Thursday, September 30, 2010

On "vacation"

I'll be leaving you all postless for the next few days. Sorry. Hubs, Guinness and I are headed up to Maine to hang out with my family until Sunday.

I'm running in the Dempsey Challenge in Lewiston on Saturday. I signed up for the 10k but now I'm feeling really chicken. I haven't decided if I'm going to go throughout with it or just run the 5k. My mom is really supportive of me doing the 5k a's she explains "Patrick Dempsey is only running the 5k".

The way I'm looking at it I'm not going to be anywhere near Patrick Dempsey. I base this on two facts. First, I'm short and have small legs, and therefore run slow. Secondly, I sweat when I exercise (Or move). I sweat a lot. There is no way I am getting near Dr. McDreamy when my body and hair are soaking wet.....with sweat. Ewww

Here are a few adorable pics of
Guinness to keep you satisfied until I get back!

I'll admit....I'm obsessed with my dog. He's the bees knees.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Awesomeness = September 29th

Today is a very special day. First, and most importantly, it's my big sister's birthday!!  Happy Birthday Manda.  I thought the best way to celebrate her birthday (other than spending the day with her in Maine on Friday) would be to share a photo montage of her with you.  

I love my sister so much, even though she would always want to be the cashier first when we would play store and then she would quit before me or my brother would get a turn.  She has always been there for me.  I hope she has the best birthday possible :) I'm not going to mention her age by the way....cause I think she may kill me.  :)
The second special thing about today is that it's National Coffee Day.  I'm not sure if you guys know this about me...but I love coffee.  I love coffee maybe a little too much.  In the last few years I've unfortunately had to cut my coffee consumption back quite a bit.  I was actually drinking so much coffee I was getting chest pains.  Scary right?  I just find it so comfy to hold a warm cup of coffee and sip it to completion.  Now, I'm sadly down to only having one cup a day.  I still spend the rest of the day dreaming about it one can stop me from doing that.  I've heard that Dunks is giving out free coffee today.  But I'm not sure if that's true or not.  If they are, have one for me :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Story of the Potato Stamps: An Epic Fail

I consider myself a very crafty person, since I like doing so many different crafty things.  Sewing is my favorite of course.  Most of the time I'm very happy with the crafts I make, but sometimes, they just come out awful.  So awful I can't even lie to myself and say that the mistakes give it charm. 
Sunday, one of these failed craft attempts happened.  It was failed at epic proportions.  I haven't been so disappointed with a craft project since Elementary Art Class with Mrs. Holman.  (Let's just say I wasn't gifted and talented art and she let me know it).  Sunday morning Hubs had a client meeting so I was left home alone.  Guinness was sleeping, like dogs do, and I noticed we had some potatoes growing old on the island in the kitchen.  I had seen a post with a potato stamp on one of my blogs last week and it was so cute.  I thought I would give it a try.  

I decided to try to carve Dorchester Designs into the potato.  I figured if it came out well I could stamp out a bunch of hang tags.  I was clearly way too ambitious.   

Not only were my letters too big (or maybe the potato was too small), I forgot that it should have been carved in the opposite direction.  I ended up with a terrible mess of backwards letters.....

I can tell you, I won't be marking any tags with this stamp.  Can you even tell what it says?  (I'm laughing hysterically as I write this by the way.  What a mess.)

Once I realized that stamp was ruined I tried to think of something a little easier to make.  A Jack-o-Lantern! Hubs loves Halloween.  I figured it was perfect.  How hard can a little circle with a rectangle and to triangles be.  

Well.....I'll let you be the judge:

This one at least looks okay when you look at the carving on the potato.  But, when it's stamped out I think it looks like the pumpkin had a stroke one one side of his mouth.  

I did stamp out a little card.  Hubs loved it, so I'll put it under his little pillow on Halloween... ha ha.. 

It was definitely fun making the stamps, even though they didn't turn out at all.  My hands smelled like raw potato for the whole day.  It reminded me of how much I used to love to eat raw potato when I was a kid.  I know it's weird, everyone tells me.  But I loved it. 

One last look at the stamps in their horribleness...ha ha (I can't stop laughing at myself):
Do you like it when people who are super crafty have failed crafts attempts?  I do.  I think it makes me feel like they are less super human.  Sometimes I look at craft blogs and I wonder if they ever make mistakes, cause I make a ton.  At least I share them with you so that we can all laugh together :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

My College Open House Wristlet

Saturday Hubs and I went to a Fall Open House at St. Anselm College (in New Hampshire) with my sister in law and her friend. They are seniors this year, so the big decisions are looming in front of them.  Hubs and I both went, graduated from, and got married at St. Anselm's.  Needless to say, we are huge proponents of her going there.  We absolutely loved going to school at St. Anselm's and think she would love it there too.
Of course, I was on call this past weekend, and would have to bring my pager along with me.  Friday night, I decided I was going to make myself a little wristlet to hold my pager, phone, a few cards and cash and my camera. I made sure that the dog was entertained (rawhides), Hubs was entertained (television) and I set to work. I pulled out a few scrap materials and got to work.  It didn't take me too long before I had something together.  I like how it came out.

I'm going to make another one soon, and put up a tutorial.  It was so easy to make.  Next time, I think I would put some batting or fleece in between the layers just to give it a little bit more sturdiness.  Also, I'd take a little bit more time making the loop that goes over my wrist.  I was getting a bit tired near then end, and didn't take the time I really should have, knowing that the wristlet was just for me.  The strap frayed a little. Next time I'll do better.
What do you think? Super Cute right?  Any suggestions?  

I linked this post to a couple of parties :)

The Girl Creative



I have been a bad blogger and haven't updated my blog for the last four days. Excuses are cheap, I know, but last week was rough. I felt sick basically all week and just felt like I could keep my eyes open.

I had wanted to participate in Kids Clothes Week Challenge, but by Tuesday I had failed that too. Brooklyn's costume is still yet to be cut out.

This week will be better. I promise. I will update regularly. I vow. I even have a real update with pictures for today.

Sorry. I hope you can forgive me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Devil is in the Details

Last night was a gym night, so I didn't get to do any sewing. I think that may have disqualified me from the Kids Clothes Week Challenge too :( Bummer. I did do a little work on the packaging for Julie's dress and Isabelle's dollhouse since they desperately need to be mailed out tonight.

I wanted to make sure that my packaging looked professional. My business cards came out so cute that I decided to stick with the colors and design in those. I meant to go to the Paper-Source store in town and buy all kinds of pre-cut cards, but never got around to it. I discovered the Paper-Source while I was planning my wedding. It's an amazing store for card making and paper crafts. I had a ton of fun buying supplies to make my programs, thank you cards, place cards, save the dates, and invitations that we decided against... I really should try to do a blog entry on all the stuff I made for the wedding, if I can find pictures, or remnants of it. Anyways, I grabbed some paper while I was at Michaels the other day, that would work until I could get over to the store.

First I worked on making a hang tag for each of the products. Since everything I make is a custom order I wanted the hang tag to serve a dual purpose, telling the company name and saying thank you. I tried to keep with the same theme as the business cards.

What do you think? The red stitches I actually sewed in with my machine. I had intended it to be a flower, but it kinda ended up more free form. Sewing on paper in curves was trickier than I intended. I like how it looks though..

Next, I wrapped the items in tissue paper. Eventually I will have blue or yellow tissue paper to go with the scheme, but not yet. For now I used some tissue paper I had gotten and saved from Aerie awhile ago. It seemed crazy when I was saving it, but it was just too cute to throw away. I knew I could I could find a use for it.

I made little "dd" (remember, Dorchester designs not Dunkin Donuts) stickers to secure the tissue paper on the item. I had tons of these white labels left over from my save the date cards. They were cute little note cards that had labels with the date of our wedding on them so you could mark it on your calendar (not my idea, though I wish It was...was Martha's idea).

I thought it looked awesome, and brought it over to Hubs, who was doing some legal work in the office, to take a look. It looks like it says BP he says.. I turned the package around. Oh yeah, dd he says... Sometimes I just don't understand men. But...that entry is for another day.

So, I'm trying to express with the packaging that this is a real business venture and not a hobby. Does it work? What would you think if you opened up your Dorchester Designs package and saw this inside?

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Least favorite part of Sewing

My least favorite part of sewing is the pinning, transferring markings and cutting.  It's just uncomfortable.  My back is hunched over the table, or in the case of the costume I'm making, the coffee table, for a long time pinning out the patterns.  Then once the pinning is done you have to mark out all the lines and markings.  I don't know about you, but I NEVER cut multi size patterns, unless I'm making the biggest size.  I know the chances are slim, but I feel like maybe someday I'll lose weight and want those smaller sizes.

Today, was pinning and marking day for Brookie's costume.  Considering all the pieces that had to get marked and pinned I knew I wasn't going to get to cutting.  There are four different fabrics that go into the dress.
It's kinda ridiculous, since I'm making a size 1/2, but the store that I buy fabric from doesn't let you buy anything smaller than a yard.  Some of these fabrics I needed way less than a yard.  My pile of leftovers got pretty serious by the time I had pinned and trimmed a couple of the fabrics.

Anyways, my first step always, before pinning out the pattern is ironing it.  I know it sounds crazy, but I do iron the pattern.  I never used to, then I tried it, just for kicks, and my seams lined up so much nicer.  Maybe it's in my head....I don't know...but I still do it.
See all those deep wrinkles? I swear it makes a difference
My attempt at using the self timer to capture the pattern ironing.

I ended up pinning out the dark blue and the red material before giving up.  I got almost all the way with the yellow before realizing I was a bit shy for material.  I had left a little too much room on the left end.  Thank god I hadn't started cutting.  But I was way too frustrated by then to keep going.  

Another frustrating thing is that most of my pins look like this..
And are impossible to use.  I need to buy new pins I guess.  How did that even happen. 

More costume updates tomorrow. 

On a complete different note, I've decided to take part in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at  The rules are pretty simple, sew kids clothes for 1 hour a day for seven days.  They are explained in more detail here.   I'm off to a bad start already, cause I thought it started today and not yesterday.  Oh well.  I'll sew an extra hour :)  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Wrap up: Pats Edition

Hubs and I are huge Pats fans.  They lost the Jets.  The only thing that would be worse was losing to the Colts.  Okay, that's enough talk about the's just too painful anyways.

I had wanted to get a lot of sewing done this weekend.  In reality I didn't get as much done as I wanted.  I did, however, catch up on my sleep, which was wonderful.  I closed my eyes on Saturday afternoon for a quick nap, and didn't wake up until Saturday evening.  I slept for three hours.  By the time I woke up, basically all my sewing time for Saturday was gone. 

Today I started by cutting out all the pieces for Brookie's Snow White costume.  I bought and washed all the fabric Friday.  I'm going to start pinning and cutting out all the pieces tomorrow.  I decided to make Brooklyn the smallest size for the pattern (1/2) even though it's a little big.  I figure she can wear it for awhile that way.

After cutting out all of the pieces for the costume I decided to work on the Elastic Waist dress that Julie had ordered the other day.  I thought it would be easy and I would be able to finish it today.  While it wasn't as easy as I had thought, I was able to finish it.  I am super happy with the way that it turned out.  I hope it's everything that Julie hoped it would be.

The dress is fairly simple.  It's just an elastic waist, a yard of fabric, and a pre-made tank top.  I grabbed the tank top yesterday at Forever 21.  Since I had to cut the tank top short, I decided to add some ruffles.  The skirt is just a simple gathered skirt, except for a few pleats that I added on the right hand side.  Like I said before, I really really like how it turned out.
The skirt looks a little weird in this picture, but the ruffles are a little easier to see. 

Hubs took a lot of pictures of me this time.  This one I have my eyes closed, like basically every picture anyone ever takes of me.  Classic Margie.  I like it.

Here's a close-up of the ruffles.  I cut the excess fabric from the tank into two inch strips and gathered them up.  Hubs wasn't sure if he liked how all the ruffles are different lengths.  I assured him that this was the style and that he just didn't know what he was talking about.  God, I hope I was right.
I love my little "Dorchester Designs" tags.  This time I made it the tag out leftover pieces from the skirt.  It's very matchy, matchy, but I like it.

Finally, I hemmed the skirt with a decorative stitch, since I knew the stitches would show.  The photo is a little blurry, but I think it looks cute. 

In addition to the dress I worked on a doll for Isabelle's dollhouse this weekend.  I had a really tough time with the doll.  In the end, I think it looks okay, but it was really hard.  The doll is really tiny, and the pieces were so small to sew, and stuff and turn.  I find it much much easier making clothes...
She decided she wanted a dress just like Julie's but in reverse.  I said, hey, why not.  I hate making faces on dolls cause I feel like the eyes always turn out so creepy.  I'm not so sure how I feel about the eyes on her, but, I don't think they are creepy.  Weird, maybe, but creepy no.

I wanted to put a tag on the doll, but it was soooo small I didn't know where to add it.  So, instead of a tag, I decided to tattoo "DD" on the dolls butt.

Hopefully, Isabelle will think that this DD means Dorchester Designs and not Dunkin Donuts.....

That's all I managed to sew this weekend. Tomorrow the Snow White sewing starts.  Wish me luck!

I decided to link my post up to a few parties.....I mean...why not right?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Signs of Fall

It's starting to feel a lot like fall outside lately.  I kinda can't get over it.  This morning when I woke up it was freezing. I almost wanted to turn on the heat, but then I realized that all of our windows were open.  Hubs loves the cool air of fall.  He's a freak for fall, and is in LOVE with Halloween.  (PS.  I'm planning some Halloween fun for the blog in honor of Hubs.  More to come on that later though). 
This morning, I was walking to a meeting in one of the administrative buildings at the hospital where I work and I saw this sign:
I stopped, like the weirdo that I am, and immediately took a picture.  Imagine, so many acorns fall from these trees and hit people that it's been complained about.  They had to put up a sign.  I can just picture the person complaining about it  at the front desk now:
"That tree hit me with something."
"oh, maybe an acorn hit you?"
"No, it was thrown, with malice"
Ridiculous. But I love the thank you for complaining whomever you are.
On a much different note, I promised my sister in law that I would make my niece Brooklyn's Halloween costume.  She loves Snow White (or White as she calls her), so I'm going to make her a little Snow White dress.  Brooklyn is two and seriously a peanut.  I think I'm going to have to alter the smallest toddler size to be smaller, she's that small.  If only she would share some of her skinniness with me, but that's a story for an entirely different blog I think. 
I'm thinking I need to start the costume this weekend.  Potential sales for Dorchester Designs are just piling in (thank you! thank you! thank you!) and I need to make sure that this costume gets made.  Brooklyn has already been told about her outfit and she's pumped, I have to deliver now. 
I'm going to be following this Simplicity pattern.  I'm just going to make the dress and the headband though, not the cape.  Brooklyn is the type of child that just wouldn't wear the cape.  I mean, she barely will keep her shoes and socks on most of the time.  She'd just think a cape was silly. 
Wish me luck.  Pictures will follow of course!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Isabelle's Place

Today, I finished my second dollhouse and Dorchester Designs very first item sold.  I didn't think I would be able to finish it today, since we had training for Guinness.  Turns out, I had forgotten that we had to go to the seven o'clock class this week instead of the eight.  We were home by eight thirty, which these days is pretty early. 

This dollhouse is for a little girl named Isabelle.  I'm really proud of the way it turned out.  I spent a lot of time figuring out the seam allowances and measurements for each and every section of the design this time.  I think it paid off, cause everything lined up basically perfectly.  Actually, I'm really proud of the pictures this time too.  I used Guin's crate and covered it with a fitted sheet.  He was pissed I was moving his house, and the sheet was horribly wrinkly, but other than that everything worked out great.  After a few minutes playing around in Picnik those wrinkles on the sheet were gone, and Guin got over it.

Time for the pictures!!

The coloring is actually a little weird in this picture, but this is the front of the house.  I especially like the red roof.  I tried something a little different, and while it was super frustrating, it was definitely worth it.  I think it came out awesome.

On the left hand side of the house you can see a little blue tag.  That's my Dorchester Design tag.  I bought some fabric markers this weekend and finally made some tags.  I loved the idea of the embroidered tags, but they were taking a long time.   Here's a closeup of the tag:

The markers bled a little, but I like the end result. Of course I only have made one so far. 

The back of the house had a doggie and a blackberry bush.  I love the dog house appliqued  from the material I got.  I got a whole yard of fabric for this one dog house.  I think I am going to make a coat for Guinness with the leftover fabric.  He's one of those doggies that loves to wear clothes anyways.

Here's a closeup of the buttons that I added to attach the house.  I got these at Windsor Button in town when my  Mom and sister came to visit.  Isabelle, who this is being made for, loves soccer.  I thought these buttons were the perfect way to add in the soccer detail.  I saw them at the store and just had to have them.  They were a little on the more expensive side, I didn't care.  It's the small details that make something special sometimes.

My favorite part of the house this time is the handles.  I decided to make the handles instead of using ribbon.  I folded over some purple fabric, sewed it together and put an embroidery stitch in red as decoration.  I think they came out so cute, and much more than I had expected.

The inside and outside section of the house:
On the inside of the house I made a bureau this time.  I had stitched the drawers in white, but I didn't think it showed up well enough.  Yesterday, I went over it in red.  I'm much happier now.  Now I think it looks like an actual set of drawers.
That's Isabelle's house! What do you think?  I'm planning on sending it out this weekend.  Isabelle's mom had asked if I sold furniture or dolls to go in the house, and I want to try to see if I can come up with something before I send it out. 

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