The Moving Fiasco

While moving into our new apartment it seemed like everything that could go wrong did. Two days before we were able to start moving our car broke down. As I was driving to work one morning a block before the freeway on ramp the car wouldn’t go above 30 miles an hour and was making a terrible noise. I quickly decided to not get on the freeway and drove the car slowly to the dealership. Later that day when Joe went to pick it up it did the same thing. They gave us a rental car for the weekend. This is how we discovered that the 2013 Subaru Outback works pretty great for moving.

When we got our car back on Monday the check engine light came on not too long after Joe started moving a load of our things. Minutes after I got the call from Joe that our car was not fixed I got another call with bad news. The family members we recruited as our primary help were unable to make it. This meant that we were also unable to borrow a van from our grandparents because we didn’t want to take our car on the freeway. Instead of three cars and an adequate number of people helping, we were left with only one car that wasn’t very reliable and much less help than we expected.

Luckily we had a neighbor and a friend who stepped in at the last minute. After several failed attempts of trying to find someone with a truck we decided to just stick with our Subaru. Our eccentric neighbor stepped in when I was struggling with our mattress and helped us strap it to the roof of our car. My friend who was over helped us load up the rest of the car. Right as we were about to drive away more help came, but unfortunately none of them brought cars. So we said goodbye, crawled into the car through the windows and drove slowly to our new apartment. When we got there we unloaded everything on our own.

Neighborly help
Good thing we still have the bungee cords that held our last car together.

Later that night we had another neighbor and friend step in to help us move our couch. Of which I was extremely grateful.

The next day we took our car in yet again and got another rental car. This time it was a 2013 Subaru Forrester that we weren’t as fond of. But it did fit our whole love seat in the back plus a whole bunch of boxes. The whole move took about a week, but we now officially have all of our stuff in one place and most of it is unpacked.

A whole love seat in the back of the car.

Later we felt the need to explain to our neighbors in our 4-plex that we aren’t crazy Subaru lovers who own three different Subarus (two of the same model, just different years). Though we do love the Subaru we do own and hope that it doesn’t have any more problems for a long time.

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Repurposing: tights to headband and hemp twine to belt

One day on Pinterest I found a tutorial for making a headband using old tights. I was extremely excited. I love tights and I love headbands and I am always getting holes in my tights. Turning tights with holes into headbands seemed like a perfect solution. I followed thisย tutorial and I will definitely use it again.

Using tights as a headband gives a headband with a lot of stretch.
Using tights as a headband gives a headband with a lot of stretch.
The headband is wide enough to keep all of my hair out of my face, including the pieces that are just a little too short to fit into a ponytail.
The headband is wide enough to keep all of my hair out of my face, including the pieces that are just a little too short to fit into a ponytail.

My next project started with me wishing that I had more belts. Belts seem to be extremely popular for accessorizing lately. I decided to resist buying one and looked for belt tutorials on Pinterest. I was surprised at how many great ideas I found and will probably be making more later. The one I made was based off of this tutorial. I used some thin, hemp twine left over from hanging signs for my graduation party and the D rings from a belt that I had and never wore.

For my belt I used six strands of the hemp twine for each section and used 5 sections to braid the belt. I machine stitched the beginning and the end of the braid. When that was done I hand stitched the D rings onto one end and then folded over the other end and hand stitched it in place to make it look more finished. The result is a small belt in a neutral color that I love.

New belt
New belt
Very versatile
Very versatile

At Home Spa Day

In celebration of passing my licensure test on Thursday I treated myself to an at home spa day yesterday. I started out with a hot oil treatment for my hair. The one that I use is based off of information fromย this site. What normally ends up happening is I pour some honey and some olive oil into a bowl and heat it for about 20 seconds, I don’t worry too much about exact proportions.

While the oil treatment sat on my hair I painted my nails. I decided to use a technique I’ve seen all over Pinterest using tape to section off parts of the nail to make a pattern. I kept mine simple and just did some straight lines. After doing some research I discovered that using a clear coat after each layer of polish will get you crisper lines. Mine kind of blurred together and I had to fix them after the fact.

My nail polishes of choice and my tape
My nail polishes of choice and my tape
After painting my base layer and waiting for it to dry completely I put strips of tape on the nail and painted over with my other color of polish.
After painting my base layer and waiting for it to dry completely I put strips of tape on the nail and painted over with my other color of polish.
Completed Nails
Completed Nails

Next I whipped up some of my new favorite exfoliant from this site. I took a shower and rinsed the oil out of my hair and used my exfoliant.

Mason jar full of exfoliant
Mason jar full of exfoliant

Very refreshing, very cheap; all of the materials I used were things I already had on hand. If you’ve done something that is worth celebrating but don’t want to spend a lot of money, treat yourself to an at home spa day.

Oven Mitt Surgery

It seems that there are some things that I will just never learn. Like how to keep my apartment clean for more than a day, the rules of football, how to roll my “R’s,” and how to not put my oven mitt on a hot stovetop. Fortunately most of those things I don’t care about that much. But the last one concerns me just a little. Once again I left my new oven mitt on the stove, luckily it did not light on fire this time, but it got a nice scorch mark on it. It looks like I will be working on this lesson for a while. In the meantime I decided to patch up my poor oven mitt.

Scorched Oven Mitt
Scorched Oven Mitt

I still had some leftover fabric from when I originally made the oven mitt. I cut out a square of the fabric, paired it with some more batting and quilted them together in a similar style to the original oven mitt.

Quilted Patch
Quilted Patch

Then I hemmed the edges of the patch to make it look a little more uniform.

Hemmed Patch
Hemmed Patch

Then I hand sewed the patch over the scorch mark on my oven mitt.

Patched Oven Mitt
Patched Oven Mitt

With the Oven Mitt surgery completed, I don’t think it looks too bad. I figure it will work until I someday learn the lesson of keeping flammable items away from extremely hot surfaces.

My Upholstery Fabric Obsession

I seem to have an accidental obsession with upholstery fabric that just keeps going. I found a piece of upholstery fabric from an old chair that broke and was unfixable. When I unpicked the fabric I found that it had a purse-like shape. With sewing just a few seams I made the body of the purse. Then I cut the remaining piece of fabric into strips that I sewed together for a long strap. The result is a simple, small, sturdy purse.

Upholstery fabric waiting to be made into something new
Upholstery fabric waiting to be made into something new
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See it looked just like a purse, I just had to do a little sewing
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The finished product

Cat Pajama Shirt to Ruffled Tank

I have been contemplating for several days what to do with this cat pajama shirt from a pile of old clothes. I considered many possibilities, all of which included somehow getting rid of or covering up the cat on the front.

Cat Pajama Shirt
Cat Pajama Shirt

After one semi-failed attempt using this tutorial (my fault, not the tutorial’s). I wanted to try something similar, and found this tutorial on Pinterest. By combining both tutorials I was able to change the cat shirt into a tank I will actually wear.

I started out by using another tank as a guide and cut out a different neckline for my shirt.

New Neckline
New Neckline

Next I cut off the sleeves and tried on the shirt to make sure I liked the new cut. This is one of the places I went wrong when I tried this before.

It was already starting to look better.
It was already starting to look better. If I was a cat fan I might have stopped here ๐Ÿ™‚

At this point the sides of shirt were baggier than I liked, but I handled that later. I followed the first tutorial listed and used the sleeves of the shirt to make my matching ruffle. The hardest part is sewing the rounded parts of the sleeves together. After the first time I tried this the second time was a lot easier.

All my sleeves sewn together.
All my sleeves sewn together.

After I sewed the ruffle I pinned it to my shirt, strategically placing it to cover up the cat and stars.

Strategic ruffle placement
Strategic ruffle placement

And the cat is magically gone. I sewed the ruffle in place and took in the sides of the tank and my creation was complete.

A new, fun, ruffly top without a cat.
A new, fun, ruffly top without a cat.

Oven Mitt

Quite a while ago I accidentally lit my oven mitt on fire.

IMG_1212A little advice, don’t leave your oven mitt on a warm burner. It will ignite in flame and you will no longer be able to use it. Since my oven mitt was no longer usable I had been looking at tutorials to make a new one. I found this one that was very simple, and I finally got around to making it.

I made mine out of materials I already had on hand. An old worn out pair of Men’s pants and an old t-shirt.

Old clothes.
Old clothes.

I traced Joe’s hand for my pattern because he has big hands and he helps me cook a lot.

My hand looks tiny in comparison to the pattern I traced from Joe's hand.
My hand looks tiny in comparison to the pattern I traced from Joe’s hand.

I followed the instructions on the tutorial and it all went smoothly. I used blue thread to contrast with the brown fabric I was using for the outside of my mitt. I rather like the end result.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd it doesn’t look too enormous on my small hand.

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Simple Upcycling

Due to finishing up my last semester of graduate school, my latest projects have been pretty simple. These projects have consisted of using bits and pieces of used materials that I have on hand, or upcycling. Check them out.

This is a braided headband that I made from an old, stained t-shirt. I was pretty proud of myself once I mastered the five-strand braiding technique. It works great for keeping my not quite long enough hair into a ponytail. I used the tutorial from Make it and Love it.

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Then there is the toothbrush travel pouch that I made out of a hand towel that I never use and a scrap of ribbon from a wrapped present someone gave me. We’ve used this travel pouch several times and are pleased with how it works. The idea is pretty simple and took about 10 minutes to make, I used the idea from this website.

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My final project is for reusable swiffer covers. I made these covers out of a fleece pajama top that never quite fit me right. I haven’t tried these yet, but they are quite popular on Pinterest. This is the tutorial I followed.

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Feeling Like a Grown-Up

It is amazing how roles change as time continues. I remember the days when my father or other adults did things for me. I have been feeling more like a grown-up as each month passes by. Starting my career with my first salaried job last August, picking and purchasing a new couch in February, and now this: doing my own plumbing. It was not anything too complicated, but our bathroom sink was draining extremely slow, and cleaning it from the sink was not doing the trick. So I put a bucket underneath the sink, unscrewed some pipes, and pulled a bunch of hair that looked and felt like a nasty, wet rat. I will spare you the pictures, but I sure do feel accomplished at doing simple things on my own without having to call in the professionals. Some days I do not like the grown-up feeling, but as long as I mix some fun in there it will be worth it.

Shoe Acupuncture

I recently “reupholstered” a pair of shoes that were looking pretty tired. A while ago I had found this tutorial via Pinterest. The original tutorial is for a pair of Toms. My shoes are not Toms, but much more inexpensive shoes I picked up at Target. Their design is similar to Toms, but different enough that my process varies slightly from the original tutorial.

My materials consisted of my leftover upholstery fabric, fabric glue, pins, scissors, and matching thread and needle.

The original shoe
The original shoe

I started by sewing one edge of my fabric on my sewing machine in order to have a more finished look. I then roughly cut the fabric to the size of the back portion of my shoe. I then glued the fabric on to the shoe and placed needles in order to keep the fabric in place.

Placing the first piece.
Placing the first piece.

The next pice went on the middle portion of my shoe. The process was similar to the first piece. Except I cut out triangles to reveal the elastic portion of the shoe.

Second piece in place.
Second piece in place.

The last piece I placed was on the toe. I matched the sewn portion to the sewn portion of middle piece. I glued it in place following the shape of the shoe to the best of my ability.

Final piece
Final piece

I kept the pins in the shoe until the fabric glue had completely dried.

Shoe Acupuncture
Shoe Acupuncture

Once the glue had dried I found that I had not applied the fabric glue as evenly as I had thought. Which meant some of my fabric was not secured to the shoe.

Once everything dried.
Once everything dried.

In order to fix this problem I took my needle and thread and sewed the edges of the fabric to the shoe. This ended up being a painfully slow process because of the thickness of the shoe and the fabric combined.

Final Result
Final Result

In the end I think all the effort was worth it. Yet another project you can do with left over upholstery fabric ๐Ÿ™‚