Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quilting Part 1

A wonderful woman at our church volunteered to teach the ladies how to make rag quilts. Right up my alley? You betcha!! So technically, I guess I was supposed to use flannel, but I didn't get that memo so I'll have to keep that in mind for next time. I'm sure it will still work fine with this fabric, but it won't fray the same way that flannel does. I really love the patterns and prints I chose - I think its going to be a really fun and bold quilt.
So, I took my sewing machine down from closet, dusted it off, gathered my supplies and I was off to learn a new craft. I've had issues with my sewing machine ever since I got it (brand new Brother). First, I couldn't seem to get the tension right, and then it would only go backwards! Thanks to a sewing guru, It was stitching forward again and working great!
Once I got started I didn't want to stop. I was on a roll! I set up my machine when I got home and kept on sewing. It was working great and then without changing any settings, the tension got off again! So frustrating... Here's a picture of some test stitched I did while I messed with the settings trying to get it back to normal. See how the bottom thread comes up in loops? I can't seem to fix that even at the tightest tensions.
Any thoughts or suggestions as to why it's doing that and how I can fix it?? Anyone else have this issue with a Brother sewing machine? I hope I can get it back up and running again soon so I can continue quilting this beauty =D
Happy Friday!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Great News!

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know I've been on a wait list for my local nursing program for a long time. 2-1/2 years!!! Well this week I got some good news: I'm in!! (insert happy dance here!) Since May I've been an alternate for the fall start date - 1 of 30 alternates. Needless to say, I wasn't keeping my hopes up on getting in. Then last week I got a phone call from the college saying that they received a grant from the state to hire on another teacher, which in turn means they can bring on more students!! Ohhhh Happy dayyyy!

Over the past few days I've been excited then nervous, happy then stressed. It's definitely been an emotional roller coaster, and the ride is not over yet. I've also spent a TON of money getting everything in order. I bought my textbooks, got a background/drug test, CPR certification, bought scrubs, a pair of the ugliest shoes known to man (they were required), stethoscope, and cute school supplies. I also had to have a health check, TB test, and immunization verifications. I'm starting to feel like a human pin cushion! Turns out that even though I had the series of 3 Hep B shots in 2003, I'm not immune, so I have to get the series all over again! Plus I'm sporting a beautiful bruise on my inner arm from getting my blood drawn - yes! =P

But all that is not going to get me down!! I'm just way too excited that I'm actually in! The program starts on August 16th which is really soon. They gave us the first weeks' reading assignments which is 12 chapters! Holy cow - that's a lot of reading! Luckily I bought some of my books already so I can get a head start now. Wish me luck!

What does this mean for KnotsbyAshley?? I'm not 100% sure yet - but I'll probably put my shop on hold for a while. I can't have anything distracting me during this program because of the intensity of it. They say the first semester is the hardest. eeeek!

On another good note - I'm learning how to quilt tonight! woot woot! A wonderful woman at church is hosting a quilting night and teaching us all how to make "rag quilts." I bought all my fabric and the nerd in me cannot contain my excitement! I'm going with a black and white print theme, which doesn't match anything in my house but promises to be adorably cute! I can't wait to show you all =D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lucille Retro Felted Cloche Hat

Introducing the newest addition to my shop! I think its a one-of-a-kind felted gem! I'm really excited about how it turned out, what do you think?
You can see the listing here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do You Fondue?

To celebrate our anniversary this year, we kept it low key with dinner and a movie. We saw Toy Story 3 - so good! I laughed, I cried, I loved it! If you haven't seen it yet - its a must! After the movie we enjoyed a scrumdidlyumptious dinner at The Melting Pot. It's definitely a splurge but worth every penny! Since we were celebrating an anniversary, our server moved us to one of their more secluded booths reserved for special occasions. It was just the two of us - very romantic. I'll let the pictures do the talking:
That was my first drink of the night... a Yin & Yang Martini!! Talk about presentation eh?
We toasted to many more years to come with a delicious bottle of champagne.
Our first course: Fiesta Cheese Fondue. It was served with bread, tortilla chips, veggies and my favorite, green apples. The cheese was followed by salad which I forgot to take a picture of =(
Next was the main course. Again I forgot to photograph it until after we ate half of it. It consisted of sushi grade Ahi tuna, lobster, key lime shrimp, and vegetable dumplings. It was so fun trying all the different dipping sauces.
And also an assortment of veggies.
The main course was followed by the best course: dessert! We had the milk chocolate fondue with Grand Marnier and an assortment of yummy sweets to dip!
We were rather warm and glowing by the end of the night from sitting around the simmering pot. It was such a fun night!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bella Swan Eclipse Hat

My Bella Swan Twilight hat was a huge hit and here's the next one - inspired by the hit movie Eclipse! This is my "knock-off" of Bella's hat that she wore in Eclipse while camped out on the mountain. This hat is close to the same color, shape, stripes, drape, and style. I got my cousin to model it for me ;)
What do you think, pretty close eh? This one in particular was for a custom order, but it will be listed as a standard item in my shop soon! The pattern can be found on Ravelry. My listing on etsy can be found here.

My New Fashion Accessory

Right around last Christmas, during the holiday rush of crochet orders, my wrist started hurting. It was more of a dull obnoxious pain than anything else. When I started yoga, it would really hurt during down dog, plank, and table top positions. Anything where the weight was on my hands with a bend in my wrist. I just chucked it up to my lack of upper body strength and thought it would just get better with time. It didn't. Then last night during push ups of all things, it just went out on me! It was like a spasm and a pop and down I went. I first iced it and then searched my house for somethign to support it. At first I couldn't find these wrist guards so I used a remote control and gauze for a makeshift splint! haha! Finally I found these at the top of our closet. They aren't the best support as they are actually my husband's wrist guards for snowboarding, but they help for now until I can get to the pharmacy. I did not sleep well last night and woke up often from the pain. This morning is even worse! I have a doctor's appointment for this afternoon, I just have to make it until then and hope he perscribes me some strong pain killers. In the meantime I get to rock the styling look of this wrist guard and feel like an invalid here at work. woohoo!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sister Hope

I usually don't usually do this with my blog, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to spread the word about such an amazing organization. I stumbled across it the other day from one of the blogs I read (I'm horrible for not remembering which!) and thought it was such a great idea. Sis Hope: "Buy a bag. Give a kit. Keep a Girl in school. " So Simple!

The basic things we take for granted, ya know? Women in Uganda use really unsanitary methods to care for "that time of the month". They resort to mud, tree bark, and newspaper which is ineffective and often leads to dangerous infections.

"Sis Hope is dedicated to keeping girls in school everyday, even during their period. We destribute resuable mentrual kits to school girls in Uganda through our partnership with Afri Pads, a female run social business located in Masaka, Uganda. Afri Pads trains and employs local women to sew resuable cloth menstrual pads using pedal operated sewing machines."

Can't get any better than that - helping to give women work, and giving a girl a kit so that she can stay in school. I'm in! All of the bags are "Fair Trade bags hand sewn by women for women. Each purchase provides an income generating opportunity for female artisans living in impoverished and conflict ridden areas of the world. With each bag, youre not only providing menstrual protection to a girl in need for an entire year, but you're empowering a woman to support herself, her family, and her community."
I bought the Sling Purse which is currently on sale for $18!

You can read more about this organization or purchase your own bag at

Friday, July 9, 2010

3rd Anniversary = Leather

Mr. Knots and my 3 year anniversary is right around the corner - man how time flies! We've never been traditionalists for anniversary gift giving, but this year I thought it would be fun to play with the idea. Year 3 is leather. Here are some leather Etsy finds:
The most random thing I could find. A Monacle. lol

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wine Tasting + A Celebrity Sighting!

I have so much to recap, I'll start with last weekend. The guys were at a bachelor party, so we planned a girls' weekend, of course! Four of us went to Santa Barbara for a night and spent all of Saturday wine tasting! It was FABulous!
We took a wine tour which was amazing & I highly recommend it! They picked us up at our hotel, took us to 4 wineries and to lunch! Such a great deal - we had a built in designated driver (mucho importante!) and all the wine tastings were included!
Girls + Wine + a camera and this is what you get:
I hope you all are having a great 4th of July! On Friday I had some family fly in from Italy so I've been playing tour guide all weekend. More on that later....

Soooooo..... I saw Paula Abdul at the mall today!! I'll admit, I played it cool but was totally star struck! She's very tiny and petite and was all dolled up with an adorable red bow in her hair. She looked really good! I had a camera on me but I couldn't get up the nerve to talk to her. She was shopping at Forever 21 with a small entourage. Straight up. squeee!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I have so much recapping to do on here, but no time to do it, or at least that's how it feels these days! I've got pictures from last weekend's Santa Barbara wine trip, the Long Beach Aquarium, crafts etc... Until I can squeeze in time to sit down at my computer (especially now that I'm all caught up on the 150+ blog posts I had in my reader this morning- phew!) I'll leave you salivating over the Dulce de leche & Heath bar Cheesecake. I made yesterday...

Trust me, it really was as delicious as it looks!
Happy Friday!!