This time my cousins Oli and Matt are expecting their first – a baby boy named Mateo! I just love that name. I can’t wait for him to be here. 🙂
Typically, I stick with pretty traditional quilting. Civil War quilts are my favorite, followed closely by The Farmer’s Wife (1930s). But, I just couldn’t see myself giving Matt and Oli’s son a traditional quilt. I decided to go for something bold, modern, and way out of my comfort zone. Pretty much the entire time I made this quilt I asked two questions 1) is there something with more contrast? 2) is there something bolder? I think I finally got the questions answered with ‘no’.
Again, I didn’t use a pattern and I just used jelly rolls. It will be the last time I use jelly rolls though. They just aren’t consistent! Im pretty sure it’s the one time that a human is more consistent than a machine – plus they cut them between 2 3/4 inch and 3in and it just makes no sense. trying to match them up with anything is a nightmare. If you look close you can see I used a lot of optical illusions on this quilt to adjust or the non-standard jelly roll strips. *shakes fist* never again jelly rolls! But I’m super happy with this quilt. It’s modern, fun, and super bold. It’s perfect.
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 a look at my first time flying with my dad in his experimental RV6A. I was so impressed at his ability to make it look so easy to fly. We took off from Boulder Airport and flew around the hogbacks, along the mountain range and over the university. It was amazing to say the least. My dad rules!
Months ago I decided to pick up a LivingSocial Deal for a clay pigeon shooting session. Lois was in town over the weekend and so we decided it would be a perfect time to use it too.
The Richmond Hunting Club offered the deal and I wasn’t too sure what to expect before arriving. The Club is located about 80 minutes outside of Chicago (traffic free), close to the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. The thing about guns and shooting, in my opinion is that sometimes people are very protective and not very warm about teaching/fostering a sense of empowerment and safety. I wasn’t sure if we would stumble upon friendly gun-enthusiasts, or a grumpy city-hating gun club. (It turns out they were a GREAT group of gun enthusiasts in a very welcoming club.) Personally, I’m lucky enough to have grown up around firearms as well as been taught as an adult by my favorite ex-military Führer how to shoot, clean, and maintain firearms safely. I could imagine for some their first experiences with firearms could be not so safe/fun/interesting/proper though, leaving the door open for poor gun handling practices and unsafe conditions. Here in Illinois, there is a huge split about guns in our culture/society. Considering much of the state is rural – it’s no surprise firearms are welcome in farming/rural communities and so lamented within the city of Chicago. I have researched and also become informed about the huge illegal gun market/social problems in Chicago – but – for me, my experience with firearms and shooting has no correlation to this epidemic. I will never purchase a gun illegally, or at all in Illinois, nor will I ever engage in unsafe gun handling scenarios. I understand that guns are guns, but my experience with guns, in no way shape or form resembles the tragic gun violence that sadly plagues Chicago. I have no idea how to begin to remedy this issue, but I know that making guns illegal for all is not the solution. I do know that proper safety and engaging in a culture that passes down the respect and importance of guns is something I do identify with. That is my opinion from my experience – you are entitled to yours.
That being said. We arrived. The people were very welcoming and were incredibly excited that we were early! I have heard this complaint about Chicagoans quite often when traveling outside the city for appointments – apparently everyone forgets that 90/94 is a MESS most of the time and you always have to add 30 minutes on to a commute outside the city proper. We bought our additional 75 rounds at $1 a piece (!!!! this is when you can tell you are not at the gun show !!!!), grabbed some attractive safety vests, our 20G Shotguns, and headed to the clay pigeon course.
First, our ‘puller’ and firearm companion for the morning was awesome. He really made our trip and time SO MUCH FUN. We were able to quickly master the mechanics of the shotgun so that our marksmanship skills became the focus early on versus struggling with loading/processes. Lois did so so well at this. I was super impressed with her sighting skills and gained some great pointers from her gun/body movement. I’m much more a ‘wait till the target passes my line of sight’ versus ‘follow the target’ shooter. We both did so great. I was really proud of our skills and our aptitude at firing effectively. On the ‘bunny simulator’ I hit 8/10 clays and was really proud – but again I just set up my sight and waited for that ‘wabbit’ to breeze by and then BAM.
We shot 100 rounds each at 10 different blinds/scenarios and I would highly recommend the Richmond Hunting Club for any sport/recreational/hunting practice shooting. The ammo buy-in was really expensive, but the blinds and the shooting scenarios were worth it (seriously best course ever) – not to mention our ‘puller’ was just great. We had a blast. I will def try to get back as often as I can because it was just a really great time. Thanks Richmond Hunting Club! 🙂
It’s officially summer here in Chicago and I am loving it! What a difference from last summer. Seriously, last year, I was still pretty nervous to explore and wasn’t into ‘outdoorsy’ or many ‘non-drinking’ things so finding out how many summer hobbies I now have has been awesome.
Let’s do a few words to recap the past few weeks.
Bought a bike – became obsessed with biking – fell off bike – waiting for arm to heal (still – sigh).
Studied 3 months for GMAT – took GMAT – that was pointless to study for 3 months.
Bought 3923748 avocados – made amazing avocado dishes/sauces/spreads/smoothies – enjoyed eating it all.
There that’s a verbal description of my past two weeks. I’m bummed I can’t ride because I LOVE my bike. I’m not really that disappointed about the GMAT, my scores are not ‘super competitive’ but they aren’t laughable either so… I’m gonna take some time to heal both mentally and physically before I plot my next move or bike ride.
Let’s look at pictures. I have been loving walking around downtown during lunch and I have really enjoyed discovering the lake and many other awesome running/biking trails/paths. Pretty much me and Leopold love summer Chicago!
okay there is more but I promise I’m gonna start updating again WAY more often now that the GMAT is done and summer is here!
Well, I sure did not mean to take a week long break from GFK. However, I was incredibly busy and distracted. First, my mom came into town over the weekend and we had a blast! Walking, hanging, watching Roku, crafting, shopping, and of course eating. Second, work has been kicking my butt. I start a new assignment and to say that I’m taking to it like a fish to water would be a lie. I’m struggling. I know things get better with practice and time, but it’s difficult at the moment. I’m mentally really tired. I haven’t been able to craft as much lately simply because my brain is overloaded. Third, GMAT prep is just crap. Wow the positive vibes are radiating out of me here – but – spending 15+ hours a week on something and seeing no improvement is just shitty. There I said it. I stand by my claim that I’ll pray to God I’ll pull a great score out of my ass on test day, but realistically it looks like I’ll need a formal ($$$$) class this fall. Le sigh.
Things getting me through the weather, life, work, and stress of May 2014: Long walks during lunch, epic BBQ sessions at my house at night, Yoga – handstands, Runs/Gym time, Candy/Sweets/Chocolate, T-we Tea, Roku 3, and the ugly tribe.
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.
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!
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.
It’s Wednesday – BUT instead of feeling like ‘uh it’s half way there.’ Let’s mix it up a bit and get excited about our health instead! My dear friend just started a blog with the most adorable name ever. Bite Sized Twinkie. It’s in the foundational/beginning stages so stay tuned for big great fun things from her!
Also I recently became an admin for a wonderful paleo-inspired facebook page called Cooking Clean. There are four of us gals who contribute with mostly paleo recipes, workout tips, and motivation to eat, live, and love clean.
Since I technically am still doing the February Health Challenge, it is super important to remember that clean eating is key in any healthy lifestyle. We tend as a society to get hung up on calories, but really the most important idea should be quality of nutrients not quantity. No better example of this serves than diet soda vs. all organic fruit smoothie. Believe it or not a low-cal (i.e. not processed) fruit smoothie is easier and better for your body to digest than that evil zero calorie diet soda that actually tricks your body and causes huge disasters in blood sugar levels. (diet soda rant*)
Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and eating styles that makes them feel best. For me, staying away from anything processed and limiting starches/complex carbohydrates is how I stay lean as well as prevent lethargy, bloating (cute!), and mood fluctuation. That means that overall, I do in fact eat a Paleo diet. I really enjoy almond milk as a substitute for traditional milk, and I find myself trying alternative flours all the time in baking. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still sample traditional candies and sweets, but it’s not at the levels/rates I used to. My mind and body mean way too much to me to ruin with overly-processed and refined ‘nutrients.’ It took a long time for me to accept that what I eat really does affect me mentally. Not in a ‘control’ way but in a basic chemical reaction – I still find new things that work and don’t everyday.