Saturday, October 23, 2010

So Subversive This Week

Dear Kelly,

I completed two Subversive Cross Stitch designs this week. Rather than submit you and our dear readers to my crappy camera phone shots or sticking stuff in the scanner, I'm using photos from Julie's site.

I made"Candy Is Dandy But Liquor Is Quicker" for my dining room:

And "Shut Your Whore Mouth" for a co-worker friend:

Mine are framed in black, though. I'm thinking of buying some fancy molding, painting it gold and making my own fancy frames. This kind is so expensive!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Word 1 : neighborhood

Dear Readers,

It's the first day of the The Not-at-all Random Random Journal Project and Shayne has selected the first word from the Random Word Generator. The word is:


We have also both received the first "random object" (see rules for details) to incorporate into our spreads.

Let the games begin!

Shayne and Kelly

The Not-at-all Random Random Journal Project begins!

Dear Readers,

As originally mentioned in this post, we have decided to do a little cross-craftinental journal exchange. It took us a few weeks to work out the kinks (and send each other a random object -- see below for more on that) but here's how it is going to go:

1. We each have one copy of the exact same journal.

2. Every other Thursday (starting tonight!), one of us will use the Random Word Generator to choose a word and post it to the site.

3. We have 10 days to create a double page spread based on the chosen word, then ship the journal to the other person (ideally hitting the next 2 week mark).

4. Included with the journal is a random object for the other person to incorporate into the next spread.

5. On the 2 week mark, the person who did not choose last chooses a new word and posts it to the site.

6. Again, we have 10 days to create a double page spread based on the word and ship the journal off to each other in time to make the 2 week mark.

Repeat until the book is full.

We have created a special page to track our progress: The Not-at-all Random Random Journal Project page (with easy access from the button in the sidebar to the right -- >).

Ready for the action? Let's go!

Shayne and Kelly

Tater Tot

Dear Kelly,

I tend to say "later tater" when saying goodbye to people and that has turned into affectionately calling a co-worker "Tot." When I owed her a present (she chose to receive a mystery present) for helping me out with this stupid table of contents in a manual, I of course had to cross-stitch a tater tot. I have to admit--I'm impressed with myself and my realistic tater tot :)

(As usual, instead of taking a good picture, I stuck it in the scanner, but you get the idea :) )


Monday, October 18, 2010

Super fun hat for Jocelyn

Dear Shayne,

My friend Jocelyn (Hi, Jocelyn!) got married last year. I was supposed to host her bachelorette party then, but 2009 kind of fell apart on me, so it didn't happen. A year later, we had a "Jocelyn's Not a Bachelorette Party" for her instead. (She was very surprised.)

I cannot breathe without a theme, so I came up with one -- when she changed her name, she lost her previous middle name, so the party was "funeral" for that name.

Everyone wore black and, in the tradition of making bachelorettes wear a goofy hat/veil at these parties, I made Jocelyn a goofy hat/veil:
Crazy tiny hat: front

(It's hard to see, but there actually is a tiny little top hat buried in all of the feathers and tulle there -- click to see it larger.)

I had SO much fun making this hat, Shayne. I cannot even begin to tell you how fun it was. I giggled the entire time I was working on this. I think I may need to make a bunch of crazy little hats for myself and wear a different one every day of the week. It was that much fun. And it looked absolutely adorable on her.

I finished the back with a black veil and big black bow:
Crazy tiny hat: back

So. Much. FUN!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Little blackwork piece

Dear Shayne,

Love a quick cross stitch project -- here is the finished piece I showed you in this post.

Little blackwork piece

It fit perfectly in this frame... that I already had! (Love it when that happens.) I've already hung it up and everything. Whee! Completed project!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Dear Shayne,

Last year, we planted a lime tree and a lemon tree in our yard. I've always wanted to make limoncello, so that was the plan for the lemons. For the limes... margaritas, guacamole, gin & tonics... honestly, I didn't have a concrete plan for the limes.

This year, our lemon tree has produced a handful of fruit. Sadly, not enough for limoncello. Our lime tree on the other hand... it's having LIMES!

Although I had wanted to make limoncello, I figure... when life gives you limes, make lime-cello. (I'm not sure what to call it, actually. The Italian word for "lemon" is "limone" resulting in "limoncello," but the Italian word for "lime" is "calce" and "calcecello" seems weird to me, so I'm just saying "lime-cello" or maybe "lime-n-cello?" I'll take input on this -- comments welcomed.)

Since we had so many limes, we bought a bunch of 100 proof vodka and went to town. We have three large jars, so we divided the limes into 3 groups:
(Some of the baby limes were not much bigger than an acorn! So cute!)

Then I... zested!
And zested and zested and zested...
Lime-cello, Step 1: Zest!
(Note that I am also using a lime in my gin & tonic while zesting. Mmmm.)

While I was zesting, Bill was busy filtering the vodka through a Brita pitcher (and we joked about things getting dangerous if we were to mistake it for our regular water pitcher):
Lime-cello: filtering the vodka
(I have never smelled 100 proof vodka -- it smells like rubbing alcohol! Bill suggested I drive around town after I spilled some on myself. I declined.)

I used the recipe from LimoncelloQuest -- an amazing blog with true dedication to a perfect limoncello. He's got a recipe for lime-cello right here.

Here it is after I had dumped the lime zest into the vodka...
Lime-cello = Vodka + Zest

Shake it up and get... VERY green vodka!
Lime-cello is green!
(We did this on Sunday and it has already faded in color, so it won't be that toxic looking when we finish!)

It will have to sit for a few weeks, then we'll mix in simple syrup, let it sit some more, bottle the stuff, and cross our fingers. (We are hoping to give some of this away as gifts, but if it sucks, guess we'll have to keep it for home consumption.)

Of course, we couldn't let all that juice go to waste, so Bill worked hard squeezing all 80 (yes, 80) limes -- he got a full quart of lime juice!
Aaaand... lime juice!

We put it in ice cube trays and froze it. Did someone say margaritas? Mmmm!


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Itch to Stitch

Dear Shayne,

My very favorite blogger, the amazing Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy, has done it again with her latest book Embroidery Companion. There is so much to see in this book that I cannot even begin to sum it up.

The first time I flipped through it, one particular project absolutely entranced me. This blackwork sampler:
Embroidery Companion
I'm not entirely sure why I found it so mesmerizing, but I sure did. The project calls for 28 count evenweave, but I was absolutely itching to try one of those patterns out, so I cut a square of 14 count Aida cloth I had on hand and went to town:
Late night itch to stitch

Love, love, LOVE this. So simple, yet so perfect. Perhaps I'll do each one separately and frame each one their own? Not sure yet. Just had to get stitchin'.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I've been coloring!

Dear Shayne,

Whee! I've been coloring! I bought these notecards at Target during the recent Liberty of London craze. They were just begging to be colored, dontcha think?
Liberty of London cards from Tarzhay
And now I have pressed my trusty Sharpies into service! Here are a couple of cards I've colored...

Happy Sunflower!
LoL card #1: Colored Sunflower

I enjoyed this rainbow one...
LoL card #2: Rainbow

And got even more excited when I found I could also color the back:
LoL card #2: Double Rainbow!

I got a tad elaborate with this next one and then realized I could also do the back. Not sure if I'll continue the wacky or cut it into two and mount it on two additional cards:
LoL card #3: Crazytown

Gratuitous Hipstamatic shot of Sharpies:
Gotta say... coloring is FUN.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Creativity is...

Dear Shayne,

I am taking Kal Barteski's online class, Nurture Your Creativity + Be Bulletproof. This was the first project and I really enjoyed it. We were challenged to come up with a simple definition for "creativity" and boy, did that get my mind racing! Seems like there are a million ways to sum that up.

In the end, I defined creativity as "original thought." Once I got it down on paper, it sort of reminds me of "original sin," so maybe I should have said "thoughts," but then my mind went to "Original Gangster" so it's all good. (And kind of weird. Yeah!)

At any rate, we were supposed to write down our definition three times, using three different media in three different sizes, then hang them around the house.

I made the first one using my beloved Cricut:
Creativity is...

The second one was scrawled with silver Sharpie on a catalog photo of skeins of yarn:
Creativity is...

That was a little flimsy for hanging, so I mounted it to some cardboard and embellished it a bit:
Creativity, displayed.

Now it's tucked right above the mirror where I get ready every morning:
Creativity, displayed [longer shot]
(Oooh... moody night shots!)

I used letter stencils for the final one...
Creativity is...

And then clipped this guy to the squirrel tray:
Creativity definition in the wild

I must admit that posting these around the house does, in fact, remind me to seek out original thoughts. Yay!