Tag Archives: crafts

What I’m reading and doing

Despite the time of year, Fall has not quite hit the Bay Area yet. We still have pretty high temperature and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see.

That still doesn’t stop me from acting like its fall and that the temperatures are cooling. I’m cooking more and crafting more too. Can’t say much for TV and Movies. Its been baseball games everyday since the LA Dodgers are in the playoffs.

What I’m seeing: 

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Station

This is a wonderful (and small) state park near Half Moon Bay. There’s even a hostel in the park. Wouldn’t this be an amazing view to wake up to on vacation?

pigeon point 1

Ano Nuevo Open Preserve:

I wasn’t lying about the clear blue skies. This gem is also in Pescadero (about an hour drive away from San Francisco), and its a short 2 mile hike (4 miles round-trip). You get gorgeous views of the ocean and we got to see a small grouping of lady elephant seals hanging out on the beach.

ano nuevo

What I’m cooking:

salmon

Pan fried salmon with caulifower rice and steamed veggies. Delish! And it only took about 25 minutes to make too. I sauteed the cauliflower rice and mushrooms, steamed the broccoli and green beans. It assembled really quickly.

What I’m crafting:

This is my second $5 in Paris sweater. Right now I’m finished up the sleeves. I improvised on the pattern and decided to make this long, cableknit sleeves. But now I have to frog the sleeves and start all over because I made the larges too large. Oops.

I finished this pillow case as my final project for my Sewing 101 class. Its much smaller than it looks, but I’m very proud of it. I learned how to do the fancy French seam for this project.

I’ve also enrolled in another sewing class. This time, we’re making pajama bottoms. I’m so excited for this project. I’ve been wanting to learn how to sew my own clothes for as long as I can remember. I’ll post pictures of that project soon.

What I’m reading:

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of…The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Narrated by Levar Burton.

Fred Rogers was an amazingly patience, loving and emphatic human being. The first 3/4ths of this book is a recap of the recent documentary, “Won’t You Be my Neighbor” but this last portion focuses more on his social ties to friends, family and the community at large.

There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Comin…There Are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman

This book has me terrified (but also a little bit excited) to turn 40. I’m still plenty of years away from that milestone, but seriously… I need to start preparing for that next era of my life now before it catches me off guard.
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New Adventures

As much as I read, I also love to craft. I’ve been knitting for almost 15 years (still beginner level), but I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew. When I was in elementary and middle school, I would spend hours in class doodling away, designing different outfits on paper dolls that I would draw. My fashion career never really passed the paper stage.

Now, at 35, working a full time job in the library with a child in Kindergarten, I’ve finally decided to fulfill a dream of mine from childhood. I’ve signed up for beginner sewing classes at the local adult education school. Its an evening course once a week for 5 weeks. Each class is 3 hours long. Its a dedicated time devoted to learning the basic techniques of sewing with like-minded learners. Its an evening class, so I can just zip over there right after work.

It wasn’t until I signed up for this class that I realized how precious a dedicated 3 hour block of time once a week really is. Its something I never get to enjoy with life and responsibilities. It feels wonderful to treat myself to this luxury of time to learn this new skill.

We have 4 main projects that we’ll be working on for this course. A pin cushion, burp cloth, a travel pillow and a tote bag.

This one was a tricky one to do! It didn’t help that my old sewing machine wasn’t functioning well. Its been deemed beyond repair. I had to buy a new one. My first attempt was so mangled. This pin cushion is actually my 2nd attempt. I did a ladder stitch to seal it off, and that remains unseen for a reason. I did learn about seams, pressing, learning how to backpress on the sewing machine, threading the machine, winding a bobbing, and stuffing.

The 2nd project has been a burp cloth. This was seemed much easier to do than the pin cushion. Maybe I’m just getting more used to sewing?

For this one, I learned how to read a pattern, pin it to the fabric and cut out the fabric. I stitched the pieces together, smoothed it out, uncurled the edges and pressed it before finishing it off with the ladder stitch. I’m so proud of the ladder stitch on this project. Its practically invisible! All that’s left for this is the topstitching for a nifty little design.

Next week, we’re starting on the travel pillow. Hopefully I can start and finish it during class. I already have plans to sign up for the Sewing 102 course being offered in October. That course continues from what we learned in Sewing 101, and its centered on just one project, pajamas!