Everyone has something that takes their breath away...  For me?  It's definitely music.

There is nothing like one of those songs that forces you to close your eyes and breathe it in - one of those fill-every-crevasse-in-your-soul kind of tunes.  

Don't try and pretend you don't understand what I mean - it's the same feeling that makes you wish your life had a soundtrack!

Some musicians are super snobby about it (in the "Classical is the only REAL music" kind of way...) but I am happy to report I do not segregate...

Anyway!!  It's not really a surprise that one of my favorite images is this one:
(Now hanging in my kitchen) this is a poster of the cathedral in Köln, Germany, by Geoffry Wharton.  (Cologne, Germany for those of you playing the [American] home game...)

I actually got the poster in Germany (literally, on the street next to the cathedral) when I was there wayyyyy back in high school.  (Yikes!  Was that really 8 years ago??)

Here's a photo of the front of the cathedral from here:
Geoffry did a pretty darn good job didn't he??

The best part about his rendering?

It's made entirely of music!!  Its an actual full-orchestra composition!!!  (Although I have no idea if anyone has ever played it or if it would even sound remotely pretty... but I sure love the look of it!)
Just love it....

Anyone else have some music-inspired artwork?  Or want to help me make some?  There's a little empty wall around my piano that could use some flair... ;)
This project has been a long time coming - I try my very hardest to conserve plastic bags by bringing my own when I go shopping, but there's still that little pang of guilt every time I rip off one of those flimsy produce bags for my fruit and veggies.  (And the pang is definitely more than "little" when I walk away from a farmers' market with plastic bags INSIDE my reusable shopping bag!)

I knew there was a solution: make something small with a drawstring to bring with me!  

The challenge: make it lightweight enough so that I can use it at a grocery store without worrying when buying per-pound items...

The end product:
I absolutely love them!!  And they were super easy to make!

I've put together a little tutorial for them here - it was as easy as cut a rectangle, sew 3 seams, thread a drawstring.  Done and DONE!

Here's a photo sans fruit:
I used tulle because it was the most lightweight fabric I could think of and it has the added bonus of being nylon (i.e. super easy to clean if something spills, fruit gets juicy, etc. and it won't promote mold growth like cotton would).  PLUS I found it in a shimmery lime green!

I will admit, that the tulle was a little bit of a pain to sew (for those of you who have never had the pleasure, it stretches weird and bunches under your stitches if you aren't careful.  But who am I kidding?  This is a practical project and a crooked seam here or there isn't going to kill me... I still stand by that they were easy and totally worth it.

Now, for the real test - how do they compare to your everyday plastic produce bags? 
EXACTLY THE SAME!!!  (0.05 oz for those of you playing the home game...)

I was thrilled - oh, happy accident...

No more wasteful plastic bags, no more fighting to untie that stupid little plastic knot when I get home (resulting in a frustrated ripping of the entire bag, usually spraying my produce across the floor), and no more pangs of guilt!!!

P.S. Thanks to Kitty for letting us share our ideas!!

A Law Student's Journey
My dear friend Jen (aka. my dance teacher)'s daughter, Rozalyn, had her 1st birthday party this past weekend!

This called for a VERY special made-with-love gift on my part (would you expect anything less??).

After much contemplation, I stumbled across this tutorial for a growth chart.  (Although I will say I like the flair I added to mine a little better...)

I'll stop talking now and just show you the pictures, ok?
I absolutely love how it came out... Basically?  It's jute webbing (yes, the same stuff you use when upholstering furniture...), added a match red grommet at the top to hang by, added her name, numbered the feet and tick-marks for the inches, and then some ladybug and heart bling - just perfect for the little peanut!  

The jar is full of red and white key tags paired with large safety pins - as the grows ("soooooo biiiig!!!" as my mom would say to me), you (err... her mom, dad, grandparents... point is... SOMEONE!) just has to write the date on the key tag and pin it at her height on the webbing!

Adorable, yes??  Added bonus: you can repaint your walls or move to a new house without fear of losing pencil marks on the wall!  It's totally portable!  :) 

Adorable, yes??  Added bonus: you can repaint your walls or move to a new house without fear of losing pencil marks on the wall!  It's totally portable!  :) 

I realize that Rozalyn might not have full appreciation for tracking her size at this point in her life...  So, given the rhinestone ladybugs, I was inspired to make her something soft and cuddly to go with it.  :)

(Considering I completely made this up as I went, it looks pretty good, eh?!)

It's ALMOST as cute as she is...
Ok, maybe not even close... she's beyond cute... <3

(Here she is clearly explaining to me that the frosting on her thumb is for me... she doesn't take "no" for an answer either... juuuuust like her mother...)  :)

So much fun - can't wait for her next birthday!!  :)
For those of you who have not had the privilege of meeting the lovely Bernadine, let me introduce you:
Unfortunately, last night, someone decided to take a rock to the front-passenger side window...
Dear @#$%^&*, 
The next time you want to break into my car with a rock, please at least learn how to aim.  Missing the window and hitting the door frame makes you look like an idiot.  And leaves a nasty blemish on my little girl.
Love, Ali

Looking for a little humor in the circumstances?
Ohhhhhhh the irony.....

(For those of you less gifted with backwards text, this little sticker says "Security System and Immobilizer Anti-Theft System.")

I found it on the front seat amidst the other shattered glass.  My car was not secure and my thief was not immobilized as I had been hoping.  Damn.
Moving an entire apartment can be a little bit of an undertaking (note: this is a HUGE underSTATEMENT!)

That being said, please don't judge me for leaving a corner of my bedroom piled with a few bags/boxes (mostly of yarn actually) and a stack of pictures waiting to be hung up.

First, let's start with the yarn - I crammed what I could into the empty shelf in my bookcase:
The rest I left in a box (ie. my Tinkerbell tote - Katie knows what I mean...) and put it in the closet with my other crafting goodies.

Then it was time to decorate the walls a bit!

A few favorite photo memories over the dresser
And finally, my black-and-white-photo corner!

I saw this poster a while back and just had to have it.  I have a thing for black and white (I'm sure you can tell by my bedding and the rest of the furniture in my room!).

Plus, she just looks sooooo elegant and beautiful... siiiigh....

The other two photos?  

My all time favorite, of course!  The oh-so-famous Charles C. Ebbets photo,  Lunch Atop a Skyscraper!  

And then a parody made using women... :)

I also threw together a set of shear panel curtains to add some femininity to the very boxy window that is smack dab in the middle of my outside wall!
Adorable, yes???  

Don't give me too much credit - I got them at Target but they were a little long (ie. I don't want them to burn come November when I turn the baseboard heaters on) so I just did a little hemming (at the top believe it or not!), which not only shortened them but also gave a cute little ruffle along the top!

And that's it for now!  I have plans for the remaining empty walls (I realize that now it might actually look a little lop-sided but just trust me for a little bit) - you will be kept in the loop, of course!
Holy cow!  What happened to this last week?!  (Not to mention, the one before that!)

It's safe to say that my last two weeks have been quite busy - I'm happy to report that I've been able to make *some* progress with my research but unfortunately I have been severely neglecting crafting, cooking, etc.  This must change!

(I will also mention that SOMEONE *cough*cough*Sarabeth* got me hooked on Prison Break, which basically dominated my free time because I just HAD to know what was going to happen next!!!  Happy to report, I've finished the series and can now go back to my real life.)  (Although if any of you are looking for something to fill your time, I highly recommend it...)

Anyways!  The upcoming weeks promise to be filled with report writing, back-to-back experiments, studying for my qualifier, TA training (GROSS!), and getting ready for classes to start!

Although I will be sure to take a few breaks and hopefully come up with something post-worthy so as to not neglect you all again... :)

And with that? I leave you with one of my favorite comics....