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23 May 2010

At Last!

Nicola Anatoli Harmon finally made his appearance Friday at 12:12pm! He weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces, and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Stay tuned for the birth story...

17 May 2010

places we'll miss: Gate City Yarns

Last up: Gate City Yarns

Conveniently, it's right next door to Chakras, so whenever I'd get my hair done I'd stop by here too. I've only been knitting for about a year and a half, but at some point early on in my knitting career I stopped by this place for the first time and was instantly in love.

My first time going I mistakenly thought it was just a knitting store. But I was so wrong. They cover all of the fiber arts, so they have stuff for you if you knit, crochet, spin, weave, etc.

This is Reece, the sweetest dog I've ever met. He likes to hang out with all the fiber.

This place is full of eye-candy. And every time I go I have to restrain myself from buying the entire store (not that I could afford to).

And if you think wool is itchy, you need to go here and just FEEL everything. Oh my goodness, there are some heavenly textures in that place. I will never be able to go back to acrylic yarn.

I mean seriously, how can all those colors not inspire you?

I recently took a spinning wheel class here. It was SO MUCH FUN. It was hard, there's a lot going on while that wheel is spinning, but I'm excited to someday practice and hopefully make my own yarn! (Granted, it probably won't happen until we're retired.)

This is the wheel I used. I have the yarn I spun, hopefully once we're settled in Oklahoma I can prep it and knit a little something out of it.

And here is Tina, one of the owners. The other is a sweet man name Carl. They can answer any question you have, they are walking fiber encyclopedias. You can even bring in a project and get help. Not to mention all the classes offered, and craft nights held. And if you need a particular size or type of needles (or any other tool for a project), they have it (unlike the big box craft stores). So if you do any kind of fiber art, this is the place to go!

I'm seriously going to miss it. You will not believe how much yarn I've bought the past few months since we found out where we're going. I had to make sure I have what I need for the projects I've been planning for awhile......

Their website is here.

places we'll miss: Chakras

Next up: Chakras Spa

Chakras is where I get my hair done. Or rather, did. The people here know their stuff. We'd always watch What Not to Wear at my parent's house, and my sisters and I would moan about how we need our own Nick Arojo. Well, I found mine, his name is J Bulluck. And honestly, I think he's BETTER than Nick Arojo.

Anyway, so Chakras has a hair salon, but they also have a spa where you can get a massage or various other beauty treatments. And it's beautiful. I love re-vamped old buildings.

This fountain has always been Max's favorite thing there.

Perfectly lined up products make the OCD side of me very happy.

J, my stylist. Love him.

You can check out his website here.

places we'll miss: Saigon

Rob and I have made it no secret that Greensboro isn't our most favorite place in the world. Now don't get me wrong, we LOVE the people. It's the PHYSICAL attributes of Greensboro we don't like. For example, everything is so spread out it takes forever to get anywhere. BUT, there are still little gems within this place that we will miss. My original plan had been to go to every place we'll miss and take pictures, but then the reality of being pregnant and having a not-so-cooperative three year old necessitated whittling that list down to the top 3 places that make me cry to think about leaving. In fact, we love them so much they will be visited every trip we take back to Greensboro.

First up: Saigon restaurant.

Now, I went to school for Interior Architecture and had the importance of wayfinding and signage and curb appeal drilled into my head for 5 years. So I can honestly say I probably would have never come here to eat if it weren't for the fact that we know one of the owner/operators. And let me just say, the inside does not match the outside.

It looks kind of dumpy from the outside, but man oh man is the food to die for!

We don't really eat at restaurants that much, fast food has always been more in our budget if we were going to eat out. But every now and then we'd splurge and go to Saigon (in fact, if we were going to go out to eat, this is where you would find us 95% of the time).

And we almost never get appetizers, but here we just couldn't resist. We always get the fried and fresh spring roll plate (I prefer the fried, Rob prefers the fresh):


I can honestly say that the ones we prefer are because of the sauce. Rob really likes the peanut sauce that comes with the raw spring rolls, I really like the sauce that comes with the fried (I'm not sure what it is exactly).

And after eating there a couple times, I found "my" dish. It's the Vermicelli with Lemon Grass Beef. And I usually get extra vegetable with it. Mmm, I'm salivating right now. And unfortunately, I crave that dish, so once I found it I haven't had anything else.

I didn't take a picture of Rob's food, but I know he enjoyed it as well. He's much more adventurous than I am, and gets something different every time we go. And I can honestly say that I can't remember him ever being disappointed.

I also apologize for not getting a picture of the interior. Max was with us this trip, and 3 year olds and restaurants are not always the best mix, so I had my hands full trying to keep him occupied.

So, Saigon is the #1 restaurant we will miss in Greensboro. We will miss it so much that every time we come back to Greensboro to visit, you know where to find us for at least one meal.

And if you live in Greensboro and haven't been there yet, GO!!!!!!

projects for nicola: knitware

Because Nicola is a summer baby, I haven't knit much for him yet. Especially since I hear Oklahoma summers are really hot. I've been more concerned with making sure the stuff he'll use over the summer was done first, so I'm sure this summer I'll be knitting away at little hats and stuff for winter.

But I did make him some little shorts out of cotton yarn. I saw the pattern in a book and about died. They took me forever to make, I flew through the first half, then had a lot of trouble concentrating enough to finish the last half. They're also one of the more complicated things I've made so far (I've only been knitting a year and a half). I thought I had followed the pattern exactly, but once I was done realized I'd messed up at some point: the holes for the drawstring are on the side instead of in the front:
I still think they're cute though. And I can't wait to see some chubby baby legs in them!

And last minute I decided he needed a hat to wear home from the hospital, so I whipped this one up to go with his going home outfit:
I just hope it fits him. Max had (and still does...) a ginormous head, so all the hats I had for him didn't fit.

projects for nicola: applique

Like probably everyone else, I've seen applique onesies all over the internet for awhile now. I joined the bandwagon and made some for my baby too.

I bought these fabrics as part of a fat quarter set, with no purpose in mind. I just really liked them and figured I'd find a use for them someday. Well, I did. Because the fabric is ocean-themed, and my in-laws run an aquarium business, I figured it was appropriate to do sea creatures.

So we have:

a horseshoe crab

a starfish

a crab

a squid

and my favorite: an octopus

For those that are curious: I created my own templates for these, I didn't get them off the internet anywhere. One night I sat down and sketched them out on notebook paper while watching a movie, then cut them out and that was that. The fabric is attached with iron-on transfers, then I hand embroidered around the edges as a precaution since most of them have little skinny pieces that will probably start to peel up as they get washed over and over.

projects for nicola: his quilt

One of the few things I managed to make for Max was a quilt. So of course Nicola gets one too. It took me longer than I thought to figure out what exactly I wanted to do this time around. I knew I wanted it to be different than your typical baby quilt. And colorful. So I was really excited when I found the fabrics at IKEA. But then I still had to figure out what it would look like. Then I remembered seeing this quilt. That she just happens to sell the pattern for! The story and symbology of the quilt are awesome, so I'm sure I'll make one someday that really showcases the pluses. But for this one, I wanted one that was "busy" (for lack of a better word). And the wonky plus signs with the crazy patterns make my heart happy. It turned out so fun, now I can't wait to see it in use!

For those that don't know, my mom is a long-arm quilter, so she quilted it for me. I saw some trucks in one of her books and told her that's what I wanted... she does it all completely free-hand (doesn't follow templates) and is simply AMAZING, so her little trucks and cars are EXACTLY what I was hoping for. (I'm sorry they're hard to see in these pictures) If you need anything quilted, call up my mom!!

I love the back just as much as the front. Those colorful stripes are awesome.

A close up of the little vehicles.

projects for nicola: tie-dye

I love handmade things. SO much. And unfortunately for Max, I wasn't able to make much for him when he was a baby because I was in school. But this time around I have more time for that sort of stuff so I was determined to make things for this baby.

So, the first project I'm sharing with you are the tie-dye onesies my sister-in-law Amber and I made. She studied tie-dye for her senior project so I asked her if she'd be willing to do this with me. Lucky for me she said yes! (I must confess, there is some hippie in me. Tie-dye and moccasins make me happy.) Now, Amber is a MASTER at this tying thing. She tied all the spirals and v's and circles. Basically, all the really cool stuff. My claim to fame are what I call the "octopuses" and accordion fold. You know, the easy stuff. But while the tying is not my forte, I LOVED the dying part. Color makes me happy too, and the "unknown" of tie-dying is so exciting. I think the true masters of the craft know what happens when you put the dye in what places, but for me it was all a mystery. So when it came time to untie them and rinse them out it was like Christmas morning!

Anyway, here are the results:

We made 3 different sizes so hopefully he'll have tie-dye all through the summer.

We did a couple experimental ones: for this one Amber tried to get a smiley face. Can you see it? I think it would've turned out perfect if it weren't for the fact the black dye bottle kept getting clogged, making the stream a little unpredictable.

Here's the other experiment: I just balled up the onesie and put rubber bands around it. I LOVE how it turned out.

So I absolutely love all of them, but this one is probably my favorite out of them all. It just looks SO cool.

My "octopus" tie

And then we made a few for Rob. One, because he's shrinking so most of his shirts are now baggy on him. And two, so all three of my boys have tie-dye shirts (Amber made Max a bunch as part of her senior project and they were big enough he can still wear them).
Another "octopus" tie

Unfortunately I took the pictures late enough that the colors don't pop as much as they do in life, but this one is my favorite. It looks AMAZING.

I still can't believe how much fun it was to do this. And people, I am trying to convince Amber she needs to start making and selling tie-dye stuff. I mean, did you see those spirals? Uh-mazing. So if you think she should too, leave her a comment saying so. I don't think she believes me.

And that concludes the tie-dye project. Stay tuned for more!