Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just real quick...

I FINALLY fixed my analytics! I'm still not sure what was wrong, but I pulled out the old code and redid it, and now I'm registering visitors again. I know you guys are all like :

'why do we care?'

Well, you don't.

'Why would you tell us this? Now I'm creeped out that you know too much about me!!!'

Yeah well, tough. I like knowing if anyone is actually reading my text-babble. And then I like making a random posting about it for my own personal enjoyment!

More 'real' posts are coming. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm a homemade fashionista!

You know what I HATE shopping for? Jeans. I can never find the perfect jeans. I own jeans from just about every store that sells the darn things. How many of them fit just right? Yup, NONE.

Well actually... that would be ONE now!

I was going to donate 2 pairs of jeans from American Eagle. They fit great upon purchase, but then they shrunk too short in the wash (a constant problem for me because apparently I'm 95% leg) but the waists were all baggy and giant. Then I had an epiphany... I've been wanting some hot skinny jeans, but those are just as hard to find as regular jeans, I bet I could tailor these crap jeans into the pants of my dreams!

So I set to work, it was super super easy. Here's how to do it:

How to take your old jeans from the pit of lame-ville to the summit of fashion-guru-ness!
1. Put on your jeans inside out.

2. Pin your jeans tighter to your leg on the inseam. It helps to use safety pins for this part so you don't poke yourself later. Make sure to leave enough room to get your feet out! If they are too tight now, they'll be too tight later too!

3. Take off the pants and lay flat. Replace safety pins with straight pins. you can also mark the line they make so it's easier to see, and straighten it out a little if necessary (eg, one pin is farther out of line than the others for some reason). They should be fairly straight diagonal lines like this:
4. Use a straight stitch down the lines. Remove the pins and try on right side out. DO NOT CUT EXCESS FABRIC YET. If they aren't even, or you're not satisfied, repeat steps 1-4 until you are happy.

5. Turn pants inside out again. Use a lock stitch, or zigzag to keep the denim from fraying, then cut off the excess fabric.

6. Look totally hot in your jeans!

To bring in the waist of pants that are too big, replace step 6 with these steps:

6 (option 2). Use a seam ripper to detach the top edge of your two back-corner belt loops.

7. Create darts in the waistband and stitch together like below:

This will create little triangular 'darts' that will be hidden by the belt loops.

8. Try on, if satisfied, go over the seam a few more times for strength, and reattach belt loops. It is probably not necessary (or advisable) to remove extra fabric.

9. Look fabulous in your 'new' jeans!

Here's how mine turned out, sorry but all you get is the one blurry pic since my camera is on its way out:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

STUDIO progress! Yay!!!

So I mentioned I've been working super hard on organizing my studio. When we moved in, there was a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. We moved in and unpacked the somewhat necessary things, like the kitchen, and then had to turn all our attention outside to begin battling with the wild jungle that is our yard. Everything else just kind of sat for a while.

Of all those things, the worst of them was my studio and art supplies. The basics got put where I wanted them, tables, sewing machine, etc. But the actual supplies themselves just hung out in half a dozen GIANT cardboard boxes hidden within the closet.

"But Bre," you say, "that looks pretty nice, you even painted!" Yes, but looks can be deceiving. I will now explain the horror hidden behind the box flaps...

When we lived in the 650 square foot apartment, there was NO WAY to keep my stuff straight. I didn't have anywhere to work, so everything had to be kept in our one big storage closet, and then come out to the main room to work, and then go back. And I have a plethora of interests. I don't JUST paint or JUST sew... I also build dollhouses, make miniatures, draw, embroidery, scratchboard, etc etc etc. So in my non existent space things tended to be stored according to project. And that usually involved a plastic Joann Fabrics bag as the primary vessel.

So my boxes were full of bags that were full of a mix-mosh of beads, clay, wood dowels, paint, miniature flower pots, silver trim, and about 345669532 yards of tangled fishing line... it could have made hoarders proud.

Now, this worked when it was the only option. But it was not easy, invariably I spent 30 minutes just getting out the materials to work on a project, so I could never just do a little, then put it away and go make dinner... now that I had my own space something had to be done.


This is about midway through. After total destruction, but long before a semblance of order. Also, this kept happening:

But I suppose that's to be expected when you have a cat... well, this cat. After several days/evenings of hard work, it has come together in a totally usable way:

Yay!!! Usable space! The boxes! The organization! So very happy. I'm sure I will tweak everything as I experiment with actually 'using' the space, and still have one more big box to get through. But that's a mix of super random, hard to organize stuff, and my airbrush equipment. So I'll get to it, but 90% of my studio is done!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Change and a Question

Well, I've decided that I'm going to expand what I talk about on here a bit. I realize the byline is 'the to-do list of a young Ann Arbor couple' and all I've talked about is our home adventures! I have a lot more that fits under that umbrella that I'd like to document. So there's that.

In other news today I got to deal with a super fun surprise... Yours-truly was not aware that an airline can up and change your flight plans on you, WITHOUT ASKING. So when I got a notice that our flights for our vacation this summer had been changed (to a time that would not at all work) I was 'curious' to say the least. After a long conversation on the phone in which the phrase 'this is unacceptable' was tossed around, we finally got things rearranged into a usable scenario. So now... Brian and I have 24 hours to kill in the Big Easy before we get in a pretty boat and sail off to other super cool destinations.

So my question is... if you had 1 day in New Orleans, what would you do? Where would you stay? Help!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Planning the front yard

So I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do this year in the front. We're going to actually get to plant things since those trees are gone, and now this year we won't be THOSE neighbors... I hope.

I put together a rough mockup of our front yard online:

You may notice that we don't actually have that little brick walk at the front stoop... YET. We want to install one, and since the space is seriously less then 6 sq feet, it may happen this year. It may.

The edge I'd like to do petunias. They are easy, cheap, and fill in nicely. And given that I'm still new to landscaping and such I don't want to try to bite off more than I can chew.

The blue thing in there, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but there and in any open spaces I'd like to put something low as filler to compliment the petunias. Possibly dianthus or silver artemisia.

In the back is the part I'm most excited about. I'd like to grow zinnias. I'm a little nervous because I've never grown anything from seed, but apparently they are super easy. Also I want something taller in front of the lower level window. Anyone have any advice for a novice landscaper?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This just in, I am grumpy. I cannot find my camera cable. ANYWHERE. And I have pictures to share! Grrrr.

Also, dozing off on the couch really is not good for your neck, I don't recommend it.