make: love banner

I fell into a blog hole last Friday. I was clicking link after link after link looking at tons of fun crafty blogs. Somewhere along the way I saw some banners and decided I needed to make one of my own. Then on Saturday I went the the Crafty Bastards Cabin Fever craft show and saw a tote bag printed with the middle of the letters solid and was inspired. Next I just needed a phrase. With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day coming up I was focused on love. I thought of one of my favorite movies Love Actually and the phrase, Love actually is all around. Well that was just a little too long and I like the sound of Love is all around better. I made a quick paper pattern for the banner part just to make sure the triangle bottom was even. I planned the letters out a little more by creating a grid on a piece of paper the size of the banner and planning out the letters so they would be evenly sized. I cut a strip of 1.5 inch white felt and then just freehanded cutting out the letters. The white felt is stiffened, which made it easier to cut out. Also leaving the middle of the o’s, a’s, r, and d really simplified the process.

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I thought folding up the bottom edge and gluing it would make a more finished look. It was a mistake. I didn’t allow enough felt to fold over and it wouldn’t stick. As you can see below I tried many types of glue, unsuccessfully.  Finally I used the Elmer’s craft bond and binder clips. After drying overnight the felt stuck, but the binder clips left some little marks. If I did the project again I probably wouldn’t bother with folding over the bottom edge. The top hem over the dowel rod worked much better. I folded over about an inch and a half and used the craft bond, it was stuck after 10 minutes.

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I sprayed each letter with the craft bond and they stuck easily and have stayed on great. In the image below you can see a little white along the bottom, that was a glue mistake, but has since dried clear.

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I used pink yarn to tie on each side of the rod to hang up my banner. Now its hanging in our apartment. We could all use a little reminder…

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make: screenprint shirts

In my rush to finish up gifts for Christmas I didn’t take pictures of a few shirts I made for my sisters. So I asked them to take a picture for me and this is what I got. Wrinkly on the bed and on the floor.

Any who I think they still are presentable. One of my sister’s owns Old Drum Coffeehouse and Bakery, so I made her the But first, coffee shirt. The Crafty Runner received the Missouri design that I also used on the dish towels.

 

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gait: Cville training week 4

Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill

Tuesday: 3.8 miles. I ran during my lunch break down on the National Mall. There were some puddles and a huge mountain of snow in front of the Capitol Building, but overall good running. I did a mile warm up and a mile cool down, with two .75 mile speed sessions and a .25 recovery in between them. I aimed to run under an 8:30 pace, but ended up at 8:48 and 8:49… clearly some work to do there.

I also did an hour of flow yoga after work. My abs are sore today, not sure if it is from the running or the yoga.

Wednesday: 3 mile easy run on the treadmill

Thursday: Crafty Runner weight lifting plan. My legs didn’t feel near as tired this time. I am either getting stronger or I did lift enough… or both.

Friday: 3 slow miles in the morning. Loosening up the sore muscles from lifting.

Saturday: 8 mile long run. I finally made it back to rock creek park. Its always fun when you see black bears on your run (that are at a safe distance behind a fence). I had around 300 ft elevation gain during my run, the race has 800 ft elevation gain, so some work to do there. As I was running through Dupont circle towards the end of the run a random man called me Stephanie Prefontaine. Now I know I didn’t look anywhere as fast or smooth as Prefontaine, but it still made me smile and gave me a boost for the final mile of my run.

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Sunday: Rest day

Total miles: 21

make: screenprint dish towel

I took my t-shirt screen printing off shirt on on to dish towel for a gift for my mom and my boyfriend’s mom. To make the design I found a clip art of each state (I made both a Missouri and Texas) and placed it on top of some arrows. I printed out the design and for these I used plastic binder inserts. I taped the insert on top of the design and used an x-acto knife to cut out the design. It is much harder to cut through the plastic than the freezer paper, but you can reuse the design (I made shirts with these stencils too). I didn’t have a lot of trouble with paint seeping under the stencil, but I had to be more careful to keep everything in place.

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make: felt jewelry bags

To make my oven bake clay necklaces more finished for gifts I decided to make pouches for them. I got the idea to use the felt with a folded top from a similar pouch I got from Madewell a few years ago with the purchase of some earrings. I put my own spin on them by making them smaller and in all different sizes and by adding a ribbon tag on the side.

The felt I had on hand. I bought it a year ago to make a shave kit for my boyfriend and still had plenty left over. The ribbon I had bought on a whim.  I liked the design and knew I would find a use for it, I just didn’t know I would find a use so soon.

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The best part about these is they each can be a slightly different size, so no need to worry too much about measuring. Just make sure to cut a rectangle not some wacky quadrilateral. The right angles are important. Then it just takes two seams on either side. I put a few pins in them to keep the flap down and the ribbon piece in place. To speed up the sewing process don’t worry about cutting the thread between each pouch and sew all of one side before cutting threads and going back to sew the opposite side.

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They worked great for gifting and made my necklaces feel more professional.

gait: Cville training week 3

I meant to take some interesting photos this week… but failed. Probably because most of my workouts were in my apartment building’s tiny gym and I don’t know what happened Saturday. I broke down and bought a new Garmin watch last week. My old Nike watch wasn’t working and although the Apps work well, I like being able to just look at my wrist at any time and see my milage and pace. I’m still figuring out all the functions…

Monday: 3 miles, 2 at an easy pace with a mile faster finish. A lot of the sidewalks are clear, but each intersection is a massive snow bank you have to climb over in order to cross the street so this was another treadmill run.

Tuesday: 5 miles, 1 mile warm up and cool down with some speed intervals in the middle. I stuck to the treadmill again as the sidewalks were still a mess.

Wednesday: Cross train day, did some Nike Training Club workouts, core and yoga

Thursday: Rest day, I really like the two days of rest right now, but starting next week I bump down to one.

Friday: 3 miles, 2 easy with a fast finish

Saturday: 6 mile long run. I finally ran outside again. It was a little cool but very sunny and most of the sidewalks were clear. I ran up Massachusetts Avenue to the Observatory clock and back, I clearly need to continue to work on running hills.

Sunday: Rest

make: oven bake clay necklaces

Last September at the H Street festival amid the booths of crap made in China I found a lady selling hand crafted necklaces that I liked. I bought one for myself and my friend Catherine bought one too. Soon after Catherine found a tutorial on pinterest on how to make similar necklaces with oven baked clay.

I had some grey Sculpey clay on hand from when I took a shoe making class way back when. So that is what I started with, only later on a trip to Michaels and JoAnns did I discover the wide world of oven back clay. The other popular brand is Fimo. They both come in a variety of colors including a few that are speckled. I bought some that were granite like and sparkley, which cuts out some of the painting later on.IMG_1780

The process is pretty easy, but took a few tries to get a consistent size and figure out what looked best.  It was a lot like playing with play dough. I rolled a long noodle and then cut it in sections with a box cutter. Then using a skewer I poked holes through the middle of them. Bake according to the package, which was not very long.

When they come out they will be hard, but still with a little give. You can sand them a little after baking if needed. I taped them off with painters tape and used craft paint to jazz them up.

To finish I threaded the beads on to a chain. I bought chain and clasps at Michaels as well and assembled the necklaces. Needle nose pliers help a lot in this process. Also a little patience.

To gift the necklaces I made small felt bags. I’ll show you how to make them soon!

gait: Cville training week 2

Monday: 3 miles: 2 @ easy pace, 1 @ faster pace

Tuesday: 5 miles: 1 warm up, 3 miles of intervals (3 min fast, 2 min recovery), 1 cool down

Wednesday: Cross training day, I did a weight lifting plan designed by my sister, I lifted a little heavier than my usual 5-10 lb dumbbells and felt plenty sore the following two days.

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: 3 miles outside before the Blizzard started, it was a cold run on very salty surfaces. It was supposed to be two at easy pace, with a faster finish, which I think I did just because I was cold and wanted to get home.

Saturday: 5 miles at an easy pace. I ran them on the treadmill due to the blizzard going on outside. The first time I went down to the gym there were three women looking rather comfortable on the only treadmills in our building. I did some ab work while I waited, but as it seemed they were getting in their long run I left and came back in the afternoon. Five miles go by fast when you are watching people and animals try to brave a snowstorm out the window.

Sunday: Sunday was a scheduled rest day, but with 22 inches of fresh snow on the ground I had to get out and check it out and visit some friends. We ended up walking about 9 miles in the snow, which turns out it is rather exhausting. I woke up with slightly sore legs today.

Total miles: 16