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Finished Dress

Posted by Hen on February 12, 2012 in Sewing |

In a previous post I mentioned that I decided to do this dress as my first sewing project on my new sewing machine. Well, I finished it last week! :D Here it is:

Big Buttons Dress

While working on it I began thinking that perhaps the yellow pattern I got wasn’t the best choice – it looked so much better in the store than it did once I started sewing. But its still cute (reminds me of doll dresses) and looks nice over white leggings. I think I want to make a second one but with a brighter color for spring. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it though (I get bored of patterns after doing it the first time).

The dress took me much longer than I expected! Maybe it’s because I’m not used to using a sewing machine. I also ended up taking it apart and resewing after trying it on the first time I got the zipper in. I realized it was just a tad tight and I should have perhaps used 17 inches as my shoulder measurement instead of 16. It wasn’t tight enough that I couldn’t wear it but I knew that if it wasn’t comfortable then I would never wear it and it’d just become a waste of cloth. So I took apart the darn thing to let it out an inch and now it fits great. Taking it apart also gave me the chance to serge the seams between the top and the skirt (which I had forgotten to do before putting on the zipper), so I guess it all worked out.

By the way – I love having a serger! I never knew such a thing existed until recently. It made my dress feel so nice and complete once I was done. I was so proud of the neatly serged edges on the inside of my dress that I took a picture of it lol.

Serged seams!

On another note, I’ve decided my next sewing project will be a quilt! I’ve seen so many on Pintrest that I want to try! At first I was just going to do boring squares but then saw this quilt along and loooved the kaleidoscope look. It’s not quite so boring as just squares and I got quite a few ideas going through the Flickr group associated with the quilt along. I’m just not sure if I want to use fabric I already have or go and buy fat quarters from Jo Anns or Walmart (which has a smaller selection but is 50% cheaper).

I figure I will start soon though. I have a friend coming up to stay for the weekend in March so it’d be nice if I could let him use a real blanket instead of the Snuggy I usually give him lol! I think the only problem is how I will wash it at the end. I have one of those half sized stacked washer/dryer combo things and I highly doubt the quilt will fit in the washer once it’s done. I’ll have to find a laundrymat somewhere outside my area since there are only apartment complexes around here and they all have onsite or in-apartment machines.

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Hobbes Update

Posted by Hen on January 29, 2012 in Knitting & Crochet |

Just a quick Hobbes update. He’s coming out pretty well. I ended up ripping out his stripes twice because I’m not very good at color change. Then ripped out the bottom of his head once because I wasn’t paying attention and missed some rows. I guess it wouldn’t have made too much of a difference but I can be a bit of a perfectionist about these kinds of things.

Hobbe's head

I have to admit, it feels a little weird having his head sit on my desk though…

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Crochet Hobbes and No Poo Update

Posted by Hen on January 26, 2012 in Knitting & Crochet, Paper Crafts, Sewing |

So I’ve finally stopped being lazy and started on a new craft project. I found this awesome tutorial on how to crochet Hobbes from the Calvin and Hobbes comics! You can find the pattern here. I’m being cheap and just using Red Heart yarn which isn’t the softest but you get a lot for cheap (especially from Walmart) and I figure this way I can make more than one if I wanted. I just started last night. So far it doesn’t see too hard, though I think the biggest hurdle for me is not getting bored while making it (that tends to happen a lot with me and big projects).

Hobbes in progress

Over the weekend (when I got this yarn), I also made a new base for the cage of my rabbit. I used to use a rug I got from Walmart but she chewed a hole through it and I was worried she’d end up chewing the apartment carpeting. So no more rugs for her! Instead I got a piece of wood and some self adhesive flooring tiles from Home Depot. It was quite annoying that I had to pay for the whole wooden board (8 feet long) even though I only really needed half. I ended up just getting two pieces… just incase I ever need a piece of wood lol.

Momo's cage

I think the tiles are a bit too slippery for her. Bunnies don’t have padded feet like cats and dogs so they need flooring with some friction. I threw a towel in there for her for now but I think I’ll have to buy a piece of carpet or something to line the cage.

I also cheated on my no shampoo thing this weekend. Sort of. I used diluted dish washing soap to get rid of some of the oil. Just some of it. I was going home for Lunar New Years and didn’t want my mom making comments about my hair haha. I cheated a bit yesterday too. I decided to try making a paste of coconut oil and baking soda. I’m not sure why I thought to put (more) oil in my hair but I thought the coconut oil might be moisturizing. And it was! I used a bar of soap to wash it out after working it into my hair and my hair was really soft after. Of course I realized I may have ruined my efforts in trying to transition my scalp to the whole no shampoo thing…

My sewing machine also came back yesterday from repair. I am still quite pissed that it came broken (even though it was new!) but I’m glad to have it back and working. The guy who repaired it did what Singer SHOULD have done: left a piece of cloth with test stitches sewn in to show that they actually tested the damn thing. Now I gotta email Singer to get reimbursed for the return shipping… They told me they would pay for it but the guy at the warranty place said that they only do the warranty repairs and that I have to pay for the shipping back. Seriously, I am very unhappy with their customer support. It took the longest time for me to get a reply from them in the first place.

New Sewing Machine :D

Well anyways, I’ve decided this dress is going to be my first project. It looks simple enough and is mainly straight lines. I’m going to look for fabric this weekend. I figure I can wear a long sleeve shirt under it while the weather is still cold and then can wear it alone in the spring!

One last crafty thing before I go. Here’s an interesting paper heart fold I did. I found the tutorial on Pintrest here. I’m not sure if I followed the directions correctly (diagrams aren’t exactly super clear). But it came out pretty good:

Paper Heart

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Short turn to long trip to Michaels

Posted by Hen on January 16, 2012 in Health & Beauty, Knitting & Crochet |

So yesterday I decided to take a look at the closest Michaels in this area. I moved here at the start of summer and just recently got a car so I haven’t really been to any of the craft stores here yet (except for that one aisle in Walmart if that counts). I really shouldn’t have gone out (I had stuff to do around the apartment), but I thought it’d be a quick trip and I needed to go to Safeway anyways.

So because I’m horrible with directions and tend to only glance at maps going, “oh easy,” of course I got lost. For some reason I thought Michaels was on the right side of the street but it was really on the left. I did at least remember the cross section so I knew when I passed it and turned around. Although I still didn’t see Michaels I did find a Jo-Anns and a Target (yay! I LOVE Target). I got some nice sock yarn while at Jo-Anns since it was on sale:

Yummy color

I don’t really plan to make socks (though the idea does intrigue me) but I thought it might be nice to make fingerless gloves with. I have been wanting to make some fingerless gloves with a lighter weight yarn since my first set came out rather bulky and stiff. I figure yarn made for socks would be nice and flexible at the end. Plus the color was awesome. I don’t know why but I’m always drawn to greens and blues.

I did ask the lady behind the register at Jo-Anns where Michaels was and found it eventually. It didn’t have any of the stuff I was looking for though. I was thinking of trying this homemade deodorant recipe I found here but I don’t think a craft store is what I want. I probably need to go to a GNC or something to find that stuff. But I thought maybe Michaels would have beeswax or shea butter since they do sell candle and soap making supplies.

This Michaels felt a bit small though compared to the one that was in my college town. Or maybe it just felt small with the overwhelming amount of moms and kids in there. Anyways, I walked out without buying anything.

Onto my next stop: Target!

I love Target so of course I had to take a look. I also wanted to see if they had any jackets for sale (which… oddly they did not even though it’s winter) and I wanted to pick up a thing of e.l.f eyeshadow primer. I ordered Urban Decay’s primer a few days ago but I heard that e.l.f’s is really good too and only a dollar so I figure why not give it a try. I picked up a bunch of their other $1 items as well:

e.l.f products

I tried the primer today and it seemed pretty good. My eyeshadow was still at the end of the day. I liked the lip gloss as well but I have a problem with biting or picking at my lips so that didn’t stay on long lol.

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New Blog + No Shampoo Results

Posted by Hen on January 15, 2012 in Health & Beauty |

Well, here is another attempt of me trying to keep a blog. My last one got hacked due to a security hole in WordPress – though that could have been my fault as well since my old blog was so out of date with WordPress updates. So I purged the old WordPress files (keeping the database – why lose my old entries?) from the server and installed the most recent version manually. I wanted to use Fantastico to install it as it makes doing updates and stuff easy, but it kept thinking the old version was still installed and wouldn’t work. I guess the manual install is better anyways so I can keep an eye on things myself.

Plus I don’t trust Fantastico after I saw it was passing all the information I filled out (username AND password) through the URL! How unsecure! For those that don’t know, information such as passwords SHOULD NEVER be passed through the url – for login or account creation (you can check by looking at the url, do you see something like “&password=[your password here]?). It’s just bad practice. Plus they didn’t hide my password as I was typing it so of course my browser saved it as a form field I filled in… that reminds me, I need to clear the history in my browser now.

I suppose I could have wrote my own blogging tool but man, thinking of the upkeep sounds like a pain.

So I figure this time instead of trying to blog about my daily life (let’s face it – my life ain’t that interesting enough to warrant a blog dedicated to it), I’ll try to blog about something specific. In this case I decide to keep a blog to track various craft and DIY projects. I’m hoping that having this blog will encourage me to do more craft projects at home (instead of just bookmarking stuff for “later”) and that by crafting I’ll be able to keep a blog going for once. Afterall, I got all these domain names registered, I might as well use them for something right?

So one of the things I’ve been trying so far is this whole no shampoo thing. I’ve been at it for maybe a week now (or a week an a half, I don’t remember) and I can’t say I’m loving it. I’ve been doing the baking soda scrub (for washing) with apple cider vinegar rinse (for conditioning) and I can’t really say it’s as great as real shampoo. Though I have read on various blogs and sites that the first week or so can be rather “slick” (aka greasy, omgwtfhorrible) as your scalp adjusts to producing less oil since you’re no longer stripping all of it away everyday with shampoo.

So maybe I just need to tough it out a bit longer? I have to admit that today I was very tempted by the shampoo bottle in my tub. I just kept thinking how great it’d be to lather and condition until my hair is squeaky clean and silky smooth. I held back though. Why let my efforts go to waste? But it is especially disgusting to blowdry hair that is not grease free. I do have to admit that my head does NOT feel dirty though. Usually if I go too long without washing my hair (which I never do of course…) my head starts to get itchy and that doesn’t happen when I was with the baking soda. So I guess it’s clean in a greasy way? I don’t know. I am getting quite tired of wearing hats to work though. I could tie my hair up but I still worry! Hats just cover it all :)

So a few days ago I remembered that I read about someone using lemon juice to help with the greasiness. At some point during this week I had gotten a bit desperate for clean feeling hair so I tried it. Squeezed half a lemon into tupperware and worked it into the top of my head after the baking soda wash. It worked great! My hair did not feel greasy at all. Well the back part felt a bit (it’s where oil tends to build up the most so maybe I didn’t use enough juice back there) but other than that my hair felt pretty clean.

At the start of this experiment I also tried a lemon + cucumber mix to wash my hair in. I used a whole lemon and half a cucumber and blended it together and took this to the shower with me. Man that must have been the most horrible idea ever. It was not the easiest to get in or out of my hair and I think I spent another 20 minutes or so after rinsing down the sides of my tub to get the pulp out. I have a hair strainer so I had to keep emptying the pulp out of that as well so it wouldn’t block the drain.

Well today I was getting ready for my shower, making my baking soda and apple cider vinegar mix and decided to give the cucumber and lemon thing a try again. I knew lemon worked with the grease and thought maybe the cucumber would help condition. So I blended half a lemon and half a cucumber and added the leftovers from the previous mix I made. Only this time I strained that shit first! A coffee filter probably would have been great for this but unfortunately I’m not a huge coffee drinker and I use a coffee press anyways so I don’t have any filters. What I did instead was use a paper tower and ripped it into 4 sections and strained a bit at a time through them. I had to squeeze on the pulp to get all the juices out so I did “pop” a few of the tissues (luckily none of the pulp fell in the mixture). What I was left with was juice only – no pulp to clean out of the tub! I poured it into one of those glass jars that Japanese rice seasoning tends to comes in:

Strain that shit first!

I think the cucumber diluted the effects of the lemon though as my hair feels like nastiness right now. I am hoping that the greasiness will fade soon because if this is how the whole no shampoo thing feels forever then I don’t think I can do it. I really do love the feel of my hair when its all clean and smooth. What to do tomorrow though… make a quick trip to the grocery store for lemons? Try combing some flour into my scalp to soak some of it up?

Whew that was a long first post. Wonder if anyone other than me is ever going to read it haha. And nice! It’s awesome that WordPress lets you upload and insert images right from their dashboard now. I’m not sure if that was always there. I do remember having to upload the images myself to the server before inserting it when using older versions of WordPress.

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