Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to me?

So, how to quantify if what you're doing is working? The scale? Pictures? Compliments from people?

I haven't really been paying attention to much of anything. I really never thought I was fat. Yeah, sure, like everyone else, I thought I could stand to lose a few pounds, tone up a bit, whatever, but I never thought I was fat. Even though the scale said I was, I didn't believe it. When this picture was taken, I think I was pushing 190lbs or so:


But yeah, I didn't think I was fat. Just a little overweight.

That picture was taken about two years ago. In March of the following year, the hubby was put on the South Beach Diet by his doctor. I decided I should do it with him for moral support. No, not because I felt I was fat, but because I thought I should support him.

In the ensuing months he lost about 50lbs. I lost around 40lbs. He stopped the diet. I continued with phase 3 (maintenance) and took up running. I ran a 5K in 39 minutes and change. And was utterly defeated by that. So I really decided to start running for real. Since then I've run many more 5Ks (PR: 29:31), a 10K and a Half Marathon. I also started working out with a personal trainer last month.

I don't normally talk about my weight, but I'll throw this out there. As of today, I weigh 154lbs. When that picture above was taken, I was wearing a size 16 and I didn't care. Today, I'm wearing a 6. And I still don't care. Vanity sizing taken into account, I probably really wear a 10. But that's neither here nor there.

I just wanted to put this out there. Merry Christmas.

Hard work pays off?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We'll get to the costumes in a minute. First, let's get caught up on the running since August.

I didn't do enough training (to say the least) in preparation for the Road Runner Akron Marathon on Sept 24th. I figured I was only running 7.9 miles - I'd be fine. And surprisingly enough, I was! Yay! I didn't beat any records to be sure, but I managed to finish in a respectable amount of time (for me - 01:28:28 - 11:20 pace) and I wasn't in too much pain at the end. I even ended up walking part of the way home from the stadium after the run. Nice, eh?

I love this picture:

That was taken at about mile 7.5 (of the 7.9). I was feeling pretty good and look - both of my feet are off the ground at the same time! I finally have a pic where I look like I'm actually running! Woot!

After the race:
Finish line!
(L to R: Sara, me, TK & Brandi - not shown, Jesse)

I felt so good after the race that I added a few more races to my schedule. The next one was the YMCA Jack O Lantern Jog on Oct 8th. A simple jog through Glendale Cemetery. Ugh - HILLS! I really wasn't prepared for it and my time showed as much. :34:43 - 11:19 pace. On the upside, Miss P won the costume contest!

JackOLantern Jog 10.08.11

Miss P won a trophy!

See me in my stupid costume?
Yeah, I ditched the hat pretty quickly into the race. I suck.

The very next day I ran the Towpath 10K. My first 10K. My first time running two races in one weekend. Surprisingly enough, I did much better with my time on that. My goal was to finish in under 1:10:00 - and I did! I hit 1:04:59 - 10:29 pace. How's that work? Woot! Got some good pictures, too!

It was still dark when we started:

Serious runner:

Still going strong at the finish:

The next run was the following weekend. Another 5K. I hoped to at least beat my pathetic time of the previous week. I was running with Sara (from the RRAM Relay team). Just like last year, she passed me at mile 1 and managed to beat me again. This year, however, it was only by a little bit. (Not like last year, where she beat me by 8 minutes). I was determined not to let this one get away, so I hauled tushie to bring it in at a PR. And I did! :31:28 - 9:56 pace. Woot! Finally over the 10:00 pace hump!

(Don't let the pic fool you - it was at :31:28 when my chip crossed! Honest!)

And just because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to run another 5K the following weekend. Now I really have a goal to chase - a sub-:30 5K. Do you think I can do it?

Oh hell yeah. Bring it on...

No pics from this race (the Knights of Columbus / St Sebastian Running in the Park 5K 10/21/11), but I ran it down in :29:31 - 9:33 pace! Woot!

Next races on the schedule: Gennesaret Home Run for the Homeless on Thanksgiving (4-miler through Glendale Cemetery) and the Reindeer Run 5K in Lakewood on Dec 3rd.


And now, what you've been waiting for, Halloween Costumes!

Miss P decided that she wanted to be Jessie from Toy Story this year. Why not something fun - oh no, she decided to do something mainstream. Oh well. I modified a pair of her jeans, drafted the shirt, hat and belt, and spent way too much time braiding yarn for the hair.

She's happy with it, though.


I'm pretty proud of the belt:

... and since the hubby is going to be home for the first time (ever) on Halloween, I had to make him a costume. He's a film camera buff. Loves older cameras and was pretty sad when Kodak finally gave up the ghost and stopped making Kodachrome. He hoarded that film. And then the last facility that processed it finally stopped. So over the course of a year, I think he shot over 100 rolls of Kodachrome (give you the nice bright colors...).

I decided that to pay homage to his love of Kodachrome I would make him a costume that would be a good tribute. Of course, I had no idea how I was going to do it (there was math involved!)...

The neck base is a hula hoop. I took a piece of foam core and cut it to be the same size as the hula hoop, taped it to hoop and cut a hole for the head (hula hoop side up). That sits freely on his shoulders. The fabric is a separate piece that drapes over it. I cut the white to be bigger than the hula hoop (to account for seaming), cut a hole for the head and then made a neck piece (film spindle) out of jersey. (everything else is fleece).


The rest is just a simple rectangle. The black was cut just a little too big so I could pleat it to attach the "film" (which is just a piece of super-stiff interfacing covered with beige faux suede / black acetate lining).



Everything was done to scale. It's a 30:1 scale of a vintage Kodachrome II canister. The letters were all done on graph paper, drawn by hand then I used a tracing wheel to copy them to the fleece. My hands were pretty cramped after cutting them all out. (And that's why there's not ALL the detail on there that there should be).

The bottom has boning to keep it's shape. (I would've preferred to use another hula hoop, but I don't know where it wandered off to...)

I haven't made a costume for me. *wah-wah*

I might try to whip something up tonight...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sewing accidents - is there insurance for that?

This past week saw me working on a project for the Brecksville Little Theatre's production of "Mister Roberts." The director asked if I could make "three or four of these." It looked easy enough. I went home that day early from work and started right up. I happened to have the perfect color denim on hand (what? I'm not making them for real. They didn't have to be actual floatation devices), actually had just enough to make four of them. So I cut a muslin, mocked it up and decided "yep, I can totally do this."

I went to the hardware store and got the necessary parts to make faux valves, couldn't find any black tubing to fit it, so I decided I'd figure that part out later. I managed to get all the pieces and parts cut that day and also managed to burn my hand on the iron while I was at it. Gah. Strike one.

A couple days later, I started sewing them up. Somehow managed to put a needle in my fingernail during the process. Strike two. Then my sewing machine broke. Strike three. Somehow when using the buttonhole attachment to create the hole for the valve, the vibrations shook loose a screw in the gearbox of the machine. I didn't know that's what it was - I just knew the machine was broken. Bummer. Hubby took the machine to the repair shop and it was fixed the next day. $70 later, the machine is working again. In the meantime, I had replaced that machine with a backup machine of the same make / model and had been sewing more of the vests when the belt broke on it. Strike four. Oy. I hadn't picked up the original machine yet from the repairman, so I turned the crank by hand to finish the one vest I was working on at the time.

The next day I picked up the first machine and put it back in the table and got right back to work. I was determined to get these cursed vests done and out of my life. All was going well until the very last vest. I was putting in the rubber tubes (my solution to the lack of black rubber tubes? Clear vinyl tubes with black pipe cleaners inside of them!) and was cutting one down to size and misjudged my cut and managed to slice my knuckle open. Strike five. Ugh.

Anyway.... after all is said and done, the director is super-pleased with how they turned out. I am too, all things considered. There's definitely more I could've done, but seeing as how this is a volunteer project and the only thing I'm getting compensated for is the supplies, I wanted to cut my losses. No pun intended.

And now, the pics:

photo photo


The current project I'm working on is another commissioned piece. "Can you make a Muno costume?" I have no idea who or what Muno is, so I googled it and turns out it's a character from Yo Gabba Gabba. I've only seen snippets of the show, but I understand it's a pretty faboo show.

When I say yes to making the costume, I have no idea how I'm going to do it. It's a basic jumpsuit, to be sure, but it's bumpy and has an exaggerated headpiece. I've done three-dimensional characters before (a Pink Panther head, of all things!), so I didn't figure it would be too difficult - just time consuming.

I set out over the weekend to get it started and hopefully get it done. I worked most of Sunday afternoon and got the main body done (with the exception of hemming).


...and got the basic pieces of the head cut (after some basic drafting and trial muslins).

Last night I assembled the head and am super pleased at how it is coming along.

Miss P modeling the pre-stuffed head:
(All those rolls of paper behind the girl? Patterns. I definitely need to come up with a better storage system.)

And here's the stuffed / completed headpiece.

Tonight's project is to finish the hemming and make the feet. (Which is going to necessitate another trip to JoAnn's - grrrrrr....)


On the running front - still in training. I've been slacking too much there. Being sidelined with yet another sinus infection is killing the training. I think I should probably just start running while sick. Gah. It's so tough, though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Costume and Happy(?) Birthday to me.

On the last episode of Sew N Sew Runs we discussed Miss P's latest obsession, Pocoyo.

Today finds us with yet another costume from the Pocoyo world, Pocoyo's best friend Elly. I hesitated to make this costume because I didn't want the girl to get over-obsessed with the characters to the point that I'd end up having to make Pato, Sleepybird, Lula or Fred. But alas, who can resist that adorable face? Not me, apparently. So Friday we (P and I) set out to make an Elly costume. Simple sleeper pattern with modified headpiece. The head took the longest - there was hand-sewing involved (and we know how much I *love* hand-sewing...).

Here's the resulting costume:

She's very happy, but not satisfied. Now she wants a Pato costume. Oy.


Monday saw me celebrating (hah) the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday. Unfortunately I did NOT get carded. Oh well - can't have everything, right? Sparse year for gifts, though. :( I received (in no particular order): $120 from the in-laws (to buy a new jogging stroller), a Keurig coffee machine (from the hubby - which he'll get more use out of than I will), a framed pic of hubby and P, and a couple of cards. Miss P wrapped up one of her craft projects for me. That was cute. We had dinner at Big Eye Sushi - which actually was disappointing. I mean the company was great, but the food itself was disappointing. It was my idea to go there (as I've had sushi from there in the past that was amazing), and when all was said and done, I was sad that we didn't just go down to Sushi Katsu in the valley. Oh well - what do you expect from sushi in Ohio?

The best part of the birthday, however, was Facebook. Now what would you imagine the rate of return is on FB for birthday greetings? I would think, as with anything marketing related, a 10% return on investment is amazing. Somehow I managed a whopping 27% return! Can you imagine? I had 160+ well-wishes from my friends! The love in the room was amazing! Friends that I see every day, friends that I see once a year, and friends that I haven't seen in 25 years - warm fuzzy feelings abound!


No real other news to report. I'm running again, having issues with my knee. Hopefully I will be able to push through it for the RR Marathon. I only have to run 7.9 miles. Shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully! Anyone want to train with me? It's 5 weeks from Saturday. I can do that, right? I ran a half-mary for goodness sake! Oy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Miss P has a new(ish) favorite cartoon: Pocoyo. One day I posted on FB that I had sewn a Pocoyo costume for P. Very shortly thereafter I received a request to make one for the son of a friend. Never one to turn down a paying gig, I made one the next day for him.

Miss P as Pocoyo:

Larson as Pocoyo:

I'm happy with how the costumes turned out. P and I made the faux-zipper pulls out of Fimo. First time I've ever used it and I really didn't know what I was doing, but I'm good with them. I think they look cute.


More pics of the girl in action:

Stay outta my kitchen!

Pics from a photoshoot:
021481-R1-15-16 021481-R1-14-15

Me & P at Meadow Brook Music Hall in Detroit:

At work with hubby at Meadow Brook Music Hall:
Hard at work

Random pic of me, proving that I'm just.not.there.yet.


On July 12th we took a road trip to Detroit to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert. On the way there, I ended up driving over a nail and punctured the tire. Not in a place where it could just be patched. Oh no, if I'm going to pop a tire, I do it right. We checked in to our hotel and when it was time to go to lunch, we went out and found the flat tire. Nursed the car to the gas station to fill it up, drove it out to the Goodyear joint in Rochester Hills and waited while they told me that they'd have to ORDER a tire. Stupid special tires. Oh well - good thing we were planning on staying the night anyway. So while they put the donut on the car, we went to lunch. Got the car back and proceeded to head back to the venue. I hung out with Bermuda while he worked on his kit and hubby and P went back to the hotel for a swim / nap. Had dinner, then went to the show. Seeing as how we had just been there four days prior for hubby's show, the crew at the venue knew my car. Well, that and the fact that I've been there so many times in the past few years that already knew me anyway! So yeah, rockstar parking! Anyway... here are some cool pics from the show:

Bermuda working on his kit before the show:

Polka Face!
Polka Face

Bermuda at work:

Al working the crowd:
Wanna Be Ur Luver

With the 501st Great Lakes Garrison during "The Saga Begins"
Saga Begins Saga Begins

Bermuda during "Yoda"

Technical difficulty-filled show, but a good show none the less. Al will be back out this fall. Check the tour dates to see when he'll be in your neck of the woods. I can't sell the show enough - it really is a good show.

After the show, P was super-stoked -- not only did Al sign her copy of "When I Grow Up", but his daughter Nina (to whom the book is dedicated) signed it to. According to Al, P now has the only copy with both of their signatures! Too cute.

(This pic isn't from this particular show - this one is from the show back in May. P was so cute - she waited in line to get her lanyard autographed and then when it was her turn, she showed Al a video of her singing "Pancreas". Too adorable)


Other than that, I'm back in training mode. I'll be running the 7.9 mile leg of the Road Runner Akron Marathon on September 24th. I'm lamenting the fact that I'm going to have to switch back into regular running shoes - I'm having issues with overpronating my left leg which is causing issues with my knee. Grrrrr... I really, really love my Vibrams. They're so comfy and I love the ground feel. I wonder if there's another minimalist shoe I can switch to and just put an orthotic in. Hrmm... Oh well. I'll figure something out.

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful summer!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Now That the Running Updates are Done -- SEWING!

Many of my sewing projects start with a simple request from P: "Mommy, make me a _______ costume." And then I do. This project started with a pair of shoes. We found a simple pair of black Mary Jane's for P and she immediately groked on to the fact that they looked like "Alice" shoes. And so it began: "Mommy, mommy, mommy! Make me an Alice dress, please!" (at least she's saying please now, so there's that).

I used a basic dress pattern, puffed out the sleeves using the slash-and-spread method (a first for me), did NOT do a collar (not that I care, but she might) and used fabric / notions that I had on hand. The apron was completely self-drafted.

Alice In Wonderland Alice In Wonderland

(Yeah, I know. I used a brown zipper. It's what I had on hand. Whatever. She doesn't care and neither do I!)

Using the same fabric as her Easter dress, I whipped up this dress in an afternoon.
photo photo
(Yes, she's doing yoga while posing for the pics. She's an odd duck)

A shirt for me:
M6120 M6120 in action
McCalls 6120, View A. The fabric was a mystery jersey blend that I found at Mood Fabrics in New York back in January. (I still have some other fun fabrics from that trip, but inspiration is needed to make use of them.)

In honor of going to see Weird Al, Miss P wanted a "Dare to be Stupid" costume.
Ready to see Weird Al Dare to Be Stupid

And my most recent project, a special request from my best friend in honor of the opening of the last Harry Potter movie.
Professor Sprout capelet Professor Sprout hat

And the entire costume - Presenting PROFESSOR SPROUT:

Yes, she's holding a Mandrake Root:

Next up in the pipeline? Making costumes for Miss P's fourth birthday party. She's requested both a Pocoyo and a Toy Story party. So if I can get her to narrow it down... (I already have the fabric and an idea of how to do the Pocoyo costume. Doing the Toy Story stuff would be easy, too. Heck, I might just do them both.)