Thursday, January 27, 2011

Handmade Favorites #3: Graduation Quilt made by Laura


My breast friend Laura made me this awesome photo quilt for a graduation present!


I really should have ironed it better, but I didn't feel like getting forceful with it.  I'm having a busy day.


As far as I remember, Laura made this with the help of our very favorite English teacher Darth Bater, who is not only a teacher, but a quilter, weaver, sheep lover extraordinaire, etc.


I was totally surprised to receive this awesome quilt of friendship and love.  She had asked me for some pictures, and I was expecting a scrapbook, which our friend Liz was a total badass at creating.  I got her a pink sapphire ring because she was hankering for a flashy jewel!

I'm heading to Vegas this weekend to meet Laura and her sisters!  I'll be back next week kids.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Felix and Nana on her last day at our house.

A couple of our friends were over the other night to pick up their daughter that the Chainsaw was so nicely babysitting for them when they noticed something was missing.  Nana.

I was always a big dirty pug lover, and I was super excited to finally have my own.  However, new puppy + new mom + baby= AHHHHH!!!!!  I used to cry because she drove me nuts and I didn't know what to do about it.  Long story short, I don't think I ever really bonded with Nana.

A couple months ago I found Nana a new home.  I had been refraining from doing this because I didn't want Felix to hate me, but it turned out that it was easy peasy- Felix must not have been as attached as he let on!  Nana's new best human friend is a 13 year old boy (less mean than a 4 year old).  His mother runs a special needs school with a handful of students, and Nana spends her day at school.  She apparently cries when her new friend leaves the room, which she never did to us!

Whenever I told people that I didn't like her and wanted to find her a new home, someone would inevitably tell me I was mean (to Nana, Felix, whoever), and I think that's why I haven't advertised the fact that she's gone.  However, I stand by my decision as the best one.

Nana finally has someone to love and who is willing to give her the love she thinks she deserves.  I don't have to vacuum my couch every day, my yard doesn't smell like poop, and I don't have anyone following me around crying for food anymore.  Felix whines about missing her every few weeks, but not one tear has been shed.

Glory Pug

Nana was a good sport, and I feel so happy in my heart that she has the perfect family for her these days.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trashy Tuesday with Too Hot Butter #2: Rejar

This week's lucky winner:
Rejar by Dara Joy copyright 1997 (Dang, 1997 seems like just yesterday, but it was 14 years ago!)

Finding a good romance novel tip #1: Look for AWESOME/sexy pictures on the spine.

As you can see, it was nearly impossible for me to leave this one at the library.


This book is apparently a sequel or part of some kind of interconnected story system. In either case, I'm pretty sure Rejar is an alien. That's what I picked up, and I think I'd know more if I read the book about his brother and his wife (from Earth). Anyway, let's get back on track.

The beginning of this book finds Rejar, some kind of alien (see above) also known as a Familiar, which means he can turn into a big ol' pussy cat at will, being spit out of something known as the "Tunnels" into the lap of Lilac, who takes the kitty cat home with her. To sum that up, CatMan falls from the sky into Lilac's lap.


He is infatuated with Lilac immediately, so he sleeps with her in cat form, turns back into a naked man, and convinces Lilac she is dreaming while he performs otherworldly sexual favors on her in order to win her heart. Then he introduces himself to society as a Russian prince, using the powers of thought suggestion, of course. Then he pretty much tricks her into marrying him, they fall in love, etc.

Choice Quotes:
The first lines of the book (copied as seen, with italics and indents and crap)-
"He was a totally sexual creature.
      Handsome as sin, sensual as silk.
      His name was Rejar."

"It is not seemly to inspect a man so intently!"

"The Familiar had brought her to peak with his kiss alone."

Dirty Parts:
The dirty parts were pretty cheesy in a good way. Lilac thinks Rejar's name is Prince Nickolai and refuses to call him Rejar. So Rejar performs some Familiar ritual known as the 900 Strokes of Love, which is obviously too many strokes for a non-Familiar woman. They dirty parts were cheesy, but delightfully descriptive.

Report Card for Spring Rain
Overall Story: C
Romance Story: C
Cheesy Parts: A
Dirty Parts: A

Official word:

The one had a little twist on the classic romance novel in that Rejar was the main character. We pretty much follow him, and he has to convince Lilac to love him or whatever. So I did enjoy that aspect! The story with Rejar's family was a little confusing, but that may be because I didn't read the first book. The cheese in this book was awesome, and the cover alone should be worth extra credit points.


Oh my Rejar! Do you have a six packs on your sides, too?!

This one gets a B. The story kind of sucks, but its classic romance goodness helped me pretend it didn't suck long enough to get to the good parts.

In news that must be exciting to you all, my dear sweet friends, I am going to review some romance novels in my personal, overflowing collection so I can give them away here when I'm finished with them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

No Hands Part Two

After loading all my equipment into my fanny pack, I decided that it wasn't roomy enough- for me, at least! So I made a few adjustments and came up with a design I'm much happier with.



I tackled the room issue by adding a gusset, which adds depth and ensures that those of us who carry cameras and have lots of keys don't run out of room!


This one has three belt loops, so hopefully it should keep it's shape a little better when being used. I can think of a couple little things to do differently next time, but I'm way excited about this one, folks!


This one goes out to my best girl Laura. I used a piece of her grandpa's shirt on the flap, and bought her a Swanson's TV Dinner witch yo name on it.


I am most excited to bestow it upon her this weekend!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scrap Swap!

I've been working hard at using my scraps, but I still have a million zillion brazillian.

Tara at Sew Tara is working hard on fun scrap projects and is hosting a swap! I already signed up, and you should too!

scrap swap

To sign up, just head on over to this post on her blog.

I'll probably put together a few extra packages to see if anyone who is not my partner wants to swap. I super dooper love new scraps!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My new fanny pack!

After many moons of fanny packs weighing heavily on my brain, I have at long last created my first one!


I used a pretty scrap of Echino for the flap.


It was the Chainsaw's idea to make belt loops instead of installing a waist strap. I popped it on a black belt quick for photos. Next time I'll put another loop in the middle so it doesn't sag, but this one is alright for me!

I should have probably put on a non clashing costume with a lower waist line for modeling it, but oh well.



It has a zipper pocket on the front, two slip pockets inside, and the flap is secured with velcro. Now my head is filled with ideas for many more packs!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Handmade Favorites #2: Box Made of Pine (from New Zealand)


My dad made my sister and I these pretty pine boxes for Christmas in 2004. No, I did not just remember that off the top of my head. He was so nice as to include this clue for me:



This box is pretty fancy. I think I recall him spending a whole bunch of time making these perfect! I'm sure he'll relate more of the story on facebook after I post this. It had a pretty blue moonstone pendant in it, which is still one of my favorite necklaces. I get tons of compliments on it. In some new Scooby Doo movie, Velma finds a moonstone on the beach and turns into a witch, so Felix gets a little nervous when I wear it.


It currently contains a bunch of movie tickets from the same year I received it, a receipt for our favorite cheap place to stay in Paris, and a letter Laura wrote after I told her I was working on my hugest creation project ever (Felix!).

I'm making a place on my dresser for all my jewels, and I think I'll use this box to house some of them. Funny how I didn't wear much jewelry for a long time and now I have an exploding collection of it. I picked up the jewelry box underneath it for a song at the thrift store.

Anyway, thanks to my Dad for the glorious pine box made of wood from New Zealand! I'm pretty sure I inherited my craftiness from him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trashy Tuesday with Too Hot Butter

I think I've admitted this before, but my big fat guilty pleasure is ROMANCE NOVELS. I check out 5-10 every week or two, reading one in about a day and a half. I can read one in a day, but I don't get much else done.

Anyway, in an effort to make this place more personal, I'd like to share the best romance novel I read the previous week. The best doesn't necessarily mean it's a great book. If the cheesiness is right, it can cause a book to surpass a much more well written book. I'll be sure to let you know if it was awesome because it was awesome or if it was awesome because it was so bad.

This week's lucky winner:
Spring Rain by Susan Weldon copyright 1996


This book is about Libby Chandler and Reno McCord. Libby's fiance (who she just doesn't LOVE love) leaves her to go look for gold in Colorado to make a better life for her. When he stops writing, Libby starts having horrible nightmares of his death and is doomed to spinsterhood.

When the nightmares won't stop, Libby takes the money left to her by her father and travels to Denver, where she has trouble finding anyone brave enough to search Dead Man's Canyon, which is of course haunted by the specter of a guy with an axe in his head. The only guy she can find is Reno McCord, whom she happens to have to bail out of the Denver jail before they can leave. Libby insists on joining Reno for the search.


She knows in her heart that her fiance is dead and starts to fall in love with Reno, who is a man who will never settle down, of course. Libby wants babies. Lots of them. Reno is having feelings he's never had before.

Choice quotes:
"Heavens. How did you open my camisole without my knowledge?"

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Mr. McCord."

"I've grown rather fond of your teasing..."
"Hell, Libby. I'm not teasing. That's the problem. I want you and I don't trust myself."

"My ego adores you."

"You allow me to kiss you. It gives a man ideas."

Dirty parts:
(No dirty quotes because I don't want you to have to be 18 to read my blog.)

The dirty parts are pretty good, including descriptive words and phrases. I hate dirty parts that start dirty and then skip to the next morning. That is not this book! I blushed several times during the reading of this book.

Official Report Card for Spring Rain
Overall Story: C
Romance Story: B
Cheesy Parts: B
Dirty Parts: A

Official word:

This one is pretty much a classic romance novel. The story of searching for the fiance is pretty weak and was used as a prop to keep these people camping and humping long enough for her to get pregnant. The cheese factor and the romance part of the story were pretty good. I give this book a solid B, and would recommend you hunt it down for yourself if you're into trash and cheese!

It appears that my library's copy will be headed straight to the repair room- a sign of a well read book!


Friday, January 14, 2011

New Patchwork Wristlets

I spent the last couple days making a handful of new patchwork wristlets. Chainsaw says they remind him of old school Hot Butter, and I totally agree! Maybe that's why I love them so much?


I only made enough sweet rainbow patchwork for one, and I adore it! I have a huge crush on this bright yellow corduroy. I made Laura a guitar strap out of it last time she was here. It's very wide wale and totally pettable!


This blue corduroy is also luxurious!


This is the first one I made. It has boxed corners. I decided to try one without boxed corners, and I'm sure you can tell which version I decided was the most glorious.


I also made a couple red ones.

I found several 18 inch scraps in my bin because I buy half yard cuts. I cut those into 1 to 1.5" strips, sewed them together, and had extra large patchwork pieces. From there it was a snap to make a couple wristlets out of each piece. Super easy and super cute! I'll be adding these to my shop in the near future.

Are you doing anything fun this weekend? I'll be working for the most part and will have more fun stuff to share soon!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Handmade Favorites #1: Granny Square Afghan

It occurred to me recently that I have several handmade items in my home made by friends and family. I'm going to try to feature one of these items once a week. Enjoy!

My grandma Donna's mom great-grandma Cora made my sister and I each a pretty granny square afghan when we were young. The only way to tell them apart was by their borders. Mine is pink and red and Andrea's is green (I think!).


It appears to me that she was finishing tiny balls of yarn on these beauties. Can you imagine weaving in all those ends? Yikes! Grandma Cora also knit pretty cotton dishcloths, later inspiring me to do the same! I crocheted mine though, knitting isn't quite as forgiving as crochet.

I've loved this blanket for years. I was most likely at an age where a blanket would be a somewhat unexciting present, but it spent many winters piled on my bed. It has found it's way to Felix's bed, a guest bed, my bed (as an adult), and currently resides on the couch, where it can be used as both a cat bed and a lap warmer. It has also been used for blanket forts and a colorful cape (All hail king of the granny square!). I think it could use a repair or two from such heavy use.

We love it with all our hearts in that special way that you love things you use everyday. Grandma Cora isn't with us anymore, but I remember her dearly when my granny square afghan is keeping me warm!

Poodle Scarf

This afghan is also good for impressing your fancy, poodle scarf wearing guests.

What's your favorite handmade item in your home?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scrappy Heart Pouches


I made a few more of these babies!


It was a little tricky figuring out how to get the zipper in the side seam/making it not look like a fool.


They're a little odd shaped for a pouch, but a rainbow loving lady could find more than enough stuff in her purse to fill one of these sweet, sweet pouches of love! :D They're in my shop already if you'd like to check them out!

I started work on some patchwork wristlets yesterday, but I need to go to the store due to my sad lack of interfacing. I used all the larger pieces from my scrap bin.

Happy 1/11/11!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Colorful Patchwork Pouches for Ladies with Secrets

I spend last week working on these fun patchwork pouches.


I spent a whole day embroidering linen scraps, which was super fun. I love "work" crafting that involves sitting on my butt watching "This American Life" on Netflix.


I spent the good part of another day making log cabin style patchwork around the linen.


And another day turning them into pouches. It was pretty fun watching them come together. You can check out the rest on my flickr page or in my shop.

Next scrap project- Heart Pouches!


This is my first one. It's a little wonky on the side where the zipper meets the curve of the heart. Details!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I'm still full from the delicious breakfast I took my fambly out to feast on!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Vintage Wardrobe

I bought this pretty vintage shirt at a consignment store in Wyoming on my way to South Dakota a couple trips ago. I didn't actually try it on until a couple weeks ago, when, much to my surprise, it fits me like a glove. Ok, it fits me like a shirt with sleeves that are maybe a little too short, but that's ok with me. It's better than not being able to zip up that last inch. Anyway.


The tag says it's "Trail Wear." Whatever does that mean? I want it to mean that it's a cowgirl shirt, but it doesn't seem super cowgirly to me.


This shirt has gained a spot on "Ashley's Favorite Shirt List," which exists only in my imagination. I love its pretty color and fun design. I wouldn't wear pearls with it again, they did not stay in the shirt, and, looking at these photos now, didn't necessarily accentuate it at all. Oh well. I thought pearls looked good with everything!

In other news, Happy 2011 to you all! We partied across the street, and I stuck to my guns about not having a hangover on New Year's Day. I will admit to having the tiniest headache and taking an afternoon nap, but I done good and switched to water (switching back to champagne just for midnight!). I also spent a good portion of yesterday sorting scraps, so prepare yourself mentally and physically (maybe some eyeball stretches?) for patchwork madness. I also have a giveaway in the works. I hope 2011 is filled with much love and joy for you all!