Monday, May 30, 2011

{Quilting Continued}

I've continued to be gripped by this quilt, and I'm enjoying it very much!  It's quite a mess in our office when there's an in progress quilt so I feel like I need to hurry up and at least get the top put together so there aren't all these pieces laying around. hehe

Would you like to see my quilting space all set up??

 I finally have it all figured out!  Now when I sit at my stool everything important is right in arm's reach! Huzzah!

And here were my finished blocks part of the way through the morning.  I started the day with 8 squares, there are 10 in this photo, and now I have 16! Only 4 more to go before the amount the pattern calls for, but I'm thinking I'll have enough fabrics for another row of 5 to make a big square quilt, so that's my goal.

Oh! And today is Mr. Pie's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Baby!  I've got steaks marinating and waiting for the grill and Chocolate cup cakes baking in the oven, soon to be receiving some cream cheese icing.  Off to the kitchen I go!

How is your memorial day going?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

{Crossroads Quilt: The beginning}

AFter receiving that gorgeous table runner from Laura for my birthday, I caught the quilting bug again.  I took a trip down to Joann's because they were having what I thought was a pretty good quilt fabric sale (turned out it was only a little bit of the fabrics on sale, but it saved me a couple bucks I guess).  Then I visited my local quilt store to add a few more. 

For a pattern, I picked the Crossroads Quilt from the Moda Bake Shop, which uses precuts.  I can't afford precuts, so I put together the patterns on my own.  I had 1/2 yard cut of each one.  I have no idea if that will be enough! LOL

Here's what I ended up with:

And I've made the first few blocks.  Please don't laugh, they are FAR from perfect!

17 more to go!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{Lydia Cardigan is DONE!}

My Lydia Cardigan has sewn on buttons!  Unfortunately we just took this one picture, but I'll be sure to get more when Mr. Pie has time to point and click. 

I really like this one!  The buttons I chose were from RetroNaNa on Etsy! She has gorgeous buttons and fabrics at reasonable prices, but they take a while to get to the states from China (hence the delay in finishing this sweater!).  Here's her picture of them:

The yarn I used was Marks & Kattens "Lin" sent to me from Sweden (from guess who? Jenny!) in two shades of off-white.  Kind of a cream and a linen colour together.  I really like the very subtle contrast here.  The wide collar is a lot of fun too! I wish I'd cast on a few more stitches at the button of the button band, but hey... I wasn't up to ripping it out at that point. lol I thought I'd be able to fix it with some gros-grain ribbon in the button band, but I ended up opting not to do the ribbon.  With this kind of button band that goes up and around the neck I didn't know where it would be appropriate to stop the ribbon, so I just skipped it.  I was also having trouble finding any wide enough.  Does anyone have a good online ribbon resource?

Overall, I've been enjoying wearing this cardigan a ton.  It was 90+ degrees today and it felt nice wearing it in the air conditioning. Outside it was a little bit warm, though.  I think I expected the linen to be cooler, but it is paired with some acrylic too, so maybe that's giving it some warmness factor.

Either way. Loving it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{And The Birthday Never Stops!}

Yesterday, my last birthday gift arrived in the mail!  Laura from Needles, Pins, and Baking Tins send me this SUPER sweet table runner!  It looks just like her Bento Box quilt!

She was so apologetic that this gift was late, but she doesn't know how much I LOVE to drag out my birthday for as long as possible! hehehe

Thanks Laura! I really love it!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

{We Built Bookshelves!}

**Edited to add questions and answers at the bottom!**

I'm sure I've written to you folks about the inconveniences of my home.  One of them is storage (but doesn't everyone complain about not enough storage?) but the layout of the house is kind of annoying too.  The square footage just isn't used very wisely.  A prime example is our hallway; at 5 feet wide by 20 feet long, it's almost wide enough to be a room, but not quite.  I've dreamt of bookcases in this hall for EVER, but we all know how expensive good bookcases are.  I really liked these one here, but yeah... $400 each? So not gonna happen.  Plus we have some pretty super high ceilings in this old house, like 10 feet throughout and I wanted to be able to take advantage of the height here.

A plan was born.... we're gonna BUILD them. By Ourselves.  Armed with this tutorial from Popular Mechanics, I drafted up some to scale drawing to plan the heights of each shelf, how much moulding, etc.  I wanted them to work well for this house, but then when we buy a house in oh, 4 or 5 years, I want to be able to use them in that house too.

The Plan: 3 separate bookshelves, each 2 1/2 feet wide by 7 feet tall, then base moulding and crown moulding to tie them together. All anchored to the wall, and to each other in the back.

There was cutting outside, and then building inside:

We used whitewood for all the structural parts and then inexpensive wood paneling for the backs, but turned backwards so the raw wood was showing.

It took us about a day and a half of work, but here they are finally standing up, just missing their shelf moulding:

Once I saw them here like this, I decided I liked the raw wood look for a while.  I was thinking first I'd paint them white, like my inspiration bookcases, but then I was thinking that since we bought real wood for all of it, not mdf or ply, that it would be sad to paint.  I began to think about staining.  In the end I think I've decided I like how they are now in this house, and when we move somewhere more permanent, I'll decide then what colour they should be.

After dinner yesterday I started to pull books from everywhere: the shed, under the bed, in plastic storage bins in the office, from under our nightstands, and from the older not as nice bookshelf in the living room.... holy macrel.  I don't think I believed we'd FILL the cases just yet!

But there ya go.  They're pretty much full.  I had no idea!  Now we have about half a dozen free plastic totes for organizing the shed today!  Maybe I'll be brave enough to take pictures of that too. LOL We'll see!

You've never seen two people more proud of themselves this morning than Mr. Pie and I.  I think this is the beginning of a lot more furniture being built around this house.

Edited to Add:

I've had a few questions so I thought I'd put them here at the bottom, okie?

How much did lumber cost?  We spend about $250 on the 1"x10" lumber, plus the trims, for all three bookcases, then the backing for all three was about $50, so a total of $300 for all materials.

How much lumber did we use?  It was 10 -  1"x10"x10' and 3 - 1"x10"x8', then 10 feet of base moulding, 10 feet of top moulding, and I think 6 - 8' sections of 3/4" shelf trim, and 6 - 1/4" x 1 1/2" x 8' side mouldings.  The other part we added was some 1x1's to hold give the shelves some support, so I think we bought 6 - 8' sections of that those too.

Was this hard?  It was labour intensive for sure.  We're lucky that Mr. Pie had most of the tools we needed like the electric saws and whatnot.  We did decide to invest in an electric nail gun since we know that this won't be the last of the furniture we build, but it totally crapped out on us half way through.  We hoofed it old-skool with a hammer and nails the rest of the way. That sucked.

How much time did it take?  not counting the whole day sucked from our life in the lumber store,  it was about 8 hours one day, and about 4 hours the next day, so about 12 hours total with both of us working.  Mostly I did the measuring and the holding, and Mr. Pie did the operating of spinny blade tools.  It's probably best that way. hehe

Thanks for the questions!

Linked to:


Saturday, May 21, 2011

{My First Lamp Re-do!}

... and I must say I am ADDICTED.  I know these aren't new in the blogosphere to any extent, but it's new to me, so I thought I'd share. :)

Just to remind you, in case you missed my post about my amazing Goodwill trip earlier this week:

Yes you read that right: I paid One dollar and Ninety-five cents for this lamp.  And it worked! No rewiring required!

And... the after...

I had to buy white spray paint, so that was about $4 at my local hardware store, then I painted the all the aged brass colour with black paint and a little paint brush.  The lamp shade is silk from Walmart, on clearance for $14, so all in all, I spend about $20 for this lamp.

And I LOVE IT!  I'm on the lookout for another one to paint to go on the other side of the bed! SQUEE!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{For the Love of Collages! (updates)}

So, finals are over and I've survived.  I got A+, an A, and A- and.... a C.  Yes folks, it is my FIRST EVER anything less than a B+, and it is a C.  It has come to me in the form of Multi-Variable Calculus and I worked HARD for it.  With that in mind I should say that I am proud of the grade I got (I PASSED!) but it's still just a teensy bit hard to say.  It bring my 2-year GPA to 3.77. *sigh* 

With the summer plans still hanging in the balance (Hello, Advance Auto? I really REALLY want to intern for you over the summer, preferably paid, but I'll take unpaid.  Call me?)  I've been doing other things to keep busy.

I've been knitting. Are you surprised?  I thought I would attempt Nightsongs , but in a 100% organic worsted cotton on #9 needles to make it a nice quick around-the-neck shawl.  I knit it in 2 days, and now it's blocking:

Soooooo... couple of things.  I really managed to screw up this chart. lol It's one of those free lace patterns that while BEAUTIFUL, you kind of have to know a little about lace knitting in order to be able to figure it out.  It's only two charts, one for the body and one for the edging.  I screwed up the body enough that the edging pattern didn't fit at all.  So I just left it off. lol  Then, when I went to block it, it wouldn't block straight across the neck edge, so I hope it'll wrap okay. Also, it's taking a million years to dry, but I guess that's just the worsted weight cotton talking?  Overall, I'm happy with it I think and I hope that my friend who is graduating on Sunday likes it.  I'm planning another like this in the future for me.

Fiori Del Sole is coming along.  I'm almost 4 repeats done of the main body pattern, then I start the 19 edging charts. hehe I'm just kidding, it's more like 8. But that's still a lot of charts.

Yesterday I had a VERY successful trip to Goodwill!  At Goodwill I either have no luck at all, or all the luck in the world.

Pictured above is a fanTASTIC tulled (tooled?) leather belt with a belt buckle I can replace ($1), a new looking pair of mary-jane style Naturalizers ($2.50) a great 70's style blue dress with an elastic waist, which is the perfect perfect knee length on me ($4) and a very cute knee length skirt ($3.50). This was my one maybe-ish purchase. It's kind of puffy on me, but if I wear a long fitted shirt I think it looks good. Time will tell.  Oh, and also a pair of Adidas track pants for working out in ($3.50?).  THEN, there's the finds I'm particularly fond of:

This floor length dress is made out of pajamas material and i'm in LOVE with it. ($4) I do need to shorten the straps just a bit I think, though. And also,I just realized that maybe i'm wearing the wrong size bra. huh.

AND... la piece de resistance!

A new ceramic lamp!!  Do you see that price tag??  And it WORKS! I don't even need to rewire it! (which I was prepared to do).  She needs a coat of spray paint and a new lamp shade. Stay tuned!!  All in all I spent $25 yesterday at Goodwill.

I also have very exciting other news!  Mr. Pie and I have the next whole week off together!!! I'm so excited!  We couldn't remember the last time we had one whole week with nothing to do except be together.  We have lots of home projects planned, like building library book cases, but weather must cooperate for that to happen.  Our recent weather doesn't leave me entirely too hopeful.

That's HAIL on our front porch!  I hope we have fun pictures to show you soon of home-type projects.  Right now I'm going to go help Mr. Pie plant the veggie garden! YAY!

-this post brought to you by picasa collages

Monday, May 9, 2011

{More Presents??}

The Yarny kind!  I tell ya, the people who love me really know what I love!  This box came from Eat.Sleep.Knit care of Jenny who blogs at Jenny's Blog on Knitting. 

 Elizabeth Bennet from Yarn Love in colourway Shiny Penny.  ohmygoodness I LOVE!  It's merino and bamboo. So lovely!

Super Squish Sock from Fiberphile.  So incredibly soft and squishy!  This one is 100% superwash Merino, but it's sayin' hat or shawl or something ot me.  Too soft to wear in my feet I think!

I love them both so so much! I have no real ideas what I'll make with them yet, but I'm looking forward to doing some searching!

In other knitting related news, the knitting on my striped cardigan is done.  I've ordered buttons and I still need to buy grosgrain ribbon for the inside of the button band. The buttons are 1.25 inches so I figure I'll need the stabalizer for sure.  Oh and blocking. Pssht.   I'm wearing it now even without buttons. tee hee! I'll make sure to post pics soon.

One more week of school! YAY! (until next fall. lol)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

{Find a Deal Saturday}

I realize that it's been a cabillion years since we've done a Find a Deal Friday, but I saw this deal online and I couldn't NOT tell you about it!  I'm such an enabler! hehe

Over at Dodge Creations you can get 50g of 100% SILK for $2.00!!   

enjoy! :D

Thursday, May 5, 2011

{Birthday has Come Early!}

Mr. Pie has been teasing me relentlessly about how he was going today to pick up my birthday present.  He and I are both *horrible* at keeping secrets!  I got home from school today and he was waiting for me with this...

A new yarn bowl!!  He special commissioned this one for me from Sonya Forté, who was the lady that I posted about from the Fiber festival we were at recently.  I love owning hand made objects from artists I've met!  He also commissioned it to have one of our favorite motif's on it... hugging people.  We didn't set out to start collecting hugging people, but we managed a couple of statuettes and a great abstract piece of art before we realized that we have a theme going.  

I think this probably won't be the last of the art we buy from Sonya!

Thanks, Lovey!!  I LOVE this gift!!