Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boarding the Crazy Train

Last week, I got an email from my friend LK (formerly Bridesmaid Sunrise), proposing a trip to Vancouver in August.

To run a half-marathon. 

I must be crazy.  No, wait, I know I'm crazy.

Because I agreed to do it.

Let's set aside for a second the fact that I'm not even remotely close to being the marathon-running type. I am about as far away from a runner as you can get. And my Bucket List has never included a marathon, half or otherwise.

But I was intrigued.  I decided to give the idea a second thought.  Then a third thought.  And then I gave it some serious consideration.  And I spent the better part of an afternoon pondering whether I should do this.

After that I did research. What's the appropriate amount of time needed to prepare to run a half-marathon? Let's be real: I'm overweight and massively out of shape. If a pack of ravenous wolves was chasing me and I had to run a mile right now, I wouldn't be able to do it--I'd be wolf bait.  But what I found as I googled and read, and googled some more, was that it had been done before, and it was most definitely possible.

I'm under no illusions that this will be an easy undertaking, but it's something that I really want to try. Remember how I decreed that 2012 would be the year of "Progress?"  I totally think this counts.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faking Feathers

At the beginning of December I went to the Urban Craft Uprising here in Seattle--a craft show for indie, city-types. There were a lot of cool, handmade things, like these purses from Crystalyn Kae:

(I got one for Christmas!)

And I bought a cute embroidery pattern from This Tiny Existence:

But, as the old adage goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and a lot of things were--well, let's just say that they were not my taste.  There was quite the variety of knitted items, recycled pieces, and crazy jewelry. I did find a pair of earrings that I loved, but one look at the price tag, coupled with the fact that I knew it was something I would be able to make myself, meant I walked away.

They were like these feather earrings, but made with floaty, teal chiffon instead.

A few weeks ago, I finally gave them a try.  I didn't have teal chiffon, but I did have white chiffon (from a previous wedding hair flower experiment) and all the other supplies on hand.  Here's what I ended up with:

They need a little bit of perfecting (to stop the chiffon from fraying, you have to burn the edges, then the shape gets a bit messed up), but I think I'm on to something here. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tutorial Twosday: It's Not Easy Being Green

Onions, that is!

Green onions might be one of my favorite things to cook with.  They add so much flavor, color, and have so many uses--from garnish to star, green onions feature in so many of the dishes we cook.  I swear we buy them every week and never even use the whole bunch.  So sad.

The solution for that?  Here are two:

First, apparently green onions can be frozen. 

I can't even tell you how awesome this is.  Shake and make.  Literally.  A leftover water bottle, a funnel, and the ability to use all those green onions later so they don't go to waste.  Yes. Sign me up.

Second--you can just grow your own.  Have green onions whenever you want.  Yes, really.

I saw this on Pinterest a few months ago and I can tell you it actually works.  We live in Seattle, where sun is scarce, and it still works.  Water, plus white ends, plus window, equals personal green onion farm.  We haven't eaten any of ours yet (they're still growing), but I can't wait to try them.  From what I've read, they will grow forever. 

Problem solved.

Happy crafting!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Postcards from Seattle: Snowmageddon

Mr. Goodlaff and I were told that Seattle completely shuts down in the snow, but this week, we got to see the chaos for ourselves.  My work was closed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday because of completely un-navigable streets and nasty weather.

 First a snow storm, then an ice storm, then a freeze.  Not good. Now it's raining and they are worried about flooding.  Good thing we live on the fourth floor...

Here's what I've been seeing for the past few days:

Hopefully you're staying safe where you are!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smart Case for a Smart Phone

Over the weekend, I finally became a fully functioning member of the smart phone club.  Mr. Goodlaff and I have wanted iPhones for a loooong time, but living in the boonies with limited cell coverage meant that they were not the best investment.  When we moved to Seattle, we decided, we would take full advantage of good cell coverage and get the long-desired iPhone.

And now we have.

I had my heart set on a Great Gatsby iPhone cover from Uncommon Goods, but it won't fit the iPhone model I got.  My little English Major heart is very sad. I've found and ordered another case, but until it gets here, I want to keep my phone protected.

Enter this iPhone sleeve tutorial from Dog Under My Desk.  I chose a dandelion fabric that I had laying about (truth be told, I have a lot of fabric laying about), and an hour or so later, I had a nice, padded sleeve to store my phone:

The tutorial was really easy to follow, but I have a few problems with the construction of the sleeve.  You layer all of the pieces together and turn it, then fold it over and sew up the sides.  It was really hard to sew through all of the layers of batting, fabric, and interfacing folded over at the end.  My sewing machine and I almost got into a fight, but ultimately, I triumphed. 

I'm pretty sure I could come up with an easier way of sewing a sleeve, but I probably won't, because I have one done, and I'm lazy.  I'm hoping that my new case won't add too much bulk to the phone and that I'll be able to use the case and the sleeve for added protection going forward.  The phone is insured, but I can be a bit of a disaster;  I'll take all the help I can get!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tutorial Twosday: Light it Up

Once upon a time I was under the delusion that I would use this tutorial to craft for my wedding.  I thought homemade votives would be awesome.  Then I came to my senses and decided on semi-homemade votives (my minions helped me make them).  Still, the cool factor of this project just can't be denied.

I bet you could add dye and make your own colors.  You could make large luminaries, small luminaries, and when the luminaries got deformed, you could toss them back in the pot, melt them down and redo the process all over again.  Awesome.

Can you think of a better use for grandma's old doilies than turning them into a chic lamp shade?  I can't.  Check it out:

I bet the holes in the lace make for really interesting shadow patterns. Maybe you could use paper doilies if you don't have any lace ones hanging around.  This could be really cute in miniature, too.  Small paper doilies could really spice up a boring set of plain old fairy lights! Tea party chic--that's how I roll.

Happy crafting!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Cold of Death

It was pretty quiet around here last week.  I apologize.  For almost two weeks now I have been dealing with the cold of death, and until Wednesday, I didn't have the energy to move, let alone blog.  My throat was killing me, I had Mr. Goodlaff buy out the entire cold section at the drugstore, and I went through about four boxes of Kleenex. I haven't even been working at my current job for a month, and had to call in sick for two days.  It was not good.  Luckily, I no longer sound like a 70 year-old smoker, and I'm down to only a few tissues a day. I feel almost human!

I made a few discoveries while I was sick, and I thought I'd share, in case any of you happen to catch the cold of death too.

After going through an entire box of regular Kleenex, I finally caved and sent Mr. Goodlaff to the store to get those awful tissues with the aloe in them.  My nose was so raw that I just couldn't take it anymore. What he came back with was this:


They have aloe and all that, but the best part of these tissues is that they are cool to the touch. It's kind of creepy--they are cold when you touch them. But they are so soothing, so awesome.  A total lifesaver.  It's a small box--only 50 tissues--and it's a bit spendy, but worth every damn penny.  I highly recommend them.

My second discovery was more of a referral than a find of my own. Turns out Sister Goodlaff was also suffering with a cold of death, and she found a recipe for a miracle drink on Pinterest. It's called Dr. R's Cold Remedy, and the recipe comes from Le Man and Wife

It's not much to look at, but the combination of lemon, honey, coriander, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon sticks is actually really tasty.  It can be a little strong and a little strange at first, but after three nights of drinking this, I felt way better.  Maybe I was just healing on my own, you say?  Nah. I prefer to put stock in this little gem.  Head on over to Le Man and Wife for the recipe!

If any more colds of death strike this winter, I will be ready!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Zippered Earrings

A few weeks ago I shared some zippy tutorials with you, one of which was a bracelet using the zipper from an old pair of denim jeans.  It just so happened that Mr. Goodlaff was tossing a well-loved pair of jeans, which presented the perfect opportunity to try out the tutorial. It took me a long time and cost me one seam ripper (damn thing snapped right in half--it never had a chance), but I eventually liberated a perfectly good zipper from the jeans.  Unfortunately, as I wrapped it around my wrist, I realized there was no way that zipper would become my bracelet.  My wrists are just too fat!

C'est la vie.  Mr. Goodlaff's zipper was not meant to be a bracelet, so I decided to turn it into a pair of earrings instead. Initially I was inspired by these:

But, as I bent and twisted the zipper halves into different shapes, decided to go my own way.  Here's what I ended up with:


I'm actually pretty happy with how they turned out--they add a bit of a funky edge to an outfit without being too outrageously indie. The best thing?  I had all the supplies on hand--they didn't cost me anything (well, except for the seam ripper).

I trimmed the zipper material so the earrings would have a lower profile than my inspiration earrings.  The material frayed a bit, but one pass over an open flame sealed the material back up again. Because I cut off most of the excess material around the zipper, I ended up sewing the zipper together right near the teeth, which meant it was a little hard to sew through at times.  Still, on the whole, these earrings were incredibly easy to make.

Maybe next time I'll do a swirly pattern? Use a different colored zipper?  The possibilities are endless...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Postcards from Seattle

Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe we actually live here in Seattle.  Civilization!  Shopping!  Stores and restaurants open past 6 PM! Scenery!

On New Year's Eve, Mr. Goodlaff and I hung around the house until about 11:30, then went to find a hill in West Seattle with a great view of the Space Needle. We were very successful:

The fireworks started at midnight, and though I'm sure they were awesome in person, they were just as beautiful from far away (maybe even better--we had no crowds!).

Second best New Year's Eve, ever.

When we were apartment hunting, the property manager told us we'd have a partial view of the Puget Sound from our unit, but with all of the leaves off of the tree in front of our apartment, we pretty much have a full-on Sound view until Spring.

Visibility wise, some days are better than others, but yesterday was stellar:

I get to look at that every day.  Amazing! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I have a tendency to over-do it on resolutions.  When I make them, I make a lot of them (what can I say?  I'm ambitious like that).  However, my follow through on resolutions is not anywhere equal to my enthusiasm for making them.  A few weeks in--a few months in at best--I abandon my best intentions and then resolve to do better the next year. 

This year, I'm not making any one resolution; I'm not even making multiple resolutions.  Given past precedent, my resolutions are only made to be broken. Instead, I'm going to follow Halsey of Spunky Junky's lead, and let one word set the tone for the entire year:

I know it's a little vague, but isn't that kind of the point? A lot of things can be filed under "progress"--that's the beauty of this method. As long as I'm moving forward, making progress, I'll be able to count the year a success. (The lazy girl's way around a resolution?)

What am I planning on making progress in? Lots of things!

I'm going to get more organized.  My closet and my crafting supplies are woefully unkempt.  It would be nice to be able to find things when I really need them, cutting down on multiple craft supply purchases. 

I'm hoping to make progress through my bookshelves.  At last count, I had more than 25 unread books waiting for their turn to shine.  I'm a book hoarder--it's a sickness. 

I'm a bit of a schizophrenic crafter.  I've never been one for settling down into one medium and perfecting my skills.  I knit, I sew, I can scrapbook and stamp, I make jewelry, and I'm game for anything that involves a glue gun.  The variety keeps me on my toes, but it also means that I have ADD when it comes to projects.  I'm in the middle of something when--ooh, shiny!--something new comes along, and before I know it, I have about four different projects in production.  Progress on this front will be when I complete one project before starting another, or when I start doing the projects I've purchased supplies for before getting distracted by the next big crafty thing.

The other thing I'm looking for progress on? Well, it's not very original.  Everyone and their mother vows to lose weight at the beginning of the year. It lacks creativity, but yeah, Mr. Goodlaff and I want to make progress towards being healthier.  I'm not going to train for a marathon, and we probably won't stop cooking recipes that we know are bad for us (give up cheese and bread? yeah right!), but we're going to make some smarter choices for the sake of our health.

Lofty goals, but definitely worth it.

So, here we go.  2012 is all about progress!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tutorial Twosday: Getting Organized

We all make those New Year's Resolutions:  Lose weight.  Read more.  Get organized. 

I don't know about you, but sometime around January 7th, I realize whatever it is is just not gonna happen.  Resolutions seem to be so absolute, that if you miss a few days, it seems like you've failed, and why should you really continue?

Still, I make resolutions.  After all, tomorrow is another day.

One of my resolutions is to get myself a little bit more organized. Tutorial number one will start my organization streak with my closet.

You've heard of the 20/80 rule, right? You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time.  I know it's true for me.  Here's one of the best ideas for practically weeding out your closet:

Basically you take all of your hangers in your closet and turn them backwards.  When you wear something, flip the hanger back around.  Whatever you haven't worn by July 1st, goes to the donation bin.  This way, you are getting rid of things based on what you actually wear, and not your sappy sentimental nature (can't just be me).

After my closet, the next thing that could use a little organization in my life would be my craft supplies--particularly my ribbon stash. Enter in this lovely little solution:

I am constantly amazed by creative storage solutions, and this one is just awesome.  This little trick will be the first of many craft storage makeovers I hope to do this year. Ribbons on a dowel, all in a row.  If only it were this easy to organize my fabric!

Happy Crafting!