Another selfish sew! Look at that face! That’s someone who was super excited about some more new clothes.
I found this snake fabric on Etsy a month ago and loved it. Only in hindsight I’m sure it’s kids fabric but still I love the colors and and how the design was. I love the weight of the jersey fabric too – generally jersey is pretty see-thru but this was so thick and not see-thru. Since it was sturdy material I didn’t even use my serger as there was no tension issue.
This was less than an hour project as I almost got thru 1 hour of the Roosevelt’s Doc from PBS. I love that documentary – I’ve seen it probably 4 times all together. I think I love it because it so radically changed my perspective on so much about that family. I especially love watching it now since our political climate has changed so severely.
I used this Pattern from McCall’s:
Specs on Time/Cost
Total Time: < 1 hour
Total Cost: $1.99 Pattern + $24 for 2 yards of jersey fabric on Etsy
Have you ever bought the wrong sized pattern? I did here lol whoops! But i just shorted the smallest size by 2inches and aimed for 10-12. I didn’t want this one to be skin tight since I wanted to wear it to work, so I think it worked out perfectly.
Pattern was super easy.
I’ll be making the V-neck and the long sleeves for sure.
I did a little selfish sewing last week. Finally caught a tiny respite from the great baby making of 2017 😉 JK I love that all of you are having babies because baby stuff is my favorite kind of crafts to make. However, I had another 1940s ball to attend so instead of buying my dress this year I decided to make one that was more traditional (less ‘retro’ stereotypical). This is the Original 1947 Design of Vogue V9126 Dress Pattern. Available at Vogue Patterns or Joanns. I picked up this pattern for $5 on one of the ‘sale days’ at Joanns.
I know that Joann’s is sort of the anti-craft movement for a lot of people. I happen to find it really convenient, affordable and they do have a pretty nice selection of fabric, yarn, supplies. Plus and this is why it’s so hard to say no to Joann’s they always have a coupon(s) to use.
But I digress. I found the pattern and the Fabric (50% off that) at Joanns and decided to make this for the ball.
The collar took quite some mulling over. It was not easy to create shape for that just from ‘folding it over.’ I ended up hand sewing the lapels to each other in the front to give it the shape I wanted.
The waist was too small for only a short bodice zipper – I had to let out the waist by 3 inches to get the waist over my shoulders (I’m not that big there). If I make this again I will put in a zipper that extends down thru the waist so that I can just zip it up and keep the shape once on.
Bust was taken in considerably. I used the 36in bust – (I’m a 34in) and it was like a burlap sack – I ended up taking in the pleats so significantly it was starting to distort the shape on the bodice. If I make this again I will use smaller bodice all together and then gather skirt in back if necessary.
Anyways enough of my bemoaning about having a small bust and big shoulders 😉
All and all it was a super fun, cute dress. I’ll be making more in the future!
Well all be. It’s summer this week. I haven’t said anything about my garden yet. We’ll I have reason for that, let’s start at the beginning.
It’s January and I cannot wait for planting season, last year I had a HUGE amount of help from Colorado Urban Farm. They not only set up my beds, filled, them, planted, but with their laminated checklist/references I was able to keep things alive/weed and ultimately enjoy eating from my garden! It was a major success, but I felt like this year I could own the whole thing. So I came up with a new design – add 2 4ftx8ft beds, and some containers for container corn.
I still planned on practicing square foot gardening. So I had 128 squares to fill and three large felt pots. I got on burpees.com and went ape shit. $100 worth of seeds later I had:
Tomatoes (Beefsteak + Big Boy)
Green Bell Peppers
Then I started the celery, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes inside around March 15th. I bought this light from amazon, set up a room where they would be undisturbed and warm and spent a lot of time planting, making sure everything had good light etc. I used this kind of seedling tray from Black Magic – was really unhappy with it. It said it was peat, but the peat never broke down even after it was soaked. It was more hydroponic style, which in hindsight is Black Magic’s whole ‘thing’.
I lost 50% of my seedlings when I transferred them to soil three weeks later. What remained were some hardy pepper plants, some spunky tomato plants and some super hair-fine celery plants plus one random cauliflower plant. That core group of plants was doing great – I had about 12 total and was feeling great about next steps with them. Then it came time to plant them outdoors. Four days later – IT FUCKING SNOWED IN MAY IN COLORADO.
But everything survived. It was a miracle! But a short lived one, three weeks after the snow another 50% of the plants were gone. Just POOF gone on 70-80 degree days under their shade/hail tent. I was/am/will always be disappointed.
I ended up just buying new plants at $2 a pop from Home Depot, O’Tooles, Walmart.
All in all, my seedling experiment was a bust. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t be doing it again.
Cost of indoor seedlings: $50 for seeds, $80 for electricity, 8 hours total working time
Cost of new plants: $32
Also my home made compost that I used to plant my tall pompous grasses totally has veggies growing around it lol
This time my cousins Oli and Matt are expecting their first – a baby boy named Mateo! I just love that name. I can’t wait for him to be here. 🙂
Typically, I stick with pretty traditional quilting. Civil War quilts are my favorite, followed closely by The Farmer’s Wife (1930s). But, I just couldn’t see myself giving Matt and Oli’s son a traditional quilt. I decided to go for something bold, modern, and way out of my comfort zone. Pretty much the entire time I made this quilt I asked two questions 1) is there something with more contrast? 2) is there something bolder? I think I finally got the questions answered with ‘no’.
Again, I didn’t use a pattern and I just used jelly rolls. It will be the last time I use jelly rolls though. They just aren’t consistent! Im pretty sure it’s the one time that a human is more consistent than a machine – plus they cut them between 2 3/4 inch and 3in and it just makes no sense. trying to match them up with anything is a nightmare. If you look close you can see I used a lot of optical illusions on this quilt to adjust or the non-standard jelly roll strips. *shakes fist* never again jelly rolls! But I’m super happy with this quilt. It’s modern, fun, and super bold. It’s perfect.
Over a week ago I got to attend my friend Juanita’s baby shower for her upcoming daughter! It was such a beautiful baby shower – the food, location and decorations were perfect! Not to mention I got to see so many people I haven’t seen in probably 5 years!
I decided to make a second version of a quilt I made my niece last summer, because I just love the pattern. This time I didn’t measure a thing – which was really dumb. But it worked out! I also used jelly rolls – thinking it would speed up my time. The thing about jelly rolls is, they don’t save time because they aren’t identical. If I had cut these strips I would have been done a day sooner, I actually had to spend an hour at least readjusting the seams in the center once I got it all pieced. Jelly rolls just aren’t predictable. The time I saved not cutting I more than spend double in the end dealing with. Long story short, I used jelly rolls on another quilt after…. more to come on that.
The quilt came out super adorable – I love it!
Goes to show the things that give you the most grief are always the best.
I am back on my quilting kick and recently have had some fun stuff going on with quilting!
For Lois’s birthday, I made another table runner for her. I love table runners because it’s a year round gift – not a heavy quilt in the spring/summer. I also love how I can be more intricate in design due to size.
I first found this table runner – and had planned to make this exactly.
However, I thought at 2inch for 40 squares would be the skinniest/weirdest looking table runner ever. I ended up sewing the squares the same way, but then rearranged the pattern to look like diamonds with chevron boarder.
Between the pattern and fabric, I am very happy about how this came out.
Lois spent some of her birthday week helping me (aka doing it for me) with my long arm quilting frame. Let’s just say when I tired to set this up in January, everyone got yelled at – the dude, Leopold, Boris, and a Centurylink installer who just happened to be there. I’m so glad she put it together though, because now I’m incredibly excited to get back into quilt making!
If some of you don’t know what a quilt frame is, it essentially makes it so I can free-motion, or more easily quilt the fabric without having to drag it through the smaller machine. There are some crazy AF people online with hooks and rope systems telling you that you don’t need a quilting frame, but that’s nuts. I was going to post a picture here, but decided to since I wouldn’t want to be put on blast doing something that requires so much more work with IMO not the best results. However there are some gurus out there that you would never know they did the quilting on their basic sewing machine – but I’m not that good, nor do I have the patience for that crap. But, regardless both methods give you an entirely different finished look. I was tired of the same old, same old in my quilting so I’m beyond excited to get going with my new Juki and frame!
I titled this fitness journey 2.0 but let’s be honest, it’s like on update 14.4. When we moved back to Denver, I just got out of habit with fitness and wellness. I stopped going to acupuncture, I stopped riding everyday, I stopped a lot of healthy habits. And you know what? I’m not mad about it. It was an incredibly stressful year when we moved back and working out wasn’t a consistent priority. I did HIIT workouts, Betty Rocker, ran and biked some, but after a while I would stop due to weather, health, or just because Law & Order was on.
So here we are 2017, for the last 4 months I have been consistent and the results are insane and am highly motivating. In November, I joined the rec center that is literally a 5 minute walk from our house and started riding. Then in December I started a program from Massy Arias. I did it again in January and now in Feb am getting into some new workouts at Crossfit! I ride the spin bike probably 2/3 times a week to prep for my ride in September with the Tour de Cure.
I also have been meal prepping my but off – here is my typical day:
Lunch: 6oz Ground turkey/1 C Broccoli/ 1 C Potatoes
PM Snack: Beef Jerky/Apple/LaraBar
Post workout: Vega Performance Protein
Dinner: 5oz Ground Turkey/Unlimited Salad
PM Snack: nuts/salad/almond milk latte
Plus you can see from my last post The Nausea – I got rid of hormones that derail my day and weeks. No more bloating, cravings, and emotions telling me to sabotage my success.
Here are my before and afters.
Starting Feb 20th, I’m doing Whole 30 again. Just as a reset, you’ll notice the menu above is paleo – but I have been sneaking processed food here and there – like that red velvet cake Rob insisted we make for V-day. But again, I’m not sweating it (well literally I am lol). It’s funny though a few days of frosting and I was craving it again, so time to nip it in the bud! 😉
If you’ve followed my blog, or even if you’re new, I bet you’ve noticed I’m an over achiever and refuse to just settle for something. Well last fall, my heath was no exception.
Most times being an over achiever is good, but other times, well it bites me in the ass. Starting Ghostface Knitter up was really stressful and it’s really hard to turn a hobby into a business. I started prepping for the Nov 1 launch of GFK in early September. I would wake up at 5am and work until I had to get ready at 8am. Then I’d come home at 6pm and work on GFK until midnight. For weeks I did this. I was motivated, excited and ready.
Then, in late October I started getting nauseous. Like couldn’t eat nauseous. I had always had bad PMS and for the first week I just chalked it up to the lady game. But then it progressed. I was losing weight, not because I was healthy, but because I was only able to eat bread, oatmeal and juice. I had started a birth control pill to alleviate my PMS symptoms a few months prior – so every MD I saw ruled that out. I stopped taking it at the end of the first week of feeling like garbage. So it MUST be stress. Everyone was telling me this – and believe me it doesn’t feel good to have people tell you, you are stressed. Dear friends, keep that crap to yourself. That kind of shit only makes the stress worse, because now you are conscious about it. So the nausea went on for a month – a few days before Thanksgiving I begged for some anti-nausea meds so I could at least eat during the day. That helped, but only for a few hours after taking the meds, then the nausea would come back. I literally laid down and panted for 2 months.
Then, I finally went and saw and acupuncturist in early December. I had REALLY been into this when I lived in Chicago, but got out of it when I moved back to Denver – I don’t know why. If you’ve never been to acupuncture – the needles don’t hurt, they itch sometimes and you basically lay and take a nap (or at least I do). However, this acupuncturist is skilled in women’s health. She listened to me. Told me that it was hormones causing this and the birth control acerbated it. At this point she was the only one listening and not handing out referrals to expensive Dr’s, tests, and medicine. She also recommend that I see the Doula at her practice who is skilled in abdominal massage.
I started seeing both. The most upsetting thing to me is that NO ONE in the medical field asks any of the questions about my menstrual cycle like these two did. And you know what? I discovered that PMS is not normal! We are not supposed to be crampy, bloaty, upset, binge eating, craving, and for lack of a better word – crazy.
So after 2 weeks of seeing them, the nausea was gone and it is still is gone! Why? Because my reproductive health was upset – my uterus is/was tipped, and thus blocking the natural flow of hormones which the birth control made infinitely worse. And guess what else? NO PMS.
After this, I have renewed my faith in holistic meds and I refuse to be ashamed or upset about sharing my experience. I would buy a billboard and write ‘LADIES PMS IS WRONG – LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BODIES WITH HOLISTIC MEDICINE!’ if I could.
Well the holidays came and went, and here it is the new year. I pretty much took January off, I had two orders that I shipped out, but aside from that I did nothing, but work out and watch Law & Order in my free time.
Here is a wrap up of Ghostface Knitter in 2016:
Soft Launch: Oct 1, 2016 – with 5 quilts, and 10 bibs
Official Launch: Nov 1, 2016 – with 25 hats, 6 quilts, 4 zippy bags, 12 cowls, 24 spa cloths
December Launch: Christmas Trees, more hats!, more cowls, and baby hats
Not to mention – we bought a house, I became a manger at work, adopted Peaches and sadly lost Vladimir.
As you can see – it was busy.
So what do we start in 2017? Well, I’ve learned a lot! I’m going to be sharing my nutrition and body transformation, new products from the shop, meal prep recaps, financial tips and a lot more!
It’s been SO long since I’ve posted about the house. Things have been moving forward, with the help of friends and family we have been able to get the yard cleaned finally! One major tree has come down that was super out of control. 3 more will be going soon in the front. Saving majorly for the Bathroom downstairs – that’s what Ghostfaceknitter is for ;).
Oh and in the next few days – BRAND NEW WINDOWS. 🙂
But probably the most time/attention has gone towards a smell. It started in September, it wasn’t chronic. But it reeked of rotten something. In October, I realized that it was the ejector pump (sniff sniff sniff -COMING FROM HERE). The wonderful little gadget that literally purees then shoots any waste from the basement up and out into the sewer. So so amazing – technology is wonderful.
Let’s revisit what this room looks like:
The first plumbing company to come was Lakewood Plumbing. They came in spent about 5 mins in the room and told me it was due to all the cracks and openings in the ejector pump. If I caulked those all, the smell would go away. It seemed to right off, so I was super happy. And best part, they didn’t charge me….
Then, the bathroom sink clogged due to calcium/mineral build up. So I called Lakewood again due to their amazing diagnostic skills, the smell was coming back a little this time they told me to put a sealant over it. ‘That wouldn’t hurt anything’ So I got the sealant, similar to roofing sealant and covered the top like a crazy person.
While I’m on the topic of crazy, this smell literally drove me insane. I could walk in and smell it, I could smell it in my craft room – making it impossible to work/sew and do the things I love to do, that bring me comfort and joy. So imagine me, crazed painting sealant on an ejector pump sniffing everything inch of the basement to make sure the smell was gone.
It ‘worked’ for about a week. You see the sealant smell cancelled out the poop smell a bit and things seemed okay. Then the smell came back. I was hysterical. It smelled like sulfur at this point (again I was driven mad). So having the well that sulfates in it – ‘welp that’s sulfur!’ So I cleaned out my entire water softener. If you have ever done that. 1) you have to use cups, shovels, cat litter scoops (it was clean 😉 ) to pretty much get all the salt out. So I did that, cleaned it with bleach (we don’t drink unfiltered water from the sink we have a reverse osmosis system that is 1 million times cleaner than other water sources). Anyways, the smell went away for a few hours then came back. I lost my mind and covered the entire softener in garbage bags.
So at this point it was a water issue. The well company wouldn’t help me…. So I called a water softener company, because it was totally my sulfur water. They were awesome. They came out immediately looked at the way the water softener was drained into the ejector pump and said – the smell is coming from there and into the softener it’s not your water.
But alas, he tested my water and guess what? Extremely hard water is a 10 my water was a 35. That’s right, the water softener I have was only cutting it to the high teens. That still meant that all of my new appliances and pipes were getting corroded. So I went ahead and bought the water softener that could handle the job. $3k later that was solved.
BUT STILL THE SMELL WAS THERE.
I was a broken person when I googled ‘ejector pump specialist’. Nate from Time plumbing came out and in a matter of minutes (he also popped the ejector pump top no one else did) and saw the smell was not coming from ejector, but noticed some drip build up on a pipe nearby. He also could not believe that someone would tell me to put that on an ejector pump. He then realized that our main sewer did not have a vent and thus the smell was all coming from that tiny crack!
My tangent about Home Inspectors – they suck. Hire a trusted, bonded professional in the area you want inspected. If I had had a real plumber out (not just general inspector and sewer dude), they might have caught it and I wouldn’t have been plagued with 3 months of this smell. Same goes for electrical. I think I could have a career in Home Inspection based on my experiences here.
Anyways Nate came and fixed it today. We have a vent on our main sewer and now the smell is gone. SNIFFS IN WITH MY BRAND NEW NOSE HOLES.
Anyways Denver Metro plumbing recommendation Time Plumbing – ask for Nate. He is great.