General · I'm loving this!

The List

It’s been exactly a month since my last post.  In that time, I’ve worked…hard.  Work, work, work….makes Amy a narrow and creatively void soul.  Not really, but I did feel sorry for myself a little.  I had to travel for business in November and I returned Thanksgiving week with three days to ready our home for my husband’s family Christmas.  Yes, Christmas.  Twenty of my in-laws descended the Friday after Thanksgiving for what can only be described as two days of typical, quasi-dysfunctional mayhem.  It was nice.  I then careened back into work.  Today, I took a deep breath.  I poured a glass of wine, and for the first time in a month, I sat down at the computer and logged into my WordPress account.  My friends, it’s been too long.  I missed you.  I missed me.

But the reality is, I have bupkis for content.  Not a lot besides work, family, etc,  happening here.  I have managed to get a lot of my Christmas shopping done.  It was one of the priorities I had to slot in front of my time here.  While shopping, I have happened across some pretty neat stuff.  So in the absence of anything substantive, I present you with my official 2012 Christmas list.

1.  Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks….I chalk this one up to Jennifer Hansen’s Craftsy class.  I’ve coveted them for months now.

Denise Hooks

2.  Boots!  I can’t get enough of them….all kinds…all of them!!!

UGG

Frye

6pm grey wedge

Frye CindyI freaking love them….seriously…good to know there are areas in life where I can magically morph into my 25 year old self.

3.  A great general purpose lens for my Canon Rebel…maybe this one?

Canon lens4.  Some watercolor pencils and paper

Watercolor pencil5.  A really good stovetop espresso maker.  I paid 9.99 at TJ Max for the one I use and it’s a pain in the arse.

Bialetti TrioBialetti Musa6.  PJ’s!

Santa PJ'sI love me some Santa Claus!

Sock Monkey Santa PJ'sI love me some sock monkeys!

7.  Slippers!

slipper flip flops

Mukluks

Tall Mukluks

clog

I wear a lot of black and brown.  Slippers should express your colorful self 🙂

8.  Earrings! Of any description…not terribly picky.

Aga Earrings

These are by Aga Designs.  I find I love everything she does-including her Craftsy class.

EtsyI found these on Etsy….

David YurmanDavid Yurman….a girl can dream, can’t she?  But really, who needs David Yurman.  Last year, my sweet baby girl helped her daddy pick out a pair of dangly gold and turquoise earrings at Target, and they are the bomb! Mama likey the earrings.

9.  Time

10.  Energy

There you have it! The first installment of my 2012 Christmas list. Hubbie asked for it weeks ago.  Better late than never! Have a great week my friends!

Crochet

Number Seven

I’d like you all to meet number seven. I don’t think this variation needs a lot of explanation.  Again, Catania Cotton.  Again, Pierrot 29-34.  Just when i think I’m finished with these guys, they pull me back in!

You can see a rundown here along with pics of my Number Six.  (Yes, I know.  I have a gift for catchy titles.)  Number Six was cute, but Number seven…well, it’s Claret.

Claret makes me happy.  And so does Number Seven.

 

 

 

 

Crochet

Number Six

You can’t accuse me of being fickle.  Fickle flits from one pattern to another.  This scarf pattern and I are in a relationship.  No matter where my eye wanders, I keep coming back and trying variations in color and pattern to the most excellent Pierrot 29-31.  The only relationship as durable as the one I have with this scarf, is my relationship with Catania  mercerized cotton. I’m not ashamed to say it.  I love them.  I’ve proclaimed my love boldly:

  • In February, I worked the pattern for the first time.  I followed the directions implicitly in an odd colorway of plum, chocolate-brown, off white and grey.
  • My second version (first variation) was a “Seascape”.  I love it.  Maybe my favorite of all of them.
  • Third, was in ivory and spring green.  Very natural and organic.
  • Fourth, my daughter chose the color palette, and so it became “Whitney’s Scarf”.  That girl has a wonderful eye for color!
  • The fifth version was an Easter edition of the pattern, or as I like to refer to it, “The one that looks like a watermelon.”

And now I’ve finished number six.  I like it a lot.  It’s more of a winter colorway-crisp, cool and evocative of all things brisk.

 

Too much?  Maybe.  I’ll just leave it at “I like it.  A lot.”

Each of these scarves will complete their creative journey as a Christmas present.  Needless to say, the person who gets number six will have to be very special-at least as special as number six.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet

Tunisian Ta-Da! Redux

Finally! I can show you the Tunisian Multi-Garment I completed as a result of my very first Craftsy Class, Jennifer Hansen’s “Tunisian Crochet:  Revolutions in Color and Style”.

I started this little jewel in May, and finished the first rectangular panel just a few short weeks later in June.  And then I stopped….

I stopped for…a while….

I finally picked it up again in August.  And in a few short weeks, I finished the second panel.  I was pretty prompt in blocking, but then I started working with the lacing.  How did I want to lace these two panels?  There are a ton of options.  A shoe lace edging borders the each side of each panel.  I would lace it, and then unlace it…lace it and then unlace it…lace it and then unlace it….You get the picture.

Finally I stopped with the lacing, and just took the pictures.  It’s beautiful.  I went with a simple poncho.  Very cute with jeans!

Jennifer Hansen has such an amazing mastery of drape when she’s designing.  If you haven’t, you should check out her website at Stitch Diva Studios.  I love her style sensibility. (So hoping she does another Craftsy class on Broomstick lace…)

Now onto my next class!  Maybe it’s finally time for one or two in photography?  Cuz what I’m wondering right now is, what’s up with the grey foamy on that hanger?  Who leaves that in a picture?  Oh well…one should embrace one’s opportunities 🙂  Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

 

 

General

Acts of Random Gastronomy

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun…

When I ate my first Big Mac, there was not a McDonald’s in my home town.  You had to drive about an hour in any given direction to get to one.  When I tried my first one, it was love at first bite.  (Scarcity drives demand, don’t  you know.)  I don’t remember if it was my sophomore or junior year in high school, but we finally got a McDonald’s in my little East Texas town. The cars literally stretched about a mile down the street the Saturday it opened.  I’m not sure that there was ever a more anticipated opening in our little burg.  It was big news.  Yep, big news.  But it wasn’t pretty.  I have vague memories  an  undetermined period of time where I consumed  Big Macs daily. Looking back, it’s hard to believe.

I don’t love Big Macs anymore.  I don’t love McDonald’s.  And I certainly wouldn’t drive out of my way to get to one.  There have been times when I’ve pulled into the drive-through for my kids and smell has repulsed rather than enticed me.  In spite my general abhorrence for the restaurant chain, however, about once a year, I have an inexplicable craving for a Big Mac.

Over the last couple of weeks, I felt it coming on.  I’d see a commercial, and be tempted.  I knew it was coming, and when I woke up this morning, I had a sneaky suspicion that  today was the day.  Today was the day for a Mac Attack!

I’m not gonna lie.  I was stress eating.  Stress with a capital “S”.  And I’m not ashamed to say it…That sandwich was good.  I enjoyed it.  I didn’t feel bad about it.  I don’t now.  And I’m done.  Done until the next time.  My next annual (or whatever-I’m pretty sure it was well over a year this time) Mac Attack.  Nostalgia?  Probably Tasty? Usually. An anomaly?  Absolutely. Acts of random gastronomy…

General

Obstacles…

 

It’s been a month of transition at my house.  Transition back to school.  Transition back into my husband’s business travel.  Transition into a new level of engagement in my own job, which has also necessitated travel.  As it turns out, I’m not as good at transition as I used to be.  This morning finds me reflecting back on a month of obstacles.  Isn’t that absurd?  It’s so easy for us to focus on what we aren’t able to do instead of really experiencing what we’ve done.

I sat down today to write about obstacles to my blogging.  Mainly because I carry masses of guilt on a daily basis.  Guilt for what I haven’t done or haven’t done well.  I added my blog to this list over the last couple of weeks.  I felt guilty because I didn’t do something that I do strictly because I enjoy it.  And guess what? The guilt eliminates the enjoyment.  That’s an irony I don’t find enjoyable.  And I love irony.

So this morning I woke up a little angry.  Per the usual, I was angry with myself.  So I decided to give into the obstacles. I let myself be interrupted by my kids and chose not to be frustrated by it. I let myself go onto other things when i couldn’t start a load of laundry because I’m out of laundry detergent.  I let myself read blogs and link to sites as my whim dictated. I let myself drink a cup of coffee and do nothing. And it was nice.  And I don’t feel guilty.  I gave into the obstacles, and I was able to cut myself some slack instead of focusing on what isn’t getting done.  (I win!)

….And now I’m blogging.  (I win again!)  And I’m still going to talk about those obstacles, because really, they’re kind of funny.

1.  I finished my Tunisian Multi-Garment, but have no photos to blog because I can’t decide the best way to lace it together.  I’ve laced and re-laced this garment around 5 times and undo it every time.  There’s a strong possibility I’m subconsciously postponing the inevitable because I don’t want  my picture taken.  Hmmmm.

2.  I’ve crocheted what I feel is an adorable scarf.  I can’t finish it, however, because I went off pattern and ran out of yarn with only three sides of the final border row to go.  I went to the yarn store yesterday and they’re out, so I ordered some.  It’s going to take two weeks for the yarn to come in because I went to my local yarn store instead of ordering it online.  Why don’t I order it online?  Because of guilt! I love the little ladies at my yarn store and I feel obligated to get it from them because of their elderly wonderfulness. Next.

3.  I’ve finished a pencil skirt and I think it’s pretty awesome.  I’m actually taking license by saying I’ve finished it because I haven’t.  I need to add a hook and eye to the waist band.  That’s all.  I’ve needed to add this hook and I for roughly four weeks.  Still haven’t done it.  I want to wear it to work.  But I can’t because it needs a hook and eye.  Could it be that I’m postponing completion on purpose?  Probably.  You see, I want to blog my sewing triumph, but then…I’d probably need to have my picture taken….

Oh well, I think I’ll deal with one shortcoming at a time…don’t you think?  I’m going back here now…Wishing you all a peaceful weekend!….Amy

I'm loving this!

I’m loving this!

I have a recent quasi-obsession with Snapseed.  I don’t know how many of you utilize a photo app, but I love this one!  It’s so simple to use. Everything is done with the swipe of a finger.  I never really utilized the camera on my iphone until I started using it, and now I’m using it all the time.  Let’s take a look!

Here’s a photo, unaltered, that I took with my iphone last week.  I was on my way home and the clouds were amazing.  I pulled over and took this….

Pretty right?  Nice, but let’s see what Snapseed can do.  First I use the “Automatic” function to clean up the pic.

Wow, sweet!  How about black and white?

Nifty! Vintage?

 

Neat…..And now my favorite-Drama…

 

You can crop, color correct and straighten. Too fun, people!

 

 

 

General · I'm loving this!

Peace, Love, Spa…

The last two months have been nutty!  Too much and too little!  As in too much to do, too little time to do it in. (sorry about ending with a preposition….sometimes one has to let the grammar thing go just a little)  I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, however.  So I’m back! Set the pigeons loose!

My sweet baby angel girl turned eleven Saturday.  It was a big day.  We invited our two BFF’s over and themed the weekend, “Peace, Love, Spa!”.  We even made t-shirts.  Our logo was rocking, but our iron on t-shirt transfer let us down…boo….

The t-shirts were just the tip of the iceburg, however.  It was a tween dream at my house this weekend.  We had Beauty Buckets

We did an array of facial treatments including a cucumber, green tea, avocado mush that we whipped up in the blender.

We had an assortment of fascinating reading material….We’re officially current on our horoscope, fashion, teen celebrity gossip and an assortment of quizzes.

We made a sugar scrub that was delightful if I do say so myself.  I used a modified version of this recipe that I found on Pinterest.  My modifications were pretty simple.  I used colored sugar sprinkles to make the pretty colors and flavored extracts instead of essential oils.  I also used a coconut oil that wasn’t super-refined, so the girls wound up with coconut-orange-vanilla sugar body scrub.   Baby soft skin ?  You betcha!

The next morning, bright and early, we headed to the Nail Salon for mani/pedi’s.  (Mom even got a pedicure! Magic hands…that’s all I’m saying.)

Nope.  No spoiled little girls at my house.  Just soft, pampered tootsies. Zebra striped tootsies to be more specific.

Zebra striped tootsies and an ice cream cake!  Does it get any better than this?

Crochet

Sweet and Simple, Simple and Sweet

My rock-star sister-in-law is pregnant and will be delivering her fourth little angel in November.  To that wee one destined to be the precocious little sister of three other incredibly precocious little girls, I dedicate this ensemble.  Possibly the only item she will own for many years that is not a hand-me-down.

It’s my opinion that babies are precious, and innocent and deserve to have adults jump through hoops for them.  Hence, this baby sweater.  It’s my first crochet garment, and it’s a little awesome, if I do say so myself.  But then, baby things are always pretty awesome.

This project is the result of yet another Craftsy.com class called “Beyond Rectangles” by Linda Permann.  Depending on your skill level, some of the instruction was a little basic, but I learned quite a bit and find that I just like guided projects. It’s reassuring to have a reference point for those little details in a pattern that confuse or befuddle. The base pattern for the sweater is simple. Which made it perfect because I like simple.

The cap was not a part of the class.  I made one based on a Bernat pattern, didn’t like it, and ended up just winging it and adding the same edging that I used on the sweater.  I like it much better.  It’s simple.  Simple and Sweet.

Sweet and Simple.  Simple and Sweet.  I like this sweater.  I think that it’s neat…:)