Category Archives: Style

Here we are 4 months after the closing. Our TV room is pretty well furnished, with a futon/couch that we found at a moving sale, an Ikea coffee table, stools we found in Fred Meyers, Ikea book shelf, and Ikea and media console. (Yeah – we’re still heavily reliant on cheap Scandinavian furniture. I joke to my husband, that it’s his heritage.) We found a dining table that seats 6 people for under $100 at the same moving sale. (Although they were also selling a fish stand and aquarium for $200+, but unfortunately that wasn’t something we were ready to jump the gun on.

Not going to lie, most of what we’re looking at is either Ikea or Dania.

What we still are lacking in is:
hemnes-daybed-frame-with-drawers-white__0159184_PE315622_S4#1. A bed for us and a a guest bed

For us, we’re looking for a simple slatted bed. For the guest bed and other multi-purpose furniture, Ikea has a great selection of convertible day beds/single beds. I like this bed, since it’ doubles as a huge couch, single bed, or the equivalent of 2 single beds.

friheten-sofa-bed-with-chaise-beige__0188774_PE341595_S4#2 Sofabed for the TV room

We were looking at several different beds, but honestly, the look and price of this piece is right. It’s pretty comfy and we’re hoping that it helps when we have friends over. Some other beds we considered are Dania’s Oregon Sofa with Chaise.

29365#3 Seating for the living room

The living room is almost completely empty. Last week we got some Kallax bookshelves to start to fill that space, but we’re divided on what we want to do. My husband isn’t really keen to set up another sitting area, whereas, I think multiple nooks for sitting is fine.

He wants to set up a craft desk in the living room, which I don’t know how that would work… but he’s the more adventurous one out of the two of us, so we’ll see. Eventually we’re hoping to move his baby Grand Piano into this space, but currently that’s in his parents’ place.

#4 Our own TV (currently we’re borrowing a 36″ TV from my in-laws from their guestroom)

Pretty self explanatory, right? We’re hoping to acquire a good 50″ and wall mount the screen.

#5 And another coffee table

Again, pretty self explanatory. We need some more surfaces in the living room. (I haven’t thrown out the idea of a sitting nook, just yet. I mean, our fireplace is here, so … I am fully expecting to curl up with a book in that room.)

Am I missing anything? I’m planning a couple of other decorative things, but these are main pieces of furniture that we need to get.

Also … rugs. My biggest beef with rugs are that a lot of them are just so ugly. They are so patterned or with a specific color, that it freaks me out to commit to it. I found some that I like, but compared to other necessities, this one may have to wait.

As you may know, my husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. (So it’s kind of been a year.) I’ve made some small pillows, pillow covers, and a shoddy dress and t shirt dress. I also created an apron from a pattern that my MIL and SIL got me as a combination gift. I’ve also made pants. That bring said, I am such a beginner, I realized that I don’t really know finishing techniques, and how to effectively use a pattern.

This led me to look for online tutorials on how to make a dress/skirt. That’s how I found Craftsy. I found a basic class for fundamentals, where Brett Bara walks you through a simple pattern from start to finish, called Sew Ready Garment Basics.

Finished skirt flat

Finished skirt flat

In the class, I made a straight/pencil skirt. It has no lining. It taught me how to properly put in pattern darts and install a zipper. I really learned some great fundamentals, such as pressing all my seams as I went and finishing my seams. I also used fusible interfacing for the first time to reinforce the waistband. I’m really pleased at how it came out.

Here’s a little quick recap.

Cutting the pattern

Cutting the pattern

The class came with a basic straight skirt pattern from Butterick B5466 Misses Skirt and Belt. It includes 6 different variations on the basic skirt. In the tutorial, she offers a view into version A and C. I created the basic version A.

The tutorial walks you through how to read the pattern, which may be very basic, but was something I was missing. I totally didn’t know any of the short hand for going along the grain/cutting the pattern so the garment lays correctly. If you never had anyone teach you how to read patterns, this is a really helpful tutorial to get you set up with all the basics.

It takes you through putting in a dart and how to press the fabric to make it look really professional. The zipper installment was pretty straight forward, too, although I kind of fudged the seam there.

A little snafu, putting in the zipper.

A little snafu, putting in the zipper.

The thing I liked the best is that I normally skimp on a lot of steps that would make a garment more professional looking, such as finishing seams, pressing, and adding interfacing to the waistband. All of these things, really helped the end result. She also had nice tips for adding the curvature to the garment.

Adding the fused interfacing/facing waistband

Adding the fused interfacing/facing waistband

And for the record, I totally missed that the sizing on these things are not based on traditional sizes and you had to take actual measurements. I actually had to fudge the pattern a bit, since I didn’t think the larger cut out would fit me. In the end, it was pretty big, and I was able to take the pattern in. I also messed up on the slope of my hips, but I easily fixed that in one of the early steps (where she has us try the skirt on – when you assemble the larger pieces). I’m pretty happy with the end result, although it’s still a little looser than I how I buy commercial garments. (I didn’t want to end up with something too snug, though.)

Not too bad for my first garment without elastic, right?

Finished skirt!

Finished skirt!

Voila! Do you guys have any patterns that are good for beginners?

I wanted to use cotton to begin with, but I might go over my steps to create a skirt that is a little shorter out of a warmer fabric for winter. Maybe something in twill, so that I can wear it to work in the coming months?

I went to Portland, came back, started the new year at work, had a million annual reviews (ok… just 2), and on a whole felt so unmotivated by everything except my gym membership. In the midst of that, lo and behold, no update.

For the first time in my life, I got offered a first class ticket + a $300 voucher if I would take the evening flight instead of my super early morning flight into PDX. However, I decided not to take it, since although I can just go my mother’s place and hang out (and bite the Newark train fee), I didn’t want to lose a whole day of doing nothing (and I took off from work – precisely so I would get to the west coast early enough to actually do something). So, I got to PDX, Ryan and I got lunch, and then my friend George was going to come over and crash at Ry’s parents’ place for the night. Well, some crazy ass snow came. It shut the town down. George couldn’t even drive to our place, since he wouldn’t be able to climb the snowy hills. If I had taken that later flight and got there at 10pm, I would’ve been stranded!

Portland was fun and relaxing. I didn’t do any crazy shit and I spent most of the time stuffing my face. I gained 6lbs in 7 days, people. Almost 1 delicious pound per day. This was, of course, before the New Year and it’s been 2-3 weeks and I finally just got to my pre-Portland weight. Sigh. Which is still like 15 more pounds than I was at my fittest 2 or so years ago.

I’m trying to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. However, fitting my workout around work is cutting most of the it short. 30 minute run here, 10-15 minute weight session there… At least I managed to lose those 6lbs. WHO PUTS ON THAT MUCH WEIGHT AT ONCE?

Anyway, I should change the topic. While Ryan was still in Portland, I was staying with my mother in Manhattan, because I was lazy and didn’t have the XBox at home… and then what was I going to do? Errr… I mean, I missed Ryan. Not the XBox. Ahem. So, while I was at home, I was also flipping through a copy of Elle magazine I bought for the plane ride and there were these crazy set of articles of a couple of bored editors challenging themselves to change up a feature of their appearance everyday for 30 days… not clothes, but hair and make-up. Like, how many different hairstyles can you do for 30 days straight, you know, without cycling through the same thing. I think it was interesting, but obviously in the realm of, “you ran out of ideas, didn’t you? Great way to get out of a rut, though. This is something I would crazily do for my blog if I thought I had enough discipline.”

So, for a series of 3 days? Less than a week, I know. I came into the office with a Snooki/bumpit half ponytail and lots of eyeliner and shadow. People in the office would ask me, “what looks different about you?” And I would say, “this load of makeup on my face that I never wear?” And they would reply, “No, you did your hair differently.” Facesmack. Still, I will never be afraid of too much make-up again, after Cambodia. 3 Neutrogena face wipes and there was still make up on my face. They gave me new eyelids for shitssake! Anyway, so I know bored when I see it.

Like, for example, there was a time in elementary school where I saw how long I can go without wearing the same top twice. I started raiding my mother’s closet… yes, in elementary school, and cycled through ALL my t-shirts. I am pretty sure I lasted at least 3 months. No joke. I just wore a different tshirt every single day. I had a lot of damn t-shirts. (And yes, this was happening while I was wearing all those crazy leggings, because no one clued me into the fact that leggings were no longer acceptable for everyday. I think my first pair of jeans was this black skinny jeans, because I was that devasted about my leggings.)

Now, I am back to my careless aray of dressing kind of like Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, sans make-up, and seeing how long I can continue to get dressed in 10 minutes flat in the morning. Meh. If I think about going to the gym later in the day, I don’t even want to bother doing my hair or make-up. This is a far cry from my last job where I would make an effort to sort of dress up. I was also single then.

Although I am thinking that sometime in the future, I need to rock these eyelid tattoos the girl in the Elle magazine rocked… in pink and purple leopard print that goes over the entirety of the eyelid.

I was wondering around looking for lunch at a far off Food Emporium. I turned the corner and I was blinded by some very posh set up… what is that? Water? By Christian Lacroix?

Cute!! And check out this shell necklace, too. They have cute earrings, like the gold rosebud, also. Sigh.

I am totally craving new stuff to buy, like makeup or jewelry. This is such a cute dinosaur necklace.

edit: Omg, I cannot stop browsing.