This Post is Brought to You By Caffeine and Lots of Pictures

Today’s post is brought to you by the copious amounts of caffeine I will be consuming to get through today.  My body just could not get to sleep before midnight, but at 5:30 this morning it was like, “I FEEL ALIVE. LET’S GET UP!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately and goal-setting.  I’ve set some ambitious goals for myself lately, whereas a couple of years ago I may not have had the motivation (nor courage) to set them.  It’s one thing to dream big – it is another to have the persistence and discipline to achieve your dreams.  And having persistence and discipline is the toughest part of the journey, I think. We all like the reward of doing something big and bold – but the persistence and discipline portion is often tedious, tiresome work.

What I’m saying is, I wish I could be lazy and pass my test without studying for it, but alas, I was not blessed with a photographic memory for material I learned over a decade ago.  For the next five weeks my posts are probably going to be picture-heavy as I enter into crunch mode for my test.  I just need to think positive happy thoughts like, “YOU’RE SO SMART JENNY! BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF YOUR DREAMS!” and not, “You’re gonna fail,” which I currently have on a loop in my mind.  (Said in the voice of Kristen Wiig from Walk Hard, of course.)

YAY PICTURE TIME!

First off, I received my Wool and the Gang package in the mail yesterday.  Wow, that was fast.

IMG_0295.JPG

I said in the last post that I was geeking out over using Scheepjes yarn…I do that too with Wool and the Gang.  I really want to try their Crazy Sexy Wool but that’s probably going to be too warm to work with for the next ten months.

IMG_0296

It is so squishy!!!!!

I’ve also been making progress with my Little Box of Crochet project…but not as much, since I’m studying in the evenings and don’t start my crafting until the Daily Show.  I promise not to be posting incremental pictures of the same project for the next five weeks.

IMG_0309.JPG

More pictures, you say? SURE!

IMG_0308.JPG

I am really loving the way this is working up! And the colors are just gorgeous.

Finally, I received my ipsy bag in the mail yesterday…I really am loving the color palette from this month’s bag.IMG_0303.JPG

The earrings didn’t come with the bag…I just thought they would be a pretty addition to this soft spring palette! I wish I could make a dress out of this print:

IMG_0305.JPG

And of course, this is such a cute little card.

IMG_0304.JPG

Now that we’re full of positive and happy vibes, I’ve got to go wake Fiancé up.  My car decided to overheat yesterday so he’s got to drive me to work. Have a great day, everyone!

Weekend Makes – Mollie Makes Scandi Floral Hoop Kit

Happy Monday!  U.S. readers, are you adjusting to Daylight Savings Time?  I tried to keep a normal schedule yesterday, so I was able to wake up this morning without hating my life.

This weekend was great! It was a very cozy, rainy weekend that allowed me to get caught up on household chores but most importantly, making! I worked on the Scandi Floral Hoop Kit from Mollie Makes issue 76.

IMG_0289.JPG

This beautiful kit was designed by Zeena Shah, who makes beautiful Scandinavian-inspired designs. I have to say, I was very pleased with how this kit turned out.  Lately when I’ve worked on embroidering a piece, I feel the need to color in every part of a design with a stitch.  But it’s totally okay to leave some open spaces here and there, and with this piece, I think that approach worked out much better.  It really adds a whimsical feel.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m also really happy with how the French knots turned out!

IMG_0290.JPG It took me a couple of years to learn French knots, and they still give me problems.  But these turned out quite well!

I also started getting caught up on Little Box of Crochet projects.  This one I’m working on is a beautiful peacock feather pincushion. I’ve only worked up a couple of the feathers so far (and haven’t weaved in the ends yet), but am loving the vibrant colors of this project.

IMG_0292.JPG

This project uses Scheepjes Catona yarn.  I have to say, I’m geeking out a bit over the yarn selection because Scheepjes isn’t sold in the states. I’ve read about this yarn so much in my imported craft magazines and I’m really excited to be able to work with it.

IMG_0294.JPG

Look at these colors!

I hope you had a great weekend! Please share what you made with me!

 

GUYS I RAN OUT OF YARN

The other day I was thinking that I hadn’t posted my February makes.  I looked through my pictures and…realized I had only completed these:

Now to be fair, I had been in the field for two weeks last month…but still! This is hardly anything.  It was a good reminder to me that staying focused on projects is important.  It’s completely normal to feel burned out by a project – and when that happens, I think it’s necessary to move on to a little side project to take a mental break.  But my problem last month was trying to start too many new projects at once.  It doesn’t give me the chance to sit down and focus on completing a project.

I have a frustrating update to my Calvin Top project. I focused on this project ALL WEEK and didn’t work on any other projects.  I am so close to being finished with the second body piece! But, as I feared, I ran out of yarn.  Hence the overly dramatic post title.

IMG_0287.JPG

I actually did the tension swatch prior to starting the project, and remember thinking that my stitches were too dense. But I decided to plow ahead with the project anyway.  Lesson learned!  I ordered another skein from Wool and the Gang.  And since it is pay day, I ordered this project too:

_0071_watg0159

Brooding model not included.

I’ve been interested in making and wearing my own clothes lately, and this seems like a fun project to try my hand with.  It says EASY and it looks like it’s all just stockinette stitch?  Which I can do.  Knit, purl, knit, purl. I got this.  But the Calvin Top was supposed to be easy too, and I suppose it was, but it’s still going to look like a circus tent when I’m done with it.  In my humble opinion.

I also ordered this from Sublime Stitching because pay day, I have no children so my disposable income is all mine, life is short, etc etc.

Vita-Brevis-Est-_SublimeStitching-Pillow-Embroidery-Kit_large

The saying on the pillow is “Vita Brevis Est” which translates to “Life is brief.” It’s so morbid. I love it.

What else is going on?  I’m keeping busy at work, which makes me happy.  Consulting is so stressful when there aren’t any projects to work on. I have a lot of projects right now so I feel like I have a purpose yay.  OR SOMETHING.  I had a very quick trip to Houston this week to sample one well, which was fun. I wish all my sites just required sampling one well.  My test is in six weeks and I’m freaking out.

I also enrolled in a garment making class. I mentioned I’m interested in making my own clothes, but it’s been hard to find the motivation to teach myself.  Fiancé has band practice on Saturdays so I thought it would be good to find a class during that time.  Every once in awhile I need to get myself out of my default reclusive loner introvert mode and actually socialize with people.  And learn to make something. I am taking a class in April where we are learning how to make Grainline Studio Willow tanks!

I’ve been following Grainline Studio for while on Instagram, so I’m excited to try my hand at sewing one of their patterns! Again, it’s supposed to be a beginner’s level class, but we’ll see.

Okay. I need to go be a productive member of society and show up to work and stuff. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  If you are stitching up something crafty this weekend, I’d love to hear about it!

Starting the Week off Right

Good morning everyone! I wanted to write out a quick weekend post since I wasn’t able to update yesterday. I hope you all had great, restful weekends and a good start to your week.  I feel much more like myself this week.  I really attribute it to my weekend.  It was definitely restful, like cuddling up with this little chunk:

20170304_105305

But I was also productive, and I think that’s what put me in a really good mindset for this week. I was able to get some good studying done for my test, went for a run, planted veggies in the garden (fingers crossed they don’t die), did ALL the laundry, and made some good progress in reorganizing the guest room. I found this gem while going through my old notebooks. This is from a phase in 2008 when I was depressed and would go to coffee shops to write poetry:

20170304_163402.jpg

So much anger, Jenny! I’d totally shop at Central Market now, if it were closer to my neighborhood.

I found time to craft, too.  I’ve been focusing exclusively on the Calvin Top.

IMG_0285.JPG

I’ve finished the first body piece and am working my way through the second.  I am very eager to finish it so I can try it on.  I still think it will fit like a burlap sack when I’m done, but hopefully I am wrong.

Time for me to get ready for work! Have a great day!

Stumbling into the Weekend

Happy Friday!  I am writing to you a little later than normal.  This week was definitely an “off” one for me…feeling really tired, anxious, and antisocial the entire week.  This week was full of meetings and training classes, so I could not be the hermit that I wanted to be. AND to add insult to injury, I got home just now, and Apollo was being really possessive of his treat ball and was growling and barking angrily at me 😦  He’s usually so sweet and loving with me, so I hate when he gets possessive like this! I wasn’t even trying to take his dumb treat ball away from him, I’d been trying to hand him EXTRA TREATS that had fallen out of his treat ball.  Silly dog! ALL I DO IS FEED AND LOVE YOU. It bums me out when he acts like that.

ANYWAY.

Here is a one step forward, two steps backward kind of situation.  I canceled one of my subscription boxes today. I really enjoy Knit-Wise but I want to start saving up for the wedding. I felt really responsible when I did that.

Then I went to Barnes and Noble and bought ALL THE CRAFT MAGAZINES.

Well, not all. Just two. But lookit.

This is the kit that came with Issue 54 of Simply Crochet. Isn’t it adorable?

mollie-makes-76-with-embroidery-hoop-gift-811x1024

I’ve been waiting for this issue of Mollie Makes.I love the embroidery kit!

As for my Wool and the Gang Calvin top, I’m about done with the first body piece. I had to frog it this morning (yes, I did a little crochet before work this morning…shhhh) since the mesh section was uneven and looked crappy. It looks better now and I think I can be done with it this weekend.

Hopefully by relaxing with these projects this weekend, I’ll be able to unwind and be back on track for Monday. Here’s hoping! Have a great weekend!

Apparently “Wedding Planning Wednesday” is a Thing

I learned recently from the internet that “Wedding Planning Wednesday” is a thing.  I have to say I haven’t done very much of it lately.  After being in the field for two weeks, I was hit with the “OH GOD MY TEST IS IN APRIL” freakout and have been studying for that (or, the nightly reminder that I’ve forgotten everything I learned in college YAYYYY!)

But we’ve picked a venue and set a date, so that’s a good step to cross off the list, I think.  Venue selection was interesting at first but it grew tiring by the end.  We had some pretty entertaining encounters during our search.  The first place we looked at told us they’d “rather not serve people with severe food allergies,” so I guess I need to tell my mom she’s not eating at my wedding? I hastily scratched that place off my list.  One venue was someone’s literal backyard.  Which…wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if it were a large property and the person’s home was out of sight, but no.  Her house was right there, and we could hear her grandkids playing while we met with her, and it was weird. She was also very talkative and was starting to make judgment calls on some of our choices, so we “noped” out of there very quickly.

The venue we ended up selecting is very us – cozy, relaxed but elegant.  They also have a built-in rain plan, which was a big reason why we selected this venue. We’d fallen in love with another venue, but they didn’t have a rain plan.  We would have had to rent a tent, and the tent plans are just insane.  You have to put down 50% as your deposit, and you had the option to wait 5 days until the wedding and get your entire deposit back if you decide you don’t want the tent.  OR you wait until 2 days out to decide you don’t want your tent, but then that means you forfeit your deposit.  Knowing how much I check on the weather when I’m in the field, there’s no way I’d be comfortable with the 5 day plan. And there’s no way I would have been cool with throwing hundreds of dollars away with the 2 day plan.  I’ve very glad we selected the venue with the rain plan.

Oh yeah, and we got this cute guest book:

Guest book.png

We bought it at Book People.  It’s not a traditional guest book, but it’s adorable and I love birds.  Hence, now it’s our guest book.

I was reading some bridal magazines yesterday and I’m sorry, I really like The Knot but sometimes they’re insane.  They had article about ~spicing up your reception~ by hiring aerial water dancers or an artist who can paint impressionistic pieces of the wedding reception.  GREAT IDEAS, GUYS.  While we’re at it, why don’t I get a fountain that spouts liquid chocolate?  Or custom-made robots for everyone as a party favor? Why don’t I do that, The Knot?  OR I can just purchase disposable cameras, put them at every guest’s table, and call it day.*

In other news, side one of the Calvin top is almost ready!

Calvin part 1.png

I’m at the part where I have to make rows of double crochet mesh stitches.  It’s crazy but if I keep at it, I can conceivably finish this by this weekend. WHAT.  I’m getting pretty concerned that the tension is all wrong and that it will be like donning a burlap sack when it’s finished, but we’ll see how it goes!

Okay I need to work and stuff, talk to you all Friday!

*Do disposable cameras still exist?
** I’m just kidding. Sort of.

 

Crafty Spring Cleaning

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you had a nice and restful weekend.  Mine was great.  It was beautiful and sunny. I was able to take the pup on a walk and get some more plants for the recently departed ones.

I’ve been indulging in waking up semi-early, snuggling with the pup, and watching TV while working on a craft project. I found myself struggling to focus on projects this weekend, though. Actually, this is a pretty common theme with me. I have so many potential projects that it becomes the paradox of choice, and I abandon perfectly reasonable projects to chase the high of starting a new one.

I searched awhile for a project to use for one of my Caron Cakes, worked on that a little, then discarded it.  I went to Jo-Ann this weekend (miraculously only walking out with one crochet hook), but not without nearly purchasing yarn for a sweater project I had seen on Pinterest.  “YOU. ALREADY. HAVE. TWENTY. YEARS. WORTH. OF. PROJECTS,” I scolded myself and kicked myself out of the yarn aisle.

Fiancé recommended de-cluttering my craft space to help me focus more on projects. It was good advice, so I spent time re-organizing my craft table, storing craft magazines and project boxes neatly out of side, and cleared out my side table next to our couch. It felt good and mentally did allow me to refocus.  I think that’s sometimes all we need to hit the reset buttons in our brains – clear out some space, only save space for what we need to focus on. It feels good.

I was able to restart a project I hadn’t worked on in forever, and I’m pleased with how quickly it’s working up, once I allowed myself to focus on it.

IMG_0273.JPGThis is Billie Jean yarn from Wool and the Gang. I am working on their Calvin top project and am already through 1 skein out of 3 that came with the project! This yarn is so much fun, and the double crochet is really making the fabric breathable.  I am a little concerned that I will run out of yarn but we’ll see.

Alright, time for me to get ready for work. This week is full of meetings and I have a class I’m teaching on Thursday.  The reclusive introvert in me just wants to stay on the couch and work on projects, but that doesn’t pay the bills, eh? Have a great week!