Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oregon is for Lovers!

I completely forgot about my favorite thing about Valentine's Day until this morning when my cousin posted about it on Facebook.

Valentine's Day is Oregon's birthday!

So I guess I should like Valentine's Day a lot more, because I absolutely LOVE Oregon! And what's not to love, am I right? Rain, you say. Ah, but did you know that roughly two-thirds of Oregon is high desert? There's something for everyone in Oregon. I happen to live on what I consider to be the transition zone between raininess and desert. It's perfect, if you ask me! Right now I'm looking at sunshine and mountains, can't get much better than that!

For your Oregon's Day pleasure, here are some fun facts about the Beaver State:

1) Oregon is the only state with a double-sided flag. We have a beaver on one side and the state seal on the other.

2) Heceta Head lighthouse near Florence is the most photographed lighthouse in the nation.

3) Our state nut is the hazelnut. Oregon is the only state with a state nut. Explains a lot, right? Incidentally, a lot of state nuts are grown near Corvallis.

4) The Oregon Caves are naturally carved within solid marble.

5) Haystack Rock in Canon Beach is the world's third largest coastal monolith. Who knew?

6) Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states where you can't pump your own gas. Because of this, I did not learn to pump my own gas until last year. Now I feel lazy when I go to the gas station.

7) The world's tallest barber pole is in Forest Grove (for all you Pacific alums out there!)

8) Oregon is home to the world's shortest river, D River, 121 feet long.

9) Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state. Yay?

10) Odd Oregon laws: in Myrtle Creek, it is illegal to box a kangaroo; in Portland, you cannot whistle underwater; it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana in Oregon, but you are permitted to smoke it in your own home; in Oregon, it is illegal to use canned corn as fish bait.

11) Oregon is the most romantic place in the world (What? It's a fact! Our birthday is flipping Valentine's Day!)

Happy 154th Birthday, Sweet Oregon!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last Minute V-Day Decorating?

If Valentine's Day and I were a couple, we would be completely dysfunctional.

I don't know why, but I've just never really connected with Hearts Day. It was all fun in elementary school. Candy, games, an afternoon off from lessons, what's not to love? But somewhere around high school, things just soured. When my husband and I got engaged, we just had this kind of unspoken agreement that Valentine's Day would go largely uncelebrated for us. We would do little gifts, maybe go on a date, but for the most part, I just feel very "meh" about it. I am really lucky in that I married a guy who feels "meh" about it too.

But this year, something's different. Maybe it's because we have little kids now, and everything is more fun with little kids (in my opinion. OK maybe not everything...fine dining comes to mind...) I'm actually kind of excited for Valentine's Day! And since we had a pathetic amount of decorations, I decided to whip some up. I ended up making three garlands, a sign, and Hound Dog and I made borax hearts. I love Pinterest.

I think my favorite garland is the shabby chic bunting. I began by rifling though my scrap bags and came up with some white lace trim, some off-white lace trim, pink lace, and white tulle.

I cut each piece of fabric into several small strips, about 6 inches for the laces and a little longer for the tulle because I wanted to double it up since tulle is so wispy. I think I ended up with about 8 strips of each fabric.

I found some hemp twine I had lying around. Yes, I am doing this project on the back of the couch as it is longer and taller than the table and Bubba is getting very good at standing and grabbing stuff.

Someone got into my scrap bag when I wasn't looking!

All that's left to do now is tie the fabric strips onto the twine. For the laces I just tied an overhand knot around the twine as close to the end of the strip as I could. The tulle I doubled up and tied in a lark's head knot around the twine. I didn't worry too much about even spacing, since it was shabby chic and all. And the fabric will still slide along the twine once you tie it, so you can adjust if something looks off.

I decided this would look good on our mantle, and I dug out some other Valentine's decor to go with.


Notice that little box in front of the sign I made? That's the first Valentine's present Dave ever made for me. It's like a little movie that says "I love you" when you turn the crank. Awwww...

And just so you aren't dying of suspense, here's a look at the other two garlands hanging in the window. The top one is just some hearts that I cut out of felt and then sewed in a long line. The second one consists of two hankies (I love vintage hankies. It's kind of an addiction), a doily, some more lace trim, and some ribbon. I took clothes pins and clipped everything together. Bam, done.

Hound Dog and I made the borax hearts from a tutorial that I found here. They turned out so pretty! Science at its best.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Valentine's Day! Don't be "meh" like me. Although, this year could mark the end of my V-day doldrums.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Remnant Infinity Scarf

Let me just start by saying this is my very first craft tutorial, so it's a big moment for me.
*Deep breath*

So today, my kitchen was a disaster and there were toys everywhere. You know, the usual. So what did I decide to do about it? Why, ignore it of course and make a scarf!


I'm just gonna preface this whole thing by saying that I am no seamstress. I don't know much about sewing, I don't know much about fabric, I just pretty much know how to fake it and some tips my mom has given me that I managed to remember. Like, I don't even know what kind of fabric this is. It's a light, crepe-y, billowy type of fabric. I know, impressive, right?

I found this fabric on my last trip to Joann's. If you've never perused the remnant bin at a fabric store, then you need to start doing so. You never know what good stuff is going to pop up in there! Take, for example, this little find. I forget now what I paid for it, but the remnants were on clearance, so I think it ended up being a dollar give or take a few pennies for about 2/3 of a yard. Not too shabby. Then I sat around and stared at it for a while thinking, "What am I going to do with this?" Then it came to me: infinity scarf! I'm an accessories type of girl, but having a grabby baby makes it pretty much impossible to wear jewelry (or even glasses, yikes!). But Bubba can yank on this thing all he wants, and I don't feel so under dressed (like when I go to Wal-Mart. I hate being under dressed at Wal-Mart.)

First up, I laid the fabric out flat. Here it is in all it's glory:

I love the color and the stripes. Makes me think of the ocean.

Then I folded it in half and cut it, trimming off some extra so the two halves would be more or less congruent.

Depending on the fabric you're using, you might be able to skip this next step. This fabric frayed like crazy with tiny, maddening, spider web-type threads. Out came the Fray Check!

Once that's dry, it's time to get pinning! Pretty easy (like everything I sew), just overlap the short ends about 1/2 inch and pin, pin, pin! (My mother taught me you can never pin too much. Go ahead, go nuts with it.) Then thread up that sewing machine and get to it! I used a zig-zag stitch to make the seam more secure and more attractive.

Once that's done, just pin the other two short ends together and sew just like you did before. If I really wanted to, I could have finished the raw edges and whatnot, but like I said, my sewing skills are very basic. Also, I didn't have much time to do this project. Bubba takes short naps. It's great. Also, I'm a little bit lazy. But raw edges are trendy, right?

...And the other side. Feels like we've been here before, huh?
And that's it! Start to finish, with Bubba waking up halfway through, it probably took me an hour. For someone who is actually good at sewing, it would probably take half that time. The finished product is really long when it's all unwound, but I'm a big scarf kind of girl. We like our scarves in Oregon. Plus the fabric was so light I wanted to be able to really pile it up for some volume.

It's as tall as the fireplace, yay big scarves!

Naturally I had to model it.

I love how it turned out! And yes, I wore it to Wal-Mart. I felt pretty fancy.
Let me know what you think, or if you made one too!