Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 down, 1 to go!

Yup, almost through. I am working on (ahem, procrastinating) a 15-page paper due tomorrow. I've made some stellar advances in laundry, and I'm sure when I get back to campus I'll make stellar advances in apartment-cleaning before the oh-my-goodness-I-have-to-do-this-now ship firmly arrives.
My procrastination efforts have involved crafting, I'm sure you're excited to note. Here are some bullets before I return to the grindstone.
  • pre-washed SWAP fabrics in a laundry marathon
  • found an AWESOME tutorial on making continuous bias tape and a new blog to read along with here at Pretty Jane. You'll see the results soon in many a project.
  • had dinner with a friend and got a promise to learn how to make chicken parm from a real Italian!
  • made a necklace for one of my dinner buddies
  • helped another dinner buddy find some cool clothes- he's a shopping- challenged guy friend
  • the dishes
  • blogged... but I suppose I should really go this time. This paper is not going to write itself.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1 down, 3 to go!

Today I've lived in the OT and daydreamed about the day when Hebrew will be done. And it's going to be a pretty good day. Tomorrow at noon, I'm going to walk out of Hebrew and not look at it much till February, when I start Hebrew Exegesis. (Exegesis: critical explanation or interpretation of a text in the bible or portion of the text, often using the original language said text was written in) It's going to be a long night to get there, but the good kind of long night.

Wednesday afternoon I am going to take a short Sabbath of sorts for some shopping... helping one of my dinner buddies find some clothes for himself, covertly buying gifts for the same friend, and picking up some beads and clasps to work on gifts for other friends. It's gonna be a good break.

After we shop, I hope to feel refreshed enough to dive in to the next exam's studying, taking breaks to make gifts for 2 friends and bake 2 or 3 big batches of cookies to send home with friends. One more final on Thursday, and finishing up a 15-page paper on Friday and I'll have finished my first semester.

And then pageant craziness on Saturday and Sunday, and I get to define my very own routine for a whole week... YES! Work at the church in the mornings, have lunch, walk the dogs, and then afternoons of gift making, sending, and maybe even some things for me cut out and coming together...

4 more days...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

whew!

Okay, time for a breather and the things I am thankful for so far this month...
  • running buddies... We are up to a 5k for our long run, and I felt pretty awesome today with my 1.5 miles, no stopping digs... YESS! But as much as I am thinking 'go me' I know I couldn't have done it without the group. I wouldn't have even made it out of bed without them!
  • packages... OF FABRIC! I have everything sitting next to each other right now on a chair across from me... and it WORKS! I really wasn't sure it was going to so I am breathing a deep sigh of relief. While the fabric would have been used eventually, I am trying really hard not to stash things at the moment...
  • highlighters... between notes and blocking off parts of my paper calendar, I honestly don't know how I'd survive without them this time of year.
  • good food
  • good friends... My computer crashed yesterday at about noon, and through the grace of God and the mind of my friend DP, it was up again and funtcional by around midnight- no small feat!
Hope all is well with y'all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

finals...

... begin Thursday, when the first take-home is handed out.
We have practice exams, and I have pages to write for classes... and translation.

So, my contribution- what I offer for the week- is a queue of what will be done when I finish.

1. The Burda Turtleneck,
2. draft a skirt to make a SWAPtastic tneck dress
3. The suit jacket- alterations first, of course, but I'm hoping there won't be many evident on the tissue fit.
4. cut, cut, cut... SWAP sewing will be here before we know it, and I have bias strips to make, and many many things to cut out... I'm looking to cut all of my knits before I go home so I can get some quality time in with my serger, thus fulfilling the challenge to sew with knots on the serger... I have no idea how I will do hems... I don't have access to a coverstitch machine currently, and also don't have a serger manual yet because I don't know my model number...
5. some alterations for W, and, of course, gifts.

What are YOU up to?

Friday, December 3, 2010

a treat for me



So, I was given a gift of some money earmarked especially for fabric... and as I am trying to watch my spending, that suited me just fine... So I moseyed on over to fabric.com yesterday, armed with a coupon, a list for some gifts, and my SWAP plan, and promptly picked out just enough to earn myself free shipping. I'll show you what I got for me, because some gift recipients are readers, so you'll just have to hold your horses to see those projects.
I'm really excited! This stuff will all be in/out yards... and as I have limited (read: absolutely none) space for stashing, I am thrilled with the idea of buying something with the intent to do something specific with it.

Now off to Hancock... I could kick myself. I forgot to order interfacing for the suit when I placed my fabric order!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

YAY!

I got something done.

Last night I skipped out on Improv because I wanted to sew. And lo and behold, I had a skirt in about an hour. Granted, it's a muslin of the pencil skirt for my suit so I didn't do it as well as I could have, but I'm pretty okay with that. I didn't feel like I really needed the zipper and nicely finished seams to know the fit, and after holding the fabric up to the light, I knew this muslin would not see the light of day. I wore leggings for fitting purposes.

And ladies, I am glad I did the muslin... The pattern's great, but a little short for church. I'll add an inch to the length above the slits, which sit a little high for my liking. In cutting I went outside the lines on the hips, which is normal for me, and I sure am glad I did, as it's snug, as a pencil skirt should be. I'll have to come in a bit below the waistband, and fiddle with how I should line this, because I would like to. I think the slits will make that tougher, because of how they're done...I know I will at least face the waistband, if not line to just above the slits in something... Any thoughts, dear readers?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just SEW already!

I feel like I've been planning forever... and guys, part of me really does want to just sew already. But... and you knew there was a but coming... I am missing things and now that I'm out of class, it's 9:30 and I can't think of a place that has interfacing this late at night. Or that I'd want to drive to in the ick-fest going on outside my window. So I am sitting with homeade hot chocolate and blogging about sewing once more, resolved that this time tomorrow, I will have something crafty- photographed- to show you.
You see, December is fast approaching. Like tomorrow. And now to blog I'm going to have to have something to show, and I really do want to have something to show- maybe even the skirt muslin.

Today's the last of the official Thankful for 30, and it's in my head to do a compilation of these thankfuls sometime in the near future. I'm going to be thankful today that this exercise has been good for my outlook. Not life-changing in any overly large way, but a reminder to remember the good.

I work in a church, so this is a stressful time of year at times... and the little reminder has been something that I have thought more than once will be good to carry into advent and the church's busy time as a way to stay focused on the reason for the season. Today I'm thankful for this new habit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy New Year

You know what I just realized?

Advent began yesterday. Wishes for the new year are not out of place- Advent IS the start of the church's year. I knew, this time last year, my life would look pretty different today, but like this? Couldn't have guessed it... I am glad it looks the way it does though. It's been tough to do, but the best things aren't always easy. Actually, the things that end up being the best are the ones you work for... and that you don't expect, or that aren't the cookie-cutter.
Looking back on the semester, a conversation with one of my favorite pastors comes to mind. He told a group of entering students that the first year of Seminary breaks down your faith as you know it into pieces. The second year shifts them around, and the third puts them back together.
This semester has been a growing time, and I'd be lying if I said it was easy, or that it wasn't worth it.

So today, I'm thankful. I'm glad to be where I am, what I am, and whose I am.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh boy!

Cyber Monday... means a sale at fabric.com. If you need any, check it out... great coupons but they're gone tomorrow at midnight! I think I'm gonna go ahead and get lots of the fabrics I need for gifts- keeping my deal with myself and only spending the money gifted to me specifically for fabric for me on myself- over 2/3 of my purchase would be for things for other people.

Go look! Go look!

Today I'm thankful for safe travels... all of the family is home safely, and so I will rest easily tonight! I'm also glad we were able to find some great pants and shoes shopping for W today- we're going to a formal banquet next weekend. It's a treat to spend 2 weekends in a row with him!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

...well so much for that...

It didn't happen. No cutting out, no sewing, not even any blogging! But you know what? My family deserved that... bigtime. I have been so happy to take the time with them and to really enjoy them... But it WILL be back to business as soon as I catch up on some homework... Or, you know, even though I haven't.
Hope all is well in your part of the world! Here are highlights and thankfuls:

Wednesday: I was glad to introduce W to my Godfather and enjoy a meal with him and my mama... almost the calm before the storm.
Thursday: an AWESOME day with family, many of whom we almost never get to see who came from all over the Southeast. We hung out, ate good food, and saw Tangled with the whole family... All of the grandkids who were present and over the age of 2. It was in 3D! Holy cow! It was awesome. Soooo cute. I highly recommend it if you enjoy them. And I'm more thankful than ever for family who care about each other and readily include everyone.
Friday: We all went to the Georgia Aquarium. A-MAZING! Like whoa. So so cool. I was thankful for tie-dyes... we were all wearing them, and it really helped us spot one another.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the starting pieces: a suit


Here is my starting point for my collection: a 2 piece skirt suit in 2 fabrics. The herringbone will be the body, and the corduroy will be the shawl collar, back tab, and covered buttons on the jacket... maybe even the pockets. On the skirt it'll be the waistband.

SWAP pieces all have to have something new to them... I have never covered buttons or done much in the way of jacket construction, so that's a start. I've also had very poor luck with both hand-picked and invisible zippers, which will be a new thing in the skirt. I'm still trying to decide how and if I'll line these... I'm leaning in the direction of yes for both pieces, because I'm terrible about wearing slips and I want for these pieces to be around and in my wardrobe for a while.

The muslin will tell me a lot about the skirt... and I think I am going to forego doing a muslin of the jacket. I will tissue-fit the pattern for sure though, because I want half-sleeves, and not three quarters, and I have very mixed feelings about the curve in the back. I think I'm having enough fun without it... or I'll have more fun putting in contrast pleats... I'm definately going to play with it. And you'll know things as soon as I do. I am going to go ahead and post this because I want to know what y'all think!

Today I'm thankful for solidarity. I just knocked out a whole paper in WAY less time than I thought it would take because I sat down with 2 of the girls in that class and went for it. It was SO great to have it off the slate. I'm pretty jazzed to be finishing up my last make-up paper, and cleaning house before class because W will be in tonight and Mom will be in tomorrow, and I'll see everyone on Mom's side tomorrow and Thursday AND Friday! It's going to be AWESOME because I am realizing more and more how much I miss them all when we're not together.

Monday, November 22, 2010

creeping towards being better...

I'm getting there... slowly but surely.

Swing class was good, and we're going to Hot Jam, which is the optional, social side of the class, but not for long. Just putzing along! Nothing interesting to report, except for meeting a new doggy friend today.

I'm also thankful. For dance. It's amazing how getting off your tush and getting moving a little can make you feel better.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The week ahead...

Today- Hebrew studying, a paper to finish, and a paper to start
Tomorrow- Hopefully time to stop being a sick kid!
Some more Hebrew, my very first staff meeting, Hebrew quiz(zes), and last lunch with everyone here before the holidays start...
Followed by a house-sitting walk-thru and last swing class! These have been SO much fun... If you are in the Atlanta area, check out Down South Swing. They have a lot of really fun things to offer. And they also have some really awesome weekly things they do for the whole community, which just makes it that much better. It's been a good time connecting with my buddy I conned into doing it with me too- I hope he's enjoyed it as much as I have.
And then Tuesday I've got classes with finishing up a paper in between and then I'm DONE! W will be in town that night, my mama the following afternoon, and it'll be the bees knees.
How are YOU celebrating?

Today I'm thankful for the conversations we had tonight- even if I really should have been studying Hebrew instead of enjoying a long, somewhat leisurely dinner. We sat around and sat around, and it was amazing to be in the midst of awesome Brazilian hospitality of a couple of fellow students.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Still tired.

Funny how draining being sick can be. And then you forget how terrible it is till you're sick again.

Lots of nothing going on here.
I made a red velvet cake last night, but only because it was for 3 birthdays. Otherwise I would have stayed in bed. It tasted delicious. I'm pretty sure the next baking feat will be red velvet cheesecake for a little dessert thing my mom has visions of doing... but then again maybe not. My mixer died last night, and cheesecake notoriously takes lots of whipping. Anywho, this is the recipe, but I used 3 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting and added a generous 3/4 cup of chopped pecans. It was delightful... absolutely no problems. I did all of the cake mixing by hand and ended up having to borrow a friend's mixer for the frosting. I was glad I did it! And if you're of the school of thought where it's "pictures or it didn't happen"... I guess it didn't happen.

Now onto helping a friend with a sermon, 2 papers, and a Hebrew quiz to study for... If I pull this one off, I'll be all caught up again before Thanksgiving.

Today I'm thankful for drop-ins. Even though my apartment is a mess, I love that I have friends who will check in on me.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Soul-Filling and Soul-Killing

Alright. This is a bullet point post because I have noooo energy. I'm gonna start with the bad to end on a good note...

Soul-Killing:
  • the sheep VOLUME of stuff we have to read for all of these classes
  • being away from the people I've thought of as family- my college circle is very much missed.
  • 3-hour night classes
  • class sizes- I have one class with 61 people- most of my entering class.
  • adjusting to adult life- budgeting, getting up before 8 every day...
Soul-Filling:
  • classes. Focusing and learning.
  • my first apartment
  • people. This is the only thing that makes me miss undergrad less- I have been blessed with a second group of really truly amazing people to grow with over the next 3 years
  • Decatur. Need I say more? This is a great place to live.
  • encouragement abounds here, in everything. Our half marathon training group brings back some awesome memories of times at Transy
  • an awesome church job
  • being close to family. My mama has already visited once, and I've visited her once. I have no crazy long car trip for Thanksgiving, and can be with family for a weekend anytime I feel the urge.
Today, I'm thankful the good outweighs the bad.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guess what came?

Well dear readers, this week has been crazy. A couple of days ago I went to check my mail and was greeted to a mailbox overflowing with goodies... including this!
BeeBee sent me the Burda turtleneck that everyone is raving about. I opened the envelope, and it was exciting to see what had everyone raving. I went to my fabric trunk to see what I'd make it in. And then it hit me.

The few knits I have are at my mom's house. 3 hours away.

And you know what else hit me today? Whatever Seminary funk is going around. Or allergies.

But... I did some cutting and a refashion before it got me. My "rough draft" of the pencil skirt for my suit set- McCall 5817- is cut out. I expect alterations, I just don't know where and how much. I'll have to experiment with a lining if this is to be a wearable muslin as well- the pinstripe is on the thin side. And hey, a girl can never have too many pencil skirts. The refashio was of a skirt I've had since middle school. Before my growth spurt, it was low-waisted and went to the floor. It now fits at my waist, as the tailoring intended it to, and I cut it off to just above knee length and brought the flare in about an inch on either side. And voila! Something I will wear!

Tonight I am thankful for understanding professors and TAs. They understand that health is first. And that work is better when we're healthy. Everyone seems to be hitting the rocks with health at the season change, and the profs have been really great about it!

Bedtime, folks. Tomorrow I'm going to start answering questions/comments. A Seminary one first, I think. But I'd like to have more questions to answer, all the better to not have to think so much. Keep bringing em!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

rules

A La Stitcher's Guild:

Option #2:
2 dresses -single pieces consisting of top and bottom that can be worn alone.
My 2 Dresses: McCall 5801- the border print dress I never finished
a good date night dress- most likely chocolate brown knit
6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles
My 6 tops: Simplicity 2593
Burda Style Pintuck Top in white, pictured
a blue linen shell, pictured
a grey top(maybe)
a russet top pictured
a red top
a purple top
2 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
My 2 bottoms: a pencil skirt, maybe McCall 5817. I'm doing a wearable muslin so we'll see.
A good swingy skirt- probably half a circle- in a blue with a hem treatment I want to try.
1 your choice (not an accesory)
A jacket- Simplicity 2728 with cuffed half-sleeves and a shawl collar- the pockets are fun, but I'm not sure.

3 garments may be purchased or previously sewn.
1 may be knitted or crocheted.

Now here's your twist:

"Every garment should be made with a technique or feature that you haven't tried, or haven't mastered. My personal Waterloo is zippers -hate 'em, because I have to take them out and redo them at least once, every time. And there are several things I've sampled, but have never used on a garment -slotted seams, for one.

That doesn't mean every garment should have a zipper, if that's what you have trouble with. But at least one should. And if you never mastered buttonholes, at least one garment should have one. If you've never made a flat-felled seam, now's the time."

The twists will be hard, but not intolerable. What's going to be the toughest is making it blend and work as a collection- these are pieces that I'll be interested to see how they work together, but that I I'm excited to expand my horizons, and to try some new things and to really perfect others. I learned a lot in college but didn't master much, so this is an exciting thing to do.

Today I'm thankful for mentors. I have been blessed to have really amazing people in all areas of my life who have planted seeds and encouraged me to grow- and it's been SO good to have them. And taking them for granted as I have at times is almost sinful- especially since I've turned out okay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SWAP: Reason and Plan

Leaving that in the state I did yestersay, I wonder who had already called it... And who all is reading this, and had watched me plan here or on SG... and who is waiting for me to say it's different.

Do I have more time this year? No.
Do I need to make time this year? Maybe.
What's my motivation? Well, this is much more about Seminary and self-care, so I'll forgive you if at this point you just kinda tune out...

Right now it's about self-care. I don't need the clothes. I really don't. But... My brain needs the stretching outside of the realm of Seminary. I would really like to use this SWAP as a different kind of prayer, and at the same time to have something that isn't about religion and learning to be a pastor. The Seminary experience thus far has stretched me SO much, and I really need to own that, embrace it, and give myself a way to step away from it. SWAP will do that, I hope.
A very inspiring trip, ironically through a class, led me to Laurie Wohl, who works with textiles in a very prayerful, meditative fashion and embodies prayer in a very real way in her art. Hearing her speak about this prayerful way for doing what she did-and the pictures can't compare to the privilege of seeing her work-was inspiring. I hope to take some of the same kinds of things into my sewing for now, and to allow this time to really be a blessing.

It's all about self-care too. And I am really okay with admitting I feel the weight of school right now. I'm in 17th grade, and this is my fifth year of a more rigourous, disciplined kind of study, and Seminary really lives into the rigourous part of that. The ways in which my faith and life are changing and growing and expanding are intense right now, and I want to use the sewing as a creative outlet. I know hand-sewing will go to craft night, and sketch pads and swatches. And I may do something so that there is a chance for every piece to live in that atmosphere, where we foster each other in our creativity.

No, sewing isn't the only thing I'll be doing for self-care. I think I need to make a return to journaling, and start taking care of myself physically too. And to that end, I'm taking Swing Lessons to tune balance (and cut loose a little) and training to run a half-marathon. It's intense, and I have a LONG way to go before I'm ready. But never fear. I'll get there, hopefully before race day on March 20.

On that note, Today I'm thankful for my running group, "Team Ephesians". We have a morning group of about 5, maybe more, and today was our first group run- 3 times a week we'll gather and run. It's kinda terrible, but much better with the group than it would be by myself, especially meeting at 6:45 to go run. Encouragement and accountability!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Have you guessed yet?

Well, I'm toying with it again this year...
That's right. SWAP.

I'm noticing that life is strangely different, and I think part of that is a lack of creative outlet in the way I'm used to expressing it. And part of THAT, a big part of that, is the theatrical costuming isn't happening. And so I'm not sewing.
Y'all, I haven't NOT sewn for more than a month since... high school. And even then, I never went as long as I have recently. I miss the creative outlet. And SWAP would be a structured way to re-engage. The theme this year would also continue to stretch me as my sewing in the theatre did, learning new things and better ways to do things. I'll just be doing it for my life. Not a costume.

Gosh, it feels good to own it.
I'm thankful, really thankful, for the people that have recognized that I miss it as much as I do when I couldn't. Some talks recently have made me see that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

how-to: a necklace


I'm cutting it close again tonight.

Alright. Necklace time. Here's the cast of characters. The essentials. Beads of varying sizes. Some seed beads. A clasp. Tigertail wire. Crimp beads. Some needle-nose pliers. Paper plates, at least
2. Ideal but not necessary are some smaller things to hold beads in. And we're going to pretend I have needle-nose pliers in that picture.
I use an odd number of beads I really like(labeled central beads in the picture) to start with, but then I add in multiple kinds of other beads, and begin to build some kind of pattern around the edge of a plate to see how things will look in the order you place them in. As you make more and more jewelry, you stash, and you have extras, and a monster grows. So pick a color family. You see my reds and golds.
I use each central bead as a jumping off point, and make sure the sides stay symmetric with each other, going off the central bead. Keep going, rearrange till you like it. Add. Subtract. Do as you like. I try to get at least 5 kinds of beads in 2 or 3 colors that coordinate. Are you happy with it? No? Switch some things around? Now? Okay! On we go!
Now, to start, we cut tigertail to length, plus at least an inch. 2 is better; I went with 1 and a half.
Then on goes a crimp bead and the first part of the clasp. Then, the end of the wire goes back through the crimp bead. Crimp beads compress, and there are tools that do this more neatly but needle-nose pliers will do the job. You, at this point, are ready to do a last once-over of your necklace on the edge of the plate to ensure you really like it, although you're honestly never really committed.
You begin stringing beads, tucking the raw, cut end of tigertail in as you go. Now this is where I use seed beads. It's like knotting pearls. One goes in between every bead. And you just string it up. Then, repeat the process of closing adding the clasp at the end of the string, crimp bead, clasp, pull it tight, tucking ends in as you go. If there's a bit of extra space, it won't hurt anything, but get it as tight as you can.

And voila! You have a a necklace. You unfortunately don't have pictures just yet. Because I don't have my adapter. I will add them to the post and put a link in tomorrow's post... But I have Hebrew to do.

And today, I'm thankful for friends and for conversations. It's really good to sit down and talk about things from tv shows to real life things. A great end to a great weekend.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

a winner and some travel

Blogger hated my photos yesterday, and this post really wouldn't have made much sense without them. Read this post as if it were Friday, because that's when I wrote everything. I am going to ask for a Mulligan with NaBloPoMo, and you'll get 2 posts Monday to make up for it! Deal? Deal.

Well, with only a few entries, I told the Stitcher’s

guild community and Facebook about it in the eleventh hour, and drew the winner this morning. My fancy, ultra-technichal way of making the choice?

Me: “pick a number between 1 and 3.

Daniel: “3. Why?”

Me: I need a winner.

At this point, I went back to studying Hebrew. After all, it WAS quiz day. So, since number – is it, congratulations, Leann! Email me at anachronismsarah at yahoo dot com with your address.

Onto today’s topic… travel. Packing. Have you ever noticed how well/poorly you’re able to pack for trips? I tend to be really bad at it, and there's a whole school of thought as to why. So I decided to post my madness and describe it as a method.

I’m gone to a regional assembly this weekend, so I had to pack last night. The first thing to think of… What all will we be doing?

  • Date on Friday
  • Up really early Saturday and going all day
  • possible night out Saturday?
  • Sunday up early for church or leisurely day…

Being prepared for the plethora of circumstances without taking up my whole car? Hmm… I start with a really simple thing first. Black or Brown?

If I can narrow this down, I take one set of shoes(dressy and casual) one belt, and one jacket. The next thing, because I’m 22 and it’s just my go-to is a denim skirt or pair of jeans.

Then tops for all of the possibilities. Athletic stuff doubles as pajamas with the addition of an extra tee, and a great dress for a date... Only you can't see the awesome ruffle.

Today(Friday) I'm thankful for autumn leaves... Because half of my afternoon drive is on a highway and not the interstate, I get to see them!

Today(Saturday) I'm really thankful for old friends. I renewed some connections at a statewide church function that were pretty amazing, and to be reminded that God is good, all the time and in everything. I attended some pretty awesome seminars and heard a great sermon. It was great to be surrounded by people I know, and even better to do it on SUCH a beautiful day! I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Pause for just Thankful...

Today is Veteran's Day. I, as a daughter of 2 military parents, am really proud to celebrate that for all that it means. As far back as we can find records, we know that there is military service in our family. And I'm REALLY proud to even consider continuing that tradition.
I hope, that sometime today, you are able to say thank you to a soldier or their spouse. Sometimes people don't understand that the spouse, male or female, of a deployed soldier has one of the hardest jobs in the service. It's hard to enter into a marriage with the thoughts of possible deployments ahead, and what that means for a family.
But today, I'm thankful for all who decided it was worth it. After all, my family line wouldn't look the way it does without it!

Crafty post may come later today, but it may just be cooking... Breakfast for dinner tonight.

On deck:
Friday: A winner... not too late to enter!
Saturday: A how-to on necklaces... I listened
Sunday: Some wardrobe thoughts relative to Tuesday's queue post- maybe even virtual swatches

What else? You tell me.

And guys? Hug a soldier today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Craft Night and a tour



I am actually at Craft Night right now, a tradition started by Ruth, a great neighbor who opens her home to let us hang out, laptops or crafts, to commune and un-stress. And tonight, in that process, I am going to plan, because that's what I need right now. It's a great group of people, and a great mini-sabbath from studying.
And a tour. Beth at Wee Pereas offered a tour of her studio today, and asked about the studios of others. And I have a confession. My whole apartment has been used as studio space at one point or another.
When you walk in my front door, you see the entirety of my living room. It's little and the focus is definately the kitchen table, and it's pretty central to how I live right now between homework, friends, and crafting and cooking so it's kind of accurate to have it RIGHT THERE.
I am a firm believer that the table is where we meet our family, no matter its form and substance, and that maintaining that here is okay with me.And you walk in a bit. The color scheme of walls and trim and furniture was serendipitously matching my rug, a gift from our pastor, and I love the fact that my walls are what they are: Art. Conversation starters. You'll notice the very intentional absence of a TV. And you see my painting, created at Craft Night last week, and waiting on a chance to be really finished. I am living with it and looking at it, and trying to decide what more to do. It's going to reflect more of a specific sunset that I felt really really at one with my Creator. It's definately not there yet. It will be though.
And walking into my bedroom, we have a desk, a comfy rug, and my bed. The desk is there for crafty thinking and some studying, but mostly for storing books and holding... stuff. It's the one bit of clutter left in my apartment.
The colors are nice and calming, and somewhat oppositional to all of the apartment's colors, but I'm living with it. I like it in some ways. My favorite is the little shag rug on my floor... SO wonderful to step onto on cold mornings. I'm actually blogging from there right now.
But this fun area, where all of my jewelry lives and where I've staged a vanity of sorts, actually produces a good bit of inspiration.
My clothes come out of how I look and feel, and my jewelry comes from my clothes, so here's a fun little central point in all of that!
On that last note, I am pretty excited about the giveaway that closes tomorrow at midnight. The short version: I'm a flibbergibbet, so you could win a handmade, one of a kind necklace. Click over for the long version. I want to hear from you.

And... I am really thankful for the greatest thing of all: Family away from family. I have the best family ever. Here at Seminary, we all grow together, and I love that it really is a family. Between dinner club and my life group and craft night, I have found friendships and connections in a big way. It's a blessing and I am just that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

a queue of sorts...

It's been a while. This list was posted in 2008, and I'm gonna just talk about sewing today, because my idea generators want to hear about sewing. And, while we're on the subject, you can still comment and become an idea generator. We're in this month of stuff together, after all!

Fix-its
-take in 2 dresses
-hem a dress
-fix a slit on a skirt

Making/Finishing
-chocolate knit dress with a swishy skirt
-herringbone suiting pencil skirt, half-sleeve jacket suit- possible chocolate contrasts
-chocolate cord mini-skirt
-green silk-linen shell with detail
-brown pinstripe dress
-border print shirtdress
-red shell
-purple shell/capsleeve top
-pintucked upcycled top
-a turtleneck or 2

This list is shorter than the other one, but no less ambitious... Just more useful. Thoughts? Admonitions? Warnings? Would you like to hear the catch?

Tomorrow.

Today I'm thankful for books. I'm reading a really good one right now.

Be well, friends!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Last one!

Are you excited? I'm excited. It's the last necklace. Except I made another one... But I'll show you both of those today. I'm ready to talk about something non-necklace related. Maybe some sewing? Maybe some apartment fun times? Maybe some Seminary? It's bad when a week into NaBloPoMo I really could use some focus. I'm a bit of a flibbergibbet today. It's probably gonna get worse. So you should tell me what you want to hear about in coming days.

Right. Necklaces. 2 of them. I started with single beads on these 2, made the outside this past week and the inside one in the necklace frenzy. Both are, you guessed it, going to end up as gifts, but I was glad to kind of branch out a bit in the process of finding what to do for the big beads that I have.
It's a nice kind of branching out, and one of the ones from today will make a very pretty little something for one of you guys. That's right, a real live giveaway. I figure if you all sat through the string of necklaces, you deserve a shot at one. Here's the deal though, you have to help me with this fibbregibbet thing. Tell me what you'd like to read about. I'll be here all month and then some, I can get to multiple topics... and it'll be what your entry is made of. I'll draw on Thursday and mail by Saturday... once the friends and I make a craft store run to pick up some clasps.
Since it's a small little something, I'll even ship it anywhere, it'll just take a while for it to get there. After all, I AM a Seminary student.

Today I'm thankful for hands. I never realized how important my hands are in everyday life, and it's really changing to think about how big of a difference these hands make. With hugs, and pats on the back and little written notes, I have the opportunity to encourage. With these hands I can create beauty in mundane things. I can do SO much- I can clothe myself, nourish other people and plants, I can hold those who are dear to me, and share. I am blessed to have these hands.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Necklace Numbers 5 and 6: A Sunday treat


I bet you guys are waiting for the end of these necklace posts... So I figured since it's Sunday and I'm ready for the end of the necklace posts too, I'd do a twofer.
I decided to start with primary colors on this necklace, and the green somehow worked its way in as well... But I think I like it! These are lots of fun to look at after the fact, although it's made me realize how similar they all are in composition... the big difference is in the beads, I think... I can't decide if that's a bad thing or a good thing.
And I'm not really meticulous enough in nature to make the effort to say where every single bead comes from... Especially since they accumulate as much, if not more, than fabric does. My aunt's beads and mine have also co-mingled so much over the years, so it adds another layer of complexity to the whose-are-whose game.
And, as promised, another one.

This one was interesting to try to get a picture of, and it's really all the beads' fault. It doesn't do justice to the purple; really no justice at all.
You see, this is a necklace intended for a friend who is, in a word, crazy. But only when it comes to the amount of purple in her life. The cube-shaped beads in this necklace happen to be magnetic... hematite is good about that. But they were too pretty with the pearls to pass up the chance to use them together. And once the purple is thrown in, it's a shoo-in to hopefully being worn lots. I honestly couldn't guess how the recipient will feel about it.

Today I got the BEST nap, so I'm being in the moment and thankful for a really good nap after a really awesome board meeting at the church I'm attending now. It was a really busy meeting, but the stories and all that were shared and the opportunity to break bread together was a really great one.

Now, more Hebrew. And perhaps some daydreaming... It is SWAP season again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday! What a day!


Groovin all week with you...

Well, the tours have come and gone, and then my pastor dropped in. Which worked out kinda nicely, as my apartment was all clean and wonderful. If I see some interest shown, I will give a virtual tour tomorrow, but right now we've got necklace 4. The model(myself) didn't do it justice. As it's spoken for- a bday gift for W's sister- I'm okay with that. If you'd like to see the colors, it's the necklace on the left in yesterday's post with the paper plate confession.

Today I'm thankful for a healthy mama... There have been 2 people my age to lose their dads this week- one a friend from college and one a friend here at Seminary. I don't know what I'd ever do if something happened to my mom, and I'm blessed- SO blessed- to not have found out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Necklace Number 3: Pastel-ish Prettiness


We all need a touch of these colors in our lives every once in a while... And I have to confess, there was a person in the back of my head on this one. Although it took me a while to realize it. Anywho, I thought I'd share a secret of the way I do necklace making with you guys today... It's kinda silly, but I don't like to knock it too much because of how well it works.
You see, I have this stack of paper plates. Anyone that knows me in real life knows I am vehemently opposed to paper products as a rule- In my apartment we use cloth napkins and dishtowels for all of the things paper napkins and paper towels would be used for.
And I feel like I'm cheating on Mother Earth and the dishes all at once when the table is set with paper. But that's because I'm a strange person with odd quirks, and you'll have to forgive me. The point: This application of paper plates is one I can get behind. Those edges are replicated in very few instances, and I just don't like beadboards. And the best part? I can pull out a stack of paper plates for friends to play too. It's just more fun to play with friends.

Today I'm thankful for tours. I told y'all about how my apartment is being shown, and how that's given me motivation to get things put up on my walls and all... I'm just all-around glad I did it. Tomorrow's the big day, but spending time painting this week was just... awesome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A word (or a few) about Thankful for 30

Hey there. So, I must confess, this thankful for 30 is not my idea. Mary over at Confessions of a Craft Addict did it in 2008, and I sort of followed along. This year, I was looking for her link, and found something even more focused. 30 Days of Gratitude is scientifically grounded in PROOF- saying a little thank you every day is mood-altering. They guide you through the process and give you options for how involved you want to be in the project. It's on Facebook, Twitter, and I'm sure you can find many bloggers who are doing something like this.
It's just a good practice to get into- science or not, I am blessed.... November is a stressful time- between the end of midterms and the end of the schoolyear, things ramp up, and there's not always time to stop and be thankful unless you are purposeful about it. When December starts with the season of Advent, giving thanks builds itself in more, but until then, I'm thankful for 30.

Today I'm stealing a prayer of thanks from a neighbor:
God, thank you for a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and people who love me. Amen.

Regularly scheduled necklace posts return tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Necklace Number 2: Autumn-on-a-String


It's that time of year, and these colors are... everywhere! Including on your "lovely model". It was soooo tempting to put this one on for church on Sunday, and I am proud of myself for my ability to resist, even though it;s one of the few that's properly finished. There is a bit of a story there... Creativity struck and I responded before there was too much thought. And then I thought about closures, and didn't have any silver ones. Say it with me now: Aww. But it means a trip to Michaels, so YAY!
Back to Autumn-on-a-String: The beads were all together, and I hadn't played with the green ones or the gold ones, so it was a good oppurtunity to share. They really do have something special to them, and I feel as if the colors are very popular right now.

Just saying... You'll probably see them again.

Today, I am thankful for time away. I'm getting off-campus for a few hours this afternoon to go hang out with my godfather at the hair salon he owns. Wednesdays are kind of our day. I help out a bit around the salon, get my 'do sassed up if it's deemed necessary, and have a change of location for hw. It all works out! I'm leaving my computer at home and getting some serious work in on the homework front today!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Necklace Number 1: China Blue


Well, this is the first one... I decided I really wanted to use these beads, so I did... And I'm excited about a blue-and-white necklace. This has been one of my favorite things to do for a while, and pearls are a great, classic white compliment.
This necklace is the last one, but I got the best shots of it because I REALLY love love love how the light played, and how you can see fall in the background. You have to ignore my strange glowing hands though. They're not part of this picture.
Another thing... Expect some interruptions for the necklaces in the coming days. I'll hopefully be in good shape to paint on Friday, and could, if you're interested, show you the resulting duo of paintings, and the subsequent "mood" they leave my seating area in my living room in.

It's "Seminary Weekend" this weekend, and my apartment will be open for tours- so if y'all are interested, there could even be a virtual tour of my apartment!

Today's Thankful for 30:
Friends who cook. I have a dinner club with two of my best friends here at Seminary, and I can't wait to see what kind of deliciousness the guy in our little trio comes up with for supper tonight. He's learning to cook, and it's cool to be his test subjects, especially since he likes his healthful cooking so much. Tuesdays I normally have class at night so it's a great thing to not have to worry about dinner.
The whole group is really quite awesome... I feel like it's my family away from family, and sharing a table with them 3 nights a week reinforces it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo

Alright friends... It's November again.

Good thing I had a really productive crafting weekend, because I am going to be trying to post every day for the entire month. Over the past 4 days, I've made 7... that's right... SEVEN necklaces. Many will be Christmas presents, but to people who I don't think read my blog.
So. Today you get to see them all at once, living in the lid for the container I store all of my beads in- an old cheese box- and over the course of the week, I am going to show you the necklaces individually! Unfortunately, these are cell phone pics because I can't find my camera. But you'll see detail shots soon! Blogging every day this month will be a challenge, but I really like the idea. We'll see.

Another November thing... Thankful for 30. Listing something you're thankful for, every day, for 30 days. This is a season to give thanks, and we have no reason not to. Sometimes it'll be a person, sometimes a place, but that'll be my signoff every day this month! It'll be a great reminder to BE thankful in my everyday life- sometimes I end up being so go-go-go I forget to stop and thank God for the GREAT world around me.

Today I'm thankful for Fall color outside of my window,even in the middle of the city, even if all of the trees haven't gotten the message yet! Having something green outside of my window has really been a blessing, and watching it change has made me a little less homesick for KY.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

new additions!

That's right friends! I got this awesome quilting cotton as a gift from W's grandmother- a very sweet lady who got me some when I said it would make a good lining for a purse! I have nooo idea who it's by or where it came from, but I think it'll be great with some denim or this khakhi fabric as a schoolbook-sized bag for the times I want to go study without my laptop. The wooden box the fabric's sitting on is the home for my beads as well.... and I've been busy this weekend playing with them! I'll show you those on Wednesday's regularly scheduled crafty post, if I can wait that long!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm just running late this week...

But tonight I will be done with midterms and there are already plans happening for something crafty to go on... We have had massive amounts of studying to do, because that's what happens when you're a student. You do crazy things like memorize details out of text after text... in this case, the Bible.
Hey, it could be worse.... I love what I'm doing and am blessed to be doing it!
I hope y'all will forgive me for a fluff post... I'm making necklaces tonight and have fabric goodness to share too!


Monday, October 25, 2010


This weekend, I spent time with my mama and W in Jacksonville, FLA! We visited my godmother and went to an amazing event: a wine tasting for a cause.
There were some awesome bands and the whole thing was at an amazing venue- the Jacksonville Landing. It was a great day- I spent time with an amazing lady I'm fortunate enough to call my mama, heard the Navy Band Southeast make great music- everything from big band to Latin to some jazzy stuff... a blend that was juuust perfect for the atmosphere, and we really lucked out with perfect weather for that last chance to wear a summer dress.
The coolest part of the day for me was after the event- I met an amazing couple with an amazing story as we were loading up cars and after most people had made their way home. Christy's parents told me about her and the amazing story that birthed the CHILD Cancer fund. Go find out about Christy. Her parents are amazing people and she's an amazing girl with a great outlook on life!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reincarnation: Vogue to Infinity


Does anyone remember the Infinity dresses of a few years ago? Well, I gave in and made one. Because I had a dress that didn't have a back, but that I wasn't happy with. I wanted this vibrant pink to be a happy fabric, and lo and behold, I needed a salsa dress for a fun little outing.
Enter the extra fabric and that inkling for a fun dress that just happens sometimes. These fun times? Well, they tend to happen without the presence of cameras. Luckily, Havana Club hires a company to shoot photos of people having fun, and I have friends who remember to bring cameras when I don't. Havana Club's a great place with an authentic atmosphere and awesome music to salsa to. We had a lot of fun that night, and my skirt definitely passed the twirl test.

This infinity dress tutorial makes these dresses easy and fun, and I was SO happy to give new life to this old dress. It didn't take an eternity, and it made me feel like a million bucks!
The bright pink knit popped and I think the heaviness made the twirl factor just right, and the drape was perfect with the extra weight. I'd definately recommend Fabric Mart's knits for flowy projects like this one. It was sooo soft and great to wear!

Well, off to study more, as I have midterms soon... one a week from today and another a week from tomorrow. This weekend I'll be off visiting family, so Saturday's post won't be about Decatur, and might just be pictures.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back Review: Vogue knit dress



Well kids, I have this terrible habit of sewing things at the last minute at times, which can mean getting around to posting a review will happen, just not quickly. But with me trying to post more often, it'll happen! I WILL be caught up in my reviews! And sew more too, by the looks of it. There are only SO many things I made in 2010...

Pattern: Vogue 1027, a DKNY dress.
Pattern Rating: Easy. I would place it on the intermediate side of easy.
Pattern Description: "Calf length dress has semi-fitted, pleated and lapped bodice, bias skirt with inseam pockets and stitched hems."
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I know the official format has this question later, but I rarely leave a pattern as it comes. I made a new bodice with a different line and did not use the waistbands as such... I put them in my bodice! It was a dress for a fraternity formal given on a beach, which meant I wanted something more... different. Evening. Beachy. Mission accomplished! I also did not include pockets, and did have to put in some elastic to help support the weight of the skirt.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The skirt is definately like the photo, but it's decievingly, wonderfully full.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I read through them and used them to a degree, and found them very easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I liked that the skirt was so fun and full, I did not like the waistband ties. The directions were clear, and the cut of the garment made sense. I could
Fabric Used: a heavy, drapey knit from Fabric Mart in a solid- it was scrumptious and felt great on skin.
Would you make the pattern again?
If I made it again, I'd use a lighter weight knit so the skirt would do more of what it was intended to and wouldn't require extra support.

... next Wednesday, I'll show you the refashion and what that dress is now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Of all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm I've ever done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all


Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.


If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.


Today was my first experience with a burial. We laid to rest a really amazing lady, and it really made me think. We are blessed and life is too short. It was an honor to be asked, and when I got chills, I knew it mas Mrs. M telling me to say yes. The service was beautiful, making toasts to a great woman. This song, The Parting Glass, has its roots in the 1600s in Scotland, and is still a beautiful farewell. The closing of an amazing chapter in her life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FALL!

Autumn is coming, and I can feel it.
There are tights showing up on campus. Sweaters are making appearances. The leaves are doing all the turning they'll do in Atlanta, and it makes my heart happy. During my bike ride last weekend, I was rejoicing over having to wear long sleeves and the SMELL. The smell of Fall is in the air and just lifts my heart.
A new season is pushing me- making me think about how and why I live as I do. And I realize, bigtime, that I am blessed to be here- taking another 3 years of my life to devote to study and to preparation for ministry, in whatever that means for my life and in my life.
The world is alive in Autumn, bringing forth bounty in the land- a time of harvest and fruitfulness. The world glows with color, and it makes my heart happy. It's a time for change too. A time where we prune back and plan- and I can't help but think about how we get ready for winter besides our wardrobes...

Any thoughts? How do you prepare when you finish changing clothes over?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Race day was awesome.


I am jazzed to report my time for 33ish miles on a bike was 2:40... so roughly 12.5 to 13 miles an hour. Right at what was expected for riders in my distance, and BEYOND what I thought I'd accomplish!

It was amazing... and I think I might just be hooked.

And with the nip in the air, fall weather(read: time to wear fun tights... I have a collection) is upon us and so are some projects... Hopefully I'll be finishing a skirt to wear and show this weekend. W will be visiting, so I'm pretty excited to show him all around my new hometown! I know I've got the tights to go in the outfit, but the time? We shall see.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Sooo excited!

Tomorrow is the big day- a 50 K bike ride... the Kaolin Festival Century! W's dad is a race coordinator who is very much of the opinion that there's no time like the present to start something new. It's gonna be fun.

image courtesy of toonpools.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

....YES!


My life just got much more simple, AND much more connected all in the same moment. And it's because today I walked into Staples and bought a laptop. Boys and girls, meet Suzi.
I'm excited. Now I really need to write a paper.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some things


I love Seminary... And I LOVE Decatur!

There's this AMAZING place, it's called Your Dekalb Farmer's Market (On Ponce, for you Atlanta people)

... You can't bring a camera in, so the photo is compliments of the New Georgia Encyclopedia and it only shows the produce... Really. This place is amazing. And produce is fresher than the grocery store, and often for less! What floored me was the spices. SO many, and most under a dollar for .2 pounds! HOLY COW!

... I guess you know where I'm grocery shopping...

And I hope all is well with y'all. Can I leave you with a question? If I did 2 weekly posts, one on Wednesday about life and one on Sunday about something crafty or cooking- oriented, would that be okay? I know this was originally a sewing blog, and I'm not sticking to that much any more... But I DO want to know what you think!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

settling in

Slowly but surely, it's happening.

Seminary really is a learning and growing process, and I feel at home. My mom visited last week, and she can attest to the fact that there are things on my walls, that my sewing machine has a home, and that it's shaping up to be a cute apartment. Pictures soon. The last of my first classes is tonight, and then I suppose I owe y'all a real post.

For now,
S

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm HOME!

Ahhh... How nice it is to be settling in to my very own apartment! I'm looking forward to picking fabric for curtains and all of the little things that come with having a place of my own... YAY!

I did want to check in and say hi, and I made it to Atlanta safely. In my new car. Well, new to me. And it's a Kia Sportage, soo I guess it's not a car.

But I'm here!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holy Cow.

That seems to be a dominant phrase in my vocabulary this week. Really and truly. It's been a holy cow kind of month. As in Holy COW it's gone by fast. And it's picking up some more. And there's a ton going on. And my body choses, when all of this was happening, to hit me with 2 days of stomach ick. Thank goodness I feel better. I have a (busy) countdown...

6 days till the move-in date.
5 days till my last Sunday in church.
4 days till my last mom-date before school starts.
3 days till I see my Godmother and go to the beach!
2 days till a meeting that's pretty important. And till I see W.
1 day till a job interview for a pretty awesome position.

That list doesn't mention packing. Or sewing. Both of which I have plenty of left to do! 2 summer dresses to finish up- one with a hem and a collar, and one attaching a bottom to its top. And then I have to wear them. Before Labor Day. Too much white to push it in either of them.

I suppose I should get back at it... and be thankful for all of the amazing things that are the cause of the busy-ness. I'm starting SEMINARY! Holy COW!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Countdown....

13 days.

WOW. What with an amazing hiking trip with my best friend W from camp and a sermon(which went really well... I thought about posting pieces but I dunno...) to fill up the last 2 weeks of my life, I didn't notice the last of my summer slipping by me as well! Oh, and the tutus. Which were an all-around hit.

In the next 2 weeks I have...

Alterations/sewing galore.
-I am conquering duplicates this week... The goal is 3 shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of eyelet pants, a pair of slinky knit pants, and an additional, non-duplicate shirt. A pretty full box to be sure, and about that much to do next week too.
-I'm hoping to do 3 hours a day in alterations, and hoping, REALLY hoping, that it'll knock out the pile and send off multiple boxes a week.
-I have alterations to do for me too... so I will fill up a box and take a day to sew for myself before filling up the next box.... I have curtains- lined silk- that I want to be able to knock out as one of my first tasks in my new apartment.
-Remember I worked on a skirt and a dress? I have to finish those too, and I found CUTE, wide elastic for some quick-and-easy transition dresses, for the times in August/September where I wanna dress like it's fall but it's just too hot.

Time with my boys.
-I've been soaking up babysitting time for two boys, 3 and almost 6, like no other this summer, and wow will I miss them!
-I hope to get some pictures and their mom's permission to share them in the next week. Today I'll spend the afternoon with them.

Packing. Planning around a floor plan.
-I did a box for my kitchen today. Triumph! The big task will be to start gathering the things I need- setting up an apartment is a more expensive endeavor than I thought it would be, but I've been blessed to have some help and the ability to spread out some of the big expenses.
-I need to figure out what's left in the category of big expenses... And how to prioritize that.
-I might have friends helping me UN-pack! Which would be amazing... I miss my girls soo much and we've talked a bit about them possibly visiting before too much time elapses, which means I might have help doing some of my unpacking, and I'd get to explore my city with them.

Baking and sending.
-Care packages go to those who are starting school or have started, and cookies for the first day will be delivered by my boys this afternoon... Which means a quick batch is in order before I leave. Bar cookies to the rescue!

So much to do! But SO much I've soaked If I were to look at the summer as a whole, it's taught me life is too short... To do things you hate, to be mean, to miss out on things and people you love. It's too short for me not to be thankful and loving and use these two hands to do great things for other people. Use my time and prayer and all of it because I'm blessed. And remember that few things are more precious and worth soaking up than the words of wisdom from an older generation.

What have YOU soaked up this summer?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sewing Air... Again.

Well, when I made an installed petticoat while working on Sunset, my amazing then-boss Missy referred to sewing tuelle or crinoline as sewing air. Here in tutu land, I'm back at it! 40 yards of tuelle became this:
...And that was how it sat about 4 hours ago. I have since lined up the sorted tuelle with some help from my awesome-sauce Mama, all 6 layers, which will be gathered using a very nifty trick... a zig-zag stitch over a piece of thread. Use 6 inches of extra thread on each end, and then you have awesome, QUICK, gathers. They'll be stitched down the middle of the layerd pieces, then gathered to tee-niny waist measurements soon, then become 12 layers when they get folded and added to the red little gathered skit-ettes that will tie on each waist!

Even at 22, having Mom-time is still something I treasure and look forward to at every oppurtunity. And for Mom-time to be on something I have to do with her staying up past her bed time isn't the best, but it's still really amazing. I've found myself soaking up those times more and more because I know they'll happen less and less as time goes on. I move out in less than a month, and it'll be for good. No more summers at home with classes falling in the summer... And because I'll have jobs at churches, I'll be working when others have holidays. And sure, Mom will be close enough to come up, but it won't be the same.

The phrase 'growing up is hard' seems to be a theme, but hey, that's what you get when the blog belongs to a fresh-out-of-college girl!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ahhh.

Today I...
  • Did measurements for tutus, and cut EVERYTHING. All 30+ yards! Assembly lines and plans, really just knowing what I'm doing, are all SO helpful. I have a feeling, if this works the way I think it will, then it'll be CAKE to have these in the mail by Tuesday. As long as I have light tonight, because sewing the pretty fine colors of tuelle is like sewing on air. And the cute little ones wearing these will love them.
  • Will take pictures of the first finished tutu... on a teddy bear, probably.
  • Got some awesome research materials for my sermon... My minister let me take 2 commentaries home with me, and I am enjoying thinking about my topic. And knowing people at church will be encouraging me to preach how I preach and not how our pastor does, as I felt today with promises of prayers and pats on the back, was just AWESOME. And the great group of people who all seem to gravitate toward the same few places for lunch really are awesome and a source of strength for each other... A family within the church family. More amazing than anything.
  • Am generally feeling better. My foot doesn't hurt as much or have as many fun colors, and there was a big storm and a good-size sinus headache looming yesterday... with both all moved out, I'm peachy!
  • Still have work to do. I send out a job application first thing tomorrow, so I need to double-check and write a cover letter.
  • Am so thankful for kind responses of yesterday. And sorry I went all grouchy on everyone.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

AAAH!

Well, right now I should be sewing 8 tutus for children ranging from 9 months to 3 years. And 2 cowboy vests. Did I mention ladybug skirts and wings? Just two of each of those, thankfully. Or writing my sermon... now there's a good use of time.

Why not do these things? I have all of my supplies for the tutus and cowboy vests except for possibly the most important one... MEASUREMENTS. I know there are 6 girls and 2 boys. I know their age range, but I don't know how many are what ages, and I want for these to be right. I'm very close to just cutting them all the same, but this picture in my head of a baby drowning in a tutu meant for a 3-year old or a 3-year old getting frustrated and teary-eyed because she can't wear her tutu stops me.
I do, however, have a good idea of how these suckers are being made, and I feel like they'll come together very quickly, assembly-line fashion. Which is a Godsend, because I need to have them in the mail to NC by Tuesday. TUESDAY!

And the sermon... Well, I think that's how I'll spend my afternoon, but I won't have commentaries until Sunday. And A solid understanding of the scripture is the best foundation for any interpretation. I just know it'll be frustrating for me to do a sermon in the space of a week too... It's the part of ministry that makes me feel like a 2-year-old. Unable to do it because I haven't been really taught. It always works out alright though, because I let go and let God once I've done my best. It's all you can do sometimes.

In other news, I love ice packs right now because a cow stepped on my foot Thursday while we were trying to get it in the trailer for the butcher. Raising our own cows means it's hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and better for us, so we do the extra work, and sometimes see the bruises. Did you know pouring rubbing alcohol over ice cubes will keep the ice pack from re-freezing in a solid block once it gets all melty? It will be slushy and mold to your injured area instead. And revenge will be a steak served Medium-Rare... mmm.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Applications make you think.

I've learned that when filling out anything that has to do with ordination or applying for a ministerial position, one must explore things that sometimes wouldn't be thought about otherwise. There are things that are SUCH a part of life that we don't think of them as life-changing, and we certainly don't think of them as having an impact on how we think and live.
While filling out an application for a position as minister of children and youth at a church near school, I thought of a million little moments that have made a big difference in how I live my life.
A million little phrases people mention, telling me to shine God's Light, or "God loves you and so do I", and one memorable time, a heartfelt 'Thank You'.
Seeing big things, like a smile on a young woman's face on seeing youth work to complete her home. The tears in the eyes of campers who were moving up to a new camp and who grew in themselves that week, and taught me more than they'll ever know.
I sat on a porch swing last night and just STARED at the sight of the moon in the clouds and lightening in the distance, and felt small. It was refreshing to remember I am small, and that being a child of God doesn't have to mean being big. God is there, in the whisper of the wind, in a smile, a laugh, and at the top of a mountain looking out onto a whole big world of hills I miss SO much right now.
Where is God for you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pardon our mess

I'm restructuring a bit. Trying to streamline and be more accessible. Get some features back that my old look lost for me. Review the categories I have listed, and work on improving them, too. So if things disappear, I'll do my best to make them reappear if they're honest-to-goodness supposed to be there.
Did I mention a new look? I have one. Click through to the page, let me know what you think. The old template wasn't really playing nice with Blogger. And it may change again before all is said and done, but I really just like Blogger and the new templates... There are some really neat choices!

And the eleventy-million phone calls? Ohhh boy.

Here's to the day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Halfway there...

...And I discovered another fabric cat along the way. Meet Abigail.
Well, I spent yesterday afternoon drafting: to lengthen the Cynthia Rowley top (Simplicity 2593) to a dress and to basically invent a skirt. Simplicity 2564 served as a rudimentary sloper of sorts, but I took 3 inches out from the waist up and 4 off of the hem. No more back vent, no more back zip... now it's no the side. And did I mention the pockets? There are pockets now. Comparing the pattern pieces that Simplicity gave me to my own is quite hilarious. It's like the pattern had a baby. A hip, casual baby.
With all of these changes I thought it best to make a wearable muslin first... and BOY was I glad I did when I put the skirt on! I have to take 3 inches out of the waist to get rid of the unsightly gaps at the back and sides, and the pockets... Well, they'll need some adjusting. A bit small at the moment. But, I think I am headed in the right direction, and the goals of today were to correct the fit issues by tapering the center back seam and the sides, and get this skirt to the point of real thread colors and a zipper! I could slip it on without a problem today, which, needless to say, is a problem in itself.
Progress was made, in that I bought said zipper, but no real adjusting yet. Real life and a long lunch got in the way. Pins are in, and they made a world of difference, and I plan to hunt and peck in stashes for a fun cotton to play facing to my denim, but I have a question for anyone experienced in waistband world out there... Interfacing on the denim or the cotton?
Because it was constructed to be taken apart, the skirt went pretty quickly, and I got the body of the dress done, short of hems and armhole facings, but I want to finish up the collar, a teeny fit issue and armhole facings before I do photos! I will post about it soon... but not tomorrow.
Tomorrow I sew for my aunt, and make eleventy-billion phone calls in an effort to make the rest of my week smoother. Then, I go on the search for the perfect planner... You know, the kind that a proper, employed-as-a-youth-minister-seminary-student would have? That wouldn't be confused with those of her high school youth? Being a grown-up is HARD.

A skirt and a dress


Well folks, here is some honest-to-goodness wardrobe planning!
I made a stop at Hobby Lobby(read: the only fabric store around) to pick up thread, and they happened to have one of their wonderful sales going that day... Simplicity patterns were 99 cents each. The only time I buy big 4 patterns is if I get them for 50% off or more, so I was super excited! 6 came home with me, 2 of which I have immediate plans to sew up!
Cynthia Rowley has some great patterns for Simplicity, and I picked up top pattern 2593(pictured) this week, and dress pattern 2586 which has a very similar line and a deep hem in the spring... and I am going to combine the two! A dress with that amazing, fun neckline. Did I mention it's stash fabric from my grandmother? A dress for under 5 dollars? WIN!
And I am also going to make a corduroy miniskirt, using Simplicity 2564 as a starting point, and adding front and back pockets and a 2-button tab while subtracting some length to make a great casual skirt for tights and boots this winter. And all I have to put into it is the cost of buttons and the pattern. Stashed coduroy! A 5 dollar skirt!
Look at me, gabbing on my sewing day... I finished a box of alterations to send which means I can sew for me. So I am going to make the most of it!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Modesty?

There is a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion on modesty taking place in the blog-o-sphere this week, as Sophie, Peter, and Gertie and their many commenters have attested to. They've had their say, and I am going to speak my mind too... This really seems to be a charged, comment-generating topic.And before I continue, I have to say I don't mean to offend... I simply wanted to state my viewpoint on the matter at hand, and I really am going to try to do so in such a way as to keep the sensibilities of those less liberal or feminist than myself in mind.
The word modesty has extreme connotations with very charged religious and sexual undercurrents, and that was noted by the others who posted. The ideas of exposed skin and sexual charge seem to be connected in the minds of many- and the repression of those thoughts in Christian culture is a discussion for another time and place alltogether.
A survey- I couldn't read too much of it, it was really appalling to me as a Christian and as a woman- gave Christian men an oppurtunity to answer questions about the way women dress on a sliding scale, and then comment. The comments were, in the case of some responders- effectively telling women how to dress, outlining what is appropriate in what situations- and advising women to "be cautious" of anything remotely "tempting". I think that survey effectively ties up the issue of how much of a religious connotation modesty can take on, and goes a step further to say how sexist the ideas of modesty can be... The idea of a woman dresses to please men, or to entrap them... ugh. It's enough to make me pull my hair out.
What I wear should have no bearing on what a man thinks. If he is "tempted", he should keep his thoughts to himself. And those thoughts are just as likely to be there if there's more left to the imagination than if I were a bare-all kind of girl. Sophie mentioned not showing any skin she wouldn't want touched in a social setting, and I have to note that no man has a right to infringe on my personal space in any way I would find uncomfortable, bare skin or not. How I dress shouldn't make me an object, and any man looking me up and down or forming an opinion of me based on how much or little skin is showing is probably not one I want in my acquaintance. His thoughts are not my responsibility, and I'm not going to dignify the notion of those who show more skin "asking for it" with a response.
Let's step back for a second from the word "modesty". I can't honestly say I ever really think about it outside of the horrible connotations it takes on in a religious sense. When I'm thinking about how things look on me and appear to others, I want to look and feel classy. I want for fit to be as it's meant to be, not painted on or hanging off of me. I want to FEEL good- confident in my curves and lovely in my own skin. If that means I show a bit of cleavage or shoulders or leg, I think I have the right to. It's always been about how what I wear makes me feel. I'll wear a bikini on the beach to feel the sun on my skin and a wiggle dress in church or at work because it makes me feel sassy. I'll put tights on not to cover up, but because I like what the texture and color add to an outfit. A suit or a cocktail dress aren't worn to catch the eye, but because they make me feel good.
Women dress for women, first and foremost. We look each other up and down, and my sorority sisters and other women I trust have more influence over how I dress and are able to give me more of a confidence boost than anything a guy can say. I can't tell you how many amazing women I call friends and sisters I trust keep these rules or some like them in mind... I'll leave you with their words of wisdom:
  • Knee-length skirts are MUCH sexier than miniskirts in many situations, and the elegance that comes with them is something desirable.
  • Baring leg and shoulder/chest in one outfit is baring too much. Some of either is wonderful.
  • The saying "If you've got it, flaunt it" doesn't mean bare it all.
  • No matter the outfit, keep the place you're going in mind, and keep it classy!

These are my thoughts as a moderately liberal individual with feminist sensibilities... I'd really enjoy hearing your thoughts, and even more, I'd like to say again I had absolutely NO intention of offending with mine.