Call us "Cavy Slaves." Over the past year, we've fallen totally in love with a pair of guinea pigs, Jagger and Joplin.

They wheek and we come running. We are really at their beck and call.

Well, Miss Joplin decided to give birth to two precocious wee ones while we were on the road, traveling from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Yeah... our road trips are never boring.

Just look at these little guys!!





We have been planning to find forever homes for these babies, but now that they're here... we can't imagine giving them up!

Wheek!!

Have you ever heard me say that I'd never sew with crepe again?

Never?

Well, I really mean it this time. Unfortunately, I fell under the spell of this gorgeous bird print and chose to ignore the little voice in the back of my head that said "DO NOT HIT 'ADD TO CART'!!!"


After all, the pattern that I had in mind for it was a very simple pattern. How much trouble could it be?

**bwahahahaha**

McCall's 6794 is an adorable high/low spring top that I've had in my stash for a while.


Although I found it challenging to complete, I'm fairly pleased with the outcome. It has an Anthropologie-esque feel.



I love, love, love the back. Even without the tie, it would be perfect for a cute, flowy top.


This top should have taken an hour or two... seriously. It's so simple. My trouble came with hemming the bottom and sleeves.

I finally managed to hem the bottom using a rolled hem foot...


But... I gave up on the sleeves and decided to finish them with single bias tape. It's not ideal, but it was the ONLY way this top was going to be completed.



I would recommend this pattern and will likely make this top again. I think it would be fabulous in cotton lawn or lightweight linen. The only revision I would make is adding an inch or two to the length. I have a longer torso than the model in the photo and need the extra length!

But, I swear... no more crepe!! Except for using up what I purchased in the past... and then, no more crepe!!

Most of my sewing posts start along the same lines.

I've had this fabric in my studio for years, waiting for the perfect project...

This post is no exception. I purchased a few yards of beautiful embroidered border fabric 3 years ago and I've been scared to cut it all of this time. It was so pretty... and I only had a few yards... and I might make a mistake causing me to waste it all... and... and... and...

Because of the border, I needed a garment that might end in a relatively straight line - as opposed to something like a circle skirt. You'll see what I mean in just a sec.

Enter Simplicity 1877.



This Leanne Marshall pattern proved to be just right for this fabric (unfortunately, it's now out of print!).

Awful photo aside, I absolutely love the result!



Contrary to my typical report, I had no trouble at all with this project. Can you believe it?! Working with cotton is such a dream.




My only big alteration to the garment was adding a lining. I also used pre-made bias trim in white, rather than making my own. I was happy to discover that I had it on hand. It saved me a lot of prep time!

I made slight changes to the shoulder flounce - but only to maximize the use of this pretty border. I also eliminated the triangle stitching at the waist. It looked so odd to me!




I would describe this dress as the perfect garden party outfit.

(Ask me how many garden parties I've attended.... that would be none. But I'm now prepared and awaiting an invitation.)


So, I feel like I'm just waking up from a dark, haunting, and very cold dream...

I've just endured the longest, most miserable winter of my life. I didn't fully understand that weather could leave you feeling incredibly drained and uninspired. Depressed, really.

I used to think that any temperature below freezing would essentially feel the same.

{snicker}

I can now attest that -25° F (before the wind chill) does not, in fact, feel like 25° F. And... walking through deep snow is more of a workout than jogging on a beach. And... going weeks without sunshine does affect your emotional well-being. Phew!

We've had 40° temps and sunshine for a few days now and I feel reenergized. It's simply amazing.

So, now that I'm feeling more like myself, I have a lot of catching up to do.

Most of my creative energy over the past months has been channeled into knitting - primarily because you can do that one the couch, in your fleece pajamas, wrapped up in a blanket! I have to say, I've become pretty darn comfortable with it.

So, here's a quick overview of a few of my favorite creations. Get ready for photo overload...

Chunky wool poncho

I absolutely love this piece. I would wear it all of the time if I could. Every time I've worn it out, ladies stop to ask me where I bought it. I've actually made two of these. With practice, the second actually turned out better than the first. I doubled the amount of fringe and it looked so polished!




This pattern came from a book. If you'd like to make one similar, here are a few free patterns:


The Simplest Sweater

I chose this pattern for the promise in its name. It was my first attempt at a top-down sweater. I am pleased to report it was incredibly simple! I've been lax with my photography, but a friend snapped this quick pic for me. 


I will definitely work up this again. Love it!

Colorwork Cowl

Three cheers for my first colorwork project! For this cowl, I used a pattern from The Purl Bee. Truth be told, I really prefer the colorways that they recommend. But, I wanted to use the yarn that I had on hand. I made many, many, many mistakes along the way. Fortunately, the folds disguise most of them!






Honeycomb Brioche Sweater

I could not love this sweater more. I typically gravitate towards free patterns, but I actually bought this one. I found this yarn on Little Knits, one of my favorite yarn sites. Retail, this yarn would have cost more than $200. I only paid $40!



I am very proud of the way it turned out. And it's such a cool look!

This is just a sampling from the past few months. As you can see, I've been very busy (and cooped up indoors!).

Next update... sewing!
Has it really been more than a year since my first post about this bathroom? Even before we demolished this room, we had 6 months of searching for a contractor under our belts. Believe me, it has been a process!

When I gave my last update in December of 2013, I thought we were 5-6 weeks away from completion.

{heh-heh-heh...}

After giving up on our search for professional assistance, we resorted to DIY. My husband has learned soooo much during this process (I've learned not to ask questions about timing). I'm simply astounded by the transformation!

You've seen it a few times, but it's worth sharing the "before" pics again...


And... after!



This was the only vanity in the massive space. Pretty special, huh? Oh, and remember that door to the outside?


Check it out now!


We now have beautiful his and hers vanities, featuring antique glazed cabinetry and granite... touches of brushed nickel everywhere...

We found these great mirrors at Ikea and couldn't believe how perfect they were for the room.


We built in a water closet where the outside door used to exit. It's nice to have a little privacy in your bathroom...


...especially considering where the toilet used to be. The tiny shower has also been replaced.



Because we were doing the work ourselves, we kept the tilework simple. My only real design wish was to incorporate river rock, which turned out to be just the right touch!


The final special touches include shelving we purchased from a local Amish furniture store and gorgeous photography by my friend, Leah, of Uprooted Magnolia.


If I had to define a theme for this space, it would be "Found Things." I think that accurately describes the finishes, decorative items, and the overall process itself.

It is so nice to have full use of this bathroom again. It's been a long year!

This project actually ties up all of our major home renovation projects. We have a number of smaller projects on the list, but none that involve major construction (at this point, anyway).

We're starting on a basement update this week. I look forward to sharing that work as it begins.

I honestly don't know what we'll do if we ever finish this house.

Start over?