My friend Dianna and I decided we were going to have a sewing night. I really wanted to make some pajama pants. For all you tall girls out there, you understand how difficult it is to find PJs that are long enough and not 13 sizes too big. I mostly just have one pair of warm PJ pants, my beloved gray sweats. Oh how I love them and will continue to wear them until they are nothing but threads. Anyway, I decided I wanted to make some new pants. We stopped by JoAnn's and picked out some fabric and other sewing paraphenalia (pattern, elastic, thread, etc.). I have made PJs before but it's been awhile. But after washing and drying the fabric, I was able to put them together pretty quick. And I love them. Made them just the right length and they are soft and cozy. Yes they are orange and they have dump trucks and contruction signs on them. My 2 year old nephew Tyler is very jealous. Love it.
So that was the first project. Next came my manager's baby shower. I was helping plan/prepare and I was in charge of making cupcakes due to the reputation I have gained at work from bringing cupcakes to people for their birthdays. Many people have suggested I open my own cupcake shop on the side, which is an entirely different story, but let's just say that I would love to except that DC is already being taken over by cupcake shops. So I decided that I didn't want to make just any kind of cupcakes, they had to be delicious and beautiful (of course). I did some research and found so many ideas I couldn't decide what to do. There was one cake website I came across that has the cutest cakes I've ever seen. You should look at it.
Finally, I combined some recipes to come up with my own creamcheese filled chocolate cupcakes with creamcheese frosting. YUMMY!! And I piped the frosting on and put little chocolate hearts and words that I made from melted chocolate chips. Yes this was a fairly time consuming project, but I loved every second of it. And everyone else loved the results so it was a worthwhile project. Oh and I also made some very delicious, and aesthetically pleasing punch.
Next on the list was Valentine's cookies. When I started doing all the research for cupcakes I discovered the Wilton cake decorating aisle at Michaels. How I have missed it all this time, I don't know, but it's my new favorite aisle. I used my coupons to buy a whole set of tips and bags for decorating and Dianna and I decided to try them out for Valentine's Day. And we had a great time. I had no idea what any of them would really do, so I tried as many as I could. I just remember my mother spending hours on our birthday cakes when we were younger. I wish I had the pictures of some of the works of art that she spent time on. Now that I have labored over my own cookies/cakes, I have a greater appreciation for her efforts. She did a great job and I think it might be hereditary because I think I have a knack for handling a bag of frosting, Dianna told me so. And on Sunday asked for my help frosting her delicious chocolate ganache w/raspberry cream topping cake. Another delicious creation. And all of this fun stuff led me to look into the cake decorating classes that are offered at Michael's. I didn't think I would be able to do it because of work but I finally found a class that worked and I have my second lesson this week!! I love it!! And this is just course 1 but I'll be sure to post photos of my creations.
Just two more arts and crafts. My friend Jack had purchased some blank Matryoshka dolls that he wanted to paint and he invited me to help him. But instead of doing the usual doll and flower pattern we decided to get creative and used 5 Little Monkeys Swingin in the Tree as our inspiration. I was in charge of buying the acrylic paints and as I was selecting the proper colors it reminded me of all the paints that mom has that I have used for various projects through out the years. I'm finally starting my own collection. Hooray! We didn't have time to finish (imagine that, me running out of time on a project...perfection takes time!) but we got a lot done. And I of course loved the entire experience and can't wait to finish them up.
Last but not least, I have recently been watching a lot of old movies on TV due to our apartment deciding to upgrade our cable to Direct TV with DVR. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Katherine Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and all of my favs. There are so many enjoyable things about these movies but the one I have been noticing lately are the great dresses these women got to wear. It's true that fashions recycle and those dresses have been back "in" for awhile now. I have tried some on, but they just aren't made for girls with long legs and torsos. So what do you do when you can't buy something that fits and you don't have your mom around to make something that fits? You get online and find old dress patterns. That's exactly what I did. No joke, http://www.oldpatterns.com/, has hundreds of old patterns organized by year that you can search through. I ordered four of them and I'm anxious to start the latest project. It's going to be hard to fit it in with the cake decorating, painting, etc. but I'm determined. And even though my mother is way across the country, you can bet there will be many phone calls made to ask for help. I don't think I've ever made an article of clothing other than PJs. The best ones being some Tara and I made in sewing class many years ago...oh how I wish I had the photos from that fashion show. They resembled a tent and had hot pink, VERY itchy lace around the neck and arms. Did they really expect us to sleep in that?
I hope you have all been inspired by my craftiness and felt the urge to go create. I was listening to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from last Relief Society broadcast and he encouraged us to make things beautiful and to create. Hopefully my latest endeavors will fulfill this counsel.