Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Seat cushion tutorial

We bought this Ikea Jokkmokk dining table and chairs from our friends before they moved into their new house. The chairs were a little hard, so I decided they needed a little padding. I made these seat cushions for my dining room chairs two weeks ago, but never got around to posting the tutorial. I wanted a neutral color that would work for all seasons, so I picked this beige fabric on clearance from Joann.

Here are the steps...
1. Buy 2" foam (also bought at Joann), individually or by the yard
2. Draw lines on the foam to fit the chair and saw off the excess with a serrated knife (I used a bread knife)
3. Lay foam on folded section of fabric
4. Cut fabric, leaving a one inch border on the folded side (front of chair seat) and 2 inch border on the other sides
5. Sew sides of rectangle together using a 1" seam allowance.
6. Pin and sew the corners of the square
7. Sew strips of fabric for the ties. Turn them inside out and finish the ends. Attach to the the open end (back of chair seat), leaving a 9" opening for the velcro strips.
8. Pin and sew strips of velcro to the 9" opening
9. Turn right side out, stuff the foam inside and close the velcro opening
10. Voila, cushions are complete and our bottoms are much more comfortable :)

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On a side note, here's me as a pumpkin and Frankie as a Giants fan (I made his costume myself! Hope everyone has a fun and safe HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! I'm spending it sitting on the couch hoping for a few trick-or-treating kids. :D

Monday, October 15, 2012

Striped skirt alteration and intro to my new dog!

I've been looking for a black and white striped pencil skirt ever since my dear friend Nancy converted me to a stripes lover (she's obsessed with anything with stripes!). I've seen some at Forever 21 and Express, but the ones I found were either a little too pricey or a little too snug for my taste. I know bodycon skirts are in and can be really flattering, but I've found they make me feel like I'm in a sausage casing! 

So a few weeks ago I found this black and white striped skirt at Target for $7! Although this one was very, very large (I know I look like a weight-loss miracle!), it did fit the bill (I'm a sucker for a really good deal) and I knew it would be easy to alter it the way I wanted.  

I found a knit pencil skirt in my closet that I liked the fit of and laid it right on top of my inside-out skirt.

Then, using my water-dissolving pen I traced around my blue skirt. 

This probably would have been better if I had a white pencil for the black parts, but I did not at the time. So I just used pins instead.

 Then, I just cut the sides of the skirt around a half inch from the line/pins.

Since the skirt is striped, it's a good idea to use extra pins to align your stripes for the best results.

Here's what it looks like after I cut and pinned the sides.

Then I just simply sewed along the lines I created. I currently don't have a serger, so I just finished the edges with the overcast stitch on my machine.

And voila, here's my cheapo $7 striped skirt that does not make me feel (or look) sausage like. Now I'm ready for a night on the town! (I say this as if I actually go out on the town...haha silly me)

On a side note, here's a sneak peek at my dog Frankie! I've never had a dog before so this is such a treat. We just got him rather spontaneously yesterday outside of PetSmart at an adoption event put on by Stonecliffe Animal Rescue. They are a no-kill shelter located in Lemoore run by volunteers. They had tons of dogs waiting to be adopted. We opted for the foster-to-adopt program where you can basically test-drive a dog before adopting him or her. There are tons of dogs to be adopted out there and it is possible to find your new best friend from a shelter. I highly recommend it. We are in love with Frankie and surprised by how well-mannered and friendly he is. He is the greatest dog EVER and I am sure we will adopt him after the fostering period. Thumbs up for pet adoption! 

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Toe-MAY-to, toe-MAH-to and toenails

A month ago, the bf and I were talking about taking a vacation (yes, only a month after our last vacation in Alaska. See what working does to us!) and somehow the topic of taking part in the Tomato Fight Festival on the streets of Spain came up. I had no idea what this was, but apparently it is exactly what it sounds like - a tomato fight in the streets of Spain. The bf insisted that this was a must-do item on his bucket list. So imagine the thrill when just a few days after this discussion I saw a groupon for the NorCal Tomato Battle at the Alameda County Fairgrounds! Being that this was the hugest coincidence ever (and much cheaper than a trip to Spain), I pounced on the groupon immediately. 

The Tomato Battle was this past Saturday, and they sure did they pick a hot day for a tomato fight. It was well into the 90s that day and all I could picture was hot rotten tomatoes being thrown at my face. Fortunately, when we arrived at the fairgrounds and caught sight of the pile of tomatoes, they looked pretty much in tact and weren't smelly, at least where we were standing. We later learned that these tomatoes were ripe tomatoes that were no longer fit for human consumption. Looking at the pile, I thought this is definitely not enough tomatoes for the hundreds of people here. Boy was I wrong (as you'll see later!)

Unsuspecting pile of ripe tomatoes
Before the actual tomato fight, they entertained the crowd with music, beer and a costume contest. Here are some of the cute and clever costumes. Trust me, you'll be thankful to not see some of the more revealing costumes people wore. 

Probably my favorite - BLT
Spaghetti and meatballs (she later won)
Immediately after the close of the costume contest, the fence to the pile of tomatoes opened and the people went CRAZY! The fence was trampled to the ground and sweaty, intoxicated, screaming people pushed their way through to get their hands on the first tomatoes. Unfortunately we did not realize the gates had opened so soon, so we were at the back of the crowd gathering the tomatoes that had flown our way in hopes of relaunching them at our attackers (whoever they were). There were tomatoes zooming left and right, being tossed into the air and coming right for our faces! Hopelessly trying to  defend ourselves through our now foggy, tomato-splattered goggles, we picked up the remains of tomatoes and threw them back at anybody. If anyone is wondering what it feels like to be in a tomato fight, it's kinda like being in a really bad food fight with adults...some with incredible throwing arms. I swear some of the tomatoes that hit me were thrown by baseball players...they hurt! Some people were way more aggressive than others. The sneaky, conniving lady next to us threw a whole cup of tomatoes at this girl who retaliated by throwing tomatoes (meant for her) back at us! If you're reading this lady, I don't like you and watch out next year (I'm really only halfway kidding)

Accurate depiction of what I could see 
Once the tomatoes were all used up and people were covered head to toe in tomato juice, the crowd started to clear and the remaining hard core bunch continued to fight each other with the grimy mixture of tomatoes, mud and dry grass. It was at this time that I decided it was time to go! Although we didn't get to toss fresh tomatoes and we were by no means as smothered in tomatoes as others were, we did have a lot of fun and highly recommend this event to anyone who is up for a good food fight!

Before: Ready to get messy in our disposable clothes and free headbands
After: Tomato splotched and ready for a shower
After cleaning off and a nice hot shower at home, I decided it was time to have some fun with my toenails. I kept seeing leopard print nails everywhere (and by everywhere I mean Pinterest!) and while this may not be appropriate for my fingernails at work, I thought it would be fun for my toes! I have never really done nail art before and believe me this was super easy. The splotches are best imperfect and that's what makes this design so simple to do by yourself. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to experiment with their nail polish. 

From left to right: NYC Lincoln Square Lavender, NYC Park Ave,  NYC Chinatown, Wet n ' Wild Sparked,
INM Out the Door topcoat
That evening we got to have dinner with our friends at a thai restaurant. I'm a huge fan of thai food and just love thai curries and noodle dishes, but good food is always better with friends. :)

Sunday was more of a run errands and do chores sorta day, so no fun photos to share about that. The bf did get to upgrade his old phone to the Samsung Galaxy SIII. It was quite a toss up between that and the epic iPhone 5. In the end the Galaxy SIII won because of the google map feature, big screen and availability (we were told we could not get the iPhone 5 unless we ordered it and waited until the end of October). So far he really likes it, but I guess only time will tell. 

Well now it's getting late and I have work tomorrow so I guess I should go to bed. Good night! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pillows revealed + cute earrings found!

Sorry it has been so long. It really shouldn't take two weeks to finish sewing 5 pillows! Here's a look at all the pillows I made. If you're wondering what I did with the existing beige pillows that came with my sectional, I actually reused their polyester filling to stuff these pillows. Hooray for recycling (not to mention the added savings by not purchasing extra polyester filling).

Five pillows I sewed
Completed sectional look

I was so inspired by this bow pillow tutorial, I just had to make one for myself in my favorite color pink! I just love how it turned out and the girliness it adds to my sectional!

Pink leaf print bow pillow
Green zebra print pillow with ruffles
Blue coral print pillow (I am such a huge fan of the ocean!)

On a side note, I wanted to share with you these handmade porcelain earrings I recently purchased at the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival in Pleasanton last week. I fell in love with these cute heart earrings made by Karen Nolke (she had hundreds of color combinations to choose from). I only paid $10 for these three pairs, it's too bad she doesn't have a website to order products from. Wouldn't these make cute and affordable gifts?

I hope you enjoyed this post! I have many more projects in the making. My next project will be creating seat cushions for my dining chairs. Stay tuned for the tutorial. Hope everyone is having a good week! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hello blog and new pillows (in the making)

So I told myself awhile ago I would start my own blog about fashion, sewing, crafting, cooking, baking, etc. Basically all of the hobbies that keep me entertained and keep me from lying on the couch watching HGTV reruns of Property Brothers or Love it or List it all night long (although I've just realized, I will probably be blogging from my couch...) I've recently found some spare time since moving to a new city and starting a new job, so I decided it's about time I start my blog. I've been following other amazing blogs wondering how they have time to write such witty posts and take/post pictures every day. Well, I am by no means going to be that girl taking pictures of herself in a cute outfit before work everyday. I work in a hospital where it doesn't really matter how cute you look. Besides, I wouldn't want to risk a cute outfit getting covered in MRSA! (Yes, nerd alert! In case you were wondering, MRSA = Methicillin Resistant Staphylococus Aureus). At best I will try to post once a week. :) 

I haven't had much time to accessorize my living room since moving, so my first project will be sewing pillows for my sectional sofa (which in case you are wondering is the Devlin sectional sofa from Jennifer Convertibles). 

Don't mind the collection of stuffed animals things! The sofa came with these boring beige pillows...which is fine if you like boring beige, but I'm all about COLOR! Here's a sneak peak of the fabrics I'll be using...

And for you crafty folks out there - Happy National Sewing Month! May your month be sew special! (sorry couldn't help myself)