Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A domestic geeky life

What a pretty busy weekend to lead into a super busy week!

First, grocery shopping this weekend didn't include the normal fresh fruits and veggies we normally get, but lots of trail mix, granola bars, and water. Prepping for the coming apocalypse? Well, kinda. We're heading to Comic Con in San Diego this week! (which I'm sure we'll catch the annual Gaslamp zombie walk). As we'll be spending plenty of money on books, toys, and dinners, we try to save a couple bucks by taking it easy on breakfast and lunch with travel food.

Now that my garden is over a week old, I'm actually seeing some progress! My tomatoes needed a little boost, so I used a couple different concoctions: Garlic water spray for bugs, Epsom salt water spray for magnesium, coffee grounds for fertilizer and bug deterrent, and powdered egg shells for calcium. (Not sure if I even give myself this many vitamins!) And I'm happy to see some of my seeds have sprouted. Just within 1-2 days, my bush beans have taking off, and my little baby radishes are pushing their way up. I also noticed some sprouts starting from my carrots and onions too.

I've set a goal for myself to finish my current t-shirt quilt by the end of the month. And based on the amount of work I got done this weekend, I think it might happen, even with a few days away at Comic Con. I've finishing the stitching in the yellow 'negative' space; now I'm working on the brown frames.

Keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram feeds for updates from the Con!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Packed Weekend - gardening and quilting

What a full and exhausted weekend we had!:
  1. The gardens are built! Two years in the making for some strange reason but they're done. I had the materials delivered on Friday and the build began first thing Saturday morning. Thankfully I had a great turnout of volunteers from the neighborhood to help out. The 14 boxes measure 4'x6'x2' topped with PVC piping to hold up thin bird netting. Now I just have to find time this week to pick up some plants and get started...

    Community raised gardens

  2. Come Sunday, it was time to do another volunteer shift at the zoo. I was afraid that I'd have two full days out in the sun in row and be utterly exhausted, but thankfully the zoo roulette landed me with a reptile keeper - 95% indoor work!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mid-year recap

Happy July! One of my favorite months - time for yearly jaunt to Comic Con and most importantly, my birthday!

I thought this would be a good time to revisit my New Year's resolutions and see how I'm progressing:

  1. Finish 4 quilts. Two done, two more to go!
  2. Make a dress that I've had the fabric for balled up on my shelf forever. Eh...it's still sitting there.
  3. Attempt to crochet a sweater. Conquered! I've actually made two so far. The first wasn't bad, though my arm measurements were a little off and I'll probably end up taking it apart at some point. But the second one turned out very well. In fact, I just installed lining in it this weekend so now I can actually wear it. Now, I've started on a third. I'll post pics as soon as I have something to show.
  4. Make pies. I actually made one completely from scratch several weeks ago - the best pie crust I made so far! Still need more practice, but that's what summer and autumn are for, right?
  5. Read more. Double 2013's total of 12. I'm trying. I really am trying. Ten so far, and in the middle of one right now.

Speaking of quilts, I started getting to work on a commissioned t-shirt quilt. The hard part is just about complete - sitting down with my graph paper and figuring out the cut measurements. Ooh, it's hurts! Once that's done with, the fun part can begin! My goal is to have it finished or close to finished by the end of the month. But we'll see what life throws at me to get in the way...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Wizard of Oz stitching and finding my way

Wizard of Oz stitch
About 2 months ago, a friend approached me about making some cross-stitch items for her daughter. And of course I agreed!

She purchased the patterns from the SewingSeed Etsy shop, sent them to me, and I went straight to work. Unfortunately a work trip prevented me from getting these finished as soon as I wanted to as the patterns were fairly easy, but I've learned to just accept that work always gets in the way of fun.

As requested, I used a natural aida cloth, silver thread for the shoes instead of red to be consistent with the books, and 6" embroidery hoops to fit the patterns (though the Tin Man was slightly too tall so I had to knock his legs down a couple rows). I found a pretty textured beige felt to back the hoops with. All done!

As of today, I feel my life is stabilizing a bit 'because, because, because, because, becaaaause': I'm done with work travel for a couple months; I think I have a handle on my new community garden responsibilities; tomorrow is my second day volunteering as a keeper at the zoo so I'm a step closer to making that regularly occurring; and I plan to take some time off work here and there to work on some crafts projects that have been backlogged. Here's to a happy summer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Busy as an egg - towel and events

I'm busy as an egg? That's because all kinds of things are hatching around me!

Just for fun, I scrambled up this new kitchen towel with leftover fabric from my farm-themed pot-holders. With use and time, it's time to start cycling out the old grody towels, which gives me an excuse to make more!

And now that I'm done with the work travel for awhile, I can now focus on my volunteering at the zoo. I'm an official animal care volunteer! I've only worked one day so far - my muscles despised me for it, but it was a super fun day. Yes, my dream of becoming a professional exotic animal pooper-scooper is closing in. Plus, I got to pet an okapi!

And to make sure I'm not overeasy, I received a phone call the other day from a neighbor who has been organizing our non-existent-yet-hopefully-soon-to-be-after-a-year-of-planning community garden. She dropped the bomb - she's moving. Would I want to take over? Like I need another thing on my plate, but I agreed. And it's time to push this garden-thing into high gear. It'll be July by the time we can get the garden boxes built!

Anyone else want to throw another egg at me?!

Egg yolk kitchen towel Okapi

Oh, and just so you don't forget - today is an important date:
1 month until my birthday!
6 months until Christmas!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Booking it in NYC

After a few years away, my job finally brought me back to New York. My days are spent within the convention center, and most of my night are at company dinners. But last night was all for me. So I took the opportunity to wander around the new-to-me neighborhood near Grand Central Station.
My first stop was the New York Public Library, just because it was the unforgettable introductory scene in "Ghostbusters". My original plan was just to see the outside of it, take a pic, and move on, but I decided to kill a few minutes inside. I'm glad I did. I didn't realize that the library actually has museum-like special exhibits too. The exhibit I walked in on was perfect - The ABCs of IT: Why Children's Books Matter. It included an original letter from Lewis Carroll to Alice, artwork inspired by Where the Wild Things Are, and the actual stuffed animals that inspired Winnie the Pooh and friends (Piglet was actually a pincushion).

I then moved on to a store I saw several times from taxi rides - Midtown Comics. It sits on the second floor of the building with just a piddly sign on the sidewalk directing you which door to go in. You walk up a stale staircase with store posters on the walls, along with several empty frames. Seemed kinda bleak. But then you reach the top and its glorious. Floor to ceiling comic books and paraphernalia. Super organized, super clean. I could only wish LA's comic book stores were like this one. Unfortunately, I had to restrain myself and not pick up anything because Comic Con is around the corner!

I fly back today. Though I had fun, I'm so looking forward to getting home and not traveling for work for the summer! And, once I get settled back in, it's time to get back to crafting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Remembering my Memorial Day weekend

And what a lovely weekend it was.
First, Saturday we made a 'quick' trip down to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Safari Park. And by 'quick' I mean we probably spent as much time on the road than we did in the parks. Traffic heading down was bad, took us almost 3 1/2 hours rather than the normal 2-2 1/2. We stayed at the zoo for a couple hours, enough time to take enough pics to make this gif of a roly poly baby panda:

We then rushed 30 minutes away to the Safari Park in order to see the new Tiger exhibit before it closed. A beautiful exhibit. Great views (and picture opportunities) of the tigers.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cleaning up - my whites and store

I'm human. And as a human, I get yellow armpit stains on my white shirts. Nothing to be ashamed of. You get them too, right? *fingers crossed*
One day while perusing Pinterest, I found this post from The Prudent Pantry on a green way to get rid of the stains. I tried it on one shirt, and whaddya know, it worked!

So one evening, I pulled all the white shirts out of my closet. Using an old plastic party cup, an old toothbrush I set aside for cleaning purposes, and then the Dawn, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda, I whipped up a batch and covered the armpits and necklines of all the shirts. (I'll spare you the 'before' pictures.)

I let them hang in my bathroom overnight, and washed on cold the next day.

cleaning supplies