Phase Two: Bridal Gifts Sweatshop

I worked my butt off today! Ok, well I mostly worked, sitting on my butt, making gifts for my friend’s Bridal Shower. I did a post earlier today, when I finished the doily and now here is the conclusion!

I wanted to make vintage looking cloth napkins for her, so I used an embroidery stitch on my machine. First I hemmed the whole thing up and went back to add the details. I made three different colors.

Also, I made her placemats.

wpid-20140715_172038.jpgi am freaking tired.

wpid-20140715_171547.jpgcome closer…

I decided to give her gifts a test run to see what they would look  like all together. I added some accessories because it looked kind of sad and silly just sitting on the table all not set and what not. So the dishes and plant are obviously mine, but here you are:

wpid-20140715_171827.jpgI have too much time on my hands…or not enough!

I think it looks great! I’m debating making her a tea towel because frankly, I am pooped. But I made 8 placemats and 9 napkins. So, dinner party at her house? Maybe after a nap.

African Flowers for A Bridal Shower

Today I got working on gifts for a dear friend of mine who is getting married. I am working on placemats, tea towels, napkins and a centerpiece doily thing. I had her send me pictures of her kitchen for inspiration and I think I am in a pretty good place.

Originally I was thinking of doing a something fairly straight forward. But then I remembered, AFRICAN FLOWERS! Who the heck doesn’t love African Flowers?!? I have the world’s worst written pattern for them, hands down. I don’t remember where I got it from (the paper it’s printed on is dated 12/22/2011) but I copied and pasted it from somewhere. It might have been a few different sources, I was pretty new to crochet patterns at the time. I also am an idiot. I might have just hen picked instructions and pasted them into a document. However, despite being the worst written pattern, it is the EASIEST to mindlessly count. Trust me, I’ve tried a few. Even pictures. No help. I like this pattern because the flowers lay flat and as I said, it is easy to drift away and crochet happily without having to resort to counting every row over and over and frog out your miss counts. So I am going to attempt to rewrite it for you, if you would like to give it a chance.

African Flowers Motif

  • Notes: Unless mentioned, finish each round off individually with a sl st, colors can be changed every round.
  • On Round 3, if you’re not changing colors, you can slip stitch over to the correct space
  • Round 4 uses a dc spike stitch into Round 3, here are some pictures to help. Trust me, very easy and adds a lot of interest to any project.

Ch 5

Sl st into the first ch to make a ring

Round 1: Ch 3, dc into ring, *ch 1, 2 dc into ring* repeat 4 times (12 stitches total) Sl st into 3rd ch of initial 3 ch to close.

Round 2: Ch 3 into the space just to the right of the ch 3 in the previous round. Dc into same space and ch 1. *2 dc, ch 1 in each ch 1 space from previous round* (24 stitches)

 Round 3: Ch 3 in 1 ch sp from previous round, 6 dc, ch 3. *7 dc into next ch space, ch 3* (six petals)

Round 4: Insert hook into the first dc of the petal, ch 1, sc into same stitch (counts as first sc), sc 6 (7 sc total). Dc spike stitch into Round 3, *7 sc, dc spike stitch into Round 3* to beginning.

Round 5: Ch 3, 2 dc *[dc, ch 1, dc into same st] 7 dc*

Finish off and weave in ends!

I hope this helps, let me know if I missed anything, I am going off of a terrible template. I think I corrected most of it/made it easier to read.

I added a round of sc, increasing in the corners.

I made seven total and used a mattress stitch to sew them together.

To finish off my project, I did a final sc border, increasing stitches at the corners:

wpid-20140715_094433.jpgwheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Part One of her gifts is finished! The placemats are done, it’s off to the napkins. When I am all done, I will post pictures.

Things To Do:

Things I have not enjoyed:

  • Going to the Social Security office to change my name. Ugh.
  • Writing 100 Thank You notes. Normally, I have no problem writing a note, but I’m a lefty, so Hello, Giant Black Smears.
  • Fighting with my computer to upload wedding pictures, I won!
  • Getting my haircut, ugh. Just a trim, but ugh.

Things I have enjoyed:

  • Making a pound cake from scratch. A pound of sugar, a pound of butter, a pound of flour. Yum.
  • Practicing embroidery, still a noobie, but I made this for a friend
  • wpid-20140710_173617.jpgdon’t ask what it says under the ruler.
  • Hanging out with my brother
  • Getting fitted for a man’s suit for a friend’s wedding. How fun! I dare say I look dashing.

All right, enough chat! Back to writing notes!

*leaves big black smears across paper*

*curses wildly*

My First Crochet Necklace

This is a long post, with a lot of rambling, but bear with me guys.

Before the wedding (sorry, right now everything is either before wedding or after wedding. should I adopt a BW and AW? Ha!) I went shopping with my maid of honor, just a casual affair in the town I used to live in. If you want a really great place to shop and you are in Illinois, Geneva is great. Many of the stores focus on local artists, incredible finds, and unique items. I don’t care if they are all vanity shops (meaning: operated at a loss by rich housewives, you’d be surprised how often that happens) it’s a lot of fun to shop there. As you may or may not be aware, I am doing by best to put my money where my mouth is. I am trying to avoid big box stores and buy from adults. Ahem. Adults who get paid.

However, spending money is really not my best skill. Arguing myself out of buying something? I’m the best. Unless I really, really want it, I don’t buy it. If I really want it, I’ll drop a pile of money on it. So I kind of forced myself to really look around and at least try to buy something. There was a lot of jewelry that was made locally and it was really beautiful, but either not my style or way out of my budget. So I dug. And then I found these babies:

wpid-20140706_134939.jpgthe ashtray was my grandmother’s

Little tiny sea shells! Hold the presses. I love shells. I would wager that I have, hands down, the most privately owned sea shells in the State of Illinois (we’re landlocked aside from Lake Michigan, for you folks not familiar). How? Well my very very dear Great Grandma Bertha Lance (aka Birdie):

wpid-2014-07-08-07.25.19.jpg.jpegshe was a firecracker

I briefly mentioned her in a previous post. This woman was a major inspiration when I was a little girl. I had never met a woman so carefree and so absolutely amazing. Granted, I was probably 6 or 7 when she passed at 90something, but I have yet to meet anyone even in the running as her equal. She lived in Florida with probably around a thousand cats and obviously that fine fellow there. My memories of her are nothing but laughter and fun. She brought me the cool toys, the boy toys that my other relatives wouldn’t get me. She brought me sea shells from Florida. When we’d go down to visit, we would hunt shells, lizards and in general, start a ruckus. She collected creepy clown dolls and did macrame and other crafts. I never had so much fun then when all of us, great grandma, grandma, grandpa and my uncles would all get together and just tell jokes. So sea shells remind me of her. I have several large conch shells, a million sand dollars, two dried sea horses (which now I regret a bit, but I still have them. I was like 5, ok?) and I can’t even tell you how many jars of small shells. Jars. All from our adventures. In her honor, I wish to tell you, the Great Grandma Birdie Joke. It is NSFW. You might not get the slag.

Ahem. Ready?

“I still have my cherry, but it’s pushed so far back I use it as a tail light.”

90 years old, people. 90 years old. Do not discredit older people. They are hilarious.

Anyway, back to the point, sort of, those earrings had to be mine. They were in my price range and I took them home and wore the immediately. Love them.

Back to the necklace portion of this saga, I wanted to have a go at making my own jewelry. I wasn’t planning on moving mountains, I was originally thinking something with like flat metal pieces, kind of like coins, simply crochet into a necklace. That’s all. Keep it simple, stupid. Well I didn’t find any of the type of beads I had in mind, but…

wpid-20140706_140121.jpgjust what i need, more f’ing sea shells

OF COURSE I BOUGHT THEM. DUUUUUHHHHH. I am such a damn hoarder.

So, the plan was like this, string the shells on the crochet thread (it is lace weight 0) using an embroidery needle. Then I chained 20, looped in a shell, chained another 20, repeat til desired length.

wpid-20140706_135115.jpgall my goodies

wpid-20140706_160459.jpgdistance the shells are apart

wpid-20140706_160520.jpgbig stupid looking knot

wpid-20140706_160427.jpgfinished product!

wpid-20140708_174031.jpgmy stupid face, making a stupid face.

I really love it! It will always remind me of Grandma Birdie and I made it. My very first try! I couldn’t be more pleased. Beats the stupid coin necklace I was going to make. Thanks for sticking around for all that! Have a great day!

The Ridiculous Apron

Now that things are back to normal, ish, I can get back to being crafty! Whoo hoo!!

2 Mondays ago was the day I had to pick up my friend from the airport. Her flight didn’t arrive until the ungodly hour of 1pm. Which is an eternity if you are impatient like me. The house was clean, the laundry, dishes, everything done. Spotless. And here is me, nervous as heck, pacing back and forth with nothing to do. I decided to investigate my scraps pile in my sewing room, originally thinking of making something simple, like napkins or something. Anything. I needed to keep my hands busy.

When I went digging, I discovered a forgotten scrap of the most hideous, ridiculous fabric ever. If there is one thing I have a soft spot for, it’s ugly colors combined in insane and nonsensical ways. I feel like I need to adopt them. I have made more hideous pillows out of horrible ombre yarns that I can shake a stick at. And this stuff spoke to me. I bought it and made a skirt out of it. A skirt so ridiculous, that I, yes I, cannot even figure out what to wear it with. Man, it’s ugly. Awesomely ugly. One day, fair skirt. One day, I will rock you.

Right after I finished the skirt originally; I want to say this was in January of this year, the skirt was so insane I didn’t even post a picture of it; my dirty-hippie-NSA-watch-list friend whom I recently helped move came over, saw it and about died. Like, he was really jealous. At first he thought it was an apron, but when he found out it was a skirt, he was still jealous. I had forgotten I had a decent chunk of the fabric left.

Back to that Monday, waiting for the plane, I quickly text my good hippie friend that I had enough to make an apron. There was an explosion of YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU, MA’AM. Perfect! I selected loud yellow thread, got to pressing and got going.

wpid-20140623_123124.jpgmon Dieu

In between the beginning and the end of this apron, wedding happened. Finally, the week after, July 4th, to be exact, I actually had enough time and enthusiasm to do something besides being extremely lazy and grazing through the leftovers. I decided to crochet the ties for the apron. Off to find some ugly yarn! Whoo hoo! Ugly yarn stash!

wpid-20140704_135006.jpgthis matched the thread the best…wait for it…

I crochet a length wide and long enough to service as ties and decided they needed to be dressed up a bit. So I decided with the ol’ reverse single crochet! Works like a champ when you just need a little something to neaten off some ends.

This is how:

wpid-20140704_165833.jpgdeliciously ugly yarn…

You work backwards, left to right.

wpid-20140704_165909.jpg

Right side facing, insert hook into next stitch.

wpid-20140704_165919.jpg

Yarn over,

wpid-20140704_165956.jpg

draw through.

wpid-20140704_170019.jpg

Yarn over, draw through the two loops and into the next stitch!

wpid-20140704_170038.jpgIt’s kind of weird, until you get the hang of it, but it works great for a simple, small border.

So I whipped that hideous thing out and then sewed it all together:

wpid-20140705_170447.jpgC’est la fin des haricots!

Needless to say, he was tickled pink and very happy with it!

moderate cursing?

Finally, Wedding Stuff!

music is NSFW

then I PROMISE never to write about it again!

THANK THE LORD IT’S OVER!!

(if you need any of the “pre-show” please click this tag: “wedding“)

Before this, there were two gigantic shopping trips for supplies. I also made aprons for my bridesmaids, the pattern was from this site, Molly’s Sketchbook and they were very easy and stunning! Let’s begin at the week of…

Day One, Monday: was to pick up my amazing and ridiculous maid of honor at the airport. She is from Florida! After showering me with gifts of flamingo related items (I collect flamingos, really, it’s pretty epic) and getting her to my home, I settled her into the guest room. We went to my aunt’s house, my aunt married us. She is ordained and goes by Ordained InterFaith Minster, Priestess. She’s all around amazing. We discussed final plans for the ceremony (here is a picture of some silly/not my style vows) I think we all got entirely too drunk later on in the evening. Aw, shucks. My dear maid of honor also gave me this STUNNING crochet blanket. Fitting as she is the crazy lady who taught me!

wpid-20140706_140916.jpgthis is half of it, it’s huge!

Day Two, Tuesday: We spent the day with my maid of honor’s parents, a little bit of shopping, I got some amazing earrings (more on them in a future post, I’m making a matching necklace), she got a beautiful bracelet, we had lunch, swam in her parents pool and a delightful dinner. We managed not to drink too much. We were good girls. Also I started the preferment for the bread. Which was like, baby heavy. Like, heavy as a baby.

Day Three, Wednesday: COOKIE APOCALYPSE. My girl and I worked hard and made eight dozen cookies. 4 dozen chocolate chip, 4 dozen sugar cookies. The recipe was from the JoyofBaking.com and were absolutely amazing!

wpid-20140625_071409.jpgwhole lotta cookies goin’ on. that lovely betsey johnson purse on the stool was from my now husband. i love her purses!

wpid-20140625_071343.jpgthis is the insanity that was my kitchen…FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER. WE WENT THROUGH FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER.

It went rather smoothly, we kind of worked out a system and just kept banging cookies out. Immediately after they cooled, I put them in the freezer. We sampled a few, obviously. That day, after all of that, we had the bridesmaids over for lunch and I gave them their aprons. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take pictures of them, because, well, I was sort of busy ;) After that was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Everything went smoothly and I apparently kept apologizing to the waitress that I was “hosed” as in very drunk. Which, I was, granted. Momma needed to drink to keep from pooping herself!!

Day Four, Thursday: BREAD APOCALYPSE! Oh my baby Jesus. I literally borrowed every bowl and pan I could get my hands on. Every single one. Also I went through every kitchen towel we owned.

wpid-20140624_101755.jpgthis is just the preferments, BEFORE THEY GREW.

It was insane. You see the picture above, of the island in the middle of my kitchen? Imagine that, FILLED with cut up preferments. We did 10 batches of bread, that made about 16 rolls each batch. I did a regular french bread, just yeast, flour, salt and water.

wpid-20140626_111953.jpgI numbered each bowl of dough separately so I knew what order to bake them in. Sometimes I am clever. This isn’t all of them, by the way.

After the first few rolls, my maid of honor got the hang of shaping rolls. I did write about shaping rolls, well actually I was making pitas, but same procedure without the rolling pin. So we did about 160 rolls, which looked something like this:

wpid-20140626_145721.jpgI think we filled three gigantic bags, maybe four. I don’t remember. Those are the JUMBO bags, not the measly regular gallon bags. Also, those bowls are every single person who has a bowl, loaned out to me.

Immediately, they went in the freezer with the cookies. I wanted them to taste as fresh as possible.

Day Five, Friday: Food. Lots and lots of food making. We made a romaine salad, a chickpea salad, and the boys made potato salad(s) and coleslaw(s). The tent went up.

wpid-20140627_121648.jpgtables, chairs, lots of them!

Later on, I got a semi-surprise bachlorette party, I mean I knew everyone was coming over, but I didn’t know they were bringing, um, well you know. Lots of phallic looking gag objects. I got all beaded up and we got rather silly. It was pretty much amazing. I have the best friends. Not to brag or anything.

DAY OF, SATURDAY: I threatened that one of my bridesmaids needed to carry a bucket in case I pooped myself. Also, last minute I realized I forgot to sew a part of my dress, LOL, and pushed that sucker through the sewing machine at high speed. My brother arrived to practice the music, which he wrote. Our bar, apparently a gift from one of the groomsmen, made by himself, arrived. We thought we were just borrowing it!

wpid-20140627_121620.jpgobviously we cleaned up in here before the event. And by “clean up” I mean threw everything in the garage. We covered the pink floyd poster, it was to throw us off the trail.

Everyone arrived pretty early, I was still in a tank top and jeans. Can you tell by the choppy way I am writing this, it’s all kind of a blur? Truly, it was wild toward the end there. So let’s get to the HAND MADE WEDDING DRESS…

wpid-20140628_161412.jpg.jpegin my very messy dressing room.

wpid-2014062895161550.jpg.jpegsorry, it’s blurry, I was freaking pretty much out.

I wore my grandmother, June’s pearl bracelets and ring. Earrings from the husband and necklace as well.

There are a ton more pictures, but I don’t want to post pictures with other people in them, just out of respect for them. Well, ok, one. Only because I got permission. Express permission, as he just told me:

188we’d rather be drinking…

Isn’t he a handsome fellow? TAKEN! :D

Trust me, it all went flawlessly as I could hope, I did not cry, I did not poop myself and I drank a pile of booze. The plant hoard served as the BEST centerpieces ever, there was a lot of ohhs and ahhs over my beloved hoard. And they were essentially free! Everyone had a great time, there may or may not have been streaking (not by myself!) and in all honestly, it was so much fun, so relaxed I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

I hope you enjoyed all the pre-show, this wild ride! I am personally, very happy and very glad it’s all over so I can get back to crafting stuff! Thanks for reading! I will not be changing my name on here, so I can have some semblance of internet privacy, so it’s still bmaryglaser.wordpress.com!

I’m (sort of) Back!

Well, I’m back to work and busy being a Mrs. My first day as a Mrs involved exploring the fridge for leftovers and wishing I hadn’t drank quite as much! Pictures are coming, as soon as the photographer gets them to me! The wedding went wonderful, the weather was great, the food was great and everyone had a riot! I’m just glad to be able to finally go back to some sort of normal life! I can get back to projects I want to do! :-) To hold you over until I have real pictures, here are my rings! More soon, I promise! :-)

image

See you all in a bit! :-)