Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweater Sleeve Scarf

I was window shopping online this afternoon and discovered the "Reclaimed Sweater Sleeve Scarf" on the Uncommon Goods website. A company called Green 3 partnered with Goodwill and makes the scarves out of repurposed sweater sleeves.

I think that the whole idea behind recycling apparel is really cool. It also seems to be a very popular DIY topic in the blogosphere; which makes sense when you find out that a Reclaimed Sweater Sleeve Scarf goes for $32. Yikes! Sooooo....I decided to try my hand at repurposing and make my own scarf. Here's how it went down.


I started out with this sweater that I got last winter at Value Village for $2.99. It had become a victim of my overeagerness. I bought a bunch of sweaters in hope of trying a scarf project from Made by Lex...but, alas, I waited too long & spring arrived. If I couldn't find motivation in the cold months, you can imagine how difficult it was to think about winter accessories in the warm weather. Impossible. So I was excited to put at least one sweater to use for this project.


Ok, demolition time. I cut off the sleeves, the waist, and the center section.


I ended up with 5 pieces of various lengths. Each was about 7 inches wide. Note: I later decided to shorten the piece at the very top of the above photo because my scarf was going to be WAY too long. I cut off about 3/4 of the length.


I got out my handy dandy sewing machine and started putting the pieces together. Keep in mind that this is only my 2nd sewing project. It could all go horribly wrong in an instant... ;)


After all the pieces were sewn together, it was time to stitch up the rest of the scarf to create the "sleeve" effect.


Final step: turn the scarf right side out and...voilà!!


A sweater sleeve scarf for only $2.99!!

I realize that my version of the scarf is a little different. Instead of using sleeve panels from several different colorful sweaters, I just used one gray sweater for the whole project. I also realize that my sewing skills are downright primitive and no match for a company such as Green 3. Nonetheless, I sort of like my little scarf. If nothing else, it's one of a kind. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roadtrip

My mom arranged for my aunt Margie to come for a visit this month. She's lived in Georgia for decades, but tries to journey back to Washington every few years. This time she flew into the SeaTac airport and we made a quick trip to Seattle to pick her up. When I say "we", I mean my mom, my sister Sammi, and I. The three of us haven't gone on a roadtrip in years, so this was a rare treat.
Overall, we had a great time! We drove to Seattle on Tuesday, spent some time at the Southcenter Mall, watched a movie (Life As We Know It), and then picked Margie up at the airport that night. The next day we headed home. And what a drive that was!! We found Sammi's old Aqua cd in my mom's van and listened to it most of the way. (If you're not familiar with Aqua, their main claim to fame was a song entitled "I'm a Barbie Girl". Real classy material.) We had a blast dancing and singing along even though my mom teased us incessantly. Of course, she didn't have much room to talk: she & Margie were grooving to Neil Diamond. ;)



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shake It

My Pumpkin Milkshake Creation

It started as a simple craving: I wanted something pumpkin flavored.

I wasn't really feeling inspired to bake (i.e.: I'm lazy), so pie and bread were both out of the running.

I found some people online who consider pumpkin and peanut-butter sandwiches to be an easy treat...but I wanted something that actually sounded edible. (Yeah, that's right: I'm one of those knock-it-even-if-you-haven't-tried-it kinda girls. Deal with it.)

Then it hit me: a pumpkin milkshake! I had never had any form of pumpkin ice cream personally, but the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard got a rave review from my sister during a recent trip to DQ. Thus I was persuaded. :)

I hopped on Google and started hunting for recipes. Right away I found quite a few for multiple servings. Instead of going to all the trouble of shrinking one of the recipes, I decided to glean main ingredients from a couple of recipes and then just guesstimate the amounts. I ended up tossing in canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, whipping cream, and vanilla ice cream. I have no idea what amounts I used. It was all very scientific.

By this point you may be wondering how it all turned out. Well, have you ever heard those stories about people combining a bunch of different recipes/ingredients/techniques and accidentally winding up with an amazing new concoction? Something so delicious that the tale of its creation gets told over and over? Well, this is not one of those stories. My Pumpkin Milkshake was a flop. I'm left with an unpleasant taste in my mouth and a partially used can of pumpkin.

Speaking of which, I'm a little nervous about using that canned pumpkin for a non-baking project. Multiple internet sources report that canned pumpkin is indeed cooked during the canning process, but the internet has been known to lie. In other words, if I die tonight do not rule out Death by Pumpkin Milkshake. Ha. Now that would be a story that gets told over and over...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Froyo, Please.

As you may know by now, I love ice cream. Always have. Always will. That said, I've never really been a fan of yogurt or it's frozen counterpart ("froyo" as the cool kids call it). I guess I've just never felt compelled to stray from ice cream. Until now.

A couple of weekends ago, my friend Caitlin suggested we check out MyFroYo. I had heard the name before, but that's about all I knew of the place. Not really knowing what to expect, I tagged along.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the MyFroYo peeps and asked if we had ever been there before. "Nope." So they gave us the 411. To sum it up, the shop is self-serve. You grab a container, choose your froyo flavor(s), and pull the levers yourself. (If there's any flavor debate, they are more than happy to give you a sample.) Then it's on to the toppings. And boy, do they have toppings! Candy, cookies, fruit...pretty much anything you could possibly want. You choose the amounts and add them to your froyo. The final step? Weighing in. You take your froyo creation over to the sales counter, place it on a scale, and their computer calculates the damage. At 48 cents an ounce it's not exactly cheap, but it doesn't quite break the bank either.

For my first visit, I stepped outside my comfort zone (please keep in mind that I have a very narrow comfort zone). I chose vanilla and chocolate froyo topped off with strawberries, cheesecake bites, and hot fudge. Definitely not something I expected to like. I even tried to keep the toppings separate at first because I thought they wouldn't mix well. Little did I know I had just created magic. It was so good! The froyo was fantastic. The toppings went together like Mary-Kate and Ashley. The whole experience was a pleasant surprise.

Me & my concoction
So if you're in the area and think you can handle the awesomeness, stop by MyFroYo. You'll be glad you did. :)

Lucky Duck

[L to R: Liz, Sarah, & I]
While sifting through photos on my computer, I stumbled upon this gem. It's from a trip to Seattle earlier this year with two of my cousins. Sarah lives in the Seattle area and knows all the tourist hot spots. That's how "Ride the Ducks" ended up on our to-do list. In case you've never heard of it, their website summarizes the experience quite nicely: "Tour Seattle by land and water on a WWII amphibious landing craft. You haven't seen Seattle until you've seen it from a Duck". Another tidbit that might help is that our tour guide was named Captain Clem Chowder. That pretty much says it all, right?

Anyway, my FAVORITE thing about this picture (and the only reason we coughed up the money to purchase such an overpriced souvenir) is Liz's face. Priceless. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The GIMP

A few years ago, I took a Photoshop class. I really enjoyed it, but haven't used it since. Why? Because Photoshop is so stinkin' expensive. Even the basic Photoshop Elements version costs more than I want to spend. Yes, I know -- I'm cheap. :)

Anyways, someone in my class had mentioned the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). I hadn't really paid much attention at the time, but lately I've been considering it. The biggest attraction for me is the fact that it's FREE. I love free. So I downloaded the program earlier this afternoon from gimp.org. I haven't done much with it yet, but so far so good. The download was fast & easy, the interface is similar to the Photoshop that I remember, & there are a lot of tutorials available online. Oh, and did I mention it was FREE?

Here's a little glimpse into my GIMP experimentation. The After isn't much different than the Before, but I'm still just playing around with the program. :)

Before:


After:

Phone a Friend

My youngest brother, Randy, is officially addicted to text messaging. He's been watching our brother, Riley, send messages and decided that he wanted in on the fun. So he'll get a hold of my mom's phone and start typing like a madman. He manages to get a real word in every once in awhile, but he LOVES to "do random".
Exhibit A:

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. On their way to church this morning, my dad called me. He said that Randy had used Riley's phone to call my mom's phone. Sounds fairly normal, right? Think again. He had a phone in each hand and was having a conversation with HIMSELF. Of course, he couldn't hang up -- "that would be rude". ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Real Scrabble

For the last couple of months, my cousin and I have been addicted to the Words with Friends app for the iPhone. It's similar to Scrabble and we can play together even though we're miles apart. So what happens when we actually get together? "Real Scrabble". :)


We've found that Words with Friends has spoiled us though. We don't have to add points or lookup words -- the app does all the work! Thus making "Real Scrabble" much more difficult...yet perhaps more rewarding.

On a side note, it's very easy to get distracted while playing "Real Scrabble". Especially when you discover mid-game that your little brother prefers to play Hide 'n' Go Sleep...

Tower of Power

No trip to Seattle would be complete without a visit to the Space Needle. There was quite a line so we didn't go up to the top, but there's plenty to see at ground level...





Hello Seattle

[L to R: Random Dude with Sunglasses, Me, Cass, Randy, Riley]

My mom and I wanted to take my little brothers on a mini vacation before school starts for the year. Unfortunately, one major obstacle stood in our way: where should we go??

After much debate, we decided on Seattle. My mom's last visit was about two decades ago and my brothers had never been there. We made this decision late Friday night, booked a hotel on Saturday morning, and then hit the road. Nothing like spontaneity, eh? :)

Of course, none of this would have been possible without my AMAZING cousin Cass. She recommended a hotel (conveniently down the street from her apartment), drove us around while acting as a tour guide, hung out in our hotel room playing board games into the wee hours of the night, bought us dinner, and just generally let us barge in on her weekend. All with a smile on her face. Personally, I think she deserves some kind of award for putting up with us.

Oh! And most importantly, she won the heart of my little brother Randy. We're still trying to explain to him why he can't date his cousin... ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chalk Art

Last weekend I took my brothers to the local Chalk Art Festival. They LOVE to walk around and look at all the creations. It's absolutely amazing what some people can do with chalk! Here's a sample of what we saw...






Overall, it was a great way to spend the afternoon! This is the second year that we've attended the festival and we look forward to making it an annual tradition.

Waffle Cones

So I bought a waffle cone maker a few weeks ago. Being the ice cream addict that I am, I couldn't wait to get it home and try it out. However, my enthusiasm quickly faded when I realized that I was in waaaay over my head. See for yourself.


Needless to say, I've decided to leave waffle cone making to the professionals.

At least for now... ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Pillow Case


I've been experimenting with sewing for a few months now. By "experimenting" I mean that I've been trying to teach myself, but haven't gotten very far. Fast forward to now. I found a comforter on clearance (noticing a trend in my posts? I LOVE a good sale!) at Target earlier this week. The throw pillows that matched my previous comforter don't match this new one at all. Sooooo I decided to make pillowcases for them. Or at least try. As of right now, I've gotten one finished. And it took me most of the afternoon. Ha.

Anyways, here's the pillow before.


And here it is afterwards -- front and back.



Since it looked a bit plain, I made a pink belt-ish accessory for it. It's just attached with velcro so I might change it later.

Anywho, I realize that the pillowcase is far from perfect. I'm pretty excited though because it's basically my first "real" sewing project. Woo! Let's see how long it takes me to get started on pillow #2. :)

Framed


About a month ago, I bought some picture frames on clearance at Joann's. They were only $1.97 each so I basically HAD to get them...right? Well, regardless of whether I really needed them or not, they've been collecting dust on various surfaces of my apartment for weeks.
Today I finally decided to do something with them. I cut up a piece of scrapbook paper and....voilà! Done.


Here's a closer look...



I'm still not sure if I totally love them, but they cost less than $7 total! So I think they'll grow on me...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

My brothers & I decided to make flowers for our mom in celebration of Mother's Day. We followed Folding Trees' tutorial and made them out of tissue paper.

I read through the tutorial and made a couple of flowers beforehand...



Then it was time to let the boys loose.


They were very proud of their creations and couldn't wait to give them to Mom.

Overall, this was a really fun and easy project. Perfect for little boys with limited crafting abilities and short attention spans. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pumpkin

For several weeks, I have been craving pumpkin. Yes, I know what you're going to say: "silly girl, it's Spring not Fall". But if you think about it, pumpkins deserve to be loved year-round......right? That's my new theory anyways.

So I decided to try out a recipe for Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. Now I don't know if this particular region of Maine is especially well-known for pumpkin products, but I figured that 3,483 reviews and a 5 star rating had to be a good sign. Luckily I was right. :)


Even after my multiple blunders extensive modifications (I thirded the recipe, substituted pumpkin pie spice for the nutmeg/cloves/ginger, and used a 9 x 5 pan instead of the recommended 7 x 3), it turned out really well! So moist and pumpkin-y! This is the first time I've ever made pumpkin bread, but I will definitely use this recipe again.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Splash of Color

Ok, so I'm going to cut down on posting pics of flower pins....starting in about 5 minutes. In the meantime, here's the latest. The red fabric was another remnant bin find. :)


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Color Purple

I rummaged through the remnant bin at Joann's yesterday and found some great purple fabric. I decided to use it in a flower pin for my aunt (she's very pro-purple). Since it's cotton, I couldn't melt the edges...but I think it turned out pretty well regardless. :)


Update: I trimmed the tulle on the bottom-right...so hopefully it's more balanced now. I didn't feel like taking another photo though. Soooo lazy. haha

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Funny Farm

Yesterday I spent the whole day with my brothers on our family's farm. We went for a walk, lounged in the grass, hung out with the animals, explored. It was nice to get some quality time with them especially on such a gorgeous day.

Here's a quick glimpse...


This is their chicken, Lucky. My dad has a different name for her -- Henzilla. She's ginormous and tends to keep food away from the other chickens. Once he saw her running across the yard with a whole hot dog bun in her beak. Priceless.


Me & my buddy Clyde. He's a miniature donkey with loads of personality. I think he would be perfect for tv commercials...haha


Never a dull moment with these two. Normally my sister uses this barrel in the horse arena, but the boys have decided that there are much better uses for it. I'm still not sure how they managed to get it all the way from the arena to the yard...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jump On The 'Band Wagon

Last month, my cousins & I found some super cute headbands at Anthropologie.....BUT they were about $20 each. Yikes. Sooo I decided to try to make my own.
I bought some plain headbands at Walmart and glued a couple of fabric flowers on one of them. Voilà! Not perfect, but it'll do. :)


Here's a close-up...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Best Things In Life Are Free

In the past month or so, I've made a couple of discoveries...

Discovery #1: Amazon.com has free music
Yes, that's right: FREE. They have lots of songs and albums avaibable for download at no cost to you (hmm...that sounded a bit infomercial-y...sorry). Plus, they have a wide range of genres so there's something for everyone! (ok, the informercial stops here..)

Discovery #2: House of Heroes


While browsing through the aforementioned free music, I was introduced to the band House of Heroes. A few songs later, I was hooked -- which is a big deal because I'm not usually a big music person. I can officially say I LOVE THEM. If you get a chance, check 'em out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed

A slight improvement from my first blob-ish attempt of DuhBe's original tutorial... :)


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Playing with Fire: A Flower Pin Tutorial

Awhile back, I stumbled upon a neat blog post by DuhBe about making fabric roses. In her tutorial, she uses fire to curl the edges of the fabric to make them more petal-like. I decided to give it a try, but my attempt at a rose didn't turn out so well. It was more of a blob. Whoops.

A few days later, I decided to try again. This time, instead of using one long strip, I cut out individual petals and used hot glue to piece it all together. While it's still not perfect, I had much better luck with this second attempt so I decided to share. I apologize in advance for the picture quality -- my iPhone is waaay more convenient than my actual camera.

**Warning: Please use extreme caution when attempting this tutorial as a flame is used in the process. I am not responsible for any accidents or injuries resulting from this tutorial. In other words, try this at your own risk.**

What You'll Need:

   * Fabric for the petals (Synthetic NOT natural fibers. Synthetic melts, while natural fibers catch fire)
   * Fabric for the backing (I used a polyester/rayon this time)
   * Pin
   * Button, bead, or other trinket for the center of the flower
   * Scissors
   * Hot glue

1. First you'll need to cut out the material for your petals. It's not an exact science, so feel free to experiment.


2. Next comes the fire. Bring each petal just close enough to the flame to melt the edges -- if you hold it too close to the flame it will start to burn...I learned the hard way. If you want tips from an expert, check out Step 3 of DuhBe's tutorial.


Here are a few of my petals afterwards...


3. Next, I cut out two pieces of fabric to use for the back of my pin. I used circles, but pretty much any shape should work.


4. Using hot glue, I began to attach petals to ONE of the circles that I cut out in the previous step. There's no real technique for this...you can arrange them however you wish.


Continue gluing and arranging. You can use as few or as many petals as you want.


5. After that, I made two small slits in the SECOND circle from Step 3. That way I could slip the pin in-between the two circles. Hot glue it all together & it should look something like this...


6. Finally, hot glue a trinket onto the center of your flower. Beads, pearls, old jewelery, fabric scraps...whatever you desire. For this pin, I used an old button that I had lying around.


And that's all there is to it. Pretty easy. To simplify the process even more -- especially if you don't feel like cutting out a bunch of individual petals -- you can just use circles and give them scalloped edges. You'll end up with something like this (my third attempt & a present for a friend):


As you can see, there's a lot of leeway. Just be warned that these flowers are addictive. Once you start playing with fire, you'll be hooked.

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