Hurricane Irene

If you’ve turned on the news or opened any social media lately, you’ve heard about the HURRICANE!! I’m not feeling the need to panic, but since I’ll be stuck inside for a while I decided to stock up… on craft supplies. I got 3 3/4 yards of fabric (remnants are 50% off? that totally works for me) and 30 oz of yarn.

The plan is to sew until the power goes out (or it gets too scary sitting in front of a huge window), then start an afghan. I know I already have a ton of yarn but I haven’t been feeling like crocheting this summer (hence the total lack of posts).  However, I’m always up for an interesting afghan.  This one is circular and I really like these colors, hopefully I’ll get back in the swing of things and get back to Etsy-ing.

p.s. Don’t worry, I did also stop by the store for some non-perishables and my flashlights, candles and radio are set up just in case.


August 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Yoga Mat Strap

So, I know I’ve been MIA for, ya know, the whole summer. Sorry about that, life was far busier than I ever expected, and aside from finishing a wedding present I wasn’t terribly motivated to craft.  However, that ended today!

Back in June I was visiting a friend and her neighbor had an old sewing machine sitting in the garage that he wanted to see back in use, I nabbed it (free machine? yes!) but only had enough time to google the manual and do a bit of test stitching before I left town.  When I was at Michael’s a couple weeks ago I saw some fabric on super sale and grabbed it without any idea what I’d do with it.  Yesterday I decided that I was ready to get back into going to yoga class and wanted to bike or walk, but I didn’t know how to carry my mat.  I ended up driving yesterday (but I did at least do a major grocery run on the way home to justify the car) and was determined to solve the problem today.  I googled patterns, saw some bags that were fine, but then I found this pattern for a strap.  It’s simple enough- two adjustable loops and a strap between- which is perfect for my complete lack of sewing experience.  Plus it’s cute and I had enough fabric to make it!

Since I generally fail at following instructions I made a lot of modifications.  First, I wanted to be able to wear my mat on my back with the strap across my chest, so I made it longer.  The fabric I had was 27″ long, so I cut 3 strips that length.  It’s a little longer than necessary, but works just fine.  Second, I didn’t have any interfacing, so I skipped it.  Third, I was frustrated with my machine by the time I got to the stitching when it was right side out, so I ended up skipping that too.  Mine may not last as long or be as nice looking as the original, but it cost about a dollar and I learned a lot so I’m fine with that.

I had to google how to use a rotary cutter, but it worked great!

At first I forgot to put the foot down and thus had to re-thread 3 times in a row…

The wooden dowel (chopstick) worked great for flipping it right side out!

I used my iron for the first time in who knows how long.  All flat and pretty!

Right before flipping I ran out of thread in the bobbin so I had to wind a bobbin, and then re-thread, again.  But things weren’t quite working so I took everything apart and re-threaded once more.  I still couldn’t figure out why I was getting those loose loops alternating with puckered fabric.  Tension?  Speed?  Something else?  In the end I decided the final stitching was unnecessary and took out what I’d already done with it right side out (putting me back to the previous photo).

I did the button holes by hand while watching tv.  I don’t know if my machine can do them, but I wasn’t up for figuring it out.

Final Product:


Tonight, I walked to yoga class and got to enjoy the beautiful weather on the way out and fully appreciate the sunset on my way home.  The strap worked great and I feel confident I could bike with it too!  Definitely a project I’d do again, hopefully by then I’ll have mastered machine sewing a bit better.  Thanks so much Jenny and Craftzine!

August 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

Summer Hiatus

I’ve been all over the place (both mentally and physically) but I’m home for more than a week now and getting my life back together. As fun as summer is, and this one has been particularly so, I can’t wait to get back to my routines. Thanks for sticking it out for so long!

Sunset in Park City,  Utah

Sunset in Park City, Utah

August 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment


So I thought that I would have no problem keeping up with everything while traveling, but it turns out that I have seriously limited internet access in my room and have to go to the conference center to do anything on my computer. I am keeping up with twitter though (@Tinted_Green) so stop over and say “hi” there until I can get a good solution to this internet problem.

July 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Treasury Tuesday: School’s Out

Life is busy around here with the last weeks of school upon us, which means a flurry of preparing students for finals, grading everything that’s been pushed aside for “later” and organizing everything before leaving for the summer.  Of course, this is intermingled with yearning to be outside, last chances to visit with friends before I spend a month traveling and an attempt to continue crafting.  I meant to write a post for yesterday to show you the cute new I-cord bracelets I made over the weekend, but I got home late Sunday night and sleep won out.  Since school is on my mind, today’s treasury is all about that.  Mingling the traditional schoolhouse with modern decorations.

‘School’s Out’ by TintedGreen

We have about a week left of school around here, I can’t wait to start grading those finals since that means it’s almost summer!

















Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.


Does the school schedule affect you?  Are you looking forward to summer?

June 21, 2011 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Five Things Friday

A couple weeks ago I shared my big plans for the summer.  This week I stumbled upon a great blog post – this family makes a summer list each year.  It’s filled with fun activities, events to look forward to, accomplishments they hope to achieve, etc.  I was inspired to start a list of my own.  I already had a running list I call “cool stuff” in my Simplenote app (highly recommended, check it out!).  That list includes fun things to do when friends come to visit or I have a free weekend.  I started my own “summer fun list” which includes some items from the other list plus many more, and I’ll continue adding to it whenever I think of something new.  Today I’ll share a few things I’ve added so far:

  1. Try all the ice cream parlors in town, make my own popsicles.  I read about making yogurt pops somewhere, and just saw this easy recipe for fudgesicles  that I can’t wait to try out!  I’ve also been working my way through all of the restaurants in Salem (there are a lot!) so I figure I can tackle all of the ice cream places over the summer and be on my way to finishing the bigger task.
  2. Visit farmers markets.  There are two a week in Utah (breakfast and lunch are provided by the program, but I’ll get to make my own dinners out of delicious local produce!) and one a week in Salem.  I’d also love to set up a booth for all the Salem Etsy sellers at our local market, but that may have to wait until next year.
  3. Pick blueberries, learn to preserve.  Last summer I visited my friend in New Hampshire and we canoed onto a lake to pick the blueberries no one had gotten to yet.  I got over a quart to take home and freeze.  Having blueberries I’d picked myself made the occasional winter meal much more exciting (delicious fruit and fun memories).  This summer I’d like to plan ahead better and preserve a variety of summer fruits and memories.
  4. Start a scrapbook.  Speaking of preserving memories, I used to scrapbook regularly, but then life got busy and it fell to the wayside.  I also realized recently that all of my recent photos are of plants and yarn.  Those are definitely my priority, but I’d like to have a few snapshots of all the cool things I’ve been doing.  Plus, scrapbooking is fun!
  5. Picnic and play. Yesterday I was at the arcade (for a Best Buddies event) and my co-worker and I won a boomerang.  That same co-worker and I also made a list of local lakes a while back.  The plan is to picnic, swim, learn to throw a boomerang so it actually comes back, fly kites and generally frolic in the sun.
I may have to make a strict schedule of fun things if I want to accomplish my whole list (this is just the beginning!).  But of course, the great thing about summer is that whatever schedule I make up for myself, I’m welcome to break it as many times as I want.
What’s on your summer fun list?

June 17, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Solar Panels Are Up and Coming

I follow on twitter, and last week they kept mentioning this article: “Why you’ll soon have solar panels, in 3 easy graphs.”  So I finally decided to see what all the hype was about.  The graphs are very easy to understand and quite convincing!  If you don’t feel like clicking over yourself, they show:

  1. prices are falling
  2. production is rising
  3. solar will be cheaper than coal in less than 6 years, but a new coal plant takes 6-8 years to start generating electricity


Three cheers for solar!  Now if we could just get this information out to everyone so they can get to work on this and stop pretending clean coal exists.
If I had a house I’d be researching solar panels right away, but sadly I’m still renting so I just focus on using less electricity (which is certainly easier to do in a smaller space, I paid $11 for my 100% renewable electricity last month!).  Have you looked into solar panels?  When is the tipping point for you in terms of affordability?  If you’re qualms have more to do with aesthetics, Grist has another article on the pretty colors solar panels now come in, so no excuses there!


June 16, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

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