What’s Been Keeping Me Busy/{PHFR}

Well hello!

It has been a while since I’ve popped in here–for good reason, though! I have been moving, and it has been a bit of a time-consuming process. All throughout June, I was spending a lot of time looking for apartments and it finally paid off when I scored the apartment I had been waiting on for several weeks (not to mention the many, many months I’d spent doing research and holding out for “just the right one”). Among other things, the items that made the top of the list include (half) a garage (plus extra space in front of garage), a washer/dryer, a gated complex, and being super duper close to the freeway (to keep my commute at the shortest possible). I really lucked out with a decent rate, too, plus a dishwasher, a wonderful updated kitchen, carpet, and a bit of a view of the bay! Needless to say, I’m thrilled about my find, and have been enjoying everything that comes along with being out on my own for the “first” time (college aside).

 

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August 2012

My new craft area, complete with a cute new lamp I just adore

In addition to moving, I’ve also taken on some more responsibility at work, which has resulted in some overtime and just plain exhaustion at the end of the day. Things are starting to settle down now that things are getting into a routine (both at home and at work), though, so I’m hoping I’m going to have more time to dedicate to blogging (as well as all the crafting, sewing, reading, and other fun things I love to post about).

 

 

 

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August 2012

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August 2012

August 2012

Check out the size of those tomatoes! (Free from work, too, which I love.)

{Real}

August 2012

Kevin and me last Saturday, watching my brother’s football scrimmage

A hint at what’s to come…

August 2012

Needle and thREAD

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I finished! This was my first machine project in quite some time. It took a while but it’s done! I started this apron back in December. I was visiting Michigan with Kevin, and his mother helped me pick out fabric, lay out the pattern, and start to sew. I had several silly excuses (like needing to buy an iron) that held  me up once I was back in San Diego, but I’m so glad I finally sat down and just did it.

This past weekend, I met my friend Hope for a sewing day. She worked on a gorgeous faux chenille baby blanket and I spent a long time reading directions and getting things figured out.  Once I reacquainted myself with how to thread my machine, which needle to use, threading the bobbin, etc., I started to make some headway. I worked the rest of the afternoon and much of Sunday as well. It was slow going, because I was purposefully learning and practicing. I learned how to work with bias tape (and will know  a few things for next time) and am excited to try it out again. Other techniques I learned were, how to read a pattern, how to lay out the pattern on the fabric, how to make a pleat, how to make tiny corners (cut out a little piece of the inside hem), and much more. I am pleased to say that I’m more comfortable with my machine now. Looking forward to many more afternoons of fun.

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It’s not perfect, but I learned a lot and it was fun! At some point, I had to let go of all the tiny details that will come as I learn.

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(I left off the ruffles and opted for something slightly more subdued.)

And as for what I’m reading, check out my Wednesday Yarn Along post. I can only read so much! :P

{ Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real }

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{1} This is the pocket for my apron–the one I just posted about today.

{2} This is the pocket from my apron–the one I posted about today.

{3} Little koala cookies. Did anyone else gets these in their lunch as a child?

{4} Irish soda bread I made last weekend. Yummmmm.

Wednesday Yarn Along

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I’ve been working on Kevin’s sweater longer than I originally thought I would be. Following the instructions takes a bit of time and careful work. I am enjoying the challenge, though, as well as anxiously awaiting to see the finished product! I just finished the entire back, so on to the arms and then the front. First though, yet another trip back to Michaels’ to exchange some yarn for the right color and price.  First off, I had messed up the colors I bought, and then when I exchanged them, it had been past my 60-day allotment. The cashier said I could do a return for store credit and it would be the same price. Wrong. I ended up paying more and of course didn’t look at my receipt until after I had left. So yes, another trip to Michaels. Perhaps I can restrain myself from looking around the rest of the store too much? ;)

In the literary world, I did read the “Catching Fire” after I finished “The Hunger Games.” I haven’t bought the third one yet, though. I have had plenty of other good reads around lately. I devoured this book over the past week. Amazing. I am now dreaming of goats, chickens, bees, and lots and lots of homegrown produce. I think I am going to need a bit of a backyard first, though, don’t you think? In the meantime, I’ve been brainstorming ways to keep myself happy with other plants…namely succulents. I keep seeing cute pictures of little terrariums and am so inspired. They must be very in right now. I’ll let you know if I end up creating one.

 

For my really big craft project of the past weekend, you’ll have to check back in tomorrow. :)

Needle and thREAD

needle and thREAD

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Shhhhh. Don’t tell her, but I’m making these coasters for my mother. And I guess I’m betting on the fact that she doesn’t ready my blog yet! I’ve mentioned the blog a few times, but I haven’t heard anything about it in some time. Fingers crossed! Although…she has already seen them. She watched me work on them a bit and that is how I know she likes them!

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I saw these coasters here and just had to make them. When I hosted a craft night last week, I knew it was the perfect time. Coasters are so fun and easy. I’ve seen some great felt coasters, too–apples and little kid hand tracings, and cool patterns.

Here I am tracing out the circles. That’s the only “in progress” photo I have. The directions at A Beautiful Mess are great, though!

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As a tip: my first coaster didn’t turn out as well as the one in the photo. My stitches were too small and the rows too close together. Not only did it take way longer, but it didn’t turn out as well as this one, either. Do yourself a favor and make bigger, more spaced-out stitches.

Also, to finish off the back and sides, I think I will attach another brown circle on the back and perhaps do a blanket stitch around the sides. I think that will make them look more finished–less “home-made” and more “hand-made,” as I like to think. :)

And in the literary world, I am starting this wonderful book. It is written by a past professor of mine from Franciscan. It is based off of his Old Testament class. If the book is a tenth of how fabulous the class was, you’ll love it. And you can’t beat the $10 price, either!

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{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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{Pretty}

A holy card from my grandparents, for my first communion, that I came across yesterday.

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Flowers on my desk at work.

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Also, this awesome wallpaper. I love updating it every month! Funny: I was getting sad to change from April because I really loved it, but then I saw this and I instantly fell in love again.

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My Dad’s birthday cake. The first photo shows our creative adding. The second shows him illustrating his likeness to the card I gave him. :)

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{Real}

Yummy mix of dried fruit and nuts. I keep it at work and I always have something to munch on if I want. The dried strawberries are the best!

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Weekend Roundup

Running just a couple days behind…I have a few fun photos from the past weekend to share:

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Mr. Giraffe is from the Zoo this past weekend. They were really cracking us up. “They” as in the giraffes that is. They were standing funny to try and get some of their lower-level food, this guy was staring at us for a long time, and then when he swallowed, we watched the lump in his throat travel allllll the way down. Quite amusing, I think. :)

The pretty trumpet-shaped flowers were from Coronado not last weekend, but the one before that. We went over to eat dinner there and they had these gorgeous flowers all lit up in the twilight.

Mr. Bird friend was hanging out in my backyard. I love bird silhouettes, don’t you?

And this pretty rose is from St. John’s–down the street from where I work. They have these beautiful roses in front and I get to enjoy them every afternoon. They smell wonderful, too!

Wednesday Yarn Along

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This week I spent some time working on Kevin’s sweater. I have been making slow progress on it because I have been working on so many other projects on and off. I am going to do my best to keep doing a few rows whenever I have a chance. It probably hasn’t grown too much since the last time I posted a photo of it, but here’s a new one anyway.

In literary news, I finally, finally, finally bought the Hunger Games. No link needed I think! I’d been meaning to read it for quite some time now but just never got around to it. I was in Marshall’s this past weekend, though, and there it was on the shelf, just waiting for me. And for a cheaper price than usual, too. It’s pretty engaging–I can see what all the hoopla is about. It’s similar to reading Harry Potter, in terms of the reading level, action, and fantasy. Will I read the next two? Yeah, why not? The next one is already on my Kindle!

Happy Wednesday!