the truth is that i don't have much "new englander" in me. most people who know me well, if at all, know that i'm a california baby and hate (hate is a strong word, but is entirely appropriate here) being cold. i blame my california blood for that disgruntled look that sets in each year when i unpack my winter coat from it's rightful place in the attic. don't get me wrong, i love new england. i love being outside. i love camping, faithfully staking it out at the rei garage sale, hiking, black labs, shopping at farmer's markets and yardsales, snowboarding, and being at the beach no matter what time of year. and even though i'm a wimp, the new englander in me still wakes me up at the crack of dawn, laces up the running shoes, and hits the pavement without even a glance at the thermostat. i love new england, but i just don't get a high from feeling my blood freeze in my veins like some of the crazies up here. this year, though, i've decided to try harder to soak in the beauty of winter and not dwell solely on the fact that i wish i could wear toms and flip flops all year round. because winter IS beautiful. so i've resolved to not hibernate this year. ..
after a successful attempt at making draft blockers for my apartment, i decided to take on another fairly simple project: homemade napkins.
here it goes. ..
1. find some super cute fabric. 2. measure and cut (i think a normal napkin size is about 16x16, but mine were more like 14.938x11.809 because i hate measuring). be sure to leave an extra inch all around for folding and sewing purposes. 3. once you have all of your square cut, start folding the edges over (twice to make a clean edge) and pinning and/or ironing them down. my folds were about 1/2 inch (ish) on each side. 4. there are fancy ways to make corners perfect and flat, but it's okay to be simple and just fold them down. 5. pick a cute color for your thread and start sewing a hem along all of your nicely folded edges. 6. replace your thread because you'll probably run out if you're making napkins for the whole fam and all of your dinner guests. 7. make a messy meal, wipe your face and hands with your new napkins, wash the napkins, and repeat!
i've recently taken an interest in sewing, and creating homemade items rather than buying them. my first endeavor was making draft blockers to help insulate my old apartment and cut heat costs.
1. measure the length of your door and/or window (i made blockers for both!) and add a few extra inches. 2. cut a piece of fabric the length that you measured in step 1 by a width of about 10 inches. 3. with the fabric inside out, fold in half and line up the cut edges. 4. sew the bottom and side of the blocker (you'll want to leave one edge open to fill it). 5. turn the fabric right side out. 6. with the section that you left open, fill the blocker with any combination of dried beans, rice, pillow stuffing, and whatever else comes to mind! be sure to leave a few extra inches at the top. 7. once your blocker is almost full, fold the open edges over twice to make a clean edge and hand stitch it closed. 8. add any fun decorations to your draft blocker, and enjoy an insulated place!
i had my first taste of christmas in taiwan this year (well last year, i guess, since this post is a bit late). before boarding the plane to hong kong, we made a quick stop at starbucks to grab some life juice for our 6 a.m. flight. to my surprise the airport starbucks half-way across the world was just as decked out in christmas garb as every starbucks back home. perhaps i'm narrow-minded, but i didn't know christmas could exist without snow, a mere eight hours of daylight, and an additional twenty pounds of winter gear on my body at all times. in fact, i was donning shorts and chaco's when i had my first taste of christmas this year. as the cashier handed me my receipt, written in who knows what language, and a coupon for $5 off my next purchase (only to be used in taiwan, bummer), i sang along to white voices harmonizing 'jingle bells' over the loudspeakers. feeling out of place and far from home at that moment, i was happy to come home to christmas.
christmas decorations in my apartment: lots of berries and jars and candles
the story of my christmas tree: my little sister is learning to drive so she was taking us for a spin around town. as she was driving along, i noticed a table of FREE STUFF on the side of the road (i have a weakness for free stuff, thrift shops, and picking things up off the side of the road). amidst old shoes and lamps was some christmas garland. it was about time to get into the holiday spirit so i snagged it--free christmas garland wrapped around my ladder makes for a great christmas tree!
[frosty windows: glad to be IN here, not OUT there]
[i love the way the sun floods into my little apartment in the mornings]