Sunday, August 29, 2010

Camera Strap Slipcover

These handmade camera straps have been featured on many blogs and are sold on etsy. Every time I see one I fall in love all over again. They are so cheery and fun. Much more exciting and comfy than the boring black straps that come standard with all DSLRs.

image from
After putting the Big Ballerina's sewing table and chair into place, I decided the space was so inviting I'd finally try making one myself. Well, I tried to get BB to make it for me, but she's too busy with her purse orders and now making puppets as well.

I read tutorial after tutorial trying to figure out exactly what I wanted. Did I want to take apart my old strap and make a new permanent one? Or did I want to make a slipcover for the strap so I could change up the look as the mood strikes? Did I want ruffles? Patchwork? The options were endless.

I could have spent another month obsessing over the choices, but I finally decided to try the patchwork slipcover tutorial at Above All Fabric. Her instructions were easy to follow and I like how she top stitched the seams. It just gives it that extra polish. Plus it was a good way to work on my sewing skills.

Here's my version. It took me almost two hours because I am not an experienced sewer and I triple-checked the directions at every step. I know it can be done in a lot less time next time around.

I like it. Makes it easy to find my camera. Someday soon I hope to make another one to strap onto this bad boy. The new Canon D60. Available for preorder at Sweeeetttt!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have You Seen These?

Spending endless hours in bed watching TV these past few weeks, I've seen a lot of commercials. I couldn't tell you what most of them were. I wasn't paying attention. But there have been two ads that I've actually looked forward to seeing. This first one from Chef Boyardee just makes me laugh. It's a dumb commercial, but I love this woman. She cracks me up!


And then there are the commercials. Have you seen these? The ones with the puppets? I adore these. If you really pay attention, the creativity that goes into the sets is fantastic. Lots of attention to detail. Way cool! My favorite of the series has to be the one about the workout clothes. Check it out. 


What about you? Do you have any favorite commercials?

Monday, August 23, 2010

From TMJ to Arsenic Poisoning to...

If you remember, I have been feeling pretty crappy lately. The nightly fevers haven't relented. But now I finally have a "real" symptom. A cough. And I'm fatigued. This has been going on for a week now on top of the almost three weeks since I first started feeling lousy.

So back to the doctor I went. 

And after...
One EKG...
Two Chest XRays...
Three attempts to draw blood...
Four pounds lost (yeah!)...
Five negative tests for a variety of illnesses...
(including a pregnancy test...BAAHAHAAA!)
 Six little antibiotics were prescribed...
to hopefully, kick this annoying case of...

I have no idea how I "caught" pneumonia. I promise I didn't go out with wet hair and my coat unzipped, Mom!

BSD has been gone since last week. So I've been trying to entertain, feed and clean up after the ballerinas by myself. While feeling like crap. The ballerinas have been fed, their sheets have been washed, but that's really about all they've gotten from me. Luckily, we have friends who've taken up the entertaining slack for me. Thank God for good friends!

Today, when the Big Ballerina asked me what the doctor said, I told her, "I have pneumonia." 

"What kind of pneumonia?" she asked.

"The be-nice-to-Mommy kind," I replied.

"No, really?" she went on.

"OK, how about the don't-fight-with-your-sister kind," I tried.

*eye roll*

"Or the put-your-own-dishes-in-the-sink kind."

"Or the clean-your-hamster-cages-before-I-give-them-away kind."

*random muttering under the breath*

"Or the don't-ask-Mommy-to-take-you-to-Busch-Gardens-or-bowling-or-fishing kind."

"What about Tropical Smoothie?" piped up the Little Ballerina.


I figure a bunch of fruits whipped up into a frosty treat would help me heal. Especially with a shot of Immune C Complex added. And maybe I can pass theirs off as dinner?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BEFORE and AFTER: The Big Ballerina's Sewing Table and Chair

The sewing table and chair makeovers are basically done. I haven't quite dialed in the Big Ballerina's whole sewing space just yet so for now I'm only going to share the Before and After photos of the two pieces. 

I'm happy with the pieces, but the style of the chair just does nothing for me. It's hard to tell from the Before shot, but it's a Scandinavian style dining chair. I'm pretty sure it's teak. The wood had splatter marks here and there and one of the front legs looked like it had gotten hit by a stray black spray paint can. 

We covered the cushions with a cheery Annie Selke fabric (you know who Annie Selke is, right? The designer behind my favorite Dash & Albert rugs. I just can't stay away. It's a sickness.) 

BSD sanded down the frame and gave it a fresh coat of stain and wax. After it was all put back together again, I ran out and bought two cans of black spray paint. But I didn't go through with it. I don't think changing the color is going to make me fall in love with the chair. It's the lines of the chair I want changed. And a can of black spray paint, as magical as it can be, ain't gonna change the style.

The table? Now that's all kinds of fun to me. It's really not a pretty piece, but it's solid and makes a great workspace. I removed the keyboard shelf. Sanded down the finish. BSD made a new shelf for the bottom that was missing.

We gave it a few good coats of white spray paint. Changed out the knob. Glued a funky Amy Butler fabric to the table top. And covered that with a piece of plexiglass to protect it. went from this...

To this...

It's fun. And I hope it inspires the Big Ballerina to keep enjoying her new passion. I can't wait to get the whole space put together. I promise I won't make her go out to the backyard to sew. 
Even though it seems pretty peaceful back there. I can turn on the fountain for her. hmm...maybe I should set her up out here. BSD shapes his surfboards only footsteps away.
And the Little Ballerina's art studio is set up in the garage. Maybe this corner of the patio is the perfect spot?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sew You Think You Can Sew

The Big Ballerina has been doing really well with her sewing. Since her sewing class, she's gotten orders for about five new purses.

While shopping for new fabric at Joann's, she met a woman who makes adorable flower hair clips. So now she's trying her hand at making these too.

 This was the second one she made. Not bad, huh?

To help BB with her newest endeavor, BSD and I are working on creating a designated sewing space for her. We tore apart the mess I had in the playroom closet and got that all organized for her to store her fabrics and supplies. 

Then, BB and I went to see "Larry" from Craigslist for a sewing table. Larry is my new hero. Larry has five storage units full of furniture for sale on Craigslist. We went to see him about a sweet little French Provincial desk that BB decided was too small. "Never fear,"  Larry said. "I have plenty of desks." After flipping through his "catalog" (a binder of Craigslist postings complete with photos and dimensions), she chose this bad boy instead.

Practical. Yes. Pretty? No. Definitely not in keeping with my motto. But it is her space so I bit my tongue and forked over the cash. To go along with her new sewing table, she picked out this beauty.

Again, the girl went for practical over pretty. I was weeping on the inside for all the cute orphan chairs that could have come home with us. Instead, I shook Larry's hand and hoisted this sad soul into the back of the truck.

This weekend, BSD helped me give these pieces a makeover. With a little help from Amy Butler and Annie Selke, I think they are slowly squirming their way into my heart.

After pictures coming shortly.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Arsenic and Old Lace

Well...I missed Ten on Ten. Pretty damn unhappy about that. I tried. I really did. I have some shots on my camera, but I was sick. I couldn't even download them to see what they were.

I spent the majority of the day in bed. Watching movies. Which is what I've pretty much been doing for the past six days. You see, that night I couldn't sleep and figured out I had TMJ. It was actually the first night I didn't have a fever. Or so I thought. I've had a low grade fever since last Friday afternoon. Add in body aches, fatigue, chills, night sweats, stiff neck and headache. No earth-shattering symptoms. I wake up feeling pretty good. Do a few things. And by mid-afternoon the fever returns. And I'm back in bed. Watching movies.

My movie list includes: Erin Brokovich, The Blind Side, Pretty Woman, The Bounty Hunter, Dear John and part of The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm hoping the next movie I see will be on the big screen. With a large popcorn and mochi. And a bucket of Diet Coke. That sounds a lot more appealing than toast, won ton soup, and weak tea.

I finally had enough self-diagnosing and actually went to the doctor on Wednesday. I felt like an idiot. "Well doc, I really don't have any symptoms other than a fever that comes back every afternoon," I mumbled.

"No sore throat? Rash?" he responded.


"Have you been anywhere out-of-the-ordinary recently?" he went on.

"uh uh."

"Is everything ok at home with you and BSD?" he inquired.

"I'm pretty sure it is," I answered, looking confused.

"Well, if it's not, maybe he's trying to poison you. Do you have a large insurance policy on yourself?" he continued.

"Nope. I'm pretty sure I'm worth more to him alive than dead," I laughed. Then I started to wonder.

The doctor went on to tell me I probably just had a virus, but he had the nurse draw blood to be sure. Sure of what? That I wasn't being slowly poisoned to death by my beloved.

I sat in the exam room and waited. And worried. And thought about all the ways I irritate BSD. And the fact that BSD does the cooking while he's home.

The doctor came back and said, "Your bloodwork is fine. It's just a random virus."

I left with an armload of time-release Aleve sample boxes. A plan to be nicer to BSD. And a new movie title to add to my queue. Anybody have a copy of Arsenic and Old Lace I can borrow?

Note: Today is Day 2 of being fever-free. But seeing as it's Friday the 13th, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Monday, August 9, 2010

REMINDER: Ten on Ten Tomorrow!

No exciting, witty, earth-shattering post here. It's 1:30am and I'm awake with an annoying headache doing what you should never do. Googling reasons for these nagging headaches I've been having recently. Right now,  I think I've narrowed it down to TMJ.

My dentist is in the process of putting in a crown she's been bugging me to do since the first day I sat in her chair seven years ago. I finally caved. And now have a temporary crown in the back of my mouth. A big, fat headache along the front of my forehead. And ears that feel clogged and "itchy." Weird symptoms when you don't add in sore throat or stuffy nose.

So, yep. I'm pinning this one on good ole Dr. Lewis. I knew I should have just kept ignoring her. I'm sure she'll be slapping braces on me next time. Or breaking and resetting my jaw. Throw in a free in-office whitening and you've got yourself a deal. Just get rid of these headaches so I can sleep!

Whoops! Got a bit sidetracked there. This post is supposed to be a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10th is Ten on Ten. Take a picture every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of the month. Then share on their site. It's so much fun! Hope you'll join in. Can't wait to see your day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July Family Photos: Manteo

I did it! I took a family portrait in July. And as usual I waited until the very last minute. July 32nd to be exact.

On Sunday we hopped in the car and headed for the Outer Banks. We didn't have a plan. Just load up and drive. We ended up in Manteo. It's a sweet little waterfront town with loads of charm. Art galleries and home decor shops tucked here and there on cobblestone streets. Unfortunately, they were all closed. Since it was a Sunday. And we didn't figure out where the town center was until after 5pm. 

But we did manage to find an ice cream shop that was open.
See the pretty lighthouse.

Drink in the beauty of the ocean.

Do a little swinging.

And take our July family photos.