Wednesday, January 30, 2008

dropkicking

i did finish my t-shirt reconstruction monday. i actually had it done sunday but wasn't too happy with it so i went back and revamped it.

originally i used just the dropkick shirt with some plaid fabric i had in my stash. i know, irish and plaid is a no-no but i liked the combo so i went with it. i modified a dress pattern i also had. thought it would be best to use a pattern since i have no child to make sure everything fits correctly. what you see to the left is the original dress. it just looked too unfinished to me.

i ripped the top portion off and took one of my tops that was too small and went to work. i should have taken before photos of each. the top originally had four buttons on it. i cut it down, added the black binding around the collar and finally added the sleeves. i have a feeling the sleeves are gonna be too tight on a real child. but i'm satisfied with my first attempt at t-shirt surgery. at least it looks wearable.

when i first brought it down aaron thought it was for me. i may be little but definitely not that little. i can understand why he thought that. i've been wearing a lot of babydoll looking tops and i'm sure if the arm holes were bigger i could probably sport it. next t-shirt to go under the knife: a misfits long sleeve. it'll have to wait til we get back from san antonio.

i've been meaning to post this and just now got around to taking some photos. a few weeks ago i received a surprise package from angela. she did another altoid tin for me.

this one is holiday themed and it has a mini album inside. i haven't gotten around to putting pictures in it yet. luckily i have a ton of photos to choose from this year. it's adorable and i'm super impressed with her scrapbooking skills. thanks again, angela!! maybe we need to move on to bigger things to swap/trade?!?

we leave for san antonio tomorrow. not sure what type of internet access i'll have so there might a slight lag in posts. i'm super excited to see everybody from the patch, especially jamie and adrian. i miss my mom group, okay, one mom, one dad and me! i also get to see jennaya tomorrow! we're flying out of greensboro, so we're gonna stop by and see her and the fam. double yay! yeah, i'm giddy with excitement!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

video documentation

video

my manly man

i suggested to "sometimes aaron" he should post a blog about his christmas hike last month. "a what?" "a why?" "a who?" <--this may be slightly exaggerated. in other words, "i won't be posting anything anytime soon." just like his refusal to get a myspace page, "the day adam earl get's a myspace, then maybe, i'll consider getting one." so no myspace. he hates technology, always and forever. which means i'll be posting on his behalf.

the back story: aaron's friend, tom, goes on a hike every christmas holiday with a bunch of buddies to the outskirts of washington state. they've been doing this every year for the past 15 years. from what i've been told they get rowdy, drink, smoke, wrestle, not shower, etc. basically they're men behaving badly in the wilderness. i'm not sure if females can go, i'm not sure they'd want to.

anyways, if you've ever been to the langei's abode you've seen group photos from every year hanging on their wall. well this year, tom invited aaron along. of course, aaron jumped at the opportunity. yesterday we got a disc from tom with all the photos from the trip. i may have to twist aaron's arm and have him write a more detailed description of the trip. i'll post some photos in the mean time. and after seeing them, i really want to go. not necessarily on this particular trip. but something similar.

very beautiful and untouched nature. i'm sure the photos don't do it much justice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

givin a hoot

my partner received today so i can post all the "owlie" goodness i made. i tend to go on a rampage when i have a specific goal in mind. what i made: a reversible tote with a wood grain pocket. i'm pretty proud that i managed to do it on my machine. matching owl stuffie to hang out in said pocket. an owl pin. also matches the fabric i used on the tote. a hand-painted tee. found a nearly new tee at goodwill and went to town. i planned on doing a more elaborate design but decided simple was better. i used a stencil i found here. a hand-painted i.d. wallet/coin purse. another thrift store find revamped. first time i've painted leather or pseudo leather. hopefully it lasts. i sprayed some clearcoat on it, but i'm not sure if that's gonna help. i'll have to research that one a bit more.

a fabric-covered journal. i had a real hard time parting with this one. i was soooooooo happy with how it turned out. i'm not a big writer, at least not with paper and pen, but i almost changed my mind when i completed this one. i attempted a scrabble tile pendant but learned i needed to decoupage/seal the top of the image before i pour resin over it. the resin leaked under the white making it look almost transparent. so instead i used it as a button on the journal. it's not a functioning button but it does give it that extra kick. i'm gonna have to wait til it gets warmer to work with resin again. it's more of an outdoor activity. it definitely needs plenty of ventilation. someone's gonna get the other projects i made when i worked on this one, but i'm not naming names.

a polymer owl pendant. still working with the stuff. this is one of the first non-food subjects i've made. not sure if i'm ready to branch out yet. it's just another thing to add to my never-ending list of projects to do. and finally the last items: stamped polymer clay thumbtacks. it's the first time i've tried stamping in clay. i used an owl button i have and made impressions in the clay. pretty easy. the only thing i didn't like: i used a circular cutter to punch them out and they lost their shape when i pushed them through. i had to mold them back into little circles. i might have to cool them in the fridge before trying to push them out of the cutter. another learning experience.

all in all, i was quite satisfied with everything i made. and my partner was happy with everything and that's all that really matters. to see more photos check out my flickr set. and all of these photos were taken before my lighting setup. so they have the yellow tinge to them.

i did finish my t-shirt dress. but i'll save that for tomorrow.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

something funny this day happened

before i forget. aaron and i headed to lowes to get a few home improvement items this afternoon. when we were getting out of our car there was a dog barking uncontrollably in the car behind us. i looked over to see what's got him all worked up. there's a truck beside him with a dog and a goat in the cab. yes, a freaking goat. i had to do a double take. at first i thought it was a deer but then it looked straight at me and i knew exactly what it was. only in the south would that be a normal occurrence. maybe not.

well lit

today i made my own little indoor light studio. i was having some difficulty/frustration figuring out why my photos had a yellow tint. especially when my subject was being blasted with light from all directions.

i'm a novice when it comes to macro photography. i assumed if i had a white background with lots of light it'd be enough. (that's what you see behind my makeshift lightbox) i took my first photos and the result is what you see to the left. the yellow is so bad that i can't enhance or mess with the levels to correct it. i started thinking maybe i can't have direct light on the subject that i needed to diffuse it somehow. i googled how to create a lightbox and found a great tutorial. made a tiny box just to see if it was the problem. nope. still yellow photos. i decided to hit up a photography forum to figure out what i was doing wrong. posted my dilemma and a few minutes later i had my answer. needed to adjust the white balance on my camera.

i was afraid i'd be reamed for asking such a basic question. but they were extremely helpful and told me how and where to find the and adjust my settings. the results were immediate. at least i can now adjust the levels to correct the background without ruining the photo. luckily i'll be getting adobe creative suite in a few weeks so i'll have photoshop at my disposal again. i've been going through software withdrawal.

shop construction--lighting setup: check!!

now on to the next step.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

x2

here's the second wrist cuff i made. it's pretty much covered from top to bottom with stitching. i just finished sewing a back to it to hide all the handywork. i gotta figure out how i want this one to close. i cut a slit in the back but it's not working as nicely as i'd like it to. now off to figure it out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

wrist art

here's the first wrist band i finished earlier in the week. mixed up all the new stitches i learned. added some buttons and presto! i did another, more complicated one but i'll have to add it tomorrow. want to get a good photo in the sunlight.

here it is laying flat. i'm a little disappointed with the picture quality lately of the camera. i usually take photos outside but with the weather being what it is, i've had to resort to indoor photo sessions and the lighting doesn't do anything justice. meaning, it looks way better in person. it probably doesn't help that we've been taking the camera on all our snow excursions. and it's been dropped a few times. i'll have to look into better techniques or invest in a stay-at-home camera.

this week i concentrated on working on a swap where the sendout is monday. yes, i bit the bullet and signed up for one again. it's an owl swap. i finished and mailed everything today. hopefully my partner receives soon so i can post all the "owlie" goodness i made. look for photos early next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

a rockin dress

after seeing this tutorial on craftster a few months ago, i've had it in the back of my brain slowly eating away, telling me i need to make one or two or three. aaron has a plethora of old band tees he no longer wears. so this is going to be my weekend project. i got some plaid fabric and the first sacrifice will be a dropkick murphys t-shirt. hopefully i'll having something to show afterwards. let's cross our fingers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

snow bunnies

yesterday we hit up appalachian ski mountain. we had decided to take a 10:45 snowboard lesson but didn't get our equipment rented in time so we took the 1:30 class instead. we had planned on taking the one hour lesson and then putting what we learned to the test for the rest of the afternoon. good thing it didn't work out that way. after taking the lesson we were completely wiped out. everyone kept telling us, if you've ever surfed, skateboarded you'll have no problem snowboarding. yeah, if you've ever done it with your legs completely backwards and duct taped to the board.

i think we did okay considering neither one of us had ever done it before. we had a couple of spills, nothing major, which was really surprising. our instructor had us running up the hill with board attached over and over again. it's not as easy as it sounds and we both worked up a sweat pretty fast. we did have our own instructor who gave us one-on-two attention, so that was nice. after an hour we were able to toe turn, heel turn, stop and ride up on a tow rope. it was good to get the fundamentals from a pro. after the lesson we were going to practice some more but we were too tired and decided to call it a day. i actually went to bed at a decent hour last night, in fact, super early 10pm.

we had a good day and i'm excited to go again. it'll have to wait til after san antonio. i'd love to go again this weekend but after seeing how crowded it was on a tuesday there's no way aaron's gonna brave the weekend crowd. he hates busy places, i don't know if he remembers what disney is like. he may be in for a shock.

video

Saturday, January 19, 2008

sneeze catcher

this week's project: tissue cozies. they're really simple to make and i can use small pieces of leftover fabric to make them. i've learned that i have to plan a little when making projects sans pattern. especially if i want to make any modifications, like adding a key ring. it took a few tries to figure out what i was doing. always a live and learn experience. hopefully with time it'll all become second nature.

i was thinking about adding credit card holders to to the checkbook design. not sure if i want to revisit that project so soon. maybe in a few months. i really need to keep a sewing journal of some sort. with measurements, steps, etc. i have been downloading tutorials and printing them out for reference, so that's a start.

we've been getting a little bit of snow. not much to write home about. we were hoping to get some sledding in today, but so far not enough to cover the little bit we got last week. we need to break in the super sled dad got us for christmas. we might have to save it for tomorrow.

we're hitting the slopes tuesday. first time to actually go skiing since we've been here. i'll need a refresher for sure. i might end up taking snowboarding lessons instead. i want to give it a go. although watching the people trying over christmas break, i have a feeling i'll be spending most of my time on my butt. you gotta start somewhere.

a little over a week before we head to san antonio for the AAD (american academy of dermatology) meeting. i'm so excited to go. i can't wait to see everyone and there's gonna be so much to do while we're there. TONS of pictures to come, i can almost guarantee it! i'm so glad it's in a warm place this year. i'll have to bust out the shorts that have been packed away for months now. we're even going to do a little geocaching while in town. jamie wants to try it and i'll need to help her get the hang of it. she's planning on getting a gps when they get back to washington state. aaron and i have found it's a fantastic way to see the area. and all the ones i've downloaded are along the riverwalk so it should be fun!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

sew original

today i hit up sew original, one of the nicer fabric stores i've been to. they carry the pricier fabrics that, of course, i love. after purchasing an abundant amount of sale fabric, i decided to make a impulse buy. doodle stitching. i'm infatuated with these cute, idea books. i've bought a few japanese zakka books and have my sewing bible (that i got freecycled). it's always good to keep feeding the mind's eye (i retained some college training). i'm still gonna use the internet, but i like having a hard copy to have for instant inspiration. and this one is full of super cute projects. you'll probably see what i mean soon. tomorrow i'll post this weeks craft of the week. goal for next week: set up shop. and i mean it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

entering a world of pain

i was just checking out gotshoo's site and saw his recent post about the lebowski experience happening in springfield this weekend. if we were there, we'd be all about it. aaron just bought the above t-shirt and is proud to sport it. nothing like having a huge image of john goodman on your chest to show your love for the movie. have fun shoo!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

getting a little work done

what do you get the person that has everything and needs nothing? a little upkeep. sookie, my mother, decided she needed a little work done. she's been casually bringing it up in conversation over the past few years. "what does botox do?" "how do i make my skin tighter?" "what can aaron do for these bumps on my neck?" etc. so this year we decided to satisfy her and get her what she really wanted...a little facial maintenance. you'd think the lady that wears bedazzled sweaters, three inch bubblegum pink platform flip-flops and "happy smoke" necklaces wouldn't care too much about her appearance. but she does, so we obliged.

here's some photos of what aaron and his co-worker, jill, did to her while she was in town. basically they filled the divot between her eyebrows and filled the lines between her lip and chin (1 syringe worth)...it's what makes her look like she's frowning when she's not. they also gave her some botox above her eyebrows and below her bottom lip. jill recommended filling in the space between her nose and lips, but that would take another syringe and more money. i honestly didn't think there would be that much of a difference. but she looks great. this was done thursday before they left and the last photo is a few days ago. about 2.5 weeks later. and yes her eyebrows, eyeliner and lipliner are all tattooed on. i guess getting tattoos runs in the family. crazy koreans.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

quoting movies


“I want something a little more edgier: graphic designer, mid-30s with a cool Asian girlfriend who dresses awesome and rocks out on the bass guitar.

“But I don’t want to be too particular.”

aaron and i went to see "juno" friday night. he wasn't too keen on seeing it in the theater. he thinks paying $17 should be saved for movies of epic proportion, which is few and far between. so he bit the bullet and obliged me. afterwards, we were both quite satisfied and agreed it was money well spent, at least for an evening of entertainment. it's a funny comedy with a lot of snarky one-liners. it's rare to have a female playing a self-confident role and she pretty much carries the whole movie. when the quote above was said...we both looked over at each other. she's basically telling her friend what kind of adoptive parents she'd like for her unborn child. we both thought it was too funny. i recommend the movie.

Monday, January 14, 2008

magical weekend

Hey Fans...Here's your chance to catch the Cardinals as they take on the Atlanta Braves at the Walt Disney World Resort!

This extra special Cardinals Spring Training package includes: Three nights accommodations at the Disney Port Orleans Resort or the Disney World Swan Resort with optional additional nights available, Game tickets to two games, March 9 and March 10, at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, Each guest will receive a 3-day Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper option. Ticket allows entry to one or more theme park each day during stay (Ticket excludes admission to water parks), Custom Cardinals sports merchandise package, including a deluxe travel bag, tee shirt, Cardinals Spring Training cap and team collector pin

yeah, we're going

Friday, January 11, 2008

check please

irina asked me to make her a checkbook cover when she was here a few weeks ago. she's getting a homemade birthday present from yours truly. i can't just make one, i made five to comply with my craft rule. experimented with a few different techniques. used a little felt and did a little embroidery to boot. i think i'm going to have to modify my rule to one completed project a week. it's a little more realistic and if i'm doing larger projects i can put a little more detail and work into it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

wii bought one

video
as you know by now both brian's household and mine got nintendo wiis for christmas. it was quite a surprise, neither one of us had any inclination we were getting them. i had sworn off video game systems after buying a ps2 for aaron a few years ago and he played it a handful of times. so far he's played every day. if there is any down time or nothing on tv (which seems to be all the time now) he plays wii sports. i don't know if it's because the games are more interactive than other game systems but the nintendo seems to be a better fit for him. one of the main reasons i like it...it makes me laugh watching how serious he gets when playing and how funny his gestures are. (see above)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

recycled christmas

as of this past weekend, all the christmas decor has been put away. so sad to see it all go. our house has tripled in size and looks somewhat barren now. it's the motivation i needed to get things rolling on interior design once again. i started to slack a little at the end of the year there. but one of my pseudo resolutions is to get this house looking more like a home.

this year we received a mad amount of christmas cards. and instead of chucking all the beautiful cards in the trash/recycling, i decided to reuse them and make them into holiday ornaments for next christmas. i found this easy-to-follow tutorial and set out to punching and scoring. i made three and couldn't be happier with the results. here's another idea on what you can do with old cards. i'm sure if you search long enough, you'll find many more things to do with them. the crafting bug is back.

i've decided to post progression photos of my face. the first one was taken monday evening. i had the peel done on saturday. aaron wasn't comfortable doing an aggressive peel on his own. he's a little out of practice, which was quite evident when he asked me how long we left the solution on. i think next time i'll have jill do it for me. aaron's been doing nothing but cutting off cancers and is a little out-of-touch with cosmetic procedures.

the second one was taken last night. the skin was starting to pucker and actually became quite uncomfortable and itchy. after awhile the lotion you apply just sits on top of the skin. no longer able to be absorbed through the crust. i'm really not supposed to mess with the peeling skin but it's really hard not to. it's supposed to fall off on it's own, but i decided to help it along a bit. probably why i have acne scarring in the first place.


the third was taken this afternoon. new skin visible. no longer looking too much like a leper. the thing about peels. they are a great way of rejuvenating your skin. that is, if you can tolerate the pain. but if you're thinking it'll get rid of scarring instantly, you're wrong. i've had this procedure done at least four times and i really haven't noticed a significant difference. it may work once if you have mild scarring, but moderate to sever may take more than a few sessions.

Monday, January 07, 2008

discussing your cycle

last monday we headed down to asheville to meet up with mark, danny and grandma westphal to check out the gingerbread goodness at the grove park inn. most of the houses had been on display for two months and they held up surprisingly well. it's unbelievable the things you can do with candy, cookies and other edible goodies. maybe we'll attempt one next year.

afterwards we headed back to boone. mark chirps, "how bout danny ride with aaron and susan ride with me?" okay. so i hop into the car not sure what to expect. pretty much spent the whole car ride chatting. mostly mark talking about him and his new lady friend, linda. an occasional mention of jane and then it finally rolls around to, "so what's up with you guys?" not sure what he's meaning i ask, "as far as?"

"grandkids."

so we spend the next half hour discussing our attempts, plans, cycles, etc. nothing like discussing your body functions with your father-in-law. now i know when and where danny was conceived. (aaron refuses to let me tell him.) how to make boy babies versus girl babies. and a few other words of wisdom/advice.

i almost got away with avoiding the "you pregnant yet?" questions as far as family was concerned this holiday season. mom only gave me a "maternity" shirt dress for christmas this year. no outfits or questions like last year. maybe we'll have something to report...but as of today...no bun in the oven.

the face of pain

well not really painful, but ugly looking. i let aaron give me a peel on saturday. this is actually mild compared to the last one i got. imagine this times 5. i'm gonna venture out looking like this today. i'm sure i'll get some funny stares. "poor girl, i wonder what the other guy looks like!"