Weekend Project: Vintage Chalkboard Desk

A few years ago, a very dear friend of ours gifted us a vintage student desk. I instantly fell in love with it and decided it was now a part of the family. It made it through our move from New York city almost four years ago and has been in the girls room through all of the changes we’ve made. However the girls are so small and it will still be a year before Bella starts getting homework assignments, so the desk was sort of just sitting there…unused.

I went out to tea with the ladies at White Linen Tea House and we OF COURSE had to stop and check the Shawnee Country Barns Antique Co-op right next door. I got the inspiration for this project from a little antique student desk I saw there, with chalk board paint on the surface of the desk. It had never occurred to me to paint the desk! So I decided that a weekend project (okay, maybe a couple of hours – project) was in order. So I cleared out some space in my bedroom and created a workspace for just that.

This is what the desk looked like originally:

This desk is just lovely, but the girls weren't getting much use out of it.

This desk is just lovely, but the girls weren’t getting much use out of it.

I went to work on the desk with a bit of paint that I got from Michael’s on clearance. It was green, which I personally liked better than black. I think I paid a little over two bucks for it. Here’s what the desk looked like after one coat:

Not that great. Luckily, I had a lot of paint left over.

Not that great. Luckily, I had a lot of paint left over.

I went for a second coat and at my husband’s behest, a third. Here’s what it looked like after the second coat:

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby!

After the third coat I waited a couple of days before I gave the girls chalk to go for it. They loved it to say the least and it definitely provides hours of entertainment before Banji starts eating the chalk. The proof is in the pudding:

They really went for it.

They really went for it.

So two bucks and three coats of chalkboard paint later, the girls have something they can use over and over and when they get older. I’m so happy with this project!

Banji, presumably not eating chalk, but you never know.

Banji, presumably not eating chalk, but you never know.

 

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WNY Fiber Festival

WNY Fiber Festival

I had a lot of fun selling my bags at the WNY Fiber Festival. I also have a chance to complete the prototype for a new sock pattern. September was good to me. October, here I come!

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Etsy shop updated as well as fiber festivals and such!

So, I’ve been working pretty tirelessly at my Etsy shop. I’ve been enjoying the work, but I’m pretty exhausted. I’ve introduced a new product. Up-cycled t-shirt pouches. They’re earth friendly and allow you to express yourself as an individual. So I love them. I’m also still making box bags, which I enjoy making. Here are a few pics of my new products:

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Finally, I will be vending at the WNY Fiber Festival on September 28th and I’m pretty thrilled. Let me know if you’ll be there!

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It’s been a long time…

So I got married. Which meant having to plan a wedding. They don’t tell you this, but it’s really hard to plan a wedding. Hard and time-consuming. SO, long story short I have been MIA for a little over four months and am now BACK! So excited to get back into it and share the projects I’ve been working on! (SPOILERS: The veil was one of them!)

 

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New Pattern: Crenellated

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These socks are full of twists and turns. A simple but interesting knit and purl pattern breaks up color and adds texture to even the simplest colors. This pattern is knit toe-up, 2-at-a-time, however the chart can easily be adapted for cuff down socks. Enter the 716Knit KAL of the Crenellated for a chance at prizes. Details here.

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Pinning, duh!: Crusty Bread

So if you’re too busy to read this entire post: MAKE THIS BREAD. It’s amazing. And easy.

The only downside to this bread is the amount of time it takes to proof the dough. 12-18 hrs! But honestly, other than that it’s pretty fool proof.

As some of you know, I’m on a mission to get healthy, so I looked for a whole wheat version of this bread and found one in the comments. Spoilers: it’s rubbish. I hate it. But I’m not that into whole wheat to begin with. So if you want to try it it’s in my pin.

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The one on the right is the evil whole wheat one that I hate. But let’s be honest. It hates me right back.

So first you mix the dry ingredients which are flour, yeast and salt. I read in the comments sections that if you add 1 tbsp of sugar to the dry mixture the bread will rise better. I don’t know the science behind it, but I did it anyway. I’ll let you refer back to the original blog as I would like this lovely blogger to get credit for her recipe. Add the water:

Why so dry?

Why so dry?

After I added the water, my dough was crazy dry, so I added 1/4 – 1/2 cup more.

Much better!

Much better!

Cover and let sit for 12-18 hours. Go knit a scarf or something. The bread will be your reward. I stink and didn’t take a picture of what it looks like, but here’s a clue: much bigger. I preheated the ceramic pot I use and let the dough sit for 30 minutes in it’s round shape. I got lazy, so it may not be as round as it usually is.

Round-ish?

Round-ish?

Also, don’t use a plate, and if you do: flour it heavily. I had made the bread a few times at this point and was obviously getting a little cocky. Hubris.

Anywho, I stuck the bread in the pre-heated ceramic pot and into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on then remove said lid and bake for 15 minutes. I’ve never had an issue with sticking…until the evil whole wheat bread. That might have been it’s way of showing me its disdain for me, or maybe I forgot to flour the bottom of it. I guess we’ll never know. Your lovlies should look like this:

Left: Evil Whole Wheat Devil Bread            Right: Delicious Angelic Bread

Left: Evil Whole Wheat Devil Bread
Right: Delicious Angelic Bread

I can not stress how absolutely delicious this bread is when it comes no where near whole wheat flour. Just look:

Ermigerd! Yummers! I can totally see the deliciousness via this photo.

Ermigerd! Yummers! I can totally see the deliciousness via this photo.

Meh. Not so much.

Meh. Not so much.

So by all means, MAKE THIS BREAD. Don’t let my disdain for whole wheat turn you off. Try it. But the original recipe is a total winner.

I would like to know:

What are your favorite and no fuss bread recipes? Seriously, I love bread.

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Cast on Junkie…

Does anyone else suffer from this? Never mind. I know you’re out there. I know what you suffer through. Not able to focus on your shawl pattern because that amazing skein of sock yarn you bought last week calls to you, “I want to be a shawl, but not the one you’re knitting. Cast me on, you know you want to.” You’re getting fidgety now. The shawl you’re currently working on is a bit…tedious. It’s not that you don’t like the pattern. You love it! But maybe if you cast on this new pattern, it’ll give you a much needed break from this other pattern, and you can go back to it later. Casting on a new project will give you a new lease on life! You place your half-finished shawl in it’s project bag and run to your stash, grabbing the needles and the pattern on the way, eager for your “new beginning”. Enthusiastically, you cast on the stitches for your new shawl. The thrill is too much.

Yeah. That in a nutshell is why I have 15 WIPs at any given time. It has to stop! From this point on, I can’t cast on any new projects. The next three months will be “closing” months. I have to complete or frog all of the projects on my project page. It will be difficult. And excruciating. But this is the monkey on my back.

I would like to know….

What gets you through those WIPs that you’re bored with? Seriously, people. I’m gonna need all the help I can get.

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Everyday I’m Hustlin’.

Someday there will be a better picture of these socks. Today is not that day.

Someday there will be a better picture of these socks. Today is not that day.

So I finished the prototype for my upcoming sock pattern and it’s been sent off to a wonderful test knitter, so now I wait anxiously to see her beautiful finished product. I’m not good at waiting so in the meantime I’ve been doing this:

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What is that? Am I supposed to know what that is by looking at it?

This is my “Rosa’s too tired to do anything” project. It’s my sock scrap blanket project and maybe this will help you too.

I loooove knitting (if this has not been made apparent) but some nights I’m just too exhausted to look at a pattern and decipher words on a page, which, at that point in the day might as well be hieroglyphics. I also have a pretzel jar (Don’t ask) full of sock scraps. I’ve seen all the sock scrap projects out on ravelry and while they’re absolutely lovely, they all have one thing in common that make them a deal breaker: they require brain power.

In a fit of boredom, I decided that I would take my Size 5 needles and a 60 in cable and cast on as many stitches as I could fit. As you can tell, I could actually probably fit a lot more stitches if I wanted a wider blanket. And I promise, once I have these off the needles I’ll do the math to figure out the amount of stitches needed for size…etc. But for now. No brain power. Just garter stitch. Knitting every row makes it so much easier for me to zone out. Also, you knit until your sock scrap runs out and then choose another one. That’s actually the most thrilling part of this project. If you think that’s sarcasm, you’ve got another thing coming.

BAM! Choosing what comes next is both difficult and thrilling. Like being a spy.

BAM! Choosing what comes next is both difficult and thrilling. Like being a spy.

I’m loving it. It’s also going to be a bit of a memory blanket as I’ll be reminded of all the projects I knit. Also, no weaving in ends for me. When yarn starts running out I hold it double with the new yarn and knit it until it runs out. Winning!

I joined Fitocracy and have yet to log a workout. But don’t worry. The day is young…ish.

I’m drafting a new sock pattern that I am working on with two awesome indie dyers, so that’s been really fun so far, but no pictures yet!

My “Pinning, duh!” series starts soon. This is a series where I play guinea pig for the more popular pins. By the by, follow me!

Finally, My Trampire Girlfriend reached 200 downloads, which is why I’ve decided to offer Mulligans for $2.  Yay! Go check it out.

I would like to know…

What’s your favorite “zone out” project?

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Resolutions…

So I may be a bit late to this New Year’s Resolutions thing but in my defense, I was too busy working hard on those resolutions…until about a week ago. This blog post is a bit personal, but I wanted to document where I am right now, because it’s a good place to be. 

I already feel like this is going to be a great year. But I think its good to take inventory of where we are at the end of the year. So in preparation for that, here goes: 

1) Write everyday.  Be it blogging or playwriting or designing. Always write because its a great way to feed your creative soul. 

2) Always Be Closing. I know many of you may relate to this. I feel like I always start projects with great momentum and enthusiasm and somewhere along the line I get down and just stop. I’m not good at finishing. Whether it be a cardigan or a play, a pattern or a book – I have trouble seeing things through. I want to make sure that I work on that this year. 

3) Knit all the yarn! This one is going to be hard. I want to knit exclusively from the yarn I already own to bring down my yarn stash. The challenge here lies in all the lovely indie dyers I love…and their sales. This year – I have to get creative. 

4)Take time for yourself. With two kids and an overachieving attitude, it gets busy around here. Take time to do things you love. 

5) Lose 50 pounds. This one sounds simple enough, but my struggle is a life long one with food. I’m going to take the slow and steady approach by getting active and replacing bad habits with healthy ones. I want to be around for a long time, so I have to get serious about looking after myself. 

Sorry, if this post is a little all over the place, but I really wanted to do this for myself for encouragement when I need it. 

I would like to know…

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? 

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Things are happening…

DSC_0667Hey folks, I’m pretty thrilled because My Trampire Girlfriend got over 100 downloads within less than two days. Seasoned designers would read this and snicker and my geekiness (Why are you reading my blog seasoned designer? Don’t you have better things to do?) but I’m going to go with it and offer a promotion on my Mulligans pattern. If you enter TRAMPIRE at checkout you’ll receive $2 off. So excited!

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