Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas and a Snow day

Hey all!

I had a great Christmas this year! Not too many presents, mostly just gift cards and clothes (that's all I ever want except a horse, but I never get that). Anyway, my sister Heidi came up early and stayed for a few days before Christmas. My brother Micah and his wife and their kids came up too,but they were just here for Christmas. Being from a big family, we always miss anyone who isn't there. This year it was my sisters Nikki and Jaime. Nikki is in Vegas so we don't see her very often, but we usually see Jaime. However she moved to Arizona with her family around Thanksgiving. But it was still good.

The tree

We technically had a white Christmas (it was much more green than white), but of course the day after we got a ton of snow.

In other news, I cleaned my carpet. My dad got one of those rentals from the store for 24 hours, so I thought I would do my room. I have had my room for about 9 years, and the carpet was new when I moved into my room. I have no idea why my mother thought it was good idea to get cream colored carpet. First of all, I was a kid, and secondly, we have always had a lot of pets. Right now we have 2 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, and a hamster. Anyway, it did help quite a bit, but it still looks dingy. There are a lot of singed spots from when I was vacuuming and the motor overheated. I need new carpet, but that cost's much too much money. Le sigh.

I also tried a new hairstyle yesterday. I was inspired by Barbie, more specifically vintage Barbie. I love her little ponytail with the flip, and the pin-curled front hair, it's too cute! I think I may try to work on a tutorial for it because I don't think there are many out there.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Kwanza/Chanukah!  :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

First Day of Winter

Well, the first day of winter did not disappoint. With all the unseasonably warm weather we have been having in Ohio, the official start of winter showed itself with a vengeance. I ran a few errands today and the roads were terrible. We didn't get all that much snow, but what we did get was blowing all over the place due to heavy winds.

 I have always loved this house. It's about a mile away from me, and on my way home it just looked so perfect I had to take a picture. Luckily there was no one else on the road at that moment. It's a colonial style, and looks like Abigail Adams could have lived here. Minus the electricity of course.

 Since I was running a few errands and was going to be around town, I wore contacts today and "put my face on." I would like to say I do it everyday...but I don't. I also did pin-curls for my hair, they turned out much better this time than last time. I always think my lips look funny when I smile, but that's probably because smiling is very weird and will be for about another year. You see, I have braces. And I am not embarrassed about them, but I hate smiling with my teeth in pictures for now.

 And in black and white


 I should have taken an outfit picture because it was pretty cute, but I didn't have time. These are after I put my face on, and before I picked out my outfit.

The red checkered wire headband is from Modcloth.

Today I also made homemade pizza dough for pizza, cleaned my room, re-organized my desk, and watched 2 episodes of Mad Men on Netflix. I'm catching up slowly but surely.

Have a great night!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies!

So I have been in the mood for cookies for a few days now. More specifically, gingerbread cookies. So I made some. They are quite scrumptious, let me tell you.

But it's really hard to make them soft. I find crunchy cookies quite deplorable. I am really fond of gingerbread, but in order to actually eat them, I have to make them myself. So here is my favorite recipe for them to be soft and chewy. I mixed a few different ones I saw on allrecipes.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, and spices together.
3. In a larger separate bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat in the egg, then add the water and molasses. Gradually stir the dry ingredient mixture into the molasses mixture.

I was worried that I over-beat my mixture, because the consistency was very thick, but it turned out really well. Make sure it is mixed well.

It should look like this:

4. Shape dough into small-ish balls, then roll them in the leftover sugar.

5. After that, place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or brown paper, then flatten them slightly (they don't spread very much, so they will only be a little larger than the amount they are flattened).

6. Bake for 8 minutes for supreme chewiness, or a minute or two longer to be slightly less chewy. Remove the paper from the pan (with cookies on them - be careful not to spill it) and let them cool for a few minutes. Remove them and put on a plate to serve, or when they are almost all the way cool, place in an airtight container, so they will retain their softness.

Enjoy your delicious, soft, chewy molasses gingerbread cookies!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Done with Autumn Semester!

Hah. Every time I wear this slouchy beret, I always think of the same thing. In high school, I was walking home with a friend who was a male who I am pretty sure had a crush on me. Anyway, I wore a black long-sleeved dress to school with a really cute pair of black boots, a lot of eyeliner, and this hat. We were walking to his house to get a snack, and at the traffic light he looked over at me for an awkwardly long time. I could feel him staring at me, and so when I looked over he was smiling and then asked me if I was French. I think he meant it as a romantic kind of compliment by asking me, but I burst out laughing and couldn't stop. He was probably really embarrassed, cause we switched topics really fast.

Well, I have finished the first semester! I took a spring quarter last semester, but it was not very challenging. This one wasn't really either (I only had two classes, history and English), but I only finished with a 3.5. I blame this on my history class. My teacher was really very nice, but also very monotone. And I completely forgot about a midterm, so it took me by surprise. Good thing my English grade was so high I can stay on the Dean's List. So, for my cumulative I have a 3.7.

Next semester is going to be tough though. I didn't have a job this semester because my truck isn't very reliable and then it up and quit working entirely so I couldn't swing it. Hopefully I will get a new car and then go on the hunt for a job. For now, at least, I still have Etsy. It pay's for my gas and sometimes food. Selling vintage online is never really dependable, so some weeks are much better than others.

I will also be taking a full course load. It's 18 credits. Compared to my usual 2, it will be quite an adjustment I'm sure. I'm taking intermediate level Bio (1113) and intermediate Chem (1171) along with Spanish 1, and Math 1075. I know it may not sound like much, but it comes to 18 credits and I will be at school everyday (I was only there 2 days a week previously). So with full time school and a job, I will need to start managing my time better.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Making of A Corset

So, I have been wanting to do a sewing post lately, but unfortunately I do not have anywhere to sew because one of my brothers decided he wanted to use the desk I was using and put it in his room. So my projects and patterns are scattered around in baskets. However, awhile back (I think it was in October of 2011) I took pictures along the way of my adventures in corset making. So I will relive it. Excuse the grainy pictures, this was before I had a digital camera, so they were all taken with my iPod touch.

This was actually my second "muslin" for the corset. The first one I made up was terrible it was too big and much too short. So for this one, I had to add 3 inches to each of the bodice panels. I was kind of sad that I didn't line this one, because it turned out really well. I used a Simplicity pattern, 5006. Which has a corset, and a few different petticoats. Most of the process photos of the light blue corset muslin, were from my first rough draft (I used a dark blue contrasting thread).

Because boning is so expensive, I decided to only buy some boning, and then cut up this old shape-wear corset I had had for a very long time. I got it secondhand and never wore it because it was too small.

Yes, my pincushion is an old teddy bear. It looks a little gruesome, but it's how I justify keeping her. I have had this teddy bear since I was 2 or 3. My mom bought it at a sale at an old folks home. Some lady made it by hand using upholstery fabric and thick red thread.

Pinning away (which is much better than pining, let me tell you).

This is the extra boning I used for the rest of the corset. The shapewear I cut up had steel coil boning, which I vastly prefer, but I could not find steel boning at the fabric stores, and did not want to order it online.

In the spirit of recycling, for the muslin version of the corset, I re-used the boning channels.

Putting the steel boning in, to see if it would fit.

This was the last panel, where the grommets were going to go.

 Rough draft grommets.

All the lovely seams! I didn't add boning channels, or boning to most of my rough draft, I only did it enough to feel comfortable when I made my final draft.

Okay, so now some process photos with my brocade. I was disappointed by the selection, but this blue with a feathery, silvery design was really pretty, so I went for it. You can see in this picture, where I cut the pattern to add length. I supplemented with brown paper from grocery bags.

For my finished garment, I used unbleached cotton muslin fabric as a lining.

I thought this was funny, my machine sewed all the way through my plastic pin! I had to cut it out, because it was literally stitched down. :)

You can buy boning channels, and sometimes channel fabric comes with the boning, but for the boning channels on the brocade, I wanted something a little sturdier. So I decided to make my own using the brocade. I cut strips of brocade, and then lined those with cotton for extra durability. So it goes brocade, cotton, space for boning, cotton, brocade. Then I sewed them down on the seams like regulars channels!

And the final product!

This picture was not the greatest, but you get the idea.

A better picture. This was the night I wore it out. I wore it to a friends New Years Eve party. I thought the silvery on the blue was festive, and paired it with jeans and a cardigan.

Of course it wasn't perfect. I don't have a serger, and brocade is so prone to fraying. And I never put trim on it. The size was good around the waist and hips, but I took it in a touch too much, so the bust is snug.

But other than that, I was pretty proud of myself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Two Favorite Movies

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite movie, for some reason, I can never think of an answer, so usually the question goes unanswered. I have been doing some thinking lately though, and I can surely say that Ever After wins (with Stardust being a very close second). I will try not to spoil it, but no promises.  :)

Ever After is a fairy tale movie based on Cinderella. It's witty, very romantic, and the costumes are beautiful.

It centers around Danielle, who is living with her stepmother and sisters after her father dies. She meets the prince while pretending to be a lady of high society in order to buy back a servant her mother had sold.

The prince falls in love with her and they have wonderful adventures.

After such a romantic time, you just know something bad is going to happen (I'm trying to be vague and not give anything away).

 But I will tell you it has a happy ending, as it should :). There are some very funny bits in this movie, I am surprised that more people haven't seen it. Maybe it's because it came out in 1998 and it wasn't exactly "of my era", but it's a good thing I have 3 older sisters. I can't really decide how much I like Drew Barrymore because she sometimes plays silly characters, but this movie is absolutely wonderful. In my opinion it's perfect. 

I also want to tell you a little bit about my other favorite movie, Stardust.

 This movie actually has everything. Love, comedy, action and adventure, fantasy, magic, witches, flying ships, and cool costumes. Claire Danes is great in it, and Charlie Cox is so adorable. It is kind of a Steampunk film, so if you're into that at all, you would probably really like it. Claire Danes plays a star that fell down from the sky and gets caught in the middle of two different groups who want her dead for two different reasons. This one came out in 2007 and am surprised that it didn't much attention cause it was really awesome.

It's a really fun movie. Would be great to watch with a group of friends, or on a date, because it's not really a chick flick, and I think the guys would enjoy it just as much as the girls (but it's romantic at the same time).

Anyway, hope you got something out of my recommendations :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pincurl Hair

Well, here is what it looked like right after I took the pin curls out.

And here is what it looked like after I fixed it.

My pin curls were a little bit off today. Probably because I did them a little bit differently. There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to do pin curls and victory rolls. Solanah of Vixen Vintage has a great tutorial on her blog! Personally, I always knew how to do it, only I didn't really call it anything, and when I was little my mom did rag curls a lot. 

I was another warm day (even though it started raining around 3 and then proceeded to turn chilly). I wore a dress out to my class and was fine, in fact I had to take my sweater off! I have one final next week, and a paper due this week, and then the semester is over! I don't start again until the middle of January.

Speaking of school...I had a very trying day today, a very trying day indeed.

So it all started when I could not register for the chem and bio classes I wanted. I went into the records and registration office to see was what wrong, and they asked me to find out the class numbers, and then tell them so they could check it out. Turns out, I did not meet the math requirement for chemistry. The nice lady told me that I could petition the chairperson of the science department to waive the pre-requisite. It sounded like a very daunting task, but I decided to try my hand. I go to the office and his secretary basically told me that there was no way he would let me take chem without the math, but she asked if I still wanted to see him. So I figured I might as well try and convince him (I already took 2 algebra's, pre-calc, bio, and chem in high school). I waited for what seemed like hours with bated breath for him to open the door to his office. When he finally did, he ushered me in and asked what I wanted. I told him my plight and he said was sorry, but he really couldn't do it. As he was walking me out of his office, I burst into tears. No piddly tears either, I'm talking, massive sobs that racked my whole body and rendered me speechless and incompetent. He grabbed me some tissues and made me sit back down in his office. I sat in there for a good 10 minutes blubbering while he went to help someone else that was waiting for him outside of his office. When I finally regained speech he asked me about what I took in high school. I told him that I felt completely confident in my ability to take the classes. And he told me that he would let me take the classes because anybody that cried over their education was worth it and that no one ever cried in his office before. He also said I reminded him of his daughter my age. And he wants me to come back at the end of the semester and show him my grades, so I have to work really hard next semester.

So that was my very trying day.

To make myself feel better, on the way home, I stopped at a relatively new tea salon and bakery. I got a lavender bubble tea and a red velvet cupcake. It was good. I liked the tea a lot more than I liked the cupcake (I think I may not like red velvet). It's called Koko. And the interior is simply adorable and oh so girly! White painted furniture, chandeliers, and billowy rose patterned fabric everywhere. Next time I go I shall try and take a picture. If you are in the greater Columbus area I highly recommend them (it's in Gahanna).

Well I think that's all for today! 
I hope your day was not a trying one :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

A December Rose

Today was wonderful :)

The weather was amazing...and very eerie at the same time. Ohio is known for it's crazy, ever-changing weather, and today did not disappoint. It is the 3rd of December, and today it was nearly 70 degrees and balmy outside. It was mostly cloudy, but in the afternoon the sun broke through! I saw a little rose bush that was blooming and thought how very strange for roses to bloom in December. The poor dear must be confused.

My focus on my camera would not cooperate with me, but it's no matter as you can see the rose just the same. I actually did my hair today...that is I spent more than 2 minutes on it. I took sections near the base and made two braids on either side, then crossed them over my head to make a self headband. Then I put the rest of my hair up. If I had more bobby pins handy, it would have looked ever so much more ethereal, but I think the effect was nice. As it was, it only took me less than 10 minutes, so not too shabby. 

This picture doesn't really show the hair all that well, but you can get the general idea I'm sure.

 Right now I have my hair in pin curls. I decided to do it after checking the weather and seeing it was going to be relatively nice tomorrow. I suppose now that I told you I will have to post a picture of it tomorrow, but it may turn out dreadfully. Here's to hoping it doesn't. 

And now I think I shall end with a recent favorite verse of mine:

All precious things discovered late
To those that seek them issue forth,
For Love in sequel works with Fate,
And draws the veil form hidden worth.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day

I love mornings. That's probably a bit ironic as I sit here at my computer late at night eating everything bagel thins and drinking chamomile tea. Or maybe fitting, seeing how it is technically the morning. Mornings are just so full of possibility; one can hold so very much. I often wonder (as I typed that I realized what a cliche it was, but I still like it so there) why it is I feel so empty after it gets dark, especially during the winter. I think it is why I stay up so trying to get something out of the day, even if it is just finding out an interesting fact, or watching Mad Men or Once Upon a Time on Netflix. But I thin the real reason that I stay up is'll never guess...I slept in late. So is the viscous cycle that is my sleeping pattern. Whenever I wake up late, I feel of cheated out of the best part of the day, so then I stay up late trying to gain back what I lost, but mornings simply cannot be replaced. I know I never get as much done, or even half as much, in the evening or nighttime as I can in the morning. It's a breath of fresh air. 

I guess you can gather that I am morning person, but by way of bad habits and not a very strict work schedule, I fall into a pattern that suggest I am lazy, or a night owl. I usually start yawning around 10, but my normal bedtime is around 1 or 2 am, and in April and May I was going to sleep around 3 or 4 (that was mostly due to the fact that I had left my job and kept getting seasons of TV shows from the video store. I am not sure if I was depressed or just really liked not having to be at work before 8 in the morning. It also didn't help that the TV didn't usually free up until 11 or 12).

So, in conclusion to this somewhat rambling post,I am decidedly a morning person. 

Here is a picture I took about 2 months ago of a sunrise, and then one of the sunset for good measure. Sunrise was taken in my front yard,and sunset in my backyard (it is just lovely to have an East/West facing house).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chihuahua + Papillon....Chialon or Papihuahua

This past week has been pretty crazy. My sister Jaime and her husband and two boys have been visiting because they are moving from New York all the way to Arizona! So they decided to stop in for a week and visit before traveling across the whole country. And my sister Heidi came down for a couple days as well. My sister Jaime has a long-haired Chihuahua named King Louis. He was originally my mom's, but we gave him to them for a pet. My dog, a papillon, was thrilled to finally have a playmate her own size. Neither one of them is fixed, and I was secretly hoping she would get pregnant because they would make the cutest puppies ever! And they are both purebreds, even though Louis doesn't have his official papers. Maybe when I visit them in Arizona, I will take her and maybe get some puppies!

Sorry for the messy bed, it was a busy week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Wear Pajamas to the Grocery Store

I like to think that I am one of those "always be fancy" people that are always well-dressed, even if it's just a pair of nice jeans and a t-shirt. But the fact of the matter is, I'm a giant scrub. I let my hair get greasy and don't like to wear make-up and I will find myself wearing ratty old Star Wars shirts and sweat pants more often than I would like to admit. So whenever I dress up, or am looking very polished, I usually get lots of compliments (I still have yet to pull off a messy-cute look). You would think all this praise would motivate me to dress nicer, yet it never does. However; a recent happening made me think about this a little more than usual.

I was feeling very good and decided to wear a skirt to the fabric store. One of my favorite skirts, in fact. It is a vintage red circle skirt with white ric-rac trim and has sweet lace edging the bottom. I wore it with a white button-down shirt and wore a bow in my hair. As I was walking into the store, I heard someone shouting at me, so I turned around. It was the mother of an old friend. She thought my outfit was super cute and asked if I would let her take a picture, so I said sure, and then we chatted a bit before going on our merry way. And it made me think, what if I had been wearing my usual outfit? I wonder if she even would have recognized me in dirty sweats and a grubby pull-over. And if she did, she certainly would not have asked to take a picture. 

So, while subscribing to the school of thought that wearing pajama pants to the grocery stores is abhorrent, I myself partake in it. Hypocritical, I know. Anyway I am hoping to change myself in that respect and model the very behavior that I expect out of other people.

Any situations that motivate you to be better dressed?