Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Andrea Cowl

Yay! the "Andrea Cowl" is finished and she loved it - when I gave it to her she gave me and hug and then hugged the cowl over and over saying how happy she was. It always makes me so happy when someone appreciates something I make for them. There is nothing worse then spending hours working on a project and being so excited for the recipient only to have them do the "Oh thanks - set aside" move. It's heartbreaking for us crafters. I think proper etiquette should be to show appreciation and say a heartfelt thank you to someone that just took their time to produce a magically handmade from the heart gift. If you hate it or it's not something that is your style -then do the "set aside" after- never in front of the crafter! Just sayin'

With that being said . . here it is. A pretty simple pattern but I really like it a lot.

The middle picture cracks me up because little Ella is in the blurred background. I didn't get a lot of great photos. I took these all super quick right before leaving to go to work just as the sun was coming out. Also we were having a blizzard and this was a very brief second were it was only lightly snowing, though strangely you can't see the snow flakes in the pictures. Not to get off topic- but man my boobs look huge in these pictures! haha 

I have always hated myself in pictures. I tend to shy away -hide behind my hands or spin my head at just the right moment so no one sees my face. Not to turn this post into a depressed post, but I was always a super tiny girl. When I graduated high school I weighed a whopping 92 pounds (and I'm 5'4) But obviously I have grown up and my weight seemed to like being in the 115-118 range. The all of the sudden about 2 years ago or so, I slowly started gaining more weight and couldn't figure out why. I eat like a bird and hadn't changed anything in my lifestyle. Then I started getting headaches. Insane headaches that lasted sometimes for weeks without going away. With the headaches I also was extremely dizzy and off balance. I finally went to the doctor after about 7-8 months of daily headaches. I was poked and prodded and they could never give me an answer about the headaches but they did find out I have thyroid disease. They said this is why I gained about 10-15 pounds and was unable to loose the weight. It's been about 9 months on my medications, which I now have to take daily for the rest of my life (something I'm not found of - who knows what they are going to say this drug does to you after taking it for 20 years!) I now also just got a letter in the mail from my doctor after my last blood draw saying I have extreme (which they underlined like 3 times on the paperwork) vitamin d deficiency. So I'm on a crazy horse pill "trial" for the next 12 weeks  and then have to give blood again in the end of March. So crazy. I hit my mid- thirties (I can not believe I am "mid- thirties" how did that one happen?!) and I fell apart - well my knees have been falling apart for years but thats a post for another day. I don't want to sound like an old granny <insert crackly granny voice here> and complain and compare health ailments...but I was just saying it - I don't know why I was just saying it! I guess because I'm not comfortable with my weight and I feel like I look like an oompa loompa (sp? -but you all know what I'm talking about - were oompa loompas even fat? why do i say that reference?!) 

okay, i'll end this post here before you all realize how crazy my brain flips from one subject to the next..

off to write up a pattern for some crochet blankets I'm going to be selling in my shop.

Shop WILL be open this weekend. I'm shooting for Sunday. Saturday will be photo shoot day. I'm so excited to share all the amazing things I have gotten. I wish I could keep everything for myself. I told K that I am just going to display the majority of it in the kitchen until it sells, that way I feel like I was able to have the treasures for a bit in my life too.

almost mid-week - so excited rest of the week I don't have to drive into the office - the girls will be so excited to have me home for them to harass.

happy tuesday!
xo- t

Monday, January 30, 2012

a flip flopping monday

I'm joining you all from the comforts of my "9-5" today. I'm working a special assignment in which there is quite a bit of down time through out my day, not a happy assignment I'm on, but the free time does make it worth it (a smidgen) I finished Andrea's cowl and gave it to her this morning. I'll post pictures of it completed when I get home tonight, hopefully I got at least one good picture of it. I finished it late last night (no good light) and then this morning we were having a blizzard and it was still dark and dreary out. I was really happy how it turned out though, she started showing other girls at work and they seemed interested too. So I guess I need to get crocheting and get them up in my shop. I'm a bit nervous as to how to price them out. I've priced them out and know the general ballpark for what they are going for - but I usually undervalue myself and what I make! I need to work on that.

Veranellies shop update; I have started acquiring a small inventory of vintage and some really awesome mid-century modern pieces that I would love to keep for myself! I will be opening the shop this week with my finds and my crocheting. My brother also wants me to sell some of his pottery but I think he should be selling his photography and open his own Etsy shop selling both - check out his site HERE. He's still in school right now but has taken some amazing photography.

I've also going through some visual blog changes. One thing you will learn very quickly about me is I am one of the most indecisive people you will ever meet. I spent quite a bit of time figuring out my blog and arranging it but I'm not 100% sure if I liked it or not. I'm testing out plain white to see how I like that better. I've always been more of a minimalist, so white is probably more fitting for me. I'll probably be working around over the next week changing it up more. Knowing me, starting back from scratch - but at least I've learned some coding and it shouldn't take long for me to switch it up and finally make it feel like "home". So, this is a warning -don't be shocked if you come on daily/weekly and the place looks different each day! Hey, send me a comment and let me know what you like best too. But I'm thinking white with pops of color is more fitting for me. I need to take my house/interior aesthetic and bring it to my blog. That will make it more me.

And now moving on to exciting technology news- I crawled out from underneith my hermit rock and bought an iphone this weekend. I have never neccessarily had anything against iphones, per say, but I never understood all the hoopla and it just seemed like everyone had an iphone. I used crappy phones without a dataplan, no texting etc. K has an android phone and loves his phone, always playing on it and it's come in handy - especially when we go antiquing. Over the past few months I've been thinking maybe I'll join the rest of the tech world and get a phone at least with texting. of course, I went online and found a phone case prior to me picking out a phone! So my phone purchase was based on the fact that I wanted a specific phone case. Yes, I make sound decisions based off of random logic. I like THIS case - so I must like THIS phone. Sounds about right. (and of course now that I have the phone I'm second guessing my case choice and still have not ordered it - please help me! I wish there was a "decision making" pill I could take)

Sooooo long story short (I tend to ramble)- my contract was eligible for renewing - I went thinking I was going to get the older 4- but mister told me to just spend the little bit extra and get the 4s. I now have a shiny new white iphone 4s. I'm very slowly easing into iphone life and texting. My brother told me the end must be near if I now have an iphone - I responded that it IS 2012, the year of chaos, destruction and our forcasted demise. I minds well go out texting that the fire ball is coming straight at me, right?

Alright - enough rambles for today. I'm off to write up a pattern for some blankets I'm going to start selling soon in the shop. Lots of exciting things going on.

Happy Monday to everyone. xo

Sunday, January 29, 2012

a completed cowl..

katrina's cowl - complete. 

it was a pretty interesting pattern that i got off ravelry. i don't know if i would make it again or not but it was an interesting project. the knit ends up looking like a basketweave. it just seemed to take me forever because it was over 200 stitches per row and something like 37 rows? i'm a slow crocheter, i'm just starting and learning - so it definitely wasn't a fast knit. but the stitches were easy, nothing complicated.

i used vanna's choice in barley, it has flecks of black and cream within it. so we'll see how my sister likes it.

birthday dinner is tonight and my parents house.

alright- i have a crazy day ahead. i have to complete another cowl that i promised my friend i would give her tomorrow at work! i should be able to get it done!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

it's all about the detail..

I thought Mikayla's blanket needed a little something. So I whipped this up and think it completes the blanket. 

It will be perfect for her and her pale pink bedroom.

Project blanket: Complete

a blueberry sunday ..

Morning everyone. This morning I woke to be able to feed my belly a yummy blueberry buckle with crumble topping that I made last night. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Rustic fruit desserts If you don't have this cookbook, go buy it now you will not regret that you did!

The recipes are so yummy, during the summer months when we go to the farmer's market on Saturday mornings I always pick up different fruits to make the desserts in this book. Today I used blueberries from my blueberry picking adventures from the summer. I love blueberry picking. There is a local place within 5 minutes from my house that I go to. I seem to always have the whole place to myself and pick buckets and buckets. When I was little my gramma Kiner (aka the Vera in VeraNellies) used to take me. She would take  a silk scarf, wrap it around my waist and tie a little bucket to me. I was supposed to be picking blueberries to give to my mom but at the end of the day I had usually eaten way more than I had picked. She used to laugh and say "It's okay honey. We'll give her some of mine." She was the blueberry picking master! She would have gallons and gallons picked and I, maybe, had a pint if I were lucky! I always remember that little metal bucket tied to my waist every time I go now as an adult. 

I woke up early thinking of everything I'd like to do today. Sometimes I get up around 4 and just start thinking about all my projects I want to accomplish that day. It's a curse, my brain won't shut off.

  1. Laundry 
  2. Blog update 
  3. Work on my blog and code some extra pieces
  4. Finish Katrina's cowl
  5. Start Andrea's cowl
  6. Clean house
  7. Complete Mikayla's blanket, finishing touches
Lots of stuff to try and accomplish! I better get started, hope everyone is having nice "lazy day" Sunday.

xo, t

(updating my list as I go about my day)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a simon cowl type of week..

My sister's birthday happens to be the day after her daughter's so I wanted to make her something special. I thought why not a pretty cowl. We live in frigged upstate NY where this time of year it normally does not get warmer than the low double digits. I found a pretty cool looking pattern and started on my way (using the yarn I bought that was the same, yet different from the blanket) So off I went - crochet-a-thon. I sort of loose track of time and everything when I'm crocheting - and well - hmmm I don't know. It's wonky!

I love the pattern and actually think it would make a pretty interesting and VERY warm throw blanket (maybe a thought for my shop as well)

But I think I just made it too long. I may take some of it out and see if I like it better because right now it's too big for my little neck. When you put it on it reminds me of an Elizabethan collar. Definitely NOT something my sister would wear. I finished it and mister gave me "the look" and said "Ummm..thats NOT for Katrina is it?" I guess that gave me my answer right there! So at this point I'm deciding if I even want to keep it or if I want to just kill the whole thing and use the yarn for something in the future..

I have now started another one, more her style that I'm pretty positive she will love. 

I wish I could say it was a super quick crochet project, but there are over 200 stitches around - so, it's taking a little longer than I expected. None the less I'll be done by tomorrow. Then have to start on another cowl my friend Andrea asked me to make. I bought her some really pretty soft grey yarn and am going to do a different pattern than the one above, pictures and progress to follow. 

So what are you doing this weekend?

xo, t

Mikayla's blanket take two..

Earlier in the week I had started my project of crocheting a baby/child blanket for my niece Mikayla who will be turning 1 on the 29th. I just "winged" it, not using a pattern and started crocheting a basic dc. I had intended it to be 36" wide, and somehow it turned into 44" wide! I don't know where the extra 8 inches came from! But I thought, oh well - she will just now be able to use it longer and have it for her bed when she gets into a miniature human bed. Well 4 skeins went real quick - I went to the store to restash and the color, which stated was the same color most certainly was not. It was definitely not as silky looking and just didn't match. So, my only other option - take it all out and start over! So thats what I did.

It's now 24" X 28". I love how it came out. I'm thinking about running a cute ribbon through one of the bottom stitches just to add something to it. But this is a blanket I'm thinking about making some up and putting them in my shop. I think they would make great blankets for a crib or in a stroller. I may make them a tad smaller. Any thoughts on sizes that new moms would want?

daily stress and daydreams

It's been a pretty crazy and stressful week. Anytime I go back to working "the day job" there is stress involved. I am really trying to not let the stresses of working for corporate America and the nonsense I deal with on a daily basis be brought into my personal life. But some days - I just can't help it and am moody and vent to mister about the crappiness of it all. When ever I get down about it, I just think that I AM making positive steps toward getting both my businesses off the ground. It is my goal to have my glass studio up and running and possibly doing some craft shows later this year (may be pushing it, but I'm optimistic) and my second shop for vintage and handmade, up within the next two months. I am on the lookout and have already started collecting inventory. I am also thinking that I will be the main source of "handmade" as well. Selling crocheted items- blankets, cowls, beanies and pillows. I'm thinking up patterns and searching books and the web because I would like to have them have a vintage feel. More updates on that soon.

A glimpse at my studio we built in the back yard.. soon..yes soon.. I will be spending most of my free, waking hours inside...

Happy Saturday everyone!


Monday, January 16, 2012

35 before 36

I love making lists - I have random pieces of paper all over my house with partial lists on them. So I've decided to take part in the blank before blank list. Somehow I have turned 35 years old. I'm really not sure that happened. But every year around my birthday I get extremely depressed and say the cliche "But I wasn't supposed to be doing this with my life." " Where has the time gone." or insert whatever other depressing statement you can insert about not fulfilling your aspirations you set for yourself that year.

Toward the end of this past year, I had a "moment". I seriously had a breakdown - streaming tears, hyperventilating..the works.. and it was over my job, and my life and where I was and who I have become - you know just everything. At that moment I decided to take charge. While there are days I still want to jump out the window while I'm working, when I have those moments I think about the things I want to do and put my crap corporate America job into perspective - it's JUST a job. Right now it's paying our insurance, paying bills, putting food on the table and is building up my 401K. It's a means to an end. But I have vowed to not let it take over my life and happiness and have set a plan in action to get my life on track and moving toward where I want it to go. I can't keep waiting. In 6 months I'm going to be 36! (again, HOW did that happen?!) so no time to spare- moving on... my 35 to do before 36. (some I've already completed)

  1. Create a blog about my daily musings
  2. Complete the building of my glass studio
  3. Begin working on my glass work and turn it into a business
  4. Reteach myself how to crochet
  5. Have an EVERY THING homemade Christmas for 2012
  6. Go thrifting at least once a month
  7. Work toward my goal of opening a brick and mortar vintage, handmade and sweets shop. Step one, start selling on Etsy.
  8. Finish school
  9. Bake homemade treats for my mister once a week
  10. Learn to cook
  11. Revamp my wardrobe from super casual pants and jeans every day to super cute skirts and dresses  (I'm getting there!)
  12. Get new glasses
  13. Adopt a miniature wiener dog
  14. Sew a quilt
  15. Crochet a blanket
  16. Create "date day" and go on adventures with my mister at least once a month
  17. Finally get the nerve up to get my sparrow tattoos on my chest
  18. In the spring begin riding our bikes together around town
  19. Take the girls (ie. my 3 puppies) on more adventures
  20. Start going to the farmer's market again once it opens up in May
  21. transform our front flower gardens and integrate veggies into the front yard
  22. Finish sheetrocking the upstairs bedrooms and turn the one bedroom into our closet
  23. Work out at least 3 times a week
  24. Donate all the clothes I have bagged up to the church
  25. Clean the "dinning room" and make the space we live in "not embarrassing" for people to come over (a tough one until we are able to get things moved due to gutting/renovations)
  26. Have weekend cookouts EVERY weekend, all summer
  27. Continue working on paying off credit cards
  28. Get a camera and begin taking more pictures  (thank you mister for my awesome Christmas present!)
  29. Sew a dress
  30. become an optimist
  31. do not let my day job rule my life
  32. continue to grow my pyrex and lunchbox collections
  33. go antiquing at least once a month with mister
  34. play scrabble
  35. ride a motorcycle

whoopie pies..

As promised I have made Mister his whoopie pies. He was pretty bummed when I didn't get to them yesterday, so in between trying to open up the hard shell (which I got! just not, ah hem, the "crack the winning combination" way. I literally tried EVERY combination possible and it still wouldn't open. So well, I had to use a little bit of force. Now I'm waiting for mister to get home to see if there is a way he can reset the combination or even "turn off" the lock?)

Anyway..whoopie pies!

I have been baking whoopie pies for a few years now. Growing up in NY I had never heard of them, but mister is from Boston and taught me all about them. I have since created multiple recipes for different flavors and even wrote up a business plan to create a whoopie pie truck  - it was a brilliant plan and name I came up with. But sadly there is not a market for it where I live. I live, lets say, in the middle of no where. The truck would do great in a city - Boston, NY, DC etc.. maybe someday I'll get to bring my truck to life when we move to Southern CA (mister keeps hinting at a bog move). Until then I live vicariously through my friend Erica who started up her own cupcake truck out in Providence (xoxo Erica!)

While I am going to keep my recipe a secret - I will steer you toward another whoopie pie recipe in case now you are craving whoopie pies..

Polly watches my every step during baking - you will see her probably in every baking picture I take unless I crop her watching eyes out!

I'm a little sad with how they turned out. I ran out of the normal cocoa I usually use, which gives them a really rich dark color and flavor, so I just used the generic regular cocoa I had on hand. Now go bake some whoopie pies! (or if you aren't a baker, run and support your local baker!)

xo - trisha

thrifty Monday

On my thrifting adventures today I came across a pair of awesome hard case vintage luggage in really great shape. 

Ella decided to check out the interior of the large case. But now I have a project.. a not so fun project. The second, smaller case is locked by a  code and we couldn't get it open at the shop. The girl took it back to her manager in which the manager actually threw the case away! When she came back empty handed I was a little shocked. She said "Who wants to buy luggage that you can't open?" Well..maybe me? Well not BUY but if they are going to just toss it I'd try my hand at the hundreds of different combinations that the lock could be!

The girl had me talk it over with the manager who laughed, wished me luck and charged me 49 cents. 

So we'll see. I have already gotten through the 800's and 900's, nothing so far..but I will keep trying. A woman that was checking out when I was that was trying to get it open suggested I throw an "Open my case" party and for me to tell the guests there is some wonderful treasure inside and we'd all spend hours trying to decipher the code. I'd like to think that my friends would be smart enough to shake the case and realize it was empty prior to this game..maybe her friends aren't as smart - or maybe they drink too much.

I also picked up a cute set of mushroom mugs that will be added to my shop. I'm a little bummed there was this neat 70s large pot that was in shades of oranges and browns. The large pot was orange with a cool pattern and then there was another smaller pot inside of it (maybe a strainer?) with a lid on the top. They had it all tapped up so I couldn't pull it apart and see what it was all about, but when I went back to look again it was gone. So weird, seeing that the shop was pretty slow..guess someone else knew what it was!

Okay, time to make some whoopie pies and then back to working on Mikayla's blanket, which somehow is 6 inches wider than it was intended to be! No idea how that happened. But I will say never measure out how long your chain is and go from that - find someone's pattern to see how many chains to use for a 36" blanket! 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mikayla's blanket take one

I was doing some searching for some chunky baby blankets I may be able to whip up and was noticing the sizes seemed insanely small. One I found was actually 15" x18". What is that for a Barbie?! So more research said that a child's blanket should be 42"x48" and  a"lapghan" is 36"x48". I decided to do the 36 x (something) we'll see how I like it when I get it to be a square. Seeing as though: 1. I just started crocheting again (and I was never a master to begin with) and 2. I'm using an ex-large hook (an N) that I'm not used to using, it may take me a while to get this project completed. I like having a deadline though. It will force me to work on it even when I may want to be working on other things..

Deadline: January 30th
Size: 36" x 48"(we'll see! I think this is going to use a lot more yarn than I budgeted for!)

Total so far completed: One row! Oh crocheting masters instill speed into my little hands!

If anyone wants to crochet along - It's a simple/basic blanket.

I cast on enough chains to get the width to be 36" plus an additional 3 chains. - The rest is just a basic double crochet. I'm trying to decide (I guess it depends on time) if I am going to weave a light pink ribbon through the bottom, or if I may try crocheting a flower to attach.

Crocheting calls - though I will be taking a whoopie pie baking break shortly..


sunday at zero..

Holy mother is it cold outside today! You would think that all my years of living in upstate NY that I would be used to the brutal cold. I think today will be the perfect day for some projects and some baking. I think whoopie pies and some sort of blueberry buckle will be on the baking menu.

I just started crocheting again. I had taught myself how to crochet a few years ago and began a granny square blanket - I think I have roughly 40 mini squares completed and then I started up school again and it just got set aside for almost 2 years. I just finished school so now seem to have lots of "me" time, which is awesome. So I decided to pick up crocheting again. I just went to the store and picked up some super chunky yarn and am going to crochet a blanket for my niece that turns one at the end of this month. Today seems like the perfect day to start that project.

I also need to take some time and code and get this blog looking like I want it to.. so many projects that I want to complete. Happy Sunday everyone!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

and so it begins..

Hi, and welcome to what will become my new blog home. It's currently under major construction while I figure out how to code my own site. It may take a little bit, but I'll get it. 

My blog is going to be a place for me to write about my many passions including all things vintage, handmade crafty goodness, baking obsessions and my two new business ventures. I currently reside in Upstate NY in an old Victorian home from 1870 with my husband, whom I have always affectionately called "mister" or "K" (his real name is Kevin - but I have never been able to bring myself to call him that), my 10 year old scottie - Lola, 5 year old red tick coon hound - Polly, and newest edition (a Christmas present from mister) a 15 week old miniature wienie puppy named Ella. 

We are currently under major renovations and have been gutting our home. I'm sure more will be addressed as I go! Two new additions have been - one for mister and one for me. He converted an old shed like room that is attached off our kitchen that leads outside into his motorcycle shop. He loves old motorcycles and will be starting up a new business to build his own bikes. Pretty cool! I'll have to post pictures of his shop - because well I'm sure his little space is not what people normally think of when you say "motorcycle shop".

The second addition is a glass studio we built in our backyard. It's a little spot for me to work on my glass work - flameworking and glassblowing. It's almost complete - moldings are the last step that need to go up then I can start moving in my stuff. I still need to buy a few things but ran out of money. I stopped counting how much the shop actually cost to put up once I was at double what I budgeted for! I'm hoping to possibly go on kickstarter to help fund the kiln and a few small pieces I still need.

So one of the business ventures I am working on is called "VeraNellies" - I have always had a love of vintage goodies. I have a mega collection of 50's cat eye glasses, my grandmother's old broaches, tin lunchboxes, pyrex, and other fun kitchen ware. Mister and I love going antiquing and spending hours rummaging through old treasures. I also love crafty projects. I have taught myself how to knit, sew, crochet, hang sheet rock - you name it and I have tried it! I also LOVE baking. I even had a plan to start a traveling food truck selling whoopie pies. So I want to take all three of these major loves and combine them into one venture. A shop selling handpicked vintage goodness, handmade items made with love from myself and others that would like to consign or wholesale to me, and an added bonus (once I get a brick and mortar)  a very small sweets shop incorporated into the store. What is better than eating a cupcake while shopping for amazing treasures!? A little history regarding where the "VeraNellies" name came from: the merging of both grammas' names. One being "Vera" - she was my mother's mom. She was short and plump and taught me everything I know about baking. I can still picture her dancing and singing in her kitchen while we made apple pies singing "5'2" and eyes of blue.." She once told me the song was written for her. My other gramma was my father's mother, Nellie. Sadly I wasn't as close with her but the main thing I remember about her is that she wore a different broach everyday. I never saw her wearing the same one twice. When she passed away, my parents gave me all her jewelry. The pieces above are a few of my favorite pieces that I wear often.

The second business venture in which I will post, I'm sure, weekly, if not daily rants about is my glass studio. "Three.One.Seven Glassworks" I will be creating marbles (I have a vintage stash of these from my grandfather), pendants, paperweights and my own line of plugs and body jewelry (I have 26mm holes in my ears). 

I am so excited for this year. I have dubbed it "the year of Trisha" for so long I put everyone else before myself and before what I wanted to accomplish. I'm now in my 30's and my attitude is - I can't keep waiting any longer!

So I think that should do it for now! Thank you for stopping by, I hope that I will be able to entertain you in the future. If you need to reach me - please feel free. I am open to any questions or comments. And again, please bare with my mess as I construct and get this blog visually looking the way I want it to. (any help is greatly appreciated!!)