Beach Trip! (Part 2)

Right now the boyfriend and I are still moving into the house in Maryland. We just got internet and I just got back from my work trip to Aurora, Colorado. No craft supplies out and I'm struggling to get pictures uploaded, but I still wanted to share some things with you... so here's the second part of the Myrtle Beach pictures from a million years ago... enjoy!

(And know that I'll start responding to comments faster now and get back on the blog/into blog world now!)

We went to Myrtle Beach, SC so clearly a coaster around my customary Diet Coke on a cooler in the sand is the "album cover" here!




These were the boy's favorite shells (above).
These were my favorite interesting things (above).

The boyfriend found a conch in this shell... or found a shell that had a conch in it!

And the boyfriend found a starfish we named Patrick (the boyfriend loves his "Spongebob").

And we brought our own critter carrier because the boyfriend did get a fishing license so we were going to get little minnows and he was going to fish with them, but then he found this hermit crab!

We also went to this seafood buffet... with the several ton "Tommy" the crab sculpture out front!

And with the little moat under the giant crab, by the doorway.

And the boyfriend had some king crab/snow crab... giant crab legs!
We played putt putt and the Riverwalk and spent some serious time trying to get a picture of the fireball on this course!


And there's sunrise... on the beach... a time series of photos by the boyfriend!



That's all of the beach trip! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Aurora

image from here
I was booked to go to Aurora, Colorado today through Thursday for work. My trip did not get postponed and so I am here in Aurora. I finally have internet and I was planning to update you all on the move and let you know that I won't have internet until Friday (and even that's a "cross your fingers" date). But...

I can't make myself write too much about crafting and my life when I'm so close to something so tragic, yet inspiring (in tonight's vigil). And so I leave you with these images and promise to return soon. Hopefully this Friday.

Until then, lots and lots of love.
image from here
image from here

Blog Olympics Fabric Link Party!


It's time to get your Olympic-sized party on! Link up your fabric projects - they can be projects you made based upon the tutorial I shared or you saw at DIY Home Sweet Home or Kissed by a Frog, whatever! Just link 'em up - it doesn't matter if you've joined the Bloggy Olympics before or not, medaled or not, ! (And don't forget that you can also link up with Jenni at Kissed by a Frog or Jamie at DIY Home Sweet Home!)

Remember, the party opens now and closes at the end of the day tomorrow (Friday 7/13 at 11:59pm CST)! Link up now for your chance to medal! : )



Fabric Flower Frame: Blog Olympics Event #5!

Welcome to Event #5 of the Bloggy Olympics: Fabric!

Today is the big reveal of my project - the perfect fabric-based craft! (Or as close to perfect as I could come up with, haha!)

I had some trouble coming up with my perfect fabric project at first, but eventually I just fell in love with this whole thing because it took some time to put together, but you can VERY easily make the flowers less intricate and spend less time on it. It also really wasn't difficult to do - it's the repetitive cutting out flowers that takes time. Plus, the main supplies (the stuff that you use up in this project and can't re-use, like the frame) are super-cheap at around a buck each.

Here's how to make your very own super-awesome fabric covered frame with fabric flowers (cute puppy not included)!


Supplies
  • Fabric Mod Podge
  • Stiffy or other fabric stiffener
  • Sponge brush or other big brush
  • Several scraps of fabric (I got mine for a buck each at Walmart)
  • Pencil
  • Wood frame (dollar section of Michael's for this girl!)
  • Straight pins
  • Rhinestones, buttons
  • Paper for drawing/making stencils or other paper stencils
  • Scissors
  • Wax paper (to cover your work area)
  • Hot glue gun and glue


Instructions

First you just want to gather up your supplies (full list above).

Then, you will probably want to start stiffening up the fabric you want to use for your flowers. You can let this dry while you work on the frame itself - supposedly this stuff only takes an hour to dry, but I left mine alone for at least 3 hours because I was paranoid. Basically, I just spread out some wax paper, cut some bits of fabric and used a sponge brush to sponge some Stiffy on there (I'll pause and wait while you make some jokes... just keep reading whenever you finish laughing hysterically - no judgment).
I know some people just spray on fabric stiffener, but I really painted mine on there so that it was more like ribbon with wire in it than regular fabric. 

While your fabric is drying, grab the fabric you want to use on the wood frame and start cutting it and wrapping it around your wood frame, using Mod Podge for fabric to secure the fabric. I tried regular Mod Podge, but didn't really love it... it didn't really weigh the fabric down enough to make it lay flat on the frame. The fabric version worked wonderfully and I coated the finished fabric covered frame with at least one solid "finishing" coat of Mod Podge for fabric.

While that frame is drying, grab some scrap paper and start drawing some flower shapes. You can use flower paper punches or a vinyl cutter or whatever to get your flower shapes. I mostly drew mine because I didn't want super-fancy, ornate shapes. Just cut those paper shapes out and attach to your stiffened fabric with a straight pin.
Once the fabric is stiffened and dry, you can use a straight pin or two to attach your stencil to the fabric and cut it out. Cut out lots of flower shapes of slightly varying size from your different fabrics. I just used blues that I had scraps of and that I got from the dollar section at Walmart.

Then just start mixing and matching up the different flower shapes. I glued mine with the hot glue gun. Then I added buttons or rhinestones to the top centers of most of the flowers. The reason you want to use stiffened fabric for these flowers is that not only can you fold and curl the petals, but you also don't get any fraying from the flowers. It's sort of like making paper flowers, but with a different texture and thickness (and curl that doesn't look like the paper got slammed in a car door).

Once you've made a lot of your flowers, you can arrange them on the frame (once it's dry from the Mod Podge) and when you have an arrangement you like, hot glue them onto the frame.

To make the flowers more fun, I used a pencil to sort of curl up the edges of the flowers - sort of like they were blooming from a bud and in varying stages of blossoming (if that makes any sense).

It's easy and you can do that or let the flowers stay flat. But it's easier to do this with the fabric that really got soaked in the stiffener liquid.

Then just add a photo to your frame...

And ta da! Super-cute flowery picture frame. I used this picture of Miss Bella where she had some (pink) flowers on her collar so that I felt extra proud of myself for coordinating cuteness, but clearly that's an optional step! : )

I loved it on the wall, but I had to take it outside for extra awesome pictures... I just LOOOOOVE all the different blues (and it's a nice compromise that the boyfriend was okay with - flowers that are girly, but in his favorite color)!



There you have it - a tutorial for making your own fabric-covered fabric flower frame! (And it cost me about $5 in materials that I still have more of - $1 frame, $4 in fabric from Walmart. I owned the other stuff, but even if you don't, it's really rather inexpensive and you can use buttons, rhinestones, Mod Podge for fabric, and fabric stiffener for a whole lot of other projects!)

But wait - there's more!!! My two fabulous co-hosts for this event are also sharing their amazing fabric-based tutorials today! Be sure to click on over to visit Jenni at Kissed by a Frog with her sporty accessory craft and Jamie at DIY Home Sweet Home with an awesomely adorable sewing must-have craft to see the amazingness they've created! (Seriously, I got freaking AMAZING teammates and you have GOT to check out these projects... I want both!)
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You also want to check out the super-talented crafty winners of event #4, featured at C.W. Frosting, Here's to Handy Andy, and Freaking Craft!


Here's to Handy Andy

Because this is the blog olympics (it's a marathon - not a sprint!), you should also get to work on your fabric-based/focused/involved projects and get ready to link them up to this week's linky party starting Thursday!


To recap: LINKY PARTY HERE and with my co-hosts THURSDAY JULY 12th at 7pm CST (so 8pm EST) until FRIDAY JULY 13th  at 11:59 CST (or 12:59am EST - 1 hour into the day after the super-scary Friday the 13th)! Entering the linky party is the only way to get the amazing prizes and buttons for your projects! (And I'm pretty new at hosting any kind of linky party like this so I'd REALLLLY appreciate your support in linking up, just in case the buttons weren't enough incentive for you!)

And, in case that somehow wasn't enough for you, there's an AWESOME GIVEAWAY from Kissed by a Frog this week!
Visit Jamie at DIY Home Sweet Home for details!


P.S. I'll be linking up to some of my favorite parties here...

Mondays: C.R.A.F.T., Polly Want a Crafter, The DIY ShowOff, Craft-O-Maniac, Making the World Cuter, Skip to My Lou, Mad in Crafts, Sew Can Do, Boogieboard Cottage, Life Made Lovely, Keeping It Simple, Polish the Stars, Pinkapotamus, Singing Three Little Birds, Colours Dekor, DIY Home Sweet Home, So Very Creative, Ask Anna, Home Savvy, Be Colorful, The Gunny Sack, Lines Across, The Southern Institute, Get Outta My Head, 3 Mango Seeds, You're Talking Too Much, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Destination: Craft, Cherished Bliss, 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven, Sarahndipities, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Marvelously Messy, Between Naps on the Porch, Bringing Beauty, Ninth Street Notions, Southern Hospitality, Sew Chatty, Everything Under the Moon, Thrifty Decor Chick, Reinventing the Ordinary (Pet Party) 


Tuesdays: Embellishing Life, New Nostalgia, Hope Studios, Vintage Wanna Bee, Tip Junkie, Ladybug Blessings, Sassy Sites, Topsy Turvy, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Giggles Glitz & Glam, Rook No. 17, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Coastal Charm, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Not Just a Housewife, A Diamond in the Stuff, The Ivy Cottage, homework, Crayon Freckles, Crafty Confessions, Me and My Boys, The Kurtz Corner, Sugar Bee, At Home With K, Sweet Little Gals, Chef in Training, Raising 4 Princesses, Lil Pink Pocket, Strictly Homemade, A to Zebra Celebrations, Jillify It, Natural NestersToday's Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z, DIY by Design, Tales of a Trophy WifeOur Delightful Home


Wednesdays: Creations By Kara, Blue Cricket Design, Seven Thirty Three, Sugar and Dots, Someday Crafts, Night Owl Crafting, Lil Luna, Sew Much Ado, We Are That Family, Type A, A Little Tipsy, My Girlish Whims, Eisy Morgan, Polka Dots on Parade, Passionately Artistic, Ginger Snap Crafts, Laugh Love & Craft, Not So Simple Housewife, Frugally Sustainable, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Faded Charm, let birds fly, The Sasse Life, Clean & Scentsible, Junk in their Trunk, Uncommon, Pincushion Creations, It's Just Called SpicySew Woodsy, Primp JunktionOrganize and Decorate EverythingSavvy Southern Style, A Beach Cottage, JAQS Studio, The DIY Dreamer


Thursdays: Somewhat Simple, House of Hepworths, The Shabby Creek Cottage, A Glimpse Inside, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Gluesticks, Momnivore's Dilemma, Yesterday on Thursday & Katie's Nesting Spot, Beyond the Picket Fence, Making It With Allie, Rhinestone Beagle, Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom, Tales From Bloggeritaville, Between U & Me, Christina's Adventures, Saved By Love Creations, Thrifty Decorating, These Peas Taste Funny, The 36th Avenue, Southern Lovely, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Kissed by a Frog, Bear Rabbit Bear, Designer Garden, Crafty Scrappy Happy, 52 Mantels, live. laugh. rowe., Delightful Order, The Train to Crazy, Mine for the Making, The Taylor House, Just a Little Creativity, Hating Martha, The Frugal Girls, No Minimalist Here


Fridays: Fingerprints on the Fridge, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots & Jello, Simply Sweet Home, 30 Handmade Days, WhipperBerry, Sassy Sites, Lovely Crafty Home, Catch As Catch Can, Nap Time Crafters, 504 Main, My Simple Home Life, Simply Designing, The Picket Fence, Chic on a Shoestring, The Hungry Hypo, French Country Cottage, Ladybird Lane, The Answer is Chocolate, Truly Lovely, Bubbly Nature Creations, Pocket Full of Pink, Little Becky Homecky, Delicate Construction, Serenity Now, See Vanessa Craft, Happy Hour Projects, Making Lemonade, One Artsy Mama,  Mom 4 Real, So You Think You're Crafty, Faith Trust & a Little Pixie Dust, Finding Fabulous For Less, It's a Hodgepodge Life, Tidy Mom, Remodelaholic, Just a Girl, Scissors & Spatulas, While He Was Napping, Kojo Designs, Release Me Creations, Hello Hue, Love Notes By Lauryn, Craftionary, Five Days... Five WaysThe Creative Paige, Blissful Bucketlist


Saturdays: Tutus & Tea Parties, Here's to Handy Andy, Craft Envy, Funky Junk Interiors, Young & Crafty, Be Different Act Normal, To Sew With Love, Six Sisters' Stuff, Gingerbread, Lolly Jane, Homemaker in Heels, A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid, Too Much Time, Crafty Moms Share, Polkadot Pretties, Candace Creations, Serenity You, Shaken Together


Sundays: I Heart Nap Time, Under the Table and Dreaming, LambAround, Flamingo Toes, Petite Hermine, Homemaker on a Dime, The Foley Fam, The SweetTalk Shop, Nifty Thrifty ThingsSisters of the Wild West, The Tablescaper, My 1929 Charmer


Miscellaneous: The Girl Creative, Every Crafty Endeavor, My House of Giggles, My Lil Pumpkin PatchVintage Gwen

Heading North....

This post is long overdue because I know some of you guys have figured out some things were happening with me in my real life (the "science life") via my pins, instagrams, etc. and you're right! I got a job! A real, grown-up, amazing job! But it's in Washington, DC/Maryland... so we're moving (a little more than 500 miles if you're counting along at home)!


The pups, the boyfriend, and I are packing up and heading to Maryland. I'm supposed to start my job on Monday July 16th, but we still don't have a place to live. To say that the search for a home has been exhausting and frustrating is the understatement of the century.... so we're not sure what's really going to happen. (And I was waiting to be able to tell you when we were moving, when I'd start work, etc. before I posted about it, but given how quickly things have moved, I think I'll know we're moving approximately 10 minutes before it's time to load up the truck.)

I also don't really know how much I can tell you guys about my new job. I think it's best if I err on the safe side and don't say too much, but I do feel pretty relieved about being able to keep this blog and not worry too much about anyone discovering it because I brought it to the legal people and they said it was fine... even cute! So that's another nice part of this new job, but I still think I'm going to have to be pretty vague for now (though you can feel free to email me if you have any specific questions and I'll get back to you... eventually)!

The bottom line is that we're excited and CRAZY busy and if I've neglected the blog a bit and if I continue to do so, I just want you guys to know why and know that I'll be back. And that I'll definitely be here for the Bloggy Olympics - my tutorial will go up this Saturday! : )

I Need YOU... to help me find the perfect dressy flats!


I'm on a quest. For flats that are dressy AND comfortable. Comfort is a big, big priority. I don't want toe pinching, but I can almost deal with that if I don't have the awful heel blisters. (And blister block, lamb's wool, band aids, Dr. Scholl's anything, First Aid tape, etc. are NOT enough - I want shoes that don't rip off skin like they have a secret cheese knife in the back.) So these are a few of the options I've compiled (all the shoes in the collage above are listed below so you can find them)...

Maddox Leather Flat from Fossil, $60

BC Footwear Limousine Flat from American Eagle, $30

Black Matte Foldable Flats from City Slips, $30 (I love foldable flats, but I worry about their durability because they're not really meant to be worn for 12 or 16 hours, multiple days in a row... anyone have any thoughts or ideas? Similar shoes with more durability?)

Fable Peep Toe Flat in Yellow Glazed Goat from Me Too, Nordstrom, $58.90

Tan Ballerina Roll-Ups from Konvine, $13 (I love the price on these, but the plain/classic ones are the only ones I'd ever really wear and even those have the big Konvine charm thing on the front... not crazy about that.)

Mossimo Peep Toe Flats from Target, $13

Mossimo Ona Ballet Flats in Brown from Target, $10.49

Merona Meaghan Ruffled Flat Shoes in Cranberry from Target, $21.24


Poem Court in Pewter Leather from Clarks, $50

Lifeforce in Black Patent Leather from Nine West, $69

Superfly in Black/White from Nine West, $69 (I freaking LOOOOOVE the two colors, little white stripe... seems Jackie O-ish to me. Or at least classy and sophisticated.)


Raspberry in Brown Fabric from Aerosoles, $20 to $50


Flapper Flat in Brown from Sam & Libby, DSW, $20


Leggat in Beige from Aldo, $50 (I also really like the two colors here and the fact that it's two parts of a shoe... just looks fun to me!)


Howett in Camel from Aldo, $50


Boating in Ruby Patent from Gabrielle Rocha at Zappos, $35


Erminia in Black Microsuede from Romantic Soles at Zappos, $35


Vegasss in Green Suede from Steve Madden, $80 (I love that these look like they could be real heels if you were wearing pants, but you're still comfy!)

Maude Flats in Platino Metallic from Naturalizer, Macy's, $60

Blair Flats in Green/Blue from Tommy Hilfiger, Macy's, $47.20 (You guys know that lime stripes with navy is pretty much my most favorite combination EVER.)


Avion Ballet Flats in Pale Ivory/Buff from Etienne Aigner, Macy's, $48.30

Hollie Flats in Turquoise from Naturalizer Shoes, Macy's, $50

Natalia Charcoal Linen Ballet Flats from Toms, $74 (Yay for Toms making fancier shoes... I really would love to try these or the wedges, but so many of the reviews say they're either tight or blister-inducing and I'm not that hopeful...)


Lily Ballet Flat in Grey/Green/White from Puma, Nordstrom, $44.90 (I worry that these would be too casual, but I love the idea of a running shoe company making some nice fancy shoes!)

City Classified Quant Medallion Ballet Flats in Twilight Blue from Lulu's, $18 (These look like super-classy designer shoes... for a lot less money! And I love that blue color!)

Ester Flat in Spring Magenta from Lucky Brand, Nordstrom, $38.90


Women's Patsy Slingback Flat in Black from MIA 2, Amazon, $40

It's a Cinch from BC Footwear, Zappos, $48


Audrey Brooke Paris Leather Flat in Pink from DSW, $60

Aidan Slingback Flats from Ivanka Trump Shoes, Macy's, $135 (If these were a little cheaper, I might already own them. Just sayin'.)


Women's Emma Buckle Ballet Shoes from Land's End, $28





My Experiences Thus Far Include:

The GOOD...

Silver Snakeskin Foldable Flats from Fit in Clouds, $25

I've also liked gladiator-type sandals from Nordstrom (that were the Nordstrom brand) and American Eagle. Both are at least three years old so clearly pictures are not going to work for those! 

I have some heels from Merona that might be the only comfortable non-Aerosoles heels I've ever even tried on. These heels are at least eight years old. Luckily they haven't been worn thaaaaat much, so they're still in okay shape. I've also had some (similar aged) Merona black ballet flats that didn't rub my heels (and they weren't that collar/scrunch up/expandable back either) and so I'm hopeful that Merona shoes could be perfect... (but see the bad section for my concerns). 


And the BAD!

Laser Printz from Aerosoles, $20 to $40 (Just got these - they're terrible and I was SOOOO disappointed because I love my other Aerosoles, but these are about to be returned for a refund. Ugh. Disappointment!)

I've had flats and leather "driving moccasins" from Land's End that were too tight and scuffed up my heels pretty badly. 

I've had Merona flats like the ones shown above (the cranberry ones), but purple and at least two years old, that rubbed my heels the wrong way. I also had some gold ones that are maybe a year old that suffered from the same issue. 




So, fabulously fashionable, practical ladies out there, give me some recommendations! I don't really care that much about color, looks, if it has a little bit of heel, price, etc. I just want comfort and hopefully something I can wear to work at a real job (business casual). All recommendations will be considered and greatly appreciated... Remember, the keyword is desperation comfort!
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