Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Copy Cat Skirt

On the first day of school this year the librarian at the Elementary School I work at wore a really cute skirt. I told her I liked it, she said I could probably make it, I told her if she let me borrow it for a while I probably could.  She did let me borrow it and two(ish) months later I finally finished the skirt. 

I tried to dress like her for Halloween, but no one noticed. I guess we dress too much alike to begin with.

The fabric makes me kind of dizzy looking at these photos. The fabric was on sale, and I thought it was   somewhat "Autumnal". Someone said that word in front of me the other day and I have been trying to find ways to say it all week to make myself look smart. Did it work?

 Can you see my invisible zipper? Didn't think so. Boo Yeah! It only took me two tries. Down one from my typical three.

I got home hours ago and waited for Charlie to come home to snap some photos. I wouldn't typically show photos of my derriere (had to look up the spelling on that one Dad), but this below photo makes me laugh because you'd think Charlie would say, "Hey your skirt, the one you're having me take pictures of for your blog, is folded up in one spot."Maybe not for one photo, but there are 20 pictures just like this one that I just downloaded. Perhaps he was too distracted by my butt to notice. Or the spot of Elmer's glue on my tights that I used to fix the snag in them. Who knows.

As always, Penny wanted in on the photo shoot action. Really I was just standing close to the door and she thought I would take her out. Doesn't she know it's Halloween and I can't take her outside, lest she bite one of the children I work with. 

Please excuse my hair. I am no stranger to blogging pictures of me with my hair looking a mess. Right? Right?

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Several of my friends already don't have school tomorrow due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy. I do not have the day off:

My Brother's Girlfriend, Jaimie just told me that the "Perks of Being A Wallflower" is finally playing in Concord. And there's a showing tonight. Charlie doesn't want to go with me, he wants to do "work":

I just found a brand new show I am obsessed with. My Mom told me about it. It's called "Call the Midwives" I'm 2 episodes in and in love. Only problem is, it's only 6 episodes long as it's a mini series on PBS:

I just figured out how to add GFI's to my blog and I'm wicked excited.

Okay, that's all.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Admitting Defeat

You probably thought this post would be about me quitting my sweater endeavor ...but you thought wrong. I am a whole 12 rows in and (knock on wood) kind of, 82.3% know what I am doing.

No, this post is about my desire to make things and be cheap and how that desire can at times cost me a lot of time, aggravation and sometimes money. In an effort to keep Penny from being shot by a trigger happy hunter this Fall I purchased a blaze orange reflective vest from Ocean State Job Lot last Spring. It cost $3 and I just knew I could whip up something that would keep Penny safe.

Three failed prototypes and18 attempts later I finally admitted defeat and bought a vest specially made for dogs at the hardware store for $17. I figure my attempts cost me at least $200 in hours and labor (huge overstatement, but one must value their work right?)

Anyways, my story is just a shameless plug to get you to look at these ridiculously cute pictures of Penny in her "Please don't shoot me, I'm someone's pet and only friend" vest.

 Penny hates Fall just like me, the crunching leaves scare her. 

As you can see the vest doesn't exactly fit Penny's trim figure. In order to stay Velcro-ed it's big in the back. She doesn't seem to mind. This version is much better than one of the ones I made which made it impossible for her to run or even walk. Another version made it impossible for her to pee, big mistake, and ended up tied like a bow around her neck for the rest of the walk. 

A reluctant model to say the least.

Oh no, now you know she wears a size Medium. She'll never let me live this down. 

I just added this picture because it makes me laugh. One of the places we take Penny walking is an old ski resort that was shut down. During Irene (I think) part of the road totally washed away. Penny looks so curious looking into the hole. She's probably thinking "How can I get down there and play in the steam?"

Goodnight! Lauren

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

OMG The Progress

Or lack there of. I've started knitting a sweater four times now. One of these times I'm going to get past the first 4 rows. Sometimes I am too stubborn for my own good. I know that this task is too large for me to take on. I know that my gauging is never correct and always much too tight. I know my Mom lives 4 hours away and does not want to help me knit a sweater. I know all of this and yet I am going to keep trying. Sometimes the only way to learn is to keep going even though you know you shouldn't. 

Perhaps my progress would be faster if I had something to watch whilst knitting. I've been trying to decide if I should start watching "Doctor Who". Several people I work with, as well as kids on the Cross Country team talk about the show constantly. I love British shows, (sorry Dad) but I'm not sure if I could watch David Tennant and not associate him with Barty Crouch Jr. from Harry Potter. 

Someone else at work told me about "Twenty Twelve" which sounds appealing but I can't find it online anywhere. Alas, I will just have to wait the 84 days until Downton Abbey comes back. 

Do you have an series' you like that I could watch for hours on end that are available on Netflix?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

On My Night Stand

A few people have asked me about this little blue book I bring on overnight trips, and keep on my night stand. One friend chuckled; "Is that your diary Lauren?" Well, yes it is, with a spin. It's a "One Line A Day" book. Charlie bought it for me as a wedding gift. 

Each page has a date and five sections to fill in. You write in "one line" for the day then write on the next page the following day. I keep it on the night stand so I can do it right before bed. It's nice to process what was most important to you that day. The fun part comes when it's been a year that you've been writing it the book.  Then you write one line down and can see what you were doing the year before.  Since we've only been married for one April, only the top line is written in. In the bottom picture one our anniversary I started writing on the second line. Actually, when Charlie gave it to me he had written in the July 16th spot, so when we were out West this summer during our anniversary I asked him to write again. It's the only day in the whole book that I didn't write. I've only missed a few days as well. A period of 2 or 3 days last September when I had the flu or some terrible something.

Aside from those, I have been pretty good about packing it for trips and writing in it at night. I think it will be fun to look back on as I write more. It's interesting to see what has changed, or not changed in a year. I like it because I am the worlds most sentimental person. You can find them on Amazon. They also make a "Mom's" edition, which I bought from my friend Liz who is expecting a baby soon.

And because Penny will pitch a fit if she's not included in a blog post every now and again; here she is. *swoon over cuteness*


P.S. Also on my night stand is a book I've been reading since August. Got any recommendations for a page turner? And don't say "Fifty Shades of Grey". K thank!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Skirt; Just in Time for Fall

I started sewing this skirt last winter. It's the Simplicity 2226 pattern that I used last year to make this skirt. I loved it so much, and got tons of compliments  so I figured I'd make another.  The fabric is eons old, I've had it sitting around for quite a while and always wanted to use it for a skirt.

I asked my Mom to help me with part of it because I am terrible at the gathered look thing. She fixed my errors back in June. Then it got packed away for a while. Over the rainy long weekend I pulled it out, sewed the invisible zipper into it approximately 4 times until it really was invisible. Then begged Charlie to help me hem it. He measured it with a ski pole for me because we don't own a yard stick. Doesn't he look super pumped to be helping me? He's so excited that he's backwards flipping me off.

Anyways, he pinned it, then I sewed it. I tried to get all fancy with a double needle. It did not go as planned. I ripped out all of the stitching, expecting to be able to just re-do the hem. Not so much. The fabric had two lines where the first hem had been so it needed to be shortened to hide the two lines.

You can see that the double needle effect worked splendidly on the pockets. I had hoped to carry over the accent but sewing the entire hem was too much for the double needle to withstand. Bummer. I'll keep practicing.

I am quite proud of the pockets. I also recently bought the cardigan. I've been trying to branch out in terms of colors I wear. Heavens a gal can only have so many purple cardigans after all. Amiright? 

I even sewed a "Made By Lauren" tag into this garment. How snazzy am I? I need to make more of these but I've been putting it off because the Mac Crash of 2012 deleted my file with the document I used to make the tags. I'm going to need tons for all of the holiday sewing I have planned! 

Besides the tag I also added some aqua blue fabric to the lining. It goes against the Fall feel of the skirt, but I can't be expected to branch out that much at once.  
Look at me, wearing heels to work! And I got my hair cut!

All and all it's not as interesting as the first one I made, but I like it. It loosened up as I wore it today and got more flowy, this morning, when the pictures were taken, it was kind of stiff and prone to wrinkle. I did get some compliments at work today. One of my co-workers even said she recognized the skirt, then I got scared that she was stalking me and looking in my windows. Really she meant she recognized the pattern from the other one I made. Oh, thank goodness. I couldn't deal with being stalked.

Off to work on another Fall skirt. 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Snaps From the Weekend

There was...
A visit at our friends new, gorgeous house. 
A trip to Cider Hill Farm for cider and donuts. 
A romp on the beach with two playful dogs.
Delicious Italian food.
Home-brewed beer.
A roaring fire and great conversations, lots of laughs and smiles.
Impromptu leaf photo shoot in the grocery store parking lot. 

stollen from Jaclyn's Instagram

It was a great weekend. I hope yours was too.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Life Updates Via Bad Looking Pictures of Me

I ran with 9 kids in a hail storm today. Please forgive the terrible hair, makeup, face, outfit.

Not only did I run with 9 kids, I ran over a squirrel. That makes 2 in 3 weeks. I could cry. Also, why does squirrel have to be so hard to spell?

Penny has been going to Doggy Day Camp. I think she likes it. She comes home and sleeps for the rest of the day. She's also somewhat nicer to strangers. In other words she gets to know strangers before she growls or nips at them.  Doggy Day Camp is much cheaper than a mortgage on a house with a yard. Yes!

I am going to start knitting myself a sweater tonight. Using this "easy" and free pattern.

I am trying to rent the apartment next door because the annoying 20 year old moved out (hurray). The only downside is I have to deal with people who shouldn't be in public, or don't know how to e-mail/use a computer. If your e-mail is poorly worded or has huge grammatical errors, or has a link to your blog about you love of romance cooking, I'm going to ignore you. And if you tell me that your parents don't want you living at home anymore because you come home from parties too late you best be believing I'm not going to be passing your info along to the landlord. It's not rocket science people!

My car leaked a whole bunch of water last weekend and my Dad told me it was probably something real bad, like antifreeze. I took it to the dealer, they called me 2 days later. Nothing wrong with the pipes, just a whole bunch of leaves in the windshield washer drain causing water to flood into my car. Wow did I feel dumb. Good thing I have long eyelashes and can bat them at people and not get charged for being an idiot.

Speaking of eyelashes. I've been getting mine "tinted". It eliminates the need to wear mascara, cha-ching. Penny is super jealous of my long eyelashes.

I have to cook dinner tonight! Good thing my mascara won't run while I cry over a pot of terrible food.

That's enough embarrassment for the day. I swear I have sewed things recently, I just don't want to take my picture in them after practice when I am all sweaty and my hair looks atrocious, see above seven photos.



One of the (only) good things about going back to work after the summer off is getting back into a routine. For a while this summer I had no idea what day it was, our house was a disaster, we were never home, and poor Penny feared we were sending her away every time we packed the car.

Now that school has started again Charlie and I have fallen into a good routine. I've even been cooking dinner! Can you believe it? Some of my meals are not pretty, but still edible.

The biggest key to my success is to limit my online time. I found that I was spending way too much time surfing the web, and watching endless episodes of shows on Netflix and doing nothing else.

Here are some things that have been helping me get organized and be productive.
  • Make a list. Doh! I make 100 lists a day at work but never did it at home. I find that writing a list of the things you want to get done that week helps you stay focused. 
  • Daily Chores. I've seen this idea, in a prettier format, on Pinterest. My version is just written on scrap paper. Anyways, it doesn't seem as daunting to do one task a day, in comparison to feeling as though the entire apartment has to be scrubbed on one day over the weekend. When the chores are spread out it also makes the house less of a disaster. The laundry pile may be huge on Tuesday but at least the floors are clean. 

  • Just sewing. I had been waiting for the sewing bug to bite, and waiting, and waiting. I found however that if I just sit down and do it, it will come. 
  • Quitting facebook. So, I did this for almost 2 weeks. It was great. Except only 2 people read my blog, so I restarted my facebook, but had Charlie change the password. Hopefully I'll continue saving tons of time, but also have some readers to make the time I do spend blogging somewhat worth-wild. 

Do you have any successful secrets to getting things done? Finding inspiration? Or not wasting tons of time?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Works in Progress

In my cleaning/organizing/painting I stumbled upon some unfinished projects. They're unfinished because I don't know exactly what to do with them. Maybe you have some ideas?

The first one is four feathers from Anna Maria Horners new pattern for The Feather Bed Quilt

I love how they turned out. I was planning on making one pillow, but I messed up the pattern and ended up having enough fabric to make four feathers instead of two. Then when I pieced them all together I realized that each quilt square was much bigger than a typical throw pillow. Now I am not sure what to do with them. My co-worker told me I should make a wall hanging. I like that idea. I just can't figure out if I should make all of the feathers go the same way (photo on left) or have the feathers flipped (right photo). Any thoughts? Bueller? Bueller?

The next project was something I got an inspiration for from Pinterest, here is the original link. I used left over fabric from the apron I made my friend Jill for her bridal shower. The link had a printable pattern, but when I printed it it was too small, and rather than figure out how to print it bigger I just winged it. Sounds like a me thing to do right?

The whole reason I did this was because I had saved some selvage and really liked the rainbow colored  dots. They look a lot like the settings on a Kitchen Aid mixer. This picture shows an up close of the dots, and also the amount of pieces I used to make the entire thing.

After I finished the mixer I made  two small log cabin squares. I was thinking of making a wall hanging for a kitchen, but then I thought to myself "who has a wall hanging in a kitchen? Sounds like a fire hazard to me." Sometimes I shouldn't listen to myself because after that inner convo I put this project in a drawer and forgot about it. What do you think? Do people have wall hangings in their kitchen? Would you want it?

Please give me your feedback so these projects don't get stuffed back into the closet or a drawer.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October Ornaments

It must appear as though I have only been painting around here lately. I have been sewing some as well. Not much machine sewing though. In an attempt to accept that Fall has come I instantly jumped to being excited for Christmas. That meant digging out the felt ornament kit from Posie Gets Cozy that my Mum bought me last Christmas and getting crackin'.

I made the little rabbit.

Then I bit the bullet and actually started working on this mitten. It scared the be-jeezes out of me for almost two years. It looks so complicated so I stayed away. Once it was started though it wasn't too hard, it just took a very long time. I love how it turned out though. I need two in my size.

Lastly, I've been working on this little door. I love it thus far.

Working on these reminded me that I needed to ask my Mum to buy me the kit that had been released this year. I e-mailed her the link and that very day the kits sold out. While I am excited for Alicia (the artist) I am super sad that I won't get one this year. What, oh what, will I do to ease the pain of Summer being over next Fall? You can buy the pattern, without the felt and floss, but it doesn't seem like as much fun to have to buy your own felt and necessities. We'll see.

Off to work on the little door, and watch "The Office" on Hulu.

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