Monday, February 20, 2012

A trip to NAIAS

Finally some pictures from the north america international auto show, which was only oh a month ago.

My parents and Allie came up for the weekend to go with us.

Allie took a bunch of pictures too, so check hers out on her blog.  I tried to pick some different pictures to show than she did.

My mom in a porsche.

Both of them in a porsche now.

A part from the UofM solar car.

One of the few concept cars at the auto show.  It's basically a tiny two seater with the base being segway type wheels.

the electricity tank!

Trunk in the front.

Two extra seats in the trunk.  This Tesla car was battery powered and the battery formed the flat base of the car.  It was pretty freaking sweet.

My facebook updates have been more than a bit wonky lately, so if you missed them, here are my last couple of posts:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jersey Knit Headband

To go along with the jersey bracelets I made ages ago, I made a cute 5 strand braided jersey headband to go along with them!

I used the tutorial from make it and love it.  I had to go through the steps to do the 5 strand braiding several times before I got the hang of it, but the pictures in the tutorial make it pretty easy to figure out if, like me, you haven't done it before.

Another tip for anyone who might want to try this out: I found the tucking the top of the braid under my sewing machine helpful because that held it very firmly in place.  I had to tug and poke a bit to get the braid to be even throughout the length, but using my sewing machine as a paper weight meant it didn't pull out at all.

This headband is especially useful now that my hair is so short!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fat Quarter Purse

This is a cute little purse I made using two fat quarters and a few quilting scraps.  It's a bit small for me to use, but I bet a little girl would love carrying around something this size!

The tutorial came from make and takes, and as long as you can do basic sewing skills you can easily make this!  I did make a few changes because I didn't have the ribbon recommended to use for the handles and the contrasting band.  Instead I substituted some fabric scraps left over from my first quilt.  I basically made two tubes of fabric for the handles and then sewed two lines down each handle (before attaching!) to give it a bit of stability.

Since I wandered down my own path a bit with this project, whenever I got stuck I stopped and looked at one of my fabric purses that I love to see how I could emulate it.  So if you get stuck, just look around for a similar project and see if you can use that for inspiration!

I even has a cute little pocket on the inside!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Simple DIY Pajama Pants

Another sewing project reporting for duty!  Going an entire year sans sewing machine has given me a drive to use it whenever I can (although a full time job seems to be getting in the way lately!).  It's so fun to turn a few pieces of fabric into something awesome and useful.

The extent of my experience sewing clothes has been a bit of hemming because my pants are always too long.  Not that I was going to let lack of experience stop me from trying out a tutorial for flannel sleeping pants.  Making clothes is very easily more expensive than buying them, so I had to figure out if it was even going to be worthwhile to make them.  Replacing with pants from Old Navy was about $10, which is hard to beat, but the colors and patterns available were pretty slim.  Making pants ended up being less expensive only because there was a great 60% off sale on flannel at Joanns, which meant that a yard was only $3.  I ended up using 2 3/4 yards for me and 3 yards for Steve.

The tutorial I used from My Cotton Creations was really straight forward and it was very easy to do!

This is the fabric Steve chose. The first step is to line up the pattern (an old pair of pants) and cut out the fabric.

This is how the top band ended up.  Originally I skipped the elastic band and just had the drawstring, but I had to go back and add the elastic because they did not stay up well without it.

My new pants finished.  Steve's aren't done yet, or I'd show those too!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Valentine's Day Felt Garland

You didn't think I'd go past a holiday without doing a little bit of decorating for it did you?  Of course not. Since I didn't have any good ideas in my database, I started by browsing pinterest for some ideas, and found a couple of cute ones!

I wish I knew exactly where these directions came from, but once I hit this chinese website, that was as far as I could trace the source.

Since the picture above was the extent of the directions I had to do some guessing as far as the size of my felt.  I ended up using 4" tall felt and that made really nice shaped hearts, but you could go taller or shorter depending on your heart shape preferences.

This is how I threaded 3-4 on string at a time.  Doing this made the garland assembly move much quicker.

Spread out garland.

I used red, pink, and white felt here, but it's hard to see the difference between the pink and red.

To take the place of my twisted felt garland from christmas, I strung some of the hearts vertically instead of horizontally as above.

And finally hung one last strand over the living room entry way.

I've still got one or two more Valentine's day crafts to show, so stop back soon!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Marches On

Started work: got new glasses.  This was a huge deal for me.  I haven't worn glasses on a regular basis (ie hardly ever) since middle school.  Thankfully Optimeyes is way above awesome and helped me pick out an amazing pair.

Started work: have to wear a hard hat.  Having long hair was getting to be more of a hassle than I wanted.  I waffled so much about cutting it, but then I saw a hair cut I loved so I manned up and committed to cutting it.

I ended up doing highlights too to brighten up the color a bit.  I think it turned out fantastically, and with about 15 minutes of effort in the morning it doesn't look much different than this:

I got bangs cut for the first time in ages too and I'm currently love/hating them.  When they're down Steve thinks I look like velma from scooby doo.  Not sure if that's good or not but I've always loved velma!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cleaning Up Photo Files

Digital cameras have undoubtedly made a great impact in my life. It's cheap and relatively easy to capture all of my important (and banal) life moments, sometimes in duplicate or triplicate.

After our travels last year and the wedding, I've amassed over 9,000 from the last two years and have over 16,000 photos over the last decade or so.

How many other people take dozens of pictures only to leave them languishing on a memory card or computer never to be seen again?  Blogging has helped with this some because I've been able to share some of them here, but for every picture I've shared there are probably 10 that I haven't.

To combat this, I've decided to go through every photo on my hard drive and delete any bad photos or near repeats.  Thankfully all of my photos were already well organized as I keep them sorted into folders by year, month, and event with the exception of my college years, which are more awkwardly organized since they span calendar years.

Deleting crappy photos has been much more time consuming that I ever thought, and it was hard go through all of them because they're all so sentimental.  Even though I've gotten rid of over 6400 photos (40% of my photo collection!) not one of my event folders was emptied completely.  It's so much easier to enjoy them now that there are fewer old photos and way fewer repeats.  It also makes all the memories that much happier because I'm not coming across bad photos that make me grimace.

Right now I've worked up to September 2010, but that still leaves nearly 6,000 photos to go through.  When all is said and done I want to take all of the photos that are left and make photo books for each year, but I think that's a project for 2013 because that's going to take an immense amount of effort to do.