Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look What I Found!!!

I'm so excited.  I saw this little baby on the side of the road.  She was sad, she was lopsided and she was FREE!!!

Unfortunately, my little Mini Cooper could not fit the large girth of my new lady friend, so I had to hope she would wait for my hubby, and she did.

We picked her up and brought her home.  Now my new little friend needs a good facelift and she will be ready for the world my guestroom.

Here she is in all her glory!

She has good lines, and a strong frame.  She is made of wood covered in some sort of veneer, so I don't even have to feel bad about painting her.  

Now two questions for you:
1) What color should she be next?
2) To keep the original hardware or not?

Can't wait to see what you suggest. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Orange Laptop Case

I left my old laptop case in India and I am ready for a new one.  Then it hit me, why don't I just make my own?  In less than an hour (not including finding the thread and making the bobbin) I had a very nice, perfectly fitting laptop case, and it's ORANGE!!!

This case is not really designed to protect the computer if you drop it or bump it around, but it will keep the computer from slight scratches in your bag. 

So how did I do it?

Basically it is just one piece of felt sewn up on the sides.

I made the piece of felt double the width of my laptop plus five inches to fold over.   The flap end was hemmed on inch in from the end so that I can sew light magnets to hold it down.  I have yet to get the magnets, but that cane be done later.

Jeff wants me to make one for him (but not orange) and I think I will use two layers of felt, maybe in different colors.  I'm excited to make more.

Alright here is the million dollar question: if I sold these would you buy one?
(I'm trying to find direction in my life, can you tell?) 

The Shabby Nest
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011


No, not a real facelift, just a facelift for my blog.  In case you didn't notice, I got a new design here.  The last one was a free template and kept getting messed up.  Instead I paid real money for a professional to make me what I wanted, and it could not have been better. 

April over at A Mommy's Blog Design Studio, made me this wonderful new blog design.

A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Button
click here if you want to see her website

I actually started this process a while ago, but I kept going back and forth about my design.  Basically, it was all my fault, I did not know what I wanted and sent her in a million directions, but April was great she just kept sending me new ideas so I could figure out what would work.  I have to say she was super easy to work with and really good about getting back to me right away. 

I don't know if you can tell, but I'm not very educated on the whole blog thing, I didn't even know what a social media icon was (I'm still not completely clear on it, but getting better).  April walked me though the whole thing, and even made sure all my gadgets were put back.  I still have to update my blog list, but other than that I'm good.   

I got the design on the last day of a big sale, and boy am I glad I did this.  My blog looks so much better now.  It is more professional and clean.  I asked for clean, modern, and feminine, and that is just what I got. AND you can post comments on the bottom like all the rest of the blogs out there.  No more confused comments (you know who you are lol).  as an extra bonus I also got a little flower icon on my bookmark.  I love that.  I had no idea I would get that.  This is so fun.

If you are thinking about a new design for your blog be sure to check out April's work.  She is great!

Ok enough gushing from me, what do you think?  (and if you don't like it ... I don't want to know!!)
I know not everyone likes pink, but I do so that's what I used. 

Little Ballerina

My favorite little girl had her first ballet performance last weekend.  She is five.  It was the cutest thing in the world. 

I was once up on that stage with my own little ballerina performances, so her show was very special for me.  I was probably the only person in the audience who was not actually realted to any of the dancers.  The show was three hours long.  I was sitting in the back and saw so many people on their phones, even the parents of the ballerina in question were texting each other.  It was a marathon.  I now have more appreciation from my own parents who sat through these performances every year for many, many years.  My dad used to bring a book, now I know why. 

In order to celebrate this event I made cards.  One for the star, and one for her brother, because I didn't want him to feel left out.

"Picked just for you!"
"My little star!"

The older brother got this card:
This was supposed to be him and his little sister, not sure if he got that (I am challenged by boy cards).


I love these two little kids with all my heart.  It was an honor to be able to be there for this little milestone. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm a Master!!!

You all have been neglected in the past month or so for my Masters work, well as of last Friday I am officially done.  I had my commencement on May 20, 2011.  I now hold a Masters of Science in Women's History! 

That's me before the ceremony.  I am so proud to have the special Masters gown and hood (it's a big deal, we had the hooding ceremony a few days earlier). 

Jeff got these three as I was walking down the isle.  That is my classmate Stephan in the background.  He was always good for some profound insights in department (even if he hadn't read the book).  I was in good company in this program.  I can honestly say that each and every one of my classmates were brilliant in their own right. 

The last time around (my undergraduate commencement), I did not get any photos in my gown with my family.  So this time I got photos with everyone. 

These are my new family, my mother and father in law

Here I'm with my step mother.

My husband (he's so cute).
After the post-commencement photos we all went over the the graduate building where they had a special lunch just for the Women's History class.  It was really nice to see all my professors (all three, that is) and have some wine.  It is great to be able to have wine with my classmates and teachers, I don't know I just like it. 

I also got a bunch of photos with my professors (who I refer to by first name), but I'm not going to post pictures of them here without their permission.  Not to mention it was very muggy and not  good hair day at all. 

That is my diploma.  Two years of very hard work, but the knowledge I carry with me forever. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blue and White Tablecloth

When I was growing up my mom always loved all things blue and white.  For a long time I resisted the blue and white urges, but my mother's influences has come back.  I love blue and white right now.  I'm eager to unpack the blue and white china my mother gave me, want to paint my house blue and white and now I have made this tablecloth.  It's not quite as drastic as painting my house, but it is the first step. 

I got the idea from Eleanor Design and Inspiration.  I have been waiting form many months (I'm talking more than five) to make this tablecloth.  But today the stars aligned, my sewing machine is tuned and ready, the fabric is here, and the pinking shears are bought. 

What I love about this tablecloth is that it is made out of Ikea dish towels.  It took two bundles to make this one, but if I had know I would have bought three.

I did try to iron the finished tablecloth, but those creases were really set.
It took me a really long (much longer than I thought) to figure out the best way to arrange the dish towels. My cat, Rhea, decided to hang out on the table while I was arranging the dish towels.  

Then, while I was moving the towels around she got playful. 

I eventually had to move her and made this design. 

I mixed up the patterns.  That way no two patterns touched.  For the directions follow the link above.  The only things I did differently was to add the last dish towel on the ends.  I cut it in half and stitched it to the long ends. This arrangement made it just long enough to cover the table. 

I must say I really love how this looks in my dining room.  The flowers are from my garden.  Maybe I will make the curtains out of these dish towels ... umm, or maybe not. 

The Shabby Nest

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABFOL.: May Silhouette Giveaway!!

Ok if you have not heard about this you should head over there right now!

IHeart Organizing is also doing the same giveaway. So many possibilities! And if you don't want one, or already have one, enter for me and I will pay for shipping.

A bowl full of lemons.: May Silhouette Giveaway!!


...is doing the giveaway too.  How did I miss these?

Oh I just can't wait to win this thing. (wishful thinking right?)

If anyone knows anymore giveaways leave a comment.  I'm entering them all this time (there is no thesis to get in my way!).

Dinner: Vegan Pot Pie

What I ate Wednesday was once again a bust.  I only remembered to shoot dinner, but it was a good dinner. 


Take not of my blurry background, I'm learning to use my new camera!

We were getting hungry so this shot was rushed.

Jeff and I made this pie just like we used to make our chicken pot pie, but added more veggies, mushrooms, and potatoes (and took out the chicken, of course).  It was so good.  The puff pastry is an easy way to make this pie without the fuss of a real crust.  Yum, I'm sooooo full. 

I have to make a confession: I have fallen off the vegan wagon.  I had cheese and muscles (yum love those muscles) over the weekend.  Jeff is still doing the vegan diet so our dinners will still be vegan but I can't wait to have me some eggs!!  A quiche in is my near future, I just know it. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Got It!

Ever since I started this blog I have wanted a new camera.  The camera I was previously using was an old camera I bought about five years ago.  It went to India with me for two years while I worked there, and has been faithfully at my side. 

Unfortunately, this little camera was never very good, but was fine for preserving memories while I was away and at home.  The Indian dust was not so good for it either, my old camera had trouble opening and closing the lens shutters.  I often had to push them open with my finger before I could take a shot.  That is not too bad, unless I'm making a pie and  have dough on my hands (yes that happened to me), but now that I put my photographs online almost every single day, I could use a better camera. 

For the last five months I have been saving up for a new camera.  I work the odd job for a friend and get money on birthdays and such.  A couple more months (or maybe even weeks) and I would have had enough for the camera.  I really wanted one for my upcomming trip to Alaska.  But the good hubby beat me to it.  Yesterday, as an early graduation present Jeff bought me the camera I wanted. 

Actually I'm not sure if it was the exact one I wanted because I had not decided yet, but it was one of the three I had narrowed down to in my search. 

There she is, a Cannon Rebel TI1.  She is such a beauty.  I only just started to read the manual, and I don't really know all there is to know, but the shots I have managed to take are amazing.  

 Old Camera

 New Camera

Ok, if you know anything about photography you know that both these pictures were taken with the wrong setting for an indoor shot.  I haven't figured out how to change the settings on my new camera, on the old one I just selected an icon that was for indoor lighting.  I will have to see about that.  Anywho, you can see in these two shots that the second one is better.  The new camera not only makes clearer shots, it also blurs the background of the shot.  I think there is a way to do this more, but I have to figure out how.  

I just love my new camera.  The possibilities are endless.  I can't wait to do some crafts (I know I have been neglecting them) and then take great pictures of said crafts.  

This is a quick still life I shot this afternoon before the sun set.  Pretty amazing right?  

I hope to be able to get back to my crafts this week or next.  I have graduation on Friday and then I can spend all my time crafting.  Can't wait!

Vegan Latte

Since I became vegan I have been working on the perfect latte or cappuccino.  I got an espresso maker for Christmas and have been perfecting my favorite coffee drink.  I tried soy milk, but my latte did not forth properly, so I turned to Almond milk.  It is perfect.

How to make a vegan latte:

This is my fabulous espresso maker.  You need to have a good espresso maker for a good espresso.  This one is not the top of the line, but it makes a decent espresso.  I also like Cuisinart, it is a good dependable brand.  I love my food processor, it is the greatest tool in the world. 

You also need a good coffee grinder.  This one has blades, the best is the ones that don't but they take up a lot of counter space.  And guess it's a what Cuisinart too! (love it)

Grind up your beans.  Fresh ground beans are important.  I also buy my beans in small batches so they don't get stale either.  I keep them in an airtight container.  I once thought they should be kept in the freezer, but this is no longer true.  (My friend who makes the best coffee on earth is my source for all this info)

For espresso the beans must be super fine.  This is not fine enough. 

Here is a better, more fine, ground beans. 

These are the tools of the espresso trade.

Add grounds.

Press grounds.  I learned, by trial and error, not to press too hard for this machine.

Here is the coffee all ready to be espresso-ed (you know, made into espresso)

Before I make the espresso I like to froth my milk.  Almond milk, in this case. 

I love the nobs on this one, and they have to be set to steam (somehow this took me a while to figure out from the DVD, yeah they had a DVD, and I watched it.).

Froth up the milk.  I like to use a fair amount of milk.  The almond milk is the best for bubbles. 

Then I brew the espresso.

As my friend taught me, you must have a good brew I think that means a nice dark coffee, and a good head of white foam (I'm talking about coffee here ladies, sheesh)

Top off the latte with some cinnamon.  I like cinnamon because it helps enhance memory, and I need that.  It also helps with digestion, as my very brilliant hubby told me today. 

Yum, this is the second drink of the morning I require before I am capable of doing anything productive.  It's good stuff. 

How do you like your coffee?
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