Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thank You From the Bottom of My Fishy Heart!

My darling friends, thank you thank you thank you for your amazing encouragement!  Your emails and fantastic comments stayed with me through all of the miles.  I ended up running the 13.1 miles in 2:52:43... which is pretty amazing considering I kept stopping to take pictures with characters and I have only been back in training for two months!  Needless to say, I am pleased as punch and I have a huge medal to show for it. I could not have done it without all of your kind words, emails and comments.  It meant more to me than I can begin to express.

Here are some photos of my costume in action.  I didn't try to photoshop because why be ashamed of my sweat/sparkle?

Pre-race ... there was a DJ leading a dance party.  It was 3:45AM (awake since 2:30AM).  I did a dance along and then ran around looking at costumes.  AMAZING.

King Triton!!  He said to me, "I am your father."  This is a FACT.  Overall, I probably saw about 100 men total.  It was estimated that 19,200 women ran the race!

Elvis - on his back was a sign: "Why settle for a Prince when you can have a King?"

There were some fabulous costumes, and these girls and I buddied up in the start corral.  

This fabulous girl below came up to me and asked where I got my costume because she had been searching for one like it!  When I told her I made it, she was amazed... and that was a pretty big energy boost for me :) 

People dancing on stilts!!!

A pirate ship complete with pirates!  I didn't stop to get a picture with Captain Jack Sparrow - I didn't know if I was going to be able to finish, so I decided to stop only for characters I really wanted to wait for (because there was always a 5-10 minute line).

Entering the Magic Kingdom.  The race started in Epcot at 5:57AM for me, and it was amazing because the Fairy Godmother was there with magic words and fireworks to send each corral across the start line.  

My castle.

I saw this poster on the wall and could not resist sneaking in.  Prince Eric is so dreamy!

Running THROUGH the castle!  SQUEE!  They had marathon photographers taking pictures of the runners in front of the castle.  I will totally be purchasing that photo once it becomes available.

I saw Jessie and knew I had to stop for a picture.  As I was running up, Woody appeared!  I squealed out loud!!  (You can absolutely see the joy on my face.  I am not ashamed to say that I was completely PSYCHED by this picture.)

This picture is for Christine - the Central Florida Accordion Club!  Wooooo!  They totally rocked.

Quite possibly one of my favorite photos EVER.  When I ran past this group the first time, Prince Eric blew me a kiss.  When we ran past again, he waved at me and I knew it was time for a picture.  I told him he was dreamy :)

This green army man was yelling encouragement at us as we ran up the longest overpass in the history of running up overpasses omg.  I needed a picture with him for my Dad :)

Entering Epcot!!  Victory was close at hand!

The final stretch.  The workers and volunteers came out to line the path and shout words of encouragement to us.  That was incredible.

When I crossed the finish line and slapped Mickey Mouse's hand in a victorious high-five, I may have cried a little.  After damaging my hip and leg so badly training for the marathon, this was an incredible personal milestone, and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

Rob made me a sign - it's super fabulous :)

Again, THANK YOU to all of you for all of your support!!  I could not have done this without you!!!

PS.  What should my costume be for next year, and who's joining me for the race??? Hehe!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Oscars or "Ariel, The Fastest Mermaid."

Friends, it all started with Kwik Sew 3455. Well, it really all started when you lovelies told me I needed to go with Ariel for the Princess Half Marathon... but eventually it wound its way back to Kwik Sew 3455. 

I'm just going to talk about the pattern for a second.  I bought the pattern because Kwik Sew had just been acquired by McCall Pattern Company, and since I've had nothing but good experiences with that company and their service, it convinced me to buy this pattern rather than search around.  This might have been a mistake.  The pattern took a little longer to get to me than I had anticipated, because there was a transition period I had not taken into account.  Eventually the pattern arrived and this past Saturday morning, I got cracking on my costume.

The pattern isn't joking when it says it is close fitting, and I'm not joking when I tell you that it came printed on large sheets of office paper.  I guess I've gotten used to the tissue-like paper of other patterns, but I worked with it as best I could.  Because the first set of pants had a crotch that hit about mid thigh and was molded to the rest of my leg, I had to re-cut a second pair.  Not a problem, since I had ordered enough fabric and it gave me a chance to practice sewing the gusset at the center of the crotch.  Once the second pair was fitted and set, I got to work decorating.

I originally tried drawing each scale with my chalk pen.  It wasn't too difficult on the spandex and showed up rather well.

After half an hour of that and only being able to cover the area around my ankles, I decided to wing it with my bottles of puffy paint and hope for the best.

I went through four bottles of puffy paint total, and just painting scales on the legs took about 7-8 hours.  I had to take frequent breaks because my hand was shaking so badly.  At one point, I ran out of paint and had to make a JoAnn's run - and then bought the only two bottles they had left.  Once that started running out, I reassessed what I wanted the legs to look like and decided I could live with only having scales on the front of the legs, with some wrapping around the back.  Besides, who wants distorted scales on their booty?  Not I.

The finished pants.  We're going to pretend those scales are all the same size and not so bumpy.

For the top, I used some cream polyester from my stash.  It was just sitting there, since I am never going to line anything with it ever again, so I decided to make it work for the shirt.  There is some weirdness going on with the neck binding, but I'm going to running and sweating and pulling at it, so really, is that going to matter in the end?  And who's going to be looking at the neckline with all that purple bling on my chest?

I used four yards of purple sequined trim in two widths to make up the seashell bra.  I first painted the seashell areas with purple fabric paint that I've been carrying around for a year, and dried it with a hair dryer.  That was awesome.  I will definitely use a hair dryer every time I paint fabric from here on out.  In hindsight, though, I should have put a protective coating on my dress form - she's a wee bit discolored in some select areas.  Once the paint was dry, I pinned the trim and then got to work on the hand sewing. 

After the seashell "bra" was done, the shirt was counted as finished.  I'm not hemming the sleeves or the bottom of the shirt in an effort to reduce the chaffing of seams against my skin.  I'm taking a huge thing of Vaseline, but I don't want to have to cover myself in it.  

The finished "bra":

Finally, I knew I needed something to carry my essentials while I'm running.  Typically, I like to take: two packs of GU or something else for nutrition, my cell phone, my ID and an insurance card.  The last two are in case something happens to me and I am not able to communicate for myself in a medical emergency. 

I didn't want to lug my water belt in my carry-on bag, so I printed out the Krabby Crab pattern and cut out the pieces from an old tee I had lying around.  I put a zipper on the top, added some 1" elastic on the backside and voila!  Something to carry my goodies.

(That is my RAZZ GU...but the name reminds me of Kazz... this thought (which will leads to thoughts about her awesome style) might be able to distract me for a few miles, which would be nice :) )

The finished outfit, all together:

Is it comfortable?  It's ok.  It will work, I think, for the half marathon.  I've tried jogging around in it and it's not rubbing anywhere funky, which makes me happy.  I realize that my first time running in this will be during the race, and this breaks the cardinal running rule of "wear nothing new on race day."  Well, that's how it's going to have to be, friends, so we might as well just hope for the best ... and rules are silly anyway, right?

The starfish was a last minute addition in case no one recognizes who I am....

... but I cannot say if I will keep it or not.  It's a bit floppy and when I try seeing how it will look tacked down, it looks all distorted and funky.  I may end up not using it for the race and using a sweatband instead - Ariel is a sweater, y'all.  Let's not pretend it is "glistening."

Fighting with the zipper a little - but it's still one of my favorite parts of the costume.

I'm making fish faces ... because that is appropriate.

Overall, I LOVE this costume.  While there were some glitches, and some parts are still a little bit wonky, it came out the way I hoped.  I like to think it's pretty obvious who I am supposed to be, but there may need to be some singing on the course ... "Under the Sea," anyone?

Friends, have an amazing day, and thanks for being so supportive of my Ariel costume!  I could not have done it without your suggestions!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, my darling friends!!

There are some things I positively must share with you:

The Downton Abbey Name Generator is amazing.  I would now like to be referred to as Lady Zara, Countess of Bog Head.


Gertie has a new Craftsy course: The Starlet Suit Jacket - it looks fantastic!

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the film version of August: Osage County?  I just got chills.

Are the TCM: Classic Film Festival & Road to Hollywood film screenings coming to a city near you? Chicago is getting "The Birds"... which I will be skipping because we have a lot of pigeons in the city and frankly, I have enough issues with them already.

How to make and use piping - a fabulous thing to know!

Rock stars with their parents

...and also from LIFE magazine: Christian Dior: LIFE covers the Birth of the 'New Look'

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Red or "The Polka Dot Potluck Dress"

Friends, I love this dress. Love love love.  There is a certain amount of comfort that comes with wearing things made with jersey material, and I am addicted to this sense of comfort.  I also become very dramatic because I am able to move in my clothes.

We hosted a potluck for our Valentine's Day celebration, and the food was exquisite.  I made a pasta recipe with whole wheat pasta, sauteed some grapes and apples, and added some roasted walnuts and cheese on the side (all my friends with food allergies were able to eat - huzzah!).

Becky and the Beanstalk made this DELICIOUS cake.  Seriously.  I took part of it for my lunch the next day and was the envy of everyone in the office.

For months, we've been waiting ever so (im)patiently for our remodel to be done.  They finished everything last week, seven months after they had started.  Here is a good shot of our new kitchen:

Rob made Valentine cards.  There was a Whitney Houston one.  I won't even begin to tell you what it said.

My awesome friend, Mina, has become my official photographer for any events I host.  She is super lovely and gives great hugs.

A Valentine's tradition: signing and giving children's Valentines to other partygoers.  The Jonas Brothers were a big hit, as were the Batman ones.  We also gave out party favors from the Dollar Store.  There were wigs, plastic recorders, and giant yo-yos for all.

Becky is adorable.  This is a fact.  She's also a really great fabric shopping buddy because she wants to buy everything as much as I do.

My most perfect Valentine.

Ok: back to the dress: like I said before, it's insanely comfortable.  With the amount of food that was being prepared and passed around, it was great being in a dress that didn't confine my movements.  I cook like an octopus - my hands are everywhere.

One of my main worries about this dress was the gathering on the bodice.  It all tends to migrate towards the center of my chest and disappear.  I have to keep fluffing it so it spreads out evenly, but other than that, I have absolutely no complaints! 

 Friends, thank you for stopping by my lovely little gathering.  I was once a hater of Valentine's Day ...

but Rob is working on changing that :)

Have a fantastic day, all!

PS. Thank you all for your suggestions about what color to dye the swing dress - I'm torn between forest green and fuschia and teal .... so we will see what dyes JoAnn's has in stock!  That may end up being the deciding factor...

PPS Thanks to my lovely friends Mina and Stephy for their photos that they allowed me to use in this post :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: UFO or the "I Match the Bathroom" Dress

Friends, this is probably my shortest post ever.  Probably because it deals with something "meh." The more I think about my failed Swing Dress (full post here), the more I am just disappointed by it.  It's sitting in my closet, completely unloved.  

So, thanks to the fabulous encouragement of all the lovelies on the Sew Weekly site, I've decided to dye it.  I'm pretty sure that since the fabric is so lightly colored my options for dyes become more numerous, but I'm going to need some help with this.  Darling friends, what color should I pick??

Your suggestions would be oh-so-greatly appreciated!!

Have a fantastic day, all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, my Friends!  Here are my absolute favorite things from this week:

Lovely Lisette got an apprenticeship!!!  Hope on over to her blog and tell her Congrats :)

Would you like some Tardis shoes of your very own?!  You can buy them here.  And yes, those are my feet.  I am a foot model now.  Ignore the cankles.

Oh yes!  And Tardis earrings are available toooooo....

A recipe for mini cinnamon rolls.  I cannot get enough of these.

This just might be the most amazing jacket EVER.

I have a ton of ric rac, so the list of tutorials for this trim over at Ucreate is a fabulous resource to me!

If you have leftover fabric and want to do something nice with the scraps, how about making some pillowcases for children in Rwanda?

These printable spools would be great for organizing my huge amounts of trim that are floating around.

After reading Sarai's Adventures in Bra Making, I desperately want to try my hand at making one of my own.

I scare VERY easily (I hate surprises, and if someone ever walks up behind me while I'm doing laundry, they best be prepared for a freak out), and this week I happened to have a nightmare about the Woman in Black.  From just seeing the preview.  Yep... but here's a fabulous article from Clothes on Film regarding the costumes.

I laughed so hard I cried.

This homemade candy necklace is soooo pretty.

30 Challenges for 30 Days of Growth - something interesting if you're looking to add some more excitement  to your life.

This needlepoint purse is AWESOMESAUCE.

This dress is spectacular and such a fabulous color.

I adore Sophie Blackall's illustrations, so this article about her on Miss Moss warmed my heart.

Since the Groundhog said we have six more weeks of winter, I may need to pull out my old sweaters and get to work on this lovely throw.

Friends, have an amazing weekend, and if you're stuck with six more weeks of winter like I am, stay warm!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Down Under or "The Rollicking, Frolicking, All Around Good Time Dress"

Friends, it has been chilly here.  I mean, it's still above zero degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill, so really, I cannot complain... but it's still too chilly for my summery red dress.  (The weird faces are me trying to make Rob catch the clouds of air coming out of my mouth.  As you can tell, it didn't work and I look rather like a large mouth bass... or the muppet named Janice.)

The full post is over at the Sew Weekly, but there were many photos that weren't included there, including this one of me trying to cover as much of myself as possible while laughing at the enormously fat pigeons perched on the park wall.  I had thought they were chickens at first, but then I realized that chickens cannot fly and I doubted that someone put them in the building's park or I was seeing a miracle of nature. 

I love the print of this fabric.  The little yellow, blue, and white flowers really say summer to me, and I wanted to emphasize my longing for sunshine by adding a little yellow embroidery to the neckline.

Lots of frolicking happened during the photo shoot.  Don't be fooled - it was all to generate warmth.

I love the silhouette of the dress, though I'm wishing I had made the hem a bit longer.  Right now, it feels like it is a good length for day time activities, but maybe not for a more-than-casual nighttime outing.

Off and running, folks.  Many photos taken were of me fleeing to a new photo location in order to speed this process along. 

Hole jumping.  Heels are just awkward in grass.

I love nature, especially when it blocks the wind.  Oh hi, Navy Pier! 

Target in sight.  We are pursuing.

The final pose I tried out, because after holding onto metal bars, I was thoroughly finished and frozen.  Popsicles in red dresses are not sexy.  This is a fact.

Friends, are you sewing for the warmer weather??  I feel like everything I have made recently would be better used during summer, but I cannot deny my desire for sunshine and humidity.  How are you coping with the chill in the air??

Have a fantastic day, my friends!!