How To - Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 21, 2008

While baking cookies, I whipped up these to decorate the front hall table, near the Christmas tree. Got a few old magazines or holiday catalogs laying around? Whip up a few of these for last-minute decoration before they hit the recycle bin; nothing else needed! I think they are perfect next to the Christmas card basket.

A Recycled Christmas Tree at Just Like Martha, found via Moogsmum.

Call Mr. Plow, that's my name!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Overnight: got snowed in.
1:00pm: got plowed out.
1:30pm: got snowed in.

...I haven't even bothered with the driveway.

Winter Break

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I made it out of the fall semester alive, and I've got the next three weeks to vegetate as I see fit. I'm nowhere near done with Christmas shopping...and I'm starting to panic. Endless snow is in the forecast through the end of the week.C'mon pup, let's go sit by the fire.

Tutorial: How to make paper

Monday, December 8, 2008

Intro to Paper Manufacturing: isn't college exciting?

I think so...

Lake Effect Snow

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fellow GAS member and I drove back from printing T-shirts in the thick of the storm, coming home to this:Good thing I remember where I parked...Right there. Hey wait... what are they doing up the hill?A roadblock?! ...and is that a laundry cart on the sidewalk? Whose crazy idea was this?

Whoops, the culprits are caught and forced to take apart their hard work. Props for using a laundry cart, but you should have waited until the middle of the night to build it, when the authorities were not looking. They should be studying for their exams, anyways.

Kalamazoo Gospel Mission

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't think I've smiled this much in a while. And with the stress of exams coming up, there was no better time for it. Let me explain...Every year, Graphic Arts Society holds a Christmas party at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. It was my first year helping out, and it was a huge success. All the kids, and even their parents lined up to have their picture taken while sitting on Santa's lap, and receive their presents. There were paper ornaments to color, cookies to decorate, face painting, and goodie bags for everyone. I'm going through all the photos and can't help but smile at each one. We're sending back copies of the photos for everyone staying there to enjoy. Here are just a few:Happy Holiday Season to everyone! What are you doing to celebrate?

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

May your gut extend with pleasure and your travels be safe on "Black Friday".

Grosgrain [guest] Giveaway: Camera Strap

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've been following the Grosgrain blog, but I don't have any wee little ones to try to win costumes for, so I haven't participated in her "Create a Link" giveaways. I love the idea though, and love the awesome things she sews up every week. The current giveaway is a camera strap cover.

I think it would make a great holiday gift. Check it out, you could "create a link" and try to win it too! Even if you aren't a photographer, check out her blog.

Custom Camera Strap GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain Blog

WIP - Boyfriend Sweater

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's started snowing... I better pick up the pace! Back panel, almost ready to shape the arms.

Part One: WIP - Boyfriend Sweater
Pattern: Berroco - Dan (free pattern)
Yarn: Bernat DenimStyle

Christmas Cactus

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yesterday, I adopted yet another plant for the room. I think they designed Meijer so that I have to pass the plant section on my way from the groceries to the pharmacy. I'm pretending it's a present celebrating the first day of my (paid) internship.

Today grants no rest; I've finished up work obligations, only to have schoolwork left on my plate. Hopefully I'll have some time after Engineering Statistics to work on the boyfriend's sweater.

Rock the Vote!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

“To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”

Louis L'Amour

No matter who you support, make sure you vote today.

Poll closing times (map included) via Swing State Project
Electoral College Coloring Map via Flickr

WIP - Boyfriend Sweater

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's getting colder, the wind is blustery, and I need a new project. I think I've finally mustered up the courage to knit a sweater.

Pattern: Berroco - Dan (free pattern)

The new Queen Pothos in town

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My roommate I went visited my parents last weekend ago to get away from the rigors of school, and enjoy the comforts of home. Sipping a cup of hot coffee, breaking fast with a plate of waffles ala mode topped with strawberries and sided with bacon while watching the finches and titmice chirping busily at the feeder is a far cry from my normal college morning. The usual is a groggy roll-out of bed, a banana and travel mug of tea while trekking uphill to the bus before the sun is even peeking over the horizon.I watered the plants and pulled some weeds in the garden, and we all went into town to scout the nursery for fall plantings. Mom came home with three huge purple asters, and I found a beautiful Marble Queen pothos that I couldn't leave the store without. I've been wanting more foliage in the room to improve the atmosphere. White, painted cinderblock and white asbestos ceiling tiles don't really say "homey".

Gordon Freeman Costume Resources

Friday, October 10, 2008

Last year's Gordon Freeman Costume seems to be getting some attention as we near the Halloween season this year. So, I thought I would make life easier for you guys by sharing my images and providing a few tips for construction.

The Labcoat: there are plenty of medical supply stores online. If you're a college kid, ask someone in pre-med where they got their scrubs. You're looking at like $20.

The ID badge: This one is trickier... I suggest checking an office supply store like Office Max, Staples, or even Meijer. A multi-pack wouldn't be more than $5, I imagine.

You could go all-out and paint a crowbar, but I don't think the neighbors will appreciate you brandishing a "bloodied" crowbar at their kids. Set it on the table near the candy for effect.

Iron Transfer sheets: Key for this project. These are available at any Hobby Lobby or similar craft store. Make sure you get the right type for your printer and fabric (dark, light, inkjet, toner).

Downloadable resources:
BlackMesa Logo - blackmesa_logo.jpg
BlackMesa ID Badge - blackmesa_ID.jpg

Tips: When transferring the logo onto the labcoat, cut out the interior white space so that you don't have to iron the design for as long. Otherwise, just follow the directions and you should be ready to go!

Fabric Pumpkin Pattern

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's (nearly) October, and that means Halloween is right around the corner! My roommate loves to decorate for the holidays, and I want to lend a hand, so I'm sewing up some fabric pumpkins.

This pumpkin is about 7" around, but you could blow up or shrink the pattern to whatever size you want. I'm working on several different sizes to scatter around the room. It is a quick project with maximum satisfaction. I recommend very springy stuffing and stuffing lightly to keep the crinkly effect.

Pattern provided by Schlosser Designs: link

Elephant in the Basil Forest

Friday, September 26, 2008

In the forest of basil where leaves perch atop tall woody branches or neglect, a lone elephant lurks among the trees.

The only thing better than being crafty...

Monday, September 22, 2008 going home to family, gardens, and delicious food. It's absolutely delicious (healthiness is an added bonus). A great way to showcase fresh (esp. homegrown) veggies. Lettuce/Garden greens and red onion dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, topped with tuna steak and surrounded by garden green beans, baby potatoes, fresh-picked tomato, and sliced hard-boiled egg.

Nicoise Salad:
Red onion
Green beans
Baby potatoes
Sliced tomato

It might look complicated to cook all those veggies for one meal, but you only need one pot of boiling water. Blanche the beans first and remove, then drop the potatoes and eggs (gently) into the same pot. Place dressed greens in the center, and veggies/eggs around. If you've got an extra pair of hands, get one to prep the salad while the tuna cooks. The tuna could be seared, grilled, or even pan-fried; just rub on a little olive oil, salt and pepper before throwing it on the heat. Or get creative and use a dry seafood rub. Anything goes! Make it yours and make it delicious. Finally, place the tuna on top and enjoy!

Paper Embroidery is my Zen

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My latest WIP. Paper embriodery requires a little pre-planning, but it takes the work out of placing each stitch precisely when you've got thread on the needle. This is how I unwind after day of classes/labs, homework, and mediocre dorm food.

...yes, I know my thread box is a mess.

Tutorial on paper embriodery at craftystylish.
doe*c*doe blog (weekly embroidery patterns)

Shiny new things

Monday, September 15, 2008

Picked up this pillow at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's extra firm; perfect floorpad, backrest, or concussive weapon. $20
...and Lappy finally came! No more long breaks at, or bus rides from Parkview with nothing to do. I'm looking forward to impromptu blog posting and weekend LANs, mostly.

Swag-market Sweep

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Friday marked the end of the first week of class, and was celebrated by thousands of people gathering for the annual mass chaos known as Bronco Bash. I didn't even bother taking my camera; there wasn't enough room to take a photo. You do your best to weave through the mob of people finding booths with vendor giveaways, student organizations, clubs, and local businesses while listening to local bands play at the stage.
Every year, over 400 student organizations, university departments, community members, local businesses and area restaurants participate in Bronco Bash. This is a great opportunity to showcase your organization to over 25,000 participants.
That 25,000 number is very real but I managed to find a few choice bits:The haul is meager, even paltry compared to most, but I wasn't grabbing every pamphlet, piece of candy, or signing my name away for t-shirts (and credit cards).

Props of the day goes to The League of Women Voters for stocking absentee ballot applications in addition to voter registration. I can't wait to get my ballot in the mail. Michigan needs a good student-voter turnout.

Lions and tigers and staghorn ferns... Oh my!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It was a beautiful day last week at the Lincoln Park Zoo...The lions were surveying the patrons...
the tiger was lamenting the heat...
and the staghorn ferns looked like giant alien pods.

The cable scarf: improved

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Found my next knitting project today. Boring blue was completed despite being an acrylic-yarn, curled-up bust and needs to be forgotten about. Pattern for this double-sided cable scarf available (free!) here via Sweater Surgery.

Playtime with kitty

Monday, August 18, 2008

My boyfriend and I visited Tim's new apartment, and got to meet the lovely little kitten that lives there too. She's a rascally little thing with almost uncontrollable energy. There were several LoL moments....
And a few calm moments of cuteness.

Extended urban vacation

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

After some deliberation, I've decided to stay on vacation in the Chicago area.

The Great Escape

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sorry to leave you high and dry with no updates.  I've escaped to Chicago for the week, but I'll have a new post ready on Friday!  Until then, I'll be catching up with friends, and soaking up rays at the beach in my new swimsuit.

Picture Perfect

Monday, July 21, 2008

Food: Spinach Panini

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm definately not a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I don't like or eat plenty of vegetables. Plus, when you're a college kid, it's hard to find any served in the dining hall with any taste, let alone any of their nutrients still intact. So let me introduce to you: The spinach panini!

Spinach Panini:
2 slices bread of choice
handful of fresh spinach
tomato, sliced
2 slices provolone cheese
onion, sliced
couple leaves of fresh basil optional

Place a slice of cheese on each side of the sandwich. On one side- pile onion, spinach, tomato. Drizzle a little olive oil on each side, then put on the panini grill, or toast in a pan until the cheese is melted, spinach begins to wilt, and the bread is nice and golden.
All that's left is to eat it! I'm in love with basil and have started growing my own so I like to throw a few leaves in to spice it up (and recommend it) but it's up to you to take this sandwich and make it your own. Experimentation is encouraged!

In the Garden: Cucumber blossoms, and foreign invaders

Monday, July 14, 2008

OK, so let's start with the good news...cucumber blossoms! These little golden heralds appeared in the garden this very morning. Soon I'll finally have cuke slices to go with my overflowing supply of lettuce.

And the bad news... japanese beetles. They've been spotted all around the vegetable garden, the trees, and the flowers. They've damaged some of the peas and lettuce already, but I'm not sure when I can spray for them; a number of bees and are sure to get axed in the process too. Will the blossoms still get pollinated?I don't even know what these crazy beetles are doing... mating? battling? circus act?

Craftiness: Boring blue

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We'll see how well this "craftiness" segment goes, seeing as my crafty adventures are sporadic in nature. Nonetheless, I'm surprised I've been so quick on this project (and the image taken with similar haste). I started the Aran Cable Scarf free on the LionBrand site just two days ago.
I have to admit I don't really like this color, so I won't be sporting this scarf in my own wardrobe, but it was the only yarn I had enough of to complete a scarf. I always thought that cables were some sort of scary juggling act of knitting, but after a little surfing found out that you don't even need a cable needle. So, the LionBrand pattern became a base for a few of my own tweaks. I used only the first cable pattern throughout the whole scarf, and I've done a left-cross cable instead of a right-cross.

Should be finished tonight, aside from sizing; only one foot left to go!

In the Garden: Indoors

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ok, so it's not -outside- in the garden, but I would hate my dear new friend to feel neglected. Currently undergoing light therapy to revive it's white and green variegation, this plant is an exciting new addition to my home (the basement, until I'm back in the dorm).

Marble Queen Pothos:
This Marble Queen Pothos was propagated from my mother's plant. She has owned it for several years, and I've always admired it. One day, I was bored and decided that everything outside was in order, and turned my attention indoors. Mom's pothos was long and overgrown, and after I pruned it there was a shamefully large pile of plant on the ground at my feet. I've been trying to excercise my green thumb this year, and couldn't bear to just toss the vines out. So, I quickly read up and tossed a few into water to grow roots. A few weeks later I had a glass full of new roots. I couldn't wait to pot the plant but was at a loss for what to use until I again, read up and discovered how to transplant into water. It was perfect! I had a lonely spaghetti jar with no use, bags of pea gravel laying around in the basement, and larger stones littered in the soil waiting to be dug up.
I thought I was conducting an experiment in pothos growing, and was excited when I saw the roots branching off in strong numbers in it's new container. The Indoor Garden Book said most plants can be grown using hydroculture, so why not a plant that readily roots in water(without the help of a rhizome powder)? Several articles online warned against it because of root rot and having still water, but I did find one little corner of the web that also has had success growing pothos with hydroculture, here. I think those shunners just didn't know what hydroculture really is. This article is good for identification, and basic tips.

No more Lollygagging

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hope that everyone had a wonderful 4th... and aren't going crazy back in the office.
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