Random end-of-summer thoughts

It’s not quite the end of my summer yet, but it’s getting close…I have a faculty meeting for the school I teach band at on Tuesday, and school starts on the 31st. I don’t actually start until the Wednesday of that week, though, since I’m only there one day a week. I’ve also been trying to get an idea of what my flute teaching schedule is going to look like, and so far it’s been kind of a mess. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to work in time for both exercise and craftiness, but that remains to be seen. I’ve kind of been feeling like this may be the most hectic fall (which is always one of my busiest seasons) of my adult life to date, between juggling my band job, fitting in my teaching (which I have to rearrange my entire schedule due to schedule issues with music schools that I have no control over), and my brother’s upcoming wedding, which I still need to arrange one piece of music for and then find time to rehearse with the violinist. I really need to try and finish that next week.

In preparation for the fall, I’ve been pondering several things:

  • I’ve had cooking on the brain lately. Maybe it’s my as-of-yet unfulfilled desire to watch Julie & Julia (which, at the rate I’m going, won’t be fulfilled until it comes out on DVD and I can Netflix it), maybe it’s because I’m gearing up for fall and usually the only way I can eat dinner then is to take it out of the freezer. Probably both. But I’ve been in the mood to do it more. I did manage to concoct something on Thursday with some pasta, canned chicken, bottled mushrooms and olives, and fresh tomatoes from the garden–it wasn’t quite something I could call a recipe yet, but it might be worth experimenting with in the future. And I’ve spent a good bit of today cooking–an Asian-style marinaded pork in the crockpot, and a mushroom risotto to eat on the side with some roasted chicken I already had in the freezer. I used recipes for both, but ended up having to tweak both due to some ingredient constraints– the only day I could run to the natural food store to get dried mushrooms was Tuesday, and so I didn’t want to get both dried and fresh because I knew the fresh wouldn’t be good by now and used all dried. And I didn’t have as much sour cream as it called for. And I forgot to add teriyaki sauce to the store list, so instead of doing the peanut sauce that it called for, I ended up having to combine teriyaki, soy sauce and hoison sauce. (Probably just as well….the hoison had been around for awhile, so it was probably time to use it up. I ate some of the risotto for lunch, and it turned out pretty tasty (although better when I added a couple of pieces of bacon!) I’m not sure if it’ll be my go-to recipe though, because it was pretty involved– two saucepans and all. The pork is going to be my dinner tonight, and hopefully will be done within about the next ten minutes of when I’m writing this. So hopefully it’ll turn out ok.
  • Though technically my pledge over at Wardrobe Refashion is supposed to end at the end of the month, I effectively ended it for myself as of yesterday. I need too many pairs of pants to sew and thrift them all by the time it gets cold enough for them here (which, given how the weather’s been here in the mid-Atlantic this year, it’ll probably get suddenly cold right around the middle of October with no warning and no in-between season.) And JC Penney’s was having a sale that I had a coupon for. I’d been getting concerned lately about weight gain due to having to take my measurements for a recent sewing project (which will be elaborated on in a near-future post) and having the waist be a whole inch off from what I’d had written down before. I’m actually feeling kind of better about it after yesterday’s shopping trip, because as it turns out, I was fitting into pants a full two sizes below what I thought it would be! But here’s the problem: almost every pair of pants I tried on still looked awful on me. I don’t know if it’s my particular curves, especially in my thighs, or the fabric they were using to make these pants, but every single lump and bump was showing, and I just wasn’t comfortable with walking around in public like that. (The seamstress in me is inclined to think the fabric is slightly more to blame, seeing as how most of it was thin, clingy polyester blends.) So I ended up only getting one pair of trousers and one pair of jeans (to replace my now-defunct homemade ones, at least until I can rework the fit and have the time to make it.) I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I am going to get pants that fit and look good on me is to make them myself….though I’m still going to have to try a few other stores in the meantime, because I don’t even want to try them again until I can get the whole fitting thing down.
  • Not to mention I don’t have the time to sew them right now anyway… I have a few other pressing projects on the plate. (Now try saying that five times fast.) I’ve been working mostly on a quickie Ren Faire costume for next weekend, but that’s pretty much done except for two accessories (a head-scarf type thing for my peasanty Gypsy-ish costume, and a drawstring pouch to hold essentials like my camera and money which I’m planning on hanging from my waist for some hands-free fun.) I’ve also been spending some time today on the last piece of my summer mini-wardrobe that I’ll be finishing at this time, my BWOF knit tank top. I’m hoping to finish that after dinner, so we’ll see if the storms hold off. And then the next thing has to be tracing out the pattern and making the muslin for the dress pattern that I’m hoping to use for my brother’s October 3rd wedding. It was a tough decision to make, but I decided to make things easier on myself and not actually sew them something for their shower gift. And I’m thinking that for the wedding, I might just give them an IOU on some pillows to go with the loveseat they bought. (No room in the condo they’ll be moving into for a couch.)

Food cravings aside (the teriyaki pork stuff is pretty tasty, btw! Eating that now), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my sewing and my lifestyle and how they fit together. And I came to the conclusion that I’ve been putting way too much pressure on myself. Not in terms of quality of the garments, so much– I’d still like the finished products to look good and be finished properly– but more in terms of feeling like I have to make everything. I could almost define it as a pride issue– like I have to be totally DIY and self-sufficient or I’m failing. I want to be constantly developing my skills and stretching myself, of course, but I don’t want to suck all the fun out of sewing by feeling that I have to make everything. Plus that takes away from other creative endeavors that I’d like to do, like my neglected scrapbooks (I did finally get a new batch of photos developed, so that’s a start). And, on a practical note, I’m just not going to be able to sew many clothes over the next couple of months, not while I have an entire bedroom to paint and redecorate and sew for. As busy as this upcoming season of my life is going to be, maybe it’s ok to just step back a little. And not feel guilty that I have to buy pants right now.

(The next post will have a picture of some kind, I promise.)

Finally catching up

Finally getting around to the rest of what I’ve been up to in the last couple of weeks.

#1: The car seat covers. I meant to do these last summer, but it was one of those things that I just ran out of time to do, and then it got cold, and so on. But I finished these the weekend before this past one. Made them out of four beach towels. The previous ones were beach towels too… in the spirit of trying to not be wasteful, I cut up the old ones (also beach towels) and am in the process of serging the edges of them to make blotters for a papermaking project I’m hoping to do soon.

#2: Last week was an extra-busy work week for me– the annual middle school band camp that I’m the flute instructor for. Monday and Tuesday were particularly rough in that they were very long work days, between that and my regular flute teaching. But when I got home on Tuesday, despite being quite tired, I was in the mood to do something creative that I wouldn’t have to think about too much. So I popped in Bride & Predjudice (not a mistype, the Bollywood version) and broke out the beads, and this is the result…

Gryffindor earrings!! We had some theme days, and since Wednesday was the premiere for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the kids were encouraged to wear house colors. So I went with this. (The red looks a little more burgundy when it’s not in that sort of lighting, and I happened to have a non-HP-related burgundy and gold shirt that also has a star on it, so it does double-duty.) My best friend, who is a die-hard Potterhead, stopped by briefly that night to borrow my hiking daypack, and so I made her an identical pair. She was quite pleased.

This necklace is actually a reconstruction of sorts– I made the basic necklace a couple of years ago, with a sun pendant that was huge. It didn’t look so good and it kept falling off anyway. I got the pendant separately with no idea of what to do with it, and finally realized that it went perfectly with the existing necklace.

The bone earrings were made to go with a shell -and-bone necklace that I wear all the time in the summer– one of the two original earrings got lost when I was out one day.
Finally, the “summer wardrobe” necklace– I got the materials for this specifically to fit my hippie-ish theme. (The cording is hemp.) In retrospect, I probably should have waited until I was a little more coherent and put the flowers closer to the pendant instead of the copper beads. Maybe someday I’ll redo that… we’ll see.

And then on Saturday, I spent most of the day sewing a skirt, but ended up wrapping it up with a quick refashion. I got these pjs during my freshman year of college, and they’ve served me well. But I’ve since learned that tank top + pants = limited wearability time for me– too hot for summer, too cold for winter, and the last couple of years the springs and falls haven’t really been much of a transitional time. So now I have a tank top + shorts. Much better.
And the bonus is I could make them longer shorts–I’m not particularly fond of walking around in short shorts, even for bumming around the house in my pjs!!

Also making some progress on my upcoming bedroom makeover…I’ve ended up with a different computer desk, since my dad found one for free that would save me more space in the room (and has a bit more storage options), and he’s helped me do a little repair work on it. I’ve also started what is looking to be the long, slow process of prepping it to paint– lots of sanding. (The repair involved sanding down the particle board enough on one piece that it pretty much has to be painted.) And I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond today to get some storage-type stuff for the closet and under the bed. (Was thinking about making some fabric storage bins, but I found some that were good sizes, sturdy, not too expensive and even matched the room, so I figured I’d save myself the time and hassle.)

To go back to the clothes refashioning…I’m feeling a need to do some simplifying again…the impending fall and all of its schedule changes/preparations for my brother’s wedding are stressing me out a bit. So it’s been a tough decision, but I’ve decided to take another break from Wardrobe Refashion after my pledge is up at the end of the summer. Seeing as how it’s the middle of July and I’m still working on my summer wardrobe plans, and I have to replace nearly all of my work pants and still haven’t mastered fitting those, and I need some sweaters and haven’t had luck with making or thrifting them, and my next several projects have to be things related to Adam and Julia’s wedding (including arranging the music for it, once they finalize that), I just can’t practically keep up with it. I figure I can still try to take away the lessons I’ve learned from it… I’m not going to stop refashioning, and I can look for some more sustainable options (at least for the sweaters…I have my doubts about the pants). And maybe if things calm down, I can go for another round. Everything has its season, and right now I think I just need to keep my sewing more simple and fun.

Friday Favorites, Episode 42

Going to be a long one this time, since I have stuff saved from the last two weeks. So in no particular order…

Ok, that’s it for today… my big project for today, since my time of not working on Fridays is probably over (starting back at the garden center tomorrow), was experimenting with henna to dye my hair. And my time for letting it sit is getting close to done, so I have to go wash mud out of my hair. And then maybe I can go sew!

Friday Favorites, Episode 41 (the late edition)

Technically, it IS still Friday, so…

Since it’s getting late, just going to run these off quickly. On myLifetime.com (found via another site, but I can’t remember if it was One Pretty Thing or Whip Up), I liked this laminated paper chandelier. They used an old book, which I thought was fun. Creativity Prompt had a video tutorial for a fabric covered hardbound book. Sigrid shared some hints and tips for using Burda World of Fashion patterns and what they don’t tell you to do– quite good timing, since I just cut out my very first BWOF pattern today! ThreadBanger shared some ideas for a dress pattern similar to the famous black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Craft Tutorials shared some tips for finishing craft projects in general, some of which I knew, but others I wouldn’t have thought of (like using a hairdryer to get rid of those pesky hot glue strands!) Antoinette made a great Flickr slideshow tutorial on turning a men’s shirt into a shirtdress (and I love her men’s shirt refashions, so I was happy to see this!) And at ScrapHappy, she did part 2 of her “Scrapbooking on the Road” miniseries.

3 Wardrobe Refashion picks this week: Ellsea’s Susan Pevensie costume (from Prince Caspian) that she made for her daughter completely out of thrift-store stuff, some appliqued jeans from the same person, and Meghan’s tunicy-dress thing.

Hopefully I’ll get some time to post again tomorrow… the time just got away from me today. The good news is, I was very productive. Finished my new spring/summer purse, got the aforementioned BWOF cut out (that drawstring blouse I was raving about in one of the more recent posts–ended up just using a piece of stash fabric because the men’s shirt didn’t have enough fabric), and starting a reconstruction (not the men’s shirt) that was inspired by a song and this book. More details on that to come. Plus I have an award (thanks to Sharon) that I need to post about. But now I need to get off the computer and get some sleep!

Friday Favorites, Episode 37

Kind of a slow week this time– now that it’s almost the end of January, most of what I’ve been finding out there in the way of tutorials and such have been for Valentine’s Day projects.

I hate Valentine’s Day. Always have. Red and pink (especially pink) are two of my least favorite colors, diamonds are not this girl’s best friend (especially after watching Blood Diamond— I don’t think I could ever get a piece of new diamond jewelry with a clean conscience now!), hearts are too cutesy for my taste, and most of all, I think real love should be celebrated any and every day of the year, not just because Hallmark tells you to on February 14th. Besides, let’s face it, when you’ve been single for as long as I have, it’s just torture. I don’t need to be any more aware of my singleness, thank you.

Ok, enough ranting. On with the projects.

Ironically, the first one is for a Valentine’s related project, but this is one I can really get behind. You know those candy hearts that taste like chalk and have tacky little messages on them like “U B MINE” and “LUV U” and crap like that? Well, over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, they decided to improve on these. #1, by making them edible (shortbread cookies instead of chalk) and then by stenciling their own messages on them. These ones were taken from classic LOLCats phrases, and therefore are already far superior to the average candy heart. (Incidentally, they do list some good uses for the regular candy hearts. Such as ammunition for a Lego trebuchet. Or sidewalk chalk on the cheap.)

On to more creatively fun projects. On Crafting a Green World this week, they demonstrated how to recycle the soles of old shoes (I’m guessing the ones that are too beat up for even the thrift store) into fun new rubber stamps. I have made my own stamps before, from the linoleum blocks as part of a printmaking project in my high school art class. It was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t mind trying it again. So I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I wear out a pair of shoes. They also featured a link for a by-the-yard fabric made from a blend of hemp and recycled plastic bottles (link to one of the fabrics on their Etsy site.)

Generally, I’m not one drawn to old-fashioned vintagey sort of things that look like they could have come from my grandmother. I’m just not a pearls-and-lace-and-pink sort of girl. (Actually, for the most part, none of those things actually would come from either of my crafty grandmothers.) But I really loved this next project, probably because it can double as a very natural-looking thing (and I do love my nature stuff!) Over at Everyday Beauty, she made flowery twinkle lights using a strand of Christmas lights and….sewing pattern paper! You know that’s something all of us sewing-types have a ton of. And this would be a great use for that pattern that was a total flop, or that just wasn’t your style anymore. Or maybe even the leftover pieces cut off of the side and such as you’re cutting out the pattern.

Since it’s been a bit of a quiet week due to the impending holiday, I’m also going to mention some of my favorite things from Wardrobe Refashion as of late. Melynda made a beautiful applique and reverse-applique shirt from a Smirnoff tee. Elizabeth is making a steampunk costume from a thrifted dressing gown. And Veronica made a great 60’s style dress from an appropriately-printed curtain.

Friday Favorites, Episode 26

Trying to make this quick, because I have to do some dusting and want to do some sewing!

1. Craft Leftovers had a tutorial for making small boxes for gifts– just in time for my starting to think of Christmas!

2. At haha.nu, there was this really great pictoral tutorial for making roses out of colored maple leaves. I love this idea– great fall decoration, not tacky, and completely biodegradeable at the end (assuming the wire would rust away). (Linked through ThreadBanger.)

3. Over at Laura’s Sewing Room, she showed a trenchcoat that she recently finished. It just really makes me think of the mod part of the 60s. Which is good.

4. Lindsay at Lindsay T Sews featured a beginner’s guide to fabric shopping in NYC’s fashion district. I wish I’d had this for the one time I went, because we had no idea where to start!

5. Wardrobe Refashion picks of the week: This dress. And this top.

Ok, time to get some necessary stuff done. Like dusting and getting stuff out of the dryer. And then, hoping to finish the gypsy blouse tonight! And I went through my pile of stuff to refashion and took pictures of most of it (minus some of the t-shirts) so I can start thinking of what I’m going to do to them. Debating whether to post some of it up here… that would be a really picture-heavy post!

Friday Favorites, Episode 25

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve stuck with this long enough to get to 25!

On with the show…

I’m trying to do something a little different this time, and post more things that I like that aren’t tutorials. So on that note, the first item today is a post from Confessions of a Craft Addict. The author makes these absolutely adorable, colorful little girl’s clothes, and in this post she describes her process of how she goes about choosing patterns and colors to go together. (Did I mention she’s also great at mixing prints? And her model is just too cute!)

My Wardrobe Refashion picks of the week: I liked this long green skirt that got turned into a shorter, ribbon-trimmed one. There was also a great boring, logoed T-shirt that got covered over with a really cute owl applique, and a simple but stylish corduroy jacket that got upgraded with a ruffled collar.

BurdaStyle recently hosted a contest to make a cocktail variation of their Malissa dress pattern. I didn’t participate in this minichallenge, partially due to lack of time and partially because I just didn’t like this pattern. It’s the sort of cut that would only be flattering on me if I was very, very pregnant. And maybe not even then. But I’ve been enjoying seeing the variations that have been popping up here and there. As far as blogs go, Mirella’s was a fun one to read about, especially with all the lace detail! But the voting is up now, and all the entries are here. I’m going to have to think about this…. as of now, my favorites are #s 13 (a coral knit-looking one with a cute tie at the neck), 19 (a green one with a criss-cross back), 24 (a plum one with a wide belt), and of course 26 (Mirella’s). Figures, I’d pick all ones that cinch it in…

Not exactly a tutorial, but Recycled Crafts had a post about how steel wool can sharpen pins. I’m kind of tempted to make myself another pincushion now!

And I couldn’t let the week pass without a couple of tutes… first off, there was instructions for a hot pad made from scraps at My Byrd House (which I found through Whip Up). And another one for a tea towel at Sew Take A Hike (love that blog name!) … can’t remember where I found the link originally, sorry!

And now, off to the dunge…er, basement. I’m in the middle of cutting out a new sewing project and just stopped for dinner. After I get some dessert, that is…

Friday Favorites, Episode 18

It’s baaaaaaaaack!

Starting with an FF first for me–one I actually tried already! Eileen at Consumption Rebellion posted this recipe for 5-minute Chocolate Cake that you make in the microwave. Yes, that’s right, the microwave. And it actually works! Both my mom and I tried it, with a few modifications. I added a dash of vanilla extract to mine, and when I tried it the second time last night, I substituted 2 tablespoons of the oil with applesauce, both to make it a bit more moist and to cut the fat content a bit. My mom used soy milk, and swapped out the sugar for stevia, and did all applesauce instead of oil, as per her dietary restrictions. And it worked out well for both of us. Though I’m not sure how this is supposed to fit in a mug– we used bowls, and it took the whole thing!

Sew, Mama, Sew! posted a tutorial for Perfectly Portable Cushions. Which I will undoubtedly be using if I get sucked into doing anything this year that involves sitting on hard bleachers for insane amounts of time. (I’d make such a horrid sports fan.)

My favorite at Wardrobe Refashion this week– remember those Project Runway Simplicity patterns that no one in the sewing blog world actually seemed to like? (Admit it, the first ones were pretty awful.) Well, someone at WR managed to take one of those and make a really cute dress with that and an old R.E.M. concert tee.

At Crafty Daisies, there’s instructions on how to make and use a floor loom. Looks like a great way to use up all those scraps of fabric that continually drive me nuts… now I just need a floor to put rugs on!

ThreadBanger had a fun post on how to make those pendant lampshades. And finally, Crafting a Green World started their “Carnival of Green Crafts” today with a plethora of links. I haven’t had a chance to look through them yet, but I’m rather excited about the eco-friendly scrapbooking one, since that’s a point I’ve been pondering for some time!

Ok, off to teach, and then to Joann’s to get supplies for the projects mentioned in the last post, and then hopefully some sewing!

Edit: I did get some decent sewing in–basically sewed together the entire outside of the dress, minus the back seam. Tomorrow’s task (hopefully, as I will also be on a mission to find hiking boots that won’t kill my feet, which requires driving about an hour away to the closest REI), if all goes according to plan, will be to put in the zipper and then get the tops of the lining and dress connected together. If I can manage that, then it’s just hand-sewing with lots and lots of breaks to accomodate my wrists.

I’d like to thank the Academy…

Ok, so I’d really just like to thank Mom2fur at Sorta Frugal. Just had to be a little dramatic, since this is my first blog award!
There are some requirements for accepting, so here we go…
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award. (Hey, I tried… Blogger’s not cooperating on the pic!)

4.The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.
So here’s my five nominees….
1. First on the list is Lydia at Lydia’s Cozy Corner. I actually know her in real life–we were schoolmates. She’s several years younger than me, but one of her brothers was in my class, and I’m pretty sure we had an art class or two together at some point during my high school years. I don’t really remember talking back then–like I said, she was a few grades below me, at least–but I think I found her blog through Facebook or something. Anyway, Lydia is a very talented girl who writes the most wonderful posts about cooking (complete with mouthwatering pictures–she really turns cooking into an art form!) and makes these amazing invitations/cards. I wish I had some grand occasion that I needed invites for…I would so want to buy them from her.
2. Second is Oonaballoona, at Oonaballoona. Found her thanks to a BurdaStyle thread asking about members’ blogs. She’s an East Coast girl, transplanted to L.A., who makes great outfits and talks about life in LA-la land. Very enjoyable to read.
3. She paints, she knits, she sews, she shares my love of stealing clothing ideas from Anthropologie… third up is KOTI*KOTI (don’t know the author’s name, sorry!) Another BurdaStyle blog find. She makes some amazing stuff– even designed/inspired two of the BurdaStyle patterns (the Naomi and the Kasia.)
4. I always enjoy reading Sharon’s posts at Adventures From the Sewing Studio. Besides her sewing projects, often vintage-inspired, she also does some very entertaining posts about her dogs and has a regular feature she calls “Flashback Friday”, in which she shows a picture of herself or a family member from years past, often in something she made. So fun.
5. Last, but certainly not least, is Cidell at Miss Celie’s Pants. Her sewing is amazing— she’s inspired me to really think about fit, fabric layout, and finishing details, because all the stuff she makes turns out totally professional-looking.
Second order of business: I’m officially signed up for a 2-month pledge at Wardrobe Refashion… after taking nearly 6 months off, I missed it. So here’s my re-pledge:
I, Becky, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that my thriftiness brings!
Third order of buisness: There will be Friday Favorites. But I’m going to post it later. I have open-flame cooked food to eat and explosions in the sky to watch. (Literally speaking…not the band. Though I like the band too.)

Friday Favorites, Episode 10 (and a few of my own things)

I had an unexpected day off from the garden center due to the rain (when it’s raining all day, I’ve learned, I get calls sometimes telling me not to come in because it will be dead.) So, of course, I decided to do some craft-related things…I got a free shirt from a clothing exchange that my church did a couple months ago, and I really liked the shirt’s style, but it’s a large so it was a little too big for me. So I decided to play with my serger and differential feed, and it now fits me better and the knit didn’t stretch! Then I went to Joanns’ to get those patterns, then went to Linens N’ Things to get a few things for the shower I’m doing the bridesmaid thing for tomorrow (needed something I could put cheese & crackers on– hopefully I can find a use for it afterwards, because it’s definitely reusable). And then went back to Joann’s and bought some fabric, because I’d seen some that I was eyeing that would work nicely for one of the patterns I just bought (the shorter version of McCalls’ 5624. Going to try it out with this and see how the dress looks before I try to make a long version.) I think my family’s cat approves of my choice. I’m kicking myself a little, though– these two pieces of fabric were on sale, but since there’s white involved in the print I decided to go ahead and line the dress, just for some extra security. The lining I’d originally picked didn’t have enough on the bolt, so I went back and grabbed another– I could have gotten the $3.99 a yard stuff, but it just felt stiff and I figured it would be right against my skin since it’s a summer dress, so I had to go for the $8.99 a yard stuff instead. As a result, the lining was actually more expensive than the print fabric. And I didn’t have a coupon because I misplaced my circular and could not find it after two days of searching. Oh well… I’ll just keep telling myself that the higher price means the lining is higher quality and will therefore make the dress better.
I also finished the bridesmaid jewelry last night, minus the clasps on all but this one. (This was my original sample. The clasps will be added later, so I can customize the lengths to each girl for a uniform look. The earrings are all identical too, except for one pair is clip-ons because the girl doesn’t have her ears pierced (and told the bride she refused to do it for her wedding, as much as she likes her. 😉 I do have a good number of beads left over, so I think a seventh necklace may be in order for J., since she paid for the supplies. (Though it’ll be different, because I have no more of the teardrops.)
Also accomplished yesterday: cutting out the oven mitts. Again, no pics till it’s done! (At least I know that J. won’t be stalking my blog… #1, she’s not crafty, and #2, she doesn’t know I have it. 😉
And now, onto this week’s blog roundup…
1. My Half of the Brain had a link to a tutorial for a thread catcher. I think I might have to make one of these for my serger, because that thing is a mess! (The rick-rack dahlias are cute too, but I can’t think of any use for them at this point.)
2. The Sewing Divas also had a tutorial for drafting a reverse scarf sleeve. Nice way to change up a tried-and-true pattern a bit.
3. Fun new blog of the week: Craft Tutorials. I haven’t had a chance to dig through the archives much yet, but this miniature dry-erase board made from a recycled envelope looks like fun….
4. Another fun blog, which I found through a spontaneous stop over at ReadyMade: Ikea Hacker. Basically like Wardrobe Refashion, but for cheap Ikea housewares. I have a feeling this site would be much more dangerous if I had a place of my own to decorate. And an Ikea that’s closer than an hour or so away.
5. Speaking of Wardrobe Refashion, I just have to say that I love this shirt makeover posted on there this week. It has a bit of a modernized Jane Austen feel to it, which I think is great. (Also speaking of WR, I’m very strongly leaning towards signing up again once the next round of signups is available…)
6. Last pick of the week, which is making me hungry even though I’m just finishing up lunch (maybe… I think I might need more food): Consumption Rebellion posted a yummy-looking recipe for Morrocan Roast Lamb (and something to do with the leftovers). Out of the ethnic cuisines I’ve tried, Morrocan is one of my favorites, so I will definitely have to give this one a shot sometime. Though I might have to sub in some beef, since lamb’s not the most readily available meat around here…