Monday, November 22, 2010

Hawaiian Print Pillows

This fabric is one of my absolute favorites. After making this dress, I knew I'd have to do something with the leftover scraps. So, I whipped up a couple of pillows for the bed! I love quick and easy projects, even if it does involve a little bit of the dreaded hand sewing.

Speaking of quick and easy, here's a recipe for Ellie's Minty S'Mores that will change your life:

Ingredients: two graham crackers, 2 Andes candies, 2 marshmallows
Directions: Break the graham crackers in half and place on a microwave safe plate. Top two of the halves with an Andes candy and a marshmallow. Microwave for 12 seconds - watch the marshmallows puff up! Place the other graham cracker halves on top and dig in. They're freaking delightful!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Giraffe Skirt

I finally finished my giraffe circle skirt! Check it out:

I followed the same pattern as my black and white checked skirt, except this time I added some ties on the side.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Join Me On Pinterest!

I recently found out about an awesome new website called Pinterest. It’s a really simple, pretty website that collects images and links for you and puts them in “boards.” You can decide what theme your boards have, and can set up as many boards as you like. Some examples of my boards are Places I'd Like to Visit, Tutorials to Try, and Eat! Set up an account, put a Pinterest button on your web browser toolbar, and with a few clicks, you can add new material to any board in seconds. You can even pin something via email.

My Google Reader is a great tool for gathering things from all over the web, but I like Pinterest because I can group them the way I want and see them all at once, with a link back to the original source. There's also a great community on there - I've found so many cool people posting inspiring things. I also never realized how many tutorials I've held onto in my Google Reader over the years. It's crazy!

You have to be logged in to use Pinterest right now, and since they’re still in beta, you need an invitation to get an account. I have five invitations* at my disposal, so leave a comment on this post and I'll send you one! Let's all join!

You can also put in your request for an invitation.

*UPDATE: I still have 2 invites left!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fabric Roll Call!

Thanks to generous family members, I have accumulated quite an impressive fabric stash. I like having options for sewing projects down the line (this is similar to my library book situation - must always have at least one back up!).

The next project I'm going to begin is a circle skirt using this whimsical giraffe and palm tree print! I plan on making it fuller than my black and white check wool circle skirt. I kind of wish I had made that one fuller, too, but I still love it.

I love this old pink geometric shape print. I'm thinking it would look nice for a full, short skirt.

I also might make a short skirt out of this one, but I'm not sure yet. The fabric is kind of stiff and coarse.

Here's the good ol' Anniversary Fabric. I started using this one for a full, short skirt but got discouraged and it's on hold. Should I make a longer circle skirt with it? A circle skirt is just so EASY and you get fullness and a lovely shape without having to worry about pleats or darts or anything like that.

This is an old pillowcase that I wish I could use for something. Any suggestions? The sheets to match might soon be too worn to use so, I could potentially have a lot of it. It looks a little washed out in this picture. The background color is aqua.

I also have some leftovers of this floral print that I used to make my sewing machine cover. 

And this silky, floral fabric is very special. I'm thinking I should make a top out of this. I found a couple patterns that I like.


I like this pattern a lot; specifically the one on the left.

 Or this one, but it looks like it could be difficult.

So, there you have it! I'd love to hear any suggestions or comments you have!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Circle Skirt

I think this circle skirt project was just the thing to to take my mind off the two projects I have halfway completed (short skirt made with Anniversary Fabric and the red and white Hawaiian dress). With some gorgeous wool, black and white check fabric from my aunt and some help with construction from sewing-guru, Amy, I was able to whip it up in mostly one evening.

We used one of Amy's circle skirts to cut the shape out on the bias of the fabric:

 I sewed up one side of the skirt, then held it up to my waist to see where to sew it up on the other side. Some of the fabric at the top had to be cut off so it would fit around my waist. Then I sewed the other side, stopping approximately seven inches from the top to allow for the zipper. After that was in, I added a waistband.

After a little hand-sewing to touch up some areas, I pinned it to a length I liked and hemmed it with the steam-a-seam stuff and it was done!

It's the perfect length and weight for fall and winter!

I'm thinking of making another, fuller one with the Anniversary Fabric. What do you think?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Minocqua for Labor Day

Dan and I spent a nice little weekend in Minocqua, WI for Labor Day. We attended a fabulous wedding and then explored the town the next day. In the morning, we grabbed some donuts from Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty!

We found record heaven in Gaslight Antiques. You can sort of see the red and white Hawaiian print dress (made in Hawaii!) that I bought, too. It's a little big, but I'm going to take it in.

I have never seen records like these before. I wish they all were like this:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bike Pack Cover

I haven't found the perfect pattern yet for my new fabric. I will get to it, though! In the meantime, I whipped up a little something tonight. It's a cover for the pack I have attached to my bike.

I started with this cute fabric from Hobby Lobby (or Hobby Lobotomy, as my husband calls it).

I cut out a circle-ish piece for one end and a long piece for the cylindrical part. I didn't bother with being too careful about the look of these pieces. All of the ends would be tucked in anyway because I used only topstitching for this project. The end with the zipper I just left alone. It's easier that way.

Despite my best intentions I completely forgot to take ANY pictures of my steps along the way. I guess it's good that I was really in the zone.

I sewed the two pieces together first. Then I cut a slot on the end because there is some velcro there, which runs along the side of the pack. I left this area open as well. Then I sewed all along the edge by the zipper so it won't come off.

Buttercup is ready to hit the road in style!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


For our two year wedding anniversary, my husband got me this gorgous fabric:

 I can't wait to make something from it - or several somethings. There are 4 yards, so I can do a lot with it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Easy Skirt Alteration

I have been massively impressed and inspired by Marisa at New Dress A Day. She buys cheap thrift store outcasts and alters them to adorable, one-of-a-kind pieces for her own closet. Over the years, with my craft projects, I've been trying to not just see the object in front of me but what it could be, e.g. taking an ugly, gaudy mirror or sunburst clock and painting it for a modern look.

So, today, when my husband and I hit a thrift store, I tried to think like Marisa. I looked for fabrics and patterns I liked, no matter what the size. Luckily, I found a dress that already fit me perfectly, but I also snagged this $3 Old Navy skirt that was too big.

This was an easy alteration - just taking it in on one side (the other side was the zipper and I wasn't messing with that). Now I can wear it without it slipping off!

What city do you think is depicted on this skirt? Buenes Aires?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bird of paradise headband

I haven't had a project to work on lately. The only thing I've made recently didn't even feel like a project. I attended an Island of Dr. Moreau themed event and wanted a fun hair fascinator to wear with my tropical dress that I made. I started with these supplies:

and ended up only using the bird of paradise, some floral tape, and a green headband. It was almost too easy but I got a lot of compliments on it!

I know I'll use some of those supplies at some point, especially the feathers.

Special bonus shot of the avant garde eye makeup my friend Alicia did for me:
So, I'm not sure what my next project will be. I have some great fabric - pink with pastel geometric triangles and shapes on it. Very 80s. Maybe a short skirt? I'll have to find a pattern that speaks to me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pittsburgh to Milwaukee

Friday morning we took our time getting ready and eating breakfast. We were a little early meeting a friend for lunch so we walked around a little bit. Pittsburgh seems like an awesome city and I have to come back someday to explore it more.

 We ate at Eat Unique and the food was dece but the really memorable part of the meal, besides awesome conversation, was the chocolate chip sea salt cookie! I found a recipe here that I'm hoping will satisfy my craving since this place is around seven hours away.

We made great time heading back to Milwaukee even though we passed right through a big rain storm. We got home around 9:30.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Driving from NH to PA

Today we did a lot of driving. About 10 hours. We're kind of crazy in the brain now. We're staying in a nice little town an hour away from Pittsburgh, called Blairsville. We got a room at a Hampton Inn and Suites and it's SO nice and the room is HUGE. It has really nice views of a golf course. Golf courses are pretty. It's just too bad they're dedicated to the sport of golf and not just, oh, picnicing and walking around barefoot.

We got a pizza to have in our room.

Tomorrow we're meeting a friend in Pittsburgh and then heading home!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Portsmouth, NH and Maine

We decided to book another night at our Portsmouth, NH hotel because we like it and if we stay here versus Maine, we'll be an hour closer for our looong drive tomorrow!

This was supposed to be a big day for me - we were going to visit the Shaker Village and museum, which I have been looking forward to for almost a year. I hadn't thought to check the website until this morning, but when I did, I discovered they start their open season Memorial Day. I was really upset and sad. Dan tried to keep my spirits up and we drove in the rain to Shaker Village anyway. We found it and drove near it to take some pictures. It's really beautiful and I'm trying to stay positive by telling myself I WILL come back there again!

We headed to Portland Maine to do some shopping and eat lunch at the Green Elephant (lots of green animals here!). The menu here is all vegan and vegetarian! That was pretty nice. I got a really great hot and sour soup and a ginger beer.

The stores were really cute and I bought a skirt and two dresses from resale shops. I've really gotten into tropical prints lately. Is there such thing as too tropical? Hm, maybe in Wisconsin. Oh well.

It was misting rain all day long and I think we might have wandered more in Portland if the weather were nicer, but I still feel like we got a great taste of the place.

On our way back we drove around York, which is a really cute touristy town. It reminded me of an old fashioned boardwalk. We also were reminded of how glad we are that we're here just before tourist season starts! These places would be cah-razy in the summertime!

York is where we found a great place to park and take a walk near the ocean. The rainy, windy day made the ocean really beautiful.

 After freshening up for dinner we drove into Portsmouth to The Friendly Toast. The decor was SO awesome and I wanted to take a bunch of stuff home with me! I ordered the Granny Melt - swiss, cheddar, apple slices and brown sugar carmelized onions on a croissant. It was heavenly as was my side of onion rings. I also ordered a mint cocoa. It came with a CUP of marshmallows and a BOWL of the most delicious whipped cream. So tasty.

Now we rest up for the long drive tomorrow. We're going to stay someplace outside of Pittsburgh.