Good idea, poor execution

Some people don’t mind running in the rain, but I don’t really care for it; however, since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t really avoid it (though I confess to spending a fair amount of time on the treadmill!). I have a rain jacket and a rain hat, but that means my legs get all wet, and it can be a tad unpleasant having wet quads. I made a rain skirt, so I wear that sometimes, but it twists around while I run. So, I figured, hey, I will create a rain dress/jacket for running! I am a genius! I got some great lightweight waterproof fabric from Rose City Textiles and sewed away. I even tricked it out with some reflective piping and a hidden credit card pocket. The dress/jacket turned out pretty much as I had envisioned, except it doesn’t fit properly! I made it too small, so I can’t move my arms around in it, so it won’t be practical for running. It fits like a dress, so I suppose I can wear it to a science fiction convention or something. I still think it is a good idea, but my poor spatial skills foiled me once again!

Posted in sewing | 15 Comments

glitter shoes

I am all about flat, wide, comfy shoes. I do not wear fancy shoes. Lately, though, I find myself attracted to heels, heels in bright colors, the more sparkly the better. Is this a midlife crisis? At any rate, I think the whole glitter shoe thing is awesome, but seriously, just because I am attracted to heels doesn’t mean I am actually going to wear them. And then I saw Susan’s post about making your own glitter shoes, and I was sold.

I started with these shoes, which I bought a couple years ago and have never worn. Not once. I had just tossed them into the Goodwill bag when I saw the glitter shoe post, so I dug them back out and headed to Michael’s to find some Martha Stewart glitter.

I pretty much followed Susan’s instructions exactly. I used Mod Podge in “sparkly” (because who wouldn’t want maximum sparklage?) and some sort of bright pink glitter. The ratio of Mod Podge to glitter is tricky. I wanted my shoes to be SUPER glittery, so I think I went overboard on the glitter. It is counterintuitive, but I think it is better to use LESS glitter so you have a thinner consistency. Mine was too gloppy. I ended up doing about three coats. Over the black shoe the pink glitter looks almost blue. Anyway, I did a pretty crappy job on these, but from far away they are passable. I haven’t, though, worn them yet.

Comment from Peter: “Why don’t you just go buy some glitter shoes?” Translation: “You are doing a really horrible job on those.”

Posted in other crafting | 14 Comments

Muji ripoff tunic thingy

On my last trip to Japan I spied this cute wool tunic at Muji. I didn’t buy it, though, because I am often captivated by these tunic-y things and think they are cute, and then when I put them on I look like an indentured servant or something. It looked easy enough to copy, so hey, that’s what I did.

In keeping with my doubleknit fabric theme, I used some coffee-colored ponte I acquired in the fall from Denver Fabrics (I think it was Denver. I can’t remember. Ponte is readily available). It was great to sew with–heavy and sturdy! There are no set-in sleeves, so this was basically like making a long t-shirt. The underarms came out a tad on the snug side, but it didn’t bother me when I wore it. All in all, I am happy with the way this turned out, and it is super comfy.

Happy 2012!

Posted in sewing | 13 Comments

berger cookies

If I were to dwell on the negative, I would think about all the years I was deprived of Berger Cookies. Instead, though, I will look on the bright side and just be grateful that I have a good friend who hails from Baltimore, Maryland, who was kind and generous enough to bring me some Berger Cookies on her last trip. People, I am telling you, if you used to eat spoonfuls of chocolate frosting from a can like I did, then these cookies are for you.

They are very sweet, but they are cookies! They’re supposed to be sweet! I had to set myself a limit of one per day. When I ran out, I wept for a day, and then I realized that someone must have thought about trying to make these things. All hail the internet! I checked out several recipes then went with the one from King Arthur Flour. I opted for the sequel rather than the original, I think because the sequel has more frosting. Heh. I have to confess I was worried that the fine folks at King Arthur Flour would try to make the cookies more, you know, organic or whole grainy or something, but thankfully they did not. Give ’em a try!

Posted in baking | 6 Comments

giveaway winners!

We have winners of the index tabs! As you can see, I wrote all the participant names on these tiny little TidBit pieces of paper (also courtesy of JetPens!) and drew two names: Jolynn is the winner of the camera index tabs (Jolynn, please e-mail me your mailing address!) and Azizah the bunnies! Woohoo!!

Thanks again for participating, and please take a look at JetPens if you haven’t already. They are constantly adding new products to the shop, including such temptations as this glow-in-the-dark lamp and these super cute cable organizers.

Ho ho ho!!

Posted in office supplies | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holiday giveaway!

I realize there’s not a lot of traffic moving through here, but the kind folks at JetPens still saw fit to offer me some gift certificates so I could get my grubby hands on some Japanese office supplies. I figured I would share the love and host a tiny little holiday giveaway.

JetPens has so many fun products that it is really hard to make any decisions at all. In the end I decided on the index tabs, which are super cute AND super practical. I call that a win-win situation.

Here’s what you do with the index tabs:
You use them to mark Very Important Pages in books and magazines and such, so no more dog-eared pages, people!

I’m keeping the deer (I had to open the package to demonstrate!), but I am giving away the cameras and the rabbits.

Giveaway details:
– All you have to do is leave a comment here. Deadline is Friday, December 16, at, oh, I don’t know, 11:59pm Pacific Time. How’s that?
– The winners will be selected at random. You can specify which you’d rather have, the cameras or the rabbits, but hey, it’s going to be random, so you may not get your top choice!
– I think last year I asked people to say what their favorite holiday cookie is, so this year how about mentioning your favorite hot beverage in your comment (this is optional. If you just want to leave your name and not humor me, that is totally fine!)
– International entries are a-okay!

All righty, that about does it. THANKS to JetPens for being so generous and completely awesome!

Posted in office supplies | Tagged , , | 51 Comments

coffee goods

For a country steeped in a rich tea tradition (get it? tea? steep? ha ha ha), Japan has a lot of really pimpin’ coffee-making stuff. It is still not that easy to find super delicious coffee (don’t mean to be a snob about it, but it kind of comes with the territory when you live in Portland, OR), but that’s okay (we did go to a really awesome roastery/cafe in Toyama).

Anyway, I sort of thought my head was going to explode when I came across the coffee section at Tokyu Hands, but I took a few deep breaths and just got a couple of useful-to-me items. Both are for making single servings of pour-over coffee. The lime one is great, because you don’t need to use paper filters! You do need paper filters with the pink one, but look how cute and tiny and portable it is. I figure it will be good for camping or something. I did have a bit of an accident with it when I got a little overzealous with the water pouring (collapsing wet filter and grounds), but it works great if you exercise some restraint.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Fun with Gofun

My friend Chico, the amazing artist and fabric designer, is also a highly skilled gift giver. When I saw her recently in Tokyo she gave me this very cool Japanese nail polish by Ueba Esou, a Kyoto manufacturer of paints and natural nail polish made from sea shells.

Gofun Nail Polish is all natural and thus not toxic at all. It comes in some very cool and Japanesey colors. I got this fun tomato red color, but of course I want the entire collection now! The polish is pretty thin but highly pigmented, so it went on very smoothly. I sprinkled some glitter on the pinky (nail glitters seem to be very popular in Japan). I love Gofun Nail Polish! Thanks, Chico!

Posted in nail polish | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

doubleknit revolution

I have been a little preoccupied with doubleknit for about a year now for some reason. The preoccupation multiplied in September when we went to San Luis Obispo for our nephew’s wedding. We visited some friends down there, and I inherited some vintage patterns and doubleknit fabric. That set off a crazy flurry of doubleknit-purchasing activity. Did you know that modern-day doubleknit is known as ponte? Well, now you do.

Anyway, I ordered the fabric in this dress from SewBaby. I don’t know where it came from, but they are probably just glad there are suckers out there who still want doubleknit. The vintage pattern I used turned out to be kind of huge, and even after I took in the side panels in a feeble attempt to make it smaller, it is still a bit big. Maybe I can pretend it’s one of those trapeze-type dresses?

Here’s another shot where you can kind of see the pockets. I liked that detail. Of course, since the pattern was too big, the pockets are a bit on the low side, but again, this is life when one has no spacial skills.

Posted in sewing | 6 Comments

deedle’s new coat

deedle in her new coatHere in the Pacific Northwest raincoats are just part of the uniform. I know some people would never put a coat on a dog, but what dog would want to be wet? Definitely not Deedle. She is cold most of the time, anyway, and all this rain just isn’t what this African pooch signed on for. So, she gets to wear a coat. We got her a great coat a few years ago, but it is starting to get worn out, and it isn’t completely waterproof. I cheated and just copied that coat to make this one.

I used some leftover exoskin from my stash and used fold-over elastic for the raw edges. Easy peasy. It is not as toasty as Deedle might like, but it is just fine for the mizzly weather. Someone commented that she looked like she was wearing a spacesuit.

Posted in basenji, sewing | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments