Monday, December 27, 2010
Last but not least, he got me a pandora bracelet! It's so gorgeous and so perfect because I can buy just one or two charms at a time to celebrate those special days! On the bracelet is my first charm, a pretty heart with some bling in the middle. Friday, the 31st, is my birthday so Matt is going to take me to pick out a charm or two to add as my gift. I really want the cupcake charm, its very birthday-ish (and I love cupcakes)! They also have lovely wedding charms, so I am looking forward to getting one to add to my bracelet as our wedding day gets closer.
But for now, its off to work I go....only three days this week!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
While I loooove the yarn, I'm not fond of the method. But my 40" circular needles are tied up in other socks so I had no choice. Its not so bad, just kind of fiddly with all the points in my way. The pattern is called "froot loop" from knitty magazine via ravelry. Its such a cute pattern, and super easy!
I will definitely be making a of pair socks for myself in this pattern.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The original design is stitched 2 over 2, but I didn't have any 32 ct fabric. In order to make it fit on a remnant, I ended up stitching it 1 over 1 on 28 ct. I think he turned out quite cute and will make a nice pillow ornament. Most likely for my grandmother as she is a fan of snowmen.
Later in the evening Matt had a couple of his guy friends over to play on the wii, so I made myself scarce and enjoyed some quiet time stretched out on our bed watching tv and knitting a sock. I'm 3/4 of the way done with the first sock. I'll be amazed if I actually get the whole pair done in time to give to my friend for christmas. If not, I can always give them to her later as I already had an ornament made for her and something else, so the socks were just an extra I thought I would throw in when I found the yarn in my stash.
So again, another year when I have so many ideas/projects and its a race to the finish to see what I can get done!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
So, my method was working for awhile despite some frustration. Until I began to discover that all my fancy stickers were drying out and falling off the bobbins! Leaving me with bobbins of floss and no idea what color they were supposed to be.
Then one day I stumble into Vonna, aka The Twisted Stitcher's blog. She has a section of tutorials about how to do different finishing techniques, but she also has a blog about how she organizes her floss . I had a very large "oh, duh" moment when I read her post.
After reading this post I was more than happy to veg out on my couch and wind bobbins. I now have four boxes of floss, two of which are nice and neatly labeled. I happen to think its sooo pretty now! All of my bobbins look so uniform with all of the labels in the same place and hopefully don't come off anytime soon.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The holidays have also seemed to arrive pretty quickly this year. I feel like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving and I had plenty of time to get ready. This year I was a bit better in planning all my handmade gifts, but less in my shopping. So, yea, I am not ready.
Yesterday was Matt's birthday! I had planned to make him a nice dinner last night and kept asking him all week what he would like.....salad..he wanted salad....I am such a lucky girl! Haha! I am taking him out to dinner Friday night, so I guess he was just making sure to save room. I also got him a few gifts that I thought he would like. Myself, also having a birthday close to the holidays, I like to make sure I do gifts on his birthday to make sure he feels special on his day!
I got him a little sampler packet of cocktail flavored jellybeans, he LOVES jellybeans. He also has said a few times recently that he really likes the "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack, but he lost his copy so I got him a new cd. And lastly, he had pointed out a game for the wii that he wanted over the weekend, I happened to see that the same game was on sale at Target this week so I went ahead and got it for him. I figure with the cold weather moving in, it will be nice for him to have a new game to play to beat boredom.
That's about all the excitement going on in my house this week. Only three more days of work and then I'm free for the Christmas holiday! I'm so ready! Ill probably be scrambling around on the 22nd to get everything I've got planned finished, but I am determined.
No pics this post of what I've got in the works, but I will show some next time!
Monday, December 6, 2010
3 cans of Great Northern Beans, one package of white chicken chili mix, chicken broth, one can cream of chicken soup, and a can of rotel (or as many cans as you want depending on your love of spice), and half an onion all chopped up.
You'll also need some chicken. We like to use chicken tenderloins, but any chicken is good. I also like to boil my chicken before I throw it in the pot. I don't know about anybody else but I get kinda yucked out when I see all the chicken bits in my soup when it's cooked in the pot with everything else. So, I like to boil my chicken and then I shred it up with a fork.
I throw everything except the chicken broth into the pot with the boiled chicken. I check out how soupy it is at this point and add some of the broth.
If it's early in the morning before I go to work I turn it on low for 8 hours, but if I am home to supervise and can cook it up fast, I go high for 4 hours. Since your chicken is already cooked, you really just want some time for everything to sit in the pot, get hot, and marinate all together...very sexy. If the chili gets alittle less soup like for your taste, you can add more chicken broth.
This will definitely be served in our house this week! What does everyone else like to make to ward off the cold, wintery chill?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
So I am still working out how to use my new phone. It runs android so it gets a bit confusing going back and forth using my phone and my ipod touch. The differences aren't really big, more of having different buttons/functions in different places.
Anywho, I'm trying out a nifty new app on my phone to post blogs so this is purely experimental...(and if it sucks, it shall be deleted!)
With holidays coming up I've put aside my own personal projects to work on some gifty things. This is my most recent picture of venetian opulence before I put her away for now.
Heres hoping that picture goes where I want it to! (edited to add...ok so it didn't go where I wanted, none of them did. boo....but it's still a nifty little app, I'll keep it for awhile.)
On the gifty front I've been making ornaments. One that I've finished is for my bff and moh who loves all thing french. Her husband actually proposed to her under the eiffel tower so when I saw this design in a past issue of jcs ornaments I knew it was for her!
I also decided to attempt to make an altoid tin. Its very hard to find designs that fit on such a small space but I found one I like and stitched it 1 over 1 on 28 count linen...my eyes!! Its a cute little quaker birdie! It's a freebie chart I found, I will have to come back and post a link.
I have a few more projects in my head that have yet to come to life but hopefully I can get it all done in time for christmas!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Lately I've been making decisions about my bouquet. I am making my own using antique white felt flowers which I purchased off of etys.com. I am currently embroidering them with white thread. Then I discovered french beaded flowers....knock me over with a feather! They are gorgeous, and I just so happened to find at least THREE bead shops near where I live and work. So I am excited to include so much creativity and different mediums into my bouquet!
Today I had off work so I was able to go to the place closest to my house "The Potomac Bead Company". It was fantastic! I picked out some opal white seed beads and pretty seafoam green beads. I spent three hours today getting all the seafoam green onto beading wire so I can start shaping my petals. I think the beaded flowers will really pop with the felt and embroidery!
On the stitching front, I've been working on Mirabilia's "Venetian Opulence". She's so gorgeous, the colors so virbrant! Last night I was able to finish up her arms and her face, so I have the boring skin all stitched and I am ready to have fun with her beautiful gown! Also on the stitching front, one of my favorite designers and one of the nicest people around, Belinda, of Blue Ribbon Designs is having a cool giveaway! She gave one of these lovely sewing companions to Sue at the Mystic Retreat and it is a very nice sewing accessory, we were all so jealous! *Fingers crossed*!
Now off to play with some beads! Next time, I promise to have some pictures! (hopefully)
Friday, October 29, 2010
We were off and running after introducing ourselves and receiving our kits and binders for the class. Since we wouldn't all have time to stitch and complete our samplers in the two days the class ran, Belinda actually designed a special ornament to teach us all the specialty stitches that are in the sampler. Some of them were a bit difficult, but Belinda provided excellent illustrations in our binders and was more than happy to work with us one on one until we got the hang of it. Belinda had also brought models of her designs and had patterns available to buy from her. A few patterns I already had, but of course, couldn't resist buying a couple more. There was also a mini needlework shop set up in the one of the hotel rooms by Chris' Collection. So, during breaks, we could wander in and take a look around and spend some dough. I picked up a few things by the end of the two days, but reined myself in quite a bit.
By the end of class I had successfully finished my ornament! We even had some time to spare before dinner, so Lisa and I decided to go through town to the local bead shop You've Got To Be Beading. That place was fantastic! I'm not really a beady type person, but there were just a few things I could not pass up. I picked up a couple silver charms and a few bead packs in my favorite colors.
Tuesday night after dinner, those who had made ornaments and brought them to the retreat were able to participate in an ornament exchange. I made the Blue Ribbon Designs ornament from this years JCS ornament issue. All the ornaments were wrapped and I drew number one so I was the first to pick! I picked a love ornament that was also a Blue Ribbon Design and was finished with a really pretty paisley fabric on the back, with a sassy little tassle!
I picked the top left ornament (prettyyyy) and I made the one on the far right second row
All in all, Stitcher's Hideaway was fantastic and I am definitely looking forward to a time when I can go again! Sue and Belinda were so nice and fun to spend time with, I would recommend the retreat to anyone. The best part about the two days of class was how flexible everyone was, Belinda in particular. If you couldn't do a particular stitch on the class piece or you just simply didn't like it, you could just do whatever you wanted. It was so much fun, I left Wednesday morning wishing I didn't have to leave!
A view of Mystic Seaport
Saturday, October 23, 2010
All of the needlework in the exhibit was done by girls that attended schools that taught embroidery in the late 17 and 1800's. It was very cool to see all of these intricate pieces stitched by 8, 9, 11 year old girls. The piece pictured above is all stitching except for the faces which were painted, as is the sky background.
The girl that stitched this piece was 11! amazing! Oh, and the exhibit said no photos, but Lisa and I were total rebels and bucked the system. Hey, I turned off my flash!
See the date in the lower right corner....1774!....age 12!
This was one of my favorite pieces. Although the piece is clearly unfinished, it shows how the girls worked on their needlework. The picture being stitched was sketched on the silk fabric. Button holes were punched in the sides and then the fabric was tied to the frame using a ribbon. In person you can see on the lower right hand where the sketch marks were to guide the stitching.
The museum was also having some outdoor exhibits. There was an exhibit called "the rambles" tha was made of twigs and branches. It's left outside for about a year before it starts to disintegrate and then they tear the rest of it down. It was very neat, it had windows and there were kids running through it!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
So there is some excitement comin' up in the next couple weeks, but I will get to that later.
First, I must discuss my new techno gadget. It all started in the last few months. Matt and I have been talkin about getting new cell phones. He has had his for alil over two years, me almost two years. Lately, his phone has become a bit possessed. By what, we don't know. But, the screen would randomly light up and go off, shut itself off when he was in the middle of talking or texting to someone. So, we decided it would be best by now to get new phones. We prefer to buy all our phones online because the deals tend to be better and we can avoid long lines or pushy salespeople.
We decided to go with this :
This is the Samsung Fascinate, and it's about the coolest thing since Derek chose Meredith. Seriously, I like to think of myself as pretty techno savvy. I got my ipod touch and it's pretty rockin', but this phone is AH-mazing. If you ever find yourself in a store that sells these things, you. must. play. with. it. Even more fantastic was the deal we got online. Buy one, get one free! On both phones we ended up saving about $400 smackers! Yes, we have to pay the fees for the additional data plan for both lines, and I was totally against that which is why it took us so long to decide to get new phones in the first place. But, after having this phone for only two days, Matt and I decided it's well worth the access we now have anywhere, anytime. And the camera on this thing, it's good.
On the needlework front, I haven't actually been stitching much. I was getting kind of worn down getting project after project finished and moving onto something new. For my next project, I decided to go with a completely different method and am currently knitting a pair of socks.
I am about 80% done, which, considering I've only ever made one other pair of socks (last year) is pretty amazing for me. I started them about three weeks ago, last week I didn't really work on them at all or I would probably have them done by now. I have really enjoyed making them and the best part is knowing when I am done, I get to wear them! The socks I made last year, I learned how to make from a book called "2 at a time socks". It's a method that uses a really long circular needle so you can knit both socks at the same time. I really liked that method because I tried the making sock one at a time thing, and I only made one sock and got sick of it. Back in April, the author of that book came out with "toe up 2 at a time socks".
Where the previous book gave direction for making socks from the cuff down, this book teaches you how to make them from the toe up. I quite prefer the second method. The toe is easier to create and I found the heel to be less complicated compared to knitting cuff down. This will definitely be my preferred method from now on.
In a couple weeks I will be taking my first road trip all by myself driving up to Rhode Island and then to Connecticut for my first ever stitching retreat. It's going to be alot of firsts for me. First solo road trip, first stitching retreat, first time meeting some new friends, and the first time since we've been together that Matt and I will spend more than one or two nights apart.
It's going to be an interesting and hopefully exciting trip! Between you and me, I'm just hoping I don't have a big mess to clean up when I get home from this party that Matt keeps talking about ;)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sarah Street - Faithfulness Sampler
I haven't started working on her yet, but I am very excited to begin. Probably this weekend when Matt is working and I've got the place to myself . I had another finish this week. I stitched the Mill Head bead kit that I got for Matt. It's a pirate!
This is my finished product, I think it turned out pretty well. Please excuse the bad picture. I was too impatient to get out the camera so I took it with my phone. It was the first project like this that I had finished. I was really nervous because it is stitched on perforated paper (paper with holes in it) and then I had to cut the parrot and the skull without cutting any of the holes that had stitches, which would totally ruin all the work and time I had put into it. It came with a magnet so once I put a felt backing or something on it to hid the ugly stuff in the back, I can glue on the magnet and stick it on the fridge.
After finishing it earlier tonight I realized I hadn't yet eaten dinner so I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. About halfway through, I thought to myself, "this would be good with some bacon on it". Wish I had thought of that earlier.
The summer has come to an end and kids are starting to go back to school around here. That means more traffic in the morning, there goes my peaceful morning drive. I am very much looking forward to labor day weekend, I really need my four day holiday!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
It all started last week, I had a few evenings to myself as my dear, hardworking fiance was working a few night jobs for work. Thus leaving me home alone finding it impossible to get to sleep until he got home or I knew he was coming home. Does this happen to you? Years of being single, going to sleep whenever I wanted and having no problem. Now that I have a dude in my bed, it is impossible for me to go to sleep or stay asleep without him next to me.
Anyway, with so much free time on my hands and so not doing housework in this heat (yea, no a/c in the house), I picked up my long neglected stitching project. I am really enjoying being back in the saddle and loving my progress! This picture shows progress from about a week ago, since then I have the wings pretty much done and ready to move onto the body. I had a minor hiccup when I ran out of the Kreinik thread, but all was well with a special trip to a stitch shop. More details on that later.
So, last Saturday, after weeks of getting texts and emails (and not responding to any of them), we decided to "take the day off" and go to the beach. We only live about 3 1/2 hours from the beach and the drive really doesn't seem like much when you're in the car with someone you love and makes you laugh! The weather was perfect! We laid on the beach all afternoon and walked on the boardwalk at night. I also got a special treat by getting to visit "Salty Yarns" which is an LNS right on the boardwalk by the ocean. I was able to pick up the Kreinik thread I ran out of for Petal Fairy and also a new pattern by Little House Needleworks that I was really drooling over. I love the richness in the colors!
Little House Needleworks
I've decided to make it my "downstairs" project and keep Petal Fairy upstairs. This way, when I am watching TV downstairs, I don't have to get all my supplies together and lug it up and down the steps. I also got a cute little tote to keep everything in so my living room doesn't look like my stitching bag exploded. Now I just have a nice little bag neatly sitting on the end table by the couch where I sit. Though we haven't been watching much TV downstairs since the TV broke. We can watch DVDS and play the Wii on the it, but it won't let us watch regular TV. Total bummer.
Hope you are staying cool in these dog days of summer. I am really looking forward to it cooling down alittle in the coming weeks.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Anyways, so I graduated. I cried the day I graduated, literally broke down. Everyone thought it was because I was sooo happy, felt so accomplished. But really, I was so glad it was over. So glad that I could get that one thing off my plate and start to have a "real life". I could get a "real job" and quit my 3 little ones. I could see my friends and stay out late. I wouldn't have to deal with the commute totaling 3 hrs back and forth to school. I would have time and money to eat (and boy did I). No longer would I be working on papers until 1 in the morning only to get back up at 5 to finish it and go to work, go to class, go back to work, then to my other work, and getting home late at night to do it all over again. My life didn't really start until I was 24.
But, despite my accomplishment of graduating from college, and financially support myself through it all, I was constantly questioned by my family why I got a degree in family studies (aka human services) and not elementary education as I had first planned. Seriously?! I'm not allowed to change my mind?! I always replied I could always go back to school and get my masters.
Within 3 months of graduating college I had a job with the state government at one of the local social services office. I have been there almost four years (in August). It's a good job, it has good benefits. The economy sucks, so my salary has been cut twice in two years. Lately, it's either going back to school and getting more education to get a better job or just get a better job. I thought about going to get my masters in education, but I realize I also need to work. It would be nice to be able to keep my current job and still go to school. Thats about impossible when you are trying to get a degree in teaching because, well, schools with kids are only open during the day. The only options I have are online learning or blended curriculums with evening and online classes.
I've looked into online programs and actually got an email at work about the MSW (masters of social work) program with University of New England. It's a four year program and offered completely online. It was a serious contender until I saw the price tag....about $45 grand. Yea, I just LOL'ed too. Then, I was checking into the university systems of maryland and found usmh, university systems of maryland at hagerstown. It offers bachelors and graduate programs geared towards people who work and have families. Plus, the programs are offered and I would receive a degree from a college in Maryland. The MSW program there is offered by Salisbury University, which is about three hours from my house. But, hagerstown is about, oh, 45 minutes from my house, about 30 mins from my office. Classes are offered in the evening and taught by staff from the university via video presentations and online. Blended curriculum! Yay, and would cost less than half of the other program out of new england.
I really think this would be a good program for me. It will take about 3 years taking 3 classes per semester, and at the end I will have the opportunity to further my career, possibly going into another field. I have alot of time to consider and research it as I would not be able to apply until next spring for the fall '11 semester. Matt is very supportive because I have told him several times if I could go back to school I would. I feel very stunted mentally in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like I went to school all that time and spent (still spending) alot of time and money to get it, but ask myself was it worth it? My job, though required to have a college degree to acquire it, does not necessarily utilize any of my learning, nor is it challenging. So, maybe it's time to start workin' on movin' on.
So not only will I be planning a wedding in the coming months, but hopefully also getting myself ready for graduate studies. I really know how to pile it on, don't I?
Monday, July 12, 2010
The crux of my cooking conundrum...(take that, high school english teacher)...is that I get very bored cooking the same things all of the time. I also have a very willing fiance who will try anything once and will lie to me if it's awful. So tonight, we try something new.
First off, I just want to let you know that this was all in my 'lil head. I did have some "inspiration" but I pretty much threw it all together...and I don't have pictures so just visualize. FI and I were in Walmart over the weekend and I happen to be thumbing through an issue of Taste of Home magazine...I love recipe magazines...mmm mmm. There was a recipe in the magazine for Pork noodle casserole.
Alright, casserole! I can totally do a casserole! But tonight, we have chicken noodle casserole.
Ingredients: 1lb. chicken tenderloins/breast, frozen mixed veggies, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, milk, colby and jack shredded cheese, half an onion, whole wheat rotini pasta, and crushed ritz cracker.
First, lets address the whole wheat pasta....tryin' to be healthy here, Matt talked me into at the store....idk what came over me. Also, I only had one can of cream of chicken soup on hand. If I had had another I would have used it, that why I added a bit of milk. Still, looking at it in the stove, it might be a bit dry. So, I definitely recommend 2 cans of the soup.
Boiled my pasta, the whole box of rotini...and I boiled my chicken. Yes, I said boil the chicken. I don't know when or why I started doing this, but whenever I have chicken in a casserole, stew, or soup I always boil it first. Chop it up and throw it in with the pasta after it's cooked and drained. Chop up the onion, throw it in the pot with the chicken and pasta. grab the bag of frozen veggies and throw it in the pot. Mix it up. I used two cups of the shredded cheese, it looked good. Throw it in the pot, mix it up! Same with the cream of chicken soup. Mix. It. Up. Clearly, I love to mix it up....or I like to move it, move it...again if you don't have the 2 cans of soup you could prolly do one can and about 1/2 cup of milk.
I'm not much of a measurer...er..er...er when I cook. I just throw the stuff in 'til it looks good.
So all the wet stuff is in the pot. Put it in a casserole dish. I used a 9x13 dish. Crushed ritz crackers go on top. I used one sleeve of the crackers, stuck em in a bag, crushed em up. mmm ritz crackers....
Oven on 350, pop your casserole into the oven for about 30 minutes and enjoy.....
P.S....As I write this, I have yet to eat any, so you are makin, bakin, and eatin at your own risk...
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I am making our save the dates, I am making our invitations, I am making the bouquets...as in 2, mine and my matron of honor. We are having our reception at FMIL to cut that cost, and minimal decor....a late cocktail reception, but still alil costly....I am making cupcakes, I am making the centerpieces.....I am doin alot. LOL.
This stress of course is coming from the fact that I booked the chapel last week and we met with and got the pricing for our caterer....still have yet the find a dress, a photographer, and a ceremony musician......
On top of the wedding planning, I am facing cuts at my job which means a lower paycheck for double the work....and I don't want to hear "oh, at least you still have a job" bs....I mean, does it really make a difference when the bills still aren't getting paid....? Does it?!
And forget all the traditional Brides family pays for this and Grooms family pays for that. 'Cause my family? They arent paying for shit....my mother hasnt even spoken to me since I have gotten engaged and I am convinced its for this very reason. She is afraid I am going to ask her and her worthless husband to pay for something or God forbid give us money. Fiances mother has offered some tentative help, but growing up with parents who didn't give a crap about me makes it almost impossible to ask anyone for money.
So it looks like its time for that dreaded "p" word...parttime job...ugh. Even thinking it makes me want to break down into tears. I thought after 6 1/2 years of college and struggling to survive without any support from my family, after getting a "real" job, I would be done with that. I mean, in college, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time and went to school full time. It. Was. Terrible. I really am not looking forward to repeating that experience in my life, while trying to plan a wedding.....blah!
well, there is that rant....
Monday, June 14, 2010
I even got Matt on the dance floor after awhile....and a few drinks, haha!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Before this trip, I had never been inside an airport, much less on a plane. Thursday morning, we were up bright and early and out of the house by 3:30 am to be at the airport in time for check-in and security before our 7 am flight. Luckily, we did not encounter a single line or delay! The flight was very nice, if a bit cramped with three seats to a row.
If you read my previous blog, you would know that I won this 4 night, 5 day trip to an all inclusive resort in Jamaica from a radio contest. Needless to say, we were not expecting much and I kept waiting for the "problem" to occur. The "problem" being arriving at the airport or resort to check in and someone saying "you owe this many dollars"......BUT that never happened!
The resort...in a word.....amaaaaazing. We stayed at the lovely Breezes Runaway Bay and it was better than everything we ever thought it would be. We enjoyed bottomless drinks, delicious food, gorgeous blue skies, and water so clear it was like looking through glass. I have never seen anything or been anywhere more beautiful!
Now for some pictures!