Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tim Hawkinson At The Getty

One of the perks of my job is going to lectures, talks, etc. Today I went to a talk on the new instillation piece that Tim Hawkinson is going to hold here at the Getty.

Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson
March 6 - September 9, 2007

To inaugurate a series of artists' projects at the Getty Museum, internationally recognized Los Angeles-based artist Tim Hawkinson (American, b. 1960) has created four new works for first-time display. Zoopsia offers playful, alternative perspectives on the natural world. Concurrently, Überorgan, described by Hawkinson as a massive, self-playing, walk-in organ of balloons and horns, will be installed in the Museum Entrance Hall for its Los Angeles debut. Previously exhibited in Massachusetts and New York, Überorgan changes with each installation in response to the site. Typically incorporating household and industrial materials, and often mechanized to emit sound, evoke breath, or record the passage of time, Hawkinson's extraordinary art links form, process, and meaning to create unique and provocative viewing experiences.

I'm so excited! I hope I can hear *some* of the instillation's sound from my desk!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dish Towel

I've been a little bored with everything lately. I really want to start my new quilt, but I don't have all my fabric yet. I've been excited about sewing, so I made a new dish towel today.

Dish towel

Monday, January 29, 2007

In The Meantime

New fabric:

My new fabrics

I've been anxiously waiting for the fabric I ordered online to arrive. In the meantime, I picked up more fabric. I want this quilt to be huge, so as long as I keep buying fabric, the sooner I can cut, sew, and snuggle up in my new quilt!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Sweater Set

I had my acid-free paper cut this weekend, so I've been organizing the pictures per page. While I was looking through the pictures, I came across this one of my mom. I'm guessing it was taken sometime in the 70's, and she is wearing a sweater set made of the same fabric she gave me about 2 weeks ago.

Sometime in the 70's

The same fabric I made mittens out of.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fresh No Knead Bread

My dough looked beautiful this morning:
The rising dough

I made a double batch, so I baked half of the dough and cut the remainder into small portions and froze them for future mini pizzas. Here's the bread half:
No Knead Bread

Very chewy inside:
No Knead Bread

And I got to use my new Chefmate!
I found it!

Gotta Love The Dollar Days

While picking out some new nail polish at the local Rite Aid, I stumbled across their "dollar days" bins. I try to run the other way when I see them, because I know most of that stuff will just end up sitting unopened on a counter somewhere for the next few years, but I always have to look. Inside the cardboard bins of tacky treasures, I found something with potential.

It's something I've been searching for, but it had pencil edges, which I had to somehow remove.
Pencil Rik Rack

Luckily, this item was made of really cheap wood and I was able to just cut the pencil part off with some dull scissors.
Cutting off the pencil part

Add a little paint.
Painting it Red

And a solution to my empty kitchen wall was born!
Kitchen Rik Rack

Friday, January 26, 2007

Celebratory No Knead Bread

As I finally gave up on finding Target's Chefmate Cast Iron Casserole Pot, I read the post in Not Martha and discovered they have re-stocked the item! I immediately called Target stores in my area and was dissappointed to hear they were once again sold out. I decided to try the Target stores in my parent's area and found one right down their street! My mom offered to pick it up for me (she knows I've been looking for it) and tonight I will have it in my kitchen! In order to celebrate, I decided to bake a fresh batch of No Knead Bread.

The Start of Some Fresh No Knead Bread

Last time I made tried this recipe, I made it in a pyrex dish covered with foil. It still came out really good, but I'm excited to actually bake it in a cast iron pot, the way it was intended! The bread is in it's 12-18 hour resting phase now. I will post pictures of the outcome tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quilt # 2, In Progress

Ever since I finished my first quilt, I've been itching to get started on another one. I spend my days drooling over fabrics that I can't afford, but will make room for in my budget (who needs groceries, right?). I am anxiously waiting for this wonderful Amy Butler fabric, quite a few different Heather Bailey fabrics, and the fabric that inspired it all by Kaffe Fassett. Though I managed to splurge on some of my fabrics, I picked up others at Jo-Anne's for a lot less. I already started the cutting:

Some of the fabric for Quilt #2

I like these colors on their own, but I'm anxious to play around with the fabric I ordered online too. I'm not really using a pattern for this quilt, which might be a death wish for a beginner quilter, like myself, but I think making lots of squares until it's big enough should work out? I hope. I do have a back-up pattern, just in case.
Some of the fabric for Quilt #2

One thing I forgot to do before my cutting is pre-washing. I've been thinking about it all night (it's even effecting my dreams), and I was thinking of buying some mesh fabric and making a little bag to put my fabric in, so it won't get too frayed in the wash. I hope that works.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lace Candle Cozies

I love Valentine's Day issues of magazines. All holiday issues are good, for that matter, but there's so much love and lots of good crafts in the Valentine's Day issues! I got my Valentine's Day issue of Martha Stewart a few days ago and was inspried by her lace candle cozies. She made them a whole other way using starch, but I didn't have starch, so I improvised.

I went with a creme colored lace, it reminded of the 1920's.
The lace

I folded the lace to fit around the candle holder and sewed.
Sewing the lace

Then I just slipped the lace over the glass candle holder. Be careful not to catch the lace on fire!
The candles with their new lace cozies

I was thinking about makeing lace cozies for flower vases too. It could be a nice touch to a boring old vase.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Photo Albums

I haven't given up on my Acid-Free photo album transfer. I have spent the last few weeks looking for the perfect paper. I looked for a paper that was affordable, creme colored, on the heavy side, and the right size to fit in their original albums. I thought about going for a classic black album, but these originals have held our photos since the 70's, so I think they are part of the history and it would be shame to see them go:

Old Albums

Old Albums

Most paper that fit the description I wanted was scrapbook size, 12" x 12", came in a pack of 10 or 25 and cost more than I wanted to pay. My guess is I'll be needing well over a hundred pages to fill all the albums I want to do, so when I found Canson Classic Creme Drawing paper, I was overjoyed!

The old and the new

At a mere $3 per 24 pages, I thought it was a deal. The size is a little larger than I wanted, but it's nothing that can't be cut down. Now the challenge is in the binding. Before I start working on the pages, I want to make sure that there is a copy center in town who can help me with the spiral binding. I see potential problems there, because the spiral in the book is a little tricky to get to. I'll have to think of a Plan B in the meantime.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My First Moo Cards

Here are my first batch of Moo cards. I have a feeling ordering Moo cards might become an addiction for me, they are just too fun!

My Moo Cards

I'm already thinking of ideas for the next batch.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Leftovers

Today I hosted a Clothing Sale/Swap gathering with a bunch of girl friends. It was fun! So many great clothes, I managed to sell a big chunck out of my piles and sneaking in a few purchases too!

The aftermath:
Leftover clothes from the swap
Unfortunately, I didn't take a before picture, but this is a big improvement from the mess it was this morning.

For a mere $8, I got 2 dresses, a cardigan, and a shirt! I also said goodbye to a purse, a few shirts, dresses, a necklace, and some of my record boxes. It was a big success, I hope to have one ever year!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tomorrow I'm having a small gathering for a clothing sale/swap. I've been so swamped organizing my closet that I haven't been able to really prepare food or get any cooking/baking done for my guests. Today I managed some time to bake chocolate chip cookies:

It's funny how something so unattractive can taste so good:
The Ingredients

I think I like eating the dough more than the cookies:
The Batter

The cookies.
The Cookies

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Swear I Eat Other Things Too

Pizza is just so easy and fun to make! It's my low-maintenance food. This time I changed it up a little bit, using whole wheat dough, fresh basil and mushrooms.

Naked little pizza, pre-toppings.

Pre-Oven: I always pack the mushrooms on, because I do love mushrooms, but also because they tend to shrink.

Post-Oven: See, they do shrink!
Mushroom, Basil Pizza

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pencil Holder

Any candy tin will do.

The Tin and the fabric

I sewed a slip on cover for the tin out of oil cloth that matches my tablecloth. I couldn't find any magnets strong enough at the craft store, so I took one off an exsisting magnet I had and never used.
The magnet I ripped off another magnet

Instant pencil holder for my 'fridge!
The Pen Holder that used to be the mint tin!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Green Tea Cake

Today we are celebrating my friend, Ming's birthday. Ming makes it her daily mission to get everyone she comes in contact with to drink more green tea. When I saw Trader Joes sells a mix for green tea cake, it was just too perfect for the occaision.

Green Tea Cake Batter

Green Tea Cake

Green Tea Cake with Vanilla Frosting

I hope she likes it!

Monday, January 15, 2007


I made a pair of mittens from the fabric. I also started making a skirt (not pictured yet).


After organizing my fabrics, I got inspired to organize my closet. This might take me a few days, but I'll try to keep posting daily.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Vintage Knits

While visiting my parents this week, my mom showed me a secret stash of fabrics that her and my grandmother had been hiding away. There was a lot of bad, but there was one box of amazing vintage knit fabric!

Vintage Fabric

I took it immediately. So far, I think I'm going to make lots of mittens. Other than that, I'm not sure yet.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cupcake Pincushion: Attempt #2

I'm getting warmer, but still not quite there. I think the problem with this one is that it's too tall and the top is too big. I really like how the pins look a like sprinkles though.

Cupcake Pincusion

Cupcake Pincushion

I think I'll give myself a few days to think before I jump into this one again.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My First Quilt

I can't believe I actually finished it! It took me less than a week! I always imagined making a quilt took months, I'm sure some might. I have a feeling the next one I make will take a lot longer, because it will be bigger and hopefully I will have the patience to be a little more precise in my sewing. This was a huge step for me, but by the time I got to my border I just wanted to finish, so it's a little messy.

My first quilt

With this all done, I decided to clean the mess I've made by organizing my fabrics and craft tools:

Organizing My Fabric

Organizing My Fabric

It's amazing what zip locked baggies could do. I fit 2 boxes worth of fabrics into 1 box!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Quilt Top

Somehow, I managed to almost finish this quilt top last night. I might have, but I was 1.5 inches short on my border fabric. After work, I'll be heading over to Jo-Anne's to get some more of the floral fabric and make a 3" border all around my quilt top and then start the process of putting the layers of backing, batting and quilt top together. I'm all nervous and excited about it!

Quilt top, almost finished

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

While My Sewing Machine Gently Weeps

I was on a roll last night. I just kept sewing and pressing my squares out until my machine quit on me. I ended up taking it apart a few times, but I still couldn't figure out what was wrong. At that point, I decided to call it a night. I still think I got a lot done.

3 more
Rail Fence, Log Cabin, Four Patch, and Flying Geese

I'm pretty much finished with my Pinwheel square too, but that's when my machine gave up. All my measurments have been pretty accurate so far and I'm feeling good about that. Though, I did read my horoscope and it said "In this instance, even measuring twice and cutting once may not stave off the gremlins of imperfection. So, only make/bake/create something all over again if it's absolutely necessary." It's like the horoscope people know me!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Rail Fence

Instead of staying home and crafting all night, I went out with some friends (bad crafter, bad)! In order to actually go out, I told myself that I have to, at least, start part of my quilt stiching. So, I did the first block, the "Rail Fence" technique:

Rail Block

It looks kind of funny now, but all the measurments were right, so I'm sticking with it (at least for now I am).

Monday, January 08, 2007

Quilt Pieces

I cut all my quilt pices yesterday and now it's time to sew them together. This is where my nerves come in. I don't have the special 1/4" seam foot that most quilt websites and books recommend for sewing quilts, but I'm going to do my best. I want to do this one right, so I'm just going to draw a line on the fabric (in fabric pen, of course) and sew on the line.

The pieces have been cut

The fabric sizes vary, because each square is going to be a different one, so I can learn 6 new techniques.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Can It Be True?

Am I actually going to sew my first quilt? I've been talking about sewing a quilt for about 2-3 years now, it's become one of those "Before I die, I'm going to sew a quilt" kind of things. I got instructions for a beginner's quilt off of, the materials have been purchased and washed, so I think today is the day I begin. If you've read my blog before, you will know that I have a very "measure, schmesure" method, which is good for being lazy, but maybe not so good for quilting. I think this project is going to take me forever, but I'm definitely not going to rush it. Here are my fabrics:

Can you believe I'm actually going to try to sew a quilt?

I managed to get these all from Jo-Anne's for under $10. Let's see what I do.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My Kitchen

As per Nicole's comment, here are some pictures of my kitchen. I put them in order as if you were to walk through it, so right when you walk in and to the left is my fridge:

Pictures of my nephew and niece and some more coupons, of course. I haven't organized them yet, but now you know I wasn't kidding when I said they are everywhere!
The fridge

Next to the fridge is my sink and my mini garden. I love my little garden.
My Kitchen

And then we have the counter, that holds all kinds of fun junk.
Kitchen Counter

And the cabinets above the counter that holds all kinds of cups and plates.
Inside my cabinet

My Oven.
The oven

And finally, my kitchen table. The far wall kind of bugs me, it's so empty. I really want to find a rick-rackey vintage apron/pot holder thing, but I've been looking for one for about a year now, and I haven't fallen in love with anything yet.
Kitchen Table

Here's a detail of my table cloth, where I sewed gold sequins and black pom poms.
Close up on the Table Cloth

One of my favorite things about my kitchen are my curtains. I got the fabric from Repo Depot Fabrics and Jo-Anne's for the top part and pom poms. I used a brown diamond stitch, which brought it all together for me.
Kitchen Curtains

A close up:
Kitchen Curtains Close Up

More photos on my flickr.