Monday, December 31, 2012

much love monday

Hello there!
I hope you had a wonderful, peaceful, joyful holiday season-- and it's not over yet!  Happy New Years Eve, lovelies!

Here are a few things I love this week.
tree round ornaments
these simple but beautiful wooden ornaments-- they're so lovely that I would display them all year long!

dr. who belle
this is the sweetest illustration.  Belle would have been the Rose Tyler of Disney characters if the Doctor had appeared.

russian space wreckage butterflies
isn't this photograph surreal?  two Russian villagers on the wreckage from a rocket, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies.  (My first thought was of the book The Incredible Voyage to the Mushroom Planet-- did anyone else read that growing up?  It was one of my favorites.)

cozy bed
this is such a cozy, snuggly little corner.  I love the bedframe!  It reminds me of this one from Anthropologie.

shari ross illustration
this dreamy illustration is by Shari Ross, one of my beautiful friends from FIT.  She's incredibly talented.

I've listened to A Fine Frenzy's song Red Ribbon Foxes about a thousand times over the past few weeks, it's so pretty and thoughtful.
Happy New Year, my darling friends!

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry merry!

Happy Christmas Eve!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and joy.  
And yummy food.
And cats (if you like them.).

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

clever corner

Hi there!
Can you believe we're only five days from Christmas?  I feel like December was just erased off the calendar this year.  I hope you're enjoying the holiday festivities!

I recently came across this fire hydrant wearing a jaunty chapeau.
fire hydrant yarnbombing
At first I thought it must have been put there after someone dropped it, but now I'm pretty sure it was intentionally placed-- a wintery yarnbombing!
for anyone not familiar with the term, yarnbombing is using a knitted item to decorate a public object-- like yarn graffiti.

poem box public art
A few days ago, this appeared on that same corner-- a mysterious blue box...

poem box public art
...which is full of poems!  I just love this, I love when people make creative, interactive public art.

the snowflake walter de la mare
The poem I chose at random was "The Snowflake" by Walter de la Mare. 
This was such a charming, whimsical surprise.  
I'm a fan of anything that wraps poetry up warmly and sends it off into the world.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

snippets, and some thoughts.

just a peek into my life lately...

cabled owl hexipuffs beekeeper's quilt
I learned to knit cables!  Yay!  I don't know why I thought cabling was going to be completely terrifying, but it took me nine or ten years of knitting to try it.  And y'know what?  It's totally not difficult or scary.  Naturally I had to make some cabled hexipuffs!

church doors
pretty iron scrollwork on church doors

poppy clementines
One of my very favorite fruits is now in season-- clementines!  And how darn cute is the Poppy logo?  

black cat green eyes
This sweet kitty found me when I was walking back from my knitting group last week.  She was so affectionate that she started following me after I had been petting her for a few minutes and I had to say, "You can't come with me, I have two kitties!  You have your own family, kitty!"  What a sweetheart.

On a more somber note, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut--and I think pretty much everyone has been affected.  I still can't even fathom how something like that could happen.  So please-- hug people and tell them how much they mean to you at every opportunity.  Be a little more kind than is strictly necessary.  And let's work toward finding a way to prevent atrocities like this.  I've been pretty appalled with reactions to this tragedy that I've seen on Facebook and Twitter and around the blogosphere, especially those claiming that these events are some sort of divine revenge for living in a diverse nation with diverse beliefs.  Let's just stop that train of thought before it leaves the station, because historically, blaming a country's problems on a religious  group (or non-religious, as the case may be) hasn't led to anything good.  Instead, let's focus on finding concrete ways to make sure horrors like this are prevented in the future.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

on the needles: robins' feathers shawl

It's the holiday season and I have lots of gift-knitting to do.
So naturally I decided to cast on a non-gift charted lace shawl!

turquoise merino lace yarn
Here's the yarn I'm using-- it's soft and fluffy superwash merino wool, which I spun from this Lorna's Laces roving.  I have 900 yards of a heavy laceweight to light fingering weight, so my shawl should be big and cozy!  

stephanie bold gwendolyn shawl feathers
Here's my progress so far.  I'm using the Gwendolyn pattern, by Stefanie Bold.
Since it's lace, the full effect of the patterning won't be visible until the shawl is finished and blocked, but I am so, so pleased with how it's turning out.  The lace looks like feathers, and the yarn is the most beautiful robin's egg blue, so I'm naming this shawl my Robins' Feathers Shawl.

As I keep working on this shawl (along with the four or five other projects on the needles-- how did that happen?  I almost never have more than one knitting project going at once!), I'll include a few little tips and tricks that are making my first charted lace project a bit easier.  The first thing I've discovered?  I can only work on this shawl if I'm listening to a podcast.  If I'm trying to watch a movie at the same time, I'm too visually distracted, and if I'm not listening to anything, my brain gets bored and my mind wanders from my place in the charts.  Podcasts seem to be a happy medium for me.

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'tis the season

christmas cookies
The first cookies of the holiday season have been baked!

sugar christmas cookies
sugar cookies, complete with sprinkles...

chocolate chip cookies
...and classic chocolate chip.

If you've started your holiday baking, I hope it's going well!
And if you feel like sharing any favorite recipes... I'm always looking for something new to make!

Monday, December 10, 2012

much love, monday

Hi there, I hope you're having a great Monday!
Here are a few of my finds from this week.

mini tiny gingerbread houses
these seriously adorably tiny gingerbread houses, which perch on a mug-- the instructions can be found here  (unfortunately, I can't find the source of these pink ones!  if you run across it, please let me know?)
twig gold diamond stacking ring
this beautiful gold twig ring.  (this would be my ideal engagement ring... y'know, just in case my cat confides in you that he's considering popping the question.)
single cup teapot blue gold
this teapot and cup for one!  again with the gold polka dots.  I just can't stay away!

gold twinkle light bokeh
this dreamy photo

pink bottle brush tree tutorial
these DIY bottle-brush trees (with a tutorial!)
gold anthropologie log candle
these gold log candles.  rustic but twinkly!

Have a wonderful rest-of-your-day!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

hello, december

There's a chill in the air, snow on the ground, and wreaths and twinkling lights on doors and windows.
It's December, and it feels like the holiday season!
Here's what December looks like in my little hometown.

winter ducks
brave ducks taking a dip in the river

red church door
I love these bright red church doors-- they're so bright against the gray stone on gray days.

red church door handles
The handles on the door are beautiful too, I love the intricate details on them.

etsy packages presents
wrapping and packing etsy shop orders!

winter berries
While the leaves may be gone for the winter, the berries are still holding on.

I hope you've had a great week-- it's been a little hectic over here, but that's to be expected this time of year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

much love, monday

Hello there-- I hope you're having a wonderful Monday!
Here's what I'm loving this week.

antique french beehive locket
this antique French beehive locket

smiling cat
this kitty's little face!  eep!

steaming tea gif
this cozy cup of tea-- I'm sipping mine right now

hugo simberg Kuutamomaisema
this quiet, lovely painting by Hugo Simberg

gold polka dot dishes
these gold polka-dotted dishes
(I'll be DIY-ing these with some gold porcelain paint.)

happy otter
this adorable otter, cheesin' for the camera

Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

quiet rainbow

Hello, and happy first day of December!
I realized recently that I never shared this project with you-- it's the shawl I knit from one of my early handspun yarns, a ply of gray alpaca/merino blend and a ply of a bunch of different colors and wools from Into the Whirled.
Lala's Simple Shawl Into The Whirled Odds and Ends
This was actually my first shawl-- the pattern is Lala's Simple Shawl.  I think it's a great pattern for a first shawl-- it's simple, but not boring to knit, and it helped me quickly understand the structure of a triangular shawl.  It's really cozy, too!

Lala's Simple Shawl Into the Whirled Odds and Ends
I called this my Quiet Rainbow shawl because it has a lot of colors, but the ply of gray mutes them and keeps the shawl from being too loud.  It's big and snuggly.  (In case you're wondering, that's why I tend to take shawl pictures that have my feet in the frame-- it gives a reference for the size of the shawl.)

Lala's Simple Shawl Into the Whirled Odds and Ends
I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

fill-in-the-blank friday

Hi there, ladies and gents (...mostly ladies, I get the feeling).
I hope you've had a wonderful week, and that you're enjoying an exciting Friday night, whatever that means to you.  To me, it means getting into my pajamas and drinking a laughably huge cup of tea.
Here are this week's blanks!

1. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is..." by giving handmade gifts.  I LOVE doing this.  I think it means so much to give someone a little bit of yourself by putting time into creating something just for them.  And nobody else in the world will have quite the same thing!  But on a smaller scale, just smiling at someone when you cross paths and being a little extra-kind to people is a great way to spread the spirit of the holiday season.

2. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love when decorations seem to magically spring up overnight, and Christmas music is playing, and it becomes perfectly acceptable to walk down the street clutching a steaming mug of hot chocolate in mitten-clad hands--- ahem.  Can you tell I like the holidays?

3. When it comes to holiday decorating I go for cozy, rustic decorations with some subtle sparkle.  And twinkle lights!  Lots and lots of twinkle lights.  This is the first Christmas in four years that I haven't been decorating a dormitory hallway as an RA, which is kind of weird.  Although there also won't be anyone drunkenly pulling my peppermint-candy wreath off my door and throwing it down the hallway, so that's a plus.  

4. The thing I look forward to most about the holidays is oyster stew.  No kidding.  On Christmas Eve, we have (an amazing) dinner with my dad's side of the family, including oyster stew.  My dad used to be in charge of making it, and last year my brother took over (I cried, naturally.  Sad tears and happy tears.).  It is the most delicious food in existence, and even the thought of making it on a day besides Christmas Eve is totally baffling to me-- so I am super excited for Christmas Eve.

5. My favorite holiday tradition is spending time with my brother on Christmas Eve morning-- every year, we went to the diner in our hometown with my dad (while my mom finished wrapping our presents, in retrospect) and listened to Christmas music on the jukeboxes in every booth.  My dad and my brother always had French onion soup, and I had rice pudding, and then we went for a walk around the park.  Last year, my brother and I couldn't quite bring ourselves to go to the diner, but we did go have soup at the local Chinese restaurant for lunch and went for a stroll through town. 

6. My favorite holiday food is ...oh, I kind of took care of this one with the oyster stew answer... Well, my other favorite holiday food is cookies!  I love making them-- it's going to be the first Christmas making them without my grandmother, which will be rough.  It was our tradition to watch The Sound of Music while we made a zillion varieties of cookies and sometimes 'danced gracefully' to the musical numbers.  It was a blast.  Last Christmas, when my grandmother wasn't well, my mom and I situated her in a chair at her dining room table between us as we made cookies and she told us about Christmases when she was growing up.  It's such a special memory to me.  Anyway.  Cookies.  My favorites are oatmeal-butterscotch, chocolate with mint chocolate chips, and classic sugar cookies.

Have a wonderful rest-of-your-day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Hi friends, I hope you're having a wonderful week!
Here are a few snapshots from my life lately.

autumn trees\
the last of the autumn leaves, bright in the afternoon sun

dried autumn hydrangeas flowers
hydrangeas-- not so colorful anymore, but still beautiful

siamese cat beekeeper's quilt hexipuff
Bucky snatched a hexipuff from my busy bee blanket.  He's really, really possessive of it.

cute yellow house cottage
This is my dream house.  And I saw it after having a pumpkin pancake with custard and cinnamon, so the whole morning was just perfect.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

on the needles: busy bee blanket

Hello, and happy Sunday!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I'm still knitting away on my busy bee blanket-- I'm up to 77 puffs!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
Here's one of my favorite little clusters.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I just made this strawberry puff yesterday-- The seeds are actually tiny seed beads.  It's one of my favorites so far!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
These striped puffs are the colorful single-ply left over from this yarn, navajo plied (3-plied with itself).  

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
And here's the whole blanket so far!  
It's about 19" by 22" at the moment, and I think I'm going to start joining the hexipuffs together when it's about three times as long and twice as wide.  I still have a long way to go on it, especially since I'm not planning on knitting exclusively on the blanket for the entire time.  But the process is just as fun as the finished blanket will be.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I hope you're having a wonderful day-- It's snowing here!  Yay!

just a reminder-- you can get 20% off all purchases from my etsy shop by entering the code 'blackfriday2012' at checkout through Monday!  there are lots of pretty flower crowns and bobby pins and cards and notebooks that make perfect gifts for loved ones...or for yourself!