Friday, May 30, 2014

Re-Covering Well-Loved Tom's

A few weeks ago my favorite pair of Tom's FINALLY got 2 little holes in each toe.  I've had "how to recover your Tom's" tutorials pinned for quite a while in anticipation of getting to customize my go-to casual shoes and was excited to give it a try.

I love projects where if you f*ck it up, who cares....because no matter what you do it's an improvement! This is entirely no sew, too!

(I searched on Pinterest and read several tutorials and did a little bit of this, a little bit of that from each one of them.)

What you'll need:

  • Iron on patches
  • Fabric-specific glue (I used some no-sew-hem glue I had laying around from my wedding....the almost 4 year old glue did just fine)
  • Well-loved Tom's
  • Scraps of fabric to recover
  • Scissors (pinking shears are really handy if you have them)
  • Straight pins
  • Old socks

First up, stuff the toes of your Tom's with some old socks, so you're working on a surface that somewhat resembles your foot in the shoe.  This is really important.  It took me a few socks to really round out the toe of the shoe.

Iron on the patches on any holes to give this recovering project some mileage.  I used these from Hob Lob:

Tom's stuffed with sock and patch ironed on.

Fold the fabric you want to recover the Tom's with in half.  The folded edge will go on the top of the shoe across your foot.  Folding it doubles up your fabric for a little extra strength and gives you a clean edge that won't fray.  Iron the fold to make your life easier.

It was really helpful for me to pin the the straight edge along that diagonal seam on the top of the shoe; this held it stable so I could fuss with the bottom bits of the fabric towards the sole of the shoe.

Pinned on fabric with folded edge along diagonal

I started gluing from the pinned top and worked my way down, holding up the fabric and squirting glue and spreading it around.  The toughest part is the toe, but don't worry!  The glue doesn't dry quickly so you can move things around if it isn't laying as nicely as you'd like.  

Fold the fabric at the toe.

At this point you're really just shaping the fabric to the shoe, gluing the fabric taunt on the shoe and pushing any excess fabric towards the bottom of the shoe.  It's more of an art than a science to be totally honest.  

Once you have it all situated, trim the excess fabric from the bottom right above the sole.  Flip the shoe around as needed; cutting from the outside worked for the sides of the shoe but when I got to the toe, cutting from underneath was best.  Start cutting on the sides and work your way towards the middle.  Pinking shears come in handy because the edge won't fray as much as a straight edge would.  After you trim the excess fabric, press that cut edge tightly to the shoe, adding more glue if needed to get the edges 100% secured.

  Cutting the excess fabric.

Once everything is all nicely trimmed and thoroughly glued, let it dry for at least 24 hours and/or according to the directions on the glue.  Your socks should still be in there to shape toe part of the shoe-this turned out to be more important than I thought.  I threw mine in the washing machine as soon as they were completely dry to see how they held up, and nothing budged-I was impressed!  I did notice as soon as I put them on that the glue seemed to contract the fabric in addition to the shoes shrinking their normal amount after being washed. I had to stretch them out a bit but an afternoon of wear took care of this no problem.

Total project cost?  $1.79 on the iron on patches, and I used 1 patch out of the pack of 8 or so.  I had the glue and the fabric laying around.  All in all, I am so glad my Tom's finally ripped, I am really happy with how they turned out!

Do you have any Tom's you plan on rescuing?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The State of Things

Making:  No sewing or crocheting projects in progress right now.  On my mind is a full high-waisted skirt in a black and white stripe, making the throw I bought fabric for in Colorado last summer and crocheting a blanket.
Cooking:  Hopefully pizza later this week!  Chicken, quinoa and snow peas last night.
Drinking:  My 4th bottle of water today.
Reading:  About to start Cuckoo's Calling.
Wanting:  Iced tea.
Looking:  Out my sunny window at the tree in this wind!
Playing: Pandora shuffle in the background.
Wasting:  Too much time on Facebook.  It is SUCH a black hole.
Wishing:  That I was running right now.
Enjoying:  Working on my sister's new house.  Picking staples out of floors and painting trim is so much fun with her.
Waiting:  To get this presentation tonight at 5:45 OVER with.
Liking:  The way the next couple of weekends are sounding.  Lots of fun is ahead.
Wondering:  If I can get as serious about eating well and exercising consistently as I want to be.
Loving:  My life.
Hoping:  That my little sister does well at her conference track meet this weekend.
Marveling:  That I get to have my life.
Needing:  A date night.  Getting dressed up, appetizer and drink.  Conversation that isn't about work.  No phones in sight.  Leisurely dessert.
Smelling:  Nothing.
Wearing:  Yellow pencil skirt, polka dot button down, nude flats.
Following:  Too many social media strategy sites.  Info overload, everyday.  If I read one more article about Facebook's "reachpocalypse" I might puke.
Noticing:  Babies and pregnant women.  Everywhere.
Knowing: Not much, haha!
Thinking:  About the presentation I am giving tonight.
Feeling:  A little restless.  But Spring does that to me.
Bookmarking:  All of the things, as usual.
Opening:  A birth announcement from some friends last night!
Giggling:  Over Harry Potter memes on Pinterest.

How about yourself?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gibson Tuck + Boston Marathon

I have a Pinterest board full of hair-dos and can actually make my hair do maybe 1....but now 2, because after numerous failed attempts, I have mastered the "Gibson Tuck", at least for today:

I always got stuck where you roll the hair into the space you made when you tuck your ponytail under, but turns out that cramming your hair in a hurry to get to work and pinning it there works too.  

Did you watch the Boston Marathon this morning?  The stories about the survivors of last year's bombings and how they're doing a year later make me cry every time.  Shalane Flanagan ran a HELL of a race and I'd love to see her win someday.  I get misty eyed watching the runners line up on the start line....5 years ago today Ryan asked me to marry him at that same spot.  

Shallow hair nonsense and the Boston Marathon, how's that for a wacky combo?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Out of Town

Sh*t that I do when Ryan is out of town for work at a track meet:

Eat cashews, hard boiled eggs and strawberries for dinner.

Sew for hours.

Let the dogs sleep with me; one always curls up around my middle and the other keeps my feet warm.  It's a good system.

Watch Girl Code in bed with said snuggly dogs.

Clean the house...and it stays clean.

Pinterest like I get paid to do it.

Meal plan.

Wonder why the Easter candy is disappearing at a steady rate, as I previously believed Ryan was the only one eating it.

It's been awhile!  How's your spring treating you?  Any big Easter plans?  I'm hosting a brunch for my family and I'm making this asparagus egg bake (and adding bacon), this cinnamon pull apart bread but with cream cheese icing, a strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing and blueberry muffins.  My mom is bringing hashbrown casserole and Grandma is bringing deviled eggs and fruit salad.  Lots of goodness.

Gratuitous picture of tulips at the Farmer's Market that just opened for the season this week

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Year

I didn't mean to not blog for a month but the holidays really walloped me this year!  There was lots of back and forth and changing plans and work all mixed in, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad we're back to our everyday routine.  How were your holidays?

I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of girl, but there are few things that have been weighing heavily on my mind that I'd like to work on:  Peace with my body, and peace with my mind.

I am ashamed about the amount of time I spend obsessing and worrying over my body and my weight, and I'm tired of carrying that around with me.  I also am stuck in the "its never enough" cycle (that my 30 minutes on the elliptical wasn't good enough because I didn't do a crazy hard workout, for example) and want to get out of that.  Actionable items to achieve this include focusing on being active to feel good and appreciating what I can physically do as opposed to looks.  I'm also adding some toning into my cardio-only workouts (Blogilates and yoga) and having 1 meal a day be grain-free (I LOVE BREAD so much but the No Carb Left Behind diet makes me bloated and I feel better about myself if I lay off just a little bit; there is no paleo or Whole 30 in my future, just some simple moderation of grains should do the trick).

I've always been a worrier, but my anxiety has turned into more and more of a daily issue in the last few years.  Just turning on the crock pot at lunch yesterday turned my entire afternoon into a worry fest of the house burning down with my dogs in it, completely negating the convenience of dinner being done when I got home!  This one is harder for me to tackle, so I did what anyone else would do...I Googled that business.  I looked up some books that had specific, actionable things to help take my anxiety level down a notch and will be reading these soon:

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques:  Understanding How Your Brain Makes you Anxious and What you Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg

The Gifts of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

I'd welcome any advice from you all on either front - books to read, something that really helped you, etc!

On a less serious note, I wanted to learn how to crochet in 2013 and that didn't happen so I just rolled that over into 2014.  A new yarn shop opened up here and they offer crochet lessons!  I'm getting it all set up this week.  Trying to learn from books and youtube has only gotten me to a certain point, I always get confused when you start crocheting into your foundation train.  I'm really excited to get going on crocheting!  It looks like such a nice thing to do in front of the TV.

What are you looking forward to or working on for 2014?  Are you glad to be back in your routine or missing the holidays?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Making Lately

A snowstorm 2 weeks ago got me on a sewing spree!  I had this minky/flannel blanket to finish up for a friend's baby girl arriving in a few weeks (DEADLINE!) and when we got a few snow days I had the chance to sit down and get it all together.  The satin edging was much more complicated and time consuming than I thought it would be (just gathering the satin edging took me hours) but it turned out so pretty:

It's the softest, cuddliest blanket I've ever sewn; I hope it keeps our friends' new baby girl toasty and warm!

I've also been on an elephant-making quilt lately, courtesy of this tutorial.  It all started when another friend of ours did up her new baby's nursery in elephants, so I made one for their new arrival and the new big brother.  They go together so quickly that lots of friends have gotten these for their little ones!  

Can you believe Christmas is next week?  We're almost done shopping but have a small handful of gifts to pick up still.  Are you ready to go or will you be hitting the stores this weekend?

Aside from that materialist bit, I was looking at our tree last night and feeling so grateful.  Our tree is full of ornaments that were all given to us by someone who loves us, and they're each a ticket to a time and a place I couldn't get to otherwise.  We both have jobs we love, our health, our families, more than we need to eat and a savings account.  We are so fortunate, and I feel this every day.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Privacy, the Internet & Social Media

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  The holiday season feels like it's whipping past me this year...Christmas is only 15 days away?!  Is it going by quickly for you all too?  I don't have nearly enough people crossed off my shopping list!

Social media, the internet and privacy have been weighing heavily on my mind lately.  I manage social media for my work (@VisitCape), and doing so has led me to be a more public persona than I had ever imagined. Within a few weeks of starting my job in tourism 2.5 years ago, I had local reporters and business professionals following my Twitter handle just by warrant of where I worked.  It was odd, but part of the job I had been told to expect.

Recently I added on @VisitCape's Twitter bio that @stacydlane (me!) was the voice of the account and let my Twitter go entirely professional.  Now at professional conferences its easy to go by my Twitter handle.

For a while I kept my Facebook private, completely personal and on lock down (or as much as Facebook lets that happen), but I finally gave in to having it be a more professionally oriented social media platform; I did some serious photo scrubbing I probably should have done years ago and started friending Chamber of Commerce members, travel bloggers I'd like to work with eventually and tourism friends.

Thanks to the circles employed by Google+, that platform is easy to keep a good grasp on privacy...I just wish more people were on there, haha!

A month ago or so, I made my Instagram (my personal favorite social media platform and the one I use most heavily) private; last week I went through and blocked every follower I don't know.  Now I know every single person who follows me and I feel very secure about the pictures I choose to post here.

This blog is public, but it isn't something I share on anything but personal platforms.

Gut checks help me with all of this; it feels good and right to let VisitCape followers know who the voice behind the brand is, but I also need a few spaces left private where I can post indiscriminately without worrying about the professional image that provides, privacy concerns, or anything else.  By indiscriminately I mostly mean outfit pictures without taunting, hahaha!

Raising a child in the age of all of this photo and information sharing is intimidating to me.  Ryan and I have talked extensively about how we'll tackle social media with our non-existent, entirely hypothetical children, and we reached an easy agreement that pictures of our child will not make their way onto any public platform; we'll most likely share pictures to Family and Friends circles on Google+ and on my private Instagram account, or via text.  I anticipate our families being supportive of this decision too.  This is what feels right to us (at this child-free point in our lives) and is by no means a sweeping judgement; I think that it's just important to be thoughtful about the pictures you post online.

Gut checks and soul searching all over social media and privacy....I think I see these things in a different light as social media comprises so much of my job, so I'd love to hear your views on this; what do you choose to share, to keep private, and why?

It snowed here last week!  Snow doesn't typically stick around very long: