Friday, November 2, 2012

31 before 31

I turned 30 last week and if I'm being honest, I was a little bit disappointed with it. I didn't really do much anything to celebrate as the weekend was a bit monopolized by Halloween celebrations and parties. I don't generally go into birthdays, or anything really with expectations and I think that having a mindset that 30 was a milestone to be celebrated may have been my downfall. I have been thinking about making a '31 before 31' list for awhile and I spent my birthday finalizing my list. I'm feeling rather inspired and positive about having a list of goals to work on throughout the year and don't see any reason why I can't achieve everything on the list. Who cares about birthdays anyway? I can celebrate every day!

Here it is:

1.        Take tennis lessons
2.        Make bath & body products
3.        Run a half marathon
4.        Do tax reassessments
5.        Improve photography/take more photographs
6.        Run a 4:00 km
7.        Get a new computer
8.        Make 2011/2012 photobook
9.        Complete Blissology program in 28 straight days
10.      Make homemade wine
11.      Explore more in cooking/cook more
12.      Go on 10 trips; small or big/day trips or overnight
13.      Read 25 books
14.      Write handwritten letters
15.      Write a blog
16.      Improve physical fitness/track progress
17.      Make new friends and be a good friend
18.      Practice yoga at least once a week all year long
19.      Run 1000 km this year
20.      Improve French language skills
21.      Do a 30 day yoga challenge
22.      Clean out email inbox/maintain no emails in inbox
23.      Host 6 dinner parties
24.      Run a sub 23:00 5K
25.      Get passport renewed
26.      Climb Katahdin
27.      Get a commuter bike
28.      Volunteer with Laubach Literacy
29.      Complete German study guide
30.      Complete 100 push-ups
31.      Do the splits

Friday, March 18, 2011

Week in Review

After a couple weeks of taking care of Dave while he was on the mend, I finally feel like things are starting to get back to normal. We reassembled our house from its temporary infirmary state and I managed to muster up the energy to give it an all-over scrub (which it needed).

This week Dave went back to work and last week's perils seem a million miles away. Now that I have some more time (and energy) I've decided to work on some Spring cleaning and organizing. This week's task was the bathroom as the shelves in our linen cabinet were getting unmanageably full and the sink cabinet was getting a tad disorganized. It only took about 20 minutes and I managed to haul a full garbage bag out of there. So many partially used products that were just wasting space! It's crazy to me how much I had since I'm not someone to waste money on tons of products.

Bathroom Purge 2011 - Crazy right?!
Next up - Bedroom which shouldn't be too bad since I fairly recently did a closet clean-out/purge but you never know. I'll surely share the deets when the time comes, whether you want them or not! 

On Wednesday Dave came home from work with supper and a thank-you present for me for taking such good care of him:

A bouquet and a very generous and thoughtful half-day at the spa. So very much appreciated. I can't wait. I was so excited that I went out and bought something that I've been lusting after for a long while. A bit of a splurge on a luxury item. Yes, I went all out and went crazay and bought myself a new electric toothbrush and have been feeling fresh-from-the-dentist clean ever since. (I used an Oral B electric toothbrush for 8 or 9 years until it died and my toothbrushing experience just hasn't been the same since.) I'm so frivolous and wild with finances and life in general. :P

Oral B Triumph 9900 with SmartGuide

So spring is in the process of springing, the time has changed, the days are long(er) and I have some fun planned for this weekend. All in all a pretty swell week. I hope the sun is shining on  you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Operation Make More Stuff

I like making stuff. And following lots of really great blogs and seeing different projects and ideas online from time to time gives me lots of ideas and inspiration for things I'd like to make. My problem is that the ideas tend to get emailed to myself, bookmarked in Chrome, favorited in Explorer, a shortcut added to the desktop on my work computer or my laptop, or a picture saved in any number of places. Or, I "save" the idea in my head which hasn't seemed to be working out too well for me. It isn't any surprise that a lot of the ideas never come to fruition. The links get deleted in a haste to clean up my desktop, and the disorganization of things doesn't lead to much inspiration. Last week I decided to sign up for a free Dropbox account and downloaded it to each computer I frequently use. Then I set out compiling all the photos and links and ideas I've saved here and there and put them in folders in my main Dropbox folder. Now when I add something on my laptop to that folder it will automatically sync with the folder on my work computer and vice versa. No more losing links and photos, or feeling overwhelmed by all my ideas. Haha. Couldn't help myself.

Despite my inspiration disorganization, I have recently finished up a few different projects that I set out to and haven't had the chance to share here.

First up was a magazine monogram à la Young House Love. This was one that I wanted to try for a long time and had originally planned to use an actual magazine, but after months of keeping my eye out never found a "C" I liked, so I whipped up my own in word and had it printed and stuck it in a frame. Not everyone's favorite but I really like it.

The next wave of inspiration that hit was a strange urge to do another cross stitch. I've never been a fan of the old fashioned patterns but I find needlework to be relaxing. I really like Subversive Cross Stitch so I decided to drop over to their website to see if there was a pattern I wanted. Instead I ended up finding one that read "Don't Make Horseplay Your Forte". I thought it was funny but not quite "me" enough so I decided to make my own pattern:

After I finished up the cross stitch, I ordered my fabric for my first quilt and was going a little crazy waiting so I decided to use a tutorial I'd found online to sew up a cute little box pouch since I'd never sewn a zipper into anything and thought it would be a fun little project to try and something to keep my sewing machine warm.

One each for my mom and me
(Kaffe Fasett fabric Mom found at a second hand shop)

And one I whipped up for a friend I was having lunch with the next day

So after I managed to get all of my links and ideas organized in Dropbox, I decided to make a list and try to at least work on, if not complete one little project a week. First up was a really cute gathered clutch tutorial I found on the blog Noodlehead.

The first one I made with a cute bird print from Ikea

The second one I made went much more quickly.
It's for my friend Lisa who is going to use it as a cash bag at work
(she was previously using a plain black pencil case.)

And the last one that I made with leftover canvas which made the ruffles more ruffle-y but was harder to sew through

Without further ado, the list (in no particular order):
  • Gathered Clutch (tutorial here)
  • Cushion for office chair
  • Cover Nikon camera strap
  • Fabric napkins
  • Ruffle Tee
  • Apron
  • Washers Game
  • Braided hex nut bracelet
  • Meandering Path quilt
  • Monkey bread with cream cheese glaze
  • Scroll saw cut-out
  • Log end table
  • Hexagon patch
  • Hoop art applique
  • Dog bed
There now. That should keep me busy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sugar Pop

Almost makes me want to break out into a Justin Timberlake chorus that throws back to his 'N Sync days. Yeah you know the one. Lame! Anyway, onto the real sugar -- in keeping with my resolutions while still maintaining a pretty solid hibernation strategy until Winter packs up and takes a long walk off a short pier, I ordered my fabric for my first quilt. The books I ordered from Amazon came a couple days ago but I've decided that my first project is going to be made with some pre-cuts and a tutorial I've found online. I decided to order fabric online as I'm less than impressed with the prices and selection found locally (I'm talking to you Fabricville and Sewing World).

The line of fabric I picked is foolishly fun and most often used with projects for babies and small children. And yet somehow it said 28-year-old female to me. These fabrics make me smile.

Can't wait until they arrive!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quilt Happy

After an impressive first few weeks of blogging in January I totally flaked off. Sorry blog. Time to refocus my efforts on all that I want to accomplish this year. Speaking of which, remember when I told you what my New Year's Resolutions are? Well for the past month and a bit I've been doing some research, thinking about what kind of quilt I want to sew. My mom took a book out of the library for me and I've been reading through it to give myself a little overview of all the things I don't know about quilting; which is pretty much everything. No, I did not know what it meant to "stitch in the ditch". Anyway, with the snow closing in on me I figure it's time to order up some books and get started on some projects.

I liked what I saw in this book. This video gets me excited about quilting. I feel like I'm watching the trailer for a movie that I really really want to see. Have a peek:

I'm also going to pick up this book to have a resource/how-to guide on hand:

I had my eye on this book as well but figured I would get my start with the first two and wait until I need some new projects/inspiration:

I was a little curious to see how I'd do with finding modern and interesting patterns and fabrics. A lot of people discount quilting as something only old women would do. In fact, Dave's reaction to my New Year's Resolution was "you're like an 80-year-old woman". That may be but with Spring feeling a million miles away I could use a little indoor distraction and inspiration.

I hope Amazon gets these gems to me in a jiffy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Multitasking is...

...finding a couple dollops of paint on your perogies at lunchtime

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love Thy Neighbour

Or at least try not to hate them...

I've been thinking a lot lately about how interesting neighbours are. It's such a strange relationship compared to most others. In what other circumstance do you often see the same people every day without often even knowing their names. You can grow to like or dislike people without ever having a conversation with them. Just because of how they drive their car, and how tidy (or untidy) they keep their lawn.

One neighbour I'm never pleased to see is the guy who plows the snow from his driveway onto our lawn and drops his plow low enough that it digs up all the grass. He also baby-sits his preschool-aged children by sticking them in his truck unsupervised and lets them honk the horn for hours on end.

One neighbour I'm always happy to see is Bill Murray. 

Which is weirder, naming your neighbour's cat, letting it into your house whenever it wants and feeding it treats, or taking its picture and posting it on your blog? Bill even made an appearance at my birthday party this year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wait a minute....

So am I a Scorpio?

Or a Virgo?

Guess I'll just have to wait for the next issue of The Coffee News to find out...
Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DIY Calf Stretcher

Along with the meditation bench, my dad and I built an adjustable platform calf stretcher for my sister that folds for easy storage when you're not using it. She has had one on her wishlist for a few years now but they are hard to find and sometimes expensive. She describes her calves as stubbornly tight and although we built it because we knew she wanted one, I was skeptical of how useful a piece of equipment it would be. To my way of thinking there was really no difference between the old "prop your foot against a wall" method. From what I read while researching them, a platform stretcher is really useful because not only can you stretch both legs at once, it shows you instantly how tight your calves are and if one is consistently worse than the other. Once we got it together I stepped on to try it out and fell in love. It feels SO good. I may just have to whip one up for myself.

If you want more details on how we built it just leave a comment and ask!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Credenza Influenza

I don't know what it means but it sure has a ring to it, doesn't it? After the busy evening I had, and a couple of nights with lacklustre sleep, I'm feeling a little low energy. This resulted in the pick-up of my latest kijiji purchase being a tad painful. Ah well, I managed. With a compact car and a boyfriend out of town I had to rely on a commenting comrade for help (and a vehicle large enough to carry it). Thanks Bray! Behold my heavy heavenly friend in all her (former) glory. After photo to follow.

(photo via kijiji)