Denim Bleaching Attempt

I’ve had a jean jacket in my closet for a long time. I’d say over ten years. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn it, because the fabric is so stiff and uncomfortable. I was going to donate it, but then I decided bleaching it might soften the fibers and give it a comfy, worn feel. I soaked my jacket in a bucket filled with a quart of bleach and 6 or 7 quarts of warm water for 4 hours.

denim bleaching attempt

The result was… meh. The jacket got quite a bit softer and more flexible, but my bleach bucket was a tad too small so I had to wad up the jacket a little to fit it in there. Although I stirred the bucket regularly, the wadding caused mottled dark splotches here and there where the bleach didn’t penetrate the fabric thoroughly (especially in the right armpit).

denim bleaching attempt

The worst part is that the whole jacket turned a strange yellowish green shade. It’s not that apparent in the photo above, but look at it next to standard blue denim…

denim bleaching attempt

I guess if there’s no regular blue denim nearby to compare it to, it doesn’t look too bad. I think I’ll keep it around for a while to see how often I end up wearing it.

denim bleaching attempt

Have you ever tried to bleach denim?

In the Zone

Remember a couple weeks ago when I complained that I hadn’t gotten to enjoy any wintery weather yet this season? Well, last week we had an ice storm, and this week we’ve had two snowfalls! It has been so beautiful around here. Daniel and I love snow, and this morning we built a happy-go-lucky (anatomically correct) snow-woman. There’s not much I love more than bundling up in ski bibs and a puffy down jacket and rolling around in the snow!

snowy alpine home

Another blissful side effect of all this winter precipitation, is that nearly all my social obligations and appointments over the past two weeks have been canceled. It’s not that I don’t like interacting with other humans, but I love the free feeling I get when I unexpectedly don’t have to. Maybe some of you fellow introverts understand? With all this extra time on my hands, I’ve been able to buckle down and make progress on a ton of new designs. It has been so satisfying being in the zone!

snowy alpine home

31 by 32 Birthday Bucket List

I celebrated my birthday this past weekend, and I finished up my 30 by 31 list just in time! My 30th year on earth was pretty sweet. My favorite list items from this past year included raising chickens, taking a pottery class, traveling to Switzerland, doing a 15 day drawing challenge with you all, tiling my backsplash, and making wine (even if it did end up smelling like farts). I also really loved designating one TV/internet free day a month, and I think I’ll keep that habit up. I got so much done on those days and felt refreshed after a break from the digital world. The crappiest thing I did was the 30 day squat challenge. I stuck with it for 30 days, worked my way up to 250 squats a day, and my butt looked exactly the same before and after. You suck, exercising. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

If you write birthday bucket lists please share your latest list, so we can all be inspired! My old lists are here (28 by 29), here (29 by 30), and here (30 by 31). Without further ado, here’s my 31 by 32 list! This time I left a TBD spot at the end, because halfway through the year I always come up with one more thing I wished I had included.

31 by 32 birthday bucket list

  1. spruce up my childhood bookcasedone!
  2. read a book of poetrydone!
  3. put together a Raleigh guide of my favorite spotsdone!
  4. try beef jerkydone! (eww!)
  5. work my way through this listdone!
  6. take a bubble bath
  7. add at least 3 new art prints to the shopdone!
  8. make a big breakfast for no reason at alldone!
  9. hire someone to paint our great room ceiling (it’s super high and super gross)done!
  10. organize all my favorite recipes in one placedone! (This app is great!)
  11. redo the stone pathway to our front porchdone!
  12. have our old (occasionally leaky) roof replaceddone!
  13. find my dream couchdone!
  14. learn another Christmas song on ukulele
  15. watch a well-known movie I’ve never seendone! and done!
  16. go to The Maker’s Summitdone!
  17. do another drawing challengedone!
  18. make salsadone!
  19. turn the guest room into a nurserydone!
  20. practice yoga consistently (just found this app—love it)done! (until SPD set in)
  21. make travel books for Switzerland, Pacific Northwest, and Norway trips.done!
  22. redesign my business cardsdone!
  23. try to brew kombuchadone!
  24. build a bird housedone!
  25. redo my website so it’s “mobile friendly”done!
  26. after extensive taste testing, choose my favorite local donut shopdone!
  27. tidy & organize my home with the KonMari Methoddone!
  28. go antiquing in Sanford with my pal, Michelledone!
  29. refresh the great room decor a littledone!
  30. travel someplace newdone!
  31. grow a baby and get it out of my uterus in the least traumatic way possibledone!

Sketchbook Flip Through

I filled another sketchbook, yahoo! I loathed this sketchbook, and I’m glad to be done with it. It was a Reflexions brand sketchbook, and something about the paper inside did not interact well with my beloved Pilot Precise V5 pens. Whenever I tried to ink over a pencil sketch, my pen would permanently clog. I had to throw away tons of pens, and it was so frustrating. Why didn’t I just trash this sketchbook right away and get a new one, you ask? Because I didn’t even think about it until just now. I was too intent on filling it up, I guess. I hearby declare Canson sketchbooks to be my favorite, and I doubt I’ll ever stray again!

Totally Awesome Music: “an inherited record collection” by Lullatone

A Few Favorite Dinner Recipes

Does anybody else have recipe hoarding issues? I’ve been trying at least 1 or 2 new recipes a week since I got married eight years ago. (I know, I’m so freakin’ domestic.) I’m never quite satisfied with my basic collection of tried and true dishes, so I just keep searching for something tastier, easier, healthier, etc… In addition to storing hundreds of recipes on my laptop with MacGourmet (and don’t even get me started on cookbooks), I’ve got a Pinterest board filled with recipes I want to try and another Pinterest board of over 100 recipes I’ve personally tried and loved. I made many recipes that didn’t make the cut, too. Yuck. Pinterest is hit-or-miss with recipes, don’t you think?

One of the goals on my 30 by 31 list was to find 10 easy, healthy(ish) dinner recipes Daniel and I both like. That was easier said than done. He’s a diehard carnivore, and I’d prefer to eat primarily vegetables. I found a few great new chicken/salmon recipes to appease my meat lover, but I discovered that hearty, filling vegetarian dishes with lots of beans and plenty of spice almost made Daniel forget about meat. After some trial and error (and yelling at Daniel for not liking perfectly delicious dishes) I eventually succeeded, and I want to share our new favorite dinner recipes. 

roasted chickpea ratatouille

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille (photo and recipe by Love & Lemons)

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (photo and recipe by Damn Delicious)

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, & Paprika (photo by Lisa Hubbard)

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas (photo and recipe by Skinny Taste)

Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Pesto

Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Pesto (photo and recipe by Food52)

Perfect Baked Salmon (add steamed veggies & baked potato) by The Pioneer Woman

Chana Masala by Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Topped with Quick Black Bean Chili by Marie Simmons

No-Prep Veggie Lasagna by Cooking with Trader Joe’s

Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Toasted Cumin by Marie Simmons