Monday, May 31, 2010

last day o' may

WELL because of the weekend and the part where I was SOCIALIZING, not as much to post on what I actually did. But here are some tidbits from this memorial day weekend:

  • 10 Simplicity patterns for $10 (thanks, JoAnn fabrics sale!) (also patterns generally run over $15 for just one, so this is an awesome deal)
  • Party party party for the going away of some working-in-PA-for-the-summer friends
  • Lunch with grandparents fo FREE
  • BON BON COOKIES which are gone now, but there were only like 14, sooooo... there (ALSO: pumpkin catastrophe of Ohio, apparently, because we wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes but there were no canned pumpkins saddest)
  • Super lovely walk in the park
  • Memorial day grillin' feast with family friends
And maybe some other things, but I forget.

Did I sew? Nope. OH but I did start and finish reading The Giver 'cause I didn't remember much of it from reading it years and years ago. Starts out super interesting, but the end is a lot weaker if you ask me. Not cool.

Anyhow, goodbye May. It's been real.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

painting 4eva part three

Srsly. Painting. Today, sister's room. Nothing more to report. Wrists hurt.

:( :( :(

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

not the most productive

Well, guys, today was not the most productive of days. To be fair, it wasn't entirely unproductive. I did go out and get fingerprinted to prove I'm not a kidnapper for my summer job. Then I came home and got distracted by UH OH THE TELEVISION.

But it wasn't just any television. It was TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras. Jesus. That show. Is the worst. It is watching the worst people ever do the worst things ever and make examples of how America is terrible sometimes. I could not look away, obviously. And TLC was doing some marathon or something because I watched four episodes (that's four hours) while I half-heartedly worked a little on sewing and also ate dinner and stuff. But basically I spent my day watching 3-year-old (sometimes they were younger and sometimes older... up to 9!) pageant girls (and boys!) and their crazy pageant parents and being so horrified I couldn't look away.

Am I disgusted with myself? Eh, maybe a little. But days like these happen sometimes. It's like that time after I had oral surgery that I watched Tila Tequila all day while on Vicodin. Anyway.

So what sewing did I get done? Well I transferred the funky shapes on the pattern sheets to the fabric (this... might not make sense if you don't know how patterns work... but basically there are little shapes that you have to match up between pieces, like a puzzle, but you have to copy these shapes onto the fabric, or at least that's what I do runonsentencesorry) and then I sewed the bias tape onto the arm hole bits. This takes a lot longer than you'd expect, turns out. Three rows of sewing for each arm hole and multiple times ironing and super-precision and stuff. BUT IT WAS A GOOD LESSON, and I will definitely use bias tape in the future for things like u-necks and other arm holes and stuff. Also now I can make bias tape, which is good for the part where I am cheap and also good for matching fabric.

I also worked on the gathering that happens around the neck, and I was gonna sew on the yoke (this shirt has a yoke! front and back!) but then I got a phone call and now I'm all thrown off so I'm just going to give up on productivity for today. Particularly because sewing when I'm tired and irritable means that I will do a quick (crappy) job, and I am supposed to be getting better at this, not cheating.

So... kinda did stuff, but could have done more, had TLC not thrown horrifying people in my face for hours. (I also watched PREGNANT AND IN PERIL, which was really not as interesting.)

On a brighter note, I've been writing everyday before bed, except when I am not home / when company is over. All summer, actually. I am pretty proud of myself for that. Also, this is funny.

just an average zoo date

Well! The zoo was fabulous. Saw the whole darn thing in only five hours! (This is a big deal. The Cleveland Zoo is kinda big. And full of animals.) I didn't do anything else because I figured that wandering around for five hours is enough / I am tired and my body hurts / I'm watching Weeds on Netflix, okay?!

Anyway, so the zoo had lots of great things and here are some highlights!

There were instructional signs for the safety of animals:

There were informational signs on the animals themselves! This one showed different ways condors had to deal with being almost extinct / dying:

(I added the frowny faces.)

And of course, there was wildlife! My favorite = dinosaurs.

Thanks for all the cool stuff, zoo! And a great time with friends which included not only dinosaurs, but also actual living animals, blue icees (and blue stained mouths, oops), and all sorts of walking in the beautiful Ohio sun.

Gotta watch television now lol!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a shirt for $0.75 (provided I can follow directions)

After a glorious birthday weekend involving relaxation and booze and turning into a grown-up-21-year-old, I'm back to doing things that are slightly more productive and sometimes less fun.

I started today with some good old-fashioned seam-ripping to take apart the floral dress recently procured at the local thrift store for $0.75. I took apart the sides, took out the 8 ridiculous pleats on the upper portion, took out the zipper, took off the non-functional buttons, and ironed the crap out of that fabric. (Sometime in the middle of SEAM-RIPPING FOREVER was a trip to Target where unfortunately there remain zero one-piece swimsuits, which is a bummer because I need one for not looking whoreish working at camp this summer.)

After seam-ripping the poop out of everything, I cut out a pattern for a SHIRT because I am going to try making a shirt. It's Simplicity somethingorother, I don't remember the number, and I am far too lazy to go upstairs to look at the pattern. I'll include it next time, once (if) the shirt is finished. Although I love skirts and dresses very much, I'm attempting a tank top mostly just because I've never made a shirt at all and it's a SUPER COOL CHALLENGE for myself. Which actually seems like it's going to be a lot easier than all the other patterns I've attempted in the past, soooo fail on the challenge part, maybe. (Fun fact: I have sewn three things with patterns. One was a tote, one was a dress, and one was a failure of a dress.)

Somethin' coo': I noticed unfortunately that I need bias tape for this pattern, also. I've never used bias tape before but I'm excited for it, not only because it's a new thing to learn, but also because I made my own. Usually you buy stuff that matches your fabric, but I made some from some leftover fabric. I used this tutorial, but I don't have a fancy bias tape tool, so I just used my iron (it takes longer).

Here's a picture of the dress before, some homemade bias tape in the upper right corner, and the cut out pattern pieces waiting for me to sew them.

The little green square on the neck of the dress is the price-tag. $1.50, but green tags were half-off the day I went, so I got it for $0.75, and soon that'll mean a shirt for $0.75 and also a good long zipper and some buttons. This is what we call a good deal.

Going to the zoo with friends tomorrow! And maybe even doing some sewing. We shall see. It's supposed to be summer for real tomorrow (hot) and maybe the zoo will kill me (probably not).

Friday, May 21, 2010

birthday weekend

Dear world, today's blog post comes a little early to let y'all know that this weekend there will probably not be updates. Or at least not tomorrow. BECAUSE TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY and I will do things if I want to, but blogging about it right away is one of those things that probably I won't do.

Never fear, I did do some things today. I had a two-hour work meeting ($16!) that was all about what I'll be doing all summer. The answer is hanging out with 5 and 6 year olds, mostly. Plus some other kids here and there. And "flying by the seat of my pants," also, apparently. Anyway, it should be good.

Other things: I GOT MY LICENSE that says I can buy booze. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 tomorrow (that's "21" 21 times, if you were curious). 

And then I finished putting things in my room after painting and then I vacuumed some places and now I am done doing stuff for today. Except maybe I will buy a dress pattern online.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

painting 4eva part two

Today painted the trim and the window bits and mom painted the door and frames (takes longer than you'd think). Touched up where needed, moved the furniture mostly back, washed my sheets, and soon will put them on the bed.

Not as busy as I could have been, perhaps, but still did things.

Alllllll my body parts hurt. Accidental exercise via painting?

painting 4eva


Thanks to mom for the assist on the second coat.

OH ALSO went to coffee with darling Stephanie. She had better be reading this.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

skirts skirts everybody loves skirts

Guess who finished her music-men skirt today? Me. I did. I did it. I did things. I am the best. I also had the pleasure of taking out some of the seams in my sister's prom dress because someone has grown since she bought the dress. (That someone is not me this time, guys.)

Anyway, onto this skirt, right? Here's the before picture in case anybody missed it and the way it is terrifying.

Beautiful! So here's what I did:

  • Separated the top half from the bottom with my trusty seam-ripper
  • Ironed over the top edge to put in elastic and began sewing the tube-bit for the elastic when I realized...
  • OH NO GOTTA TAKE OUT THOSE POCKETS (which is sad, because I do love pockets... but they were very much in the way of where the elastic would be)
  • Sewed up the sides where the pockets used to be (seriously...saddest that there are no pockets now)
  • Put in the elastic for the waist band! Can we talk about how much of a pain pushing a couple feet of elastic through a SEVEN FOOT FABRIC TUBE is? My fingertips are angry at me for the death-grip I had on the safety pin I used to assist. 
  • Sewed up the areas around the entry-point for the elastic.
  • Sewed some of the skirt to the elastic to avoid it folding and twisting in the laundry/wear/etc.

(Excuse the part where you can see my bra through my t-shirt. Oops.) Also, after picture is complete with close-up of the fabric so you can see the glory that is the print on this skirt.

Anyway, now it is late and I have to get ready to do things tomorrow. What am I doing? you might wonder. PAINTING MY ROOM YES I AM. And I am very excited about it. Also doors. And trim, if trim is not to be replaced. Dearest room, you are going from ten-year-old's-room to capable-of-being-a-guest-room-when-I-move-out-without-making-guests-feel-awkward-and-ten-years-old tomorrow. Be excited. I am pumped to live in a grown up room. And put my white sheets on my bed soon after that.


P.S. Happy birthday, Dad. I microwaved dinner-in-a-steam-bag because I am a super cook and daughter.

Monday, May 17, 2010

where have i been?

I didn't cheat. Visiting the bf for a couple of days counts as doing something.

DOING THINGS again tomorrow.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

did some things!

Started off the day by getting some laundry going and then going for a nice bike ride in the lovely sunshine. Then I seam-ripped the musical-instrument-playing-dress to take the skirt section off. I want to do an elastic waist but unfortunately the POCKETS ARE IN THE WAY. A skirt with pockets already and I'm going to have to take them out. OR WILL I? We'll see.

Here's a sneak peek BEFORE PIC. Missing buttons, wide waistline and everything! In fact, once the skirt was removed, it got even wider, because of little tiny pleat-things.

Anyway then I did more laundry (laundry all day!) and then went to the gym and "ran" for half an hour in my new shoes and I have to say that they are far more comfortable than my $8 Wal*Mart shoes. NOW MY LEGS ARE SO DEAD ALSO.

But I think the really big thing today was the laundry. I have not done laundry since... probably for over a month. (I have a lot of underwear...) As of now I've done and folded four loads, with two more that'll be laundered before the night is over. I am a laundry machine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

shopping = something, right?

Things I hate to admit: today was a very sore day for me in the leg muscle and ab areas. I know I went "running" or whatever ("running"=jogging / walking fast), but only for 30 minutes and not far enough to hurt this much. I am very out of shape.

I learned about this soreness by being on my feet most of today, however. Mom and I brought an SUV's-worth of clothes, books, and creepy dolls to Goodwill. Then we hit up a nearby thrift store, Village Discount Outlet, also known as the VDO. Where I found six pieces at a total price of $8.00. Win for me!


The upper few pieces are hard to see, but here's what I got going clockwise from the red shirt.

THE RED SHIRT. Marked "vintage," it's a nice soft questionable fabric long-sleeved blouse. I think I might actually wear it as is, except laundered so it doesn't smell all old lady.

SOME WEIRD ASIAN-INSPIRED DRESS. ...which you can't really see, but is on the top in the middle. It's white with a pretty little pattern and looks like it belongs on a purse. So I'm going to make a purse from it.

TRUMPET PLAYING MEN DRESS. Just realized you can barely see this one at all, but it's up in the right-hand corner. It's a kind of mottled blue with tiny men playing instruments. It's going to be a skirt.

BLACK FLORAL MONSTROSITY. This is a giant black dress with a pink and white floral print on it. It's so huge I think I might be able to take it apart and make a WHOLE DIFFERENT DRESS WITH IT. We'll see.

RIDICULOUS PARROTFLORAL DRESS. Oh yes. Parrots and tropical flowers. I don't know if it's going to be a dress still or what, but it's way long and not flattering and made of ridiculously beautiful fabric. It is going to be awesome, whatever it ends up.

FLORAL COUCH DRESS. Looks like it should be an old lady's couch. Still will when I refashion it, but it will look like a floral couch trying to be a skirt or a dress, probably.


Anyway, after the thrift store, went to Macy's with some paint swatches and picked some new bedding. I got some white sheets, which I am super excited about, because I have a thing for white sheets.

Then Mom got some Reebok easy tone shoes and they were so ridiculously awesome that I got some, too. Too expensive, but hopefully they make "running" feel better than when I do it with $8 Wal*Mart shoes.

Tomorrow I am going to do things besides walking in stores for four hours, but I still think that counts because I was not on my butt in front of the television all day. Refashiontimetomorrow. And also I'll be back at the gym, probz. WITH MY NEW SHOES.

so far so good

One day into blogging, and so far it's actually working for my productivity. I got up a bit late, but started the day with a trip to get some necessities like contact solution. Then, upon returning home, I started work on a thrift store dress I'd gotten a while back and wanted to improve. I went to the gym, also, and learned that I am ridiculously out of shape. More so than I've been before, so it's pretty ridic. Gonna work on that.

BUT ANYWAY the really exciting part is that I finished working on that dress. I had picked it up because I liked the print so much, but the fit at the top was really off and not modern at all, and the skirt was way too long. At some point, probably over winter or spring break, I took off the sleeves, and then today I finished the rest.

What should have been a fairly quick process of taking off the top portion and then shortening the skirt was probably a good hour or two longer than it should have been, because I had to sew the bottom hem four times, since I didn't pay enough attention to where the fabric was folded under and then kept thinking I could just sew over to fix it but that looked really dumb. Duuuuuh. But, lesson learned. Pay attention. Srsly.

The top of the skirt ended up really sack-like because the back of the dress is ruched (right word?) with elastic, but I like it a lot. I'm actually really happy with how this turned out. I've been wanting a skirt-of-a-decent-length for a while. Forever21 is lame in that way where they really target younger skankier people than I am / it is windy sometimes and I don't want to expose my butt (sometimes).

So here are some really great before and after shots! (Note that the before shot is not entirely legit; I never had a picture of the dress with the sleeves on it, but whatevs. Just imagine short sleeves and probably there were shoulder pads, too.)

Stuff you can't see in the photos: the dress is a wrap dress, so there are buttons and snaps and ties and things, and I left all of these, including the ties because they aren't offensive at all. I took somewhere between nine and ten inches off the length. It falls just a few inches above my knees and has pockets--good length AND pockets are rare in skirts I've come across / own lately, and I am really excited about this one.

So really, today was pretty darn productive. Skirts, exercise, and stores.

I did things!

P.S. I am really bad at self-timers on cameras.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i'm not good at summer.

I'm not really good at blogging or keeping a diary or anything where I have to update it all the time. I'm also not really good at keeping up with goals I set for myself. Aaaaand I'm not good at finishing projects, either, but I am good at starting them. I'm also ridiculously good at sitting on my butt in front of the television. And facebooking. And eating a lot. And just being a bum in general.

So this blog is an attempt to defeat my laziness, a reminder to DO SOMETHING. (In other words, get off your lazy butt and be productive.) I don't want to go multiple days in front of the TV watching crappy crime shows OR WORSE watching those terribly addicting shows like 19 (20? 21?) Kids and Counting because I know that I can be doing something better with my life.

So here are some examples of somethings better. (No really. I'm going to do them. Productivity, here I come.)

  • Sewing! I'm learning to do that. 
  • Exercising! Yoga, bike riding, anything that is not sitting, etc.
  • Writing! I know this involves sitting on my lazy butt, but it will exercise the creativity in my brain, so it counts.
  • Reading! My goodreads account isn't going to know what hit it. Also, this counts as brain exercise.
  • Cooking!/Baking! Probably I will bake. I really like baked goods. 
  • Exploring the wild! There are tons of parks around here; might as well use them to my advantage.
  • Thrifting! Better than shopping, because it's cheaper.
  • Working! Forgot to mention, I'll have a job starting in June. $$$!
Since I'm home from school for my last summer before graduating with a BA in English and Philosophy (employment? naaaaah.), I want to make the most of it. In fact, I've already gotten started. The past four days have been spent tearing apart my room. Multiple bags of clothes and shoes are making their way to Goodwill pretty soon, along with boxes of books and trinkets and other things that other people will use more than I will. And although my room is still fit to bursting, it is being clean about it and is ready and open for projects to occur inside of it. Next steps: painting and redecorating (or at the very least I'm hoping for new bedding). 

So here is my challenge to myself, made public in the hope that I might keep it: