Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Gleek-dom is complete

I have taken the next step to complete Gleek-iness.  Just this fall, I scoffed at those who obsessed about the show.  I could not understand why they'd want to listen to a bunch of teenagers sing these classic songs, rather than the artists themselves.  But I am capable of admitting I was wrong.  Which I was.  So wrong...

Glee has grasped my by the shoulders and pulled me in.  I cry, laugh, and awww in every episode.  I spend more of my time than I care to admit on this website, "WWEPW" and along with my dear friend, have designated Thursday as dress like "Emma Pillsbury day".

Needless to say, I was beyond impressed with the Christmas episode costuming.  I added more than one item to my wish list after viewing the clips.  But the one item I could not get out of my head was this:

I'm not sure what's wrong with me.  I've always categorized Christmas Sweaters as bad.  Same with Acrylic.  And yet, I couldn't get these out of my head.  I spent a few days trying to track down who made them resigned that they'd most likely be out of my price range anyway.

No luck.  So I did the next best thing. 

I made it.

I started with this base from Hollister.  (Side note - It was my first time in that store and also my last.  Not only was it dark and noisy, my sweater smelled like too much body spray when I got home.)

It was long, burgundy, but slightly cuter.  It's form-fitting and a thinner knit so I'm not drowning in it.  It's got sparkles on the buttons. (Umm, yay!)  And the cute ruffles on the pockets add both personality now and when I remove the trim for later.

For the decorations, I used white fleece I had lying around.  I wanted something that wouldn't fray.  I decided to skip the green underneath for fear that THAT was the deciding factor between quirky-cute holiday garb and get your "mom-jeans" I'm wearing a Christmas sweater territory.

The stripes on the sleeve were simple to sew on.  I used a black embroidery thread and long stitches.  I think the visible sewing gives it a collegiate feel. 

I spent HOURS longer than I should have cutting out snowflakes and I'm STILL not super pleased.  Snowflakes are so simple even kindergartners can do them, add polar fleece and it just explodes.  Goodness.  But I finally got an acceptable one and stitched it down.  Then to add a little bit of continuity, I added one on the opposite hip pocket.

It was a simple project and so much cheaper and easier than searching for the official version.  I think it's way more flattering than the original would have been as well.  And once the season is over, I can easily rip out the stitches and add the cardigan to my embarrassing large collection.

As a side note, the Glee episode was adorable!
Glee: A Very Glee Christmas

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

A thank you to all the brave men and women who have earned our country the freedom and greatness we take for granted.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Matching coats...

I swear getting Josie a coat was not my idea.  While part of me wants to be the doggy momma that dresses her up in little clothes and bows, most of me realizes she is a dog.  That being said, she sometimes gets cold and so I had gotten her a silly little jacket to keep her warm.  It was pink and little Josie must have complained to Grandma because next thing I know, she came home wearing a little red and grey fleece complete with racing stripes.  Now, we match.  And while it's kind of embarrassing, I think we both strut just a little bit more with our matching red coats on. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Samantha and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning

My morning started with my phone alarm going off at 5:35 precisely one hour earlier than planned.  I grumbled, reset my alarm for 6:35 and rolled over.  Only to wake up at 7:00 without the help of an alarm.  Ugh.
Turns out this is a result of Daylight Saving's time.  The iphone has been slow to sync up to the time change resulting in numerous European workers arriving at work late yesterday.  That was funny.  You know, until it happened to me.  Did I mention I am in the US and this should not have been an issue at all until NEXT week?!

My last step in the morning before actually leaving is taking my dog, Josie, for a walk around the block.  While she is by no means the cleanest dog, she is generally pretty clever about where she steps.  Meaning I've never had to clean dog poop off her feet.  That streak is now ruined, granted it was more of a "tap, nope, move" than an actual step.  Just to be on the safe side, I walked her for another 10 minutes just to get any possible residue that may remain off.  Bathing would have worked but would have taken longer and required drying and a change of clothes.  Not happening.

I then arrived at the transit center to discover that my bus left 2 MINUTES EARLY!  Buses aren't supposed to leave early.  In fact, one can assume they'll always be about 3 minutes late.  But my "One Bus Away" app confirmed it.  I had 15 minutes to wait. 

Thank goodness for Starbucks and sugar-free vanilla soy steamers.  Also, for those of you keeping track at home, I am ONE drink away from my gold card!  That sweet little cup of liquid protein turned my day around.  Mmm....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Post Halloween

I had a wonderful Halloween.  And am super proud of how the costumes turned out.  They were a hit.  I even won a prize at work for mine!

The first one is a costume I made for a friend to be Tippi Hedren from "The Birds."  She's a huge Hitchcock fan and loves the more traditional conservative styles.  Normally getting her to dress up requires bullying on my part, but this year, she jumped at the idea.

Hopefully I'll be able to get ahold of a picture of her IN costume.  M looked amazing.  She had the beautiful blonde hair and long lean build the costume required.  With the addition of an updo and a few crows, she was good to go.
The Original   
I was beyond excited about my costume.  After 2 months of work and 14 yards of fabric, it came out beautifully.  This is one of my favorite pieces yet.  I love the detail on it and I love the style.  Now I just need somewhere to wear it...

At home on my dress form

Before the department party

I'll work on getting ahold of some pictures from the actual party Saturday, just so I can illustrate the costumes in action.  Mine included a long blonde wig and Josie in a Mad Hatter's hat.  
Undoubtedly the best part of the costume was the size of my skirt.  It was so large that it took up the entire front seat of my car.  One of my co-workers even offered to help me go to the bathroom.  (Don't worry, I managed it myself.  A huge armful of tulle was involved.)  The petticoat underneath is a store bought tulle one with a huge amount of black and white striped fabric attached to both make it long enough for and more accurate to the costume.   It also looked fantastic when spinning.  An activity I engaged in a lot this weekend.  

And since Halloween is sadly over, it's time to look forward to my next favorite event of the year.
Candy Canes!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Speak Now

I'll admit it.  I joined the Taylor Swift game more than a little late.  It wasn't until a little over a year ago that I heard her song, "Love Story."  And I loved the way she wrote a song about a happy ever after fairy tale.  Those who know me, know my affinity for fairy tales.  My next song was "White Horse," which was especially meaningful to one of my friends at the time, so I was able to form a connection with that one as well.  So I bought the album and loved it.

Flash forward a few months and I started to discover more about her relationship with her fans, her style, and her interests.  So completely lovable.  When I saw that she had a new single out, I had to try it.  "Mine" took me a few listens, but I was singing along within a week.  Then "Back to December" came and I was loved it even sooner.  Finally "Mean" came and, of course, I loved it.  So much, I shared it with my girl scout troop for our journey on relationships and bullying. 

Last night I was lucky enough (meaning could not get to sleep) to be awake when her full album hit iTunes and like the fish caught on the hooks of her singles, downloaded it.  Cannot get enough.  She is amazing.  Her music is so sweet and charming, but it's not too much.  She still puts so much of herself into these songs that done by another artist may seem unoriginal.  But she has the traditional stories and then shows her spunky side.  My favorite example of this is "Better than Revenge."  So much fun.

Cannot help but love her. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shine My Shoes, Please

Newest find.  Bass's brown oxfords.  Love them. 

It reminds me of elementary school.  Except, now they're cute and I can wear them with something other than a plaid skirt.

Ahh, freedom...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Preventing Goosebumps

This time of year, I always get excited about the prospect of tights.  They enable me to wear my skirts and dresses year round, tone down dresses too bright for work, and add an extra layer of color.

Each year I pick up my basic blacks and greys then try to add a few colors or prints in.  Last year it was a brown pair with orange and grey squares all over it.  LOVE them.  Still lack the nerve to wear them, but love them all the same.

I went to Macy's this weekend to scope out the new colors for this winter and found a pair that has changed my life.  It's by a brand called Lemon.  And they are called "brushed tights."  Imagine this.   A nice pair of opaque grey, black, or even navy tights, lined IN FLEECE!!!  It's not actually lined, but made from a material that is fleecy on one side and smooth on the other, similar to sweatshirts.  They are the warmest tights I have ever tried.  As soon as I put them on, my post-shower goosebumps went away.  They blocked the wind better than I'd expect and were a perfect darker grey. 

I'm in love.  The only problem is, I CANNOT find them online to order more tights and see what other colors they offer.  So in the meantime, you'll find me at Macy's.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I give up

So I kept waiting until I had time to actually update this and really write. But it's going on two weeks and still nothing.

My fashion design program has begun and I'm not really liking it. I can see where it could help me but I'm not sure I'm ready to just jump right in. However, I need to continue because Luly Yang is coming to talk in 3 weeks. Luly. As in my favorite modern designer. She's local and high on drama and vintage leanings. So excited. Feels like the biggest thing in my design "career" yet.

More recently I went on a murder mystery cruise with my friends. It was a blast. It gave me a chance to go all out. I wore vintage lace and fur. Loved every second of it. The interactive part of it allowed me to get my drama on. I love that kind of thing when I'm with my friends. Not in front of other people though. Goodness no.

On a less exciting note, I'm trying amazon fresh for the first time. Here's hoping it allows me to plan out my week's dinners and lunch better. That'd be great for my poor budget.

I'm working on taking better pictures to start posting up here.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sephora Palette

Completely overkill and yet, I want it so bad!

Endless Color Blockbuster Palette

So pretty.

Shoes Crush

For several years now, I have been in love with these:

Due to my insane lack of funding (allowance buys next to nothing!), I didn't get them.  But every time I look online for shoes, they come to mind.  I've kept an eye on Marc by Marc Jacobs ever since and they've done numerous versions, but nothing nearly as adorable or as nicely made as these.  There are plastic, patent, multi-colored versions, but none can compare.  This set is like stuffing your feet into a glam mouse.  Grey (silver) and 3d.

That's my story about the shoes that got away.

Stay tuned for the Chanel white/snakeskin Cambon flats chapter...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Conquering the Knit

Despite many years of sewing experience, I have always shy-ed away from working with knit.  But as I get ready to face my first classes in the upcoming fashion design certificate program, I've been trying to experiment with it.  My first project a DVF-style wrapdress turned out surprisingly well.

So when I found a sweatshirt fabric that I liked, I was no longer afraid.  I had a few ideas of what I wanted, but on an impulse, steered away from the tunic I'd envisioned and went with the "tried and true" wrap style.  Or at least I THOUGHT it was tried and true.  Afterall, it works with dresses, blouses, sweaters...

And I can't quite figure out why, but I regret that choice.  It fits great, is a form flattering style on me, and allows room for an extra bow - my favorite.  Yet there is something wrong about it.
It comes across to me as rather hip-hop.  And the only reason I can imagine for that is its form fitting nature.  In itself, the shirt is not too tight, but the way I see it being worn - skinny jeans and layered tank tops - adds up to a just too much.  So I'll have to try it when the weather cools down a little and see if I still feel the same.
And if I do, it just gives me a chance to make it something I really DO like.  Because I'm not much of a sweatshirt girl currently, but given the right, flattering style, I think I could be convinced.

So my second knit project did not go how I wanted it to, but that is not a result of my skill, but rather my design idea.  It'll teach me to slow down a little.  Which is a lesson I could definitely use.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I LOVE Halloween.  So much.  But generally my holiday consists of sitting at home, bullying my bff into a costume for pictures, and watching "scary" Disney movies.  It's kind of sad.  (I love your company, Meghan, but...)
This year is different.  This year, I get to be part of a party with some of my closest friends.  Most of them are as excited as I am.  We began planning weeks ago.  And have set menus, decorations, and chores already.

Obviously, this means my costume HAS to be fantastic.  Not a problem.  I love the chance to do something dramatic.  Sewing is my favorite hobby.  And I tend to obsess over things to the tiniest detail.  This year I entertained several ideas: Edie Sedgewick - fun makeup, Olsen twin - to easy, oversized sweater, coffee cup, Max from Where the Wild Things Are - get to roar, and Alice in Wonderland.

Despite spending months working on blue bridesmaid dresses this spring and summer, I cannot get enough of that pretty blue dress.  I sketched out numerous ideas from Disney style little girl to reusable blue dress with trimmings, but I kept coming back to the dress in Tim Burton's Alice. 
I love the way Colleen Atwood worked the black bits in.  It makes the dress darker and modern despite it's Victorian style.  She keeps the whimsy with her animal embroidery at the bottom.  And the layers of sheer fabric just take my breath away.

My costume may be lacking in originality this Halloween, but I am loving the chance to recreate it as closely as possible.  I love this dress and see this really as my only chance to wear it.  In another few years, people most likely won't recognize it as part of the Alice character.

Despite my head-start of 6 weeks, I imagine I'll be working right up until the day.  After putting in at least 10 hours, I have gotten maybe a quarter of the way through the skirt.
Umm, rotation much?
This is the finished side.  The other half of the skirts is still hanging in pinned on gather.  Following this, I still have to hem both layers and embroider.  Then onto the bodice.  That'll be easier, but more detailed.  It's done with princess seams, layered sleeves, and piping.  I anticipate MANY small pieces that won't look done until it finally is.

Despite anticipating all this work, I am so excited.  I love the idea of this dress and cannot wait to get to wear it even if it is just for a night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pretty Reckless

Though a fan of Gossip Girl, I cannot say I've ever had an interest in Taylor Momsen outside of the show, but after endless promotion, I finally decided to listen to her group's new song, "Make me wanna die".

I was completely surprised! 

Not only was her sound far different than I expected - she sounded like a real, adult singer - but it was also something I liked to listen to.  She describes her music as far heavier than I generally prefer.  Billy Joel being my musician of choice. 

I'll have to check out some of their other songs.

Seattle Humane Society

One of the ways my parents give back is to foster dogs for the Humane Society.  We have them as guests in our home for anywhere from a few days to several months at a time.  It's one of the greatest things to see their lives change in the short time that we have them.  And while I don't live there anymore, I make it a point to stop by several times a week.  (It's a great way for Josie to socialize and play while I get a free dinner.)  So I get attached to them and while it's hard to give them up, it's nice to know that we made their waiting period that much easier.
Our most recent foster was Jack, a white little Lhasa.  He was a sweetie and got along with the "pack" really well.  Of all the dogs, he was easily to most laid back.  And all that fur made him an excellent cuddle companion.
He was one of the dogs to be shown at a Humane Society event yesterday.  Dad and I went to visit him and when we saw that he had yet to be adopted threatened to drive our car over to the shelter to get him ourselves.  However, by the end of the day, his little tag on the website said "adopted" and we could breathe with relief.  Because while we don't have room for every dog out there, it's nice to know that we changed one dog's life.
I wish Jack all the best with his new family.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Difficult Relationships

For my graduation several months ago, I received a beautiful sewing machine (Thanks M and D!), but there are times where I just get so frustrated with it.  At least once a month, we develop a tension problem.  User error, of course.  In the past, it has been fixed by re-threading.  Spool, bobbin...  This time, the problem is the bobbin.  It won't thread evenly and I am going crazy trying to fix it.  I thread it correctly for winding and it ends up uneven.  I slow down - it gets worse.  It has been driving me crazy.  Last night, after 2 seams I realized there was a problem when I went to try on the half of a sweatshirt that I had completed and I burst out of the seams.

I handled it quite maturely, though.  Rather than going with my instincts of tearing everything apart and staring it down (possibly including a few tears), I folded the fabric and turned off my machine and went to bed.  It can be solved another day.  Because when I start stressing is when I end up adjusting things that I don't need to.  And that just makes me more angry.

So the grand plan is to go back tomorrow and re-thread from scratch.  And it'll be kind of nice to have a day off.  Since the end of last week, I've been sewing non-stop.  First there was a dress to make for my first day of school, then a sweatshirt, and I've also begun my Halloween costume.  I guess the advantage of planning ahead is that I CAN take breaks rather than start yelling at the machine. 

On another note, just the idea of my halloween costume makes me happy.  I love the holiday and I never seem to have an excuse to go all out.  But this year, I get to throw a party with a few like-minded friends of mine and I could not be more excited.  More about my costume to come.

And if worse comes to worse, I can always buy pre-threaded bobbins.  

Hello Pumpkin

I've been craving pumpkin like no other.  This morning, one of my coworkers tracked down a muffin for me.  Despite its cream cheese enhancement and day-old texture, it's really hit the spot.  So I'll most likely be good pumpkin-wise until dinner where I can indulge in my homemade pumpkin soup.  At this rate, I'll be tired of pumpkin by the time it's actually generally available. 

As far as other cravings go, my mind has gravitated towards "above the knee boots".  I love the idea of a flat black pair over skinny jeans.  Not only does it save the annoyance of baggy knees that I get from shorter boots, but can you imagine the wind and rain protection as the weather gets worse?! 
I'm keeping my eyes out for a pair between $100-200. 

One concern I have about them is their modernity.  Are these boots too fashion forward for the office?  Though my workplace has no dress codes, and daily outfits vary from mom-jeans and t-shirts to dresses and heels depending on the person, no one really seems to follow trends.  Everything worn is quite safe.  And as practical as I think these taller boots are, they are also edgy.  Edgy and sexy.  Though they reveal nothing, they ARE encasing the leg in leather and drawing more attention. 

Regardless, I need to find another pair of winter boots, because the pair I have now simply cannot handle daily use.  (I've loved them close to death.) 

Fortunately a little shopping never hurt anyone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A little information about me

My favorite movie is Rosemary's Baby.
My favorite color is red.
I am obsessed with Alice in Wonderland.
But Star Trek is a close second.
I have two little pets, Josie and Grace.  Josie is a "schnorkie" and Grace is a guinea pig.  They are both outgoing, adorable, little creatures.  Josie is the bossiest dog around and Grace can chatter the day away.  I wish I could spend all of my time with them, but sometimes the whole work thing gets in the way.
My favorite time of day is early morning.  I'll admit though, on workdays, they can be hard to face, knowing the 8 hours of boredom that lie ahead.
I have learned that stomping my foot does not, in fact, help me get my way. 
Though a huge fan of the current change in seasons(summer to fall), it has sent me into a downward jeans spiral.  I seem to have forgotten what I wear in the fall/winter. 

That's it for now.