Category Archives: crafts

Eat Well Travel Often

Which one do you like better?



I took both pictures during our travels overseas in 2007. I still can’t believe I was there and saw this with my own eyes. Good thing we have cameras! The Egypt one is cool, but I think I’m favoring Santorini.


Secret Santa

Every one should do secret Santa. Seriously. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite Christmas traditions even though I have a tendency to get totally carried away. Last year I went absolutely bonkers. I completely ignored the $25 limit rule and ran bat sh*t (this edit’s for you, Mom) crazy all over town buying every single adorable Holiday mug, candy, cookie, candle, etc…I crossed. Plus, last year it began right after I discovered Pinterest (!!!!) so my brain was exploding with ideas and I ended up spending all my free time pinning ideas rather than actually doing them. So this year, I decided to reign it in a little bit and use it as an opportunity to try out some new ideas and recipes. I thought it’d be fun to share even though it’s technically not over until Thursday, I’m pretty sure my Mom is the only one who reads my blog so I should be fine.

I decided to redeem myself from last year and finally get around to baking some cookies. My person prefers Macadamia Nut Cookies and I already had this recipe bookmarked on foodgawker so I decided to give it a whirl.


Pretty right? They actually look a lot better than they tasted. Actually, that’s not true. They tasted good, if you like your cookies dry and cakey with a cement-like texture. I prefer my cookies a little gooier and bendable but they were still edible so I went with it.

The next thing I decided to try was inspired by my friend, Tess. She’s done some incredible stuff lately and the snowflake looked so pretty so I thought I’d take a break from my crochet hiatus and give it a shot. After Tess gave some pointers and explained that the “h” should have been “ch”…I stumbled my way through the pattern and eventually came up with this


It’s not perfect but it looked more like a snowflake than not so I was pretty excited about it and made myself one too. Those speckles were my attempt to cover it in glitter but it turns out spray starch doesn’t act like an adhesive like I somehow assumed it would. Anyways, I hope she likes it!

The last thing I wanted to share was an idea I saw on apartment therapy. I’ve been gifting lots of edibles so I wanted to stray away from those, especially since she just had a root canal and couldn’t chew any food for 2 weeks (Oops on those rock hard cookies!) I just thought this idea was so cute and I had everything on hand except for the lemon. I even have a food dehydrator that rarely gets used so I busted that thing out this weekend and dehydrated an orange, apple and lemon and badda bing badda boom:



I made Steve put on a flannel and stand on a chair for this shot….totally worth it.


So there you have it. Now I’m over Christmas. I haven’t even thought about gifts for family yet. I guess I should get on that.

I Finished my Quilt!

I seriously can’t believe this moment has arrived. After two years and two months, countless hours of Real Housewives of  Bravo, at least 3 spools of thread, many yards of fabric, and more money and time spent than I’ll ever calculate or admit, I have finally finished my first quilt!

It's Done!

I don’t even know what sparked the idea, I just decided one day about 3 years ago that I wanted to hand sew a patchwork quilt. After some practice I decided I was really willing to start such an ambitious project. I learned how to pick fabrics and which fabrics look best together. I learned that it’s much better and significantly faster to use a sewing machine while piecing (which I thankfully got for Christmas about halfway through piecing the top.) I learned (with a lot of help from my Mom) how to baste the quilt. And finally, how to sew and bind it. I’m so happy that I was able to take this far-fetched idea and turn it into a tangible object. That’s what I love about creating. The process is so exciting!

This is the very beginning. The photo was taken in May of 2009.

The Begining

Now I have time to tackle a few other quilt ideas! I’m already incredibly excited for my Harry Potter quilt and I’ve got big plans for my next big quilt!


Time Flies

I can’t believe it but it’s been over a month since Tess and I decided to do this project. We both happened to stumble upon it independently and after discussing it we decided to work on it together. After many hours of cutting, sewing, swearing, ripping out stitches and then resewing…VOILA!

The wrinkles are due to the fact that it sat in a heap on my bedroom floor for a few weeks before I even got around to photographing it. And the funny photo editing is because I spent a few hours this afternoon reading about photography and playing around with Photoshop.

I used some of the left over fabric to make a smaller pouch to house my Nintendo DS and games (insert nerd joke here.) The pattern turned out a little wonky but I had a lot of fun making my own pattern and using my sewing machine. The experience was also really inspirational and I have a few ideas for some other bags in mind.

Now I’m off to play Zelda on my DS. Good Night!

Crafty Weekend

As far as crafts go, I’ve been working almost exclusively on my quilt which I’ve been working on off-and-on for the past 2 years.  Since it’s my first quilt, I decided to “do it right” and hand stitch the entire thing. It’s taking me FOREVER and this past weekend I just wanted to do something crafty that I could finish in less than two years. My dear friend, Chris, happened to be sitting there and asked me to make him a friendship bracelet. It was a fun blast to 8th grade. Chris, if you read this it’s ready and sitting under our “coffee table.”

First friendship bracelet I've made in 10 years

I also felt the urge to crochet. Tesla taught me how to crochet about two years ago and somehow implanted this awesome idea in my mind to crochet individual beer cozies for homebrews made by Steve that we could distribute as wedding favors at our wedding. It was an awesome idea but an epic and very time-consuming task (at least an entire series of Grey’s Anatomy worth.)

Bajillion Cozies!!!

The result was awesome and I like to think I turned many of our guests onto the awesomeness of hand-crocheted cozies but I didn’t want to see another ball of yarn or crochet hook for about 6 months. That is until this weekend. I was flipping through Amigurumi World and decided to make the mama penguin. It was a quick and easy crafty thing to do that takes significantly less time than hand piecing and hand quilting a full size quilt.

Mama Penguin

She’s pretty cute! Now back to working on my quilt.



Brilliant Bolster

I stole the name for this post from the name for the pattern I just used to create a pretty sweet bolster pillow.  I grabbed the pattern from a booklet at Joanne’s because I was intrigued by the crochet cabling and wanted to try it out for myself.  I used Super Bulky Lion Brand Wool-Ease which is a blend of wool and acrylic and therefore easier to wash than straight up wool.  I had to sew the pillow form myself out of an old bed sheet because I could not find the right size at any of the craft stores around here.  I didn’t do a very pretty job on it but hey, it’s hidden and it works!  I couldn’t be more happy with the finished product and I enjoyed it while watching the boob tube last night, but it seems to be that out of all of us Sagan likes it the most as he has switched from his normal location on the couch to sidle up against the bolster on the other end.  This is quite a shocker since Sagan loves his end of the couch and will stare you down until you move out of “his” spot.

My favorite work place, the floor.

The ugly inner bolster.

Check out those cables!


Au revoir!


Dogs, Ducks and Denim

Sagan, our beloved pooch, once had a toy in the shape of a duck.  It looked like a duck, it quacked like a duck and one day after months of puppy love it was as dead as a duck with its stuffing strewn all over the living room floor.  We let him drag the carcass around for a while until it started to gross us out and then bought him a shiny new (and bigger!) duck which he proceeded to destroy in a matter of days.  I was fortunate enough to find the duck in the middle of the floor, stuffing everywhere (much as before)  with a handwritten sign that said “Duck got got”.  I credit this to Aaron and our roomate, Jackson, who have been watching a little too much of The Wire as of late.  I have since patched and sewn this plush creature several times and it is currently in a drawer waiting for its next repair.  Frankly, I’m tired of repairing the duck, so I pulled out some old denim pant legs of Aaron’s and fabricated some toys.

They were quite simple really.  The first, I cut out two layers of a bone shape ( I didn’t put too much time into the design since Sagan won’t know the difference), then machine sewed them together leaving a hole to pull it inside out.  I then bordered the edge with a round of hand sewn stitches to close up the hole and give extra strength against Sagan’s chewing.  For the other toy I used the 4 thick seam lines of the two legs and braided them together, knotting them at the end many times to keep from unraveling.

Finished products

Hopefully the durable denim will fair better than the duck, only time will tell, but as you can see below, they’re already being put to the test by my devious dog.



He's got his eye on me.