Frolicking Skirt

This is another of my Phoenix fabric finds. I immediately fell in love with this fabric. The colours are wonderful and the dancing-girls along the bottom make me smile. I knew immediately which skirt I wanted to make with the fabric. I love when fabric and pattern inspiration hit simultaneously.


Sew What Club had just begun and one of the bonus patterns was the taking notes skirt. I had been in love with the skirt for some time and was excited to finally make the skirt. The skirt was fairly simple to make. I only used the pattern pieces for the waistband. The skirt itself is a rectangle, so I just used my own dimensions.

I had added a little extra length to the waistband because according to the pattern directions, I needed a little more length. In the end, I ended up not needing the extra length. Rather than pull out all of the seams, I folded the excess into extra pleats under the zipper. The skirt has a cute little kick pleat of sorts.


I will admit I’m not completely happy with the skirt. The waistband fits funny. No matter where I adjusted the skirt to rest, the waistband would just stand around my torso leaving a gap between me and the skirt.  Though I think that has to do more with my measurements than the pattern. I don’t think this skirt works well with those that don’t have flat stomachs (I guess that’s my motivation to work on my abs a bit). Since I couldn’t get the fit just right, I didn’t go back to add the ties. I compromised on the fit by folding down the waistband to expose my awesome lime green lining.


I have plenty of this fabric left. I will probably attempt another skirt in the near future. As soon as I decide which one.

The top modeled is a button down top that I altered to be sleeveless. I removed the collar. I also added tuxedo pleats down the front.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sewing

Upcycled Denim Roads

I have some of the most darling little nephews. One of them happened to turn two recently. I stumbled across this project shortly after he was born and I’ve been anxiously waiting for him to get old enough to actually play with them.


Missy from How Does She shared a tutorial on how to make roads from old denim jeans.

Thankfully, we’ve been on a cleaning spree and I had a handful of my husband’s jeans available to be chopped into road sized pieces. A quick trip to Wal-mart provided a roll of kitchen drawer liner. I had mod podge and yellow paint on hand.


To begin, I created pattern pieces for the 4 shapes I wanted to make.


Using the patterns, I traced and cut out road pieces from 2 pairs of jeans and the kitchen drawer liner. Making certain that I had the same pieces cut from both materials.


To join the jeans and liner, I spread mod podge on the liner and carefully placed the denim pieces over the liner.


For added durability, I zigzag stitched around the outside of each road piece. The original tutorial used hot glue to secure the edges. I couldn’t find my glue gun or I would have tried that method too.


Finally, I painted yellow lines down the center of each piece.


Of course, I couldn’t send it off without testing it.



Leave a comment

Filed under Crafting

Flower Power Maxi

While I haven’t had the opportunity to hit the fabric districts of LA or New York, I’ve discovered a couple of shops in Phoenix that fit the bill. Sadly, I don’t live in Phoenix, so I tend to go a little crazy when I get the opportunity to visit.


I dug this marvelous fabric from one of the many piles of fabrics on my last visit. It’s a crinkly gauzey fabric. It is very lightweight. And quite soft.

It also reminds me of a sheet my mom had while I was growing up. It was ginormous! We used it for making tents in our bedrooms. I swear, our tent creations would put any Harry Potter tent to shame.

It took some time to find the perfect pattern for the fabric. I choose the fabric with some idea in mind and then change my plan about 800 times before making the final decision. For this particular fabric, I used Simplicity pattern 1800. It is one of their Amazing Fit patterns. This means, there are alternate pattern pieces to use based on your measurements. In theory, you shouldn’t have to make a bust adjustment, they already have. Since I conveniently fall into the average category, I don’t know how well that theory works.

My one alteration to the pattern was to change the straps from a halter that tied behind the neck to straps that crossed in the back.


I think the best part of the dress are the pockets. I firmly believe all dresses should have pockets.


Despite the dark colours of the fabric, it is quite thin and nearly see through. I decided to add a lining skirt for a bit of modesty. My initial plan was a navy lining, but could not find a suitable navy fabric. I went with white instead. Which I think turned out for the better since a navy lining would have shown through the white flowers.


I have already had the opportunity to wear this dress a few times. Despite its length, the dress is cool to wear in the oppressive summer heat of Florida. Yet, it also manages to keep me warm in the arctic of movie theaters.


Leave a comment

Filed under Sewing

A Little Fuzzy

I have worn glasses (and contacts) for the majority of my life. I chose my first pair in second grade and have been wearing them ever since. They were a horrible, ugly pair of plastic oversized frames that nearly covered my face. Well, maybe not quite that large, but they were ugly and plastic. The late 80’s were not kind to glasses wearers.


Thankfully, my mom took pity on me and let me start wearing contacts a few years later. I was so relieved to not have glasses on my face. Except sunglasses, I love wearing sunglasses.

In the last few years, I have grown to despise my contacts nearly as much as those awful glasses. After much thought and reading, I took the plunge this summer and convinced myself to get LASIK (Technically PRK, which is LASIK without the flap). Eek!


The procedure itself wasn’t terrible. I’m sure there are more terrifying operations to go through. I’ve not experienced them, so I’m only guessing.

What I didn’t expect was how long the recovery is taking. I was functioning mostly normally within 3 days with the exception of driving, reading, using a computer, being outside, watching TV, sewing, and baking. So essentially everything I do to keep occupied.


Clarity has slowly been making itself known. Every day, I realise I’ve just done something for the first time without the aid of glasses or without squinting. About the only time my eyes feel squinty is when working on my computer (thus the lack of posts) and outside in bright sunlight.


Overall, it has been a good experience and I’m glad to have done it. I also hope that I never have to go through the process again.

Despite the lack of sight, I have been busy with projects and am working on share them with you. Today, you get photos from Monticello during our honeymoon.


Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures!, Photography

Framing Photo Wall


When we bought our house 3 years ago, we knew we wanted to turn one wall into a photo wall. We quickly decided to use our long hallway wall. And that’s the only portion of the project we’ve done quickly!


When planning our wedding, we came across a chair decoration in a wedding DIY project from Hobby Lobby (sadly, I don’t have a link to that image). We took a 5×7 frame, a painted book page, and a couple of chair sashes to create the chair decorations. Thankfully, Candi, our wedding photographer took a photo, because I never had the opportunity.

Since we now had 120 frames that were exactly the same size, we had a start for our photo wall. Except that the frames were the wrong colour. As was the wall. I finally took time to paint our front room and hallway over spring break. My husband started painting the frames. He tried several options before settling on spray painting with an air compressor.

To make sure all of the frames would fit on the wall, my husband created a grid on the wall beginning with the nest. He also devised a contraption to make certain the hangers were placed in the exact same place on each frame.


We have now framed and hung about half of the photos and are quite pleased with the results. For the most part, these are all photos we have taken. We will eventually have a few taken by others, but are making sure we have permission from the photographers.


Leave a comment

Filed under Crafting

Honeymoon Highlights

As I mentioned last weekend, we are newly back from our honeymoon. Yes, we did get married nearly 2 years ago, don’t judge, life happens.

We had the pleasure of staying at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. I highly recommend staying there. The staff was always helpful. There were loads of activities. It is probably possible to check in and never leave resort property (unless on a resort field trip) for a week and still not run out of things to do. We only took advantage of the art classes and tried a couple of restaurants; we opted to explore the surrounding area. That didn’t disappoint either.


Our first adventure took us to Luray Caverns. It’s a little on the spendy side of the numerous caverns, but its extras are worth the price. The caverns were amazing. I’d never seen so many stalactites and stalagmites in one place. The guides were a wealth of information as well. Included in the price were a couple of museums; both of which were entertaining.

During the initial drive to the resort and while heading to the caverns, we kept seeing signs for a Skyline Drive. We learned it is a scenic highway through the Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline Drive is around 100 miles long. We tackled the middle bit. The drive includes 75 scenic views and marvelous twisty roads climbing through the mountains.


The pass you purchase to enter the park is valid for a week. We headed back the next day to scout out a waterfall or two. We opted to find the tallest waterfall. We ended up hiking about 8 miles to find this 92 foot high waterfall. It wasn’t a terrible hike, but we weren’t super impressed with the waterfall. It was more of a water trickle.


One of our main reasons for choosing this resort, was its closeness to Washington DC. It was a place we hadn’t visited together. We took one day to drive near the city and then use public transportation to travel through the city. We left at 5am to hopefully avoid the terrible traffic. Our timing worked out fairly well along with the ability to use the HOV lane.


It was bigger than expected.

Our early arrival allowed us to check out the Washington, Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam War, and Korean War memorials before the Smithsonian Museums opened for the day. We also caught a glimpse of the White House.


View from the Lincoln Memorial

Our goal was three of the 13 Smithsonian Museums. We began with the Air and Space Museum. It did not disappoint. I finally got to see the Spirit of St. Louis!  Sadly, we missed seeing the USS Enterprise by a few days.


Our second museum for the day was the Natural History Museum. On our walk between museums, we strolled through the Sculpture Garden. The Natural History Museum was educational.

We decided to take a break from museums and see the White House. Unfortunately, on our trek back to the museums, we got caught in a massive downpour and decided that we were done for the day. We didn’t make it to our third museum. I have a feeling we will be visiting Washington DC again and staying a little closer to explore our nation’s capital in more depth.


I somehow stumbled across a glorious find in a nearby town. We went off to explore a camera museum and a church with some amazing stained glass windows. Both were fairly impressive. I now wish I had taken photos in the camera museum, but I didn’t. The town also had some fun art instalations around town. This one was in front of the library.


Our last big adventure for the trip was to visit Monticello. I love visiting historic home and seeing how people lived. I’m always a little jealous of the gorgeous homes until I remember the toilets are outside and showers weren’t a daily habit. Not to mention the lack of electricity. Thomas Jefferson’s home and grounds were enjoyable. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm rolled in and the outside tours were cancelled for the afternoon. A light drizzle doesn’t bother us much and we still tramped all around the grounds.


Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures!

T.S.N.E.M – Paper Piecing


No lie, when I first hear about paper piecing or English Paper piecing, I thought it was putting paper together to make a picture, like a puzzle. Which sounds neat in itself (and I may still try that out as an idea), but when I learned that it was actually a quilting method, I was intrigued and put off a little.

This month’s challenge was a heavy craft. However, I wasn’t really inspired by anything I found. And, I didn’t really have the proper supplies on hand and I’m still sticking with my resolution to use supplies I already have on hand. I opted to try out a project I’ve been researching for a couple of summers now: paper piecing.

Paper piecing is a method of quilting where small or complex pieces of paper are used to form a quilt block. You take a printed copy of the design you are making and working in numerical order, sew each piece together. This post is in no way going to be a tutorial, I have much more to learn about the process.

Most people print out the pattern with a printer, however, we don’t have a home printer. I used my Silhouette to draw out the pattern for me!


The best part of paper piecing is that you use up all those fabric scraps saved from previous projects. I’m sure I used more fabric that necessary when sewing my block together. As I learn, I’m sure I’ll become a better judge of what sized fabric pieces to use.

I chose the easiest pattern (that was still cute) to make for this project. I found a spool of thread. This block also happened to be all one square rather than done in sections (I’ll try one of those next). I’m also quite proud that I only had to rip out one seam!

Once you finish sewing all the pieces together, they will be sewn to your pattern paper. This means you get to start the best part, pulling the paper off. It was very satisfying to pull all those pieces off.

While I enjoyed that paper piecing, I think I need some practice on the actual quilting of the block. I certainly need to work on the binding. Overall, I am pleased with the project and can’t wait to try out more paper pieced blocks.


To check out other projects submitted for this month, check here: TSNEM June

To join in for July, check out the suggested project here: TSNEM Projects



Filed under Sewing

T.S.N.E.M – Honeymoon Edition

We just arrived home from our honeymoon. As in we haven’t even unpacked yet. I’m relaxing after our arduous 36 hour span of driving. And I just couldn’t wait to share the projects we did on our honeymoon (There will be more posts, don’t worry).



We stayed at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. Everything we tried out at the resort was wonderful. We were both delighted to discover the art/craft classes. We were most excited to find a stained glass class and waited anxiously all week to attend the class.

Our first class was 3-D Decorative Window Frame. We were given a frame with glass and told to choose a design to fill in on the glass. There were designs provided, but were given the option to come up with your own design as well. Which we did. Then you choose from a selection of shells, rocks, and beads how to fill in your design on the glass.

Since we are avid garden failures, we also decided to join the Garden Miniature Figures class. We were mostly sold when we discovered painting a dragon was an option! Following brief instructions, everyone in the class was given free rein (with a supervising eye) to select paint and brushes or sponges to complete their selected figure.

Our last class was Stained Glass. We were probably most excited about this class since it’s been our intention to learn this art form. This was probably the most structured class we attended (and also not kid friendly; hot tools are included). You walked in and choose which project you wanted to complete from a group of prepackaged options. We were then walked through each step of creating a small stained glass piece. This is a project I can’t wait to work on more at home now that I know the steps.

I am counting these as my TSNEM projects for the months I missed. I have another project that I should (fingers crossed) be sharing with you Wednesday for my June TSNEM project.

I will also have a couple more posts about our further adventures during our honeymoon.

TSNEM means Try Something New Every Month.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafting, Uncategorized

So Many Miles

Yeesh! I feel like 3 days ago it was March. I’m fairly certain April was about 26 hours long and May went by just as quickly. Despite my intentions with keeping up with Try Something New Every Month and Adventure in Making’s DIY challenges, time just wasn’t on my side.


Strawberry Distance Challenge – 5k

One major reason behind this has been my newish commitment to running. I’m apparently a glutton for challenges (and punishment), because I agreed to join a team effort to run 2,016 miles in the year 2016. There are 3 of us, so I only need to run around 800 miles this year. Since I don’t want to be left in the dust by my team, I am doing my best to keep up with the leader.


Super Hero Run – 5k – With HRC members

So far this year, I’ve logged 260 miles. Which means I’m a little behind despite participating in piles of 5ks. As a team, we are nearly to 800 miles for the year. I’ll pop in with updates throughout the rest of the year.


My favourite races are the locally hosted runs that support local non-profits and schools. They don’t provide the flashiest bling, but knowing that a local school gets new band equipment or the women’s hospital gets needed supplies balances that out for me.


Post Race Selfie

I’ve also joined Hogwart’s Running Club because, yes, I am a Potter geek (Go Hufflepuffs!) Their entire mission is to do so much good. It’s a virtual non-profit club that is based on the book series. To track miles, we use Charity Miles. This means that every mile we run creates a little donation to a charity of our choice. HRC also hosts virtual runs that raises money specifically for particular charities. These all come with very fancy, very awesome medals.


Carillon Classic – Bok Tower Gardens

This weekend, I was able to participate in a race with my mom. We both had a great time. I ran and created a new personal best. My mom discovered how fun 5ks can be (apparently this was her first race). We both also earned 2nd in our age division.

I’m now also in training for my first half marathon. I won’t be running it until the fall. I’m training during the summer so I will think it’s easy when the cooler weather hits.

I started posting pre- and post-race selfies to my Instagram feed, you can follow me there to see my accomplishments as well as other projects I have going on in life. Link: 64colorbox

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures!

Magical Water Bottle

Sometimes, I have a difficult time choosing a gift for my friends and family. I want the gift to feel special and thoughtful. I know I could give a gift card, but that feels impersonal.


This particular gift managed to combine my friend’s love of Harry Potter and her determination to be healthier. A person like that needs a magical water bottle.


The hardest part of this search was finding an appropriate bottle. Her daily goal is to drink a gallon of water, so I needed a container that held a gallon of water. I also wanted it to be good quality and lightweight. With daily use, it was going to get bumped around. Water itself is heavy, I didn’t want the bottle to be a hindrance.


I finally stumbled across the perfect bottle on Amazon. It looks like a miniature version of the water cooler jugs. And it has a handle.


To make it magical, I used my Silhouette and some permanent vinyl. I love my Silhouette and really do believe it is magical. It has made many projects so much easier. I had the permanent vinyl hanging around from back when Pick Your Plum still sold craft supplies.


I made the design using a Harry Potter font I found online. For those that don’t know, Aguamenti is the spell to fill a container with water.


After cutting, I used transfer paper to help get the placement just right on the bottle. Transfer paper is a life saver when it comes to positioning vinyl. Transfer paper is essentially a giant sticker to help you position stickers. My version has a one inch grid that helps keep the design straight. After weeding your design, you place the transfer paper over the design. You then pull the backing of your vinyl off, leaving the sticky part exposed but still in the correct position. Using the grid to keep things straight, stick everything into its final place. Slowly peel back the transfer paper leaving the vinyl in place.



Leave a comment

Filed under Crafting