And you?  How are you spending your Saturday?

Happy Crafting,

Full Circle

37 years ago, my parents bought my grandmother a sewing machine.  She wanted to take a class and had no machine.  37 years later, she decided that it was time to pass it on, so she gave it to me.  She mailed me the manual which I received today and the machine is waiting halfway between her city and mine for me to pick it up.  I hope Gertrude won't be jealous!

Happy Crafting,

Craft Room Makeover: Phase III

So, the makeover is a bit of a slow go.  Some things take time, especially on a shoestring budget.  Ok, so what's new?  The floor is practically empty.  A recent change allowed me to move my bookcases in.  That only means more things off the floor and on a shelf!  And let's just say, it's a cleaner space in general.  And yes, the closet is still organized.  Different, but organized.

If you'll notice, you only see three walls so far.  I've still got some "stuff" underneath the window on the fourth wall.  It's not crafting stuff, but just stuff.  It's either got to find a new home or a new trashcan to dive into.  lol

My plan:  once I finalize getting stuff off the floor, I can focus on the walls.  Oh, joy!

To see Craft Room Makeover Phases I and II, go here.

Happy Crafting,

New Eco Friendly Listing!

I finished up the body of this knitted baby blanket while I was on vacation, but I was on the prowl for the perfect crocheted border.  And, I found it.  Just listed in the shop!

Happy Crafting,

Let Them Eat Cake

or me, rather.  Had a great time hanging out with friends last night and enjoying this delicious Apple Caramel Cake after dinner.  Ummm, delicious!  A slice with hot tea or coffee would have been great this morning.

Yeah, a super huge photo, right?

Buen Provecho,

Paca Tweed Guy Beanie

Another round of firsts here.

When I first wanted to learn knitting, it was so I could knit hats.  I tried this and that, and finally I've gotten around to knitting a hat.  A guy hat.  Woot.  Woot.

First time knitting a hat.  First time using double pointed needles.  I tried to make a go without them, but it was inevitable, I was going to have to use them or have a hat with no top. 

When I got to 30 stitches remaining, I transferred them to onto a piece of yarn and then threaded them onto the double pointed needles.  What I should have done was this:

Then, I used this video to know what to do once the stitches were on the needles:

Next time, I think I'll make the hat about 1/2 inch longer before decreasing.  Oh, and this yarn I used from my stash is so yummy!

Ok, now for what you really want to see....the hat!

p.s. Something beautiful is blocking.... ;-)
Happy Crafting,

CJ: 1st Birthday

Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a birthday party for a sweet little 1 year old.  The church fellowship hall was decorated in lots and lots of pink, polka dots, and filled with loads of sweet treats that any kid would enjoy.  I enjoy photographing events such as this, and I look forward to many more in the future.

Enjoy this video clip.  :-)

A Season of Birthdays

It has been a busy weekend here.  Three birthday events in two days!  On Friday, we celebrated my mom's birthday.  Her sister and niece surprised her by driving down and taking her to dinner.  I've never heard my mom scream so loudly.  She was in total shock and it was wonderful.  We had a girl's night out!  Seafood restaurant + a movie.

Then on Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure of photographing a birthday party for a sweet baby girl who turned 1 years old.  I was excited for this opportunity to build my portfolio.  I do hope that this is the beginning of something great.  One of my photographic passions is small events - birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, etc.  In my experience/observations, it's those type of events that usually go without photos or specific photos.  It's too hard to host and take pictures.  At least that's what I hope others think so I can get more business.  :-)  More details on this event will be in a separate post.

Right after I got home from that birthday, I was whisked away to a quinceaƱera for a former student.  I didn't stay very long, but long enough to enjoy my tortillas, beans, rice, and meat with some homemade salsa and lime juice.  Ummm...  The place was so beautifully decorated in pink and black.  It was such a joy to be invited and to attend.

A weekend of festivities and now I'm pooped!  Nevertheless, I have much housework to do.  To be continued....


Vacation Destination: OHIO (part 2)

So, after we visited the Underground Railroad Museum, we traveled to West Chester to IKEA!  I've been wanting to go to an IKEA, but there is only one in my state and I just hadn't made it there yet.  And who should suggest such a fabulous place?  None other than Yetunde of Afro Martha.  Yes, for the first time, I actually met up with a blog friend.  I had such a wonderful time chatting with Yetunde and having her guide me through such a wonderful store.  Now I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that all my IKEA dreams come true.  lol

Visit Yetunde on her blog, Afro Martha, and in her Etsy shop.

Another place we visited while on vacation was the Cincinnati Zoo.  I just love the zoo, so when my SIL suggested it, I was game.  This zoo also had a botanical garden, so you know I had my fill of photographing flowers.  I have ideas for those images.  It was such a hot day at the zoo (like a heat index of 115 degrees), but we made it through the exhibits, sweaty necks and all!

Ahh, this water is slightly refreshing.  I remember a time I wouldn't dare go near water with my hair.  lol
Got some plans with this sweetie pie.  Isn't he just darling?
After that sweaty experience, we stopped by a Jamaican restaurant, Island Frydays, and feasted on some fantastic food.  I ordered this curry chicken plate.  Umm, look at those sweet plantains!

The ride home was longer than the ride there, but I did start knitting my first hat.  Already though, I think it will be smaller than the pattern because I used a different yarn.  But, that's okay.

I'm back!

Vacation Destination: OHIO

I'm just returning from a fabulous visit to Ohio.  I had such a wonderful time hanging out with my brother and SIL.  There was so much to see and do, despite the hot hot hot weather.  I'm already making plans for the next visit.  This time, I don't intend on taking the bus.  (However, the long bus ride afforded me the opportunity to finish knitting a blanket, so I can't complain. lol)

Here's a bit of a look into my travels:

Saw plenty of college campuses, including Miami University (Hamilton Campus).

Visited this amazing grocery store called Jungle Jim's International Market.  I really could live in that place.  And, the bathrooms looked like porta toilets.  Too much!

Look at all those veggies!

After an amazing home-cooked breakfast, we went to the Underground Railroad Museum.

Fried tilapia and okra.  Just looking at this makes me crave okra.
One visit could really not do that museum justice.  There's so much history to take in.  This was one museum where you don't hear a lot of talking; you see lots of people reading, listening to the exhibit narrations on IPods and some serious contemplations going on.  There were people of all nationalities visiting this museum, and I saw lots of Amish people for the first time.

The artist worked on this quilt for 35 years!  Just finished it a few years ago.
More closeups of the quilt and of course, me.
This is an actual slave house.  206 years old.  I went inside and the slave master's name was burned into the wood.
From this perspective, you are in Ohio looking into Kentucky.  They are separated by the Ohio River (pictured).  Kentucky was a slave state and Ohio was a free state.  Imagine the slaves in Kentucky who could look into freedom every day, but were separated from it by 175 yards of water.  Quite painful.
There were a few other sites we saw while passing, like these below:


There's more to this story, but I'll share that in another post.

The Half Apron

I've been fascinated with aprons lately.  My mom found this piece of fabric and gave it to me.  When I saw it, I immediately thought "apron".  So, that's what I made out of it.

I'm kind of obsessed with topstitching....

This will be listed in my shop!

Happy Crafting,

On the Road to the Funky Eclectic?

So you remember I told you I grew up in a house with white walls?  Well, my walls aren't white, but they are still neutral-colored.  My intention was to spice it up with splashes of color.  Then life happened, and I didn't quite get around to finishing.

Recently my mother, who is learning my design style more each day, gave me a magazine clipping of a room that took my breath away.  It was so me.  Now I'm not going to "recreate" the room as it was pictured - what fun is that?  But I will make my space feel the way I felt when looking at my inspiration piece.

Remember the online quiz that assessed my design style?

Your style is Funky Eclectic.

Anything goes. You don't like matching anything. You have bought or obtain furniture very discriminately. You only have in your home what you truly enjoy. You like a variety of prints and textures but you usually have the artist's eye that makes it work well together. You have old and new furniture and accessories. You may collect and display items no one has heard of. When you entertain, you mix a wide range of people - the more diverse, the more entertaining. Some people just don't get your style but you really don't care. You may have grown up in a traditionally decorated house and now you want anything but traditional in your home. Your decorating challenge is to pull all your belongings into a cohesive look while keeping your eclectic style.

Let's start with slip covering this 1970s couch that I inherited and adding some color with my recently gifted pillow case, all stuffed and ready to go.

My whole life living at my parents I only remember two couches - the black leather one and this one.  It's so old and ugly and soooo comfy!

I think I'm getting excited about some form of transformation.  Let's help this design style come true.  :-)

Happy Crafting,

The Project Revel

Didn't mean to keep you waiting about my mystery project, but since it was a stash-busting project, what it would become kept changing as the limited yarn dictated.  So this is what the project became:

The front

It's a crocheted zippered granny pillow case.  The inside reveals another zippered case that doubles as a lining.  That casing is sewn to the crocheted case.  It will fit a 16"x16" pillow form, or if you're like me, you just stuff pillow cases with poly-fil.  :-)

What lessons did I learn with this project?
  1. How to shorten a zipper from the top.  
  2. How to shorten a zipper from the bottom. 
  3.  How to hand-stitch a zipper into place. 
  4.  How to be flexible when working with leftover yarns - I changed the layout a bazillion times because I would run out of yarn in the wrong place. In the end, I tied the scraps of all colors together to sc an edge around the entire project. lol
In a sense, I guess you could say that this project is reversible.

The Back

Soon to be listed in my shop!

Happy Crafting,