Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project Paisley

As promised in my previous post, I'm proud to share my first project of 2011 today.  Woo!  It's also the very first sewing post on Welcome Sunshine Home and it's been a long time coming.

After sewing gifts for others in 2010, I made myself a purse shortly after the holidays.  I love the clean and simple lines of the exterior.  It's a shoulder bag and the strap lengths are just.  I can't 'do' handbags because I'll set it down in a store and leave it behind (aka Jake would get stuck holding it!).

I can't think of anything else I own that is paisley.  I liked all the fun colors.  I purchased the fabrics and sewing pattern at Joanns a couple months ago.  I didn't worry about matching the fabric pattern up at any seams because I had just enough fabric to cut the all the pieces.  The pattern is busy so they blend in.

I had some fun with the interior.  I thought orange would be a cheerful punch of color during the long winter months.

My new Windows smartphone was my motivation to finish this project quickly.  I needed a better way to carry it around.

All my girl junk has been rolling around in my laptop bag's big pocket and my coat pockets for months.  Simply annoying.
Phone, post-it list pad, pocket planner, lotion, breath mints, hand sanitizer, water, my old pink camera, fleece gloves, click pencils, pen, Netflix, spearmint lip gloss, mint lip balm (no shine), peppermint lip balm (favorite for years), cash (this is rare for me), debit card, credit card, and driver's license.

I altered the pattern a bit to customize the pockets for my junk.  Everything in it's place.  Ahhh.  :)

My favorite one is the contrast (aka easy to find) lip gloss pocket that I added.

I was going for speed so I didn't take any photos of the work in progress.  It has simple magnetic closure.

It's hard to see with this fabric but the bottom is gathered.   Don't mind the dog hair...notice their legs in the top right of the photo?

The purse even coordinates with my new emerald green jacket (in treeline).  Happy accident!  It's hard to capture the green properly in winter's harsh lighting.  It's deeper than this photo...

It's nothing fancy but it's done and it's exactly what I need.

I hope you like it too!  I'll update this post later with the sewing pattern info if you're interested.  This is a simple project that'd be a great for beginners to build sewing confidence.

UPDATE: Here's the pattern info for the shoulder bag and a photo from the pattern's packaging.  The bag's overall shape and the gathering on the bottom is easier to see.
See & Sew

Have you marked anything off your 2011 to-do list lately?  I'd love to hear about it.

Click here to see some of the parties I'll be mingling at this week.

Our Sweet Baby Girl

So, I've been quiet on the craft and recipe fronts this month.  I know exactly how I want to transform our former Mistletoe Mantle into a Valentine's mantle but I haven't made it happen yet.  We've had some setbacks in recent weeks and I need some craft therapy so maybe I'll do that this weekend.

I have no intention of listing our issues here but I'll quickly share a recent one since it involves one of the pups that I mention regularly.  If you've haven't visited before, our dogs are like family members.

Truck Ride - May 2010

Brewster became very ill Saturday evening.  Very ill is an understatement but I don't want to get too graphic on here.  She was admitted into the doggy ER and stayed until Monday morning when her regular vet's office opened.  Nerve wracking.  Max had surgery for a blockage in April and Bru's always been very healthy so we were extra worried and on edge.  She didn't get into chemicals or anything and (unfortunately for my personality type) the cause is unknown.  Unknown.  How frustrating.  How do you prevent unknown from happening again?  Per three vets, it was most likely some kind of parasite or bacteria and we'll probably never know.  Parasite or bacteria?  Eww.  I wish we could hire a cleaning crew to come sanitize our whole house but for now the steam cleaner and steam mop will do.

Shark Premium SC630D Portable Steam PocketEuro-Pro Shark S3501 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop

One thing that really bugged me during the whole thing is that the ER vet said what happened is normal.  Normal?  Then, why does our dog need to be hospitalized?  Last time I checked that sure isn't normal.  I exclaimed to Bru and Max's regular vet that what happened is NOT within my realm of normal.  The regular vet nicely explained that it's normal to an ER vet not to normal people.  Oh ok then.  So far it seems like they were right because she's been home for 1.5 days.  She's eating prescription food a little at a time, taking all her meds like a champ, and seems to be doing better today.

She's expected to fully recover!  Yay!  :)    

Yawning - March 2010

Love that big snuggly baby girl.  While Jake's home from work and on dog care duty, I wanted to take a few minutes to share this story and one project that I'm proud to say is 100% finished.  The project post will be coming shortly...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Carnival of Madness 2010

Note 1/19/2011: As promised, I tracked down the following post.  It was written in early August 2010 and I never hit 'publish' until now.  Here it is...unedited.  Enjoy!


40 bands.  One day.  Did we make it?  Read on, my friends, read on.    Before I get into Saturday's shenanigans, we need to take a quick trip back in time...

Summer 2002
10 rock bands in one day!  The tickets were cheap enough and I wanted to see the headliner, Sevendust.  Jake and I locked up our teeny studio apartment in the West End and stepped into an shimmering sunny day.  We walked a block or two over to the Cumberland County Civic Center for the start of the 1st annual WCYY Summer Camp day.  I remember Mushroomhead and Sevendust but everyone else has blended together in my mind over time.  We almost survived all 10 bands' sets.  It was hot, LOUD, and smoky in the CCCC and three songs into the Sevendust set I admitted defeat.  As a general rule, we do not leave live performances early and thanks to Jake's sister we usually wait for movie credits to roll too.  Sorry, Sevendust but I'm pretty sure Jake was relieved to leave and I had a raging headache.  Let's blame Mushroomhead!  ;)

July 31, 2010
40 rock bands in one day!  That's just crazy, right?  Nope.  Add 10,000-15,000 of our closest music loving friends and you've got Oxxfest 2010 (aka the 8th annual WCYY Summer Camp day).  The tickets were cheap enough and we both wanted to see the main stage headliner, Shinedown, again. 

The five main stage performers are on the Carnival of Madness tour: 10 Years, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, and Shinedown.   We'd seen everyone besides 10 Years before so we knew at least the evening performances on the main stage would be good. 

Jake and I were smack in the middle of this madness.

10 Years - We didn't know their music before and I guess they weren't memorable.  I feel kind of bad.  Sorry guys.

Sevendust - Hello, we meet again. :)  Thanks for finally coming back to Maine.  We didn't know that leaving your 2002 show early would result in your staying out of Maine for eight years.  Jeesh.  The lead singer was thrilled by the Maine's cooler summer temps and kept repeating variations on "It's a beautiful day" over and over.

Puddle of Mudd - We saw these guys in January and I liked them better that time.  Sevendust's vocalist came onstage for Psycho and let me tell you that this dude managed to rock denim bib overalls...in 2010!

A little lesson for all the scrawny lead singers out there:  No matter how scrawny you are do not, I repeat do not, jump into any crowd when it's all women in the first few rows.  They will not catch you.  They will maul you after you fall.  Also, do not leave your band stalling on stage playing the same chords over and over then never return.

For the Puddle of Mudd lead singer: Everyone saw you run back to your bus.  Everyone knew your set was supposed to end with She Hates Me.  Sorry but it's true.

Chevelle - We saw them at Meadowbrook last summer.  I summed up that experience by saying "They make a lot of noise for three guys."  I liked them better this time around because I knew what to expect.  And, I was a bit further from the speakers.  :)

Shinedown - We saw them last summer at Meadowbrook on tour with Staind and again in January on their Sound of Madness tour. They're engaging live performers so we wanted to see them again.

We saw a bunch of local and regional bands too.  Here are the ones I remember at the moment...
Dead Season
Till We Die  "and that happened."
In The Kingdom of Nightmares
Living Syndication
Leaving Eden

35 bands played continually all day starting at 10am by alternating between these two side stages.  I think the main stage shows started around 6 or 7pm.

This time my only regret is my last minute decision to leave my camera in the truck.  What would your ultimate concert lineup look like?  What was the last concert or live performance you saw?

Stowe Road Trip


Long time, no talk.  Sorry about that.   :)  

I have lots of photos from our long weekend in Stowe to share another day but none of the HGTV Dream Home tour.  Yet.  Work has been so crazy busy that I completely flaked and forgot to get our tickets for the home tour.  Um, major duh moment, since touring the dream home was the primary reason for this road trip.  No worries though.  Jake's already checking hotel availability and plans to take me back to Vermont another weekend in February or early March.  Next time, he'll be in charge of securing the tickets!  

I was picture taking happy during the long ride.  We drove through the white mountains to get over to Stowe in Vermont's green mountains.  We took a different route around the white mountains coming back to Maine...much better plan for winter!

Jake did all the driving while I played DJ.  We listened to a fair amount of Korn because we're going to see them on the 29th.  Jake gave me concert tickets for Christmas because I love rock concerts and he's nice like that.  Are you finding it hard to imagine Jake and I rocking out at a Korn concert?  The second post ever on Welcome Sunshine Home happens to be about another Korn concert (and why I was eating French brie there).  Disturbed is headlining too (saw them in 2002) and Sevendust will be on tap (saw them in 2002 and 2010).  Hey, wait a minute.  Jake and I went to a day long concert in July (40 bands!) and I never published the post I wrote about it.  I'll track that literary gem down and publish it for your reading pleasure later.  Ha. 

Okay, back to the drive...  Look!  Another mountain!  It really is a different one. 

I just happened to snap this next photo when it flashed on Slippery When Wet as we sped by.  Yup, just a coincidence.  I didn't demand that Jake hit the brakes or anything because I'm way too mature to do something like that.  Any Bon Jovi fans out there?

The four hour drive was rolling by pretty fast until we got to The Grand Army of the Republic Highway.  Pretty nice highway, huh?

We listened to quite a bit of Shinedown too because we've been to three of their concerts and Jake can sing along with most of the songs now.  Belting out some tunes really helped pass the time when the driving got slower. 

We passed the Hardwick Inn along the way.  It reminds me of our neighbors across the street and their banana yellow house.  

Hasn't this been just like you were riding along with us?  Minus the ear popping from the elevation changes, of course.  Oh and I'll keep the icky cold/flu bug that I caught while we were in Vermont to myself.  I'm finally starting to feel better now.  Just in time to board a germ infested plane on Sunday evening and fly to South Carolina for work next week.  

Don't forget to enter to win the 2011 HGTV Dream Home daily!   :)

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