8 Months in 1 Post


Yikes! Where has the time gone?

The last 8 months flew by. You may be wondering:

Where did Lisa go? What has she been up to? She looks rough! Is she getting enough sleep? Are those grey hairs I see?*

Last you heard from me was in January when Nick and I completed my lovely secretary.

Later that month we joined his parents and brother in Florida for a much needed nice, sunny vacation. While on the trip, I started crocheting a basket to hold all of my knitting/crochet supplies, so they wouldn’t be strewn about my new desk and spent most of February working at it in front of the TV while we binge watched Netflix’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil and caught up on the latest season of The Walking Dead.


Once that was complete I acquired, Kristina McGowan’s Modern Top-Down Knitting and More Modern Top-Down Knitting, both of which are full of lovely patterns for skirts, dresses and more. I immediately fell in love with one of the dresses, knitted up some swatches using Lion Brand’s Microspun and cast-on with the pretty blue you see below. About a month into it I discovered that the yarn I was using had been discontinued and I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. After moping for a a few days, I remembered that I have lots of the same yarn in lavender, black, and lime green.** So I frogged (ripped out for you non-knitters) very carefully and convinced myself it would look good as a two-tone black and blue dress. It has yet to be completed, so we’ll see in a month or two.


By then it was May and time to put the fiber projects away, turn off the TV and enjoy the great outdoors.

In anticipation of lots of summer road trips, I replaced the radio in my car, which had been broken for ages. I purchased a kit from Crutchfield, watched a YouTube video on how to install a radio and got to work.

Now, not only do I have the radio/CD combo of yore, I also have a fancy USB jack and an aux input for my phone. It’s almost like I got a brand new car!


May and June were filled with yard clean up, planting and a visit from Nick’s folks!


July was filled with bbq’s at my folks, a tubing trip, adventures in Cincinnati, OH/Louisville, KY with our dear friend, J and her dogs, and a concert featuring 2 bands I absolutely loved in high school, plus lots of delicious vegan food.


August featured me pining over beach time during my work breaks, a visit from my parents, pinatas, awesome birthday gifts from friends and loved ones and lots of trips around the neighborhood and/or Lake Park to collect Pokemon!***


It also was the month I finally decided to replace our couch cushions with thicker cushions and nicer fabric for all the TV watching I’m planning on doing this fall/winter.****20160813_123654-collage

In September I pulled out the crochet hooks and started to work on a rug that matches our couch so the dogs have an extra warm spot to lie down this winter.20160910_132755-collage

I also ran my first 5K in a long time (and beat my time). Our Monkey had surgery to remove some tumors, which was successful! I purchased some bass gear from my brother in the hopes of starting a new band here in Milwaukee. We saw Belly in Chicago, went to the Milwaukee Maker Faire, ran along the lake, started our annual horror movie marathon and started getting our house ready for Halloween, phew!img_20160905_210654-collage

Oh! I also started baking again and canning lots of food I’ve been making from everything we’ve harvested from our yard.img_20160924_185122-collage

And of course through it all we had to throw some dog time in there, too!


It’s been a helluva year! I’m looking forward to fall/winter when I typically spend less time on the go and more time at home working on projects.

I’ll keep you all updated on rug and dress progress*****. In the meantime enjoy the lovely fall weather, because winter is coming…

Winter is coming

*around, stuff, yes, sometimes, and yes. In fact the very first photo was taken at a Dunkin Donuts after I signed away a paycheck to get my shocks and struts replaced. I think I got a dozen new grey hairs that day while I sat there waiting for about 5 hours with my book and my coffee.

**I went through a phase were I thought I would be knitting lots of little green men. X-Files anyone?

***Go, team Instinct, go!

****Our butts no longer hit a hard surface immediately upon sitting, hooray!

*****All 3 of you ;-)

Rekindling My Love of Photography via Boots

Whatcha doing mom?

Whatcha doing mom?

Uploading lots and lots of pictures, baby girl!

I’ve been picking my camera up a lot more lately. Like with every other hobby I have, I go through phases and spring and summer tend to mean more photos. There’s just something about sunny days and green trees that makes me want to capture moments, people and things.

This was the shot that inspired me to start taking pictures regularly again. It’s the first picture I’ve taken that I really, really like in a while.


Boots – Hammond, IN 2014

It’s a shot of my band, Boots (in which I play keyboard), wearing our boots outside of a punk house in Hammond, IN where we did some of our recording. Hopefully it will end up on the insert of our demo tape. My favorite thing about it is that it captures all of our personalities to a T and if you know us, it’s pretty easy to pick out who’s who.

We’re playing our second show and recording vocals for our demo tape next week! The ladies in the band are strong, smart and inspiring and I can’t wait to spend more time hanging out with them and playing shows this summer!

Throwback Thursday – Watkins Glen, NY

Last October Nick turned 40, so we packed the dogs up in the car, drove to Buffalo to pick up Nick’s family and spent a few days down in Watkins Glen, NY. We visited Farm Sanctuary; hung out together at the 3 bedroom house we rented that had a gigantic yard, which the dogs had a ton of fun running around in/exploring and we put together a giant puzzle. Here are some of the highlights from that trip.

 – Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, NY – 




Nick feeding the turkeys

Nick feeding the turkeys

Cabins for Farm Sanctuary's overnight guests

Cabins for Farm Sanctuary’s overnight guests


– Puppies Running Free in Watkins Glen, NY –






Monkey Face Progress

For those who don’t know, my beloved Ian MacKaynine is also known as “Monkey Face” or just “Monkey” around these parts.

Here’s where hours of watching Dexter and Scrubs have gotten me:


It’s starting to look less like a strange map and more like his face now that the eye is being defined. Nick keeps teasing that at this rate I won’t be done with this until April. I’m determined to prove him wrong.

Wish me luck! I still have 3 seasons of Dexter, 4 seasons of Scrubs and at least 2 more months of the kind of weather that makes me want to stay indoors 24/7 ahead of me. Plus, rumor has it Polar Vortex Part III is supposed to be heading our way in the near future.

Why do I live in the Midwest again?

Let it Snow

As much as I hate the ice snow eventually melts into, I love the calm, quiet beauty after it’s just snowed and those cold snowy days give me an excuse to stay indoors and work on crafts! Lucky for me we’ve had a snowy December in Chicago.

Life has been a little nutty lately thanks to the upcoming holidays, but I’ve managed to finish a few projects I had in the works and start some new ones that I’m pretty excited about.

Here’s some of what I’ve been working on lately:


Sitting on my little wooden chair at my sewing machine for hours can get a little uncomfortable, so I bought some teal fabric to match the craft room’s accent wall and made myself the cushion/pillow you see above, so I can either sit on it or use it for back support depending on what I’m working on.

I made the blanket draped over the back of the chair back in early November at one of The Needle Shop’s mitered blanket classes. It’s baby blanket size, but since I wasn’t completely happy with my top stitching on it, I decided to keep it as a lap blanket for myself when I sit in the craft room since it can get pretty chilly in there, rather than having other people see my botched work. It just so happens that the fabrics in the blanket match my accent wall AND pillow and the little elephants just make me smile every time I see them. Next I’m planning on making some placemats to practice my new mitering skills.

Mitered Blanket

Here’s a shot of the blanket I took, right after completing it in class!

We’ve been dropping into negative temperatures a lot lately, so I recently bought myself these fabrics from The Needle Shop to turn into blouses and shorts for the spring/summer, as a reminder that after this weekend the days will start to get longer and warmth and sunshine are just around the corner.


Finally, since I love stitching AND photography, I recently decided to purchase WinStitch so I can turn my photos into cross-stitch patterns. First up, I’ll be stitching up this adorable picture of my dog, Ian MacKaynine.

ian pillow

I’m on the fence as to whether I should turn it into a throw pillow or frame it and hang it up somewhere – it all depends on how much time I end up putting into it and what the finished product looks like.

We’re supposed to get a big snowstorm in Chicago this weekend, so hopefully I can use it as an excuse to stitch to my heart’s content.

Hope everyone has a Happy Solstice!


Sew, Lisa, Sew

Something about fall makes me nostalgic for school, so in addition to my drawing classes, I’ve been taking a sewing class once a month at The Needle Shop to work on my skills and use up some of my fabric stash.

So far I’ve had a review sesh on how to make a pillow and I’ve learned how to make a tote bag!

My dogs, Ian and Harlow, love a comfy pillow to rest their heads on, so I made this one just for them using Peter Horjus’ Doglandia fabric in Ruff Bunch Brown.


Here they are, resting their cute little heads.


– Ian –


– Harlow –

A few years ago I fell in love with this owl fabric and bought it intending to make a messenger bag, which I never got around to, since I wasn’t sure what I was doing. It’s canvas, so it’s a great heavy duty tote bag for someone like me who’s always lugging books around and the fabric is adorable. Can’t wait to make another one!


I have some more projects in the works, so check back soon for updates!