Monday, August 30, 2010

oh, hi

I haven't been blogging much lately. I have several excuses:
1. I am on a mission to lose at least 10 pounds before Vegas. So I have just under 2 months to do it. But for me, I need to go full force now or else I will just do as I always do and not try hard enough and not reach my weight loss goal. So,
2. I have joined a weight loss site. I mentioned it earlier ( I have been logging my food and exercise, and also being sure to get my workouts in.
3. I have been working almost non-stop. I put in an extra day at the kennel yesterday and will again on Wednesday. That means, my last day off was Friday the 27th and I will not likely get another day off until after Labor Day. That also means that yesterday my day was work #1, work #2, workout, back to work#2, dinner, bed.
4. We have company coming this weekend which means some furniture shuffling and major housecleaning.
So all my free time has been accounted for.
And then after Labor Day weekend, when Hubby's friend goes back to Florida, we will have about 2 days before the in-laws show up for their two week stay. Thankfully, they rent a house while they are here, so they do not stay with us.
We often have dinner out with them most nights, which includes pre-dinner cocktails. My favorite part of September!! :) The good thing is I usually make better choices when out with them, so my weight loss efforts shouldn't be negatively affected!
So that's my story.
I'm also thinking of (and after the craziness of September is over, I probably will) closing my etsy shop. I had it shut down for 'vacation' for most of the summer to try to re-vamp it, but I never did. So I just re-opened it and then had no time (or desire, really) to do anything else. So I think I'm gonna take stock of what I have and then just try to get rid of everything. Maybe once things settle down a little or I feel more creative, I can open a new shop, but right now, I'm just not feeling it.
I'll let you all know in case anyone has a burning desire for some handmade paper art objects.

Friday, August 27, 2010

is this twice today??

I think I already posted today, but I've made a decision...
I have joined
If you're trying to lose weight and are into the blogging/facebook/virtual social setting and think it might be an aid in your attempts, check it out.
And, if you decide to join, look me up and we can be friends: hartsmart is my username.
This way, I can blog about my neverending (well, hopefully ending soon) battle with my weight without yammering on about it here. And maybe someday this blog will return to it's original purpose of my 'craft blog' and I can find some inspiration to get my act together in all aspects of my life? We'll see, I guess.

On another note, Hubby didn't blink an eye when I told him all the dresses I have fallen in love with are a couple hundred bucks a piece. I just don't know...that's a lot of money to spend on a dress...regardless of how much I love it, how awesome it would look on a Vegas...aahhh, much trouble you cause!

Vegas dress dilema

Still trying to find a dress for Vegas. Hubby bought a crazy velvet blazer with some serious embroidery on the back! Very...well, very UN-hubby!
I have a dress in my head that I would love.
As a girl, Auntie and I would play Barbies (of course). But, along with the new Barbies we had, we also played with her sisters' (including my mother's) Barbies. And, oh my, the beautiful clothes those 'vintage' Barbies had!! So in my head, I will always have the image of my favorite of those ensembles. It's basically this
but in red and gold instead of white and gold. I always thought it was just about the prettiest dress I had ever seen. I love the jacket.
But what I would really love is a dress that has a long peplum on the back of the skirt.
But I also love the mermaid hem. Here are a couple links of some cuties I found. So expensive...but so great.
gold dress
blue dress
black dress
tangerine dream dress: this one would be very cool, but every single dress I found on this site that I fell in love with, was already sold.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maybe, maybe not

I follow a blog of a girl I met at a dinner party this summer. She owns a little shop in one of our cute little Cape Cod towns where she sells cute gifts and some handmade items. She, personally, is a fabric designer. Recently, she wrote a book full of projects you can do with quilting squares. Friends of ours had gone to her shop a few times, and decided that the 6 of us should all get together for dinner. It was a good time, and I'm sure I've blogged about it already.
But the point of today's blog is that she has joined a site called and wants her blog followers to come along for the ride with her.
I think it would be good for me, but I am already on a site ( that I only visit off and on.
I love the sites with 'tools'...I have been reminded that I could lose just 15 pounds and not be over my healthy BMI anymore. I found out that my body needs...just to continue functioning if i just rested all day...1357 calories!! That means, I need to eat more than that to account for all the extra activity that I do daily.
I like having a place just for my exercise/nutrition journal-blog so that people reading (what is supposed to be) my craft/daily blog don't have to deal with the nonsense of my weight loss struggle.
Well, I have tomorrow off. I have to clean all the stacks of trash (junk mail, catalogs, newspapers) that have been piling up all summer. Hubby's old friend is coming for a long weekend for Labor Day, so the house has to be presentable for 'overnight' guests, which it NEVER is! But maybe at some point I can take a closer look and decide if I want to join other people I actually know IRL in a common weight loss journey. Especially since I have 15 pounds to lose, while she looks like she probably has 5 pounds to lose! I like a certain level of anonymity in my online life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

i need to lose 10 pounds in the next couple of months or i will be very upset with myself.
I gave myself 5+ months to lose 20 pounds. Instead, I couldn't push myself to make it happen. So now I have to be happy with less. Vegas will be fun regardless, but I really want to get my act together and lose the weight!
My workouts are on track but I just can't kick the junk food habit. The overeating habit.
I am going to do my best to improve myself when I am bored or between projects or whenever my brain is triggered to eat.
I have been wanting to learn guitar and pick up that learn French book again. Not only that, but my craft room is gathering nice quite nicely...but I would prefer it didn't.
So that's it...I want to lose 10 pounds.
I want to go out and buy new smaller clothes for my vow renewal/second honeymoon.
I'm keeping score, starting now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Busy Weekend!

Well, I have been more busy than normal lately. Besides my usual 6-day work week, our social calendar had a jam-packed weekend. We had a night out with a few friends on Friday for some wine and music. Then Saturday there was a pool party I skipped, but Hubby attended. And Sunday, again, after work, Hubby and I ventured to the end of the Cape to Provincetown.
The Cape is not known for it's Bar-B-Q...but that doesn't keep us from trying to find some acceptable form of pulled pork. Earlier this summer we were introduced to a place that is far too ...well, frequent. So, since we were headed that way for the day, we had bbq. Actually, I had a fish sandwich, but I'm not the barbecue junkie Hubby is. One of our friends (Hubby's movie buddy) is now dating one of the hostesses, who just so happens to be part of the family that owns when we went back later for dessert, we didn't have to wait for a table! Score!!

After lunch, we headed out to Wellfleet to check out our friends art. When you head out to this part of the cape, it's a lot of boats! This is the view from across the street at the gallery. She has a couple prints at the Frying Pan Gallery. She had sold the framed pieces before we got to see them! Oh, well, but good for her.
(W.H.A.T. = Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater)
This is the parking's just so 'seaside village', I think.
Then we were off to Provincetown.
This is the dock's pretty similar to Wellfleet, but I'm not sure how a dock can really look unique. Although, there is this building on one of the docks that has these giant photos of influential ladies of P-town (that's what the locals call Provincetown). I just love it. The bummer is that the ferry from P-town to Boston was loading up so there was this never ending line of people, and from where I took the picture I didn't get the lady I really wanted. Behind that white dome-shaped thing is the woman they call 'the worm lady'. She has had a family worm farming business on Cape forever (since the '70's). I think she just died last year at like 94. She just seemed like a cool old woman.
There's also a lot of old boats in the harbor there.
And, of course, no shortage of seagulls eating crab all over the docks.

This is the Pilgrim Monument. It was built in 1910 to commemorate the pilgrims landing in Provincetown in 1620. You can take tours and go inside, but we never have.
And as we walked up and down the main street (Commercial St.) which is a one-way street that may as well be blocked to traffic the way pedestrians are just everywhere, we heard, 'hey, it's Jason and Jen'. We turned to find our friend Matt who had recently moved from our town to P-town. I am sure I've said it before, but I love running into people we know. It makes it a little nicer being around so many tourists to be reminded that we don't have to leave and soon everything will be back to 'normal' when everybody else is not on vacation anymore.
So, that was my weekend. It was nice, and I am glad it is over. I'm looking forward to Friday, but I think I will be taking my car in to be checked out...'check engine' light came on as I was driving to work this morning. Boo!

Oh! I almost forgot! After P-town, we went back to Wellfleet to the Beachcomber for some live music and to meet up with friends, again. We were only there for a beer, before heading back to the bbq place.
This is the view driving to the bar. It's right on the beach! I wish it wasn't so far away because I would like to go more than I do.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

another long night

Our plans have been crazy these past few weeks. Hubby is leading quite the social life this summer, while I go out occasionally or head out to Auntie's house for an after work swim/hangout.
This weekend was going to be a little bit of socializing for me and more for Hubby. Last night was going to be my resting day, there was a pool party at a friend's house that I was skipping today, and Sunday we were going to have a quiet night at our local wine bar. There was a singer performing that we had seen before and really liked. She plays some jazz trumpet in her set and it's pretty cool. Then next weekend we were going to head to the cape's most eastern town to hang for the day. One of our friends has some work showing in a gallery on the way, so we wanted to stop and see that. We were also going to hit the local beach restaurant (the Beachcomber) that has live entertainment. A lot of our friends go on Sunday afternoons.
Instead, some of our other friends wanted to go to the wine bar last night to see another musical friend. And everyone is going to the Beachcomber THIS Sunday. So now this weekend has become jam packed with activity and I am already exhausted.
Last night the wine bar was fun. I ended up dancing a lot, drinking a ton of wine, and not getting home until 11pm. The up at 4 a.m. for work...pooped!
While hubby was at his pool party, I decided to work out even though I would rather have taken a nap.
Tomorrow: work til 11 a.m. unless I get asked to stay late as I have been doing the past two days. They have cut hours 'across the board' but asked me to stay an extra hour yesterday, and I had to stay an extra half hour today just to finish a couple projects I was in the middle of. Anyway, after that, we're off to Provincetown for the day, with a stop in Wellfleet to see Hannah's art. Then back to Wellfleet on the way home for some music and beers with some friends. Luckily I don't have to work until 7am on Monday.
For now, Hubby's home and it's a nice day to sit in the yard with a cocktail!
Here's what I wore last night:
This cute old dress I bought in a thrift store a million years ago for about $3. It's so fun, and I thought it would be perfect for the wine bar atmosphere.
I brought along my wrap. My in-laws brought this back from Spain for me. It's really lovely, but this is only the second time I've worn it. They say it's a casual thing in Spain and is meant to be worn daily, but it's just so beautiful and I am scared to ruin it. I should've taken a close up of the embroidery...maybe another day.

I felt super cute in this outfit and it was perfect for dancing!
I thought these shoes were perfect with this dress. I got them many years ago at Payless Shoes...the big heel makes them great for dancing without falling!
(Yes, I took the dress pictures in my workout space, and that is my DDR dance mat in the background. The terrible floor tiles in the shoes picture are the next house project when the cash is available!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two down, do I dare go for three??

I finished dress #2 tonight.
I had a hell of a time with it, as I spent my entire day off last week trying to finish it...which led to a very frustrated me, and a half finished dress that I figured would simply never be more than a half finished dress.
After ripping the bodice from the skirt, then ripping out the pleats, I put everything away. Later that night I pinned the bodice back to the skirt, putting two front pleats and two back pleats where I thought they should be instead of where the pattern said they should be. (This after a long conversation with a friend who suggested I not follow the pattern exactly.)
There were just a couple minor imperfections (right...just a couple...only a couple worth mentioning, the others are just handmade character!)
I am crap with zippers. It's a clear fact and I've come to terms with it. What I haven't' figured out is why I keep trying to put in zippers when I end up not needing them anyway. The dresses just aren't 'fitted' enough for them to warrant a zipper. I'm gonna try hand stitching the dress over the zipper more, to make it less obvious that I suck at putting zippers in.
Pleats & darts...not my friends. Sure they make a dress look cute, but I can't manage to either put them where they should be or sew them properly. Do these pleats make my butt look big? No, they make your butt look HUGE!
Oh, and speaking of darts...I have since put the hot iron to the bodice AGAIN, but man, these darts make for a serious Madonna inspired top!
All in all, I guess I am happy with it. I can at least where it when I'm with my friends, just hanging out.

Sunday...a perfect afternoon

After my unusual Saturday, I worked Sunday morning and then spent pretty much the rest of the day in my hammock...

I played a little with my camera and the 'color accent' setting.
This is the view looking up from my little cocoon.
I had also remembered that I still had an unfinished roll of film in my old SLR camera. The camera I've had since I was about 18...the only camera I had ever used consistently until a friend on Nantucket gave us her old digital camera. Once we started using that, we decided digital was the way to go, so my old camera sat forgotten...with memories stuck inside. Sunday I finished that roll of film and I am hoping I can get it to the photo & art store tomorrow so I can see what's in there! And I finished the roll with some more 'hammock view' shots. I really miss that camera...I wish I could afford a digital version of it, but instead, we make due with our little elph. It's a lot easier to carry anyway!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Our evening started off okay...we were ahead of schedule, but Hubby thought the traffic on the highway looked way worse than it actually was...getting off the early exit, we could see that there was just a 'pocket' of traffic. 'This way we can get some fresh air' as we take the 'scenic route'. But you can't go that way when you are meeting people at a specific time! It's summer on cape cod...old people are out for their Sunday drives ALL THE TIME! (I so want that bumper sticker that says 'I'm not on your vacation'!) Anyway, we got stuck in some seriously backed up traffic once we got over the bridge (Hubby ended up getting back on the highway after getting stuck behind slow cars). It was Saturday...all the vacationers from the week were leaving, we knew there would be traffic, but this was stupid! And they do this every weekend of every summer! Miles and miles of cars virtually standing still. At least there was a cool breeze. We were meeting our friends for dinner at 5:30...we got there at about 6 or just before. We ate, had a good time, and still made it to the docks to get on the boat in plenty of time.
I didn't get many pics because our camera is lame, and I kinda forgot I had it until the sun started setting.
Some people on the boat. The band...the guy in the hat is our friend Cliff, who got us the tickets, plays poker with Hubby and his friends, and is also a co-worker of mine at Trader Joe's. The woman singing has a great voice. They do all covers, but lots of different types...from White Stripes, to Etta James, to Stevie Ray Vaughn and even some Aerosmith! They even did a disco number...Play That Funky Music!
Hubby got some shots that I tried to fix with some photo editing.
This, I think, is a train bridge.
This I took from underneath...not a great shot, but after editing, I thought it was kind of artsy and cool.
So that was our fun night out. After a full day from 4 am to getting home at midnight, I got up 4 hours later to be back at work. Then, I spent the rest of my day in my hammock followed by some beers and grilled sausages and corn!
Now...back to work!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


woohoo...Saturday night...yippee.
well, it would be 'yippee' if i didn't have to get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow. But I am still going to try to have fun. A friend's band is playing tonight for the Cape Cod Canal Cruise's Live Music night. I think it's every Friday and Saturday. We were going to go about a month ago when another band of friends was playing, but we just couldn't justify the cost and travel time. This time, we are getting complimentary tickets from our friend. Unfortunately, this late in the game (he offered them to us Thursday) I couldn't get out of work on Sunday.

It's about an hour drive to where the boat leaves, then the cruise is 2.5 hours. I'll need to have a few drinks, because what's the point of live music on a boat with no drinks!? We found out today that a couple other friends are also going, so now it has turned into meeting for Chinese food before the boat leaves, too. It'll be fun, but I will be exhausted tomorrow, after being up since 4 this morning and then getting about 4 hours of sleep before having to go back to work. This is not my thing...I do it very rarely, and tomorrow morning I will be reminded why.

In dress news, I have re-pinned my bodice to my skirt. Barring any craziness from my machine, I think it should work just find this time. I followed my friends advice. She told me not to follow the pleats from the pattern, but instead make them where they worked. I took out the pleats, lined up the side seams and dress center then pinned some pleats between those points.

And in gardening news...everything's pretty much dead. I have not been into it at all this year, so the weeding and watering have not been consistent. However, I got a few cayenne peppers, one of which ripened and is now drying so that I can make it into a spicy 'infused' olive oil. A jalapeno that will likely go into some Mexican dish...although, I would like to try pickling a few...? And Hubby has been eating tomatoes fresh from the garden for his lunches (basically, this guy will eat Caprese salads every day for lunch!)

Not sure what I'll be wearing tonight, so I guess I had better go figure that out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

oh, the things i do

Why, oh, why do I do this to myself? I know, why don't I make a few cute dresses to bring on the Vegas trip! Won't that be fun!?
When I have these crazy ideas, I really wish I could remember that I have NO TALENT FOR SEWING!
Last night I cut out all the pieces for my new dress. Today, after doing just two out of several errands I needed to accomplish, I started sewing.
Things started off pretty good
I got the bodice together after a couple snags. This should've been my first sign to stop and try again another day, though. After sewing the first couple pieces together, I thought, 'why don't these seams match up?' It was because I made my front seam using what should've been the side seams! Stitches removed, and bodice started over. Pressing on, even though I had to do some actual pressing, which I HATE! I don't iron ANYTHING if I can help it...and now I am doing it for 'fun'?? I am a crazy person! Somehow, I managed to to the collar right this time...trimmed with the interfacing! Ta-dah!
Yet, still I know I am not a seamstress and the real trouble started when the instructions said, 'bias tape'. I have NEVER used bias tape, and after reading and re-reading the instructions, I was still very unsure of what was going to happen. I got it on, and was able to move on, but this took a LONG time. My machine was trying to tell me something. There was a moment when I thought the fabric was just rebelling somehow...over and over, I tried sewing the tape on one small section of the armhole...over and over, the thread would break, bunch, or just plain not go into the fabric! I'm not even joking...FOUR times, I had to pull the mess of stitches out and re-thread the needle. This is when the real swearing began. 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!' was the phrase of the day!
I STILL didn't take the clues and stop working! Nine a.m. I began sewing. 11 a.m. I stopped to eat so that I wouldn't pass out. TWO O'CLOCK I finally gave up! After making the pleats and sewing the skirt halves together, I thought I was actually going to finish this dress the same day I started it! Unfortunately, upon attaching the bodice to the skirt, things didn't line up quite right. So I got this little extra pleat on the front. A little bit of effort to fix it ended in a small tear in the fabric, and no solution to the bulging mess.The back pleats were a mess, too. Yes, I did continue to try sewing this mess, even after NOT being able to fix the front. I am stupid about sewing...I think I mentioned that.
The back pleat sewing was also hindered by an episode of fabric folding where I started to sew the dress together! Oops. There were also a lot of times when I had to go over some sewing because I had not sewn far enough to cover interior stitches or 'hash marks' (I don't remember what they're called in sewing, but it's the little cuts you make in the fabric for reference points??)
All in all, it was a stress filled afternoon of 'what the ---- was I thinking?!' I threw my machine back in it's case in a way that suggested I didn't care if it broke as I would probably never use it again.
But just as I finished packing every thing up and getting ready to do the workout I had meant to do hours ago, my phone rings and it's my friend (aunt). She makes all of her dresses and sews just about every day. I felt bad dissing sewing so much, but I was really angry that I basically wasted an entire day with nothing to show for it but a dress that I couldn't wear. After talking it out with her, I decided that even if the dresses I make are obviously handmade, I couldn't really give up this easily. I sweated out my frustrations with a kick ass workout and decided to just remove the skirt from the bodice, tear out the pleats and try to get things back together. It'll be a few days probably before I can stand to look at any of that, but I'm not giving up!!
It really will be a cute dress if I can manage it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

but I'm not...

I am sitting here next to my sewing machine doing anything I can to avoid looking at it and opening it up and actually doing something with it. My 'sewing bag', the bag with my scissors, pins, threads, patterns, and fabric of the hour is also here...I am avoiding it's stares, as well.
There is a plan, though! This pattern: And this fabric. In my world of sewing, it is also known as 'an old sheet'. At first it was the ease of having a pre-hemmed piece of fabric...I'm afraid if I ever actually do any 'real' dress making, I will have put myself at a serious disadvantage, and feel like I will be starting from square one. Oh well, for the time being, I like not hemming!
While at work at the animal hospital, someone donated some sheets. We don't actually use sheets in our hospital. This one, I immediately thought would be a great first shot at my 'retro 50's' pattern. It's cotton flannel.
Really, more this lighter color than the darker.
This is the pattern. Cute!
So last week, Hubby went to the movies with his 'boyfriends' (dude has way more dates than I ever do!)
This is what I did! I LOVE mud masks! So much better than sitting in a dark room with a giant, too loud movie screen (for me, anyway).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

another list!

1. Working out everyday (except Tuesday) this to a good start.
2. Need to make a new menu for my weekly shopping trip, which has been put off since last week!
3. Planning on visiting our local farmer's market since I got Thursday off this week, for whatever's their first year...hope it's fun.
4. Find earplugs so I can sleep tonight while Hubby's poker pals are here.
5. Cut and sew second dress...the pattern is cut and waiting. Still not sure if it's worth it.
6. Get my etsy shit together! I said I would use my extra summer time to revamp my shop. Instead, I have not found time to do anything. Pictures need to be taken and I need to decide if it's worth making new stuff. This should be my main goal! Maybe the dress needs to wait another week?
7. Mow the lawn...again! We had some rain and the weather is cooling off this week (finally!) so the lawn is growing like mad.
8. More Vegas planning...I just can't stop thinking about it! I want to go away!!!
9. Fix bulkhead door to get through the winter, instead of making yet another giant purchase this summer.
10. UMMM...get to work! My how the morning flies by!!!