Friday, December 27, 2013

A Shiptastic Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone, and while I would have loved to have spent it at home with my family, I made the most of it and had a pretty great time here in the Caribbean.

Here's a rundown of Christmas time on the ship:

I did a lot of beach knitting, which earned me tons of strange looks from passersby, but I didn't care a bit; I deeply enjoyed doing it.  I think I'll always knit when I'm at the beach now.

I also diligently opened all the boxes on my old-school advent calendar one by one until Christmas came.  Then I went to town on the candy from my stocking!

Justin labeled my present "to you, from me."  Boys are hilarious.

I spent Christmas Eve lounging and painting my nails on the pool deck.  When in Rome, right?

Christmas day was super hectic work-wise, so I used Christmasy nail art and extra glitter on my eyes to keep my spirits high.  In the words of skating icon Karen Kresge, "you can never have too much glitter."

How was your Christmas?  I hope it was filled with fun and family and lots of chocolate.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sewing a Peter Pan Collar

Christmas is two days away and I'm still knitting like crazy, but I decided to take a little break from all that to sew something for myself.  It was the perfect crafting breather, and it totally rejuvenated my spirits.

So here it is; my brand new Peter Pan collar necklace:

I didn't have a pattern, but I did have a polo shirt, so I decided to use that as a jumping off point.  I traced it onto some scrap fabric, adding a curve to the front of it to make it more Peter Pan than polo.

Second, I cut it out and tried it on.  It didn't sit right at all.  So then I traced it again, making the whole thing more curvy, and it was a teensy bit better but still not right.  I tried again, making more alterations, and again, and again, and on the 5th try I ended up with a collar pattern that I was happy with.  The key seemed to be drawing the pattern onto the folded-in-half fabric at a pretty steep slant so that the circumference of the neck hole is smaller than the circumference of the bottom of the collar.

Third, I folded my green fabric in half, placed my newly-made pattern on top of it, and traced around it adding about a quarter inch seam allowance on all sides.

Fourth, I repeated step three so I had two matching green pieces.

Fifth, I pinned my two green pieces together with the right sides facing in, and sewed them together, leaving one end unsewn so that I could turn it right-side out again.

Sixth, I turned the collar right-side out with the help of a knitting needle, pinned the final end together with the seam allowance tucked inside, and ironed the whole thing flat.  Then I got back on the sewing machine and top stitched around the entire collar.

Seventh, for the final touch, I hand-sewed the button onto the top corner of one side of the collar, and sewed a hair rubber band to the back of the collar on the opposite corner to make a loop for the button to go through.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the way the collar turned out, and I can't wait to wear it around the ship on Christmas day.

I made a couple of mistakes on this project, though, and I will learn from them when I make another collar in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future.  Both lessons involved remembering to hammer out the details of the project before I hopped onto the sewing machine.

When I started sewing the two green peices together, I just picked a random corner to start from and I sewed until I was almost back to that corner before I remembered that I needed to leave part of the collar unsewn in order to flip it right-side-out again.  I didn't love that the part I left unstitched was such a prominent part of the collar.  Therefore, when I do this again, I'm going to think ahead and pick an inconspicuous spot at the back of the collar to leave unsewn.

I also wish that I had added the loop for the button before I sewed the two green pieces together.  That way the tails of the loop would be neatly hidden inside the collar instead of dangling on the backside.

It's all about thinking ahead, isn't it?

Oh, and this is quite nitpicky, but I wish the button sat directly between the two sides of the collar instead of slightly to one side.  Do any of you experienced sewers know how I could make that happen?

Anyway, I'm still really excited about how well this sewing project went.

Have you sewn a collar before?  Do you have any tips for me for the next time I try it?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Showgirl Beauty Tip: Christmas Eyelashes

I promise that next time I post a Showgirl Beauty Tip it'll be about something other than eyelashes, but today I just had to tell you one more thing about them...

If you're in the market for a pair of eyelashes, now is the perfect time to find them!  All the women's stores in the mall are selling pretty little stocking-stuffers like lipgloss, hair accessories, and (you guessed it) eyelashes.

The only other time of year that this happens is October because of Halloween.  I like the Christmas lashes better, though, because they tend to be more sparkly and whimsical while the Halloween lashes are a bit more harsh and scary.

I accidentally bought these two sets of lashes for myself while I was out Christmas shopping on Saturday:

The pair on the left is from Francesca's and the pair on the right is from Forever 21.  Both sets cost less than $5.00, and I can't wait to wear them in the show.

Happy Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Link to Love: A Non-Stocking Christmas Knitting Pattern

Looking for a quick and different knitting project to get you in the mood for Christmas?  I know I always am.  Stockings are cute and all, but I get excited when I find a knitting designer who's thinking outside of the box.

Amalia Samios's adorable Christmas Lights Knitting Pattern fits the bill perfectly.

Image via Amalia Samios on Ravelry

Wouldn't these look fabulous strung up on a mantle along with some Christmas stockings?

I'm still elbows-deep in my Christmas present knitting, but if I finish that with time to spare, these little lights will definitely be the next thing on my needles... we'll see!

Have you found any other cute Christmas knitting patterns?  I'd love to hear about them.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting into the Christmas Spirit, Caribbean Style

Coming from Colorado, I'm used to white Christmases.  Even when I left home to tour with ice shows, I spent the first six winters in cold places like Canada and Germany, so there were always snowflakes and crackling fireplaces and hot chocolate in abundance.  (If you've ever had the chance to go to a German Christmas market, you know that it's pretty much Heaven on Earth.)

But anyway, now I'm in the Caribbean.  It's not the same, but I'm making it work.

Here's how I'm doing it:

1.  I'm knitting like crazy for Christmas this year.  There aren't many things that get me in the holiday mood quite like knitting wintery gifts.

2.  I've made our cabin into a winter wonderland thanks to a few DIY decorations, some Glade Christmas scented room spray, and the She & Him Christmas album that I've had on repeat ever since I discovered its existence last week.

3.  Our ship also sponsored a gift-giving event at an elementary school in Jamaica, and I signed up to go to the school and help hand out the presents.  It was so fun to see how the kids were; it didn't seem to matter which toy they received, they were just elated to be receiving a gift.  I feel lucky to work for a company that does charity events like this every Christmas, and I also feel lucky to participate in the spreading of holiday cheer.  It was pretty awesome.

It's turning out that I love this time of year regardless of the climate, and I can't wait for Christmas to finally come!

What are you doing to get into the holiday mood?


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Showgirl Beauty Tip: Eyelash Glue

There are just so many things to say about false eyelashes!

Today I want to discuss the glue I prefer to use to keep them on my eyes.

My favorite brand of eyelash glue is Duo because it gets the job done and it doesn't make my eyes itchy like some of the other brands do.  That's a personal preference, though, so if you like another brand better, more power to you!

The real point of all this glue talk, though, is the color of the glue.  Most of the other girls in ice shows use the white eyelash glue that's supposed to turn clear once it dries.  I used to use that color too, but I noticed that the "clear" dried glue always made my eyeliner look lighter and cloudier and simply less black.

Then I ran out of glue one day and used some of my friend's dark toned eyelash glue and (Eureka!) it didn't make my eyeliner look murky.  The glue that's dark when it's wet turns black when it dries and therefore blends in with the rest of my makeup!

So for eyelash glue that doesn't draw attention to itself, go with the dark tone color.  You won't regret it.

Happy gluing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Link to Love: Speedo Yarn Bomber

Image via The Denver Post

When my friend, Karleen, posted this yarn bombing picture on my Facebook wall, I nearly died laughing.

I love a good yarn bomb, and this one goes above and beyond with the funny factor!

The man behind this amazingness is Kyle Williams, and you can read all about his crochet creation in this Denver Post article.

I think my favorite part of the whole story is that a policeman watched the entire installation process and didn't intervene.  I guess the Denver Police are a-okay with yarn bombing.

Have you seen any other good yarn bombs lately?

Happy reading!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three-Turn Cowl Knitting Pattern

Here in the Caribbean, it's definitely not knitting weather outside.  Lucky for me, though, it's always knitting weather inside ice rinks, no matter where in the world they're located!

With that in mind, I whipped up a chunky cowl for myself, and I'm loving wearing it at the rink.

Before I started knitting this cowl, I played around with various stitch designs in my notebook and finally settled on a pattern with three vertical knit stitches and one purl stitch in between them.

You can see the way I drew out the pattern in the picture below.  I used little Vs to represent the knit stitches and dashes to represent the purl stitches.

When I make up my own patterns, I almost always draw a diagram like this before I start knitting.  Do you ever make up your own patterns too?  If so, do you draw diagrams too, or do you just feel it out with your needles in your hands?

Anyway, I named this project after a basic skating move, the three-turn, because I made it to wear during rehearsals, warmup ice time, and general hanging out by the ice (which I do a lot). I picked that particular skating move because it ties in with the three vertical stitches in the stitch pattern.  Get it?

Here are the details about the Three-Turn Cowl.

1.  One skein (81 yards) super bulky yarn (I used Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn in Dallas Grey)
2.  US Size 15 (10mm) circular needles with a 16" length
3.  Scissors
4.  Tapestry needle to weave in ends

1 inch equals 2 stitches

Cast on 40 stitches and join in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

First Garter Stitch Border:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Round 3: knit
Round 4: purl

Body of Scarf:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: (knit 1, purl 1) repeat
Round 3: knit
Round 4: (purl 1, knit 1) repeat
Repeat rounds 1-4 until your cowl measures 7 inches long (including the first garter stitch border)

Second Garter Stitch Border:
Repeat rounds 1-4 of the first garter stitch border

Bind off knitwise.

Happy knitting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Showgirl Beauty Tip: Eyebrow Love

For the longest time, when I was a newbie showgirl, I used to always forget about my eyebrows as I was doing my show makeup.  It was easy to do given that various producers and performance directors are always focusing on fake eyelashes or eyeshadow and lipstick color.

But I've come to believe that adding a little color to my eyebrows just might be the easiest and most effective way to punch up my makeup.  After all, eyebrows are like picture frames for your eyes, and if you've just spent a long time working on your eye makeup, wouldn't you want to highlight it with a pretty frame?

So to fill in my eyebrows, all I do is dip a small eyeshadow brush into some brown eyeshadow and sweep it across each eyebrow once or twice.  It makes my eyebrows pop without making them look scary-dark like they would look if I had colored them in with a pencil.

(The brown shadow works great for me because I have brown hair, but if you have red, blond, or black hair you might want to use a slightly different shade of eyeshadow so your brows look natural compared to your hair color.)

Easy, huh?

Happy coloring!
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