Friday, October 24, 2014

Braided Rug

I started this rug about six months ago. It turned out to be one of those projects that got me too angry and frustrated so I chucked it against the wall and it sat slumped in a pile all summer long. A few days ago I was about to make myself another pair of jeans, but then I decided I should finish ALL the half-done projects in my studio, so this rug was the first thing I picked up.

I used a heavy wool which made the braid very fat and consequently difficult to work with. The braid kept rolling inward and the rug was turning in to a bowl shape instead of a flat rug. Frustrating right?

I don't know what changed with this second attempt. Maybe I've learned some different tricks on my sewing machine that I'm unaware of. Maybe I've developed some fighter's mental strength and the decision that I WILL WIN. I don't really know, but I got the whole thing stitched together and looking gorgeous in just two hours. HOORAY!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy 33rd Harry! Harry Potter Birthday Party

Just some fun posts from this summer, getting posted late.
My two nephews got excited about my idea for a Harry Potter Birthday Potter.
Apparently this summer Harry turned 33 on July 31st and we celebrated.

So, these boys and I got really excited about throwing a back yard HP party.

The afternoon was spend with them making Harry's birthday cake.
We came up with lots of ideas, and decided on a Griffyndor scarf cake from cupcakes. 
We had a hard time making burgundy frosting.
Mitch (12) wrote "Happy 33rd Harry" on the top.  
I thought it was pretty funny.

Our party wasn't a crazy pinterest party with matching straws or anything, but we did make Butterbeer.
It seemed like a pretty good recipe making caramel and then adding it to cream soda.

The highlight was a pinata.
The boys and I made a Dobby pinata from a slashed milk jug and cardboard.
My other nephew showed up at the party and found out we'd chosen Dobby as the pinata and cried "Dobby!  He saved everyone!  We can't bash Dobby!"
I tried to say how annoying Dobby is...but maybe he does have some merit.
 Either way, pinatas are always fun and in an interesting twist of fate, no one was strong enough to break the pinata, and so the nephew who defended Dobby is 16 and was the one chosen to finally bust him open.

The sun was down when we sang Happy Birthday to Harry with sparklers in the cupcakes.
After we watched Harry Potter 4 on the outdoor movie screen.

A few even dressed up!
Luna and Mrs. Malfoy

It was pretty fun throwing a last minute white trash Harry Potter party, I think we'll be sure to do it again for his 34th next year.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

House Build: Framing

The house moves on.
The framing was important and stressful!

We designed the floor plans and had over a year to think about them and mentally walk around in it and so we had some small changes, which the framers didn't like.

It was by far the most stressful part so far,
Where the walls and window holes end up is so important, and even things on the plans were framed in wrong,
I realize having the wife as the general contractor is a pain, and then one that cares about losing 3 inches on a wall and noticed is especially annoying.
At one point the framer said "You're killing me!  Take this hammer and hit me in the head and just kill me!"
So it's been an adventure fighting for getting things right, and I did feel manly having to deal with it all...everything was how we hoped it would be for the most part and I was glad when it was over!

 During framing, we had two huge rain storms that left lots of mud in the basement, and big puddles of mud for the kids.

We never get this much rain in the desert, and it was frustrating!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Black Jeans

I found some heavy black denim on my shelf that I had totally forgotten about so I made some jeans with it. They have a very high waist and slim legs and the denim is so stiff and heavy I think they will last for a long time.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Women's Boxing Clothing

I'm learning how to fight.

Until ten weeks ago, I had never set foot in any type of gym and the last time I tried any type of sport, I was in the tenth grade and it went horribly. So, it has been a very long journey for me to build up the courage to box with the men, and the decision has changed everything for me. I'm in love.

For the first few weeks of boxing I was wearing cut off pajama pants, my brother's T-shirts and bare feet. I went to a few different stores hoping to find something better, but in the world of women's active wear, you can find skin tight yoga pants or teeny tiny running shorts. I couldn't feel comfortable in either style, so I decided to make my own clothes for boxing. I got some heavyweight black sports knit at my local fabric store and I was able to make 3 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of pants, and I'm currently working on a jacket.

Since I was taking the time to make all of it, I decided to add some personalized fighters' details. A lot of fighters have some type of symbol on their clothing. For example, Jim Braddock wore a clover in honor of his Irish blood. Dmitriy Salita is a Jewish fighter and proudly wears the Star of David. 

For my symbol I've chosen the sickle and hammer because my greatest inspiration to become a strong person are the female Russian fighters from WWII. They were as strong as the men, they fought with the men, and some day I hope I have as much mental and physical strength as they did.

I like having the sickle and hammer in shimmering gold because when my body is approaching the breaking point and my head starts to fall, it is the first thing I see and it reminds me of my goals and it ignites my determination to keep hitting. It reminds me that there have been women who have survived wars, raised families, and become truly strong and I believe I can do it too.

So, here are the shorts and pants. There isn't anything particularly special about them, they're just the exact fit that I like: high waisted, semi-slim leg, and the length a little above the knee. I'm going to start sparring any day now and if I make it to a real fight I have a beautiful idea in mind for a robe. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

House Update: Foundation

The biggest project I've ever taken on, is building the home we plan to live in until we die.
Luckily, Rhett and I have done everything together, so this house has kind of become another member of our family.

"We're building our own home" can mean a lot of things.

On one end, there are those who literally build everything themselves, nail every 2x4, and in the end they're home is completely constructed from their themselves, friends and family.  
We are not that talented.

On the other end are those who hire a general contractor, designer, and supervise and make all the decisions on their home build.
We are cheap and trying to save money.

We are in the middle.
We are hiring all the structural subs and plan to do a lot  of the finish work ourselves once it has sheetrock.

I've learned a lot about construction so far and have been grateful for a lot of verbal abuse as a teenager dancing intense ballet that gave me thick skin.  Construction is a stressful business and I've found each sub wants to do his individual part his way, not thinking ahead for the other subs who will follow behind.  But I have the whole house in mind, down to every inch and so there were some arguments and I felt really manly disagreeing about how to cure concrete on the job site.

But so far most things are how we wanted/ designed/ envisioned.

And I realize we are a horrible client to build for.
We designed the house and have been planning every inch for almost 2 years, so we notice when a wall is 4" out of place, or I have a plan for this space so no you can't frame it flush with the other wall for your convenience.
I guess that is why we decided to be our own General Contractor.  
We're too invested and care too much about lots of details I guess.

Previous Posts:

Things are moving along, faster than I expected.  
Our goal was to dry in or have it waterproof before snow, and move in before Christmas.
Not sure if moving in will be reality, but I guess it's a nice goal.

SO...the concrete work.
Rhett really wanted to pour 9' basement walls.
I thought it would be nice to have a taller basement, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me.
It wasn't that much more to pour the extra foot of wall, so we went with it.

Watching the crew do the concrete work made me impressed anyone does this on their own.
Looked exhausting and I was glad to hire it out.

One of my favorite spaces (in my head) will be a patio off the basement. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kid Project: Painting Peg People

Some of my favorite projects are creating with my kids.
When they get ideas and I can make their concepts in real life it's really fun and creatively fulfilling.

RJ is getting older and more interested in making things himself.
Our girls enjoy the dollhouse I made Ellie for Christmas more as they get older, and the peg people family is one of my favorite toys I've made them.  We have male and female dolls, but I guess RJ wanted a doll that was more superhero than human...

 RJ found bare wood peg people and wanted to paint  Link....from the Legend of Zelda.
He was Link last year for Halloween.

So now he is bigger, and wanted to do it himself, I helped by penciling in the features, and he painted a Link doll and a Zelda.

Here is peg Link! 

It's a simple project, but a fun way for kids to create their own toys.
This little doll is pocket size which is nice for little boys. 


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