Tuesday, August 14, 2012

100 projects, #7

Well, there's not too terribly much I can share about project #7 because it's a gift for some coworkers that is based on an inside joke from work that would be far too complicated to explain and by that point it's not funny anyway, but so long story short two very lovely people I work with got engaged and they just bought a house, so I made them a housewarming present featuring a common expletive/derogatory phrase from our localized work vernacular.

So... yep!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

100 Projects, #6

Project number five was my first attempt at actual canning. I've been doing a lot of experimenting with refrigerator pickles, and I've been flirting with the idea of canning, and finally I just decided to go ahead and try it.

I made some strawberry jam!

Macerating the strawberries.

I ended up having some leftover strawberries so I made some muffins with them! Yummmm.

Trying to cook the jam. I only kind of know what I'm doing.

Et voila! At first I was really bummed because I thought none of the jars had sealed properly because they didn't look like it and I could hear them pinging and such, but they all came out okay! The jam is a lot more like preserves, but is still tasty. I also made some spicy dilly beans and tried canning those. I wish the jars had been more filled, but all my beans were really tiny.

Canning is pretty cool, but is also really intense! I don't know if I'll do a whole lot of it, and I will probably always stick to small batches, but it's nice to have a new tool in my toolbelt.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

100 projects, #4

Sorry about the radio silence around here - August is proving to be a very very very busy month. We are moving to a new apartment, both hosting bachelor/bachelorette parties for friends and then attending said friends' wedding, there are two derby events this month (a bout and a fundraiser), etc etc etc. Crazy busy!

Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post, my fourth project was a gift that I couldn't reveal yet. Well, now it has been given and here it is!

I stitched this up as a birthday/housewarming present for one of my friends who refs for the league under the name Biggie Calls.

In other news, yesterday some friends and I went up to Erie to enjoy the beach, where we...

... saw this dumb bird standing around with its mouth open. Frig off, bird!

... swam in this water but couldn't climb on these rocks (jerks).

... ate some diner food.

... and enjoyed a sunset!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

100 projects, #5

Project #5 was a collaborative work with Eric - really, he did all of the work, I just helped. One of Eric's coworkers, Zakk, has a show on the local punk pirate radio station, and requested a theme song. This is what we came up with. ,Yes, it's not meant to be very good.

Speaking of Eric, today is our second wedding anniversary! We didn't do anything too terribly exciting today because we are taking a big trip to the pacific northwest in September to celebrate. We did go to Dinette, the restaurant where our friends Jay and Becca work, and ate quite sincerely some of the best pizza I've ever had. P-I-Z-Z-A, that spells love. L-O-V-E, that spells pizza!

(PS - Project #4 is a gift that I haven't been able to give yet, so it will have to wait until after I've given it away!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

100 projects, #3

My very dear friends Jay and Carly are getting married in September, and I have offered my skills to help Carly with the various cute DIY things she wants to do - so this will only be the first of many things you'll see, I'm sure. This is some simple bunting I made from a bunch of fabrics in their wedding colors - gray, green, and blue.

I made two different sizes of triangles, and the connecting fabric is just bias tape. Pretty simple! I made a lot more than this - these are just a couple strands for an example, because it all pretty much looks the same.

It looks pretty flapping in the breeze though!

For all the traditional job schedule folks out there, I hope you had a tolerable Monday. Monday is my weekend, and thus was spent launching the inaugural voyage of the USS Party Flotilla, Allegheny Division.

River beers are the best kind of beers.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

July fourth

Hope you had fun too!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

100 projects, #2

Recently, after seeing the awesome work of Miss Cross Stitch, I have been all hot & bothered to make some cross stitch graffiti myself. I had really wanted to make one yesterday night, but to my dismay it started to thunderstorm outside. I expressed my frustration to my darling husband, who promptly said that we should do it anyway, and that he would be willing to stand in the rain and hold and umbrella so I could do this. What can I say, I'm a lucky gal.

So we stood out in the rain (or, really, I sat on the sidewalk and got my ENTIRE BUTT completely soaked), and I made this!

"Now pose with it. Make an assortment of cute girl faces."

Here it is by the light of day. I wish I had made it larger but... yanno... huge thunderstorm. My neighborhood has a bunch of these trash cans that I think will work out very nicely for future endeavors.

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Twenty-nine (100 projects, #1)

Yesterday was my twenty-ninth birthday. To celebrate, we went and rode a million water slides, and it was completely awesome.

Since it is my last year of my twenties, I have decided that I am going to try to do/make/create 100 crafts/creative things/projects/etc. If I don't make 100, that's okay too.

Without further ado, here is craft #1:

This is a little cross stitch pendant that I finished today. Here are a few more that don't count as part of this project because I finished them a bit ago, but I have yet to show them off.

So far I have a few pendants and that last octopus fellow there is a brooch. These have been pretty fun to make although I was surprised at how tedious they are at times - even though they're small, that's still a lot of tiny squares to stitch. 

Here's a couple pictures for size reference. Also to ensure that I meet my monthly thumbs-up quota here on the Internet. 

If you want to make some snazzy things too, I got the pieces from The Workroom!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This weekend

A mysterious benefactor added some patriotic garland to my sidewalk dirtpatch flower garden that I planted a few weeks ago... assumably the same person who put up the plastic fence. All I did was plant some flower seeds in this spot that once had a tree in it.

This awesome Peanuts statue that I saw at the thrift store and wanted a great deal, but sadly it was grossly overpriced. It says "How can we lose when we're so sincere?" and would have gone well with this other ultra-depressing plaque we have that has a weeping, embracing Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the following text:
"Charlie Brown felt worse than he had ever felt before in his life. 'I don't know why we are always having to say good-bye to friends,' he said. 'Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really love and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves and then we have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.'"
Whatever this plaque is, I have been unable to find what the original source material is, aside from possibly being a reference to this scene from Snoopy Come Home. But as much as I would have loved to start a collection of incredibly disheartening Peanuts paraphernalia, it was not meant to be.

Hanging out with the neighbor cat.

Saturday night, we went pickle crazy. Cucumbers, purple cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, garlic, carrots, onions, jalapeno.

I got a little Heidi Kenney blueberry muffin! So cute!

Quilt top almost done, getting back to that right now!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just the Doctor.

I made this gift for my very dear friend Hannah, the Leslie Knope to my Ann Perkins, who after much badgering managed to convince me to give Doctor Who a try, and I guess I sort of like it. But not a whole lot. The jury's still out, I guess.

I pretty much just made this up as I went along, which is why the centering is kind of off. The double hearts were actually a last minute mistake fixer - I was mostly finished with "sweet" when I realized that it was completely off-center, and I have read enough of Doctor Who Wikipedia pages to know about the dual hearts.

Small imperfections aside, this was one of those projects that, when I was done making it, I was just so pleased with myself for making such a cool present for someone. I don't know, it's just nice when you make something with someone in mind and you just know that they're going to love it and it makes you feel like this.

So, this is for Hannah. Thank you for your enthusiasm, your support, and your friendship.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The truth is out there

So I found this cross stitch at the thrift store the other day, and decided that it was clearly asking for some kind of enhancement. I spent quite a bit of time pondering what to do with it - giant monster stepping over the trees? Zombies on the lawn? But then, suddenly inspiration struck from the user pic of one of my Facebook friends:

And I came up with this:

I like to imagine this is the kind of thing Goodwife Scully would have stitched as a Yuletide gift for Fox Mulder, her partner at the Colonial Agency for the Occult and Paranormale.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I've started reading Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. I got my copy at the thrift store - it is filled with haphazard, messy highlights. Whenever I find a book like that, I often try to figure out what the theme of their highlighting is; what was that Women's Lit thesis paper about?

Surfacing is one of the only Atwood books I haven't read, and I'm a little disappointed that I'm not enjoying it as much as some of her other books - particularly because she's getting older and I worry about when she dies and there are no more of her books to read. Each new thing I read by her is like a treasure I'm afraid someone will snatch away.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Dodger and me, making spaghetti after a long day in Crazytown (aka: my job). She is meowing at me. Almost all of her bottom teeth are gone, so she has this little pink lip.

This is bumming me out pretty hard right now. I quite frankly don't give a shit about The Hunger Games, but I am sometimes surprised by how disappointing people can be.

I am applying for a promotion tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Now playing: 02.29.2012

Well, hello there! Sorry about the silence - I didn't really plan on taking a break from the blog, but it just sort of happened. February has felt like a quiet month to me - I've just had my head down, going through the days, doing lots of things but not really feeling the need to talk all about them. But now I'm back, so here's what I've been enjoying lately!

I didn't remember to take a picture, but on Friday I cooked roasted tofu and vegetables, mostly following this recipe from Vegan Dad. We're not vegan, but this is a blog I enjoy quite a bit - I either will get ideas from his recipes or will make them but just de-veganize them if I don't have the vegan options on hand. I've made several of his recipes, always with success, and this was no different. I chose to marinate my tofu in veggie broth and some seasonings, but otherwise I followed this pretty much straight through. It was pretty tasty! I think I would have preferred it with seitan for a bit more texture, but otherwise it was quite delicious. I love pot roasts, so it's nice to find a suitable vegetarian replacement.


I am sort of simul-reading White Noise by Don DeLillo and Bossypants by Tina Fey - essentially, I turn to the Tina Fey book whenever White Noise starts getting kind of heavy, which is frequent. This is a book that one of my co-workers lent me in a book swap that we're doing, and I know I tried reading it years ago but couldn't really get into it, so I'm trying again. Bossypants is quite cute though.


My new favorite song has got to be this: "You, Me & the Boatman" by Quiet Company from Austin, Texas. The handsome gent singing is the husband of Leah Muse of Vacant.cc, a blog I've been reading for literally years and years and years. This is one hell of a catchy tune, and I have enjoyed dancing to it in my kitchen quite a bit. You can get a digital download of their album, We Are All Where We Belong, for only $8 - and it is super worth it.


I haven't been doing much embroidery lately - I've been really trying to make dresses for the Dress A Girl Around The World program. Here are four I made on Saturday in the very uncooperative wind. I love the little fake patchwork fabric - I got that from the thrift store a while back in a random fabric bag.

I've also been working on a big chevron quilt for our bed. I've never done a quilt with triangles before, and I'm already discovering my lack of precision sewing skills are making them match up a little wonky, but I think I've just decided to accept that.


When I do feel like embroidering again, I sketched up this little design, inspired by Eric watching Twin Peaks for the first time last week. Or, at least he watched it until he found out who killed Laura Palmer, causing him to declare the show stupid and stop watching.

I've got good news! That gum you like is going to come back in style.