Handcrapted · Sew-sew · Stichin' Post · Style · Trashion · Tutorials

Incredibly Basic Skirt Tutorial

Leggings are a blessing. They can stand in for pants or tights, hide unshaven legs and dance party bruises, and generally function as work-appropriate pajamas. For those of us who buy our leggings from cheap fast fashion chains and wear them daily, the unfortunate truth is that one pair of leggings won’t last a year.

I have a plethora of ripped, hole-y, basic black leggings strewn around my closet. (I like to keep them around so that I can wear them in a leggings emergency.) Recently I decided that they needed to move on. Like a sartorial organ donor, they needed to be stripped for parts and put to new use.

First up: I used the waistband from a pair of old leggings to help create an incredibly basic skirt. I grabbed a yard of rayon fabric from my stash and threw together a tutorial. The skirt turned out incredibly comfortable – as comfortable as leggings – and with any luck it won’t fall apart in the wash. (Let’s be honest, the vast majority of my homemade clothes are held together by luck.)

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Food · Handcrapted · Stichin' Post

10 Ultimate Crappy Hosting Tips

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This is an actual item crafted by your esteemed Handcrapted authors.

Being crappy is a way of life, and like all ways of life, it has seasons.  Sometimes, being crappy means holing up in your lair while the rains of winter dribble around.  Sometimes, being crappy means it’s summer and so you decide you’re having social engagements.  Webster’s dictionary probably defines hosting as “letting gross bugs nibble your skin flaps,” but we can define it as “having people over and wanting them to think you are 25% less crappy than you actually are.”  When that pressure strikes, I clean furiously, decide to make 5 new recipes, and end up yelling at the victims who live with me.  That makes everyone feel GREAT by the time guests arrive!

Really though, the heart of crappy hosting is understanding that being not-so-great at it should NEVER be an impediment to your socializing.  Your friends want to hang out with you.  They don’t really care about your house. At the same time, the level of squalor you can tolerate may necessitate finding a balance.  These tips are about where that point really resides. Continue reading “10 Ultimate Crappy Hosting Tips”

Handcrapted · Other People's Crap · Style

Home Office: Dreams and Harsh Realities

When I moved into the house that I currently share with my life partner and stepcat, I decided that the spare bedroom would make an excellent home office for all the creating and writing and “business” things that I would probably be doing, eventually, as if moving into this house would turn me into a real adult instead of the cobbled together with crayon and construction paper fake adult that I pretend to be. With an inflated sense of ability, I set out to create the home office of my dreams.

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Faves · Handcrapted · Stichin' Post

“The Office Fridge Smells Bad”: a new short story by Cormac McCarthy

refrigerator

The kid eyes the coffee urn. The crust around its edge is a vestige of more profligate times, before the glass carafe shattered. That morning, the hiss of continued drips on the hot plate had punctuated his musings on grammar, an exorcism of squeals amid the spurts of dark, arterial fluid.

His eyes dart left. Another misbegotten has entered.

Did you bring your lunch today?

The question carried a threat, borne on the winds underpinning the fattened rain clouds that drifted in yesterday, and stayed. They were there Monday, too. The coursing rains swelled the sewer pipes and threatened to overspill their bounds.

Naw. I’m going out. Continue reading ““The Office Fridge Smells Bad”: a new short story by Cormac McCarthy”

Food · Handcrapted · Recipes

World’s Okayest Banana Muffins

Everyone who knows the difference between a tsp and a tbsp has a special recipe that they know by heart and whip up regularly. I committed this recipe to memory so long ago that I don’t even know where it came from. (Most likely it was adapted from my mom Karin’s banana loaf recipe, but she probably wouldn’t want me sullying her good name with my mediocre muffins.)

The World’s Okayest Banana Muffins are my go-to lazy weekend stay-at-home sweet-tooth brunch treat. They’re quick, easy, hard to screw up, and go great with black coffee. Plus they’re the perfect vehicles for those bananas in your fridge going brown and splotchy. You might not win any awards or impress your older sister who taught you the difference between a tsp and a tbsp, but like a $9 bottle of red wine these banana muffins are just good enough to get the job done.

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Crafts · Handcrapted · Other People's Crap · Sew-sew · Stichin' Post · Style · Trashion · Tutorials

Sleep Mask Non-Tutorial

Any good vampire knows the importance of blocking out as much sunlight as possible from dawn until dusk. Unfortunately, after years of use and abuse my sturdy sleep mask finally turned into dust. What’s an undead creature of the night to do?

Bust out the stash and craft a new sleep mask!

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Food · Handcrapted

Ultimate Freezer Pizza Hacks

You clicked on this because the word “hack” was in the title, thinking that I’d be giving you some clever tips and ingredient add-ons to freshen up the most estimable quiescently frozen confection: pizza.

Joke’s on you though, because the only “hack” here is the author.

This list is actually far more important than some poorly advised toppings.  It’s a guide to achieving transcendent happiness for about $4.99.  Regardless of your feelings about Malcolm Gladwell, I’ve definitely gotten my 10,000 freezer pizzas, which makes me uniquely qualified to dispense some practical tips.  In other words: trust me, I’m a professional. Continue reading “Ultimate Freezer Pizza Hacks”

Crafts · Farts and Craps · Handcrapted · Style

DIY Anthropologie, Spring Edition

Spring is springing and Anthropologie is attempting to harvest your paycheck with some new offerings.  While my personal style tends more to “hobo” than “boho,” there’s an occasional piece that catches my eye.  Lots of these items would be pretty easy to DIY, saving you a trip to the mall-hole.  Additionally, you can save a bunch of cash and get your style fix without buying more chiffon landfill fodder.  Do it for the earth.

Perusing the offerings, I can’t help but wonder.  Maybe I’m projecting, but something about the long, dark winter has unraveled the minimal ties to reality that our friendly Anthro designers usually have.  Hold on to your butts, people.  It’s gonna get weird.

anthrojeans
Should we…brooch the subject?  $158.  (image via anthropologie.com)

Look at these jeans.  They have Nana’s brooches!  You can go to Value Village and find LOTS of Nana brooches for $.99.  Then you can put them on any pants your heart desires. You could change them every day, or move the brooches from pant to pant, creating different looks for different occasions.  Do not cross your legs or the pin from a brooch will go in your thigh and you will get tetanus.  When that happens, you will have to go to the doctor and confess that you can’t remember your last shot because it was four insurance companies and seven primary care providers ago.

anthrosweatshirt
Rocky is gonna be pissed when he sees what Adrian did to his sweatshirt.  $78.  (image via anthropologie.com)

This one takes a little more effort.  It’s still less than $78 worth of effort, though, so you’ll come out ahead.  Find a sweatshirt and cut a u-shape in the neck.  Hem it in a haphazard fashion.  Cut the hood off, and sew the hood to the inside of the u-shape.  Lace with an old shoestring.  Choose your own sleeve adventure.  Maybe you want to cut off the sleeves all the way, instead of half way.  Sun’s out, guns out, amirite?

anthrotassel
Let’s put the “ass” in “tassel.”  $228.  (image via anthropologie.com)

Does your overhead lighting produce shadows that look like the Wicker Man?  If it doesn’t, you’re really missing out.  This chandelier looks impossible to clean and impossible to resist DIY-ing.  Spiders will love it!  If you want to make this, knock yourself out.  There are hella tassel tutorials out there.  Google it.  (I’m not gonna find you a link.  This is a crappy blog, remember?)

anthroboat
Did you get that at Pier One?  More like Pier NONE.  $38 (image via anthropologie.com)

This is a “sailboat decorative object.”  The price seems sort of reasonable compared to the other “decorative objects” in its cohort.  This is a technique Anthropologie employs to trick you into buying something extra stupid, by lowering its price relative to its stupid peers.  So! Let’s look a little closer.  $38 fat benjis gets you a boat apparently assembled with barbecue skewers, a table napkin, and some garden twine.  You could make this out of scraps collected after a barbeque, and then you could name your boat the H.M.S. GrillMarque.

anthroclip
Hair claw.  $148.  (image via anthropologie.com)

You’ve got one of these lurking in your bathroom cabinet, left over from 1998.  Admittedly, they make you scalp hurt, but when you really want to turn your look up to 11, there’s just no substitute for a Hair Claw.  Counting tiny butterflies, I probably had at least twenty of these at one point.  The description of the item includes the phrases “sublime elegance” and “modern touches,” which is…generous.  For 1/100th of the price, you can glue some rhinestones on a scalp mangler of your choice.  Instead of such a measly sprinkling, you can bedazzle it on every visible surface.

The only question left:  Which of these are you going to try first?