2011 Reminiscence

12.31.2011


All over blog-land people are publishing their end-of-year posts: recapping, highlighting, resolving, regretting, reminiscing both sadly and happily... Every year has good things and bad things, and I think for me this was a year of balance.

Starting up this blog has been a wonderful thing for me! I have been really overwhelmed by the huge amount of traffic and readership I've gotten in just over a few weeks. Thank you everyone who has stopped by, and thank more if you commented, and most of all if you followed. It's nice to know there are people out there listening to my (often inane and bizarre) ramblings.

Thank you to the bloggers who featured my posts! The Shabby Nest featured my Progress? Possibly... post as last week's fan favorite, and Trish from Mom on Time Out picked my Mason Jar Terrariums as her favorite from Taking a Timeout Thursday #10!

So what's coming? I have so much on the burners it's really insane, like genuinely disturbing. My brain feels like a ping-pong ball ricocheting all over the place. First off, I decided to participate in project 366; a pic a day for 2012. If you follow me on Pinterest you'll see the pinboard, but instead of bombarding you with random pictures from my life, I'll just post once a week (Monday? Monday. Why not.) with a picboard for the week. As you can see from the pic at the top of this post, I'm practicing my digital-to-analog!

Incidentally, that totally awesome light-up-led keyboard was given to me this afternoon as an early anniversary gift from my awesome man. He noticed me fawning all over it and bought it for me. It's so freakin' cool, it's like little fairies barfed all over the keys. Ah yes, our 5 year anniversary is coming up next week. I will be blogging from high in the mountains, far, far away from suburbs and shopping malls and angry cashiers and red lights. Quiet solitude, books, sunsets, and good dark wine with the man.

In the short term I will be crocheting the Monster and trying out some amigurumi. I also have one last Christmas present straggler that I'm still working on for my closest friend, but I won't say what it is here on the *extremely* unlikely chance that he reads my blog. But it's definitely getting it's own feature post when it's done, it's that fucking awesome.

I've also got a few unusual and very useful tutorials coming for you! Hint: one involves repairing books, and another with upcycling for people who drink lots of wine, i.e., people like me. Will also be doing some traditional French cooking. Intrigued?? Follow along!

In the long term, I've got a whole mess of other projects to get started on, and life in general is gonna be crazy. 2012 will probably (hopefully) bring big changes for us! Maybe we'll get to move away? Somewhere that has seasons? It's 4:15 in the afternoon on December 31st and I'm sitting in front of an open window in a skirt and tank top. It's that warm. Georgia has a few nice features (ALLIGATORS) but the sweltering summers and tepid winters are not them. 

WOOHOO celebrating the passage of a chunk of time. We're ringing in 2012 by setting fire to a wicker goat.

Our house is always entertaining. Stay tuned.

Granny Stripe Progress!

12.28.2011

I've decided a weekly progress report is needed for the granny stripe blanket, now named The Monster. It's coming along quite... well, not quickly by any stretch. Just coming along. Slow and steady, with very few bouts of shrieking and cussing. Although I have learned to hate the way the end of the yarn is always lost in a parallel dimension inside the skein. Seriously, end-of-yarn. I hate you.

I am loving my colors though! It makes me happy to look at. It's surpassing scarf-width now; a couple nights ago I put it on like one and pretended it was strangling me. And then the man took my drink away.

Last night I picked up some yarn to try to crochet some little amigurumi fishies or owls or something. My friend Jacquie over at Life Lived Gracefully inspired me to try it. She's just chock full inspiration and aspiration, seriously check her out. (Wait... is that a word? I mean she aspires to stuff. Not that she is aspirated. I think that means having a breathing apparatus or something. She definitely doesn't have one of those. She is a fully-functioning breather. holy shit I'm way off track.) 

Amigurumi will be another brand spanking new hobby for me. We shall see how long my attention holds out. Isn't the yarn pretty though? The picture does not do it justice; that yellowish color is actually this really gorgeous chartreuse that my eyes just want to make out with. It's yummy.


And this is how the man entertains himself when I drag him to craft stores: 


In closing I leave you with a philosophical question. Why, when tracking back a link to my blog did I find it listed under "Tu Zagladam?" Google tells me it means "DOOM HERE" in Polish. Apparently I need to apologize to the Polish. I'm sorry, Poland. I will stop dooming.  


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, or if you're thinking "thanks a lot, now I need a drink," follow me! I am also on Pinterest and Bloglovin'. I promise I don't usually spread doom.

Tip Junkie handmade projectsSomewhat Simple

Holidays 2011


Santa personally delivered all of our gifts in a balloon. What a nice guy.

The holidays in our house generally go from Halloween to around New Years Eve. This is absolutely my favorite time of year! I love the sparkly lights, the cold, the snow, the gift-giving, the smell of fresh pine, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, and the anxious anticipation of a child, which I never seem to have outgrown. We celebrate pretty much every winter holiday, from a variety of traditions, in our house.

Unfortunately this year was a bit cracked out so we didn't have the tree or the decorations, minus a squat little pumpkin left over from Halloween. But we still had a wonderful Yuletide season, capped off with Christmas day, and a horde of gifts for each other and our canine children.


Yes, we wrap the dogs' presents. Yes, they know what that means, and they unwrap them just like a person would. It's adorable. They get so excited when they see piles of presents, and they anxiously start nosing at them till we pass them out.



Molly doesn't fuck around. She rips off the paper and tears out the goods.

Ozzie's delicate. He peels off the paper and gently removes his toy.

 Ozzie is so freakin' twitchy it's near impossible to get a clear picture of him. Oh well.
Watson just digs it out and chows down.
Why yes. I AM adorable.
Aren't I pretty? May I have another?


 Resisting a wood joke. Actually, that's an embroidery frame. Courtesy of the hottie:

Dang.
He's mine. You can't have him.



This all ended with the dogs passed out in the canine equivalent of an excitement/sugar coma and us driving all over trying to find a grocery store open on Christmas day. Did you know Walgreen's carries sausage, eggs, and crisco? We do now.

Succulent Frame Tutorial

12.23.2011

It's always a challenge gift shopping for my artistic, talented, inspiring mother. Browsing around Etsy I came across Katie Daisy's beautiful art at The Wheatfield. She had a lovely watercolor of a quote by Lord Byron that I thought really reflected my Mother's natural spirit.

When it arrived, it was even prettier than I expected! Very high quality printing, and such a sweet girl, she included a free little extra. Such a treat! My Mom will adore it.

Such a pretty picture deserves a pretty frame that showcases it's aura of natural wonder. I decided to pick up a distressed wood frame and embellish it with living succulent plants. I bought a piece of driftwood and several shells. Here is the tutorial! It's deceptively easy, and so beautiful!

You will need:
  • A frame
  • Some little succulents
  • A piece of holey driftwood
  • Several shells
  • Some moss
  • Cactus dirt
  • Epoxy glue (I used gorilla glue epoxy)
  • A beautiful picture to frame


Choose a piece of wood that has just a few large holes. If it's too "holey" the dirt and moss will fall out. You can use moss from outdoors, but make sure it's completely dry! I had some leftover from the Mason Jar Terrarium tutorial.


Stuff the moss into the wood. Really jam it in there. Don't be shy.



Gently separate the plants from the majority of their dirt. Protect the roots as much as you can, but trim off any really long pieces.


Make a little space with your finger in the moss. Drop a bit of fresh cactus dirt inside.


Gently place the plants in their new homes. They will be loose at first. Be very careful with them.


These are the tiny little baby succulents I chose for the seashells. Same drill as for the driftwood.



Now mix up your epoxy. The stuff stinks like hell but is a million times better than hot glue. Just follow the instructions and don't inhale the fumes.


Spread the epoxy very thickly where you will place the wood and shells. VERY thickly. Don't worry too much about making a mess, we'll clean up the frame when it's dry.


Now place the pieces. This takes some fiddling. Get them in place and shove something up against them so they don't fall. It only takes about ten or fifteen minutes to dry.


In the meantime, have some grownup grape juice.


Now that it's dry, take some fine grain sandpaper and scrub out all your epoxy dribbles. If you used a natural, distressed frame like I did, it'll look just fine.


And finished! So pretty! Can't wait to give it to Mom for the Holiday!


The plants will be very delicate in their spaces for a few weeks at least. Succulents grow very slowly, so be careful with them until they take root. Water only occasionally, and even then just use a little dropper. Succulents will die quickly if overwatered.

Thanks for reading! If you liked the Succulent Frame Tutorial, please follow me! (c'mon do it. DO IT. peeeeeeer pressure. this is your brain on my blog. um, lol. btw I'm a freakin' weirdo.) I'm on Pinterest and Bloglovin' too. Scissors and Steam is still shiny and new so please share with your friends and help spread the word! I've got TONS more where this came from. :)


Ninth Street Notions
Tip Junkie handmade projectsSomewhat Simple

The Refrigerator Is Not For General Storage, Jamie

So I got up this morning, made the coffee, reached in the fridge, took out the milk, and found this:
That, my friends, is a tub of bookbinding glue. Apparently, after finishing up my friend Jacquie's Christmas present, I decided in my infinite wisdom that glue needs to be refrigerated. Also, this wise part of me forgot to inform the rest of me, so it's been in the fridge for about two days without me or anyone else noticing. Way to go, Me.

In other news, you may remember from this post that over here we've been working our way through every Harry Potter movie. As a result, the husband has been perfecting his Snape voice and I've been swooning.

He decided that we should retrain our dogs to respond to magic spells. Now, our dogs are very well-behaved except for when they're not, so they don't really need retraining. But nothing screams "I'M A GIANT NERD!" quite like yelling "ACCIO OZZIE! ACCIO WATSON! ACCIO MOLLY!" at a dog park full of southern suburbanites.

What do you think? Should we do it?? If we do I'll totally post a video! What other spells would be good? Chime in, we need accomplices!



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Name Change Alert!

12.21.2011

Okay so my original thinking with Suspenders Scissors Steam was sort of logical in picking that name, but I've decided it's just too cumbersome. Better to switch it now rather than later. But ACCCKKK I did it and now the original url points at nothing. SAD FACE!!!! Oh well.

So if you are looking for suspendersscissorssteam.blogspot.com, you have come to the right place!

Progress? Possibly.





Like Scissors & Steam on Facebook to join the giveaway!

I have spent the last several evenings working my way through every Harry Potter movie and stitching away on the monster blanket. I've decided that's its name. The Monster. An hour and a half per row. What the hell was I thinking when I made it so freakin' huge? Someone please tell me. Then slip some antipsychotics into my coffee. I obviously need them.

Despite the endless hooking (I can't say that without sounding like a streetwalker) and the carpal tunnel I now have, it's actually going fairly well. I've mainly been using this tutorial at Attic 24. So far I've only had to rip out maybe a third of a row, when I missed a dc in a cluster way far back. It was traumatizing, so now I'm being more careful about checking as I go along.

Had a delicious evening with the man at Naan Kabab, a wonderful Pakistani restaurant in Augusta. I had this amazing vegetarian platter with falafels, hummus, baba ganoush, dolmas, yogurt salad, and fresh baked naan:
And the man had this lamb dish with decadent scented rice. Can't remember what it's called, but the lamb was so tender it fell off the bone. I'm mostly vegetarian, but I admit I couldn't resist several bites.
We also ordered veggie pakoras with a sweet/sour/savory chutney that was probably the most wonderful thing on the table. I kept harrassing the lovely waitress to tell me what it was, but she couldn't think of what it was called in English; hopefully the transliterated version will help me track it down. Still, it was wonderful. Always a treat to visit this place.

Oh, and the elderly couple sitting in the corner were laughing at me. Apparently they're not used to adults making fools of themselves and taking pictures:
Let's see how embarrassing I can be in public!
Hey that elderly dude thinks I'm an idiot. Awesome!
It's finally raining! Gonna be a nice lazy day. I'm pretty tired; I had to keep getting up last night because our fireplace backed up in the middle of the night and pumped smoke through the house. Nothing like standing on the front lawn in a bathrobe at 3:00 AM while fans blow smoke out your front door! Sigh.


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