27 February 2009

it's friday. yes indeed

Happy Friday Friends!

These photos were taken with a new camera of mine- it's a toy camera I found for a few dollars at the thrift shop. It was made by Time Magazine (I'm still poking around the internet to find more info about it) and I'm sure it was sent out free with a subscription, or something like that. I loaded some film I had gotten for free and promptly went out on a walk with my two favorite boys on a nice sunny day. I finally got the film back and here's a couple of the shots. I'm excited to play around with this some more! I've recently gotten a ton of free (mostly expired, but whatever) film through freecycle so I don't feel bad blowing a whole roll of film. For all you film nuts out there I'd highly recommend trying freecycle or the free section of craigslist for some free film!

I want to thank everyone for the sweet sweet comments on my blogiversary post. It was so nice to hear from long time and new readers alike, comment more! I love hearing from you, and I loved hearing what keeps each of you coming back. Your words really mean a lot to me. So, without further ado, the winner of my little giveaway is...Claudia! I can't remember exactly how Claudia and I "met" but it was around a year and her beautiful photos and 365 project inspired me to do my own photo a day (even though it was only for a month) last April. Claudia also sent me an awesome cd last spring with some amazing (and totally new to me- I love that!) Quebecoise music. She makes beautiful creations, which she sometimes sells in her shop, so I'm sure she'll put this fabric to good use :)

Claudia said...
two years...time flies!
happy blog anniversary :)
I like the simplicity and beauty of your blog...and also the wow factor since you make your own bread:)
February 25, 2009 8:48 PM

I hope to have the remaining four packs of fabric in the shop by Monday. Have a lovely weekend, friends!

26 February 2009

passed down

This morning, as I was getting ready to leave the house, I realized that I was wearing three generations of handknits. A sweater made by my grandmother (I think she originally made it for my mom?) years ago, that has become my go-to sweater this winter. A cashmere neckwarmer that my mom recently knit and sent to me, which has also pretty much been a fixture around my neck since it arrived. And my own recently-knit piksi hat. I feel like knitting is often a skill or hobby that is passed down among generations of women, and I'm so glad that it is that way in my family too. I hope someday I'll have a little (or not so little- I wasn't really interested in learning how to knit until I was in college) one to teach as well.

It makes me so happy to come from a line of crafty women. My grandmother (on my mom's side) passed away when I was just a kid, so it's so meaningful to have these little bits that she made. She was also quite the seamstress, though that was not a skill she passed along to my mom (I'm told she used to finish all of my mom's home ec projects for her) and I came to sewing quite on my own. Sharing a skill with my grandmother, and having some special things that were hers, makes me feel just a little closer to someone that I barely got to know. (Also, she was the first mom on their block to wear pants, so she was clearly a woman after my own heart!) I also have a number of pieces of my mom's...some embroideries she made when she was younger, and a beautiful watercolor that hangs above my fireplace. Not living near my family, it helps to be surrounded by little reminders, especially handmade ones.

There's a blizzard here, I've already taken the dog out to play in the snow and shoveled (though I'm sure that'll need to happen again). I'm in for the night, finishing up my sweater (speaking of knitting) and snuggling with Freddie. Hope you're all having a good evening.

And don't forget, I'll announce the winner of the fabric giveaway here tomorrow so if you haven't commented here yet, be sure to do that tonight! After the giveaway, the rest of the fabric packs will be posted in the shop.

24 February 2009


After seeing Martha's post about the Free Ink Days at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, I knew I had to check it out. Somehow, I had never been there--like so many cool places in my city that I've yet to discover!-- and I'm so glad that I looked it up when I did and was able to attend their last Free Ink Day in their current location. My friend Karen and I headed over there last Saturday and had tons of fun playing around in their studios.

On the day that w
e went, they were offering monotype as well as the usual printing with pre-made woodcuts. They had some images printed out on cardstock that you could cut out and use for your print, but we opted to make our own designs. The monotype process is really fun and simple, though I think it takes a little bit of thinking to wrap your brain around the layering of the colors. The first one I made is the one on the left (gee, does that bird look familiar?!), and the second one I made is for Jared. I knew he'd get all nitpicky if the bass image was inaccurate, so I was all set to cut out four thin strips for the strings...Of course there was no room for all four strings. So I'm calling it a rare, two string bass. He also mentioned that it's missing the tuning pegs. Oh well.

I've recently been wanting to get back into some kind of printing again--it was a medium that I really enjoyed when I was younger. I think it was mostly the color combinations that I loved (which would probably explain why I enjoy sewing- all that mixing and matching of fabrics). This project was definitely a good inspiration to get moving on my next project that I've got up my sleeve...(I also have a bunch of film shots of the studio that I'll share as soon as I get them back!)

Don't forget to leave a comment on my last post by Thursday at midnight for a chance to win a big pile of fabric!

23 February 2009

two years, and a pile of fabric for you!

Hello friends! Yesterday was this here blog's second birthday! I just mentioned this to Jared as we were making dinner and he said "really? it's been that long?" I feel the same way. There are so many reasons why I'm thankful for this blog, most of which I've stated before...the opportunity to write, share my crafts (and random thoughts!), how it's reignited my love for photography, everything that I've learned, all the friends I've made, and the constant support and encouragement I get from all of you. I so appreciate that you all take some time out of your own lives to come visit me here.

So, in celebration of this little milestone, I'm offering a little giveaway! I've gone through my fabric stash and culled out five awesome collections of fabric. Each pile is a mixture of vintage/thrifted fabrics and new fabrics. There are small scraps and multiple yard pieces alike. I'm going to give one of them away here, and list the other four for sale over at the shop. Amazingly, even pulling out this much fabric hasn't seemed to make a dent in my stash!

Just leave a comment here by Friday at 5:00pm (Central Time) and I'll announce the winner then. In your comment, let me know which pile you'd like and something that keeps you coming back to this blog. I'm always curious as to what people like about this space (is it the photos? the crafts? the recipes? the ramblings?), that I'd love to hear that from you all.


20 February 2009

hummus is good

I really do love hummus. It's the perfect snack. It's good on sandwiches, chips, veggies, and of course, falafel. I try to have hummus on hand almost all the time and over time, I've come up with a pretty darn good recipe (at least I think it's good!) and I figured I'd share it with you all here. I like to use dried chickpeas because it saves on packaging and is a lot cheaper than canned beans! I'm very lucky to have a coop nearby that has an incredible bulk foods department, but if you don't have access to (or are not a fan of) dried chickpeas, I think these proportions would work with a 15 oz can of chickpeas. Now, go forth, and make yourself the perfect weekend snack. Happy Friday Friends!

1 cup dried chickpeas
2-3 cloves of garlic
juice of 2-3 lemons
4 tbl tahini
8 tbl olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp cayenne powder

In a medium pot, cover the chickpeas with about 2 inches of water and soak them overnight and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. (If you forget to soak them overnight, you can use the "quick" method of bringing to a boil and then letting them sit for about 1.5-2 hours before cooking). Drain chickpeas and let them cool, reserving at least 1/2 cup of the water that you cooked them in. Once the chickpeas are cooled down, combine all ingredients (except the water) in a food processor and process away! You'll probably need to add about 1/2 cup or so of the water to get the hummus to a nice creamy consistency, but this may vary. Enjoy!

16 February 2009

a manifesto...of sorts

So now that it's already mid-February, I suppose it's about time to post my crafty goals for this year. I always have new projects and crafts that I want to try, but this year I'm really going to do my best to stick with this list, and get to as many things on this list as I can. So here goes...

::finish at least one sweater (preferably two)
::make a quilt
::sew a pair of pants
::knit socks (a whole pair)
::carve rubber stamps and print onto fabric (these are incredibly inspiring)
::design a sewing pattern, and make it!

::sew a garment with knits (this will probably entail purchasing this book)
::actually make some of the home projects that I've been talking about for a year (um, how hard is it to make a freaking pair of potholders?!)
::something from the Alabama Stitch Book, which I finally bought last month (I'd love to do the skirt, but I'll settle for a scarf for now)

okay okay, I know this seems like an awful lot, but I think I can do it. I really do. Some of these things are already in progress. Like the sweater, which is practically done already so I kind of feel like it's cheating to put that as a goal, but you always need something on your list that can be crossed off soon, right? And the quilt, I have one in progress (well, it's a collaborative quilt, and that's just about all I can say about it now). Though I do plan on making another one for my the wedding of one of my best friends that's in July. So, um, I suppose I should get started on that, huh? I have a lot of other little projects on my to do list, but here I'm focusing mostly on larger things that require learning new skills or expanding my horizons in some way. What do you want to learn to do this year?

14 February 2009

Happy Love Day

{above: my photo}
{below: some valentine's favorites, click on mosaic for credits}

Jared and I aren't big celebrators of Valentine's Day, but I think I'm growing to like the holiday more and more. So far we've had a pretty low key day together. Tonight we're going to cook dinner and then go to a little party at a friend's house. I hope you're all spending the day with some loved ones somewhere. Thanks for being such great friends and sharing so much of your love and smiles with me here. xo

10 February 2009

a little belated, but that's okay.

Back in December, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the making that was going on. Between the big craft fair weekend, and all those freaking cookies, it was a little much. I was pretty happy that I had made about fifteen thousand jars of jam back in the summer, because everyone loves jam for the holidays!

I did make a few presents, and one of them was these two little hats for Jared's nephews. I had bought this super soft fleece to back some of my patchwork scarves and I thought it would be perfect for some easy peasy (and cute!) hats for the little ones. It was. Unfortunately, the hats were way too small. And the design I made up was way too wonky. What I originally did was take two flat pieces of the fleece (shaped in half circles essentially) and sew them together, with either the bear ears or the dinosaur spikes sandwiched in on the top. Then I added a contrasting band around the bottom with earflaps and ties. Unfortunately, this fleece is not very stretchy and using just two pieces was way too flat (on top of being just plain too small).

So I finally got around to re-doing these hats over the weekend. I realized that I needed to make the design a little more, um, three dimensional. So I copied a fleece hat that I have and made the top portion of the hat have four triangles that got sewn together to make it more round. The contrasting band with the earflaps and ties became a little bigger and the hats are way better. This was a super easy project that (once I got the pattern figured out) seriously took less than an hour per hat (maybe even less, I wasn't exactly timing myself).
Since I don't have kids of my own, it's always really hard for me to gauge sizing for kids. After the first hats were too small, I had Jared's sister-in-law measure their heads, and it turns out that they're about the same size as mine (they are two and three and a half). This surprised me. The hats might be too big now, but I'd rather let them grow into them than make them again.

The best part about fleece is that you can leave the edges raw since it won't fray. Actually, after finishing the dinosaur one, I realized that I thought it came down too far, so I just trimmed the front a little, so sweet. I love the contrast of the yellow stitching against the light grey and charcoal here too. I also like that the bear ears and dino spikes make this very kid-like, but they're not too cutesy (the color choices probably have something to do with that too!) I didn't really make up pattern pieces for this (which I should so that I don't forget it), just some sketches and notes in my sketchbook. I've been wanting to post a tutorial or free pattern here, so I'd be more than happy to share this one here if anyone is interested.

09 February 2009

a winter walk

This weekend was so beautiful. It got to be about forty degrees here, which felt almost like summer. It really is amazing how much our bodies can adjust to different temperatures. On Saturday, I was wearing flip flops around the house, as opposed to my normal wool slippers. Jared was out in the garage working on the car, and more than once I went out to him with just my sandals on. The sun was shining, the snow was melting, and it felt great! I know winter isn't over, but I'm getting excited for spring, whenever that may come.

There are so many things I'm loving about having a dog, and one of the biggest is how much it's gotten me outside. We're lucky to have a big dog park not to far from us where we can let him off the leash and just walk in the woods. This is nice, especially for photo taking, since it can be hard to take photos while holding the leash. It's a really beautiful spot and I love that he's so good about coming back to us when we call him. I can't wait to go for longer hikes in the spring and summer. These photos are from two weekends ago, but we've been going to this park pretty much every weekend, I really love it.

I finally got some sewing time in this weekend too (I made myself put down the sweater so I could finish some important projects) and it feels good to have gotten a couple of projects done. I have a few things to share with you all (including my crafty goal list for 2009, which I've finally finished!), so hop
efully I can get to that this week.

A couple of links for today...
::I'm loving Shari's notes on her first Vermont winter.
::Abby's photos from her trip home.
:: Until Wednesday, Heather will be donat
ing 80% of the profits from her "Finding Winter" set to Salvation Army Bushfire Relief for victims of the fires in Australia. Hers is one of my favorite shops (I finally snagged this beautiful piece for myself back in December) and her generosity is inspiring.
::Brian's kitchen diaries.

05 February 2009

photo love

Good morning everyone! I don't have too much to say this morning but am trying to upload some film shots that have been sitting on my desk waiting to be scanned and I thought I'd share these with you. These are from back in December and this morning I'm loving the image of the brick against the grey sky.

Here are some more photos that are making me happy today...

::the photos of Osamu Yokonami (via Paper Cameras)
::Mikhail Wassmer's Morning Light Series (via Design for Mankind)
::this, this, this, this, and this (via my flickr favorites)

What photos are you liking today?

ps: woohoo!

03 February 2009

i've been knitting

It's true! Last year, I wanted to knit a sweater. Does it count if I started one on December 31? Who cares, I did. And I'm almost done! I cast on the ever-popular February Lady Sweater using O-Wool. It's the first time I've knitted anything from the top down, and I have to say that I'm really liking it. It seems like most people love this method because you can try the piece on as you're making it, which is definitely why I like it (I hate when sweaters are too short!). I'm really excited about this sweater because the pattern is simple to knit, but interesting to look at (my favorite) and I can already tell it's going to become a go-to sweater, especially as spring (slowly) approaches.

I'm really loving the yarn I chose, except for all those little bits of leaves and hay and whatever else that are spun into the yarn. I actually got a splinter at one point. I can safely say that's a first! Also, I finished another set of those lovely cabled fingerless gloves. This pair was sent off to my friend in Scotland, where I'm sure she needs something to keep her cozy.

Finally, you might remember from last year that February is not my favorite month. Amanda (and many others out there) shares my pain, and I'm hoping to follow her lead by posting things that are making me happy this month. Here's a couple for you this week...
:: I took today off from work, just because.
:: Even though it was quite cold today, the sun was out all day and we took an hour and a half long walk with Freddie.
:: I dropped off three rolls of film today.
:: Snuggling on the bed with my puppy.

What's making you happy this week?