making my own napkins and loving it

puzzles and patbingsu
November 12, 2009, 1:26 am
Filed under: food, miscellany | Tags: , , , ,

once upon a time, we were all going about our lives as usual when a strange little envelope arrived in the mail.  or, in my case, arrived in my brother’s mail and had to be forwarded on to me.  anyway, the envelope came, and in it were cryptic instructions and puzzle pieces.  they were from this girl.  or was it this girl?  each set of instructions was slightly different, but mostly the same.


so we gathered, on a rainy night in west philly, to assemble puzzles and crush ice.


the puzzle was a wee bit challenging…



but we prevailed in the end.


after a bit of a flipping-over-fiasco, we were able to decode the message on the back:


(we thought that e had kept three of the pieces for herself, to remind us all of her absence, but it turned out that we had left them in kara’s envelope the whole time.  oops.)

kara tackled the lock…


and liberated the prize:


which was dried squid.



even the cat was sketched out…


in addition to the dried squid, there were cute little gifts, like keychains and tassles and funny shirts, as well as instructions to navigate ourselves to a website, where we were given instructions as to how to concoct a most delicious korean dessert known as patbingsu.

never ones to turn down a challenge, we headed to the kitchen, unpacked our previously-purchased grocery items, and got to work.






i’m not sure our patbingsu turned out exactly as it should have, but it sure was delicious.


then we watched this:

all in all, a most excellent night.

chez dewitt
September 16, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: crafts, food

one day, jonny had a birthday.  so he planned (planned?) a delicious menu, then ordered us around as we prepared it in his honor.  and i must say, he looked quite dashing as he did it.


appetizers consisted of grilled, peanut butter-marinated chicken (yes, that’s right) with a creamy avocado cilantro dip.  mmmmmm.  really, it was delicious.  no joke.


then came pizzas.  toppings galore!


IMG_6863that’s just how we roll.

of course, a party with my friends isn’t a party unless there’s fire.


so jon requested a creme brulee, which he brulee’d himself.

IMG_6872 deliciousness.  of which i did not partake, because i had to catch a train back home in order to lie in bed awake and be nervous about my first day of student teaching.

on a final note, some pre-party shots:





part 3
September 7, 2009, 3:23 pm
Filed under: crafts | Tags: , ,

part 3 is not nearly so exciting, but i’m gonna document it anyway.  for my birthday last year elaine gave me cuts of two of my favorite fabrics.  they sat in my fabric drawer for eight whole months, until now…

introducing, the laptop sleeve:


it’s just a simple bag/sleeve design, with two layers of batting in the middle to give the computer some protection.  and of course, a label:


the contrast between inside and outside is my favorite:


i’m planning on attaching some straps to it with a couple of d-ring closures, so that i can cinch it closed for more protection.  but right now it just sits in my bag, making my computer look adorable.

part 2
September 7, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: crafts | Tags: , ,

next up was a baby quilt for my friend liz, who wins the award for freaking me out the most by being pregnant with baby #2.  you know baby #1 from such posts as this one.  she’s a cutie, that’s for sure, and now there’s a new one on the way to craft for.

the result:

this quilt-


i love love love all the colors and fabrics, and it was so simple to put together – just 9″ squares in a modified checkerboard pattern.


the backing fabric is repeated a few times on the quilt top as well, in the center and in each corner.  i think it’s beautiful, and i know liz will love it.


i debated what to do about the binding.  i didn’t want to buy extra fabric for it, so i figured i’d piece together a binding out of scrap fabrics.  but then with the way i decided to pattern the squares, i had an extra square of each fabric left over, so i mixed them with a little bit of solid scrap fabric and pieced together an adorable binding that matches the quilt perfectly.


i chose to quilt it in a really simple grid pattern – ¼” on both sides of every seam.


and of course, my favorite part:


i almost want to keep it for myself.

craft cramming part 1
September 7, 2009, 2:51 pm
Filed under: crafts | Tags: , , ,

there has been some serious cramming going on. between august 21st and september 1st were ten little morsels of vacation, mine for the taking before school/teaching responsibilities started up again.  what to do with all that freedom?


first on the list was alli‘s lunchbag, which, embarrassingly, has been on the list since january.  i’ve received plenty of grief about it over the past eight months, and rightfully so; but now it is finished and presented, and alli can happily go back to work with her very own lunchbag.  well, maybe she won’t happily go back to work, but she’ll go back to work happy about her lunchbag.  or something.

chickens love bugs
chickens love bugs

chickens love bugs

August 17, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: crafts, miscellany | Tags: , ,

now that i’ve been in my new place for six weeks, maybe it’s time i posted a few pictures.  the roommate moves in on wednesday.  i haven’t done all my decorating yet, because i didn’t want her to feel like she was moving into somebody else’s house, but now that i’ve been here on my own for six weeks, that’s exactly what it feels like to me.  adjustments, adjustments.

as of this friday i’m on vacation until september 1st, and i already have a list of things i want to get done, including curtains for the living room, some new blocks for my string quilt (which i don’t think i’ve posted about, but i haven’t done much on it anyway), books books books, and the rest of season 1 of the wire.

busy busy busy.

i’m also headed to boston for a few days to visit the recently-arrived recipient of the baby quilt.  she’ll be receiving a totally adorable onesie with little eco-felt fishies on it.  not handmade by me, but handmade by someone who lives close to me and sells her wares on baltimore ave, so it almost counts.  plus, it matches the quilt, so you can’t beat that.

okay, here are pics!



IMG_6689my spacious, well-lit kitchen



IMG_6694my ridiculously tiny tv, and some artwork that has yet to be hung

IMG_6695so, picture this covered with cat hair (which looks black against absolutely everything, and light gray against this futon- blerg)

IMG_6697comfy comfy comfy cute.  this was made out of ikea fabric – 9 whole yards of it.

IMG_6700where all the magic happens

IMG_6702this is where i pile all of my crap.

IMG_6731haven’t touched the guitar since i moved in.

IMG_6737also made from ikea fabric.

IMG_6739nino and me…

IMG_6729…and birda makes three.

housewarming, america-style
August 12, 2009, 10:08 pm
Filed under: food, miscellany

as july 1st marked my return to grownuphood through independent living, i decided to host a housewarming barbecue, july 4th style.

honored guests included high school friends, college friends, nicaragua friends, cherished family members, their friends, and this guy:

IMG_6633when this picture was taken, he had just received a firm yet gentle massage with a tandoori rub.  he was feeling good: relaxed yet alert, eager to see where the night’s festivities would lead.

little did he know he was about to get thrown on the grill with a beer can shoved up his boy-badonkadonk.  ouch.

here’s what he looked like when he came out:IMG_6639


here’s what the beer looked like:



that’s grease floating on top.  chicken butt grease.  for a minute it looked as if colin might actually drink the chicken beer, because that’s just how much he likes beer, and just how much more of a man he is than you.  certainly more of a man than greg, anyway.  but, in the end, he sniffed the beer and made a wise choice not to drink it.  a shame, perhaps, but probably better for everyone in the end.

so, to lighten the mood, we ate firecracker cake!


trevor was the genius behind this one, with a little help from mom, and the sheer brilliance of the cake made us highly impatient to get some real firecrackers going.  atraeu, however, was of the opinion that firecrackers were a bad idea.  to let us know just how opposed he was, he spent the entire afternoon and evening hiding in my shower, to the surprise (and chagrin) of my guests when they tried to use the bathroom.


when it finally got dark enough, we initiated fun with sparklers, which of course led to many boyish spark-related feats of whimsy and immaturity.  i’ll allow the video to speak for itself.

on that note, a few more pretty pictures of sparklers in the night:



IMG_6675yeah, that one’s my favorite too.

when the sparklers ran out, there was fun with candles to be had.


leave it to jon to spend long periods of time dipping things into flames and measuring the rate at which they melt. but don’t think he’s the only one:


IMG_6688with liberty, and justice for all.


the candle never saw it coming.