Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Updated Crafty To Dos

craft space

Jenni inspired me to go through my crafty to do's. i've gotten more done on this list than i expected - i never think to refer to it. i'm really hoping to be inspired to stick to a few things on here that i've been wanting to try.
  • figure out how to cut straight...
    • still working on it, but getting better
  • oven mitts and pot holders (here and here and here)
    • bought oven mitts - this wasn't at all intriguing for me
  • skirt for me (here, here, here, here, here, here, here , or here )
    • whew! that is a lot of options! i might just have to make them all because i live in skirts in the summer.
  • coasters & placemats to match
    • Jess made me some coasters! i still need to find a place mat pattern i like. 
  • continue practicing & learning the lingo
    • doin' good on this one, although pattern reading isn't as easy as it seems! here here and here 
  • eventually sweaters like katie makes!
    • soon - after some more confidence and practice
  • debbie bliss seed stitch baby shoes 
    • cast on for these last night. i'm making them for our future baby. it isn't conceived and won't be for a long time, but the only yarn i have works good for baby stuff...and i need to learn how to increase and decrease.
  • slouchy beret 
    • not sure i can pull it off, but i love it. i also want to cut my hair like the girl in the pictures!
  •  toy elephant
    • i love love love this. i think i will have to improve, but i REALLY want to make it. 
  • baby legs 
    • i think the knit baby legs are the cutest, but the whole double pointed needle thing is intimidating... soon i will try
  • coffee cozy 
    • i have a friend getting married who LOVES loves starbucks - everyday in college she got at least one. it will forever remind me of her. i was thinking a gift certificate to her fav and two matching cozies would be cute for a shower or wedding gift. 
  • resume practicing & learn the lingo
    • on hold for now
  • day of the week dishtowels
    • just going to do two and not include the days. i have the towels - just have to transfer the designs and start stitching!
  • freezer paper shirts (examples here & here)
    • i have everything to do this except the freezer paper
  • canvas silhouettes
    • if we get a house i will FOR SURE be doing this, if we rent i will probably STILL do it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cabled Baby Bib

Modern Cabled Baby Bib

I have lots of Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in different colors so I decided to knit a little bib for Baby M. I'm slowly expanding my knitting skills - this included cables (ooh ahh!), seed stitch (more on that in a minute), and a button hole (i know you are impressed).

Modern Cabled Baby Bib

back to seed stitch... I LOVE IT. i think it is so soft and nubbly. i just can't get over how it feels! so so great. cables. intimidating, but SO not hard! 

Modern Cabled Baby Bib

i hate this picture - it shows all the flaws, but this was a really good learning project for me. you can see about two inches up where i started being able to knit more loosely - it kind of bulges. can i just tell you how much easier that made my knitting life?? 

Modern Cabled Baby Bib

a cute simple button from the flea market this weekend! now if i could only find (and afford) a rocking chair to knit in... 
pattern - modern cabled baby bib from gibsongirl on ravelry  

Friday, March 27, 2009

knit washcloths

knit washcloths

these are for a special new homeowner.

i am the slowest knitter EVER. i've been working in these for about three weeks! in my defense i wasn't devoting all of my crafting time to them (mostly just knit when i watch a movie or tv) and we were traveling last weekend, but still. i think my slowness can mostly be attributed to the fact that i knit too tight. makes it difficult to maneuver so i go more slowly. i'm learning to knit more loosely and as a result my latest project is going much more quickly.

checkered knit washcloth

i love this checkered one. such an easy pattern, but i like the effect.

knit washcloths

the solid green is just a simple garter stitch. 

knit washcloths

i love the way the cotton knits up - it is firm enough to be kind of scrubby, but still feels soft and organic. 

pattern - dirty-girl washcloths from The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting 
yarn - sugar 'n cream 100% cotton in green & green twists

these will be on their way soon linz! 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

love at first sight

old sewing book

this is a sewing book given to be my Grant's aunt (hi chris!!). i am SO in love with it. it is SO old and has been in Grant's family for a long time.

old sewing book

check this out - an inscription dated 1892. i can't make out all the words but it says Mrs. ______ and then Amsterdam under it. 

old sewing book

it seems that singing while stitching was important back then. more than half the book is songs and poems. i'll have to type some out - they are so great.

old sewing book

and now for the part that give me an indescribable amount of joy - the back cover. a little drawing of a sock being knitted with  "when daylight is flitting; we take up our knitting." written underneath. *swoon*

Chris - thank you so very much (for this and the knitting needles - I've already put them to work!)

i've also been meaning to post a thank you to Jenni over at Simple Beans for giving me a little award! on monday she gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award!

Now I am to list 7 things that I love:
  1. My husband - he is pretty freakin' awesome! 
  2. Home - being in our little space is always so comforting. being home in Oregon is equally so. 
  3. Creating - it really doesn't matter what it is, but as long as I am making something I seem to be happy. realizing this has made life so much better!
  4. I have to second Jenni on Organization - it is extremely freeing and comforting when everything has a place. 
  5. Blogs - i have benefited in countless ways from this oh so special community! 
  6. Dutch Brothers Coffee - I miss you!! (making my own iced vanilla latte is pretty good, but nothing beats a DB)
  7. Compliments and Comments - maybe it is vane, but it is so satisfying when something I do is enjoyed by other people! 
And its too hard to pick so if you are kreativ consider yourself awarded!!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

animal silhouettes

 i made these a few months ago and forgot i had never posted about them! now i can't remember how i got to the tutorial for this project, but somehow i found it and knew it would be perfect for Baby M's nursery.

it was really easy to make the little animals. you just print out the template, cut it out, and paint it. you can be sort of sloppy as long as you get the paint all the way to the edges and have a scrap piece of paper underneath. once they dry the edges curl a little, but if you put them in the middler of a heavy book for several hours they flatten out. 

the hard part for me was writing straight and in french no less! it took me and my perfectionist self MANY times to be sort of satisfied and that was with giving in and doing one in english. so much easier to write fluidly in a language you know! after i was satisfied i glued the animals on with rubber cement - my all time favorite adhesive! i just love it.

from what i hear they have been successfully framed and hung in the nursery. easy, unique, inexpensive art - awesome!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

happy birthday

to my sweet sweet husband

Monday, March 23, 2009

onesie cookies

the shower this weekend was fantastic! it was so nice to spend time with good people and get away for a few days. 

my sole contribution to the shower were these cookies. pretty cute, right? i first saw baby shower cookies on Homemade by Jill - a great blog and resource for this project.
i don't know why i've never worked with royal icing before, but i will use it EVERY TIME i decorate cookies from now on. Here's how I made the cookies and some tips I learned along the way. 

make your dough. it is important to use cookie dough that is made to be used with detailed cookie cutters. i originally thought i'd just try the pillsbury pre-made stuff, but it makes puffy cookies. i used this dough and was very pleased. the cookies keep their form, but aren't hard or poorly flavored. i don't like dealing with huge amounts of dough so i made three half batches.i used the suggestion in the recipe to roll the dough between sheets of wax paper - OMG what a difference! took all the frustration out of using a rolling pin.

 my cookies were about 1/4 inch thick before baking and i ended up with 62 cookies. 

(excuse these photos - it was dark out)

cut out your cookies. use a cute cookie cutter that is 3-4 inches or larger. at first i tried a stroller that was about 1.5 inches and it was really hard to "draw" defined details with the icing - just not enough room. leave that for the pros and make it easy on yourself - use a big cookie cutter. i got mine here

bake your cookies - i found 7 minutes at 350 to give the best results

make royal icing. i used the recipe discussed in this video. i love the woman in the video - doesn't she just make you feel good? part 2 of her royal icing video is good too - it discusses how to pipe it. 

to spread your initial layer of icing use a small spoon. spread it all the way to the edge with the back of the spoon. keep your unused icing under a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.

let the bottom layer dry at least an hour before adding any other layers. to pipe the icing outlining the shoulders and leg holes of the onesie i used a #3 piping tip. there are tons and tons of examples of how to decorate onesie cookies on the web. i went with the simplest version i could find. 

i went back and added a green monogrammed M and a few dots for buttons. to color the frosting i recommend using a concentrated tint like those made by wilton. a little goes a long way so its worth spending a little more money and getting richer colors

one thing i missed while reading up on royal icing was that it takes 12 to 24 hours to fully dry. this posed quite the problem when i finished icing my cookies 1 hour before i was to drive 8 hours to the shower. thankfully gift boxes from dollar tree allowed me to transport them without having to stack them. also, don't worry about leaving them uncovered during the dry time - the icing will keep the cookies from drying out. 

these served as favors for the shower so i finished them off by putting them in individual bags like these.

and in case you are wondering how much time to budget: from start to finish it took me about 3 hours to make the dough, roll, cut and bake all 62 cookies and an additional 4 hours to ice all 62 cookies. not too bad for how cute they are! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

i heart pregnant people and babies

so this weekend is going to be awesome! don't you just think that pregnant women are so amazingly beautiful and cute?? i'm very excited to see my good friend all round and glowy.

we will be in SoDak for Jess' shower. i think its going to be a great time. and can you believe how cute these invites are?? i found them here and Sara made them. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

6 months. wow.

today marks 6 months since the day we got married. isn't that insane?? it went by incredibly fast, but SO much has happened. that day we had no idea where we would be by now. since then we got incredibly sick in Mexico (significant because it was so miserable and lasted a month), my husband became Dr. Simmons, he also successfully interviewed for and accepted a new job, I got into nursing school, and we moved across the country away from everything we've ever known individually and as a couple. what a crazy ride.

i've been asked countless times since that day "how is married life?" at first it felt the same as our life before. we had been living together and planning our life together for a few years and were ready to make it all "official." the longer we've been married i've realized that there is a difference. there is a sort of permanence to things that wasn't there before. i don't know if it was saying those vows or the fact that we both have a ring or just the act of being with our family and friends to celebrate our love and commitment, but there is a new ora to our relationship. it can be scary that things are so permanent, but mostly i find it incredibly comforting and exciting. i love knowing that as long as we are both here we are both in it together.

before i know it we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary. why does life fly by so fast?

speaking of our wedding. i got an email yesterday from our wedding photographer informing me that she was contacted by Portland Bride & Groom Magazine . they wanted to know if they can feature our wedding in their Real Weddings section of the Fall '09 issue. ummm YEA YOU CAN! i'm really excited and feel honored that they asked us. the amount of praise we have received on our wedding has been so overwhelming and awesome. feels so good to know that my vision for something not only came to life successfully, but also that other people see it as such.

i'll let you know when the issue is on stands/on their website!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


look what i made! 

i'm so pleased with myself. 

it is the buttercup bag from made by rae. i have been wanting to make something for myself and this looked doable so i just went for it. 

i've been thinking a lot lately about why sewing is so frustrating for me. i decided it was (1) because i had never taken the time to really teach myself. i just started doing it. and (2) because i never give myself time to make something. i rush through it and when it doesn't work the first time i get frustrated. 

so i decided to set out to make something slowly. i implored myself to be patient and chose a pattern i thought i could handle without going back to teach myself anything. it was SO much better to work this way. funny how if you just give yourself permission for something it feels better. i don't think i swore once, but there was still a lot of sweating. all told i think it took me about 3 hours of actual work to complete. 

i saw a simple button clasp like this in the flickr group  and decided to copy it. i am pleased with how it turned out and it actually keeps the bag closed! 

hard to take a good shot of the inside. this will have to do. i like the little pocket! 

how it looks on my shoulder. i like. its a little less sturdy than i would prefer - interfacing will be used if i make this bag again. i will also make it much bigger. i really want a big sturdy purse. 

oh and don't worry about my frizzy hair, k? i'm home all day alone without even children to impress. 

the aftermath.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

springy and stuff

it has been very beautiful and springy here this week. might get up to 80 degrees today!! we took advantage of it and took an evening stroll last night. i have to admit it is nice to be back here with the hubby.

if i would ever sit down and learn photoshop i could doctor these pics up and they might be kinda good.

we even saw some deer and happened to have the camera out when they ran by!

this picture is to show all of you that i've been complaining to about this place being SO brown. see what i mean?? now if you are from here don't get your panties in a bunch...i know you get offended and say -just wait til spring. i'm sure it will be great then BUT oregon is green all year so that is what i'm used to and miss.
i also realized while i was home that it has been a long time since i've said anything about how and what we are doing here in Columbia. so here is a little update: 
  • We like that it rains less, but wish it weren't so brown.
  • We like that we might be able to afford a house here and that the city will help us with the down payment.
  • We like the people we have met - you all are so nice. And surprisingly, we've met several people who have lived in Eugene - that always feels good. They understand the brown thing.
  • Grant likes his job a lot. Its different and challenging and good. He/we think it is a step in the right direction for his career goals and our family goals. 
  • I am gearing up for school - doing better in my class so the intensity of this program is feeling less intimidating. I've gone to school and succeeded for a long time, right??
  • I really like having a craft area and don't think I will ever go without it again. 
And last but not least a picture of when Lindsey opened up the door of her new house to find me on the doorstep - she was shocked! Her parents are so sweet for flying me out to surprise her - we both enjoyed it so much! 

Friday, March 13, 2009


sorry its been so dead around here - i was studying my brains out for a pharm test and then i was sneaky and surprised lindsey by showing up on the doorstep of her new house back home in Oregon. its been amazing to be home. i don't want to leave for many reasons - but an important one will bring me back to Missouri on Saturday.

anyway. i saw these affirmations from here via here and found them inspiring. affirmations are hard to write, but are good for those of us who struggle with remembering how to be happy. i really like them...

1. I am a one of a kind creation. There is no one else just like me nor will there ever be.

2. I stand tall because I am at peace with who I am, I like myself.

3. I take joy in my strengths, talents and skills. I have many.

4. I am aware of my faults but do not let them become a millstone around my neck.

5. I love and accept others freely because I am loved and accepted unconditionally.

6. I am free to praise others because I am not inferior.

7. I can laugh at myself because sometimes I am clueless, awkward, and say the wrong thing. I won't beat myself up for it.

8. I will take my mistakes as opportunities to grow and then move on.

8. I do not look for faults in others to make myself feel better. All of us are in process.

9. I am beautiful because I focus on the inside of who I am, and that overflows to the outside.

10. I will remember this list when my confidence feels shaky, because that certainly happens.

hopefully i'll be back soon with more craftiness and maybe an update on us??... just realized i haven't really done that in forever

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

dear girl scouts of america,

these are samoas. please stop calling them caramel delites. they are very delicious and i will hold you fully accountable for any weight i gain while devouring them daily. thank you. 

p.s. this may or may not be the first time i've mentioned my love for your cookies...

Monday, March 2, 2009


that make me happy...

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. . . .Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. . ."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect; it just means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections."