Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stringtopia!!!

What the heck is Stringtopia? It's a weekend of knitting and spinning. Not the bike kind. Or the office chair kind. Or any other kind that involves exercise. I mean like spinning yarn.
The thing is that I don't really know how to spin yarn. You might have seen my first attempt on a drop spindle:
 And technically this would be First Attempt V2.0:

Frightening, right?
So drop spindle-ing just isn't for me I guess. Then I tried on a spinning wheel, and I think it was actually worse. Then I gave it one more shot and guess what I MADE YARN!
I feel like... Well I guess it could be compared to how a man feels when he kills something, guts it, and feeds it to his family. I feel like pounding my chest and stomping around. I. MADE. YARN.
Well I don't know if I would call it yarn exactly, but pretty close. I'll bring back photos. The point is that I'm getting there. And it's fun! This weekend is going to be sooo awesome. For many reasons:
  • Classes are being taught by the superstars of the fiber world, Abby Franquemont, Jacey Boggs, and Morgaine Wilder.
  • We'll get to meet people from all over the world.
  • I get to hang out with my mom awwwwwww (stop that!)
  • There will be chocolate.
  • There will be ice cream.
  • There will be bead shopping.
  • There will be fiber shopping.
  • There will be antique shopping.
  • There may be a pajama party.
  • I believe I saw sweet potatoes on the dinner menu somewhere.
  • Aaaand... We get to stay at the Golden Lamb.


According to the website, The Golden Lamb is the oldest continuously operated business in Ohio. Hmm interesting. Also, 12 presidents have stayed there. Pretty cool. Mom and I are staying in the James Whitcomb Riley room. I have no idea who that is. I don't think he's a president. Doesn't sound familiar. I know, I'm a complete airhead. Feel free to mock me in the comments. I should look this up before we go maybe. :/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carly's First Ballet Class!

She had to leave the bunny behind when she actually went into the class. Surprisingly, she was ok with that. I, however, am not. She's not a baby anymore! She can go somewhere without Grubby Bunny!! Sadface.

I was only allowed to watch quietly through the door way for the first class. Yeah, I'm one of those obnoxious moms who brings her camera and sniffles pathetically through the whole thing, occasionally glancing around with pride to see if anyone else notices how amazingly awesome my kid is.
But those little girls had coordinating hair bows, and one even had leg warmers. So I'm the worst mom ever pretty much. Whatever.
*off to google knitted legwarmer patterns!*

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Curse of The Collector

dun dun dunnnnnnnnn.....
Kind of a dramatic title, huh? I don't mean like The Collector herself is a curse (even if my husband says otherwise,) I mean being a collector is a curse. And it's not something you can change. Like, I am female. Well I suppose that could be changed, but I'm not about to have surgery to change from being a collector. Although it would probably be cheaper in the long run.
Honestly I'm not too bad of a pack rat. I've escaped the dreaded Curse of The Stash Hoarder from my mother. (I hope. Sometimes these things wait until later in life to rear their ugly heads.) Currently, I can't stand having more yarn, fabric, and fiber than I can reasonably use. And other than the too-pretty-to-knit yarn that I have laying around just for looks, I don't like having stash that isn't already intended for a specific project. I know, I know, some of you have that perplexed puppy look on your faces right now, your little heads cocked to the side in wonder and confusion. If it makes you feel better, I have a problem with...
Collectible dishes.
I don't even think "dishes" is the right word. More like pottery, or kitchenware. My biggest vice is Fiestaware. Actually I'm pretty full up on Fiesta at the moment, except for maybe another teapot or two :) I'm not one of those collectors who insists on having every single piece ever made in every color to consider my mission accomplished. I just want to collect the pieces and colors I like. And I use almost all of them, except of course the sapphire and red shakers. Touch and die.
Recently though I experienced the urge to expand my collection. Fiesta had a few go-along lines called Riviera, Harlequin, and Kitchen Kraft:

Harlequin

Kitchen Kraft

Riviera
 I must not be a very good collector, because I'll be honest, I have a hard time putting some of these in the right category. I'm pretty sure all my sapphire pieces actually belong in the Harlequin category... Hrmm. More research is needed. Anyway, I can tell you for sure that I have three of the little jug pitchers from the first photo, that pink-ish pitcher from the first photo, and the creamer and sugar set from the third photo. Also soon to arrive fresh from ebay:

Do I know which line that really belongs to? No. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion that it's really Riviera.) I just know I love it, and I will cherish it and treat it right and put it to very, very good use. I would also put this set of silverware to good use:

Fiesta Masquerade Mirror Flatware
Which also reminds me that I wouldn't mind owning the Fiesta drinking glasses... See I just need to stop now.

There is one other line of collectibles with which I may be sliding down a slippery slope:

 These are pieces from the Lu Ray collection. They come in Windsor Blue, Persian Cream (the light yellow), Surf Green, Chatham Gray, and Sharon Pink. I mean come on, how can you not love something named Sharon Pink and Persian Cream? Sigh. I may just give those names to my next two children! 
I've found a few cups, saucers, plates, and bowls here and there at thrift stores and flea markets. That's my favorite kind of collecting, when you scavenge the pieces one by one and put them all together. But sometimes, when there is a dire need for a certain thing, ebay is an acceptable alternative. Last week I actually did find myself in dire need of a teapot for my desk at work. I have an electric kettle and I love having tea all day, but it's just not the same when you make it mug-by-mug. It's just a fact that tea tastes better in a delicate little cup, poured from a darling little pot, with the sound of the cup and saucer gently clinking together. So right at this moment I'm enjoying a hot pot of chai tea in my lovely little cups, and my desk is so much more cheerful and pretty. Only now I feel the need to begin collecting tiny little silver spoons for my tea set. Because the plastic ones are kinda ruining the experience. Well truthfully, being in a cubicle is kind of ruining the experience, but I do what I can.
Fortunately, so far this collection is serving a purpose and has not yet gone into full-on crazy mode involving butter dishes, egg cups, and shaker sets.  
So far.

But I am feeling the effects of another weakness, one I haven't even begun collecting yet: The Refrigerator Dish. I've always wanted refrigerator dishes. I don't really know what you do with the little ones, but I know they look fantastic. I know they make a satisfying clanking sound when you put the lid on. I know (well I don't know, but I can imagine) they feel deliciously cold and heavy in your hands.
What the heck is a refrigerator dish?

Kind of like Pyrex. Well, sometimes they are Pyrex:


I especially love the square pottery ones with the art deco styling:




And I really do like Pyrex, especially the amish ones and the friendship ones. Plus right now Pyrex is everywhere, everyone loves it and everyone's collecting it. I've thought about this a lot, and I think I know why Pyrex is so irresistible to collectors: It stacks neatly. It nests. It mix-and-matches. It creates perfect displays all by itself. I'm kind of having a hard time keeping my hands off it to be honest.
And that stuff is really useful. You can make sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes... 
I'm kinda hungry now.

What is your collecting weakness?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Over The Weekend I...

...Made veggie pizzas with Carly:

She especially loved rolling out the dough. I told her the other day that we were going to make our own pizza dough, and the poor kid walked around with the misconception that we were having cookie dough for dinner all day! But we still had a great time together. She grated the carrot and put all the chopped veggies on top. We'll have to do it more often!

And I had a movie night with Douglas
 This movie was SO funny! We also watched The Tourist, which was awful. Just really really stupid and totally disappointing. Fortunately, I was able to get a lot of work done during the terrible movie and I finally listed this:


It's a cuff bracelet. I'm mad about the crappy photos, but what can you do when it's been raining nonstop for weeks. Which, by the way, I am NOT complaining about. I love the rain and the storms and the lack of blinding sunlight in my eyes. I think Carly enjoys it too, because right in the middle of Jurassic Park I looked out the patio door and saw this:

There she was, playing in the pouring rain. Love that kid!

I feel like I've been talking about Carly way too much on my blog lately. I'm sure you're all really bored, but I can't help it. I miss her so much, I feel like I hardly even know her anymore. And then I feel even more guilty when I get home from work because I'm way too tired to play with her or even listen to her happy chatter. That's terrible, I hate it. She's only four, but she's already way too big to fit on my lap anymore. She's like a frenzied bundle of flailing arms and legs. Every time she falls asleep in my arms, I think what if this is the last time I ever hold her like this? Because one day she'll just decide that she's too much of a big girl to do things like that anymore. I can't even remember the last time I got to hold her like that. Ok wow I'm getting waaay too weepy right now lol.

Which reminds me, I really wish I'd brought these to work with me today:
 These. Are. The Best. Candies. Ever.
Imagine ground up Mounds bars with little flecks of almonds mixed in and a coating like M&Ms. So. Perfect.
I may need to run to the grocery store now :/

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flea Market Initiation

I have a friend named Courtney. She's like... my long lost twin. She loves antiques and vintage-y things. Her house is my dream come true. Her kitchen... I'm talking magazine-worthy stuff here, people. And she's hilaaaaaarious. If I'm within a 10-foot proximity I get the giggles and everything is funny. Anyway, would you believe she's never been to a flea market? I know, it's truly mind-boggling.

 Just look at her curls! Doncha just want to pull one and yell BOINNNGGGGG?! 
I do it all the time actually.

There's an old drive-in theater in Dayton that looks straight out of the fifties. I don't think they've changed a thing, and I love every inch of it. In the warm months, they do a little something on Sunday mornings called the Paris Flea Market. This is true flea marketing. The "vendors" pay something like $12 to set up, so it's the perfect place for basement clean-outs and estate unloading. So Courtney and I went last weekend. It was pretty chilly and the wind was like razor sharp icicles, so unfortunately there weren't many vendors there. But on the bright side, that left us with plenty of time to drive south for... dun dun dunnn.... TRADERS WORLD woohoo! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should click that link. 30-foot tall plaster giraffes await you.) I thought Courtney was going to have a kitsch stroke. It was glorious, I won't lie. Although now I feel that the occasion really called for some kind of initiation ceremony, maybe a cake? Had I but known.
Anyway, here are the spoils of the day....
A Corning Ware casserole dish with a glass lid, it's a pretty good size, for $6. I'm going to make sweet potatoes in it I think.

This is an old tea towel that I'm going to use as a sofa pillow cover.

The clear glass shakers are for my collection, I've been using them as display/storage for small buttons and beads. The green ones are for my sister-in-law because she likes green kitchen things. I just thought they were a pretty and unique pattern, and when I got home and looked them up I found out they are Fenton, so that's pretty cool.
And I also got an old radio for my dad, because he likes stuff like that. It works a little bit, so I thought he could restore it or use the parts or make something awesome out of the case, like an amp. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture, but just imagine a very antique-looking radio, about 12" x 8", made ENTIRELY OF BAKELITE. Yep. I just wanted to smell it all day.

All day I kept seeing things that I thought would sell great on etsy. There was a vintage set of THE MOST adorable folk art mugs (really kicking myself for letting that one go),  pink and green depression glass shakers, and groovy plastic picnic sets, all ridiculously cheap. I'm seriously tempted to offer a few select pieces in my etsy shop, if the colors and style complimented my embroidery listings. What do you think?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mine!

I don't often splurge on something out of my etsy favorites, but today I came across a site called Heartsy. It's like Groupon, but for etsy!
Right away I saw a deal I had to grab for Proteales. I've been stalking this shop for a while, mainly for this fantastic mood ring (she has lots of other pretty rings too!):
I think I had several when I was little, but the cheap kind that always broke. Of course this is a quality version, lovingly handmade with sterling silver. And the best part is I paid $14 instead of $40!!!! ShutUP
I know right? I'm so excited!
 Wanna join? Use this link and we both get a $5 credit towards a future deal purchase. Win win.