Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tutorial: 10 Minute Headband

So, a couple of weeks ago I got a sewing machine. Living in a small town (after only ever living in big cities) and not loving the cost of online shopping/not being able to try clothes, you have to come up with alternative ways of finding cute clothes. My solution (due in large part to Pinterest and the local love of sewing) has been to learn how to sew myself. So far, I have made a lace shirt to go over a cami or a dress (with a skinny belt and leggings) and a headband. Here is a picture of my headband I made from scraps of fabric my friend gave me.

(Note, I make awkward faces when Im getting my picture taken, so I usually just choose to 'own' it and make my own awkward/sassy face).

To make:

- Using a soft tape measurer, measure the circumference of where you like to wear your headbands
- Find a cute scrap of fabric that you like and measure it to that length and play with how wide you'd like it to be and pin on both sides. I wanted mine to be 60s Mod-ish so I made it relatively wide.
- Sew both sides
- Your headband should now look like a long rectangle. Fit to make sure it is appropriately tight or loose on your head
- With matching or coordinating fabric/ribbon/string, make miniature versions of your big rectangle for straps to tie your ends together, and sew to each end of the headband.
-Wear and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tutorial: Bowties are Cool Mug

Fans of Doctor Who will appreciate the reference. My husband, who I made this for, loves BOTH Doctor Who AND Bow Ties (sigh.) You have to understand, he's from the South where they are a perfectly acceptable article of clothing. Being a Midwesterner myself, I have never understood his obsession with them, but hey, I am nothing if not (begrudgingly) supportive! To make up for all my snarky comments about his favorite Sunday accessory, for his birthday I made him this mug (since I have converted him to coffee). It's pretty much the easiest tutorial in the world:

You will need:
-A ceramic Mug (I got mine from TJMax)
-A Porcelain Pen (don't be scared, they're a few bucks at Michaels)
-A Working Oven

That's it! I free-hand drew the design on mine, but if you want/need a stencil you could make that work as well, Michaels has a bunch. I liked the idea that my husband could tell it was my handwriting, made especially for him, etc. All you do is follow the directions on the Porcelain Pen (make sure you get one for ceramics and not glass, btw, they're different!). Mine said to draw my design (if you mess up before you bake it you can just use a wet cloth to wipe it off and start over) and then bake in the oven at 300 degrees F for 35 minutes. I set it on a cookie sheet to more easily retrieve it from the hot oven, but you don't have to. After doing that, the mug is dishwasher safe and the design won't come off! My mug was a big hit and will be a silly and fun family keepsake for years to come!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't Carpe Diem

I'm not a mom yet, but I've seen this article floating around facebook lately that I find to be AWESOME. I would describe it myself but wouldn't do it justice, so follow the link to read it. Mom or not, it should put a smile on your face:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Self Explanatory

Laughed out loud.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sherlock, Star Trek and a New Theory

I love British Actors. They ignore the circus that is Hollywood, they care about the 'craft'/artistry of acting and are better trained, and because of both of these are also more interesting because the best of them aren't necessarily the 'prettiest' of them. Case in point: the brilliance that is Benedict Cumberbatch. As if his name weren't enough fun on it's own (say it 5 times fast) he's crazy talented, impossible to type cast and in all honesty, has one of the strangest/most intriguing faces I've ever seen on screen. I first noticed him in Amazing Grace where he played Prime Minister Pitt alongside Ioan Gruffud's William Wilberforce and thought he was great. But as everyone has been noticing, Cumberbatch seems to be everywhere and in everything lately. My favorite at the moment is still his version of Sherlock Holmes in BBC's Sherlock, where they play with the legendary character's protagonist/anti-protagonist nuance ("I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath, get it right!). My biggest pet peeve with actors is when they DON'T EMOTE, which usually looks like them not moving their face at all. Cumberbatch, however, has the ability (along with only a FEW other actors, I can maybe count the rest on one hand) to express SO much with those crazy eyes of his alone. I swear the bottom half of his face barely moves at all. All of that to say, when I saw THIS today, I squealed out loud:

Not that I'm a big Trekkie or anything (I never really watched much of it growing up) and tend to only like Sci-Fi that has good writing about real human emotions/dynamics and a fair dollop of humor to keep me from laughing AT the 'Live long and prosper' stuff, (ie Doctor Who, which I'll come back to in a moment), but because I've been wanting to see him play a villain. I think he's going to be terrifying, and perhaps hilarious, depending on how they play it. His casting is a stroke of genius.

My new theory is also that he would be a fanstastic next Doctor. He has, as my psychology teacher once so aptly put it, "one foot over the crazy line" and can both convey deep, deep empathy and dark, dark coldness when called upon. This to me means he could more than easily pull off our favorite Time Lord. I think after Matt Smith we will all be wanting a darker Doctor anyway, someone with a lot more gravitas. Did you hear that, Steven Moffat? :D

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


So, my favorite writer, Aaron Sorkin, is teaming up with one of my favorite actors, Hugh Jackman, for one of my favorite entertainment mediums: a Musical. On Broadway. (!!!) This makes me Smile BIG and hope that they record this one the way that they recorded Jackman in the West End's version of Oklahoma! that I also LOVED.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sew Excited

Confession: I am addicted to Pinterest. I know, I know, everyone is, but I also happen to find Pinterest incredibly useful. I get recipes, gift ideas, tutorials and shopping done because of it, not to mention a lot of fun. The most recent inspiration that I've had from it, though, is all the DIY tutorials. This has led me to the conclusion (along with just living in a culture where sewing is encouraged) that I want to learn how to sew again. I sat down with a friend of mine today who is an expert sewer who explained to me how to understand the 'language' of sewing machines and helped me to research which one I should buy. This is the one we decided on and I'm excited!:

The Viking E20

Monday, January 2, 2012

Poetry = Food

I thought for my first (re-vamped) post, I would share the Richard Wilbur poem that inspired the title for this blog. I really have no other goal here other than to post happy, encouraging, fun, inspiring, funny, beautiful, redemptive or common-grace-filled things that I love that make me smile. That's it. Perhaps there should be a deeper reason but I don't think there needs to be. Poetry is food to my soul, it is both exciting and comforting, images and text. I hope that makes sense to you. So here you go:

A Simile for Her Smile

Your smiling, or the hope, the thought of it,
Makes in my mind such pause and abrupt ease
As when the highway bridgegates fall,
Balking the hasty traffic, which must sit
On each side massed and staring, while
Deliberately the drawbridge starts to rise:

The horns are hushed, the oilsmoke rarefies,
Above the idling motors one can tell
The packet's smooth approach, the slip,
Slip of the silken river past the sides,
The ringing of clear bells, the dip
And slow cascading of the paddle wheel.
– Richard Wilbur.