Friday, April 29, 2016

Revitalizing My Drive For Dropping Size

The only soldier I like
I was watching Captain America, yet again, last night when I told myself "That's what I want to look like".  Not Captain America, but a superhero.  I've always thought that, but sometimes you just need to hear yourself say it again.  I would love to be in such good shape that I could join the Avengers or SHIELD or something.

I've had some allergy attacks lately - thank you spring!  It's going away and the zyrtec is really starting to kick some butt.  When it comes to allergy season, it really makes it hard to run because it is hard to breathe.

I need to run, even though I despise it.  I also need to come up with something to make me burn this fat faster!

When I get home, I'm like a lump - I won't deny it.  I will sew, write, cook, clean, and do stuff around the house, but exercise is not something I do at my house.  I prefer to go somewhere - to the gym, to a class, etc.  As a home-body, I find too many distractions and things to do at my house.  I might have to switch that up though.  Maybe pound the ol' punching bag, jump rope, etc.


I got my vintage 1940s dressing gown in today!  Unfortunately, I can only get up-to-my-elbow in the 3/4 sleeves.  Do I alter it or do I resell it?  I might resell it.  If you read my Sew-Time Wednesday, you'll know that I have issues with sleeves.  They looked loose and roomy in the photos.   *sigh*  I'll edit this post after work and put in a picture or two.

On the plus side, I was able to pick up my new prescriptions today!  Glasses and sunglasses.  I picked them up at Image Optical.  They liked the cat-eyes on me so much, they snapped some photos for their facebook page!
OGI sparkly glasses
Ray-Ban Clubmasters

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sew-Time Wednesday: Sleeves for Larger Arms!

From 'Monkeybone'
I have large upper arms.  I'm not ashamed of them, but it is hard to find stuff that will fit around them that isn't a knit fabric or something stretchy.  This is a battle I've been dealing with since I hit puberty.  I was terrified of having "arm wings", so I have always worked on my arms but I still have flab.  How do you get rid of that arm flab?  I NEED to know!

People who have these issues?  People with muscular arms and people with fatty arms (or a combination of both).

Anyway, back to sewing....

When I want to make something that involves sleeves and I'm using a non-stretchy fabric, I always measure the sleeve pattern.  I tend to measure from about 1" down from the armpit section of the sleeve.  The last pattern I used had sleeves 14" across.  My arms are roughly 14" around.  In order to make the sleeves comfortable for putting on and taking off, I tend to add on 1" to both sides of the pattern.  This should allow for the pattern to fit and for the seam (I tend to keep mine narrow).

Measure the pattern

Make extensions based on your arm size.

Measuring "We Can Do It" style

If you are sewing long sleeves, make sure you measure your arm "We Can Do It" style.  You want to know your maximum arm flex circumference.  You don't want the shirt to only fit your arms when they're at your sides because we all have to reach for something at some point, even if it's just for the coffee creamer or something silly.

When it comes to long sleeves, there are 3 important areas that you want to measure: the arm pit (about 1" lower than arm pit), the bicep (make sure you flex those muscles), and the widest part of your lower arm (some folks have Popeye arms).

When you alter the pattern, you will want to use the widest point.  Use a yard stick or something long and straight to create a straight line from the armpit corner of the pattern to that wide point to the bottom of the sleeve.

You will have to pleat a section of the sleeve at the cuff, but the sleeve will now fit your arm.  Don't think of the pleat as an issue.  Will anyone know that it's not originally that way in the pattern?  No.  If it's there on both sides, in the same spot, it will look like it is supposed to be there.

When doing this, I suggest using newspaper to make your extension pieces.  Just tape your pattern to newspaper, measure, and cut out the newspaper.  It's cheap and lightweight, so it will fold up nicely and fit into your pattern envelope.

I hope this has been helpful - despite the awful, quick drawings I did while at work.  They should get the point across.

If you have a sewing issue, please let me know.  I can help you out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pin-Up Pageant

Femme Fatales at a Pin-Up Contest!
My friend, Wendy, wanted to put together a pin-up pageant and I jumped on board to help her out.  I thought to myself "It shouldn't be hard to put together a Pin-Up Pageant".  I'm surprised at all the things that have come up regarding the pageant.

For our pin up pageant we are planning on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, but everyone get a goody bag for participating.  Our original hope was to have at least 5 people signed up to participate.  We contacted various car show groups and finally got the approval from the North Pole Lions Club to hold the pageant during their car show, Cruis'n With Santa, on May 21st.

In the Fairbanks/North Pole area, pin-up/rockabilly/vintage style is not common.  There are a few of us around here and that's about it.  When we first started talking to people about this, including the Lions Club, we had to tell them what the style entailed.

The common misconceptions are the following:

Strippers, burlesque performers, costumes, and bikini competitors.  We are not strippers, this isn't a burlesque performance, these are not costumes (we don't promote "costumes"), and we don't have a bikini or swimsuit category.  Even if we did have a swimsuit competition, it would be more Esther Williams-inspired.

We had a lot of explaining to do and we're STILL explaining!  If you are planning on hosting a pageant in your area, be prepared for this!  We had to explain that this is 'family friendly'.

Of course, we had to discuss what we wanted to happen on stage with the girls.  We decided on two outfits, we will have an on-stage Q&A with the girls, there will be some time inbetween outfits for photo ops with the cars, etc.

Another big thing was to determine what people would be getting and winning.  This means: sponsorship!  I feel like I'm terrible when it comes to sponsorship stuff, but I think it's just me not having done it very much.  We decided to have monetary sponsors and goods/services sponsors.  It's working out pretty well.  We devised a sponsorship letter and form that covers everything.   I would tell you our current sponsors, but we're keeping it hush hush for right now.  I will tell you that we're offering the sponsors logo space on banners and an 8x10 photo of the winner.

Along the way, Wendy and I have two others helping us out - Deanna and Tori.  They're busy beauties, but if we need a little help they are on-board!  I want to give them a shout out because they are giving us their time.

Prizes.  Prizes are a big thing right?  The goody bags, everyone gets.  The first place winner will, obviously, get some really cool stuff; the second and third place winners will also get some cool stuff, but not as cool as the first place winner.   That's just the way things are.  Are we only relying on sponsors for this?  No.  I went out and ordered some stuff for the goody bags, as well as for the top three bags.  Sometimes you have to spend a little money, not expect it back, to make something just that much better.

For the pageant, we've been using facebook.  We have the 2016 Pin-Up Pageant group set up - groups (as opposed to pages) allow everyone to have discussions.  We also have general information up on the group, as well as albums displaying visual help (photos).  We have our flyers posted, events (meetings and the pageant), and various discussions that include tutorials for appropriate hair and stuff.  It seems to be going pretty well.  If people have questions we try to answer them, but encourage everyone to attend one of the meetings - where they can sign up.

Along with facebook, we've been using reddit and craigslist to spread the word.  We are planning on utilizing our news and radio connections to help spread the word after our first meeting next Saturday, May 7th.

OMG!  That's so soon!    GAH!  We need to contact our potential sponsors!  *stress level rising*  I want to say 'thank you' to google drive.  We've been able to share information between our little rag-tag group of 4 so easily.

I will have to update again.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Feast!

8:30am    As I mentioned yesterday, I am making a Sunday feast. I have about 12 things I'm making today.  It's going to be fantastic!  While I am not going to be eating the grains, potatoes, or corn dishes, I will still be enjoying the rest of the stuff.  I'm finishing up some coffee right now, then I'll head to the store.  I forgot to get display cups for some of my dishes.

9:00am   While I was at the store, I decided that maybe I should make all 3 types of cake that I cover in the cookbook.  That would leave me finished with the dessert section.  Hmm...I should invite my sister, nephew, and my sister's bf over for dinner.  I'm going to get some stuff started this morning, but not until I finish this Bolthouse Farms Multi-V Goodness (cherry) drink.

12:26pm    UGH   So many dishes! Desserts are about done.  I'll pass on making the pie until another day.  I got my sauces done.  Corn is prepared.  The rest can be done closer to dinner.  I feel productive!  It's been non-stop work and I'm ready for a small break.

12:47pm   Just realized I took photos of stuff with the wrong background.  ARGH!  I can re-shoot it later.  Those cake slices aren't going anywhere.

1:00pm   I put away some of my dishes and I'm thinking about eating something for lunch and prepping for dinner.  If you think that being a writer (even for a cookbook) is the easy life, it isn't.  At this point, I have two books out and a few in the works.  One of my pet peeves is being told that being a writer isn't real work and/or getting a chuckle from someone when I tell them that I work 7 days a week as a writer.  Don't laugh at me jackass!  I'm getting work done!

Maybe I should do a "Sunday Supper" (food) post from now on.  What do my readers think?  I cook all the time.  If you like the idea, let me know.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gardening and Stuff

Today was a pretty good day!  I think I looked pretty fabulous in black and yellow.  I can't tell you how much I love these black linen trousers.  I wear them all the time.  They're made from Folkwear #240 Rosie the Riveter pattern.  I have found out that linen is a real bitch to sew.  I've had to do a lot of patchwork on these pants.

The top is just a plain cotton yellow with a light grey chevron pattern.  The sewing pattern is Simplicity 1779. 

I ended up helping my mom out with some shopping, spending a few hours in the greenhouse and also getting some planters set up, and my mom was nice enough to trim my bangs (untrimmed in the picture to the right).

I picked up some new patterns the other day - because I'm totally a sewing addict - and I plan on making a 50s play-set in a tropical print.  This is a challenge because I don't wear shorts well.  I have the chub rub going on and the fabric pulls up.  ARGH!  Just thinking about it makes me nervous.  Good thing my mom has a killer dress form that has adjustable padding.
I told her "rounded bangs like a smile".

Tomorrow night I'm going to push pretty far ahead for my cookbook.  We will be having a feast!  Lots of fish dishes, potatoes, corn, grain, and some various sauces (applesauce type sauces).  I can't believe I'm almost done with this book.  It's been quite the challenge since I'm making everything for the sake of pictures.

I'm excited about my Sew-Time Wednesday post for this next week.  I think it's going to be real useful to the girls with big arms.  If you missed this last Wednesday, Sew-Time Wednesday is a new thing I decided to do.  I can answer sewing questions, do demos, make pattern recommendations, etc.  PLEASE leave me questions and stuff!  I've been sewing since I was about 5 or 6...geez, that's like 27 or 28 years now.  I never actually thought of it until now.

I managed to drop 20 pounds and I did as I promised myself; I bought a few things.  My immediate purchase was Escada perfume.  I don't normally buy perfume...actually I think this was my first time buy perfume!  If I had perfume before it was always given to me by my mom.  I also went to ModCloth and bought a pair of pants and 40s-style wedge sandals.  I also got a little carried away and ordered a vintage 1940s dressing robe in bright pink.   If it matters, I really didn't buy anything this last month except for groceries and gas for my truck.  I think it's okay to splurge every so often and HEY, I think I earned a little splurge!   I'll allow myself to splurge again after I drop another 20 pounds!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

April 22 is Earth Day in the USA.

It's wonderful that it is on a Friday!  This evening the majority of us can get out, enjoy nature, and do our part to maintain our little slice of life.

Why not have a quick Earth Day party with some friends tonight?  If I was able to swing it with people, I would have Cocktails n' Gardening.  We could do a little gardening and have some cocktails....or talk about gardening, have some cocktails, and sit around chit-chatting (more realistically).

Since I'm not having a party tonight, I will probably end up helping my parents get a load of compost from the city, and we will shovel that into the dog yard to help level it out and to spruce up the grass.   Maybe I'll pick up some wine or something and have my own Earth Day celebration.

Where I live, we have a separate Clean-Up Day.  As you can see by the poster, this year it's on May 7th.  People spend the day picking up trash and litter from along the roads and around homes and businesses.  If you live in a place that spends part of the year with a blanket of snow, you know how much garbage and stuff can be left over when it all melts.  Alaskans - at least in Fairbanks - are usually pretty conscious about this and we prefer to keep our city clean.

What are your plans for Earth Day?

Just for grins I scoured pinterest for an Earth Day drink and this is the greatest thing I found.  Earth Day Smoothies.

Here is the link to these healthy, delicious smoothies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pin Up Contest

I'm trying to decide if I should order myself a new dress for the Pin Up Contest.  I'm not competing, but I'll be there as a host and coordinator.   It would be kind of nice to get something new, but I want to drop another 20 pounds - not something I'm sure I can do in a month.  I already have some dresses that could work.

The last week and a half I've been battling pollen.  I didn't make it to the gym today because my sinuses felt like the Sahara and my face feels puffy.  I feel antsy and cooped up, so I want to go to the gym.  I just can't breathe so well.  It's not a sinus infection, it's a sinus swelling issue.  I'm actually really looking forward to being able to get out, when it's a little warmer, to go kayaking.  I just wish that the Tanana Lakes Rec Area allowed dogs.  I'd like to get out and take Lono with me.

Are any of my readers kayakers or anything?  I'm just a recreational kayaker.  Paddle around the lake for an hour or so, pack up, go home.  That sort of thing.

Sew-Time Wednesday
I'm going to try out a new piece for Wednesdays - Sew-Time Wednesday.  This is where I'll spend some time talking about patterns or sewing, etc.  Today's theme is the tropical/tiki outfit.  I don't want to talk about fabric patterns since it varies so much from location to location regarding what is available.  Instead I want to show you some of my favorite patterns for making those tropical/tiki outfits.

I thought I'd give a shout out to a wonderful new pattern that is out for Spring/Summer.  Butterick B6354
It's a top, skirt, short, and bolero pattern!  How cute is this?!  I haven't picked this up yet, but it is certainly on my list of patterns to get.

Vogue V1498 looks a little boring in grey, but this could be very swanky in a leafy flamingo print or hawaiian print!

Perhaps all you need is the right shirt to get you going!  Butterick B6217 is one of my go-to shirt patterns.  I have a few in C-design and a blue anchor print in A-design.

I don't want to leave men out.  Vogue V8800 is the classic aloha shirt! 

Take advantage of some of those men's patterns like this one for shorts!  Burda #6815

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Writing Update

I thought it would be good to post an update on all my writing projects.

My cookbook is over halfway done.  I've mentioned it before - every recipe will have a correlating picture.  Writing down recipes is easy.  It's the process of making the food that takes a long time.  I'm having fun with it, so it's all good.  I hope everyone is excited about it.  It's vintage-inspired cooking for daily modern life.  I'm actually starting to plan a second cookbook.

The APN Quarterly, my quarterly paranormal/true crime/strange science/etc publication, is almost finished for the June issue.  It has to be published in pages of 4, so right now it's at 8 pages.  If I suddenly had an influx of submissions, I would have to fill up another 4 pages (12 total) for it to be published.  I haven't had many submissions and I don't know why.  I've used facebook and craigslist (all over the state).  I don't know what to do to get people submitting stuff.

My MG (middle-grade) fantasy novel is slowly coming along.  I'll admit that working on the pin-up pageant is side-tracking me a little.  I'll get it finished soon.  I need some art done for it.  Do I have artists who read this blog?  $500 for a cover and three b&w drawings for the book.  If you want to make some money, send me an EMAIL.  Tell me about yourself a little bit and send me a link to an online portfolio.  I probably won't make any decisions until June (after the pin-up pageant).  I still don't have a title for this book.

I also have a sssslllllllooooowww project that I'm working on called Baychimo.  I wrote it initially as a screenplay, but I decided to turn it into a novel.  It's not an easy process.  It's a drama/mystery/sci-fi.

Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 Pin-up Pageant in North Pole, AK

I'd like to announce that I have been working with a few friends to put together a local Pin-Up Pageant.  It's so exciting!  We've teamed up with the local Lions Club of North Pole.  Every year they have their Cruis'n With Santa Car Show and now they're  going to have a Pin-Up Pageant during the Car Show.

Click to enlarge
The facebook page:

I can also be contacted for more information.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Finds

Have I found some cool things for Friday Finds?   Why yes, yes I have.

Inside Camp X by Lynn-Philip Hodgson
This book can be found on Amazon.  It's all about the WWII spy training camp in Canada - which the Canadians, British, and Americans used.  If you are really into spy stuff, check this out!!!

Pretty Love Birds Brooch   $26.00
Whatanovelidea, on Etsy, sells a bunch of cool pieces like this one.  I highly recommend checking out what their listings!  This could really spice up your office wear.

Hana Skirt by Red Dress Shoppe, $45
The Red Dress Shoppe always has great deals on cute reproduction clothing.  I have a few items from the store that I wear at work all the time.  With summer coming up, this skirt would be a humdinger with white sandals.

Hollywood Jacket by Lansky Bros, $395
I don't post a lot of stuff for guys, but this one needs to be put out there.  Elvis did most of his clothes shopping at Lanksy Bros.  Now they have a whole Elvis section.

Long Sleeve 1947 Dress by J.Peterman Company, $159.00
If you're wondering where you might have heard of the J.Peterman Company, think "Seinfeld".  Elaine worked as a copywriter for the company.  My mom gets the catalog and they always have some cool retro things.  Not just for women.

Vintage Football Coach Sweater, 1950s by J.Peterman Company, $129
The J.Peterman Company also has plenty of men's wear.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Those Matchbooks!

Remember that post from a few days ago about the matchbooks?  I've been asking around to see if there are any places out there that still does this.  Most places say no, but Atlas Match said YES!  They only print with one color and they do it for large quantities.  The facebook message they sent also mentions that it's expensive, but I wasn't given a price.  Atlas Match website

As with anything, the more this becomes popular again, the more it will get done and typically the price goes down.  This could be fabulous for business!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Excited Over Breakfast

How did I spend my night?  Excited over breakfast...or the fact that I'm finished with all of my breakfast items for my cookbook.  It's strange to realize that you're being picky about how your photo of oatmeal turned out.  I have to admit that I was disappointed about the raisins on the bowl of oatmeal *face palm* that sounds so dumb!

It is a bowl of oatmeal.  The raisins are a little too sugar-covered.
As you know, I tend to eat paleo.  My mom actually ate that bowl of oatmeal for me.  Good thing my parents are my neighbors.  I had the beans on toast and breakfast cookie.

I'm almost done with soups and desserts.  It's not hard to make all this food.  The issue is eating it all.  LOL

Monday, April 4, 2016

OMG! Vintage Matchbooks!

I recently came across one of the BEST vintage marketing products EVER!   I don't think you can find anyone who does this today, but it used to be popular to have printed matches in matchbooks.  I have these pinned on pinterest, so if you follow me you have probably noticed the pins.

Tell me what you think!