weekend reading

March is shaping up to be a pretty bad month for me. This week we somewhat unexpectedly had to put our family dog down. She had cancer for a few months and only this week she took a turn for the worse. It was really sad and I find myself still walking into the house expecting to see her, even though I know she's gone. So it's been sad around here and I've been trying to cheer myself up.

One good thing that happened this week is that I went to the Dallas taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. I had gone the last time they were in Dallas and it was really cool to see how they make the show. This time was just as cool and I took my dad who also loves the show but hasn't been to a taping before. I'm really interested in hearing how they managed to edit the show into one hour, because let me tell you...the special guest pretty much told the same story over and over for like 40 minutes! 

But enough about all that, let's get to the links. 

I LOVE brownies and am very, very particular about them. These chocolate peanut butter ones look like they would live up to my standards. 

I have always thought that eloping was probably the best idea for getting hitched. I think planning a wedding in 5 days is also not a terrible idea!

As you all know, I really enjoy podcasts. One of my favorites is the Modern Love podcast from The New York Times. This week's episode featured one of my all-time favorite Modern Love essays

I don't know about where you live, but in Dallas there are a lot of panhandlers. I never know what to do when I see one. This article made me feel better about giving them some money. 

Poet Derek Walcott passed away last week and is being remembered all over the internet for one of his most famous poems. I loved listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn read it

This chai tea looks really good. 

I'm not a big shopper these days. I'm really trying to wear what I own, or make what I need, and I'm avoiding shopping at "fast fashion" stores as much as possible. Just today I popped into Old Navy, tried on a bunch of stuff, and then bought nothing because my conscience got to me. That hasn't stopped me from lusting after some tops from Madewell, though. I can definitely DIY them but I may look into Madewell's practices and see if they are an ethical choice. I'm loving this top, this one, and this one

And speaking of making my own clothes, I'm loving this shorts/skirt pattern from Liesl + Co

Finally, I LOVE Jeni's gorgeous purple Drachenfels shawl

That's it for today, friends. 

crafty thoughts

I'm (clearly) real bad about posting anything other than my favorite links posts every friday. I'm not even going to apologize. This is my little internet space to do what I want. 

And today I wanna talk about my crafty thoughts. 

There are lots of them in my head. 

Right now I'm on an embroidery thought kick. Just thinking a lot about hand work and needles and thread. But not actually doing any embroidery. Just thinking about it. My phone and watch wallpapers right now are of an embroidered paper and every time I look at the screen it gives me that little urge to make some stitches. I'm thinking a lot about embroidering a chambray shirt. Just filling it up with stitches, without a real design in mind. An ongoing, possibly never ending project. 

One of my friends had a "make and take" birthday party. She bought this Sarah K. Benning embroidery pattern (which I also just recently bought) and she supplied the, well, supplies, and had her gal pals over and they embroidered. Even the non-crafty folks. I'm going to steal this idea for my birthday. FORCE my friends to do what I love. 

I've been thinking about my Sea Captain, who, nearly 2 years after starting, is still not finished. I'm in no rush. He's just chilling in my little hexagon tray, easily accessible to pick up and work on whenever I feel the eventual need to add some stitches. Maybe I'll do that while I watch Big Little Lies. While searching for the link to the Sea Captain, I spotted this pattern and now I'm thinking about that one too. 

Other crafty thoughts. I am still really enamored with the idea of woven bracelets. I borrowed this book from the library this weekend and one of the homes that is featured in it is that of Myriam Balay. I haven't ever heard of her before, but she is doing the exact sort of woven bracelets I want to do. Her shop is gorgeous and very inspiring for me. She weaves on an adorable little rigid heddle but I could definitely use my fave lap loom to get similar results. Here's her instagram account. Her pinterest account is super gorgeous too, i love her aesthetic. 

Hmm other crafty thoughts. Right now I just have a lot of ideas. I'm working slowly but surely on my knitting but not imposing any deadlines. I'm struggling with forearm pain once again (because I just can't lay off of instagram) so that makes long knitting sessions difficult. I really should go to my orthopedist and see what she recommends (probably laying off of instagram. I refuse to delete it. that's just going too far.).

I have a lot of urges to paint these days but haven't acted on them yet. I'm thinking a lot about acrylic paint these days which is new for me. Usually my painting urges are the watercolor variety. I found this artist and her finger painting really calls to me and makes me want to get a little messy. 

I think I'm just in a really tactile phase right now, wanting to really feel my materials and use my fingers as much as possible. I know a lot of non-artists and non-crafters don't get and/or understand that...that NEED to do a certain craft or art form and the need for tactile sensations. I'm not sure how to explain it other than just that...it feels like a need and feels like it will satisfy something in my soul. Even if I'm not actually doing anything but thinking about it, it feels satisfying. I get real antsy if I haven't crafted in a couple of days. 

So, there are some of my thoughts. I will hopefully one day soon post some real posts with photos and everything, but for now, this will do. 

weekend reading

It's Friday. Let's rejoice because this week has been entirely too long. 

I look forward to relaxing this weekend and maybe doing a little crafting...I didn't have a ton of motivation this week to do anything other than sit around on the computer (so it's surprising that I don't have more links to share for the week). 

Here are the links. 

Easiest french fries. count me in. 

Latest edition of I can easily DIY this. So cute.

My friend Erin is a really great writer and posted this thoughtful and important essay this week.

I seriously love crostini. I could easily eat it every day. And now I have some ideas for eating it for breakfast.   

I love how bright and colorful Julie Cain Howard's instagram is. Her home was featured on The Glitter Guide this week and I am in love with it. 

Cute little coin pouches

And that's all, folks. 

 

weekend reading

This week, you guys. I cannot even. 

I got some bad news about a friend on Sunday and on Monday a different friend had a baby but had a lot of very very scary complications that have left her in the hospital all week. So this week has be rough. I've been in total denial of both situations and have been numbing myself by allowing for pretty much no downtime. Which I admit is not the healthiest coping skill ever, but it is just that- coping. 

The internet has been a good place to escape to this week (and every week), so here are some links that I ran across this week that made this week a little more bearable. 

In #adulting news, I was at a friend's house last night and we somehow started discussing...laundry. Yep, wild Friday night with these gals. My friend told me about wool dryer balls and how much she enjoys using them and that you can put essential oils on them to scent and soften your clothes naturally. I happened to find some at World Market today and put them in my cart. I'm weirdly excited about trying them out.

A couple of weeks ago was my bestie's wedding. One of my co-maids of honor has parents who live in Amsterdam right now. Her parents always send her some Dutch peppermints and she brought some to the wedding. I became obsessed. I ate so many of them. They were delicious and unlike any peppermint I've had before. While at World Market, I spotted them and subsequently added them to my cart along with the dryer balls (I swear this post is not an ad for World Market...I just genuinely love that store!). 

This grapefruit mint chia seed drink sounds soooo good. Very springy!

Cool video- how to practice effectively. Basically, pay attention and challenge yourself. I really want to learn violin at some point and if I ever get around to it, I'll be sure to take this video's advice!

I bought a shit ton of lavender on Amazon recently to make sachets. And then I ran across this recipe and was real glad I had a whole ton of lavender just laying around. I made this simple syrup and WHOOOOOOOAAAAAA. IT'S GOOD. Y'all know by now that I am a #teaperson, so I made my latte with black tea (and almond milk) and it did not disappoint. I've drunk (drank? drink-ed?) several glasses this week, both iced and hot, and it's good no matter what. I'm thinking I'm going to start making my whipped cream with cool flavored simple syrups from now on. The possibilities are endless!! 

A few years ago I went to Australia. It was awesome. I was there to work, though, and as such, I packed a lunch most days to eat at work. It costs a lot of money to go to Oz, so I wasn't about to be buying lunch everyday. I became obsessed with Australian ramen. It's so much better than our ramen. I'm preeeeetty sure it wasn't vegetarian, but I didn't think about it too much and just enjoyed the deliciousness. I ran across this recipe this week and it brought all my Australian ramen memories back and has given me intense cravings for ramen this week. 

Things I really like: matcha, ginger, kombucha. This drink has all 3!!!

Something else I really like: old fashioneds. This idea for a travel-size, instant old fashioned is genius. 

Honest photos of motherhood. Love this.

Gonna try this the next time ~that time~ comes around. I am keeping my expectations very low. 

Well there you have it. Weekend reading. Tonight I am going to a Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn show which should be pretty amazing. Tomorrow I'm taking an intermediate weaving class with Rachel Denbow and I am PUMPED. Can't wait to report back on both!

weekend reading

It's the weekend, party people! 

I finished The Young Pope this past weekend and am still obsessing over how good it was. It was seriously phenomenal. And to fill the void, I started Big Little Lies. My very first thought while watching was how fantastic the opening sequence is. The theme song (by the amazing Michael Kiwanuka) is my newest jam. I've played it on repeat. And then I just couldn't handle the suspense so I started reading the book. I had meant to ever since it came out and watching the show and not knowing what's going to happen has spurred me to finally read it! The music throughout the whole show is so good and I hope there's a soundtrack. 

While buying Big Little Lies at Half-Price Books, I perused the vinyl section. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, was just seeing if anything stuck out. And sure enough, I found a copy of Joni Mitchell's Clouds that looked like it had seen many, many better days. I took the vinyl out of the (very torn up) sleeve, expecting to find it warped and scratched, but you guys! It was in PRISTINE condition! I was so pumped and I gladly paid the $3.99 that HPB was asking for it. I brought it home and cleaned it and played it. I also researched it and it looks like mine is from either 1969 or 1970!! So cool!!  I want to go back again this weekend and find some more gems! 

How comfy and versatile does this brand look? I want to live in all the photos. 

File this under: something I came across in the past and loved and then forgot where I found it and I have been reunited with it. Ok that's long. Simple azuma bukuro bag tutorial. Perfect use of those precious 1 yard pieces of fabric! 

This chia seed pudding sound really delicious!

Have you ever travelled with packing cubes before? I hadn't until I went to Australia. I wanted to take just 1 bag for a 2 week trip which is difficult for me! A friend lent me her packing cubes and they helped me efficiently pack. Bri at Design Love Fest designed some for Target and I definitely am going to get them. Cute and functional!  

This little note is soooo cute

Cute little quiches!

File under: cute but there's no way in hell i'm gonna spend $80+ on pjs

This recipe contains my 2 favorite foods- bread and cheese. 

Well, I have lots of reading to do so I'll catch y'all later. Enjoy the weekend! 

knit itch

Fun fact: it took me 3 tries to spell itch right and there were multiple typos in this first sentence alone. I swear I had only 1 mimosa today! 

And before that mimosa happened, a conversation happened. 

One of my besties recently learned how to knit continental style. She has been an avid crocheter for a long while and knew the basics of knitting, but it never really stuck for her. Within the last several months, she learned how to knit continental, and being a fantastic crocheter, she took to it easily. It has been so fun to see her become passionate about knitting. The other night we hung out and knit on our shawls together! #bestiegoals

This morning she was showing me some of her favorite sweaters on Ravelry and I spotted one that I've been thinking about as well, so we decided to do a knitalong! She texted me later in the day that Craftsy was having a sale on yarn, so I perused and made a decision (which was v difficult). 

And then of course I couldn't be content with just one new project, so I started planning out a couple more. 

So here are all the deets, in their still somewhat not fully formed glory!

Sweater (will be my first adult-sized sweater!):
Pattern: Boxy
Yarn: Cloudborn Highland Fingering in Grey Heather. This yarn is exclusive to Craftsy. I am a little hesitant using it, but I liked the stitch definition I saw on Ravelry, so I'm going to give it a go. 
Notes: I am already planning on lengthening this one. I am tall with a long torso and I hate cropped clothing. I want this sweater to be nearly tunic length. I'm also thinking I will most likely do a split hem and make the back a little longer than the front. Luckily I will (hopefully) have nearly an entire extra skein to work with, so I'm thinking these mods should work out just fine. 

Shawls (yes, more than one, DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME)
Pattern: Drys by Melanie Berg
Yarn: So here's where it gets tricky. The pattern calls for Woolfolk Far and Sno. These are STUNNING yarns and the end result is absolutely gorgeous. Buuuuuuuut. If you use the suggested yarn, you'll be spending over $300. Now listen, I am not saying that I'm not a yarn snob. I 100% am. But $300 is unjustifiable for me at this time. $150? Been there, done that, will absolutely do again. So now I have the difficult task of choosing what to use instead! Far is a chained yarn and I really love the look of the chained yarn (rather than plied) and I think it makes a big difference in the finished look. Because of that, I want to stick with a chained (wool) yarn. A lot of chained yarns have nylon in them and I am not about that life. After lots of researching, I think I am most likely going to go with Cascade Eco Cloud. The Cascade is very similar to the Woolfolk with the added bonus of having alpaca! I'm not sure yet on the color- it will be either cream, ecru, white, or undyed. I'm hoping to find them in a store to compare, but for now, Ravelry has been useful. Drys is double stranded and Sno is a 2 ply marled merino wool. It's plied with a white and a light grey yarn. A good marled sock weight yarn is tough to find and I have considered splurging on the Sno, but I searched Etsy and found a pretty on par sub made with undyed alpaca (yes!) and merino. I'm in conversation with the seller, so we will see what she says before I buy it but I'm hopeful it will work out. 
Notes: This wrap looks super chic and I'm excited to add another rectangular shawl to my collection. One of my favorite things about shawls, and rectangular ones in particular, is that they are essentially like wearing a blanket around, except they are perceived as chic and functional as opposed to slobby and lazy! 

Pattern: Decemberist by Melanie Berg (clearly I have a thing for Melanie Berg...you will too if you check out her Instagram or Ravelry page)
Yarn: Quince and Co. Puffin. I'm debating between the Glacier and Stream color ways. Stream was a new addition this past fall so there aren't any photos of it as a finished object yet, so I'm having a hard time deciding! As with Drys, I really, really wanted to use the Woolfolk, but I just cannot justify the price. It's gorgeous yarn and there are times in my life where I absolutely would have splurged on it, but it just doesn't make sense to do that when I can get an equally great yarn at a much cheaper price. I love Quince and Co. because they are an ethical yarn supplier, they make their yarn here in the US, AND they don't make superwash wool!!! Plus they make very affordable all natural fiber! Literally nothing to complain about if you ask me. 
Notes: I have been wanting to make this ever since Melanie Berg posted some teaser shots on Instagram and I am seriously excited about this knit. 

So there you have it, a brain dump of my soon-to-be WIPs! And of course I'm still working on my Daybreak and Seed Stitch Wrap, so my hands will have lots of options to choose from on any given day!

 

weekend reading

It's that time again! Friday! How has your week been? Mine's been pretty great and pretty busy, so there's not a ton of links today. But the ones I've got are good, so sit back, relax, and click!

I love this idea of quilted modern art. It would be a great way to use some precious cuts of fabric that I have been hoarding because I'm not sure what the ~perfect~ project for them would be. 

Last week I sang the praises of The Young Pope. And I still am. But you know what one of my favorite things about the show is? Andrew Bird has a couple of songs that are pretty much the mainstay of every episode! So I have been listening to a lot of his music these days and his episode of Song Exploder

HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS CAUSE PUNCH BROTHERS ARE COMIN' TO TOWN. All caps were required. On Tuesday I was just perusing insta as I do and they posted that they are coming to my fair city in June and I was ELATED. Elated, I tell you! I of course bought pre-sale tickets the instant I could and good thing I did cause pre-sale sold out. It's gonna be a packed show fo sho. 

In cute knitting news: wee sheep and an adorable bear pattern!

Also in knitting news- my bestie got married last weekend and is honeymooning in Paris. I of course sent her with a yarn wishlist so that I could make this beauty. French yarn ooh la la!

Speaking of France, let's talk about wine. You all know that I am a little into wine and especially the winemaking process. I am pretty picky about my wine and will not drink anything I don't truly love. There are a couple of pinot noirs that I really LOVE but I often find myself disappointed with most pinots. I'm thinking this technique of buying wine will be useful for me! 

Every Tuesday I have a little dinner, a little Mindy Project watching, and a little crafting with a sweet friend. This week I hosted and made nachos, mostly so I could have an excuse to make guacamole and salsa fresca. These recipes did not disappoint! 

And finally, this looks like a real good contender for a Saturday morning breakfast. 

weekend reading

It's Friday morning. I am writing this from bed. I'm going to go get a manicure today. And read. And watch TV. That's right, I HAVE THE DAY OFF! And I have no qualms about bragging about it. I need this day. I have been go go go go go going for a few weeks now and I feel it, y'all. 

Here are some links to make you feel like you have Friday off too!

I'm notorious for putting myself on the hold list for 100 books at a time and then getting a new one every few days. I'm trying to space them out more so I can actually enjoy them. This week I have been reading Everything You Want Me to Be. It is so good! Very who done it and a page turner. 

A few weeks ago I was babysitting at a friend's house. This friend has HBO. I do not. So naturally I started watching The Young Pope. Y'all. It is fantastic. I highly recommend it. I recommend it so much that I added HBO to my cable package so I could finish watching it. Watch this scene and you'll be hooked. 

I've been seeing all sorts of cool weavings on Instagram and was interested in pieces with wrapped yarn. Kate over at The Weaving Loom did a tutorial about it and I can't wait to try it! 

One time I watched The Pioneer Woman and she made this incredible looking cinnamon toast. I love cinnamon toast and this one looked so cinnamon-y and crunchy. I finally tried it this week and...omg...it was amazing. It's super easy to boot!

Grab your tissues. This is a incredible read. This man has a huge heart and I hope to be more like him. 

Is it still important to teach children to sew? YES OBVIOUSLY. 

Craft as embodied satisfaction. Yes. This is probably 90% of the reason why I craft. 

I had a galentines day with one of my besties on Tuesday night. We thought we would stay in, order takeout, and watch a rom com. We went out, brought some food home, and watched The Light Between Oceans. It was a great movie, but it is NOT a rom com, y'all. It is a drama filled story laden with sadness. You will cry and possibly not smile at all. Be warned. It's good, but you're gonna cry. 

I love illustration and I love seeing behind the scenes peeks at artists working in their studios/offices. It always inspires me. This little article about Marta Abad Blay did just that! I wanna paint!

I love these sew together bags that Jeni made! I need to make one of these eventually. 

This floral artwork keeps popping up in my life and I love it every time. But alas, it is from Anthro and will cost me too many pretty pennies so I will keep dreaming about it. 

I'm off to enjoy my Friday! Ta ta! 

weekend reading

Happy Saturday! This week was a little cray, thus the late post. But don't you worry, this week wasn't too busy for me to find some great links to share! 

Remember my rad Norwegian mittens? They're awesome, but I have the nearly-universal holes near the thumb gusset. This is not a huge problem, most knitters deal with it when making thumb gussets, but it is annoying. I made sure to bookmark this video for the next time I do mittens so that I'm sure to have perfect thumbs! 

This post made me have an instantaneous crush on Brendon Urie and made me want to listen to Panic at the Disco immediately. 

Try a little tenderness

Binge listening? I'M READY. #podcastaddict

This company makes magazines out of your camera roll! So cool. But let's be real, some of mine would be REAL dumb or like screenshots of a recipe or something. 

LOVED this article about the Obamas and how they parented in the White House. 

Do you love scrambled eggs? You do? So do I. But they can be a little...boring. Not anymore, though! I tried this technique on Wednesday and it was really good!!

I think I need to make a sweatshirt out of this fabric

Relative deprivation. Sigh. This makes total sense, unfortunately. 

Happy reading and happy weekending! 

frog it real good

Ah frog it...ah frog it...frog it real good! 

This is new, uncharted territory for me. I frogged a project. I'm all about trying new things with knitting these days, including, apparently, ripping shit out. 

Ripping is the worst, right? You're undoing a lot of hard and long work. But you know what's worse than ripping? HATING YOUR FINISHED OBJECT (required caps). I ripped out like 70 rows of my never ending seed stitch wrap because I wasn't loving how one of the colors was looking. It sucked but I am so much happier with how it's looking. 

And so I knew what I had to do with my Doodler

I wanted to love it, I really did. The Hedgehog Fibres was BEGGING for a crazy pattern like The Doodler. I had exactly enough yarn. I had the assurance that it was a popular pattern that everyone on Ravelry likes (not that that ever matters to me). But it just never felt right to me. And then I messed it up! I was confused by the instructions and it wasn't turning out right, so I ripped back to the first couple of rows. It was going well once I figured out my mistake. 

Buuuuuut I just couldn't get on board with it. It just wasn't doing it for me, ya know? Thus commenced a 3 hour long spree on Ravelry to find a new pattern that would do my yarn justice. And surprise surprise, Stephen West had another pattern that I liked! It seemed only right that I would rip one West Knit out only to replace it with another. 

I took one last picture of my Doodler, then I ripped. It's a sad kind of incredible to realize how weeks and weeks worth of work can be ripped out in just a few minutes. I immediately cast on for Daybreak and immediately felt a sense of excitement that I hadn't felt with The Doodler. I'm going to use all 3 colors that I was going to use for my Doodler. I'm super excited about the stripes! 

Here is the last-ever photo of my Doodler. 

And the first-ever photo of my Daybreak! 

busy baby boy sweater: a finished object

You read that right. The words "sweater" and "finished object". IT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED!

Remember a few months ago when I suddenly had the itch to knit a sweater? And I thought it would be best to start with a baby sweater? Well, I committed to it and did it. 

One of my sweet friends had a precious baby boy last year and his first birthday was January 22. I knew this would be the perfect deadline for my first sweater. So I did TONS of ravelry research (the best kind of research) and hemmed and hawed for months about what sweater to do. I wanted something with raglan sleeves because it would be easiest. I wanted something in separate pieces since I am more confident sewing sleeves on than picking up stitches. I wanted worsted weight so it would be quick...basically, I had lots of preferences. But then I thought to myself...why let picking up stitches stop me? It's a necessary part of knitting and while I don't have a ton of experience with it, the only way I can improve is to just do it. And my mittens turned out really well and they involved picking up stitches. 

I found the Busy Baby Boy Sweater pattern on Ravelry and was obsessed with how cute the shawl collar looked. I knew it was the sweater. I picked out some yarn (Berocco Vintage) and got to work. I was pretty terrified of messing it up or the size being wrong, so I reassured myself a lot through the process. It was going really well and quickly. I did my first ever 3-needle bind off! 

January 9

January 9 again- finished with the ribbing

January 12

January 13

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 19

Look at that 3 needle bind off!!!! Also note the perfectly matching nails. 

And then it was time to pick up stitches. I was terrified. YouTube to the rescue! ***An aside- can we please talk about this youtube video real quick. I died laughing when I saw the opening sequence. It is incredible.*** The video was super helpful and I was now confident that I could do this whole picking up stitches around the armhole thing. AND I DID! It looked great!! I picked up more stitches for the second sleeve and for the collar. I took many, many breaks to squeal in delight and to have cute aggression moments. 

January 19- cute tiny sleeve!!!

THOSE PICKED UP STITCHES THO

January 20- a sleeve!

Commence the dramatic fake crying.

At this point I just fell over and died. 

January 21- Am I me if I don't post a pic of my knitting with tea??? Collar stitches have been picked up.

Continue the dramatic fake crying. 

I gifted it to the sweetest bebe boy and it fit him perfectly!! He looks SO CUTE in it and now I wanna make allllll the sweaters. Between this project and my Norwegian mittens last year, I am gaining all sorts of knitting confidence that I haven't had before and that's super exciting. Who knows what I'll knit next!

January 22- Inside out view of the back. 

Inside out view of the front. 

THAT'S IT, I'M DED

So there you have it, my very first sweater. It was seriously easy (even the picking up of stitches) and I feel inspired to try anything!! I am totally obsessed with the way it turned out! 

Specs: I used about a skein and a half of Berocco Vintage yarn. I used size 6 needles on everything. Instead of the motif, I used plain old stockinette stitch (which means I just knit and knit and knit in the round!). I wanted some texture in the the shawl collar, so I did seed stitch instead of 1x1 rib. This sweater took me 11 days start to finish and that's including a couple of days that I didn't work on it :) It came together super quickly and I am so proud!! Rav link

weekend reading

Another week, another weekend. How's life going for you? I'm continuously debating the merits of being informed and of avoiding news altogether. I want to do things but I also want to become a hermit. It makes decision making difficult. So for now, let's just look at some things on the internet. Alright? 

2017 is the year of the hand knit hat. OBVIOUSLY. I still haven't made myself a pussyhat, but it's still clearly needed, so maybe I'll get on that this weekend. 

Warm molasses milk. The words themselves soothe the soul. And it's a Joy the Baker recipe, so you know that it's impossible for it to lead us astray. 

Embroidered clothing. It is on my list these days. I really want to deck out a chambray button down with some rad embroidery and I want to do a cute pocket tee as well. Luckily this post is here to help us with the pocket tee

So y'all know my new thing about clothing, yeah? The whole conscious consumerism and trying not to just throw stuff in a pile to give to Goodwill because nobody wants our used clothing anyway. That whole thing. This website has a handy little chart to help you decide if you should buy something and I definitely will be consulting it in the future. 

In an effort to buy less clothing, I want to make more of my own clothing. I'm thinking this fabric would make a great mini dress. I bought some of this fabric to make another Marthe blouse

When I was in college, or maybe even as late as grad school, I discovered the amazingness that is Annie's white cheddar shells and cheese. I was raised on Kraft mac and cheese and while delicious, something about that color just screams artificial. Annie's tasted, and looked, like real food. One day I decided to up the healthiness just a bit and threw in some frozen broccoli. Y'all, it was a revelation. I rarely eat Annie's without broccoli now. Then I learned that this is like, a thing. People doctor up Annie's white cheddar shells and cheese all the time. And so, when I came across this recipe, I knew it would be right up my alley. I'll probably cheat and use the Annie's for the pasta bit!

Another winning recipe from the food blogger I nanny for! These granola bars are SO good and every time I'm babysitting at her house I eat at least 2 of them. Can't get enough!!

I achieved a big crafting goal so be on the lookout for a post about that on Monday! 

beading dreams

It started how it usually does. I was scrolling through instagram, probably the explore tab, and I saw something that caught my eye. Bright and colorful and cheerful. I've been seeing various colorful necklaces around lately and have been wanting to make some, but painting beads seemed so tedious. But behold, this wasn't painted beads, it was clay beads! 

I fell into the vortex that is instagram and couldn't stop looking at Ena & Albert's page. So cheerful! So colorful! So fun and easy! I got on YouTube and watched lots of polymer clay videos. I had a few things planned for the morning but I secretly couldn't wait until I could make it to the craft store to get polymer clay. Such is my life, thinking about crafting when I am somewhere else. 

After the morning plans were over, I headed to the craft store and picked up several Sculpey III polymer clays. I came home and for literally HOURS, I just sat and mixed colors and rolled and poked. Next thing I knew, I had tons of beads! I put them in the oven to bake and marveled at my handiwork. 

Here's what it all looked like. 

I started off pretty boring and then got more adventurous. 

Ready for the oven. 

I made 80 beads!!! 

This more accurately portrays the colors. 

A favorite combo! 

I haven't worn any of the beads yet, but I will soon! I also want to incorporate them into weaving! I really enjoyed making them A LOT and it's definitely something everyone can do, regardless of skill level. I'll be watching more YouTube videos for sure and hopefully having more fun with clay soon! 

weekend reading

I'm writing this post at a late (for me) hour thanks to some mild insomnia. It was one of those things where I was tired and ready to go to sleep but then I laid down and...nothing. So here I am, doing what all the sleep experts tell you not to do, staring into a screen while cozy in bed. I must say it's not bad!

Also not bad are these links!

I planned an Ikea trip with my bestie for tomorrow and now I have even more reason to go thanks to Alicia's super luscious quilt comforter. I'm totally going to get this one and make my own quilt comforter. I'm pretty sure it's going to be the best thing ever and that I will never want to make a regular quilt again. 

This heart quilt top gives me heart-eyes emojis. And it would be pretty great as a quilt comforter! #ideas

I finally did it, y'all. I knit my first sweater!! It was tiny and baby sized but oh so satisfying and I definitely want to knit more of them. I've been perusing tons of patterns on Rav and favoriting patterns left and right and this one is definitely a contender. 

So I have this thing for raglan-sleeved peplum tops so it's no surprise that I've fallen in love with this pattern

This Buzzfeed post was definitely written by a crafter! They nailed it 100%. 

Important political things: 
Deadly DIY Abortions 
Boob pendants whose proceeds go to Planned Parenthood

Aaaaand utter and complete hilarity and ridiculousness

 

weekend reading

I cannot even with today, so I'm going to enjoy real life and try my hardest to stay off the internet for the day. I'll knit and read and celebrate a friend's birthday. I'll hide in the solace of friends! Here are some links for the internet weary. 

This guy is #goals. He knits a sweater of a place, then goes to that place and takes a photo of himself with the landmark, while wearing the sweater! So meta! 

These hand painted wallets are oh so pretty. They remind me a lot of Naomi Ito's gorgeous fabrics.

This rad lady wore men's clothes for a month and learned a lot of things. Like the utility of pockets! I really resonated with this line: "Looking formal, for a woman, generally involves showing more flesh, wearing tighter and more figure-hugging clothing, higher shoes, tights, Spanx, jewellery and complicated hairdos. It’s a list of things that make me feel physically uncomfortable and self-conscious. Any time I have left the house to do anything vaguely important, I’ve been uncomfortable, and the more important the thing, the more uncomfortable I’ve been." TOO TRUE. 

I'm always really impressed by people who can just whip up a meal without a recipe. I'll never forget the one time I was nannying and the mom was sick. She roused herself from her sickbed and MADE TOMATO SOUP FROM SCRATCH WITH CHEDDAR WAFFLES. WHAT. I don't do that even when I'm feeling 100%! I was soooo impressed and real inspired because it took her no time at all. This article gives me hope that I too could just make soup from thin air one day! 

Y'all know I can't resist Earl Grey Latte anything and this version just went to the top of my "to try" list. 

Here is your warning: politics ahead. I know I said I cannot with this day, but I can with this. This will be me when I'm 79. 

Ta ta for now! 

christmas quilt 2.0: a finished object

Last winter I started a second Christmas quilt. I was super enthusiastic about it because I managed to score some Cherry Christmas from Aneela Hoey herself. I had to have stalker-like behaviors to do so (you can read more about that and some specs on this quilt here), but it was totally worth it. I knew that it would be so great in a Christmas quilt and the top came together in no time at all. I bought the fabric for the backing and then...I pressed pause. I thought to myself, 'this is going to be super fast and easy, I have plenty of time.'

Y'all. It was December. Everyone knows that there is no such thing as 'plenty of time' in December. 

Christmas came and went and lo, I was stuck with one Christmas quilt from 2014 (or was it 2015?) (#firstworldprobs). 

And then a craft retreat happened! It was the perfect occasion for finishing my quilt! I was all excited and I packed my car with all the essentials- fabric, sewing box, sewing machine, IRONING BOARD (fun fact, an ironing board does in fact fit in a small car), and all the rest. I was thrilled to have a weekend in the country with friends, at a lakehouse, without wifi (ok, I resented the no wifi fact), and with all the crafts I could handle. 

We got there on a Friday evening. I had been at an eating disorders conference for 7 hours, went home to change clothes, packed some last-minute essentials, drove 3 hours to the house, and was ready to chill for the night. So I did. But bright and early the next morning, I busted out the Christmas quilt stuff...and realized I didn't have everything!!! In my haste, or optimism, I'm not sure which, I had left about half of the backing fabric at home. 

^I literally did that when I realized my mistake. 

^I literally did that when I realized my mistake. 

So I did what any good crafter does- I went to some itty bitty tiny country quilt shop. I will give it credit that there was A LOT of fabric, buuuuut modern fabric? Not so much. I couldn't find anything to fit my demands. I was resigned to working only on knitting and embroidery for the rest of the weekend. It was disappointing, but it also meant I could be lazier and sit in a recliner all weekend rather than at the kitchen table! Luckily my dear friend Katie made use of all my sewing equipment (and fell in love with my Janome, because hello, who doesn't?!), so it was not all for naught. 

So here we are, early December of this year. I would remember the quilt and how all the pieces were cut and ready to go...and then wouldn't work on it. Then I was scrolling through Insta one day and came across this post from artist extraordinaire Pam Garrison. It wasn't much but it was what I needed to get myself into gear and just finish the quilt. What good is a quilt if it's half finished, sitting in a gallon-size ziplock bag labeled "christmas quilt" with literally everything you need to finish it ready to go??? 

NO GOOD AT ALL. 

I proceeded to turn on Netflix, queue up Call the Midwife, and improv piece the back in like an hour. I, in a rare good decision of actual planning, had bought batting and pre-cut my binding when I first started the quilt, so I had NO EXCUSE to not finish it that weekend. AND I DID! 

So here she is, in all her glory. Some of these pics are bad, but you know what? The quilt is done, being used and loved (even now, a few weeks after Christmas), so this is a success story, people. 

December 16, 2016- laying out the pieces for the back. 

One hour-ish later, a finished back! I always forget how much I love improv piecing. I need to do more of it! 

December 18- y'all know I just HAD to take a ridiculous artsy photo with my turntable in the frame. 

Wearing a thimble bc poking the eye of the needle through your fingertip is a lot more painful than poking the point through your fingertip. 

Christmas night, Christmas quilt, and Christmas special of Call the Midwife! I think I watched ALL of season 5 while working on this quilt.

Top!

Back! Yeah, it was windy.

~aRtFuLlY thrown on the bed~

I only bought ONE FAT QUARTER of that Dear Stella Christmas bikes print and I'm so glad I could use it for the back! 

You may have noticed by now that I am obsessed with the Cotton and Steel Sprinkles prints. I've used them in several colors in quilts now. 

Lookin' cute on my bed, where it has stayed! 

So there you have it, my last FO of 2016! As usual I finished with hand ties bc I am lazy. I love the finished size and definitely want to make more quilts that are bigger than my go-to 50" by 60". I don't have any specs for it as far as specific prints or finished size this time around le sigh, but it's all pretty much Cherry Christmas or Cotton and Steel and I will one day get around to measuring :) 

Until next time! 

weekend reading

Hey. No posts in a bit, so I'm making up for it with lots of links! I need to make myself a little blog schedule so I post a little more regularly! 

How cool is this story?! Flour sacks coming with cute prints so that people could sew clothes and toys from them. I'd be up for this! 

THE PETTINESS. I love it. I am really tempted to buy some of the pinkest paint

These cocoons are so beautiful. They'd make really cool necklaces. 

In my professional life, I am an eating disorders therapist. I love it but we certainly have different ways of thinking than the rest of the world about food and bodies, so it was good to see this article about full fat dairy! I prefer to use full fat dairy but it is so hard to find because of Americans' unfounded fear of fat.  

Hygge is everywhere these days! I have seen so many blog posts about it recently and I feel very on trend. This article expressed my feelings perfectly about keeping lights up year round (or at the very least, for all of winter)! 

This article also described the perfection that is candles during the long dark cold days of winter (or if you're in Dallas, the long bright warm days of winter!). 

Now this is Christmas decorating

Keeping with the wintery theme here- snow globe artists

You guys. This is the sweetest little knitting story

The next time I run out of body wash, I think I'll try my hand at making my own

I'm thinking these pins are going to be my go-to birthday presents this year. 

Now that I have a basic grasp on stranded knitting, I think I want to try my hand at some more advanced color work. I think this fair isle field guide might help!

And finally, a short and sweet recipe. For New Year's Eve, I went to a friend's house where we and several other gal pals had a long and lingering italian dinner together. I was in charge of dessert so I brought some cake and made a big batch of homemade whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream is SO easy to make and WAY tastier than store bought. Here is how I made mine (and I think it is pretty perfect):
Pour 1 pint of heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the ingredients together on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Then enjoy your whipped cream on EVERYTHING! It is so good and is so little work! I have been enjoying it a lot with some cocoa powder sprinkled on top and strawberries to dip. 

weekend reading

Links links links! I blogged 3 times this week so let's just pause and appreciate that for a moment. 

Ok great! 

I have been reading In the Company of Women and it's full of wisdom and goodness, but my favorite part? The photos of everyone's studios and workspaces! I have always loved getting a glimpse into the behind the scenes views of creatives' lives and this book allows me to do just that. Another thing I have been reading all week that gives me that same nosiness? Our Tools Ourselves. How have I not known about this sooner?! Karen Templer at Fringe does a great job at asking all the details I want to know and I am so enjoying the photos and stories behind various knitters' work. 

Get your tissues ready. We Found Our Son in the Subway

Howwwww cute are these printable calendars?! I don't use a paper calendar often but these have me wanting to.

I'm all caught up on Call the Midwife so I have been filling my British TV void with The Crown and Outnumbered

Christmas is over but Christmas quilt inspiration will never be. I am OBSESSED with these versions of Amy's Improv Modern Patchwork Trees quilt blocks

french hot chocolate

Ok so this isn't a crafty post, but cooking and baking ARE creative, so this totally counts. 

If you haven't noticed already, I am a hot chocolate fiend. Actually, just a chocolate-in-general fiend. I love it. A few years ago for Lent I didn't give up chocolate...I just cut back to chocolate once a day. That's how obsessed I am. A meal just doesn't feel complete without chocolate to me! 

During these cooler winter months, though, I crave the hot version. I, unlike others, have met hot chocolates I didn't like. I recently bought some hot choc packets from Whole Foods. They were not great. Also recently I accidentally watered down a packet of hot chocolate and obviously that was disastrous. 

I have pretty specific hot chocolate recommendations and lately I've only been wanting GOOD stuff. Thick, rich, luscious "drinking chocolate" is what is hitting the spot these days. I've linked a few times to some ultra ultra thick ones but they tend to take a little longer, so today I am sharing a classic French hot chocolate recipe, aka chocolat chaud. It's super easy and you probably already have everything you need. Just look at how it coats a spoon!

Serves 1
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 oz milk (preferably whole...skim will do but you need to ask yourself why you're consuming skim milk)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 oz. chopped chocolate (I like at least 50% cacao but almost anything will do...experiment with flavored chocolates!)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat heavy cream, milk, and sugar until bubbles start to appear around the edges. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate. Put over low heat if needed to melt chocolate. Pour into a small mug and sip slowly.