Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home sweet... uh...

I'm all moved in to my new apartment. There's no subtle way to say it... the place is ugly, like *spectacularly* ugly. But it's within my budget, in an awesome part of town, and didn't take too long to find. Considering I've been traveling / freeloading since OCTOBER* I was just not willing to spend a lot of time looking for something better.

I have a couple decorating ideas... and would love to get ideas from everyone else - so just consider these the 'before' shots.

Here's the living room. Items of note - mottled brown carpet , and shag-o-riffic fake fireplace. Can't take it down because the bottom part is actually the heater for the room. But I at least got rid of the plastic log.

(Mrs. J shown for scale. ;) Thanks for helping me move!!!)

The entryway of many portals:I really don't like that I need to close the front door before I can open the hall closet door, but I"m getting used to it.

That 70s kitchen:
Mustard yellow appliances that are quite possibly older than I am. It's impressive really that they're still working. In fact my landlord said that the only way they'll get replaced is if they stop working. So if you have any ideas..... ;)

The bathroom has a case of multiple personality disorder I think. There's pale pink tile in the shower... the floor is an off white linoleum, and around the sink is a grey/blue "marble". It's big though, which is nice. Considering my bathroom in Thailand had a resident bird's nest & occasional cockroach invasions... this will be a huge improvement.

There's a linen closet next to the bathroom which may end up being my craft closet... not sure yet. There's no shortage of closet space here which is nice. In fact there are two closets in the bedroom.

Not quite sure why one has a mirror and the other doesn't... perhaps another case of split-personality. You'll note that the carpet stays true through the whole place.... well that's comforting I guess. ;)

And in case anyone was wondering... this picture represents about 1/3 of my personal possessions. I had some crafty stuff stored at Castle5000 and some clothes, books & sentimental stuff at another friend's house.

You'll note... NO furniture... nope, none. That situation is slowly but surely getting sorted out with the help of some very generous friends and my credit card. I'm not thrilled about the fact that I'm back in debt after working so hard to be debt free. But I'm just not willing to sleep on the floor for the next six months.

*I've stayed in approximately 18 different places (more if you count spending the night on buses/trains/planes) since moving out of my apartment in Rayong. I am about ready to BURN my luggage, but I can't until I get myself a dresser. =(

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baby baby baby

A friend of mine recently adopted a little boy, she & her hubby had tried for quite a while to have a kid themselves before deciding to adopt. The process was unbelievably long and arduous... I believe they were looking into adoption before I left for Thailand, and they brought him home shortly after I got back. I'm absolutely thrilled for them and the little boy seems to be doing extremely well with them.

Well, naturally I dug into my stash and made a quilt. And since I wasn't quite sure how soon the shower would be... I kinda cranked this one out as fast as I could!

The pattern is "Blueberry Pie" from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (June 2007) and is one that I've wanted to make for myself. It was easy and I really like the effect.

Obviously I made the baby quilt considerably smaller than the pattern... and I left off the flying geese blocks, frankly I don't think they fit with the rest of the pattern.

I just used some straight line quilting to echo the light diamonds. The thing I love about making baby quilts is that they are so small and so quick. Although this one is maybe a bit too small, since the boy is 20+ months... not a newborn. Oh well... I'm sure it's actually bigger than he is, and I cuddled under it on the couch... so it's usable. In fact I liked it so much that I had to embroider the little boy's name on it so I wouldn't keep it for myself. =P

But never fear... shortly after I finished this one I went out and purchased a bunch more batiks to make another one. =0

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I haven't been posting much, but a lot has been going on lately both crafty and otherwise. Just to get everyone up to speed.

1. I GOT A JOB! It's not my dream job, but there are definitely some positives... like getting a paycheck, and in a few months - health insurance. It's just a front office job, and pays less than what I was making before... but it should be far less stressful too. I like my coworkers (actually worked with one of them before) and everyone seems really well organized and helpful. So that's a good thing.

2. I found an apartment! Again, it's not quite my dream apartment, but it's in an awesome location. I'll be walking distance from the grocery store, the mall, and the MAX train. There's also a bus stop directly in front of my apartment that will drop me off directly in front of my new job in less than 30 minutes. I'll get to move in next weekend. Then comes the fun, but expensive, part where I buy all new furniture etc.

So things are feeling a bit more stable and less terrifying, but it's still going to take some time to get well settled. Next up will be looking into grad-school programs.

In crafty-news, I have been quilting a lot and knitting a little bit. I finished the embroidery on my Funky Floral quilt.It's not super fancy, but this square was a bit boring compared to the other center squares, so at least this adds a little something. Oh, and obviously I've finished the top & have started quilting it. I did a few lines of 'stitch in the ditch', and am planning to echo the square frames with quilting. It's a bit of a pain to try to get the body of the quilt through my relatively small sewing machine... but it can be done.

There are a couple other projects in the works, and I'll post on those soon. I bought a cheap new camera to replace the one that got messed up in Vietnam... but I'm really unhappy with the quality... I guess you get what you pay for. Now that I have a job, I'm going to take the good camera in for repairs, so that hopefully you'll get pretty pictures soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is how UFOs happen

I decided to do a little embroidery on one of the blocks of the quilt I'm making. I sketched it out and did some basic back-stitching in a couple different colors. But it wasn't quite enough, so I decided to add a bit of this and that... and to do an outline in white. In looking for my white floss I found about four skeins of ecru and only half a skein of white. It occurred to me to go with the ecru, but no... I decided that only white would do.

And *naturally* it ran out about halfway through.

Back in the days of car-ownership this would have been no big deal, just drive out to a craft store and pick up some new floss. But now that I'm totally reliant on public transportation I've got to figure out a craft store along a bus route... which is tough because they're all out towards the suburbs. And even tougher on Sundays when the buses come about once every half hour. I went to a Fred Meyer nearby - they have yarn & some other crafty things but no floss. So yesterday I was out of luck. I was seriously tempted to just set the whole thing aside and start a new project... but I knew as soon as I did that I'd never remember to get floss and the top would languish for ages as a UFO.

Today I went on a near epic quest to find embroidery floss...and learned that the two likely shops downtown are closed on Monday. I continued on busing & walking through the dark and stormy night only to find that the yarn shop right down the street happens to carry a very small selection of embroidery floss. Success!

Now I just need to finish up the embroidery, finish sewing together the top, then figure out how I'm supposed to quilt this whole thing. Gah quilts always take about 10 times longer than I think they're going to.

In other news, I'm still working a temp job. It's so boring I kinda want to bash my skull in more often than not, but the pay is decent. I went on about a million interviews last week... okay five... but it felt like more than that. I have another sit down tomorrow and I am really hoping that I get a job offer soon. I have about the sweetest situation I could imagine right now, but I won't feel right until I'm on my own two feet.