Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday!

So I did nothing this weekend.  And it was amazing.  I scraped myself off the couch to go to church on Sunday and accompanied my parents to Lowes for an hour or so... and that was it.  It was glorious.  So what's in store for this week?

Well, today I worked.  It was supposed to be a morning only half day and it turned into all day in a completely different position.  Tomorrow I work in a different school district and have rehearsal in the evening.  Wednesday... half day afternoon and evening rehearsal... I am waiting to hear about a potential job for Thursday/Friday so I've been turning down other offers.  I would only do this for this particular teacher so here is hoping the job comes through.

My mom's birthday is Friday and I have to come up with something to give her.  I keep going back and forth between about five different ideas... and I still cannot make a decision.  Ah well.  I'll decide eventually.  If not, well, gift cards work I guess?

My iPod is dying so I will be portioning off part of my next paycheck to buy a new one.  I don't particularly want to shell out the cash but my ipod died for two days and I almost cried.  Seriously.  Especially since it died the weekend I had to drive to Rehoboth three times.  Since said iPod touch was given to me at no cost at all, I can't complain over much about its death.  The up side of getting a new one is that the new iPod touch is fancier.  Mine is older without a camera and that fancy stuff.  The new one will be able to shoot video.  in HD.  I'm excited to get this new toy, though I am not excited about the money I will have to part with to purchase it.

Blargh.  Hope everyone has a great week.  I need to run off to go pack my lunch so that I don't get stuck eating cafeteria food again.

Love, peace, and chicken grease,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ten Things I Can't Live Without

So I thought, in an effort to come up with some content for my blog, that I would try doing some top ten posts.  So here you go.  Ten things I cannot live without.

1.  Jesus
Seriously, y'all.  I am a very screwed up person on about 1,000 levels.  It is wonderful to know that no matter how many times I screw up in a thousand different ways that he loves me enough that he died for me. That is a powerful, powerful thing to know.

2.  Coffee
Coffee is my drug of choice.  I drink far too much of it but I don't care.  I LOVE coffee.  Good coffee, fancy coffee, plain coffee, even bad coffee is better than no coffee

3.  My Mama
Aside from the literal "I wouldn't be alive with my mother having given birth to me" thing, my mom is one of my favorite people on earth.  She has made me who I am today and I look an awful lot like her as well.  I have no idea what I will do with myself when she dies.  My mama is a brave, strong, faithful woman of God who is living with terminal lung cancer but that doesn't mean she has given up on her life.

4.  My Kindle
That little device is almost constantly by my side.  I have a regular kindle, not the fire or anything fancy like that because honestly?  I just wanted it to be able to read, not play angry birds.  I scour the "Top 100 Free" list on amazon almost every day so that I can download free books of varying genres and qualities.

5.  Dairy Products
If I ever turn out to be lactose intolerant, I will cry endlessly until I die from dehydration.  My two favorite foods are ice cream and cheese.  I eat too much of both.  As a singer, I'm supposed to avoid dairy like it is satan incarnate and I just can't do it.  I now use almond milk on my cereal because it has fewer calories and more calcium for this calcium deficient girl but some how I don't think I want to try almond milk cheese.  That sounds DISGUSTING.

6.  Flip Flops
I have always been a bare foot kind of a girl, traipsing about in the grass without shoes early in march and on into October.  Alas, now that I am 23, this is much less acceptable and I am expected to protect my tender soles and thus wear shoes.  This is one of the reasons I am frequently mistaken for a teenager; when I am not working I tend to wear jeans, flip flops, and a tee shirt.  Usually without make up unless I'm trying to impress someone because I'm lazy like that (and also because my skin/eyes hate make up in most forms).

7.  Netflix
So the reason I subscribed to Netflix in the first place is kind of embarrassing:  I wanted premium currency in mob wars and they had an offer for said cash with a Netflix trial.  I signed up and never looked back.  It fuels my addiction to SVU and Bones and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (yes, I watch My Little Pony like a small child).

8.  Liquid eyeliner
Like most women, I have gone through some seriously questionable make up phases.  I also just got done telling you that I don't wear make up when I don't have to.  Still true but when I do, I have an addiction to black liquid eye liner.  I've been trying out various brands, hoping that I can find one of the "marker" varieties that will actually adhere over my eye shadow but alas, not so much.  I think I have four different tubes in my make up bag right now.

9.  My pillow
I have a memory foam pillow that I love.  It's kind of funny when people pick it up for the first time.  Reaction 1 is usually "ooh! squishy!"  Reaction 2 is usually "OMG heavy!"  It weighs about 50 pounds... and by 50 I mean about 10 but still that is one beast of a pillow.  I think it would win in any pillow fight.  For serious.

10.  Music
I know that is far to general but this is my list not yours.  I need my ipod and also my own ability to hum/sing whenever I so desire.  Seriously.  I will sing and walk around the house.  Music is my friend and I think part of me would die if I didn't have music.

So there you have it.  Ten things I can't live without.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Impatience, my life, and why teachers are really cool

So I am not a particularly patient person.  I hate to wait on things, especially important things, like for example, waiting to hear back after submitting a 1 million page job application.  Or waiting for the latest ana white momplex update (I'm an addict.  It's pretty ridiculous).  Some say anticipation is a good thing.  I say anticipation is for people who have more time on their hands than I do.  Even in the mornings, I am not good at waiting for it to be time to go to work.  Yes, I am a nut case.  What else is new?

So what is new in the life of Caitlin?  Whelp, I had Wednesday off and basically slept it away, Thursday I worked half day AM teaching middle school and today I taught half day PM for chorus.  At least it was a music class though it was admittedly challenging.  Adolescence is challenging time in one's life, especially in high school, I think.  At this point, these children's physical maturity exceeds their mental and emotional maturity.  They look and often feel like adults but their heads haven't quite caught up with their bodies.  Case in point?  Teenagers storming out of class because they didn't like me.  Yeah.  It happens.  I have to remind myself to not take it personally; very rarely is it specifically me (though admittedly I have had some  times where a student and I just didn't mesh).

The more I work as a sub, the more I admire the teachers who do this full time.  I've had classes that I loved and wanted to see every dingle day and I've had classes that I've been ready to abandon by lunch time.  Some times, there is just a bad mix of kids.  In addition to the day to day process of teaching and managing behavior within the classroom, there are 900 other things to do.  Meetings, committees, training, continuing education.  It's a lot.  I spend a lot of time filling in for these teachers while they are doing training and such.  Teachers must constantly be monitoring their students to make sure they are learning as they are supposed to and make sure they are exhibiting normal social development and bear no markers of abuse.  It is a lot of responsibility.

I really enjoy the actual teaching aspect of teaching and participating in a learning environment  The look in a student's eyes when he or she finally understands something is fantastic.  It's the other crap I dislike  I want to teach higher ed music and voice lessons.  That's not to say there isn't any administrative bull crap that goes along with it but it is a completely different environment inside the classroom.  It's different when students have to decide to take your class, not be thrown into it by a guidance counselor.

So... if my goal is to be a college music professor/voice teacher I should maybe do something about it.  I'm trying to get my ducks in a row for graduate school applications but often times that is easier said than done. Wish me luck?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I cannot stop gazing at the gorgeousness that is my new blog design.  Seriously.  It's fantastic and I adore it.  Thank you Hubby Jack for your mad skillz.  It looks WAAAAAAAY better than anything I could've come up with.

So yesterday was one of the few days that I worked at the high school and didn't want to strangle something afterward.  The reason? I really didn't have to do much and I still get paid my full days wages.  No complaints here.  Also, I didn't have rehearsal last night (which makes me kind of sad, actually...) so I was home last night to watch NCIS... and then promptly fell asleep around 8 PM and got up at 8 this morning.  Seriously.  I think I needed the sleep or something.

Tonight I will be running off to go to rehearsal for Rehoboth Concert band where I play the French horn.  My friends that I usually go with are not going so I think I might take myself out on a dinner date.  I have been craving Mexican for WEEKS.  Oh my gosh do I want Chile Rellenos.  And guacamole.  Yes.  It is a date.

I am not one of those people who is afraid of doing things by herself.  I have no problem with solo trips to the movies or to dinner or out shopping.  I think that's the whole introverted thing.  I like time to myself and doing things independently.  I don't shy away from that.  Being single doesn't mean that I am unhappy and need to wait for a man to take me out on the town.  Or friends for that matter since I keep old lady hours most of the time and most people my age don't.

Whatever.  I've never been a "normal" girl.  Case in point:  for my day off, I have done nothing except watch HGTV/TLC and read.  I had a list of things to do today and suddenly I'm just all "meh.  maybe I'll be a good girl... maybe I won't."  Yeah.  I knew I was boring anyway.

So there you have it.  The rantings and ramblings of the day as I debate what in the world to consume for lunch, especially since I skipped breakfast...

Love, peace, and chicken grease,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Opera, my life's calling, and my geriatric dachshund

So I sing with a group called the Southern Delaware Choral Society and this past weekend has been our spring concert weekend.  To my extreme excitement, we did "Opera's Greatest Hits" which is pretty awesome sauce for me because I love opera.  It's not a lot of people's cup of tea but it so is mine.  I love opera so much, I went to school to study it.  Enjoy this old video of me singing a fancy pants aria while recovering from pneumonia:  Che faro senza Euridice

For as long as I can remember, my life has been about singing (hence songbird takes flight, in case you were wondering).  I have sang in church since I was four and I loved it but when I started singing classical music, specifically opera, I really came alive.  I am an ok pop singer, I'm a great classical singer.

It's been an interesting week for me musically.  It started Tuesday night when I stopped at Walgreens on my way home from rehearsal because I needed red lipstick for this concert (that I bought four kinds in an attempt to find one that doesn't look orange on me is beside the point).  The cashier was someone I knew in high school (vaguely) and the first thing he remembered about me was that I sing.  In fact he remembered that before he remembered my actual name (he called me Katie.  Close but no cigar).  I guess that says something about me and the track my life has been on.

With the whole graduating from college, moving back home, and working full time thing, my performing has kind of gone by the way side.  I sing a lot, obviously, but not as a classical soloist.  For this opera concert, I got to do some acting bits as a flirtatious gypsy girl.  Twice.  As one of two women in the entire chorus under the age of 30 (possibly the age of 40.  I thought it would be rude to ask though) I am automatically the person to do the roll of the "pretty young thing" if it comes up.  I wish I had video to show you of my on stage flirting endeavours but alas and alack.  Me and my seductive red lipstick flirted with two hot guys banging on an anvil in one number, and a bull fighter in another.  It was fun to pretend, offering my most sultry smile and getting to squeeze an extremely hot guy's bicep before he and another gentleman fight for my affections.  An extremely talented baritone also got all up in my business for a brief moment for the Toreador aria and chorus (though I would have admittedly enjoyed getting all up in the business of one of those anvil guys more...).

This is especially fun for me to play because there isn't a seductive bone in my body.  I am a good little Christian girl with good little Christian girl morals and no intentions of changing that.  I am told I am extremely flirtatious but I don't do it on purpose (usually).  The other ladies in the chorus were encouraging me to go for one of the hot anvil guys and I attempted flirtation until I realized he had a girlfriend.  Poo.

Speaking of poo (I know, what a seque, right?), on to my geriatric dachshund.  The poor thing will be fourteen on May 1st which is quite old for any dog and he had developed some issues with his digestion.  That is beside the point.  The point is that I am owned by an eleven pound, stone deaf, bossy, needy, little dachshund.  In fact my whole family is and has been for the last (almost) 14 years.  We got him as a puppy when I was still in grade school and now here I am, all gradu-ma-tated from college and stuffs and still owned by this little dog.

I mean, how can you possibly resist this face?  

Notice I said owned by.  I'm not entirely sure you can own a dachshund; a dachshund owns you and most people I know who are lovers of the breed will agree.  There is just something about weiner dogs and their personalities that leave little to conclude other than that you belong to them.  And not the other way around, no sir.  He is a spoiled ROTTEN little pooch who for a time, even had my mother cooking his meals for him.  That's right, she was a dog chef.  But when you look at these pictures, you'll know why there was no resisting.

Do you really need to bring the camera out here?  I was having fun exploring!

Now put that down.  You could be doing other things.  Like feeding me.  

*huff* If you insist, I will do the "staring off into the sunset" pose you seem to like so much.   

I give up.  I'm taking a nap now.  
And there you have it, the face that launched a thousand ships.  I mean... the face that demands treats with regularity.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Doctor Who, job applications, and my pants

So I kind of gave away the contents of this post in the subject line.  Oops?  I imagine you will survive.  Or possibly just not read the post because you are probably convinced that I am a wack-a-doodle...

...In which case you would be right.

So.  Doctor Who.  For those who don't know, I'm mildly obsessed.  My ex-boyfriend and I used to watch it all the time.  In fact, those evening watching it on the couch were kind of how we got together.  Beside the point though.  I'll not get into everything about the series and my love for it (fangirlfangirlfangirlfangirlfangirl).  For those who don't watch it, the show is about an alien who flies around in his time machine and having adventures.  Sometimes he sees beautiful things and sometimes he sees ugly things.  He spends an awful lot of time in modern day London as well...  Anyway, one of the ugly things he encounters is a nasty piece of work called the silence who you forget immediately after seeing.  The characters in the show marked themselves with tally marks whenever they saw one to remind themselves.  In the halls where I am working this week are pictures of people with what looked like tally marks at first glance.  This was where my brain went:

Thought #1:  OMG silence!  They have worked Doctor Who into the curriculum!

Thought #2:  Is Doctor Who really appropriate for a school subject?

Thought #3:  ...Those aren't tally marks, are they? This has nothing to do with Doctor Who...

Speaking of work, I am applying for a new job.  If you haven't read about it before, I'm a substitute teacher. I'm applying for something a bit more steady.  Here is hoping I get it, especially after having to track down my high school diploma.  I am a college graduate and can easily produce that diploma and my official transcript from that, but they need separate proof that I did, in fact, graduate from high school in the form of my high school diploma.  It took an hour and a half of my mother and I searching to find the darn thing in my grade school memory box.  Yeah.

And on to my pants...

Problem #1:  I have lost approximately 35 pounds since September.  I still have a lot to love and want to keep going, but 35 pounds in and problems have been arising.  Or shall I say falling.  Yes, that's right folks, my pants are so big that I have one pair that will fall off.  So I have had to buy new pants.  I have been very moderate in my new purchases because this is one stop on the road to weightloss, not an ultimate goal.  Still, in the last few months, I have bought five pairs of pants.

Problem #2:  I am 5'2" with good posture.  Even for being 5'2" I have short legs so even short or petite pants are too long so every pair of pants I ever buy has to be hemmed.  In the chaos of life, My hemming pile definitely grew.  As did my alterations pile because despite those 35 lbs being missing, I still have a huge butt and a (comparatively) tiny waist.  So...

Problem #3:  Half the pants I buy also have to be taken in at the waist.

I'm sure you are all sobbing for me now with my whole sad story of needing to take in my pants.  Thankfully, I know how to do it and have done a few pairs already so I don't have to pay someone else to do it for me.  So I turn on an episode of Law and Order: SVU on netflix, grab the seam ripper and go to town.  Carefully.

Bonus Topic:  I am singing in a concert this weekend.  I have two (very brief) dramatic roles within the show where I play a seductive gypsy girl.  For that mojo, I decided I needed brazen hussy red lipstick.  That was no easy task.  I bought four different shades in an effort to find one that doesn't look orange on me.  I'm not entirely sure I succeeded but it will have to do.

So that's my ramble for the day.  Hope you enjoyed the fact that I'm a random weirdo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm Still Waiting For... You to be the One I'm Waiting For

Happy Thursday blog land!  If you're like me, you may be currently contemplating becoming one with your sofa.  Whew.

So a good blogger would have a wonderful recipe or tutorial for your perusal right now.  Perhaps something spring themed.  Has it been as hot wherever you are as it is in Southern Delaware?  It's been in the 80s!  In April!  Anyway, I'm not a "good" blogger.  I don't have a tutorial.  Or a recipe.  I only have my normal sarcastic self.  And snot.  I have lots of snot right now.

Spring is here...  The flowers are blooming...  Love is in the air.  Oh wait!  I think that's actually pollen in the air...

I am currently cursing anyone out there who does not have allergies.  I kind of want to be you right now because I am coughing like a 90 year old chain smoker most of the time.  It's not cute.  My sinuses are reminding me that it's been four years since I last experienced a Sussex County Spring and they would like to go back to Pennsylvania thankyouverymuch.  Shut up sinuses.  I will not bow to your will!

So what else have I been up to?  Um, well... I am teaching and applying for a new job for summer/fall.  Maybe more on that later but probably not.  Privacy policies and what not.  I am also rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing.  For what you may ask?  It depends on the day of the week.  On Sundays I sing a church, Tuesday is Choral Society (with a fast approaching concert), Wednesday is Rehoboth Concert Band where I honk on the French horn, and Thursday is Bells.  I am musically busy.

I'm also writing again.  A novel as opposed to a blog.  I'm working on another cheesy Christian novel that is in the same universe as my NaNoWriMo but is not in fact a sequel.  Speaking of that... I should probably edit it at some point.  But I want to be able to publish it with one of those "If you enjoyed this novel, read this sample chapter of the other book" things.  To shamelessly plug my own work.

So there you go, a dose of snerk and spring from me.  Love, peace, and chicken grease,

P.S.  Bonus points for anyone who can name the song from the post title

Saturday, April 6, 2013


So after more than a month of trying to get it up and running, my URL is now working.  So if you happen to have my page book marked, it can now be reached at

exciting, right?  I feel like a real blogger or something!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tutorial(ish): Ombre Over-dyed Bag

So I recently decided that I wanted a new purse.  I am really into designing/making my own bags so I decided that making my own bag was certainly in order.  While I have actually designed my last few bags, I stumbled across a pattern and tutorial that I really liked so I decided to go that way with a few key alterations.  The pattern and complete directions can be found on the Warehouse Fabrics blog---> HERE  Now, onward and upward.

To accomplish the look I wanted, I used a process called over-dying.  The definition, in the captain obvious fashion, is to dye over top of an already existing pattern.  In this case, I was dying over a black on white arabesque print.  The fabric I used was also 100% cotton meaning it takes dye fairly predictably.  Awesome.  So let's talk about what I actually did.

Materials Used

-1/2 yard exterior fabric (printed cotton duck)
-1/2 yard interior fabric (magenta broadcloth) 
-1/4 yard yoke fabric (black canvas) 
-2-1/2ish yards fusible interfacing (I keep a crap ton of this around the house at all times) 
-1/2 yards fusible fleece
-2 yards black cotton strapping (adjust for your desired strap length)
-Approximately 2-1/2 yard piping (I used about 1 yard of the black and 1-1/2 yards of the pink)
-1/2 bottle RIT dye in fuchsia
-plastic container you don't mind losing
-rubber gloves
-dowels or something similar (like a yard stick) 

Step One- get the shrinkage out of the way

Prewash, dry, and press all your fabrics.  Just do it.  I've never regretted doing it but I definitely HAVE regretted not prewashing (like the time I turned a cape for a friend pink.  True story).  

Step Two- Making sure our nerves (and bag) don't get too frayed

Cut out the pieces of your pattern per the directions.  Here is where you will want to deviate a little though.  The outer fabric, which you will be over-dying, is going to be washed again.  Cotton duck LOVES to fray so you will want to make sure that after the process is over, you still have fabric to work with.  I traced my pattern with my dressmaker's marker, then traced a half-inch perimeter around that to leave room for fray.  I then cut out my outer line, and then stitched along the inner line.  This line of stitching will help prevent fray.

Lay your pattern over top of your folded fabric and trace using a dressmaker's marker (the kind that will go away in the wash).  Ignore the shoe sticking out from under my bed.  

Trace a 1/2" perimeter around the outside and then cut on your outside line.  

Once you are all cut out, you will want your interior line to continue all the way around so to easily do that, flip the pattern, match it up with what you already drew, and then trace the other side.  Baste stitch over that line.  

Step Three- Curl up and (dip) dye 

There are dozens of detailed tutorials out there on ombre dying techniques.  I'll give you the low down but if you have problems, consider looking up a tutorial online with better instructions.  

1.  Pour 1 cup of salt into your dyeing bin.  Add in three gallons of hot water (at least 165 degrees), and then pour in half a bottle of RIT dye.  Stir it up.   
2.  Use a dowel to suspend the fabric into the dye.  Allow the bottom third of the fabric to go into the dye and set a timer for fifteen minutes.  Swish the fabric around every few minutes.  
3.  When the timer goes off, allow the second third of the fabric to go into the dye.  Set a time for ten minutes and swish the fabric around a few times to prevent really harsh lines.  
4.  When your second time goes off, dip the next few inches of fabric in and out a few times to get a darker shade and blend the edge.  Then dip the whole piece in once and immediately pull it out.  
5.  Rinse your fabric pieces, holding the lightest shade at the top at all times.  The allows the excess dye to flow through the fabric from lightest to darkest.  
6.  Rinse thoroughly in cold water.  When rinse water runs clear, hang to dry for a few minutes before machine washing in cold water with light detergent.  Dry and press.  Feel free to work on the interior of the bag while the exterior is drying. Move on to step 5 if desired.

I used painters tape to attach my fabric to a yard stick.  I want to start with about 2 inches of fabric in the dye so I taped accordingly.  In order to try to keep the two sides even, I put both on the same stick on opposite sides.  

I was dying two, as you see here.  My fabric was a little wider than my tub so I started by doing the center...

...and then shifted the yard sticks to do the sides after about five minutes.  After another five minutes, I shifted it again to get the other edge.  

Step Four- Give that bag a trim

Lay your pattern (or the already cut bag interior) back over your freshly dyed pieces.  Trim away the excess.

See all that excess?  Yeah, you want that gone.  I used my quilters Ruler and rotary cutter to trim away the straight parts....

...and then used my scissors to clip away those sexy curves. 

Step Five- Fusion

Fuse your interfacing to all of the pieces.  Here is where I deviated a little from the instructions:  I added interfacing to the bag lining.  Why?  1) The original pattern/tutorial uses all home decor weight fabrics.  I didn't.  2) I prefer a sturdier lining in my bag to support all the crap I carry around.  If you are using quilting weight cotton, I recommend using the interfacing.

Note:  The yoke and exterior bag pieces will get both interfacing and fusible fleece.  Do the interfacing first, and then the fleece.  

Step Six- Get your pleat on

So I mentioned briefly that you could work on the interior the bag while your dyed pieces were drying.  That's what I did.  The pattern directions are kind of none specific about the pleats.  I did four pleats, each 1 1/4" deep moving from the center out (see pictures).  You will pleat both the interior and exterior in the same manner.

So I marked my pleats on one of my interior pieces (this is only one side.  I made a total of 4 marks on each).  Then I lined up those marks with my other pieces for uniformity.  

The pleats all pinned in, looking from the wrong side.  Notice anything incorrect here?  Yeah, I forgot to fuse on the interfacing and fleece on my exterior fabric before I pleated.  I removed the pins, fused, and redid it the way I told you to.  

Step Seven- Pockets full of Sunshine

Follow pattern directions for making the pockets.  Again, because I prefer a sturdy interior, I interfaced all of the pocket pieces.  Make yourself a sandwich (a fabric sandwich) and stitch around the outside using a 3/8" seam allowance and leaving a gap to turn the pocket right side out.  Turn right side out, press, and top stitch according to pattern directions.  Then pin and stitch the pockets according to pattern directions.  (Yes, I'm feeling too lazy to give you every single detail on how to do this.  Deal with it).

Step Eight- Interior Decorating

So here is another place where I deviated from the pattern:  I used black cotton strapping and I attached them just below the yoke on the interior of the bag.  I prefer this look but you may not.  Whatever.  I used my dress makers marker and placed the straps 4 inches from the outside edges of the bag.  Make another (fabric) sandwich like so:  bag interior right side up, straps (make sure they aren't twisted), and yoke wrong side up.  Pin, stitch, and press seam open.

Step Nine- Plumbing--er, piping

Grab your piping and get ready to make some magic.  I used two different colors of piping:  the black which I bought in a package, and the pink which I made using my gorgeous welting foot.  Now, this pattern calls for 1/2" seam allowances and my premade piping had 1/4" seam allowances so I measured and placed very carefully before stitching it down.  Then I stitched my pink piping to the yoke pieces.  It should be noted that I used my welting foot while working on all the piping.  The welting foot snuggles over the piping making sure you stitch closely beside it and not through the piping.  If you don't have a welting foot, consider using your zipper foot which will more easily allow you to sew closely to the piping.  When the piping is done, attach the yoke pieces to the bag exterior

Pin your piping to the perimeter of ONE of your exterior pieces.  Stitch it down.  

Line up your top piping and cut to approximate length.  My homemade piping had  1/2" seam allowances so that worked out well.  

I marked the centers on my bag exterior and yoke before beginning to pin.  Pin everything and stitch it down.  You can either stitch your piping down and THEN stitch on the yoke, or you can do it in one swell foop (as my music theory prof used to say...)

Press it so it looks nice and pretty.  Attach top piping and yoke to other side as well (dur).  

Step Ten- Double Bagging it

Using 1/2" seam allowances, stitch bag exterior, right sides together.  Turn right side out and press.  Using the same 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the bag interior right sides together.  LEAVE A SIX INCH GAP AT THE BOTTOM TO BE ABLE TO TURN IT RIGHT SIDE OUT LATER.  Press the seams on both bags.  

Tip #1:  Use painters tape to mark the seam allowance on the deck of your sewing machine rather than just winging it.  Precision counts.  

Tip #2:  When sewing the exterior of the bag, I continued to use my welting foot to avoid stitching over the piping.  

Pin right sides together and stitch.  

Another tip:  I stitched over top of my piping stitch line so everything would line up and I wouldn't stitch over the piping.  

Step Eleven- Come together, right now, over me

Turn your exterior right side out and your lining inside out.  Insert the exterior into the interior (I know, this sounds confusing but just trust me).  Pin in place, making sure your seams are lined up (dur). Use a half inch seam allowance, and stitch around the top.  Pull the bag exterior through the hole you left in the interior until the whole thing is right side out.  Stitch up the hole by whatever means you prefer.  

Note:  In a lot of bags, I have top-stitched these holes closed and been dissatisfied later.  So this time, I took the time to invisible stitch it closed by hand.  It took ten minutes and I will always be grateful that I did it.  This bag will last a lot longer than ten minutes.

Yes.  Pin it like this.  Like the original tutorial suggests, stitch with the thickest material (aka the exterior) on top.  Turn right side out and you will start to see something that Looks like the picture...

Step Twelve- Finishing touches

Push the lining into the bag and then press the yoke.  Now it is time to top stitch.  I did two rows of top stitching:  1 row 1/4" from the top of the yoke and 1 row 1/4" from the bottom of the yoke.  

Step Thirteen (optional)- Weather insurance

I am a big fan of making things last and making sure that my expensive electronics don't get ruined if I trip and drop my purse in a puddle.  This water proofing spray (purchased at walmart) is relatively cheap insurance.  I spent $7 on the can which has also served to waterproof a few pairs of shoes and a table cloth. Take your bag outside and spray until the fabric looks wet.  Then allow the bag to air dry for at least 24 hours before you take it out on the town.  The coating does not change the color of the fabric and it is odorless BUT ONLY AFTER IT IS 100% CURED.  

...I made the mistake on the drying time thing and it stunk up my car pretty good.  I was worried that this was permanent but then the next day the smell was 100% gone.

This is the stuff I used.  It has a neon orange cap and I found it in the camping section at Walmart.  

Step Fourteen- What we wanted all along...

Stuff your bag full of your stuff and enjoy it, lady!  You worked hard!

hanging from a tree outside as the waterproofing dries...
and stuffed full of crap, ready to go!

Admire that gorgeous ombre!

If you have any comments or questions, please drop me a line.  :)  I'd love to hear what you all think.

P.S.  If you absolutely love my bag and don't feel like making your own, I will have a duplicate up on Etsy in the next few days.  :)

Purse Party Link-Up

So I stumbled across an entry about a purse party on Holly's blog.  I happen to have just finished a new purse for myself so I thought it might be fun to join in.  If you happen to love my purse, I will be posting a tutorial on how to make it this afternoon

EDIT:  Purse tutorial can be found HERE


My new ombre over-dye bag that I am having a love affair with.  It's pretty big (for me, anyway) and has a number of pockets inside.  I also treated it to be waterproof.  

 And there you have the piled up contents of my purse (less the remote, birds nest, and decorative candle jar.)  So what is in that pile?

keys and their attached rewards cards

two highlighters and a pen

Vera Bradley clutch wallet

Work ID and classroom key on my classy My Little Pony lanyard.  And no you may not see my terrible picture.  

Instructions on tuning a French horn.  Because what purse is complete without this information?

receipts for costume supplies

My lips.  Sephora lip gloss, Sugar lip balm in Rose (my love!), and Revlon lipstick in Blushing Nude.  

GPS mount.  Not sure why that is there rather than the car but what ever.  

 When I'm actually going some where and not just dumping my purse on the coffee table, my sunglasses, cell phone, and Kindle are also in there (I seriously go NO WHERE without a book).  So there you have it, my purse.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter, April Fools, and my lungs escape attempts

So it looks like Spring is finally springing here in Southern Delaware.  The neighbors even had to call their lawn service to mow their grass on Saturday because it is actually growing.  We do not need to call the lawn service to mow our lawn for two reasons:

1) part of the "rent" agreement for my brother and myself to live at home is that I clean and he mows the lawn
2) Our front lawn is 70% weeds so it's not mow the grass so much as mow the weeds.  I know.  I'm hilarious.  hardy har har har.

Unfortunately for me, weeds=allergies.  This is nothing new.  I am allergic to almost everything on the planet. When I had allergy testing done, I tested positive for 19 of the 24 things they tested for.  I am not allergic to grass or horses or one of the two most common types of dustmites.... and that was about it.  I am allergic to trees, weeds, dogs, cats, and goose/duck feathers.  I'm also allergic to soy and black pepper but that is another issue unto itself.

As a result of the sudden bloom of weeds, my sinuses have decided to flood themselves in mucus.  My sinuses are very generous though, and love to share this with my lungs.  My lungs don't seem to appreciate this though and keep trying to escape my body through my mouth in giant coughing fits.  In order to try to keep them in my chest, I am taking a cocktail of anti-histamines, decongestants, expectorants, and cough suppressants.  Whew.  Hopefully I will feel better soon as I have rehearsal tomorrow for choral society, followed up by band rehearsal Wednesday, and then a trip up to the Philly area to visit some friends.  I would like to be healthy for all of that.

So moving on to the other topics for this post...  Happy April Fool's Day!  I am not pranking you, alas.  I just don't feel like it.  I was more caught up in Easter stuff than trying to prank someone.  The big family Easter was at our house and I am the dessert lady.  I am known for my sweets in the family.  What did I make?  Bread pudding with Jack Daniel's caramel, lemon glazed pound cakeum.  and Holy leftovers, batman.  It was fun and I ate myself into a coma with my extended family, including my Bieber obsessed teenage cousin.  I did not teach her well enough, apparently.

I'm starting to ramble so I think I'll head back to watching NCIS and trying to stay awake.

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