Thursday, August 30, 2012

Brooch the Subject: My Little Wooden Horse

I've been wanting to do a regular, somewhat-weekly post featuring my ever-growing collection of brooches. I really have a hard time leaving the house without wearing a brooch, so I figured this would be a good way to share my obsession, and inadvertently make sense of my brooch-making habits. I searched high and low for the perfect brooch pun, and I finally found it. So from now on, these somewhat-weekly posts will be titled: Brooch the Subject. heehee. Because, well, it is! the subject, I mean.

This one, I found at the Goodwill, during it's annual "western day" sale. (and, yeah, I request off work for it, so what?) I have found many a vintage western shirt and leather satchel during western day. This year, I expanded my search to the jewelry display, where it was pure madness. People pushing, yelling, and "aggressively perusing" as I like to call it. Lucky for me, what I find super-amazingly-awesome and extra-neato, most people consider quite hideous. (more kitschy goodness for me!) And then, there it was. Hiding in plain sight. The moment I saw it, I knew it was meant to be...

I'd like to introduce you to my little wooden horse:

I think this might be my favorite brooch, ever. He looks like he wants to be your friend, but he also looks like he might want to snack on you later. I especially love that his head is a completely separate piece from his body, and I like his sarcastic little elbow nudge - it's both endearing, and mildly threatening, haha.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Organization is Hard.

Hey, I made you guys something! A month-to-month Blog & Project Planner, woot woot! I was having a hard time finding a planner that really worked for me, so I ended up making one. I realized that I need something small that only spans one month, and breaks down from an overview, to project-specific goals, down to the actual blog post. (It also takes into account the fact that I like to doodle and over-think details, heehee). I haven't tried it out yet, but in theory it seems to be a pretty solid plan. So I decided I'm going to post it up on here for download, and you guys can try it with me! I plan on having a new design ready for you right before the start of every month :) Let's see if I can keep it up, haha.

When you download this thing, there will be two folders within the main "Planner" folder called "Editable PDF" and "Printable". The Editable PDF files are for those of you who prefer to do everything on the computer. I turned those pdf files into "forms" with editable fields that you can input your information into. Sweet, huh? That way you can just keep them in a folder on the desktop and not a drop of ink will be wasted. For those of you who want to print it out, and have a tangible planner to keep with ya, then you'll want to print the files within the "Printable" folder.

This is the link that will take you to MediaFire, where you can download the planner: 


Step 1: Print out all the pages (your printer will warn you that some clipping may occur, and that's totally okay, because it's only going to crop away white from the edges. Make sure you don't select scale to fit, or your planner will be ridiculously tiny.)

Step 2: Trim to full bleed. You can be super hardcore and use an exacto knife & a ruler, if you want.

Step 3: Assemble the different sections according to the "Assembly Directions" or you can put them in whatever order works best for you :)

Step 4: Add some adhesive tabs (I bought the post-it brand tabs used for filing) to separate your different sections and make it easier to find what you're looking for. Ease is the key to staying organized, if you ask me.

Step 5: Staple everything together! I used about 6 staples along the edge to make sure it was bound nice and tight.

Step 6: Cover the spine with washi tape, to make it look extra cute and to cover up those staples. (I didn't have any washi tape that matched the planner, so I used some ribbon and mod podge instead, haha. I guess you could do that, too.)

Oh, and here are some free matching desktop calendars for September. I made them available in 5 different screen resolutions, so I hope one of them will work for you! I've found that, in conjunction  with the desktop calendar wallpaper, keeping the editable PDF planner files in a folder on the desktop makes me more likely to actually use it.

(right-click & select "save link as" to download)

1280 x 1040
1680 x 1050
1600 x 1200
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1200

If you have any suggestions or ideas on things to add (or subtract) for next month's planner, please share them, and I'll try my best to incorporate them into the next one :)


PS: I finally added that "Google Friend Connect" widget to my sidebar, in case any of ya were wondering where it was ;) haha. It's looking pretty lonely right now, that's for sure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cheesy Montage Videos: A Day in Summer

I have a slight obsession with making montage videos. It really beats flipping through still photographs, in that you can capture those moments with music and motion, which adds to that sweet nostalgic sensation that I crave. I usually can't patch together anything longer than a minute and a half, though, haha. This video was no exception. It gets a little weak at the end, when I obviously start running out of footage, haha. I still like the way it captured our lazy day at home. I'm excited to make & share more.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of Adventures and Waffle Cones

It's been really sunny here in Washington, and it seems like Franklin & I don't know what to do with nice weather. Also: we love food. We might start out on an adventure, but we'll become COMPLETELY sidetracked by the whims of our stomachs. We were supposed to go down to the river the other day, and we ended up at the grocery store instead. So we figured a way to get ourselves out and about: adventures that revolve around food. Huzzah!

So the other day, we drove up to Mount Vernon, through the Skagit valley farmlands, to Snow Goose Produce, where they're well-known for their ridiculously large (and reasonably priced) ice cream cones. They put like, an entire pint of ice cream into every scoop. Seriously. It was almost uncomfortable to consume, haha. It really makes you feel like a kid again, though, because you can't be meek when it comes to licking away at your ice cream. You really have to dig in, and meet the challenge head on, or you'll end up with melted ice cream everywhere. It forces you to stop being all dainty and stuff, and get really serious about eating ice cream. My motivation was the waffle cone, and it was well worth it. It was like a thick cookie with a soft bite to it. Sigh! I want another one.

1. The cute hand-painted sign at Snow Goose 2. Our massive scoops of ice cream (the pictures don't do their size any justice) 3. Our view of the farmlands while we conquered our cones.

If you're from the Puget Sound area, go get some ice cream now, 'cause they close after the summer months are over. Also: bring cash, and someone to eat ice cream with; expect a line, because they can get pretty busy; and don't eat a huge meal before you come, or you won't make it to the waffle cone!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Floral and Denim

I bought this really sweet old floral fabric, and some light denim fabric at the thrift store a long time ago, and I wanted to make clothing with it. Whenever I take on any sort of sewing endeavor, I usually make some awful mistake that takes hours of me ripping stitches and crying in frustration. This was the first project I worked on where I didn't completely wreck everything, AND my sewing machine decided to cooperate with me. TWO FIRSTS. I think that deserves a glass of wine. Oh, what's that? I'm already drinking it? okay.

BEHOLD! My floral masterpiece!

I made the shirt and the skirt from scratch, huzzah! (oh, and the brooch!) I don't use patterns, but I do reference my own clothes, just to get an idea size-wise. The fit of the shirt is a little wonky, but I still dig it. The front is closed with snaps -- the buttons are just there to trick you. (bwahaha!) I've never sewed a button hole before and I have no intention to try, haha. The same goes for sewing zippers. Some things are better left unlearned.

Also, I don't know about you, but no matter how much table space I have in my sewing room, I always ALWAYS end up on the floor, cutting and pinning like a mad man. But whatever works, right? When it comes to makin' stuff, I live by this rule: THERE ARE NO RULES. If anyone tells ya different, then they're fools!

I made a matching bow with the fabric scraps (it looks pretty awful on the backside, haha) and I used this crazy 70s polyester for that sweet mismatched pocket, which I haphazardly sewed on using a zig-zag stitch (of which I am not very familiar with). I am not friends with my sewing machine. In fact, I think we might hate each other. Thread tension? I know it should be adjusted when you change stitches and material, but I always keep mine at 2. I don't even know what that means. Any tips about thread tension are welcome, by the way! I'd like to finally get the upper hand with my sewing machine. Too many times has it left me in tears, haha. Oh, I'm rambling! Here are some detail shots:

I think I'm going to make about a million of these skirts now. They're so easy! I made this skirt this morning, while Franklin made us breakfast! haha. The pocket is what really gets me. I'm so excited to make more! heehee. If I understood sizes better, I might even think about selling them. but for now, I'm just going to focus on frugally expanding my wardrobe.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ya Got Moxie, Kid!

There was a short little ukulele ditty I had on the back-burner, that just kinda sat in the back of my head while we were living in our little 1 bedroom apartment a few months ago, just itchin' to be recorded and dubbed over with more than 1 instrument.
So now that we're living in the farmhouse, I figured it'd be a good time to get it down, and have some fun by pairing it with the ol' Casio, and some festive steady bass drum/tamborine percussion.
I dub thee, "Ya Got Moxie, Kid!".

Join me won't you?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Brooches!

I've finally added some new brooches to the shop! I have a few others in the making, but I haven't had the time (or patience) for painting this past week. I just have to say, that this soy sauce brooch is my absolute favorite. I almost don't want to sell it. I know I can make another one for myself, but I like THAT one, haha. The kikkoman soy sauce dispenser is so iconic to me, and it totally reminds me of my childhood, so lookin' at it makes me oh so happy. heehee!

Also: I know it sounds super weird and sappy, but whenever I ship off a brooch I've made, I get a little sad to say goodbye. I get attached to them, because I spend so much time working on them that they almost become like characters to me. Like weird little friends, haha. But then I think, now they can go be someone else's weird little friend! Maybe I should change the name of my shop to weird little friends, haha. It's starting to sound quite catchy.


Friday, August 3, 2012

In Slumberland

Our bedroom is still very much a work-in-progress, but here's what we've done so far to make our space a little more cozy:

I had some fabric lying around, and draped it from the ceiling to soften up the hard slants of the walls. I wanted to add more billows above us, like a canopy bed, but I ran out of fabric - drats! I added a hanging light so we could read in bed, and I sewed together some "book pockets" for the wall, because we don't have room in our little nook for a nightstand.

Franklin has an obsession with the old Nemo in Slumberland comics by Winsor McCay, so I wrapped some mustard colored yarn around some wire and spelled out "slumberland" in cursive. I wanted to dangle great poofy clouds from the ceiling, but I didn't have any poly-fil handy, so I pinned some doilies up, to sort of symbolize clouds? or something. Haha. I really want to get some kind of reclaimed wood headboard now. Wouldn't that look awesome against the fabric?! I think it would look pretty sweet, and it'd cover up all the rough edges of the fabric I was too lazy to deal with, yay!

a few details: 1. Franklin's book-pocket contents: Merlin 2. My book-pocket contents: Redwall (I'm almost finished!) 3. I sewed a pillowcase for Franklin, and screen-printed by hand an illustration I made of Little Nemo's bed. It reads, in French: Sweet dreams, my little Nemo 4. One of the MANY doilies I have leftover from our wedding.

That's pretty much it! Hopefully I can manage to purchase (or make!) the reclaimed wood headboard I see in my head. It'll be a while though. We haven't the means or the money right now. But someday!!

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