Monday, August 29, 2011

365 Project: Week 33 - Fun, Family & Flowers!

This week, we became true Indianians (is that even a word?!) when we received our driver's licenses in the mail! It was another bitter-sweet moment, but fun to be 'official' I guess! 

Although I have still not hung many things on the walls in our house, I did create a fun framed piece - a cork-backed map of the United States with all the places Justin and I have visited together represented. Our hope is that this will encourage us to add more pins to the map (Nevada and Maine are next on our list!!) I shamelessly stole this idea from my most favorite site ever, YoungHouseLove  (if you haven't checked it out yet, DO!) They have posted MANY ways to make things for the home that are both sentimental AND relatively cheap! I found the idea for this map here.

Also, this weekend we were blessed with yet another family visit! The Hudsons rolled in late Thursday night and departed on Sunday afternoon. It was so nice to have them here to check out some of the more 'kid friendly' things that Lafayette/West Lafayette has to offer:
1. The (free!) Columbia Zoo and the park within it,
2. A sugar-high at McCord Candies in downtown Lafayette

3. Ice Cream at the Silver Dipper 
4. A trolley ride through downtown Lafayette and Purdue University (where we learned that Amelia Earhart used to live and go to school - who knew?!)
5. We even got our game on at Chuck E. Cheese! (Justin's been waiting!)
That, along with many walks with Bella, a soccer/killer ball-tag game with Justin, and a few episodes of 'Swamp People' made for one full and fun-packed weekend!

Also, Mikayla and I picked out a gorgeous Orchid flower to spice up the living room a bit, which means the challenge is ON for me to keep it alive (my sister seems to think I kill everything green, but NOT THIS TIME!)  **wish me luck...**

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

365 Project: Week 32

This week was very fulfilling as far as projects go - We finally got some plants put into the flower bed around the front and side of our house! Although they seem a little sparce now, we're hoping by the time spring rolls around next year, they will all be more full! Our ground here in our yard is nothing but sand and rock-hard clay (due to this being a newer sub-division and the overall lack of rain...), so planting anything is no easy task. We had to fill in around each plant with 'organic matter' :) and fill the bed itself with topsoil and we'll have to water like crazy for the next couple of months until it freezes (say a prayer that all the plants can tough out the winter!) Here are a few highlights from our day:

We also finally got our 'headboard alternative' hung up above our bed this week and although I really like it, it still seems to be missing something. I think it may be that the color of the fabric is close to the wall color, or maybe it's more narrow than I thought it would be... I'm not really sure. I think maybe I want to add an accent fabric somehow or maybe hang some sort of embellishments from the rod at the head of the bed. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share as I'll be pondering this for a while!

I was really happy with my quilt progress this week - I finished my first 'mini-quilt' (the top is shown above) I even got it 'quilted' later in the week, although haven't gotten any finished versions of that yet. I've been trying to devote a little time to it every day and learning all that I can - from my successes AND my mistakes! Now that I'm getting the hang of how it works, I'm excited to go bigger! Wish me luck!

The weather has been so beautiful this week! Justin and I even had an impromptu date at Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello where we sampled many different types of wine made from Indiana-native grapes! (The 'Black Beauty' wine was like heaven in a glass!!)
I hope your week has been great! I've been working quite a few long days this week, but we're having more family come to visit this weekend!   Cheers!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

365 Project: Week 31 - Branching Out!

I worked every day this week taking photos at West Lafayette Jr. High School, but had plenty of time to fire up the 'ol sewing machine, hang up some inspiring art, and hang out with my mom and step-dad this weekend, showing them the sights!

I've decided that I'd like to learn how to sew AND quilt and in order to do so have purchased a 'how to quilt' book and have been getting to know my old/new sewing machine! When I moved to Indiana, my mom let me take this little Kenmore beauty with me and since she's used it all of maybe 3 times since she received it as a gift in 1983, it's practically brand new!! (and has TONS of super sweet attachments that I can't wait to learn to use!) I've pretty much been thinking about this new venture of mine all week, and can't wait to start actually making something!

One of the most exciting things of the last 2 weeks was receiving my amazing 'Mandala Tree' embroidered wall hanging from my friend/cousin-in-law Lisa from Git Down Kitty! I loved it so much, I found a place on the wall for it this week (which is really saying something, because I've hung all of 6 things on the wall in our new house so far) It was given a place of honor in my studio room to inspire my creativity and craftiness! It was SO MUCH LARGER than I imagined and SO MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL! It was great to follow along with her online as she made it, but was breathtaking in person! Check out her progress here, here, here, here, and here! We did an 'art trade' - I created her new logo for her 'Git Down Kitty' website and products, and she made me this amazing piece! (She also made me the most amazing bag I've ever had - I'll be sharing pics soon!) I think I DEFINITELY got the better end of the deal! Be sure to check out all the amazing quilts/accessories she's been working on - she's one of the most fun/unique quilters/crafters I know and is SO INSPIRING to me!!

In other news, I let Justin cut a table in half so I can experiment on it (stay tuned...:) and got to spend 4 great days with my mom and step-dad touring covered bridges (who knew Indiana had so many?! Check them out here!), eating out, trolling through the farmers market, going to a movie (I highly recommend seeing THE HELP - it's well worth it! I read the book first and am very happy with the movie adaptation!), and taking nature hikes to check out trees (where, thanks to Google, we now know the difference between Cottonwood, Walnut, Sycamore, Osage Orange, and Honey Locust (a.k.a. dark and evil) Indiana has some very unique trees!)

What a great week! Can you believe that SCHOOL started today in West Lafayette?! It was so odd to see the school bus driving through bright and early! A sure sign that fall is about here!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

365 Project: Week 30 - Fun with Family!

Remember to check out these photos on my Flickr page to read full descriptions!
This week marked the 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of our wedding day! We got to spend it with family in Rhinelander and had an AMAZING time (see below for a little preview of our 'family photo shoot!') It even RAINED while we were there (it had been awhile since we've seen rain in Indiana...) which, unfortunately, ruined our BBQ plans on Tuesday, although my father-in-law, Jim gave the grill a good effort despite the rain!

After we returned home, we were lucky enough to have my dad and step-mom visit for a few days on their way through Indiana. My dad brought some plants for the front of our house (which was desperate for some signs of life!) and we had lunch at the Triple XXX drive-in here in West Lafayette, which happens to be famous! (who knew?!) It was featured on the Food Network program, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" with Guy Fieri and is known for it's amazing ground sirloin burgers that are named after famous football players that have played for Purdue! See the Food Network feature HERE (Mary and I chose to have The Bernie Flowers All-Pro Burger and my dad was adventurous and tried out The Duane Purvis All-American (smothered in Peanut Butter, of all things!) Such a fun experience! (p.s. the XXX root beer was fantastic... especially served as a float!)

In other news, Bella has been making friends with her look-alike boyfriend pup next door (his name is Kane and he is a Boxer/Rottweiler mix who barks a lot... Like, all the time.) He is only quiet when his little lady Bella is outside watching him through the fence, at which time he just sits and stares... it was love at first sight :)

I also started my new job on Friday, taking photos at a middle school during registration. So far, so good! It's fun to still be in schools with kids - even if it is behind a camera instead of in front of a class :) 

I hope your summer is wrapping up nicely - I see Target is wall-to-wall school supplies - are you ready?! :)

Here's some shots from the family photo day in Rhinelander!
And, of course, the more true-to-life version of the family...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

365 Project: Week 29 - Here, There, and Everywhere!

I would say this was the first true BUSY week I've had since moving to Indiana. It's been so relaxing being able to slowly unpack and arrange the house the way I want it without any interruptions! This week, I got a JOB (not a teaching job, but one that I think I will really enjoy!) I'll be working as a photographer for Inter-State Studio & Publishing Company, traveling to different schools taking 'school photos'. It's only part-time, but I think It's something I'm really going to enjoy doing - AND I will have free time to make some art, maybe? :)

Also this week, I finished the dresser I've been working on for the past couple of weeks - see the progress and final product here. I was really happy with the way it turned out and look forward to doing more projects like it!

I also participated in my first art show in Indiana at the Monticello Public Library. It was so great to meet so many new people and see some awesome work from local artists - it's nice to know there is a very rich art community here. Even if I don't teach in a school district, I know there are plenty of art opportunities for me!

We also had the opportunity to drive to Rhinelander, WI to see Justin's family over our anniversary weekend! This is the first time everyone has been together SINCE our wedding, so it was a really special time... although it, of course, flew by too fast. I took a bunch of family photos while we were there that I'll be sharing in the next week or so. I love summertime catch-up with family!

How is your summer going? Isn't it UNBELIEVABLE that we've entered into AUGUST?! Hopefully Indiana's summer lasts a little longer that Wisconsin's... (wishful thinking, I know) Have a great week!