Thursday, September 29, 2011

CSA Goodness...oh the vegetables

My twelve year old self would say "oh the horrors" when looking at this photo. All those vegetables. Our summer community supported agriculture program (CSA)through the Five Points Market is wrapping up...I have enjoyed the "what are we getting" anticipation that comes with this program. It is nice to have someone else corralling local and regional fresh fruits and veggies, but we are going to skip the fall CSA.

Our fall plans include several trips down to NC, wedding showers, trips, and ceremonies, festivals, running, and about one trillion other things. I just don't see it as a good option when we will be out of town and running like mad. I am looking forward to the butternut squash risotto that my husband will make from the last of our summer CSA. Looking forward to seeing the CSA peaches and berries next summer(or apples as my daughter is currently calling every piece of fruit she sees)!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 9.28.11

Book of the week:
Paper + Craft: 25 charming gifts, accents, and accessories to make from paper
Authors: Minhee and Truman Cho

Authors are owners of business Paper + Cup, based out of New York. So many cool businesses and bakeries exist in New York City, it really is a shame that the frenetic pace of life there scares me. I could never, never live there. Maybe the reason "the city" is so choc' full of creative and baked goodness is because it never is always changing and growing. At any rate, let's get down to business and talk about the book.
I loved this book. It has accessible projects that would be great for paper crafters at all skill levels. I particularly loved the birdie mobile, the animal drink markers, and the silhouettes. I love that the authors encourage others to not just follow the directions word for word, but to use the projects as a jumping off point to explore the reader's creative side. The authors' introduction includes this great quote that I had to include in the post: "The allure of crafting is that it fills the mundane with substance, and regardless of the imperfections or irregularities that will happen along the way, it is still entirely "yours," no matter how simple the object."
After reading through the book and browsing the projects a few times, I plan to adapt the birdie mobile bird pattern and use them for future party decor or a few handmade cards. They include a project with paper mustaches that is so adorable. I don't know where or when, but I want to take some silly mustache photos. I love the sense of whimsy in this book. The projects are fun and light. Any craft book with a cover of a dog in a chair chilling out in a party hat is worth exploring. Buy it if you are looking for some fun paper projects to add to your never ending crafting project list.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Moment 9.23.11

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. (From Soule this tradition so I am striving to do this as well...I need to take more time to savor and it will be such a treat to look back and remember these moments)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 9.21.11 "Crafting a Meaningful Home"

Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories, and Celebrate Family Heritage

Book of the Week: Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories, and Celebrate Family Heritage by Meg Mateo Ilasco

My review: Love, love this thought included in the author's introduction "the homes I find most interesting and comfortable- the ones that really resonate with me- are the ones that reveal stories about the people who live in them." This book is a collaborative effort highlighting projects from 27 very different artists who work in a wide range of mediums and make very personal items for their homes, ranging from plaster cast replicas of Phillipine folk art to hooked rugs made of fabric scraps to a fridge decoupaged with old maps of London. I did find one project that I absolutely loved:  the Sihouettes on Canvas made by Haile McCollum of Thomasville, Georgia. I have never made a silhouette before, but am thinking of trying this out. I love the way this artwork blends past and present. Silhouettes capture a moment/stage in a child's life and are incredibly visually striking. Let's add this to my project list. How long is my project list now? I don't want to know.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweet hair bow holder

In 2009, I chose some absolutely adorable nursery bedding for my sweet baby girl from Pottery Barn Kids. I didn't find any artwork for her room that thrilled me, so my mom and I decided to just make our own using some old and new fabrics in her stash and mine. We covered two canvas frames with this fabric and then created the birds and trees. I love the finished product...they are kid appropriate and not too cutesy.
We have been purchasing bows for her slightly unruly hair (I hope she got more of my husband's hair genes or there is no hope for her hair...), which presented a storage issue. We had bows all over her dresser, under her dresser, in her diaper bags. You get the idea. My mom came to the rescue and took the lead on the solution: a wall mounted bow holder. She used the remainder fabric from our wall art project and made this adorable bow holder. I am pleased with how it looks and how it will help us get a little more organized with the bows. Now, if I could only organize the rest of my life to be so beautiful and functional...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 9.14.11

So for those of you that don't know me well, in addition to collecting craft projects, I also collect things to read. I love to read. Newspapers, websites, magazines, random publications at the grocery store, blogs, and books. Lots and lots of books. I come across a lot of really cool crafting/knitting/gardening books and have randomly posted about a few of them. This fall I am going to start posting a blog every Wednesday about a different book...this will help me keep track of the many projects I am wanting to start in each book and hopefully help you stumble across a new book or two that interests you. If you know any crafters/artists, some of these books would make great gifts.

Book of the day: Handmade Living: a fresh take on Scandinavian Style by Lotta Jansdotter

Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style [Hardcover]

Review: Totally swedish and totally cool. She includes multiple photos of her work and personal living spaces to highlight her work and life philosophy. She has merged her Swedish heritage with American urban life and the result is a really cool book...I love that she mixes cool vintage furniture with cheaper IKEA pieces. She works with textiles and includes photos of such beautiful linens. (I think I need some new tablecloths and napkins...). I love that she discussed the Swedish tradition of fika, which is stopping for a coffee break. I need to stop and refresh with a friend and a coffee drink more often. I am definitely going to try her recipes for Apple Jam and Cinnamon Rolls. Her website is also worth a look.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

making handmade cards

Making cards in my condo is quite a production because it involves pulling all the supplies out from their stashed locations here, there, and in my parent's attic storage. My craft dreams involve having my own special craft bunker/room one day to store paper cutters, glue, stamps, envelopes, yarn stash, needles... In the meantime, during this season of our lives, I pull all the stuff out a few times a year and make cards in advance. I know my parents birthdays will come every January, so I can plan and have their cards made in advance.
I have been on a card making kick the past couple weeks. I made several cards by repurposing old pages from a Japanese art book. I am not generally drawn to Japanese motifs and artwork, but I loved the colors and muted tones on these pages.

I also made quite a few cards with bright colors and happy shapes. I love to send happy greetings in the mail. My mailbox is generally full of spam and bills. Cards and letters are like rays of sunshine amongst all that dreariness. Hopefully the recipients of these cards will enjoy them as much I enjoyed making them. Gotten any mail lately that brought a smile to your face?

Friday, September 9, 2011

This Moment 9.9.11

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. (From Soule this tradition so I am striving to do this as well...I need to take more time to savor and it will be such a treat to look back and remember these moments next summer)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer 2011 In Review

So I don't know about you, but this summer has just completely flown by! I cannot believe we are entering the fall season. Christmas is coming...and I have nothing done. Ahhhhh. I need to pick up the creating/crafting/gift making pace pronto or the holidays will be here and I will have no gifts prepared. I still have not completed my knitted blanket, although I did carry the squares around with me for a few days. I think those good intentions should count for something...I have patterns and yarn. I have recipes. I have gift tags. I have ideas. I have no time. I will have to make time and heed my great aunt's advice. I just need to take it day by day and work my projects a little at a time since large chunks of time are just simply non-existent these days.

Anyway, I took lots of photos this summer playing around with the fancy schmancy and pocket cameras. Unfortunately, I did not get many posted so I am going to post a few with this Summer Review. It has been a busy and eventful summer full of family, friends, ELMO(lots and lots of Elmo) and all the best summer has to offer. I hope you all have been making great summer memories near and far.
beach vacation stroll

Norfolk Botanical Garden

mapping out our trip to the Virginia Zoo

Abby! at Busch Gardens

mommy, don't mess with me or my pacifier at naptime

mazes at the Botancial Garden

up close and personal with prairie dogs at the zoo

engagement party for my pal Jamie!

in the sea of parrotheads at Jimmy Buffet concert

ice cream cakes in August=heaven

storm clean-up with Grammy

Monday, September 5, 2011

Peach Pie...Oh My

I made my first peach pie right before we got to deal with a fun trio of natural disasters in this part of the world. Forrest fires, earthquakes, and looming hurricanes put a damper on my baking...fortunately I prepared this treat beforehand. I followed a recipe I found in a cookbook from the library. It is from The Loveless Cafe in Tennessee. Hubs thought it tasted like peach/pumpkin pie. My parents also ate some after the storm debris cleanup day and seemed to enjoy it. They had no power and were exhausted so they probably would have enjoyed mudpies that night. I would have rather it just tasted like sweet peach pie. Need to find another recipe to compare. Any good suggestions? Fall and winter are such wonderful times to experiment with pie recipes. I am looking forward to making some pumpkin pies. One word for them...yum. Fortunately, I am running a good bit right now in preparation for the Wicked10K race so the pie calories don't even count(technically they count, but I like to ignore them when I have exercise minutes to count).

Friday, September 2, 2011

epic knitting fail

So I have been trying to use up a small amount of leftover rosy pink yarn from my leg warmer kick of 2010...naturally I decided to make more leg warmers for my giant toddler who can no longer wear the ones I originally made for her. This time I decided to make them a bit larger to hopefully accommodate her wearing them for two years. I think she might be blessed with her daddy's tall genes and I am having a hard time guessing how big she will be in planning clothing/craft projects...I have been the same size since I was 12 (which was roughly a hundred years ago) and only struggle with fitting into my clothes depending on the amount of cinnamon rolls I consume vs. time spent running.

Two weeks ago I sat down and started these legwarmers. I followed the pattern I originally used from the great knitting website, Never Not Knitting.
One problem...I used a different yarn than the pattern called for and did not make a gauge swatch. I know, I know, all you fiber crafters out there are saying, well, well that is what happens dummy. I should have tested the yarn with this pattern. I forgot that I drastically altered it when making baby leg warmers the first go round. The yarn is pretty, but not nearly as stretchy as the yarn suggested in the pattern. So, EPIC FAIL. I tried them on my daughter and they are huge and totally will not work. UGH. I must rip this all out and start over. I hate starting over, but it must be done...have you started any projects/tried any recipes that ended disastrously lately?
Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time