Friday, October 8, 2010

Look! I made something!

Before we even moved, Mom was researching the sewing scene in Michigan. And discovered that there was a Big. Exciting. Sewing. Show. In the Detroit area (about 2 hours from here). In September. She floated the idea of coming up and driving over together. I'll admit, I was initially doubtful. We were supposed to be moving in! And getting ready for the baby!

But it wasn't too long before I realized that a couple of days of help around the house would more than make up for the lost time. Besides, I was already sick of moving in. So we laid our plans and hatched our schemes. But here's the thing about sewing shows. People there sew (I know, I know. But I'm going somewhere with this). Which means they really appreciate the things that you've sewn. Meaning it's super-awesome to wear something you've made. I made a dress to wear to my sister's rehearsal dinner (ack! Gotta take a picture of that and post about it before the baby belly disappears), but it was a little formal for this. And other than that, my maternity sewing has been limited to a couple of imitation Belly Bands. Which are a rectangle of fabric, one seam, and spectacularly unimpressive. So I needed something else.

And this dress has been on the back burner almost since I knew I was pregnant. It was supposed to get made in time to take to Europe, but that was a no-go. In retrospect, it wrinkles too much for it to have been a very good travel dress anyway.

So, the week before Mom got here to whisk me off to Novi, I sat down and actually cut the dress out. And then I realized that I couldn't find my thread! So it was assembled using thread on my stash of bobbins. And then it languished. Right before Mom arrived, I went to the store and actually bought some more thread, but then she and I got super busy washing shelves, moving things, etc. and the sleeves and hem weren't actually done until the day we left for the show!

So that's the story of how I ended up with something I made to wear to the sewing show. And yes, the vast majority of my crafting "for the baby" has really been for me. I'll have to think some more about that...

Pattern review is here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Good Advice

Good Advice, originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant.

We've been eating out entirely too much recently. But Thursday night we hit on a real gem. Partly because there was a trivia night going on (and one where we actually felt like we knew some of the answers; we even got a sports question right). And partly because of this coaster.

Of course after dinner we spent a couple of hours agonizing over where we were going to live for the next two years. And that wasn't so fun. But it turned out okay. Look for an update on that in the near future.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome to Michigan!

Welcome to Michigan!, originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant.

We've been in the process of "moving" for at least a month now. At long last we've made it to the destination state--Michigan! I wish all welcome centers would put up nice signs for picture-taking. Then I wouldn't have to resort to barely-readable buildings in the background or silly tricks

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another anti-seasonal finish

My Pasha

Actually, I suppose it wasn't anti-seasonal when finished. See the snow in the background of the picture? I know it just looks white, but I promise, it's real-live snow. Or was.

But now we can barely go outside without melting. Seriously Nashville, you've had more crazy weather this year...

The penguin? Oh, right. The penguin. I started him at least three years ago, while I was still in college. I was thinking about giving him as a gift to one of the geeky CS people I knew/know. Not only is Linux geeky cool and super-awesome, it also wins the mascot competition. Hands down. Started at least 3 years ago potentially as a present for a friend. He's been sitting without his feet stitched on and without eyes for at least two years. I finally got a package of those safe-for-kids eyes and managed to make him respectable, though his fate is undecided. For now, he sits on my desk and keeps me company.

Pattern? Pasha Yarn? the black and gold are both Cascade 220. The white is something random I found in my stash. Needles? No idea. Probably US 6.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You mean Christmas projects should have been finished before Christmas?

The same sew-in where we made the Santa wall hangings, we also worked on two other projects:

Stockings were hung

Sew-in Snowman
A Snowman wall hanging.

Mom was nice enough to donate her stocking to me so that we would have two, and to use her fancy-schmancy embroidery machine to add our names. Now that we'll need a new stocking, I'm not sure what we'll do...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Again, I've fallen off the face of the earth, it seems

Pi necklace

But I'm still here.

Life has conspired to keep things busy around here, but I guess if the purpose of this blog is to help me remember some crafting details, I better get to documenting before everything flies out of my head.

And why might it fly out of my head? Pregnancy brain. I'm expecting a little boy at the end of October, and while I may not have left my keys hanging in the door yet, I wouldn't put it past myself.

So you might think that I've been concealing my crafty output because it's been all-baby-stuff-all-the-time. Not so much. As a matter of fact, news of the baby has really caused me to want to get on the ball on all kinds of older unfinished projects (so that it can become mostly-baby-stuff-most-of-the-time at some point in the future). So that's mostly what I have to show for myself. I'm hoping to make a post every day or two for the next week or so until I get caught up(-ish).

And that necklace? I made it in high school in lieu of studying for a math test. Each color bead represents a different number, and they're arranged to represents the first 100? 200? digits of pi. While making the necklace (several times--my knots weren't strong enough) I happened to memorize the first 30 or 35 digits. It was an accident! But people generally don't believe me when I tell them that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm still around!

This Bee Larkspur
This Bee Larkspur,
originally uploaded by Bruce McKay.
I don't know where time has gotten to, but I do have some things to show for the, two months. I'm not quite as busy as this bee, but I'll be back soon with reports of my recent doings.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Problem solving at our house

What do these
The tools of our cleverness

have to do with this?
Korean Beef

Creative uses for cooling racks. And, my husband would have you believe, the only good use for cooling racks. Apparently he doesn't appreciate cakes that are in one piece or cookies with crisp bottoms.

Steak on the barbie

Monday, January 18, 2010

The books I read

Yes, that's right, I'm doing a 2009 Year-in-Review post more than two weeks into 2010. What can I say? I'm a little behind.

Sometime this spring I started really using LibraryThing (which I've written a paean to before), and if there's one thing it's really good at, it's this kind of nerdy information tracking. So here, without further ado, are the books (at least that I recorded) that I finished in 2009. I should note that I often read multiple books at once, so the time span between finishes is not necessarily reflective of the time it took me to read the book. Each title links to the LibraryThing page. Also, please don't read too much into my choices.

Second Foundation (Foundation Novels) 4/15
Saints 4/28
The President's Daughter 4/30
Moby clique : a Bard Academy novel 5/2
Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis 5/5
Cheaper by the Dozen 5/22
Shopaholic takes Manhattan 6/19
Shopaholic ties the knot 6/22
Shopaholic & sister 6/23
The complete chronicles of Narnia 7/15
Invasive Procedures 8/5
The warmest room in the house : how the kitchen became the heart of the twentieth-century American home 8/9
Biting the dust : the joys of housework 8/30
The cellist of Sarajevo 9/7
Script and scribble : the rise and fall of handwriting 9/12
Chocolate : a bittersweet saga of dark and light 9/20
Krakatoa : the day the world exploded, August 27, 1883 10/3
The wizard heir 10/9
Dragon Heir 10/12
The other queen 10/15
Great with child : letters to a young mother 10/20
Chasing Vermeer 11/2
A crack in the edge of the world : America and the great California earthquake of 1906 11/9
The Bookfair Murders 11/19
Devilish 12/7
The Jewels of Tessa Kent 12/17
The lost throne 12/19

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Twelve Personas

A Baker
Originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant
Finally, I'm finishing the twelve days of Christmas (I'm sure you all are relieved)!

A.'s older cousins stumped me this year (they're not older than him, just older than the ones who received the
My husband says the only toys kids really need are a ball and a stick. But I feel like some good clothes can be worthwhile too. I found a trenchcoat, some scrubs, and some business clothes at Goodwill along with random hats and accessories. To round it out, I found a
tutorial for an adjustable chef's hat online. I think next time I would use a fabric with more body, but it's still pretty fun.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whoops! Eleven Ounces of Cinnamon

Eleven Ounces

Last summer my mom, my grandmother and I all went to the Knoxville Quilt Show. While we were wandering around, I saw this flamingo fabric. It was perfect for something for my mom. I had just finished and brought home my Emmeline apron. Mom wanted one too. So I managed to convince her that she should buy the kit with the flamingo fabric and I would make into an apron for her as a gift. But really, it was a gift for me too. Every time I pulled out these fabrics to work on this apron they just made me happy.

Enjoy Mom! And you can use that cinnamon to make something for me any time you want ;-).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eleven .... well, it's still a surprise!

Obviously I didn't think this through well enough! Since we go to California for Christmas, we celebrate with my parents a little later. Since my birthday is in early January (all right, it's Friday), this works out perfectly (except for the whole I'm-sad-to-not-see-my-family-on-Christmas-Day thing).

So they get here Friday. And sometime after that I'll reveal exactly what eleven represents in my own personal holiday countdown (countup?).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ten Lords a Leaping

Yep, that's right, I'm actually referencing the song. What are you going to do about it?

At this stage in our life, Christmas events and traditions get pushed aside in favor of "cave mode" (intense law school study sessions), though we always find time to decorate the house somewhat. So this year, my husband treated me to the Nutcracker while we were in California (thus after all exams were over). It was simply beautiful. And in the first act, there aren't even very many men in tights for A. to roll his eyes at!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nine vacation days

Pier 9
Originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant
No, no, this was not something that I made, but something that I was fortunate enough to enjoy this Christmas. We left for California the day after A. finished his last exam (actually a final paper), and I headed back home Sunday night/Monday morning after Christmas.

It was a wonderful holiday. Unfortunately, I hang around too many students so I occasionally feel resentful that I have to come home early to go to work, but I like my job, I get paid, and I've got plenty of mini-vacations planned in the next couple weeks, so there's really nothing to complain about.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Eight Pattern Repeats

Whew, I'm back! Sorry that I've fallen behind on the twelve days of Christmas posts (though I'm cheating and backdating them so they'll appear in their proper order in my editing software). And it's been the weekend, so it's not even like I have a good excuse!

Last Christmas I purchased a skein of Rowan Calmer to fashion into Shedir. I loved the feel of the yarn, wanted to knit something, thought the periwinkle yarn would look great with my sister-in-law's blue eyes, and the pattern called for one skein. Score! I worked on it diligently until....wouldn't you know it....I ran out of yarn. This is entirely my fault, as the pattern cautions that the yardage is extremely close and I failed to check gauge. Anyway, the hat went into the holding bins for a while.

This year, I rediscovered it, but I had already decided that L needed an otter quilt. But my sister has blue eyes too, so the intended recipient shifted. I found an online shop that carried the right color, and ordered, crossing my fingers that the dyelot would be close enough. And it was!


I love the way the twisted stitch cables flow into a star on the top.


Now I have almost a full ball left, which I'm turning into a baby Shedir for some friends, who I am assuming will not mind matching my sister.