Tuesday, October 23, 2012

State of Things

As in, the State Fair. And all that entails (read: fried food, games, rides and animals).

 I wrote earlier that I took a photography class one evening after work, and well, I am in the process of taking another one. I have read Ashley Ann's blog for a while, and her photos are always so beautiful and real. She just adopted a beautiful baby girl from China, and of course, that strikes a chord with me. She offers an online class, and it is currently running! She encouraged us to share links to blogs where we post our photos, so I thought I would share a couple photos with you all. Those of you coming from the SnapShop, Hi! and Welcome!

A little background. Stacy, in the first photo, is a friend from high school in China. We hadn't seen each other in about four or five years. It was SO GOOD to catch up and hang out and talk into the wee hours of the morning (ok, wee hours for me). We went up to the State Fair and had a blast.

I took lots of photos from the weekend, and tried to pick the best. Check it out:

Stacy and Barkley on the back porch

Abraham (merger or lines?)
I just love this photo of Aaron

Some interesting gourds
This makes me thankful for indoor plumbing.

A little creative cropping?
I don't remember what he was explaining, but I love his expression
I like the composition of this one, but I don't think I did it deliberately
Last food item of the night. (poor cropping of the hand)
I didn't take this one, since I'm in it, but I wanted to give you an idea of how the night finished off!
To sum up the night:
  • Rides: Check (The swings, and the centrifuge-like one)
  • Games/Prizes: Check (standing up a bottle; we weren't successful, but we won a prize any way- see large stuffed lion above)
  • Hog Races: Check (and goats and ducks!)
  • Food: Check (turkey leg, funnel cake, blooming onion, fried cinnamon roll, fried Koolaid and kielbasa)
All in all, a successful Fair. 

SnapShop friends, I played with my settings some-- I didn't take any of these in automatic, but I had it in aperture priority mode. Any critique, suggestion, question or comment is welcome!

Until next time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Remember this post? And this one?

Or this smart little number?

Well, I made a commitment to donate 60% of the sale price of this bow tie to Not for Sale Campaign. (That percentage allows me to continue making these ties once the ones online have been sold)

Guess what? I've sold THREE of these Glasses Help You See ties. Huzzah!

So, being true to my word, I have gone and made a donation.

Let's run the numbers.

Each bow tie is priced at $30.

60% of $30 is $18.

$18 x 3 = $54

First, I went to the Not for Sale Campaign home page (found here), and the first little tab link at the top says "Donate". I clicked on that and selected the option to make a one time donation. That brought me to this page:

After I filled in all the information (billing address, money, DOB... just kidding about the DOB), I hit "donate" and voila! donated. Brilliant.

Seconds after, I received this nice little email:

So the donation has been submitted.

To all who purchased this bow tie-- THANK YOU. I hope that you enjoy your tie and that you can spread awareness about human trafficking every time you wear it.

As Not For Sale said, "Your partnership empowers us to fight modern-day slavery in the United States and across the globe."

Keep shining that light.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I made a list of things to do before I turn 25. As I learned all through my middle and high school careers (This is for you Mr.'s Johnson, Tovar, Luedtke, Frerking(s), Ms.' Gertz, Chandler, Henderson, Smith and so many more!), that goal setting was the thing to do. Because goals give us something to work toward. Now that I don't have someone setting an outline of those goals for me, and less tangible milestones (ie. passing an AP exam), I can see the benefit of having goals.

Now, coming back to my little list. I thought I had relatively few things crossed off (translation: one), but it turns out, I had actually begun work on a few and finished them!

So without further ado, my self-made dress.

There are many tutorials online about how to do this. I didn't really follow any of them. I kind of read a few and just winged it. Except for when it came to pockets. I used a guide for that.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the process because I wasn't even sure this was something that was going to work. All I knew was that I had some beautiful batik fabric that I hustled sweetly asked for and received from my aunt. And I had a green top that I didn't wear very often because it shrank and was too short to really be decent/modest/attractive/flattering. But I didn't want to give it away because I'd only worn it twice.

Here are my attempts to show you the elements that I was working with after the finished product.

There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to make dresses out of old t-shirts and tanks and other things. I improvised a little, blending a few. My shirt had an elastic bottom, so that had to be worked in. I learned how to place a gathered fabric onto something with a set length and pinned away. Then I sewed away.

Then I tried it on. And it sagged. The little green shirt that was meant to have some flow was pulled out. Not so attractive. Essentially the elastic in the shirt was too weak to hold up the weight of the batik fabric. My solution? Buy heavier elastic and just sew that sucker on.

It kind of worked. The dress fell in the right places and all that was left was to add pockets. I followed this tutorial, but I altered the shape of the pockets to be deeper.

Then I was done!

On to wear my little dress and check that item off the list! :)

What do you think? What items can you rework? Ever made a dress?

P.S. The first time I wore it out and about, I noticed that the skirt it a little wonky. Meaning off centered. Not obviously, but the pockets are a little... locationally asymmetrical. Oh well. Something to work on next time I get a hankering to recycle my clothing. :)