A Handmade Wedding

Good evening everyone!  It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday here in Texas, and I wanted to spend a little time catching up with you guys.  I’ve already been married a month now, which is a little surreal – we spent so much time and effort planning for this wedding, and it was over in an instant.  I’m still digesting and savoring the memories of my wedding and our honeymoon, and I wanted to share some photos with you.

While some elements of my wedding were handmade, we hired vendors for the really important stuff, like photography, food, and florals.  Other elements were DIY though – we used Spotify playlists in lieu of a DJ (no regrets! so much cheaper!) and went with an app called WeddingMix for our videographer (again – much cheaper than an actual videographer).  My mother-in-law also recorded our entire ceremony, which is wonderful.  But for other aspects of our wedding, it was important for my husband and me to incorporate handmade elements that reflected our personalities.

I decided that my contribution would be embroidered and cross-stitched designs to hang behind our sweetheart table.  Our venue had a tin wall that was the perfect spot to showcase the finished pieces.  I’d been working on this installation pretty steadily since January.  While I didn’t get to finish ALL the pieces I wanted, I was able to get a decent-sized collection for the wall.  All photos below are from our photographer, You Are My True.

Besides the embroidered and cross-stitched pieces, I painted some wood panels purchased from Joann (which I mention in this post).  Someone decided to use them for the sweetheart table and groom’s cake, which was a brilliant idea.

For the photos above, I’ve captioned each artist’s name and Instagram handle (with the exception of kits purchased from Dimensions or Bucilla).  I don’t have a close-up of the second embroidered “Love” piece (which you can see in the first photo, hanging right above the banner), but this design was by Brynn & Co (@brynnandcoshop). It was a kit that I got from Mollie Makes.

Some of these pieces were WIPs that I had long neglected, like the embroidered birds or the cross-stitched “Love” piece (in the first photo, it is hanging above the banner and is the first piece from your left).  That piece is unfinished, which is unfortunate since it’s a beautiful design. But I’m attached to the half-finished look (and also too lazy at this point to finish it).

Getting all these pieces together was a little stressful, but I’m so glad that I did – it was so worth the extra effort. I was happy with how they looked on the tin wall and that I could bring a handmade element to my wedding. My amazing bridesmaids did a wonderful job of arranging them.

And after all the planning and effort (and money, cough cough), I have to say our little wedding was perfection.

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Credit: You Are My True 

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A Tale of Two Cowls

I was having lunch today with a couple of friends, both who had lived northeast for awhile but had migrated back down to Texas.  “It’s weird that it’s the holiday season and we’re all in shorts,” one of them said.

And that’s pretty much what fall and winter is like in Texas.  Eighty degrees?  Well, I guess it’s time to pull out the winter boots, because when else are you going to wear them?  Below seventy degrees outside?  BRING OUT ALL YOUR WINTER GEAR.

I have two finished cowls to show you, even though it’s currently 75 degrees outside and I will get a heat stroke if I wear them.

Rock Climbing in Vegas Cowl

Last year Fiancé and I went to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. It was such a wonderful trip!  Before we left, I stopped by the Sin City Knit Shop and bought a skein of their famous “Roll the Dice” yarn.  I received a free pattern with my purchase and selected the “Rock Climbing in Vegas” pattern by Debbi McCarty.  It seemed the most accessible for a beginning knitter.

As is customary with my projects, I didn’t start it until June of this year, when my family and I were traveling to Italy. I figured it would be a fun project to take with me on a plane.  I worked on the project during the two weeks we were there.  It was a nice way to take a mental retreat.

My cousin’s cat was really intent on helping me with the project.

“I got this.”

“But seriously…just let me try it.”

My aunt’s cat really wanted to help, too.  Italian cats are so nice, you guys!

The project worked up really nicely. I love the ombré effect.

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And the cowl is so soft and squishy!

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Decreasing the size of this picture so my face doesn’t take up your entire screen.  HEY GUYS!

This cowl is perfect to wear for transitioning into cooler weather.  It’s lightweight enough so I won’t sweat to death if I wear it in sub-70 degree temperatures.

Lil’ Snood Dogg

When I got back from the field last month, I decided to treat myself to a Joann’s trip. My brother had gotten me a gift card, and the money was burning a hole in my pocket.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a whole rack full of Wool and the Gang projects.  I excitedly took home a Lil’ Snood Dogg kit.

Let’s see what we’ve got inside.

The yarn is a cheaper wool/acrylic blend than the Crazy Sexy Wool you would get with ordering the kit directly from Wool and the Gang.  I’ve never worked with Crazy Sexy Wool but I liked the blend that came from the Joann’s kit.

The project is worked up in moss stitch. There were definitely some tension issues on my end.  A couple of rows to the end, I messed up and did a couple of knit stitches in a row, but was too lazy to fix it.  Sewing the ends of the cowl was a wonky task given the tension differences at the beginning and the end.  The stitches also worked okay, considering my dog decided to try and eat my knitting needles halfway through it.

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Despite the imperfections, I like the look of the cowl.  It’s snuggly and I don’t think my mistakes will be noticeable.

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I look like I’m about to rob a bank?

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MY FACE HAS TAKEN OVER YOUR SCREEN. HI.

I think I’ll wait until we get really cold weather to wear this cowl, though. So…I can wear this for like three days in January. Can’t wait!

Where I’ve Been: Field Work and Lots of Crochet

Good morning everyone! I apologize for my absence.  I was in the field for the past two weeks doing groundwater sampling.  This trip had the most wells I’ve ever had to sample (59!) but it actually one of my least stressful trips.  None of the equipment broke down, we stayed ahead of schedule for most of our time out there, and I was working with a great co-worker.  There was one day when our radar looked like this:

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It turned our site into a small mud party and we did briefly get stuck in mud. But we were able to get ourselves out by shoring up rocks near the tires,  WHICH NEARLY NEVER HAPPENS.  It was awesome.

The adjacent property has a bunch of judgmental cows who stare at us while we sample the wells. One of them was very sweet and playful. I called him an Apollo cow because like my own beloved dog, this cow was trying to eat my personal belongings, i.e. the keys to all the wells.

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Even on good sampling trips like this one, I was so exhausted at night that I barely had the energy to answer work emails, much less craft.  I did work on this beautiful piece from Studio MME’s Super Stitcher’s Club.

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On weekends I’ve been doing a lot of crochet.  Crochet is my go-to craft when I’m feeling stressed or just need to unwind without thinking too much.

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This is a pretty piece I’m doing from an old issue of Mollie Makes (crafting from my stash!) Crochet in the round is still challenging to me so it’s a good way for me to practice my new skills, even if it looks a little wonky right now!

I also worked on this piece from an old issue of Simply Crochet:

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I’ve making progress on my blanket as well.  I think I mentioned in the last post that I’m using Attic24’s Cosy Stripe Blanket as my pattern, but am modifying it by making more stripes with the same colors:

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And finally, I started working on this cowl while visiting with my wonderful future in-laws this weekend (that is still a slightly surreal sentence to type):

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So that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods! Keeping busy with wedding planning too; Fiancé and I have selected a venue and pinned down a date.  My parents are coming up in March and Mom and I are going to start doing wedding dress shopping, which is going to be so much fun.  I really cannot wait for that.  Fiancé and I ran a half-marathon yesterday.  It was his first and he CRUSHED IT, I’m so unbelievably proud of him!  I was about to cry when I saw him coming up on that mile 12 marker.  As for me, I’m not super thrilled with my time but given the humidity I will accept it.  I almost want to do another one just to prove to myself that I can run it faster than I did yesterday.

Also, I have not been studying much this month, which is fantastic given the test is two months away. I had this conversation with my parents this weekend:

Mom:  Have you been studying?
Me: Umm…yes, I’m on chapter 8 in my book!
Dad: Out of how many chapters?
Me:  …..52.

Well, I’d better head off to work before they send a search party looking for me. I hope you all have a great Monday!  See you Wednesday!

Morning Routines and January Makes

Happy Friday everyone!

This morning I woke up determined to do yoga.  I’ve fallen out of my routine and I wanted to get it started again.  I woke up last night with a panic attack, which is not something I’ve had in a long time! It told me I needed to get back to yoga, which is really wonderful for soothing anxiety.  I did Lesley Fightmaster’s Day 1 of her Hatha Yoga Happiness series and I feel great!

Lately, my morning routine has consisted of sipping coffee and browsing Twitter.  I had been off of Twitter for years, but with everything going on, I’ve been checking it out more often.  Plus, who knows what country our president will threaten now via tweeting?  There’s so much excitement to be had! /sarcasm

I’ve also been doing a little crochet in the morning as I sip my coffee.  It’s been soothing and puts me in a good mindset for work. I’ve slowly started working on my blanket.

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This blanket is working off a pattern from Attic24 with some modifications.  She has the prettiest, coziest blankets and she has a really easy pattern for making a blanket in double crochet.  She includes a lot of helpful pictures for an easy go-to reference.

I can’t believe it’s February already!  Though I didn’t complete all of my January goal makes, I did complete several projects – mostly hats!

The top left is my beautiful mama, the Napoli Girl.  )She’s a fashion blogger so she has the pose down pat!)  I’m proud of this project because I crafted from my stash.  My mom originally left a comment on my Instagram post for my blue crocheted hat (top right), saying that it was hers now.  “You can have it!” I said.  “Well…” Mom responded.  “I actually want a brown hat.  Without the flower.”  Luckily I had some brown yarn in my stash and was able to make Mom a new hat.  It was a really soft yarn from Isaac Mizrahi (Skyscraper in Carlton) that was really soft and fun to work with.

My goals for my February makes are pretty simple.  I’ll be in the field for two weeks, for I’m looking for short, easy projects that don’t require a lot of effort, since I’ll be too tired in the evenings to focus very much!

I’d better get ready for work; I hope you have a great weekend!

Crafting From My Stash -Snowflake Garland

I think all crafters have the same essential drive – the need to accumulate as many craft supplies and projects as their home can reasonably fit without looking it was recently featured on “Hoarders.”

I love new projects.  The package is always shiny, the supplies neatly ensconced in the packet.  And I’m obsessed with craft magazines from the U.K.  You get a free little kit with each issue you purchase.  It’s how I first got back into crafting, after years of feeling like my creativity was sapped – first with engineering school, then with the angsty first half of my twenties, when I would just write deep* poetry about how love was MEANINGLESS and I was going to be alone FOREVER.  Once I had reached the second half of my twenties, the angst faded and I found the urge to be creative again, as I’d been when I was a kid.

I started buying CrossStitcher magazines, intrigued by the beautiful kits.  I then become obsessed with cross-stitching and with the satisfaction that came with completing projects, and started buying every issue.  Soon I started buying other magazines here and there, like Mollie Makes and Simply Crochet, and my number of potential projects grew.

Fast-forward four years later, when I have all these magazines and free kits stored and I’m thinking…do I really need to buy more craft magazines?  Spoiler alert – no, since I have enough potential projects to last at least a decade.  This post is the first of an on-going series – crafting from my stash – in which I decide that I must work on a project that I already own, instead of buying a new project.  I’ve already committed myself to not buying any more craft magazines unless the kit is a must-have (i.e. one of my favorite makers designed it) and I will make it the night I purchase it.  So far I’ve gone two months without buying a craft magazine, which is the longest I’ve gone since 2012.

I found myself wanting to purchase CrossStitcher this past month because they had a cute Christmas-related kit.  I reminded myself that I had several at home that I hadn’t completed – why not work on one of those?  Instead of purchasing the magazine, I came home and dug out an unopened kit from my stash.  Voila!!!!

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This beautiful snowflake garland project was part of a kit that I purchased with CrossStitcher, Christmas 2012 edition.

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I felt really happy completing this project.  I saved money by not purchasing another magazine, I used up a project from my stash.  It took about 6 total hours to make the garland.  Now I have a pretty project that I can use for future Christmases.  This particular issue also has some really adorable projects, and I’ve committed myself to making more of the projects that come with an issue as well.

 

close-up*It was not deep.