Sunday, February 22, 2015

What I am Obsessed with Right Now

I cannot believe I have not written a blog post since July?  What happened?  Well so many things happened to fill my thoughts and my mind preventing me from blogging.  However time has passed and I am finally getting my rhythm back.   I have always worked 60 hours per week but my creativity has been my outlet, my stress relief whether it be memory keeping, sewing or creating.

The new year has brought new thoughts and new priorities.  Of course new obsessions.

My first obsession currently is packing for my trip to Australia in April.  It has turned into a game for me.  I want to pack 15-20 items that would make more than enough outfits for my two week trip.  When I went to china, packing stressed me out as we had a big range of temperatures that required a sundress to a winter coat. My suitcase was heavy and I ended up wearing the same things over and over.  On PinterestI keep seeing capsule wardrobes which inspired me to turn my packing into a capsule wardrobe.  My goal was to have a my final suitcase weigh between 35-38 pounds. That includes all clothes toiletries, everything.

So First I had to find my capsule wardrobe inspiration. This was my inspiration, mainly because of the leopard print that I am partial to.

This inspiration was not made for a two week trip, but it is what got me started.  So I started to build my travel capsule wardrobe based on this inspiration.  I went to my closet and started to pull out items.  When looking at travel capsule wardrobes you will always see a stripped shirt, a chambray shirt and black leggings.  Another common item is thin layers and a scarf.  So I decided if all my layers were thin,  I could take more items.   Thin layers weigh a lot less.  Also leggings and skinny jeans weigh less than regular jeans.  Our weather will be more stable in Australia, but we will be there for their fall. So at this point based on past temperatures I believe I will taking boots for those rainy days or cooler days.  In Melbourne, it is know for having four seasons in one day.  I had to also narrow my other shoes down and my goal was  a total of three pairs.  So you have to have an idea of what you are going to be doing.  For this trip we will be doing some hiking and excursions that involve the beach.  So I decided to take a pair of hiking shoes, in between a tennis shoe and hiking shoe. Light weight. But my hiking shoe is a half size bigger and I do not like how they look with leggings, which was going to be my go to hiking bottom, thus making me re-think my bottoms.  Lastly I needed a cute flat that could be casual and dressy which of course was an easy choice- leopard.  Leopard goes with almost everything and adds fun to your outfits.  

After looking through my closet, it was time to start virtual packing which in turn will give you a list of anything you need to purchase.  You can start your virtual packing on an app called polyvore.  I started with making my base layers.

Here is my initial packing layers.
I was initially happy with this particular set and set out to find the items I did not have.  While I love leopard, it did not have a cute leopard chiffon shirt.  I can tell you currently, I still do not have a cute leopard shirt.  I also loved the black sweater with gold buttons but could not find one similar to it in my price range.  That is what is one thing about polyvore.  You find an item you love but oops its 1500.00 as its designer :(.  However the stripped shirt I did find the stripped shirt on polyvore.  I ordered it and I love it.  I wanted a stripped shirt that was not stripped all over as I do not look the greatest in strips given I am curvey.  So after a month of looking for these two items, I decided I need to find another pattern shirt to take that would go with my leopard flats and figure out what my pop of color would be.  I turned to pinterest again and found this combination that I loved. Navy gingham and pink.
So I set off to buy a navy gingham shirt, which I bought one a banana republic which I love but it was a little too long when I started putting my outfits together as it was more tunic length. I then scored one at Brooks Brothers which was 70% off.  I also pulled out a pink sweater from my closet. Done.
I went back to polymer and changed around my choices to this below.
As you can see , pink will be my pop of color.  I added a different dress and a skirt and took out the black dress.  I took out the red and black sweater and added pink sweater and a thin layering pull over black sweater. I also took out the black med weight coat and added the blue swing coat.  I swapped the black scarp with the baby and white scarf and added a bathing suit, sandals, belt, tights. I also swapped the white shirt with white layering tank and the short sleeve cream top for the pink long sleeve top.  Both my white and pink long sleeve tops are Columbia button ups that the sleeves roll up and have built in sun screen. They are super light but not see thru.

Now the fun part is making the outfits.  I started with first four days.
Now if i have two shoes showing, its because it will depend on the weather in Melbourne.  I hate hats but am taking one as sun I am told is much brighter there and I don't want to get burned or add any more age spots to my face haha.  So fund virtually packing.  But after four days I still had tons of stuff I had not even worn. So moved to next four days.
Again I realized I still had not worn four items in my suitcase so still had a lot of room to play with.  What I started to notice here as I am preparing to make my Sydney outfits is that if the weather is warmer, which could happen, then I am limited on my short sleeve options.  I also realize I have one too many long sleeve tops in my suitcase that I really do not need.  I like 3/4 sleeves but if its really warm for some reason I need a short sleeve option. Thus I am on the hunt for a short sleeve option and it will replace my long sleeve dotted option.  Here is how my packing looked when I tested the weight  of my suitcase. Of course my two puppies thing they are going.

I am happy to say my suitcase weight with everything in it, including toiletries, hair dryer etc the final weight was 36 lbs.  I have won this challenge and I am super happy about it.  It still needs some tweaking but I am confident it will not weigh more!!!

My second obsession right now is my little grandson Brooks.  Richard is watching him now two days per week.  I am so JEALOUS.   He gets to spend the time with him and see him grow and change.  He spends 18 hours a week just playing with him.  How lucky he and brooks are to have this time.  Garrett had this same time with his Nana and until now I did not realize how special it was for both of them.  I have to work so much so I do not get to see him as much but thankfully between Face timing and pictures, I can see him.  Rich has taken some great pictures, capturing how happy brooks is.  He is a great baby and I can see the happiness in his eyes.  So I do what I do best I preserve the memories.  I love how these two layouts turned out.

How can you not be obsessed with this beautiful boy.  He looks so much like Garrett when garrett was young.  So full of color and life.  Such joy he brings.  I just love him to pieces.!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moving Forward

Its been a while since I posted here on my blog.  Works been crazy and the weekend never is long enough.  With the recent passing of my sister I took to heart some of her last words to me "make more time to do the things that make you happy".

I have always put work first, my entire career.  Sometimes out of financial responsibilities, but mostly because its my work ethic.  It's instilled down deep and its gonna be hard to change.

If we all knew when we were going to die, we would all live our lives differently I am sure...   Maybe I am becoming more philosophical as my "50th" birthday approaches at the end of the week.   I have been traveling more.  But some of my life is not quite where I would wish it to be.  I am not sure it will ever be.  I have very few people I can truly count on and for that I only have myself to blame.  So I move forward and hope maybe I can changes it piece by piece.  

So in moving forward I have been sewing more.  Preparing for my first grandson.  And today I worked on some  DIY mercury glass.   I saw a couple of tutorials with different methods recently. One here  and a second one here.  I used a combination of both.

I started with two different mason jars and one milk jar.  With the tops taped off.

 And a can of krylon looking glass mirror paint.  I bought mine at Walmart.  Its a 6 oz can and runs around 9 dollars.
I sprayed a thin coat of the paint inside the jars.  The wide mouth mason jars are the easiest to do. The milk bottle more difficult.  You around the jars to coat the inside then i turned them upside down.  Wear gloves as the paint gets all over your fingers.   You need about five thin coats letting each coat dry for 2 minutes.

 What I found however is the milk bottle had a lot of drip marks inside as it was difficult to stay into and the pain would pool so I ended up spraying the outside instead.  The second tutorial I did recommended to stay the vinegar/water mixture on then spray the paint right away.  Once it started to bead up, dab with paper towel.  I started to do this, but its kinda subtle and I wanted a more wiped off look so the third coat I just sprayed the paint without the vinegar.
 When you are done with the five thin coats the inside of the jars look like this on the inside.  The runs that happen on the first two coats are really hard to see now.
Then comes the vinegar find.  Take a spray bottle and put equal amount water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.  Spray inside the mason hard and then wipe with a paper towel.  Dabbing the vinegar makes subtle removal of the mirror paint, wiping takes out bigger areas below, which is what I was going for.
 Keep repeating till you get the look you want.  If you remove too much, just spray another coat of mirror paint inside.

 I love the look of all the jars.  The mild jar with the paint outside required both dabbing and rubbing. The undercoat of vinegar spots really came through once you rubbed a little.
 To finish off the jars I rubbed with a sponge brush some gold paint on the inside. It really increases the mercury look when looking at the jars from the outside.
 Now you can turn them into candle holders or a little vase.  The flower frogs I found at Michaels.
 Or a cute little gift container that you can put a candle in.  The lid I found at Beverly's  I am not sure I will keep this one long, Rachel has her eye on it.  But I think it would be so cute to store thread in.

It was a lot of fun trying to come up with some little "chic" ideas for  a table and I plan on playing with it some more.

Happy Sunday....

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Project Life | Baby Book Gift

As probably all my friends know I am in the baby gift making mood.  Of course in preparation for my first grand baby in the fall.  I always love making baby things.  I have been sewing up a storm of burp clothes.

New babies are in the air and I decided to put a baby book together for a gift for my son's best friend.  It was kind of bitter sweet making me feel a little older than I would like.  Garrett has been best friends with Anthony since the sixth grade.  It's gonna be fun to see their son's grow up together.  I believe project life is a great format to use as a base for daily life documenting.  I use it every week and wish I would of had this available when my kids were born and babies.  I would have been able to document so much more than I did.  Its such a time saver.  So I made a base book for the first year of Anthony and halo's son's first year.  They can just pop out a card and jot important things down for each month and slip in a few pictures. There done!  Plus I put in a small envelope in the back to put a few precious things like the babies birth arm bands, etc.    I left some open slots and the slots are perfect as they are for 4 x 6 photo of 3 x 4 so easy to fit with no special sizing.  I hope they like it.
So here is a little peak.  I used DCWV  baby boy paper stack, my silhouette cutter and a few project life baby boy mini kit.  Loved the colors.

The card on the top left is from the project life baby boy mini kit. I cut the giraffe on my silhouette and the baby feet paper is from the DCWV stack and I printed  the hello sweet baby from an Ali Edwards Digital kit

When I cut some items out, I love to use dual sided paper so on the other side it can show. Loved the pattern of the red and mint green.  There is a 5 x 7  pocket protector in-between these two pages to slip a bigger pick or item here.  The bottle card I cute out on my silhouette as well as the sweet baby label.

Month 3 has a card I printed from Ali Edwards Digital kit- Baby and Title Journal Blocks
I added the month on each page somewhere either with printing it on a card or chipboard letters or stickers

Month four I utilized various project life cards I have received in my monthly kits leaving two slots open for pictures

I loved the little clouds on the card.

On the back I added a daily routine card and a little star banner

The fifth month I used a chipboard letter on a banner sticker and card
for two different kits.  On the back I cut out a star frame and added 
the word love to a project life card.

Month six was just a couple of punched cards along with a card from an old kit with 
the word smile on it.  I am sure by six months there will be lots of smiles.

7 months has a cut out label and a punched orange card that I sewed a border of stars.

8 months title is a frame I made in silhouette studio and another card made with the dcwv stack.

The backside has some more cut outs and a cute card made with the DCWV stack.
On the right is a Polaroid frame with letter stickers and a heart cut out frame.

11 months is a card I made in photoshop and on the top another project life card with an adorable sticker cut out from the DCWV stack.

12 months is a card made with Ali Edwards Hello today kits and some letter stickers and story handrawn journals digital kit.  
Below is the last page with cards punched from the DCWV stack and a small envelope for mementos.

I love the simplicity of the kit and hopefully the ease of use.  It leaves a lot of room for customization and personalization of the mama to make the book her own.   It doesn't take up a lot of room and with just a pen and photos you book could be done but it also leaves a lot of room to add items and make it  yours.  

Now off to sewing some more burp cloths....

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