Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Sister Road Trip Across America - Part 1


As you may know, at the end of January I drove cross-country with my sister, Meghan. We had a lot of fun, and took a lot of awesome pictures, and I've been wanting to share mine with you, but to be perfectly honest, her's are better. She's put together a few posts with some of her best, most amazing pictures from our journey and a few fun realizations. This is Part 1, and I'll let her tell you all about it!


At the beginning of February, I had the pleasure of accompanying Katie on her move from Chicago to Burbank. For me, the journey began in Michigan, so I knew had 10 states, about 4 days of travel, and numerous tourist stops ahead of me. I was excited to travel through states I had never seen before, and to visit the various 'World's Largest' attractions that Katie plotted along the way (don't worry, there will be more on those adventures later!). 


Being from a family that has traveled by car on many vacations, Katie and I were prepared for the long journey with our books on tape and snacks in tow. My expectations were that I would sleep in the car at least 30% of the time that I wasn't driving. 
Boy. Was. I. Wrong.


The only day that I slept in the car was the first day, when I had to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to catch my Megabus to Chicago. During the rest of the trip, whether I was the driver or the passenger, I was captivated by the changing landscape. 


I was intrigued by everything; the thousands of giant wind turbines in Iowa, the masses upon MASSES of cows in Nebraska (and maybe one giraffe spotting...Katie and I are still unsure about that one) Katie Says: It was Totally a Giraffe in a Barn!, and finally, the beautiful mountainous landscapes of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California.


I was in awe over the gorgeousness of these states and the pure scale of the mountains surrounding us. From one state to the next the mountain formations changed in the blink of an eye. 


In Colorado, I was frantically taking photographs and videos while Katie bravely conquered the slippery, steep, curving roads of the rockies during a snowstorm. 


While I was doing the driving in Utah, we stopped at about 5 viewing point rest stops--which basically consisted of gorgeous landscapes, a porta-potty, and some information plaques about Mormon settlements--so that we could take pictures. And I loved every second of it.


Seeing new and exciting places definitely sparked some creative juices within my landscape photography. Maybe it was because I was outside of the Midwest, or because I had giant, beautiful subjects to shoot; but I seriously couldn't take enough photos. 


It was a nice reminder of what I should do when I'm feeling uninspired. Just take a little trip or try something new, and discover the beauty in new surroundings. 


A new experience, whether great or small, is bound to inspire.


xo Meghan

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A little wedding ditty bag

ditty bag

My friend, Annie, also wanted me to make a little "Wedding Emergency" bag for Sethrina. Annie was a bridesmaid, and wanted to be prepared with hairspray, bobby pins, gum, a sewing kit, etc, in case of emergency. Annie sent me a huge list of stuff she wanted on hand for Sethrina's big day, and I made her this bag to house it all.


It's a basic round ditty bag with coordinating fabric on the inside to make little pockets to hold everything. I didn't use a pattern, but I did use MATH. I calculated the circumference of a circle, people! Also I totally forgot how to calculate the circumference of a circle, and had to google it. 

Hint: use Pi. Double hint: Don't forget simple math things like calculating the circumference of a circle.

gorgeous fabric

How gorgeous is this fabric?! I had to include this picture I took before I cut into it so you could see it in full. It's from Cosmo Cricket, and Annie picked found it on Pink Chalk. I kinda wished we had a bit left over, but I used about 99.9% of the full yard she ordered.

This one was pretty hard for me to let go - the fabric is so beautiful - and it turned out perfectly! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sethrina & Joshua's Wedding Embroidery

sethrina & joshua

A few weeks ago, my best friend Annie asked me to make a little wedding present for her friends, Sethrina & Joshua. I had a lot of fun designing & stitching this pretty piece to commemorate their big day! 


I used a few different stitches and colors to give the wood grain texture, using 3 or 4 strands of embroidery floss, and then used 2 strands of red to back stitch the letters. 


And you know I love to show you guys the back of my work. I framed it in a simple thrift store frame (that I gave a good wash & dry), and then cut a piece of construction paper to fit the back and signed it. As my mama says, "Always sign your work!"

Saturday, May 26, 2012

under the weather

I've had a nasty cold for the past week or so. Let me tell you - having a cold is bad, but having a cold when it's 85 degrees and all you want to do is go for a swim is worse. Luckily, Chris has been taking care of me, and I think I'm finally starting to feel a bit better! 

Here's some instagrams from the past few weeks to convince you that I do have a life, I haven't just been lying on the couch with knitting, tissues, and Louie CK. Not that I'm complaining, I do looove me some Louie! 

me & amy teal nails
1. Catching up with Amy. 2. Nailz!

chickens wine 'o clock
3. Backyard chickens. 4. Wine time. 

books pretty centerpiece
5. New books. 6. Pretty succulent centerpiece.

green juice loafer!
7. Green juice. 8. New shoes.

fresh fruit popsicle graffiti
9. Juice popsicle. 10. Restaurant graffiti. 

lizzzz mocs
11. Lizz came to visit! 12. Mocs.

crocheting new yarn
13. A bit of crochet. 14. New yarn for a new design. 

chris at daphne's lemon covered almonds
15. Chris took me out to Daphne's. 16. Lemon yogurt-covered almonds - obsessed.

polka dot nails spoiled
17. Polka dot nails. 18. Chris got me Starbucks (I'm spoiled!)

burger date night
19. My new favorite - Hook Burger. 20. Date night to see The Avengers.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

72 Mini Mittens!

I've finally finished all the mittens

72 mittens

Three sets of 24 mini mittens each for me, my sister and my sister-in-law to hang up as garlands or advent calendars come December. I finished late Monday night, which makes for some moody nighttime photos of the finished mittens. I know it's been awhile since my last mitten update, but it's been rough pushing through to the end of this project. The last 24 mittens felt like 2400 mittens, but I finished! 

all the mittens!

And my sisters love their's, so I'm happy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

a little crochet

mollie mag

A few weeks ago I got myself the newest Mollie Makes magazine, as motivation to finish a few commissions. It came with a free kit to crochet a rose brooch, which I was pretty excited about. 

Except I forgot about how bad I am at reading crochet patterns. I ended up starting this thing three times before I was able to complete it. (Hint: read up on the differences between British and American crochet terms before you start a new project.)

rose brooch

 Luckily it turned out pretty cute! 

doily brooches

After that hard-won success, I dove into Goodknits' Doily Brooch pattern. Lisa of Goodknits released this as a free pattern right before Mother's Day - she's so nice - so I crocheted up one for my Mom and one for my Grandma. This is such a cute and detailed pattern, and only took about 40 minutes! I will definitely be making another one for myself! 

doily brooches 2

Monday, May 7, 2012

baby's first commercial (background)

Hey friends. In March I worked background (aka I was an "extra") on a Norwegian grocery store commercial, and it's pretty funny to watch. You can't embed it right from the site, but you can click here and watch it. You can see me during the dance sequence, on the left side:


Friday, May 4, 2012

Makeover Wars!

Last month I had the pleasure of doing a little makeover on my friend, Rebekah, for a new web series called Makeover Wars. It's a bit of a competition between me & Rebekah's boyfriend, so if you want to vote for my look after watching, please do! 

Ps. How crazy is that face I'm making in the screen shot? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"You Have No Idea" Book Review

As a child of the 90's, I really only knew Vanessa Williams as a pop star. She sang hits like "Save the Best for Last"and the pop version of "Colors of the Wind", but I was way more interested in singing along to the original cast recordings for "Les Mis" and "Phantom of the Opera." (Nerd alert!) Little did I know, that's what Vanessa would rather have been doing, too. I loved getting to know Vannessa as a more well-rounded person through her autobiography, "You Have No Idea."

"You Have No Idea," written by Vanessa and her mother, Helen, is not only a vivid re-telling of Vanessa’s life, but an interesting take on the form of autobiography. Each chapter begins with Vanessa's recollections and stories, and ends with her mother commenting in the same events.  Sprinkled along the way are little comments and anecdotes from Vanessa and he mother. The format really lends itself to Vanessa's story. Yes, there are stories if broadway and Hollywood, but the core of Vanessa's story lies in her family. Her strong familial relationships really shine, and it's clear how she was able to make a successful career - the support, warmth, and sometimes challenges of a strong family.

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

a special dress for a special lady

makin' a dress

A few months ago, my friend Kate asked me a huge favor - to design & make her wedding dress. 

wedding dress peek

I've often thought about my own future wedding dress - would I make it? Possibly, but I'd worry about the stress. I'd worry it would be too complicated for me to execute or that I would make a mistake. 

So when Kate asked me to make her dress, these same thoughts ran through my head. I said "yes," though, because she is planning a relaxed, simple wedding. I knew I could confidently make a simple, pretty dress with a few special details. 

little buttons

Kate and I collaborated on the design, shopped for fabric together, and I did the actual construction. I can't wait to show you the finished product after her wedding in June! 

pretty dress

...until then, enjoy these in-process photos.