Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Am I Getting Myself Into?

I've never been one to sit still.

As a kid I was perpetually twirling. Spinning. Fidgeting. Scrunching my nose.

Driving my mom and Ammah crazy.

Things haven't really changed.

For Matt, a perfect day off is when he does nothing.

For me, a perfect day off is when I cross off everything on my list.

I like having a full plate, and with the launch of The Ruffled Owl, my own BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) of running a half marathon in January, and--oh yeah--working full time, I'm also signing myself up again for the yearly NaNoWriMo.


Its short for National Novel Writing Month...which is November.
The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Please stop laughing.

The first time I signed up for it was the month I got married. 

Told you I like to keep busy.

I've attempted it twice before and actually churned out some pretty good stuff before I fizzled out halfway through and fell hopelessly behind. Now I'm debating do I want to pick up one of those stories and write another 50K words on it? I'm not sure yet but I'm running out of time so I'll have to make a decision soon.  Actually, that's what novel writing is. Making a lot of decisions and putting them down on paper.

So wish me luck. Then more luck. Add a third cuz that's what I'll need as I plunge into this crazy insane season of sewing and crafting and holidays and writing and running and stretching and traveling and cooking and all that good stuff.

Anyone else interested in joining the craziness?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Baby Quilt and a New Goal

So I've had these pictures for a couple weeks and have been dying to show them! But I couldn't because this was a gift by a person who occasionally reads the blog (well, she may not now with TWO munchkins!) and I didn't want to give it away!

Introducing...the Aisley Quilt

the backside...

You might recognize some of the fabric from The Carol Apron...

because it was for her baby!

Congrats Carol and welcome to the world little Aisley! (isn't that an awesome name???)

If you're interested in either a baby quilt or a custom apron, you can check out The Ruffled Owl!

On another note I've set a sort-of-crazy-what-are-you-thinking-goal for myself. Last Monday I decided to try to run a half marathon in January.

That's 13.1 miles, people.

That's farther than it is from my house to my job.

And I haven't really been running.

Am I doomed?


Why would I do this to myself, you ask?

I have to say I was initially inspired by No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane's Rachel Reeves. She ran her first marathon - a Run for Mobility marathon in which the Free Wheelchair Mission partnered with the Surf City Marathon.
She blogs about it here and I mentioned it during my Wardrobe Challenge here

It had been rolling around in the back of my head and I was running a bit more than I used to (which was not at all), but I'm the kind of person who needs a goal. And if I did a 5K I know I would slack off and then have a miserable time on the day of the race but still manage to pull it off. A half-marathon, though, I can't slack off on. Then I saw something in fitness magazine about looking up their half-marathon training schedule online...and did it. And thought, heck, I can do that.

I don't have a goal for how fast I want to run it...if i can drag myself across the finish line within the four hour cutoff point I'll be glad. 

I'm hoping I cross it looking like this:

Somehow I have a feeling I'll end up going across like this:

I've had my current running shoes for quite awhile, so I thought I would test out the "barefoot" trend and try a pair of Nike Free Run shoes. They're so much lighter and more flexible than my old shoes!

And then I did something I've never ever ever ever done in my life before.

I joined a gym.


Matt has belonged to a lot of gyms and been talking about joining again, so when we found a coupon I figured it was worth $30 a month for both of us to sign up. With it getting dark so much quicker up here, and this gearing up to be a really wet and cold season, I figure a gym is a good backup for running and cross training.

Last night I laced up my new Nikes and hopped on a treadmill.

First I had to get over that creepy gym feeling. Plugging my ears with headphones I ignored the idea that everyone was looking at my jiggling butt with the ever-widening crack-sweat. No one really wants to see that anyways.

When I started running my feet felt deliciously light and cool! I ran my first stretch (I walk/run cuz I'm a newbie like that) and it felt amazing! WOW!

I also noticed I kept weaving to the left, and my right side felt like it was working a whole lot harder! Hmmm...what gives? I guess two years of walking Roy on my left side has messed up my running alignment! Woops!

Around 2 miles I started noticing that burning in my calves. So I walked. The next time running I felt it creep up into my hamstrings.  By the time I stepped off the treadmill and felt like there was fire licking up the back of my legs and into my glutes I realized I may have overdone it a tad.

Wearing those light shoes makes you run on your toes...which is great...unless your muscles are used to running on your heels. In that case, you're focusing all that energy on previously lightly used muscles...and giving them one heck of a workout.

When we went to the grocery store to get some eggs and I found myself hobbling around the aisles I knew I had overdone it. Woops.

Good thing today is a cross training day where I'll probably just hobble around with Roy. Maybe I'll try walking him on my right side today.

So yeah, there's my ridiculous goal that involves a 12 week training program and probably a lot of sore muscles.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Raffle for a Ruffled Owl Apron (and a good cause!)

Today through Monday, October 25th, you can enter a raffle over on Naptime Diaries to win a Ruffled Owl apron!

AND you're donating to a good cause!

What's not to love?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Best Season

This is SO my favorite season!

not the spider part...I just thought it was a pretty picture...

Back in SoCal I would try to embrace the calendar date by donning turtlenecks and cardigans...and proceed to sweat and suffer.  Cute coats were unnecessary but still worth the heat stroke. And my hair stayed white-blonde year round with no artificial help.

But up HERE near Latitude 47, cardigans are appreciated and coats are critical! Scarves are more than a cute accessory! Hallelujah! (and on the downside my hair now needs a bit of help to retain its "natural" light blondeness...I'm not ready to reconcile with "dishwater blonde" just yet...)

This past weekend Matt and I headed out to Jubilee Farms (where we get our CSA box) to go the the pumpkin patch. I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect autumn day!

my handsome hubby...

with the clippers, ready to find our pumpkin!

I give the man the camera for two minutes and what does he take a picture of? Typical male...

I think this is it!

our baby pumpkin!

would it like some itty bitty squash to keep it company?

some tidbits around the farm...

Squash: A Still Life

relaxing? yes.

Hayride anyone?

look its Thursday Farms! Oh wait...juuust kidding...

That concludes the visual tour for the day.

Tomorrow I'll be introducing you to a Ruffled Owl baby quilt...

Friday, October 15, 2010

100th Post And The New Name Is...

**Update: The Ruffled Owl is temporarily on hold as I got pregnant, worked, had a baby, moved across the country, bought a house, and am working from home with a baby. One day I hope to resume this, until then, keep up with our antics and mishaps of being new parents and owning a home!**

I know technically its not one of the suggestions, but it was a long, long, loooong process of bunny trails to get to this cute conclusion!

I had over 150 suggestions spread out over comments and emails and facebook and texts!

That said, the winner is:

Ashley Lefebvre!

Start picking out your style and fabric, lady, and drop me a line!

Without her suggestion of "Aubergine" I never would have gotten this...I was super close to going with "The Aubergine Owl," but after trying it out on some coworkers and family I found most people either A) couldn't spell it or B) couldn't pronounce it. Which left me with one cute little owl looking for a description!

Have you ever seen a ruffled owl? They just look so mad its comical!

And darn cute, too!

Thank you so so so much for all your suggestions! Without them I would still be left scratching my head and hoping I didn't get sued over The Giggling Gourmet!

Hope you all like the new name, and I've got a baby starter page (sooo not done!) over at The Ruffled Owl, with pages for the Fabric Choices and Apron Styles on the left hand side.

If you'd like to make an order (they make great Christmas gifts!), drop me a line! And I'll be revealing something else I made last weekend...but its a gift and I can't post it until I give it! You'll just have to wait!

Lastly, this (by complete and utter coincidence) is my 100th post!

As a celebration the first person to comment gets a 50% off coupon for their very own Ruffled Owl Apron!

Thanks again for all your suggestions!
And those of you who made a suggestions, keep an eye on your inbox for a special coupon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Shop Name Will Be Announced Friday!

If I can make up my mind, that is!

Thank you thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions! Now I have to go into deliberation with my naming committee (aka Matt) to choose one!

'Till then I'll leave you trying to make up your mind which apron you want! I for one think I'm going to have to make myself one of these Mariellas for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Chance To Win An Apron!!!

Okay folks, today's the day!

Enter your name suggestions for a chance to win an apron!

(And here's another fun get something even if I don't choose your name!)

So lay it on me! Whaddya got?

And here's a few more aprons I whipped up this weekend. 

 May I introduce:

A polka dot version of The Julia

I have to say I was stoked when I found this sweet pink polka dot to accent the pocket!

And for a new design, The Mariella
(done here in Christmas colors!)

Isn't my boy sweet posing?

And there's a cute ruffle detail on the pocket

Here it is with an obi-style tie

And tied in the back...

And lastly in honor of my first grade teacher (this one is actually for a teacher), The Miss Sandy

(sorry 'bout the pics, was rushing around this morning and couldn't get the darn thing to focus right...)

Have to say I love the button details on this...

So there you have it...wouldn't you like one of you own???

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weird Dog and You Can Still Win an Apron!

Yesterday morning I woke up with a terrible migraine.

I took some medicine and went back to bed, where Roy decided to join me once Matt had vacated his spot.

Upon me draping my arm across my forehead, I felt something cold and wet poke into my armpit. I open my eyes and there was Roy, happy as a clam to be as close to the source of all my humanly scent as possible. I was so tired I didn't even move but fell back asleep.

An hour later, I woke up and Roy's nose was still tucked snugly in my pit. What a weird dog...

He continued his attachment right up until I left for the day. Walking with his shoulder pressed against my leg, collapsing with a sigh on my feet when I sat down, nosing my arm to be pet and trying to get into the shower with me...when that didn't work he settled with lying right against the shower door.

Its funny how he can go from fiercely independent to intensely clingy.
After reading an article on Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that was written by someone who has been breeding them for 45 years, I think we have a better understanding of our Roy Boy.

They have a sense of justice, you see. Now, how can a dog have a sense of justice? Well anyone who's ever owned a dog who's gotten into the trash and then looked immensely guilty knows dogs at least know when they do something wrong. So maybe a sense of justice isn't too far of a leap...

See, Chessies will only obey you if they feel like you are justified in what you're asking them to do. The article focused on Chessies used for duck hunting, and the writer wrote that if they don't feel you are justified in your command, the dog will look as you as if to say, "Get your own damn duck."
Pardon the french, but this has become a catchphrase in our house.
If we are eating dinner, for example, Roy has no problem obeying our "Go Lie Down" command. But the other night we were just watching a food in sight...when Matt told Roy to lie down.

Where was the justice?

Roy paused and looked at him...and kept walking around. Matt tried again, in a sterner voice. Again, Roy looked at him, moved toward his bed...and kept on walking. By this time Matt was getting ticked (I was in hysterics). Matt raised his voice and told Roy to GO LAY DOWN.

If the dog could talk, he would have said, "Get your own damn duck."

And now we realize our weird dog has some sense of justice. There really was no reason he should have had to lay was just bothering Matt that he wasn't!

Personally I think its pretty funny...

kinda like this picture of him rubbing his face all over our bathroom rug and my used towel...

On another note, you can still submit ideas for shop names to win an apron!  I'm leaning towards the more abstract names...especially ones that don't tie me into aprons or kitchen items necessarily.  What if I want to branch into dog capes or mittens? You gotta leave the door open for that, right? You never know...I may be the world's next greatest designer of finger puppets!!!

Just leave a comment either here, or on the Win an Apron page!

(Ooh, and stay tuned for two new apron designs to be shown this weekend!!!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Win An Apron!

Okay folks.  You know I like cooking. And sewing. And over on The Giggling Gourmet I've got a page devoted to aprons I sell.  But there was a problem.

I found out The Giggling Gourmet is some lady in South Africa that has beaten me to it and copyrighted the name! Fiddlesticks!

So now I need a name for my little side shop I'm setting up.

If you come up with the winning name, you win a free apron!

(Men, you can get a manly BBQing apron in a manly fabric if you want...other than that I got nothin' for ya!)

Here is the criteria:

The name has to be original (google or bing it to make sure)

And that's about it!

You can submit as many suggestions as you like for multiple chances to win!

It can be abstract like  Film in the Fridge
Or explanatory like Hand Made Charlotte

Update 10/10/2010: I had the thought to include Thursday somewhere.  If you head over to our Thursday Farms blog you'll understand.  Any suggestions?

Leave your suggestion in the comment section on either this post or The Giggling Gourmet to be entered to win your very own ___(you fill in the blank)______ Apron!

Deadline is Tuesday, October 12th at midnight.

What're ya waiting for? Don't you want one of these?

or these?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fabric Choices for Giggling Gourmet Aprons are Up!

Fabric I currently have available is up!

This doesn't mean I can't always get more if you don't like any of these, but personally I think its a great selection to start from. I'll be making myself one out of the blue ticking with cranberry trim...stay tuned!