverted and *quirky* shall we say. Ten kinds of special crazysauce. I have a lot of self work to do, and it's an interesting road. I'm very very slowly starting to feel like my old "I don't need no mans" self again, and I'm looking forward to being totally self-sufficient and independent. Emotionally, financially, and otherwise. 

Time to be productive!! Have a wonderfully awesomesauce day everyone! Anything exciting going on?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Completely ineffective notes to self through time and space....

The first rule of being a crafter with dogs - if there is fabric, your dog(s)/cat(s) will lie on it. Fact. This is Rowan helping me organize and fold fabric earlier today.
It's a tough life, making sure this fabric stays put....

A few hours ago, I posted this to Facebook off the top of my head:

Why is it that when you feel like "I'm f*ing amazing, strong, and independent" is when you don't need it, then when you need it most, you don't feel that way at all? It'd be nice if you could send yourself notes into the past and the future.

Well, while I haven't yet perfected sending notes back in time to myself, I have attempted to send notes to my future self. There's a cool little chalkboard thingee in my room which reads "Kick ass and make stuff", and before that it read: "You're awesome, and don't you forget it!".  It's my version of "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me..." I hope you get that joke. It sounds hokey, but in a small way it's an attempt to send a note to my future self saying "keep your head up". Of course, the times when it's needed most is when it's easiest to dismiss it and roll my eyes at how stupid that sounds. Ah, silly future self. On the tougher days, the thing that helps me the most is to think about all the AMAZING, strong, creative women who have my back and keep reassuring me that we all have each other's backs. Especially my fellow husky owners and fellow crafters....I'll tell ya, these ladies are a force of nature to be reckoned with. My favorite kind of people. 

......I kinda forgot where I was going with all that. Sorry! I rented Super 8, and it's playing in the background right now. The train crash just happened, which was super spectacular and incredible, and I have the attention span of.....well....a person with ADD. Which I am.....Anyway! What was I saying? 

Woah!! Dude with melted face!! again. Ever see "Up"? SQUIRREL!! Yeah, that'd be me. WOAH!! Dude with melted face is alive!! Sorry again....Maybe I should pause the movie until I'm finished writing. Can you tell most of my writing is stream-of-consciousness? I rarely go back and read what I've written after it's been published, which is probably a good thing. Also, I totally want that rainbow striped shirt the chubby kid wears in the movie. 

On a happier note (life isn't all teenage-angst, I swear!), my very best friend in the whole wide world, my partner in crime and hetero-life-mate Morgan flew in from England today!! I haven't seen her yet, but just knowing she's a few miles away at her parents' house makes me want to do a happy dance. Also, I'll be going to my friend Kathy's house for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Yay!! Kathy's a first-rate cook, and I love her and her family dearly. I've known her since high school, and she's become a fellow crafter. We're planning on knitting/crocheting after chowing down. Perfect Thanksgiving! Her daughter Sophie is the freaking cutest thing you've ever seen (and I am NOT a kid person) and calls me 'Bon-Bon". She gets that from her mother. 

Are you still reading? Sucker..... *wink*

Okay, so here's the wrap-up. I swear this new journaling prompt thingee is what's getting me to write. Otherwise I wouldn't even know where to begin! 

Right now:

Listening: "Heart of Glass" was just playing in the movie, otherwise it's suspenseful music and dialogue. 

AAAHH!!! OMG!!! KILLER ALIEN!!  Okay, so I didn't pause the movie. Can you tell? FOCUS PRUITT!!

Eating: *sigh* Promise not to tell? I just finished my McDonald's fries, and I still have a small cheeseburger waiting in the bag. It's cold by now, but who cares? Work wiped me out, and after not eating much at all today, I just wanted something, fast, easy, and indulgent. I'm weak. 

Drinking: Water. I threw away the soda that came with the meal. Sleep is a valuable commodity, so caffeine from afternoon til bedtime is a no-no. 

Wearing: (Why does this one always strike me as odd? Almost like "what are you wearing right now? *heavy breathing* Creepy stalker-like. Alright, pervs...I'm wearing my flannel owl jammies my Mom gave me for christmas last year. Wanna see? Man, you guys really are pervs. Joking! Joking! 
That photo was taken last year when I got them. Still my favorites. 

Feeling: tylenol PM has kicked in, so I'm getting a little bleary-eyed and ready for sleep. 

Weather: I'm pretty sure it's clear out there. Nice and cool, but clear. Today was sunny. Not that my pasty ass was out in the sun at any point today, but sunny nevertheless. 

Wanting: To finish that other cheeseburger so I can focus on the movie and drift off to sleep. Mmmmm....sleep.....

Needing: Hmmmm......more practice writing? Seriously, is anybody still reading at this point? Don't feel bad if you aren't, this must read like some completely ego-centric 16 year old's diary. "Dear Diary...he talked to me today!! Can you believe it?!" Next day.... "My life is over! OVER!!" 

Thinking: I'm thinking I'm going to have to go back a few chapters in the movie. I don't know if I've absorbed anything at all because my attention is on writing.

OH NO!!! Hang on, dude with the melted face!! Hang on!! again....

Enjoying: Kind of enjoying this weird, rambling, stream of consciousness style of writing. Almost like having a conversation. 

That should wrap it up! (I know, I know...try to contain your disappointment.) I'm sure I'll have another extremely uninteresting word vomit upchuck post tomorrow. In the meantime, eat lots of turkey and stuffing, and let me know how your Thanksgivings were!  I feel like I'm forgetting something.....Huh. Must not have been that important. G'night all!! 

PS - I'll respond to comments from the last couple of posts tomorrow. There's a lot I want to write back to you guys, but I'm really bleary-eyed and tired, so it'll have to wait til tomorrow. Love you guys though! Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

When you don't even know who you are anymore...

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty darn good, with just a touch of melodramatic "poor me" crap. I'm still having a very hard time processing my breakup with my ex-boyfriend, even though it's been about 11 months. Yeah, I know. No lectures, please. Keep in mind that it was my first *real* relationship, and it lasted almost six years. I form strong attachments with people, and I'm not the type to just cut the rope (metaphorically). He was very good to me, and I still love the guy, even if we were headed in different directions. There's no bad guy here. I still have a LOT of bad days where I cry the "ugly" cry (you know, where your face is all squinched up and your nose is red like Bozo the clown), and feel about as lovable as a pile of horse dung that's been sitting in the sun for a couple of weeks. I used to be the kind of person who was perfectly fine being single (honest-to-goodness) and genuinely wasn't looking for any kind of relationship. Not even a one night stand. Ew. So when I opened my heart and formed a long term attachment with someone that didn't work out, I hope it's a little understandable that I'd have a hard time letting that go. Everyone's allowed to have days that are harder than others. I'd give anything to be that independent *I don't need no mans* girl again. There's just a lot I wish I'd known six years ago. Just sayin'.
     ANYWAY!! Re-forming your self identity and regaining a sense of self-worth is never an easy process. Sewing and crafting in general has given me an outlet, an identity, and something to be proud of. Working with colors and texture, creating things that are well-made and beautiful has been the biggest self esteem booster I could ever hope for. Walking into my room on any given day and seeing all these bright colors and beautiful things I've made brings me such happiness, it's hard to explain. Which sorta kinda brings me to this weekend. Break it down, sistah!!

On Wednesday, I met my old friend Christy at Islands restaurant for dinner after work. I've known her for about 16 or so years now. Christy is one of my very favorite conversationalists because we can talk forever and never run out of things to talk about. She's also very VERY cerebral and intelligent, so we can talk objectively about things in an abstract sort of way and can always follow each others' train of thought. I imagine Thursday and Friday were run-of-the-mill days. I can't even remember what I did besides a few hours at work. Saturday Christy invited me to an early Thanksgiving dinner at her grandmother's house (she wouldn't be in town, so her family was celebrating early) which was DELICIOUS. Chris, if you'd send me that recipe for the drinks you made, I'll love you forever. Afterwards, we went to see Puss in Boots. I grinned like an idiot through the entire thing and enjoyed it so much, I've been talking about it non-stop. Go see it. It's awesome.

Sunday, I decided to clean and organize. Before I could buckle down and do some serious crafting, I needed to organize my stuff and clean off surfaces so I could find everything I needed. I'll take better pictures in the daytime, but here's a couple of photos I snapped with my phone when sending them to my BFF twitter friends.

It may not look like much, but folding and organizing fat quarters is no joke!
Yeah, that took me pretty much all day. I don't want to go into detail about how much I had to haul, cull, organize, etc..etc..etc. It was a ton of work. My Mom and I also did a bit of xmas decoration shopping (thanks for the goodies, Mom!) and I promise I'll post photos of the adorable xmas goodness soon.

So overall, it was a great weekend. I just have to keep my thoughts away from the dark places and focus on all the amazingly wonderful people in my life and all that I have to be thankful for. 

Extra bonus!! My hetero-life-mate (aka my bestest best friend and sister/partner for life Morgan) is going to be in town on Wednesday!! She's visiting for Thanksgiving from England, and I'm so excited I could just pee myself. Can'twaitcan'twaitcan'twait!! *Jumping up and down*  

So now for the journaling breakdown:

Right now:
Listening - I had "Numbers" episode one, season one playing on Netflix, but honestly I wasn't paying attention. So instead, I'll share the song stuck in my head.
Song Currently Stuck in my Head - "Rock Your Body" by Black Eyed Peas. It was the last song I was grooving to in my car, and I love the Black Eyed Peas. The more fun and fluffy the music, the better for me lately. 
Eating - Del Taco! I still have another macho taco left in the bag, and I'm debating whether or not I want to eat it. But I also know there's peanut butter cookie dough in the freezer. Mmmmm....frozen cookie dough.....
Drinking - Diet coke, also from Del Taco. But I should cut that out since I need to get to sleep sometime before 3 in the morning. I love caffeine, but not when I'm supposed to be winding down. WHEE!!!!
Wearing - Holey-kneed comfy jeans and my red "Bend, Oregon" sweatshirt. I freaking love this sweatshirt, almost as much as I freaking love Oregon. I will live there someday, mark my words.
Feeling - A hell of a lot better after a long, fast walk with the huskies! I almost forgot, here's a pic!!
The fur-kids love walking at the harbor at night. Loki is especially happy.
Weather - Very clear today, after all the rain and wind yesterday. Man, that storm was pretty awesome! Good day for organizing craft goodies.
Wanting - That peanut butter cookie dough in the freezer. And to sleep well tonight. Preferably in that order.
Needing - that cookie dough. Kidding. No, really I need to do just a little bit of knitting before I fall asleep. 
Thinking - About that cookie dough. Kidding, kidding. I'm actually thinking about what I need to make tomorrow to earn some money since work is scary-slow.
Enjoying - Well, gimme a minute and it'll be that cookie dough. Seriously.

Edited to add: My Mom threw the cookie dough away. I am very upset. No, really.

Edited AGAIN to add: Crisis averted. A trip to the local liquor store later, I'm enjoying a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar and some white chocolate Reeses peanut butter cups. I don't eat sugar often, but when I'm craving something, WATCH OUT!! Nomnomnomnomnom....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let's try something new...

I've only got about 25 minutes to write before I take off for errands/work/etc, so I'm going to try something new that piqued my interest on pinterest. Hee. Interest on pinterest. I'm easily amused. So here goes!

Right now:

Listening - For a radical change, I'm listening to only the ticking of the clocks in my room. Normally I have the tv on, streaming netflix or catching up on DVR'd shows, only half paying attention. Lately I've been in such a bad place that silence is the enemy. If I'm left alone with my thoughts and feelings, it gets ugly. So lately I powered my way through a metric buttload of Dr. Who on netflix (had never seen it before), and now I'm looking for another long-run tv show to binge on. Even when I'm walking my dogs, I like to listen to podcasts (mostly This American Life) to get my head into another world. But I figured since I have such a short amount of time to write, I'd better focus without too much distraction.

Oh! On that note, I'm going to add another prompt that might be unique to guys will have to let me know if you're the same way.

Song currently stuck in my head - I ALWAYS have a song stuck in my head. No exceptions. Maybe it's growing up being a musician, maybe it's my extremely strong music memory, I don't know. But right now? "Spiralling" by Keane. I'm so impressed with their new stuff, especially this song. The last album was totally forgettable (to me), and I don't even remember one song off of the whole album. This one? Energy! Danciness! Fun! Go listen...

Eating - umm...yeah. I kinda haven't eaten anything yet today. I woke up and sort of dove into walking the dogs, coming home, making tea, and writing. Making breakfast takes time I want to spend on other things right now!

Drinking - yummy English Breakfast tea with heavy cream. Don't judge. It's an indulgence that I relish wholeheartedly. Heavy cream is about the closest I can get to the double cream I got addicted to at my best friend's house in England. I had a couple of friends over for a sewing day a couple of months ago, and they tried their tea with heavy cream too. My friend Erin said "Damn you, Bonnie...I can never go back!" Mwahahahahaha!!!

Wearing - Jeans torn at the knees (they're my comfy jeans), a tank top, and a cozy shawl-collared sweatshirt over that. Oh, and boot-slippers from Old Navy I picked up last year. That reminds me, I want to indulge in another pair this year. :) But I need to get changed for the day!! Maybe it'll be another bright pink hat day.

Feeling - Kinda scattered, but basically okay. No immediately bad feelings waiting to chomp on me when I least suspect it, so I'll feel happy about that. Maybe it was the dog walk that mellowed me out a bit.

Weather - Ooooh! Cool and foggy! A real treat for this California girl who needs to live in Alaska. Or Oregon. Wanna see?

Wanting - more time right now!! I want to write more, do some sewing, maybe some knitting, but that's going to have to wait. I also want food, but that can wait a bit. 

Needing - I really need to get changed and start heading out. Nooo!! Don't wanna!!!

Thinking - I'm thinking I need to bring my bluetooth keyboard with me to work so I can keep writing on my iPad during my work break. Oh. I also need to bring my knitting with me. Just in case. Never ever be without a project!! Ever!

Enjoying - My tea, and the quiet. Living in a house with 5 people and 5 dogs isn't always the quietest situation. My family isn't a super duper loud one, but it's VERY rare that I'm home alone and there's no noises. No tv, no dogs barking, no people hollering across the house. Aaaahhhh... 

Before I go, I'll post just one finished project I've been loving. My pink hat! 
Yes, it really is that pink. Flamingo pink! I got the yarn on sale through craftsy. They have sales every so often, and I try to jump on the malabrigo ones as much as possible. The yarn is "Pink Panther" in Malabrigo silky merino, and the pattern is the Mayrose hat from Woolly Wormhead. I just changed the brim to seed stitch because I'm not super fond of garter stitch. 

AACK!! I have to go! Later guys, let me know how your day is going too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Etsy shop reopened!

I know it's been forever since I posted, and I really am going to make an effort to write more. I won't elaborate too much, because you're all already aware that I'm completely crazy. Well, I've been an extra special sort of crazy lately. It was an incredibly hard decision, but I decided to back out of the two quilting bees I was in. The best thing for me to do when I'm feeling that crazed/depressed/stressed/insane is cut back on commitments and take it easy to regroup. As much as I hated disappointing my friends, I have to admit it did feel as if a small weight had been lifted. The guilt over falling SO FAR behind on the blocks was eating at me something terrible.

Anyway, moving on. Work has also slowed down the past couple of weeks, which has been a mixed blessing. Time to regroup, yes. Paycheck, holy crap. So I got busy and restocked my etsy shop! There will be more coming very soon, and I'm very excited to be back on that horse. Also must write more.

New theme!! Halloween is way over, and it's not quite Thanksgiving yet, but I've been in and out of the holiday mood already. I'll write a huge diatribe about my feelings regarding christmas, but doing a blog makeover is my small way of staying visually inspired and christmas-y. It also serves to remind me that I need to get busy and make some christmas gifts for my friends and family!

So head on over and check it out! If there's anything that catches your eye, jump on it. It'll be shipped immediately!

I'll be posting pictures of what I've been making lately for "fun" (i.e. sanity), and there will be upcoming posts about stuff that's been going on, both good and not-so-great. OoooOO! Did I leave you hanging? Good! Come back and read! ;)

P.S. I've been bowled over lately by the concern and support of friends, both online and real-life. The ladies in the quilting bees were so incredibly nice, it actually made me tear up. Offers of re-joining, adding on an extra month if I want to come back, shoulders of support for chatting, venting, "if you need anything at all, don't hesitate to ask", it was a massive reminder that the crafting community really does have the NICEST PEOPLE EVAR. I really have felt the cozy quilt-blankie of love and support lately, and I wish I could give you all a gigantic hug and tell you how much you've helped me lately. Thank you.

Okay, enough pap & sap (as my Mom says)! I've gotta get ready for work, so head over to my etsy shop and see if there's anything you'd like. Happy wednesday, everybody!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you parked it then you shoulda put a pin on it!

I just had the most wonderful, refreshing day ever. I won't bore you all elaborating about the deep funk I was in recently (boy, that was a really bad one), the important thing is that I have surfaced and I feel like my old self again. I'll be posting tutorials, and stories, and writing more regularly again. Do any of you ever get that way? I mean, to call it a "funk" makes it sound like you're just a little blue. But we're talking dangerous, deep dark depression here. My poor family. There was even a day where I closed the dogs out of my room *gasp!* and literally spent the day under the covers watching tv. No crafting, no nothing. Just snarling at anyone who dared poke their head into my room. My sister came in to ask a question and gave me a tentative sideways hug, and I think if I could have sprouted porcupine prickles, I would have. Sorry, family. I love you.

Anyway...... Today!

Ain't we cute? We could totally be sisters. 
I got the day off of work (thank you, work!) and drove up to Los Angeles to hang with Laurie Perry (Crazy Aunt Purl). Chatting over twitter a while back, she mentioned something about being in the garment district. I tweeted back that I've never been, which soon lead to future plans to meet up and make a day of it. I was beyond excited, since she's a personal hero of mine. She wants to hang out with ME? ME?! We only briefly met in person at Literary Orange, but it felt kind of like running into an old friend. From the moment she climbed into my car at the train station, it was an easy comfort that we both commented on later in the day. So what did we do?

First, we had lunch at a little mexican place that had excellent street-style carne asada tacos. Their lemonade was light and tasty, and hands-down my favorite I've ever had. Most lemonade is too strong and too sweet, but this was perfect. We meandered past a bunch of fabric stores, and little shops with cute dresses and tops and such. Laurie told me to feel free to stop in anywhere I wanted to, but I hadn't planned to do a TON of shopping (very limited budget) and didn't want to be tempted. But then...... the shopkeeper said "dresses $7!" Wha-WHAT?! Uh, yeah. I wanna go in there. Cute dresses, but nothing I couldn't live without. But the next shop, I got this:
Cute, no? $7. Seriously. I'm in love. I'm still wearing it from photographing it. So comfy! I have to buy a slip for it though, because it's definitely on the...ahem...sheer side. Next came Michael Levine. Laurie said this was her favorite place, and I can definitely see why. Hoooly moly.
Just a tiny portion of the warehouse-sized store!

Aisles and aisles of quilting cottons.... drooooooool...


This is what I wound up with. I showed INCREDIBLE restraint. 
 I was amazed at the selection. We're talking "up-to-the-minute" designs. Like "just came out last week" type fabrics. I could have cried with everything I wanted. 

After Michael Levine, we wandered a bit. As we all know, I have absolutely no sense of direction, so it was pretty much up to Laurie to figure out where we were at.
Laurie figuring out where exactly we're at. SHE had the foresight to grab a map. Me? Not so much.
While Laurie was figuring out where we were at, she was narrating the street names and directions, mostly thinking out loud. All I can hear when it comes to directions is "wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah" ala Charlie Brown's teacher. I try to listen, I try to pay attention. I really do. But my brain is a funny thing, and directions and geography just don't stick around in there. She said something about hoping she could remember where we parked. A moment later, we saw the parking lot (alley) we were at, and I said "Oh! I'll stick a pin in it." Referring to the iphone map feature where you can drop a pin to mark where you want to get back to. Being a giant dork, I started singing "if you parked it then you shoulda dropped a pin on it!". Laurie thought this was hilarious. We both admitted that we make up silly songs all the time, and especially about our pets. Have I mentioned how very much I love Laurie?

We passed a place that sold cheap hats ($5!!!) and I bought two. I wish Laurie would have bought the black one she tried on, because it looked FABULOUS on her. Don't you think?
She so byoooteeful!
These are the two I bought:
Yes, it makes me look very distinguished and sophistimicated.

A red and white hat? I had to. You understand.
The hoodie I'm wearing in those photos was picked up for $2.99. $2.99!!!! And it has teeny tiny owls on the inside!
Rowan approves

Then I found this for $5. YES PLEASE!!
Rowan assumed I was photographing her. It's all about Rowan.
It's like nice pockets, is a weather-resistant type of fabric, and has a cute matching coinpurse on the inside. $5?! Seriously?! It's my new knitting bag. I already have everything all transferred over.
We were making our way over to the farmacia Laurie's written about (far better than I could). I promised my best friend Morgan I would look for some of those cool Santa Muerte candles she wants for her house for halloween. What do you think, Morg? I couldn't resist the chicken one. She and I have a thing with chickens. I couldn't pass it up.
It's not just a chicken, it's a BLACK CHICKEN. Chicken of DOOOOOM!
There's a series of running jokes. "Morgan's so goth.....*fill in the blank*". Well Morg, I found you a goth chicken. Cluck cluck, motherfucker. ;)

Hmmm...what else? Oh yeah! On the way back to my car, we passed a hot dog stand I insisted we try. I'm so glad Laurie was up for one too. It made me feel less guilty. I mean, come on... Could you pass up:
Bacon wrapped hot dogs give me El Big Happy tummy. YUM.  There's Laurie ordering for us.
So we ate our bacon wrapped goodness, then made our way back to my car. Or so we thought.

Me: "I dropped a pin! I can get us back there!"

......two blocks later......

Me: "This isn't it ?"
Laurie: "Nope." 

We were going in the wrong direction. I couldn't even follow the freaking pin I dropped to mark where we had parked. Typical me. Sorry, Laurie! 

So that was our day, and I had the absolute time of my life. It was such a badly needed breath of fresh air, and I feel totally inspired and recharged. Laurie is the kick in the pants I needed to start blogging in the first place, so I suppose it's appropriate that hanging with her was the kick in the pants I needed to start writing again. I feel like I've known her all my life. Love you, Laurie! Traffic on the way home was horrible, so I pulled off to get a vanilla cone from McDonalds. Traffic is infinitely better with good 70's tunes and a vanilla ice cream cone. Try it sometime. 

Well, I hear my embroidery calling me, and I have a glass of wine with my name on it waiting.  I'll leave you with one final photo of the embroidery I've been working on:
They're going to be panels in a quilt
By the way, I want to publicly gush with gratitude about the Cath Kidston sewing box my AMAZING friend Jenna of SewHappyGeek sent me. It's my embroidery box now, which gets used and squeed over on a daily basis. It makes me ridiculously happy. More about embroidery tomorrow. Goodnight everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guest blogger! Hexie Mug Rug Tutorial

I hope everybody had a safe and happy 4th of July weekend! Mine was.....crazy. I'm tired. Let's leave it at that for now. I'm sure I'll write a rambling post, I have tons to tell you guys.

But for now, I have a very special treat for you. A guest tutorial! My dear friend Jenna over at SewHappyGeek wrote a wonderful hexagon mug rug tutorial for you. I'm participating in a mug rug swap she's organizing, and we're swapping tutorials as well as mug rugs. So exciting! How would you like to make THIS?
Hexy Mug Rug 16

Yeah, I know! Me too! So let's get our hexie on. Take it away, Jenna!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The fastest, easiest pillowcase ever

Today turned out to be an incredibly productive day. I finished all 7 of the bridesmaids pouches for my friend Bonz (her name is also Bonnie, she owns huskies, and she's an insatiable crafter. We are soul sisters. Her nickname is Bonz, mine is Boo!), and before continuing onto the groomsmens' bags (which will be fast and easy), I decided to reward myself by indulging in a trend I've been seeing. Pillowcases!

Have you seen the pillowcases popping up lately all over craft blogs? They're so cute! I've always had very simple, basic sheets. Usually I'll decorate more with accessories (blankets, pillow, etc.), and keep things simple for the bed. But when I saw all these adorable pillowcases, I caved. They look so bright and happy, and I have been BADLY in need of some extra happy lately. I won't lie, I've been pretty depressed. It's amazing my crafting inspiration has been as active as it has. It comes and goes, some days are better than others. If it wasn't for my huskies and crafting, it would be a bleak life indeed. When I say it totally makes my day to wake up and read all your comments and crafty love? I really mean it. Some days it's about all that sustains me. OMG! Angst? Feelings? On a crafting blog?! I'm a writer too, so yes. Things other than crafting will appear here. Lately I've been having such a blast communicating over twitter, blogs, and facebook with Jenna of Sewhappygeek, and Shanna of Fiberofallsorts, that I've been super duper inspired, and sewing has pretty much taken over my life. I even joined up with my very first ever quilting bee! It's being organized by Shanna, and I'm so excited. I'm not a quilter, but I'm confident enough in my sewing skills to feel comfortable creating one quilt block a month. I balked a little, because I have a history of letting people down, and because the bee takes place over the course of a year. A year?! Who knows what life will be in a year?! But when I sat and thought about it, one quilt block a month is totally do-able. No matter what turmoil life throws at me, I should be able to complete a single solitary quilt block a month. I'll write more about that in the future. And Jenna, I met her during the whole "Bastard-stole-my-tutorial" fiasco, and she has quickly become a good friend. She wasn't the bastard, she was another victim I contacted about her tutorial being stolen also.  Love you guys! So, to fill the void, sew! Knit! Blog! It's all healthy and productive, right? Just smile and nod. 

My attention span for following people's tutorials hasn't been so great lately, so I've been figuring them out for myself. The bonus of that is I can create new tutorials for you guys! Yay! I know there's lots of pillowcase tutorials out there, but I figured one more wouldn't hurt. Plus, this one's pretty cool. Why? Because they take 20 minutes each, there's no exposed edges, and you get to use ribbon. Awesomesauce! So grab your fabric, ribbon, and follow along!

I measured a pillowcase I already had, I think it's just a "standard size". 
Each pillowcase will take one yard of main fabric (with some leftovers), and a half yard of a contrasting fabric. For the ribbon, I dove back into the stash of vintage ribbon from garage sales. :)

Here we go!
Cut one piece of the main fabric 20"x52"(I didn't want a seam at the end, but if you don't mind feel free to cut two pieces at 20"x 25.5") 
Cut two pieces contrasting fabric 20"x10"

Fold the edge pieces in half so that they measure 20"x5", iron and give it a steam

Place the folded piece on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric so that they 20" edge match up, and sew a 1/2" seam. It's easiest if you have a nice generous seam allowance. Do this for both edges.

It should look like this. You haven't opened the seams yet, so the edges are lying on the wrong side. Make sense?
Iron and steam your seams open. WHAT?! SEAMS SHOWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE?! That's so....WRONG! Nope, you're doing it perfectly. Stick with me here.
Now take your ribbon and line it up, pinning it over the seams. Sneaky, eh?

Woo! All done there!

The underneath looks like this. Look Ma! No exposed seams! Heh heh heh...
Almost done. Promise. Now you're going to fold your pillowcase, bringing the contrasting edges together. 
Sew up the sides with a 1/4" seam (or if you want to do a 1/8" seam that's okay too. You just want a leeeeetle seam) with the RIGHT SIDE FACING OUT! This seems very counterintuitive, but trust me. 

Okay. So now it looks like you've sewed up the sides to expose the raw edge. Turn your pillowcase inside out and iron the seams flat. It should look like this.
Here's the part where your trust in me pays off! Sew about 1/2" seam all the way down the sides, like this.   Just make sure that the raw edges are captured inside the new seam. 

VOILA! The raw edges are inside the other seam, leaving you with a "hey, I almost did a french seam but not really" thing. From what I understand, it would be a french seam if you sewed the seam flat, right? I have no idea. I've never done a french seam. I thought I was being a clever Boo.

See? It's like a seam inside of a seam. That way, when you wash it, you won't have any fraying or any pinked edges showing! Yay for neat seams!

Now turn inside out, stuff your pillow inside, and whee! Fun pillow cases!
Man, I love that vintage ribbon. What am I going to do when it runs out? *sob*

Happy bed. Good thing a male doesn't live here, he'd be so embarrassed. And Totoro says hi.  Hi Totoro!
I sewed up the second pillowcase as a test to see just how long it would take without "technical difficulties" (and because I have symmetry issues when it comes to decor), or taking photographs, and it was about 20 minutes. Seriously. This is a quick, easy project, and I would *LOVE* to see anything you guys make! Send me pictures, please!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thought I forgot, didncha?

It's Friday! I know everybody always says that every friday, right? Here's my Friday so far:
English breakfast tea
and company in bed

Upon checking facebook this morning, I saw a post by my friend Karen, with a photo of a Pandora station based on Sergio Mendes. It's a softer brazilian music, perfect for chilling out and relaxing. So relaxing, that it puts one of her huskies, Dave, right to sleep. Her huskies have their own blog too. I had been trying to create a brazilian station on Pandora, but couldn't seem to hit the right spot. This does it. :) I'm so playing this station for my massage clients today. Something about Portuguese with that samba beat that makes me smile. I'm listening right now.

So it's Friday! I was up a little early today so I could write before I head off to breakfast with my friend Tom, who just moved back into town recently. I've known him since I was oh....12? Nothing is better than old friends. After that, hopefully I'll have time to crank out another pouch before work, where I've got a full schedule, then heading to my friend Kathy's house for tacos, margaritas and game night. Just us girls, Kathy, Shilo (of the evil comedian story) and me. Mad fun to be had by all. I've been loving all this friend time lately!

What's that? It's the 24th? I said I'd run the garage sailor pouch contest until the 22nd? You're right, you're right. I could say that I've been crazy busy, which is true, and literally did not have any time at all to write yesterday (also true), but I also wanted to let any stragglers leave a comment and enter if they wanted to. We'll go with that. THE WINNER IS..................*boom chica boom chica boom* (that's a brazilian drumroll)

Is it Cathy or Catie? LOL! who said:

Cathy said...

OH MY I really really want that LOL
Thanks so for the tute and the great opportunituy

Congrats! I can't find your e-mail however, so please contact me! 

Thank you to everybody who left me lovely comments, I can't tell you what warm fuzzies that gives me. I'll be running another contest soon, and keep your eyes peeled for more awesome tutorials (hint: I have an amazing guest-blogger in about two weeks)

I must get ready and go, breakfast awaits! The question is....will I be a good girl and have a protein-y omelet? Or will the siren call of waffles or pancakes (oooh.....or even crepes!) win? Sounding like lingonberry crepes are gonna win. Then tacos and margaritas tonight? How much friday goodness can one girl take?! We'll find out. ;)

Happy Friday everybody!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A morning of gratitude

Despite the fact that I woke up at about 2:30am last night from restless huskies deciding they did or didn't want to be on the bed (and it was HOT last night!) and couldn't get back to sleep, I'm in a pretty fine mood this morning. I turned the brightness down on my iPad and read some more of my book until I managed to drift back off to sleep. If you're curious, I'm reading Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. I read to escape, and her writing is a great mixture of "not TOO fantasy that it's off-putting", good writing (I'm a HARD critic, I tell ya), and just plain fun. Go read some Kim Harrison. You won't be disappointed if you're looking for a fun escapist read. I'm also reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton, but I've been leaning more toward the former lately because it's juicier and more "accessible". Not that Pirate Latitudes is a drudge to read, it's a great swashbuckler that's tons of fun, just a little more involved.

Wow, that was a tangent. Sorry, guys. Anywho, I guess both huskies decided they wanted up on the bed with me, abandoning their custom bed I slaved over a week or so ago. Waking up with two huskies snuggled up with me always gives me the warm fuzzies in my heart. Not a bad way to wake up. So! For a mid week pick-me-up, here's a few things I'm deeply grateful for today:

  • Waking up to snuggly huskies who wag their tails when I open my eyes and say "good morning!"
  • A nice hot cup of good ol' English Breakfast tea with half 'n half to go with my cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon.
  • Bacon. 'Nuff said.
  • Thinking somebody turned the radio on to a lovely classical music station and discovering it's my sister practicing a Chopin piece on our baby grand piano. I left my door open so I could listen. I LOVE that my sis and I have been musicians our whole lives. It gave us an identity and a safe haven, and something to be proud of. We both play piano and cello. My sister was always the better pianist (she can sightread anything you put in front of her), but I was always the better cellist. She won't argue. We both played in drumline through high school too. Please schools, PLEASE don't cut the music programs. It saved us.
  • My neck wasn't quite as sore as usual this morning. I won't lie, it's been pretty bad lately. So those times it doesn't seem as bad, and I actually DON'T have a headache are to be savored. 
  • And finally, when I called the Sew & Vac place to see how my machine was coming (I really was just wanting an update, I wasn't nagging or pushing), they said "it's on the bench as we speak. It should be done in an hour or two". 

Let me reiterate that last one. It should be done in an hour or two. This makes me incredibly happy for multiple reasons. I love my machine (a Viking Victoria), I can really start cranking out those pouches again:

and the greatest reason of all: He didn't find anything super-duper wrong with it! This makes me want to do the crazy-person laugh. I completely dismantled my machine, put it back together again (including computerized components), and all he needed to do was give it a clean and tune. I don't know whether to be proud of myself, or feel like I was FRIGGIN LUCKY and dodged a bullet. Gift horse? Mouth? I ain't lookin'.

And finally!

  • You guys. I'm being serious. Waking up and reading your comments makes me feel like a million bucks. It's one thing when your friends and family say "oh, that's great! Cute!" or "I love your writing!" But it's another completely when someone you've never met tells you. Thank you. 

On that note, I want to share some of the beautiful projects people have made with my free tutorials! (The names are Ravelry usernames. Thank you for your permission to use your photos, guys!)
Boogie earbuds by Papersavvy 
Boogie earbuds by Ronni-licious 
Boogie Earbuds by FiberHound

TWO sets of Boogie Earbuds by WimpWoman!
All Twisted Up Yoga Socks by GoldenHamster. Beautiful! If you're on Ravelry, you can click on her photo to see her Ravelry Designer page. Wish I could crochet!
All Twisted Up Yoga Socks by MadMomma
There were so many beautiful examples, I wish I could include them all here. Thank you, you guys for sharing your finished projects and allowing me to post them here!

Okay, one last feel-good thing of the day. The other morning, I woke up and had an e-mail all the way from India, regarding my Nikon L120 review


I am Febin Kurian from Chennai - India. Recently I was in search for a good digital camera. While searching on internet I could see your blog on Nikon L120 and that made me to zero in to buy one Nikon L 120. I sending this email to thank you for helping me to buy a very good camera. Thanks once again.

I am attaching couple of snaps that I have taken using Nikon L120



And these were the photos Febin attached.

Wow! Especially the one of the Tiger Lilly (Is that what it is? Help me out people!). Beautiful photography. When I wrote back to Febin, they said they would be honored if I would share their photography, and gave me a link to see more of it. I must explore that sometime. :) Then they made me promise to share my photography as well, so I may have a new photo-penpal! How exciting!

All of this makes me feel so dang good. I feel like I have friends all over the world. Blogging has opened up all kinds of possibilities, and I've made all kinds of wonderful new friends. Okay, now I'm just gushing. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and I've gotta hurry and get ready for work! *ZOOOOM*