Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the one with Embroidery 101

I recently began embroidering. I love it. I love how many cute little projects you can make with it. Currently, I am no good at the craft. I am teaching myself stitch by stitch. Its going well and Im having a lot of fun planning projects I am going to make once I am confident with my embroidery skills.
I have been using this book:

I love, love, love the pictures that they show and the variety of stitches; it’s the largest amount of compiled stitches than any other book I have looked through. The only problem is that the book does not explain how to complete the stitches well at all.

I also use this book at times:

This book has a lot less stitches, but the ones that they do show are pictured very well and are explained decently well.

I think I just have a hard time reading instructions and would much rather see it done in front of me. So the way I have been learning stitches:
I go through the books I have
find stitches I want to learn
read the information provided
get online and either look up a video (which there are few of) or find a website that explains the stitch more thoroughly.

I have been practicing on felt. This seemed like a great idea at first, its cheap and who cares if you decide to throw it away afterwards, right? BUT, its actually really difficult to embroider on felt. Felt makes large holes easily and the fibers catch all the time leaving your stitch surrounded by a fuzzy felt mess!
Here are my felt practice sheets:

I would recommend that you go to the thrift store or dollar store and find really cheap material, old cloth napkins, table cloths, scrap fabric. DON’T start out with tee shirts, tee shirts stretch when they are in the hoop and then when you take the material off the hoop, your creation will be warped.

Alrighty, so thats my embroidery adventure thus far!

In the mid 1800s, embroidered samplers were a sign of affluence in America. Even the poorly made samplers were hung with pride in a very prominent spot in the home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chickpeas exists.
I just finished making and munching on this delicious chickpea treat!

1 can of chickpeas
1Tbsp of vegetable oil
1/4tsp each of: cumin, coriander, hot paprika (all ground)—can also add ground ginger!
1/2tsp of salt

Preheat oven 425degrees
Toss chickpeas, oil and spices until evenly mixed
Spread out on a baking sheet
Put in oven for about 30 minutes, shake pan around occasionally
Keep in oven until chickpeas are golden and crunchy
Let cool completely, they are not as good when they are still warm

Easy right? Well it would have been, had I checked on them “occasionally” and not every two minutes… I have a tendency to babysit whatever it is that I make in the kitchen. But they sure are crunch-yumm-licious.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baseball fans exist. The first time I walked into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I was expecting to be bored. Im not a huge baseball fan and I assumed that the museum would just be a huge hall with lots of bronze plaques. Welp, you know what they say about assuming and I indeed made an ass of myself. I walked around the museum in awe. It was amazing. The exhibits were beautifully laid out with cool artifacts in each and lots of fun interactives. It was/is totally cool. I left wanting to sing “take me out to the ballgame” and “the star spangled banner” simultaneously on the streets. I wanted everyone to go there and feel the same passion that was instilled into me by visiting.
SO, now every Tuesday and Thursday I wake up at 6:30am. I eat breakfast in the kitchen, while outside my window the sun rises over the snowy valley of the great Catskill Mountains. I leave my house, coffee in hand, and walk into town. I then board a bus and take the one hour commute into Cooperstown NY. I am dropped off at the beautiful Baseball Hall of Fame!! I am interning there with the Education Department. I am currently revamping their Fine Arts lessons. These are lessons to be taught by art teachers who plan on visiting the museum to see our fine arts collection. I am also helping with the new education center-- its this great new room off of the fine arts gallery. I am working around so many baseball fans and just loving the game more and more. In fact, I think I can officially say that I am a fan myself!

Monday, February 28, 2011

FREE TIME exists. In fact, a lot of it exists in my life. Currently, I am living in my college town, although I have graduated already. SO, until the end of May, my blogs will consist of the fun things I am doing to fill up my time. Feel free, for you four followers, to give me advice on how else to fill my time!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn exists. Last weekend, the weekend of the 24th, was the most fantabulous autumn weather. It was warm, with lots of sun but mixed with a cool breeze—perfeccttt. My weekend (and the rest of the week) was filled with dinner parties, studying, card games, class, meetings, trail mix, studying, crocheting, cocktail parties, studying, and “Sex and the City.”

On the 24th, my housemates and I traveled over to our friends’ house for dinner. SR made the most wonderful mini-pizza-type-things for all of the guests. As we waited for our delicious homemade treats, we listened to music, danced around, colored and prepped ourselves for a cocktail party, being hosted across the street.

The cocktail party was nice. I rarely see my group of friends dressed up all fancy and such, so most of the party consisted of talking about how nice we all looked! The night ended early for a lot of us (considering we are Grandmas) and we were back at our house and ready to be in bed by 11:30pm!

On the 25th, AK and I went off to Pine Lake. The Pine Lakers and Challenge Education Staff were hosting a day of fun, autumn-y events. One of these events included my all-time favorite: the cardboard boat races!! Our friends had entered into the race a few hours before, and they had three hours to construct a boat out of cardboard, plastic wrap and duct tape. We helped them with the final last minute touches, which included awesome cardboard costumes to show our support.

THIS IS THE GLORIOUS BOAT (Notice the boats name…)

Before the race, an elderly man was looking over all of the boats and told me that He was voting for us, which he so appropriately named: the pirates!!
Unfortunately, the old man did not choose correctly because our band of pirates along with our cardboard pirate ship only stayed afloat for about 3 feet.

Some of the other boats…

On the afternoon of the 26th AK and I made Bloody Marys and played cards out on our back deck. We played Phase10 which is one of my favorite games to play! AK and I get very competitive with most games we play, but Phase10 is one of the tamer of the games.

In lieu of celery sticks for our Bloody Marys, we used green silverware.

This is a picture of what my wonderful breakfast looked on the morning of the 30th (it tasted better than it looked!) My camera is terrible when I have to take pictures in the slightest bit of darkness… but my breakfast was Price Chopper (HI-YAH!) pancake mix, with cut up banana, topped with a yummy cup of Trader Joes Fair Trade coffee. Because I had an astronomy quiz this morning, my notes and flash cards joined me for breakfast.

PS. AFTER THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN my chair collapsed underneath me and I fell onto the ground, hard. AK laughed, not only because I collapsed on the floor, but also because it happened while I was photographing my breakfast…

UPDATE: the rainbow blanket

My rainbow blanket now has lots of new colors to it. After my first two rows, I was worried that it was looking like someone threw up on the blanket- ew. But it looks better and better as more colors are added!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Senioritis exists. I have finally experienced it. I am graduating college this semester and find myself constantly day dreaming about what life may hold for me in the next few months, weeks, days. I sit in front of my books all of the time pretending to study, my eyes scanning from left to right, left to right and when I have the impulse to flip the page, I realize that I have not actually read anything at all.

ALSO, I have recently picked up crocheting which is terrible because I find myself making up excuses to crochet rather than do my work. I started making a blanket with the two rolls of white yarn and the ½ a roll of pine green yarn that I found at the local Salvation Army. It looked strange and granny-ish and I realized I needed more colors. SO, I went to the local yarn shop, they have beautiful yarns and they share their store with a spice shop, so it smells wonderful. Unfortunately, their yarns are much too expensive for a college student, so I left empty handed. I joined the free cycle group in my town and put an advertisement up looking for any colors of yarn. No responses. I went to work that night and one of my co-workers had brought her yarn with her that she just bought from Wal-mart.

DUH! Wal-mart, why didn’t I think of that? Now, I know that Wal-mart is the place of all evil, and is taking over the world... but I just couldn’t help myself! In fact, I went a bit crazy. As I walked down the aisles full of everything and anything you could ever need, I arrived at the craft section of the store and there they were: two entire rows filled with tons of different kinds and colors of yarn! YAY! I forgot to get a basket and so I left the craft section of the store and walked to the register with 13 rolls of yarn stuffed in my arms! Haha. Even though they were not expensive, all together it was more than I should have spent.

To justify spending all of that money, I decided I would crochet everyone’s presents for the winter holidays! I thought, and still think, that it’s a fantastic idea. My yarns…

Ooh, I’m so excited to crochet lots of fun, happy, yarn creations!
La La La....