Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things That Keep Me Off the Streets

And another month comes to a close... it seems as though the summer is flying by. I've been home most of the month of June and have enjoyed having the opportunity to poke around at home with not too much of a time line. July offers a few more travels, starting with an upcoming vacation to Buffalo to see my mom and some others. I can hardly wait for the friends and foods that await me. In anticipation, I whipped up these placemats for my mom's table on the porch. They are a wee wonky since I didn't use a pattern to cut the fabric or batting. But, I'm pretty sure she'll love 'em!

And, I've decided to hold a summer vacation contest. Details are upcoming. Plan on sharing a little about what constitutes your favorite summer vacation. And yes, I will ship internationally. The prizes are pictured on the left... three hanks of Cotton Classic in pink or the earrings I made for Summer Camp. Check back later this week for a contest post.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Anniversary

I realized the other day that my one year anniversary of blogging came and went without me noting it. Oops! I'm glad I've been putting my thoughts, crafts and life out there for the past year.

This weekend, I did some sewing as well as a wee bit of knitting on my lavender sweater. I also had a delightful brunch with a new friend on Saturday. Thankfully, the restaurant is a laid back place in the Chestnut Hill section of the city - we talked for three hours and never once felt they wanted us to leave. Granted there were always open tables on the outdoor patio so it was not worry about turning ours over. I had a delicious tomato, basil and Parmesan omelet with potatoes and bacon. Yum! The rest of the weekend was errands, baking and relaxing.... love my life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vintage Stacy

Last night I did almost nothing but watch smarmy TV (and a little of the Michael Jackson coverage... gosh, you almost couldn't escape it). I even failed to do my yoga (bad me). I gave in to my two week craving for pizza and ordered one. Ham and pineapple. Delish!

However, I say almost nothing because I did cut out the pattern for my newest dress. And in the excitement of a new project, I ironed the fabric and cut out a couple of pieces. So sewing will commence this weekend. I hope I can finish this lovely bit within a week. Totally do-able, right? We shall see...

Now that you know my weekend plans, what are you up to?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Walk and a Knit: Otherwise Known as Life is Good

Yesterday on our walk around the block, Rosy spotted this rug folded up on the curb. She was immediately suspicious, unsure what it was up to. And, I think, where it's butt was so she could smell it. Seriously, I had to pull her past it. And then she turned around to check it out again, making a weird little noise down in her throat. I, meanwhile, let out a hearty laugh at her expense.

I also proudly have a finished object to brag about. I've been such a knitting slacker lately that FO have been few and far between. I blame it in part of a wee bit of carpel tunnel. I've been nursing my hands a bit so that it doesn't get worse. But, last night I plugged away on this baby blanket for one of my sorority sisters from college (well actually, her soon-to-be son - it's a little too small for her).
It's a simple basket weave of stockinette and seed stitch. I'm pretty happy with how the stripes work too. I bought the yarn on sale and got the five balls that were left, thus the two different colors. I hope my friend likes it... now to find a small gift for her daughter, the big sister. Hmm....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Really, Not Quilt Square Sewing!

I actually tore myself away from the quilt squares long enough to make this Green with Envy Dress. It went together like a dream. It looks so so on however, mostly due to my scoliosis. One side, at the waist, is too long for where my hip falls. Other side = perfect. I'll probably still sport it, with a cardigan. Now I'm dreaming of another dress.... black fabric with swirls.

Oh, why Green with Envy you ask? Who knows... it's what popped into my head. It worked better than It's Not Easy Being Green. Sorry Kermit.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Moooo...

I received my Moo Cards for the etsy store today. Some have jewelry pictures, some have quilt squares and some sport this photo of the Ben Franklin Bridge. I love this photo because even the clouds are perfect. Love 'em!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Little Staycation

This coming weekend I'm planning on helping a friend pick up a bridesmaid dress, go strawberry picking, and take a little staycation here in Philly. I have off on Monday and Tuesday and other than a trip to the car repair shop, I have no definite plans. It's lovely to think about all of the crafting I can do, the possibility of a few extra walks with Rosy, and revel in the opportunity for a bit more sleep.
Although there is a part of me that thinks I should go visit the Art Museum or the zoo, the idea of staying home and just being is seductive.
And of course, I'll have to make some strawberry shortcake. I guess I'll need to add "get Kool-Whip" to my weekend to do's.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Flea Market Finds

The flea market was nothing but a success yesterday. I walked over slightly after 10 AM and it was already quite busy. There were probably about 20 to 30 booths with everything from toys to housewares to jewelry. I was hoping for some furniture but didn't find the table I was hoping to acquire. However, I did get these gems. This round mirror was cheap - $5 - and in great condition. I couldn't turn it down even though I didn't really need it. As soon as I got home, I found a place for it and admired it all day yesterday.

At the same booth - first one I visited - I found this picnic basket. It's lined with a blue gingham on both the top and bottom parts. I love love love it. I didn't buy it right away, as I figured I should look around first before dropping money. When I came back, it wasn't in the same spot. I was so nervous it might have sold in the meantime. Lucky for me, it hadn't! I'm planning on using it for fabric storage... oy, talk about further enabling my fabric habit.

I also got a little tin with apples painted on it. I was planning to use it as a gift but found a perfect spot in my kitchen so I don't think it is going anywhere soon.

Altogether, I spent $22. Really, how can you beat that?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer Camp Earring Lesson #2

Today is one of those sunny, warm-but-not-too-warm summer days that is just about perfect. I can't help but smile - at the new neighbors excitedly unpacking across the way, the person whistling on their walk and the bird sitting on the ledge outside my window mere feet from the computer keyboard. I hope your Sunday is just as beautiful.

On to Beaded Earring Lesson #2....
Holding the post with the needle nose pliers, bend it away from you. When it is at a 90 degree angle, switch to the round nose pliers and bend the post all the way around.

Slip the hook onto the post and into the circle you just formed.

Holding the circle with the needle nose pliers, wrap the "extra" bit of post around the post under the loop but above the beads. Wrap it two to three times depending on space.


Using the wire cutters, trim the extra post off as close as possible to the wraps. Be careful not to cut post or hoop in any way. Switch back to the needle nose pliers and push the new edge of the post in.

You have one earring complete! Repeat this with the materials for earring #2. Then, wear your new earrings with pride.

(Yeah, I need a camera with a marco lens. Sorry for the blurry photos!)

Come back for a Summer Camp giveaway soon!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Purplish Hue and Other Things

We've been getting a lot of storms lately. Frankly, I love a good thunder storm! I love the breeze that comes with it. I love the way the air smells just before. I love watching the thunder out my window. I love the sound of pounding rain. And, I love the sky just beforehand. I took this photo the other night, as I was waiting for the storm to blow in. The colors of the sky were so impressive, this photo can't even do it justice. It truly is one of those things that makes me appreciate being alive.

After a long work week I was greeted on Friday by a package of fabric. What a lovely thing to come home to! I'm planning on using both of these in the quilt but primarily bought them for other ventures. I can't wait to sew with them.... although I'm focused on working on a dress right now.

I'm also in the process of trying to rearrange my living room to accommodate a permanent home for the sewing machine. Before I completely rearrange, I need to acquire a table for it. (Maybe I'll find something at the flea market tomorrow?) But the poor (nameless!) thing needs a regular home. The kitchen table just isn't cutting it anymore, mostly because I miss having a table to eat at.

Tomorrow will be lesson two of the beaded earring series. I'm also thinking of other summer camp things.... hope they come to fruition.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Good to Smile

I'm constantly amazed by life. When you think positively, even the challenges are little rewards. I have had a few stressors lately. Nothing too overwhelming but things that offered great learning experiences about what I need and want when working with others. So all is good...

Last weekend I traveled out to Denver (Aurora really) for a training. It was an opportunity to network with some new people, reconnect with others and generally learn from colleagues. I have such an appreciation for these folks and their commitment to our field. We also got to go to the Impulse comedy show.... I love how talented folks can do improv. Hilarious!

Thus far this week, I've been relaxing a bit and working on some projects. I got another two quilt squares done last night. I keep wavering on the color sashing I want to use to pull it all together. I also cast on my lavender cardigan. I simply love the feel of the Blue Sky Alpaca cotton in my hands! And, I'm working on a secret project.... all I can say is it is fun!

My neighborhood synagogue is having a flea market on Sunday. I'm hoping to hit it up first thing in the morning and score some good finds. I adore a good flea market, as it offers many possibilities. I'm not going looking for something but certainly hope something amazing jumps out at me - cross your fingers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Camp Earring Lesson #1

Lesson number one is the tools needed for beaded earring construction.
First off, it is beneficial to have a mat of some kind to keep things from rolling around. I used a placemat here. In the photo, you will see all of the tools I use. The pliers on the left on needle nose pliers. If you have a tool box, you can probably use the ones you have in there. After using mine for a while, I purchased some specifically for jewelry. The next ones over are wire cutters that allow a super close cut. This is important and worth the approximately $30. And, on the right are round nose pliers. Round nose pliers allow you to get a nice loop on the top of your earrings. Below the pliers are the silver posts, earring hooks and beads. I picked out two different kinds of beads that I liked together. You often need to try a number of combinations to determine what you like (or what might be good for the gift receiptant if you are giving them away). Happy bead picking!

Lesson number two will focus on beginning construction. Hope to see you back here!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And, a Random Kinnear

I forgot to post that I sort of kinneared Carson Kressley at the Devon Horse Show. I deleted the really bad, obviously kinneared photos already so you get this one.... I liked the pink tie/blue vest combo; the rest of the outfit, eh.

Drive By Post

Wow, it's been FOREVER! I've been a busy girl, out on the town and out of town. I promise I'll get an update and a Summer Camp post up in the next two days. Right now, I'm busy throwing open the windows, cleaning up around the house and determining a grocery store trip is in order.