Monday, November 26, 2012

Cardboard Christmas Villages

Over the holiday weekend I knew my two cousins would be around, and I decided that it would be fun to do a craft together. Sure beats Black Friday shopping if you ask me. I e-mailed my family members a week or two in advance and requested they save and bring cardboard, cereal box weight, to be used for the crafting. I got inspired by many things; first was Dana's Ghost Town, as well as a dozen or so gingerbread houses on Pinterest, and this Martha Stewart idea.  Here is what we came up with:

Each row of houses is one cereal box unfolded. I drew a rough idea of the house outlines on the cardboard then cut them out before hand. For one I cut the windows out before we started and for the other three I waited. Waiting means you have to cut through a few layers of cardboard and paper. Cutting the windows and doors first meant the houses were a bit more flimsy to work with. I also used another cereal box to make trees to go behind the houses. 

We all went to the movies then came home and started working. Rich was nice enough to let us all work on the floor in the living room next to a roaring fire. He set out a huge piece of cardboard so we would paint, glue and glitter to our hearts content. 
 The houses are painted or were made with scrapbook paper. We decorated each house with paper, paint, glitter paint and or course lots of glitter and snow paint. Then we hot glued the cardboard to a strip of plywood to make them stand upright. I love how they turned out. In the day time they are pretty to look and notice to details. At night, with some electric tea lights or a string of white lights behind them, they are a great silhouette.

This turned out to be a really fun project. Charlie came home from a visit with his friends and said "Wow that turned out way better than I thought it would." He's always underestimating my crafting skillz. The project kept my 10 year old cousin, my aunt, and myself busy and for at least 4 hours if not more. It also kept the rest of the family entertained with watching us. The only trouble was that my back hurt from sitting on the floor for 4+ hours and I still have glitter in my hair from 3 days ago. 

All and all it was a great time. I love sharing my love of crafts with others. We all inspired each other and shared ideas. It was a great time.


P.S. I am officially paying $2.99 a month to continue blogging and uploading pictures. Hope you enjoy these posts people! If I post 4 times that's 74 cents, talk about motivation to blog! 

P.P.S. I spelled "skillz" incorrectly on purpose Dad. I was feeling like a gangsta. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Milkweed Stars

It's no secret that I love milkweed. It's one of the only things I like about fall. I get excited when I go running and see the pods open and the white fuzzy seeds floating everywhere. A few years ago I shared a tutorial for making Milkweed Pod Santa Ornaments

 A few weekends ago when my family was visiting I suckered them into going out to collect pods.

 Fill those bags you suckers! Penny ran around in the field, I took pictures and everyone else did my work for me. Sometimes I wonder why my family likes me. I swear they had fun, I think.

Garrett at least had fun. He posed for these wonderful shots, what a good sport. In case you're wondering he does have guards on his glasses, wouldn't want any milkweed seeds getting in his eyes. Seriously though he wears them all the time. I digress.
 After giving the milkweed adequate time to dry (in other words I was lazy and left it all in a bag for a week) I got my craft on.

All this project entailed was hot gluing five pods together, then gluing dried flowers or berries to the inside of the star to hide all of the glue globs. Then I glued ribbon to the back so I could hang them. totally simple; a baby could do it. (Warning: do not let babies use hot glue guns.)

 The only place I had to hang them was on my purse wall. My milkweed stars kinda snazzy next to all of the beaded glittery purses.

Now that I finally got around to posting about this I think it's too late to collect milkweed pods. Sorry. Store my fabulous idea in your noggins until next year.

We're going to Maine for Thanksgiving so I won't post anything until after then. Hope you have a great holiday.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Snaps from the Weekend

We've been hiking every weekend in November. You're probably bored of hiking pictures. Oh well. I switched things up and use the prime lens I got for Christmas. 

1, 2, 3 over the river. 

We hiked Welch-Dickey. Two 2,000-ish footers in Thornton, NH.

Aside from hiking we went shopping, running, and I've been embroidering while watching Parks and Recreation. Thanks for the recommendation Natalie! 

 Hope you had a good weekend too!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Life Updates: Ugly Hat Edition

I am totally in love, head over heals in love, with "Call the Midwife." I've been trying to restrain myself and watch only one episode then waiting a few days. This goes against every scrap of American nature I've grown to embrace since Netflix invented instant streaming for the ipad.

This sweater is taking me forever.

Sandlot reference anyone? I have started over 3 times, and ripped out thousands of stitches and am still only on the first sleeve. I am taking a break and waiting until mom Mum can help me over Thanksgiving break.

I hate cooking. That's not news to you is it? If so you must not know me well. I hate cooking so much that I have started to not even like eating. I obviously still do, as is apparent by my weight. If I wouldn't get all cranky pants and probably kill someone I would just skip eating in most cases. Can't someone invent a pill I can take that would replace the need for me to eat? It's 2012, let's get on this.

Do you ever feel like you wish you were either smarter or dumber. I see a lot of things around me that should be changed, and have a lot of great (to me) ideas, but I don't have the brain power to execute these ideas. If only I were smarter and could figure out how to make my ideas a reality, or dumber so I didn't have ideas in the first place. Having a solidly average (self diagnosed, no proof) IQ can be so exhausting sometimes. Also, being a prissy know it all who can be doubly as exhausting.

I finished my last ornament today.

It's Friday. For reals, look at a calendar. Woot! It's Friday but it's not Thanksgiving yet. I wish it was. I am already 1/15 packed, which means my crafting supplies are packed.

Charlie and I bought season passes to Ragged Mountain. We have been skiing at Cannon for the last two years, but the Student discount Charlie was getting is over now that he went and graduated. It's also farther from our house and we'd feel bad leaving Penny home alone for that long on the weekends. I just need to invest in a coat that looks like everyone else's and a face mask so none of the kids I work with will recognize me there. I wouldn't look too obvious in this would I?

Speaking of winter wear. Every winter I pull out my homemade hat and Charlie says he won't go anywhere with me if I wear it. I knit it before I learned how to knit in the round so it's just a large piece of knit knitness folded in half and sewn up the sides. I used to wear it all the time in high school. Today he said he would let me continue wearing it if I wrote a blog post about it. That happened after he ripped it off of my head while we were going outside to walk Penny. He purposely lets me get way ahead of them and then crosses the street so he won't be associated with me. Then he said wearing the hat would be comparable to him having a picture he drew in 5th grade on his desk at work. I see no comparison  What's wrong with wearing a silly hat that gives you joy? What's wrong with being proud of how far you have come in your "talents"? (I use the world loosely here.)

On second thought, who needs a panda mask when I can just do this.

Guess I'll be skiing alone a lot.

Did you ever think to yourself in college "Oh boy I can't wait to be 26 so I can write stupid blog posts on a Friday night instead of ragging with my friends." Yeah, me either. I did spent a lot of Friday nights stuck on a coach bus watching "Remember the Titans" and other movies that my teammates had on VHS. I say teammates because I was a division 1 athlete. Was.

My friend told me she liked the first post I did like this one so I decided to do another one. If nothing else it give me some good laughs on a Friday night.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Snaps from the Long Weekend

This weekend we both had a three day weekend. That allowed me time to go to my Dad's house and catch up on my junk TV watching (hello HGTV marathon.) It also allowed us time to go on a hike. Bald Mountain to be exact. It's small but lovely. The weather was fantastic so we hiked in tee shirts. 

I have a theory that there are really six seasons. Here goes, 1. Winter, 2. Mud 3. Spring 4. Summer. 5. Fall 6. Bleck then back to winter again. We are in season Bleck.  Even though the weather was gorgeous the view was kind of bleck because there is no color. I just wish it would snow already and be pretty again.

The only bad part of our hike was when Penny decided to roll in poop and fish guts. We drove home with all the windows open and our shirts wrapped around our faces.

Talk about style. This could be the new thing. Highly effective for blocking bad smells.

Penny sat in the back wearing her safety vest and being embarrassed that she made such poor life decisions. It's a good thing she has us to guide her.

Okay, that's all.


p.s. Is it Thanksgiving yet? I'm so excited.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lorelei Skirt

Hola! Just because my blind hem was a major fail, doesn't mean my entire project was. I made another copy cat skirt two weekends ago. It's based off of a skirt that my friend Lorelei, mistakenly, let me borrow a few years ago while she was in Iraq wearing scrubs and camo. When she came back she asked for the skirt, but I've pined for it since. I finally begged her to send it to me so I could make one like it. I think it turned out alright if I may say so. 

It still needs a bit of tweaking. I added a lining but I think the lining is too bulky and therefore crumples the whole skirt when I walk. I was pulling at it most of the day, which was super annoying. It could also have been due to my tights, or the dry air. Aside from the bunching, when I stand still I really like it. The best part is that it's made of three pieces that are all cut on the bias and make the skirt flowy. 

When I spin in circles, which often happens since I forget where I am going frequently, it flows like the flowers in Fantasia. (skip to 4:30 ish if you don't believe me). Am I the only person who watched Fantasia several hundred times as a child? No one these days knows what it is, and even some people my age look at me like I'm nuts when I rave about Fantasia (Charlie). 

I also need to work on my styling. If Michael Kors had seen me today he would have shaken his head. I felt that a white top would have looked better, but would have been too spring/summer-ish. The mustard cardigan was as close as I have to yellow. I didn't have any other tops that matched with the colors of the skirt. It was also cold so I had to wear tights, I went with brown. Meh. I'll fix the lining and pack it away until spring when I can wear it with a nice white top and sandals. Then I'll be styling.

 Charlie made me laugh.

On another note, this is an issue I run into a lot. When I wear clothes that I have made, I like getting complements, who doesn't right. What most people say though is "Did you make that?" I usually take this as a complement, but maybe it isn't. Can they tell I made it because it sucks? Hum. Then the other issue is when no one says anything about your outfit it could mean one of two things. The first being that they think it looks nice, like something you bought in a store, and they don't say anything. The second, less desirable, option is that everyone knows you made your skirt and they think it looks so bad that they adopt the "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all policy." So much to ponder for a self conscious over-thinker like me.

Maybe I'll ponder it tonight while Charlie and I are on top of a mountain freezing out butts off trying to see the Northern lights.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Big Fail: Blind Hem Edition

This post is brought to you thanks to Pinterest. Browsing the other day I found this tutorial for a Blind Hem from No Big Dill. I "pinned" it and then didn't think about it until this weekend when I decided  a good use of my time would be to not shower all day and sit around in my stinky running clothes sewing a skirt. Once the time came to do the hem I remembered my pin from earlier. I also remembered that I spent too much quite a bit of money on a fancy sewing machine with fancy feet. One of which happened to be a blind hem foot. There's where the trouble began. Oy!

Here is my failed attempt. I'd say every 5th stitch held, the others, not so much:

In case you're confused the straight stitch doesn't show on the outside of the skirt and only the little peak of the "v" is supposed to poke through the fabric to hold the hem. As you can see my "v"'s did not hold.

If nothing else the attempt was not wasted as it proved to be a good hold for when I had to re-do the hem by hand and make it invisible. Without Pinterest I would have never known about this technique and I wouldn't know how much I stink at it. Better luck next time (in 5 years) right?

What have you failed royally at lately?


P.S. Happy Election Day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Snaps From The Weekend

On Sunday, with our extra hour we decided to go for an extra long hike. Penny was so pumped about it she was dancing.

Seriously, she's off the ground in this picture. We went to Woodstock, NH. On the drive there we saw some snowflakes in the air and shrugged it off. Luckily, I decided to wear long johns under my hiking pants.

 The hike snaked along a river which gave me the opportunity to take some (I think) cool pictures.

It also gave Penny the opportunity to swim....despite the temps being in the 30's. I've been asking all this time "Do you think Penny is cold?" Guess that answers my question. That or maybe she's just kind of not smart.

All of a sudden as we climbed higher there was snow on the ground. Penny loved it. She was rolling in it and jumping all over the place. She gets excited hiking anyways because Charlie is always so far ahead of me she feel the need to run back and forth between us, but this was an entirely different level of excitement.

Once she calmed down she gave us the stink eye about being cold, slow and slipping. I fell once on the way up and also managed to smash my shin on a stump. On the way down I fell three times, once I took out a sapling on my way down, and may have snapped my shoulder into a new position.

Enough about my suffering. This trail led to a plane crash site. It was a B-18 bomber that crashed in 1942. It was pretty weird to see wreckage from a plane crash that happened 70 years ago. It was also weird because the pieces of the plane were pretty spread out. Six people died and one survived. It was eerie.

I think if there hadn't been snow it would have been easier to see all of the pieces. We were walking around and I stepped on a stick which then moved a piece of metal. It was a bit scary.

Penny swam in the river on the way back. Then we all got home, ate a huge lunch and sat around for the rest of the day. Pretty good Sunday.

What did you do with your extra hour?


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Table Runner

Our friends recently bought a new house, and were nice enough to invite us down for the weekend. I always feel like we should get people something when we go to their house, and the crafter in me always wants to make someone. But then I realize I've never been to the people's house before and don't know what it looks like, color schemes, what they need, etc. so, we always show up empty handed looking like a pack of jerks. Anyways, after we spent the night I was inspired by the colors of the guest bedroom, and say that the dresser in the guest bedroom was bare on top. On the way home I convinced Charlie to stop in Concord. He bought pizza at the place located conveniently next door to Joann's and I bought a bunch of fat quarters in yellow and red. This is what I ended up making. 

I have wanted to make a log cabin quilt for quite a while and figured a table runner was a good start. It's a really fun block to make. Here is a tutorial if you want to try it out.

For the middle I wanted a focal point so I made a Sawtooth Star block. If you don't know how here is another tutorial. It is not the way I made mine, but had I known the was an easier way (flying geese block) to do it I probably would have. Serves me right for just winging it. I totally made up the sizes of all the pieces and just got lucky when they all fit correctly. Darn you Mathematical Anxiety! I have this, I just diagnosed myself with it today. Thanks Web M.D.

The best part of this table runner, in my humble opinion, is the quilting. I used my machine, and my walking foot (best thing ever). I couldn't decide on red, yellow, or white thread. I was telling my Mom about it and she suggested gold. Gold! Yes. It worked great. Who doesn't love some shimmer? The log cabin blocks are just outlined in squares that I just kept making bigger and bigger. I had fun with the sawtooth block. It looks a big Egyptian to me.

That's the back side. I didn't want to pick one color to use for the back so I used all of the left over fabric from the front to make a scrappy back. Now it can be used on either side. Due to my non-measuring it's a bit wonky. Who doesn't love wonky homemade things though? AmIright?

On another note, Charlie inherited this buffet, long table thing. Now we have somewhere to store our endless supply of terribly stained cloth napkins and another huge item of furniture to carry down 18 stairs when we move out. Excited Dad?

When I took these pictures yesterday before I sent the table runner Charlie commented that I should make one for our new table thing. The work never ends! Also, before you go thinking I've spoiled the surprise for our friends, they already said they got it. Even though I sent it yesterday at 4:15 PM. Way to go U.S. Postal Service. Way to go.


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