Warby Parker Fridays, Pierce.

Today I’m going to the eye doctor to renew my prescription. I’m not a huge fan of eye doctors, they creep me out. I’ve always been uncomfortable with ophthalmologists and dentists in general, I don’t like strangers being that close to my face. Once I get this over with I can order some glasses online and be merry. It’s all worth it in the end.

Pierce in Greystone




So… what do ya think?

I liked these glasses, although I don’t think they work for my face. They’re very angular, which I love, but I think I need a softer edged frame. Warby Parker is very hit or miss for me, I find that I love a frame so much I forget about my face. Whenever I go to any other eyewear shop I’m very specific with which frames I know will suit my face. Something about WP makes me wanna be wild and try them all. Its an addiction.

Fun with Warby Parker
June 7th | Sloan
June 14 | Roosevelt
June 21 | Madison
June 28 | O’Brien
July 5 | Pierce

&

2010 | HTO I
2011 | HTO II

See you next week!

xo,
Ana

Harley Quinn, The Worst/Best Thing Ever.

Several months ago I was approached on Etsy with a request I couldn’t turn down. My style of crochet is fairly simplistic, I stay within my little 8-bit world and my black backgrounds. Occasionally folks ask me to do some pretty crazy things, portraits, PlayStation level graphics game throws, blankets with dozens of conflicting elements and characters, Harley Quinn… hmm. Usually I give the same response, I explain the simplistic nature of my skills and how difficult it is for me to branch outside my 8-bit universe. Something seemed fun about taking on Harley though, so I foolishly took the challenge.



I took this order in the midst of my busy season, this being my first year with a fully stocked store and steady business, I didn’t know that my busy season wasn’t over yet. Last time I put up a few items that sold out for Christmas, then it was over. I had a week long lull after the holidays and then out of nowhere a completely new surge of orders, among those was Harley Quinn. I wasn’t prepared to keep working through to the Summer, I hadn’t even started my many wedding crafts that I have planned (still haven’t). The closer I got on my order list to Harley, the more stressed I became. I asked my customer if it was ok to finish all my other work before concentrating on Harley, this way it had my full attention and was executed correctly. She sent me the most encouraging emails throughout this difficult process. At times I literally sat staring blankly at my computer and sketch book tearing up and having panic attacks. I had no idea what I got myself into. I even went as far as to purchase a cross stitch pattern, boy was that a dumb idea… complete gibberish. I was ready to throw in the towel, what kept me motivated was this amazingly understanding customer of mine, who if she didn’t live states away I would hug. If I had any other type of customer, perhaps one that wasn’t caring and treated me like a crochet monkey and sent me impatient emails (I get tons of those) I would have quit. I’m glad this wasn’t the case.

Terrence saw how stressed I was and made computer magic happen, he did something in my photo editing program that turned this image into a 16-bit one.

After that I was able to hit my stride, it took me over a week to do the sketch. My 8-bit sketches usually takes me a day or two, if I procrastinate. Hunched over the laptop, sharpening my pencil down to a nub, I went to bed each night cross-eyed and achy. But this was the fun part, I was enjoying the process. I received a ton of encouragement from Terrence, my mom (always) and my girlfriends. Once I started the actual crocheting part it was a breeze, it took me about 3 weeks to complete stitching Harley. I worked quickly and excitedly each day, knowing that I was creating something for an awesome person only made the work more rewarding.

I see many flaws in this blanket, I’m my own worst critic, I’ve been told I’m an idiot. I showed my brother the pictures and he immediately requested a Wolverine blanket, I promptly said no**. I got a bunch of compliments from friends, but none of the feedback I received was as heartwarming as the email I got from my customer.

Our window to leave feedback on etsy expired, so we couldn’t officially tell the etsy world of our experience with each other. I tried emailing etsy to give it back so I could exclaim my adoration for my new favorite customer, they shot me down… mean. I made her these gratitude gifts on the Sunday before I shipped her package. I love it when I have time to make gifts for customers, I haven’t been able to do it in months.

I originally had no plans to add Harley Quinn to my shop, but after the adventure we had together I’m thinking about it. It would be a shame to waste all that work. What do you guys think?

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*More pictures can be found, here.

**I’m currently not accepting requests for custom blankets. I really have to start those wedding crafts, only 2 months left to make the bouquets, boutineers and decorations. Oy.

A Few Things I love


I really have to go out and buy this weeks New Yorker, its the best.


Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, TN. It’s actually been temporarily closed, which honestly makes it more appealing to me.


I’ve been coveting Ashley Goldberg‘s prints on etsy for a while, I can’t wait to fill my walls with some of her art.


This photo of the ladies from Girls that’s been floating around on Tumblr and Pinterest. It’s so pretty and I want all those dresses.


I really love cicadas… you just don’t understand. I envy the people that shot this video. Thank you to The New York Times for making my day.

Year Four, Month Six. (42/192)

Three very important albums came out in March, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, Phosphorescent’s Muchacho and The Strokes’ Comedown Machine. To be honest, The Strokes album was a grower for me. Some songs had an immediate impact, but the rest took some time, mostly because I felt the album was all over the place. Phosphorescent’s new album is beautiful, I fell in love with it immediately and just wanted to sit in the dark with it on repeat for hours. What stopped me from listening to Muchacho on repeat or having the time to immediately let Comedown Machine sink in… The 20/20 Experience occupied my life for several weeks, I didn’t have time for anything else. If you got into my car in the Springtime, odds are JT was playing on repeat. I apologized, no one took offense.

I lost my iPod in May… if I find it I bet JT will be queued up.

Justin Timberlake, Let the Groove Get In

I actually listened to this song so much, that I made myself sick of it. I hadn’t played Let the Groove Get In in several weeks, today being my first time since retiring it. The time apart was good, now I’m into it all over again. I love it so much!

Other notable songs,
Phosphorescent, Song for Zula
The Strokes, One Way Trigger
Justin Timberlake, Dress On

Riley’s soundtrack, Year 4.
October | Anything Could Happen
November | Wrath of God
December | Sheila
January | San Francisco
February | Sacrilege
March | Let the Groove Get In

Kiss the day goodbye…

I stayed up until nearly 3am last night sifting through all of my saved items on Google Reader before it officially powers down tomorrow. If any of you follow me on pinterest… I’m sorry for the crazy amount of activity.

I’m really bummed that Google is closing down Reader, I’ve been using it around 7 years, I’m invested. Like other blog hoarders out there I’m searching out a Reader alternative, I’ve been toying with Feedly, Bloglovin and Digg Reader. I haven’t exactly decided on one yet. I know Google gave us 3 months to ween off… but I’m a stubborn person when it comes to change. I’d been attempting to use Feedly since Google made their announcement, but a few things about it bother me. The biggest thing, its not Reader.

So far I think its going to come down to Digg or Feedly, Bloglovin leans more towards a social networking angle on RSS, I don’t really care to get into all that. I might give AOL’s Reader substitute a chance at some point. I’m basically going to import my Google stuff to as many different places as I can before tomorrow. I’m still hoping that Google Reader will come back, I’m guessing blogs are going to be that ex-girlfriend they just can’t walk away from.

I know… I was a terrible ex-girlfriend too. Ok, I guess I’ll have to decide between one of those faux Readers. Sigh.

 

So which Google Reader substitute have you decided on?

Warby Parker Fridays, O’Brien Style

This week I thought we’d take a break from my tired old face to bring you my handsome husband-to-be, Terrence, modeling his very first try-ons. Terrence has always been a bigger fan of metal, so when Warby Parker introduced metal frames to the usual line up, he began to come around. He even got a couple of plastic frames in his set of 5.

The last time Terrence* updated his frames was 2006, we got our glasses at Selima Optique. Since then I’ve since gotten 2 more from them and 1 from WP. I love to buy new glasses, but Terrence is a little less eager to change something that he feels is working. Even though he’s shopping around now, he still intends to update his old Mykita’s with new lenses. Maybe my frames addiction will wear off on him.

Terrence in his Mykita frames, its love.

***

Crane in Whiskey Tortoise

***

Edison in Brushed Ink

***

Reynold in Revolver Black

***

Greeley in Brushed Granite

***

Chapman in Brushed Ink

So… what do ya think?

I was a big fan of the Crane, I also liked the Greeley. Terrence was into the Edison and the Crane only, he really didn’t like the other three. After asking his sister and a few friends for their opinions it seemed pretty unanimous for the Crane’s. Terrence still prefers the Edison’s but he trusts us. He plans on buying them after he visits the eye doctor in a few weeks. I’m pretty excited. I’d never seen him in plastic frames (aside from when I put my glasses on him and tell him he’s pretty), I think they look nice on him. Hopefully he’ll eventually agree with us.

Fun with Warby Parker
June 7th | Sloan
June 14 | Roosevelt
June 21 | Madison
June 28 | O’Brien Style

&

2010 | HTO I
2011 | HTO II

Three cheers for the winners!

See you next week!

xo,
Ana & Terrence

*Terrence was super sleepy when we did our photo shoot, he also hates having his picture taken… so forgive him his droopy/irritated expression. He tried.

Bully Inn

I wasn’t in a big rush to add a new dog to our family since losing Dutch, but in the last 14 months we’ve housed 3 strays… and Terrence has wanted every one of them. Unfortunately for him, along with the help of our amazing friends, we have found a loving home for each stray that’s come through our door. This isn’t one of them, this is Queen Sizzle, she belongs to my brother Paul.

Whenever I’d attempt to open my heart to one of our strays something in me shut down, I couldn’t do it. I’ve developed quite a reputation for being the witch that won’t let Terrence have a puppy. For a while I was convinced that I’d never get over Dutch and be able to have another dog. That is until Paul asked us to watch his puppy, Queen Sizzle, two months ago. I seriously didn’t want to give her back. Sure she was annoying and I had a few complaints about her lack of training. Her most obvious flaw being that she wasn’t accustomed to going for walks and as a result would keep me walking around my neighborhood for several hours a day with no finale. But what she lacked in training she made up for in good behavior and personality, so we threatened to keep her captive anyway– she was adorable.

Somehow my brother is trusting us again to watch his girl while he and his family are off on vacation. Terrence is already plotting to keep her and I’ve been spoiling her rotten. Thankfully Paul listened to my advice since her last visit with us and she’s learned all about being walked and what’s supposed to happen. She’s still rusty on her commands, but those are easy to correct. I’m hoping to teach her to lay down before our week is up. Yes, our time will come to an end. I don’t actually want to keep my brothers dog, sure it would be nice, but my nephew and nieces love her too much. I mean c’mon, they gave her this regal title to carry along.

Queen Sizzle has awoken something in me, she makes me want my own pup. She also makes a few of our friends want one as well, the ladies got charisma. Dogs like Sizzle are great for pit bulls, I wish every skeptic could know a bully like her. Dutch had that same charisma, he turned a lot of skeptics in his day. Currently we’re waiting until after all the commotion with the wedding, my holiday rush of orders and Terrence’s tech traveling season to end before we seek out our own puppy. Although we’re getting more and more impatient, we know it would only be fair to our future dog. In the meantime, her highness over here is welcome whenever she wants.

In hiding.

Penny has not come out of the bedroom in weeks. Sure she comes out to eat, drink… expel. Oh and lets not forget when she runs into the living room to shred the furniture… before running back into the bedroom, her daily cardio. She just doesn’t hang out anymore. She used to lay nearby all the time, now I can never find her. Penny’s really been into hiding in my hamper, under the bed and in her carrier. Unless shes in the bedroom window stalking her least favorite squirrel. I almost feel bad installing the air conditioner on her, which is why I’ve barely slept what with all the tossing and turning due to overheating. The above picture was taken yesterday when I had my camera within arms reach of Penny pleading for attention.

Just for fun I added a second photo, Penny after we came home from the Mets game a few weeks ago… the things she lets me do to her.

Yarn for breakfast

Sometimes its fun to take a break from blankets and focus on making adorable little friends. Folks often ask me to make them blankets, so this is their consolation prize. I know it doesn’t compare, but I don’t always have the time to make blankets for friends and family, these little guys just take me a few short hours. I’m sure to a more skilled crocheter could knock them out quicker, but I find working with tiny hooks and reading patterns challenging.

I’d made both of these before for different people, on separate occasions, but I thought they’d make good mates. Oddly enough my coffee mug is getting better, but my doughnut might be getting worse… I don’t know. You be the judge…

This time around I may have thought I was a skilled professional, and didn’t read the instructions as carefully as I did the first time I made the doughnut, the mug however, it had been a few months so I actually read those pretty carefully. I don’t think either are perfectly executed yet, I still need some practice wielding my tiny hook and reading patterns.

If you want to make these yourself, here are my pattern sources… sleepy mug and doughnut card.

The next time I attempt the mug I’m going to make it larger, I’ll try my hand at writing up a pattern and share it here when I do.

Happy crafting!
xo,
Ana

Warby Parker Fridays, Pt. 3

Happy Summer, y’all! Ok, now that the sun is in full effect I REALLY need to get some sunglasses. I only tested one pair during my last try-on, I have to check out a few more to make my final decision. It’s hard being blind in the summer months, prescription sunglasses are crazy expensive. Thank goodness for companies like Bonlook and Warby Parker. Its like this whole new world to me, I no longer have to wear a pair of non-prescriptions over my regular glasses or spend over $200. Well… once I find a suitable pair that is.

Madison Sunglasses in Rum Cherry

So… what do ya think?

Again, I love the color… I’m a huge Rum Cherry fan. I thought the frames were slightly large for my face, but I kind of liked them. I still wanna try a few more. I’m really into the new Ocean Avenue Collection, but they don’t send those home. I have to make my way to the new Warby Parker store on Lafayette St. soon before they’re all gone. I’ve been dying to have an excuse to go anyway.

A lot of low cost yet fashionable online glasses shops are popping up all over, its nice, but what makes Warby Parker the best (to me) are the home try-ons. Who wants to invest in a pair of glasses that you can’t test out first? I know most of these online shops have the virtual try-on option, but I can’t deal with it, I find it so useless. Plus, this is so much fun.

Fun with Warby Parker
June 7th | Sloan
June 14 | Roosevelt
June 21 | Madison

&

2010 | HTO I
2011 | HTO II

See you next week!

xo,
Ana