Monday, July 30, 2012

The First Yarnbombing!! [Crafternoon #10]

Good morning!

I have an exciting post this morning ^.^  It's actually about yesterday's crafternoon.  As you have no doubt gathered from the title, I finally did my first yarnbomb installation! I was a bit nervous because I kept thinking that strangers walking by were going to call the police about the 'strange girl at Ms. Nina's shop'... and I kept practicing my explanation of what I was doing in my head, lol.  I put up the letters that I showed in this post and added a row of crochet flowers.

What I learned from my first installation:
-Check the weather and dress accordingly or bomb at night...
-Cut more yarn for attaching things than you need... no one wants to tie a knot with 2 cm of yarn...
-Make a real design plan
-Get some blog cards so you don't have to write on slips of paper... sheesh!

All in all, I had a great time (even though I was melting away).  I originally invited some friends to participate, but it ended up being just me. I think that was better because the space was really too small for multiple people to be working in at the same time.  Maybe I'll try to coordinate a larger installation later on.  Now that I've completed a yarnbombing, I'm excited to do another one. I have a few ideas running around in my head that will be put on the artsy-to-do list. But until then, I have other projects to complete. And shop stock to make. I'm hoping to start making some money with my art... sooner rather than later.
Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another Sabbath Crafting

Hello there ^.^

I am so very excited to tell you about my Sabbath crafting!  I finally did some dye work!! Hurray!  I have been watching lots of videos on youtube about dyeing yarn with food coloring/kool-aid and I really wanted to try.

I used a ball of off white Paton's Classic Wool (thrifted), food coloring, and white vinegar. I wound off 3 hanks of roughly 48 yards each. [48 is one of my favorite numbers... if you were wondering.]  Anywho, I dyed the first hank a deep, saturated red-orange.  When I tell you it was stinkin' awesome to see how the dye absorbed into the wool and cleared out of the water, it really was!! I want to dye everything now! lol... Here's a picture of the first dye-bath:

  Before putting the yarn in the dye, I soaked it in water/vinegar mix.

Yum, looks spaghetti-ish :) 

And this is how the water cleared out when the dye was finished.  Cool right?

At first, I was only planning to dye one hank of yarn, but after the first one I couldn't help trying other techniques. The next hank I did was my attempt at a 2 color space dye.  I wanted to have spaces that were yellow and spaces that were red. By the time all the dye was absorbed, I had learned that space dyeing
is harder than it looks and red dye pretty much takes over everything... every... thing...

The last hank was first dyed yellow and then I added a very very diluted red to the bath to create a pretty yellow-orange color. It actually reminds me of sweet potato. I didn't take progress photos of  the second and third dyeings, you get to see the finished products.

I'm planning to make a beaning with this yarn. I haven't fully decided yet tho... I'm just really proud of how they came out. I think they're very pretty & I can't get over how deeply saturated the red-orange yarn came out.  It's so beautiful...  But now... I'm looking at the red and yellow space dye attempt and I'm considering re-dyeing it tomorrow. It has light spots where not much dye got in & I don't like the unfinished look... we'll see how I like it tomorrow in the sunlight.

Well, goodnight! I've got to get some sleep because tomorrow afternoon is the Fiber Art Work yarnbombing. I've got most of my pieces together and hopefully it won't be lame. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's in my bag?

Hey there :)

I was suppose to write this post earlier this week but didn't. I've been wanting to regularly do 'what's in my bag' posts but often times I feel like I don't really carry anything very interesting.  But anywho, here is what I've been carrying around in my work bag.

Ok, let's see... I snagged the bag for $2 at a thrift/antique shop a couple months ago. It's really sturdy and surprisingly able to hold all the stuff I tote around daily :) On to the contents:
  1. Wallet... a bit boring & full of receipts.
  2. Planner- I'm trying to get more consistent with planning out my blog posts so I'm not always flying by the seat of my pants out here. It's actually helping a lot. I was inspired to start planning like this by Elycia @ LoveElycia & Kaylah @ TheDaintySquid. They have awesome blogs that show the benefit of pre-planning posts.
  3. Checkbook- cuz I actually use them now... I'm grown and stuff (lol)
  4. My Moleskine journal- Lamar bought it for me a while ago and I really love it. It's full of doodles, designs, crochet patterns, photos, rants, poems, blogs I discovered, and a bunch of other stuff :)
  5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert- I just started reading this book last week & so far it's really good. The writing style is really conversational & funny. I've actually laughed out loud at points.
  6. Pencil case- I carry WAY TOO MANY pencils, pens, and markers.
  7. Snacks!
  8. Things I don't want to forget... lotion, deodorant, Advil.
  9. Water- working on drinking more water.
  10. Keys... boring
  11. Pocket Mirror- I got this at the thrift store and I really love it. It's really handy.
  12. Hair tie... boring
  13. Chapstick/ Lip balm- I've been using the EOS lip balm and it's ok. Mostly I feel like a crazy person rubbing what looks like a HUGE bubble of chapstick on what looks like my whole face, lol.
 Ta-Da! That's what I've been carrying in my bag this week. It's time for a bag clean out... sigh... I hope your week was nice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday [on a wednesday] Favorites #6

Good morning :)

Here I am, yet again, returning from randomly being ghost on my blog :-/ Let's see... my last post was a week ago... what has happened since then...
  • Thursday: I went to the Art Stroll and picked up these 'wishing stones' from a glass artists. My plan is to use them as worry stones, but so far they've been on my nightstand waiting to be needed. And that's not such a bad thing.
  • Friday: I spent HOURS cleaning and purging things to donate to the thrift store.
  • Sabbath: Lamar & I went to Madison Mission for church. It was truly a blessing.
  • Sunday: More cleaning... no crafternoon :(
  • Monday: I honestly cannot remember what happened... and this was 2 days ago... That just means that I got up, went to work, worked, came home, played with my dogs, hung out with Lamar... the usual :) shrug
On to the Tuesday [on a wednesday] Favorites!
  1. This song is quickly becoming one of my favorite sweet songs. Thanks to Pandora for finding it!

    Hazy by Rosi Goland feat. William Fitzsimmons

  2. I am reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is really good so far. The way she writes is very conversational & I find myself laughing out loud at times. :)  Yesterday evening, I decided to set aside an hour to do nothing but read. It was very peaceful. I think I'm going to do something like that everyday... set aside a deliberate amount of time to do a specific thing only.
  3. I was suppose to go to a Knitting/Crocheting group at this yarn shop across town called Yarn Expressions, but when I got there, it was pretty empty & since I was really nervous about being alone with strangers I gave up on that plan very quickly.  All the way over there, my stomach was all fluttery and I kept thinking things like 'what if they think I'm weird...' & 'what if it's a bunch of old ladies and no one will talk to me...' on and on...  So I went home and started working on a new bag design.  Here's a little peek:

    It's worked in the Crosshatch stitch aka Crazy Brick stitch and it's a bit hard to see in the picture, but there are 3 shades of grey in it. So I suppose you can call it color blocked.  I'm writing the pattern down so that I can reproduce it once I get the kinks out :)  I'm glad I got a good chunk of creative time in last night. I felt physically/mentally well when I went to sleep (even though it was past 1am).
Well that's it for my Tuesday Favorites.  It was a good day. Hopefully today will be just as nice, or even better for me and for you. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's on My Hook #10

Hey there!

I have been a little ghost on here this week, my apologies. Anywho, I wanted to quickly post this specific 'What's on my hook' because it's the beginnings of my yarnbombing installation. ^.^

The shop we are going to be working on is called Fiber Art Work. There is a chain-link fence next to the entrance & that's going to be where I put up these pieces.  I wanted to start with the shop initials and work outwards from there.  Here are the crochet letters:
I'm really excited about this upcoming bombing event. I still have to create the facebook event and invite other fiber artists to participate. Hopefully, others will be able to participate.  If not, I'll totally bomb by myself :)
Crochet letters ready to be put up!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thrifty Thursday #6: Silk Superstar!!

Ello there ^.^

Today was a rather stressful work day for me... Mostly spent fretting about being an accountant who is not truly educated to be an accountant.  Plus the 2+ days of rain has definitely not been kind to my mood.  Pray for me in this accounting job please.  Thanks.

Anywho, after work, I went thrifting. I wanted to find a new dress. That was my goal, however I didn't find one that I liked enough.  But, I was victorious in the silk blouse department *fist pump* and I snagged an awesome pleated skirt too :)  Here are the pics:

Lovely sleeveless floral blouse.
Another micro-floral blouse.
Striped/dotted blouse.
Graphic pleated skirt.
Ok, that's it.  Oh wait, I got a t-shirt that says "hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."  NOW, that's it ^.^  I enjoyed my trip to the thrift store. It was very calming. I went alone and listened to pandora the whole time.  Well, as much as I want to stay up and browse more blogs and listen to more Ani Difranco and watch youtube videos about yarnbombing, I must go to sleep... Good night. I hope your day was a nice one. Peace.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's On My Hook #9

Hello there 0.0

I've been thinking about this post for a few days now.  Today's what's on my hook projects are the scarf dye job and my yarn bombing beginnings. :)

The first project: dip dye the scarf ends and hang to create an ombre effect.  I decided to go with blue for the first go-round.
I ended up dying it twice (so far) because the first dye job was super light. It looks really cool tho :) I rinsed the first dye out & it wasn't deep enough, so I re-dipped it. And it's currently hanging on the porch blending.
The darker blue on top is the second dip. See how light the color is after rinsing? Hopefully, it'll be better tomorrow.

The second project: yarn bomb idea #1. I want to do something quick to make and easy to put up for my OU bomb. I gotta get my bombing confidence up.
It's a little spider web :) It may be installed this weekend. Possibly...  Anywho, I figure I'll make a bigger one and install it between this railing by the library parking lot. I'm getting more & more excited for this bombing plan ^.^  I'm going to make an event on facebook to invite local knitters/crocheters to bomb on the last Sunday of the month.

Well, goodnight. I've gotta go to sleep so that I can be perky & awake for accounting tomorrow, lol. I hope all is well with you. Peace.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Not So Blue Monday #10

Hey y'all ^.^ (I felt like letting my southern out, lol)

Today's Not So Blue Monday will focus on the little things that made me smile throughout the day. 

1. I can actually paint my fingernails!  Painting my nails any visible color was 'strongly frowned upon' in the last office I worked in, but my new spot is much more relaxed in that area.  I always liked the novelty of painting my nails, but now I'm much more excited about doing it because I have the option. 
I got this lavender purple polish yesterday and I thought it was nifty that the inside of the FedEX envelope matched it. :)

2. Blog planning- I'm getting more in to scheduling my posts throughout the month.  It's fun to choose the days and then I have little things to look forward to.

3. A coworker of mine wore the cutest dress today & it made me want to go on a dress buying spree. Unfortunately, I don't currently have the funds to buy the dresses I'm currently loving.  So I'll just drool over the pictures, lol ^.^
'Pin-Up to Par Dress' from
'Soda Fountain Dress' in Ginger from
I LOVE the Soda Fountain Dress SO STINKIN MUCH! Modcloth is a great site to browse for vintage-style dresses and clothes. There is also a home accessories section that is really cute as well.  If I could spend money all willy-nilly, I would totally go wild on there. :)

4. Reading my old blog posts on Golden-24.  I started that blog as a means to track my experiences as I worked towards cultivating daily happiness. There's lots of info about maintaining happiness and how to boost happiness and whatnot. It was pretty great... not to toot my own horn.

I hope you had a nice Monday with lots of noticeable things that made you smile.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crafternoon #9 - Shop Stocking

Hi there :)

Today's crafternoon consisted of me finishing one scarf for the shop and beginning another. I have some really interesting dye ideas for the second one.

Instagram of my finished scarf: stitch detail.

The idea for the second scarf is a dip/drip dye job. I plan to saturate the ends with fabric dye and then hand it so the color will soak down. With any luck I'll have an ombre effect that fades to the original white... we'll see. I'm kinda excited about this plan. There will definitely be photos of the progress.

Instagram of the beginning of scarf #2
I really want to put a lot of time into stocking the Etsy. Mainly because we've had it "open" for almost a year and it's still really... dead... for lack of a better word.  Most of our sales tend to be to friends who have asked personally for products. I mean, I want the Etsy to be successful... I have such big ideas for it.  I just have to get there.  I have to sit down and crochet until my fingers are stiff to make sure that I have product to put out there. I've got a lot to do. But lucky for me I love it.

In other artsy news, my lovely boyfriend has finished part one of his painting for his brother. He decided to do a grid gradient background and then paint the images on top of it. So he finished the last few squares last night. It looks really cool. I kinda want him to paint me one... or maybe two to hang by my bed... (psst... hint hint wink wink LMR). Anywho, here is a progress shot of his painting.

Needless to say, he's very proud of the progress. I'm proud of him too. :~)

Let's see... Roommate has been working on a cowl and it's turning out really nicely.  She's using a beautiful wine/burgundy color yarn & it's super soft.  Here's a pic I snatched from her instagram.

I'm going to call the pattern a modified granny stripe. She said she started doing the regular granny stripe, but felt the spaces were too big, so she altered it.  Gotta love crafty people taking on the spirit of Tim Gunn and makin' it work.

I think that's all for this week's crafternoon session. I'm going to get back to working on scarf #2. I have some other sewing projects in mind for these upcoming days, and I need to get on planning the yarn bombing outing.  There's lots to do here at Apt203 ^.^  Peace.

PS. This is how much my dogs care about my crafting...
Clearly, what I thought was a quilt-top layout plan, was actually a doggy wrestling ring.  Who am I to say different?? lol.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Hey there!

While at work today, I made a wonderful discovery...

Apartment 203 has reached 1000 page views! HUZZAH!!!

I'm super excited about this and ready to get movin' towards 2000 views.  Thanks to you lovely readers for actually taking the time to see what I'm doing over here. It really makes me feel special. Thank you for your comments and I hope to get better and better at this blogging thing.  ^.^

Have a great weekend & I'll be back with a crafty update. There's lots of things going on in the APT! ^.^

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thrifty Thursday #5

Hey there!

I am very excited to share my thrifting finds of this week with you!  I went to ThriftMart twice this week and pretty much scored some awesome things. ^.^  On Tuesday, the visit was mostly a relax-after-work trip, but I did find two items that had to come home with me.

 The first was this hairpin lace crochet tool.
I've seen them in craft stores and have been interested in learning to crochet lace, but the cost was always higher than I wanted to spend. When I found this one for $0.75, I figured why not. So, I guess there will be crochet lace in my future. Maybe I can make lacy scarves for the shop... who knows :)

The next thing I found was a Stellarscope Star Finder.
I was super excited about it because when I was younger, I use to sit on a chair out in my front yard with the encyclopedia looking up at the stars.  I memorized so many stars and constellations... but weird enough, I still can't find the North star o.O... Anywho, I was a chronic star-gazer and in a time when my life was getting to be rather stormy, the stars gave me a sense of calm. Like no matter what happens, they'll always be there.  If I looked up, found the Big Dipper, and followed the arc of the handle- I'd always find Arcturus. So yeah, the stars have a special place in my heart.
This is what it looks like when you look into the Stellarscope.
 The last thrifting score was a Speedball Silk Screening Kit.
I looked it up online to see if anything was missing from the set and, lucky me, it's basically complete- only missing the instructions and a paintbrush. Neither of which I need.  On top of it being a complete kit, I got it for half off because of the 4th of July sale :D So it was only $13 and change. Such a STEAL!

The best part of this thrift haul is that I got the last two things for considerably less than their retail prices. I looked up the Stellarscope & it sells in the National Geographic Store online for $49 & I got it for $6 with all the pieces except for a keychain flashlight.  That's roughly 88% off... The Silk Screening kit retails for $59.99 & the rubber tipped squeegee sells for $9.99.  With the 50% discount I got on it on the 4th... I snagged all those supplies for about  81% off!  I pretty much killed... I really think this was my most value filled thrifting trip (aside from furniture purchases).

I hope you had a great and safe 4th of July.

What's on My Hook #8

Good morning :)

I hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July holiday. I pretty much spent mine inside crocheting all day. (I'm such an old lady sometimes!) Anywho, I was planning to write this post last night before bed, but after all the hook work and the heat (my AC is still waiting to be fixed...) I just went to sleep.

So, here is my belated What's on My Hook.

I spent the day working on a flat bottom granny stripe bag. The majority of the yarn is wool throughout except for the stripes, they're acrylic. I used Lion Brand Fisherman Wool, Paton's Classic Wool (both dark brown), Red Heart Fire Red, & Red Heart Gold.  The lining is yellow cotton with a cardboard insert for stability.

Quick pic I snapped last night.
The lining
I carried 2 strands of yarn throughout. I like the textured effect it made on the stripes. Although, it did make the bag HUGE. The bottom of the bag is 9"x12" and the sides are 13" tall...

The only things left to do before the bag is totally finished are to sew in the lining and put an edging around the strap.  I don't like how clearly you can see the decreases.  But yeah, this was my 4th of July project and I crocheted until my fingers were cramped and my hands hurt. That's dedication. lol.

Now, as much as I like this design and the size of this bag, I think it may be a little impractical, but I'm still going to use it. Maybe as a weekend bag or a shopping bag.  What do you think??

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday Favorites #5

Hello there :)

Today is day two of Caleisha as the account-mutant (if you dont understand, you should watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium).  I'm still buried beneath a ton of paperwork, but I'm still enjoying the challenge of learning a new thing. 

I feel like my eyes have been reopened to Oakwood. Like I am seeing all the things I loved about this place again... they had gotten so skewed and foggy because of where I was.  I'm remembering how great it is to be able to begin the work day with a group worship, to hear someone praying with a coworker as I walk to the time clock, or to get a 'have a blessed day' goodbye on the phone.  These are the things I love most about this place. I'm so glad that my cloudiness has been shaken so they're visible again.

I'm feeling very peaceful... even in the midst of the actual chaos of being in an unfamiliar situation/job. I've found myself really appreciating the huge glass door that takes up the back wall of this office. I have a great view of the trees on the inside of OU campus.  Theyre like a constant source of calm each time I look over my shoulder.  Plus, my Melody Gardot Pandora station is so wonderful. I haven't listened to it in quite a long time, since there were so many restrictions in my old office.

On my lunch break... I'm loving this right now.
I was thinking about Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and I really think I'm going to watch that after work today.  It is such a purposeful movie- completely full of those 'follow your heart' sentiments and 'appreciate each moment' thoughts.  My favorite quote from the movie is:

"37 seconds... We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."
 It makes me think, when was the last time I just enjoyed 37 seconds?  Enough writing about it. I'm going to go now & enjoy the rest of my lunch break. :)


Not So Blue Monday #9

Hi there!

I must say that this particular Monday has to be one of the best Mondays I've had in a long while.  Why? Because I am not in the office with Ms. Battles. ^.^

It feels so good. I'm currently burried under a pile of invoices in this new office, and I'm still a 'temp' employee, but I'm good.

So my first day as a temp accountant went well. My mom got a really good laugh at the thought of me as an accountant though. But I must admit, it is an amusing thought. Well all I can do is work whatever job God sees fit to put me in and trust that He has some kinda plan. But really though... me in accounting? Really now God?? Your thoughts are higher than mine so on I go.

I've been home all afternoon/evening working on heart brooches for the shop. I'm getting tired of making them :-/ but since I didn't want to put down my yarn/hook, I decided to rework my book brooch pattern.  I was able to craft another book- smaller than the first one, but it's still to big to really be a brooch (in my opinion).  I think I'm going to try to rework it maybe once more before abandoning the brooch idea and making crochet books for something else.
Heart brooches. Soon to be listed in the etsy shop.
Crochet Mini-book. Destiny undecided :)

That's about it for my Not So Blue Monday.  I'm starting a new thing and I'm happy about it.  Change is good.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Art Adventures: pt. 2- Fiber Art Works

Hi there :)

This is part 2 of the Arts Adventure that Cherie and I had yesterday afternoon.  After leaving the Flying Monkey Artist Market, we stopped by Fiber Art Work. Ms. Anastasia's shop is so lovely.  She's really friendly and makes you feel at home as soon as you come in the door.

I planned on maybe picking up a ball of yarn or something on the visit, but definitely ended up picking up wool for spinning. Luckily, her prices are very reasonable for fiber and a lot goes a long way. I picked out an ounce of a really pretty teal/turquoise blue wool for $4.

Now, Mrs. Anastasia does not run a 'hands off the equipment' type store.  When I picked out my fiber, she says, "Ok, now you need to run it through this drum carder. Do you know how to use it?" Of course I didn't. So she gave me a crash course in drum carding and sent me on my carding way.  Cherie took lots of pictures of the process :)
The wool was partially felted from the dyeing process, so I had to pull it apart to feed into the carder.
Considering adding to my blue... decided not to.
Mrs. Anastasia taking the wool off the carder.
Sorry for the goofy grin, I'm super excited about this...
Mrs. Anastasia is really passionate about her shop and my clear excitement over my spinning-ready wool put her on another level, lol.  She kept trying to get me to add other colors/fibers/sparkle to it.  I decided to keep it straight wool since I'm still learning and I don't want to learn on something nice & lovely.

While we were checking out, I mentioned that I'm planning to yarn bomb something in July and Mrs. Anastasia said that she wants her store bombed. She said that if we plan to get people together to bomb the outside of her store, she'll feed us.  Cherie and I were like sounds like an awesome Crafternoon outing for the end of the month.  That definitely gives me something to work towards & gives my yarn bombing a concrete date to happen. ^.^

So yeah, Cherie & I left Fiber Art Work with a new batt of fiber for me, a couple rolls of fabric for her, and a plan for new experiences to come. :) I'm claiming Fiber Art Work as my personal Local Yarn Store. :)

Art Adventures: pt. 1- Flying Monkey Arts- Artist Market

Hello there :)

Yesterday, Cherie & I went to the Artist Market at Lowe Mills- Flying Monkey Arts.  This market is held each Saturday afternoon from 12-4 and there are booths/studios of local artists and a really cool bookstore called The Beloved Community Bookstore that sells used books.

The entrance to the Flying Monkey.
Art this way!

I think it's really cool that most of the signage in the Flying Monkey is hand-painted not machine printed.  It shows another aspect of the artistry within the location.  This is only my second time going to the artist market, but it's just as inspiring as I remember it being years ago when I first went.

Cherie and I made our way slowly around the whole market before going back to purchase things. She snagged a few books from the Beloved Community Bookstore, a little cameo ring, and a loaf of Spinach Feta bread. This guy was buying 2 loaves while Cherie was deciding what bread she wanted & says to us, "This bread is SO GOOD!!!" lol. (He wasn't lying)

Adorable door painting.
I found the craft section!
She got this ring for $5 o.O It's so cute!
I love the little details of the Flying Monkey. Like the scraps of cardboard they have tucked here and there that say 'LOVE'. It makes for an unexpectedly positive environment. Like you can't help but smile at everyone.  There was also a bench or church pew with an old handmade quilt on it.  It was so tattered and reminded me of the one my mom had when I was little. Her grandmother had made it, but sadly, it fell apart long ago. :-/ Anywho, this quilt brought back a pleasant memory... and made me want to hurry and finish my quilt.

The Flying Monkey is definitely a place where you have to remember to look up, otherwise you'll miss other details. Example, these hanging decorations.

Origami cranes
Blown Glass
Blown Glass

I noticed these blown glass ornaments hanging in front of a window on the way out of the market.  I really liked how the colors shown in the bright sunlight.

I hope this post wasn't too photo heavy. I had a great time at the Artist Market today and hopefully we'll be able to go more often.