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!