Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft workshop: Crafty Night Out

I’m so excited to host a craft workshop on February 1, 2013 in Chicago. We are going to be making Valentine's Day themed bow ties and painted wine glasses. If you love being creative or want to improve your craft game, please join me. Or gift a ticket to your crafty friend for Christmas! There are only 30 spots available. You can register by visiting the Eventbrite page. I’d love to see you there!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving holiday wrap-up

Thanksgiving holiday weekend has come to a close. Monday, it's back to reality. I enjoyed a couple of days away from work and spending time with family and friends. This is what the holidays are all about!

I worked on shaking a terrible cold the week leading up to the holiday. I did not do my traditional Thanksgiving Day 5K run on Thursday because I couldn't breath. Instead it was slightly delayed to this afternoon where I also mastered the fine art of blowing snot rockets to clear my nose and keep my breathing steady.

My holiday craft party took place on Saturday. Instead of buying Christmas gifts at traditional Black Friday sales, I wanted to create an opportunity for guests to craft unique gifts made with love!
All these photos were taken with my sister's new Nikon D5100. I'm ready to take out a second mortgage to own one of these cameras. Ok, they are not quite that expensive, but definitely an investment. I love pictures so much, I would make good use of one of these for sure!
My guests successfully finished all the projects; fabric button earrings, fabric magnetic boards, and magazine page coasters. I really enjoy watching others discover their creativity!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DIY chevron striped sweatshirt

Thanksgiving is in t-minus 7 days! I’m looking forward to a tasty meal, spending time with my family, and a couple of days of relaxation! Here's is a simple way to jazz up your turkey day lounging around look.

Materials used:
Men’s sweatshirt
Rust-Oleum specialty metallic spray paint in gold
1” 3M painters tape

1.Cut the neck and sleeves at the seams.
2.Tape out a chevron pattern. I measured 2 inches between tape stips, so the stripes are 2 inches wide with a 1 inch gap in between.

3.Tape the remaining areas you want to avoid spray painting. I also taped newspaper at the shoulder seams and at the neck to avoid getting paint on those areas.

4.Spray as much paint as you want for the look you desire. I wanted a softer look, so I sprayed the entire area twice, lightly.

5.Peel off the tape. I failed to tape the bottom of my sweatshirt, so some paint got on the seam. I didn't like the way it looked, so I cut the bottom off just below the seam.

6.*Roll up the sleeves, and it’s done! I think it’s a cute alternative to succumbing to tryptophan in just a plain old sweatshirt!

*The shirt was pretty much dry to the touch in about 20 minutes, but I allowed my shirt to dry overnight before wearing it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gym hopping

I haven’t weighed myself in almost a month. I’ve fallen off with tracking my calories. My clothes still fit the same, so I don’t think I’m gaining. But, I definitely have not been as diligent the last few weeks with trying to lose another ten pounds. I’m going to blame it on the weather cooling off, and the time change. Yes, that’s it. I have been trying some new things to try to get back in the groove of working out more regularly and to stay on track over the holidays.

Running: There is one word to describe my running lately, leisurely. The cold discourages me from going in the morning, and its super dark when I leave work in the evening. I’m going to again attempt lunch time runs again to fit in more miles each week.

Core Power Yoga: I love this place. The location near me offers two free community workouts per week. I’ve been doing a short run first, and then practicing yoga for an hour afterwards. The class is ‘warm’ not hot, like Bikram. The class moves fast and there are couple of moves I’m not very good at: Chatarunga (push-up) and Baksana (crow) pose.

My Chatarunga is getting better each time. Baksana is another story. I usually just hold Child’s pose waiting for the next position. The class also incorporates ab work, hence the studio name.

Charter Fitness: I received a postcard in the mail for a free trail at this new gym near my home. I never heard of this place before. What caught my attention was the $10 per month membership fee they advertised, so I checked it out. Hmm, it’s ok. I filled out a waiver for a male employee to start my trial, then sort of stood there waiting for him to show me around. I finally asked, “So . . . where is everything”? He pointed to the ladies locker room at the back of the gym. "Um, ok". I changed and ran on the treadmill for half an hour all the time checking out the clientele and the traffic level. It’s a basic gym, cardio machines, free weights, and personal training available for an additional cost. There were always open machines, and everyone pretty much came in, worked out, and went on about their business. It was really a no hassle environment. There is of course no pool, which I would prefer if I decide to join a gym again.

It’s time to get back on track or I will surely gain over Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY bow tie tutorial

In my quest for the perfect projects for my upcoming craft party, I came across the cutest bow tie ideas. I just had to try this project for myself. I used some scrap fabric I had lying around. Here's an easy tutorial to make one for yourself!

Main fabric: 5 in. x 9 in.
Fusible interfacing: 5 in. x 9 in.
Contrast fabric: 3 in. x 3 in.
Needle and thread or sewing machine

Cut the main fabric and interfacing (I used a cardboard template). Iron the interfacing to the main fabric.

Fold the edges of main fabric lengthwise to meet, iron the folds. Fold the edges to meet in the middle, iron the folds.

Cut the contrast fabric. Fold the edges of contrast fabric lengthwise, this time overlapping the edges. Iron the folds.

Stitch or sew the edges together to form a loop. I left about a ¼ inch seam.

Pinch the middle of the main fabric together to form a bow shape. Slide the contrast fabric onto the main fabric.

Voila, such an easy to make bow-tie!

I used a bobby pin to pin to may hair. You can hot glue or sew on a clip permanently, but I like the idea of switching it up. I may use a safety pin to wear as a brooch or an actual bow tie!


New hair & new crafts

It's extension time! I'm taking a much needed break from dealing with my hair. Styling, detangling and trying new hair products has taken a toll on my patience. I dread sitting in a salon chair all day, but I bit the bullet and had my hair braided last weekend. Braids was the first style I thought of when I contemplated what to do with my hair. I'm happy with how they turned out. They're ridiculously long, and I love it. I hope to keep my hair braided through the holidays. I'll start swimming again starting in January in prep for an indoor triathlon I plan to do March, so the braids will definitely come down before then.

I've been busy preparing to host a craft party for the Thanksgiving holiday. I've shopped so much at the Joann's and Micheal's near my work building the staff there probably think I'm casing the place. I've scoured the Internet for some fun projects to make. I found so many great ideas, I asked my guest to vote to choose which we would make. We'll make these three:

Fabric covered magnetic board

Upcylcle coasters made of magazine paper

I can't wait to try them all!
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