How sweet it is…

So as I said earlier my oldest niece, Nina Rayne, turned sweet 16 a few weeks ago. I was 12 when Nina was born, if it weren’t for her you guys would know nothing about me, or my silly little blankets. I asked my mother to teach me how to crochet just so I could make things for Nina, I made her two blankets in her first year and a few ugly hats. When she turned 12 she asked my mother to teach her how to crochet, its how we bond.

This is my beautiful niece with my her father/my brother, Christopher.

I was still young when Nina was born, I often felt more like her big sister than her aunt. My brother lived below us in a small 3 family building until Nina was 5 or 6, we grew up a little together… so sometimes I hated her, I was definitely jealous of her, but most of the time I loved her– just like a big sister/aunt should. Once I was in high school, around when Nina was 3, was when I really began to love hanging out with her. I became overwhelmed with this feeling that I had to instill some old fashioned values in her. I’d steal her away to my room and we’d listen to quality music and watch old tv and movies together. I used to think she was the coolest little kid because she knew all the words to The Partridge Family theme song, Come on Get Happy. I used to put the song on and make her sing it for my friends to show off how awesome I was making her. She’d teach me all about her Furby and I’d teach her all about Alf, it was a fair exchange.

I’m not sure if my attempts to shape her young mind stuck, but she’s still pretty awesome. I got a bit tipsy at her sweet 16, the nostalgia was too much for me. Its weird to see her all grown up. I sort of feel like I blinked and missed all of it.

I still have her Furby, I stole it once she grew tired of it, it sits on my bedside table.

xo,
Ana

Warby Parker Fridays, Holt.

Yes, I’m still here. I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks, that I will eventually (hopefully) find time to write about. My nieces sweet 16 was two Fridays ago and I had to get pretty and party hard. Last week we were running around preparing for my bridal shower, and then hosting and recovering from it. I learned why most brides have nothing to do with shower planning, who needs that added run around. This wedding stuff is becoming more and more stressful… and scary. But, back to business– HOLT!

I got the Holt frames as my second attempt at wearing blue frames down the aisle, I enjoyed the fade from navy to a light blue.

Holt in Blue Slate Fade

So… what do ya think?

I liked me some Holt, but they just weren’t right for the aisle. Slightly too large for my face, or so everyone kept telling me. Feel free to disagree. The Holt’s were my last pair in my try-on box, but don’t you worry… I have one or more (maybe) surprises in store from Warby Parker.

Fun with Warby Parker
June 7th | Sloan
June 14 | Roosevelt
June 21 | Madison
June 28 | O’Brien
July 5 | Pierce
July 26 | Holt

&

2010 | HTO I
2011 | HTO II

See you next week (or the week after, who am I kidding at this point)!

xo,
Ana

Year Four, Month Seven. (43/192)

When I first heard this song I got so excited. It was immediately decided that it would be our Summer anthem… sadly at this point I may be a little over it, but it’ll come back around. It always comes back around.

Get Lucky is already a classic as far as I’m concerned. Small children, like my niece, will be growing up on it. I’m positive that the way I feel about Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence, Riley will about Daft Punk’s Get Lucky… which is awesome. I kind of feel like I should get the 7″ right now and hold onto it for her. Because I also feel like vinyl will never die, which is also awesome.

Daft Punk, Get Lucky [Radio Edit] (Featuring Pharrell Williams + Nile Rodgers)

Other notable songs,
Janelle Monáe, Q.U.E.E.N. (Featuring Erykah Badu)
Phoenix, Entertainment

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
April | Get Lucky

Grounds For Sculpture

This weekend Amanda took Christina and I out to Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey. We had a great, if not a slightly overheated and dehydrated, time. We played with all sorts of scantily clad art pieces and snapped loads of pictures. I didn’t bring my tripod and had to get seriously inventive with some trees to get group shots of us. We strongly recommend for everyone to go. Just don’t forget your sunblock and maybe wait for the spring and fall to spend time walking the huge grounds. We plan on going back in Autumn to see the rest of what we missed, its so big. I’ll br sure to bring my tripod and maybe a few more friends next time.

These are just a small handful of my favorite pictures snapped on our adventure. We took over 200 photos and I edited around 60, if you want to see more you can visit my flickr page.

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?

 

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*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