7.31.2012

Tunes Tuesday--Queen

A little sidenote why this is my song today.

Yesterday, I tried this workout I found via Yahoo. There are some aerobics only sections that are for two minute intervals, so I was looking through my iTunes to find songs that would work when I cut them down to 2 minutes. This was one of them, and the song has been in my head since.

In case you were wondering, I didn't even get close to finishing the workout, and I'm sore all over anyway. oh well!


Queen--Don't stop me now

7.27.2012

Up-Down Life

Hi!

Lately life feels like a roller coaster. It seems that every good thing is balanced by a bad thing. I don't want to get into specifics, but here is a perfect example:

I finally finished my second take on McCall 6011. I don't own a full-length mirror, so I took a low quality picture just so I could see if full length.

Yes, those color blocks are there to hide the place my hands were. *sigh*

I decided to wear the dress for good luck on a grad school presentation, and I figured I would take real pictures the following day.

Apparently, I did not close my water bottle 100% when I left class. I take the train home, so this bag was in my lap the whole time.


EVIL in bag form.
 The leaked water hit the bag, and color of the bag left a gorgeous stain on my brand new dress. I nearly cried/died. I used stain removers and threw it in the wash immediately. It's 98% gone, and you can only tell if you know it's there (which I do). I was so upset I have yet to re-press the dress so I can take pictures. And I've been sick since Tuesday, so my motivation is pretty much nil.

The bag is now in the trash. =)

7.23.2012

Recipes from the Internet

Hello!

I love cooking in the summer because I have time to do research and actually pick recipes. Most night when I am teaching and I cook I play the game of "what weird combination of these random items can I make tonight?"

My one friend has recommended Smitten Kitchen as a fantastic recipe source. My friend in particular loves this recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars. For some reason, I really wanted chicken marsala, so I tried the Smitten Kitchen recipe here.

Smitten Kitchen's Chicken Marsala


Success! Easy, lovely, and delicious. I will definitely be making this again.

Surprisingly, I have yet to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon. Many people have recommended it to me, but I already spend WAY too much time on the internet, and this would add a whole new level of time-consumption that I cannot afford. I did come across this cute blog called 366 Days of Pinterest where the blogger is tackling one Pin a day. I reminds me of the New Dress a Day blog (and there are probably many "SOMETHING" a day blogs out there, but I know of these two only).

Anyway, the Pinterest blog had a recipe for Mini Tacos using wonton wrappers as the base (the original post by Ginnerobot via flickr is here). You bake them in cupcake tins, and they are adorable. I would recommend baking the wonton wrappers for like 5 minutes first to get them more crispy, but other than that, they were lovely!

Have you pulled any recipes from the internet lately? Were they a success?

7.19.2012

Ick...Brass

Hi-

Out kitchen has a brass chandelier. I do not like brass. At all. I would LOVE to make it pretty by painting it over, but that's not an option for renters. Here's what we started with.



It's not light, but the lights are pretty glaring. I decided to at lease distract from the brass with little lampshades. I went to A.C. Moore and bought them for ~$3 each.

I wanted to cover them with fabric, but then I worried that it'd be too permanent. I was then going to make a whole set like Diane did here, but I happened to really like the first set I made. I also used reversible scrapbook paper, so I could just turn them inside out. The biggest difference I made was not to tape the paper cover pieces together, but to make a tab-slot setup. This way I can reverse them if I want, and I can store them flat if I ever make more



I just slid these on top of the white mini lampshades and I was good to go. I have the darker blue-gray side showing. When it's not lit, that's all that shows.



But when it's lit....

How fun! I'm super happy with how they turned out!

I still have the brass chandelier, though. I'm thinking about wrapping it, but I dunno if that will look too hippy or cheesy. Maybe if I went with a thinner material? Yarn perhaps? And white instead of brass (I can do the temporary rubber cement instead of real glue)? These yarn chandelier globes kept coming up during my searches; I'd love to make these for our bedroom. Probably in white or cream.

What was a great fix for something you really didn't like in your apartment?

7.18.2012

M6011--Almost finished!

Hello!

I've slowly been working on my second M6011. The last time I mentioned it (almost a month ago!) I only had the bodice constructed. I've come a long way since. Check out the progress!
No, I didn't change the fabric. I am showing the lining side. I am trying -REALLY- hard to make this look super nice on the inside with all finished seams, so I thought all the pictures should reflect that.
Slightly blurry, but look at the flat-felled seams on the shoulders! French seams and curves aren't friends, so I thought this would be the best option. I kept the bodice lining piece the 5/8", and then trimmed the remaining three layers to about 1/8-1/4" long. Most sites I read said to go for 1/4", but I had to cut it shorter mainly at the top of the shoulder for the convex curve and the many layers.
French seams along the side pieces of both skirts. I also really wanted to do French seams for the center back seam, but I didn't think it would work with a zipper. Internet sites suggested using a Hong Kong seam finish, but since it is the lining (that no one will see), I opted to serge it to reduce bulk.

Hand sewing the midriff piece to the skirt lining. I even trimmed the seam allowances below like the pattern maker suggested (I never do that!). The pattern also recommends to topstitch the upper and lower edges of the midriff, but I prefer it to look more solid. If I feel like it needs the definition at a later date, I can always add it.
After I finish sewing the midriff piece, I have to tackle the zipper, then the hem, and I will be set!
At this point, I am getting a little nervous. I know I looked at the pattern -finished- sizes on the envelope (as opposed to the recommended sizes) due to the sizing issues I had the last time I made M6011. Of course, last time I did version B, and now I'm doing C, so there is noe difference. I am starting to worry that it may be too small! However, the fashion fabric does have some stretch to it, so I may be okay. If it is too tight, I do have the option of reducing the back center seam from 5/8" to 3/8" (which would grant me an extra half inch)  or even reduce it to 1/4" (which would result in an extra 3/4 inch of room).

The pattern calls for an invisible zipper. I am not really great at installing invisible zippers, despite the plethora of tutorials on the internet. Luckily (or unluckily) for me, there was no invisible zipper in the correct color for me. THe alst time I made this dress I had an issue due to its color-blocking (cream on top, but navy for the skirt), but this time I just have one big pattern. I did find a regular zipper that matches pretty well. (color 432: Caribbean blue)

Sunni just hosted another sewalong (I am too timid to try one because I am sure I could never stay on schedule, but I've considered joining one LONG after they are finished), and she has a bunch of excellent links for zipper installations and hems. Check it out here. It's so helpful!

Do you have any projects that are "almost" finished?

7.17.2012

Tunes Tuesday

I am a 90's child...

Spice Girls-Say You'll be There

7.13.2012

To Knit or To Buy?

I saw this this blog post via craft gossip and I found it very funny and helpful.

Here is the handy flowchart
Image from Panopticon
 How do you decide whether to make or to buy?

Wall Art

Hello!

This is a very delayed post. Over a year ago, I saved this image to my computer. I don't know the original source (if you do, please let me know so they can receive credit!) of this wall art, but I absolutely loved it.


May was the 7(!) year anniversary for my boyfriend and I. I am not a painter--I am a textile crafter only. However, I really thought that this wall art would be fantastic in our new apartment. So I went to AC Moore, got the canvas, the brushes, and the paint...and I got to work.

However, this was not a project I could just "leave out" while it was drying. One, the cats would be all over it, and two, my boyfriend would surely see it. So, I worked on it either before school or after school every day for about 2 weeks.

I love it probably a little more than he does, but he thought it was pretty amazing. In our new apartment, it is hanging right above our bed.

My version is not nearly as "clean" as the inspirational one, but considering this was the first time I painted -anything- besides a room, I consider it a success:


Wall_Art_Love_Birds_Tree

Wall_Art_Love_Birds_Left

Wall_Art_Love_Birds_Middle

Wall_Art_Love_Birds_Right

Have you ever tried to replicate wall art? Was is a success?

7.10.2012

Tunes Tuesday--Goo Goo Dolls

Hi! I actually have crafty things to post about, but I have my toxicology midterm on Thursday, so I'm studying as much as I can. I'll post on Friday--promise!!

A good, mellow song for studying.

Goo Goo Dolls--Acoustic #3

7.05.2012

Pickles

Hello!

I hope that you had a terrific 4th of July. Ryan insisted that we stay home and have our own holiday. It was nice. We actually managed to hang up 90% of our wall art (and now I realize we didn't have a lot at the old place).

The past weekend, my younger brother (who has been my kitchen helper a few time already) and I decided to make pickles. He loves pickles, especially the bread-and-butter variety. We used a recipe from the same canning book I used when I made the Roasted Red Peppers in Lemon Sauce (I only have half a jar of them left!).

It was cute because my younger brother (he's 21) is very protective of me, so all of the "dangerous" (hot water) parts he insisted on doing, even though I canned previously and he didn't.

Anyway, here are pictures of the pickles!
Bread-and-Butter_Pickles_Homemade_1
You can see the adorable flour containers I picked up at Goodwill. My brother actually took the one on the right home. The one of the left will serve as a cookie jar for me.

Bread-and-Butter_Pickles_Homemade_2


They have a bit of a spicy aftertaste (I think from the red pepper flakes), so if I were to make them again, I'd probably omit those 'cause bread-and-butter pickles should be S-W-E-E-T! That being said, they are really good; Ryan and I have already gone through a half a quart!


Have you done any new food adventures lately?

7.03.2012

7.01.2012

Shoes for my nephew!

Hello!

I love Shwin & Shwin. They have so many cute items and tutorials. I have bookmarked many for my little nephew (although he's already 6 months old!), but I have yet to make any. However, I had some free time this weekend, so I tackled a rather tiny project: the Little Man Shoes! I wanted to do the two-tone-version she posted at a later date, but I mixed up my coloration, so instead of the print being the buckled piece, the solid bornw was. Either way, these were super easy to make, and I loved them! I gave them to my nephew, and they fit (which I was worried about because he is 6 months, and the pattern is 3-6 or 6-9).



On another note, I really need to get better at taking pictures. I wish we had space to take pictures in. I tried some packing material for the clean white background, but it still isn't nearly as pretty as all of the other bloggers. Oh well.

Have you tried any online tutorials with success lately?