Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting to knowww you...

Getting to know allllll about youuuu...
I've seen many a cute survey in the last couple months, and have finally decided to do one :) Comment with your answers or a link to your blog!

1. What is your name and what's your blog name if you have one?
AJ and, appropriately, AJthePurple

2. Where do you live? if you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I live in Austin, Texas. I don't know where I would live if I could live anywhere...I'd probably move around a lot :) I like the idea of living in Seattle, San Francisco, Athens, Denver....

3. Where do you work? What's your job title? Do you love your job?
I work at a private preschool/daycare. I am the Math & Science teacher for the pre-kindergarten classes. It is the first job I've ever truly loved :-)

4. If you could work anywhere or do anything what would it be?
I would love to be a permanent student. I also want to own my own book/game/craft shop and teach classes there! (See my Ultimate Goal post for a depiction!)

5. What are you reading right now?
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and drawn by Takeshi Obata

6. What are you listening to?
Lately I've had the Parent Trap soundtrack and Ben Sollee on repeat ♥

7. Guilty pleasures?
singing [really loudly] in the shower [when my husband is there], eating gobs of chocolate

8. Name your TV shows
Currently: The Office, Community, BSG, Dollhouse

9. What are things you do everyday?
floss, hug my hubby, pet my dog, tweet

10. How did you find our blog?
I found this cute survey on Chelseabird's blog

11. What do you like to do for fun?
I like to read, craft, watch movies, draw, explore new places...

12. Do you have a twitter?
Yup! AJthePurple :-)

13. What was your favorite item that you received for Christmas?
I'm gonna have to go with my new Kitchen Aid mixer :D:D:D And the awesome bracelet Alex made me ^_^

14. What's on your bedside table?
Batman clock, painting from my grandmother, Ugly Dolls, and a glass ashtray filled with odds & ends you think that sums me up? ;-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I was a swimmer throughout middle and high school,  so I have a long history with goggles. And steampunk goggles are awesome. And who doesn't love vintage photos of early pilots? (images via we♥it)

But on to my main point.

I'm gonna learn how to weld. My parents got my hubby an oxy-acetylene (welding) torch for Christmas. He told me I could have the goggles, but as amazing as they look (joke), I'm really more excited about the welding part.

PS: My friend also got us each a pair of these awesome goggles:

It makes me want this beauty even more.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Handmade Gifts

I worked so hard on handmade gifts this year.
I thought I'd share a couple of my favs!

Here's my beautiful sister-in-law in the mobius cowl I almost kept for myself
(I really need to find more of that yarn!)

Here's my mom tucked into her wide cowl that she now adores
("It doesn't have those long strings to get in my way!")

My new hubby in his new scarf!
(Though you can't see our green in this shot)

And these adorable huggles for some special friends! (I ♥ my huggles)

Can you tell I love giving presents?
They are all made from my own original patterns :)
I really can't wait to make more for my shop!
I also tried something completely new (can't believe I didn't get a photo) for my dad - a knit tie!!! It may just have to be a new item in my shop for 2010 :D

Happy Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Red + White + Green


Alex and I love to make salsa! Since we've been crazy busy and he had to work today, I made it by myself this year :-) As usual, I forgot the peppers the first time I went to the store. Luckily it's right up the road! Oddly enough, the electricity was out in the neighborhood for 2 hours today >_< It was that crazy wind storm. I had to wait until we had power to use the blender. Shopping in the dark was fun though ;-) And in the end...

I got to take this lovely Christmas-colored produce:

And turn it into these wonderful gifts!

We also have some little UT cloths to go with the salsa jars. How Texan are we?!  haha I love it ^_^

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Falling Leaves of Winter

This morning I woke up to fall...

Looking up I saw one of my favorite color combinations: grey and yellow.

Looking down was a sea of leaves.

And all around it was quiet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I ♥ Bows

I generally like more masculine clothing, but I looove ridiculously girly touches with it. Like bows. They really look good on (virtually) anything. How can you not love sweet, lovely bows?

Bows on hats and bows on whales

Bows on drawings and bows on rings
(via We♥It)

Bows on sweets and sweet bows on Zooey
(via We♥It)

I've started knitting bows (like the one on my girly scarf). I want to make more. Once the holidays are over, I think I'll have my hand at a really big one! Bows, bows, bows...=)

PS: Today we saw a guy with a HUGE bushy beard. I decided that if I could grow one, I would totally wear bows in it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Panda Postcard?!?

Just a quick note to share what I received in the mail today:

Isn't it adorable?!  Thanks, Melissa!!!! I love it ♥

It is already hanging on my postcard wall! I started this a while ago, because I adore getting real mail. Most of them are from my beloved Melissa, who shares my passion (or at least pretends to ;)). It's great to have a way to display the beauty!

[sorry for the poor photos...just used my computer.]

Okay, loves, I'm off to the Trail of Lights! Yay for date nights!
And happy 3 months to my sweetie ♥

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Knit for a Cause: Success!

Our first Knit for a Cause event was a lot of fun! Thanks to everyone who came out :)  Of course, it's the busy holiday season, so I completely understand, those of you who couldn't make it ;)

We had newbies and veterans. Together we knit over a dozen 8" squares for Knit a Square, and I know some are still in the works! I just can't wait to bundle them up and send them off to South Africa!!

Our next one is tentatively January 12, 6:30-9:30pm. Hope to see you there!

[If you have a cause you'd like to suggest we knit for, please comment!]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Happening!

1. I've already jotted down a schedule to try out!

2. Wanna help? (kidding...sorta ;)) shop

3. Paintings that inspire me:

Marcelo Pambo (via artnet)

 Takashi Murakami (via Art Radar Asia)

4. Something like...

(via knitty - patterns: holla and surface)

5. I'd love something like these from Anthropologie

6. Craft Riot by Etsy Austin, definitely! Looking into others, too :)

7. Definitely would be more organized. (And I love organization.)

8. I'd been thinking about it, and then seeing this:

...put my over the edge. I'm doing it.
(work of Elsie at A Beautiful Mess)

9.This one is pretty:

10. It's started with my bestie, but not quite ready to be viewed yet ;-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Christmas Gift Tags!

I just made a page of free gift tags for you! I hope you like them :-) Just click here to download the PDF.

All I ask is that you leave a comment if you use them! You can even send me a photo if you'd like :) I'd definitely appreciate it. Thanks!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Deck the Halls

I had a lot of fun making pop-up christmas trees this week! I tested out some prototypes at work, then finalized the plans yesterday at home. They stand up a lot better now that I've removed the trunk, and I think they look even better.

Last week the hubby and I decorated our home for the holidays, too! The cardboard Christmas tree I made a couple years ago when I had no space for even the smallest 3D tree, and I still love it. Hubby and I made our cardboard wreath this year, and I think it's great. (Truth be told, Alex did the most work on it, but I made the pattern and helped with painting!) I know a lot of people prefer colored lights, but small, white lights are just so romantic, don't you think? :-)

Oh! If anyone wants a tutorial for the wreath, please let me know! I'd be glad to put one together if someone would use it :-) Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Panda embroidery

Okay, be honest: Tell me what you think.

This is my first attempt at designing an embroidery pattern, and really one of my first embroideries ever! Do you think I should add white?

PS: I kiiind of want to put it on everything.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I ♥ Pandas

As you may or may not know, I love pandas. They are definitely on the "favorite animals" list. I even drew one today!

And I started making an embroidery pattern for it, so you may see it soon in the shop! *yay*  Today I also made a wishlist of panda items on Etsy!

Panda belt by craftaddictions

 Panda bear by seventytwostitches

This darling "Girl with Panda Eggs" print by meowza

Nerdy panda pin and panda bums ring (and lots of other adorables!) by steppie

Panda bear vinyl sticker by HouseHoldWords

Hellow Panda tee by PivotalClothing

This adorable panda pouch by Happybee

Pretty panda button set by wickedmoxie

I hope you enjoy all my panda droolings! All the more reason to buy handmade, yes? ;)