Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weddings (Take 2): A Crafter/Gamer Union

Weddings aren't quite as common around these parts as babies, but they aren't exactly infrequent. Facebook has been blowing up with engagement announcements this week. The holidays do this, I suppose. People get all mushy and sentimental during this time of year. 

Welp, another friend bit the bullet, tied a knot, strapped on a ball and chain- whatever. Nah, it's a good combo, there's nothing dire about their combination. I am excited for them, really. And in total agreement with the match. Emmy is an old college friend of mine. She took me out for my first sushi dinner. We sang in a band together. I remember one warm late summer night, when we sat in the grass telling our whole life stories. New friendship, like a new romance blossoms so quickly. The best thing about friendship is that it doesn't as often end in heartbreak. Our friendship struck up in college in 2003. It is long, but woven in and out- spread both near and far. She went away to nursing school and then returned, we lived together for a couple months in Minnesota when I first moved there, but mostly we've lived far apart.

Emmy and Tom met when she moved to Milwaukee in 2006. When I first met him, honestly, I thought them an unlikely pair. He was a beefy, guy's-guy bartender who spent hours a day on his computer playing games, while Emmy was a social butterfly with an infectious giggle and heart for social justice. But, after seeing them interact, I was quick to recognize that their odd match-up was a sure recipe for love. I look at it now as an example for my own relationship (as we're also somewhat of an odd couple). They both coexist and exist separately. Which sounds obvious - since no "two" actually DO become "one"- but it's not really all that spoken of. I've often made the mistake of letting my personal identity get wrapped up in my relationship. It's good to have examples of people who stand out as individuals within their healthy relationship.

So, all that said, Emmy and Tom needed a gift that would show their individual tastes and also, hopefully, tie them together into one cohesive idea. I was attempting to allude to a skull and crossbones. (Do you see it?)

I think it turned out pretty good. Emmy said her family all commented on it on Sunday brunch at their place after the wedding. I'm super excited they liked it and hope they can find a place for it in their home.

One more wedding to go in 2012. My dear cousin, Kate and her beau are getting hitched the weekend before Christmas. They're a traditional type couple with a not so traditional trajectory. I'm still unsure of my game plan. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, November 19, 2012

In Honor of a Winner Weekend

This weekend was amazing. I visited with college friends in Wisconsin for a wonderful wedding. I'll report on those festivities and the couple's gift in a future post. But- in honor of the awesomeness of the weekend's festivities- a quick picture post of a couple homemade trophies I threw together for a fundraiser at work a couple weekends ago.

I found the random plastic ware at a thrift store. I must have looked kinda funny stacking bowls and vases in the middle of the shopping aisle. But there were some really perfect gems for this project. Go go Troy Goodwill!

Three types of glue (epoxy, some kind of cement, and hot glue) and I'm still not sure of how secure the final product was. I'd stick to hot glue alone in the future. It seemed to have the surest hold. After it was glued, I just painted the sucker gold and slapped on a laminated "placard".

I know I would rather get a trophy like this than a stodgy old normal one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Babies (Take 2) : T-Shirt to Onesie

So many babies! Seriously, they are everywhere. Like I said before, but it bears repeating, I have 10+ local friends who are expecting little ones right now. People are making jokes about the water at church. But I'm pretty sure that babies aren't a result of water-drinking. I believe there are a few more steps than that. :)

Anyways, I've made some little crochet thingys for the upcoming munchkins, I even tried my hand at a sweater. (I didn't take any pictures of that. It is yet to be seen if it will actually fit on a baby. I just kinda made the pattern as I went.) But no more relying on the old crochet hook for baby gifts. I've hit baby gift gold: I'm making sassy adult t-shirts into awesome baby onesies.

Some of the initial inspiration came from online and on Pinterest, but I didn't find a pattern I liked well enough to follow. (But, admittedly, I've never been too great at following directions. I like to make my own way.) So my pattern consisted of cutting apart a cheap onesie from the dollar store and using it as a template. 

I literally used a seam ripper to deconstruct the thing then cut the shirts using those pieces as a guide. Fortunately, the fit of baby wear is much more forgiving than women's wear. No darts or pleats in this get up.

Overall, it is about a 1.5 hour task per onesie (after I got the hang of it all). The particular challenges of making a onesie from a t-shirt? 
  1. The bias tape takes time. I did all the cutting for several shirts and then set up my ironing station in front of a tv to make the tape. It's work intensive, but the final product looks so much more finished as a result. It isn't necessary to have a double fold tape as the inside raw edge is barely visible and you zig-zag stitch right over it. And also, I totally cheated and didn't cut the fabric on a bias. Because the t-shirt cotton material pretty much has a 4-way stretch, it works either way. But if you want to know how to do it properly you can find all kinds of online info.
  2. T-shirt knit is kinda wonky. The more patient you are as you sew, the better.
  3. Two words: neck hole. Babies have big heads on the tops of their little bodies, and so baby shirts have these wonderful layered necklines for easy in-and-outs. The trick is remembering which layer is on top and which is on the bottom as you sew. 
  4. Snaps are a really awesome invention. They just take a bunch of banging, so make sure you do this step during waking hours so you don't bug your neighbors. Also, make sure you only put snaps on the bias tape. A single layer of t-shirt fabric can't withstand the constant tugging a snap will promote. Be sure to snap and un-snap them a whole lot to test their strength and wear them in before you give the onsie as a gift. 
It's now my plan to start collecting crazy t-shirts from my frequent thrift store hunts. Of course, the size of a baby limits how large the design can be. But I know there are some ridiculous onesies to be made from reject t-shirts. All my pregnant buddies had better prepare themselves for the awesome. Their babies are going to be the hippest ever in these suckers.

If there's some interest in more-detailed instructions, order of construction, or an attempt at a pattern- please comment to let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Suprise Office Fix - DIY Business Card Display

After months of having my work business cards hidden away in their original packaging I came up with a quick fix for desk display. I had some snazzy spray painted forks lying around the office (student ministry is random work), so I bent one a couple times at strategic angles and presto!

The tines provide some stability, but the cards themselves hold the fork upright as a stand. It's almost like I'm a physics whiz, or something. 

I think it's pretty nifty. And cheap and easy, taboot. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Picture Post: Bargain Antiques & Pumpkins

A spur of the moment trip for coffee with a gal pal the other day included a quick dash into one of my favorite Tipp City antique shops. They have a constantly changing display and a great influx of new items. New this trip? A backroom shelf with a construction paper sign "everything $1"! Are you kidding? That's my idea of heaven. Three minutes in there and I had three cutesy items to lug home.

a malt shaker (I used one all the time as a kid. Mmm.
syrup dispenser (I just love the instructions on the underside of the lid.)

a blue glass top hat (I'm using it to wrangle up my rogue bobbypins.)

And these birdies came from a local goodwill for a whopping .59/ea. I haven't decided what to do with them. I thought maybe I would paint them black and hang them in my craft room. But maybe they would make good Christmas decor. Maybe with a red ribbon tied around their necks?  

Halloween was full of experiencing traditions this year. I wore 4 different costumes during the week, carved pumpkins, ate too many sweets, roasted pumpkin seeds, and partook in some good ole debauchery.

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