Welcome Fall!

As a person who has lived in Florida for most of her life, I have a deep-rooted appreciation for well defined seasons. I have always loved Fall because it was just one step closer to Christmas. However now, I can say I love Fall for her own beautiful self. Fall in Virginia means cool weather, warm clothes, and changing leaves. Its a wonderful thing.

I have really struggled with motivation to do much of anything lately, but I did manage to get my Fall decorations down from the attic and finally get put them up. I adore decorating for the seasons, but The Fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas gambit is my absolute favorite. The house really feels like home this time of year. I love collecting fun knickknacks throughout the year and finally getting to give them a proper home once the season permits. I have always loved the little wooden blocks that had quotes and sayings on them, and with the completion of my first woodworking project, I had a few end pieces that I thought I could make use out of. So, I stained them with the leftover stain, and took my faithful sharpie to map out the letters. I’m really happy with the end result. <3

20160928_124917

So, Welcome Fall! Bring on the pumpkins!

Continue Reading

Its only an eye after all.

I woke up one morning last week, and couldn’t open one of my eyes. It was swollen shut. At first, I thought a cat had pounced on me in the middle of the night, or I had slept on my hand in a funny way and had a black eye. I laughed about it at first, but then get for worse. My vision started to worsen, and it burned. Of course it was its worst on a Sunday when no eye doctor is available, and trying to get into our normal optometrist was going to take a week, so we opted for the local walk in clinic. I was diagnosed with a non specific “eye infection”, was given some antibiotics and sent on my way. Well, it got worse before it got better, and today is the first day that I can open my eye more than half way. (yay!) I don’t know what I would do without my eye sight. Out of all the senses, Its the one I would fear loosing the most, so needless to say, I’m really glad its getting better.  That being said, its been really hard for me to do much of anything that I normally do. Having to superfocus with one eye has given me wicked headaches, and I didn’t want to work with any fabric since I have a tendency to scratch my eye without thinking. So, I was able to watch um on some Netflix since I love listening to shows, and spend some quality time on the couch with my dog. I am really looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule though. With it officially being Fall, I need to get to work on Holiday crafts.

 

So from my house to yours, Happy Fall!!! Let the Pumpkin Spice be plentiful, the leaves be colorful, and the weather warrant Beautiful boots and scarves.

<3

 

 

Continue Reading

I did it again…

At least it wasn’t for a year this time!

 

Things pile up and life has a way to make so much happen all at once. Sure I have a to do list, and you bet making a blog post was on near every one. I have the stuff to write about, but some form of opposition would meet me at every turn, and I’d fall back into the ” I’ll just do it tomorrow” spiral. Previously, I would beat myself up about this for months, and finally just give up. I always hated that about myself, so the only way to change, is to do. So here’s a post, albeit small, lacking real content, but a post none the less. I’m not going to be disappointed  in myself, because that only feeds the negativity. Instead, I will be proud that I can identify something I don’t like, but have the courage and grace to try and change it.

 

Anyway! Things to come!

 

  • Bullet Journal
  • Woodworking
  • Quilts!
  • Hand Lettering
  • FOOOOOOOOD!
  • FALL IS COMING!
  • Christmas gift ideas ( plan early my friends…)
  • Warcraft and Legion
  • Personal griefs and Triumphs

 

Till then. <3

 

A

Continue Reading

Gotta catch em all!

 

maxresdefault (1)

 

Like the rest of the world, I too am completely obsessed with Pokemon Go. It speaks to me on such a nostalgic level. I was in trouble the moment I opened the app. If you have been living under a rock for the past week, Pokemon Go is a game for your phone that uses Google Maps to let you catch Pokemon in your real world environment. The key here is, that in order to catch, and train them, you will need to go exploring. Key landmarks become Pokemon Gyms,  or places called Pokestops, that give you items. After you reach level 5, you gain the ability to join one of three distinct teams; Team Mystic, Instinct or Valor. People are very devoted to their respective teams. While simple in concept, this game has taken over. Local businesses that are Pokestops will advertise and give specials to try and lure more potential customers. The sheer number of people who are out and about is amazing. The day after the game came out, I went to a nearby park and lo and behold, there were at least 100 people  scouring the entire area for Pokemon. A sideways glance and a smile at passerby’s, and you knew what they were doing. After 20 minutes or so, we kept running into the same people and conversations started. What team were you on? Whats your best catch? Have you found the ________ that’s around here yet? It was camaraderie like I have only ever seen on a playground full of children. awkwardness was thrown to the wind, as this large group of people came together over a simple phone game. I think this is fantastic on so many levels. Personally, I’m excited for the exercise. Walking for miles is now instantly rewarding. I have met new friends, and sparked some interesting conversations. I have explored areas of my town and city that I normally would never have gone to. This game is taking people who normally would never go outside, and giving us a common goal. Yes, there have been some bad experiences to spawn from the game, but in my opinion, the good greatly outweighs the negative.

 

In the past 3 days, I have walked over 20 miles. 20 MILES. Nothing has motivated me to get up and go like this before. I’ve started to track how many steps I go everyday in my bullet journal, and I cant wait to see where this takes me. What an amazing time to be a nerd!

Screenshot_20160714-143724

So, I’m level 14 so far, and I’m a proud member of Team Valor. I chose Charmander as my starter, and what I have caught so far is below.  I really want to try and find some of my favorite Pokemon, Raichu, Archanine, Ninetails, Charizard and Dragonair. That’s proving to be quite difficult. Guess I just have to get out and and do more Pokexploring!

 

Screenshot_20160714-143809               Screenshot_20160714-143850               Screenshot_20160714-143904               Screenshot_20160714-143923               Screenshot_20160714-143931                Screenshot_20160714-143937

Continue Reading

The Herringbone Quilt

 

 

While my parents were here for a visit, I desperately wanted to do a project with my Mom. She is a wonderful quilter and its because of her that I wanted to learn how to sew and quilt. I have been scouring Pinterest for months trying to find something that I liked that looked like an easy first project. I finally decided on a herringbone pattern because I feel it would withhold the test of time pattern wise better than a chevron.  I got most of my inspiration from a pin over at  Persia Lou. So, off to the fabric store we went!

 

I wanted this to be more of a plain design, using only solids for the front, and a patterned fabric for the back. I knew I wanted grey in there somewhere, but everything i really liked was way out of my meager price range. Fabric can be so expensive! I want to the budget friendly section of my local Joanns, and found a navy blue with white flowers and liked it well enough. It went with the grey, and I could use white as a secondary color. They had a solid mustard color a few bolts down, and I liked the contrast of them all, so instead of sweating over if there was something I liked more, I just went with it.  I got some quilt batting, and some white thread as well, and it was time to start!

 

I do apologize for the lack of in progress pictures! I got a new phone right at the end of this, and in my excitement, didn’t save my old pictures and lost them. =/

 

Mom and I sat down at the table and tried to work out the logistics of how this was going to work. I knew that I wanted a lap size quilt, and most of those were 50’x60. so we went off that. I didn’t know how I was going to get the herringbone cut out, but then my mom showed me that it was all about rearranging different shapes. The herringbone in this case, was just two triangles, so by making a ton of the triangles into squares, I would have a quilt block. Then arrange the quilt blocks into rows, and sew the rows together. Sounded easy enough!

 

First things first,  I washed dried, and ironed all my fabric. after that, we cut strips of the grey and the white, then cut those strips into 6 in squares.  Next, we took a grey square and a white square and put them together. we drew a line with the frixion pen diagonally down the middle, and I sewed a straight stitch 1/4 inch to each side of that line, then we cut on the line, and ironed it flat. we did this until all of the squares were done.

20160607_141757

Next, we took the squares and set them all out on the table. This was the fun part because you could see how the quilt would look, and you can play around with different designs. Remember doing tessellations as a kid in school? Well, here was a real world application for that. We got the rows in order and piled up the squares in the order they appeared per row. The next part was difficult. Its not just sewing all the squares together, you have to make sure that the diagonal seams but right up to one another, or else the points will not match up. Apparently this is a big pride point for quilters. Take your time, and it will be worth it in the long run. Now you sew each square to the next until you form a row.

 

From here, I opted to sew all my rows first, then put them all together. I was using a basic sewing machine, and I was having some trouble after a while of having the quilt bunch ump in a way that it was difficult to sew. I fixed this by rolling what I had already done up, and that fit nicely in my machine. After all the rows were finished, my quilt top was done!

20160612_183428

The back of the quilt was the navy fabric. I knew the quilt should have been 50’x60′, but the fabric I chose was only 44′ wide. Mom told me we would have to piece the back. I had planned on just sewing two pieces together so the seam went down the middle, but apparently that’s a no no. So Mine has the seam off to one side. Why this is the right way to do it, I don’t know. I do know not to argue with Mom when it comes to quilting, so off to one side the seam went. After a good press, we took that quilt batting and some basting spray, making sure to cover the table with newspaper to the spray didn’t riun the wood. The basting pray was like arasol glue in a sense. It was a two person job, but really helped to not let the fabric slide everywhere. We put some safety pins in for extra measure, and flipped it over and attached the quilt top the same way.

 

Now, it was time to quilt! Mom said that long lines were best, so I decided to go with a chevron design. First I did what is called a “stitch in the ditch” which is essentially sewing in the seam. I did this vertically in the columns first. Then I did a 1/4 in above and below each herringbone seam, then once again above and below that. I loved it! I experimented with adding a few extra quilting rows , but didnt like teh overall look, so I left this as an added detail to the bottom of the quilt.

Finally, it was time for the part I was dreading the most…BINDING. Mom had given me a book that’s everything you ever needed to know about quilting, and in it was an entire section devoted to different styles of binding. I had remembered her saying that a continuous binding was easy for her, so I went with the tube method. It was a PAIN IN THE BUTT! My lines from measuring weren’t straight, I couldn’t get things to line up right, I misread the instructions several times, but finally, got my bias tape made and ironed. I sewed it to the back of the quilt first, and used a wrap around method to bring it to the front. I had some difficulty with mitered corners, but that should get better with practice. I also had some difficulty with sewing the binding, but that was from my measurements being off and my now cutting straight. When it was finished though… Oh man. I loved every little imperfection it had.

20160701_162033_resized

20160701_162043_resized

20160701_162307_resized

This was my first quilt. It is by no means perfect, or technically accurate. It means the world to me though. I got to work on it with my Mom, and has immense sentimental value already. I really loved this project, and cant wait to do it again. All in all, it took approximately 20 hours of work from start to finish. I may be new to the quilting aspect of sewing, but you better believe that I’m hooked!

Continue Reading

And we’re back, with an amazing even announcement!!

 

Continue Reading

The Slow Season

So its clearly been a minute since I checked in. Sorry about that! I’m in what I have deemed “The Slow Season.” Nothing has been going on. I haven’t had much motivation to make anything. I even find myself just staring off into nowhere land for a good period of time before I snap back to the here and now.  It really hasn’t been all that pleasant to tell you the truth. But these times happen, and that’s OK. In the meantime, you just have to weather what gets thrown your way the best you can. As I mentioned before, its all about progress, not perfection. Progress can be a loopy, zig zag of a line sometimes, but its progress all the same.

 

So, in lieu of what I’ve done, I’ll fill you in on what I plan on doing!

I got some really cute fabric, and it inspired me to finally try my hand at sewing clothes for myself. I have a pattern.

BP80306777

( McCalls M6931 if your curious)

I opened it up today with full intention to start and got really intimidated by all the lines. So I put it away and will try again tomorrow. ( Or maybe save it for when my mom comes up and she can walk me through it). I also have been mapping out these great “un-paper towels” for a friend of mine. Getting the right terry cloth was more of a headache than you can imagine, but I have everything I need now, and am anxious to start. I also want to make another headphone case for another fiend, and a case for an external battery for my phone. So I certainly have things to do, I just need to find that motivation and Oomph to get to work on them.

ff-x-x2-logo

In gaming news, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster was released for steam the other day. Final Fantasy X is one of my all time favorite games. I spend hours and hours on my Playstation 2 when it came out. I have really fond memories of that game. I’m really excited to get to relive them in a remastered form. So I have been spending a fairly significant amount of time playing that. I’m the kind of person that will grind out enemies for an exorbitant amount of time so that I can be over prepared for boss fights. It can get tedious, but thankfully games like this have phenomenal background music.

5-10-pokemon-sun-moon-169-en

I also saw that the next iteration of the Pokemon franchise was announced! Pokemon Sun and Moon are set to release Holiday this year. I saw the starers for the games, and wasn’t exactly blown away. The fire starter is a cat though, and seeing as how I will 99% of the time choose a fire Pokemon to start, that should be right up my alley.

1906035_3

Litten, here I come!

That’s all for me folks. Sorry again for the huge gap in posts.

Continue Reading

Home Renovations… DIY Style

Hubby and I had quite the last minute project fall into our laps, which is why I have been away for a bit. My darling dog decided to chew a pretty good sized hole in the carpet, right under where my husbands computer chair sat. We really had no choice but to do something about it.

 

Now, my husband and I are a truly amazing team. We are in sync in our thought processes 99% of the time. That being said, we tend to bite off more than we can chew when it comes to “small projects” We had figured that we could move everything out of the office, and rip up the carpet, throw a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and be ready for our dinner guests to come over in 3 days.

 

Yeah…. about that…

 

So, like everything we tend to do with the house, one project will bring to light 5 others in the process. I for one seriously underestimated how long it would take for us to clear out the room to rip up the floor. I also underestimated how dead tired I would be doing the work.

20160409_115958_resized_2

Here’s the before.

Once we pulled everything out of the room, it was time to rip up the carpet. I knew that it would be bad. After an elderly dog with bladder problems, a puppy that took way to long to house train, and another dog that is incredibly spiteful, the floors were bound to be a disaster. That’s not counting whatever the people that lived here before us did too. The carpet came up really easily. Nothing a sharp carpet knife and some muscle couldn’t handle. The carpet pad was more difficult. It was old and in bad shape, and just disintegrated in places. We got it all rolled up and out of the house, then had to deal with the damage to the sub floor. Carpets are great. They keep your feet warm, the muffle sounds, and can look awesome. Carpets are not great if you have pets. If there is an accident, and you don’t get to it IMMEDIATELY, the carpet and pad just act like sponge, and keep the wetness hostage, no matter what you do. Our floor was no exemption. You could clearly see where the popular puppy spots were. The floor had bubbled in some areas, and there was some mold in others. It was kind of scary to be honest. I cleaned up the best I could, and bought some Killz.  I had always heard that this stuff would act as a barrier for pet odors, so decided to give it a shot.

 

20160410_125932_resized_2

HIT IT WITH THE KILLZ.

This stuff STINKS! I had to open the windows and wear a ventilation mask. I still got a little light headed. It went on really easily though. I used two quarts to cover the middle of the room, using two coats. It dried really fast, and we were able to get in and paint the walls 2 hours after the final coat went on. I was amazed at the change in the smell already.

 

20160410_175659_resized_2

Underlayment!

After the paint was up, it was time for the dreaded floor. I had a bad experience with laminate floors when we did our kitchen. I was dreading this next step. Thanks to a great sale, and having what we liked in stock, we decided to go with Pergo. It was a much higher quality product than what we had used before, and they advertise that they are excellent for pets.  It was considerably more expensive than the other stuff, but from the research that we did, it was going to be worth it. Lets hope so.

 

20160408_210241_resized_1

Our Choice.

20160410_202543_resized_2

Progress!

Thanks to the same great sale, we were able to come home with a table saw as well, which was going to make this process much easier than the last time we attempted it. ( we cut everything with a jig saw and a dremmel. I would not recommend this…) The room is a rectangle, so at least there wouldn’t be any really weird cuts to be made. I learned my lesson from the last time we did the floor, and decided to take off all the floor trim to alleviate any gaps in the floor at the edges. This was a bit of a pain, but I’m really happy we did it in the end. The floor is always  difficult to start because its floating, but after we got a rhythm going, it went really smoothly. This stuff was SO MUCH EASIER to lay than the cheap stuff. It was much less painful than I had originally anticipated. After the floor was done, I replaced the trim ( that also had a fresh coat of paint) and caulked the top of the trim where it met the wall. I didn’t want to do this step, but Matt was insistent, and I’m so glad he was. I was really not confident in my ability to make a clean caulk line, but it worked out really well, and made it look so much more polished overall.

 

20160413_132831_resized_2

 

20160413_132930_resized_2

FINISHED! (Sort of…)

 

Now that the construction part was done, it was time to move the furniture back in! Matt got a new desk, and we agreed that it would be best to reorganize how the room was laid out. He was in charge of building the monster of a desk, and let me tell you… it took HOURS. I would never have been able to do what he did, but hes so good with stuff like that. He says its like against puzzle. I’m terrible at puzzles… My job was to rewire the office. Cable management is something I have a love hate relationship with. It can be such a royal pain, but makes life much easier when its done, plus it looks so much better without a giant rats nest of cables stuck behind a desk. My secret here are thin Velcro straps. They are reusable, and do an amazing job of keeping everything together neatly. We got some bookcases, and some storage bins, and proceeded to move everything back in in a manner that made sense. I made a promise that I would be more conscious of the art I hung on the walls from this point on, and so now we are struggling a little bit with what to put where.

 

20160419_101948_resized_1

The After. <3

 

All in all I am over the moon happy with how it turned out. We learned a lot during the whole process, and I’m glad we decided to do everything that we did. Timing was certainly not ideal, and it was a huge hit to the bank account that we were not anticipating that’s for sure. But in life you have to take things as they come. Stressing about it wont do any good.

 

20160411_135153_resized

At least multiple trips to the store means getting the chance to run into cuties like this. <3

 

 

Continue Reading