Tuesday, September 28, 2010

go hokies

I ended up making a chocolate orange loaf cake yesterday. It was the perfect thing for a rainy day and the house smelled like Christmas for a while. I found the recipe in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens that arrived in the mail yesterday.

The best part was that after the cake was done, it of course had to be tested before I could serve it to others, so I got to sit down with some cake and a new magazine for a blissful half hour.

Today I've been making some fabric flower brooches. I think these are a great (girly) way to support your favorite team. I think it would be super handy to have one accessory that could turn any item you own into a piece of Hokie gear. I think that I am getting really good at taking pictures of myself.

These flowers will be showing up in the shop today or tomorrow. And they're not just for football fans- soccer moms will find something to be excited about as well. Other than the fact that it's not their week to bring the oranges.

Monday, September 27, 2010

favorite day

Here are the reasons that this is my favorite day:

1- My tags are here. They arrived Saturday and we have been looking at them and playing with them ever since. So it feels like I'm really in business now- shop, blog, business cards, tags. This is for real.

2- I was able to post three new items in the shop this morning. Usually it is all I can do to post one item each week. I feel pretty darn pleased with three.

3- The aforementioned shop items are now residing in my house and they are all super cute. Another perk to making cute stuff- until it sells, it's yours.

4- It is RAINING and has been since yesterday and the temperature has not climbed higher than 68.

5- I decorated for fall this weekend and the house looks and feels super cozy. I will post some photos of this later this week, but I can't really get any good pictures today because it's so dark out (see #4).

6- We bought two of my favorite kind of candles to welcome fall and I can smell them even when they're not burning. So the house has a constant cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla smell and I haven't baked a thing. Amazing.

7- Speaking of baking, we are having lifegroup tonight and I think I will bake treats for the event today in my cozy house.

8- It's Monday and the mail comes again. I always appreciate mail delivery the most on Mondays when I've had to go a day without it. The mail around here has been really exciting lately (see #1).

9- Instead of putting on sensible trousers this morning and mucking off to the office in the rain, I put on my favorite yoga pants and haven't mucked anywhere as of yet. (A big thank-you to my husband for making #9 possible)

10- The washer, dryer, and dishwasher running in the background = housework getting done while I do other things. Perfect.

I hope that you might be having a favorite day as well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I do not exagerate

I'll bet you thought I was being dramatic. When I first told of my bad luck with rosemary, I'm sure there was at least one person out there who thought "it's not rocket science" or "I'm sure she would have to actually try to kill a plant that hearty looking."

No, pumpkin, no. I watered, I moved it around the yard for the optimal amounts of sun and shade. And this is what I find. The rosemary has completely given up. Just fallen over dead. It's unbelievable, really. I think Steve is a little amazed at my rosemary-killing skills. And we have both agreed that this will be the last one. Everyone has their gifts and I am mature enough to realize that mine do NOT include successfully growing this particular herb.

BUT, in happier yard news, I did find a few colored leaves yesterday, which just confirms my suspicion that fall IS coming, despite the 90 degree temperatures. It's kind of like Christmas in Whoville. You just can't stop it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

mailbox stalker

I went out to the mailbox five times yesterday and all I ended up with was an American Express card offer. Serious letdown.

I am waiting on several exciting things. My business cards, as seen below:

I promise they won't go on and on forever, as this one seems to, but will actually have borders.

I am also waiting on the tags I ordered. Those will have to be a surprise because the tag image does NOT want to be uploaded to this blog. That's what it just told me. And who am I to argue with a tag?

This is almost more exciting than waiting for a fabric order to be delivered (and that's saying a lot if you remember my most recent fabric order) because it is stuff that I actually designed (with more than a little help from Steve and Cameron).

This is an inventory-building week around here. There are a couple small bags in the works currently and more items to come. I'll probably start taking pictures in a day or two and post some sneak peaks before they all end up in the shop.

Oh. And happy first day of fall (if you know me well, you know that I always celebrate the new season on the 21st of the month). Welcome, Fall. Welcome.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I accomplished one thing yesterday

I had a long to-do list. I fully intended to do everything on it. But the pumpkins! They are kind of addictive. And every time I got close to finishing one, I would get all wrapped up in how round and soft it was and how cute its stem looked, et cetera, et cetera, and then I would start thinking about how I'd like to make one just like it, only in white. So that's kind of how the day went.

Is it weird how irrationally happy small stuffed fruit makes me (pumpkins are a fruit, right?)? I think I just like small things. And fall. And pumpkins mean fall.

Some of these pumpkins will be finding their way to the shop tomorrow. Some of them (since there are plenty) may find their way into a giveaway on Eleanor's blog, hopefully within the next week or two.

Now, in the spirit of pumpkin-hood, I am going to make pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins to serve at lifegroup tonight.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

weekend getaway, part two

What a treat to spend time with old friends. We met up with Steph and Jason at the farmer's market on Saturday morning. We wandered around, catching up on life and chasing the little one.

As great as it is to be with old friends, the only thing better is when they bring along new friends. This was our first chance to meet their daughter and I am pleased to say that we hit it off right away. Now that they live so close, I think we will get to know her quite well.

They had bittersweet wreaths at the market that made me so excited about fall. Even though it doesn't quite feel like fall here yet, I am totally gearing up. Fall decorations out of the attic, windows open more often, soup on the menu for the week. Fall, here I come.

Today I mailed off another custom order that I've been working on for the past week or so. It is good to be finished with that project so that I can turn my attentions to some fall projects for the shop.

As for the knitting, I think it is safe to say that we're getting it. We took all the supplies on our trip and spent a little time knitting in our room at the bed and breakfast, which was super cozy. I am quite pleased with the yarn we picked out and can't wait to start on an actual project! I think I need a little more practice first though.

Right now the patio is calling my name and I think I will stitch pumpkins in the sun until I have to come in and do something really productive, like vacuum.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

weekend getaway, part one

If you know anything about Steve and I, you probably could have guessed there would be a garden involved. We went to the North Carolina Arboretum and spent Friday morning wandering around and enjoying TEMPERATURES IN THE 70'S.

There was still a decent amount of stuff blooming, plus all the lovely trees and bushes and paths to explore. And, being that it was a weekday, we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

They had tons of bonsai trees of all types that were amazing. Whole little landscapes made out off moss and mini trees, like the one above. It really made me want to try bonsai.

We spent the afternoon wandering around downtown. (Note Purl's Yarn Emporium in the pictures above and yes, we went in). The weather was SO nice it was thrilling just to be outside.

They have the most amazing roses growing outside the Basilica of St. Lawrence. I have always admired this building and its roses from across the street, but we went over to smell and explore this time.

After admiring all the roses and other beautiful landscaping, we tried the side door and it was unlocked (I love churches that are always unlocked!), so we went inside. The inside was possibly more amazing than the outside. Cathedral ceilings, stained glass windows, and so much detail it was impossible to take it all in. Plus it was dark and cool and you could smell incense and candle smoke and it just felt like a holy place.

Tomorrow I will post some pictures from Saturday and tell about day two of our trip. And probably give a little update on the knitting, which is going really well.

As for shop news, I am finishing up a custom diaper bag order today and then plan to go right back to work on the pumpkins. Pumpkin sightings are expected later this week.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

let the festivities begin!

Please excuse the awful flash lighting, but it was dark when we started the birthday weekend celebration last night (and yes, I know it was only Wednesday). We had Steve's favorite dessert- vanilla ice cream, berries, and homemade whipped cream. We even added a little hot fudge, for good measure.

We had to eat the dessert early because tonight we leave for our favorite B&B and we will be eating amazing food at places like this.

So, I have plenty to do before we ship out tonight, including but not limited to: laundry, packing, bathroom cleaning, sewing, post new item in shop, order tags, make dinner for car ride.

This is the bib that I made this week with the new oilcloth. I think it turned out delightfully. I love the red and teal together and with the stars it looks very fourth-of-july and cheerful. This bib is definitely baby-sized, but I plan to make some toddler sized ones soon too. And I also plan to use this oilcloth in other projects, like say the inside of a zipper pouch so that it can be wiped clean.

We're taking a bunch of recent projects with us this weekend for an off site photo shoot. Including the stuffed pumpkins, which seem to be multiplying rather rapidly. So I should have some great pictures to share next week.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

not just for the elderly

We're learning to knit!

Well, that was an ambitious statement. Let me qualify: we want to learn to knit. We got lots of knitting books from the library. We got yarn and needles at Michael's. Hopefully the actual "learning to knit" part will soon follow.

I love that Steve wants to learn too and can picture nothing cozier than the two of us in sweats on the sofa on a freezing January day, knitting away.

As I've already been to the fabric store today, it's time to get busy sewing. I am finishing up this week's shop project, which will be posted tomorrow. I am starting on a diaper bag that is a combination of this and this. I think it's going to be great.
I am also gearing up and preparing for this weekend's birthday activities to celebrate a certain husband who is willing to knit with his wife.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

weekend recap

I love long weekends. I would say that I wish every weekend could be a long weekend, but I guess then they wouldn't really be long anymore, they'd just be regular. But I could probably get used to that.

We made it to the farmer's market on Saturday morning for the first time in a long time. It was good to be back. We bought some honey walnut goat cheese from our favorite goat cheese man. We bought lots of fruits and veggies. We even got a chocolate croissant to share.

And I got a new rosemary plant. To date, I have probably killed four rosemary plants, but I've never had one this large and hearty looking, so I'm hoping it's a survivor. At any rate, I plan to use a bunch of it this week, just in case it doesn't survive very long.

We got out the pool for the last time this year and it was great. Sunny, but not too hot. We spent the whole afternoon in the yard and were both a little pink by the time we came inside.

On Sunday, we went to Star and Travis' house for a shrimp boil. The food was delicious and the company was delightful.

We made peach-melon sorbet earlier in the day and brought that along for dessert. I am totally smitten with the color of this sorbet. What a lovely rosy orange shade. And it tastes even better than it looks, if you can imagine.

I finished a sample bib last week and am planning to make one or two more to post in the shop this week. I have ordered some super cute oilcloth that should be arriving later today, along with other exciting things.

While I wait for the UPS truck (which is now a weekly activity), I will be working on some stuffed pumpkins that are so cute, you won't even believe it. I am serious. I am making a whole patch-full so that I can have some for the shop, but also enough to put all over the house. And there may even be a pumpkin giveaway in the works, in celebration of the beginning of fall. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 03, 2010

before and after

You remember yesterday. The chaos. The piles of fabric on the floor, climbing up the wall.

And now here we are today. I think it is clear from this picture that I am the winner. I folded and sorted and squeezed until I got it all onto two shelves where it belongs.

Unfortunately, I then went upstairs and found a large box in the guest closet that Steve's grandmother sent several months ago filled with- you guessed it- fabric. That crowd is now on the ironing board getting pressed and sorted and folded. I am hoping they are not a rowdy bunch and will squish in nicely with the others. We'll see.

As a reward to myself for cleaning up the fabric shelves yesterday, I made this cute zippered pouch. It was so much fun to make that I think there will be more coming in the near future.

Usually when I'm making a new item, I like to imagine myself using it. My first thought about this pouch was that I would like to take it to a tea party and set it right up on the table so that all the guests could admire it. There would be no hiding it under my chair like the ugly stepsister purse. It would receive a place of honor- becoming part of the decor, if you will.

Since I don't get invited to a lot of tea parties these days, my next option was a wedding. I could picture myself all dressed up, sitting in a pew with Steve on one side and this lovely pouch on the other. So now I need someone to get married- any takers? I'll look real cute at your wedding with my zipper pouch...

As I tried to get some good pictures of the pouch this morning to post in the shop, I found myself on the front porch, leaning over to take pictures with one hand while hanging onto the pouch with the other. It is a good thing most of our neighbors are at work.

We've got a fun long weekend planned, so I'll see you back here on Tuesday with a sneak peak of next week's shop project. And possibly some pictures of our last pool day of the summer.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

scenes from the morning

Making tea, per Steve's request, for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Changing the sheets.

Watering the hydrangeas in my favorite blue rubber garden clogs.

Ummm, dealing with this monster. The fabric stash that ate the living room. Funny, how all my fabric used to fit nicely onto two shelves. It was even organized by color. And now it has spilled over onto the floor. I believe I even see it climbing up the wall a bit.

So this is the big project for the day. Regain control over the fabric. If I am successful, maybe I'll post some before and after shots tomorrow. If you never hear me mention this again, you'll know the truth- the fabric won.


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