Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Bloggiversary Giveaway Day 5: Stephanie Xu}

Before you read about this awesome giveaway, don't forget to enter the first three giveaways here, here and here! You won't regret it! Also, there's a great coupon code here that you definitely want to check out.

Today is the 5th and final day of PARTAY Bloggiversary The Second!  Last but not least, I want introduce you to Stephanie and her Etsy store Stephanie Xu.   She has so much greatness!! She carries natural fabrics like cotton/linen blends in SUPER fun patterns as well as outdoor fabric prints!  She has bias tape, lace, zippers, iron-on transfers, embroidery, purse handles and all kinds of goodness, as witnessed below.  Her style manages to be adorable, sophisticated and polished all at the same time!

ANNNNNDDD.... She has BUTTONS!!! Tons and tons of hand painted wooden buttons, metal buttons, coconut buttons... all with her unique and quirky design sense! I love them all!!

Stephanie would like to give one of you, my followers, any set of buttons you choose from her stock!!  How totally COOL is that?? Please be a follower of my blog and leave a comment at the bottom of this post! Also, be sure I can get a hold of you in case you win!!

I will be choosing winners of all 4 giveaways at random on my actual Blog Birthday, July 5th, which is ONE WEEK from today!  Best of luck to all of you! And if you would be so kind as to spread the word around to your friend, family, pets, and neighbors, I'd be forever grateful!

Monday, June 27, 2011

{Bloggiversary Giveaway Day 4: Vegan Craftastic}

Before you read about this awesome giveaway, don't forget to enter the first two giveaways here and here! You won't regret it!

I fell in love with Kala from Vegan Craftastic first because of her very friendly and crafty blog, similarly called Vegan Craftastic.  I love the honesty and integrity of the materials she uses, whether she's knitting, sewing or baking.  I highly recommend checking her out!

Her Etsy store by the same name is a fun place for crafty supplies. She does buttons, pins, key chains and stitch markers, all made of super cute natural fiber fabrics. My favourite things in her store, though, are her bags both the zipper ones and the draw string ones. She uses the best fabrics!!  Here's a smattering of what she offers: (is smattering a word? hm.)

For you my lucky readers she is going to be giving 
away the cutest bag EVER!!  The Cup Cake Bag!

Because what kind of party would this be without cup cakes??
To win this bag for FREE please be a follower and leave a comment and your email address in this post!  That's it! And if you would tell your friends to come and follow my blog and leave their own comment, I'd be much obliged. :D

One last giveaway tomorrow and then we'll start choosing names of winners!! YAY!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

{Bloggiversar Giveaway Day 3: RetroNaNa}

 Day 3 of our Birthday Bash!  Check out the last two posts 
to enter the giveaway for some Crocheted Earrings from 
Febystan Designs and for a special-to-us discount code 
for some natural wood buttons from A Remark You Made. 
YAY! Comment on those two posts too for more chances 
to win more cool crafty stuff! 

Today I want to introduce you to a fabulous Etsy seller named Jessie who runs RetroNaNa.  She stocks the quirkiest  fabric buttons, yardage, stamps, lace, sewing notions, ribbon, and more!  I swear I can just get lost in her store for an hour, easy!  I've ordered buttons and fabric from her multiple times now and have always been really impressed with the level of custom service, and the attention to detail in the packaging.  I love it!

Remember the striped cardigan I finished knitting about a month ago?  This one right here?

Check out those buttons!! I love them!!  They are 1.25 inches big and SO SO fun! 

Jessie has graciously agreed to send a set of these Leafy Handmade buttons to follower of my blog!  Just comment on this post to be entered!  Be sure I have your email address in case you win!  And if you would be so kind as to spread the word of this party-lovin' blog of mine through your facebook friends, your blog, your twitter, or just off your rooftop, I would be happy as a clam!

Day 3 down, two more to go!! There's more partying to be had! Check back often!  And for those of you interested: I have been crafting, but that's not nearly as exciting as this. hehehe

Friday, June 24, 2011

{Giveaway from Febystan Deisgns}

In celebration of this blog's 2nd Birthday there are 5 days of giveaways and promotions! Today is Day 2, and let me tell, I have something in store for you!!  Don't forget to visit the yesterday's post too for a coupon code for some FAB natural wood buttons from A Remark You Made.

Today's Birthday present is a pair of the most stunning beaded crocheted lace earrings from Febystan Designs.

The moment I saw these they took my breath away! I can picture myself wearing them with jeans and  flats to school or with a cute cocktail dress and heels!  Ebru, the name behind Febystan Designs, carries such an amazing array of jewelry and I just want to own it all!  

There is so much colour to drool over! And the patience this artist must have to work with such fine fine thread just boggles my mind.   As a knitter with very limited crochet experience, it all looks like magic to me still.  That's nice sometimes, isn't it? :D

To enter this giveaway for a free pair of the 
beautiful gray earrings pictured at the top,please 
be a follower and leave a comment on this post! 
It's as easy as that! You can find more info about 
Febystan Deisgns on their facebook page.
The drawing for the winner will be on July 1st.

And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you would tell all your friends through 
facebook or by posting it to your blog, but I won't twist your arm for it. ;)
Oh, and if your email isn't attached to your blogger account, 
leave that in case you win!

Check back again tomorrow for day 3 of my birthday party!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{I'm 2 Years Old!}

Oh my goodness, on July 5th this little corner of the blogging universe that I call my own will have been here for two whole years.  It's time to P.A.R.T.Y!!!!  To say an extra special awesome thank you for chillin' with me, I've got some very cool crafty giveaways lined up!  Starting tomorrow, I'll put one up each day for 4 days and they will run for one week so the last one will end on July 5th! Does that make sense?  Super awesome, right?  If not, just check back in and enter giveaways and I'll let ya know when you win. hehe

To kick us off the right way I want to introduce you to Brenda from A Remark You Made. She creates works of art for our homes and our craft projects from natural wood and stone.

About her Etsy Store she says: "We specialize in earth-friendly jewelry, knitting and fiber arts supplies, eco-friendly tree branch buttons, and sustainable products for green weddings and the home. At A Remark You Made, our commitment is to the environment and our customer. Sustainability is very important, so we always use organic and natural materials and fabrics if possible. These are honest products. Each piece is unique."
This is exactly the kind of store I want to support! AND it doesn't hurt that her product is just GORGEOUS.

All of her buttons are made from downed trees, so this product is completely earth friendly and just so genuine.

Each set is just so incredibly unique and beautiful, I sincerely believe there are buttons in her store for absolutely any project, whether it's a lazy-around the house cardigan, or sophisticated pleated pillow.

In celebration of my second birthday, she has agreed to 
run a 20% coupon on ANY in-stock BUTTONS on her 
Etsy site!!  Just use the coupon code "Blog Buttons
and receive a 20% discount until JULY 15 at 6:00pm EST.

Of course, while you're there, you should take a look at some of the jaw-dropping Jewelry Brenda creates as well.

I just drool over all of it!!  Thank you so so much to A Remark You Made for helping me celebrate this occasion by offering my friends such an amazing discounted product! I hope everyone will go out and find something they love and support this great store by purchasing that thing!

And check back in tomorrow for the first of our giveaways. July 5th, Baby!!  Spread the word for us, pretty please? :D

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{It's a Tiny Baby Sweater}

It's Baby Sophisticate!

I love this tiny sweater! It'll be for some new friends that I'm meeting this weekend who are expecting their first child in November.  YAY!  Perhaps a tiny hat too?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

{It's done! It's done!}

The Crossroads quilt is complete! In fact I'm sitting with it wrapped all around me right. now. EEE!  It's the perfect weight for a summer quilt! Breaths easily, but is just heavy enough to feel like you're all wrapped up.  I LERVE it.



AS you can see I came to terms with the quilting. In the end I bought a fabric marker and used the width of my long 2' ruler as a guide to make the squares and they came out pretty much perfect and perpendicular. Also, did you notice that little strange square on the back? Yeah... I ran out of backing fabric. hehe  But it's cute and quirky right? please?

OH... and check out what else happened over the weekend:

That's me! On the FRONT PAGE of our local paper!  My friend Josh was nice enough to do a great story on my knitting experience in order to promote the beginner's knitting class I'm teaching a week from today! (eep!)  I'm kinda nervous, but I know it's gonna be great fun too! :D

I've shared this project on Under the Table and Dreaming

Sunday, June 12, 2011

{And the Quilting Continues}

Man oh man I've been obsessed with this quilt yesterday, to the huge detriment of my knitting!  I ran to Joann's on friday and bought all the fabric I needed to finish this marathon!

the light gray is the backing, and the dark gray will be for binding. I'm also going to put some long pieces of the pattern fabric on the backing too.

And then Saturday I finished piecing the front!!

Mr. Pie is the excellent model hiding behind the quilt top. hehe  About 20 minutes after this picture the rain and the thunder rolled through .  It was SO cool!  I love thunder storms. :)

I made the back rather quickly Saturday night during the storm, and lept right in to trying to do the actual quilting part  ie: sewing the layers together with the batting.  With my last quilt I sent this part out to have done by a professional.

I did not take pictures of this part because I ended up picking out ALL the quilting lines that I did.  I learned a few important lessons. After a lot of crying.

Number 1:  after sewing all day and when in need of food, do not rush in to attempting a technique that you have never done before.  I didn't even have a fabric marker on hand and was trying to just wing it.  Yeah... not so smart.

Number 2: pin pin pin with every pin you own then go borrow more pins (exaggeration for effect! hehe)  The layers shifted horribly on me and I was sewing in folds and tucks. Not good. So to avoid this problem further...

Number 3:  Begin quilting in the middle. Not at the corner. umm.. duh? This one never occurred to me and I had to look silly in front of the lady at the quilt shop.

and finally, Number 4: mark your lines with a ruler and a washable fabric pen.  I don't know what I was thinking. lol

Final pictures should be soon - I just have to cut the binding and get that on! YAY!

linked to: www.homestoriesatoz.com , tutorial tuesday

Saturday, June 11, 2011

{In need of some feedback...}

Hi folks!  I don't know if you've noticed... but this tiny corner of the blogosphere of mine seems to be creeping closer and closer to 200 followers (which BLOWS MY MIND) and, at the same time, my 2nd blogoversary is coming up shortly in about a month.

So I'm thinking of maybe putting it out there.... a giveaway perhaps? in an effort to reach 200 followers by my 2 year mark.  What kind of things would you folks like to receive in a giveaway? It can't be super extravagant, but I want it to be something cool enough that you'll want to invite your friend to follow my blog, spread the word a little, and get people excited.

So I'd love some ideas!  Thanks everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

{Cute Sewing Caddy}

As soon as I stumbled across this tutorial here, I was scheming in my brain about which fabrics to use where.  I like the rustic feeling of mine compared to a little bit more refined look of the one in the tutorial.  Do you like the little piece of lace??  My favorite part! 

I love that the little trashcan is removable, and that it stays on my desk to keep all my sewing stuff handy.

She's so purdy!  This one was made a few days ago while the shawl was drying.  It went quick for sure!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{Dress Sewing: The New Frontier}

There are a ton of sewing blogs out there that inspire me , but there's a couple in particular that I adore.  Jessica from Green Apples has been amazing in helping me with the first baby steps and has some amazing posts for beginner sewists like myself explaining fabrics and advising some patterns and books for the very beginner. 

She suggested a skirt like this one as my very first project:

 The fabrics are HERE and HERE from fabrics.com .  I have no idea if the main floral is the kind of "cotton Sateen" that Jessica was trying to encourage me to buy, or if the jersey is at all appropriate for the band at the bottom, so if you have a suggestion, please let me know!

Here are two other beginner dress pattern I bought at the same time:

because I happened to catch McCalls during their pattern sale and got ALL THREE for $12 including shipping! Yipee!!!  Next I'll be on the search for a great jersey print for the bottom on, and a luxurious jersey solid for the top convertible dress one.  I almost bought one of those convertible dresses on Etsy for almost $100, so I'm stoked now that I'm going to try to make it instead. :)

I'm scared of this whole dress sewing thing! I hope it turns out okay!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

{Fiori Di Sole is BLOCKED!}

Fiori Di Sole by Rosemary Hill

Just so you know... this is going to be an image heavy post.  I'm probably more proud of this shawl than anything I have ever knit.  Ever. 10 charts in total, and 5 repeats of chart E (the main body leafy one.)  I chose to block the edge in to points instead of doing the crochet bind off, and I really like it.  Just a touch less froo-froo than the lacy edging the pattern calls for.

to get an idea of size

 Isn't the colour gorgeous? and that edge... to die for!

casually tossed around my neck

around my shoulders and tied in the back
(please don't ask what face I'm making. I can't tell ya)

And it's all for me! me! Muwahahahahaha!

Monday, June 6, 2011

{Knitting on Fiori Di Sole is DONE}

and here she is in all her pre-blocked glory:

If you've studied the Fiori Di Sole pattern, you may notice that I opted to skip the fancy crochet bind off.  I made a judgement call based on how much yarn I had left after the last purl row, and boy am I glad I did, because here's what i had left after casting off:

I'm pretty sure if I'd tried the crochet bind off I would have run out of yarn.  Sure, it's true that I have another skein of this lace yarn, but have you ever wound Malabrigo lace? it's a P.I.T.A.  Besides, I think I like just the leaves at the bottom.

Now for blocking.  I don't have wires at the moment... do I wait and see if I can *get* wires somewhere, or I just pin it out as per usual for me?  I'm debating... waffling, you could say. There's a  sink full of water waiting for this shawl right this moment, but I think I've changed my mind yet again.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

{The ABC's Of Me}

I saw this over at Lazy Knits and Purls (gosh she's a riot!) and she saw it over at another blog called Wool Durham's blog.  I'm totally a joiner now too.

A. Age: 29 - I'll have just turned 30 when I graduate college.  That's not bad, right?
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: folding and putting away laundry.  It stayed in the basket crumpled FOREVER.
D. Dogs: someday... and probably big.

E. Essential start to your day: cereal... occasionally I can bring myself to make it hot, like oatmeal.  Raisin bran, cheerios, fruit loops, granola, I'll pretty much eat it all.
F. Favorite color: green. I gravitate towards it like a fly to a zapper.
G. Gold or Silver: both, my wedding rings are silver, and I prefer silver in the home, but I own other gold jewelry that i like too.
H. Height: 5'4 or 161 cm
I. Instruments you play: i played trumpet once upon a time in my glory days.  I miss it sometimes.
J. Job title: stoodent
K. Kids: none of the nonfurry variety, and it might just stay that way and I'm pretty sure I'm okay with that.
L. Live:  yes please? lol what does this mean?
M. Mother’s name: Norah, though that's not what people call her.  I remember as a kid people would call and ask for her and I'd have no idea who they were talking about.
N. Nicknames: Mrs. Pie, Cutie Pie, sweety, baby, darling, lovey.... we're big on pet names.
O. Overnight hospital stays: none. I  once had to go in the middle of the night for food poisoning, and i've had plenty of visits for ear infections as a small child, but never anything serious.
P. Pet peeve: drivers who do 15 miles under the speed limit where I can't pass you.  Why do you have to inflict that on others?
Q. Quote from a movie: OH my goodness, so much tv that's been cracking me up lately, but I can't think of anything right this second. We've been watching Californication, which is hilarious, but I probably shouldn't quote anything from there. LOL
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Two whole siblings, both younger, and who half siblings, both older.
T. Time you wake up: 6:30
U. Underwear:  boy-short style, preferably with lace and frill
V. Vegetable you hate: kale. that's really the whole list I can think of right now? well, mustard greens too, but they're like the same thing.  This list has become significantly shorter in recent years. I now eat asparagus, spinach, brussel sprouts,  zucchini, etc.  I'm like a grown up.
W. What makes you run late: all that last minute crap like finding keys and shoes.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: just teeth
Y. Yummy food that you make: I love baking.  I recently did chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing for Mr. Pie's birthday. mmmmmmmm....
Z. Zoo animal: I like visiting the big animal compounds where they get to wonder around and stuff, they remind me of Jurassic park. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

{Quilting Part 3}

My Crossroads blocks have all been assembled and made to be (mostly) square at 13 and 1/2 inches. 

Of course, Popeye had to help press them last night. He's so helpful, you know. hehe

In the end I had more than enough to complete the goal of 25 squares (instead of 20) so that my quilt is square instead of rectangle - better for cuddling under I think.  I did run out of the crisp muslin I was using and had to substitute in some lighter, so let's hope it holds up okay. lol

There are lots of strips left so I think I'd like to put together pieced quilt back. I think I'd like a dark grey solid binding , and a slightly lighter shade gray, for the majority of the backing, as seen here:

So I'm auditioning different backing ideas.

Idea 1 and maybe my favorite,  I found on this website here, but she doesn't give a source. 

And here's a whole flickr group with just backs of quilt ideas.  I never know how people will feel about me using their photos, so go there and see if there's any you super like. Or if you have other ideas of how I could use up all these fabrics for a back, I'd be more than grateful! :)

It's coming along!