Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nothing beats a weekend morning breakfast on the couch with my hubby.  When I’ve got the motivation, I like to cook up scrambled eggs, pancakes, or even French toast!  But, motivation is a rarity for me when I’ve just woken up so we usually wind up defrosting some bakery bread to have with butter (and nutella, yum!).  No matter what we eat, we’re fairly sure to make a nice little pot of tea for two (which I will gulp down claiming I need the caffeine to wake up and then fall asleep 10 minutes later because I’m suddenly all warm and sleepy, how I love the weekends).  I took this picture last Saturday morning of our breakfast tray… it’s simple but making tea always makes me feel like we’re having an elegant feast!

Duct Tape Dress Form

I have wanted to make this custom dress form for a while now, but have been back and forth between asking a crafty sewing friend to help who would better understand what I wanted out of this project or getting my husband to help out.  I finally went with my husband for two reasons: 1. He’s at hand and 2. With all the groping that is necessary for this project, he’s pretty much the only person I’m comfortable with handling it.  We decided to tackle this last night and it was actually pretty easy for my husband to handle.  We used one monster roll of generic brand duct tape, probably the equivalent of 2-3 regular rolls of silver until I had a nice suit of armor 2 or more layers of tape thick.  This is my body armor look:

Once we finished off the monster roll, we started to cover the form in a final layer of decorative pink polka dot tape that ran out with maybe half the form finished.  I got the decorative roll from Michaels, it’s name brand Duck Tape.  They have some other adorable patterns but all these printed Duck Brand Duct Tape are smaller rolls, maybe half the size of a regular roll but at the same price.  While I probably use up more tape than a size 0 might, I’m still guessing 3 or more rolls and if you want a decorated outer layer, at least 2 of the small printed Duck tape rolls will be needed.   

The whole project was pretty simple, cut 4 -6 inch strips, some longer ones for the waist, and just keep taping keeping things as close as you can without feeling like you’re cinching anything in.  The whole process took about 3 hours with me helping by tearing tape when I could.  This was a very warm outfit from the moment we put plastic wrap on my neck and only got hotter under the tape layers.  I also should have been wearing some comfy shoes rather than standing barefoot on the floor.  My husband had a hard time cutting it off in a straight line but otherwise it looks great!  I’ll admit that for some reason I was thinking it would magically stand on its own alone but it needed some internal support to keep from falling down.  I put it on a hanger and remembered we had an old speaker stand that will probably become the base of this thing permanently.  I was ready for bed after cutting that thing off so I left the hanger delicately balanced on the speaker stand and called it a day.  Without being taped back together, the form kind of pulled in around the chest making it look like a fake pregnancy belly which creeped out my husband… 

Next step – stuffing!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A little bit of Atlanta: Persepolis


I live in Atlanta, GA.   It’s a great city, big enough to have plenty of Art and culture but small enough to take on and really get to know.  It doesn’t have everything (most disappointingly it has no large body of water closer than Lake Lanier which is about an hour away) but I wanted to share a few of my favorite places here for other Atliens or future visitors.  Today, that’s one of my favorite restaurant ever: Persepolis.  I’m headed there tonight for dinner and I’m already torn about what to get because it’s all so amazingly tasty!

When Zach and I were planning our wedding, we decided we wanted to have a really fun rehearsal dinner.  We had visited another Atlanta favorite, Nicola’s, for Valentine ’s Day and had so much fun that we had even considered having the rehearsal dinner there, despite being really far away from the wedding site.  Nicola’s is owned by Nicola himself who hires belly dancers and likes to dance himself and then make the whole restaurant get up and dance with him.  We didn’t want to drive that far from our wedding site, but we decided to try to find a similar experience for our friends and family nearby.  We searched for belly dancing in Roswell and found Persepolis on Google.  We called and set up a time to look at the restaurant, try the food, and get a quote for a group dinner.

Persepolis is small, quiet at dinner time, and while the belly dancing was good, no one forces you up to join them.  We weren’t sure what to expect but the moment we tasted the food, we were sold.  It’s unbelievable!!!  Everything we ate was amazing.  We put down a deposit that night and had a wonderful time with our friends and family at our rehearsal dinner.  We live on the other side of town so we don’t get to go too often but it’s always a treat when we do and tonight, for my brother-in-law’s birthday, he’s requested to go to the place where we went for our rehearsal dinner.  I can’t wait!!!

Tesla is Awesome

My husband is a huge Tesla fan and to a lesser extent, so am I. The guy was AMAZING!! Also pretty amazing… maybe not amazing, more like hilarious is The Oatmeal. You can read The Oatmeal’s hilarious account of Tesla here.  My husband, who’s actually made it through several biographies says a few things are inaccurate but I’m guessing that’s more about him showing off his Tesla expertise than any important discrepancies. Now, The Oatmeal is helping to raise money to buy Wardenclyffe and turn it into a Tesla Museum!!! We’ve donated $50 and I’m actively spreading the word all I can. Donate here.  Spread this around like nutella people!

Learn more about Nikola Tesla and his awesomeness at the Tesla Memorial Society of New York.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tattoo Ettiquette: Part 1 - Does it hurt?

A couple of years ago, I spent a summer working the front desk for a tattoo shop.  Working at the front desk involved ringing people up, checking and copying their IDs, cleaning, stocking, etc. but I was also the first line of defense for the tattoo artists against new customers.  Why do tattoo artists hide from new customers you ask?  Because those new to the world of tattooing will ask stupid questions, fail to bring in material to give the artist an idea of what they want, and generally all make the exact same mistakes over and over.

I'd like to share some basic knowledge of tattoo etiquette on this blog as I go.  Let's start with a question I've heard over and over and over and still hear all the time: “does it hurt?”

Yeah, it hurts.  Anyone who tells you it doesn’t hurt at all must have nerve damage because it’s needles going into your skin.  It feels different from a shot because it doesn’t go as deep so while I hate shots, I’m fine with the tattoo needles.  I think what most people mean when they say it doesn’t hurt is that it hurts surprisingly less than you would think it should.  It’s very easy for me to sit for hours at a time getting tattooed while I can’t stand to have my blood drawn for a couple of minutes (I've tried to give blood twice, passed out the first time for 5 minutes, had a seizure the 2nd time, the Red Cross has asked me not to come back).

Even those who dread their first tattoo are always surprised by how easy it is once they get going.  There are spots that hurt more and spots that hurt less, it all has to do with where your nerve endings are and your personal tolerance level.   The least painful tattoo I’ve ever had was the pair I got on my collarbone area.  I felt almost no pain, but the nerve at that spot seemed to be connected to my legs and, for whatever reason, made me want to kick the whole time I was getting tattooed so while it didn’t hurt, it was extremely uncomfortable.  I’ve talked to friend who have gotten tattooed in almost the exact same spot who said it was horribly painful.  There is no right answer because each person's pain threshold will be different so stop asking this question.  If you want a tattoo - suck it up and get one!

Christmas in July

Okay, so it’s actually August, but I started this project in July!  Usually, around this time of year I start making big plans (that I later abandon) to prepare for the holidays.  I’ve decided to make a pillow featuring a Celtic Christmas tree for my mom as part of her present this year.  I wanted to use the same image transferring method I used to make this pillow

This was a simple project I made for my bed.  First, to make sure the lettering didn’t end up backwards, I used a sharpie to trace the lettering so the image bled through the paper.  Then, I traced the backwards image onto tracing paper with an Aunt Martha’s Tracing Pencil.  I ironed the design onto my fabric and it left a clear image for me to follow along with embroidery.

When I took up this idea again for the Christmas pillow, my Aunt Martha’s pencil kept breaking till I had used up the whole pencil and only gotten through a tiny portion of the image.  I tried another transfer pencil I had bought a while back but when I put iron to tracing paper - only the portion of the design that had been traced with the Aunt Martha's pencil showed up!

After discovering the total uselessness of this other pencil, I went on a hunt for another Aunt Martha’s Tracking Pencil.  Low and behold, I couldn’t find a tracing pencil anywhere!  I tried The Atlanta Sewing Center, Jo-Ann’s, Hobby Lobby, and finally Michaels but no one had any tracing pencils!

I picked up some tracing transfer paper and decided to give that a try.  This was successful but disappointingly hard to see on the green cloth.  I went over the design first with disappearing ink, and then again with my blue washable pen (in the image on the right you can see the feint lines of the tracing paper, the purple lines of the disappearing ink, and the blue of the washable pen).  That has worked and now I’m moving forward with my project but I’ve already ordered some Aunt Martha’s Pencils online so I don't have to deal with this again.

What is your favorite method of transferring a temporary pattern onto fabric?  Any other suggestions of amazing products I should try?  When do you start planning ahead for the holidays?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Giveaway at Craftpassion

So the $50 gift card giveaway at Craft Passion won't quite cover this $199 jar at Ezistock but it's a start.  I love fair trade goods!  My favorite Egypt souvenir was a complete, hand made tea set from the fair trade store in Luxor.  I carried it in my arms on the plane, through Charles du Gall Airport, on another plane, and through the Atlanta Airport and was amazed and relieved it made it home all in one piece!  On-line fair trade stores aren't quite the same experience but it always feels good to find products that you know are giving money to those who earned it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Idle Gentlewoman

Idle Gentlewoman

Idle Gentlewoman by laura-batson featuring slipper shoes

I recently went on a cheap DVD buying spree on eBay and picked up a couple of my favorite girly movies.  These are movies I love, can watch over and over, but I have to find times to watch when my husband is doing something else since they’re generally British romantic period dramas often related to Jane Austen.  I find I identify with the idle rich of the early 19th century.  Women of this class were expected to amuse themselves through reading, walking, needlework, socializing, taking tea with sandwiches and cake and managing the servants.  My penchant for this lifestyle is unencumbered by my knowledge that my life will never be that way even if we did win the lottery.  However, whenever it’s just me time, I like to put on some PJs, make myself some tea, eat something sweet, and sew or crochet while watching a movie.  Whether you’ve got a man around the house or not, every girl should take some time now and then to take over the couch and pretend to be an elegant lady with nothing to do but please herself.  While usually the pajamas are more of the t-shirt variety and the sweets are more likely to be Oreos than truffles, here are a few fantasy items I would pick up if that lottery thing works out…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Trigger Happy

In a rush of crafty enthusiasm after work monday night, I finally got around to a couple of simple spray-painting projects I’ve been procrastinating on for months.  First off – these cute little guys:

After lingering in my Etsy shop for months without any takers, I’ve decided to keep them and turn them into bookends. 
Step 1: Primer

Not always necessary but helpful since I was planning originally to paint these bad boys hot pink and I didn’t want them to have any spots showing through.

However, once I got them all white, I decided I liked that even better than hot pink!  They’ll need a final coat of regular white spray paint since the primer feels awful to touch.  With the drop cloth laid out, I started a slew of spray painting projects that had been gathering dust.

This little shelf was a thrift store find for only a couple of bucks.  You can see the little heart cutout piece that was originally across the top of the shelf that I was able to just pull off. 

Here are some other random items that just needed a quick once over. The plate’s color doesn’t look as bad in this photo but it’s a sort of mustard yellow or light brown, very unappealing…

Finished pictures coming up!

Dangerous Dishes

Last night we had a slight disaster.  Usually, after we’ve run a load of dishes, weleave the clean ones sitting in the machine until the sink starts to overflowand we are forced to empty and then reload the dishwasher.  After running a load the night before, I camehome and decided to get to work early and empty the clean dishwasher rightaway.  Just after I had finished and hadmoved on to starting dinner, my husband came home and told me those dishes hadbeen dirty!  Eww!!!  I think we were able to take all the dirtydishes back but the thought that a random dirty fork is still mixed into thebunch haunts me…  I decided we’re in needof one of those handy clean/dirty magnets for our dishwasher.  I’m loving these from Txalteredart:

Unfortunately, our dishwasher (despite looking like it's made of stainless steel) isn't magnetic.  Any suggestions?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sharp Shirter

I just found what I’m buying my husband for his birthday.  Now I just have to choose which one.  I’m in love with these funny designs at Sharpshirter

Bring it On Men's Small Tee American Apparel OlivePanda Bitchslap // Men's Large // RedMan Punching Bear Men's 2X-Large
My husband is a huge animal lover, infact I think he likes animals a lot better than most people.  Bears, penguins, and panda bears are all on his list of favorites so now I just have to decide on which of these 3 I will be buying him.  Any suggestions?


I've been mulling over creating a blog for a few months now (at least seriously, who hasn't spent a couple of hours drooling over Design*Sponge and thought, "I should do that!"?) and I've finally decided to get it going.  My first problem was picking a name, I kept coming up with names in French... pretentious and very hard for anyone to search for.  I also read on a blog post about having a successful blog, that you should make your blog's title descriptive of what you intend to cover in your blog like Young House Love, or if you choose a name that doesn't immediately imply what you're blogging about, like How About Orange, you add a tag line that explains a bit more about what you're up to.  For me, picking just one thing to blog about is hard!  I'm very into crafts and DIY but I also wanted to share the things I love and that ranges from Punk Rock and tattoos to the super feminine such as Jane Austen and having High Tea.  Tonight - Inspiration!  I will name my blog after the two extremes I love so much and write about everything in between!