Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween: Spooky Spider Edition.

I have such a love-hate relationship with Halloween. I love the candy (even though the free phase of this has passed for me, there are still Reese's pumpkins!) and the getting ready and all dressed up, but I missed the whole necessity of the slutty Halloween costume. HOW DO YOU NOT HAVE PNEUMONIA? I just don't understand when that happened and why it continues. And though this tries to clear it up (warning - not totally appropriate- you've been warned, Mum), I'm always disillusioned when every year I think I'll find something wearable only to be faced with swimsuits disguised as characters. And so I've been pretty resourceful with a black dress repurposed from my bridesmaid dress when I was in my cousin's wedding.

I'm in the too-big pink dress.
First I was a vampire. And this was ahead of the vampire obsession so I feel better about that.

And then I was Batman.

And now? Here's the inspiration:
From pinterest, with no source link. Gah!
The make-up comes after the costume though. I need a way to turn myself into a spider. I picked up two pairs of opaque black tights and a pair of long black gloves, both for cheap on Amazon. I also need the two-day shipping to make-up for my delay in costume searching. I started by cutting of the waist part of the tights and stuffing them with newspaper. I then stitched them onto the back of the dress with loose stitches (per my track record, I'd probably be wearing the dress again). I didn't want my additional legs to just be flopping though, so I took a length of thread and started at the lowest 'leg' and made a knot. I then threaded the line up through the second 'leg,' made another knot, and then took the string up to just below the wrist of the glove and made the final knot.

And now I'm bouncing back to the make-up. My roommate and I couldn't do the spiderweb across my entire eye without it looking clownish. We also kept breaking our eyeliners, which probably didn't help. But we finally got a web we both liked and agreed didn't look too wonky. 

And here's the final product! And my best spider pose, which could use some work.

My legs made it most of the night. One side came unattached from my arm after that final play in the Ohio State game (to beat Wisconsin!!), so it was okay. All in all, not too shabby for the dress that keeps on Halloween-ing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giving Back.

It hit me when I was leaving work at 9:45 the other night, and it was actually cold out. It always takes longer for fall to arrive here, compared to Columbus, where fall would have come and gone and I would probably be wearing my winter coat right now if I were still in school.

But I pass this man every day, and he has his whole set up under the horrible bridge with so much pigeon droppings that I speed walk through while holding my breath everyday. He never asks for money, and he never has a sign, but he's always there - sitting next to his sleeping bag house made out of black plastic bags, laying on these bags, or walking up and down the street. I can't even imagine. But I couldn't shake the thought of him sleeping in the cold on this first chilly night that I started thinking about everything I would miss if I were homeless. And this would be a horribly and selfishly long list, but at the core, I would miss feeling human. My skin crawls when my hair's overdue for a washing and I bite at my nails all day if there's a speck of dirt I can see through them.

So I bit the bullet and went to the most least-desirable place, Walmart, solely because I knew they had hand warmers. But I think I covered the essentials:

  • Snacks: granola bars, peaches, crackers, peanuts, chips, and chocolate - I would really miss chocolate
  • Hygiene: deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, antibacterial stuff, shampoo
  • Pleasantries: comb, chapstick, lotion, q-tips, gum, hand warmers
  • Medical: Tylenol,  band-aids, cough drops, Kleenex, water
  • I threw in a Starbucks gift card as well for some warm drinks and food.

I shoved it all in a bag that will hopefully brighten his day. My friend gave me this bag with my Christmas present one year after telling me how her Gram was trying to pass it off on her, only for her to decline and then get the bag herself at Christmas, so I like that funny memories are going with it too. I think Kay will appreciate that. And that's a very happy panda, so I don't know how that could not be a small pick-me-up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I vant to suck yer blooooood.

I love Halloween. And though my work schedule does not alway allow for me to celebrate the whole month properly, some decor was needed to jazz up the apartment and get us more in the spirit. I love some of the Halloween decor over at Young House Love, and they had just the solution!


A quick trip to Michael's lead to 2 taper candle holders (6.99 each), 2 white taper candles (1.29 each), and 1 red taper candle (1.29). Matches are needed for this quick project as well. It would have been cheaper to opt for the glass taper candle holder, which were about 1.99 each, but I thought the silver ones looked more haunted-house-like, they could serve more uses, and I just got paid yesterday and hadn't been shopping in a while and was just way too excited for this project.

I held the candles upright in a wedge between the flaps of a cardboard box, like so:

Then I held a match to the red candle and let its wax drip down the white for the perfectly spooky effect!

And doesn't it look marvelous?!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pillow Pop.

I made another pillow, as this seems to be the trend.

I mentioned that I have two pillows from my original bedding set that were left out when I got my current duvet and shams. I've had ideas for them, with many thanks to Pinterest, but was at a loss for the time to take on such a project.

I am now proud to announce that I have finished one!

I like that it adds some variety to all of the pintucks up in here.

The pillow's a little wrinkly, but I'm blaming my roommate's rogue iron. And I should probably blame my lack of iron. But really, her iron spits water and makes weird gurkling and hissing noises- totally intimidating, and totally worth deserting when it took me long enough to sew straight lines across the pillow that I didn't want to mess up. So I don't know what to do about that. I'll probably try to take it in the shower with me and steam it off, only to cause more wrinkles. Eh.

I took my inspiration from here:

I'm just now realizing that those circles aren't buttons.

The pillow was super simple and quite standard - two pieces of fabric, sewn on three sides and a zipper on the fourth. I'm quite proud of the zipper. It was my first attempt, and though it's not perfect, it's hidden and serves its purpose. It was a lot of trial and error, reading the sewing manual, but in the end, this post helped out the most. The lines across were done by sight. I drew pencil lines (after measuring, of course), then played around with the spacing. The buttons were put on the in the same fashion - laying them out, moving them around, sewing on one or two, then redesigning them because I had messed up and forgot their original formation.

But all in all, I'm quite pleased, and just have one more pillow to do - I just have to get through cutting all of the pieces for it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick and (mostly) No-Sew Pillow.

With the number of hours I'm working increasing, I needed a quick and easy project. At this time of the year, unfinished projects just make me more stressed out.

JoAnn's coupons always know how to distract me. Enter this fabulous fabric:

It's Waverly's 'Buzzing About,' and the picture doesn't do it justice. I loved the geometric pattern and the little bees. Turns out, there's dragonflies on there, too. I thought this pattern would match well in my bedroom, and in my general color scheme. I also just like excuses to buy fabric. I'm sort of a fabric and candle hoarder.



The tutorial is fabulous, and gave me an excuse to do more Amazon shopping (this pillow couldn't survive without pinking shears... and season 3 of Friends). The only thing I did differently was to sew the back of the knot, just because I was cutting it close of the length of my  fabric and didn't trust it that my pillow would jump out in his birthday suit when jostled a bit. And that would be awkward for everyone.

But I still have a dilemma.

These pillows, which came in my bedding set (which is now covered with a West Elm duvet and shams), have been hanging in my closet, waiting for their slipcovers. I've been bouncing a few ideas, but haven't fallen in love with anything just yet. Neither was up for the tie pillow because I want to have these covers to be removable, and to add a zipper to a no-sew pillow would just not be fun. Also, I've never sewn a zipper, so I'm avoiding it like a plague. So they're a-waiting on the drawing board.

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