Well, I moved.

December 11, 2009

The entire moving process has been a lot more draining than I thought it would be.  I finally have gotten most things put away and the house is pretty much done, except for hanging pictures/art on the walls.  Right now they are just leaning up against the walls where I want them to hang.  I love my new place, it’s very cute.

So Christmas time is here.  I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I really have been working on things!  Just not sewing.  Which is bad, since I still need to do last month’s quilting bee block, and this month’s block as well!  I also need to finish a reversible tote.  I started this tote at a class I took…after 6 hours the most anyone in the class got done was about half.  Which wouldn’t be a problem except that the project wasn’t in the book they made us buy, and they didn’t give us a handout.  So I had to get this other book but I just haven’t had the motivation to finish it.  I need to get it done because I am intending on giving it as a gift!  Unfortunately I have had zero desire to sew since I have moved.

I have done some things since I have moved.  I made a few terrariums and now I am addicted! I will do a post on them soon.  They are so beautiful and vintage-y.  I really love them.  I’ve been working on a Christmas gift for my parents.  I bought a 1TB hard drive and enclosure.  I am in the process of downloading as many HD movies as I can fit on the drive and converting them for playback on a PS3.  That way, they can just plug the external harddrive into the PS3 and watch them.  It is much easier than burning 100 DVDs.  Besides, I don’t have a blu ray burner, and the blank bluray disks are like 10 bucks a piece anyway. Ridiculous!  And using a DVD would degrade the quality and it wouldn’t be HD any longer.  In case you didn’t know, in addition to my love of sewing and crafts, I am a huge tech geek.  I especially love networking all the devices in my house so I can stream back and forth.  TV to computer, Computer to TV.  I didn’t even unpack my DVD player when I moved because I never use it.  I have all the movies I want on hard drives and when I want to watch them I just send it to the TV via the Tivo, or watch them on my HD monitor.  I use a Slingbox to play TV on the computer or laptop. That way, I don’t need to have a TV in every room I want to watch TV in!  Saves space, and TVs are expensive!  I still dont have an HDTV.  I am waiting on one particular TV to come down in price.  Its almost low enough where I can afford it!  Its a really cool Samsung tv.  It has onboard networking so the TV can connect itself directly to my wireless network, and I’ll be able to stream movies straight to the tv without having to download them first to the Tivo.  Awesome!

Sorry about my nerdy ranting!

I’m also on a Christmas treat baking frenzy.  It was a huge fiasco in the beginning so I am way behind.  We had a cookie exchange yesterday at work and I was making biscotti.  I decided to do a test batch last weekend to make sure the recipe worked.   The recipe was fine.  The oven in my new place was not.  The biscotti were in there like 7 minutes and I smell burning.  They were ruined!  Long story short, I tried everything I could to fix the burning problem.  Moving the racks as high as they would go, lowering the temperature, cleaning out the oven.  3.5 batches still burned.  So I ended up making 6 batches of biscotti to get 9 dozen cookies.  I was so angry.  My landlord thankfully replaced the oven on Tuesday so hopefully I won’t have these problems with the other cookies I want to make.  I want to pack boxes of cookies to send to some friends.  I need to get them all done this weekend so I can send out the boxes on Monday.  Hopefully I won’t have any more oven problems.

In the meantime, I have started on other things.  I made homemade marshmallows.  They are waiting to be dipped in chocolate.  I also made my brother’s favorite “cookie” – those cornflake wreaths!  I find it hilarious that is his favorite Christmas cookie.

Here’s my list of Christmas treats:

Chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped homemade marshmallows, potato candy (dad’s request), butter cookies, Chocolate Cherry Mice, lemon-poppy seed biscotti, old fashioned sugar cookies, cornflake wreaths.

I can do this!

I have been taking pictures, I just haven’t uploaded them yet.  I love making candy, even though I am not much of a chocolate lover and don’t really have a sweet tooth.  I just like how cute everything is, and it makes me happy to give it to people who love to eat sweets! I’ll update with photos soon!

What are your favorite Christmas treats?  What are you making for Christmas this year?  Gifts, cookies, candy, I’d love to see them!  Post your links in the comments!

Advertisements

The advent calendar

November 18, 2009

The finished calendar

I decided to start doing this while I was packing up my things to move, because you know the best time to start a new project using techniques you’ve never tried before is while you are preparing for a major life event.  I probably started it just to give myself a reason to not pack…I justified it by telling myself “well, you are doing something productive instead of packing so it’s OK!” I actually finished it the Sunday before I moved.

I finished this during one of the most stressful weekends of my life.  I was trying to get as much packing done as possible.  Saturday I needed a break from packing.  Foxy has been at my parents house since before Halloween to make it easier to show my apartment and get ready to move.  I decided I would go to the local city animal care and control and pet some kitties to relieve a little stress.  What ended up happening was that I brought home this sad little dog.

little pumpkin at the vet

The poor thing had kennel cough, fleas, and messed up teeth.  I don’t know what I was thinking, it was just an impulsive decision.  Immediately after taking him out of ACC, I took him to the vet.  He has all his shots now, is flea free, and got antibiotics for his cough.  I brought him home.  That night I was a mess.  I felt like I had made a horrible mistake.  My dog Foxy really does not get along with other dogs.  I just couldn’t bring him back to that horrible shelter.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had just compounded my stress level by 1000.

What I ended up doing is working with an adoption group called Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership to try and find him a new home.  They placed an ad on Petfinder.org for me.  I have had at least a dozen people contact me who were interested in Pumpkin, but none of them followed through.  It has been terrible.  And the worst part is, the longer he’s with me, the more I’m getting attached to him, and I don’t think I will be able to adopt him out.  I’m really conflicted and don’t know what to do.  I’ve been so stressed out for the past month – my hair is falling out.  I feel terrible and tired all the time.  I cannot wait for Thanksgiving so I can have the time to just do nothing for a few days and hopefully relax.

close up of the applique and quilting

Anyway, back to this advent calendar.  I used the tutorial that was on the Sew Mama Sew website.  I pretty much used the same fabric too, Michael Miller Funky Christmas.  I just really loved the prints in that collection.  It was the first time doing any real applique, and that was probably what took the longest and was the most challenging.  First I had to trace the numbers backwards on the double sided fusible webbing, and cut them all out.  Then I had to iron on the numbers to the fabric I was using for the numbers and cut them all out.  Then I realized that I had ironed on all the numbers that were on printed fabrics to the wrong side, so I had to redo half of them!  Once I got that all straightened out, I ironed the numbers to the background fabric and began to satin stitch around the outer edge of the numbers on the sewing machine.  It really took a long time to finish all of that.  Once I had that done, and sewed the pockets together, the rest of it came together really quickly.

I forgot to add, they are all little pockets to put treats in!

I messed up the binding though.  I was so tired on Sunday night, but I really wanted to finish.  I didn’t realize until I was sewing the binding to the back (which I do by machine) that there was batting showing in the upper left hand corner…I hadn’t sewed the binding onto the top of the quilt there, I missed the edge.  But instead of ripping the seams out and fixing it, I just sewed the binding so it covered the batting up, folded it over and finished the back.  That’s why it looks crooked there.  I just didn’t care at the time, but now it drives me crazy.  There’s a couple of crooked pockets that bother me too, but I think overall it still looks ok.

I need to dig my sewing machine out from the pile of unpacked boxes and at least put some things away so I have enough room in my “craft loft” to set it up so I can finish the blocks for the quilting bee before the end of the month.  There’s about 4 projects I wanted to make before Christmas as well.  Some will be really quick, like these bookmarks, and some not so much – I wanted to do a quilt as a gift for someone for Christmas…I hope I can get everything done in time!  I have about 6 weeks, I think if I do a little every day, I’ll be able to finish all the stuff I had planned.  Hopefully!

the worst month

September 25, 2009

The icing on the cake happened last weekend, as I was trying to quilt for my cousin’s wedding gift- which I am now calling the-quilt-which-must-not-be-named –  and get it finished already, I was just chugging along, albeit totally unenthusiastically, when for whatever reason, the needle broke.   This has never happened before while quilting, so I don’t know what happened.  I replaced the broken needle, rethread and start again…

My machine isn’t sewing right.   At. All.  I am getting the dreaded “rat’s nest” on the underneath of the fabric.  The needle is going through the fabric, but is not leaving any stitches in it.  W.T.F.

So I take it in to the shop I bought it at to get fixed, and apparently everyone in Indianapolis has brought their machine at the same time to be repaired, and they tell me even with a rush on it, its still going to be 2-3 weeks.

Great!  The wedding is 10/11.  And I didn’t do the block for Bee Pieceful this month yet either.  It’s the 25th.

There has been a lot going on outside of my sewing life as well that has been severely frustrating, stressful, disappointing or all of the above and I’m just done with it.  I’m so tired of everything having to be an uphill climb.

Cutest Dog Competition

August 17, 2009

My dog Foxy has made it to round 3 in the cutest dog competition. Would you please vote for him? We can’t thank you enough! Click on the picture to vote!

Mexican Vacation

February 9, 2009

mexico-2-2009-0691

I went to Mexico for my dear friends Mischa and Chrystina’s wedding.  It was at a resort near Playa Del Carmen, and I had the most amazing time.  It was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to, and not just because it was in Mexico.  I had the best time there hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones.  My pictures are on my flickr page if you want to see them!  Needless to say, I haven’t been crafting, but I did get some neat handmade things in mexico I will try to post.