Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Sew-n-Tell

Hello all! Yesterday was a pretty unpleasant day. The school I am interning at somehow lost it's plumbing capabilities. The toilets wouldn't flush and the water fountains wouldn't work. At first I thought; "Oh it's okay, I can wait an hour to go to the bathroom." 3 hours later I was not so sure, and by then end of the day I thought I might go into renal failure, if that's possible. I can't even imagine how the little kids at the school felt, although there was a lot of complaining coming from the hallway. At the end of the day I was very excited to get the heck out of there and rush home to you know....but then the principal announced that the plumbing would not be fixed for a while and there was no school tomorrow! Hurray I almost peed my pants with excitement! Long weekend for Lauren!
I got home and decided to kick off my long weekend by finishing up some sewing projects I have been working on. The woman I babysit for let mer borrow her copy of Sublime Stitching so I have been doing some fun embroidery. I decided to put the fun little scraps to good use and make some fancy dishtowels.

I made 2 sets of 2, this is only one. The other set I can't show because it will be a Christmas present for someone. But I can show these two for Amy's Sew-N-Tell.
Now I am off to do nothing on my unexpected day off!
Can't wait to see what everyone else made!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is upon us. Today Charlie and I went to 4 stores searching for elements for his Halloween costume. I will update after the party with pictures of his costume; but I will just tell you that it is great. Today I also remembered we have had two pumpkins sitting around since my fall adventure back in September. While Charles was cooking dinner tonight I was busy gutting and carving our two pumpkins. I started with the small one first, and am not that happy with my results. We have very nice knives, today Charlie said; "You're going to carve a pumpkin with a 40 dollar knife!!!!" And carve away I did. I blame the nice 40 dollar knife for my poor quality carve job on the first one:But I also think the small size of the pumpkin also had a negative impact, as well as that fact that I drew the design on the pumpkin with sharpie and was forced to cut that out so that sharpie wouldn't show. It's cute but nothing to write home about. After the unsatisfying results on the first one I was a little hesitant about the second. I was going to just do another face, but Charlie convinced me that I had more artistic talent and should try something else,"branch out" he said. We came up with some ideas, like that state of New Hampshire, or The Old Man in the Mountain. Then I found a picture online and decided to do a haunted house:
The shapes are all straight cuts and then a lot of just carving away excess, so it was more my style and easier than trying to get curved cuts.
I also tried a new technique that I made up. I drew the outline on a plastic bag with a sharpie and then duct taped it to the pumpkin and used that as the outline and cut through the plastic and the bag. That way you don't have to draw on the pumpkin and be stuck cutting things out since there is sharpie all over them. I was surprised Charles did not yell at me for cutting plastic with our nice knives.
They both look pretty nice on our counter. And the apple spice tea candles burning inside smell very nice too :)
Has anyone else carved pumpkins recently?
Have a great night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Knew There was a Reason I Bought the Praxis Book so Early....

Making it higher means I have to hunch less, so I can sew for hours and hours. Which is exactly what I did today. At 5 o clock I felt my stomach rumbling and realized it was 5 and I had been sewing for the last 3 hours without stopping! Don't you just love being so engrossed in a project that you don't even realize how much time has passed?
I spent my Sunday exactly how I wanted to, I hope everyone else had a very happy fall day too!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Twenty Dollar Pick Me Up

Well folks, this week has been a little rough. I don't want to say I have been depressed lately, because that isn't true..I guess the words that best describe how I've been feeling are dehumanized and deflated. I will start from the beginning. On Monday I took a test that I studied a lot for. And, my grades aren't in yet, but I don't think it went very well. It seemed as if the professor was attempting to trick us at every turn, ask questions that had multiple answers, leave me guessing my every thought. Personally, if I were a teacher I would want to test my students on what I taught them and not try to "trick" them, and I would also feel accomplished if they did well, not happy that everyone got fooled by question number 17. Don't you want us to do well? I just don't get it.
Secondly, midterms left me so deflated that I could not peel myself off of the couch last night to get anything done. This means I had nothing to post for the Sew-N-Tell. I realize I have no one to blame but myself for this. I just like having people read my blog once a week, and leave nice comments.
Lastly, today was my first experience giving a speech and language standardized test. It looks easy when you watch someone do it. All you say is "show me ball" and watch the kid point to a ball, then give them a check. Easy peasy. But no. Giving standardized normed tests is hard. You can't say anything more that what it says in red on the sheet. If a kid asks you to repeat, you probably can't. If the kid doesn't answer the question right you say;"tell me more about hat" but can't say; "well a hat goes....where? (inquisitive, yet compassionate look included). If a kid did a really good job taking the test you can't say; "Wow, you did a great job!" If a kid is struggling, you aren't supposed to smile at them and give them hugs with your eyes. And if they look at you with sad puppy dog eyes because they don't know the answer you can't tell them, even if you really want to. Nope, none of these things that seem so second nature and easy to me are allowed. I think of myself as a kind person. I like helping people, why else would I be in this profession? I like kids; they are sweet, and funny and still kind hearted and genuine. I like to smile when kids do something right, and help them when they need it. I don't like rejoicing in their failures because if they get 5 wrong in a row I can stop testing them. This doesn't seem like something people who are supposed to help kids should do! Giving a test alone was enough to send me searching for tissues. Then came the bad part. Having all of your flaws and weaknesses read to you off a sheet of paper all in the name of "clinical growth". I understand, I need to know what I did wrong to grow as a person, and clinician. How can I give unbiased evaluations if I don't learn how to stop being so biased and gosh darn helpful? I get it. It's just I've never been told that the nice things I do are wrong. Like saying; "Can you tell me about ____" instead of saying; "Tell me about _____". Or that smiling at a kid is not what you should do, ever! It just makes me feel like I can't be myself in order to be a good SLP, and that's not a way I like to feel.
After I finished scoring the evaluations and fought off tears I decided that going home was not an option, I headed for Barnes and Noble. Ah the joy or browsing the "craft" section with no plans, no one waiting anxiously for you. My plan was to pick out a few books, sit on a comfy couch and look at them, but not buy them. I had a nice pile and retreated, only to find that there are no comfy couches in B&N. Drats, they must have known that when people have a nice place to sit they will read a whole book in the store and not buy it, because I don't think I am the only one who does that. Instead I found a hard chair and a table inside the Starbucks inside the B&N, where people (aka employees) will look at you with annoyed glances if you don't have a double mocha grande tall latte with a twist in hand while you read magazines and get them sticky with your muffin fingers but have no intentions of paying for. My thoughts; "Stop looking at me! I'm not supposed to spend any money! I'm just here in this book store to read the books without paying, and inside this coffee shop inside the book store to have a place to sit without getting any coffee!" Then I cracked. I hate coffee, but I am a fan of steamed vanilla milk. How delish.
I went to the counter and told the woman what I wanted, she asked me what size, "I don't know....what can I get for $2.50 that's all I have?" I say.
"Well, in fact you can get a Grande" She says.
"Okay I'll take that one." I say as I hand her a $20, she looks at me like I am from mars and gives me my seventeen dollars and fifty cents in change.
As I sat sipping my steamed milk and flipping through pages of sewing books I flipped open the cover of "A is for Apron" I am intrigued by the first few pages of vintage aprons, then by the pages and pages galore of awesome apron idea, and then there are pages of pattern pieces you can copy and cut out to make your own! I couldn't resist just going to the counter and asking how much it was. "If it is less than $20 I'll buy it" I told myself.
"Your total comes to $17.95 Miss." the words rung like gold in my ears.
I handed the woman my $17.50 along with some dimes and pennies I scrounged from the bottom of my purse and I was the proud owner of a Grade Steamed vanilla milk and "A is for Apron" by Nathalie Mornu.
I came home and read over some of the patterns, sipped my remaining drink (a grande is apparently a large) and ate some pumpkin bread:
And everything was right in my world again.
I just realized that the pattern pieces from the book need to be enlarged by 400%. It's a good thing I know the copy code! :)
Have a good night everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm Back...But Have Nothing to Show You

I just wanted to let everyone know that my midterms are over! Hurray! These will (hopefully) be my last midterms of my entire life, Triple Hurray! However, due to midterms I have no projects to show you. "Get it Together Tuesday" has been recently turned upside down; I took a babysitting job (hey I need some money to buy supplies for all these projects!) , Charlie has been getting Tuesday's off, and he strangely likes to hang out with me, and like I said midterm exams forced me to study. I had to restrain myself to not begin any new sewing projects...but that doesn't mean I didn't think about any projects, or find new blogs with awesome ideas. I found some cool tutorials, and also some great ideas for bigger projects. I promise sometime soon there will be more action on this blog.
Also on another note, my future (past August 2010) has been up in the air for quite some time. This has lead to some heated discussions between Charles and I. The other day Charlie said he had done some soul searching and decided that he would like to move up north to be near the White Mountains. He is thinking about going to school at Plymouth State University to get a masters in teaching, and working at a park or a ski mountain, or something like that. I am both relieved, and a bit sad. Relieved that I don't have to move (very) far away from my family and friends and a little sad that we won't be having the "western" adventure I had been dreaming about. Although moving anywhere new is an adventure, I guess I just have to redefine my thoughts about it. This is the plan for now, and I am quite pleased with it.
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Sew-n-Tell

"Get it Together Tuesday" of this week was changed into "You got Monday off from school so we'll make Tuesday into Monday, thus leaving you confused and out of sorts for the rest of the week". Which is how I feel. Due to my confusion it is a good thing that the Sew-N-Tell was postponed last week, this way I can use my project from last week for this week. Don't worry, Amy informed me that this is not cheating. Anyways, enough excuses here's my project:
It's a small pouch that I made for a classmate Kim, who needed something to put her tape-recorder thingy for clinic in. And she paid me $10 for it. My first paying job. Kim wanted something to protect her recorder thingy so I quilted it, and she told me I could do whatever I wanted to so I let the artistic ideas flow and ended up with an apliqued flower and some nice little leaves and a button for the center of the flower. I kind of winged the whole process, and then 30 minutes after finishing it I found this nice tutorial about how to make basically the same thing, in case you like it. The only differences are that Kim's has quilt batting in it, and the quilt batting is quilted, and also there is an applique on hers.It was rather difficult to part with, but it has a good home.

On another note this was what I found when I woke up this morning.
How sweet. I love you too Charlie.
I can't wait to see what else people have for the Sew-N-Tell.
Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finding My Root, In the Form of Graves

Over the long weekend I went to Maine and went on an adventure with my Mum. We went to North New Portland Maine to find my great grandfathers grave. Martelle C. Quint:Sadly, Martelle died exactly one month before my Grampy, Martelle, was born. And I think that is one of the reasons that my Grampy was named after his dad, and also because he was the first son. We found his grave pretty quickly, because we had very specific directions, so we decided to wander around the graveyard, because we both like doing that. I like to see how long ago the people lived and think about what their lives were like, and also to see the old names. As we were wondering we stumbled upon another Quint:
Everett B. Quint. We aren't exactly sure, but the dates make sense that Everett is Martelle's father. Which would make Everett my great-great grandfather. And next to Everett is:
Sophie Quint: my Great-great grandmother. It was very nice to find out where my relatives are and what their names are. I also have some nice family names in mind for my hypothetical children, but those are for me to know and you to find out (in about 10 years.)
After our trip to the grave yard Mum and I went searching for a cool bridge she had been to before. It's called "Wire Bridge", and after a round about trip and asking for directions from a British Mainer, and then finally buying a map we found it:
It was really cool. Cars can drive across it, one at a time, and you can also walk across it. I didn't realize you could drive across it so when we started to I had visions of that bridge swaying in the earthquake and then breaking into pieces. But luckily the bridge did not break, it just made kind of a wave as we crossed. Then we walked on it and about 5 trucks decided to cross, and give me more visions of the bridge collapsing into the watery depths (except the bridge was only about 30 feet high and the water below was about 4 feet deep). But looking through my pictures I noticed a common theme; the death grip: Grasping the sides while taking a picture of the pretty scenery.
Shadows of Mum and I clinging to the iron for dear life.
It's fun to find your roots and it is also fun to be with your Mum and go on adventures, and be a little scared every now and again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear LL Bean,

Oh how I typically love you. I love your quintessential Maine boots, your jackets, your tote bags. However, I have a bone to pick with you. I just came home from Maine and what a great trip it was. On the way home I needed to stop in Freeport to return a fleece jacket I bought online from you. Reason for returning the jacket; it was too big. Typically this wouldn't annoy me, except that I have the same style and brand of jacket upstairs that I purchased a few years earlier, and I made a point to check the size before I placed my order with you so that I wouldn't have to return it. But apparently you have changed the sizing. I went from a Medium to an Extra Small, and the XS it a wee bit big at that. If this meant I lost weight I would be rejoicing, however, given my lack of dieting will power and my love of all things sweet this is not the case. I bought an Extra Small, too big shirt anyways because I have been silently battling with you, LL Bean for almost a year. Last Christmas I got a vest that needed to be returned because it was too big, which got exchanged for a skirt, which was also too big, and then most recently a fleece, also too big. I know I am not the skinniest person in the world, so my questions to you LL Bean are; where do the skinner people shop? Do you think they don't exist? Is this an elaborate plan to foil my weight loss dreams? Please resolve this issue before I am forced to gain weight to fit properly into your clothes.
Thank you,
Lauren Q. Cassidy.
P.S. I still love you, especially your shoe selection, how you carry Smart wool socks of many colors, and also that you are open 24 hours a day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Have Issues

My first issue is that I am unnaturally obsessed with fat quarters. This means that whenever I see some that are visually stimulating to my occipital lobe I snatch them up and purchase them regardless of price, the amount I have at home waiting, or the complete lack of planning I have put into what I will be doing with them. This has begin to get me in trouble. I have a quilt waiting at home for some more fabric that I can't find anywhere because I bought 8 fat quarters in North Carolina just on a whim, and once I came up with an idea I was home, and lacking necessary coordinating fabric to begin working on the quilt. Looks like I will be ordering that fabric online, yuck. I also have a few other projects in the works waiting for me to miraculously find coordinating fabrics for. Fat Quarters, please stop tempting me!
My second issue that I was going to write about has slipped my mind....maybe my issue is that I forget things. Oh I remember! My second issue is that I have begun planning for a stress free Homemade Christmas. As you may remember my goal is to have things done for Christmas so that I can enjoy the Holiday's instead of stressing out. However, this has lead me to start planning and buying for Christmas in early October. I have also begun waking up in the morning and realizing that my first thoughts are about things I am going to make, how I will wrap them, making homemade wrapping paper, traditions I want to start so my hypothetical family can have traditions once my hypothetical family exists, and on and on and on. Yikes! It is exhausting, let me tell you. I hope this feeling ends soon, although I think my "early planning" might just turn into "extended holiday prostration" (That's a new word, I used a thesaurus). Anyways today I bought some "necessities" for my early holiday extravaganza, and now my brain is spinning!
I must go to bed before my head explodes. Did I mention that midterms are soon and I should be studying how a stoke can effect your swallowing, not dreaming about making stockings for my grandchildren.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have been meaning to tell the world about my new favorite website; Pandora. It's a music site where you can type in an artist or band that you like and then it will make a radio station that plays songs that are by that artist and others in the same genre. And you can give songs a thumbs up or down and it will figure out what you like and then play all music that is specially designed to be loved by you. I can never find a radio station that plays music that I like, so this is great, it's like it reads my mind. It is awesome. I love it!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Handmade Christmas

I know, it is only October, why am I thinking about Christmas? Well, every year of my "adult" life I have been stressed out making, buying and, finding presents all of December and have missed out on the joyfulness of the holiday.
Then, this year it struck me: the month of December doesn't have to be a stressful time. I just need to plan ahead and get things done early, that way I can sit on the couch with the snow falling outside while I watch "Love Actually" and read books for fun, sip hot cocoa, and dance around to "Mariah Carey's Holiday CD". (Although I am pretty sure December will be spent studying for finals, training and worrying about the half marathon in Vegas, and finishing my placement at the school, but I am suppressing those thoughts).
Anyways, I have been searching for ideas for Christmas presents and ideas online. After buying 3 wool sweaters at a thrift store this weekend I came home to find that I missed out on registering in time for the online workshop hosted by Betz White, shucks, but I did find a great kit to make your own felted ornaments! Also my brother's girlfriend, Jaimie of Made By J-Me, and I have been talking about having a "Handmade Christmas" where we can share ideas about presents, decorations, and general homemade merriment on our blogs.
Today on "Get it Together Tuesday" I decided to finish up a Christmas project that has been in the works for about 7 months now. This spring my Mum, Rich and I went to an antique shop in Fairfield Maine. I found a set of miscellaneous cookie cutters for $10, then I haggled my way down to $9. I had an idea for the cookie cutters, yet they sat in the back of my car clanking around until August when I went to my Dad's house. He has the necessary equipment to help carry out my idea; a drill press. For those of you who don't know what a drill press is here's a picture, I highly recommend getting one, they are useful in so many ways. Although, they are expensive, and bulky, and make a mess, and a lot of noise. So I guess what I am trying to say is that it is really great to have a Dad who has a drill press, you should find one of those, it would be easier.
So in August I used the drill press and then today I finally got around to finishing the project and TA DA!:
Christmas Ornaments made from Cookie Cutters! How Adorable! I drilled holes in the tops and then threaded different colored ribbon through the holes and then tied them in bows. Now they are ready for a Christmas tree. Last year I bought a fake tree that is about a foot and a half tall, lets hope it can hold all these ornaments as well as the ones I made last year! Here is one of my favorites, it can be used for Valentine's Day too!
I also finished up a project that a friend from class requested I make for her, but I want it to be a secret, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it Kim! And for the rest of you, I am saving the project results for the Sew-N-Tell on Friday.
Now I am off to try to figure out how to make a blog button like the Sew-N-Tell button for my "Handmade Christmas". But I am very technologically impaired, so I might just beg my friend Keith to make it for me. Be prepared Keith!

Friday, October 2, 2009


On my "Get it Together Tuesday" this week I did two projects for the Sew-N-Tell Friday over on Amy's blog. First I finished up a buttercup bag I have been wanting to make for about a month from an Amy Butler fat quarter I got in North Carolina. I really love free patterns and also patterns that only require a fat quarter, could it be any better?I modified the pattern a little by adding some piping. It's an idea I saw on the buttercup bag flickr page. It was pretty easy, and I think it adds a little more pizazz to the bag. I also didn't add a magnetic clasp simply because I forgot, but I think this was a subconscious lapse of memory because I am afraid of magnetic clasps since they always seem to be too strong for my weak fabric and rip tiny holes into my sewing. Lastly, I added a zippered pocket on the inside of the purse instead of just an open pocket. I used steps from the Hobo Bag pattern, steps 12-17 to add the zippered pocket.
While I was in North Carolina Lorelei and I saw a cute little "mini duffel bag" and the pattern was for sale for $8. I didn't buy it because it was too expensive but I promised Lorelei I could make her one without a pattern. Since my return I have been kicking myself for not buying the pattern because I forgot what the bag looked like, how big it was, the dimensions. Then the other day I was poking around the blog-o-sphere and by some miraculous twist of fate the good luck gods shone down on me and I found the pattern for free online! Thanks to Indie House for the free tutorial! Here are the results:
I used some very old fabric that I have left over from when my mom made me a duvet cover sophomore year of high school. I love this fabric. I a very hesitant about using it for anything, because I don't want to waste it. But this bag is much smaller than it looks, so I didn't have to use much of the precious fabric. I did make some modifications. The first is that I added 2 tabs on either side of the zipper to hold onto to zip and unzip the bag. I also added a cover around the seams. I am not sure if there is a technical word for this but I didn't want the seams to be rough on the inside and fray and look yucky. So I covered them up, no more yucky seams. The picture of the non-yucky seam is kind of yucky, but you get the idea.
In the future I think I might make the bag a little bigger, it's pretty small, only about 5 x3x2. I will also probably use stiffer interfacing because the bag is not that sturdy. I will be buying more supplies soon to get crackin' on some more of them. The only problem is that now I have to make one for Lorelei. Just kidding Lorelei! I'll be making you one soon!
Also I have been hearing about an online holiday workshop put on by Betz White. In the workshop you make all kinds of ornaments, small gifts, and decorations. This sounds like something I would love, however, the workshop costs $40 and that's not including materials. And the materials are felted sweaters, where oh where will I find a bunch of wool sweaters to felt? Betz said you can use regular felt, but I want these things to look great if I am going to make them. So I still have some deciding to do...what do you think?
This weekend Charles and I are going to Maine to relive our college hay days. Well, at least Charlie is; he is running in his alumni meet, and I am contemplating diving in my alumni meet. I don't even know if I have a swim suit that fits me. This thought has made me realize how unfair the difference between our two sports are. If you ran in college you can keep running, it's pretty easy in fact. However, if you dove in college, good luck finding not only a pool with a diving board but also one that would let you do more than a front dive, something about liability. (Things like that make me wonder why I ever was a part of such a dangerous sport to being with). So anyways that is just my early morning rant, a.k.a. excuse, for why I would/will do poorly in the alumni meet and Charlie will run great in his alumni meet. Good luck Charlie, I hope you run great and still have a, ex-diver girlfriend who is in one piece when you finish the race!
Have a great weekend everyone!
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