Summer of Nail Polishes…

I would say couple months ago I wanted to paint my nails and took a while to find my stash.  Once I found ‘em, they seemed sorta old in a way where you would tilt the bottle, the flow of the polish didn’t seem as it used to be.  I decided then and there to scrap ‘em and search out for a new polish.  Particularly the ones that can dry somewhat fast now that I have a toddler in tow.  I also wanted something that wouldn’t chip as my old polishes did, even with top coating.

One day, I was at Target and decided to browse the nail polish section to see if I could find a different brand.  I came across Essie and searched for some neutral hue.  Few of my friends tried the line out and mentioned the polish lasts a while and doesn’t chip as much.  I figured to give it a shot.  I spotted a muted purple and really liked it so I went with that.  I get home and had a mild panic when I realized it wasn’t as purple as I bought it!  Except whenever I went from one room to another, the color changed a bit.  Hmm, interesting.  This was Merino Cool, described as autumn mulberry.  It has a bit of grey tinge and outside it would appear more grey/plum.  I didn’t panic as much after having given it a try and determined it was the same color that I saw at the store.

On top of that new bottle of polish, I got myself a dual clear coat that can double as base and top coat as well as a quick dry polish.  The quick polish really saves me a lot of headache with a mobile toddler.  It dries my work in no time during nap time as it is the time I do my polish change.  It really doesn’t chip as my old ones did and was really pleased.  I decide to pick myself another color!  This time I went brighter and now in the group considered as blue’s.  I wanted something that Haley could wear as well.  This time we both headed up to Target again to choose the color together.  She was immediately drawn to this turquoise color bottle.  I liked it as well and seeing how she liked it, we went ahead with that.  It was Turquoise & Caicos, and went home to make a mama/daughter session out of it.  She was over the moon to have another session (first polish I ever put on her was definitely bright ocean blue).  She was actually pretty good about stay still.  My collection thus far…

essienailpolishes

I am still contemplating my next color choice.  Perhaps something from the coral group?  We shall see!

Dinner Outing with Nana

Yesterday was a long day from work.  I come home after a text my mom sent that Haley was brought to Hubbs.  Okie dokie!  I turn around and head home.  We chatted for a bit before my mom decided to take us all out to dinner.  We proceeded to ask Haley if she wanted some noodle, that is, after we decided on a place.  Pei Wei!  Haley said YES to noodles!  Okay, off we go!

We arrived at Pei Wei and ordered what we wanted.  Haley got her Lo Mein which, according to mom, is her favorite thing!  We proceeded to wait for our food at the table after getting our drinks.  The drink machine is really different, like an all in one type of futuristic machine.  I sorta stumbled with it given it was only the 2nd time I came across that kind of machine (first time was at Five Guys Burger).  Haley was a pro at it.  I guess it’s a lot like our iPad.  Haha!

Our food arrived and we all dove into it.  It was fun.  Haley was the only one with a fork while the rest of us had chopsticks.  She sees this and snatched insisted to have Ian’s chopsticks.  Didn’t want to be the odd one out.  She did pretty good with the chopsticks despite struggling with it a bit.  She flipped it around and used the fat end of it.  With a bit of tips and help from all of us, she was able to get some noodles.  Haley says:  “See, you would just pick up your noodles, like so…”

chopsticksattempt

She was actually pretty proud of this and goes to demonstrate Nana her new skills.  Then once dinner was over, she and I went to grab some fortune cookies and we all ate ‘em.  Then we had some photos taken.  But first, shall we show the photos?

haleyanddaddy

She kept trying to tell Hubbs to look into one of the cameras.  Kinda hard when you have two ladies with the camera for pictures.  I think he was trying to look at me and Haley to Nana.  She wouldn’t have it!  Daddy, look over here, not over there…

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Ah success!  What an adorable picture!  See the kitchen back there?  Haley was really fascinated with the action going on and watched while the adults talked.  I was called upon to usher take Haley to the bathroom.  We had a successful trip!  Yayy!  Yes, that means we are in progress of potty-training.  She’s been asking to go in public with no problem, so working on actually going at home.  That’s sorta the opposite for most kids, isn’t it?  Anyway, moving on…  Like I said, we had opened each of our own cookie, Haley gave Daddy his while my mom and I took ours.  We had an extra one for my mom to take to my dad since there were food left over for him.  Wanna know what Haley’s fortune was?  Take a look…

haleysfortune

If you cannot see what it says.  I’ll help you.  It goes like this:  “You deserve to have a good time after a hard day at work or school.”  Hmm.  We certainly had a good time!  Hard day at two and half years old?  What possibly could be hard?  Well, she’s been working hard at her potty-training lately (we are also pinching down on that though to now, we’ve taken a more casual approach towards that).  Her teachers always tells me that she had a really good day and runs all the time.  She may be the youngest in her class but sure is the fastest kid in her class.   I’d call that hard work!

Of course, she couldn’t get over the white takeout box we packed what was left of her dinner.  Guess what she wanted for dinner when I asked?  You guessed it!  Her dinner from last night!  She was quite the charmer to some of the people who worked there and flashing them some cheesy grins.

Emmeline Apron

So that sneak peek post couple days ago?  It’s finally done!  This is Sew Liberated’s Emmeline Apron.  Never mind my awkward pose with the elbow.  I wanted to show the apron in its fullest.

finishedapron

I had this pattern picked out while we were out shopping at a new fabric store.  Well, after I got the pattern and wandered around the store, I spotted a quilt with a block of fabric that jumped out at me, which is the picture above.  This is Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo in Scattered Blooms Green.  I really really liked it that I ran up to the ladies at the cutting table and asked where to find the bolt.  After being directed to it, I immediately wanted to make the apron I had in my hand.  So I beelined for the table again and promptly ordered the yardage plus more for extras.  This is supposed to be reversible and the other side, I didn’t quite catch the line but it was really nice, sorta floral but not floral.  Looks sorta ivy-ish.

I would say it took me about 2 hours to cut out everything only because it was stop and go while the girl napped.  She napped unusually long that day so checked on her few times to make sure she was okay.  The pattern was one sized and only had to tape two pieces of paper together for the straps, the rest of it was directly cut from the envelope.

cuttingoutapron

Because there would be bias tape, I usually would just go ahead and make the bunch while I’m at it.  The pattern only called for 2 yards and I ended up with a total close to 8 yards.  So, I will be able to get 6 more yards of use (or practice) of the tapes.  It wasn’t so bad.  Once I got some sort of system figured out to attach the pieces together, flipping the tape to make the ends look seamless went faster.  If you see dark pictures, most likely it was my night time sewing or even prepping.

biastapepile

The instructions was really good and actually went from the last step from making the bias tapes to attaching the halter straps only took me 5-6 hours.  I was really bummed I was so close to finishing the halter straps.  Alas, I had to clean up so I could head out to get the girl from her school.  It wasn’t until last night I finally finished.

apronbodices

assembly

Ta-dah!  Finished!

apronoverview

Close up, whoa!  Don’t you love that Echo?

aproncloseup

Wordless Wednesday

summertoes

Clockwise:  Pink toes belongs to mom, Little blue toes belongs to Haley, somewhat unfinished blue toes courtesy of Haley’s handiwork belongs to me!

Sneak Peek

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Cardi Wrap Comfort!

Warning, this will be a longish read but I promise to reward you with pictures at the end.  Or…  Go ahead and skip down there and come back to read the rest of it!  I’ll wait.

So you did go see the pictures?  Okay then!  Welcome back!

My latest sewing update was that I was planning a cardigan wrap with the pattern I picked up from Joann’s (Simplicity 1961).  I may have had that pattern couple months now and was just sort of keeping my eye out for the fabric itself.  Once I did, the progression came quicker.  My fabric of choice was sort of dark grey.  There was another type of knit I was looking at but the care instruction did say dry clean only.  Bummer!  It was oh so soft!

I cut out a medium only because the pattern pieces themselves were too large to trace.  I was actually in between sizes, a medium or a large.  I’m glad I went with a medium.  The fit across the back piece was comfortable but not too snug.  It would be if it was a small, not like I even considered cutting out that size.  I read a blog with some tips, one of them gave me a better insight of how to choose pattern size.  In fact, it was Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing as she talks about pattern ease.

Aside from a bit of minor glitch just when I started putting together the pieces, I quickly corrected them and was well on my way.  It took me about 4-5 hours to complete.  I’m pretty proud of this, being my first garment.  I also took my time with this and pinned the heck out of the fabric so it wouldn’t budge at all.  I chose a stretchy stitch on my machine (which was #3) and put it at the longest stitch length (4.0) and left it at the default width (1.0).  I remembered reading somewhere with knit, you might want to loosen the tension of the upper thread.  I ran a test stitch with red thread on a scrap knit with the default tension setting (it was a 4) and lowered to a 3, it was slightly better so I went with that.  I just wanted to let it some ease for wearing than having the thread breaking later.  It was nice to sew for myself since it’s been a while!

I thought this was a great way to dip my feet into some garment making.  Not a lot needs to be done with fitting.  I was a bit worried about the armscye since I spent some time reading up on garment sewing.  Most people had issues with easing ‘em in.  I started with this since it’s not like I’d fit pants or shorts.  Most of my reading also recommended loose fitting top as a way to get started so I’m glad I went with this.  I do have something planned next so we will see how that goes.  I definitely will apply what I learned working with knit for my next project.

My fabric of choice!  I picked it mainly on the care instructions.  I didn’t want anything that I would be sewing up and finished only to realize that it’s a dry clean only fabric.

simplicity1961fabric-choice

Fabric pre-washed and all the things I need to get started.  Look!  Even enough elastic to make several more!

readytosew

Lining out my pieces and ready to be traced out.  I actually went to Joann’s to buy this pattern cutting board.  The dining table was like a tiny thing compared to this front piece.  It was a good buy!  I’m glad I made that buy and plan to use it in the future projects.  It was a good deal, considering I used a 50% off coupon at Joann’s.  I knew what I was looking for and just couldn’t find it.  So I sort of browsed and took my time looking for it and eventually found it!  Yes, those are cans as pattern weights.  Hehe!  Top right are the green chiles!

layingpiecesout

Close-up of my tracing of the front pattern pieces.  Yes, the printings are backwards, you have to flip ‘em so you can get the right side of the fabric traced on the right way.  If you didn’t you’d have one right side and one wrong side.  Pay attention to the instructions!  It explains you need to trace the pieces the way it is printed on instructions.

tracingpiecesout

In midst of my project.  See that Ottlite?  My parents gave it to me for Christmas and I love it!  It’s one of the reason I discovered I had sewn the two front pieces onto the wrong side of the back pieces.  The colors at the seams was different so upon investigation of this last night, I realized my mistake before going further, I unpicked the seams and flipped it around.  Easy!

workinprogress

Close up of what the back view looks like (just prior to hemming ‘em up) since most pictures didn’t have a good look at this.  The elastic took some patience to get sewn in but it eventually got there.  Never mind my scribble down below, I wrote a reminder of which way is right.  I shoulda done that before I found my mistake.  So I made a mark for my own benefit.  With one more wash, it will be ready to go sans the markings I made to the top.

backpiece

And done!  Tiny bit longer but still love it!  Can’t wait to wear it!  It’s a bit too warm for that right now.  If I whip up another one, most likely I’d shorten it.  I think this is also a good base pattern if I wanna make some tweaks too.  Pair this with jeans, some snazzy footwear, and whatever top and I’m golden!

simplicity1961finished

Wordless Wednesday

haleysewmachine

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Homemade Love for the Pups

So, I have to mention this recipe I found on Pinterest, homemade peanut butter dog treats.  I’ve lost count how many times I have made these so far.  I started making them earlier this year.  The first time, the dogs didn’t pay much attention to me.  They went from “Our she-human is just busy in the kitchen, just ignore her” to “All attention on deck!  Look smart laddies!”  I will provide the said evidence momentarily.

Why did I go homemade on the dog treats?  I’m not sure exactly.  I guess it was just that there were so many ingredients that was listed when it should be a lot more simple than that, right?  Ya know, things like milk, peanut butter, and flour?  Plus, I probably could make some savings by making my own.  So off I went to Pinterest (I like that you can search by pictures, I’m visual like that) and rounded up potential recipes.  I eventually narrowed it down to Brown Eyed Baker’s Peanut Butter Doggie Bones.

The yellow lab pictured there is nearly exactly how our dogs looked like while waiting for their treats to be baked.  Sometimes I have to kick ‘em out of the kitchen before they flood it.  I’ve been using a dog shaped cookie cutter until about two batches ago with a small circle cookie cutter.  We seem to favor the circle shaped.  But can easily be done with any shapes.

When I’m ready to make more, I usually double the recipe only because I don’t want to take the extra step by measuring out half the peanut butter container into the measuring cup, then again into the bowl.  So I just sort of scoop the whole thing out.  The recent batch yielded 120 treats (three cookie sheets with 8 rows and 5 columns of treats each).  My latest trip to the store was to pick up more peanut butter since it was the only thing I was missing.  I paid $5 for two peanut butter spread.  It was on sale.  The rest I had at home, and inexpensive too.

Here are the pictures of the treats on the cookie sheet ready to be baked and after having been baked.  I should look for some sort of container since I’m still using the ziploc bag.  I wasn’t sure if this would be a one time thing, but obviously not so I should get a pretty container.

doggytreatsreadytobake

bakeddoggytreats

With each batches, I sort of experimented with how long to bake it and how thick to go for.  It seemed that my perfect combination is the thickness that would take me about halfway through the circle cookie cutter, I suppose 1/4″ thick or a smidge more and baking at 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes as the recipe called for.  Making these batches is also a good work out.  Mixing, kneading, and rolling.  Like, without my beloved KitchenAid mixer.  How I miss thee!

Now, photographic evidences…

waitingfortreats

Then somehow, each batches I make, they’ll sneak closer and closer to the oven.  See?  Never mind Leila’s eyes going all “Feed me!”, that’s just the flash.  Hehe.  Of course, Cosmo decided to amp up his game by attempting to get closer to me than when he first started, see the picture above (behind Leila) and below (in front of Leila).

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Wordless Wednesday

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Sewing Update

My fabrics for the cardi wrap and apron have been pre-washed.  Holy cow!  The pattern pieces for the cardi wrap was ginormous that I couldn’t trace it on the back door as I normally have done.  So I decided to cut into the tissue paper.  I NEVER do that, but I felt that it was necessary for this scenario.  I should probably look into something where I can have a sturdy board to cut onto.  Dining table was much too small for that feat.  I had to do the cutting on our bed.  Not the best place nor was it sturdy either, it was the best option I had at the time.  Reason for not cutting into the tissue is mainly so I can easily go back and trace myself a new size or anything like that.  The only exception is if it’s a one-size kind of thing, then okay, I’ll cut it.  But why oh why must the tissue be soooooo thin!  Breathe all wrong and the paper will tear!  That’s how I felt.  The pillows will be on hold since I’m running into a “sew-er’s” block.  Ya know, like writer’s block?  I didn’t know how else to make it sound right, but was close enough.

I’m very excited in the prospect of this up and coming cardi wrap to make it’s debut in my closet.  I wait and wait until I get some sort of coupon or see a sale going on, then I just might be there searching for the right fabric for the project.  It’s funny, I sorta do it the opposite.  I don’t actually fabric stash but more so, I find a project I want to do, make a space for it on my desk (or so called desk) which is really a baggie (I hope later on I can have a nice sturdy storage box for something like this) to hold my projects.  When I clean up and put away my project, it goes back in the bag, nice and organized.  If I see no bag, means I have nothing in progress and letting me think or brainstorm of the next project.

Going back to the cardi wrap, I noticed my “wish list” of closet items have majority of cardis in the pictures.  Oh yea, they’re my Polyvore stuff I posted waaay back.  I’ve not made new creations lately but I did eye few of other people’s creation.  I can’t help but think to myself “Oh yea, I could probably make that!” or “I swore I saw a pattern for this somewhere…”

Well, I should probably get myself into bed, it’s pretty late in the night (or early?), however you look at it.  I promise to post a picture of the completed items!