Monday, March 31, 2014

april goals

much like with the start of my 365 project, i've come to learn that it takes awhile for things to become routine.  so here's another attempt to trick myself in to getting in a routine.
wedding season is coming in to swing, and if i'm going to be lugging around a camera or two for 8 hours a day, i need to prepare myself.  granted, my first wedding isn't until may, but it may take that long to prepare myself.  and when it comes to preparing myself, it sometimes takes bribery.  and public declaration  so on that note....

goal: work out at the gym every weekday for a minimum of 30 minutes for the month of april.
reward: one shirt off of

melissa & jenny showed me the wonders of this website first by wearing their uber comfy looking silly/nerdy shirts saturday evening as we rounded off girls night with pizza & watching frozen with natalie (who also has shirts from this site).  melissa the showed me the website and all the goodness that came with it.  and i was sold.  so many things i wanted to order already, but no free spending funds. (thanks college, phone bills, car payments and being a grown up in general)  so now, i have decided i need to earn the privilege to purchase one of these comfy shirts. so officially starting tomorrow, i have to hit the gym all 21 week days in order to earn the right to spend the money.  not sure which one i'll get, but here are a few of my favorites.
hm.  realistically, i know which one i will probably order first, but it was just so much fun to scroll through and go "ooh.  i like that one."  and "ooh.  that one's funny!"
one of these will be so fantastic in my loungewear variety.  now just to get on to earning it :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

pairs of logs queen size quilt - amy & luke's wedding gift

people ask me quite a bit what i do when i'm not working, going to school, teaching dance classes or running my own photography business.  well friends.  here is the best example yet.
amy & luke got married.  you should be well aware of that now.  back in october, amy booked the venue and made it official.  that meant i had 5 months to knock out some form of wedding present for them, and it had to be awesome.  actually, i had been planning their wedding present since they got engaged in december of 2010, but it was always a mental image.  now i had to make it happen.  lisa was here for a short while in october as well, so i left after class on a monday afternoon & headed out to modesto for the evening to do some fabric shopping.  i had purchased a log cabin quilt book on amazon for a dollar (score!  it was like 25 at joann's) and basically picked the pattern for the quilt determined on one of the four that had an actual picture and yardage listed for the quilt.  after much shuffling of bolts, we i ended up with this selection.
from there, it was on to painstakinly measuring and cutting out the pattern pieces, since the cuts for each piece were not listed. not fun, let me tell you. if i do this pattern again, i'm going to have the pattern enlarged at kinkos. but after cutting 19 pieces per block, and i think there were 48 blocks total, it was time to get sewing. i did everything one piece at a time, numbers 1-19 mixed in with school work, photography, teaching, and everything inbetween... these were created.
pretty cool, right? yeah, i'm totally making you do a lot of things before i get to the actual quilt outcome.
figuring out the layout for this was dreadful... but then after it was complete, it was stupidly obvious.  i wanted to use the same layout that was shown in the book, but my first attempt had these HORRIBLE eyesore circles all over it.  like, the center of the quilt, but everywhere.  finally, with an extra set of eyes, it was figured out and pieced together... and here it is...
boom.  quilt.  and you wanna know who quilted that sucker?  ME.  but let's tell that story in a minute.  there's another pressing topic that has to be covered... like more pictures.  and the story about the back.
yep. loving it. more pictures... like some sweet borders and stripey binding.
yeah. imagine that circle in the middle ALL OVER the quilt. it was bad. like those magic eye optical illusion books kind of bad.
oh look! we're on to the back now.
so the issue with this was i didn't want to buy a gazillion yards of fabric to do the back of the quilt, so i went "hey... i'll just buy a sheet!" which is something i do often with quilts. this quilt was queen size, so i bought a queen size sheet. makes sense, right? WRONG. after ripping out all the seams to get it to the furthest possible inches it could have... it was still a good couple inches too short. i was ready to hulk smash. but instead of doing that, i pulled some fabric in from the front that i had leftover, and made a back panel to insert in to add some extra length to it. and all was well. until i had a batting freak out the same night. but that was because i had it the wrong way. late nights & quilt drama are not a good combo. carry on.
clearly all my photos were of the front (as they should be... it's much fancier) so now the quilting story. i took over our kitchen for a week (minimum) in order to baste it all by hand, since i didn't have enough safety pins and it was ginormous.  there is a picture of the madness somewhere... but i'll have to locate it.  i spent hours crawling around listening to the walter mitty soundtrack mixed with cassadee pope's frame by frame while basting.  finally, it was done and i was ready to quilt.  but then my quilting thread i was going to use was MIA.  late night run to joann's, bout a spool of thread, and we were ready for action.  i zigged and zagged my way around all of the tan & green parts, which leaves that design showing on the back.  once it was complete, i sewed that binding on and spent many hours watching jimmy fallon on the tonight show chugging my way through hand sewing.  finished it pretty much the week before the wedding, wrapped it up and called it good to go.  amy & luke loved it, and sent me photos of it already on their bed.  such great friends.  so worth the craziness of this quilt.
would i do it again?  maybe...
but i think i'll take a break and make some baby quilts for some special people with new little ones in their life, or on the way in to their life :)
quilt pattern: pair of logs
book pattern is from: 100 any-size log cabin blocks (leisure art)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

wedding favors & garter - amy's wedding crafts

before i can get to the big shaBAM post, i gotta show off these little guys.  one i can take credit for, but the other was all amy.  and they turned out so cute, i have to share the photo of it and all the diy-ness that went in to it.
back on the nurse apron post, i mentioned that we had a favor making hooplah that didn't go quite as planned thanks to the printer issues.  well, that day we got ONE favor finished... and this was that one favor.  amy's plan was to make hugs & kiss bundles for her wedding favors. (which did happen.  just on the bachelorette party weekend)  sarah designed the little logo (which has a tree on it, amy & luke and the 3.9.2014 date on the bottom) and was eventually turned in to stickers.  after creating an army of hugs & kisses on the table, i cut squares of tulle that jenny counted out.  on the bachelorette weekend, amy & jenny cut the ribbon, sarah & melissa made the bundles and amy & i tied them up.  jenny & i curled the ribbon ends, and wham bam, they were all complete.  clearly they were a hit at the wedding, because some people were very bummed theirs was taken before they could pick it up.  good idea, amy!
for amy's bridal shower, she received a camo & lace garter to wear for her wedding day.  alas, the garter didn't come with one to toss.  madness!  so after my garter creating experience for erika's wedding (as in it was super easy) i busted out this little number for amy.  the hardest part was finding a little something to fancy it up a bit.  i looked for deer... no luck.  i looked for ducks... nope.  i even looked for a simple little paw print.  nothing.  i found this little tree button at beverley's which reminded me of the tree on the favors.  when i saw it, i knew it had to be.  i stitched up this little garter (the ribbons on it are in her wedding colors) and it was good to go.  turns out, amy decided to keep this one instead of the other one.  winner!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

from miss to mrs - amy's wedding day

so the big day was here.  the one we had all been waiting for.  and then in the blink of an eye, the night was over and we were all on our way.  let me rewind a bit, just to give you the whole story.
between pedicures and leaving for the rehearsal dinner, amy & dori went to check in to the hotel so we wouldn't have to do it later.  the rehearsal dinner came and went, we went back to amy's to get our dresses, load up all of what we need and head on to the hotel.  we got there, trucked everything to our 7th floor room and then when we got to the room were in for a little bit of a shock.  what was supposed to be two queen beds was one king.  and a very small room around it.  called down to the desk, and that was the only room we could have at all.  on top of that, they claimed a cot wouldn't fit in there...  so amy, sarah & i  squished in to the bed, while jenny, lisa & rachel each slept on one side and the foot of the bed.  if there was an emergency, somebody was going to be in trouble.
the morning came early, amy & lisa disappeared at one point to go help with set up, and the rest of us woke up around 8 or 9... i can't even remember.  i did a lot of up and down the elevator to let dori, alissa & dana in (mom of the bride, plus the hair & make up ladies) and amy brought us back food.  the day hit the ground running, yet so many of us were ready to stay in bed...  myself included.  amy crawled back in to bed, waiting for her bubble bath necessities to arrive, and so sarah brewed her a nice cup of tea... using water from the bathroom.  we lovingly named it "tub tea".
we headed to the ceremony/reception site, and had to hide away in what is basically the table & chair closet. classy! i got amy in to her dress, sash & garter in place... and then we waited for our turn to go take pictures. so i took pictures.
and BOOM. they got married. but i don't have any pictures of that. still working on my maid of honor spy camera proto type. we headed outdoors for bridal party photos... and froze while doing so. all in good fun, of course. we also learned that apparently family portraits are a spectator sport for strangers.
then it was time to get the party started! this is the point where phone pictures start to mix in with camera photos, but it's all in good fun.
jack speach-ed, i speach-ed. he gave luke a tailpipe from his groomsman's wreck at the bachelor party. i tried to give amy an appendix that wasn't mine to give. all in the name of love, people. all in the name of love. rue had the final say, and then it was time for the party to get started. some delicious cake, followed by the dances.
and then there came the money dance, in which none of us had cash and were tempted to ask luke & amy if they took visa. luckily, melissa's mom came to our rescue and gave us each a dollar. yay! followed by the garter & bouquet toss (which i caught, by the way... like a boss)
favorite photo from the night. right here, my friends.
after all was said and done, the party was cleaned up and the sand swept away, we all headed our separate ways. jenny and i went back to the hotel room, washed the hairspray galore out of our hair, and then went down a few floors to melissa's room to oogle her photo with chris hemsworth from that morning, as well as chow down on her organic potato chips (organic makes it better... right?) have some girl talk and watch movies on mute.  crawled back up a few floors to go to bed, and then called it a night.  dropped a few forgotten things off at amy's the next morning, and then we were on the way back to california.  such a blast to be there every step of the way for amy's wedding.  from finding the dress to seeing her down the aisle, it's been quite the adventure.  now it's onward to many more!