Monday, July 2, 2012

Cleveland Museum of Art

On the same trip where we did THIS and THIS, we also visited the Cleveland Museum of Art. Our decision to visit was made easy because it is FREE! Yes!  They house a very well-rounded collection that includes a huge room of knight armor.  I'll just post some of my favorite works and then point you to the full set of photos HERE
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Picasso, Harlequin with Violin

Cleveland Museum of Art
van Gogh, Poplars at Saint-Remy
I love van Gogh's heavy use of paint and the lines it creates.

Cleveland Museum of Art
The Thinker

Cleveland Museum of Art
A Really Old Sugar Shaker
This little thing was my favorite find in the museum. I wanted to take it home with me, but I think they frown upon breaking the glass cases.

Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
This sculpture is made of wood. Amazing!

Cleveland Museum of Art

I highly recommend this museum. It took us about 3 hours to get through it, but we could have easily spent another 1-2 hours. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

{sewing} Custom Baby Bonnet

Between my friends Erica & Elizabeth and their mom, I stay busy with custom orders. I love that they come to me with ideas for things they want! Erica is my oldest friend (we met when I was in kindergarten and she was in 1st grade), and we have always shared a love for crafts. We spent many many recesses making friendship bracelets, cross-stitching, among many many other things.

Erica found this bonnet pattern (Simplicity 2908) and asked me to make one for her newest addition:
Eden in her Flower Bonnet
There's not a photo of the other side, but the applique part is a super sweet pale pink.

After I made Eden's bonnet, Elizabeth asked me to make one for her friend. I loved doing the applique work on my sewing machine. There's something very rewarding about it!
2012 06 24 Bonnet-3
2012 06 24 Bonnet-2
2012 06 24 Bonnet-1-2

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Best Two Days

My family loves roller coasters. The bigger, the better. Nothing is too fast or too tall. This love started when my brothers and me were small. My parents would take us to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH to let us ride. Ever since then, we have made the trip every couple of years or so. It gets better every single time.

Cedar Point is the park you see on the Travel Channel. You know, the one with all the record-breaking coasters. I remember when Magnum opened (I was 7) and it was the tallest one in the world at 200 feet. Now, the tallest in the world is over 400 feet. Top Thrill Dragster is the second tallest in the world (420 ft.) right behind Kingda Ka (456 ft.). I rode the Dragster when it was the tallest coaster, so I'll count it. Kingda Ka is in NJ and opened two years after Dragster. Best 17 seconds of my life. Promise.
2012 06 Cedar Point: Top Thrill Dragster
oh yeah!

I'm not going to go through every coaster, but I will tell you about our trip. Cedar Point launched its new Fast Lane program this year. Basically you pay $40 on top of your ticket cost to go in a queue that skips all the others in line. Now, before you get to the sticker shock of $100/day at a theme park, I will tell you why it is worth it to buy these passes.

Usually, if it's a crowded day, you will wait 2 hours to ride the bigger coasters. With the Fast Lane passes, we were able to wait about 4-5 minutes for each ride, if that. On past trips, we probably got to ride everything once. This trip, I lost count how many times we rode our favorites. We bought the passes for our first day, thinking we would be satisfied with that. Once we waited in line for 30 minutes on our first ride on the second day (one day is NOT enough), we had been so spoiled that we immediately purchased passes for the second day.

I could write for an eternity about how much I love Cedar Point, but I will spare you. If you love rides, go. NOW.

To see my full set of horrible phone pics (no way was I toting around my big camera), click HERE.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Funky Architecture of Mr. Gehry

In college, I fell in love with the work of Frank Gehry, thanks to an Industrial Design class I took as a humanities credit. Hey, it was better than taking an English class, by far. Gehry's buildings are funky. Click HERE to see all the images of his work.

During my visit to Boston two years ago, I made sure to visit one of his building's at MIT:
2010 Boston MIT
It was a little bit difficult to photograph because there were so many other buildings surrounding it, but I am happy with this photo. And here's Kendall pretending to be the I in MIT:
2010 Boston MIT
Last week, my family & I were visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art. As we pulled into their parking lot, I saw Gehry's signature metal & brick just sitting there at this random college. (Case Western Reserve University) My family probably thought I was crazy because I squealed like a little school girl. I told them that I WOULD be visiting this building after the museum. Lucky for me, I was the driver and they had no choice! **Evil laugh** I did a quick walk around and take photos trip, so they wouldn't get too mad at me!  Here they are:
2012 06 16 Frank Gehry, Cleveland, OH
2012 06 16 Frank Gehry, Cleveland, OH
2012 06 16 Frank Gehry, Cleveland, OH
2012 06 16 Frank Gehry, Cleveland, OH
2012 06 16 Frank Gehry, Cleveland, OH

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dirty Laundry Bags: For Students & Travelers

Dirty laundry bags are here!

Well, the bags themselves aren't dirty, but you can avoid putting your dirty laundry in the floor or back inside your suitcase when traveling. At the end of your trip, you're ready to go! Just tie up the drawstring and throw in the car, or put the bag (with dirty clothes inside) back in your suitcase.

For dorm life, keeping your room tidy and organized is key if you're going to live through your college years (so your roommate doesn't kill you, you know!). Just throw your dirty laundry inside and head over to the washers & dryers!

2012 06 20 Laundry Bags-8

~Holds 5-6 days worth of clothes.
~100% cotton canvas
~Machine wash cold,  dry on low
~24" x 26"
~Drawstring cord closure
~Handle for convenient hanging  & carrying
~$23.50 (plus applicable sales tax & shipping), Add personalization for $9

Fabric Choices:
Laundry Bag Fabrics

Personalization Font Choices:
embroidery fonts grid
(Click on photo to see larger images of fonts)

To Order:
Email me with fabric & personalization choices at and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Turnaround time from cleared payment will be approximately 3-5 business days. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Atlanta Braves Home Opener

Some friends and I headed down to Turner Field to see the Braves open their season with a WIN! The best part about opening night and holiday games is when the fighter jets fly over. Gives me chills every single time.

2012 04 19 Braves-1
Magen & her gum

2012 04 19 Braves-3
William & Keith

2012 04 19 Braves-4
2012 04 19 Braves-5
The National Anthem

2012 04 19 Braves-6
Braves Win!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Embroider on Oilcloth

About a year ago, I did some pattern testing for a new sewing book, Sewing With Oilcloth. The author, Kelly McCants, came to Atlanta this past fall to do a book signing and hangout session, so I went so I could meet her and get my books signed.

While we were hanging out, we got on the subject of embroidery. We weren't sure how the embroidery machine would handle the oilcloth.

I am just now getting around to trying it, and it works just fine. I use a home embroidery machine (Brother PE780D), so i am sure the industrial machines will handle it just as well, if not better.  Before you try it, there are some things you need to know, though:

1) DO NOT hoop the oilcloth. Hoop the stabilizer and stick the oilcloth to it. Sticky stabilizer or temporary spray adhesive can be used.
2) The embroidery needles will wear out more quickly when stitching on oilcloth, so be mindful of that.
3) Since oilcloth should not be pinned down, I usually babysit the machine while stitching oilcloth due to the chance the oilcloth can come off the stabilizer from the movement of the embroidery arm.

When I embroidered my beach / pool tote, I used:
~ A fill stitch. Since this bag will get a lot of use and the lettering was large, I opted to not use a satin stitch.
~ Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
~ Temporary spray adhesive to stick the oilcloth down
~ Titanium Organ sharp embroidery needle
~ Gunold polyester embroidery thread. I would stay away from the rayon on oilcloth. It tends to break easily.

I wrote this post, assuming that folks familiar with embroidery are reading it. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment or email me!