Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy Art

One thing that has bothered me about my apartment is that the walls are bare and white. Boooooring. I never noticed how much wall art can make a difference in a home, but it's a perfect finishing touch that is easy to overlook.  That said, I had to do something to spruce up my white walls. I found this pretty paper from Nepal at World Market and thought it would look great hanging in the apartment. 

To do that, I got a canvas on sale at Michael's (Tip: NEVER walk in there without a coupon, they have amazing deals!) I also had to go buy a staple gun. I resisted at first, but there really wasn't any other way for me to get the paper to stay on the canvas.  The staple gun and staples were less than $20, and this is definitely something I'll use again, so I figured it's a worthwhile investment.  

I flipped the canvas and paper over, folded it, and stapled all the way around the edge. And I shouldn't have to say this, but be sure to staple into the wood, not through the canvas.  I may just be a wimp, but squeezing the trigger hurt my hand! And staple guns are dangerous, so kids be sure to get a parent's permission first. 

Make sure the paper is tight all the way around as you staple, or it'll be lumpy. Nobody wants lumpy art. When you're finished, flip it over and admire your hard (okay, not very hard) work! I love projects like this because other than going to Home Depot to buy the staple gun, it took me all of 10 minutes. And it's pretty too! Thank you, Nepal, for making pretty paper for me to use. 

I'll get around to actually hanging it....eventually. 

Also, don't forget to enter the $50 Visa Gift Card giveaway in this post!  Who doesn't love free money?!


Monday, August 26, 2013

A quick refashion and a Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

When I found this dress, I could see there wasn't a whole lot wrong with it, other than the size. It was amazingly comfortable though, and it was only a few dollars, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Taking in a cotton dress is probably the easiest thing you can do. Here's how it goes: 

Notice the gaping armpits.  I thought about taking it up in the shoulders to make it shorter, but taking it in at the sides does the same thing. So I just killed two birds with one stone and took in in at the sides. 

I started out by putting it on inside out and pinching how far I wanted to go, and pinned it in that spot. I took it off without stabbing myself too. Win! 

Next, I took my handy dandy ruler and measured the same amount that I pinched all the way down. Consistency, people! I used a fabric pencil to make a dotted line for me to sew along. 

After that, I put a few pins in to hold it together while I was sewing...

Next, take a break and get a drink in a princess cup. Got it? Good. Continue. 

 I ran it through the machine with a zig-zag stitch.  Zig zag stitches are more secure, and because I don't have a serger, it seemed like the best option for the dress.  Maybe a few more paychecks and I can suck it up and buy a serger... 

 After that, I cut off the extra fabric with my rotary cutter (So easy! So effortless!) and turned the dress right-side out. 

Voila! A dress that fits much better. I'll admit, it's so comfortable it feels like it could be pajamas ( but I don't think it is?) I love cotton dresses- dress them up, dress them down, wear them anywhere. Sort of. You get it. 

And I didn't even have to take up the shoulders to make the armpits smaller! I might wear it to work one day, but I'll have to add a cardigan, and maybe some cute flats. I can deal! 

Also, the important part: 

*Trumpet fanfare* Today, I'm teaming up with a great group of girls hosting a $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway. The best part is you can pretty much use it anywhere.  So go ahead and check out the blogs below!  We're all into sewing and fashion, everyone's favorite!  The giveaway will end on Monday, September 2nd, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday the 3rd.  Good luck and may the force be with you.
        While Camden Sleeps
Running in Heels
Tiny Dazzles

                                                   a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Linking up with the Winthrop Chronicles for this one!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Some pictures from August and a shopping success story.

I went home last weekend for my friends' wedding and also got to see my family! It was pretty great. Mom got me an aloe vera plant to make me feel better about killing another one of my plants. We'll see how long this one lasts... 

A few of my former roomies were at the wedding too! I miss them! 

And Brenden was a groomsmen in the wedding. I managed to snag a picture with him when he wasn't running around causing mischief!

This weekend I explored Old Town Alexandria again with some friends. I went last summer with Brenden too (here!!) but this time we wandered down to the harbor. The weather was so beautiful! I really want to go on a boat now. Any takers? 

Also, can I just brag for a second? I went to Ulta and managed to get $120 worth of stuff for $2.65! Partially through strategy and partially through luck, I think. I saw an ad for a free makeup bag filled with goodies with a purchase of $19.50. It is supposedly valued at $88? I believe it- the brushes alone are like $10 each. Hey, I'll take it! 

The hand soaps were buy 2 get 2 free, so I got 4 of them for $12. I grabbed an eyeliner pencil to push me up to $20 so I could get the makeup bag. I went to the checkout counter and the girl ringing me out said that the soaps technically didn't count toward the $19.50, but when I looked mad and disappointed she gave it to me anyway. Ha! I also had a coupon for $3.50 off $10, and I used my Ulta Rewards points to get me down to $2.65. Muahahah! Success! 

Friday, August 16, 2013


Summer was always my favorite season. No school, pool time, extra sleep, all that jazz. And then I turned 19 and went crazy and decided to get a full time job for when I wasn't in school. Needless to say, it's been a while since I've had a "summer". But, for the first time ever, I'm actually ready for fall to come. Before, fall always meant going back to school. I always made good grades and had friends, but for some reason I hated going back to school. (Except college. That meant Clemson football was about to start.)

These last few days where it's been like, 75 degrees here have totally spoiled me. August isn't over yet and I'm pretty sure August is the worst month for any Washington metro area resident. Can you say humidity? 

Anyway, now that I don't have to go back to school, I'm actually pretty excited for fall! Jeans and scarves and cooler weather. I can go apple picking and hiking and run outside without dying of a heat stroke...  I'm ready for pretty leaves in a new city and cider and maybe carving a pumpkin all by myself? Nahhhh. Maybe I'll paint the pumpkin instead. 

Summer, I love you and I always will... But come on fall! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Frumpy to Fabulous

It's a lot harder to find time to sew now that I'm working, but I managed to fix this shirt. I found it at a thrift store on 25% off Monday. It wasn't the greatest (I mean, it had shoulder pads), but I love the material and the color. I knew I could work with it. As you can tell by the look on my face, I wasn't sure how easy that was going to be. 

First issue: It looked like it was straight out of the 90's.  And of course, those silly shoulder pads had to go! Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to put those in women's clothing? What woman wants to look like a football player on a daily basis? And they just kind of creep me out...

Next issue: the squirrel arms. You know, like how flying squirrels have those flaps under their arms? That's what this shirt did to me. Not a flattering look on anyone. Luckily that just meant taking it in a few inches. Because I still don't have a dress form, I did the ol' pinch and pin to guess how much to take it in. 

The first attempt was way too loose, so I had to go back and add another stitch to make it even narrower. I was a little worried about blending the new seam into the wrist with a cuff, because I REALLY did not want to take that off and re-sew it. So, I just blended it in to the cuff by sewing at a diagonal down the arm and you can't even tell. 

Final issue: The buttons. There was a strange flap of fabric that went over the buttons, but I wasn't a huge fan of that. I didn't want to cut if off, because then it would leave a raw edge right on the front of the shirt. Solution: I cut off the back flap where the button holes were and sewed new ones on the top flap! 

I didn't have any matching thread, but you know what? I kind of like the gray for the button holes. It was my first time sewing button holes using my sewing machine, and it was so easy! Don't be afraid to try it because the machine does all the work. Youtube has a few good tutorials that I looked at before attempting it. And always practice on a scrap piece of fabric first! 

So, with the new button holes in place, you can actually see the buttons now. I thought fancy buttons would look much better down the front, and it would add some interest. I forgot to get a close up picture of the new buttons, but they're swirly and silver. Use your imagination. 

I tried it on one last time (after 243987 tries before) and voila! A new shirt! On that note, don't pass by a shoulder-padded, ugly-buttoned, way too big but potentially cool shirt at the thrift store! With a little updating, it can be wearable in no time. 

I'm linking up with The Winthrop Chronicles in this post! And as always, don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin'! 

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