Friday, November 21, 2008

archived: i am so proud

as this post goes up my best friend is experiencing one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. he wrote the sweetest things to me in his dissertation. here is where i will return the compliment...


today is a day you have been working for since long before i came along. i can not begin to tell you the immense sense of pride i have at how you have conducted yourself and your work over the past few years. i am in awe.

these past few months in particular you have blown me away. you married me, honeymooned with me, attended two post doctoral interviews (resulting in two offers and one job), and dealt with a frazzled, sometimes irrational, always emotional wife - all of this in the midst of writing the biggest work of your life.

i have always known you were incredibly smart, but WOW i'm a little shocked at what this dissertation has shown you are capable of figuring out. it is so fun to see the joy it brings you to discuss and integrate your findings. it reminds me that the struggle has been more than worth it.

lets close this hard, fun, and overwhelming chapter of our life. i can't wait to begin the next one.

relish this moment. you will shine. explain your little heart out.

i love you, nicole

Thursday, November 20, 2008

archived: wedding in review - dessert trays

i don't believe i've ever blogged about this addition to wedding craftiness, but i HEART these trays. they were featured here today.

for the wedding i wasn't too picky about what plates to use because they would all be covered up. older ones i've made to use around my house (fruit tray, gifts) i have been more picky.

i was quite pleased with how the table turned out.

the cake stand was even made using a large (12 in) platter and a champagne glass. our bride and groom were found for $3 at goodwill - she was blond so we painted her and changed her veil and they were perfect! i, of course, made those pesky crepe paper flowers.

i will probably blog more about these someday, but all the steps are at the featured link.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

archived: ahhhh

my days have been filled with 6am studies, endless phone calls (to moving companies and rental agencies - boo.), and thanksgiving/defense prep. but they have been ending in creating.

ahhhhhh! feel the relief...

update: you can buy or make fabric labels. i bought mine at fabric depot, but here are some other links...





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

archived: wedding in review - the dress

this post is the first in a series reviewing things i didn't blog about while planning our wedding, including crafts, the week prior to the wedding, and the big day. hope you enjoy!

i have had a tumultuous relationship with this dress. the picture above is the day i ordered it from a little boutique in seattle - i was SO excited.

my favorite parts were the flouffy layers (flouffy is a technical term) at the bottom and the train. oh the train. makes me swoon...

my body is weirdly proportioned so i listened to the lady when she told me that i should order a larger size. such.a.bad.idea.

after the larger size and me losing quite a bit of weight (due to a new medication) this is how it fit. not good. after visiting many a seamstress (most of whom quoted me more than the dress cost in alterations) and insisting that somehow the dress needed to fit (and make me look like i have a womanly figure), jennifer phillips saved the day.

by the last fitting it fit so well that i struggled to breathe deeply while dancing the night away!

hmmm... now that i'm at the end of this post i'm wondering if there is any real point to sharing this... i guess i never talked about my dress before?? eh.

archived: wedding in review - scrapbooks

i heart pictures. i mean i REALLY heart pictures. so i wanted to include pictures of our relationship somehow, but a big slideshow didn't feel right to me. it would have been logistically difficult in our venue and i just didn't feel comfortable.

as an alternative i thought i would make a scrapbook for each of the 19! tables. i felt this was cool on a multitude of fronts (1) people could look at them at their leisure and if they didnt care to look they didn't have to (2) it allowed me another craft project (3) family and friends could take them home.

they were quite basic - cardstock for the covers, on the front cover - machine stitched a flower from our wedding fabric (which i am no longer in love with and would have chosen something COMPLETELY different by the time the wedding came around...), used brads to secure the dates, 4x6 pictures rubber cemented to scrapbook paper.

everything was bound using a technique i learned in 5th grade and kept meaning to use again - its called japanese book binding. i used this link to refresh my memory. it is a very simple way to bind pages, but i would recommend getting an awl to punch the holes. i couldnt find one at michaels and used just a needle instead. my fingers hurt SOOO bad for DAYS. (side note: i saw an awl at joann's this weekend near the sewing stuff - seam rippers and the like - i will purchase it soon!)

here is a little (and kind of embarrassing/weird) video i made to send to my far away bridesmaids so they could see the new crafty addition to the wedding. shows you more details than i have pictures of...

these were a big hit with our people. we ended up just getting to keep one and i'm not even sure who all they went to!

Monday, November 17, 2008

archived: gratitude wrap weekend

christmas crafting continued this weekend. kendra and i made SouleMama's gratitude wraps (get the pdf on her sidebar).

i heart them.

i did NOT heart doing rounded corners with bias tape. who ever thought that was a good idea?? if anyone ever tells you rounded corners are easier scoff at them and then use this tutorial to prove them wrong. SERIOUSLY - i wanted to punch someone after my first two (i know part of the problem is me being incredibly inpatient, but it still sucked)

eck! look at that corner!

and then my second two made me MUCH happier.

ahhhhh. soooo.much.better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

archived: caps to cap haiti

i had a crappy day yesterday. not for any particular reason - its just how i am. sometimes i just feel... i don't know exactly how to describe it... some combination of apathy, boredom, sleepiness, frustration, being over/underwhelmed. the best way to describe it is feeling blah. its how i feel when i'm headed for a low, but not there yet. it happens a lot this time of year. its lame, but because this isn't something new to me i've started learning how to cope.

so far i've learned that i feel better if i give myself permission to be frustrated, and maybe even feel a little sorry for myself, that i feel this way. this ususally results in some major downtime, in which nothing productive occurs. i've also learned that if i allow myself to wallow too much i get worse. so i have to do something. anything.

now the point comes. nothing can make you feel better than helping other people right (even if it is in a very small, almost inconspicuous way)?

haiti (via maine) will get 20 newborn caps from me! i'm very pleased with them.

i made 12 of the regular knot caps out of our old t-shirts and then used sleeves to make an additional 8 skull caps. i worried that they weren't as cute, but grant thinks they are cuter so i'm sending them too.

i was quite worried about sewing on jersey - it sounded like it would be hard. i didn't find it to be that bad. this may be because, although i am, in every day life, a very anal person, i am a very sloppy seamstress. i just want it done. i used a tight zig zag as the pattern suggests and i only f*ed things up 4 or 5 times and never enough to get ruin any. i did manage to sew one with wrong sides together, but i decided it is still cute so i'm sending it.

for more information on how to help visit mamatomama.

Monday, November 3, 2008

archived: wedding in review - programs

... about the programs. but i'm kind of proud of us (jon and me). style me pretty had three judges for the DIY contest and our program was in the top three for two of the judges. and one judge, Grace from Design*Sponge, voted us number one!

we didn't win - my style is a little, shall we say, rough around the edges, compared to the winner (who's stuff is beautiful)... but i'm still pretty dang proud of us!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

archived: button wreath ornaments

i was trying to be sneaky and not mention what specifically was pictured in this post last week. but since i had so many (read: three) people ask about it i thought i'd post the link so you can make them too.

they are pretty freaking cute wreath ornaments made using buttons. they are, of course, a martha idea. you can find details here.

we adorned them with little jingle bells and made them in lots of different colors. i plan to give these packaged in little oragami boxes made out of christmas wrapping paper. here is the tutorial i've been using for the oragami - works really well, just be precise about your folds.