Friday, January 31, 2014

Monthly Update - January

It's already the end of crazy is that?

Other than work, here's what I've been up to this month.

Crochet Projects:
  • Charisma Yarn Blanket - finished just before the Championship Game, so I could be cozy while I was stressed :) It is made with 10 skeins of Charisma yarn in Toadstool, and Q hook, a simple textured stitch, and a single crochet border.
  • Seahawks Storage Bag/Basket - finished for the Super Bowl. Yes, the Hawks are going to the Super Bowl! Only two more days! I can't wait! I modified this pattern for the bag/basket. I made it smaller, taller, and left out the spikes (only because I was going to run out of the grey).

As for my New Year's goals, I've been progressing well.
  • I crocheted all the above things for myself, using only yarns I already had in my stash. I purchased all the yarn for the blanket last year.
  • I sewed myself a mug rug, again using only scrap fabric. I spent $0 at the craft store this month on things for myself, and only $5.50 on things for projects I'm being paid for.
  • I have read 9 books in the series I am trying to read before the end of the year.
  • I did well with eating "nothing fried" and only ate one meal with something fried each week.
  • New places - James' company's holiday party was held at Teatro ZinZanni, which I had always wanted to go to but could never justify the cost, and it was absolutely amazing!
All in all, it's been a good month. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from our trip to the zoo last weekend.
All I can think about when I see seals now is "Wow, they really do look like dog mermaids!" Thanks, Pinterest.
 This kid always has his tongue out.
Elijah decided to fight a large pumice rock with his forehead...the rock won.
Coming up next month: Valentine's Day, Elijah's 3rd Birthday/President's Day, a lot more scrap busting, and a lot of fruits and vegetables.
February Healthy Eating Goal - no more than two meals a week with fried food, and two servings of fruit or vegetables at least four days a week.

Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY Mug Rug

During my daycare freedom today, after going to work to get a couple of things done, doing dishes and starting the laundry, I found myself sitting at my sewing machine. It had been a while since I had sewn anything, and I had the itch. I knew I was short on time, so I decided a mug rug would be a good, quick project. Nothing fancy, just strips of fabric sewn onto some pre-quilted fabric. It was the perfect project for a cold and cloudy afternoon - mostly because once I was finished with it, I got myself some tea and cookies (homemade Health Bar chocolate chip - awesome!).

I cut my strips 1.5" x 7.5" and sewed them together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Then, with right sides together, I sewed the strips to my pre-quilted fabric, clipped the corners, turned it right side out and top stitched around the whole thing. It's not perfect, but I like it, and it will keep the table from getting a heat mark from my cup of tea (and it's way cuter than our pot holders that I've been using).

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Seahawks Blue Friday Flower Scarf and Bow Hat

Today was officially declared "Seahawks Blue Friday" by the Washington state governor. We take our jobs as football fans here pretty seriously, folks.

This is what I'm going to be sporting tomorrow as I support our Seahawks in their game against the Saints.

This was the perfect scrap busting project! I simply started off with all the blues, greens, greys, and whites I had in my stash, which as you can see below was a lot, and used as many of them as possible. There are hardly any repeats within the scarf itself.

I made 25 simple 6 petal flowers and sewed them together into the scarf. Then I made the hat using this pattern in size L (from here). It can be tailor made to any team or theme. You can also purchase one in my etsy shop. There is also a smaller children's version in the shop as well.

And because no one can talk about a Seahawks/Saints playoff game without mentioning the "Beast Quake" here it is - love this play! Amazing!

Go Hawks!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our House - A Mini Tour

While I was uploading pictures from my camera SD card, I found the pictures of my house that I had taken to show my French "family" way back in October when I went back for my friend's wedding. I have nothing to do with them now, so thought I would take you on a little mini tour while waiting for Elijah to fall asleep in the room next door.

When you walk into our house, you walk straight into the living room. I love this room. It's warm and cozy and is decorated with sea turtles, maps and pictures, souvenir drums, and clearance art. It's mostly a mish-mash of things we've picked up here and there.
What you would see when you walk in the door.
Looking towards the front door.
The wall directly across from the couch.
That piano used to belong to my grandfather. When my grandma moved into her assisted care facility we got it...mostly because my husband is the only one who actually plays piano in the family. I am very glad to have it here.
Passing the downstairs bathroom, closet and the stairs, you enter our kitchen/dining room/Elijah's play area.
Coming into the room.
The white door leads to a small side porch, and the wood door leads to the garage.

That banner on the wall is from Elijah's first birthday.
Next month he'll be three. We should probably relocate it.
Our kitchen. Small, but functional.
Elijah's side of the room - it's mostly trains.
Upstairs is our office/music studio/craft room/electronics workstation/general catch-all room.

This is my corner of the room.

This is James' corner.
I'm actually sitting at his computer as I type.
This is our shared corner.
My in-laws reupholstered that couch for James' birthday when he was a teenager.

Our bedroom, Elijah's bedroom and two bathrooms are also located upstairs, but this is a little mini tour. I hope you enjoyed this little look around our home. Elijah now appears to be asleep, so it's mama free time! Yay!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

I'm not a big New Year's Resolution kind of person. I'm more of a "start pursing goals the moment I have one" kind of person...or on the flip side, a "think of a goal, but never start pursing it" kind of person. So, instead of making resolutions that will inevitably be broken by mid-January, I like to make lists of things I would like to see happen before the end of the year.

This year, here are those things:

1. Read more. I have one old series I want to reread before the next book comes out in June, and a new collection of books that I would like to read before the end of the year. I'm going to shoot for 2 or 3 books a month.

2. Do more projects for me. I'm always making things for other people, so this year, I want to make things for myself. I'm currently working on a Seahawks themed flower scarf and hat set, and am planning on being done with it before our first playoff game on the 11th. I'm hoping to make one thing for myself every month.

3. Slowly work up to eating better. Each month, I will try to set a different challenge for myself to work on getting out of bad nutrition habits. This month is "nothing fried".

4. Visit a few places I've never been before. This could be anything from a new country to a new restaurant.

5. De-stash my craft items. I have so much yarn and fabric and other miscellaneous stuff that it's getting out of control. My challenge to myself this year is to only spend money I receive in gifts cards at the craft stores. I got about $75 for Christmas, and I will probably get more for my birthday in May. By coupling store sales and coupons, I think I will be able to make it to at least August without spending more than that. This will force me to use more of what I already have for projects. Of course, buying supplies for items I'm selling will not be counted.

6. Potty train Elijah. I'm all for letting him do things at his own pace, but he's almost 3 and hasn't shown any interest in the toilet. Again, not in a rush, but by New Years 2015, he'll be almost 4, and hopefully will be well on his way to being potty trained.

7. Grace. I want to give more grace - to my family, to my students, to strangers, and to myself. I'm not sure there's a way to measure this, but I want to be actively aware of how I'm treating myself and those around me.

So, that is what I would like to see happen in 2014. If it does, awesome! If it doesn't, well...there's always next year!

Here's to a happy 2014!