Pictures for you, pictures for me

An overview of the last few days, in no particular order… [Editor’s note: in an attempt to be less verbose, if you want to know more, click on the pictures to go to the Flickr pages where I’ve already made comments.]

Wednesday night, in addition to making meatballs, I also attempted to make chicken stock. It turned out well.

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Now… what should I make with it?

I must praise Plaid’s website [link removed], makers of Mod Podge [link removed], for their excellent advice. I was worried because it wasn’t very detailed, but I thought it was worth a shot. Thursday after work I stopped and picked up some Hard Coat Mod Podge [link removed] and followed their instructions [link removed] and the candle holders I’m working on didn’t bubble up and wrinkle like before! Amazing, especially in that it took me 5 tries of continually worse attempts before I checked their website.

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Here are the bad ones (before I tried their instructions):
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Work in progress

No pictures yet of the good ones – I’ll hopefully finish them this weekend and then will have pictures to share. The only bummer about the Hard Coat Mod Podge is that it has to cure for 4 weeks. So either they sit around the house for 4 weeks curing, or I put them on Etsy and tell people I can’t ship for 4 weeks (or can, but they’ll have to keep curing at the purchaser’s house). Not sure which one is preferable at this point.

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Korben expressed his love for tablecloths, by doing his “sexypose” on the dining table.
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On Wednesday, two of my textbooks arrived in the mail! So fast!

Also, the samples I ordered from J Caroline Creative arrived.

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Tuesday’s crowning achievement summed up.

And lastly, an obligatory photo. His parents gave him a buzz cut on Monday and sent me some pics. He’s so cute!

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Can’t wait until he lives nearby (more so than now, at least)!

Creative Uses for Flickr

I think I may have come up with an entirely clever way to use Flickr that helps me be organized and crafty all at once! I mean, I know that Flickr has already (kind-of) helped me organize my yarn (well, mostly via Ravelry, but I used Flickr to do it, so it sort of counts). Now, it might help me organize my sewing.

What if… I photographed my fabric, and in the description section noted what type it is, how many yards I have, how wide it is, etc (basically, everything I know about it), and even what I’m thinking of making with it.

And then, what if… I photographed all of my patterns (fronts and backs), so I’d always have a catalog available to me, no matter where I was (assuming that I had internet access, so basically if was with me I’d be good, because he has an iPhone). [Editor’s Note: if Apple comes out with a 3G iPhone, which does not mean what I thought it did [link removed], but whatever, then says he’ll buy it and sell me his old one. I wasn’t really all on board with this iPhone thing, since I use my phone maybe once a week for phone calls, and already have an iPod that I love, and a Nintendo DS to play games on, but having the internet in my pocket is oh-so-tempting. We’ll see. Some people [links removed] seem to think that Apple will do this soon, but thinks not. I’m not holding my breath. It works just as well to have him with me when I need the internet.]

And then, I could be smart and tag all of them and be able to keep two open windows and browse between the two until I matched things up.

How cool would that be?

OK, you don’t have to be excited, but I am. If only there were a Ravelry-like site for sewing. Alas, there is not (and I don’t think I could keep up with that many craft-related sites, because as it is I barely stop in to Ravelry once a week these days, and Etsy is just way too time consuming, as in I spend way too much time browsing for things I’d like to buy). But this DIY version using Flickr might just be the answer. And then I can keep my fabric tucked away in a drawer where it won’t get faded from sunlight or covered in cat hair.

Come on, you know you wish you’d thought of it first.

More Etsy Love

Some things I’ve seen on Etsy that I just had to buy (the images are from the item’s listing and not my own, except for the letterpress sets, because I either haven’t received them yet or haven’t had time to photograph them):

This cute little succulent said, "buy me! I want to come live with you!"
So did this cute frog planter.

Conveniently, they both arrived in the mail on the same day, and fit together perfectly. Once planted, they’re going to go live on the windowsill in our bedroom, since the original owner said the succulent likes lots of filtered sunlight. I thought it might come live at work, but it doesn’t seem to fit. One of these days I’ll find a bonsai tree for my desk.

I have to admit, one of the main reasons I bought this planter is that the title said "Oh SNAP, Frog Planter" which I thought was incredibly hilarious. Also fun that whatever is planted comes out of his mouth. I'm thinking herbs.
Another scarf. Sometimes I can't help myself.
Beautiful pendant. Artsy and expressive.
This is a mug I bought for A because I just couldn't resist it. Etsy is a haven for owl-lovers, and I see stuff on there all the time that she'd love. I just don't buy all of it, because we all own enough stuff anyways, right?
I bought this cute flannel fabric with no purpose in mind, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.
I love, love, love these earwires. I need to buy some more for making more jewelry, because I only got 5 sets and have probably 2 left. They're just the perfect shape that they don't fall out of my ears (like some other earwires) and don't need the little rubber backings. Plus, they look really nice and make some professional-looking jewelry (in my opinion).

Not Quite a Soliloquy on My Love for Etsy

There can be no doubt that I love Etsy. Perhaps too much. My spending for the month revolves around coffee, food, and crafting supplies, and recently those have skyrocketed (I blame the new sewing machine that I haven’t used). One of the things I love about Etsy is that the sellers are, generally, crafty people and like to put nice touches on the their products. For instance, when I came home yesterday there were two packages waiting for me. When I opened one of them, this is what I found:

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How cute is that? My purchase, all wrapped up in tissue paper with a little lace tie.

My arrivals yesterday (from both packages together) included:

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Fabric!

The brown has a suede-like feel and the floral pattern is embroidered on. It should make a nice skirt (or a vest, were I a stylish cowgirl, but I am not) and maybe some pillows. The green is super-cute, and as noted would make a nice skirt, but inside it is mostly scraps (which I knew upon purchasing), so more likely it will be used for some table linens, because it matches our dishes. The gray on top was purchased with the idea of making a pillow, but I might change my mind. It’s very gray (and not so much black and white), and may make a cute shirt instead.

I’ve been trolling the pattern websites lately and have come up with many options, most of which I will not purchase or do anything with. I like to collect the ideas, however, and have the inspiration there at my fingertips if I need it. I never really enjoyed the process of going to the fabric store with MOM to sort through the pattern books, and now that they all have their stuff online, I don’t have to do that anymore. Very nice.

And, for those of you who were wondering, I figured out what I was doing wrong with my future publishing function, and have fixed it. It wasn’t exactly intuitive, but whatever. WordPress made a lot of changes with the last update and I still haven’t adjusted to many of them, so this is just another one. I don’t usually do future posts, so it’s not really a big deal (though I should have done the last linkfest as many smaller posts, spread out over several days – don’t worry, I won’t do that to you again – and if it wouldn’t take too long to fix, I’d just do that now, but what’s done is done). I don’t know anyone in person who uses WordPress, but if, like me, you couldn’t figure out future publishing, leave a comment and I’ll fill you in on what I just learned.

Recent craftiness

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This weekend I pulled some stuff out of the craft bin (formerly the yarn bin, but that's all in storage now)

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and decided to work on the coasters I'd meant to make back in October.

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Here's what I ended up with (further comments, descriptions, and how I did it are on the Flickr pages, so please go there if you're interested).

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I also attempted to make some jewelry to match the new dress I got (that I can't show you a picture of because it doesn't exist online, but it's bright Kelly green, white, and black, and I just don't own anything in those colors!).

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Instead, this is what I ended up with.

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Don’t you just love them? I have one more pair of butterflies (slightly different – they’re filled in instead of filigree), and I might just make a pair up to put on Etsy.

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My previous attempt at earring making,

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while also successful, was much less interesting.

I talked more about both pairs on the Flickr pages, so again, if you’re interested, check them out.

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Also over the weekend, and I think I mentioned this before,

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we bought some potting soil for my amaryllis and some rosemary and dill.

And then, in a move only I could pull off (characteristic of my black thumb), I think I’ve managed to kill the dill already. In its first night, actually. See, I accidentally left them outside on Sunday night and it got cold, and I checked them on Monday when I got home from work and the rosemary seemed fine, but the dill, which is much more fragile, was droopy. Only time will tell, and I have no way of knowing if the freeze killed the amaryllis or not, at least until several weeks pass and it either sprouts or doesn’t.

How I Spent My Weekend

Between blowing my nose, sleeping, eating, and knitting, I spent most of my time this weekend playing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. I’d link to the game directly, but all gaming-related sites are blocked from our work servers, so you’ll just have to search for it yourself. Friday night and I went to Best Buy and I picked up that little gem for my DS as well as an old version of Mario Brothers (don’t ask which one – I don’t know, and it doesn’t really mean that much to me). I was unsure about Zelda, because all of the video games I’ve played have either been puzzles (like Tetris and Dr Mario) or action (Mario Brothers, of which I enjoyed most of the brand new one, except that World 8 is super hard and I decided I didn’t feel the need to torture myself and finish it). Zelda is different. Sure, there’s some action – some killing of monsters and the like – but a lot of it is questing and searching to find things and figuring out stuff. Well, needless to say, my worry over spending the $35 (which generously offered to give me and he’d play the game if I decided I didn’t like it) was for naught. I got almost nothing else done over the long weekend. No laundry. Almost no cleaning. It’s sad, really. But I’m enjoying myself, so that’s good. And I did get my week’s worth of homework done last night, so I haven’t totally lost touch with reality.

There could be a long post with pictures coming, but for the time being, let me recommend the following:

  • for the friend who recently admitted her love for owls, Etsy. I know you’re already familiar with the site, , but as I was perusing the “vintage” category, I found more owl stuff than I could ever get you. And seeing as how it’s about 6 months too early to start buying you birthday or Christmas gifts, I’ll just have to recommend you get yourself over there.
  • for the friend who’s remodeling her kitchen, Organized Living. I did a quick perusal and found their section of drawer liners, , so you should be set there. They probably have cutting boards as well. I can’t remember what else you were looking for, but they probably have it. Oh, and I found salt and pepper shakers you should get over on Etsy.

So there you have it. Nothing much of substance, but what did you expect?

Friday Fun: The Four Edition

It’s… meme time!

What are…

  1. the last 4 books you have read? Currently reading Lies My Teacher Told Me.  Before that, I finished A Long Way Gone, and Girl Soldier.  I’m also kind of in the middle of an anthology of mythology from around the world.
  2. the last 4 websites you have visited? Amazon, Digg, Etsy, and the one for this meme.
  3. 4 favorite items of clothing? Jeans (pick a pair), cream sweat pants, any tank top, and a comfy button-up sweater.
  4. 4 favorite things to eat? Chocolate, ice cream, pizza, and did I mention chocolate?
  5. 4 favorite movies? You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and… let’s go with Zoolander for some fun.
  6. 4 favorite books?  I can’t pick 4 favorite books, are you kidding?
  7. 4 favorite TV shows?  Currently, I’m very disappointed with TV, and it’s not because of the writer’s strike.  I’ve got entire seasons of my “favorite” shows recorded that I’m just not interested in watching.  Oh well.
  8. 4 things you ate yesterday? Starbucks, chicken enchiladas, Fiber One bar (they’re yummy!) and Snyders of Hanover Buttermilk Ranch Pretzel Pieces.
  9. 4 things you need to do today? Study for my final exam, eat dinner, clean off part of my desk here at work, and kiss my husband.
  10. 4 gifts you want during the holiday season? I have had a hard time with this this year.  Currently on my list are a cookbook of Christmas cookies, curtains, sleeping in, and world peace.

So cute!

OK, to be clear, I have no need for these in my life. But I ran across them in the “expiring soon” category on Etsy and thought they were so cute!

Here’s the original item posting [link removed]

Sweet, blessed weekend, here I come!

It has been a hard week. A long week. Last night Prince Charming and I looked at each other and said, “Who are you?” (I jest, but you get the point.) Married life is great. It’s been all the other stuff, primarily school. Thankfully, while this semester starts out busy, after looking at my syllabuses, things should get a lot easier in a few weeks. A lot less homework, that is, which would be nice. I haven’t picked up my stuff all week – it’s gradually accumulating on random surfaces. And as I just realized while looking on Etsy, I haven’t pursued any of my hobbies in white a while. No knitting since before the wedding – the tendinitis flare-up put the kabosh on that, so I didn’t even bring anything to occupy myself with on the honeymoon. I’d bought some new stuff to make jewelry with and have several ideas, but I haven’t had the time to put them into motion. Nor have I unpacked a single box that wasn’t a gift. Now, granted, last night we could have just lazed around the house reveling in the nothing-ness, but instead we chose to go shopping and get some much-needed work clothes for both of us.

And I got cute new shoes.

And then we got home and were exhausted, because the MOA will do that to ya.

All I’m sayin’ is, I’m tired, and I’m glad the weekend is here and I get to sleep in tomorrow and that I don’t have a ton of homework to do, so that I might feel vaguely productive in the rest of my life. All summer long things got set aside for the higher priority of moving and wedding, and now things are getting set aside for the higher priority of schoolwork. It’s exhausting, I tell ya. I’ll work on getting that fixed though.