Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Wrapup

In preparation for 2013, I have been thinking about the direction that I want to move myself in. What do I want Brittany to look like one year?  But before I get into all that, I would like to take a look into the past year. 
A lot of great things have happened this year.  This has been a really great year for us!  Last year, I had a New Years post, and I knew that I would have to answer to it this year.  I thought it was going to be bad.  Really bad.  But I don’t think I did too shabby.
Let’s review.
2012 resolutions
1.      To stop biting my nails Again. – I have done this.  I am typing this with painted nails that are on the short side, but that is because I had one break. Ugh. 
2.      To learn new knitting techniques – I did learn how to fair isle, but that is about it.  I wanted to make a sweater, but I didn’t.  I will definitely have to revisit this 2013.
3.      To figure out a direction for Yarn Fairies. – Umm, I am still working on this one as well.   I have gotten a great deal of special orders this year.  But that balance between doing orders, preparing for a booth, learning new skills, and charity knitting, is really hard to find.  This will have to be redefined in 2013.
4.      To be more organized. – This is a progress.  Yes, Kacee helped me organized my master closet in Feb.  Does it look as bad as when she first saw it? No.  Does it look like it did when she left that Saturday? No.  Rome wasn’t built in day.
5.      To learn to sew – I am learning to sew.  I have taken a few classes.  Found a great seamstress to help me on the side.   I made a beautiful apron for my sister for Christmas.  I should have gotten some pics, maybe she will send some.   I am really proud of that apron.  I know it is something that Becky can use and keep forever. Check!
6.      To be healthier -  I have done this as well.  I have started drinking green smoothies.   I joined a gym that I go to sometimes.  I am also training for a half marathon.  Check!
7.      To Say Yes- Some days I am in the mood for this.  Some days, I am not.  But I would consider myself greatly improved in this area.  
I thought I was ready to give you a list of my 2013 resolutions, but I think I need more time to reflect.  I will get back to you. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

It is that time of year again!  And oh, how I love this time of year! 
Things I love most about Christmas!
-Christmas Lights
-Warm Holiday Beverages
-The Ornaments on our tree
-Our lopsided tree (it suffered a cat attack last year)
-Our new tree that Justin found in the Garbage
-Christmas Movies
-Christmas TV
-Sugar Cookies with Icing
-Christmas Carols
-Mistletoe (wink, wink)

What I love about this Christmas is that Justin seems to finally have gotten bit by the Christmas spirit.  I don’t know if it has been by choice or by force.  Let me explain, I was out of pocket last week.  That was two weeks before Christmas.   As every crafter, shopper, baker knows, that is the week where you are supposed to get the most done.   The week before Christmas is reserved for last minute baking and shopping.  It is reserved for last minute touches and holiday parties.  It is reserved road trips and arrivals.  
I was afraid that with me out of town for a week, that I would not be able to make “Christmas” happen.  I would just be too far behind.  ENTER – my knight is shining armor, Justin.  He has been amazing this Christmas.  He has done so much shopping and wrapping.  He has kept the house as clean as he can with me still on the loose!  I don’t know what I would do without Justin.  He has bought several Secret Santa gifts for parties that we will attend, and already has them wrapped and under the tree.   So either by choice or by force, Justin has been filled with the Christmas spirit!  And I could not be happier.
But because it is the week before Christmas, there is baking, last minute touches, holiday travel plans, and some last minute crocheting to do.  And no matter how much Christmas spirit Justin has, he refuses to learn to crochet.  Yes, I have tried to talk him into it!  Anyways, I still have a lot to do. 
I was getting ready for work on Monday, and realizing that I was getting really stressed worrying about how it will all get done.  I ask Justin to help me prioritize the things on my list, and cross off some things that don’t really matter.
So I looked at my list, and I crossed a couple things off.  And I feel good about it.  I will still have a busy week.  But I am going to make time for the things that I want this year.   I want to watch Christmas Vacation with my husband.  I want to meet my girlfriends for cookies on Thursday. I want to have sushi with my sister on Saturday.  I want to go to Bro. Lloyds’ church on Sunday.  I want to spend Christmas Eve with my parents!  
So yes I am skipping some things this year, but that’s okay.  I am making sure that I make the most out of this Christmas by spending time with family, friends, and Justin.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Anniversary

November 26, 2012 marked nine years that Justin and I have been together, it is also our 2nd marriage anniversary.   I can/will speak for Justin, we had an amazing anniversary. 

I don’t like to think gift giving it a contest, BUT if it was.  Justin would have certainly taken the prize on this year.

Now, Justin usually waits until the last minute to shop, and I mean the very last minute.  So you can imagine my surprise, when he told me weeks before that my present was already in the works.  But due to it being custom, it may not be ready in time to take on our trip to the cabin.

I am nosey.  People know that.  So I badgered Justin with questions, and he gave me the following clues.  Don’t scroll down, See if you can guess what my gift was...

1.      Had to have sex to use it.
2.      Some assembly required
3.      It was small but could be large
4.      It was made of natural material

I had no idea what my gift was.  No idea.  I am going to talk about something else to give you time to guess.

We went the Bear Creek Log Cabin for a couple of days.  It was so relaxing and so much fun.  We took this picture.

 In this pic, he is wearing his anniversary present.  I got him a CM Punk shirt.  After all, it was our cotton anniversary.

When we got home, there was a package that awaited me, my anniversary present.  From the above clues, I had no idea what would be in this box.  So imagine my surprise, when this comes out of the box.  This pic does not do this yarn justice.  The yarn is so soft, and the color so rich.

I asked Justin why this particular color choice.  He said that this yarn was hand painted based on the color pallet of this picture, a picture of our family.

Then I replied, Justin this is very sweet.  But why did you get so much of it.  The box contained 5 skeins of yarn totaling 1370 yards.  That is quite a bit of yarn.

That is when Justin told me what the yarn was for.  He had the yarn custom made, inspired by a picture of our family, and he had bought enough for a baby blanket.   As you might have guess, I promptly burst into tears. 

The idea the one day, when Justin and I are ready for that next step, I will be knitting our first baby’s blanket with a yarn that represents our family.  And better yet, that my husband was thoughtful and creative enough to have made the yarn made.  It was too much for me.  It was a great gift. 

Did you guess it?  

He is going to have a really hard time topping this next year.  He should probably get started now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am Thankful

It is that time of year again; it is time for my Thanksgiving post.   I see the posts on Facebook with people breaking down what they are thankful for day by day, but that doesn’t work for me.  So I will do it my way.

I looked at my 30 days of thanksgiving from last year, and everything on that list I am still thankful.   If I were to do a new list, it would be essentially the same with the addition of my friend Chris and my new friend, Lizzy.  But I don’t want to do a list.  Actually, I am going to step outside of the box and do things a little differently this year.

I am thankful for me. Conceited much?

In all seriousness, I feel like this has been the year that I have really accepted who I am and everything that entails. I love this quote.

“Nothing of me is original.  I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” Chuck Palahniuk

When I think about particular aspects in my life, I can directly relate that to a person that I know or have known.   For instance, my love of knitting, directly related to Jill, the person who taught me to knit.   My ability to make homemade biscuits, that came from watching my dad make biscuits every morning.  Me being the colorguard captain in high school reminds me of Melissa, my colorguard captain that I thought was so cool, still do.  My adventure into green smoothies is linked to Lizzy who first introduced them to me.   My love for big cities was imparted on me by Dr. Jordan.  My interest in marine insurance was stirred by an underwriter named Brett.  I think my sister inspired my desire to be a great cook.  I wish I could say that my loyalty is entirely my own, but I see so much of the same reflected in my mom.  If I have a sense of style, it is a direct inspiration of Megan, Kacee, and Holly.   I could go on and on with all the good things I have gleamed from people, but that is only half of it.

I have known some people in my life that haven’t been as great, and they have left parts of themselves with me as well.   I can be a jealous person, and I can become bitter about certain things.  I have been known to worry excessively. Certain people have left me with a feeling of insecurity and distrust.  I am afraid that these things can’t be avoided, have to take the good with the bad. 

You see?  I am not me at all.  I am a mix of everyone I have met. 

Our lives are filled with all kinds of people and experiences; some of the life changing, some of them pretty mundane.  But they all have a piece, however small, in the puzzle of our life.  Good news!  If you are reading this, your puzzle isn’t completed.  There are still pieces left to be added. 

I am thankful that our lives are fluid and ever-changing.  I am thankful for all the people whom I have met, and I thankful for the person that they made me.  I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be the person I am without you.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Me and Myrna Hitting the Town

So I have been taking Myrna on some dates.  We’ve been spotted hob-knobbing at JoAnns.
From previous posts, you know that my sewing machine is named Myrna.  We have had a hate/love relationship but I think I can safely say that the hate half of that is definitely in the past. 
A little trivia for you, September is National Sewing Month. So Lizzy and I signed up for two sewing classes at Joann’s at half price. We signed up for a Basics Class and a Lazy Pants class.
The Basics class was full, and I quickly realized that Myrna and I had made it a lot further than some of the other people in the class.   But still I learned quite a bit that day.  All about pattern envelopes, how to correctly set my machine, different stitches, etc.  I felt like Myrna and I bonded a little that day.
The Lazy Pants class was this past Saturday.  To say I was nervous was a bit of an understatement.  I had tried to work on a pattern before, and I ended up confused. Very confused.  After the money I had spent on the class, fabric, and pattern, I really needed a wearable finished product.  I needed something to show for my efforts.
Our teacher was Ms. Julia, and I think I love her.  She was the perfect combination of scary and helpful.  Lizzy and I were the only ones in the Lazy pants class, and we were glad because it became very clear that we needed some one-on-one attention. 
My biggest mistake of the class was the fabric buying part.  After my Basics class, I was cocky about reading a pattern envelope.  The pattern envelope said 1 5/8ths yard of fabric, I bought 2 and gloated that I had plenty of fabric, may even make a pillow with the leftovers.   So I show up to class and begin to lay my pattern out, and there is a problem.  I have nowhere near enough fabric.  In fact, Lazy Pants quickly became Lazy Capris since I was so short of fabric.   Do you know what I did?  I bought fabric for the child’s pattern.  The child’s!
Second biggest mistake was the sizing. Check the picture below for confirmation.  You should see me run in these, I look ridiculous.  I am not as thin as I once was, but I am not nearly as big as the pants I made. 
If you are reading this and saying to yourself, It doesn’t sound like that class went very well at all.
You would be wrong.
These are the things that Ms. Julia taught me.
1.      It won’t be perfect, but it will be unique piece that can never be recreated.
2.      Not to be afraid of Myrna.  I did feel as if I developed a comfort level with her, and I think that will lead to only good things.
3.      How to break down a pattern into manageable tasks.
4.      All about grain of fabric and how to ensure my pattern is straight. 
5.      What the hell fold into the fold means. 
6.      How to get the crotch of pants to not look bunchy
So you see, I did actually learn a lot.  And I know that my second pair of lazy pants will actually be pants and maybe even not look so much like parachutes.
I am trying again!  Myrna and I have another date set for Sunday! It is a double date with Lizzy and her machine.
P.S. Find out what Lizzy named her machine...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yarn Fairies Explosion

I know. I have been non-existent lately.  I apologize.  I have had two different people ask me for another blog update, so I feel inspired to write.  So write I will do.
Yarn Fairies.  If you are a long time reader, you know that this is the name of my yarn art business.  You will also remember that one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to go forward with Yarn Fairies.  I had thought about the possibility of opening a online shop.  There is just one problem with that.
I personally think that handmade items are coming back.  People are tired of having something that was made commercially by people in other countries who are being paid next to nothing.  People are tired of buying things that are so ordinary and dreadfully boring.   Plus, with all the talented people in the world, if you can buy something unique and you can buy from an artist that personally handcrafted your item.  Why wouldn’t you spend the little extra money?
And that is probably why I am so busy.  Yarn Fairies is participating in the Holiday in SmokeRise Festival again, so I busy working on things to stock the table with.
But I am also busy with personal orders. People have been coming up to me, “hey, can you make this?” And my answer is always the same, “I have no idea, but I am going to try” And I have been trying, and I am not trying to boast.  I have come up with some really cute things.
Here is my current list of just finished, current projects, and to do list
-Elephant hat
-3 Ponchos
-Army Tank Slippers – Size 17 – That is not a typo. It will take 4 balls of yarn to complete.
-Cat costume
-A tiny Dress
-Reindeer Hat
- Snowman Hat

Plus, I need to make more hats to stock our table with.  Most of the above are personal orders that are already sold.

I am trying to remain calm. 

I have a lot of work to do. But if this is a sign that America is turning back to handmade items.  It is a busy that is welcomed.

I haven’t even thought about Christmas presents yet, oh dear.

So you see, I haven’t been ignoring you. I have been busy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Anna's Blanket

My good friend, Anna, who lives in Florida got married in July. She wanted her wedding gift to be a blanket. Now, Anna is the one of the kindest people I know, especially to animals. So she needed a wonderful blanket! I had this pattern that I have dying to try.

It was intarsia crochet. I had to make 80 squares, sew them together, and then make a border. It took forever. (Think of all the yarn ends I had to sew in and hide) I seriously have 40+ hours into this blanket. And when it was finished, it was amazing..

I tied it with a beautiful bow and packaged it with a sweet card. Telling Anna, that I knew she wouldnt mind all my kitties fur that had made it on the blanket. And shipped it off last Thursday.

I told Anna it would arrive on Saturday.

Monday morning, I checked to make sure the blanket and the pepper jelly that I had mailed off to a friend in IL had both made it to their new homes.

Typed in one tracking number, the package is in Peoria should be delivered today. Perfect. Typed in the other tracking number, the second package is also in Peoria, IL. What?!

i double check. Triple check. to make sure that I hadnt just entered the same number twice. But nope.
I immediately start to feel like I can’t breathe. I wonder if somehow I have written the address on Anna’s blanket incorrectly. What if I have combined the IL and FL addresses, Where will this blanket be sent? The tracking site said, Out for delivery. Will the recipient realize the package was not meant for them, and return to sender? Where in the hell is the blanket that I spent 40+ hours of my life at? Cue hysteria.

According to the USPS website, the package was not delivered and has been marked Missent. I am totally second guessing what address that I actually put on the package.

I am nervous and I am praying that my blanket ends up at Anna’s house in Florida. I would settle for it coming back to me, and I will then hold onto it until I can give it to her myself. At the very least, I hope wherever it ends up. It is with a fellow knitter/crocheter who can recognize the amount of work that went into that blanket and will love it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summary Soiree

I have been a little scarce on here, but I do not want you to take that as a sign that I have not been busy.  That is simply not the case.   I have been doing some serious crafting.  Now I am going to short change you today, and give you a summary post.   Many of these deserve a post of their own, but I am clearing these out, so I can get ready for next week.  
1.      My friend, Anna, is getting married at the end of July.   And she requested a blanket.  I already had a pattern that I have been itching to try, so I confirmed the colors and got to work.  Now, from the picture, you can tell it is a complicated pattern.  There are 80 squares in this blanket, plus sewing time and edging.  I would guesstimate that I have about 35+ hours into this blanket.  So yes, I have been busy...  I am extremely happy with the design.  If there is anyone who deserves a blanket of this caliber, it is Anna.  She is such a sweet person and I hope her, John, and this blanket are very happy together.

2.      Our other friend, Dan, got married last Saturday.  I have known Daniel since he was 17 years old, and I have seen him change so much over the years.   We have had some great fun over the years, but I hardly recognized the man that took those vows on Saturday.  He looked so grown up, it brought tears to my eyes.  (I realize I am not much older than he is, but I am using this blog to tell how I really feel.)  I decided to make something a little different for their wedding present.  I bought a cookie sheet, and painted it with several coats of chalk board paint.  Then I added some regular paint and some ribbon.  That is all.   I think it is pretty cute.

3.      I have been into the idea of bohemian head wraps.   I don’t know, and I can’t explain my fascination with them.   This is an earwarming head wrap that I whipped up last night.   Pretty cute, I think.  I plan to experiment with my colors and styles.

4.      Here is the first birthday present that I received this year.   What a great gift!  As you can see from the above picture, they are being used.  These are really going to be great in the Yarn Fairies display.

5.      I am taking the whole week off for my birthday next week, and I have got some BIG plans.  So stayed tuned and be excited.
6.      As always, Stay classy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Handmade Gift Exchange

Long time readers will know that I did this in November, but Craftaholics Anonymoushosts a summer one as well.  Ever since November, I have been anxiously awaiting this gift exchange.  I had so much fun in November, and couldn’t wait to do it again.   This time around it is a little different, it is being organized through Elfster.  The biggest change is that the person you make a gift for is NOT the person that is making you a gift. 
So my draw was a newly married girl from the Midwest.  In fact, she had only been married for 20 days where I first got her name for the exchange. 
My idea for her gift was not original.   It actually was a variation of the gift I received in November.  I love the B that Caty made for me.  So that was really my inspiration.
Now I have made a deal with myself, that for these gift exchanges, I must try something new. 
Crafters, you are not going to believe this, but I had never used Mod Podge before.  Now that I have bought it, I am finding out all the crazy ways to use Mod Podge and I realize I should have gotten the bigger bottle.
Here is the gift I made. I can remember how excited I was about my new last name and knew this gift would be appreciated by a newlywed.

I am still awaiting my gift.  Great things come to those who wait!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Totally Mine

Like recipes, I will definitely look at a crochet or knitting pattern, and work some of my own ideas into it.  But this idea is totally mine.  Justin's cousin is having a baby girl.  Both of the parents are Troy Alums like myself, so I thought of this idea.   I looked on ravelry, and couldnt find anything close to what was in my head.  So I sat down with my hook and yarn, and I created the picture in my head.  I am so proud of this.  It is just what I imagined. 

I present to you, Baby Girl Trojan hat. 

Craftiness is Contagious

I have been feeling very crafty lately.  This is not unusual for me, but usually my crafts have a common theme or purpose.  But lately, I have been all over the board.  And instead of only working on one or two projects at the time, I am working or thinking about 6 or 7 projects.  I am all over the place, and I have my hands in all kinds of things.  I have set aside some time this week to get some crafting done, so expect some scattered posts detailing my adventures. 
I saw this idea last week.  I have really been interested in up cycling lately.  I decided this was the perfect first project.   We all have old magazines laying around.  We pay for the subscriptions, but after reading them one.  We are done with them.  What do you do with them? Yes, of course you can recycle or throw away.  But I am a little frugal, and I wasn’t quite ready to let go of them.  So I tore them up.

And then I picked out the most colorful pages, and I folded them up again and again.

Then I taped those together, and begun to wind them in a circle.  I kept doing this and I kept doing this.   You have to roll it tight, but not to tight.  This is the most frustrating part...

Once you get the size of circle you want or you get tired of folding and taping.  Start to coax the bowl upwards.  (Or leave it as a trivet, or do smaller ones as a coaster).  You should be very careful with this step or you will pull it too far and end up with a mess.
Then I use some Mod Podge to seal it.  I will probably do another coat this evening.

Let Dry.  And you have a one a kind piece of artwork.  I think this turned our really well. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

MeatShed Hands

I think I may have found it...   And if I did, it is going to be awesome.  
I better start at the beginning. 
Once upon a time many years ago when I was in high school and college, I worked alongside my dad helping with his business.    Now for those who know me in real life, know that my dad is Master Plumber by day and a butcher by night.   I don’t mean that to sound as creepy as it sounded, what I mean is that my dad owns and operates a deer processing business.   It is a little side hobby job, that has turn into quite the profitable business.  Last year alone, my dad and company processed over 300 deer during a three month period.  That is pretty impressive.
Now my dad has hired one or two people to help him and my mom, but when I was in high school, I was the help.  And while I minded at the time, I don’t mind too much now.   Anyways, while I working with my dad, I had the softest hands.   When Justin and I were first dating, he commented on how soft my hands were.   There was a secret that I eventually let him in on.   It was the work in the meat shed that made my hands soft.  Handling the meat and the fat for the sausage worked miracles for my hands. And before you have a chance to think that is gross, let me remind you that is the most natural way you can soften your hands.  The fancy smancy lotions that we can buy in stores are not natural and they are so full of chemicals, no wonder we don’t see the same results. 
Fast forward to now, I live in Atlanta and that means I rarely have my hands in pig fat these days.  My hands are definitely proof of that. So that brings me to current adventure.   As I was browsing around on Pinterest, I found this blog.  This blog provides a recipe for homemade lotion bars.  I briefly read through the post, and almost discarded it. 
Until two things caught my attention:
1.      It uses Crisco aka fat.  And I have had success with that.
2.      It boasts of a protective film that is left on the hands even after you wash your hands.  This is exactly what I experienced when I was had “meatshed” hands.

So I decided to make some of these bars.  I made a very small batch.  There are only three ingredients, and they are pretty easy to find.

1 part Crisco
1 part Olive Oil
1 part Beeswax (I found this at a local farmer’s market, but it is available at Michaels)
I added some essential oil, but I don’t think I added enough

I only had an oz of beeswax, so I started with that.  I tried to cut it up before I melted it, but that was way too hard.  It ended up being unnecessary, since it melted really quickly in the double boiler.  I melted all three ingredients together, let it cool to 150 degrees, and poured into a soap mold.

This is what they look like when I first pour them into the molds...

And this is what they look like 5 minutes later.  They only took about an hour and half to completely harden, and then they popped right out.

Easy Peasy

Have I recreated “meatshed” hands?  I am not entirely sure.  I know from a day of using it.  I am definitely getting closer.  I am going to give a bar to my mom tomorrow; she will be part of my test audience.  She has had plenty of experience with “meatshed” hands.

So I will keep you posted...

P.S.  I was pretty busy last night.  I finished the most adorable hat I think I have ever made.  I am waiting on an address to mail to the mother to be, and once I have it mailed I will post.  Stay tuned and Stay classy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini

It is summer, and one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruit and vegetables.   If you were not aware, my dad is an avid gardener.  His little garden is amazing.  I don’t know why he couldn’t have passed his green thumb on to me.  Instead, I have got my mother’s uncanny ability to kill every plant she has ever own.   Maybe that is something I can change, I am trying.  But I have not been successful yet. 
Anyways....  My dad’s garden produces a surprising amount of food.   My mom and dad put up the veggies throughout the summer, eat it on a regular basis, and still he has tons and tons to give away.   This explains the mountain of squash that he gave me last Sunday.   Justin does not eat squash, such a weirdo.  So I have to eat this mountain of squash alone.  Now, I love roasted squash.  But I have so much squash, I needed to come up with other ways to sneak it in.   And that is what this post is mostly about.
The other half of it is this.
I find it amazing how a recipe can evolve, especially when I get my hands on it.   Take the recipe that I found on Tuesday.  Find it here! If you actually went there, you found this amazing Zucchini Tot recipe.   The author of this blog, altered an existing Zucchini Bite recipe.   I thought this recipe looked amazing, so I was anxious to try something new and I have plenty of zucchini to experiment with.  So I went for it.
Of course, as I always do, I made adjustments as I went along.  I left out the onions, since I only eat them in rare occasions.  I added an extra egg because I added extra zucchini.  The result,  my tots were a little eggy.  Very good, but eggy.   So I decided to save the leftovers for breakfast.  And you know what????
They were AMAZING.  So amazing, that I immediately had to stop and write this blog.  My tots were never meant to be tots,   I altered the recipe and I came up with something really great.   I present to you...
Easy Mini Zucchini Quiches
1 large Zucchini
2 eggs
½  cups of grated Cheese
½ cups of Italian breadcrumbs

Grate and smash the water out of the zucchini.  (You will be amazed how much water they have)  Mix all ingredients together.   Spoon into a mini cupcake pan that has been sprayed.   Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy.  And enjoy you will.

I have decided that I making them on Saturday for breakfast, and I am going to put bacon in half of them to see what happens.   Recipes are always evolving.

Here is pic of our dinner last night.  Grilled Swordfish, Rice, and Easy Mini Zucchini Quiches.  I was not quick enough to get a picture this morning.  I ate them too fast.

Btw, If any of you have any zucchini recipes.  Shoot 'em to me.  I still have tons of squash...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Update on the Broderways

I really have nothing substantial to write about right now. We have been busy and I have been doing some traveling.    But I figured my faithful readers needed something, so I will give you a little update on the projects/stuff that has been going on around my house. 

Myrna, my sewing machine, and I are getting along wonderfully.   I am filled to the brim with future projects.  The WIP (work in progress) project is my 4th of July skirt.  I am taking some old tshirts, and making a skirt.  I am almost finished, all I have left is the elastic band.  However, I will wait to reveal this in my 4th of July post.    But here is a sneak peak of what I started with.   I am just gonna let the anticipation build.

We have been eating few steaks at the Broderway house.  And I have decided that I am never cooking a steak again.   Justin has turned into a steak genius.  Now don’t get me wrong, he has always been very handy with a grill.  But the steaks he has been producing are legendary.  They are so good, that I am sad when I finish eating.  Take a look at this pic.   This is Saturday night’s dinner, a great steak, grilled squash, and perogies.   Amazing.

Another thing that has been going on is the Color Run.   I participated in the one here in the beginning of April, and really had a good time.   Then I found out that they are doing another one in Birmingham in September.  My sister and I have decided to enter this one as a team.  We have decided to call our team, Gutless Fighters.  This name represents former and current SBS (Short Bowel Syndrome) patients.   We are hoping to raise awareness about SBS, and show the many families that are dealing with this condition, that they have some support out there.  Obviously because of my sister, SBS is something that I am very passionate about.  I think this is a good first step for me.  I plan to do other things to help people with SBS.   Here is a pic of me after the Color Run, and in September, my sister will be right beside me.

I would like to end this post with my quote.
“If you think fighting is hard, try fighting without guts”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I think I need a list

I feel busy.   I feel as if I am in danger of making the same mistake that I make every year.   I have learned over the years.  I am creative thinker, and sometimes a creative doer.   I have tons of ideas that never come to fruition.
Last fall, I wanted to experiment with soups.   I make a pretty great baked potato soup, but I would like to expand my horizons into different kinds of soup.  Never happened.  Before I thought about experimenting with soups, flowers were starting to bloom on the trees.   Time just gets away from me.  I am not sure who takes it.  
I meant this year to be different, and I have made clear definite steps to make that happen.  The first and main thing, I have been doing is actually doing or planning to do. 
Here is a prime example.   Last year Justin and I had talk about doing the Grid Iron Trail Run.  It is a football themed 5k with obstacles, and you get to represent your college team.  It sounds like so much fun.  But we never signed up, and then never did it.    This year, we still wanted to do it, so I signed up in January.  With may be a bit excessive for a race in August, but we are signed up and ready to do it. 
Another example, I didn’t even make it to the beach last year.  I love the beach; it is simply one of my favorite places to be.  Didn’t make a plan to go to the beach, so I didn’t go. Knew I wanted to go this year and I wanted to spend some time with LeighAnne, so we planned a trip to the beach in February.  A little soon, but it is on the books and I am excited.
Same story, with our anniversary, already booked a weekend away.
Same story with a concert that we wanted see, I have already booked tickets to see KISS and Motley Crue in July.  I even prepaid the parking.
So real progress has been made, but I got to make sure the little things don’t slip by.    So I am making a list of little things.  Little things that I want to do this year.  I can’t post my whole list here, since it includes birthday ideas, anniversary ideas, and Holiday ideas.  But I can give you a taste of the list.
-        Sew a dress from a pattern
-        Make a pumpkin roll
-        Finish my 4th of July skirt before the 4th of July
-        Cook lamb for a special dinner
-        Knit a sweater
-        Get my Etsy store up and running
 My list is going to be kind of long.   But I think it will give me some direction.  I am hoping that it will keep this year from flying by and leaving me with a list of things that I wanted to do but never got around to.   I think this list and planning ahead is going to make this the best year yet.  I have got some fun stuff planned.
I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Me, Megan, & Myrna

Twice in one week? Yep!
If you are a faithful reader of my blog, then you remember a post about a battle between me and my sewing machine, Myrna.  Well, I would like to retract that post, and issue a letter of apology to Myrna. 
That apology follows here:
Dear Myrna,
I would like to apologize for my behavior.  I realize that I spent a few hours working with you, and then gave up because the “tension” was messed up.  I told everyone that the problem was you, and not me. I just knew the problem was your fault, and not the fault a beginner sewer.  I know that my only experience with a sewing machine was in Home Ec class.  I was working on an old beat up machine, making a not completely square pillow.   I had a lot of problems with that machine, and I assume that all machines were exactly the same.  I was mistaken. 
I just knew you were plotting against me, so I called in reinforcements.  Megan.  She has sewn many things in her life, and I thought she would be the perfect person to tame you.   She kept talking about how cool and nice of a machine you were.  And I thought, you just wait to see the stunt she pulls!   She sat down with you and your cryptic instruction book and began the set up process. Megan asked me if I used the bobbin that came with the machine, and I said, “No, I ignored that part and used the prefilled bobbins I bought.  They look the same.”   Megan said we should wind our own bobbin and I agreed.  It would not have surprised me,  if Myrna was that fickle.   I sat there watching intently thinking to myself. Yep, I did that.  I put the bobbin in correctly.  Yep, I threaded the needle just like that.  See, it wasn’t my fault.  Then Megan read, “Turn hand wheel towards you to pick up the bobbin thread”.  Immediately, I knew that I had NOT done this before.  And I also knew that of course Myrna can’t sew properly, if I don’t pick up the bobbin thread.  Duh!   Myrna may be a new machine with fancy gadgets, but she still has the basic needs, like a bobbin thread.
I began to realize the err of my ways, and I began to be hopeful.  I had this cushion that I desperately wanted to cover.  I don’t entirely blame this on the cats, but I do a little.

Myrna, I found the most perfect fabric this past weekend, and bought it even though you and I were still at odds.  Megan helped with the design and the pinning.  Or I should say Cooper, Daphne, and Megan helped me with the designing and pinning.
And she left the sewing to me.  I worked on it, cautiously checking my stitches to make sure I was still on track.  The seams weren’t entirely straight, but I am sure that had a lot to with me and not you, Myrna.

Then I sewed some fancy corners.  This was a breeze thanks to you, Myrna.

And when I put the cover on the cushion, it was beautiful.  I could not have done this without you. 

So again, I am sorry for my accusations and the rumors I started about you.  If you will forgive me, I think we could have a very happy and fun friendship.
 I think chair needs some interesting pillows, and I know that you and I can do it! I look forward to the many ideas I have for us.