Thursday
Nov202014

Pinterest PSA

Listen, I have so much to tell all both of you that read this blog. Or that read it back when there was actually, you know, content.  But first, please allow me to rant for a sec because ugh.

I love Pinterest. It’s like, my mecca.  But I’m seeing some disturbing trends and I’d like to provide a Pinterest PSA/Best Practices.  (Because I’m a damn expert, that’s why.)   

1. Verify the content.  Don’t pin shit that’s not real. Don’t pin a picture of, like, a crocheted afghan “pattern” or picture of a really great meal and the clickthrough link is….. an image on Tumblr.  That’s dumb and mean and annoying and smack-worthy.

2. Again, verify the content.  Don’t pin things that you haven’t checked first.  Like, you find a cool tutorial and you don’t pin the link to the *actual* tutorial.  You pin a site that has a link to another site that has a link to another site that has the original tutorial.  Give link creds where they’re due.  Don’t give those spammy bullshit sites stolen traffic so they can slap ads on their crappy Wordpress site and monetize someone else’s content.  It’s gross.

3. If you see a pin you like, REPIN it from the original pinner (after you’ve done your work on #s 1 & 2 to vet that content first #AmIRite).  Don’t go to the site and pin it from scratch like you just discovered it.  Rude.  And don’t act like you don’t do it, I’ve watched you.  So quit it.

4. When you pin or repin something, for the love of all things crafty, update the description.  Please.  Pretty please.  That’s why there’s, like, a description field there.  In front of your face.  So you can remove the other person’s info/reminders/thoughts/default text and add your own, or correct typos (like the correct use of your vs. you’re).

Okay? Okay. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  Love you, mean it.  Happy (better) pinning.

xo

Wednesday
Aug202014

Yes, that's right, we're moving to Portland

As some (most?) of you that follow me on social media may know, I have left my 7.5 year position at Squarespace.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

I know! I’m freaking out too. Well, not really anymore, I’ve actually had a lot of time to come to terms with it and am actually very very happy. And freaking out a little. Ok, maybe more than a little.

A little over 3 years ago I moved my family up here to NJ so we could be closer to work. Our apartment is tiny, but the area where we live is beautiful (if not super expensive) and the schools are lovely. For the first time in a long time we hated the physical space where we lived, but our girls were able to enroll in activities (swimming, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, karate, and on and on) and everything was great.

Until it wasn’t.

I had to deal with hellish commutes (whether by car or by train) and loads and loads of time away from my girls on a daily basis. At one point it was not uncommon for me to leave the house before they woke up, and to come home after they had gone to sleep. Everything is expensive. Groceries, activities, riding the train, etc. I briefly entertained the idea of moving into Brooklyn to make the commute shorter, but I couldn’t justify 2x the rent for less space and having to go to a laundromat or taking a taxi to the grocery store.

Eventually I reached a breaking point.

I hadn’t picked up a book that wasn’t work-related, or touched a knitting needle or sewing machine, or even done any of the projects around the house that I had really wanted to get done. Let’s put it this way: only about 3 months ago did I hang curtains in the living room. I was losing the person that I thought I was, or the person that I want to be.

I just couldn’t live like that anymore.

In my travels I’ve been to Portland now twice, and we have lots of friends that live in that general area. Not to mention my family, Bryan’s family, and most of our history is in SoCal, which makes Portland an easy choice (close enough to travel without major expense) and it definitely seems like our kind of people. (Coffee! Tattoos! Cross stitch with bad words on it!)

I’m mentally trying to recover and separate who I am, my life, my self-worth, from the work I used to do for Squarespace. It’s been in some ways an easy transition, but in some ways it’s been very very difficult. What has continued to propel me forward is my love of my family and figuring out who *I* am and what I have to offer.

Customer Service is most certainly my career passion, and I hope to continue that work when we move. I want to learn, grow, and be challenged. I want to go somewhere where I can have proper work/life balance and continue to spread my customer service philosophy. I want to go somewhere where I can meet, learn from, and be inspired by new people.

With this transition for not just me, but our whole family, I see lots of bare feet, hands in potting soil, more time for home projects, making bath paints and building a dress-up wardrobe. It is possible to have an appropriate work/life balance, and it is possible to have a happy home life and a happy work life. I didn’t choose to come to NYC because I wanted to - but I am choosing Portland, and therein lies the difference.

So, forward we go, flying a little bit by the seat of our pants but with light hearts and high hopes. We’re ready to jump in with both feet.

xo

Monday
Dec302013

Knitting up a storm: what I did on Xmas break

On my Christmas break I’ve had lots of free time at home to basically veg the hell out, sit on the couch watching endless Netflix, bake cookies, and knit.

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Knitting and I always have a back and forth relationship: there are so many things that I want to make that I get project burnout before I even start. It’s really the perfect thing to do, though, when it’s cold and rainy out, you have a plate of chocolate chip cookies sitting in front of you, and you want to be *slightly* productive while sitting in front of the t.v.

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I started on a hat for myself and finished it in about 5-6 hours. I know, I’m terribly slow. But still, it’s really cute and gave me something to do while learning about Inca ruins and the Spanish Conquistadors. Score!

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I also started a pair of yellow mittens for Thea literally a year ago. Oh god, the shame. In digging around my knitting bag the single mitten turned up, and Thea found it, put it on, and ran around the house showing everyone. That shamed me into finishing the second one, and making an cord to attach them together through her jacket.

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Now, if I could just get paid for eating cookies, watching t.v., knitting, and drinking endless pots of coffee… my life would be complete. P.S. If you’re on Ravelry you can check out my projects here. The mitten pattern is here, and the hat pattern is here. Knit on, my knittahs!

Tuesday
Sep102013

Geranium Dresses + Go To Leggings

The other day I made myself an Ikat Washi dress (no, I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I promise to get around to it… eventually).  Phoebe loved it so much she asked me if I could make one for her.  Usually the answer is no (adult patterns are not child-sized, natch) but in this case I could.  That Rae is a super genius!

We have a tradition of late of the girls getting first-day-of-school dresses made by me.  Most of the time I try to pick out the fabric, but this year I let them do it.  Yep, it happened.  I actually happen to like what they chose (gasp!) and I was excited to make them some Geranium dresses.

I sewed these assembly-line style and they went… medium fast.  The dresses have a lined bodice with back button closure, pleats on the front and back, and pockets (pockets oh yessss).  I used snaps on the back instead of buttons.  I did the faux cap sleeves and scoop neck (no cutout) so it looked more like the Washi I made for myself.  I originally bought 5 yards of material (I figured 2.5 yards for each dress) and I have a good 2 yards left over.  So Thea will get a Geranium dress too, and they’ll be matchy x3.  IKNORITE.

I sewed a size 6 for the middles and they fit perfectly, the length was good, but I figured some leggings wouldn’t hurt.  I had snatched up this silver dot jersey from Girl Charlee (it has these metallic silver pin dots that are raised up from the fabric - no longer available or I’d link to it) and I knew it would make fantastic leggings.  I searched around for a pattern and came upon the Go To Leggings pattern by Go to Patterns, and since it was a PDF download (my fave!) I had instant gratification and could get their leggings knocked out super fast.

It took longer to print, tape, and trace the pattern than it did to sew the leggings.  They went together lightning fast, like, no lie.  I was amazed.  There are lines to make shorts, capris, or full length leggings, and all sorts of fancy embellishments.  I just wanted some plain jane standard leggings, but I love how many options come with the pattern, and that there’s a huge range of sizes so we can use it for awhile.

Sewed up the leggings on my serger (I used white thread, shh, don’t tell) and zigzagged the elastic onto the waist.  I hemmed the bottoms by about a half inch using a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, and done!  Not pictured: I made a matching pair for Thea so she doesn’t feel left out.  Srsly I’m going to be making leggings for days now.  I’m addicted.  They fit so well and Charlie wore them to gymnastics so that’s the real test of whether they’ll hold up or not.  

Fancy first day of school outfits, yey!

Saturday
Sep072013

Nightgowns! Kwik Sew 3105 + Butterick 4005

I've been sewing up a storm lately, not that you can tell by my (lack of) blog posting.  Stuff for me, and a bunch of stuff for the girls.  Totes bustin' my stash, which feels good y'all.  Feels good.

In any event, the other night Charlie came out of her room in her "jammies" -- meaning a shirt that was roughly a bazillion sizes too small.  I rolled my eyes as hard as I could and then decided to make up some fancy nightgowns.  

I don't know about the rest of the world, but making nightgowns doesn't excite me that much.  It's like buying new towels or sheets: totally necessary, but boring and nothing that you're really ever going to be able to show off.  Oops, I guess my sewing ego is showing.

I originally wanted to make this Kwik Sew pattern (3105) (OMG SO ADORBS) but I couldn't find it in the store and I did NOT want to order the paper pattern online and pay shipping.  Yuck.  So I found this See and Sew (Butterick) 4005 in the store and made up 2, one for Phoebe and one for Charlie.

It's so cute, it has gathered sleeves with elastic, three box pleats on the front, easy peasy front/back facings, and a simple button closure in the back. (Do forgive the instagram photos. I have not been inspired to take regular camera shots.)  I made them both a size 6 even though they're closer to a 7 in RTW since I knew the nightgown would be boxy and a little big on them regardless.

 

Takes a lot of fabric, though, but I love the fullness.  Fabric for the middles' nightgowns was some $3/yard apple flannel I found at Joanns.  Fabric for Thea's was some flannel that I already had in my stash.  Woot!  Not pictured was some lace I had lying around that I used for the hem on Thea's nightgown.  

After making up the Butterick pattern, though, I wanted that Kwik Sew nightgown even more, so I bit the bullet and ended up ordering it online anyway.  Aw shucks.  I also ordered yards and yards and yards of lace trim from Deb's Lace and Trims online since I have literally nothing in my stash, and really, you can't make a nightgown without some sort of lace trim. 

YOU GUYS, that shop has such great trims, and really really cheap, and super fast shipping!  Don't bother paying $2-3 per yard for lace trims.  Go order some from Deb's.  You're welcome.  I used this one on Thea's nightgown (hello! 5 yards for $1.25!  yes please!)

Anywho, I whipped this up last night, yes, same owls from the other nightgown just in a blue color way.  I have a sickness, but at least I'm consistent.  

The pattern is easy -- front/back bodice, gathered skirt, then ruffle on the bottom.  No closure.  I chose View B (sleeveless).  The application of the lace trim was interesting, but it worked.  I hated to gather the ruffle on the bottom thinking it would take forever, but nope.  It went pretty quickly.  The lace is probably a little wide for the pattern, but I don't really care.  It's just the cutest thing ever, and she loved it, so everybody wins.

I have plans to make 2 more of the Kwik Sew nightgowns for the middles once I get back from my work trip (Ireland, aw yeah!) and I pinky swear to take real actual pictures and blog about it.  Pinky swear!