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So much to knit, too little time to knit it

Happy Socktober everyone! Whenever I’m browsing knitting patterns I’m bound to find one for socks, and I always feel like I have to cast on right away and start knitting. Which is funny because I wouldn’t say I like feet all that much, but when I see lovely photos of people’s piggies covered in beautiful hand knit creations, I just can’t get enough. Lacey socks, cabled socks, striped socks, color block socks, whimsical socks, crazy socks, I want to make them all! I’ve got a pair on my needles right now, and on most evenings you can find me sitting on the couch next to Husband knitting away while we watch HGTV or Game of Thrones or even occasionally an Eagles game. I’d show you some photos, but it’s a secret project and I don’t want the wrong eyes catching a sneak peek! Maybe after they’re done and gifted, if I remember to snap some photos of them!

After I’m done with these there are so many other socks I want to knit! I’ve been going a little knitting crazy over on my Pinterest, posting all the things that I am so eager to knit, but never enough time to do it. The other thing I’m drooling over right now is fair isle knits, which I’ve done a little of but I still want to learn more about it. Knit up in gray and mustard and burgundy and brown, fair isle just screams fall to me.

Now that I think about it, with everything there is to knit, Husband and I will probably be watching a lot of TV/movies this cold season! And I am very OK with that.

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A date night creation

Mmm, summer is such a lovely season, especially here in the city! I am currently typing this at a cute little cafe downtown, after having just enjoyed a delicious iced latte. On my way here (walking of course) I just couldn’t help thinking how lucky I am to call this little city home. It’s so nice to be able to walk anywhere and everywhere here. Even though we live on the western edge of town it’s only a 15 minute walk to get downtown. My husband and I take advantage of that fact a lot, we often find ourselves walking the streets to various activities and restaurants. The weekend before this past weekend we decided to take advantage of the “date night special” at the Pottery Works where we got half off our studio fees for painting some pottery. I love getting to be creative, my husband liked the idea of getting another flower pot, and we both loved saving some cash, so it was pretty perfect.

I probably should have taken some photos of Husband’s flower pot but I kind of forgot. Oops. But it’s now the new home for our little jade plant so maybe it’ll show up in a future post! I made this fun little yarn bowl though!

Yarn bowlThis isn’t something that I really needed but I thought it might come in handy. I’m a huge fan of all of the designs made by Rifle Paper Co., ever since someone gave us a set of coasters by them for our wedding. I mean, just go and look at everything, it’s so gorgeous and will probably make you want to put wallpaper all over your entire house. Anyway, because of this I decided to do my own little floral design. What do you think? I wish I’d chosen a blue a few shades lighter than the one I went with, but I’m still really happy with the finished product!

3 viewsI know it works well because I’ve been using it as I work on this cardigan (which I think I mentioned in a previous post!). I’m so excited to get this finished! Here’s a peak at my progress.

Cardigan back

Thanks for reading, I’m going to finish up for today and go enjoy some more of that lovely summer sunshine, I hope you get a chance to do that too!

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My mustard yellow impulse buy

We have never had enough dishcloths around the apartment. It hasn’t been a huge issue, rather something that’s been nagging at the back of my thoughts ever since we moved in. I figured next time I’m at Target I’d just pick up some extra dishcloths, but the problem is I never remembered. So the other week I went out to buy some yarn for a light cardigan I wanted to start knitting (yes, in preparation for fall. Or maybe the next fall considering how long it takes me to finish knitting a garment for myself) and I saw this mustard yellow cotton yarn sitting on the shelf, calling out to me. There was even a dishcloth pattern right on the label. So I picked it up. I managed to restrain myself from getting one skein in every color, (there was also coral and a light teal…I mean, come on. Swoon!) but then I brought it home and started working on the cardigan and nearly forgot about the dishcloth.

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That is until today. I picked it up and just a little while later I was sitting pretty with a fun new sunny yellow dishcloth to brighten up my kitchen. And who knows, maybe it will even make doing the dishes more enjoyable. Doubtful, but a girl can hope.

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This dishcloth crocheted, using a single crochet chain 1 pattern. It was super fast, super easy, and the finished product will be super useful. Win win win, my favorite kind of crochet projects.

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I like it so much, I’m definitely going back for the other colors someday soon!

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Inspirations

Have you ever had one of those days when you just didn’t know what to say? I mean, basically, everything has been said already, it’s just a matter of combining what’s already been said in a different way in order to make it “new” again. But I’m not here to discuss the philosophical today. I’m here to share some of the inspirations that I’ve found lately. Mostly via Pinterest. And this post is going to be mostly images. Because today is just one of those days.

courtney heimerl quilts
Gorgeous quilt via Cortney Heimerl

DIY baby shoes
Absolutely adorable baby shoes via http://postris.com/popular-pin/44490/0/repins/30/diy-/0/

Crochet Diana Dreamer Purse (Size 6.5 inch)
What a fun purse via meemanan


This Valle Jacket via Anthropologie

In The Woodland Large Mug
This super fun woodsy mug via JuliaDavey

Plaid Navy Blue Scarf, Infinity Scarf, Men's scarf, Loop scarf
And finally, this perfect-for-him scarf via Oyetascarf

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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New Journals

As promised from last week here are images of my newest journals for sale, plus a bonus at the end of the post! (You can have any of these journals, just click any image to go straight to its shop page!)

First up is Daily Strengths, the book I was working on in this post. DS1

Next is Horace, a special book because it includes a few pages from the original text bound right in with the blank pages.H1

Then we have Youth, a book that was actually bound with three different types of paper, for those who like a little bit of variety in their life.Y1

So those are the newest books, and again, they can be yours if you come on over to my etsy shop!

And now for the surprise, here is a prototype I’m working on, they’re like a bouquet of flowers that never die and can go with any decor (because I can literally make them in any color). I’m not sure what to call them yet though, what do you think I should call them? blog-pic

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To Bind a Book

The process of an artist is always so inspiring for me to see. To watch as raw materials are transformed into the final product is just amazing to me. Maybe you can chalk it up to watching too many Picture Picture segments during episodes of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood when I was younger. Whatever the reason, I thought it would be nice to show my process from taking a vintage book and loose pages and creating a blank journal. Someday maybe I’ll get a nice video like Mr. Rogers showed, but for now you’ll have to satisfy yourself with simple photographs.

to bind a book First, I find a book that has a lovely cover that’s in good shape. If the cover is in rough condition it will not do well in the gutting and refilling process and just won’t last long as a journal before the cover starts to fall apart. So here’s a book I got for a great deal at a yard sale in April.

 

 

 

to bind a bookOnce my book is picked out, I carefully cut down the spine on inside the covers to remove the book block. When I first started re-purposing old books, I found out that it is very easy to cut too far and actually make a hole in the small gutter area of a book between the cover and the spine, so now I know to be very careful. The whole process requires a lot of care and precision, otherwise I’d end up with a sloppy book that just won’t look nice.

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Once the book has been gutted, I measure the original book pages and cut my new journal paper down to the correct size. You’ll notice my ruler there is upside-down, that’s because having the metal edge flush against the paper gives a much more accurate cut. I use acid free paper that is made with a minimum of 30% post consumer fibers.

 

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I cut enough papers to be roughly half as tall stacked together as the original book block, but I also make sure to have a number that is divisible by three because….

 

to bind a book

 

 

I then fold each paper in half and put them into groups of three. These groups of three are called signatures. In this particular book I had a total of 14 signatures.

Note: I don’t actually fold paper with one hand like this, but I was holding a camera in the other hand, so what’s a girl to do?

 

to bind a book

 

Once all the signatures are folded and put together I have to create a guide and poke holes in each signature for the thread to go through. Each hole should be in the exact same spot on each signature to ensure a neat bind.

to bind a book

 

 

Then it’s time to thread the needle and start sewing. I use quilter’s thread most of the time for my projects, it’s a strong polyester/cotton blend that holds the pages together well, without being too strong that it tears through the paper.

 

to bind a book

 

 

Here’s a shot of all the signatures bound together!

 

 

 

 

to bind a book

 

Once the book has been bound, for this kind of journal I need to add what is called super to the spine. For open-backed books such as this one I don’t include this step, but when I keep the existing spine I add the super because it adds strength and durability to the binding and it also removes the inevitable gaps that appear between the signatures.

 

to bind a bookTo add the super I cut a piece and then center it on the spine and then fill up my brush with glue and brush it over top. I have to make sure I get into all the little cracks between signatures to close up all the gaps. Again, due to holding a camera with one hand I wasn’t able to get great shots of this part of the process.

to bind a book

 

 

After the super has been added I put wax paper around it and put it into my nice little book press and let it dry for about a day.

 

 

 

to bind a book

 

 

After it comes out of the press it’s finally time to add the new book block into the old book cover. Carefully I brush a thin layer of glue onto the cover and then attach the first page of my block. I use a bone folder to flatten out and rub the page to get it really stuck down. Then it’s the same thing on the back cover.

to bind a book

 

Again, I put wax paper between the front and back covers so as to protect the rest of the book from any possible drips of glue. Then in the book goes to the book press for another day. You can see here that I’m pressing a few books at the same time, I just made sure to arrange them biggest to smallest to get the most even distribution of pressure on them.

 

And since the books are still in the press drying, I don’t actually have an image of the finished product. Check back next week and I’ll have some shots of all four of those books you can see being pressed in the last image. Let me know if you have any questions about the process, I’d love to answer them!

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Just another ripped jeans story

After discovering a hole in my favorite pair of jeans, I was quite dismayed. The number of times I’ve had to throw in the towel on a pair of jeans has been, well, a lot. It makes me want to just be done with the whole thing. Wearing jeans, I mean. First there’s the ordeal of finding a pair that even fits. Then there’s the whole price-tag shock when you realize you have to pay double for this single item of clothing than what you had wanted to in the first place. But then you tell yourself, “That’s OK, I’m making an investment, these jeans are going to last me a while.” and you take the glorified denim up to the check-out counter. Then you experience somewhere around a year or so of blissfully comfortable days in your nice new jeans. They make you feel casual and cool, they go with you almost everywhere.

But then. They slowly begin to decline. You notice a few spots wearing thin and you realize you only have a short time left. You wear them less often, pulling them out only for special occasions, trying desperately to prolong their life and dreading the day when you’ll have to venture back out to the mall to find a new pair of jeans. No matter how tenderly you care for your precious jeans though, the day finally comes when the threads begin to gently pull apart and leave you with a gaping hole that will only grow with time. Sure, you can patch them, but eventually you have to say good-bye.

That’s how it will be with this pair. I’ll try a patch but I’m not even sure that will work. I can’t give up wearing jeans indefinitely, but I’m thinking if I had more skirts and dresses, I might wear jeans less often, therefore making the “investment” they are a little more worthwhile. So I’ve been looking at some patterns. I’ve been meaning to take on a clothing sewing project, and now I have the encouragement I need to take the trip out to the fabric store and buy a pattern.

This is the dress style that I’m currently crushing on:

I’m thinking if I can find a nice floral fabric I could try to replicate the look with one of these two patterns:Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.50.03 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.51.59 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll let you know how it goes!