December 20, 2013

Embroidered Pillow

Nothing screams "beginner" more than a hastily-made pillow. Since I've been a beginner for more years than not, I've certainly made my fair share of substandard pillows. In third grade sewing club, pillows were produced in bulk by girls and boys alike, all of which were of juvenile quality. These messes are such embarrassments that I've long undone the worst masterpieces from this era. Most of the pillows I made were simply two pieces of fabric sewn together, turned inside-out, and stuffed directly. Some had a little bit more flair by having a quilted, appliquéd, knit, or simple embroidered pattern, but are nothing special to look at. 
From experience, I've learned that as the effort put into a project increases, the amount of pride upon its completion also increases. I've also learned that as the project becomes more ambitious, its completion is increasingly less likely. One must look no further than my blanket saga for proof of this. But when there is an incentive to finish a project promptly, like birthday or class deadlines, bigger projects are more approachable and more likely to be finished.

So it was great to tackle this beast of a pillow in my Fiber Arts class. It took the greater part of 2.5 months where I worked at least four hours a week. After a dysfunctional relationship with Google Images endlessly searching keywords like "flower embroidery patterns," "flower outlines," and "flower bouquet stencils," I finally found a pattern that I liked. After printing it, I traced the pattern with a transfer pencil, ironed on the pattern to the fabric, dug out my great-grandmother's embroidery thread collection, and finally began the stitching. 
"Wildflower Bouquet Embroidered Pillow," completed October 2013. 
My design was one of the more complicated patterns in the class, but I still finished soon enough to have enough time for the next project. I did a significant portion of the work at home (as in, all of the French knots on one popping Friday night), and have remember enough embroidery from elementary school that I could work rather efficiently. Nevertheless, I was so thankful to be done when I completed the embroidery. 

My mother graciously made an expedition to the craft store to buy the fabric for the pillow and a pillow form so I could die in college app land instead. A pillow form is basically a pillow that looks exactly like a pillowcase-less pillow that belongs on your bed (aside from the size). This pillow I made is only a pillowcase that goes over the form pillow, technically speaking.

After attaching the embroidered piece to the fabric and sewing the pillow, it was done! This is by far the most intricate embroidery work I've ever done, and I found it pretty enjoyable. I hope to do more embroidery projects in the future when I'm not knitting or quilting or singing or living life in other satisfying ways. 
I spent the bulk of my hours working on this wildflower bouquet embroidery pattern. You can find the  pattern here

Close-up of embroidery. Prominent stitches: satin, French knot, stem, chain, leaf, split
Thanks for taking a peek! Stay tuned for next time. 

Happy Crafting,

December 14, 2013

The Two "First Sweaters"

Some experienced knitters might say that one's first sweater is a rite of passage that helps the young unskilled knitter transition to a more experienced level. For me, my first "first sweater" emphasized the fact that I was not ready to be promoted to the status of "supreme knitter" because it was a downright failure.

I embarked on my "first sweater knitting adventure" during the summer of 2012. I found my original pattern from one of my favorite knitting books, Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch: A Knitter's Handbook. The book was published in the early 2000's with a feminist flair. While this makes the actual book very entertaining to read, the fashion styles of early 2000's-feminism do not bode well with my tastes. Yet I still chose the "Under the Hoodie" pattern by Kristin Spurkland, ran straight to my local yarn shop, invested in $50 worth of yarn for the adventure, and knit ferociously while watching the 2012 London Summer Olympics Games on television. 

After about three weeks, I had the front and back portions of the sweater completed without once measuring it for size or testing the gauge. This would become a big mistake for someone who has always been a loose knitter! After twenty-five knitting hours, I loosely basted the front and back together to test for size, and learned it was way too wide. Even if I gained 100 pounds, it still may have been a loose fit. However, it was the perfect length because I had measured that part accordingly. 

When I came to this realization, I started a second back piece with a needle a size smaller. Yet fifteen rows later, I realized that I had still not completely compensated for my loose knitting. I was not willing to knit my first sweater with needles smaller than size 5, so I gave myself a break of this whole sweater disaster to let myself decide whether I was going to salvage my work or just start over.

I took a year-long break from the endeavor. I finally picked a different pattern after some mindless research and wandering on, which I actually liked considerably more than the original pattern. I made up my mind that I was going knit this beast until it became a beauty. 

One can be sure that I made a nice large gauge swatch before starting this project. My loose knitting tendency was actually beneficial for this pattern's sizes. I was literally halfway between a small and a medium size, but taking into account the difference between the desired gauge measurements and my knitted result, I realized that I could knit a "smedium" without any trouble or pattern tinkering. 

I used the unused yarn from my sweater project before ripping out the pieces from first "first sweater" to spare my soul. When I finally did have to rip out the first attempt, no tears were shed. ;) 

Fortunately, no major obstacles inhibited my progress, so I finished my second first sweater in eight days. I literally knit between two and six hours a day over the course of one week, specifically the first week of school this year. I would wake up with throbbing hands and bigger knuckles each morning and inundate my friends at school with sweater updates that they couldn't care less about. It was kinda sorta totally my life for that week. I would read my textbooks, take notes, and knit simultaneously, sit up knitting past midnight, and beckon my hands to move just a little bit more swiftly the next day in spite of all the muscle stiffness.

When I finished all the pieces, I sewed them together, exhausted. I was shocked and relieved to learn that I had made the project with such accuracy that I didn't need to block it.

I finished the sweater in the middle of a hot spell called "summer" so sadly, I couldn't wear it until a few months later. The first time I did wear it, however, I learned of my allergy to wool and the yarn with which I knit the sweater. Good luck doesn't like to stick with me during this project, evidently. Yet I will still wear it plenty of times this season. There's something about it's being handmade that tones down its itchiness. 

The "First First Sweater" Photo Gallery:
Front of "First First Sweater" failure, August 2012.
The pattern is mostly stockinette with size 7 needles. A hood would have been attached if sweater was completed. Also notice kangaroo pocket.

Close-up of attached kangaroo pocket.

Back of sweater, left, loosely sewn to front of sweater, right. Although there is no clear scale here, overall width is about 40". This width can be compared to the <30" my completed sweater measures to be.

Close-up of hood allocations.
The "Second First Sweater" Photo Gallery: 
"Shirred Yolk Sweater." Knit September 2013.
The front (or the back--it doesn't matter) of my first completed sweater! It was really easy to make because the front and back is just one piece knit in the round. After the sleeves were done, I just combined them all to knit the yolk in the round, so I didn't have to learn how to fit sleeves. 
Close-up of yolk. To make the yolk, I increased one on each stitch and then decreased for the garter section. At my peak I was knitting over 300 stitches in one round--exhausting.
If you made it this far, congratulations and consider yourself an authority on my sweater adventure. Stay tuned for next time.

Happy Crafting,

November 11, 2013

Appliqué Samplers

I am currently enrolled in a Career/Technical Education Fiber Arts class. I am only taking this class so I can graduate from high school, but I am still enjoying myself immensely because I have the opportunity to do fun crafty things for at least four hours every week in a great crafting space, which is an upgrade from how much time I spend crafting on my own. The class is pretty slow-paced, like any beginner level course would be, but it is nevertheless enjoyable because I can lead myself and do more advanced projects.

One technique we practiced just for exposure purposes were two appliqué samplers: one that was a first-time simple exposure, and another that was significantly more complicated. 

I had done the craft before several years ago under my grandmother's supervision, but was glad to retry the art and jog my memory on the procedure.

Appliqué is the craft of sewing one piece of fabric onto another. Generally, a zig-zag stitch sewn very close together connects the two fabrics. Sometimes, an adhesive is ironed on to the smaller fabric to make sewing easier and pinning unnecessary. 

While it sounds too simple to talk about, appliqué can be very difficult when connecting small pieces with intricate shapes and curves. Appliqué techniques are used when making crazy, Hawaiian, or normal quilt blocks and can also embellish and decorate clothing. Appliqué is an effective technique to make an artistic impression from a distance. 

Even though it had been many years since doing formal appliqué, my most recent samplers have improved significantly since my first attempts:
"Polar Bear Appliqué," c. 2007
In this first appliqué attempt, it is evident that I didn't take the curves well, cover the transitions sufficiently, or make the zig-zag tight enough.

Close-up of poor technique quality.

Backside of "Mother's Day Quilted Pillow," c. 2011
Vaguely remembering the existence of appliqué, I decided to try it out by cutting out a print of this strawberry and attaching it to the backside of this pillow. Zig-zag is closer together and technique is better overall.
"Shooting Star," October 2013.
This is the simple appliqu
é project I did in class. Technique here has drastically improved since the last attempt, although it is recognized that straight lines are exponentially easier to stitch than curves.
"Flower Garden," October 2013.
This is the most complicated project I've ever done although even this is not very complicated, either. It took about four hours to design, cut the fabrics and adhesives, iron on all of the adhesives to the backs of all the pieces, iron all the pieces onto the main fabric, and sew them on. The amount of thread required to do these types of projects is extraordinary: for this sampler alone, I used up about 1/3 of a 200 m spool.

Here is a close-up of my improved technique.

This is what the backsides of appliqué pieces look like.
Stay tuned for more crafty adventures and photos of projects from my Fiber Arts class.

Happy Crafting,

October 30, 2013

Haunted Hospital Costumes

In honor of Halloween, I'd like to flash back to the first day of the school year in August, where the medicinally-inclined senior class showed off their talents as doctors and nurses. My friend Kowli and I used my mother's hazardous waste suits, acrylic and finger paints, paint brushes, everyday makeup supplies, and Kowli's decade-plus artistic knowledge to craft our exceptional outfits. Because the more blood on the lab coat, the better, right? ;)

You can check out some of Kowli's awesome crafty work here.
Happy Halloween, and as always, Happy Crafting!

October 26, 2013

Handmade Stamped Cards

I have never been the type to go to a store and buy a card to write a Thank-You note. Instead, I would always grab a piece of white "computer paper," fold it in half, design my own cover with plenty of Crayola markers, and write the classic note inside. 

While this is a fairly normal practice in elementary school, I have yet to stop even now in high school. But now I like to make these cards with stamps, which makes them look a little more professionally done.

I have always been into collecting rubber stamps, but I never knew what I could make with them. The only practical application I knew of them was to stamp homework, but that wasn't really something I could do as a high school student. So I started making hand-stamped cards.

Because I don't have very many stamp pads, I generally still use felt-tipped markers to stamp. Although it takes longer to do each stamp, it enables me to use more than one color on each stamp, which is nice.

Stamped Notes

Time: approx. 5 min/card + 5 min to set up and clean up

Materials Needed:
  • Paper, any size
  • Several rubber stamps (medium to large-sized stamps are best)
  • Stamp pads or felt-tipped markers (Crayola ones work great!)
  1. Fold paper in half to desired size. 
  2. With stamps absent of ink, create your design by arranging stamps over paper. This step may be skipped if design has been pre-arranged.
  3. Fill stamps with ink, either with a stamp pad or by coloring desired regions with markers. Apply stamps to paper.
  4. To clean up, rinse off all stamps with warm water and rub off any extra ink with a paper towel.
I have found that if you are making these cards in "bulk" (i.e. doing 12-15 sets of each design card), it is faster to do one stamp at a time: ink and apply one stamp for all fifteen cards, and then move on to the next stamp.

 I hope you enjoy this easy, inexpensive, and crafty way to make cards!

Happy Crafting!

August 22, 2013

TOMS Shoe Decorating

Last fall, I went with some Girl Scout friends to an event at the Kappa Delta sorority at San Jose State. In a large group, we discussed the philanthropic philosophy of the TOMS company. They donate a pair of shoes to children in need in developing countries for every pair of TOMS shoes that are purchased by consumers of the developing world. (This is also the case for their sunglasses line.) Later, we had several crafty supplies out to personalize our own pair of white TOMS: spray paints, Sharpies, glitter, beads, faux jewels, etc. After the first session, a few of us stayed to help the later shift of younger girls decorate their shoes. 

While I was happy with my own decoration of the shoes, I unfortunately did not order the right shoe size. TOMS are supposed to stretch with wear, but mine did not stretch enough quickly enough, giving me permanent scars on my heels after the few times I tried to wear them. It's a shame that I couldn't enjoy wearing these after I decorated them, but I suppose they adorn my closet's dust bunnies beautifully. Not every craft effort ends entirely successful, in fact, most don't even come close to how they were conceived. But sometimes, that's the beauty of the crafting trade.
TOMS shoes, decorated Fall 2012.

Happy Crafting!

August 14, 2013

What Have I Accomplished This Summer?

I have accomplished a whole lot of nothing, as usual, in case you actually wanted to know the answer to the question that struck you with copious awe and wonder. Nothing, of course, in terms of anything that was actually productive. I did write a rough draft to a college application essay at 3 AM when I was still on jet lag, and I did a lot of sitting--in airplanes, tour buses, cars, couches, in a car learning how to drive, and senior home chairs-- but unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to help produce the TV show (on Palo Alto History--get psyched) I thought I would, nor did I travel to Luxembourg to do a cure-cancer internship to make the University of Awesomeness love me. I am filled with despair, however, to announce they have already informed me that I should not apply there because my level of k001i0-ness is far too supreme for even the University President (the honorable Ima McKoolKat) to maintain his shattering ego.

Aside from all the sitting I did this summer, you may or may not be surprised that I actually was accomplishing something. At least some of the time, that is. After all, sitting and watching grass grow (in a YouTube video) and sitting and operating a sewing machine are two different animals entirely.

I did a lot of sitting in Europe. During our flight and five hour layover in Amsterdam, I knit five hats. During exciting tour bus excursions to witness what happens when you take too much blood pressure medication, I designed and knit several hats and parts of a baby blanket, too. During argument-filled afternoons spent in the family rental car in our road trip across France, I knit 3/4 of a blanket (until I ran out of yellow yarn) and at least ten more hats. And during our especially exciting 12 hour flight to Houston of all places, I knit for 7 hours non-stop (while watching movies as well), producing a scanty 14 hats.

52 hats and 1 blanket, anyone? 53 warm babies coming right up.

I could will go on.

I did a lot of sitting in Hawai'i. I knit some blanket, and some more blanket while enjoying reruns of "Jeopardy!" and "The Bill Cosby Show." Or you could call it "a priceless family bonding experience."

"Bluebell Yellowbell" blanket. Finished July 2013. Took ~25 hours to knit and design.

 close-up of pattern
 close-up of border
I did a lot of sitting in Los Angeles, but unfortunately, no sticks and string was involved. My subjects were either my 3 and 7-year-old twin cousins, or some of the ten or so books I read this summer.

And at home, I did a fair amount of squatting in yellow star thistle patches at Arastradero Preserve, standing and sitting while volunteering for Canopy, sitting at my desk practicing the SAT (how delicious), and sitting in a car learning to drive around the cemetery. But I also managed to knit some hats, work on a blanket, make a quilt, and make plans to do more.

All in all, my summer has yielded 52 hats, 1.25 blankets, 1 quilt, and 100 community service hours (with a high school total of 320 hours), which although won't help my prospects of gaining admission to the University of Awesomeness, will improve my chances of acceptance to the University of Knitting Hermits, University of Crafty Geeks, and The College of the Procrastinators (apply today!), which of course, are my top choices.

It looks like my mind is right where it should be on the day before school starts. Here's to a great semester of college applications and growing pains (and maybe a laugh or two)!

Disclaimer: My grandmother made the actual blocks (and 76 others, for that matter. Could you use them?), but I did the rest, including a flannel on the back. 

Happy Crafting!

July 28, 2013

A "Walk" Through Memory Lane, Part 1

Most people depend on their cameras and photographs to document the highs and lows of their lives. Especially now, with the dominance of half-decent cameras in smart phones, spontaneous pictures and "selfies" in every possible circumstance are being taken and posted for all to see, Facebook and Instagram friends, future selves, and all. 

While I am not claiming to limit my own use of a camera, I would like to introduce a whole new medium to capture memories for posterity: postcards. 

I have been collecting postcards since at least fifth grade. I decided at this time that I was the type of person that collected things, and I didn't have such a collection. So I started with postcards; I already had a few, and my mom had more. At the beginning, I was more concerned with filling up my newly purchased album than slowly adding postcards that actually had some meaning. The first six months were rather rocky, as I became focused on quantity rather than quality; I decided to put in some of my mother's postcards of places that "I've visited anyway." And then I just put the Acadia National Park postcard in just for "funzies;" I hadn't even visited Maine at that time.

The featured postcards will be shown in the order that they have been placed in the album. Virtually every postcard is in this album for at least one of the following reasons.
  • Category 1: This postcard was sent to me or someone in my family. It is in my album now because I wanted make my postcard collection look bigger and more impressive even though the postcard and/or the sender probably isn't very significant to me. Then there are a few that were sent to me from pen pals or friends that I still think deserve to be there. 
  • Category 2: I transferred this postcard from my mom's collection (in a file) to mine because I visited this place before I cared about buying a postcard every place I went. 
  • Category 3: I was away at science camp (whoohoo 6th grade!!!!!) or someplace similar, and my parents saw an excuse to pick away at their random postcard collection by sending me one, adorned with a heartfelt message which probably differed little from the last time they sent me one of these aforementioned postcards. 
  • Category 4: I purchased this postcard to send to someone but was too lazy at the time, so now it's a part of my collection! Yay!
  • Category 5: I purchased this postcard at a significant place I had the honor of visiting between 2006 - 2013 with the sole intention of putting it in my collection, expecting the sight of it alone to bring back significant memories decades later when I glance at it. This moment will probably only occur when I am going through all my stuff and have to decide what crap in my old room I should throw away and what "treasures" I should take with me. The status of this album will be determined when this date grows imminent. 
  • Category 6: I was such an organized individual that not only did I purchase this postcard for an outstanding price at an ultimate tourist venue, but I also managed to scribble down what I did that day so the mere postcard itself will not have to be stuck with the job of re-jogging my memory decades later in the situation presented in the description of Category 5. 
You may later notice that this is, in essence, a brief chronological analysis of the "stories" of the postcards in my collection. 

So if you're still here, you must be really bored. I'm sorry something more entertaining is not overstimulating you right now. 

So, without further ado, what follows are the beginnings of my postcard collection, with plenty of awkward, funny, and random vacation stories as captions. (For the most historical highlight, see Page 21.) This is only Part 1 to provide a few interesting anecdotes in smaller doses, and to prevent obscene loading times on either end. Enjoy!

This is Volume I. It is not yet full. Volume II is collecting dust in its cellophane, still empty.

Page 1, top: Disneyland, 2007. They didn't sell any patches at any of their ten million gift shops, so I had to settle for a postcard that changes pictures when tilted. Left: Piccadilly Circus, c. 2005. This was from a very brief penpal-ship with a troop of Girl Guides in England. Right: Old Alley Steps in Marblehead, Massachusetts, 2007. A category 3 card from my grandparents when I was at camp.

Page 2, top: Warwick Castle, Jun 2008. A category 1 card. Bottom: York, England, c. 2008. A category 1 card.

Page 3, top: 2006. A category 1 card. Bottom: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, July 2007. A category 3 card. 

Page 4, top: Grand Canyon Nat'l Park. Category 2, as I have never been here. Bottom: Costa Noa, July 2008. The first Category 6 card, and also the first postcard I purchased with the intention of starting a collection. 

Page 5, top: Map of California Missions, category 2. Left: El Camino Real bell in Santa Barbara, category 2. Right: Portland, Oregon, category 2. At least I have been to [parts of] each of these venues. 

Page 6, top, middle, & bottom: Beauty Bay and Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. All category 2, as these postcards were purchased in the 1980's. 

Page 7, top & bottom: Fairyland, Oakland, CA. Category 2; these are also from a few decades before I was born. Middle: Acadia National Park in Maine. I have never been here; category 2.

Page 8, top: Hale Hui Kai (translation: house of the sea) condos on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, Maui. Our family spent the summers of 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 in a condo in this complex, which is the place of scores of memories at the pool, the beach, and chillin'. Category 2. Bottom: Harris Ranch Hotel, category 2. Though I have never actually stayed here overnight, I have made many a "rest" and "lunch stop" there during our frequent road trips to visit family in San Fernando Valley.

Page 9, top & bottom: Golden Gate Bridge & bird's eye view of San Francisco. Both are category 2. 

Noticing a theme of Category 2 here? Well, they were all added on the same day. Looks like someone was bored on a random summer day both six years ago and...right now.

Page 10, top: Moraine Park, Colorado, June 2007. Category 1. Bottom: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, July 2008. Category 1.

Page 11, top: Palm Springs, Dec 2008. Category 1. Left: Tioga Lake, Dec 2008. Category 1. Right: Sabertoothed Cat (the California state fossil, Smilodon fatalis) from the Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Category 6. The tar pits are stationed in a very busy part of the the Los Angeles business district, and were discovered only when construction workers were trying to convert the area into a high-rise building (like the bank my mom worked at during her college summers) and noticed a bunch of dinosaur bones. Well, I guess that triggered a change of plans for the building, and one of the world's best fossil sites was formed where new fossils are still being discovered.

Page 12, top and left: Lake Coeur d'Alene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which I visited in July 2007. Category 6. One of my mom's best friends from college lives here; her family literally built a lake house here in the sixties. Coeur d'Alene's claim to fame (in the APUSH textbook, at least) was a notable strike among the miners in 1892 that was a factor that helped inaugurate the Populist movement. Right: The Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, Aug 2008. The Hoh is one of two rainforests in the world that are not tropical.

Page 13, top: Chinaman's Hat island, O'ahu. Category 2. Bottom: Waimānalo Coastline, O'ahu. Category 2.

Page 14, top and bottom: Hawai'i/Waikiki, Category 5. ca. 2008-2009. 

Page 15, top: Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, Jul 2008. Category 1.  Bottom: London, July 2008. Category 1. 

Page 16, top: Washington State, August 2008. We visited Camano Island, Olympic National Park, and the San Juan Islands. Bottom: Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park, August 2008. Category 6. The lupines were even more impressive when we were there; the hiking was just marvelous. 

Page 17, top: Lime Kiln Lighthouse, Washington, August 2008, category 6. We hiked here and observed a flying shuttle demonstration here (weaving). Bottom: San Juan Islands, Washington, August 2008, category 6. We took the ferry from Anacortes and camped at Orcas and San Juan Islands. We saw some orcas, a county fair, and great trails.

Page 18, top and bottom: Orcas [near Puget Sound, Washington], August 2008, category 6. Obviously, the bottom postcard is a compilation of several photographs of orcas... ;) 

Page 19, top: Sol duc Falls in Olympic National Park, August 2008, category 4. This is one of the postcards purchased in a package of ten or so that didn't get sent to anyone. Bottom: Bald Eagle, August 2008, category 6. An example of Washington wildlife and my preliminary postcard taste. 

Page 20, top: San Juan Islands--a bird's eye view--August 2008, category 6. Bottom: Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, August 2008, category 6. There is an interesting story on the origin of this peculiar-named harbor. A sailor from a ship preparing to anchor asked a local "What bay is this?" when the local misheard him and thought he said "What day is this?," responding "Friday!" And thus, Friday Harbor. 

Page 21, top: Palo Alto Yacht Harbor, category 2. Bottom: Palo Alto, (c) 1990; category 6. It is interesting to see the different highlights of Palo Alto. The yacht harbor closed in the 1980's and no longer exists, as this expanse of water has now been filled with landfill. This postcard represents a part of Palo Alto history that people don't even know about! As for the "modern" postcard, I have no idea what any of these three "attractions" are or what their significance is. Typical. 

Page 22, top: Mission San Juan Capistrano, visited January 2009. Category 6. Bottom: Map of California missions, January 2009, category 6. Middle: Stanford University, category 6. I figured that if I live somewhere foreign or want to compare how the campus has changed sine 2009, this postcard can help document the history most of us fail to give a second thought.

Page 23, top: Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. August 2008, category 6. Bottom: Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort, 2009. Category 1. 

Page 24, top: Winchester Mystery House, San Jose CA. Visited in 5th grade as a grade-wide field trip, purchased later. Category 6. Bottom: Highlights of San Jose, California (including the Winchester Mystery House on the lower-left), category 6.

Page 25, top: Yosemite National Park, May 2009, category 1. Left: The Adventure Trip at Moaning Cavern, California, May 2009. Right: The Rappel at Moaning Cavern, May 2009, category 6. This was the culminating activity of Girl Scouts this year, where we camped a night and did the 165-foot rappel, 3 hour adventure trip in areas far less spacious than the postcard to the left, and walked back up 165 feet worth of spiral steps. I had more adrenaline going during this 24 hour period than probably the entirety of the following year. It was pretty amazing, though.

Page 26, top: Lake Tahoe, site of 1st annual Greenfield fambam reunion, June 2009. Category 6. Left: Mushroom Patch (cave formation) at Moaning Cavern, May 2009. Right: Mountain View, California, 2009. I purchased this for a similar reason as the Stanford postcard.

Page 27, top: Lake Tahoe, June 2009, category 6. Left and right: Bonfante Gardens (a. k. a. Gilroy Gardens), visited June 2009. 

Congratulations, if you made it this far, for you have seen the extents to my collection as of "graduating" 7th grade! I hope you come back for Part 2, coming shortly. :)

Happy Crafting,