Saturday, July 31, 2010


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


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.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


... Quite possibly the BEST GIFT EVER!

Sorry. I'll stop yelling now. But I'm still really excited. The minister's new wife, is a really neat person- a Presby turned DOC by marriage and we love her dearly... She's open, easy to talk to, and has adapted quickly from having 2 boys at home to having 3 girls and 2 boys at home. We've talked about a little bit of everything, and I am glad to call her a friend.

For fixing a monstrosity (fills up a large garbage bag) of crinoline, and doing some teeny alterations for her and the kiddos, as in an afternoon, I was gifted/traded a serger! Excitement? HECK YES!

On a more spiritual/cerebral note, I realized yesterday how blessed we are to have those of an older generation among us. Our church is very inter-generational, and we celebrate that on a weekly basis with a communion service every Wednesday night where anyone and everyone is able to come to the table and to share thoughts and concerns. The times I love the most are those where I get to sit around and hear the STORIES. And see what a blessing these people are, educating us all in the way that only they can.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WOW! A month and a half? Really?!?

Yep... Really.

I have...

... seen 2 distilleries on the Bourbon Tour, and peeked at a third... The Kentucky Bourbon Tour is made up of 6 distilleries with historic prominence in KY. They've got passports, and each distillery has a stamp.
Woodford Reserve is AMAZING. The drive out is beautiful and all of it really just takes your breath away. And the Angel's Share, which is where they store the barrels for the aging process, is truly heavenly. I see more now why Woodford is an artisan bourbon, because the small batches are BIG on quality, and it's a loving process!

Wild Turkey meant we got to see a larger distillery in the works... It was no Woodford, but it was still pretty neat! We had some amazing peach tea before the tour started, and got to meet the Master Distiller... 3 of the 5 of us who went got bottles signed of the same stuff he drinks, which is a 10-year small batch.
And Four Roses, which happens to be my favorite bourbon by far... We really just saw the grounds because we were too late for the tour, but I was glad to get to see it because the grounds really are stunning. But my passport is filling up!

...experienced an amazing trip to Los Fresnos, TX and Matamoros, MX with 24 amazing youth and 5 other amazing sponsors. We built a bouse! Made a home for someone! AND made the temporary home for those working on houses at the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries campus more liveable. we tiled a floor, painted walls, scraped ceilings, and painted tons!
We made a difference, stateside and in the poorest areas of Matamoros... Working with the young woman who would be living in the house was probably one of the most rewarding parts of it for the youth. They all walked away changed and renewed because we took a time of rest after our hard work at South Padre Island! And then we saw San Antonio for an afternoon before we flew home.

...spent a week in Heaven on Earth at Camp Christian with 51 amazing campers. I led the Small Group for the oldest kids at camp- those going into 9th grade. It was more awesome than I can put into words to be able to give back to a place that gave me soooo much when I was still a camper there. And the youth I had in Small Group were the ones who I started out with when I was graduating from high school and starting out as a counselor... They've grown and changed a lot over the years, but I have too. It's the best kind of different to be a counselor in the same place I was a camper. And to be a part of someone coming to the descision to be baptized was HUGE. Unfortunately, I didn't have a good group photo... I was really more concerned with being a part of camp, not recording it... or, that's what I told myself when I forgot to recharge my camera battery...

...sewn my fingers off altering clothes for my aunt... She's lost a good bit of weight and is shopping in her closet! It feels great for her to be able to do it, and I'm loving working with such NICE things... And I think I'm learning a lot about the changes the body goes thorough after menopause in the process, but how close the bodies of the women in my family really are is, by far, the coolest part of it all. There's a vintage dress Nana, my grandmother, made in the 50s and wore regularly. And my aunt wore it

... started writing a sermon. I preach on August 8. I've also been fortunate enough to take communion to nursing homes and meet some really amazing ladies who share a really unique friendship.

What can I say? I've had a very busy and very blessed summer so far.