Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's celebration recipes

I thought I'd share a few things I'm making to help ring in 2013. Seeing as we have a low-key celebration planned, I'm getting super excited about the food (even more than usual!) We're not making anything fancy, but still yummy things are in store...

Tonight I'm taking these easy Peanut Butter Cookies to my friend's house. She's serving us brats, olives, cheese and crackers and a little wine, so I needed to add something sweet to the menu.

Tomorrow morning, we're having these at Chez Jansen, along with crispy bacon and fancy coffees with frothy almond milk, thanks to my new milk frother! I found this donut pan and am excited to put it to use! Hope you have a delicious celebration, too! 

365 day challenge

Are you up for it? I'm going to take the 365 day photo challenge. This, of all years, will be a hard one
to stick to, but I know I can find one thing a day to photograph. We are getting a new camera and though I'll probably use my iPhone a lot, this will also force me to get out the camera and be a better photographer. I'm not going to try to stick to one theme because I know that after May the theme will be Baby Bird :) So, I'll do a 'snippet of my day' photo challenge. This is a picture of Mattie 'enjoying' her new sweater, to get me going on this last day of 2013. Ready to start tomorrow with Day 1!  Will you join me?

2013 smart resolutions

I was inspired by Emma at A Beautiful Mess to create realistic, smart goals for 2013. We have a big year ahead of us, with baby coming in May, but I think setting some well-thought-out resolutions will still make sense for me to do. I don't typically do this and last year's goal was way too unrealistic for me (organize one thing a day...yeah...). Here goes:

1. Walk at least 3 weekday mornings per week. I put it on our calendar and we already got to this one today. We take walks sometimes during our free time, but if we take one in the mornings before we start our day we will both feel better!

2. Organize one thing a month. This is much more realistic for me. I need to sit down and make a list of things to organize for the year. 12 things is much less overwhelming than 365! Poor goal-setting last year :)

3. Get rid of at least 5 things per month. This could be anything...selling some of those things on eBay or at the consignment shop, recycling those things, giving them away to Goodwill or just throwing them away if they're not usable anymore. We've both gotten better at going through things, but this will keep it in the forefront of our minds and with a baby coming (and lots of stuff with her!) this will become even more important. It will make our next move SO much easier, too!

4. Be ok with sitting down and putting my feet up! This may seem like an odd 'goal,' but even though I'm 5 months pregnant, I still feel a bit guilty every time I sit down and I'm not doing anything. Making lists and goals of what I can do will help me feel better about actually relaxing a bit. This will become very important once Baby Bird gets here, too. For a while I will need to recover from child birth and will also need to soak in the loveliness of little one, so I need to stop feeling like a slacker for sitting, enjoying, being still.

I hope you'll be inspired to sit down and make some smart goals for yourself. Follow Emma suggestions of being specific and realistic. This was a great exercise for me! Happy New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Red Velvet visit!

Just before Christmas, my mom, SIL and I got to make a little trip from Bentonville up to Springfield, MO to check out the brick and mortar shop of one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. Here we are in front of the shop.

We also (through the lovely blog) found an amazing lunch spot, Aviary Cafe and Creprie. If you are ever within a somewhat respectable distance from Springfield, you MUST go. Definitely get the brussel sprout appetizer and the Nutella crepes. Oh. My. I'm craving them already, but Portland is a little far to visit often, sadly. We had such a fun day!

Red Velvet in Springfield

Thursday, December 20, 2012

baby bird's nursery inspiration board

I've put together an inspiration board for Baby Bird's room. The blanket in the corner is one I've already started and is kind of the start of the color inspiration. Soft, muted, grey-pastels with small touches of other colors is what I'm going for. The "You Are My Sunshine" artwork I'll make myself in softer tones. Can't wait to get back home after Christmas and begin!!!

(links to all of these images can be found on my Pinterest board Little Ones. The fox pull is from Anthropologie- must get soon!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cowboy Cowl finished!

I finished my Cowboy Cowl last week and finally got around to taking a photo. I am loving it and you can never go wrong with Madelinetosh yarn. I used the 80/10/10 Worsted for this project, in color Antique Lace. It took just over 2 skeins. You could easily cut out one of the repeats on the cowl part and it'd probably still be plenty cowl-y if you wanted to stick to 2 skeins. This was really fun to make and fairly quick, even though it's a large piece. Happy Knitting!

Christmas hat

Just finished this cute Christmas/winter hat and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The pattern is Twinklebaum by Thea Eschliman on Ravelry. I used Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool worsted and I am in love with this yarn.

The pattern is great because it gives you many yarn weight options as well as 2 size options. I made the larger hat in the worsted weight yarn. It calls for size 6 needles, but I went up to 7's because of the color work. I find that even though I'm typically a very even knitter, stranded color work tends to bunch a little, so going up one needle size generally works great. I opted for only a 1 1/2" ribbing on the bottom instead of the folded brim like the pattern says. Just a personal preference.

I hope you'll try it out! It will be so cute to wear when we go here in January, too :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

gender reveal party for baby bird :)

Last night we had a party for my family to reveal the gender of our baby. Here is the fun table I set up with the voting board, reveal cake and banners...

Pinky wore a shirt given to him by a friend a few months back. :) is the cake! It's a girl!!!!!!

We couldn't be more excited. All of her cousins closest to her age are girls, so that will be so so fun. My family drove me nuts over the past few days between the ultrasound and the reveal party. We had to wait for Pinky to get to town Sunday night before we could share the big news though. What's exciting is that I had a dream very early on that I met myself as a little girl and it's fun to know my hunch was correct :) I guess having grown up with 2 brothers, I always saw myself having boys, and I would've been super excited about a little boy...but I must admit decorating for, knitting for, and dressing up a little lady will be SO much fun. It couldn't have been a more exciting time of year to share this news. I love Christmas time!! And now, the shopping for cuteness begins...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

found a lovely vintage book for baby bird...

Saturday morning glow

I think one of my favorite things about this time of year is waking up in the mornings to only Christmas lights illuminating our least for the first hour or so. The glow is so lovely as I start my day, especially on the weekends. I appreciate the overcast days here in Portland most mornings, as I can ease into the day with the soft grey light and I think the Christmas lights allow me the same courtesy. 

Above is the start to my Cowboy Cowl knitting project, using the Madelinetosh loveliness I mentioned in the previous post. I'm loving this project so far and can't wait to finish. It will be stylish coziness for my neck all winter long! I also indulged by using my rosewood needles for this project. I have a few pairs of them and they don't work for everything, due to the heavy cord, but the feel is SO lovely and they glide right along as you knit. Plus, they're beautiful...

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here. I usually put everything up in one day, but this year I wanted to update the tree decorations, so it's taking me a little longer. I did find these great felt snowflakes at Target the other day and I'm really happy with their addition to the tree. 

I know the smart thing for me to do is to wait until AFTER Christmas to buy new decorations...I'm trying my best! 

In baby belly news, I continue to see baby bird make more of an impact on the belly every. day. Whew. I'm still amazed at this process, and honestly a little terrified at it, but am in awe that I'm actually creating a life everyday. Oh the pressure! What a wonderful time of year to be at the most enjoyable part of pregnancy. I finally have energy and feel like a normal person, with a growing belly of course...We find out the gender on December 12. I think I've mentioned that, but I am SO excited! It's great that people wait to find out, but I cannot. imagine. doing. that! I'm beside myself awaiting the news. 

Happy weekend everyone and thanks to the Gatherings Magazine Linky Party Contributors! Looking forward to finding out about all of your wonderful blogs over the next couple of days. Thanks to Liz at LizlovesVintage for hosting the link party! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

on the needles...and...the belly!

Woo! Got the knitting bug back, last night. My friend Gwyneth was talking about this pattern, The Cowboy Cowl, that I've wanted to make for ages. I decided I'd cast on right then! Very excited about wearing this soon! It's so so beautiful.

I'm using Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted in Antique Lace for this project. It's a lovely fawn brown/grey. I believe it'll take 2 skeins. It's so soft and squishy and gorgeous. I love Madelinetosh. I would highly recommend joining their biannual sweater club if you haven't yet. I have a great stash of their yarn now in different weights and in sweater quantities, all because of the club. They let you break out the payments into a monthly payment over 6 months and you get 3 sweaters-worth of yarn per club membership. It's fantastic. Check it out here... The current club is closed, but if you sign up for updates you can get notified when the new one opens. 

In baby news, I now have a proper bump. Wow. It really just showed up this week all of a sudden. Maybe it was all of the indulging in Thanksgiving deliciousness, but I think it's actually a baby in there and it's so weird! And amazingly awesome, all at the same time. Here is proof:

Wow! And people are actually excited about seeing my's crazy, and flattering, and yes, still weird, but lovely. See the fuzzy fleece I'm wearing? Apparently baby bird is addicted to fleecy sweaters because I have purchased 2 in the last week...things I would not really have worn before, but they ARE. SO. COZY. I also scored a lovely Brigger rocking chair today for a steal at the most amazing thrift store ever near my house. It is a nice wooden, modern rocker with a light grey wool seat pad and pillows for your lower back and head. Love. it. More to come on baby in the near future, I'm sure :)

Until then, happy Christmas decorating! I'll show some lovelies I found for our tree soon...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

create your own font

Good morning! I wanted to share a fun new activity I've been a little obsessed with the last few days. I saw Elsie's post, over on A Beautiful Mess, about an iPad app that allows you to create your own font. I tried it out and have been having a blast! I wanted to share it with you. The app is called iFontMaker

You can easily create fonts with your finger, but Elsie suggests using the Bamboo stylus for iPad so, being the designer I am,  of course I had to order one and try it out. If you really get into this I definitely suggest the stylus. It makes things much easier to control. The fonts only take about 30 minutes or so to create, maybe even less. That's what's so nice about this app is that they make it super easy. When finished, you publish a .ttf file that is easily imported into your fonts on your computer. 

Here I added some text to a picture of my sweet sleeping pup. This font I created is called Quirly. 

And here is an example of a photo of mine using one of Elsie's fonts she shared on her site. 

Lastly, here is a photo that I added text to with just my Bamboo stylus and tablet, done in Photoshop, ie. this is freehanded and not my actual font. I wanted to show the difference. I love both, but this photo took me twice as long to create, so if you're illustrating many photos it is so handy to have your own personalized font!

I'm still having fun playing around with my font creations. If I come up with some I'm really excited about, I'll be sure to share them with you! Enjoy and happy weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

almost have the knitting bug back...

As many of you know, the first trimester of pregnancy can be, well, icky to say the least. I was fortunate to be able to eat ok through my first 13 weeks, but I sure did feel carsick most of the time, woozy and a little dizzy. Needless to say, that cut down on my desire to knit, considerably. As I start to feel better though and look at adorable little patterns, I'm noticing the growing desire to have something on my needles. I'm thinking I'll start with these two lovely patterns and go from there :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

exciting news!

My sweet pup Mattie has something to share:

We are so so excited! It's wonderful to (finally!) be able to share the news. That has been the hardest part so far! (besides feeling icky). We couldn't be happier to welcome in this next part of our lives. Look out for the baby photos and postings on cute baby stuff to roll in... Sadly, I've not had the knitting bug lately, but I'm sure that will pick up any day now. I've been stashing away adorable baby patterns for a while, so watch out! Thanks for sharing in our excitement :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Article in Gatherings Magazine

I'm so excited to be a part of the latest issue of Gatherings Magazine. Included is a piece on how I find inspiration, along with photos of my supplies and creations. The article, "A Southern Girl Moves West" is on page 106. Here is a link to view the issue online:
I hope you'll check out this lovely magazine!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Importance of eating non-GMO

I truly believe in this post. Please watch even a little bit of this video and buy non-GMO/organic food. Genetically modified foods are definitely affecting our health. Do your part in bringing this scary secret to light so we can all live healthier.

Great film explaining findings of GMO foods:

A helpful shopping guide to find products that have taken the non-GMO pledge:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More socks. Finished.

More socks. Finished. by elletrain
More socks. Finished., a photo by elletrain on Flickr.
Loving these socks I finished last week. 3x1 ribbing is my new favorite!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

neon footlets and becoming a sock knitter...

New socks!

Well, I never thought it would happen. I've become a sock knitter! Yes, I have made socks before, but now I actually want to have a pair on the needles at all times. Wow. I credit it all to learning to knit them 2-at-a-time from the toe up on one needle. Brilliant. If you'd like to learn this method, check out the book by Melissa Morgan Oakes, Toe-Up, 2-at-a-Time Socks. She explains the method and tips for getting a sock that fits your foot perfectly. My neon footlets, the socks above, are a combination of her knitting method and the pattern Padded Footlets, by Mary Snyder in the book Favorite Socks, from Interweave Press. I skipped the padded foot and did them from the toe up...a little trick I used for the lace chart...turned it upside down! It worked perfectly.

Here are the socks on my needles now. I started them to take on our camping trip this past weekend. Socks are such a great traveling project, especially when you're in a dusty campground :) I'm using the same method on these and making them up, but the ribbing design is inspired by violaviola's Dream Socks. They are so beautiful! I'm using Hazel Knits Artisan Sock yarn (brown) and my beloved Koigu Painted Premium Merino for the grey (which will also be on the heels and possibly the top ribbing).

Ribbed socks

I really used to be a fan of knitting socks on double pointed needles. I loved the small needles and loved knitting around and felt quick. BUT, when you finished the first sock, then you had to do the second one. Boring! :) This way is so rewarding because when you're done, you're done. I love toe-up, too because they really do seem to fit better. I hope you'll try this out! What is your favorite sock method?

Friday, August 24, 2012

new items in the Etsy shop!

So, in addition to quite a few knitting patterns, I've now added a few handmade goods to my Etsy shop. Perfect for gifts for a variety of occasions, these pincushions and cocktail napkins will add a nice little vintage touch to any home :) Check out the shop here:

Monday, August 13, 2012

new wall hanging

I've been collecting vintage doilies. I had plans to make a table runner, but decided they fit better in the bedroom. I needed something to fill this wall, so I soaked all of them in equal amounts of water and sugar, boiled and cooled a bit. I let them dry on wax paper for almost a week. That made them perfect for hanging on the wall with small brass nails. I think I will add one or two smaller doilies soon. I used natural sugar, so it made all of them a bit more antiqued, but I'm enjoying the effect. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

a beautiful mess

Many of you know of the blog A Beautiful Mess already, but I cannot tell you how much I love Elsie & Emma's site. They are sisters in Springfield, Missouri who have created such an amazingly creative collaboration online. Please check out their site if you haven't. Here are a couple of things I have done lately, inspired by their ideas:

I did this on Friday. It is fun, quick and inexpensive! I think I'll do a whole wall of these. Such a nice, organized way to display photos, instead of having a bunch of random frames around.

This stuff is delicious!! Trust me! No bitterness and so handy to have coffee already cold in the fridge.

I haven't done this yet, but I just ordered my containers. I'm not sure if I'll magnetize them or not, but having all matching containers...a dream!! I have around 50 spices though, so it may take me a while...

It's so wonderful to be able to go to one website to find inspiring ideas and creative projects. There are so many creative people out there, but sometimes trying to follow all of their blogs is overwhelming. I know I can always find fun, interesting, exciting ideas from Elsie & Emma. Thanks ladies! ♥

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Some Cloudy Day - by my dear friend, tinyowlknits; yarn - Reynolds Whiskey

Padded Footlets from 25 Favorite Socks by Interweave Press; yarn - Madelinetosh Tosh Sock & Koigu KPM

Monday, July 16, 2012


We just arrived back from a lovely 2 week vacation where we visited Napa Valley, Yosemite, Reno & Lake Tahoe. What a wonderful trip. Here are a few photos:

at lovely Kitchak Cellars

like sister, like brother

staying cool

sweet Averie

Lake Tahoe...this is lake water!?



family fun time

Antica Vineyards

our own wine blend!

Bouchon Bakery...mmmm

and real wild horses...

We had such an amazing trip! Wish we didn't have to get back to the real world now, but alas, we do. Happy summer travels everyone! xoxo