Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another Bend in the Road

Late last week I passed my comprehensive exam, and yesterday I officially completed my Master's degree. Two years of student life behind me, a new phase of my life begins.

Sometimes the most momentous occasions in our lives are best appreciated without major fanfare (there will be enough of that come graduation). So after I turned in my final reports yesterday, I met a friend for coffee, and later walked through my beautiful neighborhood with rock and roll pumping on my iPod and my camera in hand, soaking up the glory of Portland on a late May day, warm and humid between rainstorms, and overflowing with green. Celebrating. Unsure as I am of where my life will go from here, between the music in my ears, the beauty all around me, and a supreme sense of accomplishment, I felt satisfaction beyond compare.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Handmades for Baby (and Brother)

I got in a nice dose of crafting this last week, to counteract the effects of studying for my comprehensive exam. One of my favorite families is expecting a second baby boy in just a couple weeks, and we had a really lovely backyard barbecue in the warm almost-summer rain yesterday to celebrate his upcoming arrival.
Here's what I made for gifts:

After knitting off and on for the past several months, last week I finished my first moderately complex knitting project, which was a great experience for me- I learned new stitches and tricks, how to sew buttons onto handknits, and how to block! Also here's a shout-out to Heather for some technical assistance along the way. I am in love with the feeling of complete satisfaction that comes from actually creating fabric out of this beautiful wool, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with myself since as far as I can tell, I managed to complete the whole thing with only one stitch out of place.

My Ravelry notes are here

Last summer, when I first found out that my friend R was pregnant, I was inspired to make name bunting for both the new baby and his older brother. I finished the bunting for big brother last August, and set it aside, and cut out the flags and prepared everything for the second bunting, not knowing whether it would be for a boy or girl, or what the name would be. There are so many great bunting projects on so many different blogs that inspired me, and as a combination of several of those, this method worked really well for me:

I cut the flags out with pinking shears- saves SO much work of hemming. The ribbon was just made from scraps of fabric rolled on itself and sewn and ironed flat. Using ric-rac for the letters worked perfectly (thanks to Laurel for fueling my new addiction to all things ric-rac). I sealed/melted the cut ends of the ric-rac with a lighter so it wouldn't fray, and pinned the letters in place before sewing down the center of the ric-rac. Once all the letters were done, all the flags were sewn onto the ribbon. 

For Big Bro (2 years old)

 For Little Brother. You might notice that these are leftover pieces from the table set I made last summer. Relatively gender neutral...

 Done! I'm so pleased with how these turned out. Such a simple, fun project with a colorful and hopefully long-lasting end product. 
With that- I'm off into the last two weeks of my graduate school career! I doubt I'll be back here until I've finished everything up. So send positive energy towards me as I take my comps next week, and in the meantime I'll be doing a lot of this:

Fueled by a lot of this: 
My default quickdraw dinner of late- a grain, a protein and some greens all piled into a bowl together with some salt. Brain food. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Six Things

1. French toast and mandarins; PG Tips with mint.
2. Row by row, a Pebble vest comes together; a wee boy's arrival is imminent.
3. First radish harvest.
4. Summer shoes and sunscreen.
5. The chard inundation continues.
6. My beautiful city from the east bank of the Willamette.

Ingredients of an 85-degree Portland weekend, Liz-style.