weekend reading

Hello hello my Friday friends. 

How has your week been? I hope it has been full of long, happy nights, and air conditioned days. Here are some links to provide some weekend entertainment. 

Last week my friends and I had our monthly craft night. I worked on some weaving, which I haven't done in a while, and I forgot how relaxing it is! I'm thinking my next project will these cute woven coasters. Here's the how-to for the tassels

I haven't sewn any garments in a few months and I'm starting to get a little itch for some new handmade wares. The Kalle Shirtdress and Georgia Dress are looking like perfect summer options.

I'm loving this pretty floral artwork.

With the sweltering summer weather, I am looking for all sorts of ways to stay cool. I've been wearing my hair in a classic French braid at least once a week in an attempt to cool off and I'm thinking these Dutch braids are perfect for those mornings when it's just too hot to blow dry my hair. 

Buzzfeed never fails to make me laugh. 

It's no secret that I love the New York Times series Modern Love. Whether it's the essays or the podcast, I find myself identifying with the stories almost every time. I really loved this one this week.

Heartbreak

How cute is this little diy plant stand?!

And finally, something romantic. I have been following mylittleparis on Instagram for a while now, mostly for their cute illustrations. This week they posted this gorgeous poem and I couldn't get it out of my head. I translated it and it is just as perfect in English, especially this line: une nuit à maudire l'arrivée du jour/a night to curse the arrival of the day. Gah. 

Off to dream poetic French dreams...

lake colors

About a week ago, one of my friends invited me and a few other gals to her lakehouse for the weekend. I had been once before, in winter, so I was excited to go and actually get in the water this time. We spent the weekend together on a giant float, a boat, jetski, and of course, the dock. I dyed my hair pink. We ate guacamole and pizza. And I took tons of photos. I was loving all the colors at the lake! Here are some of my faves from the weekend. 

log cabin quilt! a finished object!

I've got an FO for you! I made this beauty back in April and May. It came together, as usual, in the span of a weekend.

One Friday I was just babysitting and my sister called me and said she had the day off and wanted to see if she could come hang out with me and the babe. Obviously I said yes. We had a great time playing and eating and hanging out. Then it was time for those two glorious hours: naptime. My sister has been working on her very first quilt and we started talking about how she was going to come spend the weekend at my house and wanted to work on her quilt. And then I got that all-too familiar itch...to also be working on a quilt. How was I supposed to watch her quilt all weekend and not have one to work on myself?! We both got our phones out and started scrolling through instagram and pinterest for ideas. I of course have a whole pinterest board dedicated to sewing and so every five seconds I would click a photo of a quilt I liked and show my sister. I went through all my screenshots as well (because who doesn't have a camera roll filled up with screenshots of quilts they like?!) and kept coming back to this photo:

The Log Cabin quilt block is such a classic design in quilting (and knitting!) and I have consistently been drawn to it. There are so many contemporary interpretations of it today that I love and it has long been on my list of things to do. I loved the simplicity of the log cabin design with the solid colors of that pillow and it really inspired me to do something similar in a quilt. I'm kinda weird about shapes, though, and knew I wanted a rectangular quilt and not a square quilt, so the math doesn't work out as perfectly as it does with a classic square log cabin quilt. That didn't stop me from making the quilt, though! 

Measurements!

Measurements!

I bought all my fabric and decided on a somewhat risky move- using regular old quilting cotton for most of the quilt and then a yarn dyed cotton. The potential problem here was shrinkage- the yarn dyed cotton will shrink much more than the quilting cotton. It's also a rougher texture but I just couldn't resist the way the yarn dyed cotton looks- the colors have more variation than a classic quilting cotton and that provided a depth that a fully-solid quilt really needs. 

'grammed this, obvs

'grammed this, obvs

The top came together super quickly- from ironing board to full quilt top in about 5 hours. The actual quilting is always my least favorite part and I really really really considered tying it like I do for most of my quilts, but I loved the diagonal lines that the pillow had so I sucked it up and did real machine quilting. And you know what? It really wasn't bad at all! I loved seeing it come together into exactly what I envisioned. 

Every quilter has taken pics from above to see how the colors look from a distance. It's just a part of the quilting process. My sister had to stand on the counter to properly look at hers! #beentheredonethat

Every quilter has taken pics from above to see how the colors look from a distance. It's just a part of the quilting process. My sister had to stand on the counter to properly look at hers! #beentheredonethat

Sewing with my sister! So fun. We both sew on Janomes because they are THE BEST. I sew on a DC2012 and Lauren sews on a DC2015. 

Sewing with my sister! So fun. We both sew on Janomes because they are THE BEST. I sew on a DC2012 and Lauren sews on a DC2015. 

Usually I power through the binding but this project happened at the height of my arm/hand pain so I was taking it a little slower with the hand binding. It eventually got finished and the quilt now lives on my bed! This quilt finished up at a little less than 60"x80" which is larger than my usual 50"x60" and I don't think I am looking back from this new size. I had wanted it to finish right at 60"x80" but silly ol' me forgot to add in seam allowances #wecantallbeperfect. And yet, seam allowances forgotten, it perfectly fits on my bed and is still a great throw size quilt. I have washed it a few times and the yarn dyed cotton has softened and is perfectly wrinkly. I love the looks of the different textures of fabrics and the diagonal quilting. It is definitely a winner and one of my favorite quilts! 

I have yet to take photos of the quilt with the binding fully attached, but you get the idea with these :) 

A giant storm was rolling through right as I finished the top so a lot of my photos look like this. 

A giant storm was rolling through right as I finished the top so a lot of my photos look like this. 

Yay! Finished top. 

Yay! Finished top. 

Quilt sandwich time. 

Quilt sandwich time. 

Basting away. 

Basting away. 

Look at that quilting!!

Look at that quilting!!

Binding

Binding

On my bed. Don't judge the total un-glamourousness of this photo. 

On my bed. Don't judge the total un-glamourousness of this photo. 

Hanging out under my new quilt even though it still had clips. 

Hanging out under my new quilt even though it still had clips. 

Specs (I used up nearly every single inch of fabric, so beware if you are following my measurements that there is little to no wiggle room):
Bella Solids in White Bleached, 1 and 2/3 yards
Some sort of cotton (Kona, Bella, or possibly Cotton Couture) in a light peach color (I'm really bad about keeping receipts or writing these things down...twas the purpose of this blog but obviously I'm not doing that part well!), 3 and 2/3 yards (tiny 10" square used for the front, all the rest for the back)
Essex Yarn Dyed in Flax, 2 yards
Cotton and Steel Sprinkles in Anna Blue (surprise, surprise...I've used Sprinkles in nearly every quilt I have made in the last 2 years), 1/2 yard
Batting, 2 yards? It was 90" wide batting, so 2 yards seems right :) 
Completed in 1 weekend as usual (minus hand binding)

weekend reading

Hello hello, friends. How are you? It's hard to believe that I've missed a few weekend reading posts but that I haven't missed other posts! That's pretty impressive for me. I haven't done much crafting in the last few weeks, thanks to my pesky arm, but that hasn't stopped me from finding some good crafty links and some other just good links. 

Let's dive in. 

A few weeks ago I learned about this Pep Talk Generator and I am now obsessed. It's my new go-to for encouragement and daily affirmation. 

I found this website last week and have been looking up EVERYONE'S account. It's kinda addicting. 

Using your phone intentionally. I feel like this is a thing I think about ALL the time. I know others are thinking about it too and I really do want to try harder to not be on my phone allll the time. I liked this article because I thought it gave some really good practical tips and ones that I'm not reading all the time. 

Bristol Ivy and a few other cool knitters went on an amazing trip to Shetland Island. Bristol did THE COOLEST project with supplies from her trip and documented it on her Instagram

And speaking of said Shetland Island trip, Jamie from Fancy Tiger Crafts went as well and posted a really fabulous recap of the trip. I wanna do a trip like this!!!

As a woman with a Master's degree, I have heard the "intimidating" line a time or two. I really appreciated this article and loved the message about being your amazing intimidating self. 

This article was so good that I immediately printed it out and used it in one of my therapy groups. I've seen it making the rounds all over the internet, for good reason. 

I love wholesome memes so much and this whole post made my heart happy.  

Obviously I knew knitting was the new yoga like 13 years ago, but some people are just now figuring this out. Plus, it linked to a free blanket pattern!

Yeah, imma need to make one of these and never take it off. 

Shibori quilt goals!!! 

Happy weekending!

because i'm not done with shibori yet

Well I couldn't just write one (or more) post about this topic, could I? 

Over the last few months of planning on doing shibori at some point, I started collecting useful links. I referenced them often before my birthday party and had them pulled up for my friends to look at to get ideas for their bandanas. 

So here it is, a pretty comprehensive list of helpful shibori links! I hope they inspire and guide some of you like they did me. 

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial from In Color Order
DIY Shibori from Honestly WTF 
DIY Shibori Designs 4 Ways from Design*Sponge 
How to Indigo Dye Fabric from IndieSew 
Shibori Indigo Cloth Napkins from Alice and Lois 
Shibori Dyeing from Seamwork
Shibori Tie Dye Folding Techniques from Creative in Chicago 
4 Ways to Dye with Indigo Dye from Brit+Co 

And you're going to need some creative ways to wear your bandanas, so look no further than this article for tons of ways to wear them. 

I was also inspired by this bolo necklace from Free People which they unfortunately no longer carry, but it gives me good ideas! I'm thinking of making some polymer clay rings to wear with my bandanas. 

I was also inspired by this bolo necklace from Free People which they unfortunately no longer carry, but it gives me good ideas! I'm thinking of making some polymer clay rings to wear with my bandanas. 

on sketching

For as long as I can remember, I have loved watercolor paintings. More specifically, watercolor illustrations, especially if they have some pen/ink and/or words. I'm not quite sure where this affinity came from, but it has been long-lasting and continues to inspire me. 

As I recently mentioned, knitting is causing me a lot of problems these days. It's really sad and I feel an empty hole in my heart that can only be filled by creating something with my own two hands. As I have also mentioned previously, I have been a creative thing my entire life and have never not been doing some sort of art or craft. In junior high I was introduced to the idea of keeping a sketchbook. It was encouraged in one of my drawing classes but I never really did it. But I had to admit that there was something so pleasing about the idea of doing a little something everyday and filling up a book with whatever I wanted. 

In high school I continued to take art classes and continued to every once in a while play around in a sketchbook. It wasn't until I was in college that I started putting ideas to paper more often. It still wasn't an everyday thing but it was so fulfilling to see pages filling up in my sketchbook! This sketchbook habit was highly encouraged by my painting professor during my senior year of college. She didn't care what we did in our sketchbooks, but she wanted us to be doing something in them. We turned our sketchbooks in at the end of the semester and she filled the pages with sticky notes with her comments. 

Now, if you aren't an art-type person you will have no idea how scary all of that was. Someone else looking at your sketchbook!? Commenting on it?! What?! All the comments were positive, of course. You can't just go through someone's sketchbook and tell them you don't like it. And guess what? I have a sick fascination with other people's sketchbooks. Always have, always will. I love to see what people are doing in their own little art space, all the ideas they are working on and just messing around with. And I feel that same sense of satisfaction seeing someone's sketchbook filling up as I do with my own sketchbooks. 

So anyway, this is getting tangential. What I'm saying is this: not knitting is leaving a void in my life and I think working on my sketchbook more often will help fill that void a little. I learned in college that in order for me to actually keep a sketchbook, I need to take the pressure off of myself for anything to be "good" and also I needed to downsize. I am a person who is just naturally drawn to tiny little things. My sketchbooks weren't huge- usually 8"x12"- but the pages were just large enough to make me feel intimidated about filling them. At some point in college I picked up a little 5.5"x7.5" sketchbook with thicker pages perfect for using watercolor on and figured out that it was my perfect sketchbook size. I collaged the front of it and the rest is history- I have completely filled up two of those sketchbooks and am working through a third. Each gets its own special collaged cover (because I find the covers they come with very uninspiring) and filled with whatever I want- notes from books I'm reading, lots of hand lettering practice, swatches from new supplies, paint sample cards, magazine pages, sketches that I blatantly copy from other artists, the list could go on and on. 

This all comes back around to watercolor, I swear. It is often my preferred sketchbook medium. I am not formally trained in watercolor at all but I find it to be so fun. Some of my favorite illustrators work mostly in watercolor and I get so inspired by their work. After perusing Pinterest for a while, I am inspired all over again to play in my sketchbook more often with my watercolor. I did so on the 4th of July and it was pretty much the best. So this is me setting some sort of intention in the world- I want to do more watercoloring in my sketchbook. I'm not going to put any rules around it but it is merely a little goal, something I want to strive to do more of. 

Now for some watercolory links. 
My "art inspiration" Pinterest board which is full of watercolor and pen/ink illustration
Yao Cheng Creativebug watercolor class
Jennifer Orkin Lewis Creativebug gouache class
Jennifer Orkin Lewis (a few years ago) on painting in her sketchbook everyday

ravelry revelry

Just because I can't knit as much as I'd like to these days doesn't mean that I'm not dreaming of new projects every 5 seconds. I have many many times gotten sucked into the lure of the Ravelry pattern search, adding project after project to my favorites. Oftentimes it would happen like this: I'd be scrolling on instagram and be stopped in my tracks by someone's WIP post. I'd read the caption and screenshot away, storing the info in my camera roll for later. Then one day i'd be wasting time on the web and go through all my screenshots and find and fave all the patterns on Rav. 

And then Instagram cut out the middle man for me! The bookmark! The glorious bookmark that keeps me from screenshotting all the projects. Now I just hit the bookmark button and in addition to having the posts super accessible, my bookmark feed is gorgeous. I recently opened up Rav and my insta bookmarks and got to favoriting away. 

Here are my recent faves:
Stay Soft. Lurrrrve the colors. 
Julia Sweater
Classic Hemmed Crewneck
Torv. UGH. THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY. IT'S FREAKING GORGEOUS.
Waterbirch. So chunky!!
Vertices Unite. In one color!! I love Stephen West but the zaniness of all the colors is a little out there for me sometimes, so this one really inspires me that I can have the West Knits style on my classic and neutral terms. 
Mayu
Void
Dreamsicle Cowl. Love that this is made with Quince! 
Shine Cotton Tee. Garter stitch PERFECTION.

File this under: so many projects so little time. 

shibori birthday party

Look, it's a non-weekend reading post! I really am going to make a concerted effort into posting here more often and to get back to the craft- and creativity-themed posts. Let's start with a group craft, shall we?!

My birthday was about a week and a half ago and it fell during the time that I normally would have a craft night. So I figured- why not combine my monthly craft night with my birthday party?! A few months ago one of my friends had a 'make and take' birthday party in which she and her friends all worked on an embroidery project- she supplied the supplies, they brought themselves and stitched away. How cute is that?! 

Since I was inviting a few people who don't do a ton of crafting I wanted to make sure whatever craft I chose was accessible. You all know I've been obsessed with the thought of shibori dyeing lately, so I figured it was as good as any other bday party idea! As I posted about here, I ordered supplies and last weekend me and my friends got to folding, dipping, dyeing, and all sorts of fun!

Here's how it all turned out. 

Mixing up the dye vats! I did two 2 gallon vats instead of one 4 gallon vat so that people wouldn't be waiting forever to dye their bandanas. 

Mixing up the dye vats! I did two 2 gallon vats instead of one 4 gallon vat so that people wouldn't be waiting forever to dye their bandanas. 

My first piece, folded and clamped real tight. 

My first piece, folded and clamped real tight. 

Fresh outta the vat!

Fresh outta the vat!

We each had 4 bandanas to try so we all tried our hands at various resist techniques. 

We each had 4 bandanas to try so we all tried our hands at various resist techniques. 

It was so fun to watch everything oxidize! The dye starts of bright green and as it's exposed to oxygen, turns dark blue. #sciencerules

It was so fun to watch everything oxidize! The dye starts of bright green and as it's exposed to oxygen, turns dark blue. #sciencerules

The morning after the party there were some leftover bandanas, so I dyed those too :) 

The morning after the party there were some leftover bandanas, so I dyed those too :) 

The party was so fun and everyone's bandanas looked awesome! This was my first time to shibori dye and there are a few things I wish I had known ahead of time like...
1. All the tutorials online that say to keep your fabric submerged for 20+ minutes are ENTIRELY ACCURATE. The dye dries to a much lighter color than the color that it comes out of the vat as. My friends and I were all dipping for just a few minutes because the color was deceptively dark. After we rinsed and dried everything it was a lot lighter. The 2 that I dyed the next morning were submerged for 20 minutes and they stayed much darker after drying! 
2. Baby wipes are surprisingly effective at getting indigo dye off your skin!!
3. Clamp your pieces tight but not too tight. In that last photo, I had clamped my fabric very tightly and was hoping to get some really well-defined squares, but I had clamped it too tightly and ended up with a lot of white space. I still like how it turned out but I wanted some really crisp, dark indigo lines. C'est la vie! 
4. Rinse your pieces like there is no tomorrow. Get that water to turn clear, bb. I might've dyed the inside of my dryer slightly blue because I didn't rinse thoroughly #oops
5. You're gonna wanna dye EVERYTHING so be prepared for that. It's a lot of fun! 

Go forth and dye! 

weekend reading

Happy Friday! We made it once again. And I posted once again! Hopefully this is the start of something good and regular. Enjoy the links!

I want to live in this gorgeous hand-knit Instagram

I thought this article about truckers was really interesting. 

How good do these smores donuts look?!

Aaaaand smores sliders

I love reading book suggestions on my favorite blogs but they can often be hit or miss. Not so with the Glitter Guide's June Must-Read List! I added almost all of these to my wishlist.

Who doesn't want to hold a baby after reading this article? Related: mindfulness for all sorts of daily life scenarios

Your quirks are memorable and make you who you are. 

I need a big pitcher of this strawberry summer water, stat. Or this frozen watermelon lime agua fresca!

Adorable little DIY beaded rings

Ok. A garter stitch sweater is now in my future

A double gauze quilt continues to be on my list of things to make and this post doesn't make it any less likely. 

Lord Huron is coming to Dallas! He came a couple of years ago but I didn't go and I really regretted it, so I made sure to snag a ticket this time! 

And finally, one of the funniest things I have ever seen

weekend reading

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This is in fact a new post! I didn't mean to neglect this space for nearly a month, but you know, life and things. I come bearing links!

You know that Starbucks pink drink? I never tried it but it does look gorgeous. I was happy to find this recipe for one that is sure to be delicious and I happen to have everything needed for it on hand! 

Let's talk about 2 of my favorite things- rosé and illustration. These three cards capture my love for both! 

Knitting and espionage?! Sign me up. 

How cool is this cross stitch pattern maker?! This one is cool too. 

Over the last several weeks I was watching The Handmaid's Tale and it got me thinking a lot. I know others have been thinking a lot about it as well and I was happy to see it making its way into art

The last time I wrote, I said I was reading Cork Dork. I ended up flying through the book, loving it, and started watching some wine-themed documentaries. I have been trying some good wines and I'm trying to keep a list of ones I've really liked. I really enjoy pinot noir and this one and this one are definitely on my list of faves! 

My birthday was this week and I am super excited because on Saturday I'm going to have a shibori birthday party! I bought tons of bandanas, an indigo dye kit, and some fun shapes for designs, and invited some friends to come hang out and dye to our hearts content. 

You Should've Asked. I know this made its rounds on the web a while back, but I thought it was so, so good. 

Quilting Wars. Gonna give this story a listen today. 

I saw this dress at Anthro a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it...I convinced myself not to get it though because I'm pretty sure I have a sewing pattern that is basically the same thing! 

Super excited that I scored one of these gold Lord Huron records this week! 

Did you know that Mister Rogers' mother knit all of his sweaters for the show?! Amazing. 

My book club met last week and we have a new book selection for July: The Hate U Give. I've heard such great things about this one so I am super excited to read it. 

I have plenty more links where those came from, but I'm gonna hold onto them for next week! Have a great weekend! 

weekend reading

Well bonjour, mon amies! I unintentionally did not blog last week. I promise to make up for it with links today. I was definitely on the internet last week and then I realized that I hadn't saved any of my favorite links for the week to share *gasp*. 

Let's get into them now!

As I have talked about here before, and as you could tell from my introduction in this post, I have been learning French. It has been so much fun! Definitely not as bad as when I was learning Spanish in school. I think the difference is actually wanting to learn as opposed to having to learn. Plus there are cool apps these days! I have been using Duolingo and Tinycards and just this week added Lingvist and Memrise into my daily practice rotation. Duo, Tinycards, and Memrise all go really well together with learning the basics and Lingvist is helping me apply the basics to full sentences and questions. If you're looking to learn a new language, I definitely recommend all 4 apps. 

Whenever I am listening to the radio or just randomly hear a song I like, I will try to Shazam it and screenshot the information for future reference. Then I add the song to a giant Apple Music playlist that I will play on shuffle and it makes me feel like the best little music curator ever. Sometimes if I just hear the title and artist I'll write it down in my Notes app and add it later. For a few weeks now I've had "The Magician by Andy Shauf" written in my Notes app. I thought it was probably a book so I was looking it up on Amazon the other day and it turns out it's a song. I have no idea where I heard about it. I just added the album to my Apple Music a few days ago and I haven't stopped listening since! I looked him up to see if he is touring and...HE WAS IN DALLAS TWO WEEKS AGO!!! I missed him by 2 weeks!!! I was so mad when I saw that. If only I had added him to my playlist earlier argh! But his music is great and well worth the listen, whether or not he is touring near you! It's one of those albums that I definitely want on vinyl because it is just perfect soundtrack-of-my-life music. 

Currently reading: Cork Dork. It is really funny, sometimes almost suspenseful, full of information, and making me really want a glass of wine when I read. 

Other books that I have perused some this week (for work): Body Kindness and The Intuitive Eating Workbook

I subscribed to Making magazine earlier this year and I have been waiting alllll week on pins and needles for my copy of issue 3 to arrive. People keep posting photos of theirs on Instagram and I am over here, being impatient and anxious for my copy. I hope it comes today so I can enjoy it all weekend! 

Gimme all these (ethical, sustainable) clothes!

Let's talk skincare/sunscreen for a second. We all know we are supposed to wear it (yes, everyday). I have the hardest time with sunscreens...either they smell too much like the beach (fun for when you are at the beach, gross when you aren't), sting, or the absolute worst- leave an oily residue. I really like this sunscreen but it still affects my makeup during the day, so most days I *gasp* go without. I'm considering trying this Supergoop powder sunscreen. I think I'll ask my dermatologist about it and see what she thinks! 

I am IN LOVE with Jen's Nani Iro quilt top!!! I need to start hoarding more Nani Iro to make something equally gorgeous one day. 

And finally, remember when I wanted to shibori dye a bunch of stuff? Now I want to dye my weaving looms

Happy weekend, pals! I'm going to be Ren Festing, bbqing, and going to several various parties. I hope your weekend is equally exactly how you want it to be! 

weekend reading

Sunday! One of my favorite days of the week. Yesterday I got to show off an historic home as part of a home tour and then I went to a friend's coffee shop gig. It was such a nice way to spend my Saturday! 

Here are a few links from my week:

Remember Hygge? It's still a thing (it will forever be a thing!) and I loved this Buzzfeed quiz about how hygge you are because it told me I am like totally hygge an also because it gave me some more hygge ideas!

I read a lot of articles this week about birth and maternity...I guess Mother's Day was on my mind. I learned a lot from the various articles I read. Some of them, like this one, were really horribly sad, but this one was very informative. 

If I were more of a t-shirt wearing kind of gal, I would've bought this faster than you can say maker. 

Going along with all the birth and maternity and mothering type things, I watched all of The Handmaid's Tale this week. It's one of those shows that is absolutely terrifying, not because it's scary but because the possibility of it feels too real and too close to home. Yikes. It's beautifully made though and the acting is really great. 

I painted my nails this week for the first time in forever. I painted them in this color and it has yet to chip even though it's been a few days! Normally I can't go even 12 hours without a chip!

I have everything I need to make these little strawberry scones! I'm thinking they would make perfect breakfasts all week long. 

I found a new-to-me sewing pattern brand this week and I am in love with this dress pattern and this separates pattern. I was surprised at how much of the French I could read on the website! It was really encouraging to me to continue working on learning French. 

Super cute bikini note cards

I hope the rest of your Sunday is restful and nourishing! xoxo

weekend reading

Happy Saturday, pals! The blackberries are ripening, the sun is shining, and I am still in my pjs...ah, the weekend. I hope your weekend is off to a similarly nice start and that it will be full of fun and rest. Here are this week's links:

Since January, I have been saying that I want to re-read the Harry Potter series. I haven't gotten around to it quite yet, but it seems it is perfect timing since just yesterday it was announced that there is going to be a HP read-along on Pottermore starting in June!

I have a few library books and my next book club pick to read before the HP read-along starts, so I better get busy with the reading! I am currently reading these three books from the library and need to start this one for my book club. 

In craft-related book news, I purchased this one yesterday. It's coming tomorrow and I can't wait to spend Sunday evening with my sketchbook, drawing florals galore! 

Noodlehead released a new bag pattern this week and it's so cute! I love the smaller sized bag. The trickiest part will be deciding what fabrics to use.  

Mojito Water. This is like spa water on summertime. It sounds so refreshing and delicious and I'm thinking a giant pitcher of it with plenty of ice will keep me hydrated all summer long. 

As you all know, I am now obsessed with The Great British Baking Show, so of course this article about becoming a baker was right up my alley. 

My Boyfriend Weighs Less Than I Do. I loved this article. I'm thinking it would provoke good discussion for my body image group. 

Well friends, I'm off to do some reading and some shopping for a baby shower gift. Have a splendid weekend! 

weekend reading

Hello friends! Happy Friday to you! We made it. I hope your week was full of success and happiness. Enjoy the weekend, sit back and relax, and read some fabulous links. You deserve it. 

For a while now, people have been telling me how much I would like The Great British Baking Show. It sounded cute and everything but I wasn't sure I'd like it because I'm not super into cooking competition shows. This week I watched it and...everyone was right. I LOVE it. It is the most wholesome thing I have ever seen and is pure feel-good entertainment! And it really makes me want to bake delicious stuff! 

I love a bright and light room and these rooms are totally filling me with happiness and inspiration.

Last weekend was Record Store Day and while I did not go out to the stores, I did order a special edition of one of my favorites! 

Plastic Fashion. Aka why I'm being a much more conscious consumer these days. 

Speaking of conscious consumerism, I found a few clothing websites to help me on the quest! Zady has a lot of basics and Zuri is full of colorful and multipurpose dresses. 

Continuing that conversation- What Makes a Garment "Slow Fashion"?

I've been seeing a few simple log cabin quilts on the internet these days and they're making me itch for a new quilt project. Jeni's is only making me itchier! 

Since I am taking a crafting break, I have been reading so much. I've read 3 books in the last week! This week I finished History of Wolves, which was fantastic. I then picked up The Signature of All Things, which I have been meaning to read for years but I am just now getting around to it. It made one of my friends obsessed with moss when she read it so we'll see if it has the same effect on me! 

And finally, a very important article...about washing your hair. There have been a lot of articles on this specific topic lately and you know when the NYT writes about it it's a serious issue. This dude says most women can wash their hair twice a week WITHOUT USING DRY SHAMPOO. WHAT. He says "a few spritzes of a vinegar solution at the roots will remove oil. Just add five drops of apple cider vinegar to five ounces of water in a spray bottle." I am skeptical but I'm totally going to try this. I hate washing/drying my hair with a fiery passion and rely on dry shampoo to get me through those in between days, but I really worry about the layer of dry shampoo that is surely coating my lungs (and every surface in my bathroom).

redefining creativity

I have mentioned here before that I sometimes get pain associated with crafting, knitting especially, and I am currently in a higher-than-normal period of pain. It had gotten so bad that I decided it was time to pay a visit to my orthopedist, who I have been seeing since I was 14 after a knee injury. A few years ago I had a shoulder injury and when I went to the ortho, she told me that I have lax ligaments and that I'll have issues with my joints for pretty much forever so strength training is especially important. 

I was really worried that she was going to tell me my forearm and hand pain was something really bad like arthritis or carpal tunnel and that I would have to stop knitting. Luckily it is a case of muscle strain, so I can craft again one day, but she advised me to take a break, do some physical therapy, and then resume the crafting, and then to craft only if I am pain free. All of that sounded like common sense to me, and I knew she was going to say all of those things, but I think I needed a doctor's authority to actually follow through! 

All of that is to say that I haven't crafted in a week and that is the longest amount of time I have gone without crafting since the beginning of the year! You see, in January, I made it goal to be creative every day. I downloaded an app, Momentum, to help keep me on track. It was so exciting to see the calendar slowly turn green every time I completed my goal for the day. And I was seeing progress on my projects.

Look at all that green! 

Look at all that green! 

I quickly realized when I started having some more intense pain that I was going to have to redefine creativity if I wanted to keep meeting my creativity goal. My definition of creativity has mostly been related to specific crafts- knitting, embroidery, sewing, messing around with polymer clay, etc. The usual stuff you see on this blog. It is very production-focused, though, and when you're injured, that can be a problem. 

I have started to expand my personal definition of creativity and I'm having to er...get creative...in the process of expanding that definition. As I mentioned last week, I've been having a lot of fun learning French and lately that is fulfilling my creative urge and habit. Using my imagination is also becoming a regular part of my days and is counting toward my goal. Some days the most creative thing I do is read someone else's blog or listen to a crafting podcast. I'm trying to keep my mental crafting muscles engaged while the actual muscles are resting. It's been pretty hard to fight the urge to just pick up a project and go at it, but I want to be able to craft for a very long time and if that means a short term break now, I think it's worth it. Plus, crafting just isn't as enjoyable when it causes pain. 

So here I go, off to check off another day of "be creative!" because I think writing a blog post counts as creativity, don't you?! 

weekend reading

Le sigh. I wrote this whole post and then my computer did something weird where it switched the tabs and I lost all of my post! But that's ok because it's Friday and the weekend is all about being easygoing and carefree, right?! So here's round 2 for me; I hope it will inspire!

I have loved Jeni's lined drawstring bag tutorial for many years now (they make excellent gifts!) and I was really happy to see that she put out a new iteration this week. This version is perfect for those hoarded fabrics that we all keep because they are just too pretty to cut. 

And of course, I'm just going to follow those links with a link to another pattern for a project bag. You can never have too many! This one would be perfect for sock knitting or colorwork projects. The little tiny straps with snaps to hold the yarn in place is GENIUS.

I heard about this skincare line earlier in the week and it sounds right up my alley. The products are all-natural, something I have been aiming for in my beauty routine, and the scents sound so divine. I really wanna try the Bergamot Ginger Body Oil

Super Babies Don't Cry. This is a very thought-provoking read, full of heartache and wisdom. 

Toddler backyard obstacle course. Could this be any cuter or more fun?! 

On Easter Sunday, we had some family and friends over. I was sitting at a table with my little 11-year-old (going on 22) neighbor and she told me that she had been learning French using the Duolingo app. Not wanting to be outsmarted and out-apped by an 11-year-old, I immediately downloaded it. The thing is- I love it and I'm now obsessed with it. It is seriously so much fun and I really am learning some French! I found a flashcard app that goes along with it and it's been really helpful in creating a new habit! Right now I can say things like Je suis riche (I am rich...hahahaha I just told a joke in French!), Le chat mange une pomme rouge (the cat eats a red apple), and L'enfant a une robe noir et elle est calme (the child has a black dress and she is calm- totally nonsensical but I'm having fun stringing French sentences together!). I learned Spanish from 8th grade all the way through sophomore year of college and it's been tough with the French to not pronounce everything the way it's pronounced in Spanish. I find that doing the stereotypically French thing of pursing my lips while I speak is actually a great way to pronounce everything correctly! 

Well friends, I'm off to learn more French, read this book from the library that I've been waiting very impatiently for, and to pull a babysitting all-nighter! I hope your weekend is equally wonderful! 

weekend reading

Hello, friends! How's your week been? Mine was soooo busy and fast-paced that I am still just trying to catch my breath. I'm hoping the weekend goes by much more slowly and will be relaxing! There aren't too many links this week (you know, because I didn't have much time to be on the interwebs this week), but here are the few I did find this week! 

Last weekend was DFW Fiber Fest. It is like Stitches but more local. The vendors are mostly from the area and there aren't as many classes as there are at Stitches. Fiber Fest also focuses a lot on spinners and crocheters instead of just knitters and weavers. It's super fun though and has the same vibe that Stitches does. I went this week to the vendor hall and picked up some gorgeous Hedgehog Fibres and some Madeline Tosh

After Fiber Fest I of course immediately cast on a new project. Any guesses on what it is? If you guessed a shawl or wrap you are 100% correct. I have had the Simpatico Wrap in my mind and queue for a long time now and was waiting until I had the perfect yarns for it. The Hedgehog and Madeline Tosh definitely are special enough to be so grandly featured! 

I loved reading about how the costume designers of Beauty and the Beast tried their hardest to make the costumes from sustainable and ethically sourced fabrics

I am drooling over this gorgeous sweater. It looks sooo cozy!

LIFE CHANGING INFORMATION

Have you ever tried lassi? It's a yogurt-based drink from India and it's really good. I found this recipe for a rose one and I can't wait to try it.

How gorgeous is this dress?!  

And in more serious links, I really liked this article, When Harry Did Not Meet Sally. Thought-provoking for sure and it makes some really good points. 

Happy weekending! 

shibori dreams

A couple of weeks ago I posted a shibori tutorial in my weekly link round-up. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! I have gone into all-out research mode and have lots of shibori dreams and ideas. 

Here are some helpful links I have found along the way. Hopefully soon I will put all this knowledge to good use! 

How-tos:
How to indigo dye fabric. I like this post a lot because of the results they got with the various ways they folded and clamped the fabric. I also love the dip dye effect! 
Indigo dye day at Fancy Tiger Crafts. I love the indigo dyed yarn! I have a skein of some gorgeous teal yarn and I'm thinking about overdying it with indigo. 

Dyes:
I'm thinking this company's natural dyes are going to be my best bet. 

Things to dye:
Swaddle blankets...you know, to wear as scarves. But could also make for some excellent baby shower gifts. 
Bandanas! I found this website in my research and they have 100% cotton bandanas (and an organic option!) in the regular 22" square size but also in a 27" size which would be really nice. I really wanted to find bandanas that are made here in the USA, but after speaking with the BandanaMan, I found out that all the bandanas in the US are manufactured elsewhere. That made me sad but it also makes me feel less guilty about ordering some bandanas since I wouldn't be able to find any from the US. 

An essential:
I think The Modern Natural Dyer is going to be an essential in this whole process. Luckily I already own it! 

I'm thinking some shibori pillow cases would be cool too and some fabric to eventually piece together into a rad quilt! I think this will be the perfect summertime crafting! 

weekend reading

Ahh, April. I am soaking up the sun and enjoying the weather by being outside as much as possible these days. This week I have been taking a little break from crafting and have severely limited my time on Instagram and my arm is feeling much better! I haven't been scrolling on the computer as much as normal either, but somehow I still have a ton of links to share today! So let's get to those links!

This week I read this book. It took me a while (about 150 pages) to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. Next up is this book for a book club I joined!

You all know I was obsessed with Big Little Lies, so it should come as no surprise that I have been listening to this Spotify playlist ever since the finale. The music was truly exceptional and this soundtrack is perfect background music. 

I have been watching 13 Reasons Why this week. I'm about halfway through but I'm not sure I'm going to finish. It is VERY heavy and very dark. It's also very important. But I'm just not sure I really want to subject myself to the last several episodes. Here is an excellent trigger warning for the series. 

THIS IS GENIUS. I'm never going to do ruffles the old way ever again. 

I love wearing dark nail polish, but now that spring has sprung, I am wanting a lighter shade now and again. I bought this color this week. It's the perfect just-a-hint-of-blue!

I am also lightening up my daily scents and am in lurve with this oil blend I found over the weekend. 

Embroidered tops. I need one. I really want to make one. Here are some good inspo pics: one. two. three.

Also in clothing: clogs. I know, I know. They have a reputation. But I can't stop thinking about this handmade brand. I'm thinking some blush clogs would be adorable with just about every outfit. 

In my BGS (before grad school) life, I was an amazing baker. I baked all the time and found any excuse to try a new recipe. I called it procrastibaking because it really took off in college when I needed to be studying or writing papers. I would sit down at my desk, type like one sentence or read one page, and I would suddenly be like I MUST BAKE A CAKE. And I would. And they were always delicious. Plus people love a baker and their baked goods so it was good for my social life as well. Anyway, all that is to say that this article is 100% true. 

Well, friends, that's all I've got! I hope you all have a great weekend full of sunshine and fun!