Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back

When all is said and done, 2012 was a great year. I love looking back on the past year that I have had because it makes me appreciate so many things in my life. It also makes me realize how much time I take for granted--in retrospect, this year flew by. I know I talk about the progression of time a lot on this blog, but it really is something I feel all the time, especially as I complete more of my time at Georgia Tech and especially as David and I continue our journey of being a couple in a long distance relationship.

One of the things that I have loved the most about this past year has been the cultivation of my blog. When I started blogging more than two years ago, I think I loved the idea of a blog but honestly had no idea what to write. My blogging was sporadic at best, and at times I felt like I was blogging because it was something I admired about other people. Enter a very large blogging hiatus.

But 2012 was different. I started off the year with a blog post about 12 things I wanted to do in the new year, and it really kick-started some things for me. All in all I'd say it was a success. The only true thing I never got around to was writing a song. People always assume that because I play guitar I should naturally just be a font of new music.  The truth is that every time I have sat down to write my own song has been a dud.  It's so much harder than it looks, and it gave me a new appreciation for artists who write their own stuff.

Many of my other endeavors this year have been much more successful however.  Probably the thing I am most proud of is my perseverance in learning how to knit. David loves to spoil my hobbies.  Probably because he knows he's going to reap the benefits of it :)

I can't wait to find out what 2013 has in store for me.  If anything, I want to be able to say I lived everyday to its potential and that above all, I was happy :)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bottlecap Coasters

Quite some time ago, David told me that he needed coasters for his apartment.  Because there's nothing like a little knitting to make a place feel like home, I knew that the coasters should be knitted (also per David's request), but I wanted to do something more than that.  A couple days later, the perfect idea dawned on me.  Bottlecap coasters.  But then the problem of collecting bottle caps ensued.  I don't drink bottled drinks very often, so my process of collecting the caps was essentially reduced to just nab them from other people after they opened their beverages.  Problem number two resulted when I realized that the people I was getting bottle caps from have their own personal favorite drinks, and because I wanted each coaster to have nine bottle caps from nine different drinks, it took a long time for me to acquire some variety.  I didn't want to give a coaster comprised entirely of Blue Moon caps after all.

Of course, the end result is that even though I've knitted quite a few bases for the coasters, I only had enough bottle cap variety to complete one.  Oh well.  Now that David has his one coaster and knows that I'm collecting bottle caps, maybe the process of collecting them will go faster :)

Getting ready to hot glue the bottle caps to the knitted base!

All done!

And it serves its purpose perfectly :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Game Day Infinity Scarf

Back at the very end of August, when David left for Chicago, I tracked his flight online and started knitting a scarf for myself.  Then school got crazy and I started knitting things for other people and my scarf got put on the back burner.  But alas, now that I'm between semesters and now that Christmas is over (aka I'm not knitting for other people), I decided that I was finally going to finish it.  Knitted up in size nine needles and sewn together into a cowl, I'm glad to finally have it done and to finally be able to use it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Seed Stitch Cowl

As a knitter, I confess that the purl stitch used to scare me. Heck, I attempted knitting lace before I even thought about learning how to purl. But once I learned how to do it properly, I was so relieved since it opened a whole new world of knitting patterns.

One such pattern is the seed stitch. I used this particular stitch to make a scarf for my sister. I used size ten needles, and it was a great post-exam / pre-Christmas project.

I wish that I could keep it for myself instead of giving it up!

A work in progress!

All done!

I of course had to model it first ;)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Scalloped-Edge Beanie

One of my goals this Christmas was to do something I'd never done before: to give only homemade Christmas presents. Okay, well, maybe not 100% homemade but I wanted to get as close as possible.

The first thing I endeavored to make was a hat whose pattern I got out of a knitting book that had been given to me from David's mom for my birthday. Possibly the best advice I have received since starting to knit is to add a new technique with every new project.  This time around, I decided to try my hand at knitting lace.  This hat ended up being a great first lace project.  It was difficult enough for me to still have to rip it out twice before successfully conquering the pattern but easy enough that I wasn't discouraged.

And I loved the end result!  I want to make another one for myself :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Decorations

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating the house.  I love all the lights and all the colors, and it just turns the house into a magical place.


And because everyone should wear a tacky Christmas sweatshirt at least once a year:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog Changes

Frequently dissatisfied with the appearance of my blog, I've updated it again.  Now that the changes are made, I have realized that the colors are rather Christmas-y in nature, but I like it.  I changed the background and some fonts and I even updated my profile picture.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Tea

I have been a tea drinking fiend ever since I got home (that is, more than usual).  The reason: it is just warm enough outside to where it's freezing in the house, but turning on the heat seems a little overboard.  It's basically my parents' favorite time of the year because they would rather save the money than adjust the thermostat.  I don't think I've heard the air conditioning running once since I got home.  I can't really blame them though--it's from them that I got my stinginess.  I hate spending money.  I suppose it's better than the alternative: living in a cold house because we can't afford to pay the bill, but I've definitely been resorting to cups of tea and fuzzy socks to make my way across the cold tile kitchen floor.

Christmas break has been wonderful so far.  This is actually going to be the longest break from school that I've had since last Christmas.  I know that the three weeks are going to fly by though, and I'll be back at it before too much longer.  I'm just trying to make the most of it while I can.

By the way, read this article.  I cried at several points.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

First Days of Break

I have officially been on Christmas break for the past four days.  My dad picked me up from my apartment Thursday night, and aside from sleeping, here's what I've done since break started:

- knitting (and lots of it.  Can anyone say Christmas presents?)
- I started reading a book called The Friday Night Knitting Club.
- My family celebrated my sister Colleen's birthday.  We had brunch which of course means mimosas which of course means a good time :)
- I babysat my sweet niece Natalie while my sister and brother-in-law went to dinner.
- Two words: The Hobbit.
- I wrapped Christmas presents for my parents.  It makes me feel like an elf, especially when I put some jingles on :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Tea: Finals Week

As it goes every year, the "most wonderful time of the year" just so happens to coincide with one of the worst times of the year--finals.  So far, I am two finals down with two to go, and this time tomorrow, I will be done.  Good grades would be a fabulous Christmas present in my opinion.

So I have a cup of tea in hand, and my textbooks all strewn in front of me, and I wish I could stay and chat.  But hey, at least I have a Mickey mug and Mickey pants to keep me company during this last day of extreme stress.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Giveaway Madness

Remember when I said I won a clock from a shop on Etsy called Field Treasure Designs? Well, it finally came in today, and although I have no idea what to do with it, I am so thrilled with it. It's so different from anything I've ever owned. Ever since I started knitting and doing crafty things of my own, I've become really big on buying homemade items as opposed to store bought, so I love the idea of supporting fellow artists. Now I just need to decide where to hang it!

Brown paper packages tied up with string... :)

But the clock isn't the only giveaway I've won recently. Two days after I found out I won the clock, I also won a set of twelve cards of my choice from the Red Letter Paper Company, another small business where all the cards are designed and created by this one extremely talented woman.

I couldn't believe my luck! After ages of blog reading and giveaway entering, I had the good fortune to win two at once :)

Go here to check out more of the cards!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Tea: Dead Week

Dead Week is officially here, and in exactly one week, I will be done with two of my exams.  I'm not really sure which exam I am dreading the most, but if I had to choose one, I would probably say my Abstract Vector Spaces final is going to be the worst.  It's also the one that I'm really feeling the pressure for to do well because my grade for this class is completely up in the air at this point.  Fingers crossed that I can stay focused and power through the next eight days.

I just wish Christmas break would get here already because I'm dying to knit to my hearts content.  I have some really awesome gifts planned out, but for now they're just ideas until I get the time to knit them into reality.

Happy Tuesday Tea :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rawr Means I Love You In Dinosaur

Today marks the one year anniversary of David's and my relationship, and I could not be more thrilled.  Because we can't be together today, I flew up to Chicago this past weekend to be with him, and it was such a great couple of days, albeit incredibly short.  I arrived Friday evening fairly late, so after finally getting to David's apartment, we didn't do much more than just eat some food and watch some TV since we were both so tired.

On Saturday, the first thing was go to the grocery store to buy some things to make breakfast.  We made lots of potatoes and lots of eggs and LOTS of bacon.  And we also had mimosas which really made it special.  We had some leftovers of the eggs that we ate the next morning, but needless to say, all the bacon was gone.  The entire pound of it...

Later, we set out to see  more of the city!  Our first stop was Millennium Park where I got to see the famous Bean for the first time!  (Don't ask me what it's actually called, I have no idea.)  We wandered around the rest of the park and got to see some other cool things, but the Bean was really the highlight because I'd been wanting to see it for so long.

After Millennium Park, we took the bus over to the Lincoln Park Zoo which was having a light display.  The cool thing was that we weren't just there to look at Christmas lights; the rest of the zoo was open for exhibit as well.  The best part for me was seeing the giraffes :)

After the zoo, we went back to the apartment to make dinner.  On the menu: chicken satay with a spicy peanut sauce.  And it was soooo yummy!  It was even better than I was expecting it being.  We also made chocolate chip cookies and ended the night by watching some of The Producers before falling asleep.

Sunday morning, after waking up and eating our leftover breakfast from the day before, we went to church.  It was the first Sunday of Advent, which definitely put us in the Christmas spirit since we promptly walked to Ace Hardware after church to buy a Christmas tree.  When we got home with it, we put on some carols and decorated it.

It was the last thing we did before I had to catch my flight back to Atlanta, and it was the perfect ending to the weekend.

The real highlight of the trip though was when David and I unknowingly coordinated gifts for each other.  Besides the State of Love cross-stitch that I made him, I also made another cross-stitch:

It could not have been more perfect considering that this is one of the things David got me:

This is true love.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

State of Love

Okay, so I wrote this post a LONG time ago, but I am only just now posting it because it's all about an anniversary gift I made for David that I only just gave to him. So naturally I couldn't talk about it on the blog early since he's one of the only people that actually reads this (wooo!).

So without further delay, I present what I have dubbed the State of Love cross-stitch. When I found this pattern online, I just knew that I had to make it for David and what better time than for our one year anniversary? It was an easy stitch though, and I couldn't be more thrilled than with the way it turned out.

Getting started!

The finished product!