Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Look How Beautiful!

I received my bag in the mail from my Charming Handbag swap partner. I was happy to learn earlier this week that my bag arrived safely to its new home, and was thrilled to get this lovely bag in the mail - thanks so much Lorna! I love the color combination of blue and brown and the tissue holder is just adorable. Oh, and I can't wait to play around with the fabrics!

Sorry the photo's not great - I don't get a ton of natural light in my apartment.

Today is a day off from work for me - yippee! So, I'm hoping to run some errands and hopefully have some time at home to work on some of my projects. If all goes according to plan - but when does it ever - I'll have some photos of some projects up online soon!

Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mail on it's way!

I made it to the post office just before closing today - cut it pretty close! But, I was able to get my "Charming Handbag" on it's way to it's new owner. I really enjoyed making this one and making it for someone else definitely made me step outside my comfort zone of fabric choices. I'm hoping she enjoys the bag, as much as I enjoyed participating in the swap.

Here are some photos of my creation...

I was pretty proud of myself for how well the seams on the side matched up (not to brag, but it's a first for me).
The fabrics are from Amy Butler's "Lotus" collection and I picked them up at Mary Jo's when I was there last week.

We were encouraged to add some "crafty" items to the package as well, so I sent along some fun fabrics - didn't get a pic of them - which hopefully she enjoys and can use.

My partner doesn't know who I am, so even with the pics up on my blog, she will still be surprised when it arrives. Hopefully she enjoys it!

I'm looking forward to receiving my bag - we're supposed to mail them out no later than March 31st! The swapper who has me left me a message letting me know she's making mine, so I'm thrilled to have met a new friend on the internet and see what she creates - it's her first swap too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Past Projects #1

I'm enjoying a couple of nice days off from work. Headed up to Mary Jo's yesterday and had a ball going through all the fabric choices. I came home with a bunch of stuff - but almost all of it was on my shopping list, so I feel pretty good about it. My favorite find was some "themed" fabric for a quilt I think I finally can start after putting it off for two years.

I spent today enjoying some quiet time at home, while also finishing a book. I also started and finished my "Charming Handbag" for the BTRS swap. I'm hoping to get it into the mail either tomorrow, but most likely on Monday. After it gets approval from my bf to make sure it's worthy of sending along to someone else. I was super excited about participating in the swap, but am worried that the receipient of my bag will be disappointed in my skill level. I'll post photos once it's in the mail.

I figured I might share some photos of my past projects - I've made a point to photograph almost every project I've completed- since all but one have been given away. These I'm somewhat embarrassed by - there my first attempts. You can tell that I'm definitely self-taught and I was still learning about color choice. But they were made with love for several of my staff members. I actually made 9 over the course of a year plus (the tops were done in a year, but took me a little longer to quilt). These are four of them - and I'll post the other four I have photos of sometime soon. I missed getting a photo of one.
My first quilt ever - it was music themed and had so many problems!
My second top - but the last of the nine to be quilted - the girl I gave it to loved purple!
This one is currently residing in California.

Not a great shot, but I liked the earthtone colors.

This is the bf's favorite - for all of these I complete just made up patterns based on what I thought would look cool. I was shocked later to learn that you could buy patterns for quilts!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yay...One Project Finished!

Baby steps...literally and figuratively around here. In an earlier post, I mentioned that a friend who I attended school in London with just had a baby (and by just, I mean early January). Well, the goal was to get back in the swing of knitting and throw together a baby blanket. However, the best laid plans always seem to get side tracked.

My friend sent pics of her little guy, who is absolutely adorable. In every photo he's decked out in tons of jungle animal print accessories. It seems to me that mom and dad went with a jungle theme for the little kiddo, so who am I to fight that?

When I was at the Shop Hop last month - right after getting the photos, I found the cutest panel, which just had to be swapped in place of the knitted blanket (that currently is gathering dust next to an end table in my living room). After a bit of frustration and some mis-steps with my sewing machine, I was able to "successfully" machine quilt my first baby quilt.

I think it's really cute. And as I said...with this being my first attempt at machine quilting I was fairly "successful". Luckily, some cute applique letters covered up the bunching!

And so, now it's ready to be dropped in the mail and heading out to Colorado!

In the meantime, I'm getting my game face on. I've got two days off from work now, and I'm planning a fun-filled weekend. Tomorrow is a trip up to Mary Jo's, and then to meet the bf for some Cheesecake Factory. On Saturday - it's off to the brand new IKEA! Yay vacation!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Domestic Bliss in the Kitchen

I love to cook. After having attended culinary school, I always get asked if I can make "fancy" things. It usually involves a conversation something like this:

Watching the food network....

Boyfriend: Oooh, rack of lamb...can you make that?
Me: Yes.
BF: Did you make it in school?
Me: Yes.
BF: Will you ever make it again?
Me: Probably not.

Despite my "training", I really prefer comfort food - and now that I have my own kitchen, the food my mom always made. My prize recipes are the ones I grew up with...and a few more that have been added in over the years. It's relaxing and rewarding to whip up something that I know is going to taste really good and make my soul happy.

I usually don't care if it's fancy or even looks pretty, but this past Sunday, as I was playing around in the kitchen all morning, I couldn't help but be proud of how pretty my quiche came out...

Not to brag...but doesn't that just look like it's supposed to? During this cooking session, I also put together a pot of Italian Turkey Meatball Egg Drop Soup. Neither mom or I can take credit for that recipe - it came from Rachel Ray via someone else's blog. (I can't remember who, but I really should figure that out and thank the person). This soup is soooooo good. It is a highly requested meal from my self-proclaimed non-soup eating boyfriend.

All this was topped off by my very favorite "Fast Fixin' Chocolate Cake." This was the cake I always had my mom make me for my birthday and now making it myself, feel like perhaps she was always happy I did - it involves 5 ingredients plus water, one spoon and a 9x13 cake pan - that's it - no bowls, no beaters, nothin else. But, oh the chocolatey goodness.

On that note...I'm going to go eat some. So much for all the good work I did today at the gym!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a Difference a Week Makes

I've been away from the world of blogging for about a week thanks to the joys of just feeling plain ol' icky. When I last wrote, my choice of footwear was this...

These are my very pretty pink boots that I acquired while living in Boston. They were necessary for traversing the Boston Common everyday as I shuttled between my multiple work sites. I absolutely loved them, and actually are a large part of a story that involves me being picked up for armed bank robbery - which perhaps one day I'll share here.

But, back to my main theme - the difference of a week. Well, last Monday was the "snow day" of a couple inches of the white stuff (that consequently was really good packing snow and resulted in a rather fun snowball fight with the bf). And now on to this week, and my choice of footwear for this past Monday (as in yesterday)...

Yup...flip flops! Those accompanied a nice dress for work, as it was 80 degrees and the AC hadn't yet really kicked in at work. I'm loving the warm weather (it was 70 something today, and is supposed to be back in the 80's tomorrow). But I know it's not going to last - I think we're dropping back to the 40s and 50s on Thursday and Friday - ugh.

Well, the weather isn't the only thing that a week changed. A week ago (and even more so this past weekend), these were my "accessories" of choice...

Yay for the cold that seemed to hit everyone - and is still going around. I spent most of the end fo this past week and the weekend, when I wasn't working, curled up on the couch watching cheesy TV and movies and sniffling. This of course was after alternating between having no voice and a constantly cracking voice that made me sound like a boy going through puberty.

Well, I'm up and running now...figuratively, and literally, as demonstrated by my new accessory of choice...

Yay for getting back to the gym. Between the warm weather and finally kicking this cold, I was thrilled to go work out this afternoon after work. Yay for health!

Unfortunately, I don't have much to report on the crafting side, but I'm hoping two hours on the couch watching American Idol tonight will change that, and I'll have a finished project to share!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Days are Productive

Well, we had a snowy 24 hours here in SC. Starting around 6 pm on Sunday through Monday morning we got several inches here. The northerner in me doesn't really make much of that, but it's a huge deal down here. Schools and work were closed here, so I had a nice day off! I went for a walk Sunday night and snapped some photos of the snow...

I took advantage of the quiet day to nurse a cold I'm still fighting, get a little bit of work done, take a quick nap and read a book. But perhaps my greatest accomplishment was getting this bag done!

I bought a jelly roll at the Shop Hop two weeks ago, along with Bunny Hill Design's pattern for the jelly roll bag. I think it came out pretty cute and I'm looking forward to using it as a work bag this spring. Yay for finally completing a project!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cold and Blustery = :)

It's a pretty cold and blustery day here. For the past day or so we've had the worst weather here - cold and rainy. Of all of the weather in the world, that's the type I hate the most. Why? Well, because it just chills you to the bone, and that's the worst feeling for me. I hate being cold, hence the reason I now live in the South and not Boston. So, I've been staying inside all day and taking advantage of the icky weather as an excuse to craft :) I guess cold weather isn't all bad.

Despite having a ton of WIPs that I really should be working on, my tryip to the Shop Hop got me started on a bunch of new projects. Below is a glimpse of what I'm working on.

A little elephant (who also has some other friends), just peeking out to say hello!

And just the start of what I consider a very ambitious project, which I'm not sure I'm quite ready for. But I'm going to give it a shot and if it doesn't work out, at least I tried!

I'm going to try to finish up at least one project tonight before dinner time. I've got plans to go out this evening, but looking at some heavy wet snow coming down, I'm not sure if those will come to fruition, or I'll just stay snuggled up at home listening to showtunes, sewing, with the heater running.