Friday, July 31, 2009

A Working Lunch?

Thanks to Kara, I Mad Men-ified myself during lunch today....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shoe Me the Way Up

I'm kind of totally in love with this room, particularly the ladder of shoes. I might need to keep my eyes open at flea markets from now on...

From Home Sweet Home

Just a Minute...

Stealing a wee bit from Amy, I thought I'd post a Just a Minute for July (and I'm getting it in just under the wire).

Reading...
a plethora of magazines (Real Simple, In Style, Fast Company, and Self) and continuing to ever so slowly enjoy my way through A Homemade Life.

Winning... pretty much none of the contests I enter. Oh well...

Learning... yet again that I can't control what other people do. It's hard to watch people make bad decisions sometimes. But then, that's how we all learn!

Hoping... it doesn't rain for Shakespeare in Clark Park. We're going on Saturday night and I'm looking forward to the picnic and show.

Collecting...fabric scraps for my door wreath. I think I have all of the supplies... just need to get sewing!

Filing... emails in my work and personal in-boxes. It seems as though, lately, email has been flying in so fast I can barely keep up.

Planning... for upcoming sewing projects while toiling away at the lovely ones I'm working on now. I'm thinking either a patchwork on coin quilt... decisions, decisions! Oh, and for the return of my students and general job craziness in September.

Watching...people out my third floor office window. Today is warm and it's not raining yet. I have such an eagle eye view of a busy, fun area of the city.

Making... a secret project that I'm loving! I'm hoping to get a bunch accomplished this weekend.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm in a Jam

What did I do last night you ask? Why, I simmered some old strawberries with a delicious looking peach, added a wee bit of sugar and made jam. Delicious sweet jam!

Guess what I'm having for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jack Handy has Nothing on Me Today...

Disclaimer: This is not at all craft related....nor has it been edited. Hope you like stream of consciousness.

Last night, I got a late night call from a friend who has a family member fighting a disease. The family member needed to go to the hospital. Being far away from where this family member lives is difficult for my friend. After we got off the phone, I thought quite a bit about how precious life is and other health trials being experienced by those around me. I have a family member who struggles with diabetes. Lately, her sugars have been a bit out of wack. This coupled with other health problems she's had over the years gives me cause of slight worry. Although I'm not physically close by I know a lot of other family members are. My help for this loved one is prayer. I have a friend who has recently overcome breast cancer. She's a real trooper let me tell you. She's a great fighter and is definitely winning. And, I believe, is doing a good job of mentally taking care of herself in the process. I have another friend who just had a family member have brain surgery to take out a (luckily benign) tumor. The patient is in recovery now and the outlook is good.

Being surrounded by so many health issues helps me to take stock in my own blessings and also in my faith in some sort of plan. So much of what is going on seems unfair or depressing. But, I really do believe that there is a reason or mission behind some of this suffering. Perhaps we only learn the lesson being given years from now. Perhaps we never truly recognize it. But I believe all of these challenges impart something on our souls, our minds, our lives. Although I'm not an overly religious person, I take great comfort in being able to pray for those in need. Often, it is one of the few things I can do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lunchtime Errand

I went to the post office at lunch time to mail some packages (including a contest package, a birthday gift and the gift for Morgan). First, someone left their purse behind so I turned it into the clerks before it was taken off with. It was left by the nice woman who works at the bookstore down the street. But since the postal clerks don't know I'm the honest sort, I thought it more wise to turn it in. Then the clerk helping me admired my key necklace (quite a lot). I told her I was planning to make some to sell and she directed me to come back to her then.... hmm.... guess I should get busy on making 'em, huh?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Sunday Hike

Have I told you I live two blocks from a nice, rather big (for a city) wooded area? I love it immensely.

Rosy and I went for a hike there today. We took the longest route we could to stay in the woods as long as possible. The sun through the trees dabbled on the floor, giving cool moments in shade mixed with the warmth of the day. The smells left behind by other dogs and various woodland creatures captivated Rosy's little nose as we meandered along. A walk in the creek was necessary....as was an extra sniff at that crayfish (no noses were hurt in the taking of these pictures).

A lovely little outing with my favorite little dog... life is good.

Sometimes We All Need a Guru

I've been rather remiss in my knitting lately. In large part, it was because the project I was working on wasn't working with me. And I was having problems determining what I was doing wrong. Luckily, I spent a bunch of time with my personal knitting guru yesterday, my friend Alissa. So, I frogged what I was doing and cast on again. With her helpful thoughts, the project is now humming along nicely. Woohoo!! It feels good to be working away on something. That Something Lavender sweater will be finished sometime this summer.

I also finished doll #2. She's not wonky like the first one. I wrote a little note to my friend's daughter and packaged the doll and the blanket for her brother up. I'm hoping to get it in the mail tomorrow. The package is going right to her because what little girl doesn't like receiving packages?

What a fun weekend! What have you been up to?

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Day at the Office

Someone is pulling a George Costanza under my desk at work... sadly it isn't me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Spot of Sewing Today....

I have a new friend. I decided to use Emily's doll pattern off the Martha Stewart website to make a doll for my friend's daughter. It was to accompany the blanket I knit for her soon-to-be brother. Well, this little lovely has a few imperfections so she is staying with me (although she might make a trip to my mom's, since she's okay with imperfections). So, on to doll #2!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Red Tomato and Green Zucchini = Deliciousness

Oh, look what my colleague brought me today.... a bunch of tomatoes from her garden!! I decided since I need to make ziti soon that a batch of pasta sauce was in order tonight. If you've been reading since last summer, you know I love to make my own sauce.

A trip to the grocery store yielded mushrooms, ground turkey, onion, tomato pasta, tomato sauce and my own secret ingredient, zucchini. I've taken to shredding it in pasta sauce so that you barely even know it is there but that it adds to the nutritional value.

As the compilation of ingredients simmered, I kept taking my spoon and dipping it in - the sauce is definitely the best I've ever made! I have no idea of how much of everything is in it but I know I will certainly enjoy eating it. No pasta tonight and none tomorrow (I'm going to see Harry Potter tomorrow and eating out) but definitely this week.... yum!

Monday, July 20, 2009

All Keyed Up

Since I'm wearing the skeleton key necklace today, I thought I'd take a picture with the phone so I could post it here. It adds a nice little detail when wearing this simple black dress of mine. Every day, I think I love it a wee bit more!

Necklace Inspiration

I have had it in my head to make a wind chime with a circle foam wreath, fabric, ribbon and a bunch of skeleton keys. My stepfather had a large collection of skeleton keys for some reason and I knew my mom wouldn't mind my raiding the basement stash when I was in Buffalo. We went through the stash, picking out the ones that were not broken and in decent condition. Altogether, I picked out about 20.

Then, on the flight to Indianapolis, I saw this magazine page. I was immediately intrigued by the Tiffany skeleton key necklace. Really, I could make something similar for about $20 - much cheaper than Tiffany! A little steel wool and my key looked necklace ready. I haven't bought chain yet so it's on an old necklace for now. But I think this will end up a well loved piece in my jewelry wardrobe. And, I think I make make a few additional ones for Etsy. Think they will sell?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Fabric + Zippy Pouches = Happiness

Before I left for NY, I rifled through Amy's shop and decided I needed some of her Japanese fabric. Upon returning from vacation, these little lovelies were waiting for me. I'm thinking about making some little zippy pouches (you know how I love them!) with these.

Contest Winners!

And, the winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

4
3

Timestamp: 2009-07-20 01:23:38 UTC

Congrats to Maria and Leah! Ladies, email me your addresses (email addy in sidebar) and I'll get packages out to you this week.

Sunsets, Clouds and Michael Phelps

Rosy and I have made it a tradition to stop at a rest area every time we drive to Buffalo. I take a picture each time, since it is typically a different season than the time before. I like the comparison. The picture at left shows the rolling hills of NYS on a sunny day. I love the fact that the clouds on top are lighter and the clouds on the bottom on fluffy and gorgeous. It was truly an extraordinary day for a drive.

Last year, I got a Sunkist Oranges sign at the flea market. I knew immiediately upon seeing it that it fit my kitchen perfectly. And, that it would look nice with a couple of unframed flea market purchases from past years. My mom was nice enough to frame a Keuka Lake label I got a couple of years ago. She gave me it when I was there. I love how they look together! Now, I just need to get my 1954 Jello ad framed....

Oh, and I haven't told you that Michael Phelps stayed in my hotel while I was in Indianapolis for a conference. He was in town for some swim meet. I never saw him although I know a bunch of people who saw him in the mall's food court. I did kinnear his mama when she was in the hotel gift shop. (See, there she is purchasing gum or something.) She was there doing a book signing as well as attending the swim meet. Thank goodness for the iPhone camera!

And I'd be remiss for not sharing a little about my Fourth of July. I spent the entire day with Rosy and my mom. There was a great game of fetch in the backyard with a squeaky tennis ball. There was a short trip to Kohl's. There were kabobs, grilled corn and Caprese salad. And there were fireworks over the Niagara River. With ice cream! We were able to watch a lovely sunset and some quality people watching. All in all, a great day!

My contest will end tonight... I'll be back with a posting of winners later today.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contest Update

Okay, the vacation post contest ends on Sunday. Hope you'll enter soon!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm Baaaaaaaaack!

Goodness, I have so much to share! My vacation was excellent - quite the rest I needed with a conference loaded with friends in the middle. However, I have to process things in order to not offer my most discombobulated post ever. So, I'm sharing this picture until I get my act together. (Yes, it's not merely a photo of my toilet!) This little blue shelf is new! It bought it at the flea market, sanded, primed and painted it to go in my bathroom. I'm loving how it added a little pop to the wall. The basket on it - made by my crafty mom!

More soon....

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Vacation Staycation at my Mom's

Right now, I'm vacationing in Buffalo, NY visiting my mother, other family and friends. It's so wonderful to come home again. I've been enjoying the things that make summer in Buffalo wonderful.... the Niagara River, the flea market, golfing on a nice but not too hot day, sponge candy, roast beef from Anderson's and quiet walks in my mom's neighborhood. Truly, it's that gloriously exhausting type of relaxation. Few things are better.

What makes a vacation wonderful, delightful and amazing for you? What vacation stands out in your mind among the best? Give me a little glimpse of why it was so outstanding.... I'll pick the best little story and award one of these prizes: 3 hanks of pink Cotton Classic or the beaded earrings for the Summer Camp posts (both seen at left). Tell me which you'd prefer. Wanna earn an extra entry? Blog about the contest and come back and let me know. Two people will win and I will ship internationally.

Can't wait to hear your stories!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Flea Market Finds #2

After a beautiful Fourth of July evening down by the Niagara River in Tonawanda, NY and a restful night of sleep, it was off to the flea market. You know how I love a good flea market. And the one by my mom's never disappoints. So much of my home has been personalized by flea market finds. Today reaffirmed my love. I found this tablecloth for a great deal. It has one small, light stain on it... otherwise, it's perfect and vintage-y.
I also found these bracelets for a dollar each. They jangle so nicely together and will be a great compliment to some outfit down the road.
I also got a cute small shelf for my bathroom. It's going to undergo a rehab so pictures will be forthcoming. It's more right for my apartment than I even imagined so that's wonderful!

I went looking for linens, a bathroom shelf and a sewing table (with specific dimensions). So, as Meatloaf said, two out of three ain't bad.... I left a happy camper!


* Excuse the photos...they are iPhone quality, not Canon. That's all I got until I get home to upload!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July

We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I love the Fourth of July. I love picnics. I love time with family and friends. I love fireworks. And, I love celebrating the fact that I live in this free nation. The United State of America has flaws, don't get me wrong. There are many things the government does (or doesn't do) that I don't agree with. But, I'm pretty proud to be an American. This country was founded out of a disagreement about fundamental rights. It was founded on liberty. On equality. On justice. Like everywhere, we've failed to live up to those values at times. But people come along and put us on a more right course. I'm proud of my country and hope I can be part of the process of making us more free, more equal, more just. Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Little Etsy Sale

I'm offering a little sale weekend over at my etsy store to celebrate Independence Day. Everything will be 10% off... make a purchase and I'll send a revised invoice. Please note, all sales will not be mailed until July 15th as I will be on vacation!