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January Wrap Up

January 30, 2012

As you have noticed we haven’t been that great about updating the blog (resolution FAIL).However, I have been busy doing a bunch of other things on my list of resolutions.

#1: I have used my crock pot 4 times! I made Thai Turkey & Veggies, Apple Cider Chicken, French Onion Soup and Spanish Chicken with Chorizo. They were all very good (B+ to A- grades) and using the crock pot definitely made having dinner ready easy.

#2: I read a book – Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” It was a quick and enjoyable read.

#3: I made myself one article of clothing! I have this black skirt from Old Navy I have had for forever. It is great for work (comfortable, the right length, versatile) and I really wanted one in brown. I couldn’t find anything fitting those requirements, so I bought some brown jersey fabric when we were at Mood this fall to make one. I basically used the other skirt as a “pattern”.

For those of you who are interested…here is my rough “how to”: I measured the length and width, added in some extra for seam allowances and cut two panels out from the brown fabric. I sewed the skit together at the sides, using a zig zag stitch. The stretchy fabric was a bit tricky and you can see a few puckers, but it came out pretty good. Then I measure out some 1 inch elastic so it would be somewhat tight and would fit nicely. I sewed the ends together and then tried it on to make sure it would work. The trickiest part was attaching that to the skirt. I started by pinning it to at the two seams. I just folded the fabric over the inside of the elastic so it wouldn’t rub against my skin. After I had those 2 pins in place, I approximated half way in between on the elastic and the fabric then pinned there. I did this half way technique all the way around until I had pins about 2 inches apart. I used a wide zig zag stitch to sew the elastic into the skirt, pulling everything taut as I went along. This was pretty tricky, but gave the exact kind of subtle gathering I needed. After that was done, I hemmed the bottom.

Here is the final product hanging up. It looks pretty simple, but that was the goal!

I am proud of the good work I have done with my resolutions overall, now I just need to keep it up! Next month I want to make myself an apron. I have a few different ideas in the works and will keep you posted. February is a short month so I’ll have to be a bit more productive! I did far too much of my crafting this month in the past week…

~Love and Stitches,

Krypton

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Gifts for Baby Sancho!

January 29, 2012

The ladies of SQ have been invited to a baby shower for our friend and colleague Jackie, who is expecting a baby boy in March! Jackie and her husband Josh (also a fellow teacher) have been referring to her baby bump as “Sancho” and we couldn’t be happier for them about his impending arrival! In true SQ fashion, we decided to craft a few gifts for Sancho and Jackie:

Miss Pascal: Jackie didn’t have a diaper bag in her gift registry, so I decided to make her an all-purpose bag out of home deco fabric. I didn’t want it to scream “baby” (so many of the baby-themed fabrics aggravated the ladies at SQ) so I picked a deep turquoise and lively pattern.

The bag came together in a number of hours! It’s a reversible bag, with rows of pockets that can either be worn on the inside or outside. As I forgot to take a picture of the bag, you will have to use your imagination! It was a big hit though and Jackie we definitely be using it.

Krypton: I received a great gift for Christmas from my friend Laura, a book called “Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders”. The book has 101 different projects that require one yard of fabric or less. There are some great projects that I want to make for myself…but there were also some great ones for babies. Being that I am not having a kid anytime soon, this baby shower was the chance to make on of these fun things. I choose a swaddling blanket made from soft flannel fabric. Wrapping babies up in blankets makes them happy and a happy baby means more sleep so I thought this would be a much appreciated gift.

Here is what it should like with a baby in it:

It was pretty easy to make. I cut out two pieces then had to use bias tape to finish the edges. After that I sewed the swaddle ties to the main part of the blanket. And here is my final product:

The fabric is super cute and has lots of fun animals on it! I made a little card with instructions for tying it all up that you can see on the blanket. In addition to the crafted gift, I got Jackie and Josh the book “Go the F**k to Sleep”. It is crazy hilarious and she got a real kick out of it!

Overall we had a great time at the shower and put our crafting skills to good use!

~Love and stitches,

SQ

Miss Pascal is Back! With Resolutions!

January 16, 2012

Wow, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted–there’s not really much excuse for it but that I’m lame.  🙂  I’ve always been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions so here are some of mine.  

 

Miss Pascal’s Crafting Resolutions:

  • Finish some projects before I start any new ones!  I have a significant number of unfinished projects lying around–I’ve discovered that I love the beginning of a project rather than seeing it through to completion.  So what I need to do is work on the old stuff and get some projects out of my hair so I don’t feel guilty about starting something shiny and new!  There’s one exception to this resolution, though:  I had to start a brand-new project, a baby bag for a friend of Krypton’s and mine (so she can welcome her brand-new little guy)!  You’ll see pictures of that soon…
  • Blog more often…I have been absolutely horrible at this, as you can see from my long hiatus.  My iPhone is currently ticking down an hour-long timer, and I will be blogging until the bell rings!  (This post shouldn’t take up that whole time, but I’ll be scheduling some posts for later in the week).

 

Miss Pascal’s Personal Resolutions:

I went over to Krypton’s house earlier in the day on New Year’s Eve to get her help pressing the tie for E. Chadwick (I was making a supreme mess of it, though I stitched it together quickly enough once it was pressed) and we got to talking about personal resolutions.  Krypton brought out the Post-Its that she had written to help remind her of her resolutions, and they were almost exactly identical to the ones I’d been tossing around in my head!  Particularly in the cooking, slow cooker, and dining out less departments.  But here are some of mine:

  • Cook a nice meal once a week.  I don’t eat out particularly often, though I do have a habit of getting Thai take-out on a fairly regular basis…yum!  🙂  I like cooking and would like to try doing more of it, whether it’s popping something in the slow cooker or whipping up something on the stove.  This week I made beef with broccoli and rice noodles for myself and Adam…too bad there weren’t any leftovers!
  • Do a serious cleaning job on my apartment.  There are some dusty, scary parts of it, not to mention the fact that I’m convinced some of my favorite clothes have been lost to my closets!  So I’d really like to tidy up and feather my nest some more.
  • Be extremely conscientious about going to the gym.  I’m not an exercise-phobe; I’m in the habit of going.  I could stand to tone up a little bit, but I’m happy about my current weight.  Going to the gym, I’ve found, is for me a crucial stress- and chemical balancer.  Basically, if I skip more than a day’s worth of exercise, I start to see a change in my mood that negatively affects other areas of my life.  So it’s not an option to skip, and I’ve been really good about it so far (since New Year’s Day, I’ve only skipped three days at the gym)!  I’m not pumping iron or anything, but getting my heart rate up each day is really important for me.
  • Be more patient with myself as I figure my life out!  I’ve been asking myself many big questions lately about where I think my life is going, in terms of career, location, love, etc. and I put a lot of pressure on myself to have everything figured out right away.  When I realize I can’t have everything figured out the way I want it, I get a little depressed, and the whole cycle starts over again.  So I have to be more patient with myself; the search for answers doesn’t have a deadline, and it’s completely okay to let other people in and help me out as I figure out where I’m going.  
  • Create a bucket list.  There are some exciting things I’d like to do!  So I’ve got to spend some time figuring out a bunch of them, at least.  I put something on my list a few days after New Year’s and am already acting on it (no pun intended)–I’d like to be in a musical!  I was in a few shows in high school and college, but never at a time when I was fully in control of or confident about my singing voice.  So, after browsing the community theatre web pages for quite some time, I found an audition for a musical (next weekend!) and am preparing my audition piece for that!  I’ll let you know how it goes…but back to the bucket list thing.  I’d like to put together that list and see if I can get myself on the way to some big adventures!

 

I think these are all goals I can keep…let’s see how I do in 2012!

~Love and Stitches,

Miss Pascal

Giving an old scarf new life

January 11, 2012

So I have this fun ombre dyed scarf that I really like…. but for some reason didn’t wear very much.

I never loved the tassels in this case and that is probably why I didn’t wear it much. Then suddenly last night I was thinking that if it was one of those long circle scarfs I’d probably wear it more. So I made it into one!

It was a pretty quick and painless process, and a total of 15 minutes, I had a whole new scarf! First, I laid it out nicely and sewed the ends together about a 1/2 an inch from the tassels, making sure they were all out and wouldn’t get sewn over.

Then, I cut off the tassel part! (It was sort of liberating!)

I could tell the scarf was going to pull and such at the end, so I finished the seam with a narrow hem. It definitely isn’t even…but it gets hidden because you put that on the inside part.

And after being so proud of my work, I wore it to school today! (I think my mirror is dirty…I’m off to clean that now!)

 

~Love and Stitches,

Krypton

 

PS: I am proud to report that I am doing pretty well on my resolutions! I have started reading a new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. It is funny and I am 26% done (thanks Kindle!).  I have made 3 recipes in my crock pot over the last week and a half! I also have the ingredients ready for another one tomorrow. Crafting-wise I have been a bit slacking…I have to start sewing my 1 piece of clothing! I am debating between a skirt or an apron, I know I eventually want to make both. I also am going to tackle a small project for a baby shower I am going to on 1/29, so I need to get going on that as well!

New Years Resolutions…a week later

January 7, 2012

So we are 1 week into a the new year. So far it has been pretty good, although going back to work is always a bit rough. I am definitely a sleeper so getting up at 6:30 is never the easiest for me. Being that SQ is all about crafting, I thought it would be appropriate to post my resolutions for crafting in 2012. One of the original motivators for this blog was actually a resolution for the New Year. Miss Pascal suggested that we work on 1 craft project a month and then blog about it. I loved the idea and encourage her (and I) to start the blog early so we could used to posting and such. So back in October the blog was born! We have a few modifications to our resolutions, but 2012 should be a crafty year!! Here is what I am hoping to do, craft-wise, in 2012.

Krypton’s crafting resolutions: 

  • Make 1 article of clothing per month. I have about 6 projects in mind already…an apron (I realized while making pasta sauce in a nice dress on New Year’s eve that I really do need one), a brown skirt, a dress with the fabric I got a Mood, a dress or top with this fun black/white/teal floral sheer fabric I have, an Obi belt from the book Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders I got as a christmas gift from my friend Laura! I gotta get going on this one…
  • Scrapbook half of the (already printed) pictures by the summer. If I can make a dent in the pile before summer break, I can then finish up those scrapbooks while I have a lot of time. This also will give me the fall/winter of 2012 to print out new pictures and scrapbook them!!
  • Plan out future projects based on things I have starred from my Google Reader. Many of my Christmas projects were inspired by tutorials I found online through my Google Reader. I frequently star things that look awesome in hopes to revisit them in the future. The issue is that I have almost too many things starred! I want to organize them into projects and start making some of them!
  • Blog once a week. I will keep you all up to date on what I am working on and help keep me motivated!
  • Keep having fun and improving my sewing skills!! I am still pretty new to sewing and I only have room to improve!

Although our crafting resolutions may be more appropriate for this blog, I also wanted to post some of my personal goals for the year as well. Here is to hoping that putting them in print will make them more real and help me follow through more!

Krypton’s  personal resolutions:

  • Read one book a month (at least). I love to read but it often happens in bursts. For example, I hadn’t read anything all of November and most of December. And then I read ALL three Hunger Games books in like 1 week over Christmas break. I believe that I read 12 books last year, but by reading one a month I can spread out the love more. I need to get going on this one as well…
  • Cook with my Crock Pot once a week (at least). Now that it is winter and my brother is going to be starting a full time job, I want to use my Crock Pot for dinners. I have a Weight Watchers cook book which has a lot of recipes to choose from. I actually have already made two dinners with the crock pot this week! The Thai spiced turkey and chicken/chorizo were both really good! This is definitely a resolution I shouldn’t have an issue with keeping.
  • Be active for 30 minutes a day. Exercising has always been a tough thing for me. When I find things I like to do, I get into it and have fun. But fitting it into my schedule is tough. Often times after a long day at school I just don’t feel like going to the gym…and there is no way I will ever get up early to work out. (I am a habitual late sleeper!). My hope is to start small…30 minutes a day. It could be a walk, playing the XBox Kinect (I love Dance Central!), swimming at work, playing tennis or going to the gym if I can motivate. So far I have been pretty good about this!
  • Save more money…in general and by not going out to eat as much. Since moving out on my own, I have definitely gone out for dinner more with friends instead of cooking at home. I want to work on saving some more money, which means less frequent dining out and better budgeting.
  • Put myself out their more and make some new friends. I have a lot of friends, but want to meet some new people this year. Particularly in terms of dating.
  • And finally, lose some weight. This is sort of constantly on my to do list, but still true none the less. Ideally I would lose about 25 pounds, but I just want to start with losing 10 pounds by March break.

Let’s hope I can keep to these goals in the New Year!

~Love and Stitches,

Krypton

Happy New Year!!

January 1, 2012

I hope everyone had a great night and end to 2011! For NYE this year I had Miss Pascal, E. Chadwick and Jim over for pasta and meatballs. We also had a late Christmas and exchanged gifts. E. Chadwick and I gave Miss Pascal the two pieces of art we made for her sewing room (see the pictures in our last post). She loved both of them!! Then Miss Pascal and I gave E. Chadwick his tie. He was totally surprised and loved it! I know it will get a lot of wear. Then I got my gift, which was super cute!

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It is a basket with “tickets” and supplies for 3 movie nights! There is Tootsie and 9 to 5 on DVD (neither of which I have seen, but am looking forward to!) for two of the nights the third will be my choice… I’m thinking a terrible movie marathon of Glitter, Gigli, and From Justin to Kelly. They are all supposed to be historically bad and I feel like I need to see them! Also there was a recipe to make cocoa popcorn!

After the fun gift exchange, we had dinner and then headed out for the night. We went to two parties and had a blast!

In the next few days I’m going to work on a list of resolutions for 2012, on both the personal and blog side. I just hope the text I got from Miss Pascal after last night does come true – “Let’s hope 2012 is better than our wildest dreams could’ve imagined!!”

~Love and Stitches,
Krypton

Christmas Crafting Summary

December 29, 2011

First off, HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY to Miss Pascal!! Yesterday was the big day and at about 8 pm it occurred to me that I should have made a blog post about it. Oops! After spending the day driving back to CT from DC, Miss Pascal took a nap (of course) and then spent the evening with a bunch of her friends. We went bowling which was really fun! I made her red velvet whoopie pies as a “cake” using the new baking pan I got for Christmas. I think she had a fun birthday, I know I enjoyed it!

Now on to the main goal of this post. I spent a lot of time crafting gifts this holiday season and thought that it would be fun to put together a little summary of everything. All my gifts went over really well and seemed to be appreciated and loved by those who received them. So I am extremely happy to report that all the time spent, was well worth it! Here is a picture summary of 10 crafts I completed this holiday season and a brief description of each. There are links to previous posts when appropriate.

  1. Tree stump coasters for my parents.
  2. A tie for my brother (modeled on Christmas Eve over his trademark plaid shirt…I don’t think he will be wearing this combo when he starts his job at an insurance company this January!)
  3. Embroidered Christmas cards.
  4. One of the gifts E. Chadwick and I crafted for Miss Pascal. I googled some fun sewing quotes/saying and I liked this one because Miss Pascal is quite the quilter (although I think she has yet to really tell you all about it on this blog!). We made it from scraps I had (perhaps you recognize some of the fabric…). I quickly sewed together the mock quilt and with the help of some Sharpie Paint pens, Mod Podge and a staple gun we had a fun homemade piece of art! I envision it being hung in her sewing room.
  5. A tie for my dad.
  6. An iPad case for my mom.
  7. A purse/jewelry bag for my friend Laura. She can put lip gloss, lotion etc in this in her purse. Or perhaps use it for jewelry when she travels. I used a tutorial from the blog The Creative Place for the bag, with a few small changes. I didn’t line the bag and decided to buy rope for the draw strings instead of making them from the fabric.
  8. Cork garland for my parents fireplace.
  9. Another gift I made for Miss Pascal with E. Chadwick! I saw a wall hanging at Urban Outfitters with sewing machine that said “Make do and mend” and it stuck with me. I wasn’t crazy over the design (or the $30 price tag) but I knew I could make something better myself. E. Chadwick and I painted a canvas purple then used scrapbooking letters for the font (it is actually black and white polka dots!). The work is actually 3D with the fabric sticking off the canvas, a real needle through it and a spool of thread (made from half a cork wrapped in embroidery floss). Again, I’m thinking this will be perfect for Miss Pascal’s sewing room.
  10. The Redskin tote bag for my mom. This project got multiple posts, read here, here and here.

I did a few other projects as well that aren’t shown…

  • A Redskins t-shirt I made for my dad. It is based on something we always say during the games (Alright, just gotta hold them to a field goal) and the design was sketched by my brother. I then used Photoshop and InDesign to make it, printed it out on t-shirt transfer paper and ironed it on.
  • Three to four more purse bags, like #7, that I made in different fabrics. It would have been fun to take pictures of all of them together, but I ended up wrapping each one after I finished it.
  • Two composition notebook covers following this tutorial from the blog Joy’s Hope.

It was quite the busy holiday season! I am definitely going to have to start earlier if I want to craft this much for the holidays again next year (particularly for my wrist sake, as it was sore for pretty much half of December). I have been in a crafting lull since, pretty much just relaxing with my family and friends, sleeping late and trying to ignore the fact that school starts up again next Tuesday. It seems that Miss Pascal has just been ignoring the blog in general…but we will have to cut her some slack, as she has been busy traveling. However, we have discussed some New Years Resolutions for the blog and crafting, as well as for ourselves, so keep an eye out for a post soon.

~Love and Stitches,

Krypton