What I’ve been up to and adventures in upcycling

Does anybody else feel super guilty when they don’t blog for a while? Yes? OK, me too. Alack and alas, I’ve been too busy. I know that’s not a great excuse and I should find the time to blog, but, well, I’ve been too busy. My husband and I opened our brewery March 6, had a grand opening March 8, and have been getting into the rhythm of running our own business ever since. For those of you out there with small business experience, you know what it’s like to wake up, bound out of bed, try to get as much done as humanly possible in the shortest amount of time possible, realize it’s 3 p.m. and you still haven’t eaten anything, try to spend quality time with your child (because that’s more important than anything, and that includes blogging), work, work, work, finally eat something at 9 p.m., and collapse into bed. Welcome to my past few weeks. Whew!

Luckily I found some time today while the Peanut was sleeping to do something just for me. I’ve been missing having creative outlet nearly every day. Before March I was turning out crochet projects right and left. Since the beginning of March I’ve added about three rows to the ripple blanket I’m working on. So it was high time for a little crafty time.

I had an old purple knit sweater I bought from Eddie Bauer years ago. It has been very loved, but the shoulders were starting to fray from so much use. So instead of getting rid of it, I cut the back out of it to use as backing for a pillow case. Here’s the raw materials for my project:

Raw matieralsThe church my mother-in-law attends has been clearing out a lot of the yarn and material it has accumulated for projects over the years. It’s a sad thing, really, that so few people still attend services there that there’s no one to make blankets and scarves for people who need them. So Terry has given a lot of the fabric to me. It’s lovely stuff, too. I can’t wait to make all sorts of things with it. The two fabrics in the photo above both came out of the box she brought me when she and my father-in-law came to visit a few weeks ago.

The actual cutting of fabric and sewing it together took me about an hour while Peanut slept. It was nice to use my sewing machine again after not touching it for months!

Upcycled pillow frontHere’s the front of my upcycled pillow on our bed (the quilt is also something I made).

Upcycled pillow backAnd here’s the back of the pillow, using the sweater. Turned out pretty nicely, huh? Advice for anyone else sewing on knitwear: It’s stretchy, so let the sewing machine pull the knit material through instead of tugging it through yourself. It gets all bunchy and weird if you tug it.

Upcycled pillowI’m delighted by how my quick little project turned out! It feels nice to make something after several weeks of working all the time. It’s also nice to have something new (made from something old) to spruce up our bed!

Upcycled pillow  and room

 

 

 

 

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Seattle = love

Shawn and I went on a “mini moon” this weekend to Seattle. We both fell in love with the city and cannot wait to go back. In fact, we’ve decided we’re going to try to relocate there in the next few years. We had a wonderful time at the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum (where we saw lots of awesome art and the very well done Picasso exhibit on loan from the Picasso museum in France), watching a Nebraska Huskers game at a Husker bar in Kirkland, chilling with a friend who graciously let us crash in her basement and eating way too much amazing food. The photos can tell this story much better than words.

We saw some very cool art at the Seattle Art Museum.

What a great trip!

Finding forever in a song

I had the good fortune to spend the past weekend in Lincoln, Neb. for a friend’s wedding. When not playing the role of dutiful bridesmaid, I was able to get some last minute wedding plans secured with my fiance, Shawn.

Bright and early Friday morning we sampled wedding cake. The chocolate — I was sure I’d be getting the chocolate — was disappointing and tasted a bit like moist cardboard. The pink champagne flavor induced tooth aches. But the almond flavor was just right.

Flowers have been finalized. Sunflowers, orange solidago, red hypernicum berries and chrysanthemum will provide the splashes of color at our otherwise black-and-white affair.

Image from http://flowersvegfruit.co.uk/

Got the marriage license. Alarm bells didn’t start ringing on the state of Nebraska computer alerting everyone in the building that my fiance and I are cousins — we’re not, but after hearing a horror story to that effect, I admit I was just a teensy bit worried.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the weekend (other than the beautiful wedding Shawn and I attended) lasted just a few minutes in the santuary of the church where we will be married.

Shawn and I walked into St. Paul United Methodist Church in downtown Lincoln and it felt like coming home. It’s a grand old church with beautiful, two-story stained glass windows. It’s the church we attended while living in Lincoln.

The wooden pews sat silently empty, uniformly facing the altar, as if in eternal, crouched worship. The sunlight streamed through the windows to illuminate the sanctuary with gentle light. We spoke quietly, our voices ringing off the stone walls.

We met with John, the man who plays organ at St. Paul. He treated us to a short concert to prepare the music for our wedding. I’d never seen an organ played so close before and I was transfixed.

John’s fingers nimbly leapt from keyboard to keyboard to keyboard. He pulled on knobs and pushed buttons to alter the sound, I think. His feet moved in a neat, practiced jig on the pedals that control the deep-voiced pipes. The former silence was broken by the surge of sound. It swirled about the pews and rose to the ceiling.

Then John played “Claire de Lune” by Claude Debussy on the piano, the song to which the bridal party and yours truly will promenade down the aisle. Many people recognize it as the song that plays while the fountains dance in “Ocean’s Eleven.”

As John played, I let my eyes wander about the church, filled with a moment’s fantasy. I watched the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle. Then I watched myself walk with my father down the aisle.

My ears filled with song. My heart swelled with this glimpse into forever.