29 November, 2009

crocheting fun!

Today i tried something i've never attempted before- I made a beanie!!!
check it out!

I used the scallop design, which i find that i really enjoy and makes a fairly nice decorative design! I can't wait to try this out for a child's size sometime :-)
Maybe soon, i'll figure out how to crochet a flower or something to add to it.

When i started to crochet 18 years ago (*sigh*), my mother taught me a handful of useful stitches including the single crochet, double crochet, and the scallop... somehow over the years, i forgot how to do the scallop and had no imagination for anything other than scarves or blankets with the double crochet stitch (i have a beautiful queen size blanket that i made with wool yarn and love to use on my bed). Today, i was inspired to seek out how to make a beanie... and i did. Yay for YouTube. ^_^

28 November, 2009

busy bee(swax)

  I got a crafting bug today so i braved the world of black friday shoppers to a craft store to pick up some beeswax and some other essentials.
  I have had these awesome stringed lights for several years now, that i got from Ikea at some point. They are star shaped! I have always loved them, and this year they adorn my very Charlie Brown Christmas tree. At first, i hadn't planned on putting anything else on the tree- as i just don't have anything else (except childhood ornaments, which will be staying packed this year) but while i was at the craft store, i noticed they had 50% off their entire stock of ribbons... and i couldn't pass it up. In the basket went 30ft of cute red and cream checkered ribbon for the tree.
  When i got home, i pulled out my double boiler and fired it up while making preparations for homemade Christmas ornaments!!!
  Let me just say, one pound of beeswax is more than enough to fill a Christmas tree with star shaped ornaments and is a little expensive *ahem*. I have LOTS left over, so i might... do other stuff with it ;-)

After i finished with my ornament-making, I began the slightly less challenging project (depending on how you look at it) of making a popcorn garland for the tree as well.
I sat at my computer and watched the movie Bolt while stringing delicate kernels of popped corn onto what seemed like an endless skein of embroidery floss (alas, it was only 8 yards).
I was finished not too long after the movie ended and will be happy to vacuum my floor! haha! little broken kernels everywhere! Mom would cringe right about now, haha!

Now i can sit back and seriously enjoy my handiwork. It's funny to think about my tree this year. I purchased every single thing on this tree (and under it- and the tree itself...) as a single person. It holds no memories of Christmases past, which is bittersweet. I love to look at my pretty tree and think about next year's *future* memories. New country, Husband, new family... Wow!
I must say that i love life as a single, but- it really is for naught without someone to share it with. I am so looking forward to experiencing life with someone ^_^

On a side note, i still need to finish crocheting Dad's scarf and learn how to knit before the year is out. Humph.

26 November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year i will be spending my Thanksgiving holiday with my boss. My family is far away and my friends are all with their families for this year's festivities, so my boss has kindly invited me to spend the day eating and celebrating with his family and friends.

Yesterday i was so antzy to get out of work. It was like the last day of school for most of the employees there- not to mention there were far too many children in the office. Haha! Dah keeps the CJs under control but the owner brought in not only his 2 but one other, and it was chaos. They were misbehaved, loud, and disruptive- which was no help to our already waning motivation to be there. Finally, at 4:00pm, my boss comes into the lab and announces that we all can leave early! It was so nice.
Not that i had anything or anyone to hurry home to or anything, but... it was nice not to feel cooped up in the office. I cleaned my bathroom and did the dishes, then made tacos.

Cooking for one is not so fun. One pound of meat is way too much for just me. hahaha! I suppose i forgot this small fact as i cooked it. It was good to have a homemade meal. I still have some Hoppin' John that i made a couple nights ago to finish (another meal where it's hard to make only enough for one), so i must say if i WERE to be alone on Thanksgiving, i wouldn't be going without, that's for sure.

What have i done today? I did laundry and i took a shower... i slept in, and snuggled my cat all morning (which i'm still doing right now, by the way) and it was nice to go down to the community laundry room to find that i am not the only one doing laundry on Thanksgiving :-)

24 November, 2009

le sigh.

Recently, i've had to start parking in a different place than i'm used to when i get to work. I think it's because the owner is getting ready to get a security system that we'll have to punch when we enter the building, and it can only be near the front entrance (i usually come in the back).
Anyhow- i got out of my car and remembered a reason that i'm really going to miss this place. It's like a little family. One of the benefits of  working for a very small company is the camaraderie that comes with it.
This picture is from my parking space. When we moved into this building and found out we'd be getting new cement for our parking spaces, my boss suggested scribing all of our initials into the cement.
So, one sunny day after the pad had been poured, brushed and sectioned- my boss came to me with a nail and said "it's time!". I went out and put all of our first initials into the cement as well as two bible verses on the request of the owner.
That was six months ago. I still can't believe i've been with this company for over a year. It's been a good year. My first day of work was the day after my boss offered me a job on the spot. As in- IN the interview. I was so happy to have a job- coming from just recently moving across the United States and before that, not being able to pay my bills anyway because of a part time job at minimum wage vs. school and school supplies.
It came the same day my phone was shut off, and i had just enough fuel in my car to get home from work that week, if i didn't make any stops along the way. How i got to work and home from work the following week is a mystery.
More than a year later, i look back at my time here with a smile. Various pot-luck lunches, pizza days, birthday parties, and all-around happiness in the workplace. I am a very lucky person. I wish all jobs were this good.
I'll miss you, AmViews.

22 November, 2009

48 days!

First of all, to the Skinners- i'm loving your blogger update... it's really nice! Lovin' it and it totally suits you! Sorry i wasn't more help lol

Wow. only 48 days until i'm married! i can hardly believe it! i'm super thankful to my MOHs who have kept my head on my shoulders and keep me in line. It's been kinda hard planning from the middle (wedding in Alaska, fiancee in Ireland, me in Ohio...) but if it wasn't for my ladies- this would be a lot harder.
Not too long after i'm married, and i'll be moving out of the country. What a strange thing to think about! A year ago, i was purchasing items with the mantra "i want to buy things that i'm going to keep... because i'm not moving across the country again... what a pain" haha! well i was right. I'm not moving across the country. I'm moving across the OCEAN! hahaha! Funny how things work out.
I was just starting to complain about needing to move again too- when i met the man of my dreams and decided to get hitched.
I must admit, yes- this is all going pretty quick, but i've never been one to stand on ceremony in anything in my life. This makes me happy and isn't that the point in life? To be happy? I always internally cringe when someone says to me that they "worry for me" (meaning my funny little decisions and crazy ideas). Not in a rude way, mind you- i do appreciate it when someone can be honest... but is it really their place to worry about me? I mean, where does it get them to worry about me? Does it solve problems to worry? I dont think so... it just makes you look haggard.
Dont become haggard for my sake. ;-) just love me for me. I will do the same for you!
This life is a good ride and i'm fortunate to have friends who love me and endure my shenanigans with encouragement and support. I love the fact that on my wedding day, i'll have people there who have stood by me through thick and thin (literally and figuratively haha) and i am HONORED that my friends (read: family) will be by our side.
my other friends and family from other parts of the country will be a part of our pre-celebrations here in Ohio! I can't wait for December 27th to see the faces of all the awesome people who have helped shape me into who i am and meet my true soul mate. I can't wait to lift a glass to you all. Thanks for all you do!

i love you guys.

19 November, 2009

Not going to die today!

I really like this whole "not going to die" thing. My old tires had unfortunately gone a little bald and i decided that surviving at least until the wedding day was imperative- So i got these.

It is amazing what a little bit of tread can do for one's driving confidence- also, i feel loads safer on the road now, and i'm sure my fiancé feels better about it too (even though he's far away).

This weekend, i had a photo shoot with my friends who are expecting a baby! I love to do maternity shoots and i really can't wait to do this one! We'll be doing indoor and outdoor shots, so this should be a blast!  I went out and got a bit of pink ribbon and i still have my baby blocks... eeehehhehe! Maternity is my favorite type of session!

The felt flowers for my bouquet need to be finished. I have been un-motivated for the past few weeks, but i really need to get on it. I have no idea how to make it an actual "bouquet" though... *sigh*
ALSO, i need to figure out who is buying what and when and what other stuff of mine needs to be whittled down and either sold or disposed of/ donated. BAH!
I still need to get my poor cat into the groomers but the pocketbook is a little thin. Last time i used scissors on her mats, i ended up accidentally cutting her skin! poor thing. I felt absolutely terrible about it and she still has a little scar.
I'm a bad cat owner.
She doesn't know that though. She still cuddles with me, and wants to be held and loved on. Sweet little Jewel... :-)

18 November, 2009

new coat!

I got a new coat tonight from Burlington Coat Factory. Yay for less expensive-ness.
It is totally reminiscent of a junior officer's frock in the civil war, but it's also chic... in my opinion. I love the buttons and the standing collar. I am excited to wear this coat places!

i would love to take a photo to share with you tonight but it is getting late and it is also dark... and i'm not in the mood to set up the camera to take a decent photo.

Last night was fun! I went with Dah and the CJ's and we got our nails done (not the boys...lol)! I got a manicure- but let me tell you... i was completely freaked out that the lady was CUTTING OFF MY CUTICLES!!! I mean really... is that necessary? I keep them neat and pushed back, so why does she have to cut them OFF?! I dont have cuticles anymore! I hope they grow back ok... Someone told me they might grow back all jaggedy and rough :-(
 But the polish looks nice anyway.
I might forgo getting fake nails put on for the wedding and just get a nice manicure.

Also, i bought a very cute hat tonight. It is black and short-billed, and has a big ole buckle on it. Perhaps when i photo my coat soon, i'll photo my hat too!
love it!

Well, best be off to bed. This Briar Rose needs all the beauty sleep she can get.

14 November, 2009

Let me slip into something a little more comfortable...

... ahh there.

That's better. Socks. What were you thinking?

It's friday night, and here i sit at home, alone, watching a movie i adored as a kiddo: Return to Oz
V got his suit today in Poland! It looks SO GOOD on him! Check him out!

he's so handsome. Ahh... i'm so in love with this man. ^_^

At any rate- i'm a lucky duck.

12 November, 2009

the song in my head today is:

another busy day!

After work today, i took my friend Mayo to the fabric store to take more advantage of their awesome Veterans Day sale!!! They have all their Simplicity sewing patterns there for $1! Most of th eones i bought were originally $14 or more. I saved $150 today only and just spent $50... so yeah. awesome. I got 9 patterns, a cutting mat (40% off, i couldn't pass it up so i just got a relatively small one), a bias tape maker (1"), some 4" sewing needles, some odds and ends, and of course the fabric for the boys.

I got a pattern for pajama bottoms for the CJs and me to sew together. I also found out that flannel is only $2.99 a yard, so i got some fabric while i was at it. This will be a fun project. Dah (their mom) says i'll be able to get them each one at a time for about an hour and a half next week. I'm excited!

Dah and the CJs and i went to David's Bridal today. We found the most perfect dress for her. It was too good to pass up! She got a bolero in the same color to match and it really looks great! Next step- finding pretty snowboots to go with it :-)

haha! you think i'm kidding.

i'm not.

everyone in the bridal party (all four of us including V) will be wearing snow boots, myself included! it's going to be so great!

11 November, 2009


Today was great! I discovered some new (to me) artists that i like, one of which happens to be "The Free Design". I love their song "Love You", and first heard it on the movie Stranger than Fiction in the end credits. This evening, my fiance sent it to me... aww.
Other new (to me) artists that i enjoy are:
Owl City (specifically their song Fireflies)
Parachute (specifically their album Losing Sleep)
Ingrid Michaelson - I've listened to every album that I can find of hers and love it all.

Wow! in the past MONTHS have gone by (years, maybe) that i didn't find new artists to enjoy- I am on a roll lately.

This evening, i took advantage of some counter space that i have. After cleaning it meticulously, i spread out the fabric for the apron i've been working on (as a gift for my dad's wife), and utilized my new rotary cutter. There is definitely a learning curve with that thing, and WOW is it ever sharp! I accidentally sliced off some of my fingerprint and didn't even know until i saw my little "flag" of skin on my finger. Fortunately it wasn't deep or anything (and it wasn't even bleeding)- it just surprised me!
I made bias tape. I have been putting it off for days. I don't know why. I suppose i'm afraid of failure. I didn't fail per se:

But i was once again thwarted by mathematics. 2" wide, half an inch folded in on each side, then completely folded in half= .5" bias tape.
The apron would have looked better with thicker tape... especially for the strings- BUT i suppose it will do. At least it's finished now! YAAAY!
Perhaps one day i'll have an ironing board of my very own... hahaha!

This morning i got started on a new project, though. A cookbook! As i was rifling through my recipe box, i came across several handwritten recipes by my mother and many more recipes typed on cards from a typewriter by my grandmother. Some are dated (back 30 years), but there's one in there from my great-grandmother (typed by my grandmother, noted on by my mother)... I love these cards so so so much! Some of my favorite memories are of my mom and i cooking/baking together!
The unfortunate (for others) thing is that my mother's handwriting is VERY cursive, and a mix between that and shorthand. I grew up reading it- so there's no problem for me deciphering things, but i worry for posterity.
SO my new project was to laminate these precious recipes in acid free plastic and place them in a cookbook where i will stow them in pockets (to be removed and viewed) but i will also write them out, myself. I will also be adding photos to the book as i create these recipes (part of the plan is to make several of them and take pictures) and putting most of it in my own handwriting, so my future children will have a nice keepsake.

i finished crocheting the wool scarf for V! It's a nice thick bulky yarn, and with a double crochet stitch throughout, it is very thick! In my opinion, it's not too much as long as you dont wrap it around more than once. It's really not made for that, but i know one Polish man who will stay warm this winter! ^_^

Lastly, V and i finalized our food decision for the reception dinner as well as found out from the restaurant that they DO ALLOW us to bring our own cake, which will A.) save some money and B.) make me very happy- allowing for some tradition in our somewhat offbeat wedding plans ^_^
Tomorrow, i'll be able to send in the info to the coordinator and we'll have at least a handful of things finished and set for the wedding:

Dress ✓
Ceremony location ✓
Reception location ✓
Flowers ✓
Photographer ✓

10 November, 2009

Reading issues

As a photographer, it's usually not a good idea to lose important items... like your card reader.

I've been needing to upload over 1,500 photos from the past couple months and just kept shooting. Fortunately, my memory card is 32GB.

This weekend was very fruitful! Friday evening was spent relaxing at my friend Dawn's place. She and her little family always make me smile. She is the mom to the CJ's that you may have read about in an earlier post.

Saturday, i drove to Dayton to help my friend Sharon shoot a wedding and got some awesome shots!

Sunday i attended church at the Vineyard and then decided to take a little "me" time. I checked out some awesome sales at Old Navy, got a little perfume at Victoria's Secret, and spend most of my energy snooping around JoAnn Fabrics & Craft taking advantage of their Veteran's Day sale. I got seven sewing patterns for $1 each! i honestly saved over $100 on patterns alone. I also got a couple yards of flannel to make some green-inspired "monthly" items, which i'm pretty stoked about. Also on sale were some great Gingher dressmakers shears and a super sharp rotary cutter. Mom would be proud! Next item on the agenda- a cutting mat; but that might wait until after i'm across the big blue. For now i'm content cutting in straight lines.

Still need to make the bias tape to finish my step-mother's apron. I had planned to do that tonight but decided that cleaning out my computer's hard drive was very important. Tonight i bought a new card reader since my other one is officially MIA and so far i'm happy with it.
I dumped about 28GB worth of photos from my computer and CompactFlash card to my TB external hard drive and man, does it feel good.
One of these days, i'll discover a way to organize ALLLLLL my photos that are on the external hard drive into neat little rows... because it's chaos in there right now. The only thing that is remotely in order are my bunches and bunches of various other peoples' wedding photos. They are, too- Meticulously so.

Goals for this week:

pay for my cat's blood test ✓
laminate my mother's recipes for my cook book ✓
organize the chaos on the other side of my bed (the side that is hidden from view, heh heh heh)
clean up my chaotic dining area-turned-craftlab.
take my cat to the groomer

these last three will probably not be completed... but they're goals nonetheless 

06 November, 2009

big girl things

Hello big girl things, nice to meet you.

No, i do not mean "big girl things" as in things for girls who are "big". I mean "big" as in "grown up".

How i have lived for 3 years without owning an iron of my very own (or owning hand-me-down cheap ones), i will never know. About 2 years ago i worked as a, for lack of a better word that comes to mind, 'housekeeper' for a fairly wealthy, wonderful couple in Washington state. Among many things, i did some of their ironing- and let me tell you... i was skeptical at first about this giant heavy thing they used as an iron. It was the first time i had ever laid eyes on the Rowenta, and it looked something like this:

the bottom part that the iron sits on is a water vessel for the amazing steam power that this iron produces... I dont know the schematics of it- but i had never ironed, REALLY ironed until the day i used this glorious iron.

Today, i purchased my very own Rowenta...

It is a TRAVEL sized bugger and WOW! it works great! It's so comfortable to use and the water goes right into the handle. Speaking of which, COMFY! What a great way to press clothes. My hand is at just the right angle to use it without making my forearm feel all achy.
it's light and heats up quick- it also has a little switch to go from 120v to 240v! So all i'll need is a wall adapter, and i can take it to Ireland with us. We'll have an iron!

I had been sewing an apron for my stepmother and as i sewed the ties for it i kept thinking of how handy it would be to iron them first... how much nicer my seams would look. *dream, dream, dream*
i didn't want to go out and purchase a new iron (or a used one)for obvious reasons and i hate to ask to borrow a friend's (because i'm terrible at remembering to return appliances), but when i saw this... and it has a switch to change voltages- it was love.
I was able to press out the unsightly crease from the fabric being folded onto the bolt and went ahead and pressed the ties straight. While i was at it, i thought i might as well press open my seams! Dont even ask me how i had planned to make bias tape.
What have i done all these years?!
I must admit though- i've been doing all this ironing atop a folded towel on my dining table. Heaven forbid i should have to iron a sleeve without creases! lol!

I just think it will be nice to iron a shirt or a skirt without having to try and hang it in my bathroom during a shower. It's small enough to bring it with me on little vacations and business trips where there may not be an iron present. I'm just super happy with my purchase today!

catching up a little...

Whew! I can't believe it's November already! Where does the time even go? In about 65 days, i will be in ALASKA surrounded by friends and loved ones! Wow.
Dress, check. It's a champagne color A-line that i bought off of a website from China for cheapsies. It is gorgeous and there will soon be photos for you to see and adore. ;-)

Seriously... it's on my list to do. Post photos, that is. I have misplaced my card reader and have no idea how to hook my camera up to my computer (wow. did i just say i don't know how to do something on the computer?) let alone know where the cords are to do so. Among the missing items in my inventory are:
Card Reader
Camera Cord
Battery Charger

I have been sewing a lot and "crafting" if you will, lately. I've been really looking forward to some domestic time and loving to find new ways to occupy my fingers. My late mother was a seamstress and some of my fondest memories are of us sewing and crafting together. She was a stay at home mom always teaching me new and excellent things.
Recent projects include stuffed animals of various nature. I made a crazy looking "VooDoo Cat" for V:

a heffalump:

a monkey:

(well, this was before he was all put together ;-))

and what my young friends (the CJ's ages 8 & 12) call the "black tomato":

Last night i started making and apron for my stepmother from this pattern:

and also to crochet a scarf out of white yarn for my dad... why he wants a white scarf, i do not know- BUT he wants one and that's what matters :-)

hello again blog...

how are you?

haven't seen you in a while...

and i dont know- a lot has happened in the past couple months since i last wrote, so suffice to say- this is a new beginning.

Hi. My name is Shannon. I am a crafty, happy, engaged, American, social butterfly. I like to cook and clean and sew, and do all things "domestic". I have tattoos and gauged ears, and every 6 weeks or so, i dye my hair a new color ;-)
In about 5 weeks, i am going to be married in Alaska to the love of my life, "V" who has swept me off my feet and is whisking me away to Ireland to live, love, and start our future together!

Welcome to my adventures!


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