Wednesday, January 28, 2015


First of all, a big ol' thanks to all of you sweet folks who said nice things about this project and the Snow White dress. Y'all are the best. Thank you for fueling my insane fire. (Pardon the breeze blowing my skirt around in the following photos, nature was not cooperating.)

"Something simple, but daring too. Oh, just leave it to me! What a gown this will be!"

So, on to the next one! Cinderella! Sort of appropriate since the live action movie comes out soon (I CAN'T WAIT AND OMGOMGOMG unrelated, but EMMA WATSON AS BELLE?!?! EEEE!). So Cinderella has always and forever made me think of my sister. Because she's blonde? Endlessly good natured? I don't know, but in my mind, Julie was always a Cinderella. I never really identified with Cindy (although I'd love for some chatty mice to come help me sew!), but I love the story. In it's many forms... Ella Enchanted, Ever After, A Cinderella Story, but of course, Disney's Cinderella was my first. So, this is my version of The Blue Dress.

Cinderella came out in 1950, so I was thinking of a slightly retro off the shoulder style dress. I used Simplicity 1418, and used two types of polyester fabric in cornflower blue. The skirt and sleeves are a kind of poly crushed silk-esque thing, and the bodice is more of a suiting fabric. I went for this blue in particular because it made me think of the dress from the upcoming live action movie (which comes out on my momma's birthday, holla!). It's also relatively reminiscent of the 1959 Cinderella, but I feel like that one was more of an icy blue, or white, depending on the shot. Oh dear lord, stop me now. I can talk about color for days.

WOO, SIDE ZIP ON THAT B. Seriously, zippers stress me out and side zippers give me hella anxiety. But I did it, and I have to say, having a seamless back is kinda lovely. I thoroughly enjoy this dress. It's fancier than Snow White's, but hey, Cinderella's wore that getup to a royal ball! This dress fits me like a glove and it's quite comfortable. My only qualm with it is that it's an off shoulder dress, which means a strapless bra which means, BUHHHH. Ladies, y'all know. But I love the blue, the fabric almost glows. And I even made myself a little sash to tie around my head. Not bad for no fairy godmother!

So we were taking pictures, and I had the usual problem of what do I do with myself? So I thought, what would Cinderella do? I don't have her ability to summon mice and birds, so we googled Cindy and found an image of her swishing her big blue dress around, thus these awkward photos happened:

Yep. Someone give me a prop next time. And by the way, how hilarious is it that Cinderella's stepmother's cat is named Lucifer? Bold move, Disney. Also, the romantic king who's obsessed with grandbabies? Cute.

Cinderella was fun! I'm seriously loving this. I've gotten the fabric for the next one, and man, it's going to be a doozy. It's going to be difficult to make it not look like a costume. But the fabric is real pretty! Wish me luck!

And here's Snow White if you missed it!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Disney Princess Dress Project - Snow White

Okay okay okay okay, so flashback about a month ago, we're at Disneyland. And there's like a gazillion little girls dressed as princesses, all the stores sell teeny princess dresses, and you can even get made over princess style in a tiny little child sized salon. But what about the adults? What about the grown up princesses? You can get a t-shirt with a princess on it. So I was like, the heck? This is a market someone needs to cash in on. We adults (I swear, it is not just me) want dresses too! A month or so later, boom, I've got my next ridiculous project. The Disney Princess Dress Project. DPDP. Like double Doctor Pepper. I'm making a dress for each Disney Princess. Because I want them all and no one's selling them. And I'm going in chronological order, because I'm a freak. Starting with my dearest, Snow White.

Snow White has never been my absolute favorite princess, but I've always had mad respect because she was the first. Circa 1937. And animals love her. And she sports a primary colored dress like no ones business. Plus she's the only Disney Princess with short hair. You go girl.

You like that princess pose? The wind seriously started blowing just as we were taking this picture, thus, fabulous hair. So, these dresses are not costumes (although, I have been Snow White before). I mean, not for me anyway. I will rock a dress on the reg though. They'll be made out of regular apparel fabric, made to be worn whenever. They're inspired by Disney Princesses, however they're not replicas by any means. Because I don't want to look TOO ridiculous in public.

Snow White is a German fairy tale, so I went with a dirndl-esque top. Plus, duh I love dirndls. I wanted it to be relatively casual and sundressy, since I mean, Snow White runs off into the woods in this dress. Just a regular almost get your heart cut out by a huntsman and meet a ton of woodland creatures plus seven little men dress. Nothing too fancy.

To keep it simple, I made it out of quilting cotton in fun prints (the sleeves have butterflies and flowers on them!), and it is extra comfortable. The sleeves have elastic in them... seriously comfy. I'd clean the house while singing and then take a nap in this dress. I used Simplicity 1803 (which I've made here and here) for the bodice and skirt, and I stole the sleeves off of McCall's 5619. Since this was basically the third time I've made this pattern and I was sewing on cotton, it came together easy peasy. And I love love love it. It will be perfect for frolicking around Austin this spring! With all that free time I have.

And in case you live under a social media rock, I have red hair! I dyed it a little over a week ago and it's still pretty dang red! It's a semi-permanent dye (this one if you're interested) over mostly my natural color and what's left of my ombre. And I love it. It came out much brighter than I thought it would and it's lasting longer than I thought. I've been washing my hair at the last minute during my showers and only using cold water, which is not so fun when it's cold outside, but it's helping the color last!

So this is my new project. Don't judge me. Or do, I don't care. ;) There are a lot of Disney Princesses, so I'm hoping this keeps me busy for a while. I've already started the next one, and y'all, I'm having the time of my life. Can I just make princess dresses for a living?

And big ol' shout out to the future good Doctor Hogan, who took time out of his busy day to take pictures of me pretending to be the Fairest of Them All.

Love you, boo. Thanks for encouraging my princess complex.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My little black book

Y'all. I accidentally stumbled upon the smallest thing today, that seriously rocked my little world.

When I was in college, I had a variety of little notebooks, as you do. To write thoughts, plan things out, sketch etc. May I remind you, I was in art school. Just before my last semester of college I bought a new little black moleskine to do more of these things. Not that I had filled up any notebook previously (does anyone), but sometimes you can't resist a pretty new notebook? Ya know?

Anyway, today I found that moleskine. I was scheming a project and needed some place to write ideas, and I grabbed one of the few (half written in) notebooks on my desk, the moleskine. And I opened it and had one of those insane nostalgic memory trips. I started at the beginning and worked my way through and oh my gosh it's a pretty much exact time line from my last semester (fall 2010?) to I think the summer of 2012? I think that's the last time I wrote in it. YOU GUYS, a lot went down in those two years. A lot. No one cares about this except me, but looking through that little book effected me so much I had to blog about it.

This little book has everything in it. I've got notes for school, planned out paintings, lists of what wood to buy for stretchers, art shows to go see, MATH? (art related geometry of course), review dates, graduation plans?! I mean it was like my planner, sketch book, notebook, everything. Then comes the wedding planning. This was the book I planned my wedding in. Lists, lists, lists, seating charts, layouts of the dance floor, squaring out the wording for our invitations, our music list, honeymoon planning (our flight info, hotels, you name it, it's in there), where to get our marriage license, what we're bringing down to New Braunfels for the wedding week, and in the midst of it all, pharmacy school application stuff??? I mean, it's just a rush of emotions at this point. There's a few games of hangman we played on the plane to Vancouver on our honeymoon. Thank you card lists for wedding presents. THEN WE'RE MOVING TO AUSTIN. I have our new (current) address written down, plans for setting up electricity, cable, etc, and then budgets. Oh man, here comes the part where we are broke broke broke. So much budgeting and numbers and stress and get this, my interview time/address for the barista job at the Bean. My first stores hours, notes to myself to get nonslip shoes and my food handlers certification, HA. Pages upon pages of free things to do in Austin. Lists of video games to rent. Pages upon pages of scores from playing dominos, cards, scrabble, etc. Because that's what we did our first year here. We played games because we couldn't afford to go out. Doodles and doodles and doodles. The plans for my first quilt. The plans to build my easel. Doctors appointments, recipes, brake places for the Xterra, fabric amounts for dresses, plans for the painting that has been half finished in my living room for years. And the last little thing; a list for a camping trip to Arkansas. And then that's it. You know whyyyyy that's it? After that last trip, I came home and started my job as a manager at work. I went from hourly to salary. Boom, metaphor for my life.

If you read all that, good job, you're crazy. If you didn't but are still hanging around, here are some pages that I felt I needed to document. So if this book disappears somehow, the internet will have some of it.

LOL, girls. You know we all do it. Write your name a gazillion times. And once upon a time, I was not a Hogan!

That picture was taken the day after our bachelor/bachelorette parties at my best friend's daughter's first birthday party. I have no idea why it's glued in this book. Also, seating arrangements!

Sorry Mr. Hogan, but that's still the truth. And I am also still a sleepy fatface.

I love that on the side of that last page I wrote "my stomach hates me!" NOT ANYMORE. Yeesh, what a terrible problem that was. Thank god I went vegetarian.

So I mean, you might be like whaaaaaa why the heck? But for me, finding that little book was finding a time machine. A lovely little trip down memory lane. I think it's completely fantastic that I have this little book to document such a... tumultuous (oooOOOooo big word) time in my life. I am sad that I dropped that habit of documenting all the tiny things.

Which leads me to.... what do I do? The book has still got maybe of fourth that is empty. Do I write in it? Or do I leave it as it is? A nice little time capsule representing a certain time period of my small life? Regardless of whether it's in this book or a new one, I'd like to start doing the same again. Because you guys have no idea how much I enjoying stumbling across this book. Okay, maybe now you do. But you get the picture. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Taos 2014 version 2.0

So we started the year off in Taos, and we ended it in Taos. In January of last year (ha!) we went on a last minute adventure to Taos, and then we both took the last week of the year off and I coerced Brendon into going skiing again. I think he's conceded at this point that it might need to be an annual winter thing. IT'S JUST SO FUN. And going to Taos feels like coming home. I love those mountains, so much.

Altitude sickness struck again, worse than last year. I lost the whole first half of our first day skiing. How stupid is that? But thanks to carbs, water, and time, I skiied all afternoon. This was Brendon's second time skiing and this go 'round he felt more comfortable! I started dragging him down blues on our first day and I may have forced him down (half) a black with me the last day. We got some good skiing in! The snow was exponentially better than it was last year. Not powder by any means, but still so much better. It was also, WAY COLDER. Like in the teens! The last day was the best day, the weather was great and we skiied the heck out of the mountain. Plus, it was New Year's Eve! Best way to wrap up the year!

Skiing means lots of warm layers. And lots of warm layers mean real terrible fashion. I had on another pair of pants under those long johns. It was cold.

Throwback. My name in my gloves from when I was a youngster. Because that's what happens when you're a kid. Your name gets written in stuff to keep it straight from the other kids.

By the end of the last day, we were pooped. We skiied real hard, plus skiing three days in a row is intense! I think next time we'll have to take a day off in the middle to rest.

Best tortilla soup in the world!

On New Year's Eve they do fireworks on the mountain, and they have skiiers ski down with flares in their hands. It is actually way cooler than it sounds. It was really really neat. Also, these folks were talented! They skiied moguls, in the dark, with flares instead of poles. Impressive. Also visually very cool. The fireworks show after was crazy. The longest fireworks show I've ever seen. Or maybe that's because it was like nine degrees and we were standing outside. Also, fireworks in the mountains are pretty epic. The echos were nuts and the light reflecting off the snow was really pretty.

What an awesome night. For dinner that evening we ate at this place called the Love Apple, which was seriously straight out of pinterest. We're talking mismatched vintage plates, burlap curtains, garlands, and rustic wreaths. Even the waitresses' hair was braided in these insane updo's that screamed pinterest. Cutest place ever, and the food was on point. They have this vegetarian pate... wooo! Taos (and New Mexico in general) is so veggie friendly! We ate really good this year. Old Martina's Hall was also a highlight! Anyway, after dinner we hung out at the hotel, and surprise, I didn't make it to midnight. I passed out around 11, and Brendon woke me up at midnight to do our little poppers we got... then I passed out again. When you're used to waking up at 5am, midnight just doesn't happen! And that's okay. We woke up the next day, had some breakfast, and then skedaddled out of town!

And oh my gosh the drive back. So Taos was so cold because this "artic blast" came through that week. It also came through Texas! We saw a little snow in Texas when we went up, but coming down, it was crazy. Snow and ice covered everything (including the roads) from far west Texas to the west side of the Hill Country. Everything was white. Like far more snow and ice than New Mexico! We saw car accident after car accident and even got stuck for half an hour while they shut down the interstate. It was slow going, especially since we took a lot of back roads. Cars upside down, 18-wheelers in fields, it was nuts. But we made it safely home, slowly but surely, thanks to Brendon's excellent driving and the Bruce Wayne's almost new tires. It was a learning experience for sure.

But anyway, Taos, we love you we love you we love you. You are such a magical place full of the friendliest people. We cannot wait to see you again. You are more than worth braving the snow and ice!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Farewell 2014

Literally, just recycling this blog post title. Every year.

2014 was a good year. I don't want my last post to mislead you. This was a wonderful year. Best year ever probably. I mean, seriously, every year gets better than the one before. Except maybe the second half of 2011... that was a rough one. But 2014, even though I was ready for you to be over, I loved you. A lot. We had a LOT of fun. I mean, yeah we also both worked our asses off... but work hard, play hard, y'all.

Every year I say, "this was the year of...", and this was the year of playing outside. Seriously. My new years resolution was to run more, and oh man, did I. We bought a state parks pass and hopped around local state parks. Visited the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Disneyland happened. And we visited the mountains THREE TIMES, beginning and ending with skiing in Taos and camping in Colorado in the summer. We spent a lot of time frolicking in the outdoors. Plus lots of other wonderful, lovely, amazing things (I dyed my hair purple! Full calendar year as vegetarians! Sewing all kinds of things!). With people who also embody those adjectives.

You were a winner, 2014. We filled you up with a ton of goodness. We did a boatload of stuff. Had hella adventures. Said YOLO a bunch. LIVED a lot. Seriously, SUCH a good year. Very excited to see what kind of shenanigans we can fill 2015 with.

If you'd like a blast from my past, here's Farewell to 2013, 2012, 2011.