28 December 2010

Snow day

Like most everyone else on the east coast, we almost had a White Christmas. A White Boxing Day is good enough for me. We got about 9 inches of snow here at Scott's parents house.
Those are my feet in the snow. I know it's hard to tell but the snow was up to the top of the boots. For a southern girl, this is A LOT of snow. We've been snowed in since Sunday so I was able to finish the quilt I've been working on for a late Christmas present (pics of that tomorrow maybe). In the meantime, here are pictures of two other presents that I was able to deliver to a good friend and her new puppy just before Christmas. Because stockings aren't much fun after the holiday. . .

Hope Santa was good to you all!!

11 December 2010


WARNING! If you have no interest in hearing me prattle on about how much we loved Harry Potter land, flip to another blog now. . .
I don't know if you can tell or not, but this is a girl in heaven. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I never grew out of my love for theme parks. It really does bring out the ugliest of humanity, but oh the thrill of a roller coaster that will flip me upside down. Bliss.
We first heard about Universal Studios opening a Harry Potter section of its theme park three years ago when we were on vacation in Dublin and have been waiting to visit ever since. This year, we decided that we got so many lovely wedding gifts that neither of us wanted a big Christmas gift so we decided instead to get away for a weekend and drive to Florida. I booked our trip about a month ago and our package included early admission tickets to the park and breakfast at the Three Broomsticks - a full English which included actual black pudding!! (If you don't know what that is, it's pretty gnarly stuff but sooo yummy. But don't google it if you have a weak stomach.) We dashed into the park an hour before opening and were able to ride the main coaster in the Harry Potter section of the park. It was a 3D type ride that took you on a broomstick tour of Hogwarts. Awesome. Then breakfast. Then we toured the shops, had butterbeer and rode the other rides. Butterbeer? You don't know the joy that is butterbeer???
Here's a picture of one of the butterbeer carts in Diagon Alley.
And this is photographic evidence of its deliciousness. I'm not a soda drinker but this thing was so amazing that we had one in the morning and I begged the Mr. to go back to the park that night so I could have another. It's like cream soda with butterscotch and some sort of whipped cream on top. Scrummy. We found a recipe online so we're going to do our best to recreate it tomorrow.
Here's the view of Diagon Alley from the butterbeer cart at night.

And here's how I felt at the end of our trip.
It was a whirlwind and we came home exhausted. Two days at the parks, three outlet malls (I love you J. Crew outlet!!) and lots of bad, fried (delicious) fast food. And our first ever all-by-ourselves trip is done and I can't wait for the next one!!


01 December 2010


Is there anything better than that? Knitting a Christmas hat for a beautiful baby girl while one beloved dog snuggles you up?
Ok. Maybe this. . .

Happy December!!!

p.s. Trip to Harry Potter Land is two days away. Expect pictures of EXTREME nerdiness soon!!

12 November 2010

Three years

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a long time. But in knitting time and puppy time, it's a happy eternity. This lovely blanket has taken me three years to finish. I acquired the yarn on a Christmas trip to New York three years ago. I saw on another knitting blog that this lucky knitter had received thirty skeins of Koigu yarn for her thirtieth birthday. I was smitten. I was jealous. I went to Purl Soho and had to stop and do some deep breathing when I realized how much thirty skeins of Koigu would set me back. YIKES!! So I got some and added to it along the way. I was cranking this baby along in the first few months when this baby came along. . .
And that baby put an end to knitting for a while. Apparently, balls of yarn are LOTS OF FUN!!! Whether or not your mom appreciates you chasing after them and rolling them under furniture. So the poor blanket got packed away and not quite forgotten but. . . set aside. My big boy lets me knit know so slog along I have and finally finished it this week and stitched in my ends and I'm so so so proud of it and in love with it. I have no idea when I'll actually be able to snuggle under it because all I can imagine is those little puppy nails getting trapped in my millions and billions of stitches. So for nowit's over the back of a chair in my office where I can see it and know that it's done. And that makes me happy.

Also making me happy? That sweet puppy face above. He's sitting on my lap right now as I type. Our boy Roscoe turns three today. And I've loved every single second of every single day of it. And I'll take a million and billion more days please.


06 November 2010


Seems like an appropriate day to post pictures of blankets because it is SUPER CHILLY in the lowcountry this sunny morning. When I got up to take the puppies out, it was 40 degrees. Anyone that knows me would cut an eye at me if they thought I was complaining because I whine for months about how I'm ready for cold weather. (This year my complaints were mostly mosquito related as I actually sort of enjoyed summer. But that's our secret.) Anyway, these blankets are for two lovely boys on the west coast. Much earlier in the year, we found out that our friends Lori and Shannon were having twins. Suzan & I decided that we'd knit two blankets in the same yarn but in different patterns. Just like the twin boys, they'll be made of the same stuff but have their own unique personalities. Here's what we came up with - my old faithful chevron blanket and Suzan's random fantastic stripes. How does she make plain old stripes look so good? We used Corntastic yarn that's plied so not much fun to knit with but it is oh-so-soft. And all of the colours are muted and gorgeous. Months later and we're finally done. We have to get those blankets in the mail before the boys start preschool. . .

So what to do with our cold day? We have to go to the Mac store today so we'll probably stop in for some yummy Thai lunch downtown, check out Christmas mugs at Starbucks and then I'd love to spend the rest of my day with my trusty Bernina attaching little pieces of fabric to other little pieces of fabric.

Tomorrow we're going to the most amazing Harvest Dinner at a local farm where we're enrolled in the CSA program. Every fall they host a huge party with chefs from local fantastic restaurants who cook using only proteins and produce from the farm. Delicious. I look forward to it every year. I wish I could take you all along.


31 October 2010

Meet my best friend

My mom. She's crazy. I love her. I don't know what I'd do without her. She's been my best friend for my whole life - the first person I call when something good or bad happens. Did I mention that I love her???

I'm working on a few things - getting dangerously close to finishing a blanket that I started knitting nearly three years ago. And I'm midway through two quilts. Plus so many other things that it makes my head spin to think about it all - including new collars for the puppies that just need to be stitched. But today I'm going to finish decorating for trick-or-treaters and - even though it's close to 80 degrees here today - I'm going to go make some pumpkin soup in my slowcooker and pretend that it's autumn and chilly. . .


12 October 2010

The best day EVER

Aren't these pictures amazing??? I loved our photographer, Amelia from Dreamland Images. I looked and looked at photographers' websites and as soon as I saw their page, I knew they were the ones. She and her cute husband Dan used to work for a newspaper so their shots have a very organic, fly-on-the-wall, candid type of look to them which was exactly what we were looking for. I don't really go in for the typical posed sorts of shots. And I didn't want people feeling like we were being taken away or that the photographer was hovering. Most people didn't even realize that we had a photographer. And that was exactly what I wanted. The pictures are gorgeous. Not that she didn't have great material with which to work. . .

(See the cute tiny little cake topper?) Roscoe & Olive, of course.

So you'll probably notice that there are pictures of two ceremonies. The wedding was planned for 6.30pm. At 6.29 the skies that had been ugly most of the afternoon finally made good on their threat to open up. And pour it did. But we knew this was more than a possibility so a bit after 5pm our unbelievable planner suggested that maybe we do a quick ceremony in the garden so that we could get pictures - especially ones with the quilt - and then we would do a second ceremony after all of the guests arrived. It was perfect. What we wanted initially was a tiny ceremony anyway with just our nearest and dearest - most of whom were there - and then a party. Our wish was granted. And since all the pressure was off, ceremony #2 was relaxed and fun.

Yesterday was our one month anniversary - celebrated with champagne and probably the most amazing cookies I've ever had. (BTW, if you live in the Charleston area, get in your car now. So far I can tell you that I'd hand over most of my paycheck for more Optimistic Chews - a crazy delicious oatmeal/apple/butterscotch cookie.)

I really don't have much to report. Wedding gifts are all stowed away. Thank you cards have been mailed. Starting to think about our real honeymoon next year. Is it better to have a sightseeing sort of vacation or do nothing/sit on the beach vacation? (I tend to opt for sightseeing.) Spain? Italy? Somewhere closer to home? More beachy? On the closer horizon, I think that Mr & Mrs Nerd will be taking a trip to Harry Potter Land in Orlando in December. I really don't want more things for Christmas. And like most men, mine is hard to shop for, so we thought that a weekend away would be fun. And we're Potter nerds. And we like amusement parks. And I want to try some butter beer. More later on that I'm sure.

I'm having a hard time motivating to do much of anything lately. I've started a new cowl scarf about three times with yarn that I bought on mini honeymoon. (And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I know I married the right man. He took me to the yarn store on our honeymoon and sat outside on the porch, pulled out his iPhone and told me to take my time. . .) The scarf is giving me fits. I started this new pattern last night but it just doesn't look right. I'm going to give it a few more rounds to see but I'm not feeling hopeful. And I desperately need to pull out my machine and start sewing. I have several projects that need doing but lately the sofa and TV have been calling. I'm not proud of it but there it is.

Ok. Time to wrap it up. I feel like I'm rambling with not much to say. More soon. Promise.

18 September 2010

Tiny sneak peek

I never got to post pictures of the wedding quilt once it was done. My plan for it was something I borrowed from Martha Stewart's Weddings magazine. She ran a little feature of brides & grooms posed in front of vintage sheets. I loved the idea but thought I could find fabric that I really liked and make it more personal. And from that it was just a small jump to making a quilt (which is now proudly displayed on our bed). Anyway, I'm really happy with it. It was one of the few wedding things that came off exactly as I had planned.

Thanks Margeaux for the picture above. We should be seeing more from the official photographer in the next few weeks. I'm trying really hard to be patient. . .


12 September 2010

Finished project - the best one

I'm married. Hallelujah. More pictures and crazy stories to follow. Just as soon as I get some sleep. . .

07 September 2010

Totally, completely, utterly. . .

. . .in love with this baby. And I haven't even met her yet. I can already feel her little soft baby skin and smell her sweet little hair. Welcome Miss Chloe. We've all waited so long for you.

21 August 2010

Dang I'm old. . .

. . . or not, depending on how you look at it. I saw this car this week and it made me feel a bit better about my upcoming birthday. (Not that I'm feeling bad, mind you. I'm walking on clouds lately.) But then I got this birthday package in the mail from my loopy, soon-to-be stepdad Dan and he brought me right back down to earth and reminded me that I'm no spring chicken. . .
I started the day off by getting up early and making breakfast, something I never do anymore. I found this pancake mix months ago that has those big fat chocolate chips with little chunks of bacon inside. CRAZY amounts of delicious. (Those of you that haven't tried this combo are just going to have to trust me. For those of you that don't eat bacon, I'm truly sorry for your loss.)
After we downed those, I felt like a beached whale so it was off to the gym to run at lunchtime. Two miles + one mile walking + 30 minutes on the stair stepper and I was feeling right again. Even Scott gave running a go yesterday. After that we went downtown and picked up our marriage license. Which is making it all feel really real. Which it should because it's only three weeks from today. And then we went to the Mac store and both got new iPhones. Brilliant. How have I lived without the new one for these last few months??? And then, in torrential downpours, we made our way back out to the islands and Scott took me to dinner at this lovely little restaurant where we proceded to stuff ourselves. Again. Delicious. And wonderful. A really over the top happy kind of day.

I love birthdays.

15 August 2010


I don't have much to report today except this -
About a month ago, after eating a DELICIOUS little cheeseburger and fries at Five Guys (our fave!) I felt really mentally gross and realized that with the wedding right around the corner, I really needed to step it up. As we pulled out of the parking lot and swearing to go to the gym the next day, I decided that I was going to go six days a week until the week of the wedding. (As soon as my out-of-town peeps start arriving, I'm laying off until after the honeymoon when I'll need to start it up again to make up for the damage I plan on doing at the beach.) So I've stuck to it. Those of you that know and love me know that when I really make up my Leo mind about something I'm very bullheaded and will stick to it. I did miss a few days when I had to go to NC and Atlanta last week but I've made up for it this week by going all seven days.
I took my first yoga class yesterday. Muscles are hurting that I didn't know I had. But in a good way.
Today after I did 30 minutes on the stair stepper thing, I ran two miles. I did break it up with some walking bits but two miles of running is two miles of running. I haven't run in a very long time and it felt incredible. And I don't know if it's the excitement of the wedding or if it's the endorphins pumping through my bloodstream from all of the exercise but I feel invincible lately. Yay! Which is good because I'm really jonesing for some Cheetos puffs. Maybe after September 12th. . .

p.s. Awesome (FREE!) graphic above found here.

13 August 2010

In the nick of time - finish 12

I did it! I finished two quilts in less than a month!! I know that they're small quilts, but I'm surprised at how long it takes to finish one. And I've finished three so far this year! WOOT! This was the quilt I made for Camp Happy Days - my first quilt made purely for donation, for someone I'll never know. It's going to take a special kid to love this one because there is some crazy stuff going on with that fabric. I love it though. After I finished the top, I hung it up in the bedroom to look at it for a day (a present I give myself after finishing a top) and I was feeling lots of love for it and wasn't entirely sure I wanted it out of my house. . . But it's for a good cause and hopefully it'll give love and warmth to someone that needs it. PLUS I used up most of my scraps of that fabric so now I've made room for more. . .
I used a technique that I found on another blog called organic line quilting. Very easy but it took forever. I set up little guidelines to keep myself somewhat straight but the waviness of the lines was kind of the point. Thank goodness for marathon runs of Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. I've gotten sucked in, especially the new Atlanta series.

And last night at quilt guild they had the annual silent auction. I was able to pick up a 36X40 completed quilt top made out of Tula Pink's Neptune. (I tried to find a link but am having a hard time because that fabric line has been discontinued.) It was a collection I loved but haven't been able to get my hands on much of it until I happened across this happy little ziploc bag of fabric. I feel a bit like the contestants on Top Chef when they've been blindfolded and have to finish someone else's recipe but this shouldn't be too difficult. The top is nearly done so I just have to get my calculator out and piece together the clues of what this mystery woman left me and what I can do with it. More on that to come.

And finally, it almost wouldn't be a post from me without a picture of a cute puppy. Meet Mini, my very first dog niece. I adore her and wish that this little meatball could come to live with us. Not sure how Olive would feel about that though. . .

09 August 2010

At long last - Finished projects 10 & 11

The shower for baby Chloe was yesterday so I can finally share what I've been working on for the past few weeks. Isn't it adorable (if I do say so myself)? The pink and green are so sweet together and will go well with the nursery. It's not exactly in line with the linens that the new mom and dad chose but she'll need a quilt for the car. Or the floor. Or inside the apparently essential pack and play. And there will be times when the other linens in her bed need washing and this can be the backup. Here's the front -
And the back -
I found this sweet little label at the shop that was doing the alterations on my wedding dress. How could I possibly resist??
And here's the little hat I made for her. So soft - it's merino wool, silk & cashmere. Gotta start that baby out right.
And Christmas stockings for Chloe and her mom and dad will follow shortly. Time ran out before I left and I still have another quilt to finish this week to turn in to my quilt guild by Thursday. More pictures of that one in the next few days!


23 July 2010

It's official!!

We're getting married! Not that you didn't know that already because it's all that I've been blathering on about for months, but today we got our first response card back in the mail! WOOHOO!!!

I should have finished lovelies to show very soon. I'm working on Chloe's quilt now and have finished piecing the top of my camp quilt. Could it be that I could actually finish two quilts in under a month???


19 July 2010

Almost there

I'm so close to being done with the invitations. And by done, I mean in the mail and gone. The picture above isn't great because the light in our dining room is HORRIFIC but you get the idea. Our sweet but evil wedding coordinator suggested that one of the ideas Scott had thrown out for the invitations would look great as the envelope liner. And once you hear a great idea like that, you can't unhear it. And so I knew immediately that I'd be cutting out 90 of those envelope liners and gluing them in. And don't even get me started on the envelopes. Those actually kicked off my one and only bridezilla moment and I had to lock myself in the bathroom alone for five minutes and think about what I had done.

The invitations are super fantastic (and yes, I do say so myself) and I can't wait for people to get them. (In fact, the response from my wedding coordinator was, and I quote, "Holy crap, they are awesome.") Scott has had some sparks of interest from two different event coordinators for future work so that's good too.

And I'm busy with lots of things - a few more odds and ends fun tasks for the wedding, a quilt for a local charity that runs a camp for children with cancer (hopefully more about that by the end of the week) and some sweet baby shower gifts for my soon-to-be niece Chloe. Yep. That little bit of sweetness finally has a name.


30 June 2010

I heart California

I know you can't tell it from this picture* but I LOVE California. I love everything about it. I love the weather. I love the crazy people. I love my insane family. (OK. I don't love the cost of living there, but you can't have it all.)
We went out for my baby brother Will's high school graduation. It's hard to believe he's old enough to be graduating. I just held that tiny baby in my arms at the hospital and marveled at how beautiful he was. And he's turned out to be a pretty handsome man, don't you think?

We got there the day before graduation and spent a mostly relaxing week hanging out. My mom & her fiance Dan just remodeled their house so we were finally able to see the fruits of all of their hard labor. We had the best fish tacos I've ever had in my life. Wish I could import those back here. And sadly, I was very excited to go to a real mall and shop. Charleston has no decent malls and very few of the big chain stores.

The last day we were there we went to this amazing beach - Bates Beach - just north of Ventura in Carpinteria. Gorgeous, rocky, cliff-y beach. Loved it. Didn't love cleaning the tar off of my feet so much when we got home but it was well worth it. The beach is covered in these great round rocks. Will started a rock skipping competition between us but I think it was only because he knew he'd win. . .

More crafty things soon. I'm halfway through another baby blanket and I've gotten my wedding quilt back from the quilter. Just have to hand stitch the binding on and I'll be posting pics of that. And next week, addressing of the invitations begins. . .


* This picture is for one of my earliest besties, Celene. We loved taking pictures in those crazy old photo booths and came up with the serious, no smiles shots that we called "prison face". Scott doesn't normally get into the act but this time he decided to play along. LOVE YOU CELENIE WEENIE! HAPPY DAY AFTER YOUR BIRTHDAY!!

06 June 2010

Not quite a finished project yet

But so close. . . The top of the wedding quilt. Finished yesterday. This morning I woke up doing math in my head trying to figure out what to do with the back.

I'm pretty sure I love this quilt. There are bits of all the fabric Scott gave me for my birthday last year and some I bought to add in a bit more colour. It's just so. . . bright. This shouldn't be a surprise. I picked the fabric. And I put it all together. It's just so. . . bright. Which our bedroom needs desperately. Anyway, the original idea for this quilt was that we were going to hang it up somewhere at the wedding and use it as a backdrop for our pictures. But it's enormous. Held up like that it's so much bigger than I was thinking. I think this may be my wedding cold feet moment. Thoughts??


03 June 2010

Finished project #8

At the beginning of the year when I started numbering my finished projects, I thought I'd be much further down the road at this point. Oh well. The blanket for my soon-to-be niece is complete and all of those ends are sewn in. It's a sweet little blanket that's a quick knit - only a few weeks of TV watching. And I'm about to embark on another one, identical in pattern but different colours and with yarn made entirely from corn. I'd do something different but I don't think my completely addled brain can handle focusing on a new pattern just now. . .

I'm still working on the wedding quilt. Pictures will follow soon. Many bumps in the road but I'm still loving it. Lots. But I need to have it done and ready to go to the quilter before we go on vacation in two weeks. Yikes.


22 May 2010

I should be in the other room sewing but. . .

. . . I'm hoping that Scott is in there working on wedding invitations. . .

I wanted to quickly get out there a few things I've been meaning to blog about all week.

1. Scott's sister gave us this crazy picture two years ago for Christmas. (I'm hoping that clicking on the image makes it larger so that everyone can enjoy. If not, here's a link.) I love it in a crazy way. I love the old 50s look of it. I love the fish in the cruise ship bar. I love everything about it. Scott tried to cut a mat for it a few months ago but it just didn't turn it quite right. It's been sitting - with the frame - on a little table in our bedroom staring at me accusingly ever since and last weekend I finally got around to framing it. I went to a local marine supply store and found a nautical map of Charleston and cut it to fit the frame and centered the print on it. I think it was the perfect thing.

2. After meeting with the wedding coordinator on Wednesday (because this thing has gotten so big that I need to be coordinated. . . .), I went back to her shop to look for paper and found this INSANELY FANTASTIC RIBBON!!! With big tears in my eyes I explained that we needed to find a way to use it in the wedding so she pulled the spool off the floor for me. No idea what we'll do yet but I know it'll be fab.

3. I've still probably got another week ahead of me on little Peony's blanket but I'm mostly pleased with how it is progressing. I'm amazed that using exactly the same colours as this blanket but in a completely different pattern has resulted in something that feels like I've used different materials altogether. I'm not sure what I was expecting but this blanket is a constant surprise to me.

4. I'm zigzag obsessed right now. I've started work on the wedding quilt but that'll have to wait for another post. Which is why I should be in the other room sewing. . .