Friday, January 30, 2009

archived: i'm knitting & my crafty to dos

I've wanted to learn to knit for awhile now. I've been especially inspired by Katie's blog Philigry and Soulemama. I finally decided to get a book and just try. Not so bad so far! I can cast on, knit, and purl. I'm making a simple dishtowel to start, but I hope to do something more advanced soon!

I use google noteboook to keep track of all the great ideas I find online, but I'm still not sure it is the best way for me to organize everything. I decided it would help me to focus if I had most things on one list. This way when I want to make something I can just check the list and see what sounds fun!

Crafty To Dos
  • continue practicing & learning the lingo
  • eventually sweaters like katie makes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

archived: wedding in review - ceremony & vows

I still haven't written about a few of my favorite things about our wedding. So I decided to get back on the wedding review bandwagon. Maybe someday I'll even get around to editing and *gasp* posting our video!

Although it was important that everything about our wedding was personalized to us or represent our personalities, this was of utmost importance when it came to writing our ceremony. First things first... the songs. It was so important that we had songs that were special as we all walked down the aisle.

To start I had the DJ play old, recognizable songs while guests were arriving and being seated - this gave kind of a warm, relaxed atmosphere.

The first song that Dr. Klug, Grant, and his best man - Joel walked in to was Green Eyes by Coldplay. Grant's Grandmothers and both of our mothers were also escorted down the aisle to this song. OH how I love that song. I just watched that part of our video... i SO want you to see it. But its long. really long.

Ok. Anyway. My bridesmaids and our adorable flowergirl and ringbearer walked down to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Also SO good. Of course I love these songs with my whole heart or they wouldn't have been chosen.. but you should go listen. For me. Just do it.

Last was me. After a lot of tears, arguing, and drama I was walked down the aisle by both of my dads. First my stepdad (from the door of the building to the end of the aisle) and then by my dad. We walked down the aisle to the song that Grant and I call 'our song' - God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. Obviously a perfect choice.

As I alluded to above - I originally wanted to walk down the aisle alone. I didn't like the idea of someone giving me away. No one had made this choice for me so why should someone symbolically give me away? As I talked about before - time went on and I learned that other people had dreams and expectations about this day too. And it was important to honor those - if for no other reason than to stay on good terms. So it came to be that both of my dads escorted me down the aisle (and both danced the father daughter of my most hated wedding traditions.. too). I had one condition... my dad was not to say he was giving me away, but that "She gives of herself with our love and our blessing". Sound familiar? It was what Nora said when she gave Kitty away on Brothers and Sisters! (around minute 2:35)

As I've mentioned before we started our ceremony planning by getting someone we admired and respected and knew personally to agree to marry us. Dr. Klug was so perfect. I wish I had a transcript of what he said... the video will be good for that (whenever i get it up...). We gave him free rein to say whatever he felt was right in the intro and in between the traditional vows, rings, etc. We did ask him to include an acknowledgment of how aware we are of the fact that our marriage is only as strong as the support we get from each other and our families and friends. That part was really special.

Toward the beginning of the ceremony two of my best friends - Jill & Teresa - read the only poem I really know and love. I Carry Your Heart by EE Cummings. I read that along time ago in the book In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

Next up were our vows. I cry every time I read them. They are below...

Grant to Nicole

while writing these vows, i've had trouble composing something that would do justice to the way i feel. i usually have fun being wordy when i write, and trying to make things sound as elegant or professional as possible. however, in this situation, the topic could not be more serious, and it seems to treat this like any other bit of writing i've done would serve to belittle the importance of these vows, and of what these vows represent. therefore, i have written only 3 words on this paper (in addition to this).

these three words are: love, loyalty, and support. these 3 words will form the foundation of my life long promise to you. forever and ever, i promise to love you, be loyal to you, and to be supportive of you. so far as i can tell, this much should be enough to get us 'most of the way' through. beyond that, i am confident in our ability to work together and figure the rest out, as we have done successfully up to this point. i love you.

Nicole to Grant


You are the love of my life. I still can’t believe that we are standing here today and that I get to spend the rest of my life with you. I promise to burn this day in my memory – keeping it as a reminder of our love and commitment.

There are so many things to say and not enough words to say them. It is the smallest things that make me love you. It is those same things that inspire me, making me want to be a better version of myself.

You are goofy and witty – you make me laugh. There was this day when we were first dating. You left a peeled orange on my doorstep with a note that read ‘navel oranges have no seeds.’ So simple, but I will never forget how giddy it made me.

Another time, early on – we were sitting at turtles and you told me you were ‘really into this’ – it wasn’t the first time you were open and communicative with me. But all I could muster in reply was ‘ditto.’ And that was enough. You were ok with what I could offer you. You were (and continue to be) so patient with me.

You love me – period. I love you too. The love you have given me and continue to give inspires these vows.

I promise to continue loving you with my whole heart, as you are my greatest confidant, lover, and friend.

I promise to stand by your side for the rest of our lives, remembering that there will be bad along with the good.

I promise to be patient with our differences and remember what you’ve taught me – it’s the small things that count.

I promise to listen to and support your hopes and dreams, making them my own.

I promise to try harder to stay fit and healthy so that we may age gracefully together.

I promise to remember how ‘happy’ feels and express when I need help.

I promise to create a family and home with you that is warm, creative, and fun.

I promise to laugh with you always and let you warm your nose in my cheek.

I promise to love you all the days of my life and be with you even after I die.

Remember – you are the love of my life.

I look forward to a future of funny faces in the mirror, endless laughter, and daily emails ending in ‘love you, me’

After our vows (I was really trying to hold it together at that point) we did our exchange of rings - it was really simple and kind of corny, but very us. We each said "Take this ring as a symbol of how much I heart you"

At the end of the ceremony I asked Dr. Klug to announce us very specifically - "I know pronounce you Husband and Wife, you may kiss the bride" just like that. I know its not different than what most people say, but I didn't want Man and Wife (hate that) or anything else it had to be the same as how I married my barbies off as a kid. Of course, I got caught up in the moment and kissed Grant before he said the you may kiss the bride part!

And that was the end - we walked back up the aisle to All You Need is Love by Lynden David Hall (from Love Actually) and were showered by the dried lavender I included in the back of the programs.

wow. this is a monster post! it is my 300th post though! exciting huh??

Monday, January 26, 2009

archived: tea towel aprons

i heart checking out the blog one pretty thing. i saw these adorable (and simple) tea towel aprons last week and knew they were my kind of sewing project - quick and easy with immediate gratification!

luckily i had a brand new pack of towels on hand and several friends that deserved a little something special.

i love LOVE love the pockets!
if you ignore my inability to iron... don't you just want one?? it will take you 5 minutes...just do it!

i am also loving these tea towel totes!

....and today is G's first day as a Post Doc - keep him in your thoughts...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

archived: my creative space

sorry this is so late in the day...blame this crazy emotional roller coaster i am on. i know things will get better, but its rough right now.

on to something more fun and is making me happy - my new craft area! this isn't a space that is substantial or really anything major, but it IS a space that is mine. i am very pleased at how easy it is to craft when everything is easily accessible. and now for the tour...

this is my table. i will sew, cut, probably swear, but mostly just CREATE here. A few fun things are one it... the Eiffel tower lamp i saw on a blog and immediately registered for, my mom's goofy rock foot, my sewing machine, a beaker (to keep science close) for my scissors, and a photo tile lindsey made for us that has our first photo together ever.

above my little craft table is a clipboard that has three of my most prized possessions.

1. a cross stitch my nana (mom's mom) made a long time ago and my aunt & uncle gave us as part of our wedding gift - i cried. it reads: Loving Hearts Make a House a Home

2. a cross stitch the same nana made that my aunt & uncle (they keep the good stuff around) gave us for christmas. it is a traditional irish blessing (my mom's maiden name is Leary...can't get much more irish). it reads:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

i LOVE it.

3. the lace that was removed from my wedding gown - i have to save it for a very special project or maybe just save it.

This wall also has a thread spool holder, which i got for my birthday and LOVE!

next to the craft table is my ever - growing collection of crafty books. i heart them!!

this is a great chair we recently picked up and i draped another important nana craft - a vibrant afghan she made long ago. also a generous gift from my aunt and uncle for christmas. my nana was amazing - she could whip this stuff out! she had 11 children, around 30 grandchildren and EVERYONE usually got at least one handmade thing every Christmas! i love that we are now the keepers of such special heirlooms. This vibrant pink is perfect for a creative space, dontcha think??

next to the desk i have a little tupperware set of drawers that holds some vintage and new sewing notions as well as all of my embroidery materials. On top are two vintage film canisters i found at a garage sale several years ago - they are the new keepers of all things ribbony. i also have a special little dish of buttons. i LOVE this swan dish - i found a set of three of them at goodwill a year or so ago and have just been hoarding them until i find a good use!

now into the closet - my new favorite space to make use of. lately i've been seeing all kinds of closests put to use as mini rooms, offices, etc. i LOVE it.

my meager fabric stash - complete with way too much batting. i always seem to buy way more than i end up using. i also have tons of left over wedding fabric! Way in the back of this picture you can see my crafting drill - one of those funny things that is perfect for some crafts that involve wire. I will have to share those sometime. Another good tool for a crafter is a staple gun - also something to discuss at a later date.

on top of the fabric shelf is a container with all things adhesive, a vintage dish holding all of my vintage hankies (i have always had a thing for vintage linens), and a few small organizers for various sewing notions. You can also see some extra wire holders from the wedding (made with the help of a drill!), crocheted socks jenni made, and extra wedding bookmarks. above this shelf is a nail that holds my cutting mat, rotary cutter, and rulers. i love having those up off the ground.

this little set of drawers holds my fabric scraps, patterns, and current projects respectively. on top you will see Rosie, my childhood bear. I got her the day I had tubes put in my ears and my adnoids taken out. I cherished her so much I wouldn't play with her (i know... i was THAT kid) so she is in pristine condition. She is accompanied by a basket of yarn & crochet hooks.

to the far right you will find another set of rubbermaid drawers filled with various crafting supplies - crayons, colored pencils, foam sheets, lots of felt, etc. on top is a stand that keeps all of my crafting papers in order.

and lastly, the shelf above it all holds several things. many binders that were used for wedding planning and a few that i keep craft ideas in, a set of drawers full of scrapbooking accoutrements - punches, decorative scissors, stickers, etc., several vintage glass bottles i've collected, all of my acrylic paints and brushes, and of course all of my beading supplies. the few sweaters you can see in the lower left corner are old, but i'm hanging on to them because i always see great craft projects that utilize old you feel that way too??

well that is my little nook. i heart it and hope to spend lots of time here in the coming months!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

archived: quick ipod cozy (and other ramblings...)

i'm glad you all enjoyed my top ten. i'm trying to convince myself it is all part of the adventure. and for any concerned that the landlord won't be hearing from us - fret not!!!

i also meant to mention that when we arrived in columbia my acceptance letter for nursing school was here! happy i got in, but nervous to start back to school. it is an intensive 15-month bachelors program - i hope it doesn't overwhelm me! the actual program begins at the end of may, but i have to take one more pre-req this semester. hoping this will ease me back into studying and giving up my free time...

speaking of free time - i quickly made this ipod cozy as we headed out the door for our three week trek. gran't had nothing to cover his ipod and it was getting pretty beat up. i made it as i closed up the last box of my crafting supplies in about 5 minutes. I was pleased with how it turned out though!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

archived: handmade christmas 2008

i was almost successful with my goal of a 100% handmade christmas, but not quite. the last few gifts i didn't even start, let alone finish! it worked out fine though.
Here is a smattering of what i made...

a few needle keepers using one of jenni's as a pattern

a few punch collages for some crafty gals...

a scotty dog for my mom (she HEARTS him) - when she opened it her dog started barking at it!

a memory board for my step-dad's new office...

stitched cards for the gratitude wraps (i also made christmas tree ones as our card this year)

an embroidered keep calm for kendra (you've seen the posters all over right??)...

oh! and i also made passport covers for my aunt & uncle.

PS - we made it safely to omaha and are spending some much needed time with jon and jess. i'm still sick, but hoping it subsides soon!!