Friday, October 29, 2010

custom camera straps

Most of the projects I'm working on right now involve either basement cleaning which doesn't have much photographic or narrative interest or Christmas presents which I can't post about here if I want them to be a surprise. I've been having such a hard time waiting to post about them. However, I do have a few recent not secret projects to share.

I was recently asked by a friend to make a red and white custom camera strap cover. In typical Christina fashion, I made two. : ) But I have a good reason this time...

I simply couldn't find a nice, not-Christmassy white and red fabric, so I settled for purchasing a milk-chocolate brown, off white, and red print. It made a charming camera strap cover, but I wasn't sure if my friend would like it since she specifically requested white and red. And so I made another camera strap cover in solid white and red. I'll let her choose whichever she likes better.

Each strap is made of high-quality material, lined with velvet (to cushion to photographer's neck, hopefully preventing the some of the soreness from carrying a heavy camera), and adorned with a feminine ruffle and flower.

I'm secretly hoping that she'll choose the solid red and white one, leaving the brown and red one for me. : ) If the brown one is the one she loves, though, I'm not in trouble. Camera strap covers are fun, quick, and addicting, and I have enough fabric that I could make another one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

monday menu

[some of Benjamin's fabulous lasagna]

Well, it's been another week of no posting. I've actually really been missing it, but things keep getting in the way. Things like reading, cleaning the basement, working on custom orders, and making fabric flowers. This in addition to the fact that Picasa and my computer are refusing to work together (which means that I don't have new photos to work with) make for post procrastination. Someday I'll get back into the swing of my blogging thing.

For now, though, I need to plan this week's menu so that I can make my shopping list.

M-garlic-ginger chicken kabobs, rice, broccoli
T-chili and cornbread or rolls (whichever I have time for)
W-roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash (I forgot to thaw the chicken last week)
Th-chicken soup with homemade noodles
F-grilled steak, scalloped potatoes, salad

What are you making this week?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Menu

[home baked bread and white peach jam]

I'm sorry about the scarcity of posts last week. I've been unwell (still trying to beat this obnoxious cold) and have been trying to cut out unnecessary activities to take time to rest. I've also had a few extra activities this past week that have taken up time--like my birthday. : )

All that aside, I need to go grocery shopping this evening, and to do that I need a meal plan so that I can buy the necessary ingredients! Here's what I'll be stirring up in my kitchen this week:

M-broiled bagel sandwiches, fruit
T-our style of Swedish meatballs (mashed potatoes and meatballs topped with tomato soup)
W-roasted chicken, gravy over rice, and garden squash from my parents' neighbors
Th-chicken pot pie
F-lasagna (by Benjamin), salad (by me), and carrot cake (by Mum) for my official birthday dinner.

What are you making this week?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Menu

[spaghetti squash with butter, salt, and pepper]

We have colds and are just miserable. Benjamin has taken a sick day off work, and we've been taking turns watching the boys and sleeping. Nevertheless, I am going to make a meal plan and (hopefully) stick with it. Here's what I'm planning on making:

M-frozen pizza
T-roasted vegetable soup
W-chicken noodle soup
Th-pork chops with dressing on top, broccoli
F-left overs

What are you making this week?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

our 2010 family photos

Monday evening we enjoyed taking a little walk downtown where we took our annual family photos. The light gave out, and the boys were getting a bit cranky, so we didn't take very many photos, but we took enough to get a few really good ones which is certainly good enough. : )

It was much more pleasant to walk around in the crisp autumn weather to take a Christmas card photo than to brave the snow and cold like we did last year.

My three handsome guys. I love them!

sweet brothers

celebrating autumn

Autumn is my favorite season.

I love the crispness of the wind in my face,
the colors of brilliant leaves against a cerulean or soft slate sky,
the poignant smell of dying leaved laced with a hint of wood smoke,
the honk of geese flying south and the crunch of leaves under my feet...

It is the only season that I consistently bring inside my home,
adding its splashes of color and scent
to my usual decor.

Here are some of the autumny things I've been enjoying in my home:

arranging mini pumpkins
(or, as Little Man calls them, punk-mins)
in the autumn sun in my kitchen

filling the air with spicy, autumn scents
melted in my new scentsy warmer

admiring bright yellow mums in a red vase
(they're starting to look a little sad, but that's okay.
they've been cheerfully bright for over a week now.)

making apple-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches
for Little Man

getting ready to turn three boxes of beautiful golden delicious apples
picked by my aunt and cousins
into sauce, butter, and crisp

How are you enjoying autumn this year?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

from the garden

the first two ripe tomatoes
of the 2010 gardening season

Monday, October 4, 2010

confessions of a doodle addict

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we spent much of last weekend at a church conference. It really was helpful and encouraging. In the packet given to all the attenders was a pad of paper and a pen--a dangerous combination. The following are some of my best conference doodles.

Contrary to what some people believe, doodling actually helps me focus. I pick a few key words or ideas that are being discussed, and as I draw them, I am actually able to pay better attention. Not to mention that since I can't seem to keep my hands still, doodling is a much better option than picking my cuticles until they bleed.

Meditations on "Abide." I like this one and might rework it into something more purposeful and less meandering.

I really like the "feel" of this one and am actually reworking it into a full blown 8x10 piece of art.

I don't like doing this script with a ball point pen. It just does not translate as nicely as my curly script.

As the conference progressed, my drawings became only slightly related to what was being discussed.

I like the idea of this one, but I don't like the way it turned out. The curls come across too hard and curly, and the end of the word it significantly larger than the beginning.

As the conference dragged on and I became restless and tired, I must confess that my doodles bits of random song lyrics and unrelated little pictures.

They're such happy little doodles, though, and since I was still listening and my cuticles came out unscathed, I'd think it's okay. : )

the bishop method

Since my parents are moving they have been doing a lot of sorting and getting rid of excess items. I have benefited from this several ways, but one of my favorites among the hand-me-downs coming my way is the two book bishop method sewing book series. Published in the late 50's and early 60's, when homemade and self-tailored clothes were the norm, they provide many extremely useful tricks and tips for making professional, nicely-fitted clothing.

The sections with sketches and descriptions on how to alter patterns and clothing to fit a specific figure are perhaps my favorites. They will be invaluable to me, I think, as I delve more deeply into the world of refashioning and upcycling used clothes.

The photography and illustrations are clear and helpful.

I also love the sections on trims and embellishments. The bow on my own camera strap was made using instructions given in the second book.

I also enjoy the charming retro illustrations. I think that if I wasn't interested in keeping the books whole for sewing reference, I might cut out some of them and find a place to hang them on my wall.

Last but not least, some of the text is makes me laugh out loud as I gain perspective on what culture used to be and how differently we think now. For example: "What husband, what son, what man wouldn't enjoy a classic, well-tailored vest made by you? Choose tweed, plaid, wool flannel (a bright color such as red with brass buttons is always a favorite), or linen for daytime wear or spectator sportswear."

If you like to sew, and you find one of these books for a good price at a yard sale or second hand store, I highly recommend that you snap it up. While some of the fashion advice and language may be outdated, many of the techniques certainly are not. In my mind, at least, these books are a good investment.

little projects

In addition to the camera strap cover and clutch that I made for my blog giveaway,
I have completed several small projects in the relatively recent past. These little projects don't necessarily each merit their own post, but I still want to document them.

custom purple and blue sandwich wraps and snack bags
for a farmers' market customer

custom camera strap cover for myself
(It's really hard to take a good photo of your camera strap)
It's one of the, hmm, maybe two polka-dotted things i own.
I'm surprising myself by liking it.

pillow covers for our local crisis pregnancy care center

a sloppily unmatched-at-the-seams plaid scarf for myself
However, it does have a nifty little slot in the seam for putting one end through.

It also has a fancy little decorative flower stitch on the ends.

It's much easier to model a scarf than a camera strap. : )

I have quite a few more projects up my sleeve, but I'm afraid I'll have to refrain from posting about them until after Christmas which is very hard to do considering how excited I am about them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


[chili with shallots and Italian sausage]

Where did last week go? My time has been jam-packed, and I have just not had time to blog. On Monday I hosted a Blessings Unlimited gathering. Tuesday I taught my flute student. Wednesday we gave some friends a ride to the airport (two hours away) and did some shopping while we were in a "big" city. Thursday was spend doing laundry at the laundromat, packing, and leaving for a regional church conference in a northern Montana (three and a half hours away). We spent all day Friday there and returned home on Saturday afternoon. Today we went to church and spent the rest of the day recovering. Whew!

Next week should be a little quieter. I'm hoping to catch up on my backlog of things I want to write about, do some cleaning in the basement, and do family photos with my guys. I also am planning on getting my meals under control again. Here is what I'm planning (and I'm planning on sticking to the plan this week...hehe...):

M-chicken cacciatore, spinach salad
T-meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots
Th-grilled chicken, crispy smashed roasted potatoes, butternut squash (I still haven't gotten to make this meal!)
F-chili and fresh bread if the weather is cool enough; to be decided if it is not