Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's official!

We booked our wedding venue last week. We are now officially getting married on October 16, 2010. I'm psyched. I love fall, and that should be right around peak foliage. Our venue is a small family-owned ski resort in western Mass. It's going to be just lovely with all of the leaves changed. We're hoping to have the ceremony outside,

either here:

or here:

but if it's too cold or rainy or (heaven forbid!) snowy, they also have a nice indoor backup space for the ceremony:

And this is the lodge where the reception will be. We lucked out and were able to see it all decorated for another wedding.

The best part is that this was one of both of our favorites out of the 9 sites we visited, just from a purely personal/aesthetic (non-budgetary) perspective, but it also happened to be the cheapest! Clearly it was just meant to be :)

Now we just have to decide on a menu, find a photographer, an officiant, figure out decorations, get a dress, etc., etc., etc... It's amazing how many decisions there are to make. Good thing we have a full year to do it, though I'm sure it'll just fly by!

Check out this fun little gadget we picked up for the reception.

We had been talking about getting a Polaroid camera so people could snap pictures of themselves and put them in the guest book, but it turns out the Polaroids of old are no longer being made! Shocking, I know. BUT, they do have these fun little combo digital camera/mini printer thingies that fill a similar purpose. Since we already have 3 digital cameras between the two of us, it seemed a little silly to get another one, but they also sell just the mini printer. So I wrote it down in my "ideas" notebook so I wouldn't forget, and a few days later, the exact printer was the Amazon deal of the day! It was marked down to $30 from its usual $48, so of course I just had to buy it. It came a few days ago and it's so cute!

It's about the size of a mass market paperback book, maybe a little smaller. The paper that it takes is 2"x3" and has adhesive backing. So people can just print out a little pic, peel off the back, and stick it right in the guest book! I'm so excited about it. I'm thinking of setting up some kind of a backdrop for a sort of DIY photo booth. It'll be like an instant scrapbook that I don't have to spend hours upon end putting itty bitty photo corners on my pictures. (I still haven't finished my scrapbook from Ireland. So close... Oh so close...)

In other news, we finished the top for the neverending quilt! So maybe, just maybe we'll actually finish it by my self-imposed deadline of the end of this month. We already have fabric for the back, and we have the batting, but we aren't sure what we're doing for the binding yet. So that could be a hangup... I guess we'll just have to see how it goes, but the chilly weather is definitely providing additional incentive!

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Shop!

Hello there, blog readers! I have some exciting news to share today...

I just opened a second Etsy shop! I know, I know. What am I thinking, right? I already have one shop that I haven't added any new items to in ages (but I did just sell something last week!), not to mention I'm a full time student and planning a wedding. But hey, why not? :)

Besides, this new shop is for my photography, and it's a whole lot less time consuming to get a print of a photo I've already taken than it is to, say, crochet an amigurumi. I still have a lot to do as far as creating a profile, filling in my policies, making a banner/avatar, and of course listing more items. I only have two up so far, but will add more gradually (to keep me near the top of the search results!)

Here's a sneak peak for you folks, because you're my oh-so-special blog followers :)

Oh and if any of you happen to be knowledgeable about flowers, I'd love it if you could tell me what types these are! I know the red one in the middle is a hibiscus, but I have nooo clue about the other ones.

If you wanna check out the shop so far, it's http://ImageDelights.etsy.com (to go with my other shop name, Crafty Delights).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yoga Mat Roll-up

Check it out! Busy as I am, I somehow managed to find the time to create this handy little gadget for my yoga mat. I signed up to take a yoga class at school ($5 a class! How could I resist?), and I realized that I had no good way of carrying my mat. I'm also somewhat averse to the idea of a drawstring yoga mat bag because it makes me think of trying to stuff a rolled up sleeping bag into it's carrying bag. Granted, a yoga mat is probably less prone to explosion than a sleeping bag, but I wanted to try something different. So here's what I came up with.

Here's the outside, for which I used a nice chocolate brown corduroy fabric that's been hanging around for a while. I actually bought it intending to make a skirt out of it but I couldn't find a pattern that I liked. You can see the three buttons on the outside, but you can't see the elastic loops on the top edge very well in this picture. And then there's a wide blue shoulder strap sewn in between the outer and inner fabrics.

Here's what the inside looks like. It's just a solid blue cotton that I happened to have on hand (and happened to match the strapping that I had). The little buttons you see in this picture are anchors for the buttons on the outside to help them support the strain of the elastic loops, which you can see on the bottom edge in this picture.

So the idea is I put the roll-up thingydo flat like this, stick my rolled up mat on top, fold over the top edge and then the bottom edge and hook the elastic loops around the buttons.

And then, I get this. I was a little bit paranoid about the mat slipping through since there's no bottom, but it worked out just fine. The key is to make sure the buttons are placed far enough from the edge so that the elastic is pretty taught when looped around them.

And, a bit of wedding news before I go... Cale and I are going to the Berkshires (the mountains in western Mass) this weekend to look at wedding venues! And by this weekend, I mean today. As in, we're picking up the rental car in 2.5 hours (gee, maybe I should get off the computer and finish packing...). My parents, my mom's sister, and my 14-yr old cousin (the daughter of another of my mom's sisters) are all joining us for the weekend. I'm excited and I think it's going to be great fun, but I just home it doesn't get too crazy with so many different people (and opinions!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Loofah in Spa

Remember how I promised way back when to show you folks a picture of the loofah I made with Naturally Caron Spa yarn? Well, here it is. I forgot to take a picture right after I finished it, so this was actually taken after I had been using the loofah for about a week, and after it had gone through the wash (gentle cycle) and dryer (low-med heat).

You can see that it keeps its shape quite nicely, definitely better than the Bernat Cool Crochet. I'm sure that's because the yarn is thicker so the loofah comes out much denser. Another consequence of that is that it doesn't lather up quite as well as the Cool Crochet. It's a bit of a trade-off really. Personally, I think I'd rather have a better lather than a more resilient shape, but that's a matter of preference.

In other news, today is my first day of class for my Masters in Public Health! Eek! Wish me luck... I'll try to keep up with posting at least once a week, but with being a full time student again, and planning a wedding, I can't make any promises! Just know if I've disappeared for a time that I haven't forgotten about you, and I will be back... eventually :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello Again, Readers!

Contrary to appearances, I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I've simply been busy travelling about Ireland, getting engaged, and turning 25!

Here is the first picture of me and my fiance as an engaged couple, taken just a few minutes later.

And here's a picture of where we were when he proposed. See the itty bitty tower on top of the very big cliff? Yeah, that's where we were. Romantic, eh? :)

More posts to come soon...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Loofah Yarn Recommendation!

This has been a long time coming, but I finally have a yarn substitution recommendation for use with my Perfect Loofah pattern... Spa by Naturally Caron. Really, with a name like that, how can you go wrong? But I wanted to make a full size loofah, test it out for a bit, and wash it before making a recommendation. Anyway, here are some key facts about the yarn.

~ It's 75% acrylic, 25% bamboo. I know there are knitters who are anti-acrylic, but this yarn is so soft. It feels great on the skin! Unless of course you enjoy that scratchy scrubby feeling of nylon mesh.

~ It's DK weight. This loofah came out much fuller than the ones with Cool Crochet (which is sport weight). It's kind of nice because it helps it keep its round shape better when wet, but it still lathers up nicely and dries out quickly (I doubt if this would still be true if the yarn had a high cotton content). That said, I would definitely not go any heavier (ie worsted weight), unless you enjoy spending money on soap.

I've been using a loofah made out of Spa for about a week or so and I'm really happy with it. I washed it yesterday (as a test - it didn't really need it yet) in the machine on the gentle cycle and tumble dried on medium heat, and it held up great. There's no noticeable wear or anything.

I will try to get a picture, but my laptop is being repaired (been at the shop two weeks tomorrow and they're still waiting for the part), and last time I tried to install the programs I use on this computer (Cale's desktop), it decided it didn't want to start up and I ended up spending half a day trying to get it to work again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

EtsyKids July Challenge

Every month, the Etsykids Street team has a design challenge reflecting a certain theme. For the month of July, the challenge was "School Days" - design something for kids going back to school. Since I just joined the team in June, this was my first challenge and I was really excited to participate. I wanted to design something that would fit the theme, but would also fit in with the other items in my shop.

So I came up with this little Fuzz Monster Key Chain:

I wanted to do a plush key chain because I thought it would go better in my shop (as opposed to something totally different like pencil cases, etc. ) And anyway, no backpack is complete without a keychain or two. Initially I was thinking of doing a panda head or something along those lines, but then I thought of doing a mini fuzz monster on a key ring, and I loved that idea. I've sold two different Fuzz Monsters in my shop already and they've gotten lots of hearts, so I thought this would be a great way to put a new twist on an item that's already part of my shop's identity.

Here are a couple of my favorite entries from other Etsykids team members:

I find this alphabet puzzle from PuzzledOne so clever because it gets kids thinking in two different directions - language and visual-spacial skills.

And how can you not love the idea of these reusable sandwich/snack bags from CountingBunnies? If you imagine that on average each kid uses 2 baggies a day in his or her lunch (one for a sandwich, one for a snack), times 5 days a week, times 40 weeks in a school year, that's 400 baggies a year! Now multiply that by the number of kids bringing their lunch to school, and that is a lot of plastic going into the landfills!

Voting is going on NOW, so pop on over to the Etsykids team blog and cast your vote!