Sunday, August 25, 2013

snippets ♥

Hello lovelies!

Here's a peek into my life lately.

pink carnation flowers bouquet Julie Rose Sews pink carnation flower grey Julie Romano
There's something so pretty about the simplicity of pale pink carnations.

 siamese cat looking in mirror Bucky
Bucky has recently discovered mirrors, and he is obsessed with his own reflection.
He gazes adoringly and occasionally gives the handsome cat in the mirror a coy pet with his paw.

 sunset airplane sky bayonne bridge sunset
Sunset views are one of my (admittedly many) favorite things about my apartment.

Can you believe it's already almost September?!  We're so close to autumn-- my favorite season!  I'm so ready for sweaters and hot tea (which I drink all year, but it'll be extra-cozy when it gets chilly outside) and pumpkins and apples and eventually snow!  I usually don't get excited for winter-- in general I'd rather go from fall straight through to spring, with maybe two weeks of winter.  But my apartment is going to be so much fun to decorate for Christmas that I'm looking forward to it!  I want to hang twinkly lights and watch the claymation Rudolph movie and I have the perfect spot for a tree in my living room.  There will be mistletoe, and my doorways will be festooned with  garlands-- it is going to be a seriously festive event.  I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to become one of those people who puts up their holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

rainy beach day

Happy Friday!
I went to the beach a few weekends ago.  I like rainy days at the shore-- the beach is quiet and empty and everything seems a little soft around the edges.

 beach boardwalk rain  rainy beach ocean umbrella  seagulls rain beach  feather rain drop beach sand 
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

tiny owl knits swap: received

Hello lovelies!
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
Today I'd like to share with you what I received in the Tiny Owl Knits Common Room Swap on Ravelry.  I was very, very spoiled by my sender, who goes by SoEffie on Ravelry.

wrapped packages 
Here's a group shot of everything that was in the swap package I received!  Isn't the tissue paper and ribbon adorable?

tiny owl knits swap unwrapped 
This is right after I unwrapped everything-- it was so exciting!   The tea is delicious, and the little cream-colored case is perfect for storing my cable needles.

owl card 
This owl card was filled with a sweet message from Effie.  I love the beautiful patterns on the owl's wings!  I'm going to frame this and add it to the gallery-wall I'm working on in my front hallway.

owl fabric 
The beautiful green flowered project bag in the lower right corner of the group photo is reversible-- the inside fabric has this charming owl print, I just love it!

embroidered owl pouch purse 
I am in awe of Effie's embroidery skills!  This little owl pouch is so precious.  I haven't decided what to put in it yet-- maybe a little lavender sachet to keep my knitted items nicely scented?

beaded stitch markers 
Effie had filled the owlie pouch with these beautiful hand-made stitch markers.  They're so delicate and pretty!

owl stationery set 
Isn't this owl stationery set so sweet?  It was so thoughtful of Effie to send a desk set.  I love all things stationery-related!

araucania yarn ruca multi sugar 
Effie also included this beautiful yarn.  It's Araucania Ruca Multi, a DK weight yarn made of sugar cane in the prettiest pink, pale green, teal, violet, and gray.

knitted knit leaf washcloth dishcloth
Last but certainly not least are these two lovely leaf washcloths!  They're so soft and cushy.

Thank you so much, Effie!  Everything in the package was so lovingly crafted.  I love it all!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

tiny owl knits swap: sent

Hi, and happy Friday!

I recently participated in a swap on Ravelry, in the Tiny Owl Knits group.  A quick explanation of how Ravelry swaps work: One person is the swap organizer, and they post a questionnaire on the message board for the group.  Anyone who wants to participate answers the questionnaire, and then the swap organizer matches up participants.  Sometimes it's a straight-forward exchange, where you send goodies to the same person who is going to send goodies to you, and sometimes it's more of a round-robin situation, when you send a package to one person and receive a package from someone else.  The Tiny Owl Knits Common Room Swap was the latter kind, and it was so much fun!  Tiny Owl Knits is the designer of the Beekeeper's Quilt, which I've been knitting for about a year now, and since most of her patterns are whimsical and foresty, I tried to stay with that feeling for the swap package I put together.

Today I'd like to share the knitted items that I sent to my lovely swap recipient, Robin.

leaf washcloth knitted knitting 
Cotton Leaf Washcloths-- these were very quick to knit, and two of them used up less than one skein of Sugar and Cream dishcloth cotton yarn.  I packaged these with a bar of lavender-scented L'Occitane soap and two of the beehive candles I shared in my last post, like a mini-spa in a box.

Ysolda Teague Damson shawl
I also knitted the Damson Shawl by Ysolda Teague in the very, very soft Anzula Cloud.  It's a merino/cashmere/nylon yarn and it truly does live up to its name-- when you put the shawl on, the knitted fabric settles gently around you, just like a puffy knitted cloud.  I definitely plan on making a Damson Shawl for myself, too.  It has a unique, fluttery shape when it's worn that gives it a capelet sort of silhouette.  The pattern was perfect train-knitting.  It wasn't too complicated to knit on in half-hour segments, but it was interesting enough to keep my mind from drifting off during my commute.

I also sent along a hexipuff, since Robin is also knitting the Beekeeper's Quilt, and 10 mini-skeins of yarn for hexipuffs.  Each mini-skein was 30 yards long, so hopefully she will get at least two hexipuffs out of each one, maybe three, depending on her knitting gauge.  

Tomorrow I'll share the amazing package that I received from my wonderful knitting-fairy Effie!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

adventures in candle-making ♥

Happy Wednesday!
On Saturday, I attempted a new-to-me craft project-- candlemaking!
It was lots of fun, and not nearly as complicated as I'd thought it would be.

beehive bee  
I made six vanilla-scented beehive candles!
I originally made these because I wanted to send a few to my partner in a swap over on Ravelry.  I sent out her package yesterday, complete with two candles!  But I don't think she reads my blog, so it should be okay to give you a sneak peek. :)

Description of Photo 
First I made a makeshift double-boiler with a soup can and a saucepan and melted some paraffin candlewax.  In another can-and-saucepan arrangement, I melted yellow solid candle dye and vanilla fragrance, then added that to the wax.

Description of Photo 
I dipped some candlewick into the wax to prime it, so that the candle will light more easily, and threaded it through a rubber candle-mold.  Then I put the mold into a jam-jar of cold water, and when the melted wax reached 190˚F, I poured it into the mold.  The cold water helps the candle cool and solidify.

Description of Photo 
When the candle was completely cool, I peeled back the rubber mold and trimmed the wick.  I repeated the whole process five more times, and ta-da!  Beehive candles!

Description of Photo
Bucky was very helpful-- he snoozed in a box on the kitchen floor.  Occasionally he got up for a snack, which was so exhausting that he had to go back to sleep.  
It's a rough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

pennsylvania flowers

Happy Saturday, lovelies!
Today I'd like to share a few photos that I took at my mom's house before I moved.  

daffodil with pink center 

pear blossoms 

daffodil with pink center

Today I'm trying something new-- I'm making my own candles in the shape of little bee skeps!  
My first one is cooling at the moment-- I'll show some pictures when they're finished!  Bucky is contributing to the project by sleeping in a box on the kitchen floor.  He's a helpful guy.  

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

hi there

sunset over water

Hi there!  I've been settling into my new routine, exploring my new neighborhood, and just generally getting into the new-ness of things.  I think I'm finally ready to work blogging back into my schedule!  I've been taking lots of pictures and doing lots of fun decorating and knitting projects, and I'm excited to share it all with you!  I'm going to try to get back to posting a few times a week.

By the way, that picture is the view from my kitchen window every night at sunset.  It turns my off-white walls to gold and pink and lavender.  It's a pretty magical view to come home to.

I hope you're doing well, I'm looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs and projects!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

summer blooms

Hi there!

I hope you're all enjoying the beginning of summer (or winter, for friends in the Southern Hemisphere) and staying safe through all the crazy weather we've been having lately!  Thank you all so much for the many sweet comments and emails I've received after I posted about my new apartment and new job.  You guys are so sweet.  ♥  Everything's going really well.  I love my new job, and living in my dream apartment is... well, it's like a dream come true.  The kitties love it here, too-- they spend their days lounging on the windowsills, watching birds fly by and watching ships and tugboats on the bay.  

Today I'd like to share a few photos that I took at the Highline a few weeks ago.

high line nyc 
I love the simplicity of these white flowers-- and the undersides of their petals are pink!

new york highline park 

highline flowers 

spring flowers 

highline nyc flowers
It is so wonderful to be back in the city every day for work, close to so many of my favorite places and enjoying the bustling energy of New York, and I love going home to my quiet, calm apartment in the evenings.

How have you all been?  I'm so behind on blog-reading!  I'm going to make some refreshing mint iced tea and catch up.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Hi there, and happy Monday!
I hope your week is off to a great start.
Today I'd like to share a few photos of my new apartment!

apartment living room
Here's the living room-- the framing on the walls is one of my favorite details about my new place.
I also love the extra-wide windowsills, which will be the perfect place for Bucky and Cocoa to perch as they watch the birds.

apartment kitchen
And the kitchen...

apartment kitchen
...and the other side of the kitchen!  

apartment bedroom
This will be my bedroom.  My closet has two rows for hanging clothes, hooray!  The hallway into my apartment has a closet, too.

robin's egg
I found this hatched little egg right outside my building.  
It was the perfect welcome to my new nest.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

daffodils and a new home

I hope you're all doing well-- it's been a little while since I've posted.  But more about that later.
First, I'd like to share a few photos of one of my very favorite flowers-- the daffodil!

In what felt like only a few days, the weather here has gone from chilly and gray to sunny, warm, and beautiful!  The daffodils are in full bloom.  Some are big and showy...

tiny daffodil
...and some are teeny-tiny!

     Ok, so about the radio silence coming from my blog lately-- I've spent the last few weeks travelling back and forth to New York interviewing, and I'm going to be starting a lovely new job in just a few weeks!  Yay!  And since I'm going to be working in the city, I need to live a bit closer.  I had looked at some apartments a few weeks ago, just to get a feel for what exactly I wanted.  Of course, there was one apartment that I absolutely fell in love with.  Top floor, amazing views, cute neighborhood, 
cat-friendly, bright and sunny, reasonable commute-- everything I would have included if I was to describe my ideal apartment.  I was happy to see that my dream apartment does actually exist, but I was sure that it would be gone by the time I was ready to move.  I kept checking online to see if the listing disappeared, but somehow it stayed available.  When I was hired and started looking for a new home, I was sure the apartment would be gone, and that the online listing just hadn't been updated yet, but I called the real estate agent who had shown it to me, just to check.

It was not gone.

I'm moving in next week! 


I'll share some photos of my new nest over the next few days, but posting will probably remain erratic until I'm settled into my apartment.

I hope wonderful, exciting things are happening in your life, too!

Monday, April 22, 2013

on the needles: twigs and willows

Friday's snippets post included a sneak peek of the sweater I'm knitting.  Today I'd like to share more about it!

twigs and willows botanical knits
I'm currently knitting the Twigs and Willows cardigan, by Alana Dakos, from her beautiful new book, Botanical Knits.  I'm using Ella Rae Classic Heathers yarn in color 130-- it's a deep olive green, with brighter green heathered into it.  It's lovely to work with-- it feels satisfyingly woolly to knit, but when I washed and blocked my gauge swatch, I was surprised at how soft it became.  Alana's sample cardigan is knit in a woolen spun (basically, lighter and fluffier) yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and I'm using a worsted (more densely) spun yarn, so I was a little concerned that the overall shape of the leaf motifs would be overshadowed by the individual stitch definition.  That worry disappeared as soon as my swatch was dry.  The Ella Rae Classic bloomed just the right amount when it was washed.

twigs and willows ribbing eastern purling
I tried a new-to-me technique for the ribbing!  I used the eastern purl variation on ribbing, as described in Ysolda Teague's book, Little Red in the City.  Just as a side note, while I haven't knit any of the sweaters from Little Red in the City yet, I refer to the book constantly for technique notes.  The illustrations are extremely clear, and Ysolda goes into detail about why one would choose a particular stitch over another, as well as a writing a fantastic section about fitting your knitwear for your specific measurements.  It's incredibly helpful.  Anyway, the eastern purl rib is designed to prevent the final knit stitch of each rib from becoming loose and uneven.  Essentially, you throw the yarn clockwise around the working needle instead of counter-clockwise, then knit those stitches through the back loop on the following row.  It takes a few rows to get used to, but I think it's worth the effort.  I'm so pleased with the results!  

I have the back and both front pieces of my Twigs and Willows cardigan finished, and the first sleeve about halfway done.  I'm hoping to finish the sweater in the next week or so.  Yay!

I hope your week is off to a lovely start!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

a tale of two kitties

Hi, and happy Saturday!
I mentioned yesterday that Bucky and Cocoa had a little bit of a rough week, and I promised more details-- so here's what happened.

siamese cats
Bucky and Cocoa are best friends.  They snuggle together, they get into mischief together-- they're rarely apart.  Cocoa had a little tummy issue last Sunday, so we took him to an emergency vet clinic because we were worried he would get dehydrated.  (I'll tell you the end of the story right now so you don't have to worry: Cocoa is totally healthy, no problems at all.  Yay!)  Cocoa's physical was fine, but they wanted to keep him overnight to make sure he was hydrated and to run a few more tests.  It was so upsetting to have to leave him at the vet, but since it was for his own health, I did it as calmly as I could.  Which, to be honest, wasn't very calmly.  

siamese cat alf
Bucky wasn't pleased with the situation either.  Cocoa is like his teddy bear, and he kept turning around trying to get comfortable without his cuddly little pal.  After a little while, I settled an Alf stuffed animal in with him, and he snuggled up with it for the night.

siamese cats snuggling
When we went to get Cocoa the next day, we discovered that the tip of his ear had been accidentally cut off, apparently when they were cutting off his temporary paper collar.  Thankfully, we noticed before leaving the vet's office.  And that is all I can say about that, because it's too infuriating to even think about.  Bucky didn't react well to all the vet-smells on Cocoa when he got home.  Bucky hissed and growled whenever Cocoa got near him, and Cocoa couldn't figure out why his buddy suddenly wouldn't have anything to do with him.  I was a nervous wreck-- even though I had read that this is totally normal behavior after one pet has an unfamiliar scent, I was worried that my little guys wouldn't be able to patch things up.  But they did, of course, and now they're back to curling up together on my bed, snoozing, and grooming each other.  Thank goodness.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 19, 2013


Hi there,
I hope you're having a good week and that all of you are safe and sound.
First of all, my heart goes out to everyone involved in this week's events in Boston and in Texas.  
I'm lucky enough not to know first-hand what it feels like to be in either situation, or to have a loved one involved.  I'm sure that even the deepest empathy or the most vivid imaginings fall short of how horrifying the reality is.  I'm simultaneously shocked at how terrible some actions can be and at how selflessly others respond.  Seeing the footage of runners in Boston putting their own lives in danger to try to save others, or continuing to run directly to hospitals to donate blood, is so encouraging.  It pales in comparison the heroic efforts made by so many, but I'm sending out all of the positive, healing energy I can muster up.

With no segue whatsoever (because really, how can one possibly segue from that to anything else?), here's a peek into my life lately.

sheep knitting stitch marker
My mom won a door prize at the opening of the Skirted Fleece Mill!  She won a set of these adorable sheep stitch markers and a beautiful hand-thrown, hand-painted yarn bowl.  Lucky for me, she doesn't knit.  She also won a skein of handspun yarn, which I'll be knitting into a hat for her.  The stitch markers are currently on my very first sweater-- more about that soon!

siamese cats sleeping snuggling
Here are the two adorable reasons why I never have room to stretch out to sleep.  They take up the entire bottom half of the bed!  But they always look so cozy, I just can't bring myself to move them.    These little guys have had a rough time this week-- more on that soon, too.  They're back to their usual charming selves now, though.

new york city tulips flowers spring
Tulips are blooming in Manhattan!  
It's such an amazing change to see the city go from cold and gray to balmy and green.

McNulty's black tea berry creme cream
I just re-stocked my supply of my favorite tea ever, McNulty's Berry Creme black tea.  It's delicious, and the dried rose petals make it beautiful to look at, too.  

I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful day.