Monday, October 31, 2011

Caramel Apple Pig Out - (Pun Intended)

About a month ago I was at the bowling alley with friends reveling in the high of breaking 130 and swimming in about half a pitcher of Blue Moon.  134 sans beer would have felt pretty amazing, but 134 with a floating beer soaked orange chunk?  I felt like I could conquer the world.  When Halloween came up I volunteered to throw the party - with dry ice punch! - and amazing homemade costumes! - and finger foods shaped like real sawed off fingers still leaking blood!

Fast forward to last weekend.  The big event!  Motivation and energy was low in all. (Lacking Vitamin C from Blue Moon soaked orange chunks? - maybe)  All they got were some apples and bacon.  For real.  
'Amazing Party' instead became 'DIY Caramel Apple Night' which in turn became 'Kinda Fun and Tasty Halloween Event That We Might Repeat.'

We followed Suzie's recipe, and even listened to the review tips about just dipping them in the 4-cup Pyrex cup that you use to melt the caramel in the microwave and refrigerating the apples before and after.  Dip options included almonds, sprinkles, chocolate shell, crushed Oreos, cashews, raisins, peanut butter M&Ms, mini choco chips and bacon.

I don't eat bacon, but it has such a cult following lately that I decided I needed to throw some on a caramel apple and make everyone try it.  I tried it too.  Something about sweet, salty and greasy that definitely starts the engines in your lady parts.

Yup, adults made the ones below.  I never said it was a clean party activity.  My fave was the cashew, raisin and chocolate chip combo.  That's right, lookin' at you Hot Stuff.

 Uneaten creations got bagged up and sent home.  I don't have the willpower for keeping that around...

let alone the giant bowl of Snickers that I am supposed to hand out tonight.  But, one more won't kill me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Last Minute Costume: The King

You did it too?  Committed to making your 6-year-old niece an Elvis costume and it is days before Halloween?!  I feel your pain, Gorgeous.  Follow these steps and you will have it thrown together by the time the Project Runway episode on your DVR is finished.

What you'll need:

1 - white fuzzy track suit from Walmart
1 - red snowflake sweatshirt from Walmart because the white sweatshirt comes with the blue scarf and you need the white scarf for the popped up collar and of course they have the scarves fastened to the sweatshirts and you can't handle the guilt of breaking the plastic attachment and switching the scarves.
1 - 1/4 yard of the blingiest fabric you have
1 - big drawer of beads, sequins and random bling
1 - Beaddazzler that you have had for years and has been waiting for this very moment.
1 - 1/4 yard of sheer fabric for a scarf.  Like the red beaded stuff you got at an after Christmas sale intending to make a new tree skirt and then changed your mind.

OK, cut up the seams about a third of the way up the outside of the legs and about 6 inches up the inside seam of the arms.

Then, cut out a V at the neckline.  If you are worried about getting your sister pissed at you for going over the line, then cut a nice sensible V that will be filled in with opaque fabric.  If you aren't worried about keeping it classy then cut that V almost down to the navel and get the flesh tone fabric to fill in the space.  Sew on some random chest hairs to make it more authentic.  OK, back to classy.

From your blingy fabric, cut out pieces to fill the leg, arm and neck holes.  Fold the bottom edges over (the edges that will not be sewn to your sweatsuit fabric) and sew them over to make a clean hem.  Measure the neckline and cut a section of the scarf to use as the collar.  Don't go crazy, you will use the rest of the scarf fabric for the belt.

Pin the blingy sections into place for the arms and legs and sew them in.  Sew your collar on before the neck fabric so that you can position the blingy fabric to butt up again the collar nicely.  Unless, you are going for the Elvis years when he was struggling with drugs and alcohol.  If that is the case, the more disheveled the better.  Just throw that crap on there.

Next, beadazzle your ass off.  I chose to just go around the edges, because I'm not up for 'Aunt-of-the-Year' this year so I wanted to have this wrapped up by wine thirty.

Measure out the remaining section of the scarf and cut it to just longer than waist length for the belt.  Sew the side seam, flip it right-side out, tuck the edges in, then sew them down.  Sew a few inches of velcro to each side of the belt so that it can fit snugly.

Cut out a proportionally large piece of cardboard for the belt and spray adhesive/hot glue it to a section of your blingy fabric.  Fold the edges over the buckle, hot glue them down, then hot glue a piece of felt over the back to hold down the raw edges.  Hot glue on two additional strips of felt fabric to the back of the buckle for the belt portion to slide through.  Hot glue some beads or bling to the front of the buckle for some extra pop.  Sorry that this is the only picture of the buckle process that I took.  Like I said, wine thirty.  Tick tock, my friends.

Cut out a length of your never-used Christmas tree skirt fabric for a longish scarf.  Roll the edges under and sew them down.  I chose to roll as I sewed even.  Out of control.

Next, pour yourself that glass of wine and cheers to another mission complete!  You can tell your sister that you slaved for days, and she might actually believe you!  Drink another glass in honor of The King.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY'ed and Gone to Heaven

Pinch yourself.  Seriously, I did.  I want to make sure I am not dreaming.  I just got hired to do my dream job. Hired by Viji to decorate and spruce up her house - DIY style.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that Viji wants to transform her home into a space that is special and fun for entertaining by repurposing what she has and/or making new art and accent pieces on her own.  And by 'on her own' I mean we do it together.  Awesome!  Some things she will just want to pay someone else to do or it might make financial sense to just buy new.  But, we will swipe that credit card when we come to it.

So, strap yourself in for this DIY-nomite Arizona challenge, at Viji's house!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweet A$$ Photo Mosaic

What do you get for the friend in your life having a milestone birthday...that doesn't need or want anything...except for maybe an evening at the casino all by himself?  For that person that is a riot to be around and has orchestrated some of your life's most memorably awesome moments because of his sarcasm and wit?  The answer was obvious to me: Give him something that the rest of us, his friends, want for ourselves.  A giant photo mosaic of him, made of of tiny pictures of him from some of OUR favorite memories of him. Obviously.

With the help of Mr. Schatze, I gathered up some of our favorite pictures of our friend.  Let's call him Jeff.  Like Jeff's photobomb face:

Jeff racing (and beating) another friend in a Germany stair race:

Jeff demanding a time documentation in Amsterdam:

I followed the tutorial from this site that did a sweet photo mosaic of a mother and her kids, then ordered the print from Walgreens who had it ready in an hour. It is kind of amazing to just have a collage of tiny Jeff moments.  I will treasure it forever.

We patterned all the tiny pictures on our favorite documented church photo from a friend's wedding and framed it in an affordable Ikea frame.  Look at how happy he is to receive a big framed photo of himself for his 30th birthday!  He is happy because he thinks that it is a joke and he can fill the frame with a different picture.  His wife has it on the wall, which makes all the rest of us happy.  The world is a better place with Jeff and his sweet-a$$ mosaic face.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crafty Color Chaos

I have been going ballz out crafting these past few days to prep for a baby shower this Saturday.  The decorations and fun revolve around the fabric below.  I am pretty much obsessed with the pink/green color palette these days.

Which means that I am also lusting over these wedding components from The Perfect Palette,

and this Pucci handbag at Luxist,

and of course this entire tablescape from Tobi's blog,

and these note cards that might just end up in my stocking from Santa.  You hear me Santa!?

Also, it needs to be wrapped up like this.  That is all.  ♥ you Santa!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I ♥ Japan

Ladies and gentlemen, for your Tuesday viewing pleasure:  Bach's Jesu, The Joy of Man's Desiring.  Brought to you by a Japanese advertising agency, a giant xylophone and thousands of beautiful cheering trees.

Thanks for sharing Dudecraft!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ann Taylor Makeover

I recently fell in love with the Ann Taylor lace sheath dress when searching for a hot little number to wear to my friend's MN fall wedding.

If I looked like the model in the picture, then I likely would have fallen in love with it 'as is' but I don't.  I loved the fit, the tailored look, the lace, and that the length was perfect for me.  I didn't love how the neckline made me appear wide and boxy.  But it fit so great!  I got it anyway...with plans to make that demure neckline a little more hussy.

While I usually feel like V-neck is most flattering on me, I didn't think that a V would work as well with the detail and tailoring of the dress.  So, I went with a square neckline.  With the dress on, I pinned out the spot where I wanted the neckline to end/dress to begin and pinned the sides to mark where my favorite bra would still lay comfortably and not show.  

I delicately removed the edging on the neckline and let my scissors do the walkin.  After sewing the lace overlay to the lining, I finished it off with binding tape.  Just laid it over the edge and zig-zag stitched it on.  I couldn't find the exact width of binding tape as Ann's crew had used, but I quickly decided I didn't care and it wouldn't matter.  It didn't.

I was happy.  Super happy.

But, not as happy as when I got to dance the night away with some beautiful friends.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Feet!

Wow.  About two minutes ago I came across these online, and am now officially obsessed with the Efeet bowls.  Seriously Dylan Kendall, I love you.  Not so much 3 minutes ago, but now, LOVE.

Tea anyone?  Bloody cute.

I kind of want to have the Efeet vase to go with the Jonathon Adler butt vase...that I don't have, but will someday.  Someday soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Poo Walls

This weekend, Mr. schatze, completed my request for painting the wall encasing our backyard, brown.  Mistake?

Too early to tell.  I'm hoping that when I finish adding plants and accents that the space will be warm and snuggle-icious. And not suffocating and smothering.  That is not part of my plan.  Do you hear me universe?  I said warm and snuggle-icious.