Friday, August 12, 2016

Finally I'm Finished: Bag Lady

Since kicking the door down to the knitting world, I have fallen down another rabbit hole...

The Wonderful Beautiful Practical World of Project Bags!!!

No more ziplock bags for me ^.^

A project back is a zippered, draw string, or other type of bag specifically to keep a crochet/knit project in.  Kinda makes sense huh?  Anywho, I first decided to make one to house my California travel project.  So I dug through my fabric stash and found a couple prints to use.

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For the pattern, I just googled instruction for making a zippered bag.  It came out pretty good for a first go :)  And now I'm completely smitten with the idea of keeping my things in project bags.

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Now, of course, I wanted to make more for new projects, and because these little bags were in my mind - I was bitten by the fabric stashing bug.  I started gathering fat quarter cuts and bits from Joann's remnant basket and jumped right into the sewing.  This time I used Nicole of Hue Loco's Holiday Bag pattern.  The pattern was written very well and the accompanying tutorial video helped with any questions I ran into.

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A couple days after starting my second project bag, I had 4 new bags made!  I love how they came out and I've been putting them to work regularly ^.^  I do want to make a couple more in a larger size for projects bigger than socks.  I've put together some preliminary fabric combos and hopefully I'll get to work on those in the coming weeks.  Well... after I buy a zipper foot for my sewing machine because I've been struggling along without one so far.

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Getting back into sewing has definitely rekindled my love for the craft.  I've been daydreaming of all the new clothes I could make with a bigger work space.  (I'm currently sewing on the corner of the dining room table.)

So yeah!! Happy crafting to me! ^.^

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lamar and Caleisha do California

During the first week of July, Lamar and I went to California for our friend Sheree's wedding.  We arrived the morning of the first and stayed until the 7th.  Our flight out was scheduled for 7:40 am and I was sooo stressed that something was going to go wrong all the way until we were in our seats on the plane, lol. ^.^  I discovered that travel is def an anxiety trigger, and that sucks because I love traveling!


This was truly the trip of Snapchat for me lol!  I used the heck out of that app and between the photos and video, I had more than 400 files ^.^ and they are still not organized... sigh...


After we arrived in LA, we went to In-n-Out Burger and I ordered cheese fries... which came to me with a cheese slice on top. >.< #fail  We stayed in a hotel out in Whittier which turned out to be WAY too far from everything we wanted to do lol (we'll do better with hotel choice next time we go anywhere).


Breakfast for day two was at Heavenly Pancake somewhere in San Fernando. The food was great & I bought a mug ^.^ After eating we spent hours running around looking for a pair of nude flats for Sheree's wedding.  I'd asked her if her service was going to be long and she told me to expect an hour and a half... heels were not going to work!  Later that afternoon we went to Sheree and Justin's rehearsal dinner which was really nice.


Wedding Day!  Sheree and Justin got married on July 3rd.  It was quite a nice outdoor service, although all the bridesmaids were in direct sun lol.  We were saved by Lamar when he brought us fans.  I love that guy!  He and I spent cocktail hour and reception running around making sure things were going smoothly.  At one point, Sheree's dad pulled me aside to thank us for all our hard work *.*  Lamar and I kept saying to each other that we should start a wedding day of coordination company.


The 4th of July was spent with family!  We started the day with brunch at a little diner called Mimo's Cafe and it was delicious.  Then we went to my Uncle Choppy's house for BBQ and fun!


July 5th was our "do everything we want in LA" day.  We went to the Griffith Observatory to see the Hollywood sign, but to be completely honest, I was WAY more excited about the Observatory itself.  I think I actually lost my breath a couple times lol.  


After the Observatory, we went down to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  We took lots of photos, bought souvenirs, I got trapped in an awkward conversation with Sonic the Hedgehog, and we saw the skinniest Superman ever to walk the planet!


We ended the day in the best way possible (in my opinion)... with a trip to Da Poetry Lounge!  Shihan (one of my favorite poets from college) was taking money at the door and I almost squealed.  Literally.  Lamar wasn't even phased lol!  He shared a photo on snapchat with the caption "wife geeking out because Shihan took our money to get in Da Poetry Lounge."  I'm so glad he understands lol!!  The open mic was pretty awesome and reeeeally made me want to get back into writing.  I know it'll come back around.


We spent the 6th at Knott's Berry Farms.  We rode almost all of the roller coasters and played an underwater laser gun game.  Lamar absolutely WHOOPED me!  In my defense, I was looking at the target for the wrong gun... come to think of it, that is a horrible defense lol!  Anyway, we had a great time.


One thing that I wanted to do no matter what, was see a west coast sunset.  So after leaving Knott's Berry Farms, we navigated to the nearest beach which was aptly named, Sunset Beach.  We got there in time to set up our cameras for photos and a nice time-lapse of the sunset (video at the end of this post).

IT. WAS. SO. FLIPPING. COLD!!! What's up with thaaat?  Well, despite the frigid temp, it was a beautiful sunset.


Our last day in California was July 7th and we stuffed that day full of activities too :)  We left the hotel in the morning and went to Downtown LA.  Lamar planned the whole day's activities.  We would start at the Last Bookstore, then go to the LA Museum of the Holocaust, and finish up with a trip to Venice Beach before heading to the airport.


The Last Bookstore was uh-MAZE-ing!!! And the fact that Gathered yarn shop upstairs made it even better!  I didn't buy any yarn, although I kinda wish I had in hindsight.  Oh well.  The LA Museum of the Holocaust was so heavy.  I kept thinking, while walking through the exhibits, "who made you god?"  ...sigh...


Lunch was served at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.  Lamar got Obama's Special and loved it!  I got side orders of mac & cheese and cornbread.  I was not prepared for the thickness of the cornbread... I need to get that recipe because that cornbread... THAT cornbread... THAT CORNBREAD!!! ::falls out in the floor::  Was delicious.


Venice Beach was fun. We saw some street performers and a couple guys who should just stop lifting weights... I mean y'all win.  Just stop now lol.  And, I was prepared for the beach breeze with a hoodie!  We stayed at the beach for a touch too long and ended up having to rush to the airport.


We made it onto our plane and settled in for a 3 hour overnight flight to Ohio, a 3 hour layover, and then a short flight back to Orlando.  Lamar slept through the whole thing.  I, on the other hand, couldn't probably because of a combo of trip anxiety and turbulence.  At one point, I looked out the window to see the sun rising and I was soo confused at what time it was.  Jet lag is real lol!

We got home the morning of the 8th and it felt so good to be back.  Our week in California was so packed full of activities that I felt (and still feel) like I need another vacation to recover ^.^  So yeah!  Cali was great.  We got lots of souvenirs.  I'm so glad that Lamar and I were able to have that experience together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

June and July 2016: Month in Review

The last couple months have been quite eventful! I planned to keep up with blogging, but for whatever reason, I failed totally!  Anyway, now because of my slacker self, I'm here doing a double month in review.  Let me tell you... going back and filling in all the activities of two months was not fun!  It's a really good thing that I'm pretty consistent with posting on social media or I'd be at a loss.  So here we go! Time traveling back through June & July!!!

Highlights

6/15: Lamar and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a fun day at Wet & Wild!  Wow... 2 years ^.^
 

6/24: Installation day for my historical downtown photo series at the North Orange Public Library!  It was so amazing to see my work all framed and displayed in public.

 

6/26: Got serious about this knitting thing with two new full sets of bamboo knitting needles.  I can knit all the things now lol!

7/1: Lamar and I flew to California for our friend Sheree's wedding.  It was my first time flying cross country (technically 2nd but the first time I was like 3).  Five hour is a long time to be on a plane.  It was a little unnerving, but looking at the map and following the flight path was cool.


7/3:  Sheree and Justin got married :) Click -HERE- to see some shots from their awesome photographers.


7/4-7:  Lamar and Caleisha do California!  We did all the touristy thing, spent time with my family, and made lots of memories.  It was great.


7/10: Two days after getting home from Cali, we were back on the road to Miami for Lamar's god-brother's wedding.  And turned out one of my cousins was a friend of the groom, so I got to see him too.  That was pretty cool... until he pulled me on to the dance floor during the reception -___-  I am not a dancer!  It was easily the most awkward thing I've done in a reeeeeally long time lol. (Of course Lamar got it on video ::covers face in embarrassment::)



7/11: We went to Lamar's god-parents' house and I picked my first mango from a tree ^.^ It was very good.  After leaving there, we went to Ft. Lauderdale beach.


7/16: My cousin Courtney and her husband Marcus, came down to participate in a Friday night young adult vespers program and a Saturday night fashion show.  I'm so proud of them creating their GPOV brand.


7/18: HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAMAR!!! Love You!!

Throughout the Month(s)
-Knitting Knitting Knitting!  I have absolutely fallen in love with knitting.  It's been awesome to learn new things, especially things I assumed were going to be super hard.

Goals
My June goals totally fell right off my mental table and I didn't set any July goals.  Ugh... Slacker!!

August Goals
1. Start applying for all the jobs
2. Set a budget - get that money right!
3. Finish knitting mom's socks
4. Film a craft vlog/podcast
5. Do 2 things from 30in30
6. Participate in the Summer School Make-a-long #ssmal16

Ok! I'm getting back on this blogging horse! I've planned out almost a whole month of posts and barring any unforeseen craziness, I'll be sticking to it.  I can't wait to get back to it!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Yarn Crafter Mini Haul

Recently, I did a little bit of yarny online and in-store shopping! Yay!  Normally I don't do much online shopping because I enjoy the instant gratification of taking my new toys home right away.  But back when I was knitting my first hat a friend on instagram suggested I order some bamboo needles from amazon.  So I did :)

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I purchased a set of 16 inch and 40 inch circular needles from amazon for less than $15 Huzzah!  Now I have no excuse not to try new and challenging projects. So far, I've started one new project with these needles and the tips were a little splintery, but that was fixed by buffing them with a nail file.

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While I was waiting for the needles to come in, I decided to pick up some new sock yarn.  I purchased all three skeins from Joann's.  I can't make up my mind on which colorway I'm most excited about.  I just wish I could knit faster ^.^

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Almost Wasn't

Today's work in progress project doesn't have a name... It came about because I had one skein of Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend yarn and I wanted to make something that would take up the whole thing. 

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So I took to Ravelry and browsed what other people had made with one ball.  I came across a "Variation on a Basic Hat" by a user called Gmax4.  I started knitting the hat and quickly got frustrated by the stiffness and wonkiness of the cord and I kept saying, "I'm gonna rip this out..."  But as you can see I didn't.

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The little lace pattern is from GmaX4's pattern, but the other mods are mine.  I did a 2x2 ribbing instead of 1x1 and my finished hat will have a total of 4 lace repeats instead of 3 as in the original hat.  I may even end up putting in more repeats because I want it to be slouchy enough to handle all my hair ^.^  Currently, I'm up to the point to add in the third lace repeat.

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First lace repeat finished.

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Second lace repeat and a bit of stockinette finished.

One thing I've really been aware of during working on this project is how much the type of needles affect the knitting.  I'm using some needles I picked up at Joann's for like $3 after my coupon.  Since I'm working the hat magic loop, I've been fighting the cable because it just wants to curl up on itself.   Then in the lace repeats I have to do k2tog (knit 2 together) and because the needle tips are so blunt, it is quite the struggle getting the needle behind two stitches at a time.  But I'm pressing through.  I'm assuming this hat will be finished within the coming week and I'll be able to add another item to my stack of hand-knits!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Garden Update: Leafy Happiness

Almost exactly 2 months ago, I wrote about the newest additions to my container garden. So far all's been well on the pesky bug front.  My green bean plant had a run in with a snail and now has some snail trail scarring along a few of the leaves, but no horrid damage.  I'm being super ultra vigilant when inspecting each plant for other pests and bugs.  Fingers crossed this batch of plants will be more fruitful than the last.

Top Row: green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers. Bottom Row: cucumbers, lavender, basil

Here is my green bean... bush... This is actually quite a few separate plants that I'm keeping in one pot together.  The one that is currently bearing, is the sole survivor of the "Green Bean Ball" ^.^  Originally, there were a bunch of surviving sprouts from that ball, but then we got a big storm and there was so much rain that most of the sprouts couldn't handle all the water.  Anywho, shortly after removing the fallen, I decided to plant the leftover seeds into the pot.  The newer sprouts are the ones around the edges.

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Next, we have my lavender plant.  It has grown quite a lot! My dream is to get it large enough to be able to collect and dry the leaves and make a rinse for my hair.  That would be awesome.  Plus, I've seen many recipes for lavender lemonade which would taste pretty good I think.  Summer plans maybe??

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Soo... I thought this was my bell pepper plant for the whole first month of having these sprouts ^.^ As they grew up, I kept thinking... These look a lot like cucumbers... And finally when the flower bloomed, I realized that I had mislabeled the seedlings. LOL!!! Gardener Fail!  They look like they might be struggling a bit, so I'm going to re-pot them into bigger pots and give them some new trellises to climb.  Crossing all the fingers and toes that I get my one cucumber this year!!!

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Here are the actual bell peppers... The whole time I was looking at the cucumber plant, I was looking at this one like "That's a weird looking cucumber plant..." I'm glad I finally came to my senses ^.^  But in my defense... the leaves do look similar.

**EDIT** Turns out these are cucumbers lol! As they've gotten bigger they're showing their cucumber-ness.  I know I planted bell peppers, but I haveno idea what happened to them. This has been a really weird start to the garden.

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I decided to also plant some beefsteak tomato seeds.  Normally I don't like tomatoes because of the slimy bits inside, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of that in this particular type of tomato.  Hopefully that is.  Anyway, they are shooting up quite quickly and they're making me feel like a very good gardener ^.^

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Lastly, we have my basil plant! This baby has been with me since last year!  Recently, we've been fighting the mealybug war, and consistent bug spray and water spray has gotten/kept the pest population down.  Also, there are a LOT of seeds that can be harvested from the dried flowering parts right now.  I'm thinking about maybe planting them and starting what would be another 3rd generation basil plant.

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So there you have it! That's my current garden roster :)  Lots of potential veggies and some aromatic herbs.  I have some empty pots that are begging for new things to be planted in them, so maybe I'll go pick up some plants from walmart or home depot...

What plants should I add to my garden? Comment below!