Sunday, January 31, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 31

Our house is a mess, so I picked up a bit today. The biggest challenge by far, though, was the craft room. It looks like a bomb exploded. And sadly, I haven't even designed the goods for Valentine's Card Club yet!

At least now I have a clean slate to start with. If only it could look like this again once my designing is done!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 30

New home congrats wine tag, for Raf's cousin Marta and her husband Rafa.

The 365 Project: Day 29

Making progress on the CD holders for Liz and Jimmy in Colorado. Stamping, check. Printing, check. Cutting, check. Just gluing to go!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I {heart} True Up

I recently discovered the True Up blog. It's all about fabric--she announces new releases and shares fabulousness multiple times a day. Love it! Today's post was about a new release coming this spring from Heather Ross. So dreamy and whimsical! Can't wait for this line!

The 365 Project: Day 28

So, technically I took this picture yesterday. It's the belly blanket I made for Cash. I made one for Lindsey before Cash was born. I loved it for Lindsey, and figured it could work for a boy or a girl, since they weren't finding out ahead of time. Then I met Cash, and he was ALL boy, making my super sweet dragonfly, hummingbird and flower blanket ALL wrong! So, now that blanket is on Etsy, and I made a new blanket, special for Cash, complete with robots, shuttles, puppy dogs, and the sweetest blue starry sky ever. Raf loved it so much he wanted to keep it for himself!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 27

I got to visit with Mr. Cash and his momma for a bit this afternoon. Both were looking as adorable as ever. And look, he's even wearing a bee bib! A boy after my own heart.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 26

You know what sucks about The 365 Project? Winter! I can't even get outside to take a photo before dark. So instead I get blurry shots. Lame! It'd be way cooler if there was a "Make this photo FAB" button in Photoshop. I need the accelerated course.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 25

The latest on the house progress front. It probably doesn't look much like progress, but Raf was able get the door thresholds that we had ripped out framed in. Now we just need to get them sanded and painted before he starts putting up moulding.

Speaking of moulding--good news, I think Raf's finally convinced that he likes the flat stuff better too! Score 1 for Brooke. :)

The 365 Project: Day 24

Made my first sale via Etsy. Not really what I was planning on, but whatever--a sale is a sale, right?! This was the mini thank you note I sent with the CD holders, complete with embossed bee envelope. It was my first attempt at using my very own embosser--so exciting! Now I just need to find a less cheesy bee stamp.

The 365 Project: Day 23

Ok, so I forgot to take a photo on Saturday. Well, I didn't really forget. I was in training for work all day, then went to the City to have dinner with the 4.5 month prego Miss Magda, and forgot to take my camera with me. Boo! She's totally cute and showing...wish I would have remembered my camera!

So anyway, we're doing a little flashback instead. San Francisco Relay For Life 2006! The training on Saturday was for RFL, and I spent the weekend trying to figure out if this could be the year for The Core's comeback. Possibly. I guess we'll see!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 22

I started my Photoshop for Design class this week. I learned how to crop a crab off a plate and replicate a lemon slice. Pretty exciting stuff. It's a 5 hour class--you'd think it would drag terribly. Nope. Loved it and can't wait to start learning how to create my own stuff!

I went to the college bookstore today to pick up my textbook, then spent another 15 minutes seeing what kind of cool things students are learning about in other classes. The books above were the most exciting find. The Color Index books show tons and tons of super sweet color combinations, and give the coding (RGB values, for instance) to achieve those colors. A-MAZ-ING! Anyone looking to spoil me has found a good path. Not that I'm hinting or anything...


Remember the ridiculous amount of canning jars my mother purchased as drinking glasses for the wedding? Well, one of the reasons I wanted to use canning jars was because I want to start canning, and I figure if I have 17 cases of jars sitting around the house, maybe I'll find some motivation! Oh, and they were adorable, but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, when I was visiting Etsy's How To page for my last post, I saw the tutorial for these hand-stitched jar toppers. Which reminded me of my desire to learn the age old art of preservation. This year. It's going to happen.

So then I decided that I should probably find a "canning calendar". Guess that doesn't really exist, so I suppose I'll need to make my own. Luckily, this funky little website has some good local information. Actually, it's got good info for anywhere in America--check it out!

Ok, so here's the growing calendar for the middle of the state:

Typical Crop / Harvest Availability Dates for South and Central California (all but the southern 1/4, the northern 1/4 and the coastal area)

In Chronological Order

AsparagusMarch -April
StrawberriesApr.10 - June 30
BlackberriesJune 1 - July 30
BlueberriesMay 15 - June 30
BoysenberriesMay 10 - July 5
Cherries (more detail)May 5 - June 30
ApricotsMay 10 to August 15
PeachesMay 20 - September 5
NectarinesMay 20 - September 15
OlallieberriesJune 1 to July 31
PlumsJune 1 - September 5
PearsAugust 10 - September 10
Green BeansJune 15 - September 15
PeasJune 15 - September 15
CornJune 25 - September 30
RaspberriesJuly 1 - September 15
GrapesJuly 10 - October 15
ApplesJuly 15 (early apples) - September 25
TomatoesJuly 15 - September 15
OkraJuly 15 - September 15
AlmondsAugust 20 - December . 13
FigsSeptember 05 - October 31
PersimmonsSeptember 20 - October 31
WalnutsSeptember 25 - Jan. 10

And here you'll find a link to all the U-Pick farms in the area, sorted by County. Thank goodness for Contra Costa County! Brentwood even has a website, brochure, map, and calendar dedicated to their growing season and farms, Harvest Time in Brentwood. They're as organized around their produce farms as Livermore is around its wineries. So cool! Even cooler? Brentwood is just a quick trip from Livermore on the backroads.

So here are some goal dates for what to pick and preserve when:
  • April: Strawberry Jam, Santa Rosa
  • May: Apricot Jam, Brentwood
  • June: Blackberry Jam, Pescadero
  • July: Raspberry Jam, Menlo Park
  • August: Tomato Sauce & whole tomatoes, Fremont
  • September: Apple Butter & Sauce, Petaluma or Auburn area
  • October: Fig Chutney, Sacramento area or Brentwood
  • November: Almond Butter, Brentwood
I'm hopeful that this will also provide some great Tour de la Bay opportunities! So, who wants to play??

Stunners for Jordan

I recently noticed this post on Jordan's blog about her hopeless love for large and fabulous hair accessories (which I lovingly refer to as "Stunners").

I thought about holding the following how-to links hostage to force her to come visit me so we could try them together, but I figure I'll be nice and share. I started collecting these links with her in mind--I'm pretty sure I'd look like an idiot wearing a stunner. At least on my head. With her itty bitty stature and curly head of hair, they look like they were made for her.

Anywho, on to the links! Aren't these first two just to die for?! Love them! Find the tutorial here.

This one could be fun a fabric that's slightly less hideous. And maybe on something other than a jean jacket. (Ok, I'm horrible today, whatever!) Tutorial on design*sponge, here.

And finally, I should get to have a little fun during this handcrafting extravaganza visit that I'm imagining, right? Home decor bling is much more up my alley! This pillow is FAB! Tutorial on Etsy, here. I've been dying to start playing with felt. Maybe this will be my chance.

Jordan--you're welcome. Now COME VISIT so we can play!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 21

The gutters clearly can't handle the deluge.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 20

I'm totally cheating today. I took this photo last month, but I just posted my first baby quilt for sale in my Etsy shop! Woo woo! I really hope it sells, but I'll be sad to see it go, it's definitely one of my favorites.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 19

The weather was so awful this morning that I wore my snow boots. Then I got out of class and it was 70 degrees and clear blue skies. I looked super cool at that point.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 18

The Satin Stitch Oval, mastered. I guess practice really does make perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, but pretty darn nice with a touch of handmade imperfection, at least!

Turns out I need to give a consistent pull out the back side of the machine with my left hand, and keep the quilt squished nice and flat with my right hand to get it to work. (Oy.) I had read that this machine was wonderful, but wasn't the greatest option when it came to quilting. Guess now I understand why. But hey, at least I got it to work!

Busy in the sewing room today--not only did I finish Abby's blanket (more pictures once I have some good light), but I also got all the pieces cut for 4 more belly blankies tonight! WooHoo!

The 365 Project: Day 17

It appears that the Waffle Sunday tradition has commenced in our home. The good news is: they're yummy! The bad news is: Waffle Sunday has thus far been accompanied by Mac & Cheese Sunday, which means my ass is sure to triple in size in 2010. At least the rain cleared long enough yesterday for us to take our first walk in ages!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

Spreading the word about Craft Hope for Haiti. Crafters can donate handmade items to be sold in the Craft Hope Etsy shop. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Go Shop! And check back often. 3 new items were added just in the time I was perusing it tonight.

I picked up this sweet printable overdue library book calendar. I had thought about getting it for Jordan before Christmas--even better now that it's benefiting such an important cause. (Jordan, I'll send soon!)

Idle Pursuits

This is what I'm talking about people. Especially loving the discovery of the constitutional walk. I need to get back to those. And cloud watching for that matter. It's probably been a couple decades since I really enjoyed that goodness.

Also appreciated the comment referring to the pursuit of a Full life rather than a Busy one.

The 365 Project: Day 16

The oval satin stitch. I'd like to end my post there, full of satisfaction that I finally figured out how to produce a clean satin stitch with this new machine. Unfortunately that's not the case. So, I need to ask some of you sewers out there (Val & her mom!) for some troubleshooting help!

As you can see above, I was finally able to produce some clean and wonderful practice stitches. (Corrections I've learned over the last couple days include using the proper presser foot and figuring out a couple details I was missing to correctly thread the top of the machine.) But then when it came to the real deal, I get decently clean work on the top:And this tragic horibbleness on the bottom!
HELP!! What's the problem?!?! I even had some issues (again, only on the backside) with the straight stitches:
I was so excited to have finally gotten that stitch right, and was ecstatic at the prospect of completing a full blanket, start to finish, in one day. So much for that idea...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 15

Had dinner tonight at Eddie Papas with Nena and Grace. This photo is on a huge canvas hanging behind the hostess booth. Those with a keen eye will recognize the fabulous bridesmaid dress that I borrowed from Gina for Nena's wedding!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 13

The new sewing machine. Scary! And exciting. And so computerized and electronic and plastic. It feels weird! Not bad, but weird.

Successfully threaded it tonight. Thank goodness for the diagram stickers! Tested a few stitches...have some learning/practice to do before it's doing what I want consistently and cleanly. It's the only machine I've got at this point, though, so I better figure it out sooner than later!

Dream Workspace

Remember that bullet on Raf's House List about creating a fabulous, blingy workspace for me? This is what I had in mind. More views here. I.Want.It.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 12

Guess who sent 3 cards today?? Woo Hoo!

The 365 Project: Day 11

Goodies from my ridiculously large Stampin Up! shipment. (Did I really order all this stuff?!?!) I'm especially excited about all this new ribbon goodness. And the embosser. And all the cool new punches. Oh and the stamps...

(Disregard my quality snacks in the background.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 10

Pre Supper Club wine tasting. Note to Livermore tasters: the Peach sparkling wine at Big White House is yum-o!
We made bread and mac n cheese for Club. It was our first attempt at the M&C that Uncle Beve brought over at Christmas. Best ever. And easy! You can find the very popular recipe here. We added a few of the comment recommendations: a splash of milk to keep it creamy (worked well), chunks of ham, half a can of peas, and some cayenne. Mmm Mmm good, people!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The House List

It's the first real weekend of 2010 and Raf is already hard at work on the house (thank goodness!) So, I thought I'd be nice and make a little 2010 House list for him, otherwise known as Raf's Honey Do List:
  • Fix the bedroom window (so we can stop sleeping in Antarctica). 1/11/10.
  • Fix the hole in the wall in the master bath (so we can stop sleeping in Antarctica)
  • Fix the kitchen drain issue (whatever that's all about)
  • Finish sealing drafts (see previous notes about our southernmost continent)
  • Finish and install wood in the old door frames
  • Replace exterior door thresholds
  • Replace heat registers
  • Organize tools (so half the day isn't spent looking for them)
  • Install door moulding (after experimenting with my make-your-own idea)
  • Paint and install base boards
  • Replace the rest of the window sills in the house (Oy!)
  • Install window moulding
  • Fix dish washer
  • Install ceiling fan (after I find the perfect candidate)
  • Install lighting fixtures in bedroom and hall (see note above)
  • Collect estimates for bathroom renovations
  • Replace hallway underlayment and lay floors
  • Replace interior doors
  • New closet doors?
  • Build mantle for fireplace
  • Touch-up paint in dining room
  • Organize laundry room/garage; install new shelving system
  • Bling out the family room as the coolest craft space ever seen (and in exchange I may allow a flat screen to enter my home)
Check back for regular additions! Speaking of additions, here are a couple for my 2010 List that I forgot last week:
  • Learn to knit or crochet (I don't know the difference)
  • Waste less (primarily concerning food)
  • Make (way) more soap. It's more popular than expected!

The 365 Project: Day 9

The Husband. Outfitted with most of his favorite Christmas presents--a hard core sander, a sweet Giddings pullover (Daryl, he hasn't taken it off since it got home), and his first pair of Carhartts. So cute.

The 365 Project: Day 8

Intense video bowling. We went to D&Bs last night to celebrate Monika's birthday and to have one last night of fun before Busia flew home to Poland. This big screen bowling game was definitely a family highlight of the night!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Abby...(literally)

Here's the fabric I found. I love that your friend chose a pink and green color scheme for the new baby's room (and that I bought this fabric with you in mind without knowing that!) If this isn't perfect, let me know and we'll find a combo that is!

Here's an up close look at the design on the green fabric (though the color isn't accurate in this shot). It's so fun! Little sea turtles, coral, shells, anchors and tridents!
In other news, I need to find a back to match these fun little dots! Maybe some stripes.
And this fabric. {Sigh} I LOVE this fabric. It may be too much for a baby blanket. Or too Christmas-y of colors. Unless the mother was FABULOUS of course, then she wouldn't care. But then, it may be so incredible that it ends up nowhere but in a frame on my wall.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Decapitator

Brutal. And hilarious.

The 365 Project: Day 7

Housewarming and agent thank you card (yes, 8 months late). A year later, I still love this card, simple as it may be. But The List says: Send Cards, so that's what I'll do.

Thought I'd also share the little sentiment I added, cause it makes my heart happy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 6

Even our weeds have flowers. I should probably be upset by the layer of weeds covering our backyard. I'm not. It's green, and lush, and beautiful. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

The 365 Project: Day 5

Christmas decor in the picture window. You'll also notice the sweet jingle bell wreath I made on top of the mantle. I didn't have time to pickup ribbon for it, so there it sits.

I think we'll have to take down our tree tonight so that it can be picked up in the morning. I'm dealing with that loss, but I don't think I'm ready to let go of this little montage just yet. Maybe I can replace the ornaments with some big paper hearts....

(Sorry this one's late, btw. Raf's a slacker. He took the photo, so I told him he needed to get it uploaded last night. Riiiiiiiight.)