Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bejeweled Clutch

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Over the weekend I made what I consider to be one of the most super-fun projects of all time: take a plain old thing (in this case, a leather wallet/clutch I picked up at Goodwill for fifty cents) and BEDAZZLE THE HELL OUT OF IT.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Necktie Purse Tutorial

Happy Impending Gift-Giving Holiday everyone!! ARE YOU READY YET???

Yeah me neither. Let's be procrastinators together!!!

Dear readers, I have a confession. I have a mild but growing fetish for...

Neckties. I just recently discovered that I can pick them up for a dollar apiece at my local Goodwill, and well...let's just say it's over. There's no turning back. I adore neckties. They're like little soft, silky jewels, just waiting to be turned into something magical.

So, I made them into something that I think is pretty magical. Click "Read More" to find out how I turned these:

Into this:

UPDATE: I happened to make this again, incorporating a lot of my "Lessons Learned" (which you can find at the bottom of this post), and made it into an Instructable! You can find it HERE!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weekend Update: My Absence Last Week and Coming Changes

Hello my lovelies!

Some of you may have noticed (or not) that there were no posts last week. I assure you that wasn't my intention! I had to spend the week in Dallas for work purposes and while I THOUGHT I'd have the time and energy to post some stuff throughout the week, I unfortunately found myself far too exhausted at the end of each day to do so. I apologize!!

I did take some fun pictures from the 21st floor of the amazing building the Dallas office is in. It's right in the heart of the arts district, which is arguably the prettiest part of Dallas. The view from my temporary workspace was incredible:

Dallas has really stepped up its game in the last decade or so. Some of the architecture is really stunning. Check out the curved building here (I think it's a church):

I also had a good view of the front lawn of the Dallas Museum of Art:

And even though they may say "don't look down"...I, of course, looked down immediately. Pardon the reflection of my brightly-colored dress in the window:

(My car is down there somewhere...)

I had a good time, overall. I ate some of these:

(OMG they are SO EFFING GOOD!)

And I got to play with a Windows Surface Pro 3, which had been dazzling me from afar thanks to their pretty awesome commercials:

(Yes, it had a Star Trek: TNG game on it, which I played for about 30 minutes while I was waiting for updates to install on my computer.)

I learned a lot while I was there, which was the purpose of my visit. See, I'm vying for a promotion. I've spent the last three years with this company working as an executive assistant, but I'm ready to step up my game and start learning some of the more technical elements of the work we do at the consulting firm. One day I hope to be a full-fledged consultant! I'm going back to school in January to attend some tech-specific courses so I can get even better at this stuff. It's all pretty exciting!

It does mean some changes to my blog though. While I have no intention of abandoning the blog or my love of all things crafty, I will likely be reducing the number of posts I make every week. With last week as a major exception, I've been attempting to give you a dose of my handmade hell once a day, Monday through Friday. Obviously I'm not gonna have time for that anymore. :( But I am hoping to post at least two or three times a week! It may not always be on a schedule, and it may not always be super well-curated, but this blog is way too much fun for me to abandon it entirely. 

So thanks to everyone who has read my silly little blog so far, and thanks to everyone who continues reading it in the future! I will try very hard to keep it interesting - or at the very least, entertaining - for as long as I am able to handle a sewing machine, glue some crap onto some other crap, or maneuver my way around a pair of knitting needles. 

Much love to all of you and I hope you have an awesome holiday season!!!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Quick Tortellini Meal

Happy Friday!

Because it's Friday, that means I'll be talking about FOOD FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD today!

I have to say, I have set a very bizarre and unintentional standard in my house. I only recently "discovered" cooking as something I really enjoy, and as such, I've been making homecooked meals every night - even when I don't feel like it. As a result of that, my family has come to expect that every night I will prepare a delicious homecooked meal.

Sometimes I can get pretty creative and come up with something really cool, but sometimes? Sometimes I just want something easy that doesn't take a lot of brain power.

One of the reason I love cooking is because once you get the hang of it, you can tweak any recipe and make it your own. Also, I just got this badass apron in the mail from ThinkGeek.com and now I wear it every time I cook:

So last night, it came to be around 6:00 and I knew I had to start...shudder...planning dinner. Normally I love planning dinner, but it's been stressful and busy for me lately, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I definitely didn't want to mess up a bunch of dishes and spend an hour in the kitchen.

I rooted through my freezer and decided to make a simple, basic meal based on my favorite freezer staples. Click "Read More" for the recipe I just made up last night.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Failure Files: The Shoe Tassel Incident

Hello my pretties!!

Flush with success from my last awesome shoe recon, I decided to do another one: replacing the tassels on my suede loafers. COULDN'T BE EASIER RIGHT??


After the jump, you'll see exactly why this was a tremendous and utter failure.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Color Block Heels Refashion

Hello all!

I recently tried something a little bit new for me - shoe recons! I love looking at some of the zany things people do with their shoes. I knew I would have to start small, and start with a pair of shoes I wasn't crazy about, so I hunted through my closet and found this pair of super-boring black low heels that I bought to wear at conferences to work:

They're really comfortable but I hate the way they look. They are. So. Boring.

After the jump I give a step-by-step photo tutorial of how I turned these from my most boring shoes to my favorite shoes!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hat #10: The Bling Cloche

Hello all! I figured that since this is Hat #10, I ought to do something a little special. You're probably getting bored with all the knitted/crocheted hats I've been making lately, and frankly - so am I!

After about an hour scanning beautiful hats on Pinterest for inspiration, I felt sufficiently ready to do something a little crazy.

This cloche is pretty crazy. I'll be honest - it probably doesn't look that great on me. But if you look good in a 20's style cloche, this is the perfect project for you! It's simple, and the rhinestones add a pretty badass blingy effect.

And honestly? I can't remember when I've had so much fun posing for pictures in a handmade creation. I had some fun with filters too, to give it an old-fashioned look:

Super fun, right? This cloche is made out of plain old felt, a scrap of shiny fabric, and RHINESTONES!!! It covers the ears, so it's appropriate as a winter hat as well, but it doesn't have to. There are a million different ways you can make this hat. Click the jump for full instructions and MOAR PHOTOS!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hat #9: Steampunk Hat

Hello all! I'm back on hats now. :) Yay!!! I knew you were wondering about it.

I don't really know why I called this a Steampunk Hat, but I thought it had some qualities that might put it in that category. The color is an amazing dark green khaki color that would fit right into that genre, and I love the little corseted side bit.

Plus the brim I crocheted on the end made for a really neat newsboy style that I adore!

I love the way the ribbon jumps out and yells "HEY I AM RIGHT HERE DO YOU SEE ME I AM A BIG PINK RIBBON!!"

Pattern is below the jump - enjoy!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Farmer's Market-inspired Thanksgiving

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving everyone!

I am so sorry this post is going up so late tonight. We drove back from dear old Dallas today and it was a long and arduous trip. I'm exhausted! So I'm hammering out this post real quick before it's too late!

I made an absolutely fabulous (if I do say so myself) Farmer's Market-inspired Thanksgiving meal this year and I wanted to share with you what I did. My family is full of health-nuts, but even those who aren't into green eats might be able to glean a recipe or two from this spread.

Here's what my plate looked like:

Can we say om nom nom? I can say it, and I did say it, a lot, throughout the afternoon's festivities. :)

Click the jump for more food pr0n and some recipes. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Basic Ribbed Scarf

Good morning all! It's a beautiful day here in SoTex - a little TOO beautiful for winter, but you won't see me complaining!

The other day my brother posted the following on his Facebook page:

"Give me your scarf."

I took that to mean he really wanted a hand-knit scarf from his talented, beautiful big sister. Right? I mean, that's pretty clear to you too, isn't it? That's definitely the subtext, yeah?

Anyway, I told him he'd have a scarf by Thanksgiving and he was all, "Score!" so I set to work.

Now, I love my brother. I think he's just about one of the coolest people I know. But he does not hang onto things very well. I'd wager I've made him about a half dozen hand-knit items in the past, and I would be pretty surprised if he still had any of them. It's cool. I don't get upset.

I just don't go nuts when I make him things. :)

That's why I went super simple with this scarf. He likes simple, I like simple, simple is good, simple is kind. Now for some reason I feel like writing down what I did, but you certainly don't need a pattern for this. It really is very, very basic. But it's warm and cushy and soft, so you know. Mission accomplished.

After the jump, you'll see more pictures and a full pattern.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Inspiration Tuesday: Winter Fashion

Happy Tuesday my lovelies!

Even though I have a zillion and a half things to show you, I thought I'd take a little break today and show you what I've been looking at lately, and what has been inspiring some of my upcoming projects.

I love fashion. Oh, so very much. I'm not super knowledgeable about it. I didn't go to school and take a history of fashion class. I can't tell you what the fundamental differences are between Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. But I love looking at clothes, and letting their form and function make my brain go places it's never gone before.

I spent alllll day on Saturday looking at pictures from this past February's Autumn/Winter 2014 New York Fashion Week shows, and I ended up staying awake until almost 4:30 in the morning because my brain would. Not. Shut. Up. I NEVER stay awake until 4:30 in the morning!

Anyway, just after the jump you'll see a handful of pics from each of my favorite designers, who may have shown these collections almost a year ago, but have predicted what kinds of things will be fashionable...right now!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hat #8: Noro Spiral-ish

Hat #8 is ready for its close up!

I kinda sorta used a spiral effect but ended up sort of accidentally made it a "broken" spiral - about 2/3 up the hat the spiraling eyelets break off and start again a few rows later. I kinda liked it!

More pictures and a pattern after the jump!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts.


They get kind of a bad rap, huh? Always considered the "grossest" vegetable. So gross, in fact, that the very name "Brussels sprouts" seems to cause even the most open-minded face to cringe just a tiny bit when they're mentioned.

I had Brussels sprouts when I was a kid. They were disgusting. I hated them.

But something has been happening lately on the Internet...people have been making Brussels sprouts for their families...and their families LOVE them! I was intrigued. And when I walked into Trader Joe's the other day and was faced with this:

I thought...hmmmmmmm...could be that it's time to try Brussels sprouts again!

I dug around and looked at a few different recipes. Clearly the best way to do this is to roast them. Which is great, because roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables! A lot of people suggested Balsamic vinegar, and a lot of people said garlic, and a lot of people said lemon. Well, I happen to have all of those things. So I brought it home...

Click the jump to see how THIS weird little experiment turned out!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hat #7: Who?!?!

Hat 7 is complete!

I used this pattern:

Yeah it's supposed to be owls. It's a little hard to see them because I picked such a thick and dark-colored yarn (Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Mulberry). But I've found if you TELL someone that it's owls, they can see it right away and it's obvious. Otherwise it just looks like cables.

Click "Read More" for more pictures, if you want. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


First of all, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!

Last night I uploaded my first ever Instructable onto Instructables.com (I KNOW you guys have been on that site before). I decided to go with my Sweatshirt to Romantic Cardigan tutorial, which I basically recreated for the Instructable. 

So I uploaded it and forgot about it, thinking that there are so many HUNDREDS of Instructables posted all the time, that mine would drop to the bottom of the list and get forgotten and go unseen by the millions of people who visit the site.

Until this afternoon, when I received the exciting news that my Instructable, a mere 15 hours after I posted it, has been selected by Instructable editors to be featured!!!!!


I literally did a little happy dance when I saw the email. I couldn't be more thrilled. :D :D :D 

In fact, I'm so thrilled, I have nothing finished to show you today. :(

However, I do have several works in progress - so without further ado, click the jump to see what I'm working on this week...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hat #6: Wurm Hat for a kiddo :)

Hat #6 is done - a lot faster than I thought it would be!

My daughter was jealous of all these hats I've been making for people. So, even though I JUST MADE HER ONE:

I let her pick out a skein of yarn from my stash (she chose this skein of Knit Picks Stroll Sock Yarn in Tree Fort):

And a pattern:

Wurm by Katharina Nopp (Ravelry link)


Monday, November 17, 2014

Watercolor Dress Re-Size!

Fun weekend times ahead!!

I haven't been as inspired to reconstruct lately as I used to be. I know that for me, my interests tend to wax and wane, but with all my new readers from the Refashion Co-op Blog (yay, thank you!!), I realized that I needed to keep this up, even if I didn't necessarily feel like it.

Turns out, just STARTING a recon is a great way to get inspired again! I'll have to remember that for the future.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, a trip to Goodwill turned up this...um...thing:

My friend and I passed it by, laughing at it as we did. Those colors! That shape! LOLOL. What a ridiculous dress. We moved on.

But I kept looking...

And looking...

And looking back at it. Finally, I caved. "I need that dress," I said. My friend laughed as I raced back and snatched it up before anybody else could get it. I needed it. NEEDED IT.

And even though I felt like a giant watercolored monster in it...

I knew it had potential to be adorable and even - dare I say - sexy!!!

Click "Read More" to find out how I TOTALLY SUCCEEDED.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Black Bean Potato Chili

Sometimes you don't feel like cooking and you can't afford delivery. So you just throw a bunch of crap into a pot and heat it up and hope it doesn't suck.

That's how this Black Bean and Potato Chili came about. And friends...it did. Not. Suck.

It's hard to photograph chili. It's kind of gross-looking, to be honest. But even these pictures are making me drool. I WANT MORE CHILI NOW PLEASE. 

It's perfect with a little corn bread...

And a sprinkling of melty cheddar cheese...

Basically there might not be a more perfect winter recipe than chili.

Click "Read More" for the recipe. You'll be so, so glad you did.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hat #5: Stripey Hat!

Hat #5 makes its appearance!!

This one was so super fun to do that even though I totally screwed up the beginning of the swirl pattern I don't even mind. I might make this hat AGAIN anyway! I still love it.

The pattern? Swirl Hat by Mandie Harrington (Ravelry link - be sure to sign in to see the pattern!)

It's kind of genius! It looks complicated as hell, but the swirl pattern is created using a crafty and diabolical combination of YO's and K2Tog's. Brilliant! And I used less than one skein of this marvelous Knit Picks Felici Self-Striping yarn in Building Blocks (which I think might be discontinued as of this posting):

I don't have a lot to add, but if you click "Read More" you can see more beauty shots of the hat, including full-on shots of how awesome the swirl looks from different angles!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gap to No Gap Recon!

Last week I showed you this awesome shirt I got at Goodwill: 

I loved the pattern and the fit - and the silky smoothness of the fabric feels so luxurious! But those shoulder pads...

And that gap! Ugh - my fellow compatriots in the "huge tracts of land" club can relate. I have avoided button-up shirts like the plague because of this very issue. Sure, sure, you can "safety pin" the gap closed. But who wants to fuss with a safety pin every time you put on your shirt? I can tell you right now - if I had to attach a safety pin every time I wanted to wear this shirt? That would be a reason I'd give myself not to wear it.

Luckily, this shirt surprisingly provided me with everything I needed to fix this issue...click "Read More" to find out how!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hat #4: My Own Hat

Sorry for no posts Thursday and Friday last week y'all. I came down with a WICKED stomach virus and I couldn't do anything but lay on the couch, binge-watch Masterchef (I want to cook ALL THE THINGS)...and knit.

I made a whole hat, out of sock yarn, in just a few days. That's not including, of course, the two full days it took to wind up the hank of Malabrigo I used. As a friend of mine put it, Malabrigo uses drunken donkeys to skein their yarns, and I am pretty sure I agree. But it was so, so worth it.

It was a pretty, simple little hat pattern. I didn't want anything too spicy to re-introduce myself into the wild and wonderful world of "knitting things more complex than a square". But I think the effect is pretty nice.

Click "Read More" for more wonderful pictures. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hat #3: Baby Hug Hat

Hat #3 has been completed! I am on a roll. :) I love this adorable little baby hat, just like I love the adorable little baby whose head it will adorn when I (finally) meet him this weekend!

I used a pattern found on Ravelry that was simple enough to be completed in a few hours, but complex enough not to be boring: the Hug Hat by Cathy Hardy. Nice job Cathy!

I'm casting on a somewhat more complex (and incredibly boring) hat for myself today, but in the meantime I thought I'd show you some of my recent thrift store acquisitions, all of which are due for some level of attack, be it minor fixes or MAJOR OVERHAULS: