Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh, oh, oh

To all my single ladies:

As you can tell, I've made a little progress on my Told in a Garden project. I've officially reached the "tricky part". Up until now there has been nothing particularly hard about this chart but I've got a little alteration planned. Stay tuned...

Monday, January 19, 2009

How-To: Idea Book

There are so many ideas that I have for the new house. I've been holding on to years-worth of magazines (Domino, Dwell, This Old House, etc) planning to look back at them when it comes time to work on the house. The problem is now I'm running out of space for all of the magazines. As I was attempting to tidy up the house yesterday I had a great idea. I decided to clip out all of my favorite photos and articles from my stash of magazines and put them all in one place - an organized Idea Book. (The full tutorial is also on my flickr in my How-To collection!)

Gather your thoughts by gathering your favorite pictures and inspiration is at your fingertips!

Materials: 3-ring binder, dividers w/ tabs, clear pocket binder sheets, glue, scissors, magazines, pictures, drawings, etc.
Decide how you want to organize your book. My book is for home design inspiration so my tabs reflect the rooms in my house. I chose to print out labels to use in my binder tabs. You could just as easily write out the tabs yourself. Some tabs are even formatted to run through a printer. Just remember to print out two of each label so both sides of the tab are labeled.

If you decided to print out your labels trim them up so they fit on the tab insets included with the binder dividers. Use glue or tape, whatever you have around, to stick the labels to the tabs - one on each side so you can see them no matter which way you flip through your book. I used a glue specifically for paper crafts (Elmer's Craft Bond).

Once finished your labels should look like this...

Insert your labeled tabs into the dividers - oh, so pretty.

This is an exercise in consolidation so gather up your favorite magazines, pictures, drawings, blog posts - anything you've been holding on to or frequently look to for ideas. Clip away!

Once you have all your favorites clipped out throw all those stacks of old magazines away! Aaah, isn't that liberating? After all everything you refer back to those stacks for is now in a neat little pile on the table.

The good thing about clear plastic binder pages is they're perfect for magazine articles - you can still see both sides! Bits and pieces that aren't full pages can be glued/taped/stickered to printer paper, even construction paper for more color. You can even scrapbook it up with text, photo corners, anything you want.

Now categorize your pages under the correct binder heading and voila! You're finished! At least for today. Add on when ever you feel the urge.

Here are a few pages that I made for my Home Idea book...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good luck, Dad!

My father is currently in New Zealand, lucky son of a gun. It's summer there. Not only that but he's there for a job interview! That means I might actually have a reason to travel half way around the world soon. And, yes, I've considered the downside. Nothing is final yet so I'm not going to go get all worked up but it's fun to think I might be able to bump into these guys on the street in the near future...

Flight of the Conchords! Watch it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quilted Goodness

I finished my quilted blanket last night, slip-stitches and all. Pretty darn good for a first attempt if I do say so myself. Boh-boh climbed right on as soon as I layed it on the bed. Mission accomplished! Maybe I'll try making something with quilt blocks next time.

There are a few more pictures up on Flickr if you're so inclined.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Little Pony and Friends

On Saturday we went to Assateague Island National Seashore. I haven't been there since my freshman year of college - Spring Break. Jeremy and I live so close now we decided to go have an adventure. If you're not familiar with Assateague it's a barrier island just off the coast of Virginia and just south of Ocean City, MD. There are lots of trails, camp sites and birds to watch. There is also a herd of wild ponies that live on the island (ever read Misty of Chincoteague?)The local yarn is that they are the decendants of shipwreck survivors - arr, matey!

She looks like a particularly salty dog.
After getting up close and personal with the locals we ran over to Salty Yarns - after all we were in the greater Ocean City area. Any destination within 30 miles and I'm required to visit :) I've been on a gift-giving kick recently, and not just because of Christmas so I bought another chart to stitch as a gift. This one doesn't need to be finished until October so I have some time. It's the Primitive Needle's "Hallow Sampler". That's all I am at liberty to say...

The last bit of news thats fit to print is I made my first quilt yesterday! Or at least I "quilted" something. My cat, Boh, has completely covered the bottom corner of my bed in hair. I guess she has decided that this particular place is more comfortable than any other place in the entire house to sleep. I know this because the ratio of cat hair to fabric is exponentially larger than that at any other location. So I decided to make her a blanket to lay on. After all, a blanket is much easier to wash than a quilt cover.

Its pretty small, about 3ft x 3 ft - perfect size for a cat butt. I used 2 different color pieces of fabric, 2 pieces of batting, and 2 thread colors that match the fabric I chose. After I pinned everything in place I sewed a 1in border all the way around the piece. Then I just quilted the sandwich so everything stays put. The only thing I have left to do is slip stitch the 4th edge closed. I'll post pictures as soon as I'm finished.

Oh oh, I also scanned a bunch of my favorite old photos from high school on into Flickr. Still waiting to nab the old photo albums from mom and dad's house!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I love you, Cuisinart ICE-25!

I got a Cuisinart ice cream/frozen yogurt maker for Christmas and last night Jeremy and I made our first quart of ice cream. It was absolutely delicious. We dicided to take it easy our first time around and follow the basic vanilla recipe - no vanilla bean, no egg yolks. So here was the spread:

The recipe was just about as easy as you can get:

1 cup whole milk, chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (we used 1tsp)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl - make sure the sugar is dissolved - and pour it into the machine. Watch in awe.

Ever wonder how to make the cookie eating experience better? Two words - ice cream. We actually decided to break up some Pepperidge Farm oatmeal cookies and throw them in as well. Good choice.

This whole wonderful process only took about 30 minutes, including prep time and VOILA!

We were so excited to chow down that we didn't give the ice cream enough time to harden in the freezer. (Note to self: Restrain. 2+ hours next time.) It's soupy-goodness hit the spot though. Who can argue with Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream??

**I checked the freezer this morning before I left for work. The massive amount of leftoever ice cream is perfectly hardened. I think I'll sneak a taste when I get home!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Having 5 Days Off of Work is a Trick

...because then you have to go back. Blah.

So I had a fairly eventful start to the new year - if you consider seeing the Wu Tang Clan(!!) an event. Wu Years Eve at Sonar in Baltimore. Good times even if there were 7 opening acts and the main event didn't start until 1am. I definitely want to see them again but maybe not on a get-drunk-and-pass-out holiday.

Side bar: I can't believe how many people wear the shirt to the show - I thought that was considered "Uh, not cool". Maybe I would have sported my new ODB shirt. Or would that have been overkill? Notice the gold teeth. Throw your "W"s in the air!

Thursday was entirely spent waiting to eat. Dad always makes pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day - a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. And in true Donovan fashion the meal was scheduled for 5pm and didn't actually commence until 8. We didn't get back to the house until about 11. Just in time for Jeremy to go to bed - he had to work on Friday. Sucker! :)

Me? I spent all Friday stitching - finally! Got another good chunk of my Told in a Garden project finished. Behold...

On Saturday Christmas disappeared. It's always a little sad to put away the tree and all the lights and presents and advent calendars but, finally, I have my house back! Everything got tucked away, back in the attic - hopefully staying intact for next year.

The rest of the weekend was spent organizing. We've been in our house now for about 5 months. We've done a lot of work and put a lot of personal touches here and there but some rooms still just "wear me out" when I look at them - namely the laundry room, dragonfly border and all. I bought some fabric tubs and tried to unify and tidy up as much as possible. I must say its a nice change - far from being finished but much easier on the eyes. I'll post pictures in the next few days once we do a little more - a shelf and ironing board still need to be hung and in a tiny room that can make all the difference.

I also started the Great Craft Reorganization of 2009. We'll see how that goes...