Sunday, January 29

Some Squirrels For Your Sunday

Fuzzy squirrel... had to use the zoom to capture him.

I haven't been able to get a picture of anything other than their tails as of late.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Friday, January 27

I Made This! Bag From Pants

You did indeed hear me correctly - I made myself a bag out of a pair of Shawn's old pants. I got the idea from this bag that I pinned months ago. This is actually my second attempt; my first one yielded not-so-delightful results using some cargo shorts. At least the first bag was a good practice round.

I used fabric from a pair of khaki pants for the outside and fabric from a green polo shirt for the inside. (I wouldn't recommend using polo material though... it gave me a really hard time with the sewing machine; the fabric stretches and bunches and kept getting caught in the machine.) The khakis were the perfect material for the outside though - sturdy and thick.

Since I didn't actually like the look of the cargo pocket on the outside, I decided to use one of the pants' back pockets and put it under the flap instead of using it as the flap. I'm really happy with the result - a hidden but useful pocket!

There wasn't enough fabric for me to do one long strap, and since I wanted a bag I could wear messenger-style I made two separate ones instead. Now I can tie the straps to whatever length I want! It adds an element of cuteness, too, since bows are always cute :)

I didn't take a lot of in-progress pictures, since I wasn't sure how well it was going to turn out. This is the only 'before' picture I snapped - all the fabric pieces after cutting them to size but before sewing them together. I sewed the lining (green fabric) pieces together, then sewed the exterior (khaki fabric) pieces together. I didn't actually sew the straps until afterwards, so the pieces for those aren't pictured. For those, I just cut up one leg of the pants and cut two wide strips that I sewed up into tubes with one end closed off, then turned them right side out.

Here's a shot of my wonderful handiwork. Seriously, not to brag or anything, but I'm really proud of this one. I actually finished a sewing project that I set out to do! Alright, the sewing machine did most of the work, but that doesn't mean it's any less of a job well done. I did hit some snafus (mostly with the pesky liner) but the whole project turned out much better than I expected. It also took way longer than I expected... I ended up spending most of my Wednesday off putting this bag together. Next time though, it should be a breeze!

One last photo of the finished product, just to end this post on good note. I will definitely be making more bags this year (...if I say it, I'm more likely to do it! :P) and I'd love to play around with different fabrics, and maybe put a pocket or two on the inside of the next one. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 20

Fun Finds Friday #3

Check out this awesome book clutch; I'd really like to make this!

This duvet cover was hand-drawn using homemade stencils and fabric pens on a solid white cover. I would love to make a duvet that features our various little drawings.

Mini purses made from coffee bags. If I had access to an iron, I would make these right now.

This is a cute little dog named Hani. See lots more cleverly captioned photos of Hani over at Busy Busy Hani.

This year I'm pushing myself to do more creative things, outside of baking. This poster is a nice reminder.

Wednesday, January 18

In case you were wondering....

....this is why you don't see many photos of us on the blog.

Those aren't even the outtakes, those are the real thing.
Our best one is our sidebar photo, where Shawn is about to pretend-stab me with a pen.
I rest my case.

Monday, January 16

Saturdays Are Sweet

Over the last few weeks Shawn and I have both had Saturdays off together. The rest of the week usually consists of me working mornings and him working afternoons, then we see each other for just a few hours each night before it repeats again the next day. So having a whole day off together is like a really mini vacation for us. We try to relax, while still getting things done that we weren't able to get to during the rest of the week.

Two Saturdays ago we woke up to beautiful skies and 50 degree weather (Um, it is January still, right?) so we went for a nice long walk - 4.5 miles - around the neighborhood and through one of the many large cemeteries nearby. This Saturday we didn't get quite as lucky, temperatures were back down to the low 30s and we bundled up and walked against the wind just to get some butter for some good ole cookie-making.

There's nothing better than a big plate of comforting breakfast foods to start off a chilly Saturday morning, right? We usually make home fries and bacon with scrambled eggs, but we had some Texas Toast on hand so I swapped out the eggs for some custardy french toast topped with maple syrup.

Our walk to the store was not for-naught! I needed butter to make some chocolate chip cookies, our most favorite of indulgences. This specific batch also contained bursts of mini peanut butter chips and mini peanut butter M&Ms.

...I think we need to make breakfast, (long walks!) and cookies a Saturday tradition. Hopefully Shawn agrees.

Sunday, January 15

Some Squirrels For Your Sunday

Wet squirrel. Silly little guy, you can't sunbathe during a rain storm!

Squirrels chat as cat looks on. This one is courtesy of a friend.

Saturday, January 14

I Made This! The Bracelet Edition.

Like many others out there in Internet-Land, I'm a huge fan of Pinterest. Specifically, I'm a fan of pinning things like delicious food, snappy outfits, and things I can make myself.

A few weeks ago I came across these bracelets and thought to myself - they look so easy to make!, so why not make them? So I went to Michaels (which recently opened up about two miles down the road from us! yay!) and picked up some supplies: suede cord, small findings, and clasps.

I roughly used the tutorial here, opting to tie off my ends instead of gluing them. The whole thing is actually very simple, you make a braid and just slide a finding onto each of the outer strands as you go.

The grey bracelet was the first one I made and I found the findings I bought were too big, so I went back and bought smaller ones for the brown bracelet. The other two bracelets are just braided ribbon.

I wouldn't actually wear these all at the same time... it's a bit much, especially for a not-much-jewelry-wearing gal such as myself. But making them all is so incredibly easy - now go make your own!

Wednesday, January 11

Sketched At Work

When I started working at Town Hall about a year and a half ago, we were displaying beautiful paintings of Philadelphia area landscapes done by local artist Bill Ternay. We've since gone through many other art displays, but he still stops in on a semi-regular basis. I recently learned that he enjoys discreetly sketching his surroundings. The other day he showed me this sketch he did of me at work:

(Click on the image to see it on a larger scale)

He asked if I'd like a copy and of course I said yes! I can't think of any other time I've been sketched (certainly not to my knowledge, anyway...) The other person in the sketch is another one of our regulars, sipping on a cappuccino.

You can see more of Bill's work here.

Sunday, January 8

The Week In Photos

Here we go again, another photo recap post... oh, but they're so much fun!

From two different days. Apparently we eat a lot of pizza.

Shawn makes a mighty fine meatloaf. Mighty fine.

My sister snapped this during a family trip to the Woodbury Outlets... dreamy Marine.

Our friend Little Buddy; he likes to sun-bathe outside our kitchen window.

Brownies made in a cast-iron pan, with chopped up oreo cookie bark inside.

We found some of Shawn's ancestors during a recent afternoon cemetery walk... along with the best multi-family tombstone ever! Almost too good to be true.

Shawn with a Dali-stache. Mustaches are always the best way to end a post!

Friday, January 6

Fun Finds Friday #2

More fun finds for your Friday! (Didn't I tell you I'd try to keep them coming?)

This awesome house used to be a Grain Silo! I love how open it is, and all the fun spaces.

A homemade play-kitchen made by the couple over at Young House Love. I remember having a play-kitchen when I was a kid, but they kicked it up a notch by making the whole thing themselves; such a sweet gift for their daughter!

You know how much we love squirrels... I was head over heels when I saw this captured photo of a squirrel nom-ing on some corn stalks. What a guy.

I recently discovered that you can use apps in Google Chrome (clearly I'm a little slow on the up-take...) and the Do It (Tomorrow) app is my new favorite. It's a simple to-do list that automatically moves any uncompleted tasks to the next day. Perfect for procrastinators like myself! (PS. They're blurred out because they're mostly about blog related things I don't want you to know about! ;P)

I recently made this French Coconut Pie at work and it was a huge hit! The coconut custard is perfectly sweet and smooth. The story that accompanies it is cute too!

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 2

That's So 2011...

A lot of bloggers I follow are doing 2011 recaps that feature their best/favorite posts/photos... but I'm not going to do that. Well, not exactly... Truth be told, I didn't blog as much last year as I would have hoped. When there's not much to say, well, there's not much to say (especially when you're being redundant). Overall 2011 was a good year; lots of things happened, just nothing incredibly significant.

As far as the blog goes:

- We added the walk log in June to keep track of our monthly mileage. Still going strong with our goal to walk an average of 1 mile per day!

- I kind of fell off the recipe bandwagon; I was doing well at the beginning of the year but now I can't honestly remember when I last posted a recipe. Which is strange, because we've been cooking/baking more than ever these last few months. A lot of times I don't post about it because I can't capture any attractive photos of the food!

- We changed the layout a few times, each time striving for a cleaner, simpler look.

And what about us?

- We renewed our lease in June, choosing to stay in our humble apartment for another year to put off having to search for something new.

- After endless months of unemployment, Shawn got a job at the deli/restaurant a few doors down from the coffeeshop I work at. If you know our history at all, this is ironic considering we first met while we were working in a similar strip-mall: me at a coffeeshop, him at the video store a few doors down...

- I really blossomed at work, adding more and more recipes to my repertoire. I took on two actual days of baking per week, instead of just fitting it in when I could during my barista shifts. And! I haven't actually shared this with anyone other than Shawn and my co-workers yet but my scones were photographed alongside a delicious cappuccino to appear in the February 2012 issue of Main Line Today for an article about the best places to get breakfast in the Main Line! (PS. I've been in a local magazine before.)

- I got crafty and made a few things out of fabric, paper, and various odds and ends. I started putting together a book of my own recipes, my sewing machine got more use than ever before, I spent countless hours sitting on the floor, and I learned that making things yourself is not only satisfying, but also not nearly as hard as it appears!

Which brings me to my next point. My last sewing project of 2011:

I forgot to take a 'before' picture prior to sewing, but these are a pair of salmon pink corduroy pants that I got for $3 at the local Salvation Army Thrift store after months of looking for well fitting colorful pants. The only problem? They had a flared leg that hit right above my foot - too wide and too short, whilst the rest of the pants fit nicely. Since the pants didn't cost me much I wasn't too worried about taking a pair of scissors to them, so I took it upon myself to take in the pant legs a bit. Thusly taking them from flared to straight-leg - much more wearable!

Just for kicks, here's a photo of me actually wearing them:

Quiet! I don't know how to pose. At all. Oh and, silly picture #1 & silly picture #2.

For future reference, this is what I looked like on the first day of 2012.
(Happy-faced and ready for another year!)

...not much different than on the last day of 2011.

That is all.

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