5 Apr 2024

Mimi Takes Five - #295

ONE // Lilac Manicure
I decided to paint my nails a bright lilac colour before Easter. I love doing pastels manicures in the springtime and figured it was the perfect time to start. I've had this polish for a while now and I always like wearing it during the warmer seasons. I tend to stick with darker jewel tones in the fall/winter, but when the sun comes out, so do the fun, bright colours! This one is the perfect polish to start with. I'm even now considering it for my next pedicure. It'll be open-toed shoe season before we know it - might as well plan ahead!

TWO // Easter Outfit
Hard to believe that we have a 5 inches of snow outside while I'm writing this, yet here we are. Last weekend, for Easter, we got glorious springtime weather. The sun was shining and the grass was getting greener by the day. I wore my first very cute floral and pastel outfit of the season and it felt great! It's always so refreshing to pull out the floral dresses for spring. I pulled the light blue and coral from the floral print for my accessories and really loved the resulting outfit! Even though it looks like winter outside at the moment (and the snow is still falling), I'm really hoping this is just a weather blip and that we resume our regular spring weather programming shortly.

THREE // NYT Puzzles
I've recently rediscovered the New York Times daily puzzles. I was big on Wordle for a long time and sort of got out of the habit. However, I recently ventured back to it and discovered a whole host of other fun puzzles! My current favourite is Connections. You get a grid of 20 words that you have to group into fours by identifying the connecting theme between them. I'm also enjoying Tiles (a pattern matching game), Letter Boxed, and a new one called Strands, which is more challenging than it looks. I remember a time when I would do the crossword and sudoku in my local newspaper; now I can play a variety of different games online. How the times have changed!

FOUR // Travel Roll
I set myself a rather ambitious goal lately. It's no secret that I love Grace & Grandeur hair bows and that I have a rather extensive collection. I've figured out how to store them in my closet for easy access and swap them out according to the seasons. That solution is very functional. The area I find less so is when I travel with my bows. I hadn't figured out just how to pack and travel without damaging them or getting odd folds in them. I was sitting on the bus during a commute recently when the idea just came to me - I would make my own customized travel roll! When I got home, I immediately sketched out the pattern I had thought up. I mulled it over for a few days and improved it. 

Now, I do know how to sew, but my skills are very basic. However, my mom is a pro and I've picked up a few skills from her over the years. Once I had my rudimentary pattern, I needed fabric. No problem, I had a skirt sitting in a pile of clothing I've been meaning to recycle. I would upcycle the fabric from that skirt! I took the entire thing apart making sure to save the fabric, the lining and the zipper. Waste not, want not. After I had my separate panels, I proceeded to iron the lot and start figuring out the right dimensions. I used my actual bows to do that and it worked out pretty well. It was nerve-wracking as I only had so much fabric and wouldn't be able to start over if I didn't cut the right size. No pressure. I measured like fives time before cutting. 

I started by making the left-side panel with thick ribbon, lining and bottom flap. At first I also had the zipper sewn on the side only to realize it wasn't the right kind of zipper. Not a big deal, but I had to remove it. This piece was the most complex as I had many elements to attach at once. Because I was sewing inside-out, I had to layer every piece just right. This took a lot of thinking and second-guessing, ha ha! However, I did it right and didn't have to start over. 

After that, I sewed the right-hand piece. This one is slightly bigger to accommodate the left-side flap. It's also lined, but I kept a raw edge on this piece as I wanted to finish it with a binding. Once I had both the right and left pieces done, I quilted them. Using a walking foot was a first for me. But with my mom's coaching and a YouTube video, I figured out how to swap out the foot and quilt my pieces. The left side piece was trickier because of the central ribbon and the fabric puckered in a few spots. This is also due to the fact there is some stretch in the printed fabric - always tricky to work with. I finally cut my binding strips and attached them to the right side piece.

The final steps involved hand sewing. I had to finish the binding by hand and that was tedious and time-consuming.  Another skill I learned with this project. My edges are not perfect, but I did notice improvement along the way, so there's that! I finally attached bits of velcro to the black outer ribbon and sewed a little black bow to finish it nicely. It just seemed right! All in all, this roll is far from perfect, but I'm proud of myself for getting this project from concept to prototype all by myself. The best part is that it will be very useful and make travelling with my bows so much easier! The pictures don't really do it justice, so if you want to see the process in action, go see this Reel.

FIVE // Peacock Feathers
When we went to the sugar shack a couple weeks ago, we actually came home with peacock feathers. Long story short, the sugar shack we went to is also a working farm, so we got to go to the barn and see the animals. Among them were peacocks. When we went to the shop to get some maple syrup, we also spotted a holder full of peacock feathers that were shed during moulting. They are absolutely stunning! I thought it would be the perfect addition to our decorative vase in the living room. The vase is filled with faux branches that we got at Homesense, but I've been adding seasonal touches to it this year. I started with adding fall foliage in the autumn, then some evergreen and berries during the holidays. Now I have these wonderfully colourful peacock feathers! I like updating my everyday décor with the seasons. The smallest changes make a big difference!

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