Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thank you, Google!

I'd like to give a shout out to Google. Today I was thinking that Google has been doing pretty well for me lately so I decided it deserved a thank you. And how often does it ever really get thanked? Whenever a question pops into my head or I can't remember the name of that band that sang that song, or Tom and I are arguing over what year that movie came out, Google is where I go for the answer and where I'm sure you go too. But then I just close the browser and move on. Sorry, Google. I'll strive to thank you more often.

The reason I thought to thank Google today was that it provided me the link that led to the creation of this patchwork block. After a few weeks away from my sewing machine (because I was in LONDON BABY! more about that later), I was itching to make something quick yet satisfying. Now I have this super cute and simple block, although its fate is yet to be decided. Mini quilt? Part of a larger quilt? Pillow cover? Hmm can't decide.

So why would I thank Google for a quilt block? I have chevrons on the brain and wanted some inspiration, so I typed in "chevron quilt tutorial" and started clicking links. One of the first pages I came to was the blog of You had me at bonjour. I liked the quilt but it wasn't what I was looking for. The blog looked fantastic so I left it open to browse later - I was on a mission. About an hour later I was checking email and what do you know, the Chalk Talk newsletter was featuring the chevron quilt tutorial I had just been looking at! So I thought I'd better page through right away. The most recent post was about where she got the inspiration for the quilt, a manhole cover! She also posted some other inspiring photos, including the one of a window grate that led me to create the block above. So really I should say thank you Google, for showing me this amazing blog, and thank you Kirsty for the inspiration! I will definitely be using this log cabin style block again but with other color/print combinations. I think this would look great with all print fabrics that alternate like I have here, or fade out towards the edge. 

Probably one of the even greater things that Google has done was lead me to the blog that inspired my newest goal, training for the Cleveland Half Marathon on May 20th! Before vacation I was quickly losing momentum on the design for my camera bag. There were just too many options and I wanted the perfect bag (read: impossible). So I googled "DIY camera bag" or something to that effect. I found the blog of Live.Laugh.Eat., a girl who is about my age who loves Marshall's, is also an asthmatic with a peanut allergy, and is a runner who is trying to eat healthy and stay in shape. I quickly got hooked and tried some of her recipes right away. Deeeeeeeeelicious! 

My Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies a la LLE. Recipe here.
The idea to run the half marathon had been floating in my head for awhile, but after reading about some of her long runs and tips I decided, why not? At the very least I'll start training and become a better runner, whether I'm ready in time or not. So except for a few lapses during vaca because of blisters, and also today because of laziness (yes I feel guilty, but I promise to run a great 6 mi tomorrow!) I'm doing fairly well. An even bigger part of this is the change to my diet. Sure, I still love Doritos and french fries. And pizza, cheese dips, and candy, cakes and cookies. But I'm finally learning where to find sources of protein that I like and am not allergic to, and I've started sneaking fruits and veggies into my meals. Thank you Google for pointing me to Allie's awesome blog!

Oh yeah, London! I just finished weeding through the 1000 photos we took (that's literal) and can't wait to post a few, plus photos of my souvenirs! Most of which are in my sewing room, actually. Since I also made two bags for the trip, I'll include those too. I loved the trip so much I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

current important dilemmas

I agonize about the smallest of decisions. Today's dilemma involves what color Bandana Cowl I should make to match my new kelly green trench coat below.

Photo courtesy
This has been my number one topic of thought since I purchased the coat on Monday, even taking the place of how to design my very first camera bag which has been keeping me up at night for over a week now. (Yes, I'm lame, I know this.) Initial inclinations were towards a spring-y yellow, but I thought it might all be too Eastery. Kelly green always goes great with the right shade of blue, or maybe stick with a neutral like cream or grey? But I already have a grey I overthinking this? I even Googled "colors to pair with kelly green". Someone please offer a suggestion before I spend more time thinking about the cowl than I would actually spend knitting it up!
One area where inspiration did hit the mark was when I was browsing some madeline tosh chunky yarn for my cowl I was reminded of the beautiful Creature Comforts Cardi, pattern also by madeline tosh.

Photo courtesy Ravelry.
This is at the top of my dream knits list. It takes five skeins of madeline tosh vintage for the XS size! Thank goodness that's all I would need because while this is definitely my new favorite yarn to work with, I'm not ready to drop a Benjamin on yarn for a cardigan I may or may not have the skills to make. But wouldn't it look great in Magnolia Leaf?

Get this yarn at
I have the notion in my head that all projects must. be. perfect. While sometimes it provides motivation to do it right, this can lead to an inability to finish something that's not going well, or even start it! I'm constantly searching for the ideal purse, which doesn't exist. This is why my designs constantly get revised, and why I discard even my own purses after a short time. Also this is why I can't seem to settle on a design for my London camera bag. D$ is awesome at getting things done, I think I'll have to get her to keep on me until I actually have a finished bag in my hands. After all, if there's something I'm not happy with I can always make another one. I'll leave you with a quote I keep on my desktop encourage me to get things done. Now to just follow my own advice...

Too much planning can lead to crippling inaction.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh happy day!

Behold its beauty!

We decided to take the plunge and purchase a DSLR before the London trip. I also wanted a new camera to take pictures for my Etsy shop. After tons and tons of research, I decided on the Nikon D3000. But I waited too long for a good deal and then I couldn't find one anywhere! So for virtually the same price, I was able to get a refurbished Nikon D3100! 

It arrived Monday but we didn't get to open the package until late evening, then it took awhile to charge, so we only got a few photos in. Plus, having nothing interesting to take photos of and it being night time, we got bored after a few minutes. Here are a few of the first of many wondrous photos to come...

Either... "You humans bore me." or "Stay away 
from my bag if you know what's good for you."

My nearly finished legwarmers! 
Lesson learned: This is not a flattering angle for my calves.

Kitteh has claimed this Target bag for her own. We aren't allowed near it. My new honey cowl was trapped under it for awhile but I rescued it yesterday and was able to bind off today. Photos of that to come soon, if I ever get home from work/errands/exercise before dark!

And the legwarmers are going to be the finishing touch on my outfit for celebrating St. Patrick's Day in London! I'm using Jane Richmond's free pattern on Ravelry (she is my new favorite knitting blogger btw). I should have some extra yarn leftover for the Straight on driving accessories handwarmers from Pickles. Of course it will probably be 60 degrees on our trip, but how can you go to the UK without wonderful wooly knits?

Spoilers - I baked some amazing pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies and can't wait to share the details! More to come later this week, but the cookies definitely won't last that long, yum!