Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: It's a wrap!

Happy New Year's Eve!  I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season!

The second half of 2011 has ended up being a lot busier than I could've imagined, but I plan to get back into the blogging swing of things in 2012!  2012 is going to be a great year for me with a lot of new challenges that I can't wait to meet!

I wanted to pop by and share some of the gifts that I made for Christmas 2011 now that they've all been given!

I made a quick wristlet,

a supposedly "very easy" baby dress (so glad I didn't choose the "easy" pattern!),

a little sailboat (from a cute tutorial at Sew and the City),

some embroidered dish towels from Sublime Stitching patterns,

art bags,

an apron,

and some requested hanging dishrags that threatened the very life of my sewing machine.

I learned so much making these gifts (since I didn't use a pattern for most) and so enjoyed giving them to my friends and loved ones! :)

I'll be back soon with more posts!  (For real this time!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


It's always very helpful to pay attention to when your Etsy listings expire!  Alas, I did not follow this advice.  

However, all is not lost and I have renewed my listings.  They can be found here at my Etsy shop.

Sunday Songs: Lady Marmalade

Wow, I didn't mean to take a break for exactly two months, but I guess that is exactly what I did.  The fall was a lot busier than anticipated!

Sunday Songs is different this week.  It's just a little commentary on something I've been thinking about.

Irritating (Normally I would say "happy" or "sad" but those really don't apply.): Various Artists- Lady Marmalade

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about "Lady Marmalade."  It seems like I have heard some version of it every day for the past week or so on the radio.  Luckily I haven't heard the 2001 abomination starring Twisted Sister Christina Aguilera where they claim that they are just "independent women" and not prostitutes.  Hearing it so frequently is unfortunate, since I cannot stand this song.   In fact, there is only one version of the song that I can bear at all.

(Can I just say how much I love that this video is called "Sexy Beethoven Lady"?!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Try it Tuesday: Grilled Tilapia and Mango Salsa

I love trying new recipes!  This is one of my new favorites.  The salsa is awesome all on its own! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Songs: Calling Edition- Don Henley/Stevie Wonder

Sunday Songs is back!  Here's my take on two telephone reliant songs.

SAD: Don Henley- Heart of the Matter

I had totally forgotten (or was completely ignorant of the fact) that Don Henley had long hair!  And, yes, another Don Henley song.  

This is the most mature break up song ever.  I guess it doesn't hurt that "an old, true friend" is calling on the phone.  That doesn't exactly make the whole thing sound as if it's about a teenager.  I guess this would be more of a divorce song?  

If this is a divorce song, then I'm going to imagine it being perfect for a woman wearing brown stir- up pants coming home from work (where she makes telemarketing calls regarding Reader's Digest) after being served with divorce papers.  

HAPPY: Stevie Wonder- I Just Called to Say I Love You

There's no arguing with the fact that this is a happy song.  Especially since it sounds like Stevie sings "No Lee Press-Ons, No Halloween."  Did anyone else ever used to always see solitary Lee Press-On nails in bathroom stalls all the time in the '80s?  Years later, it is just now occurring to me how they fell off in the first place.  

To me, this song will always remind me of the Girl Scout Convention.  While we were waiting for the main program to start, there was a man that was performing the song in sign language.  I was probably in first grade and I distinctly remember asking my mom if that was the guy that really sang the song (I would not have been able to identify Stevie Wonder by name).  Alas, the warm up act at the Virginia Girl Scout Convention was not really Stevie Wonder.

Next week, I'm going to be trying a new format for Sunday Songs.  I'm excited! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Wants: 21 Jump Street DVD set

Wednesday Wants is getting kind of wacky.  First that personal air conditioner post made "mind control device" one of the most popular search terms used to find this blog, and now I am going to talk about my love of "21 Jump Street."

  I was never allowed to watch this show (or much else on FOX) when it was actually being broadcast.  I  do remember the commercials for this and for "A Current Affair" and they kind of scared me.  I guess I understood the word "affair" well enough to know that it wasn't something for children, even though I don't even know what they discussed.  "21 Jump Street" commercials were always so serious.  "Tonight, on a very special episode of '21 Jump Street"....

Imagine my surprise when my husband and I bought a DVD for $1.99 and found that the show is hilarious (though perhaps not on purpose)!  If you haven't seen it, you should really give it a try.  Do it for Doug Penhall.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Try it Tuesday: Skip To My Lou's Drawstring Bag

This tutorial for a drawstring bag from Skip To My Lou is so awesome!  It only took me about 15 minutes to quickly make one for my classroom! :)

It would be great for gifts or toting around little things.  I'm sure I will be making a whole lot more of these around the holidays!

See you tomorrow for Wednesday Wants! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Songs: Hurricane Irene Edition- Eurythmics/

I hope everyone along in Irene's path is safe and has power today!  I'm grateful that some of my favorite beaches have survived!  Today's theme for Sunday Songs has to be hurricane related.  Here's my take on two rain related songs.

SAD: Eurythmics- Here Comes the Rain Again

I'm curious if other children found Annie Lenox as terrifying as I did.  In an era where plenty of music sounds like it's coming from a spaceship, the Eurythmics still sounded otherworldly.  Not to mention the fact that she's the creepier of the two people in this video, and the other one is clearly a crazed stalker with a video camera.

To me, this song is about not getting what you want and need from the object of your affection.  I'm thinking the rain could be a symbol for sadness, or even madness (we are talking about an Annie Lenox song/video here).  Whatever it is, it keeps sweeping in like a storm.

The most appropriate way to hear this song would be coming out of your clock radio as it wakes you up for the first day of 6th grade.  It's still dark outside and you're worried about opening your locker.  Hearing Annie Lenox isn't helping.

HAPPY: Johnny Nash- I Can See Clearly Now

I have never seen leather and cheerios in quite this combination before.

This song doesn't need much analysis.  "Sunshiney"=happy.  I cannot immediately think of any particular nostalgic movie starring children and narrated by Tom Hanks that had this on the soundtrack, but there have to be at least three.  Speaking of that type of movie, Bobby (below, left) from "Radio Flyer" has to have been one of the most adorable children ever.

(Photo via Unreality Magazine)

While I was looking for that picture, I read the disturbing theory that Bobby actually dies at the end of "Radio Flyer!"  The director says that's not the case, but I can see the basis of the theory.

Ahem, anyway, there are not many scenarios where hearing this song would be inappropriate.  I guess you wouldn't want to hear it if you were being stalked by a madman (or The Eurythmics) and this is your ringtone, ringing and thus alerting him/her/them to your exact location.  Ugh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wants: Chevy Bel Air Station Wagon

(Photo via StationWagonForums)

Growing up, my dad loved classic cars.  Aside from the bikini girls that were always standing next to them on hot rod magazines, so did I.  I may not know much about the mechanics of cars, but I can certainly recognize good design! :)

As was the case for many girls my age, my first classic car love was Barbie's '57 Chevy.  My dad had an El Camino and an Impala.  When it was time to get my license, I was dying for a Chevelle.  Now my first choice would be a Chevy Bel Air station wagon (as seen above).  


While I'm on the classic car topic, my husband and I went to an awesome show this past weekend in downtown Raleigh.  

Raleigh frequently closes down its main drag for street fairs, and I was so excited that they did that for the car show!  The weather was perfect for it!

It was such a great afternoon.  It didn't hurt that we stumbled upon (the brand new) Beasley's Chicken and Honey on the way home and had a bite to eat!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tutorial: (Almost) No Sew Hedgehog Softie

I had no idea this was going to come about a couple of hours ago, but I'm so excited to be presenting my first tutorial!  :)

I was thinking about projects that are completed by tying flaps together (those fleece blankets and scarves and the felt tie bags from Felt Friends from Japan), and realized I'd never seen a softie that was made by this method.  Let's do it!

Away we go!

2 pieces of felt in colors of your choosing (about 9 x 12 inches)
small piece of felt for body
black embroidery floss
hot glue gun/glue
(cost: $2 or less)

Step One: Cut two ovals of the same size from the large sheets of felt.  Match them up the best you can.  My ovals measured about ten inches on the longest part.

Step Two: Holding both pieces of felt together, make cuts all the way around the oval about a half an inch apart.  The cuts should be deep enough that you will be able to tie the flaps from each piece together.  Mine were about an inch and a half to two inches deep.

Step Three: Keeping the two ovals stacked, tie the flaps from each piece together.  In my case, I tied an orange flap to the gray flap across from it.  Once you've tied almost all the flaps, add stuffing and close.

Let's take a little time out to see a wrong turn on the way to hedgehog.  Hi, duck billed platypus!

Step Four:  Using a contrasting color, cut a body piece.  I used black embroidery floss to make the whiskers and french knots for the eyes and nose.  (Do french knots scare you?  They won't after you read this.)  If you'd rather make this a completely no sew project, you could use puffy paint or marker for the face.

Step Five: Cut pieces for ears and paws.

Step Six:  Use hot glue to attach the paws and ears to the body.  Normally I would sew them all on, but let's keep it as simple as possible to go with the no sew spirit. :)

Optional: I made a stitch at the base of my ears to gather them and give them more dimension.

Step Seven:  Glue the body piece onto the base.

Step Eight: Enjoy!

If anyone gives it a try, I'd love to see pictures!  With a little help on the hot glue, it would also be great for older kids!

All photos are via my Instagram feed (RumspringForever).

(For personal use only. )

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Souvenir Stash: Lancaster, PA

I've decided to switch it up on my Souvenir Stash posts and just talk about my favorite item.  In this case, that item is Betsy Lantz's Hot Sweet Mustard.  Saying that I love this mustard is a bit of an understatement.  I adore it.  (It's especially good on grilled cheese sandwiches!)

 I saw someone else's version of hot sweet mustard at Harris Teeter earlier in the summer after my previous Betsy Lantz stash was gone and it was an extreme disappointment.  I got two jars of Betsy's mustard this visit and I am hoping it will be enough to last me until I visit again! 

Do you have any out of state favorite treats? :)

Sunday Songs: Wilson Phillips Edition

The Wilson Phillips Edition: it was bound to happen sooner or later.  Here's my take on two songs from either end of the emotional spectrum.

SAD: Wilson Phillips- You're in Love

First of all, NEVER say on your answering machine that you're leaving town for several months.  Hello, looters and squatters!

Also, why is it that I have virtually no idea about the identity of the member of this band is who is not Chynna Phillips or Carnie Wilson?  I think she's a Wilson, but beyond that she's a mystery.  She's like the lost member.

Anyway, this song is clearly sad.  Wilson Phillips are having to let go of someone they loved, but are glad that the person has found true happiness.  What a Wilson Phillips way to approach the situation!  I really can't think of anyone else that could so selflessly give up their old flame and be happy for them than a group of young women who are always wearing brown and singing in the Grand Canyon.

This was/is a song for working at Dress Barn (my first instinct was DEB, but I always say that) after school at around 5:15.  You're stocking a bunch of blouses that have buttons on the front, but don't actually come unbuttoned.  Your thoughts are alternating between how weird it feels to be graduating this year and the person you used to date/dreamed of dating.  On your break, you'll slowly walk to the food court and spend way too much at Sbarro.  

HAPPY: Wilson Phillips- Hold On

This is a song for everyone; the depressed, the downtrodden, the mall walkers.  Seriously though, this song needs to be played much more often.  It needs to be played any time anyone is feeling melancholy (which means Wilson Phillips needs to listen to it right after they sing the song featured above).

Chynna Phillips' ferocious lip-sync here definitely represents the joyous nature of this song.  See also: Wilson Phillips stomping down the boardwalk in time to the music.  See also: Bridesmaids.

This is a song for driving to the nearest beach town after school (when it is still too cold to really enjoy the beach) and discussing your (unlikely) plans for the summer.  Or, you could use it to psych yourself up to overcome your agoraphobia.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Last trip of the summer :(

I recently started using Instagram.  My handle is (surprise, surprise) RumspringForever.
What are your favorite ways to use Instagram? 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Songs: Up/Down Edition- Nancy Sinatra/Tom Petty

Last week's Sunday Songs was half missing, but this week I managed to choose two videos!  Here's my interpretation of this week's sad and happy songs.

SAD: Tom Petty- "Free Falling"

This song always made me so depressed, and the video certainly never helped.

For one thing, the lyrics are pretty patronizing.  "Good girls" are mentioned several times, though the part about "loving horses and her boyfriend, too" is also particularly amusing.  It makes the woman he's talking about seem so naive.

The general tone seems to be a strong disinterest about life.  "I wanna free fall out into nothing, I wanna leave this world for a while."  Well, go ahead I guess.  Hopefully the "good girl" can find someone who's not a bad boy.

Also, the skateboarding outfit is really, really sad.

HAPPY: Nancy Sinatra- "Up, Up and Away"

I love this song.  I just love it.  It's pretty ridiculous and sounds like it was written for an episode of "Today's Special," but it's just such a happy song.

Being sixteen and getting your driver's license isn't even the kind of happiness this song contains.  I guess it would be similar to being a Care Bear and finding out you are getting a new cloud car or something.  It's like being one of Captain Planet's Planeteers and finding a very large group of what was considered to be an endangered species.  It's like winning on Nickelodeon GUTS and then taking a ride in Willy Wonka's flying elevator.  It's pretty good.


I'll be back soon with a Souvenir Stash post, Try It Tuesday and Wednesday Wants. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Wants: luludee

I love this plywood print from Laura Carignan's Etsy shop, luludee!

As someone who has a number of unframed prints waiting for the day they'll be displayed, I love things that are all finished and ready to hang!

I also love this card!  It makes me think of this:

and that's definitely a good thing.  

(Photos via Etsy)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Try it Tuesday: Noodlehead's Vintage Inspired Skirt

This week's Try It Tuesday comes from a very generous tutorial from Anna at Noodlehead.  (Her tutorials are the best!  I'm looking forward to her eventual book deal!)

As is sometimes the case, I couldn't make just one.  I made one that would match nearly everything, and then one that wouldn't match much.  I guess I'm just covering all the bases! :)

I love wearing skirts to work, and these will be perfect!  I already have a few more in the works! 

If you've ever wanted to make a skirt, this is the tutorial to try!  The directions are so easy to follow and you get a really nice finished product from just a yard and a half of fabric!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Songs: Sick Edition: Belinda Carlisle

I'm currently suffering from some kind of stomach virus, so it seemed only right to have a sick songs edition.  Sadly enough (I guess), there's little to choose from when it comes to songs about feeling physically sick.  We'll have to settle for a song about discomfort due to non-physical ailments.

HAPPY: Belinda Carlisle- I Get Weak

Despite the fact that this video could have been a contributing factor to those black and white photos with a pop of color (sorry, not a fan!), it is overwhelmingly happy.

The message is pretty clear, so this one doesn't need too much analysis of the lyrics.  The video isn't quite so straightforward.  I know she says that her "tongue is tied," but she doesn't really need a satin gag.  All that hair tousling reminds me of those haircut books at Hair Cuttery!

Wow, hold the phone!  I was just doing some research on the identity of the gentleman in this video and discovered that Diane Keaton directed this video.  REALLY?!  Why?

Anyway, the concept is cute in that it implies that Belinda finds herself extremely lucky to be with the guy.  When she is in the shots with him in the end, it's because she was sucked into some black and white screen idol world where the other ladies can't follow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday Wants: Personal Air Conditioner

I've spent a bit of time outside the past couple of weeks, and it's been so hot that I think the existence of these things is actually justified.
It's so hot that wearing a dog collar/ mind control device in public might actually be worth it!

(Pictures via

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Tooth Softie

This week's Try It Tuesday is a major blast from the past!  This book, Softies by Therese Laskey, was one of the first sewing books I got after I became really interested in sewing a couple of years back.

After I had some minor surgery on my knee, I was so anxious to make the tooth from this book that I used a piece of extra bandage.

 I love this project so much that I've made several over the years!  The top tooth was made for a friend who was having her wisdom teeth removed.  I made the hockey tooth for my husband.  I love his black eye!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday Songs: Boys and Summer Edition: Don Henley/Thin Lizzy

SAD: Don Henley- Boys of Summer

This week Don Henley makes his triumphant return to the sad song list!  I'm sure I have at least one more untapped Henley reference, and that's not even counting "Sunset Grill."

Anyway, to me this song is about how something is about to slip away, never to be retrieved.  In this case, the object in question is "our love."  It's clever to equate their love with the summer because everyone alive can relate.  Summers are generally considered to be a time filled with fun and unusual things that probably wouldn't happen in other seasons.  Not to mention that the "summer" portion of your life is the time that you reach adolescence and would be likely to experience your first love.  Impressive underlying associations, Don Henley!

This is the perfect song for closing time when you're working at an outlet mall near a seasonal town during the fall.  It's starting to get darker earlier as you fold all those t-shirts.  You're starting to need a coat to travel home.  So when the radio starts playing this song, everything seems especially depressing.

HAPPY: Thin Lizzy- The Boys Are Back In Town

                         To counteract all that Don Henley, here's one of the happiest songs ever!

It's so easy to have happy feelings about a song that has been in nearly every movie ever made.  Correction: it's been in every movie ever made since it was written.

It seems that various accounts exist regarding the meaning behind the song, but they all relate to men coming home from a life changing event (i.e. war).  It's an obviously upbeat song, but it also has the comforting idea that you CAN go home again.  People and places haven't changed!  Everyone missed you!  And we all know that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

I would love this song even if it was awful, due to the following lyrics:

And that time over at Johnny's place
Well this chick she got up and slapped Johnny's face
Man, we just fell about the place
If that chick don't want to know, forget her

If that chick don't want to know what?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Wants: Kings Dominion

This week I have a different kind of Wednesday Want- a destination!  I really want to go to Kings Dominion near Richmond, Virginia!

I grew up nearby and we used to have season passes every summer.  Some weeks we would go more than once since we had friends that also had season passes.  

It's changed a lot there over the years, but I could still find my way around with my eyes closed! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shop Talk: Etsy Treasuries

One of my clutches just got featured in a new treasury, so I thought it would be fun to try out the treasury tool and document them all! If you'd like to see the rest, they're after the jump.

Try it Tuesday: Embroidery Hoop Wall Pocket

I love this tutorial!  I've been buying Stitch Magazine for a while, but this is the first project that I saw and immediately had to make.

My sewing desk is often a mess, so anything that can get important items out of the chaos is awesome!

The tutorial is several pages long, but here's the gist of it.  Find a large embroidery hoop.  (I bought mine at A.C. Moore for $1.69.)  Choose your fabrics.  Fold one over and press to make the pocket area.  Pin and sew at intervals to create the pockets.  Cut a piece of regular old batting (the tutorial called for fusible fleece-and I say "no thanks") and place it behind fabric on top of the inner hoop.  Secure fabric and batting inside of hoop.  Cut extra batting as close to the hoop as you can.  Glue along the top edge of the hoop to secure everything.  Cut off any additional fabric.

I've got so many ideas for future wall pockets! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Souvenir Stash: Asheville

Of course, I just couldn't help myself in the face of souvenirs (or fabric).

As promised, here's my stash from Asheville, NC!  Most of the souvenirs are from various gift shops along the Blue Ridge Parkway where we went hiking.  The motorcycle postcard is my favorite!   The postcard with the baby/pig on it is an advertisement for the product that made the owner of the Grove Park Inn rich.  The print is from the awesome Woolworth Walk.  The pouch made of measuring tape and the "Yay! Asheville!" magnet are from Malaprop's Bookstore.

I also got to visit two awesome fabric stores while in Asheville.  I love, love, love being able to see "designer" fabric in person!

The first store I visited was Kitsch Fabrics on Haywood Road.  They had a great selection of unusual fabrics, some of which you can see above.  (I can't remember the designers off the top of my head-other than the Jay McCarroll mushrooms.  Email me if you're really curious and I'll check out the selvedges.)

The other store I visited was Waechter's Silk Shop.  By visit, I mean run down the road to 14 minutes before they close and make a giant stack of bolts. :)  

Those red wagons remind me so much of PeeWee Herman!

I was so excited that they had the "Prom" print from Michael Miller!  The Tammis Keefe tribute fabrics from Michael Miller are so adorable.  I can't wait to find the perfect project for all this new fabric!

(Did I miss any amazing fabric stores in Asheville?  Let me know so I can visit next time!)