Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Surprises

Sometimes when I upload pictures from the camera, I'm surprised by what's on there. There may be pictures I forgot I took. Before I began to upload pictures fairly frequently, sometimes weeks or even a couple months might go by before I attached the camera to the computer (yes, I constantly felt guilty, worried that I would lose the camera or that it would break before I had the opportunity to get the precious pictures of my children safely onto my frequently-backed-up hard drive). But sometimes, especially now that the kids are old enough to pick up the camera and take pictures of random things, I upload a picture like this one:


I cannot make out what this is. I'm assuming that J took it on Thursday, sometime while I was slaving away in the kitchen and he was watching football with his dad in the living room. What are those weird graphics at the bottom of the screen? Are they part of the ever-distracting graphics displayed by networks during every single program? Did he manage to capture a photo right at the exact second when the network was switching from a tv show to a commercial?

Let the Season of Perpetual Surprises begin.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Awesomeness that is the day after Thanksgiving

I have always loved the day after Thanksgiving.

LOVE it.

I am not a Black Friday shopper. I don't storm the mall at midnight. I don't plan on doing much holiday shopping at all; in fact, the little that I do will be done in locally-owned, small stores, to the largest extent possible. I saw some of the commercials last night for American Express, which is making a big push for local shopping tomorrow, and I plan on participating. I will also look online, shop local on Etsy, and do as much mail-order shopping as possible (you go, USPS!). So my day-after-Thanksgiving thing is not because of shopping. I just love being home. It's where I need to be on this day.

There's nothing monumental going on. It's not a big day. Today we're getting out Christmas decorations and watching Michael Jackson videos. We might rent a movie. I don't even know if we'll get in the car. Maybe I'll do a little sewing. Tonight we'll put up our tree (an artificial, pre-lit one, which I absolutely love, in every way I can love a tree. More on that another day).

Speaking of sewing, I completed a pretty quick refashion on Wednesday night. I'm sure lots of other people were peeling potatoes and making stuffing and preparing turkey, but I had a project that wouldn't leave my mind, thanks to the Greenstitch podcast, and I had to get it done. There was no point in trying to concentrate on food when an upcycled sewing project was beckoning.

Before:

Two years ago, a co-worker gave me several giant bags of her gently-used clothes. Many of them I wear as is - they're from Ann Taylor and other places too pricey for my budget. And, ironically, even two years ago I was not refashioning or cutting up clothes like I am now. My, how a couple of years can change things. Anyhoo, this dress is cute as is, but it's a lot longer than I would normally wear. I had just planned on chopping it off at the bottom, hemming it, and wearing it as a summer dress (which was clearly not a priority, since, like I said, she gave this to me over two years ago, and it's been in my closet ever since). But then I saw a project for the ruffle scarf at Greenstitch, which reminded me of Dana's tutorial several months ago on MADE, which made me feel like I was receiving a sign to make the project. So I did. Can't ignore a sign.

Now it's this:

(Picture courtesy of an enthusiastic 8-year-old who does not have the patience for auto focus to work).

Here's a close-up of the scarf:

The dress is 100% rayon, so it was the perfect lightweight material for the scarf. I did not do anything with the edges besides serge them, because of lazy (but, bonus, I think it makes it more lightweight and bouncy with no hem, and I like the deconstructed look in nearly everything, so win-win). I am often cold, year round, so this scarf is perfect. I wore it all day yesterday.

After chopping off the bottom of the dress to make the scarf, the original garment was too short to hem into a shorter dress, so now it's a tunic shirt, which I love. Today I'm wearing it layered over a white shirt, since it's cool, but it will be nice in the summer with a denim skirt. Two refashioned items from one original (which was free). That's a good return.

Now I have a whole day ahead of me of...doing nothing. At all. I am beyond excited.