Saturday, February 28, 2015

Finished Object Roll Call: February 2015

Hat-a-Thon 1 of 6 

The UT Hat; Hat-a-thon 2 of 6. 

 Parent Hat: Hat-a-thon 3 of 6

Scrap Hat: Hat-a-thon 4 of 6 

Child hat: Hat-a-thon 5 of 6 

Blue Hat: Hat-a-Thon 6 of 6

Bonus Scrap Hat 

Bonus Scrap Hat, minus braids cause I ran out of yarn. 

Bonus Scrap Hat
I used up so many scraps doing these hats! I'm super glad to be moving yarn out of the yarn box and into finished objects! A lot of them will appear in the Etsy Shop. See end of post for Facebook Giveaway info too!


Precuts Party Quilt Top (not sure if I should count it since
it's not a completely finished quilt yet...) 

Precuts Party Quilt Top #2 
The Pink Quilt: I started working on this several years ago.
Yes, it looks simple. BUT I machine quilted it with my regular
sew at home, not for quilting, machines (got a new one partway through this project). I'm
so happy and relieved to have it done. 

If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!
I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook. Hat #1 and #4 were both giveaway hats. You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

#sewmystash2015 Precuts Party!

The time has come for the second #sewmystash2015 challenge. The Precuts Party! This one made me super excited and I'm really glad that Leasa did this one so early on in the year. I have a couple of pre-cut bundles that I've been meaning to use up.

Like, I actually had planned projects for them when I got them and I just never got around to using them because I have so many other things to do/that I'd rather be doing.

So, officially for this challenge I used a jelly roll and a charm pack. Just one of each. (For a primer on pre-cuts sew4home has a great one.) So I had 20 pieces of fabric to work with, in two basic colors: pink and brown. I decided on a log cabin inspired quilt top.

I had hopes to do two layers of strips around each charm square, but there wasn't enough jelly roll to go around. Sigh. I have a few scraps left over of jelly roll fabric that will go into the scrap pile for a future scrap quilt. 

It's about crib size and I am on the fence currently about finishing it into a complete quilt or just listing it as a top... I also am on the fence with if I should sell it or not. There's a lot of babies coming in my neck of the woods and I need baby shower presents! 

I had so much fun doing the Pre-cuts Party that I decided to continue it. I have another jelly roll, a pin from Pinterest, and a designated sewing room. I am ready to rock and roll! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

What I Learned When I Started Tracking Calories

First off, I know that some of you know me and will go into panic mode. So, go look at this first, then you may continue to read this post:
Things Only Skinny-Fat People Understand

The past few months have been rough. Grad school, marriage, moving, and moving, and all that drama. Not surprisingly, I've been stressed. A sad side effect of stress this time around is that I have gained some weight.  I don't fit into clothes the way I used to, and it's bothering me. For the first time in my life, my weight is a concern for me.

For awhile I've been meaning to get into better shape by exercising more regularly. Because, well, exercising is good for you (so they say). My husband is really into fitness stuff, and that has been influencing me quite a bit. Then with the weight gain, well, I knew I had to boost it up a bit.

I decided to go ahead and try to track calories again. I have an app on my phone (Runkeeper) that recommended a specific calorie tracker called Lose It! (I think the exclamation point is to help you think that it will be fun...) . It asks questions like your gender, height, weight, and goal. Then gives you a recommended daily calorie intake. Since it links up to Runkeeper, it will automatically upload the exercise you do and calculate how many calories you burn.

Here's some things I learned from using a calorie tracker:

- Eating is a habit. You need to try to break the habit/impulse to eat all the time. You don't really need that snack. You don't really need that candybar. Or soda. Leave the food in the kitchen, that way you aren't mindlessly ingesting calories while watching tv each night.

- You know how it's recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Do it. I've heard that sometimes your body gives you hunger signals when it really needs water. So, whenever I thought I might be getting hungry, I drank some water and waited. Use water as a delay tactic to avoid eating when you don't really need to. This strategy got me through most mornings and afternoons without the massive amount of snacks I usually have.
Added bonus on this one, your skin will look better, the sugar withdrawal headaches won't be horrific, and your body will be flushing out more toxins. (You will eventually get used to it and not need to pee every 10 minutes. It takes a couple weeks though.)

-Veggies. I for one enjoy vegetables and fruits. I found out that if I were to eat only broccoli one day, I could eat all that I could possibly hold, and still be under calories for the day. WAAAAAY under. Of the foods I ate over the past few weeks the lowest calorie ones were broccoli, spinach, celery, cantaloupe,  and apples. The fruit generally was higher calorie than the veggies, but both were still low.

-Walk on your lunch break. Walk instead of having a snack break. Find 10 minute online workouts and do them. Track all of the exercise. It will add up.

-It's hard. Really really hard. The first week I ended up under calories. But only because that week included Fast Sunday. Since then I have not been able to end a week under calories, or even 'breaking even' on calories. I never realized how much I eat before. It makes me more intentional about what I am eating, when I am eating it, and that I should be exercising more.

-Still treat yourself. I can't live without chocolate. It's a fact of life. I like chocolate, cookies, cake, and all that. As long as I exercise, and eat really well the whole day, I can eat something I love and it will be okay calorie-wise.

Just a few tips for ya! I still have a lot of room for improvement, and will keep you updated if I learn any more lessons, have any tips, etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Well, there goes one of my goals...

I truly meant to be better at posting here this year. I feel like I did freakin' awesome in January, and then February happened.

We moved, school started getting more involved, and well some things flew out the window.

So here's a quick note for you all, I am working on some things that I hope will actually make it out of my head and onto the blog in the next few weeks and months.

Preview: Precuts Party for the #sewmystash2015 challenge:
 See ya in a few...

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's February

Happy February Everyone!!!

This month I have some great things happening. First off we're moving to a bigger apartment (yay!) which is big enough that I will have my very own office/craft studio! I'm hoping having a designated space, away from the video games on the giant tv, will help me to be more productive in the sewing arena. Not to mention the fact that this new apartment is quite a bit cheaper than our current apartment. It's going to help a lot when it comes to paying off our debt and actually being able to maintain some savings (right now every time I get some savings under my belt, some disaster happens that needs to be paid for. Like school.)

Secondly, I am participating in the February Hat-a-Thon in the Stash Knit Down group over on Ravlery. Since I am a grad student, and working two jobs, I decided to participate in a team, so I only have to make a couple of hats instead of the full (26 hats) or half (13 hats) marathon. Maybe next year....

Finally, The Yarn Haven retreat! I was able to go last year on a scholarship, and this year we saved up some $$ and it's counting as my Christmas/Birthday present. I'm super excited to spend a weekend hanging out with the lovely ladies that I've gotten to know and love over the past year and a half on Thursdays at Knit Night. Hijinks and knitting will occur.

Of course, I can't forget that February is the MOST IMPORTANT month because the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON was born on February 28.... my Beautiful Mother!

Anyone got some great plans for February up their sleeves?