Dec. 31

Something is very wrong this year... only two days ago my family and I went to the zoo in Kansas city and I didn't even need a coat. Today it's supposed to get up to 63 degrees! I don't know what's happening, but I'm trying to make the most of being outside in this gorgeous weather.

Since I seem to be neglecting this blog as of late, a good resolution for the new year would be to post more often... maybe once a week? I'd also like to spend more of my time creatively, that's been lacking in my life lately too. I think I'm going to take a screen printing class at the Lawrence Arts Center and I'm excited to learn a new medium!

Until then, here are some pictures of the last month of my life with my lovely little Diana Mini.


Nov. 30

The holiday season is starting! Pretty lights are up on all the trees downtown and there is frost on my car windows in the morning. I can also tell it is getting on winter by the attention given to my little Dala horse ornaments! Here are some of the treasuries I've been in the last week or so... definitely check out some of the other items too, there is some really good looking stuff here.


Nov. 19

Goodness, I've been busy. I went to Chicago last weekend (and had a blast!). Among many fantastic things about that weekend, one in particular was extra fantastic: I got a Diana mini in a big Urban Outfitters sale. Sarah is happy.

I've wanted a lomography camera for quite a while, but didn't want to mess with the medium format film, pricier developing, and less pictures. This little camera just uses 35mm film and came with a flash (with interchangeable color films and adapters for use on different cameras!) and a book of photos. I'm mostly excited about the flash. I can use it on my Cannon AE-1, which has previously never had one. I went through a whole roll of film in about a day, and while most of the pictures were underexposed, a few came out really well!

I'm really going to try and take pictures more with it, since I don't have to really worry so much about them being perfectly composed or in focus.


Nov. 3

I woke up this morning expecting horrible icy weather (it rained yesterday evening and was supposed to snow/ice overnight) but instead it is a bright, chilly day! Always a pleasant surprise.

The other day I made some pumpkin granola (via THIS recipe) and decided I wanted to try out making granola bars with it. After much research on the Pinterest, I decided on THIS recipe, though instead of including chocolate chips, I melted the chips and spread the chocolate on top of the whole thing. Successful if I say so myself, though I might be slightly biased. Next time I might use a little less honey and see if they still stick together.... or just bake up some more with a different recipe (This one uses sweetened condensed milk?).

To note, I don't taste much pumpkin, but I think putting it in the granola gives it a fantastic crunch and some healthy benefits to boot!


Oct 30

St. Vincent at Liberty Hall last month.
It's getting colder and leaves are pretty! I've been baking and sleeping and working and failing at making the most of my time. 

Things I should work on: 
Spending more time on my Etsy shop.
Cooking meals instead of just baking


Oct. 5

This last weekend was quite fulfilling.... it was Lawrence's Final Fridays art walk which is always fun, and the weather was lovely. Me and my friends mostly hung out around the Lawrence Arts Center where there were some bluegrass bands, but we made a detour to a gallery right above where I work called Wonderfair which was great. I bought a print by this wonderful artist (though the print I purchased isn't on her site. It has a gold spaceship floating above mountains). 

Saturday had me meeting up with the same lovely friends to go to a local flea market that, though smaller than we had anticipated, I still managed to find a piece to purchase. I got a set of cameo clip on earrings to make sweater clips out of. We then stopped by the farmers market (where I bought some cider doughnuts from Rees's Fruit Farm) and a local thrift store (where I bought a frame for the spaceship print).

Then we split ways and I journeyed alone back to the Arts Center, but this time for their Silent Film Festival! I watched City Lights, Limelight, The Man with the Movie Camera, and Phantom of the Opera. They were all great, but I have to say my favorites were the first two (which were by Charlie Chaplin), especially City Lights. I had a fantastic time, though it's a shame not more people are interested in silent movies... it would have been great to have a friend tag along.

Me hanging out in the park between films.

Tonight I have had quite a bit of spare time, so I made up the sweater clip I bought the earrings for. I think it turned out pretty good! I really need to find more excuses to wear things like this.


Sept. 29

I had three hours today where I wasn't working (why do I have two jobs again?), but thankfully that was all I needed to make up some chicken and wild rice soup! I have had this planned for quite some time and I'm so glad I finally got to cook it. I used the simplest recipe I could find from HERE, but ended up editing it a bit.

6 c Chicken Broth (I only had two cans of broth, so I used water for the rest)
Chicken Breast Halves, cooked and cubed
6 oz pkg Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice Blend-Original Recipe
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 c All-Purpose Flour
12 Tbsp Butter (I only used 8 Tbsp because I thought more than one stick was a bit extravagant)
1/2 c Carrots, diced  (I didn't have any vegetables on hand.... I wish I would have had an onion at least)
1/2 c Celery, diced
1/2 c Onions, diced
3 c Heavy Cream (I used a pint of half and half and subbed milk for the third cup)

1. Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. Set aside.
3. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet, and continue cooking vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add seasoned flour gradually while constantly stirring, to form a roux. Saute roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
5. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
6. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through and rice is done,15-20 minutes.

First of all, I have no idea what a roux is. In hindsight I probably should have looked that up, as I didn't use all of my flour mixture because my 'roux' was getting extremely thick.... like chunky paste thick. Is that was it's supposed to look like? I even put some of the chicken broth that was boiling on the other burner in it to try and get some more liquid. I assume it is because I didn't use all of the butter?

Regardless of how well I made the roux, the soup turned out heavenly. I was even inspired to go to Checkers in an attempt to find sourdough suitable for bread bowls. I was unsuccessful, but I did get little sourdough rolls that I could at least dip into the soup.

Here is the result. I was most pleased and am excited to eat more tomorrow.


Sept. 27

Um... yeah, I haven't even started on that book embroidery contest. Pretty sure I don't have time to do much with it now. I have, however, been trying to exercise a bit more, so today I went on a bike ride (a quick online calculator says I biked 3.2 miles!) and I've started a really simple 60 day routine that builds up on itself every day until I'm in better shape. So far I'm just at jumping jacks and sit-ups, but that is just fine by me. Toward the end it goes to jogging for a whole hour. Yikes!

During my ride I stopped downtown at the big antiques mall and spent a whole hour and a half there! I was looking for a pair of boots and ended up with the following:

A Muppets glass! They had three different ones but I figured I should only get one for now.

Some vintage photographs.... there were quite a few in the series of these silly college students on the right... maybe I'll have to go back so as to not separate the pictures from one another.

This is the crowning glory of my trip though... an ET board game! It comes complete with a little ghost costume for ET! I love it and I can't wait to play.

Another happy addition to my life is Kate Beaton's Hark A Vagrant book that I just got in the mail! I have already read all of the comics, but I am super stoked to re-read it in book-format. I'm so happy to finally own something made by her, she is amazing.

Sept. 13

If you follow many embroidery blogs, you have probably come across Feeling Stitchy. Great site. They just announced a little contest that I am quite intrigued by... embroidering a book cover! I'm quite excited.

The big question though, is what book? 

Jane Austin? Moby Dick? Roald Dahl? Harry Potter? Raptor Red? There are so many books! I wonder if I would be limited to one entry? I wonder if I will have enough time to even finish one?


Sept. 12

I have the day off and have been trying to fill it up with productive (or at least semi-productive) things. So far this has consisted of hooking up my new printer to the wireless network, spray painting a bumper sticker on the back of my truck, and experimenting with a bleach technique to make a logo-ed shirt for work. It certainly doesn't sound like much eh? Of course I was supplementing my tasks with looking up recipes on the internet (now I need to figure out which one of my new amazing recipes to have for supper!)

I still have a few things I want to do this afternoon, so we'll see how much gets done.

My new "bumper sticker." It is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference from the Final Sacrifice episode.

My somewhat failed attempt at this bleach dying technique. I think it looks cool, but is not suitable for work at all. I have ideas on how to fix it though.

Now maybe laundry?


Sept. 7

I finally got pictures taken of the magazine I'm in! I'm quite stoked.

It is the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine and I'm on page 66!

They changed a bit, like the order of how I do things and using twine instead of ribbon, but I think it looks nice anyways. Here's the cover of the magazine so you can be sure to take a peek!


Aug. 19

I have definitely been feeling the two-job business this week, so not much of an update. I worked both of them back to back today and picked up a bit of frozen yogurt at 3 Spoons afterward. I kind of really wanted to do something else afterwards, but I couldn't figure out what, so home I went. Tomorrow I need to do some more pottery... it's the last day to work with wet clay, so hopefully I can get up early and head over.

I still have yet to get myself a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine to take some better pictures of my project for you... I looked online and it doesn't appear to be anywhere. Alas. My Craptor embroidery was featured on Mr. X Stitch today though, which is pretty cool. I like that site a lot. 

Right now I'm listening to Nat King Cole on Spotify and it's so peaceful. I think it's about time I go to bed.


Aug. 13

I meant to get this out yesterday, but it turned into a late night, so this morning will have to suffice.

I spotted these on my way to Topeka, they were so smooth and painterly I couldn't resist a photo.

Just throwing some pottery... it's a new clay so let's hope it does okay.

And lastly, I went to Hobby Lobby and remembered to look for the magazine my Dala horse ornament is in! Right there on the front page of the segment and everything. I'm most pleased. I didn't have a chance to look through it all, but it seemed full of cool things to make, so I would recommend checking it out. Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts mag, it'll be on the stands for a few months I believe.

I hope everyone has a great day!


Aug. 10

I don't have too much time for an upload today, I just got myself two jobs for the fall! I'm pretty excited about both of them though. Last week I decided that I needed to get on the Sorbetto pattern bandwagon, especially after seeing The Sew Weekly's 7 Days of Sorbetto. I especially love the sleeve draft she did!

I had already made a skirt from some vintage fabric, but I haven't worn it too much because I can't find tops to match. I had extra fabric so a Sorbetto it became! You can hardly tell it isn't a dress, though does anyone know a good way to keep shirts tucked in? 

It is a beautiful day here! I hope everyone has a good week.


Aug. 4

I have decided that I both have too much fabric and I haven't been practicing my pattern drafting skills I learned last semester. This is a convenient situation in that it has a very clear solution.

I decided I wanted to make a sundress with some pretty navy gingham I got super cheap at Hancocks this summer. I have also really been loving how many backless dresses I've seen online this year, so I tried my luck with drafting a bodice with a normal front, but a twisted up back. It took me three muslin bodices to work it out but I'm so happy with it! The only things I would change are to lower the neckline a bit and make the twist of the back low enough to hide a bra. I thought I had it measured correctly for this but I was apparently waaaay off. I promise I don't draft while under the influence. The skirt could be fuller as well.

Also, if I were to make this again I would draft it so that instead of a twisted bodice, I would simply gather the back up with some fabric, kind of like a bow. The twisted bodice really led to some interesting lining techniques that in the end worked very well, but were fairly time consuming.

I had to sew the lining to the back piece separately before doing anything with the bodice front since I wouldn't have been able to twist it after it was sewn together. Sewing the lining in the front required me to first sew up the neckline and armholes, then kind of sandwich the lined back piece in between the bodice piece and it's lining, sewing the shoulder seams and side seams through all the layers and then turning inside out. I should have taken a picture but I doubt you would have been able to see what was going on through all of the gingham. 

I also admit that as of the taking of these pictures, the bottom of the skirt was only serged. I will need to hem this baby up tonight maybe.

But now on to some pictures!


July 31

I had a good day.

It started out with me working on a drafting project and anticipating a BBQ date with some good friends in Kansas City, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, ended with me moving a friend into her new place aaaaaaaaaaaallll afternoon. Hard work, but well worth it because I got a margarita out of the deal. 

Just kidding...

...but seriously... 

...that's only part of the reason. The real reason was because I could give her her housewarming present! One of the secrets of my last post no less!

This beautiful creature is the product of my dear friend's creativity. His name is Craptor and he is her constant companion through the drudgery that is life. Here are the two of them with some other friends:

Visit her Tumblr for more Craptor and other joys.

Hopefully tomorrow I can finish my newest sewing project and get a post up. Finger's crossed!


July 28

I'm in full organization mode here at home, I just was introduced to the music program Spotify and I have been exploring it, along with going through my closet and trying to get rid of some things I don't wear anymore... but I've also still been embroidering some gifts for people, so here's a preview:

Hmm, well it looks like it is still a secret... What about this one:

Oh gee, well I guess that one is still a secret too. 

How about this?

This fellow will hopefully very soon become a wall hanging that will have the cities I've visited in french knots, and possibly even highway routes that were taken on road trips? I still have yet to figure out what exactly to do with it.

I hope everyone has had a lovely week and a great weekend! I will be helping quite a few friends move on Sat and Sunday, so hopefully it won't be blistering hot. I suppose there's always ice cream to make the day feel better, eh?


July 23

This certainly seems to be a busy blogging week... maybe I have too much spare time... Regardless, I have another finished project that I am excited about. For years (seriously) I have had a cool picture frame with nothing in it. It has even been on display for a good portion of that time... without a picture in it. Maybe I felt that would inspire me to figure out what to put in it? No idea.

Part of the reason it has been empty for so long is that the size is unusual.. how many people have a 2.25" square picture laying around? I figured it would be a good time to try out a little embroidery.

I have had some Star Trek coloring book pages on my computer for a while with the intention of using them as embroidery patterns, and they were already square, so I simply needed to resize it to fit the frame. I'm super pleased with how it looks in the frame, though it's difficult to take a decent picture of it.

I also used a new transferring technique. Since I was using a dark fabric, I simply traced the pattern with transfer paper right on it. It worked great and the detail was really good, though if I were working on it for more than a day or two I would be afraid it would rub off. I actually didn't even wash it off of my fabric and you can barely tell that it's there in this picture.


July 22

This last Christmas my fantastic friend Jost painted me a picture, but alas, German paper is different sized than ours and I haven't been able to find a frame for it.... until now!

One of my neighbors just moved out and I saw a lonely little backless picture frame leaning against the dumpster the other day. The glass was still there, and the wood had been kind of speckle spray painted yellow and black. So Perfect!

Yesterday I cleaned up the glass and tried to figure out what to matte the picture with and use as the backing and came up with cutting a grocery bag to the size of the glass and painting it black with india ink. The india ink didn't end up being dark enough so I just spray painted it, which worked pretty good. Then I just centered the painting on the grocery bag, taped it on and put it in the frame! Easy peasy. I did have to put some new hanging hardware on the back (it was originally set up for a horizontal picture), but that's not hard at all.

I am stoked that this painting is finally on my wall. Isn't it amazing?


July 21

Today is a big day in Lawrence... We have a great downtown and every year there is a huge sidewalk sale! I got there pretty early and I'm so glad for it, as i was actually able to find a parking spot and it wasn't yet unbearably hot (we hit 102 even without the heat index!) 

I don't really like shopping for clothes in that kind of crowd (long lines, crowded, etc), but I did walk away with some booty from a couple of the antique stores. I got a great deal at one booth on some sweater clips, a necklace, and a super cute pin (all for $6!). At another booth I got another necklace, some buttons, and a gorgeous vintage scarf.

I love this pin! And one of the sweater clips is of angelfishes, the other has kind of creepy hands!
I also went out to Milton's for breakfast, then had a job interview, took a nap, and completed a little art project that I'll post about tomorrow. It was a productive day!


July 17

It is hot hot hot in Lawrence! My goodness, we are in an excessive heat warning for a whole week! I'm pretty sure air conditioning will be high on my list of necessities when I finally get a new vehicle. For now I'm just staying in side embroidering and re-reading the last Harry Potter book in preparation for watching the movie tonight. (I'm excited.)

While I was watching Twin Peaks last week like a mad woman I was also finishing up an embroidery which I'm pretty happy about. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, which seems to be the story of my life.

The rocket girl pattern is by Cherry Hollow designs, and I just took the planets from a coloring book page. Here are a couple detail shots: