Sunday, November 13, 2011

Okay so, it kinda goes without saying that this has been a real busy month.  I'll just cut to the chase, skip the filler and end the suspense about these wedding projects:

Pre-Rosette Clutches

These are the wedding clutches, pre-rosettes.  The boyfriend ended up winding the rosettes for me and helping me tack them on the plain ones.  The pleated one was for the Bride, and it got an antique brooch instead. I took the purple one since it matched my shoes the best.

The frames are 7" long with a 3" depth.  The clutches are made of satin, all lined with the same champagne color with two layers of medium-weight sew-in interfacing to keep the shape.

Rehearsal Dinner Bouquet

And here is the finished rehearsal bouquet.  The ribbons in the wrapping slipped a lot, so I wish I'd tacked them down a little better.  I was also worried about crushing while traveling, but again my boyfriend saved the day with his packing method.  I was worried for nothing - this was the star of the show at the rehearsal!

For the bouquet, I made 9 paper roses out of the wrapping paper from the gifts given to the bride at her wedding shower.  I inserted the wire stems into a foam core.  I took several of the bows from the gifts and mounted them on wires to serve as flowers on their own.  I then took curled ribbon and glued it to the top of the core to give the bouquet an even fuller look.  I wrapped the foam in grey satin ribbon, then in a sheer lavender ribbon and finally tied the bow in sheer magenta.  All materials with the exception of the foam mount and floral wire came directly from the gift wrappings from the shower.

My next and final wedding project is the actual wedding gift: a Christmas tree skirt.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quitting Shampoo

On Sunday evening this week, I was browsing over my Pinterest homepage, and it led me through a couple blogs, where I ended up finding information on how to go shampoo-free.  Yes, that's right. No shampoo, no conditioner.  Yes, I still wash my hair. No, it doesn't smell.

Today is Day 3 of no shampoo.  On day 1, I didn't use the vinegar rinse. My hair felt clean, but a bit heavy, kinda oily (although it didn't look oily at all), and a lot stiff.  Yesterday, Day 2, I used the vinegar rinse, but I didn't leave it in long enough.  My hair felt a bit less heavy, but still pretty stiff.  Today I used a little more of the rinse and scrubbed a little harder. Hair's not dry yet, but the ends feel softer and it feels a bit cleaner.

So how does this work?  I found the bulk of my information here and here. Basically, you wash with a mix of baking soda and water, and "condition" with diluted apple cider vinegar.  There is a transition period to this method, and some people swear by just weaning off the shampoo slowly - but I never claimed to be patient.

So, Day 3 awaits.  Another update in a few days, but I'm optimistic. I might go pick up some essential oil to add to the vinegar mixture to mask the smell. It doesn't stick around once the hair is dry, but it's there.

Next week, I'll be testing out nixing my trusty Secret in favor of plain rubbing alcohol. A girl can only take so much change in a week, but it feels good to be getting rid of some of these chemicals from my daily routine.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where'd September go?

Did I ever mention how September looked like it was going to be a crazy busy month?  Well, September is shaping up to be a crazy busy month, indeed.

First things first, now that I know my recipient has received the package, I can post some photos of the project I did for the swap:



And before the eyeroll about taking photos against barn wood - that's the side of the building outside my apartment. It's wood, and so is the deck, so it's either barnwood, or asphalt.  Or grass, I suppose...

I've finished the bulk of the paper flowers for J's rehearsal dinner bouquet:

Wrapping Paper Roses

Side views

Silver Rose

Brown Floral Rose

As you can see, they're not exactly the traditional wadded up clumps of tissue paper poked through a paper plate, but they were made from wrapping papers from her shower.  I've got plans for these flowers and the leftover ribbons I've been hoarding.

Other than that, not a ton going on over here in Zazz's Craft Factory.  My brother is up visiting from Kansas City, J just visited this week, and my Aunt us up visiting with my adorable new baby cousin; then there's all the fall things to do, like apple picking and pumpkin carving and the Big E, of course!  I'll be diving back in with the clutches just as soon as things calm down a little bit.

And to cap off the post, I'll leave you with photographic evidence that my cat, Zazz, does approve of both my crafting, and my stealing his name for my blog about crafting:


He looks just so sad that he can't play with the gluegun, too...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Operation: Glitter Shoes

So, I think I've mentioned previously that for the wedding coming up in October, I've been asked to wear shoes that glitter.  It's a fun idea, but if you want something other than silver or gold, your options become limited very quickly.  Even more true if you decide you don't want 5 inch heels or flats.

Glitter shoes!
I figured to myself that it couldn't be very hard to apply some glue and shake some glitter on a pair of heels that I don't wear often.  I always thought they were cute, but the shade of the brown made it them hard to match if you're OCD about that kind of thing like I am.

Front view
All in all, I would say this went pretty smoothly. I'm a little concerned that some of the glitter is not very secure...

Texture shot

...but I do like the texture that using the tinsel glitter gave.  I guess I might dab on a coat of Mod Podge and glitter again just to be sure.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Between work and running random errands (and, you know, shopping), I've managed to fit a few things in the past week or so.

First up, some progress on the wedding clutches!  I've got a good mockup of the pleats pattern that I'll be using for the bride's clutch, which is great.  To be honest this pattern is the one I decided to tackle first because it's the most intimidating, and the satin doesn't exactly go nicely into diagonal pleats.

Taking a break from wrestling fabric, tonight I decided to take care of the shoes portion of the wedding project agenda.  I'll have some photos when they're finished, but so far Operation: Ugly Brown shoes to Gorgeous Glitter shoes is looking good.  Zazz had fun playing in the glitter, and is now sporting glitter all over himself.

As a project for myself, I've finished collecting the pieces for my Halloween wreath.  I'm just waiting on Erik to spray-paint the grapevine wreath base to get that started.

Since I do want to add something visual here, this little guy showed up in my mailbox this week!


He's what I received for participating in the International Craft Swap, hosted by Zoe over at  A Giraffe in a Scarf.  I sent my package out last Saturday, but unfortunately don't have any way of knowing if it's gotten to its destination or not yet.  Since this is a new blog, I know there's really no-one reading, but I still want to avoid posting any photos til I know the recipient has it.  I will say that it was a really fun project, I got to test myself doing it and I learned quite a bit about what works (and what doesn't) modifying sewing patterns.

I should actually have the weekend off before three consecutive weeks of out-of-town friends and family visiting, fall activities and, of course, the Big E.  I'm hoping I'll be able to use some of that time to get at least one of these clutch patterns finalized...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Four Months Later...

Clearly I have been lacking in the update department.  I suppose that if I want this to actually work then I need to actually post things.

The truth is, I've been busy.  Summer's been nutso.  And, as of right now, so is my crafting schedule!  For right now, all I can post about my Craft Swap endeavor is a teaser showing some materials.  Once it's been shipped (this week!) I'll post some pictures of the finished product.

Now what could that be?

Next up on the schedule is the bridesmaid's clutches for my FSIL/BIL's wedding in October.  No in-progress shots of the pattern designing yet for that project, but I'll be taking some soon. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Post!

All blogs need to have a first post, right? So, here is mine.

I hope the title will in the end reflect the blog; I'd like this to be about the things that add some "zazz" to my life. This will probably mostly end up being about my crafting efforts and their outcomes, for good or ill.

Fair warning that for the time being my camera is both ancient and terrible.

A little about me:

- I love to make things. There really is not a craft out there that I haven't tried or wanted to.
- I try to be funny, but sometimes it doesn't come out that way. I apologize here and now in advance for this.
- I live in Connecticut, with my boyfriend and two cats.
- I love living in New England, especially during the fall.
- I am almost a nerd. I say almost because I'm not quite "into" any of the nerd criteria quite enough to be a real one (except maybe video games).
- I reserve the right to follow any whim that leads me to a new hobby or pastime, and to be constantly rediscovering and reinventing myself.