Thursday, January 27, 2011

February is Fast Approaching!

Since I am sitting here at home ALL day today and tonight caring for my husband (he had knee surgery this morning), I thought I would do a bit-o-blogging!  Do y'all mind too much? Hope not, cuz, here I go.

Wow-za!!!  What happened to January?  Apparently I kept myself so busy I completely missed it.  I absolutely cannot believe that February is 5 days away!  Now I have some serious decisions to make before February begins.  Decisions such as...What will my February craft be?  Hmmm... There are so many things to choose from - crocheting, sewing (tissue holders for my purse {or yours} or try a pattern for a new hat), or paper crafting (a girlfriend of mine made this awesome pinecone for her daughter's teacher).

I think I will go with a crochet project, the only downfall is that I don't have a stash of yarn to choose from, so I may not be making many items like I did last month with these (make link to cozies).  I have never ackled making an afghan, so maybe I will attempt that or maybe just pick a few friends and family to make scarves for.  I know I want to make myself a whole set - scarf, hat, and mittens - however,
I am still sort of a re-beginner (that's not even a word!) with crochet. 

I also slacked off big time in January with getting to the gym!  I need to et back on that band wagon.  Maybe some new gym clothes will help?  *pondering, pondering*  Nah, probably not... What I need is motivation!  If I knew I had a trip to the beach or somewhere warmer planned, that would definitely be motivation, but sadly, we don't have anything planned in the near future.   I need to find something!  Even the contest at work isn't motivating me and the grand prize in an iPAD!  Golly, you'd think that would be motivation enough!  Unfortunately there are people with whom I work that have much more to lose than my measly 30lbs.

Soda is going to kill me!!!  You guessed it, I caved, AGAIN!  That caffeinated, sweet, fizzy goodness just taunts me daily and I give in to its taunting in the end.  I just can't find a fabulous tea that I am willing to swap it for.  I'm gonna have to call my old tea lady and find out what the new company she sells for has that is comparable to my old favorite!  I didn't want to, but if I am going to survive at all without soda, I gotta take drastic measures.  Even if it means spending 100's on tea (okay, maybe not 100's, but specialty teas are a little bit more expensive)!!!

Well, I know it's not much and definitely not fancy, but I wanted to do something fun today!

Thursday Lovelies

Maybe I am jumping the gun a little bit, but I am so sick and tired of winter, cold, and snow, that I had to do something to daydream about the coming (hopefully soon) Spring season.  Just thinking about Spring warms me up inside!  Hope it does the same for you too!

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Wow!
I feel better already!
So toasty warm and hopeful for an early Spring!
Oh, how I L-O-V-E the beauty and warmth of Spring time!

All images from weheartit.com
Have a warm and hopeful Thursday!
Hugs,
Beth

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Self-Reflecting on Image...

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image from weheartit.com

The last two weeks have been a little stressful.  Not due to my everyday life, but to to an issue that I had to report at work.  Because of all of this stress, my body finally decided to get pay-back this weekend and I was sick; stuffy nose, yucky stuff in my throat, fever, cough.  I slept quite a bit this weekend and my hubby was so kind to allow me to sleep in.  I love him so much!!!

Yesterday, I was getting ready for work and took a good long look in the mirror.  It was at that moment I decided it was time to do a little bit of self-reflection.  Try to understand myself better and fall in love with myself.  I know it sounds kind of concieted or silly, but seriously, I try to portray myself as having a lot of self-confidence and that I have inner strength.  In reality though, I have very little of either of those things going for me. 

The first thing I decided I need to change is my outward appearance.  I don't feel that I am unatteractive or anything like that, I just looked at myself and wondered why it was me that had to have this happen at work.  Do I wear too much make-up?  Probably.  Do I try too hard to look my best at ALL times?  More than likely.  Am I really happy with my current look?  Not so much.  At that point, I decided to completely grow out my hair to get it as long as it will grow.  I thought about not coloring it, but I am way too young to accept that I have gray hair already, so I will keep coloring it.  I am going to attempt to go more minimal on my make-up.  Thought I would go with a more natural look instead of making my eyes and lips stand out.  My wardrobe for work is pretty minimal, SCRUBS, so I can't exactly change that, but maybe I won't be quite as worried about keeping up-to-date on current fashion trends.  I don't need to buy the most expensive things out there to be fashionable.  This will also give me a chance to work on some re-fashions that I see being done on so many of the blogs that I frequent.

Okay, that is the outward appearance that shows everyone that I am a strong, confident professional.  Hopefully some of those changes will keep the issue I had from ever happening again.
*I'd like to tell you about it, but not too sure I should discuss it on here.*
*Let's just say it has to do with a man not leaving me alone.*

This is all I can really discuss on my self-reflecting today.  I am still doing my internal self reflecting, but I will post more as I make decisions and changes to boost my self-confidence and inner strength. 

I hope I can be like so many of you and become a confident 30-ish year-old wife, mother, woman.  Maybe with help from all of you, I will be able to accomplish that this year.  I know it won't happen over night.

Hopefully you will all continue to support me as I go through these changes and I would love any "words of wisdom" or words of encouragement through this process of self-reflection and change.

Love all of you!
Hugs,
Beth

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Lovelies (5)

Okay, I am absolutely fascinated by bakers that make the gorgeous wedding, birthday, engagement, etc. cakes.  I want to learn how to make and decorate cakes like these so badly, it's just finding the time and being willing to use a trial and error approach (a little leery, because it could get expensive).

Anyway...
Here are some absolutely amazing pictures of cakes that are simply gorgeous and whimsical!




These cakes are absolutely amazing! The detail in the decorations are just uncanny!
Oh, how I wish I was capable of art such as this!

Have a lovely day!
Beth

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tutorial: Coffee Cup Cozies

Since my January craft is coffee cup cozies and they are so simple, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do a "show and tell".  Ok, a tutorial for you!  ;-)

To start out, you do need to indulge yourself in a wonderful, hot cup-o-joe or hot tea from your local coffee shop (maybe Starbucks).  Why you ask?  You need the cardboard cozie that is around your cup for the template/pattern!  Silly people!  ;-) hehehe

After you make one or two or three.....of these, you won't need to have an ugly cardboard cup from your fave coffee shop ever again!

Materials
3 - 1/4 yards of coordinating fabric
(fat quarters work wonderfully)
or
1/2 yard of the same fabric
1/4 yard very thin natural batting
button 
(**a shank button works best, but if you just wanna use what you have
 - like me - a regular button is fine**)
elastic ponytail holder without the metal piece
scissors
sewing machine
coordinating thread (unless you are me and kinda lazy about changing out thread)


I don't have a picture of this step but you are all highly intelligent and can do this without a visual! ;-)
I altered my pattern slightly, so I don't use the paper jacket as my pattern now.

open up that ugly paper coffee cup "jacket" that you saved from your last cup-o-joe at the seam
*don't cut it or it will be too short, just carefully open it up to lie flat*

now you trace it onto your fabric
*make sure to do your tracing on the "wrong" side of your fabric*

I used three contrasting fabrics for one cozie, but you don't have to.

cut it out
*I took a short cut so I didn't have to trace twice, I pinned my corrdinating fabric together before cutting it*

for the ruffle, you need a 2 inch wide strip of fabric that is a minimum of 36 inches long
**Disclaimers**
if you bought fabric or had fabric by the yard on hand this is simple, just cut a strip and trim it to 36inches
if you are using fat quarters, you will need to cut two strips and sew them together and then trim evenly on each side to make it 36 inches long

**if you don't want a ruffle, skip that last step**

now pin one of the cozie pieces to your batting and cut out

these are all of the pieces you need to sew together

Let's Get Sewing!!!

First things first...

make the ruffle
this is pretty simple...
take the 36" strip of 2" wide fabric, fold in half and sew up the ends 1/4" seam
**if you are making your 36" piece sew the two pieces together first and press the seem open**

clip your corners very close and trim seams back
this helps to turn the strip so you have nice crisp corners

now, sew the long edges (selvedge) together wrong sides together with the longest stitch your machine has
**called a basting stitch**
Voila! you have the start of your ruffle.
Set this aside we will work with it in a bit.

take the batting and ONE of the cozy pieces you have and baste together so the batting does not shift
**follow the edge of the presser foot and the fabric to make it a small seam**

now we will need that ruffle piece again
take ONE of the lengths of thread from the stitching and pull it carefully making it ruffle
(Good greif, I didn't get a pic of this either - need a pic, just let me know)
you have that done, now it is time to attach it to the other cozie piece
**we will be leaving one of the short edges WITHOUT the ruffle**
start pinning the ruffle onto the cozie piece at one end (be sure to leave about a 1/4" before the ruffle so that you can turn it under and close up the seam at the end, making sure that you are matching the selvedge edges
(in other words the fold of the ruffle should be away from the outer edge - just check out the picture)
you may have to lenthen your piece to fit all the way down both long sides and the one short side
**Disclaimer**
I will warn you now, the corners are a pain in in the arse to go around! I have yet to get them perfect - or at least the way I want them to look, which is perfect. You will just have to practice, practice, practice!
(this particular ruffle is slightly different than what you will have, I decided to try something a little bit different)
once you have the ruffle pinned on, you can baste stitch it in place and add the elastic pony tail holder at the same time (oops, forgot to take a pic of the elastic)
**I like mine to barely show out from under the ruffle when it is turned, but you can make it as large or small as you want.**

pin right sides together of both cozie pieces and sew a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam, leaving one short end open so that you can turn the cozy
trim the two corners close and trim back the seams
 









I don't trim off the excess of the elastic holder, but that is just my preference. You can do whatever your ginormous heart desires with that.

now turn...

**make sure you poke out your corners to make them crisp**
One of mine is nice and crisp, the other didn't work out quite as nicely.
Hence the reason I keep making these this month, eventually I will get it "perfect".

after it is turned
1) turn under the open end 1/4" and press
2) slip stitch closed
or if you just want to get it done fast (like me)...
1) turn it under and stitch it at the same time saving the pressing for last

second to last thing is deciding on where you would like to place your button
ok...you got your spot picked out?
sew that baby on!
Finally...
Enjoy a lovely cup-o-joe or tea (whichever your preference)
and tell people that love your decor for your cup
that you didn't buy it...YOU made it!

(Unnfortunately I ran out of time before I went to work today to finish up the teal and brown one. Lucky for me, I had pictures of some of the others I've made.)

As with anything I post, if you have questions or something isn't quite clear, please ask. I am always happy to make clarifications on anything that is questionable! 
warm{dot}bouquet{at}gmail{dot}com

Have a very creative day!
Hugs,
Beth

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's a Perfect Day for a Nap

I do believe I will...

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Have a wonderful, rest-filled day - if you get a chance!

images from We Heart It

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Magical Day

Wow...I am posting twice in one day! This is amazing, I know!  hehehe

I was just so inspired by Lindsay over at Scenic Glory and Brooke at Bright Wishes to post a magical day for my family and myself.  Here goes...although it may not be quite as magical as their days... ;-)

First we'd take a balloon ride to a magical place (literally, isn't Disney magical?)...
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and meet all of the beautiful Princesses.
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Then we'd go to the beach and the kids would play in the crystal clear, blue water...
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build a beautiful sandcastle...
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and me and the hubs would lay in a hammock all afternoon!
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We'd stop for a delectible ice cream treat...
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then watch the sun set over the ocean...
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before retiring to our little cabana on the beach...
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and all cuddling close together in a soft, fluffy, cheerful bed.
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Now that would be most magical for us!

Thanks Lindsay and Brooke, you two are very inspiring.  I need to think a little bit more "outside the box" when I write my posts.

Have a most magical day!
Hugs,
Beth
Images found at http://weheartit.com/