Monday, July 25, 2016

What I'm Binging On Netflix: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Last weekend, I had quite a bit of time to myself while my family was away on college visits. Instead of resuming one of my normal shows that I've been watching for a while, I decided that it was time to start something new. The thumbnail image was a pop of color so it really stood out amongst the other TV shows, and in terms of content, it really sets itself aside from other shows I've watched in the past.

The show stars comedienne Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, a big-time lawyer in New York City who decides to move cross-country to a tiny LA suburb in pursuit of a guy she dated for two months at summer camp when she was 16. The more you watch the show, the more it makes you question if she's actually the crazy one in comparison to all the people she meets. (Spoiler alert: She's definitely crazy.)

I think the absolute best thing about this show is the musical numbers. They do about 2 musical numbers per episode spanning across every genre you could ever think of and they're hilarious. I've embedded the YouTube video of one of my favorite songs from the show below.

The episodes were about 45 minutes a piece on Netflix and there were 18 episodes in the first season. I was able to watch all the episodes in a two day span with some dedication. The second season is set to come out this Fall and I'm super excited to watch it!

Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY Try: Geometric Animal Embroidery

I've really been a big fan of the resurgence of embroidery, especially as wall art. My roommates and I decided that we're going to do a gallery wall for our dorm room next year, so I'm in need of decorative things for that. The perfect solution to help fill our gallery wall and keep me occupied as I waste away the long days of summer was to start an embroidery project.

I had only done one embroidery project prior to this and it was fairly simple, so this project is definitely an elementary level one. Basically I used straight stitches in varying lengths to create the entire project. One of the best things about embroidery is that all the materials are pretty cheap and that's helpful on my extremely limited budget.

This craft was inspired by an Etsy item I saw on Pinterest. The original was from the Etsy shop Hide The Good Scissors and the item was titled "Doe A Dear Embroidery" but was already sold. Below I've included the photo from the Etsy listing that I was inspired to create my own project from.

Materials I Used:

  • Embroidery Scissors
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Beading Needle
  • Pencil For Marking
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Cloth
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • 6-8 Skeins of Thread in One Color Scheme
  • 6-8 Skeins of Thread in Contrasting Color Scheme
  • Seed Beads That Match The First Color Scheme
  • 1 Skein of Thread Matching the Beads
So I began by picking the silhouette I wanted to use. For those of you who know me, I'm a bit of a dachshund fanatic. I free-handed this silhouette onto the cloth with a pencil which I had already stretched into my embroidery hoop.
Next, I used my pencil to divide the silhouette into roughly the same size triangles. I used my cool colored embroidery floss to fill in the triangles with a straight stitch. Some of the triangles weren't complete because they got cut off by the edge of the silhouette, these triangles will later be completed with my contrast colors. Draw lightly with the pencil when marking off your triangles so that once the project is complete, you won't be able to see the pencil markings in between the triangles.

When I did this, I gradually drew in the triangles as I went, but to get a more even look, I suggest dividing your fabric into triangles once you get it stretched into the embroidery hoop. You want to keep making sure that the fabric is tight in the embroidery hoop. I had issues with the fabric beginning to sag slightly in the middle of the hoop because of all the pressure I was putting on it with drawing and then sewing. For filling in the triangles, I am using 3 stands of the floss instead of the total 6 strands that it comes in.

It took me a good hour and a half to finish the filled in silhouette because I kept stopping to take photos. The second one of these I made went a lot quicker because I had gotten the hang of it. I also kept stopping to make sure that the colors weren't touching triangles of their same shade; the more assorted skeins of thread you have to fill in the silhouette, the less you have to worry about the colors being too close to other triangles of the same color.

This is when it gets to the point where the Etsy embroidery hoops were at. Since I was going for something a little more bold, I decided to create a background in a contrasting color scheme. At this point, I begin to draw triangles surrounding the now completed dachshund. The triangles that got cut off by the silhouette are now sketched in fully so that they can be completed by the contrast colors.

I lightly used my pencil to draw a circle around the edge of the hoop so I could visualize where the design would stop. Since the inner part of the hoop prevents you from stitching all the way to the edge without moving the fabric, there will be about half a centimeter of white fabric around the edge in the final project. 

You can see in this close up that it's pretty hard to distinguish where my dachshund ends and the background begins, I'll clear that up in a little bit.

This is once all the embroidery is done. I really like the colors I chose for this but if I did it again, I would make slight variations to my color schemes so that the colors were more similar within either scheme.

Using these green seed beads in varying sizes and shades of green, I thread my beading needle with one strand of the matching embroidery floss. Threading the beading needles may have been the biggest challenge I faced with this project; I needed to borrow my mom's reading glasses to get the thread through the eye of the needle...

I bead along the outline of my dachshund silhouette. Even after a couple of beads, it becomes more noticeable what the silhouette is supposed to be. I really liked this because not only does it add another texture to the project, but it also helps differentiate the dachshund from its background.

Here's the finished dachshund with the beaded outline. For the tail, which was too thin to bead both sides of without looking weird, I only beaded along the outside of it of it.

To finish up my edges, I take a hot glue gun and glue the left over fabric to the inside of the hoop. Dots of hot glue are also useful to lock in knots on the back that may have come loose as the project progressed.

Here it is, ready to hang! I'm still deciding what the best way to hang them is. They could be hung by a nail at the top of the hoop right under the screw for tension or I might attach some kind of surface to the back so that a command strip will hang them. (I am in a dorm room after all...)

I started making another one soon after and intend to make a few more because they're just so darn cute! Pictures of my future embroidery projects are soon to come. Hope you guys enjoyed this, I definitely had a fun time making it. Any questions can be asked in the comments below and I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I'm A Little Obsessed With My New Armadillo Lamp

(Spoiler Alert: This is a no-so-exciting post about a lamp, the photos of it are kinda cute though.)

So, my sister and I were at Target this evening and I stumbled across what I deem the world's greatest lamp. I've been needing a lamp for my dresser since there really isn't much light in my room to begin with. I also wanted a lamp to take back to college with me and since my accent colors for my dorm stuff are gold and white, this will look adorable with my decor.

I haven't had time to take photos of the lamp that I bought, but the ones off the Target website do it more justice than any photo I take could. (Photo credits to the always lovely Target.) The lamp is called the "Armadillo Accent Lamp" and is being sold for $29.99. The online reviews are all positive and so far, I love it to death. It's a wonderfully quirky accent piece that isn't too overwhelming and looks really expensive in person.

I would definitely recommend this lamp to anyone looking for something to liven up an ordinary space. Be warned, the gold spots definitely stand out more in person than they do in the photos from the Target website.

I can't wait to get this little guy set up with a light bulb so the room looks a bit brighter. I didn't think I would ever be as obsessed with armadillos (or a lamp for that matter) until I found this one. If armadillos aren't quite your style, they had some llamas and unicorns when I was at the store as well.