1.30.2011

Taking the plunge (plus a giveaway!)

I've decided to do it: I just posted a listing for a larger quilt (lap size) in my Etsy shop. Up until now, I've only sold baby quilts. But I finally feel confident enough to take the plunge and start selling larger quilts. I spent a lot of time determining price and feel comfortable with the offering. I absolutely adore this quilt and know that someone else will too. We have many quilts around our house already (and many more in the works) so I decided that this one could go live somewhere else. I do hope that it finds a happy home!


But there's more! I've decided that I'm also going to offer a giveaway! I have a big week coming up: I'm going to DC for a bunch of meetings about jobs. I'm super pumped and ready to get the ball rolling. Since it's such a big week for me, I wanted someone else to benefit too! I'm offering the following items to giveaway: a handmade tote bag, a bunch of 1" hexies, and a few scraps of Heather Ross "Far, Far Away II" fabric!!!This giveaway will be open until Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 12 PM EST. Then I'll close it and choose a winner through the Random Number Generator. Here's how to enter:
1. Post a comment on this post.
2. Follow me and post a comment that you do so. You can follow me through a reader or Google Friend Connect. Just make sure you comment and let me know!
3. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
4. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

That's 4 chances to win!!! Open to ALL! Good luck and thanks for your support! :)

1.29.2011

Rocking out

Do you listen to music while you sew? How about watching TV? Typically, when I'm cutting and ironing, I watch TV if I have a lot to do. Otherwise, I listen to NPR or music. I'm a huge NPR nerd so I always have podcasts handy. I also have pretty eclectic music taste so I could be listening to anything from John Mayer to Marvin Gaye to Billie Holiday to the Beastie Boys.

After receiving the awesome wall quilt from Brooke, I got a big kickstart of creative juice to finish my project for her. Here's a little sneak peek!

My sweetie is still sleeping but since I bought some new kick-ass headphones (I was still using the crappy ones that came with my iPod), I'm sitting here blogging, sipping coffee, and listening to music. I think it's time for the crafting to begin...

Happy weekend, everyone!

1.27.2011

Buried! (Under fabric, snow, yarn...)

Greetings from snowy (yet again) New York City! Even though I wasn't supposed to work today, I'm still having a snow day, like the rest of the city. We got about 19" here in Manhattan, and with decent temperatures, everyone seems to be having a blast playing outside or hibernating in! I've been doing both! Yesterday, I baked these amazing cookies (this is now the 3rd time I've made them) and may or may not have had one after breakfast ;-)
Firstly, I have to just say that I am so fortunate for all the new friends I've made through my blog, flickr, swaps, and virtual quilting bees. Brooke and I have become good friends, finding that in spite of over 300 miles apart, we have tons in common and get along like we've known each other for years. She always sends the best packages and yesterday she outdid herself: she had been posting sneak peeks of a secret project she was making for a friend, whose identity she kept quiet - and yesterday I discovered I'm the lucky recipient!!! We had talked a while back about doing a side swap for each other - she's clever and crafty and started on this soon after. She made me this AMAZING mini quilt depicting the beauty of summer in Maine (which I'm CRAVING right now) that will live in my bedroom (once I attach some loops for hanging to the back). It's awesome and I'm so honored to call it my own. And something may or may not be in the works for her... ;-) Thank you, sweetie! XOThis morning I decided to try out my Accuquilt Go! Cutter on a big pile from my stash. I didn't really have a specific project in mind OR a specific person so I just decided that I would pull out my stack of fat quarters of Timber and get cutting. The cutter came with one die that included a big square, small square, and 4 half-square triangles. I decided to use this die for each FQ. Let me tell you - math is not really my strong suit (well, that's not true, I'm actually pretty good at math, I just don't really enjoy doing it!) so I didn't really calculate how many squares I'd end up with. Let's just say this is going to be a HUUUUUUGGEEEEE quilt that I'm thinking will end up in my Etsy shop. And let me stress (and no, I'm not getting compensated for this): THE CUTTING WAS SO FAST IT WAS RIDICULOUS! I - like most quilters, I'm sure - don't enjoy the measuring and cutting part of quilting. Not to mention a friend had an incident a while back with a rotary cutter...we won't go there... Anyway, all the FQ are completely cut up and I've already started sewing some pinwheels and 4-square blocks. People, this is going to be one fantastic quilt. I'm just not sure where I'm going to lay it all out in order to figure out the layout! Haha, I'll worry about that once the blocks are all set. If my calculations are correct, there'll be about 300 blocks. Woooooweeeee! What an adventure. And it feels SO good to cut into a huge pile from my stash. :)
I have a million and a half things I'm working on at once and since I spent the morning doing crafty stuff, I'm off to spend a little time on real life stuff. But have no fear, I'll be up to my elbows in fabric and yarn this evening.

And I'll leave you with some awesome pictures of the snow (check out my Flickr stream for more!):
My patio


Riverside Park

1.26.2011

Distraction

I'm trying to pretend that this isn't in the room. I still have too much to do before I can play...

(From my awesome parents for Hannukkah/my birthday.)

Squeeeeeee!!!!!!

1.25.2011

190

I finished sewing together each row of my hexagons. I ended up with 190! The scary thing is that I have tons more. I'm not sure what will ever happen with them... Anyway, now that all the rows are ready, I can sew them together. I've already sewn 3 and 1/2 rows and have realized this will be pretty slow going. That's OK, I'm actually enjoying it more than I expected.

I also started a new embroidery project. I may or may not end up giving it to a friend for a present.

I spent the morning doing some job stuff and going through clothes (ended up adding a bunch of things to the sell/donate pile!). This afternoon, I started working on my Spicing Up The Kitchen swap projects. I'm going to make 2 hot pads and either a mug rug or some napkins. I'll post some pictures of my progress soon. My partner has very specific taste (which isn't a bad thing!) so I've been very cautious in planning and working on her items. I hope that she'll like them!

On a whole other note, I finished a long-standing WIP and am thinking of selling it. I love it but am thinking that I'd really like to try listing it in my Etsy shop. So far, I've only had baby quilts up, so this would be the first larger quilt I'd sell. It's about 50" square and is a perfect lap quilt. I spent a fair amount of time on it and it's made from only Kaffe Fassett fabrics so it's worth a lot. For those of you who sell larger quilts, how do you decide to price your quilts? To be perfectly candid, I already have a number in my head but I'd like to hear from you before I go ahead with it. If you don't feel comfortable posting your info, you can always email me at rlevenkron@gmail.com. I'd appreciate any information! (And yes, I'll post some more pictures soon!)

Well, off to do some more sewing, walk Louie, and get everything ready to make potato soup.

1.22.2011

Brrr!

As I type this, I'm currently sitting under a wool blanket, with a hoodie and some sweatpants having just finished a yummy bowl of oatmeal (brown sugar AND raw honey, thank you) and figuring out how to spend the day INSIDE. It's a brisk *ahem* 16 DEGREES outside. Louie and I went out for his morning walk and nearly froze (well, more me than Louie, since he has a fur coat and all) but met a very chipper bulldog puppy named Hazel. Then promptly skipped (carefully!) back to our toasty apartment.

My sweetie had a really rough work week with lots of late nights so I'm going to let him sleep and am off to do some crafting.

Happy Saturday - stay warm! XO

(And yes, I grew up with temperatures like this on a frequent basis. However, I NEVER enjoyed it. Ugh.)

1.21.2011

Whoops

So after taking a fabulous fall on the sidewalk in spite of plenty of salt and while wearing hard-core winter boots with insane traction. Yup, awesome.

Most of the afternoon was spent with a cold pack. Not much crafting. Lots of whimpering (to Louie, who looked at me skeptically, as if to say, "Really? You didn't break anything so why are you whining?").

True. Except my pride.

Sigh, oh well. Ended up letting Louie out onto the patio and then coming back inside to sew hexagons and plan a new embroidery project.


Ah well. ::Takes a bow::

Happy Friday

I woke up to a beautiful dusting of snow today. We got a few inches last night and it's fluffy and lovely. Maybe it's due to the snow, maybe it's the need for creative activities but I'm in a serious picture-taking mood today (sigh...can't WAIT to get a digital SLR camera - long way off but definitely something in my future). Snapped a whole bunch this morning while enjoying my coffee and now I'm off to do some "real" (aka not fun) stuff before getting back to crafting and such.

A few things... Finally finished my Kindle 3 cover. I don't know why it seemed so complicated but I guess I was just having a major brain fart about putting this together. Spatial stuff is so not my thing (I know, you must be laughing, this coming from a knitter/quilter) but I think I'm getting better at it. Anyway, reworked an Etsy pattern and whipped up a cute little case. Have to go to Michael's to get some Velcro to seal it up. Also off to the post off to mail some fun mix CDs (hi, brooke!) and to the library where The Gourmet Cookie Book is waiting for me on the hold shelf.

Stay tuned for some more pictures later today. Happy Friday, everyone!)

1.20.2011

Bumbling

I feel like today (and the past few days, for that matter) I've been sort of bumbling about. Don't get me wrong, I've been productive, but I feel like my head is in 20 different places. Between working on the job search, planning a trip to DC, getting a hold on my finances ::gulp::, and trying to work on some creative stuff, I'm a bit all over the place.

I think I'm going to take a shower and sit and chill for a bit. Yep, in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes we need that right?

1.19.2011

Perks

One of the perks of being crafty is that I'm able to make things that I need! My sweetie got me a Kindle for this past holiday season and I ordered this awesome case below:


However, the cover won't be shipping until the first week of February! Well, I'm eager to take my Kindle with me on my upcoming trip to DC so I'm making one to be used in the mean time. Not to mention, the homemade one will probably go with me when I vacation at the beach (wouldn't want that leather case to get all gross!)...

I bought a pattern but after using it, I decided to take apart the cover I made and completely redesign a cover. :) Sometimes you have to try things out to realize that they don't work but also to realize that you have more skills than you thought...

Pictures of crafty progress tomorrow.

1.18.2011

Evening

A quiet evening ahead, starting with a hot bowl of chili (yum!) and a stack of hexies to sew.

Some internet browsing for admired Etsy items...

1.17.2011

For the children (in all of us)

President Obama's recent speech at the Tuscon memorial service made me think a lot about childhood dreams. Remember when we were young and hopeful? There is so much negativity around us today and so much that we experience that prevents us from even admitting, let alone achieving our dreams.

Me (Age 3 or so) and Grandpa Joe, who I know would be proud of me and all I've accomplished


Let us all work toward the beautiful, peaceful, hopeful, and positive dreams we had as children. For there will always be children around to remind of us that and force us to remember back when we were children and viewed the world with starry-eyed wonder...


Me (also 3ish? 4ish?) and my Grandma Florence, who was always filled with fun, warmth, and style

Tribute

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us all try to work within the dream of Dr. King...

1.13.2011

To Do

  • Job stuff (always top of the list *sigh*)
  • Vacuum/mop/laundry (remnants from snowy slush on kitchen floor = gross!)
  • Catch up on emails
  • Groceries
  • Mail out swaps and Etsy sales
  • Bake some cookies (another cold day just begs for warm ginger chewies from here)
  • Crafty fun!
Yep, another day of no work. (In all honesty, I wasn't scheduled for work today but let's just pretend it's a snow day because that's always more fun...)

1.12.2011

Positivity, productivity, and insanity

I've been talking a lot about positivity here. I don't really do the whole new year's resolutions thing, but I try to pick one general thing that I'd like to focus on in the coming year. For me, this year it's positivity. I've been going through a lot of tough stuff and have trouble remaining positive. There are days when I just don't want to get out of bed (we all have those, huh?); days when I am so tired of having to work at keeping the momentum that I just want to give up. This is mostly related to the job search. However, I vow to not to let the whole process consume my life. Yes, I slip here and there, but overall I really want to try to focus on other things around me, while putting energy and effort into the search but not letting it take over and interrupt everything else.

I think this is why I've been so continuously productive when it comes to my hobbies, especially quilting. As I struggle through the job search process, there is very little result, especially tangible result. By quilting, not only do I use a different part of my brain, but I also throw myself into the task at hand (ie. distracting myself from the negative thoughts/anxiety), but also work toward a tangible goal that feels good in the process. As many of you know, if you've been in - or are currently in - similar situations, searching for jobs and submitting applications is incredibly tedious. It also makes you feel very vulnerable, especially when you see a negative response (or no response at all - so common). By quilting, I'm not only able to work through a process/task that brings enjoyment, but also results in something! When we create, endorphins are released - who wouldn't want an opportunity to feel that?!You end up with an actual result for all that effort and hard work. I know that eventually, the job search will end up essentially the same way, as I will have a job (not tangible, but definitely a result).

For now, in order to keep the insanity/negativity/anxiety away, I just keep on creating.

The Ultimate Scrap Box

Phew, it feels good to keep cleaning! I went through my scrap bin (SCCARRYYY) and realized that I won't use basically more than half of what I had! Sooo....I decided to pay it forward (or at least, pay it back to me a bit - heehee!). I've created an Etsy listing in my shop that includes this huge bunch of scraps. I'll ship them in a USPS Large Flat Rate Box ($14.95) to the lucky buyer. This includes a whole slew of awesome designers, all usable pieces of fabric (nothing smaller than 2.5" square) and a number of cuts of hard-to-find prints (Katie Jump Rope, Liberty for Target, etc.). I tried to set what I thought to be a fair price and I'm hoping that someone will snatch this up, as these are all great pieces!!!

1.11.2011

Waiting

Well, it's now 8 pm and still no snow. I'm kind of annoyed that work canceled my shift for today seeing as how not a flake has fallen yet. ::hrmph:: Obviously, it's canceled for tomorrow too since the snow is actually going to start in a few hours and continue all day. My poor little bank account. The switch back to part-time is definitely not good. While my main focus is on meaningful full time work, at this point mostly in DC, I still need something now that actually allows me to pay the bills. Hopefully I'll be able to find something quick (and yes, I'm going to just stick to easy things like retail since I think that'll happen the fastest...sigh).

Sorry for all the pouting. In spite of a lovely weekend a few days ago, 2011 is off to a bit of tough start. I'm really focusing on positivity, like I promised. I'm trying to keep things in perspective. This too shall pass, right?

My sweetie is out of town through Friday so Louie and I are holed up here, waiting for the snow. I spent the day alternating between job searching/emailing/applications and sewing. It helps to keep a balance since the two activities are so different. In keeping with the StashPact11 promise, I dove right in and hacked up my Kona Cotton jelly roll. I picked a simple pattern from this book and the quilt top is coming together fast! (Check out the progress in my flickr stream.)

I better take Louie out for his evening walk before it actually starts snowing (wet, smelly paws are no good for snuggling!). We'll probably watch some TV and knit. Well, I'll knit as Louie doesn't have thumbs... ;-P

Stay warm!

1.10.2011

Gearing up...

...for another storm! Supposedly the Northeast is going to get some snow starting tomorrow into Wednesday. My work shift tomorrow has already been canceled. My sweetie has to go out of town so Louie and I may be snowed in without him! Hopefully, this storm won't be as big as the last one (our garbage didn't get picked up for almost 2 weeks - it normally gets picked up every other day!).

I had a fabulous birthday weekend - thank you for all the warm wishes! Nothing extravagant - lots of quality time with loved ones, plenty of crafting, and of course eating. :)

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! I used the Random Number Generator and it picked #7 - congrats to webmailaddress2@yahoo.com! I've already emailed you.
I'll post again tomorrow and give you a status report on my destashing, crafting, and upcoming projects. Be sure to check back in as we hunker down here and watch the flakes fall!

1.09.2011

You say it's your birthday...

Today is my birthday! Here's to entering a new year with positive thoughts, creative goals, and in search of happiness. :)

A day planned for comfort and fun: relaxing with my sweetie and Louie, off to explore the wonders of Eataly, some time for crafting, and dinner out. (Yesterday was filled with pampering, crafting, and lots of relaxing!)

Thank you to all my blog readers - you guys rock!

1.08.2011

Weekending...

The hours are ticking down as I get closer and closer to turning 28! Eeek! It's been a great weekend so far. Last night my sweetie and I went to Braai where they had some service issues but more than made up for it with heaping free glasses of pinotage (my fave!). The ribs doused in rooibos/chocolate sauce were AAAAMAZING. Seriously. As always, our dinner made me miss SA like whoa. *Sigh* Can't wait to get back. Some day...

Today was spent doing fun things: sewing (placemats!), groceries, shopping (including a very hilarious conversation with an adorable 2-year old and his mom on the subway - he had awesome orange/blue sneakers - too cute!), mani/pedi (SO overdue), and lots of quality time with my boys.

Looking forward to a night in, with breakfast for dinner (mmm) and one more sleep til my birthday...

Hope you're having a nice weekend!

1.07.2011

More fabric!

I think I've finally (phew!) finished my big fabric reorganization. I've listed a TON in my Etsy shop so be sure to check it out.


Now, I've decided that I'm willing to just continue with the goodwill of the recently past holiday season and offer a giveaway! I have this bunch of modern dot fabric that I'm offering up - there is a lot of fabric here folks - for FREE. Not to mention, it's my birthday on Sunday and I think it's only fair to give you all a gift! ;-) All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment in this post. To qualify for a second entry, become a follower of my blog (either through Google or through a reader) and let me know in a separate comment. Your comment can be anything! It can be a recipe, new year's resolution, etc. I'll choose a winner on Monday, January 10th at 5 pm EST.

Be sure leave a way to contact you if you win!

Also, check out my Flickr stream as I have some other fabric that I'm interested in swapping...

Good luck and happy Friday!

Happy Friday

I love, love, LOVE Jason Mraz AND Sesame Street - check out this cute video of the whole gang singing to the tune of "I'm Yours" replaced with "Outdoors."

1.06.2011

To Do

(for tomorrow...as right now I'm snuggled with Louie under a quilt on the couch with hot chocolate and a book):

1. Put together giveaway fabric stack
2. List remaining fabrics on Etsy
3. Get/fill flat rate USPS medium box for more fabric
4. New projects: mug rugs, spiderweb quilt (not new but haven't worked on in a while), Kindle cover
5. Self indulgence (aka trip to Sephora - with gift card!)
6. Dog park (in the snow???)
7. PO to mail out swaps/purchases
8. Pick restaurant for birthday dinner (Sunday!)

Streamlining

Phew, it feels good to organize and list those fabrics! I'm going to keep adding more, so be sure to check back over the next few days as I fill up my shop with fabrics that I can bear to part with. Nothing like a good cleanout/organization to get the creative juices going!

The new year is off to a busy start. I'm pushing hard for the job search while continuing to focus on staying healthy and positive in all aspects of my life. There have been a few bumps in the road already but I'm still hanging on.

This Sunday is my birthday so I took off from work - which means yay for a three day weekend! No big plans, but plenty of quality time with my sweetie and Louie, as well as some other fun activities (pedicure, dinner out, maybe Ikea shopping trip, etc.).

I just picked up my machine from getting a tune up* and it's like a brand new beast! I'm loving how the tension is spot on now and there's seriously not a speck of dust. The repairman said it was really, really dusty ::shamefully hanging head:: and that I should ALWAYS keep it covered when not in use.

Anyway, the first few projects for the new year are already in the works! I really want to get this awesome cover for my Kindle but they don't have one for mine yet (I have the newest version). In the meantime, I bought a pattern here and am making one! I finished it but decided to backtrack and take it apart to tweak a few things. Once it's all done, I'll show you.

What are you up to?

*For those in the NYC area, I got my machine serviced at City Sewing, recommended to me by the fabulous ladies of The City Quilter. I was super happy with the whole transaction and highly recommend them for repairs/servicing/etc. And just so you know, I'm not getting compensated for this plug! :)

1.05.2011

A fresh start


MAJOR FABRIC DESTASH!

The fabric you see above is only the beginning of my major cleanout! In an effort to start fresh in 2011 I cleaned out my fabric cabinet and MAN did it need it! I have so much fabric that deserves a better home than I can offer so you're all in luck. I'm destashing over at my Etsy shop BUUUUUTTTTT I'm also willing to swap things but only if you have something really unusual rare. I don't want to just simply accumulate more fabric I won't use! The only things I'm looking for are Denyse Schmidt's "Flea Market Fancy" (I have NONE) and Anna Maria Horner's new velveteens from "Innocent Crush." Also, please keep in mind that I've tried to be reasonable about prices. If you REALLY, REALLY want something but the price isn't work, please shoot me an email and we can try to work something out. I'm reasonable, I promise! :)

So, check out my shop and KEEP CHECKING BACK as I'll be adding TONS - and I mean TONS - of fabric throughout the rest of the week.

Happy shopping!

1.02.2011

Happy New Year

I can't believe that it's 2011. This is going to be a big year, I can just feel it.

I hope everyone else rung in the new year with friends, family and fun. My sweetie and I enjoyed some delicious home cooked food and watched the ball drop from the comfort of our couch. It was lovely and just the way I wanted it.

I'm not someone who makes strict resolutions, but of course I like to think about goals for the coming year. Hopefully this year will hold many more positives things for me than 2010.

Here's hoping...

~ Trying to generally live a healthier lifestyle. This means the food I eat (which is actually already very healthy - I just want to keep it that way!), exercising more (I'm so bad about this), and focusing on mental health (mindfulness, yoga, etc.).

~ I have been a model citizen when it comes to finances. I've really learned how to budget and want to continue to do that. Hopefully I'll have a much greater income starting at some point in the first half of the year, letting me save some money (!), pay down student loans, and continue to pay off credit cards (which I haven't really been using for over a year now - woohoo!)

~ Make sure to create, spend time with friends, and remain positive.

Here's to a wonderful year!

Cheers - xoxo.