2014 Pumpkin Carving Round 1:
Bree – Voldemort/Reaper
The Dude – Monster Trick or Treater (Winner – of course)
Honorable Mention: Boris the Spider
With fall here and the holidays right around the corner, let me make your custom items/gifts! Pretty much anything you see knit/sewn/crochet I can make for you! My pricing is very affordable and I work hard to get you exactly what you dreamed!
I have done custom embroidery orders, scarf/cowl, baby bibs, kleenex coozies, crochet people/objects, dresses, skirts, blouses! Don’t forget about the pets either – I can make any costume idea or fun accessory for them too!
It’s no surprise that I LOVE my bike. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a relationship with my bike. I commute to work everyday on it, choose to ride long distances because it’s just so fun, and prefer to take a ride on my bike rather than use the car. From Memorial Day to Labor Day I managed to hit 1000 miles, despite one nasty crash (sprained the membrane between my ulna and radius), a car wreck, and three flats. Here are some funny/nice/awesome moments of my first summer cycling in Chicago.
Me and Yoshi right after reaching 1000 miles on 8/29/2014.
That time I wore this white Nike top and there was a surprise downpour on the way home….. AWKWARD.
Giant Bike Packs. Gotta be prepared I guess.
One Year exactly. 8.26.2013 vs 8.26.2014. HUZZAH.
On the ride air pumps. This was the first of 3 flats I encountered – all within the same week too!
Gorgeous view from my long University of Chicago Campus rides – total distance that day 35 miles.
Work is nice enough to have an indoor bike rack. Yoshi never has to brave the elements without me.
The aftermath of Yoshi vs. Car. Twisted handlebars… thank goodness no other damage was done.
Sorry for my butt… about a week after my first crash. It took two months for that bruise to totally disappear.
On the road with Yoshi and Leopold. If only that squirrelly little pug would sit in a basket… sigh.
Here’s to many more 1ks on Yoshi!
Happy Wednesday! I’m quite excited today, because later tonight is my monthly craft night with my favorite ladies in StitchCraft! I found these lovely ladies on MeetUp.com which is a great social planner for people new to a city or just looking for new social events to attend. For a solo-crafter like myself I have so enjoyed meeting so many crafters, whether they are knitters, crocheters, wool spinners/dyers, seamstresses, quilters, paper artisans… the list literally could go on, because there are so many wonderful people doing AMAZING things out there now. I wanted to share briefly the things I have come across lately/am in LOVE with in the world of crafting.
1. American-Made / Organic Fabrics
Let me just go ahead and inform you that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide filled crops that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Seriously, now think about your sheets, your clothes, your lady products, your toilet paper, paper towels….. AHHHHH. I am SO ELATED to see Joann’s jump on board with an Organic Fabric line and boy is it pretty. The patterns are just so unique and visually marvelous. They are $10.99-14.99/yard though, so definitely wait for a 50% off coupon to purchase. I have only seen these in a few Joann’s stores though, I can’t seem to locate them on the website.
I’m seriously getting that panicky feeling only other crafters know right now looking at those bolts. The ‘oh man, maybe I need to leave work right now and go buy them all because what if it sells out and what if I can’t add it to the already ENORMOUS pile of WIP fabrics I have at home… ANGST.” Joann’s is also offering an “American-made” fabric line that is stunning as well. With 27 different designs and patterns it is great to see such a large chain offer something that is important to the spirit of ‘locally-made’ and responsible crafting.
I know not everyone supports shopping at a large chain like Joann’s so please check out your local fabric and sewing stores, often the smaller local shops have the best quality and respond to consumer desires faster than a giant store. My local sewing spot is The Needle Shop on Addison and Lincoln in Chicago. They offer so many different styles of rotating apparel and upholstery fabrics. Every time I go in there I think I touch and look at each bolt for 5 minutes.
2. Yarn/Crochet/Fiber Arts
I mean, I can’t even begin to share all the wonders I see daily regarding fiber arts. I’m continually inspired and awed at how crafters are able to dye/spin/manipulate and then create a gorgeous fiber item. A few of my favorite people/shops/stuff/events are:
knitxmidwest 2 – they are having a second one this year! you betchyer ass i already reserved 5 spots!
heyjenrenee – equal parts rad mom and epical knitter (plus rowan ambassador, GAPTASTIC Cowl Designer, knitxmidwest founder, the list goes on)
YarnBox – a monthly yarn delivery service that lets you sample and knit with 1/2 skeins of indie and small batch yarn producers. I seriously have LOVED being a YarnBox member. There is a wait list now, but it is worth it. Last month I got gorgeous yarn from Switzerland for christ’s sake!
Susan Crawford – the retro knit goddess.
Plus, because fiber arts are booming – so many people are creating top-notch patterns and even giving them away. Check out Ravelry before you ever buy a pattern chances are it is on there. But, if you into supporting indie pattern designers, there is no bad karma in donating or purchasing patterns from their websites/etsy.com stores/ravelry. Pay it forward my crafters!
What kind of things are inspiring you with the season change? Do you find that you change your craft entirely or just augment what you work on? Further, if anyone would like to share their thoughts and opinion about organic fabrics and/or large chain consumption I would love to hear you thoughts.
Well it’s the first Monday of the month! Can you believe that it’s March? It seems like I was just back home in Denver eating green chili, nut bread, and getting tattooed for Christmas! Time flies when you’re having fun! That being said, I think every beginning of the month I’ll do a new ‘monthly goals’ challenge. That way I can measure, record, and obtain short term and long term goals for accountability.
My short list for March to-do’s:
1. Go to the Dentist – for many this is a simple chore, for me (someone who has had EXTENSIVE dental work over my short lifetime) it is a living nightmare. No joke. I had a great dentist in Denver who did my “laser gum surgery” (say it like Dr. Evil) and I haven’t found one here that I’m comfortable with. I specifically need to find an office that respects that I am terrified and not just ‘being a baby’ or ‘high maintenance.’ Okay now that I’ve thrown that out there I can wait until the end of the month to resolve it.
2. Cheapskates are the best skates – I’m tired of spending money I don’t need to. I stopped shopping at the regular grocery store at the start of the year, and it’s cut my grocery bill in half. Plus I eat more (+1600 calories a day) and eat out WAY less (once a week out of pocket / 3 chipotle visits with gift cards). I’m going to only buy my clothes from thrift store from here on out, because I’m just sick of spending money on things. I’m not ‘broke’ by any means, but why spend the dough if I don’t have to? I’d rather have a GIANT savings account and some new tattoos than ground beef from whole foods or a new cardy from Target.
3. Lent – Sigh. I’ve been a ‘terrible’ Catholic lately. In the sense I haven’t been to mass since last Easter, but as a person I think I’ve been more ‘faithful’ than ever. I digress, Lent, whether you believe in the tales or not is a good time for restraint and reflection in general. PLUS, it’s easy to commiserate with other ‘lent-giver uppers’ during this time. So my plan is to give up snacking completely after dinner. I’m a huge fan of the rolling dinner from meal to bed and it’s got to stop. It just makes me feel bad and gross. I need to eat more during the morning/afternoon, not at 10pm. ALSO this one is HUGE. I’m restricting frozen yogurt to once a week on the weekends. TEARS. But froyo doesn’t really fit with my whole lifestyle change and cheapskates regime.
4. I’ll save the best for last. This month is about positive energy. I’m really focused with surrounding myself with inspiring people. Everyday, I meet new folks either in real life or the interwebs that make me think that this world and life is so awe inspiring – this month of March I’m going to continue to surround myself with PMA and people with enthusiasm. Believe me I’m so happy with my family and friends and to add to that stellar roster is exciting as hell.
Okay I think that’s a great start. Dentist, cheapskates, Lent promises, and PMA. March, I’ll do right by you!
Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.
Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.
Love yourself the most.
Wow already biffing it hard on this daily blog challenge, but c’est la vie. I had an exciting weekend and am working on a secret craft I’ll be able to post on Thursday so in the mean time… Outside.
I am so sick of winter, I’m sure everyone is, but especially the insane cold and snow that Chicago has been hit with every week. I took a walk up to Bloomingdale’s yesterday during lunch. I had to cross the river and I was pretty impressed and awed by the ice.
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.
An acronym and phrase to live by. I know with health it can get pretty complicated very quickly. It starts out you’re looking for a multi-vitamin and the next thing you know you have whey protein powder shakes and a $50/month gym subscription. But health doesn’t have to be so ‘involved.’ Seriously, the little things add up to make HUGE results, whether good or bad. We have all heard those little helpful tips in the magazines and on TV telling us to ‘skip the elevator and take the stairs’ – well stuff like that does matter.
Before I lost this weight I struggled with trying to instantly change everything about my eating/exercise/regime and every time I was unsuccessful. You have to keep it simple. It’s the only way you’ll stick to the changes or habits you want to see. Here’s the few K.I.S.S. guidelines I follow.
1. Eat simple. Remember plan over-easy eggs? They are awesome! As meals, salad toppers (yolk as dressing?!), snacks. Not to mention plain yogurts are natural probiotics, cabbage is awesome cooked/raw, and a crockpot of chicken breasts will feed you for a week.
2. Back away from the 7/11. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for 7/11 and it’s candy/beverage combos. Not only is the cost not good, but all those sugars and chemicals. I’ll just stick with another apple.
3. Calories in vs. Calories out. I think George Lopez described it best as what goes in has to be smaller than what comes out. I’ve always remembered that and it’s a credo to live by.
But the most important in my opinion is ….. Be Kind to Yourself. No matter what your health goals, if you are not kind and loving to yourself, it will be pointless. Stress/anxiety/low self-esteem will ruin any health goal you set for yourself. Be kind in the way you fuel, exercise, and love your self both mentally and physically.
I deserve a frozen yogurt for this post. See I’m being kind to myself…. Just kidding, but it is national frozen yogurt day!
Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.
After my ‘finishing faux paw’ (harhar) on Boris’s new sweater of sewing the arm holes closed I realized I’ve knitted too many pet sweaters to be making such a silly mistake! So I’ve been inspired to share a few of the patterns I’ve made here.
Obviously I knit a lot. I knit for people and of course animals. I have talked a little bit about the knitted items I’ve made for the animals before, but without a doubt all the patterns are from Pet Projects: The Animal Knit Bible. I can’t even tell you how many sweaters I’ve made for mine and others’ pets, but here are a few of the patterns and a lot of sweaters I have made from this book. (PS If you click the book link it takes you to the Ravelry page with other knitters’ works too!)
They have a LOT of wonderful color pattern knits in this book too. I think I’m gonna turn the page from the sweater section and start making a few other fun animal items. Coveting it now? Buy it here.