Monday, March 9, 2015

New Name and Place

Oscar Wilde wrote that Life imitates art. In this case, my art seems to be imitating life. I felt like it was time for a name change on the blog.  For the past few years I've been The Wizard of Odds and Ends. I liked that name a lot. My best friend thought of that name! It was just time for a change. Slightly more descriptive but still general enough that I can make a variety of posts on my blog.

I figured I like to crochet and sew household things or clothing and accessories with a vintage elegance and I recently got married and moved so I'm trying to figure out a whole new "home" sort of thing. The posts will be pretty similar to what you've seen here but I'll be posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and there will be some more DIY and Tutorial posts.



You can now find me posting regularly over at Elegant Homestead. If you've enjoyed it over here, I would love for you to continue following along over at my new place. There may be some minor changes going on there over the next few months with layout but it is up and running and there's already a new post!

 Hope to see you there!  




Friday, March 6, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Winter Wonders

Very short post today!! Please pardon the funky sized/fuzzy pics again.  I'm stuck using my iPad because of time constraints. Bleh.

I just wanted to quickly share a couple of products that are on my nightstand that I have gotten tons of use out of this winter!


Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I can't remember if I've mentioned this on the blog before or not. It was part of a wedding shower gift from my Aunt and it is amazing! There was a hand salve and lotion in the gift too which I have used, but this stuff smells wonderful! If you like citrus scents you will love this. The best part is it works just as great as it smells. Not only do I put it on my cuticles, I put it on the tips of my fingers when they're dry and even on my knuckles if they need some tlc. And shhh....don't tell him I told you, but my husband even uses the cuticle cream too! 


This stuff is my lip balm, or "Lip Junk" as the packaging says, of choice on the nightstand. Yes, it's called Chicken Poop. It's all natural made of beeswax, essential oils, and vitamin E. I have a couple other lip balms, a cherry Chapstick that I keep in my purse and a Burt's Bees in the medicine cabinet. The Chicken Poop is what I use at night before I go to bed. It's not tinted or flavored (except slightly by the oils) and the lavender oil in it is very relaxing to smell before going to sleep.


Hope you enjoyed this short post!
What are your favorite balms and lotions to use in the winter?
Do you like to use them in the morning or at night?





Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Cables: This, That, and the Other Thing

This:
I finished the bread doily!! I couldn't really understand the pattern instructions for the edging. I don't know if it was my lack of patience, the way the pattern was printed, or a true lack of understanding. I just made up something that I think looks pretty similar. When I completed the last stitch I felt a little like Dorothy reaching the Emerald City. "At last! At last!" Of course, as I've said the last few posts, I still need to weave in the ends. Same goes for the second project too.
 Vintage Bread Tray Doily Pattern



Yesterday I became an aunt for the second time! Of course when I was texted that the arrival of the baby was imminent yesterday, my knee-jerk reaction was to grab my yarn and log into Facebook, refreshing the page between rows waiting for the very first baby picture to be posted! The results of which are this, a hat and booties. I. love. crocheting. booties. They are such a fast project and, oh my goodness, you end up with an incredibly adorable miniature shoe in your hand!!
Bev's Easy Round Baby Hat
10 Minute Booties by Lisa Auch




That: I'm attempting to do a style challenge this month I'm starting today, the posts will start a week from tomorrow. I hope you all enjoyed Paige's guest post on Friday. It sort of inspired me to do some sort of fashion challenge for March. I did a little Google search and found Modesty With a Capital M. She made up her own style challenge for this month and I liked the list so I'm going to try to stick with it for the remainder of the month.

The Other Thing:
It might be time for a name change. Haha, I know I literally and legally just changed my own name recently, (as in "My new driver's license came in the mail yesterday," recently) but I think a blog name change might be on the horizon....
I'll definitely keep you all updated.  It'll be a bit of an overhaul of Facebook, Pinterest, everything, but I think it's going to happen. Cue mysterious music. Sorry to leave you all hanging there. It's just been on my mind. More Spring cleaning I guess. It's sleeting as I type this. Cruel irony.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Guest Post: Chambray Outfits by Paige



Today is what I hope is the first of many guest posts on this blog! Paige has her own fashion blog called Sunday Best and All the Rest where she gave me the privilege of guest posting a few months ago. Her blog is full of great fashion facts, advice and lots of lovely outfits! Recently,  Paige graciously agreed to write a guest post for me. So, without further ado, here is Paige's post:

Greetings everyone! My name is Paige, and I'm happy to be Jill's guest writer for this week's Favorite Things Friday post. Because fashion blogging is just my cup of tea, I'll be sharing about one of my favorite fashion statements - it's chambray!
Chambray is a cotton fabric similar to denim in that it's woven with a white weft and indigo warp. Usually, (though not always) chambray is a lighter fabric. You will see a criss-cross pattern on the underside of chambray, while denim has a diagonal pattern (http://makeupbytiffanyd.blogspot.com/2013/04/denim-vs-chambray-fun-little-fashion.html ). My own chambray items are a button-down, a tunic and a dress. Take a look at a few of the ways I style my pieces. 




Above, you see three different outfits with a nearly white button-up top. My favorite way to wear it is unbuttoned and tied on the bottom, layered over a top or dress. I've also styled it by layering it under a sweater in a more preppy look. Most recently, I wore it over a dress - it can make a dress look more like a skirt!


Here are two ways that I've worn my tunic. Because it's a darker shade and I don't have any light jeans, I have to get creative by wearing it with a skirt. For the first look I belted it over a short skirt; in the second look I tucked it into a long skirt and put the belt over the waistband of the skirt. In both outfits the belt cinches in the baggy shape of the tunic to make it compatible with skirts.



Last, but not least, here is a quintessential item to my wardrobe. My chambray shirt-dress comes in handy when I'm feeling uninspired, making it easy to put together a tasteful outfit. It's casual, yet cute and can be dressed up or down, making it a practical item for the female wardrobe. Above, I styled it simply for summer with a brightly colored scarf as a belt.

I hope that seeing one of my favorite things has inspired you to go out and give chambray a try for the first time or to restyle what you already have. If you would like to see more of my outfits, check out my blog Sunday Best and All the Rest. Thank you to YOU for reading and thank you to Jill for giving me the honor of posting!

                                                   Show me Your ways, O Lord;
                                                          Teach me Your paths.
                                              Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
                                             For You are the God of my salvation;
                                                        On You I wait all the day.
                                                                Psalm 25:4-5

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Cables || Doilies Again

I have been having so much fun crocheting doilies lately! Currently I'm finishing up the edging of my third (in recent history) doily which was also my first filet crochet project!  I may keep at it and buy some fun thread colors. Hmmm... I do like the nice crisp, clean, classic look of the white though. 

These are my two latest...

Wedding Rings Doily:
http://www.crochetmemories.com/patterns/wedding-rings-doily.php
I loved the look of the interlocking rings on this doily! I've been wanting to crochet something like that for a long time. I think I'm all set for a little while now. Crocheting a total of twenty four rings tomake twelve interlocking sets got very repetitive and tedious with weaving in ends on each ring. I must say, it was so worth it. I do love the way this doily looks. Just have to finish weaving in a few more ends. This one will be going in the shop. So check back if you're interested. If you happen to be really interested feel free to email me at thewizardofoddsandends@gmail.com and I can reserve it for you.


Bread Tray Doily:
http://freevintagecrochet.com/doilies/7131-doily-pattern.html
This doily was so much fun to make. The filet crochet was so simple. The way this vintage pattern is written got confusing for me though so I decided to just do my best to copy the look of the edging. So far it looks pretty well, but I haven't gotten a picture of it at that point yet.


I had to post this from my iPad today so things might be a little bit funky.
Hope you all had a great weekend!




Friday, February 20, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Snowflakes that Stay...(10 Things to do When it's Cold and Snowy Outside)

...on my nose and eyelashes.

The Northeast has been pummeled  with snowstorm after snowstorm. I moved just before winter began and so far have seen enough snow that I can still enjoy it without dreading the next round of fluffy, white precipitation.

I went through several old photos to see what I decided to make memories of in winters past and came up with the idea for this post.

1. Go to Florida! They say, "With age comes wisdom." Why do you think so many retired people go to Florida in the winter? You always thought it was because it's too hard for them to shovel or they can't handle the cold, right? Now you know. Those sage, grandparental figures have weathered through a rough winter or two and garnered a few feathers in their caps which they now use to make their annual flight to the sunshine state when the temperature begins to drop. (If becoming a snowbird is not a feasible option, read on.)


2. Make (or buy) a hat. And a scarf, and a sweater, and a blanket, and a hot water bottle cozy. If you're in this for the long haul then you need to be prepared! Learning to crochet or knit is a great winter hobby. Not only will you be able to make yourself things to keep warm, but it's also a wonderful way to pass the time when the fifth storm in three weeks hits and you're officially snowed in until you can open the front door again.


3. Go for a walk/drive. When you can once again get outside and clean off your car it's always fun to go out and look at the beautiful scenery of snow covered trees and fields. Of course, you can bundle up and just take a short walk, but it's always nice to crank up the heater in the car while you look at the frozen landscape that surrounds you. Just remember what the colors and shapes of traffic signs mean. Also, if global warming were a thing, you'd be contributing to it and might lessen your chances for getting snowed in next winter.


4. Ski! The snow can be enjoyable. I know that can be pretty hard to believe when you're shoveling the driveway for the third time in the same storm, but how about learning a winter sport? Skiing is very popular and schussing down a hill can be very invigorating on a cold, bright and sunny day in the middle of winter.


5. Skating is another very fun winter activity! Many rinks will let you rent skates or you might be able to find a used pair at an affordable price online or at a used sporting goods store. Always make sure that you are skating on a body of water with ice that is thick enough. Several states/counties have websites that tell you whether or not certain lakes and ponds in your area are frozen enough and safe to skate on. The plus side of rinks is you don't have to worry about ice thickness and they are often inside and can be warmer than skating outdoors.


6. Look for animal tracks. Winter is prime time for looking for prints in the snow. Not every animal hibernates or migrates south. There is quite a variety of wildlife that remains active in the winter. Of course, not every animal will spend time on the ground, so make sure you look up too and you might just catch a glimpse of a bird that prefers the snowy season. This Snowy Owl spent a little time watching my husband fish last winter.

 
7. Sit in it. Who doesn't like to make a snow angel? Of course, when the snow gets too deep for that and you're tired of trudging in drifts pasts your knees all you can do is just sit down and see how deep the snow is. It's actually a little, tiny bit insulating and pretty warm for the first 10 seconds.



8. Watch a movie. When it's way too cold to go outside and you've had enough of the wintery weather then it's time to kick back, relax, and put on a good flick. Preferably The Sound of Music.


9. Make something warm to drink. The prefect accompaniment to a good movie on a cold winter night is a warm cup of cocoa. Of course tea, coffee, or hot apple cider are also acceptable. While you're at it you might as well put it in a Christmas mug since it still looks like Christmas outside anyway and you probably haven't taken down your Christmas lights since they're buried in the snow.


10. Enjoy the winter. Don't be chicken, (I know, I really had to reach for that joke. Sarcasm.) enjoy the winter season. Spring will be back someday and after that follows summer. Remember summer? It's that scorching, hot season that always makes you wish that it were winter again.





Thursday, February 19, 2015

Good Fences || Bonus Post and Link Up

Here's a quick bonus post since I didn't post in Tuesday and I thought it was quite fitting for the freezing cold air hitting the Eastern US.

These are some pictures of my old backyard after an ice storm in 2008. Everything looked like it was coated in glass! It was so beautiful but SO cold!

I hope the bird who had previously made this his home flew very far south!

Branches of the willow tree snapped under the weight of the ice but the old picket fence held up well.

Every thing was coated in ice. The roof, the clothesline, and each picket of the fence.



If you'd like to join in the Good Fences Series visit Theresa's blog, Run*A*Round Ranch Report

Friday, February 13, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || A Picture

enjoy musicals and old/classic/historic music very much and in some situations like to consider myself somewhat of a musical history guru, but the better term is probably "nerd." A few years ago I went to a Civil War renactment and was thrilled when they played The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Rally Round the Flag , and When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Recently, though I haven't decided if I'll actually do it yet, I thought it would be fun to learn the state songs of all 50 states! 

Back to a few years ago again... I was going through some old pictures that my grandfather's cousin had saved. One of my favorites is this one. I don't know exactly who the people are, I think they are distant cousins who lived in Oregon.  What I love about this picture is that they are sitting in front of a piano and that you can see the sheet music on the piano behind them. According to the Wikipedia page, the sheet music is a 1917 copy of Back Home Again in Indiana, otherwise known as what the music shows, Indiana. 


I hope you enjoyed this brief look into my elusive family history.
I'm going to try to find a couple of other favorites of mine from this same collection of old photos so I can share them in later posts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Cables || A Season Ahead

I had a different subject planned for today, but that didn't work out so This is basically going to be another Etsy update. I've got a few different things in the shop now. If you'd like to take a look just click the "Etsy" tab under the banner and that will take you right to my shop. 

I'm finally learning how to work a season ahead and I'm really starting to enjoy making multiples of things which has really surprised me! I'm sure some people wish we were a season ahead so they wouldn't have to shovel snow again until next winter!

Here's a little peek at what I was working on today. 10 bunnies and 10 tails. They're all put together now. This was just after I'd finished all the crocheting.



I know most of you have some pretty amazing crafting abilities, but if anyone has a questions about custom ordering something, I would love to talk about it! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || On Schedule

What an ironic title when I missed posting on both Tuesday and Friday last week!

I just saw a couple of days ago that I have a couple new followers! Thanks so much for following and welcome!

A few Fridays back I know I talked about falling into a new routine while getting used to living in a new place. I still feel like that hasn't completely happened. Recently, I did make a schedule that I follow and started some new habits that have helped make things feel a little more normal in my new place. I thought I'd share a few things that others might find helpful if you've just moved to a new place or you're just trying to get a little more organized.

1. Spend time in the Word everyday.
    This sounds like it should be so easy, but sometimes when you're trying to get into a new routine things can get a little discombobulated. Something that my husband and I decided we want to start doing is learn more Bible verses by heart. I had a little slate heart that I could fit a scripture reference on but I needed to write the whole verse. I ended up finding a chalkboard door knob hanger at a craft store that works beautifully for the task. I'm keeping track of each weekly verse in a notebook to look back at and to avoid repeats.


2. Buy a calendar.
    I can't even begin to say how helpful it is to have everything written in one place. I write down doctor's appointments, job interviews (one of those would be nice), when bills are due, birthdays, even cleaning and laundry. I am slightly obsessive using two calendars. I like the one on the wall for crossing off days and keep another one by the bed and that's the one write things on.

3. Have a cleaning schedule.
     I know cleaning is not always the most exciting thing. but if you keep on top of it, it can take just minutes a day as opposed to taking hours when you suddenly realize it looks like a group of 17 children on a sugar rush went through your drawers...but you have no kids. Right now I only have one room to keep clean, but it helps immensely to know that I have gotten things done and everything is in it's place.
 My schedule looks something like this:
Monday: dust and vacuum
Tuesday: (every other week) wash sheets and towels
Wednesday: dust and vacuum
Thursday: general organizing, whatever looks like it needs sprucing up.
Friday: dust, vacuum, and wash clothes
On certain Tuesdays and Thursdays I might not have anything specific to do, but I try help out around the house in other ways by vacuuming other rooms in the house or filling/emptying the dishwasher.


4. Have regular times for waking up and going to sleep.
    I am the worst at this. I am definitely a night owl. I do notice that when my alarm goes off in the morning and I get right up out of bed I can wake up pretty quickly. It's just the getting up out of bed that's difficult, especially on cold mornings under a warm down blanket! My trusty ol' flip phone is my favorite alarm. I can change the ringtone I wake up to. I set really annoying tones on days I need to get right up.

5. Don't be too hard on yourself.
    If I get up later than I wanted to, forget to vacuum, or don't read my Bible some morning or night, I only get more frustrated and less productive if I spend time dwelling on the fact that I didn't do those things when I had planned to. It's nice to have someone who will tell me repeatedly, "Don't worry about it." of course, my husband isn't the only one telling me this. God reminds me too.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I hope you have found a helpful tip or two from this post. It's time for me to go and put the clothes in the washer now!


Another fun fact: I find a laundry bag much easier to use than a basket. I can sling it over my shoulder to carry down to the basement and when the bag gets a little dirty or smelly I can just throw it right in with the clothes to wash! Plus they are so simple to make from an old sheet!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Something on Etsy!!!

Just dropping by for a minute to let you all know I finally got around to updating my Etsy shop!. There are only three items up at the moment but there will be some more varying ones to follow soon. :)
Clicking on the tab under the banner will take you directly to my shop.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Tuesday Cables || Looks Like Snow

Last week was SO busy but now I'm back on track. We were supposed to get a huge snowstorm a week ago Monday night but only ended up with about 6 inches. Not enough to make cleaning up a big pain. (It was still a little pain.) and just enough to go sledding!! The birds don't seem to mind too much. It looks pretty chilly though.


I finally finished my doily and now when I look at it all I can picture is one giant snowflake.  I really enjoyed this pattern. The only thing I didn't like were the "chain 6" instructions for the mesh at the edges. When I started going around and having to slip stitch the following rows, I had to tweak some things to make it look even because, obviously,  6 has no center. It turned out alright. The stitches are pretty tight but I think that could have been fixed by using one hook size larger. I think I'm going to use one size up on the next pattern with this thread.


And about the aprons, I finished the second one and am just about done with the third. Making the same pattern three times in a row is pretty amazing for me. Usually I never enjoy making the same thing twice, but these were fairly simple and enjoyable to sew. I'm hoping to have all three aprons posted on Etsy by the end of this week and hopefully get out and buy a little more fabric. Not sure if I'll be making more aprons or if I'll try something else. It is much more exciting to think about sewing now that I have a fully functioning machine!! Knock on wood.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Abba Dabba Honeymoon Part 2

If you missed part one, click on this link! ---> Abba Dabba Honeymoon Part 1

I found out that after I wrote part one of this two part photo series looking back at my trip to Vermont this past November, that I really want to go back. Here is the second installment of mountains, and trees, and sky.
 There weren't many leaves left on the trees but everything was in various stages and colors preparing for winter and it was beautiful too look at while taking a break on out 7 mile (round trip) hike.

 The von Trapp's used to run the lodge as a working farm. They would collect maple sap every spring. There were a few stacks of rusty buckets along the trail. I wonder how old they were.

 "SUMMIT, YUP THAT WAY"  Believe it or not, this is the trail on the north face of the mountain. If you can't see a definitive trail, don't worry, neither could we.

The north face was beautiful! Ferns, moss, a little snow. The mountain greenery looked beautiful growing on the brown leaves and the smell of the pine and fir was incredible! The red square on the tree to the left is a trail marker. Those were very, very helpful!!

                                         Photo op in a tree. Another break on the 7 mile hike.

                                                          A sunset that had us singing.
"O beautiful for spacious skies...for purple mountain majesties...America! America! God shed His grace on thee!" - Katharine L. Bates
We explored the halls and common rooms of the lodge our last evening there looking for room 300, Maria's suite when she lived there. There was one room we couldn't walk through because of construction. The next morning my husband realized that the room off of that one was room 300 and we could see it right from our window. It would have been pretty fun if Maria had still been alive and walked out onto her deck!