Thursday, January 28, 2010

Home-Sewed Laptop Sleeve


I've been extraordinarily busy at work lately. Which I'm happy for - since I absolutely LOVE my job. Being the PR/Marketing person for a branch of doctor's offices doesn't sound like it would be a dream job.....but it certainly is to me, my friends.

It's been chaotic since our practice has merged with another and now we are officially a NEW practice all together - since January 1 2010. I've designed a new logo, announcement ads for the newspaper, written radio spot scripts, and put together press packages to send off.

In my case, I really believe just putting myself out there has served me more than I even realize. My job 'description' has surpassed any kind of outlined list of tasks you can put on paper. I walk through the reception areas in our different offices and my photos are framed and hanging on the walls. I have a make-shift photography studio in the X-RAY department. I update the employee "INTRANET" with my latest photoshop creations (along with the latest news trickling through the office-grape-vine)

I guess I realized that there is only ONE single pretty big negative about my job..............and that would be that the laptop bag they gave me for my computer is like tugging an oversized boat on my back. :-)


This girl can't be weighed down. With 8 different compartments, 20 different straps and formations, and the weight of the bag empty ALONE already being too much. I'm always traveling and moving around and doing things away from my desk......I need to be MOBILE!

After (as always) stalking all of my favorite DIY blogs......and coming across this killer tutorial on how to sew your own laptop sleeve.....the angels sang, and yeah, I {attempted} to do it.

This was a challenge.


I have never taken classes, never been trained or taught, haven't even read books or watched videos on how to sew (which I need to...) I've only READ THE MANUAL that came with my sewing machine and that is literally how I learned to make it work (along with distinct vivid memories in my head of watching my mom sew when I was a little one)

BLUNDER #1 - I sewed the velcro onto the WRONG SIDE of the sleeve. Figures I got perfect stiching too, right? Oh the pain....of having to cut it apart.



BLUNDER #2,3,4,5,6...........-----> - The stiching is uneven, the flap is lopsided, the finishing is less than stellar, and I can name a bunch of other nit-picky details that didn't turn out to perfection.........but the bottom line is - IT WORKS!!!


And I absolutely LOVE IT....love. love. love. I'll only (theoretically) get better from here..........................................maybe....hopefully. perhaps. EEEK!

What should I make next?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scrappies Dilemma

I am a DIY-design-blog junkie.

A. JUNKIE.

As in........21 messages on my phone, a pile of work to complete in the next 45 minutes, people stopping by my desk for a quick favor, 3 pages of to-do-lists (99% of the lines highlighted for importance........) yet...........my eyes cannot be peeled away the How-To on creating my own winter hat fashioned out of a crotcheted rectangle of yarn and a puff ball.

Anything I can make on the cheap that looks outrageously fabulous and endlessly interesting is something I am obsessed with.

With my new sewing-love I'm finding myself surrounded by tons of little scraps of fabric.....which I cannot bring myself to throw away.

WHAT DO I DO WITH THESE SCRAPS?!!?!?

Solution #1 {of I'm sure a million}
- Sew them onto homemade Thank You cards!





Friday, January 22, 2010

FOCUS


A freak stomach-virus has swept through my household. I stayed home in bed sick all day yesterday....dragged my butt into work today, although I remain half-un-concious and hazy....floating through the day under a slow cloud of Tylenol PM and general weakness.

I find myself unable to focus.......and have just been staring blankly at my wall for some inspiration. I have SO MUCH WORK TO DO!




Sunday, January 17, 2010

This Is Going To Be Dangerous

Well I'm happy to report I've been logging in some quality time with my NEW SEWING MACHINE. (a most lovely gift from my future mother in law)

I've read the manual front to back, scowered the internet reading sewing blogs and looking up how-to's.....I've become well acquainted with Jo-Ann Fabrics....and I think I single-handedly cleared out the soon-to-be-obsolete fabric department at my local Wal-Mart as everything was marked down to $1.50/yard. The poor man who had to stand there and cut yard after yard after yard asked if I was making a quilt - with all that fabric! I happily proclaimed NOPE - I DON'T EVEN REALLY KNOW HOW TO SEW!!!! :-) To which I think his reaction was bitterness and confusion.

.......but guess what, once I grasp what the hell I'm doing, I'll have plentyyyyyyy of fabric to do it!

At this point we all know I've made a headband, showcased in my last post. Well the options of what I can make for you haven't evolved TOO much.

I can offer you a too-small-pair of pajama pants that are awfully tight and tugging-off-to-one-side around the crotch......


{Using my Love's OLD pair of pajama pants even as a 'guide'.....and my pants just came out all wrong}



...or I can offer you a somewhat mis-shapen but well-intentioned clutch that can be dressed up or down.



ALRIGHT, I'll admit for only sewing 4 items previously to this clutch IN MY LIFE, I will say I am secretly {now, openly} proud. It's pretty sweet.

I've been through some terrible threading/tension mistakes

BUT stayed committed and would eventually get the hang of it....

WHAT SHOULD I MAKE NOW?

What's good for a beginner?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Blur Ends

TOTAL BLUR! So much has happened in December, my mind spins thinking about it all!

My soon-to-be husband purchased a new car (Toyota Yaris, now there is 2 in our garage! Luckily NOT matching.......because that would obviously be lame) This was not a completely voluntary action. It was necessary after his dinosaur from 1993 pooped the bed for the very last time.......THE MONDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS. With our job locations and schedules, there is no possible way to operate with one vehicle in the family. And I just had a quick deja-vu of last Christmas/Winter when 3 of his 4 tires POPPED within the span of two weeks.....and I had AAA on speed dial and was approaching stalker status with our tow truck guy. WE WERE OVER IT.
It happened like magic, browsed local listings online, printed out the one he wanted, went to the dealership and within a few hours he DROVE OFF THE LOT in it :-) JUST BEAUTIFUL......and meant to be. 2:30pm he's calling me in a ferociously bad mood.......8pm same day he's shreiking in excitement driving his new car off the lot. Best (& worst) day ever? Life can be so low....and turn so high at the drop of a hat.

As expected, the holidays (and in-turn, VACATION) has blurred by in a flash, I've been back at work for 3 days, wondering where the time went and wishing it could have lasted much much longer. Now that I have to be GETTING MARRRIED (!!!) it was our first official Christmas ON ROTATION.

This year was Christmas in New York, and next year will be with my family here in New Hampshire.......continue the pattern. Which I am happy for! I love visiting New York, seeing all of his family and friends, and MY friends who I still keep in touch from my time living there.

We celebrated almost a week early with my father.


Then the issue is - my mother's BIRTHDAY is CHRISTMAS EVE! How amazing yet terrible is that. I took her out to lunch to her favorite place - TOKYO STEAK HOUSE - where they cook on the table right in front of you :-) THEN later that night we went to her house for a yummo Christmas Eve dinner (yummo obviously because I MADE IT.........big lasagna!)

{Mom & Brother}

I have to see my mom on the double-whammy of special days.....so we ended up LEAVING to drive down to New York past 1am - on Christmas MORNING.

Didn't arrive in New York until 5:30am.....luckily my love DROVE......while I attempted sleep. I was going on a string of sleepless nights - staying up to get all of my big home made GIFT BASKETS together and all of my cooking/baking & wrapping.

I only got a picture of the CRANBERRY ORANGE WALNUT BISCOTTI I made :-) This is before cutting into diagonal slices and baking once again for the crispness. And here is the final PRODUCTS!!!

A SAVORY basket containing:
Homemade Sauce,
Whole Wheat Pasta,
Champagne (some baskets had wine),
cheddar popcorn, and a small photo album of pictures from the last year.



A SWEET basket containing:
Homemade Peanut Butter Balls (PB, sugar, rice krispy balls, dipped in melted chocolate!)
Homemade 7 Layer Bars (graham cracker, chocholate chips, coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk)
Caramel Popcorn
Homemade Cranberry Orange Walnut Biscotti
Homemade Peppermint Bark
Jar of Sugar Free Jam, for those wanting sweet without the fat!


These are........TERRIBLE photos. However, I WAS IN THE BLUR!

ANYWAYS........we arrived in New York at 5:30am Christmas Morning......and walked into a CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND. SO MAGICAL. Sean's mother seriously goes ALL out with her decor for the holidays, lights & garland strung everywhere, over doorways, on staircases, on the mantle, just everywhere (inside AND outside), the tree is always lovely, and there is no detail overlooked. She had left all of the lights on inside so when we walked in we would see - and be entranced. It was such a special moment.....gorgeous.

After admiring all of the decorations we immediately fell into bed and furiously tried to get as much sleep as possible before waking up for the big day! Before we knew it our noses woke us up.......to the smell of YUMMYNESS cooking in the kitchen! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, coffee, orance juice........mmmmmm. And of course THIS is the scene we stumble upon when walking out to the living room.



LOVELY. It was a perfect morning, visiting and catching up with Sean's parents, and his brother and brother's wife - who came over for the morning. SOOO. PERFECT.


{My Mom&Pop #2)

Perfect company, perfect setting, and such thoughtful cards and gifts were exchanged. This was to us from Sean's parents:

Since we've moved to New Hampshire, Sean has been wanting to snowboard. We worked as a sneaky team and got Sean everything he needs! Snowboarding Jacket, Snowboarding Pants......and of course an ACTUAL snowboard!!


I got an amazingly stocked CRAFT organizer with a craft-lover's DREAM ASSORTMENT of items! Tons of designer papers, professional cutters, designer scissors, punches, stamps, stickers. You name it, it was in there. And to top it all off.......my large gift was a NEW SEWING MACHINE..........I still interally scream inside when I talk about it. I've been wanting my own sewing machine for the longest time. Because......I DONT know how to sew. But I've ALWAYS wanted to learn. I even saved a big bag of old clothes (with sweet PRINTS that I still loved) so that I could cut them up and sew them into something new and useful. Needless to say I got some time earlier this week to sit down, read the entire handbook, and TEACH myself how to get going.........and I MADE A HEADBAND. Which was so exciting to me, people were probably worried something is off in my brain.



ANYWAYS

Christmas Morning was simply lovely. The doggie lay nearby staring out the window as we tore everything open.


THEN, Sean's brother and sister-in-law went back to their house to prepare a LARGE YUMMO CHRISTMAS DINNER -- we'd re-convene that night at their house, which was equally GORGEOUS and decorated to the NINES. In the meantime, we cleaned up, got showered and dressed up pretty, dabbled with our gifts, and had some delightful conversation. OH, and me and my Mommy #2 decorated a GINGER BREAD BOY.


We drive over to Sean's brother's house................walk in......and THIS. IS. THEIR. TREE.

the end. It's over 10 feet tall.

We all sat down to eat dinner, and the table was covered in jewel-tones feather trees.


{Soon-t0-be brother & sister in-law)

ATE a delicious meal......and like any other holiday, wanted to immediately roll over and lay down. My love.....



Before we had to drive back home to New Hampshire I got to see my bestesttttttttt friend from college, MELISSA. We lived across the hall from each other in the dorms in college, we went to school together, we worked together at the mall (Williams-Sonoma!) -- so we were always together. Living, working, school. She's one in a MILLION!

We sadly had to come home......hard to say goodbye to all of our loved ones in New York. However we were brought some MAJOR JOY with the task of DOG-SITTING for my cousin! Her mostttttttttttttttttt adorably amazing MALTI-POO, named Rags. He melted ALL OF OUR HEARTS.


And now I'm trying to savor the last days of having OUR OWN decorations up in our house :-) OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS IN OUR FIRST HOUSE! Soaking it up......


This is going to be QUITE the year.