Thursday, January 31, 2013

news flash, I'm kind of a nerd.

I know this may come as a shock to you, but...I am kind of a nerd.

Or rather, I am a nerd about very specific things.  Two of the things I'm nerdiest about are fiber arts (knitting/crocheting/spinning) and anything Tolkien-related.

Enter Nerd Wars.

Nerd Wars is a game on Ravelry (social networking site for knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers).  In short, there are different teams based around different genres of nerdiness, and there are challenges based on different categories.  Some of the teams include Team Tardis, for Doctor Who fans, Team Space Alliance, for those who love Star Wars and Star Trek, and Team That's What She Said, for fans of NBC comedies like The Office and Parks and Recreation.  Members of each team earn points by participating in these challenges-- usually by making something that can be somehow linked back to their team's theme.  (This is the simplified explanation-- if you'd like more information about Nerd Wars, check out the official Ravelry group.)

I joined Team Precious.

So basically, I'm going to be knitting and crocheting and spinning a lot of Tolkien-themed projects over the next three months.  I also love Star Trek and The Office and Parks and Rec, but I think my aesthetic fits best with Team Precious.  I can make lots of hobbit-y, woodsy things-- like a knitted and crocheted version of Rosie Cotton's wedding circlet.

because obviously this is going to be a highly practical piece of knitting.
This round of Nerd Wars starts tomorrow, February 1st. 

I am very, very excited.

What are you nerdiest about?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

thank you, thank you very much

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  
Today I'd like to share a project I'm really excited about...
Julie Rose Romano JulieRoseSews fashion design illustration
Julie Rose Romano JulieRoseSews fashion design illustration
Julie Rose Romano JulieRoseSews fashion design illustration
Julie Rose Romano JulieRoseSews fashion design illustration
Julie Rose Romano JulieRoseSews fashion design illustration
Thank-you cards featuring my fashion illustrations!
Each set of five cards includes one of each of the above designs, though I can also make full sets of one design, or change the message on the front.

JulieRoseSews Sews Julie Rose Romano fashion illustration cards winter

Each set comes with five matching envelopes.
You can get your own set, or read more about these cards, in my etsy shop.
Right now I only have winter sets, but I'll be adding spring and summer cards soon!  I'll let you know when they're up in the shop, too.

Thank you for letting me share my excitement with you!

Monday, January 28, 2013

much love monday

Hi there-- I hope you're staying cozy in this wintery weather!  
It's a weird time of year.  Christmas and other winter festivities are over, but it doesn't feel even a little bit like spring.  Every year I wish that I could just hibernate from late January through until April.  

On that theme, this week's finds are cozy and mostly in soothing gray tones.

I like nature, and I like when things are nicely arranged and labeled  (really-- I spent an inordinate amount of time as a child sorting Smartie's candies by color, then by smoothness.  I like organizing things.).  This picture is the best of both worlds.

lemon poppyseed cake
Doesn't this lemon and poppy-seed cake look delicious?  It's so hobbit-y!  I could be persuaded to come out from my hibernation-blanket-fort to bake this.  

roving knit blanket
...Speaking of that blanket-fort, I'd like to make it from this incredibly soft, squishy knitted blanket.

kitten in yarn
Or I could just snuggle up in my yarn stash, like this kitty.

dandelion fluff necklace
And I'll wear this dandelion-fluff necklace and dream of spring.

Mmph.  Back to the blanket-fort I go.
Put me on the wake-me-up-in-spring list, along with Mole from Wind in the Willows and Badger from Strawberry Shortcake and the Winter that Would Not End.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

confessions of a blog-lurker

Hi everyone!
I hope you're having a great day.

So I know it's a bit late for this, 26 days late to be exact, but I have a New Year's resolution regarding blogging.

I am going to do the unthinkable (to me): leave more comments.

I read a huge number of blogs.  At the moment, my Google Reader has...let's see... 970 unread posts.  Nine hundred and seventy.  If you have a blog and you've commented here before, I'm probably subscribed to you.  But I almost never comment!  It's not that I'm not interested, or that I don't want to participate in the blogging community.  I'm just a shy, lurking blog-reader.  It's kind of ridiculous.  (Fun fact, though-- there is a Wikipedia entry for 'lurker' about people who do this!)  There are blogs I've been reading for years, and that I'm emotionally invested in, like The Little Things We Do, home of the cutest baby on the planet, Fern.  I think I've commented maaaaaybe three times?  That's just silly.  But I worry that I don't have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation, or that I'll be repeating what someone else already said, and I psych myself out and don't comment.  

Note to self:  it is a blog comment.
It doesn't need to be a work of literary greatness.

And anyway, I love reading comments on my blog!  I enjoy each one-- I never think, "Hrmmm, this comment ends with a preposition!  It lacks a witty-yet-relevant pun!"  Chances are that nobody else things those things either.  

So anyway.  I'm going to try to comment on at least three posts every day.  And I'm keeping myself accountable by posting it here. 

Baby steps.

Baby steps to commenting more.

(that last bit is a reference to the movie What About Bob? and if you haven't seen it you really should.)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

first socks!

Hi there, I hope you're having a fantastic Tuesday!

On Sunday I reached a personal knitting milestone-- I finished my very first pair of socks!

hand knit self-striping socks
My stripey socks are made out of a yarn that my brother gave me for Christmas.  Thanks Zach!

hand knit self-striping socks

I knit these socks toe-up, using the magic loop method on size 2 needles.  They have an afterthought heel, which means that I basically knitted the toe, then up the foot and leg of the sock, then went back and added the heel when the rest of the sock was finished.  I really enjoyed this method-- they fit very comfortably, and I was able to keep the orange stripes on the heel matching up with the ones on the foot of the sock (I knew it would bug me if the stripes didn't match up-- definitely a carry-over from sewing.).  The socks are cozy and warm and I'm excited to knit more of them!

On the subject of footwear, remember these snazzy Ugglebo clogs?  Well, they are not my size.  I reeeeally wanted them, so I convinced myself that even though these clogs were rather big on me, I could just add some comfy socks in the winter and the fit would be perfect.  ...So naturally I haven't worn them at all, because as much as I tried to deny it, they are just not my size.  I'm an 8.5, European 39, and the clogs are a European 41-- which is between a 10 and 11.  What was I thinking?!  Actually, I know exactly what I was thinking-- 'But they're so cute!  If I will them to fit, eventually they'll fit!'  

Long story short, they're up for sale here.  If you decide you'd like them and win, leave a note that you saw them on my blog and I'll put some extra goodies in your package.

Have a lovely evening-- I'll be curled up in my new hand-knit socks!  Yay!

Monday, January 21, 2013

much love monday

Hi there, and welcome to a new week!
I hope yours is off to a good start.
Here are a few pretty things I've found this week.

teacups on wall
I love this idea for displaying cups!  I collect mugs and teacups, and this would be a great way to enjoy them even when they're not in use.

vintage photo
This photo by R. Prunin, taken in 1950, gives me the giggles.  These little guys are obviously conspiring... and there's a baguette involved.

heart gate
Wouldn't this gate be the sweetest thing to come home through?

girl reading 1920s A.H. Watson
I love this pretty vintage illustration by A.H. Watson.

fairy lights twinkle tulle
These twinkle-lights have tulle bows around the cord-- it diffuses the light in such a soft, lovely way.
(via Lexie)

It's snowing here-- I'm going to curl up in a cozy sweater with some tea and knitting.
Have a wonderful evening!

Friday, January 18, 2013

the snowy day

red snow boots

snow on pine

snow on cast iron gate

snow on pine tree

snow on pine trees

street lamps in snow

Just a few snaps from yesterday.
I hope you're all staying cozy-warm!

Friday, January 11, 2013

playing catch-up

Hi there, ladies and gents.
I hope you are having a fantastic January!
It's been a bit quiet around here lately-- between the holidays and being sick on and off for the past few weeks, I've either been gift-knitting like a madwoman or snuggled up in bed, sipping tea (and maybe whining just a little).  But I'm excited to get back to blogging.

the Christmas Spice tea has little snowflake sprinkles in it-- how cute is that!
My brother's girlfriend sent up this delicious tea for Christmas (thank you Sheila!) and I've been having at least three cups of it every day because it's just so tasty.  I think the Strawberry Honey is my favorite.  I've been getting a lot of knitting done between the inevitable caffeine crashes.

Speaking of which, I finished my Robins' Feathers shawl!
gwendolyn lace shawl feathers
snow boots instead of ballet flats in shawl photos this time of year...
I'm pretty excited to have knit my first big lace project.  Yay!  You'll be seeing more of this shawl soon-- I want to post a photo of myself wearing it because it's huge and I don't really wear shawls draped around my shoulders.  It makes a lovely scarf-ish wrap, though.  But y'know who needs to see me looking bleary and cold-stricken?  Nobody, that's who.  So it'll have to wait until I'm no longer sniffly.  

Anyway, my Robins' Feathers shawl took a couple tries to get going, but now I feel confident in my ability to read complex charts, and I'm already trying to decide on another shawl to cast on.  I think it's going to be the Hogwarts Express.  I've been spinning up some soft, fawn-brown alpaca for the Pomme de Pin cardigan, but I'm not going to have enough yardage, and I think it'll be a better match for the Hogwarts Express anyway.  ...And c'mon, how could I not knit it?  It's snuggly and Harry Potter themed.  I'm also still knitting away on my busy bee quilt, so I'll show you my progress on that soon, too.

I hope you have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Hi there lovelies!
Just wanted to share a few photos from before our latest snowstorm, when everything was still just covered in frost in the morning.
frost on leaf
these leaves reminded me of palm trees, so it was especially odd to see them edged in frost.
frost on iron fence
frosty iron fence
frost on ivy leaf
chilly ivy
Now we have about a foot of snow, and all the plants are asleep for the winter.
I hope you have a warm, cozy day!