Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
When I told Chad I was making soap for Christmas gifts, he caught the DIY Fever! We found a recipe (his grandparents) for candied pecans and his mother (THANK YOU KATHY!) sent us 10lbs of fresh pecans from his aunt's pecan tree in Alabama.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I'm a big fan of quick projects because I distract and get bored easily (we all have our faults...this is a judgement free blog). Which brings me to stitching. A little embroidery here and there I can crank out in no time. But counted cross stitch was my very first craft that I abandoned for it's utter lack of instant gratification. But being un-gratified until March sounded like a good idea to me!
So what would be worth the work and look nice on display without being annoyingly country and sap-tastic? Vintage and Colonial Samplers! And so the madness begins.
Chad's reaction: What's a sampler? Why does it have an alphabet? I don't get it.
I tried to explain and realized I didn't know much about them either. Apparently, samplers have been around since the 15th or 16th century. Back in the "day", there were no printed patterns, charts, or companies devoted to creating kick ass busy work. So instead, women would see something and say, "That's totally awesome. I would like to stitch that" thus making a mini version or Sample (see how it's all coming together) of a previously stitched original. Eventually a woman's cloth of samples became a beautiful showcase for alphabet styles, motifs, borders, flora, fauna and her voice. (WARNING: Hot second from getting philosophical about crafting). I like to think of these as the socially acceptable art form of the past. It's not like we were encouraged to write, speak, be educated or think. But stitching? Totally cool. It's like every sampler from back then is a symbol of a woman's individuality that she was otherwise forced to keep to herself. Geeking out crafty style right now.
So I bought a chart and have been working every night since Tuesday. I chose to stick with Aida (the kind of material that has pre "punched" holes for the thread and much more affordable than linen). I'm totally intimidated by the thought of using linen because it's flimsier fabric and therefore my stitches look wonky and awful. But after I finish this one, I'm moving on to another (an AMAZING love/wedding sampler) that requires linen for the different stitches. Eeek! I'm sure I'll have another "When Keeping It Crafty Goes Wrong" entry for you...stay tuned.
Chad is worried all that will be hanging on the walls is alphabets, birds, funny little stitched people and houses. I promised I would only take over one room...or maybe two. The best news is I haven't changed my mind or over-thought the wedding one bit since I started. I feel productive and let's face it, there's nothing sexier than a woman who rocks the domestic arts!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
These are for my Secret Santa exchange at the office. She loves to read and thought something made is much better than something picked up at a store within our $10 limit.
After some experimentation, I found the finished bookmark should measure about 2.5 inches x 8.5 inches. I always add an 1 inch for seam allowance so the fabric should be cut into strips of 3.5 x 9.5 (so each side will have a .5 inch allowance). I loved mixing and matching all my old fabrics and especially dug the idea to quickly stitch her first initial on one. And you HAVE to top stitch these otherwise they do not lay flat and you lose the more "polished" look.
Stay Tuned for more "Very Little Christmas" ideas!
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. My fiance's schedule has changed which has completely thrown me for a loop. He's now home the same times I am and I can't help it...I'm a total sucker for that man.
2. After the "Baby-Palooza Craft-a-thon" I have outfitted my new niece Darcy with bibs, booties, a lovely Little Bo Peep doll (her room is sheep themed and I thought she could use some help keeping them in check), a turkey dress, 101 onezies, burp cloths and a tutu. I'm pooped and in need of alternative inspiration. Chad suggested college football (Roll Tide) but for some reason a hounds tooth ball coozie doesn't seem very practical.
2. I was kidnapped by wolves. Thank goodness they spared me my thumbs. Go ahead and laugh, but just try to thread a needle without 'em.
3. Halloween 2008 = Sad Face. Our annual party had to be cancelled with the promise of a 2009 return. Until then, all of my ridiculous costume ideas are filed in the part of my brain that resembles a Broadway show on acid.
4. The cats ate my crafting. Stupid Kitties.
5. Work. I work because I think I would hate crafting if I tried to make it a living out of it. I admit, I need to keep my day job.
6. "The Dress." I ordered my wedding dress back in May. From May until September I anxiously awaited it's arrival (I ordered from a picture so I didn't actually see the dress in person). What I didn't realize was all that angst + new job + new house was manifesting itself in the size of my ass. September the dress was here with no intention of fitting around the extra 15lbs. So I joined a gym and have been working hard....I can't say enough good things about Curves for those of us challenged by the concept of gym equipment. 2 months later, the dress fits. It's not cute by any means and I could literally drown in my own cleavage, but I have some time. Go me.
7. I had salmonella and SARS (aka a stomach virus and cold that I diagnosed myself! Thank you WebMD).
8. I have always liked football, I just never had a team to root for. I have been adopted by the SEC and I have to say I look super cute in Crimson (see #1).
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Really I finally have an excuse to execute all the nutty ideas that keep me up at night. This one turned out pretty well. Darcy has been given lots of "holiday themed" gear...Easter Dresses, 4th of July dresses, Christmas dresses, Halloween onesies, etc. So I was trying to be different and since Thanksgiving is a huge deal in my family, why not make a turkey dress?
I had a really great paisley print that was ever so autumnal and the best part...it was already in my collection! No trip to the fabric store needed....well at least for fabric. I did take full advantage of a giant pattern sale...you can't beat patterns for 99cents!
This particular pattern also gave a guide for some sweet embroidery which I will probably use at a later date. The whole thing was just too "typical baby" and I wanted to make this a little funkier...my sister and her husband have a great appreciation for the unusual. They love me after all! I will say that the jacket was very easy, but the dress was a super pain.
My favorite part was creating Mr. Turkey. I'm getting better at applique on my machine. This is the first project I've done in a while that has actually turned out right...after the great coat disaster of '08, I've been doubting my abilities. I'm pretty pleased with this though! I just hope it fits my tiny little niece!
Monday, October 6, 2008
In honor of one of my favorite holidays, I thought I'd put together a list of DIY ideas and photos of costumes I've either made or had the honor of seeing friends make. Nothing like being resourceful!
8. Mrs. Mia Wallace....my good friend Rachel was sooooo perfect! A trip to Kmart, some fake blood and a little baking soda, she was ready for Jack Rabbit Slim's twist contest.
7. Elvis....The King never goes out of style! I will admit that the jumpsuit came out of a bag. However, the cape I made from a large photo copy of the real thing. And you can ALWAYS addmore! For example, the belt was kind of cheesy, so some chains from the hardware store and some extra rhinestones in the shape of an eagle and it looked much better. And the hair? That's all his....I do love a man who isn't afraid to commit! (P.S. He's going to marry me. No really people, he is!!)
4. Optimus Prime....He made this with spray paint, duct tape and a fantastic sense of humor. I was so impressed when he actually TRANSFORMED on my living room floor!
3. Team Double Dare....such a great Throw Back! I think he actually did his own artwork on the shirts, but this was a great couple costume with little needed!
2. The Pink Flamingo....I mean, who doesn't want to cover themselves in hot pink and dance around on one leg all night? I did actually make the dress, but the feathers were hot glued on and the headpiece was made out of cardboard and a headband. My favorite part? Goodwill seafoam bridesmaid shoes that I transformed into feathery flamingo feet...thank you hot glue, thank you!
1. The Asian Lettuce Wrap....my brother's girlfriend at the time wanted to be this for Halloween but had no idea how to do it. Again, I am always completely pleased with how anything I make out of felt looks when it's finished. The obi is constructed withbrocade and some interfacing...The "lettuce" is felt with flimsy green organza top stitched on in the likeness of lettuce leaves. She put chopsticks in her hair and looked AMAHZING!!
I hope this helps get some creative juices flowing...and just think, it's only for ONE night/ONE party/ONE time. It doesn't have to be constructed perfectly. Use everyday, mundane objects and you never know what you'll end up with!
I had it completely figured out. I found fabric at the store the other day and thought, wow...that stuff is AMAHZING but what would I ever use it for? On the way home I thought, YES! It would be a coat! Perfect! So I researched patterns and found the perfect one(Butterick B4665)...and magically, the pattern was on sale for $1.99. This HAD to be karma and divine intervention from the powers that be. On a side note, the pattern is fantastic. I highly recommend it.
My problem came with the fabric. Again, I knew what I wanted but I failed to check the price tag. The dream fabric could be all mine for $25.99 a yard. I needed 4 yards and thought: for $100 and hours of labor I could make a trip to Tyson's and buy a coat.
So instead, I spent 2 hours in the fabric store deciding on an alternative. I knew I wanted it to follow my "PrepClectic" sense of style: One that has about a 3 in 5 chance of going horribly, horribly wrong. Not great odds in my closet.
So I picked a houndstooth-esque print. My fiance is a Bama alum and HUGE fan...I thought it would be just perfect. I wanted it to be light blue with red buttons and a red lining (it's my favorite color palette right now...I blame Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette and this dress.....drool.)
I'm in line for the cutting table, two elderly ladies behind me started just gushing over the bolt like it was their first grandchild. That should have been a clue. So I got home, cut it out and constructed the outside and holy hell....it's ugly. I mean looks like I stole it off a bag lady kind of ugly. I didn't even have the heart to put the lining in! It turns out the "light blue" is definitely seafoam green against the cream background. So with the red it gives the effect of a Christmas elf booted from the North Pole because it wanted to make fashion not toys.
I do however want to salvage the project. I bought some cool brown zebra print thinking it would make a good lining....so perhaps I can pair that with something a little less Dorothy Gale on the Crack Brick Road.
At least it's keeping Taco warm....bad taste kitty! Bad taste!