Productive Chicago Weekend

Gosh you would think I was sitting on top of some hot-burning fire this weekend because I got a lot done. (Does that even make sense? I feel like that was my attempt at some Depression era ‘talk’) I had to go to my local USPS office to find a missing package with some very special cargo in it. Thankfully, my post office is actually super close to my house and the people who work there are actually pleasant… I know right?

that's a whole summer's worth of HK sun protection.
that’s a whole summer’s worth of HK sun protection.

I also took another practice exam for the GMAT and did an astounding 60 points better in just two weeks! I’m very pleased with this progress and know it is just an affirmation that the studying I am doing is really paying off in a big way. After my CAT, I went ahead and ventured into my craft room for some wonderful sewing projects! I just used a basic bias skirt pattern from McCall’s similar to THIS ONE. I did however use french seams and wish I had known about those sooner – I LOVE their finish.

my new gray denim skirt.
my new gray denim skirt.
adorable fox skirt for lovie.
adorable fox skirt for lovie.

I also tried to make a little tepee for the cats, but they were no feeling it. I think I need to make it bigger, they just didn’t seem to think it was very cool. Cats… they love the ‘sack’ of cloth I made for them a few weeks ago, but don’t understand this has potential for the best photoshoot ever!

abandoned tepee.
abandoned tepee.

In pursuit of the cheapskates lifestyle, I decided to price compare Wal-Mart to Aldi on a few items that I consume a LOT of. Basically, I wanted to find an alternative egg/meat source aside from Aldi. Wal-Mart does have organic Eggland’s Best Eggs for $4.98 and a very very limited non-antibiotic/steroid chicken selection. Aldi rotates organic selections based on consumer buying patterns with a ‘features’ program so two weeks ago when they had the Organic Grassfed beef I was so happy but should have bought more to freeze and use later. Anyways, I’m thinking more about the antibiotics thing because my GMAT prep test actually had an article about how the EU has banned antibiotic use, but the USA hasn’t and well….. here we go. Also in my Wal-Mart escapade today I found some awesome products that made me proud to say ‘EASTHHHER IN AMMMERICCHHHAA.’

walmart is a great place.
walmart is a great place.
vanilla creme peep - limited edition. limited lifespan - CHOMP.
vanilla creme peep – limited edition. limited lifespan – CHOMP.

Sunday, I colored my hair, and while that was processing made that fox skirt up above! Then I went to finish my Dunwich Horror with Mister Josh Howard at Pioneer Tattoo. I love it.

josh howard monster
josh howard monster

There was also a Katy Puggy siting… I keep tweeting the real Katy Perry – maybe one day she’ll see.

katy puggy!
katy puggy!

Le sigh Monday….


Let’s Talk About Sew bay-bee.

I always get the song by Salt N’ Pepper “Let’s talk about sex baby – let’s talk about you and me…” stuck in my head.  Today at Joann’s I was walking around humming it to myself and ad-libbed my own version.

Speaking of Joann’s, I obviously love to support local sew/knit shops, but sometimes I find myself at Joann’s for the selection and the ‘instant gratification’ feeling.  I do shop for vintage fabrics and patterns on Etsy and online all the time though (you can tell I have chain-support guilt).  Plus, unless you’re the first in line at the fabric table you have to wait FOREVER and I’m sorry most (not all) cut the yardage so uneven it makes my soul hurt. 

Anyways!  I show a lot of the knitting projects I work on, but I also sew.  What’s that? Yes I do do it all! Kidding! My levels of skills varies greatly from each craft though.  I’m just getting into intermediate sewing, because I just don’t keep up with it as much as I do my knitting.  I don’t know why either because I have a beautiful sewing table that was my great grandmothers!  I also have Carolyn Mary’s Pfaff machine that I am in love with already after only a few short projects. 

So to inspire me to sew a little bit more, especially with the Holidays coming up I have prepared for a few fun projects.  Today I kind of felt like it was even getting late to start for Halloween, but you know crafters are on their own hyper time-table! It actually reminded me of this:





PS Stanley Tucci is a GOD.  Any movie he is in is pretty much my favorite.

Okay now on to the crafts:

Here is WIP door panel for Halloween – isn’t so cute?!  I ordered it from Etsy and I just have the interior stitching and then border to do.



Then, here is fabric I will have to go back and get for Lois for Christmas.




Get excited! The holiday bolts are here!




Flannel is on sale for $2.99/yd at Joann’s so I’m gonna make a ‘quilt’ with this and sew along those dotted half-circles I think it will be ADORABLE.  Plus, with this craft I finally got to buy FLAMINGO PINK thread…. once in a lifetime purchase I swear.




This pattern is dark, but I am going to make the Christmas tree center-piece.  






Then I got this cute cat/halloween fabric so I made Mister Lee a bandana for his pug meet up today. 🙂 




I did not buy this super cute Halloween fabric even though I was squealing when I saw it.  I just don’t have a project for it and I don’t want to waste it. 





Here is all the fabric I got today – the Christmas themed ones are for the table trees.




Yay! Sewing! Do you do multiple crafts?  Do you find it hard to balance time and interest in both at the same time? 


I am from a line of crafty and meticulous women.  My blood is made from a mix of glitter, thread clippings, and creativity.  I am of crafter-blood.

In all seriousness I am so lucky to have both my grandmothers as examples of how creative someone can be.  My mom is a talented seamstress and knitter herself, so growing up was filled with art, projects, crafts, and unique gifts.  I don’t know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t a crafter.  How do people live without a craft project?  What do they do?  Here are some photos of the few of uncounted crafts from those with crafter-blood that I am a descendant of.

Vladimir wrapped in an Afgan from prior to 1950!

Quilt my Grandmother Joyce Fern made for me in 1997.


Quilt my Grandma Joyce Fern gave to me last summer. (My FAV)

Seed Stich on a cowl that then became a cat teepee.

Rasta Hat

Vladimir in the perfect sweater (adjustments made for his long body).

The first animal sweater I made. Love the yarn I used.

I generally have an animal trying to sit on my lap at all times.

An angel my Grandma Carolyn Mary made prior to 1950.

Cricut Paper Crafts I also do.

Harry Potter Onsies I made.

Sewing 101. Learning my new/old machine that belonged to Carolyn Mary.

Cat bed I made – They love it. Obviously.


Even though I try to be an interesting and well-rounded individual I spend a lot of time in front of theTV.  Don’t get me wrong – I read a lot and do lots of crafts, but sometimes I just need to watch TV and be entertained that way.  Here is a list of the top 10 shows that are always on my Netflix, Amazon and DVR queues.

1.  Arrested Development

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By now the cult notoriety of this show has permeated lots of markets and there is a good reason.  This show is so funny and meticulously intertwined it’s insane.  The humor is sometimes dark – the characters selfish and brooding, but overall the story is about family.  Tobias’s one-liners (I think I blue myself) would be enough to keep the show afloat even if the rest of the characters stunk – but they don’t.  Each one has been cast and developed so perfectly it’s like watching the most well-planned train wreck ever to happen. (Netflix – new season began May 26th on Netflix)



2.  Bob’s Burgers

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I started watching this show at the beginning of the 3rd season and I’m bummed I didn’t know about it sooner.  Bob’s is hilarious.  It doesn’t have a consistent plot, but the reoccurring characters and miss guided situations always crack me up.  Plus Tina, Bob’s oldest daughter, is the awkward highly sexual female version of Napoleon Dynamite complete with the strange deep voice and socially unacceptable noises. His wife Linda’s enthusiasm mirrors my own and I’ll start singing one of her spoken words songs without skipping a beat. (Fox, Sundays)



3.  Metalocolypse

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I just started watching this Adult Swim show on Netflix.  It’s amazing – being a metal poser as The Dude describes me – it really plays off great metal band/fan stereotypes.  The riffs and metal scores of Dethklok are really catchy – and it’s embarrassing to admit, but they are.  Make sure your closed captioning is turned on or else you’ll miss great lyrics like:

“They’ll have their:
Shiv, check
Pipe, check
Hammer, check
Axe, check
Subject, check
Location, check
Desire, check
Vengeance, check

Hold your breath
And swim and strain
Smell the death
Can’t escape
Blood will cloud
And drift away
Attract the
Murders of mermaids”

Netflix and new season in the works on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim
One name: Phil Dunphy.  The clueless dad in this show really has the best quotable lines and it’s easy to relate to his good-hearted, yet so misguided parenting approach.  The gay couple Cam and Mitch are the best example of modern day relationships – supporting, regretting, but in the end loving your partner no matter how insane/weird/embarrassing they really are.  Sofia Vargara’s voice is sometimes like nails on a chalkboard, but her accent-based misunderstandings are pretty comical. ABC Tuesdays
When I like to spend hours ripping my own heart out and weeping like an uncontrollable baby I love watching Downton Abbey.  The cast is great – the story is unique. I love that it uses historical dates to coincide with the Downton events and calendar.  It is always heart-breaking and the grandmother figure takes the cake with her snide and evil quips. Sunday PBS, Amazon Instant Video
Pretty….pretty….pretty good.  Larry David makes any situation so awkward and between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld I cannot get enough.  It’s hysterical to see just how many people hate Larry on Curb, and how his own wife (then ex-wife) have to deal with the tidal wave that is David.  Seinfeld of course speaks for itself and it will never ever get old hearing the words “yada, yada, yada…..” or “FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!”
Seth Green, that tiny wise-cracking red head, has the best skit show on TV.  Using stop animation and thousands of clay and plastic doll pieces he creates hilarious short skits that fill a 15 minute spot on Adult Swim.  There are countless inside and current jokes being fired off rapidly.  Often times we have to rewind a clip to hear and see something because it almost squeaked by unnoticed.
No Reservations, The Layover, Parts Unknown, and other CNN segments staring Bourdain are always entertaining.  I’ve tried countless of his recommendations when traveling to new cities and I 100% agree that Chicago is the only real city in the US aside from NYC.  Although towards the end of NR he became more of a suck-up, giving kudos to the ‘best of the best,’ his smart alleck humor and ‘no-regrets’ decision making habits always make me wish I was his girl-friend from Chicago.  Also kudos to the random Zymir episodes.
You know what go ahead – think UGH! “Brianna how could you?!”  I love Dog and Beth and Leland and Baby Lyssa.  I love that it takes place in Denver and most often in the neighborhoods I grew up in.  I love his terrible extension blonde mullet (and Beth’s), but most of all I love when they really do get through to someone who has finally hit rock bottom and signed the camera disclosure documents.
Absolutely the best show, because it is an amazing story.  Think of Lord of the Rings as a TV show where Frodo is hot and there’s a lot more backstabbing and gold.  Each house trying to claim the Iron Throne as their own has power players that make the hair on your skin rise and your blood boil.  My favorite character is ‘the half man’ Tyrion Lanister – because he is the only character to repeatedly slap Geoffery across his face and pride and live to tell about it.  It also ensures HBO will continue to make money off me for the foreseeable future.
What are your favorite shows?  Do you have any recommendations for me?