Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! We've got Z's family in town staying with us and spent the day marathoning our favorite holiday MST3K episodes and cooking up some Chipotle style cilantro lime rice and carnitas. All of the stress and anxiety that went into planning the holiday is finally over, and I'm currently curled up in my kigurumi with a cup of cocoa and some "Ocarina of Time." It's marvelous.  I hope you all had a most excellent holiday!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Introducing the Stitch + Bitch Feminist Book Club!


I'm super stoked to announce an idea Meg and I have been working on for a while; the Stitch and Bitch Feminist Book Club! What might this super rad sounding club entail, you may ask? Stitching and bitching of course! That is to say, we'll be reading one bad ass girl power book every month, then getting a group together to knit and discuss what we've read over beer and pizza, you dig?

If you find yourself saying, "Woah! This sounds awesome but you're in Denver and I live in Reno/Chicago/Fargo/Minnesota/Buffalo/ Toronto/Winslow/Sarasota/Wherever, Man," that's okay! We actually have a few friends from out of state who will be joining us via Skype and Facetime as it is, and would love to invite you to dial in using the magic of the interwebz as well.

You'd probably like some more details, yeah?

The first meeting will be held on Saturday, January 10th 2015 from 3PM-5PM MST.

We will be reading and discussing Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Femism Matters by Jessica Valenti. You can score yourself a pre-loved copy on Amazon for less than $5.

Since we don't have experience with this whole "leading deep, meaningful discussions" business, we'll be using this discussion guide to lead our banter during the meetup.

I'll be working on this sweet Duotone Cowl during the meeting. Be prepared with your works in progress or new projects in hand.

If this sounds like your jam and you'd like to join, please send me an email at abracadaverblog@gmail.com so we can exchange Skype IDs or phone numbers and we'll get you in on the action.

We've got a great in-person group lined up so far, and would love to have some more far-away faces, so don't be shy! Let's make some shit, talk some shit and smash down the patriarchy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wishlist // Sweater Weather

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

While the rest of the internet seems to be in love with the colder months of the year, I'm personally a fan of summer. I will always prefer sundresses to sweaters, but living in Colorado, I'm more or less forced to bundle up eight months of the year. To combat the cold weather blues, here's a little wishlist dedicated to some of the coolest sweaters I've stumbled across on the web. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Paraphysa parvula


A few weeks ago, Z came home from work and surprised me with this little beauty as a belated anniversary gift. She's a Chilean Gold Burst, or Paraphysa parvula, and as of yet she doesn't have a name. I want to name her Annabel Lee in keeping with my Tiger Army tarantula theme, while Zack wants to name her Zib. For now, we just call her the little one, because she looks so tiny next to Lunatone. She's only got a legspan of about 3" and from what I've read, she won't get much bigger. She's super skittish and fairly fast, so I haven't even attempted to handle her yet (and likely won't unless I have to). I had honestly never even heard of this species before Zack brought her home, so I've really been trying to learn as much as I can about them. Unfortunately, there seems to be limited information online, likely due to the fact they're not a very popular species in the hobby. It's been kind of fun just watching her and seeing how she acts because she's so much more active than Lunatone. I'm not quite sure what to expect as she gets bigger, but I'm really hoping the gold on her carapace and legs will get more vibrant.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wishlist // Captain Spaulding

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

In honor of Halloween being just a few short days away, here's a quick little wishlist dedicated to my favorite modern villain, the one and only Captain Spaulding.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Remembrance


My Great Grandfather passed away early Sunday morning at the age of 92 and was laid to rest yesterday morning in Wyoming beside my Great Grandmother. He was a World War II veteran, a husband of over 70 years, a father of three and one of the greatest men I ever had the pleasure of meeting. His legacy included 7 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren.

Growing up, we would make the drive up to Wyoming at least once a month to visit my Great Grandparents, and I was always in complete awe of how in love they still were after so many years. Even when he was in his 80s and they had been married for over 60 years, my Grandpa was always quick to open the door for Grandma or hand her his jacket and he and would giddily hold her hand when we'd go to the store or out to dinner. I have never seen two people look at each other the way those two did, and I will always remember seeing them dance and laugh in their living room like a pair of newlyweds. Their story was truly unique and I'm so glad they were able to spend 70 years by each others' side. When my Grandmother passed away two years ago, my Grandfather's heart was broken beyond repair and he was never the same again. I have no doubt he and my Grandmother are finally together again at last, along with my Nana and her little sister.

Rest in Peace, Grandpa. I miss you terribly already.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adventures in Waist Training Part I


I've been dying to try waist training for years, but I've had a lot of difficulty finding a corset that I thought would actually fit my less than proportionate measurements in a price range I could remotely afford. After I'd pretty much given up and resigned myself to having to drop a few hundred dollars on something custom made, my dear friend Josephine (a professional sexy person with a not-quite-safe-for-work blog you can find here) turned me on to a company called Orchard Corset. They have tons of different ready-to-wear corsets to fit pretty much every shape, torso length and size, as well as an incredibly informative blog and Youtube channel to address all your corset care and waist training needs. I spent a few weeks perusing their site to learn as much as I could before taking the plunge, and after triple checking my measurements to be safe, I settled on a size 20 CS-411 in cotton.

I purchased and ordered my corset late one Friday afternoon with free shipping and it showed up on my doorstep the following Wednesday. My package contained my corset, a hand-signed "thank you" card and a little brochure that outlined how to care for it and how to tighten it properly. 


Since I'd done a lot of research prior to my purchase, I knew I had to really ease into wearing my corset through a process Orchard refers to as "seasoning." This step was essential to prevent the corset from getting damaged and to ensure it conforms to my shape as perfectly as possible as I shift into wearing it 6-8 hours per day.

Getting it on and tightening it myself was nearly impossible the first time, even after loosening the corset completely. The front busk was an absolute bitch to clasp and I felt like a T-Rex trying to reach behind me to pull on the Xs to tighten it up. After a few minutes of struggling, I gave up and had Z lace me up, which he was surprisingly not too thrilled with. I had him lace it until it was just slightly snug on my frame and made sure he kept all of the back grommets straight as the directions said to do.

Once I was laced in, I rushed to my hall mirror and was completely blown away by the sudden hour glass figure staring back at me. While I do have ridiculously large breasts in comparison to my height and weight, I have almost no waist and even less hips. I can not emphasize this enough: from the boobs down I am not a curvy person. I had to peek back over my shoulder to make sure Zack hadn't made a mistake and accidentally laced the corset shut somehow, because I felt like I looked like something out of a Sir Mixalot song. However, there was still about 4-5 inches between the back panels, which was pretty exciting since that meant my waist will eventually shrink that much more once I can get it completely tight laced.


I spent the next hour shifting around on the couch and rushing back to the hall mirror to look at myself because apparently this corset has magic powers that turn you into a vain super bitch. Once an hour passed, I had Zack tighten it up for me a little more. I then attempted to eat a quesadilla and drink a soda while wearing it. Spoiler alert: this was a terrible idea for disgusting reasons I will spare you the details of. I kept the corset on for another hour after the tightening and then took it off and hung it up in my closet, lining side out as directed.

On the second day of seasoning, I did a major victory dance when the front busks decided to clasp without giving up a fight and I was actually able to lace myself into it without any problems. Since we just moved, I spent the first hour tearing through boxes trying to find a tape measure. Once I finally found one, I took my measurements with the corset on and victory danced once more to see my waist measuring in at 24" (for reference, my waist is naturally about 27"). 

The past few days, I have been wearing the corset for about two hours per day and can definitely see the steel boning taking to my shape a little better every time I put it on. It's also gotten infinitely easier to lace and tighten by myself, and I no longer have to enlist Z's help with anything beyond smoothing out the modesty panel. I'm planning to start wearing it for 3-4 hours per day next week, and will hopefully be ready to wear it all day long the week after that. I'm so in love with this corset I'm already having to force myself away from buying another. I have my eye on the mesh version of this corset that Orchard sells, simply because it looks like it would be much more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. 

I've had a lot of friends on Facebook and Instagram ask if my corset is uncomfortable and if it makes it difficult to breathe. The answer is "No" on both fronts. The corset itself kind of just feels like a tight hug, though eating in it was miserable that first time. Honestly, the only real discomfort I've experienced so far has been in my back muscles, because I'm a terrible sloucher and this thing forces me to sit up straight. Other than that, it's been smooth sailing even though I'm a little nervous to start wearing it full-time. 

I still have several inches to go before my corset is fully tightened, and I'm hoping to get to that point by my birthday in February. Ultimately, I'd like to get my waist down to 20" when tight-laced, which doesn't seem unrealistic based on my height/weight and seeing lots of other short ladies lacing down as small as 16." I'm making some major changes to my diet and starting an exercise routine to help me get there, as I've gained about 15 pounds and 2" to my waist this year since my promotion back in January. I'm planning to make waist training a regular feature on my blog so I can document everything from start to finish. I'll check back in next week once I've had the chance to wear the corset for longer stints at a time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wishlist // Creepy Craft Room


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6  // 7 // 8

Zack made me promise I wouldn't try to decorate every room in our new house with black, and I'll admit that's been an exceptionally hard promise to keep. While I've gone out of my way rather unwillingly to choose paint colors and decorations for the house that actually have some color to them, my craft room is going to be the one space I get to do whatever I damn well please with -- and I've chosen to make it a room that looks like Halloween all year long. I'm in the process of painting the walls pumpkin orange and picking out black furniture to fill it with. This weekend I'm hoping to make some major progress on the room so I can actually start using it, and in the mean time I'm having fun finding all sorts of creepy things to incorporate into my decor.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Little Glimpse...


Zack and I are officially moved in to our new house and I'm writing this post from my super sweet new (to me) vintage Duncan Phyfe dining table! While we've gotten the super essential areas of our home in order, we still have a ton of work to do to get everything the way we want it. My future craft room is currently half-painted pumpkin orange and stacked floor to ceiling with boxes, and our spare room isn't faring much better. Since the house is still a work in progress, I thought I'd share a quick peek at a few areas around our home that are at least moderately put together. I'll hopefully be doing a few home tour posts in the coming weeks as we finish up decorating and getting everything in order, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hey! Guess What?!




WE FINALLY FOUND A HOUSE


And not just any house: a four bedroom brick house with a fully finished basement and so much room I can't even begin to comprehend how we're going to use it. We'll be spending all of this weekend painting the new place and we move in a week from Saturday! I've had multiple essays, case studies and math tests eating up every minute of my free time the past few weeks, so I've barely even started packing. Ooops.

Things will probably continue to be pretty quiet around here until I'm moved and settled and can at last check this whole "figure out my living situation" business off my to-do list. Once Z and are all situated, I'm sure I'll be posting like crazy as we get the house decorated and put together. It was built in the late 1950s and hasn't been updated since the early 1970s, so we have all kinds of kitchsy old features to play around with. It's been a huge relief no longer having to spend every waking moment of my life searching for a house and knowing we have a place that's soon going to be our own. I'm ecstatic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wishlist // Back to School!


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Time really flies, eh? I start school (online at least) in just five short days, and words can't describe how happy I am! My two correspondence classes start early next week, while the one I'm taking on campus starts up in September. On Friday I'll be going shopping to pick up most of my supplies, and this week's wishlist is dedicated to all of the cool things I'd love to have in my book bag. I ordered my tablet today so I guess I can technically check that off, but I'm still on the hunt for a cool case to keep it in when it arrives tomorrow (I couldn't help myself, I had to opt for next day shipping!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wishlist // Bob's Burgers

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

All of my wishlists have been horror-themed for the past few weeks, so I thought I'd lighten up the mood a bit and throw together a list based on one of my favorite shows; Bob's Burgers! Despite my love of all things dark and dreary, even my extremely picky sense of humor and I can appreciate the sheer comedic genius that is this show. It's one of my favorite things to zone out to after work and I'm pretty sure I've watched the first three seasons on Netflix five or six times each. I bet you'll never guess which character is my favorite ;) 

At this point, you know the drill but it still needs to be said. The sources for all of these items are listed above, and I encourage you to take a peek at the artists and sellers who created them. I saw through the Instagram grapevine that Morgan snagged herself a sweet pillow that I featured in last week's list! 

Meow


My sister recently rescued the most adorable little one-eyed kitty from a shelter, and I finally got to meet her last night! I just got a sweet new camera, so I decided to throw together an impromptu photo shoot with Bella the cyclops cat and her new big brother Edison. Brynn and I took Bella outside for a little bit and I'm absolutely in love with how these outdoor photos of her turned out. Edison is quite literally a scaredy cat and refused to take a step outside, but I'm still pretty impressed with these indoor shots considering my old camera couldn't shoot for shit inside. Despite the fact I'm super allergic to cats, I can't wait to spend more time with these babes (after downing a million milligrams of allergy meds, or course). 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grab My Button!

Abra Cadaver
Just a quick post to let you guys know that I've thrown together a new button if you happen to be displaying my old one on your blog!
If you take the time to post this guy on your site, please let me know so I can return the favor :)

Wishlist // Creature From the Black Lagoon

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

This week's wishlist is inspired by my favorite movie monster -- the Creature From the Black Lagoon! I'm completely obsessed with that adorable sushi sticker! The bow is pretty fancy, too. As always, the sources for all of the featured products are listed above, so check them out! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

House Hunting Blues


House hunting? It's not going very well. So far, it's gone a little something like this:

We find a place that's in budget? Great! It's in a neighborhood with one of the highest crime rates in Denver and every inch of the porch is covered in graffiti! And it looks like it probably has bed bugs!

It's in a decent neighborhood? Sick! They don't allow pets.

We manage to secure a showing? Right on! When we go look at it there are literally 50 other people scheduled to look at it at the same time.

Something looks even remotely promising? Psych! It's a scam and my email is suddenly being bombarded with messages from Nigerian missionaries who are happy to send me the keys... after I wire them them the $2,000 of course!

It's really frustrating and discouraging, yo.

Looking for a house has literally become the bane of my existence. I spend at least 3 hours a day scouring the Internet for leads, Zack does the same. We spend hours every weekend driving up and down random streets in Denver and the surrounding suburbs in search of "For Rent" signs that rarely exist. We really aren't being picky. A house would be preferable, but a duplex or a townhouse would be cool. Something with two bedrooms and a fenced yard. Those are literally the only requirements. Early on in our search, we had a list of all kinds of things we wanted; washer/dryer hookups, hardwood floors preferred, a garage, a high walking score. We've pretty much given up on even hoping for any of that.

We did manage to get to the application stage for one place, a townhouse close to where I work. It was in budget with two bedrooms and a small yard for the pups. The owners were sweet and extremely pet-friendly. The place was well maintained and had quite a few luxury perks. We were a little reluctant to fork over the application fee because so many other people were there filling out applications too, but we both had a really good feeling about it and decided to give it a shot. The landlords called on the 4th to inform us that it went to a couple who applied precisely two minutes before we did. Well fuck.

It doesn't help that rent prices in Denver are at an all time high while availability is at an all time low (here's proof). Out of curiosity and desperation, I took a look at the first apartment complex I lived in when I was 19 because all of the ground floor units had fenced yards. It was in a fairly sketch part of town, the neighbors were really loud and maintenance was a little slow but I never had anything seriously bad happen to me there, so I thought "why not?" Well, here's why not. The 2 bedroom apartment I paid $575 a month for in 2009? Yeah, it's renting for $1,100 today, putting it out of our $1,000 budget. Buying, unfortunately isn't an option nor is it something we really care to do at this point in time, so that's off the table. I feel stuck.

I'm sorry that this post literally consists of nothing but bitching on my end, but I'm just so frustrated that I needed to vent. I'm working 40-45 hours a week right now and looking for a house pretty much consumes every free minute of my waking life. I start school in less than a month, and I really want to be settled and done with this by then. The mere thought of trying to juggle a full-time job, three classes and more of this house hunting bullshit practically has me in tears from all the stress. My family and friends keep telling me to be optimistic, that something will come along and it will all be okay, but it's getting harder to believe that with every failed showing and scam email that arrives in my inbox.

It just really blows.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ribcage + Roses

Dress: Hot Topic // Hair Flower: JoAnn Fabric
Boots: Thrifted // Jewelry: Thrifted and Hot Topic// Sunglasses: Amazon

Is it totally lame for me to admit I actually kind of like shopping at Hot Topic? It is? Okay. Whatever. I mean, half the stuff in that store feels way too "young" for me, but their dress selection, if nothing else, is completely killing it this summer. I snagged three new dresses last weekend using some Hot Topic cash I earned when Courtney and I went shopping a few months ago. The moment I saw this one hanging up on the wall, I had to have it. There was only one left in my size and it was basically free! The front of it is a little plain and meh, but isn't the back of it amazing?! I got tons of compliments on it when I went out for karaoke Saturday night wearing it, and I love the way it looks with my moth tattoo peeking out above the bones. 

As you can see, I am in desperate need of a haircut at the moment. One of my friends always does my hair, but thanks to a shitty situation involving her shop's landlord being a shitty person, she's currently moving so I can't get an appointment. The cowlick in my bangs in out of control and I've got split ends for days, so I've usually been rocking a ponytail lately. I had waist-length hair until I cut it about a year and a half ago, and this is the longest it's been since then. It's kind of tempting to let it grow out again, but I think the shorter length is a bit more flattering on me. I do have a small collection of wigs I occasionally wear when I'm itching for long hair, so I'll have to share some photos of those one of these days. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Craft Haul


The JoAnn Fabric by my house is going out of business, and they're having a sale of epic proportions all month long! Despite the fact I'm supposed to be downsizing and preparing to move, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to expand my (already enormous) craft stash, and I'm planning to make one more sweep this weekend before their doors close for good.

I picked up a ton of fabric, including a few that were normally $17-25 a yard for $10 or less per bolt. I have no idea what I'm going to do with 10 yards of this lovely woodland print fabric, but I guess I'm going to find out.


As Z and I are house hunting, we're set on finding a place that has enough space for him to set up a music studio and for me to have a sewing area. I grabbed this yellow fabric to reupholster a sweet chair (which I've yet to find) for my sewing table. 


I also snagged this set of fat quarters to make some new hammocks and other goodies for the rats!


I'm going to use this sheer floral fabric to make a new robe, and that green and grey leopard print knit is going to become a cardigan. As for the sewing-themed burlap? I'm going to use that to make some sort of overlay for my bulletin board. I think. 


These three fabrics looked like they'd make sweet circle skirts!


All patterns, regardless of brand or original price were $1.99, so naturally I had to stock up. I can't wait to bust some of my Nana's vintage fabrics out of storage and make some new dresses!


This tape measure was way too cute to pass on.


I've always wanted one of these magnetic sewing organizers for my pins and needles, and I couldn't resist the chance to score one for only $2!


I'm making a bunch of satin sleep masks to sell in my sister's online shop, so I picked up a ton of ribbon and trim at 25 cents or less per yard.


They had some pretty rad scrap booking stuff priced at 75% off, so I picked up this cool alarm clock thing and a box that looks like a book. I'm going to use the box to organize my button collection. I have no idea what to do with the clock.


Before all of my liquidation discounts were applied, my total was nearly $400. After discounts? I ended up spending just over $100. When I go back this weekend, I'm going to do another sweep of the fabric section, pick up some more craft paints and hopefully pick up some yarn to stash away for the winter! 
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