Archive | January, 2012

Thinking About Technology [DIY]

30 Jan

Today I’m thinking about technology.  My fiance is a huge technology junkie, so you can bet that any time something new comes out, we’ll have it as soon as he’s got the money.  For example: Playstation 3 with PS Move bundle, 55″ 3D Plasma/ Internet TV, Google TV, Direct TV (with movie package), Android phones out the wahzoo… the list goes on.

The newest addition to our wacked-out technology family is a Motorola Xoom.  For those of you who don’t know, the Xoom is an Android tablet (similar to an iPad) sold by cell phone companies such as US Cellular and Verizon (our model is Wi-Fi only, so there is no monthly service charge).


I originally had been begging for an iPad, but they are WAY out of our price range – especially for the amount of storage I’d need on it.  The Android tablets tend to be more affordable, functional, and customizable than iPad (not that I’m knocking Apple… because I’m the Apple lover of the family).  Overall, after 3 days of use, I’m very impressed with this little guy.  I’m planning to get a bluetooth keyboard that I can use with it to make it practically function like a laptop.

You’re probably wondering why I’ve classified this as DIY… right? Don’t deny it.  You know you are.

The thing about these devices is that you have to be EXTRA careful with them, and protect them well with a case or sleeve.  This is where the DIY in me comes out.  There are tons of cases on the market that would be both functional and protective, but are lacking pizazz.  I tend to gravitate towards merchandise that is more eye-catching and unique (probably due to my only-child syndrome) as demonstrated by the work boots I purchased for construction site visits.

So, off to Etsy I went, to gain inspiration.  I decided that I really love the look of wool felt device covers such as these:

Felt & Leather




I also REALLY fell in love with these wonderful leather cases with stamped/branded designs:


So, now that I’m all loaded up with ideas – which way do I go? I love that these options are all pretty gender neutral and workplace appropriate, but I bought this amazing fabric from Spoonflower (which, if you don’t know, is an amazing community of artists creating their own textiles) with plans to make a case for my new Kindle… oh, I forgot to mention that one at the beginning – oops… BUT my Kindle already has a case, and my Xoom does not. Here’s the fabric in question:

Spoonflower – TROIMIETTES

This one is obviously more feminine, meaning that the fiance is less likely to carry it (which could prove to be a positive thing). I’m really just not sure where I want to go as far as aesthetics.  Any suggestions?  I’ll get to construction once I have that figured out for myself.

Has anybody out there ever made their own device cover? ALSO *segway*, has anybody ever worked with Neoprene? I have the remnants of a 13″ Macbook sleeve, which I tore apart to make this gadget carrier for my future father-in-law for Christmas:

*Please ignore the horrible photography… these were taken with my cell phone*

If you’re interested, here is the tutorial I followed for the above project.

Anyway, I lined the Kindle side with half of the neoprene from my Macbook sleeve, and let me tell you… neoprene is not easy to sew. Especially with the beginner’s sewing machine I was using for this project.  I now have a Singer 4423 Heavy Duty sewing machine … isn’t it PRETTY?

Even though I have my gorgeous heavy duty sewing machine, I’m pretty nervous that the neoprene for this project will prove to be equally difficult to work with; so any tips you all have for a novice sewer would be awesome! I’ll let you know when I’ve got this whole Xoom sleeve design figured out…hopefully it won’t take TOO long. Don’t want to leave this guy unprotected for too long!




Venue Selection [wedding]

28 Jan

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but Iowa isn’t exactly a hub for gorgeous event venues.  Of course we’ve got a couple nice hotels nearby – two Marriott’s and a Hyatt. There’s also a few stand-alone venues that specialize in the all-inclusive wedding or two.  However, these options simply don’t appeal to me.  Whether due to price or lack of character in the space, there’s no way I can get married in any of these places. Thus, the hunt began early for the perfect wedding venue (ceremony to be held outdoors, reception nearby under cover of some sort)…

Before we dive right in, let’s back up a little.

Shortly after I turned 21, my parents and I visited the Fireside Winery in Marengo, IA. It’s about 35 minutes from home and it was absolutely breathtaking. I knew then and there that I wanted to marry the love of my life in that space…some day. So, when my main man popped the question (finally) on 11/11/11, I immediately went to the winery’s website, downloaded their rental agreement, and contacted the events manager to schedule a visit.

It wasn’t until later that evening, while reading through the rental agreement, that I really started to re-think my decision.  I saw so many restrictions and downfalls – no sparklers, no hard liquor, no rice throwing, maximum capacity of 120 people, and to top it all off the manager called back to inform me that they would not be holding weddings on Saturdays any longer.  I was crushed.

I’m sure we could have worked around all of the restrictions the way most people would, but I have a certain vision for my wedding. This is something I’m only planning to do once in my life and I want to make sure that there are no regrets when it’s all said and done. SO, the search continued.

The more time I spent on Pinterest, the more I realized EXACTLY what kind of wedding I want to have – something vintage, with plenty of romanticism and elegance – a vintage barn wedding… which is apparently all the rage these days.  Here’s a couple examples of the direction we’re headed here:

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

Barn Wedding

These are obviously only two of hundreds of inspiration photos I have pinned so far, but they speak the most to the luxe aesthetic I’m aiming for.

My mother and I contacted the manager of the barn to set up a time to visit and put down a deposit, if we chose. Well, to make an incredibly long story short: we visited, I gushed, I signed, mom paid, and I HAVE A WEDDING DATE! haha. I’m not excited at all, can you tell?

Here’s a few pictures of the barn’s great bones that I pulled from their sharepoint:


Facing toward Stage area (the village mural isn’t normally there)

Facing towards the main entrance

Since I’m in a photo-happy mood, here are a couple I found in my Google image search – so you can imagine it with decorations:

Festhalle Barn Wedding

Style Me Pretty

Sb Photography

What do you think? Those decorations could turn out to be way too far out of our budget, but luckily I read DIY blogs like my life depends on it – so, in the words of Tim Gunn, I’ll have to make it work!

I’d love to hear any feedback on barn weddings, wedding planning, Iowa weddings… life… you know, whatever! I’m so new at all of this I’ll take all the pointers I can get!



Declaration of Intent

28 Jan

Well, here it is. I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot lately. I tried starting one a while back, but I simply didn’t have the inspiration. Well, now my life is full of – let’s go with content – thanks to the chaos that comes with a child and an engagement and career plans and homeownership and…I think you get the picture.

The main purpose of this blog will be to chronicle how I am growing as a person – out of young-adulthood and into just-plain-adulthood.  I expect my posts to be ever-evolving as I move from planning my wedding (coming in Summer 2013), to being a new wife & mother, to becoming a homeowner and eventual soccer mom.  I’m also hoping to go back to school to become a graphic designer and editor of any form of printed media, which makes this blog my portfolio… in a sense.

I’m also an avid DIY-er – learning to sew and knit and cook and build things… If you’re interested in those projects, just click on my “DIY” tag in the sidebar —->

I’ll be back soon with a post about our wedding venue, which we booked YESTERDAY!

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