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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sometimes I Make Things: Felt Rosette Flower Pot

Again, my cube needs some love.  In addition to the arrangement I made yesterday, I have a new little jewel to add to my desk.
How adorable, you say?

Why yes, of course! Simply adorable!

Easy peasy & cheap!

One flower pot (less than $1)
styrofoam ball ($4) - I know, they're such a rip-off!
9 sheets of felt - $3
Stick pins - Free (already had them)

Heck yeah! $8! (would've been $6 had I remembered a Hobby Lobby coupon..darn it!)

To make the rosettes, I simply take a felt rectangle (1/4 of the felt sheet) and cut into it like a spiral (think cinnabun). Start from the center and wrap them around.  Then, I use stick-pins to attach the flowers.  I'm sure others would use hot glue, but I change my tastes frequently, and I'm sure I'll get sick of the orange/fuschia combo at some point and want a different color scheme.  At that point, I'll simply pull out the pins, pull out the flowers and use some different ones!

Happy Sticking!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sometimes I Make Things: Felted Wool Flowers

I apologize for the MONTHS of not posting.  A lot has happened.
I got a job.
I graduated.
I got a different job.

I have a GIANT cube and it needs some love.  Last weekend I found enough time to sew a lumbar pillow cover for my chair because I'm old and my back hurts if I don't sit up straight.  It's orange and white and p-r-e-t-t-y!  I'll try to snap a picture next week.  Next up on my list: Something pretty for my LARGE expanse of desk area.  I am NOT a packrat at work, and I throw things out/recycle all the time.  Translation: I have a lot of open space, DYING for pretty stuff.  And, althought I technically do have a window, it is a skylight and that's all I can see: sky. 

I need some nature.

Nature's expensive. :(

So I made some unnatural flowers from natural materials.  Huh?  Let me explain.

Felted wool beads!  Aren't they adorable?

I understand that they don't really look like any sort of flower.  But hey, they kind of echo a flowery-type thing, yes?  Ok thanks.

Wanna know how I did it?

Ok, but I'll tell you right now this is NOT a tutorial.


So, I found these adorable little felt beads popping up all over blogland and just HAD to make some of my own.  So of course I went out and bought four ounces of merino wool roving.  I want to guess that I probably used 25% of that on this project.  Which is unfortunate.  Unfortunate because, I have found that I HATE HATE HATE making these annoying little beads.  They take forever and my hands get soggy and wrinkly.  Gross.  From now on, I am going to buy undyed pre-made felt beads on Etsy.  They're barely more expensive than buying the raw stuff, and they look TONS better than these ones I attempted.  If you would like to buy some, I would suggest trying here.  Lemonn's prices seem to be the most reasonable, for a great product.

BUT, if you decide you still would like to attempt making them after I've told you why not to, then go ahead.  You can find a tutorial on how to make felt beads from roving here.

So anyway, to the directions.  I was planning on making 30 felt beads, but gave up at 27 and decided that was probably enough.  I told you.  I hated making them!

So I made 27 balls.  I died them in batches of five, playing with different colors and water/dye ratios with RIT dye. That part was fun :D

I then stuck them on cheap grill skewers.

When I tried arranging them in my vase, I realized that the whole all-the-same-length thing looked awful, so I trimmed some to get some variety.  Also, I'm not a floral-foam person, so I opened my kitchen cabinet and pulled out those year-old dry black beans.  Easy peasy!

That being said, this was fun and easy, but next time I'd do it with premade, undyed beads and just dye them myself.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll be ready for some new colors come Christmas ;)

Price Breakdown:
Vase = Free (found it in my newly-acquired desk) but otherwise, $1 at a thrift store
Skewers = Free - they've been hanging out in our drawers since before we moved into this house (over two years ago...) but otherwise, idk $1?
Wool Roving = $10 for 4 ounces, and I used one, so $2.50.
Black Beans = Free, or $2

Total = $2.50!  (Or $6.50 if you are not a hoarder like I am)

Will look lovely in my cube, don't you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes I make things: Valentine's Yarn Wreath

Finished it this morning!

Happy Valentine's Day!

New Treasury for V-Day!

I just happened to have made this V-Day treasury...and you should check it out!  I'm really excited!

V is for Valentine's!

featuring these pom-poms, by pomtree, among other things:

How much do you just want to hang these all over your house?  I DO!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Things I might've ordered...

I've lost eleven pounds in 2011!  Yay!  And this means Andres has to give me $100. 

He wanted me to be motivated to be healthy, so we agreed that for every pound I lose, he pays me $20, in five-pound increments.  I was stuck at nine pounds for about a month (!) and I finally broke to eleven!  Yay!  So...I have not received my $100 yet, but I definiately have spent it...

For those of you who read my post from yesterday, yes, I did go to Boston Store and I did buy the exact same pants as my other ones, but it's funny how different they look, just in the fact that they're new.  1.  The color is sooo different because they haven't been washed a hundred times.  2.  They're tighter because they're not stretched out after two years of yo-yo dieting.  3.  No giant hole in the inner thigh.  Sweet!

They were $40, leaving me another $60 to spend.  And let's be realistic.  If I was going to be motivated to lose weight and had to spend the money on bills, some motivation that would be...So, I spend it on new clothes!  (Which is how I spent the last $100 as well).  With $40 jeans, I had $60 left to spend, and voila!  An e-mail from Express!  $15 off a $30 purchase!  What luck!  Here's what I got:

Heck yeah!  $12!!!

My absolute FAVORITE tank tops...None else three of them, for about $10 each...YEAH!

$12!  (And it sparkles!)
You are so jealous of my mailwoman.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Need new jeans!

I realized yesterday that I have ONE pair of jeans that I actually enjoy wearing...and they have a GIANT hole on the inside thigh.  Funny story on that one...

They're my skinny jeans, and always the first ones to get tight if I gain a little weight.  (I'm talking 2 pounds...I'll know...and they'll cut off my circulation.)  I decided to wear them the day after Thanksgiving.  They were all tight and such from being in the wash, so I did the "I'll just squat down in funny and inappropriate ways to make my jeans stretch out" dance.  And apparently my leftover Thanksgiving Peruvian food didn't appreciate this, and decided to RIP my favorite jeans.  Loudly.  :(

But I've still worn them!  I want to buy the exact same pair, and I'm afraid that I won't be able to find them to my satisfaction, so I've been waiting...Well, the time has come, when I realized yesterday that the only other pair of jeans I wear regularly are now a bit large.  Several problems with this:
1) Saggy ass.  I'm sorry.  I'm chunky, but I have a nice ass.  Saggy ass is never ok.
2) Weird crotch things.  When jeans don't fit right, they get all bunchy and stuffy in the crotch.  Yesterday I was wearing them and realized that they make me all funny-looking when I'm sitting and standy, because the button sticks out way far, because they're too big to be held up on their own.  Dumb.
3) When pants are too big, they hang low...Butt crack is never ok.  I pride myself on having a big enough butt to hold up my pants sans belt.  And belts are just another reason to forget to zip.

So,  have I located my replacement jeans?  Yes, of course I have!  Here, at  Last time I bought them at Boston Store, and I will probably look for them today, but they aren't listed on the website...All is not lost though, as Boston Store's website sucks.  So we shall see!  And maybe, I'll just get an EXTRA pair too! 

Unfortunately, I am tall, and it makes the acquisition of pants difficult.  Poop.  Anyway, here are the loves of my life:

On sale for $40!  F that shipping...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I made another treasury...

Things my prince should buy me...

featuring this business card holder by LAGlass:

Sometimes I make things - Cupcake Liner Wreath

I've been in a nest-y type mood lately, and decided that my front hall needed a Valentine's/Springish wreath to greet guests.  This is what ensued:

See, isn't it just so sweet?
 I started with an 8-inch foam wreath (from Joann's, though I've heard you can get them at the dollar store for cheap), took plain white mini cupcake liners, folded them in half and in half again, put a small pin through them, and added them one by one until the wreath looked like this!  I did tie the ribbon on right before I finished that section, so the ribbon is completely attached.  I'd say the entire project took me between one and two hours.  Not too shabby!

Emily attempts homemade frosting...three times...

On Tuesdays, I watch my 3-year-old niece, Jayde.  It's kind of become normal that she and I bake together on these days.  It gives us something to do!  Last week we made mint chocolate chip cookies, and I sent most of them home with her.  Today I thought it would be fun to make red velvet cupcakes, and decorate them with Valentine's Day hearts.

When grocery shopping last night, I totally intended to make them from scratch and had the list of ingredients and everything.  But, the boxed mix of red velvet cake mix looked so I switched to a box and premade cream cheese frosting.

I made the cupcakes this morning, and all turned out fine.  I made exactly forty (although there are now 38 ;).  I pulled out the candies and went to grab the frosting, and Alas!  it never made it home :(  I actually checked my Wal-Mart receipt, and it's not even on there, so somehow it must have gotten left in the cart.

Normally, I would just hop in my car and drive the two blocks to the pig and buy another jar.  Unfortunately, I have no booster seat, so no way to drive anywhere with Jayde.  And I can't exactly leave a three-year-old at home alone!

I went to Martha Stewart's website to find frosting recipes that I could make with all the ingredients I have.  I couldn't do a cream cheese, because I have no cream cheese.  I decided to start with a 7-minute frosting, for which I had no corn syrup.  I found online a recipe for corn syrup substitute!  What luck!

I don't think I made corn syrup...I think I made some sort of crazy hard molassess type thing...absolutely disgusting.  Jayde actually asked me if I was making the frosting black...

But, I attempted to make the frosting with it anyway, and when I saw how disgusting it was, I had to throw out a good deal of sugar and time.  Poop.

Next attempt, buttercream frosting!  The reason why I didn't choose this first was that the amount of butter used in it seemed terribly disgusting.  Six sticks!  Eww!  But, I did have ALL the ingredients on hand.

Except that unfortunately, I neglected to read confectioner's sugar, and used regular sugar instead.  You can imagine that my frosting was neither creamy nor delicious.

I do have enough butter left to try a second time at the buttercream, and since I do really have a good deal of confectioner's sugar, I try half a batch of the buttercream.  I have all ingredients together, and what turns out to be a yellow powder.  Yum.  Wouldn't you just want that on my delicious cupcakes...

So, I have thrown out three attempts at frosting, and will no longer attempt making frosting at home.  I will simply wait for my sister to come pick up Jayde, and she and I will frost the cupcakes tomorrow.  For now, my cupcakes will continue to look like this:

Monday, February 7, 2011

I made another treasury...

In honor of Women's Heart Health Awareness day last Friday, I made this treasury just now:

Red is for Women's Heart Health

featuring lots of cool red stuff including these adorable acorns by Morado:


I made some treasuries!

I go through spurts on Etsy...some weeks I cannot wait to get new items up, and others I don't want to look at anything on the website...I was featured in a treasury on the 5th, and since then I've made two of my own!

My Isabella necklace was featured on awoolgatherer 's treasury, <3 H O T P I N K <3

And these would be the two treasuries I made:

February Birthday - Amethyst

featuring this ring, by louisagallery, among other beautifully purply items...

and in celebration of last night's Superbowl Game (remember, I am from Wisconsin...)

Superbowl Champs!

featuring this onesie, by HappilyHomeSewn

(I might just be tempted to buy this for fetus Laubenstein, my upcoming new niece of nephew...
My sister is due in August after all...)

But you should still actually click and view my treasuries to see many more fun items!

Sorry about the hiatus!

Hello all!

Sorry it's been such a long time since I've posted...last semester was a BEAR and I definitely took advantage of my winter break...and did about absolutely NOTHING!  It was wonderful!

What have I done lately?  Well, I've been making jewelry like crazy...I'm actually running kind of low on supplies, and I was thinking, in the season of inventory checks, maybe I should try and run my inventory as low as possible and then actually find out what I'm worth?  Sounds like fun, eh?  So I'm only buying stuff for custom orders...we'll see how long I last before I crack and order several hundred dollars worth of stuff from China.

I did an open house in January, and it went wonderfully!  I'm having another this coming Friday, so anyone in the area should stop by!  And don't feel bad; you definitely don't need to be pressured to buy anything.  You could just come and have a good time!

Anyhoo, the big news in my life currently?  I'M PREGNANT!

Haha just kidding.  Wouldn't that suck!

For serious now.  I auditioned at UW-Milwaukee on Friday for their graduate program in voice, and I'll give you the longgggg synopsis of how it went.  Since I've already given the longgggg synopsis to several people already, the next time someone asks, I'll just direct them here!

My application was completed before January, so I was allowed to audition for their "early" date, which was February 4th.  I never heard back anything until ONE week before the audition, giving me a schedule of the day's events.  I would have an orientation from 8:30 to about 9:30, a theory and piano placement exam at 1:00, and my audition at 1:55, which I had to prepare five selections for.

Thursday night, while I was studying for the theory exam and selecting my piece for the piano proficiency exam, I read on the review sheet that the exam should take approximately 2.5 hours.  But my audition was scheduled fifty-five minutes in!  My point?  I slept shitty on Thursday night.

Friday morning came.  My parents came with me, because when I'm nervous I revert to the scared fifteen-year-old who wants to be independent, but also wants my parents close by to help me...  It was a good thing they came along, because it took Dad about a half hour to find a parking space.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't want me to go to UW-M on that basis alone.

So after the orientation (which was mostly for undergrads) I asked someone about my scheduling issue, and he told me that my exam probably won't take that long, and if I'm not done yet, I should just leave, do the audition, and come back.  Not exactly the mind you want to be in during an important audition, no?

I later talked to another graduate applicant, and she told me that she had the same scheduling issue, but she talked to someone else, and he told her graduate students don't take the placement exams until August.  Would have been nice to know!

So my audition itself went ok I think...I sang decently...screwed up my French a bit, but I covered well enough that either they didn't notice or they gave me good bonus points for my faking-abilities.  You need to be able to fake it...

But the interview was strange.  They asked me what I'd like to do after I graduate, and I said that I like doing everything and would be happy doing almost anything in music.  I told them that I like teaching in a studio settting, teaching in a classroom setting, and also the work I've done with the SSO.  You know, performing and also being in the office type stuff.

I was feeling pretty confident until this point.  I asked them if they had any more questions for me, and one said "I just want to make sure that you know that our program is for people who are planning on pursuing professional careers in performing, either in a recital setting or opera setting."  And I was thinking, "Umm, would I have applied for your performance degree if I didn't like performing?  Really?"  But I think I covered well by saying that, Yes, I do enjoy performing...I guess the reason I was talking about teaching so much is so I get an assistantship and a free ride!  Prof. Herrick thinks maybe my business degree is freaking them out.  I can just imagine someone is thinking, "Oh, she has a back-up plan.  She must not be serious about performing.  If she was serious about performing, she would just perform and not do anything else."  Umm, it's kind of impractical to think that way, and frankly, I was going to be in school for five years with an education degree anyway, so I figured I might as well get a different practical career.  Helloooooo opening my own studio?  Duh!  Anyway, I ended the interview by telling them that I love going to school and could go to school forever, and that one of my life-long goals is to get my doctorate.  I think they liked that.  And another interviewer did kind of cover for me by saying that almost everyone ends up teaching in some degree, even if they are professional performers.  I should have just said "I want to do what you are doing right now."  Enough said.

(And I wore a red shirt for Women's Heart Health Awareness Day.  None of them were wearing red...)