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Flat Kitty

23 Aug

Story: I obsessed about and planned for a new cat for exactly 2 weeks before I got Pierre. (This time is not to be confused with the years and years that I talked about getting a cat–these 2 weeks were exactly 14 days of very specific cat-planning.) During this time, I readied my apartment for said cat, not knowing who exactly he’d be. Part of my preparations included sewing a cat bed of my own, as I had both the skills, fabric, and fiber fill to make one. I made it how I normally make  things for the first time: without a pattern, or any ascertainable plan. I had soft and colorful corduroy that I had used to make purses a year before that I thought any normal cat would love for a bed, and cut out two oval-ish shapes for the bottom, and 2 long rectangles for the sides. I sewed the short edges of the rectangle together so it was a lop, and then sewed that to the two oval-ish pieces of fabric, right sides out, leaving a small opening for both the sides and the bottom open so I could fill it up with the fiber fill. Once it was nice and plump, I sewed those closed, too. Miraculously, it was perfect!

However. I then adopted ginormo kitty. A cat that I had to buy I dog carrier for to transfer. Yeah, you think this cat bed fit him? No. It fit about one half of his butt cheeks (do cats have gluts? I don’t think so…). I had it sitting around my apartment for months, hoping that Pierre might start using it, but a couple weeks ago gave up hope and decided to find it a new home. And guess who has 3 cats but only 2 cat beds? My parents!

Which is where “Flat Kitty” comes in. Flat Kitty is what my niece calls one of the cats, Maima. (I think that’s how my mom spells it; I’ve never heard that name before). Maima is the weirdest cat in the world. And I’m not saying that as an insult. She has these huge eyes that are half the size of her tiny head, and skinny, skinny legs, and a square, fat body. She will rub up against your leg, and then run away when you try to pet her. She’ll sit and stare at you. And she looks possessed. However, besides that, all she does is eat, sleep, and poop, so she’s really not causing anyone any trouble. And now she has her own bed!

A taste of how strange Flat Kitty looks.

While Pierre might not appreciate my handiwork, at least I know there is an odd cat out there who does. An odd cat who is normal-sized and fits into normal-sized cat beds.


Sometimes, elastic is the answer to all my problems

18 Apr

I’m getting things started with my goal of not buying new clothes, only refashioning old ones that I described in this post. I’ve got a couple in the works, but yesterday I was hella productive. It was one of those awesome days when I got a lot done and felt refreshed, instead of depleted. Awesome.

Details on one of my projects (another one I will tell you all about later; to tease you, it involves lime green paint).

So, I bought this dress over a year ago at my favorite store for super cheap.

I'm bent over to get a photo of the entire thing, which is why it's a little bunchy.

It’s a really cute dress. However, I’ve only worn it twice. Why, you ask? Well, in case none of you have ever noticed, I really don’t have boobs. Nope, Erica got those in the gene pool. So, the two times I’ve worn this dress, I’ve had some serious wardrobe malfunctions, a la Janet Jackson. But I don’t wear nipple tassels, so luckily my full-coverage bra kept the embarrassment to a minimum when my dress fell down to my waist. I’m sure those of you who know me well realize that really, it was more embarrassing for the people who saw it than me. Sorry, spectators.

Anyway, I wanted to get more wear out of the dress because it’s so cute, and the fabric and color is really my style. But, I really don’t like constantly pulling it up. I want the dress to stay. Besides getting breast implants, I figured my best (and cheapest) bet was to add straps.

Cue elastic. I found some really cute, shiny elastic at good ole Joann Fabrics, and bought 2/3 yard of it. I went with elastic so there wouldn’t be any chaffing on my sensitive neck skin, and, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier. No seams, no ironing, no real measuring needed.

Here’s what it looks like now:

And, yes, I think I might do too many push-ups.

But, here’s to no more flashing!

Magenta mini

30 Mar


Just because I’m on a roll. And I just finished it. And I think it’s pretty cute. (Sorry for the not-so-high quality photos; my camera is out of batteries. Or it’s broken. I’ll figure out which when I buy new batteries tomorrow, so I took these with my computer.)


Notice the unmade bed and empty wine glass.

Goals. And, no, I don’t watch football.

7 Mar

So, I am reminded almost daily that this year is the year of jenna (ask me sometime why I don’t capitalize my name; I might give you the real answer, or the fake answer, who knows?!). Funny enough, last night before I went to sleep, I wrote down my 5 main goals for the next year, not to be confused with resolutions, as they are not resolutions. They are goals.

I apologize, interwebs, but you are not privy to most of my goals. However, goal #4 I will share with you today:

  • 4.  Do not buy any new clothes for the rest of the spring and summer.

Anyone who has seen my bedroom and looked into my closet has said something along the lines of, “Damn, Gina, you have a lot of clothes.” This would be true, for a number of reasons. Everyone likes lists, so here goes:

  1. I wear the same size clothing that I did when I was 15. That’s 12 years of clothes. Granted, I have either donated or thrown away most of these clothes, but if I really love something, I keep it. I might not wear it, but I keep it.
  2. I can sew! Which means it is cheaper for me to make clothes than buy clothes, so therefore I can make more clothes than I would buy. Does that make sense to anyone else? I have some favorite patterns, mainly of skirts, that I remake over and over again with different fabric and different lengths. I know what skirts look best on me (a short A-line or an above-the-knee pencil, if you’re wondering), and so I make a lot of them.
  3. My favorite store is not in Minnesota (and shall not be named, although I probably talk about it almost every day), and so when I travel to a city that has the store, I go crazy. CRAZY. I’d say the minimum each shopping trip there is about 8 items. And then I can’t get rid of clothing from said-store. I found this store when I was 22 and living in France. I’ve gone on about 2 shopping trips a year to the store. 2 x 5 x 8 = 80. Hmm. Doing the math makes it seem a lot worse. Maybe I should delete that. (Notice how I did not say stop. I will never stop. I love that store. It’s too serious to even use an exclamation mark.) At least I haven’t started buying its clothes on e-bay, right? Yes, I’ve looked. My size is almost never on there.

Those are enough reasons.

So, what am I planning on doing? Well, I am going to either refashion clothes I already own (you know, change the hem, use my scissors for other reasons, I can’t think of any other explanation; really, I’m probably just going to change hems), or sew clothes using my existing closet-full of fabric, or I’ll probably let myself buy some new fabric as well. Mainly, because I already saw a dress online that I want to make:


image courtesy of: <>


I don’t like the fabric so much, but I’m a big fan of flow-y stuff with belts. And I think I could make the pattern for it myself.

Yes, I am starting to make patterns! Mostly, I just alter existing patterns. Stayed tuned to see my most prized pattern alteration that I completed a couple weeks ago.

I did my first refashion tonight. Do I show you the pictures? Hmm. Maybe just small pictures.

I have a pair of shorts that I bought at said-store in France 4 years ago. At the time, they were fabulous, but now, I just don’t like them that much. Over the last year, I’ve only worn them to go golfing, and who wants to wear black shorts golfing? Queue hot (temperature-wise) rear end. No, thank you.

So, what did I do? I cut them shorter. Hot pants are in style, yo. I will probably never wear them in public.


After. Yes, I am a vampire and my legs have no pigment.

I didn’t hem them, because that would make them even shorter, and because unfinished hemlines are currently de rigueur. And I’m a slave to fashion.

There you have it! Be prepared for more pictures of my white legs and clothes I may or may not ever wear.

And now, the unveiling of “Warm Blanket”!

14 Nov

Finally, it took me long enough.

In my defense, I blame the weather. It’s really, truly not summer anymore. That gorgeous 60 degree weather lasted much, much longer than it normally does in Minnesota, and it made me forget that it had turned to fall. And this week, it caught up to me. I realized that I can’t do anything in my garden anymore, I can’t take evening walks because I don’t want to be ran over in the dark, and I had to take out my sweaters. Le sigh… And so I got that “what do I do with my life now?” feeling.

And, there were so many little steps to finishing the room. Like touching up the edges, getting everything back in the room, making it all pretty, and, lastly, sewing the new runners for the dressers. Today, I finally did it!

Ok, just so you remember, here’s the room at its worst:

Colors of the rainbow, all on our walls.


Doesn't that just make you feel warm and cozy?

And the view from the other side

So, to walk you through it: we painted the walls and the ceiling, but the window and door frames looked great and we didn’t need to do anything with them. The quilt on the bed, I’m reasonably proud to say, is the very first quilt I made, at quilt camp, age 12. The pattern is called “Around the World,” and I’m still quite happy with the fabrics I picked way back in the day.

The framed print is called “The Kiss,” by Gustav Klimt, my favorite artist. There’s another print in the living room. The wicker laundry basket is from Home Goods, which is like Marshall’s (I think they’re owned by the same company), a store that sells basically anything you’d need in your house (obviously, with a name like Home Goods).

And here’s what I spent my afternoon doing, measuring and creating my own patterns, cutting out the fabric, and sewing.


Every bedroom needs a plant. And books.

So, that’s my handiwork!  My aunt Joy’s (frequent commenter!) friend had a trunk-load of upholstery fabric that my mom and I divvied up a couple months ago, and I finally used some of it! The colors matched those in the quilt and in the Klimt painting, so it seemed meant to be.

The room technically isn’t finished. The plan is to paint the dresser set, probably a dark chocolate brown, and get a large rug. I also loathe the blinds. So ugly. New blinds coming after winter!

Coming soon: I’m going to start showing the clothes that I sew for myself!

Day 2…; also titled, How many times can I ask Chris, “Are you going to divorce me?”

25 Sep

So, this is what the room looked like this morning:

Dexter's kill site.

We had done a little test strip last night to see how well the paint stripper would work. It worked…ok. But that picture made me realize just how bad the room looked before. And therefore, made me quite happy that we were going to redo the room.

However, after the day we’ve had, I told Chris that we need to get new jobs and make enough money that we can just pay people to do house work for us. And, the thought also ran through my mind that people shouldn’t buy old houses. They should just buy houses made how they want them, with the rooms painted the colors they want them. Of course, I don’t actually feel that way. But scraping 90 years of paint off a wall made some crazy ideas go through my head.

This is what the room looks like now:

Colors of the rainbow, all on our walls.

The colors we found: the first color the room was painted seems to have been pink. Pepto Bismal pink. Then, fairy tale purple. Then chocolate brown, and finally a yellowish tan (before the beige that was just fine, but nothing special).

But at the end, Chris and I were so physically exhausted we could both barely stand up. And my butt was covered in goopy paint/stripper mixture.

It’s not how I would recommend spending your Saturday…

So many things to do…only so much of a house budget.

13 Sep

Happy 1-year anniversary, house! So far, so lucky with the state of the house upon moving in. House (its proper name) was on the market for over 180 days before Chris found it after the price had been reduced by $30,000. Also, to move the house faster, Betty’s family re-carpeted the upstairs and the basement. The wood floors are in AMAZING shape, so maybe they buffed them up, but no serious work there. The walls and moldings were repainted the same color throughout the house: a sandy beige on the walls with an off-white on the moldings. Relatively safe and plain, but still quite nice. We painted the kitchen burnt tomato (or some name similar to that) because it has exposed bricks and is amazing (sneak peak here), well, now that it’s painted. We repainted a couple other rooms (see previous post about my sewing room), and had to reroof the house (stupid insurance agents!!!!), but that’s all. No new appliances (yes), only one leaking pipe, and no gas leaks (again, yet). But that doesn’t mean the house is how we want it. So here’s a list of what we want updated, in the order they’ll probably get done (or at least my order, Chris might have a different idea).

1.  Sand the walls and ceiling in our bedroom and repaint. (Too many coats of paint=peeling walls) We’re planning on starting this one this fall/winter. And related:

2.  Refinish the dressers in the bedroom and install new hardware. The wood is a different color than the bed frame, and I’m not a huge fan of the knobs, but they’re really good quality, so absolutely no reason to replace them. I wanted to paint them, but we “compromised” and decided on refinishing instead.

3.  Bathroom!! Bathroom!!! When we (and by “we” I mean Chris’s dad with assistance from Chris) fixed the leaking pipe and replaced the faucets in the tub and shower, the built-in bath (which was ugly to begin with) cracked in one spot. And it’s beige everywhere, so I die a little on the inside every time I go in there. We’re planning on a new sink and vanity from IKEA (already picked out!) And then we’ll tile the walls, and maybe the floor, too. A lovely blue color, like cobalt or something close.


4. New refrigerator. Ours leaks. ‘Nuff said.

5. Remove the random dividing wall in the basement that holds the gun rack.

6.  New paving stones for the patio. And Chris wants a fire pit and chairs. I…don’t really care that much. But don’t tell him that.

7.  New carpet in the 3-season porch. It’s ugly. And update the fabric on the porch furniture. Currently, it’s dragonflies.

That’s all I can remember right now. Dexter Season 4 is on and it’s time to concentrate…