Where I’ve Been

HELLO MY FRIENDS WE MEET UUUUUUGAIN!

I nearly upgraded my site just so I could post that Creed video and you all could judge accordingly, but it’s kind of pricey to upgrade so I’m just going to trust that you all click the link and shake your heads.

So.

How’s it going?

It’s been over three months since I posted and I’ve been missing this little blog.  I’ve been keeping pretty busy, but to keep from boring everyone I will just focus on the highlights.

TEST

After my last post, I succumbed to “obsessively check and wait for results” mode, which was awful. Waiting is the worst!  I finally received results in late May and, like I expected, I did not pass.  It was pretty disappointing.  But the difference between my score and the passing score was in the single digits…so…I am not far.  The next test is October 27th, and I have already started studying. I will pass this time!  I NEED TO PASS THIS TIME.  The next test after the October one is April 2018, which is when I’m getting married, which is a big NOPE.

TRAVEL

Another thing I started focusing on after my test was scrubbing up my admittedly weak Italian.  My family and I had a trip planned in June.  It was probably late May where I realized I wasn’t going to learn 32 years worth of Italian in a month, so I relaxed a little bit.

I will need to do an entire post on Italy but it was a pretty great trip.  We were there for two weeks and I was able to see my family, who I hadn’t seen in so long! My Italian was still bad, but I learned a lot being immersed over there.

IMG_20170624_163220_237

Selfie in Positano

Work

As one of my aunts says, “Lavoro é lavoro” (work is work), but I’ve been enjoying it.  Lots of reports to keep me busy. I really enjoy the projects where I get to dig deeply into the data (because I’m a nerd), but projects involving a lot of data can always be stressful because you want your analysis to be perfection.  I was also in the field for two weeks this month at a couple of my sites.  Guys. I’ve lived in Texas for over 20 years so I’m used to this heat – or I thought?  But one week was just so bad!  I’m so glad August is crunch time at the office and I have an excuse to be in the AC.

I do have one funny story – a gate wasn’t closed properly at my site, so we arrived the next morning to find a bunch of cows who had decided to make a visit.

IMG_10231

Just a small sampling of the cows at the site.

 

That was a call I wasn’t looking forward to making to my project manager.  He said we needed to herd them off-site.  “I…um…is there a way you recommend herding them?” I asked.  He told us to make lots of noise.  So I started running at the cows wildly, waving my arms and yelling “SHOOOOOO!” while my coworker jumped in his vehicle and started honking at the cows.  We were able to get the cows off-site and back to their proper home in ten minutes, which exceeded my expectations.  I can now add Jenny: Cow Herder to my resume.

CRAFTS

I want to post a couple of pictures of things I’ve either worked on or finished. I finished a couple of other neat pieces, but I want to spend more time on those posts.

IMG_20170722_094054_189.jpg

Fun sashiko-inspired piece from Studio MME

20170627_191542

Another Studio MME piece. I finished this one in Italy – this is my aunt’s table, isn’t it beautiful?

20170802_081754

Fun amigurumi piece from Little Box of Crochet

Wedding

We’re actually getting a lot done.  Booked a photographer (NOT the guy who told me, “I’m a hugger, deal with it” and openly admitted to google stalking the both of us – good lord), finding a caterer, and narrowing down on a baker and officiant.  Fiancé has been really helpful and taken the lead on a lot of the vendors.  Go Fiancé!  Planning is making this wedding less of this nebulous event and something real and tangible.  I’m getting really excited!

Alrighty, I need to get ready for work, but I will be back soon! I have been toying around with ideas for this little blog and hopefully we’ll have some fun in the process!

Pretty Things

Good morning friends!

I can hardly believe it is already Wednesday, which means my test is a little over three weeks away.

::hyperventilates into paper bag::

Apollo has been a dependable study buddy, but as you can see, he’s getting a little tired of it.

Pup pup

As promised, here are some beautiful things I’ve been working on lately or that have been inspiring me.

I received my package from Hawthorn Handmade this week!  This packaging is so lovely!

Hawthorn Handmade.png

I bought this cute set of cacti and succulent journals this weekend at Book People:

IMG_0332

I’ve been working on this pretty floral theme from Studio MME’s Super Stitchers’ Club:

IMG_0326

 

And also on last month’s Little Box of Crochet…it was designed by Attic24, which means lots of beautiful colors!

IMG_0333.JPG

Those colors are so scrumptious!

Speaking of scrumptious, I may or may not have used pay day as an opportunity to purchase the Scheepjes CAL Hygge kit.

15977171_1527097337318927_423776202496030136_n (1)

ALLEGEDLY.  ALLEGEDLY I purchased this kit in the Jewel colorway because I’ve been eyeing it for months and I probably won’t finish it until December but. BUT.  All this studying has put me in treat myself mode.

Okay, I need to work! Have a great day!

Little Box of Crochet – Peacock Pincushion

Good morning everyone!  Hope you’re having a relaxing Saturday so far.  It’s a pretty cozy morning; I’ve got a cup of coffee next to me, my planner open, and Fiancé and Apollo are snoozing next to me on the couch.  I’m going to watch a little TV and work on a project before diving back into studying.

I’m all finished with the Little Box of Crochet Peacock Pincushion and fob!  This is the July 2016 box but when I received it, I was very intimidated by the project.  I’m glad I finally decided to do it, as it’s a pretty approachable project for beginners.

July box.png

With this box you get lovely pins, a stitch marker, stickers for labeling your boxes should you decide to reuse them, and 5 balls of Scheepje Catona yarns.  I have already squee’d in a previous post over this yarn, and I am continuing to squee here.  It is such a treat to be able to work with Scheepje yarn since I can’t find that brand here in the States.  This yarn was so yummy and was a breeze to work with.  Amanda Bloom notes in her booklet that she couldn’t bear to break down the balls so she blew the month’s budget by keeping all the balls intact -Amanda, I’m so glad you did!  You should have extra yarn when you finish this project; I haven’t decided what to do with mine yet!

The pincushion and fob worked up pretty quickly and I actually didn’t lose any stitches while working in the round.  I had the most difficulty with the peacock feathers – and even those weren’t “hard,” I just was unsure of what to do with one step in the pattern.  This is probably more of my inexperience than any issue with the pattern.  Other than those minor issues, the pattern was pretty easy to follow and there are lots of pictures to guide you.

What do you think?

IMG_0316.JPG

IMG_0321

I’m quite pleased with how this project has turned out. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

First Day of Spring! Inspirations

Spring is finally here! Although it’s been feeling like spring since February?  But that’s Texas weather for you.  Today I was planting flowers I’d purchased three weeks ago tending to my garden and noticed a lovely Texas bluebonnet blooming.

bluebonnets

I have a brown thumb, so I wanted to capture this moment before it dies next week.  ::insert inspirational thoughts about flowers and spring here::

This weekend was pretty great.  My friends and I decided to check out SXSW on Saturday. I don’t go to SXSW every year, but when I do, it’s always fantastic.  I think my fondest SXSW was in 2011, when Brother and I attended the Foo Fighters documentary premiere Back and Forth, and Dave Grohl was RIGHT ACROSS THE THEATER eating POPCORN and it was CRAZINESS.  That was also the year we waited in line for five hours to get into the MTV Woodie Awards just so we could watch the Foo Fighters perform one song.*

This year my friends and I took a more chill approach to SXSW, but we still had a blast.  They are all artistic people and I feel more inspired to create just being around them.  We also caught some really good shows.  I’d been feeling burned out on shows lately but Saturday refreshed my palate, I think.  My friend and I caught this one band called Happy Meals, and it was such a fun set.  But I’m hesitant to look them up now because I’m afraid they won’t sound as amazing when I’m sober.

Now that it’s spring and I’m wrapping up my pincushion project (the review will be ready this week!), I’m already eyeing more projects to add to my queue.  After my test is done, of course.**

PICTURE TIME.

WATG

Wool and the Gang Dylan Tank

Wool and the Gang has all these awesome free patterns, and I’m eyeing this one for spring.  REAL TALK – I would nix the fringe though.

Two of Wands

Two of Wands, Movie Night Cocoon Cardi

I love this cardi by Two of Wands.  It would be a perfect transitional piece for the approximately two cooler days I can expect this spring.

Crochet-Pattern-Afternoon-Breeze-Shawl-90311B-a

Lion Brand Afternoon Breeze Shawl

Ditto on this shawl.  It’s so cute! I can wear it to work so I won’t freeze to death in my cube.

Finally, I want to make this:

119954_grande

Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top

I wish I had known about Fancy Tiger Crafts when I visited Denver two years ago, because I would have been ALL UP IN THAT.  I really have been wanting to go back to Denver because Rocky Mountains, the crepes place, Garden of the Gods, it’s amazing, etc etc etc, so this is just another reason to visit, right? Anyway, I got a little sidetracked…this top is really cute and versatile, and it’s supposed to be beginner friendly.  I really want to make it.  And also move to Denver.

I need to be responsible so I should probably sleep. Good night!

*I’m very done with waiting in line for hours and hating my life, but I’m really glad I did it then and have those memories.

** I splurged on a review course so my attitude has gone from “I’m going to fail” to “I might pass, maybe!”

Maker Crush – Hawthorne Handmade

This post is brought to you by another cup of coffee and a huge lack of motivation.  So while my brain remembers what it’s like to function, let me show you the work of a wonderful artist I recently discovered.

Hawthorn Handmade is an adorable Etsy shop out of the UK that makes the most wonderful little craft kits.  Seriously, take a look:

Barn Owl Needle Felting

Barn Owl Needle Felting Kit

Bear Embroidery Kit

Bear Embroidery Kit

Gray Hare Crochet Kit

Grey Hare Amigurimi Crochet Kit

Owl Amigurimi Kit

Little Owl Amigurimi Crochet Kit

The designs are so adorable.  I may or may not have purchased the bear embroidery kit and owl crochet kit with an Etsy gift card I received for my birthday last year.  These kits just looked too good to pass up!

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!