Saturday, February 28, 2009

Etsy shop update

Hello All,

I added some new items to my shop today and I wanted to share them.

* First up, a felt bead headband. There is a freshwater pearl in the middle and it is attached to a black elastic headband.
* Next, I used some more felt beads to create bobby pins. Jazzing up my work outfits!

* I made some earrings with more felt balls.

* I also crocheted some small flowers that one can use them as make-up remover pads, exfoliating pads or mini washclothes. Lovely, reusable, eco-friendly.

I made quite a few other things, but I didn't have enough time to take proper pictures.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A word about public transportation...

I don't know if I will ever be able to accurately describe my love of public transportation. There is just something about getting from point A to point B with other random people that I love. The noise, the people watching, the stimulates all my senses. With that said, public transportation in DC is far different than any other public transportation system. This city is really blessed to have such a wonderful system that enables one to get almost any where in this city and surrounding areas.

I enjoy people watching and everyday my commute is the best eye candy one could ask for. Last week I had the pleasure of watching a little Asian man intently read his well-worn romance novel with Fabio barring his chest on the cover. Despite the commotion around him, this man did not break his focus from the gripping erotica. On the bus this morning, the older women sitting next to me decided that my down jacket + shoulder was a desirable resting spot for her weary head. Honestly, I didn't mind but it made for an awkward exchange when I had to wake her so I could get off at my stop.

When I used to take the bus in Colorado from Boulder to Denver for my internship twice a week, I had a 45-60 minute ride. Depending on the time of the day, the bus wasn't packed but there usually weren't too many extra seats. I am not sure what it is about me, but I have a very nonthreatening physical appearance. I was always the first one to have someone sit next to them on the bus which lead to many interesting encounters, which included trying to convince an old man that I was in fact NOT his granddaughter, despite his certainty. During this same internship I shaved my head for a fundraiser for cancer and instantaneously I became a threat in people's mind. I was always one of the last one's to have the seat next to me fill up and strangers stopped talking to me as much. Honestly....I don't blame them. I might have done the same thing.

But I digress....I love public transportation. I get a serious sense of accomplishment each time I navigate myself around this city and it is a host of inspiration to wonderful crafting/knitting projects.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dollar Store Disappointments

Honestly....I am one of the first ones to sing the praises of the dollar store. There will forever be a special place in my heart for the Dollar Tree (or whatever variation you have near you) and their bounty of glorious goodies. I think that the wonderful thing about dollar stores is that it is really hard to be disappointed. If something doesn't quite work out like you wanted or breaks easily, it's easy to be was only a dollar. Plus....they can be a crafters paradise. So many different supplies and trinkets.....I can get inspired while in there.

The most that I have ever spent at a dollar store was around 60-70 dollars, which is almost embarrassing/shameful. That is a hell of a lot of stuff. I spent that much when the boy and I went to the dollar store in Richmond, VA when we first moved there and didn't have ANYTHING. We had packed up a rental car and moved across the country in three days. We bought groceries, cooking gear and basic necessities like soap/toothbrushes there. It was pretty pitiful but that is all we could spend for a few weeks until our first paychecks from our new jobs.

Thankfully, we aren't that impoverished anymore, but still the dollar store continues to be a beacon of light for our modest paychecks. But sadly....I have been disappointed by the dollar store. I decided to be frugal and purchase quite a bit of our needed cleaning supplies from the dollar store a while ago, and each week when I clean I try to convince myself that everything is clean, looks good and is hopefully sanitary (fingers crossed).

Tonight though, I think I need to step out of the denial. The blue colored water that the dollar tree markets as 'toilet bowl cleaner' has actually stained my toilet bowl blue from whatever dye they put in it, and I highly doubt it sanitizes. The imitation Clorox wipes don't have any sort of absorbancy or gripping power, so I just wipe dirt and germs all around, but actually can't pick any of it up. And don't even get me started on my Windex imitation and paper towls. My mirrors were fuzzier than a teenage boys' upper lip.

There comes a point in everyone's life when their hero falls, and tonight.....I heard the crash. Sob.

P.S. Something cheap that actually does work....I use Dryel to dry clean my own clothes since dry cleaning is so darn expensive. The Target near me doesn't ever seem to carry the refill kits, but if you wet a dryer sheet and throw it in the Dryel bag, it works like a charm. Steams and freshens. Yippee!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Loop D' Loops

UPDATE 2/24/13: Come find me at my new blog, where I post other patterns and generally awesome things. See ya soon!
I received a few questions about how to go about making one of these things, so I figured I might as well post a quick pattern. It is super duper easy though, cuz all you need to know is how to make a chain.

Gauge is not important with this. Just grab a lonely ball of yarn, an appropriate sized hook and start chaining.

Chain until your little fingers grow tired/you run out of yarn. After you have chained the entire ball, borrow a cute person's arms or use table legs if no cute person is around. Wrap the chain rope around the arms/legs until you get to the end of the rope. Create some sort of fashionable knot and hide the ends.

Wrap, twist and manipulate around your neck until you look cozy and hip like so.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grease Lightning

Happy Belated Valentine's Day to Everyone. I hope yours was filled with romance with a loved one or perhaps sadistic revenge. However you celebrate...

Mine was filled with baking and cleaning. The boy had been out of town for a few days for a work retreat, so I had to clean up the mounds of yarn and fabric that had made its way to covering our floor. I baked some delicious vegan treats. First up, heart-shaped vanilla sugar cookies with raspberry jam frosting. I added extra jam to the frosting so that way they would be pink for the holiday. I also made some peanut butter cups, but I don't have pictures of those. They were so incredibly delicious, and we ate those right away. The boy was good to me and had flowers delivered. The entire time that we have been dating, he has given me flowers twice. Both in the last month. He told me that he is going to wait a few years before giving me flowers again, just to keep me on my toes.

Our Valentine's was lovely and low-key which is how I like it. We watched part of the second season of Heros on Netflix, which could possibly be one of the greatest shows ever.

Now our Sunday took an interesting turn around 11am. Let me preface this story by describing where I live. I live in DC, in the city. The building that I live in is HUGE. Beyond massive. It has over 1,000 units in it, and most of them are breaking safety codes by the number of individuals that cram into these units. With living in this apartment building, there is just some things that can't be controlled due to the sheer number of people. 1) Bugs. I have a bug problem that I do my darnest to fight, but I can't kill them all especially when others breed them. 2) Water issues. This second problem is the topic of today's sad story.

At around 11am, I am fixing brunch for the boy and I. He is on the bed doing his Sunday ritual of coffee and Meet the Press. I am in the kitchen doing mine, fixing biscuits and gravy for the both of us. During our routines, the kitchen sink starts gurgling and talking to me. I comment to the boy that the sink is making funny noises. No answer from the boy. After another few minutes I announce that I think the neighbors are plunging their sink because ours is gurgling something fierce. The boy brushes me off, tells me he will look at it later. I continue to putter about the kitchen, when a minor explosion occurs and blackness comes spewing up out of my drain, all on my countertop/food. Many naughty words came out of my mouth after this occured. The boy and I then scrambled with all of our pots and pans scooping out black gunk from our sink and dumping the contents in our toilet. After we got the water level down, we went downstairs and bought Draino from the convinence store in our building. Within the five minutes we were gone, our sink filled back up with black gunk and was starting to overflow. Once again, we ran around scrambling with pots and pans draining our sink. The boy started plunging it to clear the drain and we poured draino in our sink, praying that the blackness would go away.

Fast forward 15 minutes....more gurgling, more explosions, more naughty words. We scrambled to call the front desk and told them send up someone to help. In the meantime, we continued to scoop black gunk from our sink. Finally our rescuers arrived, but we had a language barrier. Both the boy and I studied different romance languages in high school (me = french, him = german), and didn't have the common sense to study the all-practical spanish. After attempting to explain to our rescuers that plunging didn't work, they decided to start plunging. They had this crazy pressure plunger that had guages and knobs out the wazoo, but I don't think they were using it right. Because after five minutes of plunging....our pipes exploded. Black gunk (which we have determined to be built up grease) comes spewing out extremely fast at this point, filling my cabinets, spilling to our floor and spreading out through our apartment. Literally tens and tens of gallons of grease came out of my pipes.

At this point, I began to reconsider my marvelous idea of decorating our apartment in white towels and rugs.

After spending an hour observing the maintainence men snake/fix my pipes, they left. I then was left with a big mess. I grumbled to myself for hours as I cleaned, scrubbing my toilet for the second time in 24 hours, and mopping my floor again and again and again. I then had the pleasure of cleaning ALL my dishes by hand. But at least I looked fabulous while doing so, wearing my fashionable leopard print rubber gloves, courtesy of my mom :)

After all was said and we done, we did get to go out and enjoy some daylight. I made some scarfs this past week and wanted to show them off/get some pictures of them for my etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things I currently dig...

**Beware...shameless product endorsement ahead**

1) Bleach.

After living in a dorm for four years and learning that shoving all your socks, towels, jeans, cashmere and silk into one load would save you enough money a week to buy a pint of ice clothes took a dingy turn for the worse. Upon graduating and discovering that all my white clothes were various shades of blue...I realized the awesomeness of sorting ones darks from the whites. And that's not all...using bleach on these whites.
Growing up my mother did a bleach load of clothes each week for our socks, etc...but I never had the importance of bleach built into my fiber. That has all changed. On a whim, I bought a gallon of classic Clorox Bleach at Target for $1.54. I had big plans in mind for crafting, but decided to use it one evening to wash our white towels.

Oh my gosh......... I will never look back. It is incredible!!!

I keep finding new things to bleach and marvel at their whiteness in the laundry room. I mumble to myself about how they smell like a pool as I stuff them into my Ikea laundry bag. I keep creating conversations with people just so I can discuss how awesome bleach is.

I give myself one year until I am spinning and dancing with a crisp white tuxedo shirt.

2) Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus.

Last Sunday I happily clipped a coupon for this hummus from my newspaper. $1.50 off!! The economy must be bad when they are practically giving hummus away. I went grocery shopping and threw the roasted garlic hummus in cart, while congratulating myself on being an excellent bargain shopper.
Then comes Monday. I packed the hummus in my lunch with some baby carrots and was very excited for my afternoon snack. The Sabra company places a enormous pile of garlic in the middle of the hummus, so I stir away.

Okay...seriously....this was the most delicious hummus of my life.

I wrote a letter to the Sabra company thanking them for making me so happy and that I was a customer for life. If you have never experienced their hummus, I suggest you do so now. It might just make your life a little better.

P.S. They have a new cranberry/fig hummus that I am dying to try.

3) Hulu.

My boy and I have this little 13" tv that on a good day gets three channels. When it is overcast, two. Once the world goes digital next week, we are going to be cast into a world of static. I recently discovered Hulu from my cousin's blog and now I have no fear of being completely unhip about the pop culture world. I knit...I watch TV...I discover shows I didn't even know I loved. This brings to my last love....

4) The Biggest Loser.

I laugh. I cry. I become inspiried. All from the comfort of my apartment while eating oreos covered in peanut butter. I don't think that there is any feeling that will compare to feeling like a giant hypocrite due to a reality tv show. Each week I spend two hours watching a shameless plug for 24-hour fitness, Yoplait and Cheerios while eating nachos. It's divine.

Oh yeah....My etsy shop is on the up-and-up. I hope to get a decent amount of products in there over the weekend. But feel free to check it out and provide me with some feedback. The next great Martha Stewart empire must start somewhere.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


So its all the rage....I improved/redid the look of my blog. I think it looks fabulous. I got a tip from the Vegancraftastic blog about a seller on Etsy who designs banners and logos for blogs and Etsy on the cheap. I couldn't pass it up. I picked out my one-of-a-kind design and had it patiently waiting for me in my inbox in less than 24 hours. Beautiful.

I don't know about you but I am one of those people who has to purchase items to feel more productive. Hence why I love grocery shopping so much. Nothing gives me more of a sense of accomplishment than picking out a delicious head of kale. With that being said, perhaps my newly designed blog will actually make me want to be more productive and a better blogger. Perhaps....

On a completely different note, I feel in lust yesterday with a few things for my wedding. I probably won't be able to buy these details because I am working with such a small budget, but sigh ....aren't these things sexy?

This are biodegradable/disposable bamboo plates. These are made by a company called Bambu who practices fair trade policies and have designed/created these awesome plates. They are made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, peeled directly from the stalk and compose within 4-6 months. Also you can get a case of 100 11" plates for $128.00. Love them!

When I emailed my mom an image of these, she thought that they were horrible. But then again she has an irrational fear of birds. These are mini bird nests that are filled with Jordon almonds. I love that these can be used as wedding favors/placecards. You can buy a 12-pack of nests for 9.00 and add the price of Robin Egg Blue Jordan almonds and I think you can do wedding favors/placecards for less than $1.00 a piece. I am really hoping to fit these in my budget.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Little girl fancies

I think at some point as a small girl, many of us dreamed of getting married. For the longest time of my childhood, it revolved around the wedding scene from 'Little Mermaid.' I would have my whole mer-family there, my favorite crab and seagull and of course....a huge rainbow. But as one gets older, realities set in, budgets get finalized....and you begin to realize...rainbows are freakin' expensive. And you never realized how big your entire mer-family was until you tried to feed all of them. And you can't even decide if you are going to have kids attending, let alone crabs or seagulls.

To me...weddings are a party and should be celebrated as such. I am throwing out much of the traditions that come with regular weddings and celebrating in a manner that will be extremely meaningful to my future husband and I for years to come. I also care about my guests, their needs and that they witness a true expression of love and devotion. I am going to try to do all of this without pulling out my hair.

That being said, today started the first true day of wedding planning. I have been engaged since August, and have yet to set a date or location. Hopefully by the end of the week, I will be able to finalize on a location and start planning for the wedding I never dreamed of as a kid.