Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

only two months this time

July 18, 2017

I got the promotion. 

Three weeks ago I joined a gym.

Today I turn 45.

Here’s a quilt I recently finished :


continuing the cliché – Welcome to 2014

January 1, 2014

I hate to say I am making resolutions… resolutions don’t have a good track record for me, or apparently for most of the rest of the world.

But I definitely have goals in mind for this year.

First, my weight. Well, as you know, I’m leading the biggest loser challenge for my location at work. So, of course, I’d like to win that!  1st place is $300, 3rd place is $100, that is what I got last year. I’m proud that I am starting this year at the weight I ended last year’s challenge because that means I didn’t just gain everything I lost back! However, starting at a lower weight also makes winning harder.

For me, money is an incredible motivator, so I also signed up for two 4 week Dietbets and the 6 month challenge as well. Which puts a goal of 4% on me for January 30th to win the 4 week challenges and month one of the 6 month challenge. At that point I will reassess if I want to join more. I feel real confident about the 6 month challenge, it will end two weeks before my birthday and I am pretty sure I can lose at least 10% by then!

Exercise goals. I am planning to restart the 5k training program. The first 5k I found that I absolutely want to do is in April (originally I thought it was in March.) I may look for another to do in March as well. I also want to add in strength training but I don’t have concrete goals related to that yet. I have been working towards being able to do a pull-up and a chin-up. My goal will be to be able to do a pull-up and a chin-up by my birthday in July. And in general, a little bit of exercise everyday, so continue to work to get at least 10k steps per day (seriously addicted to my Fitbit!)

Sewing. I don’t really have definable goals but I would like to use up the majority of fabric in my stash.

My hair. My goal is to let it grow! I do what is called “search and destroy” where I look through my hair and snip any split ends that are found. That will be sufficient for quite a while.

And that will do for now.

jump on the bandwagon: 2013, a look back

December 31, 2013

Like you haven’t heard all this before…

2013, the year I lost 38 pounds, quit smoking, and found out I liked running…

What else did I do this year?  Well, I learned more about sewing with knits, making swing jackets for a coworker, dresses for myself, and most recently the fancy pants…

I also sewed some coffee cozies and mug rugs.  Oh, and finished the quilt I started years ago:


And now, it is time to look forward to what will be…

Welcome 2014.

sewing for exercise

December 28, 2013

Oh, if only sewing really counted as exercise… I would easily be svelte!

So this morning I achieved my plan of making new exercise gear.  Two new pairs of fancy pants:


Sadly, I didn’t have enough of the dots fabric to make a matching top.  I did have enough of the red/blue fabric on the right to do so.   And hair wraps as well from both though I only photographed the one.


I wore the red/blue pants to walk this evening and had to change out of them after a mile and a half…  They are warm!  So, I can see them working well for those early cold mornings when the back room where the treadmill resides is chilly but today wasn’t a very cold day so they were a bit much.

In between my sewing this morning and walking this evening we went and ate at the Chinese buffet then came home and napped.  All in all, a relaxing Saturday!  (With a bit of sadness in the day as well as I watched my motorcycle go off to its new home. We sold it yesterday and they came to get it today.  Maybe someday I will get another…)

Sewing plans for the weekend

December 27, 2013

Fancy pants!  I am going to make some stretchy leggings for my treadmill walks.  Mid-calf length.  I have been picking up some wild knit prints.  My original plan for the fabric was tank dresses but I really don’t need more for around the house but fancy exercise pants? Need.

Imitation Buffs!  Today I took the Buff I got at REI, pulled it over my wet hair, and twisted it into a bun that was kind of cool.  So, I’m going to seam up some tubes from leftovers from the pants and see if I can’t make hair accessories to match my new fancy pants.

Bonus:  If I can figure out how to lay out the pattern to get enough leftover fabric on some… matching tank tops.

I love starting the weekend with a plan!

Christmas Eve Ramblings

December 24, 2013

I thought it was a better title than Tuesday night ramblings…  So let’s start off with some cuteness:


Exercise continues.  I am actually pretty proud that I have pretty diligently been exercising for about five months now… I’d be more impressed with myself if I was regularly running 2+ miles but I am regularly walking 2+ miles so it’s better than sitting on the couch.

Diet continues.  I am back to counting calories religiously and it works for me! And yes, I’m counting today and tomorrow… even if I go over, it is better to be consistent.  Funny though, I’m actually a little under today.  It likely helps my goals that we don’t really do anything special for Christmas, I’m rather a grinch and getting grinchier every year.  The other thing that helped was dinner ending up not so good and getting fed to the outdoor cats…

Getting really excited about “The Biggest Loser” competition starting up at work.  I sent out the email for the competitions today and our team is getting off to a great start.  I plan on kicking ass at the competition again this year… money motivates me.  I maintained the loss that I ended last year’s with and ready to go for more!!!  Also considering doing DietBet as well, they have a 4 week, 4% competition and a 6 month, 10% one…

That brings up another motivator for me:  technology!  As I mentioned before, my Fitbit is like crack.  And it feeds into MyFitnessPal.  That alone is motivating.  Add in technology based earnings with the Fitbit feeding into Earndit, Everymove, Achievemint, Walgreens, and the Weightloss Project as well… more crack.

So, 2014 is getting close.  I can’t say as I am going to set resolutions… I just plan on continuing the path of improvement I’m on… lose weight, get fitter, continue not smoking…

On to a different topic… sewing.  Yesterday I had to drive to Harrisburg and since I was there, visited PA Fabric Outlet.  OMG!  I restrained myself and only spent $40!  Lots of really great fabrics.  I rank it below Fabric Mart though… not just for the fabrics but the people were a tad bit friendlier at Fabric Mart…  Last weekend I sewed two bags, because what I need is more bags, not.  That might be part of my Christmas day as well, sewing.

Oh, speaking of bags… I won a bag from Fitmark, specifically I won their Namaste bag.  Nice to win something, ‘specially a bag, but I really would have rather had their “The Box” or one of their messenger bags.  Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers… but I think I’m likely going to give it away as it’s really most useful if you are carting a yoga mat (and I can’t see me ever doing that!)

Okay, time for bed so that Santa can arrive.  No cookies in the house for him, well I do have some chocolate goldfish (35 goldfish = 140 calories!) but I prefer not to share (like I said, grinchier!)

hair addiction

November 17, 2013

I have a new addiction, my hair.  I have been actively trying to grow it out healthily.  Not that I had many bad habits before as I used heat on it maybe three times a year if that.  The things that most negatively impacted my hair would be dye, tight ponytails, and combing wet out of the shower. 

I have switched to henna for dyeing it because I can’t imagine giving up the red.  And I have to say, I am much happier with the henna.  It doesn’t fade at all!  I just took a break between that last sentence and the one before it to go mix up a batch so I can do my hair later… I have roots showing. 

As for tight ponytails, I try not to, but I am still struggling with any other way to keep my hair up for running.  I can’t stand the feel of sweat soaked hair beating on my back.  But I’ve switched to fabric only hair scrunchies, no more tight bands, so hopefully that is minimizing the breakage.

For the combing while wet, I have stopped combing my hair after I get out of the shower.  Instead I head out to work and detangle with my fingers as I drive then use a comb after I arrive.  The other day I needed to stop two places on my way so I put a Buff on and let my hair fill out the tube.

Thanks to the Long Hair Community forums I have been reading the ingredient lists on shampoo and conditioner and paying attention to the after effects of their use.  One thing you hear about often is “cones” meaning silicone variants.  When I don’t use a conditioner with silicones you see much more frizz and when I search my hair I find splits.  The silicones hide the damage better!  Of course, that is why if a conditioner is marketed as “repairs dry and damaged hair,” you can often find high up in the ingredient listing either dimethicone or amodimethicone.   I use both silicone containing and “cone-free” conditioners but it’s good to go without the cones occasionally to get a good idea of the non-hidden condition of your hair…

And so, here is my hair yesterday.  The pictures are taken after drying.  The first picture is before any combing.  The second is after combing and brushing.  No silicones for three days before this so all the frizzies were flying free.


I have this crazy goal of waist length hair.  I’ve been doing some woodworking and making fancy wooden hair forks for updos.  Like I said, new obsession.

In other news… I did my treadmill 5K yesterday before I washed my hair. LOL!  No land speed records were set but I upped the running vs walking minutes a bit.  Nothing major, just a bit of enough to make me feel like a running goddess warrior princess.


Today I think I am going to do a bit of sewing.  My brother-in-law dropped a coat off to me a while back to put in a new zipper.  I’m not charging him but he is giving me a new coat that he got from his work as payment so I’m cool with that.  Also, I got some Thanksgiving fabric that I am going to use to make a skirt for work.  Next Wednesday is our residential dorm’s Thanksgiving party and I’ll wear it for that.  Then probably again the Wednesday right before Thanksgiving.  I had one I had made for Halloween a number of years ago (and never wore) that I found and finally did wear this year.  Made me decide I was going to make a theme skirt for all the holidays.  Though the Halloween one was a bit fancy (for some reason when I made it, I put in a waistband and a zipper for a skirt that has a useful season of about one week a year) the rest I plan to make more basic with just elastic for fit.  They will, however, have pockets!

quilt tops

October 6, 2013

I finished this quilt top last month, it’s based on a baby quilt pattern called strip and flip or something like that.  I bought one of those “jelly rolls” at Joann’s.  I actually bought two, one solid and one patterned.  Got home and opened up the patterned one and it was cut so far from straight that I had to take it back.  They didn’t have another so I bought cut fabric to match the other roll.  I have the batting for it but don’t have backing fabric yet.


This next one is from leftover denim scraps and recycled jeans, finished last weekend.  I think I’m going to double layer flannel for the backing and forgo any other batting.  I think a bandana print would be a cool backing.


So today’s sewing was little, quick, and nothing fancy!  Catnip mats for the kitties.


besides running

September 28, 2013

I cleaned out my side of the closet today to make room for my recent shopping extravaganza spoils.  Out went the 2x shirts that bag around me making me look pregnant, the 20W pants that I’d taken in to about a 16 and had been wearing to work even though I could again take them off without unbuttoning.  They are being replaced with shirts in size L and pants in size 12.  Halle-freakin-luiah!

Shopping for clothes has never been my favorite activity.  Still isn’t.  But it was necessary and I know that having things that actually fit does feel better.  I did pretty decent with sales.  Last week I got a pair of pants from New York & Co. for $16!  Thursday, I got clearanced sleeveless shirts for $2 each from the evil Wal-Mart (I wear them under uniform shirts for work – which those are all too big but I’ll likely wait a bit to replace them, I just leave them unbuttoned and open like a cardigan.)  Then yesterday, sweaters and pants on sale, both $16.99.  The store (KMart) only had one color or the pants I wanted in 12 Short so I bought a pair of grey pants from the store and shopped online last night for 2 pairs in black and a pair in denim.  I also got some workout shorts and capris and a white shirt for the upcoming color race.  About the only thing still on my “clothing to buy” list is an additional sports bra (sports bras… that is a whole post topic there!)  Pretty impressed with KMart’s online ordering, I placed the order at 11:30pm last night and got a shipping confirmation with tracking number at 2:45pm this afternoon.

I refuse to spend a ton of money on most of my clothes.  One, I plan on losing more weight so I will need to replace them, likely before they wear out.  Two, even though I don’t often work “front-line” at my job, I really never know when I might have to provide back-up in a crisis…  as a last resort, if a kid’s behavior is a safety risk, we restrain… you would not want to be wearing $60 pants, have to assist in a restraint, and find your knee going down into a pile of mud, or feel your pants catch on a rock and rip!

I didn’t sew today, probably tomorrow.  I finished a rainbow themed quilt top a few weeks ago.  Currently I’m working on a denim quilt top with chopped up old jeans and leftover scrap denim from various sewing projects.  I need to get fabric for the back of both of them (another item on the “to buy” list, geez.)  I’m thinking of using flannel and just doing a double thickness of it with no batting for the denim quilt.  I have the batting for the rainbow quilt.  Here’s a picture of it from midway through it’s creation…  I’m currently too lazy to walk upstairs and get better pictures of the rainbow top actually completed and the denim one in progress.  And because it’s been too long since I’ve posted Tippy helping me sew… here is also a picture of her doing her stretching exercises (she hangs on the cat tree like this often)

 rainbowquilt  tippystretching

I got excited today thinking my order from Amazon was in the mailbox.  Walked to it and it wasn’t.  The order contains henna for my hair, coconut and almond oils (actually for my hair as well but I’ll probably keep them in the kitchen since I can cook with them if I want too.)  I went to a health foods store last weekend and got a box of henna and indigo and did my hair.  The indigo took more than the henna… it looks good but it just isn’t red enough!  That was my first natural dye job, won’t be my last!  I don’t want to use permanent chemical dyes anymore because I am trying to grow my hair as long as I can and damaging it with dye jobs won’t help that goal (plus, permanent or not… red fades.)  I love Manic Panic dyes (no damage and awesome colors) but with the running and accompanying massive sweating I foresaw rivulets of color streaming down my face and back since it bleeds color for weeks after use.  So, my answer to the dilemma is henna with an occasional indigo addition if needed:  Red, more permanent than permanent chemical dyes, no damage, and no bleeding.  Woo-hoo!  My hair currently measures 23 inches from my hairline to the ends.  First goal, 25 inches.


So to add to my crazy out of character shopping sprees, I ordered three pairs of glasses from Zenni for myself (including a pair of prescription sunglasses with cool rubberized tips on the temple ends for running outside!) and one pair for DH on the 19th.  I’ve gotten the notification that their manufacturing is done, I expect I’ll get a tracking number Monday or Tuesday.

Well, I’m going to shut up for now.  This is why I came back to having a blog… so I can ramble about anything I feel like in  a format more conducive to rambling than Facebook is.


Running and quilting… odd are my hobbies.

September 1, 2013


Finished a quilt today, it’s about 36″ x 40″ and is for a coworkers baby. I surprised myself as I only started it by cutting the strips Friday night!

C25K update: This morning I ran Week 4, Day 2… it should have been Day 3 but I’m calling Friday Day 0 since I just struggled with completing the runs at all…  There were definetly moments during today’s when I struggled to finish the full run time but I mind talked my way through it! 

Afterward I found a great quote: “The voices in your head telling you that you can’t do it? They’re lying to you!”

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