It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been an obsessive journaler for most of my life. The tendency crept in in middle school and just stuck around for those tumultuous years following. Truth be told, my first real journal was not a book, it was my computer. I was trying to work some things out and thought it best I write it down, while simultaneously, I thought it was time I learned to type properly. Thus, my first journal was born in a word document (maybe it wasn’t word back then, but I forget to be honest). Subsequently I filled many composition books and spiral notebooks with the mundane details of my life and tons of teenage drama.
Then I found livejournal. Were you on livejournal? I feel like so many of us were. At first the concept of others reading my own personal thoughts didn’t occur to me, it was just like my computer journal, except stored secretly online. Over the years, connections were made and it became a way to vent as well as bond with others. I still had a paper journal, but the online one was something different, more careful and stylized and intentional. When an ex-boyfriend read one of my journals, livejournal became a safe place with its password protected private posts.
I guess now I’ve grown out of journaling. My life no longer has the drama worthy of writing about. Of course, there is this blog, which takes care of some of it. A fancy highlight version of life, with a few oblique references to internal struggles. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes miss journaling, but mostly I miss livejournal itself, the endless melodramatic posts and conversations they sometimes spurred. I do not, on the other hand, miss the times I wrote about, and am thus much happier to be without it.
My livejournal has since been deleted, fearing someone might find it and connect it to me. Before I disposed of it forever, I made a backup and years later, inspired by a friend, I finally decided to have it printed into a book so it would not be entirely lost.
It took a few hours to format everything into a printable version and then cost about $15 to have it printed. Now it can get stored away with the others serving no purpose at all, except that I have it. It’s not recommended reading. The bits I skimmed as I edited were so depressingly embarrassing they made me cringe. Reading things you wrote in college is not a good idea. That being said, I’m glad to have a physical copy even if it is only to be burned before my death or something along those lines.
This past weekend I took some time to explore the adorable fabric shop Sew Modern. I spent forever just looking at all the different prints and great fabrics. The whole place has the most welcoming atmosphere and I could squander away hours there. They even had a handful of Colette Patterns and I spied some designs from Creative Thursday. Browsing through all the fabrics instilled an even greater desire to focus on some sewing projects and really bite the bullet on quilting. So I’m working on a plan for this epic quilt and will be back to get pretty fabrics soon.
Ever since I made our wedding quilt, I’ve wanted to make another. The truth is though, I was a little intimidated. While my first attempt turned out well in the end, it was quite the struggle, and was by no means perfect. The thought of making a larger quilt was even more frightening. Yet, the idea still festered in the back of my mind. Then somewhere on the internet I saw this idea of a tiny quilt made for breakfast and I knew it was the perfect project.
The toast quilt (which I guess is actually called a mug rug) is sort of like a pot holder, except rectangular. In theory you’d put your coffee on there with your toast but I really just wanted one for the toast. It drives me sort of crazy to put toast on a plate unless it’s totally flat, otherwise it slips around when you are putting your spread on. Yes, I’m extremely particular about my toast. Often I’ll just use a napkin, but a quilted coaster is even better.
I had a few fabric samples designed by Jenean Morrison that I scored at Alt Summit, which were perfect for this tiny project. For the rest I used leftover fabric and batting from the previous quilt. I probably should have picked a more appropriate binding but the tan was already cut and ironed so I just went with it. I still need to work on cutting my squares perfectly the same size and also on my binding but I am very happy with my tiny quilt and already want to make more. The truth is it only barely scratched my quilting itch. I’ve resigned to make a full sized quilt, but I should probably do a little more practice first.
I have been knitting for what seems like forever, and while I may not be the most even sticher, it comes fairly naturally at this point. Crocheting on the other hand, has evaded me for these past few years. I tried once before to make a scarf and it just didn’t work out at all. When I came across this pattern for a cute headband with a bow I felt it was time to try again.
Lucky for me the pattern was very easy to follow and surprisingly it came out almost exactly as it should. The hardest part was keeping the whole thing away from my cat, who kept trying to steal it from me as I worked. The yarn I used was a little bit bulky so everything ended up a little bit chunkier than I imagined, but it’s still cute. I also probably should have followed the instructions for gauge, but I have a tendency too ignore that bit.
Mostly it gave me the confidence to try some other crochet patterns. While I’ll always have a soft spot for knitting, there is something appealing about only having one tool and one loop to work with.
Do you have any easy crochet patterns that you love? I’d really like to try something new.
It’s not often that I get really excited about an item of clothing. Fashion just isn’t my area of expertise; I’m more of an admirer from afar. Yet, when I saw the Vaute coat from Vaute Couture, I fell in love. Not only was it stunning, but I was in desperate need of a warm winter coat. Let me tell you, it is not easy to find a fashionable, well made coat that isn’t made from wool or down. Amazingly, my mom thought the coat was great too, and in a effort to keep me warm during my travels, she gifted it to me for my birthday & Christmas. (Thanks mom!)
Now having worn this coat in the hustle and bustle of New York city, the calm cool of the Pennsylvania countryside and a Park City snow storm, I can say with confidence, this coat is the best. I was never cold or wet, even walking in the freezing snow. When I spilled a cup of coffee on myself on the subway, the coat came out unharmed (hooray for waterproof fabric). And most importantly, I looked good the whole time.
I genuinely LOVE this coat. I sort of wish it was winter all the time so I could wear it all the time.
Extra personal bonus, matching my husband.
And just in case there was any question, I am in no way affiliated with Vaute Couture, nor did I receive anything for this post.
I genuinely just love this coat.
All photos by Shawn Bannon