In hot pursuit of an adventure: our experience at International Hot Glass

If there’s one thing I love more than sewing, it’s mini-adventures. I call them mini-adventures because I’m not talking about climbing Mount Everest, here. I’m talking about one-day experiences that typically include one or more of the following elements (mix and match as you please):

  • Close to home (no more than a day trip away)
  • A “hidden gem” activity that most people have never heard of (something more interesting than eating out or going to a movie)
  • An activity with local flair (I love being a tourist in my own zip code)
  • Trying something new (even if it’s just new to me or my friends)
  • And of course, as someone who writes a sewing blog… bonus points if it’s a crafty activity!

Past adventures that I’ve participated in, that I feel meet some of the criteria I’ve outlined above:

Well shoot, look at that long list of adventures! And to think there’s still so many more on my list that I have yet to conquer. For that reason, I try to plan a mini-adventure every year for my birthday. In years past, I’ve gone camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (hence the archery lessons!) or dragged all of my friends to one of those “make a fancy canvas painting while drinking wine” type places.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

This year, I decided to go crafty with a glass art workshop!

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Hippy-Dippy Birthday

Hey y’all – today is my birthday!

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake... back in the day before "smash cakes" were a thing.

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake… back in the day before “smash cakes” were a thing.

Today’s (self-serving) blog post is all about meeeeeeeeee! And more specifically, my personality as determined by my birth date and Disney character pairing, outlined in the book Disneystrology — which “combines astrology, numerology and the magic of movies to help readers understand their own personalities.” I was introduced to the book and this concept some years ago in a team building event at work where we all learned which Disney character was matched up with our birth date, and therefore, was supposed to be a reflection of our personality.

<i>Disneystrology</i> by Lisa Finander

Disneystrology by Lisa Finander

I had to laugh when I was told my birthday, February 7, had been paired with Fillmore – the hippy-dippy Volkswagen bus from the movie Cars. My first reaction was, “Ummmmm what?” I mean, there are definitely more awkward characters out there to be associated with (Stinky Pete? Did anyone out there actually get paired with him? LOL…) but I failed to see the connection to this one at a glance.


Then I read the description for Fillmore a little closer, and the connection actually makes a lot of sense give my love of creativity and crazy ideas. Since then, I’ve been emotionally attached to this hippy-dippy bus!

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Chris’s (Mega) Birthday

Here’s the thing about birthdays: they happen every year.

In the words of Michelle Tanner… DUH.

Michelle Tanner Duh

But for me, that means that someone I’m sewing for this year may have already received something crafty from me last year… so I need to mix things up!

Remember my friend Chris? Last year, he had a birthday… this year, he had another birthday.

Chris. You’re so stressful.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris... drinking from mason jars in Disneyland.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris… mason jar twins at Disneyland.

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It’s your birthday, baby!

Meet my friend Laura — we have known each other since we were in kindergarten and she is still one of my dearest friends.


Eighth grade volleyball, dorky haircuts… and proof that we turned out alright in adulthood despite the dweeby photos.

Laura is pregnant with her first child and due this month! When your childhood BFF is pregnant, and you’re a fan of handmade gifts — the pressure is high! When I first heard Laura was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make her something really special, but I wasn’t sure what it should be. Although I adore the rag quilts I made for baby Liam and baby Sophia last year, I wanted the project for Laura to be one-of-a-kind — not a repeat of one of my previous projects. Laura also sews (Reason #923498723 why I love her) and has made a number of items for her baby’s nursery, so making another quilt didn’t feel very earth-shattering since she had already conquered rag quilts herself.  I was also looking for a project that would stand the test of time. Continue reading

My friend furoshiki

I initially thought this would be a really basic story: “Look at the cute gift I made for my friend Melanie’s birthday! The end.” But this story ended up having a cool, coincidental twist! Read on.

My lovely friend Melanie (who, by the way, was the ringleader for our 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon running group) lived in Tokyo for a few years and once told me she really loves cherry blossoms because they remind her of her time spent in Japan. I have always remembered this fact because I, too, love cherry blossoms — but I really have no reason for loving them, other than I like the way they look (sadly, I have not visited Japan) (yet) (hint hint, Tokyo Disneyland anybody?).


I had a bit of cherry blossom fabric leftover from some other projects, so I put it to the side for Melanie and revisited it while working on her birthday project. And the zipper, which matched perfectly, came from my crazy bulk zipper stash – I’m slowly working through those and finally starting to make a dent!

In the spirit of trying new things, and also tackling my 100 No Pressure Projects List, I decided to make a bow pouch that I had seen on Pinterest some months ago. As I tend to do with all zipper pouch projects, I used a mashup of tutorials — the Little Bow Clutch Tutorial on This Big Oak Tree and my favorite zipper pouch tutorial on Make It Perfect.

And I love the way it turned out. Love, love, love.


I lined the inside with a charcoal/black calico print I already had on hand because it seemed to flow with the floral theme. I never, ever line zipper pouches with the exact same  fabric I’ve used on the outside. Because that would be boring!


But here’s the fun (and educational) coincidence. Do you know what furoshiki is? Yeah, neither did I… according to the trusty (ha) Wikipedia, “furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.” Apparently when Melanie was living in Japan, she received a baby gift that was wrapped in furoshiki and looked just like this bow pouch – so not only the cherry blossoms, but even the design, is sentimental for Melanie.


An example of furoshiki from the Wikipedia.

So how coincidental is that? I had no clue. I just picked the bow design because I wanted to try something new and I thought it looked cute – but Melanie was destined to receive this design. It was obviously fate!

But whether it’s a bow clutch or furoshiki – there will definitely be a lot more of these bow clutches in my future.


PS – After I wrote this post, it sat in my blog queue for awhile because I wanted to make sure Melanie approved before I posted. Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Melanie brought me the most wonderful book — Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies. The book has beautiful photos and detailed instructions for wrapping all sorts of gifts in fabric! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. You can bet I will be writing about some of these wraps when I try them out. And now I’m convinced I need to buy a serger so I can serge all of my fabric and use it for furoshiki!

Furoshiki Fabric Wraps Book





Ode to Joe (and what I sewed)

When I moved to Florida in 2006, one of the first people I met was Joe. We both participated in the Disney College Program together and spent many, many hours living it up in the Disney parks!


Some photos from our College Program days back in 2006!

After the Disney College Program ended, I stayed in Florida – and Joe returned home to New York. But within a year or so, he was back in Florida and we’ve been able to continue our adventures ever since!

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The 30-year-old, the plastic dishes and the duvet cover

Last month, I turned 30. Coincidentally, on the morning of my birthday, my favorite radio show was discussing just that – being 30.

Side Bar: I’ve been listening to The Eric & Kathy show since I was a teenager driving to school in Chicago – and even since moving to Florida, the show has always been a part of my life. First via downloadable podcasts, but these days, via live streaming. If you’re ever in need of a fantastic and hilarious daily podcast – check them out!

The Eric & Kathy Show on 101.9 FM The Mix WTMX Chicago

Anyway, on the morning of my birthday, Eric and Kathy were discussing an article titled, “10 things you should have in your home by the time you’re 30.” As if turning 30 weren’t stressful enough – now there are rules?

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Countdown to (sewing) fun!

A big thank you to all of my family, friends and blogosphere buddies who reached out to make my birthday magical this week. From Tinker Bell cupcakes  by day to an artsy-crafty painting party by night, it was a truly wonderful birthday and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m being completely truthful when I say it’s the best birthday I’ve had in years.

I finally got a chance to open some gifts last night, and I have two exciting sewing books to add to my collection! I talked about one book, Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders, in a blog post a few weeks back. The second book is called Countdown Calendars and just came out last July.

Countdown Calendars sewing book

Countdown Calendars: 24 stitched projects to celebrate any date!

I first discovered the project shown on the cover  – a birthday countdown calendar – about two years ago when I was thinking about buying a sewing machine. It was a finished project listed for sale on Etsy, not a pattern, so I saved a photo for inspiration.

It’s such a fun concept – just add a fabric candle to the birthday cake on the wall hanging each day leading up to your birthday! Advent calendars were always a big deal in my house around Christmastime, and I know I would have loved this birthday calendar if we’d had one in our family.

I can already imagine an infinite number of color combinations in my head and can’t wait to give this a try. It would make a great gift for all of my friends who are exploding my social media newsfeeds with photos of their new babies! Plus – the book has lots of other fun countdown calendar ideas too, including a Christmas advent calendar.

Happy counting! Not gonna lie – all of this talk about countdowns and I can’t get the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade music from Disney’s Hollywood Studios out of my head… Five, four, three, two, FUN! 🙂

The (not so) big two-eight.

Tomorrow I turn 28. I want to write something profound, but I’m at a loss. What’s there to say about 28? I keep typing and backspacing, so I’ll just start with this celebratory birthday photo from 1988 instead:

February 7 Birthday

My fourth birthday at pre-school, 1988

So much has changed in the last year that I can’t help but wonder what 28 has in store for me.


I lived in a tiny apartment… now I’m in a grand ‘ole townhouse with the most spectacular sewing nook in the world!

My life was Winnie-less… so hard to believe this precious puppy hadn’t even been born at this time last year. She’s been a part of our little roommate-family since July, so it’s hard to imagine life without her. I’m so thankful that my roommate Katie brought Winnie into our home and our hearts!

Winnie the Morkie

Winnie love.

I was working two jobs… office by day, retail by night. Since then, I quit the retail job and I’m spending a zillion hours pursuing my MBA instead… which might as well count as two jobs!

I had never run a half-marathon. My longest race had been a 10K – only 6 miles. But in October, I completed Disney’s Wine & Dine Half-Marathon with my two wonderful friends and running-mates, Joe and Chris. We were so proud!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Race photos are never attractive, so thanks in advance for not judging!

I had never gone home for the holidays since moving to Florida in 2006. But this past year, I went home for Thanksgiving and spent the day on a dairy farm with my family and some dear friends.

And speaking of family, my brother Jason was finally able to visit me in the Florida for the first time!

Mickey and Minnie in Town Square Theater

Spending some time with my favorite mice, my brother Jason and his girlfriend Sarah.

I still had all four wisdom teeth… now I don’t have any. So much for being old and wise!

Wisdom Teeth Cartoon

Some dentist humor...

I had never traveled abroad. And while I still don’t technically have any international trips stamped on my passport, I will in just four months as I head to Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Russia!

I never could have predicted any of the ups and downs that came my way at 27, for better or for worse. I’m insanely curious about what 28 has in store, but there’s only one way for me to find out! Stay tuned. 🙂

Making the cut!

Living in a warm climate, I planned to wear a dress for my special birthday dinner outing last week. But the evening of my birthday was cold and rainy – boo! I decided to wear a dress I bought a few years ago in St. Augustine – a convertible dress by Elan-USA that can be twisted and tied in lots of different ways. The plan was to fashion a dress with sleeves to keep warm.

Elan-USA convertible dress

But as soon as I put the dress on, I was reminded why I rarely wear it: it’s too long. Being five feet small, the dress is almost ankle length on me, which makes it feel a little too formal. But the dress itself is made out of a jersey-knit material and is supposed to be a semi-casual dress. I would never actually wear it for a formal occasion.

I picked up the hem of the dress to examine it, wondering if I could attempt to hem it myself, and was shocked to see that the dress had no hem at all! It looked like freshly cut, jersey knit fabric. How come I had never noticed that before?

With only 30 minutes to spare before my birthday dinner, I pinned the heck out of the non-hemmed-dress and grabbed my rotary cutter. There was a moment of hesitation where the rotary cutter just hovered about the fabric while I panicked. What if I ruined it? But if I wanted to wear the dress to dinner, there wasn’t time to think about negative consequences…

So I cut. And cut. And cut. Then, the moment of truth: Dress + Lindsay + Mirror.

It… was… PERFECT! I think I’ll be wearing it more often now that it’s the proper length. And now I have a long, thick remnant of fabric leftover that I can use as an extra sash for the dress.

I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make the cut without my newfound interest in sewing. I never would have looked at the hem of the dress in the first place!

Have you ever made a last minute alteration?