Making a House a Home

September 27, 2010

So, X and I have been living together in the same house for a little over 2 years now.  Just recently, our roommate moved out and now it's just us two.  The house was on the market for a good 7 months and now it's not. 

What does all this mean?  Well, for one, we have much more room.  Also, we can finally get rid of the storage we've been throwing money at using while our house was on the market.  And finally, we are starting to make this house, which feels more like a rental, our home.  We will be trying to sell the house again next Spring; however, until then, I would really like to spend some time making our house more cozy, creating flow through our downstairs living areas, and making the space more fitting for the two of us.  Right now, our house is a mixture of mismatched ideas & themes and has zero (okay, okay.. very little) femininity.

The problems I'm running into?

1)  We I would really love new sofas.  We have a black leather set right now that my husband purchased during his bachelor days.  They are about as masculine as you can get and they scream BACHELOR PAD.  But, we're kind of hesitant to buy anything new until we move.  We want avoid the problem of having furniture that doesn't fit our (future) new place.

2)  We won't be painting any walls because we want to sell next spring.

3)  We want to find a nice balance between modern and comfy.  I feel like this is going to be difficult, given the furniture we have to work with.

4)  My husband and I have very different tastes.  I am learning that living together = compromise of individual styles. 

Up next, see the spaces, furniture, and inspiration I'll be working with.


September 20, 2010

This weekend was one long birthday celebration for us.  We took a short trip to Fredericksburg to visit my Oma (Grandmother) and Opa (Grandfather), whose 86th birthday was Sunday.  My Oma made a wonderful meal and a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.  Normally, I'm not a big fan of chocolate-anything, but this cake was not too chocolate-y and the icing was so, so, so good.  My Oma makes her icing from scratch and had never bought icing from the store until once, earlier this year, I recently learned.  It makes me wish I would/could cook and bake more from scratch.

The remaining part of the weekend was spent celebrating my husband's birthday (which was a milestone-3.0.).  We had a wonderful night out with friends on Friday (at two of our favorite spots:  Opal Divine's, followed by Little Woodrow's).  On Saturday, we ran errands, cleaned house, and celebrated some more later that evening with my papa and in-laws.  Of course we also watched the (UT) game, which left much to be desired, but at least we won :)

Oh, and there was one more birthday to be celebrated.  The husband, X, shares a birthday with our hound, Kingsley.  We actually didn't find this out until after we took him to the vet for the first time.  Obviously, we were all meant to be together :D  I managed to pick up some cheap party hats while I scrambled to finish preparations for X's birthday on Friday.  After strapping one on the hound,  I managed to snap a few, quick (and blurry) pictures* of him while enticing him with his birthday bone.

*Although I tried.... Sadly, X would not allow to take any pictures of the both of them with hats on, hehe.

Liberty of London Dress

So, as many of you know, Liberty of London created a line for Target a while back (and it seems to have spurred new trend (or, more likely, I'm just late on catching this) in designers for Target: Tucker for Target, anyone?).

Anyway, I posted about my excitement for Target's designer line when it first debuted and managed to get my hands on a few items before they were all snatched up. A few months later, I was browsing the women's clearance section in Target and noticed that several of the LOL items had been marked down. Even though I didn't necessarily like the style of this particular dress and it wasn't available in my size, I loved the fabric. I really loved the tank dresses I had been seeing pretty much everywhere and thought it would be fairly easy to convert this dress into one. Somehow, I also managed to find a jersey tank top (at Target), in my size that matched the color of pink in the dress.

you can still find a limited # of items here

(On a completely different note, does anyone else wish Target would do a better job of displaying their items online? I think their clothing pictures are horrible).

Finally, about a week ago, I sat down to finish this project and I'm really pleased with the result. (Unfortunately I have no pictures of the dress reconstruction process- boo, bad blogger).

Shortly after I bought the dress, I detatched the top from the skirt with a seam ripper. The skirt had two parts, the top floral fabric and a thinner under skirt to prevent see-throughness. It also had elastic sewn into top area. When I took apart the dress, I also had to remove the elastic and gathering, which left me with a box-y, square skirt. I knew I wanted the skirt to sit more at my waist, so I pinned it to my dress form to figure out what I could do to adjust the size. I really didn't want to cut into the fabric or remove the top part of the skirt from the bottom, so I decided to apply the gathering technique to create the waist size I needed.

I sewed a stitch on the front and back waist of the skirt with a loose, wide stitch length and kept the ends long. I then held the top thread and gathered the fabric to get the waist length I needed. Once I got the gathering where I wanted it, I pinned it and resewed the gathering in place with a shorter, tauter stitch. The waist area ended up being a little looser than I wanted. To fix this, I added two pleats to the front and one pleat to the back so that it sat better on my waist. I then sewed in a strip of elastic to allow some give in the waist area, since I wasn't sewing in a zipper. For the top part of the dress, I tried on the skirt and the tank and pinned the tank where the two met. I cut off the bottom part of the tank, about an inch below my pin mark. I then pinned the tank to the skirt, matching side seam lines, and sewed the two together.  The top ended up being a little lose (it looks really lose on my dress form, more so than it does when I'm wearing it), but it fits really comfortably and I like how it looks more like a shirt + skirt, rather than a dress.

I still have some left over jersey fabric from the original top and the bottom of the new top that I may fashion into some sort of accessory or embellishment, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not.  I'm so glad I finally got a chance to finish one of the many projects on my sewing to-do list.  I hope I can find an occasion to wear it out during the last few remaining weeks of summer :)


Prepping for Fall

September 13, 2010

Fall really is my favorite season of the year- it's one of the main reasons I wanted to get married in October. The return of college football and Starbucks favorites are just the icing on the cake for me. I love leaving the house every morning and feeling that change is in the air. Knowing the hot, humid days of summer are finally leaving us and that the first cold front is just around the corner made this Monday morning a little more bareable. In the midst of waiting for fall, I've been drooling over the fall outfits I've spotted at Anthro & Tulle. I snatched up this beauty while window shopping the other day (bad, I know):

It's hard to tell from the online picture, but there are hints of purple and teal in the dress.  I can't wait to pair it with a cute belt and some colorful tights!

I recently discovered Boden and ordered this and this (which they're unfortunately out of at the moment).  Free shipping + coupons + ebates made online ordering worth it!  I'm patiently waiting for these two skirts to show up in my mailbox and I'm hoping they'll fit :)  In the mean time I'm searching for some fun tights to pair with them.  I stumbled across these tights on Anna Maria's blog (and preview of her newest fabric, Innocent Crush!!):

They're Anthro, but have apparently sold out.  (Fingers and toes are crossed that something similar shows up somewhere on the interwebs).

In the mean time, I hope to be putting out some fall decorations, switching out my summer wardrobe with my winter sweaters, making a list of soups and stews to whip up when it finally gets cooler and sipping on hot coffee, tea, and cocoa.  How are you preparing for the change in seasons?