Sunday, December 30, 2012


I've been sewing like a man person here in Nashville. I finished piecing ALL of the baby quilts, and I've quilted the first baby baby quilt and put binding on it.

Flash's sister and I were talking, and agreed that the second quilt (patchwork quilt) was just too big. So we decided to just split it in half and make two baby sized quilts (a "lovey", if you will). They're very cute, and it is just oh so nice to work on a small quilt for once. All the other ones I've made fit on a bed.

Also, I'm in LOVE with minky fabric. It's like fleece, but a million times softer and better. I'm using a minky backing with no batting on all of the quilts. It'll make them lights and comfy, perfect for tiny bebeh hands.

I used Elizabeth Hartman's Crazy Nine Patch Lattice pattern for big brother's quilt, and made 3.5" squares from the extra fabric and just pieced those together for future baby's quilt. That way, they coordinate but don't look the same! 

I'm very proud of the wonky quilt top, but I'm just paranoid that it's not "little boy" enough. I think all my fears will be put to rest once I quilt it (because the backing is awesome), so I'm just going to get through all the quilting today. Hopefully.

All basted and ready to go!


Flash got into town yesterday, and we're going to go out adventuring today. He's been sick all week and hasn't been able to go rock climbing, so he's absolutely aching to get on the wall at the climbing gym here. He LOVED his chalk bag, and he's very excited to go try it out. 

I have four extra wonky blocks that I don't know what to do with, and a lot of leftover minky fabric. Maybe I'll just throw together ANOTHER baby quilt. Because, hey, what else am I going to do with it?

Also I'm buying a sewing machine today AGNUBGDLIASNGLIBGDALFNLA YAY

Sunday, December 23, 2012


It's very hard to write blog posts about crafts you make when those crafts are presents for people, and you can't have them reading about their presents on the internet. It's a terrible pickle I'm in, my blog only has like three readers (I'm looking at you, Grandma!), but if I advertise it on facebook then everyone will see what they're getting for Christmas.

But I'm currently in Nashville at my mom's house and getting my sew on. I'm working on the baby quilts right now, and I've been sewing wonky blocks ALL. DAY. 

It'll look fantastic when it's all done, but I'm just tired right now. Tired of getting all of those darn seams to line up, it's a pain in the butt. My (mom's) seam ripper has been seeing a lot of action this evening.

After Christmanukkah and before I left for Nashville (aka during exam week), I got a bit crafty. I made a lovely rice neck warmer for myself out of some mermaid fabric. I can't for the life of me find which tutorial I used to make it, but just google "rice neck warmer" and about 50 million hits will pop up.

1. Cut a piece of fabric 5x19 inches
2. Fold in half, sew long end and one short end
3. Fill 2/3 of the way with rice
4. Sew end
5. Sew lines at 1/3 and 2/3 up the bag, dividing the rice into 3 sections (so it stays evenly distributed in the neck warmer as you use it)
KEY NOTE: DON'T SEW ON A PIECE OF RICE. I broke Flash's sister's machine's needle that way. Man, she needs a name. I'll think on it. 
6. Put in microwave for 1:30 minutes
7. Put around neck
8. ???
9. Profit!

It is ineligant, but it sure felt nice during exam week.

Next, I made Flash's christmas present- He's gotten into rock climbing this year, and he's been using all of my gear because he doesn't have any. Namely, he uses my chalk bag and chalk. I figured he could use a nice chalk bag of his own, so I made him one!

I used The Handy Hippie's guide to make the bag. It's very roomy and I think he will enjoy it very much. I'm used to sewing flat things, like blankets, so a bag with about 7 layers of fabric at some points was a little out of my comfort zone.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

I'm pleased with how it turned out. I messed up a couple of times, and it doesn't close very well, but it has his mustaches on it! One of my friends in studio took screenprinting this semester and helped me print the image on the fabric. Each of the mustaches are his own, taken from photos of the year and so many months that that thing has been on his face. 

Shelob the spider is helping to model the bag.

He's actually going to freak out when he opens his christmas present when he comes to visit Nashville at New Year's. I'm very excited to see how he likes it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


My dad's wife is Jewish, as are her children. My dad, my brother, and I are all not Jewish, but rather varying degrees of Catholicism. It hasn't been an issue at all in the whole family dynamic until the holiday season.

The girls are young (5 and 7), and there were worries that they would get all swept up in the Christmas celebration and Santa and everything that they would forget about Hanukkah and their faith. I didn't really think that would happen. After all, just because they're kids doesn't mean they'll forsake their religion for a fat man in red. Anyway, I digress. We finally figured out what we would do for Christmanukkah- since Boo got home from college on the 14th, and I wasn't done til the 20th but had the weekend free, and since Boo and I are spending REAL Christmas in Nashville with our mom, the Old Man and Co. decided we would celebrate and exchange gifts on the 15th.

We chopped down a tree together, which was my Jewish Mother's first "holiday" tree.

After bringing it home, Dad, Tiny Person #1, and I decorated the tree while everyone else was at birthday parties and shopping and whatnot. Once Tiny Person #2 returned home, she and TP1 and I took Sassy the Santa dog out for a walk. We headed down to the park and back home, and GUESS WHO VISITED US WHILE WE WERE OUT.

Santa must've heard that there were a couple very good Jewish girls who he hadn't ever visited, and their step siblings who were only in town for a couple of days, so he stopped by early to bring some holiday cheer. 

Sassy the Santa dog, wearing reindeer antlers and a festive yarmulke. 

Santa must've been following my facebook posts, because I got a LOT of presents that I had my eye on. Some Lord of the Rings legos, comfy socks, chocolates and beef jerky, Moonrise Kingdom, a journal for my European travels next fall, a gift card to my local quilting shop, other bits and bobs, and a polaroid camera and some quilty things!

I'm very excited for the shenanigans that this bad boy is going to see.


I've seen blocks from many bloggers from the Simply Sensational 9-Patch Stars book, and I am SO EXCITED to be able to make them now! And the Fat Quarters are from Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures line. I'm so excited! I found these fabrics online like a week ago while I was in studio making architecture work, and i got a huge kick out of them. Topography lines, trees in plan view, blueprints, crosshatching, and even architectural notes are all over these fabrics, which is highly appropriate for the work I do in school. Who knows, maybe for my final project I'll design a building out of fabric!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the Semester

All my hours of hard work in studio paid off! We had our presentation yesterday, and it went really really well. Mine was the second project that the group discussed, and my professor complimented me on my technical drawings. Score one for Couch!

I took some more photos of my model, and my friendly studio Dinosaur decided to pay a visit.

Dinosaur in the gym!

He fits in the hallway, but not through the classroom door.

He also can climb very well. The view from the balcony is very nice.

After everything was over with in studio, I packed up my desk and headed home. And since Flash's sister lent me her sewing machine (YAY!), I was able to work on Tabby's christmas present! The machine is magical and you don't need a pedal to run it, which completely blew my mind. But I finished the fuzzy blankie, and it's all ready for Christmas.

Here it is, beautifully modeled by my friendly apartment bear!

Two layers of fleece, quilted together. 

In hindsight, I will never ever ever try to quilt fleece together again without basting it better. I used safety pins, but this bad boy was slicker than... something very slippery. Like a bowling lane, I don't know. Instead of knotting the edges (like lots of people do), I made them into loops and looped them together. I think it adds some nice texture to the blanket.


Ta dah!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Model

It is finished and it is beautiful. 

I gave up my weekend nights to finish the section model of my  building. For everyone who isn't an architecture student, a section model or drawing is a slice of a building. You can see all of the support structure like beams and joists and wooden studs and stuff. My professors wanted section models made of basswood for our presentation Wednesday. So, I powered through and delivered.

I finished at like 5:15 last night (morning?!) and wanted to go to bed, so I only have one photo of the finished thing. But here's photos during the whole process!

Those tiny joists I was talking about.

PILES of them. And they all turned out to be too big.

First floor joists in! This is a gym space.

Gym ceiling in!

A nice little cut-away to reveal the structure of the building.

The classrooms on the second floor.

Glass walls with wood doors! I thought it would be a good kind of different.

Those damn joists again.

Very beautifully arrayed.

The front


And the wooden siding on the building.

This is only a slice of my building, the actual design has three buildings in it, but there's no way in poo I'm modeling all of that.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Taking a Break

My final pin-up is on Wednesday, and I've been busting my butt in studio for weeks trying to wrap everything up. It's tedious, because every day it seems I find something wrong with my drawings. One day, I find out that I need open web joists instead of steel beams. Another day, I need waterproofing between layers of my rain screen wall. Another day, I need to redo the floor. ANOTHER day, I realize my topography is wrong and I've got doors that open up underground. Great.

The most difficult thing about this project this semester is that we students just don't have a practical building background. We're JUST starting to learn about concrete and wood and windows and joints and how materials meet each other and how you actually BUILD a building. And my professors expect us to know all of this. So we're all kind of teaching ourselves on the fly, trying out different ideas and bounding them off of our professors to see if they're right. Sometimes they are, sometimes not. I have mixed feelings about it. I like that I'm taking my education in my own hands, but I don't like that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I was in studio until 4 last night working on my model. Silly me decided to represent open web joists to scale. I was going to cut them out on the laser cutter, but as luck would have it, it broke this week. Something about that expensive and useful piece of machinery catching on fire, I don't know. Anyway, instead of being a sane person and maybe not representing the joists, I decided to make them by hand. That's about 50 joists total. I'm insane.

Joists. Tons of them.

Anyway, my point is, it's been an overwhelming week. Flash came over last night and things just kept going wrong- my dryer wasn't working, all of the batteries in the apartment were dead, etc etc. I just broke down. But he comforted me, cheered me up, and I headed out to studio for a productive evening.

So, today, I went Christmas shopping and started work on making a fuzz for my friend Tabby. I'm very excited.

All squared up and ready to go!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Delicious Sales at the Grocery

The deadline for my autism school project is December 12th. So instead of being responsible and tackling the amount of work I have bit by bit, I've been slightly lazy. And by slightly I mean I feel like garbage about how much I still have to do.

Architecture school is different from normal college. We don't really write papers and we don't have many quizzes (I mean, we do in our "learn how buildings stand up" classes, but that's not my point). We have pin ups. We work on a project for weeks, and at the end, pin up all of our work on the wall and present it to teachers, students, and anyone who happens to wander by. 

It's a lot of work, and people legitimately think I'm crazy. I was telling Flash's roommate, Tuck, about working in studio and how I just don't feel like I'm putting in that much effort, and he gave me crazy eyes and pointed out that I'm in studio at least 3 hours a day. In his eyes, it's a ton of effort. And it's not like I'm slacking in class or anything! I just haven't been going in after hours to really get stuff done. 

But that is changing this week. I'm going back over to studio after I finish dinner and I'm going to stay until midnight or so. Then I'm hopefully going to do the same thing tomorrow, and Thursday, and maybe even Friday. I have lots of technical drawings and a model to make, so it's time to buckle down and produce.

BUT SPEAKING OF DINNER. Kroger had an awesome sale on chicken this week and I got 4 thighs for $1.99, and 6 legs for $1.89. I looked in the fridge to see what I could marinade the thighs in, and found a boat load of soy sauce. So I used my google powers and found something to cook:


This is the most delicious yummy chicken I've made in a while. And it was suuuuper easy. I just made the marinade last night, popped the chicken in a ziplock bag with the marinade into the fridge, and put it in the oven when I got home from class. Serve over rice and be happy forever.

Right out of the oven! Also sorry for the blurry photo. My camera isn't that great at close up shots. It's waterproof and perfect for climbing and adventuring, but not for nice shots of food and fabric.

Classy college dinner- bare apartment and soda from the 2 liter bottle.

  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs (bone in or boneless skinless)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • crushed red pepper (1 tsp. or more, to taste)
1. Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, onion, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper
2. Place the chicken thighs and your marinade into a large ziplock baggie and marinate for 2 hours to overnight.
3. Turn the bag halfway through so that all the thighs get equal drenching time.
4. Place the thighs skin side up in a baking dish that leaves just a bit of room, but not too much, between each chicken thigh. Pour the marinade over the thighs.
5. Bake at 350°F for 30 – 40 minutes.
6. Serve over rice and nom profusely.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


It's been a week since my anniversary with Flash. It was quite possibly one of the most fun, awesome days we've spent together, honestly. 

Our real anniversary was on Monday, but since we both had class, we celebrated on Sunday. The day was full of little gifts, shenanigans, and then an AWESOME sushi dinner.

I made him some bacon roses, since he's gotten me flowers so many times this year.

He REALLY liked them, along with the Slusho shirt I got him.

We had to take a quick break in anniversary awesomeness so I could do some homework, and I was struggling a ton with my problems. So he suggested we go to the park for a bit of fresh air. We wandered back into a pine tree grove where he told me we were going to blow off some steam by breaking sticks against the trees. It's the little things like that that make me fall for him all over again. 

Flash with his giant stick.

We made each other photo books (on accident, haha), documenting the crazy wonderful year that we've spent together. I really feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have this man in my life. My last relationship wasn't stellar, and Flash has really helped me become a better person. Through him and the friendship we have (and had before we started dating), I've grown in wonderful ways. And I'm so excited for what the next year has to offer us :)

My man at dinner, and our pieces of anniversary octopus sashimi

This weekend, he played in his last Quidditch match as a student here at Tech. We played JMU at JMU (and won!), and he had a magnificent overtime snitch catch. It was bittersweet, and he didn't make a big deal out of it at all. In fact, the fact that this was his last match didn't occur to me until he mentioned it as we drove back home. It made me feel pretty bad actually, I had been in a hurry to get back to Tech. I'll have to make it up to him sometime soon. But Quidditch brought us together, and it's very fitting that we got to play together as this chapter ends for him :)

(He's hoping to get an internship with the university, so he'll still get to play next semester!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lazy Couch is Lazy

I'm absolutely terrible about keeping up with this blog. I get so caught up in what I'm doing at school that I just forget to write about it.

But lots happened since my last post! Like Thanksgiving! And Black Friday! And my anniversary with Flash! All good things.

Thanksgiving was crazy this year. We all packed up and headed to Pa's parent's house, with his wife, Boo, the girls, and the dog in tow. Flash came down to celebrate with us too, which was very awesome. 

Holidays are always a bit crazy and tensions usually flare. This year was no exception. Everyone had fun, for sure, but everyone was a little tense and frustrated at one point or another. I feel odd saying it, but it's nice to be back at school and in the swing of things.

I headed out for my first Black Friday shopping experience with my Grandmother. We went to JoAnn's around 11 or so, and it was PACKED even then. They had a huge sale on flannel fabric and fleece, so I made sure to pick some up. 

My local apartment bear is here modeling my purchases. 

First, some cozy fleece for a christmas present for a special someone.

MOOSES AND BEARS. And coordinating colors (that are not good quality flannel, but that's what I get for $1.49 a yard). 

And some crazy snowmen!

They had some AWESOME mustache flannel that I almost got (with Flash in mind), but they were selling it in 8 yard bundles and I didn't need 8 yards. I wish I had though, I could've made Flash an entire bedsheet set of mustache flannel. 

I took advantage of my grandmother's sewing room and cut the squares for Flash's nephew's baby quilt, too.