Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sew Nice

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my Christmas gifts was a sewing machine from my parents. I had seen so many sewing projects I wanted to try on Pinterest that I absolutely needed to get my own machine.

About a month ago I finally broke that bad boy out of its box and spent the weekend whipping up a couple of projects. I started simply with a coffee cup sleeve, just to get a feel for my machine, then graduated to making an infinity scarf.
My fleece coffee cup sleeve in action at Tim Horton's.
I made two versions of the infinity scarf: one with a fleece lining to keep me warm and another lightweight one for spring and summer.

The coffee cup sleeve tutorial is available via Purl Bee, and the infinity scarf tutorial is from Sweet Verbena. Thank goodness for sewing blogs!

The next project I have lined up is a fleece ear warmer headband using a tutorial from Six Sisters' Stuff. This winter has been pretty crazy weather-wise, so I need to make this headband soon if there's going to be any hope of me getting to wear it before November or December. I'll keep you posted on my future sewing projects. Now that I'm starting to get used to my machine, I'll hopefully be able to try some more advanced/interesting projects!

Anyone else out there getting crafty lately? Do any of my fellow sewers have project websites they can recommend?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! I hope you're celebrating today by eating lots of chocolate, going on a date or doing whatever you do to celebrate (or avoid) today.

I have a quick art project to share with you in honor of, well, our marriage, but we'll just pretend it's for Valentine's Day instead.

This year Drew and I decided not to give each other Valentine's Day gifts. We spent a little too much on Christmas gifts for each other (hello, XBox and Nook) and didn't see the need to get each other anything for a fake holiday.

But that didn't stop me from making a little something for our apartment when I saw this posted on Pinterest:
Cute idea for a Valentine's/anniversary/wedding gift, right? Luckily I still have a free trial of Adobe Fireworks on my computer right now, so I was able to take a Michigan map and recreate this for Drew and me to commemorate our Saginaw wedding.

Pin It

All I had to do was find a map of Michigan online, then erase all the lines and fill in the colors I wanted with Fireworks. Then I found a heart image (I changed the color on that, too), and I was done!

I'm sure a more knowledgeable person would have some really easy way to recreate this, but I took the tedious route by using the eraser tool and then zooming in to fill in any stray colored pixels. There has to be an easier/quicker way than that, right?


I originally had our names and wedding date on the picture, just like my inspiration artwork, but after showing it to Drew we decided we liked it better with no text. It's a bit more subtle this way, but still sentimental since it points out the location of our wedding on the map.

Now all I have to do is get the image printed somewhere like Kinko's and buy a frame. This should make a nice addition to the frame wall we're planning in our dining room.

Anyone else get crafty for Valentine's Day? Are you doing anything special today, or just having yourself a regular old Tuesday?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick Apartment Update

So, long time no post, huh? I haven't blogged in over month partly because work has dominated my life, partly because I haven't felt like it and didn't want to force out a boring post and partly because I just didn't have much to write about.

Even though I haven't been writing lately, I have made a few changes to the look of this blog. You may notice the header is now one of our wedding pictures, and I also added buttons linking you to my Pinterest boards and my Twitter feed. I'm so social-media minded.

Anyway, today Drew and I made some progress with our apartment with a quick kitchen update. The kitchen in our current apartment is so, so much better and bigger than our old apartment, but we still need a bit more storage than the kitchen offers (blame it on the wedding gifts).

About a month ago we purchased a cabinet to put in an unused corner of our kitchen to use as sort of a "beverage station." We liked how it cleared up extra counter space for us, but we didn't like the cluttered look on the counter or the empty wall space surrounding it.

This morning we finally did something about it and put up some shelves to make the space look a little nicer.
The "before" shot, plus the templates for our soon-to-be-installed shelves.
Even though our shelves came with templates to make the installation process "easier," it still took us a good 30 minutes or so to get the screws in place and everything lined up properly. Thank goodness Drew is more patient than me and was able to power through the minor setbacks to finish the job!

The finished product isn't a huge change from what we had before, but we like how it looks and the small amount of additional storage the shelves provide.
All filled up - we may change some of the items out, but this was the best we have for now! 

Now if only we could do something about the electrical box/eyesore on the wall, we'd be all set!

And just for fun, here's some shots I took of our little bar area:

P.S. Yes, that is a SodaStream machine on the cabinet. We purchased it with some of our Macy's store credit (another wedding gift perk), and have been using it like it's our job ever since. Which probably means we drink too much soda, but it's actually kind of fun to use and we don't have any soda bottles to take back to the store anymore. I highly recommend it.