Monday, November 01, 2010

Last Post

Hi Everyone!  This is going to be my last post here on The Knittings of Bree.  I've decided to move over to a new blog, I figure I've been horrible about posting so I'd like to start a new.  The new blog is Stitchin' My Life Away.  Hope to see you all over there!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beautiful Days

I went out to a property the other day to change out a lock box, but I had forgotten that our lock boxes have timed access and I couldn't access the key until 9 AM and it was only 8:30.  So being that I was in an area of Orange County that I really like (Old Town Orange) I decided to go for a walk.  It was a beautiful day, albeit humid, but this is the view I had as I was walking:

Then after walking for a while, I came across this awesome house that had corn growing in the front yard:

IMG00086-20100818-0843 I love the idea of edible landscaping, I think things should be functional and beautiful.  I think that's it for today, I'll update you all later, I have a few finished objects that I'd like to show off, but that'll have to wait for the weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thrifting Goodness

So we got a new property over close to Old Town Orange and I had to go put a lock box on it Tuesday.  For those of you who don't know, Old Town Orange is one of the oldest parts of Orange County and has awesome houses, lots of Craftsman and Victorian Style houses.  Steve and I love it there and that is our "if we ever win the lottory" place to buy a house.  In fact, Steve and I met up again and started dating at the annual International Street Fair they hold 3 years ago.

But back to my point.  Since I was down there at the end of my work day and I wasn't going to get back in time to get any work done at the office (it was 3:45 when I finished with the lock box and I'm done at 4, it takes about 20 min to get back in afternoon traffic) I decided to go to one of the thrift stores and my favorite used book store, Bookman.  Boy am I glad I did (though I'm not sure that Steve is)! So while thrifting I found these awesome crewel embroidery kits from the 70's, unopened for $2 a piece! Look how amazing they are!

 I want to make these and hang them in my house. Steve's response to this was, "Wow, I can't imagine why those were never opened." He's fine with them though in real life.  He's a weirdo like me and likes random stuff up in our house.  So excited!

When I went to Bookman I got the first book for our new book club, Watership Down by Richard Adams, for $2.95!

And then I got 2 books I just want to read, Post Office by Charles Bukowski, for $13.00:


And Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac, for $2.95 also:


All in all it was an awesome day!

Monday, August 02, 2010

My Momma

Do you ever have those days when you just want your Mom?  I do, and today was one of them.  It was one of those days that just starts out bad, you know the days you just want to go back to bed?  I feel lucky that I get to come home to such an amazing man, but sometimes a girl just needs her Momma.  I was pretty spoiled the last few years, I worked with my Mom (and Dad) and my parents only lived about 3 miles from my house.  This last year, as I've talked about before, my parents sold the company I've worked for for the last 7 years and while it's had the normal amount of adjustment expected with new management taking over.  The hardest part, by far, is that my parents have decided to move and to go on an amazing journey on the way.  Right now they are in Kitale, Kenya until the middle of this month, teaching at a school for street kids and being house parents to a bunch of college age missionaries.  I couldn't be prouder of my parents, and my Mom especially, this is a huge change for her, one that my Dad's been trying to get her to make for the last couple years.

My Mom is the one who taught me how to cook, sew, and how to treat a husband with the respect he deserves.  She's also the one who taught me how to love myself enough to find a man who is deserving of more respect than any one could ever possibly give them.  She is an amazing woman, quite the entrepreneur and she is definitely my biggest role model, I totally want to be her when I grow up.  Of course we had our ups and downs when I was growing up, and I could be pretty horrible at times, but overall we have an amazing relationship and I didn't think their moving to Kansas was going to effect me the way it has. 
I love you Mom! Picture 037

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hours 1-9, 10,000 hours project

So in the last 2 weeks I've finished 9 hours of the 10,000 hour project.  First I planned out some of my summer sewing, most of which you'll see here.  I'm still trying to figure out a better organizational tool for up comming projects, I'll keep you posted on that.  The planning was only a half hour though, then I worked on a robe, it is Butterick 5152, super retro and wonderful.  Took me 7 and a half hours to complete from cutting out to the hem. It's full length short sleeved with rick rack trim, I love rick rack.

DSC_0033 DSC_0042
Pattern: Butterick 5152
My Description: Full length retro robe with belt
Difficulty: Low to Moderate
Things I learned:  I need to get better at sewn in trims, had a bit of trouble with the rick rack.  Also, I need to mark the front and back sections better, I sewed the 2 fronts together and had to do a bit of ripping out.
Is this something I'll wear: Yes, every morning in summer.
Would I make this pattern again: Yes, I'm thinking I'll make the long sleeved version for the fall/winter out of something warmer, it's the perfect pattern for sipping coffee.

The next thing I made was a super simple skirt, took me only 1 and a half hours from cutting out to hem.  I think this is going to be a go to pattern, elasticized waist and a great length for work or the weekends.  I also want to make the shirt that goes along with it, but I'm having some issues with the length of the bust, so I'm going to make up some muslins.  I'm also thinking that I'm going to need to make a dress form here sooner or later.  But with the whole wanting to lose weight thing, it's hard to put that much time into a dress form.  I'll think about it.

Pattern: Simplicity 2614 a Threads pattern
My Description: Simple skirt and bias cut shirt pattern

Difficulty: Skirt: Extremely Easy
Things I learned: While elastic waists aren't super retro, or professional, they are super comfy, but I do want to get something to make feeding the elastic through easier.
Is this something I'll wear: Yes, super comfy.
Would I make this pattern again: Yes, basically right now I want to make it in every color.

Monday, May 31, 2010

10,000 Hours

Sorry I’ve been away for so long, I’ve been way overwhelmed with work.  I’m not enjoying my job at all, I mean I used to get frustrated at the way people in my line of work do things, but it was nothing compared with the way stuff is being run with our new owners.  I’ve been trying my darndest to leave work at work, but it’s hard when you have a job where you’re on call 24 hours a day.  In conjunction with the downward trend of my feelings toward my job, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, I mean I know I don’t want to be an office manager/property manager for the rest of my life, but what is it I want to do.  I’ve been trying to figure out what makes me the happiest and what is it I feel most relaxed doing.  And the answer came to me while making a wedding dress for a friend of mine, I love sewing.  Not just sewing, but creating clothing. 

In addition to all this reflection I’ve been trying to figure out how to make myself better at my craft.  Enter Ms. Violet of the venerable Lime & Violet podcast, she’s been talking about her 10,000 hour project, so I went to her blog to find out more about it and the basic premise is that anyone who is considered an expert in their field has spent at least 10,000 hours practicing whatever their craft is.  She’s made a resolution to spend 10,000 hours in pursuit of perfecting (as much as that is possible) her graphic design and perfume making.  This got me to thinking.  Wouldn’t this be the perfect way to figure out if this is indeed what I would like to do with my life? I know I’ve tried other things with a “do this everyday” theme and they haven’t worked out, but I think that if the end goal is to be self sustained in business and not have to work a full time office job that I can work on my craft for 10,000 hours.  I realized that it doesn’t have to be sitting at my sewing machine for 10,000 hours, it would include learning new skills, designing, sketching, sewing muslins and wearable garments.  I’m looking at taking some classes this fall at Santa Ana College in design and fabrication, I might go to OCC though instead.  I’ve looked at design as a viable career before, right after Steve and I move in together in fact, but school was just too expensive.  I’ve since figured out that by taking the classes at a community college instead of a private design school, not only can I afford it, but I can still work full time and support the fam and just take classes at night.  I’m going to start my own personal 10,000 hour project on June 1, 2010.  You may not hear about it here on the blog all that often, but you’ll see the fruits of my labor and I promise to update when I get to big milestones in my journey.  I look forward to sharing this with you and as I’ve been typing this I am starting to feel an excitement about my life that I haven’t felt since Steve and I decided to get married.  There are a few other projects in the works that I’ll let you in on as soon as they get underway, all I can say is that they are exciting.

Here's the wedding dress I made, I'll post some more pics when I get some of her in it:


Friday, March 26, 2010

A recipe to share and a couple announcements!

Hey all, so it was my new boss' (more on that later) birthday a couple weeks ago and I got to make the cake.  Well he wanted a chocolate cake but, I've made too many of those so I wanted to make something a little different, so I went searching on the web.  I noticed that he likes coffee quite a bit, so I thought the Beatty's Chocolate Cake Recipe by Ina Garten looked awesome, and different! It turned out really great, just a couple things I'd do differently next time, it calls for freshly brewed coffee and I think next time I'd use a big Pyrex measuring cup to measure it since I managed to burn my hand trying to measure the hot coffee out.  I forgot to take pictures before I served it, but here's some after it was half gone:

I also wanted to announce that since my parents moved, they gave us their cat, Tinkerbelle, since cats don't do too well on road trips and they are planning on going to Africa this summer for 2 months, she'd get eaten by a lion.  But here's my little lady:
DSCN0673  Yeah, she's got a little attitude problem, and see the hair rubberband in the upper left corner there?  Yeah those are all over the house now because she steals them to play with and will actually fetch them if you throw or shoot them for her.  I'm hoping to get a video of that up pretty soon.

The last announcement is the most amazing one to me.  Last night Steve and I were at Sprouts getting some stuff for lunches and some stuff for his leg cramps and as we're standing in line he says to me, "How many days are in April? 30 right?"  I say yes and he says, "I think we should go totally vegetarian for the whole month."  I was flaberghasted, I mean as you may or may not know, I was a vegetarian for a while when I was younger and have wanted to go back to that way of eating lately, but it's hard with 2 meat eaters in the house.  So it looks like starting April 1st, we're going to be vegetarians for 30 days.  I'll update the blog a little more often as we've decided to call the experiment "Walking a Caveman Through the World of Veggies"  or something like that.  So now a question, what are your favorite vegetable recipes?