Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Daily Giggle

I've added a little side section to the right to record some of the hilarious things that happen during the day that getting me laughing. I've also added a page so that I can archive them as the side bar gets updated. Here's three recent ones to get started. They may not be as funny to everyone else as they are to me, which is why I won't be doing them as actual posts, but I wanted to make sure I remember them and have something to go back and make me laugh! :)

Sat, Aug 29, 2010
Ethan asks, "What is glory?" I think for a minute and then say it's giving God credit for the awesome things he does. Ethan says, "Is that the same as when I go under the water and get glory in my eyes?" I try desperately not to burst into fits of laughter and explain, "That's not glory. It's chlorine."

Thurs, Aug 27, 2010
Haven learns the importance of math. 1/4 cup (milk) times two equals 2/4 cup, not 2 1/4 cups. A stash of velveeta from the fridge saves the mac-n-cheese and all is right with the world once again.

Sat, Aug 14, 2010
While driving down the road we passed someone walking their dog. Ethan shouted, "LOOK! That dog is wearing the Cone of Shame!" If you don't know what that means you really really need to see "Up." FUNNY!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Digital Scrap Store - New Look

The team over at my Digital Scrapbooking Store, Ahhh Scrap, has been working on new logo/packaging ideas for the store. This logo is something I came up with tonight. What do you think? It may seem simple but trust me, this is after like a gazillion trial versions...

Here's what it would look like on the new packaging:

What do you think?

Simple Solutions - Sewing Room

Quart Ziploc bags make awesome pattern containers! They are just about the same size as a normal pattern package and you can stuff them full with the original pattern and your traced copy! My patterns are about to outgrow their box, so I'm trying decide if I want a second box, or if I want some clever clipping system like this one. Anyone have super clever pattern storage ideas?

Do you know about Pattern Ease? I learned about the stuff this year and I can't sew without it now! It's pattern transfer paper, but it's kind of heavy and it clings to the fabric when you lay your pattern out. It is also great for designing your own patterns. You can pin it to your dress form and it's more durable than tissue paper. It's super cheap and easy to work with. We recently ran out at the store and I went through some pretty severe sewing withdrawals. When it came in I bought a whole bolt. I don't want to go through that again! :) Don't worry though, there's still another bolt at the store for anyone else who needs some! Have you known about this stuff for years? Tell someone else! They'll be glad you did!

An inexpensive Ikea kitchen hanging system takes care of scissors, rotary cutters, rulers, and anything with a hole that can hang. The buckets hold odds and ends that can't hang.

Simple stuff that makes crafting easier!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Action Kivu

One day a missionary gave a presentation at church about his work in Zanzibar. Something really touched me about his project, I think because he was teaching the people a trade at the same time he was providing them with aide and teaching them the Bible. I was touched, but thought, well I can't fix cars (what they were teaching), I wonder if they need a seamstress. Today I saw a project on a blog called Action Kivu, which is about teaching women to sew! Hooray! If you want to know more about the program their website is here.

The girl who blogged about it is here. She is offering some giveaways if you tell her you donated. She's trying to raise $7500 for them through her blog. The money actually goes straight to the organization when you make a payment, but if you comment she can raise the amount on her little thermometer widget.

*I only know about the organization through blog surfing and don't have any personal experience with it.*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday Party

Ethan's birthday was mid-July and we had a party at Sensapolis, my favorite indoor play area! Seriously, this place is so cool. We went ahead and got year passes for Ethan and I so it isn't as expensive each time. The day we went it was almost empty (it happened to be one of the last games of the World Cup) so the kids had the run of the place. Even Jennifer, me, and my mom had some fun in the Jungle ball pit! My favorite part was when Ava and I had a little bonding moment. I brought the girls (Emily and Ava) Shaun the Sheep toys. Ava had them both so I took the larger one to free it from its packaging. She. pitched. a. fit. I didn't back down though. I held her back while she screamed and opened the box. Then I handed her the liberated Shaun. She looked at me, red eyes, looked at Shaun, then handed me the smaller one to open. Classic!

The boys were amusing too. They had tons of fun running around, but I had to go tell them to change areas every once in awhile so that every kid had a chance to do what they liked. And when they decided they wanted to eat (which was 30 minutes sooner than when the food was coming) they really wanted to eat. Lesson learned, don't wait longer than 5:30 to have the food. Cake? Not so much. Really? No, none of them really wanted the YUMMY strawberry torte that Sensapolis made especially for us that Ethan specifically picked out even though I tried so hard to talk him into chocolate which seemed more like a little boy kind of cake. breathe. Oh well. We enjoyed it for breakfast several times!

Gift time - always a hoot. I have decided that the next birthday we will do the gift giving German style. That means, you open the gift as each child arrives. It gives the kids one on one time to enjoy the gift instead of tearing through the pile like mad men. Not that tearing through the pile isn't entertaining... ... ... read: messy. But next time, presents up front, one on one time with each guest.

Sensapolis Review: The party package was great! It included food and beverage for EVERY guest (even parents) for only a few euros more than the normal entry fee! And each kid got to choose their meal! That was cool. I thought we'd have to buy one big pizza or something, but no, each kid got to choose. You cannot bring in your own food, so go ahead and order one of their cakes. We have tried the chocolate cake and the strawberry torte and both were yummy. When we had Haven's party there a few years ago we got one of the themed "stalls." (It's actually made to look like stables, so yeah, it's a stall.) We didn't do that with Ethan this year but enjoyed the party just as much. So, if you want to pay the extra it is fun, but not necessary. One warning if you do your party there, it does not come with party favors. The website says it does, but it's not like what we think of favors. So if you want to give away goodie bags, bring them yourself. I recommend Sensapolis if your kid is between 5 and 11 and not afraid to run around and climb and stuff without you following them around. I know there are less expensive places to have a party, but for me, it's worth it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Simple Solutions - Halter Tops

*Hanging photo frames by Katie Pertiet found here

Even though it's been almost a year since we moved in, I still don't feel quite comfortable in the new space. The apartment is great, it's just slightly smaller than the house we had, and I've had trouble organizing all my junk. We had to leave behind one BIG wardrobe, which means I now have all seasons of clothing in one space. I've been trying to thin my clothing, but I still have to get creative with the organization. I was having trouble with my (hand-made) halter tops since they won't go on a hanger. I had them in a drawer, but they were always wrinkled, and the drawer got too stuffed. I tried hanging them with the clip type hangers, but that takes up too much space on the rod. Then it occurred to me - trouser hanger! The hanger holds four halter tops with minimal folding and minimal wrinkling. If you live where I live you can pick up these cool trouser hangers at the PX.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Corinnea!

For those of you who were unable to attend, Paula had the genius idea to sing "Happy Birthday" to Corinnea when she arrived at the Farewell dinner. I say it was genius because it really helped us all cope. We just kept pretending it was her birthday! We love you Corinnea!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Design Style

So I could be posting travel pictures.... I could. But instead, I took a style quiz!

I'm 50% Cottage Chic and 50% Vintage Modern

Funny titles right? Here's the descriptions:

Cottage Chic

Who says that cottages can't be modern and chic? Who says that they have to be floral and cheesy? Not you! You love the carefree spirit that the cottage interior inspires, but you are also serious about your appreciation for modern art and hip treasures. You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. What better way to show off these treasures than with a light background?

Vintage Modern

Flea Market anyone? You know you are drawn to modern furniture and interiors, and yet you really don't like a space that feels cold and sterile. And who could blame you? And that's why Vintage Modern is so appealing to you. Though the backdrop of the room, the walls and windows, are many times white or monochromatic, the furniture and accessories have the color, shape and texture to bring the warmth into the space. The great thing about Vintage Modern is ease of mixing different styles in the one space. You can have a new modular sofa mixed with a great pair of chairs that your grandmother purchased in the late 1950's and the new and old work appear as though they were destined for each other. What's great is that even if you don't have time for swap meets and garage sales, so many of the pieces from the mid-century were so great that they have been remade and mimicked year after year.

If you want to take this quiz too you can find it

Ikea - the mother ship. I finally understand why I'm obsessed with Ikea. The style chart read like this:

0% Modern
0% Country
100% Scandinavian


If you want to take the Ikea quiz it's here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Freebird Skirt

* Taped Photo Collage by Katie Pertiet from here.

I was going to post more travel pics, but I finished this skirt last night and really wanted to show you! It's with the new Moda line "Freebird." Can you see the tiny bits of green in the print? It matches PERFECTLY to the new linen/cotton blend we got in recently. This one is Lime. When it arrived I might have curled my lip a little and asked why in the world we had lime linen. Of course my punishment for this lip curling was that I had to buy some! :)

So the skirt is not really from a pattern. I started with a basic a-line skirt pattern that I have and made it angle out more. I used a waistband from a German pattern, but I angled the sides too much, so it's REALLY tight. The tie required some thought. The back piece was easy. I just added it on to the side of the waistband. The front piece though was a little more difficult. I ended up sewing the tube then cutting into the front of the waistband and then sewing the pieces all together. I'm not very good at tutorials yet, so I imagine that doesn't make a lick of sense. Hopefully zooming in on the photo will give you an idea of the construction. Anyway, on the sides where the pieces meet under the tie I put in a hook and eye so that it would stay closed.

I wore the skirt today so I could say I wore it once and take pics, but it will be living on the mannequin at the store until I lose about 10 pounds. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Simple Solutions - Jewelry

* Photo cluster by Katie Pertiet purchased here.

I have started referring to my colleagues (Katelyn, Jenny, and Adrienne) as my personal jewelry designers. Some days I choose my outfit based on what earrings I feel like wearing. Some days I wait until I get to work and buy a new pair of earrings. And some days I buy something (like one of Jenny's necklaces) and tell myself, I'll find something to wear with that eventually. Yes, I might have a problem. But who can resist these beauties!?!

I needed a solution for my growing collection of hand made jewelry. I started with the necklaces. I had been thinking about how to hang them for quite some time. Maybe hooks, a box of some type, one of those jewelry cases (but I don't really have room for that)... then this idea of the sticky hooks came to me. In our new place we have a bathroom mirror with two little cabinets. On the inside of both doors (only one is pictured) I hung the sticky hooks at varying heights to accommodate the necklaces.

I had the earrings on a little stand with hooks, but the growing collection kept knocking the stand over. I asked the girls how they stored their earrings and they had some cool ideas. But I didn't have space for the kinds of things they mentioned. So, the sticky hooks saved the day again! I remembered this gaudy necklace I bought on a whim once and never wore out of the house. It has different sized chain links and beads in between. I strung it between the two cabinets and high enough on the mirror that I can see under it. Then I hung each pair of earrings in one of the links. I love it! I love being able to see all the earrings in one glance and see what I've got!

Feel free to share your creative jewelry solutions in the comments!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Strassbourg and Baden Baden

Ok, I'm beginning the travel series posts. I'm seriously far behind.
My mom arrived in Germany on 20 June. We got to do lots of fun things while she was here, most of which were close to home. Our first outing was to Strasbourg, France, one of the coolest close by attractions.

Well, it's cool when you know where you are, where you want to go, how to get there, and what you should look at when you're there. I missed the how to get there part and then forgot the what to look at part. I completely forgot to show mom the amazing clock inside the cathedral even though we were RIGHT THERE. Then I could not for the life of me figure out how to get to la petite France. I kept saying, I see it right there, but how do you get there!?!?! Once we figured it out we found this amazing restaurant (pictured very left) on the river and had awesome Alsace food. Mom got to try her first escargot (although I ended up eating almost all of it in the end) and flammkuchen and try quiche lorraine in Alsace-Lorraine! Gotta love that!

On the way home the GPS (new Garmin and I LOVE it) sent us off the autobahn to avoid some construction and unpleasant traffic. We had to drive through Baden-Baden, so we decided to stop.
I had never been there before, but it's really beautiful! We were there in the late afternoon so lots of things were closing and we weren't prepared, nor did we have time for a spa. So we found this beautiful little waterfall and just sat with our feet in the water for little while. It was really calm and relaxing!

While fun to hang out with Haven and my mom and take her to these cities, I respectfully request a do-over! I have to take her back the next time and see that silly clock! And I wouldn't mind spending some real time in Baden-Baden. But, still a fun trip!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Men's Shirt Refashion

I am so far behind on posting to the blog I don't know how I'm going to get caught up.... I haven't even posted pictures of when my mom was here back in JUNE! Feeling quite overwhelmed by my "to sort" bin in the photos folder. Well, I have to start somewhere, so I'm starting with a sewing project!

The Men's Shirt Refashion

With straps, without, and back view (with straps)

Closeup of shirring.

I saw the tutorial on the Ruffles and Stuff blog back in May. Click ---->here<---- for the tutorial. I basically did exactly what she said, but I made a few minor changes. First off, no, I did not raid DH's closet, as my choices were black, black, or black. I went to the thrift store and got an XL shirt for $3! I really want that pink one Disney had in her post, but alas, I will have to wait for the pink Tommy to go on sale at the PX. Or the purple one. Cuz you know they'll end up on sale.... ANYWAY... back to the modifications.

1. I did not start and stop the shirring like you're supposed to. I made a u-turn at the end and kept going. If you do that, you have to be sure you pull out some thread. When you iron it later you don't want it to shrink upwards. Make sense? (I did think that if the u-turn method didn't work, a great way to hide all the elastic ends would be to sew twill tape down on the inside.)
2. I added elastic around the top to make it tighter. Without the elastic it was not going to stay up. I sewed it right to the inside of the shirt, but next time I will make a casing. The elastic is scratchy if I don't wear a shirt underneath.
3. I did not add extra snaps to keep the shirt closed. I sewed that puppy all the way down. I did NOT want gapping between the buttons and since it's shirred there is plenty of stretch to pull it over your head.
4. Instead of ties I made straps. I shirred the straps to make them stretchy. I have a problem with straps falling off my shoulders. This way they are tight when I'm slouchy, but they stretch when necessary and don't fall off.

I really enjoyed this project and will do it again! Next time I will make these additional changes:
1. I will make the straps removable by putting buttons (use from the sleeve cuffs) on the inside and putting button holes in the straps. That way when I want to wear it without straps I can take them off instead of tucking them inside the shirt.
2. I will make the elastic casing at the top.

I have two more men's shirts in the "to do" pile. One might end being this refashion instead, but we'll see!

** Photo frames by Katie Pertiet found here **

Saturday, August 7, 2010