Monday, December 30, 2013

Geranium Dress

I made a few handmade Christmas presents for my friends and family, this is the only one I remembered to take pictures of. I made the Geranium Dress for my friends baby. It's made of super soft corduroy. The dress was very easy to make, It's very similar to the Washi Dress, but smaller.   

This turned out much better than the other dress I sewed for Baby H, it actually fit. I still can't get over how small some pattern pieces are for baby clothes.

Now that Christmas is over I have a stack of fabric (purchased with Christmas money) ready to sew items for myself. First up is the Staple Dress.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Safe Ornaments + Holiday Decorating

Since Blaze is a bit of a terror in terms of destroying things left out, we figured a whole Christmas tree full of handmade (priceless) ornaments would be too irresistible for him to stay away from. It really made me sad to think about having Christmas without seeing all of our (my) favorite ornaments. In order to see them, but keep them safe we came up with a solution.

I bought a few yards of velvet cording, tied knots every few inches, strung the ornaments on the cord and hung it up from the ceiling. 

Now I can see all of our ornaments and they are safe from destructo dog. And in case you were wondering there are 34 ornaments and I made 19 of them. 

Don't let his pretending to be calm in this picture fool you. He chewed a hole in my mitten moments later. Since I wouldn't be Christmas without a tree we do have a small potted Norfolk Pine tree. It has small white lights which is huge for me since I've always had big colored bulbs. The branches on this tree would not hold the big bulbs though, so small lights it is. Please don't call me a traitor Mum. We use my cookie cutter ornaments to decorate the little tree.  Those are not appealing to a dog apparently because he has not messed with the tree once.

Blaze also seems to be afraid of the pellet stove because he has stayed away from the stockings we have hanging up. 

That's pretty much all of our holiday decor. It's been really fun to decorate (although minimally) our first home for the holidays.

What's your favorite holiday decoration?


Friday, December 13, 2013

I Made A Wreath!

If you don't know that I am obsessed with milkweed pods then you don't know me very well. Last years project HERE and two years ago's project HERE. This year I went with the same idea as last year and then attached them to a plain wreath we bought at a craft fair.

I really like it.

To make one you'd need milkweed pods, spray paint, a hot glue gun, red berries, a wreath, and wire. Dried flowers optional. I glued the pods together into stars then spray painted both sides gold. Next I glued berries and dried flowers inside. Then we added tons of glue to the back and stuck the middle of a long piece of wire into the glob of glue to dry. After the glob has dried, wrap the sides of the wire around the wreath and tie them off. Then, stick red berries sporadically into the wreath. Lastly, hang and enjoy. Easy. I didn't even burn myself with the hot glue gun, which has never happened to me ever.

And just because I think it's really pretty, here is a kissing ball we bought the other day and hung at the bottom of the driveway.

It has snowed twice since we got it so it has a pretty layer of snow on top.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wooden Log Slice Christmas Sign

That's not a very inventive name. Oh well. I saw this idea on Pinterest and sent the picture to Charlie asking him to cut me some log slices. It was not a problem given all the trees he's been cutting down. It also gave him a chance to use his vice grip and hand saw, and spend more time in the garage with his tools. I don't think this project bent him out of shape like some of my other projects do.

He cut me a bunch of log slices and drilled holes through the slice near the tops. I painted them and left them to dry. In the morning some of the pieces had cracked from drying out so quickly in the kitchen near the pellet stove. I brought the bag of left over log slices inside to dry out. Blaze brought it upon himself to inspect the bag and drag all the wood around the house while we were working. He just wanted to see which ones would withstand his test. The ones that did not crack due to drying or Blaze's gnawing were then used to replace the ones that had cracked.  

After drying for a few days I used lace and some red embroidery floss to hang the slices. Thumb tacks secured them to the window casing in the dining room, and voila!

Not even 4:30pm and it's dark!
Log slice Christmas decor! I am not sure how these will stand the test of time due to all the drying/cracking, but it was a fun project and I like how it looks for now. A co-worker recommended letting the slices dry a little, then putting them in water, then drying again. Since I have little patience I obviously didn't do that. But maybe if you want to make something like this you should do those steps too.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Crafts: Gingerbread Houses

 For the last few years I have been organizing a craft for my cousin to do. I enjoy these activities as much as my cousins do. Last year we made the Cardboard Villages. This year my mom and I decided to decorate gingerbread houses. My mom was nice enough to make three houses before Thanksgiving, we put them together after the Thanksgiving rush was over. I bought all this candy before we went to Maine. Then we went to the movies, and all the candy there inspired me to buy even more. We used each kind of candy I bought, but we did not even come close to using all of the candy, even with all of the eating we all did.

The whole activity took 3+ hours. Speaking for myself, I had a blast and I think my cousins and aunts did too. Here is Macy and Mabel's house. Mabel had to leave before the activity was over.

She made a hot tub with a little guy inside. 

And a pretzel stick bon fire. 

Here is Mia's. She wouldn't let me see the front of the house because she didn't want me to copy her ideas. 

She did such a good job, I was so proud. She even made a window box outside the windows on the sides. 

My aunt Janet said she was just going to watch, then she decided to decorate this little house to look like an outhouse.

This one is mine.

The key is that when you think you're done, keep adding candy.

They looked so good all lined up. Then they all got taken home. I left the one I made with my Mom since I figured Blaze would destroy it in a matter of hours. Speaking of Blaze being naughty he ate three muffins off of the counter today and then pooped all over the house. Good thing he didn't eat three muffins and a whole gingerbread house.

This was a really fun activity. We already know what we're going to do for the craft next year.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sewing Room Floor

Last week I was talking to my friend on the phone. When I finished talking to her I couldn't find Charlie. Turns out he was downstairs tearing up the flooring in the sewing room. He said it was bothering him. It was really nasty, but it was a Tuesday night and we had no plans for what we were going to do to replace it so I was a bit upset about it. As I stated "This isn't very conducive of Holiday sewing." 
Goodbye ugly floor, hello huge mess.
In order to get the room back to normal and keep my head from exploding we bough click flooring from Home Depot to replace the floor. It turned out very well, as long as you don't look too closely. Charlie and I are not the best at cutting or measuring, and my motto has been something along the lines of "That will buff out" or "That will be covered by something."

 Considering that we are not experts by any means it turned out quite well.

Once it was done I spent four hours putting everything back in the room and organizing it.

Whenever either one of us got worked up about the floor being perfect the other would point at the window and make a comment about how the room didn't have to be perfect since the window looks so ghetto. Charlie also said "It's only your sewing room" about twenty times. 

I've been scrapbooking quite a bit so I had a lot of left over pictures that I didn't know what to do with. Extra pictures + washi tape = easiest wall art ever.

I even decided that since we were taking everything out of the room I would try to make this book shelf look better. If you recall from my last post about the sewing room I started painting it then totally ran out of steam and stopped. Now it is totally white, not perfect, but at least it's all the same color. Then I even got crazy and color ordered my fabrics. I showed these pictures to a co-worker and she said "Is that ALL of your fabric?" like it was a lot, I was too embarrassed to tell her there was more in the closet.
Someday I'll pick up those pictures on the floor. They are covering the dents (not really)
Now to get to that holiday sewing!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Ruby Tova Hybrid

I sewed another shirt. My dad says these posts are boring, so I'll keep it short. I bought this fabric thinking it would be great for another Tova shirt but I got home I realized I didn't have enough fabric for the Tova. How can one shirt need so much fabric? So instead I made another Ruby Top. But! I use the Tova sleeve pattern piece to make sleeves so that I can wear this top without a cardigan.

I really need to branch out from blues and purples when buying fabrics; but I just can't stop. I don't really like other colors.

This is also the 80th shirt I've sewn that I wear with this little belt. I feel like without the belt it looks too frumpy or like I weight 1 million pounds.

Also, sorry to leave you all hanging. I had LASIK surgery 2 weeks ago! I am now free from the binds of contacts and glasses. Hurray. Due to the procedure I had to wear snazzy goggles when I slept and showered, which made it difficult (impossible) to wash my hair. (I did wash my hair in the sink a few times thought. Dry shampoo was my best friend all week.) I also wasn't allowed to wear makeup for a week. I didn't really want to share pictures of what a hot mess I was, although I seem to post a lot of terrible pictures of myself. Now I am back to normal and my vision is 20/20 in my right eye and 20/15 in my left. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to wake up and see! If you have perfect vision please take a moment to think of how lucky you are. I had been wearing glasses/contact since 6th grade, approximately 16 years. I'd recommend this procedure to anyone who has bad vision. I feel so free! I only wish I had done it sooner. Don't worry though, having perfect eyesight doesn't stop me from taking stupid pictures.

What's something you have done that you wished you did sooner?

Happy Friday!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wicked Gross Story + Lots of Ace Ventura GIF's

Don't say I didn't warn you, if you have a weak stomach turn back now.

This afternoon upon returning home from work I took the dogs for a walk. It's hunting season so yesterday the thought of being shot deterred me from taking the dogs in the woods. Today the weather was warmer though so I figured I'd put the dogs in their vests and let them romp around in the woods near our house, and hope not to be shot.

At one point in the walk the dogs stopped to explore a big hole in the ground. I thought nothing of it and admired the view while they played around. Then I picked up a stick to throw for Blaze and he came over to me and I smelled poop on him. This is not the first time he's ever rolled in poop, nor the first time I would have to clean it off him.

Silly dog, rolling in poop. Good thing you're cute.  
 Then I assumed that since Penny was still in the hole she was probably rolling in the poop too so I went to yell at her to get out of the hole. Then something terrible happened. (As if having two dogs roll in poop wasn't terrible enough.)
You won't even believe it. 

I looked in the hole, and saw toilet paper. 
Commence vomiting.
I can't think of any animals that use toilet paper when they poop.
Continue vomiting.
 Oh dear it was terrible. The worst part was no one else was around to deal with it but me. The second worst part was it was all over their necks, which is where their collars are, which attach to their leashes, and we had to walk on the road to get back home. I thought about just letting them run in the road to get home and taking my chances. Instead I used leaves to grab their collars and put the leashes on. Then I washed them with the hose outside the house and let them dry off in the garage.Then I threw all my clothes in a garbage can and burned them.

Just a thought, maybe if you're out hunting in the woods and have the urge to poop, do so, but then cover it up. 

I hope you all enjoy this story. Like my dad always says, if you can't laugh at yourself life is going to feel extra long. 


p.s. Although this post contains primarily Ace Ventura Pet Detective GIF's my favorite (of the two) is still Ace Ventura When Nature Calls. If that is even a point to debate, which it's not, so don't bother. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

See Through Tank Top

Haha. Did my title reel you in? Tricked ya! I really like the Simplicity 1693 pattern. I made three this summer, and this one was cut out this summer but never got finished.

I tried to make it two layers to reduce the see-through-ness, but quickly gave up on that endeavor since even with two layers it was still see through. It's a good thing I did too because I was working on the shirt and my iron burned right through the fabric; luckily I had a whole other shirt already cut out to pick up and start working on; and I threw the burned one in the trash.

It turned out alright. Obviously I have to wear a shirt underneath, and since it is freezing here I have to wear a shirt over it too. I like it to wear under a cardigan; it's a little more exciting than just a plan tee shirt/tank top. This cardigan combo doesn't actually show much of the shirt, but you get the idea.

Sorry for the headless photos. I'l explain more about that later; let's just say for reasons beyond my control I have not been able to wash my hair since Sunday, and would rather not have photographic evidence of said treachery on the interwebs. You're welcome. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stone Cat Trail Marathon Recap

Yesterday Charlie and I did the trail marathon. We spent the night at a friends house so we were only 30 minutes away instead of 2+ hours away. But we still had to wake up at 4 am in order to get ready and registered in time. Geeze! We were looking quite chipper for 5:45 in the morning.

The race started in the dark because people were doing a marathon and also a 50 mile race, and when you run 50 mile you need all the day light you can get I suppose. We had to run with headlamps on for the first half hour or so. The start for us went around a field, it was so cool to see everyone running around a dark field with head lamps on. Then the race went into the woods and there were glow sticks hanging from the trees; which also looked really cool. Charlie gave me the better head lamp to wear, except since it's the one we use the most at home the battery was nearly dead. I had to stay close to people on the trail who had bright lights so I wouldn't fall.

I have/had been having trouble my entire training with getting blisters on my toes on long runs. I tried a lot of different solutions, but nothing really seemed to work well. I think the shoe brand and model that I have been wearing forever has changed and now the seam rubs my pinky toe funny and gives me blisters. I thought wrapping my toes in medical tape would be a good solution; except the wet leaves made my shoes wet which made my socks and feet wet so the tape came off. At mile 4 I could feel that I was getting a blister. That was a bummer. Then at mile 5-6 I got stung by a bee. I haven't been stung by a bee in over 10 years so I forgot how much it hurts. I convinced myself the bees were tracker jackers, and thought about how great it would be to go into anaphylactic shock so I would have a good excuse to not finish the race. Blisters and bee stings are pretty annoying. I did keep laughing to myself and thinking about this scene from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion.  By about mile 10 I has stopped twice to try to fix my foot situation and had come to the conclusion that it was just going to hurt the rest of the race and I had to deal with it.

Enough complaining though, the best thing about trail racing is the food. Every aid station had 2-3 tables full of food and drinks. I ate 5 Oreos during the race and wish I had had more. The people volunteering at the stations are super nice and accommodating. I asked for a bandaid and the lady unwrapped it for me and acted like I was on the brink of death. Did I really look that bad?

Also the weather was perfect. It was in the 50 and 60's which is super rare for November 2nd. It wasn't too sunny, but not cloudy either. I was never too hot or too cold, and it wasn't raining. The scenery was beautiful too.

Another wonderful thing was that my Brother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law came to cheer for us. Jay brought a train whistle so I could hear him through the woods. I have mentioned it multiple times but the best thing ever during a race is having someone you know cheer for you. He even ran ahead of me and took my picture. This is my pretend you're having fun, even thought you're not even halfway done face.

I ended up running (walking/running) most of the race by myself. Sometimes I find someone going the same pace as me and I stick with them, but not this race. My watch stopped working at mile 16 and I thought I was going crazy and that mile 16 was taking forever. So I was that annoying person who asked a bunch of people how much farther was left. I also kept getting passed by fast people running the 50 mile race; what a confidence booster. People running almost double of what I was running were passing me, and looked great doing it. 

Charlie finished in about 4:25 I think. 

My time was 5:47 or something around there. That's pretty slow, and I'm kind of embarrassed about it, but I did stop 3 times to try to fix my shoe situation, and I did walk some. I probably could have done it faster, but oh well. After my first marathon I said I would never do another one, and I said the same thing yesterday. 26.2 miles is farther than I drive most days. Also, if a race takes you longer than the number of hours you slept the night before you should probably reconsider your life choices. But we both finished and they gave us sweatshirts that say "Marathon Finisher" on it, so I guess it wasn't all bad.

 After the race we went to our friends house to shower and they fed us really good food and let me lie on the couch and refreshed my drink when needed. It was great.

Last night we were in bed by 7 and stayed up until 8:30 watching a movie and eating ice cream. Then I turned the clock back so it was like we went to bed at 7:30. Can't complain about that I suppose.

I'll be sticking to shorter distance races from now on.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fabric Pumpkins: Lauren Tries To Decorate For Fall

I'm trying to embrace fall. It's kind of working, but mostly not. A few weeks ago I pinned some fabric pumpkins on Pinterest, bought some orange fabric and got to work. I finished these three weeks ago but never showed them to you because I was getting home from work and XC practice after the sun had set so the lighting wasn't good for pictures. Anyways, this is the only area in our house that looks remotely decorated for fall, except the front door. The mini gourds were bought at a farmers market, the chicken thing was on sale for $1.99 at Michael's

These first two were made using THIS tutorial/pattern. For the first one I did the pattern exactly as it said, for the second I enlarged the pieces, but that created some problems which lead to my mis-shaped pumpkin. I think it looks more real though with the weird bumps. 

For the last one I kind of used this picture link I found on Pinterest. Instead of using the embroidery floss all the way around the pumpkin I did a running stitch to squeeze it together.

Last night I tried to start knitting a pumpkin to add to the collection. I didn't have a pattern so I just started making it up. This morning I cam downstairs to this:
Good thing I didn't invest too much time on that project. 

What do you do for fall decorating? I'm going to carve a pumpkin tonight. I want to do one like this one but I'm pretty sure I would fail miserably. 

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