The Journey

How vague, right? A lot has been going on but it is mostly revolving around two things: my Etsy shop and my hair. Both are a journey.

All of the crafty things done lately have revolved around my Etsy shop NimbleNimble. I’ve sold a couple of things, thus having to add a couple new!

I cut out five animals this morning, including some bunnies and cats of all colors!

I cut out five animals this morning, including some bunnies and cats of all colors!

 

Today I worked on a “Climbing Buddy” for a coworker who is very into rock climbing. The animal gets a D ring sewn onto its back, so it can then be attached to the harness. I absolutely loved this idea and ran with it. 

The beginning of the cat. You can see the head with the ears attached.

The beginning of the cat. You can see the head with the ears attached.

The half sewn/ half pinned body.

The half sewn/ half pinned body.

 

Because of the smaller scale I found it difficult to put in some of the sewing detail on the body. To make up for it I did some special embroidery for the face. She said she wanted a cat, so I went with a mountain lion.

The finished body with a cute little nose.

The finished body with a cute little nose.

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I was very happy with the outcome! I plan on exploring more embroidery detail on my next pieces.

I was very happy with the outcome! I plan on exploring more embroidery detail on my next pieces.

 

 

 

On a side note: Since I haven’t been exploring different tracks of craft-dom, I’ve noticed myself getting a bit restless. One of those restless bouts that make you do something drastic to your hair. I just cut it and I’ve really been liking my natural color lately so those things were out of the running. I’ve been annoyed with my hair lately because it seems very lack luster. Boring. Not as wavy as it could be and just plain thin.

To combat all of this I’ve ventured into the land of No-‘Poo. As in no shampoo. As in washing your hair with diluted baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I should just make an entire post on this, but since this is not a beauty blog, I shall refrain. If you’re wondering why the hell I would choose to do such a thing check out this girls blog. She has tons of information on the subject and it makes me feel less insane.

I will let you know that my hair is pretty greasy for now, which is normal. It should calm down and I will turn from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. That is my hope, at least.

Until then, I will continue to craft my butt off for my new store.

Enjoy!

 

Old Things, New Wall

After moving into my downtown Kansas City apartment, I finally gave in to decorating.

You know, the real kind of decorating where you try to make things match and nails are pounded into the walls because the landlord allows it. Maybe not even that. It is the fact that there is no expiration date on this apartment yet, unlike the last five years of my college life. It is a new start, with new walls.

I’ve always been a big fan of collages. The organized chaos is attractive. What is fun about one wall with one piece of art on it?

I have many walls in my apartment, and my favorite one is in this little nook where the dining room/craft table is. It is a quaint little space, and it deserves to have an equally quaint wall. The nook first had a triptych of Moulin Rouge dance posters from France, and it was OK. Not the best, but OK.

Nook Before (Forgive me for the photo quality.)

Nook Before
(Forgive me for the photo quality.)

I’ve been collecting hanging pieces for the past couple of months, and I can safely say that each piece in my collage means something special to me. Here are all of my treasures in their final glory.

Nook After

Nook After

How about a closer look?

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Top: A portrait of Mary Lynn, my cat, done by my lovely friend MacKenzie Bottom: A needlepoint of a hummingbird and my most recent craft project completion

Top: A portrait of Mary Lynn, my cat, done by my lovely friend MacKenzie
Bottom: A needlepoint of a hummingbird and my most recent craft project completion

A half-completed paining done by my late Grandma Wright. She was a very talented lady, and I love this.

A half-completed paining done by my late Grandma Wright. She was a very talented lady.

This group of pears was painted by my Grandma Beisker. And I just happen to love pears. I'm lucky to have two very talented women as my grandmothers.

This group of pears was painted by my Grandma Beisker. And I just happen to love pears. I’m lucky to have two very talented women as my grandmothers.

Top Left: A watercolor of imaginary wild flowers. Top Right: An embroidery project of a diatom done by my dear friend Erica. Bottom Left: A cross stitch that reads 'Be Calm', which is something that needs to be remembered. Bottom Right: Various embroidery stitches.

Top Left: A watercolor of imaginary wild flowers.
Top Right: An embroidery project of a diatom done by my dear friend Erica.
Bottom Left: A cross stitch that reads ‘Be Calm’, which is something I that needs to be remembered.
Bottom Right: Various embroidery stitches.

A soft crochet sculpture that I recently finished. I found my inspiration from Cornflower Blue Studios- check them out!

A soft crochet sculpture that I recently finished. I found my inspiration from Cornflower Blue Studios- check them out!

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Now, go put some stuff on your walls and decorate! It will feel good.

A Little Extra Cushion

I recently inherited a sewing machine from my Mom, which really opened up my options as far as crafting goes. Alas, once I got the sewing machine propped up on my little kitchen table I realized that I possessed none of the materials needed to actually create stuff. My Mom’s entire sewing room always overflowed with sewing materials, and it never occurred to me that I’d someday have to buy my own stuff. It never occurred to me how expensive it would be either- Yikes!

On my trek to Hobby Lobby I picked up the very basics: pins, thread, rotary cutter, cloth measuring tape and a seam ripper. A pin cushion was one thing that I desperately wanted to make for myself and there are a ton of cute options out there. I did a search on Pinterest and discovered a no-sew pin cushion. I realize how silly this is since I now HAVE a sewing machine, but it still appealed to me because the cushion is meant to go in a cute little tea cup for the base.

No-Sew Teacup Pin Cushion

You can see the outline around the green hoop. I just took a small plate used it as a template. I hate measuring, so this method was the best for me. I chose some blue material that I had in my stash, but it was a little bland for me.

 

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I decided to dress it up with some embroidery.

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Actually, it kind of looks like the embroidery monster threw up on it.

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I like it, though.

It was very important to iron it out after it got out of the hoop. I didn’t want a weird, wrinkled pin cushion.
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I followed my guide and cut the circle out. Then, I took a sharp needle and some thread and followed the edge of the circle, weaving the needle in and out as I went. I kept the stitches far apart from one another, so I could easily pull the string to gather the material and make a little poof.

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I filled the cushion with standard poly-fiber stuffing, then closed it up for good.

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The only step left was finding a little cup to put it in! Really, very simple.

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This entire project made me excited to use my sewing machine! I can’t wait to find a new project to work with.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Eager Beaver

Cross stitching is appealing for so many reasons, with one of my favorite being the pace. It is slow, methodical and easy to put it down and pick it up again. My very first project was a 5×7 inch Snow White scene that I bought in a kit.

Snow White Cross Stitch

It took months, but was perfect since I was on winter break.

However, since my schedule has become more packed, I have less and less time to invest in long, elaborate cross stitch patterns. Every once in a while I get in the mood and create little ditties that take minimal amount of time, yet I still get my fix.

I made this “Be Calm” sign just as a reminder to chill out, something I believe everyone needs to remember. It just happens to be inspired by one of my favorite songs by the band Fun.

A few days ago I got a request from my sister to make a cute little sign for her friend. She wanted it to say ‘no worries’ with either a beaver or a tree. I immediately got onion to search for patterns for beavers and came upon a teeny tiny picture of a beaver.

I first drafted the design on cross stitching paper, which can be found at any craft store. The placement of the beaver is what I was really figuring out. I stitched the words on the material first, then began stitching the beaver.

I chose dark green for the wording, a dark brown and grey-brown for the beaver. My sister’s friend and my sister are both Foresters, so this color scheme was a no-brainer.

I am super excited about this little guy! He is adorable, and I can’t wait to put him in the mail to go to his new home.

If anyone wants a little saying or doodle done with cross stitch, please just ask! I love taking requests and am willing to make a custom design for you.

 

Research Project Makeover

I am terribly sorry for my absence!

Life is tricky and full of schedules. Lately, my schedule has been full of travel, work and school- I barely have time to make myself food at night! (My options have been reduced to chicken flavored ramen.)

Please, take this post as my apology.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon creating a project for school. What does kind of projects do culinary students work on you might ask?

Caviar. A research project on caviar.

Chef made it very clear that creativity boosts the grade, so I went all out and made “A Pocket Guide to Caviar”.

A Pocket Guide to Caviar

Isn’t it cute?! The size is roughly 3×5 inches, with a felt cover, a sewn on red fish and a red ribbon to wrap around it.

Trout Caviar page

Inside, there is a brief history on caviar, a how-to-eat-it guide, and 18 different types of fish and their caviar. Not to mention a caviar cocktail recipe in which you put ice cold vodka in a glass and allow a spoonful of caviar to sink to the bottom before you drink it. The Russian influence is very clear, there.

Besides this little book, my crafting projects have been on hold. My goal is to create the final piece of my Halloween costume this weekend and show it to you all on Sunday.

It’s all about the small goals.

Enjoy and have a great day!

Lipton Landing

I have smelled like soup this entire week, but I am not complaining necessarily.

We began with French Onion Soup (soupe a l’oignon gratinee), Consomme Brunoise, Potage Mulligatawny (creamy curry soup with chicken and bacon), and Potage Cultivateur (vegetable soup with consomme). More soups will be coming in the upcoming week.

Potage Cultivateur

I added a little chicken in my Potage Cultivateur once I got home, and it was delicious.

Potage Mulligatawny

‘Potage’ is a fancy word for soup in French, but then again, so is the word ‘soupe’, go figure.

Browsing the soup aisle you probably have seen consomme. Before I made consomme, I honestly had no idea what made it any different from a broth or a stock, but now I have the answer! Consomme is clarified, stock is not.

You begin with stock, then add a mixture of raw ground beef, egg whites, onion, celery, carrot, and tomatoes to it. As you bring the stock to a simmer, the egg whites and beef coagulate and form something they call a “raft” that floats on top of the hot stock. While the stock simmers the bubbles find a thin spot in the raft. The bubbles carry any impurities from the stock or the meat and the raft filters all of that junk out. It looks a lot like a volcano. In the end you are left with a crystal clear consomme. To tell if the consomme is good, you must put it in a clear bowl and be able to read a newspaper through it. Or you could just taste it and judge it that way!

On Tuesday I will be doing something I never really had thought about when I signed up for culinary school. Something my vegetarian friends will certainly cringe at or anyone that loves animals.

I will be killing a lobster.

During the Demo today, our substitute French Chef Instructor ripped into this poor little guy with gusto, starting with the claws, then down the tail before he split his tiny little head right between the eyes. It was kind of brutal. I always thought you were supposed to stun the lobster first before hacking away? According to Chef, that is unnecessary. However, I am making it necessary. I can’t bring myself to chop up a lobster before stunning it. I’m no vegetarian, but I’m a little sentimental towards how quickly something is killed.

Oh yeah, the lobster will be for Lobster Bisque! And dammit, if Lobster Bisque isn’t one delicious soup.

Sorry, my little lobster compadre.

Update Alert!

I have been diligently working on my first go-round of the “Me Time” embroidery project, and I have finished one!

Reading Lady “Me Time”

I am treating it mostly as a rough draft to see what kind of stitches, colors and fillings to use. Also, I am going to mess around with the background fabric color and see what kind of effects I can create color-wise.

Hair detail on the Reading Lady

I’ve been sketching some more “Me Time” ladies, and I can’t wait to put them into stitch.

Have an enjoyable day and thanks for reading!

Me Time

Recipe for  Blissful Moments

1 Large cup of coffee sweetened with honey
1 Basket filled with embroidery floss and a current project
Pandora’s 60’s Folk Radio or Classic Indie Radio (to taste)

It looks a little something like this

Blissful Moments

That weird looking red embroidered hair blob is my next endeavor!

Reading

 

I am perusing a series titled “Me Time”. It will encompass all the things I love to do by myself; the things that always cheer me up or calm me down. The things that keep me sane. The characters won’t look like me necessarily because I believe these are things that a lot of people do to relax. It’s for everyone. (I am testing my first doodle on some scrap fabric, so please pardon the fabric pills.)

Enjoy the sneak peek and keep visiting to keep up with this current project!

Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry…

A long long time ago, I decided that I was going to have a blog. The evolution of ideas have been vast, but all circling around the same two ideas: food and crafts. Nimble Fingers is where my crafty side and my culinary side will co-exist harmoniously. I will talk about my experience though culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in St.Paul, MN, and my homebody self that loves to sit at the kitchen table and do crafts.

Now, I haven’t blogged since my freshman/sophomore year of high school, and although I’ve thrown the idea around for years, it is exciting to begin again! I ask you, please, have patience.

I am now in my 5th week of culinary school and I cannot believe how quickly it has flown by. I have 4 more days left of this semester, and once those days are done I will move on from Culinary Foundations I to Culinary Foundations II. I am the only Iowan in my class of 19 and out of those 19, only 6 are women.  So far in the 5 weeks I have been certified in Food Sanitation, have learned 17 fancy French knife cuts, 7 classic cooking methods, 5 “mother sauces” and lots of other stuff.

May I mention that I’ve learned all of these things between 6am-10am? Early morning class is a blessing and a curse for obvious reasons. I do enjoy having my entire day to do other things, such as work at Bruegger’s Bagels and crafting. Having class at 6am also creates an interesting breakfast plan. I’ve had fried chicken, mussels, chicken stew, a full 3 course meal that a neighboring class brought in, and head cheese. Head cheese, for those who don’t know, is not even cheese. It is bones or the head of an animal that has been boiled down to a jelly, and then it is formed and chilled until it turns solid. This particular head cheese was pork head. I scoured for the piece with the most distinguishable meat and smeared a little dijon mustard over the top. It smelled amazing, tasted pretty good, but had the texture of meat-jello. Would I eat it again? Maybe. If I had some crackers.

Embroidery Sample

Cross stitching and crocheting have taken up a hefty portion of my crafting lately. In an attempt to expand, I am also learning how to embroider. Cross stitching and embroidery are very similar, in cross stitching you use small ‘x’s to make an image, while in embroidery you have a little more free reign. The stitches vary (as my sample shows above) and you can use more variety of material. I also recently embroidered on some card stock for a wedding gift! The possibilities are endless.

My biggest inspiration right now comes from a blog called Wild Olive. Mollie, the creator, makes adorable little creatures out of embroidery. I check it every day. I simply cannot get enough. If you enjoy cute things, I suggest you do the same.

On a sinister note, since Saturday, I have gotten 5 bites. I suspected a spider to be the culprit, and today I verified it. Once the swelling went down on the bites, I saw two tiny puncture marks right in the middle. I stopped by the clubhouse to talk to the apartment management, and in only 3 short hours, a nice young man armed with pesticides came to our door. My hero for the day. Hopefully, the spider bites will cease.