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!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Cables || Four Things

This morning I woke up with a stiff neck. I have no idea what happened. I woke up when my alarm went off and felt a little twinge when I reached for my phone to turn it off. I noticed I wasn't laying funny at all. My head was on the pillow and I was on my right side. I got up and went about my normal morning routine of getting cereal and yo...ouch.  I turned my head slightly to the left when I opened the fridge. You  don't realize how much you turn your head a certain direction until you are in pain. Trust me. This short summary of my morning bears significance. Continue reading.

1. Needle Felting. Today, I tried needle felting. I found out it takes more patience than I had this morning. The cardinal I was going to attempt to make is still a very loose handful of wool roving. Natural color, I didn't even finish the core, wool roving. I was looking down for bout 20 minutes poking the needle in and out of the wool and the foam block. When I looked up my neck made it very clear that it was not really into o needle felting. I do hope to give it a real go when I no longer need a hot pack on my neck so please, stay tuned for needle felting adventures at a later date.

2. Crochet. I'm crocheting a 1942 Doily pattern that I found on I love crocheting doilies! Some patterns are stunning! They are almost an instant gratification project. It usually takes me about a week to finish one about 12 inches wide. Smaller doilies sometimes only take a few hours! I'm on the home stretch with this one. Just 4 1/2 more rows to go! Of course, the larger the circumference of the doily gets, the longer it takes to complete a row. The little green wire is an ornament hook I'm using to mark the beginning of each row.

3. Sewing. Sewing. Sewing. I need to get back to this. I stopped on Thursday because the sewing machine is still not behaving properly. I did some Google searching and found out that the take up lever might be too shallow. I have another machine to try but haven't sat down to figure out another new (to me) machine yet. Anyway, I was making the sewing part work the best that I could and using my serger to finish the edges when suddenly BAM! -- A serger needle broke. I now have all the necessary materials to fix that problem, but I had to stop for the rest of Thursday when it happened because I had no spare needles!

4. Cross Stitch. Since last October, with a fairly long break in November, I've been working on a Christmas cross stitch to give to my mother. My husband is going to make the coat hanger part of it. What I have so far is not even worth showing. I only have the outline of the boarder mostly done. So you get to see the picture fomr "101 Christmas Cross Stitch Creations." I'm really enjoying it and I have another cross stitch to start when I'm finished with this one, and yet another still in one of my moving boxes that has been in progress for about 2 years! I think my goal is to complete them all before the end of this year.

That about catches you all up on what's been going on craft-wise in my life. Now I realize that I need to get caught up craft-wise myself. A lot of things started and not so many completed. In fact, I just got shoe box the other day and labeled it to be my Works in Progress box. I think I'll be in good shape as long as the box stays less than completely full!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Abba Dabba Honeymoon Part 1

If you haven't heard Carleton Carpenter and Debbie Reynolds sing Abba Dabba Honeymoon in Two Weeks With Love the you should probably go watch it on YouTube right now!: Abba Dabba Honeymoon

My love for musicals didn't really explode until I was in 8th grade and I got the Original Broadway Soundtrack of Annie in my stocking that Christmas. For longer than I can remember, and I have mentioned it multiple times before on this blog (including last Tuesday), I have loved The Sound of Music.

 In 1992 my family visited Stowe, VT, where the von Trapps settled after they fled the Nazi regime in Austria. I have very vague memories of that vacation. We walked on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge but were stayed at a campground near by. After I got my drivers license I thought it would be fun to take a road trip, either by myself or with a friend, and spend the day in Stowe. It never happened. When I got engaged there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to go for the Honeymoon. So this is kind of like Tuesday's post, a reminiscent photo dump, but this time not art related. These pictures do not do justice to how gorgeous the scenery really is.

The mountains are breathtaking. That sound so cliche, but that is the only way to describe them without turning into Baroness Schraeder and saying, "The mountains are magnificent, Georg! Really, magnificent!"

I had to do this without falling. In 1992 I tried to be Maria in the famous opening of The Sound of Music and ended up rolling down the hill, thus creating a family memory that I will never live down. There is a post-roll photo in existence.
We went for a hike the the chapel Werner von Trapp built after returning home from World War 2.

Ringing the bell to "make a joyful noise." 

We drove around the area looking at the mountains, going into shops, and seeing snow for the first time in the season! There was a friendly exchange of frozen ammo.

And of course, when you're this close to the factory, you go!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tuesday Cables || Life

Since my life has been quite busy the last few weeks, I am actually sitting here on Sunday night writing a Tuesday post. Inspiration struck early too and that always helps! Though, this is a pretty old project and not something I'm currently working on.

I was going through photos on my personal facebook page and found an old album simply titled "Art." In the album were pictures of school projects from when I was taking graphic design classes in 2011. The project that, by my own judgement, was my most creative but zaniest is my Sound of Music Themed Game of Life.

The Game of Life, well the 1990s version that I played, is a board game where you pick a brightly colored plastic station wagon about an inch long with 6 holes in the top of it. You pick a pink or blue peg person and spin the wheel in the center of the board, which may actually spin your first few tries. Various squares tell you to pick cards telling you your career, salary, and what type of house you live in, etc. There are other squares where you get married and become a parent and add more peg people to your car.

In one art class we were individually assigned a project to design a board game of our own that could be based on a real game of our choosing. I could not pass up the opportunity to create something Sound of Music themed! It ended up as more of a cross between Life and Monopoly since there were no houses to buy or careers to work. I never played it and it has since, unfortunately, gone to the town dump. 

So here it is, looking very atrocious, and with some short explanations on materials and general construction.

Chicken wire and papier-mâché is the secret. This chicken wire was bought specifically to make a papier-mâché mountain. The rest of the roll was generously donated to building an enclosure for the six chickens we had at the time. The flour and water mixture was looked up online. I'm not sure of the ratios, but it really worked well!

I have no "in progress" painting pictures. I used everything we had. Acrylics, fabric paint, gouache, watercolors, and applied them with a variety of sponges, rags, and brushes. The trees are made out of trunk wraps that I cut from an artificial Christmas tree. The awful path, that's just paper. Start is on top of the mountain because that's where Maria was at the beginning of the movie. Finish is at the bottom because the von Trapps (in the movie, anyway) climbed over the mountains to escape the Nazis.

An Edelwiess flower was a theme carried throughout the game, featured on the path, the cards, and as the game pieces. The yellow building that looks like it's going to topple down the mountain is Mondsee Cathedral, where the wedding in the movie took place, and the orange building is Nonnberg Abbey.

A closer view. They're no where near perfect, but I think I was very near crazy to build these out of cereal boxes and make them even this detailed!

Land on a Edelwiess flower, pick an Edelweiss card. Land on a space with a red dash, pick the card with the red writing, and same with the blue dash and blue writing. Red was bad, blue was good. I don't remember the significance of the music note spaces anymore.

Close up of the game pieces and some entertaining game spaces. "Arrive to Abbey late. Lose a turn.", "Teach children to sing.", "Sing to children during thunderstorm.", "Late to dinner.", "Marry Captain von Trapp." I was probably working on this during hours when the majority of the population in my time zone was asleep.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tuesday Things Friday

Friday again so soon! It has become clear to me over the past few weeks that I really need to either A) Write my Tuesday posts on some other day so all there is to do on Tuesday is click "publish." Or B) Change my Tuesday posts to some other day altogether!

Craft-wise here is what's been happening. Aprons. Going slowly. I think I'm going to try my own design for the next one. I used a pattern for this one but absolutely loathe sewing the flounce on the bottom. I'm also learning how to use my mother-in-law's Singer Inspiration sewing machine which is quite a bit different from my Brother machine. 

I love these pins! They remind me of gumballs! Yes, I am very easily amused.

There seems to be a problem with thread tension because the bottom thread keeps bunching up. It may be the bobbin too, but I won't be able to find out until I use up all the thread on my current bobbin and wind a different one. The (not so) funny thing is that the thread bunching only happens when I'm sewing in reverse. 

Here's what I've finished so far. It's only a half apron so that waistband is all that's left. Hopefully I can figure out the thread tension issue before I start the next one! I didn't realize I was still styling my wrist pincushion until after I took the picture.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Happy New Year

Well, 2014 was quite a year! I was busy around Christmas, but not so much with handmaking gifts. I did at least manage to finish a simple neck warmer that I gave to my dad. I might make myself one sometime too. The yarn I used is 100% wool so it is nice and warm! 

I was given a JoAnn Fabrics gift card for Christmas and there are some plans in the works for what I purchased with that, though that's more for a Tuesday post...which I've been terrible at keeping up with lately. New and different traditions with my husband's family made for a bit of a funky schedule the past couple of weeks. 

Now, I can't wait for things to slow down just a bit so I can develop a little better routine and continue on with the job hunting. And yes, I can't wait to start sewing again!! 
My treasures from today: