Dec. 31


So I suppose it's the time of year where one reflects on the last 365.25 days and tries to figure out what the next will be like. It has definitely been an ever-changing year for me, and I'm satisfied with it. That said, I hope next year offers a bit more stability.

I'm not going to make any resolutions because I kind of feel that they are silly, but I definitely have a lot to work on this year so hopefully I can motivate myself.

A friend of mine gave me some turkey thighs and a leg he didn't end up cooking, so I made it up the other day and this morning I made some noodles. I'm really excited about turkey noodle soup folks. It seems pretty cold out there so I don't know if it's worth it to go out and get some carrots.... I may improvise with some other veggies I have around.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to take my sewing machine in yet again to see what is wrong with it. I called a local place and he suggested that since I just got the belt replaced it might be too tight? I have been borrowing my mom's for the last couple weeks and it has been working fantastically... I was on it almost all day yesterday without any problems. I start it up today however, and it starts running really weirdly too! I really don't know what is going on with me and sewing machines. I seriously can't try to use them as my livelihood if they insist on not working constantly.

Since it's the holiday and all, here is my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne. I think I might curl up and watch An Affair To Remember tonight, as it's the only movie I have that has a NYE scene. A little champagne might be in order as well.


Dec. 22

Photo by Illahie

It is getting so close to Christmas! My family doesn't make a big deal of the holiday gift-wise, but I always like it. I'm in the process of making a few gifts and helping my sister with some of hers. Hopefully I'll have everything I need to finish done in time.

I was turned on to a new Christmas mix by one of my favorite comic artists by independent Canadian musicians! It is almost all non-traditional and great. It is called Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada Deux and I would recommend downloading it (for free!).

Here is a song that I've been enjoying this week... a Wham! cover by one of my favorites, Erlend Oye, best known for his involvement in the band Kings of Convenience. Enjoy!



Dec. 17

Painting By Carl Larsson

My finals are finally over and I have a whole month before I need to worry about studying or homework! I'm incredibly excited to expand my collection of little embroidered felties. I have been going through my science and zoology textbooks looking for biology-geeky inspiration goodness.

My plans for the next month are a bit intense... I am making almost all of my Christmas gifts and I really haven't started yet... oops! I also have an idea for an entree in the Mad Scientists of Etsy December challenge (topic: a tiny new species of beaked toad!)that I need to get started and finished before the end of the month.

There is some serious housework to be done as well... I've kind of let everything fly around wherever it wants to the last week or two.


So anyways, the real topic of this post was to say that I have made a little Facebook page for myself, and I've also added a button underneath each post so you can 'like' it if you want! Become a fan and I'll update with things shop related, or are just really too awesome to not tell my friends and readers...

... I'll also update if you don't become a fan, but then you won't be able to experience the joy along with all the cool kids.

P.S.I've also updated a couple links on the side to represent the Etsy teams I'm on! I've already talked about Mad Scientists of Etsy, but I'm also a member of the Kansas City Etsy team. Gooooo team!


Dec. 11

This week has been a little crazy, but it seems to have slowed down for the weekend which is much appreciated. I had my last day of school on Thursday, so now I just have a few finals and I'm done for a month. I enrolled for ceramics classes at the Lawrence Arts Center and I'm super excited. It starts on Jan. 10th, so I'll have over a week of free time there before school starts back up again. 

I've also started using a new shampoo that I feel the need to mention. It's from this site and is all natural and in a bar! I've thought about going on a no-poo routine but have been hesitant, this seems like a good substitution. I have only been using it for a couple days, so I guess I can't really give a review of what it does to my hair, but so far it seems great. Right after washing I really feel like I need leave in conditioner (I've decided not to use conditioners while I try this out so my hair can get it's natural oil flow going) but after my hair dries it's really soft!

In shop news, I've updated again with some Dala Roosters! My grandma has a wooden dala rooster that I used to play with when I was a kid so it seemed like a natural progression to include one in my shop.

As a special bonus, until Christmas I'm offering free standard shipping on my ornaments! Check them out at Two Hungry Blackbirds!

Dec. 4

Gee wiz, so it's already December folks! I've been a busy little girl this week... I had a big test on Thursday and I have a big Microbiology project due and a final on Monday, not to mention a couple other papers and stuff for Etsy. Whew! I've started to realize that I should have made more red dala horses and less in the other colors... I haven't sold any white ones yet at all! I think those ones are pretty.

I've also added a few new things to the shop, a favorite being Star Trek communication badges!

It feels good to have geeky things in the shop.
I'm going to work on some new ideas for the shop when I'm not doing schoolwork, so be sure to check it out!


Nov. 29

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, the long weekend has spoiled me I think, I don't want to go back to school tomorrow. Yesterday my mom and I shared a booth at the Holiday Bazaar in Perry and though it was slow (what timing for a KU game!) I had a good time. A friend in the next booth over suggested I join the Lawrence Art Guild and I think it would be a really good idea! Students get a discount and I would also get a discount at the Lawrence Art in the Park show in the spring... it would mean that I will have to find a way to make ceramics over next semester however, so I may have to explore options or possibly take it at JCCC again next semester. That would be a lot of hours though which I'm not sure if I am okay with. It would be super exciting to be in a bigger show and sell some pottery though!

In researching vintage Christmas ornaments, I came across these little guys and though there aren't any pictures of them in a tree, I can just imagine how lovely they would look on one. I may have to explore that if I ever have a tree of my own, just maybe sans the shinyness...

Nov. 22

Hi all, I just wanted to update a bit on some of the treasuries my shop, Two Hungry Blackbirds, has been in lately!
Weekend Browsing by ReyesRobledo
Nordic Dream by ElleMeredith
Ornamentation by littleaxe
And lastly, this one is actually linking to my other site, Spottedsushi, it's absolutely adorable though. Her shop is cute as can be as well.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by amyawalters
Check them out!


Nov. 20

Boy I've been busy! I've finished a whole bunch of ornaments and took pictures of them all yesterday and editing pictures and putting things up on my shop... whew! I just put up all of the Russian doll ornaments and am going to start working on updating with the newer ones.

Check them out here at Two Hungry Blackbirds!

I also just got back from an estate sale which was highly successful. I got four yards of a nice big lace for a dollar, a pair of snazzy scalloped gloves, some packages of stretch lace, an old handmade dress, a slip pattern, some fabric... it was a good find. I probably should have gotten some stuff that was for me to sell rather than to use, but I'm happy.

The weather here has been amazing the last couple of days! I hope everyone is having a good autumn... I'm excited for Thanksgiving!


Nov. 16

This is what my bed has looked like for the last three evenings or so...

A big ol' mess of ribbons, felt, and embroidery floss.
But look at the outcome! I'd say it's worth it, and I've been able to catch up on this season of Mythbusters while I embroider.

All to prepare myself for the craft show next weekend and hopefully some success in the shop!

In other news, my red dala horse ornament got to the front page of Etsy the other day! I'm super excited, especially since the season is just starting. Unfortunately it was up there at two in the morning and I didn't get any sales from it, but I got tons of favorites and views. Fingers crossed that I'll get in some more treasuries and get up there again before Christmas!


Nov. 12

Hey! Look what I've been up to!

 I made up a batch of these to hopefully sell at the craft fair later this month. They are meant to be little Russian dolls but I'm not sure how successful I was at that.

I've also been working on a sculpture in my ceramics class... I've never made anything like this but figurative sculpture is my teachers specialty and she gave us a few demos. It's amazing what kind of techniques can make something look realistic... I'm also making a head (that might turn into a bust?) and it looks so much better than any of the other one's I've made. Technique makes so much of a difference!

I've also become reacquainted with an author I read in high school named Mary Roach. She writes very entertaining science non-fiction books. I'm reading two at the moment, which may not be such a good idea because then I'll go through them and not have any more.

I also made lasagna tonight and quickly realized how silly of an idea it is to make a whole batch of lasagna when only one person will be eating it. Thank goodness for freezers?


Nov. 6

I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfast today and I cannot even wait to post about them. They were amazing. I used the recipe from here, but I made cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze she has. Here is the result:

So incredibly good.


Nov. 5

Picture by Luve.

I said I would update today and I intended on taking pictures of some new things I've made, but I forgot to take pictures of them until after 4 when the light was terrible. So.... it might be a couple more days on that since I won't be around tomorrow. I am in the process of making pumpkin cinnamon rolls, so we'll see how well that goes. My dough was pretty sticky while I was kneading it, I had to add a lot more flour. I'm excited to eat them though!

Now I'm drinking a lovely cup of tea. I've never been a tea person but a dear friend sent me a whole tin of loose leaf jasmine curls last Christmas and I drank some then, but dang, this last week or two I have been drinking it like crazy! I am craving a cup or two a day. It has been getting a lot colder and my roommate and I haven't turned on the heat yet, so I have been keeping warm with the tea and my lovely little space heater who is just about my best friend right now. My roommate teases me because when I bring it into another room with me I look like a little kid dragging a red wagon.


Nov. 4

I am a Joni Mitchell fan and was looking up a video of hers on Youtube and came across this one. It's a perfect song for autumn, I've been listening to it a lot. This is from a live performance a couple years before the song was released.

I have never thought to compare the two, but in this video I see a striking resemblance between Joni and Kira, from The Dark Crystal.

See the resemblance? No disrespect to Joni of course.

In other news, I did make the bagels and they turned out pretty fine if I say so myself. I've also been working on some new stuff for my shop. I'll update tomorrow!


Oct. 31

I said I would have something to show for this weekend and by golly I do. No, it isn't a finished garment, but it is a little group of adorable tapir pincushions! And I really made them a couple weeks ago, but I just now took pictures of them and put them on Etsy. That counts in my book! Two are happy and one is terribly sad. Poor fella.

And of course, I've been collecting more recipes! I fully intend to make my own french toast bagels with this recipe (though I'm putting some cinnamon chips in mine) once my package is all eaten which is a whole new ballgame for me. I also have a recipe for honey wheat sandwich bread that I'm going to try out once I finish my loaf. I'll definitely document the bagels, we'll see about the other.

Oct. 30

Happy Halloween!


Oct. 29

I am so glad it is Friday. I've been sick the last couple of days and am greatly looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. I just got a book in the mail today that I'm really excited to read it, it's called Machine of Death and it is an anthology of stories about people who know how they are going to die and it was published by two of my favorite webcomic artists, David Malki and Ryan North.

I've been cooking up a storm lately as well.... lets see, I made some fried mozzarella sticks the other day. First time attempting to fry something and though it was successful, it was kind of gross. What does one do with leftover oil? I think we ended up throwing it out. Today on my way home from school I had a very strong urge to make chicken noodle soup, noodles and all. I love having a pasta maker. There is something extra delicious about homemade chicken and noodles. I strayed from the recipe quite a bit.. I put potatoes and tons of rosemary in it. I wrote down my recipe, so if anyone is interested let me know.

Mmm... look how colorful it starts out!

And then it promptly becomes beige after everything is added and cooked. Noodles and chicken are so worth it though.   
After that I whipped up some Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese... it is just heavenly on one of the french toast bagels I bought yesterday. Really. Fantastic. I used this recipe last year and I'll be using it plenty more this year.
MMM..... words cannot convey how good this smelled.
I realize that this blog hasn't been too sewing oriented lately, so I guess I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I am doing with it. It also means that I haven't been doing as much sewing as I should. This will be amended this weekend. Now that I've written that I need to get something done.


Oct. 25

With my attempt to be a successful seamstress I've been thinking a lot about my decision at the moment to abandon a traditional college degree in favor of simply taking classes to educate myself about topics that can be useful to me. Learning how to sew as a trade to support oneself seems to be rare among people my age, and when talking about this with others I've felt that I needed to explain myself as to why I'm not on a path to get a degree like everyone else.

I'm definitely of the opinion that education is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves and I always thought that I would want to go to college for as long as possible, grad school and all. Now that I'm a little older (and I have a roommate in grad school) I can't think of much I'd rather not do with the next few years of my life. I guess now I just don't equate education with a degree as much as I used to.

I just read an interview with Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs about this, and there was definitely a quote or two that resonated with me.

"There is nothing wrong with working in an office. There is nothing wrong with getting a college degree. The flaw in our character is our insistence on separating blue-collar jobs from white-collar jobs, and encouraging one form of education over another. Why do we value one above the other, when our future depends upon both? That’s our blind spot." - Mike Rowe


Oct. 24

The Screenland Armour location when it was brand new.
There are these wonderful places in Kansas City called Screenland Theaters. I can't find any kind of summary of who owns the business or why it was started, but leave it to say that someone has renovated old theaters around KC and it's a very good thing. Before this week I had only been to one location downtown that plays almost entirely films that aren't playing anywhere else in the city (it is where I saw Best Worst Movie and The Animation Show). Horror Remix this month though, was at the Armour location in North KC, then yesterday my roommate and I saw another show there which is the main reason why I'm writing about this at all.

Three years ago I missed a showing of a Sound of Music sing-a-long and since then I have wished they would have another one, and sure enough, this weekend they did. I was so happy to see it on the big screen! Whenever there was singing lyrics would show up on the screen and everyone (mostly adults mind you) would sing along without abandon... "The Lonely Goatherd" was especially entertaining! It was a very relaxed show and there was almost constant interaction from the crowd... hissing whenever the baroness would come on screen and waving flashlights around during the Nazi scenes at the abbey.

Good times.

In non-film news, my mom, grandma, and I went to a little town in central Kansas today called Lindsborg which has capitalized itself a bit on being a "little Sweden" kind of place. I made adorable little gift tags and a couple phone calls beforehand and set up a consignment deal with a shop called Anderson Butik with some of my dala horse ornaments. This is the first time I've done anything like that and I'm really excited and I hope they sell. I'm going to try and get some in a bed and breakfast down there as well.

I haven't made any progress on the skirt other than trying a few different ways to sew in elastic (how is this possible people? I'm having a mess of a time with it) and ripping out tons of zig zags. I may have to cut out a new liner and start anew, possibly with just a straight up gather and a zipper -- sans elastic.


Oct. 22

I took a microbiology test on Thursday... it's always good to get those kinds of things out of the way; now I can enjoy my weekend without worrying about it. To start off with, my roommate and I went downtown this afternoon and finally tried out a new frozen yogurt place called Spoons. Delicious. The closest thing we have to a Red Mango around here... nice tart yogurt with fruit as the only topping. There was a snickerdoodle flavor as well which we almost got... cinnamon ice cream makes me weak! I'll definitely have to go back for some of that.

I've started a skirt today as well in my first attempt to make a pattern from draping on my dress form, first time doing pockets, first uneven hem, and first partial elastic waist. What am I thinking? So far I have the entire outside layer done with the pockets so I need to work on that hem and figuring out how to put in the lining/elastic. I think with the other half of the fabric I'll just give it a zipper and not worry about the elastic, it's cutting it close with being able to pull it on as it is and I don't have any extra fabric to spare. I guess that's what I get for trying to make two skirts out of less than a yard and a half of fabric.

It is raining in Lawrence tonight and I can't wait to go to bed.

Photo by deadst4r


Oct. 18

Photo credit goes to iantmcfarland
I just went to a Sufjan Stevens concert in Kansas City last night that was incredible! Due to a bit of a medical emergency with a friend I went with, we had to leave after only about half of the show, but what I did see was great. It gave me a much greater appreciation for his newest album, The Age of Adz (I was kind of lukewarm to it before). The opening act (DM Stith) was fantastic as well. As soon as I got home I downloaded his album and I couldn't stop listening to it today. Below is the only video I could find of the concert: the opening song, Seven Swans, and my favorite of DM Stith's that I've heard so far.


Oct. 16

It would seem as if I've been doing stuff since I posted last... I had my first sale (the blue pinstripe dress from this post) which is pretty exciting. I also made a couple new skirts that I posted up on my shop earlier today.

 It's kind of exciting to be able to sell things that I make.

The other day I was such a homemaker... I baked pumpkin applesauce muffins, and tried three new recipes! The first was guacamole because we had an extra avocado, and that turned out great on top of some black re-fried beans... yum. I'm not much of a chip person so we don't have any in the apartment, so I baked my own lime tortilla chips with some corn tortillas I had which were great too. I may need to bake them a bit longer next time though.

Then I made some breaded ravioli from some frozen ones I bought at Costco. Breaded ravioli is one of my favorite things and I'm excited to know how to make it now. I may post the recipe here soon.


Oct. 13

Last week I was walking around downtown and saw that a used bookstore that I've been eying (that has previously been closed whenever I've been around) was open. This place was so full of books that I could barely even get around the owner to go down the narrow row between the shelves and almost all of them were vintage. I worked my way around the whole place and walked out with a sewing book from 1943, one of my favorite fashion periods!

The inside is full of great techniques on how to restyle older dresses and mending, not to mention a huge variety of examples of details and necklines and other elements.
I have to admit, the only neckline I really like here is the scalloped one on the model.
I may have to make one or two hats as well!
I like the little cape idea in the top lefthand corner of this one especially.
I don't have school for the next couple of days, so I'll be sure to get some sewing done, then this weekend I have a birthday shindig for a friend in Kansas City and I'm going to a Sufjan Stevens concert! So excited.


Oct. 10

I've been trying to rearrange my room this weekend in hopes of clearing a wall for the sake of taking pictures. I've ended up moving my dresser, a bookcase, and my bed, and got the wall across from the window clear, but now my room is a mess! At least I now know what I'm doing tomorrow night. I was able to take a bunch of pictures this afternoon of a new batch of sewing patterns to put up on my Etsy, so I'll have to get to that here this week.

Today Hancocks was having a pretty good sale, so I hopped over there to check it out and came back with the apron fabric for my Sound of Music dress (blogged about here) and a couple solids that I'm in dire need of. I've found that when I buy fabric I only seem to buy prints, and that is not always a good thing. There have been a few things that I've wanted to try but I couldn't without a contrasting solid fabric. They also had Simplicity patterns for a dollar apiece, so I got a few of those. I'm really excited about a few of them.

I'm loving these Cynthia Rowley ones... I've been seeing that skirt on the top for months now and I think it looks great every time, the waistband detail is lovely. This second one must be new because I haven't seen it anywhere. I think I'd probably make the version A with the shoulders or maybe no shoulders at all for a summer dress. I haven't ever really made anything with long sleeves, so that version might be good to try as well.

I got this one almost purely for the peplum. You can't see it well in the picture I'm afraid. I've been itching to make a dress with one for a while now. This fits the bill of being more fitted than most of my other dresses as well. Almost all of my dresses and skirts are full or shapeless which I don't think works as well for winter as it does for warm weather. I have a few patterns for pencil skirts and simple A-lines, so hopefully that can be averted this season.


Oct. 4

It has been longer since my last post than I meant... I've been busy, I promise! This weekend I went with a friend to his family reunion in Bentonsport, Iowa which was a very small town and very relaxing. He has some adorable little cousins that we played with a lot... I taught one how to throw a frisbee and take a picture with my digital camera. I believe by the end of the day she took a hundred and fifty pictures, almost all of them being either out of focus or of the floor. The things I do to entertain a cute child!

Today I picked up my sewing machine and I look forward to trying it out to make sure it's all set. I stopped by the thrift store by the sewing machine shop and came out with some sewing patterns for a quarter apiece. I think I'll only sell a few of them, the others I think could make some cute girls dresses. I need to find projects for the fabric that I have! I also have a lot of school work this week, so we'll see which one is triumphant.

I have however, been steadily uploading vintage sewing patterns onto my other Etsy shop. Take a look!


Sept. 27

I don't know if it is because it's getting around Oktoberfest or if I'm just feeling rather romantic at the moment, but I have been dreaming of dirndls this week. Tonight I had a really strong desire to watch the Sound of Music mostly due to the costumes I think. I fell in love with two dresses in particular...

The Baronesses! It's a lovely polka dotted/pink combo which usually doesn't do anything for me, but the cut of the top is killer. The silk looks so dreamy and luxurious!

And of course, Maria's dress in the opening sequence..

Isn't she so beautiful? This is kind of an idyllic picture for me.
I adore it! the stripes and the bodice... I was reminded instantly of the 1912 Kimono pattern from Sensibility Patterns and I'm certain that it could be used to make this dress.

I would have to make the skirt a bit fuller, but that would be it; I'd rather have 3/4 sleeves than full length ones anyways. I've been looking at that pattern for years but I never got it because of the price. My roommate convinced me to go ahead and splurge a little though, since I usually spend so little on patterns when they are on sale at the big fabric stores it evens out. That's my rational anyways.

I'm thinking Halloween if I get the pattern in time... I'm super excited. It figures that I didn't even post any dirndls!


Sept. 26

Yet again, I got too excited about something and blogged it without knowing what I was talking about. The yellow gunk is supposed to be there! I took my sewing machine to the shop today and they said my problem was probably with the belt rather than any kind of gunk, so I left it there and hopefully I can get it picked up before next weekend, though I may have to wait until I get back. It kid of puts a damper on my weekend though, as I was going to sew all day tomorrow. I may have to just cut things out and wait for my machine to come back or embroider maybe. I got a book from the library on making patterns from existing clothes that I need to look through too.

In other news, my roommate told me about this new invention called an EBbra... which is essentially a bra that can also convert into two safety masks if needbe. I can't say I'll be getting one anytime soon, but it's entertaining to say the least.


Sept. 24

I just found another reason as to why my sewing machine hasn't been running smoothly! Despite the fact that it has just recently been checked up, it has been having trouble starting and just been running very heavily. My manual (see how I've learned to read the manual when I have a problem?) said that it could need oiling, so I oiled the bobbin area but that didn't help, so I took the top off of it and found... duh duh duh...! a huge pile of yellow gunk on one of the parts! It's gross guys.

I sent an e-mail to the store that I bought it from and who did the check up to see how on earth this could have happened and if they can fix it free of charge, since I can't fathom how they could have missed something like this in the check-up. Hopefully it will get fixed, since I kind of need my sewing machine to make money right now...

This evening though, I'm going to a new monthly event in Lawrence called Final Fridays. Pretty much like First Fridays, but without the competition between Kansas City for local folks. I think it's a great idea to help support the Lawrence arts scene.


Sept. 23

I have to admit, I haven't been doing much sewing the last few days due to schoolwork. I wasn't so busy studying that I couldn't go to Kansas City yesterday to see the Horror Remix show though!

If you like bad movies, this is the thing for you. It consists of two or three bad horror movies trimmed down to the essential 30-45 minutes each; "All Killer, No Filler" as the slogan goes. One of the movies this time around was almost too crazy and gross to be appreciated, but I still had a great time.

Since I don't have any pictures of what I've been doing since my last post (unless you want shots of cultures from my microbiology class) so I'll leave you with another song from a new artist from Nebraska I just found out about named Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Crazy name, crazy girl, lovely Ukulele tunes.


Sept. 19

I've been a busy little girl this week! I'm trying to figure out little things to make for a craft show I'm going to be in in November... I have a few ideas but I need to figure out how long they will all take and if it's cost effective. I did whip up a reversible bag from this pattern and it turned out pretty good, but my fabrics were too lightweight, so I still need to work on a solution for that. I also made a cute little pincushion though from scrap fabric from my dress and I love love love him. I'll definitely make more of those.

Today I also went to the Renaissance Festival about forty miles away in Bonner Springs and had a grand ol' time. The only thing I left with was a bag of kettle-corn, but I think that's the only real necessity anyways.


Sept. 16

I have decided that there really aren't any good places to take pictures of myself in this apartment. In the future I can probably have my roommate take some, but for now bear with me. I think it turned out fantastic. Serging the pieces made me a lot less worried about how I would finish the seams and though it took a little while to do them all, I think it was worth it. Most of the pieces fit together great, though the sleeves were a lot bigger than the arm hole, so I ended up gathering them at the top and I really like how they look. I also shortened the skirt by a few inches and it's still plenty long, the slit in the back is a lot shorter now though.

I definitely will make more, at first I was thinking that I would probably end up keeping this one since I love the fabric so much, but there are a couple alterations that I would make if I were doing it for my own body... the upper back is a bit too wide and it doesn't fit snugly at the top of the zipper. I'm not sure if this is a pattern flaw or something specific for me, I've never made a dress that sat that high before. I'd shorten the skirt pattern piece a bit as well. I might see what it would take to line it too, I don't have much experience with that so I'll have to look it up.

So anyways, here are some pictures and I'll probably put up a listing on my Etsy shop here in the next day or so.