Finally, A Break

Well, It’s been a while since my last post. Nothing really exciting has happened in my life lately, but that’s not a bad thing. I have really enjoyed my last week and a half since summer classes ended. With my mom and younger sister back at school, for the most part it’s just me and the animals at my house. 

I spent the weekend after getting home unloading everything from my car, deciding what is going back for the Fall, and then putting away what I am leaving behind. This ended up taking me a little longer than expected because I came home to practically a new bedroom.

Once upon a time, I had the most comfortable bed in my house. But, I decided that I didn’t need a full sized bed anymore since I have had twin sized beds over the past year. Since I am home sporadically, my bed only gets used when my dad snores so loudly that it forces my mom to leave the room. My “little sister,” who everyone thinks is older than me, needs that bed more than I do, so I told my parents they could swap hers out. Now she has a teenage looking room for her next four years in high school. Currently, I am waiting for the old door and two windows I picked out at a salvage shop to be turned into a daybed headboard. As great as it would have been to have a pink and brown polka dot headboard with the name “ELLEN” embroidered on it, I am fine waiting. 

My time at home has gone entirely too fast, and I have spent a good bit of that time being lazy. However, last week I did teach myself how to play the ukelele. For some reason, I decided several years ago that learning to play the ukelele would be a good idea. I found a decently priced one online and ordered it, but my efforts kind of stagnated after that. Fortunately my dad had been getting it out and playing it some, so by the time I got around to playing it last week, the strings held their tune a lot better.

Songs with ukeleles playing are my favorite. The Ingrid Michaelson concert I went to with Emily a few weeks ago was awesome– partially because we somehow ended up in the VIP section with valet parking, but mostly because Ingrid herself is just awesome. (Emily is pretty great, too). I think the song “You and I” is the reason why I first fell in love with ukeleles. So, to be able to listen to Ingrid Michaelson in person on her amped ukelele was a fantastic experience. 

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I can roughly play about three songs. They are at least smooth enough to have Alyssa sing along with me. But, more importantly, I have actually done better than expected at learning the chords and their names. My dad tried to teach me to play the guitar a long time ago, and I can remember it being tough for me even though I knew how to play the piano. I think it helps that the concert ukelele only has four strings. 

This week, I haven’t spent much time with the ukelele, and instead decided to devote the week to crafting. On Monday, I turned old Reader’s Digest Condensed books into a box to hold stationary and a coupon holder.

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Monday night and Tuesday, I spent my time embroidering. My mom had me take sewing classes when I was little, and I actually really enjoyed them. There was one thing that I didn’t like in my lessons, and that was hand-sewing. We probably have several old projects lying around my house with unfinished hand-stitching work. In fact, I just saw a Fall placemat that my mom put out the other day that had the appliqué pieces ironed on, but not stitched around. I continued avoid hand-stitching in my projects even after we stopped going to the Quilted Cottage in Salem for classes. 

When I saw a bunch of cute embroidery projects on Pinterest and at antique shops, I decided that I would get over my dislike for hand-sewing and give it a try sometime. As it turns out, I found out this week that I actually enjoy embroidery. It takes me a long time to do, but that’s a good thing for me. It forces me to slow down. I can sit down at a sewing machine and knock projects out by stitching super fast. But, in order to get a finished hand-sewn product that actually looks like something and not tangle up the thread or jab myself with the needle, I have to take it slow and focus. What I used to find incredibly frustrating, I now find relaxing. Now I just need a rocking chair on a porch to sit in while I work on my projects. 

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I started out with the house from Up, because we have a ton of buttons at my house that need used. I ended up going on a hunt to track down the movie because my mom had never seen it. Wal-mart only had a 35 dollar 5 disc set. I only needed one version– not DVD, Blue-ray, 3-D, and Digital. Family Video and the library both had their copies checked out. Fortunately I remembered Video On Demand on our TV, so we were still able to watch it.

My next project was of course related to coffee. Originally my idea was to just leave a ring of coffee on the fabric, but I couldn’t make it stand out enough since coffee surprisingly fades in the material over time. I ended up just dying the entire piece of muslin with coffee. Finn also enjoyed “helping” me with this project today by trying to catch the thread as I pulled it through the cloth. He also tried attacking the needle. Lucky for me, he gave up to go look at birds out the window before I could accidentally poke him in the mouth..

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I am not sure what my next project is going to be, but I am quickly running out of time before it’s back to Purdue for me. 

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