Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween, Vince and I were invited to a house party with the theme "2011 Bates Senior Prom".  Bates being from the movie Carrie (which was the Hostess costume).  So, with that being said, I went as a prom teenager.  I went to Prom in the early 90s, so the styles were not quite as strange as the 80s, but strange enough.  My reconstructed dress might have more like a late 80s/early 90s feel to it, with elements spanning 3 decades (70s through the 90s) rather than straight 90s.  To my original prom, I wore a knee-length fitted purple sequined dress with a white rhinestone halter strap.  I LOVED it.  I may have asked my mom to keep that one, but there was no way in this decade that I was fitting back into it (ah, size 2, 90 lbs) so I must improvise with a dress from Goodwill.

Vince was my date, but he went as Don Johnson from Miami Vice (aka Detective James Crockett).  I played it off as the "boyfriend that went to college."  You all had that friend that had the older boyfriend that no one ever saw because he either lived in another city/state or was older than they were and went to another school;  whether they were totally lying or not, you may never have found out the real story.  That was my story last night.

I bought my dress at Goodwill, which was a bridesmaid's dress made of satin and organza in GOLD.  Yes, that is my throwback to the 70's decade.  Oh, and it had BIG boobs.

I think saying that it had big boobs was an understatement.  It had really big boobs.  This dress had an organza attached skirt with the satin top extending below the waist in an asymmetrical hem. Underneath was a petticoat to make it pouf a bit.

To reconstruct this dress to be Prom-worthy, I first had to cut the length.  A selling point for me was the asymmetrical hem of the satin top.  My prom had asymmetrical hems all over the place, so I am playing them up to the max.  I pinned up the organza and petticoat and just had the liner hanging down.  I trimmed 12 inches down from the satin hem.

Once that was trimmed away, I sewed a hem.  I then unpinned the organza and gathered it in little bunches along the new hemline of the liner.  Once the bunches were made, I took needle and thread and tacked the bunches in place.  I trimmed the remaining organza to follow the liner hemline.

I pinned up the liner and organza layer to reveal only the petticoat.  The petticoat part was really only at the bottom of the dress, so I just pinned it up and sewed to match the same asymmetrical hem.  This allowed the petticoat to have the pouf effect and stick out the bottom (in a Madonna/tacky 80s way).

I took in the sides at the top.  Just so you know, I'm keeping the big boobs.  I took it in so it's not falling off, but those boobs will be back.

You can't have a fun dress without the one-shoulder-poufy sleeve.  I cut one strap completely off.  I then unstitched the remaining one in the back only.  I needed to reposition this strap to hold my new boobs up effectively.

I took some leftover liner fabric and made a tube.  I affixed one tube end onto the front part of the dress encompassing the strap.  I then stuffed the tube sleeve with leftover organza.  I scrunched up the tube and sewed the strap back onto the back of the dress, but more towards the center zipper.  I then sewed the loose tube end onto the back of the dress.

It's hard to tell, but that is the makings of the poufy sleeve in the above pic.

I still had more leftover liner.  This is where my new boobs come into the story.  I made another tube, but larger.  I took leftover quilting batting and stuffed the tube.  With some arranging, I made a nice set of C's for myself. (With my own boobs, they must add up to D's, right??)  I put the dress on and adjusted the fill and evened it out.  I just tied the boobs on like a bandeau top.  Since they are not real, they don't weigh anything.  I took the strap I cut off earlier and tied it in the middle of the boobs to give a bit more definition, rather than a uniboob.

Here is the finished dress:

The dress actually is not too bad.  It's starting to grow on me.  Vince then spray painted with gold, my shoes and the white petticoat.

These shoes rock!  Who knew a can of spray paint can do such a transformation?

I then put on some finishing touches like black hose and teased my hair and I'm ready for the Prom!  I did my hair just like I used to do it back in the day: banana clip with the hair wall for the bangs with a long tendril.

I had to take the picture by the hedge, just like my parents would have done it.  Not only did I dress up, but Vince did as well, as I said above.  Here is us taking a "professional portrait" at the prom (notice my new rack):

I have to say, no offense to my high school friends out there, but I had so much fun at this prom, more than at my real prom (no teenage boy drama).  If anyone is looking for a party to throw, throw a theme party.  They are a huge amount of fun. (You'll have to check my Facebook to get a hint of how it went) :-)

I also am dressing up for work, but instead of a prom teenager, I will be going as something else.  You'll have to check back later in the week to see my Monday costume!

Happy Trick or Treating!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where Does the Time Go??

Well, I just have to say that I did not have time to blog today!  This is the first week (minus the vacation weeks) that I did not blog.  I can say that I did A LOT and that is why I don't really have time to properly put it all down in a nice, pretty post.

The things I did work on were fixing a co-workers daughter's costume (during the week), another yard sale on Saturday (at my friend's community) and hemmed a pair of lounge pants.  I also worked on some thrift blazers (sleeves too long, and one, just a bit out of date), a co-worker's blazer that had a hole in it, and last of Halloween Costume.

The blazers and the Halloween Costume will be in a post, most definitely.  I love the way one blazer came out and my Halloween Costume is in theme with a Halloween party Vince and I are attending which is called "The 2011 Bates Senior Prom".  Yes, we will be going as prom teenagers.  So, I will leave you wondering what we do.

I will show you some of my past Halloween Costumes...

2010: Velma Dinkley with Vince as Foo Man Chu
2009: Cowgirl with Vince as a Pimp

2008: Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golighley from Breakfast at Tiffany's
2007: A Goth Wednesday Addams

Ah, Memory Lane.  I have worn wigs, fake eyelashes, heavy make-up, full length gloves, girdles and even magnetic nose and lip rings.  What I will do in the name of Halloween. :-)

I hope you enjoyed laughing at my past costumes.  See you next week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Paint Can Bank

This is a project for my bowling league, where we call ourselves the Odd Balls.  We've been through a few seasons together and wanted to do a fun game this time.

We decided to have the game be that we would pay a quarter each time we did not pick up a split, missed either the 7 or the 10 pin, got a gutter, missed the double wood (when there are only two pins left and one is directly behind the other), and some other hard-to-get shots.  For this game, we needed a coin bank or some vessel to deposit the money into at the end of the three games each week.

The team (that's us, above, last season) gave me the liberty of doing anything I wanted for the bank. I looked online and there were some plastic banks that were bowling ball shaped, but eh, I wanted something unique.

Vince and I went to Lowe's and bought a small 2-quart aluminum paint can with a lid (yes, they actually sell empty cans without a lid) and a spray paint can of chalkboard paint.  We also went to the dollar store and bought a bucket with a handle.

First of all, this is one of those projects that I had the idea for, but knew that if I did it myself, then I would have messed it up somehow.  So, this is where Vince comes in and pretty much does it, and I just help.

The first step is to sand the metal can down with fine grit sandpaper so the spray paint will adhere well to it. 

So, when that was done, Vince drilled a hole in each side of the can for the handle.  We took the wire handle with a plastic hand guard off of the bucket and trimmed it to fit our can.

We put it on to try it out before we painted it.

Once that was fitted, we removed it and put it aside.  Then Vince took the Dremel with a grinding wheel and zapped the lid with it so we could make the hole for the coins.  I say "zap" because this was sparking with the metal wheel against the metal lid!

Next step was to paint.  I have tried spray painting items in the past and I'm just not that good at it.  They have come out uneven and drippy.  So, Vince hung the can from a hook with the leftover wire from the handle and held it at arm's length and sprayed.  It got two coats of paint and left to dry overnight.

Once it was dried, the paint instructions said to rub chalk over the entire surface and rub off (I did this part!).  Once that was complete, Vince put the handle back on and bent down metal end inside the can so it will not pop out.  Now, it was ready to go.

We decided that with the money we pay into it each week, we will take ourselves out to a great dinner and a night on the town.  The rule is that we cannot pop open the can until the end of the season.  We have been paying more than we thought we would each night, so this is going to be one mean dinner!

Come on down to the bowling alley on Wednesday's...we'll even let you make a donation!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yard Sale $$ Belt

I was not expecting this post but since this is something I made on-the-fly, I figured I would share.  My community had a yard sale this Saturday.  We have had two since we moved in, but I was not prepared for them so I did not participate.  This time around was different; I was going to make some cash!!

I had my stuff, Vince's stuff, his daughter's stuff, his mom brought over a few items and a woman from work's stuff.  We had a lot of stuff!!

Last time I had a yard sale, I was fumbling with the money and going to my main money pouch and making change and I felt like I could turn my back and someone could just swipe my money pouch.  So this time I wanted the change on my person so I do not have to reveal where I was hiding the bulk cash to the customers.

I decided I needed a money belt, kind of like the hardware belts handy people use to carry pencils and measuring tapes.  Like I've said before, I am cheap and did not want to buy a "real" one from Lowe's or anywhere.  You know me: I'm making my own!!

My money belt was fashioned from an old hand towel.  I have a set of terry hand towels that are really thin and are one step away from being a dust rag or car wash towel.  I brought new life to one of them.

Old Hand Towel from the 90's

I took the towel and folded down one edge of the length of the towel about 1.5".  I grabbed a canvas belt and made sure that it was a little wider than that.  I sewed down the fold and this will serve as my canvas belt channel and the top.

Belt Channel in the Making

Next, I flipped it over and folded the towel again from the bottom up and had the bottom edge of the towel just under the seam where I just sewed.

This is Sew Easy!

I sewed up each side and one seam up the middle bisecting this large "pocket."  Now I have a divided pocket for my money.

I Said it was Easy!

I then threaded the canvas belt through and Viola!  Fini!

I had ones and quarters on one side and larger bills on the other.  When I would get a few $20 then I would transfer that to my bulk money pouch.  I was handling the money from everyone's stuff and jotting down when someone else made the sale so it was easy to just add up everyone's total at the end and then do one payout.

Rocking the $$ Belt at the Yard Sale

It was a long day, but we sold a bunch of our stuff (even though it seemed like we packed up just as much as we put out).  Ok, I just have to ask, "Who goes to yard sales with $50 bills?"  We had two people pay us for less than $10 items with a $50.  Unreal!  I almost refused the sale on principal. I would've if I did not already have $20's in my stash.  So, if you are those people: STOP!  It just takes all of the sellers change (this ain't the bank, you know?).  Go to the grocery store or gas station and get smaller bills.  Alright, I'll get off my soapbox now. :-)

All in all, it was a good day.  Everyone made a good chunk of change to line their pockets with.  Vince went "shopping" as the ladies were working the yard sale and bought a ping-pong table.  He says it was a good deal, hey, whatever floats your boat.  We had cleaned out the garage for the yard sale, there just happened to be all this extra room for it.  Hmmm, makes me think it was all planned somehow.

In a few weeks, my friend is having a yard sale in her community.  I will bring over what did not sell and what will fit in my car and see if I can get some more cash.  Otherwise, I'll donate the rest to Goodwill.  I definitely do not want to bring it back home.  I like having a clean and neat garage!

I'll make her a money belt too.  We'll be the money belt sistas!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mid-Week Mini - Baby Maddie

I wanted to share with everyone a postscript from my Aloha Maddie Baby Blanket post.  My friend Carrie sent me a picture of Maddie snuggling with the baby blanket.

What a great smile that little girl has.  Thanks, Carrie for sharing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Books - Third Quarter

Since I have been a knitting machine lately, I have not had a chance to read very many books.  Yeah, I slacked off a bit these last few months.  I did get to two books, so here they were (I'm continuing the numbering from where I left off last):

12. I got this book a million years ago from my friend Kj.  After my last book, I needed something light.  I have read many, many Jennifer Crusie books, so I knew what to expect.  This is a romantic comedy, but not really chic-lit.  A woman and her two friends hang out at a bar.  She just got dumped by a guy that she really did not like that much; she's ticked off.  He also goes to the same bar and makes this bet with a guy, that is not his friend, but not a stranger either, that he can't get that woman (his ex) into the sack in one month.  She overhears this bet and she plays along when he asks her out.  They are not each other's type.  They both end up having feelings for each other but they won't admit that to themselves or each other that they do because of the bet.  There are quirky scenarios and funny lines that are enjoyable for a happily-ever-after ending.  I rate this 3.5 thumbs up.

13. This is the sequel to Gone, Baby Gone.  That first book became a movie with actors that I did not picture in my mind's eye.  But, I had read that book so long before it was a movie that I did not feel nutty about not watching it.  This book series is about two private detectives that are freelance and don't always go by the book when getting info.  They are a bit edgy, but in the movie, they were shown as just regular people, like you or I, doing that job.  Eh, not what I pictured, but okay.  The background is that a little girl goes missing, reported to the police and hired the PI by the girl's aunt.  They find the little girl, but it did not turn out to be as anyone ever suspected.  Doing the right thing did not mean that it was the right thing to do (read the first book, you'll get what I mean).  This book takes place 13 years later, and the same girl (now a teenager) goes missing again.  This book takes place in Mass, so I always get a kick out of the lingo and knowing the locations that they describe.  Some scenes seem a bit far-fetched, but some people's lives very well might be that violent.  This was an excellent sequel that I would recommend.  I rate it a 4 thumbs up.

Yup, so there is my huge list.  I know, slacker, right?  Well, I'm back with my nose in a book after that last one.  I love how books can make you forget everything around you; that is a sign of a great storyteller.  I hope my next 4 books are just as great as this one.

Has anyone gotten into the other Dennis Lehane novels such as Mystic River or Shutter Island?  Let me know how you liked them. Does anyone know any other books that take place in Mass that you enjoyed?  Let me know that, too!

Happy Reading!