Category Archives: Crafts


20140202-005349.jpgI’ve written about felting before. This Christmas I got some awesome felting needles and reference books on it. So my first project was the owl below and the freehand white chibi totoro and robot. I’m pretty happy with the totoro, but the robot leaves more to be desired. I may just stick to simple shapes to start.

The allure is that it’s just like sculpture. If you understand spatial relationships, then you can do it. It’s like getting some play dough. You don’t need to be consistent with your punching (you kind of do, but it’s not like knitting/purling with yarn). It’s an incredibly wide entry. You can get SUPER creative with it, but there are a lot of low hanging fruit and it’s so satisfying. It’s pretty quick if you’re dealing with a small project, that you get that satisfaction in 1-5 days.

I may start making my own designs on a wool sweater. (I should pick up cheap ones at Old Navy!)

The thing about felting is it takes no real skill (I suppose you need to be good with spatial conception) and you get results fairly quickly. It’s just so much more satisfying than knitting or crocheting.

A lot less abstract and really cathartic to stab something with needles. (I did stab my palm a couple of times (ouch), so you need to be careful.



The other day I was visiting Vox Machina and I was introduced to the world of felting. I bought a felting needle to mend some sweaters we had that were eaten by months. I also wanted to embellish some sweaters I had.

Here is some inspiration and associated tutorials.


Small, cute, and has a video tutorial!

This is also a great way to dress up a sweater. I honestly got the needle to mend sweaters of ours.

It’s a lot like sculpture.

On another maybe creepy note, didn’t Marcy from Married with Children make little animals out of her hair? Somehow I am reminded of that.

So, I was really excited when I saw this tutorial, to create realistic rocky aquarium background using styrofoam insulation and concrete mix. I totally want to try this. Check it out, the example is really good. Coupled with lots of lush real plants, I think this would take it all to the very edge. Here is a similar one.6703f285451873c2b342a472fc1ae7d4-300x160

(Photo Courtesy of DIY Aquarist)

I showed this video to my husband, who… is a painting/hobbyist. And he says, “THIS IS JUST LIKE MAKING TERRAIN! I wanted to get insulation styrofoam for my figures, but the sheet was too damn big. But if you want to do this, we could get it and use it for both our projects!” This is where figure painting hobbyists and aquarium building come together. This is probably why we work, as well.

I’m not going to lie. As I’ve gotten older, my exhibitionist streak waned. That inkling in me that motivated all those blogs from the past is gone. That being said, I’ve been struggling to reinvent my blogging life. There is part of me that wants to change the domain, the name of this blog, with the concern that I professional life would collide with this blog.


I’ve also recently gotten married. The stars aligned and my husband wanted to take the jump. I have a lovely engagement ring that my MIL gave me that belonged to his grandmother. I gave him my father’s watch. Our ceremony had under 30 guests and came together in 2 weeks with the help of family and close friends. It was a total DIY affair.


It’s been a couple of weeks, but married life is different. We lived like a couple for a while, but now we’re partners. I’ll talk about that sometime. This isn’t something I went into 2013 expecting. This isn’t really how I imagined I would get married. Apparently my friends disagree with me, as they said it was very “me.” Whatever that means.

Health wise, I haven’t been very good. I’ve been lax and put on some pounds that I’m looking to get rid of. I love food too much and living with someone who does not need to restrict their eating is proving hard for me to lose weight.

So that is my life in a nutshell. Did I mention my wedding budget was under $5000? It was probably under $2500, but I haven’t done all of the math. (The biggest expense was the plane tickets.) Yup. Maybe I will talk about that in a future post.

20130119-113041.jpgI had some leftover fabric. Originally, I was going to make some pot holders to match my apron. But I had enough of the fabric for pants, so I thought I would give that a try.


Overall, I finished the pants within 1-2 hours. Even finishing the seams. This and the apron was a good project to learn how to use the bias tape. I actually completely messed up some of the apron trimming, if we talk about technique, but I don’t think you can tell very easily. I am quite proud of the job I did for the edge of these pants.

Pants was always something I thought would be HARD HARD HARD, and anything fitted is still a challenge. However, I was SUPER surprised to see how easy it was to make pajama pants. I think that might be a new thing for me with friends. Everyone is going to get pajama pants as a Christmas gift. HAHAHAHA.

These are really baggy, but quite comfortable, but I will be experimenting with tons of other shapes. I also look like a hobbit in that picture, since it was taken from above. High high above. Maybe I am a hobbit.

I was a little embarrassed to post the photos, but oh well.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s holiday was good. My holiday in Oregon was quite enjoyable. I
received more than I could hope for in good cheer, hospitality, and presents.

This year, I feel incredibly motivated to:

  • decorate/improve my living conditions
  • Look to buy an apartment space
  • Cook more dinner at home
  • Craft more (Jewelry, Knitting, and teaching myself how to Sew)
  • Get in better shape financially
  • Kick ass at work
  • Work out/lose the weight gain
  • Finally run 26+ miles
  • See friends regularly
  • Host game nights

The start of 2013 felt like any ol’ day. I wasn’t so much motivated in 2013, as much as I was motivated by my friends. There was something about 2012 that case a shadow over a lot of people I care for. Whether it be health concerns or financial issues, it seems like everyone is looking forward to 2013. I’ve had 2 friends go back to school in the end of last year, another friend starting a new job in the new year, and 2 people graduate from nursing school. There is A LOT of optimism and new beginnings going on. So, I should make this year a productive year, no? I’m trying to be better about letting time go by with the only thing to mark the days, being work during the weekdays.


I got a new shiny sewing machine for Christmas. :D I also received a beginner pattern, fabric, rick rack trim and bias tape. My very first project was making some pillows out of used bed sheets. Once I confirmed that I threaded the top and bobbin correctly, I was in business and tried my hand at making an apron.

20130107-011319.jpgCutting the pattern and fabric was pretty straight forward. After getting a hang at sewing corners, I was in business, more or less. I still need to figure out the right amount of tension and some thread clumping when it comes to sewing multiple layers (fabric, trimming, bias, and ribbon, for instance).

The pockets didn’t come out very good, so I might rip out the seams and try again. Also in my haste, I sewed the back tie on the wrong side. I’ve finished the trimming on the neck and both sides (the picture on the left is before I was done). It came out pretty well, if I say so myself. I think all in all it came out pretty well for my first project. Some bunches here and there, but it adds character. I didn’t have enough trim to finish the hem, though. It’s still functional, currently, at least. I just broke one needle ( ;( boo) and the thread tangled a bunch.

So… that was my Sunday! Here is to a new year and trying new things!

I need to take better photos and get some new shams and bedding (notice the bedding cut out from the picture), but the headboard is done! Ryan got the plywood, attached the foam/cut it to shape, and attached the first layer of batting. I helped him with the final fabric in order to pull it taut. I am also a little anal about folding the corners. We just need to find some interlocking components to hang this thing (or a d ring or something).


This is us just leaning it against the wall. I need to get new bedding and all, but for a night’s work, it’s pretty nice, no? Pretty whimsical? I am thinking of adding some molding to the border, a la Centsational Girl’s French Inspired Headboard. (Look at that photo set up! I need to get a duvet cover that’s not a depressing black and brown.)


This is going to have to wait until after the Holidays. And a side table. Something gray/white/light and cute. And some flowers. I need to lighten up that room.

All in all

Edit: Finished Product


I’ve been bit by the home improvement bug. Maybe it’s the promise that organization will improve your life and just wanting to surround yourself with pretty things. I’ve been reading too many inspirational blogs. I saw Centsational Girl’s headboard project and totally fell in love. Among many things, my bedroom is missing a headboard.

In fact, it wasn’t until recently, after the age of 30, that Ryan and I graduated from the full size futon. It didn’t bother me, because it was nice and firm. Ryan complained about back problems. Beds are so expensive, though. Luckily, when a good friend of mine was moving across the country (boo!) I had dibs on her mattress. She sold it to me for a steal. I thought I had dibs on her bed, as well, but her roommate took it. Either way, I got a highly rated metal frame in place of slats or box spring, and it works great. I imagine it’s a little on the firmer side, because of it, but I hardly notice. It was all on a budget. We’ve been sleeping great ever since, but our bedroom was just drabby on a good day. I’ve been pining for a headboard ever since.

Ryan and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary and the traditional gift is wood. I decided to get him a glass display case with wood top and bottom. He’s keeping it in the office and displaying his art. Ryan is building me a headboard. We went to pick out the fabric. I originally wanted something light and whimsical, but I kept getting attracted to light neutral stripes. Ryan picked out the duralee twiggy pattern below in blue haze. It doesn’t quite match our curtains, but I am hoping the contrast is pleasing. He told me he was trying to channel what I would like. And I original set out for something full of whimsy. Normally Duralee fabrics would sell for $30-40 a yard, but believe it or not, we saw this at the discount store for less than $10 for 4 yards. I might make a sham or a pillow cover with the extra fabric. (Or paint our wooden seat and make a cushion for it.)

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So the idea is to make a cushy headboard. The thinnest pieces of foam we were able to find is the 22x22x2″ inserts. I am concerned it’s not quite tall enough. I might be able to fill it with extra batting, since I purchased 3 yards.

We went to the lumber yard yesterday for plywood, but it was closed. I can’t decide whether we should get it cut to 66×22, or 66×32 and add 10 inches. 2-3 inches of that will be below the line of the mattress. Maybe I can get an extra 66×10″ piece for the bottom? We are going to try this morning, but Ryan might have to go on Monday. We are hoping to be done before he goes to Portland on Tuesday.

We are also used to sleeping by the window. However, once we get a headboard in, we need to sleep on the opposite side, which you know gets weird. I am also considering moving the bed around so that we both have a way to get out of bed. (Right now one side is flush against a wall.)