Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jersey City

Labor day is in a week, so what does that mean?  My favorite season is almost here!  I <3 Fall.  I love seeing the leaves change, and enjoying the fall breeze in Chicago.  I don't necessarily enjoy the fact that I know what season comes after fall....but let's keep on topic!  Fall!

Two essential reasons why I love fall:

  1. I'm one season closer to being done with school (I finished OB/GYN on Friday- that means:  No more stinky warty vajay jays in the forseeable future!! I tell you- some of the things I saw should be on scared straight: abstinence edition.)
  2.  I get to wear layers and layers of clothing without being questioned on why I'm not living at a homeless shelter.

Fall clothes are the best.  Jackets, sweaters, boots, you name it, I love it. Summer time is misery.  I  look like Casper the ghost, and people know it....but in the the fall I can cover up my pasty legs and chicken fat arms and people are none the wiser.

An essential accessory to any fall wardrobe:  The scarf.  I have a love affair with scarves; I own one in nearly every color.  They're versatile-  Use them on an airplane as a pillow.  Use them on the CTA as a breathing device.  Oh yeah, use them for warmth.
Last week I was google image searching and came across DeWanda's Braided Loopina Scarf.

It was love at first sight.  I wanted it NOW....but the page was in German.  I can barely speak Spanish, sometimes I even have trouble with English...German noway.  I did my best to translate, and found the fabric is a cotton jersey. The scarf retails for 35 euros, aka $50.  I often second guess myself spending $1 on a McDonalds cheeseburger, so $50 on a jersey scarf ain't gonna fly.

Time to get creative.

Step 1:  Gather Fabric.  I searched online for jersey fabrics; I was having a hard time finding cheap gray jersey material...and then it hit me!  A year ago I purchased a Gray jersey sheet set from Kohls for $12.  Super cheap, super comfy!  I HATE flat top sheets unless they are really nice material, so stored away in brand new condition was exactly what I needed!
2.  Cut material.  The size of the material strips is up to you.  I cut two 8"x60" strips and two 4"x60" strips  (The flat sheet measured 80"x60" so I cut the entire width of the flat sheet). 

  •  From the 4 strips, I further cut those down to size.  Leave one 8" strip untouched, and one 4" strip untouched.  Cut the remaining two strips into thirds length wise (ex. one 8" strip turns into 3-  2.5"x60" strips)

3.  Braid the two sets of strips just cut

4.  Sew the ends of the braids together to make a loop. (so you will have two sets of looped braids)
5.  Sew the ends of the 8" jersey together.  Sew the ends of the 4" jersey together.

Note:  While I have dreams of being the next winner of Project Runway, my sewing skills are more along the lines of ... kindergartner.  Michael Kors would be disgusted and Heidi Klum would tell me I'm out.  Just do as I say...and not as I sew.
8" strip with ends sewn together
6.  Gather/bundle all 4 sets of strips/braids at the areas you sewed.  Cut a square piece of jersey wide and long enough to tie and cover the sewn areas.  You can either sew the square on...or be lazy like me and knot it on.

You can make it a little prettier by sewing the jersey on...but my time is precious!

7.  Voila!  $50 scarf meet Kaitlin's free remnant wannabe.
The great thing about this project is that you can customize!  Make as many braids in as many sizes and colors as you want!  If you go my route...a flat sheet will make about 3 scarves....perfect for gifts.....who wants one?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fit For A Queen

Week 1 Summary of Labor and Delivery:
Smooth sailing...smooth attending physician....Lake Michigan during a storm sailing.

Allow me to recap- Scenario #1- Morning Rounds:
Attending:  Tell me about patient X
Me:  Patient X is a 20year old G2P1102 NSVD at 39w1d with hx of thrombocytopenia
Attending:  Describe the etiology of thrombocytopenia during pregnancy
Me:  Um Um....low platelets....*desperately looking for someplace to hide, or a code blue button to push*
Attending: AND
Me:  Eyes bulging, sweat forming.....At this point all I could think of was running down the hall frantically crying....I think I mumbled something about DIC and purpura

This situation ended with her giving me the answer, and me surviving pimp scenario #1.

Scenario #2:  Operating Room- Cesarian Section
Attending:  "Suction the blood in the area I'm working"
Me Thinking:  Yay I get to do something, I'm in the big leagues, I get to suction!
Attending:  NO you're suctioning the wrong area, suction where I'm working
Me Thinking:  OH NO!  I'm not suctioning right, all I have to do is suction and I'm not suctioning right!  MUST Suction right, MUST suction right.
* Trying to suction where she is working, without suctioning the skin off her fingers*
Attending: No no, just give it to the resident, resident suction for me.

FAIL. I am being overly dramatic.  I survived, and got to do and see ALOT of cool things ( I later got to retract, staple, and generally make up for my lack of suctioning skills). If I could do everything, and know all the answers I wouldn't be a student.

But, this leads me to my point- After a long day of getting "pimped" there is nothing I look forward to more than my nice comfy bed, which recently got a little makeover.

When I moved this summer I left my little twin bed behind and moved on to greener pastures in the form of a queen sized Ikea Heimdal Metal Frame Bed: $129.

 I KNOW, you don't need to tell is a little...lackluster.  BUT I challenge you to find a modern bed that is affordable.  They just don't exist, I promise you.
Clearly this bed was not making the mark-  I have always wanted one of those Alice in Wonderland type headboards, where you feel like you're sleeping in the Ritz Carlton...and not a $129 Ikea bed.  So, I set my mind to  making a new headboard to spruce things up.

Inspiration: West Elm Diamond Tufted Headboard $449

There are so many tutorials on how to make a DIY tufted headboard- but this is Kaitlin's one of a kind Ikea Headboard Hack


  • Fabric- I used 3 yards of Ikea Gray Linen Fabric $18, and there was plenty leftover
  • Plywood (Free! Thanks dad!) 
  • Button Kit- I ended up making 22 buttons, I purchased the kits from Joanne Fabrics for $16
  • Spray Adhesive
  • 1.5-2" Foam- I used a full size foam mattress topper (egg crate topper) purchased at Walmart- $11
  • Long strong tufting needle, and strong string/twine
  • Staple Gun- Purchased at Home Depot- $11
  • Batting- Sized large enough to cover the plywood
  • Plastic zip ties
This was my starting point:  Stop judging me.  Not everyone has an immaculate bedroom.

Step 1: Cut plywood to desired size
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to keep the bedframe.  The only dilemma was that in order to keep the frame I HAD to keep the headboard, or the bed would be missing two legs.  So, I cut the plywood to fit the size of the current headboard.  The pictures below may give you a better idea of what I mean

Step 2: Mark the spots where you want the buttons to go on the headboard, and drill holes large enough to fit the tufting needle
I also drilled holes where I was going to tie the current headboard to the plywood --See pictures below

Step 3: Affix the plywood to the metal headboard frame using plastic zip ties

Step 4:  Remove headboard frame +Plywood from the rest of the bedframe
See!  The bed wouldn't have legs without the headboard frame!

Step 5:  Cut the foam to size.  Using spray adhesive, adhere foam to plywood
Sorry I forgot to photograph this step. My bad.
Step 6: Cover the foam/plywood with batting.  Staple OVER the metal frame.
Step 7: Cut the fabric to size and cover the batting with fabric.
Once again, staple over the metal and batting. Take special care with the corners.  I stapled them as if I was wrapping a Christmas present. You can stop here if you are too lazy to tuft, but I'm a go-getter!

Step 8:  Make buttons with left over fabric.
This step is painful, just follow the directions on the package. If I never see another button kit in my life, it will be too soon.
Step 9:  Sew the buttons on. 
This is where the previously drilled holes come into play.  Thread the needle, insert it through the previously drilled hole in the plywood, through the foam, batting and fabric, and out the front.  Thread the button onto the thread and guide the needle to the back. Put some muscle into it so the tufts are deep.  Staple the thread to the plywood.
Behold:  My bed fit for a queen.  Don't mind the ugly bedding and pillows....future posts to come!  I can't put all of my eggs in one basket....
Behold my $75 Masterpiece (and my incredibly awful photoshop attempt to cover up my disaster bedroom....)

Update:  Here is a slightly better picture one year later...still holding up well...even though my cats have decided it is a great scratching post alternative....

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