Work in Progress Wednesday!

Hello again!

Now that my house is guest free and I’m (almost, at least for now) back to a regular schedule, I figured it was time for an update.

The baby blanket I was working on a few weeks ago is complete, so I’ll post pictures of that later this week, but otherwise I’ve been a bit out of the crafting loop, unfortunately.

Boyfriend and I have a 2 week vacation coming up that I’ve been working on planning that has taken up a good amount of my time, but I’m working on things, I promise!

This week’s work in progress is with soapmaking. Did I mention I do that occasionally too?

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Don’t mind the messy molds. I don’t have a melting pot that I can easily pour from. 

While I have not been adventurous enough to meander into the world of processing my own soap (yet), I do enjoy playing around with scents and colors while using a melt and pour base. Today is no different.

While it down-poured outside, I melted up some soap bases and went to town. I decided to work with a Honey base that I colored yellow and scented with lemon and ginger essential oils, as well as an aloe base, tinted green, with a green tea and cucumber scent.

While I haven’t un-molded them yet, I am pretty happy with how they came out and excited to try them out! (Added bonus, my craft room smells wonderful right now!)

Otherwise, I have been working toward opening an Etsy shop. While I’m a bit nervous that I may have missed the Etsy train, in terms of getting there before it became crowded with inexpensive, mass produced items, I still think it might be worth a shot. I do a lot of crafting and would love to share it with the world.

Enough of my ramblings for today though. Happy crafting and I’ll be catching up with you all soon!

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Before My Guests Arrive…

 I thought my guests would be here today, but there was a miscommunication and we were off by a day. So I figured I’d get one more post up before I am too busy for the week. 

I don’t have any craft updates this time around, but wanted to share some things I thought were neat. 

First, the eclipse on yesterday! Being in the Northeast, we were very far from the path of totality. However, that did not stop my cousin and I from making a pinhole camera and trying to see what we could. (Disclaimer: taking photos inside our pinhole camera box was extremely difficult.) But we ended up being able to see what we could pretty well! And due to the angle of the sun, we were able to do it in the comfort of the air conditioned living room as opposed to the stifling hot, 90+ weather, which we both considered a win!

It made for a very cool shared experience. 

That same day, my cousin helped me hang some art in my office. I’d had some pieces I absolutely love hanging around, and my cousin helped with placement and hanging. Now I’m almost anxious for my guests to leave so I can hole up in my office. (Not really.) I just love how it looks so much and I can’t wait to enjoy it!

This is my new view from my desk. The center quote was purchased off Etsy. (I can link later when I’m not posting on mobile.) The small book covers are from a set of postcards by Penguin Publishing I recieved years ago as a Christmas gift. And the black and white photos are my own. (And my pride and joy. Not only did I take them, I developed the 35mm film and printed them in a dark room myself!)

The last cool find from this week was on my own fridge! We have a set of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy magnetic poetry on our fridge and our friends love to play around with them when they come by. This morning, I noticed this on the side of my fridge and, as a crocheter, it made me smile. (Now I just wish I knew who put it there so I could thank them!)

Anyway, thanks for checking things out! I can’t wait to get back to having project updates. 

Happy crafting! 

Finally Friday!

I don’t have anything crafty to show for the week, but don’t want to fall out of the habit of posting, so I figured I’d check in with a small update.

I have done pretty much nothing but clean all week this week. I have family coming over from across the country and staying with us for a week, so getting the house in order became the number 1 priority. Thankfully, however, I’m mostly done and today will be a bit less stressful than the last have been. (As long as no one makes a mess of my clean house between now and Tuesday!)

I probably won’t have any posts next week as I’ll be busy entertaining and people will be staying in my office, so access to my computer might be limited. And not posting for two weeks felt like falling off the wagon.

Before I go, I figured I’d leave you with an interesting find from this week.

Friday Finds

This is a 6 minute documentary made by Jim Carrey about painting. I thought it was kind of neat. Interesting to see another side of someone usually associated by being funny.

Hope you enjoy!

Hope you all have a great week next week! Can’t wait to get back to crafting!

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: This post is a bit long, but there’s lots of pictures. I promise. 

So I’ve been going back and forth debating whether or not I wanted to start posting regularly on Fridays. Wednesday is when I tend to post my works in progress, but I’d like to update on more than just that. I do more than just that!

If I do start regularly posting on Fridays, I’ve been flip flopping between whether or not I want to do a “Foodie Friday” and show you some great things I concocted during the week or if I wanted to do a “Finished Off Friday.” Which would be updates on completed projects. Or, I could do a “Look what I Found Friday” and just show off some of the cool things I encountered during the course of the week.  Any input is welcome.

For today though, you can all enjoy a little bit of each.

Finished Projects

Yarncraft

I realized I had more than one to share with you this week. The first one is simple, but for me was a pretty huge accomplishment. Years ago, before I ever learned to crochet, I had learned knitting basics. I always struggled with it (far too much juggling for my small, clumsy hands) but earlier this week, for the first time, I finished off a knitting project. The first one I did was awfully wonky. The edges weren’t quite straight and there were some spots with mistakes that I wasn’t fully able to recover. Troubleshooting knitting projects has always been a weak spot in my knitting knowledge, if I’m honest. But knitting project #2 was incredibly successful and I’m rather proud of it. So much so that I crocheted matching fingerless gloves to go along with it.

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I’ve added this set to my slowly growing stash of sellables and it will be available for purchase in the near future. If anyone is curious, it’s an acrylic/cotton blend.

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This is definitely the beginning of something big. 🙂

Sewing

I’m very, very new to sewing. I shall preface with that. However, in the last few weeks, I have dusted off my sewing machine and have been trying my hand at it. I’ve watched a lot of tutorials, picked my mother’s brain for as much of her knowledge as I could, and set to work. So far, I’ve made a few pairs of pajama pants. This pair I made as a birthday gift last weekend and they went over well. I’m still working on sizing things well, but overall, I’m quite happy with them.

They are by no means anything even remotely complicated, but I think it was a good place to start. Just challenging enough to learn new things, but easy enough to have motivational success.

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Food Stuffs

This will be brief. I was just very excited to share the dessert I made for the boyfriend’s company cookout. They are a small tech company that has a “beer o’clock” get together every Thursday. Because their cookout was also on a Thursday, I figured I’d contribute something down that vein.

Cupcake baking is my forte, however, so I wasn’t just going to let boyfriend go with just a six pack of craft beer. I made bourbon cupcakes instead!

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Now, I can by no means take all the credit for these wonderful bites of goodness. I found the cupcake recipe here on the Baking Smarter website. It was an easy to follow recipe, and made wonderfully moist and fluffy cupcakes. (I’ll be honest, I’ve made a lot of cupcakes recipes I’ve found online and this one was one of the best. Not too dense, not overly soft. Just perfect!) I did not use the frosting from this recipe, but rather just added bourbon to my own buttercream recipe. It gets raving compliments, so I figured I’d rather not switch that part up.

I also omitted the maple syrup, partly because I forgot and partly because I added the pipettes of bourbon (That’s right, you can add straight bourbon to your bourbon cupcakes!) and I thought it might be too much. Instead, I decorated with gold sugar and, as I mentioned, add pipettes of bourbon to half — partly so people who wanted less bourbon had the option, and partly because my cupcake carrier only has good clearance for the top tray.

These were a huge hit! From what I understand, they went fast and people loved the pipette idea. There was even a request for me to make them again in the near future! So, thank you Baking Smart!

Fun Finds

Just wanted to share a few cool things I discovered this week with you as well.

First, as one of the most creative gifts I received for my birthday, I wanted to share with you my newest tea kettle. I love giraffes, so this was perfect for me! And super cute on top of it!

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My second items to share were a thrift store find. My local thrift store posts pics of their newest items on their Facebook page and had posted a picture of one of these pieces about a month back. I had fallen in love with it and decided that if it was still there come by birthday, it was meant to be and I would get them. Well, I swung by the craft store yesterday and there it was! Better yet, there were 2! I ended up getting both pieces for $5 and I can’t wait to hang them up in my craft room. I’m in love with them.

 

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If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking with me through this post. I do believe, once I get back into the swing of blogging again, these posts will get more concise.

Regardless, have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

WIP Wednesday: Corner to Corner Baby Blanket

I figure that, to get back into the swing of posting on a regular basis, I’d start updating on Wednesdays with my current works in progress.

Last week I posted the cross stitch I am (still…..) working on. I haven’t had really any time to sit and work on it during the last week. It’s actually been a bit of a crazy week. My birthday is this week, boyfriend’s birthday was just over a week ago, and one of my best friend’s birthday is today. So naturally, we all got together and spent a 4 day weekend celebrating the fact that we’re all getting older. It was a laid back weekend, but between preparing for it and then having people over (the last of which just left yesterday) I haven’t had a whole lot of time for cross stitching.

Crochet, on the other hand, is incredibly do-able with other people around. I worked on some while we watched movies and TV shows, I worked a bit during a car ride, and ultimately was able complete an entire fingerless glove and headband set during the weekend, despite all my visitors. (That pesky, ever present urge to wake up earlier than everyone else in my house didn’t hurt productivity either.) But I’ll post more about that project on Friday.

This afternoon, however, I started yet another project. I’ve been working on stock piling up some sellable items so that, come the craft fair in December, I will have a good amount of works to sell. In doing this, I’ve been making lots of headbands, fingerless gloves and scarves. Unfortunately, all this did was make me miss making blankets. I think that might be where my real passion lies. I have decided to pursue them once again.

While I know that crocheting blankets isn’t really a lucrative move, (people don’t usually want to spend enough on them for any money to be made) I have decided that making baby blankets would be a nice compromise. In turn, that’s what I’m working on.

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I’ve only just started and haven’t had a ton of time to dedicate to it yet, but so far I’m pretty happy with how this Corner to Corner baby blanket is turning out. I’m using Red Heart With Love in the color Beachy. It’s by no means my ideal yarn to make a baby blanket out of, but I loved the colors and couldn’t resist. I think more baby products should involve a healthy dose of tan or brown.

In fact, I loved this colorway so much I bought a similar one with purple, rather than blue, and it will also be turning into a baby blanket in the near future.

Other than that, I don’t have a ton of other current works in progress. While I am slowly working on finishing up my backlog of unfinished projects, those updates will come later as I am working on them. I hope you’ll enjoy checking them out in the future too.

Until later, Happy Crafting!

 

Cross Stitching: An Update

If you followed me the last time my blog was active, you’ll remember this piece.

It hasn’t gone too much further, mostly because I ended up setting it aside for the greater part of a year. I’ve picked it up again in the last few months and am anticipating finishing soon.

This piece, while I am happy with how it will come out, has been a huge thorn in my side almost since the beginning. because it is full color, it has been much more time and labor intensive than I had assumed it would be and may very well be the last medium-large sized, full color cross stitch.

I would, however like to start designing some smaller pieces as sell-ables. I just need to get this done.

I’m hoping that, with some really effort, I’ll be able to have this done by September, though I have a very busy August ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Welcome Back!

I guess I should be saying that more to myself and less to you. You haven’t gone anywhere. Unfortunately, I have gone full MIA from most of my former internet haunts. I guess that means no need to feel excluded, I’ve been gone from everywhere.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton to show for it, so sorry about that.

The last year has been tougher than it should be. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’ve been unemployed for the past year (as of last week.) While this is by no means a pity-seeking story, I would be lying if I didn’t say it was an emotional roller coaster. I left an extremely toxic job, which was a positive move in every way, but then spent months dealing with the guilt of having done so without another job lined up. Then came the guilt of not having an income and being fully supported (both emotionally and financially) by my better half. And let me tell you firsthand: Months fly by when you’re too depressed to do much with your day than move from the bed to the couch.

But it wasn’t all bad. I did A LOT of cooking and cleaning. In fact, for a few months, I made it my job. I woke up, had a clean-ish house, did lots of laundry and cooked dinner every night. But it was… I guess unfulfilling is the best word. While I was proud of myself for taking care of my household, it was a bit disheartening to be asked what I did with my day and only have my list of chores to ramble off in response. It also didn’t help that I almost felt like I needed to be constantly doing house chores as some kind of punishment for not working.

So the first six to nine months of unemployment was by no means a vacation. It was actually kind of agony. (And let’s be honest, the short, cold days of winter didn’t help either…)

In recent months, however, I have gotten my act together. I have started doing, on a set schedule for at least 8 hours a day, and it has been the best move I’ve made in a long time. While I do spend some of those days cleaning and doing laundry, I have (with the blessing of the better half) turned crafting into my full time job. Which made picking this blog back up all the more important!

Since I updated this last, I have made soap (just melt and pour so far, but it’s been fun), I’ve learned to make candles, I’ve picked up that cross stitch project I started years ago, and I’ve learned to sew. (Kind of. That last task is still very new to me and I’m still in the learning stages.) I’ve also been reading a lot, but that’s less important.

I’ve also got a partner for doing craft fairs, so hopefully that’s in the cards for this winter. In preparation for that, I’ve been working on crocheted sell-ables.

And in the last week, I’ve set my sights back on my typography skills.

Needless to say, I guess, since I’ve said it all already, I’ve got a lot going on now, especially in terms of crafting and it’s really pretty exciting.  So I’d like to get back to sharing it all with you again!

So I hope you’ll have me back! And look forward to lots of updates on lots over things over the next week or so. (Posts will slow to a regular pace once I’ve got everything updated, I promise!)

My Very Vegetarian (and Very Homemade) Day

I had a very healthy and inadvertently meatless day today.

A day that started off with greek yogurt and fruit, progressed to a wonderful southwest salad, and ended with me making a mess out of the kitchen for a few hours — But I made our entire dinner from scratch!

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The picture is pretty terrible (sorry about that! We ate dinner in our blanket fort. A long story for another day.) But in it is the culmination of my evening of hard work. We had Falafels with fresh Pita and Tzatziki. (My pita bread wasn’t quite as soft as I would have liked so we ate them like little pizzas.)

Are there things I would change next time around? Sure! But for tonight this dinner was perfect.

Here’s where I got the recipes for dinner:

Falafels from here: Mine weren’t as pretty though.

Pitas and Tzatziki from here: We haven’t made the delicious looking steak gyros yet. (We were going to Sunday but got swept up in making an AMAZING Steak and Ale pie.)

Thanks for listening! These recipes were just too great not to share!

Happy Tuesday!

A Wednesday Update (On Thursday)

Here’s my WIP Wednesday update, posted on a Thursday that I woke up thinking was a Friday.  (I’m having a more than hectic week.)

I also don’t have much to update but don’t want to lose my posting momentum. In general, I foresee progress being slow over the summer as we have family events almost every weekend. But here’s what I’ve got.

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I’m not sure if I’m going to jump into the stained glass in the doors or do more solid work and come back to it later.

I have a free weekend this weekend, so hopefully I’ll have a better update next week.

Happy Thursday!
Happy Crafting!