June 30, 2011

Help me, crafters! Help me!

Okay, I'm going to be honest. One of my impulse purchases are little doo-dads that do fun stuff with yarn. For example, I have A LOT of pom pom makers. All shapes and sizes. Why? They're cute, fairly inexpensive, and I always feel like I need them. I also have a lot of looms... oh well. I use them eventually, I swear, but really, I may need an intervention.

This time last year I orded this adorable knitting bee from an etsy shop for less than $5. That should've been a sign right away. Long story short, in a fit of bordeom this morning, I decided to crack this puppy... er, bee.. open and see what magic I could make happen.

Well, tbe problem is that I couldn't make any magic happen. I am in serious need of a magic assistant to show me the way!

I have already tried two youtube videos, but one was silent and had really distracting music in the background, and I just couldn't do it. The other was a product review in which a man tried to figure it out, got frustrated, and told me it wasn't worth my money (ha!). I think it will work. I have faith it is not a wasted product. But I need help.

So, please, experts of all things craft, help a sister out!

P.S. These are the two "most helpful" images on the back of the package. I say "most helpful" because I can't really tell where the yarn goes and where it doesn't go...

It's couch day!

Mornin', folks.

Today is a pretty special day. Cory and I are finally able to pick up our brand new couch and place it in our brand new condo.

This is awesome for a few different reasons.

First, and most importantly, I can finally stop sitting on this:

That's right. It's been my primary seat for the last week... and I am sick of it! When Cory and I moved, we decided it was time to trash most of our college-y IKEA furniture and invest in something soft, comfy, and good to the eye. Therefore, we have been straining our rears sitting on lawn furniture!

Second big reason, naps. I feel like summers are just made for napping. I mean really. Get up, do some chores, run errands, come home, take a nap... and then proceed with the rest of a fun-filled day! I hate taking naps on my bed (makes sense, huh?), because I never ever want to get out of it. So my nap feels more like sleep, and whenever I feel sleep... I just want to keep doing it for a long time.

Third reason: I'll be one step closer to a home tour. I'm going to be honest-- we still have a lot of boxes to sort through and A LOT of clothes to put away in our gigantic closet. However, the couch will make  us less lazy (or maybe more lazy since it's so comfy...), and hopefully motivate us to work!

That is all.

Any big news your way?

P.S. Happy last day of June :)

a pretty fun vlog series + college advice + good books

If you don't know 'em, John and Hank Green are brothers who have a pretty famous vlog on youtube. I have been following them since they first started this series in 2006, and they never cease to amaze me. John is one of my favorite.. okay he's my favorite.. young adult authors. I can always tell how well I'll get along with a student personally based on what they have to say about his works. Seriously, he's awesome. I say he's a young adult novelist, but really, you should read his books, too. He's awesome.

To get started, I would read Looking for Alaska. Then for a humorous break, I would read An Abundance of Katherines. If I had a gay teenager in my life, I would have him or her read Will Grayson, Will Grayson. If I didn't have a gay teenager in my life, but they had a really open sense of humor, I would still give him or her Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Anyway. I have been thinking about all my sweet cheribs whom just graduated from high school and are getting excited/nervous about going off to college. I remembered this video and watned to share it with you. It's a good taste of John's sense of humor, and you may have someone in your life you would like to share it with, too!

Enjoy :)

June 29, 2011

My Wednesday.

Top --> Bottom
Left --> Right

1. Thirfted this cutie this afternoon. Shall I keep it or host a giveaway? Hmm?

2. Stopped by a new cupcake place in Frederick, Angelcakes and sampled the red velvet cupcakes. I picked up a peanutbutter cupcake for Cory... I'll wait for him to enjoy his before I post a review ;).

3. The print on my tank today.. I love how it reminds me of the lights in rollerskating rinks!

4. A bag full of fun. Pretty much how I'm spending my night ;).

How was your Wednesday?

A Note to the Magazines...

This is the time of year when I start to put some thought into what I'm going to stitch up as Christmas gifts for family and friends. I know, I know, it's not even July 4th, but as many of you know, it takes a while to craft meaningful, high-quality gifts!

Sometimes I stick to the basics, scarf & hat sets (usually in a fun stitch or high quality yarn to eliminate the moans and droans), jewelry sets (earrings and necklaces), but sometimes I like to go crazy, too. Give them unexpected items that I can crochet (baskets, rugs, etc.).

A lot of crochet magazines that I turn to on a regular basis (Crochet Today, Inside Crochet) have been asking for a lot of reader feedback via Twitter and surveys regarding what we would like to see in upcoming issues. I thought it would be nice to share my list of what I want to see in crochet print!

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tour!

Two years ago, as a way to celebrate my step-father's birthday, I piled into a car with my parents and Cory for a mini road-trip to central Pennsylvania. My step-father wasn't entirely sure where we were going, but he was exited that it had something to do with architecure (it's something he's interested in for work and for play). Within a few hours we reached our goal: Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright home.

I cannot express the magic this home holds. First of all, it's tucked away in the middle of the woods. The drive is so scenic, which is perfect, because the scenery really sets the mood for the construction and beauty of the home.

Once you're actually on the Fallingwater property, you park and walk to a little rotunda where you can check in and visit a gift shop full of literature about Mr. Wright, design, architecture, the family who owned/owns Fallingwater and a lot of cool little trinkets representing Mr. Wright's design aesthetic (which I happen to l.o.v.e.).

This is where you wait until your numbers are called to move on to the actual house. It's a brief half mile hike to get to the house from the rotunda, and still just as beautiful.

As you walk up the hillside, that is where you get this iconic view:

house over waterfall

You walk a little futher and you begin to see so many different hidden features of this gorgeous piece of art as you get closer. This is where your tour begins, and where you are no longer allowed to take photos! Darn! So, I will share with you photos of what I remember from the tour via Home-Designing.

You enter the home by walking up a set of stairs that are build above a small pond. This is where the lady of the home, Mrs. Kaufmann, would soak her feet or relax after a long day.

house close to nature

steps in the house

The first room you walk into is this large family room.

Here are a few things for you to notice:

-FLW designed all the furniture and color schemes for his properties. Everything in this room was specifically placed and designed by him to match the home.

-This room has a serious mod mid-century style, yes? Well, FLW designed it in the 1920s and was completed in 1934. Talk about way before his time. His aesthetic is incredible!

-I thought it was really cool how he incorporated so many different styles within his scheme for this style. It is all so modern but represents qualities of Asian and European style as well.

Fallingwater sitting area

The windows were specifically designed to allow the eye a natural view of the scenery without an industrial break. They flow with the view, I promise. Notice how that corner window opens? The glass is seamless when it shuts. It's so cool!

The other cool thing is that FLW made sure to incorporate a lot of storage into his design. I mean, the family he built it for did own a pretty popular department store, Kaufmann's.

leisure room

resting area

Like I said, everything was designed specifically for this home. Imagine these colors coming to life in the fall. Yum!

dining room

One funny thing I remember from the tour is that these are not the original chairs FLW designed. Apparently his original chairs were really uncomfortable, so they commissioned him to design new chairs ;).

fireplace in the house

living room

The tour ends with a snapshot view into a second home that is on the property. The additional home is just as beautiful as the original Fallingwater, but a bit smaller as it was used for guests or the help.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my mini-tour! If you're close to central PA, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of a tour of this home. It is so inspiring and really supports the upkeep of the home. 

What a beautiful way to start a Wednesday ;).

(Once again, thank you to Home-Designing for the photos!)

June 28, 2011

Best Summer Movie: Wet Hot American Sumer

My all time favorite summer movie, without a doubt in my mind, is Wet Hot American Summer. It is a quentessential portrayal of every stereotype known to the American man about summer camp and the hope that the last day of camp evokes in campers and camp counselors alike. This film is sarcastic, inappropriate, and filled with hilarious actors like Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, and Paul Rudd.

I found my favorite scene snapshots to give you a little tease if you haven't seen this 2001 masterpiece ;).

And if that weren't enough, here's the trailer:

What is your favorite summer movie? Hmm?


A little Tuesday To Do...

One magical thing happened the week that I accepted my new job. A good friend of mine whom I've worked with for the last two years at my old school also accepted a position at my new school! Hooray!

This situation is really perfect. Neither one of us will be the "new kid" in the faculty room and we get to share office space together! That's right, for this coming year, neither one of us will have our own classroom. It's sad for me to not have a stable classroom, but I am so excited to work at this school, I'm constantly looking at the positive side.

With all this being said, I have a classroom at my old school that has 4 years worth of teaching materials packed into it. Today, my friend and I are heading to our respective classrooms together and are attempting to clean them out in preparation for the new teachers that will replace us this fall. What does this even mean?

Well, I will be sorting through loads of documents and determining which of them I need to keep for my personal records and for future lessons. I will be sorting through loads of novels and figuring out if I want to donate any of them to any of my beloved English department members staying at the old school. It's going to be a long day of sorting through, but hopefully, I'll feel accomplished when I leave.

Aside from sorting through my school work today, I'm also planning on unpacking as much as possible. I am beginning to resent all the cardboard sitting around my home. I desperately want to begin hanging our photographs and art on the walls and get the final touches in place. Ultimately, I just want to get rid of the cardboard so I can get started showing you my pretty new condo! At least el blago is a good motivator :)

What is on your To Do List this Tuesday?


June 27, 2011

Do you journal?

Last weekend, my stepfather and I threw my mother a surprise birthday party. Fortunately, when we were thinking about a location for this party, it was pretty easy to decide to go with my Aunt Susie's house. She lives in a turn of the century farm house that is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. It's a paradise unto itself.

One thing I admire most about Aunt Susie is that at the end of every day, she journals. It may not be much, maybe a line or two, or maybe she writes pages upon pages, but that is how she ends her days. I remember staying at her house as a young girl, watching her journal, and wanting to do so myself.

The photo above is her collection of journals. I'm pretty sure each notebook represents a year, but I can't be too sure. Either way, that is quite a collection of memories and experiences!

My biggest issue with  journaling is finding the time. A lot of time I use blogging as my mode of journaling; a way of documenting my daily life, plus my love of fiber arts and crafts. However, I do wish I had more in print.

What do you think? Do you journal? If so, how often? Do you have a routine?


June 26, 2011

Wow! I'm back!

It has been a crazy few days! Yikes! On the 2nd day in our new condo, after Comcast visited and hooked up our internet, my laptop was suddenly overcome by a really horrible virus. Long story short, it has been in the shop since last Tuesday. I finally got it back today! Yes!

So, what's in store for you this week via Donna's Decembers blog? Lot's of happiness like a home tour, a few projects and patterns I'm trying out, and an inside scoop of what teachers really do during their summers off.

I'm hosting a few giveaways in blogland this week (including a few excellent vintage crochet books)! I'm also planning on hosting a giveaway here :)

I've been crocheting up a storm, as well. Did you know that this is the best time of year to stock up on yarn for the fall and winter? Right now is when designers and brands are discounting some of their winter colors and fibers for new stock. Check out mega stores like Jo-Ann's and Michael's for sales on Lion Brand, Paton's, and a lot of other brands! I scored bags of deals (LBY Thick & Quick for $1.99? WHAT?!). You just can't pass up cheap yarn. Seriously!

Okay, I'm going to go catch up on my Reader feed.. but it's so nice being back :)


June 20, 2011

A life update & a giveaway!

Hey ya'll.

Cory and I have been up to our eyebrows in boxes and odds and ends. As you know, we closed on our property last Friday. We promptly began painting the condo with a brand new color scheme compared to the cotton candy blues & pinks that were canvasing the walls.

Home owners!!!!!

Here's a sneak peek of our bedroom!
Note: I was washing the covers when this cell photo was taken. :)

Sneak peek of our bedroom!

I will be back later with an entire home tour but we have A LOT of work to do before then... like getting a couch... and end tables... and other stuff.

In other news, I assisted my step father in throwing my mom a surprise birthday party! I'll be back with a full review of that as well.

Whew--it's been busy!

Before I forget, though, you have to jump over to visit GussySews for her Giveaway Day! Here's the link to my giveaway! So many great handmade giveaways! eeep! :)

See you soon!


June 16, 2011

I feel a change comin' on...

As you know, I interviewed for a job at a different high school in my community on Tuesday.

I had an in-service day with my supervisor and a few other English teachers in the area yesterday. With no news to go on about my interview on Tuesday, I decided to just take it easy and not over analyze ths situation. Even though my supervisor commended me on having a good interview, I didn't want to get my hopes up at the possibility of changing schools. Once the work day was over around 1:30 p.m., I checked my voicemail and low and behold, I had a voicemail from human resources! I wasn't expecting to hear anything until Thursday or Monday, but they called me at 11:00 a.m. and offered me the job! Hooray!

My schedule will be different, and the atmosphere will be different, but I am very excited! A little change never hurt anyone.

And you know what I'm most excited for? Teaching Yearbook! I have never taught this course before, but I was an acting editor of the yearbook when I was in high school. I remember having so much fun! It will be a lot of work, but I am excited for a new, artistic challenge to come from this opportunity. I feel a remarkable sense of peace over this decision. I just can't help it!

I will miss the teachers at my old school, as they really are the cream of the crop. They have helped shape me into the teacher I am today. I owe them a lot of graditude and admiration, which I am sure I will try to show as often as possible over the next few days, weeks, and months.

Anyway--I need to run to get my packing on! We close tomorrow and I... haven't... touched... the kitchen. Yikes!

Thank you for your support, blog friends :)

June 14, 2011

The next few days are a big deal.

**NOTE** I need to say a huge huge thank you for all the supportive and inspiring comments you made in regard to my "Why I'm not using the word 'happy' anymore" post. Unfortunately, there is a glitch with me leaving comments on my own blog (Blogger is aware), so I haven't gotten to personally respond to you. I will as soon as I can, though! <3

Wow. Things are about to get crazy in this part of the world. Let me bring you up to speed a bit... I have been spending a lot of time planning in the sun and in the car. Pretty much whenever I have some quiet time to think, or whenever Cory is around to bounce some ideas off of. It's been pretty nice..

If you remember, Cory pinched a nerve in his neck last week. Fortunately, he is definitely on the upswing, but as a result, he is seeing a chiropractor numerous times a week and taking his share dose of ibuprofen to function and sleep at night. It seems like we have that situation under control as much as we can.

This week has been a little crazy, so far, too. Today, I interviewed for a position at a different high school in the county where I work. I have no idea what the odds are of me actually getting the position, but I felt extremely confident in the interview. I would really consider it a Godsend if I were offered the position, but I understand there are other capable prospects for the position as well. It will be whatever it will be (but do me a favor and cross your fingers for me in the mean time ;)). The good news is the principal is determined to expedite the process and ensure the position is filled ASAP, which also means finalizing the paperwork as soon as possible. He told me I should know something by Thursday, or at the latest, Monday. Wonderful! It's nice to not worry about "when will I hear..." because that part is often worse than the actual interview!

Tomorrow is my last workshop day of the summer. I made sure to schedule all my days at work in June so I felt as if I had enough time away from my classroom to feel completely refreshed and rejuvinated by the time August rolls around. For those of you non-teachers, it requires A LOT of distraction over the summer to really come into a new school year focused, rejuvinated, and excited for a new group of kiddos. I think back to the summer I taught summer school. I didn't get much of a break that summer, and as a result, I feel as if I (and probably my students) really paid for it the following school year. I don't know what the magic is, but summer is definitely nececssary.

After my workshop tomorrow, Cory and I are putting some time and elbow grease in sanding down and re-staining the credenza I thrifted a few weeks ago. I still can't believe I scored this beauty for just $40. I must admit, this pretty thing is still on my mind, as well. Especially after we have been hunting down an "appropriate" sofa for our living room for what seems like..... an eternity. Anyway, all of the hard work spent on the credenza will be paid off by soaking our feet in Cory's parents' pool and enjoying a nice family dinner with them.

Thursday will be one of our last days in our current home. I foresee a lot of packing and cleaning. I also foresee a lot of last minute this.. or that... and trying to squeeze in as much crochet time as possible. I have decided that this summer is my time to create new product, new designs, and a new focus for my brand. It's very exciting! I found a lot of my favorite yarns on massive sales (or even clearance) at JoAnn's yesterday, so I, of course, bought all the skeins I could get my hands on (and into my cart).

Friday is the big day! We go to check on our condo at 9am with our realtor and head to closing at 10am. By 11am the keys to our very first "home" will be in our hands and we will be heading to pick up some paint! Woo! Our great, and deligent friends, Rich and Beth, whom you met at their impromptu wedding in April, are coming to help us paint all weekend. We will need it considering our new place has 15ft high walls! Yikes! That's nearly 3 of me!

I'm hoping by this time next week, Cory and I will be able to take a break and enjoy our new crib :)

Wish us luck, please!

What do you have going on in your life right now?


Movie Review: "9 to 5"

Over the weekend I was in need of some background noise while I sat and worked on new crochet patterns for my new collection this autumn. I know, right? Already planning for fall when it's not even the middle of June!?

Anyhow, I needed a classic diddy that would get me through a few hours, so after looking around for a while on Netflix, I settled on 9 to 5.

What a great film for a girl's night in!

Featuring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin, this film follows the life of three women who work for a sexist boss. He refuses to promote Lily Tomlin's character,Violet Newstead, because it's a "man's job." When they have had enough, the women band together, and dream of the day they could have their revenge.
All goes crazy when Violet acceidentally poisons the boss, Mr. Hart, and the women start to plan for the worse, even if it means stealing a body from the morgue!

I really enjoyed this film and would encourage you to watch it if you need some light hearted viewing (plus, it's on Netflix streaming!)
Here's the original movie trailer to whet your whistle :)

If you watch "9 to 5" please let me know what you think of it!

Oh happy day!

I love me some Netflix streaming, but often it doesn't supply my need for classic television shows or movies (I mean come on, no Breakfast at Tiffany's?).

I did a littling hunting on the interweb and found out that CBS hosts free episodes of classic shows on their website! Hooray! Other than a few ad videos every few minutes, the videos are clear and perfect.

All you have to do is go to CBS, click shows, and then look under classics! So fun!

Here are my favorites..

I may be late to the game in finding this out, but it is making my day!

June 13, 2011

Inspiration: vintage wallpaper

Cory and I have been diligently checking off our To Do List before we close on our new property this Friday. We are so excited! I have found that when trying to picture our new place, I am drawn to really bold patterns, almost wallpaper-esque.

It should be noted, I am not a wallpaper person whatsoever. Not only does the process unnerve me, but I get nervous about the up-keep, and even worse, the removal. Oh gosh. Just because I'm not a fan of having wallpaper in my home, doesn't mean that I do not love rich wallpapers and find them very inspiring for their color combinations and design.

I thought I would share with you some of my favorites!

vintage wallpaper

My favorite is the 2nd image that has 6 different samples. I love the shapes and colors!

What is your favorite?