Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Feet

Yesterday was really I thought I would decorate some flip-flops. It was something new I wanted to try out...I just crocheted 4 strips using a cotton yarn, and stitched them together to cover the straps. The cotton is really comfortable and warmer than just the rubber strap. Then I added a variety of beads, shells and charms on them. I think they turned out pretty cute. Now if only it wasn't like 26 degrees outside. =(


All I can do is laugh. However, I hope this leads to the start of a good week.....just found. Yes, it has been forwarded on to him (by another group member), and I just can't wait to hear the awkward jokes and comments that will arise from this.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas spirit

Last night Nikki and I got together and baked some cookies....Christmas sugar cookies! It doesn't really quite feel like Christmas yet...besides those last couple of crazy cold days, its been warm. Also, being in the lab all hours of the day keeps you pretty isolated from the rest of the Christmas cheer in stores, on the radio, etc. I don't even have my Christmas tree set up yet. I need to do that this weekend.
So Nikki and I thought it would be fun to have a girls night and bake cookies. It was great! We had Christmas music on, and watched a portion of The Holiday while we were waiting for them to be done.
It has been YEARS since I have made sugar cutout cookies. I found a really good sour cream sugar cookie recipe online with a cream cheese frosting. Making them was a little bit of an adventure. We made a pretty large batch of dough because I wanted her to be able to take some home and I thought I would bring some into the lab. The goal: 5 dozen cookies. I don't know why I didn't think about this sooner, but my poor kitchen aid could barely handle it all at once. The 10 cups of flour should have raised a warning sign. hah! When we were addiing the dry mix, it ended up just poofing it out in little clouds of flour because the mixing bowl was so full. Oops. But, we eventually got most of the flour in (the rest was on my counter and us) and the dough made. I really am good in the kitchen....I promise! It was just an oversight. So we let the dough chill while we watched some of the movie and talked, then got to cut them out and bake! While Nikki was rolling the dough and cutting, I made the icing. We had a good rhythm going. By the time we got to icing the cookies though, it was almost midnight, and we had only baked maybe 2 - 3 dozen. I can see now why making Christmas cookies is usually a day event, because it is a pretty big ordeal! But it was still fun...and they are super yummy! I love the icing...its not super sweet or too much. I'll be making these again for sure. We started off just icing them in solid colors, but then I tried to make them more pretty....The end result:

I still have a lot of dough in my fridge....I'll have to bake the rest this weekend and send some off...maybe to some cousins before they go out to Cali at the end of next week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Ashley!

It was my sisters birthday last month....and I made her a present. She just got it in the mail, so now I can post pictures. =)

It is a Hurley t-shirt that was deconstructed and remade into this corset style top. Lisa made one for herself a bit ago, and I had the same book that she took the pattern from. The corset is totally Ashley's style, and the Hurley adds the California beach girl flair. I bet no one has this same Hurley shirt! I tried to make the logo going across the side of her waist. It's pretty much all there.

This is the view from the back. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. Once i had cut all the pieces, I hand-stitched them together using yellow and a light green thread, so it looks "limey" like one of the polka-dots. I wish I could have modeled it so you could see the shape better that it laying on one of my couch cushions, but as I am built like an Amazon, and Ashley cute and petite like my Mom, that wouldn't have worked out. The original shirt was a medium, and a fairly large medium at that...I do hope the new version fits her well!!
Happy birthday Ash.... I love you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


One thing I love about Austin...the crazy weather. One complaint about Austin...the extreme crazy weather. Don't get me wrong, I love crazy weather! I just hate it when I cannot adjust to it. I just freeze. I cannot survive in cold weather, especially when I am used to it being warm all the time. Case in point: this week.
Monday in Austin. Sunny, 81 degrees. pretty warm for December don't ya think?
Last night: SNOW. Yes, it snowed. Yesterday morning, was ehhh... chilly but I knew there was a cold front coming in, so I was smart and layered. But when I left work last was freezing already, and freezing rain/sleet/hail (not sure what the difference between all those are) was already starting to fall. By the time I got home, and had thawed I went out on my balcony and saw the biggest white flakes coming down. It was so exciting! And the wind...brrrr. It made it so cold.
On my way to the bus stop this morning, you could see snow/ice = snice? haha on the cars. Here is a pic of a blue truck in my complex. You just wouldn't be able to see it as well on my white car.

There really wasn't any on the ground, there wasn't enough to stick. The wooden walkway was frozen over, but that was pretty much it. We usually get really cold weather like this in January-February so this was a little bit early and unexpected. Maybe it will get really cold this year come that time and it will freeze again. How exciting!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I love watching the birds here! it is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend mornings. I have a birdfeeder hung outside on my balcony, and I like to lay on my couch with Tesie right beside me, and we will watch the birds together.Tesie loves watching birds too. =) There are all kinds of finches, chickadees, blue-jays, doves (the doves are little piggies by the way, they hog the bird feeder) wood-peckers and cardinals. They are starting to come back to my feeder since its "winter-time" here, but here are some pics that I took last year. The trees aren't that bare yet.

This little guy is a woodpecker. I am pretty sure it is a male due to his big red mohawk. He is a very big bird, and he usually kicks whoever is on the feeder off when he wants to eat. The females are slightly smaller, darker in color and have a black head. Speaking of birds kicking each other off for food...the pecking order usually is: Woodpeckers, doves, blue jays, robins, cardinals, then chickadees and finches since they are usually the smallest. It's cute because when the big birds come, the little ones will fly away and wait on the tree branches nearby for the big birds to's like they are waiting in line. I love it!

Cardinals are my favorite. I am not really sure why...I think it has something to d0 with a lesson in fifth grade probably when we were learning about all the states, and I remember seeing a picture of a bright red cardinal on a tree trunk against white snow. I just thought that was amazing. Ever since then I have liked them, and I was so stoked the first time I saw one here. I thought they only lived back east since they are the state bird of South Carolina. (I have always had a sort of interest for the carolinas too).

This is a female cardinal. They are a more orangey-taupe sort of color...definitely muted compared to the guys. They are such cute, shy little birds. And they have a very distinctive chirping sort of noise. Sometimes I fall asleep on my couch at night and will wake up the next morning to the cardinals on my balcony. She always lets the male eat before her.
here comes the real looker...
Ok, this picture does not even do him justice. First off I am sure I am probably using a wrong setting on my camera, and I had to take the picture through my screen door so that is also contributing to the fuzziness. Furthermore, t I also had to be relatively far away because they are so shy. If they see any movement inside the apt, they fly away. This is why I am usually hiding under a blanket on my couch. This guy is pretty funny, because cardinals aren't big birds, but when he is on the bird feeder (which is shaped like a little wooden house) he wants to be on it alone. Well one time a little finch decided to fly in and eat on the opposite side of the house as the cardinal. The cardinal couldn't see the finch because the house is fairly big and the seeds fill the inside, but he must have felt the finch there. So he starts hopping around the corners trying to shoo off the finch and the little finch just kept moving opposite him. It reminded me of two little kids playing tag where there is a tree inbetween them. It was so funny to watch. Well....those are my birdies! Maybe I will be able to get some better pics soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I love my sewing machine

Well, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I went over to Evie's place for dinner. She lives in my complex and works in the department too, she is the same year as Ryan. She and her boyfriend, Kyle, hosted a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner for all the "Far Westers". Even though Ryan doesn't live up near Far West, we were nice and invited him too. =P The food was delicious. I brought the mashed potatoes since I have the sweet Kitchen Aid to do all the hard mixing for me. Super smooth. and so yummy. Evie and Kyle made the turkey, but she also made a green bean casserole, that was really good and something I will probably make from here on out for Thanksgiving. It was a nice blend of the traditional green bean casserole (which Ryan likes and I really don't) and the green beans and bacon that my mom makes which I like and Ryan is not a huge fan of (even with all the bacon in it, go figure). Her casserole was made with fresh green beans (essential if I am going to like it, no canned or frozen stuff please) and she used homemade cream of mushroom. Then she covered the top with the french onions and bacon. It was so good! And we both really liked it, so it was a nice middle ground. After dinner, I refreshed Evie on some crochet basics and taught her how to make the crochet flowers I have been making since she wants to add them to a scarf she has started on. Then we played some board games and left a little early because Ryan started to get a migraine and I had Thanksgiving phone calls to make. But it was a very nice day and break for which I am very thankful.
I also got to FINALLY really use my sewing machine. I didn't go to work Friday or Saturday and stayed home and did some projects. Some I cannot post pictures of yet because they are gifts, but this I can. I found a really cool napkin set tutorial online, and figured this was an easy enough first project for me.

They are reversible napkins, so one side is the white with blue roses and the other the darker blue print (here they are folded into quarters, they are 18"x22"). They were easy enough, I think the longest part was cutting all the pieces. I am just still kind of awkward manipulating the big piece of fabric and holding it still to cut it with my rotary cutter. That is such a nifty little tool. But it doesn't help that my table is round, and not very big, so it is not the best working space for me, but you gotta make do with what you got. Once I got all the pieces cut, sewing them together went really fast. Until I messed one up and became best friends with my seam ripper, but sheesh that was a tedious process. The napkins are a fairly lightweight cotton, so I didn't want to snag the fabric. But I got all of them made, a very pretty set of six. Dinner party anyone?

The blue and white is just so Dutch to me, I love it. I have some white plates with cobalt blue borders, but I think they also look really nice with my mustard-yellow plates (shown with each side of the napkin.)
Hmmm, I just noticed in the above picture that the left topstitch looks wonky and crooked. I can assure you it's not! I think it is just the way the napkin was sitting on the plate.
And, finally I made a linen pouch that they can be stored in! It is so cute. And it was pretty challenging, but I did it!

All tied up and ready to be put away.

I'd say this all took me six to seven hours start to finish, not too bad for a first sewing project, huh? I love my sewing machine, it is so awesome. I can't wait to get started on something else. I was not able to sew as much as I wanted to, I did a winter deep cleaning and some baking to send off some goodies to my cousins that I did not get to see this Thanksgiving. Also on my plate is the fellowship application that is due today (yikes!) so I was working on essays and stuff. Got a little bit more to do, and then I should be able to upload everything. But once this is sent in, all I will have left to do are my projects and Christmas presents since everything else is done and my apartment is now spotless! It was a very good and busy weekend.