hi, i'm Chantelle

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MILE A DAY - RUN STREAK 2

The second “Mile a Day - Run Streak” I participated in took place from 28th November 2013 to 1 January 2014. I ran a mile a day for 26 of the 35 days. It isn’t a successful completion of the run streak.. but I’m not classing that as a failure. I still ran for almost 75% of the time. They may only have been at least a mile every time and I’m not the fastest. But I still got up and exercised. So I’m really proud of that.

I missed a few days due to sickness and work events, and then over the Christmas holidays I either couldn’t find the time or couldn’t muster the spirit! I haven’t really made any resolutions for the new year, but one of my “life goals” is to become fit and healthy. So yet again, I’m going to continue running and working out. But I really need to aim for running more than a mile. I’ve become too comfortable running a mere mile! I guess that can be one of my unofficial resolutions! :)

Giving up - you’re only cheating yourself.

Over the past few days I have spent approximately 14 hours working on a Christmas table runner and matching table cloth! :D It has been HARD work but I’ve enjoyed it. I was watching the Great British Sewing Bee and was inspired by the table runner they made. So I raided Boyes and came home with fabric and felt galore! I LOVE the table runner and I’m really proud of it. It is so cute! It has five panels featuring a snowman, a Christmas tree, Rudolph and some generic stars! It’s probably the best thing I’ve sewn yet. And that might be because my cutting straight lines is getting better! You don’t realise how hard that is until you’re limited to the amount of fabric you have!

The table cloth however.. my mum and I bought a ready-made table cloth that was too small for our table, and some Christmas-y fabric that I stitched the entire way around to create a chunky border. It’s not BAD but you know when you spend hours working on something only to find it’s not as good as you expected? Hmm.. deflated. It’s not bad though.. the only problem is this one corner which I mustn’t have giving enough seam allowance and it won’t lie flat. *shakes fist* If I keep pressing it I’m hoping it’ll behave.

I am mentally exhausted now. I have a sewing headache! Phew..

You know when you get an idea into your head and you have to act on in immediately? Yeaaaahh.. well I decided I wanted to make a dress form! A mannequin of myself! My sister and I googled loads of tutorials and figured.. why not? We used five rolls of duct tape (totally not enough, really) and almost an entire duvet’s worth of stuffing! It is the weirdest thing in the world!

For starters, being wrapped up in layer upon layer of duct tape feels weird! I felt like a warrior princess but I could barely move my arms! And second, having this life-sized thing which resembles your body is so bizarre! I tried one of my dresses on it and it’s so strange looking!! I’m really hoping this does help me in the future with my sewing projects!

You’re thinking why didn’t I just buy one? Well, it was pretty spur of the moment. Last night I was looking at dress forms and this morning I insisted I had to make one! And they can be pretty expensive! I’m sure in the future I’ll invest in one.. but for now.. I’ve got this wonderfully weird looking thing! And the actual process was pretty fun! It took a few hours! Involving my sister threatening to leave me trapped in duct tape and eventually not even being able to get out of it! But it was fun!

Sometime in the future we need to make my sister one. We definitely need more than five rolls of duct tape though. I wanted to finish mine all in red, but ran out half way through! Whoops! I should probably go sew something now to put on it! It’s hanging from my curtain railing looking like a prop from a horror movie..

THIRTY DAY SELF PORTRAIT CHALLENGE

This challenge was super hard! I recently purchased the “A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book" to get inspired when taking pictures! I used to always be taking pictures, and now I rely too heavily on just using my phone camera and "Instagram or it didn’t happen" (which all these photos encapsulate unfortunately :( ). One of the challenges in the book is to take a picture of yourself for thirty days. The rules require you to take the photo yourself, and it has to be of yourself. I broke this rule once; I didn’t take Day 13.. but it’s hard to take a picture of yourself shooting a bow! I started to really struggle from Day 20! It’s horrible having to try and take a nice, Internet-worthy picture of yourself every day! And I think you can tell.. those pictures aren’t my best!

My favourite picture is Day 18, Halloween, where I dressed as Faith from Mirror’s Edge! It was really fun getting ready with my sister, doing make-up and sorting out wigs! Day 1 is a close second, I really like the colours and the patterns, even though I was miserable (I was waiting in the rain for almost an hour)! There’s a number of photos I’d class as my least favourite but I don’t HATE any of them. They’re not great, but I tried, right? The image quality is pretty terrible in a lot of them, much to my chagrin. But I used my phone camera, so I wasn’t expecting beautiful and crisp images.

I think I’d like to do this challenge again in the future. I really like doing photo challenges (I’ve previously done three Project365’s), and see in the future whether I’ve improved in taking photos. I’d even like to start using my proper digital camera and have considered investing in a new, high-quality camera. But before I do, I need to know I’d use it! I think next time I will just use square images as well. Trying to keep the pictures as rectangles looks hideous..

I think I need to take a break from looking at my face for a while.

frandalf:

My brother and his girl friend were playing bio-shock and they kept screaming so I recorded it… Please bear in mind that he is 20 years old

My brother, ladies and gentlemen..

I LOVE this skirt! It’s so swishy! This is the first circle skirt I’ve made and I love it. The fabric, length and style is exactly what I wanted. It’s not another pattern from the Great British Sewing Bee book (although I’m sure their pattern (a circle) would work just fine too (it’s all in the name - it’s a circle)). But it’s a combination of online tutorials and instructions to come together. It’s such an easy piece to make (although it takes forever - so. much. hemming) and I want to make more! This type of skirt is my favourite. I am planning on going back in and making a few alterations.. I made it far too big again, so I’m going to move the buttons and add some clasps, and I need to restitch the waist band. It took forever, but I caught some of the outside material and looks a bit meh. It really should be fixed. But overall, I am chuffed to bits. The swish! I love it!

Urgh, this dress. I hate it. I really, really hate it. I found the pattern from the Great British Sewing Bee book and initially I loved it! It was just a simple tea dress that looked like something I could wear no problem. I spent hours looking for some nice but inexpensive fabric, and found this lovely simple peach polka dot cotton. But the pattern.. it has no shape, and it’s so much larger at the top than around the middle and back. When it’s on it’s incredibly baggy around the shoulders and neck, but very tight and ill-fitting around the back. The pattern didn’t call for any darts, which I was tempted to add myself to try and give it some shape. But I’m not going to wear it, I hate it that much, so I won’t make more work for myself. The one redeeming thing I like are the puffy sleeves. Which I had to adapt to get them to look like this because the pattern had some peculiar flaps hanging from the bottom of them! I’m really disappointed in the final product and it’s something I have no intention of wearing because it looks so horrible on! But on a positive note, it’s all sewing practice and I attempted some new things, such as sleeves and invisible zips! I won’t be making any more patterns from the Great British Sewing Bee book.. that’s two that have been a bit dodgy and the instructions aren’t very helpful and seem to miss obvious stages out. Next week I plan on making a circle/skater skirt.. I’m hoping I have more luck with that!

MILE A DAY - RW RUN STREAK

Since the 29th May I have ran at least one mile every single day! From Memorial Day to Independence Day! That’s 39 days of running! More than I have ever done.. ever! And I couldn’t have done it without our treadmill. I ran a few miles outside, but to really manage to fit my workout in the treadmill was my saving grace. I don’t think I could have done this challenge without it. And I am so proud of myself! I ran over 46 miles and my average pace has dropped to 10’33” from something like over 12’! I can see a massive difference in my legs and body and I feel so much better physically. It’s been difficult for me previously to lose weight, but since starting to run at least a mile a day that weight is coming off! :)

I’ve been a so-so runner for a good few years but this challenge has completely changed how I run! I’ve been able to be much more consistent and I can keep it up! Where in the beginning I viewed it as a chore and needed some motivation to get me going, after seeing the results it’s produced I’m more eager to push myself and see a greater difference in myself! My challenge now is to keep going. And although I don’t intend to run every single day, I do intend to run more frequently than I have done and push myself to run further for longer and eventually faster. I know I can do this, so why stop?

I’d also like to thank Sydney Fox for helping me get through some tough sessions.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen how obsessed I’ve become with sewing lately! It all started with The Great British Sewing Bee. I bought the book which comes with loads of lessons in learning how to sew as well as a bunch of patterns! I’ve printed out a couple of the patterns but the first pattern I attempted was a simple tunic. I made a version previous to this one in a cotton-y fabric, but unfortunately I made it too small and too short for myself. Luckily it fits my sister! So my second attempt I made it bigger and longer! Having worked with the material I chose however, I really don’t like it. I think it’s underlining so it’s quite stiff and see through. I’ll need to wear something underneath it! But despite all that I’m pleased with the end result! I had difficulty with the zip (pretty sure I cut the pieces out wrong), but I managed the super tricky neck and arm facing which had to be sewn in weird. I’m a proud bunny. :) I can’t wait to start on my next project; a tea dress. I’m struggling to find places to find fabric at a reasonable price though. I’m a beginner so I don’t want to have to spend £6 a metre in case I screw things up! But once that’s out the way with.. twirly dresses here I come!!

GLOBAL GAME JAM 2013 - GLASGOW

It’s taken me a while to recover from the game jam! 48 hours of making a game! Over 11,474 people took part at 319 sites around the world! That’s crazy!! It was so much fun; completely exhausting and hard work, but I really enjoyed it! My team and I worked on “The Unseen Evil”, a puzzle game where you have to find the vampire within a Victorian party! .. you can read a better description here. It was such a great experience for me. We used XNA to build it, something I’ve never used before. So that was a challenge in itself. But I feel like my skills and confidence in my programming really benefited from it. Maybe I’m not completely useless! I was really nervous about the entire thing before hand. But I definitely want to do it again next year. For the Unseen Evil, we won Best Art and were nominated for Best Gameplay! How awesome is that! :D

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