Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doing, Knitting, Sewing, Winning

Well, I'm still working on my 30 Before 30 List.  I'm going to add it as a page in the sidebar by my bucket list (there on the left) when I get it done.  But here's what I have so far:

1. Get my Mandarin fish tattoo
2. Sew myself a wearable skirt
3. Sell at least 1 of my photographs
4. Paint again (canvas, not walls)
5. Embroider a pillowcase
6. Preserve vegetables that I’ve grown in my garden
7. Go to a stitch and bitch or knitting group
8. Volunteer
9. Run a 5K
10. Read at least 5 books on my bookshelves (preferably that I haven’t read before)
11. Invest some money for retirement (auto 401K with work does not count)
12. Yarn Diet-Knit down my stash
13. Bake and frost a layer cake from scratch
14. Sell or give away 50 things that I currently own
15. Paint the hutch in the dining room

So, I'm halfway there!  Any suggestions?  Unfortunately, they can't be travel related, cause I only have 6 months, and we're planning a trip abroad for my birthday, so we won't have the time or money to go anywhere before then!

I also owe the blog my pics and process for that bag I made for my friend Dani's birthday so, here goes:

I used the one hour bag tutorial from RicRac as a jump off point.
I only changed a couple of things.  I didn't use anything for a closure, because I didn't have any snaps or ribbon.  I also sewed the strap on when I sewed the lining and the outer bag fabric together.  And that's it!  It took me longer than an hour, probably closer to 3, but, I'm still slow at cutting and sewing, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!  And so was Dani!  And that's all that matters.
I cast on a new sock project the other night.  Per my list above, I am on a yarn diet!  I need to knit down my stash, and I have accumulated a TON of sock yarn and cotton yarn for washcloths.  So, for the next six months, I need to concentrate on getting that knitted up.  Then, for my birthday, I can buy myself some Malabrigo!  Have I mentioned lately how much I love Malabrigo?  Cause I do, a lot!  Come to think about it, that's what I bought myself for my birthday last year! Oh well, it's totally worth it!

Oh yeah, I won a free yard of fabric from Sew Mama Sew's Free Fabric Friday!  I'm so excited!  I never win anything!  I've got to hurry up and pick something out, but it's so hard, there are so many cute fabrics on the site!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

30 Before 30?

So, today, March 24th is the 6 month mark before I turn 30 in September.  After reading this post on the Sew Liberated blog, I've been thinking about a 30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30 list.  However, I'm not sure I can come up with 30 things that are doable in the next 6 months!  I have a Bucket List of things to do before I die, (just popped it up there at the top of the page-and here), but things to get done in the next 6 months is definitely harder.  Hmmm, gonna have to think about that a little more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!

First day of Spring and it was a beautiful day! 

Unfortunately Jeff and I didn't spend much of it outside.  Jeff has been sick with a cold for over a week, and I think I'm fighting it, cause all I want to do is sleep lately.  Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty good at sleeping, but I've definitely been way more tired than usual.  Despite his illness, and my desire to stay in bed all day, we went up to ScubaFest here in Columbus today and now I can't wait to get the dive season started!  Whitestar Quarry opens in less than 2 weeks, less than a month for Portage Quarry, Gilboa may already be open (can't really tell from the website), and of course Circleville Twin Quarries is always open (well, no staff, but you can get in to dive)!

Scubafest is always fun, we got to see some friends we haven't seen in a while and made some new connections.  I want to volunteer for MAST the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team to survey archaeological sites and wrecks in the Great Lakes.  Somehow, even after diving in Ohio for the last 3 years, we've never dove in the Great Lakes!  I figure this will give Jeff and I a great opportunity to do it.  I also would like to look at volunteer opportunities with SECORE.  They work with the Columbus Zoo and other public aquariums throughout the world to promote coral reef conservation and reproduction.  I've been wanting to get involved with some reef conservation efforts, so I'm excited to learn some more about this organization.

Well, off to bed, one more weekend day left, better enjoy it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Toy

Since we've been back from Indonesia, I've had a renewed interest in photography.  I learned a lot on our trip and have really been taking a lot of pictures recently.  We have a Canon Digital Rebel XT, that we've had for the last several years, but I'm finally starting to learn how to use it, more than just in automatic mode.  Jeff got me a telephoto lens 70-200 mm for Christmas in 2008, which I use quite a bit, but lately, as I see some of the beautiful pictures on some blogs, and read more about the lenses they use, I decided on a new toy, a 50mm F1.8 canon lens.  So I've been playing with it lately, and I still don't quite have it figured out, but, I'm getting there, hopefully I'll have better project pictures.

The above pics were taken with the telephoto, of the barn at my grandma's house.  The last big snowstorm we got in February was just too much for the roof and it collapse.  These were taken a few weeks ago.  When I went out today, it has been torn down the rest of the way and the clean up has begun.  It looks so different out there, a whole building is gone.  It's a little sad, I remember playing in that barn when I was little, and there were always barn cats, up to about 30 at one time!  And our horse, Blue, was there for a while too.  I know my grandma was a little sad, change can be hard, but it will look so much better out there when it is all cleaned up.

These up-close pics are taken with my new toy, I love the short depth of field.  It's exactly the effect that I wanted.  So, I'm excited to learn me about it!

And these animal pictures are just for fun!  The cats are my grandma's kitties, the tabby is  Belle and the tortie is Missy.  Belle was all mellow and high on catnip at the moment!  And I really like this shot of Murphy for some reason!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Randomness

I've been kind of avoiding posting lately because I feel like my posts are so random sometimes.  And I wonder if people are annoyed by that.  I'm just good at randomness.  It's how my brain works.  But I read so many good blogs and they're so much more focused than most of my posts.  I wonder if I posted more often, maybe shorter, more focused posts, if it would be more readable?  It's just hard finding the time to post, especially post with pictures, between work and home life.  So, I don't know, maybe I'll try the shorter, less random posting, just more often.  I know I do have to post pics of the bag that I made for my friend's birthday.  And pics from my grandma's house of the collapsed barn.  Oh, and the progress on my roman shades for my office.  So there's stuff to post about, maybe it just needs to be spread over a couple of posts.

Oh yeah, and diving season is starting soon!  (or if you're crazy like me, it already has)

See, there's no stopping the random.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Project Updates

Well, about that Ravelympics sweater, unfortunately, I didn't get it done on time.  This is where I got to by 11:30 EST last Sunday night:

Close, but even if I would have kept at it till 3am (12 midnight PST, the closing time for the Ravelympics), I wouldn't have finished, so I figured since I had to work in the morning, I might as well call it a night at a decent hour.  So, I knitted away Monday evening, and finished it (ends sewn in too) on Tuesday the 2nd.  So, I was 2 days late to the finish line.  I was fairly disappointed Sunday evening, but I'm just thrilled to have it done!  Here it is:

Still need to wash and block, but I finished a sweater in 2 and half weeks!  Not too shabby of an accomplishment I say!

Next up, some patchwork pillow cases for the sofa.  I've really just started on these.  I've worked out the design and the pieces, but have only just begun to cut the pieces.  Once I get everything cut out, the sewing won't be bad.

Look at the fun fabric I bought last night!  It's all washed and pressed here:
I do have specific projects in mind for all of them.  The 2 blue and brown fabrics are for the purse I'm making for my friend Dani's 30th birthday tomorrow.  I've got the pieces cut out, and have started to sew, so, I won't have any problems finishing it by tomorrow.

The plain orange will go with the orange, brown and green fabric for cloth napkins.  And the fun floral striped pattern will be a skirt from Sew What! Skirts.  It will be my first project from the book, and I'm looking forward to it!  Seems like a great book, good diagrams and clear instructions, so we'll see how it goes!

Hmm, anything else?  Well, I don't think this post would be complete without a dog picture, so, here's Izzie, being a mountain goat:
She's often either on the back of the couch or on the arm, which is where she is as I type this.  She's a nut!  Anyway, have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creativity and Mistakes

Lately I've just been feeling in a rut. Not unhappy, just bored. I don't know if it's the weather, or traveling and coming back, or what, but I just need some new inspiration. I happened across this article: The Wisdom of Mistakes and it kind of gave me a kick in the butt to do something.  I've been feeling creative lately, with a zillion projects running through my head.  From sewing and knitting to painting and drawing, I just want to do something.  My problem is my perfectionism when it comes to projects, I don't want to do it wrong, so I have a hard time starting, and then I have a hard time finishing them, for the same reason.  I'm afraid the project won't turn out the way I see it in my head.  Of course it won't, it almost never does, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing, and learning something in the process, and still producing something that you’re happy with.  I need to just get on with it, enjoy the creating and worry less about the end result.  So, I've got a couple of projects I plan to do over the next couple of weeks; pillow covers, a bag, a skirt for myself, learn some embroidery.  Wish me luck!