Sunday, March 27, 2011

Danke!

How excited am I to get my very first ever blog award!

Liebster_blog_love_blog_Award

Thank you so much to Andrea at Apples and Pears for including me.
Now I'm supposed to pick 3 to 5 blogs with fewer than 100 followers to nominate.
Here we go, in no particular order.

101 Thingees
Cozy Things
The Adventures of The Gingerbread Lady 
Marjo's Cozy Corner
Sew Loved By You

Some of these ladies I know personally and happen to think they are the most talented people ever, and some are just blogs that I've really enjoyed peeking into.  I'm actually not completely sure if some of these have under 100 followers, but whatev.

Click on the links and take a little peek.  I promise you wont be disappointed.

And now for a little sneak peek into what I'm working on these days...

Tapestry Crochet

More later...




Saturday, March 19, 2011

Things I'm Loving

Doing my nails...

A true Ab-Original OPI w/Libery of London mug

I've been really into having pretty nails lately.  I read somewhere, that during times of economic recession, women tend to treat themselves in little ways more often.  They buy more lipsticks/nail polishes, things like that, and I can see why.  It's a little thing that makes you feel pretty and it doesn't cost much.

Which leads me to thing #2 that I'm loving:
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat


Seche Vite with OPI

Now if you're a nail polish freak then I'm sure you've heard of Seche Vite, but if not, listen up! This stuff is seriously cool.  It really does make your nails dry fast and it makes your manicure last, as far as I can tell, forever.  The first pic of me holding my favorite mug was taken the day after I painted may nails.  The 2nd pic is of today nearly 4 days later and there are absolutely no chips and very little tip wear. (Please ignore my sketchy lookin' cuticles.)  This is a pretty amazing change from my usual experience with the whole nail polish situation.  Usually I have at least one or two chips on day 2 and by day 4 what isn't chipped is wearing down from the tips pretty significantly.  As you can see from the somewhat blurry pic there are no chips.  None! And the tip wear is just barely starting to show.
Now I've heard that some people have a really terrible experience with this stuff.  They claim that all their polish peels off their nails one day after painting them or that it starts chipping less than 24 hours after it dries.   I'm sort of waiting to see if anything weird like that happens to me, but so far I'm wondering where this stuff has been all my life.

(BTW- The nail polish color I'm wearing is OPI-  A True Ab-Original if anyone is wondering.)

Thing #3:

Ian with his ripple

I love seeing Ian all cuddled with his favorite ripple blanket and pillow.  He's actually getting too big for this blanket.
I see a new one in his future.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring bag!

Spring has definitely sprung here in Houston this last couple of weeks, which means that I've switched gears from blankets, scarves, and shawls and moved on to warm weather crochet.  So far that means bags.  I've been a little obsessed with crocheted bags.  I'm sure this has something to do with my purse addiction. Did I mention that I have a purse addiction?  Well, I do.  It's pretty serious.  The only problem is that the money situation has been just a leetle bit tight around here lately so no new fabulous purses for me... Unless... Well, hey! I can just crochet myself some new bags!

I've been flirting with the idea of clutch bags.  The problem is, I'm not one of those women who can just throw a lipstick, a phone, and a credit card in my purse and be good to go.  I have needs, people!  Which generally means that I tend to carry around the equivalent of a small suitcase with me wherever I go. But whatever, clutches are so cute and they're suddenly everywhere so of course, I must have one.

Sooooo... Here's my first attempt at a crocheted clutch:

  
Bobble Clutch

The pattern is called Textured Tweed Clutch from the Fall 2005 Interweave Crochet.  (It's also available as a Ravelry download.)  I changed up a few things:
The pattern calls for a 100% tweed wool yarn which I didn't use because it's supposed to be a Spring purse and that to me means it needed to be cotton so I used Red Heart's Eco cotton blend instead.

The original pattern is all one color, but I didn't have enough of this yarn in all one color in my stash so I used the two colors I did have.  More on that decision later.

The pattern for the base of the purse is supposed to be a seed stitch pattern, but I tried it and it was kind of wonky to work and with the dark color I was using it seemed a whole lotta work for something that you could barely even see so I just switched it up to straight single crochet.

The original pattern calls for a buckle closure, but I didn't have a buckle handy and I had decided that I would not be buying anything new for this project so I improvised with a button hole and a button I happened to have lying around.

Bobble Clutch hanging

Bobble Clutch close-up

So it's cute, right?  Look at those cute little bobbles in the close up.

But here's the thing:
As soon as I finished this purse I thought to myself, "Now what the heck am I gonna do with this?  Where would I ever wear it?"  The colors are, well, all right, but I have almost nothing to coordinate this with.  The size is a little weird too.  It's not really small enough to just be a cute little afterthought of a clutch, but it's not big enough to truly carry all the stuff I need it to carry.  Also because it's weirdly oblong, it's sort of floopy.  I had to stuff it with scarves to take these photos but without the scarves it kind of folds up on itself.  It truly probably needs some sort of reinforcement sewn into it to help it keep it's shape, but I just don't love it enough to do that much extra work on it.  

Bobble Clutch w/out strap Bobble Clutch tucked

Here's a couple of pictures with my hand and tucked under my arm so you can get an idea of it's actual size.  I tucked the strap inside to see if that would make it any more usable for me, but it just makes it look weird.  (Please ignore my oh so stylish tie-dye ensemble.)

So, even though I don't hate it, I don't really love it, either.  I'm just going to chalk this one up to a learning experience.  Onward I march in search of a clutch design that will work for all my little niggling idiosyncrasies.

A word about the Eco-cotton blend yarn.  It is a lovely yarn and I will probably use it again, but not with the puff stitch.  Not ever again.  It took f o r e v e r to get those little puffs to work with this splitty yarn.

Friday, March 4, 2011

♥♥♥Things I'm Loving ♥♥♥

Thanks everyone for encouraging me through my ennui! Your words of advice and commiseration were much appreciated.  I'm starting to feel the creative juices bubbling up again...slowly, which is why I don't have any crochet to show right now, but I'm working on something that I'm hoping will turn out really cute.

Things I'm loving this week:

My new blog button!


East of Eden

Cute, huh? 
I'm extremely proud of it.
Go ahead and grab one from the right side margin if you'd like.

This recipe for lasagna that I made last night.  It's called Easy Lasagna and it really is.  
I do some little tweaks, like I use half cottage cheese, half ricotta.  I use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I use fresh parsley instead of dried.  And it always comes out tasting so unbelievably good.  I mean, like, the kind of good where you can't really believe that you actually made it.   
Well, just try it.  You'll see.

Pop on over to Paisley Jade and share what you're lovin'.

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