Wednesday, December 16, 2009

xmas cards

Christmas is coming up in a week and a half and I have yet to send out Christmas cards ... oops! Well I finally got around to making the cards, so that's progress, right? Now I just need to write out all the cards, make sure the addresses I have are still current, buy stamps, et cetera.

It took me a few trips to Michael's to figure out what I wanted to do, but I found these letter stamps and they seemed pretty nifty, so I grabbed those (along with a black inkpad) and that was pretty much it. The rest of what I used I had on hand.

I ended up with three versions of Christmas cards for this year. I've never been fond of giving everyone the same exact card, so I try to make different variations. After stamping each card with "Happy Holidays", I drew a tree, ornament, or present with a black marker. Then I hot glued a little something for color and dimension. The tree got a blue gem as a star, the ornament a red ribbon, and the present a green bow. Cute, eh?

My roommate left today, so I wrapped up the first part of her present and gave it to her. I used the rough draft of my essay (with red marks and all) and tied it with a bow. I go through so much paper in school so I try to recycle the best I can. Anyway, she thought it was hilarious because she recognized it as the essay I had been complaining about. As for other Christmas presents, well they're proving a bit trickier. I went to the mall the other day and after almost two hours, didn't buy a single thing. To be honest, I was shopping more for myself, but I kept having trouble finding the right size for things ... very disappointing.

Most of my friends have already left for home, but I'm going to be hanging around here for a bit longer to work and do some shopping. Christmas is coming up way too fast.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

apt xmas

An apartment next to a college campus is not an ideal place for Christmas. Thankfully I will be spending Christmas at home with my family, but I'll only be able to spend a few days at home. The rest of the time will be at my fabulously over-priced, run-down apartment. Therefore, while procrastinating one fine evening, I decided to decorate. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is how a college student decorates her apartment for Christmas (on a very limited budget).

1. White Lights

I dug up some white Christmas lights that I bought two years ago for studio. I actually bought them because when you can't find an extension cord, Christmas lights will work just as well. I had originally strung them around my desk to keep people from walking by my work area where I had models on the floor. Last year I was in the middle of a large studio space, so the Christmas lights were strung from the wall to my desk in the middle of the room, and the guy sitting next to me had Christmas lights strung from the other wall to his desk. All in all it was fabulous. Here in our lowly apartment, however, I just grabbed some drafting tape and taped these much loved white lights around our front doorway. The texture of the wall is kind of weird though.

2. Silver and Red Bow

I've always been a big fan of bows. Snowflakes are pretty. Christmas trees and stockings are too obvious. Bows are universal. And I happen to really like ribbon. So I grabbed some thick silver wired ribbon and created a big bow on our cheap Wal-Mart shelving unit. I thought it looked a bit drab so I grabbed some red satin ribbon and incorporated another bow into the mix. I think it's rather nice ... really classes up that cheap white plastic, eh?

3. Santa Hat

I've had this Santa hat for years ... can't even remember where/when I got it. Anyway, though I like the color green, I've never been a big fan of the red-green color combination because I just find it too cliché. It screams "Christmas!" in that overly commercial way. Therefore, our apartment's just going to stick with red and white/silver, which the Santa hat fits into perfectly. How is the hat standing so erect on our counter? Because it's hiding our very college-student bottle of tequila next to an empty bottle of wine. Yeah ... don't judge me. Oh, and the wallpaper was there when we moved in.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating gifts, hanging out with friends, having that hot mocha latté at Spider House while exchanging gifts ... you get the idea. Though decorating was rather light this year, I think in conjunction with the nippy weather and the scarves around my neck, it's winter enough. Happy holidays.

Friday, November 20, 2009

interiors in austin

I cannot believe how long it has been since I've posted. It's really quite a travesty. Since my sewing machine hasn't been touched (except to push it further against the wall), I figured I would share the only pictures I've taken recently - architecture around Austin. Figuring that most people wouldn't care about all the construction details, I picked some interior shots that I thought were particularly inspiring.

First up is the Livestrong Lance Armstrong Foundation Headquarters by Lake/Flato and Bommarito Group. From the exterior, the building was rather unassuming, but the interior felt extremely spacious. There was a lot of warm wood, with much of the wood used recycled from the previously-existing building.

Then comes a private residence called Undertree House by Loop Design. It has been described as somewhat "whimsical", but has a great Austin vibe and is very environmentally-responsive. Its name derives from the fact that the house's plan was arranged based on the existing trees on the lot.

Lastly is another private residence, Wolfe Den by MJ Neal. This was a very modern house - nice clean lines all over the place. The house's entire side wall was covered in touch-latched closets, so all their stuff was hidden.

There was the most beautiful bathroom ever in that house. Loving the white. And that white counter? It's cast concrete!

So this is the type of thing that I get excited about. I'll probably end up showing more architecture pictures on this blog, because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. Also, I haven't been very productive or crafty. The holiday season is coming up, which I'm really excited about. Unfortunately that just means more hectic-ness for me, but if I'm going to be making any gifts, I should probably get on that. Anyway, I probably won't post again for a while, so: Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

hello again (sort of)

Whoops. It's been quite a while since I last posted. Felt like I needed to write though ... for fun, not essay-writing for class (because that's not fun). For anyone reading, I feel like I should warn you that this post is pretty much just going to be me complaining. Because that's what I do when I feel like this.

Work is work. Wow. Revelation. I feel so rundown and exhausted. Kids need to learn that it is NOT OKAY to cough in people's faces. I haven't been feeling too great for the past few days and I am completely blaming the kids. I give them tissues, I tell them to aim for their elbows, but nope. I get paid decently and my job isn't bad at all, so I shouldn't complain, but COME ON!

Usually when I go grocery shopping I go in with a short list of the things I absolutely need and then just buy whatever else sounds good at the moment. Since I haven't been feeling well, I haven't been feeling hungry, and therefore didn't buy much when I went to the store. For dinner I ate a corn dog (yay microwave!) because that's all I could really find. My lunch for tomorrow will be yet another turkey sandwich. I have eaten so many turkey sandwiches since the beginning of the semester, it's disgusting. But if I'm buying a loaf of bread, a head of lettuce, and a container of turkey, I pretty much have to eat turkey sandwiches all week or everything goes bad/stale/icky.

I want to take NyQuil and sleep a good sleep, but then I probably wouldn't be able to make it to my 8 AM class. That's kind of a catch-22. If I want to be alert for class, I need a good sleep (which only NyQuil will give - darn coughing). But if I want to make it to class on time, I cannot take NyQuil (which would knock me out for at least 10 hours). Ugh.

Then there's school. Need I say more? I cannot wait until Thanksgiving. I am going to relish that break so much. Oh, and my wallet currently has $2. It's just past 11 PM and this college student is off to take a long hot shower, crawl into bed, and hope that the world magically turns into cotton candy in the morning.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

baked + gifts + space

Whew. First I must mention that I made cookies again. Lots and lots of oatmeal cookies. I used the same recipe that I had used in this previous post, but I made the cookies a bit smaller and multiplied the recipe by 1.5. Ended up with about 70 cookies, stuffed about 25 per bag, and sent them on their way to studio. The rest stayed home and were promptly devoured.

Then I made rolls. Yay! Don't have a loaf pan here, so I haven't been able to make bread again, but I do have a baking sheet so I tried out this recipe and I think they turned out rather yummy. Pretty easy to make too. Next time I'll probably halve the recipe because this made a lot of rolls (not that my roommate minds).

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cup warm water (divided)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 cups flour

  • Process:
  • dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
  • in a separate bowl cream together the sugar and shortening
  • add egg, salt, the yeast mixture (after making sure it blossomed), remaining 2 cups of water, and about 4 cups flour
  • mix until smooth and keep mixing in flour until it turns into a soft dough
  • turn out and knead for about 6-8 minutes
  • place dough in a greased bowl, turn the dough over (to make sure it's all oiled up), and cover the bowl
  • place the bowl in the refrigerator to rise overnight or for at least 8 hours
  • the next morning, punch the dough down and form rolls (about 36)
  • grease a baking sheet and roll the rolls around on it to cover them in oil (this will allow you to take the rolls apart after they bake together)
  • cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (until the dough has doubled - the rolls should start squishing together)
  • bake in oven at 400F for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned

  • I love getting mail! My sister mailed me this cute little spiders thing. It's currently hanging from a light switch in our hallway. Festive-y, right?

    A while back I won a giveaway from SimplyNu, and I received this delicious piece of handmade Castile soap in the mail. It's called Daisy Castile and I must say ... its scent is heavenly (and the flower shape is too cute). They're pretty new and their etsy shop has a lovely range of candles, soaps, and stationery. So, a big thanks to SimplyNu! I wish them the best with their store.

    Last but not least, my current creative space. Lots of black, I know. Halloween is next Saturday, can you guess what I'm up to? There's black tulle, black elastic, black feathers, and some silver and black jewelry. I rather like my costume idea, but since it has yet to be created, I won't say much now.

    Linking over to kootyoo for a whole bunch of creative spaces. And over to Southern Hospitality for recipes!Goodness gracious, this was a long post!

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    weirdo fan pulls

    This morning I was lying on my floor (as I am apt to do) and looking up at my ceiling. Then I realized that I am a very weird person. The pulls to my ceiling fan were too short when I moved in, so I attached string for length as a quick fix. Bit by bit I've been adding things to them.

    First were three plastic sun-catchers shaped like insects. I had painted them with my friends before going off to college, so I wanted to display them. Okay. Then came Bob, my mini-mannequin. He's been a fixture in every studio I've had, so I put him up there too. The string was too long, which was annoying, but instead of cutting it like a normal person, I let it hang there. Eventually I added a binder clip, which I had just taken it off some papers. I found an uneaten granola bar in my bag one day, so I attached it to that clip. Now I have all of that hanging in the middle of my room. Currently there are three granola bars up there at about eye level, which means that I am bound to walk into them at least once a day. I don't mind.

    Weird, right? I LOVE the idea of having food hanging from my ceiling fan. It's so useful since it saves me those five steps to the kitchen when I want a snack. Yeah, I'm a total weirdo. Who would've thought a fan pull would/could evolve into this?

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    my creative space

    My creative space is a mess. My crafting table is generally pretty clear with everything pushed into a corner, but that has been completely empty for a while. Organized chaos is the name of the game for the rest of my room. Everything has its place, but within that place it's an anything goes kind of system. My embroidery floss is all neatly arranged according to number, with remaining spaces crammed with scraps of ribbon and string, other boxes holding magnets, bottle caps, and buttons.

    All my fabric lives in a cardboard box ... well, except for the fleece, cheap green stuff, and some pink print because not all of it would fit. Aye. I have all this fabric and every time I go to make something I think to myself that what I have simply will not do. Once upon a time it was organized, with everything neatly folded and arranged by color, but then life happened, and now it's more of stuffing and stacking things so they stay within the general confines of the box.

    When I'm having a bad day, I'll just pull out one of the boxes (embroidery floss box, craft things box, or fabric box) and rifle through 'em. Because even though I'm generally not big on colors (a fair percentage of my wardrobe is black), I do like colors in most things. So that's my kind of pick me up.

    Oh, and this is linked over to kootoyoo's blog where there's a whole list of people's creative spaces. So much fun to browse.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    gifts from ya'll

    I ADORE holidays, even the random ones. A lot of blogs out there are talking about Halloween, but over here, I'm getting ready for the Mid-Autumn Festival aka Moon Festival tomorrow, Saturday, October 3rd. Its date changes every year because it's calculated on the lunar calendar, but it's a great cultural holiday that involves the eating of moon cakes, which are delicious. Currently my moon cakes are hanging out in my fridge, just begging to be consumed, but I will resist until Saturday!

    The main reason I love holidays is gifting. I love giving gifts, and I love receiving gifts. Just the small things make me happy. This post is about gifts I've received recently, from people around the blog world. Giveaways just make everything warm and fuzzy, don't you agree? Now I just need to make something worthy of being given away to keep the happiness flowing.

    This beautiful pair of earrings (called "Pure Kindness") from Jane at She Greets the Day arrived in the mail, really nicely packaged. Jane has a lovely little etsy shop with cute pieces of jewelry that you should check out. It's always nice to find someone in blogger land who isn't a mother. No offense to all of you out there, but sometimes I feel weird reading all these posts about children and families.

    Then there was this Callie Cat from Debra at Creative Ramblings. Precious! Currently I have her chilling out on my crafting table, sitting next to my sewing machine, chiding me for not being more productive. I feel bad because Debra spent a fair amount just on the shipping, but I do love the fact that my room now feels more homey because of its new addition.

    Last, but not least, Lisa from The Davis Dialogues sent me this bracelet with panels of lavender ... on dominoes! Nifty, eh? It's a nice, chunky bracelet. I'll probably wear it when I go out tonight.

    Oh, and I stopped by Michael's the other day and bought some snaps, so there starts my October total. First thing on this weekend's list is grocery shopping, because I am out of food. Seriously out of food, as in I was starving and ended up driving to McDonald's (the closest food source) to buy dinner. I feel pretty disgusted with myself. But I have moon cakes to look forward to and happy thoughts. Yeah, let's not think about that essay ... or that test ... or the real world. But thanks to all of you! Yay Jane, Debra, and Lisa!

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    things - bought and made

    I spent more money. But ... I've also been doing little projects, so I think it balances out. I didn't spend too much, and thankfully the month of September is coming to a close, because that means that my September total will (presumably) never hit the $40 mark.

    Michael's is conveniently located between work and home, which is disastrously wonderful. Because that means that after a long day at work, I can very easily cheer myself up by buying a thing or two at my favorite happy place.

    There was a little silver pail, silver embroidery floss, ribbon, and moss. Yep, a bag of green moss. It's going to get used on one of my architecture models, but I figured it was crafty enough to warrant inclusion. Wouldn't it look darling in that pail with a little something else? In addition to the items pictured, I bought two colors of embroidery floss and more floss bobbins - my collection is steadily growing. Yikes.

    I then decided to make myself a pincushion, because I desperately needed one. Since I use needles as pins, when they're laying around on my table (or the carpeted floor) they're ridiculously difficult to find and pick up. I also made a little pouch that I'm keeping spools of thread in and two little wallet/pouch things. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to close them.

    I sewed them up differently, trying to see what I liked better. The green one has a cleaner look to it, but I kind of like the "clearly handmade" look to the cream one. Debating between snap, button, and tie closures. This sewing has helped me a lot with improving my control on the sewing machine. I'm improving!

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    sugar cookies!

    My roommate had a review for her studio, so ... I made them (and me) sugar cookies! I went with my go-to sugar cookie recipe, which I still have no complaints about. I found it here and judging by the amount of reviews it has, a lot of other people agree with my positive assessment.

  • 2-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Process:
  • mix together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder
  • separately mix together the softened butter (microwaved it for a while) with the sugar
  • to the butter mix, add the egg and vanilla
  • add it all together
  • form into teaspoon-sized balls on a cookie sheet
  • bake in oven at 375F for 8-10 minutes (I stuck to about 8 minutes for chewier cookies rather than hard ones)

  • They come out delish as always. The recipe yielded about four dozen cookies, which was probably a bit more than I should've made. I intended to halve the recipe, but while mixing ingredients, I forgot. And how the heck do you halve an egg, eh?

    I ended up just sewing a quick bag, lining it with a paper towel, and stuffing about two dozen of the cookies in there. The rest stayed on our counter. I attached the sugar cookie tag I made a few weeks ago to a binder clip, and then just clipped the bag closed. Looking back, I should have added some ribbon, but guess I was just being lazy. Quick and easy. This week is going to be RIDICULOUSLY CRAZY with tests, papers, and what-not, but at least there are cookies.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    shopping spree

    That last post was a tad depressing, so how about a happier topic? Buying stuff is always happy, right?

    Yesterday I went shopping and spent about $20 on crafting supplies. Yikes! Why the high total? I went out to get some keys made, got lost a MILLION TIMES, had to get my friend to Google directions for me, and once I got there, was told that they didn't have any of the correct sized keys. Oh and it was raining all day. I had been out for over two hours (on what should've been a 30-minute trip), had no keys (which was the main purpose of my trip), and in addition to being stressed out, was wet and sloshy. So naturally I bought stuff, because that's what I do when I feel like crap - retail therapy.

    I didn't feel so great when I got home, but the rain really was quite pretty and I normally do like rain. I took this photo when the rain let up a bit and my camera wasn't in serious danger. The white flowers just looked so calm and peaceful against the background ... if only my mindset would match.

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    remembering mrs. reinhart

    Today is September 11th. I was planning on helping with an event this morning, but at the last minute decided against it. This evening I was planning on attending a memorial event, but I'm not going to go. In previous years when I was still active in my organization, I participated in their 9/11 events, but it just makes me too mad and too sad.

    It's been eight years since, but I still remember that day so clearly. Today while getting ready to go plant flags in the south mall of the campus, I remembered Mrs. Reinhart, my language arts teacher. I remember exactly where I was sitting in her class when the announcement came over the PA system, instructing the teachers to check their e-mail. It was in her class that the television was turned on, and we watched the towers fall. Mrs. Reinhart was never my favorite teacher and it took me a while to think of her name, but I will probably always remember her simply because of that day.

    So even though I was awake at 4:30 this morning, I decided not to go. I don't think I would have been able to take it. I was still planning to go to the event tonight, but due to rain, they've moved it inside to an auditorium. Indoors, I'd feel suffocated and would probably end up running out crying like I did a few years ago. Then they'd all look at me with their sad eyes. And then I'd get mad that they didn't seem sad. September 11, 2001, changed everyone and everything, but you would never guess it walking around campus - is that hopeful or depressing? As I passed by the display of flags that I was supposed to help with, I heard someone ask about their significance.

    In short: I'm better left alone today, because otherwise I might either cry or yell at you.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    one week later

    It's been one week since my last post. From now on I'll probably only post about once a week because, well ... I really don't have much to post about. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. As I mentioned previously, my sister came to town and we did sisterly things, like eat and shop. It was so great to see her again. Good Austin-y restaurants to try: Blue Dahlia (on East 11th), Chuy's (on Barton Springs), and Woodland (on South Congress). I definitely need to go back to Woodland because their meatloaf sandwich was ridiculously delicious.

    We went to the Farmer's Market at 4th and Guadalupe on Saturday morning, where we tried some very yummy samples and bought figs. I had never had figs that didn't come in a newton before, so I was completely shocked when I first bit into one. YUM. So sweet ... so lovely. The picture is of the very last fig - right before I ate that little piece of heaven.

    On Labor Day I went to a friend's place for a get-together she was having. To thank her, I made her some oatmeal cookies and gave them to her yesterday. They actually turned out really good. I halved this recipe but still ended up with a few over two dozen 2" cookies. The ingredients list below is for the full recipe, so if you want a smaller batch, just halve it like I did.

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I increased this a bit)
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats

  • Process:
  • mix together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar
  • add the eggs and vanilla to the mix
  • in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  • add the two mixtures together and add the oatmeal
  • form little balls of dough (about 1" in diameter) onto a cookie sheet
  • bake in oven at 375F for 8-10 minutes

  • I haven't had a chance to make those reusable cookie bags, so I just used a plain ol' ziploc with a piece of ribbon and tucked in a note. I left the cookies on her desk yesterday morning and got a voicemail from her thanking me later on. This is why I love giving cookies - it just makes people happy! And it makes me happy for making others happy! All in all, very happy. I also finally managed to give my friend X her birthday pillows. More happiness!

    But ... apparently my sister thinks I'm tired all the time because I eat too many simple sugars. Yeah yeah, probably true. I just happen to really like bread, muffins, and cookies. Is that so wrong?

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    busy busy me

    First post of September! Life is so busy right now, in a frantically wonderful way, that I feel compelled to share everything with the world (but edited as to remove anything that could be remotely identifiable). Posts and projects are probably going to become a bit more sparse, but oh well. School is starting to pick up, and good golly, all that homework - sheesh! Anyway, I still have quite a bit of free time, so I had been looking for a job. And I found one! YES!

    I celebrated by going to Michael's and buying myself stuff. Only spent $3.89. The picture came out showing everything as blue, so I tried photoshopping it to the correct shades of purple. Eh. Ribbon was an odd texture, but the spool was only a dollar. Then I got a skein of embroidery floss because I was running low on #333. And ... I bought myself the magnificent disappearing-ink pen that I have been craving for years. I first used one in high school and found them to be simply magical. They're not expensive, normally $4.50 (or $2.25 with a 50% Michael's coupon), but I could never bring myself to buy one, until now. YES!

    Also, last but definitely not least, my darling sister is coming to see me. Well ... I don't know if "darling" is the right word to describe her. But I'm so excited! And then of course, Monday is Labor Day. Don't you just love holidays? This means I can be lazy (and catch up on sleep) since I won't have school and I won't have work. YES!

    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    cookie tags

    I make a lot of cookies. Most of my friends are in architecture studio, slaving away until the wee hours of the night. Since I don't have studio and I get lonely, I like making them cookies or doing menial tasks for them (like gluing together a pile of cylinders). Since I make a lot of cookies and I feel bad throwing away all those plastic bags, I have decided to make reusable, washable fabric bags for cookies. Well, I haven't gotten around to that part yet, but I've made the fabric tags to identify the cookie types. I'll get around to making the actual bags later ... eventually ... sometime. I'm busy!


    First comes the template. I would've just cut out a chunk of fabric and started sewing, but I have finally learned that I am not good at cutting a straight line. I drew a rectangle 2.5" by 6" in the corner of a manila envelope with my trusty metal L ruler. Cut out a chunk from the corner of the template and then went about tracing shapes from the fabric. I have a lot of this cheap fabric because I originally used it to cover the wall partition in my studio. It's the same fabric I used for these.


    Cut out all those shapes, and then fold them in half with the wrong sides out. The fabric I used was the same on both sides so it really didn't matter. Sew the two long edges and the short side closed while leaving open the wedge. Then flip it right-side out through the opening that was left. I ironed it at this point to make it easier to work with. I'm not good at drawing a straight line, cutting a straight line, or sewing a straight line. Oh well. Wonky edges make it seem more homemade, right?

    Then comes the stuffing. I just added a bit of stuffing into each tag to give them some thickness and make them a bit more substantial. Batting probably would've worked easier, but I don't have any of that. While embroidering I would have to keep pressing the stuffing to where I wanted it because it moves a bit. Once the letters are embroidered, however, it's pretty much stuck.


    To make it easier to attach the tags onto the bags (which I intend to have some sort of drawstring or handle), I decided to sew on some loops. I used a random shoestring that I had and cut it into three-inch strips. By the way, this was a new, clean, completely unused shoestring. Since it was going to be used near food and was meant to be washable, I avoided my usual twine and ribbon. Tucking it into the wedge, which had been folded in, I secured it with a pin, and then took it to the sewing machine. I stitched around the edge of the entire thing, and when it got to the area of the wedge, I stitched that opening closed, making sure to get the ends of the cord as I went.

    Then came the final step: embroidering! This was the most fun but also the most time-consuming part. I didn't really plan much before starting the letters, so in some cases I had to go back and redo a letter or two to fix the spacing. This is where a disappearing-ink pen would've come in handy ... if only I had one. Make sure to sew all the way through the tag to cinch in the stuffing. I think it's cute because the reverse side of the tag spells out "oatmeal" but backwards.

    I currently have three made: oatmeal, choc chip, and sugar. I plan on making a few more, but I have no idea how I'm going to embroider "peanut butter" onto one of these things. I'll probably also have to make another "choc chip" in case I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip (which would require both an "oatmeal" and "choc chip" tag). I'm running out of the purple embroidery floss I was using, so that is yet another thing to add to my list. On the other hand, my August total is so tiny!

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    lucky me (part 2)

    In a previous post I mentioned that I had won two giveaways, and this is the second one! It actually arrived in the mail about a week ago ... but it's been hectic over here! Anyway, it's this beautiful Green Garden Wallet from Maggie Whitley. She has a lovely collection of wallets and pouches at her etsy shop and the giveaway was hosted by Everything Etsy.

    Generally the yellow, green, orange color scheme isn't really my cup of tea, but the print is very fun and her signature ruffle gives it character. Now I just have to decide what I'm going to keep in it. I think it'll probably turn into my catchall for coupons and receipts. Hm ... I'll probably have to leave it on my desk and stare at it until I can find a use deserving of it. It also has a magnetic closure, which in my disaster of a purse is a necessary thing.

    On a side note, I'm not sure if I like the black background for photographing things. I have two desks in my room, one black and one white. The white one is my designated crafting desk (on top of which my sewing machine sits proudly!) and the black is generally my laptop/schoolwork desk. I like the classiness of black, but I think in general I'll stick to the white ... or the carpet ('cause that's the classiest of all).

    School starts in two days. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't feel prepared to start classes again. And those eight o'clock classes are going to be the death of me. I haven't really had the chance to get into the back-to-school mindset since I'm waiting until the first week of class to buy books in case my professors change their minds, which happens way too often.

    The other day a bunch of us rented a boat out on Lake Austin to celebrate a friend's birthday. It was great fun except for when we had to get rescued by a patrol boat ... yeah, that wasn't so much fun. But otherwise I've pretty much been hanging out at the apartment and sleeping. With my new roommate N, I watched the first three Harry Potter movies and now we're working on the fourth episode of Pride and Prejudice (the six-part BBC series, of course) ... we are really cool like that. This summer has been ridiculously hot, so I prefer staying indoors with air conditioning and Mr. Darcy to melting onto the sidewalk any day.

    I also haven't had the chance yet to give X her birthday pillows since she's in the process of moving into her new place right now and I figured I'd wait a bit until her unpacking craziness calmed down a bit. And then I need to make plans to meet up with former roommates K and S.

    I don't wanna go back to school!

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    gifting pillows

    I'm back in Austin! Actually, I've been in Austin for a while but I didn't have Internet. But now that I do (after wrestling with Time Warner for forever), I'm going to be better about posting and being productive. I seem to say that a lot.

    While I was away one of my friends had a birthday so I wasn't able to make it to her little birthday shindig. So I made her a pair of pillows for her new place. Well, it was partially making her a gift, and partially me teaching myself to use my sewing machine. I'm still not very good at it and none of my lines come out very straight. All in all, I still really like sewing by hand (even though it's time consuming as heck).

    I was planning on making pillows with a nice quilt-y pattern, but I quickly realized that I didn't have enough control to manage that. So I just pieced together some fabric. I sewed it all together, then thought they seemed a bit ... bland. So I added some color around the border.

    Then sewed the edge, flipped it inside out, stuffed, blind stitched some of the funky areas, then blind stitched the openings closed. Eh. These took me quite a long time to make, probably just because I'm so darn lazy.

    width="400" />

    They're not that great, but I'm still learning. Tied a ribbon around them and despite my measuring, they're not exactly the same size. Close, but no. Argh. Well hopefully she'll at least appreciate the thought. School starts in a week, so I'm off to celebrate the last remaining days of summer.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    lucky me

    I've won TWO giveaways! I can't believe how lucky I've been. You jealous? The first one was hosted by Dionne at City of Dionne. I just received it in and mail today and could not wait to share it with everyone! I won this beautiful clutch from Amy at IMH Designs. Seriously, check out her Etsy shop - it's full of beautiful clutches. The fabric is fabulous and it is really well crafted, high quality all the way. A big thanks from me to both Dionne and Amy!

    I chose the Lavender and Green Floral Clutch Purse with Dupioni Silk Lining, and it's fantastic! I love the green lining and kisslock clasp. There's a layer of batting in there, making it nice and thick, which will keep things like my camera from harm in case I drop it (I'm clumsy!). I'll let you know about the second giveaway once I receive it (and can gush more thoroughly about it).

    Then, I decided to be bad and go shopping. I know, I know ... but I was armed with a coupon for Michael's, and I was in the area, and ... I'm just making excuses for myself. Bad, bad me. I didn't splurge much, just bought some buttons and silver ribbon that had been on my list for a while. And then I found a cute set of lime green measuring scoops that I simply could not pass up. I love Michael's! But I love the blogging community even more!