Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photo A Day Recap: Week 5

28: Through: It was very snowy this day and Penny and I were worried about Charlie making it home alright. He finally did come through the door. It took him about 45 minutes than usual but he was home safe. I always know when Charlie is coming home because Penny gets up and runs around the living room with glee waiting for him to come in the door. It's very cute.

29: Grow: This was a super lame cop out. I have killed every plant I've ever owned, so we have no growing things in our house. I used to worry that my undefeated record for killing plants would not bode well for having pets of babies. Then I figured out that if plants cried or whined when they were hungry or needed water I would remember to feed and water them. So my lame photo of the day was of a painting of plants that I made several years ago. It reminds me that I have too many hobbies, and not enough time, since I hardly ever paint anymore.

30: Down: Are you sick of me posting pictures of Penny? I hope not because the madness continues. When we come home and get ready to take Penny outside she gets really excited and runs downstairs and waits by the door. It's adorable. If you look close her tail is a blur because it's wagging.

31: Yourself: My new watch came in the mail today and I had to test it out. I got all sweaty, wet/muddy (I fell) and then remembered I was supposed to take a picture of myself today for the challenge. Oops. So here's me all gross, and my new pink watch.

I have about 12 hours to decide if I am going to do the February challenge. Here are the prompts if you're so inclined to join.

Have you gotten anything new lately?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Purple Jersey Dress

One day about a week ago I was cutting out a pattern and Charlie was laying on the guest bed while I worked. He apparently never knew about the hidden compartment above where your pillow goes. He began exploring, and dug out a whole bunch of fabric and unfinished projects I was trying to forget about. One project was this dress. All that was left unfinished was the hem. Seriously Lauren, the hem?

I looked back at some facebook photos and realized that I last worked on this dress February 22, 2011. Fo almost two years this poor hemless dress was hidden away. I felt so bad I decided to finish it that night. I didn't even have to change the thread color I was using. I can't tell if that's a testament to my love of purple, or my unwillingness to typically change thread colors. 

This was meant to show how many times I had to shorten the front due to Sergical mistakes. Get it, serger-mistakes. 

I honestly don't remember much about the process of making this dress, since it was 2 years ago. The idea/ measurements came from "Sew U Home Stretch". It was from my own measurements and drafted pattern. The fabric is obviously jersey, which we all know I am scared of. I got it at Marden's for super cheep. It's very soft. I am still not 100% sure about the dress though. The styling needs some help. Black ribbon belt? Silver belt? No belt? Sweater? I need Tim Gun. I figure if this dress doesn't work out for wearing in public it could just be a night gown-ish thing since it is super comfortable. Either way it will to warm up to wear it since I've been wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt to bed lately.

Any ideas on styling?

What do you do with sort-of failed projects?


Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Boost Running Motivation

Running in the winter stinks. Especially when you have a full time job. The snow, and negative temperatures do not help either. My running mo-jo has been low lately. On Saturday Penny and I did a great 4ish mile run at 10 am when it was a whopping 13 degrees. It felt great. I had been waiting to see if I would feel up for the trail race I mentioned earlier. In order to boost my willingness and interest in running I did three things.

 1. Bought a new watch. Mine has been slowly deteriorating for the last year. I have to snap it together every time I put it on, it smells funny, and the buttons sometimes work. I got the new Garmin Forerunner 10. It has a GPS which will work well for me. I previously mapped my runs out on Daily Mile before I went running. This worked well, until we got Penny. She likes to run where she wants, when she wants. Having her has made me realize that I really like that type of running as well. We also prefer to take her running on trails so she can be off leash. It's quite hard to map trail runs. This summer the loop that I thought was 3 miles turned out to be only 2.67 once we finally GPS'ed it. It's not that much of a difference, but it adds up.  This will help me know how far we've really gone. It's  kind of a splurge, but my Birthday money was burning a hole in my pocket. Charlie has the men's version so I know it works well and is a good buy. Plus it's pink! 
2.  Registered for this race. The Muddy Moose, in April. I really like trail racing and the 14 mile distance appeals to me. It's far enought that I really have to train, but short enough that I can walk the next day/week.  Looking at the pictures from the previous years got me excited to run through mud puddles too.

3. Wrote a training guide. Having a plan helps me stay focused. It's funny how just a piece of paper on the fridge can keep me on track. The plan starts tomorrow, after it's done snowing.

What do you do to get motivated?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Photo A Day Recap: Week 4

Here is my week 4 of the photo a day challenge. I find that when I use my camera I have better quality pictures that I am proud of, but I don't typically get around to publishing them that day. Friday-Sunday were posted all at the same time this morning. Oops.

21:Something You Do: I had the day off so I went with "Something you do on a day off." I cut out a pattern for a dress. Fabric was from my stash. Hurray for using fabric from the stash.

22: Corner: Corners of Thank You cards and my address book. My Grandmother always said that if you liked a present and wanted another one you should write a thank you note. Since then I always have.

23: Electric: One of my most favorite electronic devices. A few people asked me what happened to my old sewing machine. I still have it. I use it quite a bit. I have been using the Bernina with the walking foot to sew tricky fabrics lately (wool and fake silky fabric to be exact). There comments actually prompted me to change the blog name. Funny how little things can bring on a change.

24: Stripes: I'm not sure this counted but oh well. I think plaid is kind of like stripes. My new warm jumper.

25: Landscape: After work on Friday I drove to Dartmouth University to see a diving meet. The drive was not all that pretty, lots of trailers and run down old shops. This picture is heavily cropped to hide the stop light I was waiting at, all of the cars, and the power lines. I guess it teaches me to look past the not so pretty stuff and see the beautiful mountains in the distance.

26: Together: My friend Liz had a baby in October and wanted to have a get together with her friends. We all met in Concord and ate at Margarita's. It was fun. I miss her living right around the corner.  

 27: Sun: When we took Penny for a walk this morning the sun was so bright reflecting off of the snow. I took this picture without even looking because it was so bright. It was a pleasant surprise that Penny was in the shot, although very small. Can you see her?

 Only half a week left. Can you believe January is almost over?


Friday, January 25, 2013

Honeymoon Recap: Part Two

Part two of our trip was in Yosemite National Park. It was gorgeous. I'd never seen mountains that tall before. The waterfalls were breathtaking. Here are my favorite pictures. 

Entering Yosemite.
View of two of the waterfalls we hiked past. Vernal Falls in the lower left and Nevada Falls higher right. 

Shack Charlie made me sleep in. It wasn't that bad. It had electrictiy and
wasn't cold.  And I did not contract a fecal mouse virus and die so there's a plus. 
Half Dome. I hiked that beast. I still can't believe it myself. 
Swimming in the Merced River. Two days after we got home 2 people
drowned here. We really dodged a bunch of terrible outcomes on this trip. 
The first part of our Half Dome experience. Vernal Falls.  
Half Dome. Look closely on the left and you can see the line of people hiking up.
 They look like ants. I was so nervous knowing that in 30+ minutes I would be one of them. 
We made it! It felt like being on top of the world. 
After the paralyzing fear of hiking up Half Dome was over, I could document what it was like going down, with less fear. Although my hand was still tightly gripping the cables as I took these pictures. 
View going up. People go up and down on the same cables. This was a less busy time, when were were going up there was a line of people going up and another line coming down. There are boards every few feet to rest your toes on, while we were hiking up two of the board fell down the rock face. Needless to say that was pretty scary. 
What I looked like the entire time. 
Looking up. The pictures don't make it look as scary as it was. 
More idiots, I mean people, climbing up. 
Hiking back down Sub Dome was almost as scary as the cables. It was windy
 and there were all of these tiny steps carved into the rocks. 
Charlie didn't mind, but I was scared. It didn't help that my legs were super
tired and my knees were still clacking together from fear. 
It was a super fun trip. We didn't die, or get divorced, which were legitimate
fears I had. I would never hike Half Dome again, but I would go back to Yosemite
 in the spring to see the waterfalls really rushing.

I hope you enjoyed the recap. If you've never been to the West Coast I'd recommend it. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tova Jumper

For Christmas my Brother and Sister In Law bought me four yards of two plaid fabrics. After practicing my skills on the Tova top I jumped right into this project. I probably should have researched more about sewing with plaid. It's pretty crooked. I even tried to match the plaids on the sides. That did not work. Not at all, just don't look too closely.

Don't look at the crooked plaids, look at the ceiling, a common
trend when I take pictures of myself apparently. 

I made a lot of changes to this pattern. Some intentionally, some just as a whim. I can never making anything easy on myself. As with the top, I added an extra placket piece of fabric so the wrong side of the fabric wouldn't show. It turned out to be quite bulky, since it's made of wool. In order to reduce some of the bulk I took out one of the placket strips so the inside one doesn't have an extra piece, I just sewed the line so it looks like it does. I saw a corduroy Tova dress that had the little hanging loop here, so I copied it. I think it's cute.  I also changed the neck. It was supposed to be taller but I shortened it by just sewing it onto the edge right sides together, turning it and pressing it up then folding it over and hand stitching it on the inside. 

I also added pockets using the Washi dress pattern piece. I love pockets. They kept my hands super warm today while I was in a conference room that was about 53 degrees. Speaking of cold weather. I was worried I wouldn't be able to wear this until the temperature warmed up a bit since it's been about 10 degrees here in New Hampshire lately with negative temps if you count the wind chill. My solution was to wear my new long johns as if there were leggings. No one even knew. Aside from walking to school, and the freezing meeting, I was warm all day.

Lastly, I had planned to add sleeves. I called my Mom via Facetime and she reassured me that the dress should be a jumper (ie sleeveless). I was worried I would look like a 12 year old, but my Mum said I should be happy I look young. She also said the sleeves would be even harder to match the plaids. I figured I had done a crap job of matching the plaids to begin with so I should quit before it got worse. It also seems a lot less bulky without sleeves made of wool. 

My new jumper even goes with my infinity scarf. Success.

Did you know what a jumper was?

Do you think jumpers made of plaid make you look like you escaped from private boarding school?


Ski Vacation Recap

For my birthday Charlie planned a trip to Jay Peak. It was tons of fun. The hotel is brand new and has tons of amenities. 

Comfy beds. 

A fireplace. I love fireplaces. Whenever we were in the room I turned it on. 

Keurig, tiny stove, mini fridge. Tiny stiff makes cooking seem more appealing. 
 The room was great, but the skiing was even better. The first day it was really cold. One chair lift had a -30 degree wind chill warning. We thought they were kidding, they were not. The second day was warmer and it had snowed that night and into the morning so the conditions were great. We skied from 8:30 until 3:30 with a lunch break as our only stopping time. The third day was windy and snowy. It was so windy that three of the chair lifts were closed down. We stayed until lunch and then went home.

Tram stop all the way at the peak. 

View from the top. 

 Aside from 3 and 18, 118 is my third favorite number. Can you guess why? January 18th (1/18) is my birthday. I always look at the number of the chair lift we're on. On Friday, 1/18, my birthday we got on lift 118. I thought it was funny/coincidental.

Besides the skiing and fancy room, the hotel also had an indoor pool/water park. I love water parks so this was a huge selling point for me. There were four slides, a surf area, rock climbing wall, and two hot tubs, one inside and one outside. The best slide was the red one. You stand at the top inside a plastic cage and a voice says "3, 2, 1, launch" and then the floor under you falls out and you fall through the tube. I screamed the entire way. The second time I did it I somehow flipped myself onto my stomach and banged my elbow and hip in the process. I was okay. Once at a water park I got a bloody nose s that was nothing.

A 27 year olds dream!
I tried to take a picture of us on one of the slides. This is the best I got. It was so fun.

 The other great part was that on the way to dinner one night there was a huge fireworks show.
I didn't even tell them it was my birthday!

Skiing, water park slides, a fireplace, yummy food, Keurig machines, and fireworks. This was pretty much the greatest weekend of my life. If you ever get a chance to go to Jay Peak I would recommend it. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Huge Problems Via Bad Pictures and GIF's

These are listed in no particular order of enormity, except the last, which is the most grave.

1. I tried to knit a sweater and realized when I was starting the fourth of six skeins of yarn that I would not have enough. I realized this in November and put the project aside. I just now remembered and it's a fresh wound all over again. I'd like to make something nice out of this yarn. Maybe I'll just make 10 scarves.
Whatever I make, none of it will be done by the end of the winter. 
2. The kit I have for the cross stitch I've been working on since 2008 (have I mentioned this enough?) did not come with enough of one color of embroidery floss. Luckily you can call the company and request more of the color you're missing. Unfortunately, the people who work at the company have sent me the wrong color. Twice! It's the only color I have left to do so I am essentially at a stand still. I was on such a roll too.
Super peeved. 
3. I've finished two dresses recently. Only problem is it's too cold to wear them.
That's my cold face. 
4. I got this new facial scrub. I love it. I dropped it in the shower the other day and the bottle broke. Now it leaks everywhere. That stuff costs a lot and it's dripping all over the shower.
I'm watching you facial scrub.
5. The tennis bracelet Charlie bought me for Christmas lost a jewel today. Luckily he bought the lifetime guarantee. He knows me well.

6. I am making another dress/shirt and I have deviated so much from the pattern that I am now completely lost. The pattern is 0 help, because of above mentioned deviations. The fabric is a pain to sew too.
When I get confused I just give up. See you in 4 years dress. 
7. I accidentally pulled out my retractable tape measure out too far and it won't wind back up.  Now I'll have to keep it in a crumpled mess.
Crumpled mess, you stink. 
8. I've been watching Gossip Girl on Netfix while I sew. I know it's a dumb show, but I like it. It's mindless, I like the clothes, it doesn't matter if I miss 10 minutes because the sewing machine is loud, and most importantly I love/hate Blake Lively. Also, Charlie hates it so it doesn't matter that I watch it while he's not home. In fact, he prefers that. The problem is that Nexflix only has seasons 1-5 and not the last season.
I can only get the last 5 episode of season 6 on Hulu, not the first 5. Who wants to watch the last five without knowing what's already happened? Hulu.....

Will someone who is tech savvy please help me with this? 

K Thanks!


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