Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hey Peeps

I'm leaving blogger...
It's a little sad - I love my random blog full of MS Paint art, random photos, rants, etc
I feel like I need a fresh start...


I'll just be over at wordpress.
I'm finishing out some overdue wedding bloggery, then I'll be cleaning up the blog to take out the boring bits of wedding ranting....then....we're starting over in 2012 at

I'm excited! I'm hoping that the new space will be more interesting. A little less dull. SOMETHING BETTER!

Thank you for being a follower/reader/lurker

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs

My life doesn't revolve around my iPhone (this proven by the fact that I left it on the seat of my car in a MBTA parking lot one day this week). I don't own a Mac or an iPad. I never really thought about my iPhone or iPod on any emotional level.

But..Steve Jobs died yesterday..and the emotional tributes to him on everything from Design*Sponge to Nightline to I Love Charts got me thinking: how do I *feel* about my iPhone? Do I even have feelings about it?

Truth is I do. When it comes down to it, I love the thing. I will never.ever.ever go back to anything else. I rock an iPhone 3GS that I bought for $49 when the iPhone 4 came out. Did I think it would be a life-changing purchase. Not particularly. But has this piece of technology revolutionized the way I do things? Actually, yes. How?
Where do I even start?

My iPhone is my alarm clock, my meteorologist. When I'm away from home, I can get the score of the Patriots/Bruins/Celtic/Sox in the snap. My iPhone is my bird book, my GPS. It has my to do list, grocery list, countless photos. I have apps that tell me how far away my bus or train is, apps that count knitting rows for me, a kindle app that lets me read a book on the train when I've finished my library book and have nothing else to read (yes, library book, I am old-fashioned that way). I can play scrabble with friends, I can chuck angry birds at brick walls, I can take hipster picture, I have all of Shakespeare and the Louvre at the tips of my fingers. I have coupons, TV Guide, my library network, all on my phone. I could seriously go on and on and on.

Yeah, I know Steve Jobs didn't create any of these apps himself. But he envisioned and created the mechanism that delivered these things to our fingertips, and for that, I am so grateful. Sure, life was "simpler" before the iPhone, but for me, even though having that kind of accessibility makes things complicated sometimes, life is definitely better with it. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Still Here!

I am still here!

Work is crazy!
Life is crazy!

There is noooo timmmmme!

Well there is time. Just not blogging time.

In a couple weeks we are celebrating our anniversary by heading out to Seattle:


When I told my boss she said "You'll love Seattle. Oh, but don't look for Seattle Grace. It's not real."
Me: -_-
Her: What?!

Me: I KNOW IT'S NOT REAL!!!!!!!!

So yes, we are just a few weeks away from our Seattle sojourn (oooh alliteration) - why'd we choose Seattle? Well we're visiting a Smith friend, Jam has always wanted to go to Seattle, and we want to have an anniversary dinner at the top of the Space Needle. It's not the fanciest anniversary trip, but we CAN'T WAIT to get away and are grateful to be going on a vacation at all :) yay!

Besides, we're saving up for next year. For our second anniversary and 30 and 35th birthdays and our big "pre-kids" trip we're really trying to plan a trip to:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Photo Dump

Anyone read Kelle Hampton's blog "Enjoying the Small Things"? It's lovely, it really is. Check it out.

Anyways, Kelle does this "Friday Phone Dump" thing - I'm assuming it's when she downloads all the photos off her phone camera. I saw her's today and thought "wow, that's a great idea! I'm gonna try that too!" Hmm. 349 photos/videos on my phone. WOW, how did that happen? I haven't even had my iphone for 6 months and I've managed to fill it with that much *stuff*?!

Most of it is random junk that I'll hide away on my external hard drive for posterity, but there were a few interesting bits and pieces:

Colonial Sampler from the MFA's Needlework exhibit

 The new Art of the America's wing

Parrot Cake Pops 

Lily needs MamaBird love

Hipstamatic print of a winter sunset

Nobska Light, Falmouth

Ridiculously good sushi special at Asian C

Crossing some bridge in NY

Apple Tree in front of the John Adams birthplace

Jam in Newport

Cloudpocalypse in Quincy

Me, my cousin and my sis finish a 5K

My Church Fair Clivia blooms!

Berry Trifle for 4th of July

I Tiny Planet-ed Fenway

Me and Jam kayak Hingham Harbor

The first morning glories!
Chihuly at the MFA

Boston from Granite Links Golf Course

The awesome epic craft box I made my MIL

Slightly creepy pic of me on Jam's bday

Flyyy-yyy-yyy-yyy-yy-yy pic of the Jamonster, while boating on Lake Winnipesaukee (and trying desperately to beat the weather home, which we did!)

OK so Operation Photo Dump was pretty fun - lots of good memories were stuck in that iPhone and I'm glad they're free. Thinks it's definitely time to delete and make room for more.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Pretty

Some day I'll post about the 'Great Balcony Redo.'

For now, here's a shot I took this morning with my phone. My morning glories aren't as big as they should be - this might be for many reasons - but what they lack in diameter they make up for in color - it's saturated and bright and cheerful. I love it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Job

So I'm seriously considering looking for a new job. That's not really a secret.

HERRRRE's the secret:

Sometimes I say things to my boss that I know will horrify her, just because I like the reaction.

Isn't that terrible?

Today I told her I was turning my wedding dress into a cocktail dress (which is probably going to happen) but I brought it up because every time I say it, she gasps and puts her hand over her heart.

*evil grin*

She recently told me that when I had kids, I would never go on vacation again because I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from them. I told her that I wasn't sure that was true. She said "It is, just wait, you won't be able to leave your child. Plus you're so type A, you'll need everything in your control." I told her that people who can't leave their kids to have a healthy "adult" vacation with their girlfriends/spouse/partner/alone have "something wrong with them." Which I think is semi-true (but that's not the point). Again, GASP! Hand on heart! Horror, oh the horror!!

It's moments like this that I almost want to stay so I can run circles around this woman....but then again, when she does things like breeze into my office only to sit down and whip out a nail file to file her creepy long nails, I have second thoughts....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Great Pantry Re-Do

When it came time to find an apartment, Jam and I set out together one July weekend determined to make a decision as soon as possible. We were shown three of the most god-awful places I've ever seen...EVER. I returned home somewhat discouraged that a place I had seen on Craigslist that was almost perfect, had disappeared. Three days later, the "realtor" (I say that in quotes because the whole deal was SHADY!) we were working with called and asked me to look at a place. Jam was in NYC, so I brought my sister along. It was THE apartment from Craigslist! I only had to walk a few steps into the apartment to know it was indeed perfect. Spacious, filled with light, with a built-in china cabinet AND a pantry. Bliss. I put a deposit down, my sister loaded a video she recorded on YouTube for Jam's review, and a few days after that, I signed the lease.

The pantry is one of the best things about the apartment, and I claimed half of it as my craft space. I know, I know, that was pushy. Luckily Jam was cool with it. My crafty things were the first things moved and unpacked, partially because I needed so many of my craft supplies for my DIY wedding project, and partly because I have so much crap stuff. 

this was just the beginning....

Once Jam had made the move north, we devoted the second half of the pantry to food and food-related things like a panini press, Foreman grill and my beloved red mixer. Fast forward about six months. In that space of time we had a wedding, a honeymoon, continued to open boxes of wedding gifts, ordered furniture, got trapped coming home from San Diego, got snowed in more than once, had a Christmas party, had friends over...needless to say, pantry organization wasn't exactly at the top of my priority list. One day in March I realized that our pantry had fallen into disarray and disgrace. Tragic:

Cords dangled from appliances, pans were stacked haphazardly. Baking supplies and boxes of rice intermingled, vinegar and ziploc bags shared the same shelf. An old bottle of wine hid, spoiling, behind my mixer. Open bags of m and m's and pretzels lingered for months on the bottom shelf. Recipes we printed off the computer lay in an ignored pile. My Christmas amaryllis sagged in front of the window. The longer I looked, the closer I came to point break, point meltdown. I decided that the pantry needed an overhaul. 

I turned to the Container Store. I set a budget. I went to work. I sketched and resketched the pantry, I heavily stalked home improvement and decor blogs (Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge in particular), and I made a wish list on the Container Store's website - this way I could ensure that I'd stay within my budget when I went to the store (unless I got excited and bought random things I didn't need, but I was VERY focused!) I actually took a vacation day from work to tackle this project - I dropped Jam at the airport for one of his business trips, hopped on the Mass Pike westbound and sped out to the Container Store in Natick, where I had made sure all my wish list products were in stock (gotta love the Container Store's website).

It took an entire day to organize the pantry. And while the improvements were vast, I don't think I'm quite done (having sat with the new and improved pantry for 3 months, I now know it's weakest points and know it's almost time for an update), but oh, it is SO MUCH easier to find things, use things, and I can look at my pantry without having a mental breakdown. Remember the before? The horrible, horrible before:

Get ready....


OK you really ready?

Here's the after:

Better, right??!!! 

Because this took me a whole day, I finished waaay after sunset, so sadly, the lighting in these photos isn't exactly the greatest, but here are some more shots.

I finally put to use the mason jars left over from the wedding. They've since been labeled (my dumb p-touch had dead batteries the night of the pantry re-do!)

An additional 2-tier rack and two single spinning racks wrangled my spices, baking supplies (food coloring, sprinkles) as well as things like vinegar and soy sauce.

On the top shelf, a pot lid rack wrangled our interchangeable Foreman grill racks. On the third shelf a "kitchen wrap" organizer put our ziploc bags, saran, wax paper, parcment, etc in order. The second shelf features some amazing pop-top oxo storage bins a friend gave us (oh to replace all my bins with these amazing oxo ones!), and a drop-down can rack does double duty not only organizing our canned goods, but also storing boxes of rice. Finally, I bought a small wine rack for the bottom shelf, and a mesh shelf for trashbags and boxes of sandwich bags - things we were always reaching for but could never quickly or easily find!

Also on the bottom shelf - I moved my mixer and bulk dry goods (which were heavy) down so I wouldn't have to pull them off the shelf. The basket is holding cookie cutters and other baking tools.

Even the craft side of things got a redo and tidy - not too shabby!

Though I was psyched at the outcome, there are still some things that need to be done. I still need to organize the cabinets below the shelves, purge some of my craft supplies, and tackle some of the things I didn't mention here (cough cough very top shelf of pantry cough), and I do need to help husbando finish the floor. I think this was an excellent start to my organizing endeavors though! Eek, I'm actually inspired to re-tackle the pantry and a couple other organization projects (husband's office). Stay tuned - more DIY projects might be on their way :)

Monday, June 20, 2011


I just need to vent for the quickest second: while I love social networking for the fact that it can reconnect you with old friends from across the globe and help you keep in touch with family far and near, it DOES NOT mean you know ANYTHING about the stuff going on in anyone's life, even your close friends' lives. Especially if you don't have an account and stalk people through other people's accounts :( nothing beats picking up the phone, or better yet, finding time to hang out. And if you're reading this blog, no worries, this doesn't apply to any of you :) I just found myself in a really crap situation this weekend. Actually, it made me want to delete my account so people would be forced to actually converse with me, but if I deleted my facebook account, how could I stalk random people from college and high school? ha ha ha. The account lives on, but I just might be using it a little less, and hopefully it will send the right people a message of sorts. Or not. Argh.  eta: Facebook issues solved for the moment...

Enough venting.

This weekend I went to a local park to try and jog a 5K...I think I should specify here. I know I can jog a 5k, and actually ran 3.2 miles in 35 minutes just the other day, but I wanted to jog this park because it was woodsy, near the ocean/river, and it had a 3+ mile looping trail so I wouldn't get bored or have to jog in circles. I bought a big ol' gatorade to carry with me and headed out. Problem 1: the gatorade was heavy and about five minutes into my run it felt like a 15 lb dumbbell. Problem 2: I went running at 11:30 without a hat or sunscreen. Problem 3: the park where I wanted to run has become mostly a dog park. I felt like an adult at the playground without a kid...creepy. Dog owners glanced at me out of the corner of their eyes or over the tops of their designer sunglasses like I was some sort of dog-napper or dogless voyeur come to stare longingly at their precious little puppykins. It was WEIRD! I saw one other runner (she had a dog) and one other dogless person (who actually creeped ME out) and my run turned into a pathetic run-walk as I lugged the gatorade around a seemingly endless system of paved trails. At one point I thought I was lost and started to wonder if I'd make it out of there alive. I did. I was soaked in sweat (more dirty looks...apparently the people in the ritzy town in which the park is located do NOT sweat) and was grateful I brought a fresh t-shirt to change into. I actually think I'll head to the park again at some point, though probably on my bike. Or with a dog. ha.

After that I went to Lowe's to continue to balcony improvement project. The feisty squirrels in my yard are determined to destroy my planting efforts. They will not win!! I will find a way to deter them! I will also put some pictures up of the know, for the 2 people still reading this blog. Ha.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweet Victory

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Last night we watched the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in Game 7 - GLORIOUS GLORIOUS GLORIOUSNESS! I was especially happy for my die-hard hockey fan grandparents. They never miss a game (thus being far more dedicated hockey fans than me!) and I know they must've been on the edge of their seats for all seven games!! I'm especially happy for Tim Thomas (above) our stoic, steadfast goalie. Yeah B's!

As for the rioting that followed in Vancouver - it's sad to see. Apparently many Canadians are as embarrassed and ashamed of it as I was appalled and shocked (Vancouver! Such a world class city! What the heck!). Boston had its own set of shenanigans (why to drunken men try to flip cars, WHY?) but unfortunately, Boston has learned how to deal with this kind of behavior the hard way, and from what I hear, the police presence was heavy and came down hard on anyone misbehaving. It's sad a few rotten people spoil everyone's fun, but here's to the B's win and to a safe and happy victory parade on Saturday! Go Bruins!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wow....No really, WOW!

I get these daily emails from Whole Living. They include a "challenge" for the day. Sometimes I ignore and delete them, sometimes I read them and think "yeah ok. whatever" and then delete them, but sometimes, like today, I actually read the email, "accept" the challenge, and delve deeper into the who/what/why of the challenge.

Today's challenge was "Get Motivated," and the email urged everyone to think of a task they'd been spending time dreading and re-work the thought process around that task, "focusing on the end result" so that it "fed" us instead of "drained" us. Hmm sounded like good advice, plus there's always something on my plate I'm dreading.

By accepting that challenge, I can across a list of 11 Common Stress Triggers. I've been coming home from work stressy and mad lately. I feel overwhelmed....or underwhelmed. I wondered if I had any of these "common" stress triggers. The list looked like this:

1. Money Issues
2. A Job That Never Ends (meaning you're working 24/7 because of iphones, blackberries, laptops, etc).
3. A Job You Don't Like
4. Your Relationship
5. Constant Caregiving
6. Holiday Pressures
7. Taking on Too Much
8. Not Enough Quality Time
9. Striving to be Perfect (HA!)
10. A Lack of Passion
11. Disorganized Clutter

Sigh. I feel as though 8 of these 11 things are a significant factor in my life. And trust me, I'm grateful for the three that are not, especially the "constant caregiving" one, but seriously? It's time to get life in order! I think just knowing that these things are causing unnecessary stress in my life will help me move forward.

Blah blah blah me me me.

Moving on :)

I finished Craft Hope projects 12 and 13. YAY!

First up, I made 27 bracelets for Russian Orphans:
Here are the "big girl" sizes (taken with the wicked clevah Hipstamatic app)

I loved making these - the beads brought me right back to early 90's Girl Scout camp and I admit, I kinda wanted to rock a bracelet for myself...but no! these are for the orphans! And though I joke, the orphan situation in Russia is nothing short of tragic. This is from Craft Hope's website, facts and figures via Orphan Outreach:

There are more than 143 million orphans around the world. The majority don’t live in orphanages, they live in communities. They live in extreme poverty and many are homeless.”
One hundred and forty three million. 143 million. Can you comprehend this number? Staggering. Mind boggling. Overwhelming.
I read this information, along with other countless figures, from the warmth of my own home. A safe place that I have created for my own children. With love bursting at the seams. And I became overwhelmingly grateful for all that I have and am able to provide.
A few more statistics that will stop you in your tracks…
  • Every day 5,760 more children become orphans.
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Every year 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system.
  • More than 1 million orphans are waiting for a home in Russia.
  • In Russia, 60% of girl orphans become prostitutes and 70% of male orphans become hardened criminals.
Kids don’t get to pick their parents. They don’t get to pick what their upbringing will be like. They have no choices. We can’t change this, but we can help. We can share a little love from across the globe.
 A little about Russia — When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it’s shaky orphan-care system also fell. Alcohol consumption increased 10 times the U.S. level. The instances of divorce also climbed, along with the HIV-infection rate, which is now one of the highest in the world. And, according to a 2007 UNICEF report, the annual number of children without parental care in Russian ‘has more than doubled over the last 10 years, despite falling birth rates.’ Currently, there are over 750,000 children in the orphanage system and hundreds of thousands more living in the streets.

Yeah. Kinda of makes my BS about "life stress" seem pretty insignificant, huh?

As a kid, ok, even as an adult, I have pieces of jewelry that I wear that mean something. I have a necklace I bought in Kenya on my 21st birthday that just makes me *HAPPY* when I wear it. I have several necklaces my sister made for me. I have a necklace a friend had made for me for a birthday gift. I have things my husband gave me, things from my parents, things from my grandparents, a string of fake pearls that my father's mother had amongst her limited possessions when she passed away. These things MEAN something when I wear them. My hope for all the Craft Hope bracelets sent to Russia is that a kid will wear them, look at it and know that someone out there made them that bracelet because they care.

For Craft Hope 13, my overwhelming desire to "DO SOMETHING!" was fulfilled - the mission of 13 was blankets for tornado survivors. Ironically enough, Massachusetts was hit with a round of tornadoes while I was working on these quilts. They were not particularly close to where I live (about 2 hours away, around the area where I attended college, so I consider it "close" but it wasn't geographically), but we got the aftermath of the storms in my city, with lightning, thunder, powerful winds. It was mildly scary. I looked out the window and thought "now multiply this scary times about a million, and that's what you were dealing with in places like Tuscaloosa and Joplin." Damn. I hope I never see anything like that.

Making the quilt tops for each of these was a breeze - I decided to go with big squares and raided my fabric stash for suitable options. I had hoarded sufficiently large bits of fabric from baby quilts and other projects past, so I knew I could make at least two quilt tops. Sewing them brought back such fond memories, as some of the pieces were inherited from my mother. The center of the "pink quilt" was actually fabric from a dress my mother sewed for my sister! The problem came much later when I chose to back the quilts with fleece. It thought making something warm and snuggly would be nice, and if I went with fleece, I wouldn't have to do the whole "quilt sandwich" thing with batting in the middle.


Fleece is, previously unbeknownst to me, stretchy. For some reason I didn't pick up on the stretchy-ness when I was laying out quilt pieces, or even sewing the first side of the quilt back to the top. No, the realization came later, when I tried to finish the final sides and the seams didn't match or the fleece was bunched up weird. Oh the frustration! I was flipping out. When I finished the seams, everything seemed off-kilter. As I hand-sewed the final piece, I noticed how cozy the quilt's fleecy back was "At least this will keep someone warm"...and with that, I gave myself a mental dope-slap (at least that's what my dad would call it!) - "this a homemade WARM quilt that you are making for a stranger who has lost EVERYTHING," I told myself, "the last thing they are going to be worrying about is your stupid stupid stretchy fleece or your wonky seams." I told someone that I was all worried about the seams and she laughed in my face. I totally deserved it too :)

 So with that, I packed everything up and sent the quilts and bracelets off to their respective destinations. May they warms souls, brighten days, and let people know that they're in other's thoughts and hearts.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

To Do

What I have to do today: truck through a huge QA report, figure out the status of my project, get ready for a conference call next week, map out summer plans, plan meals and plan the snack I have to make for a church thing, go grocery shopping, do laundry.

What I want to do today: play on Etsy (it's pay day, the one day each week where I feel wealthy, like I have money to burn), buy a new umbrella at the hospital gift shop, laze about, read, go swimming.

I might get to do both, but it seems unlikely!

The good news? I feel a little more inspiration coming on. I've been so "blah" lately in the inspired category. Maybe it's because we finally got out of this rain/crap weather rut, got to throw open the windows and have a steady breeze flowing through the apartment (accompanied by a steady stream of bugs - our screens are not as open-window-worthy as I thought...). I feel ready to tackle projects...but for some reason, not laundry. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Good, The Bad

We spent a wonderful weekend with friends in Newport.
Though there are countless historic buildings and MANSIONS to explore, beaches to lazily lay upon and lots of places to explore, we ate and drank and talked. That's it. Gah, it was fabulous, even though my liver is still recovering, even though at 1:30AM on Sunday morning I stubbed my toe and split the tip open (Sailor Jerry dulled the pain). The fresh seafood, amazing Mexican fare, Blues club, caipirhinas, margaritas, spiced rum, purse dog and people-watching compensated for that all, nevermind the mostly-hilarious conversations we had.

The bad part is that the weekend flew by far too fast. Other cons? The group that we hung with this weekend was so fab and drama-free and CHILL that it makes going back to work that much harder. Argh! I'm so not in the mood to deal with work and people's problems!

Because I'm an optimist, I guess I should being playing up the four-day work week in my head, the fact that Jam and I discovered a cute park a short drive from home that's right on the ocean and full of birds and well-maintained trails, and the fact that this weekend we are busting out the kayaks....

So here we are. Tuesday half-down. Three and a half days to go until the weekend! Bring it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weather Pattern

It started raining on Saturday, May 14th. It hasn't stopped, and won't stop until at least Friday. It has also been a little bit chilly. Yes, I am a fairly hardy New Englander, but mid-May normally marks the beginning of the "Great Clothes Migration" (you know, the switching of winter to summer clothes) and I was not happy about dragging out my fleece-lined faux suede boots for this morning's commute. OK. I lie. I lie because I love those boots so much I've worn out the heels, so I was happy about putting them on, but annoyed that the weather called for warm boots this morning....but I digress, I digress.

There are some bad things about all this rain. One is that Jam and I awoke at 1:30am on Monday to a persistent "tap....tap....tap....tap..." I rolled over and pretended like the noise was just big fat raindrops hitting our window AC unit. Jam SPRUNG out of bed (sprung as in, FLUNG the covers back dramatically and LEAPED out of bed) and then committed the cardinal sin of all late-night rousings: he turned on the overhead bedroom light (note: when you must get up in the middle of the night and require light, you should use 1. small lamp at bedside, 2. headlamp 3. flashlight or 4. cell phone so as not to wake your bed partner. I'm just SAYIN'). He loudly exclaimed "*expletive* the ceiling is leaking." I played dumb - "really? the ceiling?!" and let him take care of it. Usually I discover the ceiling leak in the morning when I get up to take a shower and step in a puddle that has managed to run down the floor towards the wall and closet (our floors are crooked), and I'm left responsible for bucket-wrangling and clean-up, so I let Jam handle this late-night discovery. So there's that thing.

Another thing is the complete lack of motivation and energy which I choose to blame completely on the weather. This is why I gain "winter weight" every year. I look out the window and see rain/snow/fog/darkness/wet pavement and decide to "exercise" inside, which usually turns into flopping on the couch. This week I've lifted weights and done a Jillian Michaels ab routine, but beyond that, I have been sloth-like.

The constant rain makes the work day draaag. There's no glorious sunshine to escape to, to work towards. Instead I just sit at my computer, bored, sluggishly making my way through a to do list. I don't really care whether or not I complete it because waaahhh wahhhhhhhhhh all I have to look forward to is trudging through the rain.

There are, however, a few perks to the rainy stretch we've been having....

The damp chill is a great excuse to cook comfort food for dinner! We had mini-meatloaves on Monday, shrimp cakes on Tuesday, and a big ol' bowl of spinach pesto chicken pasta last night. The rain is a great excuse to snuggle up together with mugs of tea and watch Netflix movies (though we ventured out to see 'Bridesmaids' which was raunchy but HILARIOUS), bake cookies, nestle in big blankets....I mean, it's not ALL's just that it's been 6 days now, and I really want to see the sun again.

Despite my sloth-like pace at all tasks these days, I did plan for some major crafty time when I saw the extended forecast last week. I managed to visit two of my favorite yarn shops, Windsor Button in Boston and Patternworks in Center Harbor, NH just a few days apart, and between the two shops, I gathered some fabulous yarn to make several sweet baby projects. I finished a "Baby Sophisticate" sweater in just 4 days:

Baby Sophisticate

this one isn't mine, though the colors are the same. I took this pic from Camping Jason's flickr photostream

Since I flew through that sweater, I decided to start two projects at once, an owl hat:

this is from the designer's site. how cute is that baby?!

And another Golden Rose Sundress. I knit this one for my friend's daughter Alexa forever ago:

Alexa's Dress

A friend from high school had a baby girl in February, saw the old picture of Alexa's dress on facebook and offered to buy one off me. I felt funny about it. Yeah, I think I'd totally do custom orders for cashmoney some day, but 1. I'm so not ready for that kind of pressure and 2. this girl was a buddy from the XC team, and we were a tight bunch. I'm not about to charge her for a little sundress!

I think I'll throw in a matching bonnet too, like this one I made for Alexa:

Miss A in her Bonnet

Oh and before I forget, the owl hat and sophisticate sweater are going to the same expecting mama. I can't make it to her baby shower, so I want to send something especially nice. Since her theme is "owls" (and I can hardly resist owls, including this one living near my house:

Eastern Screech Owl)

I bought some owlie fabric on etsy. I mean to make her (or rather, her expected baby, a little boy) a quilt with this cross stitch design in the middle:

which I snagged on ABC Stitch's website. I mean, I LOVE this little cross stitch thing - even though normally I'd gag at something that said "Mommy's Little Prince," I thought this was pretty tasteful and would appeal to the mom-to-be. I imagined subtle blue prints that played off the color scheme in the stitching making up the quilt blocks. But....then I started thinking about the owls... and found this on etsy and suddenly the whole elegant and subtle quilt idea went out the window. Of course I obsessed about whether or not the fabric would match the room decor, but I quickly found a solution. Instead of making a crib quilt, I plan on fashioning a stroller quilt. I stumbled upon this brilliant-ness while googling away, and the pattern is free on flickr. This blogger posted a picture of the one she made:

Towards the top of the quilt are two pieces of twill tape sewn into the binding. This allows you to tie the quilt to your stroller frame. The buttons on the bottom half allow the quilt to be folded and buttoned up out of the way, so the quilt isn't dragging on the ground. How frickin' brilliant is that?! 

So after I get all that done, I plan on making one last gift. Jam's former coworker has had two kids, and both times she was pregnant I told her I'd make something for her baby...and it so didn't happen. With her first, I was just disorganized, in grad school, all that stuff. Her second was born last August, while I was in the throes of wedding planning. This time around, she's having another girl, and in August. I have to make something really sweet to make up for my slacking. The designers at Pickles have made The Most Ridiculously Cute Baby Dress Ever. Yes, it's so cute it needs an official title with caps. Ladies, cross your legs, cause if you didn't want to have a baby girl RIGHT NOW you will when you see this pic:

SERIOUSLY cute. I love the dress and little booties, and the bonnet is to die for! I will, of course, include leggings and a long sleeved shirt in the gift box so baby can wear this outfit into the fall. Gah. Then I'll have to resist making one and stashing it for my non-existent girl child. 

After I get through all this stuff - which might not take too long if the weather patterns continues - I am taking a gift-crafting hiatus. I hate to do it, but I can't commit myself to making new gifts for anyone until I finish up what I owe. I actually have shawls for my bridesmaids that I never finished knitting. Oh the shame :(. Luckily I have an idea for that, so it's not a total disaster. I have quilts I owe, knitted stuff I owe, a stash that could really use some reducing, plus some things I want to make for myself. Oh yeah, plus the Craft Hope stuff I committed to. Maybe after all THAT I'll start taking custom orders. 

Happy crafting!