10.15.2010

done and done

With all this time on I my hands, I no longer have an excuse not to finish Miss H's baby blanket. Hopefully she (and her mama) will like it and make good use of it this winter.

I finally weaved in the ends over the weekend, but the blocking-the more difficult part of finishing-still needed to be done. I was apprehensive about blocking since I didn't block the first baby blanket I made. I found a awesome blocking tutorial at The Purl Bee which put me at ease. It was perfect because it didn't require soaking in water which meant quicker drying time. It also helped that the day I blocked it it was quite hot. I also blocked a scarf I finished earlier this year in March.


The blanket is a bit larger on one side than the other, but it's still rectangular-ish, besides I'm still just a newbie. Not too shabby for my second baby blanket especially given the pattern! So happy about how it turned out!

10.13.2010

perfection

In a nutshell, this is my idea of a perfect day. A girl could really get used to this kind of daily routine. I have to remind myself though not to get too comfortable. Off to enjoy the rest of today!

10.11.2010

sew happy

For a long time now I've been wanting to sew on my layouts. The only problem, besides the fact I don't have a sewing machine, is that I don't know how to use a sewing machine. Just like crocheting I totally regret not having my grandmother teach me how to sew when I was a child. Yes, I am stubborn like that!

I decided to finally bite the bullet a couple weeks ago and signed-up for a class at Jo-Ann's. I wasn't looking to be a seamstress, I just wanted to get the sewing basics under my belt so I would know how to actually use a sewing machine and be comfortable with it.

Our class project was a simple apron which turned out to be really cute and super easy! (It could almost be a really cute skirt, couldn't it?) I was actually the first person to complete the project.

I completely enjoyed this class. I don't know what I was ever afraid of. Going into the class I had no intention of doing any fabric sewing, but I think I may have found another hobby! I don't think Jay is going to be too happy about that! I'm already looking for my next project.

10.10.2010

10 on 10

1. Finished weaving in the ends of the Bunny Hop baby blanket.

2. Will block said baby blanket tomorrow.

3. Excited to cast-on a new knitting project tomorrow.

4. Loving my new apron that I made yesterday at my sewing class. (More on that later this week.)

5. Can't wait to figure out what I'll make for my next sewing project!

6. Had a good workout tonight. I love that I feel strong after doing weights.

7. Sat down to do some job searches since I'm a stay-at-home chihuahua mama again.

8. Looking forward to hanging with Max & Sparky (but hopefully not for too long)!

9. Watched the 49er's lose, AGAIN!

10. But I also watched the Giants WIN! 

All in all it was truly a good day!

10.05.2010

the best month evah

So. . .yes, I'm a tad late to the Project 12 game, but better late than never I say. I had intended to play along for 2010, but lacking any scrapping mojo I completely forgot until a couple months ago when I spied it on someone's blog. 

I thought it would be more than appropriate that August be the first Project 12 sketch I do since it's likely our most active month of the year. It's been quite a while since I've worked on a two-page layout and I have to admit that it was a little weird, in addition to working with more than one photo.


My inner detail oriented perfectionist though cringes every time I see the completely-wrong-shade-of-blue frame. Otherwise, I'm really happy with this layout. It perfectly captures our amazing August. I can't wait to work on September.

Our house was so cold this morning that I didn't want to get out of bed when my alarm went off. The mornings have been getting progressively cooler over the past week. I guess this means that Fall has finally taken hold. Looking forward to sweaters, tights and boots. And from the looks of Heavenly Ski Resort today, winter is not too far behind. Sweet! Happy Tuesday!

10.04.2010

pumpkin + chocolate

Let me begin by saying that I'm not a pumpkin lover. I don't get giddy in September like everyone else when Pumpkin Spice Lattes start popping up at Starbucks. In fact, I dread Thanksgiving because my in-laws prefer pumpkin pie over pecan pie. 

The only thing pumpkin that I've come close to enjoying is something my friend makes which is somewhere between a muffin and a cookie, and contains the all important chocolate chips to distract me from the main ingredient. (Unfortunately I don't have the recipe, but I promise to definitely share if I ever do.)

I was very surprised when I felt that I needed to make this recipe (shared by someone on the Studio Calico forums). It is, afterall, pumpkin. And I'll admit that the chocolate chips were helped.

So on Saturday afternoon, when I probably had something more productive to do (like make cards for World Card Making Day), I baked these sweet morsels of pumpkin and chocolate goodness. Love! I didn't have any use for the left over puree so I doubled the recipe. Doubled, the recipe turns our 24 cupcakes on the small side. Thus I recommend filling the tins with more batter for a bigger cupcake.   

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. In large bowl, whisk sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil together; combine flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Ironically, a day after I made this I found this Ina Garten recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes which is essentially the same minus the chocolate chips and adding ground ginger and nutmeg. For comparison sake, I will have to make these also!

10.01.2010

friday random

My brain is fried from lack of sleep.  I don't know what on earth possessed me to go to bed so late knowing full well that I had to go to work the next morning. This means that I have not one eloquent brain cell right now so bullet points are all that you get.
  • Getting a haircut tomorrow, debating on whether I should back to a short cut (which is easier to take care of) or try to grow it a little longer.
  • Waiting patiently for (what little) persimmon (we have) to ripen.
  • Coveting Still Life over at Studio Calico. People, please put me out of my misery or I just might cave and buy it (J will not be happy!).
  • Drooling over Brooklyn Tweed aka Jared Flood's new line of yarn. Just absolutely gorgeous! The best part it is purely sourced and made in the US.

So happy it's October! Now just 49 days until Heavenly opens! Have a great first weekend of October!

9.30.2010

world card making day 2010

About this time every year I start thinking about designing my Christmas cards. Yes, while I haven't yet put up my Fall decorations, but I have started to think about my Christmas cards. Last year was a complete, epic FAIL. I cheated and bought a box cards from Papayrus, but I vowed never to do that again.

I mention this because just like scrapbooking has it's day in May, so does the wonderful art of card making.

This Saturday is World Card Making Day. What exactly is World Card Making Day you ask? Originally started by Papercraft's magazine to kick off the holiday card making, it is a day to celebrate handmade cards along with other cardmakers around the world.

I'm normally not a cardmaker, in fact, I think I've actually seen pigs fly when I've made one. But with the holiday season slowly creeping closer, this is a good a time as any to start making (or at least designing) this year's card. It might be a collection of cards since I have lots of bits and pieces leftover from previous years as well as from last year's ill-fated December Daily (which I may or may not revive in the not so distant future). Hopefully this weekend, instead of thinking, there will be a lot of doing.

9.28.2010

still hanging around

I'm finally tackling the beast I've been avoiding for months: weaving in the ends of the baby blanket for Miss H. I'm not allowing myself to cast-on for this, which is also for her, until I finish this blanket.  So if I want to have the jumper done in time for Christmas (crossing my fingers and toes) I need to start, like yesterday.

Truth be told, I finished knitting the blanket about a month after she was born, but I felt like I needed a break. From the monster that it became in my life. I should have know that it was trouble when it initially took me three attempts to cast-on.  Of course, my problems didn't end there. Early on in I knit a row twice instead of going on to the next row and flipped the pattern. Although it set me back timewise, I ripped back to the problem area and started again. Then I also managed to knit the rows wrong, not once, but several times. As if I couldn't make matters worse, I left my pattern in the plane pocket (luckily it was easily re-printable).

It truly was a huge undertaking for a second project. And as you can see, it was a long and arduous road. However, despite the challenges I came out of if a much better one, though quite tortured.

9.27.2010

tempting...

Studio Calico has done it again with another kit to tempt even the strongest of wills. And this kit is truly testing me, especially since I have a 10% off coupon in my hot little hand which Studio Calico generously included in last month's kit. As if the kit isn't enough, April has also filled the shop with a great collection of stamps, punches and embellies. The kit goes on sale tonight for non-subscribers at midnight (ET) or 9 pm (PT). I think I may have to leave my knitting group early again tonight to get home in time to order.

Over the weekend I decided I needed to get in tune with Fall, but when I went to look for decorations I found that I really didn't have any. I must be confusing this life for my other life. Right? Not. Anyhow, I did some shopping on Saturday and found some pumpkins, but I still need a couple more things to tie it all together. I'll share pictures when I get everything in place.

By the way, can someone give Mother Nature the 411? Last time I checked the calendar said Fall, not summer!

9.22.2010

hello first day of fall

Getting excited for October which is right around the corner. Looking forward to a drive up to Sonoma to pick up our wine club selections at Imagery Winery. I’m hoping that the weather will turn more Fall-like soon, perfect wine tasting weather

Spent some time in the scrap room over the weekend again, made a layout and a card for a very special cousin. Played with an SC Add-on Patterned Paper kit from earlier this year (I’m not certain which month, maybe January).



The layout is my take on the Sunday Sketch at Studio Calico from the previous week while the card is inspired by the same sketch. I had so much fun playing with this kit because the papers coordinated so well. Kudos to Studio Calico again for having the best kits around.

9.20.2010

toffee mocha

Over the weekend I had my first, of what will probably be many this fall, at Starbucks. At least until they start serving mint mochas (my deference to Pete's notwithstanding). I wanted so bad not to like them, especially after my first sip, but after a couple more sips, it turned out to be very delicious! Now if only the weather would cooperate; humidity and a hot mocha just do not make a great pair! And unfortunately, it looks like we may be getting an Indian summer after all.

I'm super excited about premiere week! Seems like forever since I last watched some TV and not just clicking through the schedule. All my favorite shows start this week: Chuck, Glee, Supernatural, Criminal Minds and Smallville. And kicking it off tonight is Chuck! Can't wait to see how they weave Mama Bartowski into the storyline. All I can say is our DVR is going to be working overtime. Happy Monday!

9.17.2010

love a great burger

The stars finally aligned yesterday and blessed me (and everyone else) with clear, blue skies in the morning so I could finally take a picture of my layout! This layout is based on the Studio Calico Sunday Sketch from two weeks ago.


And here's my take. 



If you're curious, it's the Whiskey River Burger at Red Robin. YUM! Yes, it has barbecue sauce. It's pretty daren good and pretty much the only burger I eat.

Super excited about the weekend even though I don't have any fun plans and it may rain tomorrow. It's been overcast and gloomy with some misting and light raindrops, almost, dare I say it, Fall-like for this part of the country. I don't have a lot in the way of chores and errands so I foresee a weekend full of paper and glue!

Have a great weekend!

9.15.2010

labor day weekend pictures

I promised I'd share pictures of our Labor Day weekend. Looking back, the three-day weekend turned out to be an excuse to eat! I'm seriously still recovering!

Saturday BBQ at the in-laws.


(You've already seen my Red Robin burger from Saturday.)

Monday BBQ at our house, just us.


In scrappy news, I have a layout to share, but I haven't had any opportunities to take a picture; it's either been overcast in the morning or too dark by the time I get home after work. Hopefully, I'll have better luck in the next couple days. Happy Wednesday!

9.13.2010

hunger games


I have been reading good things about "The Hunger Games" for quite while now, but resisted picking it up because I don't normally read young adult novels. I finally succumb to the hype a couple weeks ago and wondered what took me so long to come around. It didn't disappoint!

The protagonist is Katniss Everdeen who has been providing for her mother and sister since her father was killed in a mining accident by hunting. When her younger sister, Prim, whom she has tried to protect, is selected for the annual Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place and thereby completely altering her own life. I won't give away too much, but I can say that it is a very good read. (Not as good as the Harry Potter series, but still entertaining and a worthy read.)

I highly recommend this book to everyone, but most especially to tweens and teenage girls. I don't remember a lot of characters like Katniss when I was that age and I think I would have loved this over 25 years ago. I can't wait to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Right now I have both on hold at the library, but I think it will be months until I get my hands on them.

Otherwise I'm patiently waiting for my Back 40, Open Pasture and other littles goodies coming in that brown Studio Calico box! Tomorrow can't come soon enough!

9.07.2010

weekend bliss

What an awesome long weekend! I couldn't have imagined anything better. The weather cooperated for once in the past couple weeks and gave us something akin to absolute perfection. Everyday was amazingly beautiful: clear and blue (no clouds that needed to burn off)!

The plan was not to do anything remotely related to housecleaning. And I pretty much stuck by said plan until Monday when out of necessity I did a couple loads of laundry. Otherwise, the weekend consisted of food+drink, relaxing and scrapping (unfortunately I didn't pick up my needles at all)! I'll have food pictures later this week.

And I actually finished a layout! Again I used a sketch from the August PageMaps to jumpstart my scrapping.


All supplies are from the November 2009 Studio Calico Marketplace kit. I love this kit!

I'm glad it's a short week, but I'm already looking forward to the weekend!

9.06.2010

happy labor day!

Hope all you readers in blogland are enjoying this gorgeous three-day weekend (at least it is here in Northern California! I for one am not complaining!



Red Robin birthday burger. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Enough said!

Have a great Monday!

9.02.2010

style crush: shopruche.com

Obviously I've been living under a rock since I only recently discovered this swoon worthy website when I was making my daily stroll through her fabulous style blog. I instantly fell in love with their version of modern vintage and the fact that they are absolutely affordable. LOVE! These are just some of my favorites from the Fall Lookbook.






1. dewy lanes navy dress  2. cinnmon sparkles beaded bracelets  3. junnet peep toe wedges  4. sabina indie flower ring  5. silhouette flower purse

If you're like me and have never checked Ruche out, I recommend you should, like NOW, because things are already sold out! Happy Thursday!

8.31.2010

another year older

I'm still basking in the afterglow of a fabulous birthday yesterday (and weekend). It being my birthday made Monday all the more bearable. I was completely overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes, but feel so blessed by everyone's kindness.

For my birthday dinner Jay braved the cold and overcast skies to grill a couple of steaks (well, really, one big one that could probably feed 4 people easily) and shrimp. I love my husband!


I did get some Studio Calico goodness for my birthday, on the night of reveal, compliments of J: Back 40, Open Pasture and More Color as well a some mists, stamps and pens. Have I mentioned that I love my husband? Can't wait for that box of goodies to make it's way to my front door!

I couldn't ask for a better 37th birthday!

8.29.2010

guess who made a card. . .

Just a quick share today of a card I made for a friend of mine who was born two days before me in the same hospital. We joke that we probably were next to each other in the nursery for a short period of time.



The card is based on a sketch by Becky Fleck at Page Maps. I'm not a big card maker so having a sketch is a great help! All supplies are from the Studio Calico Marketplace kit (except for the letters).

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

8.26.2010

yummy

Such scrappy goodness! {sigh} I'm trying to be good, but the gang over at Studio Calico is making it very hard! Go check them out and you'll see what I mean. The sneaks are seriously amazing! Back 40 goes live tomorrow at midnight eastern time. My personal picks: the main kit, Open Pastures and Free Range.


Also check out the Studio Calico blog for a chance to win Jenni Bowlin Studio's newest line, Playdate.

With the exception of a few things (including my Cinch), I've been very good about my scrappy purchases so far this year. I have become a firm believer in kits after cleaning out my scrap room recently. So I've decided not to buy anything scrappy (except for adhesive and ink) until all my kits have been used up! And that shouldn't be a problem because I have fun plans for all of them!

Getting an early start to my birthday celebration tomorrow night since this year it falls on Monday. Free burger at Red Robin. Playing with paper and maybe yarn. A facial. And who knows what else!

Happy Friday! xo

cooling down

The fog has finally rolled back in. I never thought I would be happy to see overcast skies, but I am. I am appreciating the cooler temps after the heatwave of the past couple days. The heat can be so paralyzing. J and I spent the last three nights in front of the TV because our office, which is upstairs, was too hot. (Although, sitting on the couch isn't exactly pleasant or productive either.)

Still, the mild weather has made for an unusual summer overall. And I'm less than thrilled that there may be some sprinkles early next week. The cool weather, though, has been quite conducive to knitting.


I've been making great progress on my Abalone cardigan. I wish I had started earlier instead of procrastinating. I had planned on finishing it in time for this summer, but its looking more like next spring (*crossing fingers*).

I'm quietly hoping for an Indian summer to kick in soon so we can enjoy a least a small transition into fall, but I have a feeling we're not going to be so lucky.

Happy Thursday! xo

8.22.2010

bringin' back the mojo

After many, many, many months of having absolutely no desire to scrapbook, I finally SCRAPPED! It only took me three, maybe four, weeks to finish one page, but who's counting. Yay, me!. It's nothing amazing, but it is very special to me and I love it.



Who knew that all I needed was to put aside the 2009 December Daily to get the mojo flowing again. (This may be my last ever December Daily. . . I think.) The mojo is slowly coming back, at a snail's pace, but I'm not complaining. I'm challenging myself to use my stash and really enjoying the process which I think is just as important as the page itself.

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