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Christmas Crafts 2009 December 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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I just realized that lots of what I put on this blog makes me seem awfully domestic.  I swear, I really do work for a living, and I love it.  Housewifery just isn’t in the cards for me.  Having said that, there are some really, really “domestic” things that I just love to do.  Case in point: crafting.  It’s tons of fun.  Anyway, I decided to make some things for family members this Christmas.

For Mom and Grandma

I made these Walmart bag holders for my mom and grandma this year.  They both need a way to store those little baggies that doesn’t involve an old trashbag box and/or squirreling them away in corners (Grandma, I’m looking at you).  Anyway, these were super easy to whip up.  They took me about 10 minutes to sew.  The flowers are what took the longest.  Anyway, I think they look great.

Nest project: Gracie’s purse.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

I got the pattern from this bag via a blog, Between the Lines.  The instructions call for centimeters, so I converted everything to inches and went to town.  The bag is super cute; so cute, in fact, that I’m thinking about making one of these for myownself.  Gracie loved it.

Many more photos can be found here, on Flickr.

Winter Read-a-thon December 13, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in BookLust, Life.
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I should start this post with a big ol’ HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JohnJohn.  I gave him Modern Warfare 2, and he’s been playing while I type/blog/bake him a cake.  We’re going to see The Blind Side tonight…I’ll let you know how it is.

I can’t even begin to tell you how behind I am on Christmas.  I mean, seriously.  I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since Thanksgiving; as a matter of fact, the longest conversation I’ve had with John since Turkey Day was last night over dinner.  Ugh, it’s been awful, but it’s done now.  One more stack of papers to grade and I’m home free until January.  I need it: I am seriously burned out.  I have some nifty crafts planned in the next week, too.  Woot for free time.

Part of what I love most about Christmas break is the chance to read things that I’m interested in, though this break will be peppered with texts for my thesis and/or school.  That’s fine, though, they’ll be interesting enough.  Here’s the list of what, in an idea world, I’d like to read this break, including a section of MUSTS.

MUST READ:

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Heading West by Doris Betts
  • The Sharp Teeth of Love by Doris Betts
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (I’m teaching this one)

WANT TO READ:

  • Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton (my guilty pleasure, har har)
  • All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg (a southern memoir.  You might like this one, Bunny)
  • That Feminist Book that LindseyBunny Wants to Read (need title)
  • Belladonna by Anne Bishop
  • Hunger Games by I Don’t Know Who

So, what are you all planning to read this Christmas?  Any titles I need to add but haven’t?  Also, anyone up for a read-a-long?  Could be fun!

October 11, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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John and I are finally feeling better!  He’s kicked his strep throat completely, and once my allergic reaction to my antibiotic goes away (I’ll save you the gory details), I’ll be just peachy.  This week is already looking up!

So I’ve had a few posts floating around in the ether recently. At some point I hope to comment on both the Polanski fiasco and the Nobel committee. I’m also working on a review of Black Boy (American Hunger) by Richard Wright–a book, an autobiography actually, that I think is really important. Next week look for a discussion of Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea’s visit to campus.

But tonight? I think perhaps I’ll begin with another GO HOGS!  The handed victory over Auburn on Saturday was a blast, and it was nice having a win at home.  Did you know that most SEC teams call Fayetteville “Fayettenam?”  According to this Sports Illustrated article, they sure do.  It’s where winning seasons go to die.

On another note, Joel’s having his first boy/girl party, AND it’s a Halloween shindig.  I cannot emphasize enough: I LOVE Halloween.  I went ahead and whipped up these Martha Stewart Halloween invitations:

The joints are connected with small scrapbooking brads, so the arms move.

The joints are connected with small scrapbooking brads, so the arms move.

I so wish I had taken pictures of our invitations–they were absolutely phenomenal.  We used red envelopes instead of black, which made the contrast–and the skeletons inside–that much more sublime.  I wish I could help coordinate the party from start to finish, but maybe I’ll be able to send over some other goodies in the coming weeks.

I love Halloween!

Pretty Thing: T-Shirt Skirt September 28, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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So, John has come down with a nasty case of bacterial strep–as in, by 3:30 today he had a penicillin and a steriod shot right in the derrière.  Though he now has cute Band-aids down there–one on each cheek!–he won’t let me take a picture.  So, unfortunately, you’re stuck with my latest project.

After John and I moved into our new townhouse, we went through our clothes and thinned out the ranks.  John had a lot of oversized t-shirts that we planned on giving to Goodwill…at least, until I found this tutorial about how to make a paneled t-shirt skirt.  So I stole two shirts from the needy and got to work.
Three broken needles, two yards of blue-and-white striped fabric, and one afternoon later, I have my very own restyled skirt:
Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

Please ignore my complete lack of photogeneity.  There’s really no help for it.
Anyway, I basically just took two of John’s nicer t-shirts (yes, I took good t-shirts from the poor, I’m an awful person) and whipped this up.  The blue band on the bottom is courtesy of a long-sleeved number.  Because of how the panels are cut, the skirt ends up being full without being Pentecostal.  You can get a better feel for that here:
I have no idea why my head looks so small.

I have no idea why my head looks so small.

The hardest part about this whole thing was how thick the fabric got when you started to hem it.  I was using light-duty needles, and I definitely broke a few.  Totally worth it, though.  It’s comfy, and absolutely great for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle.  I think this would also be a great project if you had graphic t-shirts you no longer wanted.  I can see the screen prints being adorable.

The $700 Challenge August 17, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, The $700 Challenge.
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My dad recently gave John and I some money to decorate our new place, and after we paid (out the rear) on random but necessary vehicle repairs, the grand total left over is $700. Over the next few months I will SPEND this money and update you all on the progress, especially since I plan to DIY most of the decor. Maybe you’ll be inspired a little as I try and meet LifeList goal #59, i.e. having a neat, well-decorated home.

Problem is, I can’t decide which room I should start with: the master bedroom or the upstairs bathroom. Any opinions?

I’m Lovin’: Subversive Cross Stitch July 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Lovin'.
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For those of you who don’t know, I’m an incredibly crafty person.  That’s not to say that I’m an incredibly talented crafty person, but I’m working on that last bit.  This weekend’s move has got me all fired up to start, like, roughly a million projects, so my scouring of the Internet has produced the perfect thing: Subversive Cross Stitch.

If you’re not familiar with Subversive Cross Stitch, you should head over there right now, because you have absolutely no idea what you’re missing.  Seriously.  I cannot wait to make a few of these for my house (and for friends!).  I love how delightfully easy they are to make, and how each and every one makes you do a double take.  Oh, so that doesn’t say “Home Sweet Home?”  Excellent.

Here are my two favorites:

This is my very favorite.  Maybe I'll make this for Lindsey.

This is my very favorite. Maybe I'll make this for Lindsey.

Ah, I think this adequately expresses my Mexican heritage.  I picture this right above the kitchen sink.

Ah, I think this adequately expresses my Mexican heritage. I picture this right above the kitchen sink.

If you’re feeling particularly subversive, you can check out the SCS flickr group.  Not all of those are as delightfully witty as what is featured on the site (read: naked cross stitched ladies), but others are quite fun.  I’m particularly fond of “You’re a stinky pirate whore.”  Maybe I’ll submit one myself: “Don’t make me hit you with my pimp hand.”

Progress as Promised March 28, 2009

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It’s growing! I’m almost done with my first skein of yarn! One more to go…

Weekend Wrap-Up February 23, 2009

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So soft!

So soft!

One of the international students in my conversation group is having a baby, so I’m making a baby blanket for the new bundle of joy.  It’s slow coming, but I think it’s looking good so far.  

For those of you who are interested, I’m working the whole thing in double-crochet, size E hook.  So far, so good–the ribbing effect it’s creating is quite neat.  This is just a typical sport-weight two-tone baby yarn that I picked up from Walmart.  Actually, I’d shopped around a bit, and it was the softest I could find.  Once it’s done, I plan on edging it in shell.

I’m Lovin’: Vogue Options Pattern February 20, 2009

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Hancock Fabrics was having a sale today, so I decided to stop in on my way home to see what was going on.  While I was there, I began flipping through one of the fabric catalogues and found this.  

I love this pattern, mostly because of the absolute usability of it.  The cut is extremely flattering: the V-neck and shoulder straps create a nice bustline, and the A-line skirt is forgiving.  The wing-like sleeves aren’t my favorite, but I adore the other styles.  I can’t wait to find some gorgeous springtime fabric and whip one up.  

This pattern doesn’t happen to be designer, but Vogue carries tons of original designs by famous fashionistas, like Donna Karan and Michael Kors.