Thursday, July 30, 2009

New flowery skirt

New flowery skirt
Originally uploaded by elletrain
This is one of my Goodwill finds from the other day. I have to say I love the slightly over-the-top print. I'm definitely into prints these days. Think I'll wear this on the flight to Arkansas today.

I still need to pack my carry-on bag. I of course take a knitting project in the bag and usually take a couple of magazines. This time I'm lucky enough to take 2 brand new knitting magazines I just got in the mail. I'm also taking the laptop, a light sweater, a snack, my glasses, a couple of books - Dead Until Dark and The Yarn Harlot - and a shawl I knit that I don't want to risk getting lost in the checked luggage.

What do you take in your carry-on?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leaving on a jetplane...again

SO, here I am getting settle back at home and I'm off again tomorrow. I'm excited though, I'm going to see my family in Arkansas, for a whole week! And it's not the holidays and we have no big event planned. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with myself :)

I'm really looking forward to getting to see a few friends I missed when I went home for Elliot & Cassie's wedding. I get to hang out with my dear friend Elizabeth and get in some much awaited knitting time with mi amiga Jaime. I also get to see my very talented best-friend-of-a-brother play with his band, Benjamin del Shreve. I haven't seen them play in years! I'm super stoked to experience the awesomeness. I think the family (or some of us) are headed to big ol' Branson, Missouri on Saturday, too. We're spending a night there for my step-grandmother's birthday. They've put in a cool waterfront area so you can totally avoid "the Strip" if you want to. I'm sure Marilyn will want to ride Thunderation rollercoaster at Silver Dollar City though, I'm just sure of it :)

The only thing about this trip home though is that I've already started to be homesick for my lovely home here in Nashvegas, with my sweet man and two beautiful pups. It's cheesy I know, but look at that smile he has! He's a dear. We haven't spent much time apart during our 9 months together and I never look forward to it. Especially after having a nightmare last night! Eek. It's great to have someone to scare away the boogie man for you!

Speaking of my sweet boyfriend, I really really enjoyed meeting (most of) his family last week! His parents were so much fun and showed us a great time in Seattle. We did the Duck Tour around the city the first day and it was a blast! We also went to Pike Place Market and bought a giant salmon for dinner! They threw it across the aisle and we got pictures of the little guy a-flyin'. We went on a beautiful hike on Sunday and went to the waterfront downtown on Monday. Judy showed us around some smaller areas of Seattle on Tuesday. I enjoyed getting to see the Fremont area and hope to go back to that part of town again. His brother Jordan and his wife Kirsten cooked a lovely meal for us complete with grilled salmon, oysters, a yummy zucchini gratin, and a great baked peach dessert. I already bought the cookbook Kirsten used and have made a few dishes out of it. The Herbal Kitchen. Check it out.

We also got to hang out with Pinky's sister Jennifer and her family in Portland. She has 3 adorable sons who are so well-behaved and such cutie-pies. They showed us Powell's Books, my new favorite bookstore. It's got new and used books and is the size of a full city block! After lunch we went (again - I had been the day before it was so good!) to Voodoo Donughts. A-mazing. I mean, I got a chocolate cake donught with chocolate icing and Coco Puffs on it. Wow. We also went out to see them the next day out in Newberg, in Oregon wine country. We got to see the cutest pet store and then Pinky and I went down the road to a wine tasting at Duck Pond Cellars.

We had the best time in Portland. The Oregon Brewer's Festival was going on and we found quite a few great places to eat and drink while we were there. The Rogue Brewery was awesome and so was this restaurant where we ate breakfast the last morning, The Original. It was a very cool modern diner. If you're in downtown Portland for breakfast, eat there! I really think we could find ourselves living in Portland someday. Everyone was so friendly and eager to suggest places to go. The vibe is cool and laid-back and intelligent and artsy and local-minded. Plus, I think the weather is a tiny bit sunnier than in Seattle :) Seattle is such an amazingly beautiful city though. If there was a bit less rain, I could definitely set up shop there!
Overall it was an amazing trip. The Pacific Northwest is just breath-taking. Save your pennies and visit. You will not be disappointed!

Now, off to pack and get ready to head out again. Hope you enjoyed the synopsis and the pictures!! xoxo

Monday, July 27, 2009

How Much I love Goodwill

So, I got a hankering to do some shopping today, but since we just got back from a vacation to the Northwest, I figured I shouldn't spend much. We had a Goodwill store open recently just down the street from us, so I headed down there.

I found 2 skirts, 2 tank tops, 2 blouses, a crocheted dress, a groovy red belt, and some awesome vintage Bandolino shoes all for $32!! It's very fun to be creative and shop for items you might not normally buy in a regular store. I found this great flowered skirt that is high-waisted and will look cute with a tank top and heels. I've been wanting a red belt forever and this one is perfect.

Yay for Goodwill! So, our trip to Seattle and Portland was AMAZING. I did a horrible job of taking pictures of the cool yarn shops I visited and the great boutiques we walked by. But let me just say I love the Pacific Northwest. More later on the trip, but I'm off to eat spinach pasta for lunch now :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Off to the Northwest...

So, we're heading to Seattle tomorrow...I'm meeting Pinky's parents and brother Jordan and his wife Kirsten in the next few days and then his sister and her family in Portland on Wednesday. What fun places they all live in! I'm very excited to see Portland and to visit Seattle again. It's been a long time since I've been up to that area and I love the landscape up there SO much.

I've always heard Portland was a very artsy community. I plan on checking that scene out while we're there and hopefully stopping by a few knit shops here and there. I will have to find something for Pinky to do while I peruse the Pacific Northwest yarn shops :) I bet they have plenty of breweries or pubs to see and I KNOW there are a million bazillion coffee shops.

Stash and Burn has a Seattle episode from last year when Jenny visited the city and went to a variety of yarn shops. I hope I get to see at least one or two. I'm emailing myself all the addresses so I can hopefully pop in one if we're near it. I REALLY want to visit Churchmouse Yarns & Teas on Bainbridge Island. I have a friend who lives there part of the year, so I'm wanting to meet her out there and visit the lovely shop. Check out the site, it looks beautiful.

I'll update on our trip and our finds. I'm sure I'll be taking lots of photos. Stay tuned!!! xoxo

Friday, July 10, 2009

a few fun things

So, it's been a good Friday so far and I can feel the creative juices starting to flow. I'm about to work on a fun website design for my friend Amy Foster. I designed her author site and now we are doing a second project. She is writing a series of really cool books set in a town called Avening. It's going to be really fun! I'll keep you posted. I'm going to have to break out some illustrating, so I'm excited.

Also, I ran across this instructional page today in the CRAFT Magazine blog. It's on how to wind a center pull ball of yarn. I am lucky enough to have gotten a ball winder from my dear friend Liberty, but sometimes you're out of town or too lazy to walk upstairs and setup the winder (guilty as charged). This is an easy way to have a much nicer experience when knitting with yarn you have to wind.

This weekend should be fun. We're celebrating our friend Jane's birthday this evening in a fun, low-key manner and tomorrow our friends' son Luke is also having a birthday celebration. I'm so sad to say though that my lovely dear friends Hunter and Terrah are moving tomorrow though. They are the sweetest and I will miss them to death. At least they are only moving to Memphis, which is not too bad, but right now they live just down the street! I'm excited for their new journey, but sad to see them go. Love you guys!

Also, I'd love to give a shout-out to my friend Jill on her blog Just Dandy. She was sweet to mention me recently. Check out her very cool blog on craftiness. She's lovely! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today's Journal Entry

journal entry today
Originally uploaded by elletrain
I haven't sketched or journaled i a while, but today I was inspired to do this. My journal is a cool one I found online that is made out of various types of paper...ledger paper, sheet music, notebook, grid paper, etc. You can get them here:

Have a lovely day :) xoxo

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Stash

Koigu, lovely Koigu
Originally uploaded by elletrain
So, for the last 2 days I've started on a harrowing project...documenting all of my yarn stash! It's actually very rewarding to have photos of each different type of yarn I have. I've been taking the photos with Pinky's camera, so they turn out pretty nice :) I've gotten probably half of my stash entered into Ravelry, maybe a bit more than half. It's nice to have a record of what I own so I don't have to dig through a bunch of boxes when I want to knit something with yarn I have. I can go to Ravelry and choose my yarn...I wrote a note in each entry about where that yarn is stored. Easy, quick yarn retrieval!

I should have started this long ago when I started Ravelry. I did acquire quite a bit of yarn working at Angel Hair. The job would've been a lot easier a couple of years ago! It is nice to go back and see what I've got though. I have a bunch of lovely Koigu that I want to start making into squares. I bought single skeins of various variegated colorways to make the Barn Raising Quilt from Knitalong. Maybe I'll start on that today.

I also finished my Shetland Triangle on Monday. That thing was SO fast! It's such a great gift because it's interesting knitting but it's a really quick knit. I think it only took me 3 days to finish! Well, I'm off to get ready to head to Brentwood to Bliss Yarns. They have "Stimulus Wednesdays" and usually have lovely things on sale. Today it's Schaeffer Yarns...SO beautiful. We used to carry some of them at Angel Hair. I may buy some to do another Shetland Triangle. Check out that pattern if you haven't yet. You'll love it.

Also, awaiting my order of Victorian Lace Today, one of the most beautiful lace knitting books out there. Gwyneth was so nice to add it to her Knit Picks order for me. More on that book soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New photography tricks

ishbel shawl
Originally uploaded by elletrain
So, I got a quick lesson in taking beautiful knitting pics from Pinky the other day. I showed him Jared Flood's pictures on and asked how he got that beautiful glow and detail in his knitting photography. So, I'm still working on how to arrange my knitting to get the best out of it, but at least I have some higher quality pictures of my work now.

It's really fun to be able to use Pinky's lovely fancy camera to take these shots. I've been just using my iPhone, which is super convenient because I can email my photos directly to Flickr, BUT it sure is nice to have some proper photos up now. Thanks for boyfriends who are photographers and have shmancy cameras!

I'm excited to get better at taking these and hope to do a nice photo shoot to catalogue all of my yarn someday, too. It would be so lovely to have beautiful pictures of all the yarn in my stash up on Ravelry, so when I need to find something to knit, I have a great record of what I have. It's all in various boxes in my craft room right now and hard to see without having to pull out a lot of items. I put it on my To Do list just now!

On another note, Happy 4th of July to everyone. I hope you have friends and family to celebrate this lovely day with. We truly are so blessed to live in a country where we're allowed to thrive and grow and develop our interests and hobbies. I can't imagine a life without crafting and knitting. I know there are places where people don't have the luxury to do such things. Thanks to our founding fathers, our veterans, and our troops and our fellow citizens for making life in this country so rich and full. Now for fireworks!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cute Miss Mattie-girl

Cute Miss Mattie-girl
Originally uploaded by elletrain
Just had to blog about my sweet Mattie-girl. We took this photo the other day. She got a haircut last week for the summer and she looks so cute. She's such a cuddler and so loving and this is a mini-tribute to her awesomeness! I wish everyone could have a dog as great at Mattie, but alas, she's mine ;)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ishbel shawl

Ishbel shawl
Originally uploaded by elletrain
So, I finally finished the shawl this week. Such a fun little triangle to knit. I wound up doing the large size, but it's still a nice smallish size as far as shawls go. I love that I can wear it like this in the front. It's a little more updated I think.

I am now really taken by lace. I'm finishing up the Hemlock Ring Blanket this week and am going to start a Shetland Triangle out of Koigu next. Lace is so much fun to do and so rewarding. I think it's also what has gotten me out of my knitting slump. Yay!

Pinky isn't used to me being on full speed ahead knitting mode. I haven't really been this into it since we started dating. I am a little slow in the design world lately, even though I have had a few projects. I guess I got ramped up from those few designs and it's carried over into my knitting. I'm really glad to be back in the game now. Especially since I seemed to have quadrupled my yarn stash in the last year. I love being able to go upstairs and find yarn for a new project I want to knit. I'm very lucky. Not that I won't buy any in the near future, I'm sure I will, but it is very convenient to go upstairs to get my supplies. Plus, I sure do miss my favorite yarn store ever, Angel Hair...

It really isn't the same without that shop. I "grew up" as a knitter there, made one of my loveliest best friends in the world there, met my dearies Charisse and Izzy there, and of course fell madly in love with knitting. I have quite a bit of free time here and there now since I work at home and how I wish I had a place like Angel Hair to go now. I don't mind knitting at home by myself, but it's so fun to knit with others that love it as much as you do. I could go to Hendersonville or Brentwood to the other shops and they are nice, but they are pretty far and it's hard to pop over just for an hour or so. It's more of a half-day trip.

So, that's more than I intended to say today, but I find myself really longing for our lovely Angel Hair today. You are STILL missed and will always be loved!!!