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Friday, March 29, 2013

Downton Abbey in tea towel form

Downton Abbey Collage

So by now it's old news that Downton Abbey is amazing. Even if you haven't watched the show, you've undoubtedly been told that you "will LOVE it." And it's easy to see why - the characters are expertly crafted. People you love to hate suddenly become sympathetic, and those you love to love start showing the cracks in their facades. As an actor, these are characters I'd take such pleasure in playing. It's beautiful - the costumes and set (did you see that WEDDING!?) are amazingly detailed. And the actors are spot-on. God knows I wouldn't love the Dowager Countess as much if she were played by anyone other than Maggie Smith.

So when Danielle Thompson sent me an email, simply titled "Downton Abbey Patterns," I got really excited. It took me all of two seconds to volunteer to embroider these pretty tea towels as samples for Kitschy Digitals. You can buy the patterns by Heather Davulcu here, and the pretty tea towels here

These are just works-in-progress shots (hence all the wrinkles). I sent all 15 towels to Danielle at the beginning of this week, and she still has a little something to add to them before photographing them for her site. I can't wait to see the finished product. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Purple Heart

Look at these pictures: hair curled, pink shirt, purple heart hat. I think this is the girliest picture I've ever taken.


 Ok, I just went and looked through my iPhoto, and yes, it is confirmed: This is the girliest picture I have ever taken.

I have two problems, and luckily they go hand in hand. Problem #1: I have a lot of small quantities of yarn; and Problem #2: I don't have any cute, slouchy, lacy hats. After I finished my most recent design, I had a skein and a half of this Knit Picks Swish DK in Amethyst Heather, and I knew what I had to do with it. 

heart hat back

The pattern is the Ruby Red Heart Hat, and it was the perfect balance of quick & easy, but interesting enough to keep me knitting row after row. I followed the pattern exactly as written for the large size (my head is huge - I can't wear hats from regular stores), and a few episodes of American Horror Story later, I had a hat. 

heart hat other side

Speaking of which, have you watched that first season of American Horror Story? I loved it, and I blame it all on R.L. Stine. The plot and setting made me feel like I was watching the Fear Street books come to life, especially the 99 Fear Street series. Anyone else totally in love with those books as a pre-teen?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Latte Love

latte love

I loved this little pattern from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, so I stitched it up on painted aida cloth, and gave it to my sister for Valentine's Day. 

latte love xstitch

Ps. This post brought to you by breakfast with Izabelle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Effortless...

Annie's Effortless Cardigan

This cardigan was technically my first FO of 2013, finished on January 1st. My BFF, Annie, requested a sweater for Christmas this year, and she picked everything out. The pattern is Effortless by Hannah Fettig, which I'm sure you've seen around the block once or twice by now. 

Effortless Wing

The yarn is my favorite - Knit Picks Comfy Worsted - in Seraphim, a pretty grey-violet. It's a bit short on me, because Annie is a bit short, but you get the gist.

Back of the Effortless

Every Christmas I am resolute: NO sweaters. For anyone. ...And then every Christmas, someone has to ask for the perfect sweater that I totally want to knit them (on size 10 needles), and wear me down. Next year will be the year of no Christmas sweaters. Yup, NEXT year. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Recently Read: Let's Pretend This Never Happened.


It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud at a book, but then again, I guess I haven’t read many books as hilariously charming as Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened



I put this one on my Amazon Wish-List when it first debuted, and jumped at the chance to read it for review. Suffice it to say, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened did not disappoint. 

Lawson’s journey begins in a small town in Texas, where her father owns a taxidermy shop and frequently torments Lawson and her sister with dead animals. Hilarious! As someone who grew up in a small town in Michigan, I can relate to her farm anecdotes. Swam in a ditch? I’ve been there! Played in an inappropriate place? Definitely. (Mom, why did you let me go over to friends’ houses if they were FARMS?)

As Lawson continues her memoir, I can’t help but relate to her strange life. True, it’s nothing like my life, but her wild and wicked sense of humor bridges the gaps easily. Her self-depreciating tone never wears thin or rings false - she is a fine example of an original and modern voice. 

And that’s why you’ll love this book - Lawson is real, funny, and someone you wish you could get coffee with and hear her stories in person. And see her collection of taxidermy animals. I never knew I wanted a dead mouse dressed up as Hamlet, but Lawson makes it sound adorable, charming and almost normal. 

This post is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are my own. Past book reviews are here

Monday, March 4, 2013

life updates and such

Wow, I've totally dropped the ball with blogging lately, right? 


Bunnies In Luv

Before I jump in with a ton of fantastic vacation and project pictures, I just wanted to share some life updates. 

First and foremost, I got another bunny. Her name is Lady Gray, and she is adorable. She's a tiny Silver Marten/Dwarf mutt, and is super snuggly. She came from BunnyLuv, a rabbit shelter in Van Nuys, and when she was dropped off at the shelter, she had crazy-long front teeth on the bottom only. Her top teeth had never come in! So they removed her bottom teeth, and got her fixed, and after taking Tommy to the shelter for bunny dates (yes, seriously, bunnies go on dates), she came home in February. She is sweet and snuggly and can't chew on the furniture, so she's perfect in my book.

We bought a Vespa! And a helmet

I got a Vespa scooter! And a helmet and a sense of my own mortality. I love riding my bicycle, but it's really not practical for getting around the sprawling city of Los Angeles, and the time came for Chris and I to get another vehicle. I've always wanted a Vespa, and when I laid eyes on this (used) beauty, I knew the price, milage, and style were right. The next morning, it was delivered! 

A Chicken I (we) Made!!

I roasted a chicken, or more technically, Chris roasted a chicken and I supervised. Because he was home during the day and could devote 5 hours to a chicken, while I was at work dreaming of eating a chicken. Which is very hard work, and therefore I still count this as one of my New Years resolutions completed. We used this recipe, recommended by Jamie, and it was really, seriously delicious.

What have you been up to lately? 

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Glasses from Firmoo!

Wide angle glasses

Awhile ago I was contacted by Firmoo, asking if I'd like to try a pair of their glasses. While I would have loved to get a pair without a prescription in them (I got Lasik in 2006), Chris actually wears glasses, so we got him a pair! 

I had never heard of Firmoo, who have been selling glasses online for years, in a ton of different styles. I love the tortoise shell frames on the front page, which they did not have when I let Chris choose his glasses... he doesn't know how close he came to not getting a new pair... 

side glasses

Chris chose this pair of black plastic frames with a light brown plastic on the sides. They came with a dust cloth, soft case, and hard case. As you can see from the picture below - he has a pretty intense prescription, so I was a little bit worried about the quality of the frames and holding up to that much lens. But they feel sturdy and secure, and Chris loves wearing them. 

So normally this is where I'd say, "And if you comment, you can win a free pair!" But nope - Firmoo is offering a free pair to ALL first-time customers

Straight-On Glasses

If you're in the market for a new pair of glasses, give them a try, and just pay for shipping. Their customer support was very helpful, and there's this FAQ to get you started. You can even upload a picture and "try on" styles before you buy, which any 4-eyes knows is essential!

As stated, I got a free pair of glasses from Firmoo, but all opinions are my own.