Monday, December 31, 2012

December Wrap-Up

I tried to post every day (minus the weekends) this month and I think I did pretty well. I know Fridays are taken up by Friday Favorites, and for some reason Thursday is a hard day to post, but I posted quite a bit. Here are some of my favorite posts this past month.

My Horrible Pattern Reading Skills
Fitting In & Why I Don't Try Anymore
Stupid Things That Drive Me Crazy
My First Sewing Project
I'm A Hobby Hoarder
I Don't Make Resolutions But

My husband and I didn't celebrate Christmas this year because, well, we already have everything we wanted.

I wish I had a great photo to share with you, but I don't. I wish I could say something amazing happened this past month, but nothing did. I had a ho hum month. So the last thing I'm going to say is ...


I Don't Make Resolutions But ...

I think I'm going to change that this year.

I'm not one that makes New Years resolutions. I don't keep them, it's that simple. Something about being in 30's has changed me. I'm not sure why but I feel like making resolutions for the New Year. I'm not sure if I should call them resolutions though. My brain is going to process that and try it's hardest to assist me in failing to keep them. So I'll just say here's a list of things I want to accomplish in 2013.

1. I want to read more than 10 books this next year. (Those samplers do NOT count as books) Many, many, people are going to look at that and scoff. Ten books in a year? That's it? Yes, that's it. I am a very slow reader. When I was younger I sped read everything. It's translated into not understanding a single book I read back when I was in my late childhood and through my teens. Now, as I read, I take my time often reading out loud to myself. (Follow me on Goodreads to see my progress)

2. I will either make a quilt or a quilted object (pillow, handbag, etc) of some sort. I've been eyeing quilts online and in stores and now that I have a sewing machine I feel like it's something I can accomplish. In theory it's quite terrifying though. Picking out the right fabric. Fabric that I'm not going to get sick of. Buying an expensive darning foot for my machine. Putting it together with the perfect 1/4" seam allowance when I can barely draw a straight line. I have to get over that though. I have been eyeing a bag called The Conversation Bag. It looks quite complicated, and the directions have stumped me more than once, but I really would love to make this bag.

The Conversation Bag: Tutorial Courtesy of Sew Sweetness
3. I want to start eating healthier. I'm not sure how this one is going to work. My husband is one of those men who can eat whatever he wants and lose weight. I'm going to have to learn how to cook and start making my own meals if I'm ever going to eat healthier.

4. I will build something. I have a huge list of things I want to build for my craft room. A sewing table, a cutting table, a desk/sewing/cutting/scrapbooking table.

5. Being a better me. This one sounds really stupid but I've been a horrible me lately. I've been lazy, and timid in my life, for the past few months and I'm just about sick of myself. I need to start getting off my ass and doing things that I say I'm going to do.

None of these are going to be easy and that's why I've chosen them. If what I'd chosen were easy I'd put it off until I rationalized away the need to accomplish them.

So folks, that's what I plan on doing in 2013. What are you doing?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

It was a busy web week for me. I've got quite a few links to share with you. Some craft related others just random sites that I've found. Aaaaannnnddddd ... we're off....

The Fat Quarter Shop is an online fabric store selling Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, and Fat Quarters. Don't know what any of those are? Neither did I. That's why this post on Sew4Home really helped me understand.

I found a sewing cabinet I'd love to have but I'm not willing to spend over double on the desk that I did on the machine. My husband said he would help me build my own. How cool would that be?

I want to do some free motion quilting soon but found out that the free motion foot for my machine really sucks. Good news though DreamWeaver's Quilts has a way to fix the foot and make it great.

I'm pretty sure I knew about craftgawker but just recently rediscovered it. It's almost like Pinterest but it's solely for crafts.

This video seems a little silly to some but I always have issues peeling Kiwis. I'm going to have to try this trick the next time I have a kiwi.

I'm a huge dog lover and found quite a few awesome dog posts. How about dogs shaking off water or dogs underwater. (The second link is through stumbleupon. I can't find the post otherwise.) What about the science of dogs? This dog has it's own seeing eye dog. I laughed hysterically at this one
Having a bad day? Visit the nicest place on the internet
I've always wanted to travel to Italy so I'm glad I found 100+ Things to Know if You're Going to Italy
Here's some stuff no one told us
Ever thought one movie poster looked exactly like another? You weren't seeing things. Check out these 10 movie poster cliches.

Looking to expand your vocabulary? See how many words you know.

Thirteen top 100 book lists condensed into one master list. 632 of the Best Books Ever Written.

 I will try these one day. Mac & Cheese cups.

Ever wondered if it was love or lust? Maybe it's just indigestion.

 Lastly a video I've watched at least 20 times in the past week. It's the most watched video on YouTube ... ever ... and I can't seem to get it out of my head.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What's App?

Ha, get it, what's app? Kinda a play on what's up? Anyway, my crazy brain decided that it wanted to talk about my favorite apps right now.

(I am in no way associated with any company, person, or game (including but not limited to Apple & iTunes) mentioned in this post. Just wanted to say that before someone tried to say I was attempting to sell these apps through this post.)

My most recent purchase from the App store was a game that took me less than 4 hours to complete. It's called The Room. First let me say the graphics for the game, even on my iPhone 4s, are outstanding. You're stuck in a room with a large, locked, chest in front of you. The object is to get what's inside the chest by working through clues. Once you're inside there is another box, with another box inside, that you have to figure out how to open. If you're into critical thinking games THIS game is the perfect one for you. My only disappointment was that it was so short. At the end there's a clue to the fact that there's going to be more levels. I'm really hoping so because for $1.99 I would expect a little more.

Second would be Tiny Wings. As the name suggest you're a bird with very tiny wings. You can't fly very far but that's where the valley's help. If you dip into the valley perfectly, three times in a row, you fly farther when you peak. Does that make sense? There was a free version of this game and I loved it so much that I purchased the full version. I believe it was only $.99.

SpellTower is a mix of Scrabble & Tetris & a word search. As you can see in the graphic above you drag across letters to make words. Each time you make a word another layer of letters comes from the bottom. Don't let the letters hit the top or the game is over. There are different difficulties as well. This app was also $1.99. It's loads of fun though.

Lastly, Flow. I laugh every time I think of the name of this game. That's just my twisted mind though. Anyway, this game is great. The object is to fill the entire screen by connecting the colored dots together. You cannot overlap colors and if you have to correct a line your moves counter takes that into consideration making you come in that many above the flows counter. They also have a flow bridges but it's not as fun. This app was free but you have the option of purchasing add ons. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

It wasn't a hard decision, this year, to forgo Christmas. This has been a year full of great gifts that I couldn't be more thankful for.

My husband and I finally have a place we can call home. We'd been renting since we got together in 2003. We'd been evicted (because of foreclosure not because we did anything wrong) twice in a 3 year period. I cannot believe we finally have a place that can't be taken away unless we screw up.

The husband finally got the boat he's been wanting for years.

Monterey 224 FS
My husband bought me, what I can only describe as, the gift of a lifetime.
 My Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 Bandouliere.
We bought new living room furniture, a new bedroom set, and a new washer and dryer for our home.

I recently got a sewing machine and have gone purchase crazy with that.

It's going to be exciting, this year, to just wake up when I want and not worry about what is, or isn't, under the tree. Now if I could only convince my husband to take me to see Les Miserables on Christmas day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hunger by Michael Grant

Amazon Affiliate Link

Title: Hunger
Author: Michael Grant
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 590
Finished: 12/15/2012
Rating: 3.5 (possibly 4) out of 5 - I rated this book the same as Gone because I feel they were the same book just different themes.

Synopsis From Amazon

"It's been three months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. Food ran out weeks ago and starvation is imminent. Meanwhile, the normal teens have grown resentful of the kids with powers. And when an unthinkable tragedy occurs, chaos descends upon the town. There is no longer right and wrong. Each kid is out for himself and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them. The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry."

What I Thought

It's clear within the first chapter what the kids in the FAYZ are dealing with in this book. You'll also never forget why the title is Hunger. I think, at minimum, there's a mention of someone being hungry 10 times in each chapter. I'm not saying he overused the hunger theme because, as the title suggest, it was necessary but I think Grant could have toned it down just a little bit.

If you read my Gone review you'll know that, through the middle of the book, I found the reading a little tedious. It was all too similar with Hunger. The back stories are generally something I quite enjoy and I did understand the need for the descriptiveness but, for a few hundred pages, the book lacked excitement. After getting through those pages, however, I noticed that the book read quite quickly.

Also, what is the deal with all the girls being "cute" or "pretty" or even "a little cute"? There is a real lack of a heroin. It's not that I think Grant as misogynistic, and I am in no way a feminist, but what happened to women being strong and self sufficient in their roles in a book? It seems that the women in Hunger are always being saved.

The ending, again just like Gone, was over extremely quick. The true hero in Hunger was a character that we barely got to know. A hero who didn't truly want to be a hero until it came right down to the wire.

You might think, reading what I've just written, that I didn't like the book. You're wrong. I liked it a lot. However present these issues were I still enjoyed reading Hunger and will be reading on. Gone and Hunger both have that "I want to know what happens next" aspect as well as a million other questions that I need answered.

Have you read the Gone series? What did you think?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

This week is all about the world ending. Which, if you're reading this, is a load of crap. If you're not reading this, or if no one is reading this, than I made this post and scheduled it for no reason.


Here's 50 reasons why the world is ending and here's why NASA says the world won't end.

Here's is a list of predicted apocalyptic events.

And here's what NigaHiga has to say about the world ending.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm A Hobby Hoarder

I have a huge problem. I collect things. Most of the things I collect have something to do with a hobby. I have more makeup than I'll ever use. Makeup is the only thing unrelated to a hobby, unless you consider playing with different makeups to achieve a look a hobby. Moving on. I have more scrapbooking supplies than I'll ever use. I've got yarn in places, in my house of course, yarn shouldn't be. When I see something I like I tend to go off the deep end and just buy it. Generally this purchasing problem is with the knowledge that I'm not going to use whatever it is that I've just bought any time soon.

I have makeup that I've used once and have since let it sit in my drawers unused because it just doesn't work for me. I see it on the shelf and I jump all over it. I have over $200 worth of high end makeup that I've used once. How terrible is that?

I calculated how much I've spent on Scrapbooking supplies in the past 8 yrs or so and I'm almost ashamed. It's not that I'm ashamed of the fact that I purchased it, with the intent to use it at one point, it's more of a shame that stems from having those supplies sit, collecting dust, for the past 3 years. It's also a shame that grows every time I purchase some new, amazing, supply that I don't need EVEN SINCE I've halted my scrapbooking endeavors.

Based on that last paragraph you would think that I'd pick it back up and figure out what to do with all of the stuff I've accumulated. Nope, that's not how I roll. I pick up a new hobby. THAT'S how I roll.

Last year I started crocheting. I was, and still am, addicted. I've got an unfinished king sized blanket sitting on my kitchen table. I have 12 skeins of yarn sitting in my closet waiting to be put into that blanket. I've got a basket, without any inner workings to hold it up and make it a proper basket, sitting in the same closet with those skeins of yarn. The only real crochet project I've finished since last year is a crochet hook holder.

Since that crocheted blanket isn't finished I should be working feverishly on it, right? NOPE AGAIN. I bought a sewing machine and hundreds of dollars worth of supplies to go with it.

 Wanna know what I've made with that? A sewing machine organizer. A project that took 1/2 a yard of fabric and 10 minutes to finish. That's it. I've been playing with the machine more than I've actually used it.

The next thing on my hobby list is knitting, and needlepoint (which I kinda already know), and making vlogs and .... figuring out why I have such a problem sticking with one hobby for long periods of time.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goodbye 2012

I know it isn't quite the end of the year yet but I wanted to get this post in before the world ends this Friday. What's the point in doing a Friday Favorites if I'm not going to be here right? (I don't really believe the world is going to end but it's been my excuse for not getting anything drastically important done lately.)

My 2012 was an interesting one. It started with a visit to the Emergency Room. No, not me, my husband. He had a little too much to drink and I felt really uncomfortable letting him "sleep it off" like he wanted. You know that extremely vacant look you get from overly drunk individuals? Multiply that by 10K and you've got what my husband looked like at 1 am New Years day. I took him into the ER, where they gave him fluids and a place to crash, and he was fine.

This past year was the year that I let go of my old blog, The Princess & The Parolee, and I started this one. I may, at this point, redo that blog and post more personal stuff there. I'm contemplating making it private as well. It seems that making it private, if I'm still going to post, lacks a point. For me, though, it would be a place where I can put down my deepest thoughts without the worry that anyone is going to find them.

This was the year my husband and I bought our first house. We'd been renting for over 9 years and were finally able to buy our own home. No more worrying about the landlord and what s/he is doing with our money. We also bought a boat.

I got a little personal and talked about my political views here on this blog.
I had a lot of Friday Favorites. I especially like THIS ONE.
I talked a lot about sewing because I recently bought a sewing machine. I have to admit, though, that I'm almost terrified to use it. I did complete one project but I'm just not sure what to make next.
I talked about why I left Facebook although I am thinking about going back.

I also think I've found my true love for blogging again. Before it was always an attempt to please everyone else. Not that I don't love people reading and commenting, but I feel like I was always meant to have a blog that was purely for/about/centered around me. A me who, in real life, doesn't care what others think I should be doing, or what I should be blogging about, or what niche I should be fitting into. I finally embraced my square peg-ness and I am NOT going back.

How was your year?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Favorites

I rediscovered my love for StumbleUpon this week so I have quite an array of links for you.

This little Yorkie, of I Do Dog Tricks, is so freakin' adorable.  You type in commands and he, or she, follows them. Type in kiss. Do it. It's so cute.

Incredibox. I'm not quite sure how to explain this website. Make your own beats?

For all those moments when 2 ingredients is all you have here's a list of 34 Insanely Simple Two-Ingredient Recipes.

These Clever Ads Billboards make you think. The last one makes me want to spit a lot more.

While trying to come up with a configuration for a sewing room I thought about the heights I would need for my sewing table and my cutting table. Lemon Tree Tales has a fool proof way of figuring out those heights so that your back doesn't hurt at the end of your project.

How about 33 Ways To Stay Creative? I love number 24.

Lastly I have a couple videos. Someone that I'm subscribed to on YouTube liked this video and although it's not as creepy as THIS ONE it is quite funny.

Despite the fact that the cast is insanely talented (Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfriend, Helena Bonham Carter ... I could keep going but I think you get the point) this makes me want to see Les Miserables even more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My First Sewing Project

On Black Friday, when I bought my sewing machine, I was so excited to get a project started. (I feel like I talk about buying my sewing machine too much lately. It seems as though I start any post related to sewing with "I bought a sewing machine on Black Friday. I'm a nerd) Then it came down to actually starting one. I was TERRIFIED.

What if I royally screwed it up?

What if I couldn't understand how to do anything?

What if I couldn't read the pattern and I didn't know where to put things and I sewed the wrong thing to the wrong side of the wrong piece and AARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

Then it came down to pulling the pattern out and reading it. You can see how that went by reading my pattern reading skills post.

Finally I'd psyched myself up enough that I figuring I couldn't do any harm to $2 worth of fabric and even if I did it was only $2. Guess what? It came out pretty decent, if I do say so myself. So without further ado here's my first sewing project.

This little guy is called a sewing machine organizer. Your sewing machine sits on top of the upper edge and the 3 pockets at the bottom hold misc. items that you need to keep close to you while you're sewing.

I didn't really make this with the intent that it would come out in a usable way but it did and now I'm not sure what to do with it. I mean, yea, I know it's purpose but I don't find it as useful as I would like to. The pockets are too small, and won't hold anything larger than a bobbin or possibly a spool of thread, and I realized that before I even cut out the pattern but didn't change it because it was my first true pattern project. I have a sewing box, and a bobbin holder, for that.

THAT'S NOT THE POINT THOUGH ALICIA. I made this. I sewed it together. I followed the pattern. I pinned and basted and cut and sewed this cute little thing together. My first sewing project and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. I can't believe it. 

Do you sew? Share a project with me. I'd love to see it. I'd love it even more if it were your first project.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I've Gone Purchase Crazy

When I get into something I really get into it. I've been a purchasing machine for the past couple weeks and I thought I'd share some of my findings with everyone. I hope no one is offended by "haul posts" because that's what's about to happen.

Purchased From Amazon

Dahle 36" x 48" Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Mat-Blue 10693
I haven't had a chance to try this mat out yet. Later this next week my mother and I are going to make aprons for ourselves and I'm sure I'll get to see how it works then.

Olfa Deluxe Rotary Cutter (60mm) and OLFA 9458 RB60-5 60mm Rotary Blade, 5-Pack
Again, I haven't had the chance to try the rotary cutter, or the rulers in the photo below, out yet.

O'Lipfa 5-Inch-by-24-Inch Lip Edge Ruler & O'Lipfa 4-Inch-by-36-Inch Lip Edge Ruler

Purchased From Walmart

Sewing Basket. The top compartment comes out which allows for more storage underneath.
This little sewing case was only $10 and it's so adorable. It's got loads of storage space and it hold every small piece of "equipment" I currently have.

Bobbin Storage Case. Holds 25 bobbins.
I was looking for a bobbin case that would hold each bobbin individually and this was the most decently priced one.

Purchased From My Local Bernina Dealer

Clover Chaco Chalk Liners in Blue & White and Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen. These are for marking on fabric.
The chalk liners are so amazing. There's a small roller wheel at the top that the chalk dispenses through and, since it's chalk, it rubs right out after it's served it's purpose. The pen is basically a disappearing ink pen. Well, disappearing in the sense that when heat is applied (hence the name Frixion) the ink just goes away. I've tried it a couple times and I really like it.

Collins Wrist Pin Cushion, Bernina Magnetic Pin Holder & Bernina Seam Gauge
I just purchased these items today but they're nothing special. The magnetic pin holder will come in handy since I know I have pins on my floor that I can't find.

Purchased At My Local Joanns Fabrics

Gingher 8" Dressmaker Shears
You would not believe how amazingly these shears cut. You know that moment when you're cutting wrapping paper and the scissors start to glide? These don't glide but I get that feeling every time I used them. They're not cheap but they're worth every penny.

(Some captions under these photos are Amazon Affiliate Text Links. Read more about that in my Advertising & Affiliate Disclosure. Link at the bottom of the post.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stupid Things That Drive Me Crazy

Whenever I think I'm normal I start to think about the stupid things that drive me absolutely bats**t crazy.

1. When the toilet paper roll is in the over position. In the illustration below B is the over position. I cannot HANDLE when someone puts the roll of that way. There is no rational reason why I despise it so much but I do. When my husband's younger brother was living with us his bathroom was also the common bathroom in the house. The first rule I dictated to him was that if he put the roll on the wrong way I'd toss him out on his butt. I am terrible, I know.

Photo Courtesy Of Sodahead
2. My husband, if he read my blog, would totally point and me and scream "YES" after this one. I cannot stand when the screws that hold the switch plates, or outlet plates, on are not straight up and down. Before I even hung photos in my house I went through with a flat head screwdriver and made all the screw slots uniform by standing them vertical.

3. Photos are another thing that absolutely bother me. If they're crooked I will spend every waking second trying to figure out how to straighten them. I just can't look at, or be in the same room as, a photo that's not straight. On a visit to my dentists office I refused to go back to the exam room until I had a photo straight. They thought I was nuts.

4. Hangers that are hung and wrap around the back of the rod. That just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm sure there's more but those 4 items are the worst offenders.

Do you have any stupid things that drive you crazy?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites

It's another week of a million and one sewing sites. I finally tackled my first project, which you can read about in my horrible pattern reading skills post, and am about to finish it up. It's a really small project but I'm still happy with the results.

I'm going to list, with a description of each, the sewing sites I found this week.

All Free Sewing is sort of like Crochet Pattern Central. (which is the same but for crochet)
Craftsy is a site with free mini classes, and some patterns, but it's not only for sewing. The teach everything from crochet, knitting, and jewelry
Me Sew Crazy is a blog full of sewing tutorials. She also sells her creations on Etsy.
Sew Many Ways is another blog full of tutorials. Also I have horrible, uncontrollable, craft room envy.
Sewaholic is ... well I'm sure you understand. I stumbled upon her blog while trying to find out how to make my pattern pieces last longer.
Michelle Patterns has a great tutorial on how to make a awesome looking seam using a slip stitch.
Lastly the Sharp Crochet Hook. This would be an amazing gift for any seamstress that also crochets. I will, WILL, convince my husband to let me buy this hook.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fitting In & Why I Don't Try Anymore

In high school I was a drama nerd. At the time it was because I thought that's the only group I fit into. I was fat so I couldn't be a popular kid. I didn't do drugs so I absolutely did not fit in with the stoners. I was trying to fit in anywhere I could and thought that I'd settled on being a drama nerd. As I age I realize that it really wasn't because that's where I fit, that I did drama, it was because that's where I belonged.
Amazon Affiliate Photo Link
I belonged in a group that accepted someone who just didn't care what anyone else thought, even though at the time I did care. I belonged with a group of people who truly understood that, no matter what anyone else said, we really were mentally OK. I belonged with people that never wanted me to change who I truly was.

It took me a long time, until I was 25 or so, to figure out that I am OK just the way I am. I don't have to be skinny or have the greatest hair. It doesn't matter that I choose to wear glasses, because I have an extremely flat face, because that's who I am. I don't need to have more money, toys, or boyfriends than everyone else and I absolutely do NOT have to impress anyone unless I want to.

I'm that girl that just doesn't care what you think of me anymore. I don't wear nice clothes, I don't have every expensive thing that I think I need, and I don't drive brand new luxury cars. I've seen what that gets you. It makes you obsess over things that really shouldn't be bothering you on a daily basis. I am not the neighborhood's Jones family and that's alright with me. I couldn't imagine spending my life trying to be.

I'd rather obsess over the next sewing pattern I'm going to tackle or the next crochet pattern that I have to try. I'd rather sit at home all day with nothing to do than worry if my car meets the standards of my neighborhood (which isn't really an issue where I live) or if my interior decorating skills are going to impress someone.

I've stopped trying to fit in because I already do. I fit into my own mold. I never had to be someone I'm wasn't to find someone that would love me. Ever since I realized those simple but true facts my life has been amazing.

Amazon Affiliate Photo Link

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Horrible Pattern Reading Skills

So I'm making my first piece on my new sewing machine. I bought a Butterick pattern the other day and it's full of sewing room accessories. I decided to make a sewing machine organizer which, if you wanted to know, sits under the sewing machine, hangs over the end of the table, and has 3 pockets that sit right in front of you while you're sewing. The pockets serve to keep everything right in front of you instead of all over the place.

I digress.

The instructions, which I read through before cutting the project, where clear as day but when it came down to actually figuring them out my brain took a vacation.

Top pieces (x2) are for the front and back. Bottom section is for the pockets.
I had to cut 2 pieces for the front and back and one section for the pockets.

The top edge is folded along the fold line and then tucked under 1/4" to create a nice edge.
Once they were cut I had to fold over the top of the pockets, creating a cuff of sorts, so that the top edge of the pocket was neat instead of being a raw edge of fabric.

Tell me how clear these instructions are and then explain to why it took me 20 minutes to understand what they were saying.

2. Turn upper edge of pocket 16 to inside along fold line, turning under 1/4" on raw edge. (That's pretty clear isn't it? Fold the fabric along the fold line and then fold under the raw edge 1/4.)

The next step, which I obviously haven't gotten to yet says the following.

3. Pin pocket to one front and back section, matching stitching lines and small circles; baste.

For some reason my brain thought that meant I needed to baste (pin it, loosely hand, or machine, stitch one piece to another piece) piece number 16 to the back of one #17 piece and to the front of the other. In my mind I was so confused because this would mean I couldn't turn my pieces to the wrong side when sewing. However any sane person would read that and say "Oh, yea. Pin piece 16 to ONE of the #17 pieces you cut and move on from there."

I had to call my husband into the room, a husband that's never read a pattern, and he had to sit me down and explain step by step what it meant. Once it finally clicked I felt so stupid, and so relieved that I finally understood, that I had to leave it alone so I didn't screw anything else up for the night.

This pattern reading is NOT turning out to be my thing. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it but having such a hard (or slightly brain missing) time with my first pattern isn't setting a good tone!

Sewing For Dummies

When I was younger, probably around 10 or so, my parents let me take sewing lessons. They weren't cheap lessons, as I remember, and it wasn't long before they couldn't afford it anymore. I was disappointed but I understood that groceries came before sewing. Now that I'm over 30 it felt like the right time for me to get back into it. On Black Friday I bought a sewing machine in hopes that I'd be able to jump back into it. I set the machine up and perused the manual to figure out the basics. Winding the bobbin, threading the machine, etc. While the manual was helpful I found myself not knowing where to go from there. I mean, yea, I ripped up some old clothes to play with the machine a little but I was overly intimidated by purchasing a pattern and actually sewing something.

My mom and I went to Joann's to find some easy patterns and I thought I might be able to buy a book that would help me with the basics. Thankfully I have a very easy time learning in whatever style I choose. (visual, auditory, etc) I found a great book full of pictures called Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. (Amazon Affiliate Link) The pictures are amazing but, while it did explain some things that I was confused about, it wasn't very in depth. See when I go about trying to learn something I want to know the why behind every aspect of it. Yes the book is great. Yes the photos are great but for someone like me it just wasn't enough information.

Later that day I went to Barnes and Noble and scoured through their crafts section only to find that most of the books on sewing were exactly the same. I then stumbled on Sewing for Dummies. I don't like to think of myself as a dummy BUT when it came to sewing it am 10 steps behind a novice. After reading only 2 pages I knew this was the book for me.

Amazon Affiliate Photo Link
Now that you've got the long drawn out back story let me tell you how amazing this book is. I'm only 3 chapters in and I already understand more about sewing than I ever think I'm going to. Again, however, that's how I like it. The woman who wrote this book (Jan Saunders Maresh) has been sewing since she was seven. She made a few assumption when writing this book and those are as follows:
1. You don't yet know how to sew or are looking for a refresher course.
2. You want to master the fundamentals of sewing.
3. You're looking for tips and tricks to make your sewing projects easier and more fun.
4. You want to start sewing as soon as possible.

Every last one of those assumptions apply to me. I don't think I could have asked for a better break down of what I need to start sewing and how best to tackle any project. There are those who say that there is too much information in this book but I, for one, (as I've said a hundred times now) truly enjoy the wealth of knowledge that the author is providing me.

If you are truly a novice seamstress, like me, don't be ashamed to pick this book up. You will NOT regret it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Current Youtube Favorites

I absolutely adore YouTube. I have no idea why I love it so much but I do. I watch videos on my iPod every night and generally fall asleep with headphones in. I thought it would be fun to show you my current favorite videos on YouTube. So here are 3 of my favorite videos right now.

This little puppy is so freakin' adorable. If you're not into those "omfgaskj that's cute" videos then you won't like this. I played this with my dogs in the room the other day and they nearly attacked my computer screen.
I know I'm behind on the Gotye train but I just discovered this video a couple weeks ago. I absolutely love it. I didn't think I would the first time I started to play it but I'm absolutely addicted to this song.
Michael Buble. Enough said.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Wrap Up

This past month was amazing. We've added a bunch of things to our house. We bought a bedroom set, new living room furniture, and a new washer and dryer.

We went out on Black Friday and my husband bought me an beautiful new sewing machine. You can read about it HERE.

If you look at the very top of the right sidebar I made myself a social media follow bar thingamabob.

I found sites similar to Ravelry (a knitting and crocheting community) that are sewing related. We All Sew and My Sewing Circle.

I was good with my Friday Favorites and posted one every week. I suggest you check them out. Two weeks, or so, ago (Nov 23rd) I posted one that will change your life, I promise.

I started following a couple new blogs. Raspy Wit and Oh, Just Living The Dream. Raspy Wit is, well, just that. Her latest post was why she is banned from Ebay. It's HILARIOUS! On Oh, Just Living The Dream there's a post that really hits close to home for me. It's about blogging for you and keeping yourself out of "blog competition".

I still haven't even come close to being 1/4 of the way done with the blanket I've been working on for myself and my husband. It's still on my hook.

Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic. My husband and I spent it at home, alone, with no one else, quiet, ... can you tell that's how I like things?

I've put up some Christmas lights (no picture, sorry) and I'm looking forward to this year coming to a close so that I can make pointless resolutions that I won't keep! That's not meant to sound horribly condescending, it's just the truth!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorites

Another week that lacked internet activity in my household. I bought a sewing machine last Friday so my favorites this week are mostly sewing related.

My Sewing Circle & We All Sew are two communities similar to Ravelry (A knitting and crochet community) but they're for those of us who sew.

Sew Mama Sew is a blog FULL of sewing tutorials.

Lastly I was thinking of selling, or giving away, some of my makeup. Before I do that I wanted to find out if it was possible to sanitize your makeup. If not I guess it stays in my stash without being used until it goes bad. Fortunately I found this video on YouTube. I searched it out and this seems to be the universal way to sanitize your makeup for sale, or for giving away, or just in general. (Which reminds me, I have a question for anyone who reads this. Would you accept, for free, high end makeup that's been sanitized or high end makeup that's only been used one and not even used straight from it's original packaging? If so leave me a comment and I might just give some of my makeup away. THIS IS THE MAKEUP I'M TALKING ABOUT!)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Different World

Last night I was thinking about things that were different when I was younger. It was quite interesting to think about so I thought I'd share it with y'all.

When I was younger I lived in a town with a population of less than 500. This afforded us nothing in the way of privacy. Everyone knew everyone and knew everything that everyone did. (Confused with that last sentence?) The one thing that living in such a small town did afford us was security. We never locked our doors at night. Not the doors on the house or the doors on our cars. Normally my mom left her purse in the car. Nothing was ever stolen either. I can't imagine doing that now though.

A lot of kids these days play video games. The first video game system our family received was a Sega Genesis. I couldn't believe how amazing it was. We only got to play when we earned the time BUT it was the fact that technology like that existed in our world. I understand that there were systems that came out before it but the Sega was the first I knew of.

For fun we, my brothers, neighbors, friends, and I, used to play in the ditch in front of our house. That's what we loved to do. I know that sounds gross and parents today would have a conniption fit if they saw their child playing in a ditch but that's the kind of fun that we had.

I actually remember having to get up from the couch to change the channel. Not only that I remember when we had to go move the dish around to get good reception. I'm not talking about one of those little dish's they have now. No. The dish we used was at least 6 ft in circumference.

Once a week my family would have to irrigate the yard. Dad would get up at 2 in the morning so that he could stop up the ditch and flood the yard. We, as kids, thought it was a privilege when dad would ask us if we wanted to help. I think I got pneumonia a couple times though. Freezing cold water, 2 am, yea it doesn't mix well. I still remember having a blast helping though.

I remember when gasoline, for premium, was $.97 a gallon. That was when I started driving.

Every time I think of how things were different when I was a kid I instantly think of Bucky Covington and his song A Different World. I couldn't imagine what my mom would have said to me if I'd have asked for a bottle of water.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some Added Links

At some point, on this little blog, I might start selling stuff. I also might do reviews on products that I either bought or that were given to me. In this new world I feel it's best if you protect yourself in any way possible. Thusly (isn't that a cool word) I've added a Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, and Advertising & Affiliate Disclosure link at the bottom of every post.

Check out my disclaimer, it's hilarious. I used it, with permission of course, from another blogger. You can use it too. You'll love it.

Anywho, that's all, happy Hump day!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday

I know there are a lot of people who don't go out on Black Friday (yes I capitalized both) because the mass consumerism, the horrible lines, and the rude people. I, however, find it to be exhilarating.

I was contemplating not going this year because I really didn't find anything that peaked me interested. Why wait in lines and deal with a million different people when there's nothing I want? My mom wanted to go but I didn't want to drag her out of bed that early for nothing. We, my husband my mother and I, decided to go when I found an ad that was meant for  me. It was the ad for Dave's Bernina.


I've been eyeing a sewing machine for a long time. I took sewing classes when I was 8 years old but they didn't last. Mostly because my parents couldn't afford it anymore. I've always wanted to own a sewing machine but never had a reason. Even now I don't really have a solid reason to own a sewing machine but I'm tired of buying clothes that fit me alright, but aren't that cute, just because that's what everyone has to offer. I'm tired of spending hundreds of dollars on a blanket for our bed. (we have to buy oversized blankets because my husband has a horrible habit of stealing every last stitch of blanket from me in the night) I'd like to make gifts, instead of buying gifts, for people around the holidays. Ever since I started crocheting I've wanted to pick up more homemaking skills and sewing seemed like the logical next step for me.

So without further ado here's my major Black Friday purchase.

This little beauty is a Bernina 330. It generally retails for $1399 but I paid $699. Tell me that wasn't worth it? After speaking with the sales associates for what seemed like hours I picked this because of it's ease of use and the fact that it still had quite a few features.

Along with the machine I bought this walking foot. It was on sale for $99. I know that seems like a lot but I've found them online retailing for nearly $200. I also purchased THIS knee lift but it wasn't in stock.

The moment I got this baby home I started playing around with it. I ripped up an old shirt and began figuring things out. After I learned how to thread the machine, of course.

Now comes the task of starting my first project. I'm nervous/excited/scared/omgasdfjkl;. If you've got any advice for a sewing novice leave it in the comments, please.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Favorites

I only have one thing to share this week. It's not because I haven't been online much though. The pure weirdness of this video is something I think nothing else on the internet can compete with at this moment.

I was watching a video on YouTube. I have no clue what the video was but afterwards, when the suggested videos pop up on the screen, the video below was on the suggestions. The sheer craziness of what I was seeing prompted me to click on this video. I will never be the same and I'm not sure anyone who watches this will.

I can't embed the video here for some reason but I urge you to click the HERE and watch it. It's ... I can't explain, just watch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Have A Makeup Problem

I'm not a beauty guru. I'm not a makeup artist. I rarely every wear makeup because I just don't like to take the time to put it on. I, however, have a huge problem when it comes to makeup.

I buy too much.

Here's a great example. October 27th, 2012. My husband took me down to Vegas for my birthday. We only live a couple hours away so it's not that big of a deal that we went. The first thought in my head, before every thinking about where I wanted him to take me to dinner, was that I had to go to the M.A.C store, and Sephora, and any other makeup store I ran into on our way up the strip. Why? No reason just I wanted to buy stuff. What stuff? Anything I set my eyes on that I think will look good on anyone, not just myself. I spent $80 at the mac store on products that look exactly like products I already have at home.

That's my main problems when purchasing makeup. I don't care if it looks good on me. If it looks good, period, I'm probably going to buy it. The other problem is I buy higher end cosmetics. It's not a problem financially but when you spend money of more expensive items I'm sure you actually want to be able to use them.

I have blushes that, when I put on, I can't even tell exist on my skin. Like this two from M.A.C.
Photo by me
I'm sure they'd be beautiful on someone with darker skin but they completely disappear on my skin.

There's also these 2 eyeshadows from Bare Minerals. Yes, they're stunning but I cannot pull them off. I have tried numerous times but they just don't work on me.

Photo by me
Lastly, all these products from M.A.C. None of them, and I repeat none of them, work well on me. The pigment is far too dark and makes my eyes look sunken in. The paint pot just doesn't go well with my eyes and the eyeshadow makes me look like I'm sick.

Photo by me
I bought every last one of these products because they looked good in the package. In this post there is over $120 worth of product that I don't wear and will probably never wear. It's sad, really, that I have this kind of problem. I can control myself with anything else beauty related (if you don't count Lush products in that category) but not makeup.

This is a problem that, I'm sure, isn't going away any time soon. Just this year an Ulta opened up near by and, although he's good at holding me back at times, my husband has a way of feeding my addictions. Well it's more me manipulating him into the frenzy then him willingly coming along.

Manipulation. That's a "whole 'nother topic" though.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I've Read

Amazon Associate Photo Link
Title: Gone (Gone #1)
Author: Michael Grant
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 558
Finished: November 14th
Rating: 3.5 (possibly 4) out of 5

Synopsis from Amazon:

"In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. Gone. Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent. The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way."

What I Thought:

In my What I'm Reading post I mention that if nothing happens, in relation to some sort of internal or external discovery by the characters, that I wouldn't be moving on with this series. Toward the end of the book, I'd say within the last 10 chapters, I finally got what I was looking for. The main character finally accepted his roll and started to live up to it.

Going back through the book though I feel a little let down by a few things. While the author is very descriptive I still don't feel like I know the characters as well as I'd like to. The bulk of the action, although there are small action packed moments within the book happen when everyone disappears, in the first few sentences of the book, and in the last few chapters. I don't want to say I was bored through the middle but it read a little slow for me. Lastly, it ended quite quickly. There was a "battle scene" but I still felt it was over in the blink of an eye.

All in all I enjoyed the book and the writing style of Grant. I'm going to keep reading on, despite the problems I had while reading, because it had that "I have to know what happens next" effect on me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites

I didn't spend a whole lot of time online this week but I've still got a few favorites to talk about.

This graphic of what social media is and what genre it fits into is quite interesting.

Every time I post something and want to use a photo I've been trying my hardest to use a public domain image. It's not easy but Wikipedia has a great list of public domain image sites.

I'm probably late to the game on this site but, and I'm not kidding, I just found it. LOLSoTrue

Lastly I found a great way to make any size white board you want for around $35. I have those can return systems and figured I'd could make magnets out of this material and use them as labels on the can return. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Facebook, The Anti-Social Network

There are billions of people of Facebook these days. It's a great way to keep up with family and friends that live out of town, or in another state, but what happens when your next door neighbor, the neighbor you knew in High School but haven't spoken to since you moved in 2 months ago, adds you as a friend on Facebook?

It's time to leave Facebook, that's what happens.

I'm not saying, in any way, that my neighbor was in the wrong. She wasn't. I was. I hadn't taken a second out of my oh so busy life (total sarcasm there) to go over, say hello, and basically reintroduce myself. I'm a horrible neighbor. 

I always explained away being anti-social by saying that I talked to a lot of people on Facebook. The reality of it is that I didn't talk to anyone on Facebook. I expected people to comment on things that I said. I never took the time to write personal messages to anyone on Facebook. I liked statuses, I commented on pictures, and I even liked a bunch of pages. How can any of that be considered social networking? In my opinion, it can't.

Just over 2 weeks ago I made the decision to leave Facebook. I'm not saying that since then I've been a good neighbor and gone and introduced myself to everyone in "the hood" but I have been thinking of ways to break the ice more so than before. I'm thinking of making great Christmas, or Holiday, boxes and taking them to the neighbors. I might include some personal information about myself and my husband as a way to say that we're sociable and we really want to meet our neighbors and then leave it up to them to pursue anything further. I'd never want to become that pushy neighbor that everyone hates.

There is nothing wrong with Facebook, aside from their mounting privacy issues, that made me leave. It had everything to do with me and the fact that I just couldn't fathom Facebook being more important in my life than being a good neighbor, or a physically present neighbor for that matter.

So, that's why I left Facebook and, at this point, that's why I see myself staying away from it for quite some time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Favorites

Here's a great list of 30 ways to promote your blog posts.

I've recently been converted from PC to MAC and I found this image. I can't save the image so click on over and view the wondrous Twenty five years of Mac product timeline.

This site has amazing free ringtones for your iPhone. You can also make your own free ringtones on this site.

Before I left Facebook (I'll blog about why I left) a friend of mine posted this on her timeline. Enter this into Google search and see what comes up.
2 sqrt(-abs(abs(x)-1)*abs(3-abs(x))/((abs(x)-1)*(3-abs(x))))(1+abs(abs(x)-3)/(abs(x)-3))sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)+(5+0.97(abs(x-.5)+abs(x+.5))-3(abs(x-.75)+abs(x+.75)))(1+abs(1-abs(x))/(1-abs(x))),-3sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)sqrt(abs(abs(x)-4)/(abs(x)-4)),abs(x/2)-0.0913722(x^2)-3+sqrt(1-(abs(abs(x)-2)-1)^2),(2.71052+(1.5-.5abs(x))-1.35526sqrt(4-(abs(x)-1)^2))sqrt(abs(abs(x)-1)/(abs(x)-1))+0
I am determined to make these booties for someone. 

I found 2 extremely helpful videos on how to make a foundation chain. I wish I would have found these prior to starting my blanket. This one, by The Crochet Side, is a little shorter but the one below is very in depth.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Political Views

I know these kinds of posts are quite controversial BUT I thought I'd put myself out there in an attempt to be honest and open with any potential readers. Understand that I don't normally do this and generally keep to myself politically.

Note: I am in no way bashing anyone from any political party in any way with the statements that I make. Please do not take it as such. I am simply stating my political opinions.

Reasons I Side With The Right - There are more reasons but I feel these are the biggest.

 - I am a firm believer in my second amendment right. I am a responsible gun owner and I also have my concealed weapons permit. I do not believe that stricter gun laws in the country will stop the wrong people from getting firearms. No gun policy in this country now has stopped them. Ex convicts can get them. Gang members can get them. The wrong people can get guns, and far more powerful guns, easier than I can.

- I do not believe the job creators, predominately known as the rich, should be taxed more. It makes no sense to me. If they're creating the jobs and our government is taxing them into the ground where are the jobs going to be coming from? As much as I'd like to believe that small businesses could support this economy and give everyone a job I just don't think it's possible.

 - I believe in limited government involvement in my life. The government can barely run itself, at this point, so why should I trust that they can run my healthcare or anything else for that matter. Social security is tanking. Medicaid and medicare, well, we all know how well that's working out.

 - I am all for more secure borders and getting rid of the "anchor baby" law. I have no problems with anyone coming into our country legally. (On a side note I do think the process to enter the country legally needs to be looked over and scaled down a little. It takes far too long as it is.) Illegal immigrants in this country tend to have more rights than we do as citizens. My husband, when we moved to Utah, had to wait 2 years to become a citizen before he could enroll in college. As soon as an immigrant crosses into Utah they have the right to enroll in college. How is that right?

Reasons I Side With The Left - As before, I'm sure there are more reasons but these are the biggest.

- I'm a Mormon and I fully support gay marriage. (There are a lot of us, here too) I'm so tired of the "we can fix them" or "traditional marriage is between a .... blah de blah de freakin' blah" crap. They don't need to be fixed and who gives a damn if you think a man loving a man/woman loving a woman isn't traditional. Why can't we just accept that they should be able to have the same rights we do. Ugh.

- I am pro-choice. I guess I should say I'm pro-circumstantial-choice though. I believe in the case of rape, incest, molestation, etc that an abortion is justified. To say that there is such a thing as a "legitimate rape" and that "the female body has a way to try to shut that whole thing down" is absolutely ridiculous. (You disgust me Todd Akin)

Reasons I Have A Problem Voting For Anyone

 - No matter how many times you say "my vote counts" it isn't true. Unless you're an electorate your vote counts for squat when it comes to the Pres and the VP. Tally up all the votes. Take longer to allow people to vote. No matter the outcome tell me who the people TRULY want in office.

 - They all lie. They lie about what they're going to do and the lie about what the other party is going to do. Enough said.

 - The constant bashing of the other candidate from the other party. I don't care who did what, or who, in college. I didn't even care that Clinton had an extramarital affair or that he smoked pot. This video sums up what I've been thinking.